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^nnals of pigottitng 

Vol. 6 JULY-OCTOBER, 1929 No. 1 and 2 


Reminiscences Edward Ordway 

Address Regarding^ First Photographing of the Tetons W. H. Jackson 

Official Uinta County Visits Star Valley John G. Hamm 

The Romance of Old Trails Lucia G. Putnam 

Recollections of Taylor Pennock I. R. Conniss 

Mr. Thomas J. Bryant Editor 

A Wyoming Trail Blazer Mrs. S. L. Mills 

Account of Daniel McUlvan's and David McFarlane's Encounter 

With the Sioux in 1876 Mrs. Mary Whiting McFarlane 

Reminiscenses of Wyoming in the Seventies and 

Eighties John Jackson Clarke 

Seminoe vs. Seminole. 

Coutant's Notes. 


Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


^nnals of pig0mmg 

Vol.6 JULY-OCTOBER, 1929 No. 1 and 2 





Reminiscences . Edward Ordway 

Address Regarding First Photographing of the Tetons__W. H. Jackson 

Official Uinta County Visits Star Valley John G. Hamm 

The Romance of Old Trails Lucia G. Putnam 

Recollections of Taylor Pennock I. R. Conniss 

Mr. Thomas J. Bryant Editor 

A Wyoming Trail Blazer Mrs. S. L. Mills 

Account of Daniel McUlvan's and David McFarlane's Encounter 

With the Sioux in 1876 Mrs. Mary Whiting McFarlane 

Reminiscenses of Wyoming in the Seventies and 

Eighties John Jackson Clarke 

Seminoe Vs. Seminole, 

Coutant's Notes. 


Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Franlc C. Emerson 

Secretary of State A. M. Clark 

State Librarian Mrs. Clare E. Ausherman 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Judge E. H. Fourt Lander 

Dr. Grace R. Hebard Laramie 

Mrs. C. L. Vandevender Basin 

Mr. C. F. Maurer . Douglas 

Mr. Phillip E. Winter Casper 

Mrs. R. A. Ferguson Wheatland 

Mrs. M. M. Parmelee Buffalo 

Miss Spaeth Gillette 

Mrs. P. J. Quealy .^ Kemmerer 

Neither the State Historical Board, the State Historical Advisory Board nor the 
State Historian is respomsible for any statements made or opinions expressed by 
contributors to the Annals of Wyoming. 

(Copyright, 1929) 



1 9^ 6 CHAPTER 96 


Session Laws 1921 


Section 6. It shall be the duty of the State His- 
torian : 

(a) To collect books, maps, charts, documents, man- 
uscripts, other papers and any obtainable material illus- 
trative of the history of the State. 

(b) To procure from pioneers narratives of any ex- 
ploits, perils and adventures. 

(c) To collect and compile data of the events which 
mark the progress of Wyoming from its earliest day to 
the present time, including the records of all of the 
Wyoming men and women, who served in the World War 
and the history of all war activities in the State. 

(d) To procure facts and statements relative to the 
history, progress and decay of the Indian tribes and other 
early inhabitants within the State. 

(e) To collect by solicitation or purchase fossils, 
specimens, of ores and minerals, objects of curiosity con- 
nected with the history of the State and all such books, 
maps, writings, charts and other material as will tend to 
facilitate historical, scientific and antiquarian research. 

(f) To file and carefully preserve in his office in 
the Capitol at Cheyenne, all of the historical data col- 
lected or obtained by him, so arranged and classified as 
to be not only available for the purpose of compiling and 
publishing a History of Wyoming, but also that it may be 
readily accessible for the purpose of disseminating such 
historical or biographical information as may be reason- 
ably requested by the public. He shall also bind, cata- 
logue and carefully preserve all unbound books, manu- 
scripts, pamphlets, and especially newspaper files contain- 
ing legal notices which may be donated to the State His- 
torical Board. 

(g) To prepare for publication a biennial report of 
the collections and other matters relating to the transac- 
tion of the Board as may be useful to the public. 

(h) To travel from place to place, as the require- 
ments of the work may dictate, and to take such steps, 
not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as may be 
required to obtain the data necessary to the carrying out 
of the purpose and objects herein set forth. 

jamais 0f pi^nming 

Vol.6 JULY-OCTOBER, 1929 No. 1 and 2 


Edward Ordway 
(Continued from June number) 

We were at our camp, but when we heard the cry of 
fire, ran over to help suppress the blaze. As the fire had 
made quite a good headway, it was some work to get the 
best of it, although there were ten of us to pack water from 
the creek that ran along about 30 feet in front. 

The navvies finding some of the fluid left in their bot- 
tles did not bother us till we had the fire nearly out, and 
not then to any great extent. One came running up to 
McCurdy — who was a husky youth — swearing and flourish- 
ing an old knife. Mac, with a deft swing, draped an old 
army bucket full of water on his head and as far as he was 
concerned ''subsequent proceedings interested him not," for 
the space of an hour. 

Long after we had the fire out and the place well soaked 
and out of danger of any further damage we left while the 
remaining four were busily engaged in trying to improve 
each other's none too prepossessing countenances. We had 
approached within about 50 feet of our camp when Quan- 
trel, looking backward, called out, "Look at that son of a 
gun with the pitchfork." One fellow was standing over the 
one who had been knocked out with the bucket of water 
and was making passes at him with the fork, but when he 
made a stab at him missed his mark and drove the fork into 
the ground so deep that it required some effort to pull it 
out, and when he did recover it, went over backwards and 
lost the fork in the creek. Then crawling upon his hands 
and knees removed the wreck of the bucket from the fel- 
low's head and taking it in his lap began moaning and croon- 
ing over him. Perceiving that the war was over, we started 
to return to our camp and were within a few steps of it 
when the old house fell in with a crash like heaven and earth 
had come together. The antics of the drunken navvies had 
kept us from being buried in it. 

We looked at the wreck and we looked at each other 
for the*space of a minute, then Quantrel, who back in Mis- 


souri had been a camp meeting victim, broke forth with 
the remark that the occasion demanded **0 Death! By a 
breath we have escaped thy cold embraces but with a lot of 
our worldly goods have we endowed thee," and Mac and I 
said ''Amen!" 

By that time the boys from the store were over and as 
we had piled our goods in one front corner it did not require 
a great amount of labor to remove the logs and dirt suf- 
ficiently to recover them. Not much damage done except 
a sack of flour that was mashed and mixed with the dirt, 
and that same had cost fifteen dollars that morning. But 
we did not mind that nor other small losses. We were too 
well pleased that our friends would not have to nail a board 
to the old wreck whereon would be inscribed "Many have 
died and were buried because they did not know that the 
gun was loaded, but here lie planted three young men who 
did not know that the roof was overloaded." In those happy- 
go-lucky days, all one asked for was to be on top of Old 
Mother Earth. Granted that favor, we all felt that we could 
do all else that was needed. 

Drunkenness, no doubt, has slain its thousands, but in 
this case the beastly state of intoxication that the other fel- 
lows were in saved the lives of three sober lads to whom life 
at that time was worth living. Two or three hours later 
one of the navvies came over to the store for a drink and 
they informed him that he had better get his companions 
on their feet and take the road for their camp. But a man 
had come down from the stage station and had left his horse 
standing reined up near the doors, and the nawie, I sup- 
pose, thinking that riding was better than walking, unloosed 
the rein and painfully climbed into the saddle. The horse, 
making a bee line for home, was in the middle of the creek 
when a shot from the owner's gun took the rider's hat and 
a lock of hair from his head. Luckily as the ground was very 
hard, he fell in the water. Men with a team coming back 
from Carmichael's camp, caught and brought back the run- 
away horse, and we all helped to load the delinquents who 
departed without one fond farewell look or wave of the 
hand, leaving us with the dull quietude that follows the 
"End of a Perfect Day." 

Next morning the sun came up clear and bright from 
behind Laramie Peak, a hundred miles away to the east- 
ward, ushering in a glorious spring morning, the likeness 
of which one never beholds in this part of California where 
winter glides into spring unmarked and unnoticed. For the 
space of four or five days we had nothing to do but enjoy 
the fine weather and kill some game and, as antelope were 


plentiful, that required but little effort. About a week 
after the railroad graders' celebration South of the Bay of 
Monterey, the superintendent of the stage company came 
down the line and offered us a job of repairing bridges, the 
one on the Medicine Bow river requiring ten or twelve days 
work. We had a chance to hear the stock tenders tell about 
the Indian troubles, and especially what had happened at 
that station since the line had been established on that 
route. The stage company only had one building, a long 
log stable arranged in the usual way, stalls on each side for 
horses and spaces for hay and grain with an alley running 
from front to back through the middle and a large room 
partitioned off in the southwest corner for the stock tenders 
to live in, with a trap door in the floor leading into a tunnel 
which ran under the road into a small fort opposite the alley 
way through the stable. There was a lot of timber and brush 
on both sides of the river which made it easy for the Indians 
to watch an opportunity to slip in to the back end of the 
stable and get away with horses. And not a summer passed 
without one or more attempts to enrich themselves by what 
a white man would consider desperate chances. 

The last attack was made in the summer before we 
were there, and, as they told it, happened at noon while the 
men were eating their dinner. They heard a disturbance 
among the horses and one man opened the door and catch- 
ing sight of an Indian drew his head back just in time to 
miss a good chance to stop an arrow that the Indian had 
ready for whoever might step out. The boys lost no time 
in barring the door and getting into the fort. The first 
shot was from a shotgun that took off one Indian's arm and 
slightly wounded two more. It appeared that they were not 
wise about the fort. The Indian who made the noise that 
queered the game had jumped in alongside of a broncho that 
was, as the Spanish speak it, "Muy bravo" and resenting the 
intrusion upon his privacy by a heathen savage who smelled 
strongly of kini kinic and willow snake, pulled back, break- 
ing his halter and immediately taking to the woods. 

The others had better luck in the stalls but lost out 
when they came in range of the guns that raked the alley. 
Only one got away with a horse. 

Early in May an enthusiastic crowd assembled on the 
south side of the North Platte River at the place where the 
railroad would cross and laid out a town of magnificent 
proportions. Most of them had some money and all were 
millionaires in expectations, firm in the belief that they 
could build a city that would make Denver and Cheyenne, 


if merged into one, look like two bits in the Bank of Eng- 
land. One optimistical sport had staked a young Canadian 
whose name was Bob Weyms when sober, but on other and 
happier occasions it was 'The Son of an Irish Lord". Bob 
came down and after depositing his money with Foot & 
Wilson, gave us a contract to make the logs to build a dance 
hall. A new arrival from Colorado, T. H. Hopkins, joining 
us, we got out the logs in good time and got paid for our 
work as soon as the job was done, and it was well that we 
did, as Bob's backer had neglected in his estimate to allow 
for the extra expense of supporting a title in a free and 
easy country and the project failed. But it did not matter 
much, for as soon as the river went down low enough to be 
safely forded the town moved across to a point two miles 
on the other side, and then when the railroad came, moved 
again to what is now Rawlins. 

Shortly after we finished the logs Hanse & Hall arrived 
with an outfit to fill a big contract cutting for square tim- 
ber, ties and wood, all to be delivered at a railroad station 
to be located seven or eight miles away — now named 

They were followed by others with bull trains, mule 
trains, and horse teams, and more than a thousand men 
working in the timber. 

Then came all the usual accompanying amusements, 
so that no one need go away from Old Halleck to hear the 
sounds of revelry by night nor the groans and howls of re- 
pentance the morning after. Yet everything went on apace 
with only one disaster to be recorded. That happened in 
the early fall. One of Hanse & Hall's trains of seven teams 
was captured by the Indians as it was returning from 
Percy. Men were all killed and stock driven away, the 
invaders escaping without a scratch. Only one man in the 
outfit had a gun and he had fired that at something in the 
lake opposite the Butte where it happened, but a few sec- 
onds before the attack, as one man reported it who had 
climbed up among the rocks on the Butte and was yet alive 
when found. 

I was not at the camp when it happened. Hopkins and 
I had left some time before on a prospecting and trapping 
expedition up the river, and southward into Colorado. We 
found plenty of all kinds of game, excepting buffalo. Got 
all the beaver skins that we could pack but found no mineral 
prospect worth returning for. 

Saw plenty of signs of Utes moving southwest out of 
the high altitudes toward their winter camps. Tie cutters 
had worked as high up as Big Creek on all the tributaries 



of the river, but we did not see a white man till we hit the 
Overland road on the return march during all the five 
months that we were away. 

When we left Halleck we did not intend to go beyond 
the North Park, and did not take a sufficient amount of 
white man's grub, but as winter was late coming on we 
could not resist the desire to cross the Divide and therefore 
our bill of fare for about two months was meat straight, 
and that while varied and of the best quality, eventually 
became dismally monotonous. After the old year had 
passed out or as we supposed, for we had, early in the game 
lost track of the passing days, a deep snow fell in the high 
mountains, and on the last divide that we had to cross to 
get back into the North Park, the side we had to go up on 
was comparatively easy but to get down was rather diffi- 
cult. From the top down the first hundred feet was very 
steep and the narrow gorge packed full of snow and crusted 
over but not hard enough to bear up a horse. A man could 
climb up and down it but our horses would have been buried 
in it. Hopkins had been with a prospecting party that had 
spent the season of '60 and '61 in the Raton Mountains in 
New Mexico and had learned all the tricks in the trade or 
we would have had to hunt some other trail. We slid our 
packs and saddles down to the bench below, which was easy, 
and luckily our ponies were small for we had to get them, 
one at a time, as near the edge as possible, throw and tie 
their legs together, roll them off and let them down with 
our ropes. All easy except the rolling off part which was 
more than good exercise for two men. From the bench 
down to the valley the mountain sides were not precipitous. 
We could keep out of the deep snow. Four days later we 
camped on the Grand Encampment river which was our 
last stopping place of any length of time. 

There a snow stonn kept us idle for ten days and com- 
pelled us to submit to a bill of fare of beaver meat straight, 
and then to a lot of exercise to find our horses, but got 
plenty of antelope on the same hunt. 

Leaving that place, stopped two days on Jack's Creek 
and leaving there were lucky enough to find a place where 
the river was frozen solid all the way across, and thinking 
that Cherokee Pass might be hard to get through we struck 
out as straight as possible for the Overland trail at the 
crossing of Pass Creek. 

A mule train going east was camped there, without 
loads except hay and grain for the stock. We were rather 
a hard looking pair as far as personal appearance went, but 
they made us welcome. They had been out of luck for sev- 


eral days and had not killed anything excepting jackrabbits 
and, as we had two fat antelope and a saddle of deer on our 
packs they proposed that we wait till they could cook some 
of it. They were just beginning their supper when we ar- 
rived, but we said cook all you wish for yourselves but bread 
and bacon looks and smelled too good for us. I have since 
dined at many expensive resorts noted for administering 
abnormal kicks to blase palates but have never since enjoyed 
a meal as I did that mule skinner's dinner of hot bread, 
bacon and coffee. 

As a relish there is nothing that equals a keen appe- 
tite along with the mercury hovering around the zero mark. 
The next day, first of February, '69, we got back to our old 
camp near Halleck. There were but few people left there, 
the crowd had moved on towards the west. Foot & Wilson 
and the Coad Bros, were mainly the only outfits left to 
finish up the work. 

After disposing of our furs there remained a month 
of idleness. Hopkins concluding to keep on trapping and 
prospecting, I went into partnership with Wm. Ashby and 
getting together bull teams we joined with another outfit 
of eight or nine trains and put in the spring and early sum- 
mer hauling wood to Percy Station on the U. P. R. R. Then 
till the snows of winter compelled us to quit we hauled saw 
logs from the mountain to Fort Steele which was being 
built into a permanent camp. 

The next season there was plenty of work delivering 
timbers for the coal mines at Carbon and hauling hay from 
near where now is located the town of Saratoga, to Fort 
Steele. With no profitable work in sight for the next sea- 
son we moved east to the vicinity of Cheyenne and camped 
for the winter on South Crow Creek near the foot of the 
hills about a mile below where Joe Vinine had a camp and 
about a hundred head of cattle that he had brought from 
New Mexico. 

A mile or more above Joe's place a man by the name of 
Bond had a potato ranch. To the north on Horse Creek on 
the old Fort Bent and Fort Laramie trail two families were 
living, Davis and McMahon. As I remember it that was all 
there were then living between the Cheyenne and Fort 
Laramie stage road and the Laramie Plains. 

Where we camped there was left standing the walls 
and chimney of quite a large sod building that had been 
used as a store by some one who catered to the needs of the 
lumber and wood haulers while Cheyenne and Fort Russell 
were building. We repaired and made it into a home camp 
and some time during the winter Darias A. Thorp filed on 


a claim of 160 acres which was, I believe, among the first 
land entries in that vicinity. 

After the spring opened I sold my interest in the bull 
train to Ashby and remained at the camp holding and de- 
livering beef cattle for Durbin Bros, who had the contracts 
for supplying a group of five forts. Forts Fetterman, Lara- 
mie, Steele, Sanders were sublet, but Russell was to be filled 
from their own cattle on the range. It was an easy job 
through the summer and early fall as there were but few 
cattle on the range. Carey Bros.' first venture in the busi- 
ness was with about 500 head that they located two miles 
below my camp, where the North and Middle Crows unite. 

Some time during the fore part of October, the Durbin 
Bros, bought from M. V. Boughton 400 head of the finest 
beef steers that were ever brought from Texas. We re- 
ceived them on Horse Creek 20 miles above the Circle Block 
camp where Edward Creighton of Omaha had put in 3500 
cattle the year before. There was a heavy crop of grass 
that year, but unfortunately all the country between the 
Horse and Bear Creeks had been burned over, and winter 
setting in early with a blizzard that swept the bulk of the 
cattle off toward the south. That winter was the hardest 
that I ever experienced anywhere in the Rocky Mountain 
country. I had to hunt cattle all over the South Platte 
country and put them in the slaughter house corral at 
Cheyenne. Soldiers must have beef. They could not eat 
excuses about bad weather, and men were scarce that were 
of any use in the saddle. Even in good weather, one trip 
was more than enough when they had to kick the snow off 
their beds and climb into a frozen saddle that curled up 
like Cottonwood shingles and rattled like a sack of clam 
shells while one was shaking the snow from it and then 
sing "Hail Columbia Happy Land" around a bunch of 
rollicky beeves while the mercury was sinking down through 
the twenties below. It would not have been a pleasant task 
for an Eskimo. 

On the 22nd of January we were coming up with a 
drive. I had 125 head of beeves and A,_H. Reel who had 
joined in on that trip had about the same number of beef 
and stock cattle. When within six or seven miles of the 
corral a blizzard struck us, so terrific and thick with snow ; ' ^ 
that the cattle appeared like a dark mass as they drifted 
past. Had we tried to face the storm the result would have 
been providing a feast for the coyotes after our remains 
had thawed out. So we turned our backs to the wind as 
the cattle did and drifted along before it and a streak of 
good luck came to us some time in the night, the wind 



changed and we found a trail of a wagon. After the storm 
had subsided enough to allow the moon to give a little 
light, wisely concluding that the wagon tracks would lead 
into the bluffs, we took the storm on our starboard beam, 
as the sailors say, and finally got down into a canon that led 
to what was then called Geary's Point in Chalk, Bluff s, just 
where we had camped the night before. There we got in 
the willows, made a fire and warmed ourselves for near an 
hour. Then skirted along under the shelter of the bluffs 
to Ilif's Chalk Bluff camp just as our watches told the hour 
of four o'clock in the morning. There we got our tired 
horses in the stable and ourselves in front of a roaring fire 
and partook of a supper and breakfast merged into one 
very square meal. 

Then there was a little time for rest till the sun came 
up bright and clear, but shining down on a frozen thermome- 
ter. Our cook. Old Cherokee Bob, a derelict 'Trom the days 
of old, The days of Gold, The days of Forty-nine", who had 
survived all manner of disasters from Missouri to California 
and had drifted back to the plains he had crossed many 
years before, having implicit faith in the theory of ''What 
is to be, will be, regardless of any assistance or interference 
of human effort", was the only man we could find who was 
willing to risk life and limb, driving a team and cooking, 
down in that part of the country that had been described 
by a poetical tenderfoot who had been with me on a previ- 
ous trip as "a blizzard swept valley of endless expanse that 
an All Wise God had forgotten, and cunning Old Satan 
feared to claim". But that stuff did not alarm old fatal- 
istic Bob, who served us faithfully and cheerfully even in 
a bleak camping place where there was no wood for a fire 
and small brush and buffalo chips were scarce. But on the 
last day when leaving the noon camp he lingered for an 
hour swapping yarns with an old trapper which caused him 
to be three miles behind when the storm hit us. Had he 
been close behind the cattle he could have followed and 
would have come off equally as well as we did. But what 
might have been is always something that never happened. 

Leaving our men at the Ilif camp Mr. Reel and I struck 
out to hunt him. Following the road up to a point about a 
mile from where it leaves the canon we found where he 
had stopped and turned the wagon with the tail end to the 
wind, unhitching from the wagon and tied the horses to it, 
or so it appeared. But as he told it, had hooked up as soon 
as daylight came and started for town. The snow that had 
fallen had been driven into the low places or had lodged 
behind tufts of grass and had frozen to the ground. His 


trail followed the road for nearly a half mile and then turned 
toward the south and winding around in many different 
directions, but we followed it till late in the afternoon when 
we concluded if the driver would let the team have its own 
way it would go home as straight as the lay of the land 
would admit. We let our horses out for the same place and 
got there a short time before dark. 

Our friends had given us up for dead as the storm had 
been so terrific that men had frozen their ears or noses 
going to their homes in town. It did not seem possible that 
any one could go through a night of it without shelter and 
live. The team left to guide itself came into Ilif's slaughter 
house camp in less than an hour after we passed and the 
boys thawed old Bob out and brought him up the next 
morning just as we were ready to start out again to hunt 
for him. He had frozen his hands and feet badly. As he 
told it he had opened two beds and the wind had blown 
them away before he succeeded in covering himself up and 
did not freeze any part of himself till hitching up the team 
about the time daylight began to appear and trying to drive 
with his frozen hands was the cause of his wandering course 
all that day, till he could no longer hold the lines then the 
wise old team brought him in, arriving at the Creek cross- 
ing about an hour after we passed. The boys at the slaugh- 
ter house took him in, thawed him out by the most ap- 
proved method and brought him up to town next morning. 
The doctor fixed him up by taking off some fingers, a thumb 
and some toes. A month later I paid him a visit at his fa- 
vorite haunt and found him comfortably sitting before a 
big stove with a glass of unnecessary tongue relaxative in 
his hand, with the usual audience of eager listeners taking 
in his tales of adventure by fire and flood. Also his last 
one by frost. 

The Commandant of Fort Russell, knowing that we 
must have been somewhere near, bringing in the cattle, 
came down early and was agreeably surprised to find us in 
town and alive, and congratulated us on escaping the fate 
he felt sure had befallen us and then paid us a compliment 
that we felt sure we had earned, to the effect that if he 
had one regiment of soldiers lucky enough and tough enough 
to come through that storni without a scratch he would be 
able to keep all of Uncle Sam's Indians on their reservations 
without any other assistance. 

The big storm over, the weather continued rather cold 
and disagreeable through the following month, but March 
was favorable and we made the best of it. The rain storms 
during April and May were unusually severe but we kept 


on gathering in the beef cattle till the contract ended on the 
first of July. 

Shortly after that date Durbin Bros, located a per- 
manent camp on Horse Creek, 20 miles above the Creighton 
Home Camp, and 30 miles north of Cheyenne, and bought 
from Snyder Bros, of Round Rock, Texas, 1500 cattle, the 
Snyders locating the remainder of that year's drive on 
Bear Creek, 12 miles north of the Durbin Camp. 

If memory serves me rightly, that was all of the cattle 
that were driven from Texas that year that stoped in 
Wyoming. But many thousands went on through into the 
territory beyond, and a large part of the same going on into 
California the next year. 

The great influx that eventually filled all of that vast 
country between Central Nebraska and California, north to 
the British line, did not begin till 1874. The winter of '72 
and '73 was very mild, and lucky it was for us as we had 
winter work to do. 

The Indian contractors were short of cattle. A hungry 
hord of Sitting Bull's young bucks had come down upon 
Red Cloud's reservation for their winter's grub. Like a 
thousand devils let loose from an old fashioned hell they 
were. In quantity and quality of "Shonta no Washita" — 
''Hearts bad" — they made Red Cloud's young braves ap- 
pear as gentle mannered as the inmates of a young ladies' 
boarding school, having as they did in their scheming heads 
the idea of inciting the Reservation Indians to join in the 
war they were planning to make. 

Soon after the New Year came in, Snyders and Durbins 
sold to the Indian contractors all of their cattle that could 
be gathered. 

In less than two weeks the bulk of two herds were 
rounded up and turned over to the contractors' men who 
received the cattle on the range, leaving us with the most 
difficult part to perform, that of gathering the scattering 
bunches that hacl strayed off the main range and deliver- 
ing the same at the Agency in small drives. The first drove 
that I took over was rather a wild lot of about 150 head 
with which we reached the camping place near five miles 
from the Agency. Leaving our camp outfit and extra 
horses in charge of one man and the cook, we were at the 
crossing of the river early in the forenoon. Henry Bosler, 
who was a member of the Indian contracting firm, was there 
with four men to meet us. There was ice on both sides 
of the river with a wide stream of open water between. The 
ice that was glare had been sanded, making it an easy job 
of crossing with a good chance for Mr. Bosler to get a count 


as they went up the opposite side which was the necessary 
thing to do, for, as he explained it, the cattle they had 
brought in for the last issue had been stampeded by the 
Sitting Bull Indians, scattered and shot down anywhere and 
any way they pleased. 

He had advised, before crossing the river, not to have 
the handle of a six gun in sight as an Indian would surely 
grab it and that would start trouble and in that case as one 
of his men explained, "a gun would be of as much use as a 
drop o' water in that thar Chicago fire." 

We crossed the river and the count was made without 
a hitch, then we all drew in a long breath just as one would 
if he was about to drive into an ice cold river, and rushed 
the cattle on toward the corral, doing our level best to get 
there before the wild devils came to help us, but that 
scheme was a dismal failure. We were 200 yards from the 
gates when not much less than a thousand of the whooping 
fiends, like the "wolf on the fold" came down upon us, com- 
pletely surrounding the herd, and had it not been running 
on a stampede, not a hoof would ever get inside of the pens, 
but as it was the Indians had to open ranks and let it pass 
through, but before we could get the last ones in they had 
killed several and many went through the gap with arrows 
sticking in them. The gates closed, our work was done and 
w^e were very glad of it for nearly all of the Indians belonged 
to the Minne Cozier (Minneconjou) tribe of Sitting Bull's 
band, and shooting into the cattle it was just good luck on 
our part that we did not stop some of the arrows. 

We only made one more delivery there, which was not 
so bad, as it was late in April and most of the Northern In- 
dians had gone away, and Red Cloud and some of his sub- 
chiefs came to our assistance and among the number Ameri- 
can Horse, Slow Bull and others whose names I have for- 
gotten, but all of the same calibre whom the young bucks 
knew were bad medicine to run up against, if orders were 

Sitting Bull might have been a ''loco" as many thought, 
but keeping a lot of his people continually mingling with 
the reservation Indians for the purpose of drawing them 
into an outbreak seemed to be the scheme of a wise leader 
rather than that of a lunatic, and he came very near getting 
things coming his way the summer of '74, or it might have 
been '75, when his Indians put their horses off the reserva- 
tion across the river to graze which induced some of Red 
Cloud's young men to put theirs over with them, although 
there was a world of feed on their own side. Disregarding 


the Agent's orders to keep their stock at home, brought an 
order from headquarters to the commandant of Fort Lara- 
mie to round up and drive to the Fort all Indian stock found 
off the reservation. Consequently two troops of cavalry, 
numbering probably 75 men, were sent down to execute 
the order, but they had no more than rounded up the ponies 
till not less than two thousand Indians had surrounded the 
soldiers and with arrows drawn to the heads, dared them 
to resist. A massacre was imminent! And it required all 
the force of authority the chiefs possessed to prevent it. 

After much haranguing the Indians withdrew their 
stock back on their side, the soldiers returning to the fort. 
Their report of the affair caused the order to be rescinded. 
The Indians kept on their side except occasionally a few 
straggling parties of the Minneconjous that did some steal- 
ing, but I only remember of but one man being killed — one 
of the Coad Bros.' men, Charles Manchester — some time 
during the winter of '75, happening in Nebraska just over 
the Wyoming line. 

Later on came reports of gold findings in the Dakota 
hills that started prospectors rushing in, and troops were 
ordered to turn them back, but of no avail. In a few months 
the country was full of all breeds of human beings and more 
on the way which was all the incentive needed to start the 
war that lasted till Sitting Bull and his tribe retreated 
across the border and their Cheyenne and Arapahoe con- 
tingent were rounded up and disposed of. 

That so few of the Sioux joined the hostiles was due 
to the influence the old chiefs had over them. They had 
been convinced that war against the whites could only end 
in disaster, had made the best terms that were possible and 
intended to abide by them. 

Their manner of government was always ''straight 
goods" devoid of the schismatic quibbles that clog the white 
man's administration of the civilized forms of justice. After 
Sitting Bull's retreat Gen. Mackenzie was ordered to Red 
Cloud's Agency, then located on White River in Nebraska, 
and to investigate charges against some of that tribe's 
young braves that had gone on the war path. It was proven 
that a young buck belonging to American Horse's band had 
taken part in the killing of the Metz party in Red Canyon. 
The old chief ordered his men to bring him in but they re- 
ported that the accused was serenely sitting in his tepee 
with his gun across his lap, refusing to obey the order. Then 
the old chief went to this tepee and called for him to come 
out but got no reply. Two of his braves had stationed 
themselves, one on each side of the doorway, and at a signal. 


pulled aside the flaps, then like a cat springing on a rat the 
old chief went in and blew off the top of the rebel's head. 
The two braves that opened the tepee carried the remains 
to the General, who grimly gave American Horse an ap- 
proving nod, reached out his hand and spoke just one word, 
"Shake!" The performing of that ceremony not only 
clinched a friendship between the red and white chiefs, but 
determined the whole Sioux Nation to abide by the treaty 
through all hazards and, as the Indians speak it, "as long 
as grass grows and water runs." 

In September, '76, I went from Cheyenne to the mining 
camps in the Black Hills of Dakota. At that time Gilmer, 
Saulsburg & Co. had their stages running in regular order 
only as far as Fort Laramie. Beyond that point, it was get 
there the best way you can some time in the future. One 
member of the company whom ail of the old wild west knew 
by the sobriquet of "Stuttering Brown" was out with a gang 
of men establishing stations. Although his speech was slow 
his gun was swift and sure, and he had for many years 
escaped the missies of his enemies, but as all careers how- 
ever useful must end, so it came his time to pass out. And 
it happened one night as he and some of his men came down 
to what was called Indian Creek, a single shot came from 
out of the darkness that ended his long turbulent life. In- 
vestigation never solved the mystery of where the shot 
came from. But the work goes on. All the same in busi- 
ness as in war. One man falls — another steps in and takes 
his place. 

At Fort Laramie, I put my bed on a freighter wagon 
and traveled with it as far as Red Canyon. It was a small 
outfit of ten teams, horses and mules. The Post Com- 
mander had been holding it there for several days as he 
considered it of insufficient force, but after a day or two 
nine more men, all well armed and mounted, joined. Per- 
mission was given to proceed. I remember very well one 
of the men who looked to be about 60 years of age standing 
in front of the trader's store. He was saying to another 
man w^ho stood near that 25 years ago he had stood in that 
same place waiting to go west to hunt for gold, and that he 
was still hunting the same stuff and had come to believe 
that it would be from off this same job that Old Father Time 
would call him when the end came, which seemed to be all 
the reward that 99 out of 100 prospectors got outside of the 
pleasure they have in hunting. 

Nothing was exciting on the first two days drive ex- 
cept the usual annoyances of something going wrong with 
the teams or wagons. But after passing Rawhide Buttes, 


I caught the flash of a mirror and I spoke to Ransdel about 
it. He had been a captain in Wade Hampton's Black Horse 
Cavalry, a bright brave man, who had done good service on 
his side of the Civil War, but without experience in Indian 
troubles, and I explained to him that there were Indian 
scouts keeping cases on us, and the flash I had caught was 
a signal from one scout to others probably a long distance 
away, and possibly meant an attack some time not far dis- 
tant. Or it might be some friendly ones out on a hunt, but 
that we had better keep the teams coming along in close 
order. That it was an old and true saying that one was 
never safe in an Indian country except when the enemy was 
in sight, which caused him to remark that that seemed to 
be a paradox but that there is often much truth in what 
appears at first glance to be a contradictory statement. 

But all went on smoothly till we went into camp on 
Running Water for noon and had our stock out to graze 
near a half hour when two men who were on top of the high 
butte that stands by the creek discovered a party of what 
proved to be a small pack train that was coming from the 
north, and two of Gen. Crook's scouts that had passed us 
just as we were coming into camp who were on their way 
from Fort Laramie to Crook's camp at Custer City. One 
of the scouts was a soldier, the other a Sioux Indian, Good 
Hand by name. The Indian's name did not fairly describe 
him as he had an equally good head. They reported that 
there was quite a force of Indians passing toward the west 
and lost no time in climbing the butte, and I went up with 
them. It was a very clear day and from the top we could 
look over a large scope of country. The soldier with his 
field glass and the Indian's naked eye made out dust from 
passing bands that they judged to be eight or nine miles 
distant, but only one band of ten or perhaps twelve showed 
up for an instant in plain sight. 

Leaving two men on tap to keep watch, the soldier and 
I went down and advised the wagon boss that it would be 
better to pull out onto a ridge where if attacked we would 
have a better chance for defence. The pack outfit concluded 
that as they were not loaded ,and the country to the south 
appeared to be clear, to take a chance and hit the trail for 
Fort Laramie, that being the place they were bound for. 
As the teams had to double to get up on the plain we had 
some time to scout up and down the creek for a short dis- 
tance and get to the top of the first ridge and back to the 
road, and had a little time to wait for the train to come up 
and pass the men we had left on the butte. They said the 
band we had sighted had not appeared again. That seemed 


to be good news to all but the two scouts and myself, and 
we held a short conference and when the soldier proposed 
that we move on up toward the foot of the ridge, the top 
of which we wished to gain, no one objected, and when we 
reached the right place the soldier gave the word to halt 
and stay right there till they got the signal to come on, 
then the two scouts and I rode down the draw for about 
200 yards and then throwing ourselves on the opposite side 
of our horses, as they speak it now, went over the top and 
found just what we expected, a nice receiving party of 
twenty bucks ready to give us our passports over into the 
Great Beyond had we all marched straight up the hill. 

But when they saw us come up on their flank they 
vanished like a puff of smoke in the wind and we saw no 
more of them only their dust as they went on to join the 
main war party. Neither did we see anything more of the 
whole bunch except the trail they left. Nevertheless we 
scouted every ridge till we found a camping place for the 
night. Good Hand, reading signs that no one but an Indian 
could have interpreted, told us they were Cheyennes going 
south after something big. That was the reason we got off 
so easy. That he was right was proven by what happened 
later when the country was raided from below Fort Fetter- 
man down to within twenty miles of Fort Russell and 200 
horses were driven off. The scouts left us after dark that 

Four or five years later I saw Good Hand at Pine Ridge 
Agency, the war was over and he had discarded his glorious 
war togs for the plainer habiliments of peace. He was 
dressed as nearly like a white man as was possible for an 
Indian to get himself up. He was hauling freight from the 
Rosebud Landing and had a good team and could handle 
the lines and throw the buckskin **into 'em," if not with 
equal grace of an old stage driver,^ he got there just the 

Mr. Cowgill, who was one of the Indian traders, told 
me that he had charged up on his books that year to In- 
dians over $10,000 and that when they drew their annuities 
they paid up to the last cent. Good Hand had a book and 
kept an account of all that he bought in a way that I do not 
thing any illiterate white man would ever have thought of. 
He made a picture of the article that he bought and hung 
it up to a line drawn across a page of his book and under 
the same put down the price by drawing a large circle for 
one silver dollar, one half the size for a half dollar, another 
half the size of that for a quarter and then a small one for 
ten cents, which was the smallest coin they had. 


We passed on without any other disturbance from In- 
dians. About half way up Red Canyon the first of Gilmer 
& Saulburg's coaches on a regular run passed us. We had 
camped and were about to turn in for a night's sleep and 
all did except John Higgins and myself who saddled up and 
went on with the stage, as it had but a few changes of 
horses it was an easy matter to keep in the lead of it, ar- 
riving at Custer City soon after daylight. 

A part of Gen. Crook's army was camped there. There 
were a lot of people there, many that I knew. I stayed 
there two days and then rode on to Deadwood, 75 miles, 
following a proposed new road that the stage company had 
laid out on as straight a course as it was possible to build it^ 
but at that time after the first 20 miles I had only a blazed 
trail to follow through the timber and the hoof prints left 
by the two men and their pack horse across the open spaces. 
When within three miles of the end of my day's ride, I 
passed a camp of prospectors, six or seven men standing 
around a camp fire. The rain had been falling steadily 
since eleven o'clock and although they were all rich in ex- 
pectations they did not present a very happy appearance 
and I, being as thoroughly water soaked as the wettest one 
in the bunch, was not putting on a very pleasant front. I 
knew one of the men — an ex-government mule skinner. He, 
after greeting me kindly, but shiveringly, said that he 
owned an eighth interest in one of the best prospects in the 
hills and would trade it to me for the horse and saddle that 
I was riding. But I could not see it and w^ent on. He stayed 
with his claim till he realized a nice little sum of $35,000 
for it. And the horse I was riding died many years ago. 

I remained in the hills a month trying to find some 
prospectors that Billy Moore and I had staked, but without 
success. Returned to Cheyenne, making the ride from Cus- 
ter City to Fort Laramie in three nights, 170 miles. At the 
Fort I was informed of the luck the raiding parties had had. 
The losses to the cow outfits were variously estimated all 
the way from 100 to 300 saddle and stock horses, but what 
the loss did really amount to I have forgotten, but I re- 
member there was a great demand for saddle horses the 
next spring. 

That winter there were many stories told of the ad- 
ventures the boys had on the range. Some were wound- 
ed but I do not now remember of any loss of life. About 
the hardest scrap was had by Dan McUlvan and young Dave 
Mack F^rland. Dave was only a young lad not long over 
from Scotland. Dan was armed with a Winchester that 
was always loaded and Dave's needle gun reached a long 


way and by a judicious use of both, a lot of good luck and 
plenty of old fashioned nerve, they managed to get through 
alive. The Indians jumped them in what we called the Dead 
Head Hills, shot both of their horses from under them and 
at the same time wounding both men. Fortunately they 
were close to the edge of the last gulch, and they lost no 
time in getting into it where Dan's Winchester held the 
enemy back until Dave gained the top next the plain and 
began sending an ounce of lead at every head that showed 
up on the opposite side, covering Dan's retreat to join him. 
Then all the way across the open country till near the breaks 
of the Chugwater, they stood the Indians off with their 
superior weapons, although the Indians had three very fair 
guns. But when near the breaks they all left them and 
gathered in all the loose horse stock that could be found. 

The result of the raid in the country between Fort 
Laramie and Fetterman did not afford much gain for the 
raiders. Johnson and Walker, Clint, Graham, Douglas Wil- 
lan and Long Bailey being warned by the fight they had 
on the north side of the river, kept their horses close in till 
the Indians had passed on. 

They were all over on the north side for the purpose 
of throwing back any cattle that might have strayed across, 
and were near enough to the river to make a safe run for it 
when they discovered the Indians. But the only patch of 
brush they found was rather limited in area and too low 
for a good place of defense and was not a comfortable place 
to spend a quiet afternoon with nothing to do but keep 
watch that their cunning enemies did not crawl in on them, 
and they knew that they were too wise to make the attempt. 

I knew all of the men very well and although they were 
not the kind to borrow trouble under any circumstances, as 
Walker said in relating the affair, a good shade tree would 
have helped out wonderfully, but the only tree in sight was 
near one hundred yards outside of the willows. Willan, 
who was a young English lad not long over from the old 
country and who was about the build and size of a young 
bull, complained that the others had the best of it as he was 
about as good a target lying down as standing. The boys 
used to call him the portable snubbing post, for while work- 
ing in the corral on foot if any one got his rope on an animal 
that he could not hold he would pass it along to Doug, that 
being the same as tying it to a tree. 

