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Hnnals of 


Tne Wyoming 


tory Journal 


Winter 1998 


70, No. 




.._.,™_*^Sfcw,..,...,,._, ■- 





1^ *i«..>0— 

Ar)out the Cover Art 

"Transcontinental Telegraph Lines" 

William H. Jackson (1843-1942) was a pioneer of the American West. His contribu- 
tions range from senice with the U. S. Geological Sun'cv to participation in the 
establishment of Yellowstone and Mesa Verde National Parks. Jackson 's art and 
photography have memorialized the West. The work documented, for the fust time, 
the irrepressible beauty of the western landscape. This particular piece bv Jackson 
illustrates the evolution of the West as well as his interpretation of the construction 
of the transcontinental telegraph. The painting was done in 1933. More of Jackson 's 
work can be seen at the American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming, in an 
upcoming exhibit of his work. "Through the Lens and Brush. " The cover painting is 
courtesy of the American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming. —Pedro E. Fornes 

The editor of Annals of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and photographs on every aspect of the history' of Wyoming and the West. 
Appropriate for submission are unpubHshed, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpreta- 
tions of historical events. First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in 
the "Wyoming Memories" section. Articles are reviewed and refereed by members of the joumaPs Editorial Advisorv Board and 
others. Decisions regarding publication are made by the editor. Manuscripts (along with suggestions for illustrations or photographs) 
should be submitted on computer diskettes in a format created by one of the widely-used word processing programs along with two 
printed copies. Submissions and queries should be addressed to Editor, .-innals of Wyoming. P. O. Box 4256, University Station, 
Laramie WY 82071. 

Pliil RoLerts 

Book Review Editor 
Carl Hallterg 

Editorial Advisor\' Board 

Barnara Bogart, Evan^ton 
Maoel BrottTi, Newcastle 
Michael J. De\'ine, Laramie 
James B. Grirritk, Jr., Cneyenne 
Don Hodgson, Torhngton 
Loren Jost, Riverton 
David KatnJca, Rock Springs 
T. A. Larson, Laramie 
Jonn D. McDermott, Sneridan 
^'illiam H. Moore, Laramie 
Kar\'l RoDD, Cneyenne 
Snerry L. Smith, Moose 
Tnomas F. StroocK, Casper 
Lawrence M. Woods, W^rland 

Wyoming State Historical Society 

PuLIications Committee 

RicK Ewig, Laramie 

David KatnJca, Rock Springs 

Snerrv' L. Smitn, Moose 

Amv LaftTence, Laramie 

Nancy Curtis, Glenao 

Patty Myers, Wheatland (ex-oft'icio) 

Loren Jost, Riverton (ex-orricio) 

Pnd Roberts, Laramie (ex-onicio) 

Wyoming' State Historical Society 
Executive Committee 

Patt>' Myers, President, Wheatland 
Olen Morris, Kemmerer 
Mike lording, Newcastle 
Linda Fahian, Cheyenne 
Marna Gruhh, Green Ri\-er 
Barhara Bogart, E\'anston 
Rick Ewig, Laramie 
Amy Lawrence, Laramie 
Dick Wilder, Cody 

Governor oi Wyoming' 

Jim Genni^er 

Wyoming' Dept. or Commerce 

Oene Bn'an, Director 

Kary-'l Roth, Administrator, Di\-. or Cultural 


Wyoming Parks 6^ Cultural Resources 


U'dliam DuDois, Cheyenne 

Michael). De\ine, Laramie 

Diann Reese, Lyman 

Rosie Berger, Big Horn 

B. Byron Price, Cody 

Herh French, Newcastle 

Frank Tim Isahell, Shoshoni 

Jeanne Hickey, Cneyenne 

Hale Kreycik, Douglas 

L^niversity oi Wyoming 

Philip Dubois, President 
Michael J. De\dne, Director, 

American Heritage Center 
Oliver Walter, Dean, 

College of Arts and Sciences 
William H. Moore, Chair, Dept. of Histon^ 

^rmnah of 


The ^ 'y omin ^ His toiy Journal 

Winter 1998 Vol. 70, No. 1 

vCyoTTimg f^emories 

Oral Histor\' in Wvoniinp 2 

Wanted— ty Wkom? 

Ben Mills as Indian Agent 

Bv Martin Luscnei 

Music as Artiract: The Johnson County War Ballads 

By Ariel A. Downing 13 

Oeorge G. Lobdell, Jr. and the Yale ^cientiric Expedition 
of 1871 at Fort Bridger 

By Maiy Faitk Pankin 25 

Book Review^s 

Edited ty Carl HallLerg 45 

Recent Acquisitions in tke Heoard Collection, I'AV Libraries 

Compiled bv Tarnsen L. Hert 46 

Index 47 

Wyoming' Picture I nside BacL 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal is published quarterl\ by the Wyoming State Historical 
Society in association with the Wyoming Department of Commerce, the American Heritage Center, and the 
Department of History, University of Wyoming. The journal was previously published as the Quarterly 
Bulletin ( 1 923- 1 925 ), Annals of Wyoming ( 1 925-1 993 ), Wyoming Annals ( 1 993-1 995 ) and Wyoming His- 
tory Journal (1995-1996). The Annals has been the official pubhcation of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society since 1953 and is distributed as a benefit of membership to all society members. Membership dues 
are: single, $20; joint, S30; student (under 21 ), $15; institutional, S40; contributing, $100-249; sustaining, 
$250-499; patron. $500-999; donor, $1,000+. To join, contact >our local chapter or write to the address 
below. .Articles in Annals of Wyoming xt abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America Histoiy and Life. 

Editorial correspondence and inquiries about reprints and back issues should be addressed to the editorial 
office of Annals of Wyoming. American Heritage Center, P. O. Box 4256, University Station, Laramie WY 
82071. Inquiries about membership and distribution should be addressed to Judy West, Coordinator. Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society, 1 740H 1 84 Dell Range Bl\d., Che\ enne WY 82009. 

Copyright 1998, Wyoming State Historical Society 

ISSN: 1086-7368 

y ommg 



j/ie j-oUowin^ segments were drawn in 19S3 from ihe oralnistoru collection /lefcf Su 
wnat was men t/ie (SJuomin^ <bia/e ^rcniues^ jKuseums and yfistoricafT^epart' 
men/, now pan/ of /ne CjuJ/uraJ Jiesources Division^ <b/a/e Depar/ment of Commerce. 
m/ tne /ime //lese were compilecf, /ne s/a/e collec/ion /o/alecf some 700 indivicfuaf oral 
his/orij in/eruiews. Jne collection since nas arown /o /ripfe /na/ number. 

Dral JhiisiortJ in (QJtJominq 

^~ / he actual voices on tape were used in a slide- 
J tape presentation called "Voices from Wyo- 
ming's Past. " 
In an interview made in December, 1971, Charles 
Lawrence and .Jim Dil/inger talked to Clare Johnson 
about what downtown Buffalo looked like in 1897. In 
this extract. Lawrence talks about Main Street. ' 
Interviewer: "Charlie, what were the streets like in 
those days? " 

Charles Lawrence: "The streets were nothing but a 
dirt readjust a dirt road period and that's all there was 
to it. There was no sidewalk, no trees, nothing but a 
dirt road. All of those big trees you see here weren't 
there. There might have been some of them — a few of 
them were small trees about four or five feet tall." 
Interviewer: "Some of your sidewalks, Charlie, were 
hoard sidewalks? " 

Lawrence: "Well, as we get on further downtown we 
have board sidewalks. I don't know as there were any 
board sidewalks up here or not." 
Interviewer: "Charlie, how would the setting of 75 
years ago compare with that of today as far as. . . oh, 
what could you see down main street 75 years ago? " 
Lawrence: "Looking north down Main Street, the first 
thing you could see was the Episcopal Church from 
here. And. now at the present time, there are people 
coining out in cars, and coming out of those residences 
and going places. It looks as though they've had a con- 
vention over here someplace where what used to be the 
Wright house...." 

^"^ /^elen Oliver of Newcastle, in an oral history in- 
Jj terview done by Phil Roberts in 1979, talked 
about her remembrances of what downtown 
Newcastle looked like just after the turn of the cen- 
tury. - 

Interviewer: "Did Newcastle look pretty much the 
same downtown? " 

Oliver: "Pretty much the same. The main part. Of 
course, from the railroad tracks there were two or three 
buildings there and the mill and on from there on out, 
there was nothing — no houses or nothing." 
Interviewer: "The downtown was right there where it 
is now? " 

Oliver: "The Main Street's very much the same. Of 
course, they've got some false fronts on and so forth. 
(laughter). And that Antler's Hotel — that's one of the 
oldest buildings in town." 
Interviewer: "Oh, it is?" 

Oliver: "It was used by the Cambria Fuel Company 
for — they had kind of a commissary there, I guess. They 
sold dry goods and they had offices, before it was a 
hotel. So that's one of the old ones. And that building 
on the comer this way across from the Antler, that's an 
old one, too. That was what they called the Kendrick 
Block. And, oh, most of those buildings up — but you 

' Charles Lawrence interview, Oral History interview (hence- 
forth abbreviated as OH) No. 6 (Dec. 4, 1971), Division of Cul- 
tural Resources. State Department of Commerce (henceforth ab- 
breviated as DoC). 

- Helen Oliver interview. OH-408 (May 7, 1979), DoC. 

Winter 1Q98 

know, we've had two or three bad fires which would 
take the whole block almost at a time. Where Penney 
Store is, Flemings had a hardware store there and that 
whole block burned one night. And the block across 
the street from the Antler's Hotel down — that all burned 
one time." 

Interviewer: "Do vou remcnihcr those fires? " 
Oliver: "'Oh, yes. And then up the street — up, well, 
you know . where the laundr\ — dry cleaners is? There 
was a building there they called it the "House of Blazes." 
It was a house of ill repute and a saloon down below. 
And they were ha\ing a dance in town that night and 
they heard the tire whistle blow. My mother had a 
schoolteacher with her and they lived on the hill where 
they could see everything. She looked out the window 
and she said, 'Oh, it's the old House of Blazes." And 
Mrs. Burton said, 'It looked like blazes, all right." So it 

Often times, the only way that one can obtain 
the history of workini^ people is through oral 
history. Many of them didn t keep diaries or 
journals and many times newspapers omitted mention 
of their activities. In the following tape, done in the 
summer of 1979 in Casper, a long-time Rock Springs 
resident and Welsh natiye. Thomas Clnu'les Hearn. 
talked to Phil Roberts about the early days in the mines 
and the strikes in the WJOs.-' 

Interviewer: "Diil you ever haye — were there any 
strikes in the mines when you where there'.' " 
Hearn: "Oh, yes. Even in 1922 when I was paying for 
this home, we went out on strike. Conditions got so 
bad that — and coal operators wouldn't settle. I don't 
know why they wouldn't settle. Because there was a 
demand for coal. I will say this about a strike. Both 
sides lose in a strike. So we went back to work after 
being out for tl\ e months under the same conditions as 
we started and we couldn't get an\ satisfaction from 
the mine operators, so we had to go back to work. But 
then in 1 945 we were out on strike three times in one 
year. And that was w hen John L. Lewis was fighting to 
compel the operators to pay so much into the miner's 
welfare, which they are doing today." 

/• "^/J more familiar theme of conflict in the histoiy 
/~j of Wyoming was that between sheepmen and 
^~^^ *• cattlemen. In the following interyiew done in 
the summer of 1 9S() in Worland. Ethel Townsend talks 
about her recollections of the sheep and the cattle dis- 
turbiuices at the turn of the century.'* 

Townsend: "Of course, that stirred up a lot of — why, 
people w ho were friends, if they were in sympathv w ith 
the sheep, they were no longer friends." 
Interviewer: "Do you remember w ho brought the fust 
sheep into this area'.'"" 

Townsend: "1 kind of believe it was .loe .Allcmand. 
I'm not sure. You say it was'^ 1 knui of think it was. 
Joe and Jack Allemand had sheep. They were up on 
Spring Creek. And then, of course, there were quite a 
few sheep that came into that part of the countr\ . but 
we didn't have them down Ten Sleep for a long time. 
But 1 have been several places where I worked — I've 
always had to work for a living — I've seen crowds of 
men gather getting ready to go and raid those sheep 
camps. And they'd run the sheep o\ cr the banks, and 
pile them up and kill a lot of them. And. of course, 
they didn't kill an\ men for a longtime but the\ tlnalh 
did. I think the worst raid — we li\ ed right at Ten Sleep 
then — was when they killed Joe Allemand. Joe Emge 
and a French young fellow up there by Spring Creek." 

, ^— y annie Chamberlain ofCokcvillc talks about one 
J^ of her neighbors who. at the turn of the ccn- 
^—^ tury. had interests in caltlc cuul sheep This 
interyie\y was made in 19^1.^ 

Cliamberlain: "He told us down there one night at 
the table that he used to have cattle, but he couldn't 
round them up. But he said he did round them up be- 
cause w hen he got out to round them up on foot. thc\ 
all took in after him and he had to herd all of them ...he 
had the herd all rounded up. So he sold his cattle and 
went into sheep and. 1 think, the tlrst time that he came 
here. 1 think, he had 28 head of ..or 28 bands. Of course, 
there was no reser\ e here then and \ ou could look out 
on the west side and sheep — the hills were mo\ ing with 
sheep. They could just go anywhere and everywhere. 
But up until that time you could look over on the west 
side and it looked just exactly like a green \el\et ear- 
pet over there. But it didn't take long for the sheep to 
kill it out." 

(~^/y^leber Hadsell of Carbon Counn' nuule this oral 

/| history tape sometime around 19" 2. Hadsell 

was an early resident of Carbon Count}' lunl 

he talked about his experiences with sheep, cattle luid 

the deadline.^' 

"' Thomas Charles Hearn interview, OH-4:n (,luf\ 10, 1070), 

■^ Ethel Townsend interview, OH-638 (June, 1980), DoC. 

^ Fannie Chamberlain interview, OH- 10, (Nov. 2. 1071). 

•^ Kleber Hadsell interview, OH-30.A&B, (1072), DoC. 

Annals of Wyoming :Tke Wyoming Histon- 

Hadsell: "Oh, sheep were supposed to stay on the 
south side of that line and the cattle, oh, they usually 
went about where they wanted to. I thought a good 
deal about that deadline and thought it would be a good 
idea for me to go over and find out more about it. So I 
appeared ov er at old Jessie Johnson's ranch on the north 
side of the Green Mountains and asked him to ride with 
me up on the line and so if there were places up there 
where he particularly wanted me to stay out of, let me 
know where the} were and if there were places where 
he'd just as soon I'd go on the other side, let me know 

■■ folks along the Sweetwater. And 1 had my best 

friends there. 1 was called on occasionally by those folks 
to come o\er there with sheep whenever the\ were 
threatened with sheep from outside...knowing that when 
the dust all settled, that I'd move on." 

/"""■> eni Diinihri/l talked about when she and her 
^family came to Wyoming Just after the turn of 
^^-^ the century and settled in southern Crook 
County. 1)1 this 1980 intenien: she talked about the 
move to Wyoming.^ 

Dumbrill: "We didn't have Pullmans or anything like 
that. It was an emigrant train, too, and you were sup- 
posed to take your lunch as much as you could keep, 
\ ou know — as much as would keep. As we came west 
it got, you know... 

Interviewer: "Harder cuid harder? " 
Dumbrill: "Yes." 

Interviewer: "What did you take to eat? " 
Dumbrill: "Well, an\thing that wouldn't spoil, you 
know, maybe like cheese, sandwiches, fruit and we 
could probabh get off once in a while..." 
Interviewer: "There were places where you could 
stop and other places where you couldn 't'^ " 
Dumbrill: "Uh huh. And when we got to Newcastle, 
we thought, well, if it looks like this experimental sta- 
tion that they had down there then, you know, it was 
going to be fine. We had to come up on the local freight 
from Newcastle. There were just two freights and one 
going each way, 1 think, at that time. So we came up 
on the local freight to Thornton and it looked terrible... 
It looked worse than anyplace we'd ever gone through." 

/^"V n cm oral history interview made in April of 

^/ 1972 Magnus Larson of Cheyenne talked about 

Tom Horn.^ 

Larson: "It's a kind of touchy thing about Tom Horn 

killing that boy. And people are so set in their ways — 

they're so touchy about this thing. About half the 
people — they're strongly for Tom Horn and say that 
he never killed the kid. And the other half^and a lot 
of these children and grandchildren are alive yet — they 
all take sides. Tom Horn killed that boy.' Tom Horn 
never killed him.' I never get into any arguments with 
anyone. I keep that to myself When it comes to argu- 
ing about Tom Horn, I'm one of the very few alive 
who knew him personally, maybe the only one. I don't 

Interviewer: "Where did you know him"? " 
Larson: "Tom Horn? Through Charlie Dereemer. I was 
Charlie Dereemer's hired man. He used to come into 
Cheyenne. ..and every time we'd come in, Dereemer 
would take me up to the jail. And I remember the man, 
the Sheriff Smalley. He's the man that hung Tom Horn, 
you know. And anytime we'd come in, Dereemer would 
take me up to the jail and Smalley would bring some 
chairs and we'd sit outside there and visit with Tom 
Horn. And I'm just as sure as I'm alive — I'd swear, 
you know — that Tom Horn never killed that boy, after 
hearing him explain the whole thing and all the lies 
that they gave about him. But he had so many people 
afraid of him because he did kill some people after they 
drew their gun on him first." 

Other famous people are subjects of oral his- 
tory interviews. Lorenzo Burdeft of Evanston. 
interviewed in J 973. talked about another fa- 
mous individual in Wyoming histoiy that went on to 
national prominence. ^ 

Burdett: "I might say working for Penney, as we know, 
James Cash Penney — J. C. Penney — a man that started 
with nothing, made a fortune, and more friends than 
the fortune... There was a man that was a man. 
Interviewer: "There is no question about that. His 
number two store, wasn 't it? " 

Burdett: "Number 1 . Oh yes-Kemmerer was number 
1 ... 1 902. But he worked here at the Evanston store for 
three years before he opened the Penney's store. He 
came here and worked for Johnson and Callahan first. 
Callahan left — he didn't stay very long and Rolland 
W. Stevens took over. In the meantime, Johnson- 
Stevens had a wholesale house in Ogden where they 
got their supplies and they opened this Golden Rule 
store here in Evanston, and as far as I can remember 

7 Fern Dumbrill interview, OH-414 (May 9, 1979), DoC. 

8 Magnus Larson interview, OH-53 (Feb. 17, 1972). DoC. 

9 Lorenzo Burdett interview, OH-54 (Jan. 9, 1973), DoC. 

Winter JQ08 

and figure, Mr. Penney started to work in 1 899, here at 
the E\anston store. Now i was a very good friend of 
Mr. Penney's and I lil\ed him, tall<.ed to him. After I 
went to work for the railroad, I would even come up to 
this store knowing that he was coming here to visit. 1 
enjoyed coming up there and just having a conversa- 
tion with him and talk with him for a little while." 

(' "J / T 'iiijy persons uuerviewedfur oral history talk 

/ / 1 '-'f^oiit their recollections of coming to Wyo- 

Diing^ Bessie Tillelt. an earl}' resident of the 

Lovell area, interviewed in 1979. talks about when she 

and her family came to IVyomingfrom South Dakota.^^- 

Tillett: "Anywa} . we came with the railroad as far as 
Custer's Battlefield and we wintered there. And then 
the next spring, we were told about what wonderful 
countrx the Big Horn Basin was and open for agricul- 
ture. So my dad decided to come to this part of the 
country and we came in November, 1894. And, of 
course, this looked like a pretty good place— Lovell — 
so that was my dad's homestead and mother's desert 
right and they spent them here, see? And then we lived 
six years before the Mormon people " 


n)T May of Teton County in this interview 
made several years ago talks about his fust 
rear in Jackson Hole in lti96. ' ' 

May: "The next da>^ we pulled o\ er from Ditch Creek 
over onto the Gros Ventre and camped in there and 
then we came on back and started to make a house. 
Filed on land and started to build a house on the ranch — 
on the homestead — see, down next to the butte. So, of 
course, that winter we didn't have an> hay for our stock. 
We had to go down and put up this slough grass hay 
north of Jackson here. We all worked together — the 
whole bunch — the Budges and Aliens, and the bunch 
of us who came from Rockland and took the contract 
and they put that hay up. I think my father got a dollar 
and a quarter a day for stacking. And we had iron 
wheeled wagons then, you know, and nets we would 
hang the nets out over the baskets and till them and 
take them and attach them to a pulley and go up on the 
scissor derrick and a cable, and so that's where we win- 
tered. We wintered up on the Nelson place just south 
of Jackson here the tlrst winter — or just north of Jack- 
son, I should say." 

^ ^ eorge T. Beck, talking to the Park Count}' His- 
^--^ torical Societ}' several years ago about his 
recollections and some of the background of 

his father, one of the founders ofCodv. talked about 
when Cody was laid out. '- 

Beck: "Dad said that when he laid out — he was a sur- 
veyor. He had been a civil engineer and when he laid 
out the town of Cody on its present site here, he said he 
took some sightings on the North Star. You know the 
North Star makes a little tiny circle and he took some 
sightings on that North Star long enough so he could 
get the exact center of the circle made by the North 
Star. So Cody is supposed to be as near perfectly north 
and south as he could get it. And he said — perhaps 
most of you have heard this story and 1 always like 
it — he said that when he laid it out. he and Charlie 
Hayden were running the lines and so forth and Dad 
had the plat of the city along with him. he laid it down 
on the ground and put a rock on top of it and the\ w ent 
off, you know, and — to la\ out some more lines and he 
said a little dust de\il came along and grabbed a hold 
of this paper and pulled it out from under the rock and 
the last thing he saw of it, it was going right up m the 
sky. He said he always felt that the original plat of 
Cody was registered w ith St. Peter. Quite a distinction 
for our town..." 

One of the tnost controversial incii/ents in U'\'ii- 
ming histoiy was the so-called Johnson County 
Invasion. In this particular tape made in 1961. 
Russell Thorp talked to Lola llonishcr iibout his opm- 
ions of the Johnson CouiUv Wlu-}" 

Thorp: "Now Mike Shonsex , incidentall\ . in the course 
of conversation, 1 discussed with him the tnne of the 
Kaycee tight. He was supposed to have killed one of 
those men. I asked him about that. He said he wasn't 
sure if he did it or somebody else. But the\ say. that 
the cattlemen went in there and set the buildings atlre 
without giving those men any show whatever. Mike 
Shonsey assured me that they gave those men e\er\ 
opportunity to surrender which they refused to do. So, 
of course, they were cattle thieves and there's no ques- 
tion about it. And 1 am convinced from m_\ personal 
observations and talking w ith these men who would — 
the boys say they would talk to me w hen they wouldn't 
anybody else because I happen to know a good deal 
about it." 
Interviewer: "They trusted you. " 

'" Bessie Tillett interview, OH-61 (Oct. 21. 1971). DoC. 
" Henry and Hattie May. OH-QS (Feb. 11. 1966). DoC. 
'- George T. Beck, recording of lecture to Park Countx 
Historical Society. OH-147 (n.d.). DoC, 

'' Russell Thorp interview. OH-156 (.liil\ 20. 1959). DoC. 

Annals of WyomingiTke Wyoming History Journal 

Thorp: "And they all were for law and order and fron- 
tier justice and I'm a great believer in that although a 
ver\- distinguished author — or authoress — said she was 
sick and tired of hearing of frontier justice, but I know 
if we hadn't had it why, no telling where we'd be. 
There's a great deal written about the Johnson County 
Cattle War — or the invasion or whatever you want to 
call it. But it's admitted it was a failure in many re- 
spects. On the other hand, after this was over, the cattle 
stealing declined very materially." 

/■""T 1 ut oral hisro)y doesn 't have to be about events 
J\ that occurred 80 or 90 or 100 years ago. Even 
incidents in the 1930s and 1940s can be sub- 
jects of oral history interviews. In this interview con- 
ducted of Mabel Brown in the summer of 1979, she 
talked about the Depression era around Newcastle. '"* 

Brown: "After our first child was bom, we decided to 
go back to the ranch. Wes' sister had bought a place 
that was being lost because of foreclosure of mortgage. 
Wes' roots were deep in the soil. His folks had home- 
steaded and were pioneers in the prairie country. So I 
thought it would be kind of a lark. I'd never slept on a 
homestead where it was really a place to live. I'd lived 
in one overnight — had a lot to learn. 

We took our savings and bought some second hand 
farming machinery, took part of the wages in a cow 
and a calf and moved out to the prairie. We hit bad 
years. ..we had seven years with drought and grasshop- 
pers and — but never a crop. It was at the same time 
the\ were — rationing — not rationing, putting quotas on 
the amount of grain you could raise and all. Killing the 
cattle, butchering them and just leaving them lay. 

This I can remember at the oil field. This goes back a 
little bit and I'm not really in sequence, but when we 
were driving through the Osage oil field to Osage, the 
cattle were just lying along the road, burning in the 
sun, their legs stiff and up in the air... They paid ranch- 
ers about $20-S25 and then shoot the cattle and leave 
them lay there. They wouldn't let anybody go and 
butcher them to use for meat because that would be 
defeating the purpose of the slaughter of the cattle in 

the first place. It was to try to make the price go up and 
reduce the supply. 

Anyway, they did the same way with the wheat. You 
weren't allowed to plant over a certain acreage and if 
you had more wheat then — that came up volunteer, you 
couldn't harvest that because that would, of course, be 
cutting down on the demand and they would fine you — 
that you were raising more than you should. But we 
didn't have that problem for a long time and then one 
year, we had a beautiful crop — the best crop you can 
imagine anyplace. Wes went to Sundance and bought 
a binder and brought it back over home. 

It was one of those Wyoming days that could only 
be in Wyoming — the sky so blue, bright and clear. 
There was one big white cloud sailing around up 
there... one of those thunderheads. 

I said to Wes, maybe you just better wait until this is 
over with before — to see what this cloud does. By the 
time we saw what the cloud did, it was just like the 
fields had been plowed. Just wiped out. We didn't even 
unload the binder. 

Wes is pretty brave about things. I cried. I wanted 
him to give up and go from the farm. I'd had enough. I 
had lost several children. I thought it was all the farm's 
fault, you know. 

But, he said, *0h, we can't quit now, lady. It's like a 
poker game. We got to stay in and get well.'" 

'-•Mabel Brown interview, OH-412 (May 9, 1979), DoC. 

This article is a transcription of a special program 
produced in 1983 by the Historical Research Di- 
vision, Wyoming State Archives, Museums and His- 
torical Department (a successor agency to today 's 
Cultural Resources Division, Department of Com- 
merce). Rick Ewig, presently assistant director of 
the American Heritage Center, University of Wyo- 
ming, and Phil Roberts, currently editor of Annals 
and a faculty member of the Department of His- 
toiy. University of Wyoming, produced the pro- 
gram when both were employees of the Historical 
Research Division. 

Wanted— by Wk 

Ben Mills as Indian A^ent 


Bv Martin Luscnei 

Group of U. S. Commissioners ami Iintuin Chiefs. Fort Laramie. Wyoming. IS6S. 
L-R: unidentified: Paclis Ins Drums. Ogalala Sioux isittingi: Jolin Finn: .-Imos 
Bettelyon: W. H. Bullock (sittingl:Old Man Afraid of his Horses. Benjamin Mills 
(sitting): Red Bear: James Bordeaux. Courtesy of the Bureau of American Eth- 
nology, photo in the collections of the Wyoming State Museum. 

In 1870, when he rinaily agreed to go on the reservation, the poweriul Lahota warrior 
Red Cloud laid down his terms: he wanted ^. G. Bulloch lor his trader and Ben Mills ror 
his agent. "Lolonel Bullock was a ci\dlian, a \ nginia gentleman well known around Fort 
Laramie and orten mentioned in accounts oi the time. Married to a great-great-great 
niece or George Washington, iamous lor his eggnogs, he lived on post and mingled Ireely 
with the oHicers and their wives. But who was Ben Mills? 

'James C. Olson. Red Cloud and the Sioii.x Problem (Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press, 1965;. 109 (page citations are to 
the 1975 Bison reprint). 


Annals or Wyoniing:The Wyoming History Journal 

Benjamin Buckner Mills, in the denigrating lan- 
guage of the day, was a "squaw man," a white 
man married to an Indian woman. What was 
undoubtedly a common view of such men was voiced 
by Dr. Valentine T. McGillycuddy, who upon becom- 
ing agent at Pine Ridge promptly became nemesis to 
Red Cloud, as Red Cloud soon was to him. Testifying 
out of the hearing of Red Cloud's people in 1883, 
McGillycuddy unburdened himself on what he saw as 
the major underlying difficulty: a class of men who 
made his task all but impossible: 

These Indians, sitting in general council, half the time 
do not know what they are talking about. They are as a 
rule giving voice to the advice given them by white 
men and squaw-men. . . The squaw-men realize that as 
soon as the Indians become self-supporting they will 
have to support their squaws, just as if they were mar- 
ried to white women, and it has been my experience 
that the squaw-men are opposed to everything like 
advancement, and do not want to work; they have taken 
up with the squaws, and come here because too lazy to 
work in the East, or they have escaped justice. - 

A damning picture, indeed. Red Cloud had a view 
equally as unflattering of the men being dispatched from 
the East to manage affairs with the Indians, and he had 
ample reason to expect that his choice of agent and 
trader would be honored. He had just returned from a 
triumphal trip to the East where he had been lionized 
in New York. His view of the new breed had been 
quoted in the Times: 

I was brought up among the traders, and those who 
came out there in the early times treated me well and I 
had a good time with them. They taught us to wear 
clothes and to use tobacco and ammunition. But, by 
and by, the Great Father sent out a different kind of 
men; men who cheated and drank whisky; men who 
were so bad that the Great Father could not keep them 
at home and so sent them out there. ^ 

Behind this exchange of compliments a small drama 
played out, unobserved by the Times, an episode that 
tells a good deal about the values and attitudes of the 
moment, and the workings of government policy where 
Indians were concerned. Considering Red Cloud's pres- 
tige and his repeated demands for Mills as his agent, 
not to mention the considerable dust he was capable of 
stirring up, the question arises: why was Mills not ap- 
pointed? The question calls for a closer look. But first 
a brief note about the man himself Who was Ben Mills, 
and why did Red Cloud want him for his agent? 

For fifteen years Mills was a familiar figure in the 
sutler's store at Fort Laramie. Beginning in 1856 as a 
clerk, he advanced to trader and then to bookkeeper. 
His assistant bookkeeper, Gibson Clark, went on to 
become Chief Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court. 
A successor as clerk, John Hunton, was to become 
known as the sage of Fort Laramie. B. B. Mills, on the 
other hand, seems to have been a shy or self-effacing 
man who preferred to remain in the background. 

On at least one occasion, he failed. In one of the most 
widely published photos taken at Fort Laramie during 
the treaty negotiations of 1868 (left). Mills appears, 
usually unidentified, between two standing warriors, 
Old Man Afraid of His Horses and Red Bear. A bearded 
man in his thirties, he sits facing the morning sun, his 
eyes shaded by a narrow-brimmed hat, left leg crossed 
over right, the light glancing off the sole of his boot. 
To his left, shaking hands with Red Bear, stands trader 
James Bordeaux, one of the best-known figures around 
the fort. To his right sits Colonel Bullock. With Laramie 
Peak looming behind him, Mills faces the east, a cer- 
tain jauntiness in his look, as if to say he's made it this 
far west and here he's going to stay. 

His origins remain mysterious. The 1 860 census gives 
his age as twenty-six, his birthplace as Michigan. By 
1870 he was claiming Kentucky as his birthplace and 
1832 as his date of birth."* Whatever the case, in 1856 
he appeared at Westport, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas 
City. A document dated October 7, signed by Robert 
C. Miller, Indian Agent, grants "Benjaman B. Mills" 
permission to trade with the "Camanche, Kiowa & 
Appacha" Indians on the Arkansas River and with "the 
Cheyennes & Arapahoes on the South Piatt & Repub- 
lican Fork."^ No mention is made of the North Platte 
or the Lakotas of the Fort Laramie region. Yet ten weeks 
later Mills had made his way to Fort Laramie, where 
he signed as a witness to a license for William Guerrier 
to trade with the Lakotas, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes 
in the vicinity of the fort.^ 

In November 1857, Seth E. Ward was appointed post 
sutler at Fort Laramie by Agent Thomas S. Twiss and 
authorized to employ B. B. Mills as trader along with 
Antoine Janis and William Guerrier. Early in 1858 
Guerrier was killed by the explosion of a keg of pow- 

- Olson, 293. 

3 Olson 113. 

■' U.S. Census Records, Fort Laramie National Historic Site. 

5 Hunton file, folder #1, Cultural Resources Division, Wyo- 
ming Department of Commerce, Cheyenne. 

* Affidavit by Thomas S. Ivv-iss, Indian Agent Upper Platte, 
December 20, 1856. Fort Laramie National Historical Site. Name 
erroneously given as Guemier. 

Tinter 1998 

der he was hauling, whereupon Mills and Janis man- 
aged the Indian trade. ^ 

Through all the forty years of its military history, 
notes Merrill J. Mattes, the sutler's store was the busi- 
est place at Fort Laramie, not only a vital supply link 
on the great wagon road west hut also ""a focal point of 
social intercourse for all classes of men in the melting 
pot of frontier society." Colonel Bullock presided over 
the place with gentlemanly Virginia manners and hos- 
pitality. A colonel's wife, delighted with the atmo- 
sphere, observed that his clerks attended courteously 
to white and Indian alike and seemed ""equally ready 
and capable, talking Sioux, Cheyenne, or English, just 
as each case came to hand."^ 

One consequence of this intermingling was that Ben 
Mills met and married Sally No Fat, a woman of Red 
Cloud's band. Their first child, Emma, was bom in 
1860, their second, Thomas, in 1863. The ledgers of 
the post trader reflect the domestic acti\ ity. In Sep- 
tember of 1 866, about the time another daughter, Anna, 
arrived. Mills bought four yards of flannel and ten of 
calico, then twenty more of calico a week later. In Oc- 
tober he purchased ninety pounds of bacon and an axe 
handle.'' The family did not li\ e at the fort itself, as did 
Colonel Bullock, but most likely at the camp a mile or 
so away with other families of white men married to 
Indian women. 

In the fall of 1867, with his family continuing to ex- 
pand. Mills built a two-room log cabin a little over 
three miles west of the fort — the first house in the v al- 
ley. 'O 

The foregoing signs would appear to be unmistak- 
ably those of a settler and famih man. Though to date 
we cannot be certain where he came from or just why 
he came west. Mills was clearly an enterprising young 
man. Perhaps driven from home by a harsh parent or 
mean circumstances, or by the misfortune of being a 
younger son where only the eldest could inherit a foun- 
dation to build on, he may simply have been lured, like 
so many young men, by the promise of a continent 
unfolding to the west. In his portfolio he surely carried 
some education and the aptitude to make him a good 
clerk, distinguishing marks among men who were of- 
ten barely literate, even unsure how to spell their own 

The post had its own social order, segregated by sta- 
tion. At the top sat the officers' wives, a tiny group 
numbering eleven in 1 864, women bored and starved 
for society, enduring the privations of frontier life. 
Below them came the laundresses and seamstresses, 
uneducated European immigrants with quarters on 

"Soapsuds Row" who enjoyed the attentions of the 
enlisted men — even marriage, on occasion. At the bot- 
tom, of course, came the Indian women of ""Squaw 
Town," presumably the place Mills and his family had 
been living, a community set off by a decent mile, up- 
stream from the fort. ' ' 

Clearly, a fundamental reason that Red Cloud wanted 
Ben Mills for his agent was that he knew and trusted 
Mills — a relative. He had the best of reasons for dis- 
trusting an agent he did not know ; corruption in the 
Indian agencies had become notorious. None other than 
Robert Campbell, himself one of the founders of what 
became Fort Laramie, addressed the topic: 

A new crop of Indian agents. ha\ e recently been sent 
to the plains &c, — a majority of whom seem to think 
that instead of being a check on the traders, they should 
participate in the profits! . . . [They] ha\ e frankly stated 
that they did not accept the office of Indian Agt, for 
the paltr>' salarv', and openly intimated they uiiemled 
10 make more out of it. ' - 

So Red Cloud's suspicions were founded in experi- 
ence close at hand. But Red Cloud would not be mak- 
ing the appointment. 

Under the new peace policy he had adopted from the 
Quakers, the newly elected President Grant had 
launched an idealistic experiment. An Indian agent af- 
ter 1840 was called upon to serve as 
a military liaison otTicer. a policeman, an educator, a 
purchaser and distributor of huge amounts of food, and 
a banker who dispensed annuity finds. . . . [Such an 
assignment] became a ripe plum in the spoils system. 
For the weak and dishonest it was a w idc-open oppor- 
runirv' for quick wealth; for the honest man, it was an 
impossible job.'-' 

" .Agnes W right Spring, "Old Letter Book Discloses Economic 
Historx of Fort Laramie, 1858-1871."" Annals of Wvomnig 13 
(October 1941): 242n. Transcribed and edited from the letters of 
W\ G. Bullock. 

* "The Sutler's Store at Fort Laramie." Annals of ll'vommg 18, 
no.2 (July 1Q46): 121. 106, 109. 

' Post trader ledgers of Seth V\ard, 1866, 44. Fort Laramie 
National Historical Site. 

'" John Hunton, "Early Settlement of the Laramie River Val- 
ley." Torrington, Wyoming, 1927. Unpublished manuscript in the 
collections of Fort Laramie National Historical Site. 

' ' Remi Nadeau, Fort Laramie and the Sioux ( Englewood Cliffs, 
N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1967; Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
1982). 151-153 (page citations are to the reprint edition). 

'- Nadeau, 161. The example of John Loree, agent for the Up- 
per Platte from 1862 to 1864. recounted in the following pages, is 
instructive and to the point. 

'-' Robert H. Keller, Jr., American Protestantism ami United 
States Indian Policy. 1869-82 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1983), 10. 


Annals of Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

A great deal was seen to be riding on the Peace Policy. 
An Episcopal bishop from New York saw the very prin- 
ciples of Christianity facing a supreme test among 'the 
painted Dakota and the murderous Modoc."''* 

In the spring of 1870, with the Peace Policy still in 
its infancy. Red Cloud let it be known he wanted to 
visit the Great White Father in Washington, to talk about 
the Treaty of 1 868 and possibly about going on a res- 
ervation. Early in June he was welcomed to the White 
House, where he was greeted by officials from Presi- 
dent Grant down to Felix Brunot, chairman of the newly 
established Board of Indian Commissioners, a board 
of distinguished civilians designed to supervise rela- 
tions with the Indians — and to restore public confidence 
in the Indian service. Red Cloud voiced his insistence 
upon Mills directly to Jacob D. Cox, Secretary of the 
Interior, who said he would write down the names of 
men the Indians wanted for agent and trader and as- 
sured Red Cloud that Brunot would soon be sent west 
to visit the Indians and to make sure that those appointed 
would be good men, and men who could be trusted by 
the government.'-"' 

Late in the summer Brunot left for the West, accom- 
panied by Robert Campbell, a fellow commissioner on 
the board. Their recommendations would play a deci- 
sive role in the appointments to be made by the Secre- 
tary of the Interior. Campbell, by this time, had be- 
come one of the wealthiest businessmen in St. Louis, 
but he probably knew the West as well as anyone in all 
that country. At twenty-one he had joined a party of 
trappers led by Jedediah Smith. At thirty he had super- 
vised the construction of Fort William, the forerunner 
of Fort Laramie. Known and loved by mountain men 
throughout the West, he was warmly received on this 
occasion by both whites and Indians.'^ "'Anywhere on 
the frontier," writes one historian, "among Indians or 
whites, his credit was considerably better than that of 
the government of the United States."'^ 

The Fort Laramie the two of them would find had 
undergone change. Two years earlier, during the nego- 
tiations over the treaty of 1868, Colonel Bullock had 
written Campbell that he might be ending his trading 
business: the Indian Commission was 'endeavoring to 
take all the whites and Indians out of this country pre- 
paratory I presume to abandoning the post."'^ Fore- 
seeing the possibility, he formed a partnership with Ben 
Mills that year and went into the cattle business. Mills 
quit work in the store, moved his family into the log 
house he had built, and went to Kansas and Missouri 
and bought 250 milk cows, which he located on the 
Laramie River near his house, a herd of beef cattle, the 

basis for the famous "SO" brand." In the census of 
1870, he gave his occupation as stock dealer. 

When Brunot and Campbell finally connected with 
Red Cloud at Fort Laramie in October 1 870, Campbell 
told the chief they had come as friends and asked for 
assurances Red Cloud would protect the traders who 
would be sent out. Emphatically he said that though he 
could not say who they might be, Red Cloud should 
try them; he would find them "all right." The commis- 
sioners were depending on Red Cloud "to do all that 
[was] right.. . . [Campbell] hoped they would continue 
to hear good reports from him and his people so that 
they could tell the Great Father they were doing what 
was right."-^° 

Campbell returned to St. Louis and wrote Commis- 
sioner of Indian Affairs Eli S. Parker recommending 
Ben Mills be appointed. Noting that Brunot, too, con- 
sidered Mills "the best qualified of any man in that 
country for the position," and that Red Cloud threat- 
ened to drive any other appointee out of the country, 
he affirmed that Mills was a man "well spoken of by 
all the officers and residents at Fort Laramie." He be- 
lieved Mills could "exercise a good influence over the 
Sioux Indians which a stranger could not."-' 

Brunot had his own agenda, one in closer harmony 
with prevailing sentiments in the East. His task, as he 
saw it, was tremendous: "There was a race to civilise, 
there were agents to humanize, and there was a great 
nation to educate in the principles of Christian love 
toward an oppressed and heathen race."-- A prominent 
Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist, he was 

^Ubid., 16. 

'-' Olson, 96-1 13; New York Times. June 1 1 and 12, 1870. 

I*- Spring, 240. 

" Harvey L. Carter. "Robert Campbell," in Trappers of the 
Far West. ed. Leroy R. Hafen (Glendale, California: A. H. Clark, 
1938; Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1984), 
308 (page citation is to the reprint edition). 

I* Bullock to Campbell, May 13, 1868, in Spring, Old Letter 
Book. 258. 

" John Hunton, "Scraps of History," to Mrs. Cyrus Beard, 
March 7, 1928, Hunton File, manuscript 479B, Folder #4, Cul- 
tural Resources Division, State Department of Commerce; John 
Himton's Diary, ed. L. G. Flannery (Lingle, Wyoming: Guide 
Review, 1956), entry for June 25, 1877, Part Two, 230. 

-° Brunot and Campbell, Appendix to Second Annual Report of 
the Board of Indian Commissioners for 1870 (Washington, 1871), 
67, 71. 

-' Campbell to Parker, October 27, 1870, National Archives, 
RG 75, Letters Received, Upper Plane Agency, M-234, Roll 895. 

-- Charles Lewis Slattery, Felix Reville Brunot (London and 
Bombay: Longmans, Green and Company, 1901), 147. 

Winter 19Q8 


deeply committed to the crusade. A sample of the prayer 
he otYered in opening the council with Red Cloud at 
Fort Laramie, with the principal chiefs in attendance 
as well as a large assemblage of Oglalas and residents 
and visitors to the post, reveals the fer\or he brought 
to the task: 

We beseech Thee to bless the efforts of Thy servants 
who are here in their behalf to promote peace and 
friendship \\ ith the aborigines of this land. May our 
words and counsels be tempered with wisdom; may 
the hearts of these Indians be made sincere, and their 
words truthful, and may sa\age warfare cease. Grant 
that the\ ma\- be led into the way of peace and civili- 
zation, and in Thy own time may these heathen he 
claimed for the inheritance of our Lord and Sa\iour.--' 

Brunot considered himself a genuine friend of the 
Indians. He spent three or four months each summer 
visiting the tribes where they lived. His biographer, 
who thought him a great man, judges that he devoted 
virtuall> all his time for tlve \'ears to this work.-'^ For a 
month Brunot w eighed his decision. On November 1 0, 
in a letter to Commissioner Parker, he recommended 
for the appointment of Bullock as trader and against 
the appointment of Mills as agent. It was proper to say. 
he wrote, that Campbell favored appointing Mills as 
agent but, adding that Mills had "an Indian wife and 
half-breed children," that he had concluded that Mills 
was "too nearly on a social level with the Indians." It 
was said that formerly Mills had been 'intemperate," 
but that he had been "steady for several years." He was 
"well spoken of b\' most persons at the Fort, and [had] 
the reputation of an honest well beha\ed man." 

Then came the 

clinching argument. 

[He] has too long been 
identified with [the 
Indians] and the fron- 
tiersmen to have ei- 
ther the capacity or 
the inclination to do 
any serious work for 
the sal\ ation of the 
Indians. To appoint 
him agent would it 
seems to me be a step 
in the direction of per- 
petuating past e\ ils.-^ 
A close look at the 
holograph letter of this 

high-minded man raises a chilling possibility. In the 
first sentence, the word salvation, minutely obser\ ed 
in Brunot"s handwriting (see below), appears to read 
slavation. A Freudian slip'' A telling revelation, if so, 
of Brunot's shadow side. 

In any event, Brunot prevailed. His decision follow ed 
close upon, and was reinforced b\ a new polic\ for the 
Indian agencies pushed through Congress in the sum- 
mer of 1 870 by reformers in the Hast: the agencies w ere 
to be allocated among the various Protestant sects, who 
would name the agents. The Red Cloud Agency was 
awarded to the Protestant Episcopal Church, which 
named John W. Wham as agent. Red Cloud was still 
protesting the whole arrangement the following .lune 
when Brunot found it necessary to make another trip 
to Fort Laramie to fix upon a location for the agenc\ . 
"I have consulted the Great Spirit," Red Cloud infomied 
the officials present, "and I do not want a strange man 
for my agent. There are plent_\ of men who can read 
and w rite, w ho are married to m\ people, and the\ can 
take care of me and my agency."-*' 

The "poor bedeviled Wham," as James C. Olson re- 
fers to him, seems to have encountered nothing but 
trouble. Red Cloud w as his greatest headache, of course, 
but he had diftlculties with Brunot. the Governor of 
Wyoming, even the agent at the Spotted Tail Agency. 
He was simply not up to the challenge of supervising 
the agency and "the obstreperous Indians," Olson con- 

-' Brunot and Campbell, ScccduI Annual Report. 62. 
-^ Slatlen, 147-US. 

-"" Brunot to Parker, November 10, 1870, National .Archives. 
RG 75, Leners Received, L'pper Platte .Agencv, M234, Roll 8'56. 
-'■ Olson, 137. 



Annals of Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

eludes. By fall he had "managed to alienate virtually 
every man, red and white, with whom he had been in 
contact."-'' At the end of October he was summarily 

Would the appointment of Ben Mills have brought 
different results? We can only speculate. To the extent 
that knowledge of Red Cloud and his people and the 
ability to speak Lakota would help. Mills would have 
enjoyed a major advantage. If trust counts for anything 
at all, the advantage would have been huge. His handi- 
cap would surely have been a potential conflict of in- 
terest, making it difficult for him to carry out policies 
anathema to those under his supervision.-* 

As for Mills himself the final chapter of his life 
is shrouded in obscurity. Another daughter, 
Lucie, had joined the family in 1868. At some 
point in 1871, a second son was bom. The exact se- 
quence of events is difficult to establish. One story in 
the family today has it that Sally Bush, as Sally No Fat 
is listed on the tribal rolls, ran off with another man 
and left Mills with the children.-' If so, she must have 
done so after the birth of Ben, Jr., and Mills must have 
been shattered. 

Ben Mills died in the late summer of 1 87 1 , probably 
of the fiu or a similar ailment. The grandmother, Sally 
Bush's mother, went to Fort Laramie and brought the 
children to the newly established Red Cloud Agency. 
One family story, difficult to verify, holds that a sister 
of Ben Mills in Salt Lake City wanted to take the chil- 
dren but that the grandmother refiised to give them up. 
Ben Mills did have a younger brother, Richard, who 
was living with the family in 1870 and later joined the 
Gold Rush to Deadwood. Ten weeks after being elected 
Assessor of Crook City in 1 878, he died, 'this esti- 
mable gentleman," as the press report called him, ap- 
parently killed by strong drink. -^'^' He is buried in the 
potter's field at Mount Moriah. 

No one knows with certainty where Ben Mills' grave 
may be. One possibility suggested is Chugwater, near 
where he kept what was known as the Ben Mills herd, 
officially numbered at 400 at the time of his death.-'' 
He may have been buried with others just north of the 
fort, on the site where the post hospital was constructed 
in 1 873, and his remains later moved to make way for 
the hospital. 

Some controversy lingers over his estate, which was 
administered by Gibson Clark. The Mills children re- 
ceived nothing from it, and suspicion persists that John 
Hunton "stole" fi-om it, a question that lies beyond the 
scope of this inquiry, though among his peers Hunton 
had a reputation for the highest integrity. After Mills 

died, Hunton bought out Mills' interest in the Bullock- 
Mills partnership. In his diary for 1875, he noted that 
his debts exceeded his worth by some $7,000 and that 
he still owed the Mills estate $900. According to L. G. 
("Pat") Flannery, who edited the diaries, Hunton was 
sfill having problems with the Mills estate in 1910.^2 

Today the Mills family is well known and honored 
on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Ben, Jr. lies not far 
from Red Cloud, in the Old Cemetery at Holy Rosary 
Mission near Pine Ridge. The best known of his de- 
scendants is great-grandson Billy Mills, who as a young 
Marine in 1 964 won the ten thousand meter race at the 
Olympics, the only American ever to have done so, in 
what one sports writer suggests may have been "the 
greatest upset of all time."-" Another great-grandson 
survived the Bataan Death March. A grandson, com- 
mended for heroic service in France in 1944 lost a son 
of his own in Vietnam. 

Ben Mills leaves a family of descendants scattered 
across the West, engaged in fields of endeavor ranging 
from teaching to shipbuilding to administration and 
business, marked by a strong vein of education and 
service. Surely this little-known, unassuming man 
would be proud. 

-'' Red Cloud and the Sioux Problem. 132-143, recounts the 
woes of Agent Wham. 

-^ The U. S. Foreign Service, it is worth noting, moves offi- 
cials from place to place frequently to minimize the risk they 
may come to identify too closely with the nationals of the coun- 
try to which they are assigned. 

-' The author wishes to thank his informants, especially Lucy 
Mills Hall, granddaughter of Ben Mills. Chester Mills, his grand- 
son, and La Veta Janis Bark, his great-granddaughter, without 
whose warm interest and help this story could not have been told. 

3" The Black Hills Daily Times. May 16 and July 31, 1878. 

3' "Stock Raising on the Plains, 1870-1871," a report by Dr. 
Silas Reed, First Surveyor General of Wyoming Territory, An- 
nals of Wyoming 17 (Januar)' 1945), 56. 

-'- John Hunton's Diary. January 1, 1875, 32-35. 

^^ Earl Gustkey, "Mills' Miracle," Los Angeles Times. October 
14, 1994. 

Martin Liischei, Professor of English at Califor- 
nia Polytechnic State University in San Luis 
Obispo, spent his early years in and around the 
Black Hills. He heard his first stories from his 
grandfather, a pioneer merchant in Gordon, Ne- 
braska, who traded with Lakota people from the 
Pine Ridge Reservation. After 30 years of teach- 
ing American literature in California, he still traces 
his roots to that part of the country. This is his first 
venture into historical writing. 

Music as artifact: 
i:iie Johnson dountyi IDar 


]6a arid a. Bomning 

^yff^ he Johnson County Cattle War of 1 892 was 
I I one of the most bitter of the 1 9th century range 
^fti^wars between settlers, who "nested" near prime 
watersheds, and large landowners, who favored the 
ways of the open range. The conflict is certainly a mile- 
stone in the history of the region, for it marks the end 
of the open range era and the establishment of the 
smaller, independently owned ranches which lend the 
area much of its cultural identity even today. The dis- 
cord has long been a topic of local and regional histori- 
cal interest and its events have been preserved in both 
aural and written traditions, including several songs. 
Ballads about the Johnson County War are an impor- 
tant part of the folk music history of the Powder River 
Basin. This article is concerned with four broadside 
ballads dating from the last decade of the nineteenth 

although the focus of this essay is on the Johnson 
County War ballads themselves, a brief over- 
view is necessary in order to understand the 
historical perspective from which these songs emanate. 
Readers who wish to make an in-depth study are ad- 
vised to consult the many published sources document- 
ing the subject, a few of which were actually written 
by the participants themselves. 

The Johnson County War had many causes. In some 
respects, the conflict was a confrontation between 
"haves" on one side and "have nots" on the other.- Sub- 
stantial tracts of land were owned by large cattle com- 
panies often funded by wealthy English and Scottish 

investors, who functioned as absentee landlords in 
Johnson County. Most of these landowners and their 
ranch managers assumed that public land was avail- 
able for their use. Opposing the "white caps," as the 
press termed the ranch owners and their foremen, were 
the so-called "rustlers," the small landowners, who 
believedjust as emphatically that public land was avail- 
able to them for homesteading purposes. These indi- 
viduals settled in the same area and often fenced off 
prime grazing land and water-holes. 

Another factor was a combination of poor range man- 
agement and the capriciousness of Wyoming's weather: 
at a time when the range was in extremely poor condi- 
tion from over-stocking and over-grazing, the disas- 
trous winter of 1886-1887 intensified the competition 

' C. Malcolm Laws stated: "A ballad is a narrati\e folk song 
which dramatizes a memorable event." Laws. Xative American 
Balladiy: A Descriptive Study and a Bibliographical Syllabus. 
(Philadelphia: American Folklore Societ\. 1964). 2. The Johnson 
Count) War was certain!) one of the most noteworthy events in 
the hislop. of the state of W\oming. Broadside ballads are stories 
in rh) me about an actual occurrence. Lhe term original!) referred 
to "a single sheet: cheap!) printed and sold for a small price: 
often with woodcut illustrations" Ibid.. 55, Today it is used to 
mean any specific historical event commemorated in song, how- 
ever transmitted. A modem ballad has also been composed about 
the e\ent. Chris LeDoux's "Johnson Count) War." can be heard 
on his album Powder River. (American Cowboy Songs. Inc.. 
1989). LeDoux's song is comprehensive in scope and well-writ- 
ten, but is outside the range of this article on nineteenth-century 
Johnson County War songs. 

■ Mark Harvey. "A Civil War in W)oming: .\ Centennial Com- 
memoration of the Johnson County War" (master's thesis, Uni- 
versitv of Wvomina. 1992). 3. 


Annals or Wyoming:Tne Wyoming Histon' Journal 

for good pasture land. Several cattle barons, as the 
owners of the large companies were also called, were 
forced into bankruptcy. Further, the harsh winter and 
the resulting die-off of livestock left many cowboys 
unemployed. Some began to fend for themselves by 
filing claims on small homesteads.-' The settlers con- 
tinued to fence off even more pasture land, denying its 
use to the remaining large outfits. 

The maverick problem only worsened the situation. 
A maverick is an unbranded calf whose mother cannot 
be located, and the difficulty lay chiefly in determin- 
ing ownership. Some ranchers reckoned their livestock 
bv a theoretical "book count" instead of an actual tally 
made on the range, a method which only worsened the 
maverick problem. Because they had such vast herds, 
owners of large outfits believed unmarked calves were 
their property and regarded branding orphaned calves 
as the equivalent of thievery. These cattlemen actively 
suspected a few of their employees and some settlers 
of "mavericking" to increase their herds. The ranchers 
took their grievance to the territorial legislature, from 
whence came the largely ineffective Maverick Law of 
1884. The bill attempted to solve the problem by sim- 
ply making all unbranded calves the property of the 
Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA), an 
organization to which a majority of the large ranch- 
owners belonged."' Poor wording and unenforceability 
of the Maverick Law was another underlying cause of 
the Johnson County War. 

Since recourse to law enforcement had failed to re- 
solve the grievances of either side, the already tense 
situation continued to deteriorate. The cattlemen came 
to regard the settlers, some of whom had been well- 
respected former employees, with the same suspicion 
and contempt as common outlaws. A primary example 
of the cattlemen's turnabout of esteem was Nate Cham- 
pion, a cowboy who worked for the Bar C and EK 
Ranches, chiefly as a wagon-boss.-^ He was once de- 
scribed by several cattlemen as a top hand and a man 
of trust." Although he was "never accused of rustling... 
while alive," Champion was eventually black-balled 
and became one of the fallen heroes of the Johnson 
County War.^ 

As a result of these circumstances, relations between 
cowboys who worked for the cattle barons and the small 
ranchers were at their worst from roughly 1 887 through 
1892. Like most conflicts resulting in violence and 
bloodshed, participants on both sides of the Johnson 
County War were firmly convinced they were right. 
Incidents leading to the cattle war began in November, 
1 89 1 , when Orlev "Ranger" Jones, was ambushed at 

Muddy Creek, south of Buffalo. Shortly thereafter, John 
A. Tisdale was shot in the back at what is now called 
Tisdale Divide, also south of Buffalo. Both men were 
settlers and former cowboys; both were suspected of 
stealing livestock, although such allegations were never 
proved. An investigation into these deaths by Johnson 
County Sheriffs deputies was inadequately conducted 
and the murders were never officially solved, even 
though there were witnesses to the crime and an al- 
leged perpetrator was identified.^ 

Both sides organized themselves to pursue their in- 
terests more aggressively. In late October, 1 89 1 , a group 
of small-scale stockmen met in Buffalo to organize the 
Northern Wyoming Farmers and Stock Growers' As- 
sociation to solidify their cause. ^ The large land-own- 
ers had already formed the Wyoming Stock Growers 
Association, which met at the exclusive Cheyenne Club 
in Wyoming's capital city. There they made a decision 
that some kind of action had to be taken to protect their 
interests in northern Wyoming. They drew up a list of 
about seventy five settlers and others whom they wished 
to eradicate, hired several Texas gunfighters and formed 
a small private army, led by Major Frank Wolcott, U.S. 
Army, retired. On April 5, 1892, a special train left 
Cheyenne headed for Casper, from where the invaders 
planned to ride north to kill the men on the "daisy" list 
and bum their property.'' 

Wyoming's governor, senator, congressmen, judges, 
and, in general, district law enforcement were prob- 
ably aware of the cattlemen's plans, but looked the other 
way, for the actions of the vigilante army were in the 
best interest of these powerful individuals who held or 
controlled most of the offices in the state government 
during the 1880s and '90s. 

On the way, the leaders of the party. Major Wolcott 
and Frank Canton, argued about the best way to carry 

3 Harvey, 27. 

■♦ Helena Huntington Smith, The War on Powdei- River. (Lin- 
coln: University of Nebrast;a Press, 1966), 59-61. 

' Combinations of letters such as Bar C, EK and others are 
transliterations of brands used by ranch owners to identify own- 
ership of their livestock. 

<• Harvey, 88. 

' Down through the years, legend has it that former Johnson 
County sheriff Frank Canton, who worked as a stock detective 
for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and as a trusted 
foreman for one of the big cattle companies, was the gunman 
who ambushed Tisdale and Jones in a draw south of Buffalo; 
however, no charges were ever formally filed. Robert K. 
DeArment, Alias Frank Canton. (Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 1996). 

" Harvey, 39. 

"Smith, 188. 

W'inter 1QQ8 

out their mission. The original plan called for a direct all places. Cheyenne, from where the invasion had origi- 

attack on Buffalo, but. when the party stopped to rest 
at the TTT Ranch, south of present-day Kaycee, word 
reached Major Wolcott that many of the alleged rus- 
tlers were spending the winter at the nearby KC Ranch. 
Against Canton's advice, Wolcott ordered the army to 
make a detour in order to kill the supposed gang of 
cattle thieves. At dawn on April 9, the invaders attacked 
the cabin where only two men, Nate Champion and 
Nick Ray, had been spending the winter months. Cham- 
pion and Ray were killed and the cabin was set on tire. 
At the height of the fracas, a settler by the name of 
Jack Flagg and his step-son Alonzo Ta\ lor happened 
to dri\ e b\ in a bugg\'. Shots were tired at them, where- 
upon they cut their team loose and rode to Buffalo, to 

nally been planned. The in\aders and the mercenary 
gun-tlghters were released on their own recognizance, 
and later, on Januar\ 21,1 893. the case was dismissed. 

The Johnson County War BulUhls 

lements were present in the contlict which lend 
themseh es perfectly to folk baliadrv : intrigue, 
underhandedness, murder, and no small 
amount of heroism. These same conditions are present 
in other well-known American ballads such as "Sam 
Bass." "Messe .lames" and ""Prettx Bo\ Floyd." Four 
nineteenth-century ballads about the .Johnson County 
Cattle War are extant, two of which remain in the rep- 
warn the citizenr>' and local officials of the impending ertories of a very small number of singers. The only 
confrontation. existing tune may or may not be the one which was 

Buffalo had already become polarized because of the used during the 1 890s, while tunes for the other songs 
events of the preceding winter, but after Flagg's warn- have been lost. All four texts are concerned with de- 
ing, the town became a hornet's nest of cowboys, set- scribing the trials and heroism of a few men, presum- 
tlers and townsfolk. Several citizens armed themselves ably for the purpose of swaying or reinforcing public 
and rode to the Covington Ranch, a few miles south- sentiment toward the settlers. Even their enemies ac- 
east of town.'" From there they besieged the invaders knowledged that protagonists such as Nick Ray and 
who had taken refuge in the house and outbuildings at Nate Champion were bra\ e men. Such heroism is the 
the neighboring TA Ranch. On April 12, Governor stuff of which legends are made; unsurprisingly, not 
Amos W. Barber, who was tlrmly on the side of the long after the uprising, ballads were composed to honor 
invaders, wired United States President Benjamin their memory. The songs are narrated from the point of 
Harrison requesting Federal troops to quell an "insur- view of the settlers; unfortunateK none exist from the 
rection" existing in 
Johnson County." The 
cavalry, posted at Fort 
McKinney, west of Buf- 
falo, rode to the TA 
Ranch. Major Wolcott 
grudginglv' surrendered on 
April 13 and the 
townsfolk agreed to dis- 
continue the siege. 

The cattlemen and their 
retinue were held for a 
time at Fort McKinney, 
then were moved to Fort 
Fetterman and, finally, to 
Fort Russell in Cheyenne. 
Officials believed it would 
have been impossible to 
get a fair trial anywhere in 
northern Wyoming. At a 
preliminary hearing in 
Laramie, a change of 
venue was approved to, of 

The Johnson County War Songs 

1. "The Ballad of Nate Champion" 

Anonymous, early 1890s. Variants found in: 
01i\e Wooley Burt, American Murder Balkuls. 
1958. 175-177 (text & tune). 
"Blood Stained Book," tape recording, sung b\ 
Daniel L. De\ oe; Johnson County Public Library 
Music Files. 

2. "The Invasion Song" 

.Anonymous, early 1890s. Variants found in: 
Olive Wooley Burt, American Murder Ballads. 
1958, 172-174 (text only). 
Tape recording, sung by Daniel L. De\oe; 
Johnson County Public Library Music Files. 

3. "The Murder of Tisdale and Jones" 

Patrick Bums, 1892; Johnson County Public 
Library Music Files (text only). 

4. "Our Heroes' Grave" 

.Anonymous, early 1 890s; Johnson County Pub- 
lic Library Music Files; also in the American 
Heritage Center Archives, University of Wyo- 
ming, Laramie (text only). 

cattlemen's perspective. 

" .A prominent merchant. 
Robert B. Foote. who was an eld- 
erl> Scotsman, "mounted his 
celebrated black horse, and u ith 
his long white beard tl>ing to the 
breeze, dashed up and down the 
streets calling the citizens to 
arms . to protect all that \ou 
hold dear against this approach- 
ing foe." .Asa Shinn Mercer, Tlie 
Banditti of tlie Plains. (Norman: 
Liniversit_\ of Oklahoma Press. 
1Q54), 83-85. .According to less 
impassioned reports in the local 
press, the old man rode up and 
down roaring. "Come out, _\ou 
so-and-sos, and take sides." 
Smith. 214. 
" Smith. 183. 


Annals of Wyoniing:The Wyoming History Journal 

"The Ballad of Nate Champion ' 


alcolm Laws emphasizes that "American bal- 
lads leave relatively little to the imagination. 
They are explicit and detailed, often tiresomely 
so."'- One Johnson County War ballad, "The Ballad 
of Nate Champion," also known as "The Ballad of Nick 
and Nate," "The Little Black Book," "The Linle Blood- 
Stained Diary" and "The Blood-Stained Book," is cer- 
tainly a case in point, for it is a detailed summary, leav- 
ing virtually nothing to conjecture, of an event which 
was probably the turning point of the entire conflict. 

The anonymous text describes the chain of events in 
Champion's diary. The attitude of the author is resigned 
and somewhat restrained, considering the highly 
charged emotional events about which he is writing. 
The opening verse serves as an introduction to the song; 
it presumes the fisteners or readers are familiar with 
the events described therein. The last verse has a de- 
cidedly funereal cast. Descriptions of a deceased per- 
son going to heaven using constructs such as the Big 
Divide and the Home Ranch are typical of cowboy 
poetry and often symbolize a "reward for loneliness 
and isolation felt by cowboys."'^ 

Complete variants (e.g., with both text and tune) of 
the folk song are found in only two modem sources: 
01i\e Wooley Burt's hook, American Murder Ballads 
and on an audio cassette made b\' former Kaycee area 
resident Daniel L. "Lonnie" Devoe, which is now in 
the collection of the Johnson County Public Library.'"* 
The texts are similar, but the two tunes are very differ- 

A possible source for much of the description found 
in the ballad is a newspaper article which appeared in 
The Chicago Herald. It was written by a journalist 
named Samuel Travers Clover, who was one of two 
reporters the cattlemen invited to accompany them. His 
assignment was to cover the events, ostensibly from 
the cattlemen's point of view, and report back to Chi- 
cago by telegraph. 

At the conclusion of the gunfight at the KC Ranch 
cabin, Frank Canton discovered a small notebook un- 
der Champion's body. He and the other leaders of the 
company read it, after which Major Wolcott gave it to 
Clover, who then published its contents, a record of 
the last hours of Champion's life. When Clover saw 
that the in\ aders, surrounded at the TA Ranch by an- 
gr\' Johnson County citizens, would have to fight for 
their lives, he recogiiized his chance to file a sensa- 
tional story. He slipped through the lines into the pro- 
tective custody of the United States Army. A few days 

Nate Champion 

later, again under Army escort, he made his way to 
Douglas, Wyoming, from where he filed his story. '^ 
Champion's manuscript, as printed in Clover's article, 
was in a rather terse prose style, but follows the same 
narrative line as the text of "The Ballad of Nate Cham- 
pion," which is, of course, rhymed. (See page 18). A 
few weeks after the incident Clover evidently lent the 
diary to a colleague, Henry A. Blair, for the former 
acknowledged "the return of Champion's diary pages" 
and added "I shall keep them for as long as I live." The 
diary has not been seen since.'" 

Olive Wooley Burt stated that he collected the text 
for "The Ballad of Nate Champion" from Leiand WTiite 

i; Laws, 9. 

'-' Austin E. Fife and .Alta S. Fife, Heaven on Horseback: Re- 
vivalist Songs and Verse in Cowboy Idiom. (Logan: Utah State 
Universitj' Press, 1970), 3. 

'•• Olive Wooley Burt, American Murder Ballads (New York: 
Oxford University Press, 1958), 175. 

'- In addition to the diary, a hand-lettered sign reading "Cattle 
thieves, beware" was also found on Champion's body. Astonish- 
ingly, Smith mentions that "The Chicago reporter did not choose 
to tell the whole story. It was Clover himself who wrote the sign 
and buttoned it on the dead man's vesf Smith, 208. 

'* Smith, 208. Over the years, some controversy has arisen about 
whether Clover really published the substance of the diary which 
Canton found or was merely indulging in sensationalistic jour- 
nalism. Harvey noted: "If the diary had been made up by Sam 
Clover. . . it [is] hard to imagine that Clover, a city-slicker, could 
have made up a diary that sounded ... like it was written by a 
[former] Texas cowboy. Comparing the diary with Champion's 
oral testimony [at a trial] just a few months before, one has to 
come to the conclusion that Champion wrote it" Harvey, 100- 
101. One is probably justified in assuming that the text of Clover's 
article is closely representative of the actual words Champion 
wrote in his diary under such harrowing circumstances. 

^"inter IQQS 


and Archie and Obed Gamer, who lived in Afton, 
Wyoming.'^ The same text is also found in Powder 
River. Let 'Er Buck, by Stnithers Burt. The latter stated. 
"For a while along the Powder the following ballad 
was popular. No one seems to have the vaguest idea 
who wrote it or how the tune went. It is a transcription, 
as it says, a condensed one, of the hour-by-hour diary 
Nate Champion kept.""'*' 

The song as given in Olive Burt is shown on the pre- 
ceding page. The tune consists of four phrases to match 
the quatrain structure of each half-stanza. It is in the 
mi.xolydian mode, common to many folk tunes. The 
melody has a range of one octave and its contour re- 
flects a typical Anglo-American "rainbow" curve, the 
top of the arch occurring mid-way through the third 
phrase (measure 1 1 ). Like many folk tunes, the chords 
are simple and fundamental to the scale. The song is in 
waltz time, which was quite common in popular music 
of the day, and the rhythmic patterns accommodate the 
predominant!} iambic meter of the text, again typical 
of many folk ballads. 

Some of former Kaycee area resident Daniel L. 
Devoe"s ancestors were involved in the Johnson County 
War, even though his father, Clark Devoe, did not move 
to the region until 1906, well after the end of the con- 
flict. Hank De\oe, Daniel's great-uncle, was the fore- 
man of the Bar C ranch; a well-known photograph 
shows him with the roundup crew of 1884.''' County 
records show that another great-uncle, C. M. De\oe, 
was on the Johnson County Commission at the time of 
the affray.-" 

Daniel L. Devoe is a self-taught guitar player who 
still plays "every once in a while. .. for my own enjoy- 
ment, for fun.""-' 

DD: A friend of mine showed me a few chords, but I 

just taught myself 

AD: How old were you when you learned to play? 

DD: Oh, I was fourteen when I got my first guitar, 

but then I was about twenty when I really learned how. 

AD: Do you play by ear or read from sheet music? 

DD: I play by ear. I don't read music at all. 

AD: Did you e\er play in a band? 

DD: No, 1 never did. I just played by myself -- 

In Febmary, 1 985, he made two cassette tapes of folk 
and popular songs as a birthday present for his sister, 
Maggie Fimekas. The tapes contain a great variety of 
folk, popular, country, cowboy-western and religious 
music.-^ Devoe also included two Johnson County War 
songs, "Blood Stained Book" and "The Invasion Song."" 

Devoe"s tune, "Blood Stained Book,"" is in a major 
key and makes two arches of unequal length rather than 

one symmetrical "rainbow" curve as found in Olive 
WooIIey Burt's variant. The first peaks in measure 3. 
while the second arch arrives at a high point in mea- 
sure 6 (see following page). In a manner typical of many 
folk singers, Devoe sustains the long notes of the tune 
irregularly, making the music subser\ lent to the text 
and creating an uneven metrical structure. De\oe per- 
forms in a manner similar to that of folk singer Wood\ 
Guthrie, who also used flexible meters and irregular 
chord changes. 

The textual changes Devoe makes do not generalK 
alter the meaning of the stor\ . Rather, they seem to 
reflect the way in which he learned and then reshaped 
the song. Some of the modifications produce contrast- 
ing poetic meters, by throwing the text out of the iam- 
bic foot and into dactylic or vice versa. In the fourth 
verse Devoe substitutes the word "nearU" for "now 
about,"" which is easier to sing and fits more neatly into 
the predominant iambic meter. At other times, he has 
evident!} substituted one w ord for another w hich per- 
haps made more sense to him, as in the se\ enth verse 
where he has changed "splitting"" to "splintering."" 

'" O. Burt. 175-177. 

'* Struthers Burt, Powder River Let 'Er Buck. (New N'ork; 
Rinehart and Co., 1'538). 2''7-2')''. The song te.\t also exists as a 
typescript cop_\, located in the Music Files at the Johnson County 
Public Library in ButYalo. \\\oming. The unknown typist states 
that he has copied it from Struthers Burt. The same person has 
added the following anecdote, which is not found in Burt's book: 
"Concerning the nerve of Nate Champion, this story [was] told to 
Gray Nerval by Al Smith: Al was spending the night in a cabin 
with Nate. Someone tried to break in the door. Nate raised him- 
self up, took a shot at the door, then put his gun under his pillow 
and went back to sleep. The next morning spots of blood v\ere 
seen on the path outside the door." 

'^ Harvey, 77. 

-" Charles VI. De\oe was listed as a count\- commissioner in a 
public legal notice printed in Tlie Buffalo Bulletm in .April, 18*52. 
Amos W. Barber Scrapbook, n.d., 347. Wyoming Stockgrowers 
Collection, Box 286, American Heritage Center. His descendant 
Daniel L. Devoe also mentioned that his great-uncle "Charles. . . 
was marshal in Buffalo for quite a long time in the late 1800s." 
D. L. Devoe letter to author, 13 November I '506. Which side of 
the conflict Charles supported is unknown. Helena Huntington 
Smith described him as an "esteemed early settler and former 
roundup foreman," and mentioned that he was an acquaintance 
of Frank Canton, but her statements do not imply that C. M. 
Devoe's sympathies were necessarily on the side of the in\aders. 
Smith, 171. 

-' Devoe, inter\iew by author. 21 September 1QQ6. 

"^ Ibid. 

-' Copies of both cassette tapes are located in the Johnson 
County Public Library music tiles and in the .American Music 
Research Center Archive, Ariel Downing Collection, College of 
Music, Universitv of Colorado at Boulder. 


Annals or Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

Nate Champion's Diary' 

■'Me and Nick was getting breakfast when the attack took place. Two men here with us — Bill Jones and another man. The 
old man went after water and did not come back. His friend went to see what was the matter and he did not come back. Nick 
started out, and 1 told him to look out, that 1 thought there was some one at the stable who would not let them come back... 
Nick is shot, but not dead yet. He is awful sick... I must go and wait on him... It is now about two hours since the first shot. 
Nick is still alive. They are shooting and are all around the house. Boys, there is bullets coming in like hail. Them fellows 
is in such shape I can't get at them. They are shooting from the stable and river and back of the house. 

Nick is dead. He died about nine o'clock. I see a smoke down at the stable. 1 think they have fired it. I don't think they 
intend to let me get away this time. 

It is now about noon. There is some one at the stable yet; they are throwing a rope out at the door and dragging it back. I 
guess it is to draw me out. I wish that duck would get further so I can get a shot at him... Boys, I feel pretty lonesome just 
now. I wish there was some one here with me so we could watch all sides at once... They may fool around until I get a good 
shot before they leave. 

It's about three o'clock now. There was a man in a buckboard and one on horseback just passed. They fired on them as 
they went by. I don't know if they killed them or not... I seen lots of men come out on horses on the other side of the river 
and take after them.. .1 shot at the men in the stable just now; don't know if I got any or not... 

1 must go and look out again. It don't look as if there is much show of my getting away. I see twelve or fifteen men. One 
looks like (name was scratched out). I don't know whether it is or not. I hope they didn't catch them fellows that run over the 
bridge toward Smith's... They are coming back. I've got to look out. 

Well, they have just got through shelling the house again like hail. I heard them splitting wood. I guess they are going to 
fire the house to-night. I think I will make a break when night comes if I live . . Shooting again. I think they will fire the 
house this time. It is not night yet... The house is all fired. Good-by, boys, if I never see you again." [signed] Nathan D. 

*From Samuel Clover, On Special Assignment: Being the Futher Adventures of Paul Travers, Newspaper Reporter. (New 
York: Argonaut Press. 1965). 258-259. The book is a partly fictionalized account of Clover's own adventures as a newspa- 
per correspondent, in which he portrays himself as Paul Travers. Clover used ellipsis markings to indicate the passage of 
time rather than as editorial deletions. He stated. "The outlcrw had deliberately jotted down in the memorandum-book the 
passing scenes of the last hours of his life... " Clover, 257. 

The Ballad of Nate Champion 



^ j ' j J I ^ J I ^ ^ I J J-j l ^ 

It's just a lit - tie blood-stained book. Which a bul - let has 






torn in two;. 

It tells the fate of Nick and 





« 0- 


Nate, Which is known to alL 

of you.' 

From Olive Wooley Burt, American Murder Ballads (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1958), 
1 75. [Guitar chords added by Ariel Downing]. 

Winter 1998 19 

The Ballad of Nate Champion 

It was a little blood-stained book which a bullet had torn in twain. 
It told the fate of Nick and Nate, which is known to all of you; 

He had the nerve to write if down while the bullets fell like rain, 
At your request, I'll do my best to read those lines again. 

'Two men stayed with us here last night. Bill |ones and another man. 
Went to the river, took a pail, will come back if they can; 

1 told old Nick not to look out, there might be someone near. 
He opened the door; shot to the floor, he'll never live, I fear. 

Two hours since the shots began, the bullets thick as hail! 
Must wait on Nick, he's awful sick, he's still alive but pale; 

At stable, river, and back of me, men are sending lead, 
I cannot get a shot to hit, it's nine, and Nick is dead. 

Down at the stable 1 see a smoke, I guess they'll bum the hay. 
From what I've seen they do not mean for me to get away; 

It's now about noon, I see a rope thrown in and out the door, 
I wish that duck would show his pluck, he'd use a gun no more. 

1 don't know what has become of the boys that stayed with us last night. 
Just two or more boys with me and we would guard the cabin right; 

I'm lonesome, boys, if s two o'clock, two men just come in view. 
And riding fast, as they went past, were shot at by the crew. 

1 shot a man down in the bam, don't know if I hit or not. 
Must look again, 1 see someone, it looks like . . . there's a blot; 

1 hope they did not get those men that across the bridge did run. 
If I had a pair of glasses here, 1 think I'd know someone. 

They're just through shelling the house, I hear the splitting wood, 
I guess they'll light the house tonight, and bum me out for good; 

I'll have to leave when night comes on, they'll bum me if I stay, 
1 guess I'll make a running break and try to get away. 

They've shot another volley in, but to bum me is their game. 
And as I write, if s not yet night, and the house is all aflame; 

So good-bye, boys, if I get shot, I got to make a mn. 
So on on this leaf, I'll sign my name, Nathan D. Champion." 

The light is out, the curtain drawn, the last sad act is played. 
You know the fate that met poor Nate, and of the run he made; 

And now across the Big Divide, and at the Home Ranch door, 
I know he'll meet and warmly greet the boys that went before. 

Olive Wooley Burt, American Murder Ballads. London and New York: Oxford University 
Press, 1958, 175-177. 


Annals of Wyoming:Tne Wyoming History Journal 

Blood Stained Book 

MM J = 102 

As sung by Daniel L. Devoe 


G (1) (2) (3) C) _ 

la) It's ]ust a lit- tiebiood-stained book, which a bul-lethadtorn in 

lb) Ho had the nerveto write it down, while the buj- lets fell like 




i .:■> J'J J i iiJvj ^ 

two; It tells the fate Of Nick and 

rain; At your re - quest, I'll do my 

» — » » ■ 

Nate, which is known to all of 




(1) Ossifl 


n n ii \ 'i 


best to re- peat those lines a 





(2) 4/4 in some verses. 

(3) Time signature ranges from 4/4 through 7/4 in various verses. 

(4) The Uvo sixteenth notes g' are sung as one eighth note g' in 

the second half of each verse. 

(5) Time signature ranges from 4/4 through 6/4 in various verses. 

(6) The D major chord should occur here. The first eighth note d' 

sung as an eighth note e' in some verses. 

(7) The two sixteenth notes d' are occasionally sung as one eighth 


'The Invasion Song" 

^y^^ he Invasion Song" is the only Johnson County 
1 1 War song that is mentioned in G. Malcolm 
^ma^ Laws' classic compendium of American folk 
ballads. Native American Balladry: A Descriptive Study 
and A Bibliographical Syllabus. It apparently never 
achieved great popularity, since Laws listed it in Ap- 
pendix 11: Native Ballads of Doubtful Currency in Tra- 
dition: "Songs of lesser influence and those which are 
extinct from the oral tradition."-"* Curiously, he classi- 
fies it as a cowboy song rather than a murder ballad. 
Laws states that he found the song text in Olive Wooley 
Burt's American Murder Ballads, and that it is a "bal- 
lad printed only once, with little indication of where, 
when or from whom the singer learned [it]."^^ 

The text and a tune are extant on an audio cassette 
made by Devoe, who sang both "The Invasion Song" 
and "Blood Stained Book" to the same tune. Such tune 
grafting is an excellent example of the dynamic folk 
music process.X)evoe first learned the former song from 

his father, Clark Devoe, then learned "Blood Stained 
Book" many years later when he purchased a copy of 
Burt's American Murder Ballads in a Portland, Oregon, 

AD : Did those songs catch your eye because you grew 

up in that same area? [Southern Johnson County.] 

DD: That's right. Well, my dad used to sing "The 

Invasion Song" when I was growing up. He knew that 


AD: Is that where you learned the tune, from him? 

DD: Yes, that's right. 

AD: Did you learn the guitar chords from him also? 

DD: No, Dad didn't play an instrument. He sang a 

cappello [sic], you might say. He just sang the song. 

AD: Did he know the other one? ["Blood Stained 


-^ Laws, 260. 
-^Ibid., 257. 

Winter 1Q98 


DD: No, I learned it from the book. 

AD: Did you use tlie music [given] there? 
DD: No, I can't read a note of music. So I just used 
the same tune, so I'd have something to sing it to. h's 
the same tune Dad sang it to.-^ 

"The Invasion Song" must have still been sung in 
southern Johnson County during the first few decades 
of the twentieth century, although Devoe reinarked that 
he did not know where his father learned the song. 

DD: [Hank and C. M. Devoe] came (to the Kaycee 
area] some time before Dad did. 
AD: Did they know "The Invasion Song"? 
DD: Well, I ne\er did hear them sing it, but I don't 
know if they did or not. Dad had to ieam it from some- 

Champion and Ray were killed. Mark E. Harvey de- 
scribed Frank Canton (.loe Homer) as "one of those 
enigmas of the Old West who lived a dual life of out- 
law and lawinan — the same vein of mankind which 
produced ... Tom Horn and Wyatt Earp."-** Canton had 
a long arrest record in Texas for murder, bank robbery 
and, ironically, cattle thievery, and had moved to Wyo- 
ming to begin a new life.-'' Canton himself wrote a fas- 
cinating account of the cattle war in his autobiography, 
one of the few documents which tells the storv from 

-'' Devoe Interview. 21 September \'^96. 

-'' Devoe Interview. 

28 Harvey, 93. 

-'' For a recent biography ofCanton, see Robert K. DeArment, 
Alias Frank Canton. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 

The song presents a 
broader picture of the events 
than "The Ballad of Nate 
Champion," and the text is 
considerably more emotion- 
ally charged. In fact, "The 
Invasion Song" seems as if 
it might have been princi- 
pally intended to influence 
public sentiment, rather than 
to describe events and indi- 

The anonymous author 
leaves absolutely no doubt 
as to his sympathy for the 
settlers' cause. He not only 
related that Nate Champion 
was dead, he gives a graphic 
description of the corpse in 
the third verse. Additionally, 
he called the cattlemen a 
"murderous crew" and the 
hired gunmen from Texas "a 
gang of hired assassins." 
Language of this sort is sel- 
dom used by an impartial 
outside observer who is 
inerely telling the story of an 

Frank Canton is men- 
tioned by name in "The In- 
vasion Song" as the man 
who led the siege at the KC 
Ranch cabin, in which 

The Invasion Song 

Sad and dismal is the tale I now relate to you, "Tis all about the cattlemen, them and 
their murderous crew. 

They started out on their inanhunt, precious blood to spill. With a gang of hired assas- 
sins, to murder at their will. 

God bless poor Nate and Ntck, who gave their precious lives. To save the town of 
Buffalo, its brave men and their wives. 

If it hadn't been for Nate and Nick. v\hat would we ha\e come to'!* We wcuild ha\e 
been murdered by Frank Canton and his crew. 

Poor Nate Champion is no more, he lost his precious life. He lies down in the \alle\. 
freed frotn all care and strife. 

He tried to run the gauntlet, when they had burned his home, .A.nd Nick was lying 
lifeless, lips wet with bloody foam. 

The run was made; his doom was sealed, a fact you all know well. TIicn left his 
lifeless body there, on the slope above the dell. 

No kindred near to care for hitn, to grasp his nerveless hand; A bra\'er man was nc\ er 
faced, by Canton's bloody band. 

The \ ery next name upon the list, was that of brave Jack Flagg. Frank Canton must 

ha\ e surely thought. That he would 'fill his bag'. 

Jack and his stepson came in view, a-riding 'round the cur\'e; "Throw up your hands! 

By God, they're oftT' 

Frank Canton lost his nerve 

'Red Angus' next, the 'canny Scot,' was marked forCanton's lead. But .Angus, warned 

by bold Jack Flagg, for aid and succor sped. 

The countryside now swamied to life, the settlers amied in haste; 

Soon 'Red' had hundreds at his back, who Cantons minions faced. 

To Crazy Woinan's winding bank, the cowed invaders fled. With KayCee blazing in 

their rear, and Ray and Champion dead. 

Here, held at bay, the cravens halt, 'till soldiers caine to aid; And now, secure in Jail 

they rest, the debt of blood unpaid. olive Wooley Burt. Amenca,, Murder Ballads London 

and New York: Oxford LIniversitN Press. 1^58. 172-174. 


Annals ot Wyoming:The Wyoming Histor)' Journal 

the cattlemen's point of view. ^'^ Canton mentions the 
expiration of Champion, Ray and others but does not 
claim to have played a role in the deaths which he was 
alleged to have caused. 

Olive Wooley Burt learned of "The Invasion Song" 
from the same sources as "The Ballad of Nate Cham- 
pion." The tune to the former song may not have been 
known to Burt's informants, since the author does not 
provide a melody.-'' His informants provided two in- 
teresting bits of evidence concerning the song: it was 
"composed at the conclusion of the trouble in 1892"; 
and "the verses had been 'made up' by a drunken cow- 
puncher and set to music by a woman of Buffalo, Wyo- 
ming."^- The text may well have been written soon 
after the surrender of the cattlemen and their mercenar- 
ies to the United States Army. The citizens of Johnson 
County were up in arms at the cessation of the hostili- 
ties and public sentiment was clearly divided. If the 
anonymous author wished to convey his opinion to as 
many of the townsfolk as possible, the verse might well 
have been set to a familiar tune by the unknown woman 
from Buffalo, to be quickly learned by interested par- 
ties who were in agreement with the senti- 
ments expressed in the text. 

3" Frank M. Canton, Frontier Trails: The Autobiographv of 
Frank M. Canton. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1930), 74-106. An- 
other is John Clay's My Life on The Range. (1924, 1962). Clay 
was a businessman from Scotland who came to Wyoming in the 
early 1 880s. He was not directly involved in the range war, but 
held high office in the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, and 
was privy to all the policies and decisions which were central to 
the conflict. 

^1 Burt, 172-174. 

^- Ibid., 173. In an interview with a Billings Gazette reporter, 
78-year-old Kaycee resident T. D. "Bunny" Taylor said he re- 
membered "a couple of songs that folks used to sing [about the 
Johnson County War]. One, 'Little Black Book,' was about Nate 
Champion's diary.. . [[and] the other was 'The Invasion Song.' It 
came later than 'Little Black Book.' They were about the only 
songs we heard when we were kids." Taylor also conceded that 
he did not "know much about the events of the war" (quoted in 
Blair 1992, El). His statement about the historical placement of 
"The Invasion Song" is based on hearsay. Taylor interview, 30 
June 1992. Olive W. Burt gives no information about the back- 
ground of his informants, making their remarks equally difficult 
to document. We probably will never know the actual time of 
composition for any of the nineteenth-century Johnson County 
War songs. 

"Smith, 142. 

^Ubid., 141. 

"The Murder ofTisdale and Jones" 

another Johnson County War song 
is titled "The Murder of Tisdale 
and Jones," and is extant as a 
manuscript written on a piece of ruled note- 
book paper, from which an unknown per- 
son has made a typewritten copy; both are 
located in the Johnson County Public Li- 
brary Music Files. 

A remark added at the bottom of page 
two of the manuscript has also been pre- 
served on the typescript: "Written and 
composed by musician Patrick Bums, 8th 
Infantry, Fort McKinney, Wyoming." The 
soldiers of the 8th Infantry were apparently 
well-received in Buffalo, and its "distin- 
guished band, under the skilled leadership 
of Professor Carlsen" played for many 
balls and parties held at the post, to which 
the townspeople were also invited. ^^ Such 
good rapport between the Army post and 
the town led to an "emphatic if unofficial 
sympathy with Johnson County, from the 
commanding officer on down, when the 
invasion took place. "^"* 

The Murder ofTisdale and Jones 

(A song to the air of "Poor Old Dad") 

One night as I sat leisurely by my fireside so bright, 

I picked up The Buffalo Bulletin which just fell 'cross my sight. 

Of many things I read about, they were different but were true. 

