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f t 5 1979 M 




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Mrs. June Casey 



Mrs. Wilmot C. McFadden 

Rock Springs 


Mrs. Mary Emerson 



Mrs. Suzanne Knepper. Chairman 



Jerry Rillahan 



Mrs. Mae Urbanek 




Member at Large 

Frank Bowron 



Attorney General John D. Troughton 




Vincent P. Foley Director 

Buck Dawson Chief, State Museums Division 

Mrs. Katherine A. Halverson Chief, Historical Research and 

Publications Division 
Mrs. Julia A. Yelvington Chief, Archives and Records Division 


The Annals of Wyoming is published biannually in the spring and fall 
and is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical Society. 
Copies of previous and current issues also are available for sale to the 
public and a price list may be obtained by writing to the Editor. 

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

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

Copyright 1979, by the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and 
Historical Department 

Annals of Wyoming 

Volume 5 1 

Spring, 1979 

Number I 




Wii i i \m H. Barton 
Pun ip J. Rom rts 

Tracey Si di i 
Editorial Assistants 

Published biannually by the 


Official Publication o] the Wyoming State Historical Society 



University of Wyomin 

LARAMIE 8207 1 



OFFICERS 1978-1979 

President, Mrs. Mabel Brown Newcastle 

First Vice President, James June Green River 

Second Vice President. William F. Bragg Casper 

Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Ellen Mueller Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary. Vincent P. Foley Cheyenne 

Senior Coordinator, Katherine A. Halverson Cheyenne 

Coordinator. Betty Jo Parr is ...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. 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 

I. Reuel Armstrong, Rawlins 1970-1971 

Wili iam R. Dubois, Cheyenne 1971-1972 

Henry F. Chadey, Rock Springs 1972-1973 

Richard S. Dum brill. Newcastle 1973-1974 

Henry Jensen, Casper 1974-1975 

Jay Brazelton, Jackson 1975-1976 

Ray Pendergraft, Worland 1976-1977 

David J. Wasden, Cody 1977-1978 

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 Geoffrey R. Hunt 5 


B\ Ester Johansson Murray 44 


By C. W. Williams .. 131 


Minutes of the Twenty-fifth Annual Meeting 147 


Frison, Prehistoric Hunters of the High Plains 154 

Farr and Toole, Montana [mages of the Past 155 

Larson, History of Wyoming 157 

Canning and Beeton, The Genteel Gentile. Letters of 

Elizabeth dimming, 1857-1858 158 

Redford. The Outlaw Trail 160 

Lingenfelter, Steamboats on the Colorado River 1852-1916 161 

Marquis, The Cheyennes of Montana 162 

Clapp, A Journal of Travels to and From California 163 

Jackson, The Mormon Role in the Settlement of the West 164 

Mason. A Pieee of the Old Tent 16(> 

Grant and Bohi. The Country Railroad Station in America 167 


INDEX 170 


Cody Road to Yellowstone. 1403 Cover 

Margaret and Peter McCulloch 48 

Shed on the Carter Ranch 110 

Main Barn on the Carter Ranch 1 1 1 

Peter McCulloch 128 






— Stimson Photo Collection 

Wyoming State Archives. Museums 
and Historical Department 

photograph was taken by J. E. Stimson in 1903 and is 
titled "Lichen Pass on Cody Road to Yellowstone Park. 
Wyo." Although Lichen Pass does not appear on most 
maps it apparently was located just inside the Park 
boundary. Stimson catalogued the Lichen Pass photo- 
graph just in front of a picture of Middle Creek Canyon 
and just after a panoramic shot of Sylvan Pass. 

Zke Small Museum and the 

JnterpretatioH of Wyoming 



Geoffrey R. Hunt 


The small history museum is a common phenomenon in the 
United States. T. R. Adams observed in 1939 that "the passion 
lor relics is a deep-grained habit of the popular mind." 1 Local 
museums of art, science, or natural history are often the work of 
a feu enthusiasts who establish their museum in the face of public- 
apathy. On the other hand, almost everybody seems to be inter- 
ested in museums of history. Perhaps this circumstance explains 
the great number of historical museums, and the relativelv small 
list of local museums of natural history, art. and science. 

Although there are small history museums in all parts of the 
United States, those in the more sparsely populated states of the 
West have a unique role. Due to the low population, the small 
museums of what have been called the "hinterlands"- must fill a 
vacuum, a void in which, generally, no other institutions concern 
themselves with local history. College and university scholars deal 
with history on a national, regional, or state level, only rarely on 
the local level. This is probably as it should be. Historical society 
chapters are often concerned with local history, but the results of 
their research seldom spread beyond the confines of the chapter 
membership. And, unlike more populous states, the potential 
audience in the Rocky Mountain West is too small for most pub- 
lishers to risk printing works dealing with purely local history. 
This lack of printed material retards public education's efforts to 
deal with local history; as a consequence, citizens seldom receive 
any grounding in their immediate heritage. 

One must concede that the hinterlands are served bv medium 

! T. R. Adam, The Museum and Popular Culture (New York: American 
Association for Adult Education. 14.14), p. 136. 

-K. Ross Toole. "The Impact of the Museum in the Hinterlands," 
Curator. Vol. 3. No. 1. 1958. p. 36. 


and large museums of history, as well as by small museums. Un- 
fortunately, the utility of these larger museums in interpreting local 
history is limited, due to the broad range of subject matter they 
must cover. 

Larger museums, such as state organizations or a museum complex, 
have a tremendous responsibility not just to the community where the 
museum is located hut to the whole state. The community museum 
can or should focus on something about the community." 

If one accepts the premise that, at least in the less populous 
western states, the small museum is probably the only institution 
likely to be involved in the study and dissemination of information 
concerning local history, then the small museum's effectiveness in 
fulfilling that role is a matter of great importance. Remarkably, 
there have been few detailed studies of this effectiveness. 

The only examination to date of Wyoming's small museums is 
Richard Leslie Bunning's master's thesis, A Study of the Role of 
Wyoming Community Museums in Continuing Education, com- 
pleted in 1970. 4 While this study is valuable, it is confined to a 
purely quantitative investigation of museum adult education pro- 
grams. Bunning further narrowed his scope by limiting his study 
to community operated museums. There has never been an inten- 
sive examination of the role Wyoming's small museums play in the 
interpretation of local history. 

Given the unique relationship between small historical museums 
and western local history, a thorough examination of the small 
museums in a thinly peopled western state, Wyoming, is partic- 
ularly important. Small museums must recognize their full poten- 
tial as interpretive agents of local history, before that potential can 
be achieved. The role of Wyoming museums doubtless has much 
in common with the role of all such museums in the West, and to 
a lesser degree, with the rest of the United States. While a study 
of Wyoming museums is limited in scope, it should prove bene- 
ficial for small museums elsewhere in the hinterlands. 

The question of the extent to which Wyoming's small museums 
have fulfilled their interpretive potential cannot be answered with- 
out comparison to some accepted standard of museum practice. 
The nature of the "ideal" small museum is a matter of some de- 
bate. This study, "The Small History Museum in General," pre- 
sents a consensus of the thoughts of leading museologists, noting 
significant dissenting opinions. 

■'•Robert J. McQuerie, et al., "The Small Museum: Some Reflections," 
Museum News, March, 1971, p. 17. 

4 Richard Leslie Bunning, "A Study of the Role of Wyoming Community 
Museums in Continuing Education" (unpublished master's thesis. University 
of Wyoming, 1970). 


In order to approach some comprehension of how Wyoming's 
small museums are interpreting local history, an official of each of 
thirty-seven museums has been interviewed."' The officials were 
asked to answer questions pertinent to the philosophies, financing, 
operations, and activities of their museums." In most cases, infor- 
mation on the nature of each museum's exhibits was obtained by 
direct observation. "The Small History Museum in Wyoming" 
presents the results of the observation and interviews, providing a 
reasonably complete understanding of the current state of the small 
museums in Wyoming. 

Having established the character of the model small museum of 
history, and determined the current interpretive role of Wyoming's 
small museums, a comparison of the two and analysis of any 
discrepancies remains. "The Potential of Wyoming's Small Mu- 
seums" discusses some common problems and possible solutions, 
examines neglected resources, and concludes with a consideration 
of the future role of these small history museums. 

At the beginning of the study, a determination of which institu- 
tions in the state to include and which to exclude was necessary. 
Museums dedicated entirely to art or science were eliminated im- 
mediately; however, museums devoted to history as well as other 
subjects were included as museums of history. Defining history 
broadly as the record of human existence, museums of anthro- 
pology were considered historical. An even more difficult problem 
remained: what constitutes a museum? Is the display of memor- 
abilia in the motel lobby a museum' If not, what is a museum? 

The International Council on Museums ( ICOM ) defines as a 
museum any "establishment in which objects are the mam means 
of communication." 7 This definition has the advantage of sim- 
plicity; unfortunately, both museums and grocery stores meet these 
qualifications. The museum accreditation standards of the Amer- 
ican Association of Museums ( AAM ) are more specific as to what 
constitutes a museum. To meet the necessary conditions, a mu- 
seum must be "an organized and permanent non-profit institution, 
essentially educational or aesthetic in purpose, with professional 
staff, which owns and utilizes tangible objects, cares for them and 
exhibits them to the public on some regular schedule. " s The 
AAM's definition is more restrictive than ICOM's; while many feel 
it is too restrictive, it serves as a starting point. 

Each provision of the definition, however, must be evaluated 

"Appendix A contains an interview schedule and list of museums. 

'■Appendix B contains a sample of the questionnaire form used. 

7 Alma Stephanie Wittlin. Museums: In Search of a Usable Future (Cam- 
bridge. Massachusetts: MIT Press. 1970). p. 203. 

s Helmuth J. Naumer. "A Marketable Product." Museum News, October. 
1971, p. 14. 


before it can be accepted. Limiting museums to non-profit insti- 
tutions seems quite narrow. Robert C. Wheeler has observed that 
an institution can be a museum, and a good one, even if it is a 
private, profit-oriented operation.' 1 He also notes the converse, 
that any institution can be a "tourist-trap," be it private or tax- 
supported, profit-oriented or non-profit. Therefore, private, profit- 
oriented museums have been studied. 

The AAM definition continues with "essentially educational or 
aesthetic in purpose." Museologists are in unanimous agreement 
on this point. The next requirement, however, that of "profes- 
sional staff," is much more illiberal than need be. Many local 
museums simply could not operate if they were forced to bear the 
expense of a salary. Volunteers often render excellent service to 
Wyoming's small museums, and many fine museums are operated 
entirely by volunteers. Accordingly, the existence of paid staff 
members is not a consideration in the determination of which insti- 
tutions to study. 

The provision that museums "own and utilize tangible objects" 
is a natural one, one shared with the ICOM definition. While this 
phrase also includes grocery stores, it at least excludes institutions 
such as libraries, which, although they may have goals similar to 
those of museums, possess no artifacts. Criticism of this emphasis 
on objects comes from a distinguished museum professional, 
Wilcomb Washburn, who questions "whether, in the future, the 
museum object will not be converted into information that is as 
satisfactory for human purposes as the object itself." 1 " He pro- 
poses the preservation of photographs and of careful descriptions 
of artifacts, and the elimination of collections of objects. 

Washburn, however, has missed the point that no matter how 
many photographs are taken, and no matter how complete the 
descriptions are, such data is at best only a poor substitute for the 
actual artifact. In the same sense, "Girls are more interesting than 
descriptions of girls." 11 Alma S. Wittlin notes an advantage of 
artifacts over printed material when she observes "it is the three- 
dimensional reality and the authenticity of objects that matter, and 
the stimulation they offer to eye and hand." 1 - An institution must 
possess artifacts in order to be defined herein as a museum. 

The provision in the AAM definition requiring a museum to 
exhibit its collections to the public seems obvious, and yet the 

! 'Robert C. Wheeler, "Museums or Tourist Traps?," Museum News. April, 
1962. pp. 12-13. 

^'Wilcomb Washburn, "Are Museums Necessary?," Museum News, Octo- 
ber, 1968, pp. 9-10. 

"Michael W. Robbins, ed.. America's Museums: The Belmont Report 
(n.p.: American Association of Museums, 1969), p. 10. 

1L 'Wittlin. Museums: In Search of a Usable Future, p. 205. 


concept behind that provision has been the source of much contro- 
versy. Washburn suggests that some museums are justified in 
making their collections available solely to their staff and to visit- 
ing scholars for research, and then publishing the results of that 
research. 13 Edwin H. Colbert carries the argument one step far- 
ther when he asserts the primary interpretive function of a museum 
is research, and any museum can fulfill its responsibilities to the 
public simply by publishing an account of that research." Neither 
writer is totally opposed to exhibition programs, but each main- 
tains that a museum can exist as a viable institution and never 
exhibit a single artifact. 

Before adopting this opinion one must consider that Washburn 
not only accepts a museum without exhibits, but also a museum 
without artifacts. Museums are distinguished from other institu- 
tions with similar objectives by the possession of artifacts. It is 
logical that this peculiar condition be incorporated into the mu- 
seum's communication with the public. Wittlin feels that one 
special benefit of museums is their ability to offer "a relief from 
overloads of symbolic communication." 1 '' A museum which pub- 
lishes but does not exhibit only adds to that overload. Perhaps 
the best analysis of this question is offered by Carl Guthe, the 
foremost modern museologist specializing in the small museum: 

The only reason for preserving collections is lo use them as a means 
of bringing pleasure and knowledge to as many people as possible. 
To do this they must be publicly exhibited and interpreted."' 

No institution without an exhibit program will be considered herein 
as a museum. 

The last of the AAM requirements, "on some regular schedule," 
is useful to distinguish between a museum and a private collection, 
especially since the private collection is the hobby of the collector, 
while the museum presumably attempts to serve the public. 

Thus, to be defined as a museum for study purposes, an institu- 
tion can be private and profit-oriented, as well as non-profit, but 
must be "essentially educational or aesthetic in purpose." Fur- 
thermore, an institution must possess three-dimensional artifacts 
and exhibit them to the public on some regular basis. Obviously 
this definition still leaves a great deal of room for arbitrary deci- 
sions, both in the evaluation of the arguments by which it is deter- 

13 Wilcomb Washburn. "Scholarship and the Museum," Museum News. 
October, 1961, p. 18. 

"Edwin H. Colbert, "What Is a Museum?," Curator. Vol. 4. No. 2. I%1. 
p. 142. 

lr, Wittlin. Museums: lit Search of a Usable Future, p. 205. 

le Carl E. Guthe, The Management of Small History Museums (herein- 
after referred to as Small History Museums) (Nashville. Tennessee: Amer- 
ican Association for State and Local History. 1969), p. 76. 


mined, and in the application of its provisions to the various 
museums. Although the definition serves as a guide, the final 
decision on whether or not to include an institution is a subjective 

Having defined ■"museum," the "small museum" still needs iden- 
tification. Others have classified small museums in a number of 
ways: by annual budget, by staff size, by number of items in the 
collections, by attendance, or by total exhibit area. Each of these 
methods is somewhat arbitrary, in that the limits for small, me- 
dium, and large are set subjectively in each category. Just as 
arbitrarily, the "small museum" herein has been distinguished by 
governing authority, all museums in Wyoming operated by either 
the state or federal governments have been removed from consid- 
eration, all others are "small museums." This decision has been 
made because of the feeling that state and federal museums are 
intended to interpret history on a state, regional, or national basis, 
rather than a local one. 

The federal museums of history so excluded are Fort Laramie, 
the Fur Trade Museum at Moose, the Indian Art Museum at 
Colter Bay. and the general museums in Yellowstone Park. The 
Warren Military Museum at Cheyenne and the Armory Museum at 
Sheridan have been retained even though affiliated with the mili- 
tary forces of the national government, largely because the mu- 
seums are not directly administered by the federal government. 

The museums of the Wyoming State Museum system (Fort 
Bridger, Fort Fetterman. the Guernsey State Museum at Guernsey, 
South Pass City State Historical Site Museum, and the Wyoming 
State Museum in Cheyenne) have not been included. Also left 
out are the historical museums operated by departments of the 
University of Wyoming: The University of Wyoming Anthropo- 
logical Museum and the Western History Research Center. Upon 
investigation, it was discovered that the Clarice Russell Museum 
at Thermopolis is funded and operated by the Wyoming Pioneer 
Home, a department of state government. Therefore, this museum 
has not been considered. Located on state land and funded by a 
state agency (although separate from the state museum system), 
the Wyoming Pioneer Memorial Museum at Douglas has also been 
excluded. All other museums of history located in Wyoming have 
been classified as "small." This results in some incongruities; the 
Buffalo Bill Historical Center, possibly Wyoming's only "large" 
museum if judged in terms of budget, staff, or exhibit area, is 
included as a "small museum." Despite such difficulties, all Wyo- 
ming museums not administered by the state or federal govern- 
ments are classed as small, in order to provide some measure of 

An honest attempt has been made to personally contact each 
Wyoming museum meeting the conditions established. The basic 



reference is the "Guide to Wyoming Museums'* contained in the 
Educational Materials Catalog, a mimeographed publication of the 
Wyoming State Museum. Compiled in July of 1473, this publica- 
tion is now obsolete, new museums having been established since 
that date. (A 1978 revision is now available from the Wyoming 
State Museum. Ed. ) Therefore, whenever a museum not in the 
Catalog has been heard of, either through newspaper accounts or 
conversation, it has been contacted for possible study. Any omis- 
sions are sincerely regretted. 


Just as the story told by any museum is unique, so too. each 
museum is unique. All things are never exactly the same in two 
different museums. This diversity is stimulating and desirable; 
total conformity would be wearisome. Diversity, however, does 
not preclude common principles and practices. 

The fund of practical information upon which any museum may 
draw has been derived from the experience of museums, large and 
small — of museums devoted to each branch of the field. Certain 
principles are the same for all. Differences in scale of activity are 
accompanied naturally by gradations in elaborateness of method, and 
differences in subject matter are responsible necessarily for variety of 
method, but the same broad fundamentals underlie the work of all 
effective museums. 17 

Museologists readily agree that "certain principles are the same 
for all." They often disagree over just which principles are uni- 
versal truths, and which are merely matters of preference. Musc- 
ology is not a static field, moreover, and museum theory is steadily 
evolving. Still, a perusal of professional journals and published 
manuals provides a consensus of museological thought, with only a 
few instances of divided opinion. 

A museum's first considerations lie in the area of general phi- 
losophy. A museum needs to establish a theme before it can 
pursue any coherent course. It is important that this theme 
reflect the capabilities of the museum, and that its scope be de- 
fined in a way the museum can adequately interpret. Most small 
museums possess limited resources, and so must restrict their 
theme somewhat. 

The first limitation necessary is one of general field. It is best 
for the small history museum to confine itself to history and not 
try to deal with the fine arts or natural history. ls Such materials. 

17 Laurence Vail Coleman, Manual for Small Museums (New York: 
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1927), p. 4. 

ls Carl E. Guthe, So You Want a Good Museum: A Guide to the Man- 
agement of Small Museums (Hereinafter referred to as So You Want A 
Good Museum) (n.p.: American Association of Museums, 1967). p. 1. 


when pertinent to some historical topic, can be utilized in an inter- 
disciplinary approach, hut their inclusion should be strictly periph- 
eral. Trying to cover more than one field generally means that 
no field receives proper treatment. 

Having settled on the general field of history, it is desirable to 
establish a geographic restriction of the theme as well. The small 
museum cannot hope to adequately interpret the broad range of 
subject matter handled by state and federal museums, just as the 
larger museums cannot hope to do justice to local history. "We 
must limit our scope and we must cover our local story first." 1 " 

Museologists disagree over the nature of the "proper" audience 
the small museum should attempt to serve. Many feel that the 
small museum's primary responsibility is to the visitor unfamiliar 
with the area, the tourist. The museum can bring the cultural 
essence of an area together in a neat package for the convenience 
of the visitor, who can thereby gain some idea of the local heritage 
in even a short visit to a community.-" In the West, concentration 
on the tourist is often necessary for a more mundane reason than 
that of service. The economy of many a western town is heavily 
reliant upon the tourist dollar, and hinterland museums often find 
that civic support is directly related to museum success in attract- 
ing visitors to town.- 1 

There are highly vocal opponents of this emphasis on the tourist. 
Robert M. McQuarie urges that a community museum be com- 
munity oriented, for it is the people of the community who support 
the museum, either through donations or public appropriations. -- 
And surely the native is in as much need of an understanding of 
the local heritage as the casual tourist from out of town. 

Since museums may often be the only institutions interpreting 
western local history, it is doubly important that they serve the 
local populace. The point has been made that school children are 
most in need of attention, so they might be provided a cultural 
background upon which to build their lives. K. Ross Toole had 
observed that in many instances, ". . . museum school programs 
such as lectures, slide shows, special tours, publications, and trav- 
elling exhibits are not merely facets of a general education program 
designed to acquaint students with their heritage. They are the 
program." L ' :; 

Toole's emphasis on the need for museum work with children is 

''•'Arminta Neal, "Function of Display: Regional Museums," Curator, 
Vol. 8, No. 3, 1965, p. 228. 

-"Somerset R. Waters. "Museums and Tourism." Museum News, January, 
1966. p. 32. 

LM Toole. "Museum in the Hinterlands," p. 38. 

—McQuarie, "The Small Museum," p. 17. 

- :, Toole, "Museum in the Hinterlands." p. 38. 


shared by many, as evidenced by the large number of museums 
engaged in school service. This stress on the child has been at- 
tacked, however. As long ago as 1942, Theodore Low complained 
that adults should receive the main thrust of the museum's educa- 
tional efforts. Elementary schools serve children, high schools and 
colleges serve adolescents, and universities serve scholars. Low 
felt that the adult was neglected, and so concluded "there is no 
doubt that the museum must concentrate its attention on the adult 
public." 1 ' 4 The National Endowment for the Humanities echoes 
this sentiment today when it states "the public has need of and use 
for knowledge in the humanities. Museums are clearly of prime 
importance in providing such knowledge, especially to the adull 
'out-of-school' public."-"' 

In the face of these conflicting priorities as to what audience to 
serve, perhaps all that can be said is that there are valid and 
indeed, pressing, reasons for museums to serve each segment of 
the visiting public. It may be a museum should try to appeal to 
all equally, or concentrate on different groups at different seasons, 
e.g. the tourist in summer and the school child during the school 
term. In the end, each museum will have to reach its own accom- 
modation with the difficult question of what audience to serve. 

After the small museum determines its audience, it must decide 
how best to fill the needs of the public. Virtually all museologists 
concur with Laurence Vail Coleman's assessment of the two-fold 
assignment of the museum: "The ultimate purpose oi museums is 
to raise the general level of refinement bv giving pleasure and 
imparting knowledge. "-" Within this dual mission of education 
and recreation lie four functions, or operations, identified in the 
Belmont Report (a 1969 analysis of American museums) as "col- 
lecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting the natural and cul- 
tural objects of our environment."- 7 

Each of these four functions is a distinct series of procedures 
and requirements, yet each depends on the others in a sort of 
gestalt. "The responsibilities inherent in the performance of each 
of these . . . functions differ considerably. Yet they are, so to 
speak, the two faces of a single coin." 28 Before examining the 
operation of any one of these functions, it is necessary to under- 
stand their interrelation. 

-'Theodore L. Low, The Museum as a Social Instrument (New York: 
Metropolitan Museum of Art for the American Association of Museums. 
1942). p. 36. 

- :, NEH Museums and Historical Societies Program (Washington, D. C: 
mimeographed announcement of the National Endowment for the Human- 
ities. May, 1974). p. 1. 

-''■Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 10. 

-"Rohbins. America's Museums: The Belmont Report, p. 1. 

- s Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 51. 


Partly because of this inter-dependence, the collection function 
clearly comes first, for without collections none of the other func- 
tions can even exist. "The primary obligation of a museum is to 
assemble and preserve its collections." 2 " 

Once artifacts have been collected, great attention must be given 
to their continued well-being. "The collections are the core of the 
museum's life . . . Their proper maintenance should take prece- 
dence over all other museum work."" 1 The museum has gained 
nothing if it gathers artifacts in the hope of preserving them from 
loss, and then allows the items to deteriorate through neglect. 
Furthermore, museums collect not only for the present, but for the 
future as well. "The first obligation of a museum is to recognize 
and assume the responsibilities inherent in the possession of its 
collections, which are held in trust for the benefit of the present 
and future citizens of the community."'' 1 

The average citizen, when he thinks of museums at all, thinks 
of exhibits. While the functions of collection and preservation are 
clearly the foundation upon which exhibition and interpretation 
build, "a museum is judged by its exhibits." 1 ''- Indeed, when vis- 
itors do discover the existence of study collections not on exhibit, 
they often react with resentment. Herein lies one of the great 
difficulties of museum administration. Collection and preservation 
require money, which usually depends on public support. Public 
support rests on the manifestations of the interpretive function, and 
yet no interpretation is possible without sound collections. Per- 
haps this accounts for the many museums that blindly exhibit 
each artifact they acquire, without consideration for preservation 
or interpretation. 

One must remember, however, that interpretation is the mu- 
seum's raison d'etre. Arthur Parker cautioned in 1935 "the real 
reason for the museum of history must come first; the useful appli- 
cation of the tools of the museum must transcend the mere conser- 
vation of the tools themselves."'' 1 Since museums are distinguished 
from other historical institutions by their possession of artifacts, it 
follows that in large part the burden of museum interpretation must 
be carried by exhibition of those artifacts. Mere displays are not 
sufficient, however; the exhibits must be didactic in purpose if they 
are to serve any useful function. "Objects of history stimulate 

-'»/«</., p. 13. 

■'"'Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 45. 
•'"Guthe, So You Want a Good Museum, p. 1. 
:, -Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 68. 

s:, Arthur C. Parker, A Manual for History Museums (Albany, New York: 
Columbia University Press, 1935), p. 7. 


the imagination and. if intelligibly presented, the) enable one to 
reconstruct the past."""' 1 

The simple display of disparate relics in a "visible storage" 
format does not materially further the comprehension of history. 

There is no honest virtue in merely preserving things. To institution- 
alize visible storage does not contribute to life's values to any de- 
gree .... It is well to remember. preservation should not be an end 
in itself. It should be only the means to an end. :;: ' 

That end is interpretation. 

Research is seen by some as a separate, fifth museum function. 
Actually, research is an inherent part of each of the four other 
functions. Research indicates what items to collect; research also 
determines authenticin . Research is a part of preservation as 
well, both to obtain the history of the artifact, and in the study of 
proper conservation techniques. Above all. research is vital in the 
museum's program of exhibition and interpretation. "To the ex- 
tent that we are no longer mereh showing our specimens but are 
also attempting to tell things with them and about them, it is not 
only appropriate but may be necessary for us to conduct research 
upon all the things that can be told of and b\ the items we 
display." 38 

The AAM's Belmont Report is especially emphatic on this 

Obviously, the historic object must be authentic. This ealls for re- 
search. Less obviously, but equally important, to interpret the object 
for the visitor requires that someone with the right qualifications has 
investigated both the object and the role it played in history, and has 
done some thinking about its significance for the present as well as 
the past. ::T 

Thus, research cannot be separated from the four basic operations 
of museums. 

The first of the four operations, collection, is often carried on 
without much consideration, the museum gratefully accepting 
whatever is proffered. Any museum has a limited capacity, how- 
ever, and Carl Guthe warns: 

A community museum must not become a community attic, full of 
discarded junk . . . Another error stems from the desire to attract 
visitors through their interest in strange, unusual or grotesque 
things — the river pebble shaped like a foot, the model church built 
of burnt match-sticks, the piece of marble chipped from an ancient 
Greek temple, the two-headed calf, the ashes from a cigar smoked by 
Teddy Roosevelt, the tree trunk with a cannon ball embedded in it. 

: ' ,4 Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 132. 
"■"'Parker. A Manual for History Museums, p. 13. 

3G Albert Eide Parr. "The Function of Museums: Research Centers or 
Show Places," Curator, Vol. 6, No. 1. 1963, p. 24. 

: 'Robbins. America's Museums: The Belmont Report, p. 7. 


the crocheted American flag. None of these are truly typical, docu- 
mented objects, nor do they have intrinsic aesthetic, historic or scien- 
tific value. They belong in amusement arcades or in fair midways, 
certainly not in museums. :4S 

Just as a museum must define the scope of its overall endeavors, 
it must similarly define the scope of its collections. "That a mu- 
seum determine the limits of its collections, that it establish a 
policy of acquisition, and that it hold to this policy through thick 
and thin are of supreme importance.""' When limiting its collec- 
tions, it is reasonable for a museum to follow the same criteria 
used in determining the museum's scope: geographic area and 
general field. To these may be added a time consideration; how 
old must an artifact be before it is "historic"? "The . . . wisest 
course of action is to make the uncompromising decision that the 
scope of the collections shall be limited to materials directly related 
to the museum's objectives." 4 " 

Having established a collections policy, the museum must active- 
ly seek out artifacts which fit within that policy. This can be done 
through individual contacts or by the less personal means of asking 
for needed items through the local public media. Merely waiting 
for the public to come forth with artifacts is not generally success- 
ful. "The passive attitude of accepting gratefully appropriate addi- 
tions to the collections as and when they are offered will, in most 
instances, increase the number of articles illustrating periods and 
customs already well represented and. at the same time, will make 
more conspicuous the gaps created by the absence of articles with 
other associations." 41 

There are three basic means by which a museum may obtain the 
artifacts needed for its interpretive program: from outright dona- 
tions, by purchase or exchange, or through loans. Virtually all 
museums of history rely upon donations for the bulk of their col- 
lections. Funds are seldom available for purchase of needed items. 
Purchase should generally be avoided, not only in consideration of 
funding, but because a museum with a reputation for purchasing 
will find artifact donations drying up. 4 - Purchase is often a means 
of filling gaps in the collections, however, and sometimes a bene- 
factor can be found who will donate the needed money. Many 
museums restrict their purchases to an area outside that from 
which they draw their artifact donations. 

Collections exchange with other museums is widely practiced, 
although museums known for "trading off" donated items may 

:ls Guthe, So You Want a Good Museum, p. 2. 
•'•'■'Colbert, "What Is a Museum," p. 140. 
"'Guthe. Small History Museums, p. 25. 
"Guthe. Small History Museums, p. 32. 
4L 'Goleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 122. 


alienate past and prospective donors. One museum's duplicates 
could be another museum's treasures. Also, it occasionally hap- 
pens that a museum comes into possession of an artifact onh 
marginally pertinent to its theme, but of central importance to the 
interpretive efforts of another museum. Exchanges of artifacts 
may be indicated in such instances. 

Many small museums accept indefinite or "permanent loans" of 
artifacts, usually in the belief that this is the only wa\ to build 
collections. Once a museum has begun accepting such loans, the 
pattern is established, and it becomes difficult to persuade potential 
donors to make free and clear gifts of artifacts when their neigh- 
bors are making "permanent loans." Thus, the feeling that the 
public is more willing to make "permanent loans" than outright 
donations becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Museologists vehemently oppose the acceptance of long-term or 
indefinite loans. "Quite a number of small museums have in their 
collections articles accepted at various times in the past as long- 
term loans . . . The leaders among museums urge strongly that 
small museums scrupulously avoid this practice. ""'■'' "Avoid such 
entanglements at all cost, regardless of the attractiveness of the 
bait." 44 "Clear and absolute title to each article collected is urgent- 
ly recom mended. " ,: ' 

Essentially, a museum which accepts an indefinite loan is pro- 
viding free storage for someone else's property. The museum is 
liable for the full antique value of the borrowed artifact in case of 
damage or loss. Despite the "permanent" nature of such loans, 
the lender often demands the return of the item just when it has 
been used as the key piece in an exhibit. 

The motives of both parties are suspect. The museum, the bor- 
rower, seeks to impress its visitors by displaying objeets which it does 
not own . . . The lender's failure to present the objeets as a gift 
implies a lack of faith in the museum's future . . . The lender, no 
longer able to care for the materials conveniently, may lend them for 
an indefinite period to the museum in order to avoid paying the 
charges asked by a commercial storage warehouse. Or again, social 
prestige and self-importance may be inflated by reference publicly to 
the attractive personal property on loan to the museum."' 

There is an exception to the general stricture against loans. 
Short-term borrowing, for a set period and for a set purpose, usu- 
ally a temporary exhibit, is very common. These loans may be 
made either by other institutions or bv individuals, with the bor- 

l:! Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 34. 
"Guthe. So You Want u Good Museum, p. 3. 

'■"'Eugene F. Kramer, "Collecting Historical Artifacts: An Aid for Small 
Museums," AASLH Technical Leaflet f> (1970). p. 4. 
"''Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 34. 


rowing museum insuring the loaned items for the duration of the 
exhibit. But, such loans are arranged to fill gaps in an exhibit, 
and should be returned immediately following the end of the show- 
ing. "Loan collections for special exhibit ought not to be kept 
longer than two weeks or a month." 17 

Accepting donations with limiting conditions makes even less 
sense than accepting indefinite loans. "The museum cannot afford 
to make any agreement that will restrict the reasonable use of its 
own property. " ,s The restrictions donors will most commonly 
attempt to place on a donation are that the donated items will 
always be on exhibit, that the collection will never be separated, 
and that the donor's name be included in any display of the items. 
A museum should not guarantee the first two conditions for ob- 
vious reasons: a given exhibit may not always be appropriate to 
the museum's current interpretive message. No useful function is 
served by exhibiting together such disparate items as a Winchester 
rifle and a silver spoon, simply because both were donated by the 
same person at the same time. 

The condition that an exhibit contain the name of the donor is 
designed to enhance the donor's prestige. The purpose of exhibits 
is education, and the name of the donor is the least important 
information to be given for an artifact. 

One danger is in making the museum of history a memorial to certain 
living individuals . . . The primary interest is not in who gave the 
piece of silver. . . . real interest lies in the story of the art of 
silversmithing. ''■' 

Donors do deserve recognition of their gift. This can be done 
by articles in the newspaper, or by brass tags at the museum en- 
trance. Many museums have a "New Acquisitions" case where 
new items are shown for a month or so. 

Three duties devolve upon the director: first, to induce gifts by estab- 
lishing confidence and good will, second, to refuse courageously but 
tactfully what would become a burden, and third, to avoid awkward 
conditions attached to gifts that are accepted."'" 

Good public relations are vital to a museum, and refusal of 
loans or conditional gifts can lead to hard feelings. An established 
accessions policy prohibiting such arrangements often eases the 
refusal. Such policies should be followed despite the temptation 
to bend the rules for a particularly choice donation. "It is better 
to lose an important addition to the collection than it is to mort- 
gage the museum's future.""' 

'■Parker. A Manual for History Museums, p. 99. 
l8 Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 33. 
'"Parker. A Manual for History Museums, pp. 17-18. 
■"'"Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 122. 
•"■'Guthe. So You Want a Good Museum, p. 3. 


Collections documentation is an important segment of museum 
operations, and perhaps the one area in which virtually all muse- 
ums fail to measure up to accepted standards. There are many 
records systems, ranging from index cards to computer banks. 
While museum records must be tailored to fit the needs of each 
museum, certain universal requirements exist. 

All records should be immediately available for any item select- 
ed at random from the collections. Conversely, all related docu- 
ments and the actual artifact must be easily tied to any one of the 
records. The museum should be able to identify all items donated 
by the same person, all items from the same collection, all items 
of a given type, and all items associated with a specific historical 
phenomenon. These requirements max be divided into two pro- 
cesses, registration and cataloguing. 

"The primary purpose of collection documentation is to insure 
the permanent and individual absolute identification of each item 
in the collections.""''- This is the registration process. "To register 
an object is to assign to it an individual place in a list or register 
of the materials in the collections in such a manner that it cannot 
be confused with any other object listed.""' 11 A registration or 
accession number is painted directly on the artifact, and applied to 
all documents related to the artifact. This number generally has 
three parts, the first segment denoting the year of accession, the 
second segment representing a certain collection, and the third 
number identifying each separate item within the given collection. 

A registration system needs, in some form, a museum register 
and an accession record. The register serves as the immediate 
record of receipt of the artifact; the accession record provides a 
detailed description and complete information on the item. 

"It is well to remember that the objects have been accepted 
because of their apparent historical significance, and not because 
they are additions to the collection.*'"' 4 The artifact's interpretive 
potential depends upon knowledge of its provenience, and it is 
therefore necessary to obtain as much information as possible from 
the donor at the time of accession. Memory is not always precise, 
and donors' statements should always be checked for accuracy 
by comparison with news accounts, scholarly research, and other 

There are two important supplements to the museum register 
and the accession record. The document file stores all correspon- 
dence, research notes, and legal forms pertaining to the artifact. 
The donor file is an alphabetical listing of donors which allows 

•"'-Carl E. Guthe. "Documenting Collections: Museum Registration and 
Records." AASLH Technical Leaflet No. 11 (1970). p. 7. 
•'•'Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 36. 
™Ibid„ p. 53. 


ready identification of all artifacts donated over the years by a 
given person. 

"To catalogue an object is to assign it to one or more categories 
of an organized classification system so that it and its record may 
be associated with other objects similar or related to it." 55 The 
catalogue allows the museum to identify and locate its holdings 
of chamber pots, or cream separators, or railroading implements. 
There are no universal classification systems, as the catalogue suit- 
able for a postage stamp museum would not meet the needs of a 
general history museum. Most museums place items of a similar 
nature together in the study collections: chamber pots with cham- 
ber pots, cream separators with cream separators, locomotives with 
locomotives. This practice accomplishes a physical classification 
by type, and the small museum may be able to dispense with a 
formal catalogue for many years. Classification by type, however, 
does not answer the need of the museum to bring together all the 
disparate items associated with the railroad industry. 

Registration is by far the most important of the two functions. 
Cataloguing delayed for years may still be satisfactorily conducted, 
albeit with great effort; registration postponed even for a short time 
invites the permanent loss of vital information. 

An artifact is ready to be used by the museum once the docu- 
mentation is complete. The item is therefore added to the muse- 
um's artifact pool, which most museums refer to as the "study 

These collections constitute a reservoir from which material is drawn 
for the exhibits; they contain materials of research: they are the 
source of some of the objects used for educational work. Many things 
selected for exhibition may be shown only temporarily and then re- 
turned to their places in the study collections.-"' 11 

A study collection without proper records management is actually 
dead storage; efficient information retrieval is the key to produc- 
tive use of study collections. 

Many museums, feeling exhibit area is already insufficient, are 
unwilling to allot floor space for study collections. This is often 
due to a confusion as to the proper use of artifacts. "In a well- 
managed museum a very clear distinction is made between the care 
and use of the collections and the function and organization of the 
exhibits.""' 7 The placing of all artifacts in study collections re- 
quires far less room than the placing of all items in display cases; 
the space left over can then be used for exhibits of items carefully 

•"'Guthe. Small History Museums, p. 36. 
"Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 127. 
"Guthe, So You Want A Good Museum, p. 45. 


chosen from the stud} collections for their interpretive ability. 
"Quantity of objects is no substitute for qualit\ of display." 38 

An artifact is exhibited, not as an automatic result of museum 
ownership, but because of a conscious appraisal of its capacity to 
interpret local history. "It is not our function, in display, to offer 
every item we may possess. It is our function to use discrimina- 
tion and taste in choosing items from our collections to tell our 
stories to the public.""' 1 

Museums use one or more of three basic types of exhibits: 
"visible storage" displays, "systematic" displays, and "functional" 

The first of these is associated with displaying all of the materials 
in the collections. The exhibit rooms contain too many cases, each 
of w'lich is over-crowded with a neglected, poorlj labelled miscellany 
of objects. 1111 

An example might be either a case containing a rifle, carbide lamp, 
china plate, an old book, or a case displaying the museum's col- 
lection of firearms. Essentially, this technique puts on public view 
each artifact in the museum collections, hence the term "visible 

Systematic displays are commonly found in natural history mu- 
seums, but the technique is often used in museums of history as 
well. "The second exhibit policy calls for the systematic arrange- 
ment of groups of essentially similar objects." 111 Systematic dis- 
plays differ from visible storage in that they generally discuss de- 
velopmental changes in a single class of artifacts. A typical sys- 
tematic display would examine the evolution of United States mili- 
tary rifles, pointing out differences and, hopefully, commenting on 
reasons for change. 

Visible storage and systematic displays are alike in that both 
feature the artifact as the center of interest. 

The third, and more rare exhibit policy is that in which objects are 
subordinated to a theme which is carried through one or more exhibit 
cases. The theory is they have more meaning if they are used to 
illustrate principles of association or change or growth in art. history, 
or science. An effort is made to interpret the objects in relation to 
subjects in which the visitor is or may become interested. This policy 
approximates the current concept of good exhibit techniques. 62 

This form of exhibit, centered on association by use rather than on 
artifacts per se, has been called "functional" or "interpretive". An 
exhibit utilizing a United States military rifle in conjunction with 

0h Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 63. 

59 Neal, "Function of Display: Regional Museums." p. 230. 

°"Guthe, 5<> You Want A Good Museum, p. 27. 

^Ibid.. p. 28. 

•"-'Guthe, So You Want a Good Museum, p. 28. 


other field paraphernalia to interpret the life of the infantryman in 
the Civil War would fall into this classification. Another common 
form of functional exhibit is the "period room"' in which artifacts 
are arranged in a setting as they might have been while in use. 

Visible storage displays persist, largely due to a failure to dis- 
tinguish between preservation of collections and the exhibit pro- 
gram. Museums have a responsibility to educate, and "[visitors] 
are not interested in curiosities, stuffed fleas, pickled club feet, and 
two-headed calves. They want the museum to get a point across, 
to tell a story."' 1 " An exhibit containing a rifle, carbide lamp, 
saddle, plate, and book does not add to the visitor's comprehension 
of local history. Even the more advanced form of visible storage 
in which like objects are grouped together fails to educate. "The 
great majority of visitors will recognize only that they emphasize 
the physical differences between essentially similar items. " Ii+ Such 
minor differences interest the special student while losing the gen- 
eral public. 

Developmental exhibits, such as a progression of United States 
military rifles, can serve a didactic purpose if carefully done. Al- 
though primarily of interest to the informed layman, such exhibits 
can also help the general public, particularly if changes in the 
artifacts are related to the historical factors influencing them, or 
being influenced by them. The danger in systematic displays lies 
in the concentration on the class of artifacts, and it is easy to iso- 
late the artifacts from their historical context. 

Functional exhibits tend to be highly selective, presenting the 
"best" (or most typical) artifacts of the collections in illustrating 
a portion of history. This can be achieved either through conven- 
tional panel and case exhibits, or through more elaborate period 
rooms. Both systems attempt to integrate the artifact into life in 
the past, emphasizing the history rather than the artifact. 

Viewed in terms of type of service required from the museum, 
visitors can be divided into four groups: scholars, informed lay- 
men, general public, and school-age children.'""' Museologists are 
in essential agreement as to the desirability of functional exhibits 
in serving the needs of the general public. Visible storage is 
scorned as serving the needs of none. School children are prob- 
ably served better by programs than by exhibits, and scholars prof- 
it most by access to study collections. Museums have therefore 
enthusiastically embraced functional exhibits. Some museum 
workers feel, however, that there has been too great a reaction 
away from visible storage. 

,i:i Toole. "Museum in the Hinterlands," p. 40. 
,;, Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 61. 

''■■"'James L. Swauger, "Topless Girl Guides or We Have a Crying Need 
to be Old-Fashioned," Curator. December, 1969. p. 308. 


James Svvauger complains that in the emphasis on interpretive 
exhibits for the general public, museums have neglected the in- 
formed layman.'' 1 '' He favors the inclusion of systematic displays 
for the benefit of this numerically inferior group, the museum still 
devoting most of its space to functional exhibits for the general 
public. Coleman feels both functional and systematic displays, 
some permanent and some temporary, are required to fully de- 
velop a theme. 117 '"Judicious use of the functional and systematic 
systems of arrangement will allow the history museum to offer 
a broader understanding of its materials. " r,s Yet another reason 
cited for the inclusion of systematic displa\s is the chance the\ 
offer for "the excitement of personal discovery. '"' i:i 

A last argument for systematic displays is based on the boredom 
level of the visitor. Just as newspaper articles are written in a 
"pyramidal" style which imparts the general information in the 
first paragraph and then continues with particulars for the inter- 
ested reader, museum exhibits can be designed to cater to all inter- 
est levels. The visitor first encounters functional exhibits aimed 
at the general public. If he so desires, he can pursue the topic- 
further through systematic displays. 7 " 

Again, each museum must achieve its own balance in this ques- 
tion. A museum can maintain functional exhibits for the perma- 
nent displays, interspersed with temporary exhibits of a systematic 
nature, and serve most of its audience. 

Whatever form of exhibit is utilized, accuracy is of supreme im- 
portance. "An error in dating or an object in the wrong surround- 
ings is as serious a fault in [the museum] world as a fallacious 
footnote or a dishonest reference in the world of the library-bound 
scholar.'" 71 Educating the public fails if the information imparted 
is inaccurate. Errors of omission can be as misleading as those of 
commission. "Exhibits must be objective and truthful, and tell 
their stories without hint of bias or propaganda. " 7 - 

A last basic tenet of exhibit theory holds that "static museums 
are dead museums." 7 ' 1 A museum conscientiously trying to inter- 

li,; Swauger, "Topless Girl Guides," pp. 313-3 14. 

'■"Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, pp. 134-135. 

,;s Edward P. Alexander, "A Fourth Dimension for History Museums." 
Curator, XI 'A (1968). p. 281. 

l!9 Albert Eide Parr. "A Plea for Abundance," Curator, Vol. 2, No. 3, 
1959. pp. 278-279. 

'"Kenneth M. Wilson. "A Philosophy of Museum Exhibition." Museum 
News, October, 1967, pp. 15-16; Hans L. Zetterberg. Museums and Adult 
Education (New York: UNESCO (IICOML 1969). p. 26. 

"'Louis C. Jones. "The Trapper's Cabin and the Ivorv Tower," Museum 
News. March, 1962. 

72 Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 58. 

7! Guthe. Small History Museums, p. 58. 


pret local history through its exhibit program will need to cover 
certain topics. Such exhibits, however, should not remain un- 
touched forever. While the basic topics may stay the same, the 
specific exhibits illustrating those topics should be steadily im- 
proved and rotated to avoid staleness. 

One of the drawbacks to museum popularity is the eternal sameness 
of the display. Like a popular magazine, the cover and general style 
may be the same from month to month, but subscribers would be 
lacking if there were no change in contents. 74 

Constant revision of the permanent exhibits is one means of 
ensuring that the museum visitor will always find something new. 
The short-term temporary exhibition is another facet of a success- 
ful exhibit program. Temporary exhibitions may come from a 
neighboring museum, local collectors, a network of traveling ex- 
hibits, or from the study collections of the museum mounting the 
show. Whatever the source, such exhibits sustain the vitality of 
the small museum and encourage repeat visits. 

Exhibits are a public manifestation of museum activities; few 
visitors are really aware of the complex internal organization of a 
museum that makes the exhibits possible. A museum's first need 
is for some sort of legal status so that it may enter contracts, hold 
property, receive public money, protect its officers, and be exempt 
from taxation. 7 "' This status can be achieved either through inclu- 
sion in a larger corporate body such as a local government or 
foundation, or through formal incorporation. Either circumstance 
requires a controlling board to guide the museum. 

A museum board has two functions: establishing broad policy, 
and providing for and investing museum monies. The proper name 
for such a board is therefore "Board of Trustees" rather than 
"Board of Directors" or "Board of Governors", for the first term 
most nearly describes the board's proper role in museum manage- 
ment. 711 A board of trustees should represent as many community 
interests as possible. A very large board, however, is unwieldy, 
and twelve seems to be about maximum for efficient operation. 77 

Concerning monies, the trustees must "establish a financial pro- 
gram which will insure the receipt of sufficient funds, annually, to 
support the museum's annual budget." 7 * 

In the legislative function, "trustees should make policy but not 

^'Parker, A Manual for History Museums, p. 98. 
""'Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 22. 

7 ''William A. Burns. "Trustees: Duties and Responsibilities," Museum 
News, December, 1962. p. 22. 

"Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 24. 
™Ibid., p. 12. 


administer it." 7 '' A common failing of boards ot small museums is 
the tendency to become involved in the day-to-day affairs of the 
museum. "The trustee is the representative of the public and, as 
such, is interested in results as distinguished from methods."" 
The actual daily museum operations are the responsibiliu of a 
director appointed by the board. The director is an employee of 
the entire board and takes directions from the board in into, rather 
than from individual board members. Additional museum employ- 
ees work for the director, not the trustees. s1 An ideal board of 
trustees should be "capable of taking continued interest in a mu- 
seum without trying to hamper the director by too close interfer- 
ence in detail."* 2 The hiring of a competent director thus becomes 
a board's single most important dut\. 

"The leadership of a trained director is the best assurance ol 
progress. " v; Buildings and equipment do little good without such 
a person, and so this should be a museum's first expense. The 
small museum may have only one staff member, but that position 
should be filled by a competent, qualified individual. 

No great library system would think of employing a librarian who 
had not taken a course in a library school or been trained in some 
well-organized library through which he had gained experience and 
in which he had demonstrated his ability .... The reverse is true 
in the case of most museums. Untrained persons, whose only qual- 
ification is that they need employment, are all loo frequently select- 
ed with the idea that any person can work his way into museum 
competence. s ' 

The qualifications to be expected of a museum director are not 
all that stringent; "the incumbent should be a college graduate 
with an adequate knowledge of history and museum practices. " sr ' 
Any university has courses to expand competence in various facets 
of museum work. The point to stress is the importance of hiring 
a competent individual, even if the budget will only allow for one 
position. "A museum in charge of a custodian or caretaker is 
doomed to be a mausoleum." 86 

One does not enter the museum field in order to become 
wealthy. Indeed, many museums are staffed solely by dedicated 
volunteers. As funds become available for salaries, however, the 

""Lammol du Pont Copeland, "The Role of Trustees: Selection and 
Responsibilities." AASLH Technical Leaflet No. 72 (1974), p. 3. 
-"Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 50. 
-'Burns, "Trustees: Duties and Responsibilities." p. 23. 
--Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 24. 
- :l //>/</.. p. 114. 

- 4 Parker, A Manual for History Museums, pp. 158-159. 
-■"'Guthe. Small History Museums, p. IS. 
M ''Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 2X. 


museum should make every effort to pay its staff in a manner con- 
sistent with the importance of the position. 

In order to maintain the dignity of the museum and to attract the 
right kind of person, the salary offered the director of a small histor- 
ical museum should be commensurate with that of a principal in the 
city's school system, or that of the head of a similar city agency, such 
as the public library. S7 

Museums customarily allocate two-thirds of the annual budget for 
salaries, indicating the importance of paid staff. ss 

If a museum cannot afford its own director, part-time services 
of a trained person are preferable to full-time services of an un- 
trained one. Several museums within reasonable range of each 
other can combine resources and so share the cost of a director, 
with the volunteers of each museum providing the needed staff 

Volunteer help keeps most small museums alive. The museum 
with no paid staff leads a tenuous existence, for a museum needs a 
certain continuity and reliability that even the most devoted vol- 
unteers cannot provide. Even with paid staff, however, volunteers 
make possible an enormous expansion of the museum's resources 
and services. Volunteers teach school classes, serve as docents, 
and handle publications, publicity, and the sales desk. They serve 
as artists, cataloguers, typists, craftsmen, and caterers for special 
occasions. Volunteers research and prepare permanent, tempor- 
ary, and loan exhibitions. Unpaid help is especially useful in 
exhibit design, since volunteers lend a new viewpoint which can 
save a museum's exhibits from a dreadful monotony. Also, volun- 
teers visit other museums in their travels, and can bring back 
reports of techniques in use elsewhere. Vl 

Besides the public-spirited citizens interested in history in gen- 
eral, any community has members equipped with special abilities. 

Every museum should seek out those citizens who possess talents, 
interests or hobbies that are related to its program. By enlisting their 
active participation in the work of the museum, its development will 
be more rapid, the number of persons identifying themselves with its 
program will increase, and its integration into the daily life of the 
community will be strengthened. 1 " 1 

Artists, modelers, designers, and collectors can be great help. High 
school and college teachers are often very useful in determining 
an artifact's background or interpreting a complicated aspect of 

s7 Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 18. 

8(1 Robert B. Mavo. "'A Strategy for Exhibitions." Museum News March 
1971, p. 31. 

'•'"Guthe. Small History Museums, p. 18. 


local history. Many museum libraries and manuscript collections 
are managed by the local public librarian. 

Volunteers can be trained to perform highly technical skills. 
With appropriate training and supervision, volunteers can aid in 
artifact and site preservation, research, and archaeological work." 1 
Indeed, the small museum often appoints such highly skilled peo- 
ple as professors and librarians to unpaid curatorial positions. "- 
Such public service is useful when college pay increases are being 

Those in the professions are generally most useful as hoard 
members. Bankers, lawyers, architects, and members of the press 
can be especially helpful. " ; 

Volunteer labor is by no means limited to adults. Teen-agers 
can render valuable service. They must he trained, but so must 
adults. Young people can perform most of the tasks customarily 
completed by adults, but they excel in a few specific areas: caring 
for small animals, and guiding youth tours.'" Of course, if money 
is available, school students can be hired on a part-time basis. 
The quality of work is good, the museum dollar is stretched, and 
the students gain experience and knowledge. 

The benefits to the museum of volunteer help are obvious, but 
there may be some hidden pitfalls. Volunteers require supervision 
and coordination, and this may take staff from other duties. His- 
tory is a matter of interpretation, and a competent interpretation 
requires "experience and hard study and research": not all volun- 
teers will be suitable guides. 11 "' Carl Guthe advises "services should 
be accepted only on the basis of not less than a full half-day tour 
of duty," lest scheduling become too burdensome.'"' This service 
may be only once a month, but continuity and regularity are the 

Volunteers must be evaluated. An enthusiastic volunteer blun- 
dering through the cataloguing system can render the museum 
records useless. Furthermore, the public's only contact with the 
museum staff may be a volunteer docent. While working at the 
museum, volunteers are staff. Their performance must therefore 

nl Huldah Smith Payson, "Volunteers: Priceless Personnel for the Small 
Museum." Museum News, February 1967. pp. 19-20. 

"-Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 31. 

" :; Guthe, So You Want a Good Museum, p. 12. 

'■".lames H. Duff. "An Untapped Resource." Museum News, May 1972. 
p. 26. 

"•"•Aalbert Heine. "The Care and Feeding of Volunteer Staff Members." 
Curator. December. 1965. p. 289. 

'•"'Guthe. So You Want a Good Museum, p. Id. 


be analyzed, and if the museum cannot do the evaluation, it should 
call in someone who can.' 17 

Despite the widespread use of volunteer help in educational and 
curatorial capacities, some question such involvement. One ob- 
server notes "the volunteer has a great service to perform. It is 
not proper that that service should include administration, whether 
curatorial or educational. " 9S While such sentiments might be 
proper in a large metropolitan museum, it is likely small museums 
will continue to utilize volunteer labor in all aspects of operations. 

Large museums pay a staff member to coordinate volunteers. 
Small museums more often rely upon some form of organization 
to achieve the same end. "It has been found that the most effec- 
tive services are secured by persuading the volunteers to organize 
themselves as a museum 'auxiliary' or 'guild.' "'■''■' 

Sometimes volunteers present themselves with an existing 
structure. University classes involved in a project fall into this 
category. So do members of a garden club helping with the land- 
scaping, or docents supplied by a women's club. If a group has 
such a structure, then the museum can work through it. Often, 
though, the volunteers are united only through their interest in the 
museum, and in such cases organization may be called for. 

In those museums in which volunteers are used most successfully, 
the volunteers are organized into a club or museum auxiliary, with 
officers and committees in charge of various classes of museum ser- 
vices. Through this organization the volunteers do their own policing, 
work out schedules with the director, and furnish substitutes when the 
volunteer on regular assignment cannot report for duty. 1 "" 

While most volunteer organizations confine themselves to ar- 
ranging scheduling, some go further and sort their members by- 
aptitudes into different functions, and then even provide the spe- 
cialized training necessary."" Whatever approach is taken to the 
structuring of volunteers, benign neglect or rigid regimentation, 
one thing is clear: "they are all adults with full mental capacities 
and there are very few things . . . staff can do that they could not 
do. perhaps with a poor professional technique, but at least, with 
the same interest and often, with more enthusiasm. " 10 - 

Volunteers stretch a museum's budget, but they cannot replace 
it. Any museum requires some source of income to carry out its 

''"Daniel B. Reibel, "The Volunteer: Nuisance or Savior," Museum 
News. March 1971. pp. 28-30. 

'■' s Frank P. Graham, "Defining Limitations of the Volunteer Worker." 
Curator, December. 1965, p. 293. 

"'■'Guthe. Small History Museums, p. 19. 

""'Guthe, So You Want a Good Museum, p. 16. 

1111 Mildred S. Compton, "A Training Program for Museum Volunteers," 
Curator. December. 1965. p. 296. 

'"-Heine. "Volunteer Staff Members." p. 287. 


interpretive task; fortunately, the small museum can derive monies 
from the same sources as large museums. The basic categories of 
funds tapped by small museums are: ( 1 ) public monies. ( 2 ) mem- 
berships. (3) endowment income. (4) grants. (5) gifts. (6) sales 
and fees, and (7) proceeds of fund-raising events. " ,:: Am and all 
of these sources can be utilized, but some prove more satisfactory 
than others. 

Public monies generally are raised either through taxation or 
through the sale of bonds. Funding from bond sales should strictK 
be reserved for capital outlay: tax monies are available for person- 
nel costs, operating expenses, and capital outlay, at the discretion 
of the museum's staff and board of trustees. Tax support max 
come either in the form of an annual appropriation or as an occa- 
sional subsidy as needed. Often such support entails public con- 
trol of a museum, but even those institutions not operated as a 
branch of local government are entitled to public support. Muse- 
ums provide educational and recreational services to the citizens of 
a city or county, and it is only fair that some reimbursement be 
provided from the public coffers. 1 " 4 

By the same token, it is a perfectly natural arrangement for 
school districts to financially assist local museums.. This assis- 
tance can take the form of a direct fee based on the number of 
pupils, or. if enough students use the museum, the schools can 
justify a teacher to work full time at the museum. 

The school system and the museum have a joint obligation to fi- 
nance the museum lesson program. Both share the expense of pro- 
viding teaching materials and equipment and advertising the school 

The school system heats the cost of its teachers' salaries and pro- 
vides secretarial help. In return, the museum makes concessions on 
admission charges and provides space for the public school museum 
teachers. 101 "' 

While such partnerships can generate significant income to off- 
set operating costs, the museum's interpretive function may be 
suborned by attempts to qualify for these funds. " 'A loss of iden- 
tity' may also occur when a museum decides to enter a close 
partnership with a school system for the prime reason of obtaining 
access to public funds earmarked for education."""'' 

Whether an institution receives public monies or not, it is cus- 
tomary for museums to offer "memberships" to the general public. 
Such memberships may be in the name of the museum proper, or 

103 Guthe, So >'<)» Want a Good Museum, p. 20. 
u ' 4 Guthe. So You Want ci Good Museum, p. 22. 

"'•"Sidnev A. Shotz. "Forming an Educational Alliance." Museum News, 
March 1962, p. 32. 

,ll,; Wittlin. Museums: hi Search of a Usable Future, p. 215. 


in the name of an auxiliary support group; they may or may not 
be the same as belonging to the museum's organized volunteers. 
Members generally pay annual dues and receive in return some 
form of benefits. Often there are different levels of dues reflecting 
different abilities to pay, ranging from student rates to life mem- 
berships. Rates vary considerably, but a life membership consists 
of the donation of a sum sufficiently large that, invested, it will 
yield annual interest equal to the cost of regular dues. 

Membership programs provide museums with fairly regular in- 
come as well as less tangible benefits. Membership lists provide 
a ready source of donors for special projects, whether funds or 
artifacts are required. Memberships provide an open avenue for 
community "input" and allow members to feel a sense of identity 
with the programs of the museum. The membership constitutes a 
source of word-of-mouth publicity, and, when needed, also serves 
as an easily mobilized political body. Obviously, many members 
will serve as volunteers. 

Members also profit by their association with the museum. Ad- 
vantages commonly include free or reduced admission (at those 
museums charging entrance fees), sales shop discounts, exclusive 
receptions marking the openings of exhibitions, special lectures, 
and perhaps a publication. Material advantages aside, many join 
museum groups for largely psychological reasons: in a desire to 
"belong,"" for prestige, in order to better communicate with the 
museum administration. 1 " 7 Recognizing this, many museums pre- 
sent members with attractive certificates and membership cards. 

Regardless of the members' reasons for joining, their economic 
contribution can be significant. It must be remembered, however, 
that the broader the membership, the broader the museum's sup- 
port base. "It is more desirable to have 100 members at $5.00 
a year, than one patron who has contributed $500.00." 1I,N 

Endowments represent another predictable source of museum 
funding. An endowment fund is created and invested, with the 
monies generated in the form of interest helping to offset the mu- 
seum's on-going expenses. The principal is inviolate, and as only 
the interest is spent, in time endowment can supply a large pro- 
portion of the annual budget. 1 "" 

Most additions to the endowment come as bequests. Some mu- 
seums add all cash gifts to the endowment as well. Public monies, 
however, must never be added to an endowment fund."" 

As the endowment grows, so naturally do the proceeds from the 

'""Richard Trenbeth, "Building from Strength Through the Membership 
Approach," Museum News, September 1967, p. 25. 
>" s Guthe. So You Want a Good Museum, pp. 20-21. 
"'"Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 79. 
no/fcirf., p. 81. 


interest. It is unwise though to rely too much on the income from 
this source, for inflation of the economy, can increase taster than 
the endowment. 

Government agencies often administer grant programs applica- 
ble to museums. The programs change yearly, as old projects are 
abandoned and new ones adopted. Whatever the source of the 
grant monies, certain basic characteristics remain fairly constant. 

Monies are available for specific projects and sometimes for 
capital improvements, but rarely for personnel costs and almost 
never for operating expenses. Careful, separate accounting is re- 
quired of the awarded funds. The receiving institution usually has 
to match or at least augment the granted monies. 

Non-profit foundations and private corporations also award 
grants. Often less restrictive than government grants, they still 
require precise accounting procedures. Whatever the source, 
grants can allow a museum to carry out one-time projects it could 
not otherwise accomplish. 

Gifts come in different forms. Unsolicited cash gifts not ear- 
marked by the donor for a specific purpose often go into the 
endowment fund. Most museums feature a donation box; some 
institutions use this as a source of petty cash, others add these 
monies to the endowment, or use them for specific funds such as 
the purchase of artifacts. 

Museums can solicit cash gifts in addition to these random dona- 
tions. Such gifts are generated more easily if the museum's needs 
arc made known, and the gifts used for a specific purpose. 111 A 
museum can thus pay for a traveling exhibit or a needed piece of 
equipment. Often businesses or civic groups will provide needed 
equipment. It is not inappropriate in these instances to credit the 
gift with some sort of plaque on the donated item. 11 - 

Most museums cannot afford to purchase artifacts, both because 
of insufficient funds and through fear of discouraging donations. 
When an especially desirable item does come up for sale, the 
director can often persuade a public-spirited "angel" to purchase 
the item and donate it to the museum. 

Businesses are often willing to sponsor entire exhibits, partic- 
ular!) when the exhibit deals in some way with the sponsor, as in 
the case of an equipment dealer funding an agricultural display. 
Such arrangements benefit the museum, the public, and the spon- 
sor. Care must be taken to avoid over-commercialization, how- 
ever, and the museum's interpretation must not suffer. 

Gifts of materials can be as valuable as cash donations. Free 
building materials can often be obtained from local sawmills. 

1 "Guthe, So You Want a Good Museum, p. 23. 
"'-'Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 64. 


Community building supply yards may donate plywood damaged 
in shipping, paint in dented cans, and the like. 1111 All such gifts 
expand the museum budget and further the museum's goals. Many 
museums acknowledge gifts, both of cash and materials, with brass 
tags at the building's entrance. 

Museums also generate income through sales and fees. One 
basic reason ( though not necessarily the primary reason ) for a 
museum sales shop, is to raise money. Museums, being tax ex- 
empt, can operate a sales desk and pay no taxes, so long as the 
shop carries only items related to the interpretive goals of the 
museum.'" Many museums staff their shops with volunteers, and 
without a payroll, a profitable operation is virtually guaranteed. 

A museum fortunate enough to possess a lecture hall can rent 
it to groups not associated with the museum. Historical societies 
and collectors' clubs probably should be allowed to use the build- 
ing free, however, as a means of establishing cooperation and 
furthering historic interpretation. 

Some museums charge admission fees, and others do not. 
Before deciding to charge admission, a museum should carefully 
weigh the arguments for and against the practice. 

Many museums do not levy admission fees, for a variety of 
reasons. Public museums are tax-supported, and so citizens should 
not have to pay twice to use their museum. Indeed, there is some 
question as to whether a museum enjoying the tax benefits of non- 
profit status, whether public or not, should charge admission. A 
museum charging for entrance is also in some danger of being 
mistaken for a "tourist trap." 

The primary objection to admission fees, however, is simply that 
they tend to exclude precisely those members of the public most 
able to benefit from the museum experience. 11 "' Libraries are free, 
why not museums? 

The effect of these considerations is such that, as early as 1927. 
Laurence Coleman could state "there is a trend towards free ad- 
mission of the public at all times. " lli; And, in 1960, UNESCO 
resolved that "member states should take all appropriate steps to 
insure that the museums on their territory are accessible to all 
without regard to economic or social status."" 7 

There can, however, be advantages to admission fees. First and 
foremost, such fees can represent an important source of income. 

"•'Mayo. "A Strategy For Exhibitions," p. 33. 

•"J. W. Evans. "Some Observations. Remarks, and Suggestions Concern- 
ing Natural History Museums." Curator, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1962, p. 90. 

"•"'Robbins. America's Museums: The Belmont Report, p. 28. 

""Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 65. 

" T Hans L. Zetterberg, Museums ami Adult Education (New York: 
Augustus M. Kelley. 1969), p. 1. 


especially for museums not receiving public tax monies. Tourists 
make up much of anv museum's audience, and admissions lees let 
them add their support to the tax dollars of local citizens. In a 
time of widespread dissatisfaction with high local taxes, admission 
fees provide a mechanism lor the direct support of museums b\ 
the public actually using them. Admission fees also tend to reduje 
loitering, and may even serve to increase attendance, by empha- 
sizing that the museum's offerings are of marketable value. us 

Compromises are possible, balancing the need for income with 
the need to serve the public. A system in which some days of the 
week are free, and others not, has advantages. Income is still 
derived from admission fees, but citizens unable to pa\ for entn 
can come on one of the free days. Thus no one is excluded. The 
relative seclusion to be found on "pay-days" can be of value to the 
researcher seeking peace and quiet in which to stud) the exhib- 
its. n:i Alternately, a "suggested donation" system can replace set 
admission rates. Ultimately, the public interest must be the decid- 
ing factor in the question of admission lees, and each museum will 
have to evaluate the matter in the light of its own unique situation. 

Most museums use different tvpes of fund-raising activities. 
There are hundreds of methods, ranging from raffles and auctions, 
through bake sales and paper drives, to benefit dinners and silver 
teas. Museum periodicals present new ideas each month. Suffice 
it to say, while degrees of success vary, different fund-raising activ- 
ities will prove effective for each museum. They all entail con- 
siderable labor, but can build up the endowment fund or finance 
special projects. 

Volunteer services clearly stretch museum dollars. Certain 
forms are so valuable as to qualify as sources of income. Several 
federal programs provide either free or nearly free staff help. 

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is part of 
the ACTION complex, administered through county governments 
The program reimburses retired volunteers for such daily expenses 
as transportation and meal costs, so they can volunteer without 
financial loss. Any tax-exempt agency is eligible. The older citi- 
zens, many with invaluable knowledge and experience, serve as 
docents, sales people, and technicians. Museum and volunteer 
both benefit. 

Many different programs are operated through the federal Com- 
prehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), administered 
through the counties. CETA employees are paid entirely through 
federal funds, with the tax-exempt employing institutions providing 

ns Joel F. Gustafson, "To Charge or Not to Charge." Mm 
February 1962. p. IX. 

u '-'Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 244. 


all needed facilities and tools. CETA employees have served in 
all different levels of museum work, as well as on county-wide 
manpower pools which render aid as needed. A similar program, 
available only to agencies of local government, is the Public Works 
Employment' Act (PWEA). 

Another federal program, formerly the Neighborhood Youth 
Corps (NYC) but now called the Youth Employment Program 
(YEP), is also county-operated. This program pays the salaries 
of low income youth, breaking the "no experience — no employ- 
ment" cycle. The young employees work part-time during the 
school year, and full time in summers. YEP enrollees provide 
museums with janitorial and sales help, and serve as interpreters 
and technicians. 

CETA, YEP, PWEA and RSVP programs all provide staff 
members at no cost to the museum. The federal Department of 
Health, Education, and Welfare's Office of Higher Education su- 
pervises the College Work-Study Program, administered through 
universities and community colleges. The federal government pays 
SO per cent of the student's salary, the museum the remaining 20 
per cent. The museum must get real service from the student, 
and the student should gain education as well as money. Again, 
students can work half-time in the winter and full time in the 
summer. Work-study students serve as guides, teachers, techni- 
cians, artists, sales and maintenance help, and in carrying out spe- 
cialized research. 

These constitute the principal federal work programs of use to 
museums, but others exist. Each museum should seek out pro- 
grams applicable to its situation, for no museum ever has enough 
staff help. 

Valuable assistance also comes within the structure of high 
school and college classes. High school students provide excellent 
help in such areas as welding, carpentry, and photography. 1 -" Col- 
lege classes have the manpower and expertise to develop exhibits, 
carry out surveys, and assist in solving technical problems. A par- 
ticularly satisfactory relationship can be established between small 
museums and a university history department. A museum with a 
specific research problem contacts the history department, where a 
young scholar may be interested in taking on the project. The 
museum gains the labor of a trained historian, and offers in return 
its unique research resources. 1 - 1 

A final means of expanding the museum budget lies in simple 
cooperation between neighboring museums. Museums can share 
the services of staff members; they can also share tools and facili- 

'-"Mayo. "A Strategy for Exhibitions," p. 31. 

T-Uoncv "The Trapper's Cabin and the Ivory Tower." p. 16. 


ties. On a small scale, several small museums pooling their re- 
sources could afford such relatively costly tools as table saws or 
dry-mount presses, which might be too expensive for each to pur- 
chase separately. Similarly, several institutions could share photo- 
graphic darkroom facilities, or even a conservation laboratory (and 
conservator) for restoration of artifacts. 1 ~ 

Each of these funding sources is tapped b\ small museums 
across the country. The more of these a museum can utilize, the 
more secure its financial position. Funding diversity will not only 
increase the revenue an institution has to work with; multiple rev- 
enues protect a museum from the sudden failure of any one tradi- 
tional income source. "In practice a museum usually develops 
each source to the utmost, and then finds the total to be inadequate 
to needs." 1 -' 1 

A museum collects, preserves, and exhibits artifacts. A museum 
needs a legal status, financing, and a staff in order to accomplish 
these ends. No institution which does all this efficiently and effec- 
tively will go wrong. Such a museum, however, is still short ol 
achieving its full potential as an historical agency. A museum can 
use a variety of programs and activities to expand its interpretation 
within and beyond the building walls. "It is not what a museum 
has bid what it does with what it has tliat counts." VM 

Most institutions lump this area of activity under the general 
heading of "museum education." The Belmont Report found in 
1969 that more than MO per cent of American museums offer at 
least one such program.'-" Each activity expands the audience 
and spreads the museum's message further. It is better, therefore. 
to develop a number of programs for the public, than to concen- 
trate solely on one activity.'-'' While quantity is not necessarily 
to be preferred to quality, a museum expanding its interpretation 
can select the means to be used from a broad range of available 

The public thinks of guided tours, if it thinks of museum educa- 
tion at all. While visitors expect and may even demand tours in 
a museum, this actually may not be an effective communication 
form. Ideally, an exhibit is designed and presented so as to require 
no explanatory literature. Practically, labels usually complement 
an exhibit's visual presentation. Visitors capable of reading, there- 
fore, do not require a guide; children unable to read are also 
generally "lost" by a conventional tour. Duncan Cameron main- 

'-'-Sophv Burnham, "Competition or Cooperation: Six Ideas for Museum 
Monies," Curator, Vol. 7. No. 1. 1964. p. 53. 
'-■"Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 65. 
'-' Parker. A Manual for History Museums, p. 113. 
'-■'Robbins. America's Museums: The Belmont Report, p. 10. 
'-"Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 113. 


tains that "the communications process in the museum is essen- 
t Kills a dialogue between the individual visitor and the exhibit, it 
is an intimate experience; and therefore the exhibit is not suited 
to group experience." 1 -' 7 

Tours remain effective in certain situations. Historic house mu- 
seums find tours an excellent solution to problems both of inter- 
pretation and security. Museums with convention exhibits can use 
tours to orient visitors, so they in turn can use the museum to 
greater advantage. 

Large museums in major cities have installed permanent galler- 
ies for visually impaired visitors. Such provisions are beyond the 
means of most museums, but even small institutions can serve the 
blind, through the use of special tours. The blind visitor is gen- 
erally allowed to handle artifacts from the study collections. ,L ' S 

The lecture is another common torm of museum education. The 
featured speaker may be a member of the museum staff or an 
expert imported for the occasion. Such lectures may be open to 
the public at large, or restricted to members of the museum's sup- 
port group. Many museums present a combination of open and 
closed lectures, thereby serving the public and at the same time 
offering an incentive to join the support group. 

Lectures can be expanded into classes, offered directly by the 
museum. Classes reach fewer citizens than lectures, but their 
impact may be more lasting. It used to be customary for museums 
to offer consecutive class instruction, week after week, as part of 
the adult education movement. 1 -'' Adult education is now an inte- 
gral part of public schools and community colleges, and so muse- 
ums have shifted their emphasis to classes of a more concentrated 

The mobile character of modern society deprives many adults of 
any knowledge of local history. A one-morning seminar on local 
history, illustrated by artifacts from the study collections, thus 
meets a common need. 1:: " Another popular form of seminar, rath- 
er than illustrating the topic with artifacts, focuses on the artifact 
itself. 131 

These same concepts are used in presenting classes for children. 
One small museum holds week-long summer workshops for chil- 
dren "under the theme of beginning a community in a previously 

] - 7 Duncan F. Cameron. "A Viewpoint: The Museum as a Communica- 
tions System and Implications for Museum Education," Curator. March, 
1968. p. 38. 

'-"•Harry C. Hendriksen. "Your Museum: A Resource for the Blind." 
Museum News, October 1971, p. 2K. 

'-"Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p. 261. 

l:; "Robert .1. McOuarie. "The Small Museum: Some Reflections," 
Museum News. March 1971, p. 17. 

l::l .lones. "The Trapper's Cabin and the Ivory Tower," p. 15. 


unsettled area in the year of their choice — sometime in the 19th 
Century."™- After a da\ of orientation, the participants actually 
try their hands at such frontier skills as blacksmithing, printing, or 
weaving, spending a full day at each activity. 

A slightly different form of museum class, perhaps less common 
in recent years than formerly, consists of some type of museum- 
sponsored club for junior historians. Alternately, a museum can 
develop a close relationship with hobby groups in the community, 
allowing such clubs to meet at the museum and perhaps even 
utilize the study collection. The museum gains the expertise ol 
the hobbyists, advances the study of a particular class of artifacts, 
and may even acquire useful accessions. m 

The museum library represents yet another means of extending 
the museum. Every museum needs a reference library for the use 
of the staff, containing works on local history, museum practices, 
and the various classes of artifacts in the stud) collections. The 
museum library should also subscribe to pertinent periodicals. 
Museologists are united in warning, however, that newspapers, 
documents, and manuscripts should be avoided. 1::l Museums deal 
in three-dimensional artifacts; historic papers should more appro- 
priately be cared for b\ the local library, historical society, or 
perhaps a state archives. 

Vital as a staff tool, the museum library is a valuable resource 
to the community at large. The museum library supplements the 
public library b\ maintaining volumes of a specialized nature, 
which otherwise would not be available. The museum library 
should remain a reference bodv. however, and books should not 
circulate, for they may be needed by the staff at any time. 1 :; ' 

The museum sales shop represents a means ol providing visitors 
with books they can take home. The store is primarily a public- 
service, despite its secondary role as an income generator; that is 
why its income is tax-exempt. The store can aid in interpretation, 
however, only if it confines itself to pertinent materials. "The 
store must stock merchandise reflecting the programs and pur- 
poses of the museum and its collections. " I::i; Stock not relevant 
to the museum's activities will jeopardize the shop's tax-exempt 
status under the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service. 

"First and foremost, the museum store should be an excellent 

l:t -Becky Love, Ideas Irani History: Littleton Area Historical Museum 
Children's Summer Workshop (mimeographed by Western Interstate Com- 
mission on Higher Education, 1972), p. 6. 

133 Guthe, So Yon Want a Good Museum, p. 3 1. 

,:i4 Parker. A Manual for History Museums, p. 151. 

w>1bid., p. 149. 

,:,,; David Henry Krahel. "Whv a Museum Store." Curator, September. 
1471. p. 201. 


bookstore." 137 Books concerning local history and items repre- 
sented in the museum collections are popular with visitors, and 
often not readily available from local merchants. Most museum 
shops carry literature of varying intellectual levels, to serve a broad 
spectrum of the public. Post cards and photographic slides also 
spread the museum message, particularly when they represent the 
actual museum exhibits. Other types of merchandise, such as 
artifact replicas, may be appropriate, with pertinence to the mu- 
seum's theme always being a prime consideration. 

Tours, lectures, classes, and books all assist museum visitors in 
understanding local history. A substantial percentage of the popu- 
lation, however, may never enter the museum, and so does not 
benefit from such programs. Due to this consideration, "the mod- 
ern museum has reached a stage of development where it seeks to 
spread its educational message beyond its own walls." 138 

Publication programs allow a museum to reach a large public. 
Museum literature serves one or two functions: it can lure visitors 
to the museum, and it can be interpretive in its own right. 111 ' The 
most effective examples do both. 

Even with meager resources, a museum can initiate a modest 
publications program. The simplest system involves the issuance 
of annual reports, period bulletins or newsletters, and leaflets. 14 " 
Annual reports, in effect, justify the museum's existence to the 
public, including a financial report and accounts of activities and 
accessions. Newsletters serve to inform museum supporters of 
coming events. Leaflets may augment a temporary or permanent 
exhibition, or may present a schedule of changing shows. 

On a more ambitious scale, museums can become involved in 
printing books on local history. Many local histories, unfortu- 
nately, are not what they could be, and a museum might better 
serve the public by encouraging local historians in their efforts. 141 

One particular form of publication is the natural property of 
museums, and that is the monograph. Museums are unique in 
caring for artifacts, and museum publications should reflect this 
fact. 14 - The monograph, illustrating some narrowly defined seg- 
ment of the museum's collections, provides information often not 
available from any other source. Such monographs are of interest 
to other museums, scholars, collectors, and the general public. 

A common means of "publication" employed by small museums 
is the feature article in the local newspaper. Such articles can con- 

17 Kxahel. "Why a Museum Store." p. 201. 

ls Adam, The Museum and Popular Culture, p. 149. 

"'Zetterberg. Museums and Adult Education, p. 66. 
14 "Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 269. 
141 Adam, The Museum and Popular Culture, p. 157. 
14 -Parker, A Manual for History Museums, pp. 134-135. 


cem new accessions, upcoming events, and the like, or they ma\ 
take the form of a weekly or monthly "history column." Thus, 
museum use of newspapers can be divided into articles of either 
institutional or educational focus — the former dealing with events 
at the museum, the latter pertaining to local history and material 
culture. lw The two are often combined. 

Radii) and television can be used in the same manner. Informal 
discussions relating the museum to daily life and vice-versa seems 
to suit such media better than formal scholarly treatments. 1 " 

Such "public relations" considerations are not inconsistent with 
the museum's goal. Through them, the institution contacts the 
public and makes it aware of the museum's offerings, thereby in- 
creasing the effect of its interpretation. Directional signs on the 
city streets and on the highways will make it easier for the visitor 
to find the museum. Flyers telling about the museum can be 
distributed to motels, public transportation centers, and other 
museums, and the Chamber of Commerce and local "Welcome 
Wagon."""' Another helpful technique is an "open house," with 
refreshments, for local police, restaurant and accommodations 
staffs, and gas station attendants, to acquaint them with the mu- 
seum so they in turn can inform others."' 1 

Essentially, the job of public relations lor a small museum director 
is one of acquainting himself with every public communications me- 
dium in his community, learning the specific interests and restrictions 
of each, and applying a little imagination in the development of news- 
worthy stories. 147 

Actual exhibits can be a form of publication. Museums in large 
cities often place exhibits in banks or in shop windows, to reach a 
larger audience. Most Wyoming towns are not large enough to 
require such activities, but loaned displays at the local library can 
greatlv assist both institutions. Libraries often feature displays of 
books related to one topic, and a loaned museum exhibit can round 
out that theme. Exhibits stimulate reading, and the museum thus 
inspires the public to pursue a subject through individual study. " s 
What more could any museum ask.' The borrowing institution 
usually supplies the display cases. 

Another form of loaned exhibit is the circulating slide show or 
film reel, often accompanied by a cassette-recorded lecture. T. R. 

u:, Coleman. Manual fur Small Museums, p. 276. 
U4 Low, The Museum as a Social Instrument, pp. ?7-58. 
"■"'Robert Shosteck. "Publicity for the Small Museum." Museum News, 
May 1966. p. 25. 

"'■Waters. "Museums and Tourism." p. 36. 
"■Shosteck. "Publicity for the Small Museum," p. 26. 
" s Coleman, Manual for Stnall Museums, p. 42. 


