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Volume 60, No. 1 Spring, 1988 


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. The State 
Historic Preservation Office is also located in the Department. 


Frank Bowron, Casper, Chairman 

Lucille Clarke Dumbrill, Newcastle 

George Zebre, Kemmerer 

Tom Mangan, Laramie 

Bill Bruce Hines, Gillette 

Gladys Hill, Douglas 

Gretel Ehrlich, Shell 

George Zeimans, Lingle 

Mary Guthrie, Attorney General's Office, Ex-officio 


Dona Bachman 

James Donahue 

Mark Junge 

Linda Rollins 

Mary Nielsen, Ex-officio 
President, Wyoming State Historical Society 

Frank Bowron, Ex-officio 
Chairman, State Library, Archives, Museums and Historical Board 

ABOUT THE COVER—]. E. Stimson photographed one of the last trains to cross the Dale Creek Bridge in 1901, 
the same year the Union Pacific Railroad rerouted the line and dismantled the bridge. In 1986, Dale Creek Cross- 
ing was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today feiv vestiges of the bridge remain, as can be 
seen in Michael A. Amundson's 1987 rephotograph of the site on the back cover. 



Volume 60, No. 1 
Spring, 1988 


Mike Sullivan 


David Kathka 


Rick Ewig 


Jean Brainerd 
Roger Joyce 
Ann Nelson 


Kathy Martinez 
Judy West 


Paula West-Chavoya 
Carroll Jones 
Ed Fowler 



by Mark L. Gardner 

The Utah Territory's Efforts to Ease 

Dependency on Wyoming Coal 8 

by M. Guy Bishop 


by Mariann McCormick 


Turn of the Century Wyoming 

Agriculturalist— A Demographic ProfUe 22 

by Vicki Page and William L. Hewitt 


Past and Present 32 

by Michael A. Amundson 





ANNALS OF WYOMING is published biannually in the Spring and Fall by the Wyoming 
State Press. It is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical Society as the of- 
ficial publication of that organization. Copies of previous and current issues may be purchased 
from the Editor. Correspondence should be addressed to the Editor. Published articles repre- 
sent 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 1988 by the Wyoming State Press 


by Mark L. Gardner 

July, 1865, saw an unusual amount of activity on the 
west bank of the Missouri River at Omaha. Steamboats 
were arriving daily with cargos of rails, ties and 
locomotives. Ground had finally been broken in 1863 for 
a new railroad company, the Union Pacific, and it was now 
preparing to race westward across the continent. The Un- 
ion Pacific's first rail was laid on July 10, 1865, and just 
four years later it would meet the Central Pacific at Pro- 
montory Point, Utah, 1,085 miles from Omaha, to com- 
plete what has become known as the First Transcontinen- 
tal Railroad. 

The Transcontinental Railroad, of course, is a well- 
covered chapter in American history. Not so well-covered, 
though, are the singular achievements of that railroad's 
march across the West. The story of the Union Pacific's 
Dale Creek Crossing is a prime example. 

U.P. railroad crews found little challenge as they 
moved across the plains west of Omaha. On reaching Wyo- 
ming's Black Hills (Laramie Mountains), however, they en- 
countered "the first real problem of importance. "^ Gren- 
ville M. Dodge, chief engineer for the Union Pacific, wrote 
that "the secondary range of mountains known as the 
Black Hills [was] the most difficult to overcome, with pro- 
per grades of all ranges on account of its short slopes and 
great height."^ 

The summit of the Black Hills was reached with some 
difficulty by Sherman Pass. With an elevation of 8,236 feet, 
it was the highest point reached by any railroad in the 
United States.^ However, the "most serious obstacle to the 
building of the Union Pacific" still awaited workmen a few 
miles to the west at the gorge of a small creek that drained 
the southern portion of the Sherman tableland.* Dale 
Creek, an insignificant stream, flowed at the gorge's 
bottom. 5 

The gorge was a true test of the bridge-building 
technology of the time. Interestingly, most of the timber 
for the construction of the bridge came from the East. 
Michigan White or Norway Pine was felled and cut to 
precise lengths before being shipped via Chicago by rail.* 
Upon arrival at the site the timbers were quickly erected 
on piers of granite masonry. The impressive structure, 
completed on April 23, 1868, allegedly took only 30 days 
to build at a cost of $200,000.^ 

The best description of this bridge comes from an early 
Laramie newspaper: "The wooden structure is 720 feet in 
length, of which 480 feet is Howe truss of [13] forty-foot 
spans, supported by common trestle well braced. Besides 
the Howe truss, there is 240 feet of stringers on bents at 
[the] west end."' The Howe truss, which was the stan- 
dard for railroad bridges of the time, consisted of vertical 
members of iron or steel with all other members, chords 
and diagonals, of wood.' 

Less than a year after the bridge's completion, though, 
the structure came under attack. C. H. Snow, appointed 
government director of the Union Pacific in January, 1869, 
issued a report on the quality of the line's construction in 

March of that same year. A portion of his report to Presi- 
dent Grant follows: 

The Hon. Jesse P. Williams of Indiana, to the Secretary of the 
Interior . . . stated that Dale Creek [bridge] . . . was exposed 
to decay, and especially to fire. The remedy applied has been 
to lay a floor upon the bridge, and paint it with fireproof paint. 
Mr. Williams suggested that "when the bridge shall decay, per- 
manence should be given, either by filling the gorge with earth 
or rock, or by an iron bridge resting on stone piers." 

It strikes me that waiting for the bridge to decay would be 
rather hazardous. Its decay might, and perhaps will, be 
discovered by its giving way under a train. But it is so fixed 
now that the unsuspecting passengers will not see their danger, 
nor know that the yawning chasm, granite bottomed, into 
which they are plunging is one hundred and twenty feet deep'.^" 

Nevertheless, the wooden bridge remained for several 
more years and became a well-known tourist attraction to 
the "unsuspecting passengers" of the Union Pacific. Scenic 
guides to the Transcontinental Railroad were soon pub- 
lished after the road's completion and none failed to point 
out the Dale Creek Crossing. 

Crofutt's Trans-Continental Tourist, 1874, contains a large 

engraving of the famed trestle. Pictured in the foreground, 
at the gorge's bottom, is a hunter with dog and gun and 
a fisherman in the process of making a large catch. In the 
text of the guide we learn that: 

the bridge as it stands on trestles, interlaced with each other, 
and securely corded together, presents a light, airy and graceful 
appearance when viewed from the creek below. From the 
bridge, the beautiful little stream looks like a silver thread below 
us, the sun glistening its surface with a thousand flashes of 
silvery light." 

T. Nelson and Sons' guidebook to the Union Pacific, 
also published in the early 1870s, contains a color 
lithograph showing three mounted Indians watching a 
passenger train cross the Dale Creek Bridge. This guide 
assures us that the bridge "looks unpleasantly frail at a 
distance, but is stout enough to support the weight of the 
heaviest train. "^^ 

The bridge may have been stout but, as Snow pointed 
out, it was very susceptible to fire. Consequently, plans 
were made to replace the wooden structure with an iron 
one. Fortunately, the historic wooden bridge was captured 

The Union Pacific Railruuil lon-^huited the first Dale Creek Bridge entirely of wood transported from Chicago. It took only 30 days to complete. 

In 1885 the Union Pacific added stronger girder spans to make the bridge safer. 

on photographic plates by at least two famous western 
photographers, Andrew Russell and William Henry Jack- 
son, before it was dismantled in 1876. 

The Laramie Daily Sentinel of November 20, 1875, 
proudly reported that: 

the new iron bridge that is to be built over Dale creek by the 
Union Pacific Railroad Company promises to be the finest of 
the kind west of Chicago . . . [It] will be 200 feet shorter at 
west end— this space to be filled with earth and masonry. 

The supports of iron trusses are to be iron bents, made of 
angle iron, with four vertical posts resting on blocks of stone 
which are surJ< or laid on the original masonry. There wUl be 
thirteen forty-foot spans." 

This bridge, which was manufactured by the American 
Bridge Company of Chicago, Illinois, was constructed 
under the supervision of civil engineer J. A. Evans, son 
of Col. James A. Evans, the pioneer engineer and super- 
intendent of construction on the Union Pacific." Com- 
pleted in 1876, the new bridge was much cheaper than the 
original, reportedly costing only $39, 450. ^^ 

The iron bridge, which acquired the nickname "spider 
web" for obvious reasons, was no less of an attraction than 
the wooden one it replaced. Frank Leslie's Illustrated 
Newspaper reported its effect upon passengers in 1877: 
Dale Creek Bridge comes into sight. There is a rush to the plat- 
form to enjoy the sensation of crossing on a spider's web. Seen 
from a distance, this marvel of iron trestle work spanning the 
deep, rocky bed of the stream has the airiest and most gossamer- 
like effect; but it is a substantial structure over which our long 

train goes roaring in safety, though not without a few shrieks 
from those on the platforms who are averse to seeing a hun- 
dred and thirty feet of empty space yawning below them." 

Curiously, the threat of fire that was associated with 
the 1868 structure was not entirely avoided by the newer 
bridge. It seems that when the spider web was erected, 
the wooden trestle-work at each approach to the bridge 
was left intact. On November 28, 1884, the western ap- 
proach caught fire, destroying that end as well as a good 
many of the stringers on the iron section. The fire, assumed 
to have been started by sparks from a passing engine, 
proved to be only a slight inconvenience. The Union Pacific 
simply transferred passengers at the bridge until the 
damage was repaired. ^^ 

Just a year later, the bridge underwent another change 
when it was condemned by the Union Pacific Engineer- 
ing Department and a Mr. Pope of the Detroit Bridge Com- 
pany. Heavier cars and locomotives were traveling the line 
and stronger girder spans were needed to make the bridge 
safer. These were installed in 1885.'* From period photo- 
graphs it appears that large masonry abutments were 
added to each approach about this time as well. 

Even with the added strength, however, the bridge 
never became quite as sturdy as the engineers would have 
liked. A sign at each end of the bridge instructing locomo- 
tives to slow their rate of speed to four miles per hour while 
crossing reflected the engineers' concerns. In March, 1901, 
the Laramie Daily Boomerang reported that "during the late 

-^v^S^ Slow TRAINS 
%1r ii ..^^^^CROSSINe BRIDGE 

Trains had to slow to 4 miles per hour in order to cross the Dale Creek Bridge. 

The Union Pacific built this unusual structure to complete the earth fill a mile southeast of the Dale Creek Bridge in 1901. Cars loaded with ballast 
were pushed out on the track and dumped to build up the fill. This section of the track is still in use today. 


t.v ?»:'♦!» ««^w»r.-?j^K?; 

storm a train crossed the bridge when the structure was 
swayed back and forth by the violence of the blizzard un- 
til crew and passengers were so frightened that their hair 
ought to have turned white if it didn't."" 

Engineers did not have to worry much longer. In 1901, 
the Union Pacific rerouted the line, abandoning the bridge 
for a 900-foot long, 130-foot high earth fill of Dale Creek 
a little more than a mile to the southeast of the old cross- 
ing. 2° The spider web was dismantled that same year and 
the iron beams incorporated into other sections of the 

Today, all that remains of the once famous crossing 
are the 1868 granite masonry piers and the circa 1885 
abutments. Its significance to American history, however, 
will outlast any physical remains. Dale Creek Bridge sym- 
bolized to many Americans a bond between Westward Ex- 
pansion and American ingenuity. The amazing structure 
defied and overcame the "wilderness" that Americans 
always seemed to be at odds with in the 19th century. 
Photographers were quick to recognize the bridge's appeal 
and soon the likes of Andrew Russell, William Henry 
Jackson, J. E. Stimson and C. B. Savage were sending 
views of the structure all over the country. With the pass- 
ing of the frontier, though, the bridge slowly lost its 
significance and it was dismantled without regret. In fact, 
it was labeled the "Bugaboo of Sherman HUl" in 1901, and 
railroad officials looked forward to its abandonment. ^^ 

In later years the crossing has taken on a new mean- 
ing for local residents. Annual ranch tours take groups out 
to see the crossing and old timers delight in telling bridge 
tales. A favorite is the story of the 1885 fire. Only now it 

has been associated with the first structure and, according 
to the guides, it was set by Indians. The crossing, in a 
sense, has become a legend. In stark contrast to the bridge, 
which was a symbol of American ingenuity, the simple 
stone piers and abutments now symbolize a long past fron- 
tier of Indians, cowboys and adventurers. 

The most recent chapter in the history of Dale Creek 
Crossing occurred on May 9, 1986, when the crossing was 
placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
Although it may seem a bit unusual to place the site of a 
dismantled bridge on the National Register, it should be 
remembered that very Uttle remains of the old Union Pacific 
line. The tracks and ties, of course, are gone. The wild 
raUroad camps of Sherman and Dale City (just half a mile 
to the north of the crossing) are also gone. Even the Sher- 
man cemetery is empty. Consequently, the stonework at 
Dale Creek offers something physical of another era. 
Through the unspoiled gorge, its masonry piers and abut- 
ments, we are able to hold on to and admire a young, still 
growing America that was lost long ago. 

MARK L. GARDNER received a Bachelor's degree in History and Journalism 
from Northwest Missouri State University and a Master's degree in American 
Studies from the University of Wyoming. Currently he is Site Administrator 
for the Colorado Historical Society at the Baca House, Bloom House and Pioneer 
Museum in Trinidad. 

1. John Debo Galloway, C. E., The First Transcontinental Railroad (New 
York: Simmons-Boardman, Inc., 1950), p. 237. 

2. As quoted in Lynne Rhodes Mayer and Kenneth E. Vose, Makin' 
Tracks (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1975), p. 65. 

3. Ibid., p. 64. 

4. J. R. Perkins, Trails, Rails and War: The Life of General G. M. Dodge 
(New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1929), p. 212. 

5. Galloway, p. 278. 

6. Bridge— Dale Creek, B 764-dc Vertical Manuscript File, American 
Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie. 

7. Ibid., and Phil Roberts, "Building of Dale Creek Bridge was challeng- 
ing," Snake River Press, Baggs, Wyoming, undated clipping. 

8. "The Mountain Division," Laramie Daily Sentinel, November 20, 1875, 
p. 3, c. 3. 

9. Galloway, pp. 23-24. 

10. Mayer and Vose, pp. 147-148. 

11. George A. Crofutt, Crofutt's Trans-Continental Tourist (New York; 
George A. Crofutt, 1874), p. 62. 

12. T. Nelson and Sons, Tlie Union Pacific Railroad: A Trip Across The North 
American Continent From Omaha to Ogden (New York: T. Nelson and 
Sons, circa early 1870s), p. 29. 

13. "The Mountain Division," p. 3, c. 3. 

14. Ibid. 

15. Bridge— Dale Creek. 

16. Richard Reinhardt, Out West on the Overland Train (Palo Alto, Califor- 
nia: The American West Publishing Company, 1967), p. 76. 

17. "Fire!" Laramie Weekly Sentinel, November 29, 1884, p. 3, c. 1. 

18. Bridge— Dale Creek. 

19. "Bugaboo of Sherman HHl," Laramie Daily Boomerang, March 30, 1901, 
p. 3, c. 3. 

20. Roberts, "Building of Dale Creek Bridge." 

21. Bridge— Dale Creek. 

22. "Bugaboo of Sherman Hill," p. 3, c. 3. 


The Utah Territory's Efforts 
to Ease Dependency on Wyoming Coal 

by M. Guy Bishop 

In 1880, as the mighty Union Pacific Railroad was 
locked in a struggle with the Utah Eastern, a small, local 
line being constructed to ship coal to market in Salt Lake 
City, a concerned voice noted that certainly there was 
"room for more than one coal road to the heart of Zion."' 
While this opinion was applauded by the inhabitants of 
the two Utah communities which felt hardest pressed by 
the Union Pacific's monopoly of the fuel supply of the 
region, the eastern capitalists who operated the company 
certainly felt that their actions were justified. This paper 
will assess, first of all, the position of the Union Pacific in 
the western coal market during the post-Civil War years, 
and secondly, the stance of Utahns, especially in the capital 
of Salt Lake City and the small mining community of 
Coalville, in opposition to the corporate goals of the 
easterners. In a similar form, this conflict flared at many 
different times and places in late 19th century American 

Coalville, a small town in Summit County located 
about 50 miles north of Salt Lake City, was settled as a con- 
sequence of the 1859 discovery of coal near the site. The 
community existed primarily as a mining center during 
much of the late 19th century. The residents depended 

upon the success of the local mines for their livelihood. 
The second area which was affected immediately by the 
coal issue was the territorial capital of Salt Lake City. As 
the nucleus of the Mormon "Zion" and the economic 
center of the Utah Territory, Salt Lake City, with a popula- 
tion of some 30,000, was home to the majority of Utah 
residents and the headquarters of local manufacturing. As 
such, an adequate and cheap supply of fuel was of extreme 
importance to the city and its people. ^ 

By the early 1870s, the inhabitants of the Mormon com- 
monwealth would gradually become convinced that a con- 
spiracy to rob them of their freedoms, both religious and 
economic, was afoot. Not only were their "Gentile" (non- 
Mormon) enemies, backed by the power of the federal 
government, waging war against the Saints' sacred prac- 
tice of plural marriages (commonly known as polygamy), 
but eastern-controlled economic interests in the form of the 
Union Pacific Railroad Company appeared to the local resi- 
dents to have targeted Utah for domination or destruction. 
In the midst of this tension, spurred by Mormon insistence 
on religious freedom and home rule in opposition to non- 
Mormon charges of less-than-democratic government in 
the Utah Territory and licentious behavior by Mormon 

polygamists, local businessmen and residents called time 
and again for the construction of a Utah-owned and 
operated railroad to challenge the Union Pacific's monopoly 
of the territorial coal trade. 

This crusade to build a Utah road to ship coal to local 
markets won the support not only of officials of the Mor- 
mon church, but of Gentile merchants. If Mormons and 
non-Mormons could find little else to agree on, this was 
one issue which commanded near universal concern. The 
reason for this concurrence was obvious: coal was the life 
blood of the Utah Territory. Thus, an inexpensive and 
dependable supply of fuel for heating homes and for com- 
mercial use was an overriding interest for all Utahns. But 
just because Gentiles and Mormons could both recognize 
the public need for a local coal road did not mean that they 
could easily unite their efforts to build one. 

The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 
had raised the hope that fuel problems which had plagued 
Salt Lake City and the Utah Territory since the time of the 
Mormons arrival in the late 1840s might now be alleviated.^ 
The line of the Union Pacific, on its way from Wyoming 
to Ogden, Utah, passed just five miles north of the 
recently-opened Summit County mines. The Mormons 
originally viewed the coming of the Union Pacific as Pro- 
vidence's answer to their fuel needs. Church President 
Brigham Young calculated that his people could easily con- 
struct a spur line from their mines to connect with the 
transcontinental railroad and then Mormon coal could be 
transshipped on the Union Pacific to Ogden and on to Salt 
Lake City. Young soon instituted plans to buUd the 36 mile 
long Utah Central Railroad which would freight the coal 
from Ogden to the capital. However, as with many well 
laid plans, this scheme did not materialize exactly as the 
Utahns envisioned it. 

The Union Pacific had acquired some extensive coal 
deposits of its own in Wyoming and was enjoying nice 
profits from the sale of company coal. They hoped to enter 
the Utah market and were therefore reluctant to aid the 
growth of the Coalville mines to the detriment of their own 
product. While the Union Pacific could not force the peo- 
ple of Utah to buy Wyoming coal, they could at least dic- 
tate the amount of local coal to be shipped on their railroad. 
Because of their attempts to control the Utah trade, either 
through the sale of their own coal or by limiting the ship- 
ment of Utah coal, the Union Pacific soon came to be 
viewed as a merciless tyrant by the people of the Utah 
Territory. ■* 

Even following the completion of local railroads, often 
built expressly for the purpose of shipping coal, the Utahns 
found themselves to be the unwilling benefactors of the 
Union Pacific and its coal mines in Wyoming. Conse- 
quently, by the mid-1870s, the battle lines were being 
drawn as local interests matched up against the mighty 
eastern railroad over the coal issue. As it had on a recur- 
ring basis during the post-Civil War United States, the 
question of corporate needs to achieve a profit versus com- 

munity desires for economic security and material comfort 
now confronted Utahns. Their response to this dilemma 
provides an interesting microcosm to this Gilded Age 
issue. This study will focus first of all on the Union Pacific's 
position in the 1870s, and then upon the results for, and 
response from, the two Utah communities which were 
most affected by the railroad's attempt to monopolize the 
coal trade in the territory. 

While constructing their portion of the transcontinen- 
tal railroad across Wyoming in June, 1868, Union Pacific 
work crews began to find evidence of coal. The company 
was quick to realize what a boon this would be to their 
undertaking. Not only was fuel for Union Pacific loco- 
motives now readily available, but the excess yield from 
these mines could be retailed for a profit. An official of the 
Union Pacific noted of the finds in 1868: 

A discovery of almost incalculable value to the Company 
and the entire country . . . has been that of enormous beds 
of very excellent coal in the Laramie Plains and the mountains 
of the West. This coal field is now being developed, and it is 
found to be the first yet opened west of the Missouri River. 

A pair of enterprising Missourians, Cyrus O. Godfrey and 
Thomas Wardell, soon contracted with the railroad to 
prospect and mine coal along the line.^ 

By the end of 1869, there were Union Pacific coal mines 
operating at Carbon, Rock Springs and Almy in southern 
Wyoming. And, by all indications, these mines were being 
run "quite profitably." While professing to have only the 
public good in mind, for as one company spokesman ob- 
served, the railroad "was obligated to provide a supply 
of fuel at reasonable cost," they were interested first in 
realizing a gain. In fairness to the railroad, it must be noted 
that for a number of years after the 1869 completion of the 
road, the Union Pacific found it very difficult to meet its 
financial obligations incurred from construction costs.* 

Yet the railroad also began to feel the sting of public 
criticism regarding its rate policy even before track was laid 
as far west as Ogden. The citizens of Fremont, Nebraska, 
for example, had accused the Union Pacific of charging 
freight rates that were so high that "they could get goods 
to and from Omaha [40 miles] cheaper by wagon than by 
rail." Within a few years, Utahns would echo this cry as 
they began to lambaste the "obduracy and monopolizing 
tendency" of the Union Pacific Railroad Company.^ 

The Deseret News, one of Salt Lake City's most read 
newspapers for the years under discussion, and the official 
organ of the Mormon church, made frequent mention of 
the coal issue, the Union Pacific and local rail ventures dur- 
ing the 1870s and 1880s. On May 19, 1869, the paper noted 
the conclusion of the transcontinental railroad and ob- 
served that "To the people of Utah . . . the completion 
of the Union Pacific Railroad is a matter of more sig- 
nificance and interest than to any other portion of their 
fellow citizens of the Union." This positive relationship 
between Utahns and the eastern railroad would prove to 
be short-lived, however. In early 1873, an editorial in the 

Coalville, Utah 

Deseret Nezvs applauded the construction of a narrow-gauge 
line, the Utah Northern Railroad, as "the only sure solu- 
tion [to] the problem of relief from the monopolizing and 
oppressive railroad tendencies of the period." In this 
regard the paper felt that "Utah was pointing the way."* 
The demand for coal in the Salt Lake Valley had been 
growing since the mid-1860s as population and commer- 
cial interests in the area increased. Saw and grist mills, 
leather and textile industries and machine shops, along 
with private homes and other commercial enterprises, all 
required the use of fuel. To all Utahns coal was a precious 
commodity and a large supply of the product was essen- 
tial to their interests. Young felt that the construction of 
a branch line from the Coalville mines to the Echo junc- 
tion on the Union Pacific line from Wyoming to Ogden 
would not only facilitate the movement of large quantities 
of coal to Salt Lake City via the newly-constructed Utah 
Central, but would also promote local industry. In 1869, 
Young encouraged Bishop W. W. Cluff, the Mormon ec- 
clesiastical leader at Coalville, to organize the members of 

his congregation to lay a narrow-gauge track from Echo 
to the mines. As with most Mormon enterprises of this 
time, the Coalville and Echo Railroad was undertaken as 
a cooperative plan. The local people were to donate labor 
in return for stock in the new road.' 

After a number of setbacks, which included the failure 
of the Union Pacific to honor an agreement to supply 
enough iron for tracks to complete both the Utah Central 
and the Coalville and Echo Railroads, work was suspended 
on the latter. Mormon authorities had now decided that 
coal from the Union Pacific's Rock Springs mines was of 
superior quality to local coal and could be easily obtained 
from said railroad at Ogden. How much pressure, if any, 
was applied by the Union Pacific interests to bring about 
this decision is unknown, but at any rate the people of 
Coalville never received any compensation for their many 
months of devoted labor.'" 

Following the withdrawal of the Coalville mines as a 
potential competitor, the Union Pacific began to enjoy the 
fruits of its monopoly. The railroad not only was able to 


dictate the price of their coal from Wyoming, but could also 
set the rates for transshipping any coal which was wagon- 
freighted from Coalville to Echo. After the completion of 
the Utah Central, the Union Pacific chose to raise its ship- 
ping rates which kept the cost of coal delivered to Salt Lake 
City at a high level. Residents of the capital quickly came 
to label the Union Pacific as a "grasping monopolist" with 
no regard for the rights of the people. Not only were Salt 
Lake City industrialists concerned, but as winter ap- 
proached citizens of modest means began to fear what their 
plight might be in the months ahead." 

Under these circumstances, Young decided to try again 
the Coalville railroad project. Bishop Cluff, recently re- 
turned from a church proselytizing mission to Scandinavia, 
was once more called to supervise the construction. A new 
corporation, this time called the Summit County Railroad, 
was chartered in November, 1871. The plans called for a 
narrow-gauge line running from the Echo Station to the 
mines at Coalville and then on to the silver mining district 
of Park City— a distance of about 26 miles. It was an- 
ticipated that the railroad would eventually be linked with 
Salt Lake City by way of Park City and thus avoid any need 
to transship on the Union Pacific at all.^^ 

Construction began on the Coalville to Echo section 
early in 1872. Much of the railroad grading had been done 
during the aborted effort three years earlier. Unfortunately, 
the Sunrniit County road was unable to secure iron for rails 
and had to delay laying track until spring, 1873. As a con- 
sequence, the residents of Salt Lake City suffered a severe 
coal shortage during the winter of 1872-73." 

On June 15, 1873, the rail line from Coalville to Echo 
was finally completed. Within two months. Mormon of- 
ficials proclaimed the entire undertaking "already a suc- 
cess."" What they apparently chose to overlook, however, 
was the fact that Coalville coal was still hauled on the 
Union Pacific from Echo to Ogden and that road could con- 
tinue to dictate fuel prices in the capital city through freight 
charges and access to Union Pacific cars. Since the larger 
line was reluctant to lose its monopoly over the Salt Lake 
City coal market or to allow Coalville to undersell its own 
Wyoming mines, it simply refused to recognize the Sum- 
mit County upstart as a "feeder" line to its own track. In- 
stead, the Union Pacific countered the new railroad by hik- 
ing their short-haul rates from Echo to Ogden to even 
higher levels.^' 

Although the Summit County Railroad was of at least 
a temporary benefit to Coalville's economy by allowing a 
much greater quantity of coal to reach Salt Lake City 
markets, it did not help lower fuel prices in that city. The 
new short-haul rates charged by the Union Pacific, which 
were increased from $1.50 to $3.76 per ton, pushed the Salt 
Lake City price of coal to prohibitive heights. The Salt Lake 
Herald accused the railroad of "robbing" the people of 
Coalville of $500 a day by these actions.'* As the winter 
of 1873-74 approached, the inhabitants of the territorial 
capital feared an impending "coal famine." 

The residents of Salt Lake City had already experienced 
a coal shortage the previous winter. In October, 1873, the 
Deseret News reminded its readers that "a portion of last 
winter many of the people were put to great inconvenience 
and some even suffered considerable distress" from the 
lack of heating fuel. Salt Lake City's bishops had been 
much concerned by the problems which high coal prices 
caused some of their poorer charges.'^ 

The less fortunate were unable to purchase large quan- 
tities of coal at one time, but the Union Pacific did not favor 
sales of smaller amounts. However, many Salt Lake City 
merchants were willing to retail coal in affordable portions. 
The account books of one prominent businessman, George 
Nebeker, indicate that he often sold orders of 150 to 500 
pounds to individual customers. Frequently this coal was 
obtained from Nebeker on credit with whatever amount 
of down payment the buyer could afford. During the colder 
months he would purchase more than 800 tons of coal per 
month for resale to consumers.'* 

In 1874, several prominent Salt Lake City Gentiles 
decided to try their hand at easing the local fuel crisis. On 
June 13, they organized the Salt Lake and Coalville Rail- 
road as yet another Utah attempt to counter the Union 
Pacific coal monopoly. This line was proposed at the same 
time a Mormon group was considering a similar route, to 
be named the Utah Eastern. A brief but heated conflict 
erupted between the two parties which was not settled un- 
til September when Young interceded on behalf of the 
Mormons and the rival group withdrew from the contest. 
Yet, even when given a free rein, the Utah Eastern was 
unable to obtain sufficient money to begin construction and 
the line folded before a foot of track had been laid. The 
Union Pacific must have felt quite secure in its position 
since the various groups in Utah could not unite to oppose 
them. While the Mormons had the manpower to build 
a railroad and the Gentiles had the capital, seldom did the 
two sides meet." 

By 1875, it was all too apparent to Young that the Utah 
Central Railroad's struggle to be a viable shipper of freight 
from Ogden was becoming an unwinnable fight. The 
Union Pacific was too powerful to allow the small local line 
to thwart its coal policy. In the five years of existence, the 
Utah Central had failed to ease the fuel burden of Salt Lake 
City and the road was in dire financial straits. Ironically, 
Young finally had to sell controlling interest in the Utah 
Central to the Union Pacific Railroad for $250,000. The 
larger company then acquired the Summit County line also 
and thus completely dictated the shipment of Coalville coal 
to Salt Lake City markets. 2° 

As the ready supply of cheap fuel became a major issue 
at Salt Lake City, its inhabitants became more and more 
convinced that it was time to free themselves of "a whimsi- 
cal and apparently unscrupulous railroad company [the 
Union Pacific] for one of the necessities of life"— which coal 
had clearly become for late 19th century Utahns.^' Just a 
sampling of the published reports for the Utah Central 


Railroad during 1876-77 bears this out. For January, 1876, 
in-bound coal shipments accounted for 13,302,610 pounds 
of freight out of 17,714,766 pounds hauled by the line 
(75.1% of the total). In March, 1876, as the weather warmed 
up a little, in-bound coal was 10,906,240 pounds of the 
17,640,878 total pounds of incoming freight (61.8%). Even 
during the summer months Utahns consumed more than 
3,000,000 pounds of coal a month. -- With coal being such 
a high demand item in the territory, it is not surprising 
that the Union Pacific wanted to secure as large a portion 
of the trade as possible. 

Beginning during the summer, 1874, the railroad began 
to curtail the delivery of coal to smaller Salt Lake dealers. 
This new policy reflected the company's desire to deal only 
in large amounts of coal. Local criticism began to skyrocket 
as Utahns, "rich and poor alike," felt themselves to be 
locked in the "vice-like grip of these greedy cormorants" 
who sought only to enrich themselves. ^^ However, the 
worst suffering from the Union Pacific's policies took place 
not in Salt Lake City, but at Coalville. 

Due to the reduction in coal shipments from Echo to 
Ogden via the Union Pacific Railroad, the economy of 
Coalville was devastated. During February, 1876, more 
than two-thirds of the community's work force was un- 
employed because the Union Pacific refused to supply suf- 
ficient freight cars to ship Summit County coal to Ogden 
and on to Salt Lake City. The explanation given by the 
railroad was that all available cars were needed to ship coal 
from its own Rock Springs, Wyoming, mine. But the peo- 
ple of Coalville were convinced that the real reason was 
that the Union Pacific was attempting to force them out 
of the coal business. They further charged that the com- 
pany was trying to force its own coal on the people of the 
territory "knowing that the consumers will be compelled 
to purchase from them when there is no other coal on the 
market. "2'' 

On November 29, 1876, in a front page editorial, the 
Deseret News bemoaned that "the coal famine in this city 
still continues, owing to the [tendency] of the Union Pacific 
Railroad Company, in persisting in their refusal to supply 
sufficient transportation for . . . coal, that the trade may 
continue to be monopolized by the coal mines in which 
they themselves have interest." The editor went on to 
observe that the "public mind is gradually being awakened 
to the necessity of the people being placed beyond the 
reach" of the Union Pacific. Yet this unrest in the capital 
city was mild compared to feelings in Summit County. 

Correspondence from Coalville received by the Deseret 
Neivs in December bristled with rage. Residents of the min- 
ing community seemed to feel anger not only at the Union 
Pacific, but also, perhaps, felt that Salt Lakers did not ap- 
preciate Summit County's stake in the issue. "The coal 
question, which has agitated the mind of the people so 
much of late," the writer noted, "is approaching a crisis 
[at Coalville]." Contrary to the situation of Salt Lake 
residents, "[w]ith Summit County it is not merely the dif- 

ference of one, two, or three dollars more in the price of 
a ton of coal, but it is to a very great extent a question of 
how our bread and butter shall come." Inhabitants of the 
mining country were worried about the loss of their homes 
which had been built with so much time and effort. In fact, 
the author wrote, "it is everything, both socially and 
politically with us."^^ While Salt Lakers were inconven- 
ienced by the Union Pacific's coal policy. Summit County 
residents felt their hopes and dreams were being 

The Union Pacific's "freeze out" of the Coalville mines 
continued through the end of the decade. In December, 
1876, the company strengthened its monopoly of the Utah 
coal trade with the purchase of Mormon-owned mines at 
Chalk Creek in Summit County. They then forced inde- 
pendent mine owners of the community into a contract by 
threatening to close permanently the rail line to Ogden to 
all Coalville traffic if they refused to comply. The agree- 
ment stipulated that the Union Pacific would purchase all 
coal mined in Summit County, but the miners were not 
to be allowed to sell their product elsewhere. A Deseret 
Nezos editorial published on December 5, 1877, observed: 
"We believe that the coal business in this part [of the coun- 
try] is now entirely in the hands of the Union Pacific 
Railroad Company." 

Once the contract had been signed, the railroad regu- 
larly decreased the number of freight cars available to ship 
Summit County coal on the pretext of a shortage of roll- 
ing stock. By spring, 1878, the coal trade of the county was 
"virtually extinguished. "^i' This development not only 
crippled Coalville and the surrounding towns, but initiated 
a worsening of the already bad fuel situation at Salt Lake 
City as well. 

Utahns responded by attacking the Union Pacific from 
all sides. In early 1880, the coal merchants of Salt Lake City 
publicly noted that they had always been willing to sell 
their product in small amounts (50-100 pounds) for the sake 
of the poor. It was, they argued, the Union Pacific who 
now made this impossible due to the exorbitant prices 
retailers had to pay for coal. They charged that Abram 
Gould, the Salt Lake agent for the company's coal mines, 
now controlled the entire supply of fuel coming into the 
city. The dealers then petitioned Gould for more coal at 
lower prices. He at first refused, but then relented and 
agreed to ship coal in smaller quantities. ^^ 

By fall, 1880, Salt Lake City was again in the midst of 
a coal famine. The Union Pacific shipped insufficient quan- 
tities into the city and charged exceedingly high prices. 
Utahns started to express general dissatisfaction as winter 
approached. The Deseret News charged that the Union 
Pacific seemed disposed to "squeeze" Salt Lake City on 
the coal question regardless of who suffered.^* Once again 
the press and the public began to call for the construction 
of another railroad to ease the fuel situation. 

In December, 1879, a bill had been passed in the Utah 
legislature that authorized the issuance of bonds for the 


construction of a rail line from Coalville directly to Salt Lake 
City by way of Park City. The main object of this bill was 
to facilitate the delivery of fuel at lower prices than those 
currently being offered by the Union Pacific for coal from 
its Wyoming mines. Inexplicably, Governor George B. 
Emery, who would leave the office the following month, 
vetoed the bUl. Shortly thereafter, the project, now once 
again called the Utah Eastern Railroad, was undertaken 
privately by Mormon and non-Mormon businessmen from 
Salt Lake City. In order to insure that the Union Pacific 
could not buy up controlling interest in the road, the 
stockholders elected three trustees in whose hands the 
majority stock was placed. Company stock was to be in- 
alienable for a period of fifteen years— that is, while it could 
be transferred it nevertheless remained under control of 
the trustees for voting purposes. ^^ 

No other local railroad had aroused so much public en- 
thusiasm and media attention as did the Utah Eastern. The 
Deseret News and the Salt Lake Herald had each done much 
during the preceeding years to keep the so-called "coal 

road" issue alive in the territory. Both journals now car- 
ried numerous editorials urging support of the Utah 
Eastern, which was haOed as the new protector of the peo- 
ple's rights. And, perhaps because this time the railroad 
venture combined Mormon and Gentile interests, the Salt 
Lake Tribune, the city's non-Mormon newspaper, joined 
in the praises and predicted that "by next October Zion 
[Salt Lake City] will be connected with the coal field at 
Coalville and vicinity. "3° The newspapers and the general 
public all tended to charge the Union Pacific with full 
responsibility for the low quantity and high price of coal. 
In order to gain adequate financial backing for the 
newest Utah coal road, its management decided to sell 
$100.00 shares at half price. The "public" nature of the 
raUroad was stressed as Mormon bishops, local busi- 
nessmen and newspaper editors were all enlisted in sup- 
port of the cause. When this community fund-raising 
campaign failed to net enough money for rails and rolling 
stock, the Ontario Mining Company of Park City, Utah's 
leading bullion producer and an obvious beneficiary of the 

Union Pacific coal mine at Rock Springs, Wyoming. 






■''^'^ "*■;&*. - ' -•^^■.S«t_^' '''* -■ '' j**!?::'^^^ - 

. ■^'^«%«^*^^»3^i:^^ '■-i^. '"■'■'^3^^^' "^■ 

jl^j^^:^^:,;^^— , ^ 




Pflrfc C/fy, (Jtfl/i 

new road, provided the needed cash.^^ The Union Pacific 
did not stand idly by as Utahns schemed to put an end 
to their coal monopoly, however. 

They soon began to construct their own line between 
Coalville and Park City that ran parallel to that of the Utah 
Eastern in hopes of driving the new line out of business 
by offering competition for control of the roadway. With 
other lines available to keep its income high, the Union 
Pacific intended to crush the upstart company by under- 
pricing their services. And, as luck would have it, they 
owned the legal right-of-way to the land exactly parallel 
to the Utah Eastern roadbed. If the Union Pacific could ac- 
complish this it would then have unchallenged control of 
the northern Utah transportation market. 

The new road refused to be bullied by its stronger com- 
petitor, however. As the Herald editorialized: "To give up 
now would be to fasten the chains tighter upon the coun- 
try, for the Union Pacific has only to block the way to 
Coalville, [then] it wUl have Salt Lake City perpetually at 
its mercy in the matter of coal prices. "^^ This contest be- 
tween the local company and the national giant soon 
developed into a race from Coalville to Park City. Despite 
Union Pacific efforts to thwart its construction, the Utah 
Eastern reached Park City at the end of 1880, about one 

month ahead of its competitor. For the three years follow- 
ing this successful defeat of the much-loathed monopoly 
by the "people's road," things went well for the Utah 
Eastern. It ran at near-capacity and paid its own way en- 
tirely. Between December, 1880, and December, 1883, the 
road earned nearly $180,000, over half of which was gained 
by supplying the Ontario mines with coal.^^ However, the 
Union Pacific was quietly at work setting the machinery 
in motion which would allow them to regain control of the 
Utah fuel trade. 

The Ontario Mining Company had gradually gained 
greater power in the management of the Utah Eastern due 
to the stock it owned and the mortgage bonds which it held 
as collateral for its earlier loan to the company. Apparently 
without the notice of the road's three trustees, J. B. Hag- 
gin, who was a vice-president of Wells-Fargo Company 
and the Nevada Central Railroad, as well as president of 
the Ontario Mining Company, had accumulated enough 
Utah Eastern stock to gain a majority interest in the con- 
cern by fall, 1881. Two years later, the Union Pacific bought 
these shares from Haggin and by late 1883 was prepared 
to assume control of the local company. At a meeting of 
all the other stock holders in November of that year, the 
easterners surprised the other investors by electing their 


own representatives to the Board of Directors, placing their 
own people in charge of management and removing the 
records of the Utah Eastern to Omaha. ^^ Despite all of their 
earlier precautions, the Utahns had lost another, and ap- 
parently final, round to the Union Pacific. Many people 
may have been reminded of an editorial which had ap- 
peared in the Deseret Neius several months earlier assail- 
ing the Union Pacific's monopolistic practices: "[If] this kind 
of thing goes on it wUl only be necessary to change the 
name of this section of the country to U. P. instead of 
U. T. [Utah Territory]. "35 gy)-^ happily for the Utahns, relief 
from the coal bondage of the eastern railroad soon ap- 
peared on the horizon. 

The Denver and Rio Grande Western, or the "West- 
ern" as it was popularly known, had reached Ogden by 
summer, 1883, and was eager to challenge the Union 
Pacific for control of the Utah coal trade. By mid-1881, the 
Western had merged with two local roads in central Utah 
and by 1882 had added two more. Within the Utah Ter- 
ritory, the Denver and Rio Grande Western operation was 
basically a compilation of many small mining railroads. ^^ A 
competition soon developed between the Union Pacific and 
the Western which lowered freight rates and delighted 
Utahns. The rate war which ensued for control of the Utah 
coal market, while nearly ruinous to the two companies 
involved, fulfilled the fondest dreams of Salt Lake City 
residents and businessmen. 

While the victory over the Union Pacific was finally 
won by the community interests with the aid of the Denver 
and Rio Grande Western, it had not been accomplished 
by any of the home efforts to wrestle control of the coal 
trade from the eastern giant. The Utah railroads were never 
able, on a long-term basis, to compete with the Union 
Pacific. One reason for this failure was Salt Lake City's 
heavy dependency on coal to heat its homes and run its 
factories. While many Salt Lakers vehemently opposed the 
outsider's monopoly of the essentials of life in Utah, they 
simply could not afford to boycott the company's product. 
Also, Utah railroad builders, with or without the support 
of the Mormon church, often lacked the capital to get their 
projects off the drawing board. 

Finally, and just as importantly, with the exception of 
the Utah Eastern Railroad in the early 1880s, there existed 
a lack of unified effort on the part of would-be Utah ef- 
forts to establish a home road. Either Mormon church- 
backed interests would attempt to buUd a coal road, such 
as the Coalville and Echo line or its successor the Summit 
County Railroad, or there would be a non-church affiliated 
plan like the Salt Lake and Coalville Railroad. Much to the 
detriment of the territory's economy, Utah raUroad pro- 
moters certainly seemed to be just as competitive with one 
another as they were with the Union Pacific. 

The price of coal and an adequate fuel supply had 
greatly agitated Utahns in the immediate post-Civil War 
years. The Union Pacific Railroad came to be a hiss and 
a byword in the territory's newspapers and on the lips of 

its inhabitants— both Mormon and Gentile. The extent of 
lasting animosity by Utahns toward the Union Pacific 
Railroad in the years following the arrival of the challenger 
from Denver is difficult to assess. Salt Lake City's Chamber 
of Commerce, in an 1888 publication, praised the Denver 
and Rio Grande Western for fostering a policy viewed as 
"universally friendly to Salt Lake City and conducive to 
the development of Utah Territory." The Union Pacific was 
not even mentioned in this promotional literature. Two 
years previously, Edward TuUidge in his history of Salt 
Lake City had called the Western "our local road." On the 
other hand, H. W. B. Kantner, a Salt Laker, who in 1896 
wrote a treatise on Utah's mines, believed that "[tjhere 
has been no greater factor in the development of the 
manifold mineral resources of this region than the Union 
Pacific Railroad. "^^ While the Chamber of Commerce and 
historian Tullidge probably reflected a continuing public 
distaste for the Union Pacific, Kantner's observation was 
an objective assessment of the contributions of the railroad 
to the growth of Utah. 

M. GUY BISHOP received his Ph.D. in History from Southern Illinois Utiiver- 
sity, Carbondale. Presently he is Head of Research Services, Seaver Center for 
Western History Research, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. 

1. Deseret Evening News [Salt Lake City], November 17, 1880. 

2. For an overview of Utah's fuel needs and its railroads, see Clarence 

A. Reeder, "The History of Utah's Railroads" (Ph.D. dissertation. 
University of Utah, 1970). Thomas G. Alexander, "From Dearth to 
Deluge: Utah's Coal Industry," Utah Historical Quarterly, 31 (Sum- 
mer 1963): 235-36, provides a survey of the territory's early coal mining 

3. See Robert G. Athearn, "Opening the Gates of Zion: Utah and the 
Coming of the Union Pacific Railroad," Utah Historical Quarterly, 36 
(Fall 1968): 291-315; also useful is Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin 
Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900 (Cam- 
bridge: Harvard University Press, 1958), pp. 258-70. 

4. In regard to the Union Pacific's coal mining concerns, see [George 

B. Pryde, et. al.] History of the Union Pacific Coal Mines 1868 to 1940 
(Omaha: The Colonial Press, 1940). Helpful in understanding the 
railroad's economic thinking is Robert William Fogel, The Union Pacific: 
A Case in Premature Enterprise (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 
1960). As Fogel has noted, the decade of the 1870s witnessed "sharply 
declining prices" overall (95-6), which would have only made the 
Union Pacific look even more culpable to the people of Utah. 

5. Quotation in History of the Union Pacific Coal Mines, pp. 10-11; see also 
Robert G. Athearn, Union Pacific Countn/ (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1976), p. 139. 

6. History of the Union Pacific Coal Mines, pp. 46-49; also see Nelson Trott- 
man. History of the Union Pacific: A Financial and Economic Survey (New 
York: The Ronald Press Company, 1923), pp. 99-103. 


7. John P. Davis, The Union Pacific Railway: A Study in Railway Politics, 
History, and Economics (Chicago: S. C. Griggs and Company, 1894), 
p. 207; Deseret News [Salt Lake City], November 29, 1876. 

8. Deseret News, February 12, 1873. 

9. Reeder, "Utah's Railroads," p. 320; Leonard J. Arrington, "Utah's 
Coal Road in the Age of Unregulated Competition," Utah Historical 
Quarterly, 23 (January 1958): 38. Brigham Young held a unique posi- 
tion in all Mormon railroad building projects until his death in 1877. 
As president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he 
was also its trustee-in-trust and administered all Mormon funds. So 
in this capacity, and with access to the church's treasury. Young was 
able to wield much economic power within the Utah Territory. See 
Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, pp. 257-58. 

10. Reeder, "Utah's Railroads," pp. 321-23; Arrington, "Coal Road," 
p. 38. 

11. Reeder, "Utah's Railroads," p. 325. 

12. Arrington, "Coal Road," p. 39. 

13. Reeder, "Utah's Railroads," p. 328. 

14. The Herald [Salt Lake City], August 17, 1873. 

15. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, pp. 275-76. 

16. The Herald, July 3, 1874; see also the Deseret News, July 1, 1874. 

17. Deseret News, October 29, 1873. The concern of Salt Lake City's Mor- 
mon bishops had first been noted in the Deseret News on November 
23, 1872. 

18. George Nebeker, Account Books, 1873-74 and 1875-76, Utah State 
Historical Society Library, Salt Lake City. 

19. See Reeder, "Utah's Railroads," pp. 331-32; Salt Lake Tribune, 
September 10, 1874. 

20. For a discussion of the collapse of these Mormon railroads, see Ar- 
rington, "Coal Road," pp. 42-43. 

21. Deseret News, July 15, 1874. 

22. Deseret Neivs, February 23, April 19, July 19, 1876. 

23. The Herald, July 16, 1874. 

24. Deseret Evening News, March 24, 1876; Deseret Neics, February 28, 1876. 

25. Deseret News, December 20, 1876. 

26. Ibid., AprU 4, 1878. On the Union Pacific's actions to maintain their 
monopoly over the Coalville trade, see Reeder, "Utah's Railroads," 
p. 338. 

27. Deseret Evening News, March 11, 13, 1880. 

28. Deseret News, October 20, 1880. 

29. See the Salt Lake Tribune, November 5, 1879, for an early reference 
to the project, then known as the Salt Lake, Park City and Coalville 
Railroad. The subsequent incorporation of the Utah Eastern was 
reported by the Tribune on December 28, 1879. Also see Hubert H. 
Bancroft, History of Utah 1540-1886 (San Francisco: The History Com- 
pany, Publishers, 1889), pp. 757-58; and Arrington, Great Basin 
Kingdom, pp. 347-48. Governor Emery was highly unpopular among 
Utah's residents, due in part at his strict efforts to maintain neutral- 
ity in all issues. The Salt Lake Tribune had observed on December 24, 
1879, that "[tjo Mormon and non-Mormon alike ... his word can 
never be trusted." Although he lobbied for reappointment, most 
Utahns were apparently relieved when it did not happen. The three 
trustees whose job it was to safeguard Utah Eastern stock included 
John J. Winder and Leonard Hardy, who were ecclesiastical leaders 
of the Mormon kingdom and Fred Auerbach, a Jewish businessman 
from Salt Lake City. 

30. Deseret Neu's, October 18, November 11, 1880; the Herald, May 14, 
October 15, 1880; and the Salt Lake Tribune, December 28, 1879. 

31. Reeder, "Utah's Railroads," p. 343; Charles S. Peterson, Utah: A 
History (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1977), p. 74. 

32. The Herald, June 20, 1880. 

33. Deseret News, January 19, 1881. Regarding the race to Park City be- 
tween the Utah Eastern and the Union Pacific, the most detailed ac- 
count is in Arrington, "Coal Road," pp. 53-55. 

34. Arrington, "Coal Road," p. 56. 

35. Deseret News, April 15, 1882. 

36. See Robert G. Athearn, Rebel of the Rockies (New Haven: Yale Univer- 
sity Press, 1962), p. 116. The four Utah roads which merged with 
the Western were the Sevier Valley Railway, the Pleasant Valley 
Railway, the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd Railroad and the Jor- 
dan Valley Railroad. 