While gazing on the columns as I read The Bulletin through, 

I read where the supposed rustlers could get no work at all; 

The rich men tried to down them, yes, and shove them to the wall; 

There is many an honest cowboy that would be glad for work to do. 

I said, "God, help the poor man," as I read The Bulletin through. 

I next read of the murders of John Tisdale and Jones, 

Pierced in the back by bullets while returning to their homes. 

They were shot out on the prairie and made the dust to bite. 

For afraid the cruel assassin was to meet them in a fight. 

Now if Freeman knows the murderer, why don't he come to the front? 

And the people down in Buffalo will go out on a hunt. 

Their hands may have been bloody to manhood from their youth. 

It stood for the law to sentence them when they had learned the truth. 

Now Tisdale's wife is living yet and battling on through life. 
"Who is there to protect her, keep her from care and strife? 
When she reached her husband dead, it broke her heart in two. 
I cried aloud, "It is a shame," as I read The Bulletin through. 
Jones' true love, broken hearted, her grief she could not bide. 
When she found that her lover had out on the prairie died. 
God pity that young lady, whoever she may be. 
She is mourning her young life away while the murderer goes free. 

^"inter lOOS 


Patrick Bums was also stationed with the cavalry 
troops at Fort McKinney. As an infantr\man, he was 
probably not directly involved in the surrender and 
transport of the in\ aders. but he surely was aware of 
the activities of his fellow soldiers on the Army post. 
The sympathies of the author of "The Murder of Tisdale 
and Jones" were clearly on the side of the townsfolk 
and small ranchers, and the song is a commentary on 
the aftennath of the insurrection rather than a descrip- 
tion of it. The text is more restrained than "The Inva- 
sion Song"; Bums" poetry is not nearly as emotionally 
charged, > et he is genuinely upset about the recent tum 
of events and feels sorr\ for the men who died and for 
their survivors. 

The meter and rhyme of the Bums" poem are highly 
irregular. The author seems to have almost no aware- 
ness of meter and the rh\ me scheme is uneven as well. 
The poem is shown abo\e exacth as found in the 
Johnson County Public Librar\ manuscript. The first 
verse contains nine lines, w ith a rhyme scheme of A A, 
BB, CC, DD. E. The first line of the second verse 
rhymes w ith the last line of the tlrst, producing a seven- 
line rhyme scheme of E, FF, GG. HH. The third verse 
has eight lines, all of which are rh_\ med as regular cou- 
plets. Perhaps the author was more interested in the 
poem's sentiment than in its finesse. The tune suggested 
in the manuscript is "Poor Old Dad,"" w hich may have 
also been known as "Dear Old Dad."" The text scansion 
and rhyme scheme do not fit "Great Grand-Dad"' or its 
man\ \ ariants. 

"Our Htn-oes ' Grave " 

^^•^ he last, and perhaps most enigmatic, of the 
■ I nineteenth-century songs about the Johnson 
%&!• Count) War is "Our Heroes" Grave."" The 
song was printed in The fVyoniIno Derrick. Ma\' 12, 
1892, exactly one month after the siege at the T.A. 
Ranch. -'-"^ A manuscript copy, written in the hand of the 
same person who copied "The Murder of Tisdale and 
Jones" is located at the Johnson County Public Library. 
Both the new spaper article and the manuscript indicate 
that the song was written by Charles Story and "set to 
music and sung at the indignation meeting at Banner." '*' 
No further mention of music for this text other than the 
reference to the meeting at Banner has been discov- 
ered. Neither the newspaper nor the manuscript give 
any information about the tune to which it was sung. 
The poetr\ is certainly more sophisticated than that 
of "The Murder of Tisdale and Jones." The iambic 
tetrameter of the text flow s quite smoothh and the cou- 

plets rhyme in a regular order. Although it is written 
w ith an elaborate style of expression common to the 
nineteenth-century, the overall feeling-tone of the text 
is somewhat reserved, especially when compared to 
"The Invasion Song." The somber text depicts the event 
in general terms, rather than focusing on any one as- 
pect of it. The first tv\o stanzas portray Nate Champion's 
final hours, while the last \ erse expresses the emotions 
of people at his funeral. 

The poem is meant to be a xehicle of persuasion; 
sentiment is used to make the readers s\mpathize w ith 
the braver) of the hero and the sorrow of the townsfolk 
who buried him. VirtualK the entire town of Buffalo 
attended joint services for Champion and Nick Ray. 
held on April 15. 1892.'^ Like "The Murder of Tisdale 
and Jones," "Our Heroes' Grave"" is not in the current 

'^ The Wyoming Derrick was a Casper newspaper published 
from .lune 21, 1890 through March 2, 1906. How the poem got 
from Johnson County (or perhaps Sheridan Count\ ) to Casper, 
which is about 1 15 highway miles south of Buffalo, is uncertain. 
The article has been preserved in another source as well, for Gov- 
ernor Amos W. Barber clipped it and pasted it into his scrapbook 
Barber Scrapbook, 347. 

-'^ Barber. 347. 

-'' Smith. 23(1 

Our Heroes' Grave 

It was on the Powder's Middle branch, 

Nate met his death at the KC Ranch; 

No quarter he asked, none would the\' give. 

No show on earth had he to li\e. 

He fought them through long hours of pain; 

He fought alone, his coinrade slain. 

His heart was oak and his nerves were steeled. 

God, could this hero's doom he sealed? 

In his cabin he lay in slumbers sound; 

Outside the demons lurked around. 

No warning had he of outside foe. 

"Till a bullet laid his comrade low. 

His ritle he grasped and fought all day. 

For many long hours he'd held them at bay. 

When the torch was applied his cheek grew pale, 

.■\nd he met his death from their leaden hail. 

With \oices hushed and hearts turned weak. 

Oft tears were seen on the browned cheek. 

The quiver plays on the lips of pride. 

When we think of the death that poor Nate died. 

The w omen w ith flowers his casket dressed, 

.And followed in tears to his place of rest. 

Then ga\e him thus as a body of the bra\e. 

Then lowered him down to a hero's era\e. 


Annals oi Wyoming;Tne Wyoming History ]c 

repertory of any of the informants in this oral history 

One might speculate that the reference to "the indig- 
nation meeting at Banner" could mean that a gathering 
was held at Banner, Wyoming, which is a village situ- 
ated at the east end of a spur of the Big Horn moun- 
tains known as Moncreiffe Ridge, about halfway be- 
tween Buffalo and Sheridan. Banner is located just in- 
side Sheridan County and perhaps the settlers did not 
wish to meet within the confines of Johnson County 
since the invaders, although incarcerated, were still 
uncomfortably near.-'*^ Perhaps people living in the 
Banner community were angry enough to have spon- 
sored such a meeting. No such assemblies are specifi- 
cally mentioned by various writers about the insurrec- 
tion excepting Helena Huntington Smith, who alludes 
to indignation meetings in The War on Powder River. 
She mentions such community gatherings as part of 
her discussion of why the invaders and their hired gun- 
men were never fully prosecuted; 

Wyoming was too exhausted and too sick of the 
whole business to care. Its sense of outrage over the 
invasion had spent itself over the past nine months, as 
one community after another had held meetings and 
passed resolutions condemning the invaders; it had 
gradually adjusted itself to the knowledge that they 
would ne\er pay for their crime.-''' 


lich side "won" the conflict? Most historians 
I agree that neither side conclusively won the 
v\'ar. Likewise, one could say that neither side 
truly lost. The settlers thwarted the immediate objec- 
tive of the cattle barons to destroy them and seize their 
property. The invaders were protected by the United 
States Army from the wrath of the settlers and from 
their own alleged violations of the law by the Wyo- 
ming state judicial system. 

The citizens of Johnson County wrote songs which 
were intended to stir up public sentiment, to express 
anger and outrage and to mourn fallen heroes. The set- 
tlers had clearly won an emotional victory, for all of 
the ballads from this conflict commemorate their side. 
The so-called cattle barons truly believed they were 
fighting for a just cause. Why have no songs survived, 
if any were ever written, which present their side of the 
story? The invaders and their forces were lucky to get 
out of northeastern Wyoming without being shot or 
lynched. They plainly had no themes of heroism and 
sacrifice to celebrate in song. 

The Johnson County War ballads are important to 
local amateur singers and their audiences alike. These 
songs have a nostalgic, sentimental appeal, for they 

are about historical or imaginary events from the sing- 
ers' own culture, and thus impart a sense of place in 
one's community. The songs are also an element of 
some informants' family traditions. They have been 
handed down as valuable cultural artifacts from one 
generation to another, perhaps in a slightly altered form, 
but preserved nonetheless. For instance, Daniel L. 
Devoe learned "The Invasion Song" from his father 
who presumably heard it from an uncle who actually 
participated in the Johnson County War. Now that these 
songs have been brought to light again, perhaps they, 
like other relics of the Johnson County War, can be 
preserved for future generations. 

-'* Undertaking such a journey to Banner is not an impossibil- 
ity, even in liorse-and-buggy days. Banner is located about eigh- 
teen miles from Buffalo, so persons mounted on fresh horses could 
have ridden the distance in (conservatively) four to si.x hours, 
less than a full day's ride. At the height of the hostilities, "a young 
Methodist a preacher named Marvin A. Rader [who] was in sym- 
pathy with the people of Johnson County... rode in from Big Hom 
[a distance of approximately twenty-five miles] to help inspire 
and organize them to resist attack." Smith, 216. Smith also notes 
that Rader was one of two ministers who presided at the funeral 
of Nate Champion and Nick Ray. Ibid, 230. One can ride a horse 
at a walking gait at about three miles per hour; at a faster gait, 
such as a lope or canter, a horse and rider can go about five or six 
miles per hour. Driving a team is somewhat slower, generally 
about three miles an hour, although buggies can often travel faster 
than heavier wagons. Thanks to Marie P. Tibbets of Sheridan, 
Wyoming, who frequently employed such means of travel as a 
young woman, for information about journeying by horse and 
buggy. Tibbets, telephone interview by author, 30 May 1995. 

-''' Smith, 282. 

A Sheridan resident. Ariel Downing completed her 
Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Colorado at 
Boulder in 1997. She holds a Bachelor of Music de- 
gree from the University- of Wyoming and a Master of 
Music fi-om Colorado State University. Downing has 
played tuba and bass trombone in numerous symphony 
orchestras, wind bands and jazz ensembles in north- 
central Colorado. Prior to moving to Colorado, she 
taught music in grades K-12 in the Arvada-Clearmont 
and Ten Sleep public school districts. Material for this 
article was adapted from Downing 's doctoral disser- 
tation, "Let 'Er Buck! Music in Cowboy Culture of the 
Powder River Basin, Wyoming. " concerning chang- 
ing musical styles and traditions found among ranch 
folk of the middle Powder River Basin. Much of the 
research consisted of oral histories, many of which were 
tape-recorded. A number of area musicians, both pro- 
fessional and amateur, were interviewed. Musical pref- 
erences, backgrounds and performance venues of these 
informants were presented, along with discussion of 
folk and popular songs within their repertories. 

George G. Lobdell, Jr. and 
the Yale Scientific Expedition of 1871 

at Fort Bridgera 

Fort Bridget- 

By Mary Faith Pankin 

On August 22, 1871, the eleven members of the Yale 
Scientific Expedition, led by Professor Othniel Charles 
Marsh, arrived at Fort Bridger, Wyoming for a five 
week stay. Their purpose was to uncover fossils which 
would answer basic paleontological questions. Their 
discoveries ultimately would reside in the University's 
Peabody Museum. For most of the young participants, 
however, a sense of adventure was an equally 
motivating factor. George Gran\ille Lobdell, Jr., a 
recent Yale graduate from Wilmington, Delaware, was 
one expedition member. He kept a detailed diary of the 
expedition, two volumes of which are extant.' In them 
he vividly portrayed back-breaking work, colorful 
characters, brushes with danger, and incidents of 
uninhibited high jinx, with wonder, astuteness, and wry 

George G. Lobdell, Jr. (1850-1942) was the son of 
George Granville Lobdell (181 7-1 894), president of the 
Lobdell Car Wheel Company, and Adeline Wheeler 

Lobdell (1817-1909). He attended the T. Clarkson 
Taylor Academy in Wilmington and Yale ShetTield 
Scientific School (class of 1871) where he had 
specialized in chemistry. Accompanying him from 
Wilmington was his friend and Yale classmate John 
Franklin Quigley ( 1 848- 1 897 ), the son of Eliza Quigley 
and Philip Quigley (1816-1884), a prominent civil 

' These two volumes covering .August 22, 1871 through December 
23, 1871, are in the possession of the author, Lobdell's great- 
granddaughter. For a brief summar. of the diar\ see Mary Faith 
Pusey [Pankin], "The Yale Scientific Expedition of 1871," 
Manuscripts 28 (Spring 1976): 97-105. 

- Jack, as he was called, later joined his father's business, and 
the Quigleys received the contract for building the Machinery and 
Agricultural Halls at the Philadelphia Centennial ExJiibition in 1876. 
Biographical Record: Classes from Eighteen Hundred and Sixty- 
eight to Eighteen Hundred and Se\'ent}-nvo of the Sheffield Scientific 
School (}iew Haven: Yale University, 1910), 171-173, 181-182. 


Annals of WyomingiTke Wyoming History 

Both graduates had been reared in the expanding 
Delaware city, where the population had grown from 
8,452 in 1840 to 30,841 in 1870.' Local men had 
founded the shipbuilding, railroad car and other 
industries which added to Wilmington's prosperity. 
Among the four largest of these firms was the Lobdell 
Car Wheel Company.'' Members of this upper middle 
business class took part in a wide variety of public 
spirited activities, contributing to the social, cultural, 
and material good of the community.' 

The senior George Lobdell was a member of this 
middle class elite. He was apprenticed as a youth to his 
uncle Jonathan Bonney and, after Bonney's death in 
1838, a partner with Charles Bush. In 1859 he gained 
complete control of the company, changed its name to 
the Lobdell Car Wheel Company in 1871 and served 
as president until his death. Bonney had patented a 
railroad car wheel with a rim of chilled iron, and by 
1867 the company had become the world's largest 
producer of railroad car wheels, with an annual gross 
income of $585,000.*' Lobdell served on many civic 
boards and in 1 869 was elected president of the Masonic 
Hall Company, whose purpose was to erect a building 
for the fraternal organization's meetings as well as for 
musical and theatrical presentations.' Although Mrs. 
Lobdell gave birth to ten children between 1842 and 
1860, only five daughters and two sons, including 
George Jr., were alive in 1871. 

Young Lobdell could scarcely have had a more 
knowledgeable and respected leader than Yale's 
Professor Marsh, who since 1866 had served as the 
first professor of vertebrate paleontology in the United 
States. Marsh has been called "one of the most colorful 
and lauded figures of nineteenth century science" and 
"the greatest proponent of Darwinism in nineteenth 
century America."*' He is credited with assembling the 
magnificent collection of fossils that form the basis of 
the Peabody Museum at Yale. Born in 1831, the 
scientist was fortunate in that his mother, who died 
when he was three years old, was the sister of the 
philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869), who took 
an interest in his young nephew. From an early age 
Marsh had pursued a fascination for geology. His uncle 
paid for his education at Yale, where he received a 
bachelor's degree in 1 860. In 1 86 1 - 1 862 he continued 
his studies at the recently formed Yale Sheffield 
Scientific School and later studied paleontology in 
Germany. In 1866 Marsh persuaded Peabody to 
contribute money for the construction of the museum 
of natural history that now bears his name. With his 
uncle's financial backing he became a non-teaching and 

George G. Lobdell, Jr., 1871 

non-salaried professor of paleontology at the Sheffield 
Scientific Schoof 

In the summer of 1868 Marsh attended a meeting of 
the American Association for the Advancement of 
Science in Chicago. He took the occasion to ride the 
length of the Union Pacific Railroad to a point sixty 
miles beyond Benton, Wyoming. He became convinced 

' Carol E. Hoffecker, Wilmington. Delaware: Portrait of an 
Industrial City: 1830-1910 (Charlottesville, Va.: University Press 
of Virginia, 1974). 71. 

' Ibid., 20. 

■■ For a detailed summary of the range of these efforts and a 
discussion of the enlightened self interest that led to them, see Ibid., 

"Historical Sketch. Lobdell Car Wheel Company (n.p.: 
.Association of Manufacturers of Chilled Car Wheels. 1936), 1-2; 
Harold C. Livesay, "The Lobdell Car Wheel Co., 1830-1867," 
Business Histoiy ke\'iew 42 (Summer 1968): 171-178. 

' Toni Young, The Grand Experience: a Drama in Five .Acts 
Containing a Description of Wilmington 's Grand Opera House & 
Masonic Temple, a Victorian Building in the Second Empire Style 
and a History of the Many Parts It Has Played in the Delaware 
Community for More than a Century (Watkins Glen, N.Y.: 
American Life Foundation & Study Institute, 1976), 14-18. 

* Mark J. McCarren, The Scientific Contributions of Othniel 
Charles Marsh: Birds. Bones, and Brontotheres (New Haven: Yale 
University, 1993), 1. 

" For a complete biography of Marsh, see Charles Schuchert and 
Clara Mae LeVene, O.C Marsh. Pioneer in Paleontology (New 
Haven: Yale University Press, 1940). 

Winter 19Q8 


that this region would be a good fossil-hunting ground 
and he soon planned an expedition to study a large 
expanse of the West. He conceived of a scheme by 
which some of his current and fonner students, who 
would pay their own way, would accompan_\ him. He 
would use his influence to get the protection of the 
U.S. Anny through areas considered dangerous. Indian 
wars delayed his first trip until 1 870. In the interim he 
made news by exposing a hoax in Syracuse, New York, 
where the so-called "Cardiff Giant," a huge man-sized 
fossil, was being shown off to the gullible. Marsh 
revealed that the giant had been carved from gvpsum 
and was not a real fossil. In 1 869 George Peabody died, 
leaving the professor with the financial resources to 
lead expeditions from 1870 through 1873.'" 

Marsh \\ as of medium height, with blue eyes and a 
reddish beard. Although generally kindly and cheerful, 
even jovial in the company of men, his single-minded 
pursuit of his scientific goals could make him seem 
forbidding at times. Colleagues noticed that he was 
reticent to share his innemiost thoughts and seemed to 
avoid true intimacv . One biographer wrote that he did 
not tolerate opposition to his purposes and that "he 
resented any encroachment upon the particular fields 
of research in which he was engaged."" 

Before the 1870s discoveries of dinosaur remains 
were rare. With Marsh's finds and those of his 
competitors, an exciting scientific era began. The first 

expedition of June-December 1 870 consisted of Marsh 
and twelve Yale men. The group worked in Nebraska, 
Colorado, Wyoming (including Fort Bridger), Utah, 
and western Kansas.'- Among their finds were the 
remains of several species of horses and bones of the 
great sea serpents (mosasaurs). In Kansas they found 
the bones of what proved to be the first North American 
pterodactyl, or flying reptile.'' 

For these young participants, just as with the 1871 
group, the excitement resulted as much from the rough 
living and danger of the West as from the intellectual 
challenge. They survived a prairie fire. The presence 
of hostile Indians required a military escort. The famed 

" Bernard Jaffe. Men of Science m America: the Ston of 
American Science Told Through the Lives and Achievements of 
Twenty- Outstanding Men from Earliest Colonial Times to the 
Present Day. Rev. ed. (>Jew York: Simon and Schuster, 1958). 
279-306. For other concise biographical summaries of Marsh see 
Charles E. Beecher. "Othniel Charles Marsh," American Journal 
of Science. 4th ser.. vol. 7 (June, 1899): 403-428; and Charles 
Schuchert, "Biographical Memoir of Othniel Charles Marsh. 1831- 
1899," Biographical Memoirs of National Academy of Sciences of 
the United States of America 20(1939): 1-78. 

' ' Beecher, "Othniel Charles Marsh." 406. 

"Ibid. 409-410. 

''Richard Svvann Lull, "The ^ale Collection of Fossil Horses." 
no. 1 of "Collections of Yale University," Supplement to Vale Alumni 
IVeeklv (May 2, 1913): 3; and McCarren, The Scientific 
Contributions of Othniel Charles Afarsh. 13. 


I ' .-■'_, 'ijT^f^^ ^-^ i*f^> • '^^ 

r ■ I- 


', , <.. 1 . : ,1 c M |i..,i •. . (hi. 1' I •,-.• 

Fort Bridger in 1867. sketch by General G. M. Dodge. Chief Engineer in building the Union Pacific Railroad. 


Annals or Wyoming:The Wyoming Histon' Journal 

Many D. Ziegler, 1871 

scout Buffalo Bill accompanied them for a day and 
exchanged manly jokes.''* 

During the winter of 1870-1871 Marsh's research 
convinced him that his Kansas discovery was indeed a 
pterodactyl. This fact made him all the more anxious 
to return to the Fort Wallace, Kansas, area as well as 
other previous hunting grounds. On the second 
expedition, besides Lobdell and Quigley, were eight 
other men, all Yale graduates: 

John Jay Dubois ( 1 846- 1 898), Yale 1 867, Columbia 
LL.B. 1869, later a New York lawyer. 

Oscar Harger ( 1 843-1 887), Yale 1 868, later Marsh's 
assistant for seventeen years. 

George Macculloch Keasbey (1850-1924), Yale 
1 87 1 , later a Newark, N.J., lawyer, who served in 1 873 
on the U.S. government survey of the One Hundredth 

Alfred Bishop Mason (1851-1933), Yale 1871, later 
an editorial writer and lawyer in Chicago. He became 
an executive for several railroads. He wrote a series of 
boys' books as well as works on law and constitutional 
history, including A Primer of Political Economy. 

Frederick Mead ( 1 848- 1 9 1 8), Yale 1871, later a New 
York tea merchant. 

Joseph French Page (1848-1928), Yale 1871, later a 
Philadelphia wool merchant and real estate executive. 

Theodore Gordon Peck ( 1 848- 1 934), Yale 1871, later 
a brick manufacturer in West Haverstraw, N.Y. 

Harry Degen Ziegler (1850-1 909), Yale 1871, later a 
distilling company director. Ziegler married Lobdell' s 
sister Florence Delano Lobdell in 1 876 and the two 
lived in Philadelphia." 

The first volume of Lobdell's diary, unfortunately, 
is missing, but other sources reveal that the group 
arrived in Fort Wallace and rode out on July 2 with an 
army escort. The Kansas weather alternated between 
torrid days and torrential rainy nights. In spite of the 
weather, exhausting work, unreliable riding mounts, 
and poor sanitation, their youthful stamina and 
occasional alcoholic indulgence kept their morale 
high.'* Returning to the spot where he had made the 
previous find. Marsh joyfully uncovered more 
pterodactyl bones, lending exactness to his calculation 
of the large size of the creature. Spending about a month 
in this locality, the crew found other pterodactyls, which 
Marsh concluded were toothless and had wing spans 
of twenty to twenty-five feet. The group then went to 
Denver, Colorado, for several days of rest to escape 
the heat and rain. They went to Fort Bridger by way of 
Cheyenne, arriving on August 22, when Lobdell's 
account starts." 

Fort Bridger is located in the southwest comer of 
Wyoming, in Uinta County, which had been organized 
in 1869. Founded in 1843 as an Oregon Trail supply 
stop by the trapper and scout James Bridger ( 1 804- 
1881) and his partner Louis Vasquez, it became known 
as a mail, express, and telegraph station. It had been 
occupied by Mormon colonists from Utah in the 1 850s 
and burned in the so-called Mormon War of 1857. In 
1 858 it was rebuilt as a United States military post and 
was used in this way until 1890. When the army 

'■* Charles Belts, "The Yale College E.xpedition of 1870," 
Harper's New Monthly Magazine 43 (June-Nov. 1871): 663-671. 
Buffalo Bill, or William F. Cody (1846-1917) became Marsh's 
lifelong friend, visiting him in New Haven on several occasions. 
Schuchert and LeVene, O.C. Marsh, Pioneer in Paleontology, 103. 

" Schuchert and LeVene, O.C. Marsh. Pioneer in Paleontology, 

'" Letter of Alfi-ed Bishop Mason, to "Tom," [probably Thomas 
Thacher (1850-1919), a Yale classmate], Aug. 3, 1871, Othniel 
Charles Marsh Papers, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University 
Library, Microfilm reel 11. 

'^ Shuchert and LeVene, O.C. Marsh. Pioneer in Paleontology, 
121-124. Marsh made public reports on some of his findings. For 
example, see his report of a skeleton of a small Hadrosaurus in The 
American Journal of Science and Arts, 3rd series, vol. 3, no. 13-18 
(Jan.-June 1872): 301. 

Winter 19Q8 


withdrew troops in 1861 because ofCivil War demands, 
a volunteer company of about sixty guards protected 
the fort until the December 1862 deployment of 
Company I, Third California Infantry Volunteers. 
During 1868-1869 the construction crew of the Union 
Pacific Railroad required a military escort from the fort. 
Currently Fort Bridger is a Wyoming state historic 

The high desert plains which surround the valley on 
three sides can appear barren and uninviting. Summers 
are short, with sometimes violent thunderstorms. Winter 
arrives early, with snow falling as early as October.'" 
The harsh climate resulted in health problems such as 
frostbite and the rapid spread of disease caused by 
overly snug and poorly ventilated barracks.-" The 1870 
party had visited the fort and its environs during the 
previous summer for several weeks. During this time 
they had braved an elk stampede, a peaceful encounter 
with Ute Indians, and a standoff with grain thieves.-' 

By 1871, however, the army reservation had 
decreased in size because of its waning military 
importance. In March a War Department order had 
reduced the fort's area to about four square miles, 
turning over about 196 square miles to the Department 
of the Interior.-- Fort Bridger was increasingly a stop 
for scientific expeditions. In addition to the Yale party, 
a government geological survey of the Uinta Mountains, 
led by Ferdinand V. Hayden (1829-1887), visited the 
fort in September 1 870. The Army Corps of Engineers 
headquartered there while making a scientific 
reconnaissance of Wyoming in June 1871.-' 

The fort's commanding oftlcer was Major Robert 
Smith La Motte ( 1 825- 1 88^8) of the 1 3th U.S. Infantry. 
La Motte, who served in that capacity April 25, 1870- 
September 1, 1872, was an affectionate family man 
and faithful correspondent, who wrote to his mother 
almost every week for many years.-"* In the letters he 
only briefly mentioned Marsh's expeditions, but he did 
name the two Wilmingtonians and commented that 
Marsh thought highly of them.-' 

The party camped in tents near the shore of Black's 
Fork, a branch of which flowed through the parade 
ground. They enjoyed the valley's views of the snow- 
capped Uinta Mountains and soon spent their spare time 
fishing and hunting the abundant game, in profligate 
numbers by modem standards. Since Marsh and Ziegler 
had visited there the previous year, they received 
invitations right away and were able to introduce the 
other young men into the social life of the fort, such as 
it was. This centered around the family of its leading 
citizen William A. Carter (1 818-1881), a native of 
Virginia. From 1857 until his death this shrewd 

entrepreneur initiated many pursuits and made himself 
quite wealthy. He ran the trading post, was a judge and 
post office agent, and had lumber, oil, and mining 
interests.-^ While military commanders came and went. 
Carter and his family were a constant presence at the 
fort. The Judge had a reputation as an ethical 
businessman and fair and responsible judge. The tlrst 
entries in the second volume of Lobdell's diary describe 
his arrival and settling in. 

Tuesday August 22 — 

We reached Bridger this P.M. about 1:15 — Found 
Maj. Lamott [sic] in command. He recognized our 
names when we were introduced. They had no place to 
put us, so put us in camp, just outside of the quarters 
the first thing. We have but 3 tents. Prof.. Harger & 
Mead in one, Zieg, Peck. Page & Mason in another, 
and DuBois in with us. Judge Carter did not show 
himself. Last year the party were entertained by him. 
hut I guess he got enough of them and doesn 7 want 
any more. Went without dinner, except a lunch of some 
crackers & cheese which Dr. Carter the judge 's 
business manager, kindly gax'e us, but had a pretty good 
supper, cooked by one of the soldiers, detailed for that 
purpose — The Prof was away all day.-'' He & Zieg 
had plenty of offers to dine out but the latter did not 

" For an extensive histon, of the fort see Fred R. Gowans and 
Eugene E. Campbell, Fort Bridger. Island in the IVilderne.'is ( Prove, 
Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1975)..f or a more compact 
history-, see Robert S. Ellison, Fort Bridger — a BrieF History, ed. 
William Barton, Phil Roberts, et al. (Casper; Historical Landmark 
Commission of Wyoming, 1931; Cheyenne; Wyoming State 
Archives, Museums and Historical Department, 1^81). 

'" Kathaleen Kennington Hamblin, Bridger Vallev a Guide to 
the Past (Mountain View, Wyoming; [The Author], 1993), 1. 

■" Jerome Thomases, "Fort Bridger; a Western CommunitN." 
Mihtaiy Affairs 5 (Autumn I941);182. 

= ' Betts. "The Yale College Expedition of 1870." 669-671. 

■■ Gowans and Campbell, Fort Bridger: !sla)id in the Wilderness. 

•' Ellison. Fort Bridger — a Brief History: 49-52. 

-■• La Motte's weekly letters to his mother during his stay at Fort 
Bridger are in; La Motte Family Papers (BANC MSS C-B 450), 
Box 2, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. 

-' La Motte Family Papers, La Motte to "Mother," Sept. 3, 

-" Ellison, Fort Bridger — a Brief History, 61-71. For an 
examination of Carter's many enterprises, see W.N. Davis, Jr., "The 
Sutler at Fort Bridger," The Western Historical Quarterly 2 (Jan. 
1971); 37-54. 

■' This was probably James Van Allen Carter, unrelated to the 
judge, who came to Fort Bridger in 1866, worked as a bookkeeper 
for Judge Carter, and martied his daughter ,^nna Carter. Ellison, 
Fort Bridger — a Brief History, 70. In his more active years Judge 
Carter employed as many as 100 people. Davis, "The Sutler at Fort 
Bridger," 50. 


Annals oi Wyoming :The Wyoming History Journal 

accept. ...Fort Bridger is very pleasantly situated, in a 
beautiful little valley. Black Fork runs right through 
the grounds. Smith 's Fork and other streams are not 
far off. We are camped on Black's Fork about 15 
minutes walkfi'om the shore. Except the valleys of the 
streams the countiy around is nothing but sage deserts. 
[Thirty] 30 miles south are the Uintah Mountains, some 
of them 13. 000 feet high, and from here we can see the 
snow capped peaks in certain lights. They say sage 
hen and trout abound, but not quite so near the fort as 
we are situated.-^ 

Wednesday, August 23 — 

One thing is certain, they have cool nights in this 
locality, although the middle of the day may be quite 
warm. This morning early. Page, Mase, Keasbey and I 
started up the valley after sage hens. Walked about 3 
miles without seeing one. and then came back. Mead 
& Peck started off after breakfast for trout, and brought 
back quite a mess between them. We cooked them for 
supper, & I tell you they were good. The Prof. ...went 
off for a day 's sport with rods and guns. The Prof, 
came back about 7:30 with about 40 trout, some of 
them very fine indeed, and 5 sage hens. They went about 
6 miles up stream. 

Later that day Lobdell had his first encounter with a 
Ute Indian. In the early 1 9th century, the Utes numbered 
4,500. The confederacy of seven autonomous bands 
occupied western Colorado and eastern Utah. In 1 868 
the United States government persuaded them to move 
west of the Continental Divide in Colorado. With the 
discovery of gold in the San Juan Mountains, the Utes 
ceded their western Colorado lands to the government 
by treaty in 1873. Utes often dressed in buckskins and 
adorned themselves with face painting, tattooing and 
ear ornaments.-'' Although they took part in some small 
disturbances in the 1850s, by this time they were 
considered a minor nuisance for their petty thievery.^" 

Wrote a long letter to Will today in answer to the 
one I received from him yesterday. ^^ Was interrupted 
while writing it by the advent of one of the aboriginals. 
He was all rigged out in full dress, had his face all 
painted up, beads around his wrists, earrings in his 
ears, quills all over his breast, etc. He was a Ute, and 
could speak a few English words. His first salutation 
was "How" then "bread, bread". Zieg brought him a 
lot of biscuits. Then "meat, meat." Zieg got him all the 
meat he could find. He got a hold of my gun — "heap 
big gun ?" he asked. We told him yes. ...He had 3 ponies 

and a mule with him, and another Indian. His name 
was Big Bullet. He had come from the Sweetwater, 125 
miles off in "3 sleeps" (three days). "One sleep then 
away — Uintahs, " he remarked, meaning, in one day 
he was going to start for the Uintahs. "Ponies heap 
tired" and must rest. He was about 5 ft 6 in height, 
very powerfully built, and very ugly. Had his bow and 
arrows along in a skin quiver. Had a very fancy knife 
sheath. He had his knife in it, yet he was all the time 
asking for "knife, knife. " Kept casting his eyes around 
the tents. I suppose for something to steal as they steal 
every thing they can lay their hands on. Zieg says he 
traveled with them last year for two days. Staid in camp 
all day, except a few minutes in the evening when 

-* Sage hens are the females of a kind of native grouse, so called 
because they feed on the buds of sagebrush. An unnamed army 
officer quoted by Ellison, wrote that in the Fort Bridger area, turkey- 
sized sage hens were extremely numerous. Ellison, Fort Bridger 
— £3 Brief History, 37. 

-' Barbara A. Leitch, A Concise Dictionary of Indian Tribes of 
North America (Algonac, Michigan: Reference Publications, 1979), 

^° Thomases, "Fort Bridger: a Western Community," 183. 

" Lobdell'solder brother William Wheeler Lobdell(1844-1914) 
had been serving as secretary of the Lobdell Car Wheel Company 
since 1867. 

Judge William A. Carter 

Winter 1998 

Keasbey & I went in to mail our letters. Jack & Zieg 
went if! to play whist with Capt. Whittlesey & some 
other officer. 

Thursday August 24 — 

Took a walk into the store after breakfast this 
morning. Ordered a pair of moccasins for myself and 
one for Carrie.-'- Got weighed, weight J 32 — gained 
tivo pounds since getting to Denver. Was introduced 
to Col. Whittlesey. He was a Yale '53 man. Looks like 
a regular "toper ": his cheeks are as red as fire — he is 
a comical dick, but drinks gobs of whiskey I know.'^ 
He invited us to come see him, and Keasbey went. I 
ought to have gone but didn 't. 

The group soon visited another well known 
character. John Robertson, nicknamed "Uncle Jack 
Robinson" (1806-1884), who lived near the fort. He 
had been on the frontier for many years, had married 
two Shoshone Indian wives— Marook and Toggy— and 
cared for many unrelated Indian children. A visiting 
army officer in 1 866 described him as a hard-drinking, 
generous, cheerful, and entertaining natural gentleman 
who had earned and lost a large amount of money 
trapping and trading. The famous English traveler Sir 
Richard Burton (1821-1890) met him in 1860 and 
reported that the old man had an investment of $75,000 
in St. Louis but preferred to live on the frontier.'^ He is 
buried in the Fort Bridger Cemetery, as are Judge Carter 
and Mrs. Carter. 

First though. I took a ride out to "Uncle Jack's" 
with Mead. Page. Keasbey & Jack. Zieg and Mason 
started with us but as we had a wagon without springs 
and the road was very rough, they soon gave it up. got 
out. and walked home. Uncle Jack Robinson is an old 
settler who has been here 40 years. His ranche [sic] is 
about 5 miles from the post on a branch of Smith's 
Fork. We rode out for the purpose of buying ponies, 
as he generally has a good stock on hand, but he had 
but two to sell and Mead bought one. No one would 
take the other. Uncle Jack has cjuite a ranche [sic] for 
the localit}: four separate log huts. His ranche [sic] is 
the great headquarters for Indians. He has one or two 
beside an old hag. about 100-130 ears old, and when 
we were there, he had a "buck" as they call them — 
viz. , an Indian — either Ute or Shoshone — who helped 
him with his stock. This fellow had a buffalo robe 
wrapped around him, although he was apparently 
dressed as we in other respects. The way he could ride 

John "Jack" Robertson 

was a caution. Uncle Jack was once cpiite rich. 2110 or 
300 thousand, they say, but he has lost some of it. We 
got back to camp about 5 o 'clock, had a Jolly good 
dinner, after which we loafed around, built afire in 
the evening and sat around it. Prof & Maj. La Motte 
went hunting and returned late in the evening, with 14 
sage hens and three rabbits. 

'-Lobdell's sister Carolyn Wheeler Lobdell (1S51-1Q13). 

"' Charles Henry Whittlesey (1832-1871) of New Haven, 
Connecticut, graduated from Yale in 18,^3 and had been an army 
captain since 1866. Lobdell's assessment of his drinking habits 
may or may not have been correct. In any case, the officer died 
soon after the party left, on October 18 of gastroenteritis, according 
to La Motte, who also wrote that he had attacks of violent neuralgia 
in the head sufficient to affect his mind. See Records of the United 
States Army Commands: Fort Bridger (Washington, 1949; 
reproduced for the University of Wyoming), reel 2, Letters sent, 
1871- Oct. 18; Oct. 25. The cause of his death was more likely to 
have been typhoid fever, as reported in Obituary Record of 
Graduates of Yale College 2nd printed series, no. 2 (July 10, 1872): 
62. ' ' 

" Ellison, Fort Bridger — a Brief Histoiy. 39-40; Hamblin, 
Bridger Valley. 281-283; and Richard F. Burton, The City of the 
Saints and Across the Rocky Mountains to California, ed. with an 
introduction and notes by Fawn M. Brodie (New York: Alfred .'\. 
Knopf 1963), 196. 


Annals or Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

Lobdell and others bought mounts for the expedition 
and were guests of Judge Carter's family. Carter, in 
addition to being a devoted husband, was a well- 
educated man who provided a schoolhouse and teachers 
for his children so they would be able to attend college. 
He was said to have the largest library in the territory 
and was renowned for his hospitality. He owned a 
Steinway piano, which was used for dances and other 
musical entertainments.^"' 

Friday August 25 — 

We were all, nearby, busily engaged today in buying 
ponies for the trip — Orders from Prof are that we pull 
out tomorrow noon. After much running around, I 
finally bought a pony from Mr. Day, the clerk in Judge 
Carter 's store, for $65, and he promised to take him 
back for $40 at least. Jack got a horse from Sergeant 
Elsleyfor $80, and sells it back for $60. He had saddle, 
etc. thrown in also. Zieg and Harger have mules. The 
rest of the fellows got ponies one way or the other, 
except Peck, who was unable to get a pony so had to 
hire a mule. We have only 14 mules in the outfit and 
12 of those are wagon mules.... In the evening "snobbed 
up " and called on Maj. Lammott [sic] & wife with 
Jack & Zieg, and also on Judge Carter & family. The 
pretty Miss Carter, that Zieg talked so much about last 
year did not make her appearance, but beside the other 
daughters there was present Miss Atwood the post 
governess.^^ While we were there Lieut. Wood, Adj 
futantj of the post came in.^'' Methinks he 's rather soft 
on the governess as he takes her riding very often, and 
sort of hangs around her. Mead was there when we 
called, and before we left the Prof made his 
appearance, he having left there to go call on Maj. 
Lammott [sic], when he arrived just as we left — 

than average purity and taste levels as compared with 
the usual low standards of the day.^*^ The sober Lobdell 
seemed tolerantly amused by the resulting antics of his 
friend Jack Quigley. 

Saturday August 26 — 

Went in to the post this morning to get my pony shod. 
Found that his back had been bitten by a mule or 
something and thus opened an old sore. Mr. Day did 
not want me to take him and gave back the $65. 1 finally 
succeeded in renting a mare from Chris, the 
wheelwright for $25. 00 and after getting her shod went 
out to camp. The wagons came out and we loaded them 
up. Then had a visit ft-om Col. Whittlesey and Capt. 
Clift, and as we were waiting for the soldiers, the former 
invited us in to his quarters, "No. 2, Fifth Avenue " as 
he facetiously termed it, where he generously treated 
us to a lunch consisting of cold ham & tongue with 
crackers and plenty of whiskey.'^'' A bottle of the latter 
had been opened at camp, and in consequence of the 
numerous inbibitions, Mase was anything but sober. 
While at the Col. 's. Mead was pretty loud mouthed, 
and none, except myself were exactly right, although 
Zieg, Jack & Keasbey were by no means tight. As soon 
as we left the Col. 's, we saddled up and started off. 
Went out to camp & found the wagon gone. Jack & 
Zieg were on ahead. Keasbey & I started after them 
and caught up to the train just before getting to Uncle 
Jack 's. Found Zieg and Jack at the latter place- and 
Smith our guide. He told us the camp was to be about 
2 1/2 miles down Smith 's Fork, so we pushed on. Jack, 
because of frequent deep potations at the store and 
from his flask after leaving the Post, was quite tight. In 
fact, he could hardly keep [on] the saddle. He wanted 
to race with everyone who came along, and beat 

The next day the group left for their camp with a 
military guard of ten men drawn from the fort's two 
remaining companies. A Congressionally ordered pay 
cut had led to poor morale and many desertions in the 
previous two months.'* Along with a spate of desertions 
came the problem of frequent drunkenness among 
enlisted men and even officers. Prior to their departure, 
some of the party accepted Whittlesley's invitation to 
a whiskey-laden lunch, a circumstance which may have 
confirmed Lobdell's suspicions about the officer's 
excessive drinking. The source of the alcohol was Judge 
Carter's store, which sold glasses of whiskey to enlisted 
men and larger quantities to officers and civilians. The 
judge customarily took care that his product met higher 

'' Ellison, Fort Bhdger — a Brief History, 61-70; Gowans and 
Campbell, Fort Bridger: Island in the Wilderness. 1 50. 

"" Judge Carter reared four daughters and two sons at Fort Bridger. 
The "pretty daughter" could have been the eldest girl Mary Ada. 
Ellison, Fort Bridger — a Brief History. 70. 

" A 2nd Lieutenant W.W. Wood was listed as an officer available 
for court martial duty in a letter sent from the fort to the Judge 
Advocate, Department of the Platte, Omaha, on August 27, 1871. 
Records of the United States Army Commands: Fort Bridger, reel 

^' Url Lanham, The Bone Hunters (New York: Columbia 
University Press, 1973), 109. The March pay cut resulted in twelve 
desertions, although three returned because of the cold. Thomases, 
"Fort Bridger: a Western Community," 185. 

'' Davis, "The Sutler at Fort Bridger," 41. 

■"* Captain E.W. Clift served as the fort's commanding officer, 
Sept. I-Oct. 4, 1872. Ellison, Fort Bridger —a Brief History, 75. 

Winter 1998 


evervbody he raced with. [Three] or 4 times he rolled 
over to one side, and first caught himself on the neck 
of his horse. Once he hit his head against his horse 's 
neck and gave himself a black eye. Mase came up 
presently — after leaving Uncle Jack 's. He too was so- 
so. Wanted to bet he could ride standing up in his 
saddle. We pitched camp about 5 o 'clock, and 
Slaughter, whom Maj. Lammott [sic] made go with us 
cooked us a bully supper. The Prof and Mead did not 
get in till about 6. and DuBois. the rearguard, as Ed 
Lane dubbed him. came straying in still later. We had 
no drinking water, except for a well which Smith had 
dug. but that was vety good, although not clear by any 

Over the next few weeks the group worked over 
several areas in the region, meeting with some success. 
They found some teeth, lizard and jawbone fossils, 
which, unfortunately, Lobdell does not describe in 
enough detail to identify them as any that Marsh 
reported to scientific journals. A member of the party, 
writing in the New-York Times, claimed that the 
month's rewards were the result of painstaking work: 
"... we unearthed large quantities of bones of animals 
resembling the turtle, lizard, serpent, crocodile. 

rhinoceros, tapir and elephant, and. ..fossils of all 
dimensions, down to a tiny tooth scarcely larger than 
the head of a pin....we have literally crawled over the 
country on our hands and knees. "'^' 

Sunday, August 27 — 

After breakfast the Prof took us out with him to show 
us the lay of the land, and our working ground. We 
struck southeast from camp, to Grizzly Buttes. then 
continued on till mv struck its lodge pole trail, i.e.. a 
trail made by Indians with their ponies, leaving lodge 
poles tied on the side of them.'*- This trail follows up 
some very steep buttes. so steep we had to get off and 
lead them up. We followed the lodge poles till we struck 
a wood trail leading to the Heniy 's Fork road, which 
we followed down till we struck the latter, then came 
home bv it.... 

■" "The Yale Party," New-York Times. Oct. 17, 1871. 

''- Grizzly Buttes was the name gi\en to some fossil bearing 
badland buttes running from northeast to southwest about five miles 
east of the current town of Lyman. The picturesque name comes 
from Jack Robertson's story that he had once found a petrified 
grizzly bear there. Hamblin, Bndger Valley. 505. 

O. C. Marsh. 1877. 
Manuscripts and Archives. 
Yale Universit\' Libran' 


Annals of Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

The group generally stayed in good spirits, and got 
along well, playing whist in the evenings. For Lobdell, 
the arrival of letters was a very welcome event. From 
time to time, he expresses a slight disapproval of 
Dubois's apparent laggardliness, in spite of the fact the 
young man had been energetic enough to earn a law 
degree from Columbia University and was later a 
successful New York attorney. 

Wednesday August 30 — 

Finished up the region. We started Monday, today, 
without getting much. We are having first-rate times 
on this trip. The weather has been cool and pleasant, 
moonlight nights, and cool mornings till the sun rises, 
then it gets warm, but the air is so bracing one does 
not get tired as we did in Kansas. Evenings we usually 
spend in Zieg 's tent, listening to the conversation, 
drinking & playing cards. Zieg & Mase have one side 
of the tent. Rick & Page the other. Zieg & Mase call 
their side the garden of Eden, the other, the "bear 
garden. " because as they say all the time they growl at 
each other.... 

Friday Sept. 1— 

Started out for the same general locality' as yesterday, 
but worked to the east or left hand instead of the right. 
Had very poor luck and returned early, getting into 
camp by 4 o 'clock. Mason 'spony broke loose last night, 
and Zieg occupied the most of the morning hunting her 
up. Finally found her in one of McDonald's herds. 
McDonald has a ranch about 2 miles from camp and 
the pony formerly rem with his herd. 

Saturday Sept. 2— 

Took a different region today. North of the Henry 's 
Fork road—DuBois started about his usual distance in 
the rear and did not join us all day. We had vety poor 
luck for this round but Jack & I got two good lizards. 
Returned about 5 o 'clock. One of the teamsters went 
in to the post and when he returns will bring the mail 
with him.... 

Tuesday Sept. 5— 

Went with Peck today, as he had a region very rich 
in good fossils— we had very good luck. I got a lizard 
& some other things. Jack found several nice jaws. 
Keasbey had poor luck. Zieg & DuBois went to the 

post today, Zieg after the wagons, etc.. for they move 
camp tomorrow— & DuBois to get his saddle fixed, as 
it hurts his "beloved Kate. " He makes more fuss than 
a little over his pony which by the way is the best in the 
outfit. Zieg stayed in all night but DuBois came out 
and brought the mail. Nothing for me, which is very 
strange. Played whist again tonight with Mase & Page. 
Mead & I beat them 3 out of 5. they winning 2 games. 

Wednesday Sept. 6— 

Moved camp today about 5 miles, over on Sage Creek, 
near where we bathed Sunday last. Jack went with the 
wagons. DuBois was the first to start off— a remarkable 
incident which can be accounted for only by the fact 
that he merely concerned himself making ready his 
personal effects etc. Keasbey & I went back on the old 
trail, stopped before we got to the hunting place of 
yesterday, and after looking around a while and not 
finding anything pushed on beyond. Struck Dube at 
the lunching place— and as it was late when we started, 
stopped for lunch after which we went farther on. Had 
pretty good luck. Found a lizard and 2 or 3 little Jaws, 
one of which the Prof had never seen before. Keasbey 
& I were the last in camp, we were so far away. It took 
us 1 1/2 hours to get in. Built a camp fire at night, and 
all sat around it. 

Thursday Sept. 7— 

Took my party this morning to a canyon above the 
lodge pole trail to a spot where we went the Sunday 
Prof, took us around. We did not find anything of any 
consequence, although there were some good looking 
buttes there. The region had been worked over pretty 
thoroughly last summer. We could see lots of old foot 
marks, and plenty of buttes, but nothing else. A rain 
storm came up about noon, and DuBois went home. 
He started just in time to get home by the time the storm 
was over, and hence got nice & wet. I got into a little 
cave and kept comparatively diy. Jack & Keasbey got 
under some cedars. They went home shortly after lunch, 
but I hunted around until 3 o 'clock. Got in about 4. 
found Zieg & his party in, they had found nothing but 
got nicely wet.... 

Friday Sept. 8- 

The Prof, thought at first that he would take us with 
him, but changed his mind before we got started and 
told us to take the canyon beyond him. He went with us 

Winter 1QQ8 

to Start lis and teach its how to hunt for little things, 
after which he left us to ourselves. DuBois. for a great 
wonder started with us this morning- W'c had first rate 
luck. I especially. Jack & Keasbey went to Uncle Jack 's 
fRobertson 'sj after lunch, to see about a pair of 
moccasins for the former, and when they returned. Jack 
went on .... 

Saturday Sept. 9-- 

lack & I started back for the butte where I left off 

yesterday, leaving Diibe & Keasbey. who were behind 
as usual, to fillow but the Prof sent Keasbey off with 
Zieg. Jack & I had first rate luck. I worked on the same 
hiitte all day. and got about a dozen different things 
from it. besides what I got yesterday. Jack also got 
some things from the same hiitte. IVe each of us got a 
new carnivore and Jack a new mammal also. .4 rain 
storm came up about 2 o 'clock, and thinking it would 
be a rainy ilay. we put for camp, which we reached 
without getting veiy wet. Found Zieg & Keasbey in 
and the others straggled in aftenvards. Mason went to 
the post to order a buckskin suit. He returned after 
supper with the mail—iunic for me— I 11 teach them a 
lesson at home when f write Ligain... 

The rain\ autumn weather was beginning to carry a 
chill, occasional frost appeared, and the snow-capped 
Uinta Mountains presented the observers with a 
beautiful view. Professor Marsh was an accomplished 
fisherman, and freshly-caught fish continued to be a 
staple in their diet. 

Monday Sept. 11 — 

Found it very rainy this morning and no prospect of 
clearing off at first. Finally the clouds broke, and we 
concluded to move camp down to Henry's Fork. 15 
miles S.E. from Sage Creek camp. The road was quite 
muddy when we started, about 1 1 o 'clock, but it soon 
dried off Prof & a party of us started on ahead, and 
then about 5 miles from Heniy 's Fork, stopped to hunt 
fossils. The wagon road runs along Sage Creek for 
about 7 or S miles then crosses it and strikes over to 
Henry's Fork, through biittes and washouts. At one 
place it ascends a very steep hill, up the divide, fust 
before reaching the Fork. Here they have had to double 
up in order to get the wagons up the hill. We found 
quite a number of fossils, although we did not look 
veiy long, or veiy thoroughly. Peck found a veiy good 
thing, ft was more or less showeiy during the day. We 
started for camp about 4 o 'clock— going around by the 

road. After passing over the divide, the Uintahs burst 
upon our view, and I think their snow capped peaks 
glistening in the sunlight afforded one of the most 
magnificent spectacles I have ever witnessed. Reached 
camp in about an hour. Found it very pleasantly 
located. The creek runs right back of the tents — abcnit 
20 yds. — is about the size of Blacks Fork & fisj full of 
trout. The Prof of course was not satisfied with the 
position of his tent, which was next to ours. Zieg 's being 
on the other side of us. Mead & DuBois have a tent set 
out and they were next to Prof but the latter had his 
moved beyond all the others. Tonight we had another 
rain, the most violent we have yet had. ft even wet 
through the tent. .After it cleared off— cold. 

Tuesday Sept. 12-- 

When / awoke early this morning before 
sunrise-found the ground all covered with frost, and 
my buffalo robe wet with dew. ft wns very cold The 
water in nearly all the buckets was frozen. The rain 
storm here had been a snow storm in the mountains 
and the peaks were covered with snow far lower than 
the usual limit. They presented a most magnificent 
spectacle from camp— for the atmosphere was as clear 
as could be. and the sunlight on the snow made a 
splendid picture. Our party (Jack. Keas. & I) — with 
Diibe for rear guard, started for a region just beyond 
where we were yesterday, farthest away from camp as 
usual.... We got in rather late for supper, as Jack & 
Keasbey were loaded & had to walk their ponies. This 
morning before breakfast Prof went fishing and 
returned before we could get away with 28 or 30 trout. 
Henry 's Fork abounds in trout, and we are sure to live 
well while here for the Prof is an excellent fisherman... 

Professor Marsh allowed his team members two da\s 
off for hunting and fishing expeditions. Lobdell, 
Keasbey, and Quigley planned their trip for the 
weekend, while others went earlier in the w eek. Lobdell 
was somewhat mollified about his lack of letters when 
he learned from his sister Carrie that the family had 
been traveling for two weeks. In the same mail came a 
newspaper containing the results of the Wilmington 
city council election. The Wilmington Daily Commer- 
cial reported a Republican sweep, w ith a majority of 
three on the council.'*-' Jack Quigley's father was one 
of the successful candidates. 

Wilmington Daily Commercial. Sept. 6, 1871. 


Annals ot Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

Thursday Sept. 14 — 

Returned to same region. Jack got sick & came home- 
-had a headache he said— about as much "letter ache" 
I guess. Keasbey &. I did not get very much but did not 
return empt}>-handed—got home a little after 4, found 
a letter from Carrie for me and a paper from Bob. I 
presume —containing an account of the election at 
home. The city went Republican by a large majority 
(850 or so). Election was for councilmen & pres. of 
council. Jack 's father is elected to council from the 6th 
ward. Carrie 's letter partly excused the lack of letters 
previously. The folks have all been away from home 
for the past two weeks, and hence I have received no 
letters. ...Zieg. Mase & Page started off for their trip to 
the mountains today, taking with them 2 days rations. 
Mead. Peck & party did not return tonight, although 
their time was up. 

Aftef narrowly avoiding injury in a riding mishap 
and encouraged by another party's siting of deer, elk, 
and other game, Lobdell set out with three friends on a 
hunt, carrying food, blankets, and ammunition. They 
had initial difficulty finding their way but pressed on. 
Although they saw a tantalizing number of deer and 
antelope as well as the usual sage hens and rabbits, 
they did not land any game. For Lobdell, however, the 
beauty of the mountains and the valley made up for the 
cold weather and lack of tangible rewards from the hunt. 

Friday Sept. 15— 

Went back to the old place, but returned early to get 
ready for our trip tomorrow. Keasbey & I went out 
after sage hen. Keasbey shot a couple but I could not 
hit them, although I had plenty of good shots. I had 
quite a narrow escape from [an] accident today. When 
we were out shooting Polly (my pony) fell down, and 
rolled me off with the exception of my left foot, which 
caught in the stirrup. The pony getting up became 
frightened at my position and commenced to run. 
dragging me quite a distance through sage brush, but 
I managed to get my foot out before any damage was 
done. We got everything ready tonight for the trip, so 
as to get an early start, and not get off about 10. as the 
other fellows did. Smith & his party returned tonight 
bringing a deer with them, which Smith had shot. None 
of the others killed any. Mead wounded a fawn but it 
got away from him. Peck saw a California lion & shot 
at it but did not hit it. They are animals somewhat like 
panthers, and are very cowardly. Will not fight if they 
can run. Smith saw a herd of elk, but did not get a shot 

at any. He told Jack where to go tomorrow to find lots 
of deer. Jack mapped out the country for us. but I did 
not pay much attention to it. so we rely on Jack for 

Saturday Sept. 16— 

Got off this morning directly after breakfast. We got 
up before breakfast and got everything ready, even to 
saddling our ponies. We took with us 45 biscuits. 2 
boxes of sardines, the two sage hens we got last night— 
& coffee, sugar, salt & pepper. Keasbey & I took our 
robes & overcoats. Jack took besides his blue blankets 
and rubber blankets. We all had our carbines & about 
20 rounds of ammunition. We struck up first for the 
hay stack about a mile above camp, on the opposite 
side of the fork— there across for the nearest mountain 
expecting to strike Henry 's Fork before we reached 
it. . ..Not finding the fork— or any indication of it— before 
reaching the mountains we pulled off to the right, and 
traveled over divide after divide— finally struck some 
stream which at first we thought sure was the fork, but 
it turned out to be a small stream. We crossed this with 
some difficulty, on account of the thick undergrowth, 
and finally reached a nice cotton wood grove. There 
we stopped for lunch. While eating which we saw a 
very large herd of antelope. 25 or 30 at least. They 
were too far off to shoot however. We saw lots of sage 
hens &Jack rabbits on the way over. Keasbey & Jack 
tried their rifles on sage hen and I shot once at a Jack 
rabbit. None of the shots hit— however. After lunch we 
pushed on over— divide after divide— and finally reached 
the banks of the fork. The view was magnificent. We 
were high above the bed of the stream and could only 
just hear the gurgling of the water. We could not see 
the water for the thick growth of trees, but could trace 
it along by its undergrowth and shrubbery, some 
distance downstream as well as a short ways up. to a 
point where it wound around the mountain. After gazing 
upon the scene for some minutes we descended the hill, 
and pursued our way up hill— at first over an entirely 
new road but after while we found a trail and this we 
followed as far as we could. The fallen trees and thick 
underbrush finally stopped our course on the right 
bank, there we turned back, crossed the stream and 
tried it on the left bank, but we could not get any farther 
than before. We spent the afternoon until 6 o 'clock 
careening around. & looking for the camp of the other 
party, but not finding it— finally gave up the hunt and 
pitched camp, on a nice grassy slope— just at the edge 
of a grove, and on the east side of a hill. Keasbey went 

Winter 1998 


fishing while Jack & I got some firewood, made afire, 
and started the coffee to boiling. When Keasbey 
returned (without anything) we had supper. He found 
the fawn that Mead shot, and lots of foot prints showing 
that we were not far from the old camp. We sat around 
the fire and talked until about 9 o 'clock, then we 
wrapped ourselves in our robes and went to sleep. Saw 
two deer while we were riding along the stream, but 
could not get a shot at them. 

Sunday Sept. 17— 

We got up before sunrise this morning and started 
for a deer hunt— before breakfast. Jack stopped at a 
place near camp, where there ]vere plenty of tracks 
and Keasbey & I beat around through the woods. 
stopping after a while at another spot, showing fi-esh 
tracks, but none of us saw any game. We saw plenty of 
tracks, elk as well as deer, but no animals, except jack 
rabbits. About 9 o 'clock we went back to camp, got 
breakfast and then started for the mountains. We made 
a bee line nearly for the butte to the right of the big 
opening opposite camp, reached it about noon, and 
leaving our horses at the bottom, climbed to the top. 
The view from there was perfectly grand. Although the 
atmosphere was rather hazy & cloudy we could see 
the mountains opposite quite plainly, and while we were 
ascending we were visited by a snow storm. Where we 
were only a few fiakes fell but in the mountains proper 
it snowed for some time, and the amount on the summit 
of the peaks, was perceptibly increased. The gorge at 
the foot of the range we were on was a magnificent 
sight, and the valley— a continuation of it — ran directly 
down to camp. We could not see the latter but we could 
see where it was. There were several fires raging in 
the woods— some of them quite large and they seemed 
to be on the increase. About 1:30 we started in for 
camp and reached the latter place about 5:30. We 
brought back 15 biscuits and a box of sardines. 
Although we did not kill any game, our trip was a veiy 
enjoyable one.... 

In the next ten days the party worked some old and 
new regions, making some new finds. AUhough they 
were showing signs of fatigue and experiencing 
occasional illnesses, they gathered numerous moss 
agates, which are agate minerals with mosslike or 
treelike markings. Before returning to Fort Bridger, they 
entered the Millersville area where they viewed the 
fascinating Church Buttes, a sandstone formation 
eroded to resemble a church. 

Thursday Sept. 21 — 

Worked the line of bluffs opposite camp today from 
the point to where they run out about 3 miles down 
stream. Found scarcely anything. Harger's mule 
followed DuBois out today (so he says) and he used 
her for climbing the bluffs, leaving Kate down in the 
valley eating grass. Mase was quite sick and could not 
go out. Jack had to leave work too— he was chafed on 
the leg so as to prevent his riding. Keasbey 's pony had 
a sore back, so he took Jack 's. Shaw shot a deer today. 
Shaw is one of the soldiers, a queer little dick, who has 
crazy fits now & then. He keeps a diaiy. regularly— and 
reads it aloud to his comrades at night. Corp. Smith is 
copying it— a mean trick, 1 think. One of his entries 
relates to Jack, something about his finding Jack 's 
revolver on the day we left the post, and stating that 
either the "mountain air" or whiskey had had a 
mysterious effect upon him. Mead started out about 4 
o clock after deer and came back about 8:30 with an 
antelope, which he had shot.... 

Sunday Sept. 24-- 

Started off' after breakfast to finish up the region I 
left yesterday. Jack started out with me. but had to turn 
back. Zieg, however, came out and joined me, soon 
after got to work. We did not get much, and came in by 
two o 'clock. Went to packing up my fossils, then took a 
bath— the second one since I have been here. The water 
is too cold to take them oftener. Mead went off hunting 
with Smith. Page started for fishing. Peck & Prof for 
fossils. The rest of the fellows stayed in camp and 
packed up etc. Mead & Smith returned before supper 
time, without anything. They went after elk. Page 
brought in 50 trout & Peck only 6. The latter fished in 
Beaver Creek, which did not turn out as well as he 
expected. Hunter, the teamster, who came out in 
Welch 's place today brought me a letter fi-om Carrie 
& Addie dated Sept. 16& 17." 

Monday Sept. 25- 

Was up by sunrise this morning, and so were most of 
the fellows. We were bound for once to make an early 
start, and were all packed up & tents down before 
breakfast, which we had at 7 instead of half past as 
usual. Jack, Zieg, DuBois & Peck stayed with the 
wagons, to see about pitching tents, etc. They got off 

" Lobdell's sister was Addie Wheeler Lobdell, who was ten years 
younger. She married WiUiam Seaman in 1886. 


Annals or Wyoming:The Wyoming History Jo 

about 8:20. The Prof. & the rest of us started ojf a 
little later (with the exception of Mead who did not 
start for a half hour or more) and taking the lodge 
pole trail got ahead of the wagons. The Prof, wanted 
to look at some bluffs on the road. We were bound for 
Church Buttes, which the Prof thought were 28 miles 
distant. ^^ The road runs along past our old camp at 
Sage Creek—being in fact the same road we went to 
Henry 's Fork on as far as the hill at Grizzley Buttes. 
There it keeps along in the [direction] to the right, 
crosses Sage Creek, follows down Smith 's Fork, until 
reaching Millersville. where Smith 's Fork joins Black 's. 
Here it strikes the old emigrant road, a broad and good 
road, having evidently been much traveled in older 
times. Before goingvery far in the south, old Hardshell 
(the Prof 's horse, so named from the fact that a 
hard-shell Baptist minister used to own him), became 
lame, having probably sprained his ankle by stepping 
upon a rolling stone. In consequence of this the Prof 
was obliged to slacken up and we did also. About 2 
o 'clock we stopped for lunch, and had only been 
through a short time when we were surprised by the 
arrival of the wagons. Prof left Hardshell with Harger, 
taking the latter 's mule and telling him/Harger to stay 
with the wagons. We pushed on again till we reached 
Millersville.'^^ This place was formerly a stage station. 
There are three or four good log houses there now 
and a good sized log stable, but the place is entirely 
deserted by man. Here we crossed Black 's Fork, and 
went to look at some bluffs nearby. Not seeing any 
fossils we hunted for moss agates. & got quite a 
number— some of them very pretty, although quite 
small. We looked around here until we saw the wagons 
go by. then the Prof, told us we might push into camp, 
and he would look over the bluffs hurriedly. We pushed 
on, stopping to look for agates on the way. and before 
going far the Prof caught up so we all pushed on 
together. & caught up with the rest of the outfit just as 
they were pitching camp. Our camp is situated on 
Black 's Fork, the tents facing the stream and only a 
few steps from it. Had the usual difficulty in settling 
the position of the Prof 's tent, but as he was here to 
state the spot we got that settled. The camp is at least 6 
miles distant fi-om the buttes. but as we only expect to 
stay till Thursday, the Prof, thought it would do very 
well. It was after 6. when we got in and was so dark 
we had to have supper by candle light. 

Tuesday Sept. 26— 

We all started out together today, that is, with the 
exception of DuBois. Peck & Keasbey. who were as 
usual behind. The teamsters went with us. looking for 
moss agates. When we reached the bluffs— about 5 miles 
off— not seeing any good places for fossils we 
commenced to look for more agates. Prof. & all. We 
got some very nice ones among us. Harger got the 
finest— the best I have ever seen, even cut. Mead& Page 
were with us till lunch time, then they went in. and we 
followed them shortly. Zieg staid with the Prof. & 
Harger. They did not get in until late, having first visited 
Church Buttes proper. They gave such a glowing 
account of these bluffs that all the rest of us determined 
to visit them tomorrow. We got to camp about 3 o 'clock. 
Peck & DuBois came in shortly afterM'ard. Peck & Jack 
went out fishing, but did not get anything. Page also 
went- caught one "chub " I believe. Keasbey & I took 
a bath in the afternoon. Water and air both cold. The 
nights are not so cold here as they were on Henry 's 
Fork— or the water either. The atmosphere still remains 
smoky, whether from fires in the mountains or not. I 
can 't tell. 

Wednesday Sept. 27— 

Today was the last day of our Fort Bridger trip. This 
morning the wagons went into the post. Zieg started 
off before breakfast to get things ready. Keasbey. Jack. 
Mead. Page. DuBois and myself started off a little ahead 
of the wagons to go to Church Buttes. Peck intended to 
go but was sick and was unable to do so. We left camp 
at 20 minutes of 9. and reached the Buttes about 
10— they were well worth the ride and did not fall at all 
short of the description given by the Prof 's party.*'' 
The principal butte is very near the old Emigrant 
road— about a mile beyond the old stage station. It is 
about 300 feet high, the slopes veiy steep, and washed 
out were all sorts offantastic shapes, regular pulpits, 
pillars & columns of all styles. It was truly a grand 

"" The Church Buttes formation is northwest of Bridger Valley 
about ten miles southwest of Granger, and was probably discovered 
by Jedediah Smith in 1824. Hamblin, Bridger Valley: 501. 

■"' Millersville was at the junction of Smith's and Black's Forks. 
Sir Richard Burton passed through here in his travels and found it 
deserted except for one person. Hamblin, Bridger Valley. 5 1 0. 

■" A contemporar>' guidebook describes the buttes as resembling 
at a distance "the fluted columns of some cathedral of the olden 
time, standing in the midst of desolation." Crofutt's Trans- 
conrinenral Tourist's Guide, 4th vol., 3d annual rev. (New York: 
Crofutt, 1872), 83. 

Winter 1QQ8 


sighf and is certainly one of the queerest formations I 
have ever seen. We left the Butte at 1(1: 15 and hy I /, 
were hack to our old camping place. Here we judged 
the distance to be not over 6 miles. By 12 we had 
reached Millersville. and when about 5 miles farther 
on we stopped for lunch. Keasbey. Jack & I were ahead 
hut the other fellows caught up to us here. DuBois with 
them, much to our surprise for he had just reached the 
butte as we left it. He stopped about an hour for lunch, 
then pushed fan] for the post. We three reached it 
about 3 o 'clock. . . . 

While the commanding officer was away from the 
fort, the officers enjoyed themselves with racing, 
drinking, and betting. Many in the Yale party joined 
in. even to the point of pla\ ing drunken jokes on 
Professor Marsh and attempting risk\ stunts. While 
more wholesome e\ents such as church services and 
even baseball games did occasionally take place at Fort 
Bridger. drinking was a major leisure activity.'"' Lobdell 
seemed happy when the fort's commanding officer 
returned and some order again reigned. The young man 
apparently seldom drank alcohol, but he was not 
especially censorious of those who drank (even to 
excess), perhaps because it seemed to be accepted by 
the fort's occupants. His father was involved in the 
temperance movement and on at least one occasion, 
the elder Lobdell gave a speech in which he expressed 
the opinion that alcoholism was a disease rather than a 
sin and could be cured "as any other disease is cured."""" 
Thus the junior Lobdell may have avoided drinking 
for health rather than moral reasons. In this course of 
action he apparently persisted. His grandson 
remembered that when he was close to ninety years 
old, a doctor advised a small glass of wine with dinner. 
He followed this medical advice for several weeks and 
then stopped, remarking that he was afraid it might be 

Maj. La Matte is away from the post and the officers 
have been having a high old time. Recently they had a 
horse race, between Lieut. Rogers ' horse and Dun lap 's 
for $25 and a keg of beer. The former won, and next 
Saturday the same horse is to run another race for 
$100 a side with a different horse. Lieut. Rogers & 
Mr. Scott his clerk were out to see us todav. Zieg 
received a bo.x of whiskies from home, and the fellows 
emptied one bottle for him They have all gone to the 
post except Harger and me-and at last account were 
at Lieut. Rogers ' where Zieg reported drunk as a fool. 
All the fellows will probably be tight by midnight. They 

say the Prof is rather lively. Keasbey d Zieg are going 
to Lieut. Allmond's. He is having a wooden wedding 
spread, and invited the whole outfit to come and 
partake. I would have gone with them if I had been 
well and it was not so troublesome to put on my store 
clothes. Received quite a long letter from Carrie today, 
containing a brie/account of their trip. They must have 
had a very pleasant one from all accounts. 

Nearing the end of the Fort Bridger stay, Lobdell 
reflected that it had been much more pleasant and 
productive than the Kansas portion of the expedition. 

Today ends properly our Bridger trip. Tomorrow we 
pack up fossils, and Friday we leave for Salt Lake. We 
have had a might}' pleasant time, in comparison with 
Kansas, for a trip like ours this count)y is infinitely 
better suited. With plenty of good water, plenty- of 
eatables well cooked too. good ponies to ride, arid any 
quantity of rare fossils, to gladden the Prof 's eve. and 
bring forth many an "egad" from his lips, it is not to 
be wondered at that we engaged ourselves so heartily, 
and we all did with the exception perhaps of Mason, 
and he did also before he was taken sick. Started to 
write a letter to .4ddie tonight but uns interrupted by 
Zieg, bringing Jack home in such a condition that mc 
had to put hitu to bed. Rogers. Roche. Wood and other 
officers with all (four fellows except Peck. Harger & 
I were on a terrible spree. Jack got dead drunk and 
had to be brought home. Mead was veiy lively & happy. 
Page ditto. DuBois. Zieg & Keasbey were tolerably 
sober. Zieg all right in fact. I started down to the post 
with Zieg after we got Jack to hcd--to bring the rest 
home but we met them on the way-and had more fun 
than a little with Mead & Page. It was early too. not 
after 10 o 'clock. We met the Prof fust before meeting 
the fellows, and he went back with us Wc had a good 
Joke on him. He had set his watch an hour ahead and 
wanted to make us believe it was 1 1 instead often but 
we were too many for him and he had to knuckle under. 

^* For example, the men celebrated the 1872 Independence Day 
holiday with a baseball game as well as drinking. Thomases, "Fort 
Bridger: a Western Community," 188. 

'° George G. Lobdell. .Address Delivered Before the Red Ribbon 
Temperance Association. ofWilmington. Delaware, in Institute Hall. 
February 2 1 St. !8S6 (Wilmington: Ferris Brothers, 1886). 9. 

™ William W. Pusey III, interview by Mar>' Faith Pankin. June 
6, 1993. Pusey also recalled \\ith amusement the uncharacteristic 
exuberance with which his grandfather greeted the enactment of 
Prohibition. .Apparently the already elderly man bounced up and 
down on his bed singing, "Oh, no, I won't get drunk no more!" at 
the top of his lungs, to the amazement of the whole family. 


Annals of Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

Thursday Sept. 28— 

Was busy all day today, helping the Prof, pack his 
fossils, writing letters and packing my trunk. We filled 
lOor 1 1 boxes with fossils, skeletons, etc. Prof, Harger 
& I did most of the packing. Keasbey helped some. Did 
not go into the post but twice. Once in the afternoon to 
mail my letters and get weighed— my weight was 138. 
gain during the trip 6 lbs. Jack weighs 144. so he is 
still ahead of me. Keasbey gained 3 lbs.. Zieg lost 3. 
While at the store, the brewer came in blowing for a 
pistol. He and Murray had been fighting & he had 
drcnvn a pistol on Murray, so the latter said. Murray 
had no pistol, and the Dutchman now wanted to get 
one so they could fight on even terms. He was a big 
brawny cuss and could whip 2 or 3 like Murray- his 
favorite expression was "I'm a tough boy from the 
Rhine— me! " Murray was one of our escort, he already 
had a black nose which I suppose the Dutchman had 
given him. Everybody around the post nearly was drunk. 
Major La Motte returned about our dinner time and 1 
presume things will go better hereafter. Jack. Zieg, 
Mead & DiiBois went on another spree tonight. Jack 
started in with Peck to sleep in the hospital, but 
afterwards went to Capt. Clift 's quarters, and with the 
aid of the fellows above named— and Rogers, Roche 
and the Capt. emptied 2 barrels of beer. About 12 
o 'clock they came out to serenade the Prof; had a song 
arranged expressly for the occasion, and they sang 
tolerably well, beating on the tent, near where the 
Prof 's head would come, in order to make sure of 
awakening him. Much to their surprise & disgust 
however the Prof, was not in his tent, so they loafed 
around, burnt up a barrel and a box, for a camp fire, 
and finally the Prof came out. Then they had it over 
again. Capt. Clift was drunk as a fool— the rest knew 
what they were about. 1 judge, although Mead and 
Roche were going to swim up Black 's Fork on a bet. 
and Roche had stripped himself naked and Mead to his 
undershirt when Bishop, the officer of the day stopped 
their foolery. Keasbey stayed home in the evening, 
writing letters. 

Despite some alcoholic excesses, the men had good 
reason to feel satisfaction from their five weeks of hard 
work. From this expedition in the Bridger basin, eleven 
boxes of fossils eventually arrived at Yale.'' 

The group made an early start the next morning for 
Salt Lake Cky, where they would stay until October 6. 
They boarded the Union Pacific Railroad, which 
stopped at Carter's Station, several miles from the fort, 

where an ugly red building for passengers and freight 
had been built in 1868. Judge Carter had been 
unsuccessful in influencing the line to run trains closer 
to Fort Bridger, supposedly because a principal planner 
could not get whiskey there on Sunday and took his 
revenge." The train went through Wasatch, Utah, to 
Ogden, where they changed cars to go to Salt Lake 

On the way they passed through some magnificent 
and infriguing canyon scenery with which Lobdell was 
extremely impressed. A contemporary guidebook also 
praised these landmarks in glowing terms, calling Echo 
Canyon's beauties "so many, so majestic, so awe 
inspiring in their sublimity," and claiming that Weber 
Canyon possessed "fresh objects of wonder and interest 
... on either hand."''' 

Friday Sept. 29— 

Was up at 5 o 'clock this morning. We had a thunder 
storm, just about that time but it did not last long, and 
did no damage. The wagons came shortly after 6. and 
we loaded them and got them started. Then after 
breakfast we went down to the fort, bid evervone 
around good bye— and started for the station. We got 
there fidlfyj half an hour before the train and got all 
our baggage attended to. Rogers & Roche were with 
us. About 10:30 we all got aboard and started for 
Ogden— getting seats in the Pullman car. At 1:30 we 
stopped at Wasatch for grub. Had a couple of little 
Chinese to wait on the table, they did it might}' well, 
too. After leaving Wasatch, the road passes through 
the most magnificent scenery in the line of the U.P. 
road. Soon after leaving we entered the famous Echo 
Canyon. The grade is down all the way. and the scenery 
is truly grand. On one side the hills, or more properly 
speaking, mountains, arise with abrupt declivity, but a 
few feet from the track, and in some cases huge masses 

■''' Schuchert and LeVene, O C. Marsh. Pioneer in Paleontolog\>. 

'- Gowans and Campbell, Fort Bridger: Island in the Wilderness, 
p. 149; Uinta County Museum Board, Our Railroad Heritage: the 
Union Pacific in Wyoming ([Evanston, Wyoming], n.d.), 15-16. 
For a summary of the building of the Union Pacific in Wyoming in 
the late 1860s, see T.A. Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln; 
University of Nebraska Press, 1965), 36-63. 

" The Union Pacific started service from the east to Ogden in 
March, 1869, and the Utah Central Railroad reached fi-om Ogden 
to Salt Lake City in January of 1870. Deon C. Greer, et al.. Atlas of 
Utah. (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1981), 97. 
^* Crofutt's Trans-continental Tourist. 6th vol., 5th annual rev. 
(Mew York: Croftitt, 1874), 78, 80. 

Winter 19QS 


of rocks a thousand feet high, really overhang the cars, 
as they speed along. On the other side the hills are 
more sloping, and less rocky. A stream runs down the 
canyon, the road crossing first to one side and then the 
other. Every once in a while a side will appear, and in 
it, can be seen all sorts of colored leaves. I noticed one 
spot in particular. There was a clump of bright crimson 
bushes meeting in a grove of dark & light yellow 
Cottonwood. The effect of the contrast with the dark 
and somber background was becnitiful. .Among the most 
characteristic points in this canyon are Castle Rock 
ami Pulpit Rock.^^ The latter I missed seeing, but the 
former I had a glimpse of The rock arises in kind of 
terraces, with corner turrets & pinnacles, to the height 
of about 61)0 ft. from the track, ami on the veiy top, a 
flagstaff had been planted. The likeness to a castle, 
was truly very striking. We entered Echo Canyon 
through II tunnel, .-it the terminus of it is Echo Cit\\ 
which looks like a very flourishing little place. ^^ We 
passed quite a number of nice looking villages. The 
land is cultivated with the aid of irrigation, so as to 
produce wheat and all sorts of vegetables, f judge. 
Shortly after leaving Echo Canyon we pass through a 
narrow gorge— into Weber Canyon. The scenery in this 
is much more curious and imposing than in Echo. The 
canyon is more narrow, and the Weber River— a 
tributary (f Bear river— which runs down the canyon 
adds much to its beauty. ^' The rock at first is apparently 
the same as that in Echo Canyon but it soon changes 
in color from reddish to a dirty white or gray. The 
Thousand .Mile Tree, we struck shortly after entering. 

It is merely an old tree standing alone— with a sign 
board on it to the effect that it is "The 1000 Mile Tree " 
meaning 1000 miles from Omaha.^* But the most 
remarkable thing in the whole canyon is the Devils 
Slide. This consists of two upright walls of rock running 
down a steep slope about 300 feet high— with a space 
benveen of 4-6 feet. The walls are parallel through 
their whole extent, and are of nearly ecpuil height 
throughout. There are numbers of these parallel walls 
about this neighborhood but this particular one is more 
remarkable than the others, and this one has received 
the name of the "Devils Slide. " Probably next in point 
of interest is the "Devils Gate. " This is where the IVeber 
cuts its way through a narrow passage in the rock, 
bending around so as to make a letter S. The channel 

-- Echo Canvon has red sandstone walls, at some points rising 
1,000 feet, with many strange shapes carved. "On the canyon wall 
... strata of light-colored conglomerate sandstone ... contain fossils 
of Cretaceous plants. 55 to '*5 million years old." Writers" Program 
of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Utah, i'uih: a 
Guide to tlie State. American Guide Series (New York: Hastings 
House. 1941), 356. 

'" While the railroad was being constructed. Echo had saloons, 
gambling halls, and brothels, and workers could disappear, never 
to be heard from again. Ibid., 357. Crofiitt's Tran.s-continental 
Tourist damns the town with this faint praise: "This city is not very 
inviting unless \ou like to hunt and fish." (p. 7Q). 

'" Some of the walls in the Weber Canyon rise to 4.000 feet. The 
L'nion Pacific gave Mormon settlers through their leader Brigham 
Young the contract for grading down both Echo and Weber Canyons 
in 1868-1869. Utah: a Guide. 358. 

'" Crofiitt's Trans-eoinmental Tourist's Guide identities the tree 
as a pine and predicts optimistically that it is destined to be "an 
index of the coming greatness of a regenerated country." (p. 94), 

'■'':- >-^-Tei - rr' ■^.-^LcOj'-- ' Z.'^-; 

Thc IVyoming His- 
torical Landmarks 
Commission pur- 
chased the site of 
Fort Bridger In 192S 
and. three years 
later, the commi.ssinn 
established the his- 
torical museum at the 
site. On June 2.\ 
1933. an estimated 
7.000 people at- 
tended the dedication 
ceremonies of Fort 
Bridger as a state 
historical landmark 
and museum. This 
photo, taken in the 
early years of the 
museum 's existence, 
is undated. 


Annals of Wyoming:Tlie Wyoming History Journal 

of the river runs directly through apart of the mountain, 
leaving a portion outside, about 50 feet high. It issues 
from this passage with considerable velocity and goes 
bubbling and boiling over the stones of its bed till it 
soon again regains a quieter channel.^'' The R.R. 
crosses the river on a bridge just after it leaves the 
"gate. " Soon after this the mountains dwindle down 
on the left, and the road enters the Salt Lake Valley, 
soon reaching Ogden. There are several neat villages 
in the canyon the principal of which is Weber where 
there is quite an extensive plain. We arrived at Ogden 
about 5 o 'clock by Cheyenne time and there changed 
cars, for [Salt] Lake City. We reached the latter place 
in 2 or 3 hours... 

United States troops withdrew from Fort Bridger in 
1878 but returned in 1880, largely because of Judge 
Carter's influence. After his death in 1881, troop 
strength fluctuated in response to perceived need. 
Finally on November 6, 1 890 Fort Bridger ceased to 
be a military post."" The judge's widow remained at 
the fort, receiving title to it in 1896. When she died in 
1904, the title passed among various Carter family 
members until 1 928. Then a deed to the state was placed 
in escrow until the purchase price could be paid. In 
1933 the fort was dedicated as a Wyoming Historical 
Landmark and Museum."' 

Meanwhile, the Yale party made the most of a brief 
stay in Salt Lake City. Although they were unsuccessflil 
in their attempts to meet the great Mormon leader 
Brigham Young, they saw a play starring Jean Lander 
at the Salt Lake Theatre, heard the famous preacher 
and politician Orson Pratt speak in the Mormon 
Tabernacle, floated on the surface of the Great Salt 
Lake, and had their photographs taken by the eminent 
photographer Charles Roscoe Savage."- Leaving 
October 6, they traveled to Oregon by way of Idaho, 
passing through Boise and visiting Shoshone Falls on 
the Snake River. This sight caused Lobdell to write 
that October 7 was one of the most memorable days of 
his young life. 

By October 13 they were in Oregon. At Canyon City 
Marsh had arranged to join his correspondent Thomas 
Condon ( 1 822- 1 907 ), a Congregational clergyman and 
later professor of geology at the University of Oregon."^ 
By November 9 Condon, whom Lobdell liked and 
respected, had helped the men to uncover enough fossils 
in the John Day Valley to fill eleven more boxes to 
send back to Yale."^ This concluded the paleontological 
work of the expedition, and for the remaining six weeks 
the men were tourists. From Condon's home town, The 
Dalles, they journeyed by Columbia River steamer to 

San Francisco, arriving on November 27. Lobdell was 
impressed with the city's charms. He was not excited 
by his brief foray into Chinatown, but he enjoyed visits 
to the famed Cliff House restaurant and was enchanted 
by the flora and fauna of Woodward's Gardens."' 

Lobdell left for Wilmington by train on December 
1 2, a trip that turned out to be quite arduous on account 
of heavy snowfall, especially in Wyoming. Such 
snowfall there was not unusual. Later that winter. Major 
La Motte wrote to his mother that Fort Bridger was 
completely isolated for several weeks and ran low on 
food supplies."" Reaching home on the morning of 
December 23, Lobdell just missed the spectacular 
December 22 opening ceremony for Wilmington's new 
Masonic Temple and Grand Opera House, which his 
family attended."' 

Meanwhile, Professor Marsh and several others sailed 
back by way of Panama, arriving home January 14. 
The expedition had cost its participants close to 

■'''' Crofutt's Trans-continental Tourist's Guide describes this as 
a seething cauldron of waters." (p. 95). 

'" EIHson, Fort Bridger — a Brief History. 56-59. For example, 
in 1884 an Inspector General recommended leaving the fort because 
of poor climate and lack of military necessity. 

" Ibid., 72-73. 

*■- For a biography of Brigham Young see Leonard J. Arrington, 
Brigham Young: American Moses (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 
1985). For a biography of Jean Lander ( 1 829- 1 903 ), the widow of 
the Union general Frederick Lander and former child actress, see 
William C. Young, Famous .Actors and Actresses on the American 
Stage: Documents of American Theater History (New York: 
Bowker, 1975), 2: 650-654. For a biography of Savage (1832-1909) 
with many photographic reproductions, see Bradley W. Richards, 
The Sa\>age View: Charles Sm'age, Pioneer Mormon Photographer 
(Nevada City, Calif: Carl Mautz, 1995). 

" For a full length biography of Condon see Robert D. Clark, 
The Odyssey of Thomas Condon: Irish Immigrant. Frontier 
Missionary. Oregon Geologist (Eugene: Oregon Historical Society 
Press, 1989). For a more personal view, see Ellen Condon 
McCornack, Thomas Condon: Pioneer Geologist of Oregon 
(Eugene: University Press, 1928). 

*■* Schuchert and LeVene, O. C. Marsh. Pioneer in Paleontology, 

'* For a history of the series of Cliff House restaurants see Ariel 
Rubissow, Cliff House & Land 's End: San Francisco 's Seaside 
Retreat (San Francisco: Golden Gate National Park Association, 
1993). For a description of Woodward's Gardens, which were open 
from 1 866- 1891, see Doris Muscatine, Old San Francisco: the 
Biography of a City from Early Days to the Earthquake (New 
York: Putnam, 1975), 232-233, 183, 340; "The Animals Must Go: 
Woodward's Menagerie to be Declared a Public Nuisance," San 
Francisco Examiner, May 30, 1 891 ; "Selling for a Song: Old Curios 
at Woodward's Gardens," San Francisco Chronicle. April 7, 1893. 

'■' La Motte Family Papers, La Motte to "Mother," Jan. 21 -Feb. 
16, 1872. 
"■^ Wilmington Daily Commercial, Dec. 23, 1871. 

Winter 1998 


$15,000.'''' Marsh had every right to feel a sense of 
accomplishment, since the group had added many 
specimens. In the John Day region alone they uncovered 
many examples of the three-toed horse, Protohippus 
and \eohipparion. which Marsh credited to Page, 
Mead, Harger, and Lobdell."" 

Marsh led several other western expeditions before 
relying on others to collect his fossils for him. The 1 872 
expedition visited Kansas and Wyoming and brought 
back some excellent examples of toothed birds. That 
year Marsh was caught in a huge, frightening but 
exhilarating buffalo stampede, probably caused by the 
party's hunting attempts.'" A larger party in 1873 
worked in Nebraska, Wyoming (including Fort 
Bridger), Idaho and Oregon, and sent back over five 
tons of fossils, including many horses. 

Work on the Peabody Museum began in 1874. After 
initial reluctance. Marsh was lured to the Badlands of 
South Dakota in the fall of 1874 by stories of fossil 
finds. The Sioux refused permission to cross their 
reservation at first, but the professor finally persuaded 
Chief Red Cloud to let the group pass by promising to 
bring complaints about dishonest government agents 
to the President. Marsh relished the ensuing political 
scandal that eventually brought about the resignation 
of the Commissioner for Indian Affairs. In later years 
the chief was Marsh's guest in New Haven."' 

In 1882 Marsh became the first vertebrate 
paleontologist of the U.S. Geological Survey. He served 
as president of the National Academy of Sciences from 
1883 to 1895. An unfortunate feud, however, was to 
mar his record of achievement. Starting in the 1870s 
and continuing for two decades, he and Edward Drinker 
Cope (1840-1897), another distinguished paleontolo- 
gist, carried on a rivalry which occasionally erupted 
into acrimonious attacks against each other.'- 

Marsh never married and lived alone in a grand 
eighteen-room house decorated with art objects and 
appropriateh, with western memorabilia. He died of 
pneumonia in 1 899 after a few days' illness. He left his 
entire estate to Yale University." 

For his part, Lobdell followed the path that had been 
laid out for him. In 1 872 he joined the family business, 
the Lobdell Car Wheel Company, as a chemist. He took 
on increasingly responsible positions, including serving 
as Secretary and Treasurer from 1886 to 1894. From 
1914 until a few months before his death in 1942, he 
was the company's president. 

In 1 882 the company expanded and moved to a new 
site on the Christina River where, in addition to 
carwheels, it made chilled rolls for paper machines and 

flour mills. Later, in the 1 880s, the enterprise employed 
more than 650 men.''' In 1904 it resisted a suit to make 
it merge with the National Car Wheel Company. Failure 
to shift from chilled iron to steel for wheels eventually 
resulted in financial reverses.'^ In 1949 the company 
was acquired by the United Engineering and Foundry 
Company of Pittsburgh, which closed it in 1965.'^ 

Like his father before him, Lobdell was involved in 
civic and charitable activities. For example, he served 
for many years as president and benefactor of the 
Minquadale Home, an old-age home founded by the 
senior George Lobdell in 1891 in the former family 
summer residence in Minquadale, just south of 

On the personal side, he married Eva WoUaston 
( 1 857- 1 932 ), daughter of Joshua and Esther Wollaston 
in 1878. The couple had five children. Three, George 
Granville III (b. 1887), Edith (b. 1880) and Ethel (b. 
1884), survived to adulthood. 