Adams fears these may be of most use to school-age children and 
adolescents, but their distribution should be considered. 14 " 

One type of loaned exhibit seems natural, and yet is not em- 
ployed to its full potential. Museums can loan exhibits to each 
other. This spreads a museum's message, and acquaints citizens 
in another area with the heritage of a neighboring community. 

Parker recommends that museums exchange individual exhib- 
its. 1 " 1 " The quality of such displays is high, as each institution 
strives to "put its best foot forward." Also, each museum partici- 
pating in such an exchange receives a free exhibit, designed from a 
fresh (to that institution) point of view. 

A similar approach is the rotation of a museum's temporary 
exhibitions. After the show has run its course at th.3 originating 
museum, it can move on to another institution and a fresh audi- 
ence. The cause of interpretation is furthered, and the loaning 
museum gains some nice publicity as well. 1 "' 1 

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service 
(SITES) offers a large selection of loan exhibits on numerous 
topics; borrowing institutions pay an insurance, production, and 
handling fee, and outgoing expenses. Loans between museums are 
essentially free, with the borrower paying insurance, packing, and 
transportation costs. The net effect is wider interpretation. One 
critic, however, feels that the borrower should also pay for the staff 
time involved in selecting and processing requested items. 1 "'- This 
attitude ignores the reciprocal nature of inter-museum loans, and 
the benefits to be gained from such exchanges. 

Programs with and for school age children, through the schools, 
represent the bulk of museum education programs, both in terms 
of numbers and in terms of staff effort. 

The integration of museum services with school instruction is 
widely practiced. It is predicated upon the recognition that the 
pupils will take a greater interest in their studies if they are given an 
opportunity to see and handle, if possible, materials in the museum 
collections. >~ ,:l 

It must be emphasized at the outset that museum education pro- 
grams supplement, rather than supplant, formal school system edu- 
cational efforts. 

Museums do not consider it their primary responsibility in educa- 
tional programs to transmit information. What museums can do — 

u,, Adam. The Museum anil Popular Culture, pp. 151-152. 
••"•"Parker, A Manual for History Museums, pp. 142-143. 
'"'Shosteck. "Publicity for the Small Museum," p. 26. 
'■"•-Harry Shapiro. "Borrowing and Lending." Curator, Vol. 3, No. 3 
1960, p. 203. 

,r,:t Guthe, So You Want a Good Museum, pp. 29-30. 


olten better than schools — is to awaken interest, give children a new 
dimension they couldn't get from the printed page and stimulate them 
to go to school and learn. 1 "' 4 

Interpretive possibilities aside, school programs tend to generate 
public support, if well done, and this cannot tail to aid the insti- 
tution in the pursuit of its goals. 

Every museum receives occasional requests for services from 
schools, generally asking for tours. It is almost always the initia- 
tive of the museum, however, that establishes an organized pattern 
iif cooperation. 1 "'"' 

There are two basic philosophies of museum-school cooperation, 
which may or may not be mutually exclusive. The museum can 
carefully program its educational functions to match the school 
curriculum, or it can deliberately avoid this, in the theory that 
adherence to the school curriculum is redundant. l:, ' ; Because mu- 
seums deal with three-dimensional materials, and schools do not. 
it is unlikely that true duplicated effort is a real danger. Schools 
are organized, however, to deal with children b\ age and grade, 
and it is possible for the museum to structure its programs in terms 
of interest groups, regardless of age. l:,T Such details should be 
worked out with the local schools at the commencement of muse- 
um-school cooperation. 

Curriculum adherence settled, museums tend to serve schools in 
one or more of three ways: through circulation of exhibits or 
artifacts to schools, by instructing classes at the museum, or b\ 
going to the classrooms and giving programs there. Each method 
has strengths and weaknesses. 

Many museums identify and isolate a "lending collection" of 
items considered expendable, either duplicates from the study col- 
lections or artifacts obtained expressK for educational purposes. 1 '" 
These can be loaned to schools singly or built into loan exhibits. 
The latter tack is perhaps more satisfactory from a didactic view- 
point, as the museum then has some control over the interpretive 
message accompanying the artifacts. 

One museum builds small enclosed "suitcase" exhibits, each on 
an individual topic, and circulates them to the schools, much like a 
library. A teacher checks out an exhibit for two weeks, and re- 
turns it at the end of the allotted period. Overdue fees are charged. 
In this way the museum is relieved of responsibility for the logistics 

lr,4 Rohbins, America's Museums: The Belmont Report, p. 16. 
ir,: 'Guthe. Small History Museums, p. 69. 
lr '"Evans, "Observations. Remarks, and Suggestions," p. 85. 
157 Helmut Hoffman, "Translating Inert to Living Knowledge," Curator, 
Vol. 5, No. 2. 1962. p. 126. 

lr,s Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, pp. 140-141. 


of the loan, and yet the school children still benefit from exposure 
to the artifacts. 1 "' 1 ' 

Loaned materials are thus the simplest form of school service to 
implement. The schools and school children benefit, and the mu- 
seum does not need to invest a great amount of staff time. Both 
the school and the museum are spared the headaches inherent in 
transporting children to the museum. 

Nonetheless, teachers will bring their classes to the museum. 
At one time, museum lecture halls were common. Shotz observes 
that formal museum lectures to school children are of little use, as 
few children remember any of what they hear. 1 ''" 

Many museums encounter the ritual annual end-of-the-school- 
year class visit. Teachers often succumb to the temptation, as long 
as they've finally got the use of a bus, to try and squeeze in visits 
to the history and art museums, the courthouse, the fire station, 
and the park, all in one day. Probably the only time the children 
get out of the schoolroom all year, it is little wonder that the class 
is usually far too excited to absorb any of the museum's offerings. 
B\ both student and teacher, tours "are apt to be considered sight- 
seeing excursions unrelated to classroom interests.""' 1 

Cameron suggests that school use of museums be more similar 
to school use of libraries, as a continuing resource."' 1 - No one 
would dream of visiting a library and attempting to read every 
book on the shelves in one sitting. Yet, this is precisely what many 
class visits try to achieve at the museum. Tours are still useful, 
but at the start of the school year, and as an orientation, not to 
absorb exhibits. The class assignments through the year can send 
the students back to the museum for in-depth study, with an em- 
phasis on their reaching their own conclusions. 

A variation on this practice is used by the Colorado State His- 
torical Society. School classes studying the cattle industry in Colo- 
rado come to the museum specifically for a program on the cattle 
industry. The program, held in the museum's cattle industry gal- 
lery, includes artifacts, replicas, and role-playing exercises. Sim- 
ilar programs are available in other areas of Colorado history. The 
museum greatly increases the value of the class visit by focusing 
on a manageable segment of the museum's overall scope. 

School districts sometimes select a general theme, to be em- 
ploy ed by all grades for one semester. A temporary exhibition on 
that theme, for the duration of the semester, may be in order. A 
museum can also present such an exhibition in a general manner. 

'•"•'Donald B. Webster. Jr.. "A Different Approach to Circulating School 
Exhibits," Curator, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1965. 

" ; "Shotz, "Forming an Educational Alliance," p. 31. 

"'■'Guthe. Small History Museums, p. 69. 

" 1L 'Cameron, "The Museum as a Communications System," p. 39. 


so that it can be approached through such different disciplines as 
art, history, geography and humanities." 1 - One advantage of these 
school-related exhibits lies in the possibility of obtaining federal 
Title III funds to finance the project." 1 ' 

Museologists disagree concerning the use of museum educators 
to work with school groups. Low noted in 1942 that "for the 
teacher to bring the children and to turn them over to a museum 
instructor who knows little or nothing about the children them- 
selves or the work which they are doing is a rather artificial and 
unsatisfactory practice. ""' : ' While experienced in classroom teach- 
ing techniques, however, school teachers do not readily adapt those 
techniques to a museum situation. The interpretive role of arti- 
facts is especially foreign to formal classroom instruction, and this 
problem suggests the use of museum educators. 

A plan of cooperation which is regarded as the best practice yet 
developed, provides that the schools assign a teacher to carts on 
instruction at the museum. The teacher is customarily chosen b\ the 
museum director, and she works under his supervision, although her 

salary is paid by the school department \ small institution 

should be able to carry out its program with the aid of one person 
on full or part time. 1H,i 

Exhibits at the museum for the benefit of school children arc- 
useless if the children cannot get to the museum. Some towns are 
sufficiently compact that classes can walk to the museum, or even 
ride bicycles. Manx schools are not so lucky, and must rely on 
automobile transportation. Some schools can use private vehicles 
for field trips, while others cannot due to insurance considerations. 
The use of buses for field trips is often strictly limited by finances. 
In such cases, it is sometimes possible to get a community service 
organization such as Kiwanis or Lions to sponsor bus transporta- 
tion to the museum." 17 

Schools often find it simply impracticable to send classes to the 
museum. A solution to this difficulty is to take the museum to 
the class. One means of accomplishing this involves the use of a 
"mobile museum." similar to the common "bookmobile." built 
into a motor home. The mobile museum can visit each class or 
school in turn if need be. Also, it soon represents a familiar en- 
vironment, avoiding the tendency of children to get overly excited 

"'■'Duane C. Anderson. "Creative Teaching, Temporary Exhibits, and 
Vitality for the Small Museum." Curator. September. 1968. p. t S2. 

1,14 Ibid., p. 180. 

"'•"'Low. The Museum us a Social Instrument, pp. 34-35. 

"''■Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 258. 

"'"Kathrvn E. Gamble, "The Missing Link," Museum News. January 
1962. p. 32'. 


on a field trip." ls Mobile museums are expensive to purchase and 
outfit, and expensive to maintain and operate, and funds to sup- 
port such efforts usually have to come through federal grants for 

A simpler, though perhaps not as effective, approach is for the 
museum to send a staff member, with appropriate artifacts, to the 
schools to present the same sort of program that would ordinarily 
be given at the museum. This can be as little as a lecture illus- 
trated with slides and artifacts, or as complex as a participatory 
role-plaving workshop involving actual "hands-on" experience by 
the children. 17 " 

These various techniques should not be regarded as mutually 
exclusive. A museum can prepare "units" dealing with local his- 
tory . for the use of the schools. A unit could include written 
materials, photographs, temporary or permanent exhibits at the 
museum or the school, slides, films, loaned artifacts, a mobile 
museum, public media programming, lists of local historic sites; 
in short, the full range of interpretive programs available. 171 The 
goal is to stimulate the school children, to the best of the museum's 
ability, with available resources. 

Whatever school programs a museum decides to implement, 
teachers and administrators must be aware of the museum offer- 
ings if they are to be effective. Letters tend to get no farther than 
the superintendent's office. The Denver Museum of Natural His- 
tory holds an evening open house to acquaint teachers and prin- 
cipals with its various school programs. 17 - 

A last rewarding form of school program stems from the para- 
phrase, "Ask not what your museum can do for the schools, but 
what the schools can do for your museum!" Especially with high 
school and college students, needed museum projects can be ful- 
filled by young people at the same time that they are completing 
their school work, to the mutual benefit of students and museum. 

The famous "Foxfire" project is an outstanding example of this 
on the high school level. Foxfire had its origins in the belief of 
Eliot Wigginton. a teacher, that "in most cases the most rewarding 
and significant things that happen to a kid happen outside the 
classroom." ,7:; The truth of this belief is evidenced by simple 

"'• s Carol Supplec. "Museums on Wheels." Museum News. October 1974. 
p. 29. 

"Mlbid., p. 34. 

'""Mary Sam Ward. "Henry Clay Day: The Ultimate Field Trip," Mu- 
seum News, October 1971. p. 37. 

,7, Dr. Doris Piatt. "A Contribution to Classroom History Study." Mu- 
seum News, February 1967. p. 35. 

,7 _-Robbins, America's Museums: The Belmont Report, p. 10. 

'"'■Eliot Wigginton. ed., Foxfire 2 (Garden City. N. Y.: Anchor Press, 
Doubleday, 1973 1. p. 14. 


reflection; how much do you remember of your high school class- 
es'.' Wigginton's reasoning went on to ask how better to teach 
journalism than through having the students conduct oral history 
projects? How better to teach history than through visits to his- 
toric sites, especially when the students are responsible for record- 
ing those sites? The result is the Foxfire series, now in its fourth 

This technique can be used in any community, without the need 
to publish a book. Students can interview older citizens, docu- 
ment traditional activities, and record industrial and architectural 

A community college or university can also be very helpful to 
a museum. The museum can gam an exhibit through a unique 
form of cooperation, in which students in a pertinent course, such 
as history or anthropology, design an exhibit in lieu of a final 
examination. 1 ' 1 The exhibit theme is specified, then teams of 
students work on different aspects of the exhibit: actual display, 
audio-visual system, a catalogue, and so on. The museum benefits 
through the exhibit, and the students gain a deep insight into the 
topic, as well as some comprehension of the details of museum 

As though collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpreta- 
tion were not enough to keep the small museum occupied, a num- 
ber of peripheral activities are laid at the small museum's doorstep, 
more or less by default. The museum may sponsor historic house 
tours, or treks to various historic sites around town. 17 '' Museums 
are also often instrumental in placing historic markers at appro- 
priate locations, either to explain an existing feature or to com- 
memorate one now vanished. 17 " 

A less glamorous duty, but one more vital, involves the survey 
and recording of local historic, archaeological, architectural, and 
industrial sites. This is a time-consuming task, without immediate 
benefits, but it is precisely because it is time consuming that it 
is so essential that the work be done now, for there will be no time 
to do it when the highway or mine is already under construction. 
There is no money to finance such surveys, and since the small 
museum staff is already in the community, they are the ones who 
will have to get the job done. 177 

Locating an archaeological site is one thing, conducting the 
actual sub-surface investigations is quite another. This should not 

1,4 Stephan F. De Borhegyi, "A Primitive Art Exhibit by University Stu- 
dents." Curator. Vol. 4. No. I. 1 4h I , pp. 7-8. 

1 '"'Parker, A Manual fur History Museums, p. 122. 

' 7,! //>iV/.. p. 120. 

'""John D. Tyler, "Industrial Archeology and the Museum Curator." 
Museum News. January 19(i9. pp. 31-32. 


be undertaken except under expert supervision, whether the muse- 
um is engaged in historic or prehistoric archaeology, for vital infor- 
mation can be lost through over-enthusiastic amateur efforts. 1TN 
The museum can, however, locate and identify such sites, and no- 
tify the state archaeologist. 

Industrial archaeology is not what its name implies, as it rarely 
involves sub-surface investigation. Local industrial history is often 
neglected, and it is the responsibility of museum workers to record 
the physical remains of that history, with tape measure, drafting 
board, and camera, as well as by collecting movable artifacts. 1 ™ 
Some industrial sites may merit inclusion in the federal govern- 
ment's Historic American Engineering Record; the state preserva- 
tion officer can assist local museums with such determinations. 

Architectural recording is also important. Some structures may 
be worthy of being listed with either the Historic American Build- 
ings Survey or the National Register of Historic Places; again, the 
state preservation officer will advise local museums. Even if not 
of national significance, buildings may be worthy of recognition 
due to local importance. 

Besides simply recording, small museums may become actively 
involved in historic preservation. They may seek to save an his- 
toric structure either by making it into a museum headquarters or 
by moving it to the museum grounds. Alternately, the museum 
may further efforts to protect historic structures through the 
creation of historic districts, coupled with architectural zoning 

It is important to remember, however, that these activities are 
secondary to the main functions of the museum. They need to be 
done, and the local museum is the most likely agency to become 
involved. Nonetheless, the real work of the museum comes first, 
and only when that work is progressing smoothly should energies 
be diverted into these supplemental projects. It is a wise small 
museum that works through other community organizations and 
school groups to accomplish the non-essential but important func- 
tions that lie outside its main purpose. 

Thus, collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretive pro- 
grams are all integral parts of a small museum's task of explaining 
local history to its audience. The ideas presented here facilitate 
this interpretive role. The key point to remember is that these 
guidelines, agreed upon by museologists and active museum pro- 
fessionals, can be attained by small museums. "Modern museum 
practices are within the province and means of most museums now 

'^Parker, A Manual for History Museums, p. 120. 
'"'•'Tyler. "Industrial Archeology and the Museum Curator," p. 31. 
1s "Stephen W. Jacobs, "Architectural Preservation in tne United States: 
The Government's Role," Curator, December, 1965, p. 327. 


open to the public. " Isl Each museum will have its own flavor. 
hut all museums of whatever size can subscribe to these general 
principles arrived at through past experience. 

An ever present menace to the success of any new endeavor is the 
person who insists that "in this town conditions are peculiar." and 
that, in consequence, it is not possible to follow the experience of 
others in similar undertakings. There is at least one respect in which 
all communities are alike: the) are all peculiar. ls - 


The nature of Wyoming's small history museums, as of 1974. 
is revealed by a survey conducted in 1973 and 1974. Appendix A 
contains the names of the thirty-seven museums consulted, and the 
dates of the interviews. Appendix B presents the questionnaire 
form itself. 

Several citizens groups in the throes of establishing new muse- 
ums were interviewed, but not included as their institutions were 
too young to provide any answers to the questionnaire. The Rock- 
pile Museum in Gillette, while not open at the time of the inter- 
view, was just completing a new structure. This indicates a certain 
permanence, and so the Rockpile Museum is included. The Mu- 
seum of the Mountain Men lacked even a building, but is well 
advanced in its interpretive planning, and so is also included. 

Question 25 of the questionnaire covered the security arrange- 
ments of each museum. This data is omitted, partly because it is 
onl\ marginally pertinent to the question of interpretation, and 
partly because the publication of such information may itself pose 
a threat to museum security! 

It is not practical to include the actual completed questionnaire 
for each museum. Instead, the information from the survey has 
been included in tabular form, and the narrative analysis of the 
museums is in reference to Tables One through Nine. 

The general philosophy of each museum was explored by Ques- 
tions 2. 3. 4, 5. and 6, and to a certain extent, by Question 7 as 
well. Table 1 presents these responses. 

lsl Margaret W. M. Schaeffer, "The Display Function of the Small 
Museum." Curator. Vol. X. No. 2. 1965. p. 104. 
'--Coleman, Manual for Small Museums, p IX, 


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Fully half of Wyoming's small museums are devoted to local 
history. A significant proportion, 27 per cent, is composed of 
museums organized not by area, but instead along thematic lines, 
such as homesteading. A smaller number, 21 per cent of the 
whole, deal with history on the state or even regional level. Four 
museums are based on an historic site, but each of these presents 
the site as a segment of a larger aspect of history. 

Fourteen institutions detailed specific means of accomplishing 
their ends, in stating their genera! theme. Eight museums ex- 
pressed a concern for the collection of artifacts, and six emphasized 
preservation of such materials. Only three indicated interest in 
interpretation, and exhibition was mentioned by only two museums 
in their statement of purpose. This emphasis on the collections 
rather than on using the collections is presented even more clearly 
in the museums' ranking of the relative priorities of the four 
basic museum functions: collection, preservation, exhibition, and 

Each museum was asked to rate the varying importance of these 
functions, with "1" representing the highest priority and "4" the 
lowest. Adding the numbers assigned to each function together 
and dividing that sum by the number of respondents provides an 
average priority value for each function. The lower that average 
number, the greater that function's worth in the estimation of 
Wyoming's small museums. Preservation was deemed most im- 
portant, with an average value of 1.83. Collection and exhibition 
virtually tied for second place, with values of 2.47 and 2.38 respec- 
tively, and interpretation lagged behind at 2.86. 

It is significant that 50 per cent of the small museums cited 
preservation as their primary goal, while only one museum located 
it in last place. On the other hand, 39 per cent thought of inter- 
pretation as their least important function. Some might consider 
exhibition the raison d'etre of museums, but this is not reflected in 
the responses. While 22 per cent of the museums selected exhibi- 
tion as their main concern, exactly the same proportion placed it 
last. Collection was similarly divided. Generally, then, Wyo- 
ming's small museums are more concerned with the artifacts in 
their collections, than with the utilization of those artifacts. 

The small museums also indicated priorities in serving various 
publics: tourists, local adults, and school children. Again, the 
lower the average figure, the greater the importance of that group. 
Tourists, with a value of 1.67, were seen as only slightly more 
important than school children, with a value of 1.78. Local adults 
lagged by the same margin, at 1.89. Forty-eight per cent of the 
surveyed museums selected tourists as their first priority; the same 
percentage chose school children as theirs. Essentially, the small 
museums devote nearly equal attention to the entire visiting public, 
with only slightly less concern with local adults. These figures are 


somewhat affected, however, by the consideration that the two 
largest museums, judged in terms of annual visitation, both select- 
ed tourists as of prime importance. 

Established visitation hours do not necessarily reflect the audi- 
ence priorities of a museum. At first glance, it might be assumed 
that a museum that closes in the winter is interested only in the 
summer tourist traffic. Winter closures can be dictated b) a num- 
ber of factors, however, including lack of heat in galleries, inacces- 
sibility due to snow, and simply visitation figures so low as to make 
open hours a waste of staff time. Study of visitation hours does 
indicate some trends nonetheless. While reduced winter hours arc 
not necessarily an indication of concentration on tourists, year- 
round hours are an indication of a strong attempt to serve the local 
public. Only eight institutions maintained constant year-round 
open hours, six being open fort) hours or more weekly, the other 
two being open twent\ or more hours each week. Together these 
two categories represent 22 per cent of Wyoming's small museums, 
and 1 1 per cent of the total annual visitation. 

A similar number of museums cut their hours in half in the 
"off-season." three going from fort) hours a week in the summer 
to twenty the rest of the year, five dropping from twenty weekK 
hours in the summer to less in winter. This category accounts for 
only seven per cent of the total annual visitation. 

Nine museums, 25 per cent of the total, are open fort) hours 
each week in the summer, and essentially closed the rest of the 
year. Fifty-eight per cent of the total annual visitation is received 
by these nine institutions. Predictably, the five museums open less 
than twenty hours weekly account for onl) .2 per cent of the 

The annual visitation for Wyoming's small museums in 1972 
totalled 599,506. This yields a meaningless average figure tor 
each institution of 17,128; meaningless because of the wide range 
of actual visitation figures. Four museums, I I per cent, had 100 
visitors or fewer in a year. Six museums, 17 per cent, had between 
100 and 1000 visitors in 1972. Seventeen institutions, 47 per cent, 
had between 1000 and 10,000 visitors; if there is a truly "average" 
visitation figure for the small museums, it is in this "several thou- 
sand" range. Another six museums had more than I ().()()() but 
fewer than 100,000 visitors, and two museums topped the list with 
over 100,000 visitors each in 1972. 

This last circumstance is crucial in comprehending Wyoming's 
visitation patterns. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center and the 
Fort Caspar Historic Site between them served a staggering 
328,000 people in 1972. 55 per cent of the total for that year". 
Neither of these is open in the winter, further emphasizing the 
seasonal nature of the museum public. 

The estimates of the small museums as to the percentage of their 


total attendance drawn from each of the three groups gives a 
good idea of the actual service provided by the museums. Apply- 
ing the estimated percentages to each museum's 1972 visitation, 
and totalling the resulting numbers, yields a composite figure of 
408,341 tourists, 95,140 local adults, and 96,677 school children. 
Thus, 68 per cent of the visitors to the small museums were tour- 
ists; local adults and school children each accounted for 16 per 

So, while the small museums generally have not set out to con- 
centrate on tourists to the exclusion of local people, in practice, 
tourists far outnumber local residents in museum attendance. In- 
deed, the number of tourists passing through the galleries of the 
small museums in Wyoming actually exceeds the number of per- 
manent residents in the state. The number of local residents visit- 
ing the small museums is considerably less, but still over half the 
total population of Wyoming. 

A separate analysis shows that Wyoming's two commercial mu- 
seums, open only in the summer, account for fully 10 per cent of 
the total year's visitation. While commercial museums are far 
from the dominant form in the state, they provide a significant 
level of service. 

Each museum's collections philosophy was determined by Ques- 
tions 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15. The responses to these questions are 
represented in Table 2. 

Only five of the surveyed museums could boast that their col- 
lections were entirely their own; when they are included in the 
group of museums having 10 per cent or less of their collections 
on loan, the figure jumps to sixteen, a respectable 43 per cent of 
Wyoming's small museums. On the other hand, ten museums, 27 
per cent of the total, were borrowing half or more of their collec- 
tions, and four of those actually owned only a quarter or less of 
"their" artifacts. 

This latter group would seem to have a dangerously high 
percentage of loaned materials in its care. It does not appear, 
however, that Wyoming museums are experiencing much incon- 
venience over the loaned items. Twenty-three museums, 64 per 
cent of the total, currently accept loans when offered, and only 
four institutions have had many loaned items redeemed by their 
owners. Even of those four, two still accept loans. Nonetheless, 
the practice of accepting loans is clearly less prevalent than for- 
merly, as evidenced by the nine museums, 26 per cent of the total, 
that care for borrowed materials but no longer take loans. It is 
reasonable to infer that these nine museums had enough difficulty 
over loans that they felt unwilling to continue accepting them. 

Considering the high number of loaned artifacts, surprisingly 
few of the items actually donated have conditions attached to their 
use. Eighteen museums, 5 1 per cent, reported no restricted items 





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Anna Miller Museum 

Arapahoe Cultural Museum 

Armory Museum 

BIythe & Fargo Store 

Bradford Brlnton Memorial Ranch 

Buffalo Bill Historical Center 

Rockpile Museum 

Carbon County Museum 

Crook County Museum 

Fort Caspar Historic Site & Museum 

Frederick Museum 

Fremont County Pioneer Museum 

Cilendo Historical Museum 

Grand Encampment Museum 

Greybull Museum 

Homestead Museum 

Hot Springs County Pioneer Museum 

Jackson Hole Museum 

Johnson County-Jim Gatchell Mus. 

Jolly Roger Museum 

Kemmerer City Museum 

Laramie Plains Museum 

Museum of the Mountain Men 

Natrona County Pioneer Museum 

Old Trail Town 

Powell Homesteaders Museum 

Rawlins National Bank Museum 

Riverton Museum 

Stage Coach Museum 

Skeetwater County Historical Mils. 

Tensleep Museum 

Teton County History Room 

Trail End Historical Center 

Uinta County Historical Museum 

Washakie County Historical Museum 

Warren Military Museum 

Weltner Wonder Museum 



























































































































































An "X" signifies an affirmative response. 


at all. Another eight museums had less than ten per cent of their 
collections restricted; these two groups comprise 74 per cent of 
Wyoming's small history museums. Of the remainder, three mu- 
seums had conditions placed on the use of 95 per cent or more of 
their collections! 

Again, museums have apparently not been troubled by the re- 
strictions. Twenty of them, 56 per cent, accept conditional dona- 
tions; indeed, six museums with no restricted materials at present 
are willing to receive such. And, only three museums holding 
conditional donations have now adopted a policy of not accepting 
them any more. On the other hand, except for the few museums 
whose collections are almost entirely restricted, there would be 
little adverse effect if Wyoming's small museums were to refuse 
conditional donations. Even those with large numbers of restric- 
tions might find that such stipulations were more "force of habit" 
than the determining factor in whether a donation was made or 

The purchase of artifacts is an uncommon means of acquisition 
for Wyoming's small museums. Sixteen institutions, 46 per cent, 
had never purchased any artifact. Another six had purchased 10 
per cent or less of their collections, bringing to 63 per cent the 
proportion of small museums making minimal use of purchase for 

One museum relied on purchase for fully 90 per cent of its 
holdings; perhaps predictably, that museum was a commercial one. 
The two commercial museums averaged, between them, 70 per 
cent of their collections purchased. 

Wyoming's curators do not all passively await the donation of 
historical items. Eighteen museums, 49 per cent, actively solicit 
donations. Such aggressive acquisitions policies should ensure 
steadily growing study collections from which to draw exhibits. 

Exhibits are central to any consideration of museum interpre- 
tation. Questions 8, 9, 10, and 16 gathered objective data con- 
cerning exhibits. Table 3 depicts this data. The table also pre- 
sents the analysis, necessarily subjective, of the types of exhibits 
used by each institution, as determined by personal observation. 

One measure of a museum's interpretive performance is found 
in the percentage of collections on display. Functional exhibits, 
the most interpretive of the three types, are highly selective of arti- 
facts; visible storage displays, the least interpretive, are not selec- 
tive in the least. As the percentage of the collections on exhibit 
rises, therefore, the interpretive potential of the exhibits generally 
falls. It is conceivable that a museum could acquire only those 
artifacts needed for its functional exhibits, and thus have 100 per 
cent of its holdings on view and still be wholly interpretive. This 
"ideal" arrangement would not allow any rotation of exhibits, how- 
ever, and static exhibits quickly lose their impact. 


I A BEE 3 


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Anna Miller Museum 
Arapahoe Cultural Museum 
Armory Museum 
Blythe & Fargo Store 
Bradford Brinton Memorial 
Buffalo Bill Historical Cntr. 
Rockpile Museum 
Carbon County Museum 
Crook County Museum 
Fort Caspar Historic Site 
Frederick Museum 
Fremont County Pioneer 
Glendo Historical Museum 
Grand Encampment Museum 
Grey bull Museum 
Homestead Museum 
Hot Springs County Museum 
Jackson Hole Museum 
Johnson County -Jim Gatchell 
Foil J Roger Museum 
Kemmerer City Museum 
Laramie Plains Museum 
Museum of the Mountain Men 
Natrona County Pioneer 
Old Trail Town 
Powell Homesteaders Museum 
Rawlins National Bank Museum 
Riverton Museum 
Stage Coach Museum 
Sweetwater Count) Historical 
Tensleep Museum 
Teton County Histor\ Room 
Trail End Historical Center 
Uinta County Historical 
Washakie County Historical 
Warren Military Museum 
Weltner Wonder Museum 


5 50 




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X X 








30 I 

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X X 

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X X 


Few of Wyoming's small museums practice much selection in 
their exhibits. The statewide average indicates 82.7 per cent of 
collections are on exhibit. Nine museums, 26 per cent of the total, 
have all their collections on display. Another 34 per cent, twelve 
institutions, display between 90 and 99 per cent of all they own; 
these two categories account for 60 per cent of Wyoming's small 
museums. Those displaying between 70 and 89 per cent of their 
materials represent another 20 per cent; all told, 95 per cent of 
the museums display half or more of their collections. The lowest 
proportion, 30 per cent, is displayed by two museums, a mere 5 
per cent of the total. 

With so many articles on view, rotation of exhibits will neces- 
sarily be difficult. An average of the statewide response suggests 
that 19.3 per cent of exhibits are periodically changed. Three 
museums claimed they changed between 90 and 100 per cent of 
their displays; all three indicated they had 90 per cent or more of 
their collections on exhibit. It is hard to picture much actual 
rotation of collections going on, with no real study collections from 
which to draw. 

Most museums surveyed rotate far fewer of their exhibits. Nine 
institutions, 26 per cent of the total, change between 10 and 19 
per cent of their displays. This is the highest category of actual 
changes; the largest single response showed that twelve museums. 
34 per cent, never changed any displays. 

Most of the museums feel their exhibits pertain very closely to 
their stated themes. Sixty-nine per cent of the interviewees, twen- 
ty-four, indicated that 100 per cent of their displays were pertinent. 
Another seven museums, 20 per cent, had only one to 10 per cent 
of their exhibits not closely related to their theme. At the other 
end of the scale, one museum felt 95 per cent of its exhibits were 
outside its stated province! If these figures do not simply repre- 
sent wishful thinking on the part of the interviewees, Wyoming's 
small museums have admirably restricted their exhibits to those 
topics within the realm of their purposes. 

Not all the small museums rely solely upon their own resources 
for their exhibits. Eleven museums, 3 1 per cent, made use of 
loaned exhibits to enhance their interpretive efforts. Of the eleven, 
six museums used only one source for their borrowed shows, four 
used two sources, and one used three. 

Eight institutions secured loan exhibits from local citizens. 
Three borrowed exhibits from the Wyoming State Museum, two 
used the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service 
(SITES), and one borrowed from another local museum. Other 
lenders were the Thomas A. Edison Foundation, the Shared Tour- 
ing Exhibit Program, and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. 

The quality of exhibits is naturally much more difficult to estab- 
lish than their quantity. Furthermore, most museums utilize more 


than a single type, complicating the analysis. Despite the diffi- 
culty, the classification must be attempted, for otherwise there can 
be no measure of the interpretive use actually made of the study 
collections. Exhibit Type I, visible storage, consists of simple 
display of objects, without interpretation. Type II, systematic dis- 
plays, is object-oriented but didactic in purpose and effect. Type 
III, functional exhibits, includes both theme-centered displays and 
period rooms. 

Nineteen museums, 57 per cent of the total, used visible storage 
displays. Six museums used such displays exclusively. Systematic 
displays were employed by twenty museums, hi per cent. Func- 
tional exhibits were found in twenty-four museums, 73 per cent 
This high figure is somewhat misleading, lor the presence of even 
one period room or similar period grouping warranted inclusion 
as a functional exhibit, and period rooms are quite popular. De- 
spite this, nine museums lacked any functional exhibits at all, and 
only four were possessed entirely of such displays. Ten others, 27 
per cent, while mixing systematic and functional exhibits, avoided 
the visible storage displays altogether. 

Thus, the use of interpretive exhibits by Wyoming's small mu- 
seums is not especially widespread. The common practice of dis- 
playing virtually the entire collection renders the interpretation of 
that collection very difficult. While most of the displays pertain 
to the museums' themes, only fourteen institutions completely es- 
chewed the uninterpretive visible storage, and ten of those used 
the marginally-interpretive systematic display form. Whatever the 
type of exhibit, changes or rotation are infrequent, and borrowed 
shows from outside sources are even more so. 

Interpretive use of collections is primarily dependent on the 
energy and imagination of the staff, placing a premium on the 
personnel resources of each institution. Questions 22, 24. 27, 2S, 
and 29 investigated different aspects of small museum staffing; 
Table 4 lists the responses. 

Wyoming's small museums employ a total ol 114 lull and part- 
time employees. This yields an average figure of 3. ON paid work- 
ers per museum. This average is misleading, however, because of 
the large staffs at the Bradford Brinton Memorial (14) and the 
Buffalo Bill Historical Center (39). When these two are exclud- 
ed, a more representative average of 1.74 employees at each muse- 
um is obtained. 

With the exception of the two museums above, there is a rela- 
tively narrow range in employment patterns. Four institutions, 
eleven per cent of the total, employ five people. The same num- 
ber employ four, and three, and one. Six museums, 16 per cent, 
have two employees. An inauspicious sign is the large group of 
fourteen museums, 38 per cent of the total, with no paid help 


Identification XXX X XX XX X X 

<o Value estimates X 

I. Bldg. repairs 

W Publicity X 

Operations X 

Guides XX X X X 

Reception XX X 

Preservation X X 

v Maintenance X XXX 

c Collection ■*• 

o Exhibition XX 

General help X XX 

All aspects X 


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Volunteers used XXX X XXXXXXX X X 


_1 College courses X X 

2 ™ § Museum training X 


^ 2g Past experience XX 

8 s.3 1 ^-_„. xx xx 

5g * || Collector 

Society officer 


Community service XX 





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An even larger group of twenty-five museums, 68 per cent of 
the total, have no full-time paid staff. Seven museums, nineteen 
per cent, have one full-time employee, and three more have two 
each. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center has nine full-time staff 
members, placing it in a special class by itself. This represents 
twenty-five full-time people, at twelve institutions. On a state 
average, there would be .68 full time museum workers in each 
small museum. Including only those museums that actually do 
have full-time help, and excluding the Buffalo Bill Historical Cen- 
ter, that average is 1.45. 

Twenty -two museums employed among them 89 part-time 
workers, while fifteen museums, 41 per cent, used none at all. A 
statewide average would be 2.41 part-time employees per museum, 
but including only those institutions actually employing such help, 
the average rises to 4.05. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center, with 
thirty part-timers, and the Bradford Brinton Memorial, with four- 
teen, represent the high end of the employment spectrum; the other 
small museums all employ fewer than five part-time workers. 
Three museums have four each, and six museums, 16 per cent of 
the total, have three each. Another four museums each have two 
part-time employees, and seven, 19 per cent, have one. Excluding 
the Bradford Brinton Memorial and the Buffalo Bill Historical 
Center, those museums that hire part-time people average 2.25 
such employees each. 

The overall personnel pattern, then, emerges as one of one-and- 
two-person museum staffs, the majority of which are part-time. A 
significant 38 per cent of the small museums have no paid staff, 
and a majority. 68 per cent, have no one on full-time. Year-to- 
year continuity in the interpretive program is difficult to achieve 
under such circumstances. 

The director of each museum, paid or volunteer, assumes even 
greater importance in view of the small staffs generally involved. 
Often the director is the staff. Therefore, the backgrounds of each 
director shed some light on each museum's character. 

Some of the museum officers interviewed got involved with their 
museums indirectly, as a result of some other activity. Five were 
involved by virtue of holding an office in the historical society 
related to their museums. Four were running museums primarily 
as a function of employment; that is, either the museum was a 
sideline to other duties for which they were actually hired, or they 
viewed the museum simply as the source of their livelihood, a job 
like any other. Another five, active in community service in the 
past, had been asked to take on museum responsibility as another 
facet of that involvement. 

Twenty respondents, 54 per cent, cited "interest" as a motivat- 
ing force in their association with museums. Seven were collectors, 
and entered through that interest. Four of the museum people, 1 1 


per cent, had college coursework leading to museum work, three 
( 8 per cent ) had museum training, either in school or in seminars, 
and seven ( 19 per cent) had actual past museum experience. 

Museologists praise museum experience, museum training, and 
college coursework as being the best means of preparing for a 
museum career. No neat correlation can be drawn, however, 
between this background and interpretive exhibits. Fourteen of 
Wyoming's small museums had no visible storage displays, and 
restricted themselves to systematic and functional exhibits, both 
interpretive. Of the fourteen, eight directors had museum training 
or experience or college coursework, and six did not, showing con- 
clusively that effective museum interpretation can be achieved by 
people lacking specialized museum backgrounds. 

Some correlations can be established, however. Four small mu- 
seums had highly interpretive functional exhibits exclusively; one 
of those was contracting its exhibit work to an out-of-state firm, 
and so cannot be examined with the others. Of the remaining 
three, two directors had museum backgrounds, one did not, but his 
institution had close ties to the Wyoming State Museum. 

Nineteen small museums had at least some completely uninter- 
pretive visible storage displays. Of the nineteen, only two were 
directed by individuals with museum backgrounds. Thus, while 
such training and experience does not guarantee interpretive mu- 
seums, it helps greatly in avoiding the least effective techniques, 
and goes a long way toward improving historical interpretation. 

Three of the institutions having onl\ interpretive exhibits, one 
of those having only highly interpretive functional exhibits, have 
no paid help. That these museums can set such a high interpretive 
standard without professional direction is a tribute to their volun- 
teer staffs. Twenty-six museums. 70 per cent of the total, use 
volunteers in some way. These donated hours represent a con- 
siderable commitment of energy in support of local institutions. 
The surveyed museums reported an average weekly total of 630.75 
donated hours, a weekly average of 17.05 volunteer hours per 
museum. Since eleven museums do not use volunteers, the aver- 
age for those museums with volunteers is actually 24.26 donated 
hours each week, or the equivalent of a free half-time staff 

Ten museums, 27 per cent, reported volunteers donating ten or 
less hours weekly. Five museums had between thirty and forty 
weekly volunteer hours; one reported an astounding 195 average 
weekly hours! 

Despite this level of volunteer activity, no museum has orga- 
nized its volunteers into an association. 

Volunteers perform many duties in the small museums. The 
most common volunteer activity is guiding, a service provided in 
ten museums. 38 per cent of the total. Almost as many museums. 


United States 


State of Wyoming 

X X 






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nine, use volunteer receptionists. Six museums, 23 per cent, use 
volunteers for all aspects of their operations, and another six use 
volunteers to perform needed maintenance. Five museums have 
volunteer exhibit help, three use volunteers in collection manage- 
ment, and three use volunteers for general assistance. Only one 
institution allowed volunteers to do research for it. 

On the other hand, most of Wyoming's small museums call on 
outside experts when needed, only sixteen museums, 43 per cent 
of the total, not using such resources. The most common use of 
experts by far. is for identification of artifacts, seventeen museums 
reporting this practice. Other uses of community experts included 
valuation of the collections, needed repair work, public relations 
and help with general operations. 

The decision to use or not use volunteers, of course, often de- 
pends on a museum's budget. Questions 18, 19, 20, and 21 dealt 
with matters of finance; Table 5 gives the data collected. Four 
of the museums contacted declined to discuss their budgets; two 
were commercial operations, while one was a county agency and 
one was a private non-profit institution. Data for the latter two 
can of course be obtained, as they are each required by law to 
make annual reports available to the public. In view of their 
obvious desire to not make this information known, only the facts 
they expressly provided have been listed. In addition, three other 
museums had highly variable budgets, and the directors of four 
others did not know the nature of the budget they were working 
under. Despite these limitations on the available information, cer- 
tain trends are discernible. 

Seven small museums, 19 per cent of the total, had no budget 
at all! A statewide survey, admittedly based on imperfect data, 
yields an average for each museum of $6971.88. Eight museums, 
22 per cent, had budgets between $100 and $5000; another eight 
had annual incomes between $5001 and $20,000. One museum 
had $23,557. and another $50,000. 

Funding sources are similarly varied. Twelve museums had 
only one source of income. While the others had more than a 
single source, only four had diversified enough to boast even a 25 
per cent to 75 per cent division. Eight museums, 22 per cent, were 
primarily county funded. Five museums were financed mainly by 
town or city governments. Another museum received the majority 
of its money from the local school district, bringing to 39 per cent 
the proportion of Wyoming's small museums operated by local 
governments. In terms of dollars, these museums account for 60 
per cent of the statewide budgets. 

Ten museums received contributed money, but only three relied 
upon donations as their main support. Four of the state's small 
museums. 1 1 per cent, required admission fees. These fees were 
the main income for all four. Two of these are commercial mu- 


seums. two are private non-profit organizations; none ease am 

Five museums received monies from historical societies, and 
three had this as their primary support. One museum was entirelv 
supported by a membership program. Four museums reported 
income from sales desks, and one from publications. This income 
was relatively minor. 

Expenses for all museums centered around salaries and main- 
tenance. While twenty-three museums had no payroll, those that 
did, averaged 57 per cent of their annual budgets to meet it. 
Twenty-one museums lacked maintenance budgets, and mainte- 
nance swallowed an average 41 per cent of the year's money for 
those that did. The five museums with programs averaged 9 per 
cent of their budgets spent on them, and the three museums with 
publications used, on the average, 12' 2 per cent of their annual 
budget to support them. Three museums allocated money for 
purchases, averaging 35 per cent of their annual budgets for that 

Fourteen of the state's small museums, 39 per cent, owned the 
land under their buildings. Those museums not owning the land 
are nonetheless secure, with all but one of them being situated on 
government property. Ten, 28 per cent, were located on county 
land, with another 19 per cent, seven institutions, being on city or 
town land. Three others were on state land, and one was on 
property of the federal government. The one museum not on 
governmental land is located on church property. 

Operational factors other than finances and land ownership can 
affect a museum's ability to function efficiently. Ouestions 17. 
23, 41. and 42 inquired into matters pertaining to collections, rec- 
ords, board organization, and utilization of available informational 
resources. The results are shown in Table 6. 

Despite the importance ol complete documentation of the col- 
lections, 17 per cent of the small museums, six institutions, had 
no records at all. Eleven museums. 31 per cent, maintained in- 
ventories, and six of those had no records beyond that. Donor 
files were maintained at eleven museums, and accession files at ten. 
Nine museums kept accession books, and four of those maintained 
no other records. Nine institutions had a catalog besides their 
other files. 

Governing boards are found in most institutions. Nine muse- 
ums. 24 per cent of the total, had no such board; seven of those 
were owned by individuals, one was a town museum, and one 
was a military unit endeavor. Sixteen per cent of the small mu- 
seums, six institutions, had county boards; only four museums had 
town-appointed boards. Nine institutions were under historical 
society boards, and five more had boards drawn from a museum 
association. Only one museum had a multi-agency board, while 








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Casual contact 
Closest museums 
Wyo. State Museum 
Buffalo Bill 
Cotinty board 
City/town board 
Society board 
Museum assoc. board 
Multi-agency board 
A board (no details) 
Donor file 
Accession file 
Accession book 

















X X 






















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five others were vague as to the exact nature of their governing 
body. Thus, 38 per cent of the small museums are actually gov- 
erned by private societies, as opposed to 27 per cent operated by 
local government boards. 

No small museum need stand alone, for other museums and 
various museum-related organizations are always willing to assist. 
Nonetheless, many small Wyoming museums choose to isolate 

Loans or trades between museums were found in only two 
places. Eight museums, 22 per cent, had contact only with their 
closest neighboring museum, and only five museums took the sim- 
ple step of exchanging brochures. Six museums had only casual 
contact with other institutions, generally in the form of touring the 
others' galleries when in town. And. thirteen museums. 35 per 
cent of the total, had absolutely no contact with other museums. 

Two museums were consulted by smaller neighbors for advice 
and help. The Wyoming State Museum was listed as a resource 
by six small museums, 16 per cent of the whole, including one 
toward the north of the state. Three other museums looked instead 
to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center for assistance. These three 
were fairly close to Cody. 

The record of association with professional organizations is even 
less impressive. Sixteen museums, 43 per cent of the total, had no 
contact with any associations. Four were members of the Amer- 
ican Association of Museums, and six belonged to the American 
Association for State and Local History. The most accessible of 
the professional organizations, however, the Colorado-Wyoming 
Association of Museums, had only five members among the small 
museums. The Wyoming State Historical Society claimed the 
most members, with nine museums, 24 per cent of the total, 

Each organization has unique strengths, but only two museums 
belonged to three different groups. Five museums held two mem- 
berships, and fourteen held only one. 

Wyoming's small history museums are somewhat more outgoing 
when dealing with the public. Questions 26, 30, 35, and 36 looked 
at areas of informational contact with the public at large, beyond 
the exhibit floors of the museums. Table 7 lists the responses. 

Twelve museums. 34 per cent of the whole, were involved in 
oral history programs. Nineteen institutions, 54 per cent, main- 
tained manuscript collections, and seventeen museums had librar- 
ies. Fourteen museums, 40 per cent of those surveyed, had both 
a library and an archives. Eleven museums had no such holdings 
or activities. 

Publications offer a means of reaching a larger public than 
might visit a given building, but cost considerations can restrict 
this form of interpretation. Over half of the small museums in the 


state, twenty, had no form of publications. For those that did 
publish, the most common product was a brochure, with eleven 
museums, 31 per cent, distributing some sort of brochure. Five 
museums printed booklets about local history or their collections, 
and three sold post cards depicting their exhibits or their collec- 
tions. One published an annual report, one put out a walking 
tour, and two ran regular newspaper columns. 

The line between publications and publicity is often hard to 
draw, and perhaps need not be drawn at all. Virtually all the 
small museums are involved in one form of publicity or another, 
only two museums refraining completely. The most common 
publicity form, used b\ fully 66 per cent ol the small museums, 
twenty -three institutions, is newspaper coverage. Almost as many, 
nineteen, used radio to advertise their offerings. Twelve museums. 
34 per cent, printed their own brochures, and another twelve were 
included in local community brochures. 

Private signs advertised ten small museums, 29 per cent, but 
only two used official highway department road signs. Six mu- 
seums distributed posters about themselves, while five combined 
publicity and sales with post cards. Five small museums were 
listed in regional guidebooks, and four were included in the na- 
tional guides for motorists. Four advertised in national publica- 
tions. Only three museums had ever used television promotion. 
Two institutions were shown on placemat-maps placed in restau- 
rants and stores. 

The small museums were not content with just one publicity 
form, averaging 3.26 publicity types each. This level of activity 
suggests a real concern with informing the public of the availability 
of the museums. 

These informational activities are not the only possibilities for 
outreach. The small museums undertake a broad range of pro- 
crams and activities, and the extent of these was measured by 
Questions 31, 32, 33, 34, 37, 38, 39. and 40. Table 8 present's 
the survey results. 

Many museums participated in community celebrations or fairs. 
Five of them sponsored such affairs. While local historical soci- 
eties often present speakers, seven of the small museums. 19 per 
cent of those in the state, sponsored public lectures on their own. 
Only three of the museums offered classes. 

Tours are a popular form of extension activity in small muse- 
ums. While six museums offered none, the same number gave all 
visitors a tour. Another six toured school groups only, but seven- 
teen institutions, 47 per cent, offered tours to anyone requesting 

Ten museums were involved in outside activities somewhat pe- 
ripheral to the museum itself, though within the bounds of stated 
themes. Two provided self-guided tours of their communities, 












Private signs 




Official signs 


Regional guidebooks 



National guidebooks 



National publications 



Museum brochures 







Local brochures 

X X 
















Post cards 





Placemats maps 






Newspaper columns 
Annual reports 





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Post cards 







Walking tours 















Oral history 













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Field trips 
Slide programs 
Research grants 
College seminars 
Loaned exhibits 

Traveling exhibits 
Other museums 
Local citizens 
72 Historical treks 
= Historical markers 

Self-guided tours 
„ All visitors 
q School groups 
By request only 

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and five arranged guided tours or "treks" to historic sites. An- 
other five museums were active in the placement of historical 
markers, and two carried out archaeological investigations. Four 
of the ten museums sponsored more than one category of these 
outside activities. 

Nine small museums. 25 per cent of those in Wyoming, occa- 
sionally loan out exhibits. Four provided displays for celebrations 
and fairs, and two loaned to other museums. Two of the small 
museums placed exhibits in libraries, and the same number put 
them in schools. One museum loaned exhibits to businesses, and 
one even loaned items to private individuals. 

School service is by far the favorite extension activity of Wyo- 
ming's small museums. Sixty-four per cent of them engage in at 
least one school activity, with only thirteen places offering none. 
And tours are a near-universal component of such service, as 21 
of the 23 museums involved provide them. 

The small museums do not restrict themselves to tours alone. 
Seven museums supplied classroom speakers, and two offered slide 
programs. One put traveling exhibits in schools, and another 
loaned suitcase exhibits to teachers. Three museums took students 
on field trips. One museum operated a museum-mobile. 

The majority of the museums focused on elementary school ser- 
vice, with some programs for high school students. One museum, 
however, worked with college-age students, offering both college 
seminars and research grants. 

Essentially, the tours can be regarded as a "given," a service 
most museums automatically furnish, representing no particular 
commitment to school service. Of the twenty-three museums 
working with schools, thirteen offered only one form of service, in 
each case that being a tour. Seven museums, however, offered 
two programs each, and two offered three. One museum was 
involved in five different forms of school service; it received over 
half its budget from the school district. 

School services, extension programs, exhibits, and collections 
are all part of the varied activities of the small museums of Wyo- 
ming. It is natural that museum staffs periodically engage in self- 
examination of themselves and their institutions. The answers to 
Questions 43. 44, and 45 reflect this self analysis, and are repre- 
sented in Table 9. 

The small museums are all on good terms with their communi- 
ties, at least in their own perception. Thirty find the local citizens 
enthusiastic in their support, although three of those felt some in 
the community were apathetic. Seven others complained of local 
apathy, but none had encountered hostility. 

Four of the small museums were in the pleasant situation of 
perceiving no problems at all in their institutions. The rest of the 
museums surveved were not so fortunate. Nine institutions, 24 


per cent of the whole, complained of an insufficient financial base. 
Surprisingly, an even larger group. 30 per cent, noted difficulties 
with their physical plants and buildings. Five saw poor commu- 
nity relations as their greatest problem, and four felt their staffs 
were too small. Viewing the four basic museum functions, col- 
lections, preservation, and interpretation, two museums saw each 
function as their big stumbling blocks, but not one museum felt 
dissatisfied with its exhibitsl Two complained of organizational 

Goals varied just as widely. Two museums could think of no 
possible ways to improve themselves. Four wished for more, or 
better documented, collections. Five small museums wanted to 
increase their preservation functions, and two were anxious to im- 
prove their interpretation. While none of the museums had seen 
any problems with their exhibits, seven thought more or better 
exhibits would be desirable. 

Despite the main complaints concerning inadequate funding, 
only three museums stressed additional income as a desired goal. 
It is significant, however, that eighteen institutions. 49 per cent of 
those in the state, very much wanted improved or new facilities for 
their museums. This is seven more museums than complained of 
poor housing in the first place! 

Two museums wished to better their community ties, and two 
were interested in reorganization. The hiring of additional stall 
members was important to three museums. 

Thus, the perceived needs of the small museums cover most 
aspects of their work. The museums carry on despite these handi- 
caps, each improving as possible. Resources, mostly under uti- 
lized, exist to help each achieve its goals. 

(Table 9 on next page) 




Staffing X 

4 Physical Plant XX XXXX XXXXX X 

Q Financing 

Interpretation X X 

Exhibition X XX 

Preservation X X 

Collection X X X 


Organization X 


H as 


Community X 

Physical Plant XX XXX X 

P Financing XX X 

in £ 

Interpretation X 

J c Exhibition 

Preservation X X 


Collection XX 

■§ Apathetic 



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The main impression that emerges from the survey is one of 
diversity. Despite that diversity, the statistical analysis provides 
a tentative picture of the "typical" small historical museum of 

That hypothetical "typical" museum is equally likely to be oper- 
ated by some local government unit, under the auspices of a gov- 
ernment appointed board, or by an historical society or museum 
association, with a board derived from that group. The museum's 
chances for funding are better with the former, but in any event, 
the institution has just under $7000 in its annual budget. A little 
over half that sum goes for the salaries of the museum's equivalent 
of one and one-haif staff members, none of whom is full-time; 
there are also volunteers who donate a total of twenty hours each 
week as guides and receptionists. This staff is directed by a per- 
son who, although lacking any museum training, whether through 
coursework, seminars, or experience, is dedicated and interested in 
local history and the museum. Together, the staff keeps the doors 
open full time in the summer, though they have to cut back con- 
siderably in the winter. The museum is aimed equally at local 
adults and children and at tourists, but of the few thousand visitors 
who come through each year, most are from out of town. 

These visitors provide little direct income, for there is no admis- 
sion charge, and no sales desk. The vast majority of the museum's 
budget comes from one source, the local government, which also 
owns the museum building and the surrounding grounds. 

This "typical" museum is more interested in preserving its col- 
lections than in using them. Ninety per cent of the collections it 
owns outright, although loans are perfectly acceptable. While the 
collections are currently unencumbered by restrictions, such re- 
strictions are quite permissible. The staff actively solicits the 
donation of additional artifacts, such donations accounting for vir- 
tually the entire collection. There is some documentation on each 
item in the collections, but vital "finding aids" are not available. 

More than three-quarters of the total collection is on display, 
and perhaps one-fifth of those displays are periodically changed. 
The museum is dedicated to local history, and all of its exhibits 
fall within that theme. Temporary exhibitions are not brought in 
from outside, and the museum does not loan exhibits out. The 
exhibits themselves are a mixture, some interpretive and some not, 
of visible storage displays, systematic exhibits, and functional ex- 
hibits, including a period setting or two. 

The museum maintains a manuscript collection, and perhaps a 
small library; outside of an advertising brochure it puts out no 
publication. Tours of the exhibit hall are cheerfully provided, but 
no other school services are available. The staff seldom has any 


contact with other museums, but the museum is associated with 
the Wyoming State Historical Society. 

The museum regularly uses the local newspaper and radio to 
publicize itself, and is rewarded with enthusiastic community sup- 
port. The only real cloud on the horizon lies in the condition and 
size of the museum building, and the staff hopes something can be 
done about that in the future. 

Some of the museums in the state do better than this "typical" 
example, and others do worse; many are better in some aspects. 
and yet fall below this "norm" in others. Nonetheless, this com- 
posite creation, which no historical museum in Wyoming will 
match exactly, contains elements shared by all. 

The survey reveals five areas of common difficulty: unscientific 
collections management, un-interpretive or under-interpretive exhi- 
bition techniques, a scarcity of programs, totally inadequate fund- 
ing (and attendant problems), and isolation, both from other 
museums and from museological information. These problem 
areas interrelate and feed on each other. A possible cure for one 
difficulty will also assist in others, and in many ways, the isolation 
factor may be at once the most damaging, and the easiest to rem- 
edy, of them all. 

The collections management practiced by many of Wyoming's 
small museums is inadequate. One quarter of them own only half 
or less of the materials in their care, and over half still welcome 
loans. Many accept restricted gifts as well. Seventeen per cent 
have no documentation of their collections, and only five main- 
tain all of the different records needed for complete identification 
and retrieval. Over the state, the small museums average three- 
quarters of their collections on display; 60 per cent of them have 
90 per cent or more on public view. Both in terms of interpreta- 
tion and of preservation of the artifacts, a reverse proportion would 
be more appropriate. With less than 20 per cent of those displays 
being rotated, the exhibited artifacts are condemned to inexorable 
degradation through constant exposure to light and dust. 

The solutions to this situation are easy to state, but the means 
of effecting those solutions are much more elusive. As a first step, 
the small museums can cease the acceptance of any additional 
conditional donations or indefinite personal loans. This "preven- 
tive medicine" can then be followed, on a case-by-case basis, with 
selective "cures." negotiating with donors and lenders to convert 
conditional donations and loans into outright gifts. 

Bringing the records up to date requires staff time, whether paid 
or volunteer. Most small museums have overworked staffs, but 
this may be the most important duty those people could perform. 
And, the reduction of the percentage of the collections on exhibit, 
and the periodic rotation of the remainder from exhibits into study 


collections, requires only the willingness of the museum workers, 
and a dedication to the interpretive use of the artifacts. 

The static nature of the bulk of the museum exhibits, and the 
high proportion of the collections on display, militate against 
effective interpretation. In addition to the common failure to ro- 
tate their own collections, less than one-third of the small mu- 
seums ever displayed an exhibit from an outside source. This 
contributes to the sameness of the displays. More than half the 
museums use uninterpretive visual storage displays, and while most 
tried for more interpretive exhibits, only four had only the highly- 
interpretive functional exhibits. Interpretation ranked low in the 
museums' choices of priorities, and that decision on their part is 
amply illustrated. 

Again, solutions are easy to suggest, but more difficult to imple- 
ment. The first step, also tied to collections management, is the 
retiring of the bulk of the items on display to the study collec- 
tion, retaining a number selected for their interpretive potential. 
Arminta Neal's books offer a wealth of inexpensive and practical 
suggestions for building effective exhibits. All are within the reach 
of each of Wyoming's small museums. 

An increased use of temporary exhibits on loan from other 
institutions would not only complement each museum's collections 
and enrich its exhibit program, it would also increase visitation. 
These exhibits could come from the state's museums association, 
from the state museum, or from other small Wyoming museums. 

Programs also need revitalization. Winter closures, practiced 
by one fourth of the state's small museums, make most school 
service impractical. The common assumption that a tour is the 
only proper form of extension activity ignores the enormous avail- 
able range of program possibilties. possibilities that are often more 
effective than simple tours, and yet might require no more staff 
time. Programing to serve adults is especially rare. What is re- 
quired of each museum staff and board is a conscious analysis of 
their community's needs, and then the selection and implementa- 
tion of appropriate programs to serve those needs. 

Wyoming's small museums produce few publications. Budget 
need not deter such activity. Even a mimeographed publication 
can be attractive and well written, and production costs are mini- 
mal. Increased museum publishing could greatly expand the pub- 
lic actually served by each institution. 

Any of these improvements would be facilitated by proper fund- 
ing. The sad fact is that Wyoming's small museums generally lack 
that funding. One-fifth of the museums have no budget at all, 
and the statewide average is less than $7000 each. Few of the 
institutions have any real variety of funding sources, exposing them 
to severe danger in the event of the sudden stoppage of the cus- 
tomary supply. Despite generous Wyoming state laws allowing 


local governmental support of museums, only fourteen museums 
receive such funding. Sales desks are infrequent. 

Scarcity 1 of funds results in winter closures, reduced programs, 
and worst of all. small or non-existent staffs, 'thirty -eight per 
cent have no employees, and 6<S per cent have no one working 
full time. Continuity from year to year naturally suffers. Collec- 
tions management and interpretive exhibitions and programs re- 
quire staff, and low funding levels prevent the hiring of that stall. 
and so retard all the museum functions. Lack of sufficient fund- 
ing also contributes to the main problem most commonly perceived 
by the small museums, overcrowded or inappropriate facilities. 
The museums simply lack the monies to renovate their existing 
buildings, or build new ones. 

Wyoming laws encourage proper support for museums. Iv; Wyo- 
ming Statutes, S15-l-103(a)(xxx), allows all cities and towns "to 
establish and maintain . . . public museums. " lsl Another statute 
grants them permission to issue and sell bonds "lor establishing . . . 
museums and art galleries. " lsr ' 

Nor are cities and towns alone in these powers. "Each board 
or county commissioners may purchase, construct or acquire b\ 
donation or otherwise archaeological, geological and historical mu- 
seums and collections of exhibits and articles to be included in or 
added to the museums and collections. " 1N " For that purpose, the) 
may levy up to one half mill on each dollar of the taxable valua- 
tion, to provide for "the construction, maintenance and support of 
the museum or collection of exhibits. " |s; Thus, either a city or 
town government or a county government has legal authority to 
finance a museum. 

Many society -founded museums might not relish the prospect 
of control of "their" museum by a local government. Also, in 
these days of widespread citizen dissatisfaction with rising govern- 
mental costs, many local officials (and taxpayers) might be op- 
posed to adding a museum to the list of services already funded; 
or, if the museum is already funded, it might be a convenient 
symbol to eliminate from the local government system. Wyoming 
is fortunate in offering its citizens a direct voice in the operation 
of local museums. Wyoming Statutes SIX- 1 0-20 1 to s 18- 10-2 I 1 ) 
regulate the establishment of special museum districts, proposed 
and approved by popular vote, governed by a popularly elected 
board of museum district trustees, and capable of levying up to 

,s:t Citations are lo the 1977 Republished Edition, Wyoming Statutes. 
Is 'Wyoming Statutes. 8 15-1-103 (a) (xxx) 
^•-■Wyoming Statutes. § 1 5-4-2491 a I ( vii ) 
'""'■Wyoming Statutes, S 18-10-101 
> s7 Wyoming Statutes. 5 IS- 1 0-1 02 


one mill on each dollar of assessed valuation. ,ss This law allows 
the voters themselves to decide whether or not to maintain a public 
museum. And such districts can be any size, from less than a full 
county to multiple counties. 

School districts offer another relatively untapped financial re- 
source, only one of the small museums now drawing support from 
this source. Considering the school service museums render, it is 
not unreasonable for them to expect some school support. Even 
a token payment of fifty cents per enrolled student could give 
substantial support to the interpretive efforts of museums. Perhaps 
a contractual agreement, in which the museum provides school 
service in return for school money, is a means to implement such 

Even if a museum is unable or unwilling to get public funding, 
it can diversify its income sources. A sales desk, staffed by vol- 
unteers, can not only provide income but also an interpretive ser- 
vice. Small museums have started sales desks with almost no 
expenditure of money, by opening their stock with consignment 
books, for which the publisher is paid only when the book is 
sold. The profit is low, but once a fund is built up, the museum 
can switch to more conventional, and more lucrative, stocking 

The most severe limitation low funding places on small muse- 
ums involves personnel. Happily, federally funded (and county 
administered) manpower programs can be used to help alleviate 
this problem. RSVP. CETA", PWEA, and YEP are all possible 
sources of aid, as is the college work/study program. Most mu- 
seums in the state could tap one or more of these sources to pay 
personnel to process the collections, modernize the exhibits, and 
expand the programs. The programs do of course carry the dis- 
advantage that discontinuation of a particular program will entail 
the loss of a staff member, but this is also true in the cyclical 
hirings of most small museums at present. One other means of 
staff funding offers more permanence, and probably better results. 
Two or three adjacent institutions can share the costs of one 
director, or curator, and thereby achieve continuity and profes- 
sional help, at the same cost as for a series of part-time caretakers. 

Other resources can help museums with their building problems. 
Federal revenue sharing funds, granted to local governments, 
are the kind of one-time, non-continuing monies that commis- 
sioners and councils like to apply to capital expenditures. Fed- 
eral Community Development funds are administered through city 
governments, and are of the same limited duration. Those muse- 
ums housed in historic structures can draw on additional monies. 

""Wyoming Statutes, SI 8- 10-2 13 


through historic preservation grants from the Office of Historic 
Preservation of the new Heritage Resource and Recreation Service. 
These national preservation grants are available to both public and 
private non-profit museums. Some preservation funds are chan- 
neled from the federal level throuszh the State Historic Preservation 

Most of the museums concerned about their physical plants 
were primarily short of space. Mam of those would perhaps find 
that, without additional funding, they could at once obtain more- 
space and better interpretation simply, by retiring some of then 
duplicate artifacts to the study collections. 

The small museums of Wyoming tend to be isolated, both from 
each other and from their profession. There is ver\ little inter- 
museum contact, even on so simple a level as mutual exchange of 
brochures. Only two loaned or traded artifacts to other museums. 
Only a few belonged to professional organizations, as previously 
noted. These circumstances, added to the frequent lack oi spe- 
cialized museum training or experience on the part of the staffs, 
combine to produce museums that operate less efficiently than 
need be. simply because of a lack of information. 

The isolation of Wyoming's small museums is perhaps the great- 
est of the difficulties the museums must overcome. Not only does 
this isolation eliminate mutual action, it also retards communica- 
tion between institutions and prevents the sharing of solutions to 
common problems. 

Answers to this problem, fortunately, are not difficult to 

No link in the chain, no single museum, stands alone .... Through 
its contacts with sister institutions it strengthens the general museum 
movement and gains internal strength by doing so. 1 "' 1 

Simple steps to improve communications between museums in- 
clude brochure exchange, and the mailing of mimeographed publi- 
cations from each museum to the others. This might facilitate an 
increase in the loan of exhibits between museums. And museums 
could cooperate on larger projects such as archaeological digs or 
placement of historical markers. 

Most curators find that their imagination eventually dries up; they 
exhaust their particular repertoire of educational ideas. Lor this rea- 
son exchange of ideas between museums might be extremely useful. 1 '-'" 

Museum oriented associations provide excellent forums for such 
idea exchanges. The Mountain-Plains Museum Conference, a re- 
ttional organization of the American Association of Museums, in- 

,s; 'Guthe, Small History Museums, p. 77. 
•'•'"Zetterberg, Museums unci Ailult Education, p. 14. 


eludes Wyoming in its geographic - area, and offers fine annual 
meetings and a quarterly newsletter. The Colorado-Wyoming As- 
sociation of Museums provides the same services on a more local 
level; both are inexpensive. The Wyoming State Historical Society 
is the only statewide organization concentrating on local history, 
and while not specifically focused on museums, its publications 
and meetings provide an excellent opportunity for a flow of ideas. 

On the national level, the American Association of Museums 
and the American Association for State and Local History both 
offer fine publications, and the AASLH is especially receptive to 
the needs of small museums. 

The matter of communication is thus easily solved; the question 
of lack of training and experience is less easy to deal with. 

These individuals are well-intentioned, intelligent citizens who use 
their common sense and experience in developing their museums. 
Unfortunately, most of them are not acquainted with the knowledge 
of museum management which has accrued over several generations 
and is now generally accepted. As a result, there is a tendency, 
through the use of trial and error methods, to repeat mistakes and 
struggle with difficulties which have long since been recognized and 
corrected in successful museums. 131 

Essentially, there are three groups of people associated with 
Wyoming's small museums who need access to museum theory and 
techniques, and each group's needs require a different solution. 
The three groups are the boards that manage the museums (and 
the boards that appoint the boards), the actual museum staffs, 
both paid and volunteer, and finally, those people hoping to enter 
the field but currently uninvolved in any particular museum. 

Board members might best benefit by joining some of the pro- 
fessional organizations, and by reading some of the general litera- 
ture on museums. Specific recommendations include Raymond O. 
Harrison's The Technical Requirements of Small Museums, Carl 
Guthe's The Management of Small History Museums, B. Ellis 
Burcaw's Introduction to Museum Work, and both Arminta 
Neal's Help! for the Small Museum and her Exhibits for the Small 

To be sure, museum staffs can profit by the same readings. 
Their need for information, however, is more immediate and more 
Far reaching than that of the boards, and readings alone cannot 
satisfy that need. 

Both the Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums and the 
Wyoming State Historical Society need to offer more seminars, 
modeled after those already offered nationally by the AASLH, 
specifically aimed at the needs of small museums. The Wyoming 

'"'Guthe. So )'<>n Want u Good Museum, p. i. 


State Museum staff can join these two groups in offering short 
workshops on specific topics, held in a number of locations around 
the state. The Wyoming State Museum now provides a consulting 
service to the small museums, and this should be continued and 
strengthened. Such seminars and consultations could provide the 
small museums with answers to specific problems. 

Even more valuable to the small museums of the state would be 
either an employee -exchange program or an internship system, 
with one of the larger museums in the state. In the first arrange- 
ment, a staff member from a small museum would work at a large 
one, while the large museum sent one of its people to the small 
institution, perhaps for a period of two weeks. The small museum 
would derive double advantages from this program, both in terms 
of training and in terms of professional work performed at its mu- 
seum. The large museum, while fulfilling an obligation to assist 
the smaller institutions, would not gain many benefits. 

A more two-sided program would be an internship system, 
whereby small museum staff members would work, at minimum 
wage, at a large museum for one month. The large museum would 
gain the labor and fresh insight of the intern from the small muse- 
um, at the same time the intern would be learning interpretive 
museum theory by actual practice. 

Those people interested in the field of museum work, but not 
at present involved, would best be served by university course- 
work, coupled with intern opportunities at a well-run museum. At 
the University of Wyoming, a student could major in histor\ and 
minor in museum studies, taking a broad range of existing courses 
pertinent to museum work, and using the Wyoming State Museum 
and the museums of the University for actual experience. 

Perhaps one reason why the museum goal Is not diseovered by 
more undergraduate and even graduate students is that it is so rarely 
represented to them b> their counselors or advisors as a career. , "- 

This is certainly true of the University of Wyoming History De- 
partment. In preparing its students for professional careers, the 
department centers exclusively on training college-level teachers of 
history. Since 1970, ten of its students have found careers in 
museum work. It would be interesting to compare that number to 
the number actually teaching college history courses. The depart- 
ment is oriented toward traditional lecture/seminar methods of 
teaching history. It reaches fewer people, in more depth, than do 
the small museums with their 600. 000 annual visitation. Each 
approach is a complementary part of the larger whole of inter- 
preting Wyoming history. 

•■'-Irving F. Reiman, "Preparation for Professional Museum Careers.' 
Curator. Vol. 3. No. 3. I960, p. 281. 


Small museums continue to thrive, and multiply, despite these 
problems. Very simply, "they meet a need that no other commu- 
nity institution does. ' 1BS Their visitation proves that they are do- 
ing something right. "Our worry need not be about the standards 
of such museums, but how to help them achieve their stan- 
dards.'" 1 " 4 Suggestions as to how to accomplish that include: 

1 . The Wyoming State Historical Society, the organization with 
the greatest number of member small museums, should assume a 
position of active leadership in providing resources for the small 
museums. Specifically, the Wyoming State Historical Society 
should ensure that each small museum receive both complete in- 
formation on Wyoming Statutes regarding funding sources, and a 
basic reference shelf of books related to museum operations. In 
addition, the Wyoming State Historical Society should sponsor 
both traveling short-term topical workshops, held at several loca- 
tions throughout Wyoming, and an annual intensive seminar in 
museum practices, lasting several days. Funding is available for 
these purposes under the National Museum Act. 

2. The Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums should also 
sponsor intensive seminars, or co-sponsor those of the Wyoming 
State Historical Society, whenever possible defraying at least part 
of the expenses of participants. This activity should be coupled 
with a concerted drive to enroll small museums in the association. 

3. The Wyoming State Museum should continue its existing con- 
sulting program, and expand the number and variety of the work- 
shops it offers. It should assist small museums in securing grant 
monies to meet their various needs. 

4. The Wyoming State Museum should consider establishing its 
own internship program for staffs of small museums, allowing such 
persons to work with its professionals for one-month periods, and 
hopefully paying the intern at least the minimum hourly wage. 

5. The Wyoming State Museum can expand its interpretation, 
provide inspiration to small museums, and enliven their exhibit 
galleries by placing one exhibit in each small museum, utilizing 
duplicate materials from the state collections. Perhaps as a new 
loan exhibit was produced, each small museum would send the one 
already loaned to it on to the next institution on a list, thus ensur- 
ing at least some rotation in each museum. 

6. The Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums should 
enter the traveling exhibit field, converting the better tempo- 
rary shows of its members into circulating exhibitions, suitably 

l93 Robbins, America's Museums: The Belmont Report, p. 35. 
""Reimann. "Preparation for Professional Museum Careers," p. 280. 


crated and insured. The availability of such shows at low cost 
would improve the appearance and interpretation of man\ small 

7. The Wyoming State Historical Society should use its network 
of local chapters to organize a series of loaned exhibits among 
Wyoming's museums, each institution having one standardized 
case, with just the case inserts and glazing traveling. Each small 
museum would prepare an exhibit to be circulated. If each small 
museum participated, each museum could receive one changing 
display each month for three sears, at the total cost of onl\ the 
one insert it had built. No one would wish to circulate an unat- 
tractive exhibit, and so high quality would be guaranteed. 

X. The College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Wyo- 
ming should give strong consideration to the establishment of a 
museum studies minor option for undergraduates, to prepare them 
for positions in the museum field. Each student would major in a 
solid academic discipline, such as history, anthropology, or Amer- 
ican studies, and then accomplish the minor by taking other 
pertinent courses in photography, stagecraft, art and art history, 
speech, business administration, and education. The archival 
management and museum courses long offered for independent 
studs by Professor E. B. Long could be converted into regular 
courses, to provide the needed theory. Lectures on museum appli- 
cations could be offered bv the trained professionals in the Art. 
Geology, Anthropology , Historv. Archives, and American Studies 

Practical experience would be obtained b\ internships in the 
Archives, Geology Museum, Art Museum, and Anthropology Mu- 
seum, "pay" being in the form of semester credits, to be followed 
b\ an internship (perhaps in the form of summer employment) at 
the Wyoming State Museum. Coupled with a solid academic 
major, such a minor would equip students with the skills required 
of small museum staffs, as well as prepare them for a graduate 
course of study if so desired. 

The decade of the 1970s has seen new pressures on most Wyo- 
ming communities, as populations burgeon in response to mineral 
and energy development. The character of man) towns has been 
submerged under the onslaught of new housing and new faces. 
The small museums have a vital role in helping to preserve their 
local unique features, and at the same time welcome and orient 
the newcomers, easing their integration into community life. Per- 
haps the best function the small museum can serve is to act as a 
local history catalyst; to provide example and direction for efforts 
to accommodate the future while saving the best of the past, in the 
process enriching our daily lives. 

Laurence Vail Coleman prophesied in 1927 that: 



Cooperation — real cooperation — is required to complete a new regime. 
In time museums may abandon the secretiveness and the spirit of 
competition which so limit ihem. Then the machinery of joint action 
can be set in motion and cooperative staff and cooperative work will 
be in usual course. Then the post of consulting director may be a 
common one. Then state and regional conferences will develop and 
the members of each local group will find new power. Then small 
museums will be more effective, and large ones — sharing generously 
in the intercourse — will reap rewards in leadership and in extension of 
their fields of usefulness. 1!, ~ 

Fifty years has not dimmed that prophecy. 


Anna Miller Museum 

Box 698 

Newcastle, Wyoming 82701 

Arapahoe Cultural Museum 

Box 127 

Ethete, Wyoming 82520 

Armory Museum 
337 N. Jefferson 
Sheridan, Wyoming 82801 

Bradford Brinton Memorial 

Box 23 
Big Horn, Wyoming 82833 

Blyth and Fargo Store 
Evanston, Wyoming 82930 

Buffalo Bill Historical Center 
P. O. Box 1020 
Cody, Wyoming 82414 

Carbon County Museum 
Carbon County Courthouse 
P. O. Box 335 
Rawlins, Wyoming 82301 

Mary Capps 
February 8, 1974 

Dennis Robert Sun Rhodes 

Reverend David Duncombe 
Visited February 5, 1974 
Mailed responses received on 
March 10, 1974 

Major Alan Bourne 
Command Staff Assistant 
February 7, 1974 

James T. Forrest 
March 26, 1974 
Visited July 8, 1974 

Harry Bodine 


December 8, 1973 

Dr. Harold McCracken 

September 29, 1973 

Mrs. Marion Geddes 

February 4, 1974 

'•'•"'Coleman. Manual for Small Museums, p. 324. 


Crook County Museum 
Sundance, Wyoming 82729 

Fort Caspar Historic Site and 

14 Fort Caspar Road 
Casper, Wyoming 82601 

Frederick Museum 
Guernsey, Wyoming S 2 2 1 4 

Fremont County Pioneer 

630 Lincoln 
Lander, Wyoming 82520 

Glendo Historical Museum 
Glendo, Wyoming 82213 

Grand Encampment Museum. 

Encampment, Wyoming 82325 

Grevbull Museum 

Box 348 

325 Greybull Avenue 

Greybull, Wyoming 82426 

Homestead Museum 
Carpenter, Wyoming 82054 

Hot Springs County Pioneer 

235 Springvievv Avenue 
Thermopolis, Wyoming 82443 

Jackson Hole Museum 
P. O. Box 1005 
Jackson. Wyoming 83001 

Johnson County Jim Gatchcll 

Memorial Museum 
110 Fort Street 
Buffalo. Wyoming 82834 

Nora Reimer 

Chairman, Crook County 

Museum Board 
Visited February 8, 1974 
Mailed response received 

O. W. Judge 

March 2, 1974 

Stella M. Frederick 


February 28, 1974 

William McAleenan 

February 4, 1974 
Visited February 5, 1974 

Janette Chambers 
Lucille Trenholm 
Museum Board Members 
February 9, 1978 

Vera Oldman 

President. Museum Board 

June 8. 1974 

Mrs, Delma Clark 
Assistant Director 
February 6. 1974 

Richard Hardy 


February 28. 1974 

William R. Mayfield 
February 5, 1974 

W. C. (Slim ) Lawrence 
Owner of collection 
September 30, 1973 
Museum not visited 

George Barkley 
Februan 7. 1974 



Jolly Roger Museum 
Box 106 

Evanston. Wyoming 82930 

Kemmerer City Museum 

Triangle Park 

Kemmerer, Wyoming 83101 

Laramie Plains Museum 

Association, Inc. 
603 Ivinson Avenue 
Laramie, Wyoming 82070 

Museum of the Mountain Men 
Sublette County Historical 

Society, Inc. 
P. O. Box 666 

Pinedale. Wyoming 82941 

Natrona County Pioneer 

1014 S. David Street 

Casper. Wyoming 82601 

Old Trail Town and Museum 

of the Old West 
Cody. Wyoming 82414 

Powell Homesteaders Museum 

Association, Inc. 
Powell. Wyoming 82435 

Rawlins National Bank- 
220 5 th Street 
Rawlins, Wyoming 82301 

Riverton Museum 
700 East Park Avenue 
Riverton. Wyoming 82501 

The Rockpile Museum 
Box 922 

West Highway 14-16 
Gillette, Wyoming 82716 

Stage Coach Museum 
Box 1396 
342 South Main 
Lusk, Wyoming 82225 

Denise Wheeler 
December 8, 1973 

Archie Neil 
Town Clerk 
December 8, 1973 

Joyce Wright 
Zoe Carr 

Assistant Director 
December 5, 1973 

Elton Cooley 

President, Historical Society 

Bert Reinow 

Chairman, Museum Committee 

September 30, 1973 

Bernadine Reed 
Carol Mae Wilson 
March 6, 1974 

Bob Edgar 
July 8, 1974 

Clyde Kurtz 
Board Member 
July 8, 1974 

John W. France 
Bank President 
December 8, 1973 

Wilma Lester 
February 5, 1974 

Ralph Kintz 

Chairman, County Museum 

February 8, 1974 

AnnabeUe Hoblit 

Visited February 8, 1974 
Mailed response received on 
February 12, 1974 



Sweetwater County Museum 
50 E. Flaming Gorge Way 
Green River, Wyoming 82935 

Ten Sleep Museum 

Ten Sleep, Wyoming 82442 

Henry F. Chadev 
December 8. 1973 

Gail Anderson 


Mailed response received on 

May 8. 1974 
Visited July 4, 1974 

The History Room of the Teton Elizabeth R. Brownell 

Chapter of the WSHS 
Teton County Library 
Jackson, Wyoming 83001 

Trail End Historical Center 

400 Clarendon 

Sheridan, Wyoming 82801 

Archivist, Teton Countv Chapter 
September 29. 1973 
Museum not visited 

Robert A. Hollida) 
February 7. 1974 

Uinta County Historical Society Russell Varineau 

City Buildiniz 
Box 106 
Evanston, Wyoming 82930 

Washakie County Historical 

Society Museum 
County Library, 1 1th Street 
Worland, Wyoming 82401 

Warren Military Museum 
P. O. Box 9625 
Francis E. Warren AFB, 
Wyoming 82001 

Weltner Wonder Museum 
1-90 and S 59 Highway 

Gillette, Wyoming 82716 

President, Historic; 
December 8, 1973 


Rosa St. Clair 

February 6. 1974 
Museum not visited 

Lt. Col. August (Ace) Einbeck 


February 28, 1974 

Robert and Frances Carson 


February 8. 1974 


1. What is the complete name and address of your museum? 
And your full title? 

2. What is the tieneral theme behind vour museum'.' 


3. Please rank the following activities as to their importance in 
your museum's operations, "I" indicating the highest priority 
and "4" the lowest. 

Collection . Interpretation 

Preservation Exhibition 

4. To which of the following groups does your museum primarily 
cater? Again, please rank them in order of priority, with "1" 
representing the most important group. 