Graham and Bailey had been old time cow men in 
Colorado way back in the sixties, both middle aged men, 
the former always cool and perfectly composed in any situa- 
tion, the latter, though he did not know what fear looked 


like, was of rather an uneasy disposition. If memory serves 
me rightly he was a brother of the Bailey who was the 
founder and for many years publisher of the Denver Rocky 
Mountain News, but I would not be sure of it for in those 
days it was the man that counted regardless of his "cousins 
and his aunts." And Bailey was one of that kind. I knew 
Johnson and Bob Walker were partners, born in Texas, be- 
ginning life driving up the trail for Shadley Bros, of Kansas 
City. A happy-go-lucky pair, quick shots and always ready 
for any emergency — genuine samples of the men in their 
occupation of that day. 

Soon after the middle of the afternoon, apparently with 
no one either winning or losing, the game began to be 
monotonous, especially to a man of Bailey's temperament, 
and he got on his feet and stooping as low as possible began 
to try to see what the Indians were doing, but about that 
time one brave had crawled up behind the tree, climbed it, 
and with his bow arm around it and an arrow fixed ready, 
Bailey was the first object that hove in sight, but he being 
in the far end of the brush patch from the tree it was rather 
a long shot for a bow and not making the correct allowance 
for the force of the wind, the arrow only cut his target 
across the ''tummy," making a long red mark that burned 
like a red hot iron, and as he was already stooped over at a 
right angle posture, the effect was to shut him up like a 
jack knife, and then straightening out his six foot seven 
inches of length on the ground, where by rolling around for 
a few moments he threatened to spoil a goodly portion of 
their shelter. Johnson catching the flash of the arrow got 
the direction from whence it came and broke the Indian's 
arm with a bullet, that breaking his hold on the tree, let 
him fall to the ground which stopped any further attack 
from that or any other quarter. 

When night came they crossed the river and went back 
to camp unmolested. 

I believe that it was the same party of Indians that 
surrounded Frank Preager's camp on the Cottonwood two 
days later. Frank came to Colorado with his parents during 
the '59 rush. They were German Swiss, and located on the 
Big Thompson. In the summer of '72 Frank came to Wyo- 
ming bringing 150 head of cattle, all improved stock, camp- 
ing on Boughten Slough about 7 miles below v/here Durbin 
Bros, were then located. Frank was a, man that every one 
liked so well that thej^ easily forgave him for bringing in 
a grade of cattle that were too slow to keep up with the 
procession. He was an odd genius in many ways. He had 
15 head or perhaps more of horse- stock and when he went 


to town with his team, the whole bunch would follow. In 
the outfit was a fine race animal, a near thoroughbred that 
a young lieutenant had brought from Fort Garland, New 
Mexico. It was as nearly a perfect saddle animal as any 
man could wish for. A sporting man would have christened 
her some glorified name, but to Frank she was just Old 
Suzie — a dear friend that money could not buy. The sum- 
mer of '75 he moved up on the Cottonwood and had, by the 
fall of '75, completed house, stable, corrals and other neces- 
sary appurtenances, including a big stock of hay, and was 
congratulating himself on being well fixed for the coming 
winter, when the Cheyennes came down on him, surrounding 
his camp completely on three sides. 

Taking the situation in at a glance, he caught up a 
rifle, shot gun and two belts of ammunition and made a run 
for the brush but a short distance from his back door. They 
called him pretty close with a dozen arrows, but he dove 
into the willows without a scratch. All that long day, while 
part of the band watched the brush, the others made merry 
in the house. Some time in the afternoon one young brave, 
becoming tired, it is supposed, of the monotony of the affair, 
began a demonstration nearly opposite the upper end of the 
willows to draw his attention entirely from the other side 
thereby giving others a chance to slip in on him. Frank 
knew their game and did not neglect to watch all sides. 
The Indian after performing all manner of warlike antics 
and not drawing any response finally got a little too brave 
and made a circle around, coming within 75 yards of the 
edge of the brush. That being too much of a temptation, 
Frank poked the gun through the brush and let him have 
one barrel loaded with twelve buckshot which he sent 
straight to the mark regardless of the arrow the Indian 
sent him. Preager in relating the affair said : *1 felt sorry 
for that fellow, he was the prettiest Indian I ever saw. I 
had to do it or I would never have gotten away from there. 
I knew they could not take him away till darkness came on 
and when they were performing that spooky job would be 
my time to get away and that was just the time that I 
slipped past them and was safe and none too soon as I was 
only just out of range of the light when they set the hay- 
stack on fire." It was a long walk even in daylight and ' 
then not an easy one, but he got into Snyder Bros. & Wolf- 
jen's ranch before daylight, giving the boys there a surprise 
when he walked in with his shirt torn to rags by the brush, 
and wet and bedraggled from fording the river. But when 
they asked him what the trouble was he could only re- 
member one loss and he replied, "0 Jim ! boys ! the damn 


Injun got Old Susie!" His proud stepping old saddle mare 
comprised the man's loss. The other stock, hay, house, 
all the other improvements and the hard day's fight and all 
night tramp were not worth the trouble to speak of. 

The country around the Laramie river and Sibylee was 
not molested by any of the parties on that raid, but later in 
the following winter a party of Cheyennes came in on foot 
and one bright moonlight night took all the horses of the 
Swan Company on the Sibylee and the Kent ranch on North 
Laramie that they had locked up in what they thought were 
thief proof corrals and got away with all but one small mule 
that came back dragging an Indian rope. There were big 
stables at each place that they could not force. 

A new corral had just been finished at the Kent ranch 
made of heavy logs and big posts with a very heavy gate 
and fastened with a cable chain stretched taut from hinge 
post to the latch post and made fast with the strongest 
lock that the hardware store could supply. And to make 
all doubly secure they chained a bull dog to one gate post. 
And then the boys retired to rest and peaceful slumber, 
congratulating themselves with the belief that their good 
work had made all things safe. But daylight came show- 
ing an empty corral. The Indians had silently slipped away 
with its contents, and adding insult to injury, they had 
taken the dog along to make the raid complete. Now comes 
to mind an old Spanish proverb: **In the end God grinds 
the miller." The pride-bloated raiders were home with their 
plunder but a few days when Generals Crook and Mackenzie 
surrounded their camp and captured all that was left of 
that once powerful tribe. And now if you wish to know 
of the tragedy of their ending read Edgar Beacher Bron- 
son's book containing the story of ''A Fight to a Finish for 
a Birthright." 

With the Arapahoes located on the Shoshone reserva- 
tion, Indian troubles ceased on the cow ranges, and while 
the situation is comparatively peaceful I will end this story 
here for someone to finish whose burden of years is lighter 
than mine. 


Castroville, California. 




(Prepared for, but not read, at the dedication of the Teton National 

Park, July 29th, 1929.) 

By W. H. Jackson 

I have been called "the Pioneer Photographer." It 
could be better to say a Pioneer Photographer, for there 
were others, both before and during my time, who had an- 
ventured out into the West with a camera. Among the 
landscapists were Carvalho, with his daguerrotype appa- 
ratus, who accompanied Fremont out across the Snowy 
Rockies of Colorado in 1853; Savage of Salt Lake City, in 
the early sixties, photographed the central mountain region ; 
Russell, official photographer for the Transcontinental 
Railway during its building, worked over all that line be- 
tween the Missouri and the Sierras — and there were others. 

Following these real pioneers I was fortunate, as the 
official photographer of the Hayden Geological Survey, in 
having first had the opportunity to give to the v/orld the 
first photographs of places and scenes of more than ordinary 
interest, such as the Yellowstone in 1871 ; the Three Tetons, 
from the Idaho side, in 1872 ; the Mount of the Holy Cross 
in 1873 ; the Cliff Ruins of the Mesa Verde and the South- 
west in 1874-5 ; Fremont Peak and the Jackson Lake region 
in 1878 — and other places of less importance. 

This pioneering in photography had its handicaps as 
well as other kinds of pioneering. There were no prepared 
dry plates or handy Kodaks. Instead, the photographer 
had to carry with him the material and apparatus, includ- 
ing an extemporized dark room to work in, for making his 
own plates as required for each exposure. A pack mule 
was required to carry his outfit sometimes too, depending 
on size of camera and length of time afield; and it had to 
be well packed for frequently there would be rough going. 
The photographer sought his views, as the hunter his game, 
in places far removed from beaten trails. There was some 
compensation, however, for his toil and trouble — the pho- 
tographer knew exactly what kind of a negative he had 
before packing up his camera. It is unnecessary to men- 
tion the difference, in this respect, as well as in others, be- 
tween now and then. 

Regarding the present occasion in setting aside these 
grand old Tetons as a National Park, I first saw them from 
the Idaho side in '71 as our survey was on its way to the 
Yellowstone. Beautiful in a summer haze, they were not 


photographable, for panchromatic plates and color screens 
were not then available. Later, on an exceptionally clear 
day, their summits appeared above the horizon in one of 
my views looking across Yellowstone Lake. In *72 one 
division of the Survey was camped for ten days in Teton 
Basin — 'Tierres' Hole" of trapper days — parties being sent 
out from this base to explore the region in detail. One of 
these was the photographic party ; with two mules to carry 
the apparatus, which included a 11x14 camera, and to carry 
the camping outfit, the canyons and plateaus were explored 
for views. Part of the time we were camped at timber line 
on Table Mountain, from where the close-up views of the 
Grand Teton were obtained. 

Just before breaking camp for the continuation of our 
journey northward a party of about a dozen started from 
an advanced overnight bivouac to ascend the Grand Teton. 
Among them was Stevenson, in charge of the division of 
the Survey; Langford, recently appointed first superin- 
tendent of Yellowstone Park and guest of the Survey on his 
way to assume his duties there ; and two young boys, Spen- 
cer, a nephew of Langford 's, and Hamp, related to Sir Wil- 
liam Blackmor, just guest of Hayden at this time, with an- 
other division of the Survey. These four with Bradley, the 
geologist, were the only ones to walk the lower saddle be- 
tween the peaks. All except Bradley continued the ascent 
to the upper saddle near the summit. Bradley did not ac- 
company there because Taggert, his assistant, carrying the 
mercurial barometer, failed to come up with him, and he 
waited for it until it was too late to follow the others. 

At the upper saddle the boys were advised to go no 
farther while Stevenson and Langford went on, and what 
happened then has been a matter of considerable contro- 
versy which has been settled finally by confirming priority 
of ascent to the Owen-Spaulding party, 26 years later. A 
number of factors entering into the story make it improb- 
able that Stevenson and Langford ever reached the real 
summit. For a time I was inclined to take their word for 
it, but when Wilson, one of the topographers of the Survey, 
and its best mountaineer, who had been among the first to 
ascend Mt. Rainier, failed in his attempt to ascend the 
Grand Teton in '77, I then felt quite sure that this honor 
had been reserved for the later claimants. 

I saw the Tetons from the east for the first time in 
1878. Going north, conditions were unfavorable, and but 
indifferent photographs were obtained. Later, returning 
by way of Two-ocean Pass, a detour was made down Buf- 
falo Fork when everything favored my best efforts. In 


'83, being then in business for myself, I joined the Hayden 
party of the Geological Survey, then at work in Yellowstone 
Park, and remained with it during the season under an ar- 
rangement whereby I duplicated all exposures and divided 
the negatives afterwards on a 50-50 basis. Most of my 
work at 'this time was on 18x22 plates. 

In 1892 I was commissioned by the State of Wyoming 
to make a series of large photographs for the proposed ex- 
hibit of Wyoming scenery at the Columbian Exposition of 
1893 at Chicago. With a small party, led by Elwood Mead, 
we reached this region by way of the Big Horn Mountains 
and the Yellowstone Park — at which time I got some of my 
best views of the range from this side. 

I have returned here frequently in the meantime, for 
pleasure instead of profit, for there is, on our continent, no 
grander or more satisfying prospect than the one now before 
us in which beauty, as well as majesty, are combined. 



By John C. Hamm 

At the first State election held under the Enabling Act 
on September 11, 1890, I. C. Winslow, John Sims and Ed- 
ward Blacker were elected commissioners of Uinta County, 
Wyoming. John R. Arnold, present veteran jurist of the 
Third Judicial District, was elected county clerk, and the 
writer, John C. Hamm, was elected county and prosecuting 

Historically thirty-nine years is a very brief space. 
To the youth looking forward, it is an interminable wilder- 
ness of time. When it is behind, we wonder at the swift- 
ness of its passage. 

In those early days, Star Valley was an isolated fron- 
tier settlement of Uinta County in the first stages of sub- 
jugation by the hardy Mormon pioneers. No telegraph or 
telephone line had yet penetrated the primeval precincts of 
the lovely vale of Afton and Auburn to apprize those quiet 
pastoral regions of the restless wagging of the outside 
world. No automobile had as yet gotten beyond the fan- 
tastic vision of the early dreamxers. The slow transport of 
'the work team and the farm wagon was the vehicle of neces- 
sity. A spring wagon or a buckboard a luxury. 

No wonder those early settlers clamored for the im- 
provement of their roads and bridges. Their butter and 
cheese and occasional meat products had to be brought to 
market over the mountain to Montpelier, then to Evanston, 
Almy and Red Canyon, — appalling distances when the 
means of transportation then in vogue are considered. 
There were no coal camps at Kemmerer and Diamondville, 
and the long hard drives over roads none too smooth and 
fords sometimes dangerous were tasks of real hardship. 

So it was determined in the summer of 1891 that an 
official trip of investigation by the Board of Commission- 
ers was necessary, and John Sims and Edward Blacker 
were designated to make the inspection with the co-opera- 
tion of their clerk, Mr. Arnold. 

There had arisen some dispute over the ownership of 
a calf in the vicinity of Afton, and the prosecuting attorney 
was called upon to investigate the affair in the local justice's 
court to see if a felony had been committed. Hence the all 
around utility and economy of the official visit. 

This august representation of the dignity of official 
Uinta County, the first of its kind in the history of the 
Valley, drove a team of cayuses to a spring wagon, and were 


piloted by Archie Moffatt, a noble son of that virgin land, 
who was returning to his home in the Valley after having 
delivered a load of butter and cheeses to residents of Evans- 
ton, Almy and Red Canyon who had become acquainted with 
the excellence of those products of the early Valley days. 
On the trip Official Uinta County camped in the open, slept 
under the wagon or otherwhere as suited convenience or ne- 

On the way out, the route chosen was up the Thomas 
Fork to determine whether this were the more feasible site 
for a county road into the valley. This route brought us out 
on the ridge at the southern extremity of Star Valley where 
we intersected the old Lander Trail at what was early called 
Sublette Pass. 

Here we were on historic ground. Mr. Arnold and I 
especially felt the spell of the spirit of the old pioneers who 
long before had gone that way. Over this trail some of the 
best blood of New England, the middle states and the east- 
ern part of the Misisssippi Valley had braved the hardships 
of the desert and the hatred and revenge of ill treated ab- 
origenes to do their part in confirming title of the United 
States to the Territory of Oregon and the great Northwest. 
Along this trail an occasional pile of boulders, a rude cross 
or rough hewn slab marked the spot where some tired 
mother or frail child was laid at what for them was the 
long journey's end. 

We sensed all this the more because the very trees 
spoke of the passing throng. In this one's trunk were 
carved the initials of J. H. W. who had passed that way in 
1859. On another and still another until all the aspens of 
the forest seemed to shout the tidings of a resistless throng 
surging on and on with its face ever to the West, de- 
termined not to stop until its feet were firmly planted on 
the shores of the far Pacific. Some had earlier gone that 
way and had carved their names on aspen trees so long ago 
that growth had so distorted or nearly obliterated the carv- 
ing as to render them entirely illegible. 

But illegibility only added zest to our interest and gave 
fuller play to our imagination. Mr. Arnold and I spoke but 
little and thought much as we stood in this sacred presence 
of a passing pageant whose spirit forms swept by in silence, 
ever onward toward the setting sun. 

In our mind's eye we could see the crude covered wagon, 
the tired horses foot-sore and jaded by the long trek over 
the untracked desert; the lowing oxen, swaying under 
the burden of the yoke, yet always goaded to greater effort 
by their hard but well-meaning taskmasters ; the sallow, 


oftimes sorrowful countenances of the mothers of sick 
children whose heart rending sobs could not easily be stilled 
under the harsh environment of months of weary wander- 
ing over the limitless prairies and now the ruggedness of 
the Rocky Mountains. 

These and more were the mental pictures we conjured 
from the meagre remnant of a record inspired only by the 
gnarled trunks of the aspens bearing the initials of some 
who had taken the trouble to carve them there, and the 
dates when they had gone that way. Our untutored minds 
could not sense the semblance of the sorrow, the heart- 
breaking hardships, the tribulations of life and the tragedy 
of death that these scant historians could have told if sen- 
tient speech had been able to translate the carved initials 
into the language of the chronicles of life. 

So it remained for me nearly thirty years after to be 
brought face to face with the facts that surpass fiction, 
the fruitful verities that supplant fancy. When I left Wyo- 
ming and took up my residence in California, it was my good 
fortune to become associated with Mr. Alonzo F. Brown, a 
native of New Hampshire who had entered into and carried 
on successful business operations in Boston and at Saratoga 

It was at the latter place, where he fitted dress suits 
for such men as Webster, Seward and Beecher, that he felt 
the call of the West, and in 1859 set out with his young wife 
and baby and a company of relatives and neighbors to make 
the long journey to isolated and far away Oregon on the 
Pacific Coast. And thus it was that this emigrant train of 
some fifty souls, with their horses, cattle and oxen wended 
their slow way across the Great American Desert ten years 
before the first Pacific railroad had bound coast to coast 
and reduced the time of travel from four months to two 
weeks, and which now may be encompassed in comfort in 
two days. 

Although now in his ninety-fourth year, this veteran 
of the early pioneers recounts the incidents of the trip as 
though they transpired but yesterday. His description of 
the forage in the region along the newly completed Lander 
Trail, with its clear, cool streams abounding in trout, are 
but echoes of the well known hymn of praise that sings of 
the cattlemen's paradise in the vicinity of New Fork, Boul- 
der Creek, Green River and Big Piney. 

So vivid is his recollection of places and events that 
when the last crossing of the Sweetwater was shown on the 
screen in the famous Covered Wagon, he turned to me with 


eager emotion and said "That is it, that is it, just as it was 
when we passed that way." 

Mr. Brown recalls the pass from the headwaters of the 
western branches of Green River to the head of the Salt 
River Valley. This was the spot we stood upon. It was 
shortly after leaving the pass that they overtook another 
train of emigrants who had negotiated the pass only a few 
days before, and who had come upon the smoldering embers 
of the fires that had destroyed the wagons and other be- 
longings of still another emigrant train. This last was one 
from Missouri. The men and women had all been murdered. 
Their stock had been driven off by the hostile Indians ; and 
as evidence of the brutality so characteristic of war always, 
they found a small child, a little girl about four years of 
age, still alive though both her legs had been broken. Mem- 
bers of this train took the child, healed its wounds, and it 
grew up to be a useful citizen of the great State of Oregon, 
which, with its neighboring commonwealths of Washington 
and California, have added millions of people and billions of 
wealth to these United States as a direct result of such 
pioneering as found its way along the Lander Trail. 

Thus at last, a little of the story of the aspen grove at 
the south end of Star Valley, in old Uinta County, Wyoming, 
has been told; and if some interested citizen of the new 
county of Sublette may perchance pass that way and have 
his curiosity and imagination aroused by the silent wit- 
nesses of the Trail, he may be able to supplement or sur- 
pass in interest the historical verity of these deeds of valor, 
these annals of life's restlessness and chronicles of tragedy 
that were the heritage of this migratory throng. 

One left his mark It is thus we brand 

Carved in the bark With an ' unseen hand 
Of a tree on a mountain Some deed on the scroll of 

side ; Time ; 

But that faded mark We may find the brand 

Rekindled a spark In some foreign land. 

For a tale that had not Tho' writ in a simple 

died. rime. 



A May morning forty years ago, a cloudless sky and 
the enthusiasm of youth for a camping trip that would last 
for days, furnished the setting for our start. 

We were bound for my father's cattle ranch near Cas- 
per Mountain on the Little Muddy. No railroad went be- 
yond Cheyenne, but there was a good stage road as far as 
Ft. Fetterman. 

So from Greeley, Colorado, we started, father and the 
two brothers in the big wagon loaded with three months 
supply for the ranch, and our camping equipment; mother 
and we two little girls in the phaeton drawn by our small 
riding pony. One brother always said he'd as lieve ride the 
churn dasher as to ride old Billie for he just stepped up and 
down in the same place„ But anyway he always got us there 
whether we rode or drove him. 

That eventful morning of long ago he trotted off gaily, 
his step in tune to our heart beats of joyful anticipation. 

Our first stop was in Cheyenne for added supplies, and 
along toward evening we drove on out past Ft. Russell to 
make our first camp. We were thrilled by the lowering of 
the flag at sunset and went to bed with sounds of the target 
practice guns still in our ears. I can imagine now the ques- 
tions we must have asked our ever patient mother. 

The wild flowers in abundance along the roadside and 
covering the endless hills as they stretched far off toward 
the horizon were a never ending joy. And we learned their 
names, the lococleome and peurtemon, the vetches, and oh 
the mariposa lilies ! I shall never forget when we saw them 
first. Then there was the gilia or trumpet phlox and 
countless others. On our short walks about camp we found 
such wonderful agates, jasper, conglomerates, fossils and 
arrow heads, just dozens of them! 

We were eleven days on the road, nine of which it 
rained more or less, mostly more. We barely escaped one 
very severe hail storm. The morning following the storm 
we could see as we rode along countless holes in the ground 
our father said had been made by the hail. 

We became acquainted with the wild life as we pro- 
gressed. Our brothers carried guns and often we had 
grouse or prairie chicken for our evening meal. Antelopes 
were everywhere, just hundreds of the pretty creatures, 
all over the green hills. Sister and I wore little pink and 
blue chambray sunbonnets and their bright colors seemed 
to attract the antelope. They would stop on the brow of a 



hill to watch us with wondering eyes. Many 'times during 
that first summer we saw bands of young antelope, perhaps 
forty or sixty together with one old buck with branching 
antlers guarding and protecting them. Then it was that 
our mother who seemed always to be so well posted on all the 
wonderful mysteries of the outdoor life she loved, told us 
some of the habits of the deer family, how when it is time 
for the mothers to wean their babies, they gather them 
together and leave them in the care of the buck who leads 
them to pastures green. 

Road ranches and an occasional passing of the stage 
coach were the only things that suggested civilization. We 
stopped at the Powell Ranch for dinner. We girls played 
with the little Powell girl out underneath some boxelder 
trees while her mother made noodles for our dinner. I was 
fascinated watching her roll and roll them and oh how 
hungry I was. Noodles always remind me of that morning, 
and I have just learned that that mother and little daughter 
are still Wyoming residents as are also some of the other 
friends whose acquaintance we made that and the succeed- 
ing summer. 

The day we arrived at Deertrail where the big Wolcott 
ranch lay was quite an event. We were invited in to the 
big low adobe ranch house and served with tea and little 
jelly tarts. I never see or make a jelly tart that I do not 
vividly recall the incidents of that morning. The servants 
on that ranch were all Chinese. The Wolcotts had one little 
daughter. She and her mother and the child's governess 
were at the ranch that summer. I was invited to come back 
for a visit later in the summer as a companion for this little 
daughter. We played horse together, I was the horse, and 
recall being left tied to the hitching post while the little 
driver went in to her dinner. Why not ? That was the way 
her papa did his horse! The governess came and rescued 
me, however, and I had a good dinner. 

Arrived at the ranch, we found a new one room log 
cabin had been built near the ranch house for our sleeping 
quarters. Imagine the consternation of us all the first 
night it rained to have streams of muddy water leaking 
upon us from the roof. It seems the native sod covered 
with tree branches was used for a roof and it needed a few 
good rains to ''settle" it before it was rain proof. But we 
were pioneers in that new country and were having ex- 
periences. They say an experience never leaves one the 
same as he was before. I know now that the experiences 
of those early days in Wyoming taught me many useful 


Between the ranch and where now lies the City of Cas- 
per there was a remarkable red rock formation where we 
went by horseback for a picnic. The antelope were so curi- 
ous to see us wandering over the rocks that they came and 
stood unabashed at our very feet. I remember we found a 
bat clinging beneath the crevice of a rock, and that mother 
showed one of the brothers how to tan the hide. It was 
pretty soft fur attached to the dry outstretched wings and 
we kept it for years as a memento. I understand these red 
rocks may be seen today much as they were then. 

And now I have come back to Cheyenne for the first 
time in all these years. Pavements have replaced the muddy 
streets. City buildings tower toward the sky. Great 
beautiful trees line the streets and cluster in the parks, and 
beauty and signs of progress are everywhere about me. I 
am reading this morning a daily paper from Casper, a city 
larger than Cheyenne, I am told, where my mind's eye pic- 
tures just wild stretches of hills and valleys, unbridged 
wooded streams where wild creatures come to drink, and 
I am forced to realize that Wyoming is no longer a Terri- 
tory but a modem resourceful state. 

1341 So. Humboldt St. 

Denver, Colo. 
June 15, 1929. 



As Dictated to Mr. I. R. Conniss, Saratoga, Wyoming, April, 1927. 

Civil War 

I enlisted the 20th of December of '62, 16th regiment 
of Illinois Volunteer Cavalry and served throughout the 
war. I was captured on the 3rd of January, '64, at Jones- 
ville, Va. The Confederates took us to Scott's prison at 
Richmond, Va., right across from the great Libby prison. 
We were confined there three weeks. Then they moved us 
over on Bell Island in the James River. We were here six 
weeks. Then they sent us to Andersonville Prison where 
we were kept eleven months. We were moved to Savanna 
when General Stoneman made his raid on Macon, Georgia. 
When the Union gunboats bombarded Savanna, the Confed- 
erates moved us to the Melon Stockade. We were there six 
v/eeks. When we left Melon, we ate rutabagas for breakfast 
and were on the train two days and nights without anything 
more to eat. We slept in an open coal car in the sleet and 
rain. When they unloaded us at Thomasville, Georgia, they 
gave us each a half pound of shelled corn, and then marched 
us sixty-three miles across the country to Albany, Georgia. 
From there they took us back to Thomasville, then on the 
train to Blakeshear, Fla., near Clay City, and set us free 
on the 29th of April, '65, after General Lee's surrender. 

I didn't like it in Illinois after the war as it was too 
tame. There was an outfit advertising for teamsters so I 
pulled out to move across the plains. I came out as a team- 
ster in the fall of '65, freighting to Denver for the Skinner & 
Thompson outfit of Lincoln, Nebraska. The cars were 
loaded with com and onions and freighted from Ft. Leaven- 
worth, Kansas, to Denver. There was twenty-one wagons 
with seven yoke of oxen to each wagon. They contracted at 
lie per pound to haul the freight from Leavenworth to Den- 
ver which had a population of 2,500 to 2,600. We turned the 
oxen loose to water and graze out on the prairie where 
Capitol Hill is now. I went back to Ft. McPherson and Ft. 
Kearney, Nebraska, and spent the winter there. Part of the 
winter I traded bread, flour, sugar, rice, etc., to the Indians 
for furs and moccasins north of Fort Kearney, Nebraska, 
on Wood River. I was out there one and one-half months. 
Then I trapped some, beaver mostly, for the fur. There 
were about six hundred Pawnee Indians in one camp I 
visited. They were very friendly and treated me fine. 

Then I came back to Ft. Kearney and stayed there till 
late in the winter and then moved up the river to Ft. 


McPherson. I obtained a contract from the government 
getting out 10,000 telegraph poles to set along the old gov- 
ernment road — the first transcontinental line, long before 
the Union Pacific was built. Once, while cutting wood in 
the mountains, twelve or sixteen miles from Ft. McPherson, 
about a dozen Indians attacked us while hauling telegraph 
poles out. They were just a little scouting party out to 
hunt, so we stood them off. I got another contract for 350 
cords of fire wood from the government at Ft. McPherson. 
In the spring, I went back to the states for a year or two, 
then came west again. I went to Ft. McPherson with 
freight teams but was held up at Ft. Kearney till we were 
one hundred men strong in order to stand off the Indians. 
At Alkali station, near Julesburg, the Sioux Indians attacked 
us. They killed one night herder and ran off 230 head of 
cattle from the party which was following our train. The 
Indians followed for three days trying to get a run on us. 
We traveled in two parallel columns because we knew the 
Indians were liable to attack us at any time and by traveling 
in this way the two columns could form a corral when we 
halted. The Indians knew this, so would not attack though 
we could see three or four hundred Indians following us and 
watching for a chance. They made one run on us at Alkali 
station but did not get any stock because we were too well 
prepared for them. They followed us but didn't do any 
harm. A party of fourteen w^agons with horse teams pulled 
out and left because they thought our ox teams were travel- 
ing too slow. The first night out the Indians ran on to them 
and burned seven wagons and killed four white men. They 
left seven Indians lying on the ground and took all the 
cattle and horses. The next morning, we came up and had 
breakfast there. We used to travel from very early in the 
morning and stop about nine for breakfast to rest and feed, 
then travel from three till dark. The wagons were still 
burning when we arrived there. Twelve soldiers, who were 
camped about two miles away at the stage station, heard 
the firing and came and ran the Indians off. We had no 
more trouble from the Indians. 

I went back to Illinois after a trip to Denver, then 
came back to the West on the Union Pacific in March, 1872. 
1 stopped at Laramie, which was then about the same size 
that Saratoga is now — about six hundred people. There 
were plenty of saloons there. I went out and hunted elk 
meat for the Union Pacific tie camp on Rock Creek. The 
buffalo had been cleaned out. There were about one hun- 
dred to one hundred and fifty men in the camp so it took 
three or four head of game a week. There was many elk 


around in herds of thirty to one hundred and fifty or two 
hundred and lots of herds. The elk and deer stayed in the 
timber and parks. The antelope herds had thirty to one 
thousand in them and were scattered all over the open 
country. I saw ten thousand elk in one band in the early 
part of November. 

I came to Ft. Steele about '72. There were very few 
citizens there at that time as nearly all were soldiers of 
whom there were from three to five companies. In the 
summer time, there were not so many as they would go 
off on Indian expeditions and then come back in the winter. 
The military post of Ft. Steele was maintained by the gov- 
ernment for the protection of the railroad from the In- 

A number of Frenchmen were cutting ties on French 
Creek. Tom Sun also worked there with them. The first 
tie camp was in '68. Coe and Carter's tie camp north of 
Brush Creek started in the winter of '72. In 1873, the 
Indians made a run on the tie-drive at the mouth of Brush 
Creek where the Tilton Ranch is now. They did no dam- 
age. I was with the tie-drive then. We had guns, so stood 
them off easily. Another time they did this at the crossing 
of the old Overland trail across the Platte River on the 
same tie drive. These Indians seemed to be after horses. 
They tried to start a stampede but the horses ran into 
camp. I was there when the attack was made. 

I freighted supplies to the Coe & Carter tie camp in the 
winter of 1872 until the spring of '73, then came down from 
North Brush Creek with the tie-drive. There was a boom 
in the river at Ft. Steele to hold the ties. I helped with 
the ties there, taking them out of the river and loading 
them on cars for the Union Pacific. I made friends with 
Ed Alley on the tie-drive and later started trapping with 
him for beaver, mink and coyotes. There were thousands 
of beaver at the head of Cow Creek next to the timber. At 
this time, there wasn't a ranch in Platte Valley. The first 
three weeks at this work, we caught one hundred and 
twenty beaver. Then we moved on down to the present 
Huston ranch and built cabins there when the snow came. 
The Indians were very peaceable and we didn't have any 
trouble with them. The Utes used to come into the valley 
every spring and fall to hunt for meat but didn't molest us. 
There were two camps of Ute Indians; — one Ute camp was 
on Jack Creek and was under Chief Jack, after whom Jack 
Creek is named. Chief Douglas, whose camp was on Doug- 
las Creek which was named after him, was chief of the 
other camp in the time of the Thornburg Massacre when 



the Indians killed all the freighters on the road between 
Rawlins and Meeker, all the men in Meeker, and took Mrs. 
Meeker and her daughter away with them. We trapped at 
the Huston Ranch till the streams froze up and then hunted 
for meat for the soldiers at Ft. Steele and freighted it in to 
them. When it stormed so that we couldn't get out to do 
anything else, we dried meat. 


(?/€s/ r^^c/^r' ^0i 

OCf.S^ €^, 

^^/ ^/^e/e CarJ^oo ^. ^y 

<^/y S /fzs 

Courtesy of Mr. Frank C. McCarihy. 


After the ice went out in the spring, I moved down to 
the Ed Bennett Ferry, which was about one mile below the 
houses on the McFarlane Ranch and six miles above the old 
Overland crossing where the emigrants crossed when the 
water in the ford was too high for safety. Seventy-five to 
one hundred emigrant wagons would cross at this ferry each 
day. The ferry used to be run with a rope cable. I would 
get ten or twelve antelope here in the mornings then bring 
them in and sell them to emigrants for one dollar each. I 
stayed there about one and one-half months till the high 
water went down in the river so the emigrants could cross 
at the ford again. 

Then I went to the gold mines in the Seminoe Moun- 
tains and freighted in the first stamp mill. I hauled the 
gold ore from the mine to the mill. I was at this for all of 
two months. Then I bought some mining claims and started 
sinking a shaft for gold. I took out sacks of ore two-thirds 
full, worth sixteen dollars at the mill. One morning, the 
Nez Perce Indians ran in and shot one of the miners in the 
back as he was splitting kindling for his morning fire. As 
I opened the door to look out, a bullet went through the 
door casing right over my head, and I decided that I had all 
the mining I wanted. The miners stayed in their cabins 
till the Indians stole away and then pulled out for Rawlins 
and Fort Steele. 

After I quit mining, I started out trapping for beaver 
again over by the Freezeout Mountains, east of the Seminoe 
Mountains. I spent the winter there, going in the first of 
September and not coming out till spring. I never saw a 
single person nor any horses or cattle except one wild horse. 
The Nez Perce, Blackfeet, Shoshone, Arapahoe and Sioux 
Indians were over in this country. 

The next spring, I came back into Ft. Steele looking 
for a place to trap where there would be plenty beaver. 
As I was riding in, on a creek north of the Seminoes, I saw 
something go down the hill to the brush about one-half or 
three-quarters of a mile away, I supposed it to be an elk. 
After I went down a couple hundred yards, I thought it 
might be an Indian. I turned up a draw to the left and went 
round over the hill as I thought I would look down into that 
timber from the top of the hill. I saw I couldn't look down 
so looked over the creek. Just before I got to the brink of 
the hill, twelve or fifteen Indians popped up over the hill. 
I turned to run. Ten or twelve more were coming up be- 
hind me on horseback. Then I knew that the one I saw 
first must must hev been a sentinel instead of an elk. I 
saw there was no chance for me to run, so I thought I would 


try a bluff on them and rode up to those on foot first. I 
asked for the chief the first thing. He was an oldish man 
and I happened to know all the old Indian traders on the 
plains so I commenced to talk with him about the traders. 
I told him I was Bouyer's wife's brother. (One of Bouyer's 
sons traveled later on with Buffalo Bill's show). The old 
chief thought I was all right so took me down to camp. He 
used the motion or sign language all the time. I tried to 
talk it too — meant well enough but made mistakes I sup- 
pose. I went down into their camp with them. A side of 
antelope was hanging up roasting over the fire. They 
treated me fine. I had supper with them then we sat and 
had a smoke. I gave them some of my tobacco but we used 
his pipe first and passed it around. They talked all the 
time in the sign language. After smoking, he wanted to 
see me shoot with my rifle at rocks on the hill side for 
targets. The Indians did not shoot at all as they never had 
any ammunition to waste, but I was a good shot so shot 
twelve or fifteen times. The chief called me brave but he 
lied like thunder because I was scared as bad as any man 
ever was. I tell you it makes you shake. At last, he mo- 
tioned to a young buck Indian to get up a couple of horses. 
The Indians didn't have any saddle but rode bareback. Then 
he ordered all the other Indians to stay in camp and he and 
the young buck went with me about one and one-half miles 
towards my camp; there they shook hands with me and 
told me to go home which didn't hurt my feelings a bit. I 
rode off leisurely till I got out of sight. After that I don't 
know how fast I was going. I hastened back to camp where 
my partner was and we abandoned camp and went back up 
into the mountains. 

There were twenty-six Indians in this party I spoke 
of who were traveling west of Rawlins. They ran on to a 
man with a six horse team and a hay rack twelve miles 
southwest of Rawlins and shot him through the ankle. He 
cut one of his horses loose, got on him and made for Raw- 
lins. He told the news in Rawlins and twenty-five men 
from there started out. John Foote, Bill Horn, Bill Maikey, 
Bill Beyers, Joe and Jim Rankin were in the party. They 
found these Indians camped at Pine Grove. The Indians 
had several horses belonging to Rawlins people. The Raw- 
lins men wanted them to give those horses up to them. 
The Indians got saucy and started for their camp, sup- 
posedly after their guns. The Rawlins men opened fire on 
them and killed seven, took what horses they could cut off 
easily and went back to Rawlins. 


I came back to Ft. Steele and then went to working in 
a dairy owned by Tom Ryan, who used to Kve eight miles 
above Saratogo, and stayed there throughout the winter. 
Then the next spring, I built a hotel in Ft. Steele which I 
ran about six months and then sold to Mrs. Dillard. It 
caught fire and burned down about one year afterwards. 
Charles Scribner owned it when it burned down. In the 
spring of '76 after this, I went to work tending bar for 
J. W. Hugus, who was Post Sutler at the Fort. Bill Forney, 
who lived in Saratoga until a year ago, was Post Com- 
mander at that time. Jim Candlish was Post Blacksmith. 
J. F. Crawford, who was editor of the Saratoga Sun for 
many years, was Union Pacific agent and telegraph op- 

I was on the road for the government on several trips 
going as guide with General Crook on three trips, on hunt- 
ing parties. Two trips with General Marcy on hunting 
trips north of the Seminoe and Freezeout and Ferris Moun- 
tains, after antelope, deer and elk. The second trip with 
General Crook was south to Battle Lake and the head of 
Snake River. We never saw a soul on that trip but all kinds 
of game everywhere. There was hardly a hill but what 
you could see antelope from it. 

On the first hunting trip when I went out with General 
Marcy, we camped close to the present site of the Pathfinder 
Dam on the North Platte River and General Marcy said 
that he wanted to get some mountain sheep. General Whip- 
ple, who was in the party, said that he wanted a bear. So I 
told Whipple if he would go up the river about one mile to 
a canyon that turned off to the left he would find plenty of 
bear and I went with General Marcy out after the mountain 
sheep. General Marcy and I went about three miles up the 
Seminoe Mountains, close to the Platte River. Among the 
rocky ridges, we ran on to a band of fifty mountain sheep. 
We killed three, packed them on a mule and started back to 
camp. A short time after we got to camp. General Whipple 
came riding in. General Marcy asked him, "Where is your 
bear?" Whipple answered, "I've got him up the canyon." 
He said that he rode up this canyon a short way till it be- 
came so rocky he didn't think that he could ride further and 
got off to lead his mule. After leading him five or six hun- 
dred yards, his mule stopped, pulled back, and wouldn't go 
any farther. General Whipple looked around to see what 
the trouble was and saw that the mule was looking up the 
canyon with his ears pointing forward and his eyes stick- 
ing out. He turned and looked up the canyon and saw three 
big bears sitting up looking at the mule. It didn't look good 


to him so he turned and got on his mule. "I didn't have to 
use my spurs either!" General Whipple told me when he 
got in. "I wish I had had you with me and we'd have gotten 

When I was guide for these hunting parties, I was 
never supposed to shoot unless they told me to. I had a 
forty-five seventy Winchester rifle which was a much bet- 
ter shooting gun than the Springfield army rifle with which 
the troops were armed. We hunted duck and elk too. The 
next day, we went out east of the river and killed five elk, 
and packed them into camp on our mules. It was after 
dark when we got into camp. About one and one-half miles 
from camp, the Sergeant said he thought I was going too 
far to the left and told the soldiers to bear off toward the 
right and go down towards the canyon. I told him if they 
went down in there they couldn't cross anywhere as that 
was the place called ''Bad Lands" and they would have to 
come back to the divide to get around. He said, "This isn't 
my first trip in the mountains, and I know where I'm go- 
ing." I told him to go ahead but said, "I'm going to camp" 
and went on into camp. When I returned General Marcy 
asked me where the Sergeant of the party was. I told him 
he was down the river hunting camp somewhere. Then we 
had to send a man across the river on the hill to signal to 
him by shooting to bring him back. He came in at last 
and wanted to know where I was. Marcy told him I had 
been in camp and had my supper an hour ago. He told me, 
"I think I'll follow you after this." "That is what I am 
paid for," I said to him. 