Lobdell's grandson William W. Pusey 111 recalled 
growing up in the family home at 1605 Broom Street, 
where the widowed daughters Edith Pusey and Ethel 
Seaman had returned with their children.'^ It was a 
harmonious and well-run household. Lobdell professed 
to be very happily married. Unexpectedly widowed, 

-* Schiuchen and LeV'ene. O C .\farsh. Pioneer in Paleontology; 

"" Lull, "The ^■ale Collection of Fossil Horses," 4. 

"" For Marsh's own account of this event, showing his zest for 
rough excitement, see 'W Ride for Life in a Buffalo Herd," ed. 
James Penick, Jr., American Heritage 21 (June 1970): 46-47. 77. 
' Lanham. The Bone Hunters. 146-153. 

"- For detailed discussions of their points of dispute, see Ibidr, 
Elizabeth Noble Shor, The Fossil Feud Between ED Cope and 
OC Marsh (Hicksville, N.Y.: Exposition Press, 1974); and Robert 
Plate, The Dinosaur Hunters: Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward 
D- Cope (New York: David McKay, 1964). 

'-' Schuchert and LeVene, O C Marsh. Pioneer in Paleontology: 

'■■ J. Thomas Scharf, History of Delaware. 1609-IS8S (Philadel- 
phia: L.J. Richards, 1888; Westminster. Md.: Family Line 
Publications, 1990), 2: 775-777. 

'- Hoffecker, Wilmington. Delaware. 138, 159. 

'^ W. Stewart .Allmond. interview by John Scafidi and Faith 
Pizor, June 10 and July 1, 1969, transcription, Hagley Museum 
and Library, Wilmington, Del., accession 2026. 

" Obituary, Wilmington Journal-Every Evening. June 8, 1942; 
Charter. By-laws. Rules and Regulations of Minquadale Home of 
Wilmington. Delaware (Wilmington: John M. Rogers Press, 1896), 
3-16; Nancy L. Mohr, Gilpm Hall, an Enduring Vision 
(Wilmington: Gilpin Hall. 1994), 12-13. 

* For background on the Pusey family and the family business 
Pusey and Jones, see Mary Faith Pankin, "Charles W. Pusey's 
Voyage to Trinidad and the Orinoco in 1890." Delaware History 
26(1994): 20-51. 


Annals of Wyoniing:The Wyoming History Journal 

he was heard to exclaim about his marriage during these 
sad last years, "'Married over fifty years — and never a 
cross word!'"''* 

He had one mild eccentricity. He would occasionally 
retreat alone to his library to read, in French, his 
collection of Balzac novels, then considered in 
questionable taste.*" A family photograph of his 
ninetieth birthday shows a venerable-looking bearded 
gentleman blowing out a vast array of candles on his 
celebratory cake. 

Although Pusey did not recall his grandfather 
speaking in detail about his part in the Yale expedition, 
Lobdell did retain souvenirs of his explorations. In 1940 
archeologists called upon him at his office in the hope 
of recovering Paleolithic blades that had been lost after 
being found in 1 882 by workers digging a slip for the 
new car wheel works. He was able to help them in their 
quest, speaking as well of his own collection of western 
artifacts. One of the visitors described him charmingly 
as follows: 

Mr. Lobdell, who had then passed his ninetieth 
birthday, was feeble, but his memory was clear.. ..He 
seemed like a character from a Galsworthy novel as he 
arose to greet us, stroking his long gray beard. In 
faltering words he told us how the cache had been 
found, and went on to say that from time to time other 
stone articles had been dug up on the property.... When 
we returned to the office, pausing once or twice on the 
way back for the old gentleman to catch his breath, he 
asked if we cared to see some of the mineral specimens 
he had collected in his younger days while on a tour in 
the West. ...The old gentleman pointed out a wooden 
staircase leading to the unoccupied second floor of the 
old oftlce building, but he remained behind after 
excusing himself with polite dignity. We learned later 
that because of his infirmity he had not climbed these 
stairs in many years.*' 

In a large cupboard the researchers found, along with 
the blades they were seeking, carefully preserved 
specimens of western quartz, crystal, petrified wood, 
and other minerals. We can only guess at the seventy- 
year-old memories that surrounded Lobdell after the 
visitors departed: of Professor O. C. Marsh and his 

expeditionary companions— now all dead— of Judge 
Carter, Jack Robertson, the high spirited officers and 
men of Fort Bridger, and of the small but honorable 
role he himself had played in the history of American 
paleontology. *- 

" Eva Lobdell was also involved in civic-minded pursuits, such 
as the Home for Aged Women and the New Century Club. Obituary, 
Wilmington Evening Journal. Dec. 19, 1932. For a discussion of 
the importance for elite women of the New Century Club, see 
Hoffecker, Wilmington. Delaware. 145-146, 153; and Gail 
Stanislow, "Domestic Feminism in Wilmington: the New Century 
Club, 1889-1917, "Z)e/aM'a/-e//;i/on' 22(1986-1987): 158-185. 

"> William W. Pusey III, interview, June 6, 1993. 

" C. A. Weslager, Delaware's Buried Past: a Story of 
Archaeological Ach'enture (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania 
Press, 1944; NewBrunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 1968), 

*- Lobdell had the distinction of being the oldest living graduate 
of the Sheffield Scientific School from April 20, 1942, until his 
death on May 7. "Obituary Record of Graduates Deceased During 
the Year Ending July 1, 1942," Bulletin of Yale University 101 

Man' Faith Pankin is a graduate of Washburn 
University ofTopeka. Kansas. In 1974. she earned 
the M. L. S. degree fi-om the University of South 
Carolina. Currently she is special collections cata- 
loguer and senior subject specialist at Gelman Li- 
brary, George Washington University in Washing- 
ton, D. C. where she has worked since 1982. Prior 
to that time, she was a librarian at the University 
of Maryland. Marshall University, and the Uni- 
versity of Virginia, Charlottesville. This is her first 
article in Annals, but her works have been pub- 
lished in various library and history journals. 
George G Lobdell, Jr. , was the author 's great- 

Book R 

e Views 

Edited hv Carl HallLer^ 

John Ford: Hollywood's Old Master. By Ronald L, 
Davis. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995. 
.TV + 395 pages. Illustrations, bibliography. Cloth. 
$29.95: paper. $14.95. 

Petulant .(ohn Ford asserted that "There is no secret about 
directing, except good common sense and a belief in what 
vou are doing"" (p. 4). Ford, a six-time Academy Award 
winner for best director, was an enigma to his contempo- 
raries in the film busmess and to film historians. This new 
biography probes Ford's public and pri\ate lues to explain 
why, despite notable success, his life was tilled with un- 
happiness and inner turmoil. Da\ is pro\ ides a record about 
the legendary and complex director using extensi\e inter- 
views of people who knew and worked with Ford in the 
motion picture industry. 

Da\is traces Ford's life from his childhood in Maine, 
where he was exposed to an Irish Catholic background, to 
the early days of silent motion pictures in California, and 
to his entn,- into sound motion pictures and fame. During 
his early career. Ford directed many silent westerns in which 
he learned how to be a "\ isualist" with the camera, relying 
on action of the actors and the landscape, not the spoken 
word, to transmit drama or meaning. His talents for telling 
the grand historical accomplishments of America began to 
develop that would later make him the dean of the Ameri- 
can western and ele\ate this popular genre to epic great- 

Ford directed more than sixty silent films, many of them 
profit makers for the major studios that he worked for. With 
the ad\ ent of sound Ford w as one of the few directors of 
his day who made the transition to this new medium. His 
career continued to prosper w ith his first Academy Award 
in 193? for The /nfdnner and in 1940 for The Grapes of 
Wrath. A proven success not only at the box office but one 
judged by his peers. Ford's prominence as one of the domi- 
nant directors in Hollywood became firmly established. 

But Ford's turbulent life on and off the movie set did not 
match his professional success. His cruel and strange be- 
ha\ ior towards crew and actors became legendary'. Ford 
had a disappointing family life with his wife and children 
creating another confused aspect of his eccentric personal- 
ity. When not working himself into a physical breakdown 
with directing, he went on notorious drinking binges that 
lasted for weeks until bed confinement sobered him up. It 
was said that you either lo\ ed John Ford or hated him im- 
mensely. Even to interview the man could become a har- 
rowing experience for anyone not ready for his sarcastic 

Ford's happiest days were during World War II while 
serving in the Na\y . He found that the male-dominated mili- 
tary life provided meaning and honor, something Holly- 
wood could ne\er do. Ford asserted that his promotion to 
admiral meant more to him than any of his .Academy 

Da\is chronicles all of Ford's movies. Some are exam- 
ined in-depth while others have little or no analysis at all. 
This unevenness of interpretation demonstrates Davis's 
deficiency of not being a film historian. If one is seeking a 
full delineation of Ford's film, this book will not pro\ide 
that. This biography also fails to explain the man .lohn 
Ford. Davis's tenuous conjecture that Ford suppressed a 
homosexual nature, causing his peculiar personality, is just 
theop,' and lacks any documented evidence. This kind of 
narrative prompts the reader to question any appraisal of 
Ford's life in Da\ is's book. Documentation is also surpris- 
ingly missing, with no end notes or bibliography. There is 
a bibliographical sources listing, which is totally inadequate 
for any corroboration or future research. This type of his- 
torical work is not only annoying, but troubhng for the fu- 
ture of professional historical writing. 

On the positive side, Davis's abundant use of anecdotes 
about Ford's character and life paints a man of baffiing 
proportions. A more concise account about John Ford, 
though, is still to be written that will illuminate the life of 
this troubled genius. 

Hey ward Schrock 
Wyoming State Museum 


Annals of Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

Recent Acquisitions in the Hebard Collection, UW Libraries 

Compiled by Tamsen L. Hert, UW Libraries 

The Grace Raymond Hebard Wyoming Collection is a branch of the University of Wyoming Libraries housed in the 
Owen Wister Western Writers Reading Room in the American Heritage Center. Primarily a research collection, the core 
of this collection is Miss Hebard's personal library which was donated to the university libraries. Further donations have 
been significant in the development of this collection. While it is easy to identify materials about Wyoming published 
by nationally known publishers, it can be difficult to locate pertinent publications printed in Wyoming. The Hebard 
Collection is considered the most comprehensive collection on Wyoming in the state. 

If you have any questions about these materials or the Hebard Collection, contact Tamsen Hert by phone at (307) 766- 
6245; by email, or access the Hebard HomePage at; 

Adams, Gerald M. Fort Francis E. Warren and the Quar- 
termaster Corps in World War II, 1940 to 1946. Cheyenne: 
the author, 1994 [Fort Collins: Old Army Press: Citizen 
Printing]. Hebard & Coe UA 26 .W3 A33 1994 

Historical Archaeology at the Wagon Box Battlefield 
(485H129) Sheridan and Johnson Counties. Wyoming. 
[Laramie, WY?: Office of the Wyoming State Archaeolo- 
gist?, 1997. Hebard & Coe F 763 .H58 l997 

Adare, Sierra. Jackson Hole Uncovered. Piano, TX: Sea- 
side Press, 1997 Hebard & Coe F 767 .T28 A33 1997 

Astorian Adventure: The Journal of Alfred Seton, 1811- 
1815. Edited by Robert F. Jones. New York: Fordham Uni- 
versity Press, 1993. Hebard F 884 .A8 S48 1993 

Atlas of the New West: Portrait of a Changing Region. NY: 
W.W. Norton, 1997 Hebard, CoeRef, G 1380 .A74 1997 

Howell, Elijah Preston. The 1849 California Trail Diaries 
of Elijah Preston Howell. Edited by Susan Badger Doyle 
and Donald E. Buck. Independence, MO: Oregon-Califor- 
nia Trails Association, 1995 
Hebard & Coe F 593 .H85 1995 

Innis, Ben. Bloody Knife: Custer's Favorite Scout. Rev. 
ed. Bismarck, ND: Smoky Water Press, 1994. 
Hebard & Coe E 99 .A8 B554 1994 

Bassett, Agnes Reed. The Innocent Out West. Seattle, WA: 
Peanut Butter Publishing, 1994. Hebard & Coe F 767 .T28 
B37 1994 

The Bruce's Bridge Site (48FR3305): 8000 Years of Pre- 
history in Sinks Canyon. Wyoming. Laramie: Office of the 
Wyoming State Archaeologist, Wyoming Department of 
Commerce, 1995. Hebard E 78 .W95 B78 1995 

Brucellosis. Bison. Elk. and Cattle in the Greater 
Yellowstone Area: Defining the Problem. Exploring Solu- 
tions. Cheyenne: WY: Published for the Greater 
Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee by the 
Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 1997. 
Hebard, Science & JacRes SF 809 .B8 B78 1997 

News of the Plains and Rockies. 1803-1865: Original Nar- 
ratives of Overland Travel and Adventure Selected From 
the Wagner-Camp and Becker Bibliography of Western 
Americana. Volume 3, E: Missionaries, Mormons, 1821- 
I864;F. Indian Agents, Captives, 1832-1865. Spokane, WA: 
Arthur H. Clark Company, 1997. 
Hebard & Coe F 591 .W67 1996 v.3 

Popovich, Charles W. Sheridan, Wyoming: Selected His- 
torical Articles. Sheridan, WY: C.W. Popovich, 1997. 
Hebard & Coe F 769.SS P666 1997 

Sellars, Richard West. Preserving Nature in the National 
Parks, a Histoty. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997. 
Hebard & Science SB 482 .A4 S44 1997 

Cox, Beverly. Spirit of the West: Cooking From Ranch 
House and Range. New York: Artisan, 1996 
Hebard & Science TX 715.2 .W47 C68 1996 

Shumway, Hyrum Smith. Autobiography of Hyrum Stnith 
Shumway. [Cheyenne, WY: H.S. Shumway, 1995?] 
Hebard F 76 1.S478 1995 

Grant, H. Roger. The North Western: a History of the Chi- 
cago & North Western Railway System. DeKalb, IL: North- 
em Illinois University Press, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe HE 2791 .C632 G7 1996 

Hill, William E. Finding the Right Place: The Story of the 
Mormon Trad: An Educational Activity Book. Indepen- 
dence, MO: Oregon-California Trails Association, 1996. 
Hebard F 593 .H552 1996 

Smith, Greg. 700 Great Rail-Trails: A National Directory. 
Washington: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 1995 
Hebard & Coe GV 199.4.S64 1995 

Webber, Bert. Fort Laramie: Outpost on the Plains. 
Medford, OR: Webb Research Group Publishers, 1995. 
Hebard & Coe F 769 .F6 W43 1995 

Winter 1998 





Alcohol, 32, 40 

Allemand, Joe. 3 

"American Murder Ballads," 20 

Antelope, hunting, 36 

Antler Hotel (Newcastle), 2 

Atwood, Miss -, post governess, 32 


"Ballad of Nate Champion," 15, Ib-l^* 

musical score, 18 
Ballads, Johnson County War, 13-24 

listed, 15 
Banner, Wyoming, 24 
Barber, Gov. Amos, 15 
Beck, George T., 5 
Benton, Wxoming, 26 
Black's Fork, 38 
Blair, Henry A., 16 
"Blood-Stained Book," (song), 15, 17, 

musical score, 20 
Bonney. Jonathan, 26 
Bordeaux, James, 8 
Bridger, James, 28 
Brown, Mabel, 6 
Brunot, Felix, 10-11 

recommends Mills, 11 
Buffalo, Wvoming, 2 
Bullock, William G., 7, 8, 9 
Burden, Lorenzo, 4-5 
Bums, Patrick, 22, 23 
Burt, Olive Wooley, quoted, 16, 20, 21, 22 
Burt, Struthers, quoted, 17 
Burton, Sir Richard, 31 
Bush, Charles, 26 

Cambria Fuel Co.. 2 
Campbell, Robert, 10, quoted, 9 
Canton, Frank, 14-15, 16, 21,22 
Canyon City, Oregon, 42 
Carbon Countv, livestock in, 3-4 
Carter, Judge William A., 29, 31, 32, 40 

purchases in store owned by, 32 

Steinway piano of, 32 
Castle Rock, 41 
Chamberlain, Fannie, 3 
Champion, Nate, 14-20, 23; (photo, 16) 

diary, 16, (quoted, 18) 

funeral, 23 
Church Buttes, 38 
Clark, Gibson, 8 

administers Mills estate, 12 
Clift, Capt. — , 32, 40 
Clover, Samuel Travers, 16 
Coal mining, 3 
Cody, William F., 28 
Cody, Wyoming, founding of, 5 
Cokeville, Wvomine, 3 

Condon, Thomas, 42 

Cope, Edward Drinker, 43 


Davis, Ronald L., "John Ford: Hollvwood's 

Old Master," reviewed, 45 
Deer hunting, 37 
Dereemer, Charlie, 4 
Devil's Slide, 41 
Devoe, C. M., 17 
Devoe, Clark, 1 7 
Devoe, Daniel L., 17, 24 
Devoe, Hank, 1 7 
Dillinger, Jim, 2 
Dinosaurs, 25-44 

Dodge, Gen. Granville M., sketch by, 27 
Downing, .Ariel A., author, 13-24 
Dubois, John Jay, 28, 29, 31, 32-34, 35, 37, 

38, 39, 40 
Dumbrill, Fern, 4 

Echo Canyon, 40, 4 1 
Episcopal Church (Buffalo), 2 
Episcopal Church (Laramie), inside back 
Evanston, Wyoming, 4-5 

forest, 37 

Newcastle, 3 
Fimekas, Maggie, 17 
Fishing, 37 
Flagg, Jack, 1 5 

Flannery, L. G. "Pat," quoted, 12 
Fort Bridger, 25, 28-29, 39, 40-42; (photo, 

25), (sketch, 27) 

Hayden visit to, 29 

location described, 30 

officers at, 39 

state historic site, 42, (photo, 41 ) 
Fort Laramie, 8 

society at, 9 
Fort Laramie Treaty, 8; (photo), 7 
Fossils. 25, 37, 39, 42 

Gamer, .\rchie and Obed. 1 7 
"George G. Lobdell, Jr., and the \'ale 

Scientific Expedition of 1871 at Fort 

Bridger." by Mar> Faith Rankin, 25-44 
Gieseking, Marion W., inside back cover 
Golden Rule store, 4-5 
Grant, U. S., meets Indians, 10 
Grant Peacy Policy, 9-10 
Great Depression, 6 
Green Mountains, 4 
Grizzly Buttes, 33, 38 
Guerrier, William, 8 

Hadsell, Kleber, 3-4 
Harger, Oscar, 28, 29, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43 
Harriman, Mrs. E. H., inside back cover 
Harvey, Mark E., (quoted), 21 
Hayden, Charles, 5 
Hayden, Ferdinand V. , 29 
Hearn, Thomas Charles, 3 

Hebard Collection, additions to, 46 
Hert, Tamsen L., compiler, 46 
Homsher, Lola, 5 
Hom, Tom, 4 

Home, Robert C, inside back cover 
"House of Blazes" (Newcastle), 3 
Hunting, 36-37 
Hunton, John, 8 

problems with Mills estate, 12 

Indian agent, appointment of 9 

Indian commission, 10 

"Invasion Song," 15, 21, (lyrics, 21) 


Jackson, Wyoming, earlv settlement 

near, 5 

Janis, Antoine, 8 

"John Ford; Hollywood's Old Master," 

review of, 45 
Johnson, Jessie, 4 
Johnson County War (Invasion), 5-6; 

1 3-24 
Johnson County Public Librarv, 22, 23 
Jones, Orley "Ranger," 14, 

song about murder of 22, 23 

KC Ranch, 15 
Keasbey, George Mcculloch, 28, 30, 3 1 , 

34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 
KFBU Radio, inside back cover 

LaMotte, Maj. Robert Smith, 29, 3 1 , 32, 

39, 40, 42 
Lander, Jean, 42 
Larson, Magnus, 4 
Lawrence, Charles, 2 
Laws, Malcolm, quoted, 16, 20 
Lewis, John L., 3 
Lohdell, Adeline Wheeler, 25, 39 
Lobdell. Carrie, 35, 36, 39 
Lobdell, Florence Delano, 28 
Lobdell, George G.. Jr., 25-44 

(photo, 26) 

children of 43 

death of 44 

described, 44 
Lobdell, George Gran\ille, 25. 43 
Lobdell Car Wheel Companv, 25, 26, 

Lovell, Wyoming, 5 
Luschei, Martin, (author). 7-12 
Marsh, Othniel Charles, 25, 26-27, 29, 

31, 32, 33, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 

43, (photo, 33) 
Mason, Alfred Bishop, 28, 29, 30, 34, 

35, 36, 37 

Mattes, Merrill J. , quoted, 9 
Maverick Law, 14 
May, Henry, 5 

McGillycuddy, Valentine T., 8 
Mead, Frederick, 28, 29, 31, 32, 35, 38, 
39, 40, 43 


Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Millersville. 38 

Mills, Anna, 9 

Mills, Benjamin Buckner. 7-12 

problems with estate of, 12 

ranching career, 1 

recommended for Indian agent, 10 
Mills, Benjamin B., Jr., 12 
Mills, Billy, 12 
Mills, Emma, 9 
Mills, Lucie, 12 
Mills, Sally No Fat, 9, 12 
Mills, Thomas, 9 
Moccasins, purchase of, 31 
Mormon War, 28 
Mosasaurs, 27 
Moss agates, 38 
"Murder of Tisdale and Jones," (ballad), 

15, 22-23. (lyrics. 22) 
Murray, - . 40 
"Music as Artifact: The Johnson County 

War Ballads." 13-24 

Newcastle. Wyoming, 2-3, 4 
No Fat. Sally. 9 

Old Man Afraid of His Horses. 8 
Oliver, Helen, 2-3 
Olson, James C, quoted, 1 1 
Oral history, 2-6 

"Our Heroes' Grave" (ballad), 15 
Page, Joseph French. 28, 29, 30, 34, 36. 

38. 39, 43 
Panama, 42 

Pankin, Mary Faith, (author), 25-44 
Peabody Museum (Yale), 25, 43 
Peck, Theodore Gordon, 28, 29, 30, 34, 

36, 37, 38, 39 

Penney, J. C, 4-5 

Pine Ridge reservation, 12 

Pratt, Orson, 42 

Pterodactyl, 27, 28 

Pusey, William W., Ill, 43-44 


Quakers, 9 

Quigley, John Franklin, 25, 31, 32, 34, 

Quigley, Philip, 25, 36 

Radio, inside back cover 
Ray, Nick, 15 

fiineral, 23 
Red Bear, 8 
Red Cloud, 7, 8, 43 

role in agent appointment, 9 
Red Cloud Agency, 1 1 
Robertson, John "Jack," 31. 35, (photo, 31) 
Roche. — , 40 
Rock Springs, Wyoming, 3 
Rogers, Lt. — , 39, 40 

Sage hens, 30, 36 
Salt LakeCit>', 41. 42 
San Francisco, 42 
Savage, Charles Roscoe, 42 
Schrock, Hev'Nsard, reviewer, 45 
Shonsey, Mike, 5 
Shoshone Falls, 42 
Smalley, Ed, 4 

Smith, Helena Huntington, quoted, 24 
Snow, 42 

Spotted Tail Agency, 1 1 
Spring Creek raid, 3 
Stevens, Rolland W., 4 
Strikes, labor, 3 
Suiter, post, 8 

T. Clarkson Taylor Academy, 25 

TA Ranch, 15 

Taylor, Alonzo, 15 

Teton County, 5 

Thomas, Bishop N, S., inside back cover 

Thornton. Wyoming, 4 

Thorp, Russell, 5-6 

Thousand Mile tree, 41 

Tillett, Bessie, 5 

Tisdale. John A., 14, 22-23 

ballad about murder of, 22-23 
Townsend, Ethel, 3 
Twiss, Thomas, 8 

Lite Indians, 30 
Vasquez, Louis, 28 
"Wanted — By Whom? Ben Mills as Indian 

Agent." by Martin Luschei. 7-12 
Ward, Seth, 8 
Weber River. 41. 42 
Wham, John W., 1 1 
Whist, 34 

White, Leiand, 16-17 
Whittlesey, Col. Charles H., 31, 32 
Wilmington, Delaware, 25-26, 42 
Wolcott, Frank, 14, 15 
Wollaston, Eva, 43 
Worland, Wyoming, 3 
Wyoming Stock Growers Association, 14 

Yale Sheffield Scientific School. 25, 26 
Yale University, 25 
Ziegler, Harrv' Degen, 28, 29, 30, 34, 36, 

38, 39, 40, (photo, 28) 

Join tne Wyoming State Historical Society.... 
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Wyoming Pictures 

Marion IT. Gieseking (left), radio engineer, and Robert C. Home, executive .secretary to Bishop .V. 5. 
Thomas of the Episcopal Church, are shown in the broadcast studio of Wyoming's first radio station. 
KFBL Laramie. The station first went on the air Nov. 5. J 922. when the station equipment ^\•as used to 
contact officials about a train wreck while other tnecms of communication were inoperative due to a 
severe blizzard. It was a one-time broadcast, however. The 25-watt station began to broadcast regularly 
beginning with the Feb. 17. 1 924. Sunday church services. The station was expanded with finds provided 
by Mrs. E. H. Harriman. widow of the Union Pacific Railroad board chairman, after Bishop Thomas told 
her about the station 's role in the 1 922 snowstorm and how it may have saved the lives of railroad crews. 
A young radio technician was electrocuted while installing the new more powerful equipment. .After 1 926. 
the station, located in the basement of the Cathedral in Laramie, broadcast a ikulv weather forecast at 
12:30 p.m.. along with regular church programs. Strapped for funds in 1927. the church entered into a 
joint operating agreement to broadcast University of Wyoming events. Gieseking. pictured above, was 
responsible for setting up the first "remote broadcast " of a state football championship when the station 
broadcast Worland 's 1 9-0 victor^^ over Chevenne on a neutral field in Douglas in 1 92 7 . Following Bishop 
Thomas ' resignation and changes in radio broadcasting rules, the call letters were changed to KIVYO 
with the university serving as the primary owner. Lack ofnwnev caused the station to close permanently 
in 1 929. The stoiy of the station was told in "Top of the World Broadcasts: Wyoming 's Early Radio. " by 
Howard Lee Wilson. .Annals of Wyoming. Spring. 1971. (Division of Cultural Resources photograph) 


nnais o 

Is of 


Tne ^(^omin^ History Journal 

Vol. 70, No. 2 

Spring 1998 

pecial Issue 

rails Across TX^oming 

About me Cover Art 

''John 'Portiigee' Phillips' Ride" 

The painting bv Dave Paul ley. reproduced on the cover of this issue, depicts the most 
famous ride in Wyoming history. Phillips was a civilian en route to the goldfields of 
Montana on the Bozeman Trail. He was at Fort Phil Kearny when, on Dec. 21. 1866. 
Capt. William Fetterman and 81 other men were killed by Indians near the fort. 
Phillips was one of two civilian volunteers sent to Fort Laramie for reinforcements in 
the wake of the disaster. After riding some 235 miles, mostly through winter storms. 
Phillips arrived at Fort Laramie about 10 p.m.. on Christmas night, four davs and 
nights after leaving Fort Phil Kearny. The painting is part of the centennial collec- 
tion commissioned by the Wyoming State Historical Society- in the 1980s. The map 
on the back cover slwivs the major trails across Wyoming. Suzanne Luhr, TRC Mariah 
Associates, created the map specially for this issue. 

The editor of .-iniiu/s of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and photographs on ever>' aspect of the histor}- of Wyoming and the West. 
Appropriate for submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpreta- 
tions of historical events, first-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in 
the "Wyoming Memories" section. Articles are reviewed and referecd b\ members of the journal's Editorial Advison Board and 
others. Decisions regarding publication are made b\ the editor. Manuscripts (along \\ ith suggestions for illustrations or photographs) 
should be submitted on computer diskettes in a format created by one of the wideK-used word processing programs along with two 
printed copies. .Submissions and queries should be addressed to liditor. Annals of ll'yomini;. P. O. Box 4256. Uni\ersit\ Station, 
Laramie WY 82071. 


il RoLerts 

lOK Re\new Eaitor 


I litorial Ad\'isor\' Board 

rtara BotJart, Evanston 
itel Brown, Newcastle 
cKael J, Devine, Laramie 
nes B. Gririitli, jr., Cneyenne 
m HoQgson, Torriritlton 
ran Jost, Riverton 
.Lvia Katnlea, Roclc ?prins^> 
'A. Larson, Laramie 
in D. McDermott, Sneriaan 
lliam H. Moore, Laramie 
sryl RoDD, Cneyenne 
:ierry L. Smitn, Moose 
:iomas F. Stroocic, Casper 
, wrence M. Wooas, Worlana 

TOming State Historical Society 
iDucations Committee 

■ ck Eu-ig, Laramie 
j ivia Katnka, Roclc Springs 
: ierr\' L. Smith, Moose 
I ny Lawrence, Laramie 
incy Curtis, Glenao 
' tty Myers, Wneatland (ex-onicio) 
j >ren Jost, Riverton (ex-oiticio) 
I lil Rotterts, Laramie (ex-orricio) 

liyomiiig State Historical Society 
I iecutive Committee 

I tt>' Myers, President, \Clieatlanci 
I len Morris, Kemmerer 
\ ike Joraing, Newcastle 
I naa FaLian, Cneyenne 
j arna GruDD, Green River 

irtara Bogart, Evanston 
I ck Eu-ig, Laramie 
I Tiy Lawrence, Laramie 

icL Wilder, Cody 

ovemor oi Wyoming 

11 Lieringer 

yoniing' Dept. or Commerce 

ene Br^'an, Director 

aryl Rodd, Administrator, Div, or Cultural 


yoming' Parks & Cultural Resources 

'iiliam Did>ois, Cneyenne 
icnael ]. Devine, Laramie 
iann Reese, Lyman 
Dsie Berger, Big Horn 
. Byron Price, Cody 
ero French, Newcastle 
-ankTim Isaoell, Snosnoni 
anne Hickey, Cneyenne 
ale Kreycik, Douglas 

niversity oi Wyoiiiing 

nilip Dubois, President 

.icnael ]. Devine, Director, 

American Heritage Center 

'liver Walter, Dean, 

College or Arts and Sciences 

Mliam H. Moore, Chair, Dept. or History 

^ Mnals of 


I - '"' ; Tne Wyom ing History Journal 

_-::.-..--■-..- Spring 1QQ8 \ol. 70, Xo. 2 


Special Trails Issues j 

OCT 51998 



Tke Bozeman Trail, 1863-1868 " ' 

Bv Susan Badger Doyle 3 

Tne Bricl^er Trail: /Vn iVltemative Route to tne Oola 
Piclcls OI Montana rerritory in 1864 

By James A. Lowe 12 

Enigmatic Icon: Tne Lire ana Times oi Harry Yount 

By \(uliani R. Supernaugn 2-k 

GolclilocRs Revisited 

By Rosemary Li. Palmer 31 

BooU Revie'ws 

Eclited by Carl 1 lallterg 41 

Recent Acquisitions in tne Hebara Collection, I vT Libraries 

Lonipilecl dv Limsen L. Hert 44 

Index 46 

Wyoming' Picture Inside Bacb 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming Hislon' Journal is published quarter!) b\ the W \oming Stale Historical 
Society in association with the Wyoming Department of Commerce, the American Heritage Center, and the 
Department of History. University of Wyoming. The journal was previously published as the Ouarrerly 
Bulletin (\92i-\925). Annals o/Wyoming{l925-\9'^3,). Wyoming Annals (\99}-\99S) and Wyoming His- 
lory Journal {\99^-\99(}) The Annalshas been the official publicition ofthe Wyoming State Historical 
Society since 1953 and is distributed as a benefit of membership to all society members Membership dues 
are; single. $20. joint. $30; student (under 21). $15. institutional. $40. contributing. $100-249; sustaining. 
$250-499; patron. $500-999. donor. $1,000^-. To join, contact \our local chapter or write to the address 
below. Articles \n Annals ofll'yoming me abstracted in Historical Ahslracis and America Hisloiy and Life - 

Editorial correspondence and inquiries about reprints and back issues should be addressed to the editorial 
office of Annals of Wyoming. American Heritage Center. P O Box 4250. University Station. Laramie W^' 
82071 , Inquiries about membership and distribution should be addressed to Judy West. Coordinator. Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society . 1 740H 1 84 Dell Range Blvd . Chc\ enne WY 82009. 

Copyright 1998, Wyoming State Historical Society 

ISSN: 1086-7368 

special Trails Issue 

Tkree articles in tnis issue relate to emigrant trails across Wyoming. 
Susan Badger Doyle, recognized autnority on tne Bozeman Trail, descrines 
tne trail and its various routes used ny goldseekers and otners rrom 1863 to 


James A. Lowe writes about tne Bridger Trail. Lowe's mll-lengtn 
monograpn on tne Bridger Trail was punlisned recently by Artbur Clark and 

Rosemar}'^ G. Palmer explains bow tbe "Goldilocks mytb " evolved from 
Oregon Trail stories. Palmer's doctoral dissertation, rrom wbicb tnis article 
is derived, examines tbe lives and memories ol cbildren wbo traveled tbe 

A tourtb article in tbis special series, a bistory oi tbe Overland (Cbero- 
kee) Trail, will appear in a ruture issue ol Annals. 

William R. Supernaugb is autbor ol tbis issue's "Wyoming People" 
teature. Tbe subject is well-known Yellowstone gamekeeper Harry Yount. 
Our usual book review section, ably edited by Carl Hallberg, contains re- 
views ol several recent books about Western bistory. Also, Tami Hert pro- 
vides anotber in tbe series ol bibliograpbies ol Wyoming and Western items 
now available at tbe University ol Wyoming s Coe Library. 

Annals still seeks submissions lor tbe "Wyoming Memoi-ies " leature. 
II you, a Iriend or member ol your lamily wisbes to write a lirst-pei'son 
reminiscence ol some aspect ol Wyoming bistory, give me a call or write me 
about your proposal. Tbis leature is an opportunity tor readers to gain, lirst- 
band, inlormation about tbe bistory ol tbe state tbat can come Irom no- 
wbere but Irom tbe band ol tbe person wbo was tbere. Previous "Wyoming 
Memories " bave included accounts ol tbe grassbopper scourge in nortbeast- 
ern Wyoming in tbe 1930s, tbe "blizzard ol 1949, " and oral bistory ac- 
counts ol Wyoming pioneers. 

Write us. 

Pbil Roberts, Editor 


1>y Sus»aii Badi^ei* Doyle 

The Bozeman Trail began as an emigrant gold- 
rush trail. First attempted in 1863, it was 
opened in 1 864 as a shortcut from the main Platte over- 
land road to the Montana goldtlelds and was closed 
four years later as a consequence of the 1868 Fort 
Laramie Treaty. Its five-hundred-mile route left the 
Nonh Platte River at three different places between Fort 
Laramie and Casper, went northwest across the Pow- 
der River Basin along the eastern base of the Big Horn 
Mountains, crossed ti:e Big Horn River just below the 
canyon, went up the Yellowstone River Valley, and 
entered the Gallatin Valley in through Bozeman Pass. 

From the beginning, the Bozeman Trail had the po- 
tential to become a major link between the central o\'er- 
land road on the Platte Ri\ er and the burgeoning settle- 
ments in Montana. It was shorter and more direct than 
the main routes, it was well-watered, and it proved to 
be a good wagon road. But there was one major prob- 
lem. It went through the Powder River Basin, the re- 
gion east of the Big Horn Mountains occupied and con- 
tested by Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes. The 
Bozeman Trail was an emigrant trail for only one year, 
and then a military campaign followed by military oc- 
cupation transfomied it from a civilian road to Mon- 
tana Territory into an exclusively military road to Forts 
Reno, Phil Kearny, and C. F. Smith. Consequently, 
although the Bozeman Trail was the last great western 
emigrant trail, it became popularly known as the 
"Bloody Bozeman," the military road that initiated the 
Indian wars on the Northern Plains. 

The routes of the Bozeman Trail are more accurately 
a series of segments that w ere interwoven, in places 
overlapping, in a dazzling airay of continual change. 

How, when, and why the routes of the Bozeman Trail 
changed embodies the fascinating story of the frontier 
process. As an integral part of American western ex- 
pansion, the trail's routes resulted from the interaction 
of the emigrant experience, frontier boosterism, terri- 
torial politics, evolving U.S. -Indian relations, and the 
tragic consequences of military intervention. More- 
over, the ph_\sieal routes of the trail can only be accu- 
rately and precisely detennined by examining the tra\ el 
diaries written by Bozeman Trail travelers.' 

The story of the Bozeman trail begins in 1863. 
At the beginning of the year in Bannack in the 
Beaverhead Valle\. two opportunistic frontier entre- 
preneurs realized the potential advantages of a shorter 
route to the new ly discovered goldfields. .lohn Bozeman 
and John .lacobs have been described as partners in the 
venture to open a new road, but in actuality, Bozeman 
had the broader vision and w as the leader, w bile .lacobs. 
ostensibly the guide, soon dropped from historical \ iew . 
As a result, today .lacobs has been all but forgotten and 
Bozeman is legendary. 

In March John M. Bozeman, John M. Jacobs, and 
Jacobs's young daughter Emma started east from 
Bannack to scout a shorter route from the Platte road 

' To provide the dociiiiientation needed to determine tlie routes 
ofthe Bozeman Trail, the full texts of thin> -three diaries and remi- 
niscences by travelers in the trail's formative period will be pub- 
lished in an annotated collection; Susan Badger Doyle, ed.. Jour- 
neys tu the Lund of Gold: Travelers on the Bozeniati Trail. lSf>5- 
1S66. 2 vols. (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, forth- 
coming). Only a few ofthe source documents to be included in the 
book are cited in this article. 

Annals of Wyoming;Tke Wyoming Historj' Jour 

Map by Suzanne Lulu; TRC Mariah Associates 

Spring 199S 

to the mining camps. -^ The\ were next seen on May 1 1 
on the east banl< of the Big Horn River by .lames Stuart's 
prospecting pai1> on the west bani<. it is not Ivnown 
how the Bozeman partx got there, but during the two 
months since lea\ ing Bannack. they ma_\ lia\ e explored 
the Big Horn Basin as a possible route and ruled it out. 
When they realized they had been seen, Bozeman and 
Jacobs fled from the prospectors, thinking they were 
Indians. A couple days later they encountered an In- 
dian war part\ . w horn they each later variously identi- 
fied as Sioux or Crow . The Indians took their belong- 
ings but let them go with three broken-down ponies. 
As the Bozeman pailv' continued southward, they prob- 
ably followed \isible Indian trails.' They reached the 
small militar\ and trading post at Deer Creek on the 
south side of the North Platte River at the end of May. 

Bozeman and Jacobs set up a camp near the settle- 
ment at Deer Creek to recruit a train to lead o\ er their 
new route to the Beaxerhead Valle\. By early Juh. 
they had attracted a relati\ el\ small number of emi- 
grants from the massi\e 1863 migration. On Jul_\ 6 a 
train of forty-six wagons and eight\ -nine men. some 
with families, left the Deer Creek camp, guided by 
Bozeman. Jacobs, and local resident Rafael Gallegos.^ 
The emigrants considered all three men to be their 
guides, but most likeK Gallegos, the one most familiar 
with the region, was the actual guide. 

The Bozeman train crossed to the north side of the 
North Platte Ri\er and turned otYthe north-side emi- 
grant road about three miles w est of Deer Creek. They 
traveled northwest on an Indian trail to the head of 
today's Salt Creek. The> continued down the dr>- bed 
of Salt Creek to the Powder Ri\er. This route from 
Deer Creek to the Powder Ri\er was surveyed in 1860 
by J. D. Mutton, the topographer with the C S. Arm\ 
Corps of Engineers' 1 859- 1 86U expedition that explored 
the Yellowstone drainage, commanded by Captain 
William F. Raynolds and Lieutenant Henr\ E. 

Hutton noticed se\ eral Indian trails in the region btit 
wrote that the trail going down the bed of Salt Creek 
was the best one when the creek was dry. He described 
two fords at the Powder River, noting the upper ford 
about two hundred yards above the mouth of Salt Creek 
was the best. He reported the abandoned Portuguese 
houses were three miles due west of the upper ford. 
On his return to the North Platte, he crossed an old 
lodge trail on the divide which appeared to keep a west- 
erly course toward the \ icinit\ of Richard's Bridge, 
east of Casper. This was likel\ the trail traversed by 
the 1864 Bozeman Trail trains. 

.After crossing the Powder River. Bozeman 's train 
went up the north side about ten miles and turned up 
the east side of North Fork Powder River about fi\e 
miles to where the fork bends westward. Lea\ing the 
North Fork, the train went generally north o\er rolling 
hills, along the base of the Big Horn mountains. Their 
route was man\ miles west of the militar\ route of the 
trail opened in 1865. This earlier route approximates 
that of U.S. Highwa\' 87 between K.a>cee and Buffalo. 

On July 20 the train crossed Clear Creek just east of 
Buffalo, went north about foiu' miles, and camped on 
Rock Creek, about 140 miles from Deer Creek. A large 
part\ of Che>enne and some Sioux wamors came to 
the corral and confronted the emigrants, threatening to 
kill them if they continued on. .After discussing their 
options and sending messengers back to Deer Creek 
for military assistance, the train returned to the main 
o\ erland road. Their route went up Middle Fork Pow- 
der Ri\ er and then w ent south through Red Wall coun- 
tr\ and across the divide to the overland road. Their 
route was virtually identical to Raynolds's route in fall 
1 859. Both parties reached the o\ erland road near Red 
Buttes, a few miles west of Casper. .At the same time 
the train was tra\ eling tov\ard the main road. Bozeman 
and nine companions on horseback took a more direct 
route across the mountains to the Montana settlements. 

' The best works to date on John Bozeman and the opening of 
the trail are Merrill G. Burlingame. John M Bozenicin: Montana 
Trailmaker {\94\. 1*571; Bozeman: Museum of the Rockies. Mon- 
tana State University. l983):and.lohn S. Gra\." Blazing the Bridget 
and Bozeman Trails,'" Annals of iVyomini; 4'^) (Spring 1977): 2.'^- 

.A map showing Indian trails in the Powder Ri\er Basin is in 
Margaret Brock Hanson, ed.. PomJci- River Counin (Che\enne: 
Frontier Printing. l'>71), 6. 

' Diarists Samuel Word and Cicero Card provide detailed infor- 
mation for the route of the 1863 Bozeman-.lacohs train; Samuel 
Word. Diary, SC 284. Montana Historical Society. Helena; pub- 
lished in Contributions to the Montana Histoneal Soeiet}' 8 ( I ') 1 7 ): 
37-92; and Cicero Card. Diary. MSS. CC-53, Clarke Historical 
Librar\, Central Michigan University. Mount Pleasant. 

.Mthough the reports were not published until 1868. the 
\ellov\stone expedition immensely intluenced the routes of the 
Bozeman and Bridger Trails. particularl\ because .lim Bridger was 
the chief guide. For Hutton's survey of the Salt Creek route, see J. 
D. Hutton. "Reconnoissance for a Wagon Road from the Platte to 
Powder River." in W. F. Raynolds. Report on the Exploration of 
the Yellowstone River. 1 859-60. (40th Cong., 2d sess.. 1868. S. Ex. 
Doc. 77, Serial 1317). 170-74. Maynadier was so impressed with 
the potential for a road through the area that he published a pam- 
phlet in 1864 essentially describing the Bozeman Trail; Henry E. 
Maynadier. Memoir of the Coimtiy About the Heads of the Mis- 
souri and Yellowstone Rivers. With a Plan for Conneeting it by a 
Military Road with the Platte Road (Washington, D. C; Gibson 
Bros., 1864). 

Annals of Wyoming;Tke Wyoming History Journal 

arriving well ahead of the rest of the train." Although 
there still was no Bozeman Trail at the end of 1863, 
Bozeman's failed attempt set in motion events that led 
to its establishment the next year. 

^^ ometime in spring 1 864, John Bozeman went 

j^y back to the Platte road by way of Salt Lake 
Cit\ and amved at Richard's Bridge by early June. He 
set up a camp near the bridge to organize a wagon train 
to go over his proposed shortcut. Soon others were 
doing the same, and four trains departed from the north 
side of Richard's Bridge that summer." The trains were 
large and well-organized. Each is known by the name 
of its captain — Hurlbut, Bozeman. Townsend, and 
Coffmbury — and approximatelx 1, 500 people and 450 
wagons traversed the trail in these four trains. The 
first two trains developed the route used by the last 
two, so that at the end of the season, the Bozeman Trail 
was established. 

In spite of Bozeman's earlier presence at Richard's 
Bridge, the tlrst train to depart was led by Allen Hurlbut, 
a prospector-tumed-entrepreneur much like Bozeman. ** 
Hurlbut began gathering his train as he traveled along 
the Platte road. He airived at the bridge on June 1 1 and 
set up a camp to collect a larger train, apparently 
convining a growing number to go with him on the 
new route with reports of rich gold fields they would 
encounter along the way. While the train waited in 
camp, Hurlbut explored the proposed route north of 
the river. Hurlbut's train of 1 24 wagons and 438 people 
left Richard's Bridge on June 1 6.'' Hurlbut had no guide, 
reh ing instead on his own purported knowledge of the 

Hurlbut led his train north to the head of Salt Creek 
and intersected Bozeman's 1 863 trail from Deer Creek. 
From there Hurlbut followed Bozeman's trail north- 
west to their last camping place on Rock Creek, where 
the members of Hurlbut's train noticed that Bozeman's 
trail ended. Continuing north on an Indian trail, they 
passed the west side of Lake De Smet, crossed Little 
Piney Creek, and stopped at Big Piney Creek, near the 
site of Fort Phil Kearny. The train waited while Hurlbut 
explored ahead for a route through the hills. Hurlbut 
then led the train across Lodge Trail Ridge, down 
Fetterman Ridge, across the hills and two small creeks, 
and down the valley of Prairie Dog Creek. 

Directly east of Sheridan, while traveling down the 
east side of Prairie Dog Creek, they turned west, crossed 
the creek, and went over the narrow divide to Goose 
Creek, paralleling the north side of present Fifth Street. 
They crossed Goose Creek just below the junction of 

Big and Little Goose Creeks, at about Fourth Street. 
They ascended the hills west of Goose Creek, went 
northwest across the highland, and dropped down and 
crossed Soldier Creek a mile and a half above its mouth. 
They went three miles up the north side of Soldier 
Creek, turned northwest, and went across the hills to 
Wolf Creek. Today, Keystone Road overlays this route. 
At Wolf Creek, Hurlbut turned and went about tlve 
miles up the creek, where the train camped to allow 
some of the men to prospect in the mountains. 

Meanwhile, Bozeman's train was following not far 
behind. Contrary to popular belief. Bozeman's train 
was the second train, not the first, to start on the 
Bozeman Trail in 1 864. Bozeman left Richard's Bridge 
on June 1 8, only two days after Hurlbut, but he lost 
more time w hen he stopped several miles out and waited 
for others to catch up.'" Bozeman's train was a few 
days behind when Hurlbut's train stopped on Wolf 
Creek, and while they camped, Bozeman's train passed 
them. This fateful moment dramatically changed the 
course of the trail's development. After Bozeman 
passed Hurlbut and took the lead, he established the 

" Bozeman's party crossed the Big Horn Basin, went up the 
Yellowstone Valley, and descended to the Gallatin Valley from a 
pass they named Bozeman Pass; George W. Irwin II, "Overland to 
Montana," Butte Miner, .lanuary I, 1899. 

The site of Richard's Bridge is north of Evansville, on the 
eastern edge of Casper. Contemporaries often referred to Richard's 
Bridge as Reshavv's Bridge, and it was also known as the lower 
Platte bridge. It was built b\ John Baptiste Richard Sr. in 1853, 
who operated it as a toll bridge through 1865. Richard's Bridge 
was six miles below the upper bridge (1859-1867) at Fort Caspar 
built by Louis Guinard. 

" Little is known about the shadowy figure identified in different 
sources as Hurlbut, Hurlburt, or Hurlbert. Even his first name is 
not certain, although the most reliable evidence indicates it was 
.Mien. Hurlbut was a prospector who is credited with discovering 
gold on Prickly Pear Creek and the fabulously rich "lost mine" in 
the Bighorn Mountains. The most complete documentation of 
Hurlbut is in Philip R. Barbour, Research Notes, MC 95, Montana 
Historical Society, Helena; and Alfred James Mokler, History of 
Natrona County. Wyoming. 188S-1922 (Chicago: Lakeside Press, 
1923; reprint, Casper, Wyo.: Mountain States Lithographing, 1989), 

'' The only known diary of this significant train is the lengthy, 
detailed diary kept by Abram Voorhees, who started as marshal 
and was elected captain to replace Hurlbut at the Big Horn River; 
Abram H. Voorhees, Diary, WA MSS-926, Beinecke Rare Book 
and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecti- 

" There are no known diaries from Bozeman's train. John T. 
Smith's small train caught up with Bozeman on the road and fol- 
lowed close behind him to Montana, and his reminiscence pro- 
vides most of what is known about Bozeman's train; John T. Smith, 
"Captain John Bozeman's Trip, 1864," Bozeman Chronicle, De- 
cember 30, 1891, 

Spring 1998 

rest of the route to the Gallatin Valley. And because 
Bozeman's train arri\ed in the Gallatin Valle\ tlrst, 
his train has been \videl_\ celebrated as the first to 
traverse the Bozenian Trail. Consequently, the trail is 
now remembered as the Bozeman, not the Hurlbut Trail. 

Passing the corralled Hurlbut train. Bozeman's train 
crossed Wolf Creek and went three miles over a divide 
to Tongue River. They crossed the Tongue halfway 
between Ranchester and Dayton, where Bingham post 
office and stage station was located in the 1 880s. They 
climbed northwest out of the Tongue River Valley, 
crossed an open plateau, dropped down, and continued 
northwest to to T\\ in Creek. The\ crossed T\\ in Creek 
just south of the Montana state line and went west 
through hills to East Pass Creek. The> went dow n East 
Pass Creek and crossed Pass Creek. 

From Pass Creek, they went northwest through a 
narrow pass to the Little Bighorn River. Continuing 
northwest, they went over several divides to the Big 
Horn River, crossing Lodge Grass, Rotten Grass, and 
Soap Creeks, and descended Soap Creek to the cross- 
ing. They crossed the Big Horn at an Indian ford now 
known as Spotted Rabbit Crossing, at the mouth of 
Soap Creek, about eight miles below the mouth of the 
Big Horn Canyon. Bozeman undoubtedly followed an 
Indian trail north from Wolf Creek to the Big Horn 
River. And from Pass Creek to the Big Horn, his route 
was the same one Jim Bridger guided William F. 
Raynolds southward over in September 1859." 

The Bozeman train crossed the Big Horn River on 
July 5 and proceeded northwest through badlands to 
the Yellowstone River. They descended the steep bluffs 
lining the south side of the river at the mouth of Blue 
Creek, opposite Billings, Montana. The\ attempted to 
travel up the south side of the ri\ er. but in a couple 
miles, bluffs blocked further passage up the river bot- 
tom. Bozeman then led the train back over the bluffs in 
a circuitous westerly course, coming back to the 
Yellowstone at the mouth of Duck Creek. They went 
five miles up the Yellowstone bottom and crossed 
Clarks Fork just above its mouth, turned south, and 
traveled up the west side. They passed the junction of 
Rock Creek and continued up its west side to where 
Bridger's train, coming from the Pryor Mountains, had 
crossed Rock Creek a few da\s earlier. 

At this point, on Rock Creek a mile below Joliet, the 
Bozeman train intersected the Bridger Trail. From here 
to the mountains east of the Gallatin Valley, with a 
few minor deviations, the Bozeman Trail followed the 
well-detlned Bridger Trail. As a result, west of Rock 
Creek to the Shields Ri\ er. the Bozeman Trail is actu- 

ally the Bridger Trail. The trail took a westerlv course 
for man\ miles and came back to the Yellowstone River 
at the mouth of Bridger Creek. The trail then went up 
the south side of the Yellowstone and crossed it oppo- 
site the mouth of Duck Creek, three miles east of 

The Bridger and Bozeman routes diverged a few 
miles west of the Yellowstone ford, at the Shields River. 
Bozeman crossed the Shields a mile above its mouth, 
passed the northern edge of Livingston, turned up Pass 
Creek (today's Billman Creek) to Bozeman Pass, and 
descended Kelh Creek to the Gallatin Valle\.'- Where 
Bozeman crossed the Shields, Bridger turned north and 
took his train up the east side of the river about twelve 
miles and crossed it at the mouth of Brackett Creek. 
He went up Brackett Creek, followed down Bridger 
Creek, and crossed over to also descend through KelK 
Canyon. This was the route he had led the Yellowstone 
expedition o\er in 1860. The Bozeman and Bridger 
routes came out the mouth of Kell\- Can\on at the site 
of Fort Ellis at Bozeman.'' 

After escorting his train to Virginia City o\ er a long- 
used regional road, Bozeman returned to the site of 
Bozeman and participated in the town meeting on .Au- 
gust 9 at which the town was named after him. Be- 
cause the town was established essentialK on the ar- 
rival of the first train that traversed the Bozeman Trail, 
and since all trains entering the Gallatin Valley at this 
point thereafter scattered widely over existing local 
roads, Bozeman is the logical terminus of the Bozeman 

The last two trains of 1864. the Townsend and 
Coffinbury trains, followed the route opened b\ the 
Hurlbut and Bozeman trains. However, their experi- 
ence differed markedlv from that of the first two trains. 
The earlier trains experienced no Indian threat, but when 
the Townsend train con'alled for breakfast on the north 
bank of the Powder River on July 7, a party of Chev- 
enne and a few Sioux warriors came to the corral and 
demanded to be fed. Soon afterward, the Indians raced 
off and attacked a small partv of emigrants who had 

' Raynoids, Exploration of the Yellowstone. 56-58. 

- The present freeway does not go down Keliy Canyon hut rather 
goes down Rocky Canyon, the ne.xt canyon to the south, which was 
too difficult for emigrant wagons. The first teiTitorial road dov\n 
Rocky Canyon was built in 1876. 

'' Warren McGee of Li\ingston, Montana, is the recognized au- 
thority on the Bozeman and Bridger Trails in the ^'ellowstone Val- 
ley and Bozeman Pass areas. McGee extensively analyzed maps, 
diaries, oral histories, and trail remnants to determine the routes of 
both trails. 

Annals o{ Wyoming:Tne Wyoming History Journal 

gone back looking for a missing man. A running fight 
ensued, but the emigrants made it back to the train. 
The train was besieged for six hours, and four emi- 
grants were killed and one wounded in the encounter. 
The Townsend train went on to Montana with no other 
Indian problems.'"* 

The large, three-part Coffmbury train was the last 
Bozeman Trail train in 1864. An odometer on one of 
the wagons in the train provided measurements of the 
route.'' When the Coffmbury train reached the loca- 
tion of the Townsend Fight, they found the scalp of the 
man who had been missing from the train, and a short 
time later, they came upon one of the bodies from the 
fight that had been dug up by wolves. After that, the 
Coffmbury train proceeded on to Montana with no dis- 
turbances from Indians. 

In this defining year, the Bozeman Trail was estab- 
lished with the route Hurlbut and Bozeman developed. 
The 1864 diaries clearly indicate that the trains went 
down Salt Creek to the Powder River. However, Salt 
Creek was often called Dry Creek or Dry Fork at the 
time, leading to the mistaken view by later historians 
that Bozeman 's route went down the stream now known 
as Dry Fork Powder River, farther east, which was the 
route of the trail opened in 1865. 

Perhaps the most important revelation of the 1864 
diaries is that John Bozeman wasn't solely responsible 
for the route of the Bozeman Trail, as is popularly be- 
lieved. In reality, Bozeman pioneered less than a quar- 
ter of the route we now call the Bozeman Trail. But 
Bozeman was lucky. Although he followed the visible 
trails of others — Indians, traders, explorers, Allen 
Hurlbut, and, above all, Jim Bridger — because of for- 
tuitous historical circumstances, the trail now bears his 

Two widely divergent events in early 1865 sig- 
nificantly impacted the route of the Bozeman 
Trail. At the beginning of the year, the first Montana 
territorial legislature passed thirty-three acts granting 
charters for wagon roads, bridges, and ferries. Two of 
these charters directly concerned the Bozeman Trail. 
The two charter companies immediately merged, form- 
ing the Bozeman to Fort Laramie Road Company. On 
April 1 5 the company announced ambitious plans for 
developing the Bozeman Trail in a front-page article in 
the Virginia City Montana Post, proclaiming it to be 
"the best road to Montana." Ferry boats were built for 
the major river crossings, and John Bozeman and Jim 
Bridger were recruited to guide emigrants from the 
North Platte River over the trail. 

The road company's promising plans were brought 
to a sudden halt, when the federal government closed 
the Bozeman Trail to emigrant traffic and began plan- 
ning a massive punitive expedition against the North- 
em Plains tribes in the Powder River Basin. Intended 
to settle the threat of Indian danger on the trail, the 
decision to launch the campaign marked a critical turn- 
ing point in the trail's history. If carried through, the 
impact of a private company organizing the road would 
have undoubtedly led to major changes in the route, 
but as it was, the military campaign accomplished it. 
That summer General Patrick E. Connor led a column 
of the Powder River Indian Expedition up the Bozeman 
Trail, establishing a new route from the North Platte 
River to a few miles south of Clear Creek.'* This new 
route was taken by all subsequent travelers and is the 
route now known as the Bozeman Trail for this seg- 

The most important consequence of the expedition 
for the route of the Bozeman Trail was that Jim Bridger 
was Connor's chief guide. Connor's command marched 
from Fort Laramie at the end of July, forded the North 
Platte River at La Bonte Crossing (a few miles west of 
the 1866 crossing at Bridger's Ferry), and traveled up 
the north side on the road now known as Child's Cut- 
off About three miles opposite and west of the site of 
Fort Fetterman (established 1 867), at the mouth of Sage 
Creek, Connor turned north and went up Sage Creek 
Valley. Writings by expedition members reveal that 

'■* The known Townsend train diaries are T. J. Brundage, "Diary, 
1864," in Elsa Spear, ed.. The Books and Photos of Elsa Spear 
(Sheridan: Ft. Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association, 1987), 17- 
18; and Benjamin Williams Ryan, "The Bozeman Trail to Virginia 
City in 1 864," .4w/7a/5 of Wyoming 19 (July 1947): 77-104. In ad- 
dition to the Townsend train diaries and reminiscences, an infor- 
mative source on the Townsend Fight is David B. Weaver, "Cap- 
tain Townsend's Battle on the Powder River," Contributions to the 
Montana Historical Society 8 (1917): 283-93. A manuscript map 
by Weaver locates the site of the fight opposite the mouth of the 
South Fork Powder River; David B. Weaver, Papers, SC 969, Mon- 
tana Historical Society, Helena. 

" John and Margaret Tomlinson kept an odometer log and jour- 
nals; John J. Tomlinson and Margaret H. Tomlinson, Diaries, 1864, 
BL 64, Iowa State Historical Society, Iowa City. John Hackney 
and Richard Owens kept diaries and also recorded the Tomlinsons' 
odometer readings; John S. Hackney, Diary, SC 778, Montana His- 
torical Society, Helena; and Richard Owens, Diary SC 613, Mon- 
tana Historical Society, Helena. 

"■ This new route of the trail is described in the diary of Captain 
B. F. Rockafellow and the accounts of Captain Henry E. Palmer 
and Finn Burnett, published in LeRoy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen, 
eds.. The Powder River Campaigns and Sawyers Expedition (Glen- 
dale, Calif: Arthur H. Clark Company, 1961). Another important 
source is Edwin R. Nash, Diary, 1865, Manuscript Division, Li- 
brary of Congress, Washington, DC. 

?pring 1998 

Connor struck across country and made a new trail. 
This new route is entirely logical, since Bridger was 
thoroughly familiar with this region. Bridger's route 
was shorter, not as sandy, and less alkaline than the 
emigrant route down Salt Creek, and it was much bet- 
ter suited for a wagon road. 

Bridger guided Connor's command up Sage Creek, 
crossed it, and continued northwest to Brown Springs 
Creek, named for Lieutenant John Brown of the 1 1th 
Ohio Cavalry who was killed by Indians the previous 
summer.'' Continuing north, the command crossed the 
Dry Fork Cheyenne River and several other forks of 
the Chexenne River, now known as Bear Creek, Stink- 
ing Water Creek, and Sand Creek. These crossings 
became popular camping spots in subsequent trail years. 
One of them, on a fork of Stinking Water Creek, was 
known as Humfreviile's Camp, named for one of 
Connor's officers. Captain J. Lee Humfreville. From 
Sand Creek, the new route crossed a high divide to 
Antelope Creek (then called Wind River) and in a short 
distance crossed a smaller stream now called Wind 
Creek. For the next twenty miles, the route went over 
hills to Dry Fork Powder River and followed down its 
bed to the Powder River. The command crossed the 
Powder at an Indian ford about twelve miles below 
Bozeman's ford. 

Connor established a post on a bluff on the west side 
of the Powder River, about a half mile above their camp. 
First named Camp Connor, the name was soon changed 
to Fort Connor, and in November to Fort Reno. On 
the first day in camp, a detachment was sent to explore 
upstream. Captain Henry Palmer reported that they 
went as far as "the crossing of the old traders' road 
from the Platte Bridge to the Big Horn Mountains, and 
past the same, known as the Bozeman Trail, made in 
1864 by J. M. Bozeman of Montana.""* Bridger and 
Connor's command left the new post on August 22 
and traveled northwest on a well-wom Indian trail. The 
next day Palmer noted, "fourteen miles from Crazy 
Woman's Fork we struck the Bozeman Wagon Trail 
made in 1864."''' From the intersection with Bozeman's 
route, seven miles south of Buffalo, they began fol- 
lowing the emigrant route of the preceeding two years. 

Although the Bozeman Trail had been closed to emi- 
grants, one large civilian train traversed it in 1865. At 
the same time Connor campaigned in the Powder River 
Basin, James A. Sawyers of Sioux City, Iowa, led a 
government wagon-road expedition, accompanied by 
military escorts, over much of the Bozeman Trail.-" 
The Sawyers expedition was funded to survey the 
Niobrara to Virginia City Wagon Road. The train left 

the Missouri River at Niobrara, traveled up the Niobrara 
River, and went directly west to the Powder Ri\er. 
Sawyers struck Connor's trail on the Dry Fork Powder 
River, about thirteen miles east of the Powder, and fol- 
lowed it to the newly established post. The train ar- 
rived at Camp Connor on August 24 and left two days 
later, on Connor's trail. 

Meanwhile, four days days ahead of Sawyers, Connor 
was traveling down Prairie Dog Creek on the emigrant 
route of the Bozeman Trail and passed where the emi- 
grant route branched off to the west. He continued dow n 
Prairie Dog to the Tongue River, but when Sawyers, 
following his trail, came to the fork in the road, he 
turned west onto the emigrant road and crossed the di- 
vide to Goose Creek. Sawyers did not mention turn- 
ing off Connor's trail in his official report, but expedi- 
tion topographer Lewis H. Smith recorded in his diary 
that they "left Connors track and struck off to Bozmans 
trail."-' Teamster C. M. Lee explained how they knew 
to turn at the fork in his incredibly detailed diarv: "dur- 
ing the afternoon there was a dispatch found stuck up 
on an old Elk horn along side of the road from Col. 
Bridger to Sawyers directing the latter to take the left 
hand or old Boseman trail ahead. "-- 

The Sawyers train crossed Goose Creek at Sheridan 
and went northwest to the Tongue River. While they 
were crossing the river, they were attacked b\ Arapaho 
Indians. They corralled on the north bank of the Tongue 
for several days, waiting for reinforcements from 
Connor's command downstream. An escort eventu- 
ally arrived, and the Sawyers train continued on the 
Bozeman Trail to the Gallatin Valley. Sawyers dis- 
banded the expedition in Virginia City and returned 
east. Although the Sawyers expedition accomplished 
little or no road building, it ultimately led to an impor- 
tant change in the route of the Bozeman Trail. When 
Sawvers reached Rock Creek, after traxersinf; 

'" An account of the incident is in the letters of Corporal Hervey 
Johnson; Wilham E. Unrau, ed.. Tending the Talking Wire (Salt 
Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1971). 154-55, 335. 

'* Hafen and Hafen, Powder River Campaigns. 116-17. 

"Ibid., 122. 

-" Three diaries of the Sawyers expedition provide odometer mea- 
surements and detailed route information; James .\. Sawyers, Ojfi- 
cial Report (39th Cong., 1st sess., 1866, H. Ex. Doc. 58. Serial 
1256), reprinted in Hafen and Hafen, Powder River Campaigns, 
224-85; C. M. Lee, Diary, 1865, SC 261, K. Ross Toole Archives, 
Mansfield Library, University of Montana, Missoula; and Lewis 
H. Smith, Diary. 1865, SC 1716, Montana Historical Societv, Hel- 

-' Smith, Diary, August 31, 1865. 

-- Lee, Diary, August 30, 1865. 


Annals or WyomingiTne Wyoming History Journal 

Bozeman's difficult, winding route via the Yellowstone 
River, he recorded in his journal that a cutoff could be 
made from the Big Horn River directly west to Clarks 
Fork that would save more than twenty miles.-' 

At the end of the 1865 season, there was a new 
Bozeman Trail for the segment from the North Platte 
to Clear Creek. The new segment was distinct and 
wideK' separated from the earlier emigrant road. Dur- 
ing the next three years, all emigrant and military trav- 
elers used this new route, and the earlier route was for- 
gotten. It was a momentous year for the Bozeman Trail. 
Connor achieved a new route and established the first 
fort on the trail. But instead of making the trail safer 
for future travelers, his expensive and disastrous cam- 
paign only guaranteed increased Indian-white conflict 
over the trail. And Sawyers, following in Connor's 
wake, suggested a major improvement in the trail west 
of the Big Horn River. 

Emigrant travel on the Bozeman Trail com- 
menced again in summer 1866, when migra- 
tion that had been curtailed by government orders and 
national preoccupation with the Civil War was un- 
leashed. During this first postwar migration, traffic on 
all western overland trails was immense. The pivotal 
Bozeman Trail event was the mid-summer military oc- 
cupation of the trail. In June Colonel Henry B. 
Carrington and the 1 8th Infantry marched north from 
Fort Laramie with orders to establish three forts along 
the trail for the protection of emigrants. Ultimately, 
instead of providing protection, permanent military 
presence escalated the Indian-white conflict to all-out 

A dozen known diaries written by 1 866 travelers pro- 
vide a graphic picture of the turbulent travel season. 
The character of the Bozeman Trail changed radically 
in this year. A high proportion of the travelers were 
freighters, in what has been called the "second rush" to 
exploit the miners in the mining camps. Also, in con- 
trast to the few large trains of 1 864, many smaller trains 
traversed the trail this year. Early travelers experience 
no Indian problems, but after Fort Phil Kearny was 
established, all trains were required to combine into 
huge trains for safety. Approximately 2,000 people and 
1 ,200 wagons traveled over the Bozeman Trail in this 
decisive year. 

Until late July, Bozeman Trail travelers followed the 
1 865 route of the army and Sawyers to the Big Horn 
River and then Bozeman's route by way of the 
Yellowstone to the intersection with the Bridger Trail 
on Rock Creek. For early travelers, the Big Horn ford 

near the mouth of Soap Creek was especially difficult 
and dangerous. In July some men from Bozeman set 
up a private ferry close to the canyon. The Bozeman 
men did not stay long, and soon emigrants were run- 
ning the ferry. Fort C. F. Smith was established in 
August near the ferry, and thereafter all of the emi- 
grants crossed there, and the earlier ford was discon- 

In the middle of the 1866 season, just ahead of some 
three hundred wagons lined up at the Big Horn ferry, 
James A. Sawyers and his second wagon-road expedi- 
tion struck directly west of the ferry on July 29 and 
blazed the cutoff he proposed the previous year. His 
new route intersected the Bridger Trail on the west side 
of Clarks Fork, then followed it six miles to the Rock 
Creek crossing, where Bozeman's route coming up 
Rock Creek joined it on the west bank. The rest of the 
emigrants that season, including those guided by Jim 
Bridger under Carrington's orders, followed him and 
took this new route. 

The establishment of Fort Phil Kearny in July and 
Fort C. F. Smith in August began the transition of the 
Bozeman Trail from an emigrant to a military road. 
The process was effectively completed by the end of 
the 1866 travel season. Jim Bridger's reconnaissance 
in late summer, and Ambrose Bierce's survey notes 
and map made during Colonel William B. Hazen's in- 
spection tour in the fall, are essential sources for deter- 
mining the route of the Bozeman Trail from the North 
Platte River to the Big Horn River as it existed at the 
close of the year.-^ 

Sometime in spring 1867, the army opened a new 
route between Forts Phil Kearny and C. F. Smith. 
References to the new road first appear in military re- 
ports and on maps in summer 1 867. This military road, 
then known as the cutoff, left the emigrant road at the 
base of Fetterman Ridge. The cutoff paralleled the 
emigrant route, keeping closer to the mountains, and 
rejoined it about two miles south of the Montana state 
line. The cutoff followed the route that Jim Bridger 
guided Raynolds over in September 1859 on his way 
south from the Tongue River. Evidence indicates that 
this military cutoff was opened by Bridger himself in 
spring 1 867 when he returned to Fort Phil Kearny from 

-■' Sawyers, Official Report, September 25, 1865. 

-' Bridger's survey is in Grace R. Hebard and E. A. Brininstool, 
77)4? Bozeman Trail, 2 vols. (Cleveland: Arthur H. Clarl< Company, 
1922), 2: 119-21. Bierce's manuscript survey is in Ambrose G. 
Bierce, "Surveyor's Field Book," Beinecke Rare Book and Manu- 
script Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. 

Spring 1998 

his winter stay at Fort C. F. Smith.-' Once again, Jim 
Bridger was singularly responsible tbr a major segment 
of the Bozeman Trail. 

The first mention of the military cutoff was made by 
Lieutenant Colonel Luther P. Bradley in his report to 
Mountain District headquarters on his arrival at Fort 
C. F. Smith with his 27th Infantry command. Bradley 
wrote that the road from Fort Phil KeamN' to the Tongue 
River, "known as the cut-off," was "a bad road nearly 
all the way and I would advise against any loaded train 
being sent over it again, as from all the information 1 
can get, it is much worse than the old road [and] by my 
estimate, eight (8) miles longer."-" Bradley enclosed a 
map of the 27th Infantry route which depicts the rela- 
tive positions of the old and new routes. 

According to Bradley's map, the new road was west 
of and closer to the mountains than the old road. It 
began at the old road at the base of Fetterman Ridge, 
went northwest on the approximate route of Sheridan 
County 28, and crossed Little Goose Creek at Big Horn. 
From the Little Goose crossing, it continued northwest 
up Jackson Creek, went through a gap in the Beaver 
Creek Hills, crossed Beaver Creek, and crossed Big 
Goose Creek at Beckton. It continued across hills and 
creeks to the Tongue River, crossing it at Dayton, two 
and a half miles west of the emigrant crossing. From 
there it went northwest over more hills and joined the 
emigrant route near Parkman, about two miles south 
of the Montana state line. The cutoff is the route Vie 
Willits Garber described as the Bozeman Trail, which 
became the traditionally accepted route of the trail. The 
State of Wyoming officially marked it as the Bozeman 
Trail with a series of granite monuments in 1913. 

Bridger probably never intended the cutoff to replace 
the earlier route. Rather, it offered a \ iable alternate 
route between the posts. During the remaining two years 
of military occupation, the cutoff was used by more 
mobile detachments, while the emigrant route down 
Prairie Dog Creek was preferred for heavily weighted 
freight wagons. One of the last conflicts on the trail 
occurred on the emigrant route and involved a supph 
train. In November 1867, Lieutenant E. R. P. Shurly 
commanded an escort accompanying a supply train on 
its way to Fort C. F. Smith. The train was on the old 
route, and while going down the east side of Prairie 
Dog Creek, a sudden Indian attack forced the train to 
corral on the bank of the creek a few miles southeast of 
Sheridan.-' The train was besieged for several hours 
before a cavalry detachment arrived. The fight is best 
remembered by whites for Shurly's contention that the 
Indians were trying to capture their howitzer, and by 


the Indians because they captured a wagon loaded w ith 

One more, very minor change in the route of the 
Bozeman Trail occurred after Fort Fettemian was es- 
tablished in July 1867 on the south side of the North 
Platte River, on a bluff east of La Prele Creek. There- 
after, most traffic approached the Bozeman Trail on 
the south-side overland trail and forded the North Platte 
Ri\ er Just north of the fort. From the ford, a new route 
of the Bozeman Trail went northwest and in a few miles 
connected with the earlier route coming up Sage Creek. 

The emigrant and militar\ routes of the Bozeman 
Trail resulted from the complex interaction of particu- 
lar people, events, and geography during the brief 
Bozeman Trail era, 1 863- 1 868. The four men respon- 
sible for developing the various segments of the trail 
were Jim Bridger, John Bozeman, James Sawyers, and 
Allen Hurlbut. In temis of the final route of the trail, 
the one we now call the Bozeman Trail, Bridger was 
responsible for a greater number of trail miles than the 
other three combined. While John Bozeman doggedly 
pursued his vision of opening a shortcut to the Mon- 
tana goldfields, v\ithout Jim Bridger. there would be 
no Bozeman Trail. 

■' Documentation that Bridger opened tlie niilitar\ ciitotTis pro- 
vided by Captain William S. Stanton, topographer with General 
George Crook in summer 1876. In his diary, Stanton referred to 
the mihtarx cutoff as "Bridger's cut-off branch of the Fort C. F. 
Smith road" on June 20 and 21, 1S76; Lloyd McFarling, ed., £v- 
plorifig the Northern PUnns. ISII4-IS76 (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton 
Printers, 1955). 368. 

-" Luther P. Bradley to .^..^..^.G., Mountain District, .lul> 27, 
1867; #B73 1867; Letters Received, 1867-1869; Department of the 
Platte, vol. I; U. S. Army Continental Commands, 1821-1420, 
Record Group 393; National Archives, Washington, DC. 

- The location of the ShurK Fight on the emigrant route is de- 
temiined from George Templeton, Diarv, November 7 and 8, 1867, 
and April 4, 1868, Graff 4099, Newberry Librar\, Chicago; and 
Shurly to Templeton. November 10. 1867, reprinted in Spear, BooA.? 
tmd Photos, 40-4 1 . 

Susan Badger Doyle is an independent seliolar 
specializing in ethnohistoiy. specifically in the his- 
toiy of America)! western expansion and Plains 
Indian Euro-American relations. Dr. Doyle is the 
recognized expert on the history of the Bozeman 
Trail. Her many credits include serving as gen- 
eral editor, "Emigrant Trails Historical Studies 
Series, " Oregon-California Trails Association. 


Am Alternative Route ta 

the Goid tteids of Montana 

Territory in ISS^^ 


James A. Loive 

Bridger 's [Trail], is much more popular, probably from 
the fact that Bridger is an old and well known moun- 
taineer, having spent his whole life among the moun- 
tains and the Indians and hcn'ing the reputation of be- 
ing a reliable man. He holds a commission of Major 
in the U. S, army and has been much in the employ of 
the Govt. 

— FranUin Kirkaldie, 1864 

The Letters of Franklin Luther Kirkaldie 

Significant deposits of gold and silver discovered in 
Montana and Idaho in the early 1 860s fostered a per- 
egrination of transient prospectors, miners, and ad- 
venturers—disappointed in their luck in the regions of 
California, Nevada, and Colorado— to the nascent gold 
mining communities of Bannack and Virginia Cit>\ 
Montana, that sprang up as a result of the placers found 
at Alder Gulch in 1863.- Farmers in the East and Mid- 
west, disillusioned with their marginal properties, resi- 
dents of small towns, and men avoiding the Civil War, 
joined the migration as well. A faster and shorter route 
was needed to access the new Territory of Montana 
and the Bridger Trail provided a viable alternative to 
the Bozeman and Oregon Trail routes to Virginia City. 
Jim Bridger"s route west of the Bighorn Mountains 
through the Big Horn Basin provided safer passage than 
the Bozeman Trail for emigrant trains traveling to 
Montana during the turbulent decade of Plains Indian 
unrest; at the same time, it eliminated hundreds of miles 
and many days of travel along the least dangerous but 
circuitous route via the Oregon Trail and Lander Cut- 
off or longer routes by way of Fort Bridger or Salt 

Lake City, before heading north to Fort Hall and Vir- 
ginia City on the Montana Trail. 

United States territorial advancement, gold discov- 
eries, and initial Euro-American settlement in the West 
increasingly encroached on aboriginal Plains Indian 
societies; therefore, Bridger's route was no accident. 
The primary reason he blazed his trail was to avoid the 
hostilities of the Lakota Sioux and their allies, the 

' This article is but a small portion of a book under contract with 
the Arthur H. Clark Compan_\ to be published in Spring 1999. 
Genesis of this topic was the direct result of required mitigation 
for the construction of the Express Pipeline in Wyoming. The 
pipeline crossed two extant segments of the Bridger Trail in Hot 
Springs and Fremont Counties. Wyoming (Sites 48HO207 and 
48FR717. respecti\el_\ ). TRC Mariah Associates. Laramie, 
contracted to mitigate cultural resources along the pipeline 
corridor, and Express Pipeline Inc.. of Calgary. Alberta, funded 
the research and writing of this study. Field reconnaissance 
verified extant physical evidence on the ground, determined the 
feasibilitv of negotiating the topograph}, and located emigrant 
names incised on sandstone rock formations along the trail in the 
central and northern portions of Wyoming. These names not only 
substantiate the route in the two locations, but the latter, 
especially, helps to identify the emigrant crossing of the 
Shoshone River, a location shown approximately twelve miles to 
the west on the USGS quadrangles. 

- James Stuart. "The Yellowstone Expedition of 1863." 
Contributions lo the Historical Society of Montana I (1876). 152. 
Granville Stuart, Forty Years on the Frontier: Granville Stuart— 
Gold-Miner, Trader. Merchant. Rancher, and Politician. Edited 
by Paul C. Phillips. 2 vols. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur H. 
Clarke Company, 1925. vol. 2. 247. 262. 265. Also see 
"Discovery and Settlement of Alder Creek," Montana Post, 
January 21. 1865. 

Spring 1998 

Northern Cheyenne and Northern Arapaho. who cher- 
ished and protected the rich hunting grotinds of the 
Powder River Basin assigned to them as part of the 
1 85 1 Fort Laramie Treaty. Beginning in 1 866, the Sioux 
\ ehementl_\ carried out "Red Cloud's War.'" a campaign 
to oust the U. S. Army, freighters, and emigrant trains 
from the Powder Ri\er countr> ; their efforts, as pro- 
mulgated by the 1 868 Fort Laramie Treaty, resulted in 
the closure of the Bozeman Trail and abandonment of 
the forts constructed in vain to protect it. These issues 
were at the core of the conflict and germane to any 
peaceful and practical resolution. Jim Bridger, realiz- 
ing the sensitivity of these issues, chose an emigrant 
trail route west of the Big Horn Mountains that would 
not trespass through the Pow der River country." 

Bridger's trail departed the main Oregon Trail a few 
miles west of Red Buttes, located on the North Platte 
Ri\ er just west of Fort Caspar. Heading in a north- 
westerly direction, the trail skirted the sotithem end of 
the Big Horn Mountains to Badwater Creek, then 
avoided the impassable Wind River Canyon by head- 
ing north up Bridger Creek and o\ er the Bridger Moun- 
tains. At the summit of the divide, it crossed over to 
the eastern or south fork of Kirby Creek and descended 
it to the Big Horn Ri\ er. In the past, two noted histo- 
rians maintained that the trail passed through the can- 
yon.^ The trail crossed the Big Horn and continued 
along the west side of the river, usually within a mile 
or less until opposite the mouth of Nowood Creek; at 
this point, it left the Big Horn and proceeded north- 
west to the Gre\ bull Ri\ er. After crossing the Greybull. 
the trail continued west on the north side of the river to 
the vicinity of the big bend, where it proceeded north 
until it reached the Shoshone River, then downstream 
to a point near the mouth of Sage Creek. 

The trail crossed the Shoshone and continued north- 
west following Sage Creek, then continued north until 
it reached Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River near 
Bridger. Montana. The Bridger and Bozeman Trails 
converged along Rock Creek, twenty miles farther down 
the Clarks Fork in Montana. From this point, the two 
routes continued west (with minor variations) as the 
Bridger Trail south of the Yellowstone River to the 
Shields River crossing east of Livingston, Montana. 
On the east side of the Shields River, the respective 
routes of the Bridger and Bozeman Trails diverged as 
each guide chose a different route over the mountains 
into the Gallatin Valley. Bridger's trail continued west, 
then south up the valley of the Madison River to the 
bustling gold mining town of Virginia City. 


At least ten individual wagon trains departed 
along the Bridger Trail betw een May and Sep- 
tember 1864. A cumulative count from Bridger Trail 
diaries shows that over 600, possibly close to 700 w ag- 
ons, thousands of head of stock (horses, mules, oxen, 
steers, and milk cows), and up to 2.500 men. women, 
and children traveled the Bridger Trail. Combined, 
the original General Land Office plat maps. 1 864 emi- 
grant diaries, and reminiscences are in\ aluable for \ eri- 
fying the trail route. 

By 1 864 Bridger had forty years experience in the 
Rock\ Mountain West as a fur trapper, trader, guide, 
and partner in the famous Rocky Mountain Fur Com- 
pany. He had become a wilderness savant, accumulat- 
ing an astounding mental map of western North 
.'\merica. Subsequenth . he pla_\ed an integral role in 
the initial geographical discoveries in the West, which, 
in turn, helped foster early Euro-American emigration 
and settlement. He quit the moribtmd fur trade in 1 842, 
and with partner Louis Vasquez, established a trading 
post in future Wyoming along Blacks Fork of the Green 
River in 1843.^ 

- References to diminished bison herds and other game 
resources in general, due to emigrant roads through Indian lands 
and the Powder River country in particular, are ubiquitous in the 
annual reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The\ were 
considered the principal factors preventing peaceful coexistence 
between emigrants and Native .Americans on the northern plains 
and intermountain regions during the late 1850s and throughout 
the I 860s. Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs 
for 1860, p. 83; 1861, pp. 638-39, 642; 1862, pp. 185-86, 320-21, 
324. 339-40; 1863, pp. 130-31, 140-41, 284-85. 375; 1864, pp. 
171,315-16,417,442; 1865, pp. 382,616-17, 723; 1866, pp. 171- 
72; 1867, pp. 3-4, 186-87. 

^ Merrill G. Burlingame, The Montana Frontier (Helena: State 
Publishing Co., 1942), 132; VV. Turrentine .lackson, li'ai^on RoaJs 
li'est: A Study of Federal Road Siirwys and Consrnictu^n in the 
Trans-Mississippi West. 1846-1869 fBerkeley: University of 
California Press. 1952), 284. Burlingame and Jackson assumed 
the trail followed the modern railroad and highway route through 
Wind River Canyon, which were not completed until 1914 and 
1923-1924, respectively. Prior to that, the canyon was impassable 
to horse, wagon, and automobile traffic, as evidenced by 
Mavnadier's predicament when he reached the mouth of the 
canyon. Bridger's route and Bird's Eye Pass were two of the 
routes used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to 
pass over the Bridger Mountains. General Land Office survey 
plat maps were used to corroborate primary and secondary source 

'Jim Bridger traveled far and wide throughout the Rocky 
Mountain region during his tenure with the various fur 
companies. He played a far more important role in exploration o'i 
the Far West than he has been given credit for in the literature, and 
that his "tall tales," whether embellished upon or not. were based 
on empirical knowledge accumulated over more than forty years 
(1823-68) in the Rocky Mountains and on the frontier. 


Annals of Wyoming-.The Wyoming History Journal 

After several years of relative tranquility as a 
successful trading entrepreneur, Bridger en- 
tered a period of public service as guide nonpareil for a 
series of exploratory expeditions sponsored by the fed- 
eral government to determine future transportation 
routes in the Rocky Mountains and Far West, and for 
U. S. Army field expeditions during the Indian wars of 
the 1860s. In succession, Bridger guided Captain 
Howard Stansbury's expedition of 1849-50, designed 
to acquire geographical and geological data about the 
West that would facilitate a future route for a transcon- 
tinental railroad and telegraph and identify the loca- 
tion of coal deposits; Lieutenant G. K. Warren's 1 856 
expedition to reconnoiter the regions surrounding the 
Black Hills and the Yellowstone River; Captain Will- 
iam Raynolds" 1859-60 Yellowstone Expedition; the 
1 86 1 exploratory expedition by Captain E.L. Berthoud 
to discover a stage route over the central Rockies; and 
Colonel William Collins' trek along the Overland and 
Oregon Trails in 1862. In 1865 he guided General 
Patrick Connor's Powder River Campaign; accompa- 
nied General Grenville Dodge to Fort Laramie in 1 867 
to ascertain the best location for the rail line across the 
Black Hills (Laramie Range) to the Laramie Plains, 
the route he had shown Stansbury fifteen years before; 
and he performed numerous exploratory and guide 
duties during Red Cloud's War, 1866-68. Bridger held 
the rank of Major and chief guide assigned to Fort 
Laramie throughout the 1 860s until his retirement late 
in 1868." 

Captain Raynolds of the U. S. Army Topographi- 
cal Corps was ordered to locate four possible 
wagon routes through northern Wyoming and south- 
em Montana. Accompanied by Lieutenant Henry 
Maynadier, the expedition was also instructed to sepa- 
rate and perform individual reconnaissance: one group 
exploring the upper reaches of the Big Horn River, 
while the other explored the upper Yellowstone drain- 
age. On the recommendation of the Choteau Fur Com- 
pany, long the headquarters for mountaineers, Raynolds 
hired the "best guide," civilian Jim Bridger, to lead the 
expedition." The following spring, after spending the 
winter at Deer Creek, Raynolds chose to explore the 
Yellowstone country. On May 23, 1860, he informed 
Maynadier of his plans for reconnaissance. 

I spent the evening with Lieutenant Maynadier, mak- 
ing arrangements for our future explorations.... Lieu- 
tenant Maynadier is to descend the Big Horn to the 
point at which we left in September, and thence pro- 
ceed westward along the base of the mountains, cross- 

ing the Yellowstone and reaching Three Forks... we 
shall meet at the Three Forks on the last day of June.* 

Maynadier's exploration along the Big Horn River 
provided the basis for fiiture historians to claim that he 
was responsible for locating the trail route utilized by 
Bridger in 1864; however, Maynadier's route differed 
considerably fi^om the trail blazed by Bridger four years 
later."* Although Maynadier's party was ordered to map 
a wagon road through the Big Horn Basin and was prob- 
ably the first to take wheeled vehicles into the basin, 
this reconnaissance probably did not provide Bridger 
with any information concerning a route that he did 
not already know.'" In his report, Raynolds was nega- 

" Howard Stansburx-, Exploration and Swvey of the Vallev of 
the Great Salt Lake of Utah. Including a Reconnaissance of a New 
Route Through the Rocky Mountains. Spec, sess., March 1851. 
Sen. Exec. Doc. No. 3. (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 
1852), 76, 80; Brigham D. Madsen, Exploring the Great Salt 
Lake: The Stansbuiy Expedition of 1849-50 (Salt Lake City: 
University of Utah Press, 1989), 130; William H. Goetzmann, 
.Army Exploration in the American West. 1803-1863 (New Haven: 
Yale University Press, 1959), 223-24. G. K. Warren, Preliminary 
Report of Explorations in Nebraska and Dakota in the Years 
1855-1856-1857. 1875 Reprint. (Washington. D. C: U. S. 
Government Printing Office, 1990), 10-11, 15-16. William F. 
Raynolds, Report on the Exploration of the Yellowstone and the 
Countiy Drained by that River. 40th Cong., 2d sess., 1 868. Sen. 
Exec. Doc. No. 77 Serial 1317. (Washington, D. C: U. S. 
Government Printing Office, 1868), 4-5. 

Raynolds, Exploration of the Yellowstone, 4, 18. 

" Raynolds, Exploration of the Yellowstone. 82. 

" Jackson, Wagon Roads West, 267; Goetzmann, .4rmy 
Exploration, 420. Jackson and Goetzmann focused on the fact that 
Maynadier traversed the Big Horn Basin as he followed the Big 
Horn River downstream. No comparison or research of the 
particular details concerning the trail route was attempted, due to 
their individual choice of topics and larger focus of federal road 
construction and exploration throughout the West. 

