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e/lNNALS of 

Volume 52, Number 1 
Spring, 1980 

* ■/■) 



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 

Eugene Martin, Evanston 

Jerry Rillahan, Worland 

Mrs. Mae Urbanek, Lusk 

Ken Richardson, Lander 

Frank Bowron, Casper 

Attorney General John Troughton (ex-officio) 

ABOUT THE COVER — The cover painting, entitled "The 
Night Hawk, " was done by "the cowboy artist, " E. W. Goll- 
ings in 1922. Born in Idaho in 1878, he and his family 
moved to Chicago when he was ten years old. He studied 
drawing in school there and after a series of odd jobs, he 
returned west in 1896. For over five years he rode the range 
as a cowhand for Montana and Wyoming outfits. He con- 
tinued his drawing in his spare time and just after the turn 
of the century, he returned to Chicago and attended the 
Academy of Fine Arts. In 1909 he built a studio in Sheridan. 
He worked on Sheridan area ranches while he painted com- 
mercially. Gradually, his works gained favor with critics and 
collectors. He died on April 16, 1932, in Sheridan. The 
painting is in the permanent collection of the Wyoming 
State Archives, Museums and Historical Departments State 
Art Gallery. 



Volume 52, No. 1 
Spring, 1980 


Vincent P. Foley 


Katherine A. Halverson 


William H. Barton 
Philip J. Roberts 
Jean Brainerd 


Wyoming's Contribution to the Regional and 

National Women's Rights Movement 2 

by T. A. Larson 

Wyoming's Electric Railway Projects 16 

By H. Roger Grant 

A Tudor Cannon at Warren Air Force Base 22 

by William E. Woodbridge, Jr. 

Wyoming and the O. P. A.: Postwar Politics of Decontrol 25 

by Peter M. Wright 

Crossing Wyoming by Car in 1908: The New York 

to Paris Automobile Race 34 

by Emmett D. Chisum 

The Politics of a Cowboy Culture 40 

by Roy A. Jordan and Tim R. Miller 

Boat-pusher or Bird Woman? Sacagawea or Sacajawea? 46 

by Blanche Schroer 

Prohibiting Interracial Marriage: Miscegenation Laws in Wyoming 55 

by Roger D. Hardaway 

WSHS 26th Annual Meeting 61 

Minutes by Secretary-Treasurer Ellen Mueller 

Book Reviews 64 

Index 70 

Contributors 72 

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 

( opyright 1980 b\ the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Department. 


Contribution to 

The first government in the world to give 
women full rights to vote and hold office 
was that of Wyoming Territory in 1869. 
The Republican governor, John A. Camp- 
bell, on December 10, 1869, signed the bill 
which had been passed by a small, all- 
Democratic legislature. 

the Regional and National 
Women's Rights Movement 

By T. A. Larson 


There was no woman suffrage organization in the 
territory. No petitions, demonstrations, or other 
manifestations of public interest preceded adoption of 
the suffrage act, although a visiting suffragist, Redelia 
Bates of St. Louis, had recently lectured in Cheyenne. 
Wyoming's 1000 women of voting age were as much sur- 
prised as people in the East. 

Thus, Wyoming with only 9000 people, and with six 
men for each of the women of voting age, won national 
publicity. The young territory's first legislature had 
established a "First", recognition of which would in- 
crease with each passing year. 

Two weeks after the suffrage act became law, an 
eighteen-year-old man in South Pass City wrote "it is a 
fact that all great reforms take place, not where they are 
most needed, but in places where opposition is weakest; 
and they spread until they take up all in one great prin- 
ciple of right and become universal; just so it will be with 
Woman Suffrage." 1 

The unfriendly New York Observer proposed a new 
colonization society to transfer eastern suffragists to 
Wyoming. The woman who would become the nation's 
greatest suffragist, Susan B. Anthony, suggested that 
eastern women should emigrate to Wyoming and make 
it a model state. She said that were it not for her un- 
finished business in the east, she would go herself. 2 
Cheyenne's Joseph M. Carey, who would later become 
the territory's Delegate to Congress and the state's U.S. 
Senator and governor, recalled fifty years after the event 
that Susan B. Anthony, on a visit to Cheyenne in 1871, 
had met and greeted Governor Campbell on Pioneer 
Avenue with the declaration: "If it was not so public 
here I would hug and kiss you until I killed you." 3 There 
are other less drastic versions of what Anthony said on 
that occasion, but no doubt she was delighted by the 
Governor's approval of the suffrage bill. 

After the first wave of publicity subsided, a second 
"First" came in February, 1870, when three women were 
appointed justices of the peace, and one of them, the 
fifty-six-year-old housewife Esther Morris, qualified and 
served in the fading gold-rush town of South Pass City. 
Morris opened her court on St. Patrick's Day wearing 
green ribbons in her hair and a green necktie. Soon 
friends acclaimed her the world's first woman judge. 
During the next eight months she handled twenty-six 
cases, half civil and half criminal, without noticeable 
difficulty. Her son Robert was her clerk. Her term end- 
ed all too soon, in November, 1870. She had been ap- 
pointed to fill a vacancy resulting from a resignation. 
Thereafter, neither political party nominated her, 
which made election and continuation impossible. 

Wyoming's third "First came in March, 1870, when 
six women served on a jury in Laramie. They hesitated 
initially but were persuaded by the presiding judge to 
put aside their inhibitions. 

The Cheyenne Leader commented that "the 
feminine mind is too susceptible to the influence of emo- 
tions" and "many women cannot easily comprehend an 
abstraction." 4 The New York Tribune thought women 
should be home "managing their households and caring 
for their children." 5 The New York Times likewise ex- 
pressed reservations: "The experiment of feminine 
juries, at least, is to be regarded with interest. There is 
much to be said in favor of it, and much against. " 6 

The first woman jury, which consisted of six women 
and six men, found a man guilty of murder. Three of 
the six men voted for acquittal, and three for conviction 
of manslaughter. The women preferred conviction of 
first or second degree murder, but finally compromised 
on manslaughter. Apparently the women were swayed 
less than the men by the self-defense plea. The presiding 
judge, Chief Justice John H. Howe of the Supreme 
Court, praised the female jurors, declaring that "these 
women acquitted themselves with such dignity, deco- 
rum, propriety of conduct, and intelligence as to win the 
admiration of every fair-minded citizen of Wyoming. " 7 
Other women served creditably on both petit and grand 
juries in Laramie and Cheyenne later in 1870 and 1871. 

The first woman jury attracted much attention. 
Editor James H. Hayford of the Laramie Sentinel recall- 
ed thirteen years later: "It would be impossible to 
describe at this remote period the excitement which this 
event created, and the fact was telegraphed, not only 
throughout the country, but over the whole civilized 
world." 8 

Although they had not asked for suffrage, the 
women of Wyoming turned out about as faithfully as the 
men when they had their first chance to vote in 
September, 1870. Among 776 voters in Cheyenne, 171 
were women. It was not another "First" because some 
property-owning women had voted in colonial New 
Jersey, beginning in 1776. 

Eastern suffrage leaders rejoiced, yet some of them 
had reservations. Thomas W. Higginson recalled five 
years later: "Many of us heard with fear and trembling, 
that Woman Suffrage was to be first tried in Wyoming. 
A political step which confessedly belonged to an ad- 
vanced stage of civilization was to be tried under the 
rather rare conditions of a new community. " 9 Higginson 
thought it was a dangerous experiment because if it suc- 
ceeded it would not gain much credit, and if it failed 
much unfavorable publicity would result. Both favor- 
able and unfavorable publicity resulted, with the favor- 
able prevailing. Most objective, non-partisan observers 
rated the early phases of the experiment very successful. 

Yet enemies soon surfaced. Leaders of the Demo- 
cratic party, to which all members of the first legislature 
belonged, changed their minds. They disliked the deci- 
sion of women on a grand jury in Laramie to enforce a 
law requiring closing of saloons on Sunday. The female 
jurors' determination to enforce the laws and to mete 

Chief Justice John H. Howe 
out just punishments led one minister of a Laramie 
church to call their activities "The Reign of Terror for 
Evil Doers." Also, most of the female voters in 
September, 1870, cast their votes for a Republican, 
making it possible for him to unseat the incumbent 
Democratic Delegate to Congress. With the Australian 
ballot still twenty years in the future, poll watchers 
could see the choices made by voters. 

Jury service by women was soon abandoned. A new 
judge who replaced Justice Howe held that jury service 
was "not a necessary adjunct of suffrage" and the 
women of the territory generally accepted the ruling 
without complaint. 

The major rights to vote and hold office came very 
close to being lost in 1871. As in 1869, Democrats con- 
trolled the legislature, although a few Republicans had 
joined them. Both houses voted to repeal the suffrage 
act. Governor Campbell, however, vetoed the repeal 
measure, and legislative opponents failed by one vote to 
muster the two-thirds majority required to override the 
veto. Governor Campbell, who had approved suffrage 
with misgivings in 1869, had become an advocate in the 
next two years. 

Among the four members of the nine-member up- 
per house who stood firm against repeal was Laramie 
lawyer Stephen W. Downey. He promised in the legisla 
tive debate that the efforts to suppress equal rights "will 

be as vain and futile as were those of the old Danish 
King Canute, who endeavored to make the ocean waves 
obey his mandate, and although this great reform may 
today, so far as actual results are concerned, appear as 
insignificant as a flake of snow, fresh driven from the 
frosty clouds on high, it will speedily roll and revolve 
itself into an avalanche that will annihilate and sweep 
away all opposition." 10 

Although the most effective argument used by 
William H. Bright, who introduced the suffrage bill in 
1869, and Edward M. Lee, Secretary of the Territory, 
who encouraged Bright and helped him advance the 
bill, was that woman suffrage would advertise the ter- 
ritory and attract people, this argument was found to be 
false. Advertise the territory it did, without any expense, 
but attract people it did not. People went where there 
were economic opportunity and jobs, and Wyoming was 
not such a place in the early 1870s. Other justifications 
for women suffrage took the place of the free-publicity 
argument in the minds of suffrage advocates and 
brought new converts. 

While Bright and Lee left the territory, and most of 
the men who had supported them in 1869 did the same 
or turned against woman suffrage, enough defenders 
turned up to keep the experiment alive. After repeal was 
averted by the narrow margin of one vote in the upper . 
house in 1871, the defenders picked up more recruits. 
As the friends of suffrage increased, they expressed their 
approval in a variety of ways, and won still more con- 
verts. No longer needing to worry about repeal, they 
began to promote extension beyond the territory's 

Extension followed logically from conversion to the 
cause but was not inevitable because it would take time 
and money, both of which were scarce in the territory. 
One way to spread the good word about Wyoming's suc- 
cess was to welcome and inform investigative reporters 
and itinerant eastern suffrage leaders. Both kinds of 
visitors were quite numerous, especially in Cheyenne. 
For example, Abby G. Woolson, Boston Journal cor- 
respondent, enroute to California in September, 1870, 
stopped over in Cheyenne and interviewed Governor 
Campbell. The Woman's Journal copied parts of 
Woolson's Boston Journal article." Governor Campbell- 
testified to the success of woman suffrage. He said that 
he had overcome his early prejudices against suffrage 
and had been "forced by the results" to become an ad- 
vocate. He emphasized the absence of bad more than 
the presence of good consequences. The people, he said, 
had accepted woman suffrage, the women had changed 
their "manners and employments" very little, and 
women were not seeking office. The Governor's testi- 
mony helped dispel eastern notions that woman suffrage 
would "unsex" women and disrupt family life. 

Woolson heard no mention in Cheyenne of any 
"female orator." She reported quite accurately that it , 

was the votes of women that had brought more strength 
to the Republican party and accounted for the recent 
election of Judge William T. Jones, a Republican, as 
Delegate to Congress. 

H. M. Tracy Cutler also visited Cheyenne on her 
way to California in September, 1870. She stopped over 
to gather material for a lecture which she planned to 
deliver in the east "wherever suitable arrangements can 
be made." 12 Cutler reported that at the polls in the re- 
cent election, bad women had been much outnumbered 
by good women, in consequence of which there was "a 
great preponderance of principle." The female voters 
suffered no discourtesy or rudeness at the polls. Voting 
independently, they had swung the balance to William 
T. Jones, who would represent the women and was 
"thoroughly pledged to our interests." 

In June, 1871, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth 
Cady Stanton, the great pioneer partners in suffrage 
promotion, lectured in Cheyenne and interviewed 
friends of the suffrage experiment." They also spoke 
briefly in Laramie from the rear platform of their 
California-bound train. They left Wyoming with favor- 
able impressions. In a letter to friends in the East, An- 
thony described Wyoming as "the land of the free and 
the home of the brave." 14 Thereafter the two famous 
suffragists consistently praised Wyoming. In 1897, for 
example, Anthony wrote that "for a quarter of a century 
Wyoming has stood as a conspicuous object lesson in 
woman suffrage." 15 

The Wests greatest suffrage leader, Abigail Scott 
Duniway, editor of the New Northwest (Portland), 
reported on her visit to Laramie in 1872: "I stopped in 
Laramie City, Wyoming, on June 28, and lectured 
before the only women citizens of the United States who 
are altogether such in reality ... I have been stopping at 
the residence of Dr. Hayford . . . who with his pretty, 
bright, young wife, has entertained me like a queen. 
From him I have learned a detailed history of Woman 
Suffrage and its effects in Wyoming. . . ."' 6 Dr. Hayford 
was, of course, the local editor. 

It is remarkable that so little opposition surfaced in 
Wyoming after 1871, considering that woman suffrage 
proposals and experiments were confronted by strong 
opposition and vociferous critics just about everywhere 
else in the U.S. in the 19th century. Denigration of the 
Wyoming experiment came almost entirely from outside 
the territory. Editor James H. Hayford of the Laramie 
Sentinel repeatedly challenged critics to name two Wyo- 
ming residents who were willing to state over their own 
signatures and addresses that woman suffrage had had 
any bad effects in the territory. If anyone ever accepted 
the challenge, there seems to be no record oi it. 

While undoubtedly there were skeptics and scoffers 
in the territory, they seem to have been intimidated by 
the prominence of staunch defenders. After John A. 
Campbell's early doubts, every governor of the territory 

was pro-suffrage. Campbell's veto message, which saved 
the experiment in 1871, set an example of vigorous 
defense for other governors to follow. Democrats who 
may have wanted repeal in 1873 and 1875 legislative ses- 
sions made no attempts, perhaps because Republicans 
controlled one house in each session, and the governors 
were on record as favoring suffrage. In 1877 when 
Democrats once again controlled both houses, they did 
not bring up the subject. Thereafter, both parties en- 
dorsed woman suffrage. 

The three Republican Delegates to Congress, W. 
W. Corlett (1877-1879), Stephen W. Downey (1879- 
1881), and Joseph M. Carey (1885-1890), and 
Democratic Delegate M. E. Post (1881-1885), were all 
enthusiastic suffragists. Among the territorial judges, 
the most outspoken advocates were Chief Justice John H. 
Howe (1869-1871) and Associate Justice John W. 
Kingman (1869-1873). Justice Howe resigned and left 
the territory in 1871, while Kingman remained to prac- 
tice law in Laramie and Cheyenne for several years after 
he was not reappointed in 1873. He continued his strong 
advocacy of woman's rights. 

Among the many persons who were identified with 
the Wyoming experiment before 1885, Edward M. Lee, 
John W. Kingman, James H. Hayford, and Governor 
John W. Hoyt were the most outspoken suffragists. They 

William II Bright 


went out of their way to publicize the Wyoming experi- 
ment and to boast of the splendid results. 

Wyoming's female suffragists usually remained in 
the background. Lillie Devereux Blake, an eastern suf- 
fragist, after a visit to Wyoming in 1888, explained: 
"The women of Wyoming ... all exercise the right of 
suffrage. They do not serve on jury, nor do they seek of- 
fice. The men outnumber the women . . . and for this 
reason, perhaps, they have been a little timid in taking 
any prominent part in politics. . . ." 17 The men were 
largely to blame. Except for Justice Howe, Justice 
Kingman, and Secretary Lee, Wyoming men gave very 
little encouragement to women who wanted to go 
beyond voting in their political activity. 

Edward M. Lee's promotional activity passed 
through three phases. As Secretary of the Territory, 
1869-1870, he was instrumental in getting suffrage 
adopted and tried to get women into office. He vigor- 
ously supported suffrage in the columns of his Cheyenne 
newspaper, the Wyoming Tribune. Excerpts from his 
newspaper and some of his enthusiastic letters appeared 
in the eastern press. 

After he left Wyoming in 1871 to practice law in 
New York City, he published journal articles and lec- 
tured in several eastern states. In one of his Tribune 
editorials he asserted that "Wyoming has given the 
woman movement an impetus, ten thousand times 
greater than that received by its theoretical discussion 
during a decade of years before the Eastern lyceums. " 1H 
In an Indianapolis address he extended an invitation: 
"Wyoming from her rocky eyrie in the mountains . . . 
calls upon all the communities and States of the earth to 
come up and stand with her in the broad sunlight of 
equal rights on the skirmish line of civilization. " 19 

Justice Kingman was just as devoted to the cause. He 
had helped persuade Governor Campbell to sign the suf- 
frage act in 1869, and had helped Lee in his efforts to 
place women in office in 1870. Thereafter he often 
answered eastern inquiries with favorable reports. He 
addressed the Massachusetts legislature in support of the 
cause in 1876. 

Judge Kingman and Governor Hoyt joined eastern 
suffragists in an unsuccessful Nebraska suffrage cam- 
paign in 1882, devoting two weeks to lecturing. In the 
same year Hoyt lectured in Philadelphia. Both Kingman 
and Hoyt were gifted, popular speakers. 

There was little editorial criticism of woman suf- 
frage in Wyoming after Nathan A. Baker sold his Chey- 
enne Leader in April, 1872, and moved to Denver. 
Among the supportive editors, Hayford of the Laramie 
Sentinel became the greatest champion after Lee left the 
territory in 1871. Hayford regularly extolled the advan- 
tages of having women on juries both before and after 
their jury service terminated in 1871. Hayford insisted 
that women always voted for the more upright can- 
didates and took the side of stable homemakers against 

transients. His editorials were often quoted in the 
eastern press, particularly in the Woman's Journal. 

Faithful followers of the suffrage crusade kept up 
with its aspirations and activities by reading the 
Woman's Journal, Elizabeth Boynton Harbert's 
"Woman's Kingdom" column in the Daily Inter- Ocean 
(Chicago), and Clara B. Colby's Woman's Tribune 
(Beatrice, Nebraska). The American Woman Suffrage 
Association before 1890, and the National American 
Woman Suffrage Association thereafter, paid for 
leaflets published by the Woman's Journal. Tens of 
thousands of the leaflets were distributed in every state 
campaign. Testimony from Wyoming friends of suffrage 
made up most of the contents of these leaflets, as these 
titles indicate: "Nine Years' Experience of Woman Suf- 
frage in Wyoming" (1879); "Thirteen Years' Experience 
of Woman Suffrage in Wyoming" (1882); "Woman Suf- 
frage in Wyoming" (1887); "More Facts About Wyo- 
ming" (1890); "The First Free State" (1893); "Wyoming 
Speaks for Herself (1893); and "Falsehoods About 
Wyoming" (1897). 

Woman's Journal editors solicited testimony and 
prepared the copy for the leaflets. The leaflets' testi- 
monials subsequently were often quoted by journalists 
and public speakers. 

Some of the leaflets were assembled in response to 
false press reports. For example, the twelve-page 
pamphlet "Nine Years' Experience of Woman Suffrage 
in Wyoming" was designed to counteract the widely cir- 
culated statement of Capt. S. H. Winsor of Indianap- 
olis, who said in part: "I regard Woman Suffrage in 
Wyoming as an utter failure, and I think it is so regard- 
ed by the best men and women of the Territory." Capt. 
Winsor, who had been stationed in Wyoming for several 
years, said that the better class of women no longer 
voted. Many prominent Wyoming citizens were ready to 
contradict such statements. 

In 1883 an anonymous correspondent published an 
article in the New York Times, describing the gambling, 
drunkenness, prostitution, corruption and election 
frauds prevalent in Wyoming when he had lived there. 
He blamed the women for the conditions discussed 
because they did not seek office, and did nothing to 
eliminate the evils. The correspondent was soon iden- 
tified as a former city editor of the Cheyenne Leader. 
The rebuttals generally conceded that women did not 
seek office, denied that women could be blamed for con- 
ditions in Cheyenne, and insisted that women tended to 
lessen Cheyenne's vices. Typically, the Cheyenne Leader 
called the Times article, which was copied in Chicago, 
Omaha, and Denver papers, "a tissue of falsehoods and 

Among the rare resident critics was Mrs. M. W. 
Coggswell, wife of a Rawlins tailor. In 1884, she ex- 
pressed unflattering opinions of the experiment in a let- 
ter to a friend in Massachusetts. It seems that the letter 

was not intended for publication but it was published in 
the Boston Gazette and was quoted in the Massachusetts 

Coggswell wrote that women in Wyoming did not 
know enough about government to vote intelligently, 
did not participate in the selection of candidates and 
voted as directed by their husbands or fathers. Several 
prominent Rawlins citizens provided rebuttals, although 
they had to concede that women did not attend the con- 
ventions in which candidates were chosen. 

Also, Laramie's Editor Hayford commented at 
length, displaying the independence which often dis- 
tinguished him. Probably to the consternation of eastern 
suffragists he conceded that Wyoming women nearly 
always voted as their husbands did. He went on to say 
that the best argument for woman suffrage was that it 
"doubles the power and influence of the home element 
(always the best element) in the government of the coun- 
try." Then, becoming even more heretical, Hayford sug- 
gested that single men and women should not be al- 
lowed to vote. He explained that women "are weaker, 
they are not so self-reliant as men . . . but they do not 
need the ballot half as much as the State needs their 
power and influence in government. Their power and 
influence are just as much needed in the government of 
the State as in the government of the family." 21 

It should be explained that Hayford battled, year in 
and year out with small success, against gambling, pros- 
titution and drunkenness. In the circumstances he was 
more interested in "good government" than injustice for 
women. He looked on women voters as means to an end. 
His attitude is reminiscent of that of Brigham Young 
who said at the dedication of a cooperative store in Salt 
Lake City in 1869: "We wish to develop the powers of 
the ladies to the fullest extent, and to control them for 
the building of the Kingdom of God." 22 

Hayford consistently emphasized the importance of 
woman suffrage in strengthening the home element, 
although he evaluated the results variously. At times he 
admitted that there were not enough women to com- 
plete the task expected of them. In 1889 he wrote: 
"Women have constituted so small a per cent of the 
population that their political power and influence did 
not count for very much." He added that: "While few 
people charge it with any evil results, a great many don't 
credit it with any beneficial influence, and quite a large 
portion regard it with indifference." 23 

Governor Francis E. Warren (1885-1886, 1889- 
1890) received many questions requiring only a "Yes" or 
"No" answer. A Kansan asked "Does the fact that 
women vote in opposition to their husbands frequently 
cause family troubles and destroy harmony?" "No," 
replied Warren. Then he answered "Yes" to five ques- 
tions from the same man: "Do the majority of the 
women of Wyoming exercise their rights at the polls?" 
"Are the women treated respectfully at the polls?" "Does 

/. W. Kingman 

Edward M. Lee 

John W. Hoyt 


PHO I i x.K MM is 

the presence of women exercise a refining influence on 
the public?" "Is it not a fact that women generally sup- 
port the most moral candidates regardless of party?" "Is 
it not a fact that most women support all questions of 
moral advancement?" 

Warren answered other questions from Missouri and 
Illinois as follows: 

[Women's] influence is to purify. Voting for men and 
morals rather than politics. 

Their presence affects favorably the conduct of men at 
the polls. 

Women have served on juries and very satisfactorily, 
but they have not been summoned to do jury duty for some 
years past on account of the hardships of such service. 
When women served on jury, connecting rooms were given 
in order that ladies could occupy one in a sort of semi- 

Our best people and in fact all classes are almost uni- 
versally in favor of woman suffrage. 

Their influence and votes are almost invariably cast on 
the side of sobriety and morality. Of course there are bad 
women as well as bad men, but the proportion is very much 

To offset the bad publicity resulting from the John 
son County Invasion of 1892, improve the Wyoming im- 
age, and attract much-needed capital in a depression 
year, the Wyoming House of Representatives in 1893 
unanimously passed this resolution: 

Resolved that the possession and exercise of suffrage 
by the women of Wyoming . . . has wrought no harm and 
has done great good in many ways; that it has largely aided 
in banishing crime, pauperism, and vice from this State . . . 
that it has secured peaceful and orderly elections, good 
government and a remarkable degree of civilization and 
public order . . . not one county in Wyoming has a poor- 
house . . . our jails are almost empty, and crime, except 
that committed by strangers in the State, almost unknown 
... we urge every civilized community on earth to enfran- 
chise its women without delay. 

Resolved that ... we request the press throughout the 
civilized world to call attention of their readers to these 
resolutions. 25 

The legislators taxed the credulity of press and 
public when they claimed that crimes by other than 
strangers were "almost unknown," and that woman suf- 
frage had "largely aided in banishing crime, pauperism, 
and vice." The absence of poorhouses was true accord- 
ing to the 1890 census, but this meant simply that the 
population was so small that the county commissioners 
assisted indigents outside of poorhouses. 

Mrs. W. Winslow Crannell, in a pamphlet pub- 
lished by the Albany (New York) Anti-Suffrage Associa- 
tion in 1895 answered the resolutions by declaring that: 
"Aged and decrepit people are not taken to a new coun- 
try." She quoted the Colorado Springs Gazette, March 
12, 1893: "To any one who knows anything of recent 
Wyoming politics, the statement about 'peaceful and 
orderly elections, good government and a remarkable 
degree of civilization and public order' is simply gro- 
tesque. ..." She offered evidence from other sources to 


show that Wyoming had its share of corruption, im- 
morality, crime, vice and lynchings, if not legal hang- 
ings. 26 

Such debates continued. Secretary of State 
Fenimore Chatterton commented negatively in an 1899 
letter to the Portland Oregonian: "suffrage does not 
elevate the sex nor increase the moral power of the com- 
munity; the best women do not vote, while those who do 
interest themselves in politics do not tend to elevate the 
occupation of the politician. . . ," 27 

On the other hand, Mrs. Harriet L. Sheik of 
Wheatland, president of the Wyoming State Federation 
of Women's Clubs, reported that she had seen only good 
results from woman suffrage. She suggested that "we 
can do more good with our votes when we keep rather 
quiet. ... It does not do to let men think that we are ag- 
gressive." 28 

Joseph M. Carey during his term as governor, 
1911-1915, often used what amounted to a form letter in 
replying to suffrage queries. His secretary copied the 
basic letter with occasional modifications. 29 Once when 
his form letter was inadequate, Carey personally an- 
swered questions from California as follows: 

Do "objectional" women vote? Answer: Yes, about the 

same ratio as objectionable men. 

Do voting women come in contact with "objec- | 

tionable" men while voting? Answer: Men and women vote 

at same polls without any disorder whatever. 

Has woman suffrage decreased marriage in your state? 

Answer: No, certainly not. Old maids are scarce. 

Has woman suffrage increased divorce in your state? 

Answer: No, I have never heard of a dispute between man 

and wife bearing upon suffrage. 

Has crime increased . . .? Answer: No, I cannot see 

why you asked the question. 

Do the voting women show an inclination to inform 

themselves politically? Answer: A high degree of in- 
telligence prevails in this state; women read as much as 

men do. 

General opinion? Answer: I believe it to be right . . . 

good; I should like to see it adopted in every state. 

In the half century, 1869-1920, when Wyoming en- 
joyed woman suffrage and two thirds of the states did 
not, very few Wyoming citizens found it possible to at- 
tend national suffrage conventions. They could not af- 
ford the long, expensive train trips to the cities where 
most of the conventions were held. In most of those years 
the conventions heard second-hand reports of Wyo- 
ming's progress, or reports from suffragists from outside 
of Wyoming who had visited the territory or state. 

Governor John A. Campbell was in Washington, 
D.C. during the January, 1870, convention of the Na- 
tional Woman Suffrage Association. He found time to 
attend some of the convention activities but declined an 
invitation to speak. Susan B. Anthony's Revolution 
reported that "Like Gen. Grant, he is not given to 
speech-making, and begged to be excused." 30 Had he 
gone on stage, Governor Campbell would have received a 

a tremendous ovation because it was just a month after 
he had signed the woman suffrage act. His decision not 
to speak suggests that his misgivings about signing the 
act persisted. He had not yet become an advocate. 

In 1871 Amalia Post of Cheyenne, who had helped 
persuade Campbell to sign the act in 1869, represented 
Wyoming at the national convention. Hayford's Sentinel 
reported that "Our Washington Correspondent says . . . 
Mrs. Post of Wyoming attracted considerable attention 
on the stage, more on account of her long journey, and 
remarkable presence and being from Wyoming, than 
from any great oratorical display." 31 Posts brief remarks 
were supplemented by the following letter which was 
read at the convention: (It had been received from the 
famous "first woman judge," Esther Morris, who had 
left the bench two months before the convention). 
So far as woman suffrage has progressed in this Ter- 
ritory we are entirely indebted to men. To William H. 
Bright belongs the honor of presenting the woman suffrage 
bill; and it was our district judge, Hon. John W. Kingman, 
who proposed my appointment as a justice of the peace and 
the trial of woman jurors. 

Circumstances have transpired to make my position as 
justice of the peace a test of woman's ability to hold public 
office, and I feel that my work has been satisfactory, al- 
though I have often regretted that I was not better 
qualified. . . . While we enjoy the franchise we have not 
y been sufficiently educated up to it. ... I now think that we 

shall be able to sustain the position granted to us. '" 
Esther Morris did attend the American Woman Suf- 
frage Association's convention in San Francisco in 
February 1872. For the third time in a row, Wyoming's 
representative at the national convention "made no at- 
tempt at an address." 

The California Central Woman Suffrage Committee 
gave Morris an informal reception after the convention. 
The San Francisco Call's reporter who attended the 
reception wrote: 

Mrs. Morris, Ex -Justice of the Peace ... is a matronly- 
looking woman, past middle life, yet much younger looking 
than her actual years. Her face and head indicate the 
possession of strong individuality of character and great 
firmness. Her manners are those of a courtly, self-possessed 
woman, full of natural dignity and ease, while her conser- 
vation clearly shows that she is possessed of more than an 
ordinary share of shrewdness and correct appreciation of 
human nature. Her manner of speaking is off-hand, ready, 
and at times brilliant. . . . 

With reference to her own appointment and success, 
. . . she never felt that the office was above her capacity, 
. . . She had never studied law. except in transacting her 
own affairs, but had found little difficulty in comprehend- 
ing the cases coming before her." 

Apparently, not until four years later (1876) did 
another Wyoming representative turn up at a national 
suffrage convention. Then Esther Morris attended her 
second and last national gathering of suffragists, this 
time in Philadelphia, where it was reported that "Judge 
Esther Morris, of Wyoming, said a few words in regard 
to suffrage in that territory."'' 4 

Edward M. Lee seems to have been the only speaker 
with a Wyoming connection at the 1881 convention of 
the national suffrage convention in Boston. In the 
following year, one of the two national woman suffrage 
associations made it easier for western people to par- 
ticipate by holding its convention in Omaha. This was to 
lend support to Nebraska's 1882 suffrage campaign, 
which did not succeed. Two of Wyoming's most effective 
advocates, John W. Hoyt and John W. Kingman, gave 
major addresses at the Omaha convention. 

Again in 1885 the American Woman Suffrage Asso- 
ciation's convention met in the midwest at Min- 
neapolis in October. The Woman's Journal reported 
that "Women voters were there from Wyoming also, 
but, unfortunately, they did not report themselves until 
the close of the meeting." 35 A woman, Kate Kelsey, 
M.D. , who formerly had lived in South Pass City, mailed 
a report, which said in part: 

I do not think you will find happier homes or those which 
have a firmer foundation in the world. The women seem to 
have become stronger in their judgments, broader in their 
views, and more patriotic, and thus are better qualified to 
train their children and make good citizens of them . . . the 
idea of equality seems to extend to all relations, I will not 
say that Wyoming is a political paradise, but . . . men and 
women . . . are all improved by the co-operation in political 
affairs." 36 

The next convention for which the attendance of a 
Wyoming representative has been recorded was the one 
of the National American Woman Suffrage Association 
in Washington, D.C. in 1891. Wyoming was very much 
in the limelight, having become the first woman suffrage 
state on July 10, 1890. The Washington Post reported 
that at the 1891 convention Wyoming's U.S. Senator 
Joseph M. Carey "made a brilliant speech . . . gave the 
history of the adoption of the woman's suffrage law." 

State Superintendent of Instruction Estelle Reel ad- 
dressed the National American Woman Suffrage Asso- 
ciation's 1898 convention in Washington, D.C. She rep- 
resented another Wyoming "First." When elected in 
1894 she became the first woman elected to state joffice 
in the United States. Interviewed by a Chicago Tribune 
reporter in 1895, she discussed her 1894 campaign, and 
related how she had traveled over most of the state in 
stagecoaches and wagons. She said that she had avoided 
oratorical flourishes and political issues, preferring to 
talk simply about the state superintendent's duties and 
her qualifications for the job. 37 

It is apparent that Wyoming's participation in na- 
tional woman suffrage conventions was limited, spo- 
radic, and by only a small number of individuals acting 
independently. There was never a territorial or state 
organization for Wyoming. The territory had a vice 
president in the American Woman Suffrage Association 
during the years 1876-1890, and the state had one there 
after in the National American Woman Suffrage Asso- 
ciation, (NAWSA) which was a combination of the 

American and National associations, effected in 1890. 
Each territory or state was entitled to one vice president 
who was named by the national executive board. Esther 
Morris was the vice president in 1876. Thereafter, 
Amalia Post held the office for many years, and John W. 
Hoyt for a few. 

Other states organized state woman suffrage associa- 
tions to work for suffrage and cooperate with national 
organizations. The usual explanation for Wyoming's 
lack of an organization has been that the action of the 
legislature in 1869 made one unnecessary as far as the 
women of Wyoming were concerned. Women in other 
states, however, sometimes thought that Wyoming 
women should help them. 

One woman, Therese A. Jenkins of Cheyenne, said 
that she lectured in fourteen states. She did not say what 
states these were, except for Colorado, where she helped 
in the successful campaign of 1893, when Colorado 
became the second suffrage state. Jenkins was named 
national Superintendent of Franchise for the W.C.T.U. 
in 1911. Her work in that office involved the promotion 
of franchise (political activity) outside of Wyoming in 
the interests of temperance. To be sure, many suffragists 
who were not members of the W.C.T.U. did not ap- 
preciate assistance from temperance people because 
they were afraid that men who used liquor would not 
support the suffrage movement if they thought that 
women voters would cast their ballots for prohibition. 

Julia Bright (Mrs. William H. Bright) was active in 
the unsuccessful Colorado suffrage campaign of 1877, as 
was her husband. The Brights had moved from South 
Pass City to Colorado in the early 1870s, later moving to 
Washington, D.C. 

There is no evidence to indicate that any Wyoming 
suffragists, male or female, participated in the suc- 
cessful woman suffrage campaigns in Utah and Idaho in 
1896. The national association distributed leaflets tell- 
ing how well woman suffrage was working in Wyoming, 
but Wyoming suffragists did not send money to Utah 
and Idaho or go there in person. 

Easterners sometimes exaggerated Wyoming's influ- 
ence in the development of woman suffrage in neigh 
boring territories and states. Because Colorado in 1893, 
Utah in 1896, and Idaho in 1896 followed Wyoming 
(1890) as the second, third and fourth suffrage states, it 
was plausible to give Wyoming credit for stimulating its 
neighbors. In fact, however, Wyoming's neighbors were 
not disposed to acknowledge leadership from the 
Cowboy State. They fancied that they were more 
sophisticated and advanced than the Wyoming people, 
whom they greatly outnumbered. Had there been a 
Wyoming Woman Suffrage Association, with some 
money in its treasury, the situation might have been dif- 

Wyoming suffragists had very little money to con- 
tribute to suffrage campaigns and very few public speak- 


ers who were willing to go to other states at their own ex- 
pense to help with suffrage promotion. No one took up 
the torch which Therese Jenkins had carried in the 
1890s, and would carry again when she became superin- 
tendent of franchise for the W.C.T.U. in 1911. 

The failure of Wyoming women to assume impor- 
tant roles in the suffrage movement distressed NAWSA 
leaders. To Emma Smith DeVoe, who was seeking help 
for the campaign which she led in the state of 
Washington in 1910, Carrie Chapman Catt wrote: "I do 
not believe you could get a woman from Wyoming who 
would do you any good. Those women do not know any 
more about Woman's Suffrage than the men know 
about Men's Suffrage. They have no sense of the fact 
that an experiment is being tried in Wyoming, every- 
body is for it and nobody talks about it." 38 

Later, Grace Raymond Hebard, librarian and pro- 
fessor of political economy at the University of Wyo- 
ming, established a reputation as a public speaker. Her 
travel funds, however, were so limited that she rarely 
spoke outside of Wyoming. According to her own state- 
ment in her files in the Western Heritage Center, 
Laramie, she made her first suffrage address in 1920. 
She had spoken often on other topics, and certainly had 
favored woman suffrage since the 1880s. But there was 
no call for suffrage speeches in the Equality State. 
Hebard, for at least a dozen years before 1920, had 
cultivated acquaintance with nationally known suf- 
fragists through hospitality in Laramie, attendance at a 
few meetings outside the state, her publications and cor- 

Once accepted, woman suffrage received quite con- 
sistent support from the Congressional delegation. The 
first Delegate to Congress, Stephen F. Nuckolls, opposed 
suffrage, and the third Delegate, William R. Steele, 
(1873-1877), did so for a time but became a convert. 
The other five Delegates were all suffragists, but they 
had little opportunity to advance the cause in Congress. 

Delegate Joseph M. Carey (1885-1890) did give "em- 
phatic testimony" in favor of equal rights in March, 
1886, when the House Committee on Territories held 
hearings on the subject. He explained that he had 
watched the Wyoming experiment closely ever since 
1869. He rejected the suggestion that giving women the - 
vote caused domestic discord. In his own case, he said, 
his wife had voted for him several times and against him 
once, and his mother-in-law had voted for him con- 
sistently.' 9 

It was Delegate Carey who pressed hardest for Wyo- 
ming statehood in 1890. Fortunately, no one was better 
equipped to defend the inclusion of woman suffrage in 
the Constitution which the Wyoming electors had ap- 
proved in November, 1889. Carey told the U.S. House 
of Representatives that the suffrage clause of the Consti- 
tution was "the provision most to be commended." He 
added that "the people of Wyoming after a practice and - 


experience during their entire Territorial life hesitated 
not one moment on this subject. They were substantially 
of one mind." 4 " 

Carey must have been the only one in the House who 
was familiar with the proceedings of the Wyoming con- 
stitutional convention, because no one objected to his 
"hesitated not one moment" statement. In fact, some 
citizens and several members of the convention wanted a 
separate vote of the Territory's electors on woman suf- 
frage. After considerable debate, they lost, 20-8. There 
was genuine fear that the Constitution would not be ac- 
cepted by Congress with a woman suffrage clause in it. 
The same fear had been voiced effectively by suffrage 
opponents in the constitutional conventions of North 
Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington in 1889. 

After statehood (1890) the U.S. Senators who 
represented Wyoming during the years 1890-1923, 
Joseph M. Carey, Francis E. Warren, Clarence D. 
Clark, and John B. Kendrick, and the U.S. Representa- 
tives who served in those years, Clarence D. Clark, 
Henry A. Coffeen, John E. Osborne, and Frank W. 
Mondell, could always be counted on to defend and pro- 
mote woman's rights. They stopped short of supporting 
the militant "suffragettes" (discussed below) and were 
not enthusiastic about women in elective office. 

Susan B. Anthony told the NAWSA convention in 
1895 that "No state ever sent to Washington finer types 
of manhood and womanly grace than Senator Warren of 
Wyoming and his wife." 41 Mrs. Warren read a paper on 
equal suffrage in a House Judiciary Committee hearing 
in 1898. 42 Ironically, it was a paper which had been 
written by ex-Senator Joseph M. Carey, whom Francis 
E. Warren had defeated in 1895. 

Senator Warren, as he had done when he was ter- 
ritorial governor, answered many questions about equal 
rights. In 1910 he labeled "ridiculous" the assertion that 
no one should have the ballot "who can't force their way 
to the polls by muscular strength," a variation of the oft- 
used argument that persons who can't fight, should not 
be allowed to vote. Warren in 1910 focused attention on 
two "important" questions: do the women want the 
vote? and will they exercise the privilege if the extension 
is granted? He would not force suffrage on women if 
only a small portion of them desired it. 43 Wyoming 
women had exercised the franchise since 1870; so there 
was no problem about them, but there were doubts 

After watching the Wyoming experience for forty 
years, Warren concluded that: 

The giving of suffrage to women is not a panacea for 
all the ills of society, at the most its influence but tends in 
the right direction. It courts a body of voters who are more 
independent in their action than men. . . . Consequently it 
forces the political parties to carefully consider . . . who will 
best appeal to . . . this more independent vole. To that ex- 
tent it forces the raising of the standard in the candidate lor 
office. 4 ' 1 

Mary G. Bellamy 

Therese A. Jenkins 

Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard 



In 1918 Wyoming's first Democratic U.S. Senator, 
John B. Kendrick, who had unseated Clarence D. Clark, 
Republican, in 1916, atoned for his party's attempt to 
repeal woman suffrage in 1871 and other lapses in sup- 
port since that time. Speaking in the U.S. Senate, 
September 30, 1918, in support of a constitutional 
amendment extending suffrage to all women in the 
United States, Kendrick recalled the Equality State's 
record with embellishments. He gave new life to a sturdy 
myth that can not be eradicated. 

So vigorous, he said, was opposition in 1890 to ad- 
mission of a state with a constitutional provision for 
woman suffrage that Delegate to Congress Joseph M. 
Carey sent a telegram to the Wyoming legislature ex- 
pressing his fear that statehood would be denied unless 
the suffrage clause was "abandoned.'' According to 
Kendrick in 1918, "To its lasting credit, the legislature, 
without equivocation or delay, telegraphed in reply, 
'We will remain out of the Union a hundred years rather 
than go in without woman suffrage.' " There is no 
evidence to suggest that Kendrick was in Cheyenne when 
this is supposed to have happened. 

In fact, the last territorial legislature had adjourned 
on March 14, 1890, twelve days before the U.S. House of 
Representatives on March 26 debated the issue, and 
voted for statehood, 139-127. The journals of the last 
territorial legislature mention no suffrage discussion or 
vote on the subject. 

In the Constitutional Convention in August 1889 
two members had declared that they would prefer to 
stay out of the Union rather than give up woman suf- 
frage, but the other members of the convention did not 
join them in that statement and neither did the 
legislature in 1890. 

Senator Kendrick in his address to the U.S. Senate 
on September 30, 1918, went on to give women voters 
credit for Wyoming laws against gambling, limiting the 
hours of labor of women and children, limiting the li- 
quor traffic, credit for a mothers' pension law, a pure- 
food law and a law for protection of girls to age eigh- 
teen. However, connecting any of these laws directly to 
woman suffrage is very difficult, if not impossible. Cer- 
tainly these laws were not introduced by women. Up to 
the time of Kendrick's address only four women had 
served in the Wyoming Legislature, each for only one 
term in the House of Representatives, one in 1911, two 
in 1913, and one in 1915. These four one-term 
legislators influenced legislation no more than the 
average freshman legislator does. 

Nonetheless, Senator Kendrick made a strong plea 
for extension of suffrage to women. He understood, he 
said, the point of view of men who thought woman's 
place is in the home, but what, he asked, of the single 
woman? He who would protect the single woman by de- 
nying suffrage "is depriving her of her most effective 
means of protection." It is in the suffrage states, he 


argued, that "the greatest progress had been made 
toward the equalization of opportunity for all." 

Senator Kendrick in his 1918 speech said nothing 
about one set of suffragists, members of the Congres- 
sional Union and Woman's Party, who had tried to 
defeat him in 1916. The militant wing of the National 
American Woman Suffrage Association had organized 
the Congressional Union in 1913 and the National 
Woman's Party in 1916. They borrowed some of their 
ideas and tactics from "suffragettes" who had been ac- 
tive in England for a decade. The name suffragettes 
came to be used for the militants in the United States as 
well as in England. Led by Alice Paul, they blamed the 
party in power (Democrats under Woodrow Wilson, 
1913-1921) for the slow progress of the suffrage move- 
ment. Their demonstrations and picketing of the White 
House gave them great notoriety during World War I. 
They decided to punish all Democratic candidates, in- 
cluding some of the most ardent advocates of woman 
suffrage. Thus, they opposed their friends Woodrow 
Wilson and John B. Kendrick, and caused great an- 
noyance to most members of the NAWSA who believed 
in working with President Wilson rather than against 

The Wilson Administration's inability to secure 
woman suffrage nationally was due mainly to the "Solid ^ 
South." The majority of northern and western Dem- 
ocrats in Congress favored woman suffrage. The Con- 
gressional Union's plans to oppose all Democrats were 
ineffective in the West, and specifically so in Wyoming, 
where Wilson and Kendrick were preferred by the voters 
in November, 1916. 

Wyoming suffragists did not participate significant- 
ly in the anti -Democrat campaign of the Congressional 
Union and National Woman's Party. Inez Milholland, 
Harriet Stanton Blatch, Doris Stevens, and Maud 
Younger were among the prominent CU women who 
spoke in Cheyenne. Maud Younger, president of the 
waitresses union in San Francisco, also spoke in Laramie 
and Hanna in September, 1916. Dr. Grace Raymond 
Hebard, librarian and political economy professor at the 
University of Wyoming, accompanied Younger to Han- 
na where the latter addressed an audience of sixty men 
and two women. 

Although the CU visitors were able to organize a 
small branch of the CU in Cheyenne, they and their con- 
verts did no noticeable damage to the Wilson and Ken- 
drick candidacies. Mrs. P. Emerson Glafcke was state 
chairman of the National Woman's Party for a while. 
Mrs. M. C. Brown was hostess for the Maud Younger 
reception in Laramie. 

Governor Kendrick, who was campaigning for the 
U.S. Senate in 1916, invited a member of the CU, 
Margery Ross of Pittsburgh, to work for him. Apparent- 
ly she had decided to do so until the Woman's Party, 
successor to the CU, announced its opposition to all a 

Democrats in August, 1916. 45 No evidence can be found 
of any visits of Wyoming women to other states in behalf 
of the CU or the Woman's Party, and little evidence of 
in-state activity. 

During the years when a few Wyoming suffragists 
got caught up in Congressional Union-Woman's Party 
affairs, a few, with some overlap, became involved in 
the National Council of Woman Voters, a little-known 
forerunner of the modern League of Women Voters. 
The National Council was active in a small way during 
the decade which preceded the league's organization in 

Emma Smith DeVoe led the council throughout its 
history. As soon as she had completed her task as chair 
man of the Washington State Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion, and had celebrated that state's November 8, 1910, 
victory, she tried to organize the women of the five suf- 
frage states (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and 
Washington). She called a meeting in Tacoma, in which 
the council was formed January 14, 1911. DeVoe was 
elected president and remained such throughout the 
council's history. She was probably responsible for the 
following description of the council's purpose which ap- 
peared in the Seattle Post- Intelligencer, January 18, 
1911: "The plan was to form a free suffrage association 
of the five free states' . . . which shall wage the fight for 
suffrage in the remaining Western states and shall 
assume greater importance than the national suffrage 
association because made up of thousands of women 
who are actually voters in their own states." 

The first leaflet issued by the council explained its 
purpose and methods: 

[It will lend] encouragement and assistance to other 
states as desired. 

Its work will be, primarily, constructive and educa- 
tional, by the dissemination, through a well-equipped pub- 
licity bureau, of authoritative statements concerning the ef- 
fect of equal suffrage in the states represented. 

[In the member states it will] assist in the education of 
women, through existing civic clubs and kindred organiza- 
tions, by stimulating their interest and active responsibil- 
ities devolving upon them as voters. 4h 

About 125 persons attended the organization 
meeting of the council in Tacoma. Twenty-six, who 
were from Oregon, a non-suffrage state until 1912, were 
only observers, and all but three of the others were from 
Washington. Two representatives attended from Idaho, 
and one from Colorado. 

The three official delegates designated by the gover- 
nors of Washington, Idaho, and Colorado conducted 
the business of the organic meeting under DeVoe's su- 
pervision. The two official delegates from Wyoming and 
Utah sent their proxies. It was reported in the press that 
they were snowbound. This may have been true for the 
Utah delegate, but Wyoming's delegate, Mary G. 
Bellamy, was busy in the Wyoming Legislature, which 
had convened in its biennial forty-day session on January 

10, 1911. Bellamy, a freshman in the minority Demo- 
cratic Party and the first woman ever elected to the 
Wyoming Legislature, was honored by selection as 
chairman of the credentials committee on the 10th; on 
the 11th she received the assignment of drawing the 
county names to determine the seating of delegations. 47 
Obviously she was not snowbound. 

At the Council of Women Voters meeting in 
Tacoma the three delegates from Washington, Idaho, 
and Colorado on January 14 adopted a short constitu- 
tion which provided for a board of managers consisting 
of president, vice president at large, one vice president 
for each enfranchised state, recording secretary, cor 
responding secretary, treasurer and auditor. 

The council's letterhead thereafter listed three ob- 
jects: "To educate women voters in the exercise of 
citizenship. To secure legislation in Equal Suffrage 
States in the interests of men and women, of children 
and the home. To aid in the further extension of 
Woman Suffrage in the United States." 

Unfortunately, the council never had enough money 
to accomplish much. No dues system was ever instituted. 
Thirty-one business firms and individuals subscribed 
$410 to cover the cost of the organic meeting and the 
opening of council headquarters in Tacoma. Money was 
harder to find thereafter. The cupboard was usually 
bare, making it impossible to realize most of DeVoe's 

During the nine years of the council's existence only 
two conventions were held after the organic session at 
Tacoma. Several hundred people attended the conven- 
tion in the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, July 8-10, 
1915. By that time there were twelve suffrage states, all 
of which were represented at the convention, as was the 
Territory of Alaska. The convention had been sched- 
uled to coincide with an Exposition or Fair with the 
thought that the Exposition would attract suffragists 
who might want to attend both convention and Exposi- 
tion. Mary G. Bellamy, Wyoming's first woman legisla- 
tor (1911-1913), reported for Wyoming. 

The most newsworthy event of the convention was a 
confrontation between a guest speaker, William Jen- 
nings Bryan, and Sara Bard Field of the Congressional 
Union. When Bard asked Bryan to speak to a CU gath- 
ering, he replied that he "would not move an inch to 
speak for a body of women who opposed the Democratic 
party." 48 In his address to the council, Bryan developed 
the theme that woman suffrage would bring peace to the 
world. The council accepted Bellamy's invitation to con- 
vene in Cheyenne in 1916 during the Frontier Days 

Apparently Cheyenne and the Frontier Days rodeo 
had less appeal than San Francisco and its exposition. 
Council members came from only six of the twelve suf- 
frage states. There were only sixteen members present 
from outside of Wyoming. On the morning of July 26 


the out-of-state delegates enjoyed an automobile tour of 
Cheyenne. That afternoon they attended the opening 
show of Frontier Days, and some of them went to the 
Frontier Days carnival that night. Frontier Days lasted 
four days and nights in 1916 (July 26-29). 

On Thursday morning, July 27, Governor John B. 
Kendrick and Mary G. Bellamy welcomed the delegates 
who were assembled in the woman's club room of the 
Carnegie Library. Twenty or twenty-five Wyoming 
women joined the delegates from other states. State 
reports were made by three delegates, Bellamy of 
Wyoming, Mary C. C. Bradford of Colorado, and 
Margaret Roberts of Idaho. From other states came 
telegraphic reports and greetings. Dr. Grace Raymond 
Hebard addressed the gathering, taking as her topic the 
history of the woman suffrage movement in Wyoming. 
A short session that afternoon was followed by a recep- 
tion in the evening at the governor's mansion. 

Friday, July 28, Emma Smith DeVoe was re-elected 
president. The council decided to affiliate with the 
NAWSA. Council members felt that they could cooper- 
ate with Carrie Chapman Catt, new head of NAWSA, 
who had replaced Anna Howard Shaw, whom they 

The six Wyoming women who were most prominent 
in the convention were Mary G. Bellamy, Dr. Grace 
Raymond Hebard, Mrs. R. A. Morton, Mrs. G. A. Fox, 
Mrs. Charles Bristol and Mrs. J. D. Clark. Bellamy was 
in charge of arrangements. Agnes Wright wrote by-lined 
stories which were carried in full, with good headlines, 
in the Wyoming Tribune. Nonetheless, the convention 
was overshadowed by Frontier Days which crowded the 

In one news report Agnes Wright explained that the 
"Council is in no way affiliated with the National 
Woman's Party, but is merely an organization of the 
women voters of the 12 suffrage states." 49 In her last con- 
vention report Agnes Wright announced that Cheyenne 
was "practically assured of a $50,000 equal suffrage 
monument." 50 

In previous years DeVoe had talked about the 
desirability of raising money for a national monument to 
"the woman citizen." At Cheyenne, Dr. Hebard, Mary 
Bellamy, Frances Clark, and Katherine Morton in- 
troduced a resolution which proposed that the monu- 
ment be placed in Cheyenne, where the first government 
in the world gave women the right to vote and hold of- 
fice. The Cheyenne convention approved the resolution 
without dissent. 

As usual, money was not forthcoming. Bellamy in a 
1919 letter to Hebard recalled, 

It was Mrs. DcVoc's idea to have a monument to the 
woman citizen. It was my idea to get the Council meeting in 
Cheyenne and give them a big boost and get the monu- 
ment. Well, you helped and Mrs. Morton helped, Mrs. 
Gibson Clark attended the meetings, and I was fairly done 
sick at the lack of interest shown by the Cheyenne ladies. 


The big noise of Frontier was more than a really worth 
while affair ... I had attended all the meetings in S.F. 
when I would have enjoyed the Fair much more to get the 
Council to meet in Wyoming. 51 

Her $50,000 dream of a woman citizen monument 
in Cheyenne having come to naught, Bellamy had a 
larger dream in 1919. She suggested that Hebard join 
her in proposing to DeVoe that instead of the monu- 
ment in Cheyenne there should be a $500,000 "historic 
library building . . . surmounted by a beautiful figure of 
Portia etc., in Laramie, where the first woman voted 
. . . and the first woman lawyer in the state [Hebard] 
lived, first woman on jury etc." 52 Bellamy's amended 
dream, like the original, was never realized. 

The Council of Women Voters terminated in 1919 
when the NAWSA agreed to organize the League of 
Women Voters, as proposed by Carrie Chaprrfan Catt, 
to undertake the work of educating the new voters for 
government and politics as soon as the 19th Amendment 
(1920) was adopted. Thus, the NAWSA chose to begin 
the league instead of throwing its support behind the old 
Council of Women Voters. 

Recognizing that the council could not compete suc- 
cessfully with the league, the few Wyoming women who 
had been involved in the affairs of the council and most 
other council members transferred their support to the 
League of Women Voters. Four Wyoming delegates 
(Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, Mrs. T. S. Taliaferro, 
Mrs. P. J. Quealy, and Miss Eunice G. Anderson) par- 
ticipated in the First Congress of the League which met 
in Chicago with the annual convention of the NAWSA, 
February 12-18, 1920. 

In the last few months of the long crusade for the 
19th Amendment Wyoming suffragists participated in 
the NAWSA's drive. It was a foregone conclusion that 
Wyoming's legislature would ratify the Amendment 
which Congress had finally approved on June 4, 1919. 
However, the Wyoming Legislature, which had met in 
January and February 1919, would not meet in regular 
session before January 1921. Meanwhile, suffragists 
everywhere felt that the first suffrage state must be 
among the first to ratify. On the other hand, Governor 
Robert Carey and many legislators opposed calling a 
special session because of the expense and because it . 
would be difficult to limit legislators to the one item of 
business. Three states ratified the Amendment on June 
10, 1919, but thereafter ratifications came slowly, as 
many governors refused to call special sessions. 

In Wyoming, a Ratification Committee of twenty- 
six, headed by Dr. Hebard, was formed. 53 The 
NAWSA's president Carrie Chapman Catt went from 
state to state urging action. She met with Wyoming's 
Ratification Committee in Laramie, November 11, 
1919, with the result that a petition was submitted to 
Governor Carey urging him to expedite ratification by 
summoning a special session. 54 After delaying several 

weeks, Carey called the first special session in the state's 
history to meet January 27, 1920. Both houses approved 
ratification by the unanimous vote of members present, 
and Governor Carey signed the resolution the following 

Later, when only one more vote was needed to make 
the required thirty-six, the NAWSA concentrated on 
Connecticut, one of the thirteen laggards. Carrie Chap- 
man Catt designated women, one from each state, to 
converge on Connecticut in May, 1920. Dr. Hebard 
represented Wyoming in the "Emergency Corps" which 
toured Connecticut, in several groups, pleading for a 
special session of the legislature. The Governor re- 
mained adamant. Finally on August 26, 1920, Ten- 
nessee became the thirty-sixth state to ratify. 

Looking back over Wyoming's efforts, it appears 
that the state's contribution to the regional and national 
woman's rights movement was diversified, minimal, and 
inexpensive. One would be hard put to name fifty Wyo- 
ming men and women who exerted themselves signif- 
icantly in behalf of woman suffrage during the half cen- 
tury, 1869-1920. Wyoming women in general enjoyed 
suffrage without feeling any compelling urge to extend 
their blessings to others. They lacked time, money, and, 
with a few exceptions, missionary zeal. Most of them 
found voting congenial and when asked, were ready to 
recommend it to others, but their promotion went little 

Wyoming men spoke and wrote more freely in 
behalf of woman suffrage than the women did. The con- 
clusion must be, however, that Wyoming's greatest con- 
tribution was the exhibit it provided of women enjoying 
suffrage for half a century without ever giving good 
citizens elsewhere any real cause for alarm. 

*The author thanks the Wyoming Council for the Humanities for 
financial assistance in preparing this essay. 

1. Letter by Robert C. Morris, son of Esther Morris, published in 
The Revolution (New York), January 13, 1870. 

2. Ibid., January 27, 1870. 

3. Wyoming State Tribune, January 29, 1870. 

4. March 1, 1870. 

5. Quoted in the Woman's Journal, April 9, 1870. 

6. March 17, 1871. 

7. The Woman's Journal, May 5, 1870. 

8. Laramie Weekly Sentinel, May 5, 1883. 

9. Woman's Journal, September 18, 1875. 

10. Ibid., December 9, 1871. 

11. Ibid., September 30, 1870. 

12. She sent a summary of her findings to the Woman's Journal, 
Oct. 8, 1870. 

13. Cheyenne Leader, June 22 and 26, 1871. 

14. Ida M. Harper, The Life and Works of Susan B. Anthony, (In- 
dianapolis and Kansas City: Bowen-Merrill Co.. 1898-1908, 3 
volumes), I, p. 388. 

15. The Arena, May, 1897. 

16. Woman's Journal, August 3, 1872. 

17. Ibid., September 1, 1888. 

18. Ibid., August 26, 1871. 

19. Ibid., December 2, 1871, quoting from the Indianapolis Sen 
tinel of November 16, 1871. 

20. Woman's Journal, April 5, May 10 and 31. 1884. 

21. Ibid , April 5, 1884, quoting Hayford's letter of March 3, 1881. 

22. Deseret Evening News (Salt Lake City), August 7, 1869. 

23. Woman's Journal, XX, No. 28, p. 220. 

24. The Warren material which follows is taken from the article by 
W. T. Jackson, "Governor Francis E. Warren, A Champion of 
Woman Suffrage," Annals of Wyoming, April, 1943, 
pp. 141-149. 

25. The full text of the resolution appears in a leaflet, "Wyoming 
Speaks for Herself," Boston, May, 1893, and in the Woman's 

Journal, August 18, 1894. The resolution does not appear in the 
House Journal but other evidence confirms that the resolution 
was passed. 

26. Woman's Rights Collection. Radcliffe College Library, file 
folder 649. 

27. Quoted in The Oregonian, June 2, 1900, from a letter published 
in the same paper, December 9, 1899. 

28. Woman's Journal, February 2, 1907. 

29. Governor J. M. Carey's Incoming and Outgoing Correspon- 
dence. 1911-1914, Archives Division, Wyoming State Archives, 
Museums and Historical Department. 

30. January 27, 1870. 

31. January 21, 1871. 

32. Ibid. 

33. Woman's Journal, March 9, 1872. The Journal's account came 
from the San Jose Mercury, which in turn had come from the 
San Francisco Call. 

34. E. C. Stanton, S. B. Anthony, and others. History of Woman 
Suffrage (Rochester and New York: privately published, 1887), 
III, p. 35. A similar report appears in Ida H. Harper, The Life 
and Works of Susan B. Anthony (Indianapolis and Kansas City: 
Bowen-Merrill Co., 1898-1908, 3 volumes), I, p. 479. 

35. Woman's Journal, October 24, 1885. 

36. Ibid., November 28, 1885. 

37. Ibid., June 15, 1895 and March 12, 1898. Reel became national 
Superintendent of Indian Schools. Her papers are at Gonzaga 
University, Spokane. 

38. Emma Smith DeVoe Papers, Box 1, file folder "Catt 4" in 
Washington Room, Washington State Historical Society, Olym- 
pia, Washington. 

39. Laramie Weekly Sentinel, March 27, 1886. 

40. Marie H. Erwin, Wyoming Historical Blue Book (Denver: 
Bradford-Robinson Printing Co., 1946), p. 687. 

41. Woman's Journal, February 9, 1895. 

42. Ibid., February 26. 1898. 

43. Warren Letter Book No. 56, pp. 684-685, Western Heritage 
Center, University of Wyoming. 

44. Ibid. 

45. Wyoming Tribune (Cheyenne), August 1 and 12, 1916. For 
other aspects of the CU-Woman's Party story, see the Woman 
Suffrage file folders 2 and 3 in the Western Heritage Center. 
University of Wyoming; boxes 2, 4 and 5 in the Anne Martin 
Papers. Bancroft Library, Berkeley. California; Inez Haynes Ir- 
win, The Story of the Woman's Party (New York: Harcourt 
Brace, 1921); David Morgan, Suffragists and Democrats: The 
Politics of Woman Suffrage in America (Chicago: Quadrangle 
Books. 1969); and Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: 

Boni and Liveright, 1920). 

46. DeVoe Papers, Box 4, Washington State Historical Society, 

47. Wyoming Tribune (Cheyenne), January 10. 11, and 12, 1911. 
Colorado. Utah, and Idaho all elected women to their 
legislatures before Wyoming did. so Bellamys election in 1910 
was not the first in the U.S. 

48. San Francisco Chronicle, July 9. 1915. p. 4. 

49. Wyoming Tribune, July 25. 1916. 

50. Ibid.. July 29. 1916. 

51. May 10, 1919, letter in Hebard tiles. Western Heritage Center, 
University ol Wyoming. 

52. Ibid. 

53. Woman Suffrage Collection, Western Heritage Center, file 
folder 1. 

54. Hebard Papers. Box () ,uul Wom.m Suffrage Collection, file 
foldei 2. Western Heritage Center. 


Wyoming's Electric 
Railway Projects 


By H. Roger Grant 

In the closing years of the 19th century Americans 
began a two-decade love affair with electric railways. 
This novel form of intra-city and inter-city travel result- 
ed from major technological developments in the 1880s. 
The principal breakthrough occurred in 1887 when 
Frank Julian Sprague, a young Naval Academy grad- 
uate, succeeded in electrifying the small Richmond 
Union Passenger Railway in Virginia. Spragues Rich- 
mond triumph set a pattern for a transportation revolu- 
tion and by the early 1890s additional research demon- 
strated the commercial feasibility of the electric rail- 
way. 1 

Almost overnight American cities abandoned horse, 
horse-car and mule-car operations and the cumbersome 
cable cars for the street trolley. The advantages of elec- 
tricity were overwhelming. Animal power represented a 
high, risky investment. Good draft horses in the 1890s 
cost about $200 each, and were susceptible to disease, 
especially respiratory ailments. Moreover, animals were 
dirty and slow, and could pull only limited loads. On the 
other hand, electric cars were clean and powerful; they 
could handle much larger passenger volumes with 
greater speed. By 1900 few animal-car lines remained 
and cable-car routes were doomed, except for the most 
difficult grades like those found in San Francisco. 2 

Entrepreneurs likewise applied electricity to inter- 
city rail operations. Rather than convincing the steam 
carriers to install trolley overheads, these promoters al- 
most universally built their own lines, often utilizing 
recently electrified street car routes as entries into urban 
centers. Inter-city traction mileage increased 
dramatically after the return of prosperity following the 
catastrophic depression of 1893 to 1897. While less than 
1000 miles existed in 1897, ten years later the total 
soared to more than 10,000. The country's interurban 
network peaked at slightly over 15,000 miles in 1915. 

Electric lines laced large sections of the country, 
especially New England and the Old Northwest. In fact, 
Ohio and Indiana became the heartland of "compressed 
air." With roads radiating out of all of the large and 
medium-sized cities, their state traction maps resembled 
plates of wet spaghetti. Yet routes appeared in more 
remote sections of the country. For example, interur- 
bans connected such isolated communites as Warren 

and Bisbee, Arizona, and Cripple Creek and Victor, 
Colorado. Even thinly-populated Wyoming boasted an 
electric intercity railway, the seventeen-mile Sheridan 
Railway & Light Company. 3 

The popularity of interurbans whether in Wyo- 
ming or elsewhere — is easily explained. If a community 
or region lacked adequate steam service, an electric car- 
rier could solve the problem. Traction routes allowed 
farmers, ranchers, miners, and others convenient access 
to the economic and cultural opportunities offered by 
the cities and towns, and permitted these communities 
to tap a wider trading area. When in operation, electric 
lines commonly provided hourly or semi -hourly service, 
rather than running one or two times a day as did the 
steam roads. Moreover, interurbans, unlike steamcars, 
would stop at farmsteads, village crossings, or virtually 
anywhere. Like trolleys, interurbans were clean; they 
produced "no cinders, no dirt, no dust, no smoke." And 
they were potentially fast. If the roadbed and operating 
conditions allowed, an electric car could accelerate 
within seconds to sixty or more miles per hour. 

The traveling and shipping public also appreciated 
the less expensive rates usually charged for passenger, 
express, and freight service. This was particularly en- 
joyed after years of widespread and often bitter com- 
plaints about high and arbitrary steam railroad and ex- 
press company charges. Of course, this new mode of 
transportation, with all of its advantages, was especially 
popular since the horse-drawn buggy and wagon had 
limited range. Even with the debut of the automobile 
and truck, highway travel remained primitive. It would 
be years before the good-roads movement lifted the na- 
tion out of the mud and dust. 4 

Less obvious to most citizens, yet readily apparent to 
traction promoters, were the ways to profit from the 
trolley and interurban phenomenon. Surely, electric 
railway stock would advance rapidly in price and 
presumably pay regular and handsome dividends. 
There also existed financial windfalls from the sale of 
electricity to commercial and residential customers 
along the routes. After all, electric power had to be gen- 
erated and transmission lines and substations built. Fur- 
thermore, the opening of a traction road caused land 
prices to increase, even soar, usually to the personal 


The Cheyenne system 
was one of only three 
successful electric 
railway projects in 


benefit of the backers. The possibilities of easy access to 
commercial centers made housing along these arteries 
desirable. 5 

Wyoming residents saw various proposals for electric 
intracity trolleys. Only a single proposal became reality, 
the Cheyenne Electric Railway Company. Differing 
from the interurban, the trolley operated a majority of 
its trackage within a community, although it might serve 
a nearby suburb, amusement park, or cemetery. Even 
though the most profitable street railway systems na- 
tionally were found in the largest cities, smaller com- 
munities, with populations of 1500 to 15,000, might also 
expect to enjoy the advantages of "compressed air." At 
the turn of the century Wyoming claimed several towns 
that were large enough to warrant serious consideration 
for trolley lines, including Cheyenne (14,087) and 
Laramie (8207), and by 1910 two other communities, 
Casper (2639) and Thermopolis (1524), gained suffi- 
cient populations. 6 

Cheyenne saw the first trolley promotion. As early as 
1890, published rumors spoke of electrifying the town's 
horse car line and extending it to nearby Fort D. A. 
Russell, a federal military post established in 1867. Elec- 
tricity finally came, but not until the early years of the 
20th century. Chartered on June 24, 1908, by local in- 
terests, the Cheyenne Electric Railway Company soon 
boasted a five-mile network with service to the fort. 
Trolleys later ran to the company-owned Frontier Park 
on the shores of Lake Absaraca. 7 

A year after the initial proposal for the Cheyenne 
electric lines, the Laramie Tramway Company, brain- 

child of Denver promoters, sought to build an eight-mile 
system. But that firm's cars never came to the Albany 
County seat. More than a score of years later, the local 
power supplier, The Laramie Electric Company, an- 
nounced its intention to construct a trolley line. This 
plan likewise fizzled. 8 

Thermopolis, too, experienced street car agitation. 
In 1908 the city council gave the newly formed Hot 
Springs Street Railway a twenty-five year franchise to 
build an electric line from the town's business section "to 
the hot springs in the State reserve." Local backers 
pushed hard for their objective. Their goals were hardly 
grandiose: two miles of standard gauge track, the corre- 
sponding distance of overhead trolley wire and poles, 
and three small electric cars. Plans were made to buy 
power from the Hot Springs Electric Light & Power 
Company rather than to establish a railway-owned gen- 
erating plant. Yet, this puny project stalled, probably 
for lack of a community subscription to the $50,000 of 
authorized stock, and the threat posed from "outside" 
traction promoters. This rival group from Denver, call- 
ing itself the East Thermopolis Power Company, 
flopped as well. 9 

Casper also had hopes for an electric transit system. 
Late in 1913 local enthusiast E. Richard Shipp asked 
town fathers for their permission to construct a street 
railway from the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (Burl- 
ington Route) depot to the community's southern boun- 
dary. Unlike other Wyoming trolley schemes, the Casper 
road planned to acquire electric "storage-battery" 
equipment, thus eliminating the use of unsightly over- 

head wire and trolley poles. Although the council grant- 
ed the franchise and the project was officially incorpo- 
rated as the Casper Street Railway Company, the firm 
remained only on paper. 10 

While Wyoming claimed only one bona fide interur- 
ban — that is an electric line with more than half of its 
mileage outside a municipality — others were proposed. 
These "hot air" roads represent an important dimension 
of the "interurban fever" that once infected America. 
The Wyoming projects appeared in widely scattered 
locations, and all date from the period immediately 
following the Panic of 1907. While most traction promo- 
tion activities in the East clustered between 1901 and 
1907, those in the trans- Mississippi West coincide with 
Wyoming's interurban era. As the Electric Railway Jour- 
nal, the principal industry trade publication, noted in 
its New Year's day 1910 editorial, "The West is large, 
and only a small part of the opportunity awaiting the in- 
vestor has been grasped." 11 This then was the place for 
the traction investment dollar and where several sizable 
networks emerged by World War I. 12 

The first widely publicized interurban proposal for 
the "Equality State" occurred in 1909 when Evanston 
and Salt Lake City, Utah, promoters suggested con- 
struction of an electric passenger and heavy-duty freight 
line between the Uinta County seat and Price, Utah. 
Known as the Castle Valley Railroad, this company 
planned to bridge two steam roads: the Union Pacific at 
Evanston and the Denver & Rio Grande at Price. It 
would thus enter a remote and transportation-starved 
region. While this scheme collapsed before any legal or 

fund-raising activities began, plans for the state's lone 
interurban triumph started a year later. 13 

In January, 1910, an announcement appeared for a 
forty-mile electric line to link the two small county seat 
communities of Sheridan and Buffalo, with populations 
of 8408 and 1368 respectively. Although since 1892 
Sheridan enjoyed the services of the CB&QJs line from 
Alliance, Nebraska, to Billings, Montana, Buffalo at 
this time was miles from a railhead. Promoted by the 
Albert Emanuel syndicate of Dayton, Ohio, efforts to 
make the idea tangible were launched on December 29, 
1913, when two interurban cars began operations on the 
Sheridan Railway & Light Company (later Sheridan 
Railway Company). Instead of connecting Sheridan 
with rail-hungry Buffalo, the new line, which paralleled 
the Burlington Route, ran in a northwesterly direction 
to the coal-mining camp of Monarch. Clearly, these out- 
side capitalists perceived the transportation of hundreds 
of miners and their families as a better risk than the 
longer and probably less patronized original route. 14 

The Sheridan Railway & Light Company had 
another plan. Shortly before cars travelled the seventeen 
miles from Sheridan through Fort Mackenzie, Dietz, 
and Carneyville, on their way to Monarch, the company 
announced that an additional ten miles of track and 
trolley overhead would be installed between Monarch 
and Ranchester and Dayton. That proposal, like the ini- 
tially conceived stem to Buffalo, never materialized. 15 

Coinciding with the Sheridan area schemes was one 
in the Yellowstone region. Although technically not an 
electric railroad, the Electric Railway Journal men- 

The Sheridan 
interurban began 
operations to the coal 
camp of Monarch on 
December 29, 1913. 