We went off in the mountains in the timber after game 
the next day and killed two or three deer. We packed the 
deer on our horses, behind the saddles. The next day we 
just laid around camp and took it easy. We played cards 
but didn't gamble. As there were lots of rattle snakes, we 
had some whiskey along for medicine for snake bites . No 
one was ever bitten by rattle snakes but they always had 
to take the medicine just the same. We moved camp the 
next day and went over around Ferris Mountain on Pete 
Creek. We hunted elk there for a few days. Thousands of 
ducks and geese were there and we shot them with our shot 
guns. We soon had all the duck we wanted, so General 
Whipple thought he would go up in the mountains and kill 
some more elk. He hunted up there and when he had killed 
three elk by himself, he came back to get pack mules and 
help to get them in that night. It was dark when we got 
into the timber before we even got to the elk. When we 
got them packed on the mules, it was rather late. We 


started across the prairie to camp. The General thought 
I was going too far to the left too. I told him I didn't think 
I was; that I thought I was going about right. We went 
on about two miles farther when General Whipple told the 
Sergeant to pull off to the right saying, "That guide is 
keeping too close to the mountains." I didn't say anything 
but just went on. Finally, I said, "I won't change my 
course, General ; we're about five miles from camp, I think." 
I went on to camp and when I got there General Marcy 
asked, "Where is General Whipple?" I said, "Oh, he's just 
over the hill. He stopped to fix the packs." Marcy wanted 
to send someone up on a hill to shoot a gun off as a signal 
to Whipple, but I said, "No, it isn't necessary. He saw 
which way I went and he can surely follow me." I ate my 
supper and then went down to my tent. After a while, 
Marcy came down and said, "I think those fellows are lost." 
I answered, "It doesn't look possible that they could get lost 
that close to camp. They must have had a little trouble, 
I think; I didn't think it would take them so long, or I 
would have waited for them." I really wanted them to get 
off far enough from the hill so they couldn't hear the report 
of the gun. He said he thought he'd send a man up on a 
hill to fire a shot anyhow. The soldier fired a couple of 
times but didn't get answer. Then he fired five or six times 
more. After a while, we heard a gun off about one-half 
mile to the west. They kept shooting until they got in 
sight of camp when they quit. When General Whipple rode 
into camp, he said to Marcy, "We've lost the guide." "Yes," 
said Marcy, "I guess he lost you. He's been into camp here 
for a long time." Then Whipple came down to the tent and 
wanted to know how I found camp. I told him I didn't have 
any trouble but came right straight to it. "Well," he said, 
"I think it would be a good idea to follow you after this." 
I told him that "That's what I'm paid for. I'm not paid for 
following you guys around." 

After this hunt, we came back to Fort Steele. They 
had on this hunt sixteen soldiers and eight wagons, two six 
mule teams and six four horse outfits. I remained in Fort 
Steele through that fall and winter while I ran my hotel 
there. I also ran it during the summer of '77. I got mar- 
ried to Miss Rosy Ruderdof May 27. Soon after this, I 
located on a homestead near Saratoga. The homestead 
took in all the land east of the river up to the grave yard, 
fair grounds, and right up to the Hot Springs Tunnel. I 
also took a preemption claim on the hill which included the 
present fair grounds. 


I went on another trip with General Crook in '79, meet- 
ing him at Ft. Steele and coming out with him. He had a 
party of five with twelve soldiers for an escort. We had 
wagons to haul our tents and stuff. We camped close to 
the present Jones & Williams ranch on Calf Creek right at 
the edge of the mountain timber. J. W. Collins was with 
us and also Maj. Thornburg and a Doctor Draper of New 
York and Webb Hayes, son of President Hayes. We hunted 
anything we could get but elk and deer principally. We 
saw three bear one day but didn't get them. We went on 
to Battle Creek to fish as there were lots of fish, native 
brook trout — fat and short, not very big, about three-quar- 
ters of a pound each. We brought back about twelve hun- 
dred fish. Major Thornburg got fifty-six fish in thirty-two 
minutes' time. We used hook and bait then as there weren't 
any flies at that time in the West. We also got several elk. 
We killed one very fine deer, which we sent to Washington 
to President Hayes, who had it mounted. 

I took another hunt after that in the same fall of '79 
with Major Thornburg's brother and two bankers from 
Tennessee to the same place. We had just got located good 
when we got a dispatch which told about the Meeker 
massacre in which many soldiers, including Major Thorn- 
burg, were killed by the Indians (Utes) at Milk Creek, 
twelve miles this side of Meeker. So the hunt broke up 
and we returned to Fort Steele. I met General Crook, who 
had been sent north with troops to punish the Indians, at 
Ft. Steele. The troops were in Rawlins. I hauled two loads 
of freight for J. W. Hughus to Meeker. We went through 
with a party of soldiers. We passed several freight outfits 
that the Indians had destroyed by killing the drivers, taking 
the horses, and burning the wagons. They had killed every 
freighter on the road. No Indians had been harmed in the 
fights. I camped about two hundred yards below the battle 
grounds at Milk Creek. The dead bodies were buried be- 
fore we go there but the horses were still on the ground. 

This is how it happened. Major Thornburg and his 
soldiers had been ordered to Meeker and the Ute forces 
met them about twelve miles this side of Meeker. The chief, 
Douglas, told Thornburg and his officers to come in and 
have a council but not to bring the soldiers. Thornburg 
was under orders to go to Meeker and felt that he had to 
go on and obey orders. He decided to leave the road and 
take a short-cut across the mountains and just as the troops 
got into the scrub oak timber in the foot hills, they ran into 
an ambush of Indians. I came very near being with Major 
Thornburg at the time. Major Thornburg had wanted me 


to go with him as guide but I was engaged to go with his 
brother on the hunting trip and his brother wouldn't let 
me off or I would have been in the fight. When the Indians 
fired on the soldiers the wagon train had just broken camp 
on the creek. The soldiers ran back to the wagon train. 
When they got back to the wagons they piled up sacks of 
corn for defense and got behind them. But the protection 
didn't help them much as they were camped in the bottom 
on the bend of the creek and the Indians were on the rocky 
hills right south of them that overlooked the camp. The 
Indians killed the horses first. About three or four hun- 
dred soldiers were in the party. Not an Indian was killed 
though thirty-five soldiers were. Probably six or eight 
hundred Indians were there under Chief Douglas. That 
night, Joe Rankin of Rawlins who was with the party, got 
out of the camp and walked to a ranch where he got a horse 
and made the ride into Rawlins in about forty hours, get- 
ting fresh horses at every ranch that he came to. When 
they had telegraphed the news to Cheyenne, General Mer- 
ritt, with a cavalry force, started to Rawlins on the railroad 
to re-enforce the soldiers near Meeker. As soon as the cav- 
alry detrained at Rawlins, they marched day and night till 
they got to their destination and drove the Indians away. 
After the fight with Thornburg, the Indians went on into 
Meeker and massacred everybody at the agency except Mrs. 
Meeker and her daughter. As I said, I went in with two 
four-horse trains for J. W. Hughus & Co. carrying merchan- 
dise and supplies to the soldiers and made the trip to Snake 
River in twelve hours, overtaking the cavalry at Snake 
River where we met the Thornburg wounded coming back. 
I went on into Meeker and stayed there about three weeks. 
The Indians had burned everything in Meeker so we had to 
put up a tent. There were only two or three ranches on 
Snake River and one on Bear River at this time. Jim Baker 
was with us at Meeker. He was scout for General Merritt 
when he went in after the massacre. 

I have been at the old Jim Baker block house on Snake 
River which was moved to Cheyenne a few years ago. He 
lived with the Indians thirty-five or forty years, his wife 
being a squaw. One day, Jim Baker told us a story about 
his buffalo hunting. The game hunt he told me about was 
here in this country. He was with a big party of Indians 
camped over near Brown's Hill on the Savary. They stayed 
there for over three weeks and never had to leave the camp 
over three hundred yards to kill buffalo. There was a string 
of buffalo passing all the time and it took the buffalo herds 
three weeks to pass, coming from the North Park country 


where they had their summer range and going to the Red 
Desert for the winter. This must have been about 1858. 
All the time Baker was talking his hands were going, to 
demonstrate like an Indian would. He told me of another 
time he was with an Indian camp on Cherry Creek where 
Denver now is, when they were attacked by soldiers and 
prospectors. He said Cherry Creek was so high they had 
to swim it to get away. He had a papoose then and took 
the papoose on his horse and swam across with it and said 
the squaw drowned. I told him he should have saved the 
squaw. "Oh well," he said, "there's lots of squaws." 

When he was trapping over near the Freezeout Moun- 
tains in the year 1874, he was up in the mountains with a 
party shooting bears. He and his partner wounded one. 
The bear came down the hill right towards them. His part- 
ner, who had on buckskin pants, tried to climb a dry quaking 
asp tree (which is very slippery). He kept sliding down 
but finally got up to the limbs. Here, he got his arm over 
a knot in the tree and hung. Baker said he ran to a green 
pine and climbed up it. The bear came and laid down by 
the tree and died. His partner called to him, "Can't you 
shoot him?" "No," said Baker, "he's lying there watching 
me." "Kill him if you can, 'cause I can't hang on here 
much longer," shouted the partner. "Well," said Baker, 
"I thought I'd let him hang on there long enough so finally 
said, 'You might as well come down because he's dead.' 
Say, he slipped his arm off that knot and came down like 
he was shot and gave me a good cussing for not telling him 
before that the bear was dead." 


This story was told by Tom Sun to Mr. Wilcox about 
the last big Indian fight that took place in Platte Valley : 

Tom Sun was an old Hudson Bay Fur Company trap- 
per. Somewhere in the late sixties, he and Bonnie Earnest 
were trapping on the head of Cow Creek. One morning in 
April of that year, they got up to get their breakfast and 
tend to their traps — Earnest to get breakfast and Sun to 
look after the traps. About one hundred and fifty yards 
from the house he found in the snow, the fresh trail of 
a war party of five hundred Sioux Indians. He turned 
around immediately and went back to the cabin and without 
waiting for breakfast they took up the trail. They fol- 
lowed this Indian party until they got to Bear Creek, keep- 
ing out of the Indians' sight all the time. There the Sioux 
met fifteen hundred Ute Indians and the fight commenced 
on Bear Creek. The Sioux, seeing themselves outnumbered, 
started to run and fled down Bear Creek and over through 


a little divide on to the river. Down the river, crossing it 
where the old Tilton ranch is now. They were fighting all 
the time from Bear Creek — a running fight. The Utes 
chased them all along the foot hills of Elk Mountain Range 
and on the head of Lake Creek. The Sioux had split and 
some of them went up Cedar Creek and through Cedar 
Creek Pass. The main fight was in what's now called Pass 
Creek Basin. Others of the Sioux warriors went along the 
west side of Elk Mountain range with the Utes after them. 
Not a single Sioux got back to the Seminoe Mountains. 

The principal massacre of the Sioux was just west of 
the present Paulson Ranch in Pass Creek Basin. Mr. Pen- 
nock remembers, years ago, seeing wagon loads of skeletons 
there. The crevices of the rocks were all full of them. Bill 
Hawley found an Indian skull once and stuck it on the end 
of a long stick and rode into camp with it over his head 
saying that he brought it in to show the rest of us. Mr. 
Pennock says that in 1879 before the Meeker massacre the 
Indians set fire to the forests all over the Sierra Madre 
Range to drive the game out. Mr. Wilcox says the Sioux 
and Utes were always fighting for the North Platte Valley 
for their hunting grounds. During the fighting between 
the tribes, the Utes were about to leave this part of the 
country and so they set fire to the timber to drive all the 
game out toward the reservation in Utah where they were 
going. That was the last time that the Utes were about in 
this section of the country. Mr. Wilcox says in '82 or '83 
there were a very few wild buffalo left in North Park. 

In 1869, •Harry Mullison, one of the old timers of Sara- 
toga, helped to bury a party of trappers who had been killed 
by the Indians on Indian Creek. Jack Bloom was the name 
of one of the trappers who was killed. Mr. Pennock re- 
members seeing where their wagon had been burned by the 
Indians. This is the reason the creek is called Indian Creek. 
Mr. Ledbetter can point out the place where these trappers 
were buried. These people were the last ones killed in the 
valley by Indians. 

Mr. Pennock remembers prospecting in Mullison Park 
on Brush Creek about '86 and finding traces of old mine 
workings including a long shallow tunnel that had caved in 
in so many places that you could trace it on the surface, 
and so old that there were trees one and one-half feet 
through growing in the cavings. They thought at that 
time that it was probably some mining done by the Span- 
iards. They dug down into one of the cavings and found 
some of the old timbers that were used to support the tun- 


Mr. Pennock remembers finding pots and pieces of 
pots that used to be used by the Indians, on the Peryam 
Ranch on Encampment Creek, and above there along the 
banks of the creek clear on up to the mountains. These 
pots were made of a sort of hard soap stone of greenish 
gray color. The Indians used to pound up berries and meat 
in them which mixture they would dry and sack for winter 

Mr. Pennock says that on lower Pass Creek between 
the old Stone Ranch and the Platte River the Indians used 
to make arrow and spear heads on top of the ridges, where 
there are bushels of chipped spear and arrow heads now. 

On the flat on the west side of the river is another 
place where the Indians used to make arrow heads. And 
another on the ridges on the north side of Sage Creek near 
the Platte River. 

Mr. Pennock says that occasionally small parties of 
Arapahoe Indians used to come in here from up north. They 
came down in small parties to raid and steal horses. Jim 
Baker told Mr. Wilcox that in the winter of '59 hundreds 
of the buffalo smothered. The snow was so deep that 
worlds and worlds of buffalo were killed in the drifts and 
through starvation so that the plains on the Platte River 
were white with buffalo bones. That winter, the Indians 
lost all their ponies. The Utes, after losing their ponies, 
sent a party down into old Mexico to steal some horses or 
ponies to take the place of the dead ones. They stole about 
six hundred head. The Mexican Indians got after them, to 
recapture the ponies but the Utes managed to whip them 
back in a fight and bring the ponies home with them. Mr. 
Pennock camped with Jim Baker for several months at the 
time of the Meeker massacre when he told him this. 




The State Department of History suffered a distinct 
loss in the death of Mr. Thomas J. Bryant, which occurred 
at his home in Wheatland on January 28, 1929. Mr. Bryant 
had not been in robust health, but his passing was sudden 
and unexpected. He was born in Iowa in 1874. He is sur- 
vived by his widow and one daughter. 

Mr. Bryant was an able lawyer, an eloquent public 
speaker, a talented writer and a high-class, intensely patri- 
otic citizen. 

He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
and of the Masonic Order; he was State Chairman of the 
Civil Legion a National organization, First Commander of 
the Sons of Union Veterans, a Vice-President and a Director 
in the National organization known as the "Boone Family 
Reunion Association," for he was collaterally descended 
from Daniel Boone. 

He had the same common ancestor as the poet William 
Cullen Bryant and was himself a writer of verse. Else- 
where we print two of Mr. Bryant's poems. His last poem, 
"If This Be All," has been widely copied. 

Mr. Bryant was a valued member of the Advisory Board 
for the Wyoming State Department of History and con- 
tributed to the Annals of Wyoming. He left an unfinished 
manuscript which he was writing for the Annals. He also 
wrote for the historical publications of Iowa and Missouri. 
His poems, written on a wide range of subjects, appeared 
in magazines and newspapers. 

He had given a number of his manuscript poems to the 
State of Wyoming and they are now in the files with other 
manuscripts of Mr. Bryant's in the files of the State De- 
partment of History. 


Robin Redbreast, you are here , 
With your piping notes of cheer; 
You have absent been and long, 
And I missed your sprightly song. 

Welcome, welcome to our town. 
With your little dame in brown ; 
Choose your station where you will, 
None shall do thee aught of ill. 


Spick and span your modest coat, 
Sweet and strong your tuneful throat 
Lift your voice and gaily sing, 
The first madrigal to spring. 

Freely you may loiter round, 
Probing in the soft moist ground. 
Taking toll of worm and bug, 
*Neath the green earth's grassy rug. 

And your mate shall build her nest 
In the place that suits her best ; 
In the forks of yonder tree 
Safely hidden she will be. 

By and by there will be need 
Hungry, clamoring mouths to feed ; 
Then life's business will begin — 
Robin Redbreast, we are kin. 

— T. J. Bryant. 


Where the Laramie flows and the blue bell grows, 

And the painted cup is red, — 
Where the free wind blows and the sunflower glows 

In the light of the sun overhead, 
'Tis there, 'tis there that I love to stray. 
In the genial warmth of a summer's day. 

To stray and dream by the winding stream. 

And to banish toil and care. 
To glimpse the gleam of the sun's bright beam, 

On the crest of the waters there. 
While from the flora beneath my feet. 
Comes up the breath of incense sweet. 

A friend of mine is the evergreen pine. 

That clings to the hill near by. 
And the wild grapevine whose tendrils twine 

Their way from earth to sky, 
And the birds that sings in sheer delight. 
While high o'erhead he wings his flight. 


And the sight and sound that here abound, 

Fulfilling some great plan, 
And each knoll and mound by nature crowned, 

Unmarred by the hand of man. 
Unite in forming an earthly plot. 
Where thoughts unholy may enter not. 

In the shade and sheen of this fair scene, 

I hear neither sigh nor moan ; 
Mid the tangled green with soul serene, 

I fare toward the great Unknown, 
With thoughts uplifted above the sod, 
And heart at peace with man and God. 

(Signed) Thomas Julian Bryant. 
January 6, 1922. 



Many of the pioneers of northeastern Wyoming were 
children of pioneers in what was frontiers years before, 
and these children, grown up, moved west as the frontier 
moved, and being inured to hardships and danger, didn't 
seem to mind facing any kind of circumstances. 

Fearless, energetic and efficient, they traveled west, 
risking their own and their families' lives, as many pioneers 
brought their families with them, even though the danger 
was great. When they arrived they set about building their 
homes and helping others to build. Comrades all, giving 
time and work to a good cause. 

Pioneering in Wyoming in the early 80's was all the 
word implies. It must have taken a stout heart and cour- 
ageous spirit to start into a new country full of unknown 

Among the pioneers coming to Wyoming in 1883 was 
my father, George W. Laney, who was born May 9, 1851, 
in the southern part of Missouri, the fourth child in a fam- 
ily of twelve children. 

During the Civil War, while his two older brothers 
were in the Union army, and his father, too old to go to 
war, my father's mother passed on, leaving George, 10 
years, and a sister, 12, to take care of the smaller children 
of the home. 

Their home was in the war zone and when the chil- 
dren heard the roar of guns and the booming of cannons, 
on Aug. 10, 1861, they knew a battle was in progress, and 
putting the smaller children in the house, my father and 
his sister stood in the yard and listened to the battle of 
Wilson Creek, eight miles away. 

Being where both the Union and Confederate armies 
passed, also the armed bands of bushwhackers, little was 
left of the property in the community when the war was 

My father helped with the reconstruction of home and 
community, and in 1868 helped to build the county court 
house at Marionville, Missouri. 

During the following years my father worked at the 
stone mason trade and other constructive work. One thing 
he did exceedingly well, and was very proud of, was build- 
ing fire places, all of which "drew" without smoking and 
gave out most wonderful heat. In any house he built for 
his family, wherever he lived, he built one of his famous 


In 1874 my father was married to Elizabeth Good and 
established his home near a saw mill which he and his elder 
brother had bought. He sawed timber for the Frisco Rail- 
road Company until 1879, when the saw mill and the build- 
ings of the surrounding country were swept off the map 
by the great Marshfield cyclone, which did great damage 
to life and property. 

After the loss of his saw mill, my father moved to 
Grandby, Missouri, and worked in the lead mines, and in 
1881 he went to the northern part of the state and farmed 
and did saw mill work. 

In 1883 my father started for the famous Black Hills, 
with my mother and four small children, in a covered wagon, 
drawn by a pair of mules ; two other wagons made up the 
little caravan. Storms, rough roads and dangerous river 
crossings were their portion. They crossed the Sioux 
Reservation, but saw only peaceful Indians. Twice each 
day the stage coach, going to and from Deadwood, passed 
them, and they met many freighters, those brave men who 
hauled provisions west, to the early settlers, hundreds of 
miles, with teams, mostly oxen. 

The crossing of the Missouri River at Fort Pierre was 
made on the ferry and when my father's party came to the 
Cheyenne River they found it a raging torrent of water and 
quick sand. 

The stage coach company would not let any of the 
emigrants cross on the stage ferry, only their own passen- 
gers could cross. My father and other men explored the 
vicinity to find means to effect a crossing and discovered 
an old, abandoned hunter's cabin from which they took the 
floor and made a flat boat. One of the men understood the 
manipulation of such a craft and the sixteen families camped 
on the eastern side of the Cheyenne were taken over, and 
bidding each other farewell, each went its separate way 
and many years after my father met many of these people 
in the Black Hills. 

From the Cheyenne River crossing Leroy Dickinson 
and his family traveled with my father's party and subse- 
quently filed on a ranch near my father's west of Sundance 
which Mr. Dickinson still owns. 

My father was sixty-three days on the road from the 
northern part of Missouri to Deadwood, Dakota, now South 
Dakota. Arrived in the Black Hills, he settled in Central 
City, and during the summer of 1883 did road and bridge 
work. In the fall he went on a hunting trip to Wyoming 
and while there filed on a pre-emption one and a half miles 
northwest of Sundance, which now belongs to Dick Morgan. 


In 1883 Sundance was only a road ranch, belonging to 
Hoge and Bullard, consisting of a large log house for a 
store, with a small supply of groceries and a few dry goods, 
the post office and a saloon, all under the same roof. The 
hotel, operated by Frank Miller and wife, consisted of two 
rooms on the ground floor and lodging rooms in the attic. 
A stockaded square, shed, was the livery bam. 

In 1884 my father and Leroy Dickinson farmed a small 
field of oats where the Crook County court house now 
stands. A young man, Eugene Barlow, was chasing a pair 
of mules when his horse ran into the fence around this 
field and Eugene was killed. This was the first person to 
be buried in the Sundance cemetery. 

At that time there was no machinery to harvest grain 
and the farmer cut the grain by hand with a grain cradle 
and bound it into sheaves by hand, making the bands of 
the long strands. Threshing must have been a tiresome 
job as the grain was pounded out with what was called a 
flail, which was a long stick with a shorter piece of wood 
tied to one end. The grain and chaff were separated by 
pouring the grain so the wind blew the refuse out. 

My father was a great hunter and always kept his table 
supplied abundantly with all kinds of game, though never 
slaying an animal for its hide to sell as many pioneers did. 
In early days hunters killed elk and deer in wagon loads 
and marketed them in Deadwood. 

The deer and elk were so numerous and unafraid the 
pioneers had to build stout, close pole fences to keep them 
from eating the little crops. They would come close to the 
house and gaze fearlessly at the inhabitants. 

The pioneers practiced co-operation whole heartedly; 
new families coming into the country were cordially wel- 
comed and helped with their building and to get settled. 
No one suffered with ennui. They were too busy. There 
were no ''soft snaps." The women practiced every ingenious 
scheme about their house work and sewing, busy making 
homes and rearing their children. The men, energetic and 
industrious, meeting and overcoming every obstacle. All 
helping to wrest a wonderful country from a wilderness. 

Wyoming was then a territory and Cheyenne was the 
county seat of the county which extended across the entire 
eastern part of the state. Merry and exciting were the 
times and elections, getting Crook County organized and 
Sundance started on the road to civilization, as a city. 

At the first county election, Jim Ryan was elected 
Sheriff and my father, constable, and later was appointed 


deputy sheriff, and many times he made long rides into 
the country helping the sheriff in his work. 

My father helped build the Crook County court house, 
building the greater part of the stone foundation. He did 
all kinds of work and was away from home, in the winter, 
until late at night. There were no roads and my mother 
would hang a lantern out on the side of the house, so he 
could find the way home as the snow drifted so deep he 
had to make a trail each day. 

My father was a member of the M. E. Church and being 
trained in the old fashioned singing schools, was one of the 
finest singers I ever heard, having a beautiful bass voice. 
He was a staunch advocate and supporter of prohibition 
and in early days when the A. 0. Good Templers organized 
in Sundance, he and my mother were active members of 
the order. 

In 1889 my father moved to a saw mill owned by Hank 
Mason, twenty miles above Newcastle, on the Stockade 
Beaver, doing mill work and hauling lumber into Newcastle, 
and while there helped to establish Weston County. 

(Hank Mason, spoken of above, was torn to pieces, 
some years after, by a bear, about a mile from his saw mill. 
See Quarterly Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 4, Page 68.) 

In the fall of 1891, my father went to Merino (now 
Upton) and freighted ties west for the C. B. & Q. R. R. Co., 
who were building the railroad through at that time, and 
in the early part of 1892 he returned to his ranch near Sun- 
dance and took up farming and stock raising, selling his 
ranch in 1893 to Dick Morgan, and moved to the Belle 
Fourche River at Carlile, where he helped Frank Johnstone 
improve his ranch. 

It was in 1895 that my father filed on his homestead 
ten miles south of the Devil's Tower, that beautiful granite 
monument of unsurpassed grandeur which stands on a hill 
covered with evergreen trees. The Tower draws tourists 
from all over the world who come to see its wondrous 

On this ranch my father lived for twenty-nine years, 
farming and raising cattle. He went to Spearfish, S. D., 
in 1898, and helped build the U. S. fish hatchery, doing 
most of the rock work. The remaining years of his life 
were spent on the ranch where my mother and two younger 
brothers still live. 

My father reared seven children. In 1907 a great sor- 
row came into his life, when his eldest son, Charles, who was 
practicing with the firemen in the streets of Sundance, fell 


and the hose cart was pulled over him, injuring him fatally. 
He passed out in about twenty minutes. 

My father's health began to fail in 1916 and in 1918 
he suffered a stroke of apoplexy, but having been a strong 
healthy man he recovered and would visit his children in 
different parts of Wyoming and Nebraska. In 1919 he 
traveled alone to his old home in Missouri and while there 
saw his birthplace and the Wilson Creek battlefield. 

On February 8, 1924, my father was stricken with a 
second attack of apoplexy and passed on before his children 
could be called to his side. 

High on the hill west of Sundance, in the little ceme- 
tery, where he helped to lay to rest the first person buried 
there, my father was laid by his son, Charles. He was mer- 
cifully spared another sorrow, as his third eldest son, 
Clement, passed out on June 13, 1924, at a hospital at Hot 
Springs, S. D., and was laid to rest by my father. He sleeps 
by his two sons whom he brought to Sundance forty-four 
years ago, within two miles of his first home in Wyoming, 
the state he loved. Not with riches of monetary value did 
he help to establish the commonwealth of Wyoming, but 
with the labor of his hands, his kind deeds, as a kind neigh- 
bor and a helper in any emergency, he lived for forty-one 
years, a friend to all. 

From this cemetery can be seen the beauty spots of 
the surrounding country, the Sundance mountain, beauti- 
ful, with its gray cliffs, its pines and cedars, bright in the 
sunlight and turned to purple in the haze. The Bear Lodge 
mountains, so named because the bears hibernated there, 
covered densely with evergreens, from which comes a con- 
stant, soft murmur of the pines, changing to a roar in a 
high wind or just before a storm. In the distance far to 
the east the Black Hills above Deadwood raise magnificent 
heights to the sky. 

Below is the beautiful little town of Sundance, where 
my father helped to build many of the best buildings, where 
he helped with the duties of citizenship, joined in the pleas- 
ures of the community and worshiped at the little M. E. 
Church from which later, was conducted the funeral services 
of himself and his two sons. 

Who shall say the pioneers are not just as truly heroes 
as though they had fought in many wars. They faced all 
hardships and danger and met them as unflinchingly as 
could soldiers on the firing line. 

All hail to those courageous, undaunted trail blazers, 
who helped to hew this vast incomparable state, which will 
endure from a wilderness of danger and hardship and made 


possible the present civilization and opulence that we enjoy, 
which is equal in many things and superior in others to 
any of the eastern states. 

Nowhere can be found more beautiful scenery than our 
Yellowstone Park and other scenic places, the gorgeous sun- 
sets, so beautiful words cannot describe them, the exhilar- 
ating health giving atmosphere, the fragrance of the sage, 
where the sun shines three hundred and sixty-four days 
in the year, we can sing with Charles E. Winter: 

"In the far and mighty west 
Where the crimson sun seeks rest. 
There's a growing, splendid state 
that lies above. 

On the breast of this great land. 
Where the massive Rockies stand 
There's Wyoming, young and strong, 
the state I love." 

Written June, 1927, by Mrs. S. L. Mills, daughter of 
George W. Laney. 



IN 1876 

By Mrs. Mary Whiting McFarlane 

The spring and summer of 1876 will long be remem- 
bered by the pioneers whose scattered homesteads dotted 
the map of Wyoming Territory, for that year the Indians, 
always uncertain neighbors, were getting ready for what 
proved to be the last stand of importance, taken by the great 
Sioux nation. 

The eloquence of Sitting Bull had shown them their 
wrongs and persuaded them that now or never, must they 
act, if this wonderful land, which the Great Spirit had so 
clearly fashioned for their home and needs, was to stay 

No eloquence was needed to point out what was hap- 
pening, as the continually growing band of white settlers 
cut off more and more of the range necessary for buffalo, 
that staple food of the Indian, and even the most pacific 
among them agreed that if these white men were to be 
driven off it must be soon, and so the spring found them 
laying up the stores necessary for the ''going upon the war 
path" once more. 

One of the first requisites was horses, and certainly 
the easiest way to get them v/as the one which had become 
tfie usual one, steal them from the white man. 

In that spring of 1876 word had filtered into the set- 
tlements along the tributaries of the North Platte river, 
that the Indians were out stealing horses, and the ranch- 
men at once began preparations to protect their stock as 
best they could. This consisted in most part of getting 
them together in the home corrals. 

What is now known as Slater Flats was then the M Bar 
ranch owned by Daniel McUlvan and John McFarlane, 
brothers-in-law, and here the news of this latest Indian 
foray sent Mr. McUlvan and his younger brother-in-law, 
David McFarlane, now living on his ranch near Owen in 
Albany County, out at once to collect their live stock. The 
horses were quickly herded into the corral at the ranch, 
and they then started after the cattle which were farther 
afield. As they were riding along one of the ridges of the 
breaks on Reshaw Creek (Richard Creek), David, glancing 
back, saw two riders scurry over a hill and disappear. He 
called to Dan and told him and said, 'T think they were 
Indians," but Mr. McUlvan, being older and with a back- 


ground of Indian experience, was not willing to admit it to 
his younger companion, fearing to frighten him, although 
he knew of course it was so. 

They were therefore not surprised on crossing the bot- 
tom of a hollow and climbing the next hill to be met with a 
volley of bullets and to see a band of painted savages charge 
them from over its top. They turned their horses and ran 
down the hill,, jumping off to fire and then on again until 
the Indians came too close, when they would repeat the 
tactics. Dan's horse fell, and they both dismounted, Dave 
leading his mount, a little mare that had become almost 
frenzied and was practically good for little else than to be 
a shield from bullets from the rear. When the men would 
fire, the Indians would spread out in a fan, clustering to- 
gether when the men went on. 

Of course in a few moments more the other horse was 
shot and the two men, both wounded, faced them without 
protection. They had shot one at least of their assailants, 
for they had seen two of his companions carry him off be- 
tween them, and they had wounded at least one or two 
others, and here was to be the end, but they grimly resolved 
to sell their lives as dearly as possible. 

But the Indians had achieved their purpose, and had 
enough. What they wanted was horses, not scalps then, 
and since these two wounded men could not now stop their 
getting the horses at the ranch, and the soldiers would be 
in quick pursuit when this was known, speed was desirable 
and they turned and flew away over the hills to the ranch, 
but not before Dave had risen to his knees and sent one 
parting shot which landed very close to the chief with the 
long war bonnet dragging behind him, who waved his hand 
and shouted something derogatory, and followed his men 
out of sight. 

Imagine the feelings of these two men. At the ranch 
were three helpless women and a little boy, Thomas McFar- 
lane, who was in the habit of hunting rabbits in the brush 
and almost sure to be cut off and captured, and to Dave, 
this picture of the little brother, who was much beloved by 
him, a tortured captive, was infinitely harded to bear than 
his own wounds. He spoke to Dan, "I'm afraid they'll get 
Tommy," and Dan, worried as he was over the fate of his 
own young bride, tried to reassure him by saying, 'Tt'll be 
about noon, and he'll likely be in the house," which really 
proved to be the case. At the ranch, the family, augmented 
by a soldier acquaintance. Sergeant Ashenfelter, were at 
the dinner table. Boy like, Tommy got through first and 
going to the window, saw the Indians driving off the last of 


their horses, and he turned and exclaimed, "0 ma, they've 
got our horses." Consternation reigned in the little log 
cabin, and Ashenf elter began stationing the women so they 
would be most out of range in case of an attack. But the 
Indians had what they wanted, horses, and knew they had 
no time to lay siege to a cabin, with soldiers likely to ap- 
pear on the scene any minute, and so scurried away north 
with their capture. 

This, as far as I know, was the last foray made by the 
Sioux south of the Platte, for this Indian war of 1876, cul- 
minating in the Custer massacre, marked the end of their 
attempts at the hopeless task of driving out the white men, 
who literally were as the sands of the sea, it seemed. 

During the winter of 1896, the writer was teaching 
school in the northern part of Albany County and boarding 
in the family of John McFarlane. The mail one day brought 
Mr. McFarlane an official looking envelope from which a 
check dropped out. After reading the letter, Mr. McFarlane 
chuckled and said, **Look at this, a check from the govern- 
ment for those horses the Indians ran off the time Dave 
and Dan were shot." 




I first saw Wyoming on September 4th, 1874. My 
brother, Union Pacific Agent at Point of Rocks, took me 
out, a pale faced youth of sixteen from an eastern city with 
picturesque ideas of the West, gathered — chiefly — from ten 
cent fiction. 

My brother, Edward H. Clarke, possessed unique quali- 
ties that gave him some celebrity. Besides a remarkable 
talent as an artist in pen and ink sketches, he was a uni- 
versal mechanic. He had also mastered the art of taxi- 
dermy and mounted many fine specimens of big game 
animals. All the eating houses along the railroad displayed 
examples of his craft. Fifty years later I saw deer and elk 
heads, mounted by him, in the dining rooms at Evanston 
and Green River. 

I was soon enrolled in the service of the Union Pacific 
as extra or relief telegraph operator, my first assignment 
being a night job at Rawlins, but the migratory character of 
the position soon gave me a personal acquaintance with 
many places, including Lookout,. Rock Creek, Carbon, Cres- 
ton. Rock Springs, etc. 

What a unique comparison the Union Pacific of that 
period presents with the splendid organization of today! 
Fifty-two pound iron rails, 30 ton eight wheel engines, box 
cars of five tons tare and ten tons capacity, straight air 
brakes on passenger equipment, the ''Armstrong" the only 
ones known to freight cars and all such refinements as steel 
rails, split switches, tie plates, automatic brakes or couplers, 
dining cars, vestibuled coaches and a thousand more lay 
far in the future. 

One daily passenger train, scheduled at twenty miles 
per hour, was adequate to the needs, supplemented by a 
mixed service, loosely called the "emigrant train." It car- 
ried freight and second class coaches, often as many as ten 
or twelve, filled with California gold seekers, going out 
with enthusiasm or returning disillusioned. 

Sidney Dillon was President and S. H. H. Clark, Gen- 
eral Superintendent and in Wyoming were Superintendents 
J. T. Clark at Cheyenne, S. T. Shankland at Laramie and 
W. B. Doddridge at Evanston. 

The spring of 1876 found me at Medicine Bow, normally 
a small place, whose importance was greatly enhanced that 
year by the Indian war in northern Wyoming and Montana, 
being the point of departure for troops and supplies for the 


campaigns of Crook, Terry and the ill starred Custer. 
Enormous quantities of food, clothing and war material 
were unloaded, stored and sent northward via Forts Fetter- 
man and McKinney. I saw one "bull train" or 115 wagons 
and several mule caravans of fifty and sixty wagons dis- 
patched. Among those of note whom I met or saw, I recall 
Scouts Bill Cody and Frank Grouard, Capt. Jack Crawford, 
scout and writer. General Crook and several other officers 
of note, then or thereafter. 

Realizing our unprotected condition with the great sup- 
ply of guns, ammunition and stores so needed by the Indians 
and the fact that they were usually kept informed by half 
breeds and renegades, the citizens of Medicine Bow were a 
prey to justified fears, which culminated in a called meeting 
of the male element. William Taylor, U. S. Quartermaster's 
Agent, was made president and John Allison, Station 
Agent, secretary. A list of arms and munitions was made 
and a census taken of the males of gun bearing age, 42 in 
number. These were at once organized into a battalion for 
home defense, a sentinel was stationed on a hill back of 
town and everyone took his turn of four hours picket duty. 
More than one inky night did I pack a .45 Colts to and fro, 
scanning the horizon and, as Bill Nye says, ''occasionally 
discharging my — duty." 

The protective value of all this we did not then realize 
was nil, but initiative displayed in another direction was of 
practical value. A petition setting forth our condition was 
made to our delegate in Congress, Colonel Downey, whose 
representations to the War Department obtained prompt 
results. Company K, Fourteenth Infantry, commanded by 
Captain Gabriel S. Carpenter, was sent to garrison the place. 

The Ute Indians of Colorado were then professedly 
friendly and the government secured a contingent of 300 
or 400 to fight the Cheyennes in the north. Enroute to the 
front they arrived at Medicine Bow one August afternoon, 
encamped near town and it was announced would hold a war 
dance that night. They played to a good house, including 
a big party that came from Laramie by special train. 

The show was disappointing. It consisted chiefly of 
half a dozen moccasined braves in garish war paint, scurry- 
ing around in a crouching attitude, chanting monotonous 
stuff to the accompaniment of a lard can or cracker box, 
lustily beaten by squaws, the occasional discharge of their 
rifles in the air and the releasing of their war whoop. This 
latter was really startling and thrilling but after the sixth 
hundredth repetition, began to pale. So much enthusiasm 
was thus expended in six consecutive hours that none was 


left for fighting Sitting Bull's braves. The Utes got chil- 
blains long before reaching the war zone and were inter- 
cepted by the military at Separation, in attempting to sneak 
back home, and Uncle Sam's guns and blankets were taken 
from them. 

On June 25th occurred the Custer defeat and massacre 
just over the Montana boundary line. I caught and copied 
the report of this event going over the wires to the Cali- 
fornia press, little thinking that fifty years later to the 
day, I should be passing the scene of the fight on the Little 
Big Horn in the Pullman of a Burlington train, peering into 
the darkness to get a glimpse of the historic battle field. 

In October I was one of the hunting party to Shirley 
Basin, about 40 miles northwest of Medicine Bow. This 
region did not then possess one white inhabitant. Capt. 
Carpenter, Augustus Trabing, merchant, and a Mr. Branch 
of Chicago, were among the others. 

My contribution to the game score was two elk and six 
willow grouse. One elk had the finest pair of horns I have 
ever seen. The third night we encamped on a clear rapid 
stream called Difficult Creek, near the place where a party 
of emigrants had been killed and scalped by Indians several 
years before. After we had disposed ouselves to sleep in 
our tent, the conversation was adroitly turned by the Cap- 
tain and Trabing to the aforesaid massacre, our situation 
and the hazard we were incurring without a guard. When 
they had worked us into a thoroughly uneasy state of mind 
it was proposed that we should do sentinel duty, each in 
turn, in two hour shifts. Every one chivalrously volun- 
teered for the first turn but the honor fell to Branch, after 
which I displayed my youthful zeal for a like period. Rifle 
in hand, I braved the crisp night air, unsuspicious of the 
hoax that cost Branch and myself a twelve plate dinner 
upon our return to town. 