'" Charles Lindsay, The Big Horn Basin. (Lincoln: University 
of Nebraska, 1932), 59-60. Among other difficulties, Maynadier 
wandered for three days in the Copper Mountain region trying to 
find his way around the Wind River Canyon to the Big Horn 
River, and he lost a team of mules and valuable equipment when 
searching for a crossing of the Shoshone River. Maynadier 
dispatched three men to reconnoiter a route along the Big Horn 
River while he investigated the northern end of the canyon. The 
men returned and informed Maynadier "that no road could be 
found along the river." The following day involved "a toilsome 
days march," and the ne.xt day, it became "evident that ... no road 
even for pack-animals could be found entirely in the river valley. 
For three days we had been laboring in the broken region, making 
very little progress and using up animals and men." Abandoning 
all but one wagon and the light ambulances for transporting the 
instruments, the remaining equipage was transferred to the mules 
for transport. Maynadier crossed the Shoshone, but paid a price. 
Four mules, an ambulance, equipment, and instruments were lost 
in the swift current. Raynolds, Exploration of the Yellowstone, 1 33- 
34, 136-37. 



live in his response to any possible route through the 
Big Horn Basin. "This part of the country ... is repel- 
ling in all its characteristics, and can only be traversed 
with the greatest difficulty. . . . The valley of the Big 
Horn ... is totally surrounded on all sides by mountain 
ridges, and presents but few agricultural advantages. . 
. . This region is total 1\' unfit for either rail or wagon 
roads."" This and other descriptions like it are found 
in Raynolds' report and seem to have prejudiced the 
military in favor of the route on the eastern side of the 
Big Horns. It may well have been one of the reasons 
the Bridger Trail was abandoned in fa\or of the 
Bozeman Trail during the \'ears immediately follow- 
ing 1864.'- 

Jim Bridger took the first train of miners and emi- 
grants north on the Bridger Trail in spring 1864, four 
weeks ahead of the t1rst train on the Bozeman Trail. 
Colonel Collins released Bridger, temporarily, from his 
commission as post scout at Fort Laramie on April 30. 
An emigrant train left Denver about May 1 and headed 
north to Fort Laramie, bound for the Montana gold 
fields. Expecting a surge of emigration to Montana, 
Collins telegraphed his superiors on April 26 and ex- 
pressed his concerns for the proposed Bozeman Trail 
route through the Powder River Basin. 

immigration is coming rapidly; trouble with the Indi- 
ans may be expected, and 1 need power or instructions. 
... A large party is coming from Den\ er to go a new 
route from the Platte to the mines, crossing the Big 
Horn and Yellowstone. . . . Other trains are coming 
with same object. The route will be at least 200 miles 
shorter, through a country that ought to be opened, but 
a strong military' party will be necessary. ... I have 
devoted the last two years to understanding this coun- 
try. ... In this mountain ser\ ice it is better to lead than 
follow immigration. Could I ha\ e my way, it should 
be sifted, controlled, and guided on designated routes; 
not permitted to run wild and make trouble.'' 

Bridger piloted this train as the tlrst from his 
new cutoff west of Red Buttes on May 20.'^ 
His party included Reverend Learner B. Stateler, whose 
written account of this trip is the only one known to 
exist. The train consisted of sixty-two wagons and ap- 
proximately three hundred men, "organized under the 
guidance of Major Bridger . . . and traveled in military 
order."'' O'Dillon B. Whitford, physician and surgeon, 
probably traveled north from Denver with Stateler" s 
initial train to Fort Laramie, then with Bridger in the 
vanguard. Whitford maintains that he traveled "with 
forty women and fifteen hundred men. . . ."'* John 
Jacobs led the second train over the Brideer Trail, de- 


parting the cutoff on May 30. He had been with John 
Bozeman on their tlrst exploration of the Bozeman Trail 
route early in 1863. Together with guide Rafael 
Gallegos, they lead the tlrst train of emigrants east of 
the Bie Horn Mountains later that same vear until a 

' Raynolds. Exploralion of the Yellowstone. ^. 13. 
- In fact, not only was Raynolds' opinion of the western 
Powder River Basin, east of the Big Horn Mountains, favorable to 
the construction of a road, he added this observation in his 1868 
report: "At the eastern base of the Big Horn mountains there is a 
belt of country some 20 miles in width that is peculiarly suitable 
for a wagon road, and which I doubt not will become the great line 
of travel into the valley of the Three Forks'" This statement is 
followed by a footnote. "Note for 1 867.- The recent developments 
of this country have opened this route by the foot of the Big Horn 
range, and forts [Reno, Phil Kearny, and C. F. Smith] are now 
being established along the entire line." IbicL. Lv In 1 867, Gen. 
William T. Sherman had another reason to keep the Bozeman 
Trail open— to divert Siou.x attention away from the construction 
of the transcontinental railroad. See Robert G. Athearn, William 
Teeiimseh Slieinian and the Settlement of the i]'est (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press. 1956). 101-02. 

'-' Lt. Col. William Collins to Brig. Gen. Robert B. Mitchell. 
Fort Laramie, .April 2.S, 1864. War of the Rebellion: A 
Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate 
Armies. House Misc. Doc, 52nd Cong., 1st sess.. vol. 34, part 3, 
(Washington, D. C: U. S. Government Printing OITice. 1892), 
304-05. Collins was fully aware of the ramifications of 
trespassing through Lakota Sioux territory set aside for them in 
the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty, and previous problems associated 
with unbridled emigration related to gold rushes across the West. 
Red Cloud's War was the result. 

" Granville Stuart was in Montana in 1864. He remembered 
that "lim Bridger and John Jacobs made a road from the Red 
Buttes on North Platte to Virginia City via Wind river. Stinking 
river, Pryors fork. Clarks fork and the \'ellovvstone river and a 
large number of wagons came by that route." G. Stuart. Fort)' 
)'ears on the Frontier, vol. 2. p. 15. 

''' E. J.Slanky. Life of Reverend L B Stateler: A Stoiy of Life 
on the Old Frontier. (Nashville. Dallas, and Richmond: 
Publishing House of the M.E. Church. South. 1916), 175. 

"■ O'Dillon B. Whitford. May 18. 1890. letter to W. A. Clark, 
Society of Montana Pioneers. O'Dillion B. Whitford. Letters and 
Application for membership to the Society of Montana Pioneers. 
Montana Historical Society, Helena. Society of Montana 
Pioneers Records. MC 68. Also see James '» '. Sanders, ed.. Society- 
of Montana Pioneers: Constitution. Members, and Officers, with 
Portrait and Maps Volume 1. Register. (.Akron, Ohio: The 
Werner Co., 1899), 241; hereafter referred to as the pioneer 
register. Of the emigrants listed in the register who took the 
Bridger Trail. Whitford's appears to be the only entry besides 
Stateler to have departed from Denver. The July 12. date of arrival 
provides the additional evidence to confirm this. Whitford's 
statement that he traveled with 1 ,500 men and 40 women is by far 
the largest number put forth by any existing correspondence from 
a trail member. The figure undoubtedly refers to the total number 
of wagons and emigrants that comprised the first three trains 
under Bridger. Jacobs, and .Allensworth. .As a physician and 
surgeon, Whitford was well educated, lending credence to his 
estimate of the number of emigrants who travelled uith him. 


ne Wyoming History 

large party of Cheyenne and Sioux forced them to re- 
turn to the main Oregon Trail route. Howard Stanfield, 
a young traveler from Indiana, accompanied Jacobs' 
train. He and other members of the train referred to 
Bridger's route as the "Yellowstone Cutoff"" 

The third train of over one hundred wagons took the 
Bridger Cutoff on June 4, under the leadership of Cap- 
tain Allensworth. Cornelius Hedges, one of the mem- 
bers of the train, provides the principal source of infor- 
mation regarding the day-to-day events experienced by 
this party of travelers along the Bridger Trail. Hedges 
was very well-educated for a trail pioneer. He had 
earned a degree from Yale, studied law at Harvard, then 
became both a lawyer and newspaper publisher in his 
home state of Iowa."* He was destined to become a 
prominent figure during Montana's territorial period, 
and later, in early statehood. 

Another train of over one hundred wagons assembled 
for departure on the Bridger Trail by June 10, under 
the leadership of Joseph Knight. Knight had been on 
the North Platte River since at least 1 854, when he was 
employed to work on Richard's bridge, and he remained 
in the region as a trader.'" Robert Vaughn traveled 
with this train all the way to Virginia City. He recalled 
in his 1898 reminiscence that while at Fort Laramie 
his party met John Bozeman on or about June 5, who 
"sought to organize a train to take the cut-off route east 
of the Big Horn mountains. There was also a man by 
the name of McKnight, who was a trader at this place. 
He had two wagons loaded with goods for Alder Gulch 
. . . and he was getting up a train to go west of the Big 
Horn mountains and through the Wind River country." 
Vaughn remembered that the train consisted of "four 
hundred and fifty men and over one hundred wagons." 
Before starting north on the trail, all members of the 
party signed an agreement "to stand by and defend each 
other at all hazards. . . ."-" 

William Alderson and his brother John emigrated 
from Illinois and were members of one of the smaller 
trains that took the Bridger Cutoff on June 15. The 
train consisted of 46 wagons— 1 2 horse-drawn wagons, 
16 ox-drawn wagons, and 18 mule-drawn wagons.-' 
The members of the train chose Joe Todd as the cap- 
tain. One week later, two midwestem school teachers 
were members of a train consisting of approximately 
one hundred wagons that departed the Bridger Cutoff 
on June 22. Charles Baker and William Atchison emi- 
grated from two small communities in northern Illi- 
nois and may have known each other prior to the for- 
mation of their train near the cutoff Both men kept 
detailed diaries describing their trip along the trail to 
Virginia City. Ethel Maynard and Reverend Jonathon 

Jim Bridger 

Blanchard, prominent Presbyterian and Congregation- 
alist minister and president of Wheaton College in Illi- 
nois, were also members of this train. Trader Bob 
McMinn, known as Rocky Mountain Bob to the dia- 
rists, was their guide.-- 

'" Jack J. Detzler, ed.. Diary of Howard Stilhvell Stanfield: 
Overland Trip from Indiana to California. 1864 via Virginia City. 
Montana Territory. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 
1969), 56-57. 

" Wyllys A. Hedges, "Cornelius Hedges." Contributions to the 
Historical Society of Montana 7 (1910):181-196, pp. 181-83; 
Dorothy M. Johnson, The Bloody Bozeman: The Perilous Trail to 
Montana's Gold (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971), 1 12-13. 

'" Robert A. Murray, "Trading Posts, Forts and Bridges of the 
Casper Area: Unraveling the Tangle on the Upper Platte," Annals 
of Wyoming 47, (1975), 12; Charles H. Ramsdell, An Epic of the 
Middle West: Excerpts fi-om the Personal Diaiy of the Late 
William Emoiy Atchison in 1864. (Minneapolis: Charles H. 
Ramsdell and J. E. Haynes, 1933), 8. Also see John S. Gray, 
"Blazing the Bridger and Bozeman Trails," .Annals of Wyoming 
49(1977), 44. 

-" Robert Vaughn, Then and Now: Or. Thirty-Six Years in the 
Rockies. (Minneapolis: Tribune Printing Co., 1900), 24-25. 

-' Gray, Bridger and Bozeman Trails, 44. 

-- Charles W. Baker, "The Diary of Charles W. Baker, April 21, 
1864-September 1867. Trip via Covered Wagon & Mules to 
Virginia City, Montana, from Polo, Illinois." Montana Historical 
Society, Helena. Typescript of original diary. SC 1275, Folder 1/ 
1; Ramsdell, Atchison Diaiy; Robert H. Keller Jr, "The 1864 
Overland Trail: Five Letters from Jonathan Blanchard." 
Nebraska Histoiy 63 (1982):71-86; Ethel Albert Maynard 
Reminiscence. Montana Historical Society, Helena. SC 2008, 
Folders 1 and 2. 




Bridger Trail Trains in 1864: Order of 

Departure, Prominent 

Members, Number of Wagons 

May 20 

Jim Bridger (guide); L. B, Statler, 0. B. 
Whitford, B. F. Bisel. Abram Morgan 

ca. 62-100 wagons, 300 men 

May ? 

Train of Independents 

1 wagons 

Amede Bessett, John Richard. Jr., Baptiste | 

Fourier, Jose Miravel 

May 30 

John Jacobs (guide), Howard Stanfield, 
William Bartlett, Jennison Perkins 

67 wagons, 2 1 8 men 

June 4 

Capt. Allensworth, Cornelius Hedges 

More than 100 wagons 

June 10 

Joseph Knight (guide), James Roberts. 
Robert Vaughn 

129 wagons, 350-430 men 

June 15 

Capt. Joe Todd, William Alderson, John 

46 wagons 

June 22 

"Rocky Mountain Bob" McMinn (guide). 

More than 100 wagons, 300 

Charles Baker, William Atchison, Ethel 

men, 15 families with 

Maynard, Re\. Jonathon Blanchard, Rev. 


Hugh Duncan 

June 24 

Capt. Rollins (guide), William Haskell 

More than 60 wagons, 200 
men (30 wagons turned back) 

July 1 3 

Capt. Joseph Stafford, Frank Kirkaldie 

70 wagons and ca. 125 men 

Sept. 18 

Jim Bridger (guide), Maj. John Owen, 
Samuel Anderson 

ca. 10 wagons, 25 men 

Frank Kirkaldie was a member of a train that de- 
parted Red Buttes on July 13 for the Bridger Trail. "I 
am on a new route to the gold regions-w hich has been 
opened the present season— Major Bridger having con- 
ducted the first train. . . . Our old Captain Stafford was 
unanimously elected Captain and the train comprises 
seventy wagons and about 125 men."-- The final trip 
along the Bridger Trail was documented by the veteran 
trader and Indian Agent, Major John Owen in Septem- 
ber and October 1864. This train was also guided by 
Jim Bridger, and seems fitting that he guided the first 
and last trains of the season. Traveling eastward on his 
trail, Bridger had returned to Fort Laramie from Vir- 
ginia City. By August 3. he was reinstated as scout on 
the government payroll.-'* 

At the time of its publication, Owen's diary was con- 
sidered the only extant discussion of travel over the 
Bridger Trail. "He [Owen] had often expressed inter- 
est in the possibility and creation of this road, and evi- 
dently seized the opportunity to use it with his wagons 

during its construction, as 
a member of a train under 
the command of Bridger 
himself Thus, he was one 
of the first to travel over 
It. Owen's diary of the 
journey, as here tran- 
scribed, is the only ac- 
count of the sort that is 
known to exist."-" Today 
several extant diaries, 
journals, and reminis- 
cences con-elate the dis- 
cussion of the Bridger 
Trail as outlined in 
Owen's narrative of trail 
travel, and from the addi- 
tional information, it is in- 
teresting to note that the 
trip made by Owen and 
Bridger was. in fact, the 
last trip made in 1 864, not 
the first, as suggested by 
Dunbar and Phillips. 
Owen's tlrst diary entries 
list approximately twenty- 
five men who made the 
trip; however, some of the 
names are scratched out. 
and Jim Bridger's name 
does not appear at all.-* 
Regrettably, Owen failed to supply any figures for the 
number of wagons in the party; we can only estimate 
that it may have been between ten and twenty. 

A small train departed on the Bridger Trail a few 
days behind Bridger's first party. This party, known 
as the Independents in diary entries, consisted of ten 
wagons. The men in this train were experienced trad- 
ers and needed no guide, especially if they were only a 
few days behind the trace beins made bv Bridser's large 

-' Franklin L, Kirkaldie, "The Letters of Franklin Luther 
Kirkaldie, May I, 1864-Mareh 30, I860," 14-16. Montana 
Historical Society, Helena. Franklin Luther Kirkaldie Family 
Papers, Typescript of Letters. SC 160, Folder 2.'2. 

-"* Cecil J. Alter. Jim Bridge?-. (Norman: L'ni\ersity of 
Oklahoma Press, l%2), 309. 

--"' Seymour Dunbar, ed., and Paul C. Phillips, The Journals and 
Letters of Major John Chven: Pioneer of the Northwest. 1850- 
1871, 2 vols. The Montana Historical Society. (Portland. Maine: 
Southworth Press, 1927), I, 309. 

-'' Dunbar and Phillips, Major John Chven, I, 310. 


Annals of WyomingrTke Wyoming History Journal 

train. John Richard Jr., Baptiste Fourier, Amede 
Bessette, and Jose Miraxal were the prominent mem- 
bers of the party.-' Richard was the half-Sioux son of 
John Baptiste Richard Sr., who constructed the lower 
Platte Bridge on the Oregon Trail, six miles east of 
Fort Caspar, in time to serve the heavy emigrant traffic 
in 1853. 

The availability of water and feed for their stock was 
of paramount importance to emigrants. This factor, 
coupled with the physical condition of the road, influ- 
enced their decision concerning which route to take as 
much or more than the threat of Indian hostilities. The 
only solution to lost livestock was to acquire replace- 
ment animals at one of the forts located along the Or- 
egon Trail or possibly at the posts near the Platte 
bridges. When animals gave out or died along the trail, 
substitutes were often provided by "others in the train 
who had a surplus of animals."-* The Bridger and 
Bozeman Trails each possessed water and forage vital 
for livestock; however, there were portions of each trail 
where w ater and grass for the stock was sorely lacking, 
especially the former. The time of season along the 
trail and the order in which the trains departed the 
trailhead not only dictated the flow and quality of the 
water along the trail, but the availability of pasture for 
the stock as well. Overall, the Bozeman Trail pos- 
sessed adequate to abundant sources of water and grass; 
while along the Bridger Trail, these essential natural 
resources were less available, and loss of livestock along 
the latter trail was the norm, not the exception, as 
Bridger Trail diaries make clear. 

Emigrants taking the Bridger Cutoff in 1864 found 
the tlrst portion of the trail to Badwater Creek quite 
arid, even in the spring; consequently, grass and game 
were not abundant. The availability of resources in- 
creased as emigrants continued north along the trail; 
how ever, there were some long drives without water in 
the central portion of the Big Horn Basin. Water, grass, 
and game increased as the trail entered Montana and 
passed down Clarks Fork to its junction with the 
Bozeman Trail near Rock Creek. Several emigrant dia- 
ries contain daily descriptions of the resources, or the 
lack thereof, and the condition of the road, which var- 
ied from good to poor. The most prevalent observation 
by emigrants along the first seventy-five miles of the 
trail was the lack of good water, or any water at all, and 
limited pasture for their animals. Howard Stanfield 
recalled during the first week of June that "the first 
three or four days on the new road feed and water were 
most fearfully scarce that we crossed what was almost 
a desert 70 miles in width on which we had a tight 

pinch to get grass for our stock."-'^ Water was in such 
short supply that several of the trains were forced to 
dig wells in the dry stream beds to get any water for 
their stock.^° 

Once emigrants reached Badwater Creek at the base 
of the Bridger Mountains, water and feed ceased to be 
such a serious problem. Most of the trains found their 
first good supply of water and grass on Bridger Creek, 
a tributary of Badwater. Most of the trains stopped at 
this location to rest their tired stock and recuperate. 
Bridger Creek provided a practical and well-watered, 
albeit uphill, route over the mountain range to the Kirby 
Creek drainage that led down to the Big Horn River, 
three or four days journey to the northwest. Substan- 
tial evidence exists to support the portion of the trail 
route along Bridger Creek. Extant on a sandstone cliff 
face just east of Bridger Creek are emigrant names in- 
cised on the rock formation, located east of the ranch 
house on Herold Day's Bow and Arrow Ranch. One 
of the emigrants, W. D. Walden, most likely accompa- 
nied Bridger in the first train. Walden inscribed a June 
1 , 1 864, date on the rock, along with his name. Bridger 
departed on May 20, allowing eleven days to travel 
from Red Buttes to the location of the cliff on the east 
side of Bridger Creek. Major Owen's diary mentions 
that it took 9 days (September 1 8-26) to reach Bridger 
Creek, and on the 10th day, they passed this point along 
the trail.-'' As shown on the 1 885 GLO plats, the Bridger 
Trail continued north into the southeastern region of 
the Big Horn Basin via the Kirby Creek drainage that 
would take the trail to the Big Horn River. The diaries 
of Charles Baker, Cornelius Hedges, and William 
Haskell discuss the travails of traveling up Bridger 
Creek and down Kirby Creek. 

The first train guided by Jim Bridger was also the 
first to reach the Big Horn River. Here they built a 
ferry or log raft to carry the wagons over to the west 
side of the river. The various trains that followed all 
utilized the ferry to transport the wagons, while swim- 
ming the stock across the river. The exact location of 

■^ Gray, Bridger and Bozeman Trails, 42. 

-* Thomas B. Marquis, Memoirs of a White Crow' Indian 
(Thomas H. LeForge). G^ew York: The Century Co., 1928, 10. 

-' Detzler, Stanfield Diary, p. 57. 

'" James Roberts, "Diary of James Roberts: Notes of Travel 
While on My Journey Overland from Dodgeville, Wisconsin to 
the Gold Mines in Idaho, 1864." Wisconsin State Historical 
Society, Madison. Typescript of original diary. Collection No. 
00823/2396-15, pp. 22-23. Along this stretch of the trail in 
September, Major Owen commented about "the remains of quite 
a number of dead oxen strewn along the road . . . ." 

^' Dunbar and Phillips, Major John Owen, I, 311-12. 

Spring 1998 

the river crossing is not known, although it occurred 
somewhere below the mouth of K.irby Creek and present 
Lucerne, Wyoming. The 1 892 GLO map does not show 
the crossing; it shows the Bridger Trail heading east 
along the south side of Kirby Creek, where it termi- 
nates short of the Big Horn Ri\ er opposite Lucerne. 
The probable and logical place to have crossed the Big 
Horn River seems to have been north of the mouth of 
Kirby Creek. Diarists Cornelius Hedges, Charles Baker, 
William Atchison, William Haskell, and Howard 
Stantleld all discuss crossing the river on a ferry built 
by Bridger's train and left to be used by those trains 
that followed. After coming down Kirby Creek and 
reaching the Big Horn, none of the diarists speak of 
continuing downriver before crossing. The GLO plats 
do not depict the exact route of the river crossing; how- 
ever, they do show that once across the river, the trav- 
elers remained on the west side as they headed north. 
Confusion occurs with regard to the location of the 
crossing when Major Owen's description of the river 
crossing is utilized out of context. This is possible due 
to the time of year (October 9) when he and Bridger 
reached the Big Horn River, the time of year when the 
river would be at its lowest possible average flow.'- 
All trains arriving earlier in the season (June and early 
July) ferried across the river due to high water and had 
some difficulty as indicated by the diary entries above. 
Not so for Owen's party. There is no mention of a 
ferry, and he matter-of-factly states that his party 
crossed the river three times! 

The Bridger Trail departed the Big Horn River 
near Nowood Creek and headed northwest ap- 
proximately thirteen miles to the Greybull River, the 
next important source of water along the route; how- 
ever, there is no crossing of the river shown on the 
GLO survey plats. The trail stops just short of the river. 
None of the emigrant diaries mention crossing the 
Greybull at a specific location; although some do men- 
tion crossing, they only discuss the mileage, which 
varies. Because the water level tluctuates between early 
June and August due to spring rains and melting moun- 
tain snow pack, there may have been more than one 
practical location to cross the river, depending on the 
date of arrival. Once across, they traveled along the 
north side of the Greybull before again heading north. 
Howard Stanfield crossed the Greybull on June 1 3 and 
"camped on the opposite side that night." The next 
day, "we only made a short drive of 12 miles up the 
river and camped" to rest and water the li\estock.--' 
According to the GLO plats, the trail on the north side 

of the Greybull is approximately fifteen miles from the 
crossing to what is called the big bend in the river where 
the trail leaves the Greybull and heads north. 

The exact route of the Bridger Trail north of the 
Greybull to the Shoshone River and Montana border is 
more problematic. The original GLO plats were sur- 
veyed between twenty and thirty years after the trail 
was traversed by the ten emigrant trains in 1 864. The 
trace left by hundreds of wagons and thousands of head 
of stock seems likely to have been quite visible during 
the land survey and is included on the maps to the ex- 
clusion of anxthing else in this region at the time of the 
surveys. The 1 864 diaries and the GLO plats, help dis- 
pel what appear to be inaccuracies regarding the route 
on the USGS maps, in oral histories, and personal remi- 

The 1 883 GLO plat picks up the trail about one mile 
north of the Greybull, and the trail north to the Shoshone 
River passed through some of the driest country in the 
Big Horn Basin, especially for those trains coming 
through in July. To complicate matters, the emigrants 
first had to negotiate Emblem Bench, circumvent 
Bridger Butte, then make a steep descent down the 
Devil's Backbone into the Coon Creek Valley. Ac- 
cording to the GLO plats, the distance along the Bridger 
Trail from the Greybull River to the Shoshone River 
was approximately twenty-se\ en miles. The trail went 
due north across Emblem Bench and Dry Creek, then 
northwest, passing southwest of Bridger Butte to the 
descent of "Devil's Backbone," a typical badlands en- 
vironment, then across Coon Creek and Whistle Creek 
before reaching the Shoshone River. Field observations 
noted that swales and a narrow road cut \\ ere apparent 
on the steep descent of the Devil's Backbone, validat- 
ing the descriptions of the descent found in the emi- 
grant diaries; they discuss the route north to the 
Shoshone and the distances traveled coincide with the 
mileage shown on the GLO plats. Howard Stantleld's 
train left the Grevbull River camp early on the morn- 
ing of June 15; "a part of us reached Stinking Water 
[Shoshone River] about seven in the evening after a 
long hot dustry [sic] thirsty drive of 28 miles." On 
July 6, Charles Baker "[d]rove 30 miles without grass 
or water— Ver\' desert countrv -aniv ed at Stinking River 
at 5 O.C. Went down 2 mi. & camped. "'"' 

'- Dunbar and Phillips. Major John fhteii. I. .■'1.'' 

" Detzler, Stanfield Diary, 61. 

'' Detzler, Stanfield Diary, 61-62; Baker, Duny. 


Annals or Wyoming :The Wyoming History Journal 

The first three trains, led by Jim Bridger, John Jacobs, 
and Captain Allensworth, respectively, were within a 
few days of each other from the time of their departure 
at Red Buttes. This is evident by the reference to the 
use of the ferry at the crossing of the Big Horn River. 
In fact, on June 1 7, Hedges "Met two of Bridger's men 
and found they were only 12 miles ahead. "^-^ There- 
fore, although mileage estimates varied due to the record 
keeping of the individual diarist, its seems highly im- 
probable, because the trains were traveling so close to- 
gether, that any train took a route other than the one 
laid out by Jim Bridger, who was not only guiding the 
first train but also making improvements along the 
route. Stanfield and Hedges accompanied the second 
and third trains, respectively, and surely followed on 
the heels of Bridger's train; and Baker and Haskell were 
a couple of weeks behind Hedges. 

The Shoshone River was a suitable location for rest- 
ing stock and emigrants after the long, dry, arduous 
push north of the Greybull. By June 18, four trains, 
including the small train of independents, were now 
camped on the north side of the Shoshone.-'^ Bridger's 
lead train had traveled slower than the rest, because he 
located the initial route and did some work on the road. 
The two trains led by Jacobs and Allensworth had 
caught up to Bridger, who was resting on the north 
side of the river. A member of Jacobs' train, Howard 
Stantleld wrote on June 1 8, "We are at the same camp 
we had last night where we have remained all day we 
are the middle train of three. Bridgers numbering one 
hundred wagons '/2 mile ahead and Allensworth con- 
sisting of 88 wagons just crossed the River today so 
there are a goodly number of white men in this part of 
the country at the present time."'^ Cornelius Hedges, a 
member of AUensworth's train, wrote on June 18, 
"Bridger's and Jacob's [sic] trains near us All sorts of 
stories~206 miles on the Cut-off """* This accumula- 
tive presence of Euro-Americans in 1 864 was undoubt- 
edly the largest concentration, to date, of non-Indians 
ever assembled in the Big Horn Basin. 

Bridger's train departed the river the next day on June 
1 9 and headed up Sage Creek toward the Montana bor- 
der.^' However, since June 19 was a Sunday, Stanfield 
and Hedges and their respective trains remained en- 
camped; it is possible that Bridger's train may have 
stayed as well.^" While the trains laid over along the 
Shoshone, several men went out on prospecting forays 
and some went out to hunt. Names and dates incised 
on sandstone rock formations at Signature Rock 
(Site 48BH 188), between Cowley and Byron, corre- 
spond to the individual dates of various Shoshone River 

crossings and layovers. They also indicate the route 
taken up the valley of Sage Creek. Field reconnais- 
sance confirmed the location and authenticity of these 
inscriptions.^' Benton Garinger of Ohio left his name 
for posterity on June 19; he may have been a member 
of Bridger's train, but more likely was a member of 
one of the trains led by either Jacobs or Allensworth. 
Travelling with Allensworth, Hedges stayed in camp 
on June 1 9 and 20. Stanfield laid over on June 1 9, and 
on the 20th, he "traveled a short distance today. . . . 
stoped [sic] the rest of the day to let the stock graze . . . 
near small creek";'*- this small creek was most likely 
Sage Creek, approximately five miles north of the 
Shoshone. On June 29, T. B. McNeal of Ohio added 
his name to the cliff face. Although it is not clear which 
train he was with, it appears that he accompanied the 
fourth train that was about eight to ten days behind 
Allensworth. Three weeks after Bridger, J. Housel left 
his name on July 8; he was probably a member of 
Charles Baker's train that crossed the Shoshone River 
on July S.'*^ Four additional names, W. M. McCoy, D. 
A. Leaky, Wm. Henry, and S. Magee, were added to 
the cliff face on July 14, corresponding to William 
Haskell's train that crossed the Shoshone River on July 
1 4. These inscriptions are very significant because they 
substantiate the correct route of the Bridger Trail 
through an area deficient in historic evidence concern- 
ing the trail route."""* 

The trail headed northwest and north from the 
Shoshone approximately five miles to Sage Creek. 
About one mile south of Sage Creek, the trail passed 
through a small gap in Signature Rock that is part of 

" Cornelius Hedges, "Diary of Cornelius Hedges," 15. 1864. 
Montana Historical Society, Helena. Typescript of original diary. 
Cornelius Hedges Family Papers, MSS Collection 33, Box 2, 
Folder 4. 

-"' Gray, Bridger and Bozeman Trails, 43. 

" Detzler, Stanfield Diaiy, 63. 

^* Hedges, Dian\ 15. 

^' Gray, Bridger and Bozeman Trails. 43. 

•"' Hedges, Dian; 15; Detzler, Stanfield Diary, 64. 

■" The author visited the site in July 1996. Photographs and 
videotape were taken on-site. 

■*- Detzler, Stanfield Dian; p. 64. 

^^ Baker Diary. 

*^ William S. Haskell, "William S. Haskell Diary," 14. 
Montana Historical Society, Helena. Typescript of original 1864 
diary. SC 806, Folder 1/1. The inscriptions incised on the 
sandstone formations at Site 48BH188 are weathering quite well, 
and most are very legible; some, however, are becoming hard to 
read, due to wind and water erosion, and some, like D. A. Leaky, 
while quite legible, have suffered from the impacts of gunshots by 









Map by Suzanne Lithr. TRC Mariah Associates 


Annals of Wyoming :The Wyoming History Journal 

the larger divide between the Shoshone River and Sage 
Creek. The trail diaries, GLO plats, the emigrant names 
on Signature Rock, and field reconnaissance, leave little 
doubt concerning the route of this portion of the Bridger 
Trail north of the Shoshone to Sage Creek, a route that 
is not shown on the USGS topographic quadrangles. 
Once in Montana, the trail headed north-northwest 
along the east side of Sage Creek to Bridger Canyon 
and the headwaters of Bridger Creek then continued 
due west along the north side of Bridger Creek. Head- 
ing due north, the trail left Bridger Creek and headed 
to the crossing of Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River, 
southeast of Bridger, Montana. Bridger's route con- 
tinued north along the west side of Clarks Fork to Rock 
Creek. This route is part of the Nez Perce Trail.'*' 

The 1864 Bozeman Trail, heading southwest along 
the north side of Rock Creek, merged with the Bridger 
Trail where it tlrst crossed Rock Creek, approximately 
one mile east of Joliet. Bozeman crossed Clarks Fork 
just above its confluence with the Yellowstone and pro- 
ceeded south up the west side of Clarks Fork to Rock 
Creek. However, the 1891 GLO plat shows the Old 
Bozeman Trail merging with Bridger's trail approxi- 
mately three miles southeast of Rock Creek near Edgar, 
Montana. This is the route opened by James Sawyers' 
expedition in summer 1 866; prior to that, the Bozeman 
Trail merged with the Bridger Trail at the above men- 
tioned location east of Joliet. From that point on, ex- 
cept for minor variations, the combined trail followed 
Bridger's route to Virginia City. 

The trail continued northwest across Rosebud Creek 
and the Stillwater River west of Absarokee, Montana, 
then west to Bridger Creek and down that creek to the 
Yellowstone River. It continued west along the south 
side of the Yellowstone, crossed Boulder River near 
Big Timber, Montana, and continued along the 
Yellowstone for about sixteen miles to the crossing near 
Hunter Hot Springs and present Springdale, Montana, 
approximately seven miles east of the Shields River.'** 
In 1866 John Bozeman established a ferry at the 
Yellowstone ford. Once across the Yellowstone, mem- 
bers of the three leading trains melded together so that 
the individual trains could no longer be distinguished. 
Jim Bridger led most of the wagons west along the 
north side of the Yellowstone, then north up the Shields 
River, west up Brackett's Creek and over the southern 
end of the Bridger Mountains, then down Bridger Creek 
to the Gallatin River west of Bozeman, Montana. John 
Jacobs took a few wagons over what is now Bozeman 
Pass to the Gallatin River.'*' 

Between July 5 and 8, Stanfield described the 
disintegration of the trains along that portion 
of the route from the Yellowstone to the Gallatin River 

[LJeft the Yellowstone. . . . our old train (what was left 
of it) Split all to pieces some going with Jacobs other 
with Bridger. . . . [6th] Caught up with Bridger. . . . our 
old guide Jacobs concluded that he knew of a shorter 
& better road ... to our destination and consequently 
turned off with eleven wagons instead of the 66 ... he 
had up to Clarks fork. I understand that we have a 
mountain to cross tomorrow our train number from two 
to three hundred wagons. . . . [8th] we emerged from 
the canon [Bridger Canyon] onto the open plain the 
train is now broken to peices [sic] and it is who can 
reach Virginia first the plain being covered with small 
train of two to six wagon. . . . We crossed the Gallatin 
fork of the Missouri this afternoon.''* 

A synthesis of source materials has resolved mul- 
tiple questions, inaccuracies, and romantic assumptions 
associated with the Bridger Trail. The daily crucible 
of emigrants who originally used the trail, its resources, 
and terrain, are now significantly understood; many of 
their identities have come to light; available statistical 
information concerning occupational and settlement 
patterns, albeit fi-agmented, has been compiled for those 
emigrants who traveled first to Virginia City in search 
of gold, then dispersed to settle in the valleys and com- 
munities of western Montana; and, for the first time, 
there is a distinct understanding of the overall trail route, 
with emphasis on detailed clarification of previously 
ambiguous portions of the route. 

■*' Although labeled the Nez Perce Trail on modern maps, the 
trail is not labeled as such on the 1900 GLO plats. This trail is 
associated with the flight of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perces 
during the summer of 1 877, as they exited Yellowstone Park with 
the U.S. Army in pursuit, bound for exile in Canada. The Bridger 
Trail was laid out 1 3 years prior to this event. The label Nez Perce 
Trail is misleading. Although they had adopted the mounted bison 
economy and seasonally migrated onto the Northern Plains to 
hunt, the Nez Perces were unfamiliar with this route prior to 1 877. 
See Francis Haines, The Nez Perces: Tribesmen of the Columbia 
Plateau. (Norman; University of Oklahoma Press, 1955), 208, 
298-303; Robert M. Utley, The Indian Frontier of the American 
West. 1846-1890^ (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico 
Press, 1984), 190-93. 

^^ Vaughn, Then and Now, 34; Maynard, Reminiscence, 36, SC 
2008, Folder No. 1. 

■" Marquis, White Crow Indian, 1 3; Gray, Bridger and Bozeman 
Trails, 43. To avoid confusion, it should be noted that there are 
three different Bridger Creeks along the route from the Wyoming- 
Montana border to the Gallatin 'Valley. 

■** Detzler, Stanfield Diary, pp. 70-71. 

Spring IQQS 

The Bridger Trail route portrayed above is substanti- 
ated by a review of tiie original GLO survey maps. 
The trail is labeled on these maps variously as Bridger 
Trail, Bridger Road, or Old Bridger Road. Several 
diaries and journals compiled by the original travelers 
along the Bridger Trail in 1864 corroborated the route 
shown on the GLO plats and the approximate distances 
between notable landmarks and water crossings. There- 
fore, the GLO plats, in conjunction with contemporary 
observations, appear to be the most reliable source for 
mapping Jim Bridger's trail. 

In the past. Lieutenant Ma\nadier received credit for 
discovering the Bridger Trail route north through the 
Big Horn Basin. ^" However, he did not traverse the 
Red Buttes to Badwater Creek section; he did not know 
of or travel the Bridger Creek/Kirby Creek route over 
the Bridger Mountains; he failed in the initial attempt 
to find an adequate route once in the southernmost re- 
gion of the Big Horn Basin; he followed a decidedly 
different route between the GreybuU and Shoshone Riv- 
ers, which included crossing the Shoshone far upstream 
from that of Bridger in 1 864; and he followed a differ- 
ent route once along Clarks Fork to the Yellowstone. 
This clearly places the responsibility for locating the 
Bridger Trail route with Jim Bridger. 

In retrospect, the most significant aspect of the 
Bridger Trail is its importance as an interregional trans- 
portation route in the West that tunneled a large num- 
ber of emigrants (approximately 25 percent of the 1 864 
population of Virginia City) into Montana during a 
single trail season, many of whom settled, rose to promi- 
nence in their communities, and made important con- 
tributions to territorial development and, later, during 
statehood. Occupations for those emigrants listed in 
the pioneer register (90) who took the Bridger Trail are 
overwhelmingly oriented toward agriculture: fanners 
and stockmen (23.3 percent and 12.2 percent, respec- 
tively, and 4.4 percent who practiced both, for a total 
of almost 40 percent). Occupations in the mining in- 
dustry came in a distant second ( 10 percent); women, 
whether wives or unmarried young women, accounted 
for a larger number of the population than miners ( 14.4 
percent). Other occupations listed included merchants 
(5.6 percent), freighters and teamsters (3.3 percent), 
ministers (3.3 percent) lawyers (2.2 percent), and car- 
penters (2.2 percent). Bankers, physicians, blacksmiths, 
wagon makers, editors, brewers, and real estate specu- 
lators, each made up approximately 1 . 1 percent of those 
who arrived via the Bridger Trail. These ninety emi- 
grants made up 5 percent of the 1,808 pioneers listed 
in the register, representing a diversified cross section 
of those settlers who made Montana their home.'" 


The Bridger Trail was a viable alternative to the Or- 
egon Trail and its variants to reach Virginia City, Mon- 
tana. Contrary to Raynolds' report of 1 860, Bridger's 
trail not only successfully traversed the Bighorn Ba- 
sin, a "region. . . . totally unfit for either rail or wagon 
roads," but proved to be much more popular with emi- 
grants in 1864 than the Bozeman Trail; its viability as 
an alternative route was assured when at least ten trains 
traveled the Bridger Trail versus only tbur that took 
the Bozeman Trail that year. However, sparse re- 
sources—water, forage, and game—rugged terrain, the 
lack of travel on either trail in 1865 when the federal 
government closed the route to emigrant traffic, the 
fact that the United States Army favored the Bozeman 
route in 1866, and the completion of the Union Pacific 
Railroad in 1 869, were important factors that rendered 
the Bridger Trail obsolete and precluded any major use 
of the trail as an important regional transportation route 
until after initial settlement in northern Wyoming Ter- 
ritory during the early 1880s. 

That Jim Bridger was fortunate to live a long life, 
ensured he was the only practical choice as guide for 
important duty assignments; and when military explo- 
rations began in the 1850s, Bridger was one of a few 
left, and undoubtedly the best yet alive, to be entrusted 
with the lives of enlisted men, emigrants, and govern- 
ment and private property. In one respect. Bridger's 
participation in an astounding number of important 
endeavors that, in large and small ways, helped to dis- 
cover and settle the West, is due in large part to his 
being in the right place at the right time in American 
history; therefore, Bridger's rich historical legacy as 
one of the most renowned explorers and guides in 
American histor\ lends important significance to the 
trail that bears his name. 

" Jackson, ll'ngon Roads It'csl, p. 267; Goet/niann, Armv 
Exploration, p. 420. 

■" Sanders, Pioneers Register. 

James A. Lowe is employed as Historian ami Archae- 
ologist for TRC Mariah Associates. Environmental 
Consultants. Laramie. A graduate of the University- of 
Wyoming, he holds the M. A. in history from i'lV. This 
article is adapted from a chapter in his hook on the 
Bridger Trail, published by Arthur H. Clark Com/ianv. 

^hlGM/ITIC icon: 

Th+C Uf^e mo TIMG9 Of^ 



The resource protection focus 
of today's law enforcement 
Park Ranger of the U. S. De- 
partment of the Interior's National 
Park Service (>1PS) is, by some his- 
torians, traced back to Yellowstone, 
the first national park, and one of its 
earliest employees. Harry Yount. To- 
day, Harry Yount is securely posi- 
tioned in the legend and culture of 
the Service. Thanks to the efforts of 
NPS historians and ephemera collec- 
tors, Harry Yount is commemorated 
and remembered by the bureau which 
did not come about until 1916, 35 
years after he was employed at 

Best known for the two reports he 
wrote as Yellowstone's first and only 
gamekeeper, Yount's life before and after his brief but 
compelling tenure at the Park remains virtually untold. 
This article attempts to gather the available references 
from official records and the popular literature relating 
to the NPS into a single monograph from which more 
scholarly investigations may, in time, flesh out the story 
of the man who lies behind the legend and myth which 
has given rise to a figure of heroic proportion. 

Yellowstone National Park collection. National Park Service 

Harry Yount 

William R. Supernaugh is superintendent of 
Badlands National Park, South Dakota. 

Little is known about Yount's early years. His 
given name had, until recently, been lost and 
he has been referred to in print variously as 
"Harry C. Yount" and "Harry S. Yount."' The most 
informative look into Yount's personal history comes 
from a series of interviews conducted between 1921 
and 1924, by Thomas J. Bryant and published in the 
Annals of Wyoming.- This is the only known first-per- 
son account of Yount's early life and. while tantaliz- 
inglv incomplete, it offers valuable insights into his 
pre-Yellowstone years. 

According to Bryant's recordings, Harry Yount's 
family tradition referred to the arrival of two brothers 
with the name of "YOUNKERS" who settled at 
Younkers (now Yonkers), Nev\ York. One of the broth- 
ers, it was said, moved west to Penns\ 1\ ania where the 
famiU name underwent a change from Younkers to 
Yount. Harr\ indicated to Bryant that he had a brother 
who lived in Illinois and two brothers who had settled 
in California man> \ears pre\ ious to the interview. 
Bryant concluded that Harry had lost all contact with 
his relatives over the years.' 

Family lore aside, nothing has yet been found to sub- 
stantiate the earl>' New York ties. Berks County, Penn- 
sylvania appears to be the ancestral home of the Younts 
in America who trace their roots back to Hans George 
and Anna Maria Jundt who arrived, with four of their 
five children, at Philadelphia in 1731, from a village 
on the Rhine in Alsace."* The fifth child, Andrew Yount, 
arrived in Philadelphia in 1751. His children all mi- 
grated to Randolph Count\, North Carolina, and are 
shown as landowners by the 1 780's, joining their cous- 
ins whom had made the trip much earlier. Andrew has 
been identified as the progenitor of the Quaker branch 
of the Yount family: a son. .lohn, migrated to Missouri, 
as did his grown children, all of the Quaker faith. Harry 
Yount's place of birth is now believed to be Washing- 
ton County, Missouri although his exact birth date re- 
mains unconfirmed from public documents.' 

Even though 1 847 is given as Harry's date of birth in 
one history of Wyoming," Bryant's article speculates 
that 1 837 would be more believable based on his per- 
ception of the physical evidence of aging and talking 
to residents of Wheatland who stated he, "...was bom 
in the same year as Grover Cleveland...", placing his 
birth in 1837.' The Census, Army Pension Records 
and Yount's enlistment papers provide a more prob- 
able birth date of 1 839;" Harry provided March 1 8 in a 
1915 Pension affidavit. These sources show that 
"Harry" was christened Henry S., by which he contin- 
ued to be officially know n during his Arniy years ( 1 86 1 - 

1865) and continuing through his lengthy correspon- 
dence with the Bureau of Pensions between 1 898 and 

Washington County, Missouri, lies approximately 40 
miles southwest of St. Louis. The 1850 Census for 
Harmony Township, Washington County, Missouri, 
identifies eleven-year-old Henry, son of David Yount, 

' Scoyen, Eivind T. "The Evolution of thie Protection Func- 
tion." Lecture manuscript dated .August II, 1965. 14. Sco\en. 
born at old Fort ^'el low stone in IS^Jb. and retiring from the Na- 
tional Park Service as .Associate Director in l')62. often lectured 
at the Service's Albright Training Center. Grand Canvon. Ari- 
zona, on aspects of Service history. His notes, apparently incor- 
rect, read "Harry C. Yount." .A published interview with Yount 
bv Thomas Julian Brvant, "Harry S. ^ount." Annuls oi Wyoming 
3 (1925-26). 171, is consistent with other published accounts. 
Bryant's interview includes a reference to a slate colored marble 
or fine granite stone carved into the shape of a "book" which he 
was shown by Yount and which was incised. "Harry S. ^ount. 
Scout and Guide" on the front. 

- Bryant, "Harry S. \'ount." Bryant first met Harry Yount on 
May 15. 1921. as Harry and two other veterans of the Civil War 
were speaking at a program and dinner arranged by a Wheatland. 
Wyoming, schoolteacher. The subsequent friendship that grew 
between the aged frontiersman and Brvant led to his recording 
the reminiscences ^'oiint shared up until his death on Ma> 16. 

' Henry was the tenth often children born to David Yount and 
Catherine Shell. Edith W. Huggins. The Yount (Jundtl Family in 
Europe and Amenea (Raleigh. N. C: Privately printed. 1986). 
218. Brothers Caleb (born 1832) and John (born 1S35) are shown 
to have emigrated to the Napa Valley of California. It is pre- 
sumed they joined their uncle. George Calvert Yount. an early 
California frontiersman and reportedlv the first white man to settle, 
in 1831. in the Napa Valley . 

* William C. ^■ount. A brief sketch of the origin of the 'S'ount 
familv in .America (1936). The relationship of David to John 
\'ount has been established as son to father by genealogical work 
compiled by Edith W. Huggins in her work on this line of the 
^■ount family. (See footnote 3). David was part of the Quaker 
immigration from North Carolina to Missouri. Two 'Sount fami- 
lies, headed by Ira and .Azariah \'ount, lived near David in 1850 
(and each with a son. David), and are two of the older brothers of 
Henry (Harry). They are buried in a Quaker Cemeterv near Potosi. 
Washington County. Missouri. 

^ Civil War Pension Records file SC 825, 586. His birth date 
reads "March 18, 18(unreadable)". Huggins' genealogy of the 
Yount family provides a date of March 18. 1839. This is consis- 
tent with both the census records and subsequent military records. 

" Histoiy of Wyoming (Ch'xcSi^o: A. W. Bowen and Company, 
Publishers. 1903). cited in Bryant. 

" Bryant. 169. 

* The 1850 Washington County. Missouri census for Harmony 
Township, conducted December 9. 1850, lists household 1258 as 
David Yount, a farmer of 55 years of age, born in North Carolina, 
and three sons; Caleb age 18, John age 15 and Henrv age 11, 
placing his date of birth in 1839. The 1840 census again lists 
David with one son under the age of one; this is most likely Henry 
(or Harry). 


Annals or Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

as having two older brothers, Caleb and John, still liv- 
ing at home. This is consistent with the 1840 census 
for the same area, which places one male under five 
and two between 10 and 15 in David's household.'^ 
During his youth he apparently received some educa- 
tion in Missouri as he was shown to be passably liter- 
ate in later years. 

Harry was a two-time Union veteran of the Civil War, 
serving first by enlisting in Co. F, Phelps' Regiment of 
Missouri Infantry. During this six-month term of ser- 
vice (November 19, 1861 to May 12, 1862), he partici- 
pated in the events leading to the Battle of Elkhom 
Tavern (Pea Ridge), Arkansas, March 6-8.'° On March 
5, 1 862 he received a leg wound, was captured, marched 
to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and held as a prisoner of war 
for 28 days before being exchanged." Yount, who re- 
enlisted shortly after mustering out of Phelps' Regi- 
ment in May, was enrolled in Co. H, 8th Missouri Cav- 
alry for a three-year tenn of service starting on August 
9, 1862, in Springfield, Missouri, and ending on July 
20, 1865, in Little Rock, Arkansas.'- The 8th Mis- 
souri served in the border states of Missouri and Ar- 
kansas, seeing action in eleven engagements. Harry 
rose through the ranks from private to corporal, then 
sergeant and, finally, serving as Company Quartermas- 
ter Sergeant. 

^ ollowing the war, he came to Wyoming Terri- 
t" tory in 1 866 via Nebraska City, Nebraska, site 
I of the first Fort Kearny, hiring on as a "bull 
whacker" for the Army along the Bozeman Trail be- 
tween Fort Laramie and Fort C. F. Smith in southern 
Montana, east and north of present-day Yellowstone 
National Park.'-' This was during a period of unrest on 
the frontier and Yount was reportedly engaged in sev- 
eral skirmishes with the Sioux and Cheyenne while 
delivering freight. '"' 

He also worked for a time as a buffalo hunter in this 
general area of Wyoming." According to one source, 
Yount had worked as a hunter, trapper, guide and scout 
between his discharge from the Army in 1865 and his 
employment at Yellowstone in 1 880. For a number of 
years he served as a contract hunter for the Smithsonian 
Institution, providing specimens of western fauna for 

' v. S. Census Records, Missouri, 1840 and 1850. We also 
learn that David Yount was born in North Carolina in 1795 and 
that he was apparently a widower or living alone by the time the 
1850 census was conducted. David does not appear in the 1860 
enumeration for Missouri but his death is given as 1881 in 
Huggins, with burial at Lewisburg, Dallas County, Missouri. 

'" Civil War Records, National Archives. The Official Records 
indicate the 25th, 35th, 36th, 44th, and 59th III.; 2d, 3d, 12th, 

15th, 17th, 24th, and Phelp's Mo.; 8th, and 22d Ind.; 4th and 9th 
Iowa; 3d Iowa Cav.; 3d and 15th 111. Cav.; 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th 
Mo. Cav.; and artillery units from the above states were repre- 
sented. Henry S. Yount enlisted in Phelps' Regiment at Rolla, 
Missouri October 19, 1861. 

" Yount apparently was troubled by leg problems ever after. 
His pension claims cite early damage to both legs (rheumatism) 
attributed to his having to march barefoot over the cold, wet roads 
to Fort Smith following his capture. Under the provisions of the 
Act of June 27, 1890, Harry applied for an Invalid Pension for the 
war related injuries to his feet. He was awarded a monthly pen- 
sion of $6 in November 1892. retroactive to November 1890. 
This was raised to $12 in July 1900. Under the provisions of the 
Act of May 1 1, 1912, Harry applied for an increased pension and 
though the records provided by the National Archives do not in- 
dicate if the request was honored, the Wheatland World reported 
in January 1913, that Harry's pension was retroactively increased 
to $25 per month dating from May 27, 1912. 

'- National Archives, Veterans Record; SC 825,586. He en- 
listed in Capt. Jones' Company (which soon became Co. H) of 
the 8th Missouri Cavalry at Lebanon, Missouri on August 9, 1862 
as a Private. He was promoted to Corporal April 14, 1863 and 
again to Sergeant. December 9. 1863. On June 13. 1864 he was 
promoted to Company Quartermaster Sergeant. Harry mustered 
out at Little Rock, Arkansas on July 20. 1865. 

'' John W. Henneberger, "The History of the National Park 
Ranger," unpublished manuscript, 1959, 24. An earlier manu- 
script prepared by Henneberger and which served as a draft of the 
larger treatise, "Preserve and Protect," gives the date of 1866, 
which appears to have been extracted from Bryant's work. 

'■" Bryant wrote Harry was involved with Indians while first 
working for the Army in Wyoming. In the account he reports a 
party of Indians followed his ox-drawn wagon, part of a larger 
bull train, from near Fort Laramie to Fort C. F. Smith. By re- 
maining awake and constantly moving for four days and nights, 
the train avoided coming under attack. Harry is reported to have 
fired his carbine in response to one Sioux warrior who repeatedly 
fired upon the train from horseback, hitting and apparently kill- 
ing his horse. Yount recounted the danger of hunting bear and 
elk in the "early days" due to the activities of hostile Indians. 
While believing the Indians would kill him if they could, he 
seemed not to blame the Indians for defending what was their 
country originally. 

" Bryant. 168. Bryant relates an episode with Yount in which 
he states he had. "killed many buffalo for tourists at Cheyenne, 
getting a dollar apiece for buffalo tongues alone." Yount also 
restates the national policy of the time regarding the relationship 
between the Plains Indians and bison. "He said it was a pity to 
kill off the buffaloes, which were here in immense numbers, but 
it was the only way to get rid of the Indians, as the buffalo was 
their main source of subsistence." 

"■ Bryant, 168 Yount provided study skins, including moun- 
tain lions and "pheasant." The latter likely refer to sharp-tailed 
or sage grouse inasmuch as the ringneck pheasant was not estab- 
lished in Wyoming until the I880's. Citing Yount's previous 
work collecting specimens of wild animals for the Smithsonian 
as part of the Hayden Expedition, Spencer F. Baird of the 
Smithsonian Institution contacted Yount in October, 1875. A long 
list of Rocky Mountain mammal specimens was requested for 
use in the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia the following 
year. (Smithsonian Institution Archives, personal correspondence). 
Yount likely complied with the request. Photographs of the expo- 
sition reveal a number of wildlife mounts in the exhibit halls. 


During a significant portion of this time, Harr\' Yount 
had served as a guide and packer tbr the Hayden Geo- 
logical Survey, spending seven summers in New 
Mexico. Utah, Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.'' 
Between expeditions with Hayden (approximately 
1872-79), Yount spent at least six winters hunting and 
trapping the Laramie Range of mountains below 
Laramie Peak, where he evidently maintained a cabin.'** 

Yount never married. He became engaged to Estella 
Braun prior to his arrival in Wyoming. Braun, from a 
fanning family in Michigan, had later relocated to De- 
troit. She was emplo\'ed as a telegraph operator with 
Western Union. During an expedition to the Four Cor- 
ners region in 1867-8, he learned that his fiance had 
been killed while on vacation when her Detroit-bound 
train was invoKed with a collision with another en- 

Yellowstone National Park's second superinten- 
dent, Philetus W. Norris (1877-82), set the 
stage for Yount's entry into the annals of NPS 
history.-" A lack of funds and general understanding 
of the remote nature of the area handicapped 
Yellowstone's first superintendent. He left in 1877, 
annoyed at Congress' failure to adequately fund the 
park's development. Norris was more successful in 
obtaining funds from Congress and an initial appro- 
priation of $10,000 was made in 1878, followed by an 
increase to SI 5,000 in 1880.-' Norris used SI, 000 of 
this w indfall to pay for a year-round position of "Game- 
keeper", which had the exclusive objective of report- 
ing on the wildlife of Yellowstone National Park and 
protecting them from undue slaughter. 

No one claims knowledge as to just how the game- 
keeper concept came about. Clearly, Norris w anted to 
take action to protect the wildlife from indiscriminate 
slaughter; hunting was not regulated in Yellowstone 
until 1877 and not prohibited until 1883. He indirectly 
proposed the position in his report of 1877 wherein he 
suggested establishing a game reserve in the park's 
northeast comer, particularly the broad Lamar River 
valley. -- 

It is likely that Superintendent Norris' policy of w ild- 
life protection and management led to the appointment 
of Harry Yount as "gamekeeper" in 1880. Although 
instructed to report to Superintendent Norris, Yount 
received his appointment from Secretary of the Inte- 
rior Carl Schurz and Henneberger surmises that the 
position was created by someone in the Secretary's 
Office.--' As to why Yount was selected, the record re- 
mains unclear. His past experience, familiarity with 
the park and contacts with people integral to the park's 

exploration and establishment doubtlessly were factors. 
Henneberger speculates that Norris likeK tlrst met 
Yount during the 1878 Hayden expedition to 
Yellowstone for which he was listed as a "wrangler 
and packer."-"" Too, as a long-term temporary employee 
of the Department of the Interior, (Ha\ den's Survey 
was chartered by the Secretary and later folded into the 
U. S. Geological Survey) he may have already been 
known within the Interior bureaucracy.-' 

" Henneberger, citing Bryant. The dates of Hayden 's subse- 
quent e.xplorations are not noted but this likely covers the period 
1872-1879. Bryant detailed several incidents that Yount related 
from his travels \\\\\\ the Ha\den expeditions, including visits to 
the cliff ruins of Mesa \ erde and the Grand letons. 

''^ Bryant. 165. Bryant recorded several stories about tracking 
and killing grizzlv hears near Laramie Peak and in the Laramie 
Range. These include references to his returning to his cabin for 
supplies or a team of mules, but the general location is not known. 

^ Brvant, 167-8. It is unknown if Braun was emploved out 
west or where the train wreck occurred that reportedlv took her 

-" Hiram Martin Chittenden, Yellowstone Xaliomil Pork (Palo 
•Alto: Stanford University Press, 1954), 104-106. Norris succeeded 
Nathaniel P. Langford, chosen to be the Park's first superinten- 
dent following \'ellowstone's establishment in 1872. .\ princi- 
pal in the 1870 W'ashburn-Langford-Doane E.xpedition he later 
spoke and wrote widely on the previousK ignored natural won- 
ders encountered on that expedition. 

-' Norris served until February 1882. \ noted writer about and 
explorer of the park, his prime drive seems to have been the con- 
struction of roads within Yellowstone to increase access and lure 
potential commercial interest. He was responsible for having 
built much of the original infrastructure of the park. Henneberger. 

-- .'Vubrev Haines. The Yellowstone Sloiy, (Boulder: Lniversitv 
Press of Colorado. 1977), 1. 252. Norris proposed that the big- 
horn sheep and herds of buffalo, elk, and deer be protected (and 
incidently domesticated and sold) bv. "...two or three spirited, 
intelligent herdsmen...". Merrill D. Beale. The Story ofMan in 
Yellowstone (Yellowstone: Yellowstone Librarv and Museum 
.Assoc, 1956), 241, briefly outlines the historv of hunting and 
game protection in \'ellowstone. 

-' Annual Reports ot the Superintendent. >'ellowstone National 
Park, 1880. Appendix A, 50. Yount was in Chevenne. Wyoming 
Territory, when notice of his appointment letter, dated June 21. 
1880. reached him. He accepted at once but v\as hindered by 
unusuallv deep snows and floods in the mountains, requiring him 
to travel by train and coach via Ogden. Utah, and Bozeman. 
Montana, flnally reaching park headquarters on .luly 6, The posi- 
tion paid SI. 000 per annum and was not removable b\ the Super- 
intendent, thus truly a Secretarial appointment. Henneberger. 23. 

'■" .Aubrev Haines. Yellowstone S'ationul Park' Its Exploration 
and Establishment (Washington: NPS, 1974). 143. Secretary of 
the Interior Columbus Delano appointed Ferdinand Vandiveer 
Havden in 1871. His report on the Yellowstone region added to 
the push to set the area aside as a government reservation. He 
returned to \'ellov'vstone in 1878; Yount is listed as a member of 
the Survev partv , 

-' Haines. 143. The U. S. Geological Survev was created in 
1879 by the blending of Hav den's Survev with that of two others. 
King's and Powell's. 


Annals or WyomingiTne Wyoming History Journal 

Ham' Yoiint in the moimtains 

"Rocky Mountain Harry" Yount has been described 
as, "... a typical leatherstocking frontiersman. He was 
rough, tough, and intelligent."-*' After building a win- 
ter cabin in the park in 1 880, he became one of the first 
white men known to spend time on a year-round basis 
in Yellowstone. Independent and resourceful, able to 
subsist on his own without close supervision, and hav- 
ing a familiarity and know ledge of the natural processes 
surrounding him, Harry Yount has become an arche- 
typal model for the National Park Ranger. Horace 
Albright, a founding father and the second Director of 
the National Park Service, wrote of Yount, "After that 
first winter alone, with only the geysers, the elk and 
the other animals for company, Harry Yount pointed 
out in a report that it was impossible for one man to 
patrol the park. He urged the fomiation of a ranger force. 
So Harry Yount is credited with being the father of the 
ranger service, as well as the first national park 

I I arry Yount, for all that his tenure at Yellow- 
L^^ stone spanned a mere 14 months, left a lasting 
I I legacy. His articulate and insightful 1880 "Re- 
port of Gamekeeper" documents his travels through the 
Park and his general observations on wildlife and the 
inability of one person to adequately protect the park's 
resources.-'* He calls for the establishment of a sea- 
sonal workforce to protect the wildlife and other park 

resources from the depredation of park visitors; a model 
that the NPS follows to this day. In addition to his role 
as gamekeeper, Yount' s duties included providing meat 
for the employees, guiding visiting dignitaries and ac- 
companying Superintendent Norris on his explorations 
of the Park. 

-" Beale, 241. 

-' Horace Albright and Frank J. Taylor, Oh. Ranger!: A Book 
About the National Parks (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1 929), 
5-7, and frontispiece illustration of Harry Yount. This passage is 
also quoted in Haines' book. 

'* Yount, 1880. Shortly after his July entrance on duty, Yount 
met Secretary Schurz and his party, guiding them from near the 
southwest corner at the South Madison to the northeast corner at 
Clark's Fork canyon. Upon his return to Mammoth Hot Springs 
he circumnavigated Yellowstone Lake and explored the area 
around Lewis and Shoshone Lakes, remarking on the abundance 
of wildlife. After once again returning to Mammoth Hot Springs, 
he set out to construct his winter camp at the confluence of the 
East Fork (Lamar) and Soda Butte Valleys at a point where he 
could guard the elk and bison wintering grounds against hunters. 
He concludes his report, dated November 25, 1880, with a strong 
recommendation that protection of the wildlife be extended 
parkwide. This task, he laments, is too much for one man and he 
urges appointing, "...a small, active, reliable police force, to re- 
ceive regular pay during the spring and summer at least...". He 
continues, "It is evident that such a force could, in addition to the 
protection of game, assist the superintendent of the Park in en- 
forcing the laws, rules, and regulations for protection of guide- 
boards and bridges, and the preservation of the countless and 
widely scattered geyser-cones and other matchless wonders of 
the Park." 


Yount spent the w inter of 1 880-8 1 in his cabin at the 
confluence of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Val- 
leys, occasionally joined by one or another of the park 
employees wintering over at Mammoth Hot Springs, 
but general!) alone from November to April.-" His 
second and final report in September of 1881 docu- 
ments his natural hislor\ and meteorological observa- 
tions and summer travels. Also, similar to the one pre- 
pared in 1880, he again calls. "... for a small reliable 
police force as the most practical way of seeing that 
the game is protected from wanton slaughter, the for- 
ests from careless use of fire, and the enforcement of 
the other all laws, rules, and regulations for the protec- 
tion and improvement of the park." 

Superintendent Norris, upon his return to the Park in 
the spring of 1 88 1 expressed disappointment in Yount"s 
perfomiance as it pertained to road maintenance and 
de\elopment, a task upon which Norris apparently 
placed high priority.'" There was an obvious differ- 
ence of opinion as to the worth of the gamekeeper po- 
sition. Yount felt that the task of safeguarding the park's 
w ildlife w as more than one person could reasonably be 
expected to do. During this time, Norris wrote Secre- 
tary of the Interior Schurz, indicating that he was rec- 
ommending the position of gamekeeper be discontin- 
ued, effective Juh' 1, 1882. He expressed the opinion 
that Yount, while, "... a sober and trusty man 1 should 
ordinarily hire at regular wages as an excellent hunter, 
still he is that and nothing else, being by tastes and 
habits, a gameslayer and not a game preserver." 

In a June letter to Schurz, Norris stated he had ar- 
ranged for Yount to resign at the end of the season and 
return to Cheyenne. Indeed, Yount tendered his resig- 
nation in his 1881 Report of Gamekeeper, citing the 
need to, "... resume pri\ate enterprises now requiring 
my personal attention." 

I I arry Yount's life and travels between his de- 
kJa parture from Yellowstone in the fall of 1881 
I I and 1912, when he settled in Wheatland, Platte 
County, Wyoming, approximateK 70 miles north of 
Cheyenne, is as yet largely undocumented." He lived 
for a time in Uva, Laramie County. Wyoming; pen- 
sion records in his file dated between June. 1891, and 
March, 1893, provide his place of residence. Harry re- 
portedly homesteaded on a tract of land at the foot of 
Sugar Loaf Mountain and subsequently sold it to H. 
M. Small. His obituary reported his nearly 40 years of 
prospecting in the Laramie Mountains (especially the 
Bluegrass District) where he, in conjunction with sev- 

eral partners de\eloped e\tcnsi\ e copper and graphite 
prospects. His ability to maintain a modest means of 
support in his later years is attributed to his successful 
development and sale of one claim there. Yount also 
discovered and developed a marble quarr\ west of 
Wheatland in the i890"s.'- He is reported to have 
maintained an interest in prospecting and mineral de- 
velopment up until his death. The Wheatland Times. 
May 22, 1924, issue, which reported ^'ount's death, 
indicates that on the day prior to his death, he had been 
seeking a ride into the hills west of Wheatland where 
he believed a gold outcrop lay. 

Yount died in Wheatland a little after noon on 
May 1 6, 1 924. According to witnesses, he had 
made his regular morning walk to downtown 
from his home in the west part of town, a "modest three 
room brick building," with a frame addition. As he 
was returning home, "while near the Lutheran church 
he was seen ... to sink to the earth where he soon ex- 
pired." Yount's death certificate gi\ es the cause of death 
as, "Suspended Heart Action" and gives his age as 88; 
the latter now appears to be in error and his age was 
more likely 85. In accordance with the provisions of 
his will, drawn up b\ Mr. Bryant, he was buried in the 
Lakeview Cemetery at Cheyenne, "... where all the old 
timers he used to know were buried."'"' His grave, 
marked b\ a military style marble headstone, reads 

Harry is gone but his name lives on. Yount (or 
Younts) Peak, a major peak in the .Absaroka Range 
located on the east side of the Continental Divide ap- 

-" Yount, Report of Gamekeeper. 

-'" Henneberger, 25. 

■' Bryant, 171. \oiint responded to Br\ant in l'?2? that he had 
lived in Wheatland for, "ten or twehe years." Pension records 
dated in May 1912, provide a Wheatland address. 

-'- IVyoming Platte Coioity Herirage. {^'healland: Platte County 
E.xtension ftoniemakers Council, 1981), 474-5. Harry S. Yount 
filed on 140 acres of land in Laramie County at least as early as 
1887. He later lost this through foreclosure where it was pur- 
chased by Henry Sturth at a sherilTs sale in .August. 1 895. \'ount 
and several partners received a patent March I. 1892. for the 
"Yount Marble Placer Mining Claim" in Sec. 3. T24N. R70W. 
Si.xth Principal Meridian in Laramie County, comprising appro.xi- 
mateh 156 acres. However. Yount had already deeded his one- 
eighth interest to Harry Crain in 1889. Overtime, principal own- 
ership of this claim also devolved to Sturth. .As of the I970's. the 
Yount Marble Placer Claim had been sold several times and fi- 
nally had been put into operation, producing crushed marble for 
landscaping, aquarium gravel and architecture. 

'- Bryant, 175. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

proximately 20 miles southeast of Yellowstone National 
Park's southeast comer is named in commemoration 
of this legendary frontiersman.'^ The headwaters of 
the Yellowstone River arise on its flanks and flow into 
the Park and Yellowstone Lake. 

I I arry Yount is credited with setting the stan- 
LhL dards for performance and service by which 
I I the public has come to judge the rangers of 
today. Now, he lends his name to a recognition pro- 
gram that honors NPS employees for the art and sci- 
ence of "rangering." The National Park Service, in 
1 994, established the Harry Yount Award, given to in- 
dividual employees whose, "... overall impact, record 
of accomplishments, and excellence in traditional ranger 
duties have created an appreciation for the park ranger 
profession on the part of the public and other members 
of the profession"^' 

" Chittenden stated that the peak commemorates Harry Yount. 
However, Webster's Biographical Dictionary, (1976 ed.), 1611, 
attributes the peak's name to George Concepcion Yount (1794- 
1865). George C. Yount, Harry's uncle, is credited with extended 
trapping trips into the west during the late 1820s, prior to his 
settling in California in the 1830s. Despite this contradiction, 
documents provided the author by the U.S. Geological Service, 
Office of Geographic Names, substantiate Chittenden's claim. 
Both Mae Urbanek, Wyoming Place Names (Boulder: Johnson 
Publishing, 1967), 223, and Orrin Bonney and Lorraine Bonney, 
Guide to the Wyoming Mountains and Wilderness Areas, (Chi- 
cago: Swallow Press, 1977), attribute the name of 12,165-foot 
Younts Peak to Harry. 

"^ USDI, NPS, 1995. Memorandum from Regional Director, 
Midwest Region to Superintendents, Midwest Region, dated Janu- 
ary 10, 1995. 6 p. The 1995 award recipient was Richard T. Gale, 
Deputy Chief Ranger of the National Park Service, Washington, 
D.C.; the 1996 recipient was Tommie Patrick Lee, Chief Ranger 
of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona-Utah, and the 
1997 recipient was Jim Brady, Superintendent of Glacier Bay 
National Park, Alaska. The 1998 Harry Yount Award recognized 
Mike Anderson, District Ranger at Cape Hatteras National Sea- 
shore, North Carolina. 

Ooldlloeks Revisited 

By R4»A»eniary O. Palniei* 

III the mid- 1960s, historian Francis Haines published an article titled 
"Goldilocks on the Oregon Trail" m which he reported that pioneers told 
theii" most colorfid stories years cifter an actnal event. But because Haines 
did not find similar experiences recorded m trail diaries, he assigned the 
tales to the realm of folklore.' 

"One such story which crops up again and again in 
various reminiscences but is never found in the jour- 
nals or diaries, might be called: Goldilocks on the Or- 
egon Trail," he wrote. In this story, Haines explained, 
Indians on the trail were fascinated with Goldilocks — 
a fair-skinned, golden-haired emigrant child three years 
old — and they wanted to trade an "entire herd" of horses 
for her. More often, though they offered tlve to twenty 
animals. Of course, the pioneer mother refused. - 

From his study of trail diaries and reminiscences — 
how many he did not specify — Haines learned that 
only in reminiscences did "Goldilocks" travel "with 
many a wagon train."' Sometimes Indians made sev- 
eral attempts to buy the female child. Other times a 
train captain teased Native Americans by agreeing to 
trade a white child or young woman for ponies. Ac- 
cording to Haines, "this joking offer by the captain of 
the train, or some other man, a motif which recurs 
frequently." In fact, about a third of the "Goldilocks" 
stories contained the joking friend or relative.'^ Haines 
concluded that the tales were based on two common 
Anglo-Saxon misconceptions: other people envied 
white children and Indians bought their wives. Was 
Haines' assessment of "Goldilocks" stories accurate? 

Although Francis Haines identified many 
"Goldilocks" tales in his selected reminiscences, only 
sixteen of 453 accounts of young people who crossed 
the plains noted such an incident. Since the exchange 
usually involved children or young women, it seems 
they 'night have included the experience more fre- 
quently in their writings. Fifteen of the sixteen docu- 
ments involved a female in the trade. Six writers stated 
the event happened to them, nine mentioned someone 
else in their train, and one recalled general information 

about buying a '"white squaw." Half of the sixteen ac- 
counts described the incident as a joke.'' 

From his unspecified number of diaries, Haines found 
only two which described Indians bargaining for chil- 
dren. Both were written in 1853. Celinda Hines wrote 
that an Indian woman on her way to the Shoshone coun- 
try offered to trade her baby for a skirt. In another di- 
ary Harriet Sherill Ward recorded that an Indian would 
not sell his pony but would swap it for Francis Ward, 
an emigrant girl of seventeen.^ Neither account men- 
tioned joking about the exchange. Of twenty-three dia- 
ries, letters, and journals by young pioneers, one dia- 
rist did record this t\pe of jesting. Fifteen-year-old Mary 
Eliza Warner wrote in her 1864 diary: "Uncle Chester 
traded Aunt Lizzie off for three ponies but she would 
not go." According to Aunt Lizzie's trail diary, Indi- 
ans bargained for her two different times. ^ 

Francis Haines, Sr., "Goldilocks on the Oregon Iraii." Idaho 
Yesterdays 9 (Winter hXi.^-l '566): 27-30. 

- Haines, 27-28 

-' Haines, 27-28. 

-• Haines, 28. 

-^ See Rosemary Gudmundson Palmer, '"Voices from the Trail: 
Young Pioneers on the Platte River Road Between 1 84 1 and 1 869," 
Ph.D. diss., University of Wyoming, 1997. This study analyzed 
2.-) diaries and letters and 430 reminiscences of children and \oung 
adolescents who crossed the plains on the Calilornia-Vlornion- 
Oregon Trails. 

'' Haines, 29; Celinda Hines, "Life and Death on the Oregon 
Trail," in Covered Wagon Women. 1 1 vols. Kenneth L. Holmes, 
ed., (Spokane: Arthur E. Clark and Co.. 198.3-1993), 6:120. Ac- 
cording to Haines, Celinda Hines said the Indian wanted to trade 
her baby for a "skirt." In the Covered H'agon ll'onien account, the 
word was "shirt." 

' Warner, "Diary," 8; Merrill J, Mattes, Plane River Road Nar- 
ratives. (Lirbana: University of Illinois Press. 1988), 587. 


Annals of Wyoming:Tke Wyoming History Journal 

John Unruh described the "Goldilocks" theme as "one 
of the basic components of reminiscent accounts." He 
reported that reminiscence writers "were fond of mag- 
nifying and even inventing such episodes"; however 
he believed 'not all such incidents can be relegated to 
the realm of folklore.' Unruh referred to a few trail 
diaries which described the event.^ In addition to those 
mentioned by Haines and Unruh, several other diarists 
recorded the experience. In 1850, Indians wanted to 
buy Angelina Farley's' child for ponies. "* Also in 1 850 
near Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Sophia Goodrich said that 
a Sioux "wanted to trade a horse for a white woman.""' 
On her way to Denver in 1 860, Helen Clark made three 
separate entries about Indians wanting to trade for her. 
West of Fort Kearny she wrote. 

This morning we go 3 miles from camp and meet 
Indians moving — come to the wagon and wanted to 
have a pony for ME, and Mother guessed as I was the 
only papoose she had she couldn't spare me. He also 
wanted to give a pony for Mrs. Wimple & Mr. W. 
Thought as she was the only one, he could not spare 
her conveniently today." 

Helen was twenty years old and single; Mrs. Wimple 
was near her age. Later, in the Cheyenne region, Helen 
said, "We saw some Indians that offered 5, 6 and 10 
ponies for me and Mrs. Wimple. One wanted to sell 
his pony & get her and whisky."'- Helen's final expe- 
rience included joking. 

Three Indians passed us today horseback and they 
stopped as they passed Mr. Kline, Mrs. Wimple and 
me, and Mr. Kline wanted to know what they would 
give for ME, and one, the chief, held up all his fingers 
and Mr. Kline asked him if he had three ponies, he 
gave assent and made room on behind for me when 
Mr. K. backed out.''' 

In an 1861 diary F. W. Blake wrote that two Sioux 
Indians "met our Train yesterday. They were mounted 
on ponies. One of them enraptured I suppose with the 
sight of the girls offered to barter his poney away for 
one of them, he wanted one with dark hair poor chap 
he was doomed to disappointment - he might have 
struck a bargain with some poor henpecked fellow."''' 

From these contemporary trail accounts, it appears 
that the "Goldilocks on the Oregon Trail" motif was 
based on fact, at least in origin. English folklorist 
George Gomme claimed that folk customs or beliefs 
had their roots in real historical events.'-'' What pro- 
duced the "Goldilocks" roots? Several historians pro- 
vide possible insight. James Axtell noted that during 
the colonial period Native Americans sometimes cap- 

tured and adopted white women and children to replace 
family members who died. Most of the young captives 
were carefiilly chosen to maximize their adjustment into 
Indian society. '* According to Peter Stern, Native 
American raiders of the Southwest wanted women and 
children captives, partly to replenish tribal numbers after 
losing them to war and disease. They knew that chil- 
dren under twelve assimilated more easily into a new 
culture.'^ John Moore wrote that Cheyennes captured 
and traded women and children; they also intermarried 
to improve trade relations and strengthen military alli- 
ances. By 1 880, adoption and remarriage had formed 
the bulk of the Cheyenne nation. ' ^ Royal Hassrick stated 
that the polygamous Sioux stole wives and adopted 
children. If a family member died, parents sometimes 
asked to adopt someone else's youngster as a replace- 
ment. The adoption was formalized by feasting, per- 
forming a giveaway ceremony, and presenting a horse 
to the birth parents.'^ These statements show that some 
Native American tribes were accustomed to assimilat- 
ing women and children from other tribes and cultures 
into their own. As a result, "Goldilocks" incidents could 
have occurred on the emigrant trail. 

In his essay titled "Folklore and Reality in the Ameri- 
can West," Barre Toelken stated that "Goldilocks" is a 
widespread legend in the Pacific Northwest and to an 

* John D. Unruh, Jr., The Plains Across: The Overland Emi- 
grants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1860. (Urbana: 
University of Illinois Press, 1979), 166-167. 

"^Mattes, 251. 

'" Sophia Lois Goodridge, "The Mormon Trail, 1850," in 
Holmes, 2 (1990), 223. 

" John R. Evans, ed., Tuo Diaries: The Diary and Journal of 
Calvin Perry Clark. Together with the Diaiy of His Sister Helen 
E. Clark (Denver: The Denver Public Library. 1962). 26. All 
quotes have been copied as they were originally written, includ- 
ing any grammatical and mechanical errors. 

'- Evans, Two Diaries, 38. 

'^ Evans, Two Diaries, 39. 

'■♦F.W. Blake, "Diary, 1861," April to December, 1 vol., manu- 
script, L.D.S. Church Library/Archives August 10. 

'5 William Lynwood Montell, The Saga ofCoe Ridge: A Study 
in Oral Histoiy (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1 970), 

"■James Axtell, The Invasion Within: The Contest of Cultures 
in Colonial North America (New York: Oxford University Press, 
1985), 304, 306, 315. 

'^ Peter Stern, "The White Indians of the Borderlands," Jour- 
nal of the Southwest 33 ( 1991 ): 266, 269, 270, 281 . 

'^ John H. Moore, The Cheyenne Nation: A Social and Demo- 
graphic Histoiy (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987), 
186, 189, 262-263, 297, 318-319. 

" Royal B. Hassrick, The Sioux: Life and Customs of a War- 
rior Society (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964), 43, 
47, 110-111, 297. 

Spring 1998 


o««BtSi,( .if^i .,--«.■; x,j((|«»»^,-5S<5l?fK. 

extent throughout the West. In fact, families of pioneer 
descent have often shared tales about Grandma almost 
being sold to the Indians. Toelken identitled these 
retellings as "culturally created truth."" Legends like 
these help socialize people and place them in a cultural 
value system. Toelken wondered if the reality of 
"Goldilocks"" was common or if it only happened to a 
few families on the trail. Like Francis Haines, Toelken 
questioned the practice since family diaries did not 
confmn familx legends.-" Since only sixteen of 453 
childhood reminiscences mentioned "Goldilocks"" ex- 
periences, the actual practice probably occurred less 
frequently than family legends suggest. Also, accord- 
ing to the L.D.S. Church Historical Department pio- 
neer database search, only one diary and seventeen remi- 
niscences of more than 2,000 tlrst-person accounts de- 
scribed such an incident.- ' The "Goldilocks"" story may 
be more prevalent in second-hand retellings and fam- 
ily legends than in first-person documents. 

The credibility of this motif in reminiscences is af- 
fected by who participated as "Goldilocks"": the writer 
of the reminiscence, someone else in the train, a per- 
son days ahead on the trail, or a pioneer who did not 
record the incident but a descendant who did. More- 
over, credibility decreases as time and distance between 
the writer and the event increase.-- Memories change 

as indi\ iduals recall the past, for a recollection is a re- 
construction, not a reproduction, of reality. Since a 
person is influenced by life's experiences, the circum- 
stances under which something is remembered, as well 
as audience and purpose, influence what will be re- 
called and recorded.-"' Most of the 430 childhood remi- 
niscences were written fifty to eighty years after the 
trek; as a result, time alienated the participants from 
the actual event. Some writers filled in or discarded 
memories; others infused them with adult vision, nos- 

-" Barre Toelken, "Folklore and Realit\ in the .American West," 
in Sense of Place: American Regmiial Cidfures. Barbara .'Mien 
and Thomas J. Schlereth. eds.. (Le.xington: L'niversitv of Ken- 
tucky Press, IQW). 18-21. 

-' Melvin L. Bashore and Linda L. Haslam, "Mormon Pioneer 
Companies Crossing the Plains ( 1847-1868) Narratives: Guide to 
Sources in Utah Libraries and Archives," folio text-searching 
database. Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City. Utah, 19Q7 (hereafter cited as 
L.D.S. Church Library/Archives). 

-- Jacques Barzun and Henry F. Graff, The Modem Researcher 
5th ed. (Fort Worth: Harcoiirl Brace Jovanovich College Publish- 
ers, 1992), 158. 

--' Steven Rose, "Two Types of Truth: When Is a Memory Real. 
When Is It Not, and How Can Anyone Tell?" New York Times 
Book Review, 26 February 1995, 26; Steven Rose, The Making of 
Memory: From Molecules to Mind(Ue\\ York: Doubleday, 1992), 


Annals ot Wyommg:Tke Wyoming History Jc 

talgia, or information obtained from research, of the 
fifteen reminiscences that mentioned a "Goldilocks" 
incident, almost all of the pioneer writers were between 
63 and 81 years old — the oldest was 87. Yet most of 
the emigrants were between ten and fifteen when they 
crossed the plains — the youngest was six years old. 

^^ ince the past is a comfortable place to visit, 

1^^ particularly with family members, one 
individuafs recollection may become a shared memory. 
Pioneer families often gathered together and spun tales 
of long ago. Sometimes they relied on each other for 
confinnation of what they remembered. "We need other 
people's memories both to confirm our own and to give 
them endurance," said David Lowenthal. Because remi- 
niscences are usually shared orally before being re- 
corded, they may merge into collective memory. Ac- 
cording to Lowenthal, collective memory results when 
individuals 'revise personal components to fit the col- 
lectively remembered past."-'* Francis Haines noted that 
Oregon settlers repeated trail experiences through an- 
nual meetings and publications of pioneer societies, 
newspaper accounts, and interviews.--'' Emigrants on 
other trails did the same. Gatherings of the Daughter 
of Utah Pioneers and Society of California Pioneers 
kept their own stories alive. -^ Sometimes pioneers 
embellished or added to their experiences as the years 

Harriet Sanders, for example, kept a diary during the 
trek and decades later composed a memoir with topics 
and details not found in her original writings.-^ 

From the fifteen reminiscences of 430 young people 
who traveled the Platte River route, seven "Goldilocks" 
stories occurred on the way to Oregon, five on the road 
to Utah, and three on the California Trail. Although 
there were twice as many Mormon accounts in the to- 
tal documents, a greater percentage of Oregon Trail 
travelers mentioned "Goldilocks" incidents Perhaps this 
corroborates with Haines' assessment of large num- 
bers of Oregonians discussing them. Ten of the fifteen 
experiences took place before or in Wyoming. Three 
of these accounts referred directly to the Sioux tribe, 
and one identified the Cheyennes. This agrees with what 
the historians said about these tribes wanting to cap- 
ture or trade for women and children. 

The more realistic and unembellished "Goldilocks" 
reminiscences were the unpublished ones. Of course, 
writers may have invented or embroidered some of the 
stories, especially if they reported second-hand infor- 
mation. Eight of the fifteen childhood accounts de- 
scribed the experience happening to someone besides 

the writer. Harrison Sperry only touched upon the topic 
when he said, "One day while we were traveling along, 
there was a large bank of Indians came to our camp 
and wanted to buy a white squaw. 

They also wanted whiskey and sugar, but we had no 
white squaw or whiskey for sale."-^ Mosiah Hancock 

When we got within about two days travel of Laramie, 
we just about got into some trouble with a large com- 
pany of Sioux Indians. John Alger started in fun to 
trade a 16-year-old girl to a young Chief for a horse. 
But the Chief was in earnest! We got the thing settled, 
however, and were permitted to go without the loss of 

According to the diary of John D. Lee who traveled 
in Hancock's train, John Alger was a real person who 
emigrated with their company. Lee mentioned Alger's 
name but did not describe the experience Hancock re- 
lated. In a diary entry at Ancient Bluff Ruins, Lee noted 
a band of Sioux camped near them He wrote that 

visits were made by this band of Sioux. They had a 
large American Flag which they hoisted. Returned by 
a Flag of Truce from the cos. who gave them Some 
little presants & some thing to Eat. They seemed per- 
fectly Friendly & Harmless, wanted to trade for Some 
thing to eat. After smoking the Pipe by thier request a 
Letter of commendation was given them.^o 

Why did Lee ignore the "Goldilocks" incident in his 
diary? Was he doing something else when Hancock 
witnessed the scene, or did Hancock create the tale years 
later? If John Alger, the story's antagonist, recorded 
the experience as well, its credibility would be more 
reliable. Even so, Mosiah Hancock did not fictionalize 
his retelling by adding flowery or unrealistic details to 

-■* David Lowenthal, The Past Is a Foreign Country (Cambridge: 
Cambridge University Press, 1985), 196. 

-5 Haines, "Goldilocks," 27. 

-* See Palmer, "Voices," 32. 

-^ Clyde A. Milner 11, "The Shared Memory of Montana Pio- 
neers," Montana: The Magazine of Western History 37 (Winter 
1987): 2-4. 

^* Harrison Sperry, Sr., "A Short History of the Life of Harrison 
Sperry Sr.," MS 722, L.D.S. Church Library/Archives, 4 

-' Mosiah Lyman Hancock, "The Life Story of Mosiah Lyman 
Hancock," Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 
Provo, Utah, 26 (hereafter cited as BYU Special Collections). 

'" Robert Glass Cleland and Juanita Brooks, ed., A Mormon 
Chronicle: The Diaries of John D. Lee. 1848-1876 2 vols. (San 
Marino, CA: The Huntington Library, 1955)1; 55-56. 

gpring 1998 

Several other young pioneers also recalled 
unembellished "Goldilocks" experiences about some- 
one else in their train. In a published interview, Mrs. 
M. A. Gentry remembered hearing "many strange sto- 
ries of queer bargains made by the travelers with the 
redmen." But because of what happened to her young 
married sister, she was willing to give credence to them. 
Mrs. Gentry wrote. 

One day a chief came to our camp with five ponies, 
which he offered in exchange for my sister. Naturally, 
she was much frightened, and climbed into the wagon 
in haste and buttoned down the canvas flaps as tightly 
as she could. I was asleep at the time, and have no 
personal knowledge of the episode, and do not know 
how the men managed to decline the proposal without 
giving offense to the old chief -^' 

Mrs. Gentr\ was honest enough to tell the interviewer 
she did not know what actually happened when she 
could have embellished the story with shared or col- 
lective memory. Surely Mrs. Gentry's sister repeated 
the tale to family and other pioneers. 

Olive McMillan Huntington's experience may have 
come from shared memory since she did not say what 
she actually remembered as an eight-year-old pioneer. 
Her mother most likely enjoyed telling it. When the 
family crossed the Missouri River, they fell behind the 
other wagons. That evening they set up camp, and two 
Indians paid them a visit. One of the men held Olive's 
one-year-old sister, and the child played with his beads. 
This pleased him so much that he asked to buy her. 
Mother shook her head but when her attention w as taken 
from him he put sister up behind him and began back- 
ing away from the camp. He was within a few feet of 
some when mother saw him and calling to the other 
members of the party. He dropped sister and ran into 
the woods. '- 

Annie Taylor Dee recalled as an eight-year-old on 
her way to Utah that 
two big Indian chiefs ... wanted to trade two ponies for 
my cousin, Annie Maddock. She was a nice looking 
girl about seventeen years old. Of course father said, 
"No," and she hid in the wagon and we traveled on. 
The Indians did not make any trouble for us, however, 
as we feared they might. That was one ride that Annie 
got, and maybe the only one, as we were all supposed 
to walk.-'^ 

These "Goldilocks" stories involving other individu- 
als seem realistic based on the fact that the pioneers 
did not make a spectacle of their recollections. Instead 


of exaggerating and fictionalizing, they stated what 
happened and moved on with their memories. Annie 
Taylor Dee's comment about Indians not causing 
trouble "as we feared they might" may have provided 
impetus for pioneers to magnify these situations as years 
went by and tales were told and retold. 