S 1 




tioned in 1911 formation of an interurban-like tourist 
road designed to serve the remote Yellowstone National 
Park. A Denver promoter hoped to construct a "gasoline 
motor line" through the area and to make a possible 
connection in Montana with the Northern Pacific's Liv- 
ingston to Gardiner branch. Supposedly the company 
would employ a gasoline-mechanical car, perhaps one 
built by either Omaha's McKeen Car Company or the 
General Electric Company. This type of equipment was 
then widely used by shortlines and some trunk carriers, 
usually for branch-line operations. 16 

Also in 1911, Wyoming's largest single electric inter- 
city project was publicized. The Rawlins-based 
Nebraska Coal Company prepared cost estimates and 
surveys for a two-hundred mile electric railway designed 
to tap the vast lignite fields of the state's mid-section. 


Joe Driear, conductor on the Sheridan interurban. 

The line would serve various mines in Carbon, Natrona, 
and Johnson counties. For unknown reasons, the 
Nebraska Coal Company never pursued its plans for an 
interurban subsidiary. 17 

A third successful electric project was neither a trol- 
ley nor interurban. Wyoming was the site of one of the 
nation's earliest electric-powered mine railways. Early in 
1893, only six years after Frank Sprague's famed Rich- 
mond experiment, the Rock Springs Coal Company in- 
stalled a 6000-foot railway at one of its Sweetwater 
County operations. Using a lone General Electric loco- 
motive, the line shuttled cars over the light (and por- 
table) thirty-five pound "T" rails. An apparent success, 
an electric railway trade paper remarked that on one oc- 
casion "the locomotive drew after it thirty loafded cars, 
and pushed ahead sixteen others from end to end of the 
road without difficulty." 18 

Wyoming's failure to participate more extensively in 
the electric railway era is an easily solved mystery. The 
answers center largely on population, time period, and 
topography. These factors were readily apparent to the 
most skilled and financially capable investors, and, for 
that reason they generally ignored the state. As pre- 
viously noted, most Wyoming proposals attracted either 
regional or local capitalists. 

The "Equality State" lacked attractive population 
densities. At the time of statehood Wyoming claimed a 
mere 62,555 inhabitants. By 1920 total population had 
risen dramatically, but reached only 194,402. Never 
during this period did any one community exceed 
15,000. Simply put, electric railroads hauled people, for 
urban transit systems, principally interurbans. Admit- 
tedly, an electric road that was a coal-carrier, for exam- 
ple, and hence not dependent on population concentra- 
tions, might have thrived. 

Furthermore, Wyoming's traction proposals fell pri- 
marily into the twilight of construction activities. With 
the coming of the age of internal combustion, altern- 
ative transportation forms, namely the automobile, 
truck, and bus, became tough competitors. Even in 
Wyoming the "latest traction devices" were considered, 
either storage-battery cars for Casper's streets or 
gasoline-mechanical equipment for the Yellowstone 
Park road. This rolling stock marked the transition from 
electric railroads to motorized vehicles. 

Finally, unlike most areas of the East and Midwest, 
the physical configuration of Wyoming was not ideally 
suited for intercity railroad construction, either steam or 
electricity. The mountainous sections posed obvious 
problems, and the high plains, too, offered major ob- 
stacles. Cuts and fills through rolling hills were always 
costly. Naturally, the greater distances between com- 
munities also hiked construction charges. 19 


While both electric trolleys and interurbans would 
have filled a transportation void in Wyoming, the likeli- 
hood of their being long-lasting and presumably profit- 
able is doubtful. After 1920 streetcar companies na- 
tionally either quit or changed to buses, and interurban 
mileage shrank rapidly when scores of carriers went 
bankrupt. What had once been thought "the latest har- 
bingers of a higher state of civilization" had passed for- 
ever. 20 Yet, an electric intercity operation that devel- 
oped substantial carload-freight traffic, like the 
Bamberger Electric Railroad in Utah or the Sacramento 
Northern Railway in California might have succeeded, 
although these roads were exceptions. 

While the Cheyenne trolley was a reasonable ven- 
ture, the Sheridan to Monarch interurban probably 
should not have been constructed. It never experienced 
good health financially, even during its formative years. 
Generally speaking, Wyoming residents were fortunate 
that they failed to have more traction proposals and 
more importantly, that they did not turn the vast ma- 
jority of their electric dreams into reality. 

13. Electric Railway Journal, September 25, 1909, p. 487. 

14. Hilton and Due, p. 383; Electric Railway Journal, January 22, 
1910, p. 171; May 21, 1910, p. 926; November 18, 1911, p. 
1085; Thirteenth Census, p. 1111. The Sheridan Railway & 
Light Company also provided city street car service for the 
Sheridan County seat. 

15. Electric Railway Journal, January 27, 1912, p. 185; McGraw 
Electric Railway List, August, 1918, (New York: McGraw-Hill 
Company, Inc., 1918), p. 193. 

16. Electric Railway Journal, September 23, 1911, p. 517. 

17. Ibid., November 4, 1911, p. 1014. 

18. Street Railway Journal, May, 1893, p. 323. 

19. Thirteenth Census, pp. 1111, 1115; Fourteenth Census of the 
United States Taken in the Year 1920, Vol. Ill, Population, 
(Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1922), p. 

20. Street Railway Journal, January, 1903, p. 88. 

1. George W. Hilton and John F. Due, The Electric Interurban 
Railways in America, (Stanford; Stanford University Press, 
1960), pp. 4-15; Street Railway Journal, July, 1899, pp. 
471-472; Dictionary of American Biography, (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1944), pp. 669-670. 

2. Hilton and Due, pp. 4-5. 

3. Ibid., pp. 186, 381, 383, 389; Henry H. Norris, "The Interur- 
ban Electric Railway," The World To-Day, June 1905, pp. 
608-612; Alexander Hume Ford, "The Advance of the Trolley," 
The Independent, pp. 846-854. 

4. H. Roger Grant, "Electric Traction Promotion in Oklahoma," 
in Donovan L. Hofsommer, ed., Railroads in Oklahoma, (Okla- 
homa City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1977), p. 97; Guy 
Morrison Walker, The Why and How of Interurban Railways, 
(Chicago: Kenfield Publishing Company, 1904), pp. 3-4. 

5. Hilton and Due, pp. 7-8; Street Railway Journal, April 13, 

1907, pp. 637-639. 

6. Thirteenth Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1910, 
Vol. Ill, Population, (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing 
Office, 1913), p. 1111. Evanston (2110) and Rock Springs 
(4363) had large enough populations, but both lacked trolley 
promotion efforts. 

7. Street Railway Journal, March. 1890, May, 1890, p. 237; Elec- 
tric Railway Journal, July 25, 1909, p. 365; January 2, 1909, p. 
19; Poor's Manual of Public Utilities, (New York: Poor's 
Railroad Manual Company, 1913), p. 534. 

8. Street Railway Journal, September, 1891, p. 492; January, 
1892, p. 50; Electric Railway Journal, March 29, 1913, p. 611. 

9. Electric Railway Journal. July 25, 1908, p. 363; August 15, 

1908, p. 494; December 19, 1908, p. 1632; April 2, 1910, p. 
644; June 10, 1911, p. 1042. 

10. Ibid., November 29, 1913. p. 1161; January 16, 1915, p. 163. 

1 1. Ibid., January 1, 1910, p. 1. 

12. Utah is an example. By the time of World War I the state 
boasted one of the longest interurban routes in the Rocky Moun 
tain West . A traveler could ride electric cars for nearly 200 miles 
from Preston, Idaho, through Ogden, Salt Lake City and Provo 
to Payson, on the southeastern edge of Utah Lake. 




By William E. Woodbridge, Jr. 

Until last August a silver-painted, plain and un- 
pretentious looking cannon mounted on a stand made of 
angle irons stood in front of the flagpole at Francis E. 
Warren Air Force Base. I had heard that the cannon 
was from the Civil War, but no one seemed to know for 

On an April day in 1979 I wandered down to the 
cannon to see if I could find any foundry marks or other 
proof of its origin. The first thing I noticed was a rose 
between the letters M and R carved in high relief on the 
barrel. These marks indicated that the cannon had been 
cast during the reign of Mary Tudor, queen of England 
from 1553 to 1558. This bit of information started me 
on a search through 420 years of history. 

In addition to the rose and royal monogram, there 
was an inscription on the cannon. I made a rubbing and 
took it back to the office to decipher the writing. What 
finally appeared was "ROBERT OWYNE MADE 
THYS FAVCON ANNO DNI 1557." Now the problem 
was to find out what a 'favcon' was and who Robert 
Owyne was. 

A little research on artillery and some comparisons 
of measurements finally revealed that the cannon was a 
'falcon'. This was a multi-purpose gun, good for use on 
ships or as a field gun. The average falcon was 7 feet 
long, had a bore diameter of 2V£ to 2% inches, weighed 
between 700 and 800 pounds, and was cast of bronze. 1 
The cannon on base was 6 feet 1 1 inches long and had a 
bore diameter of 2% inches. A little more research in 
the base archives produced a memo, dated 16 February, 
1926, stating that the cannon was cast of bronze and was 
captured by the 11th Infantry on the Island of Samar 
during the Philippine Insurrection. 2 So now I knew what 
kind of cannon we had and what it was made of; but 
who was Robert Owyne and how did the cannon get to 
the Philippine Islands? 

I decided to write a letter to the West Point Museum 
to see if they had any records of war trophies. I received 
the answer that there were no records of war trophies, 
but I got confirmation of the cannon being what I had 
surmised. I also received information on Robert Owyne 
(or Owen) who was one of three brothers who were gun- 
founders from 1529 to 1571. 

The brothers worked at the foundries in Hounds- 
ditch, London and in Calais, France. They were ap- 
pointed gun-founders to Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, 
and Elizabeth I. The records showed that Robert's name 
stopped appearing on cannons and documents around 


1540, and it was thought that he had died. The Tower 
of London, however, did some research and found evi- 
dence that Robert Owyne didn't die until 1571. 3 

That settled the question of who Robert Owyne was, 
but no one seemed to know how the cannon got from 
England to the Philippines. Left to my own devices, I 
started thinking of all the ways the cannon could have 
changed hands. I considered an arms deal between 
Mary Tudor and Philip II of Spain; pirates; or an 
English warship running aground in the Philippines. I 
finally found a clue in English Artillery by Brigadier 
O.F.G. Hogg, and proceeded to build a fairly logical 
hypothesis of the movements of the cannon. 

My theory starts with two Roman numeral sevens 
(VII) chiseled in the breech ring. Supposing that those 
sevens indicate that this was the seventh gun produced 
in the seventh month, July, then the cannon may have 
been cast for the English forces participating in the last 
Hapsburg-Valois War. On June 7, 1557, Mary of Eng- 
land, wife of Philip II of Spain, declared war on France 
and promised to send men and equipment to help the 
Spanish army. The English contingent of 7000 men and 
twelve pieces of artillery were under the command of 
William, 1st Earl of Pembroke. The English forces 
joined the Spanish forces in the Netherlands sometime 
in late July, and the combined armies started the cam- 
paign through northern France. 4 

The combined armies were under the command of 
Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, who led the army 
toward Paris. The army stopped to besiege the city of 
Saint Quentin in early August, and the city fell on 
August 27, 1557. Savoy wanted to march on to Paris, 
but Philip II ordered the army back to the Netherlands. 
This withdrawal enabled the French to organize a force 
of 26,000 men, and to begin raids along the frontier be- 
tween France and the Netherlands. 

In January of 1558, Francis, Duke of Guise, set siege 
on Calais, last of the English holdings in France. On 
January 7, 1558, after a siege of five days, Calais fell, 
and 1041 pieces of English artillery fell into French con- 
trol. The French forces went on to capture Dunkirk, but 
were routed by the Spanish army and the English navy 
at Gravelines in July and August of 1558. The war ended 
with the signing of the Peace of Catteau-Cambresis on 
April 3, 1559. 5 

Further pursuing my hypothesis, the cannon could 
have fallen into Spanish control as spoils of war taken 
from the French after the fall of Calais; or by the simple 

The Tudor cannon at Warren Air Force Base 


act of the Spanish keeping the English artillery train 
when the English forces disbanded. Probably, the Span- 
ish took ownership of the cannon sometime between 
1557 and 1559. Most likely the Spanish sent the cannon 
to Seville, which was the national storehouse for arma- 
ment at that time. It was from Seville that ships and ex- 
peditions headed for the colonies in the Americas and 
the Pacific were fitted out. 6 It was likely that the cannon 
headed for the Philippine Islands from Seville. 

The Spanish started to settle the Philippines in 
1565, when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi led the first suc- 
cessful expedition to settle the Philippines. Legazpi 
landed on the island of Samar on February 13, 1565, 
and went on to the island of Cebu, where the first Span- 
ish settlement in the Philippines was established on 
April 27, 1565. 

Manila came under Spanish control in May and 
June of 1571, and by 1600 the entire archipelago was 
under Spanish control. 

The cannon would have arrived in the Philippines at 
either Cebu or Manila in the years between 1566-1575. 
The natives of Samar were troublesome in the 1580s and 
1590s, so it would be highly probable that the cannon 
was taken to Samar during that time period. 7 

The movements of the cannon came to a standstill 
until the beginning of the 20th century. With the advent 
of the Spanish-American War, the United States Army 
entered the picture. During the Philippine Insurrection 
(1899-1902) the United States Army and the United 
States Marine Corps were on Samar to root out the 
Filipino insurrectionists. 

The island was a largely unmapped jungle, and 
there were no roads into the interior, where the insurrec- 
tionists maintained their bases of operations. The 
military operations on Samar were marked by atrocities 
committed by both sides, but the Filipinos were the most 
vicious. On April 15, 1900, a thirty-one man Army 
detachment was ambushed at Catubig, Samar. Onlv 
eighteen men escaped death by the whirling, razor- 
sharp bolo knives, the principal weapon of the insurrec- 
tionists. This attack resulted in General Arthur Mac- 
Arthur stepping up the intensity and ferocity of fighting 
on Samar. K 

The worst attack by the insurrectionists came on 
September 28, 1901. On that day Company C, Ninth 
Infantry Regiment, garrisoned at Balangiga, was at- 
tacked. The attack left forty-five Americans dead and 
twenty-six seriously wounded. This attack was followed 
by others at various Army posts on Samar. 


■; s 

Foundry marks on the cannon indicate it was made during 
the reign of Mary Tudor (1553-1558). 

Retaliation came in the form of increased Army gar- 
risons and two companies of Marines. 9 It was during this 
increased action that the cannon was captured from an 
insurrectionist stronghold by Company I, 4th Battalion, 
1 1th Infantry Regiment. The 1 1th Infantry also took the 
church bells that were used to signal the attack at 
Balangiga. 10 

In March of 1904 the 11th Infantry was stationed at 
Fort D.A. Russell (now Warren Air Force Base) near 
Cheyenne. The 11th brought the trophies of their cam- 
paign on Samar with them; the bells of Balangiga, the 
cannon, and two small swivel cannon. The bells and the 
cannon were placed in front of the base flagpole for all 
to see. The 11th Infantry left Fort Russell in 1906, but 
returned in 1909 for another four years. In 1913 the 
11th Infantry left Fort Russell for good, leaving behind 
their hard -won trophies." 

The trophies sat out by the parade ground, unno- 
ticed until 1926, when Brigadier General John M. 
Jenkins, the post commander, directed that tablets 
detailing the stories of the trophies be made and placed 
with the trophies. All that remains of that order is a 
memo. 12 The bells and cannon both remained beside 
the flagpole until recently. The bells are still there and 
are marked by a plaque that tells their story. 

This, in essence, is the story of the cannon at F. E. 
Warren Air Force Base. There are still some unanswered 
questions, though. Was the cannon used in the last 
Hapsburg-Valois War? Only research of the records at 
the Tower of London can tell. Was the cannon kept by 
the Spanish, taken to Seville, and shipped to the Philip- 
pines? Only research in the National Archives of Spain 
would reveal the answer. When and where on ^he island 
of Samar did the 11th Infantry capture the cannon? A 
search of combat reports in the National Archives might 
reveal the particulars. 

Last but not least, what should be done with the 
cannon? It was moved indoors in August, 1979, for pro- 
tection against theft and vandalism, and to prevent fur- 
ther deterioration. The Office of Air Force History in- 
vestigated the possibilities of loaning the cannon to the 
Smithsonian Institution or the Tower of London, but 
the tentative decision was to leave the cannon at the 
Base. It is hoped that within the year it will be on display 
at the Base museum. 

1. Brigadier O. F. G. Hogg, English Artillery, 1326-1716, (Lon- 
don, 1963), pp 21-23; R. Ernest Dupuy and Trevor N. Dupuy, 
The Encyclopedia of Military History from 3500 B.C to Pres- 
ent, (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), pp. 452-453. 

2. Memo, Capt. G. M. Peabody, Jr., Adjutant, Fort D. A. Russell, 
to Post Quartermaster, "Trophies at the Base of the Flagpole," 
February 16, 1926. 

3. Letter, Walter J. Nock, West Point Museum, to Historian, 90th 
Strategic Missile Wing, "Cannon at F. E. Warren AFB," April 
20, 1979; Letter, H. L. Blackmore. The Armouries, H. M. 
Tower of London, to Historian, 90th Strategic Missile Wing, 
"Cannon at F. E. Warren AFB," July 2, 1979; Charles Foulkes, 
The Gun-Founders of England, (Cambridge, England: Mac- 
millan, 1937), pp. 45-49, 109-112, 123. 

4. Hogg. pp. 219-220; Dupuy and Dupuy, pp. 477-478. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Antonio Dominguez Ortiz, The Golden Age of Spam, 
1516-1659, (New York: Basic Books, 1971). pp. 135, 183-185; 
David P. Barrows, History of the Philippines, (New York: 
World Book Co., 1925), pp. 50-51. 

7. Barrows, pp. 102-113, 135-137. 

8. Jules Archer, The Philippines Fight for Freedom, (London: 
Macmillan, 1970). p. 86. 

9. Archer, pp. 121-126; Joseph L. Schott. The Ordeal of Samar, 
(Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964), pp. 27-55. 65 73. 

10. Memo, Capt. G. M. Peabody, Jr., Adjutant, Fort D. A. Russell, 
to Post Quartermaster, "Trophies at the Base of the Flagpole," 
February 16, 1926. 

1 1. Jane R. Kendall, "History of Fort Francis E. Warren." Annals oj 

Wyoming, Vol 18, No. 1 (Jan. 1946). pp. 57-59. 

12. Ibid.; Memo, Capt. G. M. Peabody, Jr., Adjutant, Fort D. A. 
Russell, to Post Quartermaster, 'Trophies at the Base of the 
Flagpole," February 16, 1926. 



The Postwar Politics of Decontrol 

By Peter M. Wright 

The guns of World War II fell silent on September 
2, 1945, when the final surrender scene was enacted on 
board the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. With the 
end of the war, Americans faced a new challenge: the 
reconversion of the economy from a war footing to 
peacetime production without either deflation and 
depression or inflation and a never-ending spiral of in- 
creasing wages and prices. Reconversion planning fell to 
President Harry S. Truman who had exercised executive 
leadership for only five months, but he presented a pro- 
gram within a week of the end of the war. 

Truman sent a message to Congress in which he out- 
lined his plans for reconversion on September 6, 1945. 
The armed forces would be demobilized as rapidly as 
possible while all war contracts would be cancelled or 
settled. Of prime importance, according to Truman, 
was the maintenance of wages and purchasing power 
while reasonable control would be maintained over 
prices and rents until production of consumer items 
could be increased to meet demand. During reconver- 
sion, Truman stressed the need for cooperation between 
labor and industry, and he requested that Congress ex- 
tend the provisions of the second War Powers Act 
without delay so that businessmen would know that the 
government intended to keep a firm hand on the econ- 
omy for at least a year after June, 1946. 1 

The President's economic stabilization program was 
predicated upon cooperation among the citizens of the 
United States, Congress, and labor and business leaders. 
Strong executive leadership was required to keep labor 
and business in line once the war had ended since there 
would be immediate demands from labor leaders for 
wage increases that had been delayed by the war and 
which would result in demands by businessmen for price 
advances to offset wage costs. Consumer products would 
be in great demand and command high prices since sup- 
ply initially would be limited and people had spendable 
savings from the war. Consumers had to be persuaded to 
forego an orgy of spending. Truman, an average man of 
moderate abilities, had problems that transcended his 
limited vision, and his own actions began the destruc- 
tion of his program. 2 

As soon as it was apparent that the collapse of Japan 
was complete, Truman ended wage controls by a presi- 
dential order and urged labor to return to collective bar- 
gaining. Labor leaders concluded, in the face of lay-offs 
in late 1945, that a breakdown in the economy could be 
avoided only if the government supported wage in- 

creases and full employment to maintain purchasing 
power and an expanding market for industrial goods. 
Organized labor asked for wage increases, and Truman 
believed business could grant them without correspond- 
ing price advances. Management declined to grant a rise 
in wages without offsetting price increases, and, as 1945 
closed, large scale strikes began which crippled the 
chances for increased production and an orderly transi- 
tion to a peacetime economy. 3 

By the close of 1945, 3,470,000 workers were in- 
volved in work stoppages, representing 12.2 percent of 
employed wage earners. This number advanced to 14.5 
percent of employed wage earners in 1946 or 4,600,000 

Of all the strikes, that in the steel industry involving 
750,000 men held the spotlight. In a compromise settle- 
ment underwritten by the Administration, steel workers 
received an increase of 18.5 cents in straight-line hourly 
rates, but steel producers were permitted to boost the 
price per ton of their product. 

Even as this strike ended, new strikes began when 
John L. Lewis led his coal miners out on April 1, 1946. 
By April 2, 3000 miners in the Rock Springs, Wyoming, 
area were idled, bringing hardships to their families in a 
walkout that would last intermittently for the rest of the 
year. In the steel settlement the Administration had suf- 
fered its first major loss in the fight against inflation, 
and Chester A. Bowles lamented that other interest 
groups would demand price increases and wreck the 
program of the Office of Price Administration. 4 

The Emergency Price Control Act of 1942 had 
established the Office of Price Administration (O.P.A.) 
which replaced the Office of Price Administration and 
Civilian Supply created in 1941. The O.P.A. was de- 
signed to prevent inflationary pressures during the war 
and controlled rents, fixed maximum prices, paid sub- 
sidies to producers if it was necessary to hold prices 
down, and established rationing of goods in short sup- 

After 1943, Chester A. Bowles, a young, retired, 
wealthy advertising executive, had become the O.P.A. 
director. By tightening administration and reforming 
policies, Bowles made the O.P.A. effective, if un- 
popular. The O.P.A. did an adequate job during the 
war emergency, and the Consumer Price Index in- 
creased only 28.3 percent during the period from 1940 
to 1945. The continuation of the O.P.A. after June, 
1946, was a key to Truman's hopes to stabilize the 

economy and prevent inflation. With pressure for 
decontrol increasing in the postwar period, Bowles and 
the Administration faced their most severe test. 5 

A conservative coalition of Republicans and 
southern Democrats opposed the Administration's plans 
to retain effective price controls. The opposition was led 
by the Republican whip in the Senate, Kenneth S. 
Wherry of Nebraska, and Senator Robert A. Taft, a 
Republican from Ohio. Taft, especially, was a problem 
since legislation to extend the functions of the O.P.A. 
had to go through the Senate Banking and Currency 
Committee of which he was a member. A latter day con- 
servative, Taft espoused a free -enterprise philosophy, 
and men of both parties said that Taft's first reaction on 
any issue involving government activity was "no." Tru- 
man could depend on the assistance of the Democratic 
leadership in both houses, and Senator Alben W. Bark- 
ley, the majority floor leader, would guide the O.P.A. 
extension bill through the Senate with the assistance of 
other regular Democrats such as Joseph C. O'Mahoney 
of Wyoming. 6 

Blue-eyed, bushy-browed Joseph Christopher O'Ma- 
honey was born at Chelsea, Massachusetts, on Novem- 
ber 5, 1884, one of eleven children of Irish immigrant 
parents. O'Mahoney attended Columbia University but 
before obtaining a degree he went west with an ailing 
brother. O'Mahoney settled in Boulder, Colorado, and 

became a reporter on the Boulder Herald. Later, he 
moved to Cheyenne, and became city editor of the State 
Leader and a protege of its publisher, John B. Kendrick. 
Kendrick went to Washington as a senator from Wyo- 
ming, and O'Mahoney went with him as his secretary. 
Earning a law degree at Georgetown University, O'Ma- 
honey began a long career in law and politics, gaining a 
reputation as a liberal Democrat. When Kendrick died 
in 1933, Governor Leslie A. Miller appointed 
O'Mahoney to fill the vacancy, and O'Mahoney was 
elected to a full term in 1934. 

In Washington, Senator O'Mahoney supported 
Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal," breaking only once 
with him over the plan to "pack" the Supreme Court in 
1937, an event which brought O'Mahoney into the na- 
tional spotlight, but which may have cost him an ap- 
pointment to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

O'Mahoney became a foe of big business and insist- 
ed that business management, like government, must be 
responsible to the people since "the national economy, 
like the national government, belongs to all of us and 
not to any part or group or class among us." O'Mahoney 
was a promoter of special interests and a spokesman in 
the Senate for the livestock industry, petroleum produc- 
ers, and western agriculture, including sugar beet grow- 
ers. Dynamic, eloquent, and persuasive, he was an ex- 
cellent senator and a "devoted and dedicated public ser- 

President Harry S. Truman is welcomed to Wyoming by Lester C. Hunt and Joseph C. O'Mahoney. 


vant . . . ever mindful of his obligation to his country 
and his great state. " 7 

As the date for the expiration of the O.P.A. ap- 
proached in 1946, O'Mahoney received a large corre- 
spondence from his constituents on the extension of the 
controversial federal agency and the economy. The atti- 
tudes expressed by the citizens of Wyoming were either 
to end the O.P.A. and price controls immediately; to 
extend the O.P.A. for a period, but with changes; or to 
preserve the O.P.A. intact with all its wartime powers. 

Supporters of renewal of the O.P.A. with its full 
powers intact were veterans of the war, wage earners liv- 
ing on fixed incomes, and citizens who were fearful of 
ruinous inflation. 8 Claud A. Walker of Torrington, 
Wyoming, warned O'Mahoney that the lobbyists were at 
work to end controls so they could "make millions," and 
if the O.P.A. was terminated, prices would double "over 
night," setting off "a spree of inflation that would bust 
everyone in the end . . ." 9 A Laramie, Wyoming, 
veteran of over four years of military service who was 
pursuing graduate studies at Princeton University on the 
"G.I. Bill of Rights" wrote that if O.P.A. were not con- 
tinued and the cost of living rose, he would have to quit 
his studies to support his wife and child. 10 

Another attitude on the O.P.A. was expressed by 
small businessmen operating in communities through- 
out Wyoming who were disgusted with the administra- 
tive tactics of the O.P.A. and Chester Bowles. They saw 
the need for limited controls of some kind and would 
support them for a short period of six months to a year if 
the red tape, multiplication tables, pamphlets, and bu- 
reaucracy were cut down and streamlined." James C. 
Reynolds mirrored this view when he wrote, "It is the 
firm belief of the D and D Hardware Co. of Sheridan, 
Wyoming, that the future interests of the United States 
and of the small business interests, which make up the 
great bulk of the merchandising establishments of the 
country and who employ the greater number of men 
and women would be best served by a curtailment of 
O.P.A. in everything except the retail ceilings." 12 

The outright demand for an end to the O.P.A. 
came from Wyomingites who were philosophically op- 
posed to government intervention in the economy or 
who stood to gain by its end. A resident of Lusk, Wyo- 
ming, urged an end to the O.P.A. since, if it wasn't 
abolished, the O.P.A. would soon liquidate all private 
business and result in "complete dictatorship and the 
end of liberty for all Americans," adding that "The 
strength of this country lies in private enterprise." 13 
Dairy and petroleum interests called for the end of the 
O.P.A., and the Kirk Oil Company of Frannie, Wyo- 
ming, pointed out that "the supply of crude oil and its 
products . . . [are] now in balance with demand," there- 
fore, controls were no longer justified. 14 

The livestock growers and meat producers were by 
far the most vocal opposition to the O.P.A. They still ex- 

perienced problems that reached back into the war peri- 
od. The government had gradually extended its control 
over all food sources, including livestock, and began ra- 
tioning meat in March, 1943, to provide equitable dis- 
tribution at home while providing for overseas war 
needs. Meat became a scarce item, producers were dis- 
satisfied with government regulation since it tended to 
reduce their profits by interfering with normal supply- 
and-demand relationships. To escape regulation and 
maximize profits, some producers sent their product 
into the black market. Wyoming cattlemen objected to 
controls on meat for this reason and worked without suc- 
cess through the war to end them. When the war con- 
cluded, meat controls continued, and this commodity 
disappeared into illegal channels of trade. 15 

A cattleman reported that range beef went to the 
commercial feeders when they weighed 600 to 700 
pounds, and, normally, feeders doubled their weight 
before releasing them for slaughter. Under the O.P.A. 
controls, profits were uncertain and protein feeds could 
not be obtained, so feed lots were unwilling to accept 
cattle. R.O. Whitaker of Cheyenne said, "The man who 
usually buys our cattle couldn't pay the quoted [O.P.A.] 
prices because he said he would have to buy on the black 
market, and sell all the cattle on the black market to 
make a profit." 16 In Wyoming, according to Clifford P. 
Hansen, "most of our meat is . . . going to the consumer 
through black market channels" with the result that the 
"valuable by-products of the meat packing industry are 
. . . wasted. . . ." Hansen maintained that controls had 
failed, and that the government should end the O.P.A. 
and permit supply and demand to "bring order out of 
the present confusion and waste." 17 

Hansen's position was reinforced by both the Wyo- 
ming Stock Growers Association and the National Live 
Stock Producers Association, as well as other local Wyo- 
ming cattlemen. Russell Thorp, Secretary-Chief Inspec- 
tor of the Wyoming organization "respectfully . . . [rec- 
ommended] that the Congress not extend . . . [the 
O.P.A.] beyond June 30, 1946. " 18 

Even consumers urged termination of controls on 
meat to end the black market since, as Lizabeth Wiley 
of Greybull, Wyoming, said, "We have no beef or mut- 
ton in our stores (in this stock land) and very little pork." 
The local O.P.A. representative at Cheyenne even ad- 
mitted the markets in the state capitol had only meager 
stocks made up of cold lunch meats, poultry, and fish. 19 

By June, O'Mahoney had formulated a position on 
the O.P.A. and expressed it in correspondence to his 
constituents in Wyoming. In a letter dated April 20, 
1946, and duplicated for mailing, the Senator stated 
that he believed "the abolition of O.P.A. would bring 
results far worse than the admitted evils which are now 
resulting from some O.P.A. policies." O'Mahoney 
pointed out that, as long as shortages existed, price con- 
trols could not be removed since prices would rise and 


with them the cost of living "and the vast majority of the 
people would suffer." Calling for increased production 
as the only means of preventing inflation, O'Mahoney 
stated he would oppose any O.P.A. policies that might 
tend to restrict production as well as any policies that 
compelled businesses to operate at a loss. 20 

In a similar letter dated May 23, 1946, O'Mahoney 
reported to the citizens of Wyoming that the original 
O.P.A. would be modified. Undoubtedly, subsidies 
would be ended, and the entire program dissolved by 
mid- 1947. Wyomingites could look forward to decontrol 
of thirty percent of all commodities by the end of 1946, 
predicted O'Mahoney, and the creation of a board to 
decontrol other commodities as soon as supply caught 
up with demand. 21 

The House of Representatives and Senate worked 
through the month of June to write new legislation to 
amend and extend the expiring O.P.A., and O'Ma- 
honey received last minute appeals to influence the 
structure of the bill. Robert E. Wilson, chairman of the 
board of the Standard Oil Company of Indiana, urged 
that petroleum controls be dropped. Russell Thorp 
again appealed for O'Mahoney to block administration 
attempts to retain price controls on livestock, meat, 
dairy products, and poultry. A compromise bill, amend- 
ed in the Senate by both Senators Taft and Wherry in 
such a way as to emasculate the effectiveness of the 
O.P.A. finally cleared the House on Tuesday, June 25, 
1946, and the Senate three days later. O'Mahoney cast 
his vote for the compromise measure, supporting the 
Administration's congressional leaders. 22 

On the night the Senate passed the amended O.P.A. 
extension bill, President Truman met with his economic 
advisors and the Cabinet. The group advising Truman 
was divided over whether he should sign the bill, even 
though the Democratic leadership of both houses urged 
acceptance. Secretary of the Treasury John Snyder, 
Civilian Production Administrator John Small, and 
Secretary of the Interior Julius C. Krag urged the Presi- 
dent to accept the legislation as the best possible in view 
of the opposition. Attorney General Tom C. Clark 
agreed since he did not want to see a break with the 
Democratic leaders on the Hill, Representative Sam 
Rayburn of Texas and Senator Barkley. Paul A. Porter 
and Chester Bowles of the O.P.A. urged a veto since, in 
their opinion, the bill was unworkable and would only 
legalize inflation. One of Truman's closest advisors on 
economic affairs, John Steelman, along with Secretary 
of Commerce Henry A. Wallace and Housing Adminis- 
trator Wilson Wyatt, backed the negative position. 

Truman reportedly said the country's welfare came 
first and this bill wouldn't work. If it was the new bill or 
nothing, Truman concluded it would have to be 
nothing. To sharpen the issue, the controversial Chester 
Bowles handed the President his resignation. Truman 


reluctantly accepted Bowles' resignation and returned 
the O.P.A. extension bill to Congress with a veto. 23 

The veto message sent to Capitol Hill mentioned 
Senator Taft twenty-two times and placed responsibility 
for the veto on the Taft and Wherry amendments. Tru- 
man pointed out that the Taft Amendment would re- 
quire the O.P.A. to set manufacturers' and producers' 
prices at their highest level in the base period of October 
1 to 15, 1941, plus all industry wide increases in cost 
since then, and that the Wherry Amendment freed 
retailers, wholesalers, and service establishments from 
having to absorb price increases. Before price increases 
for the manufacturers reached the consumer, they 
would be pyramided by generous wholesaler's and 
retailer's mark-ups. Then, as things that farmers and 
landlords bought went up, so would rent and fgod prices 
due to parity provisions. Truman added that the Taft 
Amendment would wholly destroy the program of wage 
stabilization since wage increases would have to be 
recognized as a basis for price increases and would start 
the inflationary spiral. "In the end," concluded the 
President, "this bill would lead to disaster." 24 

On Saturday evening, June 29, 1946, President 
Truman carried the issue directly to the people over the 
radio reiterating the reasons for his veto and centering 
his criticism squarely on Senator Taft. The President 
pointed out that rather than let all controls expire, he 
had requested Congress to extend the existing O.P.A. by 
joint resolution. Truman called "upon every business- 
man, every producer, and every landlord to adhere to 
existing regulations, even though for a short period they 
. . . [might] not have the effect of law," and urged all 
employees of the O.P.A. to stay at their "battle 
stations." He closed his appeal for support by saying to 
the people "that we as a Nation have it within our hands 
to make this post war period an era of the greatest op- 
portunity and prosperity in our Nation's history. But if 
short-sightedness and impatience, if partisanship and 
greed are allowed to triumph over the efforts to main- 
tain economic stability, the grand opportunity will have 
been sacrificed." 2 ' 

Taft, in a broadcast over the Mutual system the next 
day, charged that Truman had made a partisan polit- 
ical attack, and that the attack was written in the Office 
of Price Administration. He implied that Truman was 
under the control of the Political Action Committee of 
the Congress of Industrial Organizations (C.I.O.) which 
"aimed to create a totalitarian state," and that Truman 
never intended to surrender controls. 

Taft argued the only way to increase production was 
to end controls, not retain them. "The President," Taft 
told the nation, "had a choice between a reasonable 
transition from price control back to the free enterprise 
system, on the one hand, and the ending of all O.P.A. 
powers by veto, on the other." Taft said Truman chose 
chaos, repudiated his own leaders on the Hill, and 

assumed to write a law for Congress, although the Con- 
stitution of the United States gave Congress the power to 
state the conditions on which price control would be 
continued. 26 

Since an attempt by the House to override the Presi- 
dent's veto failed, and Representative Jesse Wolcott, a 
Michigan Republican, and Senator W. Lee O'Daniel, a 
conservative Texas Democrat, blocked extension by res- 
olution, all price controls ended at midnight, June 30, 
1946. On July 2, a group of the American Youth for 
Democracy hanged Senator Taft in effigy in the public 
square of Cleveland, Ohio, Taft's home town, for caus- 
ing the veto of the O.P.A. bill. The next day, President 
Truman left Washington for Shangri-La, the presiden- 
tial hideaway in Maryland, leaving the problem in the 
hands of Senator Barkley. 

Senator O'Mahoney attempted to reassure his con- 
stituents in Wyoming about inflation, and the editor of 
the Wyoming Eagle vindicated Truman's actions as a 
victory for the people, and a challenge to "the forces of 
reaction in a situation where the issue is sharply drawn 
between those policies . . . intended to add to the profits 
of business and those policies . . . intended to protect the 
people . . . and to improve their condition." The im- 
mediate question was how the end of controls would ef- 
fect the economy, and through the economy, the con- 
sumer. 27 

Businessmen in Cheyenne pledged themselves to 
hold the line on prices. The Plains Hotel Company 
promised to continue the same prices as had existed 
under the O.P.A. in its restaurants as long as food pro- 
duce prices and wages remained the same. Case's Fine 

Foods, a grocery store, reported prices had not been 
raised, that all kinds of meats were available, and that 
their meat was "Double A," an indication that cattle 
had begun to flow back to legitimate channels. 28 

On July 15, 1946, Newsweek reported that with 
prices free, the cattle and hogs, held on the farms for 
weeks pending the demise of the O.P.A., flooded the 
market. On Monday, July 8, the Chicago stockyards had 
the biggest run on cattle since February 12, 1945. Over 
22,000 head passed through, representing an increase of 
14,000 over the preceding week. 29 The same thing hap- 
pened at the stockyards at Omaha and Denver. In the 
first week of July, 14,000 cattle and 9500 hogs were 
handled at Omaha in a single day, an increase of 4500 
cattle and 4000 hogs over a similar period in the first 
week of April. In Denver, between July 4 and July 9, 
1946, there was an increase of 200 percent in the 
number of cattle and 300 percent in the number of hogs 

Although the meat famine was momentarily broken, 
President Truman later complained unfatted animals 
were slaughtered to take advantage of uncontrolled 
prices, causing a shortage in September and October. 
Prices rose to new heights. Cattle advanced from $18 to 
$22.50 per hundred weight which broke the all time 
high in 1919. Hog prices jumped from $14.85 to $18.50 
per hundred weight. This glut later brought charges 
from the Administration that livestock producers had 
purposely withheld stock in June to create an artificial 
shortage and to arouse the public against the O.P.A. 30 

The rise in livestock prices reflected the start of real 
inflation in the postwar period. Chester Bowles pre- 

W hut About \a*cuI Control? 

WHAT ire the are*. as* pMrifeHMfc* «* tora! 

ffriWmtMr the :«jir'i.l attitade tt the anient? 
•a W*..n*r,tv»t» we t»a»e r<w»e to jwean rent e*«tr»» 
wfeea wt a*T»t»»» «•!))•»;» *e prfcMM. 

The '•»!> «»wih Bf Deaier attd a aaaaber 
4 the larger <•«**■» ha^e :***ed m are pamfertag 
rutwoatrtl Mil* ' ar, the »maltrr m«.niri»aJKie- 
pevteet rewter* irwm aasr rapwtoo* profiteer*? "•'-»!• 
wk *rtt*n be pea/twal in v«e"» ^ the tack »K> 

«■ the «t»e-m»»E «t*ttfa«»lij* 

There haTe been fe-» run «f a'taal »<*»*t«* in 
Lavraane *e fa* as »e Hare been »Me u> learn rnrt 
H » atfftraH to prewtrt w-fca! will he the attitade 
awee the OTA ha* he*« aaflaltelT bstrted and brim- 
h* n hash to life b* <tm' < 1 the pwtarr 

A <Ta**-»t»«»aw »*r*e» *»f teraJ Sandtord*. ataae 
** The Reyhttota- rlxiw e r jrn la«t week braarht 
•at that few hare raiae-d their r»niaH ana aao«t of 
fhaae (ateTrhrwed aM ther 6'. nnt rontetwptate 
rwrtt aetaaw aple** a teaeral or>" »p-.v "»« forre* 
(heat iate n 

The debar le in 1A j*hJn»;t«>n lend' no ranfUenee 
that anr terrentavrala I a<-twm ■ II! be uken to dt>- 
BMfltS* hwTaUnn. The hater- market etentaall) 
wlH ronl-»l the pr*re*> •» non-wjrre roraraatHtle*). 
we ate t«M. bat it will be a U.nt l<rnr time heferr 
h*a»lnx raa eat<h ap wllh the demand, la the 
■asaotim* aa»era^»tow» pn»pert» o« nrr- raiM ata> 
h»r"» wrtb the radlrt* af their tenants Adeaaate 
Im>i>.i ha- lint tailed to fill MM needs in Laranue 

Owner* af rental propert, -hookl be aaaared af 
a fia- prefit It n Hivrrtminator ■ lo illow every- 
heat er*e to f <• U4— taeladlnt ware., — wlthaat al- 
aawlac rewt* te mir upward al»<i Mler all. lh» 
landlord baa to eat. wear rtothe. »a< laXM and hi* 
«Mi-n > t^ a« lltipwrunt a« thai ol the re«t art »». 


Independence Day, 1946, finds America on trial for the 
right to exercise one of the cherished democratic privileges, 
free enterprise. 

OP A, though temporarily kilted, is certain of revival if 
Congress and the president are not convinced that prices 
and rent controls are not necessary to stabilize the American 
economy. It now rests with the public to decide the next 
turn of events. 

Few men in Washington wish to continue government 
control of prices, but none are willing to accept the re- 
sponsibilities for an inflationary period. Now, with inflation 
threatening, congress is certain to make a determined move 
to restore OPA. It is up to the American people to prove 
to their government that they can regulate prices without 
the aid of a bureau. 

The American way of Ufe is on trial. The sentence, 
if convicted, is a return in bureaucratic control. 

A Laramie newspaper 
voiced concern over 
the rising rent charges 
in the university town. 
The Cody Enterprise, 
however, expressed the 
more popular view 
that the OPA should 
be kept "killed. " The 
Rock Springs Miner 
opposed the elimina- 
tion of controls. 


dieted living costs might double in twenty days. Infla- 
tion was not that rapid, but rents and retail meat prices 
began advancing, even in Wyoming. 

Nationally, prices were reported by July 22, 1946, to 
have advanced on sirloin steak from the O.P.A. price of 
40 cents to 45 cents a pound to 53 cents and 75 cents a 
pound, and on pork loin from 33 cents to 36 cents a 
pound to 45 cents and 54 cents. In Cheyenne, food 
prices continued to rise. On July 20, 1946, Safeway an- 
nounced increases of 6 cents a pound on beef, 5 cents a 
pound on lamb, and 2 cents a pound on veal, pork, and 
mutton. Sirloin steak advanced to 45 cents a pound in 
August and reached 62 cents and 65 cents by early 1947. 
Coffee advanced from 35 cents a pound in July to 45 
cents and 48 cents a pound in February, 1947. Large 
eggs sold for 51 cents a dozen in July, 1946, and reached 
60 cents a year later. Dun and Bradstreet's Wholesale 
Price Index of thirty-one foodstuffs in general use 
showed an increase of 15.4 percent in the month of July, 
1946, compared with a small decrease in the same 
period of 1945 when the O.P.A. was in operation. 31 

Rents followed food prices in the general escalation 
of the cost of living. Nationally, the average rent in- 
crease was reported as 15 percent for July. In Cheyenne, 
rents on two apartments were advanced from $35 to $55 
a month, and war veterans led a major public outcry 
over a housing incident. A landlord, Joseph Dazzo, 
raised the rent of Mrs. Eva Carey from $30 to $35 a 
month on her small frame house. Mrs. Carey, living on a 
government pension of $133 a month, was raising two 
small sons, ages five and seven years. She was the widow 
of Sergeant Charles F. Carey, Jr., who had been killed in 
France on January 1, 1945. (He was the only Wyoming 
recipient of the nation's highest military award, the 
Congressional Medal of Honor, during World War II.) 
The Carey case was symptomatic of people caught in in- 
flation, and protests and appeals for protection flowed 
to the Washington office of Senator O'Mahoney. 32 

"The lapsing of O.P.A. at this time is fraught with 
many dangers," wrote Ralph E. Conwell, the Chairman 
of the Department of Economics and Sociology at the 
University of Wyoming. A Sheridan, Wyoming, resident 
called on O'Mahoney to get behind his "fighting Presi- 
dent and fight for O.P.A." Many Wyoming residents 
urged continuation of at least rent control if not the 
whole O.P.A. 

Organized labor in Wyoming, part of a national 
movement to save the O.P.A., exerted pressure for new 
price control legislation. The Cheyenne Central Labor 
Union, the Order of Railroad Telegraphers, the Broth- 
erhood of Railroad Trainmen, the Cement Workers of 
Local 355, and Local 269 of the C.I.O., demanded a 
new, strong bill. 33 

In July, Senator O'Mahoney prepared several mim- 
eographed letters to respond to the avalanche of cor- 
respondence he received as a result of the Truman -Taft 


imbroglio over price control. Borrowing his phraseology 
from an article in the Catholic review America, written 
by Dr. T. A. Mogilnitsky, an economist at Loyola Uni- I 
versity, Chicago, O'Mahoney wrote he still believed 
price control was of great importance, but like all gov- I 
ernment powers should be sparingly used. 

O'Mahoney wrote that he wanted to avoid the j 
teaching "that wars have been followed by inflation I 
which has destroyed the value of property." Such prob- j; 
lems could be avoided since the President still had the I 
power to distribute commodities in short supply, and an I 
equitable distribution of goods would help alleviate 
shortages causing price rises due to excessive demands. 
O'Mahoney also urged that merchants and manufac- 
turers exercise discretion and restraint in pricing their 
goods and that consumers refrain from excessive buying 
and refuse to be victimized by high prices. Later, O'Ma- 
honey prophesied Congress would pass a new bill, and, 
by the second week in July, even Senator Taft agreed 
legislation was necessary. 34 

The senior senator from Kentucky, sixty-eight-year- | 
old Alben Barkley, led the fight for a new administra- | 
tion bill from his Capitol office. On July 4, Paul Porter 
of the O.P.A. spent six hours with the Senate Banking j 
and Currency Committee. By a vote of 12 to 5 the com- 
mittee finally approved a bill extending the O.P.A. until 
June 30, 1947, and rolling back prices to June 30, 1946, 

Once the bill was on the Senate floor, as Truman | 
recognized and later pointed out, the lobbyists of special 
interests went to work. The result was that the handling 
of the O.P.A. bill was reminiscent of tariff "log-rolling" 
of days past. On Tuesday, July 9, 1946, meat, poultry, 
and eggs were exempted from control. The next day in a 
lengthy session, the Senate exempted milk, butter, and 
cheese, cotton seed, soybeans, butter and lard 
substitutes, and petroleum and petroleum products. On 
Thursday, rent control was turned over to the states, 
and on Friday, July 12, grain and grain feeds for 
livestock and poultry as well as tobacco were exempted. 
Truman described the developing legislation as "terri- 
ble," but the Senate proceeded to send it on to con- 
ference with the House. 35 

During the "log-rolling" session in the Senate, 
O'Mahoney voted with the Administration seventy per- 
cent of the time. Earlier, when he was chairman of the 
Special Senate Committee on Petroleum he said that 
petroleum controls should be lifted. He voted against 
the Administration on this issue. Under pressure from 
national and Wyoming cattle interests, Senator O'Ma- 
honey voted against the Administration on continuation 
of meat, grain, and milk controls. He voted with Barkley 
and the Administration to prevent the inclusion of the 
Taft and Wherry Amendments of an earlier date. 

On July 9, O'Mahoney telegraphed his constituents 
at Evanston, Cheyenne, Kaycee, and Douglas, Wyo- 





ming, about the victory regarding livestock, poultry, 
eggs, food and food products. He said later he had voted 
as he did on meat and petroleum because "both of these 
commodities seem to be in sufficient supply to meet the 
domestic demand." 36 

During mid-July, House members insisted on keep- 
ing price ceilings in the O.P.A. bill, and the legislation 
stalled in the conference committee as various factions 
failed to work out a compromise. Senate majority leader 
Barkley reported, "We're getting nowhere the fastest 
you ever saw. Everybody has his own ideas of a com- 
promise. Everything on earth has been discussed." 

Senator Taft continued his attack on the O.P.A. by 
supporting a move to halve its appropriation. He 
stipulated that none of the appropriation could be used 
for "propaganda" since he felt the O.P.A. had used 
federal funds to promote itself through pamphlets, pub- 
lications, and publicity releases. Finally, on July 20, 
after an eight-hour showdown conference, the commit- 
tee of seven senators and seven representatives approved 
a compromise. 37 

The modified bill represented an administration vic- 
tory over the original measure, Newsweek reported. The 
compromise provided for decontrol of livestock, milk, 
grain, soybeans, cotton seed, and their edible products 
only until August 20, 1946, when ceilings would be 
automatically restored unless an independent decontrol 
board decided to keep them off. Poultry, eggs, petro- 
leum, tobacco, and their products were decontrolled in- 

definitely but the board could vote to recontrol them. 
Federal control of rents was restored. The O.P.A. would 
have considerable discretion to refuse price increases if 
reasonable profits were being made. 

Barkley maintained the compromise measure was 
workable and believed both Congress and the President 
would approve. 38 On July 23, 1946, the House of 
Representatives considered the compromise measure. A 
roll call vote was ordered, and the measure passed by a 
vote of 210 to 142. Most of the "Yea" votes came from 
the Democratic side of the House, and most of the 
"Nay" votes from the Republicans. The bill then went to 
the Senate which debated it at length and finally passed 
the O.P.A. extension by a vote of 53 to 26 with seven- 
teen senators not voting. 

O'Mahoney was absent from the Senate during the 
crucial vote, but the Record shows he was paired with 
Senator Bourke B. Hickenlooper of Iowa and would 
have supported the Administration by voting "Aye." 
Congress sent the bill to the other end of Pennsylvania 
Avenue, and, on July 25, "with reluctance" and a sweep 
of his pen, President Truman made the measure law, 
breathing life into the O.P.A. until June 30, 1947. Tru- 
man accepted the measure as the best Congress would 
pass, but far short of what he wanted. He warned that if 
it did not work, he would call Congress back into a 
special session and ask for tax increases and more effec- 
tive legislation. 39 

Two days after signing the measure, the President 
named the three-man decontrol board. The chairman 
was Mississippi -born Roy L. Thompson, president of the 
Federal Land Bank of New Orleans and former head of 
the department of economics at Louisiana State Univer- 
sity. Thompsons two colleagues were George H. Mead, 
a pulp and paper industrialist from Ohio, and Daniel 
W. Bell, a former Undersecretary of the Treasury. 

The emphasis of the O.P.A. program was designed 
by the name of the board — decontrol, not control. The 
board was designed to liquidate by degrees the wartime 
system as the economy made a free adjustment, and it 
would spread price rises over a period of months. 
O.P.A. officials admitted a "hold the line" policy could 
not be carried out, and the best that could be hoped for 
was to slow down prices until production caught de- 
mand and before another price-strike wave developed. 
Paul Porter optimistically predicted it could be done. 40 

O'Mahoney wrote to John Byrns, the brother of the 
former speaker of the House of Representatives, that the 
price control problem had been one of great complexity. 
He hoped the law as finally passed would work out 
satisfactorily as the decontrol board lifted ceilings on 
commodities when they came into "substantial supply, 
while at the same time preventing] shortages from caus- 
ing the cost of living to rise." 

Meat was recontrolled in August, resulting in meat 
again becoming scarce as producers withheld it from the 


market. Many people suggested the government should 
seize the packing houses and go out on the farms and 
ranches and take the cattle for slaughter. Defeated by 
the cattle interests, Truman rejected this use of extreme 
wartime emergency power. He decided simply to with- 
draw the government from the situation by directing the 
Secretary of Agriculture and the Price Administration to 
remove all controls on livestock effective October 15, 
1946. Supply and demand would take their natural 
course resulting in higher prices. 41 

Price control was an important political issue 
through 1946. Both Truman and Taft recognized this. 
The President's position was extremely delicate. If Tru- 
man accepted the first price control extension bill and 
inflation ensued, the Administration would be blamed. 
If the President vetoed the measure, and the cost of liv- 
ing advanced, the voters would hold the Administration 
responsible. The Republicans could take solace in the 
fact that if the Administration accepted the final bill in 
the midst of an accelerating inflation, the "ins" would 
be blamed. Judgment on this issue and others in the 
reconversion period came in November, 1946. In the 
mid-term election, the people voted Republican and 
repudiated the Democrats and their policies. The 
Eightieth Congress of the United States had Republican 
majorities in both houses for the first time since 1930. 

Senator OMahoney, who protected the interests of 
Wyoming, avoided the turnover in his own state. He was 
reelected for another six-year term in the Senate, sug- 
gesting his constituents approved his actions. Following 
the election, President Truman announced the end of 
all wage and most price controls. The Administrations 
battle for immediate post-war stabilization was over. 42 

For fourteen months, the Truman Administration 
attempted to formulate a workable program to promote 
economic stabilization and a return to peace time pro- 
duction. Truman, however, opened the first crack in the 
program when he granted wage increases and steel price 
advances. Immediately, other interest groups raised the 
prices of their products. 

The rate of inflation was spectacular. Between 1945 
and 1948, the Wholesale Price Index advanced fifty-six 
percent on all commodities and sixty-eight percent on 
food. 43 Wages advanced between 1945 and 1948, but 
not nearly at the impressive rate of commodities and 
food. The average annual earnings of full-time 
employees in all industries advanced 27 percent; in 
agriculture, forestry, and fishing, 20 percent; and in 
mining, 29 percent. 44 Inflation did not halt until 1949 
and only then with almost 3,500,000 unemployed, or 5.5 
percent of the civilian labor force. 45 Inflation began 
again with the Korean conflict and became a fact of life 
in the 1970s as the government again tried to give some 
direction to the economy by finding an "acceptable" in- 
flation rate while achieving "full" employment. 

Joseph C. OMahoney took a moderate position on 
the inflation issue. He saw the need for price control un- 
til production could make supply equal demand. He 
supported price control, however, only so long as it did 
not interfere with the special interests of Wyoming. He 
was returned to the Senate in 1946 so a majority of his 
constituency must have approved his actions. Despite 
their approval, O'Mahoney could hardly have expected 
to prevent inflation and the demands of other special in- 
terests if he supported the desires of those of his own 
state. It was price control for all, or price control for 
none, and, in the final analysis, he helped give the na- 
tion and Wyoming inflation. 

Perhaps no president, senator, or administration 
could have effectively dealt with the problem. The 
American people had foregone spending foy consumer 
goods for four years, and that pent-up desire, coupled 
with the materialistic character of Americans and the 
fact they had savings, may have made restraint impossi- 
ble. They chose material possessions and inflation rather 
than abstinence from consumption and stability. They 
lived with the consequences. 

1. Harry S. Truman, The Truman Administration: Its Principles 
and Practices, Louis W. Koenig, ed. (New York: New York 
University Press, 1956), pp. 148-154. 

2. Athan Theoharis, "The Truman Presidency: Trial and Error," 
Wisconsin Magazine of History, Autumn, 1971, pp. 49, 58. 

3. Foster Rhea Dulles, Labor in America: A History, 3rd ed. (New 
York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1966), pp. 346-349. 

4. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United 
States, Colonial Times to 1957, (Washington: Government 
Printing Office, 1960), p. 99; Dulles, Labor in America, pp. 
349-351; Wyoming Eagle, (Cheyenne), April 2, 1946, p. 1; Bar- 
ton J. Bernstein, "The Truman Administration and the Steel 
Strike of 1946," Journal of American History, March, 1966, pp. 

5. Arthur S. Link and William B. Catton, American Epoch: A 
History of the United States Since the 1890's, 2nd ed. (New 
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963), pp. 529-532; Bernstein, "The 
Truman Administration and the Steel Strike of 1946," p. 792. 

6. Congressional Directory, 79 Cong., 2 Sess., January, 1946 
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1946), pp. 65-66, 
92-93, 196, 198, 267; Newsweek, July 15, 1946, p. 28. 

7. Julian Snow, "Joseph C. O'Mahoney: 'His Answer to the 
Enigma,' " Public Men In and Out of Office, John T. Salter, ed. 
(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1946), pp. 
110, 112; Congressional Directory, 79 Cong., 2 Sess., January, 
1946, p. 134; New York Times, December 2, 1962, p. 88, col. 4; 
Carl M. Moore, "Joseph Christopher O'Mahoney: A Brief Biog- 
raphy," Annals of Wyoming, October, 1969, p. 177; Joseph C. 
O'Mahoney, "Democracy or Dictatorship in Business and Gov- 
ernment," Dun's Review, April, 1946, p. 13; Robert S. Allen 
and William V. Shannon, The Truman Merry-Go-Round (New 
York: Vanguard Press, Inc., 1950), p. 274; New York Times, 
December 5, 1962, p. 47, col. 4. 

8. Nelson Goodman to O'Mahoney, April 18, 1946; John F. Butler 
to O'Mahoney, April 19, 1946 (telegram); Mrs. W. H. Ziegler to 
O'Mahoney, April 30, 1946, Joseph C. O'Mahoney Collection, 
Western History Research Center, University of Wyoming Li- 
brary, Laramie, Wyoming, Box 107, File "OPA 1." (This MSS 
collection is cited hereafter as OMC and this box and file as 
OPA 1). 


9. Claud A. Walker to O'Mahoney, May 28, 1946, OMC, Box 107, 
File "Letters on the OPA Extension." (This box and file are 
cited hereafter as Letters). 

10. John A. King to O'Mahoney, April 22, 1946, OMC, Box 107, 
File "OPA 4." (This box and file are cited hereafter as OPA 4). 

11. Mrs. Bruce Hodge to O'Mahoney, n.d. [April or May, 1946?]; 
William F. DeVere to O'Mahoney, April 29, 1946; Harold Foltz 
to O'Mahoney, April 15, 1946, OMC, OPA 1. 

12. James C. Reynolds to O'Mahoney, May 4, 1946, OMC, OPA 1. 

13. Jerry Urbanek to O'Mahoney, April 3, 1946, OMC, OPA 4. 

14. T. T. Dodson, E. J. Peterson, Lloyd Iiams, Carl Hill, and Roy 
Feusner to O'Mahoney, April 15, 1946; Worland [Wyoming] 
Creamery Co. to O'Mahoney, May 20, 1946 (telegram); V. M. 
Kirk to O'Mahoney, April 30, 1946, OMC, OPA 1. 

15. T. A. Larson, Wyoming's War Years: 1941-1945 (Laramie: 
University of Wyoming, 1954), pp. 123-127. 

16. T. D. O'Neil to O'Mahoney. May 11, 1946, OMC, OPA 1; J. C. 
Dawson to O'Mahoney, March 13, 1946; C. C. Aberill to 
O'Mahoney, May 21, 1946, OMC, Box 107, File "Proteins and 
Feeds;" R. O. Whitaker to O'Mahoney, May 3, 1946, OMC, 
OPA 1. 

17. Clifford P. Hansen to O'Mahoney, July 3, 1946, OMC, Box 107, 
File "OPA 2." (This box and file are cited hereafter as OPA 2). 

18. Oda Mason to O'Mahoney, May 9, 1946, OMC, OPA 4; P. O. 
Wilson to O'Mahoney, May 3, 1946, OMC, Box 107, File "OPA 
3" [This box and file are cited hereafter as OPA 3]. Leslie L. 
ZumBrunnen to O'Mahoney, May 31, 1946, OMC, Letters; 
Russell Thorp to O'Mahoney, March 15, 1946, OMC, Box 107, 
File "Price Administration, Office of." (This box and file are 
cited hereafter as Price Administration). 

19. Lizabeth Wiley to O'Mahoney, June 6, 1946, OMC, Letters; G. 
W. Garrison to O'Mahoney, June 12, 1946, OMC, OPA 3. 

20. O'Mahoney to Mrs. J. K. Billings, April 20, 1946, OMC, OPA 

21. O'Mahoney to May 23, 1946, OMC, OPA 1. 

22. Robert E. Wilson to O'Mahoney, June 4, 1946, OMC, OPA 3; 
Russell Thorp to O'Mahoney, June 19, 1946 (telegram), OMC, 
OPA 4; Newsweek, July 8, 1946, p. 21; Congressional Record, 
79 Cong.. 2 Sess., June 28, 1946, p. 7871. The vote in the House 
was 265-105; in the Senate, 47-23. O'Mahoney voted against the 
Wherry Amendment, but he was absent "on public business," 
unpaired, and did not vote on the Taft Amendment. Congres- 
sional Record, 79 Cong., 2 Sess., June 12, 1946, p. 6729; June 
13, 1946, p. 6813. 

23. Drew Pearson, "The Daily Washington Merry-Go-Round," 
Wyoming Eagle, June 29, 1946, pp. 1, 10. 

24. Congressional Record, 79 Cong., 2 Sess., June 29, 1946, pp. 

25. Ibid , July 1, 1946, pp. 8023-8025. 

26. Ibid., July 1, 1946, pp. 8025-8026. 

27. Ibid., June 29, 1946, pp. 7996-7997; Newsweek, July 8, 1946, p. 
21; Wyoming Eagle, July 2, 1946, pp. 1, 6; July 4, 1946, pp. 4, 

28. Ibid., July 2, 1946, pp. 17-18, 28. 

29. Newsweek, July 15, 1946, p. 25. 

30. Wyoming Eagle, April 3, 1946, p. 27; July 4, 1946, p. 15; July 9. 

1946, pp. 1. 23; Harry S. Truman, Memoirs, 2 vols; (Garden 
City: Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1956), II, p. 24; Newsweek, July 
15, 1946, p. 25. 

31. Wyoming Eagle, July 3, 1946, pp. 1,5; July 20, 1946. pp. 16-17; 
August 17, 1946, p. 5; February 22, 1947, pp. 7. 10-11; July 12. 

1947, p. 14; Newsweek, July 22, 1946. p. 23; Dun 's Statistical 
Review, September, 1947, p. 3. 

32. Newsweek, July 15, 1946, p. 26; Wyoming Eagle, July 3. 1946, 
p. 1; July 10, 1946, p. 1; U.S., Department of the Army. Public 
Information Division, The Medal o/ Honor of the United Malt \ 



Army, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1948), pp. 
58, 355. 

33. Ralph E. Conwell to O'Mahoney, July 1, 1946; Ernest D. Shotte 
to O'Mahoney, July 1, 1946, OMC, Letters. For rent control see 
W. M. Hilliar to O'Mahoney, July 1, 1946 (telegram); Herbert 
V. Towle to O'Mahoney, July 2, 1946 (telegram), OMC, Let- 
ters. For labor attitudes see J. F. Kling to O'Mahoney, July 1, 
1946; P. A. Jones to O'Mahoney, July 2, 1946; Cement Workers 
Local 355 to O'Mahoney, July 4, 1946 (telegram); S. A. 
Vandeusen to O'Mahoney, July 6, 1946 (telegram), OMC, Let- 
ters; Jim Gape to O'Mahoney, July 15, 1946, OMC, OPA 4. 
T. A. Mogilnitsky, "Price Control: Why and How Long?" 
America, May 25, 1946, p. 153; O'Mahoney to E. R.Jeffries, Ju- 
ly 1 , 1946; O'Mahoney to William E. Schaensberg, July 8, 1946, 
OMC, Letters; Newsweek, July 15, 1946, p. 27. 
Newsweek, July 22, 1946, p. 23; August 5, 1946, p. 26; 
Truman, Memoirs, vol. II, p. 24. 

36. Congressional Record, 79 Cong., 2 Sess., June 13, 1946, p. 
6818; July 9, 1946, p. 8468; July 10, 1946, pp. 8536, 8552-8553, 
8576; July 11, 1946, pp. 8582, 8616, 8625-8626, 8646-8647; July 
12, 1946, pp. 8760, 8774, 8780, 8798; W. F. Newland to O'Ma- 
honey, July 1 , 1946 (telegram); J. R. Hilton to O'Mahoney, July 
6, 1946 (telegram); Charles A. Myers to O'Mahoney, July 6, 
1946 (telegram), OMC, Letters; Manville Kendrick to 
O'Mahoney, July 8, 1946 (telegram), OMC, OPA 2; O'Mahoney 
to Charles Myers, to Russell Thorp, to J. Elmer Brock, to J. R. 
Hilton, July 9, 1946 (telegrams), OMC, Letters; O'Mahoney to 
Gordon L. Holman, July 17, 1946, OMC, OPA 2. 
Wyoming Eagle, July 10, 1946, p. 8; July 18, 1946, pp. 1 , 8; July 
20, 1946, p. 8; Newsweek, July 29, 1946, p. 16. 

Congressional Record, 79 Cong., 2 Sess., July 23, 1946, pp. 
9777-9778; July 24, 1946, 9875-9876; July 25, 1946, 
10107-10108; Wyoming Eagle, July 24, 1946, p. 1; July 25, 
1946, p. 1; Newsweek, July 29, 1946, p. 17; Statutes at Large, 
vol. 60, pp. 664-678. 
Newsweek, August 5, 1946, pp. 19-21. 

O'Mahoney to John Byrns, August 8, 1946, OMC. OPA 4; 
Truman, Memoirs, II, p. 25; Harry S. Truman, The Truman 
Administration: A Documentary History, Barton J. Bernstein 
and Allen J. Matusen, eds. (New York: Harper and Row, 1966), 
pp. 83-84. 

Richard S. Kirkendall, "Election of 1948," History of Presiden- 
tial Elections, 1789-1968, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.. ed. 4 vols; 
(New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 1971), vol IV, p. 3100; 
T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1965), p. 508; Truman, The Truman Adminis- 
tration: A Documentary History, pp. 84-85. 
U.S. , Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 
1957, p. 116. 
Ibid., p. 95. 
Ibid., p. 73. 





Wyoming had a very small population in 1908 and 
the Union Pacific was the main artery of transportation 
across the state. The automobile was developing as a 
vehicle of transportation in the towns throughout the 
state, but a long journey was difficult because there were 
no well-defined roadways that led through ranches and 
up mountains. 

Nonetheless, Wyoming was selected as the route to 
be used by the drivers of the New York to Paris Race. In 
addition to the lack of roads, the crews would be sub- 
jected to the snows and winds of a Wyoming winter. 