One incident of this memorable year, unforgettable in 
itself, was brought into bolder relief by the publication some 
years since of Owen Wister's novel, 'The Virginian." 

"The Virginian" that I knew at Medicine Bow was the 
antithesis of Wister's hero. His name was Page and he 
kept the only saloon and billiard table in the place. One 
day two cow boys arrived in town for their periodical "blow 
out" and began playing pool for the drinks. One round fol- 
lowed another and a dispute arose over the number of 
games. Page was arbitrary and insistent for the payment 
of the disputed 37 cents and this rankled deeper with the 
boys as the day waned and their condition waxed. The 
culmination I witnessed from nearby safety. Page was be- 


hind the bar when one cowboy addressed him: "Page, 
you're a son of a gun, (approximately) I'd like to take a 
shot at you and, by God, I will." Whipping out his pistol, 
he fired, not at Page but at his reflection in the big mirror, 
which fell, shattered, with a crash. Page got out the back 
door instantly and the men, as if galvanized by the shot, 
became maniacs. They shot down every bracket lamp, and 
the bottles behind the bar, ripped the billiard table up with 
knives and broke it up, smashed every chair, window and 
cue and rode out of town, embracing each other with one 
hand and discharging their ordnance with the other. Page's 
penuriousness had reacted ten thousand fold. 

In the winter of 76-77, I was stationed at Rock Springs 
and witnessed what was known as the first Rock Springs' 
strike. The U. P. then employed about 600 miners, princi- 
pally Welsh and Cornishmen. The strike came without ulti- 
matum or warning. The first we knew of it was the taking 
possession by the strikers and the picketing of the mines, 
chutes and power plants. Together with Mine Superin- 
tendent Tisdale and Agent Tim Kinney, I was standing on 
the station platform in semi-darkness when a pistol was 
fired from amongst the miners' houses and the bullet sang 
its way between Kinney and myself, striking a window of 
Ward's hotel. I doubt if a second bullet could have over- 
taken us in our flight to cover. 

The high handed course of the strikers prevailed for 
one day but during the second night a troop train arrived 
silently and unannounced and when the miners awoke in 
the morning they spied the rows of white tents planted 
amongst their houses. On the same day two trains arrived 
from Evanston with Chinamen, house building material and 
carpenters. The defeat of the agitators was complete and 
the introduction of Asiatic labor in the mines an accomp- 
lished fact. 

In April, I was appointed station agent at Red Desert, 
which claimed my services for two years, with the excep- 
tion of a few weeks in the summer of 1878, during which I 
was assigned to the Agency at Separation. This latter place 
does not now exist. Its location was in the valley, thirteen 
miles west of Rawlins, and was at the middle of the belt 
of totality of a solar eclipse that occurred at that precise 
time. This phenomenon brought scientists from England, 
France, and Russia, as well as from several American in- 
stitutions. I clearly remember the celebrated Sir Norman 
Lockyer of the Royal Astronomical Society and Profs. 
Draper, Harkness, Newcome and Watson, Americans. Prof. 
Newcome was the foremost astronomer of his time and 


conducted the observations at the Washington Naval ob- 
servatory. Commander W. T. Sampson, U. S. N., twenty 
years later the victor of Santiago, was in charge of the ex- 
pedition. I assisted in the observations during the precious 
seconds of totality and immediately afterwards heard Prof. 
Watson announce the discovery of an intra-mercurial planet, 
which all were seeking. The claim was not, however, gen- 
erally accepted and has never been verified. 

The eclipse over and everything packed for departure, 
science relaxed its austerity and devoted a day to a general 
hunt. Thomas A. Edison, who had come to Rawlins for the 
eclipse, arrived and joined the chase. Their combined 
knowledge of game killing was about equal to mine of para- 
laxes and spectrums and when they straggled back toward 
evening their total bag consisted of one sparrow hawk. 
Edison arrived first, a little prior to which my brother Ed. 
had placed a stuffed jack rabbit in the greaswood, his 
silhouette just visible from the station platform. The great 
inventor took the bait, but, after firing four shots, compre- 
hended the joke and said : "That's one on me all right, but 
keep still while I get Newcome." The sedate professor and 
one or two more were hoaxed in turn. Upon his return to 
New York, Edison mentioned this incident to the reporters 
and it was duly published. One unpublished detail was that 
a post buncome examination of the rabbit showed that all 
four of the shots had struck it. This imparted another 
angle to the joke. 

The summer of 1879 was passed at Percy, the old loca- 
tion, not the present one. It was a sportsman's paradise. 
Sage chickens everywhere, antelope on the plains, deer in 
the foothills of Elk mountain, seven miles distant, and geese 
and ducks galore on the intervening Foote's lakes. These 
latter and the adjacent meadows at the base of the mighty 
mountain formed a magnificent and beautiful scene. The 
Foote house stood on the spot formerly occupied by old 
Fort Halleck and an overland stage station. It had also been 
a relay point for the pony mail service and had borne its 
part in the history of the epoch. Not far distant is Bloody 
Lake, where a party of teamsters were massacred, scalped 
and mutilated by Indians in 1861, one of the many tragedies 
the grim mountain might relate if given speech. 

Foote was a Scotsman. His title to the extensive hay 
meadows and fine irrigation system was afterwards con- 
tested and in 1889, when I last visited the locality a great 
change had occurred. No vestige remained of the Footes 
or their ranch buildings and nobody seemed to have ever 
heard of them. The valley had been cut up into smaller 
ranches and wire fences and board houses were visible on all 

230 Annals of Wyoming 

sides. Such evidence of the inexorable push of "civiliza- 
tion" brought sadness, such as does the drying up of Niag- 
ara to increase factory production. 

I saw one antelope where scores had once pastured and 
found a few covies of three or four sage chickens, survivors 
of the flocks of twelve and thirteen, formerly so numerous. 

My last prior visit to the old Fort Halleck site had been 
in 1881. In attempting a seventy mile saddle trip from a 
point on the North Platte, now known as Saratoga, to Car- 
bon, I was overcome by the sun, an ailment we then called 
mountain fever. Dazed and feverish, I sought the Foote 
ranch house and was given a clean, cool bed and the in- 
evitable cup of sage tea. This so far restored me that I 
was able to proceed the next morning, groggy but grateful. 

The Meeker massacre followed by the Ute war occur- 
ring in the fall of 1879, I was sent to Rawlins to help the 
Agent, J. B. Adams, out during the enormous rush and con- 
gestion of traffic. Rawlins was the detraining point for 
troops and supplies for the scene of the uprising in north- 
ern Colorado. 

The town was at this time a striking example of the 
mushroom city of the bizarre West. The normal population 
of 700 was swollen to several thousand, not including bodies 
of troops camped near, who were drilling and manouvering 
all day on the surrounding hills under orders of Major 
Evans. Colonels Shafter, Wade and Wesley Merrit, after- 
wards generals of the Spanish war, with their regiments, 
were among those that disembarked and marched away. 

Bad characters, masculine and feminine, from the en- 
tire West had been drawn there as by some great magnet. 
No day passed without a cutting, shooting or robbery by 
force or fraud. We had, as the phrase ran, "a man for 
breakfast every morning." 

One case I witnessed: A bad man, whiskied up to the 
quarrelsome pitch, unprovokedly shot dead a barkeeper on 
the north side and started up the railroad track toward the 
v/est, shooting at every head that essayed to get a glance 
or possibly a shot at him. By the time he reached the water 
tank, opposition had crystalized. As he got even with the 
tank, Jim Rankin, the sheriff, stepped out with a double 
barrelled shot gun. Both fired, but Rankin was a trifle 
the quicker and the desperado fell, riddled. The chief credit, 
however, went to a soldier, a cavalry private, who stood in 
the open street below and fired his carbine, shooting the 
man through the breast and scoring first blood an instant 
ahead of Rankin. 

The Ute uprising was soon squelched and the troops 
reassigned to peace conditions, but Rawlins was for many 


months infested with the lawless element. A man named 
Lacey was their leader and his saloon on the south side 
their rendezvous. Killings and hold-ups continued rampant 
and only yielded to drastic measures. The orderly element 
had organized and one night following the beating up and 
robbery of a Chinese washerman, rounded up at the point 
of the gun four of the worst desperadoes and took them to 
the stock yards east of town. Lacey and two others were 
hanged to the bar over the gate and one was permitted to 
scurry away into the darkness amid a discharge of pistols, 
mercifully aimed as the result of evidence he had given the 
committee of the possession of some attributes of decency. 
Notices were posted with lists of other undesirables, 
who without exception availed themselves of the allotted 24 
hours in which to leave town. My only connection with this 
event was that of a chronicler, having written it up for the 
Laramie Boomerang. 

This was not the only actuation of the Vigilantes. Sev- 
eral months earlier they took a condemned murderer named 
George Manuse, known as ''Big Nose George," from the 
state penitentiary and hung him from a telegraph pole in 
the edge of town. The history of this desperado and the 
band to which he belonged forms an interesting page in the 
epic of the times. I have never known of a full or adequate 
account of it having been published. I personally knew 
some of the actors and witnessed certain scenes of those 
dramatic events. 

The epoch of big train robberies in the West had been 
inaugurated by the holding up of the U. P. eastbound train 
at Big Springs, and the ''industry" seemed to be attracting 
the efforts of the bandit element generally. 

One summer day in 1878, a band of desperadoes planned 
to derail and rob train three, the westbound express, at a 
point four miles east of Medicine Bow. No more diabolical 
plot was ever conceived. The train would have been descend- 
ing a heavy grade on a sharp curve and would have been 
thrown down a thirty foot embankment with frightful loss 
of life. 

The robbers had taken the splice bars out of both ends 
of a rail and pulled the spikes on the outside. The section 
gang had passed enroute home but the foreman, E. Brown, 
remained behind and was walking in. Upon seeing the dis- 
connected rail, he realized the danger but assumed not to 
notice the defect and walked on, but once out of sight, 
hastened to Medicine Bow to report the danger by tele- 
graph. While he paused at that point, the bandits lay in a 
ravine not 100 yards distant with rifles trained on him, but 


a dissention prevailed among them whether to kill him, and 
the hesitation permitted his getaway. Prompt and adequate 
steps were taken by the railway. A light engine was run 
ahead of train three and a large military guard from Fort 
Sanders sent with both engine and train. They were not 
attacked, the delay probably having warned the bandits. 

Great excitement prevailed. Trains were safeguarded 
against attack and officers of the law became active. In- 
formation collected showed that the bandits numbered nine, 
every one of whom was a criminal and outlaw. They were 
known to have withdrawn to the fastnesses of Elk Moun- 
tain and two deputy sheriffs, Widdowfield and Vincent, 
started out from Carbon to locate and get information of 

Widdowfield was a mine boss and Vincent, known as 
"Tip," an old mountain man and former U. S. Marshal, rail- 
road detective, etc. Their approach was noted from a dis- 
tance by a lookout posted in the mountain and the band dis- 
posed themselves to receive them. Extinguishing their 
camp fire and hiding their horses in the deep timber, they 
lay concealed behind logs and trees. Upon finding the camp- 
ing place, Widdowfield dismounted, put his hand in the 
ashes and said: 'They're hot, Tip, we'll have them inside 
of an hour." As if in answer, a shot was fired which struck 
him in the forehead and he fell dead. Vincent spurred his 
horse and rode away, amidst a fusilade but at a distance 
of 300 yards, careened and fell to the ground, no fewer than 
eleven bullets having struck him. 

The non-return of the deputies caused concern and at 
the end of a week, a big party started out from Carbon, 
finding only the two badly decomposed bodies. 

The heavily guarded trains were not attacked. The 
bandits separated and were hunted down and killed or cap- 
tured in localities as widely divergent as Idaho, Montana 
and the Indian Territory. I was told by a U. S. Marshal 
that every one, without exception, met a violent death with- 
in a term of two years. 

Dutch Charlie was first to be caught and was taken 
from the custody of Sheriff Rankin on board the west bound 
U. P. train by the miners at Carbon and hanged. From 
the window of the east bound train the next morning I saw 
his body dangling from a rope, frozen so stiff that it rat- 
tled against the telegraph pole, a play to the wind. The 
face was black, features distorted and eyes bulging — a hor- 
rible sight. 

Big Nose George was captured in Montana several 
months later. Upon arrival at Carbon, the train was again 


boarded by the gun and rope committee but this time wiser 
counsel prevailed and the prisoner was given the alternative 
of making a full confession. This he did, as a means of 
prolonging his existence, at least for a time. His state- 
ment, which was believed to be substantially true, was taken 
down by an amanuensis and duly signed and witnessed, 
after which the train was permitted to proceed with the 
sheriff and his prisoner. 

Manuse was tried, convicted and given the death sen- 
tence and was awaiting his end in the Rawlins prison. With 
the aid of a table knife that he had managed to conceal, he 
got the shackles apart that held his hands together, and on 
the evening prior to the date set for his execution, when 
Jailer Sam Rankin entered with his supper, dealt him a 
blow with the dangling chains that felled and stunned him. 
Mrs. Rankin, in her apartment, heard the noise and seizing 
a pistol, rushed in, covered Manuse and prevented his es- 
cape until help arrived. Prompt action by the Vigilantes 
followed and within two hours Big Nose George had reached 
the end of his rope in a material as well as a figurative 

My Laramie sojourn included seven years residence be- 
tween 1879 and 1890 and frequent prior visits. Though 
not a history making epoch, this period was not eventless. 

The discovery of gold at Jelm Mountain, just over the 
Colorado line to the southwest, gave Laramie a brief thrill, 
so typical of the early West. The news of the "strike," 
like a magician's wand, wafted the entire male population 
out of town in a single night, plus every horse, mule or 
pack animal that could be commandeered. First reports 
proved little justified and the men "as silently stole" back 
to town. 

News of the passage by the House of Representatives 
of the statehood bill was celebrated with delerious aplomb, 
manifested by the ringing of bells, bonfires, speeches and 
the setting off of all the fireworks in town. 

In '78, a man named Frodsham and another of equally 
unsavory repute had a bloodless pistol polemic in the center 
of town, chasing each other around a boxed tree on Thorn- 
burgh Avenue and exploding all their ammunition. Their 
score was point blank, if their aim was not. Frodsham was 
afterwards hanged by Vigilantes in Leadville. 

The cowardly murder of C. H. Graves, U. P. Roadmas- 
ter, by C. A. Peirronnet in 1881, stirred the community for 
the moment, but the skill and eloquence of Attorney W. W. 
Corlett secured the acquittal of the assassin by a low- 
browed jury. This murder occurred near the door of the 


railroad office. Mr. Baxter and myself, who were sleeping 
above, were aroused and reached Graves when he had 
scarcely ceased to breathe. 

A man named Cook, who committed an unprovoked 
murder in 1884, did not fare so well. He was convicted and 

Laramie's comedies were less thrilling but more numer- 
ous than her tragedies. Who could ever forget the Bi- 
weekly Club dances, the Library and Literary Association 
concerts, the Shakespeare Club readings, the operetta 
*Tenelope" by local talent, the opening of Holliday's Opera 
House, the surprise party of Tom Abbott's ranch on the Big 
Laramie and the midnight return to our train at Wyoming 
station in a fierce snow storm, when three of us walked 
ahead of the wagons, mendaciously assuring the ladies that 
we were not lost; the beer soiree at Mayor Robert Marsh's 
residence, described in one of Bill Nye's books and the in- 
auguration of Cheyenne's first Opera House? On this lat- 
ter occasion Laramie's elite were taken to the capital by 
special train and met with generous hospitality from the 
Cheyennese. I still have the dance card of the Grand Ball 
that followed the operatic rendition of "Olivette" and am 
enclosing it for your collection. The ''Mrs. Hoyt" set down 
for one of the dances was the wife of the Governor and there 
are other names that honored me. 

My acquaintance with Edgar W. Nye was more than 
casual. I did considerable work as contributor and reporter 
on the ''Boomerang" and saw him daily for many months. 
When he flared forth in the literary firmament as a result 
of his writings on the Times, his place as a humorist was 
quickly recognized and the Boomerang Company was formed 
and Bill was placed at its head as Managing Editor. The 
narrator was an original stockholder to the extent of one 
paid up twenty-five dollar share. Nye and the Boomerang 
placed Laramie, and to some extent Wyoming, on the map 
of thousands otherwise ignorant of their existence. No 
pent up town of 3,500, however, could long contract his 
powers. An eastern syndicate was soon doing the contract- 
ing with the word "for" added. 

With Nye's departure the Boomerang was comparable 
to a toy balloon that succumbs to pressure, and my stock, 
for which I once refused $70, was sold for six. 

In my opinion. Bill Nye was never over-estimated as a 
humorist. The quaint, subtle turn of his mind was his alone. 
Like Mark Twain and a host more, he did his best work in 
the early days of his career. His personality was a con- 
tinuous manifestation of that rare humor that marked his 


best writings and seemed to radiate spontaneously on all 
occasions. When the Library Association gave "The Peo- 
ple's Lawyer," Nye was cast for the part of Solon Shingle, 
but, in spite of faultlessly rendering the lines, what he 
really played was Bill Nye. He could not camouflage his 
personality. His humor was never borrowed but he had a 
rich fount of material in what he termed the "Forty Liars." 
Their number was overstated, but their aggregate efficiency 
little exaggerated. Bill Root, Jud Holcomb, Timberline 
Jones and Tom Dayton were some of the principals. J. M. 
Sherrod may not have been of that coterie but not for lack 
of eligibility. Many a time he regaled an audience of us 
handkerchief swallowing youths with accounts of his early 
Indian exploits and how he "paved the ground with their 
skulls." When Eli Perkins lectured in Laramie, Bill Nye, 
in a witty vein, introduced him as a "gilded liar from the 
effete East," to which he gracefully countered. 

Returning recently to Wyoming from an absence of 39 
years, the growth and development of the state throws into 
greater contrast the conditions of the middle seventies. 
Then, with very few exceptions, everyone looked upon it as 
a place unfit for permanent residence and reckoned the 
months or days until they might get back to "God's coun- 
try." On the day of my arrival I was told that Wyoming 
was an arid desert where vegetation would never grow be- 
cause it never rained. This was to a great extent true of 
the stretch between the Laramie Plains and Green River. 
Others were called optimists for maintaining that civiliza- 
tion, railroads, etc., would stir up the atmosphere and cause 
rainfall, which would produce vegetation and that in turn 
induce more moisture. This is, without doubt, the formula 
that has changed a great part of Wyoming's surface from 
arid to grazing and finally to tillable land. 

The Wyoming of '74 was the hunter's heaven. Buffalo 
still ranged the northern plains but few were seen along the 
railroad. Elk in the mountains and antelope on the plains 
roved in unbelievable droves. I have seen over ten thou- 
sand antelope in a single herd. In the spring they sepa- 
rated and paired off and covered all the country where a 
sprig of green might be growing. A glimpse of their yel- 
low and white figures from the car windows might be had 
almost anywhere from the time of entering the territory 
to leaving it and on the Laramie Plains one was never out 
of sight of them. The tale of their slaughter and near ex- 
tinction is a story of the advance of civilization, one of the 
pathetic notes of the refrain. The wire fence was a po- 
tentiality of the repeating rifle in their decimation. In the 


case of the noble elk, lawless vandalism was the chief agent 
of destruction. As early as 1880, the skin and bone hunters 
were slaughtering them in scores for the pittance thus ob- 
tained, leaving their carcasses to rot. Stringent laws were 
enacted but were of little utility. A troop of cavalry could 
not catch up with or arrest the offenders, who were su- 
perbly mounted and armed with high power telescope rifles. 
I personally knew of one case near St. Mary's, now Edson 
Station, where a hunter in a blinding snow storm got a band 
of elk bewildered and killed eighteen. That the mule (black 
tail) deer has suffered less from predatory slaughter is due 
to his habit of not running in large herds. They were 
nevertheless wonderfully plentiful in their habitat, the 
sparsely timbered hills. At Point of Rocks, Percy, Red 
Desert and other points a good hunter in winter could gen- 
erally get his deer and get back by noon. 

As to the profusion of sage chickens, will cite the fact 
that in September, 1881, Captain Coates, Commandant at 
Fort Steele, my brother and self bagged 310 of these truly 
game birds in one day's shooting on Pass Creek, to the 
southwest of Elk Mountain. In spring and fall ducks and 
often geese were found on every lake, river and pond. The 
price of beef was regularly six cents for fore and eight for 
hind quarters, but only in cold weather would it keep, so 
that for several months, at isolated points, we were depend- 
ent upon our fire arms for meat. At this time deer meat 
(only tenderfeet said "venison") sold for eight cents, but 
elk meat was a drug on the market at six. It was much 
served as beef in hotels, to the disgust of the patrons, who 
quickly sickened of it, as one does of any wild meat served 
continuously. Beaver skins could then be occasionally 
bought from hunters or trappers at five or six dollars each 
and at Separation, upon the return of the Utes from their 
fall hunting trips north, we purchased buffalo robes, beauti- 
fully tanned, at nine to eleven dollars. Only the finest, with 
heavy dark hair obtained^ the latter figure. They would 
now be worth forty or fifty times this sum. 



Mexico City. 



There seems to be quite a diversity of opinion as to the 
proper orthography, and derivation of the name of the 
mountains north of us, and known as Seminole or Seminoe.^ 
The name originated from an old man, Basil Laujiness,^ / 
commonly called Seminoe. He accompanied Fremont on his 
trip through this country at the time of the discovery and 
naming of Fremont's Peak, near the head of Wind Kiver in 
the capacity of hunter, but did not return to St. Louis with 
Fremont, but remained with Joseph Bissonette, who had a 
trading post on Deer creek, which was purchased by the 
government in the fall of 1865, and burned by the Indians 
in August, 1866. Laujiness got his name Seminoe from the 
Snake Indians, with whom he lived for a number of years. 
He also married into this tribe, and a number of his descend- 
ants are still living in Wyoming — Noel and Mitch Laujiness 
at Fort Fetterman ; also the wif e^ of Wm. Boyd, a resident 
of the Wind River Valley, is a daughter of Seminoe's. 
Seminoe was killed on Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone by 
Arapahoe Indians in the spring of 1865. He and a French- 
man known as Big Joe went up there to get some cattle and 
wagons they had purchased from emigrants who had aban- 
doned them. They had got the outfit and started back, 
making one day's drive. Shortly after camping for the 
night a party of Arapahoes came into camp, ate sup- 
per, slept there, taking breakfast with them in the morn- 
ing. While Seminoe and Joe were out yoking up their cat- 
tle, they brutally shot them down; at least this was the 
story the Indians told. Jules, a young son of Seminoe's, 
when he learned of the brutal murder of his father, made a 
vow to be revenged, and during the years 1865-6 done good 
service, boy or almost child that he was. We remember 
very distinctly seeing Jules away out in advance of the 
troops at the fight of Platte Bridge (jiow Fort Casper) in 0^^--^. 
July, 1865. He was then seated behind a sage brush! with 
his father's old muzzle-loading Mississippi rifle, at the prack 

Editor's Notes 

1. Boardman, who crossed in 1843, used the name Seminoe. 

2. The correct spelling is Lajeuneesse. 

3. Sheila Hart, in her biography of Louisa Lajeunesse Boyd, 
says Mrs. Boyd's father (Charles Lajeunesse) is not to be confused 
with the men of the same name who were with Fremont. 


of which an Indian was sure to "bite the dust." The gun 
was so heavy that in order to fire it he had to rest it across 
the sage. The writer with ten men was ordered forward to 
bring him in. The little fellow cried when told he must 
come back. Jules was in several skirmishes with the Elev- 
enth Ohio cavalry that summer, and was rash almost to in- 
sanity, not apparently, having any knowledge of fear. 
Seminoe at one time had a camp up on Bear (now Dewees) 
creek, near where the mining camp is located, and the place 
was known as Seminoe's camp, from which the mountain 
derived its name, it being known as Seminoe's, and was cor- 
rupted into "Seminole" by some army officer or map maker. 
(Rawlins Journal). Cheyenne 'Daily Leader, March 22, 
1882. (On file in the State Historical Department). 

The Quivira Society was organized in 1929 by a group 
of scholarly investigators who have for their object the 
translating into English from the original Spanish such 
manuscript history as pertains to the southwest part of the 
United States and northern Mexico. 

From time to time this society will publish a series of 
volumes as the result of its work. The first volume to be 
published was brought out in September, 1929. 

The Quivira Society is engaged in an important work. 





Wheatland, Wyo.,__ 1897. 

G. 0. LATHAN. 

Born in Sandusky, Ohio, 1840. 

Came to Nebraska and Colorado at the age of 19. 

In company with two companions, spent the winter of 
'59 among the Indians of Nebraska, Pawnees. Winter of 
1860 was spent among the Sioux. 

Came to Wyoming, '69, where he has had many experi- 
ences among the Indians but never coveted the reputation 
of an Indian killer. 

During the heavy hail storms of 1860 and the conse- 
quent scattering of cattle the Indians were friendly and 
often assisted in the recovering of stock belonging to 
freighters and emigrants. 

The Sioux granted 5 miles wide along the North Platte 
and Sweetwater as a right of way for white men and at- 
tempted to prevent the buffalo from grazing on that belt 
because of the unwarranted destruction of game. Branch 
roads were soon established without permission and the 
slaughtered buffalo became so terrible in the estimation of 
the Indians, who felt that the game was the Indians' stock 
and property that efforts began to be made by them to pre- 
vent it. Petitions to the army officers, pow-wows and re- 
taliation followed and finally the war broke out in 1864. 
"White men kill Indian's cattle, Indian kill white man's 
cattle." • (Signed) GEO. 0. LATHAN. 

Denver, Jan. 8th, 1898. 
Friend Coutant: 

I send you the photo as I agreed to, the little badge on 
the breast is my Monterey Mexican badge. I earned that at 
the Battle of Monterey in 1847, Sept. 23 — I was wounded 
and laid up a year. 

I first went to Ft. Laramie in June, 1839 — and in Sept., 
1840, I went to Bridger. In July, 1841, I returned to the 
vicinity of Ft. Laramie, and in 1842 I went with Fremont 
to South Pass and returned to Ft. Laramie late in the fall 
and went south to Ft. St. Vrain and wintered. In the sum- 
mer of 1843 I went with Fremont's party to Salt Lake and 


to Fort Hall, and returned to Ft. Laramie; in November, 
went to Ft. Bridger. Early in the spring of 1844 — trapped 
this year on the Green River, and Laramie River and went 
to Taos, New Mexico, in 1845, and in 1846 I went with Jim 
Beckwith and six Mormons to Salt Lake to look out the 
country for Brigham and the main body of the Mormons to 
settle, which they did in 1847 — I went to the Mexican war 
in 1847. Got wounded at Monterey on 23rd of Sept., 1847 ; 
was sent back to Taos, N. Mex. Laid there a year. In 1849 
I toook a train from Independence, Mo., to California; in 
1850, returned to Kansas in the Rocky Mountains, after- 
wards Colorado. 

Yours & so on 

(Signed) 0. P. WIGGINS. 

Pioneers of 1832 — Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Capt. B. L. 
E. Bonneville, D. Fitzpatrick, Nathan J. Wyeth, John Smith, 
Outwine de Bleury, Ike Chamberlain, Geo. Simpson, Julius 
Montbleau, William Montbleau, Jack McGaa, Jim Beck- 
worth, Tom Baggs, Tom Tobin. 

Pioneers of 1834 — Ceron St. Vrain, Napoleon Beau- 
vaise, John Grant, William J. Comstock, Jim Blair. 

Pioneers of 1838—0. P. Wiggins, Ed. C. Campbell, Elon 
Tupper, Norman White, William Furness, William Sublet. 

Pioneers of 1839 — William Bent, Napoleon de Frances, 
Jim Baker, Dave Wheatly, Lewis Hedspeth, John Arm- 
strong, Jules Mariana. 

Pioneers of 1842 — John C. Fremont, Father McCabe, 
John Keysburg, Mike Fagan, Father McBaupe, Julius Ludon, 
Pat McDermot, Robert Hamilton^^Bob^Dempsfiy.. 

Pioneers of 1843 — William GilpixT, James Wise, Silas 
Bent, Edmond Rubidou, Jules Rubidou, Ole Olson, Aaron 
Crosby, Geo. Britton. 

^ Pioneer Mormons, 1846 — Henry Chatelain, 0. P. Glea- 
son, Miles Bragg, J. P. Johnson, Sol Silver, William Hall. 

The above Mormons went to Salt Lake to look out a 
country to move to, and returned to the States late in the 
fall, and next spring, 1847, Brigham Young moved to Salt 
Lake and settled. Jim Beckworth and Jack McGaa were 
the guides for the first six explorers. I went with them 
from Ft. Laramie to Salt Lake on account of McGaa's wife 
was sick, and he had to return home from Ft. Laramie to 
Taos, N. Mex. 

(Signed) 0. P. WIGGINS. 



Ladies Literary Club of Evanston, Wyoming — An original story en- 
titled "In the Shadow of the Butte," written by the 
members of the club. 

Putnam, Mrs, Lucia G. — Original manuscript entitled "The Romance 
of Old Trails." 

Indiana Historical Bureau — Collection of Historical pamphlets from 

Hamm, John C. — Original manuscript, "Official Uinta County Visits 
Star Valley" (1891). 

Lusk, Frank S. — Six United States patents to land near Lusk, Wyo- 
ming, most of it being the land in the original town site, 

Blake, Herbert Cody — Book entitled "Western Stories" — The truth 
about Buffalo Bill, written by Mr. Blake. Picture of 
Joe Esquival, Dick Johnson, and Jim Kid. 

Clarke, John Jackson — "Reminiscences of Wyoming in the Seventies 
and Eighties," Manuscript written by Mr. Clarke, 
Autographed photographs of Bill Nye, Photographs of 
five Wyoming girls taken in 1882, 

Evans, Mrs. D. P. — Collection of seventy books which belonged to 
Mrs, Mary C. Murless, completed, 

Newton, L. L. — Original manuscript written by Mr. William 0. Owen 
entitled "The First Ascent of the Grand Teton." 

Hoskins, W. C, — 25th and 26th Annual Frontier Day Programs. 

Committee on World Friendship Among Children — A book entitled 
"Dolls of Friendship." The story of a Gcodwill Project 
between the children of America and Japan, 

Cahill, T, Joe — Ticket and tag for an entertainment at Turner Hall. 

Schwoob, Jacob M, — Autographed photograph of himself. 

Coolidge, Porter B, — Autographed copy of a song entitled "0 Amer- 
ica." Words written by Mr. Coolidge. 

Williams, Mrs. Corrine — Picture of the cast in the opera "Cody Big 
Chief," which was written by Mrs. Williams, 

Allen, Mary Jester — Three poems, three pictures of the Cody Museum 
and one of Buffalo Bill's ranch near Cody. Print of 
Robert Lindneux' painting "Buffalo Bill- Yellow Hair 

Spurrier, Cleo Z, — Four arrowheads and two shells found on the site 
of the Wagon Box Fight. 


Lindsey, Ethel Leona — Thesis written on Edgar Wilson Nye and 
American Humor, which was submitted to the Depart- 
ment of English and the Comtoiittee on Graduate Work 
of the University of Wyoming in partial fulfillment of 
the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts. 

Faulk, J. Evelyn — Five pictures of the ruins of old Fort Steele. Two 
pieces of wood, a rock and a piece of plaster from the 
buildings of the old Fort. 

Owen, W. 0. — Original manuscript entitled "The First Ascent of the 
Grand Teton With a Little of Its History." 

Jackson, W. H. — Original manuscript regarding the First Photograph- 
ing of the Tetons. 

Leek, S. N. — Original manuscript and poem about the Tetons. 

Hebard, Grace Raymond — Original manuscript entitled "The Tetons 
Bid You Welcome." 

Marzel, John G. — A piece of pottery and one of iron found in Simp- 
son^s Hollow. 

Coble, Mrs. J. C. — Pictures of the first golf team of Laramie in 1902. 
This team won the State Championship at Cheyenne. 
Dr. Hebard is in the pictures. 

Arnold, C. P. — A booklet entitled "The Vanished Frontier," which con- 
tains addresses made at the State Fair at Douglas in 
September, 1928, at the annual meeting of the Wyoming 
Pioneer Association. A feature of the booklet is a story 
and poems by a native daughter and son. 

Newton, L. L. — Original manuscript written by Mrs. Charles Ellis 
of Difficulty, Wyoming, entitled "Medicine Bow, Wyo- 

Rhodes, Mrs. O. L. — A bowl and a cup with a handle cut by the In- 
dians from stiatite and a box of fossils found more than 
thirty years ago in the Wind River Mountains. 

McDole, R. S. — Four Philipine rifle shells used against the United 
States; primer for Spanish field gun; M,auser rifle 
shells; Remington shell; piece of wood from mast head 
of a Spanish ship; piece of shell from mast head; flint, 
steel, cotton (and case) used for striking fire. This was 
used by the Igorottes in Northern Luzon. The imple- 
ments were rolled in the case and carried in the hat 
band. Two pages from a Spanish pamphlet; two news- 
papers, Republica Filipina (Spanish) dated February 
16 and March 25, 1899; one newspaper (in English) The 
American, April 18, 1899; two certificates of personal 
identification used by the Philippinos and Spaniards. 

Shaffner, E. B. — A copy of the Annual Address made by C. P. Arnold, 
President, before the Wyoming Pioneer Association. 
One copy of "The Vanished Frontier." 


Logan, Mrs. J. S. — An original manuscript entitled "Story of the 
First Shot," written by Captain I. R. McLendon, Field 
Artillery U. S. Army, in 1918, for his nurse, Miss Mary 
L. Swan, while he was a patient in her ward. 

Mullen, Ellis — German 50 Pfg. issued in October, 1918. 

Newton, L. L. — One postcard picture and one enlargement of the three 
men who placed the Owen Memorial Tablet on the top 
of the Grand Teton at the Dedication of the Teton Na- 
tional Park, July 29, 1929. 

Adjutant General's Office — General Orders No. 3, Wyoming National 

Bishop, L. C. — A picture of Christian J. Repp, 1st Sgt., Co. "C", First 
Wyo. Vol. Inf., and Paul Spehr, Corp., Co. "G", 1st Wyo. 
Vol. Inf., taken with the 1st Battalion Wyoming Volun- 
teer Spanish-American War Flag. 


^nnals of ^gnmrng 


JANUARY, 1930 

No. 3 


Placing the Grand Teton Memorial Tablet F. M. Fryxell 

Reminiscences John Hunton 

The Grand Teton Park Dedication an Historic Epic D. W. Greenburg 

Economic History and Settlement of Converse County, 

Wyoming John Lee Roy Waller 


Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


^nnals nf pig0mtng 

Vol. 6 JANUARY, 1930 No. 3 


Placing the Grand Teton Memorial Tablet F. M. Fryxeli 

Reminiscences John Hunton 

The Grand Teton Park Dedication an Historic Epic D. W. Greenburg 

Economic History and Settlement of Converse County, 

Wyoming John Lee Roy Waller 


Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cjnrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Frank C. Emerson 

Secretary of State A. M. Clark 

State Librarian Mrs. Clare E. Ausherman 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Judge E. H. Fourt Lander 

Dr. Grace R. Hebard Laramie 

Mrs. C. L. Vandevender Basin 

Mr. C. F. Maurer Douglas 

Mr. Phillip E. Winter Casper 

Mrs. R. A. Ferguson Wheatland 

Mrs. M. M. Parmelee Buffalo 

Miss Spaeth Gillette 

Mrs. P. J. Quealy Kemmerer 

Neither the State Historical Board, the State Historical Advisory Board nor the 
State Historian is responsible for any statements made or opinions expressed by 
contributors to the Annals of Wyoming. 

(Copyright, 1930) 



Session Laws 1921 


Section 6. It shall be the duty of the State His- 
torian : 

(a) To collect books, maps, charts, documents, man- 
uscripts, other papers and any obtainable material illus- 
trative of the history of the State. 

(b) To procure from pioneers narratives of any ex- 
ploits, perils and adventures. 

(c) To collect and compile data of the events which 
mark the progress of Wyoming from its earliest day to 
the present time, including the records of all of the 
Wyoming men and women, who served in the World War 
and the history of all war activities in the State. 

(d) To procure facts and statements relative to the 
history, progress and decay of the Indian tribes and other 
early inhabitants within the State. 

(e) To collect by solicitation or purchase fossils, 
specimens, of ores and minerals, objects of curiosity con- 
nected with the history of the State and all such books, 
maps, writings, charts and other material as will tend to 
facilitate historical, scientific and antiquarian research. 

(f) To file and carefully preserve in his office in 
the Capitol at Cheyenne, all of the historical data col- 
lected or obtained by him, so arranged and classified as 
to be not only available for the purpose of compiling and 
publishing a History of Wyoming, but also that it may be 
readily accessible for the purpose of disseminating such 
historical or biographical information as may be reason- 
ably requested by the public. He shall also bind, cata- 
logue and carefully preserve all unbound books, manu- 
scripts, pamphlets, and especially newspaper files contain- 
ing legal notices which may be donated to the State His- 
torical Board. 

(g) To prepare for publication a biennial report of 
the collections and other matters relating to the transac- 
tion of the Board as may be useful to the public. 

(h) To travel from place to place, as the require- 
ments of the work may dictate, and to take such steps, 
not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as may be 
required to obtain the data necessary to the carrying out 
of the purpose and objects herein set forth. 

Scenes Taken at Dedication of New Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming' 

Photos by Stanley J. Mead. Engravings Courtesy "The Pepper Pot." 

^nnals nf pignmtng 

Vol. 6 JANUARY, 1930 No. 3 


By F. M. Fryxell 
Ranger-Naturalist, Grand Teton National Park 

Editor's Note. 

On February 9, 1927, the Nineteenth State Legislature of Wyo- 
ming, following an investigation of the question of who made the 
first ascent of the Grand Teton, passed by unanimous vote a Joint 
Resolution "declaring the first ascent of the Grand Teton Peak, in 
Teton County, Wyoming, to have been made by William O. Owen, 
Franklin S. Spalding, Frank L. Petersen, and John Shive, on August 
11, 1898, and providing for a public record of the achievement." 

Two years later, on February 21, 1929, the Twentieth State 
Legislature passed another Joint Resolution (introduced by Senator 
Robert C. Lundy) authorizing the "placement of a Bronze Tablet on 
the summit of the Grand Teton to commemorate the achievement of 
the Owen party." To make arrangements for the placing of the 
tablet, Governor Frank C. Emerson appointed the following com- 
mittee: Mr. Joseph W. Weppner, chairman; Dr. F. M. Fryxell, Mr. 
William O. Owen, Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, 
Senator Robert C. Lundy, Representative W. C. DeLoney, Mr. S. N. 
Leek, Mr. Phil Smith, and Mr. William Oilman. Mrs. Emma Matilda 
Owen, wife of the mountaineer, offered to donate the tablet, an offer 
which was gratefully accepted. Subsequently the Governor desig- 
nated Dr. Fryxell, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Oilman to make the actual 
ascent of the Grand Teton and affix the tablet on its summit. 

The placing of the Grand Teton Memorial Tablet was made a 
feature of the exercises held at the formal dedication of the Grand 
Teton National Park on the morning of July 29, 1929, at String 
Lake in Jackson Hole. Following the dedicatory ceremonies proper, 
the bronze plaque was unveiled by Governor Emerson's small son, 
Eugene. Mr. Joseph Weppner, representing the State of Wyoming, 
next introduced the members of the tablet committee, and then for- 
mally presented the tablet itself to Mr. Sam T. Woodring, Superin- 
tendent of the newly-created park, who gave the consent of the 
National Park Service to its placement and in turn entrusted its 
keeping to Dr. Fryxell, representative of the trio commissioned to 
make the ascent. Shortly after noon of the same day, the climbers 
departed, attaining the summit and fixing the tablet in place just 
twenty-four hours after the beginning of their journey. A detailed, 
official account of the climb written by one of its participants fol- 
lows. MRS. CYRUS BEARD, State Historian. 

Editor's Note: — Publication of the illustrations in this article is 
made possible through the courtesy of W. O. Owen and the members 
of the Teton Tablet party. 