37. [Chamber of Commerce], Salt Lake City (Chicago; Rand McNally & 
Company, 1888), pp. 68-69; TuUidge, The History of Salt Lake City, p. 
723; H. W. B. Kantner, A Handbook on the Mines, Miners, and Minerals 
of Utah (Salt Lake City: R. W. Sloan, 1896), p. 1. 



Author's Note: My interest in an old trunk was piqued by 
the nameplate on the lid indicating the trunk had been manu- 
factured at Cheyenne, Wyoming. Most of the people I talked with 
had never heard of the Cheyenne Tnmk Factory, which furthered 
my determination of finding out more about this nearly forgot- 
ten business enterprise that was a rarity in Wyoming. 

In addition to its historical value, the story can also be used 
as a guideline in establishing authentic antique status of trunks 
handmade by the Cheyenne Trunk Factory. 


Many people came west in the early 1900s lured by 
land deals, sheep and cattle ventures, or perhaps dreams 
of mineral wealth; William H. Vanderhoff came as a master 
of his trade. He established a trunk factory and became 
a successful entrepreneur in a frontier town out on the high 
plains of Wyoming. The Cheyenne Trunk Factory survived 
when many other businesses failed, although its tenure 
would be abruptly affected by an unfortunate tragedy. 

Vanderhoff had come from "back east" by train to 
Cheyenne in 1904. By that time, the city already had a 
skyline presided over by the gold dome of the State Capitol 
Building, and he would have arrived at the attractive Union 
Pacific Depot. Both buildings gave impressive reassurance 
that this was not just a tent city on the plains. Vanderhoff 
was by then a 48-year-old man with "thirty-four years' 
experience"^ in trunk and luggage manufacturing. Al- 
though he had arrived here "without friends or influ- 
ence,"^ his sense of timing along with choice of location 
proved advantageous to him. 

Business was brisk from the very beginning when the 
Cheyenne Trunk Factory opened August 1, 1904, at 
1615 Eddy Street (later renamed Pioneer Avenue), across 
from the famous Dyer Hotel. ^ The Cheyenne Daily Leader 
told of the successful growth of the enterprise and stated: 
"The plant is equipped with all the modern appliances . . . 
including the strongest bending machine known to the 
trade, which is used in bending steel for trunks, cases. 

etc.""* Initially, the shop sold handmade trunks for "$6.50 
up,"5 while later a low price of "$4.50"* was advertised. 

Before long, the demand for his products necessitated 
both additional help and expanded shop space at the Eddy 
Street factory. Subsequent to a trip Vanderhoff made back 
east to recruit an experienced trunk maker, ^ a news item 
heading, "In New Location," appeared in the Wyoyjiing 
Tribune, July 2, 1908. The article explained that the fac- 
tory was moving "into a better location and a bigger store 
at 316 W. 16th Street, where he [Vanderhoff] will have 
1,800 square feet of floor space. "^ The two buildings were 
only a block apart, but the new address faced a busy 
thoroughfare. Vanderhoff occupied convenient living quar- 
ters to the rear of the building. At this address he adver- 
tised a drawing for "An elegant $50.00 wardrobe trunk,"' 
which was won by "Professor Dunn of the Atlas Theatre. "i" 
What a thrill it would be to discover where-in-the-world 
that trunk is today. 

Six years later the only explanation given for another 
intended change in location was a succinctly worded an- 
nouncement, "I Must Move," in the Cheyenne State Leader, 
July 2, 1914." By September, the factory was doing busi- 
ness in the recently built Deming Building, 1618 Central. ^^ 
However, it occupied that space only temporarily. 

In about six months, another move was reported in 
the Wyoming Tribune, March 11, 1915, as follows: "The 
Cheyenne Trunk Factory is now located at 1616 Capitol. "^^ 

The original location of the Cheyenne Trunk factory was next door to the former Cheyenne Daily Sun office on Eddy Street, now Pioneer Avenue. 

This was a prime location with living space available near 
the back of the one-story building. And this became the 
factory's permanent address. 

Naming this business a "factory" was no misnomer, 
but to assume there was a substantial number of employees 
is misleading. It was the quality and uniqueness of its 
manufactured goods rather than the size of its payroll that 
brought recognition to the Cheyenne Trunk Factory. ^* In 
the late 1920s, the state departments of Agriculture and 
Commerce and Industry, along with Wyoming's manufac- 
turers and producers, joined together in an organized pro- 
motional campaign for the purpose of finding markets for 
Wyoming made goods and products. Interestingly, when 
cities across the state and their representative products 
were named, the "manufacturing of trunks and suitcases" 
was singularly chosen to represent Cheyenne's industrial 

From the start, the factory had stiff competition from 
The Bon, Wm. Myers Dry Goods and other local merchants. 
Theirs were commercially made trunks while Vanderhoff 
took pride in building his own, specializing in custom- 
made to order. The shop also did repair work and provided 
a key fitting service. 

Though trunks and suitcases were the basic stock of 
manufactured merchandise, many other leather items 
were offered. These included: Oxford bags, grips, port- 
manteaus, music folds and rolls, cases for engineer's and 
surveyor's equipment and smaller items such as billfolds 
and pocketbooks. 

Military personnel at nearby Fort D. A. Russell (now 
Francis E. Warren AFB) must not be overlooked in con- 
tributing to the success of this company because of their 
need for trunks and luggage. Furthermore, they would 
have recognized the quality and reasonable prices of the 

An adept businessman, Vanderhoff realized the value 
of advertising frequently in the local newspapers. Early day 
ads featured railroad-related scenes along with luggage; 
a porter balancing a trunk on his shoulder;" a loaded bag- 
gage cart waiting for the incoming train. ^^ One especially 
amusing ad pictured a complete disaster with a porter's 
hat flying into the wind while the trunks and luggage he 
was moving on a loading dolly were tumbling off to the 
ground. 18 Vanderhoff gallantly acknowledged milady as 
a traveler, picturing her in a long coat and fancy headgear, 
with an umbrella and an ample stack of luggage." 

The success of this business could almost be sensed 
by its newspaper advertising, lack of which at Christmas 
in 1919 and 1920-21, indicated a period of changes. Later 
there was an announcement by Vanderhoff that he had 
"retired on account of ill health in 1922, "2° which coincides 
with the arrival in Cheyenne of Joseph J. Barbian. 

Joe Barbian (whose father also was a trunk maker in 
Denver) was hired to take over the factory in 1922, continu- 
ing with the manufacturing and repair service, but with 
the noticeable addition of carrying a national brand of Hart- 

mann luggage. ^^ Barbian's innovative merchandising ideas 
were reflected by stocking various other retail lines, such 
as hat boxes, tapestry hand bags and many small sets and 
items, one called a "tight wad." Surviving not only local 
competition but the financial stress of the depression years 
of the 1920s required shrewd business acumen which Bar- 
bian obviously possessed, and the factory continued to be 
successful. Eventually he bought the business; however, 
it was a short-lived ownership. 

Joe lived in the rear of the shop on Capitol Avenue, 
but rented garage space for his 1928 Chrysler coupe a short 
walk from the factory. What a shock it was to read on the 
front page of the April 8, 1932, Wyoming State Tribune and 
Cheyenne State Leader: 

Gas From Car Exhaust Kills Cheyenne Man ... A victim of car- 
bon monoxide gas from the exhaust of his automobile, on which 
he had evidentally been working, J. J. Barbian was found dead 
Friday morning in his garage. Coroner . . . and Sheriff . . . 
said that death was accidental and that no inquest will be 
held. . . . The hood of the car was raised, indicating that Bar- 
bian was tuning up the motor when overcome by gas. Barbian's 
death is the second caused by monoxide gas in the history of 
Laramie County. . . . 
With his demise came an abrupt closure of the 28 year old 
business enterprise (1904-1932) that had thrived in the 
downtown business district. 

Joe Barbian was 45 years of age and left no wife or 
children. Members of his family who came from Denver 
decided the most expedient way of disposing of the fac- 
tory inventory was to sell a "package deal,"^^ and the mer- 
chandise was purchased and resold by Wolf's Store on 
West 16th Street." Inasmuch as the Cheyenne Trunk Fac- 
tory had always rented or leased space, there was no real 
estate involved in the sale. 

At the time of the Barbian tragedy, Vanderhoff was 76 
years of age. According to those who remember him in his 
later years: 

Van had retired to a lifestyle of hunting, fishing and playing 
pinochle with the boys at Boyd's Cigar Store No. 2. He looked 
forward to reading the old cowboy stories in Argosy, then 
discussing them with his friends. Going camping was one of 
his favorite outings and it takes little imagination to picture him 
sitting in the shadows of an evening campfire playing a lively 
tune such as "Dance of the Mountain Goat," on his harmonica. 
Unforgettable thoughts of Van's cooking the best pot of baked 
beans ever tasted is remembered to this day. He was a man 
of average height, quiet, but friendly. He smoked both a pipe 
and a hookah. Owning an automobile [two Jewetts]''' gave him 
much pleasure, even driving it so far as Tarpon Springs, Florida, 
on a fishing trip. Van enjoyed the companionship of two 
Airedale dogs. His first dog, 'Danny,' later replaced by 'Zit,' 
was always seen walking along with his master. There was a 
striking resemblance between Van and his dog, which is 
understandable as he had a good head of hair and wore a beard, 
both neatly clipped; similarly, his bearded Airedale was kept 
equally well groomed. ^^ 

Military service as a "Private in Company 'M,' 2nd 
Virginia Infantry, in 1898,"^'' accredited Vanderhoff 
Spanish-American War Veteran status of which he was 
most proud. His friends have recalled how remarkable it 


The facade of t lie third address from the left displays the Cheyenne Trunk Factory si^^ii. Another sign in the ivindoie under aiinhng reads, "Leather 
Goods— Handmade Trunks." 

was that "Van could still fit into his uniform and enjoyed 
marching in the Memorial Day parades. "^^ 

Back in 1909-10, Van had invested in two vacant resi- 
dential lots, so when Barbian came to manage the trunk 
factory Van moved into his own home at 3316 Washington 
(later renumbered and renamed 3116 Bent), living there 
about six years, then renting it out and finally selling it in 

Probably missing the activity and convenience of the 
downtown area, he moved into a rented room nearby at 
1822 Thomes, a large fourteen room, two-story house, 
owned by Jacob F. Weybrecht. Weybrecht served as a Com- 
missioner and became a one-term mayor of Cheyenne. 

Living in politically active surroundings undoubtedly 
stimulated an interest in running for public office; conse- 
quently Vanderhoff was listed on the Republican ballot as 
a candidate for Justice of the Peace in the 1930 Primary Elec- 
tion," but was defeated. 3° Prominently featured in his 
political advertisement was reference to his past service in 
the Spanish-American War. 3' 

Self-sufficient as this gentleman had always been, the 
time came when there was a need for additional care, so 
using his veteran eligibility he went to live at the Soldiers 
and Sailors Home at Buffalo, Wyoming. ^^ Qn July 7, 1946, 

Vanderhoff died at the Veterans Hospital at Fort MacKen- 
zie, near Sheridan, Wyoming," a long way from where 
he was born on November 15, 1856, at Rockaway, New 
Jersey.'^ "Burial was in the Spanish- American War Veteran 
Section of the Buffalo city cemetery with space reserved 
for his wife"''— an unlikely event in that there was no 
spouse or descendents.'^ 

Due mainly to mobility of the military, trunks manufac- 
tured by the Cheyenne Trunk Factory could surface in any 
section of this country today. Reasonably, these trunks will 
soon be starting to acquire antique status along with an 
appreciable increase in dollar value. '^ 

MARIANN McCORMICK, a retired U.S. Civil Seruice employee from Cheyenne, 
acquired an interest in American Indians as a child growing up in Iowa. Upon 
moving to Wyoming, that interest blended tvith the historical westward migratory 


1. "Cheyenne Trunk Factory," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Industrial Edition 
Supplement, February 18, 1906, p. 3. 

2. "In New Location," Wyoming Tribune, July 2, 1908, p. 5. 

3. Cheyenne Daily Leader, February 18, 1906. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Ibid., October 23, 1904, p. 3. 

6. Cheyenne State Leader, January 25, 1914, p. 2. 

7. Wyoming Tribune, March 11, 1907, p. 8. 

8. Ibid., July 2, 1908, p. 5. 

9. Ibid., December 7, 1909, p. 4. 

10. Ibid., January 3, 1910, p. 5. 

11. Cheyenne State Leader, July 2, 1914, p. 2. 

12. Ibid., September 2, 1914, p. 5. 

13. Wyoming Tribune, March 11, 1915, p. 8. 

14. A small label indicating a possible union affiliation has been found 
attached to the inside lid of several trunks manufactured by this com- 
pany. The significance of the label has been discussed with the owner 
of the A. E. Meek Trunk and Bag Company, Denver, Colorado, and 
with the Executive Secretary, AFL-CIO, Cheyenne. Correspondence 
with the Union Label and Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO, 
Washington, D.C., also has been initiated. Whether the factory was, 
or was not, a "union shop" per se is unknown. Some items and ac- 
cessories used in the manufacturing process could have been union 
made by other suppliers, thus explaining the presence of the label. 

15. "Wyoming Producers to Meet in Casper," Wyoming Labor jounwl, June 
21, 1929, p. 1. 

16. Cheyenne Daily Leader, December 9, 1906, p. 7. 

17. Ibid., June 8, 1907, p. 4. 

18. Wyoming Tribune, March 11, 1907, p. 3. 

19. Ibid., August 3, 1908, p. 4. 

20. Wyoming State Tribune and Cheyenne State Leader, August 15, 1930, p. 2. 

21. Ibid., December 8, 1922, p. 10. 

22. Probate File, Joseph J. Barbian, 1932, Archives and Records Manage- 
ment Division, Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical 
Department (AMH), Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

23. Wyoming State Tribime and Cheyenne State Leader, May 13, 1932, p. 9. 

24. Wyoming State Motor Vehicle Registration, Wm. H. Vanderhoff, No. 
5452 (1924); No. 3826 (1933), Archives and Records Management Divi- 
sion, AMH Dept. 

25. Interviews, by telephone and personal, with Mrs. Mary Elizabeth 
Carpender, nee Long, and Mrs. Mary Ellen Wolf, nee Weybrecht, 
at various times during 1983-84. Because Andy Weybrecht knew Van 
the best, Mrs. Wolf collaborated with her brother who supplied or 
confirmed personal remembrances of Vanderhoff and his dogs. 

26. Wyoming State Board of Charities and Reform, Soldiers and Sailors 
Home, Wm. H. Vanderhoff, 1943-46, Archives and Records Manage- 
ment Division, AMH Dept. 

27. Interviews with Carpender and Wolf, 1983-84. 

28. Residential Property Records, Wm. H. Vanderhoff, Laramie County 
Assessor and Real Estate, Book G. Holdridge 2nd Addition, Block 
1, Lot 15, July 10, 1909, Ref. 159, p. 104; Lot 16, February 16, 1910, 
Ref. 166, p. 145; Lot 15, February 4, 1931, Ref. 297, p. 482. 

29. "Legal Notices," Wyoming State Tribune and Cheyenne State Leader, 
August 18, 1930, p. 6. 

30. Ibid., August 20, 1930, p. 1. 

31. Ibid., August 15, 1930, p. 2. 

32. Soldiers and Sailors Home, Vanderhoff, 1943-46, Archives and 
Records Management Division, AMH Dept. 

33. "War Veteran Dies in Hospital Here," Sheridan (Wyoming) Press, July 
8, 1946, p. 7. 

34. Soldiers and Sailors Home, Vanderhoff, 1943-46, Archives and 
Records Management Division, AMH Dept. 

35. Interviews, by telephone and personal, with Olaf Dobrzanski, Adams 
Funeral Home, Buffalo, Wyoming, 1983-84. 

36. Soldiers and Sailors Home, Vanderhoff, 1943-46, Archives and 
Records Management Division, AMH Dept. 

37. Trunks known to have been manufactured at the Cheyenne Trunk 
Factory include several owned by Mary Ellen Wolf of Laramie, Wyo- 
ming. Two of her trunks were formerly Vanderhoff's personal trunks. 
A trunk purchased directly from the factory by Mrs. R. E. Evans of 
Cheyenne was inherited by her daughter OUve Maxon Jones and now 
belongs to the author. An oak trunk manufactured at the Cheyenne 
Trunk Factory is a valued possession of Mrs. Ruby Christian of Lusk, 
Wyoming. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Osborn of Cheyenne have given a 
steamer trunk made at this factory to the Cheyenne Frontier Days 
Old West Museum. 



Turn of the Century Wyoming Agriculturalist — 
a Demographic Profile 

by Vicki Page and William L. Hewitt 

Frederick Jackson Turner's essay, "The Significance 
of the Frontier in American History," read before the 1893 
American Historical Association meeting in Chicago, has 
been the basis for a prolific array of scholarship dealing 
with the American West. Turner mourned the end of the 
westward line of settlement. As proof, he cited the report 
of the Superintendent of the Census for 1890 which held 
that the "isolated bodies of settlement" had erased a 
discernible "frontier line."^ Farmers and their families, 
moreover, seemed to be occupying all of the arable land 
in the West by the early 20th century. As Turner suggested, 
"stand at Cumberland Gap and watch the procession of 
civilization, marching single file— the buffalo following the 
trail to the salt springs, the Indian, the fur-trader and 
hunter, the cattle-raiser, the pioneer farmer— and the fron- 
tier has passed by. Stand at South Pass in the Rockies a 
century later and see the same procession with wider in- 
tervals between. "2 This was certainly the case in turn-of- 
the-century Wyoming, where farmers homesteaded on the 
irrigation and dry farming lands opened to settlement in 
the state. 


The farmers themselves, and the promoters and politi- 
cians of territorial Wyoming who backed them, viewed the 
Cowboy State as a land of great agricultural possibilities.^ 
The author of the Cheyenne Business Directory as early 
as 1868, for example, exuded optimism— and foretold 
Turner's thesis— when describing the state's potential: 
Many districts of north-western Wyoming represent every in- 
ducement to the agriculturahst and stock raiser to prove their 
callings, ... A few years only will elapse before thousands 
of hardy industrious farmers will be in possession of happy 
homes for themselves and families in the fertile valleys of 
Wyoming, adjacent to mines, the inhabitants of which will be 
ready purchasers for all the produce raised, thus affording a 
ready market and certain affluence to the husbandman.'' 
In Wyoming, however, the enormous growth of the 
range cattle industry in the late 1870s and the early 1880s 
eclipsed the emphasis many early promoters of the state 
had put on crop cultivation. The Wyoming cattle industry, 
in fact, seemed to verify Turner's progression and thrived 
largely unchallenged until the mid 1880s. Then, overstock- 
ing of the range and a dry summer, followed by a severe 
winter from 1886 to 1887, combined to force change in the 

open range cattle industry. As John Clay, often quoted 
chronicler of the cattle industry, lamented, "the old love 
of the open range, the burning fires of old days smoldered, 
sometimes flashing into flames, but the old regime passed 
away."' As farmers occupied the cattleman's domain, cat- 
tlemen offered little encouragement for success to would-be 
homesteaders. G. A. Hart, the local passenger agent at 
Douglas, for example, wrote to Chicago, Burlington and 
Quincy officials on April 18, 1916, that the cattlemen and 
sheepmen in his vicinity were, even at that late date, "not 
inclined to encourage the average homesteader . . . As a 
rule these fellows question the probability of an eastern 
farmer coming into this community with a view of devoting 
their time to agriculture." For best results though, ac- 
cording to Douglas stockmen, the new arrival "will work 
their capital into stock as much as possible and combine 
the stock raising with other farming pursuits." The stock 
raisers feared, according to Hart, that in the event of 
droughts, the farmer who failed would become an object 
of charity for the county. Hart suggested, in order to avoid 
this situation, that the railroad "get in touch with the more 
thrifty class of emigrants who are in a position to withstand 
a few adversities."' 

The old ways, despite the inroads of farmers into the 
cattleman's domain, died hard. Walter Prescott Webb aptly 
stated that "there clings about ranching more of romance 
than is found appertaining to any other occupation in 
America."'' Another early historian of the cattle industry, 
Edward Everett Dale, observed further that some ranch- 

men desperately clung to the old order with an almost 
religious fervor and held fast to the belief that the farmers 
who invaded their domain would eventually return to the 
old homes from whence they had come and that the region 
would once again become a pastoral empire as in days gone 
by. 8 

The farmers remained in Wyoming, however, turning 
in the first decade of the 20th century to cash crops such 
as sugar beets and cattle feed, and bringing in agricultural 
workers to plant, cultivate and harvest these crops. Who 
were these farmers and laborers? Where did they come 
from before settling in Wyoming? And, what comparisons 
and contrasts can be made between these new arrivals and 
the cowboys and cattlemen who settled in Wyoming in the 
19th century? The transformation of Wyoming agriculture 
from largely cattle producing domains, into a region of 
mixed agriculture of farming and ranching, producing cattle 
feed and cash crops such as sugar beets, produced a change 
in the characteristics of Cowboy State agriculturalists. 

Using the manuscript census Turner used to charac- 
terize the progression of settlement and ultimately the fron- 
tier, it is possible to profile turn-of-the-century Wyoming 
agriculturalists. The data in this study were obtained from 
manuscript census sheets prepared by the Assistant United 
States Marshal in 1880, 1900 and 1910. The use of census 
data is fraught with shortcomings and difficulties. Inac- 
curate or incomplete recording, poor penmanship, mis- 
spelling of names, including phonetic spellings, careless 
formation of numbers and the omission of data provide 

Loading cattle for transportation to the Eastern markets. 


many sources of error. Coupled with these sources of er- 
ror are similar errors in data collection by researchers. 
Despite these occasions for error, however, the data com- 
piled offer a more specific and detailed profile of turn-of- 
the-century agriculturalists in the Cowboy State. From 
several censuses covering population, agriculture, manu- 
facturing, and for the census years 1880, 1900 and 1910, 
the data for agricultural occupations in five Wyoming com- 
munities were compiled. Census takers recorded heads of 
households by name, non-related roomers by their full 
names, spouse (when head of household was a married 
male) and children. In addition, each person had their age, 
sex, occupation, place of birth, place of birth of parents, 
literacy and residence recorded. The data were collected 
for 2,295 individuals. Where the census information was 
not in figures, numerical codes had to be devised to per- 
mit transfer of data to OBSCAN sheets, and finally analysis 
using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS). 

The agriculturalists in this study lived in five Wyoming 
communities offering a diverse sample of agricultural com- 
munities: the Egbert area (southeast Wyoming), a dry farm- 
ing community of predominantly family farms; Wheatland 
(southeast), an irrigated sugar beet producing area which 
increasingly needed agricultural laborers; Buffalo (north- 
east), a cattle grazing area from territorial days that remains 
a predominantly cattle producing area at the turn of the 
century; Basin (north central), a mixed farming and ranch- 
ing community; and Lovell (north central) a mixed agri- 
cultural area developing irrigation farming. 

Five different occupational groups of agriculturalists- 
farmer, stock grower, ranch hand, sheepherder and beet 

laborer— represented those most frequently cited from a 
long list of occupations recorded in the Wyoming census 
documents. The information gleaned from the census pro- 
vides a cross-section rather than an over time characteriza- 
tion of turn-of-the-century Wyoming agriculturalists. The 
aim, then, is to compare and contrast the characteristics 
of these different agricultural groups by variables such as 
residence, age, immigrant status, birthplace or origin, sex, 
race, literacy, marital and household status, and housing 
information, in order to profile turn-of-the-century Wyo- 
ming agriculturalists. 

Five occupational groups: farmer, stock grower, ranch 
hand, sheepherder and beet laborer, have been selected 
for comparison. 

Occupation by Residence 

Basin Lovell Buffalo Wheatland 









Stock Grower 






Ranch Hand 










Beet Laborer 



Total Farm 






The Walter family homesteaded near Upton, Wifoming, This photograph urns taken in June, 1917. 


Farmers outnumbered the other categories by approx- 
imately ten-to-one settling primarily in the increasingly im- 
portant agricultural communities of Wheatland (40.7 per- 
cent) and Lovell (27.1 percent). Stock growers retained 
their hegemony in Buffalo (67.3 percent) and the impor- 
tance of stock growing in southeastern Wyoming was 
shown by the number of ranch hands who lived in Wheat- 
land (62.5 percent); however, the inroads made by sheep 
raisers was evident in Lovell (23.3 percent) and Egbert (50 
percent). All of the beet laborers lived in Wheatland (100 
percent) in the 1910 census. 

Early Russian-German settlers in the Big Horn Basin 
offer an example of the difficulties encountered by prospec- 
tive immigrant settlers and they illustrate the fears of pro- 
moters such as G. A. Hart. They immigrated to Wyoming 
through the influence of less pessimistic promoters than 
Hart, such as William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, who per- 
suaded a group of Russian-German families to settle in the 
Big Horn Basin at the new settlement of Irma.' The pro- 
spective settlers had been recruited in Chicago, after hav- 
ing been told of Wyoming's rich soil and the glowing 
possibilities for irrigation. But upon arriving at their 
destination in present-day Park County, they found that 
the irrigation canal had not been completed, nor had 
preparations been made for settlement. Eventually, all ex- 
cept one family left Irma. Other German pioneers dug the 
"Fritz Ditch" from the Big Horn River, using manual labor 
with shovels and horses pulling graders. These German 
workers, in addition, subsequently helped complete the 
Big Horn and Bench Canals. 

In 1898, German settlers began to come from western 
Nebraska as well, having been influenced by promoter 
Solon Wiley, who extolled the rich soil and abundant ir- 
rigation water of the Big Horn Basin. Led by Reverend A. 
C. Wunderlich, they founded Germania, west of Grey- 
bull. i° The Big Horn Basin Development Company admin- 
istered this project and provided that, when 90 percent of 
the canal's carrying capacity was sold, the canal would be 
turned over to the landowners. By 1908, that condition had 
been met when 100 percent of the carrying capacity of the 
canal was sold, but the company retained control of the 
ditch until the settlers brought suit and won control." 

When the Nebraskans arrived on the Bench, many 
lived in dugouts during the first winter and then buUt 
adobe houses or log cabins. Large families provided a ready 
labor source. Most often, wives and children worked 
alongside men.^^ These Germans, who also provided labor 
for the beet fields around Wheatland and in northern Col- 
orado, venerated hard work as an end in itself. According 
to Timothy J. Kloberdanz, an anthropologist who has ex- 
tensively studied German emigration, they often gulped 
down their food and hurried back into the fields exclaim- 
ing, "Die Anoeit schtneckt besser als Esse" [sic] (Work tastes 
better than food). Kloberdanz observes that, "only after 
many seasons of backstraining labor in the sugar beets did 
even the work-hungry Volga-German admit the truth of 

a new proverb: "Die Riewe sein siess, aiver die Anoeit is hit- 
ter" [sic] (The beets are sweet, but the work is bitter)." 

Many promoters who had extolled the virtues of the 
small diversified family farm in their advertising to en- 
courage settlement of farmers, suggested further that 
would-be settlers work as laborers in order to get their start. 
D. Clem Deaver, promoter for the Chicago, Burlington and 
Quincy Railroad, in fact, recommended that a worker 
"looking for a position as a farm hand . . . carry with him 
good letters of recommendation as it would be if he were 
looking for a position in a bank." Exaggerated as his 
analogy was, most observers believed that good, sober, in- 
dustrious farmers would go into this new country where 
land was yet cheap, and with these qualities, become farm 
owners. ^* Wyoming's Volga or Russian-German settlers 
pursued this course to farm ownership (see table 3). 

The demands for laborers subsequently, during World 
War I, however, changed the views of Wyoming farmers 
toward laborers. Being a farm laborer was, by and large, 
no longer viewed as a route to farm ownership. Agri- 
cultural labor shortages had occurred as early as 1910, when 
Dr. V. T. Cook noted the difficulty in obtaining laborers." 
Hard-working German immigrant and Mormon families 
had supplied a large portion of the labor needs of irriga- 
tion farmers. After World War I began in 1914, however, 
the immigration of Germans ceased." As farmers increased 
acreage and production of large-scale crops such as sugar 
beets, which required intensive seasonal labor, Wyoming 
farmers experienced even greater labor shortages. Enlist- 
ments by farmers after America entered the war further 
exacerbated the labor shortage. ^^ With the labor pool 
severely depleted from 1915 to 1920, farmers looked to 
other sources of labor. Sugar companies and farmers then 
found a ready supply of labor among Mexican nationals. 
Mexicans seemed especially attractive because they could 
be shipped in and out to meet the needs of farmers and 
sugar companies, and with this arrangement, they did not 
compete for acreage. Mexican workers proved so satisfac- 
tory that sugar companies, in the immediate post-war 
years, mounted extensive campaigns to establish Mexican 
migrant labor in their areas." 

The census data confirm that recent immigrants did 
not immediately homestead in early 20th century Wyo- 
ming. Most of the settlers who homesteaded in the state 
had been native born, while most of the beet laborers were 
immigrants— only 38 percent had been native born com- 
pared to 89 percent of farmers, 86 percent of stock growers, 
91 percent of cowboys and 77 percent of sheepherders. 
Local observers pointed out that the best prospect for suc- 
cess for the new settler hinged on the availability of the 
necessary capital to finance a homestead: indigent settlers 
had less chance for success. Bert C. Buffum, president of 
the Wyoming Plant and Feed Breeding Company, for in- 
stance, observed that sufficient finances usually spelled 
success or failure. A homesteader needed enough money 
to provide a living for two or three years before he could 


be certain the land would sustain him. Very often, ac- 
cording to Buffum, men worked one-half the year, in order 
to develop their homes the other half. Capital investment 
early on, moreover, should not include "dead stock," or 
those things which gave no capital return. The first oc- 
cupancy, for example, should be temporary and cheap. Ac- 
cording to Buffum, the three essentials for the new home- 
steader included "a warm house, though it may be small, 
a good and convenient water supply, comfortable and 
sanitary conveniences for waste."" 

The newly arrived farmer to Wyoming faced the prob- 
lem of supplying the necessities described by Buffum. Pro- 
spective settler Clarence A. Keslar, for instance, had read 
advertising by land companies in the local newspaper in 
his hometown of Tecumseh, Nebraska, and since his doc- 
tor thought a drier climate would be better for his health, 
set out for Wyoming in August, 1907. He arrived at Luther 
(later Burns) and lived in a tent with carpet over the dirt 
floor and bales of straw around the interior to keep out 
the wind. Keslar hauled water in barrels from a windmill 
to this homestead. He used buffalo chips for fuel, "though 
the smoke was not exactly an appetizing aroma. "^° 

The railroads provided the transportation for the 20th 
century immigrant-farmer since settlement promised to in- 
crease railroad traffic. The immigrant usually paid for a 
railroad car to haul his family and material possessions to 
the new homestead. Wilber Bowser, for example, arrived 
at Hillsdale, Wyoming, on October 8, 1908, in an immigrant 
car from Pennsylvania. The car contained two horses, two 
cows, a dozen hens, a good supply of meat, canned fruit, 
furniture, a plow harrow, a wagon and lumber for a ready- 
made house. For the next five years. Bowser's family 
hauled water to the house he built, from two miles away.^^ 

Some immigrants undoubtedly sought quick wealth. 
Ted Olson, in his reminiscences titled Ranch on the Laramie, 
described two approaches to cattle ranching which de- 
picted the prevailing attitudes in Wyoming: the organic 
slow building of a herd, or the scramble for quick profit. 
Farmers were similarly motivated. Robert Gorman, for in- 
stance, emigrated in 1908 from Chariton, Iowa, to a 
homestead fourteen miles north of Hillsdale. He built a 
house, fenced his land, and then left for Cripple Creek, 
Colorado, to work in the Portland Gold Mines. His wife 
managed four children and the farm in his absence and, 
thus, faced the hardships of homesteading alone. She used 
sheep chips for fuel in the summer, gathered by her 
children, and burned coal in the winter. On wash days, 
water had to be carried from a boiler to the washboard. 
Later, Robert Gorman returned and served as a locater 
hoping to make money by an easier route than farming. 
He met the immigrant trains and, with horse and buggy 
or bobsled, transported people to their prospective 

Even if their motive was not quick wealth, not all ar- 
rivals had the advantage of a well-stocked immigrant car, 
or even transportation for that matter. Claude Hardy and 

a friend, Frank Glass, walked all one night in 1907 to reach 
the federal land office in Cheyenne in order to file on a 
homestead east of Carpenter, after days of trampling on 
foot in eastern Laramie County in search of a piece of 
suitable land for a homestead. And his brother, Judson 
Hardy, was a stowaway on a Chicago, Burlington and 
Quincy immigrant freight car.^^ 

Occupation by Age 

15- 21- 26- 31- 36- 41- 46- 51- 



















Grower (49) 









Ranch Hand 

















Beet Laborer 









Most of the hopeful arrivals were approaching mid- 
dle age when they sought to establish themselves in 
Wyoming agriculture. Table 2 reports the ages of the 
agriculturalists, and reveals that the majority of farmers 
and stock growers had a similar age distribution with ap- 
proximately 70 percent of both groups' members falling 
between the ages of 26-50 years. As a group, however, beet 
laborers were younger with approximately 65 percent of 
this occupational category aged 21-40 years. The youngest 
groups, ranch hands and sheepherders, had the majority 
of the members, 83.8 percent and 63.3 percent, respect- 
ively, between the ages of 15-35 years. Moreover, approx- 
imately 50 percent of both these groups comprised the age 
grouping of 15-25 years old. 

Table 3 reports the birthplaces (bp) of the occupational 
groups. The states and countries of origin are grouped ac- 
cording to geographical regions and reflect those most 
often recorded in the census data. (Birthplaces of the 
fathers and mothers are reported in the same manner in 
Table 4.) Examining the columns of Table 3, the specific 
states and country with the largest representation by 
agriculturalists in Wyoming can be ascertained. The 
predominant birthplaces of these agriculturalists included 
Ohio, New York, Germany and England, suggesting that 
they may have been agricultural laborers in other localities 
before setting out to be homesteaders in Wyoming. 

Farmers, the largest occupational group among agri- 
culturalists in Wyoming, had representatives from all of 
the geographical areas of the United States, but pre- 
dominately from the North Central region of the United 
States, while their parents originated primarily in the 
Midwest, North Central and Northeastern sections of the 
United States, in addition to Germany and England. The 
stock growers' origins were similar to those of the farmers. 


Occupation by Birthplace 







Stock Grower 

Ranch Hand 


Beet Laborer 

ff^flJ I H 

Ranch hands, along with their fathers and mothers, were 
born for the most part in the Northeastern section of the 
United States, although Illinois, Nebraska and Sweden 
were birthplaces frequently cited. Sheepherders, in con- 
trast, came from all the major regions, plus Germany and 
England, while their parents were mostly foreign born 

(Germany, England, Scotland). Finally, beet laborers and 
their parents cited Germany or Russia/Germany as their 
birthplace, with the distinction that fewer had been born in 
Missouri and Nebraska. Beet laborers were the only group 
to have a majority of foreign born members with large 
numbers from Germany and Russia. 

Father's birthplace (Fbp) and Mother's birthplace (Mbp) by place of origin 





b c o 2 

Farmer (521) Fbp 

Stock Grower (49) Fbp 

Ranch Hand (32) Fbp 

Sheepherder (30) Fbp 

Beet Laborer (34) Fbp 





Two sheepherders tend to their floek in 1908. 

Occupation by Sex, Race and Literacy 

% Male % White % Literate 



Stock Grower 


Ranch Hand 




Beet Laborer 





Few women represented heads of households in these 
occupational groups, between 94 percent and 100 percent 
were male. Fourteen women reported as their occupation 
farmer, one as stock grower, two as ranch hand and one 
as beet laborer. 

The majority of the male members of these occupa- 
tional groups were white (between 78 and 100 percent), 
with the exception of ranch hands who were 53 percent 
nonwhite. The social or ethnic categories of this group can- 
not be specified since only the categories of white/non- 
white were used in the census during this period. In ad- 
dition, most of these agriculturalists were literate (between 
77 and 97 percent), with the exception again of ranch hands 
who were only 47 percent literate. 

Variables related to family life reveal the greatest dif- 
ferences among these agriculturalists. For instance, ex- 

amining the variables, marital and household status. Table 
6 indicates that most of the farmers (77.2 percent), stock 
growers (79.5 percent) and beet laborers (73.5 percent) were 
married, while the ranch hands (90.3 percent) and sheep- 
herders (66.7 percent) were predominantly single. Further- 
more, these two groups reported that between 80 percent 
and 99 percent had only one person in their household. 
So, they were not only single but also lived alone. 


Occupation by Marital Status and 

Size of Household 

% % % Modal # 

Married Single Widowed Household 

Farmer 72.2 17.0 5.4 3, 4, 5 


Stock Grower 79.5 18.2 


Ranch Hand 6.5 90.3 


Sheepherder 26.7 66.7 


Beet Laborer 73.5 23.5 


Among the three married categories, farmers were the 
only ones to have reported a number of children. The 
modal category for number of children was two, while the 
modal category for the number of children dead was two. 








4, 5 


The other two married groups, stock growers and beet 
laborers, reported three to five people living in their 
households as did the farmers, but no children living or 
dead. One explanation for this apparent incongruity is that 
these young married couples lived in some form of ex- 
tended family arrangement. ^^ 

Occupation by Residential Status 

D ^ 

o o 
2 S 


































Stock Grower 

Ranch Hand 


Beet Laborer 

The final variables in this demographic description of 
turn-of-the-century Wyoming agriculturalists are type of 
residence, whether the residence was owned or rented, 
and if owned, whether or not the residence was owned 
free of debt. This study substantiated long accepted 

generalizations concerning western agriculturalists, but it 
also produced evidence to challenge a few myths. As 
reported in Table 7, turn-of-the-century Wyoming farmers 
tended to own clear their farms; 73.6 percent owned their 
farms; 77 percent had no debt on their farms. Stock 
growers were more likely to live in a house (66.7 percent), 
to own that house (85.3 percent) and to have no mortgage 
(80 percent). However, while most cowboys were indeed 
young and single, a surprisingly high percentage (66.7 
percent) owned their residences (probably due to the fact 
that this study concentrated on recording of data from five 
towns). Information regarding their debt status was not 
available. Sheepherders, moreover, were just as likely to 
live on a farm (42.9 percent) as in a house (57.1 percent), 
and they owned (66.7 percent) free of debt (75 percent) 
both types of residences. Beet laborers, on the other hand, 
comprised the only occupational group to have reported 
a majority of renters (83.3 percent), of whom (96 percent) 
lived in houses. Again, the fact that the beet laborers repre- 
sented the newest settlers in the area and a distinctive socio- 
economic group seeking the financial basis for homesteading, 
coupled with the fact that a majority had immigrated be- 
tween 1900 and 1919, helps explain why so few owned 
their own homes at the time of the last census (1910). 

The census data reveal the boom in settlement Wyo- 
ming experienced in the first decade of the 20th century. 
The number of farms and ranches increased from 6,095 in 
1900 to 10,987 in 1910, and the number of people engaged 

Stimson photographed these beet laborers m 1907. 


in general crop agriculture increased from 8,299 in 1900 to 
15,631 in 1910. During this boom, in 1907, W. T. Adams, 
Register of Public Lands, wrote to Governor B. B. Brooks 
and reported that 148 homestead entries had been filed that 
year— the average entries per year from 1900 through 1906 
had amounted to only 32.8 entries. A similar trend 
developed in land sales— 123 land holdings had been sold 
in 1907, with the average for the previous seven years at 
only 5.6 sales per year. The boom grew in strength over 
the next two years. ^^ Brooks later proudly recalled in his 
memoirs that "agricultural interests were chiefly respon- 
sible for the influx of approximately fifteen thousand new 
settlers in Wyoming in 1909."^* 

Wyoming historian T. A. Larson concludes that the in- 
roads of farmers certainly annoyed many stock raisers. And 
he paradoxically notes that the total acreage taken up by 
farmers in Wyoming was less than 3 percent of the state's 
total by 1910 with the consequence that "farmers distressed 
the livestock men more than the acreages and percentages 
suggest." The reasons for the distress, according to Larson, 
included the perceived threat to the stock raiser's hegemony 
over grazing land and watering places by farmers; and the 
characterization of settlers as perpetrators of rustling and 
mavericking.^^ Economic motives must have been the basis 
for cattlemen's fears, since census data showed no marked 

differences in the characteristics of farmers and stock 
growers regarding origins, age, literacy, marital status or 
ownership of residence. The great number of settlers, 
however, did represent a threat to Wyoming stockmen. 
Not only would these agriculturalists compete for grazing 
land and watering places, but they challenged the basis 
of Wyoming agriculture by threatening to supplant the 
grazing industry with crop agriculture. 

In 1910, for instance, the University of Wyoming's emi- 
nent botonist, Aven Nelson, insightfully surveyed the early 
years of Wyoming agriculture, when the stock interests 
were paramount and when the flocks and herds were 
largely in the hands of non-resident owners who paid lit- 
tle attention to anything beyond the stockraising industry. 
He concluded that: 

these years of indifference was the broad casting of the opin- 
ion that soil and climate were inimical to the growth of flowers 
and fruits . . . Whether this early disparagement was pre- 
mediated and 'with malice aforethought', as is sometimes 
asserted, in order that the would-be home-maker might be 
dissuaded from obstructing the open range, it is true that real 
homemaking has had most of its development during the last 
two decades.'" 

Settlers intent on farming in Wyoming, despite the 
hardships and antipathy of cattlemen, had indeed trans- 
formed Wyoming's agricultural and demographic profile. 

Cowboys at home on the 


It remained to be seen if Wyoming's farmers and farmer 
laborers could sustain the transformation of the Cowboy 
State into a region of small, diversified, family owned 

WILLIAML. HEWITT received a Ph.D. inHistoryfrom the University of Wyo- 
ming and presently is a specialist in American and Third World History at Briar 
Cliff College, Sioux City, Iowa. 

VICKI PAGE received her doctorate degree in sociology from the University of 
Oklahoma in 1984. She, then, became assistant professor of sociology at Briar 
Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa. Presently, Dr. Page is teaching at the Univer- 
sity of Texas at Dallas. 

1. Frederick Jackson Turner, The Frontier in American History (Hunt- 
ington, New York: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co., 1976 [1920]), 

2. George Rogers Taylor, ed.. The Turner Thesis Covering the Role of the 
Frontier in American History, Third Ed. (New York: D. C. Heath 
and Company, 1972), p. 10. ~~ 

3. Bruce Noble, "The Quest for Settlement in Early Wyoming," An- 
nals of Wyoming 55 (Fall 1983): 19-24. 

4. E. M. Saltiel and George Bamett (compilers), History and Business Direc- 
tory of Cheyenne and Guide to the Mining Regions of the Rocky Mountains 
(Cheyenne, Wyoming: L. B. Joseph, Bookseller and Publisher, 1868), 
p. 105. 

5. John Clay, My Life on the Range (New York: Antiquarian Press Ltd., 
1961 [1924]), p. 254. 

6. G. A. Hart to L. W. Wakelay, April 20, 1916. Val Kuska Collection, 
Box 372, Nebraska State Historical Society (NSHS), Lincoln. 

7. Walter Prescott Webb, The Great Plains (New York: Grosset Dunlap, 
1931), p. 240. 

8. Edward Everett Dale, "The Cow Country in Transition," Mississippi 
Valley Historical Review 24 (June 1937): 19. 

9. Gordon O. Hendrickson, Peopling The High Plains: Wyoming's European 
Heritage (Cheyenne: Wyoming State Archives and Historical Depart- 
ment, 1977), p. 37; Frances Birkhead Beard, Wyoming From Territorial 
Days to the Present (New York: The American Historical Society, Inc., 
1933), Vol. Ill, pp. 149-50; T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, Second 
Ed. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978), p. 306. 

10. Hendrickson, Peopling The High Plains, p. 41; Paul Prison, Calendar 
of Change (Worland, Wyoming: Serlkay, Inc., 1975), pp. 117-127. 



11. Charles Lindsay, The Big Horn Basin (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1932) p. 191. 

12. Jonathan Davis Collection, MSS 791, Wyoming State Archives, Mu- 
seums and Historical Department, Cheyenne, Wyoming (hereafter 
referred to as AMH); Hendrickson, Peopling The High Plains, p. 45. 

13. Timothy J. Kloberdanz, "Introduction" in Hope WUliams Sykes, Sec- 
ond Hoeing (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1935), p. xvii. 

14. Cheyenne State Leader, April 3, 1911; D. Clem Deaver, "Farm Hands 
Wanted in the Big Horn Basin and Yellowstone Valley," March 29, 
1913. Val Kuska Collection, Box 200, NSHS. Deaver wrote to Charles 
G. Baird on October 31, 1913, that "millions of dollars could be so 
loaned on good security along our line, and would result in keeping 
people on the farm, that are now on farms, and, also, attracting people 
from cities to the farms." Kuska Collection, Box 369, NSHS. 
"An Easterner on Dry Farming," Wyoming Industrial Journal (October 
1910): 6. 

Lawrence A. Cardoso, Mexican Emigration To The United States 
1897-1931: Socio-Economic Patterns (Tucson: University of Arizona 
Press, 1980), pp. 45-47. 

17. Leonard J. Arrington, Beet Sugar in the West: A History of the Utah- 
Idaho Sugar Company, 1891-1966 (Seattle: University of Washington 
Press, 1966), p. 90. 

18. Augustine Redwine, "Lovell's Mexican Colony," Annals of Wyo- 
ming 51 (Fall 1979): 27; Cardoso, Mexican Emigration, pp. 86-87. 

19. Wyoming Industrial Journal XI (February 1910): 3. The pictures in this 
series of articles included the most successful and productive of farms 
and ranches in Wyoming. 

20. Calico Hill (Cheyenne, Wyoming: Pioneer Publishing Company, 1973), 
told by Charles F. Keslar, pp. 49-60. 

21. Ibid., told by Wilber Bowser, p. 15 

22. Ted Olson, Ranch on The Laramie (Boston, Massachusetts: Little, 
Brown, 1973), p. 128, 

23. Calico Hill, told by Gladys Gorman Spatz, pp. 38-40. 

24. Scott G. McNall and Sally Allen McNall, Plains Families Exploring 
Sociology Through Social History (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983), 
p. 19. These authors assert that the incidence of extended family set- 
tlement to be unusual on the Kansas frontier. 
W. T. Adams, Register to B. B. Brooks (1909), B. B. Brooks Papers, 

Bryant B. Brooks, Memoirs of Bryant B. Brooks: Cowboy, Trapper, Lumber- 
man, Stockman, Oilman, Banker, and Govertwr of Wyoming (Glendale, 
California: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1939), p. 229. 

27. Larson, History of Wyoming, p. 365. 

Aven Nelson, "Shade and Ornamental Trees," The Wyoming Industrial 
foumal (March 1910): 8. See: Roger L. Williams, Aven Nelson of Wyo- 
ming (Boulder: Colorado Associated University Press, 1984). 





©ijrougij tijE ^£ms of 3. iE. ^ttmann — 

Past anil PrcHEtit 


bg iltciiael A. Amuniaon 


/. £. Sthnson captured a typical Cheyenne day in this 1908 photograph (left) of Sixteenth Street. Today many of the buildings remain, including 
the Atlas Theatre (above). 

The author wishes to thank the UW College of Arts and 
Sciences for presenting him the Kuehn Award for independent 
study during the summer of 1987. 

Few early photographers of Wyoming and the West 
can rival Joseph E. Stimson. This Cheyenne-based photog- 
rapher criss-crossed the state between 1890 and 1952, pro- 
ducing more than 7,000 photographic images of towns and 
scenes. In spite of such quantity, the quality of his work 
was not compromised. Stimson's work is unique as a 
visual cross section of Wyoming as it emerged from its fron- 
tier status.^ As Wyoming pushes toward the end of the 
20th century, the pioneer work of Stimson deserves even 
more of our respect and recognition. It was with that in 
mind that during the summer of 1987, 1 retraced Stimson's 
photographic path across southern Wyoming. 


My goal was to photograph scenes today from the very 
same spots that Stimson had taken them some 70 years 
ago. Of course, I had to be selective. 1 could not possibly 
reproduce the entire collection. Therefore, 1 concentrated 
on the towns along the Union Pacific. Stimson worked for 
the Union Pacific as a photographer from 1902-1910. He 
traveled the entire line taking pictures of the towns and 
stations along the way. He also journeyed up and down 
the spurs that connected remote areas of Wyoming to the 
Union Pacific.^ 1 focused my camera on this theme: the 
rephotography of towns and cities along the Union Pacific. 

Rephotography is a process of taking successive photo- 
graphs of the same scene. Simply put, it is before-and-after 
photography. For a medical doctor, the before and after 
x-rays of a broken arm are an example of rephotography. 
A family portrait taken throughout the years is another ex- 
ample. This is not a new process. Mark Klett rephoto- 
graphed landscapes originally taken by William Henry 
Jackson and Timothy O'Sullivan.' Bill Ganzel used 
rephotography to follow the Farm Securities Administra- 
tion photographers of the 1930s.* Recently, Kendall 
Johnson rephotographed pictures taken by William Henry 
Jackson to do a comparative range study of Wyoming to- 
day. ^ The difference is that many of these rephotographic 
projects looked at how the natural environment has changed 
in the West. 1 intended to look to see how the man-made, 
or "built," environment has survived in Wyoming since 
Stimson's day. 

1 chose to study Wyorrung's built environment because 
Stimson provided a detailed look at Wyoming towns 
around the turn of the century.' He captured Wyoming 
in a transition. The state was begirvning to develop industry 
and Stimson tried to showcase the best that Wyoming had 
to offer. Historian T. A. Larson called this decade one of 
"optimism, belief in progress, the work ethic, and 
eagerness in economic development as never before nor 
since."'' Stimson photographed this eagerness. Author 
Virginia Huidekoper said that "grand perspectives on 
man's accomplishments characterized Stimson's work."* 

My procedure was simple. First, I examined all 7,526 
of Stimson's contact prints located in the photographic sec- 
tion of the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and His- 
torical Department in Cheyenne. 1 eliminated photographs 
that were not taken along the Union Pacific. I made 
judgments of the rephotographic possibility. Once a scene 
was selected, it was often necessary to include several 
Stimson photographs of the same scene because I did not 
know what angle would be available today. After narrow- 
ing the selection to approximately 200, 1 made photocopies 
of all the prints. These copies would be easier and cheaper 
to use in the field than actual prints. 