While nine of the fifteen pioneers reminisced 
about "Goldilocks" occurring to someone else, 
six said it happened directly to them. Because these 
stories were not second-hand tellings, their credibility 
increases, of course, they would be more believable if 
the young pioneers had written diary entries the day 
the incidents took place. In one of the six reminiscences, 
however. Belle Redman Somers was only six years old. 
and she did not record what she remembered person- 
ally. Most likely her mother kept the stor\ ali\e, for 
Belle related the tale from her mother's point of view. 
Two Sioux Indians begged Belle's mother to swap the 
child for a pony. 

My mother was thoroughly frightened and held me 
closely to her side. The two Indians then retired to the 
rear end of the Train, and while one sat on his horse 
and waited, the other Indian moved forward rapidly to 
our wagon and reaching forward made a quick ino\ e- 
ment to grab me. 

Mother's frightened screams gave the alarm, while 
at the same time the Indian rapidly Joined his compan- 
ion, swung on his pony and dashed aw ay at top speed. 
The men of the Train followed in hot pursuit but failed 
to capture the Indian.'** 

Belle's trail experience was published in a Califor- 
nia newspaper when she was eighty-two years old. The 
"Goldilocks" memory belonged to her mother. 

Martha Gay Masterson recalled at age thirteen al- 
most being sold to Indians. Her father jokingly asked 
some men who came to their camp to sell ponies "how 
many ponies they would give for Mamie or I." They 
offered "a number of their best," but Martha's father 
explained he was only teasing. The Indians "got angry 
and we got alarmed and ran and hid in the wagons. 
Father could not make them understand it was a joke. 

" Jennie E. Ross, "A Child's Experiences in "4')." Overland 
Monthly 63 (1914); 302. 

-"Olive McMillan Huntington, "Tells of E.xperiences Crossing 
the Plains," Cowlitz Count}- HistoncLiI Quarterly 12 (February 
1071): 1. 

'^ .Annie Taylor Dee. "Memories ofa Pioneer" (N.p., n.d.). 13. 

"'■' Belle Redman Somers, "Crossing the Plains in a Covered 
Wagon in 1849," The Argonaut (August 20, 1025): 3. 


Annals of Wyoming:Tlie Wyoming History Journal 

He fed them and tried to talk them into a better humor. 
He never asked another Indian how many ponies he 
would give for one of us."^-"" Martha's father probably 
helped supply the details as well as perpetuate the tale 
through the years. Elisha Brooks crossed the plains at 
the age of eleven. At eighty-one he recalled that Native 
Americans "were anxious to buy white children, offer- 
ing a pony for a boy and two for a girl; but no mother 
wished to sell her children at that price, though our 
teamster tried to dispose of me in this way, claiming 
that was more than I was worth."'*' His was the only 
account that mentioned a boy being offered to the Indi- 

In an unpublished interview, Margaret West Irvin re- 
called that Indians sometimes visited their camp. The 
eleven-year-old girl was frightened "because the Indi- 
ans were craz\ over my red hair and several times of- 
fered to trade a pony for me. When I would see them 
coming, my mother would hide me in the back of the 
wagon and throw a shawl over my head."^ '' These young 
people did not embellish the "Goldilocks" experience; 
instead, it became one of many trail incidents. 

In 1 856, eleven-year-old Ellen Perks Johnstun emi- 
grated from England, then walked to Utah alone in a 
Mormon handcart company. A Scottish teamster in her 
party had nothing to trade for a pair of moccasins and, 
being bothered by Indians, he "thought to get rid of 
them by saying he would trade me for them. The Indi- 
ans w ere very pleased and would not change the trade. 
These Indians followed us for three days and I had to 
be hidden to keep them from stealing me."-'^ One won- 
ders where Ellen was concealed since the group pulled 
handcarts, and only a few supply wagons traveled with 
them. Because her family was not with her on the trek, 
Ellen could not build shared memory with them. Yet 
when she recorded the incident, she did not embellish 

In contrast to the succinct descriptions just men- 
tioned, Susan Johnson Martineau wrote both pub- 
lished and unpublished accounts of almost becoming 
an Indian bride at the age of fourteen. In the published 
version she added dialogue, embellishment, flowery 
description, and several days to her tale. In the unpub- 
lished memoir Susan said. 

One night we camped near a band of Cheyennes. The 
follow ing day, being rainy, we remained in camp. The 
Indians, old and young, came into camp trading moc- 
casins and robes. Among the rest was a fine looking 
young Indian who wanted to buy a squaw, offering some 

fine ponies, Andy Kelley asked him who he wanted, 
and I was pointed out as his choice on account of my 
dark eyes and rosy cheeks. Kelly finally made a trade 
for five ponies, a buffalo robe, and the silver ornaments 
on his hair. In the evening he came with his ponies. 
Kelley told him it was all a joke — that the girl belonged 
to another family. This made the Indian mad; he said a 
trade was a trade. Then Captain Markham came and 
explained to the Indian that Kelley was no good and 
had no right to do as he had done. The Indian finally 
went away very indignant. 

By piecing Susan's two stories together, we learn 
that Kelly was a soldier who had deserted from Fort 
Kearny and joined the Mormon train. He soon revealed 
his true character by stealing some of the emigrants' 
clothes and later worked on Salt Lake City streets with 
a ball and chain attached to his leg. Susan continued 
her "Goldilocks" tale in the unpublished version with: 

That night there was a high wind which blew down 
Aunt Sarah's tent. The tent was placed facing our 
wagon with the back toward a deep ravine full of wil- 
lows. .Aunt Sarah was holding the front tent pole and I 
the back while two men were driving stakes at the side. 
The night was pitch black, lighted at intervals by flashes 
of lightening. Suddenly I felt strong arms lift me to the 
back of a pony. I gave a terrified scream. At that in- 
stant a tJash of lightening revealed tile situation to the 
men who came to the rescue. I slid off the horse's back 
which the Indian mounted and escaped. He had been 
hiding in the ravine waiting his chance for revenge, 
and but for the flash of lightening I would have been 
carried off An extra guard was placed for the night, 
but when morning came everything that was loose, such 
as frying pans, skillets, and other cooking utensils which 
had been put under the wagons, had disappeared, leav- 
ing the company short of these articles. The band of 
Cheyennes disappeared and were seen no more by the 

According to Susan's published story in the Mor- 
mon Young Woman 's Journal, the Cheyenne was ap- 
proximately twenty years old. The deserting soldier told 
the Indian who frequented their camp, "You may have 
her for five horses, five buffalo robes, and some dried 

'■^ Lois Barton, ed.. One Woman 's West {Eugene, Oregon; Spen- 
cer Butte Press, 1986), 37. 

'* Elisha Brooks, A Pioneer Mother of California (San Fran- 
cisco: Harr Wagner Publishing, 1922), 22. 

-" Abbott Adams, "Covered Wagon Days As Related by Mar- 
garet Elizabeth Irvin," 21. MSS 1508, Oregon Historical Society, 

Spring 1998 

meat, and two antelope skins." The amount bartered, 
however, was slightly different in the two accounts. 
After the Cheyenne agreed to the sale, he informed them 
he would come "one sleep" and bring the pay. Many 
were the mock congratulations showered upon the 
bride-to-be and requests for invitations to the wedding, 

much to the annoyance of the prospective The 

next morning affairs assumed a serious aspect. The 
Cheyenne appeared early in the morning with the 
horses... and demanded his bride. 

When he was told it was only a joke, the Indian was 
more determined to obtain his bride. He had brought 
his goods "'and would ha\ e her, or the company would 
be sorry." After being "absolutely denied," he "went 
away in furious rage, with dire threats of revenge." The 
train members feared attack, and they kept their guns 
ready to tight. A few days later "a terrible tempest of 
rain, hurricane, thunder and lightning came upon us." 
The darkness was "like that of Egypt," except for in- 
termittent flashes of light. The Indian attempted to steal 
his bride but was "foiled of his prey," and he ""dashed 
down among the willows and was gone in an instant." 
In this published account Susan added phrases which 
built suspense and moved the plot along, but she ig- 
nored details such as having pans and cooking utensils 
disappear from camp. Her purpose and audience in the 
journal article were to promote faith among young 
Mormon women. She acknowledged that the Lord 
saved her ""by a single flash of light," and she added, 
"'How wonderful are the ways of the Lord!"*' 

These two accounts of the same event show that 
memories can change depending upon audience, pur- 
pose, and the circumstances under which they are re- 
membered. Two other young people in Susan's com- 
pany briefly recalled the journey, but neither mentioned 
associations with Native Americans. Only Thomas 
Forsyth wrote, ""We passed lots of Indians on our w ay 
But The\ never gave us any trouble." Cholera \\ as the 
main topic of discussion in both documents.'*' 

Of the fifteen childhood ""Goldilocks" reminis- 
cences, nine were published during the 
pioneer's lifetime. Five writers, including Susan 
Martineau, exaggerated their tale. In a published inter- 
view Catherine Thomas Morris at the age of eighty- 
seven had created quite a yam to tell. Her father was 
captain over 1 00 wagons, many children including ten- 
year-old Catherine, and twenty-five young men who 
drove the teams. Before the company parted for Cali- 
fornia and Oregon, a ""young chap, along about 20 or 
thereabouts," named Steve Devenish traveled with 


them. He was jolly, likable, and ""a great hand at jok- 
ing." Naturally, all the young ladies liked him. 
Catherine recalled that 

some Indians came to our wagon train and, like most 
Indians, they were very anxious to get hold of some of 
the white girls for ui\es. When Steve found what the 
chief wanted he pointed to one of the prettiest girls in 
the bunch and asked the chief what he would pay for 
her. The chief otTcred ten horses. Steve and the chief 
bargained back and forth and finally the chief raised 
his bid to 2(1 horses. Ste\e said, "Sold. She's yours." 

Of course, the young men and women considered 
this great fun until the chief returned the next day with 
the horses and demanded the girl. 

Steve explained that he was joking, that while people 
didn't sell their women for horses, that a wiute man 
didn't have to pay anything for a wife and sometimes 
she was dear at that price. The Indian couldn't see the 
joke. He became angry and demanded that Ste\ e carry 
out his bargain. Finallv the girl's father and my father, 
the captain of the train, sent the Indian about his busi- 
ness and we went on. "*- 

This was not the end of the storv , however. Catherine 
continued, ""That night the Indians swooped down on 
us and stampeded our stock." While the men were 
searching for the animals, the Indians "met thein with 
a volley of arrows" and badly injured one of them. 
Unable to recover the stock, the company was tbrced 
to abandon half of its wagons. ""Mother had to leave all 
of her treasured possessions" except one keepsake, a 
tlatiron which she had received as a wedding gift. The 
men bumed the fifty wagons so the Indians could not 
take them. 

Meanwhile, the girl's father was going to kill 
Devenish. Because of the practical joke, the father had 
lost animals, a wagon, and most of the family's heir- 
looins. Instead, the men in the company decided to 
banish Devenish from the train, and the girls cried be- 
cause they liked him. Now with fewer wagons, every 

'* Roberta F. Clayton collection, "Biographies of 1Q5 Pioneer 
Arizona Women," MSS 715, box 2: 4, BYU Special Collections. 

''' Susan Ellen Johnson, "Record of Susan Ellen Johnson," cop- 
ied by BYU Library, lQ.s6, BYU Special Collections, 7-8. 

""' Susan E. J. Martineau, ".Almost an Indian Bride," )'miiig 
Woman's Journal 18 (June 1Q07), 264-265. 

■*' Thomas R. Forsyth, "Pioneer Life of T. R. Forsyth." MS 
1969, L.D.S. Church Library /.Archives; "Joseph Campbell." Utah 
Pioneer Biographies 44 vols. (1935-1964) 7:1, loaned b\ the Utah 
State Historical Society and typed by the Genealogical Society, 
Salt Lake City, Utah. 

""- Mike Helm, ed.. Conversations with Pioneer Women hy Fred 
Lockley (Eugene, Oregon: Rainy Day Press, 1981), 135-136. 


Annals of Wyoming:Tke Wyoming History Journal 

child over ten was forced to walk. Catherine remem- 
bered, "I was one of the ones that had to walk.'"*^ Her 
family settled in Oregon. This tale fits the exaggerated 
pattern Francis Haines found common in Oregon Trail 
^^ o do three accounts of men who traveled to 
^^ Oregon and later published their childhood 
memories. Joaquin Miller prefaced his story with his 
mother's preconceived notions about Indians. He said 
that Native American women west of the Missouri 

were very fond of the white children and all the time 
wanted to touch and fondle them. Mother seemed afraid 
they would steal her little girl. She had read a yellow 
book telling all about how Indians would steal little 
girls! The Indian women were all the time trying to 
lay their hands on my little brother Jimmy's great shock 
of frouzy yellow hair, but he would run away from 
them and hide under the wagon. 

After Miller's train passed Fort Hall and crossed the 
desert to Oregon, "a friendly Indian chief on a "fine 
spotted horse" asked Mr. Waggoner, a member of their 
train, what he would give for his beautiful daughter. 
"The Indian was told in jest that he would take ten 
beautiful spotted horses, like the one he rode." So the 

dashed off and the same day overtook us with the ten 
horses and a horde of warriors, and wanted the girl, of 
course, everybody protested, but the chief would not 
be put off The Oregonians that had been sent out to 
meet us were appealed to. It was a very serious matter, 
they said. The chief was an honest man and meant ex- 
actly what he said, and had a right to the girl. The 
majority agreed, and thought the best way out of it 
was to let papa marry them. This seems strange now, 
but it was the Indian custom to buy wives, and as we 
were in the heart of a warlike people, we could not 
safely trifle with the chief 

The girl was about to throw herself in the river from 
the steep bluff where we were, at which the chief, see- 
ing her terror, relented, and led his warriors off, scom- 
ftilly refiasing what presents were offered him for his 

Joaquin Miller did not record what he remembered 
about the encounter or even if he was present. Either 
his story came from collective memory or he invented 
it because it contains elements of a folktale. As an adult. 
Miller became a famous poet, and Bret Harte called 
him "the greatest liar the world has ever known." Miller 

"wrote 90% fact and 90% fiction" and perplexed read- 
ers, critics, biographers, and historians.'*^ 

Also emigrating to Oregon as a young boy, George 
Waggoner published a small book in which he described 
a "Goldilocks" tale about his sister. Along the Snake 
River, his company had "a genuine scare." Indians came 
to camp, "and one young warrior took a fancy to my 
sister Frances, and asked father how many horses it 
would take to buy her." At the time Frances was eigh- 
teen years old. 

Father answered, with a laugh, that she was worth ten 
spotted ponies, as she was a very good cook and had 
long, beautiflil hair, and moreover, already had Indian 
moccasins on her feet. The young lover took the whole 
thing in earnest and went away. An hour later he re- 
turned with a band of spotted ponies, and, reinforced 
by a dozen comrades, demanded his bride. His wrath 
knew no bounds when told that father was only joking. 
He was a warrior of fame with a battle name a yard 
long... and would stand no such foolishness; he had 
bought a wife and was going to have her, or his people 
would murder us all. He gave us until sundown to de- 
cide whether we were going to treat him right or not... 
[DJuring the evening several hundred of the red ras- 
cals came into camp, and all declared we should com- 
plete the bargain and give up the girl, or we would all 
be murdered. 

The emigrants begged for more time, so the Indians 
agreed to make the exchange the following evening. 
Meanwhile, "women and children were in tears" and 
"the men looked pale and anxious." As the hours passed, 
other trains joined the frazzled company. Soon fifty- 
six men with guns were ready to fight. The next evening 
one hundred warriors in war paint approached the pio- 
neers. "The young chief rode forward, and in a loud 
voice, demanded his bride, on penalty of death" if the 
emigrants did not meet his terms. But George 
Waggoner's father was now perturbed, and his "Jack- 
sonian blood flashed in his face." With fifty-five rifles 
backing him, he knocked the brave to the ground "and 
gave him a most unmerciful kicking and drubbing," 
yet "not an arrow flew, nor a shot was fired." The Indi- 
ans went away, but the emigrants prepared themselves 
for fijture attacks.'*^ 

^^ Helm, Conversations, 136-138. 

'•'' Joaquin Miller, Overland in a Covered Wagon (New York: 
D. Appleton and Company, 1930), 73, 77-78. 

*^ Margaret Guilford-Kardell, "Joaquin Miller: Fact and Fic- 
tion," The Californians 9 (November 1991): 26. 

''* George Waggoner, Stories of Old Oregon (Salem: States- 
man Publishing Co., 1905), 12-14. 

Spring 1998 

This recollection contains the suspense and detail of 
sensational fiction. No diary identified thus far de- 
scribed violence, attack, or retaliation by Native Ameri- 
cans when they could not buy "Goldilocks" on the trail. 
Even when overlanders joked about a trade and backed 
out, diary accounts did not mention war or the threat of 
it. Indians did not return with many ponies and "hordes 
of warriors" to claim their prize. But Waggoner 5 remi- 
niscence is only one of fifteen that included such vio- 

One aspect of the "Goldilocks" recollections by 
Joaquin Miller and George Waggoner needs further 
research. Did the two families cross the plains in the 
same company? If so, they probably described the same 
event. Both pioneers journeyed to Oregon in 1 852, and 
Miller said the experience happened to a "Mr. 
Wagoner's" daughter. In other words, both used the 
name of Waggoner but with slightly different spell- 
ings. Miller wrote that "Mr. Wagoner" joked about trad- 
ing his beautiful daughter to an Indian chief for "ten 
spotted horses." George Waggoner noted that his fa- 
ther joked to a young warrior about exchanging "ten 
spotted ponies" for his daughter Frances. In both rec- 
ollections the > oung Indian returned the same da_\' with 
the animals and "a horde of warriors" or "a dozen com- 
rades." In both stories the young Indian was disgruntled 
when he could not obtain his bride. Yet while Waggoner 
described physical retaliation by Native Americans, 
Miller only noted that the girl considered suicide. Al- 
though the Waggoner family began their trek on April 
2 1 and Miller's party started on May 1 5, they may have 
joined each other along the trail, then separated in Or- 
egon since one crossed the Cascade Mountains and the 
other traveled along the Columbia Ri\er. Perhaps 
Miller, who published his trail experiences in 1930, 
borrowed parts of his tale from Waggoner, who wrote 
in 1905. 

Fifty years after going to Oregon as a young boy, 
George Himes spoke at the annual Oregon Pio- 
neer Association. In his address, Himes embellished 
his "Goldilocks" tale with adjectives and flowery de- 
scription. He told fellow pioneers that while his com- 
pany was camped near the Umatilla River, 

a number of Indians rode up, all well mounted on a 
number of the most beautiful ponies that I ever saw up 
to that time, all dressed in gay costume with feathers 
and fringes abounding. One of the Indians, the leader 
of the rest, whom we afterwards found out was the 
noted Walla Walla chief, Peu-Peu-Mox-Mox, came 
near our camp, and seemed especially interested in my 


baby sister, then ten months old, who had beautiful 
golden hair. 1 was taking care of the little girl at the 
time and noticed that the Indian eagerly v\atched e\- 
ery movement I made in trying to amuse the child. 
Nothing was thought of the Indian's visit that night, 
but the next morning, in some unaccountable way, hun- 
dreds of Indian ponies were found grazing near the 
camp.... The Indians were dri\ing the ponies toward 
the camp under orders from Chief Peu-Peu-Mox-Mox 
who proposed to trade them for the little red-haired 
girl. This infonnation was conveyed to my mother by 
Mr. Sarjent, and the offer of the great chief was re- 
spectfully declined, much to his apparent sorrow, as 
he rode away followed by his body guard, meanv\hile 
striking his breast and... [mjeaning that his heart was 
very sick."" 

At least George Himes placed himself in the 
"Goldilocks" scene, which is more than what Miller 
and Waggoner did in their retellings. Still, this story 
has the folklore quality noted by Francis Haines. 

Was Francis Haines' assessment of "Goldilocks" in- 
cidents correct? These experiences did crop up in remi- 
niscences, and frequentU w ith the joking offer, but not 
to the extent he suggested. According to the 453 child- 
hood and more than 2.000 L.D.S. Church Historical 
Department accounts, not as many reminiscences in- 
cluded "Goldilocks" tales as Haines claimed. Because 
the topic was mentioned in several diaries, scholars 
cannot credit all such .stories to folklore. The motif prob- 
abh had its basis in reality. The most embellished 
"Goldilocks" experiences usually occurred in published 
recollections recorded years later. Some reminiscences 
were greatly exaggerated while others ma> have been 
invented, for some pioneers became great storytellers 
as the years went by. The diarists who described 
"Goldilocks" incidents did not embellish them nor did 
the\' elaborate on warring Indians when a trade was not 
completed. Although Native Americans were usually 
serious about the exchange, white people often joked 
in an Anglo-Saxon way which gave reason to misun- 
derstanding between the two cultures. 

One fallacy with Haines' article was the wax in which 
he generalized. He did not specify how many diaries 
and reminiscences he studied to form his conclusions. 
Moreover, he said the "Goldilocks" motif did not oc- 
cur in diaries. A few accounts have been found that 

■'"' George H. Himes, ".Annual .Address: .\n Account of Cross- 
ing the Plains in 1853. and of the First Trip h\ Immigrants Through 
the Cascade Mountains, via Natchess Pass." Transactions of the 
Oregon Pioneer Association, (1907). 144-145. 


Annals or Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

mention it. Also, Haines stated that "Goldilocks" sto- 
ries crop up again and again in reminiscences. From 
the tlrst-person accounts considered here, they do not 
seem as common as Haines purported. 

Teasing about another culture may have contributed 
to real or contrived "Goldilocks" stories. Mary Ann 
Parker Wilgus remembered that her older sister 
"Emaretta had red hair and blue eyes and Father used 
to tease her by telling her the Indians liked red haired 
girls, so she always hid when she saw Indians for fear 
they would steal her."'^^ 

Whether "Goldilocks" stories were real, embellished, 
or created, one cannot discount them all and relegate 

them to the realm of folklore. Native Americans have 
their own colorful versions of "Goldilocks" stories — 
and they may not all be folklore either. 

■"* Mary Ann Parker Wilgus "Mary Ann Parker, Reynolds, Van 
Norman, Wilgus," Sutter Yuba Diggers Digest 5, (July-Decem- 
ber 1978): 1 12. Only thirty to forty years ago on a reservation in 
Eastern Utah, white adults told their children. "If you don't be- 
have, ril give you to the Indians." But turn-about is fair as well. 
One day a white woman was in a J.C. Penney's store in Roosevelt, 
and she overheard a mother from the Ute tribe say to her misbe- 
having child, "Suh, I give you to a white lady." Karen S. Heaton, 
interview with author. Rock Springs, Wyoming, 10 February 1998. 

Rosemary G. Palmer was granted her doctorate 
from the University of Wyoming in 1997. A long- 
time resident of Rock Springs, she currently is a 
member of the faculty, Boise State University, 
Boise. Idaho. Her doctoral dissertation, from 
which this article is derived, "Voices from the 
Trail: Young Pioneers on the Platte River Road 
Between 1841 and 1869, " was an examination of 
children 's lives and memories of Oregon Trail 

Book R 

e Views 

Edited In' Carl Halllierg 

Lakota Noon: The Indian Narrative of Custer's 
Defeat, by Gregory F. Michno. Missoula: Mountain 
Press Publishing Company, 1997. xvi + 336 pages. 
Illustrations, maps, notes, hihliography. index. 
Cloth. $36.00: paper. SIS.OO. 

It is hard to convey in a simple review just how good 
this book is, but it may be the best book every written 
about the famous battle of the Little Bighorn. In Lakota 
Noon. Gregory F. Michno has gathered together 
approximately sixty Indian narratives and produced a 
highl} detailed reconstruction of the lighting which 
allows indi\ idual warriors to tell their stories through a 
chronological timeline often-minute intervals. So far 
as I know, this is the First time that any scholar has 
attempted such a compilation. Michno's results are 
astounding and will cause historians to reconsider some 
long held conclusions about the battle. 

Every western historian with even a passing interest 
in Custer and the Little Bighorn has known about the 
Indian accounts. But these Indian histories posed 
almost insurmountable difFiculties - the narratives are 
episodic and impossible to insert with accuracy into 
time and place. Michno notes that Native Americans 
tended to be excellent observers of what they 
personally saw and did, but they failed to provide 
transcribers and inter\iewers with continuity and 
context. Thus, when used by earlier scholars, Indian 
testimony often consisted of little more than literary 
seasoning sprinkled into standard military accounts. 
The latter were viewed as more reliable, in part due to 
the structural shaping of soldier stories. Of course, the 
limitations of the military viewpoint are obvious. For 
the critical last phase of the battle, first-hand military 
accounts are non-existent; while for the earlier action, 
soldier narratives may be tainted by self-interest, 
factual error, or mental trauma. 

There are so man> revelations in Lakota Noon that 1 
will mention just a few of Michno's most significant 
contributions. The book begins with an assessment of 
the number of Indians in the valley. With rather 
convincing evidence, the author concludes that Custer 
faced far fewer warriors than is usually reckoned. Next, 

Michno's description of the early phase of the battle 
show s that Reno's attack against the southern end of the 
Indian village was initially effective as it provoked 
considerable surprise and alarm. 

The author throws aside the old tales that the Indians 
were aware of the coming attack. Many accounts 
commence with Indian warriors at rest, and when work 
of the attack spread throughout the village, the Indian 
response was slow. The collected stories also reveal 
remarkable insights into the Native American attitude 
toward warfare. When Reno struck, for example, a 
Lakota warrior did not just grab a weapon and ride into 
battle. There were personal preparations to be made - 
warpaint and other decorative items of personal power 
needed to be applied, a horse rounded up, and a 
decision made on whether to head directly to the 
fighting or tlrst secure the safety of one's relatives. 

Michno's Indian narratives leave readers with the 
feeling that Reno's effort might have proved successful 
if either the attack had been pressed more \ igorousl\ , or 
if Reno had possessed additional troops. At any rate, it 
was a close thing from the Indian perspecti\ e. Several 
miles to the north, Custer failed to realize that Reno was 
in retreat. 

How long did the battle last'l* Michno's timeline 
indicates that battle lasted from around 3:00 p.m. when 
Reno rode toward the Hunkpapa encampment until 
approximately 6:00 p.m. when the last of the "Last 
Stand" survivor's fell. Three hours would be a longer 
period than some earlier writers have estimated, but the 
timeline seems believable and well reasoned. 
Sequencing the battle at twenty-two inter\als is the 
book's most important contribution. 

Did Custer die or suffer a severe wold in an attempt to 
cross the river's ford long before the Last Stand? 
Michno's detailed negation of this theory shows his 
impressive critical reasoning at work and makes for a 
fine historiographical study in itself 

Michno urges caution about citing the value of 
archaeological evidence recently unearthed . Fie notes 
that the site of the Last Stand was combed repeatedly by 
souvenir hunters over the many decades since 1876, 
thus destroying munch of the original artifact record 
and matrix. Second, Indian accounts state that warriors 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

frequently picked up soldiers' weapons and com- 
menced to tire at retreating cavalrymen. Thus, some 
misinterpretations may arise in definitely determining 
whether artifacts indicate an Indian or cavalry position, 
or possibly both. 

Lakota Noon is a wonderful book with surprises on 
almost every page. Everyone interested in Western 
American history needs to read this book. Those who 
specialize in military or Native American history will 
want this work for their personal library. 

"These conclusions were not manufactured because 
there was any particular ax to grind," writes Michno. "1 
did not particularly care which coulee Crazy Horse 
rode in, but I definitely wanted to know which one he 
chose. The underlying deriving force behind this study 
was incontrovertibly to find out what happened at the 
battle by using the testimony of the only ones who 
could tell it"( lp/296). With the publication of Latoto 
Noon: The Indian Narrative of Custer's Defeat, the 
victors, for the first time, tell a better and more accurate 
history than the losers. 

Gerald Thompson 
University of Toledo 

Frontier and Region: Essays in Honor of Martin 
Ridge. Edited by Robert C. Ritchie and Paul Andrew 
Hutton. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico 
Press, 1997. .y\'/ + 263 pages. Illustrations, notes, 
index. Cloth, $29.95. 

Martin Ridge is a founder of the Western History 
Association, biographer of Ignatius Donnelly, journal 
editor, educator, and defender of Frederick Jackson 
Turner's Frontier Thesis. Upon his retirement from the 
Huntington Library in 1992, some of his colleagues 
gave him a party at which a few read papers that 
explored familiar topics and questions about the West - 
where it is, what it is, what it is not, what we think it is, 
and some of those responsible for why we think of it as 
we do - and showed in the process that it is possible for 
western historians to practice their profession without 
excessively grinding axes on the bones of long-dead 
white guys. Their addresses are reproduced in this 
volume under the broad headings of geography, 
politics, culture, and historiography. 

Editor Paul Andrew Hutton captures his readers early 
with a concise description of the twelve essays that 
tempts one to skip them altogether. But that would be a 

One would miss midwestemer James Madison's 
pithy explanation of why the Midwest is not the West; 

Donald Pisani's discussion of the region's mythic 
independence from federal power, citing the 
government's behavior, colonialism, and the West's 
own obsession for its share of the pork; James Ronda's 
discussion of Thomas Jefferson's fascination with 
rivers as routes for national expansion and as method to 
connect the east and west; and Melody Webb's essay 
on Lyndon Johnson's commitment to conservation and 
national parks, reminding readers that there was more 
to LBJ than the undeclared war that toppled his 

Walter Nugent explores the West and notes that 
people who come out here find pretty much what they 
are looking for. Of particular interest to residents of the 
Equality State will be the discussion on cross country 
motoring, 1903-1930, which mentions Rock Springs, 
where a tourist "slept in bed that lived up to the town's 
name;" Rawlins, twice; Casper; and Yellowstone. 

Charles Rankin introduces Union Army veteran, 
frontier journalist and vagabond Frederic E. Lockley, 
who commented on a variety of contemporary issues 
including Mormons, Indians, railroads, western 
agriculture, and monetary policy. 

Richard Lowitt tells of the Senate debate on the 
creation of an artificial lake in Yosemite's Hetch 
Hetchy Valley that pitted the interests of national 
preservadonists against California's monied elites. 

Cultural historians will enjoy the offerings of 
Richard White on Turner and Buffalo Bill in Chicago in 
1893; Glenda Riley on the creation of cowgirl Annie 
Oakley; and Hutton's charmingly illustrated and not- 
to-be-missed essay on Davy Crocket, whose almanacs 
were published years after his 1836 death under the 
guise that he had prepared them well in advance of his 
departure to Texas. 

Under the category historiography, Albert Hurtado 
offers an ironic, but short discussion about the time 
Hubert Bolton did not do his homework and 
authenticated a forged brass plate, attributing it to Sir 
Francis Drake's 1579 trip to California.. Howard 
Lamar discusses four literary Tumerians - Constance 
Rourke, Stephen Vincent Benet, Archibald MacLeish, 
and Bernard DeVoto who, Lamar points out, "were all 
overwhelmed by a sense of both the sweep and 
importance of American history" (p. 235). 

As all of the essays come with traditional scholarly 
apparatus, the notes offer suggestions for further 
readings on topics or individuals of interest. 

Peg Tremper 
University of Wyoming 

Spring 1Q98 

Religion in Modern New Mexico. Edited by Ferenc 
M. Szasz and Richard W. Etulain. Albuquerque: 
University of New Mexico Press, 1997. Notes. 
bibliography, index, x + 221 pages. Cloth. $60.00. 
paper. SI 9.95. 

Ferenc Szasz has repeatedly argued that religion 
remains an overlooked themes in western history. 
Religion in Modern New Mexico is another attempt by 
him, with the aid of Etulain, to correct this oversight for 
New Mexico. This book consists of nine essays which 
were delivered at a 1 993 Religious Cultures in Modem 
New Mexico Conference at the University of New 
Mexico. An eclectic mix of authors - doctoral students, 
historians, American studies scholars, and a communi- 
cations professor - write about Roman Catholicism. 
Protestantism, Jew s. Native Americans, Mormons, and 
Asian religions. In putting these writings into print 
coupled with a lengthy annotated bibliography of 
supplementary religious articles and books, the editors 
have set out to kindle an interest in religion in western 

Essays on modem Roman Catholicism survival by 
Carol Jensen, Native American religious freedom by 
Kathleen Chamberlain, Protestant evangelical rhetoric 
by Janice Schuetz, and comparative US-New Mexico 
religious history by Ferenc Szasz are well researched, 
coherent, and, most importantly, focused around an 
issue within twentieth centurv New Mexico. 


The remaining essays are survey articles - Randi 
Walker on Protestantism, Henry Tobias on Jews, 
Leonard Arrington on Mormons, and Stephen Fox on 
Asian Religions. Their objective is to give readers an 
introduction into the topic and to serve as a catalyst for 
further reading or research. But compared to the other 
essays, they do not fare as well. Randi Walker's topic 
is too broad to be adequately covered in an essay. 
Leonard Arrington's examination of Mormons is as 
celebratory as it is analytical. He and Walker forget to 
take into account other issues, such as the lives of 
wayward members and of fields tried and abandoned. 
Readers ought to read Henry Tobias" book after reading 
his essay. Another particularly troubling feature is 
context. The editors" intent was to focus on religion in 
twentieth century New Mexico. UnfortunateK some 
authors overlooked this limitation and plunge readers 
through pages of nineteenth century religious historv as 
a prelude to understanding twentieth centur\ religion. 
In some cases, the purpose was not always a balanced 
or necessary one. Lastly, many authors could have 
profited from the use of tables or maps to illustrate the 
distribution of churches and religious organizations. 

Overall, Religion in New .Mexico an interesting, 
informative book and shows that religion in the 
American West is not a static cultural theme. It should 
be a guide for other states and should stimulate other 
avenues of research both in New Mexico and western 

Carl Hallberg 
Wvomins State Archi\ es 


Annals ot Wyoming: Tke Wyoming History Journal 

Recent Acquisitions in the 
Hebard Collection, UW Libraries 

Compiled by Tamsen L. Hert, University of Wyoming Libraries 

The Grace Raymond Hebard Wyoming 
Collection is a branch of the University of 
Wyoming Libraries housed in the Owen Wister 
Western Writers Reading Room in the American 
Heritage Center. Primarily a research collection, 
the core of this collection is Miss Hebard's 
personal library which was donated to the 
university libraries. Further donations have been 
significant in the development of this collection. 
While it is easy to identify materials about 
Wyoming published by nationally known 
publishers, it can be difficult to locate pertinent 
publications printed in Wyoming. The Hebard 
Collection is considered to be the most 
comprehensive collection on Wyoming in the state. 

If you have any questions about these 
materials or the Hebard Collection, you can 
contact me by phone at 307-766-6245; by email, or you can access the Hebard 
HomePage at: 

Blood, Dwight M. Echoes of My Wyoming Boyhood. 
Orem, UT: the Author, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe CT 274 .B58 B66 1996 

DeArment, Robert K. Alias Frank Canton. Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe F 699 .C36 D43 1996 

Dodge, Richard Irving. The Powder River Expedition 
Journals of Colonel Richard Irving Dodge. Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1997. 
Hebard & Coe E 83.876 .D64 A3 1997 

Drago, Gail. Etta Place: Her Life and Times with 
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Piano, TX: 
Republic of Texas Press, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe F 595 .P65 D73 1996 

Dunbar, David. Yellowstone National Park I National 
Parks & Conservation Association. New York: 
Abbeville Press, 1995. 
Hebard & SciRef F 722 .D9 1995 

New Publications 

Anderson, Nancy F. Lora Webb Nichols: 
Homesteader's Daughter, Miner's Bride. 

ID: Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1995. 
Hebard & Coe CT 275 .N62 A53 1995 


Badger, Bryant D. A History of the Christian Church 
(Disciples of Christ) in Colorado and the Central Rocky 
Mountain Region, 1873-1997. Casper, WY: Endeavor 
Books, 1997. 
Hebard & Coe BX 7317 .C6 B345 1997 

Badger, Bryant D. History of the Christian Church 
(Disciples of Christ) in Wyoming, 1886-1990. Casper, 
WY: Bryant D. Badger, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe BX 7317 .W8 B34 1996 

Batten, Charles R. Beware! The Legislature is in 
Session: the Life and Times of Charles R. Batten. 
Logan, UT: C.R. Batten, 1997. 
Hebard & Science SD 129 .B388 B493 1997 

Farley, Ronnie. Cowgirls: Contemporary Portraits of 
the American West. New York: Crown Trade 
Paperbacks, 1995. 
Hebard & Coe F 596 .F22 1995 

Final Environmental Impact Statement, Cave Gulch- 
Bullfrog-Waltman Natural Gas Development Project, 
Natrona County, Wyoming. Cheyenne: U.S. 
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land 
Management, Wyoming State Office, 1997. 
Hebard TN881 .W8 U6243 1997 

Garton, Thelma. 
[Wheatland, WY: 
Hebard PS 3557 

A Wyoming Woman's Poetry. 

Garton, 1995?] 
.A788 W96 1995 

Kurutz, Gary F. The California Gold Rush: A 
Descriptive Bibliography of Books and Pamphlets 
Covering the Years 1848 - 1853. San Francisco: Book 
Club of California, 1997. 
Hebard & Coe F 865 .K87 1997 




Lambert, Page. In Search of Kinship: Modem 
Pioneering on the Western Landscape. Golden, CO: 
Fulcrum Publishing, 1996 
Hebard & Coe F 769 .S86 L36 1996 

Legacy: New Perspectives on the Battle of the Little 

Bighorn. Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 


Hebard & Coe E 83.876 .L44 1996 

Older Titles 

Brown, Mark H. The Flight of the Nez Perce. 
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982 ®1967. 
Hebard & Coe E 83.877 .B7 1982 

Casper Centennial Cookbook. 

Centennial Corporation, 1989. 
Hebard TX 715 .C376 1989 

Casper, WY: Casper 

Leveque, Ray. Station Agent, Rock Springs, 

Wyoming: 1847-1909. Westminster, CA: the Author, 


Hebard F 769 .R6 L49 1995 

Miller, Brian, Richard P. Reading, and Steve Forrest. 
Prairie Night: Black-Footed Ferrets and the Recovery 
of Endangered Species. Washington, DC: Smithsonian 
Institution Press, 1996. 
Hebard & Science QL 737 .C25 M554 1996 

Moffat, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. 
Cities and Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham, MD: The 
Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1996 
Hebard & CoeRef HB 3525 .W38 M64 1996 

Cleland, Robert Glass. Pathfinders. Los Angeles: 
Powell Puhlishmg Company, 1929. 
Hebard & Coe F 856 .C197 1929 

Includes information on Jedediah Smith and 
John C. Fremont. Also contains material on the fur 
trade and the Overland .settlers. 

Compiled Ordinances of the City of Sheridan, 
Wyoming, 1913. Sheridan: Press of Mills Printing 
Company, 1913. 
Hebard KFX 2381 .S447 A35 1913 

Gladding, Effie Price. Across the Continent by the 
Lincoln Highway. New York: Brentano's, 1915. 
Hebard & Coe HE 356 .L7 G55 1915 

A Pictorial History of the Paid Casper Fire 
Department: 100 Years of Public Service. Casper, 
WY: Casper Fire Department, 1995 
Hebard & Science TH 9505 .P538 1995 

The Gold Belt Cities: Deadwood & Environs: A 
Photographic History. Lead, SD: G.O.L.D. 

Unlimited, 1988. 

Hebard Folio F 659 .D2 G62 1988 

Rhody, Kurt. Rendezvous: Reliving the Fur Trade 
Era, 1825 to 1840. Mariposa, CA: Sierra Press, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe F 592 .R464 1996 

Schullery, Paul (ed.). Mark of the Bear: Legend and 
Lore of an American Icon. San Francisco: Sierra Club 
Books, 1996. 
Hebard & Science QL 737 .C27 M33 1996 

Spence, Gerry. The Making of a Country Lawyer. 

New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe KF 373 .S64 A3 1996 

Taylor, Tory. Plains & Peaks: A Wilderness 

Outfitter's Story. Moose, WY: Homestead Publishing, 


Hebard & Science SK 45 .T39 1994 

Williamson, Rosemary Duff. Mama Pays the Grocery 
Bill. Lubbock, TX: Millenia Books, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe HQ 759 .W555 1996 

Wooden, Wayne S. Rodeo in America: Wranglers, 
Roughstock & Paydirt. Lawrence: University Press of 
Kansas, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe GV 1834.5 .W66 1996 

Luttig, John C. Journal of a Fur-Trading Expedition 
on the Upper Missouri 1812-1813. Edited by Stella M. 
Drumm. NY: Argosy-Antiquarian Ltd., 1964, 
Hebard HD 9944 .U46 M8 1964 
CoeMfilm F 591 .W4633 r.337 n.333 

Simpson, Charles D. and E.R. Jackman. Blazing 

Forest Trails. Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, Ltd., 


Hebard & Science SD 373 .S58 

Webb, Todd. Gold Strikes and Ghost Towns. Garden 
City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1961. 
Hebard & Coe F591 .W33 

Covers Miner's Delight, Atlantic City and 
South Pass City 

Vivian, A. Pendarves. Wanderings in the Western 

Land. London: S. Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 


Hebard F 595 .V84 1880b 

Government Publications 

Atlas of the Sioux Wars. Fort Leavenworth, KS: 
Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and 
General Staff College, 1993. 
Hebard & Docs Folio D 1 10.2: SI 7 


Albright, Horace, 28 
Alder Gulch, 12 
Alderson, John, 16 
Alderson, William, 16 
Alger, John, 34 
Allensworth, Captain - ,16, 20 
Ancient Bluff Ruins, 34 
Antelope Creek, 9 
Arrow Ranch, 1 8 
Atchison, William, 16, 19 
Axtell, James, 32 


Badwater Creek, 13, 18, 23 
Baker, Charles, 16, 18, 19, 20 
Battle of Elkhom Tavern, 26 
Beckton, Wyoming, 1 1 
Berks County, Pa., 25 
Berthoud, Capt. E.L.,14 
Bessette, Amede, 18 
Big Goose Creek, 1 1 
Big Horn Basin, 

ll, 14, 15, 18, 23 
Big Horn ferry, 10 
Big Horn River, 3, 10, 

?3, 14, 18, 19, 20 
Billings, Montana. 7 
Billman Creek, 7 
Bingham post office, 7 
Bird's Eye Pass, 13 
Blacks Fork, 13 
Blake, F. W., 32 
Blanchard, Rev. Jonathon, 16 
Boulder River, 22 
Bozeman, John, 3, 6, 8, 15 
Bozeman to Fort Laramie Road 

Company, 8 
Bozeman Trail, 3-11, 23 
"Bozeman Trail. 1863-1H68. " by 

Susan Badger Doyle, 3-1 1 
Braun, Estella, 27 
Bridger Creek, 18, 22 
Bridger Cutoff, 16, 18 
Bridger, Jim, 8, 10, 15, 17, 20,23 
Bridger, Montana, 13 
Bridger Mountains, 18, 22 
Bridger Trail, 10, 13, 17 
"Bridger Trail: An Alternative 

Route to the Gold Fields of 

Montana Territoiy in 1864. " by 

James A. Lowe, 1 2-23 
Brooks, Elisha, 36 

Brown, Lt. John, 9 
Brown Springs Creek, 9 
Bryant, Thomas J., 25 

Camp Connor, 9 
Carrington, Col. Henry B., 10 
Chief Joseph, 22 
Choteau Fur Company, 14 
Clark, Helen, 32 
ClarksFork, 13, 22 
Clear Creek, 8 
Coffmbury train, 7, 8 
Collins, Colonel William, 14, 

Connor, General Patrick, 9, 10, 

Coon Creek Valley, 19 
Crazy Woman's Fork, 9 


Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 34 
Dee, Annie Taylor, 35 
Devenish, Steve, 37 
Devil's Backbone, 19 
Dodge, General Grenville, 14 
Doyle, Susan Badger, 

"Bozeman Trail. 1863- 

1868," 3-\\ 
Dry Fork Cheyenne River, 9 
Dry Fork Powder River, 8 
Duck Creek, 7 

East Pass Creek, 7 
Emblem Bench, 19 
"Enigmatic Icon: The Life and 

Times of Many Yoiint. " by 

William R. Supemaugh, 24- 

Etulain, Richard W., "Religion 

in Modern New Mexico, " 

reviewed, 43 

Farley, Angelina, 32 

Ferry boats, 8 

Fetterman Ridge, 10 

Forsyth, Thomas, 37 

Fort C. F. Smith, 3, 10, 11,26 

Fort Caspar, 1 8 

Fort Connor, 9 

Fort Elhs (Mont.), 7 

Fort Fetterman, 8 

Fort Kearny (Neb.), 26 

Fort Laramie, 10, 15, 26 

Fort Laramie Treaty, 3, 13 

Fort Phil Kearny, 3, 6, 10 

Fort Reno, 3, 9 

Fort Smith, Ark., 26 

"Frontier and Region: Essays in 
Honor of Martin Ridge. " 
reviewed by Peg Tremper, 42 

Gallatin River, 22 
Gallatin Valley, 7 
Gallegos, Rafael, 5, 15 
Gamekeeper, Yellowstone, 24 
Garber, Vie Willits, 1 1 
Garinger, Benton, 20 
Gentry, M. A., 35 
GLO survey maps, 23 
"Goldilocks on the Oregon 

Trail," 31 
"Goldilocks Revisited. " by 

Rosemary G. Palmer, 31-40 
Gomme, George, 32 
Goodrich, Sophia, 32 
Goose Creek, 6 
Greybull River, 13, 19 


Haines, Francis, 31, 33, 34, 38 

Hancock, Mosiah, 34 

Harry Yount award, 30 

Harte, Bret, 38 

Haskell, William, 18, 19, 20 

Hassrick, Royal, 32 

Hayden geological survey, 27 

Hazen, Col. William H., 10 

Hedges, Cornelius, 16, 18, 19, 20 

Henry, William, 20 

Herold Day's Bow, 18 

Himes, George, 39 

Hines, Celinda, 31 

Housel, J., 20 

Humfreville, Capt. J. Lee, 9 

Humfreville's Camp, 9 

Hunter Hot Springs, 22 

Huntington, Olive McMillan, 35 

Hurlbut, Allen, 6 

Hutton, J. D., 5 

Hutton, Paul Andrew, "Frontier 
and Region: Essays in Honor of 
Martin Ridge, " reviewed, 42 

Spring 1998 

lr\'in, Margaret West, 36 

Jackson Creek. 1 1 
Jacobs, Emma, 3 
Jacobs, John, 3, 15, 20 
Johnstun, I'llen Perks, 36 
jundt, Anna Maria, 25 
Jundl, Hans George, 25 


Kelly Creek, 7 
Keystone Road, 6 
Kirby Creek. 13, 18, 10 
Kirkaldie, Franklin 12,17 
Knight, Joseph 1 6 

La Bonte Crossing, 8 

"Lakola Noon: The Indian Ncirnilive of 

Custer's Defeat. " re\ie\ved by 

Gerald Thompson, 41-42 
LaPrele Creek, 1 1 
Lander Cutoff, 1 2 
Laramie Peak, 27 

L. D. S. Church Historical Dept., 33 
Leaky, D. A., 20 
Lee, C. M., 9 
Lee, John D., 34 
Lodge Trail Ridge, 6 
Lowe, James A., "Bridger Trail: An 

Alternative Route to the Gold Fields 

of Montana Territory in IS64. " 12- 

Lowenthal, Da\ id, 34 
Lucerne, Wyoming, 19 


Maddock, Annie, 35 
Magee, S., 20 
Mammoth Hot Springs, 29 
Maps, 4, 21 
Marble quarry, 29 
Markham, Capt. - , 36 
Martineau, Susan Johnson, 36 
Masterson, Martha Gay, 35 
Maynadier, Lt. Henry, 5, 14, 23 
Maynard, Ethel, 16 
McCoy, W. M., 20 
McKnight, - , 16 
McMinn, Bob, 16 
McNeal, T. B.. 20 

Michno, Gregory F., "Lakota 
Noon: The Indian Narrative of 
Custer's Defeat. " reviewed, 41- 

Miller, Joaquin, 38, 39 

Miraval, Jose, 18 

Montana Post, 8 

Moore, John, 32 

Mormon handcart company, 36 

Morris, Catherine Thomas, 37 


National Park Ser\ice, 24, 28 

Nebraska City, Neb., 26 

Nez Perce Trail, 22 

Niobrara to Virginia City Wagon 

Road, 9 
Norris, Philetus W., 27, 28, 29 
North Platte River, 5 
Nowood Creek, 13. 19 


Oregon Pioneer .Association, 39 
Owen, Major John, 17, 18, 19 

Palmer, Capt. Henry, 9 

Palmer, Rosmary G., "Goldiloeks 

Revisited." 31-40 
Parkman, Wyo., 1 1 
Pass Creek, 7 
Peu-Peu-Mox-Mo\, 39 
Pourier, Baptiste, IS 
Powder River, 5 
Powder River Basin, 8 
Prairie Dog Creek, 6, 9, 11 
Pryor Mountains, 7 


Raynolds. Capt. William, 5, 14 

Red Buttes, 1 3 

Red Cloud's War, 13, 14 

"Religion in Modern New Mexieo. ' 
reviewed by Carl Hallberg, 43 

Reminisences, childhood, 33 

Richard, John Baptiste Sr,, 18 

Richard, John Jr., 18 

Richard's Bridge, 5, 6 

Ritchie, Robert C, "Frontier and 
Region: Essays in Honor of 
Martin Ridge, " reviewed, 42 

Rock Creek Crossing, 10 

Rocky Mountain Bob, 16 

Rocky Mountain Fur Company, 1 3 


Sage Creek, 8, 20 

Salt Creek, 5, 9 

Sawyers, James, 9, 10, 22 

Schurz. Carl, 27, 29 

Shields River. 7, 13, 22 

Shoshone River, 13, 19, 20 

Shurly fight, 1 1 

Shurly, Lt. E. R. P.. 1 1 

Signature Rock, 20, 22 

Small, H. M., 29 

Smithsonian Institution, 26 

Soap Creek, 10 

Society of California Pioneers, 34 

Soda Butte Valley, 29 

Soldier Creek. 6 

Somers, Belle Redman, 35 

Sperry, Harrison, 34 

Spotted Rabbit Crossnig, 7 

Stanfield 20, 22 

Stanfield. Howard. 16, IS. 19 

Stansbury, Captain Howard 14 

Stanton, Capt. William S.. 1 1 

Stateler. Re\erend Leamer B.. 15 

Stem, Peter. 32 

Stinking Water Creek, 9 

Stinking Water River, 19 

Stuart, James, 5 

Sugar Loaf Mountain. 29 

Supemaugh. William R.. "Enig- 
matie leon: The Life and Times 
of Harry Yount. " 24-30 

Szasz. Ferenc M.. "Religion in 
Modern New Mexieo. " re- 
viewed. 43 

Thompson. Gerald, re\ lew of 
"Lakota Noon: The Induin 
Narrative of Custer's Defeat. " 

Todd, Joe, 1 6 

Toelken, Barre, 32, 33 

Tongue River, 7, 1 1 

Townsend fight, 8 

Townsend train, 7 

Tremper, Peg. re\ iew of "Fron- 
tier and Region: Essays in 
Honor of Martin Ridge. " 42 

Twin Creek. 7 


U. S. Army Topographical Corps. 


Annals ot Wyoming: Tne Wyoming History Jc 

U. S. Geological Suney, 27 
Unruh, John, 32 
U\ a. Wyo.. 29 

Vasquez, Louis, 13 
Vaughn, Robert, 16 
Virginia City, Mont., 7, 23 


Waggoner, George, 38, 39 

Walden, W. D., 18 
Ward, Francis, 31 
Ward, Harriett Sherill, 31 
Warner, Mary Eliza, 3 1 
Warren, Lieutenant G. K., 14 

expedition, 27 
Wheaton College, 16 
Whitford, O'Dillon B., 15 
Wilgus, Mary Ann Parker, 40 
Wind River Canyon, 1 3 
Wolf Creek, 6, 7 

Yellowstone Cutoff, 1 6 
Yellowstone Expedition, 14 
Yellowstone National Park, 27 
Yellowstone River, 7, 14 
Yellowstone River Valley, 3 
Young Woman 's Journal, 36 
Yount, Andrew, 25 
Yount, Caleb, 26 
Yount, David, 25 
Yount, Harry, 25-30 
Yount's Peak, 30 

Join tne ^X^oming State Historical Society 

and your local nistorical society cnapter 

State Membership Dues: 

Single: $20 

Joint: $30 

Student (under age 21): $15 

Institutional: $40 

Benefits of membership include four issues 
per year of Annals of Wyoming, ten issues of 
the newsletter, "Wyoming History News," and 
the opportunity to receive information about 
and discounts for various Society activities. 

Special membership categories are available: 

Contributing: $100-249 

Sustaining: $250-499 

Patron: $500-999 

Donor: $1,000 + 

The Society also welcomes special gifts and 


For information about membership in the 
Wyoming State Historical Society and infor- 
mation about local chapters, contact 

Judy West, Society Coordinator 
1740H184 Dell Range Blvd. 
Cheyenne WY 82009 






Restful times 

in ol ' Rock River. 

Both of these photographs, showing snooz- 
ing men. were made in White 's Saloon in 
Rock River. The caption on the reverse side 
of the original photograph (left) read: 
"Business Dull. " The photograph above was 
captioned: "Mr. August Kassahn. a local 
resident of the community for many years. 
The gentleman asleep is interior of White 's 
Saloon at Rock River. The time is about 
1917." Both photographs are from the 
Leslie C. John collection. American Heri- 
tage Center. University of Wyoming. 








nnais o 

Is of 


The ^C^oming History Journal 



Vol. 70, No. 3 



<.cd Co\e, 


ming and 20tn Century Tecnnology 

ALout me Cover Art 

"Somewhere West of Laramie" 

One of the most famous advertisements of all time, the ad was written by Edward S. 
Jordan, co-founder and owner of the Cincinnati-based automobile manufacturing 
firm which used the ad. The Jordan car was priced at about $2,500 when the lowest 
priced Ford was selling for about $500. The car was selling slowly so Jordan took a 
train ride to the West Coast, hoping he could come up with a plan to sell more 
vehicles. As Jordan 's train passed through southern Wyoming, Jordan watched a 
beautiful young woman ride her horse alongside the train for a short distance. The 
sight impressed Jordan so much that he turned to a companion and asked where thev 
were. "Somewhere west of Laramie, " was the reply. Back home, Jordan sketched out 
an ad with the slogan. The ad first ran in Saturday Evening Post in June, 1923. Sales 
of the Jordan cars picked up immediately. Soon, other auto makers were using the 
new form of "image advertising. " Despite the strong sales resulting from the ads, the 
Jordan company eventually failed, a victim of the Great Depression. The ad became 
legendary. In 1 945, Printer 's Ink magazine readers voted it the third greatest ad ever 

The editor of.4imal.s of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and photographs on every aspect of the histor\' of Wyoming and the West. 
Appropriate for submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpreta- 
tions of historical events. First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in 
the "Wyoming Memories" section. Articles are reviewed and ret'ereed by members of the journal's Editorial Advisory Board and 
others. Decisions regarding publication are made b\ the editor. Manuscripts (along with suggestions for illustrations or photographs) 
should be submitted on computer diskettes in a format created by one of the widely-used word processing programs along with two 
printed copies. Submissions and queries should be addressed to Editor, .Annah of Wyoming, P. O. Box 4256, University Station, 
Laramie WY 82071. 


PKil RoKert^ 

Book Review hclitor 
Carl HallLei-g 

Editorial Advison,' Board 

Barbara Bogart, Evansttui 
Manel Brown, Newcastle 
MicliaelJ. Devine, Laramie 
James B. CirirTitn, Jr., Cneyenne 
Don Hoagson, Torrington 
Loren )o>l:, Riverton 
DaWa Katnica, Roclc Springs 
T. A. Larson, Laramie 
)onn D. McDermott, Sneridan 
William H. Moore, Laramie 
Karyl Rodd, Cneyenne 
Slierry L. Smitn, Moose 
rliomas F. Stroock, Casper 
Lawrence M. TooJs, Worland 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Punlications Committee 

Riclc Ewig, Laramie 

David KatliKa, Rock Springs 

Snerr\' L. Smitli, Moose 

Amy Lawrence, Laramie 

Nancy Curtis, Glentki 

Patty Myers, \<1ieatlanJ (ex-of(icio) 

Loren Jost, Riverton (ex-onicio) 

Pnil Roberts, Laramie (ex-onicio) 

Wyoming' ^tate Historical Society 
Executive Committee 

Patt>' Myers, President, W'lieatland 
den Morris, Kemmercr 
Mike lording, Newcastle 
Linda Fakian, Llievenne 
Marna Gi-udd, Green River 
Barbara Bogart, Evanston 
Kick Ewig, Laramie 
j\niy Lawrence, Laramie 
DicL Wilder, CocK' 

Governor or Wyoming" 

Jim Lieringer 

Wyoming' Dept. oi Commerce 

Tucker Fagan, Acting Director 

Karyl Robb, Administrator, Di\', oi Cultural 


Wyoming ParUs & Cultural Resources 

William Dubois, Lneyenne 
Micnael J. Devine, Laramie 
Diann Keese, L\'man 
Rosie Berger, Big Horn 
B. Byron Price, Cody 
Herb Frencn, Newcastle 
Frank Tim Isabell, Snosnoni 
Jeanne Hickey, Cneyenne 
Hale Kreycik, Douglas 

University or Wyoming 

Pbilip Dubois, President 
Micnael J. Devine, Director, 

American Heritage Center 
Oliver Walter, Dean, 

College or Arts and Sciences 
W^illiam H. Moore, Cnatr, Dept. of Histor\' 

nnals of 


Tne Wyoming History Journal 

Special Tecmiolo^y Issue 

Summer 1QQ8 Vol. 70, No. 3 

Wyoming Memories 

Bum Lambs Aren't Really Bums! 

Memories or tne Orplian Lamb Business 

By Alice Eder Jacobson 

Snowplanes, Snowcoacnes and Snowmobiles: 
Tne Decision to Allow Snowmobiles into Yellowstone 
National ParL 

By Micliael J. Yocliim 6 

Project Wagon Wbeel: A Nuclear Plowsbare ror Wyoming' 

By Adam Lederer 24 

Tbe Quest tor Public Television 

By Pliil Roberts 34 

Book Reviews 

Edited by Carl Hallberg 44 

Index 45 

Wyoming' Picture Inside Back 

Annuls of IVyoming The Wyoming Histoiy Joiirnul is published quarterl\ b\ llie \V\omiiig State Historical 
Society ill association with the Wyoming Department of Commerce, the American Heritage Center, and the 
Department of History, University of Wyoming. The journal was previously published as the Quarterly 
Bulletin ( 1 923- 1 925 ), Annals of Wyoming (1925-1 993 ), Wyoming Annuls ( 1 993- 1 995 ) and Wyoming His- 
tory Journal ( 1995-1996). The Annals has been the official publication of the Wyoming State Historical 
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Editorial con'espondence should be addressed to the editorial office of Annals of Wyoming. American Heri- 
tage Center, P. 0. Box 4256, University Station, Laramie WY 82071. Inquiries about membership, distri- 
bution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to Judy West, Coordinator, Wyoming State Historical 
Society, 1740HI84 Dell Range Blvd., Cheyenne WY 82009 

Copyright 1998, Wyoming State Historical Societ> 

ISSN: 1086-7368 

special Issue: Technology 

Tnree articles in tnis issue relate to various aspects or tecnnology ana now 
eacn naa an influence on recent Wyoming nistory. Our "Wyoming Memories" 
section ieatures an interesting piece about a young girl's experiences raising 
"bum " lambs. 

Micbael J. Yocbim tells about tbe controversial decisions to allow snow- 
mobiles into tbe tranquil winter wonaerlana or Yellowstone. Tbe story demon- 
strates bow decision-makers in government olien must straddle competing in- 

Tbe story told by Adam Lederer in "Project Wagon Wbeel" bas a mucb 
different evolution and result. Tbere, a government agency allied witb a major 
corporation tried to test unproven (perbaps dangerous) tecbnology in a ligbtly- 
populated area. Tbe people or Sublette Lounty, witb belp rrom elected officials, 
managed to tbwart tbe Atomic Energy Commission and a major natural gas 

A tbird article about tecbnology (independently-rerereed, I must add) is a 
nistory I began several years ago about establisbing public television in Wyo- 
ming and tbe efforts or two people, in particular, to make it bappen. Neitber 
long-time University ol Wyoming President George "Duke" Humpbrey nor 
former Natrona County educator and superintendent Maurice Griffitb, suc- 
ceeded in tbe goal. Migbt it bave been because or tbe "50-year lag," as Griffitb 
called it? 

Our usual book review section, ably edited by Carl Hallberg, contains 
reviews or several recent books about Western bistory. 

Annals still seeks submissions ror tbe "Wyoming Memories" feature. Tbis 
feature is an opportunity for readers to gain firstband information about tbe 
bistory of tbe state tbat can come only from tbe memory of tbe person wbo was 
tbere. Previous "Wyoming Memories" bave included accounts of tbe grassbop- 
per scourge in nortbeastern Wyoming in tbe 1930s, tbe "blizzard of 1949," and 
oral bistory accounts of Wyoming pioneers. /7 

Write us. 

Pbil Roberts, Editor 

Bum tambs flren'f Really Bum! 

memories of the Orphan tamb Business 

By Alice Eder Scicobson 

To be a homesteader in northern Wyoming in the 1 9 1 Os 
into the 1920s was reasonably profitable. My father, 
Ernest Eder. settled on his homestead in 1914. With my 
mother's homestead and their additional, they had sev- 
eral square miles of property south of Buffalo. As late as 
1929 paving crops could be obtained from com, wheat 
and r\e. By the 1 930s the never-rich soil and a few years 
of drought made many homestead fanners switch to grow- 
ing li\estock. In 1922 we had se\en sheep; by 1936 we 
had 945; in 1944, 1,300. 

My brothers, Willard and Herbert, w ho w ere older, w ere 
put to work doing fami chores and herding sheep. M\ 
sister, Jean, and 1 were introduced to the business of rais- 
ing bum lambs. 

The Eder ranch didn't have very many oiphan lambs 
because each ewe was isolated in a holding pen after the 

lamb was bom and the ewe and lamb were branded w ith 
the same number. Occasionalh a set of twins needed to 
be separated because the mother didn't have enough milk 
for two lambs. If another ewe had a dead lamb, one of 
the twins was "jacketed" and gi\ en to the ewe. To jacket 
a lamb, the dead lamb was skinned and its soft hide put 
on the "extra' twin. The mother, smelling her deceased 
offspring, would usually claim the jacketed twin. After a 
few days the jacket was removed. 

When all efforts to find a mother for a lamb failed, the 
orphan w as taken from the herd. Otir mother w as the usual 
one to take the lamb, place it on the o\en door in the 
kitchen, rub it until it was wami, then bottle feed it. Jean 
and 1 gradualK took o\er this task. I imagine I was eight 
or nine when m\ job as milkw armer-bottle feeder be- 
came a moming/night/weekend job. Mother was still feed- 

, ing the orphan lambs during mid-day 

when we were in school. 

.At first we kept the lambs m the 
coal house, maybe for con\ enience. 
as this was the closest building to the 
house. Two or three lambs were all 
right there. As our ""herd" grew we 
had to mo\e them to the brooder 
house (half of the building was used 
to house young turkeys). 

At first, Jean and 1 were content 
with three or four bum lambs. After 
we gained experience we looked for 
a bigger "herd." About a mile away 
was a sheep trail used for moving 
sheep from the ,Ar\ ada area to the Big 
Horn Mountains and their summer 
pasture. What happened to a little 
lamb that couldn't keep up with the 
herd on this 70-mile hike'^ If the 
herder w as w alking he couldn't carr\ 
the lamb all da\ . If the lamb's mother 
abandoned it so she could keep up 
with the herd, the lamb was as good 

Alice ami bum lambs 

Annals or Wyoming: Tne Wyoming History Journal 

(Top, left): Alice, hei- 
sts ter Jean and their 
friend, Eileen Eades, 
with part of their 
"herd. " (Photos, be- 
low): "Herding scenes" 
All photos from the 
author 's collection. 

as dead. Many orphan lambs learned at an early age that 
they could steal milk from a ewe by coming up behind 
her and grabbing a tit before she kicked or butted it away. 
This wasn't a very reliable source of milk and the lamb 
often grew weaker. 

In late May and June, Jean and I would get on a horse, 
or borrow the truck if it was available, and go to the over- 
night stopping place on the sheep trail — the Nine Mile 
Water Hole. We would ask the herder if he had any or- 
phan lambs. This was interesting because about half the 
herders were from Basque country and could barely speak 
English. One thing all herders were — concerned about 
helping each and every ewe and lamb in their care. If a 
bum lamb was available, he gave it to us. 

Sometimes a herder would say he had left a Iamb on 
the trail and we would back-track until we found the poor 
abandoned lamb — or sadly, its body. 

After a few years the herders made every effort to get 
the bum lambs as far as the Nine Mile Water Hole. One 
year, on a cold, rainy evening, a herder gave us seven 
lambs. What a windfall! 

Of course, we named each Iamb. (Sheep don't all look 
alike and they have different personalities.) I remember 
Maude. She was larger and older than most bums. She 
had an injured hip and couldn't keep up with the trailing 
herd. Maude was selfish and bossy. She was leader of 
our bums that year. Maude got to the bottles of warm 
milk quickest and butted others out of the way. She was 
a survivor. 

To feed the Iambs we warmed cow's milk on the kitchen 
stove, then with funnel, bottles (beer bottles were a handy 
size and the nipples fit well on them), nipples and a pail 
of warm milk, we went to the lambs. When being fed, 
the baby lamb butted the bottle just as if it was sucking 
from its mother. 

When the Iambs were several weeks old, we taught 
them to drink from a pan instead of the bottle. Straddling 
the Iamb, we had it suck on a finger, then pushed its head 
and our hand into a pan of milk.Usually, the Iamb con- 
tinued to suck our finger and would gulp up the milk. 
We gradually removed our finger. Just like children, some 
were slow learners and some learned after one lesson. 

Summer 1998 

Feeding lambs from a pan was a lot faster than the bottle 

I don't think Jean was ever so wrapped up in the bum 
lamb business like I was. ( She was a good cook and played 
the piano well). But where was I? Outdoors leading our 
lambs to water or to better pasture. 1 was the one that 
went out to find them at feeding time, calling them by 
name. "Here Blackie, here Swift Runner, come Hard 
Drinker, here Maude." Our best year we had twenty-seven 
bums. That was a prett\ good herd! 

Mother's sister from South Dakota visited us one sum- 
mer. She was fascinated with my running all over the 
ranch with my loyal lambs following me. When she re- 
turned to South Dakota, she sent a picture she had taken 
and enclosed this poem she had written: 


Alice was queen of the rancho 

They, her de\oted band 

WHiere she led them, they gaily followed 

0\ er foothills or prairie land. 

.And each one she called by his surname 

.And though each was no less than a bum 

They showered her with their affection 

When she spoke they hastened to come. 

But don't get me wrong about Alice 

She wasn't a gun moll, you know. 

Though she packed a gun t'was for coyotes 

Or perhaps an occasional crow. 

And the bums that she ruled were wee Iambics 

That had to be bottled to grow. 

-Mildred McRibben Cavanaugh 

While we were in the bum lamb business, we had a 
favorable agreement with our dad. We got the milk, 
nipples and pasture free. At the end of the summer at 
lamb-shipping time, our bums were shipped along w ith 
the much fatter mother-nurtured lambs. Jean and 1 were 
given the average weight and price of the herd. Most of 
the bum lambs looked pretty scrawny when they mixed 
with the herd. We didn't see the profits of our bum lamb 
business, except on paper. The amount of our lamb sales 
was "put on the books" and saved for a college fund. In 
1939, I received $207.70; in 1940, $305.72. 

During the last few years when I raised bum lambs we 
learned to put a food supplement in the milk. This made 
them gain a little more weight but bum lambs were ne\ er 
as roly-poly fat as mother-fed lambs. 

I don't know how sheep ranchers handle bum lambs 
today, but to me back in the 1930s, each lamb was an 
adorable pet. 

Alice Eder Jacobson grew up on a ranch six- 
miles south of Buffalo. Wyoming. She taught 
school for thirty-four years in Michigan. 
Wyoming and Arizona. She raised five chil- 
dren, including Patty Myers. 1997-93 Presi- 
dent of the Wyoming State His tor iced Soci- 
ety. Alice is retired and lives in Lake Havasu 
Citw Arizona. 

Alice and lambs. Author's collection. 

If you have a " Wyoming memory " 
you 'd like to share with .Annals 
readers, send it to Phil Roberts, 
Editor, Annals of Wyoming, De- 
partment of History. University of 
Wyoming, Laramie WY 8207L 

Michael J. Yochim 

Ski trail, made by NFS rangers, near Yellowstone Lake, ^ 
1969. NFS, Yellowstone National Park collection 


When World War II ended, the United States settled 
into what future historians may recognize as Am- 
erica's "golden age." Jobs were plentiful and 
wages were good, so Americans enjoyed an unprec- 
edented standard of living. More and more Americans 
owned cars and had the financial means and free time to 
travel. Consequently, visitation in the national parks such 
as Yellowstone increased. 

Helping to stimulate tourism in winter was the return 
to America of the 10"' Mountain Division, the Army's 
very successful and prestigious division of skiing troops. 
Upon returning, several of the 10"" Mountain Division 
members founded the country's first ski resorts, such as 
Alta in Utah and Sun Valley in Idaho. By founding these 
resorts, the Division members stimulated the interest of 
Americans in skiing and in winter recreation. Likewise, 
the Winter Olympic Games after the war interested Ameri- 
cans in winter vacations.' 

Thanks to these larger societal trends, visitation to 
Yellowstone greath- increased following World War II. 
Visitation exploded from its pre-war annual high of 
526,437 visitors in 1940 to 814,907 in 1946 and more 
than one million visitors by 1948. Visitation continued 
to increase in the 1950s and 1960s, crossing the two- 
million visitor mark for the first time in 1965. 

With increasing numbers of visitors passing through 
the communities just outside Yellowstone, merchants in 
those towns urged Yellowstone administrators to open 
the park year-round. While the merchants envisioned 
being able to drive one's automobile through Yellowstone 
year-round, the resulting policy allowed snowmobiles into 
the park in winter. 

Surprisingly little is known about the details of this 
part of Yellowstone's history. Why did the Park's ad- 
ministrators allow snowmobiles into Yellowstone? Who 
were the primary actors? When did this occur, and when 
did motorized winter use begin in Yellowstone? 

The first pressure on Yellowstone's administrators to 
plow the Park's roads actually occurred prior to World 
War II. Local merchants were beginning to see the ben- 
efits of increased tourism to their financial returns. It did 
not require too much imagination to realize that, if 
Yellowstone kept its roads open all year, the merchants 
could see year-round returns. For this reason, in 1 940, 
Senator Joseph O'Mahoney (D-WY) pressed the National 
Park Service to open Yellowstone's roads in winter. 
O'Mahoney urged the NPS to consider plowing.- 

Arno Cammerer, Director of the NPS, denied 
O'Mahoney's request, stating the NPS's reasons against 

Severe cold, sudden storms and the rapid changes in 
temperature make the Park dangerous in winter; 

Drifting snow would make the roads treacherous; and 
It would require excessive outlays for equipment and 
manpower to keep these roads safe for travel.' 

Between Cammerer's response and the advent of the 
World War, pressure to open Yellowstone's roads disap- 
peared for the next seven years, resurfacing w ith the in- 
creased visitation after the war. This time, the Big Horn 
Basin Clubs, a federation of all commercial clubs of the 
Park region in Wyoming, called upon the National Park 
Service (NPS) to consider plowing its roads in winter.^ 
Responding to the request, the U.S. Bureau of Public 
Roads (now Federal Highways), in conjunction with the 
NPS, conducted a study to detemiine if opening the roads 
in winter was feasible. The Bureau concluded that open- 
ing the Park's roads in winter was not feasible, and cited 
the following reasons: 

The standards of many of the existing highways were 
rather low, and not well-suited to plowing; The build- 
ings in the Park's interior were not winterized; and 
Plowing would be too hazardous.- 

To arrive at its conclusion, the Bureau derived esti- 
mates of the cost of acquiring the necessary plowing 
equipment and of regularly plowing, estimates that the 
Big Horn Basin Club criticized as "■padded." In fact, con- 
tractor V. F. Haberthier of Cod\ offered to sign a five- 
year contract with Yellowstone administrators to plow 
the Park's roads for less than half of their cost estimate. 
The club requested a fornial investigation to detemiine if 
the Bureau's objections to winter travel were valid." 

The government never did such an investigation, and 
Yellowstone's administrators stuck to the over-all con- 
clusion reached by the Bureau: "the proposal to attempt 
winter snow removal on the Yellowstone Park Highway 

' James Jurale, "Historx of VN'inter Use in ^'ellowstone National 
Park," (Master's thesis submirted to the University of Wyoming, Dee., 
1986), 102-1 ]2. 

• Amo Cammerer. to Joseph O'Mahoney, Feb. 8, 1940, Box L-46, 
File "868 Winter Sports," Yellowstone National Park Archives, 
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, (henceforth YNP Archives). 

■' Ibid. 

"" "Seek Year-Round Opening of Yellowstone Hiwa)s," Cod\ En- 
terprise, Cody, Wyoming, March 17, 1948. 

' Lemuel Garrison, to Regional Director, Oct. 1 1, 1957. IN Box D- 
24. File D30. Book #2: "Snow Removal. July 1957 through March. 
1958," Regional Archive Depository of the National .Archixes. Kan- 
sas City, Missouri. 

" "Yellowstone Plan Gains; contractor Backs Year-Round Idea," 
Denver Post, March 12, 1949, and "Charge Park Service Costs Pad- 
ded," Cody Enterprise. March 1 6, 1 949. 

Annals ot Wyoming: Tke Wyoming History Journal 

System ... is economically unsound."^ Thus ended con- 
sideration of plowing the roads of Yellowstone for eight 
more years. 

eanwhile, with much free time in the long winter 
of the Northern Rockies, local entrepreneurs tink- 
ered with some spare vehicle parts and devel- 
oped the first vehicles capable of traveling over snow- 
covered roads, the "snowplanes." A snowplane was a 
noisy contraption. It had a cab, in which two people could 
ride, set on three skis (only one in front, for steering), 
with a large propeller mounted on the rear. Akin to an 
airboat used in the Everglades, the snowplanes "blew" 
around on snow-covered roads without taking off* 

The first definitely known use of such a machine in 
Yellowstone was in 1 942, by Glenn Simmons of the Rec- 
lamation Service, who traveled from the South Entrance 
to Old Faithful and to West Yellowstone. National Park 
Service rangers made the next recorded trip in 1943 from 
the South Entrance, with an eye toward purchasing one 
of the machines for government use."* By the late 1940s 
the NPS had purchased two snowplanes,'" and had be- 
gun using them for winter patrols in the Park interior. On 
one such mission in 1946, Ranger Bob Murphy discov- 
ered a large group of bison that had broken through the 
ice of the Yellowstone River just north of Yellowstone 
Lake. Already dead and frozen when he found them on 
Februar) 14, Murphy and his coworkers had no choice 
but to leave the carcasses in the river for the winter, drag- 
ging them out in spring for a mass burial. At that time 
they counted a total of 39 carcasses." 

Yellowstone's administrators escorted two parties of 
photographers into the Park via snowplane to photograph 
the snowbound Old Faithftil area in February 1947.'- 
Tourism possibilities became obvious. In December, the 
Jackson area snowplane owners discussed with Grand 
Teton National Park Superintendent John McLaughlin 
(who became Yellowstone's next superintendent) the pos- 
sibility of making regularly scheduled trips by snowplanes 
into the Old Faithftil area. They pointed out that visitors 
could experience the Park in winter. Because it was not 
his decision to make, McLaughlin demurred. He wrote 
Yellowstone administrators to give them a "heads up" 
on the matter. McLaughlin wrote that Yellowstone should 
deny them permission, because the group hoped to use 
some government buildings for overnight accommoda- 
tions. He also advised Yellowstone's administrators that 
the snowplane owners would not readily accept "no" for 
an answer.'^ 

' Conrad Wirth to Milward Simpson, March 12, 1957 IN Box D- 
24, File D30, Book #1: "Snow Removal Oct. 1952 through June 
1957," Regional .'\rchive Depositor)' of the National .Archives, Kan- 
sas City, MO. 

* Walt Stuart, "Interview with Walt Stuart by Leslie Quinn. 1994," 
November, 1994, Drawer 8, Tape #96-8, Yellowstone National Park 
Research Library, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, (hence- 
forth YNP Research Library). 

■* Bob Murphy, "Snoplanes and Frozen Buffalo," Report in the Ver- 
tical Files, YNP Research Library, 1994, p. 1. 

'" Roger J. Siglin to Brenda Black, Nov. 15, 1977, Box L-35, File 
L; "Land and Water Use 75, 76, 77," YNP Archives. 

' ' Bob Murphy, "Snoplanes and Frozen Buffalo" (Unpublished paper 
in the Vertical Files, YNP Research Library), 4. 

'- Superintendent's Monthly Re- 
port for February: 1947, 2, YNP Re- 
search Library. 

'■' John S. McLaughlin to Super- 
intendent, Yellowstone National 
Park, Dec. 17, 1947, Box. A-247, File 
857-10: "Winter Visitors to Park In- 
terior," YNP ."Xrchives. 

Snowplanes were the first 
oversnow motorized ve- 
hicles used in Yellowstone. 
Shown is a snowplane in 
the Norris Geyser area in 
February, 1943. Note the 
small wheels for steering 
across the bare areas, 
where the lack of snow 
made steering impossible. 


The possibility of such regularly scheduled trips touched 
off a minor panic in Yellowstone, as evidenced by the 
flurry of letters following the arrival in Yellowstone of 
McLaughlin's letter. First, Acting Superintendent of 
Yellowstone Fred Johnston wrote Lawrence Merrian, the 
regional director, requesting advice in the matter, "since 
we believe the problem to be of a policy nature requiring 
a decision by higher authority than can be given by us." 
However, he added that "under present conditions, i.e., 
extreme isolation of this section of the Park in winter, we 
do not feel that the type of use ... is desirable" because 
the numerous dangers involved made such an undertak- 
ing very risky. '■* Merriam responded six days later that 
"it seems to us that no permit should be issued [for regu- 
larly scheduled trips, but] we are hardly in a position to 
prevent iiuiiviLiiial trips b> snow plane into the Park" (em- 
phasis added). If such individual trips materialized, 
Merriam suggested having travelers register with the rang- 
ers at the South Entrance. The rangers could inform them 
of the risks they were taking." Johnston formally adopted 
Merriam's policy just three days later.'" 

It seems odd that Regional Director Merriam and Act- 
ing Superintendent Johnston felt helpless to prevent such 
individual trips into the Park, since Johnston and Super- 
intendent Edmund Rogers exercised full authority over 
the Park in all other matters. For example, in the next 
two years, Johnston or Rogers denied permission to five 
different parties to take extended ski trips into the Park, 
and also would not allow automobiles on the snow-cov- 
ered roads in the interior of Yellowstone.'' For whatever 
reason, though, Rogers, Johnston and Merriam felt pow- 
erless to control individual motorized trips. 

It seems additionally odd that Rogers and Johnston per- 
mitted such motorized use, given the recognition by Su- 
perintendent Rogers in 1948 — before such use had be- 
gun — that "the passage of several snowmobiles over the 
roads would pack the snow so that later freezing would 
leave a very hard layer of ice which would seriously im- 
pede the progress of our plows when they open the road. 
This would add materially to the cost of our snow re- 
moval operations."'" While they recognized this prob- 
lem with snowmachine use on its roads, they did not do 
anything to prevent the problem. 

The first "purely pleasure" trips by snowplanes occurred 
two years later, from January to March 1949. A total of 
35 people traveling in 19 snowplanes made the trip to 
Old Faithful or West Thumb from West Yellowstone. 
Snowplane trips fi-om West Yellowstone probably began 
earlier than those from the South because visitors travel- 
ing from West had thirty fewer miles to travel to Old 
Faithful — one way — than visitors entering trom the south. 

Table 1. Winter Visitation to Yellowstone National 
Park, 1948-57.- 

Number of Visitors Total Visitation, 

Snowmachines on Dec. -March 

Snowmachines of each winter 

1948-49 >32 >61 3888 

1949-50 77 162 8077 

1950-51 3 (mild winter) 8 8180 

1951-52 35 >56 8198 

1952-53 ? >59 3314 

1953-54 >9 171 4913 

1954-55 >100 631 4995 

1955-56 138 580 3242 

1956-57 >76 533 3223 

Note: Total visitation includes visitors entering the North 
Entrance bv car. 

'- i 

The Superintendent of the Park reported that "it appears 
that this mode of travel is becoming more popular."'" 

Indeed it was. Motorized visitation to Yellowstone in 
winter occurred regularly throughout the 1950s. (See 
above fable). The surge in visitation in the winter of 1 954- 
55, reflected the fact that two West Yellowstone entre- 
preneurs used a snowcoach for winter tours of the Park 
that winter. A snowcoach, manufactured by Bombardier 
of Quebec, Canada, was a van-sized vehicle capable of 
carrying up to 12 people in its heated interior. In 1952, 
Harold Young and Bill Nicholls, the two West 
Yellowstone motel operators, realized that the winter w on- 
derland of Yellowstone could be a "good tourist gim- 
mick." The two men applied to the NPS to obtain a per- 
mit to lead charter snowcoach trips into the Park. 
Yellowstone's administrators refused permission for three 
years, mainly out of safety concerns, worried that the 
snowcoaches would become stuck. They finally relented 
in January 1955, as long as Young and Nicholls would 

'•■ Fred Johnston to Regional Director, Dec. 24, 1947. Box .^-247. 
File 857-10: "Winter Visitors to Park Interior," YNP .Archives. 

'" Lawrence Merriam to Superintendent. Yellowstone National Parl<, 
Dec. 30, 1947, Box A-247. File 857-10; "Winter Visitors to Park 
Interior," YNP Archives. 

'" Fred Johnston to Chief Ranger LaNoue, Jan. 2. 1948, Box A- 
247, file 857-10: "Winter Visitors to Park Interior," YNP Archives. I 
am the first to record the information regarding these events in 1947, 
because Box A-247 was previously unavailable to Yellowstone re- 

" Edmund Rogers (Superintendent), OR Fred Johnston (Acting Su- 
perintendent) to the following: Jim Sykes, Feb. 17, 1949; C.W. Egbert, 
Dec. 22, 1949; Carroll Wheeler, Nov. 28, 1950; Herbert Richert. 
12, 1950; and Henry Buchtel. March 30, 1951; all in Box A-247, File 
857-10: "Winter Visitors to Park Interior." YNP Archives. 

'* Edmund Rogers to Caroline Madden. March 11, 1948, Box A- 
247, File 857-10: "Winter Visitors to Park Interior," YfOP .Archives. 

'" Superintendent's Monthly Report. Jonuaiy 1949. \ YH? Re- 
search Library. 


Annals of Wyoming; The \<yoming History Journal 

Highway mainte- 
nance supervisor 
Charlie Shumate of 
Colorado at West 
Thumb Geyser Basin. 
1957. The propeller 
is in motion at the 
rear (left). 

not advertise their service.-" The reason for the secrecy is 
unclear, but was probably intended to keep many tour- 
ists from making the risky trip into the snow-covered, 
remote and unguarded Yellowstone interior. Young and 
Nicholls began their snowcoach tours that winter, and 
continued to operate such tours for ten years, finally re- 
linquishing their pennit to operate to the Yellowstone 
Park Company in 1966.-' 

By 1957 the problem that Superintendent Rogers 
foresaw — that snowmachines would compact the 
snow, making plowing more difficult in spring — 
was becoming apparent. However, Yellowstone's admin- 
istrators found a \\ a\' to plow the roads despite the com- 
pacted snow and ice: "By using a combination of the V- 
plow and graders with ice blades and discs, it was pos- 
sible" to get the roads open by their normal opening 
dates. -^ Additionally, the snowmachines damaged the 
road surface in themially wanned areas — areas unique to 
Yellowstone in which the ground or road itself is warm, 
and consequently bare in winter. By the early 1970's, 
Park administrators discovered that wood chips laid on 
the road in such thennally-w armed areas would both pro- 
tect the road and also enable snowmachines to travel 
across such bare areas. They still use wood chips in this 

Yellowstone administrators had received pressure to 
open the Park roads to automobiles. Instead, they opened 
the Park to snowplanes and snowcoaches. 

In 1 956, the National Park Service launched the "MIS- 
SION 66"-'' program, which unwittingly began the sec- 
ond round of pressure to plow Yellowstone's roads. Rec- 
ognizing that the post-war prosperity and increasing ur- 
banization of America were bringing more visitors to the 

National Park System than the system was able to handle, 
the NPS directors created MISSION 66, an ambitious 
ten-year program to "develop and staff these priceless 
possessions of the American people [so] as to pennit 
their w isest possible use: maximum enjoyment for those 
who use them." Construction of visitor facilities was to 
be an important part of the program: "Modem roads, 
well planned trails, utilities, camp and picnic grounds, 
and many kinds of structures needed for public use or 
administration, to meet the requirements of an expected 
80 million [nationwide] visitors in 1966, are necessary. 
"Outmoded and inadequate facilities will be replaced 
with physical improvements adequate for expected de- 
mands."-" The Secretary of the Interior wrote the Presi- 
dent that "MISSION 66 covers all the anticipated needs 
of the Parks [and] plots a comprehensive and well-bal- 
anced schedule of improvement."-" 

-" Robert S. Hallida\, "Yellowstone in Winter," Parade. Vlarch 
13, 1955, 11. 

-' Superintendent's Monthly Report for December, 1966. 2. YNP 
Research Library. 

" Compiled from the Superintendent's Monthly Reports from 1948 
to 1957, YNP Research Library. 

-■' Superintendent's Monthly Report for April. 1957, 10, YNP Re- 
search Library. 

-^ "MISSION 66" was almost always capitalized, as indicated, in 
the literature of the time. 

-■' "What is Mission 66?," pamphlet (no page number given). Box 
W-141, File A98: "Conservation and Presentation of .Areas for Pub- 
lic Enjoyment: Mission 66," YNP Archives. 

-" Douglas McLay to The President, Feb. 1, 1956, Box YPC-91, 
File "NPS-1956 General CoiTespondence," YNP Archives. 

Summer 19Q8 

This program of development affected virtually all na- 
tional park system sites, and focused on the larger parks 
such as Yellowstone. In Yellowstone the efforts were on 
road improvements, housing improvements, and the con- 
stniction of Can\ on Village, with a modem-looking lodge 
surrounded by 500 cabins available for overnight guests.-' 

In addition to its development program, MISSION 66 
recognized another way to provide for increased num- 
bers of visitors: extending the length of the Park's tour- 
ist season. Initially MISSION 66 onl\ encouraged a longer 
summer season — from May to October, rather than June 
to September.-** Park planners recognized that opening 
the Park in winter would provide another means to pro- 
vide for increased numbers of visitors. Consequently, in 
the MISSION 66 Report for Yellowstone, park planners 
stated that "oversnow use has already been introduced 
... and today's thinking includes the encouragement of 
this type of use in preference to [the plowed] opening of 
the roads.""-'' The MISSION 66 proposal encouraged win- 
ter use, allowing more people to visit Yellowstone and 
also take some pressure off the Park during the summer. 
.A.dditionall\\ MISSION 66 prefeiTed oversnow use rather 
than plow ing the roads, pushing the Park to continue al- 
lowing snowmachines rather than plowing. 

In apparent adherence to the directive of MISSION 66, 
Conrad Wirth, the National Park Service Director in 1957, 
issued a "'Memorandum to all Field Offices and the Wash- 
ington Oftlce,"" stating: 

It is recognized that important recreational benefits are 
available during the winter months in the Parks of the 
NPS having a heavy fall of snow. ... It is further recog- 
nized that the use of such parks for healthful, out-of-door 
recreation during the winter months is a very desirable 
way to make scenic and other natural values of the Sys- 
tem available for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. 