At the conclusion of the impressive exercises which 
formally dedicated the Grand Teton National Park to the 
service of the American people, the hungry multitude gath- 
ered by String Lake was treated to an out-door fish lunch- 
eon. Considering the size of the crowd, it seemed almost 
like a modern version of the miracle story that there were 
enough fishes to go around. Ranger Phil Smith, William 
Oilman, and I took advantage of this diversion to appropri- 
ate the bronze tablet that had a few minutes before been 
the focus of interest, and with it in our possession slipped 
away to our camp at Jenny Lake. Here, undisturbed, we 


The Grand Teton, photographed from the summit of the Middle Teton. This picture 

shows the "upper saddle" between the main summit and the West Spur. 

The enclosure is built on the summit of the West Spur. 

Photo by F. M. Fryxell. 

made preparation for our trip. First, we carefully wrapped 
up the tablet in sheets of burlap, and tightly strapped it 
to the frame of a Bergans Meiss pack. Bedrolls, pro- 
visions, and the rest of our paraphernalia were next gotten 
ready, and the entire outfit turned over to our friend 
Aubrey Lyon, who had kindly placed a pack horse at our 
disposal and personally offered to transport our equipment 
as far as a horse could possibly take it. After lunch at 
Jenny Lake Inn, we set out ahead of the pack outfit, cross- 
ing Cottonwood Creek at the Lucas Ranch and cutting 


directly up Burned Wagon Gulch to the mouth of Bradley- 
Canyon where, according to arrangements, we were to wait 
for Mr. Lyon to catch up with us. 

We had planned to ascend Bradley Canyon the first 
afternoon, making base camp at timberline just below the 
"lower saddle." (1) But the pack outfit was unavoidably 
detained and did not reach us at the mouth of the canyon 
until nearly four o'clock. This, we knew, did not allow us 
time sufficient to reach the proposed base camp before 
dark, and we were therefore compelled at the outset to make 
a radical change of plans and adopt the alternative route 
past Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes and over Teepe's 

It was still quite light when we reached Amphitheater 
Lake (altitude 9,800 feet) and made ourselves at home in 
the little base camp which has served as a starting point for 
so many expeditions into the realm of rock and snow which 
lies above. Mr. Lyon unburdened the weary pack horse at 
this point, doubtless to the vast relief of that faithful crea- 
ture, wished us Godspeed, and set off down the trail for 

The Amphitheater Lake camp was anything but the 
silent and lonely place we had found it to be on previous 
trips. Earlier in the afternoon the Valley Ranch Outfit 
from near Cody, out on its annual pilgrimage, had come 
up the trail ahead of us and pitched camp along the edge 
of the lake. The outfit consisted, first and foremost, of 
some two score lively "dudines," girls 12 to 18 years of age, 
their seven lady councilors, and a half dozen ''roughnecks" 
(cook, teamsters, and horse- wranglers). Horses, girls, 
councilors, and roughnecks were swarming around the lake. 
All alike were out for a merry time and were certainly hav- 
ing it. The roughnecks and councilors immediately took 
possession of us, not giving us so much as time to unpack 
our supplies, and before we fully realized what had hap- 
pened we were enjoying a fine meal quite different from 
the humble one we would have cooked for ourselves. 

Dusk came and the girls kindled a dozen fires along 
the lake. The grey crags above the lake glowed faintly 
from the light of the flames, which dispelled the shadows 
about us as effectually as the screams and shouts did the 
silence. A little later we all assembled for the evening 
around one huge log fire, and for the benefit of the visHors 
the girls rehearsed their extensive repertoire of Valley 
Ranch songs. We will always recall that evening with genu- 

1. The "lower saddle" (altitude about 11,600 feet) referred to separates the 
Grand and Middle Tetons. 



ine pleasure, and with gratitude for the unexpected hos- 
pitality that came our way. We finally retired to our own 
little camp near-by, to take advantage of a few hours of 
rest before dawn. 

The party which placed the tablet on the summit of the Grand Teton, July 30, 1929. 

Wm. Gilman (left). Dr. F. M. Fryxell, and Ranger Phil Smith (right). 

Photo by Stanley J. Mead. 

Before daylight we were up, and by five o'clock were 
ready to leave camp. Our Valley Ranch neighbors, not to 
be outdone, were early risers too, and just as we started 
they filed past us, bound for the open mountainside below 
Surprise Lake, where they could look out across the basin 
and catch the sun's first appearing. 

The equipment for our day's work included the follow- 
ing articles: The bronze plaque (weighing about 20 
pounds), a prospector's pick, an ice axe, a 60-foot alpine 
rope, a package of cement, a kodak, an aneroid barometer, 
a Brunton pocket transit, a pack in which to collect rock 
specimens, and a light lunch. Three drills were already on 
the summit of the peak, having been brought up on the 21st 
by Ranger Smith. As far as the "upper saddle" (2) we 
took turns with the pack containing the tablet, each man 
carrying it about one-third of the distance. 

Crossing the rim north of Amphitheater Lake, we 
dropped down to the south margin of the North Teton 

2. The "upper saddle" (altitude about 13,100 feet) lies between the main summit 
of the Grand Teton and a lesser one to the west, often called the West Spur. 


Glacier. (3) Here a long, steep, snow-filled coulior leads 
up to the east end of a route which enables one to skirt the 
south flank of the Grand Teton and reach a point on the 
southwest side of the peak, half-way between the lower 
and upper saddles. This is the "short cut" we had, per- 
force, adopted as a substitute for the more round-about 
Bradley Canyon route. The route is formed along the out- 
crop of a trap dike which extends transversely across the 
Teton Range for several miles and at this point cuts through 
the steep south side of the Grand Teton. Against the grey 
and pink gneiss of the range the dike forms a conspicuous 
black band (4) forty to sixty feet wide, which is especially 
striking seen from the west side of the range. Because the 
dike has weathered away more rapidly than has the rock it 
cuts, its course is marked by a trough which extends 
through the south slope of the Grand Teton. Along its outer 
wall is left a ragged ridge of rock and a succession of 
gigantic pinnacles, of which Teepe's Pillar is by far the 
most spectacular member. 

This "dike route" has been used in recent years by a 
number of parties in ascending the Grand Teton. At best, 
traversing involves an element of uncertainty, depending 
upon the amount and condition of the snow which one 
chances to encounter along it. Under favorable conditions 
it may be a short cut; at other times it may be quite the 
opposite, for if it contains snow which is crusted over, one 
is compelled to cut hundreds of steps — a tedious and time- 
consuming process. 

Our traverse of the dike route was made under favor- 
able auspices. We found less snow along the defile than on 
any previous occasion, and by this time the sun had risen 
high enough for its rays to shine full on the snowfields, 
softening the surface so that one could readily kick steps. 
Consequently we made good time, and at 6:55 had reached 
the end of the couloir and were ready to start up Teepe's 

Teepe's Glacier is a small ice field — the smallest of the 
three the Grand Teton bears on its slopes — of the "cliff" 
variety which hangs on the south face of the peak at an 
altitude of 11,600 to 12,100 feet. It, too, lies along the dike 
trough, but has widened this otherwise very narrow cleft 

3. This glacier, so-called for lack of any generally accepted name and to dis- 
tinguish it from the glacier that lies at the head of Bradley Canyon, occupies a great 
amphitheater between Mt. Owen and the Grand Teton, on the east side of the range. 

4. This is one of three great dikes which occur in the range, all visible from 
the floor of Jackson Hole. The other two are much the more striking scenic features, 
the one appearing as a vertical black band traversing the east face of the Middle 
Teton, the other one visible near the top of Mt. Moran, on the southeast side of that 
peak. All three dikes can be traced far down the west slope of the range. 



into a shallow amphitheater. From its south margin juts 
Teepe's Pillar, the most magnificent "needle" in the Teton 
Range, a colossal column of red granite. Glacier and pillar 
have been known by their respective names since 1925 when, 
on August 4th, the ill-fated mountaineer, Theodore Teepe, 
was killed in descending this ice-field. 

Our ascent of the glacier did not prove particularly dif- 
ficult and occurred without incident of note. From here 
on no more snow was encountered, except for a few local 

Ranger Smith, taking his turn at packing the tablet. In the couloir leading up to the 
second saddle. Photo by F. M. Fryxell. 


patches, until on the return trip. We continued along 
black dike, hugging closely the base of the cliffs on 
right, to a point above the lower saddle ; here we turned at 
right angles and climbed the series of "chimneys" which 
leads up the southwest side of the Grand Teton to the upper 


saddle. We reached the latter at eleven o'clock and here 
made our first prolonged stop, while we ate our lunch and 
studied the maze of serrate ridges and peaks which, beyond 
the dizzy depths of Glacier Canyon, lay to the north of us. 

Eelieving ourselves of every article for which we would 
have no use on the summit, we entered upon the last portion 
of the climb. The features encountered in ascending the 
final seven or eight hundred feet of the Grand Teton have 
been too often described to require description here. (5) 
It suffices to say that the steep couloirs leading up the 
northwest side of the peak to the extreme summit were 
nearly ice-free, and we therefore experienced no difficulty in 
getting up places which are, at times, highly perilous. 
Where we had to push the tablet along before us, as in "the 
cooning place," or pass it up the couloirs from hand to hand, 
we took the precaution of securing it with the alpine rope, 
the ends of which were tied around our waists, lest the 
precious pack slip from us and be lost over the sheer north 
precipice, which at this point has a drop of more than three 
thousand feet. 

It is perhaps true that a few writers have exaggerated 
the dangers involved in an ascent of the Grand Teton; cer- 
tainly there are several peaks in this same range which, 
though not so high, are much more difficult and dangerous 
to climb. Yet it is no less true that others have erred more 
seriously in belittling the danger of the ascent, probably be- 
cause — like us — they were fortunate enough to climb the 
peak under favorable circumstances. Even at its kindliest 
the Grand Teton is a mountain to be treated with caution 
and respect, and is hardly a playground for amateurs. In 
its cruel moods, when the northwest face may be ice- 
coated, or when cold winds, often of fearful velocity, sweep 
the exposed summit dome, even the professional alpinist 
had best pause and consider well before venturing beyond 
the upper saddle. And the moods of the peak are capricious, 
changing with apalling swiftness in the course of the day. 
On the descent there is always the danger which extreme 
fatigue brings on, leading to accidents in places which ap- 
pear relatively safe and easy. It is to be feared that as the 
Grand Teton becomes more accessible and increasingly 
larger number of climbers aspire to its ascent, many of 

5. See especially the following articles : 

William O. Owen, "Ascent of the Grand Teton." Outing, Vol. 38 (1901), 302-307. 

Ellingwood, A. E., "Our American Matterhorn." Outdoor Life, Vol. 54 (1924), 

For a fuller list of references on the Grand Teton see the Bibliography by the 
author in the "Circular of General Informaiton Regarding Grand Teton National 
Park, . Wyoming," issued annually by the U. S. National Park Service at Washington. 



them ill-qualified for the attempt, the peak will exact a 
heavier toll in life and accident than it has in the past. 

At 12:45 P. M. we sighted the summit cairn, 13,747 
feet above the sea. This being his first ascent of the peak, 
it was Oilman's ''honor" and he was first to set foot on the 
summit. The aneroid read 13,000 feet. Some persons 
watching the peak through glasses from down in the valley 
began seeing us on top as early as ten o'clock in the morn- 

B'usily at work on the summit. Gilman, in the background, is flashing signals to 

watchers down in Jackson Hole, almost 8,000 feet below. Smith is drilling 

holes in the rock, preparatory to fixing the tablet. Jackson Lake 

is seen far below. Photo by F. M. Fryxell. 

Work was begun at once. There was no argument as 
to where the tablet should rest, for at the base of the cairn 
was a large boulder, the highest in situ on the mountain, 
with a smooth vertical surface facing the east; this, we 
agreed, would be an ideal place for the tablet. It seemed 


appropriate that the plaque should face Jackson Hole and 
the east; at the same time, on this side it would be some- 
what protected from storms. To afford the best view pos- 
sible of the surface selected, we rolled aside several large 
obstructing boulders. The exact position of the tablet was 
then determined; its top was leveled with the transit; and 
the points on the rock where holes to receive the pins must 
be drilled, carefully marked. 

The task of drilling the two holes came next. Only- 
one man could find room at a time to work at this, so mean- 
v/hile the others took turns flashing signals down into the 
valley, nearly 8,000 feet below, by means of the mirror in 
the transit. These signals were not received by those for 
whom they were chiefly intended — the Owens, Dr. Hebard, 
Mrs. Beard, Mrs. Fryxell, and a few others — at the Elbo 
Ranch and Timbered Island; but they were picked up at 
several other places in Jackson Hole. However, most of 
the watchers had no difficulty in seeing our figures oc- 
casionally, as we moved about, and so knew we were safe 
on the summit. 

While on top we were treated to one of those weather 
caprices already referred to of which the Grand Teton is 
capable. On our arrival the weather was fair enough, 
though rather warm. Very soon, however, thunder clouds 
began to build up to the north, south, and west of us. The 
heat and sultriness became intense, and we were wet with 
perspiration. Each man worked feverishly at the drill, for 
we had no desire to be caught on top should a storm break. 
Fortunately none of the electrical pranks so frequently ex- 
perienced on Teton peaks occurred to increase the discom- 
fort. By 2:15 o'clock it was raining on the higher slopes 
of Mt. Moran, Mt. Wister, and elsewhere, and the clouds 
seemed to be closing in on us. At 2:40 when we left the 
summit, the aneroid actually indicated an altitude for the 
summit of 14,100 feet — an increase of 400 feet in two hours I 
The upper saddle similarly gave a reading 400 feet higher 
during the descent than had been observed on the ascent. 
A striking illustration, this, of the unreliability of an 
aneroid barometer under changing atmospheric conditions 
as an indicator of altitude. 

The hammer was light, the boulder hard, and the drills 
became dull, and it required an hour of incessant pounding 
to produce holes deep enough for the long, expanded pins 
on the back of the tablet. Water for mixing with the 
cement was by this time available, for we had set a cup 
of snow in the sun to melt. The holes were filled with 
cement and the tablet pushed into place. 


The plaque was then draped with the historic little silk 
flag which Dr. Hebard had loaned to us for this occasion, 
one used in the past at the dedication of nearly all the state 
memorial tablets. At 2:30 o'clock the tablet was unveiled 
in place, **in the name of God and Country." So, on this 
barren and austere summit, 13,747 feet above the sea, on 
behalf of the Wyoming commonwealth, the memorial was 
briefly and simply dedicated. There were only three pres- 
ent to witness and perform the ceremony, and doubtless in 
the years to come those who would annually view the me- 
morial in place would be comparatively few. 

Our task discharged, we started down without delay. 
The descent to the upper saddle required only twenty-five 
minutes. Smith not having seen the Enclosure (6), he and 
I made the short side-trip over to examine this mysterious 
structure. Once more every stone was scrutinized and the 
floor examined in the faint hope that some mark might be 
found which would give up the secret of the builder, but to 
no purpose. Incidentally, however, I recovered a Stetson 
hat which I had ''cached" in the Enclosure on August 2, 
1927, while climbing the main peak. The felt was as good 
as ever, but the brim was trimmed back almost to the 
crown. Neat little teeth marks indicated that conies were 
probably the culprits that had been up to this mischief. 

Meanwhile light clouds closed in on the Grand Teton, 
bringing a flurry of snow in the vicinity of the upper saddle 
and a cold drizzle at lower altitudes. We found Oilman 
waiting for us a few hundred feet below, dry and comfort- 
able beneath an overhanging boulder, and together we con- 
tinued the descent in the direction of the lower saddle, until 
the trap dike was again underfoot. We pushed on with 
utmost speed, appreciating the importance of getting down 
off the mountain before dark, and feeling sure that those 
waiting for us below would be concerned for our safety 
after learning from Mr. Lyon of our change of route. 

Reaching the head of Teepe's Glacier, we paused 
briefly ; it was clear that the descent of this ice field would 
not be the easy proposition which the ascent had been in 
the morning. We were beginning to feel the strain of the 
trip, and were wet and chilled from the cold rain. The 
steps we had made in the snow that morning were obliter- 

6. The so-called "Enclosure" is a rude structure of rock slabs set up on end to 
form a circular shelter about eight feet in diameter and two or three feet high. It 
must have been intended to serve as a wind-break, there having been no roof possible 
on such a structure. The presence on its floor of an accumulation of dust to a 
depth of several inches has been taken to indicate the great age of the shelter. The 
Enclosure is clearly the work of human hands, and since its discovery in 1872 by 
Stevenson and Langford has given rise to a great deal of interest and Bpeculation. 
Undoubtedly it was hurriedly erected as a protection against the elements, probably 
by some early adventurer who was attempting to scale the Grand Teton. 


ated, and the surface had for the most part become so hard 
as to necessitate step cutting. The head of the glacier was 
dangerously steep, and appeared doubly so seen from its 
brink. Glissading was quite out of the question. We real- 
ized that the success and good fortune attending our trip 
up to this moment must not blind us to the necessity for 
extreme caution at this point. 

Two small "islands" of rock that melting had exposed 
within the field of ice lay directly below us. We decided to 
make for the more southerly of these. Anchoring one end 
of the rope, Smith and Oilman dropped the remainder down 
the steep slope and I descended along this to the end, which 
fell about thirty feet short of the rock. Using my pros- 
pector's pick for cutting steps in the surface (here, hard 
ice), I reached the rock. Meanwhile my partners decided 
it would be preferable to traverse diagonally to the other 
rock and thence straight across to the one on which I stood. 
After an exceedingly slow and tedious process of step-cut- 
ting, they finally attained their first objective, taking turns 
anchoring each other on the way across. 

The north island was less than twenty feet in diameter, 
very steep, and as a result of the melting and rain, wet and 
slippery. Crawling out as near to me as possible. Smith 
attempted to throw me one end of the rope. His position 
was precarious and did not permit a good throw, conse- 
quently he failed at each attempt. We were by this time 
chilled to the bone and shaking with cold, and dark was not 
far off; our situation was becoming serious. Moving to a 
more secure point farther down. Smith repeated his efforts, 
and was at last successful. I secured the end of the rope 
and looped it securely over a large boulder; Smith tied his 
end around his waist, threw a half-hitch over his ice axe, 
and wedged the latter into the crevice between the ice and 
the rock. Oilman then began the traverse, following the 
rope. Half-way across, his feet shot from under him and 
he pitched down the steep slope. The rope snapped taut, 
and nearly jerked Smith from his moorings. Fortunately 
the ice axe held, and Oilman retained his grip on the rope. 
After a few seconds of astonishing acrobatics he recovered 
his footing and finished the traverse. Smith then came 
across hand over hand. 

This was our only near-mishap. The boulder to which 
my end of the rope was anchored was absolutely firm and 
would have held both men if necessary. But Oilman was 
not tied, and had he lost his grip when the rope became 
tight he would have taken a bad plunge. Later we learned 
that it was at this point that Teepe, whose party was 



descending the head of the glacier without the use of a 
rope, fell to his death. 

Taking every precaution, we slowly descended to the 
more gentle lower slopes of the glacier, down which we 
could glissade. The snow-filled couloir beyond was similarly 
more difficult of passage than it had been in the morning, 
but was passed without accident. 

Crossing the glacier had cost us nearly two hours time, 
and it was almost eight o'clock when we reached the now 
deserted and nearly dark camp on Amphitheater Lake. Out 
of consideration for those awaiting our return, we decided 

The unveiling at 2 :30 P. M., July 30. Only three were present when, "in the name 

of God and country," the tablet was dedicated on this lonely pinnacle 13,747 

feet above the sea, but dozens of watchers were focussing their glasses 

on the summit from various parts of Jackson Hole, and caught 

occasional glimpses of the men on top. Dr. Fryxell, right ; 

Ranger Smith, left. Photo by Wm. Oilman. 

in favor of making the rest of the descent that night, in 
spite of the dark. We knew, too, that Mrs. Beard was de- 
laying her return to Cheyenne on purpose to receive our 
report, so we decided to make every effort to get down on 
time before she would leave. 

The rest of the trip was a nightmare at the time, and 
seems so now in retrospection. Heavily loaded with the 
sleeping bags and the rest of the luggage which the pack- 
horse had brought up to the lake, we groped our way pain- 



fully down the trail in the dark, stumbling over boulders 
and repeatedly taking bad falls. The darkness was intense 
for the clouds hung against the mountainsides at our level, 
depriving us even of starlight. True, we had one flash- 
light, but its light began to fade before we were a third of 
the way down, and it had to be used sparingly lest it give 
out entirely. Down here no rain had fallen, and dust lay 
thick along the packtrail; as we kicked it up in clouds we 
developed a thirst which, prolonged for hours, became 
acute. The nearest water was far out on the flat of Jack- 
son Hole. Hour after hour we stumbled silently along. 
Stops to allow ourselves and the flashlight to recuperate 
became successively longer and more frequent, and only the 
craving for water kept us from yielding to fatigue and 
drowsiness. The base of the range was at last reached, but 
the timbered moraines along Burned Wagon Gulch still had 
to be traversed and proved worse than the mountainside 
because of the tangle of wind-falls. Luckily I had gone 
through this portion of the forest several times before in 
the dark. At one o'clock we emerged from the last fringe 
of forest into the clearing back of the Lucas Ranch, where 
relief was to be had from the rushing waters of the Cotton- 
wood Creek. 

Leaving Smith and Oilman outside the ranch, I con- 
tinued to Jenny Lake which I reached at two o'clock. Here 
I located a car and returned to the other two men. To- 
gether we drove to Smith's homestead — "the poorfarm" he 
calls it — at the base of Blacktail Butte, where we roused 
the women folks and set their growing fears at rest. We 
learned that they had waited for us until a late hour be- 
fore giving up. Earlier in the evening the Lyons had sent 
a string of horses part way up the mountainside for our 
relief, but they had returned at nightfall. 

At "the poorfarm" Mrs. Atwood warmed up the meal 
which had been waiting on the table for nearly nine hours. 
We then drove back to our camp on Jenny Lake where, 
after exactly twenty-four hours of constant activity, we 
turned in for a much-needed rest. 

^S' ■■* HON ■ wn.Li^:H 0; (i^m^^ ENGIN££R:^N:!):-;SCgVEV:ci?:; ;■ 

St«;s-a.SLET PLACED HERK'SiMjNG T;»£ :C0NVEkt30N>pF;j'itE 

grand: -TETON: N AT lONAI; :TrA]lK : 


Photo by 
W. O. Owen. 



March, 1926 

Prior to the spring of the year 1867, there were no 
white inhabitants living within the area of what is now 
Platte County, Wyoming, except a few, less than ten, along 
the Oregon Trail along the Platte river valley east of Guern- 
sey, on Little Bitter Cottonwood, Twin Springs, and Horse- 
shoe Creeks, and one family at Bridger's Ferry. During the 
summer of 1867 the U. S. Government opened a road and 
erected a telegraph line between Fort Laramie and Fort 
D. A. Russell near Cheyenne. 

During that summer James Bordeaux built a house at 
the place called Bordeaux. His building was located about 
250 feet west of the L. D. Ranch, just south of and adjoin- 
ing the two-room house that stands there. A man named 
Hugh Whiteside ran this road ranch for Bordeaux, and 
was assassinated by a man named Franklin during the win- 
ter of 1867 and 1868 and was buried on the right bank of 
Hunton Creek near where the railroad bridge crosses it. 

During the fall of 1867, two men built and operated 
a ranch where the town of Chugwater now stands. About 
the same time two other men btiilt ranches on Big Bitter 
Cottonwood Creek where the rTetterman Cut-off" road 
crosses the creek at the M. F. Coleman place. The Fetter- 
man cut-off road diverged from the Fort Laramie and Fort 
D. A. Russell road at Bordeaux, ran down the Chugwater 
Creek valley, and crossed the Laramie river a short dis- 
tance below the railroad bridge, crossed Bitter Cottonwood 
Creek at the Coleman place, and continued on to Fort Fet- 

Th^re were three ranches in the Platte Valley south of 
the river and east of Guernsey, one at Twin Springs and one 
at Horseshoe Creek, on what is now the Allan Laughlin 
farm. All the ranches on Cottonwood Creek, Twin Springs 
and Horseshoe Creek were burned by Sioux Indians about 
the 18th of March, 1868. All the burned ranches were lo- 
cated in what is now Platte County. All the ranches in the 
Platte Valley east of Guernsey were abandoned at that 
time, and the valley was not occupied for five or six years 
thereafter. From March, 1868, to about September, 1871, 
Bordeaux, Chugwater and Bearsprings contained the only 
buildings in what is now Platte County. 

In the fall of 1871 Ecoffey, Cuny and Richard (Re- 
shaw) settled at what is now the Two Bar Ranch with a 
herd of about 600 Texas cattle. About the same time, but 


later in the fall, Levy Powell settled on the North Laramie 
River at the mouth of Fish Creek with a mixed herd of 
2200 Texas cattle. He built a small house and stable just 
to winter in, as he expected to go to Montana the next sum- 
mer, but he was killed by Indians in March, 1872, and the 
herd was sold to F. M. Phillips, who was then being located 
on Laramie River at the mouth of Chugwater Creek. 

Kent, Brook & Co. subsequently settled on the Powell 
place. In 1872, Jones and Loomis put in a herd on Sibylee 
Creek at the Jones ranch, and about the same time Dan 
McUlvan and John McFarland put in a herd on Chugwater 
Creek where Slater now stands, and a little later Wulfjen 
and Webb started the Mule Shoe ranch with about 2500 
head of Texas cattle. Johnson & Walker put cattle — 3,000 
head — on Horseshoe Creek at the Fetterman crossing, in 
1874, and in 1877 they moved their herd and outfit to where 
Chriss Huff now lives. They had three herders killed by 
Indians during their stay on Horseshoe Creek. 

John Arthur, Mr. Workman, Stewart and others, set- 
tled on Bitter Cottonwood Creek in 1874, but did not remain 
long after having their horses run off once or oftener by 

In 1871, Col. W. G. Bullock had a house, stabie, corral 
and small shop built on Laramie River where Mr. Bomgard- 
ner now lives, and put a few head of cattle and horses there, 
but the Indians were so annoying he moved all his stock to 
Bordeaux in the spring of 1872. As there were no other 
ranches or cattle on the Laramie River at that time, the 
hay on Bullock's ranch was cut and hauled to Bordeaux for 
two years and for four years was sold at Fort Laramie. 

The buildings at the Bullock ranch were covered with 
three-inch plank that had been used for flooring in the first 
wagon bridge constructed across the Laramie River at the 
fort in 1853. The planks were laid on the stringers or joists 
and then covered with earth. All the buildings have been 
torn down and moved away except the main log building, 
which is in fairly good condition and is only kept as a relic 
of the early days, as it shows the portholes for shooting 
through in case of attack by Indians and shows some of the 
lumber made by the first sawmill located at Fort Laramie 
seventy-two years ago — the plank supporting the earth 

A great many thrilling incidents occurred between the 
whites and Indians during the late sixties and the early 
seventies along the Chugwater Creek, which shows the con- 
tinuous watchfulness that had to be kept up by the white 
men to protect their lives and property from Indian depre- 
dations. I will relate a few of them : 


In the winter of 1869 and 1870, Ben Mills, who had a 
small herd of stock cattle on the Laramie River, and had 
suffered heavily from Indian depredations, moved the herd 
to Chugwater Creek, and in the early summer the herders, 
David Cottier, John Boyd and William Aug, established 
their camp at the mouth of Richard's Creek. They lived in 
a tent and had three horses with which they did all the herd- 
ing and team work. One morning in April, 1870, Mr. Cot- 
tier took the team and wagon and went to Fort Laramie for 
supplies, leaving the one horse and Boyd and Aug. They 
had four milk cows and kept the calves confined in a small 
pen to entice the cows to come up at night. After Cottier 
left for the Fort they (Boyd and Aug) milked the cows and 
turned them out of the pen. They then took their rifles and 
walked to the tops of some of the hills nearby to see if the 
cattle were much scattered. They thought they were away 
from the camp about four hours or more. After getting 
back to camp, feeling very tired, they went into the tent 
and pulled off their boots to rest and ease their feet and 
were lying down on their beds, which were buffalo robes 
spread on the ground, when a volley was fired through the 
tent by Indians. Each man grabbed his rifle and cartridge 
belt and dashed out of the tent through the willows and into 
Chugwater Creek. As they had been lying flat on the 
ground, they were fortunately not touched by the bullets 
(twelve of them) fired by the Indians. They were then in 
the Chugwater Creek, barefooted and no coats, four miles 
from Bordeaux and eight miles below Chugwater Station. 
As the Indians saw them go into the willows with their 
rifles, they knew it would be dangerous to expose them- 
selves. Boyd had been a soldier and had campaigned in 
Florida and in Oregon against Indians and had been twice 
wounded by arrows, so was not easily excited. After de- 
liberating a short time, he and Aug decided it would be 
safest to go up the creek, as the banks of the creek were 
much higher and there was more timber than there was 
down stream. They took time and great care. The Indians 
discovered them in the creek just below Chimney Rock and 
fired several shots at them and again, about a mile above 
Chimney Rock, they were shot at but not hit. Boyd and 
Aug did not fire a shot. There was a camp of white men 
and halfbreeds at the point of rocks two miles below Chug 
station, which Boyd and Aug reached before dark, and were 
well cared for there. The next day they and a party of men 
went to their camp and found the Indians had killed the four 
cows and four calves, and burned the tent and everything 
connected with the camp. 


Several days after the foregoing occurrence a party of 
Indians, supposed to be the same party that attacked Boyd 
and Aug, attacked the camp at Point of Rocks. The Indians 
had rounded up the herd of horses, mules and ponies before 
being discovered, but could not get them to drive well. 
Louis Richard and two other halfbreed boys mounted their 
horses, after arming themselves, and started for the herd. 
Just as they started, a party of Indians fired into the camp. 
Young Richard yelled out, ''You men take care of the camp, 
I'm going for the herd." There were only a few shots ex- 
changed at the camp. No one was hurt. After running 
about half a mile to get to the herd, Louis commenced to 
fire on the most active of the three Indians and fortunately 
killed him. Two boys who were assisting him to drive the 
herd off then ran and joined the Indians who had fired on 
the camp. The dead Indian remained where he fell, very 
near the Fort Laramie road, and was there the next morn- 
ing when the mail ambulance passed from Fort Russell to 
Fort Laramie. 

Late in the fall of 1867, after winter had forced the 
cessation of all work, many of the small teaming outfits and 
individual freight, wood and hay haulers, congregated on 
Sibylee Creek where the Two Bar ranch now stands. It was 
a very promiscuous gathering of whites, Mexicans and In- 
dians, and, as usual for such crowds, there was much drink- 
ing and gambling indulged in, and consequently much fight- 
ing and several killings. The only killing of any note that 
I can now recall was that of "Bob" Sanders, who was what 
would now be called a ''gun man." There was a young man 
named Ed Moss who had been a telegraph line repairer and 
emergency operator in the employ of the Government dur- 
ing the summer, but had been, laid off for the winter, but, 
not wanting to leave the country, he joined this camp on 
the Sibylee. Sanders took a dislike to him from the start 
and one night imposed on and insulted him, with the avowed 
intention of provoking a quarrel and killing him, as Sanders 
had on a belt with two revolvers in the holsters. Moss, 
being something of an athlete, and Sanders, priding him- 
self on his quickness to draw and shoot, approached within 
a few feet of Moss, when Moss made a spring, knocked San- 
ders down and, upon the yelling advice of all the bystanders, 
killed him with one of his own pistols. The crowd wrapped 
Sanders in an old blanket or robe and buried him on the west 
side of the creek before he was cold. 

During the winter of 1869 and 1870 the same class of 
campers again gathered at the same place on Sibylee Creek 
to spend the winter. Many of them had one team of oxen or 
m.ules and some one span of horses, with which they did a 


little work during the summer and fall. Some of them only 
had a few ponies but most of the men had Indian wives 
which caused some Indians to visit this camp. At this time 
the mail was carried by Government ambulance between 
Cheyenne and Fort Laramie, and the driver was allowed to 
take loose mail and leave it with the ranchmen at Chugwater 
and Bordeaux. The mail was carried once a week each 
way. The people at the camp on the Sibylee got their mail 
at Bordeaux, fourteen miles distant. In the camp was a 
man named Mahlon Dickerson. Some time early in the year 
it became Dickerson's turn to go to Bordeaux for the mail. 
He left camp one afternoon and went to Bordeaux. Next 
morning he took the mail and started back to camp. When 
near the top of Antelope Hill, where the trail began to dis- 
cend toward Sibylee Creek, he was jumped on by nine (I 
think) Indians. Being mounted on a splendid horse, he 
immediately started to run. I will now give an Indian's 
story as I heard him tell it at a dog feast given at Red Cloud 
Agency on the Platte three years afterwards — I think in 
December, 1873. 

"We shot at him and missed him. He run and his horse 
was fast. We saw we could not catch him. We all had long 
guns and jumped off our horses and shot. We saw his horse 
fall. He got up and had a pistol. We shot at him. He com- 
menced to talk to us in Sioux and to make signs. He told 
us he had a Sioux wife named 'Yellow Blanket;' not to kill 
him; to go to his camp on Sibylee Creek and get plenty to 
eat and some horses. We told him not to shoot; we would 
do as he said. We went to him. He had put his pistol in 
the scabbard. He took his saddle off his horse. His horse 
was black and one of its hind legs was broken where one of 
the bullets had struck. We had extra horses. He asked 
us to let him ride one. We showed him one and he put his 
saddle on it. We were all on the ground. Some of us got 
on horses. I stayed on the ground. He put his foot in the 
stirrup to get on the horse, and I put my pistol close to the 
back of his head and shot him. He fell, and I scalped him. 
I took his pistol!!!" 

There was much more detail to the foregoing story, but 
I have given all essential facts as I listened to the Indian 
relate them. He was a halfbreed named 'Tutts Son." His 
father, John Tutt, was the first sutler at Fort Laramie, be- 
ing appointed in 1849 and holding the job until 1857. 

-In February, 1874, Col. Wm. G. Bullock and "Jim" 
Hunton left Bordeaux to go to Fort Fetteman. They drove 
a pair of mules to a spring wagon. There was no one living 
on the road between Bordeaux and Fetterman at that time. 


John Hunton had constructed a small two room log house 
on Horse Shoe Creek at the Fetterman road crossing the 
winter before, but it was not occupied at this time. It had 
no fireplace or stove. Bullock and *'Jim" got to this house 
about sunset ; watered the mules and put them in one room 
of the house ; made a small fire in front of the other door ; 
and made coffee and ate their supper by the light of the 
fire. They then spread buffalo robes on the ground in the 
room and were ready for bed, as both were tired, but stood 
and sat a while by the fire. The mules seemed to get un- 
easy and would jump and stamp as if something was wrong. 
Mr. Bullock suggested they had better put the fire out and 
lie down. Jim had just finished extinguishing the fire and 
started for the door when they heard one Indian yelling to 
another something about the water in the creek. Neither of 
them spoke Sioux, but Mr. Bullock understood a few words 
and knew when they spoke of water or creek. They went 
into the house and spent an uneasy night. One or the other 
was awake on on the lookout all the time, the one on guard 
spending much of the time in the room with the mules to 
prevent their braying. 

Just a little before daylight they hitched the mules to 
the wagon as quietly as they could and drove out the same 
way they went in until they reached the Fetterman road, and 
then turned and went on toward that place, driving as 
quietly as possible for several miles. They reached Fetter- 
man late that afternoon, and were surprised to find them- 
selves so heartily welcomed, as it had just been telegraphed 
from Fort Laramie to Fetterman that there was but little 
doubt that they had been killed by Indians. 

It was subsequently ascertained from the Indians com- 
posing the party, heard by Mr. Bullock and Jim, that they 
left their camp a little after daylight and went south over 
the divide to Cottonwood Creek, and while crossing the di- 
vide saw a train of mule wagons, known as the log or saw- 
mill train, on the road leading from the log camp near Lara- 
mie Peak to Fort Laramie. That they immediately began 
to watch for any soldier or hunter who might straggle away 
from the train so they might try to kill them. That they 
saw three men ride on ahead and away from the train to- 
ward the Cottonwood Creek. That they rode fast and ap- 
proached the three men without themselves being discov- 
ered, and as soon as a suitable opportunity presented itself, 
shot and killed two of them. The other man not being hit 
and being well mounted, ran and got back to the wagon 
train. One of the men killed was Lieutenant Levi H. Robin- 
son, 14th Infantry, after whom Fort Robinson, Nebraska, 


was named. The other two men were soldiers in the 14th 
U. S. Infantry. The name of the man who escaped was 
Fred Wambold. The Indians took the horses and equip- 
ment and everything of value there was on the dead and 
and mutilated their bodies. The leader of the Indians was 
a renegade halfbreed named Tousant Kensler, who had es- 
caped from the Cheyenne jail a few months previous where 
he was confined for the murder of a Mexican herder at the 
Two Bar ranch in 1873. Soon after the Robinson killing, he 
was captured at the Red Cloud Agency by Lieutenants Ray 
and Crawford and hanged in Cheyenne for killing the Mex- 
ican. Lieutenant Robinson was killed February 9, 1874. 

In the winter of 1867, after Hugh Whiteside was killed 
by Franklin at Bordeaux, as before mentioned, Mr. James 

Bordeaux permitted two men, ''Cy" Williams and 

Swalley, to occupy the ranch and use it for themselves. 
They had in their employ a halfbreed boy about eighteen 
years old, named Baptiste La Deau. About the first of 
March, 1868, he told them he was going to quit and go 
to Fort Laramie to his father. After breakfast one morn- 
ing he saddled his pony and, calling his pet dog, mounted 
and started for the Fort. There were three or four men 
(hard characters) loafing about the ranch, and after the boy 
started Williams remarked to one of them in the presence 
of the others, "He will never get there. Come on and go 
with us." So Williams and Swalley and the man started 
on horse back. They overtook the boy just south of Chug 
Spring and as soon as he saw them coming he started his 
horse on the run for the bluff, but they having much better 
horses than the boy, came up with him on top of the bluff 
about a quarter of a mile west of Chug Spring and shot and 
killed the boy, horse and dog, and left them where they fell. 

As there was but very little travel on the road at that 
time, it was more than a week before the boy's father and 
brothers heard that he was missing. After they heard he 
had left the ranch they paid no attention to his absence, as 
they thought he was at some Indian camp. About 
a month had elapsed after the boy was killed when 
General Adam J. Stemmer, on his way from Chey- 
enne to Fort Laramie with an escort of twenty-five in- 
fantry soldiers, camped at Chug Spring for the night. They 
went into camp early in the afternoon. After the soldiers 
had had their dinner, some of them went walking about the 
bluffs and discovered the remains of the boy, the horse and 
the dog. As soon as General Stemmer got to the fort the 
next morning he told of the discovery his men had made. 
Antoine La Deau, the boj^'s father, was employed as an 


Indian interpreter at the sutler's store and was the first one 
to receive the news, and at once communicated it to the 
loafers and Indians. A great howl went up from the half- 
breed and Indian camp. The next morning a party of half- 
breeds went to Chug Spring and buried the boy where he 

The murderers denied the killing and were never ar- 
rested, as there was no civil government in the country at 
the time. The man Cy Williams was considered a bad man, 
as he had killed a wagon master, Lewis Simpson, at Fort 
Laramie the year before. 

The sequel to the killing at Chug Spring was about as 
follows : 

In the spring and early summer of 1868 the Govern- 
ment, having induced the Indians to consent to be moved 
to White Clay River, near Fort Randall on the Missouri 
River; then to concentrate into one large camp east of 
Ft. Laramie about 8 miles, preparatory to starting about the 
latter part of May or the first of June. This mobilization 
included all white men with Indian families who cared to 
make the move. Cy Williams, having an Indian wife, aban- 
doned Bordeaux late in March or early in April and moved 
to the Indian camp east of Fort Laramie so as to be ready 
to start with the Indians. After his wife had been inter- 
viewed by the relations of the murdered La Deau boy, Wil- 
liams was openly accused of the killing, which he denied, 
and was secretly and closely watched to see that he did not 
attempt to leave the camp. This condition of affairs lasted 
about a week, or when some drunken halfbreeds precipi- 
tated a gun fight. Williams was killed, but not before he 
had killed one halfbreed, Charley Richard, and wounded two 
other halfbreeds, Joe Bissnette and one whose name I have 
forgotten. Oliver P. Goodwin, an innocent spectator, was 
wounded, but not seriously. 