1 borrowed the equipment from the University of 
Wyoming Journalism Department. All of the photographs 
were taken with a 4x5 Graflex camera, with a normal 

135mm lens and a 90mm wide angle lens, and using 400 
ISO black and white film. 

Once 1 located the site of Stimson's original photo- 
graph, 1 set up my camera. After studying the copy print, 
1 moved the camera back and forth to find the same view. 
1 took several photographs to be positive of the image. All 
of the pictures were developed and printed at the Univer- 
sity's darkroom. When finished, duplicate photographs 
had been taken at these Wyoming sites: Ft. Laramie, Hart- 
ville. Sunrise, Cheyenne, Hecla, Granite Springs Reser- 
voir, Dale Creek Bridge, Laramie, Saratoga, Encampment, 
Walcott, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Green River, Atlantic City, 
South Pass City, Kemmerer, Diamondville, Cokeville and 

When the two photographs are viewed together, they 
make a starting and ending point in Wyoming history. Side 
by side, the pair suggest the development and dissolution 
that has occurred since Stimson photographed the sites so 
many years ago.' 

The most obvious conclusion is that the railroad's role 
in the state has declined in the last 70 years. The auto- 
mobile, bus and airplane have drawn passengers away 
from the railroad. Likewise, the trucking industry has 
challenged the railroads for freight service. i" This is also 
evident in the fact that some of the railroad towns that 
Stimson photographed either no longer exist or are on their 
last legs. The station at Walcott, for instance, was the 
largest shipping station between Ogden and Omaha dur- 
ing the first decade of the century. ^^ Today, the Union 
Pacific station is gone and the buildings have been sold. 
Another finding is the absence of the many well-cared-for 
parks that once were adjacent to the stations. These parks 
were often the first impression visitors received of a town.'^ 
Stimson photographed the parks at Cheyenne, Laramie, 
Rawlins and Green River. Today, these parks are gone, 
replaced by dusty parking lots and open spaces. 

Also evident is the decline of the traditional 
downtown. This follows the decline of the passenger train 
and the depot park. Highways and subdivisions have 
decentralized towns. With this movement away from the 
center of town, business also has moved. The photograph 
of Green River shows that many of the businesses are gone 
and the buildings boarded. 

In truth, a comparison of Wyoming towns today with 
the earlier age that Stimson photographed would reveal 
that the built environment looked better then. But what 
can we expect? Technology has changed American society 
so much since Stimson's time. He photographed Wyoming 
before the rise of the radio, television and automobile. The 
easiest way to understand the change is to say simply that 
what Stimson photographed, and promoted— the best that 
Wyoming had to offer— has shifted. My project concen- 
trated on documenting what has survived from Stimson's 
Wyoming, not the best that Wyoming now has to offer. 


Not much remains of the park next to the Rawlins Depot which Stimson photographed, nor much of Front Street. 


If Stimson were taking pictures today, there would be 
many more technological marvels to photograph. It would 
not be the same things that he photographed in 1910, but 
I would not expect that. By looking at the state through 
the same eyes that Stimson did, one can see that Wyoming 
has changed in many ways, and yet remains the same. 

MICHAEL A. AMUNDSON is an undergraduate student at the University of 
Wyoming majoring in history and journalism. He also is a member of the UW 
men 's basketball team and a member of the 1988 Speaker's Bureau of the Wyom- 
ing Couticil for the Humanities. 

1. Mark Junge, /. £. Stimson: Photographer of the West (Lincoln: Univer- 
sity of Nebraska Press, 1985), p. 3. 

2. Ibid., p. 6. 

3. Mark Klett, Second View: The Rephotographic Survey Project (Albuquer- 
que: University of ^e-w Mexico Press, 1984). 

4. Bill Ganzel, Dust Boiv Descent (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 

5. Kendall Johnson, Rangelands Through Time (Laramie: University of 
Wyoming Agriculture Experiment Station, 1987). 

6. For a complete history of Wyoming written during Stimson's early 
career, see 1. S. Bartlett, History of Wyoming: Volume One (Chicago: 
S. ]. Clarke Publishing Company, 1918). The book not only provides 
a detailed history of the state but also gives brief descriptions and 
pictures of many Wyoming towns and cities in 1915. 
Junge, /. £. Stimson, p. x. 

Virginia Huidekoper, Wyoming in the Eye of Man (Cody, Wyoming: Sage 
Publishing Co. Inc., 1983), p. 72. 
Klett, Second View, p. 5. 

10. John R. StUgoe, Metropolitan Corridor (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale 
University Press, 1983), p. 227. 

11. Wyoming: A Guide to Its History, Highways and People (New York: Ox- 
ford University Press, 1941), p. 238. 

12. JohnF. Stover, TheLifeandDeclineof the American Radroad {New York: 
Oxford University Press, 1970), pp. 132-149. 

Stimson photographed Hartville (looking west) in 1905. Note the three windowed building retmins on the left. 


The Blyth and Fargo store remains from Stimson's 1905 photograph (above) of Evanston. Also notice the other buildings on that side of the street 
still standing. 



This 1908 photograph (below) shows an outing on Granite Springs Reservoir in what is now Curt Gowdy 
State Park. Notice the same formations and even some of the same trees in the current scene (left). The 
water level is lower today. 

Many of the steeply sloped roofed 
miners' cabins remain in Diamond- 
ville from this 1903 view (below) 
looking north. Notice the Mountai) 
Trading Company building on the 
right side of the street can also be 
seen today. Also note the growth o 
Kemmerer on the back hill. 



This 1899 photograph (above) shows the old Union Pacific park in Green River City. Note that many of the buildings 
below Citadel Rock remain today. Unfortunately, the gazebo and park are gone. 


The main street in Saratoga remains much the same as when Stimson photographed it in 1907, The Wolf Hotel 
opened in 1894 and is still operating today. The street lamp may have been moved, hut many of the buildings remain. 


Only three buildings survive from 1905 when Stimson photographed Sunrise. This view is looking north from the site of the water towers. Notice 
the "Glory Hole," left. 




Heart Mountain 

Almost immediately after the Japanese bombed Pearl 
Harbor on December 7, 1941, tensions mounted against 
the Japanese populace living in the United States. There 
were unfounded and unproven rumors circulating that 
these people would side with Japan in its war effort. Even 
though there was no evidence substantiating this belief, 
the United States government took action against possi- 
ble subversives, "just in case." 

On February 19, 1942, just two and a half months after 
the surprise attack. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed 
into law Executive Order #9066. Basically, this order stated 
that persons who could be considered a threat against the 
government would be placed in restricted areas. Although 
the order did not name one specific group, the Japanese 
in the country were the only ones affected by it. 

The War Relocation Authority made plans to relocate 
the Japanese, particularly those persons living on the West 
Coast, to other parts of the country. Several states, in- 
cluding Wyoming, were selected as "host states" to house 
the displaced Japanese. Wyoming's camp was buOt in Park 
County between Powell and Cody and was named the 
Heart Mountain Relocation Center. 

Construction began on the Heart Mountain camp June, 
1942, and it was operational by August of that year. At its 
peak, nearly 11,000 persons occupied the camp with its ap- 
proximately 470 tar paper barracks. The camp closed 
November, 1945. 

Editor's Note— The following are excerpts from oral history in- 
tervieivs that William (Bill) K. Hosokawa has given regarding 
his experiences at the Heart Mountain Japanese Relocation Center 
during World War II. The tapes and transcripts of these inter- 
views can be found in the oral history collection of the Wyoming 
State Archives, Museums and Historical Department. 

It's very hard to talk about Heart Mountain itself 
without going into something of the background that made 
this sort of thing possible, and that goes back a long, long 
way and, 1 don't know whether we want to get into that 
right now. Well let's do it very briefly . . . The Japanese 
began to come to this country right about the turn of the 
century. They were among the latest, the last of the im- 
migrant waves, and there really wasn't, what you might 
call, a wave. They numbered only in the thousands 
whereas the immigrants from Europe numbered in the tens 
of thousands. The main difference was that they came 
eastwards across the Pacific and landed on the West Coast 
whereas immigrants from Europe landed on the East 
Coast. The Japanese inherited the jobs as well as the pre- 
judices that the Chinese had encountered a generation 
earlier. The Japanese lived primarily on the West Coast in 
California, Oregon and Washington. They did all the 
things that needed to be done by unskilled labor to begin 
with and gradually they began to establish themselves. 
They got land and started to farm. They went into the cities 
and opened up little grocery stores, restaurants, doing all 
the menial kind of things that they could do in the absence 
of knowledge of the English language and American cus- 
toms. These were the immigrants, and in time, some of 
them went back to the old country and married and others 
had brides sent over from the old country and they set- 
tled down into established families. And, people of my 
generation came along. 1 was born in 1915 so I am one of 
the older group of the American-bom Japanese- Americans. 
We were American citizens by birth. My parents were 
denied citizenship by the laws of the United States and 
1 won't go into that at this time. But, we went to the public 
schools, learned to speak English and quickly adopted the 
American heritage as our own. So we grew up saluting 
the Stars and Stripes and feeling like this was indeed our 
country. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, 
the average age of the American-born Japanese- American 
was about 18 years. His parents were in their 50s on an 
average and so there was a great generation gap between 
the American-born generation and the foreign-born 

Those of us that were American-born were shocked 


and stunned and outraged that anything like this would 
happen, our parents, of course, were also stunned. I think 
some of them had been sympathizing with Japan in their 
troubles with China before that, well to be more accurate, 
yes indeed they did sympathize with Japan in the same 
way that Italian-Americans were sympathizing with 
Mussolini. The German-Americans were sympathizing 
with what Hitler was doing, but after the attack on Pearl 
Harbor when the United States was bombed by the 
Japanese, it was a brand new ballgame. And, these older 
Japanese who were citizens of Japan who could not become 
citizens of the United States, suddenly realized how deep 
their affection was for this country. 

In the days that immediately followed the attack on 
Pearl Harbor there were statements from public officials, 
newspaper people, newspaper editorial writers who said 
these people had been in our midst for many, many years 
and there is no need to blame them for what happened 
at Pearl Harbor. Let us not forget what we did to the Ger- 
mans in World War I, let's not have that sort of thing again. 
But gradually the hysteria began to build up and about a 

month or six weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, we 
began to hear people say . . . "Well look at these, these 
Japs in our midst, we don't know what they are thinking, 
we don't know where their loyalties lie, look what they 
did to us at Pearl Harbor. We had better do something 
about getting rid of these people from the West Coast." 
And, this built up and built up and there were very few 
public officials who had the courage to stand up and say 
. . . Now wait a minute, let's take another look . . . and 
the military had been caught with its pants down in Hawaii 
and they didn't want anything more to happen on the 
West Coast. They were naturally, very, very nervous, and 
to make a long story short, in time the military, goaded 
on primarily by politicians, persuaded the President of the 
United States to sign what was called, "Executive Order 
9066" which gave permission to the military to round up 
anybody they figured was a potential danger to the safety 
of the country. And, the military issued a regulation say- 
ing . . . "All persons of Japanese ancestry must go into 
camps . . ."It was strictly on a racial basis, there was no 
effort to segregate the sheep from the goats. 

If you happened to be of Japanese blood and you lived 
on the West Coast it didn't matter whether you were 
charged with anything, you were never accused of any- 
thing, you were never brought to trial, all the civil liber- 
ties that we had come to respect during the period of our 
generation were suspended strictly on a racial basis. There 
were approximately 110,000 Japanese-Americans on the 
West Coast and these were the people who were evacuated 
first into temporary assembly centers and then later into 
the semi-permanent camps, like the one up at Heart 

There were a great many people, not only among the 
Japanese- Americans, but church people, professors, a few 
very courageous political leaders who said . . . "Let's wait 
a minute, let's not get excited about this ..." The 
Japanese- Americans themselves were saying . . . "Look 
we are American citizens, we are loyal to this country, you 
can't do this to us," but our voices were very seldom heard 
as the military, backed by the politicians, pushed the ef- 
fort to get the evacuation under way. One of the things 
that the government said to us was, . . . "this is to be your 
contribution to the war effort, you can help us win the war 
by accepting this sort of treatment." Now we didn't buy this 
entirely, but at least it helped a little to ease the sting of 
being discriminated against in this manner, and then once 
the shock wore off, then there was a great many things 
to do. People who had businesses had to leave them in 
someone's hands, get rid of those businesses. Sell their 
homes, sell their cars, arrange to store their furniture. 
Farmers out on the West Coast were being encouraged to 
continue with their planting and farming in the spring of 
1942, at the same time they knew they were going to be 
evacuated and they would lose their farms. So everybody 
kept very busy and there was little time to sit down and 
feel sorry for ourselves. 

Now I don't know how well you know the Heart 
Mountain story but this was a camp set up on the bench 
lands about midway between Powell and Cody. It was 
roughly an area a mile square. It was surrounded by barbed 
wire. There were watch towers at the corners, with flood- 
lights, manned by United States troops with loaded guns. 
And, inside the areas lived approximately 10,000 men, 
women and children. Their homes were barracks covered 
with tar paper. They were fed in central halls. There was 
no running water in the barracks so you had to go to a 
central sanitation building for your needs and, these peo- 
ple had only one thing in common, they were of Japanese 

The Heart Mountain area was Bureau of Reclamation 
Land or perhaps it was BLM. There was water available 
and it was fairly isolated, but it was nothing but sagebrush 
flats at the time. They hired anybody who could swing a 
hammer in this area and they began to put up these tem- 
porary barracks, which were about 120 feet long and these 
were divided up into six rooms which were given the 
euphemistic name of apartments. You had to install a water 

system, sewerage system, you had to bring in power, build 
a hospital, an administration office, build kitchens, put in 
barbed wire and put in guard towers. It took a good many 
months to get this done, the camp was not anywhere near 
complete at the time when the first evacuees began to 
come in. 

If you had four children and Poppa and Momma, there 
was six of you in this one room, fifteen feet by twenty feet. 
They tried to maintain a certain amount of privacy by hang- 
ing drapes and that sort of thing, but there is a limit to that. 

Eventually we established a canteen type of a coopera- 
tive that provided us with things that we couldn't get 
through the government. Most of us had work to do, some 
people acted as an internal security force, some as firemen, 
some worked on the farm, many of them worked on the 
irrigation ditch crew, others worked in the kitchen, cooked, 
others were waitresses and waiters, most of us worked and 
we were paid $12-$16 and $19 a month. The doctors who 
worked in the hospital, they were paid $19 and they 
worked shoulder to shoulder with Caucasian doctors who 
were getting full civil service pay. We had some people 
who were teachers and they were paid $16 a month plus 
room, such as it were. 

The hospital was well run, and it was well patronized 
because there was a good deal of illness. Many of these 
people were elderly and they were not used to this sort 
of frontier pioneering type of life, Wyoming's winter was 
very harsh. We had a cemetery and we had funerals, and 
as I understand it, the remains were exhumed after the 
camp was closed and shipped back to the West Coast or 
where ever. There were a good many problems. One of 
course, caused by the breakdown of the family system. 
Poppa was no longer the source of food and shelter and 
spending money. He was in the camp just like anybody 
else and he could exercise a rather limited control over his 
family so it was natural for youngsters to run around in 
gangs and we had a juvenile delinquency problem. 

Every once in a while we would get red meat. One of 
the principal items that we got was listed on the official 
invoices as "edible offal," this included beef hearts, pork 
hearts, liver— liver is fine but when you get it four to five 
times a week it gets pretty awful. Now it was not unusual 
for a little toddler to have for dinner, wieners, sauerkraut, 
rice and beans at the same time. Children had milk, milk 
was limited to the children. Fresh produce was pretty hard 
to come by. The camps in the southern parts of the United 
States would grow a great deal of produce and these were 
distributed to other camps. I think, my recollection is, we 
farmed over a thousand acres right here at Heart Moun- 
tain, some of it was green produce much of it was corn 
and fodder for the hog raising and cattle programs. 

At the same time there were 128,000 persons of Japanese 
descent in the United States, and there were ten of these 
camps housing a total of 110,000. Those who lived in 
California and the eastern portions of Oregon and 
Washington were the ones who were taken from their 


homes and sent to the inland camps as a measure of 
military necessity. 

You may recall from your days when you used to study 
civics, America used to be called the "great melting pot" 
and people from all parts of the world came in and they 
were dumped into the great American pot and they were 
boiled up. Eventually the American people became a 
homogeneous mass. Everyone was melted together. And 
then we discovered that this really wasn't true. There were 
elements that never did melt, the blacks, the browns, the 
orientals. And so the new concept is not of a melting pot 
but of a stew pot where you have the various elements that 
go in and have retained their identity. The carrots and the 
onions and the meat and the potatoes, and you can see 
them and they are different. But, they all blend together 
and produce a wonderful flavor. That is the American 

Bill Hosokawa was bom in Seattle, Washingtoit, January 30, 
1915. He is the son of Setsugo and Kimiyo Hosokawa, Japanese 
immigrants from Hiroshima. 

Bill Hosokawa attended public schools in the Seattle area and 
entered the University of Washington in 1933, graduating with 
a Bachelor's degree in 1937. In August, 1938, he married Alice 
Tokuko Miyake. They are the parents of four children, two boys 
and two girls. 

During the years following graduation from college, 
Hosokawa worked on English language newspapers in Singapore 
and Shanghai. He returned to the United States just five weeks 
before the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. He arrived 
at Heart Mountain Relocation Center during August, 1942. 

He remained at Heart Mountain for fourteen months where 
he edited the camp's newspaper, the Heart Mountain Sentinel. 
In 1943, Hosokawa joined the staff of the Des Moines Register 
and remained until 1946 when he went to work for the Denver 
Post. He retired from the Post in 1983. During his tenure with 
the Denver newspaper, he held a variety of positions, including 
editor of the Empire Magazine. A prolific writer, he has writ- 
ten several books, including Nisei: The Quiet Americans. 
Bill Hosokawa still lives in Denver, Colorado. 

Bill Hosokawa 



Recording Your Family History. By William Fletcher. New York: Dodd, 
Mead & Company, 1987. Index. 313 pp. Paper $9.95. 

Your Life & Times— How to Put a Life Story on Tape: An Oral History Handbook. 
By Stephen and Julia Arthur. Nobleton, Florida: Heritage Tree 
Press, 1986. Illustrated. 50 pp. Paper $6.95. 

Even if you have never interviewed anyone in your 
life and feel you would not be able to handle such a task, fear 
no more. There are many publications on the market that 
will answer nearly every question that you might have 
regarding such work. Two such publications are now 
avaOable for beginning, semi-professional and professional 
interviewers. The books. Recording Your Family History, by 
William Fletcher, and Your Life and Times, by Stephen and 
Julia Arthur, are two such publications that literally take 
you by the hand (or in this instance, by the tape recorder) 
and advise you from start to finish on how to prepare, 
organize and complete a successful interview. 

Fletcher's book consists of an introduction to an inter- 
viewer's world, and several interesting and helpful articles 
about equipment. Topics covered are how to avoid "mike 
fright" (which is actually more common than many peo- 
ple realize), starting an interview, how long to interview 
and how to label and not edit original tapes. 

He has questions listed regarding every aspect of life, 
from intimate family secrets to major and minor happen- 
ings in the family circle to worldwide events. His listings 
are so in-depth that an interviewer could not possibly use 
every question. In fact, some questions may not be ap- 
propriate for all persons. However, Fletcher's index 
starting with abortion and ending with Zionism will give 
the reader exceptional subjects to tackle and discuss dur- 
ing their individual interviews. Fletcher has also listed ad- 
ditional reading material that would benefit any family or 
historical project one would be thinking of attempting in 
the future. Recording Your Family History is a "must" for 
anyone contemplating any kind of oral history project. 

Your Life and Times, by Stephen and Julia Arthur, 
although not written with quite as much detail as Recording 
Your Family History, is nonetheless, a very interesting, in- 
formative and useful book. It might be more helpful to 
younger persons attempting to join the oral history ranks. 
The format is different with regards to the various ques- 
tions. It is a more personalized view of oral history as the 
Table of Contents indicates. The first listing is "My Life 
and Times," then "My Family" and so on. The book of- 
fers many different questions regarding family life, which 

again, may border some very sensitive areas for certain per- 
sons. However, as one becomes more relaxed with inter- 
viewing, some of the questions could be broached in an 
easy manner and possibly answered in the same way. 

This book, only 50 pages long, is very easy to read and 
again would be an asset to anyone planning to start a fam- 
ily oral history project. Of particular interest is the final 
page which lists other avenues an interviewer should ex- 
plore to find family treasures such as birth, marriage and 
death certificates, plus approaching genealogical societies 
and searching libraries for additional material that will 
enhance the finished product of any family history. 

With mobility being the national trend, and the tele- 
phone taking over from the written word, oral history may 
well be the only true legacy that we can all leave behind 
regardless of position, wealth and power. 

The reviewer is Research and Oral History Supervisor, Wyoming State Archii'es, 
Museums and Historical Department. 

Cities of the Prairie Rei'isited: The Closing of the Metropolitan Frontier. Daniel 
Elazar with Rozann Rothman, Stephen L. Schechter, Maren Allan 
Stein, and Joseph Zikmund II. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
1986. Maps. Figures. Tables. Notes. Bibliography. Index. 288 pp. 
Cloth $25. 

Cities of the Prairie Revisited: The Closing of the 
Metropolitan Frontier is a continuation of David Elazar's 
study of medium-sized cities in the upper Missouri- 
Mississippi Valley. In his first study. Cities of the Prairie: 
The Metropolitan Frontier and American Politics, Elazar 
analyzed political developments during the postwar period 
up to 1960 in nineteen cities in ten metropolitan areas. In 
this resurvey, covering the period since 1960, he has refined 
his focus by limiting his study to eleven cities. Included 
in this group are Champaign-Urbana, Moline, Rockford 
and Springfield, Illinois; Davenport, Iowa; Duluth, Min- 
nesota; and Pueblo, Colorado, as well as Decatur, East St. 
Louis, Joliet, and Peoria, Illinois. 

This resurvey is divided into two parts, an overview 
and four case studies. In the first part, Elazar continues 
his use of Martin Grodins' model of community politics 
whose central premise is that local political systems must 
be studied within their larger geohistorical, cultural, 
economic and political settings. What Elazar discovered in 
his resurvey tended to confirm his earlier findings. The 
cities of the prairie were bastions of continuity, rather than 


harbingers of great change. During the 1960s and 1970s, 
they succeeded in maintaining their local identity by re- 
sisting outside pressures that threatened their individual 
character, while accommodating those that did not. Unlike 
their metropolitan counterparts, these cities either ignored 
or resisted offers of large sums of federal and state funds 
because the Great Society programs sought to rearrange 
local government priorities. Because it lacked this radical 
aspect, Nixon's Revenue Sharing Program proved far more 
acceptable to these cities. 

Similar resiliency appeared when the cities of the 
prairie were confronted by the prospect of racial integra- 
tion. As Elazar predicted in his previous study. Blacks and 
Hispanics achieved political, social and economic integra- 
tion with relative ease. The cities adopted a policy of ac- 
commodation, largely because these minorities did not ex- 
hibit any significant growth, which might otherwise have 
threatened the status quo. Because change was minimal, 
the political culture in these cities remained intact, and 
largely unaltered. 

Another major theme of Elazar's resurvey is that the 
period since 1960 witnessed what he calls the closing of 
the metropolitan frontier. With the Arab oil embargo of 
the mid-1970s, metropolitan growth in the cities of the 
prairie slowed almost to a standstill. While this 
phenomenon followed the national pattern, Elazar sug- 
gests that the end of metropolitan growth holds a special 
significance for cities which always existed in a frontier en- 
vironment. Having raised this problem, Elazar then dis- 
cards it by suggesting that a new frontier created by a 
citybelt-cybernetic network may allow these cities to main- 
tain their identity through the 1980s and onward. 

In the second part of this book, four case studies 
illustrate the different problems and responses experienced 
by the cities of the prairie since 1960. In response to a 
declining industrial base, Pueblo, Colorado, underwent 
considerable constitutional change by creating a metro- 
politan political structure to plan the area's economic 
growth. Similar developments occurred in the Champaign- 
Urbana area where local government assumed new respon- 
sibilities not only for planning, but also to handle the sen- 
sitive issue of racial integration. In two other case studies, 
the continuance of tradition was emphasized more than 
the policies of change. Decatur, Illinois, continued its 
agricommercial tradition by becoming the corporate head- 
quarters for Archer-Daniels-Midlands, a manufacturer of 
grain products, while local officials in Joliet spent con- 
siderable energy responding to— and resisting— outside 
pressures for change. The overall conclusion received from 
these studies is that the cities of the prairie are fairly well- 
insulated communities which resist change unless it is in- 
ternally motivated. 

Elazar's resurvey is a major contribution to our under- 
standing of urban political developments in medium-size 
cities during what is largely regarded as the late great 
tumultuous period in American history. As this study in- 

dicates, this period may not be as tumultuous as originally 
believed, since continuity rather than change was the norm 
in the cities of the prairie. Cities of the Prairie Revisited is 
required reading for all students interested in urban de- 
velopments in the 20th century. 

The reviewer is Assistant Professor ofHiston/, Youngstoum State University, Ohio. 

Frontier Spirit: The Story of Wyoming. By Craig Sodaro and Randy 
Adams. Boulder, Colorado: Johnson Publishing Company, 1986. 
Illustrated. Bibliography. Index. 248 pp. Cloth $16.95. Paper $10.95. 

This handsome volume is designed for use as a text- 
book in the eighth grade. The authors are teachers at Tor- 
rington Middle School. 

Dr. Grace R. Hebard, long-time political economy pro- 
fessor at the University of Wyoming, dominated the Wyo- 
ming history textbook business until she died in 1936. Her 
History and Government of Wyoming was published in eleven 
editions, beginning in 1904, and her Pathhreakers from River 
to Ocean, in six editions, beginning in 1911. Several ex- 
cellent textbooks appeared after World War II. Wyoming 
Pageant (1946) by Virginia Cole Trenholm and Maurine 
Carley, and Wyoming: Frontier State (1947) by Velma Lin- 
ford, have served eighth graders for many years. Fourth 
graders have been pleased with Wyoming's People (1958) by 
Clarice Whittenburg (updated several times by Carol Stin- 
neford). Living Wyoming's Past (1983) by Gordon O. Hen- 
drickson and Arnold L. WUlems, and Volcanoes to 
Smokestacks by Lucille Grouser and Bess Tweedt (1983). 

The Sodaro and Adams narrative moves along chron- 
ologically under twelve chapter headings: Physical Wyo- 
ming, Early Hunters in Wyoming, The Fur Trade, Trails 
through Wyoming, The Indian Wars, The Transcontinen- 
tal Railroad, Territorial Wyoming, Statehood at Last, 
Wyoming During World War I, Hard Times, Wyoming Dur- 
ing World War II and Modern Wyoming. A dozen maps, 
more than 100 well chosen pictures and colorful quotations 
enhance reader enjoyment. 

Dr. Hebard's favorite subject, Sacajawea, is dismissed 
with only one sentence. Apparently Sodaro and Adams 
have been influenced by Blanche Schroer's masterly 
presentation and analysis of the Sacajawea controversy 
{Annals of Wyoming, Spring, 1980). 

In general. Frontier Spirit passes muster with respect 
to content, organization, binding and typeface. There are 
several details, however, that need correction in a revised 
edition. The authors are confused about the Verendryes, 
bringing them into Wyoming in 1739 instead of 1742-1743. 
The first Verendrye expedition got no farther than the Man- 
dan villages. There is confusion also about the route fol- 
lowed by the Wilson Price Hunt expedition. And Ashley's 
first fur trade rendezvous occurred on Henry's Fork of the 
Green River, not at Henry's Fort, which was on another 
Henry's Fork, the one on the Snake River in Idaho. 


Wyoming's acreage is 62, not 6.2 mQlion. The Medicine 
Wheel is on Medicine Mountain, not Medicine Bow Moun- 
tain. Jim Bridger built his fort at the present location in 
1843, not 1845. Joseph M. Carey came to Wyoming as U.S. 
Attorney, not U.S. Marshal. Famous Colonel (later 
General) Albert Sidney Johnston should not be called 
Albert Sydney Johnson, nor should Edward M. Lee be 
labeled Edwin. Indeed, the proof reading was careless, fail- 
ing to catch twenty or so misspelled words and 
typographical errors. 

Notwithstanding occasional defects, this book is wel- 
come, has many good qualities, and will be enjoyed by its 

The reviewer is Professor Emeritus of History, University of Wyoming. 

The Feminine Frontier: Wyoming Women 1850-1900. By Denice Wheeler. 
Published by author, 1987. Bibliography. Illustrated. 313 pp. Cloth 

This volume, a compendium of anecdotal stories about 
women who were born or lived in Wyoming during some 
part of the last half of the 19th century, takes the form of 
personal tributes to early settlers in an important region 
and period of Wyoming history. It gathers material which 
is difficult to come by in women's history and must be 
recognized for the effort to accumulate a sizeable sample 
of people and data. 

To appreciate The Feminirie Frontier, one must also 
understand what it is not. First, there appears not to be 
anything particularly feminine or peculiar to women in the 
frontier Denice Wheeler describes. The book is also not 
about Wyoming women in general, but rather 113 women 
from southwest Wyoming, and, after the first chapter 
(which includes two Indian and one Chinese women), all 
are white immigrants, mostly Mormon pioneers from the 
British Isles. 

More fundamentally. The Feminine Frontier is not really 
historical scholarship, for it lacks all of the historical ques- 
tions, theses and analysis which women's history, social 
history and western history have been in the process of 
refining for the past fifteen years. The author lists the 
names of "Women Highlighted," but that heading 
misleads the reader into thinking they are illustrative ex- 
amples of major themes. They instead constitute the whole 
text, with each person's two-page narrative running into 
the next without comment or comparison. 

The uniform brevity of the biographical sketches allows 
no conceptual emphases. One woman, who had fourteen 
chOdren and ran a hotel while her husband was away on 
the railroad and was eventually kUled in a boiler explosion, 
is noted as "expanding the business in 1929 by building 
orange and dark-brown tourist cabins at the back of the 
hotel" (p. 246). One wants to know more about this 
woman's skills, resources and fate at this critical historical 

point than about her choice of paint color. Similarly, a 
passage about a miner's wife describes in one paragraph 
her refusal to polish her husband's boots and in the next 
her caretaking of the families and arranging the burials of 
sixty-five miners killed in an explosion, all in a total of 130 
words (p. 87). 

The basic organization and nearly half the brief descrip- 
tive material of the book rests on the occupations and ac- 
tivities of the men who settled Wyoming. One can get a 
sense of certain patterns of auxiliary economic activities- 
such as the agricultural work routinely performed by many 
of the Almy coal miners' wives or the occupations which 
nearly all the railroad workers' families had on their own. 
But, in fact, without any comparative analysis, it really is 
not clear whether these women's lives were generally uni- 
form in their labor, expectations and relationships, or 
whether there really are categorical differences among the 
women represented by each chapter. 

Nevertheless, the often extraordinary activities of these 
"common" women beg for development, for a place in 
the context of larger historical questions about women's 
willing or unwilling contributions to frontier settlement, 
about the existence of domestic feminism, the functions 
of women's culture, the separation of the spheres between 
men's and women's roles and political and economic 
equity in the West. Beyond that are myriad questions about 
the importance of social class, ethnicity and religion in 
shaping these women's lives. 

In the second of two paragraphs summarizing the en- 
tire volume, the author asserts. 

Often the frontier experience proved to be liberating and pro- 
vided both [sic] poUtical, economic, and personal opportunities 
that vvfould not have been possible elsewhere. These hardy and 
self-sufficient women stepped out of traditional accepted roles 
and with few regrets. The experiences of these courageous J 

pioneers continue to influence modern women in their values I 

and attitudes long after the passing of the frontier. 

That provocative statement raises no fewer than half a 
dozen questions about women in Wyoming history which 
have by no means been definitively answered. The ex- 
amples these women's lives provide may eventually help 
us answer questions about traditional roles vs. frontier 
liberation, political equality vs. lack of representation, 
economic independence vs. subservience, the distinctive- 
ness of Wyoming vs. similarities in all women's lives, en- 
thusiasm vs. forbearance on the frontier, and the historical 
legacy vs. the impact of modern change. At present, we 
still need both a deeper and more comprehensive analysis 
of the history of women in Wyoming. 

The revieiuer is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Women 's Studies, 
University of Wyoming. 

The Golden Sword, The Coming of Capitalism to the Colorado Mining Frontier. 
By Michael Neuschatz. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 
1986. Index. Bibliography, xii and 301 pp. Cloth $37.95. 


The mining experience in the mountain West continues 
to attract the interest of historians and other scholars. 
Michael Neuschatz, focusing on the Colorado gold fields, 
challenges a general theory that the early phase of union 
organization was characterized by political radicalism and 
aggressive tactics in order to build militancy among rank 
and file members. As union strength grew, according to 
the standard viewpoint, leaders settled down and ex- 
changed "uncompromising hostility" toward employers 
for a more "reasonable" attitude. Neuschatz argues, 
however, that there existed an economic and a political 
dimension to the struggle of Colorado miners. Rather than 
accept the orthodox position that unions were radicalized 
by a group of dissident intellectuals imported into the 
region, the author claims that the most radical views came 
from working miners and that members shared a socialist 
platform and organizational strategy with their leaders. 

The Western Federation of Miners entered Colorado in 
1894 demanding bread and butter issues and providing 
social institutions to improve life in isolated camps. The 
organization emerged as a militant union as the result of 
a combination of factors: small scale mine operators were 
fragmented; they lacked the resources necessary to sur- 
vive a series of strikes; owners had no control over local 
or state government. Within a decade, however, conditions 
changed significantly, undermining union strength. Fol- 
lowing rapid consolidation, seven percent of the corpora- 
tions controlled four-fifths of the total production. Mine 
owners could stiffen resistance to the WFM by marshal- 
ling greater resources, withstanding strikes and shut- 
downs, utilizing scab labor, hiring guards and detectives. 

and influencing politicians. Neuschatz portrayed this 
transformation in the relationship between employers and 
employees by detailing the bitter struggle near Cripple 
Creek, the largest district in the state and a WFM strong- 
hold. "The ultimate fate of the union was decided there 
more than anywhere else" (p. 185). With the union de- 
feated by 1904 its economic success and political militancy 
was significantly diminished. 

This book may appeal to those interested in organiza- 
tion theory, labor history and militant unionism. Western 
historians familiar with the mining frontier and those well 
read in Colorado's past will find little that is new. With 
the exception of the Engineering and Mining Journal and the 
Federation's Miners' Magazine, the narrative is based on a 
limited number of secondary sources. On one hand Neu- 
schatz relies to an extreme on a 1964 dissertation, while 
on the other he ignores the excellent works of Ronald 
Brown, James Fell and Mark Wyman. Several nagging 
stylistic elements detract from the narrative. The author 
consistently uses plural references "we" and "our" when 
referring to himself; too often he reminds readers that 
material was "previously mentioned." Numerous in- 
dividuals are quoted by last name without any attempt to 
establish their identity or significance. The author tried to 
use a brief period in Colorado labor and mining history 
to refute other historical approaches and to examine con- 
ditions that may have fostered or hindered similar develop- 
ments in other settings. He has accomplished that goal 
with minimal success. 

The reviewer is Professor of History, University of Northern Iowa. 


Only the River Runs Easy: A Historical Portrait of the Upper Green River Valley. 
By H. L. Skinner. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 
1985. Illustrated. Bibliography. 121 pp. Paper $14.95. 

This history of the first 25 miles of the Green River 
Valley in western Wyoming combines the stories of the 
natural wonders of the area along with accounts of various 
settlers of the area. 

In Search of Hollywood, Wyomittg: 1894-The Silent Years-1929. By William 
R. Huey. Published by the author, 1985. Illustrated. Index. 
Bibliography. 128 pp. Paper. 

This book chronicles the history of the making of the 
motion pictures about and in Wyoming during the era of 
the silent film. The author also includes information about 
three Wyoming based motion picture production com- 
panies. A second volume is planned on the later years. 

With Crook in the Black Hills: Stanley /. Morroio's 1876 Photographic Legacy. 
By Paul L. Hedren. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 
1985. Illustrated. Index. Bibliography. Appendix, vi and 83 pp. Paper. 

General George Crook's 1876 campaign against the 
Sioux Indians is chronicled here through the photographs 
of Stanley J. Morrow, who accompanied the expedition 
during the last few months of that year. These views are 
provided here along with the author's photographs taken 
in 1983 when he traced a portion of Crook's route. 

Old Yellowstone Views. By John F. Barber. Missoula, Montana: Mountain 
Press Publishing Company, 1987. Illustrated. Bibliography. 89 pp. 
Paper $8.95. 

This is the story of Yellowstone National Park told 
through the words and photographs of the park's many 
visitors. The book begins with a look at the area's first in- 


habitants, includes the scenic photographs of William Henry 
Jackson and concludes with the advent of motorized travel 
in the park. 

Wyoming: Historical Tour Guide. By D. Ray Wilson. Carpentersville, Illinois: 
Crossroads Conununications, 1984. Illustrated. Index, vi and 246 pp. 
Paper $8.95. 

This publication covers a wide range of topics. The 
author discusses well known Wyoming historical charac- 
ters, little known facts about the state and its people and 
listings of natural wonders, museums and historic sites 
from around the state. 

stock train on sidetracks in order to make way for more 
profitable or influential freight, hence the title. 

Indians of Yellowstone Park. By Joel C. Janetski. Salt Lake City: University 
of Utah Press, 1987. Illustrated. Maps. Notes, vi and 86 pp. Paper 

Using both archaeological evidence and historical 
sources, the author, a professional archaeologist, studies 
the Indians who once inhabited the Yellowstone Park area. 
Subjects include prehistoric man in Yellowstone, the 
historic period, the Sheepeaters, the Bannock Trail, the Nez 
Perce war and others. 

The Latter-Day Saints' Emigrants' Guide. By W. Clayton. Edited by Stanley 
B. Kimball. Gerald, Missouri: The Patrice Press, 1983. Originally 
published: St. Louis: Missouri Republican Steam Power Press, 1848. 
Illustrated. Maps. Index. 86 pp. Cloth $9.95. 

During his 1847 journey overland to Salt Lake City, 
William Clayton recorded information he knew would be 
useful to future travelers. He published this information 
in his emigrant guide in 1848. This volume, edited by 
Stanley B. Kimball, professor of history at Southern Illinois 
University, contains not only the contents of the 24 page 
booklet, but also a biographical sketch of Clayton by Dr. 
James B. Allen, head of the history department at Brigham 
Young University. 

Cowboy Life on the Sidetrack. By Frank Benton. Springfield, Illinois: Lincoln 
Herndon Press, Inc., 1986. Originally published: By the author, 1903. 
Illustrated, iv and 125 pp. Paper $7.95. 

First published in 1903, the book relates the humorous, 
fictional tale of a working cowboy-rancher shipping his cat- 
tle via the railroad from his ranch in Utah to the central 
market at Omaha, Nebraska, around the turn of the cen- 
tury. During this trip, the railroad oftentimes placed the 

The Custer Myth: A Source Book of Custenana. By W. A. Graham. 
Bibliography by Fred Dustin. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
1986. Originally published: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Co., 
1953. Illustrated. Maps. Index. Bibliography, xxii and 379 pp. Cloth 
$35.00. Paper $7.95. 

This book is a valuable guide to the sources relating 
to the Battle of the Little Big Horn. First pubhshed in 1953, 
it presents both Indian and military accounts, descriptions 
of the burials and reburials, an extensive bibliography com- 
piled by Fred Dustin and much more. 

Lewis and Clark Among the Indians. By James P. Ronda. Lincoln: Universi- 
ty of Nebraska Press, 1984. Illustrated. Maps. Index. Notes. 
Bibliography. Appendix, xv and 255 pp. Cloth $24.95. 

Based on historical, anthropological and archaeological 
research, this study of the Lewis and Clark expedition ex- 
plores the relations between the American explorers and 
the Indians they encountered. A reassessment of 
Sacagawea's role as guide is presented as are the Indians' 
responses to the expedition's economic, political and scien- 
tific aims. 



Adams, Randy, Frontier Spirit: The Story of Wyoming, review, 51-52 

Adams, W. T., 30 

Agriculture [Wyoming], 22-31 

Almy, Wyoming, 9 

American Bridge Company, 5 

Amundson, Michael A., "Through the Lens of J. E. Stimson: Past and 

Present," 32-45 
Arthur, Julia, Your Life & Times— How to Put a Life Story on Tape: An Oral 

History Handbook, review, 50 
Arthur, Stephen, Your Life & Times— How to Put a Life Story on Tape: An 

Oral History Handbook, review, 50 
Atlantic City, Wyoming, photos, 41 

Barbian, Joseph J., 19-20 

Basin, Wyoming, 24 

Big Horn Basin [Wyoming], 25 

Big Horn Basin Development Company, 25 

Big Horn River [Wyoming], 25 

Bishop, M. Guy, "More Than One Coal Road to Zion: The Utah Ter- 
ritory's Efforts to Ease Dependency on Wyoming Coal," 8-16 

Bowser, WUber, 26 

Brainerd, Jean, review of Recording Your Family History, 50 

Brainerd, Jean, review of Your Life & Times— How to Put a Life Story on Tape: 
An Oral History Handbook, 50 

Buffalo, Wyoming, 24-25 

Buffum, Bert C, 25-26 


Carbon, Wyoming, 9 

Carpenter, Wyoming, 26 

Chalk Creek, Utah, 12 

"The Changing Face of Cowboy State Agriculture: Turn of the Century 

Wyoming Agriculturalist— A Demographic Profile," Vicki Page and 

Wilham L. Hewitt, 22-31 
Cheyenne Trunk Factory, 18-20; photos, 18, 20 
Cheyenne, Wyoming, 18-20; photos, 32-33 
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, 23, 25-26 
Cities of the Prairie Revisited: The Closing of the Metropolitan Frontier, by Daniel 

Elazar with Rozann Rothman, Stephen L. Schechter, Maren Allan 

Stein and Joseph Zikmund II, review, 50-51 
Clay, John, 23 
Cluff, Bishop W. W., 10-11 
Coalville, Utah, 8, 10-15; photo, 10 
Cody, William F. "Buffalo Bill," 25 
Cook, Dr. V. T., 25 


Dale Creek Bridge [Wyoming], 3-7; photos, 2-6 

"Dale Creek Crossing," Mark L. Gardner, 2-7 

Dale, Edward Everett, 23 

Deaver, D. Clem, 25 

Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, 15 

Diamondville, Wyoming, photos, 40 

Dodge, Grenville, M., 3 

Echo, Utah, 10-12, 15 
Egbert, Wyoming, 24-25 

Elazar, Daniel, Cities of the Prairie Revisited: The Closing of the Metropolitan 

Frontier, review, 50-51 
Emery, [Utah] Governor George B., 13 
Evans, Col. James A., 5 
Evans, J. A., 5 
Evanston, Wyoming, photos, 37 

The Feminine Frontier: Wyoming Women 1850-1900, by Denice Wheeler, 

review, 52 
Fletcher, William, Recording Your Family History, review, 50 
Fort D. A. Russell [Wyoming], 19 
Fremont, Nebraska, 9 
Frontier Spirit: The Story of Wyoming, by Craig Sodaro and Randy Adams, 

review, 51-52 

Gardner, Mark L., "Dale Creek Crossing," 2-7 

Germania, Wyoming, 25 

Germans, 25 

Glass, Frank, 26 

Godfrey, Cyrus O., 9 

The Golden Sword: The Coming of Capitalism to the Colorado Mining Frontier, 

by Michael Neuschatz, review, 52-53 
Gorman, Robert, 26 
Gould, Abram, 12 

Granite Springs Reservoir [Wyoming], photos, 38-39 
Green River, Wyoming, photos, 42 


Haggin, J. B., 14 

"Handmade Trunks," Mariann McCormick, 17-21 

Hardy, Claude, 26 

Hardy, Judson, 26 

Hart, G. A., 23, 25 

Hartville, Wyoming, photos, 36-37 

Heart Mountain [Wyoming] Relocation Center, 46-49; photo, 47 

Hewitt, William L., "The Changing Face of Cowboy State Agriculture: 
Turn of the Century Wyoming Agriculturalist— A Demographic Pro- 
file," 22-31 

Hillsdale, Wyoming, 26 

Hosokawa, Wilham (Bill) K., 46-49; photo, 49 


Jackson, William Henry, 5, 7 

Jensen, Katherine, review of The Feminine Frontier: Wyoming Women 
1850-1900, 52 

Kantner, H. W. B., 15 
Keslar, Clarence A., 26 
Kloberdanz, Timothy J., 25 

Larson, T. A., 30 

Larson, T. A., review of Frontier Spirit: The Story of Wyoming, 51-52 

Lovell, Wyoming, 24-25 

Luther [Burns], Wyoming, 26 



McCormick, Mariann, "Handmade Trunks," 17-21 
Mexicans, 25 

"More Than One Coal Road to Zion: The Utah Territory's Efforts to Ease 
Dependency on Wyoming Coal," M. Guy Bishop, 8-16 


Nebeker, George, 11 
Nelson, Aven, 30 

Neuschatz, Michael, The Golden Sword: The Coming of Capitalism to the Col- 
orado Mining Frontier, review, 52-53 

Summit County [Utah] Railroad, 11, 15 
Summit County, Utah, 8-9, 11-12 
Sunrise, Wyoming, photos, 44-45 


Ogden, Utah, 9-12, 15 

Olson, Ted, 26 

Ontario Mining Company, 13-14 

Page, Vicki, "The Changing Face of Cowboy State Agriculture: Turn of 
the Century Wyoming Agriculturalist— A Demographic Profile," 

Park City, Utah, 11, 13-14; photo, 14 

Park County, Wyoming, 25 


Rawlins, Wyoming, photos, 35 

Recording Your Family History, by William Fletcher, review, 50 

Rock Springs, Wyoming, 9-10, 12; photo, 13 

Russell, Andrew, 5, 7 

Russian-Germans, 25 

Salt Lake City, Utah, 8-15 

Saratoga, Wyoming, photos, 43 

Savage, C. B., 7 

Sherman Pass, 3 

Snow, C. H„ 3-4 

Sodaro, Craig, Frontier Spirit: The Story of Wyoming, review, 51-52 

Stimson, J. E., 7, 33-34, 36; photographs, 32-33, 35-45 



Past and Present," Michael A. 

"Through the Lens of J. E 

Amundson, 32-45 
Tullidge, Edward, 15 
Turner, Frederick Jackson, 22-23 


Union Pacific Railroad, 3-7, 8-15, 34 
Utah Central Railroad, 10-12 
Utah Eastern Railroad, 8, 11, 13-15 
Utah Northern Railroad, 10 
Utah Territory, 8-15 


Vanderhoff, William H., 18-20 

Viehe, Fred W., review of Cities of the Prairie Revisited: The Closing of the 
Metropolitan Frontier, 50-51 


Walker, David A., review of The Golden Sword: The Coming of Capitalism 

to the Colorado Mining Frontier, 52-53 
Warden, Thomas, 9 
Webb, Walter Prescott, 23 
Weybrecht, Jacob F., 20 
Wheatland, Wyoming, 24-25 
Wheeler, Denice, The Feminine Frontier: Wyoming Women 1850-1900, review, 

Wiley, Solon, 25 
Wunderlich, Reverend A. C, 25 
Wyoming Plant and Feed Breeding Company, 25 


Young, Brigham, 9-11 

Your Life & Times— How to Put a Life Story on Tape: An Oral History Hand- 
book, by Stephen and Julia Arthur, review, 50 



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. Lar- 
son, Laramie, 1957-58; A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins, 1958-59; Mrs. Thelma G. Con- 
dit, 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, Torrington, 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; 
William F. Bragg, Jr., Casper, 1980-81; Don Hodgson, Torrington, 1981-82, Clara 
Jensen, Lysite-Casper, 1982-83; Fern Gaensslen, Green River, 1983-84; Dave 
Kathka, Rock Springs, 1984-85; Mary Garman, Sundance, 1985-86; Ellen Mueller, 

Membership information may be obtained from the Executive Headquarters, 
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, Mary Nielsen, Cody 

First Vice President, Loren Jost, Riverton 
1987-88 Second Vice-President, Lucille Dumbrill, Newcastle 
Officers Secretary-Treasurer, Roseine Church, Cheyenne 

Executive-Secretary, David Kathka 

Coordinator, Judy West 



Volume 60, No. 2 FaU, 1988 


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. The State 
Historic Preservation Office is also located in the Department. 