It is, therefore, the policy of the National Park Service 
to encourage winter use programs. The objective will be 
the maximum benefits possible to the largest number of 

Wirth believed that closing the roads in winter was 
■"not taking full advantage of the investment" the NPS 
had in them. Opening the roads would more fully utilize 
that investment.-'' 

The Director may have been responding to the same 
pressure Yellowstone officials were feeling. Lemuel Gar- 
rison, Yellowstone's Superintendent, wrote that "because 
of the pressure which has been put on the NPS and the 
Park to get the roads open earlier in the spring. . . .we are 
advancing the snow plowing operations [for spring, 
1957].""'- The "Highway 89"" Association — a group of 
businesses located along U.S. Highway 89, which passes 


through Yellowstone — was the source; they not only de- 
sired an earlier spring opening of Yellowstone"s roads, 
but also wished to see U.S. 89 plowed all winter from 
Livingston to Jackson, through Yellow.stone."' Also join- 
ing the fray was the Wyoming Highway Commission 
and Wyoming Governor Milward Simpson, who also 
urged Yellovvstone"s administrators to keep the Park"s 
roads open all winter.'"* 

The pressure worked. Senator O'Mahoney took action 
again, stating that the NPS "would make another survey 
soon to decide whether it was feasible to keep the 
Yellowstone roads open all winter."'" Bv Julv, 
Yellowstone"s administrators had fomied a committee 
to study the matter. On the committee were representa- 
tives of the National Park Service; Colorado, California 
and regional highway departments; the Bureau of Public 
Roads; the American Automobile Association; and 
Yellowstone Park Company personnel. The NPS stated 
that "Eight years have elapsed since the Bureau of Public 
Roads" study of 1949, and in the interim improvements 
in snow removal equipment and methods have been such 
as to indicate the need of evaluating their applicabilitv to 
Yellow stone."" The group toured Yellowstone"s road svs- 
tem, both that summer and the following winter, discuss- 
ing at length the feasibility of opening Yellowstone"s 
roads in winter.'" They examined all aspects of winter in 
Yellowstone, including the climate, topography, safety 
factors, travel trends, road conditions, and costs." 

-' USDl-NPS (author), "MISSION 66 for Yellowstone National 
Park." 5. Vertical Files, File "MISSION 66," YNP Research Lihrarx. 

■* W.G. Games: "A Look Back to Look Ahead," talk given at the 
MISSION 66 Frontiers Conference, April 24, 1961, Box \PC-01, 
File "NPS — 1956 — General CoiTespondence," YNP Archives. 

-' Yellowstone National Park. NPS, HSDl, "MISSION 66: A Look 
Ahead," 73. Box D-20, Folder 4: "1956: Final MISSION 66 Report 
for Yellowstone," \'NP .Archives. 

'" Conrad Wirth to Washington Office and All Field Offices, .Ian. 
25, 1957, Box YPC-91, File "NPS-1957." 'i'NP Archives. 

" "Summary Minutes. 37"' Meeting of the .Advisor. Board on Na- 
tional Parks, Historic Buildings and Monuments," October 7-10. 1957. 
21, Box A-238, File A1619: -.Advisory Board on National Parks. His- 
toric Buildings and Monuments, 1957," YNP .Archives. 

'- Lemuel Garrison to Huntley Child. Feb. 25. 1957, Box ^'PC-9I, 
File "NPS-1957," YNP Archives. 

" HC, Jr. [Huntley Child, .Ir] to JQN [John Q, Nichols|. Feb. 27, 
1957, Box YPC-91, File "NPS-1957." ^'NP Archives. 
''' "Wyoming Urges All Entrances to Park Open Simultaneously," 
Great Falls Tribune. March 12, 1957. 

-'' Ibid 

"• Wan-en Hamilton to John Q. Nichols. JuK 9. |957. Box ^■pC-91. 
File "National Park Service — 1957," YNP .Archives. 

'■ NPS, USDI. "Infoimation for the Snow Survey Committee Con- 
ceming Possibilities of Keeping Park Open for General Public Use 
the Year Round," Box D-42, File "Snow Removal (Roads), 1932- 
1959," YNP Archives. 


Annals oi Wyoming; The Wyoming History Journal 

The Snow Survey Committee (1958) used 
a variety of early oversnow vehicles to 
travel Yellowstone 's interior road system 
in winter. The photo (left) shows them 
stopped at Virginia Meadows, traveling in 
one "Sno-cat" and four Army weasels. At 
other times, they used snowplanes and 
Bombardier snowcoaches. 

(Below) — The Snow Survey Committee 
poses for a photograph at Old Faithful, with 
an ovenvintering mule deer watching. The 
snow at the Old Faithful elevation is typi- 
cally too deep for mule deer, but the ther- 
mally warmed bare areas compensate, en- 
abling a few deer to survive in that harsh 

National Park Sen'ice, 

Yellowstone National Park photographs 

Lemuel Garrison (right) was superintendent 
of Yellowstone in the 1950s, during the sec- 
ond round of pressure to plow Yellowstone 's 
roads. The photo of Garrison, a NFS em- 
ployee and snowplane was made in 1957. 

Summer 1QQ8 

The following spring, the group made its recommen- 
dation; year round operation "is deemed feasible but not 
practical." The committee cited as reasons Yellowstone's 
poor road standards, the extremely low projections of 
winter traffic use, Yellowstone's remote location, and its 
generally severe winter weather.'* After all, conditions 
in Yellowstone's interior had not changed that much in 
eight years. 

The committee's report settled the matter for another 
seven years—at least, no record of any significant pres- 
sure on the NPS appears until 1964. In the meantime, 
MISSION 66's encouragement of oversnow vehicle visi- 
tation had an effect, as more and more winter visitors 
vacationed in the Park. Visitation in the Park via 
snowcoach from West Yellowstone steadily increased 
from 1957 to 1966, (as Table 2 below illustrates); b>' the 
1963-64 season more than 1,000 visitors had taken such 
a tour. 

In January 1963, Yellowstone's administrators per- 
mitted the first private snowmobiles-three Polaris 
Snow Travelers-to enter the Park.""' One year later. 
Acting Superintendent Luis Gastellum noted that "six 
Polaris Snow Travelers with 14 people visited the Old 
Faithful area. Polaris is a toboggan with tracks and [is] 
motor driven — [a] powered oversnow sled — which many 
people are buying."^' 

These sleds were the first snowmobiles allowed to 
enter Yellowstone. Their operators registered just as the 
snowcoach operators did — by stopping at the self-regis- 
tration station at the West Entrance, w hich was not staffed 
in w inter.""- Hence, the Park administrators lumped these 
smaller machines in with the larger snowcoaches, essen- 
tially considering them to be the winter equivalent of the 

Table 2. 

Winter Visitation to Yellowstone NP, 1957-67." 




Total Visitation, 

on snowmachine 

Dec. -March 









































*may inc 

lude more than one snowmachine 


Visitation was increasing on other fronts as well, per- 
haps because park administrators encouraged it. For ex- 
ample, in the 1964 Yellowstone Master Plan they stated: 
"Winter Use of the Park should be encouraged by ex- 
tending the operation of oversnow equipment from the 
West Entrance and soliciting additional operators from 
[the] other entrances.""*" 

In the Monthly Report for November, 1964, Superin- 
tendent McLaughlin wrote that snowcoach operator 
Harold Young "has made arrangements with the North- 
em Pacific Railway company to have two tours a week 
out of Chicago." Groups of visitors traveled from Chi- 
cago to Yellowstone via rail, and then took Young's 
snowcoaches into the Park for a tour.^^ Young's agree- 
ment with the Northern Pacitlc illustrated that the winter 
tourism possibilities were becoming realities. 

Later that winter, NBC television filmed "Winter 
Comes to Yellowstone," part of the Wild Kingdom series 
narrated by Marlin Perkins of the St. Louis Zoo. Wild 
Kingdom was a popular wildlife show of the time, view ed 
by an average of 17 million viewers weekly.""' "Winter 
Comes to Yellowstone" featured comparisons of various 
features as seen in summer and in winter, and the activi- 
ties ofwinter rangers."*" Aired on March 14, 1965, it prob- 
ably contributed to the dramatic increase in visitation in 
Yellowstone the next year (see Table 2). 

A snowmobile demonstration that occurred in March 
1965, certainly contributed to the increase in winter visi- 
tation as well. Monte Wight, a snowmobile dealer of 
Pinedale, Wyoming, requested and received pennission 
to take 27 Ski-Doos — a brand of snow mobile — on a two- 
day trip through the Park. Wight and his companions tra\ - 
eled from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful the first day. 
With no overnight accommodations open at Old Faithful 

'* NPS, USDl. "Report of the Snow Survey Committee, Yellowstone 
National Park, May l')58." 5-6. Bo.x A-165. File A4055: "Confer- 
ences and Meetings- 1%9: Tri-State Comm. And Master Planners." 
^'NP Archives. 

'" Compiled from Superintendent 's Monthly Repuns. I '5S7-67. '^'NP 
Research Library. 

'" Superintendent's Monthly Report for Januaiy. 1963. J. \'NP Re- 
search Library. 

^' Superintendent's Monthly Narrative Report for JiinuaiT 1964. L 
YNP Research Library. 

■•- Superintendent 's Monthly Report for March. 1967, 2, and photo- 
graphs following p. 9. 

" NPS, Yellowstone Master Plan Final Draft. April 1964. 100, 
Box D-67, YNP Archives. 

•'•' Ibid., 3. 

'^ Superintendent's Monthly Report for Januaiy. 1965. 3. \'NP Re- 
search Library. 

■"■ Staff Meeting Minutes for November 19, 1964, Bo.x .•\-152, File 
A40: "Conferences and Meetings, Yellowstone StatTMeetings. 1964." 
4. YMP Archives. 


Annals of Wyoming: Tlie Wyoming Histoiy Jo 

National Park Ser\ice, Yellowstone National Park 

Harold Young and Bill Nichols of West Yellowstone 
operated the "Snowmobiles of West Yellowstone " 
fi-om 1955-1966. Prior the development of the mod- 
ern snowmobile, these Bombardier Snowcoaches 
were known as snowmobiles. Evidently. Young and 
Nichols used creativit}' in decorating their vehicles. 

at that time, Wight's party returned via snowcoach to 
West Yellowstone to spend the night, leaving their snow- 
mobiles at Old Faithfid. Returning to Old Faithful via 
snowcoach the next day, the members fired up their ma- 
chines and continued on to Moran (south of the south 
entrance) that evening/' In so doing, Wight demonstrated 
to all the touring possibilities of snowmobiles. 

Superintendent McLaughlin's remarks concerning the 
trip again indicate the encouragement park administra- 
tors gave to oversnow visitation. He wrote in his 1965 
Annual Report; 

It seems inevitable [that] mechanized over-the-snow 
travel may replace skis and snowshoes. ...Undoubtedly 
more Park travel during the winter months by this type 
of machine can be expected and should be encouraged. 
This type of recreation is increasing rapidly in this par- 
ticular section of the country and its intluence has spread 
to Yellowstone National Park. The machines are now 
relatively inexpensive and maintenance requirements 
simple. Much of the terrain of the Park and its features 
are compatible and attractive to this mode of winter 

McLaughlin was correct in his prediction. The popu- 
larity of the snowmobile exploded. He soon was scram- 
bling for regulations to control the activities of snow 
machine-riding visitors in the Park. He wrote the Re- 
gional Director of the NFS requesting that the same laws 
that summer vehicle operators followed be applied to the 
snowmobile operators. McLaughlin asked the Regional 
Director if "other Service areas are experiencing this type 
of winter use and associated problems of control."^' It is 
unclear whether the Regional Director responded. 

At this time, snowmobiles were largely a novelty, hav- 
ing been only recently developed. Snowmobiles were con- 
siderably less expensive than the larger snowcoaches — 
hence, more affordable to the individual. Such convey- 
ances were attractive to area residents who had longed 
for years to access the interior of Yellowstone. If 
Yellowstone would not plow its roads, then with such 
machines, the residents could travel into the snowbound 
park. Besides, the NFS encouraged such travel. More- 
over, area residents could rent the unusual machines to 
winter tourists — and profit by doing so. 

Was McLaughlin justified in promoting such machines? 
Probably. After all, the Director of the NFS, Conrad 
Wirth, had, just seven years earlier, made it the policy of 
the NFS to encourage winter use. When Wirth issued his 
policy, he had no idea such machines would become avail- 
able in a few years. Hence, McLaughlin may have felt he 
was adhering to Wirth's directive. More importantly, here 
at last was a way to make Yellowstone's spectacular in- 
terior accessible to the world in winter. 

Pressure to open the Park's roads to automobiles 
resurfaced in 1964. Congressmen from the sur- 
rounding states reignited the debate in January, 
1 964, by inquiring again into the year-round opening of 
the Park's roads; again, their motive was to boost the 
sluggish winter economy in their respective states.'" 
Representatives of Livingston, Cody, and Cooke City ar- 
ranged a meeting between local and Yellowstone offi- 
cials in Livingston the following month to discuss the 
feasibility of opening the roads in winter. This meeting's 
outcome was unclear. Nonetheless, following the meet- 
ing, the Park County News of Livingston sent a letter to 

^' Superintendent 's Annual Report for 1964, 22-23. YNP Research 

-" Ibid., 23. 

^^ John S. McLaughlin to Regional Director, Midwest Region, March 
3L 1966, Bo.x A-32, File A88: "Oversnow Vehicle Travel," YNP 

'" "Projected Costs ( 1964) for Winter Snow Operations," pamphlet, 
"Grooming/Winter Preparations Cost," Snowmobile Briefing Book, 
Volume 1. black binder in YNP Research Library, (no page number). 

?ummer IQQS 


the Montana Congressional delegation, promoting the 
opening of the roads in Yellowstone.'' At the next staff 
meeting in Yellowstone, assistant superintendent Luis 
Gastellum, who attended the Livingston meeting, stated 
"In 1958 we issued a report stating we would be able to 
have winter travel in five or ten years, but we have not 
followed through on our development. ... Since winter 
travel is inevitable, the Service should begin planning 
for it now."'- 

The Congressional inquiry and Gastellum's statement 
touched off a debate among park staff Should the Park 
be open to snowmobiles at all? No mention was made of 
whether the Park's roads should be plowed. For the first 
time, the park staff had second thoughts about whether 
snowmobile \ isitation was appropriate to Yellowstone. 
In a staff meeting on January 28, 1966, park officials 
discussed the possible future use of oversnow vehicles 
and decided that they needed to formulate a policy by the 
next year,'' E\identl\, that decision caused staff mem- 
bers to think more seriouslx about such use. The topic 
came up again at the next meeting on February 25, 1966. 
According to the meeting minutes, "there was some dis- 
cussion regarding closing down snowmobile operations 
and whether it would be advisable to stop travel through 
the Park by any type of oversnow vehicle."''' 

Further complicating the debate was the radical pro- 
posal put forth in April, 1966, by the Yellowstone Park 
Company, the Park's chief concessionaire, to plow the 
road from Mammoth to Madison, operate snowcoaches 
from there to Old Faithful and West Yellowstone, and to 

In 1 966, the Yellowstone Park Company took over the 

Young-Nichols operation, hiiyino their Bombardier 
snowcoaches. By 1968. "ski doos" were in use in the 
park— the first small private snowmobiles. Pictured is 
a "king-size ski doo. " 

open the "Old Faithful Motor Hotel" for winter visita- 
tion." Superintendent McLaughlin decided that "the rami- 
fications of these proposals need to be discussed prettv 
thoroughly prior to any preliminary approval on mv 
part."'" (Apparently, approval was not given because the 
Yellowstone Park Company (YPCo.) did not open any 
facility at Old Faithful until 1971 ). 

At this point, the debate became public. Local con- 
gressmen again stepped into the action, holding a public 
meeting in Livingston about the opening of the Park's 
roads in winter. McLaughlin reported in the June 
Superintendent's Report; 

there has been a considerable tlurry of publicitv on 
keeping the '^'ellowstone roads open year around. This 
matter was re\ iewed [last month] around Li\ ingston and 
[has] spread quickly to other communities. Since close 
political contests are in prospect m all three surrounding 
states for \arious important offices, the time was ripe to 
reopen this perennial subject. Candidates and prospec- 
ti\e candidates were almost unanimous in their support 
of local opinion in tavor of keeping the Park open all 
year despite the high costs and doubtful feasihilitv of the 

In response to the public pressure. Park officials em- 
barked on round three of cost estimates, visitor use esti- 
mates, and statements of policy. But this time these gov- 
ernmental ramblings did not mollity the locals. Instead, 
pressure intensified, eventually draw ing George Hartzog, 
Director of the National Park Service, into the fray. 
Hartzog formed the Tri-State Commission, a group of 
high-level National Park Service officials and regional 
representatives, to study the matter."* The group met tl\ e 

^' "Why Not Open Park For W inter .'\ctivit\ For All The People?," 
Park Couim- .Wews. Livingston. Mont., Feb. (i, 1064. 

'- Staff Meeting Minutes for February l.'\ \'->M. Box .•\-l->2. File 
A40: "Conferences and Meetmgs — >'elloustone Staff Meetings, 
1964," YNP Archives. 

■'' Staff Meeting Minutes for .lanuary 28, 1^66. Box .-^-172. File 
A40: "Yellowstone Staff Meeting Minutes 1966," YNP Archives. 

" Staff Meeting Minutes for February 25. 1966, Box .A- 172, File 
A40: "Yellowstone Staff Meeting Minutes 1966," YNP .Archives. 
This is the only evidence I found from this era indicating that the 
Park administrators expressed second thoughts about allowing 
snovvmachines into the Park. 

'' Ronald Beaumont to John McLaughlin, .April 5. 1966, Bo.x C-4, 
File C-38: "Concessionaire Contracts and Permits," YMP .Archives. 

'" John McLaughlin, to Art Bazata. .April 12, 1966, Box C-4, File 
C-38: "Concessionaire Contracts and Permits," N'NP .Archives. 

-" Supenniendent 's Sloinlilv Xnrniliw Report. June. I ')66. 19. ■^'>.P 
Research Libran. 

■^^ George Hartzog to Tim Babcock. Govemor of Montana, .Aug. 
1 9, 1 966, Box A- 1 65. File A4055 : "Conferences and Meetings—l 969: 
Tri-State Comm. And Master Planners," YNP .Archives. 


Annals ot Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

times in the next year, with the Wyoming delegates 
particularly agitating for year-round opening of the Park 
roads. Hartzog and the Park administrators recognized 
that most of Yellowstone's use was concentrated in the 
three summer months. Dispersing that summer visitation 
peak had not happened so far despite the longer summer 
season. They thought it would be nice if they could dis- 
perse it somehow, although they did not want to deprive 
the summer program of its already-deficient spending.-' 

By March 1967, it was clear that the Tri-State Com- 
mission meetings were going to culminate in a con- 
gressional hearing on the "Winter Operations of 
Roads in Yellowstone National Park."*'' The hearing was 
held in Jackson, Wyoming on August 12, 1967, and was 
chaired by U.S. Senator Gale McGee of Wyoming. Di- 
rector Hartzog began the hearing by stating the position 
of his bureau. The form of transportation in winter in 
Yellowstone should be that which is most appropriate to 
the Park and which improves the quality of park experi- 
ence for the citizens. Oversnow visitation was, unless 
shown otherwise, the appropriate means of visiting the 
Park in the winter. Hartzog stated that it should be en- 
couraged, since oversnow vehicles travel on top of the 
snow, not in a plowed trench such as automobiles would 
travel through.*' 

Hartzog's position was supported by the Izaak Walton 
League and the Lander Snow-drifters (an early 
snowmobiling group) for the same reasons. Over-snow 
vehicles offered the best means of viewing the Park's 
attractions. Hamilton Stores and the Yellowstone Park 
Company agreed with Hartzog, but for different reasons, 
mostly economic. It would cost too much for them to 
open facilities in the Park's interior in the winter, since 
their buildings were not winterized. Mary Back (a Wyo- 
ming conservationist) and the National Wildlife Federa- 
tion also opposed the opening of the Park's roads. Such 
action would be too costly to American taxpayers for the 
small benefits they would receive. 

The Wildlife Management Institute of Washington, 
D.C., was the only group to oppose the plowing of roads 
for environmental or wildlife reasons. This group argued 
that "winter is the extreme period of physiological stress 
for wildlife, and both the direct and indirect harassment 
of the animals by humans could be harmful. "" 

In contrast, and as expected, nearly every Chamber of 
Commerce in Wyoming and the Yellowstone region sup- 
ported the plowing of roads in winter. Chambers as far 
away as Salt Lake City, Utah, and Amarillo, Texas, (both 
on U.S. Highways that pass through Yellowstone) sent 
statements or representatives to support the plowing of 

the Park's roads. Their motive was obvious: the stimu- 
lation of the then-slow winter economy. The West 
Yellowstone Chamber was the only one to hesitate in 
supporting the opening of park roads. Snowmobile and 
snowcoach income were already significant to town mer- 
chants. The chamber, however, changed its mind at the 
last minute and supported the opening of park roads. *^ 

Clearly, pressure to open the roads was intense and 
coming from all directions. Considering that, it is sur- 
prising that Yellowstone did not begin to plow the roads. 
But, Hartzog 's mind was apparently made up before he 
began the meetings. After all, Yellowstone's administra- 
tors had maintained their position for at least the last ten 
years. By October 1967, he informed Yellowstone's ad- 
ministrators that there would be no additional opening of 
Yellowstone's roads in the winter, nor even a longer sum- 
mer season (April-November, rather than May-October).*^ 
Rather, the Park would remain open to snowmobiles. 

In the next four years, Yellowstone administrators cre- 
ated the snowmobile policy. It consisted of three main 
prongs: keeping Yellowstone's interior roads open to 
snowmobiles and snowcoaches, rather than automobiles; 
grooming those roads on a regular basis to make them 
comfortable for travel; and opening the Old Faithful 
Snowlodge for overnight use in winter. 

Around the time of the congressional hearing. Jack 
Anderson arrived from Grand Teton National 
Park, where he was superintendent, to assume 
the superintendency of Yellowstone. Anderson adhered 
to Hartzog's position on the winter use of Yellowstone, 
as confirmed at an all-day meeting with all of his leading 
staff members on March 17 or 18, 1968.*' This was the 
crucial meeting at which Yellowstone's administrators 
formalized their winter use policy. 

-'' H.L. Bill to Director, Sept. 1, 1966, Box A-165, File A4055: 
"Conferences and Meetings — 1969: Tri-State Comm. And Master 
Planners," YNP Archives. 

'■" Staff Meeting Minutes for March 9, 1967, Box A-226, File A40: 
"Staff Meeting Minutes, 1967 — Yellowstone," YNP Archives. 

'"' Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Hearings Be- 
fore a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. United States 
Senate, on Winter Operation of Roads in Yellowstone National Park. 
Ninetieth Congress, Second Session, 1968, 6-9. 

"-Ibid, 94. 

" Ibid 

" Staff Meeting Minutes for Oct. 19, 1967, Box A-226, File 
A40, "Staff Meeting Minutes 1967 — Yellowstone," YNP Archives. 

** Date is March H, 1968 in Robert Murphy to Chief, Division of 
Resources Management & Visitor Protection, March 28, 1968, and 
March J_8, 1968 in "Winter Oversnow Vehicle Operations" Minutes, 
Box L-42, File L3427: "Recreation Activities 1969 — Winter Sports 
(Oversnow Vehicle Use)," YNP Archives. 

Summer 1QQ8 

As he later wrote regarding their decision to permit 
snowmachines instead of automobiles, Anderson and his 
staff evaluated the three options: plowing the roads, clos- 
ing the Park to all users except skiers and snowshoers, or 
developing an oversnow-visitation program. 

Plowing the Park's roads, in the view of Anderson and 
his staff would not enhance the Park visit because it 
would create three problems, all a result of creating snow 
"canyons" — roads with very high snow berms on both 
sides. The canyons would be difficult for the automobile 
visitor to see out of Further, they might become serious 
obstacles to migrating wildlife. Such canyons might trap 
snow in the windier, open valleys of the Park, creating 
traffic hazards. Plowing Yellowstone's roads would serve 
only the economic interests of the surrounding commu- 
nities by giving them easier access to each other in win- 
ter."" For these reasons, the director decided not to plow 
Yellowstone's interior roads. 

Anderson and his staff likewise felt that restricting the 
Park to snowshoers and skiers could not be justified be- 
cause only a few very hardy skiers could penetrate such a 
large park."" As Anderson later stated, "Less than 1/10 of 
1 % of the people have the capability to go out in the Park 
in the wintertime, using only skis and snowshoes."*'* Clos- 
ing the Park entirely was not an option for Anderson, 
given the intense pressure he and his staff were feeling to 
open Yellowstone to automobiles. 

That left the third option: developing an over-snow pro- 
gram. "Public pressure to open the Park gave us little 
choice — we had to do something," Anderson later wrote."'' 
Actually, he struck a compromise between the options. 
Plowing was inappropriate and too expensive, and ski- 
ing-only was too exclusive. Hence, snowmobiling offered 
a middle ground, a way to allow winter use without the 
expense of plowing. (The cost of grooming park roads 
was evidently not known or considered at the time). It 

Jack Anderson 
became superin- 
tendent of 
Yellowstone in 
J 967. He oversaw 
formulation of the 
winter use pro- 
gram, began the 
road grooming 
operation and 
opened Old 

NPS, Yellowstone National Park 


was a solution not too expensive — at that time — for the 
NPS, and, also, not too exclusive. Most important, it was 
a way to satisfy those interests who were demanding that 
he plow the roads. Anderson and his staff committed 
themselves to developing a winter program for oversnow 

As finally formalized. Yellowstone's snowmobile 
policy was: 

Snowmobiling, per se, has no place in any natural area 
of the National Park System; 

A snowmobile utilized for controlled access to a natu- 
ral area is as appropriate in the winter as a con\ entional 
motor vehicle is in the summer; 

Snowmobiles will be allowed to enter Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park if confined to the snow-covered road system 
which, during the summer months, accommodates con- 
ventional motor \ehicles; and 

The purpose of allow ing o\ ersnow \ehicles to enter 
^'ellowstone is to pro\ ide an opportunity for winter \ isi- 
tors to see, and enjoy, the many wonderhil natural fea- 
tures and wildlife that are present in the Park.'" 

At the time Anderson and his staff made this decision. 
the only legislation they had to follow was the NPS and 
Yellowstone Organic Acts. Both acts charged them to 
provide for the enjoyment of the Park in such a way that 
the Park's resources would not be impaired for future 
generations. They were clearly providing for the enjoy- 
ment of the Park's winter resources by opening its roads 
to oversnow vehicles. Likewise, as far as they knew at 
the time, snowmobile use of the Park would not impair 
its resources. Finally, public pressure to open the roads 
was intense. By facilitating visitation while minimizing 
the adverse effects Anderson thought plow ing w ould have 
on the Park's wildlife and visitors, he was acting in the 
best interest of the national park and National Park Ser- 

'" Jack .Anderson, "Interview with Jack Anderson, former Park Su- 
perintendent," interview by Robert Haraden and Alan Mebane, June 
12, 1975. Drawer 3, Tape 75-3: ^■NP Research Librar\, 

"" Robert Haraden (Acting Superintendent), to Lee Wood, March 
31, 1972, Bo.\N-l 18, File "Historical Backcountr\ Correspondence." 
YNP Archives. 

"' Jack Anderson, "Transcript of Con\ersation, Jack Anderson and 
Derrick Crandall," interview by Derrick Crandall, April 1, 1977, "Cur- 
rent Stuff Section, Snowmobile Briefing Book Voi I. 9. YNP Re- 
search Librarv'. 

"' Jack Anderson to Raymond Euston, July 20, 1972, Bo.x N-1 18. 
File "Historical Backcountry Correspondence," \NP .Archives. 

™ Harold J. Estey (.Acting Superintendent) to Robert B. Ranck, 
Dec. 20, 1974, Box W-129, File W42: "Special Regulations, 1973- 
75," YNP Archives. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming Histon' lournal 

Snowmachines ( snowmobiles and the larger snow- 
coaches) tend to create moguls, or bumps, in the 
road after several machines have traveled the 
same stretch. Being malleable, snow is easily displaced 
by the propulsion of the snowmachines. Hence, after a 
number of snowmobiles have traveled the same stretch 
of road, it can become a field of moguls, and can present 
some very ditTicult, uncomfortable travel conditions. 
These conditions are what Yellowstone's administrators 
wished to remedy when they began grooming 
Yellowstone snow roads. In this way, Yellowstone's ad- 
ministrators hoped to convince the plowing advocates to 
accept their oversnow-vehicle program. 

The road-grooming program had its roots in the activi- 
ties of park concessionaires, who were the first to attempt 
to groom the roads. When snowcoaches first started tour- 
ing Yellowstone in the 1950's, they frequently became 
stuck in the soft, deep snow of the Park's unplowed, un- 
packed, and ungroomed roads. To remedy that, tour op- 
erators sometimes drove a snowplane ahead of the much 
heavier snowcoaches to break trail for them. To ftirther 
flatten the trail, the snowcoach drivers pulled behind them 
a "drag," a large, heavy wooden contraption that, through 
its sheer weight and force of friction, smoothed the mo- 
guls that had formed." In this way the early tour opera- 
tors "groomed" the road for their use.'- 

By the 1 960's the Yellowstone Park Company ( YPCo.) 
used its snowcoaches in this manner. Following a snow- 
fall, a company employee went out early the next day 
with an empty coach to pack the trail for the passenger- 
carrying coaches following later in the day." 

As late as 1968. the YPCo. was still using its drag to 
groom the roads. The drag was made of 2 x 12's, was 
around fifteen feet long, and often required two 
snowcoaches chained together to pull, especially in new- 

At the policy meeting in March 1 968, the NFS officers 
discussed a problem with the company's drag. It tore up 
the asphalt road surface, especially over the thermally 
bare spots in the roads. Consequently, they recommended 
to the YPCo. that they investigate the use of a "roller- 
type device . . . similar to those used on ski areas to smooth 
ski runs."" This was a piece of a galvanized steel culvert 
pulled behind a grooming machine. 

The YPCo. never purchased such a device, because their 
system of road grooming apparently was adequate for 
their needs.'" The company continued to use its drag on 
the roads, with its attendant problems. 

The coaches often traveled in the very same grooves as 
previous coaches, leaving behind two parallel deep 

Trenches created by snowcoach trajfic, 1968. Before 
1971. the NFS did not regularly groom snow-covered 
roads for park visitors. After fresh snowfall. Bombar- 
dier snowcoaches had to break trail and later coaches 
traveled in the trail broken by the lead coach. Often 
they left deep trenches like these. 

grooves (where the skis and tracks had traveled) with a 
large mound of snow between them. The drag that the 
YPCo. used did not eliminate these deep grooves and 
mounds," a situation that made travel difficult for the 
smaller snowmobiles. ** 

Anderson noted still another problem with the roads: 
"we found we were starting to have injuries because ... 
we did not groom roads . . . and the roads just used to be 
terrible," due to the increased numbers of snowmobiles 

' Bob Jones (former Reservations Manager for YPCo.), telephone 
interview by autlnor, Moab, Utah, Nov. 17, 1997. 

'- Walt Stuart, "Interview with Walt Stuart by Leslie Quinn, 1994," 
November, 1994, Drawer 8, Tape #96-8, YNP Research Library. Stuart 
also mentions driving the snowplanes on Yellowstone Lake as fast as 
130-140 m.p.h., and chasing coyotes on Hebgen Lake with them. 

" Harold Estey (Chief Park Ranger), to Administrative Officer, 
Oct. 16, 1969, Box A-32, File ASS: "Oversnow Vehicle Travel," 
YNP Archives. 

'■• Jones interview, Nov. 17, 1997. 

'" "Winter Oversnow Vehicle Operations" — Minutes of March 18, 
1968 meeting. Box N-1 15, File L3427: "Winter Sports — Oversnow 
Vehicle Use," 1. YNP Archives. 

"■ Bill Hape (former Assistant Chief of Maintenance for the NPS), 
telephone interview by author, Gardiner, MT, Nov. 13, 1997. 

"' Bill Hape, in Yellowstone National Park, Winter Information. 
1977 (Unpublished green folder in Vertical Files, YNP Research Li- 
brary), no page number. 

'* Jerry Memin (former Snake River District Ranger), interview by 
author, Bozeman, MT, Nov. 1 1, 1997. 

Summer IQ'-^b 

entering the Park.'" Clearly, there were many problems 
with Park snow roads at that time. 

Consequently, Chief Park Ranger Harold Estey, after 
attending the 1970 International Snowmobile Congress 
in Duluth, Minnesota, wrote Anderson that "snowmo- 
bile routes, particularly between West Yellowstone and 
Old Faithful and between Mammoth and Old Faithful, 
will have to receive tread maintenance."'*" By February 
1 970, the NPS was considering "tailoring our snow-cov- 
ered roads for winter use beginning next winter. With 
the type of use we are getting and the fact that we do 
invite this type of use, we are certainly going to have to 
consider making it safe for the visitor to come into the 
Park on [snowjmachines."*^' 

Anderson wrote that grooming the roads was the solu- 

We made a detemiination that we should expend some 
funds and experiment a little bit with road grooming. 
...Once ue started that, then the whole program started 
to explode and tra\el increased perceptibly ...The in- 
crease in use just came automatically, almost simply be- 
cause ue had started grooming. It made the [park] unit 
safe, gave a pleasant trip, and yet it ga\e access into the 
Park. You know what happened after that.*- 

Anderson decided to groom the roads to make them 
safe and comfortable for snowmobiles. Because inain- 
taining the road for the increasing: nuinbers of 

Table 3. Winter Visitation to Yellowstone 

, 1967-73^' 


Visitation type 





Snowcoaches Machines 

























































27.7% ' 

















5 1 .4% 





















27, .176 








snowmobilers was not the responsibility of the YPCo., 
the NPS took it over.^' To do that. Park administrators 
purchased a "mobile planer," an attachinent made by the 
Thiokol Company for its over-snow equipment. It was 
ready to use by February 3, 1 97 1 .*'-' That winter the NPS 
spent 264 person days on road grooming for oversnow 
travel.'*- The Park Service sroomed the South Entrance 

'" "Interview with Jack .Anderson, former Park Superintendent." 
interview by Robert Haraden and .Alan Mebane. June 12.1 975. Draw er 
3, Tape 75-3: YNP Research Library. 

*" Harold Estey (Chief Park Ranger) to Superintendent. Feb. 16, 
1970, IN Box A-35, File A40: "Conferences & Meetings 1970," 
'I'NP .Archives, YNP, WY. 

*' Jack .Anderson to George F. Baggley, Feb. 26, 1970, IN Box .A- 
36. File D30: "Roads & Trails 197(3," YNP .Archives. YNP. WY. 

*- Jack Anderson, "Interview with Jack .Anderson, former Park Su- 
perintendent," interview by Robert Haraden and Alan Mebane, June 
12, 1975. IN Drawer 3, Tape 75-3, YNP Research Library, YNP, 
WY. In developing his grooming program, .Anderson may have con- 
ferred with the Bombardier Corporation, a snowmobile manufacturer 
in Duluth, Minnesota. The document entitled "Snoplan — ,A Trail De- 
velopment and Maintenance Program," by Jack .Armstrong, the L'.S. 
Snoplan Coordinator of Bombardier Corp. in Duluth. MN ( 1 97 1 ) dis- 
cusses the "Snoplan" developed by Bombardier to groom roads in 
\'ellowstone, Minnesota, and Michigan, with the stated objective of 
providing a safe environment for snowmobilers and to lessen envi- 
ronmental impact, presumably by confining snowmobiles to the 
groomed roads and restricting their off-road movements. I have not 
seen a copv of the original document, but rather only a summarv of it 
b\ former N'ellowstone Planning Office Ranger Kate Scott, so I am 
unable to discern whether .Anderson actuallv did confer with Bom- 

*' Jones interview, Nov. 17. 1997. 
''^ Staff Meeting Minutes for Feb. 
2, 1971. 3. Box A-37, File .A40: 
"Conferences and Meetings, 1971" 
YNP .Archives. While numerous 
other sources mention 1970 as the 
year road grooming began (such as 
Linda Paganelli. "The Historical De- 
velopment of Winter Visitor Lse at 
Yellowstone National Park," YNP 
Research Library Vertical Files, 
1980), this is the earliest mention 
that I could find of it. With 264 per- 
son davs (53 weeks) of work listed 
as the number of days spent on 
grooming that winter, it is likely that 
the NPS began grooming in Decem- 
ber, 1970. Since Paganelli does not 
cite her source, and because I can 
not find an original source with a 
1 970 date on it, I chose to adhere to 
the Feb., 1971 date. 

*' Gary Everhart to Director, Mid- 
west Region, Nov. 8, 1971, Box A- 
47, File .A6423: "Park Management 
1971: Park .Activity Standards." 
YT^iP Archives. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming Histoiy journal 

to West Thumb, the West Yellowstone to Old Faithful 
stretch, and the road from West Yellowstone to Canyon 
and Mammoth.*** Yellowstone's administrators targeted 
the more heavily-used roads on the west side of the Park. 
The roads on the east side of the Park remained open to 
snowmobiles, but were left ungroomed. 

Beginning this grooming program was new for Ander- 
son and the NPS. Anderson frequently corresponded with 
snowmobile clubs, especially some clubs in the upper 
Midwest, for advice on the mechanics of snow groom- 
ing.*' Chief Ranger Estey's attendance at the International 
Snowmobile Congress in Duluth probably facilitated this 
correspondence. Perhaps this assistance from the snow- 
mobile industry is the "cooperation" referred to by Ander- 
son when he stated: "We've had the cooperation of not 
only the national but also the international snowmobile 
associations. We've had the cooperation of the industry 
itself and, of course, the industry recognized Yellowstone 
as the leader in winter recreation."*'* 

Indeed, Anderson was correct, because the number of 
snowmobiles entering Yellowstone jumped in the next 
several winters, thanks to his efforts to provide a com- 
fortable, safe, family experience. As Table 3 illustrates, 
snowmobile visitation experienced dramatic increases in 
the early 1970's. Anderson looked forward to snowmo- 
bile visitation increasing,"' which is precisely what hap- 
pened. His compromise appeared to be working. 

Attempts by the Yellowstone Park Company to 
open the Snowlodge began with the company 
letter to Superintendent McLaughlin in 1966 
requesting that it be allowed to open the "Old Faithful 
Motor Hotel.'"" McLaughlin responded, asking that the 
YPCo. officials meet with him directly to discuss the 
matter.''- Whether they ever did is unclear, but it is likely. 
At the congressional hearing in Jackson that summer, 
McLaughlin stated that if the YPCo. opened any facili- 
ties at Old Faithful for winter visitors, it would be the 
Campers Cabin building (probably the same building as 
the "Motor Hotel"), since it was partly winterized. If frilly 
winterized, this building could provide accommodations 
and meals for 100 people." 

The idea was apparently shelved. There seems to be no 
other information regarding it until 1 97 1 . In the mean- 
time, the YPCo. opened another hotel in Yellowstone 
for winter visitation — the "Mammoth Motor Inn" (now 
known as the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel). Because 
visitation was increasing, and the hotel was (and is) lo- 
cated on a plowed road, the Yellowstone Park Company 
opened it for the winter 1966-67 season.'"" 

Additionally, the YPCo. began snowcoach tours from 
Mammoth in 1966. Logically, it needed an open facility 
in that area.'"" The hotel stayed open for a total of four 
consecutive winters, but it never made much money, prob- 
ably because it was not located in the interior of 
Yellowstone where most winter visitors were. It was lo- 
cated in the lower-elevation, northern part of the Park, 
where the plowed road first turned into the snowmobile 
road. Additionally, it was twenty more miles from it to 
Old Faithfril than the famous geyser was from the hotels 
in West Yellowstone. As a result, the hotels in West drew 
more business. The YPCo. closed the facility in 1970.'*' 

With visitation increasing, especially to the ever-popular 
Old Faithfril, both NPS and YPCo. officials considered 
opening a hotel there in winter. About 1969, discussions 
began on opening a lodge at Old Faithful in winter. Ini- 
tially, the officials were discussing just opening a food 
service facility to serve the increasing numbers of visi- 
tors, but eventually expanded the idea to include some 
simple lodging.'' Demand for some form of lodging and 
meal service at Old Faithfril was obvious.'* In fact, the 
NPS reported that an increasing number of snowmobilers 
were using the heated restrooms at Old Faithful to eat 
and sleep in. In the 1960s there was no other place to 
spend the night at Old Faithful (or for that matter, to 

*' Robert E. Sellers (Acting Chief Park Ranger) to Gene Bryan 
(Wyoming Travel Commission), Dec. 20, 1 971 , Box L-36, File L3427: 
"Recreation Activities: Winter Sports," YNP Archives. 

" Hape interview, Nov. 13, 1997. There is no extant correspon- 
dence between Anderson or Hape and the snowmobile groups. 

*' Jack Anderson, "Interview with Jack Anderson, former Park Su- 
perintendent," interview by Robert Haraden, and Alan Mebane, June 
12, 1975, Drawer 3, Tape 75-3: YNP Research Library. 

" Dale Nuss (former Park Ranger, Yellowstone), interview by au- 
thor, Bridger Canyon, Mont., Nov. 11, 1997. 

'*' Summary Record of Snowmobile Use, Yellowstone National Park, 
1966 through April, 1978, Box K-57, File "Winter Activities," YNP 

'' Ronald R. Beaumont to John S. McLaughlin, April 5, 1966, Box 
C-4, File C38: "Concessioner Contracts & Permits," YNP Archives. 

'- John McLaughlin S. (Superintendent) to Art Bazata (General 
Manager, YPCo), April 12, 1966, Box C-4, File C38: "Concessioner 
Contracts & Permits," YNP Archives. 

'^ Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Hearings Be- 
fore a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. United States 
Senate, on Winter Operation of Roads in Yellowstone National Park, 
Ninetieth Congress, Second Session, 1968, 13. 

'* Superintendent 's Monthly Narrative Report for December. J 966, 
1 1. YNP Research Library. 

'^ Nuss interview, Nov. 1 1, 1997. 

" John D. Amerman to Jack Anderson, Aug. 19, 1970, Box C-24, 
File "Concessions Bldgs," YNP Archives. 

" Jones interview, Nov. 17, 1997. 

'* Hape interview, Nov. 13, 1997. 

?ummer 19QS 


All photos, NPS, Yellowstone National Park 

Snowmobiles on Dimraven Pass. 1979 (above). This party 
is at "Mae West " curve on the Dimraven Pass road. The 
NPS now prohibits snowmobiles on this stretch of road, 
for safeh' reasons. 

The National Park Service began to groom the roads 
regularly in 1971. This photo of one of the early groom- 
ing machines was taken in 1975. 

In 1971. the Yellowstone Park Company opened the 
Snowlodge at Old Faithful to provide overnight ac- 
commodations. The temporaiy "Snow Lodge " sign cov- 
ered the more permanent "Campers Cabins " sign un- 
derneath. In 1973. the company permanently renamed 
the building "Old Faithful Snowlodge. " and tore it 
down in 1998. 


Annals ol Wyoming: The Wyoming Histoiy Journal 

relieve oneself).'" Furthermore, Chief Ranger Estey, again 
just back from Duluth, stated that "minimum concessioner 
services consisting of shelter, gas and oil, and sanitary 
facilities ... should be available at Old Faithful."'"" By 
the next summer, the YPCo. was "seriously considering 
opening facilities at Old Faithful this winter."'"' 

On December 17, 1971, the Old Faithftil Snowlodge 
opened for its tlrst winter season. Open through March 
19, 1972, the Snowlodge featured "simple, pleasant and 
comfortable lodging spiced with hearty western food and 
beverage and nature's grandest winter display. . . . Single, 
twin and triple rooms are available. All are convenient to 
centrally located bath facilities."'"- It was the Campers 
Cabin building with a new name,'"' with 34 rooms (with- 
out bath). The rooms were used in summer by the em- 
ployees of the Campers Cabin facility. The company 
chose this building because it was one of their newer 
buildings at Old Faithful, and it was already winterized. 
Although they discussed opening all or part of Old Faith- 
ful Inn, they did not follow through on this idea because 
the Inn would have needed extensive renovation and win- 
terizing.'""' Heating the Inn would have been next to im- 
possible, with its 80-foot-high non-insulated ceiling. 

The YPCo. offered several tour packages at the 
Snowlodge as well as snowshoeing, ski touring, and 
snowcoach tours.'"' The Snowlodge and its tours were 
clearly popular. In fact, the concessionaire still offers these 
services today. 

After the crucial policy meeting in March 1968, An- 
derson realized he would have to promote the new 
winter policy to get it to work and to get the locals 
to buy into it. As he later said. 

We did the best thing ... try and develop a ... viable 
winter program. So, we went ... to ... the International [Snow- 
mobile Industry Association], and we talked to the manufac- 
turers to try and [sic] encourage them to come in to West 
Yellowstone and here. We drew some people in who had high 
public visibility — Lowell Thomas was one.""" 

'''' "Winter Oversnow Vehicle Operations" — Minutes of March 18, 
1968 meeting. Box N-1 15, File L3427: "Winter Sports — Oversnow 
Vehicle Use," YNP Archives. 

'"" Harold Estey (Chief Park Ranger) to Superintendent, Feb. 16, 
1970, Bo.\ A-35, File A40: "Conferences & Meetings 1970," YNP 

"" Staff Meeting Minutes for July 20, 1971, Box A-37, File A40: 
"Conferences & Meetings, 1971," YNP Archives. 

"'- "Yellowstone Snowtime Adventures," promotional brochure for 
Old Faithful Snowlodge for its first season, 1971-72, located at Chief 
Executive's Office, AmFac Parks & Resorts, Mammoth Hot Springs, 
YNP, Wyoming. 

'""' Yellowstone National Park, Winter Information. 1977 (Unpub- 
lished green folder in Vertical Files, YNP Research Library), no page 

"" Jones interview, Nov. 17, 1997. 

"" "Yellowstone Snowtime Adventures." 

'"" Jack .Anderson, "Interview with Jack Anderson, former Park 
Superintendent," interview by Robert Haraden and Alan Mebane, June 
12, 1975, Drawer 3, Tape 75-3: YNP Research Library. 

Snowmobiles create bumpy roads. 
Without regular grooming, the roads 
become fields of moguls. This is Seven- 
Mile Bridge on the West Entrance 
Road in 1972. 

Old Faithful always has been the most popular winter destination. Visi- 
tors, in 1971, watch from their vehicles as the geyser erupts. This is no 
longer possible. The road was closed to winter traffic in 1974. 


Clearly, Anderson promoted his new program as best 
he could. It is uncertain, however, just what he meant by 
talking with the manufacturers and encouraging them to 
come in to the Park and West Yellowstone.'"' 

He promoted snowmobile use of Yellowstone — at a 
very critical time for the snowmobile industry. In the late 
]960's. there were more than one hundred snowmobile 
manufacturers. Most were attempting to develop a mar- 
ket for their products in the West.""* To do that, they 
were subsidizing the snowmobile industry in West 
Yellowstone by making snowmobiles available through 
low-priced leases. Anderson may have s-^en a mutualh 
beneficial agreement with the snowmobile industry. 
Opening Yellowstone to snowmobile visitation would 
satisfy politicians. The industry could simultaneously 
achieve its objective of developing the western snowmo- 
bile market. Indeed, by 1972, the snowmobile manufac- 
turers were leasing their machines to several West 
Yellowstone motel owners, who in turn rented them to 
winter \isitors.""^ 

Anderson publicized the new w inter policy by in\ iting 
reporters and by writing newspaper articles about 
Yellowstone in winter. For example, Lowell Thomas, a 
well-known radio commentator, visited Yellowstone in 
winter during this time period and gave several nation- 
wide radio addresses about his visit to the Park in win- 
ter."" Anderson wrote an article promoting a visit to 
Yellowstone in w inter, stating "each year more folks are 
coming to see the Park during what used to be the "closed" 
season but closed no more."'" 

Anderson also promoted Yellow stone's w inter program 
by permitting another demonstration snowmobile trip, 
this time around the Park's Grand Loop (with the excep- 
tion of the road from Tower Falls to Mammoth, which 
was plowed for automobile use). A group of 28 men and 
women sponsored by the Big Sky Snowriders, a snow- 
mobile group from Livingston, Montana, took three days 
to complete the lS2-mile ride, camping out in the Park 
along the way."- Their trip was precedent-setting in that 
it was the first such circumnavigation of all the Park roads 
in one trip and further demonstrated the touring possi- 
bilities of the snowmobile in Yellowstone. 

By 1971, Superintendent Anderson had an otTicial 
policy allowing snowmachines the use of Yellow- 
stone's roads in the w inter. He cemented the policx 
in place by promoting it publicly, pro\ iding comfortable 
snowmobile roads, and opening a place to stay overnight 
within the Park. 

At the time snowmobiles must have seemed relatively 
benign, despite their high level of noise. Administrators 
felt that snowmobiles were to w inter as automobiles were 
to summer. Hence, they did not feel it necessary to ex- 
amine the en\ironmental side effects of the things. Nor 
could an> reasonable person likely ha\ e foreseen just how- 
much snowmobile visitation would grow. The managers 
were doing what they thought was best for Yellowstone. 
Moreover, at the time, the Park's managers felt that open- 
ing the Park to snowmobiles carried fewer impacts than 
plowing the roads would have. In allow ing snowmobiles 
into Yellowstone, Anderson and his staff were motivated 
to act in the Park's best interest and in the best interest of 
the NPS. 

"' Ofthe seven associates of Anderson's that I inters iewed. none 
could say conclusively what .Anderson meant b\ this remark. Mary 
Meagher (research biologist, ^'ellovvstone), telephone interview by 
author, Gardiner, MT, Nov. 3, 1997; Bob Haraden (Ibrmer Assistant 
Superintendent of Yellowstone), interview by author, Bozeman. MT, 
Nov, 11, 1997; Harold Estey, telephone interview by author, Nor- 
t'olk, NE, Nov. 12, 1997; Terry Danforth. interview by author, 
Bozeman, MT. Nov. 20. 1997; and author's interviews with Hape, 
Nov. 13. 1997; Mernin, Nov. 11, 1997; and Nuss. Nov. 1 1. 1907. 

"" Darcv L. Fawcett, "Colonial Status: The Search for Indepen- 
dence in West Yellowstone, Montana" (Professional Paper submit- 
ted to Montana State University), Dec. 17, 19Q3, 21. 

"'"//);</, 23, 27. 

"" Jack Anderson to Lowell Thomas, March 17, 1969, IN Box A- 
158, File A3821: "Public Relations 1969 (Individuals)." YNP Ar- 
chives, YNP, WY. 

' ' ' Jack .Anderson to Fred Martin ( Editor ofthe Park Ctyiinn- News), 
Dec. 29, 1969, IN Box A-158, File A3815: "Public Relations 1969 
(Federal, State & Local Agencies)," \'NP Archives, YNP, WY. 

"- "Snowriders to Tour 'Yellowstone's Loop." The Billings Ga- 
zette, Jan. 25, 1967. 

Michael J. Yochim holds the M. S. degree in En- 
vironmental Studies from the Univers it}' of Mon- 
tana (1998). This article is derived from a chap- 
ter of his Mi thesis titled. "The Development of 
Snowmobile Policy in Yellowstone. "Since J 995. 
he has worked as a guide in Yellowstone. Prior 
to that time, he was a park ranger for the Na- 
tional Park Service. 

Pf ©J«cf Wm§mm WMmmM 

Project Plowshare was the name 
given by the Atomic Energy 
Commission to a project that sought 
"to fmd practical industrial and scien- 
tific uses for nuclear explosives."' The 
AEC could make the Biblical leap to 
beat its "swords (bombs) into plow- 
shares."- One idea for Project Plow- 
share would have used deeply buried 
nuclear explosions to form chimneys 
of broken rock into underground res- 
ervoirs for water in arid regions. 

Scientists, during the 1960s and 
1970s, developed the new and excit- 
ing technology of nuclear stimulation 
in the energy field. Nuclear stimula- 
tion, a process where natural gas 
trapped in tight formations is released, 
was going to be the answer to the 
nation's energy crisis, at least in the 
view of project proponents. 

The process in which the chimneys 
stimulated the production of natural 
gas attracted the attention of El Paso 
Natural Gas Company. The firm signed 
a contract with the Atomic Energy 
Commission and the Department of the 
Interior to explore the feasibility of 
using nuclear stimulation in natural gas 
production. The agreement was signed 
January 31, 1967.^ 

Plowshare's only focus, seemed to 
be nuclear stimulation. The Atomic 
Energy Commission's 7972 Annual 
Report gave a glowing review of re- 
search progress. The research had high- 

level support. President Richard 
Nixon, in 1 97 1 , had "cited this nuclear 
stimulation technology as one of four 
Federal technological efforts under- 
taken to alleviate the Nation's natural 
gas shortage."'' 

Four nuclear stimulation projects 
were planned during the Plowshare 
years, three of which were detonated. 
The first stimulation project detonated 
by the Atomic Energy Commission 
was Project Gasbuggy near 
Farmington, New Mexico, in the 
northwestern comer of the state. 

Project Gasbuggy, a single 29-kilo- 
ton nuclear device, was detonated 
December 1 0, 1 967, and received little 
negative publicity. In fact, the project 
was "heralded by the New Mexico 
Governor, the State's Senators, and 
members of the Joint Committee on 
Atomic Energy."-'^ 

The newspapet coverage in New 
Mexico was generally positive. The 
day after the test shot, one newspaper 
included a photograph of a Native 
American with an employee of the El 
Paso Natural Gas Company. The cap- 
tion read, "Space Age First Helps First 
American."* Pamphlets describing the 
project were printed in Spanish and 
English and distributed widely.' 

Interestingly, "New Mexico con- 
gressmen consistently pressed for 
progress on Gasbuggy, and some were 
unhappy with the AEC (Atomic En- 

By M^mi* 

From "Nuclear Stimulaii 
Natural Gas," Hearing i\ 
the Subcommittee on <\ 
Lands, Committee on I ij 
and Insular Affairs, 93r( 
gress, May 11, 1973, 44, 

Immw WMmsMmwm 



ergy Commission) for what they felt were unwar- 
ranted delays in the Gasbuggy timetable."** This 
project was welcomed and encouraged by members 
of the state's government. Project Gasbuggy was con- 
sidered a technical success according to many be- 
cause the "shot stimulated gas flow into the well to a 
degree somewhat greater than had been possible 
through conventional techniques, but uncertainty re- 
mained as to how much improvement had occurred.""^ 
The project went forward because of overwhelming 
support from both elected officials and those living 
in the area.'" 

The second nuclear stimulation project. Project 
Rulison, in Colorado faced opposition. Environmen- 
tal groups filed suits opposing the project. In 
theProject Rulison test, a single nuclear device of 40 
kilotons, was detonated Sept. 10, 1 969, near the town 



}mercial fielding concept for a nuclear explosive for gas 
'lafion. as conceived/or Project Wagon Wheel in Sublette 
nt\\ early 1970s. 

This article is adapted from Adam Lederer's Political Sci- 
ence Master's thesis. Using Public Policy Models to Evaluate 
Nuclear Slimiilation Projects: Wagon Wheel in Wyoming. (Uni- 
versity of Wyoming, April 1998). The author wishes to thank the 
members of the Wagon Wheel Information Committee for pro- 
viding him with information for this article. 

' .Atomic Energy Commission. 1964 Financial Report. 17. 

- Isaiah 2:4 

-' Evidence suggests it may not have been the first contract for 
nuclear stimulation. In 1963, El Paso, the ,AEC and the Depart- 
ment of the Interiorjointly studied the feasibility of nuclear stimu- 
lation. See Frank Kreith and Catherine B. Wrenn, The Nuclear 
Impact: A Case Study of the Plowshare Program to Produce Gas 
by Underground Nuclear Stimulation in the Rocky .Mountains. 
(Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, Inc., 1976), 13. 

^ Atomic Energy Commission, 1972 Financial Report. 36. On 
June 4, 1971, Nixon delivered a "Special Message to the Con- 
gress on Energy Resources," that incorporated the term "nuclear 
stimulation" while describing efforts to reduce the current short- 
age of natural gas. In the message, Ni.xon states "this relatively 
clean form of energy is in even greater demand to help satisfy air 
quality standards. Our present supply of natural gas is limited, 
however, and we are beginning to face shortages which could 
intensify as we move to implement the air quality standards." 
Ni.xon noted that federal etYort to help alleviate the shortage in- 
cluded "Progress in nuclear stimulation experiments which seek 
to produce natural gas from tight geologic formations which can- 
not presently be utilized in ways which are economically and 
environmentally acceptable." Richard Nixon, Public Papers of 
the Presidents: Richard Ni.xon 1971. (GPO, 1971). 710. 

' Kreith and Wrenn, 49. 

" Kreith and Wrenn, 55. 

' Kreith and Wrenn, 54. 

" Kreith and Wrenn. 54. 

" Kreith and Wrenn, 68. 

'" Today a plaque marks the point of detonation on the surface: 
"Project Gasbuggy Nuclear Explosive Emplacement/Reentry Well 
(GB-ER) Site of the First United States Underground Nuclear 
Experiment for the Stimulation of Low-Productivity Gas Reser- 
voirs. A 29 Kiloton Nuclear Explosive Was Detonated at a Depth 
of 4227 feet Below This Surface Location on December 10, 1 967. 
No excavation, drilling, and/or removal of materials to a true ver- 
tical depth of 1500 feet is permitted within a radius of 100 feet of 
this surface location. Nor any similar excavation, drilling, and/or 
removal of subsurface materials between the true vertical depth 
of 1500 feet to 4500 feet is permitted within a 600 foot radius of 
T 29 N. R 4 W. New Mexico Principal Meridian, Rio Arriba 
County, New Mexico without U. S. Government Permission. 
United States Department of Energx November 1978." Bureau 
of Atomic Tourism, "Project Gasbuggy," {http/^www 
-chrisp/gasbug.htm) Author accessed site March 23, 1998. 


Annals or WyomingiThe Wyoming History Journal 

of Rifle, Colorado. The site was beneath 73-year-old 
Claude Hayward's 292-acre potato-patch. Initially of- 
fered $100 a month for the rest of his life to use the 
property, Hayward declined. Later "the AEC came back 
around with a whiskey bottle and got him good and 
juiced up and said they would pay him $200 a month 
for the rest of his life."" Heyward signed. 

Unlike Gasbuggy, the Rulison project faced opposi- 
tion from a number of protestors both at the scene and 
in the court system. The day the project was detonated, 
four protestors paired off and just before detonation 
made their presence known using fireworks inside the 
secured zone. A helicopter swept two of the protestors 
out of the area while the other two remained and expe- 
rienced the blast's shock waves. 

Another protestor was in the U. S. Supreme Court 
when the bomb went off Tom Lamm, brother of fii- 
ture Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, appealed to the 
Supreme Court to stop the project. He lost. Tom Lamm 
said he "got kicked all over the court, but everybody 
was real nice because they all knew that 1 was just a 
dumb kid from Colorado." After the ruling was released, 
Tom Lamm spent time thanking clerks, avoiding the 
press waiting for him outside. When he finally left the 
building, "the first thing they said was that the bomb 
just went off."'- 

Meanwhile, local residents met the Rulison detona- 
tion with a "fian afternoon." In fact, one local resident 
"remembers being irritated by the protestors who'd 
come in from out of town."" The preliminary results 
"indicated that the experiment had demonstrated the 
technical feasibility of nuclear sfimulafion of gas in 
the Rulison field. "'^ 

There were several noteworthy outcomes of the 
Rulison project. First, Heyward never got any money 
for letting the bomb go off beneath his potato-patch: 
under the contract he signed, Heyward "got paid only 
if the well made money for the energy companies."''^ 
Second, in 1974 through a citizen's initiative, Colo- 
rado voters amended the state's constitution to require 
any project to detonate a nuclear bomb in Colorado 
"must first pass a statewide vote of the people.""' Third, 
Dick Lamm credits Rulison with helping to "launch 
the state's environmental movement along with his can- 
didacy for governor."'^ 

The third nuclear stimulation project was Rio Blanco. 
The project, detonated May 17, 1973, was located in 
western Colorado in Rio Blanco County. Rio Blanco 
differed from its predecessors because it used three 30- 
kiloton nuclear devices stacked vertically and detonated 
simultaneously. The objective of Rio Blanco was to 

determine if detonating the nuclear devices would re- 
sult in the three bombs creating one "rubble chimney," 
thus producing more natural gas. ' * Technically speak- 
ing. Project Rio Blanco was a failure because "there 
was no communication between the top and the lower 
chimneys," defeating the purpose of the design." 

The dynamics of the Rio Blanco polifical situafion 
were dramatically different from Gasbuggy and 
Rulison. The energy crisis had hit home in Colorado 
during the preceding winter when "Denver public 
schools were briefly forced to curtail the school week 
because of (their) inability to heat school buildings."-" 

Unlike Rulison, the strongest voices opposing Project 
Rio Blanco came not from environmentalists, but from 
industry. TOSCO (The Oil Shale Company) took cen- 
ter stage with the argument that the project would "de- 
stroy the opportunity to exploit overlying oil-shale for- 

However in the end, local residents appeared to be in 
favor of Rio Blanco. In fact, "a Rio Blanco county 
commissioner expressed exasperation that some of 
Colorado's elected representatives seemed to pay less 
attention to the local area residents who favored the 
project than to some 'so-called experts who live as far 
away as Connecticut.'" Project Rio Blanco was deto- 
nated because the resistance was muted — local resi- 
dents favored the project and elsewhere the story got 
"lost amid coverage of Watergate and other stories of 
the day."-- 

JBM^ roject Wagon Wheel was to be Wyoming's 
iWaM^ nuclear stimulation project, nestled in Sublette 
[■J County, Wyoming. However, unlike its pre- 
decessors Wagon Wheel was not detonated. 

The county is located in southwestern Wyoming and 
in 1970 had a population of 3,755. There were four 

' ' Scott C. Yates, "The Day They Bombed Colorado." Westward, 
(February 26, 1998), 23-24. 

'- Ihid., 24. 

'3 Ibid. 

'•' Kreithand Wrenn, 106. 

'5 Yates, 27. 

" Ibid., 27. 

" Ibid., 23. 

'* Kreithand Wrenn, 125-126. 

" Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 
"Project Rio Blanco," {http://\vww.cdphe. state. 
enjiobl.htm). Site accessed March 24, 1998. 9:30 a.m. MST. 

-"Kreithand Wrenn, 126. 

-' Ibid., 137. 

-- Yates, 27. 



towns between ten and twenty miles from the blast site 
in Sublette Countv, Wvomine;: 

Town Population 

Pinedale 950 

Big Piney 570 

Town Population 

Marbleton 220 

Boulder 75 

Wagon Wheel, had it been tested, would have deto- 
nated five nuclear devices sequentially from bottom to 
top between 9,220 feet and 1 1 ,570 feet below the sur- 
face of Sublette County. The detonations would have 
created an underground rubble chimney approximately 
2,800 feet high and about 1 ,000 feet in diameter.-" The 
five nuclear de\ices would have been 100 kilotons 
each-"* and detonated approximately tlve minutes 
apart.--' It was estimated by one geologist, William 
Barbat, that "the nuclear energy to be released in the 
stimulation of Wagon Wheel ... is about 35 times as 
great as the energy of the gas which is expected to be 

After the blast. El Paso would have waited between 
four and six months to allow for the decay of "short- 
lived radioisotopes" before test production of natural 
gas. Even then, there would be some release of radia- 
tion during the 325-day tlaring of the well. According 
to the AEC, "the resulting total maximum radiation 
dose which would be received by a local resident from 
the production testing activity is found to be a small 
fraction of the natural background radiation." The AEC 
did not anticipate contamination of groundwater ei- 

Had the test been successful in stimulating natural 
gas, it would have been mild compared to what the 
AEC planned when El Paso started full field produc- 
tion. There could have been as many as forty to fifty 
nuclear detonations a year, some within a mile of 
Pinedale, Wyoming.-*' Dr. Ken Perry, a University of 
Wyoming geologist and rancher, said the area could, 
"become the earthquake center of the world" based upon 
the AEC prediction.-'^ 

tmelhniemi H^mrf 

In 1954, the El Paso Natural Gas Company (EPNG) 
found a gas field between 7,500 and 10,700 feet below 
the surface south of Pinedale in Sublette County.'" El 
Paso drilled six wells and figured there were approxi- 
mately four trillion standard cubic feet of natural gas 
in the field. However, the natural gas was in low-per- 
meability sandstone formations and the available tech- 
nology to fracture the rock did not justify building a 


pipeline to the field. ^' A worker at the original site 
said, "You'll have to blow the hell out of the rock to 
get the g- d- gas."-'- Another worker, an oil field con- 
tractor, told Owen Frank, in the late 1950"s, "The onlv 
way they'll get it out is to set off an atomic bomb down 
there."'-' The nuclear stimulation concept for the 
Pinedale unit was proposed to the AEC by El Paso in 

In 1 963 several government agencies agreed to a fea- 
sibility study of nuclear stimulation. In December, 
1967, Gasbuggy, the first nuclear stimulation project, 
was detonated near Farmington. New Mexico. The re- 
sults of the test explosion encouraged El Paso Natural 
Gas to sign a contract a year later to study Wagon 
Wheel.'" El Paso described Wagon Wheel as 

...a joint effort between F.l Paso Natural Gas Company 
and the Federal Go\emment of the United States of 
America to further de\ elop the use of underground 

-' "AEC Supports Nuclear Blast Near Pinedale." Casper Star 
Tribune. February 1, 1972, 2. The article refers to the blast in the 
past tense: "The blast was expected to result...." Perhaps the 
author(s) of the article had a vision that it would never actually 

-^ Each device would have been appro.xiniately tlve times as 
powerful as the World War II atomic bombs. "AEC Says Plans 
for -Wagon Wheel' OK.," Casper Star Tribune, April 1. 1972, 1 I. 

-' Frank. "Dangers of Wagon Wheel," Casper Star Tribune, 
May 10, 1972, 10. 

-" Maekey. "Who's 'Plowed Under"!'" Casper Star Tribune, 
June 25, 1972. 5. 

-' "AEC Supports Nuclear Blast Near Pinedale." Casper Star 
Tribune, February 1, 1972. 2. 

-* Frank. "Dangers of Wagon Wheel." Casper Star Tribune, 
Ntay 10, 1972,9. 

-' Ibid. 

-'" El Paso acquired its rights to the Pinedale Unit in 1954. the 
same year they discovered the reserves. El Paso Natural Gas Com- 
pany, Project Wagon Wheel Technical Studies Report, ii. 

'' Frank. "'Only way to get it out,'" Casper Star Tribune, May 
9, 1972,9. 

-'- "Work force of 2.000 seen for Wagonwheel," Casper Star 
Tribune, February 14. 1972, 9. 

-" Frank, '"Only way to get it out,'" Casper Star Tribune, May 
9, 1 972, 9. In 1 972 Owen Frank was the State Editor for the Casper 
Star Tribune, but he does not specify what position he held in the 
late 1950s, except that he refers to himself as "this writer." In 
addition there is no evidence as to what position the oil field 
engineer held and with what company. 

" El Paso Natural Gas Company, Project Wagon Wheel Tech- 
nical Studies Report, 1971, ii. 

'■■' Frank, '"Only way to get it out,'" Casper Star Tribune, May 
9, 1972, 9. Ironically, while "Gasbuggy" project encouraged El 
Paso, a University of Colorado study of the second nuclear deto- 
nation, "Rulison," decided it was an economic failure. The project 
produced $1.4 million worth of natural gas, but cost $1 1 million. 
"Rio Blanco Opposed," High Country News, March 16, 1973, 1 1. 


Annals or Wyoming :The Wyoming History Journal 

nuclear explosions to stimulate low permeability natu- 
ral gas reservoirs. Cooperating on the project are El 
Paso Natural Gas Company, the U.S. Atomic Energy 
Commission (AEC), and the U.S. Department of Inte- 
rior as specified in Contract No. AT(26- 1 )-422 between 
the United States of America and El Paso Natural Gas 
Company, dated December 24, 1968.^^ 

It should be noted that there are conflicting dates as 
to when the project was initially started. Some sources 
suggest that the project started January 24, 1 968, when 
"a detailed project definition was begun by El Paso, 
the AEC, and the Department of the Interior to evalu- 
ate the potential of nuclear stimulation techniques in 
the Pinedale area."" 

The same document reveals that on July 30, 1969, 
the WASP (Wyoming Atomic Stimulation Project) 
project was started. It was "composed of seven inde- 
pendent oil companies, the U.S. Atomic Energy Com- 
mission and the Department of the Interior (and) began 
a detailed project definition of using nuclear explosions 
in the Pinedale, Wyoming, area."^' 

In any case. Wagon Wheel differed from Gasbuggy 
because "its goals include obtaining cost information 
as well as technical information." Gasbuggy's objec- 
tives were to figure out the engineering, but not to be a 
profitable investment.^'* 

Initially, the project gained little publicity in Wyo- 
ming. Apparently, the first article about Wagon Wheel 
appeared in the Casper Star-Tribune, the only state- 
wide newspaper in Wyoming, on February 1, 1972.'"' 
The Wagon Wheel test was scheduled for 1 973'*' when 
it was announced initially."*- As time passed, the date 
for the test was postponed. On June 14, 1972, an ar- 
ticle in the Casper Star Tribune noted that El Paso had 
delayed the test until 1974.''^' A day later, a front-page 
story in the Rock Springs newspaper confirmed the 
delay. According to the article. El Paso had announced 
Wagon Wheel would not be conducted in 1973, and 
that 1974 might not be feasible. "•"* 

Less than a month later. Dr. James Schlesinger, then 
head of the AEC, predicted the test was at least five 
years away — in 1977.'*^ In September, the AEC an- 
nounced that "the project is still in the design stage and 
no execution has been authorized as yet," and that the 
test would probably not occur before fall 1974."** Con- 
fusion continued; the project was planned for spring 
1974 in October,"" while in December, it was "slated 
to take place sometime in 1975."^" 

The exact date Wagon Wheel died is also unclear. 
President Nixon's budget for fiscal year 1974 did not 
include funding for tests under Plowshare, which in- 

cluded Wagon Wheel.^' By May 22, 1973, Wagon 
Wheel had "been shelved at least temporarily because 
of lack of ftinding."'" According to one source, Nixon's 
director of the AEC, Dr. Dixy Lee Ray'' "announced 
that Project Wagon Wheel was dead for the foresee- 
able fiiture," but a search of the references cited failed 
to turn up supporting evidence. '- 

The test-well drilled for Wagon Wheel was never used 
in a nuclear test but was employed by EPNG to con- 
duct tests of "Massive Hydraulic Fracturing" (MHF) 
during 1974 and 1975. MHF is a method where water 
is pumped into a well until the pressure of the water 
causes the rocks to fracture. The study used the well 
originally drilled for Wagon Wheel," and concluded 
the MHF "technique employed [was] not commercially 

"■ El Paso Natural Gas Company, Project Wagon Wheel Tech- 
nical Studies Report, 1971, ii. 

" Whan. 1973. A-3. 

^« Whan. 1973. A-4. 

-" El Paso Natural Gas Company, Project Wagon Wheel Tech- 
nical Studies Report, 1971, ii. 

*" "AEC Supports Nuclear Blast Near Pinedale," Casper Star 
Tribune, February 1, 1972, 2. 

"" "AEC Supports Nuclear Blast Near Pinedale," Casper Star 
Tribune, February 1, 1972, 2. 

■*- One article suggests that EPNG wanted to fire the test in 
1972, but was set back by a lack of funds. Frank "'Only way to 
get it out,"' Casper Star Tribune, May 9, 1972, 9. 

■*■' "Plowed under," {edhor\a\). Casper Star Tribune, June 14. 

■'■' "No Wagon Wheel Blast Possible In '73: EPNG," Rock 
Springs Daily Rocket-Miner, }une 15, 1972, 1. 

■" "AEC chief says 1977 for Wagon Wheel test," Casper Star 
Tribune, July 8, 1972, 7. 

'"' "AEC estimates damage from Wagon Wheel," Casper Star 
Tribune, September 22, 1972, 13. 

" "Wagon Wheel gets new questions," Casper Star Tribune, 
Octobers, 1972, 1. 

■** "Each WW well gives tax return," Casper Star Tribune. De- 
cember 2, 1972, 5. 

'" ".AEC budget has no test funds," Casper Star Tribune, Janu- 
ary 31, 1973. 11. 

-" "Roncalio requests cutoff of gas stimulation money," Casper 
Star Tribune, May 22, 1973, 11. 

*' Dr. Dixy Lee Ray became chairman of the AEC shortly be- 
fore the WWIC went to Washington. 

-- Kreith, The Nuclear Impact, 168. The authors cite both the 
Rocky Mountain News on May 1 2, 1 973 and the Denver Post on 
May 22, 1973. Additionally, the Casper Star Tribune appears not 
to have quoted Ray about Wagon Wheel during May 1973.. 

" El Paso Natural Gas Company, Pinedale Unit MHF Experi- 
ments Final Report, 2. 

''Ibid, 1. 



It's not really clear when the news about Wagon 
Wheel was made known to the public. However, on 
December 1, 1971, a letter was written to Wyoming 
Governor Stanley K.. Hathaway referring to a Novem- 
ber 8, 1971, Associated Press dispatch from Amchitka. 
Alaska. According to the letter, the AEC "was plan- 
ning or concei\ ing of nuclear blasts in Wyoming." The 
author of the letter, whose identity was not revealed, 
urged the governor to "fight against any AEC doings 
in Wyoming."'' Hathaway responded December 10: 

I am not aware of any planned 
nuclear test blasts by the AEC 
for Wyoming. I am confident 
that if the .^EC plans such ac- 
tion that it will take the neces- 
sary precautions to protect the 
health and safety of Wyoming 
citizens and our en\ ironment.'" 

In Pinedale, the Wagon Wheel 
Information Committee (WWIC) 
was formed by a group of local 
residents, "to impartially gather all 
pertinent information regarding 
the Wagon Wheel Project." 

If Hathaway had not known about Wagon Wheel 
w hen he w rote the letter, he learned about it on Febru- 
ary 1 , 1 972, the date the first article about Wagon Wheel 
was published in the Casper Star Tribune/' 

Six days later the Casper Star-Tribune published the 
first editorial on the project. Titled, "Shaking Up Ecolo- 
gists," the paper noted "we can anticipate at least some 
munnurs of disapproval from conser\ ationists." The 
editorial defended the project by noting "Similar nuclear 
stimulations, like Gasbuggy and Rulison have failed 
to shake up the Rockies — but there is always that 
prospect of shaking up the ecologists." Ending on an 
upbeat note, the paper hoped the "experiment will con- 
tribute to relieving the future shortage of natural gas in 
this country.""''* 

Meanwhile, in Pinedale, the Wagon Wheel Informa- 
tion Committee (WWIC) was formed by a group of 
local residents, "to impartially gather all pertinent in- 
formation regarding the Wagon Wheel Project.""" As a 
result of their study, they opposed the nuclear stimula- 
tion project. 

Before arriving at that conclusion, the committee 
members performed extensive work. They consulted 
experts in various fields connected with petroleum ex- 
ploration, geology, nuclear physics, and game and fish 
biology. They read and analyzed data submitted by a 
wide variety of organizations, including the Atomic 
Energy Commission, Lawrence-Livermore Laboratory, 
El Paso Natural Gas and others. 

Information on both sides of the issue was made avail- 
able to the people of Sublette County, through their 
library system. The committee sponsored public meet- 
ings, in order that the members might ha\ e the benetlt 
of informed public opinion in reaching a conclusion."" 
While the Casper Star Tribune continued its pro- 
Wagon Wheel stance until May 1972, it was evident 
the public, at least in Sublette County, did not agree 
with the paper. When, in a later editorial, the Casper 
Star Tribune stated "Emotional conservationists, as 
usual, grabbed the scene at a meeting in Pinedale,"'' 
the paper received a heated letter from Phyllis Birr,"- a 
member of the Wagon Wheel Information Committee. 

Countering the paper's edito- 
rial about the March 20 meet- 
ing, Birr's letter contended that 
the meeting, "was conducted on 
an intelligent and organized ba- 
sis." Birr added that the 
newspaper's "attitude is one of 
total ignorance of the situa- 

It was not Birr's first letter to an editor about the 
proposal. The previous month, she w rote to High Coun- 
try News, an environmental newspaper then based in 
Lander, Wyoming, commenting on an editorial by Tom 
Bell, the paper's editor.""* Bell wrote that the planned 
atomic de\ ices w ere "the sort of thing once dropped 
on an alien people another world aw ay. Now it is being 
dropped in our laps.""" Birr w rote to Bell telling about 
the WWIC: 

We have formed a committee ... with the sponsor- 
ship of our County Commissioners. ..we urge all your 
readers to write to their elected representatives to pro- 

'■' Plumme, Tlie Wagon Wheel Contention, 1 . 

■"" Plumme, The Wagon Wheel Contention, (printed in back of 
book, about p. 198). 

'■ "AEC Supports Nuclear Blast Near Pinedale," Casper Star 
Tribune, February 1. 1972, 2. 

'* "Shaking Up Ecologists," (editorial), Casper Star Tribune. 
Februap. 7, 1972. 4. 

"" Wagon Wheel Information Committee, Statement of Oppo- 
sition to Project Wagon Wheel. (Pinedale, Wyoming: Wagon 
Wheel Information Committee, n.d.. c. 1973). 2. 

"" Ibid 

"' "Welcome Wagon Wheel." Casper Star Tribune. March 25. 
1972. 6. 

"- Birr was also a journalist for the Pinedale Roundup, accord- 
ing to Sally Mackey. Mackey. phone interview by author. 1995. 

""' Birr. "Emotional Ecologist?" (letter to the editor). Casper 
Star Tribune, April 4, 1972. 5. 

"^ High Country News is now based in Paonia, Colorado. 

"' Bell, "High Country," High Countiy News, March 17, 1972. 


Annals of Wyoming ;The Wyoming History Journal 

Gov. Stan Hathaway 
(5th fi-om left) is shown 
hosting the Western 
Governors ' Conference 
in Jackson in the 
summer of 1971, six 
months before the 
Wagon H^eel issue 
came to his attention. 
At Hathaway 's right is 
then-Gov. Ronald 
Reagan of California. 

test this rape of our Country. We feel that nuclear 
detonation is not the only answer to retrieving this natu- 
ral gas."" 

Neither the AEC nor El Paso Natural Gas were rep- 
resented at the initial meeting of the WWIC where more 
than 500 people gathered to learn more about Wagon 
Wheel. Floyd Bousman and Sally Mackey were co- 
chairs. It was mentioned during the meeting the AEC 
had admitted, "if Pinedale were more populated, the 
gas stimulation would not be economically feasible."^' 

Shortly after the meeting, a local insurance agency 
used Wagon Wheel to their advantage. They placed an 
ad with the word "Wagonwheel" in bold print at the 
TION. Why not drop in to discuss your insurance?"''* 

The Wyoming Wildlife Federation and the Green 
River Valley Cattlemen's Association called a meet- 
ing for April 29, with AEC and El Paso representa- 
tives. Reportedly, the meeting was well attended 
("When the meeting got started. ..the gymnasium was 
perhaps a little more than half full but people contin- 
ued to come in."') It went on for five hours. *■' Phillip 
Randolph, director of the El Paso Nuclear Group, (as 
well as several others from the company and AEC), 
assured residents there was "little potential danger."™ 

Perhaps nothing shook the public confidence more 
than the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
issued in January 1 972. The draft EIS contained a pho- 
tograph of the well site during the drilling of the well. 
The document covered the background of Wagon 

Wheel, probable environmental impact, "adverse en- 
vironmental impact which cannot be avoided," as well 
as alternatives and "environmental effects of contem- 
plated future action."' ' The final EIS covered similar 
ground and included 91 pages of public comments and 
responses by the AEC. 

Once the final EIS was released, few critics consid- 
ered it complete or adequate." U.S. Senator Gale 
McGee (D-Wyoming) decried the EIS, claiming it, "was 
premature, failed to cover the overall impact, and failed 
to comply with some criteria laid out for the prepara- 
tion of such reports."" 

Randolph agreed the EIS was premature as it "con- 
tained language that was alarming to the layman. ...the 

*" Birr, "Help on Wagon Wheel," (letter to the editor), High 
Country News. March 31, 1972, 15. 

•"' "Little Support for Nuclear Project at Pinedale," Casper Star 
Tribune, March 23, 1972, 1. Selection of the chairs was noted in 
"Bousman to be on 'Today Show'," Casper Star Tribune, Febru- 
ary 6, 1973. 

"* Plumme, The Wagon Wheel Contention, 117. 

""Ibid., 118. 

™ "Meeting Told Wagon Wheel Danger Slight," Rock Springs 
Daily Rocket- Miner, May 2, 1972, I. 

■' Atomic EnsvgyComm\ss\on, Draft Environmental Statement: 
Wagon Wheel Gas Stimulation Project. 1972, i. 

'- The Associated Students of the University of Wyoming 
(ASUW) passed a resolution stating: "the AEC has not proved 
conclusively that radiation levels following the test would be safe, 
and alleged an AEC environmental impact study conducted on 
the project was biased and partial." See "Students would delay 
gas blast," Casper Star Tribune, May 18, 1972, 18. 

'^ "McGee asks AEC revise evaluation," Casper Star Tribune, 
August 23, 1972,27. 

Summer 1998 

report was satisfactory to technical persons working in 
the field.'" ■* Whether or not Randolph was correct in 
his assessment of the EIS, it was followed by an an- 
nouncement by El Paso that, "independent experts from 
Colorado State University are being engaged as a team 
of consultants to expand the bio-environmental studies 
already carried out."^^ However, the two experts, as 
well as the earlier EISs\ were blasted in an article in 
the Jackson Hole News: 

El Paso is only now being forced to undertake com- 
prehensive studies to indicate the possible effects of 
their blast. 

That would be fine, if the studies appeared a bit more 
objective. Buried in this week's announcement we fmd 
that Dr. Keith Schiager, a CSU radiation ecologist, is 
to be on the investigating team. Sounds impressive 
until you remember that Dr. Schiager was one of the 
few scientists at a meeting held last spring at Big Piney 
who spoke in fa\or of the Wagon Wheel project. Judg- 
ing from this experience, can we expect Dr. Schiager 
to be obiecli\e? 

Unfortunately, Dr. Schiager doesn't appear to be as 
much of a liability to the team as Dr. H. G. Fisser, 
range management expert from the Uni\ ersity of Wyo- 
ming. .According to the El Paso release, "Pre\ ious stud- 
ies by Dr. Fisser and others ... have indicated that the 
project Wagon Wheel detonations will not ha\e ob- 
serxable effects upon the ecology and en\ironment of 
the area."'" 

This study was not the only one to surface after the 
EIS was released. A report by professional biologists 
from the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife 
said "the location of the site should be re-evaluated 
with consideration for the possible 'adverse effects' it 
might have on fish in nearby streams."" 

In December 1972, the AEC announced that "infor- 
mation for a scientific decision on Project Wagon Wheel 
will not be available at least until late summer of 1 974." 
AEC said it needed "continued scientific work in Wyo- 
ming ... before [it] could consider whether to pro- 
ceed."'^ The actions by EPNG and the AEC did not 
appear to inspire confidence in the public. 

El Paso and AEC also came under fire for their atti- 
tude toward area bridges and irrigation systems. 
Randolph said he "questioned whether it was the 
company's social responsibility to retain an engineer- 
ing firm for 'a quarter of a million dollars' when only 
one or two ranchers use the bridge."''' According to 
Randolph, four bridges were examined but. 

Our big problem is — how do you be responsible? 
What is a socially responsible position? Crossing a 
bridge to that one man whose living is dependent on 


crossing a river is damned important. Whether owner- 
ship is by the public or a private indi\ idual. we will 
seek a way to work with those people affected.*"' 

Technical studies noted in the EIS estimated the ex- 
pected damage to be approximately 365,000. includ- 
ing significant damage to a highway bridge about 5.5 
miles away."' In 1971, Dames and Moore, "a com- 
pany nationally recognized for its competence in the 
field of applied earth sciences," conducted a study "to 
see if there would be an effect upon selected dams, 
reservoirs, canals, streams, buildings and other surface 
features as a result of an underground nuclear test."*- 
However, the study had overlooked irrigation systems. 

Floyd Bousman, local rancher who was co-chairman 
of WWIC, lived ten miles away in Boulder, Wyoming. 
Bousman claimed the test would "destroy concrete ir- 
rigation structures on his ranch." Randolph said the 
motion would be four feet at the well, "but only one- 
eighth of an inch at Bousman's ranch.""' 

Bousman, a commissioner of the Boulder Irrigation 
District, also objected to the EIS valuation of the Boul- 
der Dam at $ 1 50,000. The dam, built in 1 965, cost over 
$280,000 to construct, with an estimated replacement 
cost in 1 973 of $430,000.""' The original EIS and tech- 
nical studies by El Paso seemed inadequate, even to 
the company, as they saw fit to do additional study. In 
July 1972, a group was formed to inspect "all dams 
within 30 miles of the project location and all canals, 
control gates and siphons within 15 miles.""" 

Dames and Moore returned during the summer of 
1 972. For an unstated reason, perhaps because they had 

'^ "No Wagon Wheel Blast Possible In '73: EPNG." Rock 
Springs Daily Rocket-Miner, Sune 15, 1972, 1. 

"' "Biology experts to study 'Wagon Wheel"," Casper Star Tri- 
bune. August 15, 107:, 1 1, 

'" "This Week's Offering!" High Country News, Sept. 29, 1972, 

" "Wagon Wheel gets new questions," Casper Star Tribune, 
October 3, 1972. 1. 

" "Wagon VV heel data is two years away," Casper Star Tri- 
bune, December 17, 1972, 17. 

""'Wagon Wheel' Blast Might Damage Bridges," Casper Star 
Tribune. February 13, 1972, 2. 

'" "Work force of 2,000 seen for Wagonwheel." Casper Star 
Tribune, February 14, 1972, 9. 

" Tom Bell, "Wagon Wheel — Mark of Progress," High Coun- 
try News, March 31, 1972, 11. 

'- "El Paso continues work on Wagon Wheel project," Casper 
Star Tribune. July 14, 1972. 13. 

*' Owen Frank, "Opinions Vary Widely On Wagon Wheel 
Blast," Casper Star Tribune, May 2, 1972. 8. 

*■" Statement of Opposition to Project Wagon Wheel. (Pinedale, 
Wyoming: Wagon Wheel Information Committee, 1973), 11. 

^- "Irrigation impact of blast checked," Casper Star Tribune, 
July 27, 1972. 

Teno Roncalio served as Wyoming 's only U. S. Repre- 
sentative from 1965-67 and 1971-79. A critic of nuclear 
stimulation, he was responsible for stopping funding for 
Project Wagon Wheel in Congress in 1973. 

omitted irrigation systems, their earlier study was not 
adequate. They were asiced to do a "more detailed 
study," taking into account comments from the AEC, 
county residents, and various federal and state agen- 
cies personnel.*^ Bousman wrote to the Star Tribune: 

I am writing in regard to the recent press release by 
EPNG in which they list the dams, etc., which they are 
now going to study in conjunction with Dames and 
Moore, for possible damage from the Wagon Wheel 

I wonder how many people realize that these are all 
things that EPNG and the AEC, in their environmental 
statements said had already been done, when in fact 
they had not been done. 

Is it any wonder there is such a large credibility gap?*' 

WWIC continued opposition to the test throughout 
the fall. The organization conducted a "straw poll" 
during the 1972 general election. Although the vote 
had "no legal effect on the future of the planned nuclear 
detonations," the results indicated the strength of the 
opposition to Wagon Wheel.''*' Of the 1 ,670 people who 
voted in the general election, 1 ,230 chose to express an 
opinion about Wagon Wheel. "873 said they opposed 
Wagon Wheel, while 262 said they favored continua- 

Annals or Wyoming:The Wyoming Histoiy lourna! 

tion of the project. Ninety-five individuals had no opin- 

WWIC members, concerned that the straw poll re- 
sults would be questioned, had the county sheriffs 
department collect the ballots. Two ministers counted 
them. U. S. Representative Teno Roncalio (D-Wyo- 
ming) said it appeared that El Paso would "not live up 
to promises that it wouldn't cram Wagon Wheel down 
the throats of Sublette County residents."**" 

Pinedale resident Mildred Delgado wrote to the 
Casper newspaper, claiining that if one were to add the 
501 people who did not vote, the 95 who were unde- 
cided and the 262 who voted in favor of Wagon Wheel, 
they would comprise 49.6 percent. Those who voted 
against made up just 50.4 percent. She pointed out that 
WWlC's choice for U. S. Congress, Teno Roncalio, 
had lost Sublette County to his Republican challenger, 
Bill Kidd, by a vote of 900-761."' 

WWIC inember Phyllis Birr responded quickly to 
the Delgado claim. "Since when do people who do not 
vote automatically register as a vote 'for' something?" 
she asked in her letter to the editor.''- 

In December, officers of the WWIC sent a letter to 
El Paso officials, the AEC and members of the state's 
congressional delegation, requesting a meeting. The 
groups decided to meet in the Washington offices of 
U. S. Senator Clifford P. Hansen (R-Wyoming), in Feb- 
ruary, 1973. Birr, Bousman, and other WWIC mem- 
bers arrived in Washington on February 4. Cong. 
Roncalio had arranged for them to meet with represen- 
tatives of the Environmental Protection Agency the next 
day, in addition to meeting with the AEC and El Paso 
representatives on February 7. Bousman also appeared 
on NBC's "Today" show to help publicize the opposi- 
tion to Wagon Wheel."^ 

'" "El Paso continues work on Wagon Wheel project," Casper 
Star Tribune, July 14. 1972, 13. 

*' Bousman, "Credibility gap?" (letter to the editor), Casper Star 
Tribune, August 3, 1972, 5. 