The 1908 New York to Paris Automobile Race was 
inspired by the Peking to Paris race a year earlier. The 
Peking to Paris Race, sponsored by the French journal, 
Le Matin, covered some 6900 miles and involved cross- 
ing the Gobi Desert and Siberia. The automobiles made 
use of the rails and bridges of the Trans-Siberian 
Railway in order to cross Siberia. 1 

The winner of the race was Prince Borghese who 
drove an Italian car. With an escort of cars, he made a 
triumphal entry into Paris after a trip of some sixty-one 
days. Following him were one Dutch and two French en- 
tries. 2 

Times Square in New York was the starting point for 
the New York to Paris race. A crowd of some 50,000 
flag-waving persons lined both sides of Times Square 
above Broadway. The day was February 13 and the cars 
started the race at the sound of a shot fired from a silver 
pistol. The Americans were represented by the Thomas 
car; the Zust represented the Italians; the Protus, the 
Germans; and the DeDion, Naudin and Motobloc, the 
French. 3 

The American car was furnished by Edwin Ross 
Thomas, builder of the Thomas Flyer. It was a sixty- 


horsepower, four-cylinder model, and Montague 
Roberts was employed to drive it. George Schuster, an 
employee of the Thomas Automobile Factory of Buf- 
falo, would serve as a mechanic and driver. An extra 
seat in the car was occupied by T. Walter Williams, a 
reporter for The New York Times. 4 

The German contender was a large four-cylinder, 
shaft-driven Protus, built in Berlin in 1908 by the 
Protus-Motorenbau Company. The chassis weighed 
some 4000 pounds and when loaded it was capable of 
speeds of fifty miles per hour. It was driven by First 
Lieutenant Hans Koeppen, and riding with Lieutenant 
Koeppen were two factory engineers, Hans Knape and 
Ernst Mase. 5 

Italy was represented by a forty-horsepower, four- 
cylinder Zust. The car was driven by Giulo Sirtori and 
Antonio Searfoglio. Henri Haaga was the mechanic. 
The car, representing Italian and British newspapers, 
had two metal chests containing 100 gallons of gasoline 
and the rear seat was loaded with tools, rope and tires, 
leaving room for one person in the seat. 6 

The French car, the DeDion, was built by the Mar- 
quis de Dion. It was equipped with steel-studded 
Michelin tires, which were unique at the time. The car 
used steel flanged wheels to run on railways when 
necessary. The DeDion was powered by a thirty- 
horsepower, four-cylinder engine, with the power unit 
driving the car by means of a four-speed transmission. 
The crew consisted of M. Bourcier se St. Chaffray, 
driver, and M. 1' Autran, who served as mechanic. 7 

The Motobloc, another French -designed car, fea- 
tured a four-cylinder motor that produced forty-five 
horsepower, and the car could travel at a speed of forty- 
two miles per hour. Baron Charles Godard was the 

driver. Other members of the crew were Authur Hue 
and Maurice Livier. 8 

The third French entry, the Sizaire-Naudin, was 
only fifteen horsepower. The car could travel at a top 
speed of fifty miles per hour. M. Paul Pons was the 
driver of the automobile. He also had started in the 
Peking- Paris race on a motor tricycle, but had become 
lost in the Gobi Desert. Maurice Berthe and Lucien 
Deschamps were crew members in the New York to Paris 
race. 9 

The Thomas, DeDion and Zust cars took the lead at 
the start, running together as far as Buffalo, while the 
Protus and Motobloc fell behind. The Thomas car 
outran the DeDion after leaving Buffalo, New York, and 
led the way across the United States. 10 

The Thomas car, after struggling through the 
snowdrifts of Indiana and Illinois, arrived in Cheyenne 
on the afternoon of March 8, where it was accorded an 
enthusiastic reception by the citizens. The shop and 
light company whistles announced that the American 
car had reached Archer and in a short time, 17th Street 
was crowded with people waiting to see it. 11 

The Thomas car, with a big American flag flying 
from it, dashed down 17th Street followed by a long line 
of Denver and Cheyenne cars. The driver, Montague 
Roberts, took it to the Wright and Lawson Garage on 
Capitol Avenue where it was overhauled. Two tires were 
replaced with new ones. The crew went to the Union 
Pacific Hotel to rest before the evening reception. 12 

Eighty-five guests attended a huge banquet at the 
Industrial Club. The Thomas crew was seated in a spe- 
cial section. Former Senator J. M. Carey made the prin- 
cipal address of the evening. He warned the crew of the 
obstacles they would encounter west of Cheyenne, but 

assured them that in spite of all of the difficulties, the 
men could get through if they followed the spirit of the 
early explorers. 13 

The Thomas car and the accompanying automo- 
biles did not leave for Laramie until the morning of 
March 9. A new driver, E. L. Mathewson of Denver, was 
employed to take the Thomas as far as Ogden, Utah. 
Elmer Lovejoys Reo was the pilot car on the road to 
Laramie. 14 

Miss Katherine Mackenzie, holder of the Denver 
Post cup for the "most beautiful girl in Wyoming," 
climbed aboard the Thomas for the trip to Laramie. She 
reported that she was frightened when the car made a 
sharp turn onto a small bridge and almost went into a 
ravine. She was the only woman to have been in "the car 
that defends America to the world." 15 

The Americans stopped briefly at the Ames Monu- 
ment on the way to Laramie. At Red Buttes, some of the 
automobile owners of Laramie drove out to greet the 
crew. Dr. H. E. McCollum, H. M. Symons, Sayer 
Hansen andj. E. Winslow were waiting at Red Buttes to 
escort the Thomas into town. When the Americans ar- 
rived on Second Street, it was jammed with cheering 
crowds, and the crew acknowledged the cheers by wear- 
ing their "sheepherder coats." 16 

The Thomas was driven down the street to Lovejoy's 
Garage, where any damaged parts could be repaired. 
Crowds gathered outside the garage to see and take pho- 
tographs of the famous car. City schools and the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming had been dismissed and students at- 
tached a University banner to the Thomas car. 17 

The Thomas crew was given a banquet at the Union 
Pacific Hotel. G. L. Patchel representing the newspaper 
men; Jesse Converse from the Commerican Club, and 



The Thomas Flyer crosses 
the North Platte River at 
Fort Steele on the ice 
(top, left). 

The Flyer rolls through 
the snows of Wyoming 
bound for Paris from 
New York (left). 

The Zust, the Italian 
entry, finished second 
in the race (above). 

The Protus, the German 
car, was commanded by 
Lt. Hans Koppen (right). 



Sayer Hansen of the Automobile Club made up the 
reception committee. The three crew members, E. L. 
Mathewson, Captain Hans Hanson and George 
Schuster, gave short speeches of appreciation to the 
Laramie citizens. Captain Hanson of the Norwegian 
Navy had been made a member of the crew because he 
spoke Russian and would be helpful to the Americans 
when they crossed Siberia. 18 

The Thomas car left Laramie for Rawlins on March 
10, with Elmer Lovejoy's Reo again serving as one pilot 
car. A Maxwell furnished by The Laramie Boomerang 
and driven by Will Goodale was the second pilot car. 
The speed of the cars from Laramie to Rock River was 
terrific. They made the fifty-two miles in two hours and 
ten minutes. The citizens of Rock River were disap- 
pointed when the cars stayed in their town only three 
minutes. 19 

From Rock River the cars passed through the small 
station at Ridge at the same time that Train No. 4 was 
going by the place. The engineer, J. W. Costin of 
Laramie, blew the locomotive whistle as a greeting, and 
all members of the automobile parties fired their pistols 
in the air as a salute to the train. 20 

On the road from Ridge, the cars encountered some 
snow. The Thomas arrived with the pilot cars in 
Medicine Bow about noon, and lunch was served to the 
crews at the Cedar Street Hotel. The citizens of the town 
extended a hearty welcome to the racer, and the ladies 
of Medicine Bow decorated the car with ribbons and 
autographed handkerchiefs for the crew to carry on the 
victory drive to Paris. 21 

The cars had considerable difficulty with huge 
snowdrifts on the road after they left Medicine Bow. 
Elmer Lovejoy's Reo, and Will Goodale's Maxwell broke 
a road through the snow for the Thomas car. The men 
spent the night at Walcott and the next morning crossed 
the North Platte River on the ice at Fort Steele. When 
the cars arrived in Rawlins, the racers attended a two- 
hour luncheon as the Rawlins Brass Band played a 
special concert of patriotic music. That afternoon the 
cars left Rawlins and started on the snowy trail toward 
Bitter Creek. 22 

For four hours the automobiles fought the snow- 
drifts and picked their way through the Red Desert. The 
roadway improved as the cars reached Bitter Creek, the 
legendary home of outlaws. 23 

Leaving Bitter Creek, the automobiles headed 
toward Carter. There the crews learned that the wagon 
road to Evanston was impassable. Union Pacific Rail- 
road officials, however, granted permission for the 
Thomas car to use the railroad right of way between 
Carter and Evanston, a distance of forty miles. The 
Thomas arrived in Evanston at 10:45 a.m., March 13 
after traveling as a train. A Mr. Brown was on board as 
a conductor. Lovejoy's Reo had broken an axle and was 
left at Carter. 24 


After spending the night at Evanston, the Thomas 
crew continued to use the Union Pacific Railway as far 
as Wasatch, Utah. As the automobile neared Ogden, a 
holiday was declared in the city. The Thomas reached 
Ogden on March 14, some 2556 miles from the New 
York City starting point. An escort of cars accompanied 
the Americans out of town and a new driver was secured 
for the Thomas. Han Brinker [sic] was employed to 
drive the car to California. 25 

The Italian car, the Zust, arrived in Cheyenne on 
March 13 in pursuit of the Thomas. The Italian citizens 
of Cheyenne joined the city officials with a banquet in 
their honor at the Industrial Club. Again, former 
Senator Carey gave the principal speech. His address, 
dealing with the virtues of Rome in classical times, 
brought a favorable reaction from the Italian, crowd. 26 

The Zust had the same type of chain drive as the 
Thomas although it was a much larger car. While the 
car was being repaired, people came to the garage to see 
and touch it. 

The Italian car arrived in Rawlins on Sunday, 
March 15, and left for Ogden the next morning. When 
the Zust arrived in Green River, Wyoming, the crew was 
advised that they could not use the railroad between 
Green River and Evanston, Wyoming. 27 

On the road to Evanston, near Spring Valley, the 
Zust was surrounded by a pack of fifty wolves. The crew 
opened fire on the attacking animals and killed twenty 
of the pack. Before the Zust arrived in Evanston they 
reported that they were near death due to the cold 
weather and the terrible roads. 28 

The two French cars arrived in Cheyenne at the 
same time on March 21. The Motobloc attracted little 
attention as it passed through the city in a freight train. 
Upon entering the city, the other French car, the De- 
Dion, was met by the usual escort of automobiles. The 
French crew was given a banquet with the theme of the 
party being "May The Best Car Win." Another French 
car, the Sizaire-Naudin, had long since dropped out of 
the race because of mechanical difficulties. 29 

The DeDion arrived in Laramie on the afternoon of 
March 21, stopped briefly at the Lovejoy Garage, and 
then headed for Rawlins. The French crew became lost 
on the road between Green River and Evanston, and 
spent the night at Bryan, a town of two houses. On the 
way from Carter to Evanston, the articles in the back of 
the car caught fire. Since there was no water available, 
the crew used sand to put out the fire. The DeDion ar- 
rived in Granger, Wyoming, on March 25, and secured 
a pilot for the trip to Ogden, Utah. 30 

After the usual ceremonies in Cheyenne honoring 
the crews of the race cars, the last car arrived in Laramie 
on the night of March 22. It was the big heavy German 
Protus, and it had made the trip from Cheyenne to 
Laramie in six hours. The Germans were met at Red 
Buttes by Elmer Lovejoy and a large party of automo- 

biles which escorted the Protus into the city. On the way 
into Laramie, the German car had a tire blowout, so it 
was late when it arrived at Lovejoy's Garage. Three hun- 
dred people were gathered at the garage to examine the 
big German car. Some of the crowd remarked that it 
looked like an "army wagon;" others termed the 
machine the "Kraut wagon." Over foaming steins of 
beer, Lt. Von Koeppen and his crew members expressed 
their thanks. 31 

The Protus left Laramie on March 24 and spent the 
night in Rock River. When the automobile became 
stuck in Misner Creek, the crew signed in at the Rock 
River Hotel for the night. The Germans secured a new 
pilot to show them the roads to the west. 32 

The German car left Rock River at 7 a.m. and en- 
countered driving snow. It did not arrive in Rawlins un- 
til 6:35 p.m. that evening. The crew had dinner at a 
Rawlins hotel and left the next morning for Evanston. 33 

The German car, after running over some of the 
roughest roads in the country, did not leave Evanston 
until April 1. Lt. Von Koeppen expressed relief that 
another day would take him out of Wyoming and on to 
Ogden, Utah. The Germans arrived in Ogden on April 2 
and made repairs before continuing the trip to Califor- 
nia. 34 

The French car, the DeDion, dropped out of the 
race at Vladivostok, leaving the Thomas, the Protus and 
the Zust as contenders. In the race across the vast land of 
Siberia, the lead alternated between the German and 
American cars. The German car was the first to reach 
Chita and won the trophy offered by the Trans-Siberian 

It also beat the Thomas car into Berlin by two days, 
and reached Paris the day that the American car 
reached Berlin. The Thomas car took four days for the 
final run from Berlin to Paris. In order to win the race, 
however, the German car had to beat the American car 
to Paris by thirty days. 36 The special allowance was given 
because the American car had followed the official route 
to Alaska, but the roads were impassable and it could 
not find passage across the Bering Strait. The German 
car, however, was shipped from Pocatello, Idaho, to 
Seattle in order to sail with the Thomas car for Siberia. 

In spite of the brilliant passage across Siberia in 
sixty-five days, the race committee of LeMatin disquali- 
fed the German car. The complaint against the Ger- 
mans was that they had shipped their car over part of 
the Rocky Mountains. The Zust was awarded second 
place in the race. 37 

The Thomas and its crew returned to New York 
during the second week of August to a rousing reception 
by the citizens. The car was driven up Wall Street, and 
the crew were guests at a luncheon given by the 
Automobile Club. The American car had driven some 
12,000 miles in 108 days. 

The driver and the mechanic were each given a 
$1000 bonus by the Thomas Company. George 
Schuster, the driver, was to get an award of $1000 from 
the Automobile Club as the winner, but the club was 
defunct by the time the race was concluded. 38 In 1968 
the New York Times made good on the promise of the 
defunct Automobile Club and paid Schuster $1000. By 
this time, he had reached the age of ninety-five. (He 
died in July, 1972, at the age of ninety-nine.) 39 

The victory of the Thomas in the 1908 New York to 
Paris race was a tribute to the developing automobile in- 
dustry. It also pointed out the need for a good system of 
roads in the United States. A modern interstate highway 
now follows most of the route taken by the cars across 
Wyoming in the New York to Paris Automobile Race of 

1. The New York Times, June 9, 1907, pt. 5, p. 11. 

2. Ibid., August 11, 1907, p. 3. 

3. Ibid., February 14, 1908. 

4. Ibid., February 9, 1908, pt. 4, p. 2. 

5. Ibid , January 26, 1908, pt. 5, p. 8. 

6. Ibid., January 27, 1908, p. 1. 

7. Ibid., January 28, 1908, p. 1. 

8. Ibid., p. 1. 

9. Ibid., p. 1. 

10. Ibid., February 16, 1908, pt. 2. p. 3. 

11. Wyoming Tribune, March 9, 1908, p. 1-2. 

12. Ibid., pp. 1, 2. 

13. Wyoming Tribune, March 9, 1908, pp. 1, 5. 

14. Ibid., pp. 1, 5. 

15. Wyoming Tribune, March 11, 1908, p. 3. 

16. Laramie Boomerang, March 9, 1908, p. 1. 

17. Ibid 

18. Laramie Republican, March 10, 1908, p. 1. 

19. Laramie Boomerang, March 10, 1908, p. 1. 

20. Laramie Republican, March 10, 1908, p. 1. 

21. Laramie Boomerang, March 11, 1908, p. 1. 

22. The New York Times, March 14, 1908, p. 1. 

23. Ibid. 

24. Ibid., March 15, 1908, p. 1. 

25. Ibid., March 16, 1908, p. 1. 

26. Wyoming Tribune, March 14, 1908, p. 1. 

27. Ibid. 

28. The New York Times, March 12, 1908. p. 1. 

29. Wyoming Tribune, March 21, 1908, p. 1. 

30. The New York Times, March 26. 1908. p. 1. 

31. Laramie Republican, March 23. 1908, p. 1. 

32. Laramie Boomerang, March 24, 1909, p. 1. 

33. Wyoming Tribune, April 2, 1908. p. 2. 

34. The New York Times. May 2. 1908, p. 1. 

35. Ibid., July 30, 1908, pt. 2, p. 1. 

36. Ibid., July 31, 1908. p. 1. 

37. Ibid., August 4, 1908, p. 1. 

38. Ibid. 

39. Ibid., July 5. 1972, pt. 2, p. 36. 


Xolitical units, whether states or entire nations, are in 
varying degrees shaped and influenced by the complex 
of values, norms, and mores of the region. Often the 
give and take between a people's heritage and their gov- 
ernment is a continual, fluid process. Sometimes the link 
is subtle, often times it is more clearcut and obvious, but 
in any event, the political jurisdictions in America are 
typically shaped by the dominant values of the culture. 
While it is an endless historical task to identify the 
myriad elements of a region's social profile, an overview 
of Wyoming's politics in a cultural context can still be 
fruitful and revealing. 

There are social as well as political expressions of an 
ideology. While Wyoming has been consistently conser- 
vative politically, also apparent is the fine layering of a 
pervasive social conservatism that has filtered across the 
state throughout its history. 

Wyoming has an equilibrium and consistent bal- 
ance in its culture. The state has a social conservatism 
that parallels the state's strong political conservatism. 

A state's character becomes set early in its history, 
and Wyoming is an example of a state whose physical 
and occupational limitations encouraged it to settle into 
an enduring and protective cultural and political con- 

Considering the state's history, it is understandable 
that with very few exceptions Wyoming has habitually 
been a conservative state, both politically and culturally. 
The area was discovered, settled, and developed by pio- 
neers with a shared pride in individual achievement and 
strength. Because of similar backgrounds and experi- 
ences this enduring conservatism has been a dominant 
value in Wyoming and the surrounding area since the 

An important element of this conservatism is the 
state's ambivalence if not hostility toward the federal 
government. While many of the regions of the nation 
are disenchanted with the federal government at the 
outset of the 1980s, the attitude has been present in this 
state throughout its history. 

During the 1978 elections, for example, nearly all of 
the candidates for major offices in Wyoming tried to 
monopolize the one issue they agreed on fighting the 
federal government. All candidates for the Republican 
senatorial nomination repeated the same theme. Alan 
Simpson, the eventual winner, talked about the growth 
of the federal government, saying, "And we've got to 
stop it!" Gordon Barrows stared squarely at the camera, 
with a stern look, made a fist and repeated the theme, 
"And I'm going to fight it!" Hugh "Bigfoot" Binford told 
the voters not to vote for Simpson because he was a big- 
spending liberal who would betray Wyoming to the 
bureaucrats. Instead, Binford promised, "Common 
sense actions to get Washington off our backs, and an 


end to the nonsense of the federal government trying to 
be all things to all people." 

Other examples of conservative sentiment, antag- 
onistic to the federal government, are plentiful in Wyo- 
ming politics. When in 1976, Republican State Senator 
Malcolm Wallop defeated the three-term Democratic 
United States Senator Gale McGee, Wyoming was reaf- 
firming its traditional commitment to its own native 
conservatism. Wallop was a home-grown product with 
stockgrower's background. McGee was an early import 
from out of state with an urban, intellectual background 
- he had been a university history professor. 

In the context of Wyoming politics, McGee was a 
refreshing peculiarity. He was a Democrat and largely in 
favor of wider use of government. In fact, that is largely 
the reason for his defeat. He was carried away in the 
midst of a display of anti-government sentiment. Much 
of the campaign that year as well as those before and 
after were waged with the rhetoric of "stopping the 
bureaucrats" and stopping "federal intrusion" into the 
Wyoming way of life. The fact that McGee had brought 
more federal money into the state than anyone else had 
ever done before did not in the end help him. 1 Actually, 
he probably aided his own defeat. He was pictured ds 
representing a larger governmental presence in a state 
which thought it wanted a smaller one, and as being I 
more concerned with national and international prob- 
lems than with those of Wyoming. 

Wallop's TV ads in the 1976 campaign drove the 
point home. One showed a cowboy dragging an out- 
house bumping and tugging along over Wyoming's 
sagebrush and ravines. This was designed to show peo- 
ple that the federal government, which McGee repre- 



By Roy A. Jordan 


sented, had foolishly decreed that restrooms should be 
provided in every workplace, even on the open plains of 
Wyoming. Another TV ad showed a letter travelling 
from post office to post office, being cancelled many 
times, purporting to show federal inefficiency while 
making it clear that McGee was then chairman of the 
Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committee. 

Another sure reason for the resentment toward the 
federal government stems from the fact that it owns so 
much Wyoming land. The political implications of a 
huge federal presence within the state boundaries are 
apparent. When federalism, the "balance" of authority 
between the national and state governments, is such a 
close relationship, literally as close as one's backyard, a 
certain amount of tension is bound to be present. And, 
as the noted Wyoming historian T. A. Larson con- 
cludes, "Throughout its history, Wyoming had suffered 
more tension in its federal relations than any other state 
outside the South." 2 

Another reason for the anger directed toward the 
federal government seems to be the widely held belief in 
Wyoming that the government is no longer to be trust- 
ed. In a statewide survey before the 1978 election, for 
example, 1084 Wyoming people were asked how much 
of the time they "trust the government in Washington to 
do what is right." Less than 3% said, "just about 
always;" 23.9% said, "most of the time;" 65.6% said, 
"some of the time;" 5.4% responded, "none of the 
time." Assuming the survey is typical of the state's 
general public, only one-quarter of Wyoming people 
believe the federal government can always or usually be 
counted on to do the right thing. While previous surveys 
show that people have more confidence in their state 



Tim R. Miller 

legislators, the confidence level is low for government in 
general and particularly low for federal officials. 3 

Why is there so little confidence in the federal gov- 
ernment? There are undoubtedly several reasons, but 
the 1978 survey shows two of the more significant con- 
cerns. First, residents of Wyoming believe that the fed- 
eral government wastes too many of their tax dollars. 
When asked how much of their tax money is wasted by 
the federal government, 76% said "a lot;" 22.4% 
responded, "some;" and only .7% indicated that the 
feds "don't waste much." Thus, one reason for the anti- 
Washington sentiment is the general belief that the 
government is extravagant. 

A second reason may be of even more concern. Po- 
litical scientists use the term "political efficacy" to 
describe the degree to which people believe they control 
the government. When people believe their public of- 
ficials care what they think, that their vote makes a dif- 
ference, that government isn't too complicated, and 
that they can understand what is going on, then the link 
between the people and what the government does is in- 
tact. The people are then thought to be in control, 
working through their government officials. 

In Wyoming, however, there is an alarming coun- 
ter-trend. In the recent survey, nearly half of the 
respondents said that public officials don't care much 
what they think, and that outside of voting they have no 
say in what the government does. Also, three-quarters 
indicated that politics and government are so compli- 
cated that they can't really understand what is going on, 
and 35% agreed that they "don't have any say in what 
the government does." Clearly, a huge segment of Wyo- 
ming's population is inefficacious, or feel as though they 
have little or no say about what the government does. 
This is a vital concern because our system of government 
is based upon the premise that the people are in control. 
When so many people think that they have lost control, 
as is the case in Wyoming, it is only natural to be 
distrustful of government. 

Even though Wyoming's suspicion of the federal 
government is strong today and has been present for 
nearly all of the state's history, an important inconsis- 
tency exists, because of a contradictory love-hate rela- 
tionship. Again, the state's history must be considered. 
To a pioneer state like Wyoming, the money and the 
power of the federal government has been absolutely 
essential. The U.S. Army was vital to early Wyoming in 
terms of security for the state as well as the money spent 
for the forts and by the troops. The Union Pacific 
railroad was given over four and one-half million acres 
of land in Wyoming by the federal government as a way 
to populate the state and to give the state a firm eco- 
nomic base. Irrigation and reclamation projects which 
were absolutely necessary to make parts of the state 
livable were funded by the federal government. This 
state, as well as others, was given essential economic aid 


during the Depression in the 1930s. Wyoming received 
more federal money per capita than any other state ex- 
cept Nevada and Montana. 

Put simply, the federal government has been a 
welcome and essential element of the Wyoming econ- 
omy. The federal government made its contribution to 
building the state's own economy and in helping to 
establish that group of businessmen, the cattlemen, who 
were to have such long-lasting cultural and political in- 
fluence in the state. 

When Wyoming's cattlemen, the state's first suc- 
cessful businessmen, became established they depended 
on free use of government land. Even when they were 

"By not owning the land outright they 
did not need to pay taxes on it. " 

given the opportunity to buy at five cents an acre, the 
land that they were using, they refused to do so. Of 
course, by not owning the land outright they did not 
need to pay taxes on it. When the cattlemen did become 
convinced finally, in the 1920s and 1930s, that they 
should lease public lands, they began to use leased land 
from the government as an essential part of their opera- 
tion. However, cattlemen still wanted the federal gov- 
ernment to cede that land to the state if not to them in- 
dividually. They still do; they still haven't got it. Cat- 
tlemen may graze their herds on federally-owned land at 
little cost, but they do not own it. 

Despite the fact that Wyoming has consistently 
received more money from the federal government than 
it has paid in taxes, 4 Wyoming just as faithfully has 
decried so-called "government meddling and interfer- 
ence." That contradiction might be partially explained 
by the fact of the romantic language of rugged, in- 
dividualistic, free-enterprising westerners having 
become part of the Wyoming value structure. 

A March 18, 1978, Billings Gazette article sounded 
the refrain when it held that Wyoming and the federal 
government were "at war." 5 That article quoted 
Democratic Governor Ed Herschler as telling a House 
Committee, "I have been frustrated, annoyed, in- 
furiated, exasperated, bewildered, appalled, alarmed, 
and disgusted," in his attempts to deal with the federal 
government in Wyoming. The anti-federal government 
tone hasn't changed much since statehood in 1890 and it 
does not matter whether it is a Democratic or 
Republican voice. 

Wyoming is a conservative state for a variety of 
reasons. Many reasons are historical, some are econom- 
ic, others involve the degree of confidence in govern- 
ment. Although the conservative values outlined in these 
pages were born in the state's past, they are "alive and 
well" today. The 1978 statewide survey showed that 
Wyoming residents consider themselves to be conser- 

vative or extremely conservative rather than liberal or 
extremely liberal by a three-to-one margin. 

A minority of the Wyoming electorate has some- 
times lamented a political and cultural framework 
which they have found heavy with this deep-rooted 
social conservatism. However, a strong tradition of one 
dominant ideology in the state has indeed led to a high 
degree of political stability which, after all, is one of the 
prime virtues of any political system. 

It has been said at times that there isn't much dif- 
ference nationally between tweedle-dee and tweedle- 
dum (Democrats and Republicans). The same might be 
said at times in Wyoming. In this state the political dif- 
ferences between Democrat and Republican, liberal and 
conservative, often blur and are sometimes indistinct. 
That is true even though historically Wyoming,has near- 
ly always been a Republican state. 

It is not surprising that Wyoming is Republican. 
While the Democrats were strong during the early terri- 
torial period after 1869, their decline was well under 
way by statehood in 1890. Embarrassed by their lack of 
strong leadership, dragging their feet on statehood, and 
generally languishing in disorganization, the Democrats 
at the end of the 19th century began their long-term 
minority status. 6 

This tradition has continued throughout Wyoming's , 
history. While the state's electorate has voted for Demo- 
cratic presidential candidates in nine of twenty-two elec- 
tions, and for Democratic gubernatorial candidates 
twelve of twenty-seven times, throughout the state's 
history, however, Democratic candidates have won only 
one race for state treasurer, three for state auditor, five 
for secretary of state, and five for superintendent of 

"The Wyoming political culture is not 
ethnically or racially complex. " 

public instruction. Coupled with the seemingly perma- 
nent Republican control of the state legislature (Demo- 
crats have controlled both houses for only four years of 
the state's history), this illustrates the degree of Repub- 
lican dominance. 7 

Another important aspect of a political culture is the 
factor of ethnic politics, how a culture adapts to dif- 
ferent races or nationalities. Except for a mixture of the 
mining and railroad history of Rock Springs which has 
contributed to its unusually cosmopolitan atmosphere, 
Wyoming has rarely, if ever, had to respond to ethnic 
politics. Over ninety percent of the people in Wyoming 
are white. 8 That factor alone shows once more that the 
Wyoming profile is more uniform and less fractured 
than the American pluralistic society as a whole. The 
Wyoming political culture is not ethnically or racially 
complex. A candidate seeking office here, for instance, 
does not have to concern himself with appealing to dif- 


ferent racial or ethnic needs that might change from 
district to district. 

It is not unusual for a Wyoming child to go through 
most of his schooling without encountering anyone very 
different from himself in terms of race or even social 
class. He is not often exposed to experiences and tradi- 
tions other than his own. It is not surprising that a young 
Wyomingite might well have little conception of the 
politics of race and the problems of trying to accom- 
modate racial or ethnic differences into a broad consen- 

The recent population impact on parts of Wyoming 
due to energy production has increased the population, 
but it does not seem to have significantly altered the 
degree of ethnic diversity. Since it does appear that such 
energy extraction in the state will only intensify, the in- 
teresting question is how a persistently stable cultural at- 
mosphere, protective of a "Wyoming way of life," will 
meet the challenge of a new cultural framework. 

Wyoming people are reluctant to see themselves as 
having a "station in life" that is different from other peo- 
ple. This state, which has never been a rich land, has 
generally not seen large economic class differences. The 
idea of a classless society yielding some sort of "middle 
class" culture has been an American dream for genera- 
tions. In reality, of course, there often were gaps be- 
tween classes, and times when most people were indeed 
not middle class. There have always been social and 
economic classes in America but we have not always 
wanted to admit it. 

This idea of classlessness is a national self-delusion 
which Wyoming has also shared. Wyoming, however, 
comes closer to that ideal than does the nation. There 
has been a similarity of status and outlook that does 
mark most aspects of Wyoming culture and does tend to 
construct a more nearly homogeneous culture. 

A good example of that national self-delusion which 
has implications for Wyoming has been the American 
South. Cultural patterns were largely set by the rich 
planter class, the first successful businessmen, who were 
and still are a numerical minority. Through their own 
brand of cultural gymnastics many members of the 
nearly permanent lower class convinced themselves that 
the planters should actually be given deference in most 
aspects of life. Translated into politics this meant that 
the planter class virtually ruled Southern politics for 
centuries and has a large influence today. 

In a similar fashion, Wyoming has been influenced 
by those men who first "made it," the cattlemen. As a 
group they were among the earliest people on the high 
plains to speak of self reliance, free enterprise, "rugged 
individualism," distrust of federal government "in- 
tervention." These, of course, are conservative values. 
Much like the Southern planter aristocracy, Wyoming 
stockmen, personified by the always influential Wyo- 
ming Stock Growers Association, were the early political 

power in the state, and the bulk of Wyoming society was 
content with that influence. 

Wyoming's frontier heritage contributed to a broad 
reluctance for its people to see themselves as "less than 
somebody else." This high plains democracy was ex- 
pressed years ago by a cowboy talking to a haughty 
British nobleman, "You may be a son of a lord back in 
England, but that ain't what you are out here." 9 

Western history has long witnessed a resentment 
against even being made to appear inferior. The terms 
"waiter," "servant," and "master" of the house for ex- 
ample, all took on different meanings in the West. In 
early Wyoming cattle country a traveler who asked, "Is 
your master home?" was informed "I have no master, 

"You may be the son of a lord back in 

England, but that ain't what you are 

out here. " 

the son of Baliel ain't been born yet." 10 When another 
Englishman in early Wyoming tried to make his hired 
hand fill a bathtub for him, the helper sprinkled the tub 
with bullet holes and shouted, "You ain't quite the top 
shelfer you think you is, you ain't even got a shower-bath 
for cooling your swelled head but I'll make you a present 
of one, boss." 11 

This faith in the equality of all men was another way 
in which the West "roughed up" democracy. It was, in 
fact, the outstanding characteristic of American culture 
to Europeans. It is no accident that in Europe the West 
has been the primary symbol of America. 

Wyoming, as part of the cattle frontier, was a male 
domain for some time. A lasting result of that ranching 
and cowboy world has been the creation of a powerful 
masculine image. A legacy of "manly virtues" has been a 
part of western cultural values. 

To accompany that picture has been a correspond- 
ing feminine model. The untouchable "Madonna of the 
Plains" concept resulted from the scarcity of women in 
the early West and the celibacy it caused. There is a 
sense in which the West maintained a paradoxical "cult" 
of womanhood. This was particularly a reflection and 
extension of a curious American cultural tendency. It 
was also because of Wyoming's particular geography 
and occupations. Not only in Wyoming, but throughout 
the West, a societal role emerged which was complimen- 
tary as well as restrictive. Women came to be viewed as 
unique "civilizers," keepers of hearth and home, in- 
terested in education, church and the arts, while men 
conceded their own coarseness and assumed the "obliga- 
tions" of work, business, politics, and leadership. 1 ' 

This cultural chivalry has meant little in Wyoming 
when translated into political terms. This is despite the 
fact the state granted to women the democratic right to 
vote in its state constitution in 1890, the first state to do 
so. Wyoming is proud to call itself the "Equality State," 


even though one may sometimes wonder whether the 
term is deserved. 

Actually, Wyoming first granted this political right 
as a territory in 1869. But that political action wasn't all 
romantic. In large measure it was a promotional gim- 
mick designed to attract more population and improve 
Wyoming economically and politically. It didn't fully 
accomplish that aim and was nearly repealed in 1871. It 
was supported again in 1890, almost out of habit and 
with little male concern, because there weren't many 
women anyway and those who were married tended to 
vote the same way their husbands did. While women 
back East were demonstrating and making heated 
speeches, women in Wyoming were given that right with 
relative ease — a right given to them by men for their 
own male reasons. Interpretation of the original woman 
suffrage act permitted women to serve on juries. That 
"right" ended in 1871. Wyoming men didn't want to go 
too far in this radical experiment. Women didn't serve 
on juries again (except in a few cases with women on 
trial) until 1950. 13 

The Wyoming legislature ratified the Equal Rights 
Amendment in 1973, but in the state senate, the vote 
was close, 17-21. There have been attempts since then to 
repeal ERA, but apparently the cultural habit of being 
the "Equality State" is too strong. T. A. Larson, Wyo- 
ming's historian, has an apt phrase, "Politics in Wyo- 
ming is a game played seriously by a few hundred peo- 
ple, most of them men," 14 which makes a comment on 
the relative status of women in Wyoming politics. 

The historic influence of the cattlemen and the cat- 
tle country legacy in this state, both in terms of 
economics and conservative western values, has been 

"Wyoming provided an uncluttered arena 
for the creation of the cowboy ..." 

discussed. Another piece of cultural luggage acquired 
from this unique cattle tradition is the figure of the 
cowboy. That image has special social and political 
meanings for people in this state as well as broad impli- 
cations for the nation as a whole. The West has general- 
ly symbolized those things bold and good, a symbol of 
refreshing hope, and the cowboy has come to per- 
sonalize that western experience for us all. 

Americans have always been proud of "their" West 
and its unique past. This pride has given Americans 
something to nurture, share, and even exaggerate. We 
attach virtues to those experiences which we hope will 
continue to make our culture different if not better than 
someone else's. This is a major purpose of having a set of 
cultural values — to adopt, even create those ideals 
which we think are needed by the society and then to 
hold to them. The West, in truth as well as legend, has 
answered many of those needs, and Wyoming rightfully 
enough is closely linked with the image of the cowboy. 

Wyoming helped make the cowboy into an ideal. He 
was and is seen as a hard, lean, self-reliant, courageous, 
patriotic, and honorable man. These are glamorous, 
"manly" standards and they tend to be regarded as 
primary Wyoming virtues. The Westerner was someone 
who had few if any self-doubts and could make clear 
distinctions between right and wrong. He was someone 
who, for instance, could go outside the law, if necessary, 
to save the law and secure society and civilization. In 
short, America created John Wayne. Besides his being 
Wyoming's leading western movie character, it is no 
mere romantic curiosity that we often see red, white and 
blue bumper stickers in Wyoming underlining the 
proud sentiment — "God Bless John Wayne." 

John Wayne has become a symbol for the man, so 
highly valued in the West, who doesn't question his fight 
for right and is not ambivalent about American virtues. 
Wayne regarded his movie, The Alamo, as an adequate 
statement of the needs and desired traits of America: 
"There was Mexicans and there was us, there was black, 
there was white. They tell me everything isn't black 
white. Well, I say why the hell not?" 15 

Wyoming provided an uncluttered arena for the 
creation of the cowboy and his image. Here he found 
few other values to stand in his way. The ones that might 
have competed with him, such as "free enterprise" or 
"individualism," became western and cowboy character- 
istics themselves. 

It took some time to transform the cowboy into a 
hero. The first big boost was Wyoming's own Buffalo 
Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Even though some Wyo- 
mingites in this slightly more sophisticated age are now a 
little reluctant to claim Buffalo Bill, it was, in fact, his 
immensely popular show glamorizing cowboys and 
rodeos that helped to shape a new culture. 

The next step was in popular literature. Again, 
many of the earliest western novels were about Buffalo 
Bill. Perhaps the most important cowboy novel ever 
written, Owen Wister's The Virginian, published in 
1902, is a story about a Wyoming cattle ranch, Wyo- 
ming vigilante justice, and the Wyoming landscape. It 
established the cowboy as a full-blown moral hero, one 
who had the virtues from which all America supposedly 
could benefit. 

Truly, Wyoming is the cowboy state. The radio disc 
jockey says, "It's 64 degrees in the Cowboy State." The 
cowboy is on our license plates and on bumper stickers, 
and the University athletic teams are "Cowboys." 

Certainly the state's history is the best example of a 
true cowboy state. That is Wyoming's heritage. The 
free-wheeling cowboy period of the unfenced, gun- 
fighting cattle frontier actually didn't last much longer 
than the "Gunsmoke" series that relived that period, but 
long enough to create a lasting and useful American 
character and tradition. 


The major thrust of this study of Wyoming politics 
has been the recognition that a state's politics is always 
given shape and direction by its culture; the two are 
completely intertwined. Wyoming developed certain 
lifestyles and ideologies accommodated to the state's his- 
tory and physical geography. 

The overriding and persistent political and cultural 
sentiment running throughout Wyoming's string of cul- 
tural values is the state's almost instinctive urge to adopt 
conservative characteristics. This overcoating of tradi- 

"A state's politics is always given shape 
and direction by its culture. " 

tional conservatism is illustrated by the relatively 
homogenous population. Much of the state's population 
has traditions based upon similar personal and family 
experiences; it follows then that they would have similar 
political views. Except for the spice provided by an occa- 
sional Democratic party surge, this has been a state com- 
fortable in its conservative Republicanism. 

Reflecting the long national heritage of male chau- 
vinism, Wyoming and the West acquired a cult of 
masculinity. Wyoming's early, apparently liberal, com- 
mitment to woman suffrage was not deep, and was sure- 
ly carried out with other political designs in mind, as 
well as with only the passive enthusiasm of Wyoming 
women themselves. 

A good deal of Wyoming politics has been taken up 
with a measure of suspicion if not antagonism directed 
toward the federal government. This annoyance with 
the federal governmental framework and its bureauc- 
racy, however, is not fundamental criticism of American 
government. Wyoming, along with other western states 
generally, prides itself on its loyal patriotism. Whether 
because of a large federal ownership of Wyoming land, 
or because the state has been defensive about maintain- 
ing a "Wyoming way of life," the workings of federalism 
have sometimes been strained. But this very kind of 
distrust of government and the tension between a state 
and the central government is literally one of the essen- 
tials of American democracy as it is practiced and is, in 
fact, one of the healthy characteristics which make our 
American democracy unique even among democratic 

The modern concept of the "Cowboy Culture" and 
its assumed virtues of a hardy independence and cour- 
ageous conviction of "doing the right thing" has served 
to reinforce the traditional layer of contented conserva- 
tism in Wyoming. 

1. T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1978), p. 573. 

2. Larson, History of Wyoming, p. 558. 

3. In a statewide survey by the Government Research Bureau, 
2.2% rated the Wyoming legislature excellent overall; 35.5% 
good; 44.7% fair; and 8.5% poor. 




Larson has given a sensitive account of the irony of state-federal 

relations; Larson, History of Wyoming, especially p. 173 and p. 


John Heibers, Billings Gazette, Sunday, March 18, 1978, 

"Wyoming, U.S. at 'War'." (Reprinted from the New York 


Larson, History of Wyoming, pp. 236-261; Lewis L. Gould, 

Wyoming: A Political History 1868-1896, (New Haven: Yale 

University Press, 1968), pp. 1-22 and pp. 108-137. 

Wyoming Blue Book, Virginia Cole Trenholm, ed., Wyoming 

State Archives and Historical Department, (Cheyenne, Vol. 3, 

1974), pp. 1-33. 

Larson, History of Wyoming, p. 585; 1974 Bureau of Census 


Quoted in Ray A. Billington, America's Frontier Heritage, 

(New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1966), p. 151. 

Ibid., p. 155. 

Ibid., p. 56. 

This concept is treated more completely in Barbara Welter, 

"The Cult of True Womanhood, 1820-1860," The American 

Quarterly, Summer, 1966, pp. 151-170; Glenda Riley, "Women 

on the American Frontier," (St. Louis, Missouri: Forum Press, 


T. A. Larson, Wyoming, A History, (New York: W. W. Norton 

and Company, 1977), p. 86. 

Larson, History of Wyoming, p. 542. 

"John Wayne as the Last Hero," Time, August 8, 1969, p. 67. 


>»• L»ti 

Boat'pusher or Bird Woman? 

"Forerunner of civilization, great leader of men. ..." 

These stirring words in praise of Sacagawea were 
spoken by Eva Emery Dye at the 1905 dedication of the 
Portland, Oregon, statue portraying the young Shoshoni 
who was the lone female member of the Lewis and Clark 

Though unfounded in fact, Dye's extravagant 
phrases summarizing the romantic sentiments put forth 
in her 1902 book, The Conquest, unbarred the gate to a 
dangerous path. 1 Built on unlimited historical license, 
wild imaginings, and by-passing of available evidence, 
this path was to be followed for a half century by most of 
those who wrote about Sacagawea. 

Grace Hebard, while a University of Wyoming libra- 
rian, not only early joined the Dye procession, but add- 
ed a dimension of her own, a personal premise based on 
her heartfelt wish to enshrine Sacagawea in a Wind 
River, Wyoming, burial plot. But the author faced a 
problem in writing her book Sacajawea. 2 Several 
smoothly interlocking records following Sacagawea's 
movements after she left the Expedition establish that 
she died on December 20, 1812, at Fort Manuel Lisa in 
north-central South Dakota. 3 

Hebard promptly disposed of these archival proofs by 
advancing another theory. She declared that although 
the ailing Snake woman traveling up the Missouri with 
her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, was identified by 
Henry Brackenridge, in his log book, as being the 
woman who had "accompanied Lewis and Clark to the 
Pacific," he was simply mistaken in his reference. 4 One 
wonders why Hebard did not consider that these people 
enroute from St. Louis to the Mandan were confined on 
the same boat for five months and had ample oppor- 
tunity to learn each other's identity. 

After verbally disinterring Sacagawea from her 
home burial place on the Upper Missouri, Hebard trans- 
ferred her into the body of Porivo, an Indian woman 
who had died at Wind River, Wyoming, in 1884, after 
reaching an advanced age. Porivo was as acceptable a 
candidate for the mythical Sacagawea role as any. 


Briefly, Porivo's chronology, insofar as can be de- 
termined, is that while very young, at some unknown 
river camp, she married a Frenchman with whom she 
had two children, Bazil and Baptiste. At one time the 
four lived near present White Rocks, Utah. Porivo even- 
tually left this family to join the Comanches, marrying 
Jerk Meat and producing five children. After Jerk Meat's 
death, taking one of her children with her, she left the 
Comanche band to wander in various places, marrying a 
Mexican and having his child. She severed these connec- 
tions upon learning that her first two children had mov- 
ed the short distance from the Ute settlement in north- 
eastern Utah to Washakie's Shoshone country in 
southwestern Wyoming. The French father had long 
ago died. Porivo found Bazil living on Henry's Fork in 
the Shoshone compound of fabled Jack Robinson. In the 
late summer of 1871, after the Shoshone Reservation 
was established and following the Great Treaty of 1868, 
Porivo, Bazil, and Baptiste moved to the Wind River 
Agency. 5 

Porivo's son Baptiste, Hebard's nominee for the 
"Corps of Discovery" infant, had — according to his con- 
temporaries—no outstanding qualities unless they were 
his capacity for drink and ill -temper. The only thing he 
held in common with the real expedition papoose was 
his ubiquitous French name, which he never learned to 
write. At his death in 1885, his body was dropped into 
Dry Creek Canyon and covered with rocks. 

The Annals of Wyoming editorial staff is aware of 
the differing opinions among historians and others 
about the life and death, burial site, and even the 
name of the Indian girl who accompanied the 
Lewis and Clark Expedition. We do not endorse 
the views of Mrs. Schroer in this article, nor do we 
endorse the views of writers not in agreement with 
her. We feel that this article will be of interest to 
readers, and we present it as one documented in- 
terpretation of the life of a prominent personality 
in Wyoming history. — Editor. 

Sacagawea or Sacajawea? 

| Proposed $275,000 app^u, 
i,;,l, »rni>os«>-iX>/^ V i e expend J t:., o- 

By Blanche Schroer 

In sharp contrast, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the 
real expedition papoose, under the sponsorship of Cap- 
tain Clark, became a well-liked, educated adult who, 
despite his European -acquired polish, retained a love for 
the wilderness. He spoke English, Spanish, French, and 
German as well as several Indian languages, and wrote a 
graceful script. During his varied life he served as guide 
for the Mormon Battalion, and as magistrate for the San 
Luis Rey Mission in California where he was regarded by 
Father Engelhardt as something of a humanitarian. 

It was said J. B. Charbonneau was the kind of man 
who, wearing moccasins, could track a wild animal all 
day then return to his cabin and mix a mint julep for 
sophisticated guests. The urbane frontiersman inter- 
rupted his later years of semi-retirement in California by 
sporadic engagements in hotel clerking, trapping, and 
prospecting for gold. Indeed, it was while enroute to the 
Montana Territory gold fields that he became ill and 
died on May 16, 1866, at Inskip Station, Danner, 
Oregon. 6 

The mystery of how Hebard could confuse Porivo's 
Baptiste (Bat-tez on the Agency rolls) with Sacagawea's 
son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, remains unsolved. But 
perhaps she really didn't confuse them. Possibly the 
whole theory was unknowingly based on an ancient ter- 
ritorial wish for a status symbol. 

By the late forties, Lewis and Clark students were 
beginning to think differently. The Porivo-as-Sacaga- 
wea theory that Hebard had given thirty years of her life 
trying to prove was giving way to doubt. Hebard herself 
may have had doubts. Shortly before her death in 1936 
she wrote to Agnes Wright Spring, ". . . if I can live a bit 
longer we may be able to establish what I have been 
working on for half a century." 7 

Not one word written during Porivo's lifetime or for 
two decades following her death, attempting to identify 
her with Sacagawea, has ever been found, although 
there is evidence to the contrary. E. A. Carter, who 
served as clerk and post trader on the Wind River 
Reservation during Porivo's life there, wrote excellent 
short biographies of those local Indians he considered to 

be important or interesting. After retiring to California, 
however, he admitted he had not even known Porivo, 
but he added, "I am very sorry the search for her 
(Sacagawea) did not occur when I was living there." 8 

There is a touch of sadness in tireless researcher 
Hebard's failure to climb above the first rung on the 
steep ladder of proof. The closest she could come to 
written documentation was hearsay testimony that 
Sarah Irwin, wife of Dr. James Irwin, first Wind River 
Agent, had taken down the Porivo stories. 9 The Irwin 
manuscript was supposed to have burned in an office 
fire. If so, it must have been well-charred; over the years 
Lander newspapers have named three different loca- 
tions of the holocaust. However, because it is the only 
document even rumored to have existed, it should be 
discussed further. 

In the Journal of American History, 1907, Hebard 
wrote: "The statements presented by Dr. Irwin who 
knew Sacajawea on the reservation in the sixties and at 
that time believed the two Sacajaweas to be the same is 
strong testimony ..." Surprisingly, after such a positive 
declaration, the historian fails to cite any primary testi- 
mony. Erring further, she names her time reference as 
"in the sixties" although Dr. Irwin did not enter the 
government service until May, 1871, nor did Porivo ap- 
pear on the Wind River Reservation until some months 
later. 10 

In the testimony taken during the 1920s about 
1804-1806 events, one oft-repeated story, that of 
Sacagawea seeing a dead whale on the Pacific beach, 
left little room for error in repetition. Obviously that 
story most impressed Porivo when she heard the tales of 
the expedition either from her French husband or — if 
Porivo were one of the Shoshoni girls on the Man- 
dan— directly from Sacagawea herself. 

But in some of the tales, glaring differences appear 
between what Porivo was reported to have said about 
specific expedition events and what Sacagawea actually 
experienced, as recorded by the journalists. One is 
brought out on page 195 of Hebard's Sacajawea. "He [F. 
G. Burnett] recalled especially her [Porivo's] description 


of the difficulties she experienced in approaching close 
enough to the Shoshones, when the expedition reached 
their territory, to convince them that the white men 
were their friends ..." 

She could not have experienced those difficulties 
because, during the first half of August, she was miles 
away laboring up the Beaverhead with Clark's main 
water party while Lewis, with three picked men, was 
scouting the Horse Creek Prairie country for the North- 
ern Shoshonis. They finally found a party of them, 
established friendly relations through sign language, 
and led them, with their Chief Cameahwait, back to 
meet the Clark contingent and Sacagawea at the Jeffer- 
son Forks. 11 

A check between what the givers of testimony were 
told and the actual journal -recorded events reveals other 
discrepancies. This suggests a possibility that, if Sarah 
Irwin did write up the Porivo stories, she may have later 
compared them with journal accounts and, finding they 
did not tally with facts, discarded them, knowing they 
could not have come from Sacagawea. 

It would be very rewarding to find extant a Sarah Ir- 
win transcript of Porivo's observations about the expedi- 
tion. It would answer this question: did Porivo, in her 
extreme old age, falsely tell the stories as having hap- 
pened to her, or did she honestly intend them to be 
taken as having been experienced by another — the real 

Howard Ranney, great-grandson of Dr. Irwin, re- 
called that when he was a boy of twelve he heard a 
heated discussion between his father, William Van Wie 
Ranney, and his grandmother, Monetta Irwin Chal- 
mers, the daughter of Dr. Irwin. The news in 1925 of 
Hebard's pronouncement that Porivo was Sacagawea 
had set his grandmother's memory back to the late sum- 
mer of 1871. 

In Howard's presence, Monetta said that as a girl of 
ten or eleven, she had been upset at having to turn her 
room over to the two officers in charge of the contingent 
which escorted a twelve-wagon train of older Shoshonis 
and their supplies from Fort Bridger to Fort Washakie. 
Monetta also remembered that Porivo, a member of this 
party, was given a nearby cabin where she and her 
mother, Sarah Irwin, later visited and heard/ the old 
Shoshoni talk of the expedition. 

Howard Ranney wrote these concluding words: "I 
think when Porivo came to Fort Washakie no one at the 
Fort had ever heard of Sacagawea, including Doctor Ir- 
win. Lewis and Clark were famous people and any In- 
dian women that knew first hand about the Expedition 
was interesting in herself, but nowhere did she claim to 
be Sacagawea." 12 

The man most quoted during any Porivo discussion 
is the Reverend John Roberts, early Wind River mis- 
sionary. His part in the identity argument should be 
clarified. It was almost a quarter of a century after he 

Dr. James Irwin and his wife Sarah 



noted the death of "Bazil's mother" in his burial 
record, 13 but very soon after Hebard visited the reserva- 
tion, seeking his backing, that he first referred to Porivo 
as Sacagawea. After this, for all the years of his life, he 
was the subject of many articles, interviews, appear- 
ances, and photographs — often in company with 
famous people as having been the minister who of- 
ficiated at the burial of Sacagawea. 

Because of this, it has been intimated that he was 
seeking publicity. That evaluation in no way fits the 
character and personality of this truly humble and God- 
ly man. Similarly, it is unfair to place the burden of 
wrong identification on the Reverend Roberts. For some 
time he not only showed a clear reluctance to commit 
himself, he never did so on the basis of his own direct 
knowledge. He, at no time, said that either Porivo or her 
son Baptiste had identified themselves to him as Lewis 
and Clark Expedition members. 

Doubtless, some misinformation came from Judge 
Fourt's article "Reverend John Roberts honored in 
Washington" in the February 22, 1934, issue of the 
Wyoming State Journal. The Judge wrote, "Doctor 
Roberts visited her (Porivo) and found that she could 
speak a little French, and in his conversation deter- 
mined that she was Sacajawea." This bothered the mis- 
sionary more than a little and on several occasions he 
took the trouble to state that Judge Fourt had uninten- 
tionally made an inaccurate statement. 

Apparently, the missionary's first answer to historian^ 
Hebard's questions about a possible Wind River Sacaga- 
wea came as a result of his recommendation of a typical 
Shoshoni girl to be used as a model for the 1904 St. 
Louis Fair statue of the heroine. In her Journal of 
American History article, Hebard says that this involve- 
ment "freshened his (Reverend Roberts) memory to the 
extent that he remembered burying a very old Indian 
woman during the first year of his field of labor in Wyo- 
ming." It will shock many to learn that Roberts did not 
say he remembered burying Sacagawea, but said instead 
that he remembered burying a "very old Indian 
woman!" 14 

Equally elusive is Roberts' statement based on Dr. 
Irwin's taking him in 1883 to see Porivo because of her 
extreme old age. Sixty-two years later, the missionary 
wrote, "Dr. Erwin (sic) alluded to her connection with 
the Lewis and Clark Expedition and he seemed to be 
keenly interested in that fact. I was interested in the old 
lady because of her great age, for at that time I knew 
very little about the Lewis and Clark Expedition." 15 
Note the words alluded and connection. The Reverend 
Roberts, supremely honest, did not say that Dr. Irwin 
told him Porivo was Sacagawea, the Shoshone who 
traveled with Lewis and Clark, but rather said he 
"alluded to a connection." 

A graduate of an Oxford-affiliated college, Roberts 
spoke "the King's English" and understood the nuances 

of words. He knew that "alluded" means "to refer in- 
directly or vaguely" or in older dictionaries "to make 
sport of." He also knew that having a "connection" with 
a group does not necessarily mean one is a member of it. 

As smoothly as a well -sinewed moccasin do these 
words fit the thought that Porivo was one of the Sho- 
shoni girls living on the Mandan. She not only had a 
"connection" with the Lewis and Clark Expedition dur- 
ing the winter of 1804-1805, but upon the explorers' 
return from the Pacific would have heard the exciting 
stories her friend Sacagawea had to tell. 

Without question, Roberts did eventually become 
Hebard's good friend, accept her dictum, and go over to 
the Porivo camp. He could not have known of his 
friend's tendency, as a zealous "Porivan," to mold 
history to her own desires, perhaps — in her eagerness for 
proof — often unknowingly. It is often said, "But Rev- 
erend Roberts said he buried Sacagawea." Yes, he did 
later say that, but with an implied qualification which 
he seldom uttered. On this page it is stated that, when 
pressed, he would add, as he did to Joseph Moore and 
the author when asked for specific information, "I 
buried an old Shoshoni who, the historians and some old 
Indians said, was Sacagawea." There is a vast dif- 
ference, and truth lies between the lines. 

The aged missionary was present when, on October 
2, 1941, with much fanfare, the Wyoming Landmark 
Commission's ill-advised marker on Highway 287, di- 
recting traffic to the Wind River Cemetery, two miles 
west, was unveiled and dedicated. Among a crowd of 
prominent political figures including governors, mayors, 
state officials and leading Shoshonis who had known 
Porivo, Roberts was the most honored man present. 

The bronze tablet then on the cement marker over 
Porivo's grave, to which travelers were directed, carried 
the legend: "Sacajawea, guide for the Lewis and Clark 
Expedition. Died April 9, 1884, aged 100 years. Iden- 
tified by the Reverend John Roberts who officiated at 
her burial." In reference to this inscription, Roberts in 
his dedicatory speech, included some strange words 
— words that seemed to have a deep significance, 
possibly suggesting his reluctance to go on permanent 
record. "I wish to say that I had nothing to do with the 
preparation of the inscription. It was prepared by Dr. 
Hebard, a noted Wyoming historian." Then he repeat- 
ed, "I had nothing to do with its preparation but what is 
written is written." 

"What is written is written" portrays history inac- 
curately, as does the D.A.R. monument which replaced 
it. But one thing about the Landmark marker is ac- 
curate. Through a fluke of casting, the bronze arrow 
points not west to Porivo's grave, but east to Sacagawea's 
burial site in Dakota. 

For many years, newspapers and magazines pub- 
lished such titles as "New Proof of Wyoming 
Sacagawea." The articles so heralded turned out to be. 


without exception, no more than echoes of the old 
Porivo myth. On the other hand, the already clearly 
documented early death of Sacagawea was continually 
being strengthened. By the early fifties, William Bragg, 
Jr., in his University of Wyoming master's thesis, added 
extremely pertinent information. 

In addition, the author's own recordings of old 
Shoshonis who had known Porivo revealed some surpris- 
ing data. 16 Most telling are the disc-recorded words of 
ninety-two-year-old Jennie Hereford Martinez who lived 
with her family in a log cabin on Henry's Fork in the 
Bridger country, next door to Bazil and Porivo's tipi. 
Later, of course, both families moved to the Wind River 
Reservation. It is surprising when Jennie matter-of- 
factly volunteers that neither she nor her mother, 
though visiting almost daily with Porivo, had ever heard 
anything at all about Sacagawea or Lewis and Clark un- 
til Hebard came to Fort Washakie. Yet in Hebard's 
Sacajawea, testimony that conflicts with this informa- 
tion appears above Grandma Hereford's name. 

Most of the confusion caused by testimony of old 
Shoshonis came about through Hebard's use of the 
name Sacajawea for Porivo in the interpreted letters. In 
fairness to Hebard, it should be mentioned that, having 
convinced herself Porivo was Sacajawea, she simply 
substituted that name. Nevertheless, this did give false 
substance to testimony. It is one thing to say, "I knew 
Sacajawea and heard her talk about the Lewis and Clark 
Expedition." It is quite another to say, "I knew Porivo 
and heard her talk about the Lewis and Clark Expedi- 
tion." Old Shoshonis questioned have said that Porivo 
had never been called Sacajawea until so dubbed by 

Hebard's argument is toppled by evidence coming 
directly from Captain Clark in his famous 1825-1828 
Cash Book Cover entry. It designates Sacagawea as 
dead. Just below the entry establishing Sacagawea's ear- 
ly death, Clark confirms her son's presence in Germany. 
Clark was, of course, the legally appointed guardian 
who directed the education of the young expedition 
member, Jean Baptiste, sometimes called "Toussaint" 
after his father. 

Contrastingly, Roberts declared many times to 
many people that Porivo's Baptiste was uneducated and 
had never been to Europe. 17 So it is that Roberts and 
Clark, two men whose life spans ended almost one hun- 
dred years apart, really settled between them any re- 
maining doubt of the expedition papoose's identity, and 
in so doing, forged the final link in the already unassail- 
able chain of evidence establishing Sacagawea's early 

All of the brief information that Clark gives about 
other members of the corps, at the time of his listing, 
stands scrutiny except the Patrick Gass notation. That 
Gass was erroneously listed as dead in no way weakens 
the Sacagawea entry. Gass had gone to Virginia and put 

himself out of touch with Missourians for a long while, 
hence, the false news was accepted. 

On the other hand, after the expedition, and follow- 
ing the Charbonneau family's journey to St. Louis and 
back home to the Mandan, Clark remained in constant 
touch with Sacagawea. This was through Interpreter 
Charbonneau, Fur Trader Manuel Lisa, Clerk John 
Luttig and others mutually involved with Clark in the 
Missouri Fur Company and the Department of Indian 
Affairs headed by Clark. Their boats went up and down 
the Missouri, between Fort Manuel Lisa, where 
Sacagawea lived, and St. Louis where Clark had fur 
company offices. Information of Sacagawea's death, so 
derived, would be accurate. 

It seems reasonable to say that, by the 1960s, only 
two groups remained unmoved by the strengtji of the 
Missouri River-Sacagawea documents and the weakness 
of the Wind River-Sacagawea oral myths. One group 
might be termed the "Territorial Status Society" who 
knew the facts but were less concerned with accurate 
history than with claiming a heroine for their state. The 
other group was composed of those who had neither the 
time nor the tendency to acquaint themselves with the 
many facets of the case necessary to a responsible 
evaluation, so joined the "Sensationalists" who favored a 
rediscovered heroine. 

One noted historian who had the moral courage to 
change horses in turbulent waters was John Bakeless. In 
his book Lewis and Clark, Partners in Discovery, (New 
York: William Morrow and Co., 1947) he said, ". 
there is not much doubt of her (Sacagawea's) identity 
with the squaw who died at Wind River in 1884." 
However, after acquiring further information and view- 
ing the Clark Cash Book entry, he said some years later 
that Sacagawea's Fort Manuel Lisa death was a settled 

Another with the clear-eyed view of a true historian, 
T. A. Larson, professor emeritus of history, University 
of Wyoming, and past president of the Western History 
Association, although yearning to claim Sacagawea for 
his state, said he had to accept the preponderance of evi- 
dence favoring a Dakota-expiring Sacagawea. 

Recently entered into the National Register of His- 
toric Places are Fort Manuel Lisa, burial place of Sac- 
agawea, and Inskip Station, burial place of Jean Bap- 
tiste Charbonneau, expedition papoose. It would seem 
that by now, historians had managed to clear the Lewis 
and Clark path of most of the debris of misinformation 
so that others might more easily learn the true and thrill- 
ing story of the exciting years following the Louisiana 
Purchase. But suddenly another unforeseen obstacle ob- 
structs the path. 

Anna Lee Waldo, a new author, embodies in her 
book Sacajawea (New York, Avon, 1979) confusing 
departures from historical evidence which outshine her 
predecessors. In the New York Times Review of Books, 

August 26, 1979, a staggering statement is attributed to 
Waldo. She says: "There was a four-year delay after 
Avon bought it, while they took the manuscript apart 
chapter by chapter and sent it to historians and an- 
thropologists to check its accuracy. But I knew they 
wouldn't find any mistakes." 

Guided by Waldo's bibliographical listing of over 
two hundred works, lengthy references introducing each 
chapter, and publicity touting the volume's historical 
accuracy, one must conclude Sacajawea is meant to be 
read as history or, at least, as a historical novel, 
meticulously documented. 

If it is intended as history, it is a total failure. The 
book does not adhere to events as journalized during the 
Lewis and Clark Expedition, or to later happenings 
chronicled in letters, official diaries, and legal papers. If 
it is intended as an historical novel, a supposedly in- 
violable rule has been flouted, that the story, no matter 
how bizarre, keep within the generous bounds of 
possibility as dictated by extant available primary 
historical evidence. 

In running the red light of literary and historical 
responsibility, Waldo did a disservice to first-time read- 
ers about Sacagawea. Initial information on a subject is 

difficult to change later. Some readers may never learn 
that the author's aggressive centenarian little resembles 
the short-lived, self-effacing Sacagawea whose adven- 
turous life haunts history's pages to the time of her last 
breath on a high bank of the Upper Missouri. They may 
never learn that the gentle girl's recorded services during 
the great expedition chiseled her fame far more per- 
manently than contrived happenings ever could. 

Sacajawea was not the heroine's true name. Because 
an error compounded will cling like a parasite to its 
host, many are guilty of ignoring Clark's journal entry 
clearly establishing her appellation to be the Hidatsa 
word for Bird Woman, properly pronounced with hard- 
sounding "c" and "g." The woman's name being Hidat- 
sa, it is pertinent only as added information that there is 
actually no such Shoshoni word as Sacajawea. However, 
according to Shoshoni Wallace St. Clair, government 
employee, and the Reverend Wesley Kosin, Shoshoni 
linguist, both residing on the Wind River Reservation, 
there is a seldom-used word for "boat-pusher." A 
phonetical rendering would be close to Say ki jaw ee. In 
the second syllable the "i" fades to a breathy sound in 
the roof of the mouth that only a Shoshoni can properly 


UmvRU M i iSNDliAtS. 

VI Ml LI ;- v.'i m 

The dedication of the Sacajawea Grave Monument by the Historical Landmark Commission of Wyoming. 



Following are random samples drawn from Waldos 
many errors, which suggest disregard for recorded his- 
tory: 18 

Waldo casts Ben York, Clark's black servant, in the 
unlikely role of compassionate obstetrician at the birth 
of Sacagawea's son, Jean Baptiste. The journals name 
only Charbonneau's friend, Interpreter Jessaume, and 
Lewis, expedition medic, as offering aid. 

When a sudden river storm sweeps goods from their 
moorings in the white piroque, Waldos Sacagawea dives 
into the raging Missouri, babe on back, and paddles to 
shore loaded with a violin, sextant, and other retrieved 
flotsam. Actually, while seated in the boat, Sacagawea 
grabbed valued items as they floated past her. The cap- 
tains honored her for this resourcefulness by giving a 
fork of the Shell River her name. On maps of the area 
Clark wrote clearly "Sar kah gah we a (Bird Woman)." 
As Clark and the three Charbonneaus walk along 
the river bank portaging some of their goods past the 
Great Falls, a violent wind, rain, and hail storm sudden- 
ly arises. Seeking temporary shelter, they drop into a 
deep ravine. As Waldo tells it, when Sacagawea points 
to a torrent of water rushing down the dry river bed 
toward them, the alerted party frantically scrambles up 
the steep cliff. When Waldos Sacagawea saves Clark's 
life by pulling him to safety, he cries out, "Oh my God! 
Thanks! Janey, thanks! I'll do something fine for you 
sometime! I thought I was a goner." 

In Lewis' Journal, June 29, 1805, the day of the 
storm, we read that: 

. . . soon after a torrent of rain and hail fell more violent 
than ever I saw before, the rain fell like one voley of water 
falling from the heavens and gave us time only to get out of 
the way of a torrent of water which was Poreing down the 
hill in[to] the River with emence force tareing every thing 
before it takeing with it large rocks & mud, I took my gun 
& shot pouch in my left hand, and with the right scrambled 
up the hill pushing the Interpreters wife (who had her child 
in her arms) before me, the Interpreter himself makeing at- 
tempts to pull up his wife by the hand much scared and 
nearly without motion, we at length reached the top of the 
hill safe where I found my servent in serch of us greatly 
agitated, for our wellfar. 

At a crucial time of decision as to which branch of 
the river was the true Missouri leading to the Great Falls, 
Waldo's Sacagawea locates the Falls, forty miles distant, 
by hearkening and sniffing. In reality, the captains re- 
sorted to reconnoitering parties to certify their 
belief —contrary to that of all other corps members 
that the South Fork was the real Missouri. These in- 
credible topographers were right. Had Sacagawea ever 
traveled the Missouri beyond the mouth of the Yellow- 
stone and been able to direct them, nine precious days 
would have been saved. 19 

A gargantuan misconception is that Sacagawea 
stepped in and took over the guiding of the best- 
planned, best-directed, and best-piloted exploration in 

Dr. Hebard and 
Irtense Large, 
purported to be 
Sacajawea 's 
granddaughter . 

early frontier history. In a journey of over 8000 miles, it 
defies belief that one incident on the return trip 
— Sacagawea pointing out a pass used by her 
people — should be the nucleus for some of the wildest 
romanticizing in this so-called history. Helpful though 
she was in many ways, she didn't point the way west 
because she didn't know the route. Even in her Lemhi- 
Shoshoni country, old Toby and his sons had to be hired 
to lead the expedition west through the passes of the Bit- 

When on their return, with a choice of three passes, 
the captains decided on the one recommended by Sac- 
agawea. Although it possibly was not the best route, 
they gave her full credit in the journals. Also, her 
reassurance that they were in the home country of her" 
people was greatly appreciated and duly recorded. For- 
tunately, before leaving the Mandan, the captains were 
forearmed with considerable knowledge of the country 
by the widely traveled, raiding Hidatsas. 

Waldo confers on her mythical Sacagawea the abili- 
ty to speak English and French quite well. For example, 
on the journey west, she was the Shoshoni woman to 
deliver to Lewis an uninterrupted, philosophical speech 
of well over one hundred words — some of them polysyl- 
labic. In reality, Sacagawea spoke almost no English or 
French. She could only translate her brother Cameah- 
wait's Shoshoni words into Hidatsa for her husband to 


relay in French to a riverman who also spoke English. By 
such a labored route, the captains finally got needed in- 

Waldo's wand endows Sacagawea with such charm 
and beauty of face and figure that she becomes afemme 
fatale who unwittingly entices the deeply-dedicated 
disciplinarian, Clark, into a wild infatuation. Then the 
author invents an accusation from Charbonneau to his 
wife, "You are with another enfant. You let yourself be 
mauled by one of these men. Now I know — it is le cap- 
tained Ignoring her denials, Charbonneau attempts to 
force a brutal, savage abortion upon her. 

As the journalists were quick to mention physical at- 
tractiveness in briefly-encountered Indians, the very fact 
that they did not describe Sacagawea, their constant 
companion for almost two years, as having even a pleas- 
ing appearance, almost certainly precludes her having 
been especially comely in face or figure. Although Clark 
was a loyal friend to the Charbonneau family, the 
nearest to sentimental words he ever wrote about Sac- 
agawea were, when she was seriously ill, to express con- 
cern for "the poor object herself as well as for the possi- 
ble loss of the woman as a Shoshoni interpreter who 
would be needed when the time came to barter with her 
people for horses. The fabricated passion Clark is made 
to feel for Sacagawea has already elicited protest from 

Just before Sacagawea, ill and longing for her Upper 
Missouri home, leaves St. Louis for the Mandan, to die 
within fifteen months after her arrival there, Waldo 
makes the "big switch." She sends a different woman up- 
river thereby freeing Sacagawea to live another seventy- 
five years in the body of Porivo. 

Waldo's bungling attempt to nullify Clark's famous 
Cash Book entry which clearly establishes the early 
death of Sacagawea will distress historians. This 
maneuver has an invented stepson of Waldo's Sacaga- 
wea tell her he had misinformed Clark that she was 

It is difficult to read passively the thoughts of 
Waldo's Sacagawea about Dr. James Irwin, first agent- 
physician of the Wind River Reservation. "This man 
does not really care about the People (Shoshonis)." In 
truth, Dr. Irwin cared beyond easy understanding as ex- 
tant records reveal. After his only son was approached 
by Indians under the pretense of friendship, then 
brutally murdered and tortured, Dr. Irwin did not end 
his lone fight for Indian rights. Instead, the sorrowing 
father forgave the assailants, saying he knew the death 
of his son was in misguided retaliation for great in- 
justices heaped on the Indians by the whites. 20 

Waldo's Sacagawea is a rebellious, aggressive per- 
sonality, forerunning women's emancipation. Her in- 
fluence, according to Waldo, grows with advanced age 
until she becomes a bold leader, with Chief Washakie of 
the Eastern Shoshonis seeking her advice. This is 

especially incongruous because the old warrior dipped 
his chiefs headdress to no woman. Actually, mild Sac- 
agawea's most forward journalized statement was to sug- 
gest that the expedition winter where there were plenty 
of wild potatoes. 

But surprisingly, there is one area in which Waldo 
keeps, at least partially, within the truth-structured 
frame of the known past. Her book mirrors considerable 
research into the many cultural aspects of the Plains and 
Basin tribes. 

Because little is known about Sacagawea before she 
joined the Lewis and Clark party, speculation about her 
may be limited only by the known mores of the people 
with whom she associated at a certain time and place. It 
is therefore within possibility that, as Waldo says, she 
was passed from one male to another, was raped, while 
still a child, by an old Indian; suffered intense hunger 
and physical abuse, saw human excrement in the stew, 
and experienced innumerable indignities albeit enjoying 
the kindness of an adoptive mother and the deep friend- 
ship of co-wives. 

An important question should now be asked. Ignor- 
ing the aggrandizements of Sacagawea votaries, do the 
journals reveal that the storied Shoshoni earned her 
honored place in history? 

She fulfilled the trust put in her. That the captains 
dared fly in the face of reason to take a young woman 
and baby on an extended journey so fraught with un- 
known dangers, strongly suggests that they had observed 
and evaulated Sacagawea sufficiently to believe she 
would be a worthy addition to the corps. Very early, 
they realized that her blood relationship with the North- 
ern Shoshonis would help promote rapport between her 
tribe and the captains, and they rightly foresaw that she 
would be invaluable as an interpreter when the time 
came to barter for horses before crossing the divide. Her 
ability to translate Shoshoni to Hidatsa was easily her 
greatest contribution to the expedition's success. 