Tourists Local Adults School Children 

5. Approximately how many people visited your museum in 

6. In your estimation, what percentage of those visitors were: 
Tourists Local Adults School Children 

7. What are your visiting hours, throughout the year? 

8. What percentage of your collections are on exhibit? 

9. What percentage of your exhibits are periodically changed? 

0. Do you ever display loaned exhibits? _ If so, where 
do these temporary exhibits come from? 

1. About what percentage of your collections is in the form of 
loaned materials? _ Is it your current policy to 
accept loans? 

12. Have you had many loans called back? 

13. About what percentage of your collections, if any, has been 

14. Do you presently actively solicit the donation of items to the 

15. About what percentage of your collections is in the form of 
conditional donations? _ Is it your current policy to 
accept such donations? 

1 6. What percentage of your exhibits do not pertain closely to 
the theme of your museum, but rather fall into the category 
of "general interest"? 

1 7. What type of records are kept on the items in the collections? 
IS. For the purposes of our study, would you be willing to give 

us, in round figures, your annual budget? 

19. Approximately what percentage of that budget comes from 
the following sources? 

federal government state government 

county government city government __ 

historical society _ admission fee _ 

publications donations 

sales desk other (specify) 


20. About what percentage of your annual budget does each of the 
following require? 

building maintenance salaries 

publications publicity 

special programs purchase of artifacts 

other (specify) 

21. Does your institution own the museum building and the land 
on which it sits? Who does? 

22. How many paid staff members does your museum enjoy? . 
Part time Full time 

23. Besides yourself as director, is there a society or governing 
body behind the museum? 

24. Briefly, as director, what is your background, if you care to 
tell me? 

25. How has your museum handled the common problem of 

26. What different kinds of publicity do you use. such as radio, 
or tourist guides? 

27. Does vour museum make use of volunteer help'.' 

Approximately how much time per week is put in by volun- 
teers, total'.' 

28. Are the volunteers regulated by an association of some sort? 

29. Could you give me any idea of the use made of local experts'' 

30. Does your museum put out any publications'.' What'' 

31. Do you offer guided tours of your museum? To whom.' 

32. Does your museum offer tours outside its walls (such as tours 
of historic homes or battle sites)? What' 1 

33. Is your museum ever able to sponsor speakers? 

34. Does your museum ever offer classes? 

35. Does your museum maintain a research laboratory or manu- 
scripts collection? 

36. Does your museum engage in an oral history program? 

37. Does your museum have outside activities such as location of 
historical markers or maintenance of historic sites? 

38. Does your museum sponsor any special celebrations or social 
events? What? 

39. Does your museum loan exhibits? To whom'.' 

40. Does your museum have any programs in co-operation with 
local educational institutions'.' 

41. What contact does vour museum maintain with other local 

42. What contact does your museum maintain with state, regional, 
or national museum organizations'.' 

43. What kind of relations does your museum enjoy with the sur- 
rounding community'.' Are the local people, in your opinion, 
enthusiastic apathetic hostile 


44. What do you consider to be the single greatest problem facing 
your museum at present? 

45. What would you like to see done to improve your museum? 

46. Is there anything else you would like to add? 

47. Interviewer's comments: 



Adam, T. R. The Museum and Popular Culture. (New York: 
American Association for Adult Education, 1939). 

Coleman. Laurence Vail. Manual for Small Museums. (New 
York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1927). 

Copeland, Ms. Lammot du Pont. The Role of Trustees: Selection 
and Responsibilities. American Association for State and 
Local History Technical Leaflet 72. (Nashville, Tenn.: 
AASLH, 1974). 

Guthe, Carl E. Documenting Collections: Museum Registration 
and Records. American Association for State and Local 
Historv Technical Leaflet 11. (Nashville, Tenn.: AASLH. 

Guthe, Carl E. The Management of Small History Museums. 
Nashville, Tenn.: (American Association for State and Local 
History, 1969). 

Guthe, Carl E. So You Want a Good Museum: A Guide To the 
Management of Small Museums. (Washington, D.C.: Amer- 
ican Association of Museums, 1967). 

Kramer, Eugene F. Collecting Historical Artifacts: An Aid for 
Small Museums. ( American Association for State and Local 
Historv Technical Leaflet 6. Nashville, Tenn.: AASLH, 

Love, Becky. Ideas From History: Littleton Area Historical 
Museum Children's Summer Workshop. Mimeographed. 
Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, 1972. 

Low, Theodore L. The Museum As a Social Instrument. (New 
York: Metropolitan Museum of Art for the American Asso- 
ciation of Museums, 1942). 

National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH Museums and 
Historical Societies Program. Mimeographed. (Washington, 
DC: NEH, 1974). 

Parker, Arthur C. A Manual for History Museums. (Albany, 
N.Y.: Columbia University Press, 1935). 

Robbins, Michael W., ed. America's Museums: The Belmont 
Report. (Washington, D.C.: American Association for Mu- 
seums. 1969). 

Wigginton, Eliot, ed. Foxfire 2. (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor 
Press/Doubleday, 1973). 


Wittlin, Alma Stephanie. Museums: In Search of a Usable Future. 

(Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1970). 
Zetterberg, Hans L. Museums and Adult Education. (New York: 

Augustus M. Kellev, Publishers, for the International Couneil 

on Museums ( ICOM ) of UNESCO, 1969). 


"The Small Museum: Some Reflections." Museum News. March. 

1971. 15-18. 

Alexander. Edward P. "A Fourth Dimension for History Mu- 
seums." Curator. December, 1968, 263-2S9. 

Alexander, Edward P. "Artistic and Historical Period Rooms." 
Curator. Vol. 7, No. 4. 

Anderson, Duane C. "Creative Teaching, Temporary Exhibits, 
and Vitality for the Small Museum." Curator. September. 
1968, 180-183. 

Atkinson. Robert. "Clearwater: Sloop and Goal." Museum 
News. October, 1970, 21-24. 

Bingham, Judith. "Giving Your Interns a Piece of The Action." 
Museum December, 1973, 33-39. 

Broun. Henry D. "Intrigue Before You Instruct." Museum 
News. March, 1964, 28-33. 

Burnham, Sophy. "Competition or Cooperation: Six Ideas for 
Museum Monies." Curator. Vol. 7, No. I, 1964. 52-54. 

Burns, William A. "Trustees: Duties and Responsibilities." 
Museum News. December, 1962, 22-23. 

Cameron, Duncan F. "A Viewpoint: The Museum As a Com- 
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Cappelluzo, Emma M., and Ferdon, Edwin N., Jr. "A Double 
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24. ' 

Colbert, Edwin H. "What Is a Museum'.'" Curator. Vol. 4, No. 
2. 138-146. 

Compton. Mildred S. "A Training Program for Museum Volun- 
teers." Curator. December, 1965, 294-298. 

De Borhegyi, Stephan F. "A Primitive Art Exhibit by University 
Students." Curator. Vol. 4, No. 1, 7-14. 

Duff, James H. "An Untapped Resource." Museum News, May 

1972, 25-27. 

Evans, J. W. "Some Observations, Remarks, and Suggestions 
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1, 77-93 

Gamble. Kathryn E. "The Missinsz Link." Museum News. Jan- 
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Graham, Frank P. "Defining Limitations of the Volunteer Work- 
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Gustafson, Joel F. "To Charge or Not To Charge." Museum 
News, February, 1962, 16-20. 

Heine, Aalbert. "The Care and Feeding of Volunteer Staff Mem- 
bers." Curator, December, 1965, 287-290. 

Hellmann, Robert A. "The Teaching Functions of Exhibits." 
Curator, Vol. 1, No. 1, 74-76. 

Hendriksen, Harry C. "Your Museum: A Resource for the 
Blind." Museum News, October. 1971, 26-28. 

Hofmann, Helmut. "Translating Inert Into Living Knowledge." 
Curator, Vol. 5, No. 2, 120-127. 

Holmes, Lowell D. "Shoestring Museum of Man." Curator, Vol. 
10. No. 3, 261-266. 

Jacobs, Stephen W. "Architectural Preservation in the United 
States: The Government's Role." Curator, Vol. 9, No. 4. 

Jones, Louis C. "The Trappers Cabin and the Ivory Tower." 
Museum News, March, 1962, 1 1-16. 

Krahel, David Henry. "Whv a Museum Store?" Curator, Sep- 
tember, 1971, 200-204.' 

Low, Theodore L. "The Museum as a Social Instrument: Twenty 
Years After." Museum News, January, 1962, 28-30. 

Mayo, Robert B. "A Strategy for Exhibitions." Museum News, 
March, 1971, 30-33. 

Naumer, Helmuth J. "A Marketable Product." Museum News, 
October, 1971, 14-16. 

Neal, Arminta. "Function of Display: Regional Museums." 
Curator, Vol. 8, No. 3, 228-234. 

Parr. Albert Eide. "The Functions of Museums: Research Cen- 
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Parr, Albert Eide. "Location, Motivation, and Duration of Mu- 
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Parr, Albert Eide. "A Plea for Abundance." Curator, Vol. 2, 
No. 3, 275-279. 

Parsons, Lee A. "Systematic Testing of Display Techniques For 
an Anthropological Exhibit." Curator, Vol. 8, No. 20, 167- 

Payson, Huldah Smith. "Volunteers: Priceless Personnel For the 
Small Museum." Museum News, February, 1967, 18-21. 

Piatt. Doris. "A Contribution to Classroom History Study." 
Museum News, February, 1967, 34-36. 

Reibel, Daniel B. "The Challenge of the Future of History Mu- 
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Reibel, Daniel B. "The Volunteer: Nuisance or Savior." Mu- 
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Reimann, Irving G. "Preparation for Professional Museum Ca- 
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Schaeffer, Margaret W. M. "The Display Function of the Small 

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No. 3, 197-203. 
Shosteck, Robert. "Publicity tor the Small Museum." Museum 

News, May. 1966, 24-26. 
Shotz, Sidney A. "Forming an Educational Alliance." Museum 

News, March, 1962, 30-32. 
Supplee, Carol. "Museums on Wheels." Museum News, October. 

1974, 26-35. 
Swauger, James L. "Is There Life Alter Retirement'.'" Museum 

News, November, 1973, 31-33. 
Swauger, James L. "Topless Girl Guides or We Have a Crying 

Need to be Old-Fashioned." Curator. December, 1969,307- 

3 IS. 
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No. 1, 61-65. 
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Curator, Vol. 1, No. 3. 36-42. 
Trenbeth, Richard P. "Building from Strength Through the Mem- 
bership Approach." Museum News, September, 1967, 24- 

Tyler, John D. "Industrial Archaeology and the Museum Cura- 
tor." Museum News. January, 1969, 30-32. 
Ward, Mary Sam. "Henry Clay Day: The Ultimate Field Trip." 

Museum News, October, 1971, 34-37. 
Washburn, Wilcomb. "Are Museums Necessary?" Museum 

News. October, 1968, 9-10. 
Washburn, Wilcomb. "Scholarship and the Museum." Museum 

News. October, 1961. 16-19. 
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January, 1966. 32-37. 
Webster, Donald B., Jr. "A Different Approach to Circulating 

School Exhibits." Curator, Vol. 8. No. 3, 
Wheeler, Robert C. "Museums or Tourist Traps?" Museum 

News, April, 1962. 11-16. 
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Office Memo." Curator, March, 1966, 85-87. 
Wilson. Kenneth M. "A Philosophy of Museum Exhibition." 

Museum News, October, 1967. 13-19. 

r i.: 

-Courtesy of Ester Johansson Murray 

Margaret and Peter McCnlloch at their Worden. Montana, ranch home in 
the early 1900s. He was in charge of the first cattle drive into the Big Horn 
Basin in 1879. Although the spelling was altered, McCullough Peaks be- 
tween Powell and Cody were named for him. 

' 'Short Qrass and Heather 

Peter McCulloch in the Big 

Morn Basin 


Estlr Johansson Murray 

Peter McCulloch, riding point on the herd of 20(10 Oregon 
cattle, topped the cedar ridge and looked westward into the upper 
reaches of the Big Horn Basin. He had seen a lot of Wyoming 
territory since he had left Fort Bridger. but this was the most 
spectacular and beautiful of all. Unnamed ranges in muted blues 
or scraggly volcanic red were paneled with green lorest and car- 
peted from river to foothill with golden grass. They were bringing 
cattle to the bending, swaying, uneaten and untrampled grass. 

The year was 1879 and the herd was the first to be brought to 
the Big Horn Basin. They came just behind the vanishing buffalo 
and just barely ahead of the herds of Otto Franc and Captain 
Henry Belknap. 

McCulloch had celebrated his fortieth birthday at Fort Bridger 
before going north with the cattle. He had already had more than 
his share of pioneering and war adventures and had not yet 
reached his life's halfway mark. 

He was born July 12. 1S3 C ). in Penningham, Wigton. Scotland, 
the son of Robert and Mary McCulloch. 1 He had one brother. 
Fred, and four sisters. Although thev were descended from roy- 
alty, the McCulloehs were not a wealthy family.- 

Cardoness Castle, the McCullojh family home for over five 
centuries, has lost its one-time grandeur. Situated off Wigton 
Bay on a small arm of water called Fleet Bay, it is typical of late 
medieval Scottish castles. The four-story structure, built on the 
tower house plan, has elaborate fireplaces and stone benches in 

'Robert McCulloch, died February 13, 1873. age 76. buried at Villisca, 
Iowa. Mary McGiel McCulloch. died October 12, 1876. age 73, buried at 

-One of the early McCulloehs. Sir Godfry McCulloch, gained some fame 
or notoriety by being the last person in Scotland to be executed by the 
"Maiden." the Scot's version of the guillotine. He was executed at Edin- 
burgh in 1697. Stewartry, District Guide, (travel brochure), p. 37. 


the great hall and solarium and remains of the outer defenses still 
exist. The castle is maintained as a national monument." 

Peter's family left Scotland in April. 1853. He was fourteen 
years old when they departed from Liverpool, England, on the 
sailing vessel. The Great Western. 4 

No definite information about Peter from 1853 to 1861 is 
known. At some time he may have lived in Boston with an uncle 
who gathered oysters from the sea and hauled them by cart to the 
processors."' Granddaughter Margaret Matson thought he had 
been a freighter from St. Louis to Fort Bridger during that period. 6 
Wallace Shurtleff recorded that McCulloch came to Fort Bridger 
at the same time as Johnston's army in 1857." 

McCulloch was living in St. Louis and working as a "gas and 
steam fitter" when the Civil War began. He enlisted as a private 
in Company A. First Battalion Rifles, Missouri Infantry (Lyon 
Guards) on May 11. 1861, for a period of three months. He was 
mustered out on August 14, 1861. On September 12, he volun- 
teered for three years in Company D. Fremont's Body Guard, 
Missouri Mounted Volunteers. s 

Only three months later, on November 30, 1861, he was again 
mustered out when Fremont was relieved of his command by 
President Lincoln for overstepping his authority and issuing his 
own emancipation proclamation in Missouri. On Fremont's dis- 
missal, his Body Guard was disbanded.' 1 

Many of the officers were not paid for their services in the Body 
Guard. On McCulloch's record is the notation, "Pay due from 

'■''Dumfries and Galloway, Official Guide, p. 34. Agnes, one of Peter's 
sisters spent considerable time there as a child. She played with her cousins 
and gave kindly attention to her Uncle John who was bedfast. When John 
died, Agnes returned to live with her own family. She later recalled, 
". . . scampering here and there all over the stately old castle: the garret 
filled with the relics of our race was always a great source of attraction 
for us. Here hung the ancient armor, suits of mail and weapons of war, 
and there were old chests filled with rich laces and brocades, court suits 
of both men and women." From copies of family papers given by Pauline 
McCulloch. Mountain View. Wyoming. (Peter's daughter-in-law) to Grace 
Kirch. Billings. Montana, (Peter's granddaughter). 

'One family heirloom which followed the McCullochs from Scotland all 
the way to Wyoming was a sampler made by Peter's mother. Mary McGiel. 
She made it in 1816 when she was thirteen years old. having grown the flax, 
spun the thread and woven the linen cloth herself. Interview with Grace 
Kirch, 1977-1978. 

•"'Interview, Margaret Matson. 1978. 


"Wallace Shurtleff (compiler), Bridger Country (No publisher, no date). 
Loaned by Pauline McCulloch. 

'"Civil War Enlistment Records, National Archives. 

'■'Ferol Hgan, Fremont: Explorer for a Restless Nation (Garden City, 
N. Y.: Doubleday and Co.. 1977), pp. 515-517. 

peter Mcculloch in the big horn basin 101 

enlistment." However, it also shows he had been advanced $19.05 
for clothing. After the disbanding of Fremont's Body Guard. Mc- 
Culloch was in government employ in the Quartermaster Depart- 
ment at Springfield and Rollo, Missouri. He was later transferred 
to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 1 " 

Peter's sister Agnes McCulloch Harvey, who used to live at Fort 
Bridger. wrote several anecdotes about his war experiences which 
are quoted in her own word 

s: 11 

My brother, Peter McCulloch. was all through the Civil War (serv- 
ing with the Union Army), and I have heard him tell many thrilling 
stories of his hair breadth escapades. For three months he was one 
of Fremont's body guards, and when it was disbanded, he became 
Wagon Boss, a position which was fraught with many dangers. When 
he was attached to the Body Guard, he often carried dispatches he- 
cause he was brave, powerful and more. I suspect, because he was 
well acquainted with the country. He often boasted that he knew 
every road, trail and every hog track in Arkansas and Missouri. Of 
course, this made him valuable as a messenger. 

One extremely dark night he was riding along on a powerful horse 
and without warning he rode against a wire stretched across the 
way — too high for the horse. Here his instinct or caution saved his 
life, for while apparently safe, he was still subconsciously on the 
lookout and thus saved himself from falling. He disregarded the 
command to "Halt" — put spurs to his horse and was soon beyond the 
reach of the random shots that were fired after him by the surprised 
and chagrined ambushers who had expected an easy victim. He es- 
caped and delivered his dispatch safely. 

One day after he became Wagon Boss, he and his men had been 
out for a long time and were ragged and dirty and without money. 
He went into town, got paid off, and money for his men, which was 
$400. He put it into his boot for safe keeping. He bought himself 
a fine suit of clothes and started out to regain his train of wagons. 
On the way in passing along, the road passed through a thicket of 
underbrush. Here he was ambushed, his new clothes taken from him 
and replaced by an old suit of butternut brown, a size too small. His 
boot was drawn off and the $400 taken. He often said he regretted 
the clothes more than the money. 

The Confederate Rebels took him with them. I hey traveled that 
day and when night came he was put under guard but he noticed that 
his guard did not seem to be as alert as he would have been under 
similar circumstances. He also noticed during the day that they had 
a large number of Union horses which were brought right around the 
camp at night preparatory to staking them out. One of these, a noble 
animal, an officer's horse, one that he knew to be of great speed and 
endurance. He decided to make a dash for liberty and take the horse. 
Accordingly, watching his chance when his captors were busily en- 
gaged in discussing their plans, and his guards were also listening, he 
slipped his hands free from the ropes which bound them. They had 

^'Information from McCulloch's application for war pension. 1904. 

n Agnes married a Hewitt after her first husband. Harvey, died. Will and 
George Harvey, her sons, were nephews of Peter McCulloch with whom 
he had business associations. Will seemed to have been particularly close 
to him. 


become loosened by working them through the day. They had appar- 
ency forgotten to tie his feet, as when he had been brought into camp 
he had sunk down with every appearance of exhaustion. 

As before stated, he edged toward the horse silently, arose to his 
feet, and leaned against a tree to which the horse was tied, put his 
hand behind him, untied the horse, and while they were still all en- 
grossed by the subject under discussion, sprung to the back of the 
horse and was away like the wind. As he did so, his coat split from 
neck to tail. 

A moment of confusion and they were after him. He laid low on 
his horse to avoid bullets and sped on. While his pursuers were still 
quite a distance behind, he came to the opening of a trail known to 
but a few but very familiar to him. The opening was masked by trees 
and bushes. Into this he turned his horse and remained there quietly 
until the pursuing party had passed. Then he rode quietly on his way 
and regained his outfit without further molestation. 

In this case his knowledge of the country undoubtedly saved him 
from death or recapture. He soon had his wagon loaded with sup- 
plies for the Army and it was an exceptionally long mule train. He 
was riding leisurely along at the head of the train on a powerful mule, 
coming around a bend in the road, he ran almost into a scouting 
party. Through some oversight he had no weapon on him. but quick 
as thought he raised the handle of his riding quirt and pointing it at 
them and said, "You make a move and you are dead men." Think- 
ing, of course, that it was a pistol, they sat still and he called out to 
the teamster of the first team, which just appeared around the curve, 
to turn the train and get out quick. He often said afterward that he 
never saw orders so quickly obeyed and never saw government mules 
make such good time. They turned in an incredibly small space and 
the way they got over the ground was a caution. 

Agnes wrote about another of Peter's Civil War adventures in 
which he escaped capture by a courageous bluff: 

A short time after the above adventure, as he was riding along in 
fancied security, he was again taken prisoner, and as bad luck would 
have it, one of the men was a member of the same party who had 
captured him before. The recognition was mutual, but he did not 
make any sign, for a second capture meant death. When he was asked 
to give an account of himself, he said he was a traveler from New- 
York, just looking around a little, and he stuck to this story so closely 
that they were convinced of its truth. All seemed to be going well 
when the fellow who had helped to capture him before, spoke up and 
said, "It's a lie. Me and a party captured him a couple weeks ago 
and he stole a horse and escaped." 

The tide was just on the turn against him when his ready wit saved 
the day. "Well, gentlemen, would you take that man's word before 
mine? Don't you see that he is crosseyed? He can't see straight." 
Amid the general laugh that followed, he was allowed to go on his 
way, rejoicing while the crosseyed man was too taken back for the 
moment to reply. 

Granddaughter Grace Kirch related another Civil War story 
about her grandfather. One time he was thirsty and came to a 
small stream and was going to take a drink from it, but something 
didn't seem quite right to him so he hesitated and walked up the 
stream. He soon came upon a dead soldier lying in the water. 
When asked what he did then, he replied, "I just walked farther 

peter Mcculloch in ihe big horn basin 103 

up the stream and got my drink of water." Peter's kick held out 
and he survived the Civil War. 

After the war he worked with a survey party staking out the 
first transcontinental railroad for the Union Pacific. He was in 
charge of the horse camp and, as the survey crews were always 
moving ahead of the construction gangs, he had several narrow 
escapes from the Indians who were constantly harassing the party. 

One time while working on day herd, he was cut off from the 
main force and finally rescued by soldiers sent out to drive away 
the Indians. Another time he was struck in the left upper arm h\ 
a bullet which he carried the rest of his life. His grandchildren 
delighted in hearing the story and touching the bullet which moved 
about under the skin of his arm. 

After finishing his work for the Union Pacific. McCulloch re- 
turned to Fort Bridizer and was emploved bv Judge William A. 

Fort Bridger and Carter were almost synonymous from 1857 
until the 1900s. William Alexander Carter was a well-educated 
gentleman from Virginia who had served in the Seminole Indian 
War. He had become friends with General William S. Harney, 
who urged him to go out West and operate a sutler's store for the 
Army. This he did in 1857. 1 - 

"Carter became especially prominent at Fort Bridger when it 
was practically abandoned by the Army during the Civil War. He 
organized the mountain men into a local militia and enlisted the 
aid of Chief Washakie to help defend the Fort against hostile 
Indians." 1 " 

McCulloch was associated with Judge Carter from 1869 until 
Carter died in 1881, and then with the Carter family until 1889. 
Shurtleff mentions the "Carter Cattle Company" many times in 
his book. 14 "The Carter Cattle Company," he said, "consisted of 
the following partners: Judge Carter; Richard H. Hamilton, ship- 
ping foreman; Peter McCulloch, range foreman; F. T. Birdseye, 

'-Fred R. Gowuns and Eugene E. Campbell. Fort Bridger, Island in the 
Wilderness (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1975). p. 145. John 
H. Hamilton of Fort Bridger says his grandfather. Richard Hamilton, and 
W. A. Carter were brothers-in-law and also cousins. "Judge Carter and 
Dick (Richard) Hamilton and Dick Carter came through in 1S50. to the 
West Coast. Hamilton and Dick Carter came back. Judge Carter went by 
boat and across the isthmus of Panama and came back later." Hamilton, 
letter to author, November 10, 1878. John Hamilton's father was Charles 
Hamilton, son of Richard Hamilton and Fronie Black Hamilton. (Richard's 
second wife I. 

™Ibid., pp. 145-146. 

14 Shurtleff. Bridger Country. He states in one place that the Carter 
Cattle Company was formed in 1869; in another, he gives the date as 1872. 


secretary; and later, William Louis Wheeler, assistant foreman un- 
der Hamilton." 1 "' 

According to Shurtleff, the Carter Cattle Company started out 
with 300 or 350 head of cattle shipped in from Nebraska and five 
head of Durham bulls. Later they bought 1000 hardy Texas cattle 
that had been trailed north to Nebraska and then west to Brown's 
Park on the Green River. 

After successfully handling the job of range foreman for the 
Carter Cattle Company, Peter felt financially able to take on the 
responsibility of a wife so he returned to Muscatine, Iowa, where 
his family had settled. It was there he courted Margaret Sinclair 
and they were married on January 2, 1872, by the Reverend 
Archibald Sangster." ; 

After their marriage, Peter and Margaret returned to Fort 
Bridger and their first child, Mary Ellen, was born there on No- 
vember 1 1, 1872. The "army doctor" attended her birth. 

When Mary Ellen was six weeks old, Margaret decided to join 
Peter at the supply ranch where he was working. She and her 
baby stayed with friends at Smith's Fork the first night. The next 
morning they rode in an open wagon driven by Richard Hamilton, 
who was accompanied by his young daughter. ,T 

The road was only a snow-covered trail winding through the 
hills. They lost their way about sundown but the sound of barking 
dogs led them to believe they were getting close to the herd house 
where Peter was staying. 1S 

They had to cross Beam Creek but somehow they missed the 
crossing and lost the sound of the barking dogs. Hamilton tried 
to cross on the ice but one horse broke through and fell into the 

lr, McCulloch's granddaughters and other relatives do not remember any- 
thing about Peter McCulloch's being a partner in the Carter Cattle Com- 
pany, nor does John H. Hamilton. However, if not partners, these men 
were the executives of the Carter Cattle Company. The answer probably 
could be found in the W. A. Carter papers and ledgers, but these were 
inaccessible to the author. The major portion of the Fort Bridger Carter 
papers are in the Bancroft Library. University of California at Berkeley. 

"'The Sinclair family were also emigrants from Scotland, but had come 
by way of Toronto, Canada. Margaret had been born at Cheltenham, near 
Toronto, on August 5. 1850. There were fourteen children in the Sinclair 

'"Pauline McCulloch writes that they probably stayed with the Harveys 
at Mountain View on Smith's Fork, "it is only six miles, but I expect it 
seemed like 10 miles to Grandma . . ." Letter to writer. February 4, 1979. 
It is probably close to twenty-five miles to Willow Creek. 

ls Carter called his cow camps and line cabins "herd houses." There was 
one at Lonetree, one just outside Mountain View, and one on the Dave 
James place, a little north of Robertson. Pauline McCulloch, letter, Feb- 
ruary 4, 1979. 

peter Mcculloch in thh big horn basin 105 

Margaret's foot broke through the ice when she got out of the 
wagon and she was soaked to the knee. They left the horses and 
wagon and started walking. Hamilton was dressed in a buffalo 
hide coat and hide pants. Margaret was wrapped in a buffalo 
robe and blankets. Hamilton carried his little girl while Margaret 
carried the bab\ . 

Soon they heard shouting, dogs barking and guns being fired. 
Peter and Margaret were reunited about a mile from the herd 
house. Men from the ranch rescued the team and. about midnight, 
travelers and horses were having their first food since the early 
breakfast that morning. 1 '' 

She had arrived a day or so before Christmas, and their last 
visitor was in January. She saw no other white women until she 
returned to Fort Bridget' in May.-" 

While the family lived at the supply ranch on Willow Creek, 
there were several incidents involving the Shoshone (Snake) In- 
dians which became family anecdotes. 

One time, Margaret McCulloch was mending sojks in the same 
room where baby Mary was asleep on a bed. covered with a bright- 
ly colored quilt, and near a partially opened window. Margaret 
looked up just in time to see an Indian at the window, his hand 
reaching in to steal the quilt. Margaret set their dog. "Echo." on 
the Indian and he quickly backed off. 

Another time, after Margaret had baked some pies, an Indian 
walked in and helped himself to fresh pie. The next time the 
Indian invited himself in for a handout, he didn't see Peter sitting 
in the room. Margaret was cooking a big kettle of beans which 
Peter dearly loved. Peter took his six-shooter and told the Indian 
to "eat beans." When the Indian was full, Peter pointed the gun 
at him and said, "Eat more beans." He repeated this until the 
Indian was unable to swallow another bean. They never were 
bothered by that Indian again.-' 1 

In 1S79, there was a drought in the southwestern part of Wyo- 
ming. Chief Washakie invited Judge Carter to take his cattle to 
the Stinking Water area because Washakie said the drought had 
not affected the grass in the northern part of the territory. L " J 
J. K. Moore was the intermediary between Carter and Washakie. 

'"Pauline McCulloch writes that Cal Hickey never heard of Beam Creek 
nor had anyone else she talked to. so its name must have been changed. 

-"Jessie McCulloch of Santa Cruz. California, said she found this stor) 
on two faded sheets of tablet paper among some family papers. 

^Interviews with Hdith Keller. Billings. Montana, 19*76-78. 

'-'-'The best reference to this trip is in a letter written by W. A. Carter 
(Judge Carter's son. Willie) to John Rollinson when he was gathering mate- 
rial for his book. Wyoming Cattle Trails. "My father sent about two thou- 
sand Oregon cows, with bulls bought in Missouri, in charge of Peter Mc- 
Culloch to Stinking Water Range in 1879." 


Moore had previously managed a store for Carter at Camp Brown 
in the Lander area before he became post trader at Fort Washakie. 

McCuiloch had been associated with the Judge at his Willow 
Creek operation south of Fort Bridger for ten years so Carter 
entrusted him with the responsibility of moving the 2000 head of 
cattle onto new rangeland hundreds of miles north. 

McCuiloch had the usual crew of eight and a cook (the Black 
man, Dick Sparks) on that first cattle drive to the Big Horn Basin. 
The cowboys who accompanied McCuiloch were typical cowboys 
in that period. Pictures show them all wearing the high-crowned 
Stetson, the crown not dented and the brim unrolled, somewhat 
smaller and narrower brim than the Texas style. Almost every 
man had a mustache and a short haircut. Vests and neckerchiefs 
were favored, heavy trousers and stout boots or shoes worn. They 
might have worn blue army shirts and pants which they could buy 
from soldiers at the fort. "The soldiers were generally broke and 
always ready to sell their shirts and pants which made excellent 
garments for a cowpuncher to wear."- :; 

Most of them were young. Typical was Robert Hamilton, son 
of Dick (Richard) Hamilton, one of the original executives of the 
Carter Cattle Company. He was born in 1870 and when his 
mother died when he was seven, William Lewis Wheeler, assistant 
foreman under Mr. Hamilton, took the boy and reared him.- 4 
Harriet Curtis. Carter's cook, also helped care for the boy.-"' 

Rob Hamilton started working at the age of eight, taking care 
of the brood mares for the Carter Cattle Company, wrangling the 
saddle stock for the Carter Cattle Company as well as the saddle 
stock for the cowboys, for which he received board and room and 
clothing. He did not go on the first Carter cattle drive but when 
he was fourteen he signed on the payroll as a paid cowboy at the 

'-' ; Rollinson. Wyoming Cattle Trails, p. 114. 

- 4 "Dick Hamilton's first wife was an Indian squaw and they had three 
children that I know of. He married a white woman and the squaw died 
of a broken heart. The white woman was the mother of Charles Hamil- 
ton." Pauline McCuiloch, letter, February 4. 1979. 

-'This information is taken from a long article about Robert Hamilton 
printed after he died April 16. 1961. Rock Springs Rocket, April 27. 1961. 
Despite the rigors of cowboy life, Rob Hamilton lived to be 91 years old. 
Many of his contemporaries around Fort Bridger lived well past ninety, 
which was unusual for that era. He was friendly, intelligent and capable, 
and an expert with horses. In 1X90 he married Ethel May Hewitt. She 
died in 1940, just two days after their 50th wedding anniversary. When he 
was 89, he married Nora Moss, a granddaughter of Harriet Curtis, and at 
that time, he was said to have a mouthful of fine teeth, a full head of hair, 
good eyesight and hearing. 

peter Mcculloch in the big horn basin hi? 

going wage of $40 per month for the third major Carter cattle 
drive. 1 '' 1 

At the end of the first cattle drive in I S7 C >. the crew established 
their headquarters above the Stinking Water Canyon on Carter 
Creek. It was October, lfs7s>.- 7 The creek and Carter Mountain 
were named by McCulloch lor his boss. Judge William A. Carter 
of Fort Bridger. JS 

The land feature named for McCulloch, M'.CulIoch Peaks. 1 ' 1 
was used for grazing the horse herd. The Peaks rise abruptl) tor 
2000 feet from the bank of the Shoshone River, due east of Heart 
Mountain, and taper off for fifteen miles eastward. The two high- 
est points are 6547 feet and 6513 feet.' 1 " The area is bounded on 
the west and north by the Shoshone River and on the east b\ Coon 
Creek. Coon Creek was named by McCulloch lor Dick Sparks. ;l 

The larger stream draining the peaks area was named "Virgin 
Creek" by McCulloch. The name was later changed to "Whistle 

Geologically, the Peaks are of the Eocene Willwood formation, 
clay and shale with some pockets and fans of alluvial deposits from 
the recent Pleistocene era. They are typical of "badlands" found 
throughout Wyoming. The vegetation is sparse and no trees grow 
because the area receives only twelve inches of rainfall each year. 
Some grass is good for grazing horses and sheep although cattle- 
do well on the lower slopes. :l - 

-"The winter of [884-1885 was severe. Rob never forgot the freezing 
snow and ice of that year. The horses" feet had lo he wrapped in gunny 
sacks and canvas to protect them from the jagged, cutting ice. The men 
had to spend every spare moment cutting willow branches for the hungry 

-"Rollinson, Wyoming Cattle Trails, p. 2(14. Thej stayed tor iwo years at 
his place and its exact location is now uncertain. It could have been in 
the area inundated when the Shoshone (Buffalo Bill) Reservoir was filled in 

- s Some historian' were somehow given erroneous information about these 
names. For example, one writer has both the creek and the mountain 
named for a Dr. Carter. Mae Urbanek. Wyoming I'Unc Names (Boulder: 
Johnson Publishing Co., 1474). p. 40. Another writer has it named for a 
Charles Carter. Paul Frison, Calendar of Change (Worland: Serlkay, Inc.. 
inl.) p. 65. This error is perpetuated in a paperback. Wyoming <>» Review. 
1966. distributed to elementary school teachers in Wyoming. 

-"On the Department of Interior. CSGS Geologic Map of Wyoming, the 
Peaks are spelled "■McCulloch." 

"'Letter, lohn Bereman. Park County Surveyor. September. 1478. 

::, Fdith Keller remembers her grandfather talking about the cook as "The 
Old Coon" or "That Old Coon." It was not derogatory. The Ctnly Enter- 
prise. October I. 1930. incorrectly states that "Grundy Hall, a hod carrier, 
was the first colored man to set foot in this section of the country." Sparks 
came in 1879. He died in a blizzard going from Carter Ranch to Trail 
Creek just before Christmas. 1887. 

:,L 'During the 1920s and 1930s, wild horses roamed there. 


The main spring of water on the south-central side of the Peaks 
is now known as "Markham Spring." Old-timer Brownie Newton 
of Cody remembered riding in the Peaks before World War I when 
there was, at the foot of the hill below the spring, a dugout which 
was known as the "McCulloch dugout. " 33 This was probably built 
and used by McCulloch and his riders when they were in the area 
checking on cattle and later when they were running horses there. 
When the author visited the spring and the "old Stone Barn" at 
that location, there was very little evidence of the dugout except 
an 8 by 10-foot excavation in the side of the hill which showed 
evidence of having been walled up with sandstone slabs."' 4 

Many small round sandstone nodules the size of marbles are 
exposed on the hillsides while the ledges of outcrop are perfect 
locations for rattlesnakes. Indian paintbrush and blue lupine grow 
among the sagebrush and buffalo grass in the springtime. Carter 
Mountain's foothills can be seen in one direction and the snow- 
capped Big Horns are in view in the other. The Department of 
Interior map shows a "McCulloch Corral" near the headwaters of 
Whistle Creek. This probably was used legitimately or unlawfully 
through the years, as the case may be, by people rounding up 
horses in the Peaks area.-'"' 

McCulloch and his cowboys were not the first group of white 
men to visit the Big Horn Basin. Two large government parties 
and numerous goldseekers had entered the area before 1879. 

A U.S. Government survey party led by Captain William A. 
Jones of the Corps of Engineers came in 1859. They left Fort 
Bridger on June 1 2 with eleven wagons, a four month*s supply of 
provisions and Jim Bridger as a guide. They crossed South Pass, 
went through the Wind River valley, and into the Big Horn Basin 
during the course of their surveys.""' Captain Jones named the 
Washakie Needles on June 19, 1859, and Bridger gave Jones' 
survey partv the names of Grass Creek and Soap Creek on Julv 

:;:; Brownie Newton, telephone conversation. July, 1978. 

:,4 Old-timer Lloyd Tennyson and Myrtle Freeborg Tennyson of Cody 
showed the author the McCullough Peaks area in June of 1978. The large 
"Stone Barn" is very interesting but no one can recall who built it. 

:!:, The Wyoming Highway Department County Map of Park County 
shows dozens of tiny tributaries flowing into Whistle Creek from the 
McCullough Peaks area. The creek is used for irrigation as it flows into 
Big Horn County south of Byron. 

::l; Bvt. Brig. Gen. W. F. Raynolds, Report of the Exploration of the 
Yellowstone River (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1868), 
pp. 54-55. 

:, Many other place names were translations of Indian names or names 
used by trappers. For example, the Big Horn River was called Ets-pot-agie 
by the Crow Indians. The Popo Agie. another Crow name that remained 
untranslated, meant "(Buffalo) head water." Heart Mountain and Stinking 
Water River were named in 1807. 

peter Mcculloch in the big horn basin 109 

In 1877 Colonel Wesley Merritt and a unit of the Fifth Cavalry 
marched from Fort D. A. Russell to Fort Washakie and north 
through the Owl Creek mountains over the pass named for the 
general. They camped near Heart Mountain (near the present site 
of Cody, Wyoming), where they were joined by the other half of 
the regiment that had marched from a camp on Clear Fork, east 
of the Big Horn mountains, through Pryor's Gap to the Stinking 
Water. ::s Both units then attempted to link up with Seventh Cav- 
alry troops who were chasing Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce 
band. They were unable to catch the Seventh so on September 27. 
the regiment backtracked to Fort Washakie. ; " 

Later, goldseekers came into the Big Horn Basin, although 
much of the land bordering the area had been set aside for the 
Crow Indians and the government had ordered settlers and miners 
to keep off the reservation."' 

Luther S. Kelly, a scout at Fort Keogh, 41 was sent to patrol the 
area. He wrote about a trip in July I878: 4 - 

Learning that there was a small camp of prospectors somewhere 
along the face of the mountain (Rattlesnake)) I rode up there ac- 
companied by one of the other men. It proved to be the tail end of 
what was known as the 'Whitmore stampede.' The story goes that 
years before, when it was not safe to travel in these mountains, a 
miner of that name had found a rich prospect; he had been compelled 
to leave, and when he returned with a strong party he could not find 
the place he had located. Now here he was again with a following 
from the Black Hills, miners, lawyers, even judges, eager for the 

:;s The Stinking Water was changed to "Shoshone" by the Wyoming legis- 
lature in 14U2. The Ruby River near the Tobacco Root mountains of 
Montana was once called the Stinkingwatei . Rollinson, Wyoming Cattle 
Trails, p. 13?. Montana's famous James Gemmell lived near Sheridan, 
Montana, between the river and the Tobacco Roots. The Oemmells and 
the McCullochs were related. 

"'Paul L. Hedren, ed., "Eben Swift's Army Service on the Plains." Annuls 
of Wyoming, Spring. 1978. p. 149. 

4 ""The Crow Reservation included all of that part of Montana lying 
south and east of the Yellowstone and west of the H)7th Meridian . . ." 
Mark H. Brown. The Plainsmen of the Yellowstone (New York: Putnam's. 
196 1 ). p. 336. The Montana-Wyoming line was the southern boundary. 

^'Although Robert A. Murray points out that a "scout" was defined by 
Act of Congress. July 28, 1866. as "an Indian . . .". it seems awkward to 
change the usage to any other word. Murray. "The John 'Portugee' Phillips 
Legend." Annals of Wyoming, April. 1968. p. 43. 

4 -It could be because of the possibility of a gold rush in that region that 
Victor Arland and John Corbett started a trade store up Trail Creek, not 
far from Whitmore's strike, in 1880. Business was poor at this location so 
in July. 1883. they moved down near the mouth of Cottonwood Creek. 
David J. Wasden. From Beaver to Oil (Cheyenne: Pioneer Printing, 1973). 
p. 215. 

; id 


— Courtesy of Ester Johansson Murray 

West side of the shed built on the Carter Ranch when McCulloch was 

foreman. The door on the opposite side of the shed bears 

the initials W.H. and L.W. 

quest. Whitmore, with two men. had gone in search of the find and 
the rest of the party remaining in camp awaiting their return. 

As the discovery prospect was manifestly off the Crow Reservation 
I did not see any reason for disturbing these people. 4:t 

The next year McCulloch and the Carter cattle came into the 
Basin and established the Carter ranch. 

The author visited the Carter Ranch area with old-timer Van 
Jernberg and his wife Maxine in July, 1978. Still standing is an 
original building now used as a storage shed. It is 18 by 20 feet, 
laid up ten large logs high with pole strips for caulking. One win- 
dow is on the north side and one on the west and the door faces 

,:f M. M. Ouaife, ed., Yellowstone Kelly: The Memoirs of Luther S. 
Kelly (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1926). pp. 216-217. Kelly 
further related that he came upon a prospector's camp in the draw between 
Heart Mountain and Rattlesnake Mountain. The greenhorns had camped 
in a ravine and a cloudburst and flash flood had sluiced away their supplies 
and left boulders strewn about their camp. 


east. It was very rewarding to find the initials "W. H." neatly 
carved high on the left door jamb. On the door itself are simple, 
knifed initials about two inches high, "W. H." and "L. W." These 
are most likely initials carved by Will Harvey, Peter's nephew, and 
Lew Wheeler, assistant range foreman. Will Harvey accompanied 
his uncle on several trips to the Stinking Water range. 

Another original Carter Compart) building is one that Bob Ed- 
gar brought down from Carter Mountain and reconstructed at his 
Old Trail Town west of Cody. It is a one room 20 x 14 feet. 
high-ceilinged cabin, known as the "W. A. Carter cabin." It was 
probably owned by men getting logs and timber from the forest, 
or by cowboys as an upper cow camp cabin. The cabin is built 
of very large logs, 14 to 20 inches in diameter. It has one door 
and on the opposite side only one small window, made by cutting 
about two feet out of two logs. With its high ceiling it has a fairly 
steep pitch to the roof, and the five roof beams are counterbal- 
anced and braced for withstanding the heavv snows. Eiuht large 

****?. y ~ 1 *! 

-Courtesy of Ester Johansson Murray 

The main barn on the Carter Ranch, the west side of which is shown here. 

may have been built before 1900. ll is the same type construction 

as the shed built in the 18X0s. 


logs are laid up on the sides and eleven logs on the gable ends. 
The floor is strongly constructed with huge log floor joists of a 
type unusual to find in a cabin. 

At the time McCulloch came into the area there were a great 
many grizzly bears around. It took strong walls to keep a grizzly 
out of a cabin. There were also Shoshone and Crow Indians wan- 
dering in and out of their hunting territory. Such a cabin would 
help keep out unwanted visitors. 

There were a great many newspapers and magazines under the 
cabin floor when the cabin was dismantled. Among them was a 
copy of Field and Forest published in 1878. 

Apparently, McCulloch made frequent trips between Fort 
Bridger and the Carter operation on the Stinking Water. The 
recollections of W. H. Harvey tiive a «ood description of one trip 
made in 188 1. 44 

On May 13, 1881, McCulloch and his two nephews, W. H. and 
Robert Harvey, loaded a Bain wagon 4 " 1 with a year's supply of 
clothing, a mower, hay rake, and plow and set out for the return 
trip to what was already known as the Carter ranch on the Stinking 
Water. They stopped in Lander to get some vegetable seeds and 
seed potatoes that McCulloch wanted for a garden. 4 " 

At Fort Washakie a man from the Carter ranch met them. He 
brought a heavy wagon and three yoke of oxen, sometimes called 
work cattle, which were used as much as horses or mules for 
freighting at that time. 

J. K. Moore, the post trader at Fort Washakie, was out of flour 
so W. H. Harvey went back to Lander for a load of flour, delaying 
their departure for three days. It was 150 miles to the ranch and 
Fort Washakie was the nearest post office. 47 

A letter written later that same year by McCulloch to Judge 
Carter under the heading of "Stinking Water Basin" tells about 

1 'Rollinson. Wyoming Cattle Trails, p. 202. 

'■"•"Bain was one of the manufacturers of wagons of that period, like 
Studehaker. Mitchell, etc. The name was stenciled somewhere on the box. 
If you owned a Bain, it was a good one." Letter. Nick Eggenhofer to 
author. Dec. 12. 1978. Eggenhofer is author of Wagons, Mutes and Men: 
How the Frontier Moved West (New York: Hastings House, 1961 ). 

4,i It was recorded that he had a very good garden. McCulloch was an 
avid gardener all his life. 

'"Rollinson, Wyoming Cattle Trails, pp. 202-203. 

peter Mcculloch in the big horn basin 113 

some of the problems associated with ranching in the 1880s. The 
letter is dated December 14. 1881. 4S 

Dear Judge 

Thinking it might interest you to hear how matter is here and feel- 
ing some anxiety myself to hear from the outside world have con- 
cluded to start a man to Washakie tomorrow morning for mail and a 
few little articles we need. I wrote to you last month when Belknap 
went out. 

Curiously, his reason for writing Carter was that he felt some 
"anxiety" to hear from the outside world. The anxiety may have 
been caused by the fact that Judge Carter had died a month earlier. 
November 7, 1881, from pleurisy and/or pneumonia, and no word 
had yet reached his foreman in northern Wyoming. 4 " 

Captain Belknap, a mutual friend, had settled seven miles far- 
ther up the Southfork of the Stinking Water on Belknap Creek. 
The Captain*s summer cow camp across the river and farther up- 
stream was known as the "T E Ranch" and was later sold to 
Colonel Cody. 

The letter was to be sent to Fort Washakie by courier — an 
employee of the ranch. Another source of mail delivery might 
have been John W. (Josh) Deane who had started a private mail 
route in the Big Horn Basin in the late 1870s. Deane carried the 
mail between Fort Washakie and Stillwater, Montana. Over the 
years mail service improved and in 1884, A. J. Reese had a con- 
tract to carry mail twice a week from Fort Washakie to Meeteetse. 
this being an extension o\ the Rawlins line to Fort Washakie. 
Reese, in turn, subleased the route to Leonard Short and Finn 
McCoy for $3,785 per year for a period of four years."'" In 1887. 
Al Bell started a stage line between Red Lodge, Montana, and 
Meeteetse, Wyoming. It was an important transportation link until 
1401. when the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad built a 
spur line from Toluca, Montana, to Cody, Wyoming. 

The first post office in the Basin was '"Frank" which began 
operation on April 6, 1882. The name was changed to "Franc" 
on September 15 and on June 14. 1883. the post office was 

IK The letter was loaned by Pauline McCulloch, Mountain View. Wyo- 
ming. She gives the history of the letter: "The original was found in the 
officer's quarters at Fort Bridget' in 1433. A woman from Ogden picked it 
up for a souvenir. She showed it to Lyle Harvey in Ogden. and when she 
learned he was McCulloch's nephew, she gave it to him. He passed it on 
to Lou McCulloch who then passed it on to Henry McCulloch ( Peter's 
son known as Uncle Cap) who had it for many years. Henry gave it to 
Pauline before he died and she returned the original to Lou in Mountain 

4 ''Edith Keller said her mother. Peter's daughter Mary, also seemed to 
have this type of extrasensory perception. 

"'"Wasden, From Beaver to Oil. p. 225. 


charmed to Meeteetse. Arland post office was started November 
10, 1885, S1 

The rest of the McCulloch letter to Carter in 1881 consists of a 
business report. 

About that time we had a short spell of bad weather but since that 
time we have had very good weather. The country is clear of snow 
and the stock is looking very well. I mentioned in my last letter 
about some calves dying with black leg. Was in hopes at that time 
it had stopped but it still lingers in the herd yet but not to an alarming 
extent. Have seen six head died since last time I wrote. 1 am very 
sorr\ to see any of them dying but cannot prevent it — The number of 
cattle belonging to you that I have counted this season on the range 
from one year old upward — including the Bulls delivered here in Oc- 
tober is 2568 and the number of calves Branded this Season 925. 
making the total number 3493— 

The 26 per cent increase in the size of the herd that year was 
not outstanding. Even though he asked for more cattle the next 
spring, the second herd was not driven north until 1883. 

McCulloch then described the Carter Ranch: 

I have built a good stable, 20 x 40 feet and a horse corral and hay 
yard and now I am building a wagon shed and making posts to fence 
hay meadows. I intend to move the corrall that I first built and make 
it larger and connect it with the meadow fence in that way the mate- 
rial will make a much larger corrall and have the meadow fence for a 
wing making it convenient to corrall wild cattle, perhaps you will ask 
why I did not remain at the old place and add the improvements I am 
making to what was already there. Will answer by saying where the 
old place stands there is not enough room to make such improve- 
ments, no hay land convenient and poor water in the spring no place 
near by to picket a horse. Up here at the new place it is different, 
a good meadow about 400 yds from the house good water at all times 
good place to picket horses in all directions from the house a good 
body of fine land convenient to the house, it is just the place where 
most any person looking for a good place to locate in this Basin 
would have picked on — 

I keep one team hauling timber from the mountain every day have 
not been able to haul much hay yet on account of the rivers they are 
partially frozen over which makes them bad to cross. As soon as 
they close over solid I intend to pitch in and haul it all and have 
done with it. 

I think I have enough provisions on hand with the exceptions of a 
few small articles to run the ranch until the first of next June, the 
man I had working here two months in the fall had some grub he 
wanted to sell when he left here. 280 lb flour and some coffee and 
sugar and a number of other small articles in the grub line so I 
bought all he had so that helps out a good deal. I want to run the 
ranch and the herd as economical as I possibly can. 1 have run it 
this season with less men and horses according to the number of cattle 
than any other herd in this country and I think have done the work 

•"'' Daniel Y. Meschter, Wyoming Territorial and Pre-Territorial Post Of- 
fices (Rawlins: The Stationers, 1971), pp. 8. 11, 14. 

peter Mcculloch in the big horn basin 115 

as thoroughly and will try and do so as long as I remain here in 
charge. I hope you will Iry and gel more cattle in here as early as 
possible next spring, give my regards to Mr. Hamilton and all the old 
friends, hoping this may find you and family all well. 

I remain. 

Yours Respectfully. 

Peter McCulloch 

McCulloch's dedication to his work illustrates a typical Scottish 
trait. Edward Everett Dale gives much credit to the Scots. "It 
was largely through the efforts of the Scots that the Great Plains 
area eventually came to have cattle immeasurably superior to those 
of most other parts of the United States. Most important of all, 
perhaps, they brought to the cattlemen's empire of grass rare busi- 
ness abilit\. thrift, foresight and sound judgement . . .""'- 

The financial rewards he received can best be illustrated by an 
entry from a Carter ledger dated January 21. 1881: 

Sundries to Peter McCulloch 90167 

Herd Acct.. feeding cattle on Willow Creek. 

Jan. to March 1879. 100.00 
17 head of cattle (branded in Spring '80 1 

(a 15.00 355.00 

Expense work at Ft. Bridger, from 

June 10 to August 10. 1880. 40.00 

Oats raised in 1879. 40.00 80.00 

Hav Acct.. work in hay field from Aug. 10. 

to Oct. 29. 1880; 2 mos 20 days (q 60.00. 


board of men in havfield. aggregating 

1? mos. 19 days. @ 20.00. *" 272.67 432.67 

Wood Acct.. work from Oct. 24 to Nov. 15. 

1880, 17 days u i $60.00 a month 34.00™ 

From this account it appears that when he was on the payroll 
his regular monthly salary was $60, which was $20 more than 
cowboys were paid at this time. However, payment to him varied 
according to different contracts and jobs. 

The Carter ranch, which was established b\ McCulloch. has 
had several owners. W. A. Carter, the judge's son. wrote about 
the Carter company : 

The Carter Cattle Co.. was organized in 1885. and my mother 
transferred to it all of the cattle in both herds, and divided the shares 
of stock in the company among all of her children. I was made nun- 

•'-Edward Everett Hale. Cow Country (Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Press. 1945). p. 105. 

■""William Alexander Carter Papers. Accounts, v. 14 (Day Book. Aug. I. 
1880 to Dec. 1884). Bancroft Library. University of California. Berkeley . 


ager of ihe Company. When the company was formed we adopted 
the bug brar.d. placed on the left side."' 4 

As far back as July of 1885, Colonel William F. Cody obtained 
a territorial permit for 2.88 cubic feet of water for 202 acres, from 
the Carter-Groshon Ditch. The headgate was located on Carter 
Creek. Sec. 24. T. 51, R. 103. 

On April 16, 1894, Maurice Groshon and Lulie (Lucy) Carter 
Groshon sold back the 640 acres and water rights of the Carter 
Ranch to Mary E. Carter, Judge Carter's widow. It is recorded 
that on November 21, 1900, William F. Cody bought the water 
deed for part of Sec. 1 1 , 12, 1 3, and 14, T. 5 1, N. of Range 103, 
for 640 acres. On the 20th October, 1909, William F. Cody paid 
$3000 to Maurice Groshon et u.x for a warranty deed to the 640 
acres described above. 

Cody sold the Carter Ranch to William Robertson Coe in 1911. 
The ranch is presently owned by H. L. Hunt Oil Company, a 
Texas corporation. 

The property had been in Sweetwater County in 1 879, then 
Fremont, Big Horn and finally. Park County."'"' 

In the brand designation for the Carter Cattle Company in the 
1885 Brand book of the Wyoming Stock Grower's Association, it 
states that W. A. Carter was the General Manager. He became 
manager after the reorganization of the company following his 
father's death. The post office address was given as Fort Bridger. 
Uinta County, Wyoming. Two herds are listed, the Uinta Herd 
and the Shoshone River Herd. 

The range for the Shoshone river herd was given as the "Sho- 
shone or Stinking Water river and tributaries east of Yellowstone 
Park. Peter McCulloch, foreman. P.O. Address, Meeteetse, 
Sweetwater Co., Wyoming." 

All Carter cattle brands before roundup in the spring of 1884 
were cross on the left hip, cross on left upper leg, and C on left 

jaw. After 1884 their new brand was the "bug" /Sl< 

on the left side. Horses were branded in any of three ways: cross 
on left shoulder; C on left jaw; or bug on left thigh. 

■~ ,4 Rollinson, Wyoming Cattle Trails, p. 305. John Dyer brought the second 
herd north in 1883. It consisted of 2000 head. The third and last cattle 
drive of Carter cattle was in 1884. when Peter McCulloch brought 4000 
head into the Stinking Water range. This would technically be considered 
two herds. There were heavy losses in the winter of 1884-1885. 

r, "'When Sweetwater County was called Carter County. South Pass City 
was the county seat. From 1864 to 1868 the southwest corner of Wyoming, 
(what is now Uinta County) was part of Green River County, Utah. With 
Judge Carter's influence in Washington. D. C, it became part of Wyoming. 
Carter should be given credit for making Wyoming a square state. 


There isn't much information available about MeCulloch during 
the years 1881 until he left the area in 1896. It is known that his 
wife Margaret made moves baek and forth between Iowa and Fort 
Bridger during that period. 

Margaret MeCulloeh's first two children were born at Fort 
Bridger, but the third child was born in Muscatine, Iowa, in April. 
1877. The next two children were born at the ranch on Willow 
Creek, south of Fort Bridger, the first in March, 1879. the second 
in March, 1881. In 1881 when Peter went into the Stinking Water 
area for a year, Margaret moved to Iowa, probably to Villisca, 
where they were buying property. However, she was back in 
Wyoming Territory when her last son was born at Smith's Fork 
in August, 1883. :, ' ; Her final move to Iowa was sometime before 

A handwritten deed records that on September 10. 1881. the 
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad sold to Peter MeCul- 
lough [sic] and Robert Gemmell. 160 acres of land in Montgom- 
ery County, Iowa, for which the buyers paid $1600."'' Robert 
Gemmell was Peter's brother-in-law and a relative (most likely 
the son) of the famous James Gemmell mentioned earlier in this 

In 1882 the Northern Pacific Railroad reached Huntley, Mon- 
tana, and the Carter cattle were the first to be loaded out of the 
new stock yards by Peter MeCulloch. :,s This was Old Huntley on 
the north bank of the Yellowstone about a mile upstream from the 
present town."' !l Huntley had been a post office on the Yellowstone 
valley stage route since November 16. 1877. Many cattle drives 
were made to the Northern Pacific until closer rail service reached 
the Big Horn Basin. 

A reference to Peter MeCulloch is found in the diary of William 
Alford Richards, a surveyor who was looking for a place in the 
Big Horn Basin to build an irrigation ditch off the Big Horn River. 
(Richards later became governor of Wyoming, serving from 1885 
to 1889.) In his entry for November 9, 1884. Richards was 
camped at the Kirby cabin on Kirby Creek. This is a tributary 
of the Big Horn River that runs into it from the southeast corner 
of the Big Horn Basin. The Kirby Creek route was a southeast 
entrance to the Big Horn Basin first pioneered by Jim Bridger. 

•"''•The MeCulloch children were: Mary Ellen, Nov. 11, 1872; Louis 
Robert. Sept. 26. 1875: Douglas Harvev. April 11. 1877; Fredrick Sinclair. 
March 4. 1879; Charles Edgar. March 15. 1881: Henrv Belknap (called 
"Cap"). August 28, 1883. 

" ,T Margaret Matson has the original deed. Margaret's mother was a 

■"'^Interview, Edith Keller. 

•"•''Edith Keller, "Peter MeCulloch." Sod 'n'Seed Tumbleweed, Huntley 
Project History Committee, n.d. 


Richards wrote in his diary, "Able and I went up to Kirby 5 
miles. Dry, hard looking country. Not what 1 am looking for. 
Returned to camp. Mr. McCulloch, a cattleman from west stayed 
with us. Nov. 10, 1884. McCulloch went up creek. We went 
down . . .""" 

It is unclear whether McCulloch was scouting for cattle or on 
his way to Fort Bridger. By 1884, the road from Fort Bridger to 
Meeteetse had been greatly improved. The route from Fort Wash- 
akie that crossed the Owl Creek mountains at Merritt Pass, crossed 
the South Fork of Owl Creek at the Embar Ranch, Grass Creek 
at the LU ranch and Gooseberry Creek at the McDonald ranch 
was designated a county road by Fremont County in 1884. 

Victor Arland and John Corbett who had started their little 
store up Trail Creek in 1880, in July, 1883, moved it down on 
Cottonwood Creek. In March of 1884, they moved over on 
Meeteetse Creek where most of the cattle activity was.' 11 It was 
during the winter of 1884-1885, which was a hard one in northern 
Wyoming, that Arland estimated cattle losses of 10-15 percent. 02 

Arland estimated there were 30,000 head of cattle between the 
Stinking Water and the Greybull river and fifteen cattle outfits, so 
the stock business had mushroomed in just five years. It was 
during these years that McCulloch was acclaimed "King of the 

Sometime before 1886, McCulloch must have taken up a home- 
stead on the South Fork of Owl Creek, because in 1 886 McCulloch 
sold his water rights to the Embar Cattle Company. 6S 

McCulloch needed a capable crew to take care of the 7500 
cattle they were running in the Stinking Water area in 1886." 4 

It took a great many horses for a crew of cowboys to take a 
small herd of horses from Fort Bridger to the Carter Ranch. In 
1887, Peter hired his nephew W. H. Harvey (his sister Agnes' 
son ) and Bill Smalley to help him drive the horses from Fort 
Bridger north. It took seven days to get to Lander where they 
stopped for three days to get some horses shod. Six more days 
on the trail and they reached the ranch. "We rode all day hard 
and took turns on night herding the horses."""' 

By 1887 many ranches were running cattle in the Big Horn 
Basin. Among the bigger operators were Otto Franc (Pitchfork). 
Belknap. Johnson, Ashworth, and Lovell. Roundups were care- 

i; "Frison. Calendar of Change, pp. 105, 109. 
,;1 Wusden, From Beaver to Oil, p. 215. 

"-Bob Edgar and Jack Turnell, Brand of a Legend, (Cody: Stockade 
Publishing, 1978), p. 51. 

" :i Frison. Calendar of Change, p. 313. 
,;4 Wasden, From Beaver to Oil, p. 112. 
"■"'Rollinson, Wyoming Cattle Trails, p. 204. 


fully supervised and set up by tlic Board of Live Stock Commis- 
sioners of Wyoming. B\ 1891, there were thirty-eight districts. 
Each district was under a roundup foreman or "commissioner." 
The upper Greybull and Stinking Water tributaries were in District 
16, and the order of time and place of the roundup was carefully 
scheduled. Otto Franc was often roundup foreman, sometimes for 
District 20 and, in I 89 1 , for District I 6."" 

After the fall roundup of 1887, the Carter cattle to be shipped 
were cut out and McCulloch began driving them to Huntley. Mon- 
tana, as they had been doing since 1882, to ship on the Northern 

After they had been moving the cattle northward for two days, 
a rider met them with a telegram for McCulloch from "Willie" 
Carter with orders to drive the beef herd to Rock River ( west of 
Laramie ) and ship the cattle on the Union Pacific." 7 

This change of plans disgruntled some of the men who refused 
to turn around and McCulloch had a hard time getting a sufficient 
crew. A promise of extra pay encouraged one man to stay on, 
so he and W. H. Harvey did all the night herding. 

They made about ten miles a day. When they were in the 
vicinity of Independence Rock on the Sweetwater they hit rain and 
sought shelter at a ranch owned by a man named Averill and his 
"wife." They asked Mrs. Averill if they could throw their beds 
down in a large shed near the house. She said, "No, you boys 
come right in. No cowboy is going to sleep in a cowshed while 
we have a house.""'' 

The Carter cowboys were given hot coffee and good meals. 
The Averills kept a supplv of groceries and McCulloch bought all 
they could spare. Averill and his companion, who was known as 
"Cattle Kate," were hanged as cattle thieves two years later on Julv 
20, 1889. near Independence Rock. 

McCulloch never lost his Gaelic accent and loved Scottish music 
and songs. Perhaps while crossing these Wyoming plains the men 
sang this old cowboy song called "Short Grass and Heather." 

I was horn and bred in Scotland 
And I love its glens and cairns 
Though I alone have left it 
Of all my mother's bairns. 
Yes. I left its rugged mountains 
And its lakes like shiny glass 

""Robert B. David. Malcolm Campbell. Sheriff (Casper: Wyomingana. 
Inc., 1932), p. 142. 

"'Telegraph lines were built along many main stage routes after the 1861 
transcontinental telegraph line. This telegram probably was sent by mes- 
senger from Billings, Montana. 

RS Rollinson. Wyoming Cattle Trails, pp. 205-20h. 


To seek for fame and fortune 

In a land of sky and grass. 

Each day I ride the prairies wide 

In every kind of weather. 

But in my dreams it often seems 

I'm hack amid the heather. 

Scottish riders. ,,!l 

A few more days of riding after leaving the Averills and they 
arrived at Rock River. Over a thousand head of large steers were 
loaded on November 8 and 9, 1887, and the cattle were sent to 
Carter's feedlots at Richland, in east-central Nebraska, about 60 
miles from Omaha. 

The winter of 1886-1887 hit northern Wyoming the hardest. 
"Willie" Carter is quoted in Wyoming Cattle Trail': "We lost the 
greater part of our herd there in the winter of 1886-87 . . . The 
remnants of the Stinking Water herd were sold by 1889, to John 
M. Holt." Holt had a ranch on the Powder River and lived in 
Miles City, Montana. Otto Franc wrote in his diary about the 
blizzards and freezing cattle. He noted for February 4, 1887: 
"Crow Indians call and dig out the guts and heads of frozen 
cows." 7 " 

Peter's granddaughters remember their grandfather talking 
about working for Captain Henry Belknap and mentioning the T E 
ranch on the Southfork of the Stinking Water. Peter admired 
Belknap and named his last son, who was born in 1883, Henry 
Belknap. Captain Henry Belknap was associated with early-day 
Billings real estate. He owned what was called the Belknap Block 
on the northeast corner of 28th Street and Montana Avenue, which 
housed the Billings Club, the Belknap Hotel and Belknap Grill. 71 

At least six notations in the Otto Franc diary for 1889 refer to 
Pete McCulloch which leads one to believe that he might at that 
time have been employed by S. A. Wilson and the YU Ranch, 
down the Greybull River from Meeteetse. "Pete calls and stops 
overnight, August 3, 1889 . . . Pete McCulloch and Tompkins 

'"'Hale, Coir Country, p. 88. 

""Original diaries of Otto Franc in the Buffalo Bill Historical Center 

7l When Billings first became a town in 1883. they tried for artesian 
water, unsuccessfully digging a well nearly a 1000 feet deep. In 1885. the 
Billings Water and Power Company was formed with Henry Belknap, Pres- 
ident, and W. J. Rowley. Secretary-Treasurer. By 1886 they had a pro- 
ducing plant with water for use and advertised, "Night and Day current for 
Lighting and Power purposes." Billings was the first city using electricity 
for power in the United States. This information was given by John 
Voelker of Billings Public Utility Department, 2251 Belknap Avenue, Bil- 
lings, Montana. In the Billings City Directory for 1901. it lists Belknap as 
president of the Billings Water and Power Company, and his residence as 
St. Augustine. Florida. He is not listed in subsequent directories. 

pfifr Mcculloch in the big horn basin 121 

come to stay overnight, August 3, L 889 . . . Joe Cline and Pete 
come with some cattle from Stinking Water Basin roundup and 
stay overnight. Nov. 23. 1SX9 . . . S. A. Wilson and P. McCulloch 
pass and get dinner, Dec. 13, L889 ... P. McCulloch calls and 
bids goodbye, he is not coming back again, Dec. 15. 1889." 

Although Pete bid his friends goodbye and said he wasn't going 
to return, he was back a little over a \ear later because Otto Franc 
has the following notations in his diary: 'Afar. 9, I X 1 ' I . McCul- 
loch conies to stay over night and go with us to the Stock Meet- 
ing . . . Mar. 11, I S9 1 . McCulloch stops overnight on his way 
home from the Stock Meeting . . . April 25. 1891, P. McCulloch 
calls and stays overnight . . . May 6, I N 1 ) 1 . McCulloch stops 

There was a lot of rain that year and Otto Franc noted the 
"grass is beautiful" and "splendid." 

Another McCulloch letter is a \er\ interesting one which he 
wrote to his nephew Will Harvey of Fort Bridger. 

Arland, Wyoming Oct. 29, 1891 

Dear Will 

Yours of the 18th inst. received today. Was glad to hear 
that you were all well. I just got hack yesterday evening from a long 
and tedious nip. I left here the 2nd of Aug. with a herd of cattle 
and drove to within 30 miles of Medora on the Little Missouri the 
distance is upwards of 400 miles. "I hal is the finest grass countrj 1 
ever saw. Beeves shipped from that country always hung a high price 
in the market. There has been some shipped from there this year 
that sold for 6 cents and the lowest was 3 ■ 2 . there is a good demand 
for young steers in that country, there is a speculation in buying [s & 
2 s & 3 s . and driving them in to that country (how much can I s & 2 s 
be bought for around Bridger? and how many do you suppose could 
be bought around there.') 

1 believe there could be some Horses traded for cattle in ihis coun- 
try. I think some of Driving up here next spring . . I think they could 
be disposed of on Grey Bull . . . There has been a rich mineral strike 
made on Wood River. Jim Gemmell is up there now. he and And> 
Chapman intend to work there all winter I think there will be a big 
rush in there next spring. 

We are having fine weather here now. I have some Range work 
to do yet and hope the weather will continue tine for a lew weeks; 
Will Gemmell 7 - has been with me since last April. 1 think he has 
got nearly all the cow punching he wants lor awhile, he never knew 
what hard work was before. Night-guard went hard with him. I 
expect to gather the remainder of the Wilson cattle next spring and 
drive them to the Little Missouri. As soon as I finish work here this 
Fall I intend to go home for awhile. 1 just learned a short lime since 
that you are a happy Father. Accept congratulations. 

Have you any idea of how many horses there is in my hunch exclu- 
sive of the share that belongs to you boys and about how many cattle. 
In case I could buy some steers there next spring. I would drive what 

"-Will and Jim Gemmell are probably sons of Montana's famous James 
Gemmell, who probably knew fellow Scotsman McCulloch at Fort Bridget". 


cattle I have with them. I think there is too many sheep in the 
Bridger Country ever to be a Beef Country again. If the people there 
do not set too high figures on their steers, I can get money enough to 
buy all the young steers in that country. Write soon and give me the 
Prices. Hope you are all well. My regards to all. 

Your uncle, 

P. McCulloch- 1 

The letter is evidence that Big Horn Basin cattle were driven to 
the Medora area on the Missouri. Mingusville, Montana, (later 
Wibaux ) was a shipping point on the Northern Pacific thirty miles 
west of Medora, and perhaps the cattle were shipped from there 
as it was cheaper to trail cattle than to rail ship them. 74 It was 
a tedious trip, 800 horseback miles from August 2 to October 
28. fighting heat and dust, cloudbursts, electrical storms and 

The Otto Franc diary settled a puzzling question of whether the 
cattle were trailed north through Pryor Gap and down the Yellow- 
stone, or over the Bridger route, up Kirby Creek, over Bridger 
Pass and down Bridger Creek, then down the Powder River. The 
S. A. Wilson cattle were known as the YU herd. On July 25, 
1891, Otto Franc wrote. "The YU herd comes past on its way 
to Powder River . . . July 29, 1891, Dave returns from Grass 
Creek where he has been looking through the YU herd and taking 
out the strays." 

Theodore Roosevelt wrote that when he traveled from his Elk 
Horn ranch near Medora, to the Big Horns in 1884, following the 
Fort Keogh Trail part of the way, the Fort Keogh Trail con- 
nected Bismarck with Miles City and "the route was marked by a 
line of mounds of earth with a cedar post set in the center of each 
mound to which a piece of canvas was attached." 7 '' 

Theodore Roosevelt complained of the difficulty of finding the 
way until he met a herd of cattle from the Big Horn country mov- 
ing eastward. It was easy to backtrail them. 7 " 

The rich mineral strike mentioned in the letter is described in 
the Edgar-Turnell book: "During the summer of 1891, on Spar 
Mountain, at the head of Wood River, William Kirwin and Harry 
Adams were busy staking and filing gold claims. On September 7, 

" :; ln 1X91 Will Harvey taught the first Fort Bridger area country school 
three miles east of Mountain View, according to Shurtleff, Bridger Country. 
Wyoming's first school was at Fort Laramie in 1 852. Carter built the first 
school house in Wyoming at Fort Bridger in I860. Mary McCulloch start- 
ed school in it. 

7 'Herman Hagedorn. Roosevelt in the Bad Lauds. (New York: Hough- 
ton Mifflin Co., 1921), p. 242. 

"•"Irene Jones, Trails Along Beaver Creek. (Wibaux, Montana: Wibaux 
Pioneer Gazette. 1976), p. 53. 

" i; Carleton Putnam. Theodore Roosevelt. (New York: Charles Scribner's 
Sons. 1958). p. 474. 


1891, they and sixteen others formed the Wood River Mining 
District. The news of the discovery soon attracted more eager 
prospectors and investors into the region. " 7T 

James Gemmell emigrated from Ayreshire, Scotland to Canada, 
and participated in the Canadian rebellion of 1837. for which he 
was tried and found guilty. He was sent to Newgate Prison in 
London where prominent Americans interceded for him and his 
death sentence was softened to lifetime penal servitude in Austra- 
lia. American seamen helped him to escape from there and he 
worked his way back to Massachusetts on a whaling vessel. He 
went west in 1843 and joined Jim Bridger in a trading and scouting 
trip in 1 846. Later he worked for Brigham Young and after 
falling out with him, settled down in Madison County, Montana, 
where died on March 6, I SSI, at the age of sixty-six. He was 
said to have had twenty -one children. 7s 

Andy Chapman is also mentioned in his letter. The Chapmans 
came into the Pat O'Hara country and Andy took up a homestead 
on Trout Creek on the Northfork. He grazed his cattle between 
the Northfork and the Southfork of the Stinking Water. The area 
called Lake View, north of the Carter Ranch, before the building 
of the irrigation ditch was known as the Chapman Lease. 71 ' And\ 
Chapman had a bull raising operation in this area. 

McCulloch wrote that he expected to gather the remainder of 
the Wilson cattle in the spring of 1892, and drive them to the Little 
Missouri. No information exists as to whether he made that trip. 

He asked his nephew how many horses and cattle he had at 
Fort Bridger. At one time he had 100 head of horses and a 

small herd of cattle. His brand was called the Cornice fTT" 

which he put on the left shoulder. Judge Carter helped him design 
this brand. He used a "6" brand on horses. 1 "" 

Two more notations in Otto Franc's diary give a clue as to what 
McCulloch was doing: "Dec. IS, 1891, P. McCulloch stops over- 
night on his way East . . . Dec. 19, 1891, McCulloch leaves on his 
way East." 

Like the bluebirds in the spring. Pete returned: "March 29. 

1892, P. McCulloch stops overnight. Bluebirds have been here 
for several days." 

The next two letters were written bv McCulloch from Villisca, 

7 ' Edgar and Turnell. Brand of it Legend, p. 7 I . 

7s William Wheeler, "The Late James Gemmell," Historical Societv of 
Montana, Vol. II, pp. 331-336. 

'■'Interview with Van Jernberg, July. 1978. 

s "Lou McCulloch told Pauline McCulloch there were only two horses 
found with Peter's brand, and no cattle, letter from Pauline McCulloch. 
Feb. 1979. 


Iowa, to his nephew Will Harvey at Fort Bridger. They indicate 
his farming and stock raising there were taking a greater share of 
his interests and time. However, he stated on his Declaration for 
Pension, that his residence from 1879 to 1896 was Arland and 
Meeteetse, Wyoming. Arland died out in 1896. In his 1893 
letter he stated he was planning to leave March 20 for Arland. 
He wrote about the probability of a railroad being built through 
the Big Horn Basin. The Burlington Railroad built a branch line 
from the Yellowstone Valley via Toluca to Cody in 1901. By 
1906 the Burlington line ran from Laurei, Montana, via the Clarks 
Fork valley and the Big Horn valley southward to Greybull. 

Villisca, la. Mar. 12th 1X93 
Dear Will 

Your letter of Feb 22 was received some time ago and 
read with pleasure, was glad to hear that you were all well. 1 hope 
your winter has left you and your stock in good shape. 

The winter seems to have left this country and we are now 
having fine weather. My stock is mostly in fair shape and I have yet 
a little hay on hand so I do not think there is much danger of loosing 
any now. I just purchased a Thorough hred short horn Bull and am 
going to try to raise some good cattle. 

Well. Will. I do not know how times is going to be in 
Northern Wyo. this year. That country is being rapidly settled up 
and I expect that will affect wages for most all kinds of labor. There 
is a probability of a Rail Road being built through the Big Horn Basin 
this season in that event it would make things more lively. 1 expect 
to leave here the 20th for Arland. when I get there I will let you 
know what the prospects are. I think likely I have the memoranda — 
you gave me. will hunt it up when convenient — and send it to you. 
My kindest regards and best wishes to all your Folks. Accept same 

Your uncle 
P. McCulloch 

MeCulloch then did not go via Fort Bridger but probably trav- 
eled to Billings and Red Lodge and then by stage from Red Lodge 
to Arland. It is possible that he was working for Belknap at this 
time as Belknap cattle were running in the Sage Creek Basin. 

Another entry in Otto Franc's diary reads: "April 7, 1893, 
McCulloch calls and we arrange the roundup." 

The last letter from McCulloch to his nephew discusses politics 
and prices: 

Villisca. la. Nov. 8th 1896 

Wm. H. Harvey, Esq. 
Fort Bridger Wyo 

Dear Will 

Your welcome letter of the 5th inst. was received with check en- 
closed for which 1 am thankful. Was glad to hear that you were all 

The election is over and I am well satisfied with the result. I be- 
lieve business will revive and times will improve now very soon., the 
Cleaveland administration has been very hard on all kinds of business 
and occupations, but. I believe a Bryan administration would have 
been still more disastrous. 


Iowa has a great crop of corn this year but the price is very low. 
17 cts per bushel, and hog-, are worth about 3 cis. cattle are the only 
stock that keeps up a fair price., horses are very low and no demand. 
I wrote to George some time ago to enquire if I could pick up a car 
load of yearling steers in your neighborhood but did not get a reply. 
George wrote me before that, stating that yearling steers were selling 
for $12 per head. I did intend coming out for a car load if they 
could be picked up conveniently. Jim Gourley told me there was 
some parties in there buying when he was there. I expect they have 
all been picked up by this time. Give my best wishes to all the folks. 
Kind regards to yourself and Family. This leaves us all well, and 
1 hope it may find you all the same 

Your Uncle 

P. McCulloch 

Republican William McKinley defeated the Democratic eandi- 
date William Jennings Bryan in the 1X96 election. This was a 
satisfying election result for McCulloch who was a staunch Repub- 
lican all his life.*' 

Benton. Iowa, is about 40 miles from Villisca. and a page from 
the Carter ledger for May 2, 18X7, is titled "Benton Beef Feeding 
to P. McCulloch." The account expenses totalled $7,710.76. Of 
this amount "P. McCulloch paid Benton Feeding $245.50 for sales 
of wire." s - 

From yvorking on the range, McCullough had become more 
involved in his own farm and stock raising operations and 
his connections with the Carter Company were mainly feed lot 

In 1896 McCulloch's connection w i t h the Stinking Water Basin 
came to an end. 

While the McCullochs were living in Villisca. Iowa, their only 
daughter. Mary Ellen, married Morgan Horton in 1894. In 1906. 
the Hortons and the McCullochs moved to Erie, a small town in 
southeastern Kansas. The Hortons had eight children, and, three 
weeks after the father died of typhoid fever, the last baby was 
born. Peter McCulloch felt a great responsibility to provide for 
these eight fatherless grandchildren, of whom he was very proud. 

After an unsuccessful four-year financial battle in drought- 
stricken Kansas, and after Morgan Horton's death, the family 
decided to move out West and take up homesteads under the new 
government Huntley irrigation project. They chose the Worden 
area. They loaded emigrant railroad cars with household furni- 
ture and livestock and left Erie, Kansas, on the Atchison. Topeka 
and Santa Fe railroad, later transferring to the Northern Pacific, 
arriving in Billings on March 10, 19 10. The Belknap Hotel had 
no vacancies so the women and children spent a week in the Carlin 

SI Edith Keller interview. 

N2 W. A. Carter Collection. Wyoming State Archives and Historical 


Hotel while final papers and arrangements were completed for the 
move to their new farms at Worden. Peter's son Fred accompa- 
nied the group West. 

The family's money was deposited in the old First National 
Bank on Minnesota Avenue, P. B. Moss, President. s:; The bank, 
however, went broke in the 1910 financial crisis and they lost all 
their deposits. 

Plans went forward and frame buildings were added to original 
log homesteads and the children started at a rural school called 
Riverside in the fall. The first teacher was a Mr. McDaniel. For 
discipline he used a rope with knots tied in it to hit the children. 
The Horton children, not having a father, were especially vulner- 
able until their Uncle Cap intervened. 

Daughter Edith lived with her grandparents in Iowa, Kansas 
and at Worden. The McCullochs lived briefly from March 1917, 
to about 1918, at Wilsall, Montana. They moved back to Worden 
mainly because Edith's high school courses were disrupted by the 

Edith described her grandfather: "He was a tall man, about 5 
feet 10 inches, weighing about 185 pounds. He had a mustache 
and a small goatee, blue eyes and dark brown hair which turned 
grey in later years. He used a cane when rheumatism set in." 

From 1915 to 1925, many neighbor children and grandchildren, 
(who at this writing are senior citizens), fondly remember the 
aging Peter and his lovely, neat and fastidious wife, Margaret. 
Edith, who loved her grandmother dearly, said she was as tall and 
stately as a queen. 

Another granddaughter, Helen McCulloch Gonder of Missoula 

Grandpa loved his oatmeal for breakfast and he had a certain cereal 
bowl that 1 liked which has a message in the bottom that could be 
read if one ate all the oatmeal. It said, "There's mere i' the kitchen." 
He played Scottish records on the old Victor phonograph. There was 
"I love a Lassie" and "There's a Wee Hewse Man the Heather." He 
had an accent just about like the popular singer. Harry Lauder. 

Grace Kirch said, "He loved to sing along with the Harry 
Lauder records." 

Lucille Baird Robinson, when she was a little girl, was a neigh- 
bor of the McCullochs. She said that Peter had all the Harry 
Lauder and John McCormick records he could get and used to 
listen to those Scotch jokes and laugh heartily, enjoying them each 
time he heard them. 