*' "Take straw vote on Wagon Wheel," Casper Star Tribune, 
November 7, 1972, 11. 

'^ "Straw vote opposes Wagon Wheel," Casper Star Tribune, 
November 9, 1972, 17. 

'" "Teno chides El Paso on 'promises,'" Casper Star Tribune, 
December 7, 1972, 17. 

" Delgado, "More 'realistic' account," (letter to the editor), 
Casper Star Tribune, Dec. 18, 1972, 3. The official count shows 
Delgado figures were slightly in error— the total was 900-766. 

''- Birr, "Gross errors claimed," (letter to the editor), Casper 
Star Tribune, Dec. 22, 1 972, 6. One other person wrote to refute 
Delgado's comments. 

'' "AEC meeting is scheduled," Casper Star Tribune, January 
9, 1973, 9; "EPA- Wagon Wheel meeting Feb. 5," Casper Star 
Tribune, January 31,1 973, 1 1 ; "Bousman to be on 'Today' show," 
Casper Star Tribune, February 6, 1973, 9. 

Summer l^^Q^ 

Even before the meeting, an AEC "official promised 
Wyoming citizens. ..he will ask the AEC head to con- 
sider making Project Wagon Wheel dependent on a 
citizen's referendum."""' It turned out that Roncalio 
was a step ahead of the committee, pressing for change 
within the AEC. 

While the exact date of Wagon Wheel's death is 
murky, the direct cause appears clear. Roncalio, a 
staunch opponent of Wagon Wheel, had tried unsuc- 
cessfully throughout the summer to cut funding from 
the AEC budget for the project. In January, 1973, the 
congressman was appointed by House Speaker Carl 
Albert to the .loint Committee on Atomic Energy. "1 
sought this post to give Wyoming a voice in atomic 
energy developments, ranging from the proposed 
Project Wagon Wheel....," Roncalio said.'^" 

Less than a week after his appointment to the com- 
mittee Roncalio announced that the AEC budget for 
Plowshare programs did not "include funds for any test 
events in tlscal 1974." On the Senate side, Hansen 
pointed out that Nixon's budget "delayed Wagon Wheel 
until late 1977~at the earliest." He added that even if 
funds were restored by Congress for the fiscal year 1 974 
budget, it was "rather apparent that the Office of Man- 
agement and Budget (0MB) would impound those 
funds also.""" 

Roncalio claimed that the more study made of Plow- 
share, the sooner it v\as going to end: 

It appears to me that the more we study the entire 
Plowshare Program, the more it is doomed.. ..I say that 
is because previous attempts at this type method ha\e 
not been commercial.'" 

In mid-May, 1973, Roncalio requested elimination 
of the $3.8 million for nuclear stimulation from the 
AEC budget. 

The shaft drilled for the testing was used to test "mas- 
sive hydraulic fracturing." Nuclear devices, however, 
were never used at the site of Project Wagon Wheel. 

Wagon Wheel could be considered a case study of 
how people from outside of Wyoming have wanted to 
exploit the state for their ends and how local groups, 
such as the WWIC, can successfully oppose such ac- 
tions. El Paso, as early as 1958, asked the AEC for 
assistance in extracting natural gas out of low-pemie- 
ability sandstone fonnations near Pinedale, but con- 
tracts and publicity were not publicall_\ known for at 
least 1 1 years. 

The threat of five nuclear detonations threw fear into 
a small community, inciting a group of ranchers and 
ecologists to join on a quest to stop the test of nuclear 
stimulation. Wagon Wheel was halted. The sword was 
not be a plowshare. It remained an unwanted imple- 
ment of w ar. 

"^ "Wagon Wheel vote to he considered." Casper Slar Tribune, 
February 6, 1973. 1. 

"" "Roncalio loses fight to stop Wagon Wheel," Casper Star 
Tribune, June 10, 1972, 10; "Teno joins group on atomic energy," 
Casper Star Tribune. January 27, 1973, 12. 

* "AEC budget has no test funds," Casper Star Tribune. Janu- 
ary 31. 1973. 11; "Nixon budget delays Wagon Wheel plans." 
Casper Star Tribune. February 3. 1973. 7. The second article re- 
ferred to $2.7 million that had been impounded from Plowshare 
in fiscal year 1973. Impoundment is a procedure where the presi- 
dent directs funds appropriated by Congress not be spent. Such 
actions are for savings, not program elimination. 

■*' "AEC budget has no test funds." 1 1 . 

■** "Roncalio requests cutoff of gas stimulation money," Casper 
Star Tribune, May 22, 1973, 11. 

"" "AEC may drop Wagon Wheel," Casper Star Tribune. Feb- 
ruary 9, 1973, 1 1; Bousman, telephone interview by author. De- 
cember 12. 1995. 

Despite years of research, including Projects 
Gasbuggy and Rulison, this technology has not pro- 
duced one cubic foot of salable natural gas. ..the AEC 
should terminate this program and direct its attention 
to far more pressing needs in reactor programs."* 

Wagon Wheel already had been delayed by cuts in 
funding. Now, the entire concept of nuclear stimula- 
tion was about to be shelved. WWIC had succeeded in 
its goal. Wagon Wheel had been halted. 

Even if it had not been stopped by Roncalio, Bousman 
believed the project would not have continued because 
the public opposition was too great. "The people were 
willing to organize a county-wide or even statewide 
referendum and devote ourselves all our lives, if need 
be, to end this thina," Bousman said."" 

Adam Lederer holds the B. A. and M. A. in 
political science from the University of Wyo- 
ming. This article is derived from his master 's 
thesis on Project Wagon Wheel. In 1996. he 
served as an editorial intern for Annals of 
Wyoming. Currently a student in the doctoral 
program in public affairs in the School of 
Public and Envirofunental Affairs at Indiana 
Universitw Lederer is a native of Colorado. 

The Quest for 
Public Television 

By Phil Roberts 

In Wyoming, with the smallest population of any state 
and a tradition of individualism, one person can have 
a greater impact on change than in most other states. 
While the absence of entrenched special interests and a 
general acceptance of change were factors, it was the in- 
fluence of specific individuals who caused Wyoming to 
pioneer women's suffrage, claim state ownership of water 
resources, and institute creative severance taxes. ' And there 
are the cases where Wyoming is last among the states to 
institute change, often because no advocate champions the 
idea. Rarely has it been both ways. One such case was in 
the matter of public television. 

Around the United States, not one public television sta- 
tion was broadcasting in September, 1 95 1 , when Univer- 
sity of Wyoming President George ("Duke") Humphrey 
initiated the filing for the first public television station in 
Wyoming.- At the time, no television station of any kind 
operated in Wyoming and it would be an entire year be- 
fore reception of any television signal was made in the 
state.^ An entire range of obstacles, some legal and politi- 
cal and others financial and philosophical, blocked his ef- 
forts and it wasn't until 1982, 18 years after Humphrey's 
retirement as UW president that public television finally 
came to Wyoming — not from a station in Laramie, but 
one in Riverton. 

The story of Humphrey's efforts demonsfrates another 
oft-stated truth about Wyoming — it seems that with some 
innovations, there is a "50-year lag."'' In a lightly popu- 
lated state with minimal state government bureaucracy, 
affecting change should be relatively rapid. Nonetheless, 
as the story of public television points out, sectional rival- 
ries, absence of private funding support, conflicts of inter- 

est, and no particular reverence for higher education, struck 
out at innovation. The university, attempting to fulfill its 
education mission for the entire state, often met with ac- 
tive opposition and apathy.' The quest for public televi- 
sion became ensnared in these tangles of politics. 

' Actually, three individuals receive much of the credit for women 
suffrage: Territorial Gov. John A. Campbell, Territorial Secretary 
Edward M. Lee, and William Bright, the South Pass legislator who 
introduced the suffrage bill in the first territorial legislature. Dr. Elwood 
Mead strongly influenced Wyoming's water law. The 1966 guberna- 
torial candidate Ernest W'ilkerson made the severance ta.\ a center- 
piece in his campaign. Later, the man who defeated him in that elec- 
tion, Stan Hathaway, influenced passage of the first severance tax in 

- The first noncommercial educational television station was K.LIHT, 
Channel 8, Houston, Te.xas, which began broadcasting on May 12, 
1953, with test patterns and with programming on May 25. Only two 
such stations were on the air by the end of 1953; eight more began 
broadcasting in 1954; and five more opened in 1955. James Day, The 
Vanishing Vision: The Inside Stoiy of PubUc Television. (Berkeley: 
University of California Press, 1995), 35-36; Joseph Nathan Kane, 
Famous First Facts. (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1981), 659. It would 
not have been unprecedented for a non-profit broadcasting outlet to 
be the first in Wyoming. The first radio station in Wyoming, KFA 
Laramie, was a non-profit operation underwritten by Mrs. E. H. 
Harriman and the Episcopal Church. See Howard Lee Wilson, "Top 
of the World Broadcasts: Wyoming's Early Radio," Annals of Wyo- 
ming A?, (Spring, 1971), 5-52. 

' The first television programs viewed in Wyoming were broadcast 
from Denver on July 18, 1952, by KWGN, Channel 2. The first com- 
mercial station in the state, KFBC-TV Cheyenne, went on the air 
March 21, 1954. 

' Maurice F. Griffith to Dean John Marvel, Nov. 7, 1962, Box 178, 
Television file, UW Archives. 

' On the other hand, UW feared any rival. One of the earliest 
efforts for another four-year college in the state occurred in the 1890s 
when Lander tried for the "agricultural college." See Roberts, Wyo- 
ming Almanac. (Laramie: Skyline West, 1997), 415. 

Summer 1Q9S 


In early 1951, the Federal Communications Commis- 
sion announced that it would propose to reserve television 
channels for 209 non-commercial educational stations in 
certain cities throughout the United States.^ The commis- 
sion designated only one such channel for Wyoming — 
VHF Channel 8 in Laramie.' In many respects, the desig- 
nation seemed fortuitous for public television. In many 
major markets, the FCC designated less desirable UHF 
channels for educational broadcasting, allowing commer- 
cial interests to snap up the better UHF locations. At the 
same time, the FCC set aside commercial channels na- 
tionwide. Twenty allotments were made to Wyoming, five 
on the VHF band and 15 on UHF. One of the commercial 
assignments, UHF channel 1 8, was designated for Laramie. 

In the beginning, the FCC split narrowly on the issue of 
whether to even authorize educational channels. Only four 
of the seven commissioners favored such reservations. 
Commission chairman Wayne Coy, skeptical that non- 
commercial channels would be utilized, said he would be 
looking for a clear and immediate response on the part of 
educational institutions showing that they intended to use 
television for educational purposes.'^ 

U W President Humphrey acted swiftly, filing comments 
before the commission, pointing out that the UW would 
utilize Channel 8, but it "cannot file an application for the 
construction of a television station until it has received 
legislative authority to do so." Since the Wyoming legis- 
lature met in biennial sessions, such action could not be 
expected until the 1953 session. "It is impossible to give 
definite assurance to the Commission that the channel re- 
served for Laramie. Wyoming, will be used by the Uni- 

Commercial assault on public television began almost 
immediately. It was generally agreed that the UHF chan- 
nels, 2-13, had greater value than VHF. Consequently, on 
May 7, 1 95 1 , Warren M. Mallory filed a counter proposal 
with the FCC on behalf of himself and a group of Chey- 
enne and Laramie businessmen, asking that Channel 8 be 
released for commercial use and Channel 1 8 become the 
educational station.'" 

Mallory's group withdrew their request a month later, 
but by filing the counter proposal, the group kept in play 
their request to withdraw Channel 1 8 and substitute a lower 
channel, either 3 or 5." 

Later in the summer of 1951, Humphrey engaged engi- 
neer Mallory to draft a plan for the UW non-commercial 
station. Mallory recommended a 2,000-watt transmitter 
with the signal broadcast from a 500-foot-high tower 
erected on the university campus.'- Humphrey asked a 
trustee subcommittee to endorse the proposal, but at least 
two trustees were uncomfortable about acting without the 
entire board. '^ 

Part of their concern had to do with what was shown in 
Mallory's coverage map appended to the report. Depend- 
ing on the tower location, the transmitted signal would 
range from some ten miles from Laramie to a maximum 
of less than 50 miles at the most favorable distance. Rock 
River and Centennial were at the outer edges of the more 
powerful broadcast range. The signal would not reach 
Cheyenne (blocked by the Laramie Range) and even Medi- 
cine Bow would be beyond range. "1 do not believe the 
executive committee should bind the entire board in a 
matter involving so great an expenditure when apparentlv 
results north of the Union Pacific for years to follow would 
be limited," wrote trustee John A. Reed, Kemmerer.'"" 
Nonetheless, the board did pass a resolution asking the 
FCC to assign Channel 8 to the university.'' 

The university report tried to counter the concerns from 
potential competing commercial operators about program- 
ming contents. The Humphrey-commissioned report 

The university hopes to broadcast three types of pro- 
grams: 1 . Strictly educational programs, i.e.. courses for 
which college credit is given; 2. Educational-cultural pro- 
grams, such as music, drama. Iiterauire, art, science, and 
social science; 3. Music and drama programs solely as 
entertainment. [.An estimated] 80-90 percent of the tele\i- 
sion programs which would be originated by the Uni\ er- 
sity would be stnctly educational or educational-cultural."'" 

To allay trustee concerns that the station would serve 
only Laramie, the report stated: 

" For complete accounts of the origins of public television nation- 
alK. see John Walker Powell, Channels of Learning: The Stoiy of 
Educational Television. (Washington: Public Affairs Press. I')62); 
Robert Blakely, To Serve the Public Interest Educational Broad- 
casting in the United States. (Syracuse: Syracuse L'niversity Press, 
1979); and Day. The Vanishing Vision. 

' "Outline for Committee on Television. University of Wyoming," 
in Box 129, President's Files, University Archives. 

" Day. 3 1 . 

" "Outline for Committee on Television." ibid. 

'" Cited in "Outline...." 

" "Outline...." 

'- Mallory affidavit. "Engineering Statement." in "Sworn State- 
ment of the University of Wyoming, Pursuant to FCC Order of Hear- 
ing Procedure," FCC Docket Nos. 8736, 8975, 9175. 8976. Sept. 21, 
1951, in Box 129. 

'- University Archives; President's Files. Box 129, Telegram to 
John A. Reed, Kemmerer. and H. D. Del Monte, Lander. Sept. 20. 

'•" The map is in Warren Mallory. "Sworn Statement to the FCC." 
filed Sept. 21, 1951, p. 25. Box 129, President's files. University 
Archives. Reed's telegram response to Humphrey is in "Television," 
Box 129. University Archives. 

'* Tnistee's Minutes, Book X (1951), 1751. 

" "Sworn Statement...", 3. 


Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Some of the proposed programs would be presented as 
live broadcasts, some as closed circuit broadcasts to class 
rooms upon the Campus, and some would be recorded on 
tilm for tele\ision release by other stations throughout the 
State. Thus a station of the University would become a 
part of the educational establishment of the State." 

Humphrey, anxious to see that the university become 
involved in television of some sort, wrote to a local radio 
broadcaster on Aug. 30, 1951. He inquired whether the 
radio operator would like to enter into a cooperative tele- 
vision venture. '** The record contains no response; appar- 
ently, the radio owner had no interest. 

The university's television committee met sporadically 
through 1951 and into 1952. Humphrey, anxious to have a 
funding request ready for the 1 953 legislative session, wrote 
to the director of the American Council on Education in 
June 1952: "1 read the statements about the Joint Commit- 
tee on Educational Television," Humphrey wrote. "We are 
making a careful study of the advisability of establishing 
television facilities at the University of Wyoming. 1 should 
like to have the information available on the work of the 

Humphrey recognized how profitable tie-ins with uni- 
versities could be for commercial television stations, par- 
ticularly in regard to intercollegiate sports. At the end of 
the year, Humphrey received a letter from Keeton Amett, 
an official of Dumont Laboratories, complaining about the 
NCAA policy of restricting football broadcasts to the sta- 
tion offering the best deal. "It is not possible for us to 
arrive at a conclusion other than that extremely bad judg- 
ment has been used by the NCAA television committee, 
with the result that, not only the game of football, but the 
cause of education is suffering."-" 

Humphrey wrote back a stinging reply taking issue with 
all of Amett's statements. "If unrestricted televising of 
football games is permitted," Humphrey wrote, "within 
five years we will not have more than twenty-five or thirty 
teams in the United States. Such a practice would make 
strong teams stronger and weak teams weaker." 

Humphrey knew he needed extensive engineering re- 
ports in order to make a strong case to the 1953 legisla- 
ture. Consequently, the board of trustees gave him approval 
to hire an out-of-state engineering firm, Lutz and May, 
Consulting Engineers, of Kansas City. Bids for the engi- 
neering study also had been submitted by Mallory and from 
Cheyenne engineer William Grove. Grove was associated 
with KFBC Radio in Cheyenne, owned by Frontier Broad- 
casting Company, a firm in which university trustee Tracy 
McCraken held a majority stake.-' 

Just as the 1953 legislative session was opening, Lutz 
and May delivered the report. The results indicated that 


r / 




V ^^^H 



George "Duke" Humphrey 

television might not be as "affordable" as the Mallory re- 
port Uvo years earlier had indicated. The firm pointed out, 
however, that "the cost of an educational television station 
represents an investment in the friture of Wyoming which 
we can ill afford to forego and, perhaps, lose forever." 

Apparently to avoid the criticism that the station would 
serve only Laramie, the Lutz and May plan shows a con- 
siderably expanded broadcast range. Their plan called for 
a 100-kilowatt transmitter with sufficient range to reach 
Cheyenne and almost to Fort Collins to the south and 
Wheatland to the northeast. Instead of a 500-foot tower 
and transmitter being placed on campus, Ltitz and May 
recommended a site on Pilot Hill, east of Laramie, with a 
shorter 1 00-foot tower. The on-campus studio would be 
connected to it by microwave relay. -- 

The plan included an extensive equipment list and floor 
plan for a two-story studio building containing state-of- 
the-art studios, offices and production rooms. Initial cost 
estimates were sobering: from $362,582 to 638,022 and 
an annual operating cost estimated from $129,800 to 
$ 1 39,800.-" Apparently unfamiliar with the traditional par- 
simony of the Wyoming legislature, the firm pointed out 

'^ Ibid. 

'* Humphrey to Richard Connor, KOWB Radio, Aug. 30, 1951, 
Bo.\ 129, President's Files. 

'" Humphrey to Dr. Arthur S. Adams, June 27, 1952, "Television" 
file, Box 129, President's Files. For the activities of the committee, 
later the council, see Day, chap. 2. 

-" Keeton Amett to Humphrey, Dec. 30, 1952, in "Television" file, 
Box 133, President's Files. 

-' Trustee's Minutes, Box XI (1952), 38, 52, Gove later was named 
general manager of KFBC-TV in Cheyenne. 

-- Report, Lutz and May, Consulting Engineers, Kansas City, Jan. 
27, 1953, "Television" file. Box 133, President's Files. 

-^ Ibid 

Summer 1998 

that the costs compared favorably to stations already in 
the planning stages at Kansas State University, the Uni- 
versity of Nebraska and other large Midwest institutions. 

The one comparison to a commercial station, however, 
caused legislators to question the huge outlays. According 
to Lutz and May, KFBC-TV, the new station about to open 
in Cheyenne by Frontier Broadcasting, a firm controlled 
by UW Trustee Tracy McCraken. spent Just $238,600 for 
the 5.22 kilowatt channel 5 station and the firm estimated 
an annual operating cost of less than $1 00,000. -■* 

Any hope for an appropriation died. Nonetheless, opti- 
mistic that the legislature would be more favorable tvvo 
years later, Humphrey had to be satisfied with the Senate 
Enrolled Joint Memorial urging the FCC to continue to 
reserve Channel 8 for the University of Wyoming for an- 
other two years.-' When Humphrey sent a copy of the reso- 
lution to Paul A. Walker, the new chair of the FCC, and 
asked him to extend the deadline for application to July 1 , 
1955, Walker replied: "1 would very much hope and re- 
spectfully urge that the State of Wyoming not delay appli- 
cation for an educational television station in Wyoming 
for such an extended period. The pressures for the use of 
this channel for commercial purposes will be so strong 
that I very much fear that the State would find it more 
difficult two years from now to proceed with an educa- 
tional station than at the present time."-" 


Alarmed by Walker's letter. Humphrey wrote to each 
member of the Wyoming congressional delegation urging 
that they contact Walker and argue the university's case. 
U. S. Representative William Henry Harrison's response 
was typical. He promised to contact Walker and added, "\ 
hope you will be successful with Channel 8."-' 

Curiously, Humphrey, who had enjoyed considerable 
success in raising funds from private sources, did not seek 
television funding in that manner. KUHT. Houston, the 
first public TV station in the nation, benefited from the 
generosity of oil millionaire Hugh Roy Cullen. and the 
construction costs of the second station to open, KTHE 

-■• Ibid 

■- Senate Enrolled Joint Memorial #12 of the 32d legislature, intro- 
duced by State Senators David N. Hitchcock (D-Alhany) and R. L. 
Greene (R-Johnson). Feb. 16. 1953. and approved Feb. 25. 1953. 
If'yoming Session Loms (1953). 246. 289-290. For tnistee action on 
the request, see Trustee's Minutes. Book XI (1953). proceedings for 
February 27. 

■'" Humphrey to Walker (containing a copy of the Senate memo- 
rial). March 13. 1953. Box 133. President's Files; Walker to 
Humphrey. March 17. 1953. Box 133. President's Files. IIW Archives. 

-' Harrison to Humphrey, March 19. 1953. Box 133. President's 
Files. See also Sen. Lester Hunt to Humphrey. March 23. 1953; and 
Sen. Frank A. Barrett to Humphrey. March 26. 1953. with similar 
assurances and comments. Box 133. President's files. UW archives. 

iW Board of Trustees at the time of President Humphrey 's initial request for public television. 1951. 


Annals of Wyoming: Tlie Wyoming History Journal 

Los Angeles, also was underwritten by an oilman.-^ These 
earliest sponsoring institutions though the sponsoring in- 
stitutions, the University of Houston and the University of 
Southern California, showed that private funding was pos- 
sible. Nonetheless, just as in other cases in Wyoming his- 
tory, Humphrey relied on the legislature.-'^ 

Nationally, the Joint Committee on Educational Televi- 
sion was advocating closer ties between educational insti- 
tutions and commercial broadcasters. "Many school sys- 
tems and colleges find it expedient, pending the construc- 
tion of television stations designed exclusively for non- 
commercial educational telecasting, to seek and accept 
cooperative arrangements with commercial television 
broadcasters in their area in order to help the commercial 
broadcaster serve his public interest requirements and in 
order to pemiit the educator to expand the area and influ- 
ence of the educational institution and to learn television 
skills," the committee wrote. The committee emphasized, 
however, that such arrangements "in no way constitute a 
satisfactory alternative to the operation of a non-commer- 
cial educational television station by an educational insti- 
tution because of the essentially different objectives of the 
commercial broadcasters fonn those of the educators."^" 
UW was to learn how divergent its objectives were when 
Humphrey initiated a deal with a Cheyenne station. 

KFBC-TV in Cheyenne, went on the air March 21,1 954. 
It was the first TV station in the state of Wyoming. Hope- 
flil that the 1955 legislature would act, Humphrey was 
nonetheless anxious for the university to begin working in 
television. Consequently, on Aug. 23, 1954, UW entered 
into a deal with Educational Television and Radio Center 
in Ann Arbor, Mich., for a series of educational television 
productions that would be run on a trial basis by KFBC- 
TV Cheyenne."' The Michigan firm had advocated the tie- 
in with the commercial station: "Educational institutions 
may contract with commercial television stations for use 
of time providing there is no sponsor. Affiliated stations 
pay SI, 000 per year for five programs each week...." the 
firm's literature pointed out. To reimburse KFBC who 
was barred fi"om selling advertising to pay for the series, 
Humphrey agreed to write to bankers in the Channel 5 
viewing area, urging them to underwrite the weekly half- 
hour programs as a "public service."^- Apparently at 
Humphrey's request, a secretar\' contacted the director of 
the Michigan production firm and reported back to the 
UW president that: "The first one [series]. ..was something 
about government that I didn't quite catch. He said he did 
not think there was anything in it to offend the bankers," 
she memoed Humphrey.-'' 

In mid-September, KFBC-TV announced that the ten- 
part program called "Great Plains Trilogy" would be broad- 
cast each Sunday afternoon from 3-3:30 p.m., as an edu- 

cational program from the University of Wyoming. Sta- 
tion owner and UW Trustee Tracy McCraken wrote 
Humphrey asking how he wished to introduce the series.^'' 

The arrangement turned out to be a disappointment and 
when the educational film service sought payment for films 
that had been shipped beyond the initially committed ten- 
week series, Humphrey replied, noting that the University 
never wished to renew beyond the trial period. "Inciden- 
tally," Humphrey wrote bitterly, "I talked with the presi- 
dent of KFBC-TV [McCraken] yesterday and he said that 
the programs were not well received. I myself received 
only one letter about the programs," he wrote, adding, "I 
should be glad to have your reaction to this situation."^^ 

Dr. H. K. Newbum replied with criticism of his own. 
"We have had varying comments from the stations that 
have been operating under this plan," he wrote, pointing 
out that in nearly every case, the comments had been fa- 
vorable. "I must say, however, that I believe your institu- 
tion has given a good deal more responsibility for the op- 
eration of the program to the commercial station in Chey- 
enne than is usually the case." Newbum pointed to Ne- 
braska, Iowa and New Mexico where commercial broad- 
casters were not given control over the educational broad- 
casts. "They have attempted to integrate the program very 
closely with university activities and thus have had a dif- 
ferent setting relative to public relations and educational 
impact," he concluded.'" With cancellafion of the film se- 
ries, the UW's weekly half-hour arrangement with KFBC- 
TV came to an end. 

While the Wyoming plan remained stalled throughout 
the rest of the decade, public stations opened in neighbor- 
ing states. University control, however, turned out not to 
be the pattern. On Jan. 30, 1956, after four years of plan- 

'' Day, 36-37. 

-" Wyomingites do not simply rely on the legislature in questions 
of funding. There is a tendency to look to the legislature as a "cure" 
for many economic problems that may be better solved through non- 
govemnient means. This trait was discussed extensively by members 
of the Wyoming Public Policy Forum during deliberations in Laramie 
in 1993-94 in which this writer had the opportunity to participate. 

■"• "Outline for Committee on Television, University of Wyoming," 
in "Television" file. Box 133 

" The Michigan firm would furnish materials to UW at $1 per 
minute for half-hour shows. The university would be given seven 
program choices. 

-'- Copies of the letters and the mailing list are in "Television" file 
#106, Box 140, President's Files, University Archives. 

" Undated memo. Box 140, President's Files. 

^■' Humphrey to Tracy McCraken, Oct. 4, 1954, Box 140, President's 

" Humphrey to Dr. H. K. Newburn, Educational Television and 
Radio Center, Ann Arbor, Feb. 10, 1955, "Television" file. Box 140, 
President's files. 

'" Newburn to Humphrey, undated letter, "Television" file. Box 
140, President's Files. 



ning, KRMA-TV in Denver began operation under a li- 
cense granted to Denver Public Schools. Organized by a 
consortium of about 125 cultural and educational organi- 
zations, the governing control evolved into a council of 26 
area groups. Five years after its opening, the station's bud- 
get amounted to $194,000. all but $89,000 paid by the 
school district. ' 

Wyoming, on the verge of pioneering public television, 
now found itself lagging most neighboring states. None- 
theless, Humphrey persisted. In 1 96 1 , Humphrey appointed 
a University Television Committee, to be chaired by John 
Manel, Dean of the College of Education, to explore avail- 
able options, but also to counter Scottsbluff businessman 
Terry Carpenter's request to designate Channel 8 for a 
commercial station in Scottsbluff Nebraska. Even though 
Carpenter later withdrew his FCC request, Nebraska Pub- 
lic Television was expanding statewide through tlve new 
outlets, including one in the Nebraska Panhandle capable 
to broadcasting into parts of eastern Wyoming. 

Humphrey also was recei\ ing pressures to support ex- 
pansion of the Denver public station into Wyoming. When 
the UW president asked Denver electronics consultant Karl 
0. Krummel to provide an estimate of how the State of 
Wyoming could distribute public television \'ia cable sys- 
tems statewide, the answer was not one Humphrey wanted 
to hear. """KRMA, the Educational TV station of the Den- 
ver School Board is now broadcasting on a regular sched- 
ule of approximately eight to ten hours per da\ and has 
excellent programming for your purpose,"' Kmmmel wrote. 
"It would seem natural for the State to utilize this signal 
rather than construct your own station and be faced w ith 
large operating costs associated w ith production and broad- 

In early 1962. the University Television committee re- 
ported to Humphrey that a statew ide committee should be 
fonned consisting of "key personnel from the University, 
the State Department of Education, the Educational Me- 
dia Council, the Wyoming Education Association, the 
Community College Commission, and the North Central 
Committee.""'^ The UW committee's other recommenda- 
tions were equally timid, recommending "further study" 
of the costs and preparation of a suney in order to submit 
a grant request from the U. S. Department of Health. Edu- 
cation and Welfare. The university committee also echoed 
Krummel" s suggestion, recommending "that some type 
of control agreement may be made with the Educational 
Television Station in Denver, Colorado, to provide the bulk 
of initial programming for Wyoming residents."'"' 

More than a decade had passed since Humphrey's ini- 
tial proposal, but few results except requests for more study 
had occurred. Marvel reported receiving newsletters from 
educational television committees in several states and a 


conversation he had with a Newcastle broadcaster who 
had conducted a statewide ETV sur\e\ . "1 would hope 
that the ETV Committee might request the establishment 
of a state ETV commission in Wyoming w hich could ser\ e 
as the official state agency endorsed by the legislature and 
the Governor. It would seem to me that commission status 
would gain more recognition and would be in a better po- 
sition to secure and administer funds, assign responsibili- 
ties, and coordinate state-w ide programs." Man. el wrote. ^' 

Getting Wyoming school districts involved in such an 
enterprise by establishing a statewide committee seemed 
just as difficult. Humphrey and the trustees authorized Mar- 
vel to solicit support from educators. "1 wish we could 
generate more interest in ETV in Wyoming, but the 50- 
>ear lag ma>' be working." replied Maurice F. Griffith, 
superintendent of Natrona County School District No. 2. 
in late 1962. Griffith was skeptical about the committee's 
prospects. "I have talked about the possibilities to several 
school men but there is little interest. .A committee may be 
of little \ alue until some of our school people begin to 
have some curiosity about the medium." he concluded.""- 

Three weeks after he was sw om in as governor, former 
trustee Clifford P. Hansen recei\ed a letter from Humphrey 
urging appointment of a statewide ETV committee. He 
also passed on the UW Television Committee's sugges- 
tion that the governor initiate the meetings for the new 
group "because it would create more interest than if the 
University originated the meeting." Humphre\ wrote. 
Recognizing the political realities, the president and the 
uni\ersit\ w ere distancing themselves from promoting the 
idea of public television. The initiative would have to 
come from elsewhere. 

Humphrey retired as U W president in 1 964 and the lead- 
ership for public television soon passed to Maurice Griffith, 
superintendent of schools in Natrona Counts, who began 
a fiTJStrating seven-year crusade to bring public TV to W\o- 
ming. Despite his earlier skepticism about educators and 
their desires for supporting public TV. he called a meeting 
for .lanuaPv 10.1964. in\iting many administrators and 
teachers to explore possibilities for public TV. 

" "KRMA Works on Small Budget But Turns Out Big Produc- 
tions," Roundup: The Sunda_\ Denver Post, .luly 23. 1961, 1 1. 

'* Krummel to Humphrev, Jul\ 24. 1961. "Television" tile. Box 
178. President's Files. 

-" Trustee's Minutes, May 25-26, 1962. 

'" "Recommendations b> the University of Wyoming Teles ision 
Comminee," undated report to Humphrey, "Television" tile. Box 178. 
President's Files. 

" Marvel to Humphrex. June 5. 1962. "Television" file. Box 178. 
President's Files. 

■•- Griffith to Marvel, Nov. 7, 1962. "Television" file. Box 178, 
President's Files. 


Aimals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

At the meeting, Griffith was elected chair of the newly 
organized "Greater Wyoming Instructional Television" 
committee. He told the small group of attendees that Casper 
schools already were making extensive use of television. 
Most educational programs on the system were imported 
ft-om K.RMA in Denver, but each Tuesday afternoon, lo- 
cal programming for the educational channel originated at 
K.TWO-TV studios in Casper, Paul Schupbach, represent- 
ing the Great Plains ITV Library at the University of Ne- 
braska, spoke to the group, made up mostly of educators, 
about the Nebraska system."" 

Soon after. Gov. Hansen wrote to Griffith, calling for 
another statewide meeting. Hansen invited Humphrey's 
successor, UW President John Fey, State Superintendent 
Cecil Shaw, and the owners of two commercial broadcast- 
ing companies. Jack Rosenthal of KTWO, Casper, and 
Robert McCracken, an otTicer in Frontier Broadcasting, 
owner of KFBC-TV, Cheyenne."'"' From this group came 
the impetus for a state-supported committee for ETV. 
Griffith and several others continued as volunteers, plan- 
ning for a public television network, perhaps through uti- 
lizing existing broadcast stations and cable television sys- 
tems, then coming on line in many Wyoming cities. The 
group decided to submit a plan for funding such a system 
to the 1 967 Wyoming Legislature, along with a request to 
formalize the Wyoming ETV Commission.^' 

Nationally, 1967 was a significant year for public tele- 
vision. Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act, ex- 
panding support for educational television and creating the 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Congress also 
extended a 1962 act which had authorized $32 million for 
"acquisition and installation" of equipment for educational 
television around the nation for five years. An appropria- 
tion of S 1 0.5 million w as made for Fiscal Year 1 968, $ 1 2.5 
million for FY 1969 and $15 million for FY 1970. The 
legislation did have limitations. No one state could receive 
more than 8 1/2 percent of the total appropriation. But 
what would prove more significant to Wyoming, the maxi- 
mum grant would be limited to 75 percent of the broadcast 
equipment cost, the rest coming as a match from state (or 
private) sources.""' 

During the 1967 legislative session, Don Tannehill, a 
cable operator with connections to the ETV commission, 
and State Sen. Peter Madsen met with Governor Hathaway 
about how cable could interact with ETV. According to a 
later recounting of the meeting, the cable operators were 
instructed not to oppose ETV's request, even though many 
operators saw the plan as "unrealistic" — ^too expensive and 
the ten-year plan too unpredictable."" The legislature, ap- 
parently concurring with the assessment made by the cable 
operators, passed legislation formalizing the Wyoming 
Educational Television Commission as a state agency, but 

it rejected the fijnding request proposed in a separate bill.''* 

Griffith wrote to the other members about his disappoint- 
ment with the 1967 session. "The legislature adjoumedt 
and we were unsuccessfial in obtaining any fiands for con-i 
struction of a broadcast system," he wrote in February,! 
1967. "A bill to create a commission and funding for it 
was passed so there can be continuing work to develop a 
state system," he added."''' 

Governor Hansen had been elected to the U. S. Senate? 
in 1 966 and his successor, Stan Hathaway, formally ap- ; 
pointed the Wyoming Educational TV Commission.'^! 


■" Weston Brooke was elected vice chairman; James Moore, secre- 1 
tary; and Robert Kilzer, treasurer. "Correspondence" folder, WyO' 
ming Educational Television Commission files, Wyoming State Ar-1 
chives. Division of Cultural Resources. 

" Hansen to Griffith, March 12, 1965. "Correspondence" folder' 
Wyoming Educational Television Commission files, Wyoming Statt 
Archives, Division of Cultural Resources. Hansen's informal com- 
mittee eventually included; Griffith, chair; J. E. Christensen, Powell 
President of Northwest Community College and representing the Com- 
munity College Commission; Mrs. Donna Connor, Rawlins, Wyo- 
ming County Superintendent's Association; Dr. John Gates, UW; the! 
Rev. Jerome Louge, Cheyenne, representing the state's parochia 
schools; Leroy Meininger, Huntley, president of the Wyoming Schoo 
Board Association; Jack Rosenthal, KTWO-T'V who representeol 
broadcasters; Don Tannehill, president of Big Horn Broadcast Comnj 
pany of Sheridan, representing Community T'V Antenna Associatiom! 
and L. J. Williams, D. D. S., representing "the professions" in Wyo 
ming. Others listed on letterhead of the committee included: Dr. Harr ' 
Broad and Dean Talegan, both from the State Department of Educa ; 
tion; Marshall S. Macy, superintendent of schools in Newcastle; anci 
James Messimer, Casper, president of the Wyoming Education As 

■■-' Prior to 1972, the legislature met for only 40 days biennially. 

"• Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, HR 6736. 

" Minutes of Meetings, Wyoming ETV Commission, May 23, 1968 ; 

■" HB 310, introduced on January 26, 1967, would have establishec 
an appropriation of $822,000 for the ETV commission. A bipartisai; 
group of legislators, Verda James, Harold Hellbaum, LaVeme C. Boal I 
June Boyle, Elton Trowbridge, Leon Keith, Arthur L. Buck, Bob R i 
Bullock and Marvin E. Emrich were bill co-sponsors. HB 142, estab. 
lishing the commission did pass. Sponsors were James, Emrich, Bull 
lock. Buck, Boyle, Keith, William S. Curry, Allen E. Campbell, Jo 
W. Stewart and Clyde W. Kurtz. "Legislation Folder, 1967-1968, 
Wyoming ETV Commission. 

"''' Griffith to ETV Committee members, 20 February 1967. "Coi 
respondence file," Wyoming ETV Commission, Wyoming State Ai 
chives. The act originated as HB 142, filed on January 17, 1967, am 
co-sponsored by several Natrona and Laramie county legislators, ir 
eluding Verda James who was to be House Speaker in the next sei 
sion two years later. 

'" Griffith served as chairman; Bert Bell, vice chairman; W. I- 
Harrison, a Sheridan CPA, was the secretary. Other members wer^ 
Robert Schrader, Dean Talagan, Pat Quealy and Warren Sackmais 
Cheyenne. Dr. Schrader, superintendent of schools in Cody, later we 
elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Bill Grove, vie. 
president of KFBC, Cheyenne, and Ben Lockard, chief engineer (f 
KTWO, Casper, often appeared at meetings as representatives of th 
commercial stations. "Minutes of Meetings," Wyoming Education!' 
Television Commission files, Wyoming State Archives. J 




Seven members were named to the commission, includ- 
ing Griffith. Ex officio representatives were chosen from 
two of the state's commercial stations and one member 
from UW (broadcasting professor John McMullen)/ ' 

After the legislative session, committee member Bert 
Bell contacted cable operators about utilizing their sys- 
tems to disseminate UW programs — at least until July 1, 
1969. Cable operators agreed, pointing out the need for 
additional microwave applications in order to handle the 
universitx 's programs. The UW Board of Trustees would 
go to the legislature to get money to defray a portion of the 
cost, university officials told the cable operators. Techni- 
cal problems meant the system would not start into opera- 
tion until the fall of 1 968. more than a year after the meet- 
ing. Nonetheless, such a partnership appeared to obviate 
the need for a statewide over-the-air ETV system. '- 

At the commission's organizational meeting held in July, 
1967, at Jackson Lake Lodge, the main discussion con- 
cerned choosing a transmitting method for Wyoming. The 
choice was between Nebraska's seven transmitter system 
or Utah's single-station hub system with 1 00- watt transla- 
tors."' No longer was Wyoming leading in educational tele- 
vision. Both neighboring states had developed quite so- 
phisticated educational television systems while nothing 
had been accomplished in Wyoming. 

Dr. Ralph Molinari was appointed the executive secre- 
tar\ of the commission and introduced to members at the 
September 29 meeting on the UW campus. Board mem- 
bers, still divided on which transmitting approach to take, 
heard a presentation about the Nebraska system.'"* At the 
next meeting, held in Casper, a majority opted for the 
Nebraska method, but a subcommittee was authorized to 
travel to Utah to inspect that system and report back."' 

The decision came after significant differences of opin- 
ion were voiced. It wasn't until February of the next year, 
however, that the board authorized consulting engineer 
Tom Morrissey to proceed with engineering studies.'" 

Public television by over-the-air transmission no longer 
had a clear field. Cable television was making inroads into 
Wyoming communities and households. Cable operators 
in Wyoming always expressed support for educational tele- 
vision in principle, but worried about signal distribution 
and the impact on their industry. The UW board of tmst- 
ees, at the December 7 meeting, heard presentations from 
cable operators on using cable for adult education courses. 

ft was not the first meeting of cable operators and edu- 
cators. They had been involved since at least September, 
1961. In 1964, when the first Morrissey report on ETV 
was issued, cable operators saw potential for partnerships 
with education. "In April, 1965, all school could be at- 
tached to various cable systems free of charge," asserted 
Charles Crowell, legal representative of the operators, in 

the presentation to the UW Board of Trustees. Cable was 
not universal throughout Wyoming, however. Their "reach" 
was to approximately 74 percent of the school-aged popu- 

ETV proponents were seeking a statewide nervvork — 
"publically funded, administered and centrally- 
operated.... free with no subscription cost."'* The cable in- 
dustry had different goals. The "partnership" arrangement 
set up through Bell's initiative the previous year ran into 
trouble. On March 4, 1968, UW President William Carlson 
withdrew the university's "program and policy statement" 
of cooperation with the cable companies. As a result, the 
cable firms withdrew microwave applications.'" No ex- 
planation was given for the university's decision although, 
clearly, supporters of ETV were pleased with the result."" 

Representatives from the community antenna sxstems 
and cable companies met with the Wyoming ETV Com- 
mission on May 23 in Casper. There was "little accord at 
the meeting with CATV.""' The "lack of accord" was evi- 
dent in the following exchange: Chairman Griftlth asked 
the representatives: "Do you believe if ETV is made avail- 
able from the CATV that the legislature would ftmd an 
ETV system?" The representative answered. "I don't 
know." Griffith then asked, "If the CATV people can pro- 
vide assistance to ETV, would it do so'^" The representa- 
tive replied, "We'd be most happy to." But no details of 
"help" were asked or offered."- 

The ETV committee, meeting the same day, passed a 
resolution urging the University trustees to defer action on 
such proposals until such time as the "public telexision 

^' The law required a part\ split, but also stipulated that the gov- 
ernor should take professional qualifications into account when 
making the appointments. See IVyoming Slat. 9-220.1 (1Q67). 

^- Minutes of Meetings, Wyoming ETV Commission, Wyoming 
State Archives, June 28, 1968. 

" Minutes of Meetings, Wyoming ETV Commission, V\ yoming 
State Archives. 

'^ Ibid. Commissioners Bill Harrison and Bert Bell had met with 
the Nebraska ETV personnel. The next day, the commission adiourned 
to attend the UW-CSU football game held in Laramie. 

" Ibid. The commission heard reports of visits by two commission 
members to Cedar City and Salt Lake City. 

'" Ibid., minutes of Feb. 12. 1968, held by conference call. 

^'Charles Crowell gave the estimate at the May 25, 1968. meeting 
of the Wyoming ETV Commission and the figure appears in the board 

^"Minutes of Meetings. Wyoming ETV Commission, Vlay 2."^. 1968. 


"" A few days later at the March 21 meeting in Cheyenne, Bell 
resigned and John McMullen. UW broadcasting professor, was named 
ex officio member of the board. 

"' Quoting the May minutes, presented for commission approval at 
the June 28, 1968, meeting. Wyoming ETV Commission, June 28, 

"'Ibid., May 23, 1968. 


Annals or Wyoming; The Wyoming History Journal 

issues are resolved."^' The commission was divided on 
the issue, however. Bert Bell again stated he believed an 
alliance with cable would be beneficial. The rest dis- 

Out-of-state public television was making inroads. Mem- 
ber Bill Harrison reported that Sheridan schools planned 
to carr\' programming from the Salt Lake City public TV 
station. Griffith noted that Casper schools were using 
KRMA-TV in Denver, brought to Casper on cable.''^ 

Griffith repeated concerns that the board lacked state- 
wide support. The result was creation of an advisory board 
composed of one person from each county.'^ 

When the board met at Jackson Lake Lodge in June, 
Morrissey provided them with ftinding proposals. Each of 
the 50 translator sites would require a $20,000 outlay. The 
main hub transmitter, tower building and other equipment 
would amount to some $500,000. Morrissey gave figures 
of $200,000 for the second hub with lower power and an- 
other $300,000 for a cenfral production center. In his view, 
"shared production facilities" utilizing black and white 
would cost $100,000. The entire package was, at least in 
the view of some board members, staggering for its ex- 
pense — $2.1 million, with an annual operation cost esti- 
mated from between $100,000 and $400,000 depending 
on picture quality. Locations of the two hubs, one on the 
summit between Cheyenne and Laramie (channel 8) and 
the second on Casper Mountain (channel 6) were identical 
to those proposed in Morrissey's 1 965 study.**^ 'The rather 
large figure brought discussion of other methods of get- 
ting ETV to Wyoming people," the board secretary wrote 

The commission majority asked Morrissey to provide a 
proposal for a "less costly system."By the second day of 
the meeting, the engineer presented an alternative plan. 
The scaled-back version would have half as many transla- 
tors (25), just one main transmitter, a less expensive build- 
ing, and a "no-color production center." Total cost of the 
alternative would be an estimated $950,000, according to 

Clearly, Morrissey's pared down plan would mean lesser 
signal penetration in the state. When the board met the 
next month, the majority decided to propose Morrissey's 
initial, more extensive (and expensive) plan for legislative 
approval.™ Apparently, most believed matching flinds 
might be utilized for the project, likely from the federal 

At the same meeting, the board commissioned a public 
opinion survey, to be conducted by the State Department 
of Education during the summer of 1 968. The results were 
encouraging. Approximately 84 percent of the respondents 
said they favored public television in Wyoming, even 
though a surprising number had not heard of the proposed 

plan and few knew the exact form of transmission." 

Armed with the positive poll results, the commission 
asked Sackman to draft the proposed legisladon for the 
system. Molinari and Bob Smith (hired to do public rela- 
tions for the commission earlier that year) were asked to 
assist. Gov. Stan Hathaway, State Supt. of Public Instruc- 
tion Harry Roberts and Jack Fairweather also attended the 
meeting. Hathaway told the commission he would endorse 
the concept "but not the specific plan." He said he thought 
the commission should ask for no more than $500,000 
and then seek a matching commitment elsewhere before 
the legislature convened." 

Griffith wrote to U. S. Rep. William Henry Harrison 
(R- Wyoming) about helping the commission gain federal 
funds. Harrison responded that no fiends for ETV had been | 
appropriated for 1968. The Department of Health, Educa- 
tion and Welfare had requested $12.5 million for 1969, 
but the House had authorized just $4.5 million. The Sen- ! 
ate had not acted on the bill. Harrison added that Wyo- 
ming would be ineligible for such ftinds at any rate be- I 
cause the ETV Commission "had not applied for a con- ! 
struction permit." Harrison added that even if the j 
commission's plan for a $1 million bond sale were ap- \ 
proved by the legislature, HEW "would have to wait until li 
the money was in hand."'-' 

In October, Griffith received similar bad news from the i 
director of HEW's Educational Broadcasting Facilities 1 
Program. There were "74 applications filed and $33 mil- 
lion requested," Raymond J. Stanley reported. With just ' 
$4 million available and a state limitadon of just $340,000, 
federal fijnding seemed out of the question.'^ j 

"■' Minutes of Meetings, Wyoming ETV Commission, Dec. 7, 1967. ! 

" Ibid ' 

•■"Minutes of Meetings, Wyoming ETV Commission, Feb. 12, 1968. 

"" Minutes of Meetings, WETV Commission, Feb. 12, 1968. 

" T. G. Morrissey, "Educating with Television in Wyoming: A i 
Feasibility Engineering Study," (Cheyenne: State Department of Edu- I 
cation, UW and Community College Commission, 1965); "Wyo- 
ming ETV Finalization of System Plan and Cost Estimates," (Den- 
ver: T. G. Morrissey, Consulting Engineer, n.d.), Intro. 

"* Ibid. See also Meeting minutes, Wyoming ETV Commission, 
June 28, 1968. Morrissey's report is included with the minutes as 
well as in a separate folder. 

o" Ibid 

™ Meeting minutes, Wyoming ETV Commission, July 11, 1968,) 
held at Little America, Cheyenne. 

'" Survey, June, 1968, in "Correspondence file," WETV Commis- 
sion. Curiously, just 36 percent of those polled had heard about the 
ETV proposal; 66 percent had not. Only 2.3 percent of those polled 
did not own a television set; 32 percent were cable subscribers while 
the other two-thirds received signals from antennas. 

^- Meeting minutes, Wyoming ETV Commission, Sept. 18, 1968. 

^' Harrison to Griffith, n.d., in ETV Legislation file, Wyoming ETV 

'■• Raymond J. Stanley to Griffith, Oct. 25, 1968, ETV Legislatioil 
file, Wyoming ETV Commission. 



Earlier that summer, Hathaway's attorney general's of- 
fice reported that funding and authority to establish a state- 
wide system through the ETV commission would expire 
the next June, according to the enabling legislation passed 
in 1967. "1 believe this is our last chance to act," Griffith 
told other commission members. "If the Wyoming State 
Legislature does not establish an Educational Television 
system for our state during the 1969 session, 1 am aft^aid 
that our state will not be able to build an ETV system 
because of the unavailability of federal matching fiands."'' 

The board was still torn between a centralized system 
and one operating a series of transmitters. Based on what 
they perceived as broad public support, the group ham- 
mered out a proposal to establish a statewide system, but 
with several alternatives having various price tags. On Dec. 
12, 1968, Gov. Hathaway proposed that the board submit 
one bill for legislative approval rather than one enabling 
act and a separate appropriation bill. After changes were 
made to the draft and the two bills merged, Molinari sub- 
mitted the bill for member approval on December 1 8. Along 
with authorization of a system, the bill called for $20,000 
for commission operations and $500,000 for a funding 
match, the source of the match not yet determined. 

An Associated Press report distributed statewide on 
December 3 1 gave the commission members pause. In it, 
the writer quoted various legislators about their views on 
public television. Clearly, the cost figures, reported by AP 
to be at least $1 million, brought significant opposition 
from several key legislators.'" Griffith and other commis- 
sion members were ftirious that the high tlgure had been 
cited without noting that the legislature was being asked 
for only half of it. A possibility existed for matching fijnds, 
they believed, and the article never mentioned it." 

Gov. Hathaway, in his State of the State address to the 
legislature, spoke out in favor of the ETV system: 

Educational television can no longer be considered a 
luxury. It is an invaluable classroom aid and provides a 
medium for adult education and advanced vocational-tech- 
nical training. Wyoming is now one of only two states 
that do not have an educational television system. I rec- 
ommend that the legislature approve and fund the first 
phase of a plan that will, with the assistance of federal 
funds, provide an educational television system that will 
serve all of the people of Wyoming.™ 

The legislature did not pass an appropriation for a state- 
wide system. Without the state funds, the future of ETV 
was cast into doubt once again. 

Griffith sent a memo to the rest of the commission mem- 
bers on March 4, 1969, calling a meeting — "perhaps the 
last" — for later in the month. He wrote that the group 
would "consider possibilities for organizing a system with- 

out use of state ftinds."'' Following the meeting, Griffith 
spoke with Governor Hathaway. "He gave approval to pri- 
vate fund-raising," Griffith later wrote to his colleagues.'*" 
In one last desperate act to gain financial support for such 
a network, Griffith wrote to the Ford Foundation. "The 
recounting of the multitude of problems in getting public 
broadcasting distributed throughout Wyoming. ..would be 
too long for an exploratory letter such as this," he wrote, 
adding that factors of distance and small population were 

Funding for the commission ended on June 1. 1969. 
The structure remained in place in the statutes until 1 994 
when the State Telecommunications Council was cre- 
ated, taking over what had been some duties of the com- 
mission. "- 

On May 10. 1983, KCWC-TV, the first public televi- 
sion station in Wyoming, went on the air, broad- 
casting from studios on the campus of Central Wyoming 
College, Riverton. Wyoming barely escaped being the last 
state in the union to establish public TV. KCWC filed with 
the FCC just months before the public TV station in Mon- 

The Riverton station came into being despite repeated 
legislative refusals to fund public TV. The initiative, led 
by CWC officials, was not without controversy. 

After the legislature defeated funding for such a station, 
CWC President Bob Barringer recruited a handful of po- 
litical supporters, including Gov. Ed Herschler and State 
Sen. Roy Peck, a Fremont County Republican. With their 

^- "Proposed Wyoming ETV Network," (pamphlet), 1969, in Wyo- 
ming ETV Commission files, Wyoming State Archives. 

'"A teletype paper copy of the AP release, written by Bob Leeright, 
is in commission files. "Correspondence file," WETV Commission, 
Wyoming State Archives. In August, 1968, a statewide advisory com- 
mittee was selected with members from every county in the state. 
Their role in lobbying and support is not clear from the record. 

"The state budget picture was unhealthy in 1969, ta.x revenues 
not keeping up with demands. It was in this session that the legisla- 
ture authorized the tlrst severance ta.x on minerals, a measure des- 
tined to keep the state's fiscal condition healthy until the 1990s. 

™ "Te.xt of State of the State .Address," Casper Star Tribune, Janu- 
ary 16, 1969, p. 12. 

™ Griffith to commission members, 4 March 1969, "Correspon- 
dence" file, WETV Commission, Wyoming State Archives. 

'"Griffith to commission members, 4 April 1969, "Correspondence" 
file, WETV Commission, Wyoming State Archives. 

*' Griffith to Dr. Ed Meade, Director, Ford Foundation, 24 April 
1969, in "Correspondence" file. 

'- Statutory authority for the commission was in W\oming Stat- 
utes (1977), 9-220. 1 through 9-220.6. The 1 982 renumbering changed 
the citiation, but not the language. W.S. 9-2-501 et seq. The current 
statute authorizing the State Telecommunications Council is W. S. 

*' Kathleen Sutton, "Public TV Comes to Wyoming," Capitol Times 
(Cheyenne), June 1983, 12. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

help, CWC was able to resist an attempt by a commercial 
station in Casper to remove the Channel 4 designation from 
the FCC non-commercial category. Gov. Herschler sent 
his own representative to appear before the board of the 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting to testify for the 
Wyoming public station.'*'* 

Having won the battle to keep the channel, the college 
turned toward gaining support for building the station. 
Barringer, whose temi at the college lasted barely a year, 
had been replaced by Richard St. Pierre, but the successor 
continued the quest. 

Federal fiinds, under the Public Telecommunications Fa- 
cilities Program, were available for such a station, but they 
required a matching appropriation. To most, it seemed 
highly unlikely that the legislature would authorize such a 
match. St. Pierre bypassed the legislamre and boldly allo- 
cated $325,000 from the college's ftinds. Soon, the PTFP 
federal match of three times that amount — $976,000 — was 
granted. It was the largest federal grant made to start a 
public television station and CWC became the only com- 
munity college in the world holding a VHF TV station 

KCWC-TV. however, was far from the statewide sys- 
tem envisioned by Duke Humphrey in the 1 950s. Repeated 

attempts to form a state telecommunications authority were 
defeated by the legislature throughout the early 1 980s. State 
Sen. Peck introduced bills in 1980 and 1982 to establish 
such an entity, but each time, they were defeated. 

Nonetheless, Humphrey's dream of public television fi- 
nally came to pass. It hadn't been a ''50-year lag" as Maurice 
Griffith once bitterly predicted, but his estimate was close. 
Thirty-two years after Humphrey's proposal to make Wyo- 
ming the first state with public television, Wyoming fi- 
nally became the 49th state to have such a channel. 

»■' Ibid. 

'" Sutton, 12-13. According to Sutton, St. Pierre came under fire 
from his own college for making the appropriation to public TV, even- 
tually resigning after receiving a no-confidence vote from the fac- 

Phil Roberts, editor of Annals, has been on the 
faculty of the Department of History, University 
of Wyoming, since 1990. He holds the J. D. in 
law from the University of Wyoming and the 
Ph.D. in history from the University of Wash- 
ington, Seattle. 

Book R 

e Views 

Edited Ly Carl HallLerg 

Black Gold: Patterns in the Development of 
Wyoming's Oil Industry. By Mike Mackey. 
Powell: Western History Publications, 1997. vi + 
160 pages. Illustrations, map, notes, bibliography, 
index. Paper, $9.95. 

Few would deny the profound influence Wyoming's 
oil industry has had on the political, social and economic 
development of the state. However, the evolution of that 
industry has been fraught with problems not often expe- 
rienced by oilmen and companies closer to eastern mar- 
kets and distribution centers. Those problems and some 
of the people who attempted to overcome them are the 
focus of Mike Mackey 's book. 

The potential of Wyoming's oil reserves was recog- 
nized as early as the 1 880s after the first successfiil well 
was drilled near Lander. Succeeding decades would see 
a variety of development and marketing strategies used 
by would-be and established developers. Mackey uses a 

series of short stories to acquaint the reader with these 
developers and the methods they used, the positive and 
negative influences of the federal government, and the 
resources available to large eastern oil companies ulti- 
mately responsible for getting most of Wyoming's oil to 

Mackey's study of independent oilmen range from Cy 
Iba, whose family spent 20 years filing claims in the Salt 
Creek oilfields, to Glenn Nielsen, who developed the 
Husky Oil Company. Iba worked in the hope he could 
someday lease his claims to large companies with the 
money to develop them. Through hard work, Nielsen cre-tj 
ated a very successful oil company only to have it bought 
out from under him by large Canadian oil interests backed 
by the Canadian government. 

Mackey's survey of government influence ov.i 
Wyoming's energy industry includes an examinafion oi I 
the Maverick Springs oilfield on the Wind River Reset- j 
vadon where federal inaction let the field lie idle for more;' 
than two decades. A look at the construction oie 


Summer 1998 


Cheyenne's aviation fliel plant near the end of World War 
II and the role of Wyoming's senior senators in bringing 
the plant to Wyoming paints government intervention in 
a more positive light. The book's tlnal chapter traces the 
government's pursuit of the unpopular Plowshare pro- 
gram in the 1970s which was intended to concentrate 
natural gas by the detonation of underground nuclear 
bombs. While the final chapter is not directly linked with 
the development of Wyoming's oil industry, it serves as 
a recent example of the potentially disastrous effects 
misguided government actions can have on the West's 
energy industry. 

Nearly all of the examples in Black Gold show a recur- 
ring theme - in the Wyoming oil business, hard work and 
being the first to discover oil in the field have not been as 
important as having huge financial reserves and govern- 
ment connections. Large companies with enough capital 
to develop and market Wyoming oil have dominated 
Wyoming's oil industry for most of its history, and they 
have generally left little room for the independent oil- 

This book will he of interest to any student of twenti- 
eth century Wyoming history. The use of short case stud- 
ies to draw attention to the diversity of situations experi- 
enced by developers makes Mackey's work very read- 
able and digestible. The author refers to his book as a 
"slim volume," which it is, and the book is by no means 
a definitive exploration ogf Wyoming's oil industry. 
However, it provides good, basic insight into the types 
of people, processes, and governmental influences that 
shaped Wyoming's oil industry and will serve well as a 
springboard for further exploration into the subject. 

Jim Allison 
Wyoming State Museum 

The Archaeology of the Donner Party. Edited by 
Donald L. Hardesty. Reno: University of Nevada 
Press, 1997. xii + 156 pages. Illustrations, tables, 
maps, notes, bibliography and index. Cloth, $27.95. 

One aspect of the overland migration of the mid-nine- 
teenth century that continues to hold historians" (both 
professional and avocational) attention is the Donner 
Party. There are and will continue to be many unanswered 
questions as to why the party suffered as it did, and the 
standard historical records, to some extent, will never 
provide the answers. This book presents recent archaeo- 
logical investigation conducted by the University of Ne- 
vada-Reno at the reported Murphy Cabin (as marked by 
a bronze plaque in Donner Memorial State Park) and the 
Alder Creek locafions in 1984 and 1990 respecdvely and 

investigations of the reported Alder Creek location for 
the George and Jacob Donner families in 1992 and 1993. 

Many research questions were addressed during the 
various phases of field work and are discussed in great 
detail: is the Murphy Cabin correctly located; exactly 
where was the Alder Creek camp; how many shelters 
were present in the camp and how were they spaced rela- 
tive to each other; did cannibalism actually occur at any 
of the camps; what was the material culture left behind 
when the camps were abandoned and why did some mem- 
bers of the party die while others survived. 

The book begins with a historical review of "The 
Donner Party Saga" detailing the background of the vari- 
ous families in the party, events that happened along the 
trail before the Sierra Nevada was reached, what hap- 
pened at the winter camp, and how the survivors were 
rescued. Much of this information has been previously 
presented in other publications but not in the context of 
background infonnation for archaeological investigations. 
Those familiar with the events will enjoy this review. 

The second chapter, "The Donner Party and Overland 
Emigration, 1840-1860," puts the Donner party trip into 
the context of what was happening along the emigration 
trails. There was more to making the overland trip than 
just a desire to have new farm land in Oregon or to get 
rich in the gold fields of California. People could not 
just decide to go and leave their homes but had to care- 
fully decide when to leave, what to take along, which 
route to take, and who to take along. The Donner Party 
had troubles from the start, and one could argue they 
were an ill-fated party from the beginning of the trip. 

"Archaeology of the Murphy Cabin" and "Archaeol- 
ogy of the Alder Creek Camp" are the next two chapters. 
The Murphy Cabin excavations (conducted in 1984) defi- 
nitely detemiined that the location as marked in the state 
park is that described by the various journals and diaries 
of the Donner Party. Recovered artifacts and structural 
remains provide much infonnation as to how the Donners 
lived, interacted, and survived during their ordeal. The 
excavations also revealed the cabin site was not the loca- 
tion for the mass grave of people who perished at the 
camp. The mass grave was supposedly dug in the inte- 
rior of one of the cabins, which later burned. This is not 
felt to be the "Breen Cabin," whose location remains 
unrecorded and may even have been destroyed by early 
twentieth century investigations at the site. 

The Alder Creek Camp location was investigated in 
1989-1993. These investigations were more problemati- 
cal because the exact location for the camp w as not known. 
Historical documents do not provide a single location 
but several possibilities, and researchers discuss all pos- 
sible sites (pp. 57-60). 


Annals ot Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Similarly, historical records do not state the number 
and type of shelters at the Alder Creek Camp. Up to 
three tent locations and two other shelters may have been 
present. These structures would have left less archaeo- 
logical evidence than that possible at the Donner Cabin 
site. Two locations, the "Jacob Donner Locality" and the 
"George Donner Locality," which had been previously 
identified and interpreted by historians, were excavated 
in 1989 and 1990 and contained primarily twentieth cen- 
tury artifacts or prehistoric Native American materials. 

A systematic metal detector survey in 1990 across the 
adjoining meadow, followed by archaeological excava- 
tions, revealed that two locations, "The Meadow Local- 
ity" and "The Anthill Stump Locality," contained arti- 
facts dating from the Donner Party period. The Meadow 
Locality is interpreted to be a trash dump. Based on the 
collected evidence, the Alder Creek meadow appears to 
have been where the Jacob and George Donner families 

Chapter 6 descibes nineteenth century artifacts recov- 
ered during the various excavations beginning with a dis- 
cussion of the materials known to have been in the Donner 
Party baggage, such as tableware, glassware, firearms, 
clothing and other personal gear, tobacco pipes, hand 
tools, and wagon hardware. The discussions are excel- 
lent, but the only problem is the lack of a photographic 
scale in the figures. 

The final chapter, "New Directions in Donner Party 
Research," reviews the archaeological investigations, 
discusses the original research questions that were, were 
not and could not be answered, and more importantly, 
where research in the Donner Party winter camp should 
be directed in the future. 

The book concludes with three appendices: 
"Zooarchaeology of the Murphy Cabin Site," "Ceramics 
from the Alder Creek Camp," and "The Timing of Donner 
Party Deaths." These provide details for many of the con- 
clusions made in the main portion of the book. 

This book is recommended for any researcher inter- 
ested in the overland migration of the nineteenth century 
and how archaeology can help proving and disproving 
historical interpretations. Archaeological data often can 
provide detailed information about historical events and 
tell us more about what happened to people and why than 
historical documents can. The studies presented about 
the Donner Party are an excellent example of how ar- 
chaeology works with history. 

Danny N. Walker 
Assistant State Archaeologist, Laramie 

Tales and Irreverencies of a Country Parson. By 

Eugene F. Todd. Cheyenne: Western Americana 
Publishing, 1997. xix + 560 pages. \ 

The Rev. Eugene F. Todd, retired Episcopal priest, 
knows how to tell a good story. In Tales and Irreverencies 
of a Country Parson, Todd has told us the story of a 
Wyoming ranch kid. Baptist pastor and Episcopal priest. 
He tells that story with relish, grace and style. As an au- 
tobiographical account, Todd holds center stage for the 
majority of the stories, but what stories he tells! He knows 
how to bring the reader into his life and to care about 
what he reads. In the manner of a good storyteller, he 
tells just enough, then moves on to something else just 
before the reader gets tired of the topic. Along the way, 
Todd recounts his very interesting and eventfiil life in i 
the Rocky Mountain West. j 

The book begins and ends with a drowning. In the first, j 
in 1 930, young Gene Todd, then about two, fell into Piney ' 
Creek and was rescued by his family, unconscious but 
still breathing. He quickly recovered, and lived to tell li 
many tales. The second ended tragically, with the drown- j 
ing of his two-year young grandson in 1995, just as he j 
completed the book. As a literary device, it provided per- | 
feet bookends. The reality of the personal tragedy brought 
tears. Todd's storytelling abilities brought tears on a num- , 
ber of occasions, but far more often it brought laughter, ' 
as he described the events of a life viewed through a lens 
of wry humor and, to borrow his term, irreverency. j 

Todd tells about his early life on a Wyoming ranch, li 
Bom July 1, 1928, on Big Piney Creek, he began life on r 
a family ranch that was doing well. His father had even i! 
bought a gasoline-driven Ford tractor, the first in the 
neighborhood. All that changed soon, as a fire destroyed 
the ranch. The family rebuilt, but the Great Depression t 
soon struck, bringing the Todd family the sorrows iti 
brought so many others. Todd grew up a solitary boy, j 
given to going of alone to watch nature, and also to mi 
graine headaches. Although he didn't identify them asi' 
such as he grew up, they played an important part in his 
life, until he finally received successful treatment for them 
in 1987. 

Although religion has played a pivotal role in Todd's 
life, he was not raised in a "religious" household. He 
began to sense a call to the ordained ministry while he 
attended the University of Denver. His first call, he felt,i 
was to a military career, but that was not to be, and even- 
tually he was ordained in the Baptist church. He served 
congregations in small Colorado communities, and later 
served as Baptist chaplain at the University of SoutW 
Dakota. During that time he also began to feel drawn tcp 


Summer 1998 

the Episcopal Church. When he finally answered that call, 
he decided to become an Episcopal priest, and to pursue 
that calling in Wyoming. Alter a year of Anglican Stud- 
ies at the Virginia Theological Seminary, Todd was re- 
ceived into the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church. 
He served congregations in Green River and Cheyenne 
until his retirement in 1992, after which he pursued col- 
lege teaching and interim ministry in Colorado. 

Without going into the details of an interesting and ac- 
tive life, let me simply return to my first assertion that 
Gene Todd tells a good story. He involved himself with 
the people and issues that have filled the decades of the 
sixties, seventies, and eighties, civil rights, hippies, the 
sexual revolution, AIDS, and he includes stories of meet- 
ing such famous individuals as Martin Luther King and 
George McGovem. The institutional church has also taken 
many hits during these decades, and Todd has played a 
part there, too, with forays into ecumenism, charismatic 
renewal, fundamentalism, even taking on the Billy Gra- 
ham Crusade, which gained him a lot of publicity. 

Many of Todd's stories come from his twenty-seven 
years as parish priest in St. Mark's, Cheyenne. For Wyo- 
ming, St. Mark's is a large church and Cheyenne is a 


large city and of course the state capitol. Todd regales us 
with tales about many of the characters who formed his 
parish, tales filled with warmth and humor. From gover- 
nors to street people, Todd brings them to us, and such in 
a way that we care to know about them. While Christian- 
ity can bring out the best in people, parish life can cer- 
tainly bring out the worst as well. Todd's stories of try- 
ing to raise money for building renovation, turf-battles 
with individuals and vestries, and all the other day-to- 
day matters that fill any institution's life ring all too true. 
One needn't be an ardent Episcopalian or even affiliated 
with a church to recognize the people and events he re- 
counts. He describes them in a way to keep the reader 
chuckling most of the time, with an occasional tear slip- 
ping in along the way. Rather like real life. 

Tales and Irreverencies of a Countiy Parson reminds 
me a lot of living in Wyoming. Some of it seems im- 
probable, much of it seems ludicrous, but through it all 
there runs a joy and a reality that fascinated me. Like any 
good storyteller, Todd kept me coming back for "just 
one more story." 

Kristine T. Utterback 
University of Wyoming 


Albert, Carl 33 

Allison, Jim, review of Black Gold, 45 
Amarillo, Texas 16 
Amchitka, Alaska 29 
American Automobile Assoc. 1 1 
American Council on Education 37 
Anderson. Jack 16, 17, 19, 20, 23, (photo, 17) 
"Archaeology of the Donner Party," rev., 45-46 
Army weasels 12 
Arnett, Keeton 37 
Arvada 3 

Associated Press 44 

Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) 24, 26-30, 33 
Back, Mary 16 
Barbat, William 27 
Barringer, Bob 45 
Basque 4 
Bell, Bert 42, 43 
Bell, Tom 29 
Big Horn Basin Clubs 7 
Big Horn Mountains 3 
Big Piney, Wyoming 27, 31 
Big Sky Snovvriders 23 
Birr, Phyllis 29, 32 

"Black Gold: Patterns in the Development of 
Wyoming's Oil Industry," rev., 45 
Bombardier Snowcoach 9, 12, 14, 15 
Boulder Dam 31 
Boulder Irrigation District 31 
Boulder, Wyoming 27,31 
Bousman, Floyd 30-33 
Bridges 31 
Buffalo, Wyoming 3 

"Bum Lambs Aren't Really Bum!" by Alice Eder 
Jacobson 3 

Bureau of Public Roads 7, 11 

Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife 31 

Cable operators 42 

Cammerer, Amo 7 

Campers Cabin building 20, 22 

Campers Cabins (photo, 2 1 ) 

Canyon Village 1 1 

Carlson. William 42 

Carpenter, Terry 40 

Casper S!ar Tribune 29 

Casper Mountain 43 

CATV 43 

Cavanaugh, Mildred McKibben 5 

Centennial, Wyo. 36 

Central Wyoming College 45 

Chamber of Commerce 16 

Chicago 13 

Cody, Wyoming 14 

Colorado State University 31 

Commercial television broadcasters 39 

Community College Commission 40 

Cooke City, Mont. 14 

Corporation for Public Broadcasting 41, 45 

Coy, Wayne 36 

Crowell, Charles 42 

Cullen, Hugh Roy 39 

Dames and Moore 31, 

Deer 12 

Delgado, Mildred 32 

Denver Public Schools 

Department of the Interior 28 

Drag, snow 1 8 

Dumont Laboratories 37 

Dunraven Pass (photo, 2 1 ) 

Eder, Ernest 3 

Eder, Jean 3 

Eder, Willard and Herbert 3 



Educational Broadcasting Facilities Program 44 
Educational Media Council 40 
Educational Television and Radio Center 39 
El Paso Natural Gas Company (EPNG) 

24, 27, 28,30,31,32 
El Paso Nuclear Group 30 
Environmental Impact Statement 30 
Environmental Protection Agency 32 
Estey, Harold 19,20,22 
ETV Commission 44 
Fairweather, Jack 43 
Farmington, New Mexico 24, 27 
Federal Communications Commission 36 
Fey, John T, 41 
Fisser, Dr. H. G. 31 
Ford Foundation 44 
Frank, Owen 27 

Frontier Broadcasting 37,38, 41 
Garrison, Lemuel 11,12 
Gasbuggy 27, 28 
Gastellum, Luis 13, 15 
Grand Loop 23 
Great Plains ITV Library 41 
"Great Plains Trilogy" 39 
Greater Wyoming Instructional Television 41 
Green River Valley Cattlemen's .Association 30 
Griffith, Maurice F. 40, 41, 43, 44, 45 
Grooming machine (photo) 21 
Grooming, road 19 
Grove, William 37 
Haberthier, V. F. 7 
Hamilton Stores 16 
Hansen, Clifford P, 32,40.41 
Harrison, William Henry 39, 43 
Hartzog, George 15,16 
Hathaway, Stanley K, 29, 41, 43, 44 
Hayward, Claude 26 


Annals of Wyoming: Tke Wyoming History Journal 

Herschler, Gov. Ed 45 

High Coimtiy !^ews, 29 

Highway 89 Association II 

Humphrey, George 35-37. 39. 45, (photo, 37) 

retirement 41 
Intercollegiate sports 37 
International Snowmobile lndustr> Assoc. 22 
International Snowmobile Congress 20 
Izaak Walton League 16 
Jackson, Wyoming, 11,16 
Jackson Hole \ews 3 1 
.lackson Lake Lodge 42, 43 
Jacobson. Alice Eder 3, (author bio, 5) 
.lohnston, Fred 9 

Joint Committee on .Atomic Energy 24, 33 
Joint Committee on Educational TV 37, 39 
KFBC Radio 37 
KFBC-TV 38, 39, 40, 41 
KRMA-TV 40,41,43 
KTHE Los Angeles 39 
KUHT, Houston, 39 
Kansas State Uni\ersit\ 38 
Kidd, Bill 32 
Krunimel, Karl O. 40 
Lamb, orphan 3 
Lamm, Tom 26 
Lander Snow-drifters 16 
Lawrence-Livermore Laboratory 29 
Lederer, Adam (author's bio) 33 
Livingston, Mont. 11, 14, 15,23 
Lutz and May 37, 38 
McCracken, Robert 41 
McCraken, Tracy 38,39 
McGee, Sen. Gale 16,30 
McLaughlin. Johns, 13, 14, 15, 20 
McMullen, John 41 
Mackey. SalK 30 
Madsen, Peter 41 
Mallop., Warren M. 36, 37 
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel 20 
Mammoth Motor Inn 20 
Marbleton, Wyoming 27 
Marvel, Dr. John 40 
Massive Hydraulic Fracturing 28 
Medicine Bow, Wyoming 36 
Merrian, Lawrence 9 
MISSION 66 10, 11, 13 
Moguls, snow (photo) 1 8 
Molinari, Dr. Ralph 42,43,44 
Moran, Wyoming 14 
Morrissev, Tom 42, 43 
Murphy, Bob 8 
Myers. Patty 5 

NCAA television committee 37 
National Park Service 7, 10, 11, 15, 19 
National Park Service rangers 8 
National Wildlife Federation 16 
Natural gas 24, 27 
Nebraska Public Television 40 
Newburn, Dr. H. K. 39 
Nicholls. Bill 9, 14 
Nine Mile Water Hole 4 
Ni.xon, Richard M. 24, 28 
Norris Geyser area 8 
North Central Committee 40 
Northern Pacific Railway 13 
Nuclear stimulation 24. 25 
OtTice of Management and Budget (0MB) 33 
Old Faithful 8, 9, 12, 14, 19, 20 

Old Faithful Inn, 22 

Old Faithful Motor Hotel 15, 20 

Old Faithful Snowlodge 16, 17, 22, (photo, 21) 

O'Mahoney, Sen. Joseph C. 7, 1 1 

Oversnow visitation 14,16 

Park Counts' N'en'S 14 

Peck, Sen. Roy 45 

Perkins. Marlin 13 

Peny , Dr. Ken 27 

Pilot HiH, 37 

Pinedale, Wyoming 13,27, 30 

Plowing the roads 17 

Plowshare program 28, 33 

Polaris Snow Travelers 13 

Project Gasbuggy 24 

Project Plowshare 24 

Project Rulison 25 

Project Wagon Wheel 26,31-33 

"Project Wagon Wheel: A Nuclear Plowshare for 
Wyoming," 24-33 

Public Broadcasting Act, 41 

Public Telecommunications Facilities Program 45 

public television 35, 36, 43,45 

"Quest for Public Television," 34-44 

Randolph, Phillip 30,31 

Ray, Di.xy Lee 28 

Reclamation Service 8 

Reed, John A. 36 

Rifle, Colorado 26 

Rio Blanco 26 

Road grooming 13, 18 

Road system, Yellowstone 1 1 

Roads, plowing 7, 1 1 

Roberts, Harry 43 

Roberts, Phil (author's bio, 45) 

Rock River 36 

Rogers, Edmund 9, 10 

Roncalio, Teno, 33, (photo) 32 

Rosenthal, Jack 41 

Rulison project 26 (See also Project Rulison) 

St. Louis Zoo 13 

St. Pierre, Richard 45 

Salt Lake City, Utah 16 

Schiager. Dr. Keith 3 1 

Schlesinger, Dr. James 28 

Schupbach, Paul 41 

Scottsbluff Nebraska 40 

Seven-Mile Bridge (photo, 18) 

Shaw, Cecil 41 

Sheep 3-5 

Shumate, Charlie 10 

Simmons, Glenn 8 

Simpson, Gov. Milward 1 1 

Ski resorts, first 7 

Ski-Doos 13, 15 

Skiers 17 

Smith, Bob 43 

Sno-cat 12 

Snow Survey Committee 12 

Snowcoach tours 20, 22 

Snowcoaches 1 8 

Snowmachines 1 1 

Snowmobile industry 23 

Snowmobile policy 17 

Snowmobile visitation 20 

Snowinobiles 14,17,18, 23, (photo, 21 ) 

Snowplanes 8, 9 

"Snowplanes, Snowcoaches and Snowmobiles: The 
Decision to Allow Snowmobiles into 
Yellowstone National Park" 6 

Snowshoers 1 7 

"Somewhere West of Laramie," inside cover 

Stanley, Raymond J. 44 

State Department of Education 40, 43 

State ETV commission 40 

State of the State address 44 

Straw poll 32 

Studios, cost of television 38 

Sublette County Library system 29 

Sublette County, Wyoming 26-29 

"Tales and Irreverancies of a Country Parson," 

rev., 47 
Tannehill, Don 41 
Television 35 
Television stations 39 
1 0th Mountain Division 7 
Thiokol Company 19 
Thomas, Lowell 22, 23 
Toboggan 1 3 
"Today" show 32 
Tourism 8 

Tri-State Commission 15, 16 
U. S. Department of Health, Education and 

Welfare 40 
U. S. Highway 89 1 1 
UHF channels 36 
University of Houston 39 
University of Nebraska 38, 41 
University of Southern California 39 
University of Wvoming 35, 37, 38 

Board of Trustees 42 
Universitv Television Committee 37, 40, 41 
Utterback, Kristine T. 47 
V-plow 10 
Virginia Meadows 12 
Visitation, Yellowstone 7 
Visitor facilities, Yellowstone 10 
Wagon Wheel Information Committee (WWIC) 

Wagon Wheel Project, 27-33 
Walker, Danny N., review of "Archaeology of 

the Donner Party," 45-46 
Walker. Paul A. 38,39 
West Entrance 1 3 
West Thumb 20 
West Thumb Geyser Basin 1 
West Yellowstone 8, 13. 19, 20, 23 
West Yellowstone Chamber 16 
Wight, Monte 13 
Wild Kingdom 13 
Wildlife Management Institute 16 
Winter Visitation to Yellowstone 9 
Winter Visitation to Yellowstone, 1967-73 19 
Winter Visitation to Yellowstone, 1957-67 13 
Winter visitors 20 
Wirth, Conrad 11, 14 
Wyoming Atomic Stimulation Project 28 
Wyoming Education Association 40 
Wyoming Educational Television Comm 41 
Wyoming Highway Commission 1 1 
Wyoming State Legislature 44 
Wyoming Wildlife Federation 30 
Yellowstone Master Plan 13 
Yellowstone National Park 6-23 
Yellowstone Organic Act 17 
Yellowstone Park Companv 
10, II, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21 
Yellowstone Park Highway 7 
Yellowstone River 8 
Yochim, Michael J. (bio) 23 
Young, Harold 9, 13, 14 



Wyoming Pictures 

The antelope, raised on the Pitchfork Ranch 
near Meeteetse. is being fed by Margot and 
Ann ice Be I den. daughters of the photogra- 
pher Charles Belden. The photograph was 
made about 1 925. Belden 's antelope were 
sent to zoos throughout the United States. 

Some even made their way to Germany 
aboard the Graf Hindenburg. His photo- 
graphs appeared in the most popular maga- 
zines of the first third of the century. Belden 
collection. American Heritage Center. Uni- 
versity of Wyoming. 

The 1999 Wyoming History Calendar is now available from your local chapter 
or bookshop. The theme is "celebrations" in Wyoming communities. From 
"Children's Day" in the Douglas Congregational Church to the interior of a 
Wheatland store, the images of pioneer Wyoming show the spirit of the state. Of 
course, each day has an "anniversary" entry--the important, the mundane, the 
tragic, the humorous. The calendar will keep your interest in Wyoming history all 
through the year! 

Buy your copy now. S5.95 plus tax. 

'-, "'■*ri''- i ^' ' ' 





^"Somewhere West of Laramie 

SOMEWHERE west of Laramie there's a broncho- 
busting, steer-roping girl who knows what I'm talking 
about. She can tell what a sassy pony, that's a cross 
between greased lightning and the place where it hits, can 
do with eleven hundred pounds of steel and action when 
he's going high, wide and handsome. 

The truth is — the Jordan Playboy w'as built for her. 


A N M O T o a 


C O fy( P AN V 



Tne ^joming History Journal 

Autumn 1998 

Vol. 70, No. 4 

About the Cover Art 

''Bird's Eye View, Thermopolis, Wyo." 

"Bird's eye view " picture postcards of Wyoming towns were commonplace in 
the first years of this century. This particularly fne example was photographed bv 
George W. Herard of Thermopolis and printed by Newvochrome in Germany. 

The exact identit}- of the sender is not known, except that her first name was 
"Dora. " The message on the back of this card which was addressed to "Miss Julia 
Willsoji, 182 Lafayette St., Salem. Mass.. " read: "Doody dear you will think I am 
not going to write to you but I am this very day and send you this card besides. It is 
not so good as some I have had as it does not show much of the town. Lovingly, 

Monument Hill is pictured in the background, right. The Hot Springs are directly 
below it in this photograph. 

The postcard in the collection of Steven L. Roberts, Thornton. Colo. 

The editor o( Annals of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and photographs on ever, aspect of the histor\ ot' Wyoming and the West. 
Appropriate tor submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpreta- 
tions of historical events. First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in 
the "Wyoming Memories" section. Articles are reviewed and refereed by members of the journal's Editorial Advisory Board and 
others. Decisions regarding publication are made by the editor. Manuscripts (along with suggestions for illustrations or photographs) 
should be submitted on computer diskettes in a format created by one of the widely-used word processing programs along with two 
printed copies. Submissions and queries should be addressed to Editor, .Annals of Wyoming, P. O. Box 4255, University Station, 
Laramie WY 82071. 


Pli.l Roberts 

Book Review Eaito 

Carl Halltere 

Editorial Advison.- Board 

Baroara Bogart, Evanston 

MaLel Browm, N'ewcastle/Cneyenne 

MicnaelJ. Devine, Laramie 

James B. Grirritn, Jr., Cneyenne 

Don Hodgson, Torrington 

Loren Jost, Riverton 

Da\nd Katnba, Rock Springs 

T A. Larson, Laramie 

Jonn D- McDermott, Sneridan 

XCilliam H. Moore, Laramie 

Kar\a Denison Ronn, Cneyenne 

Snern'^ L. Smitn, Moose 

Tnomas F. Strooclc, Casper 

La^Tence M. ^'"oods, Worland 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Publications Committee 

RicK Euds!, Laramie 

DaWd KatnRa, Roclc Springs 

Snerry L. Smitn, Moose 

Amy Lawrence, Laramie 

Nancy Curtis, Glendo 

Patt)' Myers, \( neatland (ex-orficio) 

Loren Jost, Riverton (ex-omcio) 

PniJ Ronerts, Laramie (ex-ouicio) 

Wvoming' ^tatc Historical bocietv 
Executive Committee 

Patty Myers, President, Wlicatland 

Dave Taylor, Casper 

Mike lording, Newcastle 

Linda FaDian, Cneyenne 

DicL Wilder, Cody 

Rick Ewig, Laramie 

Amy LawTence, Laramie 

Jermy Wight, Alton 

Judy West, MemDersnip Coordinator 

Governor ot Wyoming 

Jim Ueringer 

Wyoming' Dept. or Commerce 

Tucker Fagan, Acting Director 

Karvl Denison Rodd, Admini:?trator, Di\'. ol 

Cultural Resources 

wvoming' Parks 6^ Cultural Resources 

William DuDOis, Cneyenne 
MicnaelJ. Devnne, Laramie 
Diann Reese, Lyman 
Rosie Berger, Big Horn 
B. Byron Price, Cody 
Hero Frencn, Newcastle 
Frank Tim Isanell, Snosnoni 
Jeanne Hickey, Cneyenne 
Hale Kreycik, Douglas 

University oi Wyoming" 
Philip Dubois, President 
Michael J. Devine, Director, 

American Heritage Center 
Ohver Walter, Dean, 

College of ^Arts and Sciences 
William H. Moore, Chair, Dept, of Histon' 

nnals of 


The Wyoming Histon' 

Autumn 1QQ8 Vol. 70, No. 4 

^K^oming' Memories 

Herding CnicKens on a Wyoming Cattle Rancn 

Bv Ajn\' M. Lawrence 2 

Tne baN^Ht' or a Sag'e: Olaus Murie ana 
tne Historic Ran^e or Wapiti in tne West 

Bv Ken Zontel-c 7 

Tne Founder or Evansville: Casper Builder W T. Evans 

By Jenerson Ulass 20 

Memories or Wyoming' Teacner Wana Clay Olson 2Q 

Tnomas Harrison and the fciearch ror Oil in Northwest 
Wyoming, 1908-1916 

ByMikeMackey 32 

Recent Acquisitions in the Hebard Collection, L^W 

Compiled ny lamsen L. Hert 46 

Index 4i 

Wyoming Picture Inside Back 

Annals of Wyoming The U'wming Huron' Journal is published quarterly b_\ the Wyoming State Historical 
Society in association v. ith the Wyoming Department of Commerce, the American Heritage Center, and the 
Department ot" History, University of Wyoming. The journal was previously published as the Ouarterly 
Bulletin ( 1 923- 1 925 ). Annals of Wyoming ( 1 925- 1 993 ). Wyoming Annals ( 1 993- 1 995 ) and Wyoming His- 
tory Journal ( 1995-1996). The Annals has been the official publication of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society since 1953 and is distributed as a benetlt of membership to all society members. Membership dues 
are: single, $20; joint, $30; student (under 21), $15; institutional, $40; contributing, $100-249; sustaining, 
$250-499; patron, $500-999; donor, $1,000+. To join, contact your local chapter or write to the address 
below. Articles \n Annals of Wyoming are abstracted in Historical Abstracts tiud America History and Life. 

Inquiries about membership, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to Judy West, Co- 
ordinator. Wyoming State Historical Society, I 740H1 84 Dell Range Bl\d., Cheyenne W ^^ 82009, Editorial 
correspondence should be addressed to the editorial office of Annals of Wyoming. American Heritage Cen- 
ter, P. O. Box 4256, University Station, Laramie WY 82071. 

Copyright 1998, Wyoming State Historical Society 

ISSN: 1086-7368 





Herdinq Chickens 
on a Wi^ominq Cattle Ranch 

Bi^ Ami^ LavOrence 

M M y first encounter w ith ranch li\estock was a 
J WW face-to-face confrontation with three Bantam 
chickens. This all came about because my grandfather 
(Axe! Pahner), had bought the old Herrick Ranch on 
the Little Laramie and asked Dad to manage the ranch. 
Mother and Dad (William H. "BiU" and Rena 
Law rence) had been ranch raised, but since Dad's fam- 
ily had lost their ranch in the cattle market crash of the 
1 920s. he had been forced to accept whatever work he 
could find. Eventually we had ended up in California, 
the "Land of Golden Opportunity," but ranching was 
all Dad ever wanted to do, so we headed back to Wyo- 

Our "prairie schooner" was a newly purchased Model 
A truck, dubbed "Greenie" (among other things), and 
after considerable family arguments and endless pack- 
ing and re-packing. Dad finally had all our belongings 
loaded and we were ready to "head "em out." Just be- 
fore we left, a close friend of my mother's presented 
me with a "going-away" gift of the three tiny chickens 
in a crate. My eight-year-old self was delighted, but 
Dad, realizing that these alarmed — and noisy — little 
birds had to be fed, w atered and protected from w eather 
during the trip, was, to put it mildly, "fit to be tied." In 
the face of my tears and Mom's "look," he had no 
choice. He added the crate to the top of the load. 