The explorers would have been in very serious trou- 
ble had not Sacagawea learned that Chief Cameahwait 
planned to ignore his promise to them to furnish horses 
and guides for the mountain crossing. The scheme was 
to take off on a buffalo hunt and leave the white men 
stranded in the mountains. Sacagawea interpreted this 
news to her husband who finally got it through to Lewis 
in time for him to shame the chiefs into keeping their 

Burdened with a young child and granted but few 
concessions because of her sex, the young woman kept 
pace with the men and remained cool in emergencies. 
She gathered wild plants and berries to supplement the 
diet of the game-eating soldiers. Within the area cir- 
cumscribed by the Northern Shoshoni boundaries, she 
identified landmarks and, on the return trip, pointed 
out a pass her people used. 


In a charming gesture of friendship and generosity, 
she sacrificed her bluebeaded belt to a coastal Indian as 
a bonus to swing the trade for a magnificent otter robe 
the captains coveted; and when Clark lay ill, she gave 
him her hoarded piece of bread. Young Mrs. Charbon- 
neau also played a passive role. Her presence suggested 
to wary tribes the explorers' peaceful intent. In the eve- 
nings her son Baptiste's appealing antics boosted camp 

Strangely, however, the Shoshoni woman's helpful- 
ness during the great journey lay not in the fact that it 
was unique but because it was typical. The kindly 
nature and staying qualities inherent in her were in- 
tegral to most young Indian women of her time and 
place. She has been celebrated in literature and song, in 
statues and paintings. By honoring her, we honor her 
race — particularly the Shoshonis — and this is fitting. 

Paul Cutright points out in his History of the Lewis 
and Clark Journals: 

It goes without saying that no author is incapable of 
erring. However, the mistakes of the true scholar are gen- 
erally so trivial as to do no real violence to history. Unfor- 
tunately, an occasional writer, pretending a knowledge he 
does not possess, produces a book about Lewis and Clark. 
. . . there is no more reason why readers should be exposed 
to false Lewis and Clark history than to false physical geog- 
raphy, false medical practice, or false anything else. 21 
Irving W. Anderson, first vice president and secre- 
tary of the Lewis and Clark Foundation, eminent schol- 
ar and author of carefully researched articles about Sac- 
agawea, 22 warns readers in his review of the Waldo book 
for July, 1979, We Proceeded On: ". . . this book actual- 
ly so distorts documented facts concerning persons, 
places and events of the Expedition, that it poses a seri- 
ous negative intrusion upon the integrity of U. S. His- 

1. Eva Emery Dye, The Conquest, The True Story of Lewis and 
Clark, (Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1902). 

2. Grace Raymond Hebard, Sacajawea, Guide of the Lewis and 
Clark Expedition: (Glendale, Calif.: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 
1932, 1957). 

3. John C. huttig. Journal of a Fur-Trading Expedition on the Up- 
per Missouri, 1812-1813, Stella M. Drumm, ed., (Columbia: 
Missouri Historical Society, 1920), entry of December 20, 1812: 
". . . this Evening the Wife of Charbonneau, a Snake Squaw, 
died of a putrid fever she was a good and the best Women in the 
fort, aged abt 25 years she left a fine infant girl." Original docu- 
ment in St. Louis court records shows that Clark became guar- 
dian of her two children, Jean Baptiste (Toussaint) and baby 

4. Henry M. Brackenridge, 1811 Journal of a Voyage up the River 
Missouri: Thwaites, Early Western Travels, Vol. VI. 
(Cleveland: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1904), entry of April 2, 
1811: "We had on board a Frenchman named Charboneau, 
with his wife, an Indian woman of the Snake nation, both of 
whom had accompanied Lewis and Clark to the Pacific, and 
were of great service. The woman, a good creature, of a mild 
and gentle disposition, was greatly attached to the whites, whose 
manners and dress she tries to imitate; but she had become sir V 

ly and longed to revisit her native country; her husband also, 
who had spent many years amongst the Indians had become 
weary of civilized life." 

5. Much of the information of Porivo's wanderings appeared in 
Hebard's Sacajawea and was substantiated, qualified, and add- 
ed to by so many old Shoshonis, early reservation employees, 
and various publications that it would be impossible to list 

6. Irvin W. Anderson, "J. B. Charbonneau, Son of Sacajawea," 
Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3. 

7. Agnes Wright Spring, "Recognition that Sacajawea Died in 
Wyoming is Sought," Wyoming-Stockman Farmer, Cheyenne, 
Dec, 1936. 

8. E. A. Carter, "Early Days Among the Indians and Soldiers," 
Wyoming State Journal, June 20, 1935. 

9. Hebard, Sacajawea, Testimony of F. G. Burnett, Sept. 5, 1926, 
p. 232. 

10. Grace Hebard, "Pilot of First White Men to Cross the American 
Continent," Journal of American History, Vol. t, No. 111. 
(1907) p. 483. 

11. A good account of finding the Mountain Shoshonis is in The 
Journals of Lewis and Clark, Bernard DeVoto, ed., (Boston: 

Houghton Mifflin Co., 1953). 

12. Letters from Howard Ranney to Blanche Schroer, 1979. 

13. Episcopal Parish Record, Wind River, Wyoming, April 9, 1884: 
(Name) Bazil's mother, (Age) One hundred (Residence) 
Shoshone Agency (Cause of Death) Old age, (Place of Burial) 
Shoshone Agency (Signature of Clergyman) J. Roberts. In a let- 
ter to Gladys Graham, dated Sept. 29, 1940, the Reverend 
Roberts gives the date of burial as "the fourth of April." He also 
makes clear in this letter that his information about Porivo was 
not firsthand. 

14. Hebard, Journal of American History, p. 473. 

15. Reverend John Roberts, "The Death of Sacajawea," Indians at 
Work, John Collier, ed., Washington, D. C, April 1, 1935. 

16. Blanche Schroer, "Sacajawea, The Legend and the Truth," In 
Wyoming, December-January, 1978. 

17. Letter from Gwen Roberts to Blanche Schroer, Jan. 30, 1976. 
Gwen, youngest child of the Reverend Roberts, unselfishly 
passed by opportunities for a more personal life to stay at her 
father's side and aid him in the management of the Episcopal 
Mission. She wrote, "I remember hearing my father say a 
number of times that Baptiste (Porivo's son) had never been to 
Europe. Some writers even had him receiving an education 
there which was far from true." 

18. The misstatements concerning Sacagawea are from Anna Lee 
Waldo's Sacagawea: (New York: Avon Books, 1979). The cor- 
rected versions are from the combined Lewis and Clark Jour- 

19. Bob Saindon, "The Abduction of Sacagawea," We Proceeded 
On, (Vol. 2, No. 2, Spring, 1976). Saindon is president of the 
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. 

20. Information about Dr. James Irwin and family is derived from 
the original, early Irwin papers copied for the author by his 

21. Paul Cutright, History of the Lewis and Clark Journals, (Nor- 
man: University of Oklahoma Press, 1976). 

22. Irving W. Anderson, "Probing the Riddle of the Bird Woman," 
Montana Magazine of Western History, Vol. 23, No. 4. 







in Wyoming 

By Roger D. Hardaway 

Miscegenation is the act of marriage or of sex out- 
side of marriage between people of different races.' It 
has generally been considered socially unacceptable 
conduct in the United States, and most states have at 
one time prohibited interracial sex and/or marriage. 2 
Many of these miscegenation laws resulted from the 
desire of white legislators to "maintain the purity" of the 
white race. However, this rationalization was more often 
used when the white partner in the interracial couple 
was a woman. White men have often believed that 
miscegenation involving a white woman was repugnant 
but that the opposite situation was not necessarily so. 
Consequently, when white men have been placed in 
situations where sexual liaisons with women of other 
races was possible, they have readily participated. 3 

In 1931 , thirty states in the United States prohibited 
miscegenation by statute. 4 Six of these states also had 
constitutional clauses banning miscegenation in addi- 
tion to their statutes.'' All thirty states prohibited 
miscegenation between whites and Negroes; fourteen 
states prohibited miscegenation between whites and 
"Mongolians" 6 ; and a few states prohibited Indian-white 
and Indian-Negro miscegenation.' Other statutes pro- 
hibited whites from marrying or having sexual inter- 
course with mestizos, mulattoes, Hindus, and other non- 
white peoples. * 

During its history Wyoming has had two laws pro- 
hibiting interracial marriages. The first was passed dur- 
ing the first Wyoming Territorial Legislature, elected 
September 2, 1869 and convened in Cheyenne on Oc- 
tober 12. '' The thirteen members of the House of 
Representatives and the nine members of the upper 
house, the Council, were all Democrats.'" 

On November 20, Councilman William S. Rockwell 
of South Pass City in Carter County" introduced Coun- 
cil Bill No. 45 which was designed to prohibit white peo- 
ple from marrying those whose biological make-up was 
as much as one-eighth Negro or Mongolian. 12 The bill 
passed the Council on November 25 by the vote of 9-0, " 
and the House two days later by the vote of 7-3. 14 

The bill drew opposition from outside the govern- 
ment even before it was introduced. Rockwell had noti- 
fied his Council colleagues on November 18 that he 
would introduce his bill in the near future. 1 ' Two davs 
later a letter to the editor appeared in the Wyoming 
Tribune, a Republican newspaper, H> denouncing the 
Rockwell bill. The letter bore a dateline of: "Cheyenne, 
Nov. 19, 1869," and was signed: "A Modern Demo- 
crat." 17 The letter was obviously written by a legislative 
insider possibly even a legislator who had seen an ad- 
vance copy of the bill and did not wish to be identified. 
As quoted in the letter, the bill as originally written 
would have provided: 

thai ii any white person marries anothei person of one 

eighth negro, oi Asiatic blood, such marriage shall be null 

and void 


that the childen born in such wedlock, shall be illegiti- 

The letter writer declared that: "Such a law would 
be impolitic, unwise and unjust. . . . Such a law would 
be a direct thrust at the negro and Chinaman." He fur- 
ther noted that it would often be difficult or impossible 
to tell whether or not a marriage was legal because of the 
problem of determining how much "Negro blood" or 
"Asiatic blood" a person might have. Furthermore, the 
law would be "pernicious in its effects" because it would 
unjustly penalize the innocent offspring of the prohibit- 
ed marriage by causing them to "be stigmatized by the 
disgrace of bastardy." The "Modern Democrat" con- 
cluded by noting that the United States claimed to be a 
land of equality and that Wyoming had encouraged the 
immigration of people from all parts of the world. "Let 
the laws of our growing Territory make no discrimina- 
tion in classes and races of men," the writer urged. 

Either the letter writer had some influence over 
Rockwell, or several legislators partially agreed with his 
views, because the bill that Rockwell eventually intro- 
duced on November 20 made no mention of the chil- 
dren born of miscegenous marriages. Another change in 
the bill was the addition of the word "Mongolian" to the 
list of those who were prohibited from marrying whites. 
The legislators probably considered "Mongolian" to 
mean the same thing as "Asiatic," but added it in order 
to prevent any Oriental from finding a way to circum- 
vent the law. However, the only residents of Wyoming 
who fit either description were the 143 Chinese reported 
in the 1870 census. 18 This type of legislative overkill and 
poor drafting is not uncommon in miscegenation stat- 

The Wyoming Tribune editorially opposed the 
Rockwell bill, noting sarcastically that if the bill became 
a law "its author will be preserved from the calamity of 
marrying a woman only seven-eighths white." 19 In the 
same issue, which appeared on the day the House voted 
on the bill, the ghosts of Jefferson and Lincoln were 
evoked to conclude that the proposed law was un- 
American. If all men were created equal, and if the 
United States operated under a government of, by, and 
for the people, then no law should be passed restricting 
social relations. 20 

After the Rockwell bill passed the legislature, it was 
sent to the governor, John A. Campbell, a young bach- 
elor Republican from Ohio who had been appointed 
Wyoming's first territorial governor by President Ulysses 
S. Grant in April 1869. 21 On December 6, however, 
Campbell vetoed the miscegenation bill and returned it 
to the legislature. 22 Campbell's veto message said the bill 
was unacceptable because it did not prohibit Indians 
from marrying those of other races. The bill, he said, 
singled out "particular classes" Negroes and Mongo- 
lians and, thus, "in its present shape," the bill could 
not be approved. 23 Campbell said: 

How far it may be expedient or well to attempt to 
govern social life and taste by legislative prohibitions and 
restrictions is not easily answered; but there can be no 
doubt that any bill of this character should be formed so as 
to bear equally upon all races of men. If it be a wise policy 
to prohibit intermarriage between persons of different 
races, on account of the supposed or real moral and physi- 
cal deterioration of the issue of such marriages, I can see no 
reason for excepting any race from the operations of the 
law. In this bill there is nothing to restrict the intermingling 
of the white or any other race, with the American [Indian] 
race, and it is well known that there have been and prob- 
ably will be, more marriages in this territory between In- 
dians and Whites, than between persons of all other races 

The tradition of Indian-white marriages was, of 
course, a probable reason that the legislators refused to 
prohibit them in the future. * 

The Wyoming census figures for 1870 reveal another 
possible reason. A severe shortage of women plagued 

"any bill . . . should be formed so as to 
bear equally upon all races. " 

territorial Wyoming. Of the 8726 whites in Wyoming in 
1870, only 1803 were women while white men numbered 
6923. Among blacks, there were 138 men and only forty- 
five women. The Chinese men in Wyoming equalled the 
number of black men, 138, but only five Chinese women 
lived in the territory. However, of the sixty-six Indians 
who were not confined to reservations, forty-six were 
women while only twenty were men. 24 

By prohibiting Negroes and Chinese from marrying 
whites, competition among Wyoming men for the few 
available white women was reduced. A surplus of Indian 
women existed, so the law did not prohibit Indian-white 
marriages. If among non -reservation Indians, the men 
had greatly outnumbered the women, the legislature 
would possibly have prohibited Indian-white marriages. 
And if the Chinese in Wyoming had numbered 138 
women and five men, instead of the reverse, it is 
debatable that a law would have been enacted forbid- 
ding white men from marrying them. 

Campbells veto of the miscegenation bill had only 
slight effect on the legislators. On the day that the gov- 
ernor returned the bill to the legislature, the Council 
easily overrode his veto by the vote of 8-1 , 25 The override 
attempt in the House ran into temporary trouble later 
the same day when the veto was sustained by the vote of 
6-6. 26 However, on the following day, December 7, the 
House reconsidered its tie vote and decided to override 
the veto by the margin of 8-3. 27 The miscegenation bill 
became law without the benefit of gubernatorial ap- 

The law contained four major sections. 28 Section 1 

That any person belonging to the Caucasian or white 
race, who shall hereafter knowingly intermarry with a per 


son of one-eighth, or more negro, asiatic, or mongolian 
blood, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and upon convic- 
tion thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the 
penitentiary not less than three, nor more than seven years. 
A key word in Section 1 is "knowingly." The white per- 
son arrested for violating the law would have a good 
defense if he (or she) could prove that he did not know 
that his spouse was of mixed blood. 

Interestingly, the legislature designated a lesser 
penalty for the non-white person than for the white. 
This was not, however, an unusual feature of mis- 
cegenation laws. Some states, in fact, did not penalize 
the non-white member of the interracial couple at all. 
Section 2 of the law stipulated that the non-white 
person involved in the illegal marriage would also be 
deemed guilty of a felony but would only be subject to a 
penalty of one to five years in prison. The legislators who 
wrote and enacted the law apparently believed that it 
was more reprehensible for a white person to marry a 
non-white than vice versa. The primary purpose of the 
law was to maintain the "purity" of the white race. 29 For 
a white person to "corrupt" his race would be a greater 
social and moral transgression than it would be for a 
non-white to "corrupt" the white race. 

Section 3 of the law penalized the person solemniz- 
ing an interracial marriage, and Section 4 prescribed a 
penalty for the person issuing a marriage license to an 
interracial couple. Both of these people would be guilty 
of a misdemeanor if they knew that the couple was inter- 
racial. Both would be subject to a prison sentence of 
three months to one year, or to a fine of $100 to $500, 
or, "in the discretion of the court," to both fine and im- 

The 1869 miscegenation law remained in force for 
twelve years and three months. During that time, the 
Wyoming Supreme Court did not have the opportunity 
to rule on the constitutionality of the law. If anyone was 
ever found guilty of violating the law, he did not appeal 
his conviction and, thus, no record exists of it. 

Considering the severity of the penalties for marry- 
ing and the fact that sex outside of marriage was not 
prohibited, 30 it is doubtful that the law was ever broken. 
If an interracial couple was willing to defy the law and 
could find a minister or a justice of the peace to perform 
the wedding, it is nevertheless highly unlikely that a 
county clerk, who would be fully aware of the law, 
would issue them a license and subject himself to fine 
and imprisonment. 

Possibly, some people did marry in violation of the 
law because the mixed racial make-up of one of the 
partners was undetectable. Likewise, it is just as possible 
that they were never arrested for the same reason. 

In March 1882, the Territorial Legislature repealed 
the 1869 miscegenation law. The repeal bill was intro- 
duced by Representative I. S. Bartlett, a Republican 
from Laramie County, on February 9." 

Again, as in 1869, a major territorial newspaper 
editorially denounced the miscegenation law. The 
Cheyenne Daily Leader printed a long editorial on 
February 12 urging the legislature to repeal the law, 
which was seen as tarnishing the image of Wyoming as a 
land of equality. A law prohibiting interracial mar- 
riages, the newspaper said, "should have no . . . place 
among the laws of the youngest and most progressive 
territory." The miscegenation law was an "insult" to all 
citizens of Wyoming. Social matters should not be 
regulated by laws; rather, the "choice of a husband or 
wife should be left to the consciences and tastes of those 
desiring to marry." If a law could prohibit whites from 
marrying blacks, then a law could prohibit blondes from 
marrying brunettes, and cross-eyed people could be 
made to marry only those who were also cross-eyed, the 
editorial argued. 32 

The majority of the members of the legislature 
agreed with the sentiments expressed in the Cheyenne 
Daily Leader. On February 20, the repeal bill passed the 
House of Representatives by the vote of 16-3, 33 and on 
March 3 it was approved by the Council by the margin 
of 11-1. 34 On March 7, 1882, Governor John W. Hoyt 
signed the bill, 35 and for the next thirty-one years, inter- 
racial marriages were legal in Wyoming. 

"The law was an insult to 
all citizens of Wyoming. " 

The 1913 session of the State Legislature enacted 
Wyoming's second miscegenation law which was pat- 
terned after the first. Its passage and repeal were not 
nearly as dramatic nor as controversial as were the 
passage and repeal of the 1869 law. No editorials were 
written blasting the law, no gubernatorial veto was is- 
sued in an attempt to block its passage, and no letters to 
the editor were written either in support of or in op- 
position to the law. The 1913 law was born without fan- 
fare, lived a quite and uneventful life, and, when it died 
in 1965, few mourned its passing. 

The twelfth State Legislature, which met in 1913, 
was one of the most divisive and unstatesmanlike sessions 
in Wyoming history. This was especially true in the 
House of Representatives where political hostilities 
erupted into a physical free-for-all on January 21. 

The fight began when the speaker pro tern. W. J. 
Wood, who was presiding, refused to yield the chair 
back to the speaker, Martin L. Pratt. Pratt grabbed 
Wood "by the shoulders and threw him off the platform 
on his face." A scuffle ensued between the two men, and 
a third representative who attempted to separate them 
"was soundly kicked in the stomach by Pratt." 36 At the 
end of the session, a composite picture of the members 
of the House was to be made for the sake of posterity. 
The Democrats and the Republicans each refused to 


have their pictures framed with the others, so two com- 
posites were made. 37 

Divisiveness, however, was not evident in the 
legislature on the issue of a new miscegenation law for 
Wyoming. On February 4, Representative Jacob Sher- 
man, a Republican representing Laramie, Platte, and 
Goshen counties, introduced House Bill Number 153 to 
prohibit, once again, whites from marrying Negroes and 
Orientals in Wyoming. 38 The bill passed both houses 
unanimously the House of Representatives on Feb- 
ruary 13 by the vote of 49-0, 39 and the Senate on Feb- 
ruary 21 by the vote of 23-0. 40 The bill was signed into 
law by Governor Joseph M. Carey on February 22, 
1913. 41 

During the decade preceding World War I, the 
United States experienced a rising feeling of national- 
ism, triggered by the military successes and territorial 
acquisitions of the United States during the 1890s. A 
feeling of white supremacy spread across the country. 
This was the impetus for the passage of anti-immigra- 
tion laws and other laws which were aimed at Catholics, 
Jews, and racial minorities. 

Negroes and Orientals in the United States were the 
targets of much racial prejudice during this time. Fear 
of the "Yellow Peril" began to move from California 
eastward, and the anti-Negro attitudes of the South 
began to be espoused by white Americans in other parts 
of the United States. This white supremacy movement 
gained momentum until it reached its peak just prior to 
the beginning of World War I, at which time it began to 
decline in intensity. However, Wyoming, like the rest of 
the nation, had gotten caught up in this white, nation- 
alistic movement, and the 1913 miscegenation law was 
one result of the anti-Oriental and anti-Negro feeling 
present in Wyoming at that time. 42 

Section 1 of the 1913 law 43 stated that: "All mar- 
riages of white persons with Negroes, Mulattoes, 
Mongolians or Malays hereafter contracted in the State 
of Wyoming are and shall be illegal and void." 

The corresponding section of the 1869 law had 
specified just how much "Negro blood" or "Mongolian 
blood" a person could have before being prohibited 
from marrying a white person. However, no such 
demarcations were written into the 1913 law. No defini- 
tion of "Mongolians" or "Mulattoes" was given. 
Technically, a mulatto is the off-spring of a "pure 
white" and a "pure black," but the word is often used to 
refer to anyone of mixed Caucasian and Negro 
ancestry. 44 The statute did not specify which meaning 
the legislature attached to the word. Likewise, the 
legislature did not explain if a person of mixed white- 
Oriental heritage was considered to be a Mongolian for 
purposes of the law. 4r> Finally, Malays are those Oriental 
people native to the Malay Peninsula of southeast Asia, 

and none lived in Wyoming in 1913. The only Orientals 
in Wyoming were Chinese and Japanese, who were 
within the definition of "Mongolians." 

Regardless of the inadequate wording of Section 1 , 
the 1913 law, like its 1869 predecessor, was aimed at 
prohibiting whites from marrying the few blacks and 
Orientals in the state. A special census conducted by the 
State of Wyoming in 1915 revealed that among the 
state's population were 609 Negroes, 184 Chinese, and 
752 Japanese. 

As in the 1870 census, the men of these groups 
greatly outnumbered the women. Of the Negroes who 
lived in Wyoming in 1915, 380 were men and 229 were 
women. Chinese men numbered 180 compared to only 
four Chinese women. Among Japanese, there were 651 
men and 101 women. However, the acute shprtage of 
white women that had existed in Wyoming in 1869 had 
been somewhat alleviated. The four to one men/women 
ratio that had existed among whites in Wyoming in 1870 
was reduced to less than three to two by 1915. In the lat- 
ter year, Wyoming had 79,968 white men and 58,363 
white women. 46 This represents a tremendous increase 
in the number and percentage of white women from the 
figures of 1870. Also, the small number of minority men 
in Wyoming in 1915 could have hardly been considered 
a threat to white men in the competition for marriage 
partners. Racial prejudice rather than a shortage of 
women appears to be the logical explanation for the 
enactment of the 1913 miscegenation law. 

The penalties for violating the statute were con- 
tained in Section 2 of the law. In addition to the inter- 
racial couple, the minister or other person solemnizing 
the marriage would be in violation of the law. All ac- 
cused persons must have known that the couple was in- 
terracial in order to have been found guilty, indicating 
that the law was designed to prohibit whites from marry- 
ing those with even small amounts of "Negro blood" or 
"Mongolian blood." The two illegally married people 
and the minister would all be subject to a prison 
sentence of one to five years, a fine of $100 to $1000, or 
both fine and imprisonment. This represents a lesser 
penalty for the white person than that specified in the 
1869 law, a slightly larger penalty for the non-white 
spouse, and a much more severe penalty for the min- 

The person issuing the marriage license was not guil- 
ty of a crime under the 1913 law. Section 2 further 
stated that violation of the statute was a misdemeanor, 
but the penalties prescribed were those for a felony. 
Felonies are generally crimes which provide maximum 
penalties of more than one year in prison, 47 so, in real- 
ity, the 1913 law made interracial marriage a felony just 
as in the 1869 law. 

The 1913 law remained on the Wyoming statute 
books for fifty-two years. Like the 1869 law, its constitu- 
tionality was never challenged. However, at least one 


authority states that it was enforced at least once "in the 
lower courts" of the state. 48 Because of the reasons noted 
previously, it is highly unlikely that it was violated often. 
A search of available Wyoming penitentiary records 
covering the years 1913-1932 and 1958-1964 reveals that 
not a single prisoner was incarcerated in the mens state 
prison during those years for violation of the miscegena- 
tion law. 49 

Up until 1948 every court in the United States that 
had ruled on the constitutionality of miscegenation stat- 
utes had upheld the right of states to regulate marriage, 
including the right to prohibit interracial marriages. 50 
The United States Supreme Court, in the 1882 case of 
Pace v. Alabama^ had upheld the validity of a 
miscegenation law concerned only with sex outside of 
marriage. However, in 1948 the California Supreme 
Court ruled that that state's miscegenation law was un- 
constitutional, and that decision prompted several states 
to repeal their statutes. 52 

In 1964 the United States Supreme Court stated in 
the case of McLaughlin v. Florida^* that statutes prohib- 
iting members of certain races from doing acts that are 
generally legal will be constitutional only if there is an 
"overriding" reason for the law. In that case a 
miscegenation statute dealing only with sex outside of 
marriage was found to be unconstitutional. 

Many legislators realized that the time was not far 
off when the United States Supreme Court would rule 
that all miscegenation statutes were unconstitutional. 54 
Consequently, in the 1965 session of the Wyoming State 
Legislature, several members introduced a bill to repeal 
Wyoming's miscegenation law because they believed it 
to be unconstitutional. 55 The repeal measure faced some 
opposition but passed the House of Representatives on 
January 19 by the vote of 5T8, 56 and the Senate on 
January 25 by the vote of 21 -3. 57 Governor Clifford 
Hansen signed the bill on January 27, 1965, bringing the 
legal history of miscegenation in Wyoming to an abrupt 
end. 58 

1. Ballentine's Law Dictionary, (Rochester: Lawyer's Co-operative 
Publishing Co., 1969), p. 305, defines "miscegenation" as: "The 
intermarrying, cohabiting, or interbreeding of persons of dif- 
ferent races." 

2. Andrew D. Weinberger, "A Reappraisal of the Constitutionality 
of Miscegenation Statutes," Cornell Law Quarterly, Vol. 42, 
No. 2 (Winter 1957), p. 208. Weinberger says that at one time 
or another thirty-nine states (or territories that later became 
states) had laws prohibiting miscegenation. 

3. Three examples will suffice: (1) In the ante-bellum South much 
interracial sex (but not marriage) took place between white men 
and black women; (2) white fur traders often married or lived 
with Indian women when there were no white women around; 
and (3) white servicemen stationed in the Orient have often had 
sexual contacts with Oriental women, and many have brought 
Oriental wives home with them. 

4. Homer H. Clark. Jr., The Law of Domestic Relations in the 
United States, (St. Paul: West Publishing Co., 1968), p. 91; 
Lloyd H. Riley, "Miscegenation Statutes A Re-Evaluation of 
their Constitutionality in Light of Changing Social and Political 

Conditions," Southern California Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 1 
(Fall, 1958), p. 29. 

5. Edward Byron Reuter, Race Mixture: Studies in Intermarriage 
and Miscegenation, (New York: Whittlesey House, 1931), p. 82; 
Riley, "Miscegenation Statutes," p. 29. The six states with both 
a statutory and constitutional ban were Alabama, Florida, 
Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

6. The word "Mongolian" is used in these statutes in its broadest 
sense, referring to all yellow-skinned people rather than just 
natives of Mongolia. The word is defined in Webster's New 
World Dictionary of the American Language (Nashville: 
Southwestern Co., 1965), on p. 484, as: "designating or of one 
of the three principal races of mankind, including most of the 
peoples of Asia, the Eskimos, etc., who are generally charact- 
terized by yellowish skin, slanting eyes, etc." 

7. Chester G. Vernier, American Family Laws, (Palo Alto, Califor- 
nia: Stanford University Press, 1931), pp. 204-209. 

8. Ibid.; Clark, The Law of Domestic Relations, p. 91; 
Weinberger, "A Reappraisal of the Constitutionality of 
Miscegenation Statutes," pp. 208-209; Theophile J. Weber, 
"Statutory Prohibitions Against Interracial Marriages," Wyo- 
ming Law Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Spring, 1949), pp. 159-164. 

9. T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1978), pp. 71-72; Peter Kooi Simpson, "History 
of the First Wyoming Legislature," Unpublished M.A. Thesis, 
University of Wyoming, 1962, pp. 32, 37. 

10. Lewis L. Gould, Wyoming: A Political History, 1868-1896, 
(New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1968), p. 26; 
Frances Birkhead Beard, Wyoming: From Territorial Days to 
the Present, (Chicago and New York: American Historical 
Society, Inc., 1933), p. 207; I. S. Bartlett, ed., History of 
Wyoming, (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1918), p. 173; 
Larson, pp. 71-72; Simpson, pp. 37-38. One man elected to the 
House of Representatives, J. M. Freeman, never attended the 
1869 session of the legislature. Therefore, only twelve members 
were seated in the House. Larson, p. 73; Simpson, p. 43. 

1 1 . The name of Carter County was changed to Sweetwater County 
during the 1869 session of the legislature. Larson, p. 76. 

12. Council Journal of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of 
Wyoming, p. 82; Cheyenne Leader, November 27, 1869. p. 1. 

13. Council fournal, 1869, p. 103. 

14. House Journal of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of 
Wyoming, 1869, p. 143. 

15. Council Journal, 1869, p. 79. 

16. The November 20, 1869, issue of the Wyoming Tribune, the 
newspaper's first, stated in an editorial on page 2 that it was 
"Republican in politics." 

17. Ibid., p. 4. 

18. The Statistics of the Population of the United States Compiled 
from the Original Returns of the Ninth Census, (Washington: 
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1872), pp. 3, 4, 5, 8, 

19. Wyoming Tribune, November 27, 1869, p. 1. 

20. Ibid., p. 2. 

21. Larson, pp. 69-70. Campbell was 33 years old when he became 
governor of Wyoming. 

22. House Journal, 1869, pp. 209-210; John A. Campbell. "Diary: 
John A. Campbell: 1869," Wyoming Annals, Vol. 10. No. 2 
(April 1938), p. 69. Campbell wrote in his diary for December 6: 
"Sent in veto to Mongolean [sic] bill." 

23. House Journal, 1869, p. 210. Campbell's veto message is primed 
there in its entirety. 

24. The Statistics of the Ninth Census, pp. 3. 4, 5, 8, 606-609. The 
terms "men" and "women" as used in this article, refer to all 
males and females regardless of age. 

25. House Journal. lSt>9, pp 209 210. The Council override vote 


was not recorded in Council Journal, 1869, but the information 
is contained in a letter from Edward Orpen, Secretary of the 
Council, to the House of Representatives, dated December 6, 
and reproduced in House Journal, 1869. 

26. Ibid., p. 210. 

27. Ibid. , p. 212. Section 6 of the Organic Act of Wyoming, the law 
which established Wyoming's territorial government, provided 
that a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature was 
necessary to override a gubernatorial veto. It was construed to 
mean that nine votes would be necessary to override a veto in the 
thirteen member House of Representatives, but the Wyoming 
Supreme Court, in the case of Brown v. Nash, 1 Wyoming 
Reports, 85 (1872), interpreted Section 6 to mean two-thirds of 
those present when the override veto was taken. With eleven 
members of the House of Representatives present, eight votes 
were necessry to override Campbell's veto of the miscegenation 
bill. The Organic Act of Wyoming is reproduced in Marie H. 
Erwin, Wyoming Historical Blue Book: A Legal and Political 
History of Wyoming, 1868-1943, (Denver: Bradford-Robinson 
Printing Co., 1946), pp. 151-156. 

28. The law is found in General Laws, Memorials and Resolutions 
of the Territory of Wyoming, Passed at the First Session of the 
Legislative Assembly, 1869, chapter 83, pp. 706-707. In 1876 
the fourth Territorial Legislature decided to compile in one 
volume all of the laws of the territory then in force. This first 
compilation of Wyoming laws, The Compiled Laws of Wyo- 
ming, contains the miscegenation law in chapter 64, p. 376. 

29. Wyoming Tribune, November 27, 1869, p. 1, states that the law 
would "preserve the purity of the Anglo-Saxon race, and pro- 
vide against miscegenation." 

30. Casual sexual relations were not unlawful, but living "together 
in an open state of adultery or fornication, or adultery and for- 
nication" was a crime, even for two people of the same race. The 
maximum penalty for the first offense was six months in jail and 
a $200 fine. General Laws, 1869, chapter 3. title IX, section 
110, pp. 131-132; The Compiled Laws of Wyoming, chapter 35, 
title IX, section 110, pp. 269-270. 

31. House Journal of the Seventh Legislative Assembly of the Ter- 
ritory of Wyoming, 1882, p. 71. 

32. Cheyenne Daily Leader, February 12, 1882, p. 4. 

33. House Journal, 1882, p. 93. The number of members in the 
House during the 1882 session was twenty-four. Erwin, p. 238. 
One of the representatives favoring repeal of the miscegenation 
law was W. J. Hardin, Republican of Laramie County, and the 
only Black to serve in the Wyoming Legislature. See Wyoming 
Eagle, January 28, 1965. p. 20, and Erwin, p. 236. 

34. Council Journal of the Seventh Legislative Assembly, p. 162. 
The number of members in the Council during the 1882 session 
was twelve. Erwin, p. 237. 

35. Cheyenne Daily Leader, March 1 1 , 1882, p. 1 . The repeal bill is 
found in Session Laws of Wyoming Territory, Passed by the 
Seventh Legislative Assembly, 1882, chapter 54, p. 134. 

36. Sheridan Post, January 21, 1913. p. 1. Larson, pp. 328-330, 

37. Cheyenne State Leader, February 22, 1913, p. 8. 

38. House Journal of the Twelfth State Legislature of Wyoming, 
1913, p. 155. 

39. Ibid. , p. 307. The number of members in the House during the 
1913 session was fifty-seven. Erwin, p. 769. 

40. Senate Journal of the Twelfth State Legislature of Wyoming, 
1913, pp. 405-406. The number of members in the Senate dur- 
ing the 1913 session was twenty-seven. Erwin, p. 765. 

41. Session Laws of the State of Wyoming Passed by the Twelfth 
State Legislature, 1913, p. 49. 

42. John Higham, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American 
Nativism, 1860-1925, (New York: Atheneum, 1975), pp. 

43. The law is found in Session Laws, 1913, chapter 57, pp. 48 49. 
It has also been codified at: Wyoming Compiled Statutes An- 
notated: 1920, chapter 318, sections 4972 and 4973, p. 909; 
Wyoming Revised Statutes: 1931, chapter 68, sections 68-118 
and 68-119, p. 1102; Wyoming Compiled Statutes: 1945, 
chapter 50, sections 50-108 and 50-109, p. 713; and Wyoming 
Statutes: 1957, title 20, sections 20-18 and 20-19, p. 256. 

44. Webster's New World Dictionary, p. 491, and Henry Campbell 
Black, Black's Law Dictionary, (St. Paul: West Publishing Co., 
1968), p. 1166. 

45. Several shortcomings of the 1913 law have been noted in 
William E. Foster, "A Study of the Wyoming Miscegenation 
Statutes," Wyoming Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Winter 1956), 
pp. 131-138. 

46. The Census of the State of Wyoming: 1915 (Cheyenne: Wyo- 
ming Labor Journal Publishing Co., 1915). * 

47. Black's Law Dictionary, pp. 744, 1150. Under the United States 
Criminal Code "offenses punishable by death or imprisonment 
for a term exceeding one year are felonies." A misdemeanor is 
defined as: "Offenses lower than felonies." 

48. Weinberger, p. 209. However, he gives no facts or details of the 
conviction or convictions, nor does he say where he obtained his 

State Board of Charities and Reform, Biennial Report 
(Cheyenne: State of Wyoming, 1913-1914, 1915-1916, 1917- 
1918, 1919-1920, 1921-1922, 1923-1924, 1924-1926, 1926-1928, 
1928-1930, 1930-1932, 1958-1960, 1960-1962, 1962-1964). 
Clark, p. 91. 

Pace v. Alabama, 106 U.S. 583 (1882). 

Clark, pp. 91-93. The California case is Perez v. Lippold, 198 
P. 2d 17 (1948). 

53. McLaughlin v. Florida, 379 U.S. 184 (1964). 

54. The United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Loving v. 
Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), that all miscegenation laws are un- 

55. Digest of Senate and House Journals of the Thirty-Eighth State 
Legislature of Wyoming, p. 313, and Wyoming Eagle, January 
20, 1965, p. 3. 

56. Digest of the Thirty-Eighth State Legislature, p. 313. The 
number of members in the House during the 1965 session was 
sixty-one. Erwin, pp. 239-240. 

Erwin, p. 314. The number of members in the Senate during 
the 1965 session was twenty-five. Ibid., p. 11. 
Wyoming Eagle, January 28, 1965, p. 31. The law is found in 
Session Laws of the State of Wyoming Passed by the Thirty- 
Eighth State Legislature, 1965, chapter 4, p. 3. 







WSHS Annual Meeting 

September 7-9, 1979 
Laramie, Wyoming 

Registration for the twenty-sixth Annual Meeting of 
the Wyoming State Historical Society began at 7 p.m. at 
the Holiday Inn. A reception was held with a slide show 
by Jack Corbett and Bill Petersen on the Ivinson Man- 


The meeting was called to order at 8:45 a.m. by 
President Mabel Brown. She introduced the officers of 
the Society and the staff members of the Archives, Mu- 
seums and Historical Department. 

She appointed Dr. T. A. Larson, Parliamentarian. 
Ellen Mueller, Secretary-Treasurer, was asked to read 
the minutes of the last meeting. Dr. Larson corrected 
typographical errors: the author was Geoffrey Hunt; in 
reference to Independence Rock, the Rockefeller Foun- 
dation was not involved as it was Mr. Dupont. Minutes 
were approved as corrected. 

Ellen Mueller presented the treasurer's report which 
was accepted and approved as read. 

President Brown called on Vincent P. Foley, Execu- 
tive Secretary, to report on the Sharon Field project. He 
stated that members are aware of the project since it is 
the "presidential project" for the year. It involves a con- 
tract from the Society with Sharon Lass Field to head a 
survey of all locatable cemeteries and isolated graves in 
the state, the result to be a compilation of these graves. 
It was voted at the last Executive Committee Meeting in 
Casper to approve the contract and provide $1,500 to 
Mrs. Field for the work that she had already done, 
especially on the Fort Fetterman area. In addition to the 
money to be paid annually, some additional expense 
money can be made available on approval of the Ex- 
ecutive Committee. The project will be reviewed by the 
Society in five years, with the option of publication. 
Foley asked that all the Chapters cooperate in the proj- 
ect. He said that a form will be sent to the local chapters 
to record the graves information. The completed forms 
will be sent to the office for compilation. President 
Brown stated that this was one of her favorite projects 
and that grave locations and identifications are impor- 
tant to genealogists and historians. 
Projects Committee 

Jim June reported that about the only thing to get 
off the ground was the project that was just discussed on 

the Grave Registrations. He said forms would be sent 
out if they had not received them. He recommended 
that each chapter upon receipt of these forms, keep a 
copy for their own records, so that each county chapter 
would have records in case the forms were lost. Another 
planned and discussed project concerns the marking of 
historical areas; he has not gotten far in this area yet. He 
stated that Bill Bragg had referred to some unmarked 
sites and that there were areas throughout the state that 
ought to be considered. He feels the local chapters 
should take the initiative to find these sites and call the 
Society's attention to them. 
Legislative Committee 

Dr. Larson reported that the Committee consisting 
of Adrian Reynolds, Edness Kimball Wilkins and him- 
self succeeded in getting the name of the State Archives 
and Historical Department changed to "Wyoming State 
Archives, Museums and Historical Department ". They 
also supported the requested appropriations for the 
Department and will continue to do so. 
Trek Committee 

Bill Bragg reported that the Trek was held July 14, 
1979, from Kaycee to the Dull Knife Battle Field and the 
Hole-in-the-Wall. Following a picnic and talks at Dull 
Knife, the trek visited the outlaw cave, local ranches and 
the "Hole-in-the-Wall." 

Bill Bragg presented the following resolution: "BE 
IT RESOLVED: that the Wyoming State Historical So- 
ciety, the Johnson County Chapter and the Natrona 
County Chapter join together in commending the true 
western hospitality of the Norris Graves family, Nona 
Kimball and Shirley Fraker, for helping make the 1979 
Hole-in-the-Wall and visit to Dull Knife Battle Field a 
solid success during which over 600 people from all 23 
counties of Wyoming and 11 other states were in atten- 
dance." Bragg also reported that only one local resident 
was unhappy because a gate was left open and 500 sheep 
got scattered. The resolution was seconded and adopt- 
ed. Bragg asked that copies be delivered to Kimball at 
Casper College who in turn would deliver them to Fraker 
and Graves. 
Society Awards Revision Report 

Henry Jensen thanked the members of the commit- 
tee appointed by President Mabel Brown, for helping 
with the project: Ray Pendergraft, Don Hodgson, Hat- 
tie Burnstad, Roberta Brazelton, Mary Ann Shannon, 
Bill Bragg and Mabel Brown. 

They presented Awards Revisions to the member 
ship. An amended version was approved. After discus- 
sion it was decided to retain the L. C. Bishop Award. 


A motion was made and passed that members of the 
Awards Committee not be eligible to receive awards. If 
their work is nominated and they do not withdraw the 
entry, they should resign from the Awards Committee. 
The president would name a replacement. 
Wyoming Council for the Humanities 

Council director Suzanne Forrest explained the var- 
ious programs that the Wyoming Council for the 
Humanities can fund for adult participation and how 
the Society or other groups can apply for this funding. 
She explained the fellowship program which provides 
for annual grants for individuals. 
Scholarships and Grant-in-Aid Report 

Dr. Larson reported that he, Robert Roripaugh, of 
the Department of English at the University of Wyoming 
and the Society's Executive Secretary make up this com- 
mittee. He reported the two awards offered by this com- 
mittee are the scholarships to write county histories and 
the Grants-in-Aid for historical projects. He reported 
that there are six scholarships outstanding: for Con- 
verse, Hot Springs, Johnson, Niobrara, Sweetwater and 
Park counties. In the last year, Lucille Hicks was award- 
ed a scholarship for a history of Park County. If the 
committee recommends that a scholarship be granted 
and the Executive committee approves, the applicant is 
given $200. When he completes the project to the 
satisfaction of the Executive and Scholarship Commit- 
tees, he receives the final payment of $300. 

Two Grant-in-Aid projects are outstanding: "The 
Alliance of US Army and the Union Pacific in Southern 
Wyoming," by Gordon Chappell and "The Social Life in 
South Pass City 1867-1870," by Marion Huseas. The lat- 
ter grant was awarded this year. Initial Grant-in-Aid 
payment is $100 with a final payment of $200 upon com- 
pletion of the project. 
National History Day 

Phil Roberts reported on a steering committee meet- 
ing in Casper regarding National History Day. The pro- 
gram is designed to promote interest in history for 
students in grades 6 through 12. Students in two divi- 
sions, grades 6-9 and 10-12, compete in five categories: 
individual historical essay; individual performance 
based on historical information; group performance 
based on historical subjects; individual project; group 

Began in 1974, History Day was funded through the 
National Council of Humanities. This is the first year 
the national contest has been held. It is scheduled for 
late May in Washington, D.C. State winners from 
around the country will be sent to Washington for na- 
tional competition. The steering committee is made up 
of people from the 20 chapters of the Society, members 
of the history departments of community colleges, 
representatives of the Wyoming Council for the Social 
Studies and R. L. Ferguson of the Department of 

Education. Roberts asked for the support of the State 
Society for this program and permission to make this 
committee a working committee of the state historical 
society. Bill Bragg moved that an amendment be 
adopted that the Society, on a 12-month trial basis sup- 
port the National History Day and then review the pro- 
gram at that time as to whether or not it be made into a 
permanent ad hoc committee. Seconded and carried. 

Constitution/By-Laws Revisions Committee 

Henry Chadey reported that the committee's recom- 
mendations could not be voted on at this meeting 
because the entire membership had not yet been advised 
of the proposed changes. The members voted to send 
copies of the original constitution and by-laws along 
with copies of the revisions to the entire membership for 
suggestions. Comments are to be returned to Society 
headquarters by January 1, 1980. 

Dave Wasden requested and was granted a few min- 
utes to speak about the John Colter Society. He said the 
purpose of the organization was to honor the contribu- 
tion that John Colter made to the American West. He 
said the organization was erecting a monument to 
memorialize John Colter. Its location is at the historic 
site known as Colter's Hell west of Cody. The project will 
be funded through private foundation sources and in- 
dividual contributions. If anyone contributes $15 or 
more, they will receive a copy of Burton Harris' book on 
John Colter, Wasden said. 

Following Mr. Wasden's comments, the meeting was 

Historical Foundation 

Present were: Jack Mueller, president of the Foun- 
dation; George Shelton, Ed Bille, Dave Wolff, Henry 
Jensen and Ray Pendergraft, board members; the Presi- 
dent and the Executive Secretary of the Wyoming State 
Historical Society. 

Mueller pointed out the importance of small dona- 
tions and noted that the late Violet Hord and the 
Natrona County Chapter had done an outstanding job 
on small memorials. 

He said the Foundation now has two memorial 
cards. One is sent to donors and the other to the family 
of the deceased. Also a memorial envelope was printed 
and distributed to funeral homes for the use of family 
members and friends. Memorial envelopes were given to 
chapter representatives at the meeting. Mueller also 
reported that several chapters had donated money to the 
Foundation. The L. C. Bishop Memorial Fund will be 
transferred to the Foundation from the Society, bringing 
the fund to about $2,500. The Society paid $500 for the 
printing of the envelopes and cards. 

He reported that the Foundation has received three 
film proposals. The board will meet soon to decide 
whether a film should be the Foundation's project, and 
if so, which proposal is the best. He expressed apprecia- 


tion to the staff of the Historical Research and Publica- 
tions Division for their help. 

Following a luncheon address by Dr. Peter Ivinson 
of the University of Wyoming, on "Wyoming. Still the 
Cowboy State?," Mrs. Brown re-convened the meeting. 

The Society was invited by the Fremont County 
Chapter to hold the Twenty-Seventh Annual Meeting in 
Lander next September. 
Trek Committee 

Bill Bragg said the committee plans to begin the 
1980 bus trek at Worland. The itinerary will include 
Ten Sleep, the Blue Bank road, the Ten Sleep Raid site, 
the Nowood Country and the Bates Battlefield. A mo- 
tion was made to accept the proposal for the trek, 
seconded and carried. 

Bragg said he would like to hold a weekend seminar 
at Casper College on the history of freighting in Wyo- 
ming. He also would like to have the Society preserve a 
few hundred yards of the old highway from Casper 
north to the oil fields. The north-bound side of the road 
was concrete so that the heavily loaded freight wagons, 

pulled by six-horse teams, would not sink in the soft 
mud. Lighter wagons returning to Casper did not have 
this problem. Bragg said the road is unique because por- 
tions of it still exist. 

Bill Dubois reported that Michael Cimino, winner of 
the Academy Award last year for "Deer Hunter," is 
making a new movie on the Johnson County War. Mrs. 
Brown reported that a documentary movie in the plan- 
ning stages will compare the boom town of Wright with 
old Cambria. 

Phil Roberts reported that Edness Kimball Wilkins 
was unable to attend the annual meeting because she 
was participating in a PBS production at South Pass 

Mrs. Brown asked Ellen Mueller to give the mem- 
bership report. The 26th Annual Meeting of the Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society was adjourned at 3:40 

Ellen Mueller 



Enclosed is $_ 


Barrett Building 

Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002 

Membership is open to anyone interested in Wyoming history re- 
gardless of residence. Members receive ANNALS OF WYOMING, a 
historical magazine published twice each year, and WYOMING HIS- 
TORY NEWS, a newsletter about society activities published six times 
each year. 

Single annual memberships are $5 and joint annual memberships 
are $7. 

Single life memberships are $100 and joint life memberships are 

Institutional memberships (libraries, schools) are $10. 

for my 198 dues. 



The Fur Trade of the American West 
1807-1840. By David J. Wishart. (Lincoln: Uni- 
versity of Nebraska Press, 1979). Index. Bib. II- 
lus. Charts. Maps. 237 pp. $15.00. 

This compact study of the American fur trade of the 
early 19th century has several objectives. According to 
the author, historical studies of the fur trade have tend- 
ed to focus on colorful incidents and personalities rather 
than concentrating on the trade as a system. Therefore, 
his objective is to do what the historians have over- 
looked. As a geographer, Wishart proposes to supply a 
"new synthesis which adopts an interdisciplinary ap- 
proach." To do this he wants to focus on the relation- 
ships between the biological, the physical, and the 
cultural environments of the fur trade. This is a worthy 
goal, but one which the author is not always successful 
in achieving. 

Focusing on the region from Nebraska north to 
Canada and west to the Pacific Ocean, the book con- 
siders the geographical setting and the exploitation of 
sub-regions within that general area. It sets forth two 
major trapping and trading areas and systems, the first 
being the upper Missouri Fur Trade. This consisted 
chiefly of Indian hunters and trappers who killed buf- 
falo and other smaller fur-bearing animals. Most of 
these items were exchanged at established trading posts 
in the upper Missouri Valley or on the northern Plains 
for manufactured goods. The buffalo robes and other 
pelts were then shipped down the Missouri River to St. 
Louis. The second system was the Rocky Mountain trap- 
ping system. In this white trappers killed beaver and 
other fur-bearing animals in the streams and lakes of the 
central and northern Rocky Mountains and beyond the 
Continental Divide as far west as the fringes of the basin 
and range country. The trappers brought their pelts to 
the annual rendezvous where they exchanged them for 


equipment, food and horses for the next year. The 
traders then took the furs overland along the Platte 
River back to St. Louis. There the products from both 
systems joined as merchants shipped them east to New 
York or to Europe. 

After describing both systems, the author notes ex- 
ceptions and instances where they overlapped. He then 
considers the differences and similarities of each. An- 
nual cycles of operation, problems of supply and trans- 
portation, management policies, growing competition, 
and the dwindling resource base all receive attention. 
The familiar names of the fur trade, from Manuel Lisa 
to William Ashley, from Captain Bonneville to Joseph 
Walker, appear in the discussion. Likewise, trading 
posts such as Fort William, Fort Hall, Fort Vancouver, 
and Bent's Fort all dot the pages of maps and prose. 
Throughout the author focuses on depleting the 
resource base and on fur company competition and 

Although certainly a scholarly book, the prose is 
clear and readable. It anticipates that the reader has 
considerable knowledge of the fur trade, of Indian - 
white relations, and of the physical geography of the 
western United States. Usually, the frequent maps are 
clear and helpful, although in a few cases words and 
symbols are obscured by the dark shading of some areas. 
The charts showing the organization and functioning of 
both the Rocky Mountain and upper Missouri systems 
are somewhat helpful, but reveal little that is new or all 
that startling. In sum, persons knowledgeable about the 
fur trade will find little here that they do not already 
know. Persons seeking a clearly-written, brief, overview 
of the trade can turn to this volume with confidence. 

Roger L. Nichols 

Dr. Nichols is a professor of history at the University of Arizona, Tuc- 
son. He has written extensively on the American west. 

The Horse Soldier, 1776-1943. The United 
States Cavalryman: His Uniforms, Arms, Ac- 
coutrements and Equipments. Volume IV; 
World War I, The Peacetime Army, World War 
II, 1917-1943. By Randy Steffen. (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1979). Index. II- 
lus. 136 pp. $25.00. 

Volume IV of Randy Steffen's magnificient portray- 
al of the uniforms, arms, accoutrements, and equip- 
ments of the horse soldier in this country covers the years 
of 1917-1943, the period from the beginning of World 
War I through the era of peacetime into World War II, 
concluding in 1943 with the disappearance of the horse 
soldier from the Army. 

In this book all uniforms, service, fatigue and dress, 
for enlisted men, warrant officers and officers are 
minutely described and pictured. Detailed descriptions 
are given of insignia, medals, wound and service stripes, 
marksmanship badges, belts and aiguillettes. There is 
even a discussion of whether enlisted men were autho- 
rized strings or chin straps with the service hat. Actually 
this is a welcome respite from the rather stiff and official 
tone of most of the text. 

This last volume of the four-part work can stand 
alone. However, there are frequent references to the 
previous volume as the 1911 pattern of uniform and in- 
signia, except for minor changes, were regulation for the 
Cavalry until well after World War I. Steffen covers 
these changes in detail. Generally in the text there is a 
brief description of what is being referred to in the 
previous volume so that the reader can understand with- 
out having Volume III in hand. There are several refer- 
ences to color plates in Volume I. 

The detail in this book is encyclopedic, there are 

many verbatim quotations from Army regulations on 

uniform specifications and on insignia, stripes and 

medals that sometimes seem redundant, but this adds to 

the authenticity of the presentation and sometimes 

clears confusing points in the more general text or in the 

captions for the illustrations. The beauty of the book is 

in the many detailed pen and ink sketches which the 

author has made of uniforms, equipment and horses. 

These sketches greatly augment and clarify the written 

text. There is one color plate beautifully illustrating the 

regimental insignia of the seventeen cavalry regiments. 

For a book of this type the volume seems remarkably 

error free in this day and age. I noted only two errors in 

captions for illustrations. In one case the caption for Fig. 

428 indicates that the letters MG below the crossed 

sabers on the gilt button collar insignia of enlisted men 

designates members of the regimental band. In the text 

it says that this designated a member of a machine gun 

squadron. In the illustration the correct button for the 

band was the one to the right with the musicians stand 

I or lyre beneath the crossed sabers. The caption for Fig. 

436 states that the trousers with the 1938 officers dress 
uniform were dark blue; the text correctly states that 
they were sky blue. Only general officers were autho- 
rized wear of the dark blue trousers. 

The introduction to each of the two chapters in this 
volume gives the role of the Cavalry in the particular 
period being covered. An epilogue describes the decline 
in importance of the role of the horse cavalry through 
the 1930s which led to the full mechanization of the 
Cavalry in 1943. 

It should be pointed out that while the material 
presented by Steffen is specifically directed to the 
Cavalry, at least in this volume, much of the material 
concerning uniforms and insignia applies to the Army in 
general for all branches of the service. 

While this volume can be read and understood 
without reference to the previous ones, I think few will 
be content to forego the pleasure of delving into the 
earlier books in this series. 

James A. Wier 

Brig. Gen. Wier, U.S.A., Ret., is a former commander of Fitzsim- 
mons Hospital, and was one of the founders of the Rocky Mountain 
Department of C. A.M. P. 

Water for the West. The Bureau of Reclama- 
tion, 1902-1927. By Michael C. Robinson. 
(Chicago: Public Works Historical Association, 
1979). Index. Bib. Ilus. 117 pp. $6.00 paper. 

Ever since Frederick Jackson Turner first proposed 
his "frontier thesis" in 1890, many historians have taken 
a regional approach to the United States past, studying 
the central themes around which people in different 
parts of the country have organized their lives. New 
England history, for example, can hardly be separated 
from the history of colonial Puritanism, nor can south- 
ern history be understood without carefully considering 
the dual problems of race and slavery. The settlement of 
the Great Basin is inextricably linked to the history of 
the Mormon Church. As for the history of the "Great 
American Desert," no issue has been more important to 
economic and political affairs than the supply and con- 
trol of water. And no agency has been more influential 
in the development of water resources than the U.S. 
Bureau of Reclamation. 

In Water for the West. The Bureau of Reclamation, 
1902-1977, Michael C. Robinson has provided a brief 
administrative survey of the history of the Bureau of 
Reclamation. After discussing the background of irriga- 
tion and water use in the nineteenth century, Robinson 
goes on to describe the establishment of the Bureau and 
its early interest in agricultural water storage and irriga- 
tion projects, such as the Roosevelt Dam, completed in 
1911 on the Salt River in southern Arizona; the 


Elephant Butte Dam (1916) on the Rio Grande in New 
Mexico; the Arrowrock Dam (1915) on the Boise River 
in Idaho; and the Gunnison Tunnel in the Uncom- 
paghre Valley of western Colorado. 

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Bureau began a 
transition away from exclusively agricultural concerns to 
multi-purpose development of water resources, in- 
cluding water storage, irrigation, fish and wildlife 
preservation, hydroelectric power, flood control, soil 
conservation, and municipal water supplies. During this 
era, the Bureau constructed the Hoover Dam on the 
Colorado River; the Colorado River Aqueduct to Los 
Angeles; the Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia 
River Basin Project; the Colorado-Big Thompson Proj- 
ect to divert Colorado River water through the moun- 
tains to the Big Thompson and South Platte Rivers in 
eastern Colorado; and the Central Valley Project in 
California. In his last chapter, which covers the years 
between 1953 and 1977, Robinson discusses the matur- 
ing of the multi-purpose concept, the Bureau's difficul- 
ties with environmentalists, the Missouri River Basin 
Project, and the Colorado River Storage Project. 

It is important to describe here what Michael 
Robinson's book does not accomplish. In recent years, 
the question of "water in the west" has received the at- 
tention of such prominent historians as Leonard Arring- 
ton, J. Leonard Bates, Mary Glass, Samuel Hays, Norris 
Hundley, Beverly Moeller, and Elmo Richardson, and 
they have produced a number of sophisticated mono- 
graphs based on primary research. Mr. Robinson's book 
is a survey rather than an exhaustive monograph, 
descriptive rather than analytical. 

Water for the West is a good introduction to the 
development of water resources, but for a revealing 
analysis of administrative infighting, the conflict be- 
tween local and national governments, the controversy 
over preservation, conservation, or development, and 
the debate over private or public prerogatives, scholars 
will have to go elsewhere. 

James S. Olson 

The reviewer is an associate professor in the Department of History at 
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. 

The Great Platte River Road. By Merrill J. Mat- 
tes. Reprint. (Lincoln: Nebraska State Histori- 
cal Society, 1979). Index. Illus. 539 pp. $8.95, 

Writers, researchers and others drawn into Ameri- 
ca's dramatic western exodus now have little reason to 
be without what is probably the best source book ever 
compiled on the subject. The Great Platte River Road 
by Merrill Mattes is now available in an inexpensive 
paperback edition. 


Specifically, the book covers the popular emigration 
trails from their emanating points along the Missouri 
River to where they converged east of Kearney, Nebras- 
ka, then along both sides of the historic Platte River to 
Fort Laramie. It is a fascinating compilation of facts 
from more than 700 original journals which reveals what 
trail travel was like from 1841 through 1866 — the advent 
of the Union Pacific Railroad. 

The story of this pioneer freeway across the plains is 
a tremendous effort which represents thirty years of 
work by Mattes, a National Park Service retiree and 
historian who spent many of his career years in the area 
he describes. His book has earned at least three pres- 
tigious awards from western historical and writers' 

Mattes' credentials for this type of work are excel- 
lent. Along with a lengthy list of western history publica- 
tions to his credit, he has been responsible for much of 
the National Park Service's historical features on the 

Making the book more interesting, Mattes skillfully 
plays down what famous writers have already told us. 
Instead, he calls on hundreds of rare diaries or never- 
published manuscripts found all over the U.S. to illus- 
trate the story of westward migration over the Oregon- 
California-Mormon trails. Of course, names such as 
Francis Parkman and Horace Greeley are included, but 
the message is conveyed by the hundreds of dusty hikers 
who made that great trek -and by those who turned 
back or perished before they could. 

The book is a detailed description of the people, 
what they took with them or discarded along the way, 
soldiers and their forts, Indians they met (peacefully or 
otherwise), Pony Express and stage stations, famous 
landmarks and, of course, human characteristics such as 
morals, crime, accidents and diseases, burials, and trail 
law, such as it was. 

Instead of just hitting the highlights of major river 
crossings, Mattes tells us exactly how the wagons, their 
loads, animals and the people had to be prepared and 
what all they had to know. He describes techniques, how 
up and down river currents were used to advantage, and 
about the problems faced during the ordeals. 

Publisher of the book is the Nebraska State His- 
torical Society. This reviewer would like to see similar 
organizations follow this lead and sponsor extensions of 
this book so the complete story will continue all the way 
to the western terminals. For example, a Wyoming- 
Idaho outfit could publish a book from Fort Laramie to, 
say, Boise. Then the Oregon Historical Society could 
pick it up from there and take it to Oregon City. A 
Nevada-California group could have a book on the part 
of the trail from Fort Hall, Idaho, to Sacramento. With 
these volumes, historians of all degrees would have easy 
access to the best original research available. It could be 

as valuable as R. G. Thwaite's Original Journals of the 
Lewis and Clark Expedition. 

Settling the West, punctuated with the greatest gold 
rush in the world, is certainly equal to the greatest epic 
in U.S. history. The Great Platte River Road so far ap- 
pears to be the largest library of facts about how at least 
part of this was accomplished. And now that it has wise- 
ly been reprinted by the Nebraskans in paperback, it 
should be on the bookshelves of every serious student of 
Western U.S. history. 

Connie F. Johnson 

The reviewer, a retired newspaperman, is a scientific investigator for 
the Gresham, Oregon, police department. 

Chronological List of Actions Etc., With Indians 
from January 15, 1837 to January, 1891. By Dale 
E. Floyd. (Fort Collins, Colo.: Old Army Press, 
1979). 79 pp. $12.50. 

In 1891, the United States Adjutant General's Office 
published a Chronological List of Actions with Indians 
from January 1, 1866 to January, 1891. Unfortunately, 
the list, printed in limited quantity, never received 
general distribution. The Old Army Press has made this 
list and another, Indian Engagements in the Period 
from January, 1837 to January, 1866, available together 
for the first time at a reasonable cost. 

Following a brief three-page introduction by Dale E. 
Floyd, every recorded military engagement between the 
Regular Army and Indians in this fifty-four year span is 
catalogued. The book includes the name or place of 
each encounter, the specific troops engaged and their 
commanding officers, as well as the number of soldier, 
civilian, and Indian casualties. In addition, the list pro- 
vides the names of officers killed or wounded. 

The casualty figures for United States troops in 
Chronological List of Actions can be trusted as reason- 
ably accurate. These statistics were taken from official 
regimental returns or from the testimony of actual battle 
participants. The authenticity and reliability of the In- 
dians figures, however, must be questioned. Since each 
military engagement was the subject of an official report 
by the commanding officer, enemy casualty figures were 
often inflated to place the troops in the best possible of- 
ficial light. While some scholars believe that frontier 
military officers attempted to honestly and accurately 
measure enemy casualties, there was, in actuality, 
seldom an official count. Indians generally made every 
effort to remove their dead and wounded from the bat- 
tlefield as quickly as possible. As a result, huge 
disparities often surround Indian casualty figures for 
many encounters. 

A controversial example of casualty figure variance 
surrounds Wyoming's renowned Wagon Box Fight near 

Fort Phil Kearny, August 2, 1867. The Chronological 
List of Actions reports that sixty Indians died that day 
with another 120 wounded. Other sources indicate 
radically different figures. Stanley Vestal's studies 
among the Sioux point out that only six Indians were 
wounded or killed. Richard I. Dodge's estimate, solici- 
ted from Oglala Sioux Chief Red Cloud, placed the total 
Indian casualties at 1137. While admittedly the casualty 
discrepancies surrounding the Wagon Box Fight are 
unusually large, this example illustrates a serious limita- 
tion in the use of official military sources in Indian 

By compiling these lists in one handsome volume, 
Old Army Press has provided a service aimed specifically 
toward Indian war buffs. Yet several shortcomings un- 
dermine the compilation's effectiveness. For some unex- 
plained reason, no military engagements are listed for 
1863 and 1864. Certainly the Regular Army had some 
hostilities with Indians during these years. While Floyd's 
introduction places the lists in perspective, a longer, 
more detailed introduction explaining the publication's 
usefulness and limitations would have been welcome. 
The inclusion of an index of the military encounters 
would have also rendered the book more readily useful 
to the laymen. 

Steven C. Schulte 

The reviewer is in the I?h. D. program at the University of Wyoming. 
His field of study is the American West. 

A Journey to California: The Letters of Thad- 
deus Dean 1852. Edited with a preface by 
Katharine Dean Wheeler. (Tampa, Florida: 
American Studies Press, 1979.) Illus. 26 pp. 

The title of the twenty-six page collection is modest- 
ly misleading since only one of the eight letters included 
was written when the author was traveling between the 
Missouri River and California. The first four were 
mailed in Iowa; the fifth, "near the Missouri River"; the 
sixth, at Fort Laramie; and the last two, at the 
"Sacramento R" and San Francisco, respectively. 
Despite the general absence of descriptive treatment of 
the trail itself, Thaddeus Dean's letters do contain a 
number of interesting, amusing and useful observations. 

He was very impressed with the beauty of California 
cities and the climate, although he loyally added that 
"the enterprise of our people is far ahead. ..." Dean 
was not, however, one of those eternal optimists who has 
a good word about everyone and every place. The peo- 
ple and terrain of Scotch Grove, Iowa, were dismissed 
thusly: "The land is good for nothing but it is too fine for 
the people that occupy it, who are a miserable shiftless, 
shirtless set of fools, who know nothing but to lie & steal 


horses." Near the Missouri River, Dean disapprovingly 
described the girls of the area as "a set of squizzles (who) 
all wear pants and short dresses ... — no dress comes 
below the knees." 

The prices at Kanesville were shockingly high (flour 
at $12 a pound) and the trail to Fort Laramie marked 
with frightening frequency by cholera-caused fatalities. 
Dean was properly grateful, upon camping some four 
miles from the fort, in noting that cholera had now 
nearly disappeared. Although he complained of a lack 
of sleep and the difficulty of "wading some of these 
sloughs in the mud to my armpits with my packs on my 
back," the greatest personal hazard was encountered on 
the Humboldt River. Here Dean became quite ill, a 
situation which he blamed on the water. 

In addition to the letters, information included in 
the preface about missing stamps may be of interest to 
collectors. In a like manner, reproductions of several 
samples of the handwritten letters as well as of the docu- 
ment through the issuance of which Dean was appointed 
a Commissioner for the State of California by the Gover- 
nor of Wisconsin will no doubt appeal to manuscript en- 

The map on page five is, unfortunately, of dubious 
accuracy. The editor suggests that Dean roughly fol- 
lowed the Mormon Trail. It is doubtful his trail was that 
rough since the route marked out swings north in central 
Nebraska almost to the Niobrara River, there is no 
north fork of the Platte indicated at all, and Fort 
Laramie is located at a point much closer to the eventual 
site of Fort Steele on the Union Pacific route than to the 
confluence of the Laramie and North Platte Rivers. 

Though useful, this compilation will be of interest 
primarily to those already knowledgeable about the 
westward migration of the mid- 19th century who wish to 
add to their own collections of primary sources. 

Robert L, Munkres 

The reviewer is an associate professor, Department of Political 
Science, Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio. 

Primitive Indian Dress. By Susan Fecteau. Edit- 
ed by Vickie Zimmer Kuntz. (Cheyenne: Fron- 
tier Printing, Inc., 1979) paper, $8.95. 

Susan Fecteau is a New Yorker caught up in the 
romance and enchantment of the Mountain Man era in 
the west. That interest led her to attend various Moun- 
tain Man gatherings and on those occasions, she saw the 
need of appropriate attire for female participants. Since 
Plains Indian women were for all intents and purposes 
the main source of feminine companionship for the orig- 
inal fur trappers, she elected to find out all she could 
about what those women wore. The end result of Ms. 
Fecteau's research is a 106-page paperback on the wear- 
ing apparel of trans-Mississippi Indian women. 

She has been thorough in her work, visiting nine 
museums ranging from the Museum of Natural History 
in New York City to the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody. 
As well, she has used thirty-five written sources in- 
cluding Virginia Trenholm's The Arapahoes, Our Peo- 
ple and the beautifully illustrated People of the First 
Man by Thomas and Ronfeldt. In short, the breadth of 
her sources is commendable. 

Her book is divided into sections that cover the styles 
of dress, the decorations, accessories, construction, and 
even cleaning. She has handled the subject from head to 
toe. Of historical note to both scholars and amateur 
history buffs is that she has traced the evolution of 
female Indian attire from its most primitive stage, to the 
more elaborate and ornate dresses that resulted from 
trade with the white man. She explains how the women 
graduated from one skin to two-skin and three-skin 
dresses over the years, and how each "fashion" change 
brought more and different ornamentation to the 

Indian women used both natural materials, such as 
badger skin and porcupine quills, and man-made items 
like beads and metals with remarkable results. The 
clothing that remains is attractive, graceful, and 
anything but primitive. The work of women who sought 
to adorn themselves is surprisingly sophisticated both in 
its technical and aesthetic qualities. The dresses of the 
Indian women are perhaps some of the finest examples 
of Indian art, and as a form of self expression, they pro- 
vide some of the most honest comments. 

The little book is profusely and nicely illustrated by 
the author who shows fair skill as an artist. The sketches 
are clean, clear and very much to the point. They show 
the technical and artistic aspects of the dresses and their 
decoration probably better than black and white photo- 
graphs would. They will be particularly useful to anyone 
wanting to construct an Indian dress for whatever pur- 
pose. Also, the drawings can assist in the identification 
of Indian attire. 

Of particular interest to students of the American 
Indian is the sources of hides used by the women. 
Fecteau points out that old tipi hides were highly desired 
because the fire smoke made them soft and pliable. Not 
only were they much easier to work with than freshly 
tanned or green hides, but they probably "hung" better. 
It goes without saying that a soft supple skin was pro- 
bably a lot easier on the skin that wore it than a stiff 
non-resilient hide. 

Many people might erroneously conclude that 
because much of the clothing worn by Plains Indians 
was of animal skin that they were not regularly cleaned 
in a conventional twentieth century context. Not true — 
Ms. Fecteau's research has shown that chalk, porous 
bone, clays and rock were rubbed onto and into the 
hides to remove stains, oils and soil. 


The book can be easily used by scholars for profes- 
sional research or by individuals interested in costuming 
a community pageant or theatrical endeavor. If recreat- 
ing authentic female Indian attire is the desired goal, 
Fecteau's book is an invaluable aid. 

However, for individuals who are not professional 
historians or anthropologists, a glossary of terms would 
have been most helpful. One is not included, and this 
reviewer found himself wishing there had been one for 
reference. Moreover, a list or suggested list of substitute 
materials would be useful. Some people wishing to con- 
struct an Indian dress may not have the inclination or 
the funds to obtain from one to three tanned deer or elk 
hides. For that matter, shells and elk teeth are not readi- 
ly available in every shopping mall boutique across the 
land. Ideas on how to duplicate the authenticity of an 
Indian dress, without having to duplicate the actual 
materials used by Cree, Assiniboin, and Sioux maidens 
would be appreciated by those with an Indian dress pro- 
ject on the horizon. 