Frank Bowron, Casper, Chairman 

Lucille Clarke Dumbrill, Newcastle 

George Zebre, Kemmerer 

Tom Mangan, Laramie 

Bill Bruce Hines, Gillette 

Gladys Hill, Douglas 

Gretel Ehrlich, Shell 

George Zeimans, Lingle 

Mary Guthrie, Attorney General's Office, Ex-officio 


Lawrence A. Cardoso 

David Kathka 

William H. Moore 

Robert L. Munkres 

ABOUT THE COVER— J. E. Stimson photographed Fremont Peak (13,744 ft.) of the Wind River Mountains in 
September, 1937. The peak was named for John C. Fremont, U.S. Army Engineer and famed western explorer. 
On August 15, 1842, Fremont climbed what he claimed to be the highest peak in that range. There is some question, 
however, if Fremont climbed Fremont Peak or Mt. Woodrow Wilson (13,502 ft.). No matter which one, his claim 
still would not have been accurate because the highest summit in the Wind Rivers is Gannett (13,804 ft.). For a 
detailed discussion of Fremont's climb see "Fremont in the Wind Rivers, " by fames R. Wolf in this issue. (AMH 



Volume 60, No. 2 
Fall, 1988 


Mike Sullivan 


David Kathka 


Rick Ewig 


Jean Brainerd 
Roger Joyce 
Ann Nelson 


Kathy Flores 
Judy West 


Paula West-Chavoya 
Carroll Jones 
Ed Fowler 



by James R. Wolf 


by Jim Dullenty and Mary Stoner Hadley 


The Politics of Conquest 22 

by Robert L. Munkres 


Letters from Robert Mills 32 

edited by Jean Brainerd 


by Susan Hughes 





ANNALS OF WYOMING is published biannually in the Spring and Fall by the Wyoming 
State Press. It is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical Society as the of- 
ficial publication of that organization. Copies of previous and current issues may be purchased 
from the Editor. Correspondence should be addressed to the Editor. Published articles repre- 
sent 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 1988 by the Wyoming State Press 

"View of the Wind River Mountains, " from Fremont's official report. The artist was at Lester Pass. Island Lake is in the valley beyond the spur 
ridge in the middle ground. 


by James R. Wolf 



-^4 ^ 


John C. Fremont led an expedition to the Wind River 
Mountains in the summer of 1842. While there, he climbed 
one of the highest peaks in the range. His journal reveals 
far more to us, though, than the identity of this summit. 
With the aid of modern topographic maps and the diary 
of Fremont's cartographer, Charles Preuss, the journal 
describes an itinerary that can be followed closely today. ^ 

Fremont, a lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical 
Engineers, set out under orders that were deliberately 
vague. He was to make a survey of the Platte River, to the 
head of the Sweetwater, which would take him as far as 
South Pass. He was authorized to extend this survey "in- 
to the mountains," as he employed voyageurs to go there 
with him. Preuss, for one, appreciated that the expedition 
would spend some time on the western slope; and no 
doubt this was the common understanding. Fremont's 
actual goal of scaling the high peaks, though, seems to 
have been his own idea and one which, he acknowledges, 
went "beyond the strict order of our instructions. "- 

The party numbered about 30 in all— mostly French- 
Canadian veterans of the fur trade, along with Kit Carson 
as guide, Lucien Bonaparte Maxwell as hunter and the car- 
tographer Preuss. They set out from today's Kansas City 
area on June 10. Despite warnings regarding the hostile 
intentions of Indians west of Fort Laramie— of sufficient 
concern to induce Kit Carson to make his wUl— Fremont 
led them farther west, up the North Platte and Sweetwater. 
They then swung north on a route that was to become the 
Lander Cutoff on the Oregon Trail. After crossing Little 
Sandy and Big Sandy creeks, they continued on to the East 
Fork River, opposite the large hUls now known as Fremont 
Butte, where they camped on August 9.^ 

The morning of August 10 was glorious. New Fork 
Peak glittered in the first rays of the sun. And as the sun 
shot above the long mountain wall to the east, a magical 
change left the whole valley glowing and bright. The unex- 
pected boldness of the broad streams was cause for some 
concern, though Fremont characterized his surprise in this 
regard as an agreeable disappointment.^ 

The East Fork makes a sharp bend at Fremont Butte, 
curving westward toward the Green River Valley. The 
party followed the river, therefore, only for a couple of 
miles before turning off to the north. From this point they 
were able to see the tops of the high peaks, prompting Fre- 
mont to write that they "were now approaching the loft- 
iest part of the Wind River chain. "^ 

The route led through very broken ground, among 
long rocky ridges. The party would have had to drop a 
short way into Elk Gulch before climbing through a long 
ravine to a ridgeline. There they unexpectedly came in view 
of Boulder Lake, "set like a gem in the mountains." Fre- 
mont Peak and other summits were again in sight in the 
distance, almost due north; the young lieutenant aimed 
for them as nearly as he could, avoiding more roundabout 
courses that might have been easier to travel. '' 

The immediate obstacle, though, was Boulder Lake, 
which lay transversely across the route. It would have been 


simple to ride westward along the ridge, at an easy grade, 
toward the outlet of the lake. But, for reasons that are 
obscure the party made a steep descent down the north 
side— so steep, in fact, that it was necessary to dismount 
and lead the horses. After the initial drop, they proceeded 
without difficulty to the lower end of the lake, where "a 
view of the utmost magnificence and grandeur burst upon 
our eyes" — a reference to snow-capped peaks such as Mt. 
Bonneville in the distance beyond the tree-covered lower 
slopes of the range. ^ 

The level of Boulder Lake has been raised a few feet 
by the construction of a low dam. Fortunately, though, this 
has not flooded the difficult ford of Boulder Creek, between 
low hills, about 150 yards below the spillway. The bed of 
the stream is still an accumulation of rocks, boulders and 
broad slabs; and even today dark lodgepole pines overhang 
its banks.* 

The night of August 10 was spent in an aspen grove 
on the north shore of the lake.^ The expedition remained 
in camp the following day as well. As some of the men 
and animals were to be left there while Fremont rode up 
to the mountains, they spent the time building a breast- 
work for defense against the Blackfeet, who were thought 
to frequent the area.'" 

Fifteen men set out early in the morning of August 12." 
They did not head up the ridge between Boulder Lake and 
Burnt Lake, as it is sometimes supposed. ^^ Fremont 
specifically wrote that they crossed the ridge and soon 
heard the roar and had a glimpse of a waterfall— the 
cascades of Fall Creek about a quarter mile or so above its 
confluence with Meadow Creek. These were the two "fine 
streams" that had to be forded— Fall Creek well below the 
outlet of Burnt Lake and Meadow Creek just above 
Meadow Lake." 

Entering the mountains, the party took a course that 
is now known as the Timico Lake Trail; it is a gradual and 
easy ascent in forest. About two hours' ride from camp 
led to the top of the first plateau. Here they overlooked 
a deep valley that was occupied by three connecting lakes; 
tree-covered slopes rose precipitously from the shores to 
a height of 500 to 1,000 feet. The description fits only one 
place: the chain from Belford Lake northward to Junction 
Lake. The guides had never been there before, and it is 
quite possible that the lakes were unknown even to the 
wandering trappers of the region, as Fremont speculated." 

The party descended the valley, following the margin 
of the lake where they could. Although the steep slopes 
and deadfall slowed them down, they managed to ford the 
outlet of Junction Lake (i.e., Pole Creek) in time to stop 
for lunch. Fremont described a pretty, open spot, with fine 
grass and a sandy beach, at the outlet." 

The journey resumed with a climb up the ridge on the 
western side of Junction Lake. The terrain was difficult, 
even for people on foot. Fremont noted that they chose 
a course a little inland "in search of smoother ground," 
implying that the steep slopes presented an obstacle that 
had to be overcome. The ascent took them through aspens 

and back into coniferous forest. When they reached the 
top, above the upper end of Junction Lake, they were able 
to look out over several lakes, at different levels, on Pole 
Creek. They could hear the roar of the "foaming torrents" 
that connected one lake to the next. From this vantage 
point it was apparent that they would have to follow a 
roundabout course along the ridge instead of descending 
into the deep valley that lay on the direct line to the high 

The ride that afternoon occasionally crossed meadows 
which resembled cultivated grounds, but more often was 
a passage through coniferous forest. At one point it was 
so rocky that the surface consisted solely of hollows and 
crevices, lacking vegetation altogether. One place that fits 
this description is half a mile east of Marys Lake. Here the 
expedition was able to swing eastward, generally along to- 
day's Pole Creek Trail, until they reached their camp in 
a "hole in the mountains."'^ 

The campsite of August 12 was on Monument Creek. 
More precisely, the camp was situated where the Pole 
Creek Trail now fords that stream. The meadow above is 
"a level bottom of perhaps eighty yards width, where the 
grass was saturated" and the sluggish watercourse has a 
scarcely perceptible current, just as the journal indicates. 
While supper was being prepared, Fremont climbed the 
ridge to the east, to knoll 10357, from which he made some 
important observations. First, he ascertained that the party 
would be able to continue, by a smooth gradual slope, 
directly toward the peak which they had previously de- 
cided to be the "highest of the range." In fact, the ap- 
proach does not appear to be all that smooth, but at least 
it does seem negotiable, and perhaps that was enough for 
him to be satisfied and to declare it "so fine a road for the 
next day." The route he had in mind would take him up 
the valley of Monument Creek and then up the south slope 
of Lester Pass, through which he could once again see Fre- 
mont Peak. That mountain, which he thought to be the 
highest, would then be in easy reach. The second obser- 
vation was in the opposite direction, down "the long green 
valley of some stream, which ... far away to the south 
found its way in a dense forest to the plains." This is a 
reference to the Chain Lakes. Although they appear from 
knoll 10357 to drain to the south, they actually are discon- 
nected, with their outlets headed down both Pole and 
Boulder creeks. The description shows that Fre'mont was 
not previously acquainted with the Chain Lakes and thus 
corroborates the postulated route of approach via Belford 
and Junction Lakes." 

The morning of August 13 was bright and pleasant, 
and the expedition rode up the slopes for about three 
miles— mostly over a carpet of grass that was brightened 
by yellow flowers, though occasionally a narrow ledge 
slowed them down. Eventually they came to Lake Nelson, 
from which they climbed to the ridge at Lester Pass, 
slightly above 11,000 feet. The scene from the pass, "a 
gigantic disorder of enormous masses, and a savage 
sublimity of naked rock," is represented by the drawing 

Fremont climbed Mt. Woodrow Wilson, on the far left, and described it as the highest point in the range. What did he 
make of Gannett Peak, the snowy summit on the right? The vieiv is from Dinwoody Peak, a mile east ofMt. Woodroiv Wilson. 

Kit Carson reached the Continental Divide between massive Fremont Peak (center) and Mt. Jackson (right). The next day 
Fremont led his party up the Titcomb Valley, on the left. 










lH^-*^ ?"',»'- 4' •>«-^:«:. 


''!'", .' ' "^ -I 


BSH^: . -kk ' ^r« 

in Fremont's report that is captioned "View of the Wind 
River Mountains."" 

The view from Lester Pass was in fact a mixed bless- 
ing. The commander had been approaching the mountains 
with ever increasing confidence that the highest point was 
today's Fremont Peak and that it was readily accessible. 
This judgment was suddenly open to doubt, for other lofty 
summits came into sight to the north. We now know that 
one of them, Gannett Peak, is the most elevated point in 
the range— 13,804 feet, or 60 feet higher than Fremont 
Peak. To the observer at Lester Pass, though, very little 
of Gannett is visible; much of the mountain, including its 
high point, lies hidden behind Mt. Woodrow Wilson. 
Whatever reservations Fremont might have had, he ap- 
parently resolved to carry out the original plan, which was 
to climb the mountain he had long regarded as the highest, 
i.e., Fremont Peak. 

Leaving the mules and a few men at Lester Pass, Fre- 
mont and several of the party set out with the overam- 
bitious aim of climbing the mountain and returning to 
camp by nightfall. They took a course directly for Fremont 
Peak, one which forced them to climb over a spur ridge. ^° 
Because of the difficulties of the route, they needed several 
hours to reach the south side of Island Lake. The scenery 
there, including the lake and the mountains, is represented 
in rather fanciful fashion by a plate— the frontispiece in Fre- 
mont's 1843 report— labeled "Central Chain of the Wind 
River Mountains."-^ 

They continued around the east end of Island Lake, 
which they named, passing a beach of white sand and 
some rocky seeps. They found a splendid campsite, close 
to a waterfall that tumbled down toward the lake. Search- 
ing for food, they thought they heard a goat, but the bleat 
turned out to be the call of the diminutive pika, "with short 
ears and no tail." Fremont also noted a small bird "like 
a sparrow"— probably a water pipit. There were scarlet 
flowers in abundance— no doubt Parry's primroses (not, 
as Fremont states, shootingstars). They were at timberline, 
which they estimated to be 10,000 feet above sea level. ^^ 

Cold and hungry, they set out early on the morning 
of August 14. The plan was still to climb Fremont Peak. 
They started out correctly, heading up roaring waters to 
an ice-covered lake in Indian Basin. From here, the easiest 
route follows a ridge up the southwest side of the moun- 
tain. Unfortunately, they overlooked this route and, in- 
stead, tried to ascend the ice fields on the south side. Each 
climber picked his own way, with Kit Carson making the 
best progress. He managed to climb all the way to one of 
the snowy summits of the main ridge— i.e., the Continen- 
tal Divide to the southeast of Fremont Peak— but the peak 
was still far out of reach. Disappointed at their lack of suc- 
cess, they turned back to Island Lake to spend the night. 
Fre'mont had meanwhile sent one of the men, Basil 
Lajeunesse, back to Lester Pass to pick up supplies. He 
had returned with blankets and provisions, so they were 
once again comfortable and secure.-^ 

The climactic day was August 15, when they were at 

Mt. Woodrow Wilson, as viewed from the south (along Fremont's route 
of climb). 

last successful in reaching a high summit on the Continen- 
tal Divide. According to Fre'mont, their goal was the "main 
peak." He called it Snow Peak, "as it exhibited more snow 
to the eye than any of the neighboring summits." This is 
a proper description of Mt. Woodrow Wilson, as seen from 
the Titcomb Valley. The six men in the exploring party 
passed the Titcomb Lakes. Above them, as Fre'mont rightly 
noted, a serrated line of broken, jagged cones rose nearly 
perpendicular. The route was indeed the "fine passage" 
mentioned in the report— one of the most beautiful places 
to be found anywhere in the Rocky Mountains.^* 

About 500 yards above the upper lake, they turned the 
mules they were riding loose to graze. Straight ahead was 
the couloir leading to Din woody Pass. Their route lay more 
to the west, up the left fork of the creek and on up to the 
snowfields on the south face of Woodrow Wilson. The final 
summit climb required cautious maneuvers. Fortunately, 
though, the rock was almost entirely free from snow.^' 

Fremont "sprang upon the summit, and another step 
would have precipitated me into an immense snowfield 
five hundred feet below"— Dinwoody Glacier. The view 
encompassed tributaries of the Colorado, Yellowstone and 
Platte rivers; and the Tetons could be identified to the 
northwest. The direction of the central ridge of the Wind 
Rivers was 141 °, an observation that fits Woodrow Wilson 
precisely. 2* 

The skyline of Knife Point Mountain 
is directly above the waterfall at 
Fremont's Island Lake camp. Knife 
Point's serrations inspired Charles 
Preuss to draw his "Central Chain of 
the Wind River Mountains. " 

Looking north, from the spur ridge 
before Island Lake, toward snowy Mt. 
Woodrow Wilson (on the far left) and 
Fremont Peak (on the right). Gannett 
Peak is all but completely masked by 
Mt. Woodrow Wilson. From this 
perspective Fremont Peak might be 
regarded as the highest summit. 

It was a marvelous accomplishment, but it is sullied 
by Fremont's untruthful claim that he "had climbed the 
loftiest peak of the Rocky Mountains." He could be ex- 
cused for believing the Wyoming mountains to be higher 
than those of Colorado, but there was Gannett Peak star- 
ing him in the face. Scarcely a mile away, there could be 
no question of its superior elevation. A 300-foot differen- 
tial at that distance cannot be mistaken. 2'' 

Consider the pride and disappointment that must have 
marked the moment. The celebration was recorded even 
by the dour Preuss, who wrote that "pistols were fired, 
the flag unfurled, and we shouted 'hurrah' several 
times. "^* But the discovery of Gannett Peak was a shock. 
As noted above, its summit snowfield had appeared from 
Lester Pass to be part of the same mass as Mt. Woodrow 
Wilson. 2' Preuss' journal provides some more evidence of 
their expectations. According to the diary, Fremont had 
explained in the morning that they would try to ride their 
mules to the base of the last of the very high peaks, which 
they would then fry to climb. This makes sense if they 
thought they were indeed going to attack the highest sum- 
mit. On the other hand, if they had recognized in advance 
that Gannett was the last high peak, there would have 
been no reason to think they could get to its base and then 
reach its top.^" 

It was about two o'clock when they left Mt. Woodrow 
Wilson, having felt the exultation of first explorers. Return- 
ing to Island Lake at nightfall without further incident, they 
lay down on the rock and, in spite of the cold, slept sound- 

The return trip is treated only sketchily in Fremont's 
report. The party certainly recrossed Lester Pass, but in- 
stead of approaching it over the high, rocky spur that had 
tired them a few days earlier, they found an easier way 
(along today's Indian Pass Trail and Highline Trail). ^^ 
Rather than fight their way across Pole Creek and around 
Junction Lake, they then dropped directly down to the 
valley, fording Pole Creek at Half Moon Lake." Everything 
went well, and by dusk on August 16, all were assembled 
once more at Boulder Lake. They cheerfully turned home- 
ward, stopping the next two nights at Fremont Butte and 
at Little Sandy River. Fremont noted that the expedition 
stood exactly on the divide in South Pass, where the wagon 
road crossed, at 10 o'clock on August 19.3"' Halting that 
night on the Sweetwater, they again enjoyed the roasted 
ribs of buffalo. ^5 "Good humor and laughter, and song 
were restored to the camp"— a good place, too, for us to 
take our leave. 

JAMES R. WOLF has backpacked extensively along the Continental Divide 
between Canada and Mexico. He is Director of the Continental Divide Trail 
Society, Bethesda, Maryland, and has written several guidebooks about the Trail. 
He has undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University and serves as a senior 
attorney for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 

1. John C. Fremont's journal was published as U.S. Congress, Senate, 
A Report on an Exploration of the Countn/ Lying between the Missouri River 
and the Rocky Mountains, S. Rept. 243, 27th Cong., 3rd Sess., 1843. 
It is included with many other pertinent documents in Donald Jackson 
and Mary Lee Spence, The Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, Vol. 
1 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1970). The diary of John Charles 
Fre'mont is found in Erwin G. and Elisabeth K. Gudde, eds.. Explor- 
ing with Fremont (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1958). The 
feasibility of following the itinerary was established by the author 
during visits to the Wind Rivers in 1987 and 1988. For biographical 
information on Fre'mont (1813-1890), see Allan Nevins, Fremont: 
Pathmaker of the West (New York, 1955). 

2. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, pp. 121-122, 
124, 272; Gudde, Exploring with Fre'mont, p. 33. The objective of the 
expedition was to provide information that would aid emigration to 
Oregon, then jointly occupied with Great Britain, but the instigators 
may have conspired to conceal their political objectives from Presi- 
dent Tyler, who was said to be unsympathetic. See John C. Fremont, 
Memoirs of My Life, Vol. 1 (Chicago: Belford, Clark, 1887), pp. 69-71, 
163-165. Tyler, in fact, seems to have been eager to secure Oregon 
for settlement, but felt that disputes over that country should not 
upset the then-ongoing northeastern boundary negotiations. He may 
have signified his approval of the expedition, while wishing to 
preserve, in current parlance, credible deniability. See his Second 
Annual Message, December 6, 1842, in James D. Richardson, Messages 
and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. 4 (Washington, D.C.: 1900), p. 196. 
Information was needed, as settlers were beginning to venture west 
without the guidance and protection of fur trade caravans. Although 
the expedition was of little scientific importance, Fremont's report 
offered emigrants more facts about the route, as far as the Continen- 
tal Divide, than could be gleaned from Irving, Parker, Townsend or 
other published sources. See, for example, the comments about the 
"nature of the road" provided in Jackson and Spence, Expieditions 
of John Charles Fremont, pp. 239-240, "for the satisfaction of travellers." 

3. On August 6, they scrambled up Sweetwater Canyon for five miles 
from its mouth at Chimney Creek, ascended Strawberry Creek past 
the site of Lewiston, making camp near the Mormon cemetery site 
on Rock Creek or on Willow Creek a couple of miles farther west. 
Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, pp. 251-252. 
Fre'mont 's description may be compared with the more prosaic ac- 
count in James R. Wolf, Guide to the Continental Divide Trail, Vol. 3; 
Wyoming (Washington, D.C.: 1980) pp. 129-133. The route on August 
7 took the expedition back to the Sweetwater below Burnt Ranch. 
Because the bluffs crowd the stream, it is safe to assume that they 
proceeded northwest on what was later to become the Lander Cutoff 
on the Oregon Trail. This led them to a camp on the Sweetwater again, 
at the confluence with its East Fork; this can be located with con- 
fidence because the latitude corresponds (within half a mile) to that 
reported by Fre'mont and because access to the river downstream from 
there would be difficult. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles 
Fremont, pp. 252-253. On August 8, they crossed the Continental 
Divide after a ride of six miles; this means that they would have 
traveled south of the Prospect Mountains instead of along Lander 
Creek. Having crossed the summit, they went another eight miles 
before making camp on Little Sandy Creek. Relying once again upon 
the reported latitude, the location would be about four miles north- 
east of Elk Mountain. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles 
Fremont, pp. 253-254. This fits in with the journal's report of a noon 
halt on August 9 on Big Sandy (at Buckskin Crossing) and an after- 
noon ride, with a ford of the East Fork River, to a campsite across 
that stream from Fremont Butte; and, once again, the reported latitude 
checks out. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, 
pp. 245-255. Note, however, that the campsite on August 6 and the 
itinerary of August 7, as described in the text, differ from the line 
of march shown on the map of the expedition. Jackson and Spence, 
Expeditions of John Charles Fre'mont, Map Portfolio, Map 2. The region 
is covered by U.S. Department of the Interior, Public Land User Map, 
Wyoming W: South Pass, 1978. 

4. Here, as elsewhere, Fremont's exact language is taken directly from 
his report. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, 
p. 255. New Fork Peak, so designated on Forest Service maps, but 
called "Mount Baldy" on the U.S.G.S. Horseshoe Lake Quadrangle, 
is only 11, 867 feet in elevation. Its isolated location west of the main 
range makes it prominent from the valley. Fremont identified it as 
"a lofty snow peak," though these days it would exhibit only a few 
patches of snow in August. It has been suggested, on the basis of 
scattered statements (including one of Fremont's), that "much more 
snow remained in the mountains in summer during the nineteenth 
century than at present." John H. Moss, Early Man in the Eden Valley 
(Philadelphia: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania; 1951), 
p. 25. But those reports probably signify only that there had been 
a summer storm ephemerally blanketing the higher elevations or that 
the authors were straining for literary effect. The snow conditions 
described in Fremont's report are remarkably consistent with the 
present situation. See also the sketches of Alfred Jacob Miller; 
although they are not strictly representational, the snow conditions 
they depict look accurate to the modern eye. E.g., "Lake and Moun- 
tain Scene," in Marvin C. Ross, The West of Alfred Jacob Miller (Nor- 
man: University of Oklahoma Press, 1951), pi. 104 (number 230 in 
catalogue raisonne, in Ron Tyler, ed. Alfred Jacob Miller: Artist on the 
Oregon Trail (Fort Worth, Texas: 1982). A sketch made at South Pass 
on August 1, 1849, with a few isolated snow patches on the higher 
mountains, could also be used for purposes of comparison. Georgia 
Willis Read and Ruth Gaines, eds.. Gold Rush: The Journals, Draw- 
ings and Other Papers of J. Goldsborough Bruff (New York; Columbia 
University, 1949), p. 61. The marvelous Seneca Lake photograph by 
William H. Jackson shows an almost snow-free Fremont Peak in 1878. 
Clarence S. Jackson, Picture Maker of the Old West (New York: C. 
Scribner's Sons, 1947), p. 96. 

5. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, p. 255. Set- 
ting out in the morning, they quickly crossed Silver Creek. Soon they 
had to ride up a low ridge that runs all the way to the bank of the 
East Fork River (U.S.G.S. Boulder Lake Quadrangle). Here they 
turned north. 

6. Ibid. The only ravine that fits the description is the site of Boulder 
Lake Reservoir No. 7. From the ridge, at elevation 7,950 ft., the author 
observed the high peaks and made a tentative identification of Gan- 
nett Peak (13,804 ft.) as well as Fremont Peak (13,744 ft.). From this 
perspective, the latter could be regarded (in line with Fremont s 
assessment) as the tallest summit. 

7. Ibid., pp. 255-256. Map 2 shows the route descending the ridge to 
the north and then turning sharply to the west. Perhaps Fremont's 
purpose was to examine the prospects for circling around the east 
end of the lake. In short, he would have concluded that this eastern 
route, which in fact would have been a good way up Boulder Creek, 
was too indirect. Fremont reported that the lake was about three miles 
long, a slight underestimate. He also characterized it as being of very 
irregular width, which would have seemed to be the case at its western 
end, where a narrow spit juts out into the water. Preuss also men- 
tioned the distant snow peaks that can be seen from the west end 
of Boulder Lake; he referred to the steep slopes to the north and south 
of the lake, which are about 700 feet high (or somewhat more), in 
line with his estimate. Gudde, Exploring with Fremont, p. 37. 

8. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions with John Charles Fremont, p. 256. 
Preuss wrote that, having dismounted, he forded the stream (he called 
it the third New Fork) with water up to his belly. Gudde, Exploring 
-with Fremont, p. 37. At its deepest point in 1987, though, it was barely 
knee-deep. The reference to the third New Fork implies familiarity 
with the Bonneville map of the sources of the Colorado and Big Salt 
Lake, reproduced in Washington Irving, The Adventures of Captain Bon- 
neville (New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1898; reprint 
ed., Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961), p. 154, which 
labels and portrays the New Fork and its branches quite well (the 
first two branches being the East Fork River and Silver Creek); note 
also, on the map, the good representation of Fremont Butte. Gudde's 

mention of the river which empties "into" the lake, rather than "out 
of" the lake, misinterprets the diarist's barely legible script; the 
manuscript, in the Library of Congress, appears to read, "Der Fluss 
. . . der sich aus dem See ergiesst . . . ." 
9. Most of the terrain is covered with sagebrush, so the patch of trees 
stands out. The Bureau of Land Management has placed a small camp- 
ground there. Fremont erred in identifying the trees as beeches, rather 
than the aspens mentioned by Preuss. Jackson and Spence, Expedi- 
tions of John Charles Fremont, p. 259; and Gudde, Exploring with Fre- 
mont, p. 37. The wild garlic reported by Preuss is no longer evident, 
perhaps because of the change in water level. 

10. Fremont's information about the Indians may have come from Irving, 
who places the Blackfeet tribes on the southern branches of the 
Yellowstone and Missouri. Irving, Bonneville, p. 51. This area, as 
drawn on the Irving map, note 8 above, is the "pass at the north 
end of the mountain" that Fre'mont regarded as "generally infested 
by Blackfeet." Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fre'- 
mont, p. 259. None of the Indians identified by Irving as being 
Blackfeet are recorded in the Wind River Mountains, but Irving's 
hostile "Gros Ventre of the Prairies" (the Atsinas) were known to 
pass through the area occasionally on visits to their probable kinsmen, 
the Arapahoes. Irving, Bonneville, p. 51. They were sometimes re- 
garded as a band of Blackfeet. Col. H. Dodge, Report on the Expedi- 
tion of Dragoons to the Rocky Mountains in 1835, quoted in Z. Gussow, 
Arapaho-Cheyenne Indians (New York, 1974), p. 71. As late as 1860, 
visitors continued to be apprehensive about the presence of 
"Blackfeet" west of the Wind Rivers. See U.S. Congress, Senate, 
W. F. Raynolds, Report on the Exploration of the Yellowstone River, S. 
Rep. 77, 40th Cong., 1st Sess., 1868, p. 93. 

11. Nine of the party can be identified— Fre'mont, Carson, Preuss, Max- 
well, Basil Lajeunesse, Clement Lambert, Honore' Avot, Auguste 
Jardsse and Descoteaux. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles 
Fre'mont, pp. 266-267. 

12. The ridge would have been a good approach to the mountains. Out- 
fitter Otis Skinner is among those who believe the party followed 
that route. Personal communication with Otis Skinner. But this woiild 
have seemed circuitous to Fre'mont. He chose to make a beeline 
toward Fremont Peak, which he had seen from the south side of 
Boulder Lake and which was again visible once he had ridden up 
the ridge north of the lake. Moreover, the hypothetical ridgetop route 
cannot be reconciled with the written record. 

13. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fre'mont, p. 256; 
U.S.G.S. Boulder Lake and Fayette Lake Quadrangles. The sight and 
sound of waterfalls, from the unmapped road 400 yards to the south, 
is as described by Fre'mont. The road does not appear on the 1964 
Boulder Lake map. 

14. Camp at Boulder Lake was at 7,300 ft. above sea level. The Timico 
Lake Trail starts at Meadow Lake, at 7,900 ft. Belford Lake is at 9,600 
ft. To the north lies a small lake at 9,155 ft., which feeds into Junc- 
tion Lake at 9,048 ft. Belford Lake is actually separated from the others 
by a low ridge. The author did not personally examine the route from 
Meadow Lake to Junction Lake; it is suggested, though, that the small 
hill (9,640 -I- ft.) on the west side of Belford Lake would offer the view 
precisely as described. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles 
Fre'mont, pp. 259-260; Fayette Lake Quadrangle. 

15. The author was unable to ford Pole Creek by foot from the north side, 
but it might prove to be more practicable for a mounted party. Neither 
Fre'mont nor Preuss mentioned any particular difficulty getting across. 
Another problematic point is that the shore of Junction Lake is a steep, 
rocky hillside— not the pretty place to rest described in the official 
report. Fre'mont noted some floating willows freshly barked by 
beavers. He also referred to "small brown squirrels" (red squirrels) 
jumping about in the pines and mallard ducks swimming in the 
stream. Barrow's goldeneyes can be observed there nowadays and 
well may have been the ducks that Fre'mont saw. Jackson and Spence, 
Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, p. 260; Gudde, Exploring with Fre- 
mont, p. 39. 


16. An investigation of practicable stock routes from Pole Creek to the 
ridgetop is needed. Whatever way Fremont went, his description of 
the \iew precisely matches the vista from the 9,600-foot contour 
overlooking the north end of Junction Lake. U.S.G.S. Fayette Lake 
Quadrangle; Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, 
p. 260. At the lookout, Fremont Peak is blocked by Mt. Lester. 

17. U.S.G.S. Bridger Lakes Quadrangle; Jackson and Spence, Expeditions 
of John Charles Fremont, p. 261. 

18. Ibid. 

19. U.S.G.S. Bridger Lakes Quadrangle; Jackson and Spence, Expeditions 
of John Charles Fremont, pp. 261-264 (which erroneously identified this 
plate as the 1843 report's frontispiece). The drawing is a fair 
representation of the view, with the rampart from Mt. Helen to Fre- 
mont Peak on the right and a slightly lower peak (Mt. Woodrow 
Wilson) in the center. Note, also, the low ridge in the middle 
distance— the spur that the party would have to climb before reaching 
Island Lake. It appears that Preuss was the draftsman, as Fremont 
gave him credit for making "topographical sketches." Gudde, Ex- 
ploring with Fremont, p. xxiv, note 5. 

20. U.S.G.S. Bridger Lakes Quadrangle; Jackson and Spence, Expeditions 
of John Charles Fremont, p. 262. The party dropped 500 feet from Lester 
Pass, roughly on today's Highline Trail, then regained nearly as much 
elevation while scrambling north, over the rocky spur, then de- 
scending 600 feet or so, to the southern tip of Island Lake. When 
an official route selection is made, the Continental Divide National 
Scenic Trail is expected to track Fremont's route on the hillside below 
Lester Pass. The spur ridge is rocky and steep, though not the jum- 
ble that the expedition report indicated. 

One might suppose that the "few men" left in charge of the mules 
were four in number, since four men who had been with the animals 
are reported later to have relieved those who accompanied Lajeunesse 
to pick up supplies on August 14. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions 
of lohn Charles Fremont, pp. 262, 266. But, if eight men switched off, 
and there were a total of fifteen in the party, see note 11 above, that 
would have left only seven others. Yet we know of nine who did 
not trade places: Lajeunesse, who rode both ways; Carson, Preuss 
and Janisse, who were busy climbing; Fre'mont himself, with whom 
remained Maxwell and Ayot; and Lambert and Descoteaux, who had 
been taken ill, but who remained in camp and joined the climb the 
next day. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, pp. 
265-267. The arithmetic would work out if the switch was three for 
three instead of four for four; there is evidence that this was the case, 
as Preuss wrote that the animals were left "under the guard of three 
men." Gudde, Exploring with Fremont, p. 40. 

21. U.S.G.S. Bridger Lakes Quadrangle; Jackson and Spence, Expeditions 
of John Charles Fre'mont, pp. 263-268. Island Lake had previously been 
visited by members of Sir William Stewart's party in 1837, as shown 
by the sketches of Alfred Jacob Miller. Some of these portray the lake, 
with the Mt. Helen-Fremont Peak mass beyond, with sufficient fidelity 
to place the artist on the spot. Besides Ross, West of Miller, pi. 104, 
n. 4 above, see "Lake, Wind River, Chain of Mountains," in Larry 
Curry, The American West (New York: Viking Press, Inc., 1972), pi. 2 
(catalogue raisonne 211 in Tyler, Alfred Jacob Miller). Tho latter includes 
a massive snow-covered peak in the distance— which may be only 
a flight of imagination, but on the other hand might demonstrate 
awareness that Gannett Peak lay to the north. See note 29. 

One of Stewart's men was Francois Lajeunesse, whose brother 
Basil was a member of Fre'mont's party. Francois may have passed 
on information about Island Lake and vicinity, but nothing about the 
climbs. On this point, we have Miller's note (accompanying pi. 104 
in Ross) that "we wanted to go to the tops of the glittering peaks above 
us. The truth is the Sirens were singing to us, and very like fools 
we were listening too. At last a strong practical voice placed a veto 
on the project, and if Ulysses in Sicily could have possessed himself 
of the same determined will, he need not have filled his sailors' ears 
with wax." 

It has been suggested that the "Central Chain" plate represents 


the Cirque of the Towers behind Dads Lake. Orrin H. and Lorraine 
Bonney, Guide to the Wyoming Mountains and Wilderness Areas (Denver: 
Sage Books, 1960). That cannot be, though, because the 1842 expedi- 
tion never was near that part of the range. The probable explanation 
is that the field drawing was made (by Preuss) as soon as Fre'mont 
reached Island Lake, and before he became ill. That was either about 
4:00 p.m., or as early as 11:00 a.m., or some time in between. Jackson 
and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, p. 263; Gudde, Ex- 
ploring with Fremont, p. 40. Since they had hopes of making the climb 
of Fremont Peak the same day, the earlier hour is probably closer 
to the mark. Two landmarks can be used for orientation— the island 
and, to its left, the faintly drawn waterfall. If these are accurate, the 
"Central Chain" is a view due east from the west side of Island Lake 
(half a mile from its southern tip). The conical peaks are a fantastic 
representation of Knife Point Mountain on the Continental Divide. 
U.S.G.S. Bridger Lakes and Fremont Peak South Quadrangles. Alfred 
Jacob Miller seems to have been similarly inspired, in the "Pipe of 
Peace at the Rendezvous," Tyler 33 (catalogue raisonne 170A). 

22. U.S.G.S. Bridger Lakes Quadrangle; Jackson and Spence, Expeditions 
of John Charles Fremont, pp. 263-265. The route past the sandy beach 
moves about 300 yards back from the shore, to bypass the headland 
that abuts the lake. The elevation of Island Lake is actually 10,346 
feet, it is at timberline, as noted by Fremont. The editors describe 
the route between Boulder Lake and Island Lake as "stiU conjectural." 
So far as is known, the present discussion marks the first effort to 
locate this route in detail. 

Fremont identified the small animal as the "Siberian squirrel," 
an allusion to the pika's extensive range; the pika is closely related 
to the rabbits and hares, not to squirrels or other rodents. See U.S. 
Congress, House, Reports of Explorations and Surveys (Pacific Railroad 
Surveys), House Report 91, VIII:618, 33rd Congress, 2nd Sess., 1857. 
The pipit is "like a sparrow," but with a thinner bill; it is the com- 
monest bird above timberline in the Wind Rivers. The other candidate 
is the more furtive white-crowned sparrow; it is not merely "like" 
a sparrow, but is a characteristic member of the finch family. Parry's 
primroses and shootingstars are members of the same family, 
Primulaceae. The former were not recognized and described in the 
scientific literature until 1862, so it is hardly surprising that the 
specimens were assumed to be shootingstars. A good popular ac- 
count of the natural history of Island Lake appears in Lydia June, 
"A Trip to the Wind River Range," Appalachia, 42 (new ser.) 
(December 15, 1979): 118-126. 

Fremont himself was not well educated in botanical matters. Ac- 
cording to Preuss, Fre'mont "knows nothing about mineralogy or 
botany. Yet he collects every trifle in order to have it interpreted later 
in Washington and to brag about it in his report." Gudde, Exploring 
with Fremont, p. 35. In fact, Fre'mont quite freely disavowed any scien- 
tific knowledge about his specimens, writing in this regard to John 
Torrey, on March 11, 1843, that he would "claim no other credit that 
what may be due to having collected them under circumstances of 
considerable hardship and privation." Jackson and Spence, Expedi- 
tions of John Charles Fremont, p. 161. 

23. U.S.G.S. Bridger Lakes and Fremont Peak South Quadrangles; 
Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, pp. 265-266; 
Gudde, Exploring with Fremont, pp. 41-43. For recent accounts of the 
climbers' route, see descriptions of the South Face in Bonney, Guide 
to Wyoming Mountains, p. 114, and Joe Kelsey, Climbing and Hiking 
in the Wind River Mountains (San Francisco: 1980), p. 198. According 
to these writers, a summit attempt on this route should be under- 
taken by climbers with experience in rope technique and belaying. 
Compare the efforts of Preuss to walk along the upper edge of an 
ice field with Kelsey's advice to cross the upper part of the snow 
couloir that is the most conspicuous feature of the south face. Note 
also that Carson (and Janisse) had cUmbed to a ridge where they 
found "so much hard snow on the other side that 0anisse) did not 
want to chance carrying the barometer." Gudde, Exploring with Fre- 
mont, p. 42. Bonney characterized the same place, on the Continen- 

tal Divide, as having a large "gully {hard snow) to the E, which drops 
steeply from summit." 

Fremont became ill upon reaching Island Lake on August 13 and 
continued so until late in the night, with violent headache and 
vomiting. He reported the same symptoms on the climb the next day, 
becoming better toward sundown after descending to Island Lake 
again. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, pp. 
263-266. "Rapid ascent by unacclimatized persons to altitudes in ex- 
cess of 8,000 feet results in symptoms known as acute mountain 
sickness .... Headache is frequent, may be severe, and may be ac- 
companied by loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting .... Symp- 
toms usually disappear within 24 to 48 hours after arrival at a high 
altitude." James A. Wilkerson, ed.. Medicine for Mountaineering (Seat- 
tle, Washington: 1967), p. 114. 

24. U.S.G.S. Bridger Lakes Quadrangle; Jackson and Spence, Expeditions 
of John Charles Fremont, p. 267. Fremont's climb from Island Lake to 
Mt. Woodrow Wilson is analyzed in detail in Bonney, Guide to Wyo- 
ming Mountains, pp. 98-99. Curiously, Kelsey rejected the Bonney view 
and had Fremont ascend Fremont Peak instead. Kelsey, Climbing in 
Wind River Mountains, p. 57. The author agrees with Bonney. The "ser- 
rated line of cones" refers to the cliffs of Fremont Peak, Mt. Sacagawea 
and Mt. Helen that rise 3,000 feet above the valley. 

25. U.S.G.S. Gannett Peak Quadrangle; Jackson and Spence, Expedi- 
tions of John Charles Fremont, p. 269; Gudde, Exploring with Fremont, 
p. 44. Dinwoody Pass is also known as Bonney Pass. 

26. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, pp. 269-272. 

27. The line of sight to Gannett Peak is approximately 3 degrees above 
the horizontal (tangent = .05). See the photograph of Mt. Woodrow 
Wilson (13,502 ft.) and Gannett Peak (13,804 ft.), as viewed by the 
author from the summit of Mt. Dinwoody (13,480+ ft.). Also see the 
aerial view up Titcomb Valley toward Gannett Peak, with Mt. 
Woodrow Wilson just to its left, in Russell Lamb, Wyoming (Portland, 
Oregon: Charles H. Belding, Graphic Arts Center, 1978), p. 80. Fre- 
mont's claims are characterized only as "incautious," with no sug- 
gestion of falsehood. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles 
Fremont, p. 271, note 73. Bonney also gave Fremont the benefit of 
doubt ("by eye alone, it is doubtful if he could have determined other- 
wise"). Bonney, Guide to Wyoming Mountains, p. 31. Had Fremont 
even mentioned Gannett and speculated about its elevation, his can- 
dor could be accepted; but his complete silence on the subject im- 
plies an intention to misrepresent. 

28. Gudde, Exploring with Fremont, p. 45. 

29. "When approached from the south (as Fremont did), Mt. Woodrow 
Wilson hides all or most of Gannett. Even where the viewpoint shows 
both summits, they blend together so perfectly to appear as one unless 
a person has actual previous knowledge of the situation." Bonney, 
Guide to Wyoming Mountains, p. 31. 

30. The Gudde translation has Fre'mont aim for the base of "the next 
highest peak," i.e., one not so high as Fremont Peak. Gudde, Ex- 
ploring with Fremont, p. 43. The original manuscript seems to refer, 
though, to the "Fuss der letzten hochsten Spitze." 

31. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, p. 272. 

32. Ibid., pp. 272-273. Fre'mont referred to passing "the place where our 
animals had been left, when we first attempted the mountains on 
foot," thus fixing the route via Lester Pass. See also Gudde, Explor- 
ing with Fremont, p. 45. Preuss there complained about the "confu- 
sion of rocks and small lakes" that slowed them down in the morning; 
the rockiest place was probably the descent toward Little Seneca Lake, 
while the little lakes lie along the Highline Trail as it rises to Lester 
Pass. U.S.G.S. Bridger Lakes Quadrangle. 

33. The only evidence of the postulated return route appears in the ex- 
pedition map. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, 
Map Portfolio, Map 2. The faintly-drawn approach route climbs from 
the Boulder Lake campsite to the deep basin of Junction Lake. Note 
the second faint dashed line, a bit farther west, that also connects 
with Boulder Lake. It skirts another small body of water, not men- 
tioned in the text, but apparently Half Moon Lake. In other words, 
the party descended close to today's Sweeney Creek Trail, crossing 
the outlet of Pole Creek (an easy ford) at the northeast corner 
of Half Moon Lake. U.S.G.S. Fayette Lake Quadrangle. The omis- 
sion of Pole Creek from the Preuss map is inexplicable. 

34. Jackson and Spence, Expeditions of John Charles Fre'mont, p. 273. The 
wagon road crossed the Divide at or close to the northwest corner 
of T 28N, R 102W, Section 14, at the latitude reported by Fre'mont. 
This is three miles northwest of Wyoming Highway 28. See U.S.G.S. 
Anderson Ridge Quadrangle. The ruts were those of the fur trade- 
several miles north of what became the original Oregon Trail. The 
first vehicles to pass this way were the twenty wagons of trade goods 
which Captain Benjamin Bonneville drove west to the Green River 
(near present Daniel, Wyoming), in 1832. Irving, Bonnei'ille, pp. 16, 
45-46. In 1836, the Whitman-Spalding party, with the first white 
women to cross the Rockies, brought two light wagons (and hun- 
dreds of animals) over the same route. Bernard DeVoto, /Across the 
Wide Missouri (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1947), pp. 244-246. The 
largest wheeled caravan seems to have been the American Fur Com- 
pany expedition of 1837; the sketches of Alfred Jacob Miller show 
the numerous wagons and carts that traveled to the rendezvous in 
the Daniel area. Louise Barry, Tlw Beginning of the West (Topeka: Kan- 
sas State Historical Society, 1972), p. 323; DeVoto, Across the Wide 
Missouri, pp. 310, 321, 441; Ross, West of Miller, pi. 142. The 1839 
rendezvous, again near Daniel, attracted as few as four two-wheeled 
carts as well as 50 to 60 pack animals. F. A. Wislizenus, A Journei/ 
to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1839 (St. Louis: Missouri Historical 
Society, 1912), pp. 29, 88. But in 1840 a larger caravan followed the 
same track, with thirty carts as well as the four wagons of Oregon- 
bound families. Barry, Beginning of the West, p. 392. Despite this traf- 
fic, the roadway may have been faint— only the year before Fremont's 
expedition, a pioneer emigrant found the tracks near South Pass to 
have been "generally obliterated and thus of no service," John 
Bidwell, Echoes of the Past (Chicago, 1928), p. 34. 

35. The historical record documents the scarcity of bison in the area visited 
by the expedition during the preceding ten days. Moss, Early Man, 
p. 32. 



by Jim Dullenty and 
Mary Stoner Hadley 

September 11, 1911, was a bit warmer than Cokeville, 
Wyoming, residents had a right to expect that late in the 
summer, but otherwise life in the remote little community 
continued its normal, placid pace. If there was a tenseness 
among a few of the residents it was not apparent to the 
great majority. 

It is not likely that young Gene (Imogene) Collett 
would have had any foreboding; she had other things on 
her mind. But September 11, 1911, was a day Gene would 
never forget. 

From a prominent ranching family near Cokeville, 
Gene was a clerk in the Cokeville Mercantile Co. store, 
owned by Ben H. Smalley. It was Gene's job every day 
about 3 p.m. to walk a couple of blocks straight down the 
street and deposit the day's receipts in the State Bank of 

Smalley always made sure he was in the store when 
Gene walked to the bank so he could wait on customers. 
September 11 was no different as Gene took the money 
bag and headed for the bank. 

She may have been lost in her thoughts as she walked 
because much was happening in Gene's life. She was 
being "sported" by Roscoe Stoner, certainly the most eligi- 
ble bachelor in town. He was son of Cokeville's founder, 
the late John W. Stoner, and Roscoe had inherited his 
father's large ranch and other business interests. In fact, 
among those interests was the other mercantile in town, 
the Stoner Mercantile Company. 

At one time old penny-pinching John Stoner owned 
all of the land where Cokeville was buUt. He was a small, 
cocky man, who was not very well Uked by the settlers who 
began moving in after he had established a store-trading 
post at what is now Cokeville. But John Stoner had got- 
ten there before any of them. 

Gene could not have known of the devils that haunted 
young Roscoe, that would drive him to hard drink and 
alcoholism and a horrible death. At this point, Roscoe was 
considered a playboy, a roustabout, even a ne'er-do-well— 
but he was Roscoe Stoner, the richest young man in town. 
Gene may have also heard the stories of scandal in the 
Stoner family, that old Abe Stoner, John's brother, was 
in cahoots with outlaw Butch Cassidy and had served time 
in prison. She did know Abe drank a lot and had been 
abandoned by his wife. 

But this was 1911, and Cassidy had not been heard 
from in years. Stories reached Cokeville that he had died 
in South America, but many did not believe it. John W. 
Stoner had died during a visit to his family home in 
Ringold, Maryland, in December, 1907. Abe died three 
years later in Cokeville. The new generation of Stoners ap- 
peared to be a hard-working, law-abiding bunch. 

As for Roscoe, though he was known as a woman- 
chaser, young Gene Collett considered that one more 
challenge. It was not until after they were married that she 
learned of an even greater problem, just how tied he was 
to his mother's apron strings. He was a mama's boy who 

could never quite live up to the reputation his hard-driving 
father had established in little Cokeville. 

If Gene was daydreaming that could be expected. She 
had done this so often she probably never took note of the 
State Bank of Cokeville, housed in one of the least- 
imposing buildings in town. The one-story structure had 
a white board false front, the type so often used as 
backdrops in western movies. 

Gene walked through the door and her heart jumped. 
There was a strange silence in the room and she quickly 
understood what was happening. Two cowboys, their six- 
shooters drawn, had all of the customers and bank 
employees lined up against the wall. She did not have time 
to consider that she was the only woman in the bank. 

It had been a busy day at the store and there was 
several hundred dollars in cash in her receipt bag. She 
thought of that and then it occured to her she knew the 
bank robbers! In fact, everyone in town knew them. They 
were not wearing masks. 

The one she knew best was Charlie Whitney, who 
lived in Cokeville. The other was his brother, Hugh, who 
was considered a major outlaw, especially after that kill- 
ing on the train earlier that summer. Hugh's exploits had 
received tremendous press attention elevating him to 

Abraham "Rocky" Stoner served two sentences in the Wyoming peniten- 
tiary and was the father of Clarence Stoner. 

celebrity status and here he was in the flesh. Just as the 
notion struck her that the Whitney brothers were doing 
the very thing everyone said they would do, Hugh brus- 
quely motioned for her to give him her bag. 

"Nothing doing," Charlie interjected. "We are not 
robbin' women. Let 'er go." 

Hugh quickly pulled back and searching the busi- 
nessmen lined against the wall spotted a cigar in the pocket 
of saloon-owner Earl Haggerty. He grabbed the cigar and 
jammed it into the young woman's mouth. 

"All right, that will keep yer mouth shut; now get out 
of here and let us finish," Hugh commanded. 

Gene was only too happy to comply and walked out 
the door. With her went the largest cache the Whitneys 
could have taken that day. She breathed deeply and 
rushed to the Cokeville Mercantile store. She did not speak 
to anyone on the way nor did she sound the alarm. 

She dashed into the store and threw the money bag 
on the counter. Smalley, astonished, asked "what's the 
matter? Why didn't you deposit the money?" 

"Because they're robbing the bank," was Gene Col- 
lett's simple, matter-of-fact reply. ^ 

For years people recalled this incident when telling the 
story of the bank robbery. It always brought a laugh. Other 
versions were told, including one that Hugh took Gene's 
money and then told her to go to a nearby drugstore to 
wait until the robbery was completed. Dorothy Somsen, 
daughter of Ben Smalley, said Gene took the money back 
to the store. 

The Whitney brothers escaped and were not caught. 
The bank robbery was the biggest event in the history of 
Cokeville. It was also the high water mark of the Whitney 
boys' outlaw career. Although before and after the rob- 
bery all sorts of nefarious activities were attributed to the 
Whitneys, very little has been confirmed. They were out- 
laws for only a short time. What makes their story so 
unusual is what happened following the robbery. 

The story did not end until June 19, 1952, when Charlie 
Whitney surrendered to the governor of Wyoming. That 
made him the last Old West outlaw. His emotional writ- 
ten confession is one of the most unusual documents in 
American outlaw history. 

The focus of the Whitney story was Cokeville, the 
remote community nestled in the hills near the Idaho- 
Wyoming border which in its early years was dominated 
by the Stoner family. The history of the Stoners and 
Whitneys became intertwined. Younger members of both 
families were caught in a complex web of outlawry that 
spread over the Cokeville area starting about the turn of 
the century. 