A great many tragedies besides those I have mentioned 
occurred in what is now Platte County during the eleven 
years, 1867-1877 inclusive in which the Indians were con- 
stantly on the war path. The Indians were not the only 
killers. The "Six Mile'' Ranch, located on "Baptist Fork," 
now known as "Six Mile," about a quarter mile south of 
Griffith's house on the Fort Laramie and Wheatland road, 
was a favorite place for killing. The first man killed there 
was John Hunter, the original owner, who was shot by 
"Bud" Thomason in October, 1868. The next two were 
John Lowry and James McClosky, shot by John Boyer in 
October, 1870. The next was Perry Arber, a wood chopper, 
who was assassinated by a man whose name I have forgot- 


ten, some time in 1872 or 1873. Then followed two men at 
different times during the Black Hills excitement prior to 
1877. The last one was Adolph Cunv, who was assassinated 
by Clark Pelton in July, 1877. 

I will mention another Indian killing which took place 
May 4, 1876. James Hunton, my brother, left Bordeaux, 
my home, on the afternoon of that day to go to the ranch of 
Charles Coffee on Boxelder Creek about 14 miles east of 
Bordeaux, to get a horse he had traded for. While going 
down through "the notch'* in Goshen Hole, about half way 
between the two places, he was waylaid, shot and killed by 
five Indian boys who were out on a horse stealing expedi- 
tion. The Indians then went to my ranch at Bordeaux after 
night and rounded up, stole and drove off every head of 
horses and mules (38) I owned except my saddle horse, 
which I had with me at Fort Fetterman, where I received 
the news by telegraph the evening of the 6th. The horse 
my brother was riding ran and the Indians could not catch 
him and the next morning was seen on top of the bluff east 
of the ranch. Blood on the saddle told the tale and a search- 
ing party found the body that afternoon. 

The last depredations by Indians in the County area 
was in January, February and April, 1877. On January 
27th seven Indians on foot attacked two trappers on Cotton- 
wood Creek about two miles above where the Coleman ranch 
now stands, killed one and wounded the other who escaped 
on a mule and got to the Kent ranch on North Laramie 
River and "Joe" Morris, the manager of the ranch, took 
him to Cheyenne, where he recovered from his wound. 

On February 24th the Indians stole Kent's horses on 
North Laramie River, and on the 25th they stole some 
horses on Laramie River, where Mr. Bomgardner now lives. 

On April 23rd they stole horses on Bear Creek but I do 
not remember who from. On September 4, 1877, Crazy 
Horse was killed at Red Cloud Agency and stealing stopped. 


By D. W. Greenburg 

The formal dedication of The Grand Teton National 
Park on July 29, 1929, is an epoch in the affairs of our 
State which will endure among the peoples of our Nation 
for all time to come and future historians will point to the 
event as an epic in historic annals, probably not exceeded 
by any other State of our Nation. It is rare, if ever, any 


other State has contributed to the peoples of the Nation 
in the same measure privileged to the people of Wyoming. 
The gift of Yellowstone National Park area within our State 
for the benefit of the public, and now another of its mar- 
vels of nature dedicated to the same cause by relinquish- 
ing the majestic Teton range, is illustrative of the unselfish 
nature of our people, and in measure reflects the true hos- 
pitality of Wyoming's loyal citizenship. What greater sat- 
isfaction to man than to leave for posterity those things 
which may bring happiness, health and contentment to his 
fellow man? In point, Wyoming has recognized that its 
great works of nature should be dedicated to the men, 
women and children of the Nation for their enjoyment and 
happiness, and a step in that fulfillment was the dedica- 
tion of the Nation's newest National Park. 

No words of mine can adequately picture the beauties 
or the grandeur of that marvelous rugged work of nature 
embraced within the borders of the new park. For thou- 
sands of years the lofty Tetons have weathered the ravages 
of time. They have stood as a monument to a Divine Cre- 
ator whose works are not without true purpose. What 
manner of men viewed this majestic range ages ago and 
scaled its topmost summits may some day be solved by 
those whose bent for research leads them on, for while it 
is certain the white man found its rugged slopes impassable, 
queer markings or positions of stone at its tips indicate the 
possibility of unknown human presence there at some 
ancient period. 

The Grand Tetons were the beacon for the white man 
more than a century ago, when its three most prominent 
tips were designated as 'Tilot knobs." Not until that hardy 
pioneer and loyal Wyoming citizen. Honorable William O. 
Owen, had scaled its furthermost summit, is there any defi- 
nite record that white man had previously mastered the 
climb. That achievement has been recognized in official 
quarters and all honor goes to this citizen now in the evening 
of life. His story has been told and retold and Wyoming 
citizenry is proud of the honor which has come to one of 
its own. 

The dedication exercises staged at String Lake among 
the beautiful pines brought together an assemblage of state 
and federal officials, leading citizens from nearby and our 
own state, and our distinguished guests, publishers and 
friends associated with the National Editorial Association, 
to whom were accorded the signal honor of making the 
formal dedication of The Grand Teton National Park. Hun- 
dreds of visitors from afar, viewing the adjacent Yellow- 


stone Wonderland, motored to the scene to swell the throng. 
The setting was ideal and the weather perfect for such an 
event. On the speakers' stand erected for the occasion^ 
and decorated with the National colors, were the chief digni- 
taries, including Honorable Frank C. Emerson, Governor of 
Wyoming; Mrs. Emerson and their son Eugene; Honorable 
Horace M. Albright, Director of National Park Service; 
Honorable Sam T. Woodring, Superintendent of Grand 
Teton National Park; Honorable Roger W. Toll, Superin- 
tendent of Yellowstone National Park; Honorable L. L. 
Newton, Executive Secretary, State Board of Commerce and 
Industry; Honorable Erwin Funk, President of National 
Editorial Asociation; Honorable Joseph S. Weppner, Chair- 
man of the Owen Marker Committee; Honorable W. O. 
Owen and Mrs. Owen and Mr. H. F. Shive, the latter a sur- 
viving member accompanying Mr. Owen in the memorable 
climb; Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, historian and a mem- 
ber of the Owen Marking Committee; Mrs. Cyrus Beard, 
Executive State Historical Department and a member of 
the Owen Marking Committee ; W. M. Jeffers, vice presi- 
dent, Union Pacific Railway Co. ; Prof. F. M. Fryxell, of the 
Owen Marker Committee; William H. Jackson, pioneer 
photographer and cartographer for the Oregon Trail Me- 
morial Association; S. N. Leek, wild life photographer and 
naturalist, and others. 

The formal presentation of the new park by the State 
of Wyoming was made by Governor Emerson and its ac- 
ceptance acknowledged by Mr. Albright, representing the 
government. Mr. Funk made the formal dedication address 
on behalf of the National Editorial Association. The pro- 
gram was dual in character, since Master Eugene Emerson, 
son of Governor and Mrs. Emerson, unveiled a bronze 
marker provided by Mrs. Owen in honor of her distinguished 
husband, which was to be placed on the summit of the 
Grand Teton the following day under direction of the Owen 
Marker Committee. 

As a fitting courtesy to the visitors, residents of Jack- 
son and the Jackson Hole, provided a fish dinner at the 
noon hour in which was served 250 pounds of native trout 
besides other delicious edibles. The arrangements were 
under the direction of Harry Weston and A. C. McCain,, 
both of Jackson. 

Just completing its annual convention at Cheyenne and 
a tour of the State, the members of the National Editorial 
Association and its guests headed for the Jackson Lake 
Lodge as a rendezvous a day ahead of the exercises, arriv- 
ing at the Lodge on the afternoon of July 28 where the 


party was made as comfortable as the accommodations 
could afford. As a preliminary a campfire program was 
carried out at the lodge on that Sunday night in which Hon. 
Roger W. Toll, Superintendent of Yellowstone National 
Park, presided. On this occasion Dr. Grace Raymond 
Hebard gave an extended paper covering the history of the 
region in a most charming manner. Both Mr. Jackson and 
Mr. Leek recited their long experience in picturing the 
beauties of the region, while Mr. Owen told the story of the 
climb to the summit of the Grand Teton. 

That the National Editorial Association was accorded 
the honor of dedicating the new park carries with it the 
significance which makes the occasion one of historical ^ i,^ 

moment and which will live long in the annals of the Fe^?ee^ rotA-'^'^K 
Estate. This organization, having thrown its heart into 
the program laid out for it, representing as it does the 
brightest minds of the Nation, we have endeared to us a 
virulent force, and through whose combined newspapers 
there will always be carried a message of the splendid vir- 
tues of our natural scenic wonder, The Grand Teton Na- 
tional Park. 

It is only proper and fitting that full credit should be 
accorded the Wyoming Press Association and its officers 
and members in having sponsored the visit of the National 
Editorial Asociation and to have been host to a wonderful 
group of visitors. The zeal in which its officers attacked 
the problems of entertaining the guests was due in large 
measure for the splendid success achieved. Those most 
helpful in this connection were Honorable Ross H. Alcorn, 
President; Honorable J. B. Griffith, Vice President; and 
Honorable L. L. Newton, Secretary. 


By John LeeRoy Waller, B. S., University of Oklahoma. 


Introduction and Historical Setting 

The following passage from Irving's The Adventures 
of Captain Bonneville tended to mold public opinion as to 
the barrenness of the "Great American Desert," of which 
Converse County would have been considered a part: (*1) 

*1 Irving, Washington, "The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, 296-297. 


"An immense belt of rocky moufitains and volcanic 
plains several hundred miles in width, intervening between 
the abodes of civilization, must ever remain an irreclaimable 
wilderness, and affording a last refuge for the Indians. 
Here roving tribes of hunters, living in tents and lodges, 
and following the migrations of the game, may lead a life 
of savage independence, while there is nothing to tempt the 
cupidity of the white man. The amalgamation of various 
tribes of white men of every nation will in time produce 
hybrid faces like the mountain Tartars of the Caucasus. 
Possessed as they are of immense droves of horses, they 
may in time become a scourge to the civilized frontiers on 
either side of the mountains, as they are at present a terror 
to the traveler and trader." 

Irving wrote this statement in 1843, and he reached 
his conclusions of the country from a study of the writings 
of Captain Bonneville, who had spent the greater part of 
three years in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain territory. 
However ridiculous it might appear to the present inhab- 
itants of Converse County, Coutant in his history of Wyo- 
ming justifies Irving's conclusion, and suggested that the 
discovery of gold in the West was the only reason for the 
prediction not remaining true. (*2) Nevertheless, there is 
a good reason to doubt Coutant's position, for thousands of 
people went to Oregon and Utah before gold was discovered, 
and every American that crossed this terrible plain added 
to the obligations of the Government to defend them. It 
seems absurd to think of vv^andering bands of semi-civilized 
white men being able to long withstand the power of the 
United States Government. 

Part of the region discovered by Irving may have an- 
swered to his description, but from the many authentic re- 
ports of the thousands of buffalo that roamed over the 
country besides the other wild game it seems difficult to 
think of the entire country being a desert. Another fact 
that leads one to question the description, at least as far as 
it was applied to Converse County, was the thousands upon 
thousands of cattle and sheep fattened upon its grasses. 
The present situation is quite in contrast with the descrip- 
tion. In place of wandering bands of hunters one will find 
thriving towns and communities ; in place of Indians there 
are farmers and stockmen; in place of savage independence 
there is organized law ; and in place of hybrid races there 
are representatives of the leading nations of the world. The 
object of this thesis is to give a short history of Converse 

"2 Ccutant, G. C, History of Wyoming, 1, 170. 



County, with particular attention to the economic factors 
that have contributed to its growth. 

The County is located in east central Wyoming, and 
lies along both sides of the North Platte River. (*3) It was 
created out of the northern parts of Laramie and Albany 
Counties, and originally contained Niobrara County, which 
was created out of the eastern part of Converse County in 
1911. (*4) Topographically, (*5) the County is made up 

*=3 Sae Map page 3. 

^4 See Maps, Nos. 1, 2, 3, paga 47. 

"5 B'artlett, History of Wyoming, 1, 515. 


of the spurs and foothills of the Laramie Range of the 
Rocky Mountains and of rolling plains. The County might 
be divided from south to north into three divisions: the 
spurs and foothills of the Laramie Range, the North Platte 
valley and the rolling plains that cover most of the northern 
part of the Countj^ The mountains, so-called, are covered 
with pine and fir, with some aspen, cottonwood and box- 
elder along the mountain streams. The Platte valley is 
wide practically its entire length through the County to 
afford large areas for farming. There are several fine 
mountain streams that empty into it, for example. Deer, 
Boxelder, La Prele and La Bonte. The rolling plains to the 
north of the river are covered with short grass, cacti and 
sage. Water is scarce and there are no all-weather streams. 
The buffalo grass of this region possesses wonderful 
strength. It is short, and the winds and hot sun cure it 
early in the season, thus conserving all of its natural 

The history of the exploration and settlement of this 
region really begins with the advent of those adventurous 
explorers who were in search of furs. The first white men 
known to have crossed this section were in a party of As- 
torians led by Robert Stuart. (*7) On a return trip from 
Astoria Stuart led his followers over a great part of what 
afterwards came to be known as the Oregon Trail. During 
the winter of 1812-1813 this party passed down the Platte 
through this section. The opening of the Trail stirred the 
interest of others, and in 1822 William Ashley (*8) led a 
party of trappers up the North Platte into the Sweetwater 
country. Ashley trapped the headwaters of the Platte and 
the Sweetwater and succeeded so well that other trappers 
followed. The Sublette brothers accompanied Ashley on 
his first trip, and they afterwards bought him out and or- 
ganized the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. In 1832 this 
company made $175,000.00. (*9) So many trappers came 
that the Indians became alarmed, and the Blackfeet, Chey- 
enne and Sioux became less friendly. It is estimated that, 
at least, three-fifths of the trappers along the Platte and 
Sweetwater were killed. (*10) In 1832 Captain Bonneville 
followed the Trail up the North Platte into the Sweetwater 
country. He did not secure many furs, for the American 

*6 Love, Clara M., "History of the Cattle Industry in the Southwest," in 
Southwewstern Historical Quarterly, XIX, 370-399. 

*7 Chittenden, H. M., History of the American Fur Trade in the Far West, 

*8 Chittenden, H. M., Op. Cit. 
*9 Coutant, G. C, History of Wyoming, 1, 147. 

*10 Owens, Clyde M., "The Fur Traders" in Quarterly Bulletin of the Wyoming 
Historical Department, Jan. 15, 1925, 11, 47. 


Fur Company was too strongly entrenched there at the 
time. However, Bonneville made some maps and gathered 
considerable data regarding the country. Fort Laramie, 
built by the American Fur Company in 1832, was bought 
by the Government in 1842 for a military fort. James 
Bridger established a trading post in the Sweetwater coun- 
try, which afterwards under control of the Government be- 
came Fort Bridger. Thus we see exploration and settle- 
ment, (*11) in some degree, of the West. 

The trappers and fur traders used wagons and it was 
not long before there was a trail deep and wide up the Platte. 
In 1835 Dr. Marcus Whitman and Rev. Samuel Parker fol- 
lowed the trail into the Sweetwater country. Trappers were 
so numerous at this time that no less than 200 were found at 
the rendezvous on Green River. At this point Whitman de- 
cided to return to the East to get missonaries for the Indian 
field. On his second trip Whitman carried his young wife. 
In this party were Rev. and Mrs. H. H. Spalding. These 
two women, as far as is known, were the first white women 
to pass over the Oregon Trail. In 1838 another band of 
missionaries followed the Trail to Oregon. Others came the 
next years. By this time some interest had been aroused 
in the Oregon country, and one trip actual settlers accom- 
panied the missionaries. Thus the movement began which 
was to change the situation in Wyoming and extend the 
boundaries of the nation. It is difficult to get reliable sta- 
tistics as to numbers of settlers that went over the Trail to 
Oregon, but there were thousands. The Mormon movement 
to Utah, which began in 1846 and 1847, contributed many 
thousands of other immigrants. When gold was discovered 
in California, and later in Montana and other parts of the 
West, there was a veritable congestion of traffic over this 
natural highway, which Father De Smet (*12) pronounced 
one of the finest highways in the world. Captain Reynolds 
who was on Government duty in the Indian country inno- 
cently asked his guide, Jim Bridger, if there was any dan- 
ger of missing the Trail as they went south from Montana. 
Bridger answered him with only a look of contemptuous 
amazement, and the Captain understood when they came to 
the Trail. Heavy wagons had cut a road deep and wide. 
In some places it was 200 feet wide, and the winds had 
blown the loose sand out until the roadway was deep and 
hard. There are plain signs of the road after fifty years 
of disuse. Sixty years ago this highway was almost the 

*11 Owens, Clyde M., "The Fur Traders," in Quarterly Bulletin of the Wyoming 
Historical D^artment, January 15, 1925, 44. 

*12 Chittenden, H. M., History of the American Fur Trade in the Far West, 


only evidence of civilization in an otherwise savage wilder- 
ness. Practically throughout its entire length it is marked 
with stones, and it is well that these stones be placed before 
the last signs of this historic highway are obliterated. Six 
of the stone markers are located in Converse County. 

The Mormon immigration to Utah was more intimately 
connected with the history of Converse County than was 
the passage of the Oregon settlers, who only left a few 
lonely graves along the highway to mark their passing. 
Many of the Mormons either settled permanently or tem- 
porarily in the state. A band of them temporarily settled 
in Converse County south of Glenrock. There are some 
signs of this settlement, and there is a canyon that bears 
their name. 

The mining rush was one of the principal causes of the 
Government disregarding the rights of the Indians to the 
region south of the Missouri, east of the Rocky Mountains 
and north of the Platte, which had been guaranteed to them 
by treaty. (*13) The miners simply rushed in where only 
fools would have dared to venture. Thousands of the '49rs 
rushed across the plains madly in search of gold, and the 
Government felt compelled to give them all possible pro- 
tection. When gold was discovered in Montana in 1862 and 
1863 a stampede began to this section. (*14) At first the 
miners followed the Oregon Trail to Fort Hall, but later 
began to try a more direct route. Accordingly John M. 
Bozeman, (*15) a pioneer of Montana, laid out the route 
which bears his name, and which extends from the Red 
Buttes on the North Platte to the Three Crossings on the 
Missouri. The Bozeman Trail followed the North Platte 
from Fort Laramie to a point eight miles west of Douglas 
and then left the river, going in a northwesterly direction. 
This trail crossed the last hunting grounds of the Sioux and 
other Indian tribes, and greatly incensed them. Red Cloud, 
who was the most influential Sioux chief, vowed that he 
would resist to the death. When Forts Reno, Phil Kearney 
and C. F. Smith were erected war was declared. One im- 
mediate result of the war was the terrible massacre of Fort 
Kearney (*16) on December 21, 1866, in which Colonel 
William J. Fetterman and eighty soldiers were slain. On 
account of extreme cold and poor communication it was 
some time before relief could be obtained, and had Red 
Cloud had the sagacity to have followed up his victory the 
Fort might have been taken. All of these forts were shortly 

*13 Paxson, F. L., The Last American Frontier, 123, 285, 291, 294. 

*14 Hebard, G. R., Pathbreakers from River to Ocean, 189. 

*15 Ibid. 

*16 Hebard and Brininstool, The B'ozeman Trail, 1, 15-38. 


abandoned, one reason being given that communications 
could not be maintained. 

Some mention of the means of communication is neces- 
sarily a part of this history. Freighting was a regular part 
of the trapping business. Settlement of Oregon, Utah and 
California greatly extended the freighting business, and 
when settlements began to appear in such widely separated 
places as Colorado, Idaho and Montana freighting reached 
stupendous proportions. Most of the freighting was done 
by *'bullwhackers with their bull teams." The Government 
attempted to maintain communications with these settle- 
ments, and mail contracts were eagerly sought. Senator 
Gwin of California and Russell, the latter a member of one 
of the most important freighting firms of the time, spon- 
sored the Pony Express (*17) movement, which was an 
attempt to give more rapid communication and bind the 
growing West to the nation. Stations were placed from 
nine to fifteen miles apart and provided with fleet American 
horses and feed. Daring riders were employed, and every 
effort was put forth to make speed. The original route of 
the Pony Express followed the Oregon Trail. Several sta- 
tions were in Converse County. The route was officially 
opened April 3, 1860, and continued for eighteen months. 
It was superseded by the telegraph line, which Edward 
Creighton completed in 1861. (*18) Upon the completion 
of the telegraph line, Creighton announced his readiness to 
handle transcontinental communications. All means of com- 
munication were hard to maintain, for the Indians resented 
every encroachment of the whites and made no distinction 
between friend and foe. Freighting was extremely hazard- 
ous and was usually done in trains for protection, and these 
trains were often given military escorts. The life of the 
Pony Express riders was extremely precarious, abundant 
evidence being furnished in stations that were burned and 
the riders that never reached their destinations. It was not 
long before the Indians learned that the singing telegraph 
wires carried messages summoning soldiers against them, 
and accordingly wires were pulled down, posts burned and 
every means put forth to destroy this communication. 

The white man continued to advance; the red man 
slowly gave way. In this manner the West was won, and 
the last hunting grounds of the Indians was taken over for 
farming, mining, and the other arts of the white man. 
Gone are the soldiers and the Indians, and although there 
are many lonely stretches of roads in Converse County, no 
man need fear sudden death from ambush by the Indian. 

*17 Inman and Cody, The Great Salt Lake Trail, Chapter 8. 

*18 Hebard, G. K., The Pathbreakers from Ocean to Ocean, 232. 


The Cattle Industry 

The discovery of the possibilities of Wyoming for graz- 
ing purposes is said to have been accidental, and is thus 
described: "Early in December in 1864, a Government 
trader with a wagon train of supplies drawn by oxen was on 
his way west to Camp Douglas in the territory of Utah; 
but being overtaken on the Laramie Plains, Wyoming, by 
an unusually severe snowstorm, he was compelled to go at 
once into winter quarters. He turned his cattle adrift, ex- 
pecting, as a matter of course, that they would soon perish 
from exposure and starvation; but they remained about 
camp, and as the snow was blown off the highlands the 
dried grass afforded them an abundance of forage. When 
spring opened they were found to be in even better condition 
than when turned out to die four months previously." (*1) 
In 1869 a similar experience happened at Fort David Rus- 
sell, near Cheyenne, when some Texas cattle which had been 
brought up in the fall for beef cattle became scattered by 
a severe snow storm, but in the following spring they were 
gathered up in excellent condition. T. H. McGhee, (*2) an 
old-timer and bullwhacker, claims that he wintered ox 
teams in Wyoming in the winter of 1857, but he does not 
say whether the cattle were kept up and fed, or turned 
loose on the range. Shortly after this time cattle began to 
be placed on the ranges of Wyoming for fattening purposes. 
The cattle were brought from the East and South, mostly 
from the latter section over what was called the 'Texas 
Trail" or the "Long Drive." The trails usually began in 
some point in South Texas. One of the main trails (*3) be- 
gan on the Gulf south of San Antonio, passing to the west of 
San Antonio north to Doan's Store in Willbarger County, 
Texas, where it divided. One branch went northwest through 
Oklahoma into Kansas. Some of the cattle that reached 
Colorado went by the Dawson Trail, a branch of one of the 
main trails north. Herds destined for Wyoming followed a 
main trail until the managers branched off at some point 
convenient to their particular destination. Senator Kend- 
rick (*4) tells of his experiences on the "Texas Trail," over 
which he made several trips. The flood tide of this move- 

*1 Morris, Robert, "Livestock Industry," in Wyoming Historical Collections 
for 1897, 29. 

*2 McGhee, T. H., *'Early Days in the West," in Quarterly Bulletin of Wyoming 
Historical Department, April 15, 1924. 

*3 Love, Clara M., History of the Cattle Industry in the Southwest," in South- 
western Historical Quarterly, XIX, 370-399. 

*4 Kendrick, Sen. John B'., "The Texas Trail," in Wyoming Historical Society 
Miscellanies, 1919, 41-49. 


ment of cattle to the North was reached in 1884, when it 
is estimated that 800,000 cattle passed over the various 
trails to the North. The movements of such magnitude as 
to bring about a move on the part of the Texas cattlemen 
to secure a National Highway (*5) from Texas to the 
North, the strip to be five or six miles in width, but by this 
time the stockmen of the North began to fear overstocking 
of the ranges and consequently opposed the plan. The fear 
of overstocking was well founded. Lusk, one of the prom- 
inent cattlemen pt this section, writes of the overstocking 
of the ranges. /He tells of one man, over the protests of 
local cattlemen,Vturning loose in the fall, 8,900 Texas steers 
on the range of the Hat Creek Basin in what became eastern 
Converse County. In the spring the man gathered up 1,700 
of his steers, and his loss was only part of the general 
loss. (*6) Love tells of the terrible losses from the move- 
ment of the Texas cattle to the North. In many instances 
the cattle were brought up in the fall, too late for them to 
become acclimated or even familiar with the water holes. 
Early blizzards exacted a fearful toll, the cows suffering 
the worst. It was estimated that a million Texas cattle 
covered the road, the ranges and the shallow streams as a 
monument to man's greed for gold and his cruelty to 
beasts. (*7) Later movements were, undoubtedly, handled 
more carefully, for Kendrick speaks of the economical 
methods of get'ting these cattle from Texas to the ranges 
of Wyoming, (lie cites an instance where the party, of 
which he was a member, started from Texas with 3,470 
cattle and turned loose 3,430 on one of the tributaries of 
the Cheyenne River in Converse County, and he says it was 
done, without the "proverbial recruiting" along the route. 

^ Introduction of foreign capital in building up syndi- 
cate ranches began during this cattle movement. The cau- 
tious Scotch contributed much. The Tolland Cattle Com- 
pany with headquarters on Deer Creek, (*9) was a Scotch 
syndicate ranch. The formation of these big ranches was 
solely for dividends, and eventually led to unsound methods 
of business, such as ove^-stocking the ranges and selling off 
immature cattle. (*10) Some of the men that contributed 

*5 Love, Clara M., Op. Cit., 396. 

*6 Lusk, Frank S., "My Associations with Wyoming," in Quarterly Bulletin of 
the Wyoming Historical Department, Aug. 15, 1924, 15. 

*7 Love, Clara M., "History of Cattle Industry of Southwest," in Southern 
Historical Quarterly, XIX, 390. 

*8 Lusk, Ibid. 
. *9 Clemen, R. A., American Livestock Industry, 185. 

*10 Clemen, R. A., Ibid, 186-187. 


to the development of the County established themselves 
during the big cattle movement. Among these men were 
Billie Irvine, John Hunton, J. M. and Dr. John Carey (uncle 
and father of ex-Governor Robert D. Carey), and A. R. Con- 
verse. Billie Irvine helped to organize the Ogalalla Land 
and Cattle Company. (*11) John Hunton located on Box- 
elder Creek in 1877, and his location formed the nucleus of 
the famous Carey Ranch, which was developed under own- 
ership of the Carey Brothers and is now the home of ex- 
Governor Robert D. Carey. (*12) A. R. Converse, after 
whom the County was named, organized the Converse 
''0. W." Company in the eastern part of the County (now 
Niobrara). On many of these ranches, notably the Tol- 
land Ranch, fine breeds of cattle were introduced, which 
formed the nucleus of the fine breeds that are now every- 
where in the County.'^ One of the causes of open friction 
between the big cattlemen and small ranchmen or home- 
steaders was finding some of the fine cattle on the ranges 
of the smaller cattlemen. Rustling began from branding 
"mavericks,'* (*13) which were first claimed by any man 
that happened to get his brand on them. Cowboys were at 
first paid a certain sum for each maverick branded for the 
boss. Enterprising cowboys began to place their own brands 
on mavericks. This led the Wyoming Stockmen's Associa- 
tion to get a law passed forbidding the branding of maver- 
icks. But it was claimed that the law was not enforced, and 
the cattle-kings used this supposed violation of the law as an 
excuse to persecute the smaller ranchmen and homestead- 
ers. This friction culminated in what is known as the 
"Johnson County Invasion." Johnson County, which is lo- 
cated northwest of Converse County, was settled in the '80s 
by homesteaders on range claimed by the big outfits. When 
the sheriff of Johnson County arrested a man that had in 
his possession damaging evidence against the plans of the 
big cattlemen it was decided to organize an invasion for the 
purpose of effecting the release of the arrested one and to 
destroy the incriminating evidence. Accordingly a number 
of tough characters were assembled at Cheyenne, carried on 
the train to Casper, armed and provisioned and sent north 
towards Buffalo (county seat of Johnson County). News, 
however, preceded the invaders and they were given such 
a warm reception that they barricaded themselves in a 
ranch house several miles from Buffalo. Acting Governor 

*11 See map 33. 

*12 See map 33. 

*13 Love, Clara II^., "History of the Cattle Industry of Southwest," in South- 
ern Historical Quarterly, XIX, 373. 


Barber now called upon the President to send soldiers from 
Fort McKinney, near Buffalo, to the rescue, declaring that 
a state of insurrection existed in Johnson County. Prompt 
action on the part of the soldiers saved the lives of the in- 
vaders, who were arrested but soon released. This inci- 
dent marks the climax of the fight for possession of the 
"open range," which meant to the cattlemen free range for 
them free of cost and molestation. 

United States General Land Commissioner Fry in his 
report for 1924 makes some very illuminating comments on 
the attitude assumed by the cattle and sheep men relative 
to the range: (*14) "No federal control over grazing on 
public lands has thus far been exercised, though it has often 
been suggested, both from the viewpoint of the stockfeeder 
and the public economist, and both for practically the same 
reasons, that the growth of the native grasses and forage 
would be conserved thereby and the development of our 
national resources secured to a corresponding degree." 

"To this end numerous bills have been introduced from 
time to time, all looking to some form of federal control of 
the grazing on public lands, but thus far all such efforts 
have proved futile. It is not unlikely that one reason which 
has heretofore operated to prevent legislation has been the 
general belief in the availability of a sufficient area of 
grazing lands to supply the demand as it then existed, and 
the objections of stockmen to any interference with free 
grazing on public lands. This privilege so long enjoyed and 
the substantial basis of all stock-growing operations in the 
public land country naturally came in time to be regarded 
by the stockmen in the nature of a right rather than a priv- 
ilege, so that any proposition looking towards federal con- 
trol was often regarded by them as an invasion of an actual 
property right. This condition of sentiment was the logical 
outgrowth of a system which had its foundation in the 
unbounded confidence of our people in the magnificent pos- 
sibilities of our great national domain. The arrival of a 
time when our fertile prairies and otherwise tillable lands 
would be exhausted seemed too far distant for considera- 
tion. Thus the matter has gone until now, after the settler 
and homesteader, in effect, have left only such public lands 
as are not suited to their uses, are we confronted with the 
question of what shall be done with our public lands that 
are best adapted to grazing and are being used for that 
purpose without any supervision on the part of the Gov- 
ernment." (To be continued) 

*14 Report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office to the Secretary of 
the Interior for 1924, 10-11. 


Sept. 30 to Nov. 29, 1929. 

Collins, E. P. — Original manuscripts written by Mr. Collins: "The 
Bon Boot & Shoe Company." "Two Shillings, Six Pence to 
Twenty-two Dollars," the Story of P. S. Cook's Sixty Years 
in the Plumbing Trade. "Forbes Bandsters." A newspaper 
clipping advertising the Bon Shoe Company. A copy of the 
magazine, "The Plumbers Trade Journal," in which the 
article on Mr. Cook is printed. 

Fryxell, Dr. F. M.— Report of the Placing of the Grand Teton Me- 
morial Tablet written by Dr. Fryxell; seven pictures per- 
taining to the placing of the tablet; a copy of the magazine, 
"American Forests and Forest Life," in which an article 
written by Dr. Fryxell on the Tetons appears. 

Lindsay, Charles — Three pictures of "Old Town," in the Big Horn 
Mountains. A copy of the magazine, "The Prairie Schooner," 
which contains a Wyoming article written by Mr. Lindsay. 

Burnet, J. C. — Two large size American flags and two small ones. 
Flags were used at old Fort Washakie. , 

Churchill, Mrs. Minnie Russell — Two programs used at the com- 
mencement exercises of the Cheyenne High School Class of 
1892. A program of "Hamlet," played by Edwin Booth 
which took place at the old Cheyenne Opera House in 1887. 
These programs are printed on satin. 

Friends in Council — Programs of "Friends in Council," Buffalo, Wyo- 
ming, for 1923 through 1930. 

Ferguson, Mrs. R. A. — Two programs from the W. T. K. Club/ 
Wheatland, Wyoming. 

Lemmon, G. E. — Thirty-five original manuscripts on Wyoming early 
days, written by Mr. Lemmon. 

Kennedy, Judge T. Blake (The Percy S. Hoyt Estate)— A bridle and 
bit which formerly belonged to Percy S. Hoyt. The bridle 
was made by Frank S. Meanea and the bit by Ernest Logan 
in the year 1883. This bridle was used by Mr. Hoyt almost 
continuously up to the time of his death. 

Carroll, Major C. G. — Recruiting News carrying the history of Mac- 
kenzie's Last Fight With the Cheyennes, a story of the Dull 
Knife fight. 

Women's Overseas Service League — "Carry On," a magazine pub- 
lished by the Women's Overseas Service League. 

Greenburg, D. W. — Original manuscript. 

Maclean, Mrs. John — Valuable collection belonging to the late Cap- 
tain H. G. Nickerson. When classified, it will be noted in 

^nnals ai pfgnmtng 

Vol. 6 

APRIL, 1930 

No. 4 


Preserving Our Landmarks D. W. Greenburg 

Economic History and Settlement of Converse County, 

Wyoming John LeeRoy Waller 


Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


^nnals bI ^g0mmg 

Vol. 6 APRIL, 1930 No. 4 


Preserving Our Landmarks D. W. Greenburg 

Economic History and Settlement of Converse County, 

Wyoming John LeeRoy Waller 


Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Frank C. Emerson 

Secretary of State A. M. Clark 

State Librarian Mrs. Clare E. Ausherman 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Judge E. H. Fourt Lander 

Dr. Grace R. Hebard Laramie 

Mrs. C. L. Vandevender Basin 

Mr. C. F, Maurer Douglas 

Mr. Phillip E. Winter Casper 

Mrs. R. A. Ferguson Wheatland 

Mrs. M. M. Parmelee Buffalo 

Miss Spaeth Gillette 

Mrs. P. J. Quealy Kemmerer 

Neither the State Historical Board, the State Historical Advisory Board nor the 
State Historian is responsible for any statements made or opinions expressed by 
contributors to the Annals of Wyoming. 

(Copyright 1930 by State of Wyoming) 



Session Laws 1921 


Section 6. It shall be the duty of the State His- 
torian : 

(a) To collect books, maps, charts, documents, man- 
uscripts, other papers and any obtainable material illus- 
trative of the history of the State. 

(b) To procure from pioneers narratives of any ex- 
ploits, perils and adventures. 

(c) To collect and compile data of the events which 
mark the progress of Wyoming from its earliest day to 
the present time, including the records of all of the 
Wyoming men and women, who served in the World War 
and the history of all war activities in the State. 

(d) To procure facts and statements relative to the 
history, progress and decay of the Indian tribes and other 
early inhabitants within the State. 

(e) To collect by solicitation or purchase fossils, 
specimens, of ores and minerals, objects of curiosity con- 
nected with the history of the State and all such books, 
maps, writings, charts and other material as will tend to 
facilitate historical, scientific and antiquarian research. 

(f) To file and carefully preserve in his office in 
the Capitol at Cheyenne, all of the historical data col- 
lected or obtained by him, so arranged and classified as 
to be not only available for the purpose of compiling and 
publishing a History of Wyoming, but also that it may be 
readily accessible for the purpose of disseminating such 
historical or biographical information as may be reason- 
ably requested by the public. He shall also bind, cata- 
logue and carefully preserve all unbound books, manu- 
scripts, pamphlets, and especially newspaper files contain- 
ing legal notices which may be donated to the State His- 
torical Board. 

(g) To prepare for publication a biennial report of 
the collections and other matters relating to the transac- 
tion of the Board as may be useful to the public. 

(h) To travel from place to place, as the require- 
ments of the work may dictate, and to take such steps, 
not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as may be 
required to obtain the data necessary to the carrying out 
of the purpose and objects herein set forth. 

^nnals of ^gaming 

Vol. 6 APRIL, 1930 No. 4 


By D. W. Greenburg* 

No movement of an historical nature in Wyoming has 
greater significance nor will longer endure or be more genu- 
inely appreciated by future generations than that of pre- 
serving historic landmarks and sites. Such work is now 
being accomplished in our State through The Historical 
Landmark Commission of Wyoming, and though yet in its 
infancy, scarcely three years old, the Commission has al- 
ready acquired through gift and purchase some of our out- 
standing historical landmarks and is well along in its plans 
for adding other important assets of this nature with title 
resting in our State. 

Such work as now undertaken in a serious manner 
through the members of the Commission and with the co- 
operation of local advisory boards or societies or individuals 
in the several communities of our State, is a labor of love. 
Back of all the efforts made in this direction spring a de- 
sire among those who have studied the project to perpetu- 
ate for all time those cherished spots so indelibly associated 
with the early development of our State — indeed of the 
whole western frontier. No commercial instinct does or 
should enter the negotiations or problems looking forward 
to the acquisitions of this character — except as in each in- 
stance it brings greater glory to our State and profit to all 
of our citizens. Thousands of the peoples of the Nation 
are awakening to the value of their historical surroundings. 
Annually the interest of the people is becoming more acute 
in seeking out hallowed shrines of those other days — and 
they travel afar to view those cherished spots. Thus only, 
in that respect, is there an incidental commercial return. 

No attempt will be made in these few lines to outline 
the work already accomplished by The Historical Landmark 

^Editor's Note: Mr. Greenburg is the Publicity Director of the 
Commission and is well known to the people of Wyoming through 
frequent contributions of early Wyoming history of The Midwest 
Review and other publications. 


Commission of Wyoming. The fine constructive ability of 
its members has accomplished wonders in a brief period. 
Their work has scarcely begun. The First Biennial Report 
of the Commission to the Honorable Frank C. Emerson, 
Governor of Wyoming, issued during the last mid-year in 
printed form, gives intimate detail as to the purposes of 
the Commission, its accomplishments, hopes and aspira- 
tions. Much care was exercised in its preparation and many 
of the more important historical points of interest in Wyo- 
ming charted. This was amplified with a map which gives 
a visual picture of historic locations within our State. 

It may be of interest to readers of The Annals to have 
recorded in these pages briefly the historic sites already 
acquired through the efforts of the Commission. It should 
be an inspiration to all of us to extend every aid to the 
Commission in securing further acquisitions. Site of Old 
Fort Reno on the Powder River in Johnson County was the 
first donation made to the State. Every reader of Wyo- 
ming history knows of the importance of that outpost of 
civilization during the hectic days of the Montana gold rush, 
when it became necessary to place armed troops along the 
Bozeman Trail to protect travelers from attack by hostile 
Indians. The Connor Battlefield, situated at the mouth of 
Wolf Creek on Tongue River adjacent to the town of Ran- 
chester in Sheridan County, is another acquisition of im- 
portance, having been the site of an engagement between 
the command of General P. E. Connor and a band of Arapa- 
hoe Indians. The story of old Fort Bridger is too well 
known to your readers to need extended comment here, but 
its acquisition by the State gives to us one of the most 
famed of trading posts on the western frontier. The site 
of old Fort Bonneville, established in the fur trading days 
of 1832, is a recent gift to the State and one particularly 
cherished by our people. Such is the record at present and 
to this will be added other important points within our 
State as the plans of the Commission become fully devel- 

The members of the Commission, each of whom are 
giving their time and energy in this laudable undertaking, 
do so without compensation for time or incidental expense, 
but as a contribution to our citizens and to future genera- 
tions and for the glory of accomplishment in a line to which 
each are devoted for the joy and pleasure they receive. The 
membership of the Commission is composed of Mr. Robert S. 
Ellison, Vice President of The Midwest Refining Company, 
who resides in Casper and is the Chairman of the Com- 
mission; Mr. Warren Richardson, a pioneer resident and 


business man of Cheyenne, who is Treasurer; and Mr. 
Joseph S. Weppner of Rock Springs, engaged in business in 
that city, who is Secretary. Each of the members has been 
personally interested in western history, especially that re- 
lating to Wyoming, for a number of years, and is an avoca- 
tion with them. The Commission has named for purposes 
of administration Mrs. Cyrus Beard of Cheyenne, present 
executive of the State Historical Department, as Assistant 
Secretary; and Mr. D. W. Greenburg of Casper, publicity 
representative and Editor, The Midwest Review, of the 
Midwest Refining Company, as its Publicity Director. 