Lucille said one story he told the children that she liked most 

S3 P. B. Moss became president of the Billings Water and Power Co., after 
Henry Belknap moved away. 


of all went like this: One time Peter was out hunting for some lost 
horses when hostile Sioux Indians started chasing him. He had a 
fast horse and was keeping well ahead of them when he came to a 
narrow valley with mountains on both sides. He rode as fast as 
he could, the Indians behind him. Finally, he came to the end 
of the valley and there was a big lake with no way to ride to escape 
on either side of the lake. At this point the wide-eyed children 
would ask, "What happened then'.'" With a straight face he would 
answer, "They killed me!" 

This story was a yarn told for the delight of the little children 
and although Peter was much given to kidding his wife, his stories 
were never embellished but were as accurate as he could remember 

When her Grandma tried to teach Edith some Gaelic words. 
Grandpa would tease, "Tut, tut, tut, now you know Maggie, those 
aren't real words." Margaret and her family often spoke Gaelic 
among themselves. 

Helen Gonder wrote: 

How I wish that I had been older at the time when 1 lived with my 
grandparents, hut at that time. Grandpa was a retired farmer with a 
homestead, a vegetahle garden, a horse and buggy, a cow and chick- 
ens. That was when I was four or five years old, about I'M 4. Grand- 
ma always milked the cow as Grandpa's wrists no longer had the 
strength required. He could still hitch old Daisy to the buggy for the 
trip to the general store and the bank at Worden. Grandma always 
drove the horse, as Grandpa seldom went along. 

Grandpa had one thumb nail which had a ridge down the center. He 
told us that a man who was out of his mind had bit his thumb and 
caused the nail to be deformed after that. He told many stories of 
experiences with Indians, and 1 can't remember a single one! s4 

He applied for a war pension after he turned sixty-five in Vil- 
lisca, Iowa, and again in Erie. Kansas, in 1907. It must have been 
granted because in 1909 he petitioned for an increase in pension. 
At the time of his death he was receiving $50 per month. (After 
his death, Margaret received $36 per month war widow's pension. ) 

In 1910 and again in 1915, he filled out forms of Declaration 
of Intention to become a U. S. citizen. On August 23, 1915. he 
became a naturalized citizen, renouncing his allegiance to George 
V of Great Britain. s: ' 

He loved horses, cats (at one time he had thirteen), children 
and gardening. His grandchildren remember he smoked a corncob 
pipe after meals as they gathered around to hear the stories he 

^Helen McCulloch Gonder, letter. October. 1978. 

sr, The author is indebted to Elsie Martin of Lovell. Wyoming, a Mc- 
Culloch relative, for copies of seventeen legal documents that were useful 
in verifying dates and places. 



Peter McCulloch at the home place at Worden. Montana. The original 
photograph is in the McCulloch family album. 

told of his adventures, some of which have been quoted above. 
He called his wife Maggie and liked to tease her about the 
many superstitions that hung on from childhood days in Wigton. 

He died on April 17, 1925, mourned by his wife and children 
and eighteen grandchildren, other relatives and numerous friends 
and acquaintances. His obituary in the Billings Gazette stated: 
"He was actively engaged in farming until a few years ago and 
was working about his garden this spring until only a few days 
before his death. He was very active for his years and had the 
appearance of a man thirty years younger. " so 

One final anecdote written down by Peter's sister Agnes is a 
McCulloch ghost story. Peter's great-great-grandfather in the 
17th century killed his coachman and had to flee to France 
taking with him his only child. Meanwhile, his lawyer, named 
Maxwell, forged the deeds to the property and got possession of 
the estate. Agnes ended the tale by saying her grandfather "had 

K,1 Margaret McCulloch died July 20, 1934. 

peter Mcculloch in the bk. horn basin 129 

to go to work. That is the reason wh\ our branch is known as 
the poor McCullochs." 

The ghost part of the story is that it is said that the spectre of 
the murdered coachman used to wander over the scene of his death 
and through the castle up into the old watch tower. If he showed 
himself, it was a sure token of the death of one of the family. 

If old Pete, King of the Cowboys, were around today he would 
enjoy the following story, from Donna Moore Kreutzmann. 

From my childhood I had memories of conversations of a great-great- 
grandfather McCulloch, of a castle, and a sampler that had come 
from Scotland. So. in August 1477. I traveled to Scotland, hoping to 
find the home of my ancestors. We rented a room in a farm home 
in Wigton and our host said there [were] tourist brochures upstairs in 
the bedroom. When I opened them and saw pictures of Cardoness 
Castle, home of the McCullochs for five centuries. 1 gave out a west- 
ern war whoop. Touring the castle and area was a deep emotional 
experience. My search had ended and I had a wonderful, satisfied 
feeling of finding my roots and the birthplace of my great-great- 
grandfather. Peter McCulloch. 



Director and Assistants are Busy Preparing Building for 
Arrivals Saturday 

One of the busiest places on the campus these days is the new 
men's dormitory, which is receiving its final preparations for the 
reception of Freshman men on Saturday. 

Two carloads of furniture arrived early in the week, and the 
mattresses came through the Laramie Furniture company, so with 
the exception of the furniture for the big room, the dormitory will 
be practically equipped. 

R. E. McWhinnie, registrar and director of the residence hall, 
has had an army of assistants getting things ready, and thinks that 
the results will arouse considerable enthusiasm. 

Mr. McWhinnie announces that he is to be assisted by Reginald 
C. Harris of the faculty, and that the University has secured the 
services of Mrs. Etta England as matron. In addition to that there 
will be three part-time student clerks, Winston Howard of Douglas. 
Lawrence Rice of Cheyenne and Jack Shuck of Casper. 

Mr. McWhinnie has drawn up a set of rules and regulations 
which will serve for the time being until an organization of the 
students themselves is effected, through which it is hoped to govern 
the life of the dormitory. It is the intention to make these rules 
and regulations as simple and few as possible, merely making them 
to serve to promote the finest possible use of this new addition to 
the University life. 

The Laramie Republican-Boomerang 
September 13, 1928 

Seeing Wyoming 'Jrom a 
Studebaker S.M- £ in 1909 


In recent correspondence with the Historical Research and Pub- 
lications Division to obtain information about her pioneer Wyo- 
ming family, Mrs. Nancy Williams Bechtold. of Arlington, Texas, 
offered to donate to the Division a copy of her grandfather's 
account of a I 909 automobile trip through Wyoming. Her offer 
was accepted, and in due time the manuscript arrived for deposit. 

The editorial staff of Annuls of Wyoming felt the manuscript 
"Seeing Wyoming From a Studebaker E.M.F. in 1 909" was such 
an entertaining and informative bit of Wyoming history that it 
should be shared with Annals readers. 

The author. Cabin Wesley Williams, who was state immigration 
agent in 1909, wrote about the tour thirty years after the expe- 
rience. Complete biographical information about him is not avail- 
able, but he was an active newspaperman in Wyoming in the 
early 1900s. 

Williams edited the Guernsey Gazette in I903 or 1 904 and was 
editor of the Rawlins Republican in 1 908 and 1909. He founded 
the Hartville Uplift in February. L 9 10, and was editor of the 
newspaper. He was mayor of Hartville about the same time. 

Later he ran a newspaper in Greeley, Colo. In the 1930's he 
edited Wyoming Cowboy Days for Charles A. Guernsey, according 
to Mrs. Bechtold. Williams died in New Orleans in 1945. 

In verifying the dates of the Studebaker tour we checked the 
Cheyenne State Leader and located a detailed story on the front 
page of the September 1, 1909, issue. It was based on an inter- 
view with Edwin Hall, state geologist and instigator of the trip. 
We thought the contrast between the fairly prosaic newspaper re- 
port and Williams' account complement each other sufficiently to 
justify publishing them together. — Editor 




State Geologist Hall returned last night from a trip of 4,250 
miles, made in company with State Immigration Agent C. W. 
Williams, by automobile, in order that they might become ac- 
quainted at first hand with the resources of the state. During the 


journey they traversed Laramie, Converse, Natrona, Fremont, Big 
Horn. Sheridan, Johnson, Crook and Weston counties in Wyoming 
and made a detour through Montana. Speaking of the trip Mr 
Hall last night said: "From Lander, up through Big Horn county 
and clear around to Sundance and Newcastle, oil development 
is in progress, and everywhere they are making strikes of oil and 
gas. The Lander field shows good fuel oil, with large deposits of 
asphaltum, the latter testing 78.5 per cent, pure and comparing 
well with the high-grade products obtained in the best fields at 
other localities. There has recently been brought in a well of light 
oil running high in kerosene and gasoline. 

"In Big Horn county the strikes are all of light oil, very high in 
gasoline and kerosene. 

"Near Sundance recently two or three wells have been brought 
in which give oil with a parafine [sic] base. 

"Near Newcastle they are putting in drilling rigs and alread\ 
have several wells showing high-grade lubricating oil. 

"There are oil or gas fields near almost every town of Northern 
Wyoming and in all these fields there is activity." 

Turning from oil to mining. State Geologist Hall said that in the 
vicinity of Lander some good strikes of gold have been made, both 
at South Pass and on the Wind River Indian reservation. Prep- 
arations are being made for dredging operations on the Big Horn 
river, near Shoshoni. The gravel of the river bed and banks at this 
point, according to a report by Revett, the Breckenridge, Colorado, 
placer expert, runs 33 cents in gold to the yard. There is a great 
deal of activity in the Coper | sic | Mountain district, while near 
Thermopolis the sulphur mines are producing 40,000 pounds of 
sulphur per week, and ore has recently been struck which is 70 
per cent. pure. 

"The Gebo coal mines in Big Horn county," said Mr. Hall, "are 
producing about 500 tons daily. There is probably no better man- 
aged property in the state. The coal is of good quality and when 
the Burlington completes its extension southward the output will 
be greatly increased. 

"Sunlight, a gold, copper and silver camp, 50 miles from Cody, 
promises to be one of the greatest in the state. There are also 
great bodies of high-grade sulphur in this district. 

"The Big Horn mountains, from the Montana line to Copper 
Mountain, have just commenced to be prospected and the pros- 
pectors are making fine strikes of copper, gold, silver, lead and 
manganese. Most of the strikes are reported from the vicinity of 
Sheridan and Buffalo. 

"In the Bar [sic] Lodge district, eight miles from Sundance, a 
country peculiar to itself, is being opened. The formation is most- 
ly porphery, [sic] dioritem trachite and different eruptive rocks, 
carrying values principally in gold, fluorine and some tellurides 


showing in the shallow workings. Nearly every prospector in the 
camp has a good-sized body of marketable ore. Very tine copper 
and gold properties have been opened up to some extent in this 

"At Newcastle the coal fields have been many times reported 
worked out, but will be producing 50 years from now. The coal 
is so hard that it is necessary to use machines in mining it and to 
utilize breakers at the surface. 

"Over the whole line from Lander on I was greatly surprised by 
the amount of irrigated land and the excellence of the crops. I 
believe that the Big Horn basin alone, when all available land is 
irrigated, will support a population equal to that of the entire state 
at present. 

"When we first went in to Sheridan I could not understand what 
kept the town up, but after riding for two days in an automobile 
furnished by enterprising citizens, through agricultural and coal 
mining tributary country, the support of the thriving city became 

"At Sundance the) are raising fine crops without irrigation In 
many instances they are plowing only once in two or three years, 
between plowings drilling the seeds in on the old ground 

"At Newcastle Congressmen Mondell and Senator Baird took us 
out to the government experiment dry farm. There we saw roast- 
ing ears, pumpkins 1 X inches in diameter, beets, peas, oats, pota- 
toes, rye, barley and other products as fine as I ever saw in Iowa. 
In my judgment this farm is not located on as good ground as 
most of our Eastern Wyoming land." 

In order to reach Sheridan count) from Big Horn county State 
Geologist Hall and Immigration Agent Williams made a detour 
through Montana and there they encountered a genuine cyclone of 
the brand that made Kansas famous. When the wind threatened 
to overturn their machine they abandoned it and it was blown 400 
yards and was only prevented from plunging into the Big Horn 
river by becoming entangled in a barber | sic | wire fence. At 
Hardin, Mont., a few miles from where the storm caught them, a 
stone motel, a livery barn and 20 other buildings were wrecked by 
the terrific wind 

"Wyoming roads are not built for automobiles," said State Geol- 
ogist Hall, "and we struck some mighty hard sledding. But at that 
my Studebaker ran without a hitch until Lusk was reached. Then 
what do you think? While I was riding about town with my wife, 
and not exceeding a speed of 1 2 miles an hour, one wheel broke 
off and the machine was disabled. Think of the roads and no 
roads we had been over." — Chexenne State Leader. September 1, 



IN 1909 


C. W. Williams 

(This bit of prose has been written mostly from memory, so, 
if the reader runs onto something he does not believe and wants 
to make an issue of, this is his privilege, providing he can find 
someone to argue with besides the author. Making the trip, thirty 
years ago last summer, and not telling about it, should be punish- 
ment enough, without having to defend questioned statements, of 
which there will be divers, no doubt, both memory and human 
nature being what they are, however, falsehood has been eschewed. 
If a clause or paragraph, here and there, does not seem to make 
sense, the captious are asked to keep their shirts on and remember 
auto travel over Wyoming isn't what it used to be, not by a jugful. ) 

First of all, attention is called to the title. "Seeing Wyoming" 
is not inclusive enough. It should have been "Seeing and Feeling 
Wyoming." But one can't give details in a caption. 

To get started without further preface, I quote from the Wyo- 
ming Tribune, June 10, 1909: "State Geologist Edwin Hall and 
C. W. Williams, Secretary of the State Board of Immigration, 
started on a tour of the mining camps of the state in Mr. Hall's 
car. During this trip of 3,500 miles, mountain ranges will have to 
be crossed and numerous rivers and mountain streams forded. 
Altogether it will be an endurance test for the Studebaker." 

I can't supply the name of the publicity conscious party who 
fathered the quotation; nor do I know the source of his informa- 
tion, unless it was my good friend Hall, who was a geologist and 
not a sales promoter. ( There is a difference, you know. ) 

Above the quoted statement is a picture. Or it may be only a 
working hypothesis. The Studebaker is discernible, though I never 
knew it looked like that. I am there. Anyway, I think I am. But 
if you can find one blur in the whole smear that looks like Edwin 
Hall you can see further in the dark than I can. However, black- 
outs are quite common today — in Europe. 

In order to prove that we are not crazy, but if so, not alone in 
our misfortune, I submit the following list of specifications, which 
appeared in a Studebaker display advertisement in the same news- 
paper on the same date as the above, the quoted excerpts being 
reproduced verbatim et literatim et punctuatim: 

"Four-cylinder. 4-cycle. 30 horse power motor. Bore 4 inches; stroke 
4'/2 inches; 106-inch wheel. Base-Tires 32 inches by VA inches. 
Complete with magneto. 5 lamps and generator, tools, jack, tire repair 
outfit and pump." 


"The car", continues the ad. "is of conventional construction. 
There is nothing new or experimental in the design, no startling 
innovations or "talking points', but it combines features which 
have heretofore been found only in the highest price cars, features 
which insure simplicity, high quality, reliability and mechanical 

Did anybody ever start anywhere with his transportation more 
completely implemented'.' (Write your own answer). 

Very well, we left Cheyenne about noon o'clock, on the day and 
year aforementioned, in the rain. Yes, in the rain. It rained once 
before, if you remember. That is, if you remember reading about 
it in the Bible. But that was just a flood or deluge. 

I say we left Cheyenne, which may or may not be an overstate- 
ment. True, we left it. but it took us so long to leave it so near. 
I doubt if the simple statement, "We left Cheyenne", gives an ade- 
quate conception of our performance. 

The distance covered before our departure was interrupted, de- 
pends upon how far it was, at that time, from Chevenne, going 
north, to the first high center — information I either never had or 
have forgotten. 

To keep the thread of the stor\ from breaking, right off the reel, 
I will say, with only a modicum of reservation, it couldn't have 
been much farther than 1 would have thrown the angular lever, 
which, with my help, did the work later done by the selfstarter, 
had I followed any one of several definite impulses already expe- 
rienced and recurring with accumulating frequency during the next 
three months, as we moved, sometimes with the speed of a glacier. 
over Wyoming's vast, untraveled areas. 

Getting back on the high center and eventually getting off. we 
continued, doggedly, to keep Cheyenne in the rear and when night 
overtook us — which was no trick at all — we were uncomfortably 
settled in a soft spot, eight or ten feet square, on an open prairie 
that could have been mistaken for the Pacific Ocean. It was still 
raining hard, if not harder. 

The soft spot had at least one of the attributes of an old corral — 
undoubtedly it had gone through long processes of fertilization and 
was not duplicated elsewhere in the state. (This we did not know 
of course, until the trip was over and we had failed to find its 
counterpart. ) 

At first we were restive. We disliked the idea of being stuck in 
the mud — to give whatever it was a respectable name — and con- 
sumed much time, energy and gasoline trying to get out. Finally 
it dawned on us to use our heads, while the radiator was still in 
sight, something we might have doubted had it not been for fre- 
quent and prolonged flashes of lightning. Our chains could as well 
have been spider threads. I never saw looser muck, perhaps just 


the thing for cryptogamous plants, such as the mushroom, but it 
contributed nothing to traction, as we understood the term. 

Besides, it got in our hair, and I don't mean metaphorically. It 
even got in our ears, our eyes, our mouths. 1 think we swallowed 
some of it, but that had no appreciable effect on the supply. In 
short, it literally covered us and to keep everything more or less 
ducky, it was, by now, raining pitchforks and past our bed time. 

There we were — wet, dirty, tired, chilled — and nothing but 
pneumonia in sight. To be sure, we were still on earth, although, 
for the nonce, we were not so certain about the Studebaker; and 
heaven, or what was left of it, must have been in its usual position. 
Otherwise, things were abnormal. 

Parenthetically, closed cars were not yet born and, like King 
Lear, we were at the mercy of the elements, except for inadequate 
curtains, which, on account of their inadequacy, were under the 

A move in some direction being imperative and our eagerness to 
get away from it being temporarily eclipsed, we headed back to- 
ward Cheyenne, under our own power — power a sick horse would 
have been ashamed of — hoping to find shelter at a ranch house we 
had passed somewhat disdainfully on our way north hours before. 

How far we walked, I don't know, and I probably wouldn't 
believe it, if somebody told me. Whatever it was, it was too far. 
But we made it. As we approached the premises dogs greeted us 
noisily. They didn't know us. We wouldn't have known each 
other but for the darkness. A bass voice called: "Who's there?" 

Not an easy question that, with a storm raging, hounds yelping 
and an unseen stranger, possibly armed with a couple of six guns 
and petulantly waiting to plug us in case our answer should sound 

But we had anticipated such a predicament and used a technique- 
all our own. It must have been good, for, instantly all bars were 
down, and we walked into a comfortable country home, as wel- 
come guests, where hot coffee soon revived our flickering spirits 
and a warm bed later soothed our aching bones. 

Morning came and brought with it ham and eggs (ham, thick 
like the butt end of a shingle; eggs, fresh as this morning's dew) 
which we consumed with unaffected gusto. 

Conversation limped in places, but that was forgiven in the pres- 
ence of hospitality that knew no restriction. 

Our hosts (I remember neither their names nor their number) 
looked upon us with thinly veiled compassion. Their silence 
seemed to ask how two male adults, with state jobs (as if that 
meant anything), could be so void of horse sense as to start any- 
place in a thing like that (we had mentioned the Studebaker some- 
what in detail ) and hope to arrive, rain or no rain. 

When we told them we would continue, providing they would 


give us a lift, they hesitated, not. I am sure, on account of the 
physical inconvenience compliance would entail, but because the\ 
were not at all keen about contributing to official delinquency — 
common enough even in those days to be of general concern. 

However, Hall was not a quitter, in any sense, as will be noted 
later, and at 2 o'clock that afternoon, our horseless headache hav- 
ing been successfully disinterred, with the help of two men and two 
teams, we were Chugwater bound. 

Here let me insert a word about state highways and another as 
to why this trip was undertaken. 

First: Highways, as we know them, were non-existent in those 
days. Roads? Yes. The state had plenty of roads, such as they 
were, but most of them for long and frequent stretches, were worse 
than none. Deep ruts; high centers; rocks, loose and solid; steep 
grades; washouts or gullies; stumps; sage brush roots; unbridged 
streams; sand; alkali dust; gumbo; and plain mud, were some of 
the more common abominations the cross-country traveler had to 
contend with. Often roads would become faint and disappear, in 
which case the going might be better, just as bad, or worse, from 
the standpoint of shocks or jolts; vibrations, being normal to am 
mode of conveyance, were not yet threatened with elimination. In 
fact the human bod\ was keyed to a certain amount of agitation 
and would have been bored by the monotonous smoothness of 
modern automobile travel. Yet, even though the virgin prairie 
might be painfully bumpy, nevertheless its advantages were inviting 
at times. Anyway, the detour had to have a beginning. 

Second: Why the trip'.' Frankly. I am afraid I don't know all 
the answers, but I will give a few. 

We officed together. Hall and I. in the state capitol. We had 
comfortable chairs to sit in and nice desks to put our feet on. We 
were fairly well compensated for our time, enabling us to pav rent, 
buy groceries and keep up appearances generally. 

But that was all. We had no money — no expense money, I 
mean. If we wrote a letter, dealing with the state's business, we 
had to buy a postage stamp using our individual funds. If we 
wrote two such letters, we had to buy two postage stamps. If we 
wrote a million letters — well, just imagine! We would have been 
flat broke and WPA twenty-odd years in the future' Who wouldn't 
have been desperate? 

Moreover, we were ambitious. We wanted to make a record. 
We felt an urge to do something worthwhile for the state, and inci- 
dentally, for ourselves. Knowing that Senator Warren would not 
stay in Washington forever and that Governor Brooks would even- 
tually return to private life, we could think of at least two political 
jobs we would rather have than geologist and immigration agent — 
and might snare if we used the right approach. 

Then, too, we were natural-born outdoor men. Inaction was 


yetting us down. Wc could hear the call of the wild. This was 
particularly true of Hall, who craved adventure, who was a pioneer 
at heart, and who never tired of trying to do the all but impossible. 

Is it surprising, then, that we found a way to stave off dryrot 
and free our chafing souls from what Grover Cleveland so mis- 
takenly called "innocuous desuetude?" 

Having given the matter much consideration. Hall went to Den- 
ver and purchased a new Studebaker E.M.F. 30. (Not the 30 
printers use, though I don't know why). He also got a trunk and 
a camera. The idea was to cover the state, take pictures, gather 
information as to its resources, return to Cheyenne and write a 

1 didn't know it then, but I soon learned (by soon I mean before 
we left town ) that we should have waited until somebody perfected 
an automobile lighting system that would work nights and until 
somebody else ( who would probably have a broken arm ) invented 
the selfstarter. But we didn't and as a result I got so I could see 
in the dark and had biceps like a blacksmith, two valuable assets 
for a tin-horn politician, at that. If some (not all) of our present 
day would-be statesmen had the vision of an owl we might be 
better off. 

Now we can go on with our mudslinging; and since I don't want 
to dwell on all unpleasant details, I will mention only some of the 
outstanding experiences of the trip and let it go at that, because 
there may he such a thing as vicarious suffering and if so the 
reader's feelings should be guarded. 

As I remember, we made Chugwater, some time next day, but 
it was not our fault. We came to a long, slick, narrow, freshly- 
graded fill, which we crossed, exactly as a snake crawls, in safety, 
neither the car nor the driver having anything to do with the out- 
come. Some higher power must have intervened to save the necks 
of a couple of chumps. 

Not caring so much for Chugwater and realizing that we meant 
as little or less to it, we continued, with Wheatland our next objec- 
tive. Avoiding the roads as much as practical and going as straight 
as we could, with neither sun nor compass as guide, we must have 
reached that burg not later than the fifth day out from Cheyenne, 
and we didn't go round and slip up on it from the north either. 

After Wheatland we did not care much how fast we traveled 
and, taking Guernsey. Hartville, Sunrise, Lusk, Manville, Lost 
Springs and Orin in our stride, we rushed on through sagebrush 
and gumbo, to Douglas, which, I recall, was just three weeks from 
Cheyenne (and still raining, you understand). To explain briefly 
why it took so long, I will say we made several side trips and 
lingered a little bit here and there, but the chief holdbacks up to 
this point were high centers, mud or gumbo and bridges yet un- 
built. To say it in one mouthful: we were stuck all the way. 


We visited the iron mines at Sunrise and. strange to relate, the 
Studebaker did not run into the open pit, a nonhappening which I 
personally appreciated, though Hall esteemed it of no special eon- 
sequence, taking things as they came and saying nothing. 

At a copper property in the vicinity of Lusk, which my traveling 
companion was managing in addition to his state job, we took what 
1 thought was a grand ride, going to the bottom of a 600-foot shaft 
and back, without having to push, crank or wish I had never been 

We lowgeared in and around Douglas for several days, dining 
which time we crossed our first railroad bridge, not knowing when 
a train would come and, speaking for myself only, not caring ver\ 
much. The vague thought had occurred to me several times and 
1 had once passed it on to the geologist lor what it might be worth, 
namely: that this was not forced on us; that we could go back, 
at least by train; that life had been more pleasant; that a bath is 
something, and that a clean shirt is not without circumstance. 

In reply he said nothing, but he would have given me the same 
look if I had offered to cut his throat; and I knew then that what- 
ever happened we would do some funny stunts, crossing railroad 
bridges being one of them and actually developing into a habit. 

Many times between Lusk and Douglas, between Douglas and 
Casper, between Casper and Lander, Hall made this remark: 
"Williams, there is oil here." As if 1 care, when all I could think 
about was where trouble would hit us next and why'.' Lor instance, 
we went from Shoshoni to Thermopolis twice, when once came 
very near being too many, the Devil's Slide giving the Studebaker 
more than it could do without me at the back and pushing m\ 
daylights out. We went to Riverton and Fort Washakie, where we 
created more excitement than an old time trappers' rendezvous 
and for a time completely upset the poise of the reservation. From 
the way the Indians looked, our outfit surprised them more than 
Brutus surprised Caesar. 

At Thermopolis we went swimming in hot water, which turned 
out okay, though Hall couldn't swim, he could take a bath and did. 

At Lander we worked over the old bus lor 4X hours, day and 
night, to keep the spark of life from total extinction. Her gasoline 
engine had quit pounding, except spasmodically, and her timing 
apparatus came within an ace of being a closed mystery to every- 
body in central Wyoming, save and except one man win) said he- 
knew nothing about such mechanisms, then promptly saved more 
days and nights by guessing the answer. I didn't but I could have 
kissed him. 

We took pictures and gathered data everywhere we went and. 
on the surface, were always among friends. At Basin they made 
our coming an occasion for something fit to eat, then spoiled the 
whole evening by asking us to make speeches. Hall couldn't talk 


any better than he could swim, and as for me, if I couldn't swim 
better than I could talk, then assuredly I wouldn't have been there 
that night. However, it was up to me to say something, which I 
tried to do by railing at speechmakers and those who listened to 
them for having nothing better to do. They didn't run me out of 
town, but I couldn't have felt much worse if they had. 

There was no mud at Meeteetse. At least I don't think there 
was, and people who know that country will understand why. I 
may be wrong, but it is my opinion that, generally speaking, there 
is no mud at Meeteetse for the same reason there is no mud on the 

By the way, we carried our reserve gasoline supply in five gallon 
cans and many times it seemed expedient to purchase a whole 
flock, especially if the price was no more than two-fifty per can, 
or four bits the gallon; and honestly, I don't remember of being 
out of gas once. Do you suppose the same trip could be made 
today, without being delayed by such an occurrence? I doubt it. 

Being unusually tired and hungry, we were more than glad to 
reach Cody, where we found a new, up-to-date hotel; but good as 
the food looked, 1 couldn't eat it on account of a pair of the sorest 
lips one man ever had, made so by wind, sun and alkali, which I 
had learned since the long wet spell, were not good for the mus- 
cular organs that bound the mouth. We entered Cody early in the 
evening from an elevation and had almost despaired of finding the 
place, when, suddenly, there it was, downstairs, so to speak, all 
lit up like a Christmas tree. It was beautiful, I tell you. In fact, 
it was one of the truly buoyant sights of the trip. And, yet, 1 had 
to go to bed hungry! It didn't seem right, then or now, and if 1 
live another thirty years, I will continue to feel no different. 

West of Cody, going to Yellowstone Park, we found the best 
road in the state. It was intentional and not an accident. It fol- 
lowed the Shoshone Canyon and we followed it to the Park en- 
trance, looking up on one side and down on the other. However, 
it was not as wide as it might have been or no doubt is today; 
nor was it hard surfaced; yet it gave us something to talk about in 
an un-profane way. 

We undertook to go east from Cody to Sheridan but found, after 
a week or ten days, that it wasn't being done, except by mountain 
sheep and their kind. 

Once we shipped the Studebaker 30 miles on a flat car — gave 
it a ride for a change — but where we were at the time I can't 
recall. The loading was interesting. 

Hall got a couple of long, heavy planks, such as railroads used 
at crossings, leaned them against the flat car, at its more exposed 
end, jockeyed the E.M.F. into position, took a running shot and, 
presto, they were loaded and ready to go, by their own power and 
his nerve. The unloading was done the same way, except the 


grade was reversed, and with the same facility. I said before and 
I say again. Hall was not a quitter. 

Having been told we couldn't go over the Big Horns in "that 
thing" and having tried it, we finally decided to make the long 
detour into Montana, through Pryor Gap, and back into Wyoming 
along the east side of the mountains, roughly some 200 or more 

We had reached the Gap, without untoward incident, except 
too much dust in too many places, and had started through, when 
we took the wrong road, which led us up into the mountains rather 
than over them. We were on a log road, which looked like the 
main traveled road, which in turn was the road we had been told 
to take. Therefore, we were in the clear. Or were we? 

It was early in the day when the real climbing began and late at 
night when we reached the apex of the dump, if I may call it that, 
and learned of our mistake and why. But for Hall's confidence 
in me as I walked in front (we had no lights) shouting information 
about the road and how best to negotiate it — first "Right" and 
then "Left"! — and the mechanical potency of low gear, do you 
know we might have been there or thereabouts yet, because my 
chauffeur was disgusted with himself for letting this same range 
stand in his way nearer home'.' 

As we approached the summit we heard (of all things) geese. 
Apparently they were trying to make more noise than the Stude- 
baker. but I couldn't give them credit for coming close. 

Sensing a house and human beings somewhere near, I yelled: 
"Where are we'.'" A loud voice came back, clear as a bell, saying: 
"You are up on top of the mountains!" "How about lodging and 
something to eat'.'" I asked. "Such as they are. we have plenty, 
and you are welcome," was the altruistic reply. 

After certain festivities we retired to a mattress in one corner 
of a big room, which was full of kids and other mattresses, while, 
we. personally, were as full of beans, sowbelly, cornbread and 
buttermilk, as the room was full of mattresses, kids and us. 

We awoke next morning in a Montana mountain home full ol 
youthful laughter and excitement. Our corner of the room was 
in a state of siege before we could get our pants on. Youngsters 
of all ages machine gunned us with questions the Encyclopedia 
Britannica couldn't have answered. In their eyes, we were rare 
specimens — fugitives, perhaps, from the Smithsonian Institution. 

They were too full of curiosity to eat breakfast, which didn't 
save any grub because what they didn't eat we did. having learned 
by experience that one can profitably anticipate a few meals ahead. 
After thus gorging ourselves, the assemblage adjourned to the open 
air. Never was air more open. It was open in every direction 
except down. We have to have something to stand on. And the 
Studebaker, it had to be demonstrated. That is to sav, it would 


not do to leave that family, high and dry, without taking it for a 

Hall gave the order to pile in. I turned the crank. And the 
fun began. They went round and round like something at the 
fair grounds. The E.M.F. looked like the alphabet. 1 never saw 
the geologist happier, even when he was pecking on the side of a 
mountain with a hand-pick. And he kept it up so long I thought 
we were thinking of the same thing — another feed. But it devel- 
oped that the mother had work to do and the ride was over. 

Soon we were off — literally off. To the music of a thousand 
childish "Goodbys!" we sank into another world, different men, at 
least for the moment. I wonder where and how those kids are 
now. I wonder. 

The force of gravity was not long getting us back on the right 
road and shortly we were actually east of the mountains, headed 

It was a hot day, I suspect, in early August, and through some 
cause, we were making good time. We had reached what looked 
to me to be just about the middle of nowhere, with nothing to 
contemplate but the horizon and, through a haze, the Big Horn 
mountains. Then came, not the deluge, but something else. We 
were out of water and the engine was hot! Right away, too, we 
were thirsty. 

There was no use talking. I dug out the old collapsible canvas 
bucket and started, believing that one direction was as good as 
another. I must have walked over the horizon, for I couldn't see 
the car, when I came to a place where cattle had congregated not 
long before. I had been kicked by cows enough when a kid to 
know their tracks; and in their tracks was water. I will call it 
that anyway. It took me some time to fill the bucket, dipping with 
cupped hands. When two he-men, or at least one and a half, and 
an automobile engine have to have water, they have to have it. 

As the day waned the heat became more intense and a strong 
wind from the northeast steadily grew stronger. Much of the time 
we were in our own dust. A cloud appeared in the sky behind us. 
It was black and ominous. We did not know what was coming, 
but we had misgivings, and were trying to reach Hardin before it 
hit us. 

This we were unable to do and, in the light of subsequent events, 
our failure saved our hides, because the livery stable (no garage) 
where we would have sought shelter, was wrecked, with a casualty 
list, including nine head of horses; while we were in the open, three 
miles north of town, taking all the elements had to give in our shirt 
sleeves — silk shirt sleeves at that — and lived to tell the tale thirty 
years later. 

We were in a fence lane when overtaken by a triple threat hail 
storm, tornado and waterspout. Hall undertook to stop, but the 


wind was in authority and carried us to a low place in the road. 

I was on the receiving side, that is. the storm was coming 
my way. and naturally 1 turned my back to it. Anybody would. 
Instantly I realized, as never before, the weakness of human 
flesh — mine especially. Or it might have been, to some extent, 
the size of the hail and the force with which the pellets hit. My 
feelings were hurt. Outside of that. I had trouble breathing, and 
when a fellow can't breathe there is something wrong, temporarily. 
I was thinking of all the mean things 1 had done when I com- 
menced to feel funny around the ankles. Looking down I saw 
my feet were in water. 1 nudged Hall, who, so far as I knew, 
might be either asleep or dead, and suggested that we take a walk. 

We stepped out into a torrent that was hard to stem and, on 
reaching higher ground, saw what we took to be a shack and a 
barn still standing. Why not call on the homesteaders and see 
how they are getting along'' By all means. We were so anxious 
to meet them we forgot to knock and they were so surprised to 
see us they couldn't speak, until we assured them of our neutrality. 

They were a sister and two brothers. The sister was punching 
holes in the building paper ceiling with a broom handle, allowing 
imprisoned water to fall to the floor in riotous splashes. (Only a 
few hours before I had been tickled to find less watery water in 
cow tracks ) . 

After getting acquainted, they were glad we came. After eating, 
the feeling was mutual. Their shack had had a porch and there 
had been some other outbuildings, besides the barn, until a few 
minutes before. They had had a garden, too, they said, as well as 
plants, both ornamental and useful, hut they were not expecting 
to see them around m the morning. Still they were not crying. 
They were as game as three thoroughbreds could have been. What 
they had done they could do again. 

Having no room for us in the house, they sent us to the barn, 
with a loft full of hay. which I thought was better, and we dug in 
for the night. My back being as it was. I found a semi-sitting 
position just the thing and got along nicely till morning. 

On awaking our first thought was about the Studebaker. and 
we lost no time seeing about it. But where was it'.' It was not 
where we had left it the night before. Turbulent waters had taken 
it through the wire fence and a considerable distance over a grassy 
flat toward the Big Horn River. They would have taken it further 
(if not all the way) had it not been for its entanglement in a 
single strand of barbed wire, the wire, we found on inspection, 
being mysteriously wrapped around the axle just inside the left 
front wheel. I don't know whether Hall carried a rabbit's foot or 

The car itself was a mess, covered with mud and all sorts of 
debris, thrown over it by wind and flood, several feet thick in 


places; and our treasure trunk with its bulging contents, photo- 
graphic, printed and written (to my mind invaluable), which we 
had accumulated with such effort! 

Was this to be the end? 

I retrieved the crank, the geologist looking on pensively, and 
with my good right arm gave one determined yank, bringing the 
supposedly dead and buried remains to life and a look to Hall's 
face that matched perfectly the purr of the engine. 

With the help of our two brand new young friends we had the 
Studebaker back in the lane when the sister called us to breakfast. 
She had pancakes and coffee, but she didn't have them long. 
( During all these years I have felt somewhat abashed at the quan- 
tity I stowed away that morning. 1 did not know whether the 
young lady thought 1 was complimenting her cooking or stealing 
her life's sustenance and did not linger to learn). 

It took us practically all day to reach Hardin, notwithstanding 
the fact that neither of us ever worked harder in his life. Hardin 
was partially off its foundation. Some of the houses were in some 
of the streets and some of the streets were, more or less, in some 
of the houses, giving travelers unusual intimacy, or something. 
The livery stable we did not reach was flat like the pancakes we 
had had for breakfast. The hotel, however, was right side up and 
open for business. 

Our next impulse was to look in the trunk. It was heartrending. 
Everything was ruined — everything. For me, the jig was up. I 
felt like Hoover looked when he left the White House in '33. 

That evening, as we were getting ready for bed. Hall calmly 
remarked: "No wonder your back is sore. It would make a good 
symbol for a raw meat emporium." Then in a refractory accent, 
he said: "Good night!" 

To go directly south from Hardin we had to cross the Big Horn 
River and the only bridge was that of the Burlington Railroad — 
our one hope. We made friendly calls on the local station agent 
and after several sessions he flatly refused to sanction our project, 
but told us when would be the best time, which, as I recall, was a 
three hour, no train period in the early afternoon. The fill leading 
to the bridge was long, making it necessary for us to ride the ties 
nearly a mile before reaching the span. 

Getting stuck in the mud while still in town; cutting the right of 
way fence and repairing it; coaxing the old bus up to and on the 
track, took time. It took time, too, to cover the distance and cross 
the river. But it took nothing flat to run the Studebaker off the 
track and into the ditch on the other side, for a passenger train was 
coming, headon. That was our last stunt of the kind, and I mean 
last as definitely as Custer's stand, in this same neck of the woods, 
was his last. 

Surprising as it seems, we were soon out of the ditch and on 


our way, rejoicing — rejoicing that we were not at the bottom of 
the river with a lot of other people whose lives we had no business 

A different occasion awaited us on the Crow Indian Reserva- 
tion, where we stayed over night and had supper and breakfast 
with a buck and his squaw. He was a dumbbell, so far as we 
could see, but he suited her and that was greatly in his favor. On 
the other hand, she was not only educated and mentally alert, with 
a good flow of English, but good looking and easy to listen to. 

When supper was ready they called us and left the cabin — a new 
log structure built b\ the buck himself and not a bad job. We 
finished eating and had been out under a tree in the yard for 
twenty minutes or more when they returned. Going away and 
leaving us at the table was their method of saving: "You are 

We were up late that night listening to our hosts. She would 
talk and he would grunt. EspecialK was she delightful when we 
tried, in our awkward way, to show some knowledge and appre- 
ciation of her handiwork, fancy pieces, many ol them really gor- 
geous, of this and that, whatever they were, only Indian squaws. 
and not many of them, had the skill and patience to perfect. Hall 
said he thought they were dandy and 1 agreed. Finally, they sent 
us to bed — their bed. We protested at first, but alter a few loud 
remarks on his part, which we did not understand, we concluded 
that he was running the place and took to cover. 

Next morning we paid the bill with folding money, which they 
refused but which we left on the grass at their feet, and hurried 

We made Sheridan, Buffalo and points nearby in rapid succes- 
sion. From Gillette we went to Sundance, taking a long squint at 
the Devils Tower en route. Then we nosed towards Newcastle. 
where we had the honor of spending a night in the home of the 
late Frank W. Mondell. It was some shack and is still standing. 
I understand. Between Newcastle and Lusk we ran out of water 
again. This time I found it, not in cow tracks, but in large eroded 
cups on the hilltops, left there. I presume. b\ a contemporary 

Hall, who afterwards made money in oil. was a grand com- 
panion; liberal to a fault, he always paid more than expected, 
rather than less, for what he got. 1 saw him dressed and ready to 
step out. 1 saw him in mud up to his neck. When the going was 
toughest he was at his best. 

I have treated the Studebaker something like a joke, but I want 
to say it had to have plenty to take what we gave it and come back 

As for me, my resignation followed our return almost imme- 
diately and this is the first time the truth has been told. 


Phrases — Staying all night at a hog ranch in the northern part 
of the state and wondering if pigs squeal because they don't sleep 
or don't sleep because they squeal . . . Finding three dozen elks' 
teeth in a rockpile on the bank of a small mountain stream above 
lander . . . Seeing plenty of game and having a gun, but not using 
it . . . Taking another state official for a ride and never getting him 
back . . . Answering this question: "What kind of car is it?" . . . 
Catching a nice mess of trout in a stream I could step over near 
Casper . . . Going into the ditch, walking miles in the dark, stum- 
bling onto a railroad track, waiting for a train, flagging a switch 
engine with a match, receiving the engineer's blessing and riding 
to town in his cab . . . Going after the Studebaker next day with 
subsidized horsepower . . . Running into a mosquito swamp and 
running out again . . . Getting stuck in a stream, deeper than it 
looked, near a town whose people viewed our distress with open 
satisfaction . . . Being outrun by a jackrabbit on a good stretch of 
road . . . Surprising an old buck Indian taking a bath in an irriga- 
tion ditch . . . Being pulled out of deep sand by a cowboy on a 
sorrel horse, with a lariat extended from the front axle of the car 
to the horn of his saddle, after breaking the rope three times . . . 
Having supper in a sheep wagon with a herder who knew how to 
fry potatoes . . . Observing the curiosity of a deer . . . Seeing a 
snake digging a hole . . . Trying to file on oil claims and finding 
them taken . . . Being bawled out by an old man with a frightened 
team . . . Watching Hall drink lemonade with lots of ice . . . Driv- 
ing in the dark and hoping for the best . . . Seeing chickens ske- 
daddle . . . Making stock stampede . . . Startling the natives and 
living till now. 

In fairness to all, it should be stated that this little jaunt did not 
cost the state one thin dime. — C. W. Williams 

Wyoming State Mistorical Society 

Torrington, Wyoming September 8- 10, 1978 

Pre-meeting registration was held Fridaj evening during the 
hospitality hour hosted by the Goshen Counts Chapter at the 
Wyoming Room of the Citizens National Bank from 7 to 9 p.m. 
A film, "Have A Nice Day," was shown and refreshments were 


The twenty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Wyoming State Histor- 
ical Society, held at Eastern Wyoming College, was opened b\ 
Don Hodgson, president of the Goshen County Chapter. He then 
turned the meeting over to David J. Wasden, Society president. 

Mr. Wasden commented on the principal business he proposed 
to bring before the meeting: changing the Constitution and B\- 
Lavvs. revising the Awards Program and discontinuing the W\ li- 
ming Historical Foundation. 

The minutes of the 1977 Annual Meeting were read and ap- 
proved. The treasurer read the following report: 



Annual Meeting 
Jr. Awards 
President's Expense 
Off. Expense 


Mm ie 


I 10.00 







Balance on Hand October 21. 1978 


$ 1,789.39 

$ 1,085.48 

S 1.405.48 








1977 Balance: 



Refund 1977 Trek 



Sales and Misc. 






$ 1.669.06 









Jr. Awa 






President's Expense 
















■ship refunds 



$ 1,789.39 



Bldg. & Loan 


Bk. (- 




Bldg. & Loan 




) (#2) 

1 ,000.00 


Bldg. & Loan 

( Living 





Bldg. & Loan 





Savings & Loan 





Savings & Loa 







Scholarship. The Scholarship program of the Society's Awards 
program provides $500 to be awarded for writing a county history, 
$200 to be paid when the application is approved and $300 to 
be paid upon completion and acceptance of the history. T. A. 
Larson, committee chairman, reported that five scholarships are 
currently outstanding: Guy Peterson, Converse County; Dorothy 
Milek, Hot Springs County; Robert A. Murray, Johnson County; 
V. J. Bales, Niobrara County; and Kerry Ross Boren, Sweetwater 
County. Since the beginning of the Scholarship program histories 
have been completed for Laramie, Carbon, Teton and Washakie 

Grant-in-Aid. Dr. Larson stated that this program provides 
financial assistance of $300 for a paper on some phase of Wyo- 
ming history. Geoffrey R. Hunt has completed a study on "Small 
Museums and the Interpretation of Wyoming History," and it has 


been accepted by the committee. Only one Grant-in- Aid is 

Historical-Archaeological Project. Henry Jensen reported that 
the committee had been working to place two sites on the National 
Register of Historic Places. One was the site of the sheep pens 
at Moneta which were fashioned after the Australian style. The 
pens were owned by an out-of-state corporation which did not 
respond to Mr. Jensen's letter of inquiry, and the pens were torn 
down. The J. B. Oakie pens at Lost Cabin were built at the same 
time and have equal historical significance. The Spratt Company, 
owners of the property, has agreed to preserve the pens, and the 
nomination for Historical Register status is under consideration 
at the federal level. 

The Committee has also undertaken initial work to place on the 
National Register the Stone Ranch on the old Casper, Lander and 
Thermopolis stage route. The Ranch is the only remaining stage 
station on this route. It is privateh owned. 

Legislative Committee. This committee, which consists of T. A. 
Larson, Adrian Reynolds and Edness Kimball Wilkins, has been 
primarily concerned with getting ownership of Independence Rock 
entirely with the State of Wyoming. Dr. Larson reported on the 
series of problems in bringing this about and making it possible to 
plan and operate a state park at the site of Independence Rock. 

(Catherine Halverson. acting executive secretary of the Society, 
reported that the pressure of the office is less since July I when a 
second clerk was hired in the Historical Division, making it pos- 
sible for Betty Jo Parris to spend most of her time on clerical work 
for the Society. The second clerk position was approved b\ the 
1978 Legislature. 

Mabel Brown, first vice president and project chairman, re- 
ported that little has been accomplished on the Legend Rock petro- 
glyph project. The land must tirst be acquired from the present 
owner before plans to develop the site can be made. 

A marker will be placed at the site of the ghost town. Slack. 
Mrs. Brown reported. Plans for the grave marker pro ect must 
be finalized at the next meeting of the Executive Committee. 

Henry Chadev reported on the successful trek to Flaming Gorge 
and Brown's Park on July 15. He attributed much of the success 
to the fact that one person was in charge of all communications 
relating to the trek, which was jointly planned by the Sweetwater 
County Historical Museum and the Sweetwater County Chapter of 
the Society. Mr. Wasden suggested that future trek committees 
follow Sweetwater County's example. 

The president announced that because James June. 2nd vice 
president and chairman of the Awards committee, was unable to 
attend this meeting, the awards will be presented at the banquet 
by Jack Mueller, a member of the awards committee. 


President's Report. Mr. Wasden expressed his appreciation for 
the invitations to so many chapters, and said he was sorry he 
could not visit more. He said that a review of the Society's accom- 
plishments for the year indicate that it is not a do-nothing organ- 
ization. The Society membership needs awakening he said, and 
we need younger members. He said we should offer programs to 
interest young people in joining. He also suggested that we need 
more money than is received just from dues. He said we should 
go after legislative appropriations and every member should ap- 
proach the legislators in his own area to show the accomplishments 
of the Society and request consideration for state money. We 
should not be a social organization, he said, but should have a 
goal. He also suggested that the Society have young and vigorous 

News items should be sent to "Wyoming History News" to show 
that the chapters are alive and breathing, he said. Mr. Wasden 
said the constitution and by-laws need changing. He has made a 
study of what each officer's duties should be, and suggested thai 
each committee should have three members with only one being 
replaced each year to provide continuity in the committees. 

Jay Brazelton. chairman of a committee to study and report on 
the possibility of two-year-terms for state Society officers, was not 
present to report for this committee. 

Mrs. Halverson reported that $1500 loaned to the Historical 
Research and Publications Division to publish the book, Saleratus 
and Sagebrush. The Oregon Trail Through Wyoming, published 
in 1974, has been repaid in full. An additional $163.06 of sales 
receipts has also been paid to the Society. All copies of the book 
have been sold. 

Mr. Wasden introduced Mrs. Jan Wilson, director of the Wyo- 
ming Recreation Commission, whom he had invited to this meeting 
to report on the duties and powers of the Recreation Commission 
in regard to historic sites, and their cooperation with the Wyoming 
State Archives and Historical Department. Mark Junge reported 
on the related programs of the two agencies in regard to state 
historic sites, survey and inventory of sites, monuments and mark- 
ers. National Register nominations, and environmental impact 

Ruth Blackburn of Cody reported on the work of a committee 
which has completed a marker at the site of the Heart Mountain 
Relocation Center. The committee is still gathering information 
on the names of the Japanese who were interned there during 
World War II. 

Mr. Wasden asked the meeting to vote to accept the new con- 
stitution and by-laws as he had rewritten them. He said that the 
change can be made by a vote at the annual meeting without 
previous notice since the proposed changes were mailed to chapter 


presidents in May. After discussion Henry Jensen moved that 
the revision proposal be tabled. The motion was seconded and 

The meeting was adjourned lor lunch, which was served in the 
College cafeteria. Entertainment was provided by folk singer^ 
Don and Vivien Hills, of Torrington, and Bill Bragg spoke on 
"Wyoming Wit — Wyoming Humor." 

The meeting was reconvened immediately after lunch. Dick 
Dumbrill, past president, moved that the incoming president be 
authorized to appoint a Constitution and By-laws review commit- 
tee to consist of the Executive Committee and such other members 
of the Society as the president feels are necessary and proper to 
study the present Constitution and By-laws, and the proposed Con- 
stitution and By-laws to discuss the need for revisions of the pres- 
ent documents and to make recommendation to the Society before 
the next annual meeting. The motion was seconded and carried. 

The meeting was adjourned and reconvened as the Wyoming 
Historical Foundation. Chairman Ed Bille, Casper, who has 
served as chairman since 1967, does not wish to continue as chair- 
man. He feels that new officers of the Foundation will generate 
new interest. He said there is still money available from founda- 
tions and from individuals tor making additional historic movies. 
which is one of the goals of the Society. He feels there should be 
more communication and more cooperation between the Society 
and the Foundation. 

Mr. Wasden again stated his opinion that the Foundation should 
be deactivated. He added that he had been in correspondence 
with the State Historical Society of Colorado on the subject and 
they do not have a Foundation such as ours. 

In the following discussion, the general feeling was that the 
Foundation should be continued but that the system for electing, 
officers would be changed to allow for staggered terms. The ser- 
vices of the Executive Headquarters were offered to assist in earn- 
ing on the business of the Foundation. Mr. Jensen moved that the 
Foundation continue to operate, with officers serving three-year 
terms. Seconded and carried. 

Mr. Jensen moved that a Foundation committee of six members 
from the Society be named. Seconded and carried. The commit- 
tee named was Ed Bille, David Wolff, Henry Jensen, Jack Mueller, 
Ray Pendergraft and George Shelton. 

Frank Bowron, Casper, moved that Foundation money not be 
used for travel or office expenses of the Foundation. Seconded 
and carried. 

The Wyoming Historical Foundation meeting adjourned, and 
the Wyoming State Historical Society was again called to order. 

Mr. Bowron moved that a budget for expenses of the board of 


the Wyoming Historical Foundation be established by the Society. 
Seconded and carried. 

The Awards Program of the Society was discussed, and the 
group agreed that changes are needed, namely to extend the time 
that nominations may be made each year prior to the annual meet- 
ing, and that awards not be made on a first, second and third place 
basis. It was suggested that it should be possible to approve an 
award up to the night before the annual meeting. It was also 
suggested that the Awards program should have more statewide 
publicity throughout the year. 

Mr. Jensen moved that the incoming president appoint a 
committee to revise the awards program. Seconded and carried. 
Mr. Jensen and Mr. Pendergraft volunteered to assist with the 

Mr. Bowron suggested that Society members give thought to 
suggesting people to serve on the Wyoming State Library, Archives 
and Historical Board, and send their suggestions to Governor 
Herschler for his consideration in appointing board members. 

After discussion of a proposal by the federal government that 
Fort Laramie and related historic sites be included in a "Trails 
West" national monument, it was decided that Wyoming had 
nothing to gain by such a procedure. The Society approved a 
resolution to formally oppose the inclusion of Fort Laramie in the 
monument. Copies of the resolution are to be sent to Governor 
Herschier and to the present Wyoming Congressional delegation as 
well as to Wyoming members of Congress after January 1- 

No invitation for the 1979 annual meeting was received and Ray 
Pendergraft moved that the new president be responsible for locat- 
ing a place for the meeting. Seconded and carried. 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30. 


A no-host hospitality hour preceded the banquet at the Valli-Hi 
Supper Club. Organ music was provided by Fern Wilburn 
throughout the evening. 

Mr. Mueller presented the following awards: 

Publications, books: 1st place, Dr. T. A. Larson, Wyoming. A 
History; 2nd place, Dr. Richard R. Dunham, Flaming Gorge 
Country; 3rd place, Dana P. Vanburgh, Jr.. Sketches of Wyoming; 
honorable mention, Virginia Cole Trenholm, West of Plymouth. 

Publications, newspaper division: Ray Pendergraft, article, 
"Worland. The Town that Skates on Ice." 

Activities award: Otto Nelson, Noble Gregory and Jim Budbe, 
Teton County Chapter, for locating unmarked pioneer graves. 

Photography: Teton County Chapter. 

Cumulative contribution: 1st place, Eunice Hutton, Green 


River; 2nd place, Jay Brazelton, Jackson; 3rd place. Mar\ Capps, 

Fine Arts, music: Margaret Schumacher, Cheyenne, for the 
opera. "Tea and Lilacs for the Duke." 

Fine Arts, painting and drawing: 1st place, Elva Ecton. Wor- 
land. "The Old Ferry": 2nd place. Richard Scott, Worland; 3rd 
place, .lames Davis. Worland; honorable mention. Halvor (Bill) 
Johnson. Gillette. 

Alberta Frost, widow of Ned Frost, was presented a plaque 
honoring her late husband's work in the area of historic preserva- 
tion while he served with the Wyoming Recreation Commission. 
Mrs. Wilson made the presentation. 

The nominating committee reported the following new officers 
had been elected: Mabel Broun, president; Jim June, fust 
vice-president; Bill Bragg, second vice-president; Ellen Mueller, 

Banquet speaker was Dr. Larson, who spoke on the connection 
between General John J. Pershing and the Warren family ot 


After breakfast at the Senior Fellowship Center the Society 
members toured Fort Laramie and other historic sites in the Tor- 
rington area. 

Throughout the meeting frequent drawings for prizes were held. 
The prizes were donated by the chapters, and represented products 
unique to each countv. 

JSook Reviews 

Prehistoric Hunters of the High Plains. By George C. Frison. 
(New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1978). 457 pp. Index. 
Illus. Maps. $29.50. 

Frison's book is definitive on prehistoric hunting in the Ameri- 
can Northwestern plains. It summarizes nearly everything of sig- 
nificance learned about the subject by archaeologists excavating 
the area's known sites, and it reflects a time span from the mam- 
moth hunters to the proto-historic era. The book contains more 
than some readers will want to know and more than others will be 
capable of absorbing. As many will find it useful as a reference 
of specific sites as will read it straight through. 

Frison has years of experience in the field and so speaks from 
firsthand acquaintance. Works in this field tend to be either very 
specific or grandly hypothetical. This is mostly the former, with 
the exception of a first chapter narrative on the plains as an 
ecological environment, and several short reconstructions of the 
probable dynamics of the hunt of several species of game. The 
narrative reconstructions, however, do not sacrifice scholarly rigor 
for color, but stick closely to what can be learned from projectile 
points, the arrangement of bones at kill sites, topography, geology, 
weather, and other factors treated by the book in detail. 

A good example of the author's reluctance to enter the domain 
of the popularizers are sections on stone circles and buffalo jumps. 
He dismisses much speculation on stone circles by indicating that 
they were most probably tepee foundations, and that not enough 
artifacts have been found with them to establish their cultural 
significance, if any. Buffalo jumps are exciting to think about, 
but were difficult for the hunters to operate with any but large 
herds. More common was driving into arroyos and corrals or 
allowing the beasts to get stuck in gumbo. How the latter was 
done exactly Frison does not profess to know. As he wryly puts 
it in his chapter on hunting mammoth: "Obviously the chance of 
observing an elephant in a gumbo condition in this area is remote. 
Unless better evidence is forthcoming, most of the actual details 
of mammoth procurement in the New World will remain in the 
realm of conjecture." Bison hunting can be better described be- 
cause there are more sites and because the habits of the animal 
can be observed at present. "The kinds of bison-driving activities 
just described," Frison writes, "are not things that can be learned 
by reading books." 

The book is about evenly divided between what might be called 
the statics and dynamics of hunting — that is the morphology and 


taxonomy of tools and points, complete with drawings and photos 
of them in situ, combined with other sections on the way these 
were used in a hunt. The latter portions, present most consistently 
in chapters five through nine dealing with hunting, butchering and 
processing, will be most compelling to non-archaeologists. Chapter 
two, a complex "in house" discussion of the problem of chronology 
will doubtless be least attractive to readers without background in 
the literature of plains archaeology. Somewhere between in gen- 
eral interest is the part locating and describing the excavations oi 
the region, though this section with its complete set of maps, is a 
marvelous reference tool. The illustrations are complete and first 
rate, adequate to allow careful comparison of certain little known 
types of projectile points with the more familiar Clovis or Folsom 
points. Someone at the press should have decided upon a single 
spelling of the word "archaeology." which is in two different forms 
within the preface alone and throughout the book. 

Though this book does not contain something for everyone, it 
contains a great deal for those whose interest in the prehistoric 
High Plains is serious. 

Wichita State University H. Craig Miner 

Montana Images of the Past. By William E. Fair and K. Ross 
Toole. (Boulder, Colo.: Pruett Publishing Company, 1 L > 7 s . > 
274 pp. Index, lllus. $35.00. 

The two professors of history at the University of Montana have 
produced a collection of photographs which, as they say the) 
intended, not only illustrate Montana's history, but document it. 
Long before the days of Life Magazine, it was recognized that the 
American scene — the daily doings and thinking of Americans — 
could best be described through pictures. Bui as these authors 
point out, usually pictures were used to illustrate the text. In this 
delightful compilation the narrative serves to give background and 
chronology to the photographs. 

It is appropriate that among the first photographs in the book 
are those by that master W. H. Jackson, from the 1870s and '80s. 
He did more than show the magnificence of the mountains: he 
portrayed the people, their work, their lives, their spirit. What 
Professors Farr and Toole have given us is a lesson in photo 
interpretation (that phrase so familiar in World War II!) The) 
challenge the reader to seek all sorts of historical clues: architec- 
ture, clothes, tools, weather etc. 

The authors' apologies for. or explanation of, the quality of the 
photographic reproductions seem unnecessary; to an amateur artist 


and photographer like myself the pictures are excellent, in compo- 
sition, contrast, movement and atmosphere. 

The images of Montana's mines and miners, lumbering and 
lumberjacks, cowboys and sheepmen, Indians, homesteaders and 
homemakers. people having fun and people with cars, remind one 
that — like the other Rocky Mountain states, its history is of a 
relatively short past. The explorers, mountain men and prospec- 
tors provided all too few written accounts; in spite of the Catlin, 
Bodmer and other drawings, we cannot go back more than two 
hundred years. What a pity Lewis and Clark didn't have cameras! 

Montana's development had unique aspects, but most of the 
pictures are universal in their portrayal of the early days of the 
West: man's ability to bear unbearable living conditions and to 
overcome insuperable natural obstacles; his inventiveness in devis- 
ing tools where there were no tools, and his wife's determined 
success in bringing and keeping "culture" under conditions of bare 

The "melting pot" — a phrase so little used nowadays — did 
apply to the builders of Montana. Welsh miners, Scandinavian 
lumberjacks, black cowboys, Irish, Chinese, Slavs — all seemed to 
blend into the American-Montana scene. There was no mention 
of Basque shepherds — did they remain in Nevada? The authors' 
emphasis on the Indians' maintaining "discrete" and surviving in 
spite of acculturation efforts, would be stronger, had there been 
fewer photographs of Indians in Reservation schools, dressed like 
the whites, and doing "government work" — and more scenes typ- 
ical of their own culture. 

To a conservationist the photographs of hydraulic hoses washing 
out ore beds and of denuded forest lands, are shocking, but to 
those early settlers the resources of the new land must have seemed 
limitless. More shocking are the efforts today to strip the land 
and the earth under it of anything that will bring the quick buck 
today — who cares about tomorrow? 

The Images of Montana's Past, both photographs and text, are 
not only entertaining and interesting, but thought provoking. They 
will help the historians. They should be seen and read in Wyo- 
ming, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, anywhere and by anyone who loves 
to seek clues to the past, reminisce about grandmother's wedding 
dress, or strive for the preservation of that pioneer spirit of grit, 
adventure, and survival. 

Archivist, Teton County Elizabeth R. Brownell 

Chapter, Wyoming State 
Historical Society 


History of Wyoming. By T. A. Larson. Second edition, revised. 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978). 663 pp. 
Index. Illus. $18.95. 

All students of Wyoming history will welcome the revised edi- 
tion of Al Larson's History of Wyoming. Initially published in 
1965, the book remains the most comprehensive study we have of 
this state and its people. 

This is not a complete revision of the original volume. Larson 
has left the first sixteen chapters almost entirely intact. However, 
the final two chapters of the first edition have been greatly revised 
and updated. They emerge in the present edition as three chapters 
on Wyoming economy, politics and government, and society and 
culture since World War 11. In his bibliography, Larson also has 
added a four-page addendum of "the more or less noteworthy pub- 
lications" on Wyoming history which have appeared since 1965. 

As the first edition's contents arc well known, this review will 
examine the final chapters in the revision. This section of slightly 
more than one hundred pages reveals the continuities and change. 
of the recent Wyoming experience. Larson's additional years in 
Laramie as a history professor and his tenure in Cheyenne as a 
legislative representative are mirrored here. 

"The Postwar Economy" stresses the transition from the anx- 
ious years of the mid-1960s, when Stan Hathaway and other emis- 
saries feted distant investors with wild game dinners, trying to 
cajole them into sinking dollars in Wyoming. Bv chapter's end. 
Larson is reviewing the attempts to restrain runaway growth in 
the late 1970s. Mineral exploitation, of course, is the main focus, 
but agriculture and livestock, reclamation and water development, 
and tourism and recreation also receive significant attention. 

"Postwar Politics and Government" features portrayals of recent 
political leaders, from O'Mahonev to Wallop. Democratic readers 
may he more pleased with this chapter than Republican read- 
ers. Gale McGee, for example, is praised highly while Malcolm 
Wallop's credentials as an environmentalist are questioned. Some 
will grit their teeth at Larson's perspective or at the men and issues 
which have dominated state politics. But few will doubt that this 
is one of the most provocative and interesting sections of the entire 

"Postwar Society and Culture" emphasizes elements that Larson 
has had close contact with: the university, arts and humanities, 
and the bicentennial celebration. At the university, Larson recalls 
the textbook review of the 1940s and the Black 14 incident of the 
late 1960s; he covers such evolving issues as Casper College and 
the college of human medicine. Athletics and the university's con- 
servative tradition are his main concerns. He concludes with a 


brief overview of the quality of Wyoming life and the hope that a 
balance may be struck between growth and preservation. 

Clearly it is not possible to pay detailed attention to all the 
components of the contemporary scene. 1 would have liked to 
see, however, more consideration of the state's peoples. Women, 
Chicanos and Indians, for example, are hardly mentioned. More 
of the daily lives of Wyoming ranchers, miners and other workers 
could have been included. Impacted areas merited more thorough 
analysis. Oral history could have been employed profitably at a 
number of junctures. 

Nonetheless, History of Wyoming is an important and valuable 
book. It demonstrates again the author's unparalleled familiarity 
with and his deep affection for this state. And in the best tradition 
of state and local history, the final chapters represent not a mere 
hvmn of praise, but a critical, thoughtful view of our recent past. 

University of Wyoming Peter Iverson 

The Genteel Gentile. Letters of Elizabeth dimming, 1857-1858. 
Ed. and introduction and notes by Ray R. Canning and 
Beverly Beeton. (Salt Lake City: Tanner Trust Fund. Uni- 
versity of Utah Library, 1977). 'ill pp. Index. Bib. Illus. 

Many journals and diaries have been published about the rigors 
of the trip west but few give as vivid an account of this journey, 
in the 1850s, as Elizabeth Cumming does in her letters. There are 
eighteen letters in this collection; fifteen addressed to her sister-in- 
law, Anne Elizabeth Cumming; two to her husband. Governor 
Alfred Cumming; and one to her sister-in-law, Sarah Wallace 

At forty-six years of age, Elizabeth Cumming had been the wife 
of the Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia; followed her husband when he 
was sutler for General Zachary Taylor's Army in Mexico and later 
on to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri; then moved with him to St. 
Louis, where he was Superintendent of Indian Affairs on the 
Upper Missouri. 

In this book she tells of another move — a trip to Utah Territory. 

In the summer of 1857, President James Buchanan announced 
that he was sending an army to Utah to preserve peace. There 
had been a question of who enforced law in this area — the federal 
government or the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. 

At this time President Buchanan, also appointed Alfred Cum- 
ming to be the first non-Mormon governor of the Utah Territory, 
replacing Brigham Young. 

The timing of their trip (September and October) toward Utah 


made the new governors party fight the bitter cold weather as well 
as the loss of many of their animals from starvation. The Mor- 
mons, hoping to discourage them, had burned advanced supply 
wagons and the grass that was necessary feed for the animals. 

In her November, 1857. letter Elizabeth states some of the 
animals froze standing motionless. Also, she wrote, although they 
burned the extra wagons for cooking fuel there wasn't wood for 
heat and consequently many suffered. She had a painful frost- 
bitten foot. 

These circumstances made the group spend the winter in tents 
at Camp Scott, Utah Territory (later called Eckelsville) close to 
Fort Bridger. Elizabeth worried about the winter discontent of 
the men along with the shortage of supplies — salt in particular, 
but still gives the impression she en'o\ed these months in the 

In April her husband went on to Salt Lake with Colonel Kane. 
Brigham Young's peace ambassador. Here contrary to predictions 
he made a peaceable meeting with the church leader. 

Alfred returned to Camp Scott and in June, Elizabeth accom- 
panied him to Salt Lake City. She writes that spring brought out 
her beaut\ to display for them as they rode down Echo Canyon 
and on the Golden Pass Road (Parley's Canyon ). 

Brigham Young ordered most of his followers to vacate the City 
of Salt Lake in case the U. S. Army proved hostile. The silence 
of this City impressed the governor's wife. After Johnson and 
the U. S. Army passed through without a single incident many 
returned to their homes from southern Utah and it became a 
normal city again. 

William Staines' mansion was the Cummings' first home in this 
City. Different members of the Church had supplied all the nec- 
essary furniture and household equipment for them to use — even 
china dishes and a piano. 

In July of 1858, when the Staines returned from the south, a 
small adobe house next to the Salt Lake Theatre served as their 

Here Elizabeth met some of the Mormon wives, whom she liked. 
Among them was Mary Anne Angell Young. Brigham Young's 
second wife, who visited with her several times a week. They 
talked about religion and the Mormon way of life. 

The footnotes of Ray Canning and Beverly Beeton add much to 
make this book more informative. 

LaBarge, Wyoming Betty Carpenter Pfaff 


The Outlaw Trail. A Journey Through Time. By Robert Red- 
ford. (New York: Grosser and Dunlap. 1976). 223 pp. 
Index. Illus. $25.00. 

An actual path along the trails used by Western outlaws would 
start in northern Montana and wind through much of Wyoming 
into Utah, Colorado and New Mexico all the way to the Mexican 
border. Robert Redford chooses to start his retracing of outlaw 
forays near Kaycee, Wyoming, at Hole-in-the-Wall, a desperado 
hideout in a great red cliff fortress which overlooks a wide fertile 
valley, convenient for grazing stolen cattle and horses. 

There Redford met the eight companions who would ride with 
him across the plains, past the ghost towns and through the wild 
ravines that were the territory of Butch Cassidy, the McCarty 
brothers and Cleophas Dowd. He records a personal journey 
through time that avoids nostalgia but recreates a bit of the past 
through the voices of the present. Redford and his riders talk at 
length to the ranchers and cowboys along the trail, some of them 
as fiercely individualistic as yesterday's outlaws. It is largely 
through these conversations that the author transmits his deep 
concern that the onslaught of "progress" is destroying the land as 
well as altering a cherished western way of life. 

More than a third of the narrative is devoted to Wyoming as 
the group rides southwest to Atlantic City and South Pass City, 
"the first stop where we sensed a major attempt to preserve a part 
of our national heritage ... It was a flashback to the early promise 
of our national fiber," Redford says. 

The party moved in pony express style, stopping at ranches for 
fresh food and horses. The route took them to Brown's Park, 
Colorado, and Robbers' Roost, Utah, ending in the prehistoric- 
wonderland of the Lake Powell and Escalante River canyons. 

The Outlaw Trail is a coffee table book in the best sense of the 
term. Its cover, featuring an unshaven, rugged Redford against a 
brilliant western sky, is more provocative as a conversation piece 
than the ubiquitous heavyweight art book designed (or acquired?) 
to suggest erudition. Inside the cover, good taste is evident, 
though a few fans may be disappointed that the film star's fine 
features appear only where appropriate to the narrative. Magnifi- 
cent color photographs by Jonathan Blair and historic prints com- 
plement the writer's unpretentious but perceptive prose. 

All are bound together by the strength of Redford's love for the 
western outdoors and its people. His is a reflective book, full of 
respect for ordinary men and of wonder at their extraordinary 

Chevenne Adeline McCabe 


Steamboats on the Colorado River 1852-1907. B> Richard E. 
Lingenfelter. (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press. 
1^78.) 195 pp. Index. Illus. Paper $9.50; cloth $17. 50. 

The overall development of the West was intimately tied up with 
the course of steam navigation of rivers because rivers provided 
the avenue of ingress from the ocean to the interior. In fact, for 
many years, paddle wheel steamboats were the cheapest and most 
efficient form of transportation to the interior of the continent until 
thev were eclipsed completely by railroads and much later b\ the 

This book details the story of steam navigation on the Colorado 
and every patch of smooth water of its tributaries from 1852 to 
1 9 I 6 and from the Gulf of California along 600 miles of rapids 
just below the Grand Canyon and on tributaries clear up the Green 
River in Wyoming, about 1600 miles from the Gulf. 

For many years that mode of transportation was the vers lifeline 
of Arizona, being used bv miners, ranchers, and merchants w ith 
their goods, tools and machinery, and carrying out rich ore from 
silver, copper, and lead mines. Mines and settlements would have 
waited years for development had boats not been feasible. 

The Colorado meanders through long valleys connected b\ some 
narrow canyons and between banks lined with cottonwoods, wil- 
lows, and mesquite. It is shallow in places, tremendously swift in 
others. Constantly shitting currents created a maze of sand bars 
which increased the danger of running aground. It was soon as- 
certained that a boat should not draw over 2 1 2 to 3 feet of water. 
It is hot. dr\ country. 

Crews had a difficult time foraging for fuel and the sun, wind, 
sand and smoke were more than many could stand. The daih 
tidal bore in the delta area was enormously high and many anchors 
were lost before boatmen learned to cope with that phenomenon. 
Boats had to be shipped to different places in pieces and assembled 

The book is well written and completely documented. There 
are more than 100 photos, drawings, and maps to illuminate the 
text. In addition, there are a list of the steamboats on the Colo- 
rado and its tributaries plus the date of launching and the final 
disposition of each; a chronological list of steamboat operators; 
and a table of distances along the lower Colorado River. Infor- 
mation on gasoline powered boats is also provided. 

Since Fort Yuma and Fort Mohave were long supplied b\ 
steamboats, this book relates closely to the military history of the 
region, control of the Cocopahs, Yumas, Chemehuevis. and Mo- 
haves and the securing of overland routes to California. 

When the first railroad train crossed the river in September, in 
1S77, at Yuma, steamboats began to play a decreasing role, and 


dams to provide irrigation water sounded the actual death knell of 

This is a worthwhile addition to the historiography of several 
western states. Professionals and buffs alike will find it entertain- 
ing and useful. 

Fort Lewis College Robert W. Delaney 

The Cheyennes of Montana. By Thomas B. Marquis. ( Algonac, 
Mich.: Reference Publications, Inc., 1978). 297 pp. Index. 
Illus. Maps. $19.50. 

On July 3, 1922. Dr. Thomas B. Marquis became the agency 
physician for the northern Cheyenne. Thus began a relationship 
between the Cheyenne and the versatile Marquis which lasted until 
the latter's death in 1935. A doctor by training, and a lawyer by 
accident. Marquis was primarily a historian during the last twelve 
years of his life. The primary sources for his books were the 
handful of Cheyenne who had survived two decades of Indian 
wars and four decades of the white man's Indian policies. Mar- 
quis' many interviews with these survivors formed the backbone of 
The Cheyennes of Montana. Only recently published, the book 
was the last manuscript Marquis wrote before his death. 

The core of the work is built upon two sections, the first being 
a set of four interviews. Two of the narratives trace the lives of a 
ninety-two-year-old woman and an eighty-three-year-old man. 
Their stories mention events dating back to the Treaty of Fort 
Laramie in 1851. A third interview concerns a Cheyenne man 
who served as a scout with the Army in the late 1880s. His service 
with Lt. Edward Casey's scouts in the Sioux campaign of 1 890 is 
recalled. The recollections of Jules Chaudel, a white man who 
also served with the Cheyenne scouts at Fort Keogh completes the 
personal narratives. Chaudel's reminiscences deal with Indian- 
white relations in the Keogh area after the Indian wars. The 
second portion of the book consists of Marquis' observations on 
the Cheyenne life style as he observed it in the early 1920s. The 
section covers such diverse cultural subjects as religion, domestic 
relations, and amusements. 

The Cheyennes of Montana constitutes a memorial to Thomas 
B. Marquis. The first fifty pages are devoted to a biography of 
Marquis by editor Thomas D. Weist. In his biographical sketch, 
Weist not only gives a background to the writing of The Cheyennes 
of Montana, but also explains the purpose of much of Marquis' 
writing. In the various histories of the Indian wars written in the 
1920s, there is a discernible lack of the Indian's side of the story. 
This book, and other Marquis writings, such as the Memoirs of a 


White Crow Indian, are attempts to till the void in the historiog- 
raphy of the clash between Indians and whites. 

The Cheyennes of Montana offers something of value to readers 
with a variety of interests. The historian will find the four inter- 
views of particular value for a view of the activities of the Chey- 
enne in the second half of the nineteenth century. Lditor Weist 
takes great pains to verify and explain, where possible, many of the 
incidents related by the ancients. Anthropologists can use Mar- 
quis' observations on Cheyenne culture as a point of comparison 
for other works. Finally the general reader will find the book 
interesting, and most important!) , informative. 

Graduate Assistant Larry D. Roberts 

Oklahoma State University 

A Journal of Travels to and from California. With Full Details 
of the Hardships and Privations; also a Description of the 
Country, Mines, Cities. Towns cv.c . By John T. Clapp, of 
Kalamazoo, Michigan. ( Republished by the Kalamazoo Pub- 
lic Museum, Kalamazoo, Michigan. 1977). Paper. 

This journal by John T. Clapp. about his journey to the Cali- 
fornia gold fields from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and back, was orig- 
inally published in 1851. As part of the Bicentennial celebration 
the Kalamazoo Public Museum republished the journal in 1977. 

The Museum used copies from the Newberry Library of Chi- 
cago and Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript 
Library to publish a facsimile reproduction of the original. The 
reproduction, therefore, includes the sometimes faint and broken 
typography of the original, which occasionally makes reading 

In addition to the sixty-seven-page journal are brief biographies, 
gleaned from census, tax, assessment, and cemetery records and 
newspapers, of all the men mentioned in the journal from the 
Kalamazoo area. 

The journal, for the most part, is a straightforward account of 
preparations for the trip in early March, 1850, and descriptions of 
the towns they passed through in settled areas, landscape and land- 
marks along the Oregon Trail, river crossings, weather, provisions, 
wild life. Indians, their horses' health and disposition, and the men 
with whom Clapp traveled. He also wrote of conditions in the 
California gold mining areas he saw and his trip back to Michigan 
via the Isthmus of Panama and New York City by ship. 

Fort Laramie, Laramie Peak, Independence Rock, "Sweet Wa- 
ter" River, Devil's Gate, South Pass, Fremont's Peak, and the 
Green River are some of the Wyoming landmarks described. 


The reader can't help but be impressed by the apparently heavy 
traffic along the trail from descriptions of the many other trains 
Clapp and his companions encountered. He also wrote of all the 
goods and equipment left along the trail to lighten the load. Clapp 
discovered an Indian woman playing no recognizable tune on an 
"accordeon," which was probably found by the woman after its 
California-bound owner abandoned it. 

Occasionally, the author takes off on rhetorical flights of fancy. 
His description of howling wolves along the Sweetwater west of 
Devil's Gate on June 9th leans strongly toward the melodramatic. 

"The thundering sounds from the fierce multitude, struck our 
ears like a death knell: knowing not, but that our bodies, now 
beaming with the radii of life, would soon be masticated between 
their greedy jaws; and that our consecrated blood, now coursing 
through its thousand veins to the temple of life, the Heart, would 
soon flow in one isolated channel, down their voracious throats, 
thirsting for human gore." 

That is the most extreme example of Clapp's rather sensational 
writing style, which was not uncommon in the mid- 19th century. 
He is also inspired upon occasion to write a few verses of poetry 
in the midst of his journal entries, which are more romantic than 
his prose on wolves. 

For California Gold Rush, Oregon Trail and Western history 
buffs, this small volume might well be a welcome addition to your 
collection of resource material. Extant copies of the original pub- 
lication are few and far between. The Kalamazoo Public Museum 
should be commended for making the journal easily available to 
historians, amateur and professional alike. 

Archivist / Historian Paulette J. Weiser 

Wyoming Stare Archives, Museums 
and Historical Department 

The Mormon Role in the Settlement of the West. Charles Redd 
Monographs in Western History No. 9. Ed., Richard H. 
Jackson. (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1978). 
Maps. Charts. 

This paperbound book deals mainly with the role of the Mor- 
mon people's occupation of the land they settled. It is divided 
into seven segments — each written by a different author — and 
edited by Richard H. Jackson, who also writes the first chapter. 
Dr. Jackson traces the Mormon migration to the Great Salt Lake 
Valley through various diaries of the pioneers. 

Melvin Smith's section deals with the effort of the Mormon 


people to settle an area less than one hundred miles square in the 
arid region of the lower Colorado River. Bounded on the east by 
the Grand Canyon, on the north by the Virgin and Muddy Rivers, 
on the west by Las Vegas Wash and on the south by the Needles, 
it was a lava-strewn, eroded and sandblown land. Dr. Smith ana- 
lyzes both the Mormon and non-Mormon explorers of this area. 

The segment written by Lynn A. Rosenvall examines the rea- 
sons behind the failure and abandonment of various settlements 
in Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California and Wyoming. He 
touches on the failures of settlements in Ohio, Missouri. Illinois. 
Iowa, Nebraska and Mexico due to religious conflicts. 

Most failures in the West were due to inadequate water supply. 
unexpected floods and short growing seasons. The colonists did 
not "give up" readily. Only three settlements were abandoned 
within the first year. Some lasted as long as sixty \ears. The 
estimated lifetime was twenty-two years. Dr. Rosenvall points out 
that the significant aspect is not that forty-six settlements failed, 
hut that man) survived and indeed made the "desert blossom as 
a rose." 

Alan Grey compares the colonizing of the Mormons in Sail 
Lake City to the settlement of Christchurch (originally the Canter- 
bur) Settlement) in New Zealand. Both settlements were in 
remote areas, and founded upon explicit religious and social 

In chapter tour. Charles Peterson analyzes the development of 
the agricultural system, villages, homesteads and dry farms of the 
Mormon people. 

The population growth in the Mormon Core area. 1847-1890, 
is covered by Wayne L. Wahlquist. Dr. Wahlquist has tabulated 
the official census statistics not only of the entire territory but of 
individual communities as well. 

Dean R. Louder and Lowell Bennion have compiled a detailed 
account of the development of The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints. Beginning with the struggle lor statehood and 
organized colonization, thev follow the expansion of the L. D. S. 
Church across the United States and to other countries. This 
final chapter includes a series of maps covering a hundred year 
span — I 860- 1 960 — of progress. 

One of the strong points of the book is the well-documented 
maps and tables that accompany each chapter. The book is well 
researched and footnoted. 

This publication will be of great value to all those seeking a 
more in-depth analysis of the development and growth of the 
Mormon people. 

LaBarge, Wyoming Wanda Vasey 


A Piece of the Old Tent: A Catalog of Items in the Lane County 
Pioneer Museum That Were Brought Across the Plains in the 
!840's and 1850's. By Glenn Mason. (Eugene, Ore.: Lane 
County Pioneer Museum, 1976). 44 pp. Illus. $3.00. 

"A piece of the old tent of 1853" was a memento of Thomas 
and Hannah Williams who made the hazardous crossing of the 
Oregon Trail. A photograph of this item, along with other arti- 
facts from the long trip form the basis for this book on travels and 
travelers of the Oregon Trail. 