The rugged country around Cokeville provided ex- 
cellent hideouts and outlaws could be easily supplied from 
town. Butch Cassidy frequented the place and his old 
prison pal, Abraham "Rocky" Stoner, became the "bank" 
for the Wild Bunch. Stoner's role as "bank" for Cassidy 
was revealed in 1977 when a 1934 manuscript written by 
William T. Phillips of Spokane was published. Phillips 


Street scene of Cokeville in 1981. The bank the Whitneys robbed is the small false-front frame building (center right). At the time the photograph 
was taken it ivas a saddle shop. 

claimed to be Cassidy. Even if he was not, he knew in- 
timate details of Cassidy' s life— details which have since 
been confirmed by research. The Phillips manuscript was 
the first indication these two men knew each other. Subse- 
quent research disclosed that Stoner was in the Wyoming 
territorial penitentiary in about 1886 and then from 1893 
to 1897; Cassidy served from 1894 to 1896.^ 

However, Abe Stoner was not a major outlaw and his 
relationship with Cassidy was kept hushed. After a bank 
or train robbery, Cassidy would "deposit" the loot with 
Stoner and come back later to get it. Since most of Cokeville 
knew of this arrangement it is probable that brother John 
also knew. 

Stoner genealogy has been traced to 1340 in Bavaria 
when the name was Von Steiner. After the family came 
to America, they changed the name to Stoner and settled 
in the Leitersburg District of Pennsylvania as early as 1744. 
When the Mason-Dixon dispute shifted the state lines of 
Pennsylvania and Maryland, the Stoner property came 
within the Ringold District of Maryland. ^ The 1850 census 
shows a John Stoner, 43, married to Mary McFerran. Their 
eight children included John W., 13, and Abraham 6, both 
later of Cokeville fame.* 

The Stoners, with their big plantation and slaves, were 
considered wealthy. But the fanuly was divided as were 

many families prior to the Civil War. The older Stoners 
favored slavery and the Corvfederacy. As a result. Union 
soldiers in the Civil War ravished the plantation killing two 
Stoner girls. ^ But the younger Stoners, among them John 
and Abraham, were involved in the underground railroad. 
Their activities in helping slaves reach the North brought 
them into conflict with their neighbors and both boys 
decided to leave home. John W. left in 1861, taking the 
Isthmus of Panama route to California. He was soon fol- 
lowed by Abraham who went overland. Two other brothers 
landed in Kansas and three nephews went west to what 
is now Cokeville. * 

By 1865, John was in Montana where he took up min- 
ing. In 1877, he moved to Soda Springs, Idaho. A few 
months there and he settled in what is now Cokeville. He 
started a trading post in 1878 and that began Cokeville. ^ 
The original store is still standing along with many other 
buildings of the old John W. Stoner ranch. 

In 1892, Stoner returned to Maryland for a girl whose 
parents he had known, Nannie Fogler. On April 5, 1892, 
John and Nannie were married in Smithsburg, Maryland. 
They produced two children, Roscoe P., bom May 15, 1893, 
and Sarah, born February 9, 1896.* 

By 1880, Abe (known as "Rocky") was living as a 
bachelor on Sublette Creek near Cokeville. He went into 

sheep ranching with his brother. But Abe could not stand 
John for long and soon went on his own, usually working 
for others. John was considered something of a shyster; 
he loaned money and then foreclosed. 

Family records indicate Abe may have married a 
woman named Sarah in Cokeville but nothing is known 
of her nor what happened to her. In 1882, Abe married 
Mary Ella Whitney in Paris, Idaho.' This brought the 
Stoner and Whitney clans together. Abe and Mary Ella had 
three children, Clarence A., born 1883, and Guy and 
Grace. Clarence later figured in Cokeville's outlaw history 
when he robbed a train in Oregon. Although his father was 
not a major outlaw, Abe drank a lot and got into trouble 
(the family is not sure what it was) which landed him in 
the Wyoming penitentiary in 1886. 

Abe was serving his second term, for horse theft, when 
he was with Cassidy in the Wyoming penitentiary. Eventu- 
ally, Mary Ella left him and Abe spent his last years drink- 
ing and living alone. He died midway in his trial for theft 
of several bales of wool in 1910.^° 

Mary Ella Whitney had a tough life before she mar- 
ried hard-drinking Abe. Born in 1860 in Bangor, Maine, to 
Timothy and Avis Douglas Whitney," she moved with the 
family to Wautoma, Wisconsin, where they were living by 

1870. Timothy died there in 1873. '^ Avis and her children 
then headed west in a wagon, landing in Indian Valley 
near Weiser, Idaho. ^^ 

Mary Ella's brother, Fred, was father of Hugh and 
Charlie Whitney. The Whitney brothers grew up mostly 
in Weiser but the family moved a lot. According to Charlie, 
the growing up years were painful. Their tyrant of a father 
beat them and gave them only the barest necessities.** 

Lewis H. Daniels said he knew Hugh Whitney during 
his younger days around Council and Brownlee Creek, 
Idaho, and Brownlee, Oregon. Much of this area is now 
covered by Brownlee Reservoir. Daniels said that in 1908, 
the Whitney family, consisting of "Ma and Pa Whitney" 
and eight children, moved to Council. Pa Whitney worked 
at various jobs and was county road commissioner. 
Whitney wore red wool longjohns the year around. In 
winter, he wore a shirt and pants but in summer he shed 
the outer garments and wore just the longjohns. '^ 

As boys, Hugh and Charlie worked on sheep ranches. 
By 1907, they were ready to leave and in March of that year 
they collected their wages and headed for Cokeville where 
they had relatives.^* The two brothers worked for Pete W. 
Olsen, who owned one of the biggest ranches near Coke- 
ville and it was there their troubles began. One story is 

(I to r) Hugh Whitney, Charlie Whitney and Clarence Stoner before the Whitneys robbed the Cokeville bank in 1911. 


that Hugh made Olsen angry because he herded the sheep 
with his pistol or rifle and occasionally maimed or killed 
an animal. 

This habit got to be too much for Ezra Christiansen, 
Olsen' s foreman, who fired the boys. They stayed at the 
ranch waiting for Olsen to return from a trip to Evanston. 
When he arrived two days later, he refused to reinstate 
them, docked their wages for the damage and told them 
to leave. Another story is that Hugh became involved in 
a scheme to collect stray sheep, change the brands and ear- 
marks to match Olsen's and split the profit with the owner. 
But after it was done and it was time for Olsen to pay up, 
the rancher denied he had been part of the plan and re- 
fused to split anything. He gave the two Whitneys their 
wages and told them to hit the trail. 

Hugh Whitney was at a disadvantage because of a 
poker game fracas in which he was suspected of robbing 
the players of a local saloon. He had no choice but to leave 
Olsen's ranch. 

The Whitneys left vowing to shoot Olsen on sight. 
They returned to the range to get their equipment where 
they spotted Christiansen. Beating him unmercifully, they 
left him for dead. Hugh snapped off a shot with his pistol 
killing one of Olsen's prize rams.^^ A 1914 Salt Lake 
newspaper account says this fight was between Hugh and 
Christiansen and that it occurred in June, 1910, in Coke- 
ville. According to that account, Hugh knocked Chris- 
tiansen down whose head struck a rail knocking him un- 
conscious for eighteen hours. ^^ 

From other evidence it appears that Hugh and Charlie 
were discharged at Olsen's in 1909. Hugh then went to 
work at the Green River Livestock Company in Rock 
Springs. He returned to Cokeville and asserted that Chris- 
tiansen had sent word to the foreman of the Green River 
company that Whitney ought to be discharged. He was, 
and then worked for the Beckwith-Quinn Company where 
Christiansen again tried to get him fired. Whitney sent 
word to his tormentor that if he did not stop talking about 
him, he would thrash him at the first opportunity. Accord- 
ing to these accounts, this is when Hugh's fight with Chris- 
tiansen occurred. 1' 

Deputy Sheriff Dan Hanson tracked Hugh to Green 
River, arrested him and returned him to Cokeville to be 
charged with the assault on Christiansen. There was no 
jail in Cokeville, so Whitney was confined in Frank Man's 
saloon. But Whitney escaped. While absent he was tried 
and convicted of the assault and fined $50 and sentenced 
to 60 days in jail. He returned later and got off by paying 
$35. He then went to Oregon where he was joined by his 
brother. They returned to Cokeville in April, 1911,^° which 
set the stage for the next dramatic developments in Hugh 
Whitney's life. 

There is no question the Whitneys and Olsen became 
bitter enemies and the rancher blackballed the brothers 
from working on nearby ranches. It was difficult for the 
two boys to find honest work so they were forced to resort 
to dishonest means. Charlie Whitney, however, blamed 

Hugh's entry into outlawry on one Charles Manning. To 
his dying day, Charlie was bitter about Manning's role in 
their lives. Though Charlie mentioned Manrung in his con- 
fession, he said nothing about Manning who is one of the 
great mysteries of Wyoming outlawry. There is little doubt 
he was an outlaw on par with Hugh Whitney but much 
less is known of him. 

Fannie Chamberlain, a Cokeville old-timer, told an in- 
terviewer in 1976 that Manning came to Cokeville as a 
young man and worked for her father at a cement plant. ^^ 
A relative by marriage said Manning arrived in Wyoming 
in 1900." 

Family records indicate Manning was born in Pass 
Christian, Mississippi, and since his gravestone said he was 
born on December 25, 1881, he would have been 19 when 
he arrived in Cokeville. Originally, the Manning family is 
thought to have moved to Pass Christian from Huntsville, 
Alabama, following the Civil War.^^ In 1905, Manning mar- 
ried Louella Stoffers and they had four children. ^^ After 
she was widowed, she and the children continued to live 
in Cokeville for many years. 

A photo shows that young Manning was strikingly 
handsome. He appeared noticeably well-dressed, even 
modern looking and certainly he would have been noticed 
in a small place like Cokeville. He is remembered for his sar- 
torial splendor as well as for his quiet, charming per- 
sonality. But though he was noticed, few knew much about 
him. By 1910, as old-timers put it, he no longer worked. 
He was then a full-time gambler in local saloons. And 
everyone believed he was an outlaw on the side. 

Manning's good looks and charm impressed people 
and neighbors recalled he had "no bad habits" and was 
a fine faniily man.^^ A photo of him taken shortly before 
1914 showed he had put on weight and was smoking a 
cigar. Loyd Nelson, a CokevUle native, remembers that his 
folks and the Mannings were friends and Leo Manning, 
Charley's son, was Loyd's best friend. 

Loyd's mother was at the Manning home and noticed 
a grandfather clock on the mantle. Mrs. Manning asked 
her to fix it. So Mrs. Nelson opened it and found it stuffed 
with money— that's why it would not run. She never said 
anything. She just put the money back.^* 

Marming would disappear for a few days and Cokeville 
residents would read of a bank or train holdup in Idaho 
or Utah. And then Charley would return. Most Cokeville 
old-timers believed he was closely associated with the 
Whitneys and helped them "terrorize" communities along 
the Oregon Short Line Railroad for a number of years. But 
exactly how they "terrorized" these commurvities is not 
revealed. Robert Rose, who knew Manning, said he and 
the Whitneys may have robbed several banks in "out-of- 
the-way places and one in Montpelier, Idaho." None of 
this has been confirmed. 

Rose told of an incident in which Manning, unmasked 
and with no effort to conceal his identity, rode into a sheep- 
shearing camp at Opal, Wyoming, one spring day and 
found a poker game in progress. Manning passed around 

Charley Manning, the handsome gambler-outlaw, killed in the Oregon 
train robbery, who for years was believed to be an outlaw headquartered 
at Cokeville. 

a bottle of whiskey, though he never drank himself, and 
then relieved the players of their change. He backed out 
of the place with a little more than a thousand dollars in 
his pocket. Manning's reputation was such that those in 
the camp did not want to follow him. Rose said.^^ 

One writer said Manning was a "renegade from the 
Hole-in- the- Wall, " the outlaw hideout in north central 
Wyoming, but this seems unlikely. ^^ Outlaws stopped 
using the Hole as a hideout after 1897, when Manning was 
16. But there is no doubt that by the time he got to 
Cokeville, Manning was a bold hombre. 

Rose told of the time Manning walked into the lobby 
of a hotel in Kemmerer a little after midnight and stepped 
up to the desk demanding of the proprietor, Fred Chapin, 
"I want $500." Chapin opened the safe and gave him the 
money hoping he would consider it a loan. Chapin even 
offered to give Charley more. 

"No, that's all I need," said Manning. A week or so 
later there was a bank robbery in the upper country and 
a few nights after, Marming came into the hotel with a 
broad smile and retiirned the $500. Chapin did not tell the 
story imtil after Manning's death. And since so few details 
are known, the story is impossible to confirm. 

Cokeville was a haven for several gangs, some of 
greater and some of lesser importance. One of the lesser 
gangs was known as the boxcar bandits. These men stole 

commodities from boxcars parked at the Cokeville siding. 
Manning's famous "blue house," visible from the hills 
above Cokeville, was said to have been painted with paint 
stolen from the boxcars.^' 

Two other Cokeville badmen were said to be in this 
gang, Tex Taylor and Tex Long. But it was Manning who 
asserted leadership and it was he who snared Hugh 
Whitney into the deadly game. Hugh apparently learned 
fast. Rose recalled that one night he walked into Tommie 
Holland's saloon with a handkerchief tied over part of his 
face and, pointing a six-shooter at a half dozen men at the 
poker table, ordered them to put up their hands. A young 
cowpoke near the culprit, with less judgement than 
courage, jumped up and puUed the handkerchief from his 
face. Whitney, his identity revealed, pretended he was 
playing a joke on his friends. He bought a round of drinks 
and took a hand in the game. When the game broke up 
a little before dawn, Whitney had all of the money anyway 
although it took him several hours longer than he had 
planned. 3" 

As noted previously, the Whitney boys moved to 
Oregon where they stayed, apparently out of trouble, for 
two years. Then in AprU, 1911, they returned to Cokeville. 
On June 17, 1911, the name of Hugh Whitney burst upon 
the West with sudden force and from that time on Whitney 
was a major outlaw. 

Hugh had been working in Idaho and southern Mon- 
tana with a friend, called variously Albert Ross and Albert 
F. Sesler. Not much is known of him except that he was 
an ex-raUroader, age 25, possibly from Butler Island, east 
of Rigby, Idaho. ^^ Hugh and Albert had gone into a pool 
hall in Monida, Montana, near the Idaho border, with 
nearly $400 between them. Hugh liked to play cards but 
was not known to gamble for high stakes. 

It is not clear how they were separated from their 
money but they awoke the next morning with no money 
to buy breakfast. So they went into the pool hall, held up 
the bartender and relieved him of the money they lost. 
They then walked to the railroad station and bought tickets 
for Pocatello. It is evident they thought they had commit- 
ted no great crime or they would not have boarded the 

The bartender telegraphed ahead to have a deputy 
sheriff board the train at Spencer, Idaho. The deputy, Sam 
Milton, and Conductor William Kidd came into the car 
where Hugh and Albert were playing cards with two 
traveling men. Milton put them under arrest and removed 
Hugh's revolver from the holster and laid it across the aisle 
on a vacant seat. 

Then he came at Hugh with handcuffs calling him a 
"dirty yellow cowardly S.O.B." and other expletives. That 
was more than Hugh could take, perhaps remembering 
the abuse of his father. He grabbed his revolver and shot 
the deputy twice at close range. In the melee, the conduc- 
tor grabbed Hugh and he too was shot once at close range. 
Both men slumped to the floor. Kidd was mortally 
wounded and died that night in a Pocatello hospital. The 


deputy recovered but was handicapped the rest of his life. 
Three passengers were wounded, none seriously. 

As the sound of the last shot reverberated inside the 
car, Hugh pulled the brake cord and stopped the train. He 
disembarked south of Spencer near Hamer, Idaho. A posse 
was formed and members sent for bloodhounds at the 
Montana prison in Deer Lodge. Possemen, however, were 
reluctant to enter the brush to look for Whitney. Word was 
sent to Warren Bailey, who owned the grocery store in 
Hamer, and who was a deputy sheriff, to look for Hugh. 
Bailey saw a man on foot on the opposite side of a boxcar 
on the track and he and a couple of others took rifles and 
ran after the fugitive. 

Also in the Hamer store was Edgar McGill, age about 
16 years, who took a gun and unhitched a pony from the 
rail in front of the store and took up the chase, against the 
objections of Bailey. Undaunted, McGill plunged into the 
brush but Hugh Whitney found him first and shot him in 
the shoulder knocking him from the horse. With more 
courage than sense, McGill raised to fire at the bandit. 
Whitney put a slug in the youth's leg and told him not 
to follow. 

Whitney borrowed the boy's jacket and mounting the 
horse, headed east. A reward of $500 was posted for 
Whitney and his cohort. Whitney was described as "about 
23 years; five feet eight inches; 165 pounds; stocky build; 
very dark complexion; smooth shaven; dark curly hair 
which comes down over forehead. He always wears a 
handkerchief around his neck; does not drink but smokes 
cigarettes; wears high heel boots with nails in the end of 

What became of Albert Ross or Sesler is not known. 
He disappeared and was never heard from again. Many 
years later a skeleton was found near Dubois, Idaho, and 
it was believed to be Sesler's. 

Whitney stopped at the McGUl residence north of 
Hamer and bought lunch. He had part of the lunch and 
some water with him when the posse discovered him. 
Someone shot through his coat and he dropped the food 
but escaped. When he reached the Snake River it was at 
high water and guards were posted at all bridges and fer- 
ries. Rube Scott was guarding the bridge near Menan. In 
the twilight, Hugh rode onto the bridge and Scott stepped 
out and demanded he halt "and get down off that horse, 
you dirty yellow coward." 

Hugh spurred the horse at a gallop, shooting as he 
rode. A bullet struck Scott in the right hand taking off his 
trigger finger. Scott rolled off the bridge and played dead. 
Whitney rode on without incident. The next day, June 18, 
1911, the posse found Whitney's trail east of Rigby in the 
Willow Creek area. He reached the Fall Creek Ranch in 
Swan Valley and was given a meal by two bachelors, Ed 
Daniels and Joe Jones. They had not heard about Whitney, 
but a few hours after he left the posse arrived. 

Hugh took the south side of the river up to the Ed- 
wards Ranch and the Edwards boys ferried him across. 
Hugh then rode to the Ralph Janes' place. Janes and 

Whitney had ridden for a cattle ranch near CokeviUe. Hugh 
told Janes of his escape and of his intention to get work 
near CokeviUe where his brother was working at the time. 
When talking with Janes, Hugh did not realize he had 
killed anyone. He left, heading for CokeviUe. 

As soon as he found Charlie, Hugh learned he kUled 
Conductor Kidd. The railroad increased the price on his 
head to $1,500. ^^ Hugh could not work at a ranch so he 
disappeared, perhaps hiding out at Lake Alice. Hugh also 
may have visited the Wind River Reservation west of 
Lander because in recent years old Indians there recalled 
that Whitney was seen with friends on the reservation. 

Hugh stayed hidden the rest of the summer. Charlie 
probably supplied him. Up to this point, Charlie was not 
sought by the law and lived in town next door to the Ben 
H. Smalley residence. Dorothy Somsen, Smalley's daugh- 
ter, a child at the time, recalled going to Charlie's for con- 
densed rrulk and strawberry jam. Dorothy never saw Hugh 
there but she remembers Charlie was very handsome." 

Though Charlie's life may have seemed innocent to a 
young girl, he was in the midst of planning the biggest 
operation of his life. Charlie in his confession does not say 
how he and Hugh decided to rob the CokevUle bank, but 
insists "that nefarious crook in Cokevile, Charley Man- 
ning, was the cause of my brother's dowrifall. We were 
green, ignorant and gullible at the time and easy prey for 
every confidence man that came along and anyone that 
knew our background knows the reason why."^* 

He was referring to his blighted youth but the Whit- 
neys were not as unsophisticated as Charlie indicates. 
Charlie's confession does not mention the other troubles 
Hugh got into and in other respects glosses over their early 
years around CokevUle. No doubt Charley Manning did 
influence the Whitneys and may have exhorted them to 
rob the bank. This may have appealed to Hugh because 
his hated enemy Pete Olsen had large sums of money in 
the bank. 

Some said Manning held the getaway horses in a field 
just north of the bank. But an account of a couple who saw 
the Whitneys escape on their horses mentions no one 
holding the animals. ^^ ^nj at least one account claims 
Manning was in the bank when it was robbed.^* 

According to J. Patrick WUde, during the first days of 
September, Charlie disappeared and joined Hugh in 
hiding. WUde said on September 6, several persons in 
Montpelier saw the two and the local newspaper reported 
it. According to the newspaper account, the brothers the 
night before robbed the Tom Taylor sheep camp in Salt 
Canyon. Then the two were seen at the Steward Grocery 
in Montpelier where they purchased a jug of whiskey, am- 
munition and a few food items. 

Guy Hays, who claimed to know both Whitneys, said 
he passed them in front of the Capitol Saloon. Marion 
Perkins, a local freighter, said he passed the two resting 
in MontpeUer Cany on. ^^ So apparently the two were riding 
from camp to camp in the mountains between Montpelier 
and CokeviUe. 

On September 11 they acted. They left their horses in 
a field north of Cokeville. At a haystack yard they hid their 
rifles. ^^ They walked the short distance to the bank. Some 
say they entered just after noon and stayed an hour or 
more. Others put the time nearer 3 p.m. There is no doubt 
they spent some time in the bank waiting for more 
customers to show and rob since they got so little from the 
bank. It was reported later that bank officials suspected 
they might be robbed so they kept most of their cash in 
a time-release vault. There also is the story the Whitney s 
waited for the timer to go off. 

This much is known: When they entered the bank, the 
two Whitneys held up cashier A. D. Noblitt. Noblitt said 
when he turned around he was looking into the muzzle 
of a pistol held by one of the bandits. Neither Whitney 
wore a mask and since everyone in town knew them they 
must have planned to leave the country forever on the pro- 
ceeds from this raid. They demanded the bank's money. 
Noblitt gave them a few dollars from the cash drawer but 
he said the vault would not open until later. 

Disappointed, the two made the cashier and four 
others line up against the wall and hand over their 
deposits, jewelry and watches. Then they waited for more 
customers. As people walked in, each was robbed and told 
to stand against the wall. In all, fourteen persons were 

Perhaps to remove suspicision that he was involved. 
Manning was in the bank making a deposit and shared the 
fate of the other customers. Before they left, the Whitneys 
ordered Manning, the cashier and teller into the safe and 
gagged and tied them. The two shut the door and ran out 
of the bank. Rose said the Whitneys "gathered up several 
thousand dollars." But Wilde said the brothers got only 
$700 of which $240 came from the bank and the balance 
from the customers. Wilde said fourteen customers were 
put in the vault and the door was closed and barricaded. 
The Denver Post put the take at $100 from the cashier and 
$300 from eleven citizens. A wire dispatch from Cokeville 
said the total was $500. Lewis Daniels in his "Snake River 
Echoes" story said it was $600. This kind of disparity is 
typical of bank and train robbery reporting at that time. 

The biggest loser was businessman Earl Haggerty who 
lost a $250 deposit. But Haggerty was allowed to keep his 
diamond ring because the Whitneys knew his wife had 
given it to him and she had befriended them during their 
sheepherding days. 

Even as the brothers fled the bank the customers were 
getting out of the vault and giving chase. Henry Wyman 
and his wife were at an upstairs window in their hotel next 
to the bank and saw the Whitneys on the run. Knowing 
them, Wyman got his rifle and took careful aim out of the 
window but his wife begged him not to shoot.*" 

A Mexican, Hernando Morino, was the first person on 
a horse in pursuit of the outlaws and he wished he had 
not been. He got too close and when a rifle shot penetrated 
his hat, he dismounted into an irrigation ditch.*i 

Those who began the chase on foot returned to Coke- 

ville to organize a posse and that gave the Whitneys a 
chance. The posses fanned out and one of the biggest 
manhunts in the West ensued. The Whitneys fled across 
Collett Flat where they raided Tim Kinney's sheep camp, 
taking another horse, food and a camping outfit. ^^ 

The posse using bloodhounds tracked the two to Lake 
Alice and lost them.'*^ The brothers then fled to the Wind 
River Reservation and rested with friends.'**' As they re- 
mained hidden from view, many robberies were blamed 
on the pair— but their involvement in any of them has 
never been confirmed. The next spring horses known to 
have been used by the Whitneys were sold at Cody and 
two men boarded an eastbound train. In May, 1912, they 
were reported in Casper and in June they were said to be 
back in Star Valley.*^ But Charlie said they traveled to 
Wisconsin where they worked in a saddle shop. They then 
went to Montana where they sought refuge in the Little 
Rockies.** In his confession, Charlie said in the fall of 1912 
he settled near Glasgow and lived there until 1952. 

In June, 1912, someone put a note on the gate post at 
Pete Olsen's ranch saying: "If you want to keep harm from 
you and your family, put $1,500 in a can and have Les (a 
son) leave it by the post near the bridge on Bear River. If 
not, harm will come to you and you will be the loser." It 
was signed "Hugh and Charlie Whitney." 

Olsen turned the note over to Deputy Dan Hanson and 
Olsen left for his shearing corrals. Hanson sent word to 
Sheriff John Ward in Evanston and left to check the Olsen 
ranch. As he neared the buildings about dusk, he spotted 
a man lurking near a structure. He called to the man and 
was answered by two rifle shots, the second of which went 
through his heart. He was found three hours later by 
Sheriff Ward. 

Hanson lived long enough to give a vague description 
of his assailant and died in Cokeville. Everyone believed 
the killer to be Hugh Whitney. The description Hanson 
gave did not fit. But he could have been mistaken in the 
approaching dark. People were surprised when two days 
later Sheriff Ward arrested a drifter-sheepherder named 
Bert Dalton for the crime. Dalton fit Hanson's description. 

Charley Manning was questioned and claimed that 
Dalton was at a meeting with the Whitneys when the crime 
was planned. In a signed confession Dalton admitted he 
met with Hugh and Charlie Whitney back of the school 
house on the night of June 19, 1912. He said he met them, 
"just by chance" and they wanted him to hold their horses 
while they got $1,500 but they did not say how. But though 
he waited for them at the appointed place to hold their 
horses they never showed up. 

Dalton escaped the Evanston jail, but was recaptured 
and changed his story absolving the Whitneys of any blame 
and said Charles Manning planned the extortion of Pete 
Olsen and it was Manning who killed Hanson. Ever after 
Dalton said Manning had done it and the Whitneys were 
not to blame, although Dalton served a term in the Wyo- 
ming prison for the Hanson murder.*'' 

At Glasgow, Charlie was known as Frank S. Taylor 


and Hugh as George Walter Brown. During World War 
I, both enlisted using their assumed names, Charlie in the 
363rd Infantry of the 91st Division and Hugh in the 23rd 
Engineers. Both were discharged in 1919.** They returned 
to ranching in Montana where they were prominent and 
well-respected. Charlie took part in church activities, 
served on the school board and was on the board of direc- 
tors of a bank! Among his friends was Governor John Bon- 
ner of Montana.*' 

In 1935, Hugh, as George Walter Brown, sold his 
holdings and moved to Canada. He died in Saskatoon, 
Saskatchewan, on October 25, 1950.'" In about a month, 
Charlie learned of his brother's death and that spurred him 
to set the record straight. Governor Bonner suggested he 
surrender to Governor Frank Barrett in Wyoming and in 
a letter to Barrett the Montana governor recommended 

The Wyoming governor, startled by this turn of events, 
mulled over the situation as Charlie began his journey to 
Wyoming. On December 1, 1951, he carefully constructed 
his confession. No more simple eloquence can be found 
in all outlaw history. 

Whitney traveled first to Cokeville and spent the bet- 
ter part of a day walking streets he had known more than 
40 years before. As he relived those haunting days of 
youth, he was shocked by the changes. Gone was the bank 
they had robbed, closed during the Great Depression. The 
building remained but was now a store. Main Street was 
paved. The hitching rails had disappeared. He spoke to no 
one as he walked the streets of his past and remembered 
those fateful hours that branded him an outlaw. 

Then on June 19, 1952, Frank S. Taylor, 63, appeared 
before Governor Barrett. The governor assigned the case 
to the Third District Judge H. Robert Christmas. Whitney 
gave a tearful plea and volunteered to pay back the full sum 
of money to the community of Cokeville. After ten days 
of waiting in jail, Whitney was called before Judge 
Christmas who gave him five years probation saying "no 
useful purpose can be served by sending you to the 
penitentiary. "5* 

Whitney left inunediately for Montana but his hope for 
peace went unrealized. His surrender and confession made 
national headlines and he was continually harrassed by 
newsmen. He traveled a lot, visiting relatives and old 
friends he had dared not see until his surrender. He died 
on November 13, 1968, in Hot Springs, Montana, and is 
buried in the Whitefish, Montana, cemetery. ^^ 

When Charley Manning learned that the Whitneys 
were in Wisconsin in the summer of 1912, he tried to 
blackmail them, threatening to turn them in. That 
prompted their move to Montana. '^ Despite this, there is 
considerable evidence that through the years the Whitneys 
kept in secret touch with some members of their family. 

Manning, meanwhile, continued leaving town at in- 
tervals and worked as a gambler. Then, in 1914, he con- 
ceived of another venture— this one also out of town. This 
time he selected as cohorts two out-of-work sheepherders, 

Clarence A. Stoner and Albert Meadors. Stoner, 28, was 
buying his mother a house in Asotin, Washington. He was 
hard-pressed financially because he recently had been laid 
off. Meadors, originally from Maryland, had herded sheep 
with Stoner. Both men had been law-abiding up to this 

Manning must have been aware of the peril he faced 
because before he left to rob the train in Oregon, he had 
Rose draw up his will and early one morning, with the 
other two as witnesses, he signed it.'' Manning left first 
saying he would meet the other two in PocateUo. The two 
accomplices met him there and the three traveled to Baker 
and Umatilla in Oregon. They stayed three days in Pen- 
dleton and holed up in La Grande after deciding to rob 
the train at Kamela, near Meacham. They intended to raid 
the mail train with its rich payroll, but because the trains 
had been changed from a published schedule they stopped 
a passenger train instead. 

When they found little of value in the safe they de- 
cided to rob the passengers. They forced the crew to stop 
the train and while Stoner guarded the train crew. Mann- 
ing and Meadors canvassed the passengers. One of the 
passengers. Deputy Sheriff George McDuffie of Heppner, 
Oregon, feigned sleep. After the two bandits passed, he 
opened fire hitting Manning. Manning got off one shot 
before he slumped to the floor, the bullet striking McDuf- 
fie 's front pocket. But it passed through a deck of cards, 
notebook and comb and the officer received only a flesh 

As Manning lay dying, Meadors fled the car and with 
Stoner escaped into the hills. They cached the jewelry and 
other items in various places along the track expecting later 
to retrieve them.'* A day after the robbery, Stoner and 
Meadors were captured in Hilgard, down the tracks from 
Meacham. In September, they pleaded guilty and were 
sentenced to thirteen years each in the Oregon peniten- 
tiary.'^ In 1917, Stoner was paroled and in 1919, he was 
pardoned and the slate wiped clean. '* He led a law-abiding 
life and died in Newport, Washington, in 1974. Meadors 
however went on to a long life of crime and is thought to 
have died in Nevada's Carson City prison." Manning's 
body was returned to Cokeville and he is buried in the 
cemetery there.*" 

In his confession, Charlie Whitney said of his life: "I 
sold my birthright for a few tainted dollars that I took from 
the Cokeville Bank back in September 1911, for my brothers 
sake and my love and loyalty to him. If we are not pun- 
nished for our mistakes we certainly are punnished by 
them, and Hugh and I have paid a mighty sum for our 
mistakes in the form of bitter remorse, tears and regret." 

]IM DULLENTY was one of the founders of the National Association for Outlaw 
and Lawman History (NOLA). He has had articles published in True West, 
Frontier Times and Old West. 

MARY STONER HADLEY is a member of NOLA and has long had an interest 
in Wyoming and outlaw history. She previously has been published in True West 
and the NOLA Quarterly magazine. 

A never before published photograph 

of Charlie Whitney (left) and 

Clarence Stoner, taken at Stoner's 

farm house in Camden, Washington, 

taken the summer after Charley 

surrendered to Wyoming Governor 

Frank Barrett. 

1. Interview with Dorothy Somsen, Cokeville, Wyoming, June 14, 1980; 
and J. Patrick WUde, Treasured Tibits of Time (Montpelier, Idaho; By 
the author, 1977). 

2. Records from Wyoming State Penitentiary, Rawlins. Details on Stoner- 
Cassidy relationship found in Larry Pointer, In Search of Butch Cassidy 
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1977). 

3. History of Leitersburg, Pennsylvania, District; and Maryland Cen- 
sus Records. 

4. Maryland 1850 Census Records. 

5. Maryland Revolutionary War Records, p. 124. 

6. Family records in possession of Mary Stoner Hadley, Spokane, 
Washington; and Progressive Men of the State of Wyoming (Chicago: 
A. W. Bowen & Co., 1903). 

7. Ibid.; and I. S. Bartlett, ed.. History of Wyoming, Vol. Ill (Chicago: 
S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1918), p. 308. 

8. Progressive Men, p. 292; and Wyoming, p. 246. 

9. Family records of Mary Stoner Hadley. 

10. Ibid.; interview with Dorothy Somsen; and interviews with Loyd 
Nelson, Benton City, Washington, September 7, 15, 1981. 

11. Penobscot County, Maine 1850 Census Records. 

12. Wisconsin 1870 Census Records. 

13. Idaho 1880 Census Records. 

14. Frank S. Taylor (Charlie Whitney), confession to the governor of 
Wyoming titled, "Forty Years a Fugitive," December 1, 1951, in 
Glasgow, Montana. 

15. Lewis H. Daniels, "Hugh Whitney— Outlaw, " in Sna/ce Rmer Ec/ioes, 

16. Taylor, "Forty Years a Fugitive." 

17. Wilde, Treasured Tidbits of Time. 

18. Interview with Fannie Chamberlain, Adrian, Oregon. 

19. Letter to author from Virgie Stoffers, Ogden, Utah, March 26, 1982. 
Virgie is Louella Stoffers' nephew's wife. 

20. Interview with Una Dayton, Cokeville, Wyoming, November 19, 1981. 
Una is a niece of Charley Manning's wife. 

21. Interview with Virgie Stoffers. 

22. Interview with Fannie Chamberlain. 

23. Ibid.; interview with Dorothy Somsen; interviews with Loyd Nelson; 
and Robert R. Rose, Advocates and Adversaries, ed. Gene M. Gressley 
(Chicago: Lakeside Classics, 1977). 

24. Interview with Loyd Nelson. 

25. Rose, Advocates and Adversaries, 
lib. Ibid. 

27. Ibid. 

28. Ibid. 

29. Interview with Fannie Chamberlain. 

30. Rose, Advocates and Adversaries. 

31. "Wanted for Murder," poster circulated by W. H. Bancroft, vice presi- 
dent and general manager of the Oregon Short Line Railroad Co., 
and Governor James H. Hawley of Idaho, June 19, 1911. 

32. The Monida, Montana, robbery and train killing and escape were 
taken from Wilde, Treasured Tidbits of Time; Daniels, "Hugh 
Whitney— Outlaw"; "Wanted for Murder"; and Samuel Westlake 
Lundholm, "Best I Can Remember," in Snake River Echoes, 1977. 

33. Interview with Dorothy Somsen. 

34. Taylor, "Forty Years a Fugitive." 

35. Rose, Advocates and Adversaries. 

36. Ibid. 

37. Wilde, Treasured Tidbits of Time. 

38. Ibid. 

39. Ibid. 

40. Rose, Advocates and Adversaries. 

41. Wilde, Treasured Tidbits of Time. 

42. Ibid. 

43. Ibid. 

44. Interview with Roy Jones, Wind River Reservation, Wyoming, Oc- 
tober 22, 1973; and interview with Herman Lajeunesse, Wind River 
Reservation, Wyoming, October 22, 1973. 

45. Wilde, Treasured Tidbits of Time. 

46. Ibid.; and Denver Post, June 19, 1952. 

47. WUde, Treasured Tidbits of Time, 

48. Daniels, "Hugh Whitney— Outlaw"; and Taylor, "Forty Years a 

49. Denver Post, June 19, 1952; and Taylor, "Forty Years a Fugitive." 

50. Denver Post, June 19, 1952; and Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon, 
Saskatchewan, caretaker letter, December 6, 1981. 

51. Denver Post, June 19, 1952. 

52. Whitefish, Montana, Cemetery Records. 

53. Rose, Advocates and Adversaries. 

54. Grayce Stoner Stevenson conversations. She was Abe Stoner's 

55. Rose, Advocates and Adversaries. 

56. Cokeville Register, July 11, 1914; Nezvs (Richland, Oregon), July 9, 1914; 
see also various other Oregon, Washington and Wyoming 
newspapers; and Mary Stoner Hadley, "My Father Was a Train Rob- 
ber," True West, August, 1983. 

57. East Oregonian (Pendleton, Oregon), September 1, 1914. 

58. Pardon and parole records, Oregon governor's office. 

59. Oregon State Penitentiary Records, Salem, Oregon. 

60. Cokeville Register, July 11, 1914. 


The historical phenomenon of conquest has occurred 
with a frequency more than sufficient to justify serious 
study. If that phenomenon is to be understood (and per- 
haps avoided in the future), however, the values, attitudes 
and opinions which both create and sustain it must be 
carefully examined. 

Case studies, thus, are potentially a most useful instru- 
ment of that understanding which makes avoidance possi- 
ble. The relationship between the government of the 
United States and the indigenous Indian population which 
fell under its jurisdiction is clearly one such case study. 

The relationship between and among various ethnic 
and/or racial groups has, throughout the course of 
American history, been marked by socio-political am- 
bivalence and punctuated by violence. On the frontier, 
relations between various Indian tribes and Whites of 
equally varied cultural backgrounds were the focal point 
of such ambivalence— and more than occasionally, vio- 
lence. So long as Whites insisted on entering "Indian Ter- 
ritory," however that might be defined, contact between 
the two groups was inevitable and the possibility of con- 
flict was ever present. 

Thus, from the beginning. White attitudes towards 
Native Americans were such as to make conquest the only 
politically feasible policy for representatives to advocate 
and for bureaucrats to propose and to administer. The pur- 
pose of this paper is to examine White attitudes and values 
as they are reflected in the public statements of that seg- 
ment of the population most significantly related to Indian 
policy— the members of both houses of the Congress of the 
United States. Congressional attitudes related to three of 
the topic areas which were of major significance during 
the 19th century will be examined. The topic areas are: (1) 
Indian removal; (2) White superiority; (3) An unquestioned 
perception both of the necessity and the morality of de- 
manding that Indian culture change to the point of 

The first of these topic areas, Indian removal, is de- 
fined, for purposes of this paper, much more broadly than 
normal. By removal, I refer not only to the policy of re- 
moving Indians from the Old Northwest Territory and 
elsewhere to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, but also the 
subsequent policy of "removing" Indians to reservations. 
My reason for such a broad definition is simple. Whether 


The Politics of Conquest 

by Robert L. Munkres 

Other racial and ethnic groups came to the "New 
World" either as slaves or as supplicant immigrants, to be 
granted the boon of admission to the country if they met 
the standards of the dominant society. Native Americans, 
however, were different— they were here first! In spite of 
the "empty continent" rhetoric which dominated 19th cen- 
tury examinations of the country's origin, Indians were here 
and they had to be dealt with. The necessity of such deal- 
ings generated White reactions of some variety. Varied 
though they might have been, one reaction was consis- 
tently apparent— Indians must be displaced and Indian 
ways discouraged, dismantled and destroyed. The policy 
of the Federal Government (and that of the states, too) was 
always the conquest of the Indians— geographically, 
politically, economically and culturally. 

one speaks of "removal" in the narrower or the broader 
sense, the reference is to policies with a common pur- 
pose—the separation of Indians, geographically and 
culturally, from contact with the dominant society. Such 
enforced separation is synonymous with conquest. 

After deahng on a plane of at least pseudo-equality 
with the tribes during the colonial period and the earliest 
years of independence, a new policy was initiated during 
the presidency of Andrew Jackson. As explained by Presi- 
dent Jackson in his message to Congress on May 15, 1830: 
"This emigration should be voluntary: for it would be as 
cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon the 
graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant land."^ 
The remainder of the presidential message constitutes a 
virtual check list of the expectations at least nominally 

associated with the policy of removal during the remainder 
of the century. 

But they should be distinctly informed that if they remain 
within the limits of the States, they must be subject to their laws. 
In return for their obedience, as individuals, they will, without 
doubt, be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they 
have improved by their industry. But it seems to me visionary to sup- 
pose that, in this state of things, claims can be allowed on tracts of 
country on which they have neither dwelt nor made improvements, 
merely because they have seen them from the mountain, or 
passed them in the chase. Submitting to the laws of the States, 
and receiving, like other citizens, protection in their persons 
and property, they will, ere long, become merged in the mass of our 

Despite Jackson's assertion, of course, Indian removal 
was hardly voluntary, nor did those who chose to remain 
find much protection from the "majesty of the law"; and 
merger with the "mass of our population" was hardly a 
realistic presumption in states that came to adopt anti- 
miscegenation laws! 

As late as 1836, the argument was advanced that re- 
moval was not only necessary for Indian survival, but that 
it was, in fact, a positive good for the indigenous in- 
habitants. Among others. Congressman John Reynolds, 
Democrat of Illinois, made the point. Removal, Reynolds 
argued, "was the necessary and inevitable consequence 
of the advance of the white population . . ."^ Its necessity 
made the policy "just and proper, as well as humane, on 
the part of the Government" which should be willing to 
incur the associated expenses "of their removal, and the 
expense of a mounted force to preserve peace among 
them" because such cost is "nothing in comparison to the 
duty the Government owes them, to preserve them, and 
render their situation as happy as the circumstances of the 
case will permit."* 

The native population would also benefit from still 
another effect of removal. In the same House Debate of 
April 22, 1836, Francis Granger, a member of the Whig 
Party from New York, made a point frequently advanced 
by those who supported both removal and Indian 
rights/survival. The argument "which commended itself 
to me with more force than any other, was the fact that 
they [Indians] would be removed from the vices which 
civilization threw around them . . ."^ Granger's assump- 
tions concerning the aftermath of such removal were, 
however, no more realistic than had been Jackson's. The 
congressmen expected removed Indians to "be taken to 
a country where broad hunting grounds would be secured 
to them," where "they wotild follow the chase as they had 
been accustomed to follow it," with the result that "all 
their simple wants [would be] supplied, and [they] would 
cease to be the victims of the white man's cupidity."* 

The demand for Indian removal was vehemently 
voiced long after the vast majority of the Eastern tribes had 
been relocated in Indian Territory and other points west 
of the Mississippi. As late as 1866, in a speech delivered 
in the House of Representatives on June 9, Walter Burleigh 
(Republican, Dakota) called for continuing policy of 

"removal," by which he meant "the collection, removal, 
and consolidation of the remnants of the Indian tribes" 
residing at that time on reservations outside Indian Ter- 
ritory.^ The effective elimination of Indian Reservations 
everywhere except in the present state of Oklahoma 
would, according to Burleigh, be attended by at least the 
following advantages: 

It will not cost as much to treat with the Sioux Indians of 
Dakota, Montana, and the adjoining Territories, remove them 
into the above described country, and keep them as long as 
an Indian exists, embalm and monument them when dead, as 
it does to support the military establishment in guarding our 
borders in times of trouble and garrisoning our western posts 
for twelve months. The bare interest of that amount will treat with 
them, remove and subsist them upon their reservations without using 
one dollar of the principal.^ 

The country ... is sufficiently large to support all the tribes 
north of the Arkansas and east of the Rocky mountains. It is 
well adapted to the wants of a large Indian population with 
an abundance of land suited to cultivation, and it is the great game 
region of the United States.' 

The removal and final settlement of our northwestern In- 
dians in this proposed reservation would enable us to open the 
entire body of mineral lands east of the Rocky mountains, 
relieve our overland emigration from Indian dangers and an- 
noyances, and place the red men where they could live and 
die unmolested by the enterprise of the white, and under the protecting 
arm of the Government .^'' 

Of course, some objected to the removal and concen- 
tration policy described by Burleigh. The principal adverse 
arguments were neatly summarized in a debate in the 
House of Representatives December 19, 1878. Thomas Crit- 
tenden (Democrat, Missouri) expressed the view of the 
populations of most of the western states when he objected 
to the continuation of the very idea of 'Tndian Territory." 
"Our desire," he said, "is to have that Territory open to 
the march of civilization from all the States."" A distinct 
minority deplored "removal" of northern Indian to the 
south for another reason— climactic change and disease 
were decimating the Indian population thus removed. The 
bearer of a name long associated with the frontier, Andrew 
Boone, Democrat of Kentucky, spoke for this minority. 
". . . it is absolute cruelty to the Indian race, wild and 
savage as they may be, to bring them from the north and 
put them in that climate. Talk about exterminating the In- 
dian race! Why, sir, it would be better to put them all to 
the bayonet and let them die at once rather than subject 
them to the slow torture of being destroyed by the fevers 
which infest that Territory. "^^ 

It cannot be said that Boone's statement had much of 
an impact on his colleagues, at least not a positive one! 
Martin Townsend (Republican, New York) was one who 
led the indignant reaction to such soft-headedness by 
noting that he himself came 

of a stock that was transplanted to the eastern border of the 
State of Massachusetts. They arrived there in December, and 
by the 1st of April one-third of the entire body of colonists were 
in their graves. But we are not dead yet. [Laughter] We are not 
exterminated. God's blessing foUowed the settlement. Therefore 
I do not draw any particular inference from the fact that some 


Walter A. Burleigh continued to advocate the policy of removal of In- 
dian tribes in 1866. 

dirty, miserable tribes of Indians sickened and some of them 
have died in the Indian Territory." 

Townsend's statement is an excellent expression of 
that value which justifies all conquest— a feeling of in- 
herent, unquestioned and dominating superiority. This 
feeling was shared, with varying degrees of vehemence, 
by the overwhelming majority of Anglo-Americans; it is, 
therefore, hardly surprising that it also surfaced with great 
regularity in the halls of Congress. For example, when con- 
fronted with the undeniable fact that "we do find in the 
Cherokee country many families enjoying all the common 
comforts of civil and domestic life, and possessing the 
necessary means to secure these enjoyments," Wilson 
Lumpkin, a Democratic Representative from Georgia, 
nonetheless fully supported the removal of the Indians 
from that state in the 1830s. ^* Why? Even though "we find 
a number of schools and houses built for religious wor- 
ship," he noted, "the principal part of these enjoyments 
are confined to the blood of the white man, either in whole 
or in part. But few, very few of the real Indians participate 
largely in these blessings. A large portion of the full 
blooded Cherokees still remain a poor degraded race of 
human beings. "^^ 

Presumed White superiority was one side of the coin; 
the other, of course, was an equally unverif iable assump- 

tion of Indian inferiority. "It is said . . . that these people 
[Indians] have been melting away. That is true, and it is 
true of every savage people that come in contact with 
civilized nations and attempt to maintain their separate ex- 
istence. If they refuse to merge into and become part of 
the superior race, they must necessarily be destroyed. "^* 
Thus spoke Senator James Harlan (Republican, Iowa) on 
June 11, 1864. A fellow party member from the neighbor- 
ing state of Wisconsin, James Doolittle, was no rabid blood- 
thirsty foe of Indians. Indeed, it was through the report 
of the commission which he headed that the tragic butch- 
ery at Sand Creek was branded onto the conscience of the 
country. Nonetheless, two years after that event, on 
April 18, 1866, Doolittle affirmed his conviction that "[w]e 
are dealing with a feeble people, with a dying people; they 
will soon pass away, and nothing will remain of the In- 
dian tribes but the beautiful names which they gave to our 
rivers and our towns. This is to be their inevitable destiny. "''' 
The following February 22, the Wisconsin Republican, noting 
"the difficulties which exist in the proper administration 
of Indian affairs," observed that "[t]hey are difficulties 
which grow out of the nature of the disease itself, irre- 
mediable, incurable, which grow out of the contact of a 
superior with an inferior race . . ."^' 

Some five months later, on July 13, 1867, Senator Jacob 
Howard (Republican, Michigan) provided our last exam- 
ple of the deeply rooted White conviction of Indian in- 
feriority. What, he asked, "is the present result of all these 
humane and philanthropic efforts to civilize and Chris- 
tianize the Indian?" He then provided the answer to his 
own query: "Sir, the net result of the whole is hardly worth 
speaking about. From some fatality or other, no matter 
what, it is perfectly apparent that the North American In- 
dian cannot be civilized, cannot be Christianized. "i' The 
policy significance of Indian inferiority was clearly 
recognized by Howard, as it had been by most of his 
predecessors and successors. The inferiority of Indians 
legitimatized, even demanded. White expansion virtually 
to the ends of the earth. "It is in the very natiire of things," 
said Howard, "that barbarism, which is but another name 
for feebleness and dependence, must yield before the firm 
tread of the white man, carrying forward, as he always will, 
the flag and the institutions of civilization. "^o 

The reference to "barbarism" was hardly a semantic 
accident. With virtually no exceptions, policy-makers dur- 
ing the 19th century saw Indian-White contact in terms of 
barbarians being confronted by representatives of civilized 
society and culture. Given such a perceived confrontation, 
it seemed self-evident that barbarian Indians must give way 
or be forced to give way. A senate debate in July, 1867, 
was the forum for at least one series of expressions of this 
sentiment. "There is no dictate of humanity," stated 
Senator Timothy Howe (Republican, Wisconsin), "which 
requires that civilization should stand back while barbarism 
has free scope to disport itself here or elsewhere. "^^ A 
speech by Senator Edmund Ross (Democrat, Kansas) is, 
however, a better representative of the flowery, almost 

poetic, exposition of the "conflict (which) is one between 
civilization and barbarism. "^^ In the same debate as that 
in which Howe participated, the Kansan spoke thusly: 
The Indian, stimulated by the instinct of self-preservation, 
has resisted and struck at the advancing wave of emigration 
rudely and awkwardly, but with all the barbaric force at his 
command, while the white man, as instinctively possessed with 
the desire for conquest and development, pressed forward by 
the constantly increasing density of population in the older 
States, impressed with the consciousness of his destiny and 
the philosophy of the sacred injunction to replenish and sub- 
due the earth, and armed by a superior civilization, has as 
steadily moved forward in his self-imposed mission ..." 