At some future time we shall hope to offer through 
The Annals some of the interesting sidelights on the work 
of the Commission. In the meantime the Chairman of the 
Commission invites the helpful co-operation of all inter- 
ested persons in this most laudable work. 


By John LeeRoy Waller, B. S., University of Oklahoma. 

(Continued from January Number) 

According to G. M. Penley, county agent for Natrona 
County, which joins Converse on the west, the County 
Stockgrowers' Association at their 1925 meeting passed 
unanimously a resolution opposing any legislation for fed- 
eral control of grazing on the public domain. (*15) Thus 
we see that Commissioner Fry has correctly summed up the 
situation as to the attitude of the stockmen. 

Two other problems which the cattlemen had to face, 
the opposition of the Indians and the occasional severe win- 
ters, deserve some consideration. The Indians opposed 
every invasion of their rights. As late as 1870 (*16) In- 
dians made a raid as far south as Cheyenne, and in 1876 
they raided the ranches on Chugwater Creek, over a hun- 
dred miles south of Douglas. Fort Fetterman was built in 
1867 on the south side of the North Platte River where the 
La Prele Creek empties into the river. After the abandon- 
ment of Forts Reno and Phil Kearney this was the most 
important Government fort in Wyoming west of Fort Lara- 
mie. While it was built primarily for protection to immi- 

*15 Casper, Wyoming, Daily Tribune for March 25, 1925. 

*16 Wyoming Historical Report, 1921-23, 95-97. 

*17 Beard, G. R., History and Government of Wyoming, 44. 


grants, detachments of soldiers were often out to protect 
ranches. The fort was abandoned in 1878, as the subjec- 
tion of the Indians removed the need of it. Thus one of the 
hindrances of the development of the country was removed. 
Occasionally an unusually severe winter, for instance that 
of 1886-87, (*18) which caused an average loss of 85%, 
visited Wyoming. One of the things that tended to cause 
such heavy losses during those terrible winters was the 
presence of barb wire. As the homesteaders came they be- 
gan to fence their lands. Cattle that usually drifted before 
a blizzard, feeding as they went, would when a barbed wire 
fence was reached, walk back and forth along the fence until 
exhausted from hunger and exposure. Such results thor- 
oughly aroused the cattlemen, who resented the intrusion 
of the ''dry farmer," and wires were cut, shacks burned and 
often settlers themselves suffered injuries or death. But 
tc my mind the cattlemen had little cause of complaint, for 
it was their custom to command the streams and water- 
holes, if at all possible. Governor Moonlight spoke of the 
manner in which the "cattle barons" attempted to dominate 
the water and range back of it. It was possible in the early 
days to get a total of 1,120 (*19) acres of land, which was 
often extended by making fraudulent entries. Thus, the 
Governor stated, it was legally possible for a man to take 
out ''forties" along a stream and effectually close it for 
three miles, and this of course controlled the range back 
of it. (*20) 

VThe cattle industry was the most important business 
in the County until 1909, (*21) when the sheep industry ex- 
ceeded it in value. After 1919 the valuation of the oil in- 
dustry of the County exceeded in value that of both cattle 
and sheep combined. (*22) ; There are no accurate records 
of the number of cattle in the County until the year 1909. 
The assessor's rolls for 1909 show an assessment of 98,100 
cattle. Doubtless there were many thousands more. For 
the methods of assessment were crude in the extreme and 
the big companies were not anxious to pay taxes on their 
herds. In the '80s, the boom period of the big cattlemen, 
several hundred thousand cattle roamed the ranges of Con- 
verse County. Following 1909 there was a steady decline 
in the number assessed until in 1913, after the formation 

*18 Lusk, Frank S., "My Associations with Wyoming," in Quarterly Bulletin of 
Wyoming Historical Department, August 15, 1924, 15. 

*19 The Ranchman secures a pre-emiption of 160 acres, a homestead of 160 
acres, a timber claim of 160 acres, and a desert entry of 640 acres, making in all 
1,120 acres. 

*20 Moonlight, Governor Thos., Report to Sec. of Int., 1887, 6. 

*21 Assessor's Rolls for Converse County (Douglas, Wyoming), 1909. 

*22 Assessor's Rolls for Converse County, 1919. 


of Niobrara County out of the Eastern part of Converse 
County, there were only 21,887 (*23) cattle assessed. Be- 
ginning with 1914 there was a gradual increase in the num- 
ber assessed until in 1919 there was 62,195 (*24) on the 
tax rolls. The growth was caused, in a great part, by the 
increased demand for beef cattle because of the World War. 
High prices prevailed throughout this period and greatly 
stimulated every phase of the agricultural and live stock 
business. The years 1920, 1921 and 1922 were hard for 
cattlemen. Prices of beef and hides dropped to the bottom, 
and since much money had been borrowed to buy high- 
priced cattle this depression spread bankruptcy throughout 
the cattle country. The tax rolls for 1922 show only 36,438 
cattle assessed. The Report of the State Board of Equaliza- 
tion for 1923-24 shows that although the cattle industry 
has not yet regained its former importance for Converse 
County, indications point to a steady return. 

The settlement of the public lands under the Stock- 
growing Act of 1916 has made it almost impossible for the 
big cattle companies to continue. (*25) This important 
phase of the development of the West is swiftly passing. 
The "round-up" with its color and romance is seen no more 
in its former magnitude in Converse County. Time was 
when the ranges were combed in the late spring by the 
cowboys of the various big outfits, and the cattle were 
rounded up, mavericks cut out, and calves branded. Usually 
each outfit covered its own particular range, but every big 
outfit had representatives at the place of branding in order 
to see that its interests were cared for. What might be 
termed a roundup at the present time (1925) consists of 
three or four cowboys and a cook wagon locating for two or 
three days in one place where their employer has a few 
cattle, then after trying to locate all cattle supposed to be 
there and branding any calves the outfit moves on to some 
other range, if the stockman happens to have cattle at dif- 
ferent places. There are no large sections of the range open 
at the present, and if a large outfit, for instance the Carey 
Ranch, wants to use the range it is necessary to have small 
herc^ at different places. 

VWhen people began to locate along the tributaries of 
the North Platte — La Bonte, La Prele, Boxelder and Deer — 
and take out water rights a new phase of the caittle in- 
dustry began, that of stock-farming. This has proved to 
be a great advance over the old method of running cattle 

*23 Assessor's Rolls for Converse County, 1909-1919. 

*24 Stata Board of Equalization, Report 1919-1924. 

*25 Commissioner of the General Land Office, Report to the Secretary of 

Interior, 1924. 


on the open range and seeing them once a year, for now 
there are so many more owners who have small herds of 
cattle and who improve what they have by better breeding 
and winter feeding. At the same time the public lands 
that come under the classification of mountainous, grazing 
lands afford considerable range for the summer. (*26) 
According to Commissioner Fry a large per cent of the un- 
appropriated public lands in Converse County are of such 
a nature that 640 acres will not support a bona fide home- 
steader. All of this land is suitable for summer pasture. 
Stock-farming will make it possible to get use of all grazing 
lands, and at the same time supply winter feed. In place 
of a few large outfits with thousands of cattle depending 
almost wholly upon the range there are at present in Con- 
verse County several hundred small ranchmen who raise 
alfalfa by irrigation for winter feed for their small herds 
of 200 to 300 cattle. Ordinarily each of these small outfits 
has considerable range back of the streams along which 
they have their homesteads and in which they have taken 
out water rights. 

One other change that should be noted relative to the 
few large ranches that still do business in the County is the 
fact that practically all of them have both cattle and sheep 
to run on what range they can control. Thus it is possible 
to trace the various stages of the live stock industry in the 
County. In the first place, the big companies brought in 
their large herds and took possession of certain streams 
and claimed the range most suitable to their location. 
Homesteading was discouraged only in so far as the com- 
panies could profit by the locations, and opposition of the 
most bitter kind was offered to fencing the public lands. 
Secondly, the big sheep companies began to establish them- 
selves over the opposition of the cattlemen, and this strug- 
gle for possession of the range ended in the compromise of 
the cattle companies accepting the fact that the County was 
well adapted for sheep raising and handling both cattle and 
sheep. This compromise did not affect the opposition to 
the bona fide homesteader, who has had to face the ill will 
of both sheep and cattlemen even down to the present. But 
as the change is made to stock-farming, which is the third 
state, the hold of the homesteader becomes more firmly 
established, and it is nov*^ possible for a man to plant his 
shack anywhere in the county, fence his land and feel that 
there is no longer danger of being visited by the cowboys 
of some big outfit and ordered out of the country or forcibly 

*26 Report of Commissioner of General Land Office to the Secretary of the 
Interior for 1924, 10-11. 


Sheep Industry 

The introduction of sheep dates from the year 1878 
(*1) when a small band was herded near the Rawhide 
Buttes in what is now Niobrara County. In 1880 (*2) the 
Wilson Brothers had a band near the present site of Lusk, 
county seat of Niobrara County, and in 1883 (*3) George 
Powell pastured a band on La Prele Creek. None of these 
early ventures proved to be very successful because none of 
the owners had had any previous experience with sheep in 
the way of handling them or curing the scab. Low prices 
prevailed for both wool and sheep, and there had not been 
created any real desire to have sheep in the country. (*4) 
About 1889 John Morton and J. J. Hurt brought bands of 
sheep up from the Union Pacific country, and in 1894 (*5) 
one of the largest sheep companies, The Platte Sheep Com- 
pany, was organized. DeForest Richards was one of the 
directors of this company. He soon became governor of the 
State and this goes to prove that the sheep business had at 
last gained respectable recognition. In spite of heavy losses 
from an unusually severe winter, this company continued to 
increase its capital, which at last became $200,000.00. 

Opposition to the introduction of sheep was at first vio- 
lent. Cattlemen seemed to have a sort of natural antipathy 
to the presence of sheep, and too, any invasion of what they 
considered their right, the use of the public range, was 
strenuously resisted. It was the spirit manifested this 
early that Commissioner Fry spoke of in his report for 
1924. (*6) During 1893 and 1894 a number of sheep out- 
fits were raided by cattlemen. (*7) These raiders were 
called "Gunnysackers" on account of being distinguished 
with a gunny sack over their heads. They marked off dead 
lines on the range, burned some sheep wagons, shot and 
clubbed to death some sheep, and shot at and mistreated 
some of the sheepherders. It was very difficult to get con- 
victions for these outrages at first for the sheepmen were 
without a fixed habitation and the cattlemen were in con- 
trol of local affairs. Presently, though, the situation be- 

*1 Maurer, C. F., "Concerning the Sheep Industry in Central Wyoming," in 
Bill Karlow's Budget, 21st Anniversary Edition, 1907. 

*2 Ibid. 

*3 Ibid. 

*4 Connor, L. C, "A Brief History of the Sheep Industry," in Annual Report 
American Historical Association, 1918, 1, 136-185. 

*5 Ibid. 

*6 Report of Commissioner of General Land Office to Secretary of the Interior, 
1924, 10-11. 

*7 Maurer, C. F., "Concerning the Sheep Industry in Central Wyoming," in 
Bill Barlow's Budget, 21st Anniversary Edition, 1907. 


gan to change. Prices of grown ewes advanced from $1.50 
per head to around $4.00, a result in large part caused by 
the Tariff of 1897, (*8) and of course a corresponding in- 
crease resulted in the price of lambs and wool. It soon 
became apparent that the sheep business had come to stay, 
and men who had been the most bitter ''Gunnysackers" en- 
tered the sheep business with resulting prosperity to them- 
selves and firm establishment of the industry in the 

It might be explained here why the sheep business so 
quickly won a place and to a certain extent, superseded in 
importance the cattle business. In the first place, a large 
section of the County, especially north of the Platte River, 
(*9) is covered with short grass and sage brush and is 
scarce in water. Sheep can graze much closer than cattle 
and do not require as much water — the snow sufficing in 
winter. Furthermore, the sheep relish the sage and other 
shrubs which cattle rarely ever touch for food. Grass can 
grow about the roots of the sage and in heavy snows the 
sheep can live. This was clearly demonstrated during the 
hard winter of 1898-1899 when the sheep had practically 
nothing to eat except the sage tops and what grass they 
could find about the roots. Yet only approximately a 10% 
loss was reported. Perhaps the most attractive feature 
about the sheep business is the quick return on the invest- 
ment, for the wool clip and lamb crop of the first year are 
marketable. On the other hand the cattlemen usually have 
to wait three years for a return from the range cattle, ex- 
cept where the cattle are corn fed (or "baby beef"). 

The terrible losses resulting from very severe winters 
and heavy snows at lambing time in the spring have taught 
sheepmen that food must be provided during severe winter 
weather, and shelter for the ewes at lambing time. Conse- 
quently as the business took on a stable policy capital was 
expended for deeded lands, farming and irrigation equip- 
ment, and sheds. Snowstorms often came as late as the 
last of May, and lambing usually occurs about the first of 
May. Should a severe storm occur during the time of 
lambing heavy losses in both ewes and lambs result, for the 
snow is usually very wet and when the fleece is wet weak- 
ened ewes and lambs cannot stand the cold nights that in- 
variably accompany such storms. 

Sheep are usually herded in bands of 2,500 to 3,000 
and it is unsatisfactory for horses and cattle to follow them. 

*8 Connor, L. C, "A Frief History of the Sheep Industry," in Annual Report 
of American Historical Association, 1918, 1, 144-145. 
*9 See map page 33. 


Open ranges, such as existed in Converse County prior to 
1917 were ideal for herding such large bands of sheep, but 
when settlers fenced their homesteads trouble started. It 
is very difficult to keep sheep out unless one has a taut, 
four-wire fence with the posts set close together. Proper 
respect was not always paid to the homesteader, sheepmen 
soon assuming the attitude of the old cattlemen that the 
open range belonged to them and that settlement and fenc- 
ing were plain cases of trespassing on sheepmen's rights. 
After many years of friction compromise, in most cases, is 
being effected by the sheepmen leasing the homesteads. 
The average price is around $50.00 per section per year. 
However, no man cares to lease his land to sheepmen if he 
wishes to live on it and have any stock of his own, because 
of the close grazing of the grass by the sheep. 

During the sixteen-year period (*10) following 1890 
the growth of the sheep business in Converse County was 
astonishing. In 1890 the total number of sheep assessed 
was 10,733, valued at $17,187.00 ; and in 1906 the number 
assessed was 287,581, valued at $607,282.00. One writer 
(*11) stated that the actual number of sheep in the County 
in 1906 was fully 500,000 (not a very complimentary esti- 
mate of the efficiency of the assessor or of the veracity of 
the sheepmen) with an actual valuation of $2,500,000.00. 
Increases in numbers assessed continued until the flood 
tide seems to have been reached in 1909 (*12) when the 
assessor's rolls show 503,182 sheep assessed at $2,406,020. 
In 1913 (after the formation of Niobrara County) 199,367 
were assessed at $683,034.00. The sheep industry accord- 
ing to assessments continued until what is thought to be 
the minimum was reached in 1924 when 86,275 were as- 
sessed with a valuation of $495,489.00. The present high 
prices of wool and lambs assures an increase for the next 
few years, unless prices fall or some unforeseen develop- 
ment occurs. During the winters of 1923-1924 and 1924- 
1925 conditions were very favorable for the sheep busi- 
ness, for the winters were ''open," that is, free from dis- 
astrous blizzards and snowstorms at lambing time. Range 
conditions have been good since 1923 during both winter 
and summer pasture. Many of the old ewes were sold dur- 
ing the depression that existed through 1921, 1922, and 
1923. Consequently, there are at the present time (1925), 
an unusually large number of young ewes and with reason- 
ably good conditions the next few years will show fine lamb 

*10 Assessors' Rolls for Converse County, 1890, 1906. 

*11 Maurer, C. F., Supra page 23. 

*12 Assessor's Rolls for Converse County, 1909. 


crops. Most of the wool clip for 1925 (*13) was sold at 
from 40 cents to 42 cents per pound and the Iambs were 
contracted at prices around $11.00 a hundred weight. The 
very fact that the sheep business can quickly recover from 
depression is one thing that often leads to disaster. During 
the World War high prices for both wool and lambs pre- 
vailed, because the Government and Allies gave large orders 
for woolen goods and meat. Many people were led to borrow 
heavily in order to buy ewes at from $12.50 to $18.00 and 
feed and other necessities at corresponding prices. When 
the war closed most of the Government and Allied orders 
were cancelled and prices fell. Feed and other necessities 
did not fall in price so rapidly, and several severe winters 
came close together. Notes came due, but as the security in 
most cases was greatly depreciated bands of sheep, many 
bankers encouraged the sheepmen to keep going, except in 
cases where the banks simply had to foreclose. In the lat- 
ter case the result was often bankruptcy of the individual 
and closing of the bank. Those sheepmen that were able 
to keep going are now recovering rapidly. The case of the 
Slaughter-Patzold Sheep Company (*14) will illustrate this 
rise and fall. During the depression this Company lost 
heavily, but today this is one of the strongest companies in 
the County. They have some 7,500 sheep on the range. 
Their wool clip was contracted for at least 40 cents per 
pound and lambs at around $11.00 per hundred. With an 
average wool clip they will have almost 50,000 pounds for 
the market, and the value of the lamb crop depends upon 
the per cent of lambs to the number of ewes. It would not 
be at all surprising if they were able to market $40,000.00 
worth of wool and lambs. This company owns considerable 
deeded land with many valuable improvements, but they 
depend almost wholly for grazing on leased lands. It seems 
to be their policy to lease in such a way as to control the 
best grazing lands near them, and along the streams and 
water holes that they wish to command. In 1924 this com- 
pany leased lands from their own local range to within a 
few miles of Glenrock, a distance of 25 miles. They paid 
$50.00 per section, and had some fifty sections leased dur- 
ing 1924. It seems to be a settled policy of theirs to be on 
good terms with the homesteaders, in spite of the fact that 
no encouragement is given to farming. 

In addition to the problems of fluctuation in prices of 
wool and lambs and hard winters and spring storms, the 

*13 Personal Statement of Wheeler Eskew, President of the Slaughter-Patzold 
Sheep Company. 

*14 Ibid. See map page 33. 


sheepmen have disease to guard against, and cure when 
once found in their herds. The State Board of Sheep Com- 
missioners make every effort to eliminate scab by means 
of dipping regularly and segregation of infected flocks. 
Presence of scab in one band of ewes was reported for Con- 
verse in 1924. (*15) Regular inspection of the many bands 
and strict enforcement of dipping regulations will go far 
towards absolute riddance of scab. Importations of sheep 
must be inspected most carefully. Another danger to sheep 
is attacks from predatory animals, such as mountain lions, 
wolves, bobcats and coyotes. In past years this was a very 
real danger, but the bounty law gave such encouragement 
to trapping and killing these animals that this danger has 
about been eliminated. 

Importations of sheep from other sections often lead 
to the introduction of some disease. Consequently, there 
are certain regulations as to dipping and segregation of im- 
ported sheep. Segregation of bucks for some time is espe- 
cially necessary. On the other hand, importation of the 
right kind of sheep greatly improves the quality of the wool 
and meat. Prices of wool and lambs have much to do with 
the number imported, and range conditions largely deter- 
mine the general movements. In 1912 there were 214,670 
ewes and 6,320 bucks imported from other states to Wyo- 
ming. This was a year of high prices and the range condi- 
tions were good. In 1923 there were only 23,300 ewes and 
3,388 bucks imported. This was one of the worst years in 
the history of the state as to prices and range conditions. 
(*17) Beginning with 1924, range conditions have im- 
proved and prices of wool and lambs have been better. Im- 
portations have increased. 

Among the outside influences that affect sheep busi- 
ness the federal regulations of the tariff on wool must be 
mentioned. The State Board of Equalization in 1898 made 
the statement that the removal of duty on wool caused an 
actual loss of $2.50 per head in valuation of Wyoming 
ewes. (*18) The Report of the State Board of Sheep Com- 
missioners for 1922 is in the nature of a plea to the legis- 
lature for protection of the sheep industry, and incidentally 
to encourage the public to accept the policy of a protective 
schedule (tariff on raw wool). "We therefore must main- 
tain the woolgrowers and the spinners of wool always, for 
their work makes an element in the completeness of our 
independence as a nation.'' The Board says that the reason 

*15 State Board of Sheep Commissioners, Report for 1924-1925. 
*17 State Board of Sheep Commissioners, Report for 1924, 37. 
*18 State Board of Equalization, Annual Report 1898, 9. 


why the wool schedule is the most contested one in every 
tariff is that it is more important to the welfare and inde- 
pendence of the country than any other single industry. 
There may be room for argument on their position, but 
there is no doubt of the direct effect on the price of wool 
and sheep of a change in the protective schedule of raw 
wool. (*19) 

Another thing that has affected the sheep business is 
the Federal Farm Loan. The Board of Sheep Commission- 
ers felt that this Act was one of the most important of all 
agricultural acts passed, for it assisted the stockmen over 
a crisis which threatened complete ruin. (*20) No statistics 
were available to show the amount of aid Converse County 
received from this loan, but it is reasonable to supose it 
received its proportionate share. Some money has been 
lent to stockmen by the State Farm Loan Commissioner. 
The Sixteenth Legislature made provisions for $1,000,000 
to be used as loans to farmers and stockmen of the various 
counties. It was to be pro-rated to the different counties 
according to their assessed valuations. Converse County 
got $75,150 during the years 1921-1924. (*21) 

The present condition of the sheep business is very 
encouraging. Sheepmen are better prepared to handle the 
sheep, for they have more and better shearing pens and 
lambing sheds and in most cases have the good will of the 
homesteaders. Better banking facilities with such help as 
may be secured from the State Farm Loan Commission and 
the Federal Farm Loan are tending to make stockmen and 
farming interests in general less affected by temporary 
rises and falls in prices and occasional bad years. 

On July 1, 1924, there were 222,369 acres of unap- 
propriated and unreserved public lands in Converse County 
which were described as being rough, grazing, dry farming 
and mountainous. (*22) The Commissioner of the Gen- 
eral Land Office in his report for 1924 stated that he felt 
that the lands remaining unappropriated were of such a 
nature that 540 acres would not support a bona fide home- 
steader, and that homesteading of these lands should not 
be encouraged. This will likely lead to withdrawal of much 
of the remaining public lands from homesteading. The 
General Land Office feels that some system of federal leas- 
ing should be introduced, which so far has not been done. 

*19 State Board of Sheep Commissioners, Report 1922, 5-7. 

*20 Ibid, 5. 

*21 Commissioner of Public Lands and Farm Loans, Biennial Report 1923- 
1924, 5-12. 

*22 Vacant Public Lands on July 1, 1924, Circular N. 959. Department of the 
Interior, 21-22. 



Whether the lands remain open without federal control or 
a system of leasing is begun, much of the range will be used 
for stock, and it is especially good for sheep. The unappro- 
priated lands in Converse County lie almost wholly north of 
the Platte River in the sheep country. It is reasonable to 
assume that the future of the sheep industry is assured. 



On January 20, 1885, Congress granted the Fremont, 
Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad Company the right 
to cross the Fort Robinson Military Reservation in north- 
eastern Nebraska. (*1) Under the territorial laws of Wyo- 
ming it was illegal for a corporation to own or build a rail- 
road in Wyoming unless the corporation was organized in 
the territory. Consequently, when the Fremont, Elkhorn 
and Missouri Valley Railroad reached the Nebraska-Wyo- 
ing border near the present town of Van Tassell, Wyoming, 
which is forty or fifty miles north of the Platte River, the 
Wyoming Central Railway Company was organized and in- 
corporated under the territorial laws of Wyoming. Al- 
though there were representatives of Wyoming citizens on 
the Board of this road, it was merely an extension of the 
Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley operating under the 
name of Wyoming Central Railway Company. The Fre- 
mont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad was taken over 
by the Chicago and Northwestern Sj^stem in 1884. The 
new organization was perfected in October, 1885, and the 
Company was authorized to build a railroad from some 
point on the east line of Wyoming to some point on the 
Platte River, the point on the eastern border being con- 
nected with the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley. By 
September, 1886, the line was completed to Douglas and 
trains were in operation. (*2) 

. In the spring of 1886 the only settlement of importance 
in the entire region embraced in Converse County was at 
Fort Fetterman, which after abandonment by the Secre- 
tary of War in 1878 had passed into private ownership. 
Bill Barlow, (*3) who reached the Fort early in the spring 
of 1886, estimated that there were 200 people living in the 
old buildings, which the Government had sold. Freighting 
was done by some of the prominent citizens of Converse 
County over the Old Medicine Bow or Rock River Trail from 
the Union Pacific to this Fort, and supplies v/ere sent north 
to Fort McKinney. Some freighting was done from Chey- 
enne by Vv'ay of Chugwater to this Fort. Just as soon as 
the railroad was surveyed from Chadron, Nebraska, into 
Wyoming, ambitious freighters began to blaze a new trail 
paralleling the proposed railroad. Just as soon as it be- 
came known that the railroad was actually to be built the 

*1 Yesterday and Today, A History of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway 
System, 196. 

*2 Ibid, 168, 44-45. 

*3 B'ill Barlow's Budget — 21st Anniversary Edition, 1907. 


territorial press gave it all possible publicity and the rail- 
roads contributed liberally to the advertising scheme. The 
result was that the "Fetterman Country" became widely 
advertised and conditions were ripe for a rapid settlement 
as soon as traveling facilities were available. Just as soon 
as he arrived at Fort Fetterman, Barlow began editing a 
weekly newspaper, "Bill Barlow's Budget," and as soon as 
the townsite of Douglas was established he moved there and 
set up his p;^ess. Fort Fetterman is about eight miles west 
of Douglas. ! 

The first to settle at Douglas were C. H. King and a 
surveyor by the name of Wattles. Presently two enterpris- 
ing cowpunchers set up a saloon. Rumors began to circu- 
late that the townsite was to be near the locations of these 
four and many began to settle near them, but Barlow says 
that most of the incoming settlers pressed on to Fort Fet- 
terman. On July 1, 1886, Barlow estimates that there were 
fully 1,000 people at the Fort. The townsite of Douglas was 
laid out in July but no lots were sold. Fort Fetterman was 
practically abandoned, miost of the people settling in "Pov- 
erty Flats," the low lands lying along the Platte and be- 
tween the high embankment thrown up by the railroad at 
Douglas. By September 1st, 1886, fully 1,600 people were 
settled in this new location. Streets were laid out and busi- 
ness opened. There were twenty saloons, two dance halls 
(both wide open in all that the term implies for a frontier 
town), a bank and post office. The railroad was completed 
August 22nd to Douglas, which was the terminus for almost 
a year. Beginning September 30th, 242 lots on the town- 
site were sold for $70,405.00. Houses sprang up like magic, 
and the town "boomed" as only a western town can boom. 
Most businesses were simply overdone, and the terrible 
winter of 1886-1887, which was one of the worst in the his- 
tory of the State, made bad matters worse. There were 
some failures. Barlow speaking of one bank failing because 
of bad loans and poor guesses on the part of the cashier as 
to the cards he drew. (*4) Nevertheless, there were some 
sound business men, for they had grown up with the coun- 
try, avoiding all the pitfalls of booms and speculation. 

The Cheyenne and Northern Railroad Company was in- 
corporated with the Secretary of State in 1886, and some 
work was done that year. This road was to be projected 
northward to the North Platte, evidently meaning to con- 
nect at or near Douglas with the C. & N. W. Railroad. 
Laramie County voted to pay this line some $400,000 if it 

*4 Bill Barlow's Budget — 21st Anniversary Edition, 1907. 


completed its construction in 1888, and allowed the com- 
missioners to make personal inspection. This appro- 
priation of public money is mentioned because in the State 
Constitution adopted in 1889 there is provision making it 
illegal for state, county, township, school district, or munici- 
pality to give aid to railroads or telegraph (*6) (the pro- 
vision not to affect obligations contracted prior to the 
adoption of the constitution) . The Cheyenne and Northern 
was completed in 1887 to the crossing of the Laramie River 
some sixty miles south of Douglas. In 1891 it reached Grin 
Junction, fourteen miles east of Douglas, where it con- 
nected with the Northwestern Railroad. This railroad 
opened the Fetterman country to Cheyenne, and soon the 
road was completed from Cheyenne to Denver. The Bur- 
lington Route projected its system from Alliance, Nebraska, 
up the North Platte by way of Fort Laramie to Wendover 
Junction where connection was made with the Cheyenne 
and Northern. After the Cheyenne and Northern was built 
to Denver that part between Wendover and Denver took 
the name of Colorado and Southern, and the part from Wen- 
dover to Orin was sold to the Burlington. The Burlington 
and Northwestern parallel each other from Orin to eastern 
boundary of the Wind River Reservation. From this point 
the Burlington follows the Big Horn River to Billings, Mon- 
tana, while the Northwestern went to Lander, Wyoming. 
Converse County had fine connections with the north, east 
and south; two main lines to the east, two north and west 
and two to the south; the Burlington furnished service 
over the Colorado and Southern to Denver. It would be 
very dififcult to overestimate the contributions these rail- 
roads have made to the economic development of the 
County. Cattle and sheep can be shipped to packing centers 
very quickly ; food stuffs that are to be bought or sold can 
be secured or marketed much more quickly and economically 
than ever before, in spite of the great cry that freight rates 
are ruining the stock and farming interests of the County. 
It is possible now to ship cattle to Omaha, a distance of 500 
miles, for $50.00 per car, and to Chicago, about 1,000 miles, 
for $59.00 a car. Freight rates of first class are $3.61 per 
hundred from Chicago and $2.43 per hundred from Omaha. 
Parcel post and express rates are cheap in comparison to 
those before the coming of the railroads. Rates were so 
high before the Union Pacific was built that kerosene was 
often sold in mining camps as high as $1.50 per gallon, and 
flour $1.00 per pound. Danger from fire, floods and In- 
dians added to the great cost of freighting. When the Pony 

*6 Constitution of Wyoming, Article X, Section 5. 


Express first began to carry mail the rates were as high 
as $5.00 per one-half ounce, later reduced to $1.00. (*7) 
Freighting rates from Rock River on the Union Pacific to 
Douglas were from three to five cents per pound. (*8) Col. 
E. H. Kimball, a former newspaper man of Douglas and 
Glenrock, says that it cost him $99.15 to ship his printing 
press from Lusk to Douglas, something like sixty miles, by 
bull team. Harry Young states that it cost his father $250 
to move by freight wagons from Uva, terminus at the time 
of the Cheyenne and Northern, to Glenrock, something like 
100 miles. Freighting rates in the County after the rail- 
roads came were about average of one cent a pound per 
hundred miles, or one cent a hundred per mile. Much 
freighting had to be done for there were many ranches 50 
to 60 miles from the nearest point on the railroad — this 
phase of communication continues to exist. Freighting 
from the Union Pacific ended when the railroad got to 
Douglas, but modern truck lines traverse a parallel route 
from Rawlins on the Union Pacific to Casper on the North- 
western and Burlington. 

The State Board of Equalization in 1895 placed the 
valuation of all railroad property in Converse Countv at 
$435,572.00; (*9) in 1924 the valuation was placed at 
$4,789,840.00. (*10) Many factors contributed to the in- 
crease in the valuation of railroads and equipment. The 
assessed valuation per mile in 1895 was $3,000; in 1924 the 
average was about $30,000 per mile. Since 1895 the Bur- 
lington has extended its line from Orin Junction through 
the entire length of the County, about sixty miles of road- 
bed. The roadbeds of both roads have been greatly im- 
proved with ballast; much heavier steel has been laid; 
switch yards at Douglas and Glenrock have been enlarged ; 
many spurs have been built between these important towns ; 
and a great deal more equipment in the way of engines, 
cars, etc., have been bought. The opening and developing 
of the Big Muddy Oil Field in the west end of the County 
has required considerable improvement on both roads. The 
building and improvement of the two oil refineries at Glen- 

*7 Visscher, W. L., The Pony Express, 19. 

*8 Quarterly Bulletin, Wyoming Historical Department, 11, 65. 

*9 State Board of Equalization, Report 1895. 

*10 State Board of Equalization, B'iennial Report, 1923-1924. 

*The duties of the State Board of Equalization are to examine the tax rolls of 
the various counties, set the rates, place valuations on things as cattle, sheep, 
horses, all sorts of land, and assess all public utilities, such as railroads, telegraph 
and telephone lines. The Board collected the taxes from the public utilities and 
made the distributions of the collections to the various counties. Many assessors 
resent the arbitrary rulings of the Board, claiming that the Board can often place 
the valuation of cattle, sheep and horses too high and that of railroads, pipe lines 
and oil production too low. An explanation is given of the duties of the B'oard, for 
its figures must be used to show^ changes in valuations of all sorts of property in the 


rock have called for improvements in the service of the 
roads. The Burlington has just completed a spur from its 
track north of the river to Glenrock south of the river, 
which required some two miles of track and a steel bridge. 
A comparison of the amounts of business done in 1907 with 
that done in 1924 will help to show the importance of the 
improvement in service. In 1907 Bill Barlow (*11) rather 
boasts of the service Douglas received from the Chicago 
and Northwestern (C. & N. W.) which was one passenger 
and one freight train each way daily, and he gave $90,000 
as the estimated yearly receipts of the Douglas freight of- 
fice. The reports of the cashier of Glenrock station on the 
Chicago and Northwestern for 1924 show an average of be- 
tween $75,000 and $60,000 monthly business. Of course 
this particular station did more business that year than all 
the other stations in the County combined, for it handled 
all of the oil shipments to and from the refineries. The 
building of the spur by the Burlington will about split the 
refinery business. These two railroads run six passenger 
trains daily, and two locals have passenger cars attached 
for local service. Development of the mines in the future 
may secure spurs from the main lines, but one spur was 
built to the building stone in the front range only to be 
abandoned because of too distant markets. A survey for 
a new railroad to connect the lines along the North Platte 
with those along the Missouri has already been made, and 
such a road, if constructed, will traverse diagonally the 
northern part of Converse County and make accessible for 
farming some of the best lands of the County. Bancroft 
(*12) states that wherever the railroads go settlers follow. 
If this statement is true, and the one surveyed in this 
County were built, it would be of untold benefit to the 
County, but that remains for the future. 

The development of the highways of the County has 
been one of the important factors in its economic develop- 
ment. Prior to organization there was only one real high- 
way in the country, the old Medicine Bow or Rock River 
Trail which connected the Union Pacific with Fort Fetter- 
man. Even the Oregon Trail had none of its former gran- 
deur or usefulness. The Tolland Company near the present 
site of Glenrock and the Carey Ranch at the mouth of Box- 
elder were connected with Fort Fetterman by a winding 
wagon road that followed the Platte. One of the Commis- 
sioners of the County states that there are at present 
(1925) at least 250 miles of good automobile roads in the 

*11 Bancroft, H. H., History of Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming, 705. 
*12 Bancroft, H. H., History of Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming, 705. 


County, and perhaps 1,000 miles of road as good as the aver- 
age road of the time of organization of the County. (*13) 
Six well known highways are marked through the County : 
National Park-to-Park, Yellowstone, Grant, Oregon Trail, 
Buffalo Trail and A-Y-P. The Yellowstone and National 
Park-to-Park highways are the same in the County. This 
is a fine highway, being covered with gravel most of its 
entire length. Thousands of tourists pass over it every 

One of the most important factors in the development 
of the roads so rapidly and thoroughly is the state's share 
of 35% of the Federal Oil Royalties, which go to the build- 
ing and upkeep of the highways of the State. This amount- 
ed to $1,400,000 in 1924. (*14) In addition to the oil royal- 
ties, the Highway Department received $425,000 from 
automobile license fees, and $220,000 from gasoline sales 
tax. The 1925 legislature raised the gasoline sales tax from 
1 cent to 214 cents per gallon. This will increase the high- 
way revenues very much, and since the number of cars is 
not likely to diminish or the oil royalties to decrease in the 
near future, it seems that the improvement of highways 
will continue. The roads leading out into the rural com- 
munities are being improved rapidly. The taxpayers are 
enthusiastically committed to a good roads program. One 
reason for rapid improvements of the roads leading out into 
the small communties is the fact that most farmers and 
ranchmen now own automobiles. Nothing will convert a 
man to the idea of spending tax money for road building 
quicker than to get stuck in his automobile or to break a 
spring on some particularly bad stretch of roads over which 
he has to travel often. One of the first improvements of 
the highway in Converse County was done with convict 
labor, that part of the Yellowstone Highway between Glen- 
rock and the Natrona County line. (*15) The fine high- 
way between Glenrock and Douglas has helped to create a 
good feeling between the two towns. Many attempts have 
been made in the past to divide the County into east and 
west divisions, for Glenrock is 30 miles from Douglas, and 
the people there and in the adjoining sections have not al- 
ways felt that they got a square deal from Douglas. A good 
highway has shortened the time and removed the discom- 
forts of attending to the necessary official duties connected 
with the seat of the County government at Douglas. Fur- 
thermore, the presence of a good highway has made it pos- 

*13 Personal statement from D. J. Smyth, Commissioner, Converse County. 
*14 Petroleum Industry, 1924, pamphlet published by the Rocky Mountain Oil 
& Gas Producers Association, 64. 

*15 State Engineer, Biennial Report, 1911-1912, 53. 


sible to develop one of the growing industries of the County. 
The farmers along this highway have begun to develop 
dairying. At the present time there are two large trucks 
that carry milk and cream from Converse County to Casper, 
the center of oil refining in the West. Freighting along the 
highways has reached proportions sufficient to call forth 
protest from the railroads. But the most active influential 
factor in arousing and sustaining interest in highway con- 
struction and improvements is the desire to draw as many 
tourists to the State as possible. Every county along the 
main highways directly profits from tourist trade. There 
is not a town in Converse County that does not have a "fine 
free camp ground," and every inducement is given tourists 
to stay over a day or so and see the local attractions. 

The growth in telegraph and telephone communication 
has kept pace with the improvements of the railroads and 
highways. The Western Union Telegraph Company lines 
in Converse County were assessed at $6,382.50 in 1895. 
(*16) Evidently there were no telephone lines, for no as- 
sessment was reported. In 1920 (*17) the valuation of 
both telephone and telegraph lines was $370,341.92. In 
1921 (*18) the valuation was cut almost 60%, being 
$158,681.24. During 1921, 1922 and 1923 the State Board 
of Equalization was overwhelmed by every class of prop- 
erty owner for relief from tax burdens. These years mark 
a low state of business in Wyoming, and returns on the in- 
vestment would not meet taxes and necessary expenses and 
give anything like an adequate return on the investment. 
There is a certain amount of routine business that ordinar- 
ily uses the telegraph and telephone. In periods of depres- 
sion such transactions are reduced to the barest minimum. 
On the other hand when times are good and there is a great 
deal of construction going on and development of all kinds 
prompt communication is highly desirable, and use of the 
telephone and telegraph is very extensive. Since the value 
of any property is ordinarily measured by its dividends, one 
can appreciate the large reduction in valuation allowed 
these companies in 1921. If the use of these means of com- 
munication is a fair indication of conditions, then there has 
been a steady growth since 1921 for each year's assessment 
has shown a slight increase since 1921, being $179,614.00 
in 1924. (*19) 

The use of the radio has not yet reached commercial 
importance, but the time may not be in the distant future 

*16 State Board of Equalization, Annual Report for 1895. 

*17 State Board of Equalization, B'iennial Report for 1919-20 ; 1921-22. 

*18 Ibid. 

*19 State Board of Equalization, Biennial Reports for 1921-1922 ; 1923-1924. 


until this phase of communication will be an economic fac- 
tor. Many of the ranchmen have receiving sets and get 
weather and market reports daily. But now the real value 
of the radio lies in the pleasure it gives to homes from the 
nightly concerts that are received during the long winter 
evenings. If this invention helps to make a more comfort- 
able and enjoyable home life; if it relieves some of the 
dreariness and monotony of the farm wife — then it has 
served a good purpose and is of true economic importance. 
(*20) Everything that will help to counteract the urban 
movement and make for a more contented farm life de- 
serves to be listed as an economic factor. 