All in all, the Primitive Indian Dresses book con- 
stitutes a fine, handy, easy-to-understand reference 
work and is an asset to any library fortunate enough to 
have one. 

William H. Barton 

The reviewer is senior historian and curator of manuscripts in the 
Historical Division of the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and 
Historical Department. 

The End of the Long Horn Trail. By A. P. (Ott) 
Black. Re-edited by Larry Sprunk (BHG, Inc., 
1979.) 97 pp. 

I strongly suspect The End of the Long Horn Trail, 
by A. P. (Ott) Black and "re-edited" by Larry Sprunk of 
the Turkey Track Bill Show is a hoax. It is certainly not 
as it purports to be, a true memoir of a hell -raising 
cowboy who "lived as full a life as a man can live." 
Whether the hoax was perpetrated by Black, the nar- 
rator, the somewhat mysterious William T. McNamee 
to whom Black was supposed to have dictated his story, 
or Sprunk, the "re-editor" is of little importance. Cer- 
tainly, we shall never know for sure. The roundabout 
process which led to its publication by BHG, Inc., in 
1979 insures that its origins will remain shrouded in 
mystery. This reviewer is reminded of the similar process 
by which Gulliver's Travels found its way into print some 
centuries earlier. Anyone who needs to have their minds 
refreshed on that process should look into Hugh 
Kenner's The Counterfeiters, which, by the way, will do 
a great deal more to shed light on this work than any- 
thing I might say. 

Nonetheless, it might be justified to continue this 
examination by attempting to evaluate the literary merit 
of The End of the Long Horn Trail or by measuring its 
value as a historical source. 

As a literary work The End of the Long Horn Trail 
leaves much to be desired. There are both better novels 
about cowboys and better memoirs by cowboys. The 
style adopted by the writer is reminiscent of Gabby 
Hayes, or Festus of the now defunct Gunsmoke television 
series. This is unfortunate because it does a great disser- 
vice to the memory of the people who actually lived in 
the nineteenth-century West and who built a great 
country. The people who made the West were not rubes, 
hicks, or hayseeds. Even when illiterate they possessed a 
nobility which is counter to the picture presented by the 
figure of A. P. Black. Unfortunately, some people have 
sought to perpetuate the image of the Westerner as a 
crude rube to justify their own boorish behavior. The 
story line of The End of the Long Horn Trail is that of a 
simple picturesque novel. The picturesque novel is a 
literary form which, when handled properly, can be 
quite effective. In this case it is not. 

As a contribution to the historical record of the 
nineteenth -century West, The End of the Long Horn 
Trail falls even further short of the mark (if possible) 
than it did as a piece of literature. Chapter One was so 
full of historical errors it was almost impossible to find 
anything which was correct. The account of the Miers 
Expedition is just one example. The Miers Expedition is 
a well-known and documented incident in the history of 
Texas. A visit to any reasonably well equipped library 
would have provided the writer or editor with the infor- 
mation that: one, the spelling used in the book is incor- 
rect, and two, Black's father was not a participant in the 
expedition. I will not burden the reader of this review 
with the other inaccuracies but rather refer them to the 
article on the Miers Expedition by Milton Nance in the 
Handbook of Texas which will then take them on to 
more detailed sources. The bottom line is this: The End 
of the Long Horn Trail is so inaccurate, to say nothing 
of its dubious origins, that it should under no cir- 
cumstances be relied upon as a source of historical infor- 

If this book is what it purports to be, a memoir of a 
cowboy, there are numerous others which are better 
written, more accurate, and less suspect. If it is as I 
suspect, a literary hoax, then it is a poorly written one. 
Thomas Berger's Little Big Man, for one, is much better 
and, needless to say, more accurate in terms of historical 

Robert T. Smith 

The reviewer is a professor oj history at Eastern Montana College, 


Ghost Trails of Wyoming. By Mae Urbanek 
(Boulder, Colo., 1978). Index. Illus. 236 pp. 
$8.75 paper. 

Students of Wyoming history, of which I am one, 
will welcome eagerly the latest historical book by Mae 
Urbanek of Lusk who has so skillfully assembled under 
one cover information about the early romantic paths 
crisscrossing the state and has called her book, Ghost 
Trails of Wyoming. Anyone who has spent hours leafing 
through this source and that for information about the 
numerous trails across Wyoming will certainly give this 
volume top priority on the research book shelf. 

Information about the trails is supplemented with 
colorful accounts of John Colter, Wilson Price Hunt, 
Robert Stuart, William H. Ashley, Antonio Mateo (who 
built the first trading post and first substantial buildings 
in Wyoming, the Portuguese Houses), Capt. Benjamin 
L. E. Bonneville, the Reverend Samuel Parker, Marcus 
Whitman, Father DeSmet and Lt. John C. Fremont. 

Besides being profusely illustrated with photographs 
and drawings, the stories about the trails are accom- 
panied by stories of explorers and events. Map drawings 
in the book make it possible for tourists to follow for 
themselves the routes of the historic trails in our state. 

I was excited to read on page 97 of Ghost Trails of 
Wyoming a quote from a story I wrote about Freda 
Siemsen of Pine Bluffs who lived northeast of Pine Bluffs 
when the Texas Trail cowboys made their watering stop: 
"Pine Bluffs was a good watering stop; after a long dry 
drive when the cowboys got here, they went to the store 

and bought soap and new long-handled underwear. 
Then they bathed in the creek and left their old under- 
wear for the homesteaders." Mrs. Siemsen, who wore the 
old underwear scrubbed and cut down by her mother, 
still lives in Pine Bluffs and can still recount stories of the 
old Texas Trail drivers. How new is the history of 

The bibliography itself is a valuable adjunct of 
"Ghost Trails of Wyoming," and can suggest to history 
buffs many hours of pleasant reading. I appreciated the 
inclusion of my book, Pioneer Parade, about the 
historical figures who settled the southeastern corner of 
Wyoming and established the first extensive dry farming 
venture in the state at Salem, now Lindbergh, north of 
Pine Bluffs. 

The chapter on the Chicago, Burlington and Quin- 
cy brings to mind a very old trail in which I am par- 
ticularly interested — the Cheyenne and Burlington Rail- 
road Company connected with the Burlington and Mis- 
souri River Railroad, later the CB&Q which filed incor- 
poration in the secretary of state's office on April 6, 
1887, and built a spur from Cheyenne to Sterling, Col- 
orado, with a capital stock of $600,000. By November 9, 
1887, the track was finished to the Baxter Ranch, twen- 
ty miles southeast of Cheyenne. The ranch was owned by 
George Baxter, territorial governor of Wyoming. 

Martha Thompson 

The reviewer and her husband operate a ranch near Carpenter, 
Wyoming. She is a free lance writer and a member of Wyoming Press 


Anderson, Irving W., 54 
Anthony. Susan B.. 3, 5 


Barrows, Gordon, 40 
Bartlett. I. S., 57 

Barton. William H.. review of Primitive Indian Dress, 68 69 
Bellamy, MaryG.. 13. 14; photo, 11 
Binford, Hugh. 40 

Black. A. P (Ott). The End oj the Long Horn Trail, review, 69 
"Boat pusher or Bird Woman? Sacagawea or Sacajawea?" by Blanche 

Si hroer. 46-54 
Borghese, Prince, 34 
Bowles, Chester A.. 25. 30 
Bright, William H., 4, 10; photo. 5 


Campbell. Governor John A . 3-6, 8, 56 

Carey. Sgt. Charles F . Jr.. 30 

Carey, Joseph M., 3. 5, 8. 9, 10, 11, 12 

Catt, Carrie Chapman, 10. 14 

Chalmers. Monetta Irwin. 48 

Charbonneau. Jean Baptiste, 46 47, 50, 53 

Charbonneau, Toussaint, 46 

"Cheyenne Klectric Railway." 18, 21; photos. 16, 18 

Chisum, Kmmett D.. "The New York to Paris Automobile Race Crossing 

Wyoming in 1908," 34 39; biog, 72 
( hronological List "/ Actions Etc . With Indian', from January / ">, 1817 to 

January, 1891". by Dale E, Floyd, review, 67 

Coal industry (strike), 25 
Cowboy, 44, 45 
Cutright, Paul, 54 

DeDion, (automobile), 34-39 
Democratic Party in Wyoming, 42 
Driear, Joe. photo, 20 

The End oj the Long Horn Trail, by A. P. (Ott) Black, review, 69 

Fecteau, Susan, Primitive Indian Dress, review, 68 69 

Floyd. Dale E., Chronological List of Actions Etc., With Indians from 
January /5, 1837 to January, 1891, review, 67 


Manuel Lisa (N.D.), 46. 50 
Washakie, 50 

The Eur Trade of the American West 18071840, by David J. Wishart, re- 
view, 64 

Gass, Patrick, 50 

Ghost Trails of Wyoming, by Mae Urbanek, 70 

Grant. Roger H.. "Wyoming's Electric Railway Projects," 17-21; biog., 72 

The Great Platte River Road, bv Merrill J. Mattes, review, 66-67 


Hapsburg-Valois War, 24 
Hayford, James H., 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 


Hebard, Dr. Grace Raymond, 10, 12, 14, 46, 47, 49, 50, photo, 1 1 , 52 

Hcrschler, Governor Ed, 42 

The Horse Soldier, 1776 1943 The United States Cavalary: His Uniforms, 
Arms, Accoutrements and Equipments. Volume IV; World War 1, The 
Peacetime Army, World War 11, 1917 1943, by Randy Steffen, review, 

Howe, Justice John H., 3, 4, 5. 6, 9; photo, 4 

Hoyt, Governor John W., 5, 6, 9; photo 7 

Hunt, Lester C, photo, 26 




Jerk Meat, 46 

Porivo, 46-54 

Sacagawea, 46-54 

Shoshonis, 46-54 
Interurban railways, 17-21 
Irwin, Dr. James, 47, 48. 49. 53; photo, 48 
Irwin. Sarah, photo. 48 


Jenkins. Therese A., photo, 11 

Johnson, Connie F., review of The Great Platte River Road, 66 67 

Jordan, Roy A. and Tim R. Miller, "The Politics of a Cowboy Culture," 

A Journey to California The Letters of Thaddeus Dean 1852, edited by 

Katharine Dean Wheeler, review, 67-68 


Kendrick. John, 11, 12, 13 

Kingman, Justice John W., 5, 6, 9; photo, 7 

Kosin, Rev. Wesley. 51 

Labor Unions, 30 

Large, Irtense, photo, 52 

Larson. T. A.. "Wyoming's Contribution to the Regional and National 

Women's Rights Movement," 2 15, 41, 44; biog., 72 
Lee, Edward M.. 4, 5, 6; photo, 7 
Lewis and Clark Expedition, 46-54 
Lovejoy. Elmer. 35. 38 
Luttig, John, 50 


McGee, Senator Gale, 40 
Mackenzie. Katherine. 35 
Martinez, Jennie Hereford, 50 

Mattes, Merrill J., The Great Platte River Road, review. 66 67 
Motobloc (automobile), 34-35. 38 
Morris. Esther H., 3. 9 

Munkres, Robert L., review of A Journey to California: The Letters of Thad 
deus Dean 1852, 67-68 

National American Woman Suffrage Association, 9. 1 1 . 14 
"The New York to Paris Automobile Race Crossing Wyoming in 1908," by 

Emmett D. Chisum, 34-39 
Nichols. Roger L., review of The Fur Trade of the American West 

1807-1840. 64 


Office of Price Administration, 25-33 

Olson. James S.. review of Water for the West. 'The Bureau of Reclamation, 

1902-1927, 65-66 
O'Mahoney. Senator Joseph C. 26 33; photo, 26 
Owyne (Owen), Robert, 22 

Ranney, Howard, 48 

Reel, Estelle, 9 

Republican Party in Wyoming. 42 

Roberts, Rev. John, 48 50 

Roberts, Montague, 34 

Robinson. Michael C, Water for the West The Bureau of Reclamation, 

1902 1927, review, 65-66 
Rockwell, William S., 55-56 

Sacagawea, 46-54 

Sacajawea Marker, 49; photo, 51 

St. Clair, Wallace, 51 

Schroer, Blanche, "Boat-pusher or Bird Woman;' Sacagawea or Sacajawear 1 " 

Schulte, Steven D., review of Chronological List of Actions Etc., With In- 
dians from January 1 5, 1837 to January, 1891, 67 

Schuster, George, 39 

Sheridan Railway Co.. (Sheridan Interurban), 19, 20, 21; photo, 19 

Sherman, Jacob, 58 

Simpson, Senator Alan. 40 

Smith, Robert T., review of The End of the Long Horn Trail, 69 

Sprague, Frank Julian. 17 

Steffen. Randy, The Horse Soldier, 1776-1943 The United States Cavalry: 
His Uniforms, Arms, Accoutrements and Equipments Volume IV; 
World War I, 'The Peacetime Army, World War II, 1917-1943, review, 

Taft, Robert A.. 26, 28. 29. 31. 32 
Thomas, Edwin Ross, 34 

Thomas Flyer (automobile), 34-39; photo. 36 
Thompson, Martha, review of Ghost Trails of Wyoming, 70 
Truman, Harry S.. 25, 28. 30, 32; photo. 26 
Tudor cannon, 22-24; photos, 23 24 

"A Tudor Cannon at Warren Air Force Base," by William E. Woodbridge, 
Jr., 22-24 


Urbanek, Mae, Ghost Trails of Wyoming, 70 


Waldo, Anna Lee, 50-54 

Wallop, Senator Malcolm, 40 

Warren, Senator, Francis E., 7, 11 

Water for the West. The Bureau of Reclamation, 1902-1927, by Michael C. 

Robinson, review, 65-66 
Wheeler. Katharine Dean, A Journey to California: The Letters of Thaddeus 

Dean 1852, review. 67-68 
Wier, James A., review of The Horse Soldier, 17761943 The United States 

Cavalry: His Uniforms, Arms, Accoutrements and Equipments. 

Volume IV; World War I, The Peacetime Army, World War II. 

1917-1943. by Randy Steffen, 65 
Wishart, David J.. The Fur Trade of the American West 1807-1840. re- 
view, 64 
Woman Suffrage, 2-15 
Wood, W. J., 57 
Woodbridge. William E. Jr., A Tudor Cannon at Warren Air Force Base, 

22-24; biog., 72 
Wright, Peter M., "Wyoming and the OP. A.: The Postwar Politics of De 

' control," 25-33; biog.. 72 
"Wyoming and the OP. A. : The Postwar Politics of Decontrol, bv Peter M. 

Wright. 25-33 
"Wyoming's Contribution to the Regional and National Women's Rights 

Movement," by T. A. Larson, 2-15 
"Wyoming's Electric Railway Projects," 17-21 

Philippine Insurrection. 23 

"T he Politics of a Cowboy Culture." by Roy A. Jordan and Tim R. Miller 

40 45 
Porivo. 46-54 
Pratt. Martin L.. 57 

Primitive Indian Dress, by Susan Fecteau. review, 68-69 
Protus (automobile), 34 39; photo, 37 

York, Ben, 52 

Zust (automobile), 34 39; photo, 37 



T. A. LARSON, until his retirement in 1975, was a 
member of the history department of the University of 
Wyoming. His History of Wyoming, published in 1965, 
and revised in 1978, is generally considered to be the 
definitive history of the state. He wrote Wyoming. A 
History for the series, The States and the Nation, pub- 
lished for the national bicentennial, edited and pub- 
lished Bill Nye's Western Humor, and has contributed 
numerous articles to academic journals. Since 1976 he 
has served in the Wyoming legislature as a member of 
the House of Representatives from Albany County. 

H. ROGER GRANT has been an associate professor 
of history at the University of Akron since 1970. He is the 
author of three books and more than fifty articles and 
book chapters. His undergraduate degree was from 
Simpson College, and he holds M.A. and Ph. D. degrees 
from the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

home is Chillicothe, Ohio, has been assigned to F. E. 
Warren Air Force Base since 1977. For the past year he 
has been Wing Historian. Sgt. Woodbridge is the author 
of a centennial history of WAFB. 

PETER M. WRIGHT has had articles on Indian 
history and political and economic history published in 
Chronicles of Oklahoma, Journal of the West and other 
academic journals. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees 
from the University of Oklahoma and the Ph. D. from 
the University of Wyoming. He is an assistant professor 
at Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado. 

EMMETT D. CHISUM has been research historian 
at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyo- 
ming, since 1978. For many years he was social sciences I 
librarian at the University, and was known to students 
and alumni as "Mr. Librarian." 

ROY JORDAN, co-author with TIM MILLER of 
"The Politics of a Cowboy Culture," is assistant professor 
of history and political science at Northwest Community 
College, Powell. A native of Casper, he earned degrees 
at the University of Wyoming and Northern Arizona 
University. Miller formerly taught at Northwest Com- 
munity College, and is presently teaching and studying 
for a doctorate in political science at the University of 
Utah, Salt Lake City. 

BLANCHE SCHROER of Lander came to Wyo- 
ming from her native Iowa with her father, the late Dr. 
D. A. Moore. He was a government doctor for many 
years on the Wind River Reservation, where Mrs. 
Schroer grew up with the Indians. She is a free lance 
writer, having published poetry and fiction as well as 
historical articles. 

ROGER D. HARDAWAY is in the Ph. D. program 
at the University of Wyoming, and a teaching assistant 
in the department of history. He holds degrees from 
Middle Tennessee State University, Memphis State Uni- 
versity, and New Mexico State University, as well as a 
J.D. degree from Memphis State University. He has had 
articles published in several professional journals. 



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, Tor- 
rington, 1968-69; Mrs. Hattie Burnstad, Worland, 1969-70; J. Reuel Armstrong, 
Rawlins, 1970-71; William R. Dubois, Cheyenne, 1971-72; Henry F. Chadey, 
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; Mabel Brown, Newcastle, 1978-79. 
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, James June, Green River 
First Vice President, William F. Bragg, Jr., Casper 
ly/V-lvoO Second Vice President, Don Hodgson, Torrington 

VJrncers Secretary -Treasurer , Mrs. Ellen Mueller, Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, Vincent P. Foley, Cheyenne 


14 Ui 

e/lNNALS of 

Volume 52, Number 2 
Fall, 1980 





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 art and records of early 
businesses and organizations as well as artifacts for museum display. The Department asks 
for the assistance of all Wyoming citizens to secure these documents and artifacts. Depart- 
ment facilities are designed to preserve these materials from loss and deterioration. 


Mrs. Suzanne Knepper, Buffalo, Chairman 

Mrs. June Casey, Cheyenne 

Mrs. Wilmot C. McFadden, Rock Springs 

Eugene Martin, Evanston 

Jerry Rillahan, Worland 

Mrs. Mae Urbanek, Lusk 

Ken Richardson, Lander 

Frank Bowron, Casper 

Attorney General John Troughton (ex-officio) 

ABOUT THE CO VER — The cover painting is in a collection of forty-one water color draw- 
ings by Alfred Jacob Miller in the Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa. The smoke drifting 
out of the tops of two tepees distinguishes this picture from other copies of a scene Miller 
presumably sketched at the trading post in 1837 and titled "Fort Laramie or Sublette's Fort, 
Near the Nebraska or Platte River. " Alfred Jacob Miller, young Baltimore artist, was com- 
missioned by Scottish nobleman William Drummond Stewart to accompany him in 1837 on 
a six-month tour of the American West. This shared adventure resulted in one of the world s 
fine collections of documentary art. Permission to reproduce the painting for Annals of 
Wyoming was granted by Robert Combs Warner, author of the recently published book, 
The West of Alfred Jacob Miller. (The book is reviewed on page 56). Warner is assistant 
professor of journalism at the University of Wyoming. 




Ed Herschler 


Dr. Michael J. Boyle (acting) 


Katherine A. Halverson 


William H. Barton 
Philip J. Roberts 
Jean Brainerd 

Volume 52, No. 2 
Fall, 1980 




by Lou Burton 


by Ralph Greenstreet 


by Gerald M. Adams 



by Herbert R. Dieterich 


by Ray Pendergraft 


The Fort Laramie of Alfred Jacob Miller, reviewed by 

Mildred R. Goosman 57 

Wheels West 1590-1900, reviewed by George W. Rollins 58 

Dams, Ditches and Water: A History of the Shoshone Reclamation 

Project, reviewed by Jim Donahue 59 

Wagon Trails and Folk Tales: Sulphur Springs Station, 1862-1979, 

reviewed by David L. Roberts 59 

Saloons of the Old West, reviewed by Claus M. Naske 60 

Dallas Stoudenmire, El Paso Marshal, reviewed by Raymond Wilson .... 61 

Photographing the Frontier, reviewed by LuRay Parker 61 

Wyoming: Rugged But Right, reviewed by Linda Thomasee 62 



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 
Society. ANNALS OF WYOMING articles are abstracted in Historical 
Abstracts. America: History and Life. 

©Copyright 1980 by the Wyoming State An hues, Museums and Historical Department. 

The six individuals who came together on that long 
forgotten night in late January or early February, 1930, 
had no preconceived intention to organize the Cheyenne 
Little Theatre Players (CLTP), nor did they suspect the 
group they set in motion would survive most of them to 
become one of the oldest and best known community 
theatres in the United States. 

Even further from their minds, in that first year of 
the Great Depression, was the idea that the organization 
they so spontaneously conceived would eventually build 
a 290-seat playhouse of its own, and later purchase, and 
restore to its original turn-of-the-century decor, the 
historic Atlas Theatre in downtown Cheyenne. Indeed, 
those six who assembled at 502 E. 22nd Street, ostensibly 
to while away a long winter's evening at cards, had no 
clearly defined long-term goals, certainly not to acquire 
properties that would be valued in 1979 at something in 
excess of a half million dollars. 1 

Immediate objectives were more clearly perceived. 
The hostess undoubtedly lent her enthusiastic support to 
the proposal because she saw a need for quality theatre 
in Cheyenne. The popularity of motion pictures had 
eclipsed legitimate theatre in the years after World War 
I. Others in the group who spoke most eloquently in 
favor of the idea were moved by an unabashed and bare- 
ly concealed desire to show off. Consequently, the only 
valid conclusion is that the little theatre idea took its first 
steps toward becoming a reality because of instantly 
recognizable considerations, some lofty and some pro- 

saic, and not because anyone present anticipated the 
birth of a local institution. 

The guests were invited to play auction bridge, but 
the hostess knew that theatre talk was inevitable. 

The hostess, an attractive woman in her middle for- 
ties, was known for her wit, charm, and brilliant conver- 
sation. Born in the East, she subscribed to the idea that 
small gatherings of close friends were more enjoyable 
and stimulating than large gatherings; therefore, her 
parties seldom attracted the attention of the local society 

While others made a point of notifying the news- 
papers whenever they entertained at cards, she and her 
husband, an attorney deeply involved in politics, prefer- 
red to do without publicity. Since the guests on this par- 
ticular evening were, without exception, more interested 
in the dramatic arts than in party politics, and because 
the hostess herself frequently demonstrated a devotion 
to all things theatrical, it becomes obvious that the party 
had been assembled at her initiative rather than her 
husbands. It can be assumed, however, that he an- 
ticipated the arrival of his wife's guests with as much 
pleasure as she, primarily because they were known to 
approach all things as partners, to value each other's ad- 
vice, and to fully support each other's endeavors. 
Childless after nearly seventeen years of marriage, they 
were especially devoted to each other. 2 He may also have 
welcomed an evening's diversion for another reason: he 
was beginning to fear that his political career was over, 

that success would forever elude him in the arena he 
loved best. 3 

If the politician's fortunes were at a low, the for- 
tunes of one of the invited guests, a widow in her early 
fifties, were improving. Having been left nearly destitute 
by the untimely death of her husband less than three 
years before, she had only recently, with the help and 
encouragement of friends, regained financial stability 
and reentered society. A lovely woman, not hesitant to 
use paint and padding to enhance her natural en- 
dowments, this former Redbook cover girl was well 
known as a devotee of the theatre, having, in earlier 
years, written, directed, and played in a number of 
amateur plays and other theatricals produced for the 
Cheyenne Women's Club. 

These talents had come quite naturally to a young 
woman who had won elocution contests as a schoolgirl, 
and who had seen her brother and a female cousin per- 
form on Broadway prior to World War I. It was during 
one of those treasured visits to New York that her 
brother introduced her to another actor and vaudevil- 
lian who subsequently brought his family to Cheyenne to 
make a permanent home. 4 

The vaudevillian's background was well known to 
the hostess when she invited him and his wife to her card 
party. Although he had abandoned the world of theatre 
and entered the more settled world of business, he had 
never forgotten Hamlet's observation: he saw the world 
as a stage especially prepared for him and gave himself 
unselfishly to the roles the gods created for him, never 
once failing to show his love and concern for the other 
mortals with whom he shared the stage. An uncommon 
man, yet common as Kipling could wish, he was always 
ready to share his art and his craft with those who 
wished to discover the mysteries of fine theatre. 

His wife, a steady, less flamboyant individual, 
shared and supported his interests in theatre. Imagine 
their delight, then, when they discovered the sixth 
member of the party was to be another actor, a scrawny 
young man originally from Chugwater, who was strug- 
gling to break into the movies. 

The young man had returned to Cheyenne because 
he was out of work, broke, and hungry; but he had 
managed to keep in training by starring — at no charge, 
of course — in a musical comedy staged by the local 
Francis E. Self American Legion Post No. 6. Since the 
vaudevillian was also assisting with the production, the 
two men had already met and discussed the woeful state 
of live theatre in Cheyenne. 

No one recalls how many times the cards were dealt 
or how conscientiously they were played, but the widow 
has remembered with amazing clarity that the cards 
were soon forgotten as the young actor told of his ex- 
periences with the Pasadena Playhouse, one of the very 
first community theatres to blaze a trail for what had 
become known as the Little Theatre movement. The 

movement had originally come into being shortly after 
the turn of the century as a protest against commercial 
control of theatre in the larger cities. 

Inspired by the free theatres of Europe, innovative 
thespians in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Pasadena, 
and other cities, had introduced the new stagecraft and 
presented their artistic and non-traditional productions 
in intimate theatres for small audiences. By 1930, how- 
ever, the movement was undergoing a major transition; 
these groups had become more concerned with filling 
the void left by the disappearance of the road companies 
that had previously brought the best shows from New 
York to the hinterlands. 

Cheyenne, once a major stopping point for these 
shows between Denver and Salt Lake, was starved for 
quality theatre. One can well imagine, then, the envy 
with which the listeners heard about how the Pasadena 
Playhouse had evolved to fill a similar need in the young 
actor's adopted home. A sophisticated and well-traveled 
group, they were able to draw upon their own experi- 
ences and provide examples of how Little Theatres were 
succeeding in other places. More importantly, everyone 
realized what had to be done in Cheyenne. It only re- 
mained for the young man to ask the obvious question. 

"Wouldn't it be nice," said Barrie O'Daniels, "if you 
had one in Cheyenne?" And then he added, "There isn't 
any reason why you shouldn't." 

In that moment everything crystalized. A project 
that had certainly been discussed by others on many oc- 
casions, and then dismissed as either impractical or 
premature, was once again suggested, but this time the 
idea was presented to precisely the right group, a group 
that possessed the talents and the desire to make it a 
reality. Instead of producing all of the rational reasons 
why such an effort could not be expected to succeed, the 
card players asked themselves how best to generate the 
broad community support the project would need. 

The widow, Mrs. Daze Bristol, provided the answer: 
"Oh, that's easy," she offered. "All the men's societies 
and all the women's societies should get a notice that 
we're going to have a Little Theatre, asking them to 
come to our meeting." 5 

Once this basic approach had been agreed upon, it 
remained only for the others to refine it. While everyone 
realized the wisdom of securing the support of the major 
men's and women's organizations, they also knew that 
the initial invitation would be more readily responded to 
if it were extended by an individual who could operate 
from within the framework of a prestigious, socially 
prominent, and long established club. The hostess, Mrs. 
Joseph C. O'Mahoney, as first vice-president of the 
Cheyenne Women's Club and chairman of that club's 
Dramatic Department, was ideally situated to provide 
the needed platform. 

Furthermore, since each of the three departments of 
the club Art, Drama, and Travel was nearly auton- 

omous and the endorsement of any department was tan- 
tamount to endorsement by the general membership, 
Mrs. O'Mahoney would be able to hasten the entire pro- 
cess by arranging for the question to be discussed at the 
next meeting of the Dramatic Department. The vaude- 
villian, William DeVere, an active clubman himself, 
agreed with the others that this would be the best ap- 
proach, and both he and O'Daniels offered to address 
the ladies at the forthcoming meeting. 

The date of that meeting, Thursday, February 6, 
1930, fixes the date of the card party as being some 
evening subsequent to January 22, because the regular 
meeting of the Dramatic Department on the morning of 
the twenty-third was devoted to a review of Berkeley 
Squared Less than two weeks after the card party, on 
Friday, February 7, the following item appeared on the 
society page of the Wyoming Eagle: 

The Dramatics Department of the Women's Club met 
on Thursday morning. The morning was spent discussing 
the Little Theatre Movement which was presented by Mrs. 
[sic] Barrie O'Daniels and Mr. William DeVere. The De- 
partment decided to take the initiative in calling a meeting 
with representatives from the Business and Professional 
Women's Club, the Y.W.C.A., the Lions, the Kiwanians, 
the Rotarians, and the Music Study Club. The meeting is 
called for Saturday afternoon at four o'clock, at the 
Women's Club room in the Carnegie Library. 7 

Although no record of precisely what transpired at 
this first informal meeting exists, it must be assumed 
that the organizers were encouraged by those who at- 
tended because they immediately scheduled a second 
meeting for the following Wednesday evening. A brief 
announcement of the second meeting was placed in the 
Wyoming State Tribune and Cheyenne State Leader 
(Tribune- Leader) on Monday, February 10, noting that 
the Saturday meeting had been attended by "a few en- 
thusiastic supporters" and inviting "others interested in 
the organization of a 'Little Theatre' project" to attend. 8 
A longer item, spelling out the intentions of the 
organizers in more detail, appeared in the Tribune- 
Leader on the afternoon before the meeting. 
Are there in Cheyenne a sufficient number of people in- 
terested in dramatics and the theatre to support a little 
theatre movement? 

That is the question a number of interested persons 
hope to have answered Wednesday evening when an open 
meeting of the dramatic department of the Cheyenne 
Women's club will be held in the assembly room at 
Carnegie Library. The meeting is called for eight o'clock 
and everyone who finds pleasure in the spoken drama and 
things of the legitimate stage is urged to attend. 

In recent months the absence of legitimate stage attrac- 
tions in Cheyenne has brought the desirability of good 
drama to the attention of a number of local people who are 
interested in this form of entertainment. People who, being 
more than ordinarily interested, have acutely felt its 
absence from the current season. Discussion of and the 
possibilities of a Little Theatre naturally resulted and 

Mrs. Joseph C. O'Mahoney 

Wednesday evening's meeting has been planned to ascer- 
tain if local interest is sufficient to justify definite action 
toward the organization of such a movement here. 9 

In this connection, it must be noted that the general 
membership of the Cheyenne Women's Club met for a 
colonial tea in honor of Lincoln's birthday on the same 
day, Wednesday, February 12, 1930; however, no men- 
tion was made, in the club's official minutes, of the 
meeting being sponsored by the Dramatic Department 
that same evening. Indeed, no reference whatsoever is 
made to plans to organize the little theatre group in the 
minutes of the Women's Club or of the club's executive 
board during the autumn or winter of 1929-30. Even 
after the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players (CLTP) had 
been organized, the Women's Club secretary, in prepar- 
ing her "Report for the Club Year 1929-30" did not 
acknowledge that the club had in any way been instru- 
mental in bringing the CLTP into existence, nor is any 
other reference made to the CLTP in that report. 

The report does, however, specifically mention that 
the "club was divided into three departments: Art, 
Travel, and Dramatics, which met on various days of the 
week;" and it mentions each of the programs presented 
by the departments at the meetings of the general 
membership. These included a review of "Showboat 1 ' 
presented by two ladies who had attended a perfor- 
mance in New York; a presentation of "For Distin- 
guished Service, " a play performed by members of the 
Dramatic Department; and a reading of "The Royal 
Family, " also presented by the Dramatics Department. 
Special mention is made of the colonial tea the ladies 
served on February 12. 10 

Although the Women's Club was not, at the time, 
inclined to give any more attention to its function as 
midwife at the birth of the CLTP than that small service 
merited, the possibility exists that the birth might have 
been delayed indefinitely if the executive board of the 
club had not, on July 26, 1929, voted to establish the 
Dramatic Department for their forthcoming season. 
Mrs. Rudolph J. Hofmann, then the president-elect of 
the club and destined to become an especially dynamic 
president of the CLTP in 1949, probably introduced the 
idea, certainly supported it, and then entrusted the new 
department to her good friend, Agnes O'Mahoney. The 
choice was fortuitious, as the events of the meeting on 
February 12 were to prove. 

The flavor of that meeting can best be savored by 
recalling the minutes recorded by Miss Edith K. O. 
Clark, a woman whose prior accomplishments included 
having been elected Wyoming's Superintendent of 
Public Instruction in 1914: 

Wednesday, February 12th 


At 8 p.m. approximately twenty-five persons met in the 

Women's Club Room of the Carnegie Library to discuss the 

possibilities of the forming of a Little Theatre organization 

in Cheyenne. 

Mr. William DeVere nominated Mrs. J. C. O'Mahoney 
to act as temporary chairman. Mrs. Rudolph Hofmann 
proposed the name of Edith K. O. Clark for temporary sec- 
retary. These two officers were unanimously elected. 

The Chairman then called upon a number of persons 
present to express their views upon the Little Theatre 

Mr. DeVere outlined the activity as it is functioning in 
various other communities similar in size to Cheyenne. 

Mr. Barrie O'Daniel told of his association with similar 
organizations elsewhere, notably the Pasadena Players, and 
offered his services gratuitously, to the project if launched 
in Cheyenne at this time. 

Mr. Harold Vaughn, Mr. Remo Cortesi, Mr. Don H. 
Wageman, Mr. George Bloomquist, Mr. Arthur Bachman 
were called upon and spoke briefly and enthusiastically, 
emphasizing the fine opportunity for a Little Theatre in 

Mrs. Fred Boice spoke for the movement, as did Mrs. 
Rudolph Hofmann, President of the Women's Club. 

Miss Madelyn Seabright told in a most interesting way of 
the success of a similar organization with which she had 
been identified in Casper, Wyoming. 

Mr. DeVere then outlined the basic structure necessary 
for the formal organization of a Little Theatre group, and 
proposed the following names of persons to constitute the 
first board of managers, each nominee to represent one of 
the civic clubs which should encourage the movement: 
For the Women's Club Mrs. J. C. O'Mahoney 
" Rotary " —Harold L. Vaughn 
" Lions Frederic H. Porter 

" American Legion Luncheon Club Craig 

" Elks Club D. B. Simpson 

" Music Study Club Mrs. Dave M. Thompson 
' Business and Professional Women's Club 
Miss Madelyn Seabright 

" Cheyenne Teachers Ass'n - Miss Martha 
" " Y. W. C. A. Membership- Edith K. O. Clark 

After some discussion, William DeVere's name was 
added to the list, and at the meeting the following week 
Mrs. Daze Bristol and Mrs. John L. Pierce were added to 
make a total of twelve. These three directors represented 
the Kiwanis Club, the Altrusa Club, and the Fort War- 
ren Study Club, respectively. 

The first ten directors were elected by acclamation, 
and what had been advertised as a gathering to deter- 
mine the feasibility of a venture turned into a complete 
victory for those who had engineered it. Although Miss 
Clark's notes report only the general sense of what was 
said, it is obvious that Agnes O'Mahoney, William 
DeVere, and Barrie O'Daniels had rehearsed the parts 
they played. DeVere put O'Mahoney in the chair, and 
she then called upon the two most articulate men at the 
meeting DeVere and O'Daniels because she knew 
they would set the positive tone the three of them hoped 
would prevail. Others, some already favorably disposed 
and some warmed to the idea by the eloquence of the 
first speakers, added their support. Then, without 
waiting to give anyone an opportunity to change his 
mind, DeVere nominated nearly an entire slate of direc- 
tors, knowing quite well that someone else would nomi- 
nate him. Mrs. Boice then made a motion that a 
unanimous ballot be cast for the nominees. O'Daniels 
seconded the motion; when it was carried, the CLIP 
took the final giant step from dream to reality. 

The remainder of that first meeting was devoted to 
what Miss Clark called "informal discussion of tentative 
plans for the future." The Tribune-Leader's report of 
the meeting, published on Friday the 14th, reveals much 
of what transpired during that discussion: 

The Little Theatre will be run, never for commercial 
purposes, but always with the special subject of encourag- 
ing better plays, and to stimulate interest in them it was 

Plays of the best sort are to be studied. All branches of 
the theatrical business are to be delved into exhaustively. 
This will include the art of makeup, scenery and proper- 
ties: costuming, directing and other phases of the theatrical 
enterprise. The movement is broad in scope, and all people 
in the city, who are interested in any way, are being invited 
to become members of the Little Theatre club. Not only 
are Cheyenneites being urged to join, but all officers and 
ladies of Fort Francis E. Warren are included in the invita- 

This basic philosophy has prevailed throughout the 
nearly fifty-year history of the CLTP insofar as the selec- 
tion, casting, preparation, and performance of regular 
season plays has been concerned. Although directors 
and other specialists have occasionally been paid for 
their services, the vast majority of the thousands who 
have participated have been volunteers who have come 
from all segments of the city and the adjacent military 

Elizabeth Hofmann 

William F. "Bill" DeVere in the April, 1949, 
production, "The Winslow Boy. " 

W\> NHH1 **» I v 

In the thirties, socially prominent people, both men 
and women, considered it their civic duty to participate 
in CLTP activities; it became the thing to do. More than 
one budding socialite was heartbroken to discover her 
talents were too meager to earn her a part in a CLTP 
production. More often than not, however, something 
was found for everyone, if not on stage, then backstage 
or in the box office. In truth, most of the jobs were filled 
by the well-to-do or the well educated in the early years, 
not because anyone was excluded, but because these 
were the people who wanted to participate. As late as 
1942 the program for the CLTP production of Clare 
Booth Luce's "The Women" read like the local social 

The attractiveness of the little theatre idea in early 
1930 is more easily understood when the alternatives 
that were available are considered. Most of the 
organizers of the CLTP were able to vividly recall the 
road shows that had, only a few years before, made 
regular stops in Cheyenne, and some of these same peo- 
ple had grown up or attended college in eastern cities 
where they had been accustomed to even more live 

Throughout the entire autumn of 1929, these peo- 
ple had been virtually starved, and it was not until the 
arrival of Sir Harry Lauder, a Scottish comedian, for a 
one night stand on December 14 that they were offered 
any relief. Sir Harry was accompanied by Kharum, a 
Persian pianist; Don Julian, a caricaturist; the Arnaut 
Brothers in "Two Loving Birds;" and Elmira Lane, a 
coloratura soprano. For those who insisted on live enter- 
tainment, there was nothing else. 

Of course there were plenty of movies, especially the 
new talkies. Will Rogers appeared at the Lincoln in his 
talking debut, "They Had to See Paris," on October 17, 
Joan Crawford's first talker, "Untamed," opened at the 
same theatre just before Christmas; and George Jessel 
starred in "Love, Live and Laugh" at the Princess begin- 
ning on January 7. Other movies played at the Atlas un- 
til the first of the year when it was closed for remodeling 
by its new managers, a group that also had gained con- 
trol of the Capitol Avenue Theatre; representatives of 
the company assured interviewers from the Tribune- 
Leader on January 2 that both theatres would be 
reopened on February 14 after installation of the latest 
talking equipment. As the entertainment pages from 
that season are reviewed, one realizes why the offerings 
failed to interest the more enlightened and sophisticated 
segments of Cheyenne society. 

These were the ones who so readily supported the lit- 
tle theatre movement in Cheyenne. A week later they 
and others gathered once again at the Carnegie Library 
to begin work. At 7:30 p.m. the Board of Directors met 
and set a precedent that is still followed today. They 
elected from among themselves a president, Agnes 
O'Mahoney; a vice-president, Frederic H. Porter; a 

secretary, Edith K. O. Clark; and a treasurer, David B. 
Simpson. At 8:00 p.m. the meeting of the general mem- 
bership was called to order, and Mrs. O'Mahoney an- 
nounced the results of the election. 

Then DeVere presented a tentative draft of the by- 
laws proposed for adoption. The entire membership 
participated in the discussion as these were read a sec- 
tion at a time. Finally, after agreed-upon changes had 
been incorporated, the by-laws were adopted. These by- 
laws, among other things, provided for the appointment 
of a producing director who might or might not be 
salaried, and for the nomination and election of direc- 
tors by the general membership. A member was defined 
as anyone who had paid his annual dues, later fixed at 
$3 per fiscal year, with each member entitled to two 
seats for each production. In 1932 the price was reduced 
to $2 per year, but the member was then entitled to only 
one seat for each production. 

Having progressed so far as to adopt a set of by-laws, 
the members were in need of a name for their club. This 
became the next order of business when Craig Lewis 
proposed the organization be known as the Cheyenne 
Little Theatre Players. After being seconded by 
O'Daniels, the motion carried without discussion. 

The next significant policy decision, probably the 
most important decision made during the first years of 
the CLTP's life, evolved almost unnoticed out of a 
discussion soon after the general agreement about a 

A very lively discussion followed relative to the manner 
of financing the early efforts of the C.L.T.P. Decided dif- 
ferences of opinion were freely expressed, some advocating 
the asking of contributions from the various organizations 
represented upon the Board of Directors, or from individ- 
uals interested in the Little Theatre Movement. Others 
decried this policy and urged that a nominal membership 
fee be asked of all enrolling. 

It was finally moved by Mr. Porter, seconded by Mrs. 
Bristol that the matter of finances be left to the Board of 
Directors. Motion carried. 

This policy — that financial decisions be left to the 
Board of Directors — still prevails, even though it was not 
incorporated into the by-laws that had been adopted 
earlier on that same evening. It was perhaps this policy, 
more than any other, that enabled the CLTP to survive 
the hard times they were to confront in the middle thir- 
ties, and to embark on their building programs subse- 
quent to World War II. 

Had the Board not been empowered to act vigorous- 
ly and with dispatch, risks that were taken by strong and 
imaginative leaders might have been overruled or too 
long delayed by more reluctant members of the organ- 
ization. The policy has tended to develop a paternalistic 
Board of Directors, but it is with this kind of board that 
the CLTP has survived while other community theatre 
organizations, perhaps more democratic, have ceased to 

Another policy, not nearly as apparent, grew out of 
the same basic decision. Once the Board of Directors 
was empowered to decide how the first activities and 
productions were to be financed, they decided to 
establish membership dues rather than solicit donations 
from other organizations or wealthy individuals; thus, 
the idea became fixed that donations would never be 
solicited to support theatrical productions. After World 
War II fund drives were used to raise money for specific 
building projects, but this was after the CLTP had 
established its reputation as an efficient and productive 
member of the community. In more recent years, the 
organization has accepted occasional unsolicited gifts 
from individuals, usually long-time friends, to enhance 
CLTP properties. 

When the Executive Board met for the second time, 
on February 26, DeVere proposed that annual member- 
ship dues be established. The motion carried, and the 
earlier suggestion that funds be solicited from sponsors 
was dropped. A few minutes later their action was 
reported to the general membership, and the member- 
ship endorsed the action of the board. The remainder of 
the business meeting was devoted to an announcement 
by Mrs. O'Mahoney that a play reading committee had 
been appointed and a discussion of its duties. 

The committee was to select plays suitable for 
readings with an eye to the possibility of future produc- 
tion. Readers would be drawn from among the member- 
ship, and dramatic readings would be given during the 
weekly workshops that were scheduled to follow the 
business meetings. Since Mrs. O'Mahoney had obviously 
instructed the new committee members well in advance 
of the twenty-sixth, they were prepared to read three 
plays that same evening. One of these, "Meet the 
Missus, " was later selected to be one of the three one-act 
plays presented by the CLTP in their first public perfor- 
mance on May 7, 1930. 

The players had found an evening format that 
would be followed throughout the thirties — an Ex- 
ecutive Board meeting at 7:30, a business meeting of the 
general membership at 8:00, and a workshop, to fre- 
quently include readings, after necessary business was 
concluded. The purpose of these workshops was two- 
fold, to entertain and to instruct. The leaders realized 
their organization was blessed with some very talented 
people, but they also knew it would have to achieve 
greater depth if it was to survive its infancy. New talent 
would have to be developed. 

Within the first several weeks a number of star per- 
formers emerged, performers whose lectures were enter- 
taining and whose entertainments were instructional. 
Not surprisingly, this group included those individuals 
who would, throughout the thirties and beyond, make 
the most significant contributions to the CLTP. 

One of these personalities, Barrie O'Daniels, who 
went on to other theatrical endeavors after World War 

II, was contacted by letter at his retirement home on the 
Island of Cozumel, off Yucatan in the Gulf of Mexico, 
and asked if he would provide a recording of his 
memories of the thirties. His response on February 3, 
1979 as he approached his seventy-fifth birthday is 
especially enlightening and to the point: 

I well recall that Mrs. O'Mahoney was the sparkplug in 
those days. And when we had that meeting in Cheyenne's 
Carnegie Library, the representatives of the various service 
groups and the Women's Club were there. I well recall the 
enthusiasm — particularly Mrs. O'Mahoney was so for it. 
Now you ask was it because of a need for cultural improve- 
ment in Cheyenne? Well. I can tell you this: Cheyenne had 
been a cultural Sahara for a number of years; occasionally a 
road company would come in and play a one-night stand or 
some third-rate concert artist would make an appearance 
in the high school auditorium. That was about it. No, it 
was not any desire on my part to improve the culture of 
Cheyenne; I was a very selfish bastard; it was a desire on my 
part to show off. You see, Lou, I'd had some five or six 
years in the theatre by this time and I was home because I 
was broke, and I wanted some place to eat. 

I'd just finished a show— after I finished my shows I 
didn't save any money I'd usually come home for awhile 
until I got another one — and they were few and far be- 
tween in those days. So it was vanity on my part as it was on 
William DeVere's Bill's. He was as big a ham as I was. 
And when we discussed this project it was with the hopes we 
could show off. 

Now Mrs. O'Mahoney viewed it from purely a cultural 
viewpoint for Cheyenne I must say that. She was a won- 
derful woman and was the sparkplug at the beginning of 
the creation of Little Theatre. You know, I think, when 
this thing started we were the luckiest people in the 
world to have a group of sponsors and people interested 
in it who would help, who just didn't talk — they did things! 
You take Bunk Porter, Frederic Hutchinson Porter, the 
fine architect and his assistant, Walt Bradley. The sets they 
did were magnificent. I don't think any Little Theatre in 
the country came up with better sets than they did on spit 
and strength. 

. . . Oh, those were great days. I think they started off 
with a couple of one-act plays, I believe. Fortunately I had 
a job in California; when I came back about a half year 
later, Little Theatre was under its full swing. 

Now Frances Mentzer, who is now Mrs. Paul Reiser, . . . 
was head of the Carnegie Library and gave us the upstairs 
to rehearse in, and Bill DeVere being very close to the 
Masonic order, being a good Mason, acquired the use of a 
stage at the Masonic Temple. Very adequate, very good 
one. And his wife, Louise God bless her — she did the 
make-up for the Little Theatre group for a number of 
years, and she was very talented in that particular line. 

Oh, I tell you, some of those sets! I remember one set for 
a play called Death Takes a Holiday [1932] that Bunk 
Porter did that compared to the New York one in every 
respect. Bunk made columns out of tar paper and lit them 
properly, and they absolutely looked like black marble. 
And then the other parts of his sets were so exquisite, so 
well done. ... He made the Little Theatre as far as I was 

I must tell you that the talent we got in Cheyenne was 
exceptional. And Ft. Warren the officers and their wives 
out there contributed a great deal of talent to the success 

Barrie O'Daniels 

of the Little Theatre over a period of years. They were just 
wonderful. . . . The things they did were remarkable. 

I want to go back, mentioning Bill DeVere again; Bill 
was an excellent actor, and a very brilliant director, and at 
the beginning of the Little Theatre, first ten, twelve, four- 
teen years, he was the backbone. Of course he wanted to 
see himself to have himself in many of his shows. . . . 
Why not? He had the talent; people loved him. But his con- 
tribution is, to me. one of the most significant ones of all in 
the beginning of the Little Theatre. 

. . . Before World War II, I think Little Theatre was 
very active because the people of Cheyenne loved it. They 
existed for the benefit of the public as well as themselves. 
. . . [The CLTP] seems to have the knack of acquiring an 
individual who will get in there and really do something for 
the plays a good director or a good actor or good manage- 
ment. I'm very proud of the fact that, in my youth, I had 
something to do with that great organization. 

Of all those recalled by Barrie O'Daniels, he quite 
naturally chose to speak first of Agnes O'Mahoney, the 
single individual almost universally remembered by 
those immediately involved as the principal founder of 
the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players. But Barrie and 
those others who so vividly remember the first months 
and years of effort, and the woman who fired their en- 
thusiasm, are an aging and a diminishing minority. In- 
deed, if those presently involved with the CLTP are 
familiar with the name O'Mahoney, it is most probably 
because they remember Agnes' husband, Joseph C. 
O'Mahoney, the fellow whose political future looked so 
bleak in those early months of 1930. 

Joe O'Mahoney was active in Wyoming and national 
politics for over forty years, and he served the people of 
Wyoming in the United States Senate almost contin- 
uously from 1933 to 1960. His story has, of course, been 
told elsewhere, but it is significant to note that he was a 
native of Massachusetts, the son of an Irish immigrant. 
In spite of numerous difficulties he had nearly com- 
pleted the requirements for a pre-law degree at Colum- 
bia University when he was compelled to leave school 
and travel with a tubercular brother to the healing fresh 
air of the Rockies. 

Scant weeks prior to this forced departure, he had 
met and been smitten by Agnes. Five years later, after 
establishing himself as a journalist with the Boulder 
Herald, he returned to Massachusetts, married Agnes 
and brought her to Boulder where she immediately 
entered the University of Colorado Law School. Three 
years later, in 1916, Joe accepted a position as city editor 
on Governor John Kendrick's Cheyenne State Leader. 
Thus it was that Agnes Veronica O'Leary O'Mahoney, a 
self-assured young woman of thirty, arrived in Chey- 

Ruth Harrington Loomis, a Cheyenne native who 
was also active in the CLTP in the thirties, was still in 
high school when the O'Mahoneys arrived, but she re- 
members with remarkable clarity how they were re- 
ceived by the socially prominent and well-educated peo- 
ple of the city, and how they soon found their closest 
friends among a group of articulate Democrats who in- 
cluded the John B. Kendricks, the William B. Rosses, 
the Tracy McCrakens, and others who enjoyed spirited 
and wide-ranging conversation. Although the O'Ma- 
honeys were just starting out in Cheyenne, they were 
considered a welcome addition to any gathering. 

"Broadway in Cow Country" 

will be concluded in the 

next issue of Annals. 

1. The properties include the Little Theatre Playhouse at 2706 
Pershing Blvd. and the Atlas Theatre at 211 W. 16th St. An ap- 
praisal was accomplished during March, 1979, while the Atlas 
was being renovated. Now that the work has been completed, 
the total value of properties has almost certainly increased. 

2. All of the character sketches included in this history are based 
upon information developed in interviews with the individuals 
concerned or with people who were close friends or associates of 
the individuals. Between October, 1978, and July, 1979, I inter- 
viewed Grace Porter, Marian (Cally) Milstead, Bard Ferrall, 
George and Lucille Guy, Daze Bristol, May Mclnerney, 
Katherine Halverson, Meda Carley Walker, Maurine Carley, 
Elizabeth Hofmann, Bill and Alice Fairchild, Mrs. Tracy Mc- 
Craken, Ruth Loomis, William DeVere, Jr., Chuck Anderson 
and Barrie O'Daniels. 

3. Thomas R. Ninneman, "Wyoming's Senator Joseph C. O'Ma- 
honey, " Annals of Wyoming, Fall, 1977, pp. 199-201 and fn 31, 
p. 200. 

4. I interviewed Daze Bristol, a woman who has become a Chey- 
enne institution and whose achievements include having con- 

ceived seven historic floats for the Cheyenne Frontier Days 
parade, on January 6, 1979, as she approached her 10 1st birth- 
day. The dancers who appear on one of these floats regularly 
rehearse under her supervision. Mrs. Bristol recalls being intro- 
duced to William DeVere when he was a chorus man in "Pink 
Lady," a New York production he was working in with her 
brother, John McCabe. 

5. I am especially indebted to Mrs. Bristol for her account of the 
card party, an event that has escaped the attention of other his- 
torians. The historical oversight was probably intended by the 
other participants, since none of them made any effort to 
publicize the strategies formulated that evening. 

6. The Tribune-Leader society pages included many items that 
support my historical interpretation. Regular notices of the fort- 
nightly activities of the Dramatic Department appeared 
throughout the fall, winter, and spring of 1929-1930. Once the 
Little Theatre movement was launched, the Department, with 
Mrs. O'Mahoney still in the chair, continued to enjoy programs 
separate and distinct from what was being done by the CLTP. 
On January 22, 1930, a lead item reported that Daze Bristol had 
returned on the 20th from a month -long trip to New York and 
other eastern cities, thus substantiating her recollection that the 
party had taken place in the latter weeks of January. 

7. A similar but less detailed notice appeared on the society page of 
the Tribune-Leader on February 8, 1930. 

8. The "few enthusiastic supporters" quite possibly included Miss 
Madelyn Seabright, Edith K. O. Clark, Frederic (Bunk) Porter, 
Harold Vaughn, and William DeVere, since they were later 
listed as representatives of the Business and Professional 
Women's Club, the YWCA, the Lions, the Rotary Club and the 
Kiwanis Club, respectively, on the First Board of Directors of the 
CLTP, and since these clubs were invited to send representatives 
to the Saturday afternoon meeting. It is also probable that Mrs. 
O'Mahoney, Mrs. Hofmann, O'Daniels and Mrs. Bristol attend- 
ed this meeting. 

9. Tribune-Leader, February 12, 1930. Many individuals who are 
presently active in the CLTP, including a few who actually at- 
tended this meeting, believe it occurred in late 1929 or January. 

10. My search of the records of the Women's Club, presently held by 
the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Depart- 
ment, and of local papers published in late 1929 and early 1930 
was prompted by remarks made by Frances Mentzer Reiser in a 
brief history of the CLTP that was included in the Silver An- 
niversary souvenir program on the occasion of a presentation of 
"The Torch Bearers," on September 28, 1955: "Away back in 
the fall of 1929, Mr. William DeVere and Mr. Barrie O'Daniels 
met with the officers of the Cheyenne's Woman's Club to discuss 
the formation of a Little Theatre in Cheyenne. The resulting 
plans were presented to the members of the Woman's Club by 
Mrs. R. J. Hofmann, President, and Mrs. J. C. O'Mahoney. 
Vice-President. The Club voted to sponsor such an organiza- 
tion, as they felt there was a need in this city for such a cultural 
and entertaining project." I was, therefore, quite surprised to 
discover no references to the formation or existence of a Little 
Theatre group in any newspaper prior to the publication of the 
item in the Wyoming Eagle on February 7, 1930, or in any 
records of the Women's Club prior to April 2, 1930. On the lat- 
ter date, the Women's Club executive board voted to give the 
$20 remaining in the Dramatic Department's allotment for the 
1929-1930 season to the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players. Since 
the recording secretary, Ruth Benton, meticulously recorded all 
significant business transacted by the executive board and at 
meetings of the general membership, I believe it highly unlikely 
that either of these assemblies evei formally voted to sponsor the 




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By Ralph Greenstreet 



It was the most fascinating 
white cloud I had ever seen, like a 
white sheet about a mile wide, just 
peeping over a distant ridge to the 
south. As I watched, spellbound, 
the cloud slowly climbed higher 
into the clear blue sky. Had I 
recognized it for what it really 
was, I'd have gotten out of there. 

I had ridden a freight into 
Lander, Wyoming, looking for 
work, and went into Oswald and 
Reeds store that day to ask about 
ranch work. 

"How would you like a job 

herding sheep?" a friendly clerk 

asked me. "I've never herded 

\ sheep," I replied, startled. "But 

I'm sure willing to give it a try." 
"Stick around," he said. "I think I 
can fix you up." 

• - 

1 1 

Presently a man about thirty years old and built like 
a heavyweight wrestler approached me. He was a plea- 
sant fellow whom I instantly liked. 

"I hear ye are looking fer a job herding sheep?" he 
said with a smile. "Well, I'm sure needing a job," I 
replied, "but I've never herded sheep." "There ain't 
much to it this time of year," he said. "I can stay with ye 
a spell till ye get the hang of it." He put out his hand as 
we exchanged introductions. 

We were soon seated in his car and driving away 
from the town with the slogan, "Where Rails End, And 
Trails Begin." 

Needless to say I was overjoyed and a bit excited, 
too, with my new job. I suddenly realized that I had al- 
ways wanted to be out there. Crowded cities, unemploy- 
ment, and small wages were for the birds. 

Bill's voice startled me. "Can ye cook?" "Yes," I 
replied. "I've batched a little. I can get by." 

"Good," he said, "did ye ever bake sourdough bread 
in a Dutch oven?" "No," I laughed. "But I hope you 
won't mind teaching me." "There ain't much to it," he 
replied. "Jim, my older brother and I both had it all to 
learn, when we came to this country from Scotland." 

The miles passed and presently we turned off on a 
side road and began climbing. "Is your camp in the 
timber, Bill?" I asked. "No, it's in sagebrush country 
such as this. We're camped near the Continental Divide; 
we'll soon be there." 

We kept climbing and then suddenly I spied the 
sheep camp in a beautiful grove of green -leafed, white- 
trunk aspens. I was startled to note that it was a covered 
wagon rather than a tent. Smoke was rolling peacefully 
from the stove pipe. 

A man appeared in the door as we drove up and 
parked. It was Jim, Bill's older brother. As we climbed 
out of the car Jim stepped down from the wagon with 
outstretched hand and a welcome grin on his face as Bill 
introduced us. Jim, I noticed, was slender and wiry. And 
then I was introduced to "Shep," the big, friendly 
yellow-coated sheep dog. 

It was at the noon hour and we all climbed into the 
wagon to take on a feed. As we entered, I noticed the big 
cook stove just inside and to the right of the door. Across 
from it was a bench and folding table. At the far end 
was a comfortable appearing wide bed, about two feet 
above the floor. Beneath the bed at each end were boxes 
of groceries. In the space between was a big fluffy sheep 
pelt, Shep's bed. Above the bed was a shelf and small 

On that twenty-second day of July, 1922, I took on 
my first job herding sheep. I was twenty years old. 

After we had finished our meal, Jim shook hands 
with me and, climbing into the car, he headed for the 
ranch near Lander. He had been doing the herding 
while Bill looked for a herder in town. Their steady 
herder had quit. 

About five o'clock that evening Bill and I, and Shep, 
strolled down the creek to where Jim had left the sheep. 
They were just beginning to leave the shade alongside 
the creek. It looked to me like there must have been a 
million of them, but Bill said there were only a little over 
two thousand, counting the lambs. The buffalo grass 
was plentiful, and the sheep were soon spread out in a 
big half-moon shape, their bells tinkling musically as 
they took on their evening feed. 

Bill and I were startled at a strange hissing sound 
from overhead. As we looked up, we spied an eagle in a 
powerdive with folded wings. We watched spellbound as 
it crashed into a clump of sagebrush at full speed about 
a hundred yards away. 

"What in hell caused him to do that, Bill? I cried 
out. "I don't know," he replied excitedly. "Let's have a 
look." As we drew near, the eagle suddenly shot up and 
went into a slow spiral overhead. We hurried on to the 
clump of sagebrush not knowing what to expect. Upon 
arrival we stared, horrified. There before us on a nest of 
eggs was a sagehen. She had a hole in her back as 
though she'd been shot with a 30-30 rifle. 

"Well, I guess this is what's known as life in the 
raw," I grimly commented. "Yes, or survival of the fit- 
test," said Bill. 

Bill told me I could swing the sheep around and bed 
them at camp that night. He then headed back to the 
wagon. Bill hadn't been gone long when I became ex- 
cited at the sight of a coyote. Shep didn't see it, however, 
and I pointed my finger and yelled "Sic 'em!" 

The author, Ralph Greenstreet, at the time he was herd- 
ing sheep in the Red Desert country. 

When Shep sighted the coyote he rushed for it at full 
speed, and for a moment I thought he would catch it. 
But, just then to my horror, two more coyotes suddenly 
materialized behind Shep and gave chase. "Oh no," I 
moaned, and ran as fast as I could go, but the big yellow 
dog and the one coyote disappeared over a low ridge, 
with the other two behind Shep in hot pursuit. 

I ran on to the top of the ridge where I had to stop 
and catch my wind. There was nothing in sight, and I 
listened for Shep's death cry. "They've already killed 
him," I thought. I finally turned back to my sheep, de- 
jected and sad. I dreaded the thought of facing Bill. 

I kept glancing hopefully towards the ridge, but 
there was no sign of Shep. An hour went by and I was 
about to start around my sheep when a flash caught my 
eye. It was Shep, and letting out a shout of joy I ran to 
meet him. Gathering him up in my arms, I vowed I'd 
never again yell "Sic 'em." 

Jim returned a few days later and the two friendly 
Scotsmen rode away. I was left alone out there. Well, 
not exactly alone. I had Shep, and a band of sheep. 

It was Bill's practice to return every week or so to 
move my camp onto fresh feed. As the warm summer 
months slowly passed, I became better and better ex- 
perienced as a summertime herder. I felt carefree and 
confident. Little did I dream that I was to be caught in a 
terrifying ordeal. 

It was about the first of September when Bill moved 
me down off of the slopes of the Continental Divide and 
out onto the Red Desert. He used a team of horses to 
move my covered wagon with a box wagon, known as 
the supply wagon, trailing behind. 

About the middle of September, Jim returned to 
camp. We corraled the sheep and separated the lambs 
from the ewes for the lamb buyer. Bill then moved me 
farther out on the Red Desert. 

"This is where ye will winter," he said. "There will 
be thousands of sheep wintering on the Red Desert. But 
there's lots of room." 

Bill then headed for the ranch in the supply wagon, 
and I patted old Shep on the head and hiked after the 

According to my time keeping, it was on October 24 
that my sheep had to be prodded all the way into the 
bedground back of the covered wagon. They acted 
strangely and I didn't know why. Usually they lined out 
for the bedground when within a quarter of a mile of it, 
but this time it was nearly dark before I finally arrived at 
camp. I had feared to leave them to come on in by 
themselves. I was afraid the coyotes would be into them 
and do some killing. After supper that night, I stepped 
down out of the wagon before going to bed and the stars 
claimed my attention. They were so hazy and dim I 
could barely see them. 

I awoke as usual next morning, and crawling out of 
bed, I started the fire in the big cookstove. I crawled 

back into bed to wait for the wagon to warm up to where 
it was comfortable. Then I got up and dressed. As I 
opened the door to let Shep out, I went rigid at the sight 
before me. The snow appeared to be at least a foot deep 
and was still coming down in big flakes. The strange 
behavior of my sheep the evening before and the hazy 
appearance of the stars suddenly became meaningful. 

I closed the door and climbed onto my bed in the 
rear of the wagon. I peered out through the small win- 
dow and was thankful to note that my sheep were in the 
bedground. They were all on their feet, but appeared 
calm and content. 

I turned back to the stove and fixed my breakfast 
with a worried mind. When it was over, I opened the 
door and was pleasantly surprised to note it had stopped 
snowing and the sun was coming up. 

I hurried out to the woodpile, and digging some 
juniper limbs out of the knee-deep snow I soon made the 
chips fly. By the time I had carried a few armloads into 
the wagon, I saw that the sheep were leaving the 
bedground. I trudged after them, wishing I could head 
them for a haystack. With the feed all covered with snow 
I was afraid they'd starve. But my fears soon vanished 
for all of the sheep in the band had stopped and were 
busy pawing the snow back, ramming their heads down 
deep in the snow and coming up with their mouths full 
of buffalo grass. They'd been in snow before. 

The snow began to melt, and by noon it was less 
than a foot deep, but slushy underfoot. It was a 
miserable day, but a poor sheepherder knows not the 
meaning of Sundays or holidays. If ever there was a man 
who has earned the title of "unsung hero" it's the 
sheepherder of the Red Desert. 

Bill came a few days later and moved my camp still 
farther out on the desert, where the feed was plentiful. 
He explained that it was about seventy-five miles to the 
ranch, and that it took two days to get there with a team 
and wagon. He stayed overnight at his homestead cabin 
the first night out. 

It snowed more in November and the temperature 
dropped. I knew winter had set in. What I didn't know 
was how deep the snow would get. A glance at the calen- 
dar told me it was the first of December the morning I 
left camp in a snow storm with my sheep. It snowed all 
day. My sheep could barely wallow through it that eve- 
ning on the way back to camp, it was so deep. 

I climbed wearily into the wagon and started the fire 
in the cookstove. I prepared a hearty supper for myself 
and Shep. When the meal was over I stepped outside 
and went in above my knees, and the snow was still fall- 
ing. I was worried as I thought about the next day, I 
knew I might be snowed in and my sheep might starve to 
death on the bedground. But what could I do? I was 
alone and far from help. I climbed back into the wagon 
and poked more wood into the stove. Then I stretched 
out on top of the bed. 


Suddenly I shot bolt upright at the sound of human 
voices just outside the door. I leaped off the bed just as 
Shep shot from beneath it, wagging his tail. That could 
mean only one thing. It had to be Bill. Rushing forth, I 
excitedly opened the door, just as Bill was climbing up 
on the wagon tongue and double trees. Jim was hard on 
his heels. They were covered with snow but laughing 
merrily. "Can ye make room fer a couple pilgrims?" 
cried Bill. "We'll pay ye well," said Jim with his cap- 
tivating laugh. "We lost our way in the storm." 

"You fellows will never know how welcome you are," 
I said. "This kid was worried, I kid you not. My sheep 
could barely plow through it coming home. I'm afraid 
we're snowed in but good." "It's never so bad but what it 
could be worse," said Jim, the philosopher. 

I shook hands with them as they climbed into the 
wagon. "I didn't hear you drive up," I said. "And when 
you get thawed out I'll help you tend to your team." 
"We've already done it," said Bill. "They're unharnessed 
and we've hung the nosebags on 'em, as well as their 
warm blankets." 

"We stayed at Bill's homestead cabin last night," 
said Jim. "It's about half way to town." 

We sat up late that night visiting. Occasionally we'd 
peer out, hoping it had stopped snowing. About mid- 
night we blew out the lantern and all three of us climbed 
into the one bed. It was crowded, but there was no com- 

I hit the floor early the next morning, and after 
lighting the lantern, I opened the door and peered out. 

"How's the weather?" asked Jim. "Looks bad," I 
grimly replied. "It's just about stopped snowing, but it 
looks like it's been coming down all night." 

"Home on the range," said Jim in an attempt to 
bolster my sagging spirits. "It's never so bad but what it 
could be worse. Bill and me fetched a load of shelled 
corn last night. It'll keep them alive 'til the snow settles 
down, I hope." 

"Yes, and we sacked up some coal at a mining claim 
also," added Bill. "And we fetched a load of groceries 
fer our own bellies, too," chuckled Jim. "And I brought 
ye a couple letters. I forgot to give them to ye last night." 

"You fellows are to be praised," I sighed. After 
lighting the lantern, I started the fire in the big 
cookstove, and then crawled back into bed as usual to 
wait for the wagon to warm up. 

It was daylight by the time we'd finished our 
breakfast. Donning our warm sheepskin coats, and 
opening the door, we peered out. We were thankful to 
note it had stopped snowing. 

"Here goes," I laughed, and stepping out, I sank 
down waist deep in the soft snow. I broke trail around to 
the back of the wagon and noticed that the sheep were 
all on their feet. 


"I can see why they're not snowed under," I said. 
"Yes," said Bill. "They stay on their feet when it's snow- 
ing, or raining either, for that matter." 

We broke trail to the supply wagon parked close by 
and peeled the canvas cover back, exposing the contents 
within. This brought whinnies from the horses as they 
begged for their oats. Shouldering a sack of coal I head- 
ed back for the wagon, leaving Bill and Jim the chore of 
feeding the horses. 

It was the middle of the morning before the sheep 
began to stir, but about all they could do was mill 
around, as the snow was far too deep for them to wade 
out. I was glad that Bill and Jim were there. I admitted 
that it takes a little more than three or four months to be 
a sheepherder, but I was learning. 

Jim and Bill decided we should feed the sheep some 
corn. "It'll be wasted for the most part," said Jim, "but 
they'll get some of it." Whereupon we each shouldered a 
sack of shelled corn and waded in among the hungry 
sheep, each going in an opposite direction. We were 
hard put staying on our feet, and I learned to walk with 
my feet close together, lest the sheep get between my legs 
and upset me. That evening we fed them more corn, or 
perhaps I should say we wasted a few more sacks. 

The stars were all out bright and clear at bedtime. 
Jim peered out and gave me a chuckle by quoting a Scot- 
tish phrase which sounded something like " 'twa a braw 
bricht moonlicht nicht." 

Next day the sheep made no attempt to wade out of 
their prison. The snow in the bedground was well 
packed, and about the middle of the morning we fed 
them more corn. They found most of it this time and it 
gave me new hope. But when they still couldn't wade out 
on the third day, I sighed in despair. Their sides were so 
shrunken by this time that they appeared to have been 

"We're bound to get a break, sooner or later," 
predicted Bill. He was worried. "What we need is a 
chinook," said Jim. His good natured laughter was miss- 

Next morning I rolled out as usual, and after 
lighting the lantern and starting the fire, I opened the 
door to let Shep out and I followed him. As I stepped 
down into our trail I was startled to find it full of water, 
and slushy. When I climbed back into the wagon Jim 
asked me how it looked. "It's too dark to see very good," 
I replied, "but the snow is sure melting. There's water 
everywhere, and the wind is blowing." 

"Yippie!" yelled Jim. "It's the chinook I've been 
praying for." Leaping out of bed, the two Scotsmen hur- 
riedly dressed, and rushed to the door to peer out. "Yer 
sheep can get a bellyfull today," beamed Jim. "It's high 
time," I replied. "I was worried." "Ye wasn't the only 
one," laughed Bill. We enjoyed our breakfast that 
morning in our crowded quarters, well aware that we 
had weathered a crisis. 

Shortly after sunup, the sheep were wading the wet 
slushy snow in search of food. They looked like drowned 
rats, but my heart went out to them. They were busy as 
beavers as they filled their empty bellies. All they needed 
was a fighting chance. Their undaunted will to survive 
gave me new confidence. It was my belief that cattle 
would have perished, but not sheep. 

I guided them to higher ground, and as I topped a 
low ridge I glanced back and spied Jim and Bill heading 
back to the ranch in the supply wagon. I knew they were 
jubilant. When they had disappeared from view, I 
turned and gazed out across a vast panorama of white. 