With considerably less eloquence. Congressman Thomas 
Crittenden (Democrat, Missouri) summarized a century of 
conquest. On December 19, 1878, he noted emphatically 
that "[t]his whole country was set aside for the Indians 
at one time by Cod, but we have driven them out, and 
I say let us keep driving them if they stand in the way of 
the civilization of country. "^^ 

It is clear that such policy debate as took place involved 
disagreement between those who thought Indians incap- 
able of change and those who thought such change just 
might be possible. No one suggested that perhaps Indians 
might or ought to have the right to retain at least a part 
of their own culture. Those who were convinced that the 
Indian could change were possessed of no doubts at all 
concerning the nature of those projected changes. In words 
spoken on January 25, 1881, Senator Ceorge Pendleton 
(Democrat, Ohio) noted that "[i]t must be our part to seek 
to foster and to encourage within them [Indians] this trinity 
upon which all civilization depends— family, and home, 
and property. "25 "These are the institutions," he con- 
tinued, "that make the barbarian a civilized man, and as 
these are developed they make the civilized man that 
which we are told it was said he would be if he ate of the 
tree of knowledge— like unto God, discerning good and 
evil. "2* 

The theological underpinnings of conquest have been 
described in some of the congressional opinions already 
noted. It should be here emphasized that they were neither 
random nor infrequent! From "sea to shining sea" political 
leaders were united in the belief that God literally was on 
their side. In the words of Doolittle, from Wisconsin, "God 
in His providence is giving this continent to a hundred 
millions of human beings of higher civilization, of greater 
energies, capable of developing themselves, and doing 
good to themselves and the world, and leading the ad- 
vanced guard of human and Christian civilization. "2'' 
Earlier in the same speech, he had more extensively 
broached this subject. 

It is true that we have not succeeded in preserving the In- 
dian tribes; but the difficulty is not in the treaties that we have 
nnade, nor in the legislation which we have passed. The difficulty 
is in the case itself. We are a different race. God, in His provi- 
dence, has opened this New World to the coloruzation of a dif- 
ferent race from that which inhabited it when our forefathers 
first landed upon the shores of New England. From the day 
of their landing down to the present hour, the Indian race has 

been a dying, dying, dying race, and it is fast passing away. 
It is not that the government has inflicted wrong; it is not 
that the government has not legislated in their interest; that 
it has not appropriated money liberally and bounteously for 
the Indian tribes during their whole history; but it grows out 
of the case itself, the contact of the two races, side by side upon 
the frontiers of Christian civilization.^' 

Balancing the demands of theologically justified White 
expansion with the assumed imminent demise of the In- 
dians was a task widely undertaken. According to James 
McDougall, Democratic Senator from California, "[w]e do 
not owe them [Indians] anything but this: we should pro- 
tect them on their hunting grounds. That I am prepared 
to do always, and let them die out by a law established 
by a greater Master than confines himself to this sphere, 
as another race that inhabit about the District of Columbia 
is to die out."^' About a year later. Senators John Sher- 
man of Ohio and Edmund Ross of Kansas, Republican and 
Democrat respectively, clearly suggested the limited nature 
of any obligation owed by the dominant society to those 
whom it was displacing. "The duty of the hour," said 
Ross, "is to temper the conflict consistently with the 
exalted maxims of humanity by which we profess to be 
governed, to render not unnecessarily painful the pathway 
to the grave of an expiring race."^" Sherman went some- 
what fiirther, observing that "[i]f you ask me who is wrong 
about this matter, I say that the white people are wrong 
in one sense for invading the land of the Indians and for 
violating the treaty stipulations made with them."^^ "But," 
he quickly added, "on the other hand, I say that it is the 
will of Providence that these races must give way to the 
march of civilization; and although always in these great 
movements cruelty may be the result, yet in the end great 
good comes to the human family . . . we cannot protect 
them [Indians] from the inevitable destiny by which they 
must disappear from the face of the earth or be absorbed 
in the white population of this country. If that is a cruel 
idea, it is made cruel by the logic of events. It is a part of 
that higher law which will not be controlled by the simple 
agencies of your statutes or by any act of ordinary human 
beings. "32 

Virtually all of the material presented above clearly 
reflects the deeply held assumption that Indians were 
destined to disappear, that conquest of the continent by 
the superior Whites was inevitable. Senator McDougall 
(Democrat, California) professed that he was "partial to 
the Indian race. I was taught in my childhood by the 
Oneidas."^^ Nonetheless, he did "not think that we have 
been out of the order of life or nature because the Indian 
has retroceded from the country where he was born . . . 
crowded by the progress of high civilization. I do not thir^k 
that wrong. I think it is one of the provisions of the Master 
that thus it should be so."^* "It must happen so," he con- 
cluded, "for there is a progression of races, and that pro- 
gression we have seen through all ages . . ."^^ 

Sherman saw the process in terms of what might be 
called pragmatic inevitability. "As our white population 
progress westward over the Plains they will either absorb 


the Indian population or kill it off. It may be hard; but such 
is the fate of all barbarous communities, all wild tribes, 
when they come in contact with civilized tribes."'* While 
the Ohioan was convinced that "[y]ou carmot stop or 
change that law of nature," it is to his credit that there was, 
in his judgment, "no solution of the Indian trouble except 
the gradual and humane absorption into our general pop- 
ulation of all the Indian tribes . . ."'^ A decade and a half 
later, Preston Plumb, Republican Senator from Kansas, 
was even less optimistic. "From the time when the white 
people landed upon the North American Continent down 
to the present time, whenever an Indian reservation has 
stood in the way of white settlement or progress of any 
kind, or in the way even of the greed of the white man, 
the Indian and his title to the land have been obliged to 
give way; and we are not going to change that now."'* 
Perhaps it is appropriate that the concluding statement 
on the subject of White superiority and the inevitability 
of Indian defeat and disappearance be rendered by a one- 
time Indian agent, Walter Burleigh, Republican of Dakota. 
Nothing is surer than that the Indian race is passing away 
before the onward tread of the white man and the irresistible 
influence of civilization .... 

The footprints of the Caucasian are everywhere visible in 
the soil of all our western Territories, as well upon the 
mountain-tops as in its deepest canons and broadest plains. 
The genius of enterprise and industry has already extended his 
want over the fertUe vastness of the great West, and as if by 
more than magic power has infused a new life into its produc- 
tive valleys and goldbearing mountains. The future of that coun- 
try is already fixed; the fate of the Indian is sealed as effectu- 
ally and as materially as was that of the Canaanites before the 
advancing armies of Israel as they moved forward to possess 
the promised land of their inheritance. Unvdse legislation might 
perhaps interpose a puny obstacle, but it can not more per- 
manently stop the surging, roUing tide of western emigration 
in its onward way to the Pacific, than it can prevent the changes 
of the season or stay the flight of time.'' 

Indians were irrevocably on the path toward disap- 
pearance, and continued White expansion was dictated by 
the Deity as well as by White self-interest. Any lingering 
twinges of conscience that did not crumble under the 
weight of these two propositions were easily assuaged by 
one more "fact"— Indians were, after all, savages. 

The horror, fear and commitment to elinunate which 
was fostered by the notion of unmitigated Indian savagery 
was older than the republic itself. In the 1830s it provided 
a strong base upon which to place the policy of removal. 
On April 22, 1836, Representatives Ransom Gillet (Demo- 
crat, New York), Francis Granger (Whig, New York) and 
Albert Harrison (Democrat, Missouri) all provided verbal 
shoring for that policy base. According to Gillet, "[t]he 
fears excited by a civilized foe could bear but little com- 
parison with those called forth in the West by a savage one, 
whose movements are sudden, and whose rtiles of war- 
fare is to pounce upon their victims in the stillness of mid- 
night, sparing neither age nor sex, making all the victims 
of savage and fiendish barbarity."*" To which Granger 
added, "he [the Indian] feels no disgrace in telling you that 

he will not meet you on the battlefield, because he has been 
early taught, both by sages and warriors, that treachery 
is honorable."*! And to those who might disagree, Harrison 
directed a rhetorical question: "Are gentlemen unacquainted 
with the Indian character? Have no lessons of wisdom been 
collected from the past? Do they not know the uncertain, 
capricious, and savage disposition of the Indians?"*^ 

A minority opinion held that much Indian warfare was 
the result of White instigation. Ebon Ingersoll (Republican, 
Illinois) was a member of that minority. On March 28, 1866, 
he argued that "nine tenths of the depredations ascribed 
to the Indians generally are exaggerated by those who are 
interested on our borders in plundering these tribes from 
Kansas to California."'*' When "Indians have asserted their 
rights, attempted either to retaliate or defend themselves" 
against "robbing, cheating, plundering, brutalizing, and 
murdering" White men, "we have been appealed to by 
these same men asking us to use the power of the Govern- 
ment to crush these weak and outraged people."** 

James Henderson (Union-Republican, Oregon) re- 
sponded vigorously, even vehemently, to Ingersoll' s 
charge. After stipulating that he himself had lived "a long 
time in the sight of Indians, and I think I have a pretty 
correct knowledge of their habits," Henderson counter- 
charged that "Indians who are not civilized and enlight- 
ened . . . have no moral principle, and are not to be 
depended upon."*^ Professing personal knowledge of In- 
dian barbarities, he concluded by repelling "any idea that 
the barbarities committed by the Indians have grown out 
of any acts of the whites. They grow out of the depraved 
nature of the Indians unenlightened by Christianity. That 
is the cause of the barbarous conduct of which so many 
of these Indians have been guilty."** 

Finally, Thomas Ryan (Republican, Kansas) is at least 
the co-author of a quote attributed historically to others. 
He responded to the events associated with the "break 
out" of the Northern Cheyennes with a speech to the 
House of Representatives December 19, 1878. "The best 
wild Indian I ever saw," he announced, "was a dead 
one."*'' He then provided the reason for holding such an 
opinion: "That Indian, in his savage state, is the greatest 
idol of his tribe who can dash out the brains of the most 
children; ravish the most women, and then murder them; 
kill, by the most cruel torture, the most men, and then 
adorn his belt with the scalps of all."** 

As the exchange between Ingersoll and Henderson il- 
lustrates, by no means did all Whites view all Indians as 
totally evO, depraved and savage. All but a very small 
minority, however, did believe Native Americans to be 
deficient in those qualities prerequisite to civilization (at 
least as that term was defined by the dominant society)! 

Jefferson Davis, though not primarily remembered for 
his service as a Senator and Secretary of War, did "not 
sympathize at all with those who invest them [Indians] 
with the character of fiction, give them a noble character, 
and presume that they are always right."*' Furthermore, 
the Mississippi Democrat viewed Indians "as cruel and 

thieving, a race of men utterly below the white man, and 
never capable of rising to his level . . . ."'" Even so, he 
also refused to "go to the other extreme and represent 
them as creatures to be exterminated by the power of the 
United States."" 

The assumption perhaps the most widely accepted by 
those who rejected extermination as policy was described 
by Sherman (Republican, Ohio) on June 11, 1864. "... we 
should reconsider our whole Indian policy, reorganize it, 
put at the head of it some good Christian gentleman who 
will take care of the Indians as children . . . ."^^ Though clearly 
paternalistic in orientation, Sherman's attitude was more 
positive than that of Senator Morton Wilkinson (Repub- 
lican, Minnesota). Speaking in the same debate, Wilkin- 
son stated his view bluntly: "The truth is that they [In- 
dians] are a lazy, miserable, thriftless set of beings . . . ."^^ 

An occasional White man recognized, and perhaps 
even empathized with, the Indian defense of their home- 
land; Harlan (Republican; Iowa) was one. In a Senate 
speech July 13, 1867, he spoke of the proposed removal 
of all Indians to the south. With reference specifically to 
the Crows and the Blackfeet, "who have inhabited this 
region of country for centuries, and who are as much at- 
tached to the sou, doubtless, as the white people are at- 
tached to their homes," he pointed out that "they would 
be as difficult to remove as the people of Switzerland 
would be from the hUls on which they have resided for 
centuries."'^ The erroneous notion that Indian tribes west 
of the Mississippi had resided in the same general area for 
hundreds of years was almost universally accepted by 
Whites during the 19th century. 

Three speeches delivered before the senate in January, 
1881, illustrate the range of views existing at that time (in 
addition, of course, to the "exterminators"). Preston 
Plumb (Republican, Kansas) recognized the validity of the 
government's obligation toward the Indians, but he was 
utterly pessimistic about its eventual outcome. Recogniz- 
ing both "the obligation of humanity" and "the obliga- 
tion of law," Plumb said he "would be the last one to ad- 
vocate the violation of either obligation . . ."^^ Nonethe- 
less, he went on to express his firm conviction that an "In- 
dian wiU maintain his essential characteristics as such as 
long as he lives; he will never be absorbed into the white 
race to any considerable extent. It is impossible that he 
should ever be a factor in any civilization, in any progress, 
or in any futttre of this country . . . ."'^ 

Eleven days earlier, on January 20, a Colorado Re- 
publican, Herury Teller, expressed a much more positive 
and sociologically sophisticated outlook. Recogruzing that 
Indians differed between and among themselves to a 
degree as great as that marking White populations about 
the world. Teller flatly rejected "the sentiment that has 
been prevalent in some sections, that there were no good 
Indians, and that nothing could be done with the In- 
dian. "^^ Fiirthermore, he insisted, "that with proper in- 
telligent effort the Indian might be in time civilized and 
become an intelligent and valuable citizen. "^^ 

The principle component of that "intelligent effort" 
was obvious to Henry Dawes, Massachusetts Republican. 
On January 26, 1881, speaking in support of the policy of 
allotment. Senator Dawes observed that distribution of 
land was not, in and of itself, a sufficient step. "The In- 
dian will be an Indian as long as he Uves unless he is taught 
to work. "5' That phrase, as neatly as any other, expresses 
the view of the dominant society. Indians not only had to 
"learn how to work, " but in the process they will also have 
to cease to be Indians. That Indians were to be required 
to change in directions pre-determined by Whites was the 
unquestioned policy assumption of the last two decades 
of the 19th century. Such change, designed to obliterate 
a culture, is the last step in conquest. As such, it is the 
final topic to be treated in this paper. 

The perceived need fundamentally to alter the values 
and life styles of indigenous inhabitants grew, at least in 
part, out of the political, legal and constitutional am- 
bivalence which had marked Indian- White contact from the 
beginning. Senator George Vest, Democrat from Missouri, 
admirably summed up this ambivalence, and the ambi- 
guity associated with it, when he addressed the senate 
January 25, 1881. 

The Constitution recognizes the fact that these Indian tribes 
are neither States or foreign nations. The Constitution says that 
Congress shall have power "to regulate commerce with foreign 
nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian 
tribes." So they are neither States nor foreign nations. The truth 
is they are sui generis, a peculiar political entity, not foreign na- 
tions, but they have been defined over and over again by the 
Supreme Court of the United States to be Indians in the United 
States and yet not of it.^° 

Ambivalence to the contrary not withstanding, virtu- 
ally all Whites agreed on at least one point— Indians had 
no legal (or moral) right to the land over which they had 
traditionally roamed. On May 15, 1830, for instance. Rep- 
resentative Wilson Ltunpkin firmly stipulated "the funda- 
mental principal that the Indians had no right either to 
the sou or sovereignty of the countries they occupied. "*i 

More than a quarter of a century later, on February 2, 
1859, Representative WUliam Phelps (Democrat, Min- 
nesota) echoed the same opinion. "True, we have taken 
his [Indian] land, or rather the land over which he roamed, 
but which he did not improve nor make to yield of its rich 
abundance to promote the happiness and the progress of 
mankind. It was our duty to do it. We wanted the land 
for the various uses [for] which an all-wise Providence 
designed it. We wanted it to make free homes for a free 
people. It was not right that this fair continent should re- 
main a wUdemess."*^ 

Many felt, with that benefit of hindsight which eli- 
minates aU ambiguities, that the government had made a 
mistake in dealing with the Indians at all in the acquisi- 
tion of their land. A Republican from Illinois (Richard 
Yates) and a Democrat from Kansas (Edmund Ross) both 
registered simUar opinions on this subject whUe par- 
ticipating in a Senate debate July 13, 1867. Yates argued 
"that the Indians shoiUd never have been treated as own- 


ing the land. They never did own the land. No man has 
a right to own land who will not work it. The Government 
should never have treated them as owning the land 
. . . ."^^ Ross seconded the opinion. "The country," he 
said, "has brought this calamity upon itself by the 
maintenance of a false and pernicious Indian policy. We 
have committed the almost unpardonable absurdity of dig- 
nifying a few roving bands of Ishmaelites as independent 
sovereignties, when they were properly the wards of the 
nation, subject in every respect to a stronger power and 
a higher intelligence, which knew better than they what was 
for their good, and should have treated them accordingly."** 
It must, however, be recognized that there was a 
minority view of this subject. That is, there was a feeling 
on the part of a few that Indians had some claim on the 
society that had displaced them. Doolittle (Republican, 
Wisconsin) spoke to this point April 18, 1866. 

The truth is, the Indians inhabited all this vast country. I 
do not claim that they held it by a title such as that by which 
the civilized man holds his land in fee-simple; but they existed, 
lived, and occupied the country. The Indian thinks, and the 
world believes, and mankind must admit, that the Great Father 
above gave him his life, his existence, upon these vast plains, 
and in this rich and beautiful country .... Is it just in the sight 
of God or man for us to say that we owe nothing to these peo- 

ple whose land we are appropriating at our pleasure? I cannot 
feel in that way. I think, therefore, that all we give the Indian, 
if we give him ten times as much as we do, would not pay him 
any more than the debt that we really owe.'^ 

John Baker (Republican, Indiana) chided his colleagues 
in a House speech given December 19, 1878. Indian land 
holding, he pointed out, had steadily diminished during 
the entire 19th century. Even so, of what remained in In- 
dian hands, "we are told that the march of civilization must 
roll its wheels over this small remnant of territory and crush 
the Indians forever out of existence. Let gentlemen be 
manly; if they want to play the thief, let them play it openly 
and in a manly way."** 

Official denial of Indian title to the land was related 
to an equally adamant rejection of another aspect of In- 
dian culture, and both reflected the utter rejection of th€ 
idea that things Indian could have any intrinsic or inherent 
value. If White officialdom rejected Indian ownership oi 
the land, they also objected vehemently to the types of land 
usage preferred by Native Americans. The three key ele- 
ments of Indian culture (on the high plains at least) which 
Whites found most objectionable were: (1) nomadic rathei 
than sedentary life styles; (2) emphasis on hunting; and 
(3) some concept of communal rather than individua] 

1891 Indian Delegation to Washington, D.C. 


ownership of the land. All three of these were presumed 
by Harlan (Republican, Iowa) on June 11, 1864, when he 
described the land prior to White acquisition as "an un- 
broken wilderness, without roads or bridges or means of 
egress or ingress, inhabited by savages and wild beasts, 
with none of the necessary appendages and conveniences 
of civilized life in reach. "*^ In 1881, Vest, from Missouri, 
expressed the dominant view when he stated as a fact that 
"until the nomadic element is eliminated from the Indian 
system in the United States there can be no peace, no 
safety, and no stability."^* "The idea of a home is the germ 
of civilization," he went on, "and untU that idea is im- 
planted in the Indians, as in all other races on this conti- 
nent, there can be no safety and no stability and no 
prospect of civilization for them by the government."*' 

Less than a week later on January 25, 1881, Senator 
Wilkinson Call (Democrat, Florida) supported Vest's argu- 
ment. Noting that "[i]t is neither for their [Indians'] own 
good nor for that of the white race" that the tribes "be 
permitted to roam over these vast areas of unoccupied land 
and . . . prevent their occupation and cultivation." The 
Florida senator called for harmonizing "the interests of the 
Indian and the white man . . ."^° Such socio-economic har- 
mony was, in Wilkinson's view, to be achieved by restric- 
ting "these vast areas of land which have been heretofore 
used by them [Indians] for hunting grounds and bring 
them to the uses of civilization and occupancy. "^^ 

In his capacity as Director of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, the noted explorer John Wesley Powell wrote a letter 
to Senator John Morgan (Democrat, Alabama). Powell 
argued for the distribution of large amounts of land in 
severalty to forestall any collective Indian decision as to 
the continued use of the land. Regarding absent Indian 
ownership of individual plots, Powell feared that "Indians 
would soon discover that they could hold these great 
bodies of land in common perpetually . . . [and] I fear that 
they would hold these great tracts in perpetuity for 
pasturage and hunting purposes. "^^ 

The unhappy policy result of White objection to Indian 
land ownership was nicely, if sadly, summarized by 
Senator Reverdy Johnson (Democrat, Maryland) June 11, 
1864. "We have become a mighty nation . . .," he noted, 
while "these poor creatures are houseless and homeless 
and periruless, the chase having proved insufficient to sup- 
port them, and Christianized civility having driven them 
away from the lands that belonged to them."''^ 

The goals and purposes of White policy-makers in the 
latter part of the 19th century were legislatively sum- 
marized by the Dawes Act which provided for the allot- 
ment of Indian lands and their distribution in severalty to 
specified individual Indian landholders. It is not the pur- 
pose of this paper to discuss the issues of allotment and 
distribution in severalty in detail. That the policy repre- 
sented a culminating step in cultural, social and political 
conquest seems quite clear, despite the fact that the pro- 
ponents of the measure were firmly convinced they were 
serving the cause of Indian development. It is equally clear 

that Indian "development" was equated with the substitu- 
tion of White values for traditional Indian values. A case 
in point is the speech supporting this policy delivered by 
Senator George Pendleton (Democrat, Ohio) January 25, 
1881. The bill, according to Pendleton, "means the allot- 
ment of these tribal lands to the individual; it means to 
encourage the idea of family; it tends to break up the tribe; 
it tends to build up the home; it tends to anchor the fam- 
ily, and it tends to encourage the love of home and family 
by the pleasures and advantages and benefactions and 
beneficences which the idea of individual property will 

Part of the debate over allotment always concerned the 
actual amovmt of land to be distributed to each Indian land- 
holder. In 1886, the question was debated as to whether 
320 acres of grazing land should be allotted instead of 160 
acres of farmland. In regard to this issue, Representative 
James Weaver (Democrat, Iowa) spoke for a very substan- 
tial majority of Whites. In a speech delivered December 
15, 1886, he reminded his colleagues in the House of 
Representatives that "[t]he white man must be considered 
in this matter as well as the Indian."''^ "Under the bill, if 
the amendments be adopted," he added, "a family of four 
persons, supposing the children to be over eighteen years 
of age, will be allotted 360 acres of arable land and 360 acres 
of grazing land, or 720 acres in all."''* "In my judgment," 
Mr. Weaver concluded, "that is too much, but on the con- 
trary you will sooner civilize them if you will confine them 
to a less area."^^ 

There was, of course, opposition to this policy of land 
redistribution. On January 20, 1881, Teller (Republican, 
Colorado) argued, with some bitterness, "[i]t is in the in- 
terest of speculators; it is in the interest of the men who 
are clutching up this land, but not in the interest of the 
Indians at all."^* 

Another objection to allotment, very infrequently 
made, was raised January 20, 1881, by Senator John 
Morgan. The Alabama Democrat was, apparently, one of 
those few who thought the Indians more capable of evalua- 
tion than Whites in regard to this question! 

The Indians understand this thing better than we do, wise 
as we suppose ourselves to be. The Indians who occupy the 
western plains have always lived in common. They are like the 
people of the interior of Russia, living upon the great steppes, 
where there is some agricultural land and a great deal of graz- 
ing land. The communal institution there, as it is in all analogous 
regions, is almost indistinguishable from the system of the In- 
dians. These people understand from experience what is bet- 
ter for them than we understand with all our knowledge. We 
know what is better for ourselves. 1 would take the Indian's 
experience in reference to the support of his family out of the 
land or by herd grazing or by hunting before I would take the 
experience of any white man who does not understand the sub- 

One final comment is in order in regard to the policy 
of distributing land in severalty. It was rendered by Teller 
in support of Morgan's position. "There is not a wild In- 
dian living who knows what a fee-simple is. There are a 


good many white men who do not know what it is, and 
there are certainly very few Indians, civilized or uncivil- 
ized, who understand it."*" 

It seems clear that the final act of economic conquest 
was this— Indians were to be forced into agricultural pat- 
terns derived from White experience. Indians were not to 
own land in excess of a small acreage which they were "ex- 
pected" individually to work. Annuities, promised under 
earlier treaties, were to be eliminated because they permit- 
ted Indians to live without working. WhOe these opinions 
were deeply held by most Whites over an extended period 
of time, one extended example will suffice. On February 2, 
1859, Representative WUliam Phelps (Democrat, Minne- 
sota) provided a prime example of the arguments advanced 
in favor of ending annuity payment and requiring that In- 
dians be made to work. 

The giving of annuities, in liberal amounts, may seem to 
gentlemen to be in the highest degree generous; but, sir, it is 
promotive of little good. It is rather an injury— destroying the 
only noble characteristic the Indians possess, an untamed in- 
dependence .... Thriftless and improvident, they squander 
their annuities in costly baubles and in enervating dissipation 


UntU you teach him habits of industry; until the precarious 
pursuits of the chase and the war-path are abandoned for the 
more peaceful pursuits of agriculture, you cannot expect to pro- 
mote his permanent good. The roving, wandering Ufe of a 
savage must be exchanged for the more quiet occupation of 
civilized man .... the first step to be taken is by uprooting 
the community of property system; by extinguishing or modi- 
fying the tribal relation; by curbing the war spirit; and by mak- 
ing labor respectable and profitable, especially the cultivation 
of the soil."^ 

The very foundation of all civilization commences with the 
plow. In the same proportion that agriculture is promoted, 
wealth and the more refined sciences, together with a larger 
intelligence, are also promoted. It is the history of all nations; 
the nomadic tribes of every nation and country are in a state 

of semibarbarism; and it is only when they have abandoned 
the chase and the forest, and settled down in the pursuits of 
agriculture, that stable progress commences.*' 

The annuity system is a positive injury; rather reward the 
successful tiller of the soil . . . Punish idleness by want, and 
in less than three years you will find the tribes on each reser- 
vation concentrated, prosperous, and subsisting themselves, 
without Government aid.''' 

Conquest, it seems, can reflect differing levels of 
motivation, ranging from a desire simply to control the ex- 
ternal behavior of the conquered to a deeply-felt need to 
destroy all which is valued by the conquered. During the 
19th centtiry, it is clear that the attitudes of most members 
of the two national representative bodies tended strongly 
in the direction of the latter. For them, the "coin" of con- 
quest had unquestioned acceptance of White supremacy 
on one side and an unbending belief in Indian inferior- 
ity/savagery on the other. As a result, physical defeat of 
Indian warriors in the field was not enough. The culture 
as well as the socio-political system out of which they 
sprang must also be dismantled and replaced with values/ 
institutions/procedures recognizably Anglo-American. 

Policy-makers in the 19th century entertained abso- 
lutely no thought of altering government programs/policies 
for the purpose of accommodating at least some portion of 
the tribal socio-political-economic system. It would remain 
for "reformers" of the 1930s to initiate programs in which 
"accommodation" was more nearly considered to be a 
two-way street rather than as a synonym for destruction. 

ROBERT L. MUNKRES has sewed for many years as Professor of Political Science 
at Muskingum College, Ohio. He was bom in Nebraska, attended school there 
and received his M..A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nebraska. He 
has been published frequently in Annals and is the author of Saleratus and 
Sagebrush: The Oregon Trail Through Wyoming. 

All page citations noted below refer to debates in the Senate and in 
the House of Representatives as reproduced in Wilcomb E. Washburn, 
The American Indian and the United States: A Documentary History, Volumes 
I and II (New York: Random House, 1973). 

1. Pp. 1088-1089. 

2. Ibid. Italics added for emphasis. 

3. P. 1190. 

4. Ibid. Representative Reynolds went on to note, however, that "a 
demonstration of military force among them" would be required to 
"keep them in check and subordination." 

5. P. 1201. 

6. Ibid. 

7. P. 1416. 

8. P. 1419. Twelve years later, on December 19, 1878, John Baker 
(Republican, Indiana) spoke for a large number of people when he 
seconded Burleigh's opinion with these words: "... [these Indians] 
are permitted to be scattered over one-half of the territory we possess. 
Settle these Indians in this Indian Territory, put the guns of the soldier 
over them to keep the peace, and you will be able to reduce the ex- 


penses for the Indians one-half, and in addition reduce the expen- 
ditures for the transportation of the Army and supplies more than 
one-half." P. 1664. 

9. P. 1423. 

10. Ibid. Italics added for emphasis. 

11. Pp. 1653-1654. 

12. P. 1649. 

13. P. 1650. 

14. P. 1085. 

15. Ibid. 

16. P. 1351. 

17. P. 1399. 

18. P. 1457. 

19. Pp. 1540-1541. 

20. Pp. 1541-1542. 

21. P. 1531. 

22. P. 1580. 

23. Ibid. 

24. P. 1654. 

25. P. 1731. 

26. Ibid. Assumptions of White racial superiority permeated the domi- 
nant society. Another case in point consists of the statement made 
by Representative Thomas Skinner (Democrat, North Carolina) on 
December 15, 1886: "Twenty-one years ago the negro was suddenly 
raised from slavery to freedom, and shot at once into citizenship, ut- 
terly incompetent to appreciate the meaning of the word or the rights 
that became his in his new condition; with no book-education, no 
money, no land; dependent entirely upon his muscle for bread and 
clothes; and yet in all these years he has been self-supporting, and 
by long and rapid strides has been advancing in civilization. It is all 
due to the precept and example of the white people with whom they 
have come in daily contact. 1 am informed by those who know both 
the Indian and the negro that the Indian is the superior. Give, then, 
to the red man the black man's chance. Let him become a citizen of 
the United States and be taught by contact with the white man .... 
extend over him and his property the same protection that is accorded 
to white men and the black, and the Indian will soon cease to be a 
burden to the government, and in good time will help to bear its 
burdens and add to the material wealth of the country. The Indian 
problem will be solved." Pp. 1851-1852. 

27. Pp. 1346-1347, June 11, 1864. 

28. P. 1346. 

29. Pp. 1391-1392, April 18, 1866. 

30. P. 1581, July 13, 1867. 

31. P. 1524, July 13, 1867. 

32. Ibid. 

33. P. 1395, April 18, 1866. 

34. Ibid. 

35. Ibid. 

36. P. 1521, July 13, 1867. 

37. Ibid. 

38. P. 1816, January 31, 1881. 

39. Pp. 1409-1410, June 9, 1866. 

40. P. 1212. 

41. P. 1202. 

42. Pp. 1197-1198. 

43. P. 1375. 

44. Ibid. IngersoU concluded by noting that "Indians ... in nine cases 
out of ten would have lived peaceably with the whites if they had been 
treated as they were treated by William Penn on the bar\ks of the 
Delaware nearly two hundred years ago." 

45. P. 1382. 

46. Ibid. 

47. P. 1661. 

48. Ibid. 

49. P. 1226, February 2, 1859. 

50. Ibid. 

51. Ibid. In a House speech given on the same day, William Phelps 
(Democrat, Minnesota) made something of the same point. Indians, 
he argued, "are sunk in habits of thriftlessness and dissipation, and 
are becoming the scourge of the frontier, wanting in all those marJy 
characterisHcs which of yore belonged to them." P. 1228. 

52. P. 1339. Italics added for emphasis. 

53. P. 1357. 

54. P. 1517. 

55. P. 1821, January 31, 1881. 

56. Ibid. 

57. P. 1692. 

58. Ibid. 

59. P. 1785. 

60. P. 1732. Italics added for emphasis. 

61. P. 1090. Thomas Foster (Democrat, Georgia) quoted an address 
delivered by the Honorable John Quincy Adams at Plymouth in 1802: 
"The Indian right of possession itself stands, with regard to the 
greatest part of the country, upon a questionable foundation. Their 
cultivated fields, their constructed habitations, a space of ample suf- 
ficiency for the subsistence, and whatever they had invested for 
themselves by personal labor, was vmdoubtedly, by the laws of nature, 
theirs. But what is the right of a huntsman to the forest of a thou- 
sand miles, over which he has accidentally roamed in quest of prey? 
Shall the liberal bounties of Providence to the race of man be 
monopolized by one of ten thousand for whom they were created? 
Shall the lordly savage not only disdain the virtues and enjoyments 
of civilization himself, but shall he control the civilization of a world?" 
It might be noted that "cultivated fields," "constructed habitations" 
and "personal labor" were insufficient to sustain Cherokee treaty- 
based claims against the government of the State of Georgia! P. 1108. 

62. P. 1235. 

63. P. 1581. One might legitimately wonder what the senator's position 
was in regard to the railroad right-of-way which had been donated 
to the erstwhile absentee landlords by the government. 

64. P. 1582. 

65. Pp. 1404-1405. Most of those who agreed with Mr. Doolittle also 
agreed with the point made by Representative William Kelley 
(Republican, Permsylvania) a year later, July 13, 1867. Mr. Kelley main- 
tained that Indians should be dealt with "as families and as in- 
dividuals" rather than in their capacity as tribes, which Kelley 
denominated "foreign nations in our midst." P. 1500. 

66. P. 1664. 

67. P. 1351. 

68. P. 1689, January 20, 1881. 

69. Ibid. 

70. P. 1740. 

71. Ibid. 

72. P. 1754. 

73. P. 1344. 

74. P. 1731. 

75. Pp. 1857-1858. 

76. Ibid. 
-n. Ibid. 

78. P. 1703. Teller later went on to note a difference between American 
and Canadian policy in this area. "It is true," he said, that "the tide 
of emigration has not swept in that direction; they have not been 
crowded; there is a great abundance of land in Canada, and cheap 
land is to be had; but above all things the reason why they have suc- 
ceeded in Canada is that the government has put them upon a piece 
of ground and then has recognized it as theirs— Moi in their individual 
capacity, but in their tribal relation . . ."P. 1824, January 31, 1881. Italics 
added for emphasis. 

79. Pp. 1711-1712. 

80. P. 1696. More than half a century later, June 12, 1934, Senator Bur- 
ton K. Wheeler of Montana pointed out an anomaly of the General 
Allotment Act. The backers of that policy, he said, "apparently as- 
sumed that after the passage of the act no more children would be 
born to Indians. Nearly all tribal land not needed for distribution was 
declared surplus land and this so-called 'surplus land' was thrown 
open to entry by white purchasers." P. 1940. 

81. Pp. 1227-1228. 

82. Pp. 1229-1230. 

83. P. 1234. 

84. P. 1235. 


in dummtnjs Oltttr: 

totcra from Robert iHtlljs 

thltth bg Scan Iraincrb 

Wyoming, 1886 (Cummins located center left). 


Cummins City, located in Albany County and close to 
the Colorado border, was named for entrepreneur/mining 
prospector, John Cummins, in 1879.' Now a ghost town, 
Cummins City could not have been called a long-term 
thriving stable community. Nonetheless, the town had its 
day in the limelight. 

Once the proposed site of 170 streets, Cummins City 
has had a variety of descriptions concerning its actual size. 
One source states that it never had more than several 
houses, a schoolhouse and a few other sundry buildings.^ 
A Frank Smith, who became acquainted with John Cum- 
mins in 188'j, is reported as saying in John C. Thompson's 
column, "In Old Wyoming," that there were about 30 
structures, including three stamp mills, a church and a 
"very substantial jail."^ However, according to an article 
in the Laramie Sentinel, the town consisted of "100 houses, 
mostly cabins and Messrs. Beard & Thomas were putting 
up a hotel, sixty by one hundred feet and two stories in 
height. "■• 

Population figures for Cummins City vary from 30-200 
persons during its heyday, which lasted a few scant years. 
There was a post office that opened May 26, 1880, with 
George W. Moore listed as the first postmaster. And, there 
were "four doctors, several lawyers, old school teachers 
and other professional and educated men and women."' 

According to Keith Jones, who grew up in the area and 
is now in the process of writing a book about the "boom 
and bust" in Cummins City, the first resident in the vicinity 
was a tie hack by the name of James McGreevy. Jones 
estimates that McGreevy arrived in the area as early as the 
mid-1870s.' It is not known how long McGreevy stayed 
around as he was not listed on the 1880 Wyoming Census.^ 

Cummins, who apparently had great dreams of 
grandeur and riches, was an "enterprising businessman" 
who, according to history/folklore, found a way to achieve 
those dreams. Cummins was described as more like a 
"man of the cloth," which is a far cry from the scoundrel 
that he was purported to be. A shrewd, talented, organ- 
ized professional, Cummins along with his wife, a "lively 
and enthusiastic woman," and friend and confidante, 
"Doc" Thomas, created a financial illusion to potential in- 
vestors regarding the Copper King Mine in Albany 
County. To keep up the impression of future wealth and 
secrecy, Cummins carried on his person a large envelope 
containing supposed "valuable papers." Whether this 
envelope helped with the look of success or not, the in- 
vestors were not shy in coming forward to get their share 
of whatever fame and fortune that might come their way. 
They invested heavily in the mining concern. One Denver 
company alone was reported to have invested $10,000 in 
mining rights.' 

Although mining claims were staked around the area, 
nothing like huge profit-taking was the order of the day. 
And, like so many other highly publicized and possibly 
questionable endeavors, the inevitable happened. The cop- 
per mining dream of fortune for all disappeared and only 


the nightmare remained. It was rumored that when the 
bubble burst, someone had salted the area with copper ore 
samples. "^ Sometime after the collapse of the mining con- 
cern, Cummins left the area. However, he did not appear 
to leave empty-handed. He absconded with what he had 
"earned" and left the investors high, dry and broke. It was 
never clearly established just how much money had been 
invested or lost during this time, but it may have been as 
much as $1 million which was never recovered. 

Cummins eventually located in Denver and was still 
in the business of "promotional activity."'" However, as 
with all good things, his luck changed and the law caught 
up with him. It is not clear exactly what happened to Cum- 
mins, but what is clear is that when he died, the envelope, 
which he had so cherished and said contained "valuable 
papers," was finally opened and inside was neatly folded 
brown wrapping paper," only valuable if needed to wrap 
the "catch of the day." 

It was during this time frame of the early 1880s that 
a restless, young man happened to wander into Cummins 
City. A man who was trying to find his way, fame and 
whatever else in America. 

Robert Scowfield Mills was born September 6, 1863, 
in Southport, Lancashire, England. He was the second son 
of Jane Ann and Robert Mills, stone mason. Barely six 
weeks after the birth of his son, Robert Mills, Sr., was killed 
in an accident at work. The mother, alone with baby Robert 
and a daughter Ada, decided to go back to her family in 
Manchester. Before he was two years old, Robert Mills had 
a stepfather when his mother remarried in 1865. Twins 
were born later and the son was named Phil. Unfortu- 
nately, Robert's mother died in 1869 and the grandmother, 
Ann Gill, joined the motherless family to help with the up- 
bringing of the children. As time went by the relationship 
between Robert and his stepfather turned sour and eventu- 
ally Robert and his Grandmother Gill left the family home. 
Later in life the influence that GUI had on young Robert 
would show itself. Gill had been born in Clwyd, North 
Wales, and the stories she told Robert about Wales instilled 
in him a love for Wales like a native-born son. 

Grandmother Gill had visited America when she mar- 
ried her second husband, John Gill, in 1841. Gill was a 
Mormon and he and Ann left Manchester for America with 
their destination being Salt Lake City, Utah. For some 
reason it was not known if they ever reached Utah or why 
they returned, but they did. John Gill died in Manchester 
in 1859. 

It might have been the stories that his grandmother 
told Robert about America that sowed the seeds for his 
future traveling life. So, unhappy at his job in the cotton 
mills, Robert at the tender age of 16 years old set sail for 

He apparently first went to Philadelphia, lived in and 
visited Illinois, Montana and Wyoming. It was during his 
tenure in Cummins City that Mills wrote back to his fam- 
ily in England about his life, experiences and adventures 
in the West. 

The letters that he wrote are reproduced in this article 
and the wording and phrasing that he used have been left 
"as is." The letters surfaced several years ago when a 
granddaughter, Vickie Matthew, Cornwall, England, wrote 
to the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical 
Department requesting information about some of the 
places her grandfather had spent his teenage years. And, 
as a book was being written about him and a possible 
television documentary, any information would fill in some 
of the questions that were still unanswered. 

Although Mills seemed to be an industrious, hard- 
working young man, he was also peccant of changing his 
name when it suited him for no outwardly reasons. 
Although using the name Robert Mills for much of his time 
in Wyoming, he did sign letters after 1883 as Robert 
Glyndur/Glyndwr. However, the name Robert Glyndwr 
did appear on a petition to the Board of County Com- 
missioners of the County of Albany as early as November 
22, 1880. The final letter we have in this collection is dated 
November, 1883, Meagher Co. Mont. Ter. It too is signed 
R. Glyndwr. Nothing unlawful, illegal or even slightly out 
of the ordinary was found regarding Mill's use of aliases. 
It appeared to be his idiosyncrasy and he carried on this 
tradition throughout his life even after leaving America and 
traveling to other countries and other adventures. 

According to additional letters, still held by the family 
in England, Mills kept his word and never did go back to 
working in the cotton mills. One letter written by him while 
he was in London, England, stated that he had tried track- 
ing down H. M. Stanley (Sir Henry Morton Stanley, 
Welsh-journalist and explorer who in 1879 founded the 
Congo Free State for Belgium) requesting that he be al- 
lowed to join a specific expedition to Sudan. However, it s 
appeared in that instance the expedition personnel force I 
was filled and so Mills turned to other things. 

He joined the army and ended up in D. Troop, 1st 
Royal Dragoons. While in the service he apparently in- 1 
vented a cloak that doubled as a tent. In an effort to pro- | 
mote this invention, it was necessary that foreign govern- 
ments be contacted. Shortly after he left the service and 
we can only assume it was because of the success of his 
cloak tent. However, he had had a distinguished service 
career being awarded several medals for various actions 
seen during the South African War and the Great War 
(World War I). 

Somehow during his very busy life Mills found the 
time to get married and father four children. He also wrote 
several novels. By the time of his death, October 15, 1919, 
three additional names had been added to his A.K.A. (also 
known as) list: Colonel A. C. Vaughan, D.S.O. (Dis- 
tinguished Service Order) medal Welsh patriot; Owen 
Rhoscomy, historian; and finally Robert Scourfield-Milne 
(this name apparently is a combination of family names). 
These are several names that have come to light, but who 
really knows how many names Robert Mills used? 

There are still many things not known about the man 
Robert Mills who lived in Cummins City. Perhaps his 

biographer Robert Morris of Aberystwyth College will be 
able to unravel some of the mysteries concerning this man 
who was a wandering adventurer. 

From his letters Mills seems to have had a good idea 
of what was going on in his part of the world. Even though 
some of his exploits may seem to be somewhat far fetched, 
who knows, perhaps his sojourn to Cummins City was just 
the beginning for his life that was to follow. 

Robert Mills 

Cummins City 

Dear Brother, 

I have not received your letter, & do not think I shall 
ever get it. I went down to the Republican. After a little, 
I quarrelled with my boss about wages. We were out on 
the prairie, alone, & he drew his revolver, & fired at me. 
I made my horse rear, so that he received the bullet & fell 
dead. 1 sprang off, just in time to save myself from being 
crushed, & to avoid a second bullet. Siezing my rifle, I 
plugged the villain in the shoulder, upon which he turned 
and scooted. He got two hundred yards or so when I 
plugged him again. It did not kill him, so I let fly at his 
horse, & hit him as I could tell by his wild jump. But the 

"galoot" put spurs to him & succeeded in getting out of 
reach. A few hours after, there came an outfit of cattle, 
bound for Laramie, via Cheyenne (pronounced Shian). I 
joined them, & after reaching Laramie, I struck out for 
Cummins City, a new mining camp in the Rockies. I am 
working for $1V2 per day & board, but as winter com- 
mences at the beginning of October, I cannot work every 
day, so I go out hunting and have killed several deer, a 
couple of elk, & a mountain lion, alias panther, alias puma. 
Once however, I had a tough rub. I had killed a buck near 
to a thicket of Pines. I laid down my rifle, & cutting the 
throat of the buck, commenced cleaning him. In a minute 
or 2, 1 heard a horrible rackitt, & looking up saw a thunder- 
ing great grizzlie making for me. He was about 5 yards 
away. I jumped up & stabbed him right square in the 
breast. That maddened him, & he struck at me tearing my 
coat off. I jumped back, & emptied my revolver into him, 
hitting him twice in the breast, once in the throat, twice 
into his mouth, & last right between the eyes which 
"fetched" him. I took the deer skin, wrapping it round 
me for a coat. Next day I took a wagon, & brought him 
into camp, the biggest grizzlie the "boys" had ever seen. 
We have plenty of bear meat yet. 

Last Tuesday was election day, & on Monday I went 
over to the store (a log shanty). The boys were "setting 
'em up" & I could get anything there was in the store, 
canned fruit, provisions, clothing, & ammunition for 
nothing. Garfield has been elected & there is a Republican 
Congress to boot. 

Whoops. As I was riding back to our camp, a fellow 
rode out in front of me, with a revolver in his hand. He 
held it close to my nose, telling me to "throw up my 
hands". (I was wearing the grizzlie skin as a cloak, & had 
concealed my right arm in it.) I threw up my left arm, tell- 
ing him I had but one. "That so," said he, lowering his 
pistol. "Wal I want yer hoss, savvey to the rackett" "Yes" 
I said, "heap good savvey" & like lightning, I put my pistol 
between his eyes & told him to drop his pistol, jump off 
his horse, which he did. I caught his horse's bridle rein 
with my left hand, keeping the roadagent covered with 
a pistol, in my right, & digging away with my spurs, I was 
gone, to be followed by half a dozen bullets from the 
roadagent's pistol, & thus I got a good horse & saddle. I 
am getting along bully, & hope you are the same. Please 
answer in your next letter, the questions I asked you in 
my last. With the hope & wish that this will find you all 
well in health & spirits. I remain. 

Yours etc. 

Roving Rob. 
P.S. Savvey is Mexican for understand and a Road agent 
is a highwayman & they swarm around here. 

Show this to Swainson and Co, to whom I send my 
sincere regards. 



Cummins City, Dec. 21st/80 

Mein Brother 

I have just received your welcome letter. I am very 
sorry that you could not get your portrait taken, for 1 
should have thought a great deal of it. 1 hope you enjoyed 
your trip to Liverpool. 1 have struck it rich here. I came 
into camp one day, & got acquainted with a Mr. Adams, '^ 
who took a fancy to me, & made me a proposition. He said, 
that if I would stay with him, & keep his accounts & time, 
he would give me an education, & keep me in board, lodg- 
ing, clothes, & pocketmoney, teach me to become a min- 
ing expert, also a good assayist, besides giving me a start 
in life, probably as partner, & if I find any good mines to 
take them up & develope them. He is a widower with one 
daughter. He owns large interests in the best mines here, 
& is whole owner of several others. 1 shall have very little 
to do this winter, except pursue my studies, 1 have taken 
up German, & shorthand along with other mining 

You in England, can not fully estimate the advantages 
of this opportunity. If I let it pass, 1 deserve to die in the 
poor house. 1 wish vou could persuade your father to send 
you out here, but 1 promise you, that 1 will sell the first 
good claim I get, & send money for your passage. 1 am 
still at liberty to hunt just whenever I please. I hope you 
are getting along all right ... I must now conclude, so 
wishing you all a merry Christmas, & a Happy New Year. 

I remain 

Yours etc. 

Your Brother Rob. 
Mr. Adams is manager for a large mining Co., the Union 

P.S. I thought I had written long ago, telling you to wear 
the clothes, so you had better wear them now, for 1 am 
growing terribly fast, so the boys say. Rob. Wear any 
clothes of mine ther may be left. 

Cummins City, Feb lOth/81 

Sister Mine 

1 recieved your letter yesterday, and here return thanks 
for the card. 1 never recieved any answer from Aunt Ann. 
What do you mean by "Philip farming Father's grave." 
1 do not know the exact age of Miss Adams, but think she 
is about as old as yourself. As for my never coming home 
you can bet your shekels 1 shall come home, but not so 
poor as when 1 left it. Christmas was the same as another 
day here, except that it stormed a little harder. We had 
some pretty hot weather here with the thermometer at 45 
deg. below zero. Snow is from 4 to 7 feet deep in the moun- 
tains, therefore 1 can't hunt. In going from place to place 
we use snow shoes which are made of strips of ash wood, 
about nine feet long (turned up at the toes) and about six 
inches wide. About 4 feet from the toe a piece of wood 
is nailed across to fit the instep and just forward of this 
are a couple of strips of leather to fasten across the foot, 
this with a long pole completes the equipment. This pole 

is used in decending bald mountains, which is done by 
straddling the pole, putting the shoes well together and 
forward, and away you go like a double-barelled streak of 
greased lightning. 

This camp is booming. Last spring the deer, elk, bison, 
bear & wolves used to frolic here, and now we have a camp 
of between 2 & 3 hundred inhabitants, with four saloons, 

5 stores, a public building where political, religious, & other 
meetings are held, & a circulating library of 100 volumes. 
There is a J. P., sheriff & constable & a jail is talked of, & 
a stamp mill for extracting the gold from the ore, also a 
sawmill turning out 7000 feet of lumber per day. Prepara- 
tions are being made for the erection of another stampmill 
in the spring. A railroad is projected from here to Laramie, 
where it would effect a junction with the famous Union 
Pacific, Transcontinental Railroad, so you can see we are 
"rustling". Wyoming is the least populous of all the states 

6 Territory, the population of the entire Territory (which 
is 375 milles from north to south, 400 miles east to west) 
being only 20000 whites. Previous to 1868, it was inhabited 
solely by Indians of whom the Sioux (Se-you) nation 
numbering about 43000, was the strongest. 