Formulated as an interpretive aid for the museum's Bicentennial 
exhibit, the book project was supported by a grant from the Na- 
tional Endowment for the Arts. It is divided into two sections. 
The narrative portion describes and illustrates the outfitting of an 
emigrant for the trip. Brief quotes from publications of the era 
are used to vividly illustrate the problems and preparations relating 
to the Oregon journey. 

In Hastings' The Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and California, 
as quoted in the catalog, he warned that "Very few cooking uten- 
sils should be taken, as they very much increase the load, to avoid 
which, is always a consideration of paramount importance." One 
of the most consistent warnings given to emigrants was that against 
overloading the wagons which would lead to the eventual abandon- 
ment of many of their goods. The two most important considera- 
tions for any traveler, according to most of the literature, were 
provisions and the teams used. 

Portraits of the various pioneers, such as Sarah Snelling Tandy, 
point out a fact of trail life often overlooked by movie producers — 
the hardships aged even handsome women in a hurry. And, 
Sarah Tandy was a handsome though careworn woman. No won- 
der. She rode the Oregon Trail seated in a chair in the back of a 
covered wagon, suffering with arthritis every mile of the way. Her 
battered chair, along with her portrait, are pictured in the book. 

A Piece of the Old Tent also serves to remind us that many of 
the wagon trains were villages on the move. People from all walks 
of life worked cooperatively to ensure the success of their travels. 
The "Tools of the Trade" chapter quotes Rolp Geer, an 1847 
pioneer, who noted that in his wagon train there were preachers, 
doctors, lawyers, merchants, nurserymen, stockmen, millwrights, 
carpenters and men of many other careers represented. 

Excellent photography by Andy Whipple brings out the details 
of the fine artifacts in the collection. The layout is neatly done, 
and borders on many of the photographs are suitable to the 1 800s. 
I would like to have seen a wide-angle photo of any area in the 
museum which featured some of the artifacts, even if it also con- 


tained some non-Oregon Trail material. It is always interesting to 
see how various museums handle their displays. Also, other mu- 
seums' staff members could have seen how the artifacts were inte- 
grated into regular displays. 

In the second section of the publication is a listing of all of the 
museum's artifacts which can be documented as coming across the 
plains to Oregon. Although the museum houses books, manu- 
scripts, and maps which were brought on the trip West, these were 
excluded because of the nature of the Bicentennial exhibit. 

I am puzzled about one object in the book. On page nine is 
a photograph of a "cast iron muffin pan." 1 thought it was a 
cornbread-stick pan — perhaps it was used for both. But that is a 
minor detail for a book which can be a valuable tool for research- 
ers, of interest to the general public, and an inspiration to museum 
staffs planning to prepare and catalog special-theme exhibits. 

Thermopolh Dorothy Milfk 

The Country Railroad Station in America. By H. Roger Grant 
and Charles W. Bohi. (Boulder, Colo.: Pruett Publishing 
Company, 1978). I S3 pp. Index. Illus. $22.50. 

The country railroad station is reminiscent of an era in our his- 
tory which lasted a relatively short time between the horse and 
automobile eras; but while it lasted, it played a significant role. 

Before the railroad reached the rural communities, horse-drawn 
equipment provided the only transportation for freight, mail, pas- 
sengers, and outgoing products of the community. Imagine the 
changes which took place when the railroad and its subsequent 
depot arrived! The depot became a source of great local pride 
and camaraderie, and its socioeconomic importance to the town 
was unquestionable. 

It is interesting to read about the nearly -forgotten railroad sta- 
tion, and to review the over three hundred pictures and excellent 
captions which illustrate the evolution of country depots all over 
America and Canada. One seldom thinks of the similarities and 
differences in floor plan and architecture of these stations. 

Libraries should consider it as a resource book. Students oi 
depot architecture, or those with a real interest in railroads and 
depots, will find this an interesting book. The many architectural 
details could be boring to most students of history, and the price — 
a whopping $22.50 — "a bit much" lor most home libraries. 

We should feel thankful to the authors for their well-written 
tribute to the country railroad station. Many of the photographs 


were taken by Mr. Bohi before many of the stations were destroyed 
or moved, and are therefore of great historical value. Mr. Grant 
is a professional historian, writer, and a professor at the University 
of Akron, Ohio. 

Saratoga Historical Elva Evans 

and Cultural Association 

Dust to Dust. Obituaries of the Gunfighters. Compiled by Jerry 
J. Gaddy. Illustrations by Dale Crawford. A Michael J. 
Koury Book, co-published by Presidio Press, San Rafael, 
Calif, and The Old Army Press, Fort Collins, Colo., 1977. 
160 pp. Illus. $11.95. 

Sports & Recreation in the West. Ed., Donald J. Mrozek. (Man- 
hattan, Kan.: Sunflower University Press, 1978). 107 pp. 
Index. Illus. Paper. 

The Western Territories in the Civil War. Ed., LeRoy H. Fischer. 
(Manhattan, Kan.: Journal of the West, Inc., 1977). 120 
pp. Index. Maps. Illus. Paper, $6.00. 

The Cowboy. An Unconventional History of Civilization on the 
Old-Time Cattle Range. By Philip Ashton Rollins. Revised 
and enlarged edition. (Albuquerque: University of New 
Mexico Press). 402 pp. Index. Illus. Paper, $7.50. 


Geoffrey R. Hunt is museums curator and assistant director 
of the Siouxland Heritage Museums in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 
He holds a B. A. degree in history from the University of Wyoming 
and is completing work toward an M. A. in history from the Uni- 
versity as well as an M. A. in history museum studies from the 
Cooperstown graduate programs. Cooperstown. New York. He 
has worked at museums in Wyoming, Colorado and Montana. 
His study on Small Museums ami the Interpretation of Wyoming 
History was written with assistance from a Wyoming State Histor- 
ical Society Grant-in-Aid. 

Ester Johansson Murray (Mrs. John A. I is a native of Cody, 
the daughter of an old-time guide on Park County dude ranches. 
She is a graduate of the University of Wyoming. Mrs. Murray has 
had historical articles published in In Wyoming and is a member 
of Wyoming Writers. She lives in Billings with her husband and 
two dauuhters. 


Adams, Harry, 122 
Arland, Victor. I 18 
Arland, (Wyo. ). 114. 124 


Beam Creek (Uinta County), 104 

Bear Lodge mining district, 132 

Beeton, Beverly and Ray R. Can- 
ning, eds.. The Genteel Gentile. 
Letters of Elizabeth dimming, 
1857-1858, review, 158-159 

Belknap, Capt. Henry, 99. [13, 120. 

Bell, Al. 1 13 

Big Horn River. 143-144 

Birdseye, F. T.. 103 

Bohi. Charles W. and H. Roger 
Grant, The Country Railroad Sta- 
tion in America, review. 167-168 

Bridget". Jim. I OS. I 17 

Brownell. Elizabeth R.. review of 
Montana Images of the Past, 155- 

Brown's Park. 104 

Canning, Ray R. and Beverly Bee- 
ton, eds.. The Genteel Gentile. 
Letters of Elizabeth Camming, 
1857-1858, review, 158-134 

Carter, Mary. 1 16 

Carter. Judge William A.. 103. [05, 
106, 107. 112. 113. 114 

Carter, W. A. (Willie). I 15. 1 16, 
I 19. 120 

Carter Cattle Company. 103, 104, 

Carter Mountain. 107. 108 

Chapman, Andy, 121, 123 

Cheyenne, 135 

The Cheyennes of Montana, Thom- 
as B. Marquis, review, 162-163 

Clapp. John T., A Journal of Trav- 
els to anil from California. With 
Lull Details of the Hardships and 
Privations: also a Description of 
the Country, Mines. Cities. Towns 
&e., review, 163-164 

Chugwater, 138 

Chicago. Burlington & Quincy. 113 

Cline, Joe. 121 

Cody. William F„ 116 

Cody. (Wyo.), 140 

Coe. William R.. 116 

Coon Creek, 107 

Copper Mountain sulphur mines, 132 

Corbett, John, 118 

The Country Railroad Station in 
America, H. Roger Grant and 
Charles W. Bohi. review, 167-168 


Deane. John W. (Josh). 113 
Delaney, Robert W., review of 
Steamboats on the Colorado Riv- 
er 1852-1907. 161-162 


Edgar. Bob. I 1 I 

Embar Cattle Company, 118 

Evans. Elva. review of The Country 

Railroad Station in America, 167- 


Farr. William E. and K. Ross Toole, 
Montana Images of the Past, re- 
view, 155-156 

Fifth Cavalry, 109 


Bridger, 100, 103, 108, 112, 118 
D. A. Russell. 109 
Keough, 109 
Washakie. 109. 112. 113 

Fort Keough Trail. 122 

Franc, Otto, 99, 119. 120, 121, 122, 

Franc, ( Wyo. ) , 113 

Fremont's Body Guards, 100 

Frison. George C Prehistoric Hunt- 
ers of the High Plains, review, 



Gebo. (Wvo. ), 132 

Gemmell. James. 117. [21, 123 

Gemmell, Robert. 1 17 

Gemmell. Will. 121 

The Genteel Gentile. Letters oj 
Elizabeth dimming, 1857-1858, 
eds.. Ray R. Canning and BeverK 
Beeton. review. 158-159 

Grant. H. Roger and Charles W. 
Bohi. The Country Railroad Sta- 
tion in America, review. 167-168 

Grass Creek, 108 

Groshon, Maurice and Lues, I 16 

Jernberg. Van and Maxine, lit) 
Jones, Capt. William A.. 108 
A Journal of Travels to ami from 
California. With Full Details oj 
the Hardships ami Privations: also 
a Description of the Country. 
Mines. Cities. Towns &< ., John T. 
Clapp, review. 163-164 

Kelly, Luther S., 11)4 
Kirbj Creek. 1 17 
Kirwin, William. 122 



kx h 
1 10, 


12. I IX. 

T. A. Larson. 


Hall. Edwin, 131-146 
Hamilton. Richard H 
105, 106 

Hamilton. Robert. I Oh 
Hardin. Mont., 144 
Hartville I 'plifr. 1 3 1 
Harvey, Agnes McCu 
Harvey, Robert. 1 12 
Harvey, William H . 

121. 124 
Heart Mountain. 104 
History of Wyoming 

review, 157-158 
Holt. John M.. 120 
Horton, Morgan. 125 
Hunt. Geoffrey R . The Small M 

senin and the Interpretation 

II yoming History. 5-97 
Httnilev. Mont.. 1 17 


Immigration, State Board of. 134 

Chiefs and Individuals 

Joseph. I (19 

Washakie. 105 
[verson, Peter, review of History 

Wyoming, 157-158 

Jackson. Richard H.. The Mormon 
Role in the Settlement of tin 
West, review, 164-165 


Lander oil field, 132 

Larson. T. A.. History of Wyoming, 
review, 157-158 

Lingenfelter, Richard ¥... Steam- 
boats on the Colorado River 1852- 
1907, review, 161-162 


Mc( abe, Adeline, review of The 

Outlaw Trail. I Journey Through 

rune. 160 
McCoy, Linn. I I 3 
McCuiloch. Margaret Sinclair. 104. 

105, 117. 125. 126. 127. 128: 

photo. 48 


48. 128 
McCuiloch Corral, 
McCuiloch Peaks. 107 
McDaniel, — . 126 
Mark ham Spring. 107 
Marquis. Thomas B . The Chey- 

ennes oj Montana, review. 162- 

Mason. Glenn, A Piece of the Old 

lent A Catalog of Items in the 

I. une County Pioneer Museum 

That Here Brought Across the 

Plums in the 1840s ami 1850s, 

review. 166-167 
Meeteetse. (Wvo). I 14. 140 


1 lien. 104. 105 


98-129: photos 





Merritt, Col. Wesley. 109 

Milek. Dorothy, review of A Piece 
of the Old 'Tent: A Catalog of 
Items in the Lane County Pioneer 
Museum That Were Brought 
Across the Plains in the 1840s 
and 1850s. 166-167 

Miner. Craig H.. review of Prehis- 
toric Hunters of the High Plains, 

Minutes, Wyoming State Historical 
Society 25th Annual Meeting, 147- 

Montana Images of the Past. Wil- 
liam E. Farr and K. Ross Toole, 
review, 155-156 

Moore. .1. K.. 105. 106. 1 12 

The Mormon Role in the Settle- 
ment of the West. Richard H. 
Jackson, review. 164-165 

Murray. Ester Johansson, "Short 
Grass ami Heather" Peter Mc- 
Culloch in the Big Horn Basin, 

Museums, associations, 29-31; 
boards of directors. 24-25: de- 
fined, 7-10; education. 34-37, 40- 
44; employees, 25-26. 33-34; ex- 
hibits. 21-24; fund raising. 29-33; 
libraries. 37-38; registration of 
artifacts. 19-20; volunteers, 26-29; 
in Wyoming, 47-48; listed, 88-91 

A Piece of the Old Tent: A Cata- 
logue of Items in the Lane Coun- 
ty Pioneer Museum That Were 
Brought Across the Plains in the 
1840s and 1850s, Glenn Mason, 
review, 166-167 

Prehistoric Hunters of the High 
Plains, George C. Frison, review, 

Pryor Gap, 141 



Carter, 110. 115, 116, 118: pho- 
tos, 110, 112 

TE, 113. 120 

YU. 120. 122 
Redford. Robert, The Outlaw Trail. 

A Journey Through Time, review, 

Reese, A. J.. 113 
Richards, William A.. 117, 118 
Roberts, Larry D., review of The 

Chevennes of Montana, 162-163 
Rock River, (Wyo.). 119. 120 
Roosevelt, Theodore, 122 


Newcastle coal field, 133 
Newcastle Experiment Farm. 133 
Newton. Brownie, 108 


The Outlaw Trail. A 
Through Time. Robert 
review, 160 



Pfaff, Betty Carpenter. 
The Genteel Gentile. 
Elizabeth Camming, 

15 8-159 

review of 

Letters of 


Sangster, Rev. Archibald, 104 

Seeing Wyoming From a Studebaker 
E.M.F. in 1909 . by C. W. Wil- 
liams, 13 1-146 

Short, Leonard, 1 I 3 

"Short Grass and Heather" Peter 
McCulloch in the Big Horn Basin. 
by Ester Johansson Murray. 98- 

Shoshone Canyon, 140 

The Small Museum and the Inter- 
pretation of Wyoming History, by 
Geoffrey R. Hunt. 5-97 

Smalley, Bill, 118 

Smith's Fork, 104 

Soap Creek, 108 

Sparks, Dick. 106, 107 

Steamboats on the Colorado River 
1852-1907, Richard E. Lingenfel- 
ter, review, 161-162 

Stinking Water, 105, 107, 109 

Sunlight, (Wyo.), 132 

Sunrise. (Wyo.), 139 





I ompkins, — . 1 20 
Toole. K. Ross ;irul Wil 

Montana Images of 

view, 155-156 

liam E. Fair. 
the Past, re- 

Vasey, Wanda, review of The Mor- 
mon Role in the Settlement of the 
West. 164-165 

Virgin Creek. 107 

Washakie Needles. 108 

Watson. Ella ("Cattle Kate"). II 1 * 

Weiser. Paulette J., review of A 

Journal of Travels to and from 

California. With Full Details of 

ihe Hardships and Privations: also 

a Description of the Country. 

Mines, Cities. Tonus &c, 163-164 
Whistle Creek. 107. 108 
Williams. C. W.. Seeing Wyoming 

from u Sludehaker E.M.F. in 

1909. 13 1-146 
Willow Creek (Uinta County), 105, 

Wilson, S. A.. 120. 121, 122 
Wyoming State Historical Society 

25th Annual Meeting Minutes. 



The Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Department has 
as its function 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 Department asks for the assistance of all Wyoming citizens in its 
effort to secure and preserve records and materials. The Department facil- 
ities are designed to preserve these materials from loss and deterioration. 
Such records and materials include: 

Biographical and autobiographical materials, diaries, letters, account 
books, private records of individuals such as correspondence, manuscripts 
and scrapbooks. 

Business records of industries of the state, including livestock, mining, 
agriculture, railroads, manufacturers, merchants, ministers, educators and 
military personnel. 

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. 

Manuscripts 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 historic significance such as Indian artifacts, items 
related to the activities of persons in Wyoming or with special events in 
the state's history. 

All forms of Western art works including etchings, paintings in all media 
and sculpture. 


I •• 







The function of the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Department is 
to collect and preserve materials which tell the story of Wyoming. It maintains the state's 
historical library and research center, the Wyoming State Museum and branch museums, 
the State Art Gallery and the State Archives. The Department solicits original records such 
as diaries, letters, books, early newspapers, maps, photographs and artifacts suitable for 
museum display. Records of early businesses and organizations are particularly sought. 


Mrs. Suzanne Knepper, Buffalo, Chairman 

Mrs. June Casey, Cheyenne 

Mrs. Wilmot C. McFadden, Rock Springs 

Mrs. Mary Emerson, Evanston 

Jerry Rillahan, Worland 

Mrs. Mae Urbanek, Lusk 

Frank Bowron, Casper 

John Troughton, Cheyenne (ex-officio) 

ABOUT THE COVER — Dave Paulley, noted Wyoming ar- 
tist, painted the work featured on the cover especially for 
Annals of Wyoming's new format. The work is entitled "The 
Road to Riches. "A native of Osage, Wyoming, Paulley has 
been painting professionally since 1968. His work has been 
displayed in numerous galleries and permanent collections 
of art museums throughout the West. He lives and works in 


Volume 51, No. 2 
Fall, 1979 


Vincent P. Foley 


Katherine A. Halverson 


William H. Barton 
Philip 1. Roberts 
Jean Brainerd 




by Peter Iverson 


by William H. Barton 


by Maria Inez Corlett Riter 


by Augustin Redwine 


by John S. Gray 



by Walter Edens 


by Kent Shannon 





ANNALS OF WYOMING is published biannually in the Spring and Fall. 
It is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical Society as 
the official publication of that organization. Copies of previous and cur- 
rent issues may be purchased from the Editor. Correspondence should be 
addressed to the Editor. Published articles represent the views of the 
author and are not necessarily those of the Wyoming State Archives, 
Museums and Historical Department or the Wyoming State Historical 

Copyright 1979 b> the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Department 


This Fall 1979 issue oi oAnnals of Wyoming is presented to our readers with a 
new look, a fresh approach and a rejuvenated style. Fundamental changes in size, the 

increased use ot color, feature articles, photographs, attention to graphic design, and 
even a more readable type face have been initiated. In the future, assuming continued 
legislative support, efforts will he made to select article styles and subject matter that 
are of interest to a greater number of our readers. We hope our audience will find 
these alterations pleasing. Your comments will be appreciated. 

Our cover for this new formatted issue is especially distinguished with a fine 
painting by one of \\ yoming's favorite sons, Dace Paulley. It is an original piece of art, 
specifically executed tor this use. The painting is now a permanent part of our 
Museum Division's collection. While it is unlikely that we will be able to promise an 
original art work for each issue, the more extensive use of this type ot cover piece is 

You will also note the timeliness ot the Fall 1979 issue of cAnnals. After a three- 
year period of ever increasing production problems, we pledged at the beginning ot 
1979 to reestablish oAnnals of Wyoming on its proper time table. With this issue 
that pledge is fulfilled! Every effort will be exercised to maintain our publication 
schedule in the future. 

We hope that this new look of our journal will serve as a harbinger ot an equally 
new look in the Wyoming State Historical Society, and our entire Department. Inter- 
nal changes are taking place within the Department. We also have an expanded 
name, a new "logo" and expect to assist in expansion of the State Historical Society 
and the cause ot historic studies and preservation in Wyoming. 

Vincent V. Foley, Director 

Wyoming State Archives, Museums 

and Historical Department 

Still the Cowboy State? 

By Peter Iverson 

(This informal article is based on the luncheon address 
to the annual meeting of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society, held in Laramie, September, 1979.) 

The history of Wyoming did not end in 1890. It is 
an ongoing process. It is a continuing story. This is not 
to deny the attraction nor the importance of the 
pioneering days. But as the twentieth century evolves, 
there are new and vital questions to be asked. For exam- 
ple: is Wyoming still the cowboy state? I am not sure I 
have the answer. But I do think the question is worth 
asking. Perhaps the answer today might be beginning to 
change from the automatic answer of years past. 

Surely no one can question that we have been the 
cowboy state. In fact this year we observe the centennial 
of the founding of the Wyoming Stock Growers Associa- 
tion. That organization, as we all know, has had a cen- 
tury of influence in our politics and upon our values. 
Cattlemen definitely have played central roles in our 
government and in our society. The cowboy remains a 
basic figure in our history and in our folklore. 

Indeed, where would we be without the cowboy 
stories? Was it a Wyoming cowboy to whom the follow- 
ing happened? On a sweltering day, he decided to try a 
swim (and given the limited natatorial abilities of most 
cowboys, try is about right). He took off his clothes, 
sauntered over to the edge of a creek and plunged in. As 
he was in midflight, a drought dried up the stream. For- 
tunately, a sudden flash flood then came down the dry 
bed. The cowboy splashed into the water, but as he 

struggled to the surface, an east wind swept in and froze 
the surface into solid ice. The sun providentially ap- 
peared and evaporated the stream dry once more. So all 
the cowboy got out of it was a bad sunburn. 

Was it a Wyoming cowboy who said: "One thing 
you can say for this country is that it has more cows and 
less butter, more streams and less water, and you can 
look farther and see less than in any other place in the 
world"? Was it a Wyoming cowboy who responded to 
the newcomer's question: "Does the wind blow this way 
all the time?" by saying "Uh, no ... It blows the other 
direction about half the time."? 1 

Here it was, after all, that the Virginian came. 
Here it was that the Johnson County War was fought. 
We were indebted to the cowboy for his impact not only 

"Some might even contend 

that today's turkeys 

are now flocking here. " 

on our folklore but on our economy. As Al Larson 
reminds us, we liked the cowboy because he was at- 
tracted here and he stayed here. 2 And so the Wyoming 
men's athletic teams became the cowboys and the 
women's teams, the cowgirls. Lester Hunt in his stint as 
secretary of state put the cowboy on our license plate. 
And the dentist from Lander was right. We were the 
cowboy state. 

But are we still? Quite deliberately, I believe, Al 
Larson in his Wyoming: A History, written for the Nor- 
ton series, goes from chapter four, "The Cowboy State," 
to a concluding chapter five, "The Energy State." Times 
have changed. Look at how different Laramie is from 
the last time it hosted the state historical society conven- 
tion. For that matter, look at how different it is from, 
say, 1976, the Dark Ages prior to the advent of 
McDonald's, Burger King, Arby's, Pizza Hut, Longjohn 
Silver's, the Sirloin Stockade and other monuments to 
modern American digestion. Look at most other towns 
in this state. We are expanding and the main reason is 
not hard to discover. Our mineral resources have fueled 
a population growth and a rise in our real estate values. 
Neighboring agricultural states such as South Dakota 
cast perhaps an envious eye. My friend Dave Miller, who 
teaches at Black Hills State College just over the state 
line in Spearfish, is fond of talking about Wyoming 
citizens as "you Saudis." 

How different it all is from the mid-1960s. Our 
governor no longer need go around the country feeding 
wild turkey dinners to industrialists; some might even 
contend that today the turkeys are now flocking here. In 
the classic journalistic overview, Westward Tilt, written 
in the early '60's, Neil Morgan said that industrialization 
would not occur here for a long, long time. 3 Almost 
anywhere you choose to drive, be it from Sage to Green 

River, from Chugwater to Guernsey, signs of in- 
dustrialization are present. A new town like Wright 
emerges. Even Wamsutter suffers from urban sprawl. 
Money is pouring into the state's coffers. And most of 
the dollars are mineral dollars. 

"Even Wamsutter suffers 
from urban sprawl. " 

So what do we do? What about the cowboy as sym- 
bol? Is it time to put a fellow with a hardhat on our 
license plate? Should we call our football team the 
miners (which has nothing to do with our football team's 
inclination to go underground after the Washington 

If industry is ascending, is ranching descending? 
Younger people in Wyoming may now know less about 
the cowboy heritage. Students in my classes at the 
university have usually heard of the Johnson County 
War, for example, but they often can't quite remember 
just who was involved. If they recall the Virginian, they 
may have heard it was some old show on television. 

What about those who would like to be ranchers? 
They tend to find it difficult. Those from ranching 
backgrounds discover that, aided by mechanization. 
Dad seems to be able to hold on longer. It may be, as my 
brother-in-law said a few years back, that when the kids 
went away to college the operation sure got mechanized 

in a hurry. But advances in machinery allow a rancher 
to continue on for more years, by which time his 
children mav be in their 30's or 40's and committed to 
alternative careers. But even if Dad is willing to let go of 
the business he has quite literally sweat blood over, it's 
awkward if not impossible financially for him to let go 
and let a son or daughter take over. In the meantime, 
everyone hopes that given inheritance laws as they now 
stand. Dad doesn't die unexpectedly, for Mom isn't go- 
ing to get much credit for her years of unpaid volunteer 

What if you were not smart enough to be born into 
a ranching family? It's best probably not to even think 
about going into ranching, then. If you have enough 
monev to buy a good, working ranch now, you'd spend it 
some other way. Agricultural land changes in values as 
town and industry grow nearer. In a state where zoning 
is usually seen as a four letter word plus two, the finan- 
cial temptation to subdivide looms. Material costs ac- 
celerate. It's incredible what a new tractor will sell for or 
how much one must invest for a new fence. Admittedly, 
for the moment, cattle prices are good. But for how 
long? And for how many? How many Wyoming kids now 
are ranch kids? For that matter, how many participate 
in rodeo? On the professional rodeo circuit, at least, the 
W'yoming cowboy is in trouble. Local observers grumble 
over the absence of Wyoming cowpokes from the top ten 

in any rodeo category. Why some of the top cowboys 
now come from California and that seems to old- 
timers a positively nauseating spectacle. 

''How many Wyoming kids 
now are ranch kids?" 

Times have changed. Once dominant in the Wyo- 
ming legislature, the ranching interests begin to pale 
before the mining interests. Counties that once had 
ranching as a primary concern now send representatives 
to Cheyenne that appear more involved with mineral 
matters. This in turn affects our laws relating to water 
and land use. 

Ironies abound. As someone recently suggested, the 
ranchers are something like the Indians now: fighting a 
society that seems to know increasingly less about them, 
fighting a culture that feels as though their land can be 
put to some higher, better use. The Indian, they said, 
was vanishing. His way of life was disappearing. It was 
the end of the trail: a catchy phrase soon borrowed by 
western motels. But the conventional wisdom was 
wrong. The Indians did not vanish. They changed. To- 
day, half a century after their predicted demise, they are 
far more numerous than they were 50 years ago. 

The cowboy is changing, too. And that adaptabili- 
ty may mean that it is perhaps too soon to change the 

nickname of this state. A modern cowboy might thus 
echo Mark Twain contending that the reports of his 
death are greatly exaggerated. I still like the description 
of the cowboy that Fred Gipson gave us some years back: 
"He can rope a cow out of a brush patch so thick 
that a Hollywood cowboy couldn't crawl into it on his 
hands and knees. He can break a horse for riding, doc- 
tor a wormy sheep, make a balky gasoline engine pump 
water for thirsty cattle, tail up a winter-poor cow, or 
punch a string of post holes across a rocky ridge. He can 
make out with patched gear, sorry mounts and skimpy 
grub and still get the job done. He can do it in freezing 
weather or under a sun hot enough to raise blisters on a 

"Fighting a culture that 

feels as though their land 

could be put to some 

higher, better use. " 

boot heel. And all the time, under any circumstances, 
he works with the thorough understanding that it's the 
livestock that counts, not the cowhand. M 

Change. To paraphrase Joe Frantz and Julian 
Choate, today's cowboy may now have an air condi- 
tioned tractor and indoor plumbing. He puts his hay up 
differently. He eats at home or may get his hot meals via 
pickup truck. He may use jeeps and airplanes. He may 
let the radio sing to his cattle rather than sing off key 
himself. He is still a cowboy. 5 

And his skills and way of life still offer something 
and will offer something down the road. For minerals 
are non-renewable and our mineral wealth, much as 
some might wish otherwise, is not inexhaustible. And 
when most of the minerals are gone, what will we do 
with our land? Who will want to stay to survive the 
winters and the wind? Who will appreciate the sunrise? 
Who will be able to use the land that remains, not only 
to provide himself a livelihood, but to benefit others as 

Things may change, but old satisfactions remain. 
There is pride in the newborn calf. There is the pleasure 
of being one's own boss. There is knowledge that hard 
work can matter. There is the awareness that one's life is 
important. For the cowboy, the means have changed 
but the ends have not. And in changing, the cowboy, 
too, will not vanish. His has been a critical contribution 
to this state. Difficult days are ahead. Yet one suspects 
he will endure. Will Wyoming continue to be the 
cowboy state? I think we should hope the answer is yes. 

1. Stan Hoig. The Humor of the American Cowboy (Caldwell, 

Idaho: Caxton Printers. 1958). pp. 37. 40. 
2 T. A. Larson, Wyoming. A History (New York: W. W. Norton 

& Co., 1977), p. 142. 

3. Neil Morgan, Westward Tilt The American West Today (New 
York: Random House. 1963). pp. '244-65. 

4. Fred Gipson, The Cattlemen, quoted in Joe Frantz and Julian 
Ernest Choate, Jr., The American Cowboy The Myth and the 
Reality (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1955), 
pp. 59-60. 

5 Frantz and Choate. The American Cowboy, p. 60. 

and £A& 

tSiu yMi/Zitzm ftf. ,3Bal/iin 

Ambition has long been applauded in this country 
and when it pays off in financial success, the applause 
becomes an ovation. For generations, the American 
Dream has been success and the displays of success were 
a large and impressive home, a tasteful, elegant lifestyle 
and most important, a lovely and accomplished wife. In 
the history of Wyoming, many men have had all those, 
and many men have acquired them in a rags to riches 
rise, which increased the praise accorded them. David 
Daniel Dare was such a man, and when his star was in its 
ascendancy, he was the American Dream come true. His 
was the stereotype of the success story that has been the 
picture of life as many would have it. 

According to the 1880 Wyoming Territorial Cen- 
sus, Dare was bom in 1847 in Pennsylvania. Judging 
from the vocations in which he engaged in his life, and 
from the accomplishments to his credit, he enjoyed the 
benefits of a fair education. He was by most accounts a 
most personable individual and had the gifts of charm 
and eloquence. 1 He was of an age to have served briefly 
in the Union Army at the end of the Civil War, but 
perhaps was clever enough or young enough to have 
eluded military service altogether. No record of military 
service was located. 

He came to Cheyenne before the town was a decade 
old, probably in 1874, and acted as the town postal 

It was said of the young man, 
Mr. Dare has faithfully discharged an important trust and has 
been acceptable to the public in the trying position of postal 
clerk, and we wish him full share of prosperity in the future. 2 
Another comment was, 

Mr. D. D. Dare of the Cheyenne post office has resigned. Post 
office clerkships are thankless positions accompanied with 
hard work and much 'vanity and vexation of the spirit,' We 
Dare [sic] say he will soon secure a position more remunerative 
and agreeable. He leaves for the East tomorrow on a short 
visit. 3 

The prophecies and good wishes of both Cheyenne 
newspapers were to come true and the play of words on 
Dare's name might have afforded some irony to Wyo- 
ming readers fifteen years later if they had a mind to 

recall them in a retrospective view of the man's activities 
and adventures. 

The trip east may have profited Dare. It was one of 
many he was to make, ostensibly to obtain capital for the 
many business ventures in which he would eventually 
engage. 4 

Upon his return, he entered into partnership with 
W. W. Sawyer in a photography business. Mention is 
made of the fact in the October 3, 1876, Cheyenne Daily 
Leader; however, by November of that year, Sawyer was 
out of the business and Dare was operating indepen- 
dently. 5 

Where and when Dare learned photography is not 
known, but apparently he was reasonably competent at 
it judging from the works he left. Photography was not 
particularly inspired in the 19th century, and since it 
was a comparatively new art form, the public was not 
sophisticated enough about it to be very demanding. 
Dare continued in the photography business by himself 
until 1878 when he took C. D. Kirkland as partner. 
Kirkland proved to be a good artist and a bit of a 
chemist as well. He perfected a half-tone printing paper 
known as Kirkland Lithium and eventually sold that for- 
mula and process to the Eastman Kodak Company. The 
process of reproducing pictures with a printing press was 
then new, and Kirkland incorporated that with the 
previous method which had employed hand engraving. 
The result was attractive and unusual, and examples of 
it can be seen in an 1890 pamphlet published in connec- 
tion with the Wyoming Statehood festivities. 6 

In the fall of 1879 after the White River Indian 
Uprising in Colorado, Dare was selling, "... photo- 
graphs of all the principal chiefs of the Ute Nation . . ." 7 
What appeal lay in these photographs has not been ex- 
plained, but possibly that sort of item was the 
predecessor of the popular disaster movies of today. 
Mementos and memorabilia associated with sensational 
happenings have been popular with the American 
public. Currier and Ives had enjoyed tremendous sales 
of prints of Mississippi steamboat explosions and sink- 

Castle Dare 

Dare announced that fall that he was going into the 
furniture business, ". . . to a slight extent. " 8 This in- 
dicates that he was an accommodating as well as am- 
bitious merchant. One could purchase a photograph of 
a Ute marauder and then purchase a chair to sit in and 
look at the picture. 

On December 10 of that year Dare married Flor- 
ence Adele Cronkleton. Kirkland and E. W. Whitcomb 
witnessed the ceremony. 9 Florence Adele, the daughter 
of Mary and Seth Cronkleton, had been born in Ohio. 
Her personal accomplishments in later years indicated 
that she had an above average education. Photographs 
that have survived show her to have been a very pretty 
woman by the standards of the day, with an oval face, 
even features, and large, beautiful eyes. She dressed 
fashionably in the early days of the marriage and seemed 
to have a life-long interest in haute couture. Apparently 
she was displeased with her given names. She almost 
never used Florence except when necessary on legal 
* documents, and more often than not signed her name, 

and was referred to, as Delia Dare, rather than Adele. 
Once or twice, it was turned into Delia. 

In the spring of 1880, Dare went east for a stock of 
picture frames, engravings, and photographic goods, 
and likely for a belated honeymoon. Kirkland remained 
behind to have the studio redecorated. 10 It was stated 
that Dare and Kirkland would have the "... nobbiest 
place in town," 11 when it was completed. Brief research 
has disclosed that nobby was Victorian slang for wealthy 
and elegant. 12 

Dare and Kirkland continued in partnership for the 
next few months and in July of 1881, Dare purchased 
the drug firm that had belonged to the Hurlbut 
brothers. The place was located at the corner of 17th 
and Ferguson, later renamed Carey Avenue, in the 
Carey Block and was considered a good business loca- 
tion. 13 

What qualified Dare to be a druggist cannot be 
stated, however, it was not unusual for 19th century 
businessmen to engage in several unrelated enterprises 

., . '..7 

t ■ ffflffilll' .(Til 

<| 'uiMHifff 

Victorian Cottage, 108 West 18th Street, Cheyenne. 


in the course of their careers. 14 By the time Dare pur- 
chased one of the largest and most successful drug stores 
in Cheyenne, he had been a postal clerk, sold pictures, 
took photographs, sold objets d'art, and had been a sign 
painter. 15 

In December, 1881, Dare formed a partnership 
with J. W. Collins, who was then the cashier at the bank- 
ing firm of Stebbins, Post and Company. 16 Dare was still 
affiliated with Kirldand and remained so until Decem- 
ber of the following year. 17 C. D. KirkJand remained in 
Cheyenne until 1895 at which time he moved to Denver 
to live and work until his death in 1926. 18 Severing his 
business relationship with Dare may have been the most 
advantageous move the man ever made. It certainly 
was, in the long run, as consequential as selling out to 
Eastman Kodak. 

Dare's association with Collins was to have a great 
influence on both his professional and private life, and 
possibly, he was aware of that when he joined forces with 
the banker. They bought the business of Addoms and 
Glover, the oldest drug firm in Cheyenne, in December, 
1881 . The purpose of this may have been manifold. The 
Stockgrowers National Bank had announced plans to 
occupy the location in the Carey Block that had housed 
ns' drug store. The two men needed a 


new building for their enterprises, and they may have 
wanted to increase their operations and sales stock. Dare 
was to be manager of the two stores, while Collins would 
retain his position at the bank as cashier. In January, 
1883, T. J. Carr sold his property which adjoined the 
Stebbins, Post and Co. bank, to J. W. Collins for 
$7,500. 20 The two business partners were planning to 
move their drug emporium to that location by the 
following month. 21 

Advertisements and news items in the Wyoming 
newspapers of that decade indicate that drug stores 
operated much as they do today, supplying patrons with 
much more than medications and nostrums. A column 
entitled "Cheyenne Collectabra" provided local news 
and served as a shoppers' guide. It pointed out that, 
Dare and Collins have on exhibition a number of curios among 
them being a music box that operates a mill, causes a ship to 
mount the waves and a soldier to pace his beat on the top of a 
turret, while the band plays and the flags wave. They also have 
a magnificent box that plays a drum and a lot of bells that 
sound like chimes as an accompaniment to the music. This 
box plays ten airs and is valued at $100. 
With a going price of one-hundred 1882 dollars, one 
wonders if they sold many of that item. In an advertise- 
ment of that same month, Dare and Collins state that 
anyone wanting to be kind to the fair sex should drop by 

and see their ladies' cases, fans, cards, baskets, work 
boxes, and other things that strike the feminine eye. 23 

Meanwhile, Dare and his wife had been in the East 
again, although it is not stated if it was for business or 
pleasure. Their return on December 16, 1882, elicited 
mention in the Cheyenne Daily Leader of the following 
day. Possibly, they had been on a mission to raise fur- 
ther capital for business dealings with Collins, and 
possibly they had been on a buying trip to stock the drug 
store for the Christmas holidays. A column headlined, 
"Interesting Investigation,'' in a Cheyenne newspaper 
gives some insight into goods available for thoughtful 

A reporter of the Daily Sun had the pleasure of inspecting, ex- 
amining and investigating the well-known drug store of 
Messers Dare and Collins and said reporter was astonished at 
the varied display which certainly seems to compete with stores 
'way east and 'way west. Dare and Collins have a very fine 
assortment of holiday goods, and the variety is so great it is 
hard to make selections as to those deserving notice but the 
following items call special attention: a splendid ivory dressing 
case . . . three sets of amber cases for dressing . . . perfumery 
cases . . . cut glass bottles . . . elegant inkstands . . . elegant 
fans, particularly the peacock which surpasses everything in 
this line ever exhibited in this city. 

Delia Dare, studio 
portrait made by 
her husband 
D. D. Dare, 


The firm also offered, 

. . . oils, varnishes, paints and painters requirements, im 
ported wines and liquors for medicinal purposes, patent 
medicines without end. 

One might surmise that ailing patrons had to wade 
through all the aforementioned merchandise to reach 
the prescription dispensing counter just as they do in to- 
day's pharmacies. 

Dare and Collins sold one of their stores late in 
September, 1883, and Dare left for San Antonio, Texas 
to open a business. 25 It was located at 42 Commerce 
Street in the heart of downtown San Antonio, and once 
again, was an art store. It stocked oil paintings, steel 
engravings and photogravures, carried a line of wall 
paper and employed the services of a first-class fresco 
painter. Dare was experienced at retailing that type ef 
goods, but one cannot help but question why Dare and 
Collins went as far afield as San Antonio to open a 
branch of their business enterprises. Abrupt, impulsive 
actions were in keeping with Dare's behavior, but this 
move arouses suspicion. While it is unexplained, it is 
recorded. During his stay in the east Texas town, he 
lived at the exclusive Menger Hotel, which has long been 
associated with luxury and elegance. 


Apparently, Dare's whereabouts were important to 
a former user of the 1883-1884 San Antonio city direc- 
tory, for in the copy now in the historical collections of 
the San Antonio Public Library the words, "left Apr 7 
84 for Cheyenne" [sic] are written in the margin next to 
Dare and Collins' business entry, and a line has been 
drawn through the two names. 26 

One wonders if in all ambition, Dare merely tried 
out a new territory and found it neither profitable nor to 
his liking, or if circumstances had grown uncomfortable 
in Cheyenne and it was expedient for him to remove 
himself for a time. In light of his subsequent actions, 
Dare's rapid move to and return from San Antonio leave 
questions not readily answered. 26 

In August of 1884 Dare again settled in Cheyenne 
and continued in business with Collins. They had 
bought out C. P. Organ's hardware business and located 
the enterprise at 298-300 Ferguson Street with Dare and 
his wife living across the street above 301 Ferguson. 27 

Dare and Collins maintained low profiles for the 
next few months, and neither seems to have been active 
socially. The newspapers of the day were quick to 

Delia Dare 

publish details of parties, balls, country outings and 
especially events at the new Opera House. The names of 
Collins and Dare are conspicuously absent from those 

Considering that he had just left the comfort and 
gracious surroundings of the Menger Hotel in San An- 
tonio, living in a walk-up in the commercial district of 
town may have been galling to Dare. He and Delia had 
been accustomed to better. 

According to information on the back of a 
photograph once a possession of Delia Dare, the family 
lived for a time at 108 West 18th Street in a charming 
Victorian cottage ornamented with gingerbread work 
and criss-cross half timbering. It served as the Ter- 
ritorial Governor's home during the term of William 
Hale from 1882 to 1885, and along with three other 
structures of comparable style and size was referred to as 
Cottage Row. 28 It was said the house was furnished with 
marble fireplaces and that there was a fountain on the 
lawn. In high and dry Cheyenne, that must have been a 
profligate touch; however, things of that sort were cer- 
tainly in keeping with Dare's tastes and basic needs when 
one looks at three of his later dwellings. Before it was 
razed to make way for the present Cheyenne Light, Fuel 
and Power offices, the little cottage operated as a tea 
room and was known as The Gables. 29 

By the time the 1886-1887 Cheyenne city directory 
was published, Dare was listed as living in the 1900 block 
of Ferguson in the impressive mansion that was possibly 
then under construction. He was still affiliated with Col- 
lins in the Cheyenne Hardware Company. Collins, in- 
cidentally, is listed in that same city directory as living at 
the modest but comfortable address of 210 West 20th 
Street. 30 

The building of "Castle Dare," as it was always to 
be known, likely began sometime in 1886. J. P. Julien 
was the architect and R. W. Bradley was the builder. 31 
The land had originally been the property of Louise 
Swan Van Tassell, and while the facts regarding who ac- 
tually commissioned the house to be built are cloudy, 
the slender evidence that exists points to her father Alex- 
ander Swan. 

Swan was a prominent cattle baron, and his pop- 
ular daughter Louise married R. S. Van Tassell, the 
well-to-do rancher, on December 9, 1886. 32 The news 
article reporting the wedding stated that the newly mar- 
ried couple would, "... reside at the handsome stone 
residence on the corner of Nineteenth and Ferguson 
streets. This handsome building was the gift of the 
bride's father to her." 33 It would become Dare's through 
an unusual business transaction that included payment 
of back taxes and the withholding of payment until the 
building was completed. 34 Swan was one of the many 
stockmen who suffered heavy losses in the blizzard of 
1886-1887, and possibly did not have the money to pay 
Bradley when the building was completed. Louise may 


Artist's conception of the interior of the Cheyenne National Bank. 

Let I IR1U 1 JONLS I (il I H [ [ON 

not have wanted to press her father on the matter, so let 
it go for taxes. In the ensuing confusion that would 
eventually surround both the house and Dare, an 
apocryphal story grew up that Swan had bought it from 
Dare as a wedding present. The house may have become 
known as Castle Dare rather than Castle Swan, because 
Dare may have seen to it that the structure was finished, 
furnished and decorated. 

Cheyenne was in the throes of a remarkable build- 
ing boom in the years between 1880 and 1895, with fairy 
tale turrets rising to slender cones, bay windows swelling 
out in all conceivable shapes, and mansard roofs swoop- 
ing upward to be crowned with lacy ironwork. Styles of 
architecture were inventive, to say the least, and the 
nomenclature associated with them was just as im- 
aginative, if often incorrect. 35 

Dare set his mind on a royal structure, and indeed 
he got just that. Possibly the castle was inspired by the 
efforts of Erasmus Nagle who put up an imposing pile of 
gray stone at East 17th and House. 36 

The Swan-Dare house would be similar to the 
Nagle house in many respects. Each had the main tower 
to the right of the entrance and a conventional gabled 
roof over the front door. Nagle opted for a three-story 
gabled portion to the left of the front entrance, while ar- 

chitect Julien put up a crenelated tower perfect for a 

The roof of the castle was covered with ornamental- 
ly laid shingles, there was a splash or two of stained 
glass, and the interior was done in rich mahogany. 
However, even in a period in journalism when the homes 
of the well-to-do were described in detail, the castle 
seems to have escaped the scrutiny of Cheyenne news- 
men. It did have the standard two parlors, a music 
room, a library, and three bathrooms with marble- 
topped sinks. At a time when a single indoor bathroom 
was just becoming the accepted norm in parts of the 
country, three must have seemed a lavish display to the 
local citizenry. 37 

Some time prior to, or perhaps during the building 
of the house, Dare made a trip to the south of Europe 
and the Holy Land. Upon his return, he was kind 
enough to make a talk on his travels to a large group at 
the Presbyterian Church. Dare and his wife could be 
considered to have been good Presbyterians. He once 
served as secretary-treasurer of the Sabbath School and 
Delia Dare had a term as secretary of the Ladies' Sewing 
Circle. 38 The news report of the program states that 
Dare had been abroad for six months. 39 

Even though the Castle is listed in a Cheyenne city 


directory as his official residence, it is a moot point as to 
whether or not Dare and his wife ever actually lived in 
the house. If they did, it wasn't for long, because by the 
following year, the Dares had relocated to San Diego, 
and severed most of their Cheyenne connections. For as 
long as that house stood, however, it bore Dare's name, 
and on the other side, the turreted Castle left a very 
lasting impression on Delia and David. 

It is not known precisely when Dare made his exit 
from Wyoming, but he is included in the Great Register 
of San Diego County for 1888, so he may have arrived 
there by late 1887. 40 Dare and his wife resided for a time 
at the Hotel Brewster in San Diego, again a hostelry in 
keeping with his ideas of suitable accommodations. For 
some reason "carte de visite" type photographs were 
taken of their suite of rooms, and those photographs 
have been preserved in a private collection. The rooms 
were conventionally decorated for the time. Phenom- 
enal amounts of Victorian gimcrackery filled the parlor, 
including a morbid looking bust of someone who looks 
either to be in mourning or dying. The bedroom was 
done in the style of Charles L. Eastlake and was a little 
more airy and unpretentious. Marble-topped bureaus 
and commodes and an enormous bed comprised the 
suite.'" As in many Victorian rooms, there was a visual 
obstreperousness that brings to mind one writer's words 
that such habitats were, ". . . difficult rooms." 

Back in Cheyenne, Dare's Castle was to change 
hands several times in a series of obtuse and convoluted 
real estate transactions. On November 16, 1889, D. D. 
Dare sold the Cheyenne house to an individual named 
Charles E. Barber of San Diego for the sum of "one 
dollar and other valuable considerations." A few days 
later, Barber then sold the house to Frances [sic] Dare 
(Florence Adele Dare). 

On December 17, 1889, Florence and David Dare 
sold the Cheyenne property to Jesse Shepard, who re- 
tained ownership until March, 1891, when he sold it to 
W. E. High of San Diego. In November of that year, 
High and his wife sold the place to a man named E. J. 
Swayne. It continued in Swayne's hands until March, 
1893, when it came under the control of Charles W. 
Riner in a receivership. 

The house then reverted back to R. W. Bradley, 
the contractor who had built it, who probably had never 
received a nickel's payment since the foundation was 
laid in 1886. 42 In the intervening years after Dare's 
departure for southern California, the place had been 
operated as a high class boarding house and was con- 
sidered a prestigious place to live or dine. 43 

Bradley lived in the place along with his family un- 
til his death in 1915. 44 After that, it changed hands 
again several times, and on two occasions, it housed 
undertaking establishments. In later years it was the 

Dare's San Diego house, strikingly similar to his Cheyenne home. 



home of a fraternal organization, and in spite of pleas to 
save it, was razed in 1963. The lot was covered with 
asphalt, and utilized as a parking lot. Sic transit, Castle 
Dare. 46 

At the same time Dare was selling his Cheyenne 
house to Jesse Shepard for $25,000, he was buying 
Shepard's Villa Montezuma in San Diego for $29,000. 
The aforementioned W. E. High was in on the deal in 
some manner as well. And so, the former home of "the 
poet litterateur-pianist-artist of San Diego," along with 
its artistic treasures was transferred to D. D. Dare, now 
of the California Bank. 46 

Because he had become involved with Dare and 
built a house so much to Dare's liking, a few remarks 
about Shepard are in order. He was born in England, 
and when he was about a year old, his family emigrated 
to the United States. He sang and played the piano at an 
early age, and prior to settling in San Diego, he traveled 
widely in Europe. He had spent some time in Russia 
where he performed for the Czar and where he became 
interested in conducting seances. Much later, he gave 
up seances and converted to Catholicism. He left San 
Diego in 1889, the year Dare bought his house and went 
to Europe again, where he remained until the outbreak 
of World War I. He returned to the United States and 
lived quietly in Los Angeles until 1927 when he died. 
When he lived in San Diego, he entertained with 
musical evenings that included a little legerdemain to 
keep the guests on their toes. Some of his music was 
reported to have moved people to tears, and his Grand 
Egyptian March was a featured finale to an evening's 
fun. He was a flamboyant, pre-Raphaelite looking 
fellow with an enormous handle bar mustache and curly 
hair and a great many eyelashes both top and bottom. 47 

Shepard built the Villa Montezuma to be a mirror 
of his own tastes. He contributed many ideas to the 
builders who incorporated them with the Victorian 
modes then in fashion. The result is an awesome coupl- 
ing of the Arabian Nights with Victorian gingerbread 
ornamentation — both carried to their most inventive 
heights. The house has an onion dome tower with Pala- 
dian windows, some Second Empire woodwork, much 
decorative shingle siding, quite like late Norman armor, 
a suggestion of half timbering at the gables, a second 
turret and a lot of stained glass specially designed by a 
firm in San Francisco. There is more ornamentation at 
the peak of the roof, patterned chimneys and some 
spindly, turned columns, so dear to the hearts of Vic- 
torians. The December 17, 1889, San Diego Sun said, 
"... the most ornately furnished and artistically fur- 
nished house in the city . . . itself a museum." It is now 
the home of the San Diego Historical Society and every 
year delights and amazes visitors. 48 

Only a little more than two months after buying 
Villa Montezuma, Dare was selling to an H. P. Palmer- 
ston of Spokane Falls. The sum of $29,000 changed 

hands, so either Dare was not interested in making any 
profit or he had simply wanted that amount of money 
tied up for a short period of time. Again, it cannot be 
stated unequivocally that Dare and his wife actually 
lived in the house. 49 

Five months later, Dare was building another castle 
so remarkably similar to the one he had left behind in 
Cheyenne that it stretches mere coincidence. Located at 
5th and Juniper, it was of stone from the basement to 
the top of the tower and had sixteen rooms including 
two baths. There was a hall almost the size of a reception 
room, a parlor, a dining room, library, kitchen, bal- 
conies to the west and south and a large porte-cochere in 
the rear. 50 The interior was done by the San Diego 
Manufacturing Company and all the carving was ex- 
ecuted by Albert P. Doull, apparently a local craftsman 
of some esteem. 

Mantels of French mahogany in a Corinthian style 
with stained glass over them in lieu of conventional mir- 
rors were a feature of the first floor. The dining room 
was finished in oak with cove ceilings and brackets down 
the four corners displaying carvings of California fauna. 
One bedroom was done in birdseye maple with a canopy 
top mantel containing five mirrors. Another bedroom 
was finished in oak, with bric-a-brac mantel and one 
mirror, and the third, in white pine and enameled in 
gold. The bedrooms also boasted stationary washstands 
built into recesses between closets into which doors 
opened that had broad mirror panels six and one half 
feet in length. 51 

Any house of that character would have been con- 
sidered undressed without a full complement of stained 
glass windows, and Dare's new castle had a goodly 
amount, executed in various themes. One was "The 
Awakening of Spring," and another portrayed "Paul 
and Virginia." In the library were windows portraying 
Shakespeare, Beethoven and Rubens. On the landing 
between floors was Othello. 52 Most of the stained glass 
art windows of that era are esoteric and rather literal 
and undemanding, but just who Paul and Virginia were 
is a mystery. The newspaper reporter providing the 
descriptions takes it for granted that everyone was well 
acquainted with the couple. 

The second castle must have been particularly dear 
to Delia Dare, for she kept a large photograph of it until 
her death. On the back of an incidental snapshot taken 
some time in the 1920s are the words, 

"My San Diego house which we built in the Long Ago,' no 
more beautiful place there today. Cor. 5th and Juniper Mr 
and Mrs Van Alia [sic] who took the Kodak" 53 
What Delia Dare meant by, "no more beautiful place 
there today" is puzzling. She may have said that there 
was no other house more beautiful or that at the time 
she wrote on the back of the snapshot, the place was no 
longer standing. Inquiries directed to the San Diego 


State Historical Society have been answered with, "Mr. 
Dare's house at 5th and Juniper is no longer standing, 
having been torn down years ago." 64 

As mentioned previously, Dare at this time had 
gone into banking and was associated with the Califor- 
nia National Bank along with his perennial ally, J. W. 
Collins. Again, one wonders what special training or ex- 
perience qualified Dare to be a banker. The man had 
gone from postal clerk to photographer to druggist to 
hardware dealer in a relatively short space of time, and- 
now he was off on a career as a banker. This is full blown 
ambition. At least some of these occupations required a 
little specialized training or on-the-job experience and 
Dare seems to have adopted each in turn with remark- 
able skill and ease. 

The question of capital arises — where did Dare get 
the wherewithal to set himself up as a banker? In his 
Memoirs, Herbert C. Hensley asserts, "... that Collins 
had but $15,000 and Dare $8,000 when they arrived in 
San Diego. The balance of the capital needed for their 
new enterprise being supplied by eastern people won 
over by the persuasive arts of the two." 55 Richard 
Pourade in Glory Years, remarks that Dare, "... bought 
in with Collins for $7,000." 56 The remarkable and prob- 
ably optimistic pair had less than $25,000 between them. 
While that sum may have been fine to open a hardware 
or picture frame store, it wasn't adequate to commence 

banking operations even in 1889. In his memoirs, 
Hensley alleges that they got money from what later 
proved to be unsuspecting investors. He says, "Both had 
an uncanny knack of influencing people and in time ob- 
tained the use of considerable capital." 67 The possibility 
exists that the two men never intended the bank to be an 
honest, permanent institution, but only the means to 
their ends. 

In any event, in late 1890 and early 1891 both men 
were going full tilt as bankers in San Diego with Collins 
still involved in the Cheyenne National Bank. That in- 
stitution was organized January 2, 1886, and although 
Collins was not an original member of the staff, he was 
president by July, 1890. 58 Dare was never known to have 
been associated in any way with the Cheyenne bank, but 
he was first vice president of the California endeavor 
with Collins, again acting as president. A man named 
Havermale was second vice president. Dare and Collins 
were also directors, along with T. K. Gay and several 
others. They were listed as directors of another institu- 
tion known as the California Savings Bank of San Diego, 
too. 59 By this time, Collins had moved his family to 
California, was living there himself, and had left day-to- 
day business in Cheyenne in the hands of other bank of- 

Early in 1891 Dare and his wife left for Europe, 
supposedly for his health. San Diego, before the turn of 

A "difficult room" in the Hotel Brewster, the Dare's home when they first arrived in San Diego. Later Collins was 
carcerated in the hotel and it was there where he committed suicide. 


the century, was probably one of the healthiest spots on 
the globe, and considering some of the infected, filthy 
cities Dare later lived in, the statement lacks validity. 60 

Precisely when David and Delia left San Diego is 
unclear, but they did so under the pretense of traveling 
in the East. 61 

Before he left, his grand home at 5th and Juniper 
became the property of John H. Gay and Gay trans- 
ferred 905 acres of Linda Vista Mesa land to Dare. A 
few days before that transaction, Dare had transferred a 
considerable amount of San Diego County land to his 
mother-in-law Mary Cronldeton. She got 105 acres of 
good southern California land for one dollar and other 
valuable considerations. 61 One wonders if the woman 
knew what was up. It appears that Dare was liquidating 
or encumbering all the real estate he could in an effort 
to cover all bases financially, insuring that he would 
have a little nest egg in the event of a fiscal calamity. 

A photograph once the possession of Delia Dare in- 
dicates that some time in 1891 , they were in residence at 
the Alexander the Great Hotel in Athens. It was an 
elaborate three-storied structure, done in an eclectic 
combination of Tuscan and Baroque. In the picture, 
three windows on the second floor have an "x" beside 
them, possibly indicating that those were the rooms oc- 
cupied by the Dares. Another photograph from that col- 
lection is a portrait of Delia taken by V. Stuani of Rome. 
Her dress is of a style thought high fashion in 1891, but 
the picture is undated. It is interesting to note that she 
wears a pearl choker with an enormous diamond sham- 
rock hanging from it. 63 Obviously the Dares were still liv- 
ing well and Delia had some nice baubles to take her 
mind off the castles back home in Wyoming and Cali- 

Affairs at the banks were normal throughout the 
spring and early summer of 1891. Collins traveled in the 
East and made stops at Cheyenne and Salt Lake City 
before his return to San Diego. He reported that busi- 
ness was more brisk in southern California than in the 
East. 64 

Five months later in November, the California Na- 
tional Bank closed its doors and shortly after that, the 
Cheyenne bank followed suit. The initial cause of the 
failure of the California institution was a sight draft for 
$10,000 which could not be met. After that, the mayor 
of San Diego began to have doubts about the state of af- 
fairs and tried to withdraw $45,000 in city funds from 
the bank. He had no success. Somebody remembered 
that $52,000 in county money had been on deposit at 
that bank too. It wasn't there when a withdrawal was at- 

A bank statement dated September 30, 1891, had 
shown assets of $1,570,722 with over $135,000 on hand 
to meet sight demands of individual depositors, who had 
a total of $865,350.14 deposited in their accounts. A 

bank examiner was sent for and he found $200,000 
unaccounted for. It was never found. 

The failure of the bank had an effect on several 
businesses in the area including a streetcar line and an 
opera house and it finished off the big mercantile firm of 
Havermale and Rossier. Taking into account that 
Havermale was one of the bank directors, the failure 
must have been a particularly brutal surprise to him. 65 

In Cheyenne, a newspaper article dated November 
13, 1891, reported the closing of the California bank, 
but no mention of its connection with the Cheyenne Na- 
tional was made. 66 The axe fell the following day when 
bold headlines told that J. W. Collins had failed in 
California and that the home institution was being car- 
ried down with the West Coast concern. 

George W. Beard, a Pennsylvanian whose father 
and brother were bank cashiers, had been brought to 
Cheyenne by Collins to work in the Morton E. Post 
bank. Beard left Post and joined the staff of the 
Cheyenne National Bank shortly after it was founded. 

On Thursday, November 12, Beard received a wire 
from Collins announcing the suspension of the Califor- 
nia bank. The cashier reacted quickly and immediately 
contacted the officers of the other Cheyenne banks for 
consultation. A committee of those men was formed to 
examine the books of the Cheyenne National Bank. 
They found that there was $395,000 in loans outstand- 
ing, $35,000 cash on hand and $45,000 said to be on 
deposit in Eastern banks. The amount due to depositors 
and other banks was $318,000, which left a balance in 
favor of Collins' bank of $157,000. Supposedly, there 
was another $87,000 in securities of some sort in the 
bank's favor. 67 

The next day, Friday, November 13, the bank 
opened at 10 a.m. and depositors madp a rush to with- 
draw their funds. The first drew out $1,000; the next 
$3,500, and a third plucked out the tidy sum of $13,000. 
Since the cash on hand at the bank was only $35,000 it 
evaporated immediately. It seems evident that some of 
the larger depositors had associated the failure of Col- 
lins' California bank with the Cheyenne bank and were 
responsible for the run. By 11 a.m. a sign had been 
posted in the window of the bank that stated, "Tern- 
porarv suspension on account of insufficient funds to 
meet checks, caused by the run." 68 . 

It was the general opinion around town that ap- 
proximately $283,000 was on deposit at that time and in 
spite of the stampede on the part of many people to 
retrieve their funds, the local newspaper said, ". . . no 
one seemed to have any fears that the depositors would 
realize every cent of their deposits. " 69 If the major ac- 
count holders had no fears, pulling out large sums of 
money from the bank was a peculiar display of con- 

It is interesting to note that in the first days after 
the failure, the Cheyenne Daily Leader remained consis- 


tently optimistic about the bank's future and was per- 
fectly satisfied that worries were groundless. It was lavish 
in its praise of George Beard, the young cashier of the 
bank. Among the many compliments thrown his way by 
the Leader was: 

Mr. Beard, although a young man to occupy such a responsi- 
ble position had the respect and esteem of everybody in this 
communitv. His skill in conducting the affairs of the institu- 
tion was everywhere recognized and under his management 
the bank had rapidlv grown to prominence and popularity. 
When the bank had closed its doors after only one 
hour's operation on the 13th, a bank examiner from 
Omaha was sent for. On Saturday, Beard spent the en- 
tire day at the bank explaining the situation as best he 
could and providing what assurances he felt were war- 
ranted. Through both Friday and Saturday, he received 
expressions of sympathy and indications of confidence in 
his personal integrity, but it was thought by some close 
friends that he had not the solvency for personal ex- 
penses. T. B. Hicks of the First National Bank ques- 
tioned him on the matter and Beard was able to produce 
only two dollars pocket money and remarked that these 
were the sole extent of his possessions. Hicks offered 
monev from his own bank should he need it. 

Other offers of help included one from a servant 
girl whom Beard had once assisted when she bought 160 
acres of land in Nebraska. She had heard of his dif- 
ficulties and offered him the deed to her land if it would 
be any good to him. 

On Sunday morning, the 15th, bank examiner J. G. 
Griffiths arrived from Omaha and was with Beard at the 
bank for some time. Later they met again at the bank in 
the presence of Beard's attorney, A. C. Campbell. Cer- 
tain legal papers were drawn up for filing. Griffiths had 
to convince Beard that the papers were a necessary legal 

Later the men dined at the Cheyenne Club and 
after that, the bank examiner left for evening church 
services. Later that evening the men met at the bank for 
a short time and then returned to the Cheyenne Club. 
Beard was said to have been somewhat the worse for 
wear and did not engage in spirited conversation as was 
his nature. 

Shortly before 10 p.m. Beard bid the bank ex- 
aminer good night and left for his rooms in the company 
of a friend named John Harrington. He seemed to be in 
good enough spirits at that time and according to Har- 
rington, the bank suspension was only alluded to once. 
Beard expressed his confidence in the Omaha man and 
said that his arrival had taken a load off his shoulders. 
Beard resided in rooms over the T. A. Kent bank, and it 
was at the foot of the stairs leading to his apartment that 
he and Harrington said good night. 71 The two young 
men had been friends for some time, and both had been 
in the wedding party when R. S. Van Tassell and Louise 
Swan had married in December, 1886. 72 

According to newspaper reports. Beard was to have 
met his attorney, Campbell, at the bank the following 
morning at 9 a.m., but when Campbell arrived he 
found that Beard had not yet appeared. He checked at 
the Cheyenne Club but learned Beard had not 
breakfasted there, which apparently was his regular 
habit. He grew alarmed and quickly returned to the 
bank. He met Otto Snyder and J. M. Jillich there, and 
sent Snyder back to the Club for another try at locating 
Beard, while he and Jillich hurried to Beard's rooms. 
What Snyder and Jillich's relationship was to either the 
bank or Beard is not clear. 

At Beard's apartment, the men met with no 
response when they knocked. Campbell hoisted Jillich 
up so that he could peer through the transom of the 
door. Jillich pointed out that he could see some of 
Beard's clothing, but reported no activity. By this time 
Snyder had returned with word that Beard still hadn't 
been seen at the Club. The three men suspected the 
worst, and Campbell broke out a panel of the door and 
unlocked it. When they went in, they turned over a large 
chair that had been used to brace the door shut. They 
found themselves in the sitting room of the small suite 
where things were very much in order; however, upon 
entering the bedroom, they found Beard's body. 

The Cheyenne Daily Leader, which had been so ef- 
fusive in praise of Beard, now pulled out all the jour- 
nalistic stops and in the best late Victorian tradition 
described in great detail the scene of the suicide. What 
the man wore, the fact that one foot had a slipper and 
one didn't, the placement of the hands, the angie of the 
head and the amount of blood were all included in the 
coverage. They commented on the size of the bullet 
hole, the calibre of the weapon, the temperature of the 
body, and the remarkable absence of rigor mortis. 73 

The horrified trio sent for the town marshall, Doc- 
tor W. W. Crook and Coroner Tuttle, and before 
Beard's remains were taken to Turnbull's undertaking 
parlors, it was ascertained that he had shot himself in 
the right temple and that death was instantaneous. 
After embalming, the body was taken to the home of E. 
S. N. Morgan where it remained, pending word from 
Beard's father in the East, who sent for the body im- 
mediately when he was informed of the tragic event. 

Prior to his suicide, Beard made no attempt to 
destroy any personal papers, an act the Chevenne 
newsmen presumed was a necessary prelude to the tak- 
ing of one's life. The paper also registered some disap- 
pointment that a detailed and emotional suicide note 
had not been left by the deceased. The paper did raise 
the question that, 

If the bank is perfectly solvent and an investigation will 
demonstrate it, why should Beard feel the necessity of taking 
his own life? In this question is contained an element of suspi- 
cion which is suggestive rather than outspoken. 74 

That Beard had lost a considerable amount of 
money later became apparent. At the time he and 
Campbell were conferring on the destiny of the bank, 
Beard was discovered to have endorsed a personal loan 
in the amount of $25,000 for Collins without a shred of 
collateral. Since Collins' affairs in California were in 
shambles, Beard must have realized that the Cheyenne 
bank would never get that or any other money from Col- 
lins. The indication is that Beard was not dishonest, but 
only remiss and naive in his attitudes toward his 
employer. When Campbell and Beard were trying to 
sort out things. Campbell had Beard assign him $30,000 
of his personal worth as security for the depositors. 
Because he had Collins' power of attorney in Wyoming, 
Beard assigned some ranch lands owned by Collins to 
the bank as additional security. 7; ' 

After the events of November, 1891, it was revealed 
that Beard had become disenchanted with the manner 
in which Collins conducted business and that he had 
tendered his resignation on two occasions. Collins did 
not acknowledge either of the communications and be- 
cause he felt some sense of responsibility not only to the 
depositors of the bank, but to the bank's other 
employees and to the other banks in Cheyenne, Beard 
remained at his post, the virtual head of the bank. It was 
his belief that there were adequate funds in the Califor- 
nia National Bank and other eastern institutions to 
cover extensive withdrawals at the Cheyenne Bank. 
When he was informed that the worth of the stock of the 
California National Bank had been discounted twice, he 
was fullv apprised of the fact that the entire Dare and 
Collins empire had been nothing more than a house of 
cards with very limited capital. He saw himself finan- 
cially ruined and his name besmirched in the banking 
community of the West. In spite of Griffiths' offer to do 
what he could to find him another position. Beard saw- 
no way out but in suicide. 

The town of Cheyenne was almost universally sym- 
pathetic to Beard's circumstances and eventual fate. He 
was popular in Cheyenne, well thought of and well re- 
membered. 7b The editorial opinion of the day, and the 
general thinking of the Cheyenne public was that 
George Beard had been the victim of the financial 
manipulations of Dare and Collins. 

Collins was almost certainlv made aware of the 
suicide shortly after it occurred, but no response from 
him is recorded in the Cheyenne newspapers. 

Meanwhile, the California bank was sinking fast 
and taking Collins with it. A bank examiner had been 
sent for, and Collins officially withheld comment, 
awaiting the report of that individual's findings. On 
November 14, Examiner Chamberlain and George V. 
Sims of the Lombard Trust in London inspected the 
books. Sims had been sent to the southern California 
town by his employer to look for investments and he 

. . . if the bank examiners would allow him to do so, he would 
bring in money from New York and London to reestablish the 
bank on an even sounder basis 

If circumstances and the law would have allowed Sims to 
invest in the bank, he would have been Collins' savior. 
As it was by December, 1891 , the game was up and the 
bank was thrown into a receivership. F. N. Pauley of Los 
Angeles was named receiver. 

Collins was charged with embezzling $200,000 and 
was incarcerated at the Brewster Hotel under the sur- 
veillance of a United States marshal . Why the county jail 
was overlooked as a lodging place for Collins is a 
mystery. Bond had been fixed at $50,000, but Collins 
was unable to raise it, and the former business associates 
either didn't have the cash on hand or were reluctant to 
throw good money after bad. Dare certainly wasn't 
around to help out a friend in need, and since he had 
left for Europe in virtually the nick of time, it may have 
been assumed thai Collins would follow. 76 

On March 3, after a comfortable confinement in 
the luxurious Brewster, Collins was told that he would 
have to expect to go to jail in Los Angeles unless he 
could produce the $50,000 bail money. He again asked 

^ > , 


- O ' 


t [ c-< .<- 

George L. Beard, cashier. 


acquaintances for money with no success. The previous 

Wednesday, he had become despondent and lamented 

to a friend who had come to call: 

It is of no use. I cannot stand it. The very men whom I have 
helped time and again have refused to do anything for me. I 
cannot go to jail. I feel that the people of San Diego owe it to 
me after all I have done to help them and the city, to furnish 
me with this bail. I am entirely innocent of this dreadful 
charge of embezzlement but the worst of it all is to have men 
whom I helped to go back on me in this extremity. What have 
I to live for? ... My property is all gone, my friends are gone, 
my prospects utterlv ruined. I am hounded to death and may 
as well die. 

Few have been so eloquent in their self pity. 

On March 3, Collins appeared to be particularly 
downcast and low. He lunched with Attorney General 
Hart who had been sent from Washington, D.C. to in- 
vestigate the bank's situation and General Eli H. Mur- 
ray. He was able to chat attentively in spite of his depres- 
sion and after the meal, he returned to his rooms to pack 
for the trip to Los Angeles. Earlier, he had requested 
permission from the U.S. Marshal to have his stay in San 
Diego extended a few days so that he could make a last 
attempt to raise the bail. At the very moment when the 
U.S. Marshal was exercising some leniency toward Col- 
lins' request, the banker 

. . . asked permission of the deputy marshal who guarded him 
to step into the bathroom. In about a minute a pistol shot was 
heard. Just then Mr. Collins' attorney. Judge Wilson came in. 
Both he and the deputy entered the bathroom and found Col- 
lins prostrate with blood gushing from his mouth. A physician 
was summoned but could do no good. 80 

While some sympathy was directed toward Collins, 
his suicide was looked upon as an admission of guilt. At 
the time of his death, it was thought that the bank had 
in excess of a million dollars in liabilities, and many San 
Diegans had been ruined. 

The suicide was discussed everywhere in hushed voices, selfish 
ambition, errors of judgment, and bitter enemies made by 
their losses. Some former friends who had been urged to join in 
furnishing bond, now felt badly. The general sympathy which 
had gone out to Collins ever since the tragic sinking of the 
yacht "Petrel.'' in which his entire family — wife and two young 
children — met death by drowning, went far toward tempering 
the widespread animus, and influenced many to bury their 
resentment with him in the grave of the dead financier. 81 

The Cheyenne newspaper by turns praised the man 
and then heaped opprobrium on him. In the very col- 
umn which follows the account of his suicide, the 
Leader said. 

Whatever may be said of him Collins was a very strange man. 
He found no recreation or delight in the usual ways or associa- 
tions of men in the prime of life. He neither smoked nor 
drank. For the theatre he cared absolutely nothing, and dur- 
ing his eight or nine years residence in Cheyenne he was pro- 
bably never within the doors of the opera house. 82 

Apparently, to the Leader writer, not going to the 
Opera House was one of Collins most objectionable fail- 
ings. He added: 

He was gifted with a good deal of tact and was a close student 

of human nature . . . One of his most remarkable qualities was 

the ability with which he recouped himself after making a bad 

deal . . . the way he would finesse and twist and turn to get 

himself out in good shape was little less than marvelous. 

Unfortunately, Collins didn't manage to "twist and turn 

and get himself out in good shape'' in his last and 

grandest adventure. One wonders if the writer meant 

those remarks sincerely, or if they were intended to be 


The Leader, published two days later, provided a 
sanctimonious and self-righteous summing up of Collins' 
activities and volunteered some remarks to the effect 

A quarter of a century of money grubbing, financial scheming 
and total indifference to what are ordinarily considered life's 
pleasures . . . the tireless pursuit of wealth . . . [can lead] to 
Death and only death. 
It can be assumed that ambition and success were great- 
ly admired, but money grubbing and financial scheming 
were disdained. But, where did one draw the line be- 
tween the two? Many clever fellows had dealt more dis- 
honestly than Collins while building their fortunes, but 
were never caught. History points with pride to the suc- 
cess of their endeavors. Collins was careless, had a poor 
sense of timing, got caught, and received the ultimate 
castigation — hard words from the editor of the Leader. 
After Collins' death, stories were circulated about a 
falling out he had had with Morton E. Post concerning 
Post's alleged promise to take him into partnership at 
that bank. Collins purportedly set out to ruin Post, but 
no information has been found to confirm the story. 
Whatever the case, Post and Collins were never friendly 
after their separation. 85 

Collins to some degree vindicated himself after his 
death. Some time prior to the suspension, he named the 
bank as beneficiary of his $65,000 life insurance policy, 
and while that was only about a third of the $200,000 
that was never accounted for, it is probable that those 
with capital invested in his bank were happy to see even 
that. 86 

David Dare's part in the whole business was easily as 
great as that of Collins. According to the San Diego Un- 
ion. "A federal investigation indicated that the bank's 
two organizers, . . . had systematically looted the 
bank." 87 A little over a year after Collins' suicide, a San 
Diego newspaper reported that Dare had been instru- 
mental in, ". . . wrecking the California National 
Bank . . .," 88 and that he got away with about $50,000. 
A later issue stated that he was, ". . . criminally respon- 
sible for its failure." 

Dare's activities and later careers were certainly not 


... he never returned to San Diego. Diligent attempts were 
made to lay hands on him, but though several times located, 
he always kept one jump ahead of extradition proceedings. He 
was first heard of in Rome. Later, a San Diegan traveling in 
the eastern Mediterranean, unexpectedly ran across him in j|| 


Athens. He was in the rug business there and doing quite well. 
He denied being a fugitive from justice, repeating that he had 
had to leave San Diego on account of its climate which did not 
agree with what ailed him; and he expected to remain there. 

Never one to let any grass grow under his feet, Dare 
moved around. 

[Ijn the course of time, he was located in Jerusalem, where it 
was reported he was connected with the project of a railroad to 
run from the Holy City to Jerico. [sic] Evidently extradition 
couldn't be arranged from that quarter. There was also a still 
later story that the elusive Mr. Dare was seen in Alexandria or 
maybe it was Cairo, Egypt, apparently well settled and carry- 
ing on some business as to the nature of which I am ignorant. 
He wore a full beard and had changed his name. 90 

If J. W. Collins' suicide was interpreted as an ad- 
mission of guilt Dare's flight to Europe and failure to 
return to California to exonerate himself was more of 
the same. Dares arguments that he left San Diego for 
reasons of health evaporated when it was learned that he 
was living in Alexandria, Cairo, Constantinople, and 
the then highly unsanitary Athens. 91 In the last twenty 
years before the First World War, Europe was on a 
gigantic pleasure binge, and such places as London, 
Paris, Vienna and Berlin likely would have been more 
suitable to the lifestyle Dare customarily followed. If D. 
D. Dare had been blameless it is unlikely that he would 
have chosen to live in areas from which he could not 
have been extradited. 

There is a possibility that when the bank went down 
and Collins was in such straits he contacted Dare either 
for assistance or to warn him to steer clear of the con- 
tinental United States. Had Dare not been involved with 
the "looting" of the California National, he likely would 
have rushed to his comrade's side and done all he could 
to extricate him from the unfortunate situation. 

Because he was ambitious, because he was adapt- 
able, and certainly because he had to feed himself. Dare 
followed several professions while abroad. He is said to 
have painted signs and portraits in between the times he 
built railroads and street railway systems. 92 He ended his 
days running the rug business in Athens, and it is 
thought that when he died he was buried there. The 
date and circumstances concerning his death are not 
known, but he had discarded his aliases and was once 
again David D. Dare. 93 

His wife Delia remained in Europe as late as 1894. 
She applied for and was granted a visa to travel freely 
throughout Rumania. The document is in her name on- 
ly, and there is nothing to indicate that her husband was 
with her. At the time she applied for the visa she had 
lied about her age and peeled off six years. 9 " 

Sometime between that date and 1901, she left 
Europe and returned to the United States. Her subse- 
quent actions indicate that she and Dare were formally 
divorced somewhere along the way. 

Upon her return, she resided in Telluride, Col- 
orado, with her parents. In the period from 1900 to 

1901, she served as San Miguel County School Superin- 
tendent, and in later years, she recalled visiting the 
various rural schools on horseback. 96 

In 1902, she married Otto Brandes of Telluride at 
Neosho, Missouri. How the two of them got that far 
away from home to marry is not accounted for, but by 
this time, Delia was well accustomed to unorthodox ad- 
ventures in distant places. Brandes was a banker, and 
they lived for a time in a comfortable bungalow in 
Denver. 96 

That Delia Dare Brandes would be curious about 
her former husband is understandable. In 1926, she cor- 
responded with Edward Capps who was with the Amer- 
ican School of Classical Studies in Athens, making in- 
quiries about Dare's financial status. Capps' reply, writ- 
ten on board a ship named the Conte Rosso is interesting 
enough and pertinent enough to quote in its entirety: 

Dear Mrs. Brandes: 

Your letter of March 9th reached me in Athens just about the 
time we were leaving for home. 1 was able to make some in- 
quiries about the property Mr. Dare left at his death, and 
although nobody seemed to know the exact facts, it was the 
general belief that he left rather little a house and the goods 
in his rug store. In the years he spent in business in Athens he 
could easily have accumulated that much, it seems to me, so 
that one does not have to assume that he was the wrongful 
holder of some of the bank's property. He was dead when I 
served at the U.S. Minister, in 1920-1921, and the matter did 
not come to my notice at all then. Mrs. Capps sends you her 
kind regards along with mine. We had a very pleasant, though 
brief stay in Greece. Sincerely yours. 

Edward Capps 
The brief correspondence is telling and its tone is 
tantalizing. A copy of the letter from Delia to Capps ap- 
parently does not survive, but one can well imagine that 
when she wrote him , she revealed a lot of what she knew . 
The letter indicates that she knew her husband had been 
suspected of embezzling the California bank. She was 
aware that he was dead and that prior to his death he 
was a rug dealer. 

On the other hand, the letter brings up as many 
questions as it answers. How long Delia had known of 
her first husband's dishonest involvement with the bank 
is not apparent. It is not clear how she knew of the rug 
business or how she had been made aware of his death 
either. It should be noted, however, that in spite of 
other stories to the contrary, by the time of his death, 
Dare was functioning under his own name, or at least, 
the first name he ever was known to have used, and was 
buried under that name. Delia may have done some in- 
vestigating on her own, or Dare may have left specific in- 
structions to the effect that his former wife be notified 
when he died. Her interest in the amount of his estate is 
understandable, as possibly she hoped to use that to 
make restitution to the surviving investors of the Califor- 
nia bank. The final question is who was the original 
source of the information that Capps passed along to 
Delia in his letter? 


Capps' letter is not a complete exoneration of Dare, 
although he does defend him. It certainly isn't the com- 
plete affirmation of his guilt that Delia may have been 
seeking. More than thirty years after their hasty trip to 
Europe, she either wanted proof that her former hus- 
band was a thief and a blackguard or that his involve- 
ment had not been as great as was thought. She wrote to 
Capps about a man who had built her two castles, 
bought her a sultan's pavilion, and had thought such 
gifts as peacock feather fans and one hundred dollar 
music boxes part of life's necessities. No matter what he 
is, a woman doesn't ordinarily scorn the name of a man 
who builds her castles. As to their divorce, it could have 
been caused by circumstances other than the California 
bank affair. 

Otto Brandes died New Year's Eve, 1928, and was 
buried in the Lone Tree Cemetery in Telluride. 

Five years later in May, 1933, Delia married a third 
and final time. His name was George A. Stow, but 
nothing else is known about him. At the time, his bride 
was seventy-six. Stow died, but there is no record of his 
death date or burial place. He is not buried in the 
Cronkleton family plot alongside the graves of Mary and 
Seth and Otto Brandes. 98 

In the 1940s, Delia b.came too old to care for 
herself, and called upon her step-daughter, the child of 
Otto Brandes to assist her. She, along with a young 
neighbor drove from Marine, Illinois to Telluride to get 
Delia. The neighbor was interested in Mrs. Stow and a 
friendship developed. Delia could remember little of the 
"old days" at that time, but she shared an intriguing col- 
lection of old photographs and papers with her new 
neighbor, Linnette Kolm Maedge. 

Mrs. Maedge remembered that on one occasion, 
several packing crates arrived from Telluride with some 
of Delia's possessions in them. There were beautiful 
parasols, fans, some elegant statuary, and some large 
tapestries. Mrs. Maedge was not sure from what time in 
the older woman's life they had come, but did recall that 
everything was of good quality. 