Organization of the County 

Prior to the organization of Converse County it was 
very difficult for residents of the Fetterman Country to 
transact any legal business. Converse County was created 
out of parts of Laramie and Albany Counties. (*1) It was 
from 150 to 200 miles to Cheyenne, county seat of Laramie 
County, and as far, if not farther, to Laramie, county seat 
of Albany County. Most of the distance to either place was 
by wagon road, and it was a long and tiresome trip to get 
legal advice or court trial. The United States Land Office 
at Cheyenne had control over all of the region of which 
Converse County was created, until the United States Land 
Office was established at Douglas in 1890. Consequently, 
it was practically impossible to locate at that distance from 
the Land Office. Occasionally some venturesome pioneer 
would find his way into the Fetterman Country and locate 
some desirable homestead. Should he be contested by some 
cattleman, which was often the case, it was necessary to go 
to Cheyenne for a hearing before the United States Land 
Commissioner. (*2) The few scattered settlements along 
the tributaries of the North Platte had very little connec- 
tion with each other or with the outside world. Stages and 
freighting teams made the trips from the Union Pacific to 
Fort Fetterman, and the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage crossed 
the eastern end of the County. Mail and freight were re- 
ceived at irregular intervals in this manner, and no doubt 

*20 Buck, Solon J., The Granger Movement, 37-39. 

*1 See maps (Nos. 1, 2), page 47. 

*2 Mart Smith of Glenrock, Wyoming, settled in Boxelder Park, along Foxelder 
Creek, about 1885, was contested and had to go before the Land Commissioner at 
Cheyenne. Such a contest was very expensive for the time, it being necessary to 
have witnesses. Frequently delays were brought about which necessitated more than 
one trip. 


but the condition would have remained so if the railroad 
had not entered the country. The railroad caused rapid set- 
tlement of the favored places all along its route. The pres- 
ence of so many people under semi-lawless conditions made 
organization of a county along the line of the railroad al- 
most imperative. The Cheyenne and Northern Railroad did 
not make connections with the Chicago and Northwestern 
until in 1891, and so the difficulties of getting to the county 
seat, Cheyenne and Laramie, of the two counties that em- 
braced the territory adjacent to the Chicago and North- 
western, remained. (*3) Shortly after Douglas was found- 
ed there arose an insistant demand for county organization. 
In November, 1886, a mass meeting was held in Douglas at 
which funds were pledged and a committee appointed to 
agitate for organization. J. DeForest Richards, afterwards 
Governor of the State, was one of the committee of ten. 
This committee sent two of its members to Cheyenne and 
Laramie to collect all possible data as to valuation and to 
urge in every way for a division. When the territorial leg- 
islature convened in 1888, everything was ripe for organiza- 
tion, and during the closing hours of the session a bill for 
organization was passed, vetoed by Governor Moonlight and 
repassed over his veto. This bill created three counties, 
and was entitled, "An act making divers appropriations and 
for ot?ier purposes." 

As originally created, the County had an area of 6,740 
square miles, or 4,313,600 acres. (*7) In 1911 Niobrara 
County was created out of the eastern part of Converse 
County. (*8) Still the area is at present 4,133 square miles, 
with an approximate land acreage of 2,645,120 acres. This 
is quite a large area for one county. In fact, it has an area 
greater than the combined states of Delaware and Rhode 
Island. (*9) It was named for A. R. Converse, who had 
played an important part in its economic development. Be- 

*3 See map page 47. 

*7 Thirteenth Census Wyoming Supplement 1910, 606. 

*8 See map No. 3, page 47. 

*9 Fourteenth Census Wyoming Compendium 1920, 11. 

*The section relating to Converse County was as follows : "All that portion of 
this territory described and bounded as hereinafter in this section set forth, shall 
when organized according to law, constitute and be a county of this territory, by 
and under the name of Converse, to-wit: Commencing on the eastern boundary of 
this territory, where the same is intersected by the forty-third degree and thirty 
minutes of North Latitude, and running thence south along the said eastern boundary 
line of the territory to the township line between townships thirty and thirty-one 
north ; running thence west along said township line to the eastern boundary line 
of the present County of Albany ; running thence south along said eastern line (of 
Albany County) to its intersection with seventh standard parallel north ; running 
thence west to the western boundary line of the present County of Albany ; running 
thence north along the said western boundary line of the present County of Albany 
to the forty-third degree and thirty minutes of north latitude ; and running thence 
east along the said forty-third degree and thirty minutes of north latitude to the 
place of beginning. 


fore organization of the County, Converse had organized 
one of the largest cattle companies in the State, and it was 
located along the Running Water, afterwards called Nio- 
brara River. (*10) 

Governor Moonlight appointed E. J. Wells, J. M. Wilson 
and J. K. Calkins as commissioners pro tem for purpose of 
organization. They called an election for May 15, 1888, for 
the purpose of selecting a county seat and the election of 
the county officers. Lusk, Douglas, Fort Fetterman and 
Glenrock were candidates for the seat of the County gov- 
ernment. The contest was so intense for the location of 
the government that little interest was displayed in the 
election of the officers. Douglas was chosen as the county 
seat, and the choice was proper for it was most logically 
situated to serve the needs of the County at that time. New 
officers assumed their duties at once and the period of 
local government began. Many problems faced the people, 
for the resources of the County were lying undeveloped. 
The present condition of the County is such that, on the 
whole, the policies have been wise. 


Agriculture and Irrigation 

Before the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad was 
constructed to Douglas and Glenrock, very few settlements 
of any sort were in the entire sections embraced by the orig- 
inal County. Practically none of the land had been home- 
steaded. Prior to the establishment of the Government 
Land Office at Douglas, (*1) November 1, 1890, the Land 
Office that controlled the North Platte region was located 
at Cheyenne. (*2) Locating was very expensive, and only 
a very few attempted it. A few of the old-timers like Cap- 
tain Jack O'Brien, Al Ayers and John Hunton, felt the worth 
of establishing themselves along the tributaries of the 
Platte, on La Bonte, La Prele, Boxelder and Deer Creek. It 
can be said with truth that most of the old-timers consid- 
ered the land worthless, and there are many in the County 
today that have never taken out a homestead right, al- 
though they could see all of the choice locations being taken 
up. The coming of the railroad brought many people and 
some of them were land-hungry, and such a strong demand 
for filings was made that the Government decided to estab- 
lish a (Government) land office at Douglas. 

*10 Bartlett, History of Wyoming, 1, 515. 

*1 Messages and Documents Interior Department 1895-1896, 1,143. 

*2 See maps page 47. 


Statistics are not available which show the number of 
acres appropriated each year from 1890 to 1895, but the 
report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office for 
1895 showed that a total of 209,150 acres had been appro- 
priated in Converse County. (*3) The Report of the State 
Board of Equalization for 1895 shows that 91,575.03 acres 
of land were assessed which with all improvements, were 
valued at $306,047.41, or about one-fifth of the total as- 
sessed valuation of the County. (*4) The discrepancy in 
the acreage assessed and appropriated was caused from the 
fact that most of the Government land had been appropri- 
ated under the terms of the Homestead Act of 1862, which 
allowed five years for making final proof. This act was 
amended in 1909 to permit a total filing of 320 acres. In 
1913 President Taft signed an amendment to the Act of 
1909, which permitted final proof to be made in three years. 
Patented lands increased rapidly after 1909. In 1910 the 
assessor's rolls showed a total of 329,762 acres assessed. 
(*5) The most important of all the land acts, as far as 
they affected settlement in Converse County, was passed in 
1916. This act was called the Stock-Raising Act, (*6) and 
allowed a total filing of 640 acres. It was the result of the 
recommendations of the Commissioners of the General Land 
Office, who called attention in their reports to the kind of 
land that remained unappropriated was of such a nature as 
to require 640 acres to support a bona fide homesteader. 
Senator Kendrick of Wyoming supported this measure in 
the Senate and deserves much credit for its successful con- 
summation. Two theories for the disposal of the unappro- 
priated lands were advocated. One theory was supported 
by the cattle and sheep men to the effect that the unappro- 
priated public lands were of such a nature that 640 acres 
would not support a family and were suitable for grazing 
purposes only. The Commissioners of the Land Office felt 
that much of the lands were of such a nature that 640 acres 
would be sufficient to support a family, that there would 
be enough land to graze a few cattle or sheep and have 
enough tillable land to raise feed for stock. Attention was 
called to the favorable results of the Kincaid Act in Ne- 
braska. Under the liberal terms of this Act, western Ne- 
braska, which has a soil and climate quite similar to a great 
part of Wyoming was rapidly settled and the homesteaders 
were successful. The second theory for the disposal of the 

*3 Message and Documents Interior Department 1895-1898, 1, 204-5. 
*4 State Board of Equalization, Report for 1895. 
*5 Assessor's Rolls for Converse County, 1910. 

*6 Commissioner of the General Land Office, Report to the Secretary of In- 
terior 1917, 29-30. 


lands prevailed and the Stock-Raising Act was passed in 
1916. The effect of this Act on the disposal of the public 
domain was simply astounding. Within four months after 
the passage of the Act gross filings to the amount of 60,000, 
embracing 24,000,000 acres, had been made. Approximately 
712,000 acres were filed on in Converse County within six 
months after the passage of the Stock-Raising Act. (*7) 
The report of the filings made in the Government Land Of- 
fice at Douglas for 1924 (*8) will show the effect of the 
liberal land policy of the Government: 27 filings under the 
Homestead Act of 1862 with a total of 3,228.39 acres ; 88 
filings under the Amended Act of 1909 with a total of 34,- 
901.68 acres; and 366 filings under the Stock-Raising Act 
of 1916 with a total of 158,277.02 acres. In 1895 the Gov- 
ernment Land Office at Douglas had under its jurisdiction 
8,195,645 acres. (*9) On July 1, 1916, this office had a 
total of 6,248,697 acres (*10) unappropriated; on July 10, 
1921, a total of 2,552,122 acres ; and the amount had so de- 
creased by 1925 that the President felt that the office had 
served its purpose and it was closed by Executive order on 
April 30, 1925. 

Irrigation began in Converse County by private pro- 
jects along the small streams and tributaries of the North 
Platte River. The first right taken out in this region was 
in 1876 on Boxelder Creek by J. M. and R. David Carey. 
It was a territorial right and was designated Carey Box- 
elder No. 3, and entitled Carey Brothers to use 4.40 cubic 
feet of water per second which was to irrigate 304 acres. 
The right was taken out for stock, domestic and irrigation 
purposes. Charles Macy took out the next right along Box- 
elder in 1882. In 1885 the Carey Brothers took out two 
rights in the stream. Three rights were taken out in 1886, 
three in 1887 and six in 1889. Two rights were taken out 
in each of the years 1893, 1895 and 1897, and nine were 
taken out in 1898. Two rights were taken out on Little Box- 
elder in 1879. George Powell, famous bullwhacker, took out 
the first water right on La Prele in 1878 to be followed in 
1879 by J. H. Kennedy. After the locating of these two 
along the La Prele settlement seems to have been rapid, for 
water rights were taken out every year, except in 1881, 
until statehood in 1890, and several rights in almost every 

*7 Commissioner of the General Land Office, Report to the Secretary of the 
Interior, 1917, 144-145. 

*8 Conamissioner of the General Land Office, Report to the Secretary of In- 
terior 1924-82. 

*9 Messages and Documents Interior Department, 1895-1896, 1, 204. 

*10 Vacant Public Lands July 1, 1916 (Circular No. 484) Dept, of the Interior 

*11 Commissioner General Land Office, Report to the Secretary of Interior 
1917, 14. 


year. Water rights were taken out in La Bonte, Wagon 
Hound and Deer Creeks for the first time in 1883. Tolland 
No. 1, in Deer Creek, provided for 14.71 cubic feet of water 
per second, and was to irrigate 1,030 acres. Tolland No. 2 
provided for 1.43 cubic feet per second and was to irrigate 
100 acres. Major Wolcott, manager of the Tolland Com- 
pany, was very ambitious and prepared an elaborate system 
of ditches. His irrigation project was not very successful, 
but some signs of the old ditches still exist along the 
Hound Creek and its tributaries, and their rights entitled 
them to enough water to irrigate about 500 acres. Pollard 
and Company secured water rights on La Bonte in 1883 
and 1884, and the Darlington Ditch Company located there 
in 1885, with rights sufficient to irrigate 645 acres. (*12) 
Hundreds of these corporation ditch companies secured 
charters to do business in the County immediately follow- 
ing the organization of the County, (*13) but so far this 
sort of irrigation has not made a very great contribution 
to the economic development of the County. The Douglas 
Reservoirs Company (organized as the La Prele Ditch and 
Reservoir Company) is an outstanding exception, of which 
more will be said. 

The Carey Act of 1894 provided for segregation of irri- 
gable Government lands to be developed by the states, with 
state money or supervision or both. Under the terms of 
the Carey Act 18,563.23 acres, embraced in Wyoming 
Desert Lands Segregation Lists Nos. 34, 41 and 48, situated 
in Converse County, near Douglas, to be irrigated by the 
waters of the La Prele Creek, a tributary of the North 
Platte River, through the La Prele Ditch and Reservoir 
Company were secured. (*14) The La Prele Ditch and Res- 
ervoir Company contracted with the State for the construc- 
tion of this project but later transferred all its rights to the 
North Platte Valley Irrigation Company. The latter com- 
pany became financially weakened, and finally the project 
went into the hands of the receiver. The Douglas Reser- 
voirs Company took the project over and completed it satis- 
factorily. This is the largest successful corporation ditch 
project in the County. Another large project was started 
along the North Platte, the purpose being to install a series 
of pumping stations and pump the water out. This project 
failed from lack of funds, and too, because there was no de- 
mand at the time for expensive irrigated lands. It was 
estimated by the company that started the project that it 

*12 State of Wyoming Tabulated of Adjudicated Water Rights in Division 
No. 1, July, 1921, 94-122. 

*13 Coi'poration Records Converse County. 

*14 Commissioner of Public Lands, Biennial Report, 1919-1920, 32-33. 


would reclaim some 35,000 acres, and a later estimate by 
Ellwood Mead, now head of the Reclamation Service of the 
Government, confirmed the accuracy of the preceding in- 
vestigation. According to the Thirteenth Census 5,000 
acres of land were irrigated under the terms of the Carey 
Act and 35,607 acres were irrigated under private control 
in 1909. The report of the State Board of Equalization 
shows a decided decrease in the amount of irrigated lands. 
(*15) Evidently many are getting their irrigated land as- 
sessed as dry farming or grazing land, for only 23,983 acres 
of irrigated lands were assessed in 1923, and 23,584 acres 
for 1924. A steady increase in irrigated lands should have 
resulted, for the reports of the State Engineer covering the 
period from 1909 to 1924 show that water rights were being 
taken out in the streams of Wyoming every year. The 
Fourteenth Census gives further confirmation in the growth 
of irrigation in Converse County by comparing the capital 
invested in three streams of the County, Boxelder, La Prele 
and La Bonte, in 1902 with the amount invested in the same 
streams in 1920, the amount invested in 1902 being 
$107,795 and the amount in 1920 being $503,913. (*16) 

State Engineer Clarence T. Johnson offers some il- 
luminating suggestions and information relative to irriga- 
tion. He suggests that private rights along streams are 
not always for the best interests of the region the stream 
would irrigate, because the individuals possessed of these 
rights are too independent for the good of the community, 
that an associated interest will work better growth of the 
entire region. Furthermore, the estimate was made that 
where the summer flow would irrigate 1,000 acres, by im- 
pounding the waters from 6,000 to 10,000 more acres could 
be irrigated. (*17) These statements being accepted as 
having been justified by careful estimates on the part of 
experienced engineers, it affords the optimisitc conclusion 
that irrigation is just now in its beginning, and may lead 
one to expect that in the future when a maximum of ef- 
ficiency of impounding the water and a minimum waste in 
seepage and evaporation are secured that Wyoming may 
become a first class agricultural state. Converse County 
with its many mountain streams will reap a maximum of 
benefit in improvements in methods of irrigation. It is 
estimated that the waters of the North Platte above the 
Pathfinder Dam are sufficient to provide 1,000,000 acre 
feet of water, and there are hundreds of streams with thou- 

*15 State Board of Equalization, Biennial Report 1923-1924. 

*16 Fourteenth Census, Wyoming Compendium, 62. 

*17 State Engineer of Wyoming, Biennial Report, 1907-1908, 9-10. 


sands of acre feet of water below the dam with much of the 
water being unused. 

The Alcova Project, to be located in Alcova Canyon 
west of Casper, Wyoming, is being urged in Congress with 
probable assurance of success. The purpose of the Project 
is to take care af the irrigable lands near Casper, but one 
feature of the plan is the installation of pumping units be- 
tween Casper and Wendover Canyon. These pumping units 
would take care of about 35,000 acres of land in Converse 
County. The estimated cost of supplying the water is $10 
per acre. Much of the land to be reclaimed in Converse 
County is now claimed as grazing land with a present valu- 
ation of $2 per acre, and it would become irrigated land 
with a valuation of $50 or more, according to proximity to 
railroads, highways and markets. 

The principal crops raised by irrigation are alfalfa, 
vegetables, sugar beets, corn, wheat, oats, and beans or 
field peas — the last a new crop. Several carloads of seed 
were bought, and if the venture proves to be a success it 
will be extended and will likely encourage more farmers to 
settle in the County. Governor Carey is the leader in the 
new enterprise, and to him belongs the credit of introducing 
the sugar beet into the County. It is, indeed, a hopeful 
sign to see Carey in the lead, when one remembers that he 
was brought up in the atmosphere of open opposition to 
anything that savored of encouragement to farmers. The 
yield of the different crops, as reported in 1923, (*18) was 
very high. For instance, alfalfa averaged 1.4 tons per acre, 
sugar beets 10.71 tons per acre, potatoes 70 bushels per 
acre, oats 33 bushels, wheat 15 bushels, and corn 24 bushels 
per acre. No distinction was made between yield from dry- 
farming and irrigated lands. It is safe to say that the yield 
of the staple products of corn, wheat and oats averaged 
high in comparison with the recognized grain states. The 
possibilities in raising potatoes seem to be almost without 
limit. (*19) Burdick published in his pamphlet, 'The State 
of Wyoming," in 1898, an instance where a farmer in John- 
son County raised 974 bushels to sell for over $700 and in 
addition the farmer received two prizes of $250 each from 
the ''American Agriculturist" and the State of Wvoming. 

Dry farming has been rather slow to develop for sev- 
eral reasons. In the first place, "It has been a fight against 
prejudice, derision and selfishness." Deming, editor of the 

*18 Wyoming Agricultural Statistics (No, 1) 1923, 23-31. 

*19 It is an established fact that potatoes will grow and produce a fairly pood 
crop in first year plowing, which means that there can be no cultivation. 
♦20 Wyoming Agricultural Statistics (No. 1) 1923-29. 


Wyoming State Tribune, whom I quoted, feels that great 
credit belongs to the dry farmers who have persisted and 
succeeded in spite of opposition. He thinks that the efforts 
of Mondell and Kendrick, who championed the Amendment 
to the Act of 1909, which allowed a homestead of 320 acres, 
and the Stock-raising act of 1916, which allowed 640 acres, 
are to be highly commended. Thirty-five years ago the 
irrigator appeared with his shovel and plow and began to 
divert the water from the streams and use it for farming. 
This is now conceded, that at best only a small fraction of 
the tillable land can be reached with water. Stockmen are 
beginning to adjust themselves to the change and are using 
the feed raised by these farmers. Deming suggests that in 
recognition of the success the term dry (formerly a word of 
contempt) has been left off and these men are now called 
farmers. (*21) The State Engineer recognized the grow- 
ing importance of the dry farming movement, and in his 
report in 1908 stated his belief that the movement was des- 
tined to bring about settlement and reclamation of large 
areas hitherto devoted to grazing purposes only, that the 
leaders are proving that Wyoming is not a desert, but a 
place where crops will grow by proper cultivation. (*22) 
Whereas the acreage of irrigated lands in Converse County 
did not change from 1921 to 1923, being in round numbers 
23,000 acres, that of dry farming grew from 29,000 acres 
in 1921 to 43,000 acres in 1923. (*23) The acreage under 
irrigation in 1919 was no more than it was in 1909, but at 
the same time the farm acreage increased from approxi- 
mately 550,000 acres in 1910 to 777,000 acres in 1920. 
(*24) The value of farm property increased from $5,180,- 
165.00 in 1900 to $17,488,441.00 in 1920. (*25) With this 
steady growth in farming there has been no diminishing in 
the value of live stock. In the "good old days" ranchmen 
used canned milk and oleomargarine from Chicago and 
Omaha. Today there are many fine dairy cattle in the 
County, a large creamery at Douglas and a regular milk 
line that takes care of the milk and cream along the high- 
way that is sent to Casper. 

A few years ago such a thing as a County Fair was 
unknown in the State. Today there is not a county in the 
State that does not have a fair, and most of the towns have 
local fairs. Glenrock has a local fair, and the State Fair is 

*21 Deming, W. C, "Dty Farming," in Proceedings and Collections of Wyoming 
Historical Department 1921-1923, 158-159. 

*22 State Engineer of Wyoming, Biennial Report, 1907, 1908, 58-59. 


*24 Fy farm acreage is meant patented lands, which includes grazing, dry 
farming and irrigated lands. 

*25 Fourteenth Census, Wyoming Compendium, 1920, 48. 


at Douglas in September of each year. The local fair at 
Glenrock has creditable exhibits each year of wheat, oats, 
corn, hubbard squashes, alfalfa, melons, and practically 
every sort of vegetable. The State Fair has exhibits of live 
stock in addition to a fine display of farm products in the 
way of grains, etc. Not many years ago cattle and sheep 
men controlled the banks of the County, and this did not 
encourage farming. Banking men have learned a lesson 
from the disastrous losses resulting from fluctuation in 
prices in stock and severe storms to the effect that it is 
not sound policy to put all their money in one thing, and 
they now feel that it is much sounder policy to encourage 
farming, both irrigated and dry farming. Not many years 
ago a farmer would not have received a loan to buy dairy 
equipment; today banks join with farmers in improving 
their dairy herds and the movement to introduce sugar 
beets and field beans has the backing of the bankers. The 
stock-farmer is entering into the economic progress of the 

The State Department of the University of Wyoming 
are co-operating with the United States Department of Ag- 
riculture in every way possible. Certain crops are being 
encouraged. Others are being studied as to methods of 
tillage, growing season, and other things. Some obstacles 
have been overcome, but others remain for study, as dis- 
tance to market, lack of good highways, and real interest 
in the movement. Scarcity of rainfall and the short grow- 
ing season are the two main problems. Crops have been 
found that will mature within the average growing season 
and the average rainfall. It may not be true that "rain fol- 
lows the plow," but it is well established that many sections 
that were once considered too dry to support anything ex- 
cept cacti, sage and sandstorms now contribute to the 
world's supply of grain. Converse County has over one and 
one-half million acres of tillable land. Many thousands of 
it will in time be irrigated, but the major portion can never 
be irrigated and will lie as grazing land unless the need of 
the world for food overcomes the problems of dr^^ farming. 


History of the Oil and Mining Industry 

There is evidence to show that some of the ''49rs" on 
their way to California prospected the region along the 
Laramie Range in Converse County. Outcroppings of sil- 
ver and copper were found. In 1869 Emanuel George, an 
experienced and intelligent prospector, came to this section 


and found the old shafts and opened more. He found an 
abundance of copper, but as it was worth only about ten 
cents a pound it could not be marketed because the Union 
Pacific, the nearest railroad, was over 100 miles to the 
south and roads were very poor. George was further handi- 
capped by being a miner in a cow country. The cowboys 
dubbed him "Crazy Horse." (*1) Consequently this phase 
of mining was abandoned until after organization of the 
County. Soon after organization a feverish activity began 
in different parts of the County, and many veins bearing 
gold, silver and copper were discovered, opened and devel- 
oped, to some extent. Evidently all have been abandoned, 
for the report of the State Board of Equalization for 1924 
gives no valuation for any minerals other than coal and oil. 

*1 Wells, E. J., "Mineral Eesources of Central Wyoming," in Bill Barlow's 
Budget— 21st Anniversary Edition, 1907. 

(To be continued) 

From Jan. 1, 1930, to April 1, 1930. 

"Captain Nickerson Collection": 

One copy of The South Pass News, Vol. 1, No. 56, April 

9, 1870. 

One copy of The South Pass News, Vol. 3, No. 4, August 

31, 1870. 

One copy of The South Pass News, Vol. 3, No. 21, December 

28, 1870. 

These papers were published at South Pass City, Wyoming 
Territory. The paper was established in 1868 by the late 
Mr. E. A. Slack. 
One copy of The Fremont Clipper, Vol, 1, No. 10, October 

29, 1887, published at Lander. 

One copy of The Clipper, April 18, 1902, published at Lander. 
One copy of Daily Sun-Leader, October 2, 1897, Special 

One copy of Wyoming State Journal, July 29, 1921. 
Six copies of The Lander Evening Post, dates — October 1, 6, 
November 16, 17, 18, 1921, and May 3, 1927. 
The following documents: 

Letter v^rritten by ?. L. Johnson advising Captain Nickerson 
as to the books he should read for a law course. Dated 
April 24, 1866, Elyria, Lorain County, Ohio. 
Letter written by ?. L. Johnson certifying Captain Nicker- 
son has been a student in his law office. Dated April 24, 
1866, Elyria, Lorain County, Ohio. 

H. G. Nickerson's affidavit of October 23, 1867, South 
Weber, U. Ty., stating that he had rendered complete and 
correct returns of all money and property of the Quarter- 
master's department which had been received and referred 
to the Third Auditor of the Treasury for file with his re- 


turns. Dated February 6, 1868, Quartermaster General's 
Office, Washington, D. C. 

Notice from the Treasury Department that H. G. Nickerson's 
"Returns of Quartermaster's Stores" for the months of July 
and August, 1865, have been examined and found to be cor- 
rect. Dated February 29, 1868, Third Auditor's Office. 

Certificate of Non-Indebtedness issued to H. G. Nickerson 
(South Weber, Utah Territory), from the Third Auditor's 
Office, Treasury Department. Dated March 2, 1868. Signed 
by John Wilson, Third Auditor. 

The United States Commission for the Third District of 
Wyoming, issued to Captain Nickerson, October 19, 1869, 
Signed, J. H. Howe, Chief Justice of the Territory of Wyo- 
ming; J. W. Kingman, Associate Justice; William J. Jones, 
Associate Justice. On November 6, 1869, in South Pass City, 
Captain Nickerson took his oath of office before J. W. King- 
man, Associate Justice of the Territory of Wyoming. 
Letter dated 1869, v^ritten to H. G. Nickerson by Edward 
M. Lee, Secretary and Acting Governor of Wyoming Terri- 
tory, pertaining to Captain Nickerson's commission as County 
Superintendent of Public Schools for Sweetwater County. 

Certificate of Election in which H. G. Nickerson is notified 
of his election as a member of the House of Representatives 
from Sweetwater County, Signed by J. A. Campbell, Gov- 
ernor of Wyoming Territory, and H. Glafcke, Secretary of 
the Territory. Dated September 30, 1871. 
Union Pacific Railroad Pass made out to H. G. Nickerson on 
November 12, 1871. 

H. G. Nickerson was selected to attend at Cheyenne six days 
before the commencement of the session of the Legislative 
Assembly for the purpose of settling with the Auditor and 
Treasurer of the Territory. Signed by H. Glafcke, Secretary 
of Wyoming Territory. Dated October 11, 1871. 
Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, May 18, 1872, Captain Nick- 
erson, residing at Hamilton, Wyoming Territory, was ap- 
pointed Commissioner of Supreme Court. Signed by J. W. 
Fisher, Chief Justice; Joseph M. Carey, Associate Justice; 
and J. W. Kingman, Associate Justice. 

Letter signed by nine members of the Lorain County Bar in 
the State of Ohio, written to President R. B. Hayes, recom- 
mending Captain Nickerson for an official appointment in 
Wyoming Territory under that administration. Dated Feb- 
ruary 20, 1877, Elyria, Ohio. 

H. G. Nickerson appointed Justice of the Peace for Miners 
Delight Precinct in Sweetwater County, in Wyoming Terri- 
tory. Dated October 17, 1877. 

A certificate stating that H. G. Nickerson is a member of the 
Wyoming Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters for the 
year 1881-1882. Signed by John W. Hoyt, President. Dated 
December 23, 1881. 

Letter signed by E. S. N. Morgan, Secretary of Wyoming- 
Territory, and dated May 22, 1882, in which H. G Nickerson 
is authorized as a Commissioner for the Denver National 

Certificate signed by John W. Hoyt, Governor of Wyoming 
Territory, and E. S. N. Morgan, Secretary of Wyoming 


Territory, in which Captain Nickerson is commissioned a 
Commissioner for the Denver National Exposition. Dated 
May 20, 1882. 

On Jan. 12, 1883, Captain Nickerson's Certificate of Elec- 
tion for representative from Sweetwater County, Eighth 
Legislative Assembly, Wyoming Territory, was signed by 
William Hale, Territorial Governor, and E. S. N. Morgan, 
Acting Governor and Secretary of Territory. 

Letter written to H. G. Nickerson by E. S. N. Morgan, Sec- 
retary of Wyoming Territory, in which Captain Nickerson is 
commissioned as a Commissioner to organize the County of 
Fremont. Dated March 27, 1884. 

Certificate authorizing H. G. Nickerson as a Commissioner 
to organize Fremont County. Signed by William Hale, Gov- 
ernor of the Territory and E. S. N. Morgan, Secretary. Dated 
March 27, 1884. 

On May 3, 1884, Captain Nickerson received two commis- 
sions from the Territory of Wyoming. One was for County 
Treasurer for Fremont County and the other for Probate 
Judge. Both documents carry the beautiful Territorial Seal 
and are signed by the Acting Governor, E. S. N. Morgan. 
On May 11, 1885, the proclamation declaring the 30th of 
May, 1885, as Memorial Day, is signed by E. S, N. Morgan, 
Acting Governor and Secretary of Wyoming Territory. 
H. G. Nickerson is appointed Aide de Camp by the Com- 
mander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, Dated 
June 27, 1890. 

Certificate designating that H. G. Nickerson has been ap- 
pointed Agent for the Indians of the Shoshone Agency in 
Wyoming. Signed by President William McKinley and Cor- 
nelius N. Bliss, Secretary of the Interior. Dated February 
15, 1898. 

Letter to Captain Nickerson signed by William McKinley, 
President of the United States. 

Letter written to Captain Nickerson by Garret A. Hobart, of 
Paterson, New Jersey, Nov. 24, 1896. 

Letter from James Boyle, Private Secretary to President 
McKinley, Nov. 24, 1896. 

Letter signed by M. A. Hanna, Dec. 1, 1896. 

Certificate of membership in the McKinley National Me- 
morial Association. This also carries the signature of M. A. 
Hanna. President McKinley and Captain Nickerson were 
Civil War comrades of the Ohio 23d Regiment. 

Two letters from Colonel John C. Fremont written by 
Captain Nickerson. These letters are dated March 22, 1884, 
and September 8, 1887. They are written from the summer 
home of Colonel Fremont in New Jersey. They are mounted 
with glass and framed with copper so that the letters can 
be easily read. 

One copy of the Wind River Mountaineer, Lander, August 19, 1886. 

One copy of Rules and Committees of the Constitutional Con- 
vention of Wyoming, 1889. 

One copy of United States Mining Laws and Regulations there- 
under. General Land Office, June 10, 1872. 


Lead pencil list of the names and politics of the first Territorial 
Council and Assembly held in the Territory of Wyoming. 

Address of General E. P. Scammon, First Colonel of the 23d 
O. V. V. L, at Annual Reunion, Lakeside, Ohio, August 
22, 1888. 

Diaries kept by Captain Nickerson during the years 1866, 1873 
and 1889. The 1866 diary is written in shorthand. 

A pamphlet containing the Story of the Lost Train to Oregon. 

Picture of eighteen Civil War soldiers and a drummer boy. Un- 

Picture of the members of the Eighth Legislative Assembly, 
Wyoming Territory, 1884. 

Picture of President Lincoln and his Generals in the Civil War. 

Picture of South Pass City, in Wyoming. 

Picture of Atlantic City, in Wyoming. 

Picture of sixteen Civil War Veterans who were also pioneers of 
Fremont County, Wyoming. 

Official report of the Oregon Trail Commission, 1920. 

The following newspaper clippings: 

A man by the name of John O'Grady frozen to death between 

Fort Washakie and the railroad. Acting Coroner Justice 

Nickerson, of Miners Delight, empanels a jury and holds an 

inquest. Dated March 31, 1880. 

"Effect Woman's Suffrage," an address by Mrs. Hansen of 

Wyoming, before the Political Equality Club, Des Moines, 

Iowa, June 2, 1899. 

The Future of Miners' Delight, a deserted mining camp in 

the mountains, at an elevation of 8,500 feet, where nuggets 

of pure gold have been taken from the adjacent mountains 

and gulches, valued at hundreds of dollars. Undated. 

Lander, a new town in an old settled community, wherein 
agriculture, stock raising and mining proves profitable. Un- 

Henry DeWolf; golden wedding; death; poem written by 
Addie E. Holmberg, entitled "Farewell, Old Pioneer." Clip- 
ping is made from the Wyoming State Journal, August 
29, 1928. 

The following army papers: 

Special Orders No. 9. Dated December 2, 1863, Camp White, 
West Virginia. 

An army circular dated July 12, 1864, and the poem written 
by J. A. Smith, Company "K", 28th Iowa Volunteers, and 
both signed at Cedar Creek, September 18, 1864, by Captain 

Sergeant Nickerson is commissioned Captain in the 186th 
Regiment, 0. V. I. Signed by R. B. Hayes, Brig. General. 
Dated March 1, 1865, Columbus, Ohio. 

H. G. Nickerson is appointed Captain in the 186th Regiment, 
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in the service of the United States 
by John Brough, Governor of the State of Ohio. Dated 
March 4, 1865. 

Special Orders No. 111. Dated April 10, 1865, Columbus, 


Special Orders No. 6. Dated April 22, 1865, Cleveland, Tenn. 
Captain Nickerson is honorably discharged from the service 
of the United States on September 18, 1865, at Nashville, 

Special Orders No. 111. Dated September 23, 1865, Colum- 
bus, Ohio. 

Document from the Adjutant General's office of the State of 
Ohio, giving- the dates of H. G. Nickerson's enrollment in the 
army, promotions, and discharges. Dated February 26, 1884, 
Columbus, Ohio. 

Soldiers' Memorial. List of soldiers in Company *'D", 23d 
Reg't Ohio Vet. Vols. H. G. Nickerson was at this time 1st 
Sergeant. Undated. 

List of names and addresses of the enlisted men of Co. ''I", 

186th Reg't Ohio Volunteers. Undated. 

One transfer card recommending James Ryan for admission 

into any Post of the Order (Grand Army of the Republic). 

Dated June 30, 1886, Fort Custer, Montana. 

Muster-in Roll of Captain Nickerson. Undated. 

Two blank army discharge papers. 

Letter to H. G. Nickerson from J. P. and S. L Wright, United 

States Pension and Claim Attorneys, containing instructions 

regarding the procuring of a pension. 

Note from the Bureau of Pensions, Army and Navy Sur- 
vivors Div., Washington, D. C. Undated. 

Three Wells, Fargo and Express Company Waybill books: 

Waybills from Bryan Station into the Sweetwater Mining 
\ District. 1870. 

I Waybills from Bryan Station into the Sweetwater Mining 

[ District. Jan., 1870, to June, 1877. 

Waybills forwarded from the Sweetwater Mining District 

to Bryan Station. Dated 1870. 

Myers, E. P. — Two framed pictures of the Boulder Dam, dated 1913. 
One framed picture of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. 
One picture of the Underwood Livestock Company Float, 
three Red Cross pictures, one Boy Scout picture, two Y. W. 
C. A. pictures, one picture of the inauguration of Frank C. 
Emerson as Governor of Wyoming, two class pictures of 
Cheyenne High School students, one picture of Frank Clark's 
garage in Cheyenne, one picture of the 15th District Lions 
International Float, two pictures of the Union Pacific Ma- 
chine Shops in Cheyenne, one picture of a Children's Clinic, 
a group picture of the different Governors taken at the time 
of their meeting in Cheyenne in 1926, a picture of an old 
map of the United States dated 1853, negatives of the above 
map, two pictures of the plane "Spirit of St. Louis" taken 
in 1927, two pictures of the Pole Mountain Reserve dated 
1926, one picture of the C. M. T. C. Cavalry Base Ball Team, 
C. M. T. C. mess line at F. S. King's Ranch taken July 1, 
1926, a picture of the C. M. T. C. boys in camp at the F. S. 
King Ranch on July 1, 1926, one picture of the C. M. T. C. 
Field Artillery dated June, 1926. 

Allen, George — An Indian axe found on the farm belonging to his 
brother, William Allen, near Azalia, Indiana. 


Johnson, Arthur C. — ^A copy of the Annual Stock Show Edition of The 
Denver Daily Record Stockman for 1930. 

Willard, James F. — A 1913 report on the archives of the State of 
Wyoming- written by Mr. Willard, who is the Professor of 
History at the University of Colorado, 

Ellis, Mrs. Charles — Seven original manuscripts: — "Life of Oscar 
Collister," "Michael Quealy," "Jens Hansen," "Frederick 
Herman," "Robert Foote," "David Ellis," "William Richard- 

Richardson, Clarence — Pamphlet entitled "Pioneering- Western Trails 
vidth Clarence Richardson." It is an address delivered before 
the Cheyenne Rotary Club on December 18, 1929. 

Crow, I. R. — An invitation to attend the grand ball and entertainment 
given to celebrate the opening of Wisner's Hotel, at the 
Forks of Hay Creek, on Miles City Road, Sept, 11, 1883. An 
invitation to attend the opening ball at Slaughter's New 
Opera House, Douglas, Wyoming, June 1, 1887, 

Durbin, Thomas F. — A program for the opening night of the New 
Cheyenne Opera House, Thursday, May 25th, 1882. These 
prog-rams were perfumed by Geo. W. Hoyt. Emblem from 
the 50th Annual Communication, Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. 
of Wyoming, Laramie, Aug. 27-28, 1924, Two McKinley- 
Hobart buttons, one Mondell button, bearing these words: 
"Protection, Bimetallism," one Theodore Roosevelt button, 
one Methodist Sunday School button. Emblem from the 40th 
Convocation General Grand Chapter held in Denver, Colorado, 
in 1921. Two Royal Arch Masonic emblems from the con- 
vention held in Denver in 1921, A Pythian Veteran medal 
which belonged to Geo. L. Durbin, brother of Mr. Thomas 
Durbin. Two Masonic badges. Knight Templar buttons 
taken from Mr. Durbin's coat. Badge from the Panama 
Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 
1915. Revolver patented in 1865 by E. Allen & Co. of Wor- 
cester, Mass. Official Brands, State of Wyoming, 1908. 
Thomas Durbin, Secretary. Shiloh Battlefield Association 
Badge, April 6-7, 1862. One copy of the Commencement 
number of the Lariet, published by the Cheyenne High School 
in 1904. Three tickets to the Floto Circus in 1904. Exposi- 
tion Universelle Badge, 1889. Good luck piece from the Den- 
ver Gas and Electric Co. Eleven business documents dated 
1919 and 1921. The following First National Bank Books in 
account with the Durbin Bros.: Aug. 2, 1877-Sept. 30, 1880; 
Oct. 13, 1880-Apr. 1, 1884; Aug. 17, 1882-Mar, 20, 1884; 
Apr. 1, 1884- Jan. 23, 1888; Mar. 18, 1884- June 25, 1886; 
Jan, 2, 1890- July 2, 1893. Letters regarding the Silver Anni- 
versary of the Grand Chapter Order of Eastern Star of Wyo- 
ming and an invitation to attend. Program from the Grand 
Chapter of Wyoming, Order of the Eastern Star, 25th Anni- 
versary, held on Sept. 11 and 12, 1922, in Rawlins, Wyoming, 
By Laws and official directory Wyoming Number 1, Knights 
Templar, 1914. By Laws and official directory, Wyoming 
Chapter No. 1, Royal Arch Masons, 1920. 

Burnett, Edward — A phostat map published by the Kansas Pacific 
Railroad in 1878 in which there is given a reasonably correct 
outline of w^hat is knowTi as the old Chisolm Trail.