By nightfall small patches of bare ground were 
showing at the foot of the sagebrush. But the gullies 
were full of water, which caused me to swing around to 
higher ground to reach camp. I didn't mind. It was 
much better than being snowed in. 

If the heavy snowfall and the warm chinook wind 
were sudden, so was the below zero weather that fol- 
lowed. Next morning I found the snow frozen so hard I 
didn't break through with a sack of shelled corn on my 
shoulder when I went to feed the sheep. 

I was proud of Shep, in the way he held the sheep 
back while I scattered the corn on top of the frozen 
snow. After they had gobbled it up and sunned them- 
selves for an hour or so, they began moving in search of 
buffalo grass. 

I trudged after them but it was so cold I could hard- 
ly breathe. I feared my lungs would become frost-bitten, 
so I turned back to the wagon with Jim's philosophy run- 
ning through my mind: "Necessity is the mother of in- 
vention. Idleness, the factor of crime." 

Grabbing a dishtowel, I cut eye holes in it, then tied 
it around my face and headed back after the sheep. For 
a moment I was proud of my invention, but only for a 
moment. I soon became aware that my moist breath was 
causing the towel to freeze solid as a board, and I could 
no longer breathe through it. I therefore had to discard 
it and be careful how I breathed. The cold spell lasted 
several days and the end of my nose froze and the skin 
peeled off. 

Bill came and said it dropped to forty-eight below at 
the ranch. "Keep yer eye peeled fer blizzards," he 
warned, "and don't get caught on the wrong side of 

6 ISO 





camp. But should ye get caught out in one, don't lay 
down and go to sleep or ye'll freeze to death. It's best ye 
keep moving." 

Bill stayed with me a couple of days for which I was 
thankful. And I learned that he and Jim had come from 
a small village in Scotland by the name of Ruthy Nor- 
man. He also mentioned Davy Town and Acterless. 

When Bill headed back to the ranch I patted Shep 
on the head and hiked after my sheep with a confident 
stride. I felt I could take anything the Red Desert had to 
offer. I had endured a snow blockade, and fifty below 
zero temperature. But what I hadn't endured was the 
terror that's created by a raging blizzard. 

By the middle of January the ground was covered 
with dry powdery snow. My sheep were spread out, graz- 
ing peacefully, with the sun shining brightly overhead. 
There was no wind; not a twig astir. I was seated com- 
fortably upon a sagebrush. Everything was under con- 

Suddenly I was startled at the sight of the most 
fascinating white cloud I had ever seen. It was just peep- 
ing over a distant high ridge, and was about a mile wide. 
As I watched, it slowly climbed higher and higher into 
the clear blue sky. Shep whined, and looked up at me 
imploringly. "What's the matter, pal?" I asked him. 
"Are you wanting to go home?" 

Had I understood what Shep was trying to tell me, 
I'd have rounded up my sheep and hit for the wagon. 
And I'd have had plenty of time, too. 

I resumed reading my magazine, completely 
unaware that I was sitting there in the path of a raging 
blizzard that was bearing down upon me with hurricane 
force; and little did I dream that I was to become lost, 
and not be able to find my campwagon, not even a 
shelter, throughout the long blizzard -swept night. 

I was in the act of turning another page in my 
magazine when Shep thrust his paw in my lap and 
whined. I lifted my eyes from my magazine and was ter- 

The "mobile home" of the sheepherder. 


rifled at what I saw. Leaping to my feet and thrusting 
my fingers into my mouth, I whistled at my sheep. Shep 
was like a yellow streak as he raced at full speed to the 
far corner, and we had the sheep rounded up in record 
time and headed for the wagon on the run. The wagon 
was between me and the oncoming blizzard. I was 
caught on the wrong side of camp, and knew I had 
recognized that blizzard too late. 

There was a depression in back of the wagon where 
I'd been bedding the sheep but I knew I'd never make it. 
I remembered what Bill had once said about how a 
band of sheep had been known to drift as far as twenty 
miles in one night when caught in a blizzard. 

I was within about a mile of camp when I met that 
blizzard head on. I was all but swept off my feet, so 
powerful was its blast. My sheep were hurled back like 
tumbleweeds and couldn't be stopped. I fell in behind 
them, hard put to keep them in sight. 

We were racing back across that bleak tableland 
when we crossed a small mound. I sent well -trained 
Shep racing up to the lead and managed to bend them 
in behind the mound and got them stopped. 

Shep and I were both winded. I dropped down on 
my knees in the scant windbreak behind the mound and 
Shep and I caught our breath. But the driving wind was 
piling the snow all over and around me, and I knew I'd 
soon have to move. 

"It'll soon blow itself out," I told myself hopefully, 
but I doubted my own predictions. I remained crouched 
down about an hour, but began to chill, and knew I'd 
have to move around or freeze. Lunging to my feet I 
lined out in a small circle, around and around the little 
mound and my sheep, beating my arms around my body 
at each step. 

It was now well after dark and I knew my sheep 
would stay put till morning. I lined out for the wagon 
and a hot meal. I'd hurry back to the sheep in the morn- 

I walked and walked while keeping the driving bliz- 
zard slightly to my left, with the wind striking me on the 
left cheek. That should guide me to the wagon. It 
shouldn't be much farther. I was wishing I knew how to 
tell Shep to lead me to it. 

I finally stopped to ponder my predicament. Should 
I turn back? And if I did, could I find the sheep? I 
decided to keep going and soon became aware of a 
change in the storm, when it began striking me in the 
back. I tried to convince myself that it was dying down, 
even though I was carried along at a fast pace. 

I wondered how many miles I had drifted, when I 
became aware of yet another change in the storm, and 
suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks, not wanting to 
believe the shocking truth, that the storm hadn't been 
changing at all and that I'd been walking in circles on 
the bleak table land. I was lost. For a moment I was 
filled with despair. At my wits end as I stood there lean- 

ing into the storm like a white ghost. That blizzard ap- 
peared to be watching me, hoping I'd fall, so it could 
add me to its snow-bound graveyard of the missing, I 
cried out in helpless rage. 

"Pour it on, damn ya! Do your worst! I ain't dead 
yet!" Turning, I began drifting with the storm in long 
purposeful strides. I was going to get out of its deadly 
clutches if I had to drift all the way to the Pacific Ocean. 
I hadn't gone far in my reckless pace, however, when I 
stumbled over a sheep and fell headlong across others. I 
was overjoyed, and leaping excitedly to my feet, I patted 
Shep, and told him we'd found the sheep. 

I crouched down, elated, even though I might freeze 
to death before morning. But I at least wasn't lost, and 
didn't believe I was too far from the wagon. My body 
would be found. 

I came erect and was nearly swept off my feet by the 
raging force of the storm, but I began walking around 
and around the little knoll, beating my arms around my 
body, with faithful Shep at my heels; but I was becom- 
ing exhausted. Either the storm must blow itself out or I 
was finished. 

Suddenly I fell forward on my face and was filled 
with panic. Lunging to my feet, I began beating my 
arms again, with Bill's warning ringing in my sub- 
conscious mind. "Don't go to sleep. It's best ye keep 

Nodding drowsily in spite of all that I could do, I 
was in a stupor, the like of which I'd never before 
known. I forced myself to keep walking, but I was out on 
my feet. Then I fell again, more asleep than awake. I 
wanted to just lie there and go sound asleep. But a spark 
of sanity in a small recess of my brain kept silently crying 
out, "Don't go to sleep!" 

I forced myself drowsily to my feet, the will to sur- 
vive at a low ebb. But I happened to glance skyward and 
a surge of power shot through my body with electrifying 
effect. Up there, high above me, was the most beautiful 
sight I'd ever seen. It was a star. As if by magic, the sky 
cleared, exposing twinkling sapphires by the millions. I 
was overjoyed. Grabbing old Shep up in my arms, I told 
him we'd won! 

The sky was beginning to pale in the east, and short- 
ly after daylight I stirred up my sheep and headed for 
the wagon which I could see in the distance. 

Jim and Bill had arrived in camp that night, and 
told me they had 'holed up' at the homestead during the 
blizzard. Did I tell them I was quitting? Not me! I was a 

The once numerous sheepcamps are few and far be- 
tween today. Their campfires have grown dim; but the 
striking image of the sheepcamp will never grow dim: 
and the sheepherder will long be remembered as a 
proud and carefree nomad. 

'Way round em, Shep! 



By Gerald M. Adams 

The period following World War I was a time of 
great expectations for Wyoming. The potential for avia- 
tion's growth was a part of that hopeful mood. Everyone 
believed there would be a great demand for air transpor- 
tation in the western states where few highway and 
railroad lines existed. Mountainous country and isolated 
areas seemed to offer a natural market for air transpor- 
tation, even though mountains made for dangerous fly- 
ing conditions. Where roads and railroads did exist, 
they still offered a slow means of travel. The airplane 
promised greater speed and a faster means of delivery 
for passengers and cargo. 

Cheyenne seemed a natural selection for early and 
permanent development as a major aviation center. Its 
assets included its designation as the state capital, good 
level terrain suitable for airplanes to land close to the 
city, a location midway between Omaha and Salt Lake 
City, and the east-west Union Pacific Railroad and the 
transcontinental Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30) both run- 
ning through town. 

The decade of the 1920s provided the pattern for 
aviation's growth. This significant era saw Cheyenne ex- 
pand into an important air transportation center that 
continued to grow during the 1930s. The feeling of 
promise for Cheyenne as a major air center turned into 
one of frustration immediately after World War II when 
the city's aviation activities began to decline. 

Cheyenne saw little aviation activity before 1920. 
There were occasional planes that flew in, but only for 
short periods to make exhibition flights and take paying 
passengers for rides. These planes operated from conve- 

nient pastures and were known as barnstormers. They 
visited county fairs and other such activities, usually 
during the summer. At times the community paid the 
barnstormer for the exhibition flights, but more often 
the barnstormer did it free to attract paying passengers. 
Few communities in the country were located at an 
altitude as high as Cheyenne's 6,300 feet. The rarified 
air at that altitude caused a shortness of breath in men 
and engines. Consequently most barnstormers bypassed 
Cheyenne. Early airplane engines did not perform well, 
if at all, at that high altitude, and it was not until the 
next generation of engines had been developed that 
planes could operate safely at Cheyenne's altitude. 

The earliest aviation event in Wyoming occurred in 
1911 when a Denver-built plane, flown by Colorado 
aviator George W. Thompson, appeared at Gillette's 
Fourth of July Celebration. 1 Cheyenne's first airplane 
flight occurred the next month on August 1 in Frontier 
Park when visiting pilot Charles Walsh flew his Curtiss- 
Farmann biplane to a height of one hundred feet in an 
exhibition flight that was reported to be a disappoint- 
ment for the paying spectators. Pilot Walsh was sched- 
uled to fly at 2 p.m. and made several attempts to get his 
plane into the air at that time. About 6 p.m., when the 
air was cooler and more dense, he finally got his plane 
off the ground and up to the one-hundred -foot altitude 
required for him to collect his fee. 2 A local Cheyenne 
man, Harold Brinker, was also scheduled to fly his 
homemade plane for the first time in the Frontier Park 
exhibition, but his plane was not ready and did not fly 
that day. 3 



Air Mail 


In 1920 the converted wartime 
DeHaviland (top) took 18Vi hours 
to deliver 400 pounds of air mail 
coast to coast through the "plane- 
rail" system. Because night flying 
was so hazardous the mail would 
be shipped overnight by train to 
awaiting DeHavilands that would 
carry it on the daytime leg. The 
aircraft was powered by a 400 
horsepower Liberty engine, cap- 
able of speeds of up to 100 miles 
per hour. No passengers were 
taken on the one-pilot craft. The 
Boeing Aircraft Company of Seat- 
tle built twenty-five B-40 planes 
(middle) in 1926 and 1927 for the 
Boeing Air Transport Company 
to fulfill their Chicago to San 
Francisco airmail contract. The 
B-40 was capable of carrying up 
to four passengers in the forward 
enclosed compartment. In 1929 
the Boeing B-80 Trimotor re- 
placed the B-40 on the Chicago to 
San Francisco airmail route. The 
B-80 (bottom) could carry four- 
teen passengers plus the airmail 
and cargo. The plane provided a 
significant advancement in pas- 
senger comfort and safety over the 
older and smaller B-40s. (Photos 
courtesy of Western History Re- 
search Center, University of Wyo- 


53 f Sv , ?td':'"* i =Sr-i£---~ 


Also in August, W. S. Adams of Riverton flew his 
new Benoist biplane for the first time on the occasion of 
the city's fifth anniversary celebration on August 15, 
1911. Adams had gone to St. Louis a few weeks before, 
bought the plane, taken a flying lesson, shipped the 
plane to Riverton, and got it unpacked just in time to 
participate in the celebration. People of Riverton were 
not surprised when businessman Adams brought the 
plane to town as he had also introduced the first 
automobile some seven years earlier. The flight thrilled 
the anniversary crowd, but unfortunately Adams 
crashed when trying to land in a pasture on the edge of 
town. He was not injured, nor was his plane badly 
damaged. He flew it the next day. 4 

Even though eight years had passed since the first 
airplane flight, the utility of the airplane was very 
limited in 1911. Short exhibition and one-passenger 
sight -seeing flights were about the extent of their 
capability. Yet American aviation had come a long way 
since 1903 when the Wright brothers had been forced to 
build their own engine in order to get one light enough 
for an airplane. Automobile engines were much too 
heavy for airplanes. The engine that Orville and Wilbur 
Wright built weighed only 200 pounds and developed a 
questionable twelve horsepower. Crude as it was, it sus- 
tained the worlds first powered man-carrying flight by 
Orville on December 17, 1903, and made the Wrights 
famous. 5 

By 1911, Orville and Wilbur Wright, and pioneer 
aviator Glenn Curtiss, were building planes and sending 
exhibition teams around the country to generate interest 
in aviation. Both the Wright and Curtiss teams visited 
Montana and Colorado during this early period, but it is 
not known if they visited the Cheyenne area. Airplane 
engines had improved since 1903 but were still not very 
effective at Cheyenne's high elevation. It would be 
natural for exhibition teams to avoid Cheyenne. 

To encourage aviation, many institutions and civic- 
minded individuals offered cash prizes for various 
achievements that extended aviation. The French 
aviator Louis Bleriot won the £1000 prize offered in 
1909 by the Daily Mail of London for being the first to 
fly the English Channel, Calais to Dover. He flew the 
distance of twenty-two miles in thirty-seven minutes 
which amounts to a ground speed of thirty-six miles per 
hour. Ble'riot was spared an engine failure enroute when 
a rain shower cooled the twenty-five horsepower Anzani 
engine and permitted him to reach Dover, completing 
his flight. 6 

The American aviator Cal Rodgers completed the 
first transcontinental flight, New York to Pasadena, in 
November, 1911. It took Rodgers forty-nine days, nine- 
teen more than allowed by the terms of the $50,000 prize 
offered by William Randolph Hearst. 

Pilot Rodgers had some twelve major crashes en- 
route and he finished with his leg in a cast. He had 

christened his specially-built Wright biplane the Vin 
Fizz, after a soft drink made by his Chicago sponsors. 
The plane had been almost completely rebuilt when he 
reached Pasadena. 7 Rodger's flight received a good deal 
of national publicity and a variety of airplanes tried to 
get airborne in the period that followed, many of them 
homemade. The casualty rate was high in pilots and 
planes, yet they were proving that it could be done. 

World War I generated a rapid growth in aviation 
technology. It gave direction and purpose to airplane 
design, and a professional basis to a flying career. By the 
end of the war, airplanes were being employed in the 
fighter, bomber, and observation/reconnaissance roles. 
England, France, and Germany developed the best com- 
bat airplanes, while the United States concentrated on 
training planes. The military had not encouraged avia- 
tion before the war. The first plane was not accepted by 
the Army until August, 1910, and then only after the 
Wrights had completely fulfilled all aspects of the very 
severe terms in their contract. 8 

During the war the Curtiss JN-4 (Jenny), powered by 
an OX -5 engine, was the best known trainer made in 
this country. The Jenny was used extensively by the 
military. The United States also built in great number 
(4346) the British-designed DeHaviland DH-4 all- 
purpose single-engine plane. 9 

The American built DH-4 came equipped with the 
best engine then available. It was the Liberty engine and 
it had twelve liquid-cooled cylinders that could develop 
400 horsepower and operate at an altitude of 10,000 
feet. Built in a variety of models, the DH-4 normally had 
two open cockpits with the pilot flying from the rear 
cockpit and the front cockpit equipped to hold a gun- 
ner/observer or two passengers. Few of the American- 
made DH-4s reached France before the war ended. 10 
Most American units in France flew French or British 
planes. America's leading ace, Captain Eddie Ricken- 
backer, and his famous 94th (Hat in the Ring) Aero 
Squadron, flew French-made fighters in combat. 11 

After World War I, surplus planes were dumped on 
the market at a fraction of their cost. DH-4s and Curtiss 
Jennies were the most numerous. In addition to barn- 
storming, the DH-4 served many purposes that included 
flying the airmail for several years. Many DH-4s were 
still in service in the mid-1 930s. 

The DH-4 appealed to the barnstormers because 
they were cheap and the government had a surplus of 
parts for them. The barnstormer's stock in trade includ- 
ed exhibition stunt flying, wing walking, parachute 
jumping, and almost anything that would attract a 
crowd. They hoped a few brave souls would go for a 
plane ride at prices that averaged about fifty cents a 
minute. Many famous pilots gained their early ex- 
perience this way. Charles Lindbergh barnstormed in 
Montana during the summer of 1922, alternating as 
wing walker, parachute jumper, and pilot. 12 Barnstorm- 

ing could be exciting, but hardly profitable as a com- 
mercial experience. 

Commercial aviation was born when, in January, 
1920, the Post Office Department announced plans to 
extend the airmail route from Chicago to San Francisco. 
The route was to follow the Union Pacific railroad line 
through southern Wyoming. That route offered the best 
access through the mountains for airplanes limited to 
altitudes of nine thousand to ten thousand feet. 

Cheyenne recognized an opportunity to become a 
stopping point and all the civic agencies organized their 
efforts toward that end. One condition imposed by the 
Air Mail Service was that sites picked had to agree to 
provide an acceptable airfield with hangars and other 
facilities. Cheyenne had no airfield and not much 
money to spend to acquire one. Congress was reluctant 
to appropriate money for the undertaking until they 
were more certain that aviation was capable of carrying 
mail. A Cheyenne editorial in January exhorted the city 
fathers to find an airfield quickly or else the mail planes 
would be roaring over while the people watched them 
pass by. According to the editorial writer, Cheyenne's 
golden opportunity had turned Denver green with 
envy. 13 

There existed a flat area of prairie on the eastern 
edge of Fort D. A. Russell that had been used by army 
and civilian planes. Its exact location is uncertain but 
long-time resident George Guy remembered planes 
landing in the early 1920s in an area between the fort 
and the city, about where the Wherry Housing complex 
now stands. 14 The landing area was first referred to in 
the press as O'Neil Field 15 and then Wales Field. 16 Fort 
Russell, in cooperation with the city, offered to enlarge 
and improve the landing area to meet Air Mail Service 
standards and insure Cheyenne's place on the route. It 
was also proposed that the field be designated a 
Cheyenne/Army municipal airfield for common 
usage. 17 

The request for such an authority was forwarded to 
the War Department with the full support of the Wyo- 
ming Congressional delegation and there was a feeling 
of optimism throughout the community that Cheyenne 
had been designated to become an important air center. 
It also appeared that the city would have an airfield by 
the September deadline and without spending any 

The Army enlarged the field at Fort Russell by 
removing a fence that ran along the eastern boundary of 
the military reservation and closing a road, now Hynds 
Boulevard, to the Country Club. 18 The problem of pro- 
viding an acceptable airfield for the Air Mail Service 
seemed to be settled. Plans were underway for construct- 
ing a hangar, and the grading of rocks and holes in the 
field had started. Then in late July a telegram from 
Secretary of War Newton Baker to Wyoming Senator 
Francis E. Warren halted all activity. 19 

The War Department would not agree to make the 
army field a municipal field; it felt that the land might 
be needed for other purposes. Time was now short. The 
transcontinental airmail service would begin operation 
between Chicago and San Francisco on September 8, 
1920. Cheyenne had only four weeks to find another 
location and prepare it as an airfield. 

Fortunately, the city owned a 200-acre plot of flat 
prairie land located a little more than a mile north of 
downtown Cheyenne. Immediately after the War De- 
partment telegram became known, work began on the 
newly-sited airfield. 20 The work was financed initially by 
the city, county, and Chamber of Commerce, with reim- 
bursement promised by the Post Office Department 
when money became available from Congress. The debt 
was paid by Congress in due time. 

In late July, 1920, the Air Mail Service started a two- 
plane "pathfinder" team over the proposed route to 
report on the acceptability of the transcontinental route 
and selected stations. Cheyenne and Rock Springs were 
two of the fifteen stations nationwide. Cheyenne had 
been named the division point between Omaha and Salt 
Lake City, with six planes and pilots assigned, plus nine 
employees for maintenance and administration. Two 
planes were to be in service between Cheyenne and Salt 
Lake City, two planes between Cheyenne and Omaha, 
and two planes to be held in reserve. 21 

The "pathfinder" planes landed at Fort D. A. 
Russell, inspected Cheyenne's new airfield still being 
prepared, and declared it acceptable. The visiting team 
included Bert Acosta, later a famous race pilot, and 
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker who was doing some scout- 
ing work for the Air Mail Service. 22 In early September 
most of the holes and ditches had been filled on the field 
and work was started on the hangar. The airfield could 
be considered ready for the first airmail planes sched- 
uled to start operating on September 8. 

In a modest way, general aviation had also arrived 
in Cheyenne. A single engine Curtiss Oriole biplane ar- 
rived in June, the property of local motorcycle dealer 
Reed Hollister. 23 Hollister was not a pilot so he hired 
British war ace, Captain C. A. McKenzie, who came 
from the East Coast, to fly the Oriole for Hollister. 

The arrival of this plane, in Cheyenne's view, put 
the city even more prominently on the flying map. The 
Oriole could carry two passengers in the front open 
cockpit and the pilot in the rear cockpit. Hollister 
named his one-plane operation the Southern Wyoming 
Aircraft Company. He planned to use the plane for ex- 
hibition flights and short sight seeing trips. 

A long list of passengers had signed up when news of 
the plane's pending arrival became known, all of them 
eager to take their first airplane ride. The honor of be- 
ing the first paying passenger was determined by a lot- 
tery. A lady barber, Mrs. Elizabeth Brown, won the 
drawing and reported that she had a very enjoyable 


Cheyenne Airport in 1930. 


flight. The plane and Captain McKenzie were kept busy 
in the Cheyenne area for several weeks hauling 
passengers, but eventually the demand for rides slowed 
down. Captain McKenzie and the Oriole then began a 
barnstorming tour of other cities in the state. 24 

While the barnstorming business slowed down in the 
community, the other long-awaited aviation activity 
came into being. On September 8, 1920, the Chicago- 
to-San Francisco leg of the Columbia Transcontinental 
Airmail Route was inaugurated with two planes taking 
off from the Cheyenne airfield in the early morning car- 
rying 400 pounds of airmail each. Buck Heffron piloted 
the DH-4 that headed west for Salt Lake City. At the 
same time, airmail planes were taking off from Salt 
Lake City and Omaha heading for Cheyenne. The 
planes were scheduled to reach their destination air- 
fields during daylight hours, transfer the mail to trains 
for night travel, and back to an airmail plane in the 
morning. Normal train travel from New York to San 
Francisco took about five days, or 120 hours. The plane- 
to-train system was expected to improve the coast-to- 
coast time by at least two days in the first weeks of opera- 
tion. As soon as night flying could be initiated on the 
route, total time could be reduced to less than thirty-six 
hours. 25 

The airmail route from Omaha to San Francisco 
generally followed along the Union Pacific railroad line, 

and for very good reasons. The builders of the Union 
Pacific had chosen the shortest route to San Francisco 
and at the lowest elevation possible through the Rocky 
Mountains. A low elevation route was important in 1920 
because few airplanes could climb above even the lowest 
mountain ranges; they had to fly through the mountain 
passes. Choosing landing fields and division points along 
the Union Pacific line would facilitate the plane-to-train 
mail exchange. Railroad tracks were also very useful 
navigation landmarks and were referred to by pilots as 
the "iron compass." 

Cheyenne had already become an important east- 
west and north-south railroad, highway, and bus 
transportation center. The capital city provided a very 
logical choice as the division point for the Air Mail Ser- 
vice. The people were delighted that their town had 
been selected. Denver would now receive its airmail 
from Cheyenne. 26 

The DeHaviland DH-4 became the airmail carrier 
between Chicago and San Francisco because there were 
large numbers of the surplus planes readily available 
and they cost the Post Office Department practically 
nothing to obtain. Liberty engines were also readily 
available. The DH-4 had a speed of 1 10 miles per hour, 
a ceiling of 10,000 feet (barely enough to navigate the 
western mountain passes), and could carry up to 500 
pounds of mail a distance of 300 miles. The DH-4 was 


considered a very sturdy plane and probably the best 
that could be obtained at the time. 27 It would be several 
years before American plane builders developed new 
models with significant improvements. 

Pilot James P. Murray was the first to reach Chey- 
enne from Omaha with the mail, arriving on September 
9, 1920. 28 Engine trouble enroute had caused an over- 
night delay. The following weeks saw an ever-increasing 
volume of airmail, but not without incident. Late in 
September, division manager Hartung of Cheyenne an- 
nounced that the shortage of in-commission mail planes 
had caused a cancellation of flights to the west until 
replacement planes were received. 29 A rash of airplane 
accidents had caused this situation. 

Engine failure caused most accidents, but bad 
weather along the route or high winds when landing also 
took their toll. Pilots rarely knew what kind of weather 
they would encounter enroute or at their destination. 
The DH-4 did not have instruments for flying in bad 
weather and when a pilot found himself forced into 
clouds because of high terrain or low cloud ceiling, he 
could only hope for the best. The service ceiling of the 

DH-4 was much lower than many Wyoming mountain 
peaks, requiring that pilots fly below and around 
them. 30 

The route between Cheyenne and Laramie, over the 
Laramie Range, was considered the worst part of the en- 
tire coast-to-coast route because of the high rugged ter- 
rain, high winds, and frequent storms. The first fatal 
accident of the Cheyenne division occurred on this leg of 
the route on November 6 when pilot John P. Woodward 
crashed his DH-4 into Red Buttes near Tie Siding in 
heavy fog. He crashed three miles from the Union 
Pacific tracks and had probably been trying to follow 
the railroad line. 31 In October James Murray crashed 
into a mountain west of Laramie near Arlington in a 
snow storm. Murray and the mail survived but the plane 
was destroyed. 32 

In May 1921, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker returned 
to Cheyenne on a west-to-east flight aimed at setting a 
new coast-to-coast speed record. Arriving after dark 
with lighted oil drums to mark the landing area, Ricken- 
backer landed downfield, hit the old Deadwood stage 
road on the east side of the airfield during the landing 

r w ' \ ] 

Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker (center) crashed at the Cheyenne Air Mail Field while attempting a night landing. The 
crash on May 26, 1921, ended his try for a west to east /light record. C. V. Pickup (left) was an Air Mail Service Pilot 
stationed at Cheyenne. R. A. Dunphy (right) was Division Superintendent for the Omaha to Salt Lake leg of the 
transcontinental airmail route. 


Rickenbacker's plane, May 26, 1921. 


roll, and flipped upside down. "Captain Eddie" escaped 
unhurt but damage to his plane was severe. His ambi- 
tion to set a new coast-to-coast speed record ended in 
Cheyenne. He left early the next day, an unhappy rider 
on the mail plane heading east. 33 

Anxious to reduce the coast-to-coast airmail time, 
the Air Mail Service made a trial run at flying day and 
night in 1921, with huge bonfires for navigation lighted 
at night by farmers. This system did not prove feasible. 
Not until 1924 could night flying become a scheduled 
program, at which time the plane-to-train mail transfer 
system was discontinued. Lighted rotating beacons on 
fifty-foot towers had been installed by the Post Office 
Department in 1923 for navigation on the Columbia 
route coast to coast. 34 

The beacons were located every twenty-five to thirty 
miles on forty-acre emergency landing fields, and on the 
regular landing fields such as at Cheyenne. Each beacon 
and emergency field had a caretaker to insure that the 
gasoline generator for the beacon worked during the 
night. The caretakers also relayed information to the 
division points when a mail plane passed overhead or 
was forced to land. Needless to say, the emergency fields 
were used frequently. 

Pine Bluffs, Burns, and Laramie all had emergency 
fields with rotating beacons and caretakers. The terrain 
and weather associated with the route between Chey- 


enne and Laramie discouraged the establishment of an 
emergency landing field there. However, a rotating 
beacon graced the peak at Sherman Hill at an elevation 
of 8600 feet. The beacon could be seen from either side 
of the mountain range. 35 

Between 1921 and 1923, the continuation of air mail 
service often seemed uncertain. In 1922, Wyoming Con- 
gressman F. W. Mondell told the Cheyenne Chamber of 
Commerce that airmail service still continued to be in an 
experimental phase as far as Congress was concerned. It 
had not yet been specifically authorized by law. 36 

However, by 1925 Congress had decided that the 
potential of aviation justified a stronger commitment 
and airmail was here to stay. Congress and the Post Of- 
fice Department also concluded that the time had come 
when commercial contractors should take over the task 
of flying the mail, and thus encourage the struggling 
commercial aviation industry. 

The Airmail (Kelly) Act of 1925 provided for the 
transfer of all airmail routes to private carriers and, by 
mid-1927, all Air Mail Service operations were discon- 
tinued. 37 The city received the Air Mail Service 
buildings on the airfield, plus all the improvements that 
had been added to the airfield during the seven years of 
operation. Cheyenne residents hated to see this pioneer- 
ing group of airmail people leave, but they looked for- 
ward to hosting the commercial contractors. 38 

Most of the Cheyenne airmail people moved on to 
aviation jobs in other parts of the country, but some 
stayed. Two members of the pioneer group still living in 
Cheyenne are Lawrence Murray and Vern Gersmehl. 

A seventeen-year-old Lawrence Murray had come to 
Cheyenne in 1921 from Norwich, Connecticut, fresh out 
of the Norwich Free Academy, to join his brothers, 
James and Ed Murray. James Murray and Lawrence's 
brother-in-law, H. T. "Slim" Lewis, were pilots with the 
Air Mail Service in Cheyenne. Both James and Ed Mur- 
ray, and Slim Lewis, were veteran pilots of World War 
I, as were almost all of the pilots flying for the Air Mail 

Too young to be a pilot, Lawrence got his first job in 
Cheyenne as an apprentice mechanic. He says that all 
the airmail people at the airport did whatever had to be 
done. When a plane landed everybody helped out. He 
later installed navigation lights along the airway west 
from Cheyenne for night navigation. These lights were 
located every mile or two and were in addition to the 
rotating beacons located every twenty five miles. They 
operated from an attached acetylene gas tank and had 
sun valves that turned them on and off. 

By 1927, Lawrence had decided that Cheyenne was 
where he wanted to stay and he says that he has never 
been sorry. "Cheyenne has always been a good town and 
although I have been all over, I would not want to live 
anywhere else." Both James Murray and Slim Lewis 
moved to important executive positions in aviation in 
other parts of the country in 1927, but returned often to 
visit friends and family. James Murray became a vice 
president of Boeing Aircraft Company and Lewis joined 
the Canadian Pacific Airline. Lewis later owned and 
operated the CY Ranch north of Cheyenne. 39 

A further stimulant to aviation investment, after the 
Kelly Act of 1925, was the Air Commerce Act passed by 
Congress in 1926. This act provided subsidies for devel- 
opmental costs and for a portion of commercial 
aviation's operating costs. The two acts of Congress 
fathered the airlines and encouraged private capital to 
invest in airlines. The newly emerging airlines now 
looked to the potential of passenger service to augment 
their revenues. They reasoned that, since they would be 
making the trip anyway with the mail, and the new 
planes they were buying had some passenger space, 
passenger revenue would be pure profit. 40 

Prior to 1927, commercial air travel was practically 
non-existent. The Air Mail Service had not carried pay- 
ing passengers because the DH-4 could not carry a 
passenger and a load of mail. Also, there were few peo- 
ple willing to experience the risk and discomfort of 
traveling in a DH-4. The well known humorist, Will 
Rogers, was an exception. Rogers had a special permit 
to ride the mail planes and he used it frequently. He was 
an outstanding booster for aviation and air travel. 41 

The Boeing Airplane Company of Seattle submitted 
their bid for the Chicago-to-San Francisco airmail con- 
tract in 1926. They were awarded the contract and 
began operation in July, 1927, under the name of the 
Boeing Air Transport Company. In July, 1929, the 
name changed to United Aircraft and Transport Com- 
pany. The main overhaul base was established at 
Cheyenne at the same time. Seventy-five men were ini- 
tially employed in the shops, and that number grew to 
over 500 in a few years. 

The Boeing plant in Seattle built twenty-five B-40 
planes for the Boeing Air Transport airmail and 
passenger service to begin operation in 1927. The B-40 
was a single engine biplane with a new and highly 
reliable Wasp air-cooled engine, a speed of 110 miles- 
per-hour, and a 1600 pound load capacity. While the 
rear pilot's cockpit was open, the forward compartment 
for mail and passengers had the luxury of being enclosed 
and passengers could fly with this airline without the 
danger of freezing. Moreover, engine failure with the 
B-40 became quite uncommon. The $25,000 airplane 
set a coast-to-coast speed record of thirty-two hours in 
1927, quite an improvement over the forty-nine days Cal 
Rodgers and the Vin Fizz had required for the trip in 
1911. 42 

The Post Office Department had also decided in 
1925 that it was time for a contract feeder line to be 
established to carry airmail south from Cheyenne to 
Denver and Pueblo. The advertisement for bids on this 
contract specified that the winning contractor would be 
required to provide his own landing fields, hangars, 
beacon lights, and could carry passengers and express if 
so desired. 43 Western Air Express (now Western Air 
Lines) received the contract and inaugurated service in 
December, 1927, with Douglas M-2 and Stearman 
single-engine biplanes. 44 

Charles France, a veteran World War I pilot who 
had been a member of the first American squadron to 
arrive in France, was one of the early Western Air Ex- 
press pilots flying the Cheyenne-to- Pueblo route. France 
flew the mail and passengers for about seven years and 
then moved on to a distinguished career in corporate 
aviation, first as a vice president in charge of operations 
for Eastern Airlines in New York and then as executive 
vice president for the Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Company 
in St. Louis. 

In 1979, he recalled that when in 1927 there hap 
pened to be too much mail, ticket -holding passengers 
would be left behind. Profitable though the passengers 
were, the mail had first priority. Passengers often had to 
sit on mail sacks or carry them in their laps. 45 Despite 
the passengers' low priority, in 1928 — Western's first full 
year of operation in Cheyenne the airline carried some 
430 passengers in and out of the city. 46 Commercial air 
travel had started to come of age. 

The years 1927 and 1928 marked a great boom in 

commercial aviation, locally and nationally. Charles 
Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean on 
May 21-22, 1927, in thirty-three hours and thirty 
minutes, captured America's enthusiasm for flying as 
nothing else had done. 47 Lindbergh won the $25,000 
prize offered by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig 
for that outstanding aviation accomplishment. Lind- 
bergh's tour of the country after his famous flight urged 
cities and civic organizations to establish airports for 
their communities. 

Lindbergh and his plane, "The Spirit of St. Louis," 
made a two-day visit to Cheyenne in September, 1927, 
on his tour west and received a warm welcome. 48 

Airports soon sprang up all over the country. The 
Post Office Department was flooded with petitions re- 
questing airmail service for communities not served. 49 
As late as 1938, the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission 
urged every town in Wyoming regardless of size to build 
an airport. Not many established airports existed in 
Wyoming then, other than those lucky few that had 
established air carrier service. 50 Cheyenne seemed to be 
well ahead of most other cities in the West. 

With the formation of airlines to carry mail and 
passengers, airplane builders began developing bigger 
and better airplanes with equipment that made air 
travel safer, more comfortable, and more profitable. A 
Texas airplane builder, Ben O. Howard, later recalled 
how difficult it had been in the early 1920s to sell new 
airplanes because of the limited market. "The thing that 
really held up aviation's pants for quite a few years was 
bootlegging. Other than the barnstormers," maintained 
Howard, "only the bootleggers put money into the 
thing. An airplane was measured not by how fast it 
would go or how safe it was but by how many cases it 
would carry." 51 

Lawrence Murray, however, believes very little li- 
quor arrived in Cheyenne by airplane. Rumors often 
had Air Mail Service pilots hauling liquor as well as 
mail, but Murray does not believe it. It also was 
rumored that pilots shot wild game along their routes 
from their mail planes. Murray says that the pilots were 
too dedicated a group to even think of breaking the law 
in that manner. He also says that Cheyenne had several 
"moonshiners" in the 1920s that provided an adequate 
quantity, if not quality, of their product to the local 
community. 52 However, some other western states seem 
to have enjoyed a thriving liquor traffic by air from 
Canada. 53 

The B-40 proved to be a profitable airmail carrier 
for the Boeing Air Transport Company in the late 
1920s, and at the same time there was a steadily increas- 
ing passenger acceptance of air travel. In 1929, the com- 
pany, now United Aircraft and Transport Company, in- 
troduced the new Boeing B-80 tri-motor plane on the 
Chicago-to-San Francisco route. The B-80 could carry 
the mail and fourteen passengers in more comfort than 

the B-40. The B-80 also boasted a new 525 -horsepower 
Hornet radial engine, two pilots that sat side by side, a 
speed of 120 miles-per-hour, and a payload capacity of 
3800 pounds. 54 

United was committed to the passenger carrying 
business. That same year airline stewardesses were in- 
troduced by United to serve meals to passengers aloft 
and attend to their comfort. They proved to be so 
popular with the passengers that soon all airlines were 
hiring stewardesses. A stewardess training school was 
later established in Cheyenne. 55 

Boeing and United were also instrumental in having 
better passenger and maintenance facilities constructed 
at the Cheyenne airport. A modern two -story passenger 
terminal building arose at the airport (8th Avenue and 
Warren) and four brick plane hangars were built just 
west of the terminal building. The single wooden hangar 
built in 1920 for the Air Mail Service had burned in 
1925, and been replaced that same year with four brick 
hangars. Now the additional Boeing hangars represent- 
ed a significant increase in capability for the airport. 
The first paved surface appeared in 1930 in a plane 
parking ramp in front of the terminal. Otherwise the 
field landing and taxi areas remained prairie sod, which 
was satisfactory most of the time. 

Airplane technology continued to improve as the 
1930s approached, to the point that air travel became 
attractive as well as fast. The B-80 had set a new coast- 
to-coast speed record of twenty-seven hours in 1929. 56 
The cost of the plane was a reasonable $65,000 and new 
flight instruments enabled the pilot to fly safely in 
clouds. Two-way radio communications also allowed the 
pilot to talk to ground stations and learn about the 
weather and airfield conditions ahead. 

Weather forecasting had also greatly improved so 
that pilots usually knew before take-off what weather 
conditions to expect enroute, allowing them to avoid 
severe weather. In recognition that aviation had come to 
stay, the Weather Service moved from their downtown 
Cheyenne building, where they had been located since 
1870, to the Cheyenne airport. 57 

One of the important new developments proved to 
be the radio range stations that were installed across the 
nation on the airways. Over 400 such stations were 
situated fifty to 150 miles apart along the airways for 
airplane navigation. Each radio range station had four 
legs or beams emitting a signal that gave the pilot a solid 
tone when flying on a leg of the station. The open areas 
between the beams transmitted an A or N Morse code 
signal, depending on which quadrant of the station the 
pilot was receiving the signal. Each radio range station 
broadcast an identification signal so that pilots would 
know which station they were receiving. Pilots could 
thus fly a predetermined route without visible reference 
to the ground. 

The radio range station at Cheyenne proved to be 

particularly helpful to pilots flying west around Sher- 
man Hill and Elk Mountain because in 1930 planes were 
still flying through the mountain passes. Planes were 
capable of flying higher but the passenger compart- 
ments were not pressurized. The lack of oxygen at 
altitudes above 10,000 feet made it hard on passengers 
and pilots. 58 

However, pilots were getting help in other areas. In- 
troduction of the radio range stations reduced the pilot's 
navigation problems in such critical areas as locating his 
destination airfield at the end of his flight. The pilot 
could let-down on a range leg through cloud or darkness 
with some certainty that he knew his location and would 
not hit a mountain. The radio range station also proved 
to be helpful in landing when low ceiling and poor 
visibility existed at the airfield. 

The Cheyenne radio range station, installed in the 
late 1920s one mile west of the airport at Fort D. A. 
Russell, provided a fix for the east -west runway. This 
system made a tremendous contribution to the safety 
and reliability of all-weather flying. The system re- 
mained the principal means for air navigation in this 
country for the next twenty-five years, and only started 
being replaced in the 1950s when the higher frequency 
OMNI stations were developed. 59 

Despite the nationwide Great Depression that stifled 
most industry expansion in the early 1930s, United Air 
Lines continued to grow. On February 1, 1929, United 
Aircraft and Transport Company was formed as a 
holding company for Boeing Airplane Company, Boe- 
ing Air Transport, Pacific Air Transport, and the Pratt 
and Whitney Company. In 1931 it became United Air 
Lines. 60 By 1933 they had consolidated all their major 
maintenance and overhaul activities from other parts of 
the country and moved them to Cheyenne. Having 
United's maintenance and overhaul facility provided not 
only a boost to the economy but added stature to the 
city's image as an air center. 61 

According to Cheyenneite Ralph S. Johnson, who 
joined United as a captain in Chicago in 1934 and came 
to Cheyenne in 1935 as Chief Test Pilot and Research 
Engineer, the city was then the largest aircraft overhaul 
maintenance base in the world. During his years with 
United, Johnson flew more than 7,000 test flights from 
the Cheyenne airport. He also developed and patented 
several innovations that made great improvements to 
airplane safety and performance. Two of these new 
devices were propeller and wing deicing systems that 
permitted planes to fly safely through ice forming 
clouds, and the pressure carburetor that enabled 
engines to continue to operate in unusual positions. 
Johnson left United in 1947 to become an aviation enter- 
preneur, but he stayed in Cheyenne. He organized and 
operated several successful aviation companies while 
serving as an airline consultant and director of several 
Wyoming companies. He also served two terms in the 

Wyoming State Legislature. However, aviation and par- 
ticularly piloting his own airplane, remained near and 
dear to Ralph Johnson's heart. 62 

Throughout the depression period of the 1930s 
when other airlines were struggling to survive with the 
equipment they had, United continued to buy the latest 
technology offered in airplanes. They introduced the 
new twin-engine Boeing 247 in 1933 and the Douglas 
DC-3 three years later. While the Boeing 247 and the 
DC-3 were far better planes than the B-80s they re- 
placed, they were still limited in range and altitude. But 
they brought new standards of safety and passenger 
comfort, as well as speed. Although the mail continued 
to be the mainstay, the growing desirability of air travel 
enhanced the airline's profits and their ability to ex- 
pand. 63 

The airlines received a temporary setback in 1934 
when the charge of fraud and collusion was made 
against the airmail contractors. President Franklin D. 
Roosevelt ordered all airmail contracts cancelled in 
February, 1934, and directed the Army Air Service to fly 
the airmail. The Army flew the mail for seventy-five 
fateful days and with disastrous results, before the Presi- 
dent and Congress agreed to let the airlines resume car- 
rying the airmail. The Army had not received sufficient 
advance notice to prepare for such a mission and did not 
have adequate planes or equipment to carry out this 
assignment in a successful fashion. The large number of 
accidents provided the President enough reason for giv- 
ing the airmail contracts back to the commercial 
airlines. However, there were safeguards instituted to 
prevent a repetition of the conditions that caused the 
cancellation. 64 There were twelve Army pilots killed in 
mail plane crashes during the less than three months 
they flew the mail — two of them (Lt. A. R. Kerwin and 
Lt. F. L. Howard) at Cheyenne. 65 

The growing acceptance of air travel by the public 
enabled United to increase their flight schedule. By 
1935 they had twelve arrivals and departures every 
twenty-four hours, east and west, at Cheyenne. In addi- 
tion, Wyoming Air Service (later Inland Airlines, which 
was, in turn, incorporated into Western Air Lines in 
1944), had started a north-south route through Chey- 
enne in 1930 with four scheduled arrivals and four 
departures daily. Including Western Air Lines, Chey- 
enne had the service of three scheduled and growing 
airlines with frequent arrivals and departures in all four 
directions. 66 

In July, 1937, United bought the Cheyenne-to- 
Denver route from Wyoming Air Service. Denver had 
long been frustrated because they were not served by a 
major airline on the east -west route, but as a stop for a 
feeder airline from Cheyenne. Now Denver would be 
served by United, a major airline, though not yet as a 
part of the main east-west route. That would come later 
when passenger planes could fly above the mountain 

range west of Denver on their way to and from Califor- 
nia. 67 

Even though Cheyenne continued to grow as an 
aviation center through the early 1940s, the arrival of a 
new airplane — the four engine DC-4 — at the airport in 
May, 1939, presaged the fate of Cheyenne. The DC-4 
had come to Cheyenne for a four-day series of flight 
tests, and it passed all tests with favorable results. Newly 
acquired by United from the Douglas factory, this air- 
craft could fly non-stop from California to Chicago at a 
speed of 210 miles per hour and at an altitude of 18,000 
feet. It carried forty-two passengers comfortably above 
the highest Rocky Mountain peaks and let them look 
down with wonder on the old transcontinental air route 
through the mountain passes. 68 The old Columbia 
transcontinental air route would now slowly disappear as 
had the Oregon Trail seventy years before. The bigger, 
longer-range, higher-flying airliners would begin to 
dominate the air lanes. World War II delayed the in- 
evitable for Cheyenne, but not for long. 

United continued to operate their overhaul base in 
Cheyenne during the war, and in 1942 transferred its 
flight training division to Cheyenne from California. 
This division trained United pilots for crew duty and 
had about 100 students in training all the time. 69 Also in 
1942, the Army Corps of Engineers built a concrete run- 
way and taxiway system that extended the airport's east- 
west runway to 8000 feet. 70 (Another extension in 1953 
brought it to the present 9,300 foot length). 

United also operated a modification center for the 
Army on the north side of the airport that installed the 
latest technology to production model B-17 and B-24 
bombers before they were flown to the combat units. 
There were often more than 100 bombers on the field 
undergoing modification. 71 At the end of the war, 
United employed about 1,500 workers in Cheyenne, 
some traveling from as far away as Greeley and Fort Col- 
lins. 72 

The many aviation activities at the Cheyenne air- 
port made it a busy place, but soon after the war ended, 
the scene began to change. First came the closure of the 
modification center, then United moved their flight 
training division to Denver and their overhaul base to 
San Francisco. As a partial replacement for the loss, 
they did move the Stewardess Training School to Chey- 
enne in 1947, and it stayed for fourteen years. The 
school had only a limited number in training at any one 
time, but more than 83,000 young women came to 
Cheyenne for the five-week course of training during 
those fourteen years. By 1961, when the school moved to 
Chicago, Cheyenne had ceased to be a major aviation 

United pulled out of Cheyenne altogether in the 
1960s and no other east-west airline service remained. 73 
Cheyenne passengers desiring to board a plane going 
east or west now had to go to Denver, which had grown 

as an aviation center as Cheyenne had declined. 
Western Air Lines continued to serve Cheyenne on their 
north-south route, along with Frontier Airlines, until 
October 1979, when Western discontinued service. They 
cited low passenger emplanings and the economic loss as 
the reason. 74 

As the major commercial air activities moved away, 
there were other setbacks to Cheyenne's image as an air 
center. The Federal Aviation Administration's Flight 
Service Station at Cheyenne moved to Casper along with 
the district office, and the control tower reduced its op- 
erating hours so that it was no longer a twenty-four hour 
operation. 75 The Wyoming Air National Guard and two 
fixed-base general aviation operators remain as the air- 
port's main aviation tenants. From many locations, it 
looks like an abandoned World War II airfield. The city 
has allocated several plane hangars to the street and 
sanitation departments for their equipment. Some 
observers including R. R. Kelso, a veteran military and 
civilian pilot, say that the airfield still has excellent 
facilities and navigational aids, "but the place looks like 
the city dump." 76 Frontier Airlines continues to serve 
Cheyenne with the short-haul turbo-prop Convair 580, 
but whether they will continue after their scheduled 
conversion to an all jet fleet remains to be seen. 

United Air Lines' airplanes have been returning to 
Cheyenne but not for passenger service. The Training 
Division in Denver has used the Cheyenne airport on a 
contract basis with the city to train pilots in low ap- 
proaches and touch-and-go landings. There have been 
many complaints from Cheyenne residents about the 
continuing high noise level created by United's training 
flights, but to no avail until recently. The problem 
culminated on June 9, 1980, when the mayor's office 
received an anonymous phone call that purportedly 
represented a group of irate citizens. The caller said that 
the group was going to shoot down a United training 
flight plane as a way of solving the noise problem caused 
by United. United quickly announced that there would 
be no more training flights to Cheyenne for the re- 
mainder of the week, and that the airport at Pueblo, 
Colorado, would be used more extensively for training in 
the future. 77 

The normally small amount of air traffic at Chey- 
enne's airport in the late 1970s that caused United's 
Training Division to want to use it for training is a far 
cry from earlier days. The deterioration of Cheyenne's 
aviation status after World War II constituted a fairly 
rapid reversal from the trend of expanding activity in 
the 1920s and 1930s. The reasons for this change can be 
seen in the fact that the importance of Cheyenne's 
geographic location to commercial aviation continued 
up to 1940, and then decreased as new airplanes came 
along that could bypass Cheyenne enroute to the large 
population centers. Cheyenne was no longer important 
as an enroute service station, and the city's area popula- 

tion of 57,000 people 78 could not generate the high 
volume of passenger traffic required to make a jet liner 
stop profitable. 

Cheyenne faced the experience of Denver in the 
1930s, namely, a feeder airline stop, or worse, no airline 
stop at all. Cheyenne probably did all a city could do to 
retain the activities that made it an early aviation 
center, but time and technology determined otherwise. 
These innovations made its location on the Union 
Pacific, astride the intercontinental air route, and mid- 
way between Omaha and Salt Lake City, no longer im- 
portant to commercial air transportation. 

Cheyenne had been a little surprised in 1920 at its 
good fortune in being chosen as one of the fifteen sta- 
tions on the coast-to-coast airmail route. Sixty years 
later the feeling has changed to one of chagrin for hav- 
ing fallen to the level of a lesser entity in aviation. 

1. Cheyenne State Leader, July 6, 1911, p. 2. 

2. Cheyenne State Leader, August 2, 1911, p.l. 

3. Ibid. 

4. The Riverton Ranger, December 2, 1977, p.l. 

5. Sherwood Harris. The First To Fly, (New York: Simon and 
Schuster, 1970), p. 11. 

6. Ibid., p. 12. 

7. Ibid., p. 13. 

8. Ibid. 

9. Peter M. Bowers, 'The American DH-4," Air Mail Pioneer 
News (Golden Anniversary Issue 1968), pp. 20-29. 

10. Ibid. 

11. Alvin M. Josephy Jr., editor, The American Heritage History of 
Flight, (New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, 
Inc., 1962), p. 187. 

12. Frank W. Wiley. Montana and the Sky, (Minneapolis: Holden 
Printing Company, 1966), p. 118. 

13. Wyoming State Tribune, January 8, 1920, p. 4. 

14. Interview with George Guy, Cheyenne attorney, November 14, 
1979, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

15. Wyoming State Tribune, March 2, 1920, p.l. 

16. Wyoming State Tribune, May 27, 1920, p.l. 

17. Wyoming State Tribune, May 26, 1920, p.l. 

18. Wyoming State Tribune, June 16, 1920, p.l. 

19. Wyoming State Tribune, July 28, 1920, p.l. 

20. Wyoming State Tribune, July 30, 1920, p. 3. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Wyoming State Tribune, August 4, 1920, p.l. 

23. Wyoming State Tribune, June 1, 1920, p.l. 

24. Wyoming State Tribune, August 11, 1920, p. 2. 

25. Wyoming State Tribune, June 22, 1920, p. 3. 

26. Wyoming State Tribune, May 11, 1920, p. 2. 

27. Dale Nelson, editor, "Saga of the U.S. Air Mail Service," Air 
Mail Pioneers, Inc., (1962), p. 7. 

28. Wyoming State Tribune, September 10, 1920, p.l. 

29. Wyoming State Tribune, September 24, 1920, p.l. 

30. Nelson, p. 8. 

31. Wyoming State Tribune, November 8, 1920, p.l. 

32. Wyoming State Tribune, October 20, 1920, p.l. 

33. Laramie Republican, May 28, 1921, p.l. 

34. Nelson, p. 128. 

35. Lieutenant J. Parker Van Zandt, U.S. Army Air Service, "On 
the Trail of the Air Mail," The National Geographic Magazine, 
(Vol. XLIX, No. 1), January 1926, pp. 1-61. 

36. Wyoming State Tribune, January 18, 1922, p.l. 

37. Carrol V. Glines, The Saga of the Air Mail, (Princeton: D. Van 
Nostrand Company, Inc., 1968), p. 84. 

38. Wyoming State Tribune, January 29-30, 1927, p.l. 

39. Interview with Lawrence Murray, February 13, 1980, Chey- 
enne, Wyoming. 

40. Glines, p. 84. 

41. American Aviation Historical Society Newsletter, No. 52, 4th 
Quarter, 1979. 

42. Frank J. Taylor, High Horizons, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book 
Company, Inc., 1964), p. 208. 

43. Wyoming Eagle, November 8, 1925, p. 8. 

44. Wyoming State Tribune, July 25, 1967, p.ll. 

45. Interview with Charles France, early Western Air Express pilot 
and retired aviation executive, August 9, 1979, Denver, Col- 

46. Wyoming State Tribune, July 25, 1967. 

47. Charles A. Lindbergh. The Spirit of St. Louis, (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953), p. 480. 

48. Wyoming State Tribune, September 2, 1927, p.l. 

49. Glines, p. 85. 

50. Addendum to Wyoming Aeronautics Commission Meeting 
Minutes, June 20, 1975, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

51. Josephy, p. 234. 

52. Interview with Lawrence Murray. 

53. Pioneer Montana pilot and author, Frank Wiley, gave this ac- 
count in Montana and the Sky, (Minneapolis: Holden Printing 
Company, 1966, p. 132); "The whiskey hauling fraternity of that 
time favored the Lincoln Standard, which could haul a thou- 
sand pounds with each case of twelve bottles padded with straw 
and sewed up in a burlap bag." Wiley reports that on at least 
one occasion the buyer found Firewood sewed up in the bags. 
The hapless buyer of that load was afterwards referred to in the 
community as "Cordwood Johnny." 

54. Taylor, High Horizons, p. 208. 

55. Ibid., p. 261. 

56. Ibid., p. 208. 

57. Cheyenne Municipal Airport Master Plan, (Cheyenne: Prepared 
by BRW/Noblitt, Inc., 1979). 

58. U.S. Department of Commerce, Civil Aviation Administration, 
Pilot's Radio Handbook, (Washington, D.C., Government 
Printing Office, 1954), p. 44. 

59. Ibid. 

60. Taylor, p. 261. 

61. Wyoming State Tribune, August 22, 1935, p.l. 

62. Tribune-Eagle, June 1, 1980, p. 18. 

63. Taylor, p. 20. 

64. Glines, p. 75. 

65. Wyoming State Tribune, July 23, 1940, p. 3. 

66. Wyoming State Tribune, August 22, 1935, p.l. 

67. Denver Post (Empire Magazine), May 7, 1972. 

68. Wyoming State Tribune, May 22, 1939. p.l. 

69. Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, February 6, 1942, p.l. 

70. Magic City of the Plains Cheyenne, 1867-1967, (Cheyenne: 
Cheyenne Centennial Committee, 1967). 

71. Wyoming State Tribune, September 11, 1977, p. 8. 

72. Magic City of the Plains. 

73. Wyoming State Tribune, September 11, 1977, p. 8. 

74. Notice of Western Air Lines, Inc., of Intent to Terminate Ser- 
vice at Cheyenne, (Washington, D.C.: Docket 36359, Civil 
Aeronautics Board, October, 1979). 

75. Wyoming State Tribune, September 11, 1977, p. 8. 

76. Kirk Knox, "Airport Panel Resolution Backed By City Council." 
Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, July 4, 1979. 

77. Wyoming Eagle, June 13, 1980, p.l. 

78. Wyoming Eagle, June 28, 1980, p.l. 






A Survey and Appraisal 

By Herbert R. Dieterich 

In March, 1938, supervisor E. E. Lowry of Wyo- 
ming's Federal Art Project submitted to his superiors in 
Washington a seven-page memorandum describing the 
work of his organization. 1 The project, wrote Lowry, 
centered on the operation of four community art gal- 
leries (in Laramie, Rock Springs, Riverton, and Tor- 
rington), each of which had elicited a gratifying public 

Citing attendance figures to support this, Lowry 
went on to note that his program had been modified and 
simplified to meet local circumstances. It did not, for 
example, offer much in the way of "technical work" (the 
production of paintings, etc.) because it lacked the 
skilled personnel necessary to develop this side of the 
Federal Art Project. In further explanation, Lowry of- 
fered some personal observations on the Wyoming art 

The state was "relatively new and undeveloped," he 
wrote. Its people were not far removed from the pioneer 
experience, in which the problems of "making a living 
and battling the elements" were of primary concern. In 


this setting art was taken to be relatively unimportant 
and the public had few opportunities to expand its ar- 
tistic horizons. "Wyoming was not art minded nor is it 
yet," he stated, but he saw signs of improvement. The 
Federal Art Project had broken new ground "in timely 
fashion." The community galleries encouraged and 
displayed the work of Wyoming artists and with the 
traveling exhibits that were part of the gallery program, 
Wyoming residents now had the chance to experience 
directly a broad spectrum of superior art. The tradition- 
al idea that the fine arts were "only for the privileged 
few" was crumbling, according to Lowry and he looked 
optimistically to the future when Wyomingites would 
have learned to "stand on both feet in practice and 
defense of the art of today and tomorrow." 

"Pony Express" by Ernest E. Stevens, Van Tassell, 
Wyoming, artist. It is one of four murals painted 
under the Federal Art Project placed in Torrington 
High School. »^ 

Lowry's commentary carried a natural bias as he set 
a baseline against which the accomplishments of his 
organization would be obvious. Moreover, shifts in 
public taste and cultural values are not easily pinned 
down, especially in the short run, and his project was 
but one segment of the federal cultural effort in Wyo- 
ming. But his memorandum suggests a number of ques- 
tions explored in this essay. How were the depression - 
inspired New Deal art patronage programs shaped to 
the peculiarities of Lowry's "new and undeveloped" 
state? Did they differ in aim and philosophy, and if so, 
how was this evident in what they tried to do in Wyo- 
ming? How did Wyomingites respond to the programs? 
And what remained as the programs ended with the 
coming of World War II? 

In broader terms, this paper offers an integrated ac- 
count of the various New Deal measures which worked 
to enrich the cultural scene in Wyoming during the 
1930s. The programs were federally inspired, drafted in 
Washington, and financed by Congress and by now 
there is a reasonably complete picture of their national 
dimensions and significance. 2 Yet their immediate im- 
pact came at the state and local levels. 

State administrators ran most of the programs, 
utilizing local unemployed talent and usually the 

resulting work clearly reflected the specifics of com- 
munity and state. It is unnecessary to argue that the 
Wyoming experience with the cultural programs was 
typical, or for that matter, unique. The rationale for 
this essay is simply that the "grassroots" dimension of the 
massive cultural experiment remains largely unexplored 
though it is as much a part of the story as the legislative 
and administrative outlines established in Washington. 

A brief look at the context in which Wyoming's 
federal patronage programs necessarily functioned is 
followed by a resume of the programs as they were 
designed in Washington, and for those whose work in 
Wyoming was non-existent, marginal, or not well 
organized, there are suggestions how and why this was 
so. Next, the Wyoming Art Project and the Wyoming 
Writers Project, the two most important federal 
patronage efforts in the state, are examined. The paper 
concludes with some observations which put the Wyo- 
ming experience with the cultural programs in historical 

Returning for a moment to Lowry's commentary on 
Wyoming in the 1930s, his point that the state offered a 
special challenge to the federal patronage efforts can be 
amplified. Far more so than today, the cultural centers 
of America were isolated from the hinterlands. Profes- 

Student Union mural seen 

sional writers, painters, actors, and musicians were con- 
centrated disproportionately in places like New York, 
Chicago, and Los Angeles. So were the organs and in- 
stitutions of culture; the art journals, publishing houses, 
symphony associations, galleries and museums, for ex- 
ample. Away from the population centers, creative 
talent was likely to be scarce, undeveloped, and not 
highly valued. As an item of public consumption and in- 
terest, the fine arts remained, as Lowry said, largely out- 
side of the consciousness of most Wyomingites. 

Not only was Wyoming remote from the cultural 
nuclei of the nation; it was, as Lowry noted, a state re- 
taining much of the frontier heritage. Its population in 
1930 was about 225,000. Only Nevada had fewer peo- 
ple. Most Wyoming residents lived in a distinctly rural 
setting; a third on farms and ranches, another third in 
communities of less than 2500, and the remaining third 
in towns larger than 2500. The state's two largest cities 
were Cheyenne (17,000) and Casper (16,000). In gen- 
eral, Wyomingites found the depression less traumatic 
than did their fellow citizens in more heavily in- 
dustrialized portions of the country. They were, as 
historian T. A. Larson has put it, accustomed to "frugal 
living" and to solving their own social and economic 
problems. 3 Imbued with the frontier tradition of in- 
dividual enterprise and local responsibility, the state's 
political leaders looked upon much of the New Deal 
relief effort with skepticism if not hostility. The attitude 
was apparently widely shared, for the director of Wyo- 
ming's Federal Writers Project recalled that as she tra- 
veled through the state gathering data, a cold reception 
often followed when she introduced herself as part of the 
WPA. 4 


by hundreds of University of Wyoming students over the yea 
However reluctant to see their state go on the federal 
dole, Cheyenne officials accepted, in June, 1933, Wyo- 
ming's first New Deal relief allotment. By December 
some 8000 Wyomingites were at work on jobs financed 
by the Civil Works Administration. A handful of these 
people -perhaps a half dozen -were part of the Public 
Works of Art Project (PWAP), working in Cheyenne. 
This federal agency lasted only about six months and its 
work in Wyoming was minimal; a mural in McCormick 
Junior High in Cheyenne, and some decorative work in 
the State Capitol Building, but the tasks were the first 
example of federal arts patronage in Wyoming. 

The problem of mass unemployment and its atten- 
dant critical drop in the purchasing power of family 
units triggered an array of New Deal measures aimed at 
the creation of jobs and the promotion of economic 
recovery. Since professional people, including teachers, 
artists, musicians, and writers were frequently among 
the ranks of the jobless, the federal programs sought to 
include these and other white collar groups. And 
beyond the obvious economic imperative for the crea- 
tion of jobs, there circulated among some New Deal 
thinkers the admirable if somewhat revolutionary idea 
that a more abundant life for Americans implied some 
quality nourishment for the spirit. As administrators in 
Washington elaborated this vision of an enhanced "cul- 
tural democracy," they looked for programs that would 
make the fine arts more accessible to the general public 
and that would bring the creative artist into the 
mainstream of American life. 5 

Jobs for the unemployed and culture for the 
masses — when the two aims came together in the New 
Deal cultural programs there were obvious problems. 

rs. * 



nted by Lynn Fausett and depicts the welcome given to UW 
Yearly appropriations for the programs fluctuated with 
Congressional assessment of unemployment statistics 
and with alternative demands on the federal dollar. In- 
evitably, the cultural efforts were fragmented and 
episodic. They were frankly experimental; like much 
other New Deal legislation, these measures were hastily 
devised and done so with little precedent to build on. 
Never before had the federal government, as a matter of 
policy, sought to finance and promote the creative arts. 
Within the programs, administrators sometimes had dif- 
ficulty adjusting the twin aims of jobs and arts. The pro- 
jects often demanded -or at least presupposed — crea- 
tive and technical skills of a high order, but the ad- 
ministrator was expected to staff his operation with peo- 
ple who were certifiably unemployed. This was a cons- 
tant problem in states like Wyoming where there were 
few artistic professionals to begin with. 

By far the largest and best known of the New Deal 
cultural programs, though it was not the earliest, was 
"Federal Project Number One," as it was known in New 
Deal parlance. Officially titled the Works Progress Ad- 
ministration Federal Art Project (WPA/FAP), this was, 
in fact, four national programs built on both the money 
and the employment objectives of the parent WPA. 
Each of the four divisions (music, theater, writers, and 
art) had a national director who reported to Harry 
Hopkins, head of the WPA. Funds for the "Federal 
One" projects flowed into the state programs through 
the state's WPA administrator, who simply disbursed 
the checks and handled the personnel paperwork. Both 
Lowry's art project and the writer's project headed by 
Agnes Wright Spring in Cheyenne were creatures of 
"Federal One." Between August, 1935, and June, 1942, 

President Crane in 1922. 
"Federal One" spent some $35 million, a direct subsidy 
of unprecedented magnitude to American culture. But 
the amount was only a small fraction of the $11 billion 
pumped into the economy by the WPA en toto. 

In addition, three other New Deal programs, all 
much smaller than "Federal One" projects, put artists to 
work with federal funds. 6 Mainly concerned with pro- 
viding decorative art for public buildings, these pro- 
grams were administered through the Treasury Depart- 
ment. The earliest of them, operating for about six 
months in 1933-1934, was the Public Works of Art Pro- 
ject whose work in Cheyenne has already been noted. 
PWAP was funded through the Civil Works Administra- 
tion and expired with it in the spring of 1934. Nation- 
wide, PWAP employed some 3700 artists and spent 
about $1.3 million. 

Two later programs were the Treasury Relief Art 
Project (TRAP) and the Treasury Section of Painting 
and Sculpture. TRAP was linked to the WPA in two 
ways. Funds for TRAP came from the WPA and its art- 
ists had to qualify under WPA relief rules. TRAP'S mis- 
sion was to use first-rate artists in the decoration of 
federal buildings but the level of skill demanded by pro- 
ject officials was not often to be found among the ranks 
of the certifiably unemployed. Essentially duplicating 
some aspects of "Federal One," TRAP lasted from 1935 
to 1939. It employed a total of some 400 artists and 
spent about $830,000. TRAP sought artists in Wyoming 
but finding none that met its qualifications, it executed 
no work in the state. 

The Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture, on 
the other hand, sponsored substantial work in Wyo- 
ming. This agency was the single federal patronage ef- 


fort that had no direct links with the work relief pro- 
grams. It awarded federal commissions for art work 
through a system of competitions. For these commis- 
sions, officials in Washington sought proven talent and 
paid for it by lump sums rather than by a weekly or 
monthly wage. During its life (1934-43), the Section 
commissioned about 1400 works — mostly murals in fed- 
eral buildings — for which it spent about $2.5 million. 
Six commissions were completed in Wyoming; these 
were post office murals in Kemmerer, Worland, Powell, 
Greybull, and Riverton, and a sculpture for the Mam- 
moth Hot Springs post office in Yellowstone. The murals 
were done between 1938 and 1942, and paid the artists 
involved from $570 (Worland) to $850 (Riverton). The 
sculpture (a pair of stonework bears) was commissioned 
for $2000. Of the six artists commissioned only one was a 
resident of Wyoming; all were chosen on the basis of 
sketches they had submitted in federal competition. 7 

The Treasury Department programs and those of 
"Federal One" shared the idea that art and artists were a 
kind of national resource, valuable in its own right. The 
notion gave theoretical support to the whole idea of 
governmental promotion of arts, especially where they 
could be put to useful public purpose. Moved by a 
strong sense of cultural mission and often armed with 
some expertise in the arts, administrators in these pro- 
grams sought to make their projects as rigorously profes- 
sional as possible. 

Elsewhere in the federal relief efforts, art as a 
cultural commodity was a matter of little importance. In 
the WPA and its predecessor, the FERA, the first priori- 
ty was jobs for the unemployed and large scale work 
relief programs that would pump needed purchasing 
power back into the sagging economy. Yet within the 
general relief projects of the New Deal, quite apart from 
the patronage efforts of "Federal One," there emerged 
some rudimentary support for the arts, a fact that has 
not been widely recognized. 

In Wyoming, for example, the state WPA organiza- 
tion included divisions for "Adult Education and Rec- 
reation" and "Women's and Professional Projects." Both 
sections housed various non-manual work projects: in- 
structional programs in music, arts, and crafts; naturali- 
zation classes; weaving, sewing, and home-making 
centers; nursery schools and programs in avocational 
and leisure time activities. 

It is virtually impossible to retrieve the particulars of 
these essentially local projects. No state records for their 
sponsoring divisions remain and only fragmentary evi- 
dence survives in the National Archives. Devised at the 
outermost reaches of the New Deal bureaucracy, these 
projects often involved only one or several people who 
were sustained in their professional roles by WPA 
money. Obviously, most of this activity was unrelated to 
the arts. Some was, however, as for example the lady 
music teacher in Thermopolis giving piano and har- 

mony lessons to the neighborhood children; the Chey- 
enne musician, driving out to "Pine Bluff, Whitecrest, 
Goggin School, Egbert, and Golden Prairie," to give 
music lessons; the young eastern-trained artist in Cody, 
painting a pair of murals for the local library, his assign- 
ment a part of the district WPA recreation program. 8 
Compared to the "Federal One" programs, such ef- 
forts lacked professional supervision, organizational 
coherence, and sophistication. It is perhaps remarkable 
that they existed at all. "Most of the counties are a little 
reluctant to carry on professional programs such as dra- 
matics, tap-dancing, piano instruction, physical instruc- 
tion," reported a Wyoming relief administrator. "The 
great criticism from the counties is, why pay additional 
money for those projects, when we have people in the 
counties not receiving their full budget. [For lack of 
enough conventional relief jobs.]" 9 

None the less, this kind of activity came under state 
WPA supervision and it served a cultural end, though in 
what degree it is hard to determine. Consider the plight 
of this resident of Baggs, writing to the WPA office in 
Washington in 1938: 

I signed up with local county WPA as a "Pipe 
Organist". Said WPA officials did not know anything 
about the Federal Music Project, but, put me to work with 
pick and shovel; after some months of disheartening labor I 
contacted the Wyoming State WPA, convinced them I was 
a Musician, and they started this Better Music Program 
and made me its Musician. 

For over two years I have been teaching organ, piano, 
and violin in this river valley in SW Wyoming. Some of my 
students now play 5th grade music. I would like to know 
regarding Organist work in your Music Project. I can play 
and teach any type or Organ, reed, Vocalion, Orgatron, 
Pipe, or Hammond Electric. Local singers call me the 
"perfect accompanist." 

My present State superiors seem to be unaware of your 
Federal Music Project, Hence this letter. 10 

Certain it is that Wyoming officials knew of the 
Federal Music Project but neither it nor the Federal 
Theater Project established programs in this state. The 
"Better Music Project" in Baggs — and wherever else it 
functioned in Wyoming — remained a ward of the state 
WPA supervisor for "Adult Education and Recreation." 