The tired and confused old lady died in July, 1948. 
and was cremated. Her ashes were taken to Telluride 
and buried in the family plot beside the remains of her 
parents and second husband Otto. Eastern Star services 
were held for Delia and Mrs. Maedge sang two selec- 

And so, the last player in the extraordinary drama 
that had begun nearly seventy years earlier, passed from 
the scene, taking with her the secrets of David D. Dare 
and his dreams. Her life with the man who had begun 
his career as a respected postal clerk in territorial Wyo- 
ming and who had ended his days peddling rugs in 
Athens had been filled with excitement, adventure, 
scandal and disappointment. But, too, there had to 
have been the times of love and laughter. The pair had 
been swept along by circumstances in an era that was 

noted for its enthusiasm and exuberance. They were 
decades that fostered the grandest of ambitions and en- 
couraged large and glittering dreams. Those years both 
gave and took much from men, and it was a time in 
which an ambitious, dreaming man found it difficult to 
live cautiously or slowly. Ambition could give way to 
scheming, and the dreams could make men take impru- 
dent and careless chances. The American West in the 
1880s and the 1890s nourished a highly charged at- 
mosphere in which nothing was too grand to Dare. 

1. Hcnsley, Herbert C, The Memoirs of Herbert C. Hensley, 5 
Vol., unpublished. San Diego State Historical Society Library. 
1952, p. 680. 

2. Cheyenne Daily Leader, March 7, 1876, p. 3. 

3. Cheyenne Sun, March 8. 1867, p. 4. 

4. Hensley MSS., p. 670. 

5. Cheyenne Daily Leader, November 17, 1876, p. 3. 

6. Thompson, John Charles, "In Old Wyoming, Wyoming State 
Tribune, January 19, 1947, p.l. 

7. Cheyenne Daily Leader, October 19, 1879, p. 3. 

8. Cheyenne Daily Leader, October 24, 1879, p. 3. 

9. First Marriage Records of Laramie County at the Court House, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming, copied and compiled by the Cheyenne 
chapters of the Daughters of the American Colonies, and the 
Daughters of the American Revolution and the Cheyenne 
Genealogical Society, Volume 3, n.d., typed. 

10. Cheyenne Daily Leader, April 22, 1880, p. 3. 

11. Ibid. 

12. Morris, William, ed., American Heritage Dictionary oj the 
English Language, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1969) p. 

13. Cheyenne Weekly Leader, December 22, 1881, p. 13. 

14. Charles Riner sold coal, fuel, insurance and Smith Brothers of- 
fice equipment. Leopold Kabis, brother-in-law of Warren 
Richardson, was a barkeeper and sold steamship tickets. Harry 
P. Hynds was a blacksmith-turned-barkeeper-turned-real estate 
entrepreneur. Francis E. Warren was involved in ranching and 
in general merchandising, with undertaking facilities in his em- 
porium. Cheyenne City Directories, 1884-1885. 1886-1887, 
1892, 1913-1914. 

San Diego Union, June 26, 1894, p. 5. 
Cheyenne Weekly Leader, December 22. 1881, p. 13. 
Cheyenne Daily Leader, December 20. 1882, p.l. 
Wyoming State Tribune, August 23, 1926, p.l. 
Cheyenne Weekly Leader, December 20, 1882, p.l. 
Cheyenne Daily Leader, February 4, 1882, p. 3. 
Cheyenne Daily Leader, February 4, 1882, p. 3. 
Cheyenne Sun, December 13, 1882. p. 4. 
Cheyenne Sun, December 14. 1882, p.l. 
Cheyenne Sun, December 21, 1882, p. 4. 
Cheyenne Daily Leader, September 30, 1883. p. 4. 
San Antonio City Directory, 1883-1884, n.d., n.p. 
Johnson, A. R., compiler, 1884-1885 Residence and Business 
Directory of Cheyenne, (Cheyenne: Leader Printing, 

Laramie County Historical Society, Early Cheyenne Homes 
1880-1890, (Cheyenne: Pioneer Printing, 1964) p. 34. 
Polk. R. L.. Cheyenne City Directory 1928, (Salt Lake City: R. 
L. Polk, 1928). 

Fitch, Luther, and Smith, James, A Directory of Laramie and 
Albany Counties, (San Francisco: U. S. Directory Publishing, 




31. Wyoming State Tribune, May 14. 1930. Julien became best 73. 
known in 1902 as the designer of the Tom Horn gallows. 74. 

32. Cheyenne Daily Leader, December 10, 1886, p. 4. 75. 

33. Ibid. 76. 

34. Laramie County Assessor's Records, 1886-1887. 

35. Italian Villa was used to construct I. C. Whipple's home. Max 
Idleman's mansion just up the street from Dare's was primarily 
of French Chateau, with a Tuscan arch thrown in for fun. R. S. 
Van Tassell's home was done in a modified "Shingle" style 
popularized in the Cheyenne area by architect-rancher George 77 
D. Rainsford. The Col. A. T. Babbit home in the 700 block of 78 
East 17th Street was Queen Anne style, but it is highly unlikely 79 
that the good queen would have recognized its architectural 80 
features as being from her reign. Early Cheyenne Homes, pp.12, 81 
13. 42, 43, 44. 56, 57. 61. 82 

36. Nagle had gotten a gTeat buy on some building stone rejected by 83 
the contractors who were doing the territorial capitol, and 84 
erected a three-story house in a combination of styles that still §5 
stands. The capitol contractors were justified in their estimation 86 
of the blocks, because over the years they scaled and chipped gy 
away to the extent that covering the exterior surface of the house 88 
with concrete became necessary. 89 

37. Early Cheyenne Homes, p. 30-31. 90 

38. Cheyenne Daily Leader, December 31. 1878, and April 22, 91 
1880, p. 3. 92 

39. Cheyenne Sun, April 17, 1887. p. 3. 93 

40. Letter from Charles W. Hughes. San Diego Historical Society to 

Ellen Glover, dated June 28. 1978 94 

41. Maedge collection, property of Mrs. Bumell (Linnette) Maedge, 
Marine, Illinois. 95 

42. Index to Deeds: Direct and Indirect, 1884 through May, 1922, 
Laramie County Clerks' Records, Recorded Deeds. 1889-1893. 

43. Cheyenne Daily Leader, November 13. 1891. p. 4. g5 

44. Wyoming State Tribune. February 8, 1915. p. 1-2. 

45. Wyoming State Tribune, January 21, 1963, p. 9. 

46. San Diego Union. December 18, 1889. 97 

47. Pourade. Richard. The Glory Years. (San Diego: San Diego gg 
Union Publishing Co , 1964) p. 198 and. San Diego State 99 
Historical Society brochure, Villa Montezuma, n.p.. n.d. 

48. San Diego State Historical Society brochure. Ibid 

49. San Diego Union, February 28, 1890, p. 8. 

50. San Diego Union, July 11, 1890, p. 8. 

51. San Diego Union, June 28, 1890, p. 8. 

52. San Diego Union, July 11, 1890, p. 8. 

53. Maedge Collection, snapshot. 

54. Letter from Charles W. Hughes, San Diego Historical Society to 
Mrs. Burnell Maedge. dated March 21, 1978. 

55. Hensley. Memoirs, p. 680. 

56. Pourade. Glory Years, p. 225. 

57. Hensley. Memoirs, op. at 

58 Cheyenne Daily Leader, July, 1890, Part III, p. 4. 

59. San Diego Union, February 7, 1891, p. 3. 

60. Pourade, Glory Years, Ibid 

61 Recorder's Form of Grant Deed, San Diego Abstract Co., 
February 5, 1891 and San Diego Union, February 5, 1891, p. 5. 

62. San Diego Union, February 5. 1891. Ibid 

63. Maedge Collection. 

64. San Diego Union, June 26. 1891. 

65. Hensley. Memoirs, p. 675-676. 

66. Cheyenne Daily Leader, November 13. 1891, p.l. 

67. Cheyenne Daily Leader. November 14, 1891. p. 3 

68. Ibid 

69. Ibid 

70. Ibid. 

71. Cheyenne Daily Leader, November 17. 1891, p. 3. 

72. Cheyenne Daily Leader, December 10, 1886, p. 4. 

Cheyenne Daily Leader, November 17, 1891, p. 3. 

"The growth of the bank at that time due almost entirely to the 
energy and business tact and unimpeachable integrity of Mr. 
Beard, has been remarkable. He was an extremely circumspect 
man for his years and the hold which he had on the public con- 
fidence was manifested in a remarkable manner when the bank 
suspended." Ibid 

Hensley Memoirs, p. 677. 

Cheyenne Daily Leader, March 4, 1892. pp. 1-2. 

Hensley. Memoirs, p. 679. 

Cheyenne Daily Leader, March 4. 1892, pp. 1-2. 

Cheyenne Daily Leader, March 6, 1892, p. 3. 

Hensley, Memoirs, p 681. 
San Diego Union, November 10, 1893. p. 5. 
San Diego Union, June 26, 1894, n.p. 
Hensley. Memoirs, p. 680. 

San Diego Union, October 8. 1900, p. 5. 
Sari Diego Union, June 26. 1894, n.p. 

Maedge Collection, letter from Edward Capps to Adele D. 
Brandes, May 22. 1926. 

Maedge Collection, visa issued by the United States Legation. 
Bucharest, Rumania, June 16, 1894. 

Maedge Collection, letter from Irene Visintin. Secretary 
Treasurer, Lone Tree Cemetery, Telluride, Colorado, April 18, 

Maedge Collection, letter from Irene Visintin. Secretary 
Treasurer. Lone Tree Cemetery. Telluride. Colorado, April 5. 
Maedge Collection. Telluride Tribune. July 22, 1948, n.p. 









Maria Inez Corlett Riter 

Mine was a gay and happy home — a home presided 
over by the social grace of my attractive sister-in-law 
Minerva and warmed by the legal, civil and political life 
of my older brother William Wellington Corlett. We 
lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the capital city. 

Reverend J. Y. Cowhick, a Presbyterian minister, 
active in this area, was a frequent visitor in our home. 
He was head of the school board for the Cheyenne dis- 
trict. During the gold rush to the Black Hills, Reverend 
Cowhick raised money in Cheyenne, bought a lot of 
bibles which he personally took to "the Hills" by 
stagecoach and distributed to the prospectors and 

Against Minerva's wishes, I accepted a winter's 
teaching position at Fort Laramie. Reverend Cowhick 
may have painted life at an army post as somewhat too 
agreeable. The salary was better than Cheyenne schools 

It was a two-day drive from Cheyenne to Fort 
Laramie. This trip I made under the protection of 
Reverend Cowhick. Our first night out we spent at the 
large ranch house of F. M. Phillips — no relation to John 
"Portugee" Phillips. 

Our host was evidently a well-to-do cattle man and 
known as "Butcher Phillips" because he furnished beef 
to the army. I learned that in earlier days, he and an 
associate named John Hunton, had made it their busi- 
ness—and a dangerous one it was to supply meat and 
basic necessities to Forts Laramie, Fetterman, Reno, 
McKinney and others. 

Phillips was a "squaw man." During my night's stay 
at the ranch, Mr. Phillips decided to send one of his 
daughters to my school at Fort Laramie. She according- 
ly accompanied us to the Fort. 

"The Crusade to Save Fort Laramie," by Merrill J. Mattes, 
published in the Spring, 1978, issue of Anna Is of Wyoming, prompt- 
ed Lesley Day Woodruff Riter (Mrs. Franklin), of Salt Lake City, to 
send us the following story from her personal collection of family 

The brief story of her mother-in-law, Maria Corlett Riter, is an 
interesting insight into the experience of a young Eastern girl who 
spent a few months at old Fort Laramie. It becomes more interesting 
when the reader is aware of Mrs. Franklin Riter's ties to early Wyo- 
ming through her own family as well as that of her husband. 

In a recent letter to Annals she wrote: "Wyoming is a story book 
state to me. I was fortunate to often be there with my father [Dr. Ed 
ward Day Woodruff] and 'Uncle Dwight' [J. D. Woodruff] and to 
meet, and hear the stories and experiences of, many old timers. Even 
though young. I had sense enough to, then and there, put down 
many notes." The story of Maria Riter is the result of some of that 
note taking. Mrs. Riter also wrote detailed stories of her father and 
ir own words. These were published in 
Annals of Wyoming in 1926 and 1931. 

Dr. Woodruff came to Wyoming from Ohio in 1880 and was the 
■ practiced medicine and surgery 


there for ten years. He was also interested in stock raising and was a 
county superintendent of schools in Rock Springs when Sweetwater 
County extended from the southern to the northern borders of 
Wyoming Territory. His daughter was born in Wyoming Territory. 

His brother, John Dwight Woodruff, had come to Wyoming in 
the late 1860s and was responsible for bringing Dr. Woodruff to the 
territory. In his early days J. D. Woodruff was a skilled guide and 
scout. He settled in Fremont County, and three times represented 
that county in the state legislature. He was interested in gold mining, 
stock raising and various business enterprises during his lifetime. 

On the Corlett-Riter side of the family, the young Fort Laramie 
teacher was a sister of W. W. Corlett, one of the best known and 
most able members of the legal profession in Wyoming. A native of 
Ohio, he came to Cheyenne in 1867 to practice law. He served as 
postmaster for Cheyenne, was a member of the Territorial 
Legislative Assembly. He also served as Laramie County prosecuting 
attorney. Corlett died in Cheyenne in 1890 at the age of forty-eight, 
after a lingering illness. 

Although the specific year that Maria Corlett Riter taught at 
Fort Laramie is not known, it was probably in the early 1880s. 
- Editor. 

Fort Laramie school children pose on the 

At the Fort Laramie school life was not easy for the 
Phillips daughter. She spoke very little English. Finding 
her teacher acquired the Indian tongue easier than she 
did English, she ceased trying to learn. Teacher had to 
stop using Indian words, until the girl decided to try to 
learn our tongue. Poor young one was so homesick. 
Every opportunity she would run away to a nearby hill 
top and there "make medicine" — the prayer that she 
might go home. Even her bright mind — a good mind — 
could not make her "medicine" work. The following 
year her father sent her east to a sisters' school. I was 
told that there she made an unusually good record for 

There were some fifty families at Fort Laramie be- 
sides the soldiers quartered there. I lived and boarded 
with the head of the Commissary Department. During 
good weather, I slept in a halfway boarded-up, tent- 
covered place beside the house where I lived. My tent 
door was in two sections — upper and lower. One morn- 
ing the lower section was hard to open. Looking out, I 
saw two large rattlesnakes curled up against it. 

Every child in the Fort came to my school. Kindly 
fort officers and wives came to meet Teacher — and all 
during my year were most thoughtful and kindly, 
though there were few social graces when winter winds 


veranda of Old Bedlam, circa 1898 

blew and snow piled high. Soldier ranks and fort 
denizens were of all kinds and colors and all cleared a 
path for Teacher. More than one anxious little squaw- 
came to see me. I found friends in unexpected places 
among the ranks. 

Soon after arriving at the Fort, I met a nice looking, 
Boston-born young man. Of about the same age, and 
school textured, we had a pleasant evening and a date to 
go horseback riding on the morrow. 

Next afternoon he appeared with two very good 
looking horses. We had a delightful ride though he con- 
sidered it unsafe to go out of or beyond sight of the Fort . 

That evening my landlady — wife of the Commis- 
sary officer — told me my escort was an enlisted man. I 
must not go out with him again. No one in an officer or 
government official standing ever went out with an 
enlisted man. It just was not done. 

My winter at Fort Laramie was interesting in every 
way. It was a special and worthwhile association and ex- 
perience I consider it a privilege to have had. But a fron- 
tier post on the edge of civilization is not an easy place to 
live. It is anything but. And winters are long, cruel, 
heavy. At the end of the year I did not renew my con- 



Lovell's Mexican Colony 

By Augustin Redwine 


'It was dirty and disagreeable work ... to block, thin 
and hoe the beets ..." 


Industry came to Lovell, Wyoming, in 1916, bring- 
ing an influx of new residents including Mexican beet 

The town, settled in 1900 by Mormon farmers, had 
been simply the center of an agricultural community 
until Great Western Sugar Company decided to estab- 
lish a sugar factory there. Suddenly, other industries 
came to town. Big Horn Basin Clay Products con- 
structed a tile factory. A local group established a can- 
nery while Big Horn Glass Company built a glass fac- 
tory. Secondary businesses, as well as an oil exploration 
company, added to the growth. 

A shortage of housing for the workers in the various 
enterprises became acute. The Lovell Chronicle fre- 
quently commented on the "impact" problems as a 
result of the new industries in town. 1 

Great Western Sugar Company officials ordered 
the construction of numerous houses for management 
personnel and dormitories for factory workers at their 
plant. Tents and makeshift structures sprang up but 
somehow did not alleviate the serious shortage of accom- 
modations for workers in the community. 

At the same time that the town was experiencing 
the housing shortage, the beet farmers in the area could 
find no available labor to work in the fields. In the fall of 
1918 local businessmen worked in the beet fields and the 
sugar factory to help bring in the harvest. 2 A source of 
labor had to be found as well as housing for the incom- 
ing workers. The result was the Mexican colony at 

During the early 1900s, field workers in Utah and 
Idaho fields originally came into those states from other 
areas. Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and Mexican workers 
came from California, while Germans, Russian-Ger- 
mans and southern Europeans were brought from the 
Midwest and Great Plains states. 3 

In 1907, Japanese immigration to the United States 
had stopped completely. The First World War reduced 
the number of Russian -Germans available for work in 
the fields. Manpower was directed toward the war effort 
with army service stripping the labor supply. 4 

While the labor pool decreased from 1915 to 1920, 
the number of acres planted in sugar beets (in the Great 
Western company's territory) increased from 185,584 
acres to 276,550 acres. 5 At the same time, sugar fac- 
tories more than doubled from 41 plants operating in 
1915 to 88 factories five years later. By 1920 Great 
Western alone had 49 sugar factories, including the one 
at Lovell/' 

The sugar companies found a ready supply of labor 
among Mexican Nationals and Mexican-Americans dur- 
ing this period. In Utah and Idaho fields, over 2000 
laborers, mostly Mexican, were brought in to work in 
1917 and 1918. 7 In fact, the companies were in such 

great need for laborers that they received special permis- 
sion from the U. S. Department of Labor to import 
workers from the interior of Mexico." 

Conditions inside Mexico made such an exporta- 
tion possible. Political discontent led to armed rebellion 
in 1910 and 1911. After Madero was inaugurated to suc- 
ceed the deposed Diaz, he too lost the support of the 
masses because of land policies. Instability continued 
with the brief Huerta "counter-revolution" followed by 
the Carranza presidency. To many Mexicans, turbulent 
and war-torn Mexico was not the place to seek a future. 

When the Lovell factory began operating, most 
workers in the Great Western Company's "territory" 
were Spanish-speaking people from "Fexas, New Mexico 
and southeastern Colorado, however. The company did 
not recruit within Mexico. 9 While many of the workers 
were still "Mexican Nationals," they had immigrated 
earlier and had already received resident/worker status 
when the company recruited them." 1 

The sugar companies during this period received 
most of their workers from labor recruiters. Some were 
company agents who were pa.d a straight salary plus ex- 
penses to recruit laborers for the company. Their duties 
were varied and ranged from booking advertisements in 
newspapers in areas where prospects were good to ap- 
pointing sub-agents and registering laborers. The com- 
pany recruiter often was required to explain the type of 
work the laborers could expect and the living conditions 
they might encounter. Occasionally, company recruiters 
had to make excuses for injustices committed by some 
growers, particularly involving wages, but their usual 
duties did not extend beyond the initial recruitment." 

The Great Western company recruiting force con- 
sisted of sixty men in 1924 in various aspects of labor 
procurement. Of these, twenty-two men were assigned 
to the Denver headquarters to coordinate activities of 
labor agents in Colorado, Nebraska, Montana, South 
Dakota and Wyoming. Twenty-three "labor counters" 
worked in Texas and New Mexico while fifteen men 
conducted labor shipments from southern points (El 
Paso, Dallas, Fort Worth) to the factory towns and 
farms further north like Lovell." Individual factories, 
sixteen in Colorado and three in Wyoming, employed 
their own local recruiters who were also involved in the 
distribution of laborers to places having shortages. 14 

Others were commission agents who were paid a fee 
by the sugar company for each laborer recruited. Still 
others were free-lance recruiters who would stop people 
on the street, promise to get them on beet labor trains 
and collect a fee from the prospective laborer. 1 * 

The duties of commission agents and free-lance 
recruiters were just as varied as those of company 
recruiters although there was less accountability. In 
many cases proper procedures were not followed. 


Although most recruiters were themselves Mexican 
or very fluent Spanish speakers, occasionally confusion 
would result from the stories they told the prospective 
laborers. The experience of Secundino Rodriguez is 
typical. He was recruited by a company recruiter who 
had spoken with Secundino and his wife several times 
about work in the fields. The recruiter told them they 
would get about $25 per acre per year and told them the 
land they would work would be divided into small plots 
like the Mexican ejido. Ejido is a Mexican "community 
land" system based on Indian practices dating to before 
the Spanish conquest. Under the system, land given to 
villages was divided into small family plots. 15 The land 
on which Rodriguez was to work was much larger than 
an ejido, however. 

The Rodriguez family gathered their possessions 
and boarded the train in El Paso on May 2, 1924. Three 
full cars of people from all parts of Texas and Mexico 
made the train trip to Lovell with only one stopover on 

the way. At the stop in Denver they received further in- 
structions about where they were going. Accommoda- 
tions were cramped and they were never allowed to leave 
the train. Bologna sandwiches, sardines and coffee were 
provided for meals. 

When Secundino and his family arrived in Lovell, a 
farmer was waiting to take them to his farm and the one- 
room house he had for them. They also saw the acreage 
they were to work for the first time. It was not a small 
plot like the recruiter told them. Their main duties in- 
cluded not only working the beets but feeding the cattle 
as well. 

Rodriguez's nephew Eusebio was recruited by a 
free-lance recruiter who took his money then told him 
his destination was Oregon. Instead, he was sent to 
Boise, Idaho. He came to Lovell in 1924. 

All three types of recruiters faced stiff competition 
with sheepmen, lumber mill operators, highway con- 
struction companies and railroads for the available 

Recruiting Beet Laborers in th 

S. C. (Sabino) Lopez recruited beet workers for 
Great Western Sugar Company in the 1920s. In the 
following interview he describes the recruiting process in 

Lopez was born in Salem, N. M., in 1898, and after 
working for Great Western, bought a beet farm in South 
Dakota. In 1946 he went to Cheyenne and worked as a 
mechanic for United Air Lines. He founded the Latin 
American Federation in Cheyenne in 1948. 

Active in politics, he was founder and editor of the 
state's only Spanish -language political newsletter, Habla 
La Democracia, which was published every two years 
from 1958 to 1964. 

Lopez died on August 9, 1978, several months after 
the following interview was conducted. 

Q: How did you get into recruiting? 

A: I had been working at the Great Western Company 
in Greeley since 1920. In 1921 I was made foreman 
of one of the stations within the factory. Ever since I 
started working in 1920 I had made it a point to 
learn as many stations of the factory as I could. In 
1923 I asked the superintendent if I could learn the 
lab work. I told him I would donate two hours of my 
time before my regular shift to learn how to analyze 
samples to determine alkalinity. The superintendent 
was impressed with my desire to learn about the in- 
dustry and after a while introduced me to C. V. 
Maddux, the Labor Commissioner for Great West- 
ern. Mr. Maddux asked me if I would be interested 
in recruiting laborers for Great Western and I 

agreed. I received some instructions on how to 
recruit and then I began. 

Q: How many years did you recruit? 

A: I started in 1924 and quit in 1933 when I began 

farming in South Dakota. I did not recruit in 1928 

and in 1930. 

Q: Where did you recruit and how? 

A: All over. But 1924, when I began, I was sent to El 
Paso (Texas) to work with Dave Kagee, from Fort 
Morgan, Colorado. We brought special labor trains 
from El Paso to Denver. I remember how the Border 
Patrol used to check the trains for wetbacks. Oh, 
sometimes they squeezed in but the government 
(Border Patrol) inspected the families for passport, 
port of entry. The families needed some kind of 
proof. We had to clear four or five inspections in El 
Paso and later when we got to Albuquerque two or 
three more. 

These special trains went direct to Denver and the 
Company (Great Western) paid the families trans- 
portation and provided lunch on the road— sand- 
wiches and coffee. Denver was the main disem- 
barkation point and from there they (workers) went 
to Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Colorado. In 
Colorado they were sent to Greeley and Fort 
Morgan. In Wyoming they went to Lovell and 

An interesting story is that the farmers owned the 
Fort Lupton (Colorado) factories but they used 
Great Western laborers. But after 1924 Great 


labor supply. Besides Great Western, three other sugar 
companies were involved in beet worker recruitment. 
Supplying the seasonal labor to the beet farmers was a 
costly task for all four companies. 16 

Laborers were not recruited fcr plowing, planting, 
cultivating, lifting and hauling because such operations 
required skill and experience due to the machinery in- 
volved. Those types of chores were done by the farmer or 
his year-round hired help. The migrant labor families 
were needed for the operations requiring hand labor. It 
was dirty and disagreeable work. In the spring and early 
summer the workers had to block, thin and hoe the 
beets. Blocking the beets meant cutting out undesired 
beet plants in order to properly space the remaining 
plants. Thinning involved the removal of all except one 
beet plant from the cluster left by the blocking and it re- 
quired the worker to crawl on all fours along the beet 

There was cultural variation in the performance of 

these operations. The Russian German father blocked 
beets with a long-handled hoe while the rest of the fami- 
ly usually thinned the beets on their hands and knees. 
The Mexican laborer blocked with one hand and 
thinned with the other." 

In the fall after the plants had grown and weeds 
had been kept out all summer by hoeing, the farmers 
would loosen the ground with a machine lifter and the 
laborers would pull the beets by hand. After they were 
pulled, the tops of the beets would be cut off by hand 
with a knife. 

A major disadvantage of stoop labor was its season- 
al nature. Each growing season the migrants would have 
to return to the beet farm areas for work. Sugar com- 
panies tried to find ways to avoid the labor supply snarls. 

As early as 1920 Great Western management recog- 
nized the need to keep the laborers on the farm, not only 
to maintain a steady labor supply but to avoid the 
tremendous costs involved in transporting labor each 

920s — Sabino Lopez's Story 

Western bought the farmers out. What happened 
was that the farmers' company went on the stock ex- 
change and Great Western had been trying to buy 
them out. Well, the farmers wouldn't sell to Great 
Western so after some months Great Western sent a 
dummy representative (gave him a false identity) 
and bought the farmers out. Boy were they sur- 

In 1926 I was promoted to Supervisor of the Agen- 
cies which meant I was boss of the recruiters in 
Arizona, New Mexico, El Paso, Amarillo and Pecos. 
In New Mexico my agencies were located in Roswell, 
Clovis, Carlsbad, Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, Clayton, 
Albuquerque, Deming and Las Cruces where I was 
born. Oh yes, Hurley, New Mexico too. I was almost 
thrown in jail there. You see it was a company town 
for some mining company and they didn't appre- 
ciate my going in there to take their workers. I told 
them I wasn't taking their workers. I was only going 
to see two who had answered our advertisement in 
the newspaper. Besides, I told them I would be out 
of jail in a day because Great Western would have 
had me out in no time. It was touch and go for a 
while and they finally let me talk to the two people I 
had come to see. 

Q: You advertised in newspapers? 

A: Yes. Newspapers and people used to write the com- 
pany and our agencies looking for work. 

Q: How were you paid? 

A: Well, all my expenses were paid and that included 

mileage, tips, telephone, meals and board, room or 
office space. You know I also had to deal with the 
railroad people and set up train schedules and pay 
passenger fares and set fares too. I guess I made 
about $900 a month including salary. My expense 
account was sent in to the Denver Company and 
they reimbursed me weekly. Sometimes I used to 
carry as much as $2000 in my pocket. It was money I 
would use to recruit people. Or pay for my bills. I 
would always be reimbursed 

Q: Were you paid for the number of families you 

A: No. I wasn't a commission agent. I was on straight 
salary. Some guys were commission agents who re- 
ceived money from Great Western for every worker 
they recruited. 

Q: How much did Great Western pay "per head"? 

A: It varied from one place to another. It depended on 
how far they (the workers) were from Denver. For 
example, if a commission agent recruited someone 
from Raton, New Mexico, he would get $5 "per 
head ". L'sually it was $2 "per head" paid to the 
agencies (by the Company) for anyone 16 years and 
up. You see the agency got more money if Great 
Western didn't have to pay much to transport the 
family or person. Raton is closer to Denver so the 
agency guy made more money. The Gonzales Agen- 
cy in El Paso received $2 for every man and woman 
over 16 years. There was no commission paid for 
anyone under 16 years of age. 




season. During 1924, for example, the company spent 
$200,000 for transportation of and food for 8152 beet 
laborers brought to the farms. The workers were im- 
ported into the Wyoming and Colorado fields from as 
far east as Omaha and as far south as El Paso. 18 

The company management also feared immigra- 
tion restrictions proposed by the Mexican government, 
believing that such legislation would cut off the best sup- 
ply of labor. The proposed law stipulated that all 
laborers wishing to work in the United States and their 
families, including children, would have to pay a $10 
fee. In addition, an "adult tax" of $8 was to be levied on 
all Mexican Nationals holding worker visas. The $8 
charge would be refundable if the worker returned to 
Mexico within six months, however. 19 

Such proposals made it even more difficult and ex- 
pensive for companies to recruit workers. Nevertheless, 
by 1926 Great Western had paid for 10,800 full fares 
and 3700 half fares for individuals brought by train or 
motor vehicle to the fields. 20 Despite the cost and diffi- 
culties encountered, it was double the number brought 
north a couple of years earlier. 

Seasonal labor also encouraged desertion. Of all 
workers brought to the fields in 1924, it was estimated 
that about seven percent deserted. 21 

In short, permanent resident labor had none of the 
disadvantages of importation. Company officials, in 
fact, believed crop yields suffered unless resident 
laborers were used. Colonization appeared to be the only 

"What was it like for the beet workers?" "Ther 










ntinued From Page 29) 

Well, you see it cost the Company to transport them 
to the farmer. And the Company fed the family un- 
til the farmer received the family. Then the farmer 
provided living quarters and food which was de- 
ducted from the wages earned. 

What were the wages of the family? 
It varied from year to year. For the sugar beet 
workers probably an average was about $9 an acre 
for thinning, $2 an acre for the first hoeing, $1 an 
acre for the second hoeing, and $7 an acre for 
harvest topping. 

The entire family received those rates? 

Yes. If you had more working you could cover more 

acres but the family was paid. 

Did you recruit in Mexico and who did you recruit 


I never went into Mexico but everyone I recruited 

was Spanish-speaking. 

What did the companies provide for the workers? 
Remember I told you the farmers were responsible 
for the workers after Great Western brought them 
(the workers) to the farmer? But Great Western had 
started to figure out that it was pretty expensive to 
keep paying the transportation every year for the 
workers so they decided to have a ready supply of 
labor. So in 1927 a colony was established in 
Greeley. It was a good idea. Other colonies were 
soon established. There were three more in Col- 
orado (Ft. Collins, Kersey, and Milliken) and two in 
Wyoming, Worland and, I think, Lovell. 

What do you mean, "Colony"? 

A place where they could live. The Company asked 

me to pick the spot, then they surveyed the land, 









divided it into lots and provided all the lumber and 
cement for the people to build their houses. They 
didn't provide the labor but the people built, 2, 3 
and 4 room houses. The company gave them 3 years 
to pay for them and in the meanwhile the company 
paid taxes on the land and improvements until they 
were paid for and then the workers received the title. 
It's still there two miles west of Greeley. C. V. Mad- 
dux and I planted the cottonwoods. They were little 
fellows then. 

How many families lived in the Greeley Colony? 
About forty families. 

How many agents were recruiting for Great Western 
about this time? 

All these agents were recruiting people and sending 
them by train to Denver? 

No. We advanced money to those that had cars. 
That's why I carried so much money around. We 
gave them the same amount that it would cost to 
bring them in by train. 

How much would that cost? 

From El Paso it would cost $20 a head. That's a full 

fare. And it would be less the closer it would be to 


What is a full fare? 

That depends on the size of the family. For example 

for a family of six from El Paso it would cost $120 to 

bring the family up. The family did not owe the 

company the money, either. 

Where were the workers from? 

They were from all over. I remember one year to 

supply 21 factories we had 12,000 full fares. We sent 

them all over, too. 


Great Western established their first "colony" for 
Mexican workers in Fort Morgan, Colorado, in 1922. In 
the previous year only 400 families stayed throughout 
the year in the GW area. By 1924 there were fifteen 
other colonies in the Great Western system and 2000 
families were making their homes all year in the coun- 

The company bought large tracts of land in some 
cases and subdivided it for worker houses. Usually, the 
company supplied the materials if the worker would 
build the house. The company would then lease the lot 
and home back to the worker until it was paid for, usual- 
ly four or five years later." In Lovell, colony residents 
were not given the option of purchasing their homes be- 
cause unlike the Greeley colony and others, the Lovell 

)as prejudice 


Q: All of the workers were Spanish-speakers? 

A: Well, sometimes local Anglos worked in the fields. 
They were kids though. Sometimes Indians were 
used, too. 

Q: What was it like for the beet workers in the com- 
munities they worked in? 

A: The communities were fair. The workers brought in 
a lot of money to spend on groceries, a car. There 
was prejudice; in Greeley especially. But Colorado 
had some civil rights legislation on the books that 
was very effective. 

Q: Were the workers instructed on how to work the 

A: Great Western trained the new workers. The Com- 
pany had prepared a film that I showed and trans- 
lated. This film showed the entire sugar beet process 
from planting, through harvesting down into the 
factory. It showed the beet workers working, the fac- 
tory process that turned the beets into sugar. The 
company rented a theatre and showed it for free. 
But actually working in the field, well, the field man 
showed them the actual process. 

Q: You mentioned that you have recruited all over. Did 
you recruit in Cheyenne? 

A: Yes, I came to Cheyenne several times. An agency 
had its office behind a pool hall downtown in 1927. I 
actually recruited here several times but in 1931 the 
Agency had sent a man to Torrington but he was 
sluffing off and not doing his job. The Company re- 
cruiting in Cheyenne would save them money in 
fares. The people I recruited were sent to the Ne- 
braska fields. One year I recruited 153 families. I 
am not sure when that was. I didn't do much re- 
cruiting after that. I moved to South Dakota and 
began to farm. 

structures had been built on factory grounds. No rent 
was charged to the workers in Lovell, however. Despite 
that, many residents never felt comfortable there be- 
cause the homes belonged to the company. 

Generally, the colony houses were constructed of 
adobe bricks measuring 4x12x18 inches. Pure adobe was 
not used because it disintegrated under the extreme 
weather conditions but a mixture of sandy loam soil and 
straw proved very durable. The houses had adobe floors, 
one or two rooms, and, at least in the case of the Fort 
Morgan colony, occupied lots averaging about 50x200 
feet. The cost of the house and lot together was SI 00 
($25 for the lot, $75 for the materials used in the con- 
struction of the house). 23 

The company decided who would live in the 
houses. The overriding standard was that the residents 
be "experienced, high quality workers" so that even bet- 
ter and more timely work could be expected and obtain 
ed from them. Great Western's colonies housed 
fieldmen as well as sugar factory managers. 

With the colonies the company reasoned that every- 
one would benefit: the company would save thousands 
of dollars in recruiting and transportation costs; the 
laborer would have a permanent home and thereby 
avoid paying high prices for rent and food during the 
"unemployment season" in the winter; and the farmers 
would receive higher quality and more loyal help."' 4 

There are conflicting opinions as to the date the 
Lovell colony was established. One long-time Lovell resi- 
dent said there were some houses in the greasewood 
area later known as the colony before 1923. The Great 
Western Company's magazine, Through the Leaves, 
printed two photographs of the colony houses in 1924. 
indicating that the colony had only been established 
that year." Kamiel Wembke, a Belgian who came to 
Lovell in 1923, remembered seven or eight houses in the 
colony when he first arrived. Whether it was 1924 or 
earlier, the colony housed other company employees 
who were not Mexican laborers. Wembke lived there for 
a number of years when he was employed by Great 
Western in the factory. 

While accounts vary as to the number of houses 
built there, no more than twenty were in existence at 
any one time. 26 They lined a single unpaved road at the 
end of which stood a building, about twice the size of the 
residences, that served as a meeting house. 2 ' The colony 
was a noisy place, Wembke recalls. It was only a few 
yards from the railroad tracks, next to a cattle yard, and 
the Mexicans seemed to have "many kids and dogs." 

According to one resident. Secundino Rodriguez, 
the houses were adobe, had cement or dirt floors 
(depending on the year they were built) and had wood 
burning stoves for cooking and heating. Most were one- 
room structures although he remembers that some had 


two rooms. None had running water although faucets 
located at each end of the road and in the middle of the 
colony supplied domestic needs. 

Gas heating replaced the wood stoves in 1927 al- 
though residents had the option of connecting to the 
line. Eusebio Rodriguez never hooked up to the gas as he 
preferred the wood burning stove. Electricity was not 
available until years later and then only if residents in- 
stalled it themselves. Eusebio did not add electricity to 
his house. Instead he kept using kerosene lamps. 

The only costs associated with living in the colony 
were utilities which ran about $4 per month by one 
estimate. Some of the colony residents lived on the farms 
during the beet season and moved back to the colony 
during the winter while others lived there year-round 
causing some variation in this estimate. 28 

Houses provided by farmers were usually of ques- 
tionable quality throughout the Great Western com- 
pany area. 29 Great Western tried to improve the housing 
on the farms by providing farmers with material and 
Mexican labor to build adequate labor houses. The 
company knew the quality of the labor house was the key 
to their plan to keep the beet labor on the farms during 
the winter. Sometimes the plan was successfully im- 
plemented and consequently only a few laborers of the 
hundreds in the area ever lived in colonies. 

When the Mexican laborer first arrived in Lovell, 
usually he was penniless. Great Western customarily 
gave small advances until the laborer received his first 
paycheck, but the advances were in the form of groceries 
to be ordered from a local merchant — not cash. Occa- 
sionally, a merchant would allow credit to a laborer if 
the grower or the company agreed to make payment 
should the laborer leave town before paying. 30 The 
growers themselves sometimes would make advances, 
deducting the amount given from their first paycheck. 

General farm laborers usually received from $15 to 
S80 per month. The Mexican Nationals were paid the 
same wages as other workers. 

Great Western management recognized that many 
of their employees could not budget properly. The com- 
pany deducted a small sum from each worker's check to 
be repaid to them if they stayed on through the winter. 
Secundino Rodriguez had S5 deducted for every acre he 
worked during the season. Unfortunately, if the laborer 
failed to stay during the winter, the company kept the 
money they had deducted from the wages. 31 The effect 
was a "credit trap" in which the laborers needed money 
in order to leave but could not receive any unless they 
stayed. Another laborer Jose Cobos said he disliked the 
winter and the rural setting the first year he arrived but 
he stayed simply because of his lack of funds. 

Russian-German workers had the reputation of 
quickly accumulating savings from their work and in- 
vesting it into their own farms. 32 In Lovell this was true 
of many of the Mexicans as well. Some laborers were 

able to lease or buy land within ten years of their arrival. 
Cobos bought his farm in 1940— just seven years after 
coming to the country. The Belgian-born Wembke be- 
lieved, however, that Mexicans did not try to better 
themselves. He particularly could not understand why 
the Mexicans did not keep their children in school. 

Like other Americans, the Mexicans experienced 
hard times during the Great Depression of the 1930s. 
The Mexicans worked in exchange for flour, beans and 
other staples in those years when their employers were 
unable to pay wages. Families in need were always 
helped by others in the colony, even during the early 
years before the onset of the depression. 

The relationships between native and non-native 
Spanish -speaking people were generally good. They 
celebrated holidays together, although the native Mex- 
icans were not required to work on Mexico's national 
holidays. In the Lovell community there were several 
marriages between members of each group. For exam- 
ple, Secundino Rodriguez's daughter married a native of 
New Mexico. 

Mrs. Rose Cordova of Cheyenne came to Wyoming 
as a beet laborer in the 1930s. Although she did not live 
in Lovell, her comments about the rivalry between the 
two groups are typical. She remembers that her father 
disliked the native Mexicans and did not allow his family 
to work near them or mingle socially with them. There 
was rivalry between the Mexican Nationals (known as 
suromates) and the American-born Spanish -speaking 
people (known as "chewies.") The Mexican Nationals 
found it strange that their American-born counterparts 
chewed tobacco, hence the nickname. 

Mexican Nationals called themselves "Mexicanos 
Limpios" or pure Mexicans. They used the term, "ven- 
didos," for the American born. "Vendidos" has two 
definitions. Secundino Rodriguez explained it as refer- 
ring to the historical fact that the Texas, New Mexico 
and Colorado areas and their inhabitants were "sold" to 
the United States by the notorious General Santa Ana. 
The more commonly used definition is that vendido 
refers to someone who is suspected of "selling out" his 
home culture by accepting the trappings of another cul- 

In 1927, early in the colony's history, residents 
formed an organization, the Comision Honorifica 
(Honorary Commission), for both social and political 
reasons. At one point there were thirty members, ac- 
cording to Eusebio Rodriguez. 

The Comision controlled the community meeting 
house, known as El Salon, where social functions were 
held as frequently as once a week. In El Salon the area's 
laborers celebrated Mexican national holidays which oc- 
curred nearly every month. 

At first, Mexican-Americans from Texas, New 
Mexico and Colorado were allowed to participate in the 
festivities but they could not become Comision mem- 


Field labor before the First World War was frequently done by Russian-German families. 

bers. 33 Membership was restricted to citizens of Mexico. 
Although he was not a colony resident, Jose Cobos 
became president of the Comision in 1934. He caused a 
rescission of the rule excluding Mexican-Americans 
from membership. Whenever the Comision met, 
however, framed photographs of Benito Juarez, Father 
Hidalgo and the current president of Mexico were hung 
on the walls. The Comision had committees like the 
Comite Patriotico (Patriotic Committee) whose chief 
function was to plan Mexican holiday parties. 

Cobos served as president of the Comision until 
1942. Born in San Luis, Potasi, Mexico, in 1904, he had 
first come to the United States in 1921 after he had won 
a contest in Mexico offering a trip to Dallas as first prize. 
When he finished high school he returned to Dallas and 
worked for the railroad for twelve years. In 1933 he 
heard about "big money" that could be made in Wyo- 
ming working in sugar beet fields. He and his family 
packed their belongings into a 1926 Model T and drove 

to Lovell in one week. The next year he was elected 
president of the Comision, although he never lived at 
the colony nor particularly liked it. He believed the peo- 
ple there were "too rowdy." 

The organizers of the Comision, Nicolas and 
Manuel Almazan, formed it to fight discrimination and 
to seek help from the Mexican consul in Denver if resi- 
dents needed assistance from the outside. 34 The social 
function came later although Cobos said when he 
became president no festivities were ever again held in 
El Salon. The political function had become too impor- 
tant. While American -born laborers could go to the 
police and other authorities if they had difficulties, the 
Mexican citizen believed his only hope lay with the Mex- 
ican consul. The Comision was the link to the consul. 

Complaints of discrimination in bars, the local pool 
hall and restaurants were frequently made. Even in the 
local Catholic Church seating for the Mexicans was 
divided from that for "whites." At one point Mexicans 


and Blacks were refused admittance to bars altogether. 
The policy was amended to allow them to purchase beer 
or liquor in the bar although they were still prohibited 
from consuming their purchases on the premises. The 
sugar company remained silent about the discrimination 
so a complaint process had to be developed to allow the 
Mexican consul to intercede in such cases. 

The Comision developed a complaint process for its 
members. Although the laborer could fde a complaint 
directly with the Mexican consul if he could write it, he 
could initiate the process locally by simply speaking with 
the president of the Comision. The president would then 
write to the Mexican consul in Denver on the laborer's 
behalf. 35 When Cobos was president, he received no 
salary but he was reimbursed for expenses involved in 
the investigation of such a complaint. The money came 
from membership dues of $1 per month from each 
member. (Eusebio Rodriguez noted that the fee was 
often whatever the member could afford, not just a flat 
$1 per month.) 

Even if the complaint were filed directly by the 
laborer, the Mexican consul would contact the Comision 
president to verify the nationality of the complainant 
and the facts stated in the complaint. 36 He could inter- 
cede only if the complainant was a Mexican citizen. The 
consul would contact local authorities in order to try to 

remedy the problems. It was believed by some Comision 
members that the consul contacted officials in Washing- 
ton, D.C., and Mexico City, who in turn, relayed their 
displeasure to state and local officials in the Lovell 
area. 37 

The Comision existed until 1940 when Mexican 
membership dropped off severely. The founders, the 
Almazan brothers, left that year and others moved away 
to join the war effort, returned to Mexico or simply lost 

The Mexican Nationals had never been secure 
enough to try to better their working conditions through 
labor organization. In the 1930s attempts by native 
American laborers to organize ended in failure when a 
New Mexican who was in charge of the drive absconded 
with the money collected to form the union. When the 
Mexican-Americans again tried to organize, the attempt 
failed because of company pressure. Great Western had 
been conscious of labor problems because after World 
War I, returning veterans protested against working the 
two twelve-hour shifts and the company had to go to 
three eight -hours shifts in order to appease them. 38 In 
the case of the Mexicans, however, the company made 
no attempt to bargain. Cobos recalled that when the 
group went to meet with management and demand bet- 
ter working conditions and better pay, a company man 

Great Western Sugar factory, Lovell, Wyomng, area 1920 


stepped toward them. "The men who aren't from Wyo- 
ming, raise your hands," he said. When several did, he 
told them to go back where they came from if they 
didn't like it in Lovell. The men dispersed. 

Generally, the Mexicans never felt they had a 
reason or a right to complain. However, they considered 
themselves outsiders and were expecting to be treated as 
such. Consequently, they endured what they could not 

The Colony was demolished in 1954. At that time 
there were twenty houses, and the majority of the 
residents were related to Secundino Rodriguez. When 
the colony closed, they found quarters in town or in the 
surrounding area. 

Many of the people who had lived there fought in 
World War II or in Korea but discrimination still ex- 
isted in the bar and hotels when they returned home. 
Some, like Secundino Rodriguez, retired, but because 
no deductions for social security were ever made, re- 
ceived nothing for a pension. (Rodriguez, however, does 
receive a tiny pension because a farmer once deducted 
for the winter work Secundino performed for him over 
the years.) 

Those who had sent their children to school heard 
stories about the impatience and disregard the teachers 
had shown for their children so most did not force them 
to return to the classroom. 39 In 1953 a survey was taken 
of the Spanish-surnamed school children in Lovell and 
all denied being Mexican and none had any knowledge 
of the customs of Mexico. Few of them spoke Spanish 
even though many of their parents or grandparents had 
never learned English. 40 

Although discrimination still existed, there were 
too few to effectively fight it. Individual families still 
celebrated the holidays but they were private celebra- 
tions and even then, one suspects that not much cele- 
brating was done. 41 

Where the colony once stood is a mound of adobe, 
grass and straw. The mound is on the same unpaved 
road and the same three big cottonwoods that shaded 
the Rodriguez family's first house still stand there. The 
cattle yards to the west are deserted, too. All that re- 
mains to show that a unique group of people came to 
Wyoming to work the fields is the Great Western Sugar 
factory itself with its smokestack still looming over the 
prosperous community of Lovell, Wyoming. 

1. "What the Sugar Company Means to Lovell," Lovell Chronicle, 
January 24, 1919. p.l. 

2. Ibid. 

3. Leonard Arrington. Beet Sugar in the West: A History of the 
Utah-Idaho Sugar Company. 1891 1966. (Seattle: University of 
Washington Press, 1966). p. 65. 

4. Paul Taylor, Mexican Labor in the United States: South Platte 
Valley. (Berkeley: University of California Publications in 
Economics, 1929). p. 105. 

5. Ibid . p. 133. 

6. "The Story of Sugar." Great Western Sugar Company Publicity 
Department, (Denver: 1931). p. 2. 

7. Arrington. Beet Sugar, p. 90. 

8. Taylor. Mexican Labor, p. 105. 

9. S. C. (Sabino) Lopez, interviews conducted in Cheyenne and 
Lusk, Wyoming, February 24 and April 1, 1978. 

10. For the purpose of this article and to convey some sense of the 
feelings of that time toward the beet laborers, the term Mexican 
will be used when referring to the Spanish-language beet laborer 
regardless of whether he was a native of the United States or 

11. Lopez interview, February 24. 1978. 

12. Eusebio Rodriguez, interview conducted in Lovell, Wyoming. 
October 12, 1978. 

13. J. Williams, "Company Has Large Force Seeking Labor for 
Growers this Season," Through the Leaves, January, 1924. pp. 

14. Ibid 

15. Secundino Rodriguez, interview conducted in Lovell, Wyo- 
ming, October 12. 1978. 

16. T. J. Crane, "Ten Years of Recruiting Labor," Through the 
Leaves, July. 1929. p. 326. 

17. Taylor, Mexican Labor, p. 120. 

18. C. V. Maddux, "Some Facts Regarding Beet Labor," Through 
the Leaves, January 1924. pp. 50-51. 

19. "Immigration Restrictions Again Threaten Mexican Labor Sup- 
ply for the Beet Fields," Through the Leaves, January, 1924, 
p. 49. 

20. "Five Facts on Furnishing Field Labor." Through the Leaves, 
July. 1926, pp. 393-396. 

21. Maddux, "Some Facts," pp. 50-51. 

22. "Colonizing Mexican Beet Workers." Through the Leaves, Oc- 
tober. 1923, pp. 393-396. 

23. "Home-owning, Permanent Beet Labor Colony is Growing," 
Through the Leaves. July, 1923. p. 291. 

24. C. V. Maddux. "Permanent Beet Labor," Through the Leaves. 
October, 1923, pp. 350-351. 

25. Maddux, "Some Facts." p.51. 

26. No one interviewed indicated more than twenty houses ever 
comprised the Colony. 

27. Kamiel Wembke. interview conducted in Lovell, Wyoming. Oc- 
tober 12. 1978. 

28. Secundino Rodriguez, interview conducted in Lovell. Wyo- 
ming, October 12. 1978; Wembke interview. October 12, 1978. 

29. "Early Beet Work Need Onlv Increased bv Delays." Cowley Pro- 
gress. March 21, 1924. p.l. 

30. Taylor, Mexican Labor, p. 177. 

31. S. Rodriguez interview, October 12. 1978. 

32. Taylor. Mexican Labor, p. 176. 

33. S. Rodriguez interview. October 12, 1978: Jose Cobos interview 
conducted in Lovell, Wyoming, October 12, 1978. 

34. E. Rodriguez interview. October 12. 1978. 

35. S. Rodriguez and Cobos interviews, October 12, 1978. 

36. Cobos interview, October 12, 1978. 

37. E. Rodriguez interview, October 12, 1978. 

38. Ibid 

39. "Sugar Company to Adopt 8-Hour Shift." Lovell Chronicle, July 
4, 1919, p.l. 

40. Marguerite S. Condie, "Algunos Aspectos de la Vida de los 
Escolares de Habla Espanola en el Condado de Big Horn. 
Estado de Wyoming." Unpublished Masters Thesis. Universidad 
Autonoma de Mexico, 1953, p. 60. 

41. Condie. "Algunos Aspectos," p. 84. 


Village sioux, pres du fort Laramie. — Dessin de Janet Lange d'apres un croquis 


:oione] Heine. 



By John S. Gray 

John W. Smith figured in many 
of the mile-stone events that high- 
lighted the transformation of the 
Northern Plains from a paradise 
for roaming Indians to a land of 
mines, ranches and cities. He 
viewed the evolution with mixed 
reactions, for he early lived in the 
lodges of the Sioux and later in a 
Montana mansion. 

He was no powerful shaper of 
human destiny, nor were his ad- 
ventures studded with heroics. In- 
stead, he was simply an able and 
enterprising frontiersman, typical 
of many, but more ubiquitous 
than most. From 1857 into the 
1880s, wherever the interaction 
between whites and Indians was 
most significant, there also was 
curly-haired John W. Smith as In- 
dian trader, army scout, govern- 
ment contractor or sutler. 


Smith's earliest years are obscure. The only avail- 
able biographical sketch 1 reveals that he was born in 
Louisville, Kentucky, in 1828, spent some years in a 
printing office as a compositor, and then in 1857 (the 
best confirmed date of several), at age twenty-eight, 
went west to Fort Laramie to trade with the Indians. 
Since he and two known brothers could not be found in 
the 1850 census of Louisville, they had already left that 

Lt. Eugene F. Ware, who recorded a first-person 
interview with Smith at Fort Cottonwood, Neb. Terr., 
in 1864, provides the only clue to his youthful where- 
abouts: "After I graduated from Yale College, I thought 
that literature was what I wanted to follow and I tried 
my hand on a newspaper in Iowa, but finally deter- 
mined to go west, as everybody was striking out for Pike's 
Peak [the implied date of 1859 is too late]. ... I had 
studied Latin, Greek and French and knew something of 
the other languages [an aid in picking up Indian 
tongues]. . . ." An enlisted man told Lt. Ware that he 
believed he had seen Smith some years earlier in Ottum- 
wa, Iowa, as a Yale graduate and newspaper editor. 2 
Appropriate class rosters fail to support the Yale atten- 
dance, but there is no doubt that Smith had acquired a 
good education. He may well have spent some time in 
Ottumwa, for he later partnered with a business man 
from that city. 

A greenhorn usually relies on experienced men to 
induct him into the intricacies of the Indian trade. 
Smith's mentors are identified in a letter, dated October 
29, 1858, at James Bordeau's well-known trading post, 
eight miles below the army post of Fort Laramie. 3 Its 
four signers included newcomer Smith and two old-time 
traders destined to reappear in Smith's story: C. (for 
Conodore, but best known as "Todd") Randall, and E. 
(for Enoch) W. Raymond. 4 They characterized them- 
selves as "prairie men," adding that "we have each of us 
made several trips over the California road from the 

The letter reported that they had left Fort Randall, 
on the west bank of the Missouri just above the Nebraska 
border, on September 18 and had explored an easy, 
350 -mile wagon road west to reach Bordeau's post on 
October 26. This was not an emigrant road, but a mod- 
ification of a long-used trader's trail. The addressee was 
Capt. John B. S. Todd, a West Pointer who had re- 
signed his commission on September 15, 1856, to be- 
come sutler at Fort Randall and then form a partnership 
with Daniel M. Frost of St. Louis. The resulting Frost, 
Todd and Company consolidated other independent 
traders on the upper Missouri to make a strong opposi- 
tion to Pierre Chouteau, Jr. and Company, popularly 
known as the American Fur Company. 5 

The fact that this trail-blazing quartet reported 
their findings to Capt. Todd implies that they were in 
his employ. That they explored a route from Fort Ran- 

dall to Bordeau's post signifies something hitherto un- 
suspected of Frost, Todd and Company — that it ex- 
tended its operations to the upper Platte, probably in 
conjunction with James Bordeau. 6 The American Fur 
Company had invited such a move by withdrawing from 
that region in 1857. 

In support of this conclusion, Frost, Todd and 
Company applied for their second trading license on 
April 10, 1857, naming nine principal employees, all 
but two recognizable as upper Missourians. One excep- 
tion was Leon Pallardie, who had traded entirely on the 
upper Platte since 1847, partly with Bordeau. The other 
exception, hand-copied as "J. Liernan," was probably 
Joseph Herman, another Platte trader who had served 
with Bordeau. 7 

John W. Smith's service on the upper Platte with 
Frost, Todd and Company could have lasted no longer 
than two years, for that firm dissolved on November 4, 
1859. 8 Earlier that year a large number of Platte traders, 
drawn by the Pike's Peak gold rush, had moved south to 
mine the pockets of gold-seekers. With their Indian 
families they took up claims along the foot of the moun- 
tains in what would become Larimer County, Colorado, 
founding two settlements, Colona (present Laporte) on 
the Cache la Poudre River, and Merivale City (present 
Loveland) on the Big Thompson. 

When a careless census-taker arrived in this broad 
area, he dated a full week's work August 4, 1860, listed 
everyone under the heading of Merivale City, accepted 
second-hand data on absentees, invented his own spell- 
ing and ignored most Indian wives. But he did enum- 
erate, as traders, Todd Randall, E. W. Raymond and 
John W. Smith, the latter listed as born in Kentucky, 
but aged 501 He was living in the same dwelling as F. 
Harnois (20, Canada), Peter Carson (55, France) and 
John S. Smith (24, Missouri). This Carson was undoubt- 
edly Pierre ("French Pete") Cazzeau (and other spell- 
ings), who figures in the local county records until 1866, 
when he left on an ill-fated trading trip. The second 
Smith was the well-known mountain man, John Simpson 
Smith, actually born in 1811 at Frankfort, Kentucky. 
Perhaps young Harnois supplied the faulty data. 9 

Also enumerated was another prominent trader, 
Elbridge Gerry (45, Massachusetts) and his Indian wife 
and family. Gerry's surviving account books reveal that 
he had outfitted John S. Smith at Fort Laramie in pre- 
ceding years, and contain an entry to a "Smith and 
Garzeau" in May of 1860. This suggests that after leav- 
ing Frost, Todd and Company, John W. Smith had asso- 
ciated with Gerry along with his three cabin-mates. 10 

The best sense to be made of Lt. Ware's confused 
interview, mentioned above, is that John W. Smith soon 
left the Poudre settlement and traveled down the Platte 
to fall ill at Cottonwood Springs, Nebraska. After a slow 
recovery that left him flat broke, he secured a job with 
two brothers from New Hampshire, Jeremiah C. and 


John K. Gilman, who ran a road ranch about fifteen 
miles east. Taking a load of Indian goods south to a 
Sioux village. Smith traded so profitably that the 
Gilmans kept him on for a time. 11 

After this point Lt. Ware's interview clarifies and 
continues (slightly condensed): 

After I had been with the Indians for a while, I got a big 
disgust on with civilized life, concluded there wasn't much to it 
and that I would rather live like an Indian. Gilman offered to 
back me right along as a sort of partner. I married the 
daughter of the chief there on Red Willow and I got a nice 
tepee, some horses and dogs, and two children, one a boy and 
the oldest a girl. I was considered one of the band. 

Omitted from the above is an implication that the 
Indian wife was a Cheyenne girl, for better evidence in- 
dicates she was a half-breed Oglala Sioux, thus the 
daughter of a white man. The care-free life of the In- 
dian appealed to a good many educated whites who as- 
sociated closely enough to discern the merits of so con- 
trasting a culture. Often the resulting marriages were no 
less lasting and affectionate than white unions. Some, as 
did Smith's, survived the shattering of Indian ways by 
the ever-encroaching white tide. 

Smith enjoyed his life among the Indians for several 
years until the fateful spring of 1864 initiated a cycle 
of Indian wars. Col. John M. Chivington launched the 
cycle known as the War of 1864-65, by sending out Col- 
orado troops to hurl a series of unprovoked attacks on 
Cheyenne villages in April and May of 1864. 12 This 
outraged the Cheyennes, and even the Sioux turned 
against white men sharing their lodges. Fearing for his 
life, Smith's grieving wife spirited him out of her village. 
The refugee reached Fort Cottonwood (future Fort Mc- 
Pherson) about the middle of May, 1864. Lt. Ware, sus- 
picious of the trite "alias," John Smith, and disgusted 
with his disreputable appearance, promptly banished 
him from the post. 13 

To the officer's amazement, the tramp returned a 
few days later as a clean-shaven, neat and "quite a 
presentable-looking fellow," in the company of Alfred 
H. Gay, another frontiersman. When offered pay for 
fresh game, the pair went hunting and brought back 
$30 worth of welcome meat. Not long after, Ware ex- 
tracted his interview from Smith. It ended with the 
following explanation of Smith's disgusting appearance 
on first reaching the post. 

On escaping from the Sioux village, Smith had 
fallen into the hands of some angry Cheyenne braves, 
who forced whiskey down his throat and then stripped 
him and left him unconscious on the prairie. He finally 
came to, lying in the blazing sun with a splitting 
hangover, maddening thirst and blistered skin. Finding 
only stagnant water in a buffalo wallow, he threw 
himself in and plastered his skin with protective mud. It 
was in this desperate state that he staggered into the 
post, only to be bounced as a drunken bum. Ware never 
did believe the "alias," but did have a strolling 

photographer take a portrait, which is unmistakably 
that of the John W. Smith another camera caught ten 
years later. 14 

Official records verify Lt. Ware's statement that 
Smith and Gay promptly engaged as scouts. Lt. Joseph 
Bone, the post quartermaster, hired them as scouts from 
June 1 to 10, 1864, at $10 a day. Maj. George O'Brien, 
post commander, sent them out to investigate the cause 
of the sudden Indian unrest, and to induce a delegation 
of Oglala and Brule Sioux to come in for a council. On 
their return, the pair submitted a long written report of 
their hazardous, but successful, mission. 15 

In several councils at Fort Cottonwood, the Sioux 
acted increasingly sullen, but the enraged Cheyennes 
were already retaliating along the South Platte. Gen. 
Robert B. Mitchell sped out from Fort Kearny to redis- 
tribute the troops of his District of Nebraska, which then 
extended to the continental divide. Picking up a few 
companies at Fort Cottonwood, he started for Fort 
Laramie on July 18. Lt. Ware names Smith as their 
guide, apparently as a volunteer, for no such employ- 
ment record has been found. 16 

After reaching Fort Laramie on July 27, Smith 
disappears from view for some six months, during which 
Col. Chivington managed to escalate the subsiding In- 
dian unrest into a full-scale war by massacring a 
Cheyenne village that had accepted sanctuary on Sand 
Creek, November 29. The tribe, now with Sioux as ac- 
tive allies, retaliated along the emigrant and stage route, 
completely closing down the line in January of 1865. 17 
At Fort Kearny, Gen. Mitchell hastily assembled troops 
for a punitive campaign and there on January 11 his 
quartermaster, Lt. Charles Thompson, engaged John 
W. Smith as scout at $5 a day. Three days later at Fort 
Cottonwood this officer hired two more scouts, Joseph 
Jewett and Samuel Welch, at $4 a day. Lt. Ware, the 
principal chronicler of the ensuing campaign, somehow 
named the trio as Joe Jewett, Charley Elston and Leon 
Pallardie. 18 

Mitchell's command struck south on January 16 
toward the Red Willow and Republican country, hop- 
ing to destroy the hostiles in their winter camps. But a 
frigid, 11 -day march over a 350-mile circuit failed to 
turn up a single lodge — the quarry had moved north- 
west out of reach. Smith was discharged on January 25, 
the day before the frozen and discouraged troops trudg- 
ed into Fort Cottonwood, suggesting that he had sped 
ahead with dispatches. The other pair took their 
discharge the next day. 

On assuming command of the Department of the 
Missouri on February 9, 1865, Gen. Grenville M. Dodge 
pressed vigorously to reopen the line and mount a major 
offensive. Among the first troops he ordered west was a 
battalion of 11th Kansas Cavalry under Col. Preston B. 
Plumb, which slogged out of Fort Kearny on March 8 in 
weather that alternated between freezing blizzards and 


sloppy thaws. 19 At the same time and place, Lt. Thomp- 
son again employed John W. Smith at $6 a day as scout 
for the battalion. 

By March 21, Smith had guided Col. Plumb's com- 
mand to Julesburg, Colo., the site of Fort Rankin, soon 
to become Fort Sedgwick. 20 After a week's rest, the 
troops continued up the North Platte, but Smith prob- 
ably remained at Julesburg. On April 30 Lt. Thompson, 
then at that post, reported him as in his continuous 
employ since March 8, with no hint of detached service. 
On May 5 Smith was transferred to the Camp Rankin 
quartermaster, Lt. R. J. Montross, of the 3rd U. S. 
Volunteer Infantry, a newly-arrived "galvanized yank" 
outfit. The scout took his discharge from this officer on 
May 26, terminating his last employment of record by 
the army. 

When next heard of, Smith had entered into a 
partnership with Alvin Coe Leighton, a twenty-four- 
year-old member of a prominent family of Ottumwa, 
Iowa. 21 In late March of 1865, Al and his younger 
brother, James Leighton, left Omaha with a wagon train 
of sutler goods for the upper Platte posts. Fincelius G. 
Burnett, who began several years of service as teamster 
for Al Leighton on this trip, recalled that while at 
Julesburg on April 15, the train received news of Lin- 
coln's assassination, and then proceeded on to the upper 
Platte. 22 It was probably at this time that Smith either 
met, or renewed an old acquaintanceship, with Al 

When Gen. Patrick E. Connor tramped his formid- 
able Powder River expedition 23 out of Fort Laramie 
about August 1, hoping to punish the hostiles then 
thronging the Bozeman Trail to Montana, Al Leighton 

accompanied it as field sutler. The column returned to 
Fort Laramie about October 1, having left two com- 
panies of the 5th U. S. Volunteer Infantry to garrison 
Fort Connor, a military post the general had established 
where the Bozeman Trail crossed Powder River (near 
present Sussex, Wyoming). Al Leighton received the ap- 
pointment of sutler at this outpost, but he and his 
brother returned to winter in the settlements, leaving a 
man in charge of the sutler store, soon identified as 
Smith and Leighton's. The date of this partnership is 
uncertain, but there is no proof that Smith had been 
with Leighton on Connor's expedition. 

The Denver Rocky Mountain News of November 
28, 1865, ran the following new advertisement: 

John W. Smith A. C. Leighton 


Kearney City, N.T. 

Wholesale and Retail 

Dealers in 

Grain and Provisions 

A Complete Outfitting Establishment 

Give us a Call 

Nov. 23 

This firm, of which the older Smith was clearly the 
senior partner, did not limit its operations to emigrants 
at Kearney City, a settlement two miles west of Fort 
Kearny, but also maintained the sutler store at Fort 
Connor. Smith may have wintered there, for if future 
practice prevailed, Al Leighton concentrated on deliver- 
ing supplies and on emigrant and sutler sales, while 
Smith handled the Indian trade, often making excur- 
sions out to their villages. 



News from the winter-bound outpost, now re- 
named Fort Reno, proved mighty slim, but by the spring 
of 1866 a correspondent signing himself "Dacotah" 
began sending dispatches to Denver. 24 Though proof is 
lacking, "Dacotah" may have been John W. Smith, 
former compositor and future writer of newspaper let- 
ters. Army rations were notoriously deficient in vitamins 
and the little garrison suffered heavy morbidity and a 
number of deaths from scurvy. Thus "Dacotah" could 
happily report on April 16, 1866: 

Messrs. Smith & Leighton. post sutlers, have recently received 
a supply of canned fruits and fresh poultry, also in cans, which 
does much to eradicate the horrid disease so prevalent here, 
but in consequence of the heavy charges on freight to this 
place, the soldiers' wages go but a little ways in purchasing. 

The troops may not have been able to assuage their 
ravenous appetites, but the scurvy did promptly disap- 

Again on July 1 "Dacotah" wrote that the lonely 
garrison had enjoyed the sight of attractive young ladies 
traveling with the numerous emigrant trains taking the 
Bozeman Trail to the Montana gold fields. Among them 
was Ellen Fletcher Gordon, whose diary and letters re- 
veal that she had met "Mr. Layton, the post sutler," 
whose supply train her outfit had joined two days before 
they rolled into Fort Reno on June 21. 26 

Hostilities having appreciably subsided, Special In- 
dian Commissioners went out to Fort Laramie in 1866 to 
cement the peace and extract permission for the un- 
molested use of the Bozeman Trail across the natives' 
hunting lands. While these delicate negotiations were in 
progress on June 14, Col. Henry B. Carrington marched 
in with a large column of troops under orders to occupy 
the trail and build two new posts along its course. At this 
evidence of duplicity, the offended chiefs stalked from 
the council vowing to make the trail run red with blood. 
They did so for the next two years in what is known as 
Red Cloud's War. 26 

While the Commissioners falsely reported a success- 
ful treaty, Col. Carrington's troops marched into Fort 
Reno on June 28 to relieve its volunteer garrison and ex- 
pand its facilities. Up to this time the heavy emigrant 
traffic had proceeded without incident, but the arrival 
of troops provoked the first of a long series of severe In- 
dian raids. In his dispatch of July 1, "Dacotah" wrote: 
A party of Indians paid us a visit yesterday [June 30] and suc- 
ceeded in driving off near 40 mules belonging to Smith & 
Leighton, post sutlers. Unfortunately, the cavalry horses were 
all out on herd at the time the alarm was given, and although 
pursuit was made as soon as the horses could be got in, the 
savages escaped with safety. 

Col. Carrington reported this event and forwarded 
Leighton's claim for his loss, but nothing was done at 
the time. In 1873, Al resubmitted this claim for $7,631 
(along with six others) to the Indian Office, which 
recommended to Congress that it be paid at $4,923. 27 

Carrington marched his column another 67 miles 
out on the Bozeman Trail to camp on July 13 at a point 
at the foot of the majestic Big Horn Mountains, where 
he erected his first new post, Fort Phil Kearny (near pre- 
sent Buffalo, Wyoming). Finn Burnett erred in recalling 
that Leighton set up another sutler store there, for army 
records show that this plum went to A. J. Botsford, who 
sent a former supreme court judge of Utah, John Finch 
Kinney, to conduct the business. 28 But Leighton did 
receive another sutlership at the second new post, Fort 
C. F. Smith, and he and Smith either accompanied or 
followed Carrington's column to the first to await the 
establishment of the second. 

On August 4 they left with Capt. Nathaniel C. Kin- 
ney, who led two companies of his 13th Infantry on a 
further 91 -mile tramp to where the Bozeman Trail 
crossed the Big Horn River just below its impassable 
mountain canyon (present Fort Smith and Yellowtail 
Dam, Montana). Arriving at the river bank on the 10th, 
the captain selected the site for Fort C. F. Smith, the 
most remote of posts. 

Lt. George M. Templeton, a member of this col- 
umn, left a copious diary of his tour of duty on the 
Bozeman Trail. 29 On the march there he mentions the 
sutler train and thereafter frequently refers to John W. 
Smith and the Leighton brothers. The first night out 
they camped on Peno Creek near the ravaged graves of 
the trading party of French Pete Cazzeau (here also once 
named as Peter Carson), Smith's former cabin-mate on 
the Cache la Poudre. This entire party, save Pete's Sioux 
wife and children, had been slain by angry Sioux on July 
17. 30 

While Leighton was coining money from emigrant 
and captive soldier customers, Smith was looking for the 
friendly Crow Indians, in whose country Fort C. F. 
Smith was located. The first of the tribe wandered in to 
trade on August 28. The hostile Sioux were nevertheless 
keeping their eye on the place, for they purloined five of 
Leighton's mules on September 7 and one of Smith's 
horses on the 13th. Al Leighton submitted another 
claim of $1,625 for this loss, but Smith never entered a 
single claim among the thousands received at the Indian 
Office by 1874. 

Capt. Kinney became so wary that when a few- 
Crow braves came in on October 24, he placed them in 
Smith's custody until he was satisfied they were not 
Sioux spies. Al Leighton's departure for Omaha on 
November 12 to bring out a fresh stock in the spring, left 
Brother Jim to mind the store, while Smith went out to 
trade in the Crow villages. He sent a note in to Capt. 
Kinney on December 5 assuring him that the Crows were 
loyal and gathering useful intelligence by spying in the 
Sioux camps. The presence of the Crows that winter 
spared Fort C. F. Smith the constant attacks that bottled 
up the larger Fort Phil Kearny. Disaster struck the latter 


post on December 21, when the Sioux ambushed Capt. 
William J. Fetterman's detail of 83 men and wiped them 
out to a man. 31 

Lt. Templeton's diary entry for December 12 reads: 
"Mr. and Mrs. Smith came over from the Indian village 
on a visit. The latter is a half-breed and seems very 
modest and well behaved." This is one of few references 
to Smith's Indian wife. The officer last names Smith as 
present at the post on February 6, 1867. At intervals un- 
til June he refers to Crows coming in to trade, presum- 
ably with Smith. 

Early in 1867 the President appointed a special 
commission to investigate the Fetterman Massacre, the 
causes of Red Cloud's War and to separate the friendly 
from the hostile tribes. Among them was none other 
than former Judge John F. Kinney, who turned over to 
his bosses the sutler store at Fort Phil Kearny while he 
came in to sit with the commission. The latter, after a 
few meetings, armed the judge with authority to pur- 
chase $3000 worth of Indian presents and ordered him 
to proceed alone to either Forts Phil Kearny or C. F. 
Smith and there secure the allegiance of the friendly 
Crows. 32 

Since Red Cloud's warriors were more belligerent 
than ever, Kinney joined an escorted supply train for 
Fort C. F. Smith that left Fort Laramie on May 13. 
From Finn Burnett's clues, Al Leighton's spring train of 
sutler supplies joined the same convoy, which on May 31 
pulled into Kinney's home base of Fort Phil Kearny, the 
center of Sioux hostilities. 33 The judge promptly learned 
that in response to runners earlier sent out, a Crow 
village had come in to meet him, but most had left when 
the Sioux ran off their pony herd six days before his 
belated arrival. Only a handful remained to beg him to 
come out to Fort C. F. Smith, where the Sioux danger 
was less. Contrary to the commission's objective of 
separating friendlies from hostiles, the judge refused 
and sent these few Crows to call their entire tribe back 
for a council. 

On reaching Fort Phil Kearny, Al Leighton had 
planned to replace some hired teams by his own, which 
brother Jim was to have driven down from the store. But 
Al now learned that on May 26 Jim had lost the entire 
mule herd to raiding Sioux. This forced Al to store most 
of his goods, for he could muster but two wagons to con- 
tinue on to his post when the escorted convoy left for 
there on June 4. 34 

Lt. Templeton recorded the arrival of this convoy 
at Fort C. F. Smith on June 11, noting that Al had rid- 
den in on the evening before, but with only two loaded 
wagons. Brother Jim and Smith probably advised Al 
that they had learned on June 6 of Kinney's call for the 
Crows to come down to counsel, and that the tribe was 
reluctantly preparing to leave. Since Smith, undoubted- 
ly short of goods, knew his customers were moving down 
to where Al had stored the new supplies, he probably 

left with the convoy escort when it started back on June 
12, for he was apparently present for Kinney's councils 
with the Crows. 

In the meantime, Kinney's report of June 4, on 
reaching Washington, drew a rebuke: "Do not bring the 
Crows to the fort [Phil Kearny], but leave them in their 
own country." But communications were slow and the 
judge was already purchasing presents "at the only store 
in that country," which could only refer to his own sutler 
shop. Somehow his authorized $3000 bought $5,816.13 
worth of trinkets. 

A Crow village of 180 lodges reached the fort on 
June 21 and two days later Kinney held his first council 
with them, during which the Sioux again ran off their 
pony herd. This time the victims swarmed out and re- 
covered their stock, garnering three enemy scalps in the 
process. The next day in council the Crows complained 
bitterly of having to come to enemy Sioux country to 
meet the commissioner, and asked pointedly for the 
$25,000 of annuities promised them in a treaty they had 
made the previous year at Fort Union at the mouth of 
the Yellowstone. The judge could only reply that Con- 
gress had failed to ratify the treaty. 

Fortunately, the Crows had so long been committed 
to friendship that even this rebuff failed to alienate 
them. On June 25 Kinney distributed his presents and 
two days later the Crows fled to safety in their own coun- 
try. Throughout their presence the judge had conducted 
a lively trade with them, undoubtedly to the dissatisfac- 
tion of John W. Smith, who considered them his 
customers. Kinney left, probably on August 6 with 
another escorted train, and reported his arrival at 
Omaha on the 24th. Smith followed later, for on 
reaching Omaha he triggered the following news 
dispatch, dated at St. Louis, September 20, and which 
made the major newspapers the next day: 

An Omaha special says that John W. Smith has just arrived 
from Fort Phil Kearney and that he charges Judge Kinney, 
special Indian agent at Fort Kearny, with gross injustice and 
frauds in his dealings with the Iowa [Crow] Indians, compell- 
ing them to remain in Sioux country against their will for the 
purpose of securing trade; that the annuities of $25,000 prom- 
ised them three years ago [one] were never paid, and claims 
that the goods sold at Kinney's store to the Indians were fur- 
nished by the Government for free distribution. 35 

Kinney promptly sent a copy of this dispatch to the 
Acting Indian Commissioner with a covering note asking 
six irrelevant questions. Receiving an answer to his ques- 
tions, Kinney had both notes published in the guise of 
an official refutation of Smith's charges. 36 They did ab- 
solve Kinney of any blame in the matter of the Crow an- 
nuities; Smith should have leveled this charge at a delin- 
quent Congress. The charge that Kinney had held the 
Crows in Sioux country was simply ignored, although 
the Indian Office had already protested this violation of 
orders and justice. 


Le grand conseil des Corbeaux, au fort Laramie (12 novembre IS'. 

Des<in de Janet La: 

apres des ^orlra 

mil II" | KillltK 1 s I 1)1 I K I ION 

The most serious charge, that from his own store 
Kinney had traded to the Crows the goods he had pur- 
chased with government funds, met with no denial 
whatever. As patent evasions, it was stated that the 
judge had been a commissioner, not an agent, and had 
paid by voucher, not cash. Since Smith's sympathetic 
understanding of Indians would more than once move 
him to speak out on their behalf, it is probable that 
more than business competition prompted his charges. 

When Smith and family had left their lonely Mon- 
tana post, they were expected to return, but Lt. 
Templeton was surprised to learn on December 13, 
1867, that the trader had located at North Platte, 
Nebraska. Perhaps Smith's Indian family had been urg- 
ing a return to more familiar haunts. In any case, this 
move interrupted the association with Leighton for some 
years. On November 23, 1867, Luther S. Bent applied 
to M. L. Patrick, the Upper Platte Indian Agent, for a 
license to trade in that area, listing John W. Smith as 
one of his traders. 

Something went wrong, however, for on December 
12, Bent complained that John Smith, Todd Randall 
and others had left North Platte to trade with the Sioux 
in the Red Willow and Republican country — without a 

license. Lt. Col. Joseph H. Potter, commanding nearby 
Fort Sedgwick, investigated and verified the trading 
trip, but asked why Agent Patrick had not himself in- 
tervened. Obviously, the agent knew Smith was named 
on Bent's license, but was probably unaware that the 
association had turned sour. 37 

A major transformation on the northen. , »s oc- 
curred in 1868. On April 29 Peace Commissioners 
secured the first signatures on a Sioux treaty that prom- 
ised them a "permanent" reservation covering all of pre- 
sent South Dakota west of the Missouri, where agencies 
would be built to convert traditional warriors and hunt- 
ers into self-supporting desert farmers in a mere four 
years. In order to win consent to this repugnant scheme, 
the government abandoned the three Bozeman Trail 
forts and restored the Powder River country to the Sioux 
as "unceded" territory, where their roamers were pro- 
mised freedom from white trespass and molestation. 
The Sioux were not advised, however, that other clauses 
contradicted these attractive promises. 38 

To move the Sioux to the reservation and set up the 
new agencies for the first year, Congress by-passed the 
Indian Office by appropriating special funds to the War 
Department for establishing a Sioux District to be com- 


manded by retired Gen. William S. Harney. The result- 
ing division of authority generated chaos, and the eyes 
of Congress purely popped, when it learned that Harney 
had exceeded his share of the budget of $200,000 by 
nearly $600,000. 39 Somehow, this performance was 
never brought up by the army in its repeated efforts to 
take over the Indian Office on the grounds of its su- 
perior efficiency. 

Red Cloud's wild Oglalas and Spotted Tail's taming 
Brules discovered to their horror that their Whetstone 
Agency was to be located far east of their customary 
haunts, on the very bank of the Missouri a few miles 
above Fort Randall. They had long shunned this area 
because buffalo were no longer to be found there and 
whiskey traders thronged the river. Red Cloud promptly 
led his Oglalas back to their unceded territory. Only the 
"Laramie Loafers" and some of Spotted Tail's Brules 
could be induced to move, and even the latter might 
have balked, except for one thing. 

Over the years, the intermarriage of traders and 
frontiersmen with Indians had yielded a sizeable nucleus 
of Indian women and their relatives and half-breed 
children ("Laramie Loafers") who were already accom- 
modating to strange white ways. Though some were no 
credit to either race, many were persons of character 


Spotted Tail, chief of the Brules 

and ability who possessed valuable insight into two con- 
trasting cultures. Contrary to prevailing belief, they 
would prove loyal, understanding and helpful to both 
sides in the days of trial to come. 

On May 11, only a dozen days after Spotted Tail 
touched one of the first pens to the Sioux Treaty of 
1868, a committee of seven prominent heads of mixed 
families petitioned for transportation and provisions to 
support the long trek to the Missouri. On receiving 
promise of support, the mixed families promptly 
organized to manage the migration themselves. A 
caravan of 750 of these people pulled out from North 
Platte on June 30. They led the way, two and a half 
months ahead of Spotted Tail's first party of full-bloods, 
whom Todd Randall would conduct. 40 

John W. Smith joined the first caravan with his 
family, having contracted to furnish a train and teams 
for the transport of others, for which he was eventually 
paid $2000. On reaching the Missouri at the mouth of 
Whetstone Creek, he set up a trading post within yards 
of the agency headquarters. His partner in this venture 
was trader Jack Palmer, who had married Margaret 
Janis, a half-breed daughter of famed trader Antoine 
Janis, on the preceding February 10. James Bordeau also 
sold his venerable trading post just below Fort Laramie 
and set up another store at the agency. To complete the 
roster of Smith's old friends, Enoch W. Raymond be- 
came the first Whetstone agent and Todd Randall the 
first agency interpreter. 41 

Nearly a month before Gen. Harney arrived to 
organize the agencies, a soldier at Fort Randall wrote on 
August 10: 

Times have been quite lively here since the arrival of the 
French and half-breeds from North Platte. Their trains of 
wagons and animals made quite an imposing display; they 
have nearly all left, however, for their reservation on 
Whetstone Creek, some 18 miles above here. Some of them 
returned this morning, much pleased with their selection of 
land. . . . They are already at work making a landing for 
steamboats, laying out a new road to Fort Randall, in fact, 
getting ready for winter. 42 

Spotted Tail's immediate followers did not arrive 
until late fall, and then camped miles out on White 
River, refusing to approach closer to the detested Mis- 
souri. Since only small game was available there, rations 
had to be wagoned out to them. Clearly, it was the 
mixed families, under their own management, who 
promptly built cabins, stores and laid out farms at the 
assigned agency as an example to others. 