Please to send me some English newspapers, or else 
some reading in the Lancashire dialect. 1 guess this is about 
all that 1 have to say, so with the hope that this will find 
you in as good health as it leaves me in. 1 remain 

Yours etc 

Cummins May 2/81 

Sister Mine 

1 have just recieved your welcome letter. There is a 
great difference between Wyoming and England therefore 
my letter was not reckless but matter of fact . . . 

Spring is coming and the snow is going fast. Things 
have turned up different to what 1 expected & 1 don't know 
where 1 shall go positively. Yesterday however 1 came near 
going "up the flume." 1 had killed a deer just above the 
canon (pd. Kanyon) of the Big Laramie River 3 miles long 
& as the camp is near the mouth of it 1 built a raft & started 
to voyage down the River. The cliffs on each side rise about 
1000 feet & the River bed is sprinkled with huge boulders. 
The current runs from 8 to 9 miles an hour so my steering 
pole was useless. 1 had gone about half way when my raft 
got wrecked by striking a rock & left me hanging on to a 
couple of poles. It happened so quick that I don't know how 
t'was done nor yet how 1 got out of that terrible Canon, 
but 1 know that when 1 finally got stranded at the mouth 
of the Canon 1 did not feel very outrageously lively you 
bet. My knee was temporarily disabled and 1 had several i 
other bruises about me. One of the boys who was passing 
helped me to camp & you can bet your shekels that 1 don't | 
go down that Canon again. I hope you like your place & 
are in good health. As I have no more news I will conclude 

And remain 

Yours et 



I'l'vlWy 1^ 

jiMi'.fi' ''<£..■ . 

Map of Cummins City, 1880. 

Cummins Wyo. May 10/81 

Dear Brother 

I recieved your welcome letter yesterday. 1 got 2 
Reporters, one with the account of Mr. Swainson's death 
in it, the other about the wiping out of a knobstick. I am 
glad to hear of your doing so well. How are you treated 
at home and how much wage do you get, also how much 
spending money. 

Things have turned out different to what I expected 
so I do not know where I shall go for. I enclose some clip- 
pings which will give you some idea of the kind of "taffy" 
they fill up with out here. There is a rumour that a party 
of English " capitalists "^^ are on there way out here. 1 hope 
it is so then I will have a chance to sell out. Spring has 
come & the grass in the valleys is 2 feet high. 

I have nothing more to add so while my heart is shak- 
ing hands with you & my spirit is saying "How How" 

I remain. 

Your loving 
Brother Rob 
P.S. There are rumours of Indian risings but "cum grano 

N.B. knobstick, slang, blackleg or scab. 

Post Office, Big Laramie, Oct. 81 

Cummins City did not boom this spring, therefore I 
went to work for Balch & Bacon, the largest cattle owners 
in Laramie Plains. i'' I am getting $35 per month and board 
and have already attended three roundups, one on the 
Chugwater which works the Black Hills, east to the 
Nebraska Line; one on the plains; and their own roundup 
in the famous park of North Colorado. I am sure of get- 
ting my money this time as they have quite a fortune 
deposited in the bank at Laramie City and are willing to 
pay whenever a man wants it. I was dreaming about you 
last night, you would not have anything to do with me 
when I came home, nor come out west with me, do you 
think such a thing will happen? 

The roundup on the Chugwater ended June 15th and 
the plains roundup ended the first part of this winter when 
I was able to go for my mail, but had no writing materials 
and had to start right away for the famous North Park of 
Colorado to round up the beef which we took to Laramie 
City for shipping to Chicago. 

There are about 16 of us on the Home Ranch where 
the boys are now making hay (they use machines alto- 
gether) pending the arrival of a favourable letter from Mr. 


Balch^5 who has gone north to Montana to find a new range 
for cattle. I am herding the horses until we hear when we 
shall gather the cattle, about 10,000 head and take the trail 
for Montana. I am living in an old deserted ranch said to 
be haunted. It is single story, built of logs and on stormy 
nights when the wind howls thro' the rooms— rattling and 
banging doors with their heavy chain fastenings, it does 
seem as if the Cloven Hoof were out on a jamboree with 
all his imps. 

As for keeping Sunday I don't know one day from 
another, but I shall find out tomorrow when 1 go to post 
this. 1 sometimes get a little homesick when I think of 

Cummins City Nov 14/81 

Sister Mine 

You seem to be having a bully old time travelling. But 
your travelling & mine are different, for 1 work while I 
travel & get paid for it. Mr. Balch did not get back from 
the north until very late in the fall, & so we do not move 
the cattle until next spring. Balch & Bacon's foreman told 
me that he would like to keep me (keep to work) this winter 
if possible, but when we got back to the Home Ranch, the 
Messrs Balch & Bacon had concluded not to keep anyone 
this winter, as they will have to keep so many next winter 
on account of moving the cattle, but they wished me to 
come around next spring early, and they will give me a 
good job, for they said that 1 had been faithful & willing, 
& that 1 knew my work. 1 drew my wages & reckoned my 

5 mos. earnings. When I went to work for Balch & Bacon's, 
I was "broke", without a cent & without decent clothes 
to wear, & now 1 possess a "war-bag" full of clothes, a 
goodly roll of Blankets, a horse & saddle, a good six shooter 

6 rifle & some little money, & hope to possess in a few 
days a fine mare also which got away from its owner when 
it was an unbranded colt. It's owner is since dead, & as 
I know right where the mare ranges, I shall saddle my 
horse the first fine day & taking a good stout lariat, I think 
I shall own that mare "fo' " long. This last two months 
I have lived much the same as I did the other three I 
described to you except about 12 different nights. On these 
nights I would roll out my blankets & crawl in (I never was 
inside a house the whole 5 months except a few days in 
the haunted ranch) & next morning I would wake up to 
find my blankets covered with snow, from 4 to 8 inches 
deep, with the "beautiful" still coming down like mad. 
Then the air was filled with blue streaks of sulpher as the 
"boys" groped in the snow for pans & boots & buckskin 
shirts, one morning in particular, it had commenced to 
sleet the night before, which sleet had frozen on our beds 
& clothes, till it was about 3 inches thick & then it snowed 
about 5 inches more, so you can imagine what a heavenly 
time we had of it. Don't be too joyful about my change 
of name, as I came might near to losing my mail through 
it, & if I hadn't played with my sixshooter a little, I don't 
think I would have got it, but sixshooters are trumps out 


I am a small boy of about exactly 5 ft 9 inches & a half 
high, & I enclose you a Photo which I had taken this sum- 
mer, I also enclose one of each for Phil, when it was too 
hot for buckskin shirts, although "chaparejos" as our leg 
wear is called, are indispensible. I paid a 5 $ bill for six 
Photos. (A feller has to pay about a small fortune for 
everything he buys out here) I enclose a Photo of a saddle 
like mine. At present I am living with a couple of fellers 
in a log cabin close to Cummins, & we are boarding 
ourselves also, cooking for ourselves. I can cook like a 
house afire & eat, better. It is Sunday today & we had some 
hucsters to dinner (which I cooked) We had vegetable 
soup. Roast grouse, potatoes, & pumpkin pie-(Wish you 
would send me a reciept to make plum-pudding for 

1 live pretty rough, yet I have not been sick since I 
"struck" the West. Please show this letter to Phil & tell 
him that I will write to him in about a month, when I shall 
know what I am going to do this Winter . . . It is storming 
hard outside, the stormcloud has settled upon us, cover- 
ing mountain peak and forest pine in shroud, & promises 
fair to be a 3 foot snow. What a sullen grandeur & beauty 
there is in these primitive forests. As you stand upon the 
edge of one in summer, when the sun is shining brightly 
upon the belt of quaking aspen which generally surrounds 
them, & upon the darker green of the hoary patriarchs 
beyond. Push your way in a little and you find yourself 
in a kind of twighlight darkness, for the sun's rays cannot 
pierce the dense foliage a hundred feet above our heads, 
& no grass grows beneath our feet. The trees from 2 to 4 
& 5 feet in thickness, standing from 2 to 4 yards apart rise 
up straight as an arrow, & without a branch or twig till 
they are about 75 or 100 feet from the ground, when their 
bush tops twine & interlace with each other, totally ex- 
cluding the sunlight and then the awful stillness; here are 
no singing birds (dear little birds) no noise saving the fall- 
ing of a tree or branch, the trumpet like bellowing of the 
bull Elk, or if it is night, the scream of the montain lion, 
or the howl of the timber wolf. The old Cherokee Indian 
trail to California, passes over the Big Laramie River here 
at Cummins, & goes through one of these primitive forests, 
to the North Park of Colorado. This fall when we were driv- 
ing a herd of steers to the north Park, we camped the first 
night on the hillside where the trail enters the forest. I was 
detailed, along with the German & a Texas feller, for the 
first relief, night herd. It was in September, 10 deg. below 
freezing & storming at that. A mountain lion commenced 
to sing sweetly to his love (or something else) & the cattle 
stampeded six times before midnight, when it quit snow- 
ing & the cattle laid down to rest, I followed their exam- 
ple after being relieved, turning in with all my clothes on, 
boots, spurs, chaparejos, and everything. "Such is life in 
the far West." Next morning we bright and early started. 
I drove the horses (some 150 head) on ahead & the cattle 
followed me right at my horse's tail, (not a very nice posi- 
tion if they should happen to stampede) & in this way we 
travelled through the forest gloom. The bellowing of the 

cattle mingled with the weird "singing" of the "cowboys" 
in the rear of the herd (some 2 000 head) made an impres- 
sion in my mind which I shall not soon forget. Just at Sun- 
down we emerged from the forest (we had crossed it at 
a kind of a neck between large forests or more properly 
speaking, all these mountains which comprise the Rocky 
Mountain Systems, some hundreds of miles wide & 
thousands long, are covered with dense forests except 
above timber line, and right as it were in the heart of the 
Rocky Mountains, are set in succession from north to south 
the north, middle, south & San Luis Parks; the North Park 
is a beautiful patch of prairie, some 40 mUes wide by 60 
miles long, surrounded by giant mountains, whose sides 
are clad in purple forest as far up as timber line, & from 
there to the peaks are covered with snow, which snow sup- 
plies the many beautiful creeks which flow like the veins 
of a leaf to the main vein, which is the Platte River. This 
river rises at the foot of Long's Peak, & flows through the 
north Park from South East to North West. Over this little 
prairie roam millions of antelope, and in the mountains 
round are Elk, deer. Grizzlies, bear, mountain lions, 
wolves & some few mountain bison, & on the snowcapped 
peaks live mountain shepp, akin to the Chamois of Europe. 
At the north end of the Park lies what is called the Neck 
of the Park. This is a park about six mUes long, & from 
■1 to 5 hundred yards wide, & through this neck the trail 
enters the Park.) and saw beyond "peak upon peak in 
endless range" the "Snowy Ranges" of which the Rocky 
Mountain System is made up, and so ended an ordinary 
24 hours of "life in the far West" 

Well, I am going to settle down to making money 
enough to establish me in business at home, how much 
do you think it will take. Send me a Christmas Card Sis. 
I am glad to hear that you are now enjoying good health, 
I always do. Please excuse this miserable scrawl as the day 
is so gloomy, I can hardly see the lines 

But I must now Conclude 
And remaining 
Yours etc 

Robert Mills 

Cummins, Wyo. Jan lOth/82 

Sister Mine 

I received your welcome letter the day after Christmas, 
& therefore the reciept came a day too late. You can hardly 
imagine how welcome the reading matter was, although 
I did not yet study that pamphlet on the "final dissolu- 
tion" as I do not believe in any such stuff. You will please 
give my sincere thanks to the young lady who sent me the 
interesting book I recieved 3 months ago, & please tell me 
her name if she does not object. 

You would like to know how I spent Christmas. Well 
Kenyon (my "pard" an Englishman too) went to Laramie 
a few days before Christmas, & came home Christmas eve 
with his wagon loaded with Christmas goods for the 
miners, & stowed away among the rest were the ingre- 
dients for a Christmas pudding, not so rich as the one you 

wrote of but good enough. Christmas day dawned bright 
& beautiful. The sun beamed down as though he were 
wishing us a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. After 
Breakfast I mixed the Christmas pudding & dropped it in 
the pot, in another pot 1 cooked a brace of grouse, (about 
the size of a 9 months old rooster each grouse) & I put a 
hunk of venison to roast. All this time the pudding was 
bubbling away. About the middle of the afternoon we sat 
down to dinner, 4 of us 2 Englishmen & 2 Americans & 
that pudding was a tremendous success, all 4 pronouncing 
it "way up". A little before sundown the clouds began to 
gather to the South-West, around the setting sun, & just 
after dark it commenced to snow, but we only drew our 
seats (dry goods boxes & Blocks of wood) closer to the fire, 
& told the weather clerk to "hoop her up", & also gave 
him the information that we were here before the snow 
was, & should be here when the "beautiful" was gone. 
We sat up telling stories of home in old England, Nova 
Scotia, & New England, & of adventures in "this Western 
Country" till about 9 or ten o'clock, at which time we turned 
in, & so ended a Christmas day in the far West. You seem 
to be very fidgety about my temperance principles, I don't 
drink nor use tobacco, the boys here know this, & therefore 
they have quit asking me to do either. I am very sorry to 
hear of the death of Uncle Gervase, for he was always very 
kind to my Grandmother & myself, as was Mrs. Etchells 
& they helped us along a great deal. 1 had six Photos taken 
last summer but they were all spoken for long before & 
so I could not send one to Aunt Sarah's, but I will have some 
more taken next spring, & will send them one, please tell 
this to Aunt Sarah the next time you go to Edge Lane. 
Thank you very much for the Christmas cards, & reading 
matter. I have not time to write any more as the messenger 
who will take this to town is ready to depart, so I will now 
conclude with my best wishes for your welfare 
And Remain 
Yours etc 

Robert Mills 

Cummins City May lst/82 

Dear Brother 

You are doubtless very anxious to hear from me. Well 
I have no good news to tell. You see 1 calculated to sell 
a horse, & add the price of it to a sum already saved, & 
send the money to you to come here with, but my horses 
caught the "pinkeye" & died. Then I got work in the 
mines, thinking 1 could save the 20 dollars which was 
necessary to make up your passage money, just a day or 
two after 1 wrote to you. Well I worked a week & then it 
was found necessary to "timber" the shaft. The mine is 
situated on the bank of the river, at the mouth of the lower 
canon, about 4 miles below camp. And therefore I took an 
axe, & went down there to cut the necessary timbers or 
logs; & seeing a drift log on the river bank, I thought I 
would trim it. It was a cedar. I chopped off the top end 
& the branches first, & then commenced to chop the in- 
tricate roots, when the axe glanced & struck my foot. 1 came 


mighty near chopping it off. I was in a thicket of quaking 
aspen, so that I managed to cut two forked sticks for 
crutches. There was 4 miles of mountain and "bush" 
covered bottom land between me & camp, & 1 thought I 
would die before I got to camp. I have been laid up ever 
since. I am now going round on crutches after lying on 
the broad of my back for quite a while. The wound is clos- 
ing up, being now only about an inch wide, by six inches 
long. The sinews are commencing to knit together again, 
& I guess I'll be all right after a while . . . 

Well, better luck next time, & I am only thankful that 
I had "nerve" enough to carry me through the snow to 
camp, the day I got hurt ... 1 will now close with my best 
love for you all. 

& Remain Yours etc 

Big Laramie Aug 20/82 

Sister Mine 

1 take this opportunity of writing to you, but, as 1 have 
lost your letter I cannot answer any questions you may 
have asked. One thing however, I remember, you seem 
to be afraid that I should want money from you, but don't 
be afraid, 1 have never begged money from anyone yet, 
& you can just bet that 1 am not going to commence now. 
If any of my "hightoned" relations think it, they are just 
a little off. My foot has got better, though, 1 still wear a 
boot 2 sizes too big. 1 got into debt considerable, & get 
diheartened every time 1 think of it. I've had hard luck ever 
since 1 came West, first 1 got beat out of my wages, then 
got let (down) on Adams, then invested in horses, & lost 
them through pinkeye, then chopped my foot, & every 
time 1 think of it 1 get homesick. 1 have kept my promise 
to you, & the Photos will give you a good idea of what 
I look like everyday in the camp . . . 

And remain 
Yours etc 
Rob Mills 

Cummins City Jan 27/83 

My Dear Brother 

After this long delay 1 again take up my pen to let you 
know that 1 am still alive. 1 was attending the round-up 
last October and one day when 1 was out on circle all alone 
1 found a solitary Texas steer. He started "on the jump" 
and 1 after him. My horse was the fleetest horse on the 
round-up but terrible vicious and while he was going after 
that steer as tight as he could pat it down, he put his foot 
into a hole & fell. It was a rocky ridge where he fell. 

The next thing I knew I was lying covered with snow, 
scarcely able to move. My horse had struck out & gone 
to the place where we had camped the night before, but 
the cook had alreay moved camp ten miles from there. My 
horse however struck the trail of the horse convoy & 
followed it up to the new camp. The boys caught him, & 
seeing the scratches & other marks on the saddle, they 
"tumbled" at once, & "roping" fresh horses, started to 

hunt me. they found me along towards sundown & took 
me to camp. 1 had 2 ribs broken, one finger broken & a 
terrible knock on the temple, & another back of my head. 
The point of my right hip bone was hurt, & it pains me 
yet, bruises "heap plenty". But that would have been 
nothing only the wet snow gave me cold, & so I had to 
go to town. It laid me up about a month & then I caught 
another sickness, neuralgia in the head. You see when I 
went to sleep in a house after sleeping out, I caught a terri- 
ble cold, which kept me from getting better. Neuralgia kept 
me down for another 5 weeks, and the doctor sent me up 
here to Cummins to recruit up. I am able to work now if 
I had any work to do. All this of course costs money & 
so of course I am again over $150 in debt. I think however 
I shall shortly make a raise. 

Last New Years eve, I and my partner went out to 
some claims to jump, we found the A claim open to reloca- 
tion. Another fellow had already relocated it before & it 
was open to relocation. Well about 7 o'clock that night we 
armed ourselves & started out. We reached the claim & 
built a terrible big fire which the men in camp thought was 
the great comet come back. We relocated the claim without 
any trouble. This other fellow wants to make trouble about 
it & so we have written to the Secretary of Interior & his 
answer will decide it. It is supposed to be one of the best 
claims in camp & everybody thinks we can hold it. 

Yours etc 

Robert Glyndur 

Cummins City Feb 13th 1883 

My Dear Sister 

I recieved your letter & paper of Sept. 21 st /82, & 
hereby return sincere thanks for aforesaid paper. I was in 
jolly good health when those Photos were taken. You have 
doubtless seen the letter that I sent to Phil, therefore I will 
here take the opportunity of saying that I am in perfect 
health, 5 feet 9 inches high, & weigh 7 score & a half. My 
claim (or rather my half of the claim) which is called the 
"Mountain Chief", is reckoned a good one, & I have 
receeved an answer from the Secretary of Interior, which 
is regarded as very favorable by all who have seen it. 'Twas 
on the afternoon of New Years Eve that we first took a 
notion to relocate the claim. It was cold enough to freeze 
the hair off a dog's back, but we started "anyhow". It was 
a terrible climb from the foot of Jelm Mountain, along the 
claim to the summit of the "bench", where we found the 
"discovery shaft", a hole two or three feet deep. We 
reached it just at Sundown. At 9 o'clock we started four 
fires, each fire burning three giant pitch-pine trees. They 
were seen at Cummins nearly 3 miles away; from which 
place it appeared like one huge fire hanging in the air about 
one hundred feet above the mountain top. Night glasses 
were levelled at it by some, while others swore it was a 
planet or a star, & "Hotsoup" went around offering to bet 
a hundred dollars that it was the great comet of '82 come 
back. We waited till 12 o'clock and then put up our monu- 
ment & notice, after which we stayed by it till 12.20 to make 

sure, but as nobody appeared we shouldered our rifles & 
struck out for town. On arriving there we found that the 
fire had saved blood-shed, for the superstitious thought 
that it was a comet, while four fellows who had decided 
to jump the claim thought that there must be a big bunch 
of men there already to make such a fire as that. We 
promptly recorded it & next day went to work on it, & 
staked it off according to law, thus making good our claim. 
Ever since I wrote to Phil, it has been snowing & freezing, 
there having been 5 foot of snow, while the mercury has 
frozen solid, & some spirit glasses have registered 50 deg. 
below zero; therefore you will easily judge that there has 
been no work done. A good many people have been frozen 
to death. The stage was four days making 28 miles. I will 
now conclude with my best wishes for your welfare and 

Your loving brother 
R. Glyndwr 
P.S. In what part of Africa was Uncle John killed. 

I am a good teatotaller without the blue Ribbon Bob 
P.S. I recently obtained 3 numbers of the Century Maga- 
zine (late Scribner's) for Nov. Dec. Jan. There is a tip-top 
mining story in it 

Balch & Bacon's Ranch April/83 

My Dearest Brother 

I now sit down to tell you that I am sick & tired of my 
ill-luck out here, & have made up my mind to come home, 
"HOME", next winter; don't yell. And I wish to ask you, 
what do you think I could get to do, for after the last three 
years, I don't think I could stand to be corralled in a hot 
mill all day. You see whenever I think of elbow-clouting 
you round I get so wild that I can't see straight, and then 
again I want to see your face, & to see Ada, & Mr. & Mrs. 
Wilkinson, & the Etchells & the rest of them. I long to hear 
the Church Bells ringing on the Sabbath morning, & to 
hear the Curfew at the Edge o'dark. I yearn to hear the 
birds singing, to listen to the skylark as it soars up to 
heaven, to walk down shady lanes & through the green 
fields to gather a bunch of flowers. Oh Phil you cannot 
know what England is, how dear it is to those who have 
left it far behind; until you too have left it. But I see that 
I have been wandering & bothering you with my home-sick 
notions. But I couldn't help it, Phil, its a relief to tell it to 
some one. I have been working for Balch & Bacon ever 
since I got well enough, which was about the first of March. 
How are you making out at the hat biz. Who's the hatter. 
I got a paper from home a day or two ago and saw in it 
Advertisements of Cheap trips for Good Friday & "Aster", 
then we had a three foot snow-storm two days after I got 
the paper. Last year we had several snowstorms in the 
middle of June & nothing was thought of it. At Sherman, 
50 miles from here, water freezes over every night in the 
year; it is not any higher than this. 

Who do you "run with" Phil, anyone I know. Always 
remember that any news about yourself, no matter how 
trifling it may seem to you, is very dear to me. And now 

I must close hoping you are in the best of health and 

Yours longing to be with you 
Robert Glyndur 

Big Laramie July 20th/83 

Sister Mine, 

That is by far the best letter I ever receeved from you. 
(Will you please send me the correct of recieved.) You will 
return my sincere thanks to Aunt Ann for the beautiful card 
she sent, it is "immense". I suppose you will be ashamed 
of your luckless brother alongside of James Howarth. 
Please tell him that if he is not too awe-inspiring I would 
like to have him accept my best love. That's a terrible at- 
tempt at a joke. You will give my best love also to Aunt 
Ann and the rest of them. You must have had a rattling 
walk to Oldham, I've a notion to enter you in some six- 
days-go-as-you-please. I would have liked to have been 
with you at Blue-Bell Brow. That "Pop" Works was built 
& started, bottle bed-borders & all, while I was working 
in Hollinwood. I used to have a fearful pile of fun, trying 
to break those bottles. I miss the church-bells very much 
for, since I have been West I have never known when it 
was Sunday except when I was in town last fall. 1 would 
like to have gone to Chester again, but I wouldn't like to 
have to hunt as long for a bed as I did the last time I was 
there. I went from Chester to the village where Granny 
was born, & saw the Church where she used to ring the 
bell & sing Amen, when the Parish Clerk was on a drunk, 
& I also saw the old house where she was born, on the 
hUl-road from Bodfari to her home in the Parish of Tremer- 
chum, (Tremerchion). We walked the twelve miles from 
Mold, for the country was very beautiful. I would like to 
join you in your picnics, but like you, think kissing so 
much, is childish & worse. In fact "it makes me tired to 
think of it." You will please remember me to my kinsfolk 
at Shaw. I sometimes have the Rheumatics in my bridle 
arm (left arm) & if 1 am near a town get coal-oil (petroleum) 
& rub my arm well with it. If it is unusually obstinate, I 
apply bandages soaked in coal-oil, which never fails to cure 
it. Coal-oil is also a good remedy for tooth-ache, rub the 
cheek & gums with it, (don't be afraid of it, I drank it 
several times for toothache, but it is no good that way) & 
take a small piece of cotton well soaked in it & apply to 
the hollow of the tooth, it generally relieves in the course 
of half an hour. What is Rachel Bantoff's address. I hope 
you will never join the Salvation Army, for 1 think that they 
are a set of fools & knaves with a few exceptions. We had 
snow here the sixteenth of June. But about Dan & Patsy, 
did they get married. I don't think that 1 shall ever settle 
down & make anything until some luckless lass takes me 
for better or for worse etc, which I don't think the lass ever 
was born that would be foolish enough to do . . . But I 
guess I'd better rope this yarn & tie it down 

And Remain 
Yours truly 
R. Glyndur 


Balch & Bacon's July 23d/83 

My Dear Friends 

I have just moved my blankets & provisions over to 
the Kennedy Ranch. I got here just before dark last night 
& stayed up late last night "fixing", Today I cleaned out 
a couple of the rooms & the first thing I did was to take 

out my pistol, (six-Shooter) & kill nearly fifty wolves, 
skunks, badgers, rabbits, hares & porcupines, with one 
wild-cat, which infested the house, for it was swarming 
with them. They had burrowed into the dirt floor, & dirt 
roof, as well as in every corner. I shall look after the mares 

Remains of 
Cummins City as 
photographed in 


& stallions & also hunt horses & cattle. I like this ranch 
well enough, except on windy nights, when the doors rat- 
tle so much that they wake a fellow up about a score of 
times, & it makes me mad. Of course all the animals I killed 
here, did not live in the house together, as they would eat 
one another, but they were right around the stables, cor- 
rals & bushes close by. Last night I got no sleep scarcely, 
for the wolves howled all night around the cabin, making 
the worst row that ever was. Imagine ten thousand 
greyhounds being whipped while the same number of curs 
are howling at the moon, & you will have some faint idea 
of the noise that cayotes will make. 

I am not lame at all, sound in wind & limb, can do most 
anything. I hope that you are just as healthy. Since I wrote 
to you last, I have been breaking bad horses. The way they 
do it is as follows. The horse is lassoed, thrown down, & 
his feet tied in such a shape, that he can stand but not fight. 
Then the saddle is put on him, & he is bridled. His feet 
are let loose for the rider to mount him & woe be to that 
rider who fails to look the horse square in the eye & watch 
his every movement, for the horse may get away, or worse 
he may kill him. If however he is lucky enough to get into 
the saddle, he will soon think that lightning strikes twice 
in one place, when the horse begins to "buck", for it will 
seem as if the earth is trying to throw him into the moon, 
& when he gets almost there, he gets another shock as if 
he were fired out of a 100 ton gun, & then everything 
seems to drop away from beneath him as quick as light- 
ning he follows at about the same speed, and "fetches up" 
with a shock which makes him think a locomotive struck 
him, & he sees more stars & comets than would furnish 
two or three heavens & lucky for him if he comes down 
in the saddle, for if he does not, he is more than liable to 
break some bones or get killed by the horse. A horse 
generally bucks from one to 5 minutes, during which time 
he will put in about 3000 such motions as I have described; 
sometimes however, he will keep it up longer, & horses 
have been known to buck until they dropped dead from 
sheer exhaustion & it is a compion thing to see the blood 
running from the rider's nose, mouth, & ears, but as you 
may judge, only the very best of riders can stay in the sad- 
dle that length of time. I once stayed that long, but I 
became senseless when the blood came, & my companions 
shot the horse just as I was falling off. I don't care where 
you go, there are no class of men in the world that can 
ride as well as the Indians and cowmen of America, from 
Cape Horn to Slave Lake in the British Possessions. But 
I guess I'd better quit, & Remain, 

Yours etc. Bob Glyndwr 
P.S. Please forgive the bad gramar & worse writing for I 
am very sleepy & tired 

I only get a chance to write once in a while, therefore, on 
the principle that half a loaf is better than none, I send you 
this bad letter, rather than wait, I don't know how long, 
for the chance to send you a better one. 
R. Glyndwr 

Musselshell P.O. Meagher Co. Mon. Ter. 
November 20th/83 

My Dear Brother 

I have just got back to the ranch, from the round-up. 
I have ridden about five-hundred miles to different post- 
offices (they are about 60 miles apart in this country) this 
fall, looking for the letters that I felt sure you had written, 
but I never got any. I felt pretty glum about it. Well Phil, 
I don't think I shall be able to get home just yet awhile; 
I have got a good job making $40 per month and board. 
Phil I cannot bear to work in the stifling atmosphere of the 
cotton mill again, & as I think there is a pretty good show 
to make something out of the Indians this winter, I shall 
stay, & try my luck. There is no more danger attached to 
the project than usual . . . This fall we rounded up a piece 
of country about 150 miles long, by about 50 or 60 miles 
wide, & besides this there were 4 trips to make to town, 
between 5 or 600 miles in the 4 trips, so you may know 
that we have ridden hard this fall. I will not tell you any 
of the incidents which occured during that time. I can tell 
them well enough when I get home. I hope you are all in 
good health . . . 

I will now sign myself. 
Yours etc 

R. Glyndwr 

JEAN BRAINERD is Research and Oral History Supervisor, Wyoming State 
Archives, Museums and Historical Department, and an Assistant Editor for 
Annals of Wyoming. 

1. Mae Urbanek, Wyoming Place Names (Missoula: Mountain Press 

Publishing Co., 1988) p. 47. 

2. "Cummins City Is Seen Through Its 'Window'," Cheyenne Tribune- 
Eagle, Sunday Magazine, August 16, 1987, pp. 6-7. 

3. "In Old Wyoming," Wyoming State Tribune-Cheyenne State Leader, 
August 8, 1941, pp. 1, 8. 

4. "A Visit to Cummins," Laramie Sentinel, April 16, 1881, p. 3. 

5. Ibid. 

6. "Cummins City Is Seen Through Its 'Window'," pp. 6-7. 

7. 1880 Wyoming Census. 

8. Mae Urbanek, Wyoming Place Names, p. 47. 

9. Ibid. 

10. "In Old Wyoming," August 8, 1941, pp. 1, 8. 

11. Mary Lou Pence & Lola M. Homsher, Ghost Towns of Wyoming (New 
York: Hastings House, 1956), p. 209. 

12. James Adams was trustee for the Union Mining Company. He became 
Superintendent in 1881 for the company. "Cummins City Clatter," 
Laramie Sentinel, May 14, 1881, p. 3. 

13. Ibid. 

14. Balch and Bacon were large cattle owners and according to the Albany 
County Assessment Rolls, 1880, Volume I, they owned 3,800 head 
of cattle. Archives & Records Management Division, Archives, 
Museums & Historical Department (AMH). 

15. Balch served as Albany County Commissioner during the early 1880s. 
Albany County Commissioners Proceedings, Volume I, II, Archives 
& Records Management Division, AMH. 


Entrance to Mummy Cave. 


by Susan Hughes 

The author wishes to thank the Wyoming Council for 
the Humanities for providing funds to initiate this research. 


In 1963, Dr. Harold McCracken, then director of the 
Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, initiated 
a project that would prove to have a valuable impact on 
Northwest Plains prehistory. Since 1961, McCracken had 
been looking for an archaeological site to excavate, both 
to fulfill a longtime ambition and to acquire artifacts for 
the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. He hired Bob Edgar, a 
local amateur archaeologist and Wyoming history en- 
thusiast, to find the "perfect" site. Edgar explored the 
back hills of northwest Wyoming until he found a suitable 
site. This turned out to be a rockshelter 45 miles up the 
North Fork of the Shoshone River. The cave seemed to 
have all the right characteristics for an Indian campsite, 
and Edgar noticed fire staining on the ceiling. Unfortunately, 
others had noticed the rockshelter, and a portion of the 
surface had been dug out, revealing charcoal, bits of bone 
and stone flakes. ^ The rockshelter was called North Fork 
Cave No. 1. It was 150 feet wide and 40 feet deep, with 
the North Fork of the Shoshone lying 50 feet west and 45 
feet below the cave entrance.^ During the summer of 1963, 
Edgar and his crew moved their trailer and equipment up 
to the mouth of the cave. They divided the cave floor into 
five foot square grids to map the excavated artifacts. Work 
began in earnest under the supervision of Edgar, with 
McCracken serving as project director. 

At the end of July, their work brought them close to 
the southeast wall of the cave. As they peeled the dirt 
away, a bony foot was exposed. With mounting excitement 
they brushed the dirt away and a partially mummified 
body was revealed. Further excavation indicated it to be 
the burial of an adult Indian male. After death, the in- 
dividual had been placed in a shallow pit facing the cave 
wall, his knees drawn up to his chest. A sheepskin robe 
with the fur side down covered the body. Dirt from the 
cave floor was heaped on top, and a semi-circle of stones 
was placed around the front. A fragment of the robe dated 
the burial to 1230 years before present (BP) or 720 AD.^ 

On October 1, 1963, McCracken released the discovery 
to a number of newspapers across the country. Stories ap- 
peared in such distant tabloids as the Chicago Sun Times, 
the Tampa Florida Times and the Utica Daily Press.* Im- 
mediately, the excavation took on new meaning. With this 
unique discovery, McCracken was able to solicit private 
donations to continue the work at Mummy Cave in 1964. 
He also applied for a large research and exploration grant 
from the National Geographic Society. ^ 

Work began again on May 1, 1964. Dr. William MuUoy, 
then head of the Department of Anthropology at the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming, visited the excavation on June 13-14, 
1964, and provided technical assistance. The five foot grid 
squares were relabeled and Mulloy taught the crew how to 
label sacks and artifacts with greater detail and to improve 
their vertical measurements. From this point on, detailed 
stratigraphic profiles were drawn of the sides of the ex- 
cavation units and comprehensive notes were taken.* 

During July, the National Geographic Society grant 

came through. Work continued until November 16, 1964, 
when winter snows forced a halt. The season's work re- 
moved ten feet of sediments from the center of the cave 
floor, revealing seven major living floors. The bottom 
levels, numbered 6 and 7 by Edgar, produced McKean pro- 
jectile points dating to 4420 BP.^ One five by five foot test 
shaft, D9, was excavated to 20 feet below the surface, and 
it promised seven more living floors to be unearthed dur- 
ing the next field season. On November 9, the crew opened 
a new test unit, BIO and Bll, and this was excavated to 
culture level 13.* 

The National Geographic Society came through with 
additional funding for the 1965 season, which opened on 
May 17. The crew consisted of Edgar, George Dabich and 
Wayne Winter, all of Cody. They began taking the five foot 
square units down through levels 8, 9 and 10, across the 
cave floor. The season ended on October 4, 1965.' 

During that winter, McCracken contacted Warren 
Caldwell of the Smithsonian River Basin Survey in search 
of a fully accredited archaeologist to oversee the final 
season of work and to prepare the final report. Wilfred 
Husted, a River Basin Svirvey archaeologist who had done 
the salvage archaeology of the Yellowtail Dam Project in 
Big Horn Canyon, was hired. The Mummy Cave excava- 
tions continued to be funded by the National Geographic 
Society and private donors.^" 

The 1966 field season opened on May 1, with Husted 
arriving on June 10, 1966, to oversee the excavations. Work 
was confined to the southern or lowest area of the cave 
where a 20x30 foot block was removed below culture level 
12A." At 28 feet below the surface the lowest culture level 
was encountered (level 24), but no charcoal was present 
for a radiocarbon date. Charcoal from level 23 dated to 
9,230 ± 130 BP, which indicated that occupation of the cave 
extended beyond 9,000 years. A backhoe was brought in 
to take the cave fill to bedrock, which was reached at 40 
feet from the original cave floor. No cultural deposits were 
present below culture level 24. ^^ 

John H. Moss, geologist from Franklin and Marshall 
College, conducted the geologic study of the rockshelter 
and determined that the shelter had been cut by stream 
abrasion prior to 10,000 BP. Shortly thereafter, the river 
changed course away from the cave, sediment began fill- 
ing the cave, and early man began to use it as a temporary 
home site.i^ 

The team recovered more than 35,000 artifacts during 
the four seasons of excavation. These included a number 
of stone tools and flakes, animal food bone and many 
perishable items that are rarely preserved on archaeological 
sites, such as leather scrap, moccasins and moccasin pads, 
hair and vegetal cordage, arrow shafts, wood implements 
and scrap, ceramics, basketry, coprolites (dried feces) and 

Upon completion of the 1966 field season, Husted 
returned to the River Basin Survey Laboratory in Lincoln, 
Nebraska, with most of the artifacts. Edgar followed shortly 


to assist him in completing the analysis and report. 

Several thousand pieces of bone were sent to Dr. Ar- 
thur Harris of the Museum of Arid Land Biology in El Paso, 
Texas, for identification." Dr. H. E. Wright, Jr., of the 
University of Minnesota studied pollen samples from the 
cave, but the results were inconclusive, due to poor pollen 
preservation. ^5 

The results of the above studies were combined into 
a 447 page manuscript authored by Husted and Edgar."' 
The artifacts and manuscript were returned to McCracken 
in June, 1968.'^ McCracken radically condensed this report, 
orienting it toward the lay reader, and published it in 1978, 
through the Buffalo Bill Historical Center under the title 
of "The Mummy Cave Project in Northwest Wyoming. "^^ 
The nature of this report is such that it has little value for 
comparative study, but it has revealed the significance of 
Mummy Cave. The rockshelter provided an unparalleled 
record of human occupation in the Rocky Mountain region. 
The 9,000 year projectile point chronology has been used 
as a standard for point typology throughout northwest 
Wyoming and western Montana, especially the sequence 
of early side- and corner-notch points dating between 4,500 
and 7,000 years before present. This sequence has been 
coined the "Mummy Cave Complex" by Brian O. K. 
Reeves and has been mentioned by others." 

Cave Stratigraphy. 

Stratigraphy refers to the sequence of layers laid down 
within the rockshelter. Each layer, containing stone tools, 
bone, charcoal and other cultural debris, represents a dif- 
ferent occupation (living floor) of the cave. These layers 
are seen in the walls of the excavation units and are care- 
fully drawn as part of the archaeological recording 
procedure. Modern cave excavations employ a geologist 
trained in interpreting the complex layering of sediments 
(the micro-stratigraphy), to identify occupations and what 
has occurred between them. Thin layers are as valuable 
as thick ones in unraveling the occupational history of 
the cave. 

During the original Mummy Cave excavation, the ma- 
jor layers were labeled 1 through 24, with 1 representing 
the most recent occupation. McCracken obtained an ex- 
cellent sequence of 25 radiocarbon dates (five were con- 
sidered inaccurate) from most of these levels. 

Radiocarbon dates are obtained from charcoal found 
within hearths or scattered throughout an occupation level. 
The radioactive isotope, carbon 14, which is present in all 
living things, decays at a constant rate upon death, and 
a date can be derived by counting the amount of the 
isotope present in the sample. Sophisticated laboratory 
equipment is necessary for the procedure. 

Harold McCracken, director of the Mummy Cave Project 'Standing in front of the east wett profile of N25 The D9 test shaft is situated in front of him 

View south across the cave 

floor during an early stage 

in the excavations. Bob 

Edgar, supervisor of the 

project, is standing behind 

the transit. 

The 24 occupation levels encountered during excava- 
tion varied in thickness. Some were thick, consisting of 
a number of layers grading into one, whUe others were 
very thin and discontinuous across the cave floor. These 
latter might only be indicated by a layer of pine needles 
mixed with a few flecks of charcoal and an occasional bone 
or tool. As trees do not grow within the cave, a layer of 
pine needles suggests that branches were carried into the 
cave by humans or animals. 

The stratigraphic profiles drawn by Edgar and his 
crews reveal a number of these thin layers, intergrading 
with and lying between the original 24 labeled lenses. 
Sometimes the crew would label these with alphanumeric 
letters. For example, the layers between cultiire level 8 and 
9 were labeled 8 A through 8C. The stratigraphic profiles 
indicated that considerably more occupations occurred in 
the cave than the original 24 labeled during excavation. 

When Husted wrote his report, he expanded the 
original 24 levels to 38, providing each alphanumerically 
designated layer its own number. He also reversed the 
number sequence to conform to River Basin Survey pro- 
cedure, calling the oldest level 1, and youngest 38. 
When McCracken published his manuscript, he reversed 
Husted 's 38 levels, logically calling the most recent level 
1, and the oldest level 38. The artifacts in the collection are 
still labeled 1 through 24. These changes in level designa- 
tion have caused considerable confusion. 

Close examination of the excavation profUes reveals 
that 38 occupations might be a conservative estimate of the 
number of occupational episodes actually occurring within 
the cave. For example, level 3, which is given a single 
number by all parties, is actually a very thick layer com- 
posed of four to five thinner layers which grade into one 
another. Firepits are constructed at different depths 
throughout, and this level probably reflects repeated use 
of the cave rather than a single long term occupation. 


Archaeologists define features as non-movable arti- 
facts. Examples would be firepits, storage structures, post- 
holes, stone features and so forth. Many of the features 
uncovered during the Mummy Cave excavations are de- 
scribed in the excavation records, feature records used by 
Husted, and profiles. The prehistoric occupants of the cave 
constructed numerous firepits or hearths throughout most 
levels of the cave. Firepits were of several types: 

1. Shallow basin or surface hearths filled with ash 
and charcoal. 

2. Deep basin hearths filled with ash and charcoal. 

3. Basin-shaped hearths filled with stones. These may 
have been roasting or stone boiling pits. 

Other features revealed in the excavations were a moccasin 
cache and the previously described burial in level 3, a 


firewood cache in level 4, basin-shaped storage pits in 
levels 6 and 7 and a rock alignment in level 18. 

Recent study of the burial by specialists in Toledo, 
Ohio, revealed him to be an Indian male, between 35 and 
40 years old, standing approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall. 
No bone abnormalities or injuries were present, and 
because so httle soft tissue remained on the body, cause 
of death remains unknown. Study of coprolites found 
within the body cavity indicate the predominance of 
vegetal food in the diet, of which some was cooked, the 
presence of Trichuris trichiura (Whipworm) and a high 
percentage of spruce pollen, which pollinates in the 
spring.-" This information tentatively suggests the burial 
took place in the late spring. 

The burial also revealed valuable information on per- 
sonal adornment during that era. Two rabbitskin ornaments 
had been placed over the ears. His hair was cut short in 
front, and a twisted piece of bark cord (possibly cotton- 
wood) held back the remainder. The sheepskin robe cover- 
ing his body had been pieced together with an overhand 
stitch and stained with red ochre. The burial is no longer 
available for public viewing at the Buffalo Bill Historical 
Center out of respect for American Indian religious 

The moccasin cache consisted of two high-top leather 
moccasins placed under a large stone slab. One moccasin 
was badly decomposed, and a bent U-shaped willow stick 

was found in the sole where it had been placed to main- 
tain its shape. The moccasins were constructed of moun- 
tain sheep hide with their hair turned inward. Grass pads 
found in the debris of this level are thought to have been 
used to cushion the moccasin soles. ^^ 

Storage pits were basin-shaped depressions, con- 
structed to store seeds and other plant foods. When the 
food was consumed, the pit often became a receptacle for 
trash. Storage features indicate the need of prehistoric 
hunters and gatherers to store plant resources for the 
winter. The presence of storage features in a particular level 
might indicate a winter occupation. Other seasonal in- 
dicators within a particular level might be the presence of 
fetal animal bone, tooth eruption patterns on large 
ungulates and pollen or seeds. 

During the 1966 field season, an interesting feature was 
discovered in level 18. This consisted of a line of stone slabs 
set on edge. They extended diagonally, northwest- 
southeast, across N25 to 30 and E5 to 10. The feature was 
5 '2" long and 4" wide." It was placed 3 feet in front of 
a large hearth and may have been constructed to block 
southwest winds. A ram sheep skull was found on the sur- 
face upside down, 7 inches south of the slabs in deposits 
associated with layer 17. Because of this association. Dr. 
George Prison of the University of Wyoming has suggested 
the feature may have a ceremonial function." 

One of two sheepskin moccasins cached under a stone in culture level 3. The u-shaped stick (above) had been inserted in the foot to preserve its 

shape. Below is a piece of untwisted bark cordage. 



Artifact studies in archaeology today are concerned 
with understanding the acquisition of material, manufac- 
turing technology, use, reuse and discard of the object. Ar- 
chaeologists are also very interested in determining the 
variation between artifacts of similar types in assemblages 
or between different living floors. This requires detailed 
study of all artifacts and their patterning on the cave floor. 
The cave excavations uncovered 18,500 stone tools and 
flakes and an additional 234 fragments of red ochre. They 
include a wide variety of projectile points probably used 
to tip weapons, bifaces which represent early stages in 
point and tool manufacture, endscrapers used for hide 
scraping, bifacial knives for cutting, gravers for incising 
wood or bone, drills for making holes and a number of 
tools with more than one type of working edge. Most of 
these tools indicate a hunting and gathering economy with 
hide work, sewing, the manufacture of bone and wood 
tools and many other activities. 

Preliminary study of the stone used to make tools in- 
dicated that Yellowstone Park obsidian was commonly ob- 
tained. Other common materials were clear chalcedony, 
forest green chert, petrified wood, quartzite and a variety 
of fine-grained volcanic material which are all found on 
the North Fork. Less common were materials abundant on 
the eastern periphery of the Bighorn Basin, such as gray, 
gold, and blue Morrison chert and quartzite, maroon 
Phosphoria, and mottled pink and blue Madison chert. The 
proportions of these materials were indicative of the direc- 
tion of trade or movement of the Mummy Cave occupants 
and how familiar they were with the local environment. 

Projectile points are important in the study of pre- 
historic cultures because they are believed to hold stylistic 
elements of the culture which manufactured them. Point 
styles can sometimes be used to give an approximate date 
of an occupation. The projectile point sequence from 
Mummy Cave was especially valuable because it was well- 
documented with radiocarbon dates. 

The sequence began with a 1200 year period of lanceo- 
late points (7970-9230 BP) followed by a variety of side- and 
corner-notched points between 4600-7630 BP (the Mummy 
Cave Complex). One of the earlier types is similar to Bit- 
terroot points, common in Idaho, and is characterized by 
a distinctive side-notch and squared base. The levels 
following Bitterroot revealed considerable variation in point 
morphology, ranging from side, corner-notched and 
stemmed points. This variation culminated in the McKean 
Complex, dating at 4100 and 4400 BP (levels 6-7). McKean 
was replaced by a culture or cultures exhibiting a distinc- 
tive corner-notch point style, represented by two levels 
dating to 2820 and 2050 BP (levels 4 and 5). 

From level 3 on, all projectile points were small, in- 
dicating the probable shift from an atlatl dart to the bow 
and arrow. The first arrowmakers were those who buried 
the mummy 1230 years ago. Their points are corner- 
notched with serrated edges and long barbed shoulders. 

The final two occupations within the cave represented 
brief visits by cultures manufacturing a side-notched 

In addition, 48 pieces of ground stone were removed 
from the occupation levels. These were primarily river cob- 

A section of cave profile EO-5 at N30. The levels are labeled with Edgar's 
system. McCracken's system is given in parentheses. Examples of pro- 
jectile points associated with the levels are illustrated on the left. 


Miscellaneous artifacts from culture 
level 3: a) two yucca fiber coils used 
in basket weaving; b) grass brush; c) 
bone harpoon. 

Three arrowshaft fragments (below) 
from culture level 3: a) cane hindshaft 
revealing the posterior nock, sinew 
wrapping for feather fletching and 

zigzag decoration 
applied in red 
paint which 
probably iden- 
tified the owner 
of the arrow; b) 
willow foreshaft 
revealing its in- 
sertion into a 
cane hindshaft 
(the sinew wrap- 
ping prevents 
splitting below 
the notch and at 
the insertion of 
the foreshaft); c) 
attachment of a 
willow fore- and 

Wood tools and discarded ends: a) 

discarded anterior end of a willow 

arrowshaft cut to make a notch for 

hafting a projectile point; b) V- 

notched and pointed stick of 

unknown function; c) discarded end 

of a willow arrowshaft exhibiting a 

circular cut; d) handle for a bone or 

stone tool. The first three were 

recovered from level 3 and the 

handle from level 5. 


bles that had been used to grind, chop or cut. One slab 
of volcanic rock was decorated with a portion of a pic- 
tograph featuring red and black arrows. 

Bone tools numbered 165 with approximately 16,000 
pieces of faunal food bone. The tools consisted of needles 
and awls used in sewing, pendants, beads, a harpoon, 
antler flakes, four tubtilar bone pipes (one still retains its 
ash) and several unidentified tools. 

Dr. Harris identified approximately 2,000 bones for the 
original report. All arumals represented were indigenous 
to the North Fork area. Mountain sheep were the most 
common animal utilized for food with remains occurring 
in every level except 22 A and 23. Other animals repre- 
sented were deer, elk, moose, bison, bear, dog or wolf, 
beaver, porcupine, rabbit, woodrat, rodents and various 
birds. 2* Butcher marks, impact fractures and burning on 
many bones indicated human activity. Future study of 
these will reveal butchering and food processing practices, 
food preferences and possibly season of use. The bone also 
revealed evidence of damage by a variety of carnivores after 
it was discarded on the cave floor. 

Forty-four wood tools and 81 discarded ends from tool 
manufacture were recovered from levels 1 through 8. Prior 
to this the wood was not preserved. Tools included com- 
posite arrowshafts (composed of more than one part), knife 
handles, snares and wood pegs. The discarded ends re- 
vealed several methods of cutting shafts and notching for 
the insertion of projectile points. 

Cordage was recovered from levels 3, 5 and 6-7. Bark 
cordage was most abundant (123 pieces). Next in abun- 
dance was twisted hair cordage (41), followed by sinew 
cordage (22). Two-ply twisted strands were the most com- 
mon type. Vegetable products were also used to manufac- 
ture brushes or formed into bundles of raw material for 
the manufacture of baskets and cordage. 

Fifty-five pieces of scrap hide and hair tufts were 
recovered from levels 3 and 6-7. These were apparently 
discards in clothing and bag manufacture. One tuft of hair 
had been dyed pink indicating the use of pigments for 
fabric ornamentation. 