The Federal Music and Theater Projects concen- 
trated their resources in states of maximum population 
density. Here were most of the unemployed musicians 
and actors, and in fact the two programs were financed 
at much lower levels than the Writers and Artists Pro- 
jects. The two smaller programs had no real inclination 
to enter Wyoming; witness the report of a Music Project 
official who met with WPA officials in Cheyenne in 
1938. The visitor came as a goodwill ambassador, in- 
terested simply in Wyoming's music situation. It was 
already understood that his project had no allocation for 
the state and planned none. He found that music teach- 
ers and the community music directors on the state's 
recreation program were left almost completely on their 

own. No one seems to know, he wrote, "what kind of 
music is being used for teaching or group activity, nor in 
what sequence or with what particular aim in mind with 
a progressively educational viewpoint." No one tech- 
nically qualified was in charge. Perhaps, he allowed, 
field personnel did a good job, but there were no checks 
on this and he concluded on a sympathetic but skeptical 
note. You know, he wrote, "that music teachers in small 
rural communities having gone through hard times, 
have not always kept up their proper professional stan- 
dards." On all counts, he considered the state well ex- 
cluded from the Federal music program. 11 

While the Theater and Music Projects stayed out of 
Wyoming, the Federal Art Project and the Federal 
Writers Project established in the state, programs that 
functioned well within the expectations of Washington 

These two segments of "Federal One" made a con- 
scious effort to design programs that allowed large and 
small states alike to participate. The Art Project for ex- 
ample promoted the idea of community art centers. 
These institutions called for only a minimum of profes- 
sional talent and combined the objectives of community 
education with those of technical work and professional 
training. In the states of the south and west, away from 
the heavy concentrations of unemployed artists, the art 
center was often the pv*°* obvious aspect of the federal 
program. To supp nters, the national office 

of the FAP organized an Exhibits Section whose job it 
was to organize and package art shows. These traveling 
collections, put together by experts, were by no means 
limited to American (and WPA) art work. To partici- 
pate in this program a state had only to arrange a circuit 
of suitable showing places ("galleries"), provide nominal 
transportation charges, and work out a schedule with 

From its inception, the Writers Project concentrated 
on a program which, by definition, included all the 
states. This was the state guide-book series, a set of 
volumes of common format, conceived by Washington 
officials, as a sort of national self-statement prepared by 
grassroots America. The assumption here was that any 
state could muster enough writers and editors for this 
job, especially since it implied no particular deadline. If 
a state had the unemployed talent to go beyond the 
guide book project, it might pursue a host of other pro- 
jects endorsed by Washington; folklore studies, city and 
state recreation guides, anthologies of local creative 
material, place-name studies, radio scripts, and local 
histories. But the guide book had the greatest popular 
appeal. Here was a chance to extol the singular virtues 
of one's home state, celebrate its history, boost its 
tourism potential and to do so with federal financing. 

Finally, both Holger Cahill, head of the Art Project, 
and Henry Alsberg, his counterpart at the Writers Pro- 
ject, allowed their programs to take shape as local situa- 

tions dictated. State operating units enjoyed con- 
siderable autonomy, for the programs, if they were to 
exist at all, had to be constructed with local materials. 
Mainly through the use of regional supervisors, Wash- 
ington monitored the projects and hoped for the best. 
Federal officials picked the state supervisors for their 
projects but these appointments were cleared through 
the state WPA Administrator. Both the Art and Writers 
Projects applied their regulations and procedural 
guidelines with a good deal of flexibility. All of this 
amounted to a general atmosphere of "laissez faire," a 
situation which certainly eased the way for Wyoming's 

At an early point, Wyoming state officials got 
dispensation to use a 25/75 ratio of non-relief to relief 
personnel in "Federal One" programs. Washington 
commonly expected a 10/90 ratio but given a very small 
program and a state with few unemployed professionals, 
this was unrealistic. And in the organization of its art 
project, Wyoming obtained another exemption from 
standard practice. Ordinarily, each type of activ- 
ity—easel painting, graphics, mural work, the art 
centers — called for a separate project designation within 
a relief district. With so few people involved and these so 
widely scattered, Wyoming officials suggested a single, 
all-inclusive project and Washington agreed to this idea. 
The Writers Project, centered in Cheyenne but with 
field workers through the state, operated in similar 
fashion. 12 

In August and September, 1935, the Federal Art 
Project took form in Washington; in late October, Chey- 
enne officials received word that a monthly allocation of 
$1700 had been earmarked for Wyoming's Art Project. 
With no further instructions about what was expected, 
the state WPA office began the program as simply as 
possible. It was given a paper identity for bookkeeping 
purposes, a supervisor (Ellis Dagley, a photographer 
from Riverton), and a staff of six artists and teachers, 
transferred from the state's white-collar relief projects to 
the new organization by the stroke of a pen. Dagley's pay 
was $150 per month and his workers drew a relief wage 
of from sixty-three to sixty-nine dollars per month. The 
supervisor worked out of his home in Riverton; his peo- 
ple worked in their communities across the state, 
teaching weaving, woodcarving, arts and crafts, with 
several actually doing easel and mural work. Not until 
the spring of 1936 did the project grow to the point 
where it spent most of its allocation. By June it had ex- 
panded to include nineteen people, most of whom were 
teachers. The project was at least launched but it lacked 
focus and it had attained neither the public identity nor 
that quality of "professionalism" sought by the 
Washington officials. 13 

At this point, and with some greater direction from 
Washington than had been the case earlier, the project 
assumed a different look. As requested by Federal Direc- 


"Old Fort Laramie" by Ernest E. Stevens, mural in Torrington High School. 

tor Cahill, the FAP's Regional Supervisor in Denver 
moved to tighten up the Wyoming operation. Visiting 
Cheyenne, he asked state WPA officials to move the 
teaching element on the project back into the recrea- 
tion/education programs, an arrangement that was 
readily approved. This left the Art Project with perhaps 
a half-dozen people, and implied a monthly budget of 
about $600. The Denver official liked the idea of the 
smaller, more art-oriented project, and he spoke 
favorably of what he had seen of the painting so far 
done. But the project still needed a knowledgeable pro- 
fessional at its head and he suggested that E. E. Lowry 
of the University's Art Department might be willing to 
take the job on a part-time basis. 14 

On September 1, 1936, Lowry replaced Dagley as 
project supervisor. Mr. Dagley returned to the state 

WPA organization as its chief photographer. Lowry 's 
appointment was part-time and he continued to teach a 
full schedule at the University so long as he was con- 
nected with the project. The federal job paid him $100 
per month and allowed $4 per diem as he traveled 
through the state on project business. An artist himself, 
Lowry was thirty-two years old as he took the post. 
Through his contacts in the Wyoming Artists Associa- 
tion, he knew the art resources of the state, and as a 
teacher he had strong ideas about how art might be 
given wider general appeal. 15 

Moreover, he had unusual energy, an endless supply 
of optimism, and considerable administrative talent. 
When he left Wyoming in August, 1939, for a job at 
Cortland State in New York, Lowry got high marks from 
the man who succeeded him on the project. He [Lowry] 


had done more to promote art and art appreciation dur- 
ing his five-year stay in the state than "any other person 
or group of persons," wrote Wilbur R. Brown. He had 
built the project "up from nothing" and now "thousands 
of people" were benefiting. 16 

Brown's reference here was to the system of com- 
munity art centers operated by Wyoming's Federal Art 
Project. The local galleries had been Lowry's early and 
primary concern and they remained the dominant ele- 
ment in his program. In his first few weeks as director, 
he toured the state, talking to school and civic officials 
about his project. In Cheyenne, Casper, Riverton, Rock 
Springs, Cody, and Laramie he got tentative commit- 
ments for appropriate space and a contribution of $100 
to cover incidental gallery expenses. Plans called for 
each gallery to have a supervisor and clerical help paid 
for by the project. Art exhibitions would circulate 
through the system on a regular basis and, in addition, 
the local centers would offer free instruction in art and- 
art appreciation. 

In the fall of 1936, Lowry completed the necessary 
groundwork for his project, scheduling exhibits out of 
FAP headquarters in Washington, arranging a half- 
dozen shows by Wyoming artists, and setting up the 
Laramie gallery. The entire operation budgeted ap- 
proximately $1700 per month in federal funds and 
Washington officials were more than satisfied with the 
new direction taken by Wyoming's project. 17 

The Laramie Art Center was Lowry's showpiece. 
The project rented a garage building at 415 Garfield 
near the downtown area and with WPA labor, paint, 
and a good deal of imagination, transformed it into an 
attractive and serviceable art center. It opened with ap- 
propriate fanfare on December 20, 1936; on exhibition 
was a collection of oils from the Denver Art Museum and 
a larger collection of WPA art works out of Washington. 
The nature of the show was distinctly "middle of the 
road" at Lowry's request. "We can't afford to shock our 
public on initial showing," he wrote, when making ar- 
rangements for the WPA exhibit. "Nothing drastically 
modern and by all means, exclude any nudes." The 
opening attracted over 200 people, including the FAP 
regional supervisor from Denver who spoke briefly on 
the occasion. A publicity flyer listed the various clubs, 
university organizations and private citizens that had 
contributed to the project, and termed the center a six- 
month experiment, the future of which rested in the 
hands of the community. 18 

The Laramie gallery remained the nerve center of 
the art project, though it changed location in the fall of 
1937. Somewhat to Lowry's dismay, the community 
failed to raise funds necessary to keep the Garfield Street 
center open beyond the first of September. The Univer- 
sity came to the rescue, and in November the gallery was 
reopened in the second floor lobby of the Arts and 
Science Building. Here it featured student and faculty 

art shows along with the traveling exhibits, becoming 
somewhat an adjunct to the University's Art Depart- 
ment. 19 This was not entirely inappropriate, for the 
University provided Lowry's office facilities, storage 
space for the project, and technical advice to the com- 
munity galleries. When "Federal One" ended in August 
1939, the University was designated as the official spon- 
sor for the art project, still operating on WPA funds, but 
now administratively part of the state WPA organization 
rather than the FAP in Washington. 

The extension galleries demanded most of Lowry's 
time on the project. There were the problems of getting 
local directors, finding proper space, getting community 
organizations to underwrite the modest (usually about 
$100 per year) housekeeping expenses necessary, and 
then arranging the exhibit schedules. In 1936 and 1937 
the project operated extension galleries in four com- 
munities: Riverton, Rock Springs, Casper, and Chey- 
enne. Lowry's hopes for one in Cody never materialized. 
By early 1938, Cheyenne and Casper had disappeared 
from his program, replaced by Torrington. In 1938- 
1939, the project included local galleries in seven towns 
besides Laramie, and Casper had returned to the list. 
With their gallery directors, most of whom were them- 
selves artists, these were Newcastle, (Mrs. Mary E. 
Wrede); Riverton, (Mrs. Charles Ervin); Sheridan, (Mr. 
Orman Pratt); Lander, (Mrs. Christine Eilman); 
Casper, (Mrs. Stella Stanton); Rock Springs, (Mr. Elgin 
Meachem); and Torrington, (Mrs. Maud R. Stevens). 20 
Most of the galleries were housed in public school 
buildings but there were exceptions. The Casper gallery 
was for a time in the American Legion building, then 
later in the club room of the Natrona County Library. 
Surveying the galleries in 1941, J. B. Smith, of the 
University of Wyoming Art Department, noted six 
located in school buildings, two in public libraries, one 
in a city hall and one in a post office. 21 

At this time the project reached its highest number 
of local art centers. The ten were located in Laramie, 
Torrington, Rock Springs, Newcastle, Sheridan, 
Casper, Riverton, Lander, Rawlins, and Evanston. In 
Smith's description of the project, he emphasized its im- 
portance as an educational force in the state, upgrading 
the level of public taste and valuable as a teaching aid in 
the schools. He barely mentioned the relief origins of the 
program which, at least in Wyoming, had been eclipsed 
by educational and cultural concerns. 

The extension gallery in Rock Springs was particu- 
larly successful. It operated without interruption and 
established a tradition (as well as an art collection) car- 
ried on today by the Rock Springs Fine Arts Center. 
Elgin "Bud" Meachem, a local artist, supervised the 
gallery and for a time in 1938-1939 he had the assistance 
of a young artist from New York, under a WPA inter- 
state loan arrangement. 

A handful of letters in the National Archives docu- 


ment Vince Campanella's nine-month assignment to the 
Rock Springs gallery. The young easterner arrived in 
Wyoming minus his painting gear; it had fallen off the 
rack of his car en route and was lost. The incident 
proved symbolic as he found very little time for his own 
creative work in the new job. Instead, he was soon in- 
volved in a heavy schedule of teaching art and art appre- 
ciation classes at the gallery, working with civic groups, 
and giving lectures and demonstrations for schools and 
clubs. He began to see what the FAP slogan, "Art For 
the Masses," could mean in practice. He found the 
experience deeply satisfying and he was impressed by the 
warmth and enthusiasm of the townspeople. Still tech- 
nically a part of the New York City Art Project, he 
returned to it with mixed feelings of regret and accom- 
plishment. Rock Springs citizens responded in kind. 
Campanella's enthusiasm for art and the art center was 
contagious, wrote the President of the Rock Springs Art 
Association; the young teacher had "discovered much 
talent which had hitherto lain dormant. Through his 
patience and skill in teaching, this talent was given op- 
portunity for expression." Another writer thanked 
Washington officials for bringing art to "our small city," 
and commended Campanella's "splendid" work. 
Through him, she said, the community had become 
aware of the "possibilities of coloring, literally, otherwise 
very ordinary lives." 22 

Though we have only fragmentary evidence to go 
on, apparently the galleries in Wyoming generated sub- 
stantial popular interest. In a four-month period (late 
1937 and 1938), they registered a total of 9511 visitors. 
At the time, the project included centers in Laramie, 
Torrington, Riverton, and Rock Springs. Supervisor 
Lowry, averaging the monthly attendance for each, ar- 
rived at figures of 1261, 702, 876, and 633 respectively. 
In 1940, and with eight galleries operating, the average 
monthly registration in each was 732. A year earlier, in 
1939, Newcastle's gallery supervisor wrote that the pro- 
ject had "almost one hundred percent support" in her 
community, noting a registration total of some five 
thousand over a period of about seven months. 23 

The galleries afforded Wyoming artists, whether or 
not they were on the WPA project, the important op- 
portunity to show their work in a regular and systematic 
way. Lowry often organized for the gallery circuit, one- 
man shows featuring the work of local painters, photog- 
raphers, and handicraft artisans. In 1938 he solicited 
work from the members of the Wyoming Art Association 
for a "Wyoming Artists Show" that toured the extension 
galleries. He saw in the fifty-eight entries (up by twenty- 
three over the previous year, in a similar competition) 
clear evidence that in quality and quantity, Wyoming 
art was making healthy progress. 24 

During its peak years from 1938 to 1942, Wyoming's 
Art Project employed from twenty-two to twenty-six 
people, though its work obviously reached a far greater 

number. In its support, the Federal Government allo- 
cated from $1600 to $1700 per month, a figure that was 
among the very lowest of all the states. The average 
"man-month" cost on the project was estimated to be 
about $70. 

It is easier to delineate the organizational side of the 
Wyoming project than to document the art work it pro- 
duced. Lowry's correspondence and reports centered on 
the galleries, rarely alluding to the "creative" side of his 
project. "As I have said so often," he wrote in 1939, "our 
project work is confined to gallery operations and not 
production — it takes artists to produce." 25 This was not 
literally true, and he might have added that Wyoming's 
project turned artists into gallery supervisors more often 
than not. But it is true that the project's goal of com- 
munity involvement minimized the production of pro- 
fessional easel and mural work by project personnel. 

Yet the project turned out a respectable amount of 
creative work. A cumulative report prepared by Lowry 
in February, 1939, gives some evidence of this. 26 Project 
personnel had completed the following individual 
pieces: prints (9); sketches (50); oils (14); murals (8) and 
water colors (15). "The works produced are on the racks 
here; some pieces of merit and perhaps acceptable for 
allocation; others only fair," Lowry commented. The 
tally covered output under his tenure; allowing for work 
done in 1935 and 1936 and that done after the Feb- 
ruary, 1939, report, a fair estimate of the total work 
done (all media) on the project would be perhaps 150 
items. A more precise figure is impossible. 

When Lowry spoke of works "acceptable for alloca- 
tion," he touched on an important part of the Federal 
Art Project, especially for Wyoming. Art produced by 
the project artists, who received simply a monthly wage, 
belonged to the Federal Government, not the artist. But 
work from the project, or from one of the WPA travel- 
ing exhibits, could be "allocated" to a public agency, a 
school district, a library, a city or county building, for 
example, on the payment of a fee covering costs of 
material. Typically, the charge for an oil painting was 
from ten to twenty dollars; for a water color, perhaps 
half that; and for a print, between one and two dollars. 
FAP officials in Washington handled allocation transac- 
tions and it is apparent from these records that perhaps 
as many as two hundred separate pieces of work found 
permanent home in Wyoming. Some of the items were 
produced by Lowry's project but most came from the 
touring WPA art collections. Acquisitions by the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming and its Student Union, opened in 
1939, accounted for well over half of the allocations. 
Modestly priced, original, and often technically excel- 
lent, these art works were a collective addition of con- 
siderable importance to the cultural resources of Wyo- 
ming at the time. Some representative examples of this 
work survive today in the permanent collections of the 
University Art Museum and of the Rock Springs Fine 

Arts Center. 

The mural work done under WPA sponsorship in 
Wyoming presents a somewhat different set of prob- 
lems. As schools and libraries have been redecorated 
and replaced through the years, few of these paintings 
remain to be seen. Nor, apparently, were all these works 
fixed permanently to the walls of those buildings they 
decorated. In 1939, Lowry listed eight "murals" done by 
project artists and allocated to public agencies in 
Laramie. 27 These paintings he classified as "removable" 
and none exceeded a size of four feet by eight feet; most 
were a good deal smaller. The works, their artists and 
their allocations are: "Prehistoric Animals" by Charles 
Ulrich (city schools); "Horse and Colt" by Charles Ulrich 
(University School); "Four Phases of Labor" by Virginia 
Pitman (city schools); "Youth and Ambition" by Vir- 
ginia Pitman (county library); "Evolution of Law" by 
Virginia Pitman (University Law College); "Overland 
Trail" by Minerva Teichert (University Art De- 
partment); and "Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod" by Jean 
Balenseifer (University School). 

Before Lowry came to the project at least a half- 
dozen murals were done under WPA auspices in Wyo- 
ming. Included here were a set of four panels done for 
the Torrington High School auditorium by Ernest 
Stevens of Van Tassell, Wyoming; a set of nine large 
panels decorating the Laramie High School auditorium 
by Florence Ware; a mural for the University Engineer- 
ing Building and two mural panels for the County 
Library in Cody by John Walley; a set of four panels 
decorating the Rock Springs High School library, done 
by Minerva Teichert of Cokeville; a set of murals for the 
Cheyenne High School library, by Robert True; and 
seven panels done for the Fort Washakie dining room, 
by Willie Spoonhunter. 28 This listing of this early work is 
probably incomplete for it is gleaned from miscellaneous 
correspondence and reports; no formal accounting of in- 
dividual works done in 1935 and early 1936 apparently 
survives. Some of the murals noted antedated the Art 
Project and were done as part of the state's WPA recrea- 
tion and education projects. 

Among the last of the WPA murals done in Wyo- 

"Youth and Ambition" by Virginia Pitman, WPA mural allocated to the Albany County Library. 


ming, and one that is still in place, is the seven by 
twenty-eight foot panel on the east wall of the University 
Student Union in Laramie. It depicts the "western 
welcome" arranged by students and faculty for in- 
coming University President A. G. Crane in 1922. In a 
mock hold-up and kidnapping, students in cowboy re- 
galia intercepted Crane's automobile outside Laramie, 
ushered the dignitary and his family into an old stage 
coach, and escorted the entourage to the campus. The 
artist included in his painting full-length portraits of 
prominent faculty members as well as those of Crane 
and his family. In the background are various campus 
buildings added to the campus during Crane's ad- 
ministration. The painting documents in a realistic way 
both an occasion and an epoch in the school's history 
and thus spoke directly to its audience. Crane was still 
chief executive as the mural was unveiled in March, 
1940. The artist was Lynn Fausett of Price, Utah. Lowry 
had worked out the details by which Fausett was tempo- 
rarily assigned to the Laramie task from the Utah Art 
Project. The painting was allocated to the University for 
a cost of about $600. 29 

The use of imported talent for this major assignment 
might seem an ironic commentary on the Wyoming Art 
Project. But Lowry never expected "artistic production" 
to be the strength of his organization and in concen- 
trating on the community galleries, his project served 
the cause of art in Wyoming remarkably well. As late as 
June, 1941, the project was circulating a slate of fifteen 
exhibitions through ten galleries, but within the year it 
ended. By this time, the federal office of the Art Project 
was systematically dissolving its traveling shows, the end 
of the entire venture in national patronage close at 
hand. In a few states the program survived for another 
six months, doing war-related projects — the production 
of posters, training aids, charts, and the like. In 
mid- 1943, what remained of the WPA organization it- 
self was dismantled. 

Wyoming's other "Federal One" agency, the writers 
project, evolved along lines similar to the Art Project. In 
the fall of 1935, it too was spliced together out of state 
WPA white-collar work relief efforts. Its first director, 
Mart Christensen, got the project off to a shaky start. 
His successor, Agnes Wright Spring, stabilized things 
and eventually produced results more in keeping with 
the expectations of Washington administrators. Salary 
scales and personnel allocations approximated those on 
the art project. The director drew pay of $175 per 
month and the average "man-month" cost of the project 
was about $63. Christensen launched his organization 
with a staff of ten people, and, by 1939, it employed 
about twenty-seven workers, most of whom were in their 
home communities collecting data for the state guide 
book project. As with the art project, the passage of time 
brought a de-emphasis of relief objectives and a greater 
concern for substantitive "professional" results. The 

writers project, however, never achieved a public visi- 
bility comparable to the art galleries, and its final report 
acknowledged that "little was known of this project by 
the community in general." 30 

Gordon Hendrickson's essay, "The WPA Writer's 
Project in Wyoming: History and Collections," Annals 
of Wyoming, Fall, 1977, pp. 175-192, provides a de- 
tailed account of how the organization worked and what 
its remaining records in Cheyenne contain. While Hen- 
drickson wrote without the use of material in the Na- 
tional Archives, the Washington sources do not contra- 
dict his essential findings. They do, however, fill in some 
gaps and allow us to see the state effort in a broader con- 

For instance, it seems clear that the writers project 
ran somewhat less smoothly than did the art project, at 
least in Wyoming. The correspondence between FWP 
officials in Washington and Cheyenne often carried 
more than a hint of tension. Perhaps this was inevitable, 
given the nature of the guide book enterprise. In the 
first place, Director Alsberg and his staff in Washington 
visualized the guide book series in a certain way. Yet 
each of the state volumes had to be written and assem- 
bled by local people who themselves had ideas about the 
book's proper content. Washington hoped for a product 
that would be creatively literary and analytical; 
sometimes, and Wyoming is an example, local personnel 
saw the book as something like an elaborate promotional 
brochure. 31 Moreover the process that produced guide 
book copy was slow and cumbersome. Inexperienced 
field workers gathered notes and raw data and sent this 
to Cheyenne. There, some three or four editors and 
writers verified and turned the material into a series of 
essays, the topics for which were assigned by Washing- 
ton. Federal directives and project manuals did little to 
speed up this task. Finally, sections of the guide went 
forward to Washington for a rigorous editing of both 
style and content and often the copy came back discour- 
agingly cut up. Not surprisingly, the enterprise absorb- 
ed virtually all the energy of the Wyoming project. 

Nor was the guide the only item on the agenda. Dur- 
ing the first eighteen months of its life, the Wyoming 
project included two collateral efforts that were his- 
torical in nature. One of these, the Statewide Historical 
Project, involved the collection, transcription, and in- 
dexing of manuscripts for the State Library. This work 
disappeared from the writers project in 1937, when 
federal officials ruled that it was part of the usual func- 
tion of the library and therefore could not qualify for 
federal subsidy. 32 The second was the Historical Records 
Survey, part of the writers project in Wyoming for about 
a year in late 1935 and 1936. The HRS had a federal 
director of its own and its mission was to inventory and 
index state and local public records. Connected to the 
writers project as an administrative expedient, it shortly 
had its own organization in Cheyenne. The HRS and its 

accomplishments are detailed in James Hanson's essay, 
"The Historical Records Survey in Wyoming," Annals of 
Wyoming, Spring, 1973, pp. 69-91. 

A strong historical orientation marked the writers 
project in Wyoming. In other states, with a greater den- 
sity of creative literary talent, it produced considerable 
poetry, fiction, and cultural commentary. Some frag- 
ments of this sort of work turn up in the files of the Wyo- 
ming project, but not much, and none were published 
at the time. 33 Mostly the Cheyenne staff worked as his- 
torian-journalists, writing and editing for the guide 
book. The materialthat came to them from field work- 
ers was uneven at best; however diligent and well- 
meaning, these people were not usually trained re- 
searchers and writers. Still, as Hendrickson points out in 
his article, their interviews with early settlers, biograph- 
ical sketches, anecdotes, and vignettes, are an important 
legacy of the project. Organized and indexed, this is 
now part of the WPA collection in the State Archives, 
Museums and Historical Department in Cheyenne. 

Transmuting the raw material into acceptable guide 
book copy was no small task. As published, the volume 
ran to almost five hundred pages. Following a pre- 
scribed format, it included a group of topical essays on 
the state and its history, a section on "cities," and finally 
a state tour guide including distances, landmarks and 
points of interest. In the Wyoming volume, some topical 
essays were "farmed out"; for example, the specialized 
sections on flora, fauna, and geology were done by Wyo- 
ming University Professors Aven Nelson, John Scott and 
S. H. Knight who assumed the chores without compen- 
sation. 34 Most of the writing however fell to the director 
and a small staff, working in an office in the State 
Capitol Building. 

Although he had some experience in journalism as 
publisher of the Snake River Herald in Carbon County, 
Director Mart Christensen's skills were mostly ad- 
ministrative and political. Earlier he had been registrar 
for the Federal Land Office in Cheyenne and in 1938 he 
left the writers project to run successfully as the 
Republican candidate for state treasurer. During his 
directorship of the project, very little guide book copy 
got the needed stamp of approval from Washington, 
and at one point Christensen suggested a novel alter- 
native. Might not the guide book, he asked, be simply 
turned over to a private party in Cheyenne who would 
prepare the copy and publish the volume as a private 
venture? Director Alsberg firmly set aside the idea, 
pointing out the national dimensions of the guide series 
and the need for a rigorous quality control in its publica- 
tion. 35 

FWP officials in Washington were not happy with 
Christensen's efforts and he was fired from the project in 
1938. 36 If his commitment to the New Deal organization 
was something less than total, Christensen had con- 
siderable company in Cheyenne and not just among his 

fellow Republicans. But his appointment tends to bear 
out Professor Larson's view that political patronage was 
not a major factor in the administration of Wyoming's 
relief programs. 37 

Agnes Wright Spring assumed Christensen's job in 
April, 1938. She had been with the project as an editor 
since March, 1936. An experienced writer and journal- 
ist, Mrs. Spring gave work on the guide book a new start, 
and she remained in the directorship until the project 
closed in 1942. While she, too, had some problems get- 
ting copy approved, they were minor and Wyoming's 
state guide went to press in late 1940. With this job com- 
plete, Mrs. Spring's organization assembled a "History 
of Grazing in Wyoming," a study that remained in 
manuscript form. Finally, the project did a history of the 
Wyoming National Guard, essentially a pictorial review 
that was published under the auspices of the Guard in 

The federal -state tensions that marked the project 
came into sharpest focus with the guide book task. By 
March, 1936, Christensen's staff of some seven secre- 
taries, typists, writers and editors in Cheyenne was send- 
ing sections of the Wyoming volume forward to Wash- 
ington. Comment from the federal end was prompt, 
good-tempered, candid, and detailed. Wyoming's ma- 
terial, it seems, was poorly organized, loosely written, in- 
adequately documented, and too often bogged down in 
antiquarian lore. From Cheyenne, Directors Christen- 
sen, and, later, Wright explained, defended, and re- 
vised. Often a note of frustration entered the dialog. 
The term "dude," wrote Christensen in one exchange, 
might be considered slang among Washington's editors, 
but in Wyoming its meaning was precisely understood. 
In fact, he added, the state had a good many terms in 
common usage that "vary far from the concepts of 
learned eastern critics." 38 

In another letter, Christensen protested copy 
changes made in Washington. At issue was the famed 
Teapot Dome oil lease scandal, an episode that Chris- 
tensen had passed over briefly in his essay on industry 
and labor. The manuscript noted, accurately enough, 
that the questionable leases had been returned to the 
federal government by court order. The editor in Wash- 
ington added a paragraph of further detail and explana- 
tion, naming the principals in the case and telling what 
happened to them. To Christensen, this seemed out of 
order, a gratuitous addition that did little to enhance 
the state's image. He fired a parting shot, suggesting 
that progress on the guide could be materially speeded 
up were the essays "not torn up so much in Washington, 
so to speak." 39 Washington had the last word; the added 
paragraph remained in the copy and appears at the bot- 
tom of page 94 of the published guide! 

Similar frustrations tried the patience of Mrs. 
Spring. After a two-page letter of editorial criticism 
from one of Washington's readers, she wrote the Federal 


Director protesting the "caustic" commentary and sug- 
gesting that perhaps another reader should be found. 40 
The storm blew over and in her preface to the guide 
Mrs. Spring graciously acknowledged the assistance 
given by that particular consultant, John Stahlberg of 
the Montana Writers Project. 

When Wyoming's Guide appeared in print in early 
1941, Director Spring, her chief editorial aides in Chey- 
enne, Dee Linford and Richard Rossiter, and several 
dozen field workers could congratulate themselves on a 
difficult job carried through to a successful conclusion. 
Few states had so small an organization as Wyoming, 
and a good many had far more difficulty in getting their 
guide volumes into print. In some instances the book 
became an item of political controversy, and in others, 
procrastination and internal bickering were major fac- 
tors. The copy problems that plagued the Wyoming ef- 
fort were inherent in the guide book project and accom- 
panied the preparation of virtually every volume in the 
series. 41 In late 1941, when the final state guide ap- 
peared (Oklahoma's), the Writer's Project itself was in 
the process of dissolution; in Wyoming, the records of 
Mrs. Spring's organization went into storage, January 8, 

The New Deal programs which subsidized art and 
artists in depression America can be and often are 
described in national terms. Guided at the top by ad- 
ministrators strongly committed to a democratization of 
the arts, the patronage efforts fostered a cultural move- 
ment of sorts. In spirit, scope, and intent the programs 
were certainly something new in American history and 
they made substantial and lasting contributions to the 
artistic heritage of the country. 

The federal nature of these programs virtually as- 
sured enormous variation in their operations. The fact 
of this diversity should not be overlooked, for it modifies 
in some respects the national synthesis just suggested. 
Contingency factors shaped the patronage efforts at the 
state level. These included such variables as local pat- 
terns of unemployment, the density and nature of avail- 
able cultural resources, and the internal dynamics of 
state and local organizations. 

This essay has noted the absence in Wyoming of 
both the Federal Music Project and the Federal Theater 
Project and has suggested why such was the case. The 
scope of Wyoming's art project and writers project was 
frankly limited, a necessary modification given local 
resources and personnel. The art project concentrated 
on its galleries and the writers project on its guide book. 
Rarely did project personnel identify themselves as part 
of a massive, nationwide cultural enterprise. They 
recognized the source of their funding, of course, and 
this implied some ties with Washington, but the connec- 
tion was remote in every sense of the word. 42 

The relief aspect of the federal programs was less 
important in Wyoming than in more densely populated 


areas. The two Wyoming adjuncts of "Federal One" ab- 
sorbed but a tiny fraction of the state's unemployed and 
very few were "professionals" as the term was understood 
by FAP officials in Washington. With federal dispensa- 
tion, Lowry's gallery network and the writers project in 
Cheyenne relied substantially on non-relief personnel. 
Partly for this reason and partly because of Lowry's 
direction, the art project evolved into a quasi -education- 
al enterprise, generally identified with the University 
and with the public schools in which the galleries were 
most often located. 

The federal patronage programs in Wyoming result- 
ed in little work that would be termed avant-garde or 
creatively experimental. The issue of political and ar- 
tistic radicalism, unsettling to many national critics of 
"Federal One," apparently was never a factor in Wyo- 
ming. There is no reason that it should have been. The 
writers project worked in anonymity on the state guide. 
On Lowry's project, the painting was conventional, 
competent in a technical sense, and readily accessible 
aesthetically to its viewers. Murals commissioned in the 
state by the Treasury Department's Section of Painting 
and Sculpture can be similarly characterized. The artists 
chose local themes — the west, its people and their pur- 
suits—and depicted them in realistic or semi-realistic 
modes well within the community's definition of proper 
"art." But if the federally-sponsored art in Wyoming 
made no severe demands on its audience, it still served 
an important end. Lowry made the point many times; 
the chance to see representative work in the original 
seems indispensable if the public is to be led toward a 
greater understanding of what art is all about. 

For many Wyoming residents, the murals, the art 
galleries, and the traveling exhibits introduced that 
chance. As an educational institution, the art project 
dealt in matters which hitherto had gone at considerable 
discount in the state. Lowry was right — the Federal Art 
Project brought a new dimension to the cultural life of 
the "Cowboy State" and its citizens were the richer for it. 
The local gallery was something tangible in itself, a 
badge of cultural awareness perhaps, that meant a good 
deal to the community. And the gallery network 
doubtless gave a boost to local artists by putting their 
work on systematic public display. 

The success of his galleries suggests, however, that 
Lowry stretched a point when he implied that his project 
was launched in a cultural vacuum. There was at least 
the Wyoming Art Association, with some thirty or forty 
members scattered throughout the state during the 
1930s. We have no way of knowing how many of these 
people were "certifiably unemployed" (probably very 
few), but here was a collective resource that surely en- 
hanced the project from the start. 43 

The writers project had no comparable impact on 
the cultural life of the state. Unlike Lowry's enterprise, 
it maintained a "low profile," doing its work on the 

guide book without much fanfare, but successfully, 
none the less. The Wyoming Guide turned out to be a 
representative volume in the series, with both the virtues 
and defects of its genre. It is essentially descriptive 
rather than analytical, a virtual catalog of places and 
people, narrated in straightforward fashion with more 
than a touch of local pride. Thanks to the indefatigable 
Mrs. Spring, the tour section of the book was metic- 
ulously done and it has stood well the test of time. If the 
topical essays do not read so well today, this is partly 
because our expectations have changed; we are interest- 
ed in the "why" as well as the "what" and "when," and 
we look for themes, interrelationships, and developmen- 
tal features. 44 Not unlike the paintings done by the 
WPA in Wyoming, the Guide assumes now the signifi- 
cance of an artifact, picturing, as it were, the "Cowboy 
State" in an earlier, less complex time. In it one sees 
what the project writers thought to be significant and 
how they viewed their land and heritage. 45 

A fitting epitaph to the Writers Project exists in the 
National Archives, written by a member of the Utah 
project. Her organization was twice the size of 
Wyoming's but her comment applies no less to the work 
done by Directors Christensen and Spring and their peo- 
ple. "In common with all the other Writer's Projects," 
she wrote, "we did the nation an incomparable service 
by finishing our American Guide Series just before the 
outbreak of the war. The war must change the face of 
this land very greatly; the American Guide Series drew a 
complete portrait of America at a moment of perpetual 
historical significance." History and the nation, she con- 
tinued, must owe always a debt of gratitude to the WPA 
that this was done. 46 

1 . "A Review of the Federal Art Galleries in Wyoming," typescript 
in the National Archives, Record Group 69, file 651.315 
(hereafter cited as 69/651.315). 

2. For example, see William F. McDonald, Federal Relief Ad- 
ministration and The Arts (Columbus, Ohio, 1969); Richard D. 
McKinzie, The New Deal for Artists (Princeton, N.J., 1973); 
Francis V. O'Connor (ed.), The New Deal Art Projects 
(Washington, D.C., 1972); Monty Penkower, The Federal Writ- 
ers' Project: A Study in Government Patronage of the Arts 
(Champaign-Urbana, 111., 1977); and Jerre Mangione, The 
Dream and The Deal: The Federal Writer's Project, 1935-1943 
(Boston, 1972). These volumes provided essential background 
material for this essay. 

3. T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln, Neb., 1965), 
p. 443. See also Professor Larson's essay, "The New Deal in Wyo 
ming," Pacific Historical Review, August, 1969, pp. 249-273. 

4. She commonly used a different entree', representing herself as a 
writer for the Wyoming Stockman Farmer, to which she had in- 
deed contributed in the past. Agnes Wright Spring's recollection 
appears in Mangione, The Dream and The Deal, p. 117. 

5. Jane De Hart Mathews, "Arts and the People: The New Deal 
Quest for a Cultural Democracy. "Journal of American History, 
September, 1975, pp. 316-339. 

6. These three programs the PWAP, TRAP, and the Section of 
Painting and Sculpture and their work in Wyoming is dis- 
cussed in H. R. Dieterich and Jacqueline Petravage, "New Deal 

Art in Wyoming: Some Case Studies," Annals of Wyoming, 
Spring, 1973, pp. 53-67. 

7. For illustrations of this work and detail on the commission, see 
Dieterich and Petravage. 

8. The examples are documented by letters from the artist, John 
Walley, and the piano teacher, Alice Wertz, in 69/651.315 and 
69/651.311. The music instruction out of Cheyenne is men- 
tioned in the December, 1939, report of Wyoming's WPA 
Education/Recreation Project, 69/651.314. 

9. The comment came in a regional meeting of relief administra- 
tors in April, 1935; it is quoted in McDonald, Federal Relief Ad- 
ministration and The Arts, p. 96. 

10. Edward Requa to Music Project, November 3, 1938, 
69/651.311. This rendition of the letter is precise, even to Mr. 
Requa's syntactical and spelling innovations. 

11. Bruno Ussher to Dorothy Cline, August 21, 1936, 69/651.311. 
Ussher was an assistant director in the Federal Music Project; 
Cline, a field supervisor for the Recreation Department within 
the WPA. 

12. For the quota dispensation, see correspondence between State 
WPA Administrator Will Metz and Washington officials in 
January, February, 1936, 69/651.315. On the all-inclusive pro- 
ject, the relevant correspondence was between Ernest P. 
Marschall in Cheyenne and FAP head Holger Cahill in 
December and January, 1935-56, 69/651.315. Marschall's title 
in the state WPA organization was "Educational Consultant." 

13. For this early phase of the project, see correspondence, Mar- 
schall to Cahill, October 29, December 11, 1935; F. M. Strong 
to Bruce McClure, December 16, 1935; and Will Metz to Jacob 
Baker, May 29, 1936, 69/651.3. 

14. Cahill to Donald Bear, June 23, 1936; June 25, 1936; Bear to 
Cahill, June 26, 1936; June 30, 1936, 69/651.315. Donald Bear 
was Director of the Denver Art Museum and also a Regional 
Supervisor for the FAP. 

15. Lowry had chaired the University's art department since 1934. 
To say that he kept Washington officials informed on 
Wyoming's Art Project, once he became its director, is an 
understatement; he barraged them with letters, requests, ex- 
planations, and enthusiastic accounts of his activity on the pro- 
ject. His correspondence dominates the Wyoming Art Project 
record in the National Archives. 

16. Brown to Thomas C. Parker, September 5, 1939, 69/651.315. 
Parker was Assistant Director on the FAP. Brown, a native of 
Buffalo, Wyoming, and a self-taught artist, had been Lowry's 
assistant on the Wyoming Project. With Brown, the directorship 
became full time and carried a salary of $1800 per year. 

17. In a number of letters to Washington, LowTy described his ef 
forts to launch a gallery system. See especially, Lowry to Cahill, 
October 10; Lowry to Parker, November 12, November 28, 
December 4, December 19, and December 29, 1936, 69/ 

18. Lowry's cautionary directions on the opening exhibit were to 
Washington officials Thomas Parker, October 27, and to Ed 
ward Crofut, November 23, 1936, 69/315. The Laramie Re 
publican- Boomerang covered the gallery opening in a front 
page story, December 20, and in a sympathetic editorial mark- 
ing the cultural event, December 21. The mimeographed flyer 
listing works in the opening show, local sponsors, and plans for 
the gallery is in 69/315. 

19. Lowry to D. S. Defenbacher, October 6 and October 16, 1937. 
69/651.315. Defenbacher was a regional director for the FAP, 
working out of Washington. The campus newspaper. The 
Branding Iron, covered the new gallery on a regular basis; see 
for example, its issues for November 11, December 2, "Fight 
Hundred Visit Federal Art Gallery During First Week. Lowry 
Reveals." and December 9, 1937. 


20. Lowry, report to Washington office of FAP, March 1938, head- 
ed "A Review of the Federal Art Galleries in Wyoming"; Wilbur 
Brown to Thomas C. Parker, September 5, 1939, 69/651.315. 
Brown had just taken over the project and his letter lists the 
gallery directors. 

21. J. B. Smith, "Art Galleries: Wyoming's Small-Town Educa- 
tional Enterprise," The Clearing House, February, 1942, 31. 

22. For his experiences in Rock Springs, see Campanella's letter to 
D. S. Defenbacher, February 27, 1939, and to Thomas C. 
Parker, October 26, 1939; citizen response quoted here came 

from letters, Charles Bohn to Holger Cahill, September 15, 32. 

1939, and Mrs. J. J. Gosar to Thomas Parker, January 21, 1939. 33. 

This material is in 69/651.3151, Campanella folder. 

23. Lowry s Figures are in his "Review of the Federal Art Galleries in 34. 
Wyoming," March 1938, 69/651.315 and the 1940 figure is 

from J. B. Smith's article on the galleries (note 21). The Newcas- 
tle information is in Mary Wrede's letter to Democratic Party 
Chairman, James A. Farley, May 29, 1939, a copy of which is in 35. 

69/651.315. Mrs. Wrede urged the Democrats to make the art 
project a "permanent organization." 

24. The Branding Iron, March 3, 1938. 36. 

25. Lowry to Thomas C. Parker, April 21, 1939, 69/651.315. 37. 

26. Typescript report by Lowry, "issued 2/15/39," in 69/651.315. 
From the data in Lowry s report Professor James Forrest has 
been able to more accurately catalog some of the items now a 

part of the University of Wyoming Art Collection. 38. 

27. Ibid. 

28. The murals of Stevens and Teichert are noted in a narrative 
report of WPA activity in Wyoming during the first six months 
of 1937, prepared by E. E. Dagley who was Lowry s predecessor 
on the Art Project; from the report, it is clear that the Stevens 

and Teichert paintings were completed in 1936. The report is in 39. 

69/Division of Information Series, Box 299. On Stevens as an 40. 

artist and the Torrington murals, see Larry L. Armstrong, 41. 

"Ernest Elmer Stevens," unpublished M.A. thesis, University of 
Wyoming Art Department, 1970. Walley's university mural is 42. 

mentioned in a typescript "Wyoming Art," prepared by the 
Writers Project in Cheyenne, WPA Collection, Part II, file 
1166, Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical 
Department (WSAMHD). The work in Cody, done in August, 
1935, Walley mentioned in a letter to the Director of the FAP in 
Washington, August 5, 1935, 69/651.315. Robert Trues work is 
noted in a Laramie Boomerang story, January 17, 1937, as True 
was named by Lowry to be supervisor for the Garfield Street 43. 

gallery. True was a nephew of Allen True, a Denver artist 
known for his paintings in the State Capitol Building in 
Cheyenne. Florence Ware's work is mentioned in an essay on 
Wyoming art in the Writers Project Collection in the Wyoming 44. 

State Archives, Museums and Historical Department, (Part II, 
file 1552). The single mention of the Spoonhunter painting is in 
a letter, Ernest Marschall to Holger Cahill, May 13, 1936, 
69/651.351. It is likely that other murals were done by WPA 
personnel in Wyoming in 1936 and 1937; Walter Jones of 
Evanston has called my attention to one such possibility, a 
mural in the Uinta County Library that dates from 1936, quite 
likely done by a local painter as part of a WPA Recrea- 
tion/Education project. 

29. The correspondence concerning Fausett's mural is in 45. 
69/651.3151. See also front page story in Laramie Boomerang, 
March 3, 1940. 

30. "Final State Report, Wyoming Writer's Project," (three page 
typescript, no date), 69/651.3117. On the early organization of 
the project, see letters, Christensen to Alsberg, November 8, 

1935 and Maurice Howe to Alsberg, March 19, 1956, 69/ 46. 

651.3172. Howe was State Director of the Utah Project but he 


served also as a field trouble-shooter for the national office; 
visiting Cheyenne in the spring of 1936, he noted that the pro- 
ject was still operating without filing cabinets, a situation to be 
shortly remedied, he was assured. Mrs. Spring, in a report to 
Washington July 13, 1939, noted that her staff numbered 
twenty-seven. (69/651.3172). 

Director Christensen wrote at the beginning of the project that 
the guide would "tell the rest of the United States what we have 
in Wyoming and where to find it." Christensen to Wyoming 
State Librarian Alice Lyman, November 25, 1935. The letter is 
in the WPA Collection, III, file 51, WSAMHD. 
Hendrickson, P. 181. 

A sample of this, Mrs. Cecil Howrey's poem, "In Wyoming," 
was published in Annals of Wyoming, Spring, 1977, p. 52. 
See letters, Alsberg to Christensen, March 13, 1936, and George 
Cronyn to Christensen, June 15, 1937, 69/651.3172. Cronyn was 
an associate director on the FWP. The "farmed out" essays were 
approved in 1937. 

Christensen to Alsberg, Mar. 3, 1937; Alsberg to Christensen, 
May 7, 1937, 69/651.3172. On early work that was rejected by 
Washington, see also Hendrickson, p. 180. 
Mangione, The Dream and The Deal, p. 77. 
Larson, "The New Deal In Wyoming," p. 263. In this article, 
cited in note 3, Professor Larson points out that most Repub- 
licans and many Democrats in Wyoming were by 1938 voting 
along anti-New Deal lines. 

Christensen to Cronyn, October 4, 1937, 69/651.3172. For 
criticisms of Wyoming's copy, see for example, Cronyn to 
Christensen, February 1, 1936; March 9, 1937; Irving Lubin to 
Cronyn, July 11, 1936, 69/651.3172. Lubin was a con- 
sultant/reader for the FWP; his memo includes a tough four- 
page critique of Wyoming's manuscript materials. 
Christensen to Alsberg, February 26, 1938, 69/651.3172. 
Spring to Alsberg, May 3, 1939, 69/651.3172. 
Mangione, details in chapters 9 and 10 some of the many guide 
book problems. 

On occasion, Washington's triumphs were shared, however, as 
when a laudatory cover story on the FAP in Time, September 5, 
1938, included a photograph of Laramie's gallery. Lowry as- 
sessed state reaction to the article as "very favorable," and with 
the self-assurance that marked most of his observations, he con- 
tinued; "Modestly speaking, the state is very proud of the 
Federal Art Project." Lowry to Donald Bear, September 15, 
1938, 69/651.315. 

A Wyoming artists association had existed since 1931. Brief 
notes on the organization and its membership were compiled by 
the writers project. See WPA Collection, II, files 1182, 1552, 

The state history series published as part of the Bicentennial 
celebration of the 1970s is an interesting analog to the WPA 
guides. It too was underwritten by federal money and followed a 
prescribed format. The Bicentennial volumes are, however, 
more compact and reflect a greater concern for internal 
coherence and interpretative analysis. They were done under 
the supervision of a professional organization (the American 
Association for State and Local History), which group assigned 
each book to an author of established reputation. Wyoming's 
volume is the work of historian T. A. Larson. 
Too long out of print, the Wyoming Guide will again be 
generally available to the public when it is reissued by the 
University of Nebraska Press in 1981. The new edition will in- 
clude an introductory essay by Professor T. A. Larson and thus 
links, in some sense, the Bicentennial History with the New Deal 

Grace Winkleman, "Final Report, Utah Writers Project," 
January, 1943. The document is the Utah folder, 69/651.3117. 

Washakie County Sites 

WSHS 31st Annual Trek 

By Ray Pendergraft 

July 19, 1980 

One hundred and sixty members and guests of the 
Wyoming State Historical Society left Worland in buses 
on Sunday morning, July 19, on the thirty-first annual 
historical trek sponsored by the Society. Ray Pender- 
graft, Washakie County Chapter president and past 
president of the WSHS, was chairman for the trek, as- 
sisted by Bill Bragg of Casper, the Society's first vice 

Pendergraft had prepared the narrative for the trek, 
read in the buses and at selected stops along the 
140-mile route. Following is a slightly edited account of 
the trek. 

Leaving Worland the group crossed the lower and 
upper Hanover canals, which played a vital part in the 
development of this part of the Big Horn Basin. It began 
about 1903 on the west bank of the Big Horn River with 
a surveyor's camp conveniently located near Dad Wor- 
land's overnight stopping place, a dugout with a wooden 
front, built into a bank just back from the union of Fif- 
teen Mile Creek with the Big Horn River. 

The founders of Worland were substantial business- 
men, bankers and professional men who got along well 
with the few native citizens so that they all worked in 
harmony to develop a sound business community. The 
area had other settlements which did not make it. Back 
in 1906, when the C.B. & G\ Railroad came up the val- 
ley from the north, it planned to establish towns every 
few miles along the way. Some eight miles south of Man- 
derson they laid out — on paper — a town to be called 
Rairden, after Dr. Rairden, one of its settlers, and a 
scant few miles still farther south, still another, Durkee. 
Post offices and a public building or two were op- 
timistically erected. Manderson, a thriving community 
in those days, was supported by a coal mine, stock ship- 
ping, two hotels, a restaurant, a saloon and stores. 

Manderson is situated on the east side of the Big 
Horn River at its union with the Nowood. Many set- 
tlements were established at the joining of two streams. 
Several miles east of Manderson was Bonanza, where the 
Nowood and the Paint Rock join. Still farther east is 
Hyattville, at the junction of Paint Rock and Medicine 
Lodge. (Worland was originally established where Fif- 
teen Mile Creek ran into the Big Horn.) Old Ther- 
mopolis stood where Kirby Creek and the Big Horn met; 
Ten Sleep, where the Nowood and Ten Sleep joined; 

Greybull, at the meeting of the Greybull River and the 
Big Horn; Neiber, at the Gooseberry and the Big Horn; 
Chatham, at Cottonwood and the Big Horn. 

Southeast of Manderson was an embryo settlement 
called Jordan, and its principal reason for being was its 
flour mill. In its day, it was quite an enterprise. Water 
was piped from the Nowood to a hill top, then run down 
the hill to provide the power to operate the mill. Most of 
the flour in the area came from the Jordan mill. The 
wheat was largely soft wheat, but it did grind into flour 
and was satisfactory for the making of bread. 

The German colony, established around 1888 on the 
east river bottom a few miles south of Manderson, pro- 
vided considerable business for the Jordan flour mill. 
The late Johnny Bihr, son of one of the founders of the 
group which had migrated all the way from Germany, 
told of hauling a wagon load of wheat to the Jordan mill 
and waiting for it to be ground. If one didn't want to 
wait, he could take flour ground from some other 
farmer's wheat at the rate of three hundred pounds for 
every ton of wheat he supplied. 

Following the usual pattern, they entered the Big 
Horn Basin over Cottonwood Pass in covered wagons. 
The Bihr family, the Boshes, the Wostenburgs, the 
Vosses, the Maiers and others followed the dirt road to 
Manderson. They needed some 1500 acres of unclaimed 
and tillable land with sufficient water to irrigate it. 
There was a lot of such land south of Manderson and a 
few miles up the Big Horn River they found some rich 
bottom land. They settled where the Big Horn provided 
a plentiful source of water. There were few people living 
up the river from there. Dan Winslow homesteaded a 
few miles up from the mouth of Nowater creek in 1889, 
B. J. Neiber in 1892 at the mouth of Gooseberry, and 
some folks named Winchester way up on Cottonwood. It 
seemed nearly everyone wanted to migrate downstream 
and very few upstream. The German colony settled on 
the bottom land they found and dug a ditch entirely by 
hand which they named the Fritz Ditch. They took up 
1500 acres among them. 

Slick Creek Drainage 

The greasy, gumbo soil gives Slick Creek an ap- 
propriate name, but that isn't why it was so named. It 
got its name from a rather smooth individual. Slick 
Nard, who had attempted to rob a traveling sheep- 


shearer of $700 in gold and currency at the draw north 
of Worland now known as Slick Creek. Nard shot at the 
man and the bullet went through his arm. He whipped 
up his team, turned around and, bouncing about in the 
buckboard, outran Nard back to Thermopolis. 

Sand Creek divide separates the waters that drain 
the badlands between Worland and Ten Sleep. All the 
runoff on the east of this divide finds its way into the 
Nowood drainage; all that comes down on the west side 
goes into the Big Horn. The oil tanks and other struc- 
tures scattered along this area mark the famous Hidden 
Dome oil field which has been producing hydrocarbons 
in one form or another since 1917. The Bonanza oil seep 
alerted people in the area to the possibilities of impor- 
tant oil deposits in the Basin. As early as 1912 there was 
some drilling east of Worland, but with no results. In 
1914, the Grass Creek oil fields and Little Buffalo Basin 
were being drilled with some success. Drilling was being 
done in Elk Basin and other areas around Basin, and 
there was a lot of excitement about it. What is now 
known as Hidden Dome received no attention because 
the dome the oil men were always looking for was just 
what its name says, "hidden." Still there were other in- 
dications which knowledgeable oil men found and in the 
fall of 1917 drilling was started by Ohio Oil. Gas was 

As usual big plans were immediately made to build a 
town there. C. C. Worland, son of Dad Worland, Abe 
Kent, the sheriff, banker Herman Gates, Joe Cook, oil 
man and hotel operator, and other local citizens got 
right into it. Ohio Oil was, of course, in it too. 

But another almost automatic event occurred — a 
squabble over rights and land areas. Ohio Oil was again 
in the middle of it. Suits were filed — Donnell v. Tallon, 
another Worland group v. the Ohio. The field by this 
time was swarming with locators. In May, 1937, the long 
litigation over rights was settled out of court. 

There was oil activity elsewhere, too. Dr. Frederick 
Cook, noted North Pole explorer, began drilling around 
Neiber where a very large and perfect dome existed. A 
lot of fast road building was done into the area. Dr. 
Cook obtained a lease from W. C. Holtz, earlier a 
Worland town marshall. Now the government stepped 
in and withdrew all land in the Neiber Dome other than 
land already filed on. In the fall of 1919 four million 
cubic feet of gas was struck at Hidden Dome. 

With all this gas a scant few miles from Worland it 
seemed it wouldn't be too long before the community 
was enjoying all the benefits of gas heating and cooking. 
But it was not until 1927 that natural gas was turned 
into the city gas mains of Worland. About this time the 
Worland Grit ran an editorial stating, "Washakie Coun- 
ty is unfortunate in not having discovered oil; it is here, 
and only needs a deep test hole to find it." Press Ander- 
son of Basin and Herbert Wise of Worland were drilling 

shallow wells at the Bud Kimball dome a few miles far- 
ther east and south. 

In 1932 drilling at Hidden Dome began again. Oil 
was struck at a depth of 1430 feet. It was a very high 
quality oil. Several of the workers put it directly into 
their gas tanks and drove back to Worland with it. 

A few days later a gusher was hit at Hidden Dome, 
with oil spurting a hundred feet into the air. The first 
well was now flowing 1200 barrels a day. The oil fever 
became more intense than ever and a cracking plant to 
remove the gas from the oil was hastily constructed in 
Worland by Alton "Skeeter" Denton, son of W. A. Den- 
ton, Worland merchant. 

Now a number of new oil companies began moving 
rigs into the area and a burst of drilling took place. Yale 
Oil bought out the Wyoming Oil Refinery (Skeeter Den- 
ton's company), enlarged the refinery to turn out five 
hundred barrels of gasoline a day, and built a pipeline 
from Hidden Dome to Worland. 

To make up for its long delayed development, Hid- 
den Dome was now pronounced the most active field in 
the Rocky Mountain region. Fifteen more wells were 
drilled, and another gusher blew in. Hidden Dome has 
continued to be an active producer as the years pass. 

Highway 16 

In the early 1900s there was no direct road connect- 
ing Worland and Ten Sleep. Travelers had to go to 
Bonanza from Ten Sleep, down to Manderson, cross 
there, come up the Bridger Trail, and cross the river 
again after Worland had moved to the east side of the 
river. A road of sorts existed down the east side of the 
Big Horn River to Manderson, and this came into some 
use, but unlike the west side which was gravelly, it 
became impassable when it rained. The Nowood-Ten 
Sleep area was a most important part of the developing 
new country. 

The citizens of both Worland and Ten Sleep, which 
by then was a settlement boasting a general store, post- 
office, saloon, hotel and a few dwellings, got together 
and planned a road. Bill George of Worland began a 
subscription list for expenses of the project and in two 
hours had obtained $365. By midsummer of 1906 $1000 
had been subscribed and the work began. Several 
business and professional men, Ashby Howell, mer- 
chant, C. R. Robertson, mayor of the town, C. H. 
Worland, its founder, and others started for Ten Sleep 
on horseback, selecting the easiest route. A group of 
Ten Sleepers did the same thing, and where they met, 
the road was decided upon and work was begun. 

The Big Horn County commissioners, sitting in 
Basin, disallowed a county road because there was 
nothing definite as to description in the petition. 
Nonetheless the road was built that summer. Charlie 


Ford and his stepfather started work from the Ten Sleep 
side, with two teams and plow and slip and worked 
toward Worland. The Worland crew worked toward 
Ten Sleep, and by mid-September a road between the 
two cities existed. A trial run was made over it, and it 
was pronounced the best road in the county. Ford and 
his step-dad, Morton, received $300 for their summer 
long work on the road. 

Road building presented no particular difficulties in 
the area. There were few rocky sections. The terrain was 
composed of bentonitic deposits and scaly soil, and it 
had long slopes and ridges suitable for horse -and -wagon 
movement. When it rained, travel was almost impossible 
but an hour or two of sunshine usually remedied this. 

The thoroughfare continued to be shortened and 
otherwise improved in coming years. In 1917 it became 
known as the Black and Yellow Trail, from the Black 
Hills to Yellowstone. Tourism was becoming important 
by then as automobiles became more numerous and 
more certain. A narrow ribbon of road over the Big 
Horns was widened down Ten Sleep Canyon and a new 
industry, the repairing and servicing of motor vehicles, 
came into being. By 1917 this had become such a part of 
business life that George B. "Bear George" McClellan, 
who had been operating the Red Bank Cattle Ranch 
moved across to Worland then purchased the Ford 
garage in partnership with a man named M. G. Wild, 
and there came into being the appropriately named 
Wild Bear Garage. The purchase was made from the 
Moore brothers and Frank St. Clair. 

It is possible now to drive from Worland to Ten 
Sleep in thirty minutes and still observe the 55-mile-per- 
hour speed limit. We're getting way ahead of our story, 

During the early horse-and-wagon days, when it 
might take a team pulling a loaded wagon two days to 
make the trip one way, a well had been drilled roughly 
halfway between Worland and Ten Sleep, and this 
became the usual stopping place for an overnight trip. 
The family of Alti Pendergraft, Washakie County's first 
sheriff, moved to Worland from Spring Creek, some 
eight miles south of Ten Sleep, in April of 1910, almost 
one year to the day after the Spring Creek raid. With 
their two tarp-covered wagons loaded with their worldly 
possessions, and the various family members perching 
wherever they could find a secure and advantageous 
spot on the wagons, they set out from the house on the 
Wain ranch where they had dwelt for the past five years, 
leaving the one solid piece of evidence of their existence 
there, a barn Pendergraft had built without the benefit 
of a single nail, the corners mortised and tenoned. This 
barn is still standing. 

They got as far as Ten Sleep that first day, fording 
the Nowood River at the edge of the town. The store 
owner, Walter Fiscus, was a kindly man who allowed the 
family to roll out their beds in the aisles inside his store, 

a place of business which the younger members of the 
family had never entered previously. Ray tells about ly- 
ing awake that night, gazing into the counters displaying 
stick candy, caramels, and other delicious things just a 
few inches from his face. 

Their first obstacle after leaving Ten Sleep the next 
morning was the combined Nowood-Ten Sleep creeks, 
which joined just above the crossing. April is high -water 
time, and the creek was running bank full. Was the 
crossing solid, or had it been washed away, as sometimes 
happened? Otto "Slim" Pendergraft (for whom Pender- 
graft Peak in the Rockies is named) rode horseback out 
into the current to make sure the bottom was still there. 
It was, and the crossing was successfully made, punc- 
tuated by yells and shrieks from the younger members of 
the family when a wheel would bounce over a creek-bed 
boulder and water would splash inward. 

The noon camp was made at Cottonwood Creek, the 
horses fed and allowed to rest, and the family enjoyed 
what amounted to a picnic under the cottonwoods, 
which were larger and more numerous than they are 
there today. The younger members got their first taste 
of oranges and bananas, no doubt obtained from Mr. 
Fiscus that morning. 

By evening they were at the well site and the water, 
well flavored with alkali, was much appreciated. They 
were visited that evening, on a not too distant ridge, by 
two or three wolves, who seemed more curious than ag- 

Much speculation occurred the following day as to 
whether they would see a train when they pulled into 
Worland. And as they topped the bench just east of 
town, a long, drawn-out wail reached their ears from the 
hazy distance, black smoke puffed up into the air, and 
they indeed saw a train — the first such awe-inspiring 
sight the younger children had seen. Since the Pender- 
graft livery stable which he had just purchased was but 
one block from the railroad track (not the best arrange- 
ment for semi-wild teams and saddle horses) and the 
home Alti had built during the past winter was right 
beside it, they got a satisfactorily eye-filling view of the 
mighty steam engine busily switching freight cars, clang- 
ing its bell, and tooting its whistle. 

The Blue Bank Road 

The Blue Bank Road was named because of numer- 
ous blue deposits of bentonite and lignite. It is an old 
road, used as a cutoff in the early days — still so used, in 
fact. It did cut off a substantial number of miles from 
the long trip, and at three or four miles an hour — aver- 
age walking speed for a horse — this made a lot of differ- 
ence in what time you reached your destination. Orig- 
inally this road went down a long hogback to the valley 
floor of the Honeycombs. It was said that if anyone got 


off the trail down in these Honeycombs, he could 
wander for days trying to find his way out of them. 

The old coal mine of U. S. Hubbell is actually down 
in the Honeycomb area, some couple of miles north. He 
was a hermit, who chose to live out away from everyone. 
His place was a ramshackle hut made of unpainted 
boards and logs. His mine was an opening into a sloping 
hillside; the coal obtained there was a low grade lignite, 
which, though it produced much in the way of clinkers 
and ash and not too much in the way of heat, did burn 
and provided fuel for the settlers who could drive out in 
a wagon and load it up. I once drove out there in my 
Model A Ford — in the early thirties — and found the 
place deserted except for a coyote chained up to the 
pump in the yard. The coyote displayed no hospitality 
whatever, and was the determining factor in my decision 
that I really wasn't interested in the life and times of a 
lonely — by choice — old hermit. 

In addition to being a hermit, a coal miner and a 
coyote trapper, Mr. Hubbell had one other contradic- 
tory avocation; he was a racing car enthusiast, the owner 
of a far out racing vehicle. Where he was able to use this 
vehicle out in the badlands is a question. 

There are many coal outcrops in this area, and the 
coal is much the same — low grade lignite, but burnable. 
You will note the outcrops as we go along. I once drove a 
slope for about a hundred feet into a hill along a coal 
vein for Millard Moses, just north of Highway 16. At the 
end of that time, the vein not having improved in quali- 
ty, the work was abandoned. 

A lot of road changes have taken place with High- 
way 16 down the years, but much of it still follows 
generally the route laid out by the citizens of Worland 
and Ten Sleep. It was along this route, back in April of 
1909, that Joe Allemand and Joe Emge trailed their 
sheep, having wintered them near Worland. Allemand, 
whom everyone liked, had been warned privately not to 
attempt to move his sheep across the badlands along 
that route. But he explained that this was the only way 
he could cross to reach his ranch and summer range on 
Spring Creek. For three nights they moved their sheep 
across the country; no one slept in his wagon. They bed- 
ded down out in the brush, although not really expect- 
ing trouble. They made the trip across without incident, 
however. The trouble came later, when Allemand felt 
he was home safe. 

This odd formation which has been named the 
Honeycombs covers an area roughly thirty miles long by 
at least fifteen miles wide, interspersed by small areas of 
smoother land. There are a number of trails down 
through it, and in season it is inhabited by fat deer. It is 
BLM land and prospective plans are to have it designat- 
ed as wilderness area. It was necessary for us to obtain a 
permit in order to take our buses off the road here. 

There is an absence of human habitation in this 
stretch of the Blue Bank cut off. Water, drinking and 

household water mainly, is the problem. After the 
spring run -off, carried swiftly away by the many washes 
that vein the entire area, the land is dry. The water, 
when drilled for and found, is nearly always alkaline. 

Now and then one passes a reservoir containing 
water. They have been built by the BLM over the years 
since that agency was put in charge of the federal lands, 
and gradually some of the spots are greening up, a few 
trees growing, an oasis in this otherwise arid land. When 
the winter snow is good and the spring rains plentiful, 
the land provides good grazing for both cattle and sheep 
in the late spring months. In the winter the salt sage is 
good nourishment for sheep, being richer in protein 
than grass, green or cured. So for many years this area 
has been used for stock grazing in season but had no 
other use until the oil industry discovered its true 

North Butte 

On the right is North Butte which I have always 
called Lookout Peak. During the days when the land 
was under control of the Taylor Grazing Act, a fire 
watch was maintained on its top. A small house stood on 
its crest until finally a high wind carried it over the east 
edge where its remains may still be seen scattered about. 
There is a road of sorts, if it is not washed out, leading 
up to the top. It was very steep and narrow at its best. 
From the top there is a breathtaking view of the country 
in all directions, a vast panorama of jumbled hills, the 
faint green area along the Big Horn River, and the misty 
blues of the Rockies far to the west. Mr. Compton, one 
of the historians accompanying this trek, was a fire 
guard on North Butte for many years. 

The structure to the right is owned by Cliff Bru- 
baker. Both sheep and cattle now use this area in season. 
The land looks barren and forsaken now. In April and 
May, it is green with grass, with Indian paint brush 
showing crimson all over, and the fresh looking pink bit- 
terroot, blooming here and there like flower gardens. 

About a mile farther on is a corral, loading chute, 
owned by Bob Redland, and he uses it to load cattle into 
trucks when ready to transport them to market or to a 
feed lot. Here, too, in the little valley under, the gas- 
powered oil pumper throbs along on top of the hill to the 
northwest. The spring flowers and grass make this a 
garden spot in mid-spring. 

Buffalo Detention Dam. BLM built this dam to hold 
the runoff from the long draw to the west. Dutch Mills, 
whose home ranch is just south of Ten Sleep on the 
Nowood, has this grazing area. The buildings are his, 
although much of the interior furnishing have been 
stolen and the property much vandalized. Here is 
located the "Half Way" hut that has long been a stop- 
ping place for cowboys out in this area. They called it 

the "Dug Out." It was a warm structure, dug into the 
hill and roofed with cedar logs. It was stocked with food, 
and must have been a welcome place of refuge for many 
a cold and hungry cowpoke. The brown mound along 
the north bank of the reservoir can still be seen. 

Deadline Draw. Deadline Draw, also known as "Min- 
nick Draw," marked the deadline over which the sheep- 
men were not supposed to let their sheep move. Several 
deadlines had been established over the years, but they 
were all in this general area. The earliest was established 
in 1898, at a meeting at the Red Bank Cattle Company 
ranch. A committee was appointed to meet with the 
sheepmen and divide the range. George B. McClellan, 
manager of the Red Bank Company, Dave Picard, a cat- 
tleman from the Kirby Creek area, Charles Shaw, who 
had a place on the Big Horn slope, and Joe Emge, then a 
cattleman, were on the committee. 

Noble and Bragg had just purchased 9000 head of 
sheep from Dave Dickie on Grass Creek. Emile Faure, a 
young Frenchman who had just come to this country, 
was to run these sheep and would have a third interest in 
them. He trailed them from Grass Creek to what would 
later become Worland, and made the first successful 
crossing of the Big Horn River with a band of full- 
wooled sheep. He crossed them on a riffle just a few 
yards below the present river bridge, swimming them 
across and losing only 175 head. He then trailed them 
southeast, up the East Fork of the Nowater Creek — on 
the safe side of the deadline — past Devil's Slide, and on 
to their destination on the Nowood. 

The division of the range was done and considerable 
publicity was given to the deadline separating sheep 
range and cattle range. Some sheep interests seemed to 
think they hadn't had much to say about the location of 
this deadline. 

A farrow was actually plowed along Deadline Draw, 
designating the actual boundary. It is not now visible as 
erosion has covered up virtually all signs of it. 

In 1902 the troubles developing between the sheep- 
men and the cattlemen worsened. To sheepmen the 
deadline had remained like a sore thumb. They felt it 
was not a fair division, not only as to the location and 
boundaries but also because cattle were permitted to 
run over onto the sheep side while the sheep had to re- 
main on their own side of the boundary. This deadline 
ran from Buffalo Creek straight up from Greets place 
on Nowood. No sheep were to be in the area from Sand 
Creek to the Buttes on the north side of the deadline. In- 
cidents kept happening. One herder had allegedly got- 
ten drunk in camp, where there should have been no li- 
quor, and was beaten with a pair of hobbles until he was 
unable to walk. Another sheepman found several of his 
horses dead from gunshot wounds, and still another 
found his wagon had mysteriously caught fire and 

In 1903, the country was just catching its breath 
after the Jim Gorman killing over on Brokenback and 
the nighttime raid on the Basin jail, when the Minnick 
killing occurred. It took place on Nowater Draw. Max- 
im, a one-armed man who had homesteaded near Big 
Trails, some twenty miles south on the Nowood, had, 
like so many men just starting out in a new area, taken a 
job to provide himself with a living while proving up on 
his land. He became a camp tender for Bill Minnick. 
Somehow Minnick's sheep had strayed across onto the 
cattle side of the deadline. They were quite a way over, 
to judge from the relative locations of the deadline and 
the killing, and it may have happened before. This par- 
ticular morning about dawn an unidentified rider came 
up to the Minnick ranch, located safely on the sheep- 
man's side, and looked in through the open door. A 
man, sitting on the bunk, was bent over putting on his 
shoes. The man, hearing the hoof beats, looked up, saw 
the rider and called out, "Come on in and have some 

The rider, instead, shot him just as he straightened 
up. The man fell over dead. 

"Sorry, wrong man!" yelled the gunman, who had 
seen the face of the young man as he shot. He turned his 
horse and sped away. The actual victim, instead of Bill 
Minnick, was his younger brother, Ben, who had been 
visiting Bill. 