M. L. Patrick, still the upper Platte agent, but 
shorn of his powers, arrived on the scene in December to 
find 80 cabins built and 80 acres of ground plowed. He 
also found Enoch W. Raymond too ill to act as Harney's 
agent and anxious to turn over the job. Since Patrick 
lacked authority, a resident contract surgeon had to 
assume the extra duties as agent. This was Dr. S. L. 
Nidelet, a French-speaking physician from St. Louis, 


probably a rebel army surgeon like his brother, Dr. 
James C. Nidelet, who had been captured and paroled 
during the Civil War. 43 

Dr. Nidelet, knowing nothing of Indians and de- 
spising "squawmen and half-breeds," was scarcely the 
man for the job. Friction with John W. Smith probably 
came to a head when the doctor revealed his intention to 
apply with Bordeau for the tradership and perhaps re- 
fuse to renew Smith's license. 44 While on a trip to Sioux 
City, Smith fired off the following hot letter to Gen. 
Philip Sheridan on June 1, 1869: 

Dr. S. L. Nidelet has drawn his pay as agent for the Sioux In- 
dian District at Whetstone, D. T., at $200 a month. He will 
also make an effort to draw his pay as surgeon, under a con- 
tract made with the [Army] Medical Director at St. Louis, 
when Gen. Sherman was Lt. Gen. . . . 

I will further state that Dr. S. L. Nidelet was a rebel surgeon in 
Price's rebel army during the rebellion, of which he boasts. 
Also, that he has on many occasions persecuted and traduced 
and denounced as "Yankee Pack Pedlars," etc., without pro 
vocation, the white citizens at Whetstone Agency, there col- 
onized by the late U. S. Indian Commission. 
Believing that he will be retained by Gen. W. S. Harney as 
surgeon at Whetstone Agency, where he has made himself ex- 
tremely disagreeable by offering considerable sums of money 
to young and intelligent half breed women to prostitute them- 
selves, and by a general uncourteous and domineering spirit 
manifested towards your loyal subjects on the Indian Reserva- 
tion, I make this report, believing you will give it your early at- 
tention.' 15 

Events revealed that the trader, but not the doctor, 
weathered this storm. Gen. Harney's administration was 
approaching its end and the Indian Office was prepar- 
ing to resume supervision of the Sioux. Officers of the 
regular army, temporarily unassigned, replaced all of 
Harney's agents. Capt. DeWitt C. Poole took over the 
Whetstone Agency on July 14, 1869, Dr. Nidelet leaving 
when his tradership did not materialize. 

Smith dissolved his partnership with Jack Palmer on 
September 5, 1869, and on December 17 successfully 
applied for the Whetstone tradership in the name of 
Smith and Struder, the latter being unidentified. 
Named as employees were old-time trader Lester Pratte, 
E. M. Beckwith, John Atkinson, and most important, 
W. B. C. Smith. A person of this name had acted as 
courier at Fort Phil Kearny for Col. Carrington, who 
recommended him as a suitable commander of Win- 
nebago scouts. This must have been brother Burns C. 
Smith, for throughout the year of 1870 the Yankton 
paper made regular mention of the thriving trading 
business at Whetstone of John W. and his brother 
Burns. 46 

Early in 1870 a group of prominent citizens of 
Cheyenne, Wyo., solicited a letter from the now well- 
known Smith to use in promoting an ambitious "Big 
Horn Expedition" to prospect for gold. Instead of glow- 
ing propaganda, honest John W. Smith answered on 
February 15 with some blunt truths. He wrote that he 


WllMTWll AflCVCT. J 

February 15th, 1ST \ 
L F. Hatha wat, tm^ 

Dkab Sh»:— - Yoar ocmunuoieatinu 
<&aX>A on the **«h wit , was rtceived du- 
ring iuy ftlmtFicc Grots home, wbM» *e 
omnia for thtt great d«l»y. 

I am iutimately acquainted with the 
eastertJ *lope of the Rig Hera mountains 
from FW<kr rim to Clark '• Fork of tttf 
fellow Stone rttrwr. 

After tearing old Fort Phil KwtM$, 
<$0 miles north -west of Powder riw. 

to Galkt*fWal»*y, a distance of two bu»- 
• ?-•<< m>tw( r they* j„ B): 4 » valley that it not 
p!jM|of the'fttw*t cultivation. Ir- 
rSgultesWeiitirely practicable on ail th« 
stream* I have but little faith in tb* 
"Uig How tROttBt&iaa" iu an auriferous 
point of vivw , but S ye that the 

"Wolf or "Panther" ruo«! taitu tbi 
which the Tragus riv.r pa****, and fry** 
th» base of tile Uig Horn r 
d&itaBt thirty mites, ft-;* i 
rich, »fid to which locality 
peetfully tail the atteutiua of your asaock- 

The Black Hills proper I also believe 
tab* rich la ninmh, f«micul*rly gold. 

I ii.i' ' l>i ■■■it- r ■ I ■-.-. of th« existesce 

a thi m two li«*Utie», than tV 
reports of many btmdre&i of Indians, a»d 
tha exhibition by them of numerous 
gjpetimt r s of fine goM. 

I would b? pkswed to writ* yon «ssia 
at an early day giri»g a mot* detailed 
descriptkm of the two ranges of mouu- 
tuiiis. i»;:.i more especially of the streaaw, 
baring their sottree in the Big Horn 
moontaiss, their length, breadth, eapabil 
itges Ac 

I « iii hcr<? take occasion to !«*«*!« fSB 

of the tvM.cnl.ratifin of shoot 1,000 

of North- rji Sioux, Minnie kak*, 

pa ] i, Iiii>i Face* and others, «a the 

northeastci Btawk H 

■ of Fort Su 

and tJii-v srr •vim 

I wotild nw- 


Smith's letter to Cheyenne citizens, 
Cheyenne Daily Leader, February 23, 


had learned from his Indian friends that there was gold 
in the Black Hills but none in the Big Horns. He then 
warned: "I beg of you to believe me when I say that your 
entrance into the Big Horn or Black Hills country will be 
the signal for the inauguration of the greatest Indian 
war ever known." 47 A few years would pass before this 
prophecy was fulfilled, for the expedition, officially 
ordered to keep out of the Powder River country, veered 
west to the Big Horn Basin. 

When Congress banned the use of army officers as 
Indian agents, J. M. Washburn replaced Capt. Poole as 
Whetstone agent in mid-November of 1870. Smith ap- 
plied to him on January 7, 1871, for renewal of his 
license, this time under his own name. One of his bonds- 
men was John A. ("Jack") Morrow, former road rancher 
on the Platte but now a prominent agency contractor. 
As employees, he retained Lester Pratte and added 
another old trader, Frank Salway (or Salois) and another 
of his own brothers, Michael Smith. Mike replaced 
Burns, who had left to set up his own harness shop in 
Yankton two months earlier. 48 

Spotted Tail, a far-seeing chief dedicated to the in- 
terests of his people, was by now showing an aptitude for 
handling officious bureaucrats. Having forced permis- 
sion to move, he pointed out to Agent Washburn on 
June 24, 1871, the spot on Big White Clay Creek where 
he wanted a new agency built— far west of the hated 
Missouri. Once again, Smith won the profitable contract 
for moving the agency and its people. 49 

Up to this critical moment, John W. Smith, now 
aged forty-three, had not only prospered as an in- 


James Bordeau (Bordeaux) 

dustrious business man, but had served his Indian 
friends well. But while he was snow-bound at the distant 
new agency, an event transpired that would consume his 
fortune and force him to start all over again. 50 The event 
was not of his own making, but he chose to more than 
honor the ties of blood to his brother Burns. The shock- 
ing front page of the Yankton Press for December 13, 
1871. read: 

This community was startled on Sun. morning [Dec. 10] last at 
learning of the sudden death by violence of Louis Jones, an 
aged colored man employed as cook at Doyle's restaurant, at 
the hands of a well-known citizen. Burns Smith. 
Louis Jones, on the night of his death, had stopped in for a 
drink at a saloon on Broadway. About midnight a young 
woman named Florence Booth, who has been for some time 
engaged in the disreputable calling of keeping a house of pros- 
titution just west of Broadway, entered the back door to pur- 
chase a box of cigars. While she waited at the door. Jones left 
for home by the back door, and in passing said, "Good eve- 
ning, my dear." Florence was indignant at this familiarity and 
on her return to her domicile informed Mr. Smith, who soon 
came in; he left to chastize the offender, being under the 
demonstrated influence of liquor. 

He entered Jones' house, finding him preparing for bed. Jones' 
wife testified that Smith struck her husband a heavy blow on 
the head with a stick of stove wood, which felled him to the 
floor, and then struck a number of additional blows as he lay 
there. She remained frozen with fear in her bed. Two boys, 
lodging in an adjoining room, returned to the house and 
found Jones lifeless on the floor. They promptly hunted up 
Deputy Sheriff Case, who, about 6 a.m. on Sunday, arrested 
Mr. Burns Smith in bed and held him in custody during the 

That morning Dr. Wheelock held a coroner's inquest and with 
the aid of Dr. Wixon did a post mortem for the jury. After 
considerable testimony, the jury found death from blows by an 
unknown hand. Mrs. Jones then entered a complaint to Justice 
E. T. White and Burns was again arrested on the charge of 
murdering Jones and held until Tuesday morning, when a 
preliminary hearing was held and was still in progress as we 
went to press. . . . 

Burns C. Smith never paid the penalty for this 
brutal and senseless crime. Brother John W. secured his 
release from jail on February 4, 1872, by posting 
$20,000 bail bond. The indictment was several times 
quashed and renewed, until the prisoner was finally 
released by the April 1873 term of the Territorial 
Court. 51 A later employee, James Coleman, recalled that 
John W. had made $50,000 in the Whetstone trade, but 
"most of this was used to clear his brother at Yankton, 
who had killed a negro in a quarrel." 52 Burns sank into 
near obscurity, surfacing briefly at Fort Abraham Lin- 
coln in 1875 and at Forts Peck and Buford in 1876. At 
last notice he was running a saloon at Junction City, 
Montana, about 1880. 53 

As early as six months after this crime, rumors cir- 
culated that John W. would lose his profitable Whet- 
stone tradership, 54 and the records show that Francis 
Yates secured the appointment by his application of 
June 14, 1872. John and Mike left to start over again as J 


\A ] loVAL ARC Hl\ ES 

Mike Smith, wagon master. Picture made by William 
Custer expedition to the Black Hills 
freighters, apparently in Texas and for an old partner, 
Al Leighton. 

After the abandonment of Fort C. F. Smith back in 
j8, Al and Jim Leighton and a still younger brother, 
Joseph, opened a store at Atlantic City, Wyoming, in 
the heart of the Sweetwater gold mines. 55 Their fortunes 
took a sharp upward turn in 1870, when Secretary of 
War William W. Belknap transformed the old army sut- 
ler controlled by post officers into a post trader, con- 
trolled by himself as a patronage racket. 56 One of his 
chief "influence" men was John M. Hedrick of Ottum- 
wa, Iowa, a close friend of the Leightons. An arrange- 
ment was made whereby Al Leighton supplied the 
capital and management while silent partner Hedrick 
shared half the profits in return for wrangling sutler ap- 
pointments. 57 

Thus Al secured a long-term post tradership at Fort 
Buford on October 6, 1870, and the next spring set up 
headquarters at that sizeable post at the mouth of the 
Yellowstone. He and Hedrick also obtained interests at 
Fort Fetterman, Wyoming, and Fort Griffen, Texas, 

Illingworth, official photographer for the 1874 

perhaps giving employment there to the Smith brothers. 
It was probably Leighton who advised them of expand- 
ing opportunities on the upper Missouri. The tracks of 
the Northern Pacific Railroad were approaching the 
river (they arrived June 4, 1873) and would soon boom 
the frontier town of Bismarck to a major transfer point 
for freight destined upriver, by steamboat in summer 
and by wagon in all seasons. Across the river on the west 
bank the small post of Fort Abraham Lincoln would ex- 
pand to accommodate Gen. George A. Custer's regi- 
ment of 7th Cavalry. Influential Al Leighton was just 
the man to steer contracts to an old friend. 

It is thus not surprising to find the first issue of the 
Bismarck Tribune of July 11, 1873, announcing: 

Mike Smith's train passed through Bismarck yesterday for Fort 
A. Lincoln, consisting of 32 wagons, all new, and 300 mules. 
Smith sold out in Texas last winter, purchased a new outfit, 
expecting to accompany the expedition [the Stanley-Custer 
Yellowstone expedition], but was one day too late. He has the 
contract for handling the lumber for the cavalry post at Lin- 
coln, amounting to nearly three million feet. 


Another notice in the Yankton Press of July 30 added 
that "John W. Smith, formerly trader at Whetstone 
Agency, has a fat contract at Fort Lincoln, which 
employs 32 teams." 

Making his headquarters at Bismarck, "Captain" 
John W. Smith on December 1 became a founding 
member of the Burleigh County Pioneers, organized to 
promote the city and vicinity. 58 He would thereafter en- 
joy this courtesy title, as did many a successful frontier 
entrepreneur. Al Leighton had already added freighting 
to his business and on a February 1874 visit to Bismarck 
is said to have bought out Smith's thirty-two wagons. It 
is more likely, however, that he merely contracted for 
Smith's services, for the next April the Sioux stampeded 
ninety of Smith's mules grazing within the shadow of 
Fort Lincoln. Custer, dashing in pursuit with three com- 
panies of cavalry, managed to recover the herd. 59 

While at Fort Lincoln that February, Leighton 
began negotiating for the post tradership, then held by 
absentee Samuel A. Dickey with Robert Wilson as resi- 
dent manager and Jack Morrow (Smith's bondsman at 
Whetstone) sharing a one third interest. At this time 
Orlando Scott Goff, the post photographer, took a 
group picture of Smith, Leighton, Wilson and Morrow, 
which reveals the same curly-haired Smith that Lt. 
Ware had had photographed ten years before. With an 
assist from Custer and a trip to Washington, Leighton 
and Hedrick secured an interest in the Fort Lincoln 
tradership. 60 

Smith had earlier warned that any invasion of the 
Black Hills on the Sioux Reservation in search of the 
gold the Indians had assured him was there would pro- 
voke a major Indian war. By an irony of fate, he would 
become a member of the expedition that Gen. Custer 
led into the Hills in 1874, which featured two expert 
gold prospectors, for reasons never explained. The result 
would more than fulfill Smith's dire prophecy. 

As expedition commander, Custer had the 
prerogative of appointing his own field sutler. With or 
without the influence of Al Leighton, Custer awarded 
the position to John W. Smith, who had been giving 
good service at his post. The happy appointee returned 
from a downriver trip to stock up on sutler wares on June 
3, and on the 24th the local paper noted that "Captain 
John W. Smith goes to the Black Hills as purveyor; he 
will make some ducats." 61 Custer's quartermaster also 
hired Mike Smith as wagonmaster for the large supply 
train. William H. Illingworth, the busy expedition 
photographer, captured a likeness of Mike standing at 
the shoulder of his horse. 

The expedition took the field on July 2 and at each 
camp John W. did a thriving business. Although liquor 
was especially popular, he also carried a variety of items 
to supplement unpalatable field rations and limited 
quartermaster supplies. To furnish hot delicacies, he 
even took along a cook, equipped with a little wagon of 



her own. This was "Aunt Sally" Campbell, a generously- 
proportioned black woman who had cooked for steam 
boats for years. This experience enabled her to claim the 
honor of "being the first white woman that ever saw the 
Black Hills!" 62 

By August 2 the two prospectors, digging feverishly 
in the sand bars along Custer Gulch, had discovered 
promising colors "in the grass roots." Custer promptly 
sent this news by his scout "Lonesome Charley" 
Reynolds to the telegraph office at Fort Laramie. 63 Ex- 
pedition civilians were already staking out a score of 
claims, Mike Smith taking "No. 1 below discovery." 
John W., immune to gold fever, staked no claim, but 
carefully observed every move of the prospectors. The 
most excited individual was Aunt Sally. Two reporters 
gave the list of claims staked, one assigning No. 7 below 
discovery to Sarah Campbell, the other claiming it for 
himself. 64 

The expedition returned on August 30 to find that 
its report of gold was whipping up intense excitement. 
Reporters eagerly interviewed expedition members, in- 
cluding Smith. As a veteran of years of travel on all sides 
of the Hills, he was so pestered by inquiries that he com 
posed an essay on the various routes to the mines (imply 
ing he had come west in 1857). He also submitted a let 
ter from Bismarck on September 21 to the Omaha 
Herald describing the Hills and the gold strikes. He end- 
ed it with another warning — that it would be madness to 
go to the new Eldorado before an adjustment of treaty 
obligations to the Sioux could provide legal access to 
their reservation. 65 

That fall of 1874 the Indian traders along the up- 
per Missouri were all thrown into consternation by 
another patronage racket operated by Orvil Grant, the 
unemployed brother of the President. He ousted all in- 
cumbent Indian traders unless they paid him tribute. 
When the dust settled, Joe Leighton had the tradership I 
at the Fort Peck Agency in Montana at the mouth of ( 
Milk River, with Orvil sharing his profits. Brother Jim I 
soon pulled out, retiring at Ottumwa. 66 

This further expansion of the Leighton interests 
called for more freighting, which involved the Smith J 
brothers as the Bismarck Tribune revealed. On Novem- 
ber 11 it noted that Capt. Smith's train was departing 
with goods for Fort Buford, where a Leighton train 
would forward it to Fort Peck. On December 23 it quot- 
ed a letter from upriver Fort Berthold saying that a 
Leighton train in charge of Mike Smith had passed 
down through that agency on November 30. 

It is not clear whether Smith's family was with him 
in Bismarck, but he revealed something about them in a 
letter he wrote from there on February 5, 1875, to the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs: 

I respectfully ask that if— as one of the original white men 
intermarried with the Sioux many years prior to the Treaty of 
Fort Laramie in 1867 [1868], and who accompanied, the 

following year, the large body of Sioux who were moved from 
Fort Laramie and North Platte. Neb., to the Whetstone Agen 
cy on the Missouri — I am entitled to locate a certain number 
of acres of land on the Sioux reservation on making proper ap- 
plication to the agent at White Clay Agency, the land to be 
used for agricultural purposes and for the benefit of my fami 
ly, numbering five souls. 

I will further state that my family is respectable - that we have 
seldom drawn an Indian ration — that we belong to the band of 
O-ga-lal-las at Spotted Tail's camp, and are well and favorably 
known to all the chiefs at that agency. 

Can refer with confidence to Capt. D. C. Poole, agent at 
Whetstone in 1870, Dr. Nidelet who succeeded [preceded] 
Capt. Poole, and Maj. D. R. Risley; also Gen. Harney, for 
character. 67 

The illegal gold rush to the Black Hills was in full 
swing in July 1875, when Mike Smith succumbed to the 
lure. The Tribune noted his comings and goings from 
the mines for a year, after which he disappears from 
view. The same paper on July 21 reported that John W. 
was leaving with his wagon train to take over the post 
tradership at Fort Shaw, Montana, but a correction the 
next week said he had left for Fort Buford. 

Smith had no tradership appointment, but he did 
freight all the way to Fort Benton. Agent William W. 
Alderson's diary at Fort Peck recorded that "John 
Smith's train from Bismarck" rolled into his agency on 
August 10, 1875, and two days later started on with a 
load of flour for the Fort Belknap Sub-Agency, located 
northwest on Milk River. There may have been a second 
trip during the agent's absence, but he was back in time 
to record Smith's (second?) return from Fort Belknap on 
November 2, and his departure two days later reloaded 
with goods for Forts Belknap and Benton. 68 

While spending the winter of 1875-76 in Montana, 
Smith could not have failed to perceive that his proph- 
ecy of a great Indian war was about to be fulfilled — but 
with another ironic twist. Though provoked beyond 
measure, the Sioux were exhibiting unprecedented re- 
straint, the agency bands being preoccupied with the 
struggle for existence, while the roamers had retreated 
to the isolation of their unceded territory. But neither 
law nor army could hold white men from the gold-bear- 
ing Sioux Reservation, nor the Northern Pacific from 
aiming to cut a destructive swathe across the Indian 
hunting grounds. War was inevitable — not an Indian 
war, but a white war to seize both the Hills and unceded 
territory. 69 

Although the army mobilized in secret, operations 
could no longer be concealed when Gen. George Crook 
launched the first offensive from Fort Fetterman on 
March 1, 1876, hoping to destroy the roamers in their 
winter villages. Plans were being pushed to follow this 
with a three -pronged summer offensive, including Gen. 
Alfred H. Terry's Dakota column, featuring Gen. 
Custer's ill-fated 7th Cavalry. 

John W. Smith, rarely absent when events of mo- 
ment were brewing, sped from Fort Benton on March 

10, proceeding by stage to Ogden, Utah, and then by a 
roundabout train journey to arrive at Gen. Terry's head- 
quarters in St. Paul by March 30. There he won the ap- 
pointment of field sutler to the Dakota column. Pur- 
chasing a partial stock of goods at St. Paul, he also ar- 
ranged for Joe Leighton to supply more from Fort Bu- 
ford and to bolster his financial resources. In announc- 
ing Smith's arrival at Bismarck on May 1 with this prof- 
itable appointment, the Tribune observed that "John 
W. deserves a good thing if any live man does." 70 

With James Coleman, former clerk at Fort A. Lin- 
coln, and Fred Sweetman, former conductor for the 
Northern Pacific, as employees, Smith sutlered through- 
out the long and dismal campaign until September, 
when the three exhausted and frustrated columns head- 
ed for their home bases whipped for the moment. 
Smith's wares had furnished the only antidote to the 
shock of Custer's disaster and the demoralization of the 
ensuing months of futile, self-punishing stern chases. 

The story of Smith's sutler operations on that hap- 
less campaign have already been told in detail. 71 Suffice 
it to say that the enterprise restored his prosperity and 
proved so satisfactory to the army commanders that he 
won one of three post trader„hips at the new cantonment 
on the Yellowstone that Gen. Nelson A. Miles was erect- 
ing at the mouth of Tongue River. Such appointments 
were monopolies, but the independent Miles had a flare 
for ignoring regulations. 

On returning to Bismarck in September of 1876 for 
supplies to stock his new store, Smith paid a quick visit 
to the Sioux at Standing Rock Agency some miles down- 
river. There he gathered valuable information on the 
Indian side of the campaign just concluded, which he 
passed on to the editor of the local paper by October 4. 
It appeared in the New York Herald of October 13, then 
in the Bismarck Tribune of November 1. The article 
opened: "Capt. John W. Smith, a frontiersman of twen- 
ty years' experience [since 1856] and a trader to Terry's 
expedition, who speaks Sioux fluently, has returned 
from Standing Rock Agency to Bismarck and gives the 
following account of the Sioux campaign from what he 
considers reliable Indian sources." The lengthy story 
helps to clarify a number of obscurities of the campaign, 
especially on the movements and whereabouts of the In- 
dians when they were proving so elusive. 

Even before Smith could get back to Tongue River, 
the civil objectives of the war had been won, not by the 
army, but by Congress. It simply refused to allow one 
cent of the millions required to feed the agency Sioux to 
be spent until they signed away the Black Hills and 
unceded lands. The spectre of emaciated women and 
bloat-bellied children forced all the agency chiefs to 
capitulate by October 27. The roaming bands, however, 
were still wandering free on what had suddenly become 
white territory. Smith, as usual, would be present to see 
what the army did about this. 


Smith and Sweetman left Bismarck with their new 
stock on October 17 aboard the Josephine to unload at 
Fort Buford because low water forced them to take to 
wagons. 72 Since a battalion of infantry was manning a 
camp at the mouth of Glendive Creek to forward moun- 
tains of supplies to Miles' Cantonment Tongue River, 
Smith dropped off men and goods there to operate a 
satellite store while he pushed on to Tongue River. 

A regular correspondent at Fort Buford, who 
signed his dispatches "Rex," wrote on December 6: 
We learn that Capt. J. W. Smith is very pleasantly located at 
Tongue River and is doing a fine business at that point and at 
Glendive, where he has a branch establishment. Messrs. 
Talbot and Sweetman are at the Tongue River store, and 
David Cruthers and Jimmy Coleman at the Glendive establish- 
ment. 73 
Talbot is unidentified, but David Crowther had been a 
clerk at Fort Peck, where he had served as acting agent 
during the absences of W. W. Alderson. He was destin- 
ed nearly to lose his mind the next spring by wandering 
from a wagon train to starve for eighteen days alone in 
the wilderness. 74 

That winter at Tongue River Smith watched the 
energetic Gen. Miles lead his well-muffled infantry on 
repeated winter campaigns against the still roaming 
Sioux. These warriors had defeated and then eluded 
three armies the preceding summer, but they proved no 
match for a dozen companies of "walk-a-heaps" armed 
with "Long Tom" rifles. The general was grateful to his 
traders for providing his troops with fur caps and heavy 
underclothing his quartermaster could not supply. He 
did not name his traders, but one drew his wrath for sell- 
ing his soldiers bad whiskey, clearly by context neither 
Smith nor Matt Carroll. 75 

The Balknap tradership scandal that had brought 
impeachment proceedings in 1876, was by now causing 
a turnover among post traders, again restored to the 
supervision of local officers. William D. O'Toole, a 
retired army officer, drew the appointment at Tongue 
River, but Smith, though forced off the reservation, 
would remain at Miles City. Al Leighton retired to Ot- 
tumwa, leaving Joe in charge of Fort Buford in partner- 
ship with Walter B. Jordan, who had married a Leigh- 
ton sister. This pair apparently acquired some interest at 
Miles City, but whether Smith, or independent of 
Smith, is uncertain. 76 

In early March of 1877, Smith started for Bismarck 
to renew his stock, closing out his branch store at Glen- 
dive since that camp was scheduled for abandonment. 
Both he and newly-appointed O'Toole loaded their 
goods aboard the Josephine, which sailed as the first 
boat of the season on April 18. 77 Low water in the 
Yellowstone so delayed the boat that it and O'Toole did 
not tie up at Tongue River until May 23. Smith, how- 
- ever, had proceeded overland from Fort Buford to reach 
his destination weeks ahead of the boat. 

There he found that Miles was out on a final cam- 
paign that destroyed Lame Deer's hold-out village on 
May 7, 1877, marking the operational end of the Sioux 
War. The harassed roamers were already surrendering 
at various posts and Smith noted a tidy village of North- 
ern Cheyennes camped nearby, they having chosen to 
surrender to Miles on April 23. The general, again 
writing his own regulations, set up an "agency" of his 
own where he could see that his Indians received decent 

A New York Herald reporter at Tongue River on 
May 12, 1877, interviewed Smith at length on the signif- 
icance of the surrenders and the strength and intentions 
of the bands still out. When correspondent "Rex" read 
this at Fort Buford, he commented that "Capt. John W. 
Smith's knowledge of the Indian Character and his 
tribal strength, as shown in this interview, is not 
doubted by any resident of this country." 78 Regarding 
his own history, Smith told the Herald man: 

I have lived on the extreme frontier for 21 years [since 1856], 
13 years of this time in the Sioux camps [1856-1868], both 
before and after the Sioux war broke out in 1855 [a "typo" for 
1864?] — principally in Oglala and Brule camps on the Platte, 
Powder River and Republican country, but for the past four 
years [1873-77] principally in the Missouri River section. 79 
The Sioux War had no more than wound down 
than the remarkable flight of the Nez Perces took its 
place. This long-abused tribe broke from their reserva- 
tion in Idaho under Chief Joseph, pursued by all troops 
stationed within striking distance of their incredibly suc- 
cessful flight. On September 18, 1877, Gen. Miles joined 
the pursuit with his force and by the end of the month 
had corralled them at the foot of the Bear Paw Moun- 
tains just north of the Missouri. A hard fight, followed 
by negotiations, led to the surrender of the dignified 
chief on October 6, and Miles returned to his post with 
his well-treated prisoners. 

Smith, having left again for a new stock and a win- 
ter vacation in Bismarck, reached Fort Buford on the 
very day Miles' force had started out after the Nez 
Perces. 80 Learning of the numerous troop columns con- 
verging toward the Bear Paws, he decided that having 
missed few historic events on the northern plains, he 
would not miss this one. Correspondent "Rex" wrote at 
Fort Buford on October 5: 

Capt. John W. Smith will not go east for some time, the move- 
ment of troops causing him to change his mind, and he has 
gone to meet the commands with a stock of goods that will no 
doubt be in great demand after the hard campaigning of the 
last month or two. Robert Little and Fred Fiegley went with 
Capt. Smith as assistants."' 

Smith could have secured supplies on such short 
notice only from Leighton and Jordan at Fort Buford, a 
conclusion reinforced by the fact that Robert Little had 
been a Leighton employee for ten years. Smith headed 
for the scene on one of the several supply boats plying 
between Fort Buford and the troops up the Missouri. 


From this profitable sortie he returned to Bismarck on 
November 5, aboard the last descending boat, the Rose- 
bud. That winter he must have taken his new stock to 
Tongue River overland, for Matt Carroll rolled into 
Bismarck on March 11, 1878, to report that Miles City 
boasted ten saloons, and that "Capt. John Smith's 
opened with $500 receipts the first night and has since 
run about $200 a day. " 82 

Perhaps this liquor palace was the ornate, two-story 
Cottage Saloon on Main Street that Smith owned for 
years with James Coleman as local manager. It did a 
thriving business with soldiers after each visit of the 
paymaster to the adjacent post, long since renamed Fort 
Keogh : 

On these occasions the patronage was so large and so 
urgent that there was no time wasted in drawing beer. It was 
emptied into a couple of washtubs behind the bar and dipped 
up in the beer glasses in a continuous service, one shift filling 
the tubs and another emptying them. Such a thing as a "quiet" 
drink was impossible in the Cottage Saloon while pavday 
lasted." 1 

With such thirsty customers, Smith was able to 
build an impressive mansion in Miles City, said to be the 
town's first. K4 This brought to a close his days as a fron- 

tiersman. He now became a city dweller, a holder of 
public offices and a man of means with diverse interests 
in ranches, mines, business buildings and liquor parlors 
both in Miles City and Bozeman. In 1883, at age fifty 
five, he married Miss Josephine Allen, of Michigan. *'' In 
the absence of evidence, either way, we can only have 
faith that his first half-breed Oglala wife had died after 
raising his respectable family. 

According to James Coleman, Smith thus pros- 
pered for a decade or so before he suffered reverses and 
went downhill to die a pauper in Billings, Montana, in 
1904 or 1905. 86 

But John W. Smith did witness one more tragic step 
in the reduction of the proud, free and self-reliant Sioux 
into dependent wards of the government. In 1889 open 
threats to repeat the punitive measures and deliberate 
starvation of 1876 forced the helpless Sioux to give up 
their reservation except for a few tribal enclaves just 
large enough to give each Indian family a small starving 
farm."' The Brule portion of this land agreement carries 
the signature: "John W. Smith, white, aged 61, incor- 
porated into the tribe in 1868. " MK 

WVO.M1M, SI All (Rlllllh Ml Ml MS WD I1IS1UKII U 1111MKIMIM 

Main Street of Miles City, Montana, 1880. Smith's "Cottage Saloon" is building pictured second from right. 


1. Michael Leeson, History of Montana (Chicago: Warner. Beers 
& Co.. 1885) p. 1048. 

2. Eugene F. Ware, Indian War of 1864 (Topeka: Crane & Co., 
1911) p. 234-241 

3. Xebraska Historical Society Collections, 20 (1922) p. 328. 

4. "Randall Testimony." Investigation of Fort Phil Kearny 
Massacre, M(icrocopy) 740, NARS; Red Cloud Investigation 
(Washington: GPO, 1875) p. 337; Larimer County, Colorado 
Deedbook A (using both Conodore and Todd as first names); 
Ansel Watrous, History of Larimer County (Fort Collins: 
Courier Printing Co.. 1911) p. 165 (using Enoch as first name). 

5. John C. Power, Early Settlers of Sangamon Co., III. (Spring- 
field: E. A. Wilson & Co.. 1876) p. 715 (for Todd); John E. 
Sunder, Fur Trade on the Upper Missouri (Norman: University 
of Oklahoma Press. 1965) pp. 1 83ff (for Frost, Todd and Com- 

6. John D. McDermott, "James Bordeaux," in LeRoy R- Hafen, 
Mountain Men and the Fur Trade (Glendale: Arthur H. Clark 
Co.) 5 (1968) p. 65. 

7. Register of Traders' Licenses, 1841-13, RG 75, NARS (for this 
and future licenses): "Pallardy Testimony," Red Cloud In- 
vestigation, p. 326; LR from Upper Platte Agency, M(icrocopy) 
234. R(oll) 889. NARS; "Herman Affidavit," Bourdeau and 
Lamoureaux Claim," HED 78, 41C. 3S (ser. 1488) p. 3. 

8. Yankton Press. Nov. 1. 1871. 

9. 1860 Census (Nebraska Unorganized Territory, Merivale City); 
Pierre Cazeau license to trade. Oct. 1, 1859; Watrous. Larimer 
County, p. 59 (for Peter Cazzoe as election judge. Jan. 8. 1866); 
Stan Hoig, Western Odyssey o 1 John Simpson Smith (Glendale: 
Arthur H. Clark Co.. 1974) p. 25. 

Ann W. Hafen, "Elbridge Gerry," in Hafen, Mountain Men, 
v.6, p. 153; "Gerry Account Books," MS, Colorado Historical 

Ware. Indian War, pp. 234-36. 

John S. Gray. Cavalry and Coaches, The Story of Camp and 
Fort Collins (Fort Collins: Old Army Press. 1978) Ch.8 (For this 
war provocation). 
Ware, Indian War, pp. 189-90. 
Ibid . pp. 237-41. 

"Monthly Report of Persons Hired" by local quartermaster, RG 
92. NARS (for this and future employment by the army); War 
of the Rebellion . . . Official Records (Washington: GPO, 
various dates) Ser. I, v. 34, pt.IV, p. 460 (for report of Smith 
and Gay), hereafter cited in form, WR, Arabic v.. Roman pt.. 
Arabic p. 

16. Ware, Indian War, pp. 245-46. 

17. Gray. Cavalry and Coaches, ch. 12 (for origins and consequences 
of Sand Creek affair). 

18. Ware. Indian War. pp. 454-88. 

19. WR, 48, I, 1128. 

20. Plum to Moonlight, Julesburg, Mar. 21, 1865. LR, Distr. Colo., 
RG 393, NARS. 

21. History of Wapello Co., Iowa (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 
1904) v.2. p. 34 (and other Wapello Co. histories). 

22. Robert B. David. Finn Burnett, Frontiersman (Glendale: Ar- 
thur H. Clark Co.. 1937) p. 34. 

23. LeRoy R. and Ann W. Hafen, Powder River Campaign of 1865 
(Glendale: Arthur H. Clark Co.. 1961; David. Burnett. 

24. "Dacotah" letters will be cited in the text by date, given here in 
parentheses: Rocky Mountain News, (Apr. 3) Apr. 17; (Apr. 16) 
Apr. 30; (May 8) June 5; (May 29) June 22; (July l)July 19, 

25. Francis D. Haines, ed.. A Bride on the Bozeman Trail (Med- 
ford: Gandee Printing Center, 1970) p. 114. 

26. Henry B. Carrington, "Indian Operations on the Plains," SED 
33, 50C, IS (ser. 2504) p. 6. 








27. Ibid . p. 8; "Register of Indian Depredation Claims, 1864-74," 
HED 65, 43C.2S (ser. 1645) p. 42. 

Robert A. Murray. Military Posts in the Powder River Country 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1968) p. 55. 
Lt. George M. Templeton. "Diary," MS, Newberry Library, 
Chicago. (Further citations in the text by date of diary entry.) 
James A. Sawyer, "Report of Wagon Road Expedition, 1866," 
M95, R12, NARS (Peter Carson mentioned July 21); Carr- 
ington. "Indian Operations." pp. 10-11. 
Carrington, "Indian Operations," pp.39ff. 

The account of Kinney's Mission is based on: LR from Upper 
Platte Agency, M234. R892 (for Kinney reports of June 14 and 
17, and various vouchers; "Investigation of Ft. P. Kearny Mas- 
sacre," M740 (for Kinney report of Oct. 7); "Indian Hostilities," 
SED 13, 40C, IS (ser. 1308) p. 128 (for rebuke to Kinney); Let- 
ters of N. H. Hurd to Rocky Mountain News, May 29, July 3, 
17, 1867; "Post Returns of Ft. P. Keamy," M617, R910 (for 
troop and convoy movements). 
David, Burnett, p. 140. 
Ibid., p. 152. 

Washington Chronicle, Sept. 21, 1867. 
New York Times, Sept. 24. 1867. 
LR, Upper Platte Agency, M234, R892. 

38. John S. Gray, Centennial Campaign: The Sioux War of 1876 
(Fort Collins: Old Army Press. 1976) pp. 12-15 (for analysis of 
Treaty of 1868). 

"Support of Indians," HR 20, 40C, 3S (ser. 1388). 
LR, Upper Platte Agency, M234, R893 (for petition and men- 
tion of Randall); Ann. Rept. Commr. Ind. Aff., 1868, p. 250 
(for caravan departure). 

LR, Upper Platte Agency, M234, R893 (for Smith. Raymond 
and Randall pay vouchers); Larimer County, Colorado. Mar- 
riage Book A, p. 101; George E. Hyde, Spotted Tail's Folk (Nor- 
man: U. Okla. Press, 1961) p. 149 (for location of trading posts). 
Yankton Union and Dakotaian, Aug. 15, 1868. 
LR, Upper Platte Agency, M234, R894 (for Patrick to Taylor, 
Dec. 30, 1868); One Hundred Years of Medicine and Surgery in 
Missouri (St. Louis Star. 1900) pp. 113-15. 

LR. Upper Platte Agency, M234, R894 (for Bordeau and 
Nidelet to Parker, Oct. 1, 1869). 
Ibid., Smith to Sheridan, June 1, 1869. 

Yankton Union and Dakotaian, Sept. 25, 1869 (dissolution 
notice); May 5, 19, 26, Aug. 11, Nov. 24, 1870 (items on 
Smiths); Carrington, "Indian Hostilities." p. 23. 

47. Cheyenne Daily Leader, Feb. 23, 1870. 

48. Omaha Bee, July 7, 1876 (Morrow obituary); Yankton Union 
and Dakotaian, Nov. 24, 1870 (harness shop). 

49. Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1871, 
p. 527 (Spotted Tail); Bert L. Hall, "Reminiscences of Henry 
Lewis Jones." South Dakota Historical Collections, 11(1922) 
p. 391 (Smith contract). 
Yankton Press, Jan. 31, Feb. 28, 1872. 
Ibid., Feb. 28. Apr. 24, Nov. 13, 1872. Apr. 30. 1873. 
"James Coleman Interview," North Dakota Historical Collec- 
tions, 6 (1920) p. 206. 

Bismarck Tribune. Aug. 18, Sept. 1, 1875, July 26, Aug. 30, 
1876; Mark H. Brown, Plainsmen of the Yellowstone (New 
York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1961) p. 354. 
Yankton Press, May 1. 1872. 
David, Burnett, p. 235. 

John S. Gray, "Sutler on Custer's Last Campaign." No. Dak. 
Hist., 43 (summer 1976) p. 14. 

"A. C. Leighton Testimony." pp. 111-15, and "Table of Post 
Traderships," pp. 272-76, in Belknap Inquiry, HR 799, 44C, IS 
(ser. 1715). 














58. Clement A. Lounsberry, Early History of North Dakota 

(Washington: Liberty Press, 1919) p. 540. 

Yankton Press and Dakotaian, Feb. 5, 1874; Bismarck Tribune. 

Apr. 29, May 6, 1874. 

"Robert Wilson Testimony," Belknap Inquiry, pp. 178-83; John 

S. Gray, "Itinerant Frontier Photographers." Montana. 

Magazine of Western History, 28 (Spring 1978) p. 11-15. 

Bismarck Tribune. June 3, 24, 1874. 

Herbert Krause and Gary D. Olsen. eds., Prelude to Glory 

(Sioux Falls: Brevet Press, 1974) p. 127. 
63. John S. Gray, "News from Paradise," By Valor and Arms (Jour- 
nal of American Military History), 3 (no. 3. 1978) p. 37. 

Krause and Olsen, Prelude to Glory, pp. 28, 128. 

Bismarck Tribune. Sept. 2 (interview), Oct. 10 (essay), Oct. 14, 

1874 (letter to Omaha Herald). 

66. "Orvil Grant Testimony," pp. 23-32, "James Leighton 
Testimony." pp. 115- 18, in Belknap Inquiry; New York Herald. 
July 21, 1875; Bismarck Tribune, all issues, Sept. 30 to Nov. 11, 


67. LR from Spotted Tail Agency, M234, R.840 (Smith to Ind. 
Commr., Feb. 15, 1875). 

68. William W. Alderson. "Diary. 1873-75," MS, Special Collec- 
tions, Montana State University, Bozeman. 

69. Gray, Centennial Campaign (for genesis and prosecution of this 

70. St Paul Pioneer-Press, Mar. 30, 1876 (hotel arrivals); Bismarck 
Tribune, Apr. 11, May 3, 1876. 











Gray, "Sutler on Custer's Last Campaign." 

Bismarck Tribune, Oct. 18, 1876. 

Ibid , Dec. 27, 1876. 

Ibid., Mar. 8, June 6, 8, 15, 1876; Alderson, "Diary"; Robert G 

Athearn. "Winter Campaign Against the Sioux." Mississippi 

Valley Historical Reinew, 35 (Sept. 1948) p. 231-32. 

Nelson A. Miles, Personal Recollections (Chicago: Werner Co.. 

1897) p. 231-32. 

Bismarck Tribune, Dec. 20, 1876. Feb. 14. 1877. 

Ibid., April 21, 1877. 

Ibid . July 2, 1877. 

New York Herald. June 5, 1877. 

Bismarck Tribune. Sept. 26, 1877. 

Ibid . Oct. 12, 1877. 

Ibid . Dec. 30, 1878 (obituary of Little), Nov. 8, 1877, Mar. 12, 


Sam Gordon, Recollections of Old Miles Town. (Miles City, 

1918) p. 5. 

Ibid . p. 11. 

Leeson, Montana, p. 1048. 

"Coleman Interview," (see fn. 74). 

George E. Hyde, A. Sioux Chronicle (Norman: University of 

Oklahoma Press, 1956) Ch. 8. 

Record supplied by Harry H. Anderson, Milwaukee Historical 



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Following the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, which ced- 
ed much of the West beyond the Mississippi, and com- 
pelled by the visionary geography of President Thomas 
Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark 1 headed 
the Corps of Discovery to join two halves of a continent 
and girdle America from sea to sea. "The object of your 
mission," President Jefferson said in 1804 in his now 
familiar instructions to Lewis and Clark, "is to explore 
the Missouri River, and such principal stream[s] of it, 
as, by its course and communication with the water of 
the Pacific Ocean may offer the most direct and prac- 
ticable water communication across this continent for 
the purposes of commerce." 

In train, John Jacob Astor's American Fur Com- 
pany trading posts dotted the plains and mountains as 
far as Astoria, Oregon, on the Columbia River, 2 while 
rival American and French Canadian fur traders sim- 
ilarly explored the land, coursing the North Platte route 
for two decades before a fort was established at the 
mouth of the Laramie River, to the convenience of 
trade, and to mark the South Pass, Sweetwater, Platte 
route which Robert Stuart and other Astorians laid out 
in returning to the states in 1812. Called the Great 
Medicine Road by Indians, the route became the Ore- 
gon Trail, splitting off in the west to California, Oregon, 
and Utah, as the lands of milk and honey tempting half 
a nation to perilous journey. 3 Over this trail more than 
300,000 pilgrims trekked westward in the long history of 
emigrant progress from Fort Laramie, 4 the eastern 
Wyoming gate at the junction of the Laramie and North 
Platte rivers, to Fort Bridger, as the western Wyoming 
gate on Black's Fork of the Green River. 

At President James Polk's urging, Congress, in May 
1846, 5 passed legislation responsive to populist objectives 

of westward expansion: "An Act to provide for raising a 
regiment of Mounted Riflemen, and for establishing 
military stations on the route to Oregon." 6 To Fort 
Laramie and Fort Bridger, east and west Wyoming 
gates, Platte Bridge Station was added in 1857 as a 
medial gate, and subsequently renamed Fort Caspar 
[Casper] (1865-1867), before its abandonment to Fort 
Fetterman [Douglas] (1867-1882), as supply base and 
operations camp to the northern campaigns. To the 
north, Bozeman Trail protection was furnished beyond 
Fort Fetterman by Fort Reno [Sussex] (1866-1868) and 
Fort Kearny [Story] (1866-1868), the hated forts im- 
planted in Red Cloud's hunting grounds, and closed 
down by Red Cloud through siege and treaty, and torch. 
To the south, the Overland Trail, Denver-Salt Lake City 
stage, and Lodge Pole Creek emigrant route stood pro- 
tected by Fort Bridger as western portal and Fort 
Halleck [Elk Mountain] (1862-1866) as eastern portal; 
with Fort Steele [Rawlins] (1868-1886) and Fort Russell 
[Cheyenne] (1867; subsequently Warren Air Force Base) 
then added as Union Pacific line forts. And Fort Halleck 
then abandoned to Fort Buford/Sanders [Laramie] 
(1868-1882). While there were other forts in the Wyo- 
ming network, Washakie and McKinney [Buffalo] im- 
portantly, the Oregon Trail, Bozeman Trail, and 
Overland Trail forts are those the imagination seizes 
upon in conjuring up images of Anglo-Saxon incursion 
into the redlands of the west. 7 

Indeed, the address one now makes to Wyoming 
fort reliques is necessarily imaginative, or academic, a 
flight of fancy or a result of research. Were one, for ex- 
ample, to try to see again through the eyes and sensibil- 
ities of the former tenants of the Oregon Trail forts: Fort 
Laramie, National Historic Site, again the "Queen" 


' , 





By Walter Edens 

fort, regally tatterdemalion in restoration of Old 
Bedlam B. O. Q. , the sutler's store, the guard house, the 
commanding officer's quarters, and again a mecca for 
pilgrims. 8 Bridger, State Historic Site inseparably iden- 
tified with its rude beginnings in 1842 by Jim Bridger, 
mountain man, and its heyday with Judge William Alex- 
ander Carter, gentleman sutler, 9 whose store and 
warehouse stand in tidy repair, in compound with the 
Pony Express stables, the milk house, and a school built 
in 1866. 10 Caspar, most wholly "restored" fort, in the 
civic rebuilding of the Platte River Station, logon-log, 
ground up. 11 And Fetterman, State Historic Site — "It 
was a hateful post; in summer hell; in winter, Spitzen- 
bergen' 12 — still less restored than ruined, raffishly 
perched above the notorious off-limits Hog Ranch site 
the trpopers eagerly waded the North Platte shallows to 

And were one to visit the Bozeman Trail forts un- 
aided by dreams or diagrams, nothing shows now of 
Reno 13 beyond the basalt shaft commemorating the ut- 
ter desolation of the design to abet gold seekers and fend 
off Indians. 14 Similarly, Colonel Henry B. Carrington's 
Fort Kearny installation, imperiled in the Fetterman 
Massacre and Wagon Box Fight, brought low at last by 
Red Cloud, and redeemed now only in the flush toilets 
of Federal design, and the panoramic plaques of what 
once was. 15 

And along the Overland Trail, one seeking Fort 
Halleck today finds only its basalt marker in the empty 
field — although the recollections of Dr. J. H. Finfrock, 16 
Fort Halleck post surgeon, 1863-1865, and the homely 
letters of Franklin Tubbs, 17 Co. K, 11 O.V.C., Fort 
Halleck, still enliven what otherwise is dead and gone. 
Or to Fort Steele, where time's vagaries, chance winds, 

and casual fire have reduced all but the sturdy little 
stone magazine, standing alone on a hill top, with only 
the tenants of the nearby graveyard to bear witness to 
what was. Or Fort Sanders, tumbled, plundered, and 
reduced to the present guard house shell and tottering 
laundry wall. 18 

What use, even of fort buffs, to visit any of the tat 
tered and crumbled fort properties, those graced as na- 
tional and state monuments or those neglected and 
disgraced. Unless the walk-about itself might discover a 
rusted nail or a bit of purpled glass, or might disclose the 
situational values of fort life and the pervasive mentalitv 
of fort architecture: 19 architecture achieved in localized 
issues of water, wood, and width, preferably in a high or 
open scan of the countryside, with ready timber and 
abundant game, and patches for grubbing potatoes or 
daring a rose garden, and respite allowed from despair 
and hostility with regular whiskey and occasional 
women. Or cards, or billiards, or fishing. Or target 
practice,"" or close-order drill, or forced marches, or 
bivouac. Or a newspaper, magazine, or book for those so 
disposed, and capable of reading. 21 

Fool's errand, perhaps, to ask about the furniture 
of a soldier's mind, apart from rituals of eating, sleep- 
ing, marching, intent of shooting, relapse of drinking 
and gambling, release of fornicating. But the costs of 
isolation and adversity are the measurably exaggerated 
expenses of the social contract, honored or breached. 
And subtler inquiry always asks the price of alienation 
and cultural loss. Where Indian affairs 22 and settlement 
issues were predominant concerns in frontier fort ex- 
istence, what cultural affinities did isolated fort 
Americans keep with the general citizenry? What 
dreams underlay the deeds, what words scored the 


meanings? What did soldiers do, think, feel — read, 
when primacy of experience yielded to reflection? 

Early and wisely, the questions were referred to the 
post surgeons, frontier emissaries of the sort President 
Jefferson must have envisioned in charging Lewis and 
Clark with matters geological, meterological, botanical, 
mathematical, political, and sociological in accounts to 
be kept. 23 Solicited in 1870 by the Surgeon General's Of- 
fice as human resources inventories of the new fort 
character, active and reflective, the fort surgeon reports 
both give and gauge the living character of Wyoming 

For historical and sociological commentary, the 
report of Assistant Surgeon H. S. Schell, Fort Laramie, 
Wyoming Territory, 1870, is invaluable, if at some 
points the language appears expansive, at times stagey. 24 
Key to this inquiry into the westward march of intellect 
is Schell's observation, "There is a post library in the ad- 
jutant's office containing about 300 old, nearly worn-out 
books; a number of papers and periodicals are sub- 
scribed for 25 from the post fund 26 and kept in the library 
room, to which the enlisted men have access. The 
hospital library also comprises about 300 volumes, a ma- 
jority of which are religious works.'' 

A report of the same period from Assistant Sur- 
geons S. Mackin and F. Le Baron Monroe, Fort Fetter- 
man, is similarly informative, in geography, geology, 
and history, as well as containing specific references to 
the post's character physically and humanistically: "The 
post library numbers about 250 volumes," the report 
observes, "and is kept in a room assigned for that pur- 
pose. The books are as good a selection as could be ex- 
pected in so small a collection." 27 Elsewhere the report 
comments, "The mails are received and sent once a 
week; the escort from Fort Fetterman meeting the [Fort] 
Laramie party and exchanging mail-bags." 

The report of Assistant Surgeon W. E. Waters, Fort 
Bridger, 28 provides the physical and cultural data of 
that place: "Of the eleven barrack buildings only six are 
used as quarters for the men. Two are occupied by laun- 
dresses, 29 one as adjutant's office, schoolroom, 30 and 
library, another as guard house, and the third as shops 
for mechanics, carpenters, and wheelwrights. . . . There 
is but a small library belonging to the post, 31 consisting 
of works of history, some of the standard novels, school 
books, etc. . . . There is a daily mail from both East and 
West. . . ," 32 

. If fc 

Building at Fort Washakie served as library, school and gymnasium. 

r >6 

msui t 

Fort D. A. Russell Library, 

In like descriptions, Surgeon J. H. Frantz reports 
from Fort Sanders: "The Union Pacific Railroad . . . 
completed to this point late in the spring of 1868 ... to 
the incorporated town . . . the city of Laramie, exempt 
from military authority, but within the reservation ... a 
town of about 1,000 inhabitants." Respecting the fort 
facilities, Frantz comments, "There is no post library," 
an omission perhaps explicable in the presence of the 
City of Laramie Literary and Library Association. 
"There being a railroad station at the post, daily meals 
are received and sent regularly," Frantz concludes. 33 

In-kind reports from other fort surgeons augment 
the evidence and amplify the argument that post-Civil 
War fort facilities gave access to newspapers, magazines, 
and books, taking off the onus of frontier isolation and 
reassimilating fort existence to the ideological patterns 
of general American existence. In newspaper circula- 
tion, in magazine runs, and in library acquisition of 
book titles, more and more nearly in the time frames of 
their publication, the cultural gaps close. The general- 
izations affirm a westward march of intellect. 

In the way that important findings are often for- 
tuitous, it is the merest fluke that a specific-laden time 
frame to fort reading has been preserved, by chance sur- 
viving the usual reduction of paper to flake and ash. 
Perhaps saved as a "collectable," a specimen of florid 
calligraphy, the Fort Laramie "Day Book" 34 carefully in- 
ventories the library collection of 1877, a medial date 
between the Civil War and the shutting down of Fort 


date of photograph unknown. 

Laramie in 1890. The Day Book shows by title and 
author 485 volumes, 35 alleged in old holdings and 
reflected in new purchases, books in circulation to an 
aggregate 923 registered patrons of fort and locale resi- 
dence. 36 In degree of care and extent of knowledge, the 
meticulous Day Book accountings suggest the assistant 
librarian praised by Major Dye in 1866, and recom- 
mended then to a "20 cents per day" compensation. If 
indeed the keeper of these accounts is that very person, 
his character as librarian deserves psalmody and pen- 

As catalogue, 37 the Fort Laramie Day Book enum- 
erates books collected to that library, and as analogue 
the data alleges what was collected in other fort libraries 
in similar delivery systems of military design, and within 
approximate time frames. In itself, or in comparison, 
the use of the Day Book is not meant to attach a 
chronometer to fort reading, but to find a cultural in- 
dex, of reasonable latitudes between receipt and reading 
of books. 38 

In order of frequency of titles, the Day Book shows 
categories of literature (fiction primarily; major figures, 
e.g. Duyckinck's Shakespeare; children's books; "Little 
Classics" and "Passion Flowers" as pretty 19th Century 
redactions); history (social and intellectual in large; 
military in less; "natural history" and "science" in little); 
biography (as well as autobiography and memoirs); 
travel (and exploration); theology/philosophy (as 
homiletics); reference (encyclopedic and practical); 


and, surprisingly, little or no "military merchandise," 
these goods being stored abundantly elsewhere with the 
keepers of manuals and records. 

The categories literature/fiction, history, and biog- 
raphy/autobiography approximate 40%, 30%, 20% 
respectively of the diffuse Day Book listings, and acquire 
time-framing according to these categories, with some 
throw-in oddments of general reader interest. In litera- 
ture/fiction James Fenimore Cooper in nine titles 
(1820-1847), Washington Irving in seven titles 
(1820-1855), and Nathaniel Hawthorne in eight titles 
(1828 - c. 1864; and posthumously) represent early 
American authors whose works no doubt went ragged in 
re-readings among the fort set, and to require replace- 
ments by the time of the Day Book reckoning. 39 
However, William Dean Howells, Italian Journeys 
(1867) and Chance Acquaintance (1873) and Bret 
Harte, Tales of the Argonauts (1875), Gabriel Conroy 
(1876), and Thankful Blossom (1877) were in-season ac- 
quisitions attesting the currency of the collection. 

From a group of lessers, Louisa May Alcott, Rose in 
Bloom (1876) and Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Story of a 
Bad Boy (1870), Marjorie Daw (1873), and Prudence 
Palfrey (1874) went fresh to adolescent and lovelorn 
reading sets. 

Distaff distresses came from Mrs. Zadel (Barnes) 
Buddington, Can the Old Love (1871), Mrs. Maria 
Elizabeth (Jourdan) Westmoreland, Heart Hungry 
(1872), Mrs. Mary Louisa (Stewart) Molesworth [pseud. 
Ennis Graham], Not Without Thorns (1873), Mrs. 
Katherine Sarah (Gadsden) McQuoid, A Charming 
Widow; or, Wild as a Hawk (1874), and Mrs. Lilian 
(Headland) Spender, Jocelyn 's Mistake (1875). 

Social and domestic sketches came from Gail Ham- 
ilton (Mary Abigail Dodge), Woman's Wrongs (1868) 
and Twelve Miles from a Lemon (1874), Mary Clemmer 
Ames, His Two Wives (1874), following her celebrated 
Hans Brinker, and Bessie Turner, A Woman in the Case 
(1875), along with fillips from such as Mary Elizabeth 
(Mapes) Dodge, Theophilus and Others (1876), as strict- 
ly up to date as Kansas City, or other cultural centers 
with which the frontier west was reassimilated by postal 
delivery and railway express. 

Shakespeare, certainly, and Henry Fielding, Tobias 
Smollett, Lawrence Sterne, and Samuel Johnson likely 
were British/American re-print figures, as probably 
were Sir Walter Scott in twenty-five titles (1815-1832), 
William Harrison Ainsworth in seventeen titles (1834-c. 
1860), and Charles Dickens in fifteen titles (1836-1865, 
though a dog-eared Scott, Ainsworth, or Dickens might 
have known decades of readers at Fort Laramie. 

With George Eliot in four titles (1862-1874), Wilkie 
Collins in twelve titles (1854-1873), 40 and Anthony 
Trollope in twelve titles (1859-1874) Fort Laramie read- 
ers would likely have enjoyed these works concurrently, 
simultaneously with the large body of English/American 


readers. 41 Similarly, the listing of Charles Reade, A 
Woman Hater (1874), Ouida (Marie Louise De La 
Ramee), In a Winter City (1876), and Hjalmar Hjorth 
Boyesen, Tales from Two Hemispheres (1877), indicate 
the contemporaneity and cosmopolitanism of the Fort 
Laramie Day Book readership, closing the culture gap. 42 
Add Alphonse Daudet, Alexander Dumas, and Victor 
Hugo as continentals popular in translation in the 1860s 
and 1870s, reflected in some dozen listings of their 
works, along with naughty George Sands (Mme. 
A.L.A.D. Dudevant) in four titles. 

In a flow of history the Fort Laramie collection of- 
fered David Hume, History of England (six volumes 
1754, in reprint), George Bancroft, History of the 
United States (ten volumes, 1834-1874), Gibbon's Fall of 
Rome, ed. Rev. H. H. Milman (five volumes, 1845), 
George Grote, History of Greece (twelve volumes, 
1846-1856), Thomas A. Macaulay, History of England 
(five volumes, 1848-1855), Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy, 
Decisive Battles of the World (1852), Thomas Y. 
Rhoads, Battlefields of the Revolution (1854), John 
Lothrop Motley, The Rise of the Dutch Republic (three 
volumes, 1856) and his later John of Barneveld (two 
volumes, 1874), Alexander Kinglake, Invasion of the 
Crimea (three volumes, 1863-1868, of eight volumes, 
1863-1887), John William Draper, Intellectual Develop- 
ment of Europe (1863), William Swinton, Decisive Bat- 
tles of the War (1871), Henry Hallam, The Middle Ages 
(1873), Thomas Budd Van Home, History of the Army 
of the Cumberland (two volumes, 1875), and sixteen 
titles in the 1870 "historical" biography series of John 
Stevens Cabot Abbot, for example, Alexander the 
Great, Hernando Cortez, and Mary Queen of Scots. 

In another time-framing there are the biog- 
raphy/autobiography listings of the Day Book, in- 
cluding such sturdy backbone works as would have given 
early spine to the Fort Laramie collection, along with 
histories bought or donated 43 to the uses of the fort 

Representatives of these Day Book entries are Alex- 
ander Slidell McKenzie, Life of Commodore Perry 
(1841) and Life of Paul Jones (1841); Samuel Mosheim 
Schmucker, Life of Dr. E. K. Kane (1857); Robertson's 
Charles the Fifth, ed. William Hickling Prescott (three 
volumes, 1857); General Randolf Barnes Marcy, Prairie 
Traveler (1859) and Army Life on the Border (1866); 
Charles Burdett, Life of Kit Carson (1862); Francis 
Parkman, Oregon Trail (1849; in reprint) and The 
Discovery of the West (1869); John Wein Forney, Anec- 
dotes of Public Men (1873); Munsell Bradhurst Field, 
Memories of Many Men and Some Women (1874); 
General Joseph Eggleston Johnston, Johnston 's Narrative 
(1874); General William Tecumseh Sherman, Memoirs 
(two volumes, 1875); Frederick Whittaker, The Life of 
General George A. Custer (1876). 

And in a miscellany of Day Book travel pieces one 
senses the time-framed desires of frontier readers to stir, 
to go home again: John Ross Brown, Crusoe's Island 
(1864), American Family in Germany (1866), Land of 
Thor (1867), Apache Country (1869); Samuel Adams 
Drake, Nooks and Corners of the New England Coast 
(1875); George Hughes Hepworth, Starboard and Port 
(1876); Eugene Schuyler, Turkistan (1876); Charles 
Dudley Warner, In the Levant (1877), the beckoning 

Too much shelf reading is hard on the eyes and 
blunts the senses. This study scans some two hundred 
titles in the Fort Laramie library. Let it suffice, the Day 
Book indexing, taken along with newspaper and maga- 
zine data, approximates frontier reading to that of the 
country at large. In the attainment of Jefferson's dream 
of a sea-to-sea America, the early privations of frontier 
existence record a history of their own, but post-Civil 
War times ameliorated and acculturated the frontier 

With the crushing of the Sioux and the annihilation 
of the herds which supported them, Wyoming was 
readied for cattle, timber, and mining interests. Wyo- 
ming forts became anachronisms, and troopers impa- 
tiently awaited their release home. The principal Fort 
Laramie library was crated to Fort Robinson, Nebraska, 
November 30, 1889, 44 and the fort buildings were sold at 
public auction, April 19, 1890. The books were closed. 

1. Wyomingites continue to tease themselves about the character, 
the role, and even the burial place of the Indian "Bird 
Woman." Sacajawea, called "Janey" by William Clark, and 
whose invaluable services to the Corps of Discovery made her a 
folk heroine. [See Grace Hebard, Sacajawea, Glendale, Califor- 
nia 1933.] 

2. Washington Irving's Astoria (1836) popularized the story of 
Astor's Northwest fur trade. 

3. An "Oregon Trail" 50-cent piece struck May 17, 1926. com- 
memorated the death of an estimated 20,000 emigrants who 
perished on the 2,000 mile road from Missouri to their 
California -Oregon -Utah destinations. 

4. Named after fur trade representatives and called Fort William 
[Sublette] from 1834-1841 and Fort John [Sarpy] from 
1841-1849, when made a military fort. Fort Laramie 
(1849-1890) carried its familiar name throughout, for Jacques 
La Ramee, who trapped the area after 1820. and for the river 
which took his name. First passage through was by traders, 
adventurers, and missionaries, with a sizeable party of covered- 
wagon emigrants then seen in 1840. followed by resolute Mor 
mons in migration to Utah after 1846, and peak numbers of 
pilgrims during and after the California gold rush of 1849, in 
steady procession before the advent of the railroad in 1868, then 
in diminishing number, and with a single last wanderlust wagon 
reported through in 1912. decades late. Among those taking 
refuge at early-day Fort Laramie. Father De Smet recorded his 
visit in 1840, Lt. John F'remont took his account in 1842, and 
Francis Parkman, his in 1846. The heedless, birds of passage, 
hurried across Wyoming in thirty days, leaving only their refuse 
and wheel ruts. An early-on account of the astonishing flow of 

Anglo-Saxon energy released by President Jefferson is wonder- 
fully preserved in the paintings of Alfred Jacob Miller, artist to 
William Drummond Stewart during the Scotsman's six-month 
expedition in 1837. Several paintings commissioned by Stewart 
from Miller's on-site sketches are in the possession of the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming, and can be viewed in the Grace Raymond 
Hebard Room, Coe Library. For the history of these remarkable 
representations of Fort Laramie, then Fort William, as Miller 
painted and preserved it, see Robert Warner, The Fort Laramie 
of Alfred Jacob Miller, LInpublished American Studies M.A. 
Thesis. University of Wyoming. 1973. Born and raised near old 
Fort Fetterman. Warner was instrumental in securing the 
Alfred Jacob Miller collection to the Llniversity of Wyoming. 

5. Only with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the settlement 
of the Mexican War (1846-1848) could the wish of President 
Polk and the will of Congress be fulfilled in the creation of the 
proposed defenses, beginning with the militarization of Fort 
Laramie, 1849, as the oldest in the Wyoming fort system. 

6. How long lived the jubilation over President Polk's decision can 
be guessed in the observation of a chapter entitled "Civilization 
Succeeds Barbarism." Alfred James Mokler, Fort Caspar, 
Casper. Wyoming 1939, p. 64. ". . . to protect the emigrant and 
to reclaim this part of the country from a wandering, roving, 
nomadic savage race, to a civilized, progressive, industrious peo- 
ple who have builded cities, improved the land, and developed 
industries in this Rocky Mountain Country." Remembering the 
10.000 year residency of the Indians, one might ponder what the 
newly arrived Americans meant to claim, reclaim, or disclaim. 

7. Comprehensive picture studies of Wyoming forts then and now 
can be seen in the F775 archival listings, as well as in the many 
excellent photographs contained in the Merrill Mattes Collec- 
tion. Number 120. and Robert A. Murray Collection, Account 
Number 160, University of Wyoming Archives. 

8. An estimated 150,000 visitors annually prowl the Fort Laramie 
grounds, josh the "sutler" and be joshed, eat an old recipe army 
bread, and see the colors trooped 

9. Like Fort Laramie's Virginia-bom sutler John Hunton. William 
Carter brought a gentle mien to the frontier, making Bridger an 
island in the wilderness in the long time of his refining in- 
fluence, 1857 1881. He was perceived in 1867 by a stage traveler 
as having acquired for himself "... a comfortable house, an 
estimable wife, several daughters (most of them East at school). 
a fine piano, and library and everything that is to be found in 
residences. He is a Virginian by birth, tall, spare, flaxen-haired, 
gentleman, with light flowing beard and mustache. Evidently a 
gentleman of much more than ordinary culture and character. " 
[Alexander Kelly McClure, Three Thousand Miles Through the 
Rocky Mountains, Philadelphia, 1869. p. 149; quoted in Fred 
R. Gowans and Eugene E. Campbell, Fort Bridger Island in the 
Wilderness. Provo, Utah, 1936. p. 147.] 

10. The first "school" in Wyoming was conducted at Fort Laramie 
in 1852, with the Reverend Richard Vaux. post chaplain, en- 
gaged by the fort officers to educate their children. Miss Fanny 
Foote was engaged bv Judge Carter in 1860 as governess, and 
factotum schoolteacher to the six Carter children, two girls and 
two boys born at Fort Bridger, and other children of the fort. 
[See Alan Culpin, "A Brief History of Social and Domestic Life 
Among the Military," Annals of Wyoming, Spring, 1973. pp 

11. For fifteen years curator-caretakers of Fort Caspar's mixed col- 
lections. Bill Judge and his wife wait for tourist numbers to ap- 
proach an annual figure of 100.000. See Bill Judge, Old Fort 
Caspar, Casper, Wyoming, [n.d.]. 

12. So observed John Finerty, Chicago Times correspondent after 
the closing of Fort Fetterman in 1882; incorporated in Phil Mc 
Auley. Casper Star Tribune article. October 6, 1963, on restora- 


tion of Fort Fetterman, which had lapsed into sheep sheds. To- 
day's visitor to Fort Fetterman and its hilltop cemetery is 
assisted by Sharon Lass Field's Fort Fetterman's Cemetery, 
Cheyenne. Wyoming. 1970. Her father, a lank, ageless cowboy, 
raconteur, major-domo, alleges that his father was the building 
contractor for Fort Fetterman. 

13. An interesting reanimation of Reno can be had from the 
writings of Alson B. Ostrander. a graduate of Poughkeepsie 
Commercial College, enlisting then from New York, in 1864, as 
a Music Boy in General Service, assigned first as trooper at Fort 
Reno and as clerk at Fort Kearny, becoming aide de-camp to 
General Philip St. George Cooke and rising to major. A cham- 
pion of Jim Bridger, who gave him a tobacco pouch in 1867 at 
Fort Kearny. Ostrander spoke for the illiterate, leaving his per- 
sonal descriptions to serve those who were unable to indite. "As 
to diaries,'' Ostrander wrote Dr. Hebard. April 6, 1929, "I do 
not know of any enlisted man, aside from myself, that kept 
one.'' [University Archives, B-0S7-ab.] In An Army Boy of the 
Sixties (1923) and Sixty Years After (1925) Ostrander lauds 
rank-and-file soldiering and re-visits old haunts. 

14. The verso of the gold coin of Anglo-Saxon protection predict- 
ably showed punishment of recalcitrant Indians. Many of Fort 
Reno's casual "artifacts" are on display in the well-ordered Buf 
falo. Wyoming, museum, in the Turk and Frison collections. 

15. Any trip to beautiful Story. Wyoming, with its complex of 
restaurants, including the Wagon Box Restaurant, is self- 

16. Whatever he should think of the set menu, Dr. Finfrock would 
undoubtedly enjoy the celehrity of having one of the finest 
restaurants of Laramie, Wyoming, named for him. Leaving 
Fort Halleck in 1865. Dr. Finfrock then resided in Laramie Citv. 
moving in its best social and literary circles: "... a 
member, from its inception, in 1870, of the Wyoming Literary 
and Library Association . . ." and subsequently Library Director 
in a downtown office: "Open at all hours of the day and even- 
ing, except Sundays. More than a thousand volumes of well 
selected books, and a good supply of standard periodical 
literature." [J. H. Finfrock Collection. Account Number 7, 
Folder Number 2: B-F494-jh, University of Wyoming Archives.] 
In a separately profitable connection as "Finfrock and Thobro 
Eagle Pharmacy," 2nd Street, Dr. Finfrock was purveyor of 
"Fine Drugs, Medicine, Perfumery. Oils, Fancy and Toilet Ar- 
ticles, Paints . . . and Glass." 

17. The 73 letters of Franklin Tubbs, February 4, 1864-February 
21, 1866, to his family give the portrait of a dutiful son, an 11th 
Ohio Volunteer Cavalryman on assignment to the carpenter's 
shop at Fort Halleck, a part-time collector of birds for the 
Smithsonian, and full-time witness to the cruelties and tediums 
of frontier military isolation. He consoles himself on May 1, 
1865. "We take the Denver paper and get all of the news so it 
makes it more plesent to get all of the news. We take it Daly," 
but he grouses on May 9, 1865, "We do not get our mail very 
regular not half as regular as we did at [Fort] Laramie I do not 
know what is the mater for the stage passes dally but I don't 
think we will stay heer long I think we will go towards the states 
by the new that we get we got the new of Shermans Army 
Marching home." [Franklin Tubbs Collection, Number 2787, 
University of Wyoming Archives.] While yearning for home, 
and apologizing in every letter for his shortcomings as a writer, 
Franklin Tubbs is a splendid example of filial devotion and 
militarv fitness, a prime recruit in a period still heavily marked 
by the renegade behavior, irresponsibility, and illiteracy in the 
ranks of pre-Civil War recruits. 

18. My interest in fort leisure and reading habits began years ago 
when I acquired at local auction an inlaid cribbage box, signed 
"Geo. W. Mc Fadden. Laramie, Wyo. Terr., Aug. '75," 

Twain's Connecticut Yankee, and Stanley's In Darkest Africa, 
authenticated cultural artifacts of Fort Sanders, though little 
then remained of the fort itself as cultural matrix. 

19. General George A. Forsyth, The Story of a Soldier, New York, 
1900, pp. 102-103, gives the classic architecture: "The officers' 
line of quarters is one side of the parade ground, as the inclosed 
space is named. It consists of a row of small cottages containing 
from three to four rooms. On the opposite side are the enlisted 
men's barracks, several long, low, one-storied, solid-looking log 
buildings with porches in front, and behind them are the mess 
houses, similar in design, but smaller. In the centre of the 
parade ground a somewhat imposing structure is known as the 
post commander's house. On the third side is the neat little ad- 
ministration building, containing the various administrative of- 
fices, flanked by warehouses in which are stored quartermaster 
and subsistence stores. On the fourth is the sombre-looking 
guardhouse, small but strong. On an open space between the 
guardhouse and the end of the officers' row an old field piece or 
two, rotting with rust and dust, point at the horizon. 

"A little distance off on the plateau, standing by itself, is 
the hospital; and likewise apart, in an unobtrusive manner, is 
the trader's or sutler's store, which, until the establishment of 
the canteen a few years ago, was the soldiers lounging place. 
Down upon the bank near to the water's edge the cavalry and 
the quartermaster's stables stand in a row, and not far from 
them are the wagon sheds and the various shops where the 
manual labour of the garrison is performed ." 

20. Notwithstanding the quarter-of-a-century long punctuation to 
Fort Laramie's turbulent history in incessant firing at everything 
stationary or moving. Commanding Officer Col. John Smith 
followed protocol in writing the Adjutant General, United 
States Army, Washington. August 13. 1873, "I have the honor 
to request to be furnished with 6 copies of Heth's Target Prac- 
tice for use at this Post." [File Book, Fort Laramie.] 

21. In common with the greater number of early trappers, traders, 
bullwhackers, and freighters, the pre-Civil War troopers, with 
some noteworthy exceptions may be generalized as a moribund 
lot, dying generations of the non-schooled, renegades, and 
adventurers, cunning though unlearned, in primal struggle for 
survival, and, rarely, supremacy. The Civil War agonies of 
death and regeneration delivered new social contracts and 
heightened human expectations. If the condition of the pre- 
Civil War recruit was one of illiteracy, assuaged and corrected 
in appropriate awards and inducements, the condition of the 
post-Civil War recruit was generally that of literacy, marginal 
with some, magnificient with others. For broad purposes, one 
may dismiss the question of soldier readership before the 
mid-1860s. excepting the officers, presumed literate, however 
avid. The "new" rank and file army drew men from many walks; 
of national origin the United States first, Ireland second, Ger- 
many third, England fourth, and Canada fifth. The nativity of 
men who enlisted in the United States Army from January 1, 
1865, to December 31, 1874, was as follows: United States 
96,066; Ireland 38,649; Germany, 23.127; England, 9,037; 
Canada, 4.703 -proportionate numbers of whom drew frontier 
duties, including re-tread Rebels, dubbed "Galvanized 
Yankees," and the famous Buffalo Soldiers, as Indians called 
Blacks. Indeed frontier existence gave flux to the disparate 
elements of which the American is the fusion. [House Report 
No. 354, 44th CongTess, 1st Session (1876). p. 228; quoted in 
Ray H. Mattison, The Army Post on the Northern Plains, 
1865-1885, Gering, Nebraska, 1965, p. 20.] On no real 
evidence, Phil Roberts, research historian, Historical Research 
and Publications Division, WSAMH, good humoredly noted 
that "German sounding" names frequently appeared on the 
checkout lists. More persuasive is his recent article "Footsore on 


the Frontier," Laramie Daily Boomerang, March 13, 1979, 
describing the many discomforts produced in wearing army 
issue boots of the 1860s and 1870s, and putting to rest the myth 
of "the frontier soldier as a cavalryman mounted on a swift 
Army regulation brown horse [where] truth is that infantry 
regiments were as common as cavalry companies at the frontier 

22. Deterring "abbri-goins," the corrupted reference to Indian 
aborigines, was the first business, of course. Whether by battle. 
"Annuity," or agrarian re-training, the dilemma remained 
whether to bring the Indians down by firepower or bring them 
over by Christian suasions. In the inevitable wagon lightenings 
which strewed household goods, furniture, foodstuffs, and ex 
pendables along a 2.000 mile trail, the family Bible was 
religiously preserved as the good book to quote from. 

23. See Everett Dick, Vanguards of the Frontier, Lincoln, 
Nebraska. 1965, p, 93: "The government asked the officers to 
do various tasks aside from technical military duty. The doctor 
was required to operate a weather bureau, that is. to keep a 
rain-gauge and make reports on the climate, and the flora and 
fauna when the last killing frost occurred in the spring and the 
first in the autumn; the First appearance of various birds in the 
spring; observations on meteors, hurricanes, lightning, and 
other meterological and botanical information." 

24. Referring to personal outer garments against the bitter winters. 
Schell remarks, "A few of the men have buffalo robes. The most 
of them are fain to protect themselves against the rigor of the 
winter by eking out their scanty covering with their overcoats." 
[H. S. Schell, Assistant Surgeon, "Fort Laramie," U. S. War 
Department. Surgeon General's Office, Circular No 4, 
December 5. 1870] 

25. From the Fort Laramie File Book there is a rush of newspaper 
and magazine titles, in a ten-year ordering, 1879-1889: New 
York Graphic Illustrated, Washington Capitol, Cheyenne Daily 
Leader. Omaha Daily Republican, Chicago Daily Times, New 
York Daily Herald, New York Daily Times. Army and Navy 
Register, Harper's Weekly, London Weekly Illustrated, New 
York Weekly, Spirit of the Times, London Weekly Graphic, Na- 
tion, Detroit Free Press, North American Magazine. Harper's 
Monthly. Scribner's. Atlantic. Popular Science, Ditson's 
Musical Magazine, Appleton's Weekly, London Monthly, Col- 
beson's United Serxice Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, 
Puck, Baltimore American, Fireside Companion, Frank Leslie's 
Illustrated Monthly. New York Staats-Zeitung. Scientific 
American. Tosca's Siftings. Inter-Ocean. St Louis Globe 
Democrat, Kansas City Daily Times, Cincinnati Enquirer. In 
such unalphabetized tumbling, one can sense the urgency and 
variety of reading interests gratified, at Fort Laramie and 
throughout the Wyoming fort network. Close inquiry into these 
periodicals, in regular supply to fort readers, men and women, 
would provide exact time and topic minutiae to a cultural af 
finity study. 

26. General Orders No. 22, April 7. 1866, of the Adjutant General's 
Office, stipulated that, for the privilege of trade enjoyed, the 
post sutler was required to pay into the post fund a rate not ex- 
ceeding 10 cents a month for every officer and enlisted man 
serving at the post, the fund, in part, to secure the establish- 
ment of a library and the purchase of newspapers. Additionally. 
Major William Mc Entire Dye, Fort Laramie Commanding Of 
ficer (1868-1869) wrote the Adjutant General. December 3, 
1968, "I . . . respectfully request, that authority be given to pay 
20 cents per day to the Assistant Librarian of the Post who is a 
most excellent man, and has taken much pains to put and keep 
an old library in a neat and serviceable condition. It is thought 

that under this arrangement, the improved condition of the 
library would soon repay the expenditure." [File Book, Fort 
Laramie ] 

27 S Mackin, Assistant Surgeon, and Assistant Surgeon F Le 
Baron Monroe, "Fort Fetterman." U. S. War Department. Sur- 
geon General's Office. Circular No. 4, December 5, 1870. In her 
Fort Fetterman studies. Katherine Halverson, Chief. Historical 
Research and Publications Division. Wyoming State Archives, 
Museums and Historical Department, has found trooper com- 
plaints against balking and order squelching in furnishing re- 
quested periodicals. See also David B Robrock, A History of 
Fort Fetterman, M. A. Thesis, University of Wyoming, 1975, 
pp. 79, 89, 90; published in Annals of Wyoming, Spring, 1976. 

28. In enterprise with Judge Carter, Dr Waters was half partner to 
the billiards concessions at Fort Bridger, sharing on October 1, 
1864, the $337.50 cost of a newly ordered table. [Carter Ledger 
16, Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Depart- 

29. In a sub-category of fort women, the hygenic and humanistic 
roles of the post laundresses on "Soapsuds Row" deserve book- 
length treatment, as might the favors of music and dance the 
"Hurdy Gurdy" women furnished troopers at that edge of ex- 

30. In addition to schooling of fort children, primary boot-strap 
courses were made available to enlisted men in a Mc Gufjey 
Eclectic Readers format. 

31. In the parameters of this study, the extensive private library of 
Judge Carter, brought overland by oxen, was a singular cultural 
source to the Carter family and Bridger society. "He was much 
of a student and had accumulated a library, six, eight, or ten 
thousand volumes," Dr. Grace Hebard estimated [Letter Mav 
26. 1927, University of Wyoming Archives. B-C246-wa.] "My 
father loved company." the son W. A. Carter wrote Dr. Hebard 
[Letter September 26, 1929, University of Wyoming Archives, 
F775-br.], "and anyone who had an idea worth while whether of 
wit or wisdom was always welcome." Stamping Jim Bridger's il- 
literacy "densely ignorant, Carter did not welcome him, 
though a fellow Virginian, an able storyteller, and said to be 
fond of hearing Shakespeare read aloud. Whatever articles of 
literacy or politeness were required for access. Carter's collec 
tion, the largest library in existence, extended the bounty of 
learning to the western reaches of Wyoming, to Carter's death in 
1881. Titled to Carter's widow in 1896 and transmitted to the 
daughter Louise Landon (Carter) Groshon in 1904, Fort 
Bridger, the Carter home, and library reverted to the Honor 
able Maurice Groshon on his wife's death in 1925 From long D 
A R friendship with "Lulie" Groshon, Dr. Hebard received on 
behalf of the University. November 18, 1926, the one-sixth por 
tion of the Carter library settled on Mrs. Groshon, equally with 
the other Carter children. The books "of many subjects, from 
music to astronomy, philosophy to mathematics, and from 
history to science" were inter-shelved with the University library, 
and cannot be inventoried. [See Laramie Republican account. 
November 18. 1926.] In the same bequest the LIniversity re- 
ceived a treasured Steinway square grand, the piano Carter 
bought his wife. May 6. 1864. for $516.00, and had transport- 
ed by oxen to Bridger, employing, by one account, the cartage 
service of Brigham Young. [Carter Ledger, 15, Wyoming State 
Archives, Museums and Historical Department; like Post 
Returns and War Department Records, the voluminous Carter 
ledgers tend more to quantify than to qualify information, and 
while politically and economically important, especially as 
itemized accounts of fortunes to be made in frontier merchan- 
dising, they do not immediately pertain in this study] 


32. W. E. Waters, Assistant Surgeon, "Fort Bridger." U. S. War 
Department, Surgeon General's Office, Circular No. 4, Decem- 
ber 5, 1870. 