Levels 3 and 6-7 revealed several fragments of coiled 
basketry. The single specimen from level 6-7 was coated 
with pitch on the inside surface to make it impermeable 
to liquids. Level 3 produced the remains of two baskets. 
One basket appeared to have been a large flat tray with 
red staining on both sides, and other fragments, too small 
to determine shape, were coated with pitch. 

The remains of a single thick-waUed flat-based ceramic 
pot were recovered from the top level dating at 370 BP. 
The inside of the vessel was heavily encrusted with a car- 
bon residue left from cooking foods. Future chemical 
analysis of the carbon will reveal whether plant or 
vegetable matter had been cooked. Excavation records note 
the discovery of onion husks in level 2, seeds and fish bone 
from other levels; however, these have not been located 
in the collection. ^^ 

Six bone awls from culture level 3. The two on the right are decorated with incised designs. 


Six hide scraps possibly representing discarded remnants in garment manufacture. 

Five pieces of coiled basketry from culture level 3. The upper three pieces were stained a deep red, the lower left fragment was 
coated with pitch to make it impermeable to liquids and the fragment on the lower right is the basal piece of a flat tray. 

Eighteen shells or shell fragments were recovered from 
levels 3, 4, 6-7, 9, 13 and 16. Only those from levels 3, 4 
and 6-7 had been modified into ornaments. Level 3 pro- 
duced fourteen feathers which were used for fletching ar- 
rows. A number of human and non-human coprolites were 
recovered from four levels, and these have tremendous 
value in reconstructing diet. 

Tremendous scientific potential exists in the collection 
and a complete analysis is pending. Modern analytic 
methods will be used to reveal as much information as 
possible about the prehistoric inhabitants and their 
lifestyle. These methods require the use of sophisticated 
equipment, laboratory procedures and comparative collec- 
tions. A complete and detailed study of the artifacts will 
require considerable time and some expense. The study 
is valuable because the results could easily define the 
culture history and lifeway of the early inhabitants of north- 
western Wyoming. Their food preferences, technology, 
butchering, cooking methods, familiarity with their en- 
vironment and its resources, material culture, and possibly 
annual movements will be revealed. 

Although there is much yet to learn about the cave in- 
habitants, some information can be gleaned from the earlier 
reports and this preliminary observation of the artifacts. 
Peoples from many cultures throughout the last 9,000 years 
visited the cave at various times of year. Some spent an 
entire winter, while others visited for short periods dur- 
ing other seasons, perhaps as a stopover while moving 
from mountain areas to the Big Horn Basin. ^^ The oc- 
cupants were familiar with the North Fork valley plant and 
animal resources, which they consumed during their visits. 

Sheep hunting was an important procurement ac- 
tivity. Archaeologists are aware that the historic Shoshone 
Indians, who occupied this area over the last 500 to 600 
years, hunted large numbers of mountain sheep in wooden 
traps constructed on high mountain ridges throughout the 
Absaroka Mountains. 2'' It is possible that earlier inhabitants 
of the area also practiced similar methods of sheep pro- 
curement. Edgar discovered a 9,000 year old net in the 
North Fork valley which might have provided an alter- 
native method to trap sheep. ^^ 

The point styles throughout the 9,000 year span can 
be found in varying frequencies at other rockshelter and 
open camp sites in the Big Horn and Absaroka Mountains, 
plus the Bighorn Basin, which indicates that these people 
were at home in northwestern Wyoming. The Mummy 
Cave point sequence provides a framework to plug in point 
types recovered from other sites or from undated surface 

In short, the inhabitants of Mummy Cave were knowl- 
edgeable and well-adapted to the environment and re- 
sources of northwestern Wyoming. They lived within a 
stable, mountain-oriented, hunting and gathering tradi- 
tion. There may have been an ebb and flow in the intensity 
of this cultural tradition as some cultures died out or moved 
on, only to be replaced by another group. 

The inhabitants who occupied level 3 in the cave may 
be an exception to the above tradition. Their artifacts and 
lithic materials are atypical of Northern Plains culture. 
Unusual artifacts include incised steatite beads, incised 
bone awls, a harpoon tip, fish net weights, composite cane 
arrows and a point style with affinities to the Great Basin. 
These characteristics suggest a group with direct connec- 
tions to the West. Whether they represent a hunting or 
trade expedition into the Bighorn Basin or a group taking 
up residence in the area for a short period is unknown. 

In summary. Mummy Cave provides us with a glimpse 
of our prehistoric heritage. It reveals a long and stable 
record of a successful hunting and gathering lifeway in 
northwestern Wyoming utilizing the local natural re- 
sources. Its artifacts still hold many secrets about the peo- 
ple who manufactured and used them, but future analysis 
of the collection will unlock that information. 

SUSAN HUGHES holds a M.A. degree in anthropology from the University 
of Wyoming specializing in Northern Plains archaeology. Since 1981, she has 
resided in Cody teaching archaeology and geology classes at Northwest Community 
College in Powell and conducting archaeological research in the Bighorn Basin 
and eastern Montana. This fall she entered the University of Washington in Seattle 
to work towards a doctorate in archaeology and hopes to use portions of the Mummy 
Cave collection for her dissertation research. 

1. Bob Edgar, personal communication, September, 1987. 

2. John H. Moss, "The Geology of Mummy Cave," The Archaeology of 
Mummy Cave, Wyoming: An Introduction to Shoshonean Prehistory, by 
Wilfred Husted and Robert Edgar, unpublished manuscript, Buffalo 
Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming, p. 12. 

3. "Mummy Cave Field Notes, May 1, 1964-1966," unpublished excava- 
tion records, Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Hereafter, these will be 
referred to as "Field Notes." 

4. Copies of many of the news stories were compiled into a scrapbook 
on file at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. 

5. This information was taken from the archaeological account records 
of the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association dated March 31, 1962, to 
December 31, 1964, Buffalo Bill Historical Center. 

6. "Field Notes." 

7. The cultural materials from levels 6 and 7 were nearly identical, and 
the two were frequently lumped together. Throughout the remainder 
of this article they wUl be referred to as level 6-7. 

8. "Field Notes." 

9. Ibid. 

10. Harold McCracken, two letters written to Warren Caldwell, dated 
January 13, 1966, and May 28, 1966, Buffalo Bill Historical Center. 

11. "Field Notes." 

12. Bob Edgar, personal communication, September, 1987. 

13. Moss, "The Geology of Mummy Cave," pp. 12-25. 

14. Arthur H. Harris, "Tetrapods," The Archaeology of Mummy Cave, Wyo- 
ming: An Introduction to Shoshonean Prehistory, by Wilfred Husted and 
Robert Edgar, unpublished manuscript, Buffalo Bill Historical Center. 
There is no record of the exact number of bones sent to Harris for 
identification, although, in his report he mentions that several thou- 
sand fragments were sent, of which nearly 2,000 were identified. 


15. H. E. Wright, Jr., "Pollen Analysis of Mummy Cave and Nearby 
Areas, Northwestern, Wyoming," The Archaeology of Mummy Cave, 
Wyoming: An Introduction to Shoshonean Prehistory, by Wilfred Husted 
and Robert Edgar, unpublished manuscript, Buffalo Bill Historical 

16. Wilfred Husted and Robert Edgar, The Archaeology of Mummy Cave, 
Wyoming: An Introduction to Shoshonean Prehistory, unpublished 
manuscript, Buffalo Bill Historical Center. 

17. Two letters to Harold McCracken from Warren W. Caldwell and 
Wilfred Husted, dated May 31, 1968, Buffalo Bill Historical Center. 

18. Harold McCracken et al.. The Mummy Cave Project in Northwestern 
Wyoming (Cody, Wyoming: Buffalo Bill Historical Center, 1978). The 
volume is presently out of print. 

19. Brian O. K. Reeves, "Head-Smashed-In: 5500 years of bison jump- 
ing in the Alberta plains," Plains Anthropologist Memoir 14 (1978); 159. 
See also George C. Prison, Prehistoric Hunters of the High Plains (New 
York: Academic Press, 1978), p. 45 and Sally T. Greiser, "Projectile 
Point Chronologies of Southwestern Montana," Archaeologi/ in Mon- 
tana 25 (1984): 38. 

20. Eve Cockburn et al., "The Mummy from Mummy Cave: Preliminary 

Reports," Paleopathology Newsletter, Number 60 (December 1987): 4-10. 

21. Rick Weathermen, "Moccasin Analysis: Specimen from Culture Layer 
Three, Mummy Cave, Wyoming," unpublished manuscript in posses- 
sion of the author, 1986. 

22. "Feature Records" of the Mummy Cave Project, Buffalo Bill Historical 

23. George C. Prison, personal communication, 1984. 

24. Harris, "Tetrapods." 

25. "Field Notes." 

26. Leslie C. Shaw and George C. Prison, "Evidence for Pre-Clovis in 
the Bighorn Basin," (paper presented at the 44th Annual Society of 
American Archaeology Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, April 

27. George C. Prison, Charles A. Reher and Danny Walker, "Bighorn 
Sheep Hunting in the Central Rocky Mountains of North America," 
(paper presented to the Southhampton Conference, England, 1987). 

28. George C. Prison et al., "A Late Paleoindian Animal Trapping Net 
from Northern Wyoming," American Antiquity, 51 (April 1986): 





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Presented bg 

Recent donations to the historic collections of the 
Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Depart- 
ment include records of two Wyoming coal companies— 
the Wyoming Coal and Development Company and the 
Kemmerer Coal Company. These collections are now 
available for research. 

The Wyoming Coal and Development Company 
operated in Albany County, two and one-half miles east 
of the town of Rock River and 35 miles northeast of Laramie 
from 1921-1924. The company operated a business office 
in Cheyenne. The collection contains general correspon- 
dence, board minutes, bank statements, receipt books, 
check books and cash books. 

The Rock River Coal and Fire Clay Company origin- 
ally owned and operated the property and equipment. This 
company, incorporated on March 23, 1921, also had a 
business office in Cheyenne at 1817 Pioneer Avenue. At 
a meeting on July 23, 1923, the noteholders agreed that an 
organization should be created to take over, under lease 
and with the option to purchase, the property of the Rock 
River Coal and Fire Clay Company. This was done and the 
Wyoming Coal and Development Company organized as 
a Declaration of Trust on July 27 with capitalization of 
25,000 shares, all common. The Board of Officers and 
Trustees included A. F. Peabody, President; W. E. Din- 
neen, Vice-President; W. Armor Thompson, Secretary; 
Frank A. Roedel, Treasurer; G. W. Godfrey, General 
Manager; and Trustees Charles Eldridge, Charlie Bach, 
WUliam C. Frieze and A. E. Roedel. 

The Kemmerer Coal Company collection contains 
records not or\ly from that company, but also from other 
Kemmerer businesses, the Frontier Supply Company, the 
Ham's Fork Cattle Company and the Uinta Improvement 
Company, all founded in 1897. The bvilk of the collection 
consists of large bound ledgers, journals, cash books and 

A chance meeting on a train with Patrick J. Quealy dur- 
ing one of Mahlon S. Kenunerer's Wyoming hunting trips 
developed one of the largest coal mining operations in the 
United States. The two men formed a partnership, and in 
1895 at the Great Northern Hotel in Chicago, they drafted 
the "Ham's Fork Land Proposition/' a document which 
stated a company store would be built and maintained once 
coal operations started. Two years later Quealy and Kem- 
merer began coal production and developed a camp and 

Incorporated with $150,000, the Kemmerer Coal Com- 
pany was developed to mine, transport, sell and dispose 


of coal, coke and other minerals. The Frontier Supply Com- 
pany served as a general merchandise business. The Uinta 
Improvement Company handled the land interests of the 
partners. Kemmerer, his son John and Quealy had a one- 
third share in all four companies. With the ideal partners 
and a single directorate they believed the cattle (Ham's 
Fork Cattle Company), coal, land and mercantile com- 

panies would complement each other. 

The two collections can be researched at the AMH 
Department. If you have any questions or would like more 
information, please contact Roger Joyce of Historical Re- 
search and Publications, AMH Department, Barrett Build- 
ing, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 82002. Phone (307) 777-7020. 



The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West. By Patricia 
Nelson Limerick. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1987. 
Illustrated. Index. Notes. Bibliography. 349 pp. Cloth $17.95. 

It is difficult in a short review to explore fully the merits 
of this important book. Patricia Nelson Limerick of the 
University of Colorado has given us an able synthesis of 
several decades of published scholarship on the American 
West in the 20th century. Ironically, she concludes, and 
rightly so, that the abundance of case studies is an embar- 
rassment of riches. Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier 
thesis, concentrating on the process of westward expan- 
sion and what it signified, by definition excluded the 20th 
century. This watershed implied a sharp break at 1890 
when the frontier closed, and has caused chaos and con- 
ceptual fog for those historians who seek to assess the 
broader meaning of recent monographic studies on the 
period since 1890. This, Limerick argues, has precluded 
our looking at the West as a place with unique regional 
characteristics such as its remoteness from the centers of 
power, heavy reliance on natural resources for its economic 
base, the presence of many non-whites, aridity and the 
myth of self-reliance. 

Limerick urges her readers to adopt an analytical 
framework for understanding the modern West by ap- 
preciating the continuum of conquest in the 19th century 
and the resulting consequences of that conquest in the 20th 
century. This approach, long overdue, permits us to get 
away from the oversimplified notions of abundance, suc- 
cess, good guys versus bad guys, and scapegoating of the 
federal government for many of the area's problems. Hard 
labor only infrequently brought its expected rewards. Stiff 
competition and desperation for economic development 
both helped rape the environment and encourage law- 
breaking. The ever-present boom-bust cycle of what is 
essentially a colonial economy set the pattern of depen- 
dency on federal handouts to help stabilize the region's 

The presence of racial and ethnic minorities further 
enhanced western diversity and complexity. Native 
Americans persisted, despite earlier near unanimous 
predictions to the contrary. Hispanics continued to increase 
their numbers and add their imprint on culture and 
politics. The presence of other groups from Asia promised 
ever-increasing diversity in the future. The West's White 
conquerors have more than met their match in these 
groups because of minorities' retention of non-mainstream 

lifestyles. This complex symbiotic relationship added 
another important, and largely ignored, dynamic to local 
human relationships. 

Readers of this journal can read Legacy of Conquest 
with much profit. Few states have had their post-1890 
history more ignored than Wyoming. With a few impor- 
tant exceptions, our written history overemphasizes the 
story of fur trappers, military campaigns against Indians, 
"Hell on Wheels" Union Pacific towns, and an assortment 
of colorful, if not really important, characters. Many of 
these 19th century episodes and anecdotes seem in their 
telling to be wrapped in the mantle of rugged individu- 
alism, the absurd and the spectacular, divorced from the 
context of their times. Whatever the "real West" was in 
the past century, its heritage continued to our times. Enor- 
mous chunks of land passed into the hands of private par- 
ties and corporations, impressing upon Wyoming a 
markedly imbalanced distribution of natural resources. 
Federal presence here, predating even the territorial period 
by decades, has meant that dollars and jobs originating in 
Washington have been an integral part of the local 
economy, despite periodic pledges of independence from 
national control. Members of minority groups seemingly 
have always been here, but we know so little about them 
and the significance of their presence. The story of state 
politics, either attempting to respond to or ignore the 20th 
century, remains an untold story. The economic and psy- 
chological effects of Wyoming's chronic boom-bust cycle 
remain ignored, as does the impact of a north-south 
regionalism, strongly in evidence for more than a century. 
Competing economic interests, water development and 
other crucial issues of modern times also readily spring to 

Those who pursue state history have been remiss in 
their duty by not closely examining Wyoming in this cen- 
tury. We need to rise to Limerick's challenge so as to 
develop the story of Wyoming as a place, to discover what 
makes it unique and what it shares in common with the 
rest of the nation. This book is highly recommended as a 
point of departure to examine these issues. Legacy of Con- 
quest should cause the thoughtful reader to reconsider 
many common assumptions. 

The reviewer is Professor of History, University of Wyoming. 


Laitd of the Bumt Thigh. By Edith Eudora Kohl. St. Paul; Minnesota 
Historical Society Press, 1986. Originally published: Funk & Wagnalls, 
Inc., 1938. Illustrated, xxxvi and 296 pp. Paper $7.95. 

Women's roles in the West have attracted considerable 
attention in recent years as historians attempt to paint more 
completely the portrait of western expansion and settle- 
ment. Businesswomen, ranch women, prostitutes, wage 
workers, army wives and women homesteaders have been 
painstakingly examined in this long overdue and much 
needed effort to illuminate, enliven and complete our 
understanding of the West. 

This last category— women homesteaders— is the sub- 
ject of Edith Eudora Kohl's endearing narrative about her 
experiences in South Dakota during the first decade of the 
20th century. In a simple, readable style. Kohl describes 
not only her trials as a "girl homesteader," but also her 
tribulations as a struggling newspaper editor and keeper 
of a general store. 

In ways that academic historians too often miss, this 
book offers an engaging look at the great gamble known 
as the land rush and at daily life in a "tarpaper shack that 
becomes an oven when the sun shines on it." Malign 
nature and unprincipled claim jumpers kept the home- 
steaders vigilant; open spaces and compassionate neigh- 
bors kept them from leaving. Kohl's portrayal of all of these 
kept the book interesting. 

Kohl believed and her writing demonstrates that 
cooperation and interdependence were the touchstones of 
success in the settlement of the West. The striking 
dependency on widely-scattered neighbors which she 
vividly describes gives lie to the stubborn myth that rugged 
individualism tamed the frontier. During her years in 
South Dakota she worked to enhance the cooperation 
necessary to overcome the whims of nature and the 
machinations of various groups opposed to the home- 
steaders' efforts. 

Land of the Bumt Thigh provides ample evidence of 
women homesteaders' courage and determination as they 
struggled to overcome natural and "man" made obstacles. 
Indeed, the most revealing parts of the book deal with the 
gritty efforts of Eudora Kohl and her sister Ida Mary to earn 
the money that allowed them to stay on their claim long 
enough to file the "final proof." Like many women 
homesteaders, they depended on income other than that 
which could be earned from farming. Lacking the equip- 
ment and sometimes the experience to make a living by 
farming, women on the plains relied on skills they brought 
with them or learned new ones that enabled them to teach 
school, run newspapers, operate stores and serve as 

This 1986 reprint of a book first published fifty years 
ago contains an insightful, 23 page introductory essay by 
historian Glenda Riley. Bringing years of research on 
women's history and western history to bear, Riley 
thoughtfully and skillfully places this book in historical and 
historiographical perspective. The publishers are to be com- 

mended for adding this valuable introduction to an already 
solid first-hand account of life on the South Dakota prairie. 
The reprinting of Land of the Bumt Thigh is a good 
supplement to the growing body of literature which 
demonstrates the active and crucial role women played in 
settling the West. 

The rei'ieiver is a consultant to the Wyoming Centennial Commission and the 
Wyoming State Archives, Museums, and Historical Department and a Visiting 
Assistant Professor in History and American Studies at the University of Wyoming. 

Casper: A Pictorial History. By Edna Gorrell Kukura and Susan Nietham- 
mer True. Norfolk/Virginia Beach: The Donning Company Publishers, 
1986. Illustrated. Index. Bibliography. 192 pp. Cloth $29.95. 

Casper Country: Wyoming's Heartland. By Jean Mead. Boulder, Colorado: 
Pruett Publishing Company, 1987. Illustrated. Index. Bibliography. 
193 pp. Paper $19.95. 

People interested in local aspects of Wyoming's history 
have several recent works to add to their libraries. Two of 
these titles are about Casper and are Edna Gorrell Kukura 
and Susan Niethammer True's Casper: A Pictorial History 
and Jean Mead's Casper Country: Wyoming's Heartland. 

Casper: A Pictorial History is a collection of more than 
three hundred photographs acquired from a large number 
of sources, including private collections, the University of 
Wyoming's American Heritage Center, the Natrona 
County Pioneer Museum and the Wyoming State Ar- 
chives, Museums and Historical Department. Arranged in 
chronological chapters, these photographs depict Casper's 
development in the form of street scenes, group and in- 
dividual portraits, building exteriors and interiors, and 
special events such as parades, rodeos, oil-tank fires and 
law-enforcement raids on bootlegging operations. Each 
photograph is accompanied by an elaborate textual ex- 
planation that reflects Kukura and True's extensive 

Kukura and True provide the reader with a brief his- 
toric narrative to introduce each of their book's eleven 
chapters. The thematic glue that binds these chapters 
together is the authors' perspective that harmony and 
cooperation represent the essence of Casper's history. The 
authors present a consensus-history framework as illus- 
trated by their statement: "With deep and steady resolve 
Casper harnessed the aggregate of her collective and seem- 
ingly boundless energies. At the very heart of her soul her 
ascent to preeminence began unfolding. A vibrant and in- 
novative citizenry sought fresh approaches to social and 
economic problems." This point of view emphasizes the 
positive side of Casper's history and forms a provocative 
narrative structure for the photographs in Casper: A Pic- 
torial History. 

Jean Mead chose a much different approach for her 
study, Casper Country: Wyoming's Heartland. She pro- 

duced a narrative history that put photographs in a sup- 
porting role. Taking newspapers as her primary source of 
information, she placed great emphasis on the role of con- 
flict in Casper's history. "Casper," she commented early 
in her book, "was a wide-open, free-wheeling, railroad 
town, plagued with deadly illnesses, dishonest politicians 
and lawmen, bull-headed citizens, boom and bust eras, 
with problems, and a lawless element that persisted for 
much of the city's history." This problematic aspect of 
Casper's development provided Mead with excellent 
material for a rich volume on a community's political, legal, 
social and economic history. Mead used her sources effec- 
tively to discuss such controversies as the fight to build 
a county courthouse in the early 1900s, disputes over water 
systems and street improvements, and heated debates on 
the formation of a city-manager form of local government. 
Although her accounts of these and numerous other in- 
cidents are fairly brief, Casper Country presents an excellent 
starting point for further, more expansive studies of discord 
in local history. 

Taken together, Casper: A Pictorial History and Casper 
Country: Wyoming's Heartland balance each other and form 
the first general history of Casper since Alfred James 
Mokler's History of Natrona County, Wyoming, 1888-1922. 
Both of these recent books are worthy additions to the 
growing collection of histories on various Wyoming topics. 
While each is perhaps a little too brief to be considered 
definitive, they suggest a multitude of possibilities for ex- 
panded research into Casper's history. Further, they 
demonstrate William Manchester's contention that all a 
historian can offer is only fragments of the past and the 
hope that these fragments will endure. Kukura, True and 
Mead have offered enough to present an interesting pic- 
ture of the trials and accomplishments of a major Wyoming 

The revieicer is Head of the Western Americana Department, University of Utah 

Starting Right: A Basic Guide to Museum Planning. By Gerald George 
and Cindy Sherrell-Leo. Nashville, Tennessee: American Association 
for State and Local History, 1986. Index. Illustrations. 141 pp. 
Paper $10.95. 

With the great proliferation of museums of various 
kinds, this book presents a basic study guide for the 
development of any museum. Not only the novice, but the 
professional museologist should gain information. 

The two authors have given a basic guide to estab- 
lishing a museum. Their research and experience have 
covered not only the United States, but also foreign coun- 
tries. They have set forth suggestions for both an outstand- 
ing museum located in a small town or those ii\ a large 
metropolitan region. 

The blueprint is there to be used as a guide. It would 
appear that some museums would have to be concerned 
with local prerogatives and customs in establishing a 
museum. The guidelines are interpreted for reasonable 
solutions, but it would seem there are problems in cultural, 
ethnic, religious and political aspects that may require the 
wisdom of a wise director and board of trustees to solve. 

It emphasizes the evaluating of things and imputing 
sigiiificance to the items you collect in a museum. The book 
provides an excellent bibliography and the names of 
organizations from which a person may receive help. 

Many of the problems which any museum would face 
are reviewed including collection policies, physical 
facilities, administration personnel, conservation, continu- 
ing research, use of volunteers, planning, evaluations and 
one of the most practical, financial support in terms of 
present and long range. 

The basic organization of the museum is discussed in 
terms of its similarity to any business enterprise and pro- 
vides information for effective operation along these lines. 
The matter of personality problems is critical in any type 
organization or enterprise, and the authors' suggestions 
made in this regard are well taken in avoiding and deal- 
ing with these problems. 

The activities of museums are analyzed and informa- 
tion is provided about collection and acquisition policies as 
well as documentation, loans and borrowing procedures, 
security, insurance access, deaccession rules and the ethics 
to be observed by staff and trustees. 

With museum personnel becoming more sophisticated 
in their approach, you may have visited many museums 
where you question why they exist. Is it just to serve the 
personal satisfaction of an individual or group without 
educating or serving the community or public? There is 
some question why it exists. Preservation simply for the 
sake of preservation is questionable. 

In establishing a museum twenty years ago, this book 
would have been a most valuable asset. In a very simplistic 
way it gives you the information about beginning a 
museum, and in an ordinary way poses the questions you 
need to ask. It makes a person reason why you should start 
a museum. It helps to answer the question of what a 
museum is. It collects significant things, prepares to care 
for them in perpetuity and uses them for the public good. 

It is my opinion that this book should be on the book 
shelves of anyone thinking about developing or operating 
a museum. 

The reviewer is Director, Sweetwater County Historical Museum, Green River, 


Populism m the Mountain West. By Robert W. Larson. Albuquerque: 
University of New Mexico Press, 1986. Bibliographical Essay. Notes. 
Illustrations. Map. Graphs. 210 pp. Cloth $27.50. 

Leading Populist historians such as John D. Hicks {The 
Populist Revolt, 1931) and Lawrence Goodwyn (Democratic 
Promise: The Populist Moment in America, 1976), have at- 
tributed Populist strength in the Rocky Mountain West to 
that region's support of the party's position on silver. The 
Populists wanted the government to use silver to expand 
the nation's money supply, many silver mines existed in 
the Rockies, and, thus. Populist success would bolster the 
region's economy. Robert W. Larson believes this thesis is 
an oversimplification of the matter; that those in the Rocky 
Mountains who supported Populism advocated a variety 
of issues in addition to silver. Thus, while he reluctantly 
admits that silver was the most important Populist issue 
in the Mountain West, Larson seeks to prove that the 
movement in the region was a multifaceted one. 

Larson limits his examination of the Mountain West 
to four of the region's eight states and territories. He con- 
centrates on the so-called Front Range areas (Montana, 
Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico) and only briefly 
mentions the others (Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Arizona). 
Therein lies the major problem with this volume. Larson 
argues that the Front Range states were typical of the 
region; yet he notes that they had more large wheat- 
growing and stock-grazing areas than did the other states 
and, consequently, more support from farmers and ranch- 
ers attracted to Populist positions on agricultural issues. 
This fact alone would seem to belie the argument that the 
Front Range states were typical. Moreover, two of the 
Mountain states won by the Populist presidential candidate 
in 1892 (Arizona, Utah and New Mexico were territories 
at that time and did not have presidential elections) were 
Idaho and Nevada— major silver-producing regions. An ex- 
amination of Populism in the Rocky Mountain West which 
fails to look at the reasons for the party's success in either 
of these states is, at best, incomplete. 

The real reason Larson examines only three states and 
one territory in this volume is that much research has 
already been done on Populism in those areas, and Lar- 
son is merely synthesizing prior studies. He has done 
almost no original research for this book, although it must 
be noted that one of the works he relies upon here is his 
own New Mexico Populism (1974). Larson's notes and 
bibliographical essay, both of which are excellent, indicate 
that some research has been done on Populism in Nevada 
and Utah. Had he included this material in his synthesis 
and conducted original research on Idaho and Arizona, his 
task would have been much more difficult, but the results 
would have been more satisfying. With only 144 pages of 
text, much room existed for Larson to expand his work. One 
cannot escape the conclusion that Populism in the Moun- 
tain West is only half a book. 

The author also fails to eliminate a few factual errors. 
On page 136, for example, Larson speaks of the success 

of Populism in Idaho in 1892 when, he says, Henry Heit- 
field was elected to the U.S. Senate and James Gunn and 
Thomas Glenn were chosen for the U.S. House of Repre- 
sentatives. None of the three, in fact, was elected to Con- 
gress in 1892. On page 107, he mentions New Mexico's cur- 
rent 32 counties, unaware that another was created in 1981. 
Yet, despite these concerns, the volume is worthwhile 
and is, in fact, a significant contribution to the literature 
available on the late 19th century political history of the 
Rocky Mountain region. Larson succeeds in showing that 
Western Populists were concerned— to some extent, at 
least— with a wide range of reforms. And while one wishes 
for more than this volume offers, half a loaf is better than 

Tlie reviewer is Instructor ofHistonj and Political Science, Eastern New Mexico 
Univers ity- Clovis . 

The City and The Saloon: Denver, 1858-1916. By Thomas J. Noel. Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press, 1985. Illustrated. Index. Bibliography. 
Notes, xiii and 117 pp. Paper $6.95. 

From Denver's beginnings in the 1850s until Colorado 
enacted statewide prohibition in 1916, the capital city's 
ubiquitous saloons played an important role in the social 
and economic life for many of its residents. At the frontier 
stage, tavern keepers provided more than whiskey and 
beer; they gave patrons the latest news and advice on a 
variety of matters. Later, these souls counseled customers, 
especially the foreign-born, and even acted as neighbor- 
hood bankers. Indeed, the saloon often served as a multi- 
functional institution. Although these "waterholes" were 
numerous, they tended to be concentrated in Denver's 
business core, largely because of that section's traffic 
patterns— railroad stations and the web of streetcar lines— 
and because "better" citizens, who equated poverty, 
vagrancy and crime with saloon going, resisted their 
spread into other parts of the metropolis. Wherever the 
location, saloon owners, as a group, generally prospered, 
or at least eeked out a living. "Tavernkeeping was more 
often than not an avenue of upward mobility." (p. 43) Un- 
questionably, saloons offered a way for individuals with 
modest amounts of capital and entrepreneurial experience 
to enter the business world. Obviously, the coming of pro- 
hibition wrecked the lives of many saloon owners, 
although some successfully made the transition to dry 
times as operators of pool halls, sandwich shops or other 
small retail businesses. 

Author Thomas J. Noel skillfully tells the story of 
Denver saloons. His research is impressive and imagina- 
tive. For one thing, he wisely consulted the confidential 
credit reports made by R. G. Dun & Company, and thus 
much more is known about the business skills and overall 
background of prominent saloon keepers. With ample 
material Noel poses good questions and he analyzes this 
raw data thoughtfully. The book further benefits from a 

pleasing prose style; it is a joy to read. Some of the illustra- 
tions do lack clarity, and their layout is uninspired. Never- 
theless, The City and the Saloon will find a wide audience, 
not only from professional historians— those interested in 
the West, urban America, temperance and the like— but 
also from the general reader. This study is "nearby" 
history at its best. 

The reviewer is Professor of Histon/, University of Akron. 

gives the reader a feeling of continuity and presents a 
"whole" instead of "pieces" of the story. 

The first chief of the Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot, 
is pictured on the cover of the book and 1 think he would 
nod his approval of this publication. 

The reviewer is Histon/ Division Chair, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Cannel, 

The Rise of Multiple-use Management in the Intemwuntain West: A Histonj 
of Region 4 of the Forest Sendee. By Thomas G. Alexander. Washington, 
D.C.; United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 1987. 
Illustrated. Bibliography. Notes. 276 pp. Paper $13. 

The story of the Intermountain Region of the U.S. 
Forest Service is that of opposing forces battling to con- 
trol the resources of a vast area of the American West. 
Created in 1908, Region 4 of the Forest Service encom- 
passes the states of Utah and Nevada and parts of Idaho, 
Wyoming, Colorado and California. The patterns of land 
use are the stages of successive frontiers as described by 
historian Frederick Jackson Turner. The land of Region 4 
was utilized by trappers, miners, cattlemen, sheepherders 
and lumbermen. Each group left its mark on the region. 

Today, competing interests vie for control of the land's 
resources: timber, grass, minerals and scenic beauty. Who 
should have first rights? Should the land be open to timber 
harvesting or preserved for its pristine beauty? The answer 
might depend upon how one views a clear-cut. Never- 
theless, it is the responsibility of the Forest Service under 
the guidelines of multiple-use to propose and carry out a 
management plan that attempts to satisfy these competing 
needs. Thomas G. Alexander presents a well written ac- 
count of the evolution of multiple resource management 
in the intermountain West. 

This encyclopedic history overflows with names, dates 
and statistics. This attention to detail makes this publica- 
tion of interest to the specialist as well as to the general 
reader who has a casual interest in the development of the 
intermountain West. For those who might want to pur- 
sue a subject in more depth, Dr. Alexander presents a 
bibliography that includes books, government documents 
as well as a list of oral history interviews and unpublished 
materials, many of which are housed in local Forest Ser- 
vice offices. To assist the reader reference notes are 
presented at the end of each chapter. An excellent collec- 
tion of black and white photographs complements the text. 

This publication, one in a series detailing the history 
of the U.S. Forest Service, presents in a chronological order 
the management of Region 4. Topics such as grazing, 
timber management, recreation and fire control are dis- 
cussed in each chapter thus tracing the improvements and 
policy changes. This technique organizes the facts and 

Calamity Jane and the Lady Wildcats. By Duncan Aikman. Lincoln: Uru- 

versity of Nebraska Press, 1987. Originally published: New York: 
Henry Holt and Company, 1927. Illustrated. 356 pp. Cloth $26.50. 
Paper $8.95. 

I may be overly critical of this book as 1 realize that the 
author, Duncan Aikman, did not have microfOmed copies 
of old newspapers available for his use when he wrote this 
publication. Unfortunately, when Watson Parker reprinted 
the book by arrangement with Lonnelle Davison Aikman, 
he reprinted without too much thought as to whether it 
was fact or fiction. 

Even though Parker mentioned that if Aikman had 
stuck entirely with known and demonstrable truths about 
them (Calamity Jane and other wildcats), his book would 
not have been more than a pamphlet. That may be true, 
but, the truth and more detail would have been better. 

For instance, the 1860 Mercer County Census lists 
Delilia as the mother of the Canary family and the father 
is listed as J.T. In Aikman's book, somehow DelUia became 
"Charlotte" and J.T. became "Bob." 

Calamity Jane (Martha Canary) is reputed to have 
stated that she was born in 1852, the oldest of the Canary 
children. On the census Victoria is listed as 15 years old 
and born in Ohio. The first girl born in Missouri to the 
Canary family is named S.V., female, aged two years. 

On the 1869 Census, Wyoming Unorganized Territory 
of Wyoming (Carter County), taken by the State of Ne- 
braska, Martha is listed as being located in Piedmont, 
Wyoming Territory. It also states her working for the 
railroad and is 15 years old. This official statement makes 
it seem most unlikely that she was in Kansas marrying 
William Butler (Wild Bill) Hickock. 

My biggest problem, however, is with Mr. Aikman's 
description of the route that the Canary family took when 
they went to Salt Lake City. He was probably correct in 
not having them go north of the Platte River in 1864, as 
the Indians could have been troublesome. But, then he 
writes, the big emigrant trains almost invariably followed 
the Overland route. Shelter and supplies were to be had 
that way at the various Pony Express Stations. (This would 
have been very difficult to accomplish as the Pony Express 
Stations had been closed October, 1861.) He then stated 
that "this meant that they went in almost a straight line 
from Independence or some slightly more western outpost 


to Julesburg, Colorado, and then through Cheyenne . . . 
the future— and now past— South Pass City on down the 
Green River Valley of Wyoming and Utah into Salt Lake 
City." In actuality, the Pony Express followed the Oregon 
Trail much farther north than the Overland Trail. It did 
not go near Cheyenne of the future. Aikman could have 
meant Casper, Wyoming Territory, and been a little more 
accurate, but then that would not have placed it along the 
Overland Trail. 

During that time period, many women were called 
"Calamity Jane" whether their names were Jane or not. 
It appears that "Calamity Jane" was a common nickname 
and Martha Canary was often confused with other women. 
As she became famous she certainly made good newspaper 
copy. The editors of many newspapers made up stories for 

"fillers" and due to perhaps, some unsubstantiated stories 
about a Calamity Jane, it makes it hard to confirm that 
Calamity Jane (Martha Canary) actually performed some 
of the exploits that are attributed to her. This reviewer is 
not too familiar with the other "Lady Wildcats" but after 
reading Calamity Jane's story, 1 figured they too were 

Although Calamity Jane and the Other Lady Wildcats was 
fairly good reading, 1 prefer history to be as close to the 
truth as possible, therefore, 1 did not enjoy the balance of 
the book. 

The reviewer is Past President of the Wyoming State Historical Society. 


Wyoming Place Names. By Mae Urhanek. Missoula, Montana: Mountain 
Press Publishing Company, 1988. Originally published: Boulder, Col- 
orado: Johnson Publishing Company, 1974. v and 233 pp. Paper $9.95. 

This long out of print, useful sourcebook on the many 
Wyoming place names has been reprinted, and updated. 
The author gathered information from a wide variety of 
sources, and although she recognizes that there may be 
mistakes and misinformation, it still is the best such book 
there is. 

A Rocky Mountain Christinas: Yuletide Stories of the West. By John H. 
Monnett. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 1987. Index! 
Illustrated. Bibliographical Notes, xi and 119 pp. Paper $7.95. 

Many Yuletide stories of the Rocky Mountain West 
during the 19th century are included in this volume. The 
author looks at the holiday traditions of the mountain men, 
explorers and early settlers and how these traditions were 
adapted to the western region. 

With Custer's Cavalnj. By Katherine Gibson Fougera. Lincoln: University 
of Nebraska Press, 1986. Originally published: Caldwell, Idaho: The 
Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1940. Illustrated. 285 pp. Cloth $23.95. Paper $7.95. 

This account is taken from the memoirs of Katherine 
Gibson, wife of Captain Francis M. Gibson of the Seventh 
Cavalry, U.S. Army. The author describes army life in the 
1870s and 1880s, along with details about women at the 
army posts waiting for news about Custer's last battle. Also 
included are the letters her husband wrote to her describ- 
ing the scene of the battle. He was there immediately 
following the fight. 

The Drums Would Roll: A Pictorial History of U.S. Army Bands on the 
American Frontier 1866-1900. By Thomas C. Railsback and John P. 
Langellier. Poole: Arms and Armour Press, Ltd., 1987. Illustrated. 
Bibliography. Notes. Appendices. 56 pp. Cloth $14.95. 

The U.S. Army Bands located at western military posts 

in the years following the Civil War played an important role 
in the social life of those installations. The authors provide 
information about that role as well as details concerning 
uniforms, instruments, formations and descriptions of the 
music and composers. 

Historic Dress of the Old West. By Ernest Lisle Reedstrom. New York: 
Blandford Press, 1986. Index. Illustrated. Bibliography. Footnotes. 
155 pp. Cloth $19.95. 

This book chronicles western dress among the Plains 
Indians, fur trappers, western emigrants, goldseekers, buf- 
falo hunters, frontier soldiers, gamblers, outlaws, cowboys 
and more. The author also provides details of the lives of 
each of these groups. Illustrated by the author. 

Fort Union Trading Post: Fur Trade Empire on the Upper Missouri. By 
Erwin N. Thompson. Medora, North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt 
Nature and History Association, 1986. Index. Illustrated. Bibliography. 
Appendix. Notes, iv and 95 pp. Paper $5.95. 

Established as a fur trading post by the American Fur 
Company in 1829, Fort Union served as a trading center 
for more than 38 years. This book records the history of 
the fort along with the area's fur trade and Indian and non- 
Indian cultures. Since 1966, Fort Union has been part of 
the National Park System. 

Jackson Hole, Crossroads of the Western Fur Trade 1807-1840. By Merrill 
J. Mattes. Jackson, Wyoming: Jackson Hole Museum, 1987. Illustrated. 
Maps. Footnotes. 57 pp. Paper. 

The Jackson Hole Museum has taken two articles by 
Merrill Mattes previously published in the Pacific Northwest 
Quarterly in 1946 and 1948, and printed them in this 
volume. The book covers all of the known exploration of 
the Jackson Hole area from 1807 until 1840 and details the 
trading and trapping activities of the area. 


"Adventures of an Englishman in Cunamins City: Letters from Robert 

Mills," edited by Jean Brainerd, 32-43 
Aikman, Duncan, Calamity Jane and the Lady Wildcats, review, 61-62 
Alexander, Thomas G., The Rise of Multiple-use Management in the Inter- 
mountain West: A History of Region 4 of the Forest Service, review, 61 


BaUey, Warren, 18 

Baker, John, 28 

Barrett, Governor Frank, 20 

Bonner, Governor John, 20 

Boone, Andrew, 23 

Boulder Lake, 3-4, 8 

Brainerd, Jean, ed., "Adventures of an Englishman in Cummins City: 

Letters from Robert Mills," 32-43 
Buffalo Bill Historical Center, 45-46 
Burleigh, Walter, 23, 26; photo, 24 

Fremont, John C, 2-11 

"Fremont in the Wind Rivers," James R. Wolf, 2-11 

Fremont Peak, 3-4, 6; photo, 7 

Frison, George, 48 

Frobish, Dennis, review of Land of the Burnt Thigh, 58 

Frontier Supply Company, 55-56 

Gannett Peak, 6, 8 

George, Gerald, Starting Right: A Basic Guide to Museum Planning, review, 

GiU, Ann, 34 
Gill, John, 34 
GiUet, Ransom, 26 
Granger, Francis, 23, 26 
Grant, H. Roger, review of The City and the Saloon: Denver, 1858-1916, 60-61 

Calamity fane and the Lady Wildcats, by Duncan Aikman, review, 61-62 

Caldwell, Warren, 45 

Call, Wilkinson, 29 

Cardoso, Lavirence A., review of The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken 
Past of the American West, 57 

Carson, Kit, 3, 6 

Casper: A Pictorial History, by Edna Gorrell Kukura and Susan Nietham- 
mer True, review, 58-59 

Casper Country: Wyoming's Heartland, by Jean Mead, review, 58-59 

Cassidy, Butch, 13-15 

Chadey, Heruy, review of Starting Right: A Basic Guide to Museum Plan- 
ning, 59 

Chamberlain, Fannie, 16 

Chapin, Fred, 17 

Christiansen, Ezra, 16 

Christmas, Judge H. Robert, 20 

The City and the Saloon: Denver, 1858-1916, by Thomas J. Noel, review, 60-61 

Cokeville Mercantile Company, 12-13 

CokeviUe, Wyoming, 12-20; photo, 14 

Collett, Gene, 12-13 

"Congress and the Indian: The PoUtics of Conquest," Robert L. Munkres, 

Copper King Mine, 33 

Crittenden, Thomas, 23, 25 

Cummins City, Wyoming, 33-43; photos, 32-33, 37, 42 

Cummins, John, 33-34 


Dabich, George, 45 
Dalton, Bert, 19 
Daniels, Lewis H., 15, 19 
Davis, Jefferson, 26-27 
Dawes Act, 29 
Dawes, Hervry, 27 
Dinwoody Glacier, 6 
Doolittle, James, 24-25, 28 

Dullenty, Jim and Mary Stoner Hadley, "Wyoming's Outlaw Brothers," 

East Fork River, 3 
Edgar, Bob, 45, 47, 53 


Hadley, Mary Stoner, and Jim Dullenty, "Wyoming's Outlaw Brothers,' 

Haggerty, Earl, 19 
Ham's Fork Cattle Company, 55 
Hanson, Dan, 16, 19 

Hardaway, Roger D., review of Populism in the Mountain West, 60 
Harlan, James, 24, 27, 29 
Harris, Arthur, 46, 51 
Harrison, Albert, 26 
Henderson, James, 26 
Howard, Jacob, 24 
Howe, Timothy, 24 

Hughes, Susan, "Mummy Cave Revisited," 44-54 
Husted, Wilfred, 45, 47 

Indians, 22-30 
Indians— Tribes 

Blackfeet, 27 

Cherokees, 24 

Crows, 27 

Oneidas, 25 

Shoshone, 53 
Ingersoll, Ebon, 26 
Island Lake, 6 


Jackson, President Andrew, 22-23 

Janes, Ralph, 18 

Johnson, Reverdy, 29 

Jones, Keith, 33 

Jones, Walter, review of Casper: A Pictorial History, 58-59 

Jones, Walter, review of Casper Country: Wyoming's Heartland, 58-59 

Junction Lake, 4, 8 


Kemmerer Coal Company, 55-56 
Kemmerer, Mahlon S., 55 
Kemmerer, Wyoming, 55 


Kidd, William, 17-18 

Kohl, Edith Eudora, Land of the Burnt Thigh, review, 58 

Kukura, Edna Gorrell, Casyier: A Pictorial History, review, 58-59 

Quealy, Patrick, )., 55 

Lajeunesse, Basil, 6 

Land of the Burnt Thigh, by Edith Eudora Kohl, review, 58 

Larson, Robert W., Populism in the Mountain West, review, 60 

The Legacy of Conquest: Tfie Unbroken Past of the American West, by Patricia 

Nelson Limerick, review, 57 
Lester Pass, 4, 6, 8 
Limerick, Patricia Nelson, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the 

American West, review, 57 
Long, Tex, 17 
Lumpkin, Wilson, 24, 27 


McCracken, Harold, 45-47 
McDougall, James, 25 
McDuffie, George, 20 
McGUl, Edgar, 18 
McGreevy, James, 33 
Manning, Charles, 16-20; photo, 17 
Manning, Leo, 16 
Matthew, Vickie, 34 
Maxwell, Lucien Bonaparte, 3 

Mead, Jean, Casper Country: Wyoming's Heartland, review, 58-59 
Meadors, Albert, 20 

Mills, Robert Scowfield, 34-43; photo, 35 
Milton, Sam, 17-18 
Moore, George, W., 33 
Morgan, John, 29 
Morino, Hernando, 19 
Moss, John H., 45 

Mt. Woodrow Wilson, 6, 8; photos, 5-7 

Mueller, Ellen, review of Calamity jane and the Lady Wildcats, 61-62 
MuUoy, William, 45 

Mummy Cave, 45-49, 51, 53; photos, 44, 46-52 
"Mummy Cave Revisited," Susan Hughes, 44-54 
Munkres, Robert L., "Congress and the Indian: The Politics of Conquest," 


National Geographic Society, 45 

Nelson, Loyd, 16 

Noblitt, A. D., 19 

Noel, Thomas J., The City and the Saloon: Denver, 1858-1916, review, 60-61 

North Fork of Shoshone River, 45, 49, 51, 53 

North Platte River, 3 


Olsen, Pete W., 15-16, 18-19 
Opal, Wyoming, 16 

Owens, Patricia Ann, review of The Rise of Multiple-use Management in the 
Intermountain West: A History of Region 4 of the Forest Service, 61 

Pendleton, George, 25, 29 

Phelps, William, 27, 30 

PhUlips, William T., 13-14 

Plumb, Preston, 26-27 

Pole Creek Trail, 4 

Populism in the Mountain West, by Robert W. Larson, review, 60 

Powell, John Wesley, 29 

Preuss, Charles, 3 


Reynolds, John, 23 

The Rise of Multiple-use Management in the Intermountain West: A History 
of Region 4 of the Forest Service, by Thomas G. Alexander, review, 61 
Rock River Coal and Fire Clay Company, 55 
Rock River, Wyoming, 55 
Rose, Robert, 16-17, 19 
Ross, Edmund, 24-25, 27-28 
Ryan, Thomas, 26 

Scott, Rube, 18 

Sesler, Albert F., 17-18 

Sherman, John, 25, 27 

SherreU-Leo, Cindy, Starting Right: A Basic Guide to Museum Planning, 

review, 59 
Smalley, Ben H., 12, 18 
Smith, Frank, 33 
Somsen, Dorothy, 13, 18 
Starting Right: A Basic Guide to Museum Planning, by Gerald George and 

Cindy Sherrell-Leo, review, 59 
Stoffers, Louella, 16 
Stoner, Abe, 12-15; photo, 13 
Stoner, Clarence A., 15, 20; photos, 15, 21 
Stoner, John W., 12, 14 
Stoner, Roscoe, 12 
Sweetwater River, 3, 8 

Taylor, Tex, 17 

Teller, Henry, 27, 29 

Townsend, Martin, 23-24 

True, Susan Niethammer, Casper: A Pictorial History, review, 58-59 


Uinta Improvement Company, 55 
United States Congress, 22-30 

Vest, George, 27, 29 


Weaver, James, 29 

Whitney, Charlie, 13, 15-20; photos, 15, 21 
Whitney, Fred, 15 

Whitney, Hugh, 13, 15-20; photo, 15 
Whitney, Mary Ella, 15 
Wilde, J. Patrick, 18-19 
Wilkinson, Morton, 27 
Wind River Mountains, 6; photos 2-3, 5-7 
Wind River Reservation, 18-19 
Winter, Wayne, 45 

Wolf, James R., "Fremont in the Wind Rivers," 2-11 
Wright, H. E. Jr., 46 
Wyman, Henry, 19 

Wyoming Coal and Development Company, 55 

"Wyoming's Outlaw Brothers," Jim Dullenty and Mary Stoner Hadley, 

Yates, Richard, 27 


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. Lar- 
son, Laramie, 1957-58; A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins, 1958-59; Mrs. Thelma G. Con- 
dit, 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, Torrington, 1968-69; Mrs. 
Hattie Bumstad, 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; 
William F. Bragg, Jr., Casper, 1980-81; Don Hodgson, Torrington, 1981-82, Clara 
Jensen, Lysite-Casper, 1982-83; Fern Gaensslen, Green River, 1983-84; Dave 
Kathka, Rock Springs, 1984-85; Mary Garman, Sundance, 1985-86; Ellen Mueller, 
Cheyenne, 1986-87; Mary Nielsen, Cody, 1987-1988. 

Membership information may be obtained from the Executive Headquarters, 
Wyoming State Historical Society, Barrett Building, Cheyenne, Wyorxung 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, Loren Jost, Riverton 

First Vice President, Lucille Clarke Dumbrill, Newcastle 
1988-89 Second Vice-President, Danny Smith, Cody 
Officers Secretary-Treasurer, Gladys Hill, Douglas 

Executive-Secretary, David Kathka 

Coordinator, Judy West