As usual there were several versions of the actual 
details. The one that seems to bear out the facts is that 
Maxim, cutting wood near the wagon (a difficult task 
for a one-armed man, but one he had mastered) was 
witness to it all and was so scared he headed for his 
homestead on horseback. Charlie Berger, foreman for 
Nobel and Bragg, was also a witness to the shooting. It 
was he who hauled the body into Nowood in the supply 
wagon. A coffin was built for it there, and Ben Minnick 
lies buried on a hill behind the schoolhouse that stands 
near the Nowood Store. His grave is marked — if you can 
call it marked — by a large stone which erosion must 
have moved from its original place at the head of the 
grave, so it sits haphazard on its side near the grave. 
There are two other graves there. 

Sheriff Fenton of Big Horn County arrested Jim Mc- 
Cloud, of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang, in Thermopolis 
for the shooting. The public was aroused to a point 
where the sheriff appealed to Wyoming Governor 
Fenimore Chatterton for protection for his prisoner. 
Militia from Lander, Douglas, Casper and Buffalo were 
alerted for active duty. Thirty men of the National 
Guard's Battery B, some of them from Worland, went 
out fully armed from Basin, Wyoming, rode horseback 
all night and reached Thermopolis at daybreak the day 
following the arrest. 

Further trouble was prevented and McCloud was 
taken to the Basin jail. However, neither he nor anyone 
else was brought to trial for the killing, as no positive 


identification was ever made. Many felt the eyewitnesses 
were too frightened to talk and that the killer had been 
hired to do the job. 

George Brown, oldest son of Franklin Brown, who 
had recently homesteaded on the Nowood, and Hal 
Jensen's father, known far and wide as "Pruney," took a 
four-horse team and wagon, drove to the place where 
some 200 of Minnick's sheep had been shot, and skinned 
them out. George told me that both he and Pruney were 
very wary. They thought the killer could still be lurking 
somewhere in the area. 

Coutis Shearing Pens. These pens are in a long flat 
with pens and water pump, visible just south of the blue- 
layered hills that give Blue Bank its name, and south of 
the old "Deadline." This is sheep country but cattle 
graze here too. The public lands allotment system under 
the BLM takes care of ranging permits. 

Just why a sheepman would choose to put up a 
shearing pen way out here is a good question. I have 
never been able to answer this to my satisfaction, either. 
Back in the 1930s George Coutis used to shear his 6000 
to 8000 sheep here. He had to haul drinking water and 
food, and have his wool hauled the long way to Worland 
after shearing. 

On one occasion when my brother Archie and I were 
among the shearers here, the season had been partic- 
ularly rainy. The crew had a full season's schedule lined 
up and were some two weeks behind it. It started to rain 
again. For two or three days no shearing was done. 
Sheepshearers will not shear wet sheep — the ammonia 
from them was said to be very harmful to a shearer bent 
over a sheep with wet wool and it was also a cordial in- 
vitation to early arthritis. Not only that but the wool 
could not be sacked as it would mildew if packed into a 
wool bag wet. 

It continued to rain. My wife Peggie and Nina, 
Archie's wife, had consented to do the cooking for the 
crew. My three-year-old daughter was with us. We ran 
short of food. It continued to rain. 

The food shortage became somewhat critical, and 
with the muddy roads, it would have to stay that way. 
Finally, in desperation, it was decided to finish the 
shearing, wet or dry. There was about half a day's work 
to do to complete the job. 

Steaming and sweating and soaked down the front 
where we came in contact with the soaked wool and with 
friction-hot clippers threatening to warp from the 
moisture, we finished the job about three in the after- 
noon. The wet wool was piled up to be dried out later. 
Everybody broke camp, packed wet tents into their 
vehicles, and started up the muddy road. There were 
ten vehicles that began the trip to Worland on the 
Nowater road. When one of them got stuck, everyone 
would stop, get out and push. When one car became so 
mired down it was impossible to get it going again, it was 


abandoned. Of the ten vehicles that started, two pulled 
into Worland about four a.m., with the entire crew 
hanging on somewhere. The ladies and the little girl 
rode in the pickup cab with George Coutis. The back of 
the pickup was full of shearers. 

Black Mountain and Lysite Mountain. To the west 
is Black Mountain; Lysite Mountain is just southeast of 
it. At the east foot of Black Mountain is the one-time 
homestead of Ted and Bonnie Hunter. Bonnie is well 
known for her early short stories in McCall's Magazine, 
and presently does a daily column in the Northern 
Wyoming Daily News. Ted had been a minister. After 
they left the homestead, they operated a trading post on 
the Wind River Indian Reservation northwest of Lander 
for many years. 

Black Mountain was once known as Cookesley's 
Peak, after the Englishman who settled along the 
Bridger Trail. He was the second settler in that area. 
Captain Cookesley was a retired army officer. About 
1882 he came to the Big Horn Basin and took up some 
land on a spot now called "The Chimneys." This is 
merely a pile of rocks from an old fireplace, which was 
about all that is left of the original home of Kris Kirby, 
the first settler on the Bridger, about a mile east of the 
mouth of the creek which bears his name. "The Chim- 
neys" stand about where the road comes out of a canyon 
just below the Hayes Ranch. Cookesley was so taken with 
the country that he went back to England and brought 
back another man, Captain Brown. Together they ran 

These two men never abandoned their English ways. 
When mealtime arrived, one would act as butler and 
serve, then the other one would become the butler and 
serve the first. 

In the fierce winter of 1886-1887 Brown was at the 
ranch and ran out of food. The nearest settlement was 
Lander, but there was too much snow to reach it. Brown 
sent his hired man to Hyatt's ranch at a little settlement 
some thirty miles north known as Hyattville. The hired 
man failed to return, so finally Brown, wearing an or- 
dinary pair of riding boots on his feet, started walking 
down Kirby Creek. Nightfall overtook him and he was 
unable to build a fire. He kept walking and about ten 
the next morning he reached Virgil Rice's place, with 
both feet frozen. He had both legs amputated in an ef- 
fort to save his life but he did not recover. 

Although the Bridger Trail was becoming the main 
freighting road into the Big Horn Basin area, prospec- 
tive settlers never took to it as they did the branch that 
took them down the Nowood. This is easy to under- 
stand. The green at the foot of the mountain as they 
headed north beckoned the prospective homeseeker. 
The Bridger Trail, turning westerly, went through some 
very rough and inhospitable looking country. Travel- 
weary feet must have been aching to find a spot where 

they could halt their long days of plodding and turn to 
home building. The greenery along the Nowood valley 
looked much more inviting. 

Lysite Mountains, to the southeast, is the area where 
the Bates Battle took place. The foothills surrounding 
the site are much too rugged for buses to travel. There is 
an old road branching off to the west from Nowood road 
passing through the Orchard Ranch. It is rough, steep 
and washed out here and there. 

Lysite Mountain got its name from John Lysite who 
with one companion was killed there by Indians just 
before the Bates Battle. 

Buffalo Springs. This place, now dry, was a spring 
fed swamp until a well was drilled up around the bend, 
tapping the spring. This was a favorite camping place 
for Indians, and a great many arrow heads have been 
found here. A well -constructed log house once stood in 
the steep draw to our right. It had been built by Joe 
Henry, a cattleman who ranged here. The lonely look- 
ing cabin on the left was the Tom Elliott homestead 
cabin. Elliott was a well-to-do sheepman in later years 
and a director of the Stockgrowers State Bank in Wor- 

Another cabin stands halfway up the next hill but is 
not visible from the road. This was the cabin of Virgil 
and Antone Chabot, Frenchmen. The creek ahead is 
Buffalo Creek. Antone Chabot lived in the cabin alone. 
In the fall of 1914 Charlie Smith, who ran sheep on the 
Nowood, happened to be riding past the Chabot cabin. 
He saw Antone, sitting on the little front stoop, head 
drooped forward, blood all over the front of him. Some- 
thing—magpies, maybe — had eaten away part of his 

Chabot had been a prosperous sheepman, but had 
suffered financial losses on the east side of the Big 
Horns. He had retired to his lonely cabin, broken in 
health and pocket book. Murder was suspected, but no 
marks could be found on his body to bear this out. A 
coroner's jury composed of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Smith 
and Bill Williams found the man had bled to death from 
a lung hemorrhage. 

Carl Hampton, at whose place we will be stopping 
for lunch, said the other day, "I never travel a mile but 
what I see something new and different." This is the 
country the old-timers loved. It offered peace, quiet, 
vastness and a face unchanged by time. The old-timers 
understood it. Charlie Ford, Ten Sleep resident, said 
that when he first came into the country, the open range 
had grass as high as a cow's belly all the way over to 
Worland. Until it became overstocked, it supported the 
livestock that grazed it. 

From the long winding and rocky hills ahead, one 
can see a shed down in a deep valley to the west; this was 
originally the place of Walt Hartman, and later the 
Lloyd Seaman cattle ranch. Franklin Brown, who had 

homesteaded on the Nowood, also ran cattle out here, 
and his son, Ray Brown, later a Washakie County 
sheriff, ran the ranch until a horse fell with him and 
crippled him so he could no longer ride. 

The ranch is now owned by Tom Sanford of Ther- 
mopolis, who bought out several farms and ranches in- 
cluding the Buchanan Land and Livestock Company on 
lower Owl Creek, the home ranch of Peggie Buchanan 

Back in 1928 I lambed three bands of sheep in this 
country for Myron Tolman. They started out just south- 
east of Worland in April when the grass was just begin- 
ning to show. Moving eastward two or three miles a day, 
they worked the "drop herd" each morning. At these 
times they cared for newborn lambs and ewes in birth 
difficulties. It was the end of June before they reached 
the summer range on Onion Gulch near the Big Horn 
mountaintop. During all that time I never set foot inside 
a house except to eat my meals in the sheep wagon. I 
slept out on the ground, and walked every step of the 
way from start to finish. 

During the lambing-on-the-trail trek, there were 
several fierce snowstorms, and campfires were built from 
scrub cedar, and newborn lambs were brought up to be 
dried off in their warmth. I killed over a hundred rat- 
tlesnakes during the trip and held a wood tick roundup 
every day or two. When we came to the Nowood Valley, 
we drove the sheep down over the steep red banks to the 
Nowood shearing pens where they were shorn. In spite 
of the bad storms, when we reached Onion Gulch, the 
tally of lambs was 104 per cent. 

Old Bill Bailey. Old Bill Bailey, a wild stallion, 
ranged in this area with his harem of mares for some 
years. His mother was one of Buffalo Bill's mares that 
had gotten away and joined the wild herd. Bill Bailey 
was faster than any other horse in the country and it was 
said could run circles around his fleeing band at full 

Many attempts were made to capture this magnifi- 
cent animal. Bill Williams, our wagon master's dad, was 
among the many who tried to capture him. Once they 
thought they had him cornered in a bend of the Big 
Horn River where the winter's ice was going out, but the 
horse jumped into the water, dodged the floating ice- 
cakes and made it safely across. One filly jumped into 
the water to follow him, but never made it to the other 
side. Bill Williams stood on the banks of the river and 
shouted after the stallion, "I name you Old Bill Bailey. 
Won't you please come home?" Bailey, when pursued, 
would take his band of some fifteen mares and colts into 
the Honeycombs where capture was impossible. 

A plan to capture him was finally decided upon. 
Williams, Birch Warner, Denver Jake and others condi- 
tioned their best horses all that winter, feeding them hay 
and grain and keeping them in good riding shape. 


When the time came, they stationed various riders on 
fresh mounts at strategic points along the route Bailey 
would follow. The chase began. First, one would pursue 
Bill Bailey, and when his horse got winded, another 
would take up the chase. Finally the stallion, worn 
down, tried to jump a dry wash, but fell short, landed in 
the bottom, and was captured. 

After his capture, he lost his spirit. Bessie Bull (first 
white woman in the basin, according to historian Paul 
Frison) was the first rider to climb onto Bill Bailey — and 
he didn't even buck! He was acquired finally by Bear 
George McClellan and broken to drive. One day pulling 
a buggy on the road from Ten Sleep to Worland, he 
dropped dead of a heart attack. Carl Williams, our 
wagon boss, says he knows exactly where old Bill Bailey's 
bones lie. 

A great many things happened here, in this solitary 
land. It was the back door of the Nowood country and it 
was here that the late Zinnie McQuerry met up with 
Tom O'Day of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang. It was eve- 
ning and Zinnie and his dad were camped for the night. 
They had been freighting. Tom O'Day showed up and 
wanted to trade horses — his for Zinnie's. Zinnie told him 
"no deal" and Tom answered, "Well, I'll get it tonight 
anyway." Zinnie replied that he wouldn't get it that 
night or any other night. So Zinnie put a bell on his 
horse and tied him to the back of the wagon. Then he 
rolled his bed out under the wagon and laid his rifle 
along side. During the night the bell clanged two or 
three times — but the horse was still tied to the wagon 
when daylight came. Later on, as they drove down the 
road, a mile or two from their campsite they came upon 
Tom's own horse, dead. He had ridden it to exhaustion 
which was why he wanted Zinnie's horse. They never 
caught up with Tom, who must have hoofed it at a pret- 
ty good speed after his horse failed him. 

Tom O'Day, according to those who knew him, was 
a born thief. He stole cattle whenever he could, but 
mostly he stole horses. Once, according to Zinnie, he 
stole Mr. McQuerry's team, then offered to sell it back 
to him for ten dollars. He was finally arrested and found 
guilty of theft. He served his time, but said, "By golly, 
they arrested me for stealing and sentenced me — and it 
was the only time in my life I was innocent!" 

The rustlers working on the east side of the Big 
Horns would bring their stolen stock over onto the west 
side to find a market for them. Several men living in 
Thermopolis reportedly acted as a fence for them. U.S. 
Marshall Joe LeFors was finally brought in to see if he 
could put a stop to the rustling. One day, LeFors was 
coming down Ten Sleep Canyon and met a man going 
up. He asked the man if he'd seen Tom O'Day and the 
man said he'd seen him that morning going up the 
mountain with some other men after some horses. The 
marshall headed in that direction, never dreaming he 
had been talking with Tom O'Day. 

Freighting was work anyone could take up if they 
could get hold of a four -horse team and a wagon or two. 
A great many newcomers engaged in it while trying to 
get established otherwise. Zinnie's father took up 
freighting and taught Zinnie the trade. They would 
freight together, each with a sixteen-horse spread pull- 
ing three wagons. They had no "kooster" but slept in a 
tent. Their run was from Casper over Cottonwood Pass 
to Nowood, then on down country to a store on Rome 
Hill. The McQuerries made one trip a month during the 
summer, but couldn't travel in winter. Occasionally, 
they hauled some freight for Okie at Lost Cabin, but 
another freighter, George Coleman, had that mostly 
sewed up. Coleman got started in the business by the 
McQuerries and, in his prime, was reportedly the best 
freighter in the business. There were a lot of freighters 
as there was a lot of country to freight into. It was a 
precarious life and a lonely one. The freighter was away 
from home for long intervals. 

Nowood Valley. Carl Williams pointed out the 
various places below the rim of the Nowood Valley. The 
Nowood River is a long stream — some eighty miles — and 
it drains virtually all the west slope of the Big Horns 
north to Shell Creek. 

There is Bear Creek, Trout Creek, Buffalo Creek, 
Deep Creek, Cherry Creek, Split Rock Creek, South 
Fork, Red Bank Creek, Garden Creek, Little Canyon 
Creek, Crooked Creek, Little Creek, Box Elder Creek, 
Alkali Creek, Otter Creek, Spring Creek, Ten Sleep 
Creek, and others below Ten Sleep, all a maze of 
streams and canyons carrying the runoff down from the 
mountain slopes. Below Ten Sleep, the Nowood turns 
more westerly and away from the mountain, the number 
of tributaries running directly into it become fewer as 
the many streams find a way to merge before reaching 
the Nowood. There is Broken Back Creek which drains 
a large and rugged area, Paint Rock Creek which in- 
cludes several forks and canyons, and Medicine Lodge 
which joins forces with Paintrock at Hyattville to flow 
together into the Nowood. No wonder it is named the 
Nowood "River." While it doesn't wind up at it's mouth 
with a large volume of water, a considerable amount has 
been taken out for irrigation as it winds its way north- 

Nowood Valley. This is the gateway to the Big Horn 
Basin, particularly the southern portion. While a trickle 
of pioneers came in over Blondie Pass on the Owl 
Creeks, and up into the Basin from Montana, the 
southern half of the Basin was largely peopled with folks 
who moved in over Cottonwood Pass and down the 

Coming onto the valley highway, we are on Or- 
chard's ranch. It runs some twenty-five miles east and 
west, and sixteen miles north and south. The graves of 

Ben Minnick, Jeff Caldwell, who committed suicide at 
Nowood, and Lon Patterson, who froze to death on Cot- 
tonwood Pass, while freighting from Lost Cabin to 
Nowood store are above the schoolhouse on a rock slope. 
We had planned to visit these graves, but when Carl 
Williams and I visited them a week or so ago, there was 
no longer any sign of them, only three big boulders lying 
askew and haphazard somewhere in the vicinity of the 
graves. There is nothing to see. 

The story of the Bridger trail is a familiar one. Jim 
Bridger induced Chief Washakie to show him a direct 
route through the Big Horn Basin to the Montana gold 
fields. Washakie led him in a westerly direction away 
from the rich Nowood Valley which was the favorite 
wintering grounds of several Indian tribes. The 
Nowood-Tensleep Valley was known to few whites. The 
revelation of Cottonwood Pass and the Bridger Trail 
opened the door to the area, and it was only a matter of 
time before the Nowood area was explored and settled. 

One intriguing fact is how information about this 
new and fertile area became so widespread in such a 
short time. The settlers came from widely scattered 
parts of the United States, and even from Germany, 
England and France, and all were arriving at about the 
same time. 

Bragg Ranch 

The first Fred Bragg was born in London, England, 
came to the United States, lived in Maine for a time, 
then moved to Fort Washakie to live with his uncle and 
aunt, Bob and Charlotte Bragg. He became a "dyed-in- 
the-wool" cowboy and, with Charlie Berger, joined up 
with Worden P. Noble of Lander and Salt Lake City. 
Berger became the range foreman. Eventually, Bragg 
became Noble's partner. Noble and Bragg, finding the 
South Pass country getting overcrowded, began trailing 
sheep into the southern Big Horn Mountains in 1892. 
The sheep were sheared en route at J. B. Okie's pens at 
Lost Cabin. Noble organized the first cow outfit in pres- 
ent Ten Sleep, branding the Running WP, which was 
later sold to the Bay State Cattle Company. Bragg was a 
horsewrangler working for the Two Bar, run by Harvey 
Booth, with a home ranch at a place called Flagstaff, 
south of Ten Sleep. 

After the winter of 1886-1887, Bragg moved up the 
Nowood and bought a small spread from Jack Mead. 
They started there with a little two-room log cabin with 
dirt floor, a log barn and corrals. For two years Bragg 
and his family lived in a tent. As the ranch grew and 
progressed, a cook shack, school house, general store, 
public shearing pens, bunkhouses, blacksmith shop and 
all the rest were added. Some 100,000 sheep were shorn 
there during the shearing season. 

The general store became a shopping headquarters 
for the entire area. It was built by Fred Truisdale, who 

came to the area as a tenderfoot in 1898. He managed 
the store for some years. On at least two occasions the 
store was held up — by the same parties. The year was 
1901 and the shearing crew was there. One night there 
was a dice game for oranges, a rare fruit which were just 
freighted from Casper. They were selling at $3 a dozen. 
Two men rode up, one of them a "Hole-in-the-Wall" 
hanger on, Stutterin' Dick. They went into the kitchen 
to be served a meal by Bill Driscoll, the cook. Stutterin' 
Dick noticed the sugar bowl on the table was empty, 
which angered him. He pulled his six-gun out of his boot 
and drew down on Driscoll. A second man present, Jim 
Boyd, grabbed Dick. In the scuffle the gun went off and 
shot a hole in the floor. Boyd threw Dick outside. 

Two weeks later the place was held up. Two masked 
men, one of them assuredly Stutterin' Dick, entered the 
store. Fred Truisdale, the clerk, who had suffered a cou- 
ple of years of being jobbed as a tenderfoot, paid no at- 
tention when one of the two masked men called every- 
body over to the cigar counter, and pulling his gun an- 
nounced it was a stickup. Truisdale went on counting 
his cash. "Get out I'm busy!" he told the man. Dick then 
said, "I mean business!" Truisdale replied "I mean 
business, too." Dick then shot out the coal oil lamp. All 
the men got down on hands and knees and started 
crawling for the nearest exit. 

The men in the bunkhouse, some fifty yards away, 
heard the shots and grabbed their own guns and went to 
investigate. The two stick-up men made a run for their 
horses, climbed on them and sped away. In the melee 
one of the men, Charlie Mitchell, had the presence of 
mind to grab Mrs. Bragg's jewelry and throw it in the 

A week later the two were picked up on Poison 
Creek. During the arrest Stutterin' Dick was shot in the 
leg. The two were locked in an old log cabin, but man- 
aged to escape. Neither was ever seen again. 

The only losses in the holdup were one can of 
peaches, which Dick had shot a hole through (the bullet 
hole is still visible in the west wall) and the supply of 
oranges which Dick and his pal had stolen. 

In the late nineties and early 1900s the valley was 
filling up. A quick inventory of names about that time 
from Okies to Ten Sleep shows Art Hanson, Browers, 
Noble and Bragg, Jake Becker, up on the hill east of 
them, the Jake Goodrich family living at Mahogany 
Buttes, Tom Mills on Cherry Creek, Charlie Wells on 
Box Elder, where there are two graves, one of them of a 
fresh-faced kid killed over a woman, Henry Helms, the 
Rebedeau family, the Red Bank Cattle Company, 
Lorenzo French on upper Canyon Creek, Dad Early, 
Johnny Hopkins and Gus Coleman. For a few miles the 
Nowood was unoccupied. East of there was the place of 
Henry "Injun" Alexander, then the Fatty Allen home- 
stead Fatty would eat a whole ham at a meal. At the 
mouth of Otter Creek was Jim Quiner, and Johnny 


The grave of the "Three Joes. " 


Buckmaster — one son, Mike, a fine bronc rider, is living 
in Thermopolis now. There was Charlie Shaw on Otter 
Creek, Willard Waldo, Bill Kize, then the Harvard 
family — one of their girls was the mother of our state 
senator, Jerry Geis — and Neri and Frank Wood. On 
Spring Creek were Elmer Chatfield, the Van Buskirks, 
and the family of Bob Wain, who owned most of Spring 

Bob Wain believed that plenty of water (along with 
hard work) was the secret of success in the area, and in 
1885 he and his boys dug a tunnel 300 feet long through 
hard red rock to provide irrigation water for a substan- 
tial portion of his land. That year he applied for and got 
a patent to the water from Spring Creek. Next, he ob- 
tained the postoffice, and at a place called Cedar, a 
short distance away, put up a dance hall. 

At an old burial ground on top of a hill which we 
will pass, Bob Wain's family lies buried. There are a 
number of marked graves with names, dates, and other 

In 1886 an election took place and the Wain house 
served as the polling place. It was the first time women 
had voted in the area. There were seventy-five votes 
cast; ten of these were cast by women. 


The Mahogany Buttes ranch where we lunched was 
the homestead of the Speas family. 

Red Bank Cattle Co. This ranch was founded by 
Governor Richards, prior to his governorship. William 
A. Richards had started a substantial irrigation project 
a few miles south of present Worland, taking the water 
from the Big Horn River. His Colorado Company sank 
$35,000 in the project which was not completed when 
they ran out of money and had to stop. This was in 
1884. The canal is now a part of the Hanover Canal 

It was shortly after this that he took up some land on 
Nowood Creek at a place he called Red Bank, and 
began his development of a cattle spread. One of the 
men who worked for him was George B. McClellan. 
Later, McClellan became his foreman, and finally, in 
1897, Richards' partner. At this time Richards was 
Wyoming's second governor and was away from the 
place much of his time. In due time, McClellan was sole 
owner of the ranch. 

McClellan came over the Big Horns with Tom 
O'Day to hunt for and provide meat for the army in 
1880. He was a big man, hearty and bluff, intelligent 
and outspoken. His success at killing bear became so 
well known that his middle initial came to be known as 

"Bear," and he came to be known far and wide as "Bear 

The cattle business suffered its ups and downs. Mc- 
Clellan eventually found himself so indebted to a 
Worland bank that the banker told him to get out of the 
cattle business and into the sheep business. McClellan 
went to Dave Dickie, one of the most successful sheep- 
men in the country, to purchase some young ewes. 

Some years before, when Dickie was a sheepman 
without a home base and trailing his herd from place to 
place, he bedded his sheep one night on the west side of 
the Big Horn River about where Old Worland was to 
stand. It was his intention to cross the river the next 
morning and continue his wanderings up into Canada, 
but he never got across the Big Horn River. Late that 
evening he was surprised by a group of armed cat- 
tlemen, who ordered him to pull up stakes and head 
back the way he had come. Dickie trailed back 
southwest, and finally settled on Grass Creek, where he 
prospered and eventually became wealthy. He never 
forgot the humiliation of being turned back at gun 
point, and vowed he'd get even with every man in the 
group. One by one he did. George B. McClellan was 
said to have been one of the men in the group. 

It took a long time, in some instances, for Dickie to 
have his revenge. Now McClellan wanted Dickie to pick 
from his herds a band of young and healthy ewes to sell 
him. In due course Dickie delivered into McClellan's 
keeping the required count of ewes. A large number of 
them did not survive the next winter. While Bear 
George knew nothing about sheep, he soon learned to 
distinguish old gummers from young full-mouthed 

"I never thought you'd do that to me," he said to 

"I told you I'd square accounts some day," Dickie re- 
plied. "I always pay my bills." 

When there was talk about dividing the huge and 
unmanageable Big Horn County into several smaller 
counties, McClellan was among the leaders in the move. 
He was a member of the committee that met with the 
legislators in 1910 and 1911 to push for this division. 
Eventually it was accomplished. The forceful McClellan 
became a personality of importance both locally and 
statewide. He served several terms as Washakie County's 
state senator. 

Governor Richards' Little Cabin Creek House 

Beneath the picturesque red buttes that gave the 
Red Bank Cattle Company its name is the ranch head- 
quarters, down on the creek to the east. North is the 
opening of a very rugged and narrow canyon. This is the 
Little Canyon Creek Canyon, and it was down in here, 
possibly a half mile in, that Governor Richards built the 
home that later was to be the scene of the tragic death of 
his daughter and son-in-law. I am much disappointed 

that we cannot visit the site but permission to go down 
into the area was withdrawn, due to the extra dryness of 
the grass. Carl Williams, Eddie Willard, Mike Hanify 
and I visited it and had to wade the the creek and go 
through tall grass and brush to get to the site. 

Early Mail Delivery. As in most other places in the 
early west, getting mail was a continuing problem in this 
area. The mail came to Lost Cabin and was left there 
until picked up by local carriers and hauled to Bonanza. 
This was by team in the summer, by pack horse in the 
winter. The first run was from Lost Cabin to Big Trails, 
which took one day. The mail was left there by the first 
carrier who returned to Lost Cabin the following day 
with the southbound mail. The driver changed teams at 
Nowood, about halfway between the two terminals. The 
Bonanza carrier also made his run each way in one day, 
changing teams at Ten Sleep. In the deep snow which 
was common along the Nowood in winter, the route was 
marked by willows stuck upright beside the roadway. 
Two of the best known old-time mail carriers were Sam 
Brant and Jack Crosley. 

Big Trails. Big Trails was named because it was a 
crossroads of Indian trails. The trail up the Nowood 
from Ten Sleep, the trail across the Big Horns to 
Hazelton, and the continuation of these trails to the 
Shoshone reservation, used by visiting Crows and 
Arapahoes meet here. Of course, when it first got its 
name, there was no reservation. The Crows claimed all 
the territory between Wind River and the Rockies, in- 
cluding the Nowood country. 

I was born at Big Trails in the usual log cabin. It 
couldn't boast of a dirt floor and it must have been 
somewhat larger than the usual cabin because my dad, a 
well-known violinist and fiddler, put on a dance to 
celebrate the birth. The dance lasted until daylight and 
everyone who could possibly make it was present. This 
all-night listening to the lilt of Strauss waltzes by a week- 
old infant may or may not have had some influence on 
my insistence on writing songs in my later life. 

Shorty Wheelright. East of Big Trails a few miles, a 
prospector named Shorty Wheelright had found a lime 
deposit which he felt of value and he proceeded to 
develop it after filing a claim on it. He constructed a kiln 
and hired three men to help him mine and fire the kiln. 
One other thing that needed to be done, apparently, 
was to keep him supplied with whiskey, and running 
short of his supply one day, he sent one of his men, a 
young man probably just out of his teens, to a place not 
too far distant, (there were at least two in the area) 
vulgarly called Shanker's Inn, to replenish his supply. 
He had counted out the money for the purchase and had 
given it to his hired hand. In due course the hand 
returned with Shorty's bottle, and the left-over change, 


which Shorty again counted. "You are twenty-five cents 
short," he said to the young man. "Well, I was sorta dry, 
too, after hurrying like I did," replied the man, "so I 
bought myself a drink with that twenty-five cents." 

Wheelright temporarily quenched his thirst, but it 
was plain he didn't completely approve of what his hired 
hand had done. Finally, he went to his cabin, got his ri- 
fle, and shot and killed the man. Again quenching his 
thirst, he ordered the remaining two helpers to pick up 
the body and put it in the lime kiln. They reluctantly 
started to comply when Shorty, by this time a bit wobbly 
on his feet, stumbled and fell. They jumped on him, 
tied him up, and went to notify the sheriff in Basin. This 
took place in 1906 and telephone service was available 
on a limited basis from McClellan's to Basin. Finally 
Sheriff Alston appeared and took Wheelright to Basin to 
stand trial for murder. 

Carl Williams and I searched for and located the 
grave of the young victim of Wheelright's thirst not far 
from the scant remains of the lime diggings. Curiously 
enough, they also found the foundations or cornerstones 
of an old schoolhouse that once stood nearby. 

Hattie Burnstad, well known in historical circles, re- 
marked the other day, "Everything that happened over 
there on the Nowood seems so gruesome." (As I begin to 
tally up the things that happened there that fall into 
that "gruesome" category, I am inclined to feel that 
maybe the area did have far more than its statistical 
number, based on population.) 

Another incident took place a little farther down the 
country and a little later on in time. John Caster was a 
teenage boy who lived with his family on Otter Creek. 
He had a favorite saddle horse which his dad one day ex- 
pressed a desire to ride. The boy objected, as Mr. Caster 
was too brutal and rough in handling horses, and he 
didn't want his little mare subjected to such treatment. 
Upon John's refusal to let his dad ride the horse, the 
father went into the house and got his rifle, came out 
and pointed the gun at John, who was standing beside 
his horse rolling a cigarette. John said, "You wouldn't 
shoot me, would you, Pa?" His pa didn't answer but the 
rifle did. 

There were two witnesses to this shooting, but 
neither of them could be found when the matter came 
up for a hearing in the Washakie County Court House. 
This often seemed to happen. 

The Wain Cemetery. On a hill just a little to the right 
there is a fenced area, a wooden fence partly fallen 
down at one point. This enclosure is the burial ground 
of a number of Wain people. Arnold Wain told me a 
few years ago that they all died of smallpox during an 
epidemic, but the dates show deaths at different times. 
Not far are the graves of the three Joes: Joe Allemand, 
Joe Emge, and Joe Lazier, who were killed in the Spring 
Creek raid. 

On the right side is a red road going up a hill and 
disappearing between two higher hills. Where the road 
makes its last upward curve can be seen a rectangular 
dark spot just to the left and under this road. This dark 
spot is one opening of the 300-foot tunnel driven by the 
Wains in order to get water on some of their land. 

Down from the hills onto Spring Creek and off to the 
left are the remains of the barn built without any nails 
by Alti Pendergraft. While the roof is nearly gone, the 
walls still stand intact and solid. 

On the right side just beside the road is a two-room 
log house, unused these days but by cattle trying to 
escape the flies. This was the home of the Pendergrafts 
and later became the cookhouse for the Taylor shearing 
crews. Across Spring Creek a few yards, the first 
Australian shearing plant constructed in the country 
stood for many years. It was an elaborate plant, with 
sorting tables, a hardwood floor, room for twelve 
shearers, and adequate cutting pens. During the 1920s 
and later it was used by most of the sheepmen in the 
area and many thousands of sheep were shorn here each 
spring. It finally fell down, and has been hauled away. 

The group stopped at the site of the Spring Creek 
raid and heard an account of that incident. 

Ward Noble started his WP band in the area where 
Ten Sleep stands now. This later became the Bay State 
Ranch. A store and postoffice followed, and a place to 
meet and hold dances. A school was also necessary and a 
church. The first church in Washakie county was built 
here, and stood beside the road, just as one enters Ten 
Sleep from the west. This church has been moved to the 
Methodist summer camp a few miles up Ten Sleep Can- 
yon where it is still in use. 

Gradually the land, homesteaded or otherwise ac- 
quired, was to become a part of Ten Sleep, the town. 
The Fred Baders were living on the Mark Warner 
homestead, just at the juncture of the Ten Sleep and 
Nowood Creeks, which he filed on in 1884. The Moses 
family had come into the area and homesteaded on land 
near the west outskirts of present Ten Sleep. Later, 
Moses donated the land to Ten Sleep for a cemetery. 
Ironically, he was to become its first occupant when the 
wagon in which he was hauling logs from the mountain 
got away and ran over and killed him. 

Ten Sleep was incorporated in 1910 and Paul Frison 
was its first mayor. When Washakie county was formed, 
Ten Sleep was in the running for county seat. Worland, 
with the railroad, won this honor, and Ten Sleep has re- 
mained a typical western cow town. The area has rich 
soil, lots of water, including Madison formation artesian 
water, warm winters and an enviable location just at the 
gateway to the Big Horn Mountains. 

The many other tragedies that took place along the 
life-giving waters of the Nowood will have to wait for 
another time to be told. 



The Fort Laramie of Alfred facob Miller, A 
Catalogue of All the Known Illustrations of the 
First Fort Laramie. By Robert Combs Warner. 
(Laramie: University of Wyoming Publications, 
Volume XLIII, No. 2, 1979). Index. Bib. Illus. 
213 pp. $14.00. 

Although the author has focused on the single sub- 
ject of views of Fort Laramie by Alfred Jacob Miller 
(1810-1874), he has skillfully broadened his presentation 
to include historical background of the fur trade and 
personal images of the artist and his patron, the Scottish 
nobleman William Drummond Stewart. The book is an 
excellent addition to the literature of the Stewart- Miller 
expedition, a useful reference to have at hand as well as 
a good beginning for readers new to the subject. An 
amazing array of facts is compressed into a minimum of 
pages, but the author's easy-flowing style carries interest 
forward and often rewards the reader with nicely-turned 
phrases and word pictures. He is careful to explain such 
confusions as the spellings of "Stewart" and "Steuart" 
and to discuss the various official names of "the Laramie 
fort." He even mentions that the chief use of beaver pelts 
was for fur felt rather than skins. 

Stewart had traveled previously in the West, and in 
1837 arranged for Miller to accompany him with the fur 
trade caravan overland along the Platte River to Fort 
Laramie, moving on with his own party for leisurely 
hunting and camping among the beautiful lakes and 
mountains of the Wind River Range. Using the hun 
dreds of small pencil and watercolor sketches made that 
summer, Miller spent more than four years painting a 
series of large oils for Stewart's Murthly Castle near 
Perth, Scotland. He then returned to his native 
Baltimore and became a successful portrait painter. 
However, the six months the young artist spent in the 
wilds added a new dimension to his career, and all his 

life he continued to receive commissions for oils and 
watercolors copied from the western sketches. The Fort 
Laramie paintings are typical. 

Thirteen fort views are illustrated, yet the author in 
his conclusion says that the catalog should not be con- 
sidered definitive of the Fort Laramie group. It is, of 
course, possible that other paintings based on the 1837 
field sketches may turn up, but their addition would not 
measureably enhance this scholarly and entertaining 
book. The Fort Laramie scenes reproduced are accom- 
panied by information about medium, dating, prov- 
enance, and present location. Some of the descriptive 
texts give research notes or historical background; others 
direct quotes from the artist's own field notes. Four ad- 
ditional pictures show landmarks on the trail, suggesting 
distances and travel conditions of the day. 

Introductory chapters deal with the fur trade ren- 
dezvous system and the site where the Laramie River 
flows into the north fork of the Platte. The first stockade 
was built in 1834. Then, in the 1840s, as fur trapping in 
the mountains declined and emigrants started their 
westward migrations along the Oregon Trail, the Fort 
became a stop for thousands on their way to California, 
Utah and Oregon, described as the "dusty pageantry of 
wagon trains rolling up the valley. . . ." 

In 1849 the fort area was purchased by the United 
States Army and until 1890 functioned as an active 
border post until the end of Indian hostilities. It is now 
restored as a National Historic Site and open to the 

Military Fort Laramie is well documented through 
photographic techniques available by the 1860s. A few 
sketches were made earlier by survey parties, but only 
the work of the pioneer artist Miller gives authentic 
views of the mountain fur trade and Indian camps, com- 
plementing the Upper Missouri landscapes and Indian 
portraits made by George Catlin in 1832 and Karl 
Bodmer in 1833-1834. 

Biographical information on Miller is presented 
briefly but concisely. The inclusion of twenty-two letters 
selected from the manuscript collections sought out by 
Professor Warner gives additional insight. They span a 
period of twenty years — the earliest dated a few days 
before Miller left St. Louis for the great adventure in the 
West — and include accounts of the stay at Murthly Cas- 

Compliments are due the author for his professional 
planning of the book's physical format. Instead of lavish 
color layouts, he has used a dignified black-and-white 
scheme and achieved a handsome design with quality 
paper and easy-to-read type faces. The letters and field- 
note quotes are set in italics, centered on the page with 
wide margins, an arrangement that contributes to visual 
clarity. Footnotes are conveniently placed at the bottom 
of each page. 

Professor Warner is undoubtedly the foremost 
authority today on Miller and Stewart, continuing the 
work of previous researchers in Scotland and the United 
States to whom he gives generous credits. In his travels 
he has acquired a valuable collection of manuscript 
material and paintings for the University of Wyoming 
where he is assistant professor of journalism. 

Mildred R. Goosman 

Now retired, the reviewer is the former curator of Western Collec- 
tions, the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska. 

Wheels West 1590-1900. By Richard Dunlop. 
Foreword by Ray Allen Billington. (Chicago: 
Rand McNally and Company, 1977). Index. 
Bib. Illus. 208 pp. $16.95. 

In a book of modest length Richard Dunlop has pro- 
duced a work which demonstrates his feeling for and 
love of the west as well as his ability to cover a vast 
panorama of western developments. His style is clear 
and lucid. His examples are well chosen and are pre- 
sented effectively. To accomplish so much in such a 
short treatment required masterful organization and ex- 
ecution. It is a book which one feels as well as reads. To 
those who have traveled in animal -drawn vehicles it will 
bring back personal memories. For others who have not 
had such experiences there is still opportunity to ap- 
preciate the pace, the jolts, the bumps, the sounds, and 
even the smells which the actual participants have con- 
veyed by aptly quoted words and the author's facile 

Dunlop does not attempt to present a comprehen- 
sive treatment of western travel. Instead he has depicted 
various methods of transportation used by those who 

moved into frontier areas. He achieves this by discussing 
the various vehicles utilized. Pre-railroad travel was 
slow, tedious, sometimes dangerous, and often expen- 
sive. It was not generally romantic or exciting. Even the 
fastest vehicles traveling over the best roads available 
moved at a snail's pace when compared to modern 
modes of travel. Participants in early western treks did 
not fret, but sought to utilize each vehicle as effectively 
as possible. 

The most interesting parts of the book for many 
readers may well be the short but accurate descriptions 
which the author furnishes of the various types of 
vehicles used over varying periods of time. From the 
primitive carretas used by Spaniards as early as the six- 
teenth century along the Rio Grande to the more im- 
pressive Conestoga wagons and Concord stage coaches 
in later operations, each vehicle is discussed in terms of 
its appearance, dimensions, construction, capacity, and 
operation. The structure of the running gears, wheels, 
axles, tires, and interiors are clearly stated as well as pic- 
tured in illustrations and photographs. The comparative 
tractive power of animals such as oxen, horses, or mules 
is also assessed. Thus the reader can almost hear the 
horrible screeching of wooden hubs against wooden ax- 
les. He can almost feel the rough ride of springless 
wagons or the swaying, swinging sensations of the 
leather strap suspension of the stage coaches and mud 
wagons. He can virtually see the dust and mud, and 
even smell the cooking of meals prepared over campfires 
or the stoves of the chuck wagons or sheep camps. 

But the reader also meets many fascinating people. 
The profane bull whackers, the drivers of freight wagons 
and stage coaches, Mormons pushing hand carts, and 
thousands of people walking along trails in all kinds of 
weather will all appear as real persons. The men who 
built and repaired the vehicles will also become familiar 

In other parts of the book Dunlop tells of attempts 
to develop new methods of transportation such as wind 
wagons and giant steam engines which ended in failure 
and even disaster. Nor does the author neglect special 
types of vehicles used by the military, homesteaders, or 
farmers. In this last category some readers may quarrel 
with Dunlop's description of the hay wagon. He says a 
rack was used to allow hay to dry while in transit. Ac- 
tually wet hay was too heavy for the men to load or for 
the teams to pull. The rack was used to haul dry hay in 
order to increase the hauling capacity of the wagon. Hay 
not properly dried before loading, hauling, or stacking 
would spoil. This was the only questionable factual 
statement noted in Dunlop's otherwise accurate discus- 

The book is beautifully crafted with many color 
prints and rare and authentic photographs. The fore- 
word by Ray Allen Billington is a definite asset. The in- 
dex is complete and accurate. The extensive bibliog- 

raphy illustrates the tremendous amount of research in 
which Dunlop immersed himself. For the reader who 
wants to share an adventure in frontier traveling Wheels 
West offers a fascinating reading experience. 

George W. Rollins 

The reviewer is Professor of History at Eastern Montana College, 

Dams, Ditches and Water: A History of the Sho- 
shone Reclamation Project. By Beryl Gail 
Churchill. (Cody: Rustler Printing and Publish- 
ing, 1979). Illus., 101 pp. 

The author of this local history of irrigated, row- 
crop farming in Park County, Wyoming, has assembled 
an outstanding collection of photographs, mainly from 
the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation. The excellent photo- 
graphs graphically show the struggles of later day 
Wyoming pioneers to bring the water of the Shoshone 
River to the high and arid lands of northern Wyoming 
and to create an agricultural oasis. Beginning with the 
authorization of the Shoshone Project in 1904, with pho- 
tographs and text, the author relates the development of 
the various Shoshone Project Divisions to the present 

Except for a few words in the introduction, referring 
to William F. Cody's futile effort to privately finance an 
irrigation project in Park County, utilizing the waters of 
the Shoshone River, author Churchill gives the reader 
no background as to why Congress approved the con- 
struction of the Shoshone project and subsequent rec- 
lamation projects in Wyoming. Without some discussion 
of the legislative enactments of Congress — the Carey 
and Desert Land Acts — the efforts of Elwood Mead, the 
first Wyoming State Engineer, U. S. Senators Joseph M. 
Carey and Francis E. Warren and others to encourage 
private investment in irrigation and land development 
projects, and the unsuccessful attempts of investment 
companies to develop privately owned reclamation pro- 
jects, no history of a reclamation project in Wyoming or, 
indeed, the West can be complete. 

Despite this shortcoming, Dams, Ditches and Water 
is a clear and concise history, considering all aspects of 
the construction, operation and effects of the Shoshone 
Project. The chapter dealing with the actual construc- 
tion of the Buffalo Bill Dam is especially well done. The 
tremendous difficulty of transporting materials, equip- 
ment and men to the dam site, the austere living condi- 
tions and dangers faced by the workmen, and the 
magnitude of the construction for that era, documented 

by marvelous photographs, are all vividly portrayed. 
Nor does the writer neglect the effects of the construc- 
tion of the Shoshone Project on those pioneers who had 
settled the Shoshone River valley many years before. 

Succeeding chapters relate the historical develop- 
ment of the various divisions of the Shoshone Project, 
beginning with the oldest, the Garland Division (1907), 
and continuing through the last division of the project 
constructed, the Heart Mountain Division, which was 
ready for settlement in 1946. For each of the four divi- 
sions of the Shoshone Project, Churchill traces its history 
through the engineering phase, to settlement by home- 
steaders, through agricultural development and change, 
to community growth. The history of each division is a 
study of people, working to make themselves a place in 
Wyoming through irrigated farming, in an environment 
not richly endowed for that purpose, and it is all pic- 
torially documented. 

This little volume certainly is a valuable record of 
the history of northwestern Wyoming. 

Jim Donahue 

The reviewer is an Archivist -Historian in the Wyoming State Ar- 
chives, Museums and Historical Department, Cheyenne. 

Wagon Trails and Folk Tales, Sulphur Springs 
Station, 1862-1979. By Ann Bruning Brown, 
Gilberta Bruning Hughes and Louise Bruning 
Erb. (Laramie, Wyo., Lincoln Printing Co., 
1980.) Bib. Illus., 158 pp. $8.20, paper. 

The history of the Sulphur Springs Station, where 
the Rawlins-Baggs stagecoach road crossed the Over- 
land Trail in Wyoming, has been compiled in book form 
by three sisters, whose grandparents, John and Ann 
Robertson, lived at the stage station. 

The book, Wagon Trails and Folk Tales, Sulphur 
Springs Station, 1862-1979, chronicles the life of the 
stage station, thirty miles southwest of Rawlins, and the 
genealogy of the pioneering John Robertson family. 

The book was a family effort and the three sisters, 
Ann Brown, Gilberta Hughes, and Louise Erb, who did 
not consider themselves to be writers, took on the project 
so that the history which was special to their families 
would not be forgotten. 

They interviewed over twenty people about the 
region, collected information from other resource books 
and newspapers including Annals of Wyoming and 
published in their book a wide variety of photographs 
and illustrations. The book reveals a fascinating look at 
travel in Carbon County, Wyoming, in the days of the 


Old West. A history of that part of the Overland Trail, 
written in 1935 by an aunt of the authors, is interesting 
and informative. 

Sulphur Springs was the stage station where the 
Overland Trail and the Rawlins- Meeker road crossed. 
Sulphur Station had been built for use by the military in 
July of 1862. The station was named because of the free- 
flowing spring water with high sulphur content. It was 
not only a crossroads for freight and stage travel, but 
was also used by outlaw bands. Butch Cassidy, Kid 
Curry, and other outlaws traveled along the Rawlins- 
Baggs road. 

There are other short chapters in the book which 
deal with the history of other stage stations, canyons and 
homesteads, and the town of Baggs. At the end of the 
book is a diary account of the winter at the Sulphur 
Ranch in 1931-32. 

There were three known lady freight drivers who 
drove 4-horse teams from Rawlins to Baggs . . . Prices 
for hauling freight depended on bulk; $1.50 to $2.50 per 
100 pounds for 100 miles. In 1865, the Indian attacks 
between Fort Halleck and Sulphur Springs were fierce. 
Most stations were burned. . . . 

The general reader of Wagon Trails and Folk Tales 
will enjoy the historical background and details. The 
genealogical information of the book, which extends 
even into the 1970s to cover the Robertson descendants 
will not be as interesting to the general reader. 

But in that regard, the book proves that history, 
even on a small scale, can be compiled into a book by in- 
dividuals who have the interest and love for a subject, 
and is not limited to the pens of professional authors or 

The book succeeds in the way desired by the au- 
thors. It preserves and chronicles the history of a small 
Wyoming strip of land and occurrences there. 

David L. Roberts 

The reviewer is the editor and publisher of the Medicine Bow Post in 
Medicine Bow, and the publisher of the Hanna Herald in Hanna. 

Saloons of the Old West. By Richard Erdoes. 
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979). Index. II- 
lus. Bib. 277 pp. $13.95. 

The American reader may well ask himself why a 
Viennese artist and photographer, who immigrated to 
the United States in the 1940s, writes a big and colorful 
book about the saloons of the Old West. The answer is 
easy enough for Europeans. For generations of Euro- 
pean boys grew up reading the prolific German author 
Karl May, spinner of tales about the wild American 

West, inhabited by noble savages, fur traders, gunmen 
and cowboys, among others. 

Mr. Erdoes has written a fine book, one which en- 
lightens as well as entertains. The Hollywood stereotype 
of the saloon, inhabited by heroes and villains, more 
often was the refuge of heavy, dull, skirt-scared men 
watching the flies crawl up the window screen. And yet, 
the author tells us, the stereotyped, rip-roaring whiskey 
mill that launched a thousand horse operas existed 
once, at a certain time and in certain places, although 
shortlived. The typical western saloon did not appear 
until the mid- 1880s and then quickly decayed and van- 

History in the West was condensed and rapid. The 
mountain men, for example, played their role in the 
Western drama for approximately ten years, from 1830 
to 1840. Americans, Erdoes tells us, generally did not 
appreciate the frontier until it was gone. Then they 
promptly resurrected it, and the mountain men and 
scouts became subjects of penny-dreadfuls, the Indians 
and gun fighters, the latter almost to a man dreadful 
shots, became circus performers, and the hard-working 
and grubby cowboys metamorphosed into singing and 
spanking-clean Roy Rogers and Gene Autrys. 

There were, of course, several different Wests, but 
for the purpose of the saloons it was the West of the 
miners, ranchers and homesteaders, occupying the 
whole land mass between the Missouri and the Pacific. 
There were four fringe cities whose drinking spots, 
although not typically western saloons, nevertheless 
greatly shaped them. The southernmost and oldest of 
these was New Orleans, the starting point for the settle- 
ment of Texas, the exporter of slaves, gamblers and 
shady ladies. The second was St. Louis, the capital of 
the fur trade, and the beginning of the great overland 
trails, the city of French voyageurs and keelboatsmen. 
Chicago, the "Gem of the Prairie," was the third. From 
here came the barroom equipment and it was here that 
the cattle shipments terminated. Finally there was San 
Francisco with its famous Barbary Coast, the gateway to 
the gold fields for the Forty-niners, and a legend almost 
from the moment of its birth. 

During its relatively brief life, the saloon was a place 
of comfort, a refuge and eatery, a hotel and bath, a 
comfort station and livery stable, a gambling den, dance 
hall, bordello, barbershop, courtroom, church, social 
club, political center and dueling ground, post office, 
sports arena, undertaker's parlor and library, news ex- 
change and theater, opera, city hall, employment agen- 
cy, museum, trading post, grocery, ice cream parlor; 
and even the forerunner of the movie where cowboys 
cranked handles of ornate kinetoscopes. In short, the 
saloon was all things to all men. 

Erdoes correctly relates that American liquor con- 
sumption was heroic by any standards, from Washing- 
ton through Daniel Webster, who was "as majestic in his 

consumption of liquor as in everything else," right to the 

As a good historian, the author traces the western 
saloon to the moment the first white man stepped ashore 
on America's East Coast, rolling his keg of ardent spirits 
before him down the gangway and already planning to 
establish a still. It is no wonder that venerable James- 
town had a part-time saloon, and the first Indian drunk 
was recorded in New England in 1621. 

The reader is told that when Virginia Governor 
Spotswood explored the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge 
mountains, his liquor supply, loaded on pack horses, 
nearly equaled all the other provisions combined, in- 
cluding powder and lead. Spotswood toasted every 
newly-discovered hillock, valley or stream. The Pilgrims 
brewed metheglin, a dark amber cordial with a wallop 
that made imbibers hear the bees buzz. 

Erdoes recounts the history of the saloon from co- 
lonial times to its demise at the end of the 19th century. 
Along the way, he tells the reader about famous bar- 
tenders, among them Jeremiah Thomas, "the Michel- 
angelo among bartenders," who worked throughout the 
West and was famous for his own bar tools, done in 
sterling silver and worth $5,000; about the wonderous 
variety of booze Americans drank, the food they ate, the 
gambling they engaged in, the women they loved, and 
the deaths they died in the saloons. In short, Erdoes has 
written a fine volume, historically accurate and 

Claus M. Naske 

Born on December 11, 1845, in Aberfoil, Alabama, 
Stoudenmire fought in the Civil War on the side of the 
Confederacy. After the war he moved to Texas and tried 
farming. He also was a member of the Texas Rangers in 
1874. Several gunfights in the 1870s and 1880s estab- 
lished Stoudenmire's reputation as a gunfighter. Thus, 
he was selected to be city marshal of El Paso. He held 
the job for a little over a year, receiving a salary of $100 
a month. 

Metz explains how Stoudenmire "cleaned up the 
town." In the process, however, the marshal made sev- 
eral enemies, particularly the Manning brothers, local 
ranchers who were responsible for much of the banditry 
and rustling in the vicinity. Two of the Mannings would 
ultimately kill Stoudenmire in an action -packed 
shootout in September 1882. 

Written primarily for the general reader of Western 
Americana, the book is well illustrated. There are a few 
typographical errors such as the misspelling of James 
Gadsden (p. 55 and in the Index) and Los Angeles (p. 
123). Also, some of the word choices and phrases Metz 
uses were disturbing to this reviewer. Although not as 
solid a work as the author's study of Pat Garrett, Dallas 
Stoudenmire is, nevertheless, an interesting and exciting 
story of frontier violence and justice. 

Raymond Wilson 

Dr. Wilson is with the Department of History, Fort Hays State Uni- 
versity, Hays, Kansas. 

The reviewer is an Associate Professor of History at the University of 
Alaska, Fairbanks. 

Dallas Stoudenmire, El Paso Marshal. By Leon 
C. Metz. (Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Press, 1979). Index. Bib. Illus. 162 pp. $6.95. 

Dallas Stoudenmire, El Paso Marshal is Volume 53 
of The Western Frontier Library published by the Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press. The author, Leon C. Metz, 
has published several other studies on western lawmen 
and gunfighters. He is currently University Archivist at 
the University of Texas at El Paso. 

During the late nineteenth century El Paso, Texas 
was a crime-infested town harboring many misfits. 
Receiving a charter of incorporation in 1873 from the 
State of Texas, El Paso did not have a marshal until 
July, 1880. When the city council appointed Dallas 
Stoudenmire city marshal in April, 1-881, El Paso had its 
first significant lawman. Indeed, Stoudenmire's several 
predecessors who held the position did very little in 
establishing law and order. 

Photographing the Frontier. By Dorothy and 
Thomas Hoobler. (New York: G. P. Putnam's 
Sons, 1979). Illus. 160 pp. $9.95. 

Photographing the Frontier deals with early 
photography as it relates to the expansion of this coun- 
try. Never before had the history of a country's expan- 
sion been recorded as it actually was happening. Prior to 
this time the visual history was recorded by art work. 

With the invention of a plate by a Frenchman Louis 
Daguerre and his partner Nicephore Niepce in 1839 a 
method was available to record images of history on 
mirror-like plates known as Daguerreotypes. Prior to 
this time the artist would record his impression of what 
took place while now this new method allowed the ac- 
tual event to be recorded. 

The Daguerreotype was a one-time picture with no 
means to duplicate the photo and by 1859 this method 
had lost out to the new "wet-plate" process. The "wet- 
plate" process was used by virtually every photographer 
written about in this book. 


Photographing the Frontier covers mostly the activi- 
ties of photographers between 1850 and 1880. Picture 
taking at that time was a very difficult and demanding 
business. The photographer would usually equip a 
wagon with 300 or more pounds of photographic sup- 
plies. He needed the wagon for a portable darkroom to 
coat his glass plates and then to develop the plates. The 
photographer also needed a source of water to wash his 
plates so this required being close to a stream. The "wet- 
plate" had to be kept wet after the photographer coated 
the glass and until after he processed the plate. 

Some photographers actually loaded all this equip- 
ment onto mules and transported the equipment up the 
sides of mountains to make a photograph. There is an 
account of a photographer who took a picture, wrapped 
the plate in a towel and slid down the mountain to wash 
the plate in a stream. 

The book gives an interesting account of how early 
photographers lost credit for their work when their 
negatives were purchased and another photographer's 
name was placed on the pictures. 

This book has a very generous number of photo- 
graphs taken by early day photographers, and makes 
one marvel at the places from which these early 
photographers took their pictures. This collection alone 
makes the book a desirable addition to one's library. 

The book has five chapters entitled Early Photog- 
raphers of the West, Photographing the Railroads, 
Photographing the Great Surveys, Photographing the 
Indians and the Soldiers and Images of Frontier Life. 
These chapters deal with the major great expansions 
across the United States. There seems to be a lack of 
continuity in each chapter and between chapters. I feel 
a great help to the book would have been a chronology 
or a time chart of each photographer to aid in keeping 
track of the total picture. 

This is the type of book one doesn't want to put 
down until it is finished. Less than 200 pages long, it is a 
good first book on photographic history. The bibliog- 
raphy is extensive and a useful source of information for 
many hours of additional reading. 

LuRay Parker 

The reviewer is a staff photographer for the Wyoming Game and 
Fish Commission and Wyoming Wildlife magazine. 

Wyoming: Rugged But Right. By William F. 
Bragg, Jr. (Boulder, Colo.: Preutt Publishing 
Co., 1979). Illus. 196 pages. 

For the novice Wyoming historian this collection of 
short stories is a start. Bill Bragg writes of the unusual 
happenings in old Wyoming. Some of the selections are 

authentic, with the facts verified by Mr. Bragg himself. 
Others are old tales passed from generation to genera- 
tion, never having been written down until now. The 
truthfulness of others is questionable, but these are 

Wyoming: Rugged But Right is divided into eight 
sections: First Citizens, Pathfinders and Pioneers, The 
Army, Cowboys and Cattlemen, Both Sides of the Law, 
Colorful Characters, Wheels and Rails, and Places. 
Each of the eight parts has stories that are very familiar 
and important to the history of Wyoming, and others 
that are not so familiar but of equal importance. 

The eighty-one stories in the book tell of little known 
adventures of well known men such as Jim Bridger, 
Butch Cassidy, and Joe LeFors. There are also accounts 
of Tom Horn, Cattle Kate, and Father DeSmet, just to 
mention a few. One interesting aspect of the book is the 
little known bits of facts and trivia that the author in- 
cludes. For instance, "Wild Bill" Hickok was first known 
as "Duck Bill" Hickok; early day ambulances were more 
often used as overland taxis; and the first "WACs" were 
stationed at Fort D. A. Russell in 1890. 

There are some negative aspects to this book. In 
places the wording of the sentences makes them hard to 
understand. It is also this reviewer's opinion that far too 
many cliches are used. Overall, though, this book is en- 
joyable reading for the novice Wyoming historian. 

Linda Thomasee 

The reviewer is Administrative Assistant at the Cheyenne Frontier 
Days Old West Museum. 


Acosta, Bert, 21 

Adams, Gerald M 

Adams, W. S., 20 

"The Air Age Comes to Wyoming,' 

Air Commerce Act (1926), 25 

Air Mail Service, 21 24 

Airmail (Kelly) Act of 1925,-24, 25 

Allemand, Joe, 48, 53, 56 

Alsberg, Henry, 35, 40, 41 

Anderson, Press, 46 

Army Air Service, 27 

Australian sheep shearing sheds, 56 

B-40 (airplane), 25, photo, 19 

B-80 (airplane), 26 

Balenseifer, Jean, 39 

Bay State Cattle Company, 53, 56 

Berger. Charlie, 49, 53 

Big Trails, Wyoming, 55 

Bihr, Johnny, 45 

Bleriot, Louis, 20 

Blue Bank Road, 47 

Boeing Aircraft Company, 25 

Boice, Mrs. Fred, 5 

Bootleggers, 26 

Boyd, Jim, 54 

Bragg. Fred, 49, 53 

"The Air Age Comes to Wyoming," 18-29, biog., 64 
by Gerald M. Adams, 18-29 


Bragg, William F., Jr., Wyoming: Rugged But Right, review, 62 

Brant, Sam, 55 

Bridger Trail, 50, 53 

Brinker, Harold, 18 

Bristol. Daze, 3, 5, 7 

"Broadway in Cow Country: The History of Cheyenne Little Theatre," by 

Lou Burton, 2-9 

Brown, Capt. 50 

Brown, Ann B., Wagon Trails and Folk Tales: Sulphur Springs Station, 

18621979, review, 59-60 
Brown, Elizabeth, 21 
Brown, George, 50 
Brown, Wilbur R.. 37 
Bull, Bessie, 52 
Burton, Lou, "Broadway in Cow Country: The History of Cheyenne Little 

Theatre," 2-9; biog., 64 


Heffron, Buck, 22 

Hidden Dome oil field, 46 

Historical Records Survey, 40 

Hofmann, Elizabeth, 5, photo, 6 

Hollister, Reed, 21 

Honeycombs (formation), 47 

Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas, Photographing the Frontier, review, 61-62 

Hopkins, Harry, 33 

Howard, Ben O., 26 

Howard, Lt. F. L., 27 

Hubbell, U. S., 48 

Hughes, Gilberta B., Wagon Trails and Folk Tales: Sulphur Springs Station, 

1862-1979, review, 59-60 
Hunter, Ted and Bonnie, 50 
Hyattville, Wyoming, 50 

Cahill, Holger, 35, 36 

Caldwell, Jeff, 53 

Campanella, Vince, 38 

Caster, John, 56 

Chabot, Antone and Virgil, 51 

Cheyenne Women's Club, 4, 5 

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, 45 

Christenson, Mart. 40, 41, 43 

Churchill, Beryl C, Dams, Ditches and Water: A History of the Shoshone 

Reclamation Project, review, 59 
Civil Works Administration, 32 
Clark, Edith K. O., 5, 7 
Coleman, George, 52 
Cook, Dr. Frederick, 46 
Cookesley's Peak, 50 
Coutis, George, 50 
Crane, A. G., 40 
Crosley, Jack. 55 


Dagley, Ellis, 35, 36 

Dallas Stoudenmire, El Paso Marshal, by Leon C. Metz, review, 61 

Dams, Ditches and Water: A History of the Shoshone Reclamation Project, 
by Beryl G. Churchill, review, 59 

DC 4 (airplane), 28 

Deadline Draw, 49 

Denton, Alton "Skeeter", 46 

DeVere, William, 4, 5, 7, 8, photo, 6 

DH-4 (airplane), 20, 21, 22, 25, photo, 19 

Dickie, Dave, 55 

Dieterich, H. R., "The New Deal Cultural Projects in Wyoming," 30-44 

Donahue, Jim, review of Dams, Ditches and Water: A History of the Sho- 
shone Reclamation Project, 59 

Driscoll, Bill, 54 

Dunlop. Richard, Wheels West 15901900, review, 58-59 

Dunphy, R. A., photo, 23 

Emge, Joe, 48, 49, 53, 56 

Erb, Louise B., Wagon Trails and Folk Tales: Sulphur Springs Station, 1862- 

1979, review, 59-60 
Erdoes, Richard, Saloons of the Old West, review, 60-61 

Faure, Emile, 49 

Fausett, Lynn, 40 

Federal Art Project, 30, 33, 35, 37 

Federal Music Project, 34, 35, 42 

Federal Writers Project, 32, 35, 40, 42 

Fiscus, Walter, 47 

Flight Service Station (FAA), 28 

Ford, Charlie, 47, 51 

The Fort Laramie of Alfred Jacob Miller, by Robert C. Warner review 57- 

France, Charles, 25 
Frison, Paul, 56 
Fritz Ditch, 45 
Frontier Airlines, 28 

George. Bill. 46 

Gersmehl. Vern. 25 

Goosman. Mildred R., review of The Fort Laramie of Alfred Jacob Miller 

Greenstreet, Ralph, "A Winter Herding Sheep on the Red Desert," 10-17, 

biog., 64 

Johnson, Ralph S., 27 
Jordan, Wyoming, 45 

Kelso, R. R.. 28 
Kerwin, Lt. A. R., 27 
Kirby, Kris, 50 

Lander, Wyoming, 11 

Laramie Art Center, 37 

Larson, T. A., 32 

Lauder, Sir Harry, 6 

Lazier, Joe, 53, 56 

LeFors, Joe, 52 

Lewis, Craig, 7 

Lewis, H. T. "Slim", 25 

Lime kilns, 55, 56 

Lindbergh. Charles, 20, 26 

Linford, Dee, 42 

Loomis, Ruth H., 9 

Lost Cabin, Wyoming, 55 

Lowry, E. E., 30, 31, 32, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42 

Lysite, John, 51 


McClellan, George B.. 47. 49, 52, 54, 55 

McCloud, Jim, 49 

McKenzie, Capt. C. A., 21, 22 

McQuerry, Zinnie, 52 

Mail delivery, 55 

Manderson, Wyoming, 45 

Meachem, Elgin "Bud", 37 

Metz, Leon C, Dallas Stoudenmire, El Paso Marshal, review, 61 

Minnick, Ben, 49, 53 

Moses, Millard, 48, 56 

Murray, James P., 23, 25 

Murray, Lawrence, 25, 26 

Nard, Slick, 45 

Naske, Claus M., review of Saloons of the Old West, 60-61 
Neiber. B. J., 45 

"The New Deal Cultural Projects in Wyoming." by H. R. Dieterich. 30-44 
Noble. Worden P.. 49. 53, 56 
Nowood Valley, 52 



O'Daniels. Barrie. 3, 4. 5. 7, 8 
O'Day. Tom. 52 
Ohio Oil Company, 46 
Okie, J. B., 53 

O'Mahoney, Agnes, 3 9. photo, 
O'Mahoney, Joseph C, 8-9 
O'Neil Field (Cheyenne). 21 
Orchard Ranch, 52 

Parker, LuRay, review of Photographing the Frontier, 61-62 

Patterson, Lon, 53 

Pendcrgraft. Alti. 47, 56 

Pendergraft, Ray, "WSHS 31st Annual Trek." 45 56 

Photographing the Frontier, by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. review. 61-62 

Picard, Dave, 49 

Pickup, C. V., photo, 23 

Pierce, Mrs. John 1... 5 

Pitman, Virginia, 39 


Porter, Frederic H., 6, 7 

Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), 32, 33 


Rairden, Dr. 45 

Red Bank Cattle Company, 49, 54 

Red Desert, 10-17 

Richards, Governor William A., 54 

Rickenbacker, Eddie, 20, 21, 23, 24, photo, 23 

Roberts, David L., review of Wagon Trails and Folk Tales: Sulphur Springs 

Station, 1862-1979, 59-60 
Rock Springs Art Association, 38 
Rodgers, Cal, 20, 25 
Rogers, Will, 25 

Rollins, George W., review of Wheels West 1590-1900, 58-59 
Rossiter, Richard, 42 

Saloons of the Old West, by Richard Erdoes, review, 60-61 

Shaw, Charles, 49, 54 

Sheepherding, 10-17 

Slick Creek, 45 

Smith, Charlie, 51 

Smith, J. B., 37 

Spoonhunter, Willie, 39 

Spring, Agnes Wright, 33, 40, 41, 42, 43 

Stahlberg, John, 42 

Statewide Historical Project, 40 

Stevens, Ernest E., 30, 39 

Stewardess Training School, 28 

"Stutterin' Dick", 54 

Teichert, Minerva, 39 

Ten Sleep, Wyoming, 46, 47, 56 

Thomasee, Linda, review of Wyoming: Rugged But Right, 62 

Thompson, George W., 18 

Tolman, Myron, 51 

Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP), 33 
True, Robert, 39 
Truisdale, Fred, 54 


Ulrich, Charles, 39 

United Airlines (United Aircraft and Transport Company), 26, 27, 28 

University of Wyoming, 38 


Wagon Trails and Folk Tales: Sulphur Springs Station, 1862-1979, by Ann 

B. Brown, Gilberta B. Hughes and Louise B. Erb, review, 59-60 
Wales Field (Cheyenne), 21 
Walley, John, 39 
Wain, Bob, 54 
Walsh, Charles, 18 
Ware, Florence, 39 

Warner, Robert C, The Fort Laramie of Alfred Jacob Miller, review, 57-58 
Washakie County, 45-56 

Western Air Express (Western Air Lines), 25, 27 
Wheelright, Shorty, 55, 56 

Wheels West 1590-1900, by Richard Dunlop, review, 58-59 
Wild, M. G., 47 
Williams, Bill, 51 

Wilson, Raymond, review of Dallas Stoudenmire , El Paso Marshal, 61 
"A Winter Herding Sheep on the Red Desert," by Ralph Greenstreet, 10-17 
Wise, Herbert, 46 
Woodward, John P., 23 
Works Progress Administration, 33, 34 
Worland, Wyoming, 45, 46, 55, 56 
Worland, C. H. "Dad", 45, 46 
Wyoming Aeronautics Commission, 26 
Wyoming Air Service (Inland Airlines), 27 
Wyoming Art Association, 36, 38, 42 
Wyoming Art Project, 31 

Wyoming: Rugged But Right, by William F. Bragg, Jr., review, 62 
"WSHS 31st Annual Trek- Washakie County Sites," 45-56 
Wyoming Writers Project, 31 


LOU L. BURTON, since his retirement from the 
Marine Corps, has lived in Cheyenne, where he and his 
family have been active in the Cheyenne Little Theatre 
Players. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English 
from the University of Wyoming and is now completing 
course work for an M.A. in history, and teaching writing 
at the University. His fifty-year history of the CLTP was 
written with the assistance of a fellowship from the Wyo- 
ming Council for the Humanities. 

RALPH GREENSTREET, a native Missourian, came 
West at an early age. In addition to his sheepherding ex- 
periences in Wyoming when he was twenty years old, he 
has been an oil field worker in California, a miner in 
Nevada, a surveyor's helper and a ranch hand. He lives 
in Burns, Oregon. 

GERALD M. ADAMS, now of Cheyenne, retired from 
the Air Force in 1978 after a long career in aviation as a 
pilot, staff officer and unit commander. He is a native of 

eastern Nebraska, and early aviation in that area 
sparked an interest in military aviation that began in 
1941 when he entered the Army Air Force, and con- 
tinued through three wars. Adams received an M.A. in 
International Relations from C. W. Post College at 
Brookville, New York. He is now a graduate student in 
the history department of the University of Wyoming:. 

H. R. DIETERICH is currently Professor of History and 
American Studies at the University of Wyoming. He has 
authored some thirty articles and reviews in various 
historical and literary periodicals and presently serves on 
the Board of Editors of the Western Social Science Jour- 
nal. He has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University 
of Kansas and a Ph.D from the University of New Mex- 
ico. A research fellowship from the Wyoming Council 
for the Humanities made possible his work in the Na- 
tional Archives for the study published in this issue of 



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, Tor- 
rington, 1968-69; Mrs. Hattie Burnstad, Worland, 1969-70; J. Reuel Armstrong, 
Rawlins, 1970-71; William R. Dubois, Cheyenne, 1971-72; Henry F. Chadey, 
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; Mabel Brown, Newcastle, 1978-79; 
James June, Green River, 1979-80. 

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, William F. Bragg, Jr., Casper 

First Vice President, Don Hodgson, Torrington 

Second Vice President, Clara Jensen, Casper 

Secretary -Treasurer, Mrs. Ellen Mueller, Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, Dr. Michael J. Boyle (acting), Cheyenne