33. J. H. Frantz, Assistant Surgeon, "Fort Sanders," U. S. War 
Department, Surgeon General's Office, Circular No. 4, Decern- 38. 
ber 5, 1870. At whose command or at whose volition, a reading 

room was directly created at Fort Sanders, making available 
Harper's Weekly, Chicago Times Weekly, Catholic Review, Ar- 
my and Navy Gazette, Harper's Monthly, New York Daily 
Herald, Army and Navy Journal, Turf Field and Farm, and the 
Washington Sunday Herald, for complete acculturation; as 
wett, Atlantic Monthly, True Flag, Harper's Bazar, Blackwood's 39. 

Magazine, International Review, and Fireside Companion 
[Post Letters Sent, April 3, 1879, and June 30, 1879: cited in 
Ray Revere, A History of Fort Sanders, Unpublished History M. 
A Thesis, University of Wyoming. 1960, p. 30; p. 42.] 

34. Fort Laramie "Day Book," Wyoming State Archives. Museums 
and Historical Department. Catalogued "Ledger: Post Library, 
Fort Laramie. W. T.," the original is in the possession of jack 
Asay, Casper, Wyoming, and was loaned to the Wyoming State 
Archives and Historical Department in 1962, microfilmed, and 
lead titled "Ledger, Post Library. 1877-89." This studv iden 
tifies it as the Fort Laramie "Day Book," from the indentifica- 

tion on the spine. Comprising 22 lined pages, 6V4 inches by lO^ 40. 

inches, with 33 entry lines per page, the "Day Book" library 
listing has three sections, the first two in a distinctive hand- 
writing, and the up-dated "New Books" section in a differently 
handsome calligraphy. Entry dates are under February. July, 41. 

September ["A. H." donated collection], and November 1877. 
As only book titles and author surnames are given, time-framing 
entails the very laborious use of The National Union Card 42. 

Catalog Imprints, with such help as is furnished by American 
Authors and Books, rev. Weiss, New York, 1943, American Au- 43. 

thors, 1600-1900, ed. Kunitz, New York, 1938, European 
Authors, 1000-1900, ed. Kunitz. 1967, Cassell's Encyclopedia, 3 
vols., ed. J. Buchanan Brown, New York, 1973. and other aids, 
as far as one would pursue the issues of obscure authorship. As 
there are diminishing returns in trying to run down every lead, it 44. 

suffices to time-frame the Day Book in the broader language of 
representative works, with particular attention to currency of 
works, those virtually fresh off the press in the long imprint of 

35. There is some overlapping of titles in the first and second sec 
tions of the Day Book, and multi -volume works are line- 
numbered to each volume: e.g. , George Bancroft, History of the 
United States, 10 volumes (1834-1874), lines 6-14 in the second 
section of the Day Book. The implication is that the Bancroft set 
was bought in 1874. and not in installments. 

36. As the fort's mean strength was about 400, a count of 923 im- 
plies a great number of fort dependents, a large out -reach 
clientele, or a cumulative file at odds with an active list of 
readers. The "Dav Book" seems to have its inventory character 
in a decision of January 17, 1877, to reassess and rejuvenate the 
fort library: "Council noted 131 volumes on hand which they 
evaluated at 50 cents cash amounting to sixty-five dollars and 
fifty cents to which they added $100.00. They spent $168.30 on 
furniture and matting for reading room ' [File Book, Fort 

37. One apparent intention of the catalogue was to provide a check- 
out system against loss. The occasional notation "Lost by deser- 
tion" suggests that some runaway soldiers cared enough to steal 
books. As straightforward record keeping, the Day Book system 
transfers titles from the list of books to some hundred separate 
sign-out pages. Such a cross-index check-out presumes a per- 
sonal knowledge of both the library materials and users. As a 
separate inquiry, one might do a customer-frequency study to 

learn who the patrons were and what they read. The most om- 
niverous reader in the check-out sheets was a Private Fosdick, 
"Music Boy," Fort Laramie, who not only dispelled his tedium 
but fair immersed himself in books. 

I am usually in arrears in my own reading, and seem to fall a bit 
further behind each year. I know people who are seriously 
remiss in their reading, and I know some who do not read at all, 
notwithstanding their subscription to periodicals and their 
membership in book clubs. For ease of argument, it is assumed 
that fort library materials were being read in the general season 
of their growth 

The third section of the Dav Book, "New Books," shows re- 
ordering of the works of Cooper and Hawthorne, and those of 
Dickens. That Edgar Allan Poe (1809 1849), poet and story- 
teller, is missing from the Day Book listings is as disappointing as 
that Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 -1910) is missing. In the 
boards of time upon which this study is staged, both figures 
somehow fell between the cracks. I can suppose that even 
modest private libraries of the time included some Poe, and I 
would wish, of course, to place The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 
(1876) in dramatic position within this study. Some consolation, 
an unfounded story is that Twain was among the celebrities to 
pay his courtesies to Judge Carter in a Fort Bridger visit. 
Inevitable perhaps with proprietary librarians, the keeper of the 
Day Book code inserts an "Unfit for issue" judgment alongside 
Collins' Armadale ( 1866), but refrains from commenting on the 
more controversial New Magdalene (1873). 
Eustace Diamonds (1873) and Phineas Redux (1874) came in 
time to catch up frontier Trollopians along with all of his other 

This is not the refined question of whether Laramieites saw off- 
Broadway plavs and vacationed in Biarritz. 
The "A. H." collection of gift books is tabulated within the Day 
Book. One may suppose that many Fort Laramie residents and 
depart ees gave their books to the fort librarian to cull. 
Periodical descriptions and library brochures would have given 
the purchase principles. 

In the confusions of change, Col. Henry Merriam, Fort Laramie 
commanding officer, wrote the Adjutant General. April 16, 
1888: "It has not been possible to ascertain the date when the 
Post Library was established. There were on hand in the Post 
Library' January 1, 1887, Five hundred and eighteen (518) 
books, and on January 1, 1888, Five hundred and seventy eight 
(578) books. Additions since January 1, 1888, seven (7) volumes. 
[File Book, Fort Laramie.] 


W. R. Shannon, Railroadman-Pioneer 


Efy Kent Shannon 

Kent Shannon, author of the following essay, is a 
student at Huntley Junior High School. His home is in 
Yoder. His essay received the first place certificate and a 
$50 award in the 1979 junior activities competition 
sponsored by the Wyoming State Historical Society. His 
award was presented to him during the annual meeting 
of the Society in Laramie in September. 

The junior activities competition has been part of 
the awards program of the State Historical Society for 
many years, and is open to junior high school and high 
school students in the state. It is especially aimed at 
members of history classes supennsed by a teacher and 
members of youth groups with adult leadership. 

The program is designed to encourage interest in 
Wyoming history among young people in Wyoming and 
to encourage membership in chapters of the Society or 
establishment of junior history organizations. An addi- 
tional purpose of the program is to encourage the in- 
volvement of young people in the marking of historical 
sites in Wyoming. 

Awards in the junior acthnties program, in addition 
to first place, are a second place certificate and $35 
award, third place certificate and $25 award, and 
honorable mention. Entries are judged by the Society's 
Awards Committee, chaired by the second vice-presi- 
dent of the Society. 

Historical essays are the activity most frequently 
represented in the junior competition. However, awards 
may also be given for group activity under a leader for 
exploration of historically significant areas accompanied 
by study of documentary material and use oj on-site 
writing, drawing, carving or photography. 

The Wyoming State Historical Society has first 
publication rights for written material submitted in the 
competition. — Editor. 

When I see someone looking at a pocket watch, 
hear the whistle of a train, or hear someone speak of the 
Union Pacific. I immediately think of my great grand- 
dad, Walter R. Shannon. Granddad, as I call him. 
worked for the Union Pacific Railroad for sixty-two 

Granddad started out in 1904 when Teddy Roose- 
velt was president of the United States. Granddad went 
to work for the railroad as a telegrapher when he was on- 
ly sixteen years old. He started out in Kansas and then 
worked several places in Colorado and Wvoming as well. 
In 1918 he was promoted to agent at Buford, Wyoming. 

He later moved to several Wyoming towns and then to 
Hawk Springs where he remained after 1931 as agent - 
telegrapher. Walter retired in May of 1964. and he and 
his wife moved to Torrington where he resided with his 
wife until her death in 1967. Several years later Walter 
had the honor of receiving a fifty-year diamond pin as a 
tribute to his vears of service even though at the time of 
his retirement they were not presenting this type of 
honor. He received a special letter from the president of 
the Union Pacific Railroad congratulating him on his 
sixty-two years of service. Granddad was a pioneer in his 
own right having seen many changes both in the pro- 
gression of the railroad and also seeing our nation grow 
and change. 

Walter R. Shannon was born on April 10, 1888. at 
Edwardsviile, Kansas, to Walter Benjamin and Missouri 
Maupin Shannon. His father was a farmer and raised 
corn and hogs. He grew up in a large family of eleven 
girls and four boys. His childhood days were spent squir- 
rel hunting and swimming in the Missouri River. 

Walter attended school for eight vears and due to 
the death of his father when Walter was fourteen vears 
old, he had to find work and help with the raising of his 
brothers and sisters still at home. Walter learned the 
trade of a telegrapher by listening and watching tnrough 
the window of a telegraph office in a nearby town. He 
went to work for the railroad and at the age of twenty- 
three, he met and married Mary jane Gaume on April 
14, 1911. Their first son Russell was born on February 
20, 1912, at Green, Kansas. The family moved several 
times from railroad town to railroad town. A second 
son, Wilbur, was bom February 11, 1914, at Hanna, 
Wyoming, a Union Pacific coal town. Wilbur said that 
the hospital he was born in was built over No. 4 mine 
and his mother said that she could hear blasting going 
on underground at the time of his birth. Homer, their 
third and last son, was born May 17, 1920, at Pine 
Bluffs, Wyoming, where Walter was agent for four 

Many interesting accounts were told us as Walter 
moved from town to town. When he was at Walcott, 
Wyoming, he told of a time when 300 or 400 wild horses 
were rounded up to be shipped out on the train. When 
part of the horses reached their destination they weren't 
worth enough to even pay for the cost of the shipping so 
all the rest of the horses were just turned loose. 

Walter has alwavs been known for his good memory 
and Wilbur said, "When I was a young man just learn- 
ing to drive, I would drive Dad slowly past the railroad 


cars and Dad would memorize the numbers on the cars 
and upon returning to the depot record his findings. 
They were always right." Wilbur said he and his 
brothers used to push the coal cars up the ramp and 
then ride down in them. Walter told of how they used to 
unload the railroad cars. They would unload them on 
four-wheel carts, push the carts across and unload them, 
keeping this up until the job was completed. All work at 
that time was done by hand. Wilbur remembers when 
groceries were shipped in by the carload lots and dis- 
persed to the many sheep camps in that area. Water was 
also shipped in by rail and people came in to get their 
water supply. Walcott at that time consisted of a hotel, 
bar, harness shop, mercantile store, and, of course, the 
depot. Sinclair, a nearby town, was an oil town, and 
much oil was shipped out. A pipeline was put in and so 
the town died because oil was no longer shipped by 
railroad car. 

When Walter was agent at Rock River, Wyoming, 
they had a terrible snowstorm. It snowed eight feet. The 
problems created were so bad that a snow shed was con- 
structed over the track for quite a distance costing about 
a million dollars. Walter said after that it never snowed 
again that bad and finally it was torn down because of 
all the problems it created tor the trains. During these 
years there was great sadness in the Shannon family due 
to the loss of their oldest son, Russell, who was only eigh- 
teen years old at the time of his death. 

Walter moved a few more times, finally ending up 
in Hawk Springs, Wyoming, in 1931. When he came to 
Hawk Springs it was a booming town. There were 
among the many businesses three grocery stores, a fresh 
meat market, a variety store, cafe, cream station, hard- 
ware store, filling station, garage and many more. 

Walter told of the many things that were shipped in 
and out of the railroad station. During sugar beet 
harvest the farmers hauled their beets in by horse and 
wagon doing the loading and unloading by hand. They 
were piled and then loaded again by hand onto the 
railroad cars. Farmers would drive their hogs down to 
the railroad yards and ship them to market. Holly Sugar 
had a big feed lot in the Hawk Springs railroad yard and 
800 to 1000 cattle were fed and shipped to market. Pulp 
was shipped out from the Torrington sugar factory to 
feed the cattle. A grain elevator was constructed and 
wheat and other grains were shipped by rail. 

The railroad was a big business in those times. 
Passengers came and went in some of the most elaborate 
railroad cars you'd ever hope to travel in. Mail came in 
in huge amounts. Fresh fruits, lumber, fuel, coal and 
tires were just a few of the many products brought in by 
rail. Cream was shipped out daily. The trains were 
almost always on time. Granddad was, and is to this day, 
a person who had to know the correct time and when- 
ever you see him you'll see his pocket watch in hand. 

Granddad Shannon was very busy for several years 
after moving to Hawk Springs with the coming and go- 
ing of freight. He had seen the railroad go from steam 
engines many stopped in Hawk Springs to fill up with 
water — to the big diesel engines. He went from 
telegraph to telephone in his line of work. When the 
mail stopped being shipped by rail the railroad business 
dropped off drastically. Passenger business dropped as 
well as many other services. Granddad saw Hawk 
Springs go from a booming town down to a small town, 
with lots of businesses closing their doors due to the 
changing times. 

Granddad loves to fish and hunt and over the years 
has done more than his share of it. He loves Wyoming 
and has hardly been out of the state since he moved into 
it. Granddad has seen many changes in his life. It sad- 
dens him to see the once busy Hawk Springs depot, win- 
dows boarded up, paint peeling and weatherbeaten, 
weeds grown up and covering the paths he used so fre- 
quently. The feed lots are torn down and there are va- 
cant lots where the railroad houses once stood. 

Granddad can remember dates and things that 
have happened many years ago. When he lived in Hawk 
Springs he settled many an argrument by giving the 
right date and facts about a certain incident. He can be 
remembered best by quoting: "Do you know what hap- 
pened on this day — years ago?" many times going back 
fifty or more years, and he would always come up with 
an accurate account of actually what did happen on 
that certain day. 

Granddad told of remembering a special date in 
history — the Cherokee Strip land rush which took place 
in Oklahoma City in 1893 which was probably the 
largest opening of free land by the federal government 
in the United States history. Granddad, who was just five 
years old when this happened, said, "My parents farmed 
fourteen miles northeast of Oklahoma City and on that 
day in September, 1893, my father hitched up a team of 
horses and took our family to watch the run for land. 
Those wanting to stake claim to free land were lined up 
for miles on horseback, in wagons, buggies and what not 
waiting for the gun to go off starting the rush." Grand- 
dad said, "It was the darndest sight you ever saw. The 
funniest thing I saw was a man sixty or seventy years old 
on foot who was in the race." 

Granddad can talk on many subjects of the old 
times and people he knew. His accounts are almost near- 
ly 100% accurate. He is now nearly 91 years of age and 
resides by himself in Torrington. He has besides his two 
sons and their wives, six grandchildren and thirteen 
great-grandchildren. He is one of the few old-timers 
around and is very interesting to talk with on the subject 
of by-gone days. He is truly a pioneer in his own right. 

♦Walter R. Shannon died on Feb. 23, 1979, after 
this article was written. 


Hole-in-the-Wall or Bust! 

WSHS 30th Annual Trek 

July 14, 1979 
Dull Knife Battlefield Hole-in-the-Wall 

More than 600 people from twenty-nine Wyoming 
towns and eleven other states participated in the thir- 
tieth annual historical trek sponsored by the Wyoming 
State Historical Society and the Johnson County and 
Natrona County Chapters of the Society on July 14. It 
was the largest group ever to take part in a trek. Bill 
Bragg, Casper, and Bill Holland, Buffalo, were wagon 

The trekkers gathered at 10 a.m. in Kaycee at the 
Country Inn, and the caravan composed primarily of 
four-wheel-drive vehicles, campers and pick-up trucks 
traveled 16 miles to the Norris Graves ranch. Everyone 
spread out their own picnic lunches under big cotton- 
wood trees on the banks of the Red Fork of the Powder 

The Graves ranch is the site of the Dull Knife bat- 
tle, and the Reverend Stuart Frazier, of Buffalo, gave a 

detailed account of how the cavalry of General Ranald 
McKenzie charged the Indian village in the early morn- 
ing of November 27, 1876. The outnumbered Indians 
were caught by surprise and the Indian village was 
destroyed. The surviving members of Dull Knife's band 
went to reservations. A monument commemorating the 
battle is located on the top of a hill overlooking the site 
of the battle. 

Ranch owner Graves talked briefly about the his- 
tory of the ranch which was purchased by his parents, 
Frank and Frannie Graves, in 1904. The fourth genera- 
tion of the family is now living on the ranch, he said. His 
sister, Shirley Graves Fraker, told about her husband's 
uncle, Herman Fraker, who came to the valley as a trap- 
per in 1877 and homesteaded part of the Graves ranch. 
Another sister, Nona Graves Kimball, recalled the early 
settlers in the Barnum area and described their ranches, 
so that trekkers could identify them on the tour. 

Jerry Crockford of the Bureau of the Land Manage- 
ment office in Buffalo told the group of plans to 

The Hole-in-the-Wall 


6 r > 

withdraw part of the public land in the Red Wall and 
Hole-in-the-Wall Country for wilderness potential. He 
said the Red Wall area from Kaycee to the Natrona 
County line would be withdrawn from mineral leasing. 
He said the BLM wants to preserve the area as it has 
always been. 

After lunch the group headed south for the Hole- 
in-the-Wall. At Sheep Creek, south of Barnum, Henry 
Jensen, of Lysite, gave a short talk on the prehistoric 
handprints and pictographs there. He said the entire 
area shows evidence of being occupied by primitive man 
long before the white man. Jensen said the stencils of 
hands on the cliffs here are among the most unusual pic- 
tographs in Wyoming. They were apparently made by 
spraying a slurry made from the mud of swallow's nests, 
of which there are thousands along the Red Wall. The 
mud in the nests is the same color as the hand prints. 
Although it is not known how the stencils were made, 
natives in parts of Africa make the same kinds of hand- 
prints by filling their mouths with the slurry and flowing 
it on the area where they are holding their hands. 

Jensen said that a portion of this same cliff one hun- 
dred yards down the river is virtually covered with 

petroglyphs and a few remnants of pictographs. He also 
pointed out Castle Rock, to the south, a famous land- 
mark in this part of the country. He said the earliest 
reference to the landmark of which he is aware is that of 
Captain W. F. Raynolds, who noted in his journal for 
October 2, 1859 that "one large butte stands in the mid- 
dle of the valley and seen from a distance greatly 
resembles a crumbling castle. The towers and bastions 
are all complete and the likeness to an old ruin is indeed 

Another remarkable evidence of primitive man in 
this area, according to Jensen, is an Indian trail which is 
marked by stone cairns or stone piles, which vary from a 
few stones to one almost five feet tall along the road 
which goes up the south side of Middle Fork Canyon to 
the site of the outlaw cave. 

Wayne Wolcott, member of a pioneer family, who 
led the trek into the Hole-in-the-Wall, gave a talk on the 
geographical significance of that immediate area, and 
told of interesting events which took place in the rustler 
outlaw period of the 1890s. The Hole-in-the-Wall coun- 
try is probably best known for its association with Butch 
Cassidy and the Wild Bunch. 

.,<*-'.** ** * 





Trek vehicles parked at site of Dull Knife battle where participants of 30th Annual WSHS trek heard the 
Rev. Stuart Frazier talk about the 1876 incident. 



Tending the Talking Wire: A Buck Soldier's 
View of Indian Country, 1863-1866. Edited by 
William E. Unrau. (Salt Lake City: University 
of Utah Press, 1979). Index. Illus. Maps. 378 
pp. $15.00. 

At initial glance Tending the Talking Wire appears 
as yet another first-hand account of life in the Wild 
West in the troubled 1860s. Since the serious western 
historian has been bombarded in quantity by commen- 
tators ranging in readability from Mark Twain to 
Eugene F. Ware, Professor Unrau's undertaking might 
expect a reception similar to that afforded to another oil 
price increase. Nevertheless, Tending the Talking Wire 
deserves to be taken seriously. 

From July 1863 to June 1866 Hervey Johnson served 
with the Eleventh Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. 
One hundred of his letters, most of them written from 
frontier posts within the present-day Wyoming, provide 
the grist from which Unrau's book is fashioned. Johnson 
emerges from his prose as an observant and reasonably 
literate Highland County, Ohio, Quaker facing a series 
of unpleasant tasks far from home, family and friends. 
Reflections on this state of affairs are mingled with views 
of army life and glimpses of the land and people at Fort 
Laramie, Deer Creek Station (near present-day Glen- 
rock), Sweetwater Station and Platte Bridge. 

Hervey Johnson's Wyoming appears as an am- 
bivalent mixture of natural beauty, unpredictable 
weather and troublesome Indians, toward whom his at- 
titude moved farther and farther from Quaker qualities 
of tolerance and kindness as his tour of duty progressed. 
As for army life, Johnson depicted a blend of boredom 
and adventure. From his corporal's perspective, officers 
were incompetent or worse. 

Unrau has shown the good sense to avoid tampering 
with Johnson's straight-forward prose and his quaint 
Quaker expressions. Notes call attention to other related 

published works, correct errors in fact or omissions and 
clarify confusing points of geography. Maps provided 
are useful, but a clearer graphic representation of rela- 
tionships between current Wyoming geography and 
historic sites would be helpful. Drawings and photo- 
graphs add interest as do brief biographical sketches of 
persons prominently mentioned. 

The editor's introduction creates the impression 
that frontier historical literature has dealt too kindly 
with the officer class. Examination of some remaining 
unpublished letter collections, the Joseph Balch letters 
at the Bancroft Library, for example, would indicate 
that some officers were not reluctant to chastise their 
colleagues. Overall, however, Hervey Johnson's letters 
and William Unrau's efforts to place them in historical 
context provide a useful addition to the literature of 
Wyoming and the American West. 

David B. Miller 

Professor Miller teaches in the Social Science Division. Black Hills 
State College. Spearfish. South Dakota 

Boswell, The Story of a Frontier Lawman. By 
Mary Lou Pence. (Cheyenne: Pioneer Print- 
ing, 1979). $7.50. 

This is the story of N. K. Boswell, a frontier peace 
officer whose career spanned half a century of law en- 
forcing during the west's most tumultuous years. 
Nathaniel Kimball Boswell came west in 1859 with a 
gold seeking expedition, but with the real purpose of 
regaining his health from a lung fever brought on two 
years earlier from a boating accident at his home in 

Known as Boz, his career became as varied and col- 
orful as a fictional western movie. His earliest 
assignments were on the dangerous Colorado border 


trails. He was with Chivington at Sand Creek, and with 
Dave Cook's Rocky Mountain Detective Association, 
working in Denver, Julesburg, Cheyenne, Dale Creek 
and Laramie, and was with General Crook on his march 
to the Rosebud. He later played an important part in 
the breaking up of a territorial syndicate of horse 
thieves, and several gangs and murderers whose names 
are now an established part of western history. 

Eventually he became Albany County, Wyoming 
Territory's first peace officer, and finally, Chief of 
Detectives serving the Wyoming Stock Growers Associa- 
tion in halting rustling, fence cutting, and enforcing 
proper brand inspection. 

The book is well researched and readable. Jour- 
nalist/historian Pence, of Laramie, Wyoming is the text 
author of Ghost Towns of Wyoming, which won the 
American Association for State and Local History 
Award of Merit, as well as a top National Press Women 
award. She is also the author of several western feature 
stories in leading publications. 

Ruth Aubuchon 

The reviewer, editor of Wyoming Library Roundup and Public In- 
formation Officer for the Wyoming State Library, has won awards 
for several television documentaries on Wyoming history. 

The Great Plains Enirironment and Culture. 
Edited by Brian W. Blouet and Frederick C. 
Luebke. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1979). Illus. Charts. 246 pp. $15.95. 

The editors have assembled here twelve scholarly 
papers initially presented in 1977 at a symposium spon- 
sored by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University 
of Nebraska-Lincoln. While the essays address a variety 
of topics, all are basically concerned with interrelation- 
ships between the Great Plains environment and human 
activity. Editor Luebke's introduction summarizes the 
major themes that have marked plains scholarship and 
provides the reader with a knowledgeable commentary 
on the essays themselves. 

A century ago, explorer John Wesley Powell 
pointed out the essential unity of the semi-arid 
grasslands that extended westward from the central 
woodlands to the foothills of the Rockies, and in 1931, 
historian Walter P. Webb elaborated the idea in his 
pioneering work. The Great Plains. The volume remains 
a classic of sorts, a provocative and sweeping synthesis 
which cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries. 
Working more or less in the Webb tradition were such 
later scholars as James C. Malin, Fred Shannon, Earl 
Pomeroy, and Carl Kraenzel; all viewed the Great Plains 
as (at least) a unique integration of environmental 
demands and cultural adaptations. 

In this volume we see still another phase of Great 
Plains scholarship. These writers tend to narrow and 
refine their areas of inquiry, frequently applying the 
analytical techniques of contemporary social science. 
There are some exceptions; the papers of historians 
Gilbert Fite and Mary Hargreaves are broadly inter- 
pretive, both linking institutional change and govern- 
mental actions with such factors as space, environment, 
technology, and demography. 

The other essays are more limited in scope. Four 
look at specific aspects of plains farming; the vogue of ir- 
rigation between 1890 and 1914; agricultural technol- 
ogy in the Dust Bowl of the 1930's; crop adaptations 
during the extended drought of the late 1800's; and 
operational techniques used by the modern plains 
farmer to minimize economic short-falls in this high risk 
area. Two more deal with aspects of the plains country 
town; its development, its characteristic features, and its 
place in the plains matrix. The railroad often dictated 
the internal form of these communities and one of this 
pair of essays focuses on the standardized railroad sta- 
tion as an architectural form. The topic may seem a bit 
esoteric but the piece is an interesting combination of 
architectural and cultural history. Another paper ad- 
dresses Populism, a movement often explained in terms 
of western agricultural problems common through the 
region. Here again the topic is pared down. It is 
Populism in Nebraska that is explored and the author 
correlates election returns with farming patterns to 
argue that the third-party agitation in his state emerged 
from a special set of essentially local circumstances. In 
yet another essay, the author (a geographer) examines 
ideas and perceptions of the Great Plains in the 18th 
and 19th Centuries. His point is that the region can be, 
and has been, defined by a set of images and concepts 
that exist quite apart from the land itself. 

The first and last papers in the collection neatly il- 
lustrate the sharpened focus of the contemporary plains 
studies. In the first, an anthropologist reconstructs the 
cultural adaptations of prehistoric peoples in the 
Republican River Valley, and in the final piece, a rural 
sociologist analyzes plains city and village population 
trends, 1950 to 1970. 

While these essays were written by specialists and 
mainly for specialists, they may profitably be read by 
anyone with more than a passing interest in the Great 
Plains. Most readers of the Annals need not be remind- 
ed that eastern Wyoming (along with all or parts of nine 
other states) is included in the region and that the Great 
Plains experience is, at least in some measure, our own. 


The reviewer is Professor of History at the University of Wyoming in 


The Saloon on the Rocky Mountain Mining 
Frontier. By Elliott West. (Lincoln: University 
of Nebraska Press, 1979). Index. Bibliog. II- 
lus. 197 pp. $14.50. 

Prof. West, who labors deep in the heart of Texas 
and the university thereof, has done those of us in- 
terested in his subject or who need authenticated source 
material a goodly service. Most of us suffer from factual 
malnutrition when it comes to the subject of saloons, or 
have never been weaned from the Hell-On-Wheels- 
Daddy-of-'Em-All misconceptions or misrepresenta- 
tions. West can straighten you out like four fingers of 
pre-Volstead bourbon or the post-Volstead Kemmerer 
unreasonable facsimile thereof. His considerable re- 
search is obvious. His organization is excellent. His writ- 
ing is straight and tight. And he invariably attains that 
misdemeanor against modernity — clarity. 

But, unfortunately, in not so much a criticism as 
simply a factual observation, the Westian prose is rather 
dry and not written to elicit the colorful. He leaves the 
little sparkles here and there to take care of themselves 
with the reader. There are such things as the photo- 
graph, with 44-word cutline, showing bar-attached 
towels used to wipe beer-foamed mustaches plus a mesh 
mat for traction on a floor wet with spilled beer. West 
drew no conclusions about the spittoons between the bar 
and the mat. Or the reader can be jumped out of som- 
nolence by such quickies as "The St. Elmo Saloon of 
Globe. Arizona, featured women acrobats and singers 
who doubled as whores between acts." And beer was on- 
ly a nickel a glass, at that. The first beer brewed in Mon- 
tana reportedly included the tops of spruce trees. One of 
West's few shortcomings is that he includes no explana- 
tions for such things and, in professorial purity, doesn't 
attempt to add some color with a bit of speculation. The 
spruce obviously put a head on the brew. Otherwise they 
would have used knot-holes. 

All in all, West's neat little book is an admirable, 
authentic treatise treating at some length the reasons for 
the drinking habits of miners, and, among other things, 
tracing the development of saloons from holes in em- 
bankments to opulent latter-day watering palaces. He 
treats of what went to make up a saloonkeeper and of 
the economic contributions in taxes. For instance, 
saloon proprietors were, he concludes, virtually all 
genial, a necessity of their calling, and were much as 
other businessmen. Among other things, saloons could 
be counted on to pay their taxes, something that could 
not be said universally for some other businesses. 

Some grog shoppers were characters of course. 
West notes with characteristic brevity. The diversity of 
experience of one Jim Wardner included running the 
Consolidated Black Cat Company, Ltd., for the purpose 
of furnishing the pelts of domestic cats for various uses. 

Then there was Charles E. "Pap" Wyman who is cred- 
ited in legend with keeping his small change in a purse 
made from a human scrotum. 

Burton Thompson 

The reinewer is editor of The Credit Edit, publication of the Wyo- 
ming Uniform Consumer Credit Code 

Old Yellowstone Days. Edited by Paul Schul- 
lery. (Boulder: Colorado Associated University 
Press, 1979). Bibliog. Map. Illus. 250 pp. 

Ever since the American public received its initial 
description of the Yellowstone region from John Colter, 
the nation has maintained a fascination for this scenic 
area of northwestern Wyoming. Fur traders of the early 
nineteenth century further popularized this broad ex- 
panse of wilderness, and there is little wonder that 
Yellowstone became the country's first national park in 
1872. Despite a shortage of improved roads, hotels and 
"civilized" comforts, it attracted thousands of tourists 
during the first forty years of existence and many of 
them published highly literate accounts of their ex- 

Paul Schullery, former ranger-naturalist and archi- 
vist at Yellowstone National Park, has assembled eleven 
of these first-hand descriptions and reprinted them in 
this new anthology. The sections range from Mrs. 
George Cowan's spell-binding account of her party's 
harrowing escape from Chief Joseph's Nez Perce during 
1877, to President Theodore Roosevelt's assessment of 
the park's animal life in 1903. 

The most interesting selections concern the im- 
mense problems associated with protecting the park's 
resources from poachers, vandals and souvenir hunters 
who continually broke off rock formations around the 
famous geysers. George Anderson's feature on the polic- 
ing role undertaken by the United States Cavalry in- 
dicates that there were no adequate laws to punish these 
types of infractions until passage of the National Park 
Protective Act in 1894. Prior to the enactment, guilty 
parties were escorted beyond the park's boundaries, only 
to return to their destructive tasks a few days later. 
Famed novelist Emerson Hough likewise perceived this 
as the most difficult problem in early park management 
and he lobbied for just such an enforceable law in his 
1894 article exposing the impunity with which poachers 
were destroying the protected animal herds. 

Other selections within the anthology devote them- 
selves to physical descriptions of Yellowstone's natural 
attractions. Novelist and essayist Charles Dudley 
Warner captures the beauty of Yellowstone Canyon with 
its cascading falls, Yellowstone Lake with its impressive 


stands of timber, and the spectacular geyser basin with 
its acrobatic performances by steam and boiling water. 
An even more sensitive interpretation of nature's 
wonders appears in John Muir's strongly metaphorical 
account of the flora and fauna. As a true preserva- 
tionist, Muir saw dignity in all of nature's creations and 
he was opposed to conservationists who only wished to 
protect resources for the time being so that they could be 
exploited in the future. 

Equally perturbed with some tourists' insensitivity 
toward nature, Owen Wister, author of The Virginian, 
published an article recalling how physical improve- 
ments within the park had opened the door to less 
desirable travelers who favored creature comforts over 
the beauty of nature. Even more cynical was the English 
traveler and celebrated novelist Rudyard Kipling who 
visited the park in 1889 and later described the vulgarity 
and pretensions of the people he encountered there. 

Rounding out the anthology is a selection by Wil- 
liam O. Owen describing the first bicycle excursion into 
Yellowstone in 1883, and a memoir by naturalist John 
Burroughs on his impressions of Theodore Roosevelt's 
1903 trip through the park. 

Because this book merely reprints earlier published 
materials, it will not create any great discussion within 
academic circles, but that is not the audience for which 
the anthology was assembled. It will instead find a 
welcome place among the large numbers of people who 
live in the Yellowstone region, those who have made or 
contemplate making a summer visit to the park, and 
those present-day environmentalists who wish to sample 
kindred sentiments from an earlier time period in 
American history. 

Editor Schullery has provided brief biographical in- 
troductions to each of the eleven selections and he has 
included an extensive bibliography of other travelers' ac- 
counts from the same era. An index and more detailed 
maps would have enhanced the book, but most readers 
can savor its highly personalized flavor without needing 
these extra features. 

Michael L. Tate 

The reviewer is Assistant Professor of History at the University of 
Nebraska, Omaha 

The Fist in the Wilderness. By David Laven- 
der. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico 
Press, 1979). Reprint. Maps. Bibliog. Index. 
490 pp. $8.95 paperback. 

Since its initial publication by Doubleday in 1964, 
this work has become widely accepted as an important 
addition to the history of the American Fur Trade. 

Lavender's Fist in the Wilderness is the American Fur 
Company during the period 1808-34 when it was con- 
trolled by its founder, John Jacob Astor. 

Using primarily a biographical approach, Laven- 
der portrays the company's operations through the ac- 
tivities of Ramsay Crooks, who was Astor's field manager 
for nearly two decades. Crooks, a native of Scotland, was 
only eighteen years old when he entered the Great Lakes 
fur trade in 1805. After an association with James Aird 
and Robert Dickson on the Upper Mississippi he joined 
the overland Astorians and, as a member of the small 
party returning east from the mouth of the Columbia, 
participated in the discovery of South Pass in 1812. 

During the War of 1812 Crooks began working di- 
rectly with Astor as that New York entrepreneur ma- 
neuvered to free his company from its ties with Montreal 
merchants. The war, while disastrous to Canadian 
traders and their Indian allies, opened the Great Lakes 
to Americans, and Astor with Crooks as his chief lieuten- 
ant, moved aggressively to monopolize the trade. From 
1816-1834, Crooks was instrumental in influencing the 
federal government to abolish its factory system and in 
extending American Fur Company operations through- 
out the Great Lakes, the Upper Mississippi and the 
Missouri River regions. 

In 1834 Crooks, flushed with recent successes, pur- 
chased the company from Astor. Lavender consistently 
praises Crooks as a young, energetic innovator and 
characterizes Astor as old, cautious and parsimonious. 
Whatever his shortcomings may have been, Astor, either 
by design or good fortune, left the trade at a propitious 
time. Crooks, after a series of misfortunes that nearly 
ruined the fur trade, was forced into bankruptcy in 

The story of the Fist in the Wilderness ends abrupt- 
ly with Lavender describing the eight years of Crooks' 
ownership of the company in only three pages. This con- 
clusion is disappointing and inappropriate, for surely 
Crooks, as the central figure in this chronicle, deserved 
more than a few pages of coverage for the period when 
he led the company. 

In spite of this shortcoming, Lavender has made a 
significant contribution to the literature of the fur trade 
with this book. His analysis of the nature of the trade 
and its legal and organizational complexities is ex- 
cellent. Additionally, his extensive research in numerous 
primary sources has added to the knowledge and under- 
standing of the elusive Southwest Company and the Co- 
lumbia Fur Company, a major rival of the American 
Fur Company for a brief period. 

Lavender is also a good story teller who succeeds in 
recapturing much of the drama of the fur trade. In 
some instances, however, judicious editing would have 
eliminated some digressions which contribute nothing to 
readers who have a background in frontier history and 


probably only confuse those who do not. Nonetheless, 
most readers will benefit from this book whether they 
read for entertainment or information. 

William E. Lass 

Professor Lass is chairman of the Department of History, Mankato 
State University, Mankato, Minnesota. 

Along the Ramparts of the Tetons: The Saga 
of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. By Robert B. 
Betts. (Boulder: Colorado Associated Universi- 
ty Press, 1978). Index. Illus. 249 pp. $15.00 
cloth, $6.95 paperback. 

From the rather unusual dedication to the final 
paragraph of the postscript, this is a book to read, enjoy 
and then refer back to for information on a variety of 
subjects. The day after I finished reading Along the 
Ramparts of the Tetons, I picked it up to look again at 
the beautiful pictures I had seen. They were not to be 
found; the pictures were painted in my mind — not im- 
printed on paper! 

Robert Betts and his family came to the Teton 
country to see the mountains and spend some time on a 
dude ranch. Betts says their lives have never been the 
same since. They fell in love with the Tetons and finally 
built a home in the valley to which they hope one day to 
retire. Their Eastern friends planned to "drop by to 
catch the view" even though it meant traveling several 
thousand miles. For this reason, Betts decided to write 
this book. He says that at first he planned to just compile 
some notes to give friends an understanding of how the 
Tetons were formed and a little of the recent history of 
the country. The more he delved into the subject, the 
more "hooked" he became and soon the notes became a 
full-fledged book. 

Betts traces the history of the Tetons from the be- 
ginning of time to the present, tells of the arrival of the 
first men, the Beringeans, through the early Indians, 
the trappers and fur traders, explorers, homesteaders, 
cattlemen and rustlers. He tells of the world's largest elk 
herd and its preservation, of the long and bitter con- 
troversy over making a national park of the Tetons. 

This saga of the Jackson Hole acquaints the reader 
with such historic persons as Jim Bridger, Jim Beck- 
wourth, Jedediah Smith, William Sublette, and Davy 
Jackson. It includes stories about leaders of military ex- 
peditions, a few famous desperados, a boy who ran away 
from home, joined the Indians and later became a Pony 
Express rider. Also included is the tragic story of Beaver 
Dick Leigh and his Indian wife, Jenny, for whom a lake 
in the area is named. The fight at the Cunningham 

cabin, the so-called Bannock war of 1895, Louis Joy and 
the first dude ranch in the Hole and Ed Trafton, who 
held up sixteen stagecoaches in one day, are among the 
many other stories chronicled for those who care to read. 

Throughout the book is a thread tying one to the 
beauty and romance of the land which Betts describes 
(with apologies for a cliche) as Shangrila. 

In only one instance did I find fault with this 
writer. He gives Frank Mondell the title of Senator. 
Mondell, of course, was for twenty-six years a member 
of the U. S. House of Representatives. 

Along the Ramparts of the Tetons is a beautiful 
book and one which I heartily recommend. As A. B. 
Guthrie says in his introduction to the book, " — call it 
scholarly, call it chatty. Say it is a history. The terms 
don't matter. What matters is that we have the story of 
the Jackson Hole now" and what a story! 

Mabel Brown 

The reviewer, the 1978-79 president of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society, is editor and publisher of Bits and Pieces. She lives in 
Newcastle, Wyoming 

Cottonwood Moon. By Richard F. Fleck. 
(Laramie: Jelm Mountain Publications, 1979). 
54 pp. $6.00. 

A good poem is words which paint, which sculpt, 
which make music. So says L'niversity of Wyoming Eng- 
lish professor Richard Fleck in a fine little poem called 
"Art in Poetry." It can be found amidst the 44 short 
poems that constitute Cottonwood Moon. 

The poem is exceptional, both in subject and quali- 
ty. It meets its own standard and thus teaches twice. By 
including it, the author holds it up as a frame for reflec- 
tion on the others. 

Most of his word -pictures fit the frame, showing 
Fleck's mind as a shutter taking snapshots of the natural 
world from Ireland to Alberta, from Maine to the Grand 
Canyon. Fleckfilm is exposed on "russett Rockies," "fish- 
tail clouds" and "bone-goggled Eskimos." Oil well 
pumps are "Saurian ghosts" and Platte River bluffs 
"arise on golden mornings gleaming like eagles' eyes." 
Fleck sees the "Snowy Range" west of Laramie in a new 
and apt vision: "a mammoth Moby Dick curling out of 
dark waters." 

The camera records more than visible light. We 
hear "oak leaves hiss" and wind's alleluias. And 
everywhere, from the asphalt of Albuquerque to the 
northern prairies and mountains. Fleck sees wisps of 
what Wordsworth called the "sense sublime" in nature; 
he hears drumbeats of the "decimated races" of "deep 
red dancers." 


In "Cheyenne Autumn" and "Indians and 
Thoreau," we have tipi rings waiting for "technetronic 
aboriginals" to return where, presently, denizens of the 
"oily city" "build their mounds of ego heedlessly/Honk- 
ing hollow virtues needlessly." 

The poems reveal a sensitive receptivity expressed 
in simple, imagist forms. But aside from some good 
strokes, the language in these lines is not up to the poet's 
own standard. The repetition of pallid expressions dulls 
the impact of nearly every poem. The trees are always 
"twisted," the sun is "bright and shining," the branches 
are "gnarled," the peaks are "icy" or "snowy." In two 
poems, dancers "sway and swirl." 

And in an effort to bump the poems into a preter- 
natural dimension, Fleck uses the term "spirit" about 15 
times, uses "mythic" or "mystic" six times and always 
finds a "fusion" and a "psychic" element lurking in the 

On balance, the sounds, colors and sculpted clay 
could be sharper and more vibrant. 

Philip White 

The reviewer is an attorney and freelance writer in Cheyenne, 
Wyoming. He is a regular contributor to High Country News, an en- 
vironmental newspaper published in Lander, Wyoming 

More Burs Under the Saddle: Books and 
Histories of the West. By Ramon F. Adams. 
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 
1979). Index. 182 pp. $14.95. 

This posthumously published work was the twenty- 
first written by Ramon Adams, and his fifth book of 
western bibliography. Essentially, this book is a con- 
tinuation of his 1964 Burs Under the Saddle: Books and 
Histories of the West, and uses the same format in 
critically reviewing 233 additional books. These books 
were either published from 1964 to 1976 or were earlier 
ones that only came to the author's attention after the 
original edition had gone to press. 

The subtitle suggests a wide ranging examination of 
western histories; however, his goal is much more 
specific. He is concerned only with books or those por- 
tions of books which discuss the western cattle industry, 
peace officers and outlaws. The subject of the western 
cattle industry has attracted a substantial number of 
scholarly writers; unfortunately, the topic of western law 
enforcement has attracted authors more interested in 
sensationalism and myth-making than historical ac- 
curacy. Adams has a fertile field of opportunity to point 
out factual errors. His bibliographic essays center on the 
exploits of Billy the Kid, Sam Bass, Martha "Calamity 

Jane" Canary, Pat Garrett, James Butler "Wild Bill" 
Hickok, Bat Masterson, the Daltons, the Earps, the 
Starrs, the James and the Youngers. 

The author systematically demythologizes a variety 
of frontier folk tales guided by the belief that fact is 
much more fascinating than fiction. The critical reviews 
range in length from two sentences to one essay of thir- 
teen pages. 

Quite frequently the same historical errors are re- 
peated time and time again by authors that either use 
only secondary source material or do not critically 
evaluate the fantastic memoirs of some retired lawmen 
and reformed lawbreakers. Sadly, not all the errors are 
committed by non -professional historians as Adams 
finds that several distinguished scholars and lecturers on 
western history have written spurious accounts of 
historical events. 

Despite Adams' encyclopedic mind and meticulous 
research, a few inaccuracies have crept into the textual 
material. In reviewing Fred and Jo Mazulla's Outlaw 
Album, Adams comments; "(they) misspelled Con 
Wagner's name as Wager." He is mistaken here as the 
Mazulla's spelling of Wager is correct. He further deletes 
any reference to Wager in the work's index. In another 
place, Adams identifies Harry Longabaugh as Happy 
Longabaugh and in the table of contents, the number of 
books reviewed is given as 200, while in actuality the 
number should be 233 books. These are minor points 
and could have been the publisher's typographical 

Adams dedicated his life to a strenuous campaign 
against those authors who indulged in careless research. 
The best summary of his final book comes from the 
author when he writes: 

"And so, in compiling this work, I find that 
people are still writing on subjects they know 
little about and are blindly following early 
legends that have been told as history. Let us 
hope that some day before this century has 
passed, such writings will be discontinued and 
historians who know how to do research will 
take over." 
Let us hope. 

John C. Paige 

The reviewer is a historian with the National Park Service in Golden, 

A Salute to Courage. Edited by Dennis P. 
Ryan. (New York: Columbia University Press, 
1979). Index. Illus. 338 pp. $16.95. 

History buffs, particularly those who enjoy primary 
resource material, will be delighted with A Salute to 
Courage, for here is an opportunity to fight side by side 


with line officers of the Continental Army and Navy. 
Through more than seven years of the campaigns of the 
American Revolution, their letters, diaries, and journals 
lead the readers to experience the pain and joy, the 
trials and triumphs, the loneliness and camaraderie of 
the valiant efforts to gain independence and freedom. 

In their effort "to advance and encourage the in- 
vestigation and study of the history of the Revolution, its 
causes and results, and to instill in the minds of the ris- 
ing generation a knowledge of and reverence for the 
spirit and patient, unswerving determination ..." ex- 
emplified by the faithful officers as they pressed the 
cause against overwhelming odds, the Daughters of the 
Cincinnati conducted the quest for letters and docu- 
ments from their forebears. While some of the writers 
and recipients are well-known names in American 
history, most of the material is bv those courageous 
unheralded line officers who maintained the order and 
continuity of a fluctuating mercurial armed service. It is 
the inside story, the sharing of innermost thoughts, and 
the unveiling of raw emotions of the excerpts of these 
unpublished documents and very personal letters which 
grab the reader. 

On the 19th of April in '75, the Battle of Lexington 
gave rise to the formation of the American Continental 
Army. William Greenleaf wrote that his house was 
"burnt bv fier. I lost everev thing in the Seler . . . the 
troubels of a Sivel War are Grat." 

Prom the war memories of Robert Beale the reader 
learns the details ot the crossing of the Delaware on a 
bitter cold Christmas night. "As soon as the enemy sur- 
rendered there was a guard placed over them and they 
were marched to the river. The balance of our men fell 
into the utmost confusion, every man shifting for 

The efforts to keep men clothed and paid are il- 
lustrated in a letter from John Paul Schoot to George 
Washington saving. "This is to inform your Excelency 
that I applyed here for Money, Armes, and Plankits but 
can't get it without vour Excelency is pleased to send me 
a Warrand. I have twenty-five men I am oblig'd to pay 
LI . 1 pr:week for Each man which I think is too much. . 

Letters telling of attempts to escape prisons and 
return to the service, the confusion of changing com- 
mands, the lack of medical care and suffering of the 
wounded, and the danger presented by Loyalists and In- 
dians lead the reader through to the final days ending 
with George Washington's address to the Continental 

The original material is accompanied by portraits 
and the editor, Dennis P. Ryan has done a superb job in 
providing the continuity and needed explanations. 

This is not a book one can't put down. On the con- 
trary, it is a book one picks up when in a studious, quiet 

mood. The original spelling, punctuation, and syntax 
require time and effort, but the reward is the warmth of 
awesome respect and burning patriotism. 

Betty Lou Pagel 

The reviewer is coordinator of Reading and Language Arts lor 
Laramie County S< hool District Number One and is to be installed as 
Regent oj the Wyoming Society of the National Society oj Daughters 
of tlie American Revolution in April She is president oj the Wyo- 
ming Press Women 

Iron Road to the West American Railroads in 
the 1850s By John F. Stover. (New York: Co- 
lumbia University Press, 1978.) Index. Illus. 
Maps. 266 pp. $14.95. 

This book could well be titled "the antebellum 
years for American railroads." It is a survey of railroad 
development in the decade prior to the Civil War when 
the iron roads advanced across the Nation to the edge of 
the western frontier. 

The first regular railroad service in the United 
States commenced July 4, 1828, on the Baltimore and 
Ohio. From that date forward, the growth of the rail- 
road industry had a profound effect on the economic de- 
velopment of the U. S. By 1850, the nation had 172 
railroad companies with combined trackage of nearly 
9,000 miles. But on the eve of the Civil War. railroad 
mileage had tripled to nearly 30,000 and every state in 
the union had access to rail transportation. Further, the 
railroad successfully challenged the turnpike, canal, and 
steamboat as a mover of goods and people. 

In the antebellum years, the Old Northwest (Il- 
linois. Indiana. Michigan. Ohio, and Wisconsin) and 
the West (California, Iowa. Minnesota. Missouri, and 
Oregon) together experienced the largest growth in track 
construction (10,000 miles) of any region in the Nation. 
Much of this development was stimulated by the is- 
suance of land grants to railroad companies by the 
Federal and state governments. In all, 22 million acres 
were offered to rail enterpreneurs. 

The Southern railroads also benefited from land 
grants in the 1850s and consequently mileage in the 
region increased by a total of 7,500. The Southern lines 
were less prosperous and generally inferior to the roads 
in the West, Northeast and Mid- Atlantic states in 
regard to construction, motive power, and rolling stock. 
In addition, the Southern rail system was not fully in- 
tegrated with itself and was dependent on the North for 
equipment and iron rails, a situation which would affect 
the course of the Civil War. Although the New England 
and Mid-Atlantic states did not build as much trackage 
in the 1850s as the West and the South, its railroads were 

better constructed, had larger rosters of motive power 
and rolling stock, and were in a position to establish 
strong lines of trade between the industrial East and the 
expanding West. 

But, even by 1860, there were at least six different 
track gauges across the 31 states which ranged from the 
present standard of 4 feet 8V6 inches to 5 feet 6 inches. 
To further complicate the process of interchanging 
goods and people between different railroads, no stan- 
dard time was in existence. 

True, the growth of rail miles in the 1850s was spec- 
tacular and the technological advances were notewor- 
thy, but of more importance, the antebellum railroads 
established a new east-west trade axis across the Nation. 
Trade routes were previously aligned on a north south 
posture in harmony with the shipping lanes established 
by the Ohio and Mississippi steamboats. The railroad 
development in the decade made it possible for manu- 
facturers in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states to 
ship their wares to the growing West and the farmers 
could, in turn, ship their produce to the population 
centers of the East. This arrangement resulted in a 
strong economic and political alliance between the New 
England/ Mid- Atlantic states and the Old Northwest. 
That alliance was instrumental in determining the final 
outcome of the Civil War. 

The author addresses the development of American 
railroads in the 1850s on a regional basis: the New 
England and Mid-Atlantic states, the South, and the 
West. He also includes a chapter on the theory and 
practice of land grants and one on the development of 
the railroad physical plant and equipment. He supports 
his discussion with numerous statistical tables and maps. 

Through the narrative and graphics, the reader 
can trace the genesis of latter day rail companies, such 
as the Pennsylvania, Illinois Central, Louisville 
Nashville. Professor Stover sprinkles in anecdotes of per- 
sonalities from the era that liven up the text. The reader 
may find himself being overwhelmed at times with 
blocks of narrative that are packed with statistical com- 
parisons. Admittedly, pictures and lithographs from the 
1850-1860 decade are scarce, but a number of those the 
author selected have been used frequently in other rail- 
road history works. 

In all, this is an excellent book that not only covers 
the "nuts and bolts" development of the railroad in the 
1850s, but also addresses the total economic and polit- 
ical effect of the railroad on a growing nation. It is 
highly recommended to any student of railroad and 
American history. 

A. J. Wolff 

The reviewer, a collector of railroad memorabilia and photographs, 
is head of the Research and Statistics Division, Wyoming Depart- 
ment of Labor and Statistics. 

The Geysers of Yellowstone. By T. Scott 
Bryan. (Boulder: Colorado Associated Univer- 
sity Press, 1979). Index. Illus. Maps. 225 pp. 
$15.00 cloth, $6.95 paperback. 

It is obvious that much time and effort went into 
the research and writing of The Geysers of Yellowstone. 
Bryan describes in detail more than 300 geysers in 
Yellowstone National Park. 

Each chapter focuses on one of the nine geyser 
basins with subchapters featuring geyser groups within 
each basin. The main part of the book, however, is the 
description of individual geysers listed in the order in 
which they appear along Yellowstone trails. Included 
are details on duration, height, frequency and period of 
eruptions. Bryan describes to the reader the signs of a 
potential eruption. His inclusion of facts about the 
names of the geysers and how they were derived makes 
this book more interesting than the usual guidebook. 

Chapters describing the mechanics of a geyser 
eruption as well as a chapter on a short history of 
Yellowstone and its geysers are included. Among the in- 
teresting information is an explanation of the relation- 
ship between water color and water temperature. Ade- 
quate maps throughout the book show the locations of 
each geyser within the Yellowstone area. The appendix 
contains short descriptions of other geyser fields in the 

The Geyers of Yellowstone would make a good field 
guide for anyone interested in investigating the geysers 
in Yellowstone in some detail. By giving hints on how to 
spot signs of an imminent eruption and by listing geysers 
that are relatively inactive, it would be especially 
valuable for those who wish to see as many geyser erup- 
tions as possible in an allotted amount of time. 

This book is also for the curious — those who want 
to know how geysers work, why the water and sinter is 
the color it is, and about the history of Yellowstone and 
its geysers. 

Rodney H. DeBruin 

The reviewer is Staff Geologist with the Geological Survey of Wyo- 
ming in Laramie. 

The Early Days in Jackson Hole. By Virginia 
Huidekoper. (Boulder: Colorado Associated 
University Press, 1978). Illus. 131 pp. $15.00 
cloth, $7.95 paperback. 

The historical photograph is our window on the 
past, a graphic record of a place or its people. It is a 
record of a culture preserved much like ancient symbols 
burnt on a wall. To the naked eye it may seem to be just 

an old photograph, but the inquiring mind deduces a 
wealth of information from close examination of the 
subject and its surroundings. It is indeed a yardstick on 

Virginia Huidekoper has patiently assembled a 
photographic collection on the Teton area of Wyoming 
entitled The Early Days in Jackson Hole. According to 
the dust cover, Virginia Huidekoper . . . "founded the 
Jackson Hole News, a paper that emphasizes photo- 
graphs of the country as well as news coverage." Virginia 
has since retired from the newspaper business and still 
resides in the valley. Through the generosity of many 
people, the photographs of early day photographers 
have been assembled into a pictorial record, a reference 
book on the Jackson Hole country. The photographers 
are: William Jackson, F. Jay Haynes, Benjamin Shef- 
field, Steven Leek, George and Bert Schofield, James 
Harper Teppan, Harrison Crandall, William Balder 
! son, J. E. Stimson and M. W. Trester. Their works are 
1 supplemented with other photographs from family col- 

To be more precise. The Early Days In Jackson 
Hole is an orderly collection of historical photographs 
depicting the area, the wildlife, the communities and, of 
course, nature — which was indeed a factor for those who 
lived in the valley year round. After examining the pic- 
tures several times you begin to feel the intimacy shared 
by the inhabitants of Jackson Hole and the valley that 
surrounds it. They are a close-knit group, a fraternity of 
sorts that exists because of the special qualities the 
residents of Jackson Hole share. It is an honor to be con- 
sidered a "Jackson Holer." 

Variety is the "spice" of this book. Although some 
of the photographs are fuzzy — soft in focus — they are all 
interesting, as each was selected for its content and 
beautifully composed and reproduced. There are also a 
number of extraordinarily sharp photographs whose 
clarity, definition and depth-of-field could only be ac- 
complished through large negatives and a skilled craft- 
sman/photographer who has an "eye" for the pic- 
ture — definitely a quality of the artist. One photograph- 
ic example, which has become my favorite, is entitled 
"Four Jacks And A Queen." This is a picture of four 
small boys squatted next to a small pool of water, all fac- 
ing the camera with a variety of expressions. At the right 
background is a small girl looking disgruntled. This is 
photojournalism practised with an artistic touch in 

The book goes from interesting to enjoyable be- 
cause it can be read time and again with a new insight 
gained at each reading. Pictures that were glanced over 
the first time are examined in more depth with each 
reading. There are many photographs to catch your at- 
1 tention, hold your interest, win your admiration and 
tickle your funny bone. 

I applaud and admire the efforts of Virginia Huide- 
koper. She has given us a glimpse of the majestic and 
rugged beauty of the Tetons as seen by the pioneers of 
Jackson Hole photography as well as a pictorial refer- 
ence work on life in the valley. I, too, like the early 
photographers, would like to live in the valley and 
photograph the many faces and moods of its people and 
its surroundings. 

Graig Marrs 

The reviewer, a photographer and cinematographer, lives and works 
in Cheyenne 

West oj Hell's Fringe: Crime, Criminals, and 
the Federal Peace Officer m Oklahoma Ter- 
ritory, 1889-1907. By Glenn Shirley. (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1978). Index. 
Illus. Maps. 495 pp. $14.95. 

During the turbulent years before Oklahoma's 
statehood, numerous outlavvs took advantage of the un- 
settled social and institutional environment in the new 
territory to pursue their criminal careers. These men 
crossed the border between Oklahoma and Indian Ter- 
ritories known as Hell's Fringe to rob and kill the new 
settlers, then sought refuge by fleeing into other sections 
of the area now called Oklahoma. The most effective 
antidote to this plague of lawlessness was the use of 
federal marshals whose authority and jurisdiction sur- 
passed that of local officials. 

This book describes the activities of criminals and 
peace officers in the fading days of the "Wild West." 
Shirley, author of numerous books and articles on 
Western history and himself experienced in law enforce- 
ment, relates the exploits of notorious criminals such as 
the Doolin and Dalton gangs as well as the diverse evil- 
doings of lesser known but equally sinister men (and 
women). Thorough and well-deserved attention is given 
to the officers who persistently fought to stifle the 
escapades of the badmen. 

The Western outlaw has been the source of many 
myths and legends. Most of these, perpetuated by 
popular literature and film, create lasting but distorted 
impressions of life as it must have been. As years pass it 
becomes more difficult to separate fact from fiction 
about the participants or their environment. This work 
represents a strenuous effort to clarify and document ac- 
tual happenings. Shirley describes the characters as they 
have been perceived and as they were. He analyzes pre- 
vious accounts and compares these with the results of his 
own extensive research, thereby illuminating and dissi- 
pating the mysteries surrounding personalities and 

The story of good men and bad in the Oklahoma 
Territory is artfully told. The reader encounters a 
parade of robberies, murders, pursuits, and shootouts in 

anecdotal accounts which are placed in context by bio- 
graphical sketches and description of the social and 
political history of the region. The narrative bristles with 
excitement as it moves from the opening of the territory 
to the dying days of the last of the outlaws. Extensive 
quoting of primary sources reveals contemporary opi- 
nions and language as well as the journalistic flair of the 
era. The book is well organized and illustrated with 
abundant photographs of the living and the dead and 
the places they inhabited. 

This examination of the struggle between criminals 
and law officers in one of the last frontiers will be 
welcomed by anyone interested in the history of law and 
order in the West. 

Michael Everman 

The reinewer teaches history at Oklahoma State University, Still- 

Women and Men on the Overland Trail. By 
John Mack Faragher. (New Haven: Yale 
University Press, 1979). Index. Bibliog. Map. 
281 pp. $17.50. 

If you pick up this book thinking it will be another 
romantic tale of life on a wagon train to Oregon, you are 
going to be disappointed. If, however, you are interested 
in an historical analysis of the roles men and women 
played in the 1840s and 1850s. how they interacted and 
how they perceived themselves and each other, I think 
you will enjoy it. 

Faragher, an assistant professor of history at Mount 
Holyoke College, has written a scholarly, but also very 
readable, account of the structure of society and culture 
on the homesteads of midwestern America and how that 
structure stayed virtually intact during the migration of 
thousands of people to Oregon and California in the 
mid-19th century. 

The author used 169 diaries, letters and recollec- 
tions of family members who made the cross-country 
trek plus the diaries and recollections of 115 single men 
who traveled with or close to emigrating families, all of 
which he quotes frequently. From them he was able "to 
draw conclusions about family demography, party and 
train composition, and the occupations, geographic 
origins, and previous mobility of emigrants." He also 
noted daily life activities on the trail to study the division 
of labor. 

On their farms, men did the heavier work, includ- 
ing clearing land, building, upkeep and maintenance of 
tools, implements, wagons and the land, care of large 
animals, and hunting. They also wielded the economic 
and political power, as the women had virtually no 
rights to property or suffrage. 

Women were responsible for the garden and its 
produce, the henhouse, the dairy, making sausage and 

curing ham, food preparation, making of cloth (until 
commercial cloth became available), sewing clothes, 
blankets and quilts, soap-making and washing, bearing 
and raising children, and nursing their family. They did 
this under conditions much more isolated than their 
husbands and fathers, who were free to travel to neigh- 
boring farms and villages. 

From his analysis of tasks written about in diaries of 
the emigration, the author disputes the theory that 
women gained more equality and engaged in more of 
the duties usually relegated to men as they traveled west. 
According to him both men and women stayed within 
the strict boundaries of the roles they played on the 

In looking at the cultural orientation of women and 
men, Faragher found that women wrote more often in 
the First person and were more likely to name other per- 
sons, record dates, comment at length on their sur- 
roundings and activities, express their feelings and make 
a point to write daily. Men's journal entries were usually 
terse, less frequent, used "we" and pertained mainly to 
the miles traveled and the availability of water and 

Also discussed in Women and Men on the Overland 
Trail are the roles children played and the importance 
of the family in the societal framework of the period. 
Faragher shows great sympathy for the plight of women, 
their place within society and the family, the restrictions 
placed upon them by their lack of pclitical and legal 
power, the constant work expected of them, and their 
isolation from each other. 

The author shows the depth of his research 
throughout the text and by the seventeen tables and the 
notes on his methods following it. His extensive notes, 
which well document his narrative, and a 28-page 
bibliography complete the book. For those interested in 
women's and family history and the history of migration 
over the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails in the 
mid- 1800s, I think you will find the book interesting and 
enlightening reading. 

Paulette J. Weiser 

The reviewer is archivist /historian in the Archives and Records Dhn- 
sion, Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Depart- 

Mountaineering in the Tetons: The Pioneer 
Period 1898-1940. By Fritiof Fryxell. (Revised 
and edited by Phil D. Smith). (Jackson, Wyo.: 
Teton Bookshop, 1978). Index. Illus. Map. 
180 pp. 

Mountaineering In The Tetons, 18981940, writ- 
ten by Fritiof Fryxell and edited by Phil D. Smith, is a 

chronicle of early mountaineering in the Tetons. The 
book systematically describes the ascents and attempted 
routes during the time period. 

The descriptions are generalized rather than the 
step-by-step descriptions found in guides, with only an 
occasional use of technical climbing and geologic terms. 
The photographs used are very helpful in showing an 
overall view of the described peaks. However, because 
the routes described are not shown, and the orientation 
of the photos is sometimes unknown, it is difficult to cor- 
relate the routes described with the pictures. 

The accuracy and validity of the information in the 
book is unquestionable. It is well documented 
throughout and obvious that the author used the most 
reputable sources available at the time. 

The author says in the introduction, "This is a 
foretaste of what is to be and here it is perhaps profit- 
able to review the past, placing on record such facts con- 
cerning the Teton peaks and their ascents as may prove 
of assistance to the even larger groups of mountaineers 
who will surely come." The "foretaste" and the past so 
capably presented will undoubtedly provide worthwhile 
information to anyone planning an adventure in the 

Lawrence Christensen 

The reviewer is employed by Cheyenne Title and Abstract His hob- 
by is mountain climbing 



Adams. Ramon F.. More Burs Under the Saddle Books and Histories of the 

West, review, 72 
Addoms and Glover. 10 
Alderson, William W., 49. 50 
Almazan. Manuel. 33 
Almazan. Nicolas, 33 
Along the Ramparts of the Tetons: The Saga of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, by 

Robert B. Belts, review. 71 
Astor. John Jacob. 54 
Atkinson. John. 45 
Aubuchon, Ruth, review of Boswell, The Story of a Frontier Lawman, 67-68 


Barber. Charles E., 14 

Barnum. Wyo., 65 

Barton. William H . "David D. Dare and the American Dream." 8-23: biog. , 

Beard. George W.. 17-19; photo. 19 
Beckwith, E.M., 45 
Bent, Luther S., 43 
Betts, Robert B . Along the Ramparts of the Tetons: The Saga of Jackson 

Hole, Wyoming, review. 71 
Blouet. Brian W., ed.. The Great Plains Environment and Culture, review. 

Bone, Lt. Joseph, 39 
Booth, Florence, 46 
Bordeau, James. 38; photo, 46 

Boswell, The Story of a Frontier Lawman, by Mary Lou Pence, review, 67-68 
Botsford. A. J. 41 
Bradley. R.W.. 12 
Brandes. Otto. 21-22 
Brown. Mabel, review of Along the Ramparts of the Tetons: The Saga of 

Jackson Hole. Wyoming, 71 
Bryan. T. Scott, The Geysers of Yellowstone, review, 74 
Burnett, Fincelius G., 40, 41 

California National Bank. 15. 17. 19 

Campbell. AC. 18-19 

Campbell, Sarah "Aunt Sally." 48 

Capps. Edward, 21 22 

Carr. T.J., 10 

Carrington, Col. Henry B., 41. 55 

Carroll, Matt, 50, 51 

Carter, Judge William A., 55 

Castle Dare, 12-15; photo. 9 

Cazzeau. Pierre "French Pete," (Peter Carson), 38. 41 

Cheyenne Club. 18 

Cheyenne Hardware Company, 12 

Cheyenne National Bank, 16-19; photo, 13 

Christensen. Lawrence, review of Mountaineering in the Tetons The 

Pioneer Period 1898-1940. 76-77 
Cobos, Jose. 33-34 
Coleman, James, 46. 49, 51 
Collins, J.W., 10, 11, 16. 17, 19-21 
Comision Honorifica. 32-34 
Comite Patnotico, 33 
Connor, Gen. Patrick E.. 40 
Cordova. Mrs. Rose. 32 
Corlett. W.W.. 24 
Cottage Row, 12 

Cottonwood Moon, by Richard F. Fleck, review. 71-72 
Cowhick, Rev. J.Y.. 24 
Cronkleton, Mary, 9, 17 
Crook, Dr. W.W., 18 
Crowther, David, 50 
Custer. Gen. George A., 47 



"David D. Dare and the American Dream." by William H. Barton, 

Dare. David Daniel. (D.D.) 8 23; photo. San Diego home. 14 

Dare, Florence Adele Cronkleton, 9-23; photos. 11. 12 

De Bruin. Rodney H.. review of The Geysers of Yellowstone, 74 

Dickey. Samuel A., 48 

Dieterich, H.R., review of The Great Plains Environment and Culture, 68 

Dodge, Gen. Grenville M-, 39 

Doull, Albert P., 15 

Dull Knife Battlefield, 65; photo, 66 

The Early Days in Jackson Hole, by Virginia Huidekoper. review. 74-75 


Edens. Walter, "Wyoming Fort Libraries — The March of Intellect," 54-62; 

biog., 80 
Elston, Charley, 39 
Everman, Michael, review of West of Hell's Fringe: Crime, Criminals, and 

the Federal Peace Officer in Oklahoma Territory, 1889-1907, 75-76 

Faragher, John Mack, Women and Men on the Overland Trail, review, 76 

Fleck, Richard F., Cottonwood Moon, review, 71-72 

Finfrock. Dr. J.H., 55 

The Fist in the Wilderness, by David Lavender, review, 70-71 


Abraham Lincoln, N.D., 47. 48. 49 

Buford. Mont., 47, 48, 50 

C.F. Smith, Mont., 41, 42 

Connor, 40 

Fetterman, 47 

Phil Kearny, 41. 42, 47 

Reno, 41 ; photo. 40 

DA. Russell, photo. 57 

Washakie, photo. 56 
Fort Morgan Colony, 31 
Fraker, Herman, 65 
Frantz, J.H., 57 

"The Frontier Fortunes of John W. Smith." by John S. Gray, 36-53 
Frost, Todd and Company, 38 

Fryxell, Fritiof. Mountaineering in the Tetons: The Pioneer Period 
1898-1940, review, 76 77 

"The Gables," 12; photo, 10 

Gay. Alfred H. 39 

Gay, John H. 17 

Gay. T.K., 16 

Gerry, Elbridge, 38 

The Geysers of Yellowstone, by T. Scott Bryan, review, 74 

Oilman, Jeremiah O, 38 

Oilman. John K , 39 

Gipson, Fred. 7 

Goff. Orlando Scott. 48 

Gordon, Ellen Fletcher, 41 

Grant. Orvil. 48 

Graves Ranch, 65 

Gray, John S.. "The Frontier Fortunes of John W. Smith." 36-53; biog.. 80 

The Great Plains Environment and Culture, ed. by Brian W. Blouet and 

Frederick C. Luebke. review, 68 
Great Western Sugar Co., 26-35; photo. 34 
Griffiths, J.G., 18, 19 


Hale, Gov. William, 12 

Hanna, Wyo.. 63 

Harney, Gen. William S., 43. 45 

Harnois. F., 38 

Harrington. John, 18 

Havermale, 16 

Hawk Springs, Wyo., 64 

Hedrick, John M.. 47. 48 

Hensley. Herbert C, 16 

Herman. Joseph, 38 

Hicks. T.B.. 18 

High. W.E.. 14-15 

Hole-inthe Wall. 65; photo, 65 

Hotel Brewster (San Diego), 14, 20; photo, 16 

Huidekoper, Virginia, The Early Days m Jackson Hole, review, 74-75 

Hurlbut brothers, 9 

Illingworth. William H., 47. 48 

Red Cloud. 44 

Spotted Tail. 44-46; photo, 44 

"Laramie Loafers." 44 
Sioux. 37-51; photos, 36-37, 43 
Iron Road to the West, American Railroads m the 1850s, by John F. Stover, 

review, 73-74 
Iverson, Peter, "Wyoming: Still the Cowboy Stated" 4-7; biog.. 80 

ewett , Joseph, 39 
, illich. J.M.. 18 
i ones, Louis, 46 

ulien, J.P . 12-13 

(em, T.A.. 18 
{.inney, Judge John F , 42 
<inney, Capt. Nathaniel C 
\irkland. CD., 8-10 


nt and Culture, 

Lass, William E.. review of The Fist in the Wilderness, 70-71 
Lavender. David, The Fist in the Wilderness, review. 70 71 
Leighton, Alvin Coe. 40-42, 47, 48. 50 
Leighton, James. 40. 47 
Leighton, Joe. 48-50 
Little, Robert, 50 
Lopez, S-C- (Sabino), 28 31 
Lovell. Wyo.. 26-35 

'Lovell's Mexican Colony, by Augustin Redwine, 26*35 
Luebke, Frederick C , ed , The Great Plains Environrnt 
review. 68 

McKenzie, Gen. Ranald, 65 
Mackin. S. , 56 
Maddux, C V , 28 
Maedge, Linnette Kolm. 22 

Marrs, Graig, review of The Early Days in Jackson Hole, 74-75 
Menger Hotel (San Antonio), 12 
Mexican-Americans, 26-35; photo. 26 
Miles City. Mont . 51; photo. 51 
Miller. David B.. review of Tending the Talking Wire: A Buck Soldier's View 

of Indian Country, 67 
Monroe. Le Baron. 56 
Montross. Lt R.J., 40 
More Burs Under the Saddle Books and Histories of the West, by Ratnon F. 

Adams, review, 72 
Morgan, E.S.N . 18 
Morrow, John A. "Jack." 46. 48 
Mountaineering in the Tetons The Pioneer Period 1898-1940, by Fruiof 

Fryxell, review, 76 77 
Murray, Gen. Eli H.. 20 

Nagle. Erasmus, 13 
Nidelet, Dr. S.L.. 44, 45. 49 



O'Brien. Maj. George. 39 

Old Yellowstone Days. ed. by Paul Schullery, review. 69-70 

Organ. C.P., 12 

O'Toole. William D.. 50 

Pagel. Bettv Lou. review of A Salute to Courage, 72 73 

Paige. John C . review of More Burs Under the Saddle Books and Histories 

of the West, 72 
Pallardie, Leon, 38-39 
Palmer, Jack, 44. 45 
Palmerston, HP.. 15 
Patrick. ML. 43. 44 
Pauley. F.N., 20 

Pence, Mary Lou, Boswell, The Story of a Frontier Lawman, review. 67-68 
Phillips. F.M., 24 
Plumb, Col Preston B . 40 
Poole. Capt DeWitt C . 45. 46, 49 
Post, Morton E.. 17, 20 
Potter, Lt. Col. Joseph H . 43 
Pourade. Richard, 16 
Pratte, Lester, 45-46 

Randall. C. Todd. 38. 43, 44 

Raymond, E.W., 38. 44 

Redwine. Augustin. "Lovell's Mexican Colony," 26 35; biog.. 80 

Rmer, Charles W.. 14 

Riter, Lesley Day. 24 

Riter, Maria Inez Corlett. "leaching School at Old Fort Laramie." 24-25 

Rock River, Wyo.. 64 

Rodriguez, Eusebio, 28, 32 

Rodriguez. Secundino. 28. 31, 32. 35 

Russian-Germans, 27; photo. 33 

Ryan. Dennis P., ed. A Salute to Courage, review. 72-73 

The Saloon on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier, by Elliott West, review, 

A Salute to Courage, ed . by Dennis P. Ryan, review. 72-73 
Sawyer, W.W., 8 
Schell, H.S., 56 

Schullery, Paul. ed. Old Yellowstone Days, review, 69 70 
Shannon, Kent, "W.R. Shannon, Railroadman-Pioneer," 63-64 
"W.R. Shannon. Railroadman Pioneer," by Kent Shannon, 63-64 
Shannon, Walter R . 63-64 
Shepard, Jesse, 14-15 
Shirley, Glenn, West of Hell's Fringe Crime, Criminals, and the Federal 

Peace Officer in Oklahoma Territory, 1889-1907, review, 75-76 
Sims, George V,, 19 
Sioux Treaty of 1868. 44 
Smith, John Simpson. 38 
Smith, John W.. 36-53 
Smith. Josephine Allen, 51 
Smith. Mike. 46; photo, 47 
Smith. W.B.C.. (Burns C .), 45. 46 
Snyder. Otto, 18 
Stebbins, Post and Company, 10 
StockgTowers National Bank, 10 
Stover, John F . Iron Road to the West, American Railroads in the 1850s, 

review, 73-74 
Stow, George A.. 22 
Stuani, V.. 17 
Swan. Alexander, 12 
Swayne, E.J. , 14 
Sweetman, Fred. 49. 50 

Tate. Michael L , review of Old Yellowstone Days, 69-70 

"Teaching School at Old Fort Laramie," by Maria Inez Corlett Riter. 24-25 

Tending the Talking Wire A Buck Soldier's View of Indian Country, ed. by 

William E L'nrau. review, 67 
Templeton. Lt. George M , 4142 
Thompson. Burton, review of The Saloon on the Rocky Mountain Mining 

Frontier, 69 
Thompson, Lt. Charles. 39 
Todd. Capt. John B.S , 38 
Tubbs, Franklin. 55 
Tuttle. Coroner. 18 


L'nrau, William E. . ed. , Tending the Talking Wire A Buck Soldier's View of 
Indian Country, review, 67 

Van Tassell, Louise Swan. 12. 18 

Van Tassell. R.S.. 13, 18 

Villa Montezuma (San Diego). 15 


Walcott. Wyo.. 63-64 

Ware, Lt Eugene F., 38 39 

Washburn. J.M., 46 

Waters, WE., 56 

Weiser, Paulette J., review of Women and Men on the Overland Trail, 76 

Welch, Samuel, 39 

Wembke, Kamiel, 31 

West, Elliott, The Saloon on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier, review. 

West of Hell's Fringe Crime, Criminals, and the Federal Peace Officer in 

Oklahoma Territory, 1889 1907, by Glenn Shirley, review, 75-76 
Whetstone Agency. 44 

White, Philip, review of Cottonwood Moon, 71 72 
Whitcomb, E W. 9 
Wilson, Robert, 48 
Wolff, A J., review of Iron Road to the West, American Railroads in the 

1850s. 73-74 
Women and Men on the Overland Trad, by John Mack Faragher. review, 76 
Woodruff, Dr. Edward Day. 24 
Woodruff. John Dwight. 24 

"Wyoming Fort Libraries The March of Intellect," by W'alter Edens. 54-62 
WSHS Junior Activities Competition winning essay, 63 64 
WSHS 30th Annual Trek. 65 
"Wyoming: Still the Cowboy State?" by Peter Iverson. 4-7 



PETER IVERSON has been assistant professor of 
history at the University of Wyoming since 1976. He has 
previously taught and lectured at Arizona State Univer- 
sity, the University of Wisconsin and Navajo Communi- 
ty College. Iverson holds a Ph.D. from the University of 
Wisconsin, as well as an M.A. His undergraduate work 
was at Carleton College. He has published numerous ar- 
ticles related to Navajo history. He has presented papers 
at a number of professional historical organizations, and 
has others in preparation for late 1979 and 1980. 

AUGUSTIN REDWINE is a research assistant with Re- 
source Development Institute, Inc., management and 
educational research consulting firm in Austin, Texas. 
He was born in Mexico City, and immigrated to the 
United States when he was three years old. He received a 
B.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso, and did 
graduate work at the University of Texas and Arizona 
State University. Redwine received an M.Ed from the 
University of Wyoming. The Lovell research project was 
possible through the Cheyenne Teacher Corps program 
while Redwine was a Teacher Corps intern for two years 
at Johnson Junior High in Cheyenne. 

WALTER EDENS, professor of English at the Universi- 
ty of Wyoming, is the author of several essays and poems 
and is editor of Teaching Shakespeare, published in 
1978 by Princeton University Press. Edens received the 
Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in 1962. He is an 
amateur archaeologist. His study of fort libraries was 
written through a 1978 grant from the Wyoming Coun- 
cil for the Humanities. 

WILLIAM H. BARTON is senior historian in the His- 
torical Research and Publications Division of the 
Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical 
Department, and an assistant editor of Annals of 
Wyoming. A Cheyenne native, he attended the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming and the University of Arizona where he 
received a B.A. in history. One of his hobbies is the 
study of the Victorian era with special interest in ar- 
chitecture and period costume. 

JOHN S. GRAY, of Fort Collins, retired in 1974 as pro- 
fessor and Department chairman, Department of Phys- 
iology at Northwestern University Medical School. Since 
then he has researched and written about American 
frontier history full time. He is a member of Western 
History Association, the Chicago Westerners, Fort Col- 
lins Westerners, and numerous biomedical societies. He 
has published widely in historical journals. His books in- 
clude Centennial Campaign. The Sioux War of 1876, 
published in 1976 by the Old Army Press, and Cavalry 
and Coaches; The Story oj Camp and Fort Collins, 
published in 1978. 



The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October, 1953. 
Membership is open to anyone interested in history. County chapters of the 
society have been chartered in most of the twenty-three counties of Wyoming. 
Past presidents of the society include: Frank Bowron, Casper, 1953-55; William 
L. Marion, Lander, 1955-56; Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody, 1956-57; Dr. T. A. 
Larson, Laramie, 1957-58; A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins, 1958-59; Mrs. Thelma 
G. Condit, Buffalo, 1959-60; E. A. Littleton, Gillette, 1960-61; Edness Kimball 
Wilkins, Casper, 1961-62; Charles Ritter, Cheyenne, 1962-63; Neal E. Miller, 
Rawlins, 1963-65; Mrs. Charles Hord, Casper, 1965-66; Glenn Sweem, 
Sheridan, 1966-67; Adrian Reynolds, Green River, 1967-68; Curtiss Root, Torr- 
ington, 1968-69; Mrs. Hatne Burnstad, Worland, 1969-70; J. Reuel Armstrong, 
Rawlins, 1970-71; William R. Dubois, Cheyenne, 1971-72; Henry F. Chadev, 
Rock Springs, 1972-73; Richard S. Dumbrill, Newcastle, 1973-74; Henry Jensen, 
Casper, 1974-75; Jay Brazelton, Jackson, 1975-76; Ray Pendergraft, Worland, 
1976-77; David J. Wasden, Cody, 1977-78. 

Membership information may be obtained from the Executive Head- 
quarters, Wyoming State Historical Society, Barrett Building, Cheyenne, 
Wyoming 82002. Dues in the state society are: 

Life Membership $100. 

Joint Life Membership (husband and wife) $150. 

Annual Membership $5. 

Joint Annual Membership (two persons of same family 

at same address) $7. 

Institutional Membership $10. 

President, Mrs. Mabel Brown, Newcastle 
First Vice President, James June, Green River 
1978-1979 Second Vice President, William F. Bragg, Casper 

Mincers Secretary-Treasurer , Mrs. Ellen Mueller, Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, Vincent P. Foley, Cheyenne