50 we headed back to a Wyoming ranch. As we 
ground slowly eastward, I had visions of "riding 
the range" on a wild stallion w ith my long blond hair 
streaming in the wind. That vision never materialized 
but 1 was heading into a wonderful, adventurous child- 
hood of grow ing up on a ranch. Ranching in the 1 930's 
was not exacth pioneering but rural living in the years 
before the RE.^ and without modem equipment, re- 
tained many "old time traditions." So 1 had much to 
learn, not only about cowboying, but especially about 

The important role that the lowly chicken played in 
ranch tradition and ambiance is often overlooked by 
historians. There is a general belief that ranchers lived 
on beef and little else but that was not always true, 
especially for small outfits like ours in the "BF" (be- 
fore refrigeration) era.' With only an ice box for cool- 
ing , a whole or half beef had to be eaten within a short 
time or the balance had to be thrown away, laid down 
in salt brine or dried. 

Consequently, the only easily available fresh meat 
was often provided by a flock of chickens, and the fresh 
eggs were a primary ingredient for such essential gour- 
met pleasures as fried eggs or chocolate cakes. In the 
earlier settlement period of the West, chickens in the 
yard were usually an indication that there was a woman 
in the household. Cowboys were known to ride con- 
siderable distances for the possibility of sampling a 
piece of cake or other delicacies. Eggs sometimes sold 
for a dollar each — so it is obvious that chickens were 
an essential element in domesticating the West. 

Grandrna and Morn could turn out "never-to-be-for- 
gotten" fried chicken and they could also make an old 
stewing hen with dumplings a meal to remember. But 
chickens do not jump into the pot ready to cook, and 
the prelude to getting that succulent chicken on your 
plate involved a lot of work, some of which was down- 
right disagreeable. Although Mom and Grandma were 
actually fond of their chickens and tended them care- 
fully, the rest of the family were at best indifferent and 
regarded them as a noisy, messy nuisance. Chickens 
are silly creatures, frequently involved in some sort of 

' Home refrigeration was not available on most ranches until 
the 1940's when REA brought electricity to rural areas. Fresh 
meat in markets and the rancher's own frozen meat in "locker 
plants" was a considerable drive away — over dirt roads. 

Autumn 19Q8 

crisis from mites- to skunks and the most dreaded job 
on many outfits was "cleaning the chicken house." 

But their very foolishness made these birds comical 
and neither my little dog, Mickey, or myself could re- 
frain from occasionally "stirring them up" just to hear 
them squawk. Grandma had lectured me sternly on the 
subject, explaining that such excitement disturbed the 
chickens lifestyle to such an extent that they might quit 
laying. So I indulged in this pastime only when the 
flock happened accidentally to be directly in my path, 
which was fairly often. Mickey, a little brown and white 
terrier mix, had no such inhibitions and was particu- 
larly adept at ambushing these unsuspecting fowls. 

The chickens had free run of the yard and pasture, 
and were usualh not penned up in the day time, be- 
cause Grandma maintained the\ "did better" w hen the> 
could roam in search of bugs and other goodies. Since 
we kept the grain in a back room of the house, they 
usually wandered that way at some time during the day, 
and to do this the\ had to pass a shady corner of the 
house where Mickey waited. When they were close 
enough, he'd pounce on them, throwing the birds into 
a squawking frenzy while feathers flew in all direc- 
tions. By the time Grandma could make it to the door 
with the broom, Mickey was safely out of reach, inno- 
cently swaggering away, satisfied and happy. 

Grandma would retreat indoors, muttering dire 
threats. 1 hadn't taught the dog to do this, but I must 
admit that when I saw him lying in wait by that comer. 

I did not bother him. I even hung around to watch the 
commotion. Mickey never offered to actualK harm the 
birds, but sure enjoyed disturbing their dignity. 

In later years my cow horse. Shotgun, discoxered 
the same pastime. Mom, Dad and 1 had moxed to an 
adjoining ranch, and occasionalK. Shotgun, who. like 
most saddle horses, had a sure instinct for an open gate, 
would get in the yard. He'd hide in the shade at the 
end of a row of sheds, cautiously peeking around the 
comer about the time Mother fed the chickens. When 
Mom would call her tlock to their dinner, he would 
trot out, scattering chickens m all directions, to grab a 
few nibbles of com. By the time Mom had shooed him 
away with apron flapping and shouted warnings, chick- 
ens would be scattered all over the \ ard. Then Shotgun 
would trot away, head high in truunph and Dad or 1 
would be drafted to run him out of the yard amid frighl- 
ftil threats to the safety of the culprit. 

Grandma's chicken flock included a nasty white 
rooster w ith w horn I had a standing feud. He was a big. 
arrogant fellow with a \i\id red comb, a high, proud 
tail and long, sharp spurs. It was a considerable dis- 
tance between the bams and the house and he'd la\ in 

- Mites were tiny bugs that infested the tlock occasional!) . 
This meant a thorough dusting with mite powder, which came in 
a httle yellow cardboard box, shaped somewhat like a pear which 
vou squeezed to spra\ powder on the chickens. Each chicken 
had to be caught and sprayed and the chicken house had to be 
cleaned and sprayed. 

The Heirick/Palmer Ranch, c. 1940. The Little Laramie River is in the foreground. Author's collfciion 

Annals ot WyomingrThe Wyoming History Journal 

wait for me. if I was not ready to defend myself, he'd 
scratch my legs even through my jeans. I complained 
to Grandma, but she said he was a "good rooster," add- 
ing some explanation about eggs and hens, which I 
understood not at all. If I remembered, I would carry a 
broom, board or shovel and flatten him if I could reach 
him, but he became wary when I carried such weapons 
and waited until I was not armed. He even attacked 
Dad a time or two. If Dad's boot connected, the rooster 
would fly squawking through the air amid a shower of 
feathers and land with a bounce, but that didn't dis- 
courage him much either. 

I was particularly vulnerable when I helped carry milk 
fr'om the bam, which was one of my chores. I was only 
big enough to carry the buckets half-ftill, but that rooster 
seemed to know that I had both hands full with buckets 
and would ambush me. I finally learned to use the buck- 
ets as a shield and that silly thing would hit those buck- 
ets so hard he would dent them, knock himself flat and 
slop milk all over me. 

It was a happy day for me when Grandma finally 
decided he was no longer a necessary part of her flock. 
He met his fate in the cooking pot. Tough as he was, I 
ha\ e ne\ er enjoyed a meal more. His spurs were given 
to me as a "trophy." Gramp, who was forever design- 
ing things, carved a cow head out of a thick board, 
attached some leather ears to the top and drilled holes 
for eyes, nostrils and to insert the spurs as horns. The 
"sculpture" immortalized my battle with this feathered 
terror. It still sits among my "artifacts." 

rhere were two ranks of chickens in Grandma's 
flock — the plump, busy laying hens and their 
consorts, and the fryers who were predestined for the 
skillet. We needed the eggs, so hens who tried to "set" 
were discouraged by being thrown off the nest when 
eggs were gathered. This required either considerable 
skill or heavy gloves. Some of the hens objected to this 
infringement of their rights and their peck could be 
painful. I let Mom or Grandma handle this chore when 
possible. I also had the assignment of spotting a would- 
be mother and following her to a hidden nest and re- 
turn there for the eggs each day. 

Occasionally a hen would be so stubbornly intent on 
motherhood, that Grandma would give up and let her 
raise a brood, even adding to her collection of eggs to 
make the best out of the situation. Or another hen would 
escape notice and surprise us with a set of fuzzy young- 
sters and then I could understand why Grandma and 
Mom liked their chickens. It was satisfying to watch 
the hen busily clucking and scratching and pecking at 

various tidbits surrounded by the little balls of fluff 
trying to imitate her. It was also comical to see the hen 
try to gather the babies under her wings and watch an 
occasional head pop out between her feathers, or one 
independent chick perch on top the mother hen. And 
nothing is funnier than watching a tiny would-be rooster 
stand on tip toes straining to crow and instead, emit- 
ting a strangled squawk. 

The few chicks produced by these miscreant hens 
were not enough to supply our table, so the process of 
raising the fryers actually began with the arrival of a 
big flat of baby chicks from the hatchery. It was a sure 
sign of spring when the post office and feed stores re- 
sounded with the discordant chorus of frightened chirps, 
cheeps and quacks of assorted miniature poultry. 

If these boxes, which are unmistakable with the large 
holes punched in the sides, arrived during a cold spell, 
special care had to be taken to get them home without 
getting chilled. These little critters were simply look- 
ing for a chance to die — another strange chicken char- 

"Home" for these chicks for a few weeks was in back 
of the coal stove in the kitchen, a spot which they some- 

5/7/ and Rena Lawrence. Author 's collection. 

Autumn 19Q8 

times had to share with a newborn calf or other barn- 
yard babies. During a bad spring storm the kitchen of- 
ten resembled a nursery with various and sundry little 
ones bleating, mooing and peeping while we tried to 
keep up with their appetites with bottles and feeders. 

Of course, I could not resist cuddling these soft little 
balls of fuzz. In fact, I did not even mind cleaning their 
box as this entailed gently gathering them up by the 
handfuls and transferring them to another, temporary, 
bo.x while we laid down fresh newspaper, and clean 
and fill the water bottles and feeders. Our water de- 
vices were Mason jars screwed into special tlat pans 
that had holes supposedly big enough to allow the ba- 
bies to drink but small enough to keep them from fall- 
ing in, getting wet or drowning. These also helped keep 
the water from becoming contaminated because the little 
critters are not careful about their bathroom habits. The 
chick feed was put in small shallow pans that had to be 
changed and tilled frequently as they would tip them 
over or fill them with droppings. 

Baby chicks are not compassionate. If they're not 
closely watched. the\ will peck some unfortunate mem- 
ber of the coinmunitx to death or all gather in one cor- 
ner and smother the bottom ones. 

The chicks were kept behind the stove as long as it 
was cold and until they were big enough to hop or use 
their tiny developing wings to get out of the box. That 
entailed a special kind of patrol to round them up and 
put them back in the box to avoid stepping on them or 
cleaning up their little "deposits."" Sometimes Grandma 
had to find a bigger, higher box to keep them corralled 
until they were transferred to the chicken house in a 
special pen. Since we had no incubator, if a cold snap 
hit, a lantern (later a light bulb) was hung near the pen 
to keep them warm — not a practice that a fire warden 
would approve, but it worked. 

The process of raising these chicks ended when they 
were ready for the table, and that involved another un- 
pleasant task. I shall never ceased to be amazed at the 
memory of my gentle grandmother snaring a few fri- 
ers by their legs with a long wire hook, laying them 
efficiently on a chopping block, casually chopping off 
their heads with a hatchet and turning them loose to 
run crazily about to promote draining blood from the 
carcass. "Silly as a chicken with its head cut off" is not 
a phrase based on imagination. But the worst part was 
yet to come as the chickens were dunked in a bucket of 
boiling water to make the feathers come off easier and 
the birds could be plucked. It was a stench I'll never 
forget. But the prospect of that wonderful fried chicken 
made it all worth while. 


"Grandma and Grandpa " Palmer. Note eggs in the lard 
bucket- Author's collection- 

Wy ab\' chicks are cute and cuddly — and not too 
^# smart — but the ultimate in "dumb"" were the 
mrkey chicks that grandma raised occasionally. A friend 
or neighbor \\ ould gi\ e her a "setting"" of eggs, three at 
the most, which she would put under a hen (chicken), 
and hope to get them big enough for holida_\ dinners. 
Most chicks, like HenuN' Penny, had sense enough to 
run for cover if it rained or hailed — but not turkeys. 
They"d stand out in the rain, heads up with mouths 
open and drown if \ou let them — and the\ died of cold 
if the\ got wet. Their surrogate mother would some- 
times tr\' to co\er them in the yard, if a rixulet didn"t 
wash all of them down a hill — so when it rained some- 
one had to go out to be sure they got under cover. The>' 
got special food, too. Grandma chopped up hard-boiled 
eggs, very fine, for their tender little gullets. 1 can pic- 
ture her sitting in the sunlight by the kitchen w indow . 
patiently chopping eggs into tiny bits, using a butcher 
knife and an old tin pie plate. If Gramp came in the 
house about that time, he would mutter and grumble 
about the damage she was doing to the edge of a per- 
fectly good knife. Grandma just serenel_\ ignored him. 

Annals of Wyoming:Tke Wyoming History Journal 

But it was the surrogate mother hen who really had 
the problems. She had a hard time keeping all three 
eggs safe and warm beneath her, just sort of perched 
on top. And, since Grandma tried to pick a really con- 
scientious mother, the poor chicken was continuously 
frustrated and worried as she tried to teach her odd step- 
children a few chicken survival skills. She'd fiiss and 
cluck and scratch trying to teach them how to fmd food 
and stay close to her. They usually paid no attention. 
She also faced a real dilemma trying to shelter the chicks 
as the\' grew bigger. There would be heads, legs or 
tails sticking out as she tried to balance herself on top 
of chicks at least half her size. But, however dumb they 
were, those turkeys sure tasted good at Thanksgiving. 

Winter presented special problems with our chick- 
ens. When snow was deep, they could not go outside. 
The chicken house got pretty ""gamey" and there was 
little room to feed them. When we moved to the other 
ranch, there was a half-empty storage shed nearby, so 
Dad would shovel a path to this other building. It was 
quite a sight to see Mom leading the chickens through 
the snowdrift to their feeding grounds. Both Mother 
and Grandma also prepared a bran mash concoction, to 
which water, sour milk, and kitchen scraps were added. 
In winter this was warmed up in a hope to keep the 
chickens happ\' and laying. 

However, no amount of care could keep them pro- 
ducing eggs year around. When there were extra eggs. 
Grandma would "put them down" in "water glass" (sol. 
silicate of soda), which, when mixed with water, cre- 
ated a half hard substance which kept air away from 
the eggs. This was mixed in a large crock in the base- 
ment and the eggs carefully laid in it. These eggs were 
used only for baking, not for eating — and those crocks 
are now a part of my "treasures." 

rhe worst chore of the whole chicken-raising 
procedure was "cleaning the chicken house" 
which had to be done a couple of times a year, usually 
in the spring and fall. The manure had to be shoveled 
out, the perches scraped off and the nest boxes cleaned. 
It was a messy, odorous job that Dad had to be re- 
minded of several times before he "got around to it." 
One such cleaning ended in a temporary rift in our fam- 
ily... it happened this way. 

Each time, after the nest boxes were cleaned. Mom 
would go down to the corrals with a bushel basket to 
get fresh hay to re-line the nests. On one side of the big 
center corral was a long log feed rack which was filled 
with hay in the fall. But on this late spring day it was 
nearly empty. Mom had to go to the loft of the nearby 

big bam for fresh hay, and was, as usual, wearing a 
dress with a just-below-the-knee length skirt. (Women 
on those days rarely wore slacks or overalls except when 
actually working in the field). But as Mom came out of 
the bam and headed for the gate, she spotted a cow 
making a bee-line for her. That particular cow meant 
business. Most cows are pretty placid unless you actu- 
ally mess with their calves, but this critter was bom 
mad, and she hated the whole human race — and there 
is nothing any madder than a mad cow. She was a pretty 
roan cow with a very feminine head and a set of nasty 
little horns. When she had a calf she would charge even 
a horse and even a good cow horse was leery of those 
homs. If she calved out in the field, we simply let her 
be wherever she chose to be. I don't think we ever got 
her broken to milk even if she was supposed to be a 
good Shorthorn milk cow. 

I'm not sure why she was in the corral on that par- 
ticular day, but there she was. When Mom saw her, 
she let out a scream for "Billy" and headed for the empty 
hay rack at a high lope still hollering for "Billy" and 
carrying that basket full of hay. Since she had a good 
head start, she easily outran old "Roanie," and climbed 
into the rack, skirt and all, snagging her hose in the 
process. That might have ended the matter satisfacto- 
rily, but when she looked up. Dad was standing in the 
shed door, unable to conceal his huge grin. He had been 
too far away to head off the cow, and he had seen that 
Mom had a safe lead. He had, cowboy-like, simply 
relaxed and enjoyed the spectacle of his very modest 
and usually reserved spouse hot-footing it and climb- 
ing into that feed rack, leaving her dignity in her wake. 
Later he admitted that he was also amazed by the fact 
that she never let go of that basket. But Mother simply 
did not agree with his cowboy logic and it was consid- 
erable time before she even acknowledged his pres- 
ence in the house. 

Amy Lawrence is a graduate of the University 
of Wyoming where she also received the M.A. 
degree. Her thesis was a study of the Douglas- 
Willan Sartoris ranch, west of Laramie. An Al- 
bany County rancher, she formerly worked as 
a news reporter in Laramie and Casper, in 
magazine journalism and with the Rodeo Cow- 
boys ' Association in Denver. She is treasurer 
of the Albany County Chapter, WSHS. and the 
southeast representative on the executive com- 
mittee, Wyoming State Historical Society. This 
article is extracted from a forthcoming book. 

(-yoV' C7X)en J^n/eA 

laus Murie, the field biologist and award-win 
ning author, wrote in his 1951 book. The Elk 
of North America: "it may be safely concluded that 
the elk have always been at home in the mountains as 
well as on the plains."' Yet, after nearly fifty years, the 
myth that Euramericans drove elk off the plains en- 
dures. A recent letter to the editor of Idaho's Lewiston 
Morning Tribune illustrates this point. The correspon- 

dent addressed the possible reintroduction of the griz- 
zly bear into the Bitterroot Mountains of northern Idaho 
and western Montana. The author argued that elk pro- 
vided food for grizzly bears and wolves and that since 

* The author acknowledges ihe support of the John Calhoun 
Smith i^ranl He dedicates this article to Mrs Margaret Murie. 

Olaiis Murie 

Jackson Hole Historical SocieP. and Museum 

Annals ot Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

elk historically did not live in the mountains, then griz- 
zlies did not exist there either. The letter stated: 

According to some people who study this kind of 
thing, elk were originally a plains animal. They took 
refuge in the mountains like the deer only after the 
great onslaught of white settlers. If there was any deer 
or elk for the hunters of the Lewis and Clark expedi- 
tion to bring in, they would not have had to eat their 
horses. - 

Regarding the Lewis and Clark comment, the writer 
referred to often-cited portions of the "Corps of Dis- 
covery" journals which depict a lack of successful hunt- 
ing in the Bitterroot Mountains during the expedition's 
crossings in 1805 and 1806.^ Unable to acquire game, 
the men resorted to horseflesh. Colt Killed Creek in 
the Clearwater National Forest lingers as testimony to 
this event. 

Nonetheless, the assessment stems from misinterpre- 
tation of the Lewis and Clark journals. The expedition 
followed lofty ridge lines for easier passage. Game 
proved scarce in this high country during those sea- 
sons in which they traveled through the area, but their 
Native American guide told them that plenty of elk 
roamed the lower slopes by the Clearwater River.'' Elk 
range did extend into the mountains, just not in the 
precise location of Lewis and Clark during their so- 

The controversy regarding elk range solicited by the 
letter to the Lewiston Morning Tribune extends far be- 
yond scrutiny and interpretation of the journals of Lewis 
and Clark. The correspondence reinforces the myth by 
attributing it to scientists and implying its historical 
precedence. Journals of explorers, fur trappers and trad- 
ers, hunters, and scientists, combined with later assess- 
ments by outdoor writers and researchers, reveals that 
elk lived both on the plains and in the mountains prior 
to the extension of the settlement frontier into the vast 
western United States. 

laus Murie and his family lived in Jackson 
Hole, Wyoming, for thirty-six years where he 
studied elk. Their domicile began in 1927 when Presi- 
dent Calvin Coolidge reacted to the Jackson Hole un- 
gulate winterkill problem by establishing the National 
Elk Commission. The commission appointed Murie to 
be the chief field biologist. He conducted a thorough 
study of the life history of elk and every factor affect- 
ing their collective welfare.-^ He solved the problem of 
winterkill by discovering that overcrowding on the win- 
ter range caused the elk to browse farther along branches 

than normal. The bigger, rougher browse and human- 
supplied foxtail hay caused mouth lesions. These le- 
sions became infected and the resulting Necrotic 
stomatilis killed many animals.* Murie's work led him 
to study the historic record concerning elk and prompted 
him to make the assessment that these animals histori- 
cally resided in the mountains as well as on the plains. 
The field biologist discussed the myth of historic elk 
range. His assertion responded to and anticipated the 
beliefs of many individuals such as the author of the 
Lewiston Morning Tribune letter. Murie wrote: 

Today elk are primarily mountain dwellers. Practi- 
cally nowhere do they occur on the plains. Yet records 
of the early days state that at times elk were noted on 
the plains in great numbers. The thought has devel- 
oped that the elk is primarily a plains animal which in 
early times did not inhabit the mountains but has been 
driven there to an unnatural home, in comparatively 
recent years by advancing civilization. To support this 
contention is the undisputed fact that formerly hordes 
of elk lived on the plains. Moreover, many early trav- 
elers failed to find elk, or at any rate failed to mention 
them, in certain mountain areas; and some even posi- 
tively stated that game was scarce.' 

Murie insisted that the myth existed because "the fact 
of migration was overlooked." People failed to con- 
sider local migration habits critical to wapiti seasonal 
nourishment. Murie suggested that observers confiised 

' Olaus J. Murie, The Elk of North America (Jackson: Teton 
Bookshop, 1979; reprint, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole 
Books/Wildlife Management Institute, 1951), 53. Another book 
which contains a chapter on the history of the elk including his- 
toric range is: Jack W. Thomas and Dale E. Toweill, eds.. Elk of 
North America: Ecology and Management (Uarnshurg: Stackpole 
Books, 1982). Two good but dated bibliographies exist for elk: 
Paul Dalke, Bibliography of Elk in North America (Moscow: Co- 
operative Wildlife Research Unit, 1968) and John B. Kirsch and 
Kenneth R. Greer, Bibliography. ..Wapiti-American Elk and Eu- 
ropean Red Deer (Helena: Montana Fish and Game Depart- 
ment, 1968). 

- Letter to the editor, Lewiston Morning Tribune (Idaho) 28 
January 1996, 3. 

' Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, The Journals of the 
Lewis and Clark Expedition, 8 vols., ed. Gary Moulton (Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press, 1988), vols. 5-7, passim. 

^ Paul Dalke, Levi Mohler, and Wesley Shaw, "Elk and Elk 
Hunting in Idaho," Wato Wildlife Review 11 (March-April 1959); 

^ Margaret and Olaus Murie, Wapiti Wilderness (Alfred A. 
Knopf, Inc., 1967), 8. 

* Robert B. Belts, Along the Ramparts of the Tetons: The Saga 
of Jackson Hole. Wyoming (Boulder: Colorado Associated Uni- 
versity Press, 1978), 190. 

' Murie, Elk of North America, 47-48. 

Autumn 1998 

elk winter range in the lowlands with permanent resi- 
dency and they did not observe summer range high in 
adjacent mountains/ 

Moving east to west, Euramerican pioneers initially 
encountered and harvested wapiti on the plains. Some 
of the more intrepid adventurers discovered elk in the 
mountains. They probably saw far fewer elk in the high- 
land areas than on the plains. Murie offered an expla- 
nation: "The plains elk, both those that spent the whole 
year in the open country and those that only wintered 
there, naturally would be destroyed first, as they were 
so accessible.'"* Thus, the travelers saw numerous elk 
in lowland areas because both more pioneers passed 
through the area and more elk could be seen in such 
areas. Murie explained the comparatively lower num- 
bers of wapiti recorded in the mountains. He stated that 
"the destmction of mountain elk while on the winter 
range on the plains could very well account for the rela- 
tive scarcity of these animals even in the high moun- 
tains in the few years immediately after the so-called 
great slaughter."'" 

Murie was familiar with historic records. The Elk of 
North America shows that he cited several explorer jour- 
nals in formulating his opinion about elk in the moun- 
tains. He used Osborne RusselTs invaluable journal 
from the 1 830s in documenting significant numbers of 
elk in the Uintah, Green and Teton mountains along 
with headwaters of the Yellowstone River. Washing- 
ton Irving's rendition of Captain Benjamin Bonneville's 
narrative from the early 1830s verified elk in Idaho's 
Salmon Mountains and Oregon's Blue Mountains. The 
1871 Doane expedition into Yellowstone headwaters 
echoed Russell's finding of elk in the area. The 1872 
Hayden survey expedition recorded abundant quanti- 
ties of elk in the Elk, Sheephead, and Medicine Bow 
ranges of the Rocky Mountains. Geologist Frank Bra- 
dley reported similar abundance along the headwaters 
of the Snake River the following year. Emil Wolfe saw 
numerous elk in Jackson Hole throughout the 1870s. 
In Idaho, Clinton Merriam found wapiti common in 
the Sawtooth, Pahsimeroi, Salmon, and Bruneau 
ranges." Murie documented these sources to validate 
his theory that elk lived in the mountains as well as the 

Murie commented on the historic elk ranges within 
Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park area. He insisted that in Idaho people sel- 
dom found elk in the arid plains. Most of the state's 
wapiti stayed in or near the numerous mountain ranges, 
especially in the Henry's Lake area of the southeast 
portion of the state. '- 

Concerning Montana, Murie believed that elk mainly 
survived along the wooded bottom lands, ra\ ines, and 
river breaks. He thought that the state historically pos- 
sessed mountain herds, but the numbers of animals re- 
mained fewer than in the lowlands until state fish and 
game department personnel later restocked the high- 
lands. In particular, Murie thought mountainous, 
wooded northwest Montana probably contained a very 
limited quantity of wapiti.'' 

The field biologist considered Wyoming to be the 
historically most populated with elk of the three north- 
em Rockies states. He contended that comparatively 
large numbers of wapiti seasonally wandered between 
the ranges and river basins. He juxtaposed these local 
migrations to those of Montana's elk population which 
tended to either live on the plains or in the mountains 
and not on the plains and in the mountains.'^ Where 
Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming converge into the 
greater Yellowstone ecosystem in general, and 
Yellowstone National Park in particular. Murie ac- 
knowledged that wapiti remained scarce in the Park 
area until after park officials enforced protection. At 
that point, thousands of the locally migrating elk stayed 
close to or within park boundaries on a more penna- 
nent basis. Murie based this assumption on his review 
of Yellowstone National Park superintendent records.'* 

He fomiulated his opinion on elk range by combin- 
ing the historic records with his scientific observations. 
He acknowledged that hunting, habitat restriction 
caused by human settlement, stocking with available 
elk, and protection infiuenced the range selection by 
elk. However, he ultimately concluded that "whate\er 
the sequence of events was, the herds now living in the 
mountains are undoubtedly the descendants of elk that 
were originally mountain dwellers [unless artificial re- 
stocking occurred]."'" 

Proving Murie's conclusion requires consideration 
of historic and contemporary documents. Did elk. or 
wapiti, inhabit the mountains prior to white hunting 
and settlement pressure? The journals of fur trappers 
and traders provide the greatest service due to the pas- 
sage of these hardy entrepreneurs across the territory. 

" Ibid. 
" Ibid. 53. 
'» Ibid. 

" Ibid.. 49-53. Interested readers can consult Murie"s bibliog- 
raphy to examine his sources. 
'- Ibid, 24. 
''Ibid. 31. 
'^ Ibid.. 42-46. 
" Ibid. 48. 
"• Ibid.. 53. 


Annals of Wyoming; Tke Wyoming History Journal 

With respect to the intermountain region of Idaho, 
Montana, and Wyoming, any analysis of the historic 
records commences with the journals of Lewis and 
Clark. Incidentally, the term "wapiti" first appeared sci- 
entifically about the time Lewis and Clark returned from 
their epic journey. In 1806, scientist B. S. Barton in- 
sisted that since the elk remained yet to receive sys- 
tematic analysis, that he could assume "the liberty of 
giving it a specific name." Barton stated, "I called it 
IVapiti which is the name by which it is known among 
the Shawnee or Shawnees Indians."'" 

Regardless of Barton's terminology, Lewis and Clark 
referred to wapiti as elk. Their route did not take them 
into Wyoming, but they did cross the length of Mon- 
tana and the width of northern Idaho. The journals re- 
veal that the "Corps of Discovery" found elk across 
Montana from the plains of the eastern part of the state 
to the mountains of the western part.'*' The chroniclers 
mentioned the presence of elk on numerous occasions. 
For example, they found wapiti in the Beaverhead River 
drainage of mountainous southwest Montana and found 
them in the ranges and basins to the west as well.''* 

However, many individuals, such as the letter writer 
to the Lewiston Morning Tribune, use the journals to 
prove that elk did not inhabit the mountains. They note 
that the explorers reported large herds of the ungulates 
on the plains, but did not make such reports in the moun- 
tains. This remains true, but more careful reading of 
the journal shows that the expedition did find elk sign 
in the mountains. The entry of William Clark written 
on September 13. 1805, near Lolo Hot Springs in the 
Bitterroot Mountains close to the present day Montana- 
Idaho boundary illustrates this point. Clark explained 
that the men "passed Several Springs which 1 Observed 
the Deer, Elk & c. had made roads to."-" The term 
"roads" implies an area of heavy animal use which sug- 
gests that many elk inhabited or at least traveled through 
the area. That the expedition failed to find elk in the 
vicinity at that exact time supports Murie's theory of 
local migrations. 

Sustained historic contact with the intermountain re- 
gion of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming did not occur 
for nearly two decades in the wake of the Lewis and 
Clark expedition. Fur trappers and traders followed in 
the footsteps of Lewis and Clark and traveled into new 
intennountain areas. Their records further verify the 
presence of wapiti in the mountains. Traveling in west- 
em Montana in the early 1820s, Alexander Ross and 
his company of trappers found that "elk became abun- 
dant" in the Bitterroot Valley. He described them as 
"numerous."-' Ross also found what he characterized 

as a "superabundance" of game on the headwaters of 
the Missouri River in southwestern Montana. He wrote, 
"We were at the same time surrounded on all sides by 
large herds of buffalo, deer, moose, and elk."-- Ross' 
records illustrate the range of wapiti in the mountain 
valleys of western Montana well in advance of white 
settlement pressure which remained decades away in 
the future from the 1 820s. 

The Hudson's Bay Company's Peter Skene Ogden 
and his Snake River Brigade journals further illumi- 
nated the range of wapiti in the 1 820s. The Snake River 
Brigade's trappers worked in south central Idaho in 
1 826. They found elk both in the mountains and down 
on the Snake River plain. The brigade relied on elk 
venison to sustain them while they trapped in the area.-' 
During the winter of 1827-1828, Ogden and his bri- 
gade wintered near the confluence of the Snake and 
Portneuf rivers by present day Pocatello, Idaho. Ogden 
sent out numerous hunting forays to acquire meat. 
Hunters harvested elk on many occasions throughout 
the area.-'* Ogden's journals display the presence of elk 
in the Idaho mountains and reflect the findings of his 
colleague Alexander Ross in Montana. 

Another source of information regarding elk in the 
mountains during the 1820s emerges from more ob- 
scure origins than the journals of Ross and Ogden. In 
1 826, flir entrepreneur William Kittson plied his trade 
from the environs of Kootenai House at the mouth of 
the Fisher River on the Kootenai River in rugged north- 
west Montana. Kittson reported his fur harvest for the 
year. From the "Kutenai" Indians, he acquired 1 ,024 
beaver, 473 deer, and 274 elk skins.-' Thus, by the 
1 820s, chroniclers documented significant populations 
of mountain wapiti across western Montana and down 

'' B. S. Barton, "An Account of the Cervus Wapiti or Southern 
Elk of North America," Philadelphia Medical and Physical Jour- 
nal /(March); 36. 

'* Lewis and Clark, Journals, vols. 4 and 5, passim. 

'"Ibid., vol.5, 133-134. 

=" Ibid.. 203. 

-' Ale.xander Ross, Fur Hunters of the Far West. ed. Kenneth A 
Spaulding (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956; reprint), 

-- Ibid., 291. 

-' Peter Skene Ogden, Snake Country Journals 1824-25 and 
1825-26. ed. E.E. Rich (London: The Hudson's Bay Record Soci- 
ety, 1950), 139-141. 

-^ Peter Skene Ogden, Snake Countiy Journals 1827-28 and 
1828-29, ed. Glyndvvr Williams (London: The Hudson's Bay 
Record Society, 1971), 49-70. 

-■' Olga Weydemeyer Johnson, Flathead and Kootenay: The Riv- 
ers, the Tribes and the Region 's Traders (Glendale: The Arthur 
H. Clark Company, 1969), 229. 

Autumn 1998 


into south central Idaho. In the 1830s there were fur- 
ther encounters as explorers gained information about 
elk range in Wyoming and along the headwaters of the 
Yellowstone and Snake Rivers in what today is known 
as the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. 

In 1831, fur trapper John Work recorded that he and 
his accomplices hunted and killed elk in the mountain- 
ous areas of western Montana.-* By December 1 4, 1 832, 
Work and his fellow trappers approached Lemhi Pass 
near the present boundary of Idaho and Montana. Work 
recorded, "A herd of some hundreds of elk were feed- 
ing a little to the one side of our camp; some of the 
people went in pursuit and killed three of them, they 
are very lean."-' Three days later, the trappers discov- 
ered another large herd in the mountains along the head- 
waters of the Salmon River.-* After spending the win- 
ter in the area. Work again found a large herd of wapiti 
at Lemhi Pass on March 20, 1 832.-" Apparently, Work 
kept running across herds making their local migra- 
tions as later explained by Olaus Murie. The expedi- 
tion moved west. On May 17, they harvested "some 
elk" near Trail Creek in south central Idaho."" Less than 
a month later, one expedition member named Kanota 
killed an elk near the middle fork of the Payette River. 
Work explained that "animals are very scarce here at 
present probably owing to the snow having so lately 
gone off the ground." His next lines indicate that he 
understood the local migrations of the area's ungulates. 

Work wrote, "From the appearance of the old tracks, 
elk and deer were very numerous here in the fall."'' 
Obviously, Work believed elk inhabited the mountains. 
Later in the 1830s, American businessman and hope- 
ful fur trader/fish merchant Nathaniel Wyeth recorded 
many elk in the mountain valleys of southwestern 
Montana in those areas previously visited by Lewis 
and Clark and Alexander Ross.'- Mountain man Rob- 
ert Newell provided some of the earliest information 
about wapiti in the mountain ranges of eastern W\ o- 
ming. In March, 1 838, Newell wrote that near the Pow- 
der River "Elk Deer Sheep and other game inhabit the 

-* John Work. The Journal of John Work A Chief Trader of the 
Hudson's Bay Company During His Expedition fi-om Vancouver 
to the Flatheads and Blackfeet of the Pacific Northwest, eds. 
William S. Lewis and Paul C. Phillips (Cleveland: The .Arthur H. 
Clark Company, 1923), 89, 94. 

^-' Ibid., 13. 

-Ubid., 114. 

-"Ibid., 138. 

'" Ibid., 154. 

'' Ibid.. 163. 

'- Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Correspondence and Journals I8S1-18S6. 
ed. F.G. Young, a reprint of Sources of the Histoiy of Oregon. 
vols. 3-6 (Eugene: University Press, 1899), 197. 

" Robert Newell, Memoranda: Travles in the Teritorv of 
Missourie: Travle to the Kayuse War: Together with a Report on 
the Indians South of the Cohimbia River, ed. Dorothy 0. Johansen 
(Portland: Champoeg Press, 1959), 36. 

Feeding elk at the 
National Elk 
Refuge near 
Jackson. Olaii.s 
Murie was 
appointed field 
biologist at 
Jackson in 1927. 
The woman in the 
photograph is not 
S. N. Leek collec- 
tion. American 

j tferitage Center 


Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

However, Newell did not offer the first account of 
wapiti in present da} W}'oming. Osborne Russell docu- 
mented manv encounters with elk in the western part 
of the state. His journal supersedes that of Newell and 
survives as a record of historic elk range and numbers 
in the Grand Teton and Yellowstone areas. Owing to 
the importance attached to elk in the greater 
Yellowstone ecosystem to include Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park, Grand Teton National Park, and Jackson 
Hole, Russell's journal receives much academic scru- 
tiny. For example, Murie relied on it to draw his con- 
clusions about historic elk range. 

During his trapping days, Russell worked through- 
out the intermountain region. He chronicled the moun- 
tain range of wapiti. In 1834, he described the area 
around Ham's Fork of the Green River. The trapper 
wrote that the "country is very mountainous and bro- 
ken except in the small alluvial bottoms along the 
streams, it abounds with Buffalo, Antelope, Elk and 
Bear and some few Deer along the Rivers [sic].""^ His 
journal provided more than just outright statements 
about the range of wapiti. For example, he noted that a 
village of Bannock Indians offered a large supply of 
elk skins for trade at Fort Hall in southeastern Idaho.^' 
Logic dictates that the Bannocks acquired these skins 
in the mountains and adjoining basins of their home- 
land. Another allusion to Native American possession 
of elk skins likely acquired in the mountains emerges 
in Russell's documentation of trade in July, 1835, with 
Sheepeater Indians of Shoshone stock in the Lamar 
Valley of present day Yellowstone National Park. 
Russell stated, "We obtained a large number of Elk 
Deer and Sheep skins from them of the finest qual- 
ity."^* The Russell journal necessitates scrutiny of such 
trade passages to more fully establish the historic range 
of elk in the mountains. 

After trading with the Sheepeaters in the Lamar Val- 
ley, Russell and the other mountain men moved on to 
the Gallatin River of Montana. At this mountain wa- 
terway, Russell made the observation; "[I] killed the 
fattest Elk I ever saw. It was a large Buck the fat on his 
rump measured seven inches thick he had 14 spikes or 
branches on the left horn and 12 on the right."" Fol- 
lowing this kill in 1835, Russell and his companions 
continued to hunt and trap in the greater Yellowstone 

In August, 1836, Russell worked with the famous 
mountain man Jim Bridger and other trappers within 
the present boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. 
Russell remarked about the wildlife near present day 
Fishing Bridge. He wrote, "This valley is interspersed 

with scattering groves of tall pines forming shady re- 
treats for the numerous Elk and Deer during the heat of 
the Day." The company of trappers followed elk trails 
through adjacent hot springs areas and supped on elk 
venison.^** They followed the course of the Yellowstone 
River and in September of 1 836 moved to the mouth 
of Rosebud Creek on the Yellowstone River. Russell 
declared that "Deer Elk and Grizzly bear are abun- 
dant."^' At Pryor's Fork, Russell similarly witnessed 
that the area "abounds with Buffalo Elk Deer and 
Bear."-'" In the span of just two months, Osborne Russell 
revealed that wapiti occupied both the high and low 
country of the Yellowstone ecosystem from the moun- 
tainous headwaters to the river breaks out on the plains. 
Russell and his companions spent much of 1837 
through 1 839 in Wyoming. In 1 837, he found elk to be 
"abundant" in the Wind River country.-*' To the north, 
within the confines of what later became Yellowstone 
National Park, Russell's experience with wapiti con- 
tinued. On several occasions, the trappers found, har- 
vested, and ate elk.-*- Near Yellowstone Lake, Russell 
"found the whole country swarming with Elk we killed 
a fat Buck for supper.""*^ The mountain man company 
traveled to the region of present Grand Teton National 
Park and the National Elk Refuge of Jackson Hole. 
Along Lewis' Fork of the Snake River in January, 1 839, 
they discovered "plenty of Sheep Elk and some few 
Bulls among the rocks and low spurs." The mountain 
men trudged through two feet of snow to hunt these 
elk and maintain the winter meat supply.^-* The trap- 
pers remained in the area through the summer and spent 
a considerable amount of time hunting elk. At one point, 

Russell claimed that they encountered a "large band of 

Osborne Russell's The Journal of a Trapper persists 
as a "factual, unembellished narrative" that sheds ex- 
traordinary light on the range of significant numbers 
of elk in the mountains of the Yellowstone ecosystem 

^'' Osborne Russell, Journal of a Trapper, ed., by Aubrey L. 
Haines (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965; reprint from 
the original manuscript in the William Robertson Coe Collection 
of Western Americana in the Yale University Library), 3. 

^5 Ibid., 8. 

'^ Ibid., 11. 

" Ibid., 29. 

'^ Ibid, 44-45. 

'" Ibid, 47. 

"> Ibid, 51. 

■" Ibid., 58. 

'- Ibid., 63-65. 

« Ibid., 66. 

" Ibid., 94. 

■»5 Ibid., 102-110. 

Autumn 1998 


and other highland areas well in advance of white settle- 
ment.'"' Sources of information for the 1840s pale in 
comparison, but do exist. On July 25, 1845, overland 
traveler Joel Palmer found Fort Bridger on the Oregon 
Trail in southwestern Wyoming stocked with a "good 
supply" of elk skins.'' ' 

The Native American and Euramerican hunters of 
the basins and ranges of western Wyoming evidently 
found numerous wapiti. Far to the northwest in for- 
ested, mountainous northern Idaho, the Jesuit priest 
Father Nicolas Point found elk common in the land of 
the Couer d'Alene Indians.'" These two allusions to 
wapiti in the 1 840s fail to provide conclusive evidence 
of elk range in the mountains. Only when considered 
in light of other information from previous and follow- 
ing decades do the journals of Palmer and Point offer 
solid testimony. 

The records of another trading post. Fort Owen, lo- 
cated in Montana's Bitterroot Valley, offer further evi- 
dence of wapiti in the mountains prior to heavy pres- 
sure from white settlement. A review of Fort Owen's 
ledgers for 1851 and 1852 shows that an average of 
every third fur trading customer exchanged an elk skin 
with the post.''" Again, this type of testimony must be 
considered with the rest of the body of evidence. Lewis 
and Clark found sign of elk in the mountains of west- 
em Montana nearly five decades before the years ex- 
amined in the Fort Owen ledger. The ledgers confirm 
the continued presence of wapiti in the region. 

Further scant evidence of elk range in the mountains 
of the states under consideration in this manuscript 
comes from the recollections of "Uncle Nick"Wilson."" 
Uncle Nick left his white family in his youth to live 
with the Shoshone Indians. He made the seasonal 
rounds throughout Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana with 
his adopted people. Uncle Nick described the impor- 
tance of the elk to the Shoshones when he recounted an 
expedition in the early 1 860s to the "elk country" of 
southwest Montana. He recalled the killing of approxi- 
mately one hundred elk during the fall along the 
Jefferson River which forms one of the three forks of 
the headwaters of the Missouri River in mountainous 
southwestern Montana."' 

'^T'he three decades from 1840 through 1870 of- 
\^/ fer meager information about the range of elk 
in the mountains of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. 
Chroniclers rectified this lack of attention to wapiti 
populations in the 1870s. People sensed the so-called 
"passing of the Great West."- Therefore, travelers to 
the area took care to record their observations. Two of 

these, the Earl of Dunraven and George Bird Grinnell. 
documented their findings. Additionally, the federal 
government established Yellowstone National Park in 
1 872. Explorers of the new park and administrators fur- 
nished reports concerning the numbers of wildlife. 

The British Earl of Dunraven hunted the intemioun- 
tain region in 1874. He directly commented on the 
ranges of elk in his book titled The Great Divide. 
Dunraven hunted the headwaters of the Green River in 
western Wyoming in the autumn 1874. He sought 
wapiti and deer and knew that they passed through the 
country in great numbers. Dunraven lamented that he 
arrived in the area "too earl\" and experienced "scarceK 
any success." He explained the cause of his lack of 
success by noting that wapiti 

movements being regulated by the seasons, (make] it 

impossible to predict the am\al of the herds... They 

do not remain long; the bands quickly pass through 

and are gone. The same slate of things exists in the 

Upper Yellowstone country, and indeed in nearK e\- 

ery district with which I am personally acquainted. .A. 

localit\' w here game remains all the year round is hard 

to find."' 

Dunraven added, "1 expect I should starve to-day in a 

place where four years ago 1 saw, 1 am sure, more than 

a thousand wapiti in one week."^'' 

Dunraven specifically addressed plains versus moun- 
tains as habitat for wapiti. He stated that "\ou ma_\ 

""' Haines, in Russell, Journal oj a Trapper, i. 

'" Joel Palmer, Journal of Travels Over the Rock)' .Mountains. 
ed. Reuben Gold Thwaites, in Early Western Trawls. 1784-1S46, 
39 vols. (Cleveland: The .Arthur H. Clark Compan>. 1Q05). 30; 

^^ Nicholas Point, S.J., Wilderness Kingdom Indian Life in the 
Rocky Mountains. 1S40-1847. trans. Joseph Donnelly. S.J ("New 
York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1967), 180. 

"" George F. Weisel, ed.. Men and Trade on the Norllnrest Fron- 
tier as Shown by the Fort Owen Ledger (Missoula: Montana State 
University Press, 1955), 7-.\S. 

"" Wilson, for whom the town in Teton Count_\ is named, came 
to Jackson Hole in 1889. Phil Roberts, et al, il'yoiuing .Almanac. 
(Laramie: Skyline West, 1997). 84. 

" Elijah Nicholas and Charles .A. Wilson. The While Indian 
Boy and Its Sequel the Return of the White Indian (Rapid Cit\: 
Fenske Printing Inc., 1985; reprint of The White Indian Boy and 
Uncle Nick Among the Shoshones. Salt Lake Cit\: Skelton Book 
Company. 1910), 19. 

-- George Bird Grinnell, The Passing of the Great fVesr Se- 
lected Papers of George Bird Grinnell. ed., John Reiger (New 
York: Winchester Press, 1972). Reiger used the term "passing of 
the Great West" in the title for his edition of Grinnell's papers. 

■' Earl of Dunraven, The Great Divide: Travels m the Upper 
Yellowstone in the Summer of 1874 (Lincoln: L!niversit\ of Ne- 
braska Press, 1967: reprint, London: Chatto & Windus, 1S76). 9. 

"/iW. 10. 


Annals of Wyoming: Tne Wyoming History Journal 

find herds feeding right down upon the plain among 
the cattle: and in a fortnight there will not be one left." 
The British earl posed the query, "Where do they go?" 
His answer reflected the mountainous range of the elk. 
Dunraven claimed the large ungulates went "'up to the 
hare fells ... to the deep, black recesses of primeval 
forest; to valleys, basins, little parks and plains hidden 
among the folds of the mountains.""" Dunraven made 
it clear that in the 1870s wapiti remained a plains and 
mountain animal as the frontier closed with the estab- 
lishment of ranches and farms. 

Grinnell, the famed conservationist and sportsman, 
explored Montana and Wyoming in 1875. He success- 
fully hunted wapiti near present Livingston, Montana, 
on his way to Yellowstone National Park.^*" Following 
his examination of Yellowstone which served as part 
of a larger mission to survey the intemiountain region, 
Grinnell fijmished a report to Colonel William Ludlow. 
Ludlow included the letter in his 1 875 analysis titled A 
Reconnaissance from Carroll. Montana to the 
Yellowstone National Park and Return. Grinnell men- 
tioned a "terrible destruction of large game, for the hides 
alone, which is currently going on in those portions of 
Montana and Wyoming through which we passed." He 
claimed that hunters persisted in slaughtering elk "by 
thousands." More specifically, Grinnell stated, "It is 
estimated that during the winter of 1 874- 1 875 not less 
than three thousand elk were killed in the valley of the 
Yellowstone between the mouth of Trail Creek and the 
Hot Springs."'" Grinnell foresaw the extermination of 
area big game herds unless the animals received pro- 
tection. He insisted that market hunters deserved cul- 
prit status for their role in the destruction.'" GrinnelLs 
report sheds light on the possible numbers of animals 
in the ranges of the Yellowstone ecosystem. His ac- 
count differs from that of Osborne Russell in that 
Grinnell commented on his findings based upon ob- 
servation and interviews while Russell simply listed 
his observations. 

General W.E. Strong delivered more information 
about wapiti in 1 875. The general wrote his account in 
A Trip to the Yellowstone National Park in July, Au- 
gust, and September. 1875. Strong echoed previous 
chroniclers' comments, such as those of the Earl of 
Dunraven, about the range and local seasonal migra- 
tions made by wapiti. General Strong hunted across 
Montana. Traveling on the Missouri River through the 
Missouri Breaks, he explained that the stretch of river 
extending 250 miles westward from Fort Peck marked 
an area of significant elk populations. "There is no part 
of Montana, excepting the Judith Basin, equal to this 

section of the Missouri for bears, buffalo, elk, and deer," 
explained the military commander.''' Thus, he reiter- 
ated that some wapiti remained on the plains while other 
elk inhabited the mountains. About the mountain-dwell- 
ing elk. Strong wrote, "When the snow falls and the 
fierce winter storms begin in November and Decem- 
ber, the elk, deer, and sheep leave the summits of the 
snowy ranges and come in great bands to the foot-hills 
and valleys."''" Strong noted that market hunters in 
Yellowstone National Park wreaked havoc on the elk 
populations in the lower reaches of their habitat during 
the winter months. The market hunters made numer- 
ous easy kills using snowshoes to close on weakened 
elk mired in snow. Strong documented that market 
hunters killed more than four thousand elk in the Mam- 
moth Hot Springs Basin alone during the 1874-1875 
winter. He added, "Their carcasses and branching ant- 
lers can be seen on every hillside and in every val- 
ley."*' In light of this slaughter, he concluded that there 
existed "considerable game still left on the west side of 
the Yellowstone, which, in the summer months, seeks 
the highest mountain summits to escape the flies and 
mosquitoes.""- Nonetheless, Strong believed that he 
witnessed a decreasing elk population within the con- 
fines of Yellowstone National Park, and like Grinnell, 
he maintained that only protection could save the park's 
ungulates from certain demise."^ 

Strong did not directly observe the local migrations, 
winter slaughter, and declining population over time 
in the Yellowstone region that he discussed in his jour- 
nal. He relied on two individuals for his information. 
First, mountain man Jack Baronette accompanied the 
expedition. Strong surely discussed the range of elk 
with this local expert, who the general praised as pos- 
sessing extensive "knowledge of the mountains, riv- 
ers, and trails of the Western Territories."""* With re- 
spect to the winter harvest. Strong stated that "Jack 
Baronette can point out and name the men who glide 

" Ibid., 8. 

*^ Grinnell, Selected Papers. 1 17. 

^' George Bird Grinnell, "American Game Protection," in 
George Bird Grinnell and Charles Sheldon, eds., Hunting and 
Conservation: The Book of the Boone and Crockett Chtb (New 
Haven: Yale University Press, 1925), 217. 

^Ubid., 218. 

'' General W.E. Strong, A Trip to the Yellowstone National 
Park in July. August, and September. 1875 ("Norman: University 
of Oklahoma Press, 1968), 142. 

""Ibid., 104. 

0' Ibid., 104-105. 

"- Ibid., 105. 

"'Ibid., 104. 

'^ Ibid., 47. 

Autumn 1998 


up to the bands of elk on snowshoes and shoot them 

Lieutenant Gustavus C. Doane also went on the 
Strong expedition. Doane explored the park area five 
years earlier with the General Washburn survey.'"' The 
junior officer demonstrated his prowess as an 
outdoorsman guiding the Strong entourage along with 
Baronette. General Strong decided that Doane"s ear- 
lier reports indicated more elk in the area and that the 
subsequent winter slaughters accounted for a dimin- 
ishing population."^ 

Yellowstone National Park administrator Major 
Philetus W. Norris also commented on the 1875 kill- 
ing of wapiti during the winter. He claimed that two 
thousand of the more than four thousand elk destroyed 
in the Mammoth Hot Springs area perished at the hands 
of the Bottler brothers who resided in southwest Mon- 
tana."^ Norris furnished his annual report in 1 877 which 
denoted an "'abundance of elk" in the park numbering 
in the "thousands.""'^ 

Norris' documentation combined with that of 
Dunraven, Grinnell, and Strong to yield a picture of 
wapiti range that chroniclers neglected during the three 
preceding decades. The observations of these four in- 
dividuals depicted wapiti residing both in the moun- 
tains and on the river breaks of the plains. They quan- 
tified numbers of wapiti in the Yellowstone region that 
supported previous assertions such as those of Osborne 
Russell in the 1830s. Local migrations accounted for 
the clumping of elk herds in the winters which gave 
the appearance of massive big game populations that 
people may have misinterpreted later as animals driven 
off the plains into mountain refuges. 

Grinnell and others continued to provide data on the 
range of elk during the 1 880s and 1 890s, Grinnell found 
"abundant" wapiti in mountainous northwest Montana 
on the lands later designated Glacier National Park.™ 

Also in Montana, pioneer Granville Stuart observed 

in 1880, the country was practically uninhabited. .. 

there were deer, elk, wolves and coyotes on every hill 

and in every thicket. .. [while] in the fall of 1883, the 

antelope, elk, and deer were indeed scarce. '' 

His statement could be misinterpreted to mean that 
settlement drove animals off the newly people-inhab- 
ited plains; however, the statement probably reflects 
that settlers killed animals where they found them. 

Although Grinnell's and Stuart's independent assess- 
ments of wapiti locations support the argument that 
settlement did not drive elk off the plains into new 

mountain homes, Theodore Roosevelt's contentions 
constitute invaluable reinforcement. Roosevelt came 
west in the 1880s and established a ranch in western 
Dakota Tertitory along the Little Missouri River. 

The young rancher, who later led the hunter-natural- 
ist movement that enhanced game management and 
habitat preservation, spent much of his recreational time 
pursuing game. He found elk particularly alluring as 
made evident by his documentation of what he believed 
to be the slaying of the last wapiti near his ranch. 
Roosevelt bemoaned the "last of his race that will ever 
be found in our neighborhood."'- His comment reflects 
that the wapiti populations died in place and did not 
migrate long distances to new ranges. To pursue elk, 
the energetic outdoorsman "found it necessary to leave 
[his] ranch" for the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming 
where wapiti still roamed.'-' In 1891, he experienced a 
successful hunt farther west in Wyoming's Shoshone 
Mountains where he reported "elk all around. ""■* He 
also found elk abundant in the Bitten-oot Mountains. " 

Roosevelt's hunting nartatives and observations in- 
dicate the presence of wapiti in the plains or river breaks 
and in the mountains, and that the local elk popula- 
tions lived and died on their home ranges. Always one 
to make scientific analyses, Roosevelt specifically ad- 
dressed the range of wapiti. His numerous remarks 
wartant presentation and scnitiny. For example, in his 
book. The Deer Family, published in 1924, Roosevelt 
explained that humans extenninated elk on the high 
plains except in rough country refuges such as the Black 
Hills, Nebraska's Sand Hills, and bad lands. He wrote, 
"The wapiti ceased to be a plains animal. .. the wapiti 
was thenceforth a beast of the Rocky Mountain region 

"'Ibid., 106. 

"■ Ibid., 43. 

"Ibid. 104. 

"' Aubrey L. Haines, The Yellowstone Story. 2 vols, (^'ello\\- 
stone National Park: Yellowstone Librar\' and Museum .Associa- 
tion, 1977), 1: 205. 

*'' Don E. Redfearn, Russell L. Robbins, and Charles P. Stone, 
"Refuges and Elk Management," in Thomas and Toweill. 483. 

™ Madison Grant, "The Beginnings of Glacier National Park," 
in Grinnell and Sheldon, Hunting and Conservation. 454, 

" Granville Stuart, Fort}' Years on the Frontier. 2 vols,, ed, 
Paul C, Phillips (Cleveland: Arthur H, Clark, 1925), 1:187-188, 

'- Theodore Roosevelt, Hunting Trips on the Prairie and in tlie 
.Mountains (New York: G,P, Putnam's Sons, 1902), 193, 

" Ibid.. 162-163, 

" Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter: .4n .Account of 
tlie Big Game of the United States and Its Chase with Horse. 
Hound and Rifle. 2 vols. (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 
1907), 1: 209,235. 

''Ibid. 184. 


Annals of Wyoming: Tne Wyoming History Journal 

proper." This quotation taken by itself without consid- 
ering the previously given infonnation about rough 
country refuges could be misinterpreted to mean that 
people drove elk off the plains into the Rocky Moun- 

Further reading of Roosevelt's text elucidates his in- 
tentions. He maintained that destruction of the species 
occurred in the mountains as well. Montana wapiti 
populations scattered across forested lands "protected 
by denser timber." Meanwhile, Roosevelt made the 
following assessment about Wyoming wapiti: 

They ha\ e nearly vanished from the Big Horn Moun- 
tains . . they are still plentiful in and around their great 
nursery and breeding ground, the Yellowstone National 

In another book. Hunting Trips on the Prairie and in 
the Mountains, originally copyrighted in 1885, the 
hunter-naturalist contended that elk remained plentiful 
on the plains just five years earlier. Roosevelt clarified 
the on-site destruction of wapiti herds. He explained, 
"After the buffalo the elk are the first animals to disap- 
pear from a country when it is settled." Roosevelt con- 
tinued, "This arises from their size and consequent con- 
spicuousness, and the eagerness with which they are 
followed by hunters. "^^ Roosevelt also discussed local 
migrations so critical to Olaus Murie's" theory on his- 
toric elk range. In another statement from which out- 
of-context quotes could lead a reader to believe that 
Roosevelt argued that settlement drove elk off the plains 
and into the mountains, Roosevelt elaborated on wapiti 
range. He stated: 

Formerly the elk were plentiful all over the plains, 
coming down into them in great bands during the fall 
months and traversing their entire extent. But the in- 
coming of hunters and cattlemen has driven them off 
the ground as completely as buffalo, unlike the latter, 
however, they are srill very common in the dense woods 
that cover the Rocky Mountains and the other great 
mountam chains.''* 

Careful scrutiny of this passage reveals that Roosevelt 
referred to those wapiti that seasonally migrated be- 
tween mountains and adjacent plains. Following hunt- 
ing and ranching pressure, the reduced numbers of these 
elk tended to remain in thicker cover. Roosevelt's ex- 
periences and observations punctuated a century of 
chronicles regarding wapiti habitat in the intermoun- 
tain region of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming begin- 
ning with Lewis and Clark in 1805. Careful research 

of these records divulge that wapiti did not leave their 
high plains homelands for the high country in the face 
of human settlement. They survived and perished in 

The twentieth century literature on historic wapiti 
range falls into two categories. First, old-timers reflected 
on elk. Second, biologists/outdoor writers, like Olaus 
Murie, focused on the past for guidance in modem elk 
management. A sampling of old-timer recollections 
from Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming typifies the real- 
ity and myth of historic elk range. Depression era out- 
fitter Lafe Cox spoke about the mountainous terrain of 
central Idaho. He stated, "There wasn't any elk right in 
this part of the country. . . the elk was originally more 
of a desert or a flat animal, and the hunters and the 
people and everything started them back and they went 
back into the upper country."'' Cox obviously wimessed 
the distribution of populations as determined by local 
migrations in Idaho. He did not consider that the desert 
or flat lands elk either seasonally migrated to the high 
country or existed simultaneously with elk in the high 
country. Moreover, years of elk reintroductions into 
the Idaho backcountry, but not into the inhabited ar- 
eas, preceded the Depression."" 

In Montana, Kootenai Indian Peter Andrew remem- 
bered that his people regularly harvested elk for their 
meat and hides in northwest Montana. This mountain 
harvesting possessed historic antecedents and persisted 
through the settlement frontier into the twentieth cen- 
tury.*' Long-time Wyoming resident, J. R. Jones wrote 
in 1925 about the elk migrations of Wyoming. He 
maintained that Carbon, Albany, Natrona, and Con- 
verse counties possessed a "waterless plain" where thou- 
sands of wapiti spent the winters. In the spring, they 
went to the mountain meadows. About the waterless 
plain, Jones wrote, "The elk have disappeared from this 
region, the survivors having adjusted themselves to 
winter conditions in the high mountains."*- Jones' state- 
ment shows that hunters killed the majority of the elk 

■"■ Theodore Roosevelt and others, The Deer Family (New York; 
The Macmillan Co., 1924), 133-134. 

" Roosevelt, Hunting Trips. J55. 

'* Ibid., 156. 

" Lafe Cox, interview manuscript #0020. Boise: Idaho Oral 
History Center, 2 June 1973. 

'" Larry D. Bryant and Chris Maser, "Classification and Distri- 
bution," in Toweill and Thomas, 42. 

*' Johnson. Flathead and Kootenay. 70-71. 

'- Joseph R. Jones, Preserving the Game: Gambling. Mining. 
Hunting, and Conservation in the Vanishing West (Boise: Boise 
State University, 1989: reprints. Outdoor America, no dates given), 

Autumn 19Q8 


in the lowlands and the survivors altered their migra- 
tions to avoid death. The old-timers remembered the 
elk, but modern management impacted their view. 
Game managers grew herds over the course of the twen- 
tieth century. Like the old-timers, the scientists' and 
nature authors' views merit consideration. 

Idaho authors provide a glimpse of available litera- 
ture about historic wapiti range. Zoologist William 
Davis in 1939 assessed that historically elk "occurred 
commonly on the plains and lower valleys in Idaho 
and the West in general, but 'civilization" has pushed 
them farther and farther into the mountainous areas 
where they are less disturbed.**' Again, it remains ap- 
parent that Davis' knowledge of historically abundant 
elk on the plains and in the lower valleys combined 
with his awareness of significant elk populations in the 
forested mountains in 1939 to prompt his contribution 
to the myth of historic elk range. Reintroductions and 
game management in the mountains and adjoining win- 
tering areas produced the appearance that "civilization" 
drove elk off the plains. Later Idaho authors gave a 
more accurate picture. 

Idaho Wildlife Review writers and Idaho Fish and 
Game Department personnel Errol Nielson. Marshall 
Edson, and Brent Ritchie studied historic elk range. 
Nielson conducted his research in eastern Idaho and 
published some of his results in 1955. He found that "a 
big game herd is closely tied to its customar>' 'home 
grounds' particularly in winter."*"' This led him to as- 
sess that early eastern Idaho Euramerican settlers hunted 
resident elk or migratory elk that spent the winter away 
from Yellowstone National Park or Wyoming. Settle- 
ment eventually cut off the migratory elk from their 
winter grounds. Thus, the increase in animals that re- 
mained in the Yellowstone region gave the appearance 
that plains elk successfully sought refuge in the moun- 
tains. Nielson summarized his assertion: "Herds that 
remained on the plains disappeared but animals that 
took to the mountains survived and increased.""' He 
did not believe that settlement drove elk off the plains 
and into the mountains, but only that local migration 
patterns altered in the face of human pressure. 

Edson researched Idaho development and game man- 
agement history to quantify the historic twentieth cen- 
tury plight of the state's wapiti. The long-time editor 
of the Idaho Wildlife Review determined that big game 
animals existed few and far between in Idaho at the 
dawn of the century. His teams of interviewers heard 
from old-timers that prior to protection of big game, 
backcountry Idahoans relentlessly pursued elk. Even 
the mountains remained largely barren of significant 

populations owing to hunting by miners. These work- 
ers supplemented their diets with elk venison in the 
big boom areas of Pend d'Oreille, the Salmon country, 
the Clearwater country, and Thunder Mountain. Even 
as late as 1 9 1 8. the United States Forest Ser\ ice counted 
just 610 elk in Idaho. By 1924, management and rein- 
troductions grew the herd to more than 5,000. In 1934. 
about 1 6.000 elk roamed the state. Three decades later. 
the population approached its peak at 60,000. Edson's 
numbers dispel the notion that elk from the plains 
sought refuge in the mountains. After all, no sanctuar\- 
existed in Idaho's mountains until modem game man- 
agement took hold. 

*' William B. Davis, The Recent Mammals of Idaho (Caldwell: 
The Ca.xton Printers, Ltd., 19.^9). 367. 

'•^ Errol Nielson, "The Elk of Eastern Idaho," Idaho WihiUfe 
Revie\v 7 (September-October 1985), 10. 

*' Ibid.. 8. 

Margaret and Olaus Miirie. Collection of the Jackson 
Hole Historical Societx' and Museum. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Ritchie, a senior research biologist, added another 
important element to debunking the myth. He put for- 
ward the concept of a lack of universal game abun- 
dance in the West. Ritchie surveyed the journals of trap- 
pers such as Osborne Russell. The biologist deduced 
that ""game abundance was not universal. . . where game 
was plentiful it was very abundant, but in other areas 
there was little or none."" Adding this notion of no 
universal game abundance to local migration charac- 
teristics produces a situation that would confuse any 
chronicler or researcher of wapiti populations. Early 
settlers saw great numbers of elk on the plains while 
later settlers saw many elk in the mountains. People 
incorrectly concluded that Euramerican settlement 
drove elk off the plains. 

Literature about elk continued to increase over the 
course of the twentieth century. Olaus Murie's Elk of 
North America was and still is the most definitive book 
on the subject by a single author. Nonetheless, in 1982, 
the Wildlife Management Institute published Elk of 
North America: Ecology and Management. Numerous 
experts contributed to this comprehensive work. The 
bibliography reflects reliance on numerous studies by 
Murie. The text, written for the lay person, concerning 
historic elk range does not extend beyond his conclu- 
sions. Regarding Idaho, it denotes that wapiti histori- 
cally occupied the eastern part of the state in areas ad- 
jacent to the mountains in the largest numbers."* For 
Montana, the book asserts that elk preferred the stream 
bottoms and river breaks to the flat open plains.*"* With 
respect to Wyoming, the text emphasizes that protec- 
tion saved the elk "because elk herds roamed the plains 
with the bison, and those not in protected areas were 
extirpated rapidly by meat and hide hunters and early 
settlers. "'° The reader can see that for nearly two cen- 
turies literature clarifying that elk survived in the plains 
and mountains availed itself to the interested researcher. 
Yet, the myth persists. 

n the 1990s, literature concerning the historic 
range of wapiti continues to be generated and 
serves as support for arguments over public land man- 
agement. Dr. Charles Kay, Utah State University, ad- 
dressed the topic of wapiti range.*" He made contro- 
versial arguments that led him to conclude that wapiti 
over-inundate the greater Yellowstone ecosystem in 
general, and Yellowstone National Park in particular. 
Kay represents one of those "people who study this 
kind of thing" as referred to in the letter to the Lewiston 
Morning Tribune. His arguments warrant carefiil con- 
sideration to prevent their misinterpretation. 

Kay insisted that managers of Yellowstone National 
Park and the National Elk Refuge near Grand Teton 
National Park made incorrect assessments when they 
maintained that many thousands of elk historically in- 
habited these areas. Kay attacked their arguments on 
three fronts. First, Kay used historic photographs and 
journals to conclude that wapiti browse species such 
as berry bushes and willows once flourished due to 
less animals browsing.''- Second, area Native Ameri- 
can archeological sites dating back hundreds of years 
turn up wapiti remains as only three percent of animal 
remains versus eighty percent domination of 
Yellowstone today. Third, he tallied elk numbers based 
on various historical journals of twenty different expe- 
ditions in the area from 1835 through 1876. 

Kay neglected to consider the wapiti material cul- 
ture of Native Americans as evidence, and he rejected 
narratives written after the fact of exploration or cir- 
cumstantial evidence/questioning, i.e.. General Strong's 
use of Jack Baronette, due to bias toward exaggerating 
animal numbers in retrospect. Nonetheless, he con- 
tended that expeditionaries spent 765 total days in the 
Yellowstone ecosystem and averaged seeing an elk 
every 18 days." Of course, this analysis also fails to 
consider the lack of universal abundance as evinced by 
Errol Nielson of the Idaho Fish and Game Department. 
Nonetheless. Kay concludes "Today's ungulate popu- 
lation densities do not represent precolumbian [sic] 
conditions not only in Yellowstone but throughout the 
Intermountain West.'"''' 

On the surface it appears that Kay argues against 
wapiti historically existing as a mountain animal and 
that his solid methodical research proves that 
Euramerican settlers certainly drove wapiti off the plains 

"■ Marshall Edson, "Idaho Wildlife in the Early Days," Idaho 
Wildlife Review 16 (July-August 1963), 8-13. 

*' Brent W. Ritchie, "The Good Old Days," Idalw Wildlife 
Review (Summer 1976), 7. 

** Bryant and Maser, "Classification and Distribution," 42. 

*' Ibid., 46-47. 

"» Ibid., 58-59. 

■" Kay holds a doctorate in wildlife ecology from Utah State 
University and is currently affiliated with the university's Insti- 
tute of Political Economy. 

''- Charles E. Kay, "Aboriginal Overkill; The Role of Native 
Americans in Structuring Western Ecosystems," Human Nature 
5 (4, 1994), 361. 

'^ Charles E. Kay, "Ecosystems Then and Now: A Historical- 
Ecological Approach to Ecosystem Management," in Fourth Prai- 
rie Conserx'ation and Endangered Species Workshop Sharing the 
Prairies: Sustainable Use of a Vulnerable Landscape (Lethbridge: 
University of Lethbridge, 1995), 1-5. 

"■' Kay, "Aboriginal Overkill," 372. 

Autumn 1998 


and into the mountains. On the contrary, Kay emerges 
as a leading proponent in support of Murie's historic 
elk range theory. Kay augments Murie's argument and 
begs for an explanation in one lengthy quote. He writes: 

Based on their archeological experience in western 
Wyoming, both Prison and Wright conclude that large 
numbers of elk did not inhabit the mountains in pre- 
historic times because the species was primarily a plains 
animal, but this supposition is not supported by eco- 
logical data. Biological smdies on digestive efficiency, 
diet breadth, and energetics have all shown that elk 
are superior competitors to bighorn sheep and mule 
deer on intermountain winter ranges. Elk will simply 
outcompete, and outnumber, the smaller ungulates. If 
elk thrive in the Yellowstone ecosystem and other 
western mountains today, why were they rare in pre- 
historic times'?'^' 

Kay makes it clear that his research indicates that elk 
prehistorically and historically occupied the mountain 
ranges, albeit in reduced numbers. He accounts for the 
low numbers of mountain wapiti with his assessment 
of the dramatic impact of Native American hunting in 
the mountains. Kay insists that Native Americans in 
tandem with predators, namely wolves and bears, deci- 
mated mountain elk populations through advantageous 
harvesting. Indians possessed the technology and de- 
sire to take elk whenever possible. They employed 
drives, traps, dogs, distance weapons such as the bow 
and atlatl, snowshoes, long distance pursuit, and fire to 
harvest wapiti. Just as mountain wapiti made easy prey 
for the market hunters of the 1870s, so, too, did earlier 
elk prove easy for Native Americans to slay. Kay con- 
tended that Native Americans sought large ungulates 
due to high energy returns for minimal effort and ma- 
terial value. They killed a predominance of prime-age 
females because those animals yielded fatter meat and 
more pliable hides. The indigenous hunters did not 
worry about conserving the species since they could 
switch to other food sources including animals and plant 
stuffs. Wolves and bears harvested young and weak 
elk synergistic to Native American harvesting which 
kept wapiti populations at minimal levels.'"' 

Kay argued that post-Columbian human disease epi- 
demics reduced aboriginal hunter numbers enough to 
enable elk to initiate a mountain population increase. 
He uses demographic studies and archeological records 
to support his contention.'*' Early explorers such as 
Osborne Russell became the first Euramericans to wit- 
ness this expanded population of elk. After Yellowstone 
became a national park in 1 872, predator control com- 
menced. With reduced Native American hunting and 

predator pressure combined with eventual protection 
from Euramerican market hunting, the mountain elk 
population skyrocketed into the tens of thousands by 
1900.'"* Thus, Kay accounted for the growth of the 
mountain elk population without gi\ ing any credence 
to the myth that Euramerican settlement drove elk off 
the high plains into the refuge of the Rocky Moun- 

laus Murie possessed the savvy of a sage. 

Wapiti populations lived and died respectively 
on the plains or in the mountains with local migration 
sometimes uniting the two habitats. Charles Kay's 
sound but complex and controversial w ork punctuates 
the voluminous literature of two centuries brietl\ sur- 
veyed here that supports Murie's timeless conclusion. 
Debunking the myth will require repeated exposure of 
the reality of historic elk range in both academic and 
popular literature for several years. The result could be 
more enlightened big game management and public 
pressure and lobbying based on historic fact. 

'^ Ibid., 363-364. Kay refers to: G.C. Prison, Prehistoric Hunt- 
ers of the High Plains. 2d ed. (New York: Academic Press, l^Wl ); 
and G.A. Wright, People of the High Countiy: Jacksun Hole Be- 
fore the Settlers (New York: Peter Lang, 1984). 

"" Ibid., 365-377. 

•" Ibid.. 380-382. 

'« Ibid., 360. 

Ken Zontek is a doctoral candidate in histoiy at 
the University of Idaho where he concentrates on 
ethnohistory and environmental histoiy of the IVest. 
His dissertation will analyze the Native .American 
attempt to restore bison. He also teaches social stud- 
ies in Cashmere, Wash. 

Che Founder of euansuille; 

Casper Builder W. t. 6uans 

By Jefferson Glass 

Be was Casper's pioneer building contractor and 
the man for whom the town of Evansville is 
named. Yet, William Tranter Evans is largely forgot- 
ten, even by residents of the town named for him. 

Like many pioneer Wyomingites, Evans was a Euro- 
pean immigrant. Bom in South Wales on September 
29. 1852. he married Elizabeth Caroline Hunt (bom in 
Staffordshire, England, May 3, 1852), at Monmouth, 
Monmouthshire, South Wales on September 19, 1871.' 
Following their marriage they lived at "Crewis," a ram- 
bling stone house on Yeo street, Resolven, 
Monmouthshire. South Wales, that had been in the 
Evans family for 1 50 years. There, Evans worked as a 
stonemason and the couple soon started their family. - 

Their first five children, Clementina Sarah, Beatrice 
M., William J., Emest Oliver, and Edgar T. (Ted) were 
bom in Wales.' In the early 
1880s, Elizabeth continued 
to suffer with illness. Her 
doctors recommended an 
ocean trip so the family 
took a ship to New York in 
1882, soon after Edgar's 

They arrived in New 
York City. Although the 
exact circumstances of this 
visit are unknown, in 1883, 
the family settled in York, 
Nebraska, where later that 
year daughter Edith was 
bom.' Times were good for 
them in York, although 
Evans' occupation there is 
uncertain. He likely had a 
farm and probably did 
some work as a mason.'' 
W.T. and Elizabeth posed 
for photographs that year. 

' Evans' birthplace is listed in "W. T. Evans, 77, Pioneer Con- 
tractor, succumbs," Casper Tribune-Herald. Oct. 13. 1929, 1-2. 
Biographical data of Mrs. Evans is from her obituan'. "Mrs. E. C. 
Evans." Natrona Tribune. Aug. 23. 1894. Date and place of mar- 
riage is from Cora M. Beach. Women of Wyoming. (Casper: Hoyer 
& Co.. 1927). 354. 

^ "Prominent Social. Civic Leader Dies." Casper Tribune-Her- 
ald. Apr. 27, 1952. 1-2: "Last Rites Held Tuesday for Mrs. P. C. 
Nicolaysen." Casper Star. May 2. 1952. 29: "Certified Copy of 
an Entry of Birth." the General Register Office. London, copy in 
the Trevor Evans Collection. Trevor Evans is the great-great grand- 
son of William Tranter Evans. 

' Clementina Sarah was bom January' 16. 1872. Because there 
are multiple sources stating three different dates for the birth of 
Clementina Sarah Evans, the author has chosen the date most 
often used by those sources. Beatrice M. was bom in 1873 and 
William J., in August, 1874. The dates for both are from their 
tombstones. Highland Park Cemetery. Casper. Emest Oliver was 
bom Jun. 3, 1880. "Death of Emest Evans," Natrona County Tri- 
bune, Aug. 8, 1901, 1. Edgar 
T. (Ted) was bom April 1882. 
"Early Pioneer Succumbs 
Here," Casper Times. July 1, 
1938, 6. 

■* "Prominent Social, Civic 
Leader Dies." Casper Tribune- 
Herald. Apr. 27, 1952, 1-2; 
Beach, 354. 

' Beach, 354: Alfred 
James Mokler, History of 
Natrona County Wyoming 
(Chicago: R. R. Donnelly & 
Sons. 1923). 215. 

* Kevin Anderson and 
Jefferson Glass. "Oral History 
of William Trevor Evans", in- 
terview of the grandson of Wil- 
liam Tranter Evans. Mar. 1998. 
casette copy held in the Spe- 
cial Collections, Casper Col- 
lege Library. 

' Photos are in Trevor 
Evans Collection. Beach, 354- 
William Trevor 
Evans collection 

William Trantor Evans, c. 1922. 

Autumn 1998 


Elizabeth's health seemed improved with the climate.' 
In 1 884, another son, Ralph Walter was bom, followed 
the next year by Archibald F. (Arch).* 

In 1886 Evans and three of the older children went 
west in a covered wagon. A short time later, Elizabeth 
and the younger children boarded the train in York with 
the rest of their belongings. They reunited in western 
Nebraska, settling in the new town of Grant.'' There, 
they lived on a fami and Evans also worked as a car- 
penter and a mason.'" In 1887 eldest daughter 
Clementina graduated from high school. At the age of 
15, she began teaching." 

The next year, news reached Grant that the railroad 
was coming to Perkins County, Nebraska, but, that it 
was going to bypass Grant, building a few miles to the 
south. Not to be deterred, the Grant citizens moved the 
town to the railroad. Although Evans was not specifi- 
cally listed as a participant in this venture (few names 
are mentioned), given his experience in construction, 
it is likely he was involved.' - In the early spring of 

1889, Evans was laying the brick for the first court- 
house in the town of Grant. About that time, another 
son, Trevor James, was bom.'' 

Mrs. Evans had been educated in private schools in 
England and she wanted her children to have a proper 
education. She encouraged daughter Clementina to con- 
tinue her schooling at the nomial school in Kearney. 
While she was away, Evans was building the new brick 
schoolhouse in Grant, completing the stmcture in early 

1890. Clementina graduated from normal school in 
June, 1890.'-* 

That same spring, on April 21,1 890, Emanuel Erben 
was awarded the contract to construct the new town 
hall in Casper. He asked Evans to leave Grant and come 
to Casper to make and lay the brick for this building. 
Erban did the carpentry. The structure was the first brick 
building ever to be built in Casper. It was located about 
midway in the block on the west side of Center street, 
between First and Second streets.'^ 

Later that summer, the school district advertised for 
bids to constmct the first schoolhouse in Casper. Erben 
and his partner Merrian were awarded the contract. 
Again, they hired Evans to do the masonry.'^ While 
Evans was in Casper, Elizabeth gave birth to another 
son, Cecil, in Grant.'' 

Late in the year, Evans moved his family to Casper. 
Elizabeth and the children, except for Clementina, ar- 
rived in Casper just before Christmas of 1890.'* 
Clementina stayed in Nebraska to finish her school work 
there. When the term ended, she came to Casper aboard 
one of the earliest passenger trains, arriving on Janu- 
ary 3, 1891.'" 

Phil Roberts collection 

Center Street. Casper. 1890. the year Evans came to 

* Ralph's date of birth is from the cemetery records ofNatrona 
County, Special Collections, Casper College Library. .Arch's 
birthdate is from "Death Claims A. F. Evans, Old Resident Here," 
Casper Daily Tribune, Jun. 23, 1926, 4. 

" "W. T. Evans, 77, Pioneer Contractor, succumbs," Ca.sper 
Tribune-Herald, Oct. 13, 1929, 1-2: .Anderson and Glass inter- 

'" .Anderson and Glass interview. 

" "Last Rites Held Tuesday for Mrs. P. C. Nicolaysen," Casper 
Star. May 2, 1952, 29. 

'- Telephone interviews of Robert Richter, March and .April. 
1998. Richter is author of lOO Years in Grant. (Grant: Perkins 
County Historical Society, 1986). 

'' Trevor James Evans was born in Grant on .March 22. 1889. 
See "W. T. Evans, 77, Pioneer Contractor, succumbs." Casper 
Tribune-Herald, Oct. 13, 1929, 1-2, for reference to E\ans' work 
on the Grant courthouse. The building still stands and is in use 
commercially. Richter interviews. 

'' Beach, 354, 356. The Evans' posed for a family photograph 
sometime that summer in Grant, before Clementina left for school. 
The photo is in the Trevor Evans collection. 

'^ Mokler, 169. The bell, that had been used as a community 
fire alarm, was removed with the copula after a fire in the build- 
ing when the building was known as the Bell Theater. The bell is 
now housed at the Fort Caspar Museum. The structure is still 
standing and has been in continuous use, housing several busi- 
nesses since its retirement from public service. Casper Zonta Club, 
ed., Casper Chronicles (Casper: Zonta Club and Mountain States 
Lithography, c. 1964). 59. 

'" Mokler, 211. Bids were advertised in .August of 1890. 

" Cecil's birthdate and place is listed in cemeter\ records of 
Natrona County, Special Collections. Casper College Library. 

" "W. T. Evans, 77, Pioneer Contractor, succumbs," Casper 
Tribune-Herald, Oct. 13, 1929, 1-2. 

'" "Prominent Social. Civic Leader Dies." Casper Tribune-Her- 
ald, April 27, 1952, 1-2; Beach, 356. 

Annals oi Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

Two weeks later, when "Old Central" (as the school 
would come to be known) opened the doors to its first 
students, Clementina became the first teacher in the 
new school.-" Clementina and the principal, J. C. Wil- 
liams, made up the entire staff. They held classes in 
the two upstairs rooms. The two lower rooms were left 
unfinished until the fall of 1 894.-' 

In order that bricks could be produced locally, Evans 
established a clay mine seven miles west of Casper on 
the Gothberg ranch. The clay was brought back to the 
outskirts of Casper by wagon. There, it was cleaned, 
processed, molded into shape, dried, and fired to pro- 
duce finished bricks. It is not known how many people 
Evans employed during his many years of construc- 
tion around Casper, but building with brick is a labor 
intensive method of construction. What is known of 
Evans' workforce is that it included all of his sons at 
one time or another." 

In 1891, the Evans family was establishing a new 
home in Casper and Evans was making a comfortable 
living in a town that needed his skills. There was work 
enough for his sons, and his daughters were probably 
the "talk of the town." Elizabeth, bom and educated in 
a world far different than that of a frontier town, be- 
lieved Casper was seriously lacking a proper church. 
The "community tabemacle,"served as courtroom, 
school, and meeting hall. To Elizabeth, it just did not 
fill the bill. There was need for a church building. The 
only Episcopalians in Casper in 1891, the Evans con- 
tacted Bishop Ethelbert Talbot, who had been assigned 
to the missionary diocese that included most of Wyo- 
ming. When Bishop Talbot arrived in Casper he ana- 
lyzed the place and then went to every saloon in town, 
requesting donations from the proprietors and custom- 
ers. Soon, he had raised a considerable amount of cash 
toward the sum that would be needed. Meanwhile, 
Elizabeth solicited donations fi^om leading business- 
men and, soon, they had the capital needed to begin 

E\ans, hired as contractor, began construction of the 
framed St. Mark's Episcopal Church on the comer of 
what is now Second and Wolcott streets.-'' The build- 
ing was completed on Oct. 27, 1891. The Evans fam- 
ily spent most of that night cleaning and fiamishing it 
because Clementina was to be married in it the next 
day. There, on Oct. 28, 1891, she married Peter C. 

In those early years, the Evans family made up the 
entire choir for St. Mark's Church. Elizabeth, trained 
in music, had what was described as a beautiful so- 
prano voice. She would be joined by W.T., Beatrice, 

and William J., while Clementina accompanied the 
choir on the organ.-'' 

That first St. Mark's Episcopal Church of Casper, 
built by W.T. Evans, was moved twice and had an ad- 
dition built on it. It is now located at the Central Wyo- 
ming Fairgrounds.-' 

Clementina's husband, P.C. Nicolaysen, already was 
a well-known Casper businessman. Bom in Denmark 
on July 7, 1863, he had come to the "Old Town" of 
Casper in late spring or early summer of 1888. There, 
he was listed as a businessman before Casper was 
moved to its new location. In November of 1888, 
Nicolaysen's "Stock Exchange" saloon opened in the 
"New Town" of Casper. When W.S. Kimball published 
the first issue of the Wyoming Derrick on May 21,1 890, 
P. C. Nicolaysen was one of his partners.-*" 

Evans, in partnership with his new son-in-law, con- 
stmcted a four-room brick home for the new bride and 
groom at the comer of First and Wolcott streets. Al- 
though not large by later standards, it was one of the 
three largest homes in Casper at that time and the first 
to be built fi-om brick. The Nicolaysens lived there for 
more than 30 years.-' 

Soon after the marriage of their eldest child, Eliza- 
beth gave birth to Herbert O., the first Evans to be bom 
in Wyoming and the last child bom to W.T. and Eliza- 

-" The school opened January 20, 1891. Casper Chronicles. 24. 

-' Moklcr, 211-212. 

-- Later generations that knew them recall the sons reminiscing 
of many hot summer days firing their father's brick kilns. .Ander- 
son and Glass interview. 

-■' Some of the contributors were George Mitchell, mayor of 
Casper; A. J. Cunningham, manager of C.H. King Company; 
rancher B. B. Brooks; P.C. Nicolaysen, and W. S. Kimball. Rob- 
ert David, "History of the Episcopal Church in Wyoming," un- 
published manuscript, David Historical Collection, Special Col- 
lections, Casper College Library. During the time that the funds 
were being raised, Elizabeth was involved in numerous church 
endeavors. In May, she founded St. Mark's Episcopal Guild, 
Casper's first women's organization and the foundation for many 
others in later years. Clementina, who had been teaching Sum- 
mer School in Bessemer, established Casper's first community 
Sunday School at the new town hall. With the Sunday School as 
sponsor, she organized the biggest Fourth of July celebration the 
area had ever seen to that time. Beach, 354. 356; Mokler, 221; 

-■* Casper Chronicles, 19; map, "Casper, Natrona County, Wyo." 
Sanhorn-Perris Map Co., c. May, 1894. 

=' Beach, 354. 

" Ibid. 

-' Casper Chronicles, 19. A photograph, in the Trevor Evans 
collection, taken shortly after the church was completed looks 
much like the building today. 

=« Beach, 358; Mokler, 30, 116-117. 

-" Beach, 358. 

Autumn 1998 

Evans' work crew constructing the Richards and Cunningham building, comer nf 2ihl and Center streets. Casper. 
1894. Evans is wearing the vest. (top. second from left). William Trevor Evans culleetion. 

beth/" The next year, their first granddaughter, EHza- 
beth Maren Nicolaysen, was bom on July 2, 1892/' 
Less than a month later, on August 1 , contractor Evans 
was awarded the contract to construct the new City/ 
County Jail on the west side of David street, between 
what is now Second and Midwest streets. ^- 

While Evans' career as a contractor was thriving, a 
series of tragedies befall in the family in the following 
two years. On Sept. 1 1, 1892, daughter Beatrice, died 
at the age of 19." Joy replaced grief temporarily with 
the birth of grandchild Edith Beulah Nicolaysen on July 
30, 1893. The happiness proved to be short-lived. Both 
Nicolaysen children died that September.'^ Just four 
months later, Evans' son Herbert died, followed by son 
Cecil in May. 1894.'^ 

About the time of Herbert's death, the bank of 
Richards, Cunningham, and Company merged with the 
C. H. King and Company bank. Evans was hired to 
construct their new building.''' During the construction 
of the bank structure, Evans purchased the lot that once 
had been occupied by Lou Polk's infamous dancehall. 
There, he tried to help ease his family's pain, by build- 
ing for them a comfortable new frame house that he 
later veneered with brick." Before the house was fin- 
ished, Elizabeth contracted blood poisoning and died 
on August 21, 1894.-'* 

Despite the personal loss, Evans continued to build. 
Early in 1895, he contracted to do the masonr> work 
for the new Pennsylvania Oil Company refinery being 
built on Center street, just south of the railroad tracks 
in Casper.^" The refinery went into production March 
5, 1895, and continued until the summer of 1907. the 
same period in which Evans become established and 
accepted as a prominent builder and mason. 0\er the 

'" "Mrs. E. C. Evans," Natrona Tribune. .Aug. 23, 18^)4. 

-" Beach, 358. 

'- David, "History of the Episcopal Church"; "Casper. Natrona 
Co.," Sanborn map; Mokler, 123. The building was to the rear of 
the lot that is now occupied b\ the tlrehall. 

"' Date is from Beatrice's tombstone. Highland Park Cemeterx. 

'' Beach, 358. 

" Tombstone in Highland Park Cemetery, Casper, lists date of 
death as Feb. 15, 1894. 

''• Mokler, 24. 

" Casper Chronicles, 43; Mokler, 429. 

^^ "Mrs. E. C. Evans," Natrona Tribune, Aug. 23, 1894. Grand- 
daughter Beatrice Maren Nicolaysen was bom two months later 
on October 26. 

'" Mokler, 247-250; Casper Chronicles, 61-62. Few people in 
the Casper area are aware that this refinery e\er existed, not to 
mention that it was the first refinery in Wyoming. It was not \er\ 
large and produced only lubricants from crude oil brought in on 
tank wagons with string teams from the Salt Creek oil fields. 


Annals oi Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

Evans enjoyed this outing to 
Bates Hole, south of Casper, in 
1923. William Trevor Evans col- 

Casper 's first town hall, constructed by- 
Evans in 1890, pictured when in use 
as the Bell Theater, c. 1912. 


Autumn 1998 

Evans aboard an ostrich at Cawston Ostrich Farm in California in 
1913. Evans was so fascinated by the huge birds that he started 
raising them in Wyoming. William Trevor Evans collection. 


Annals of Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

next few years, he was contractor for several buildings 
in the Casper business district, including most com- 
mercial buildings in the Rohrbaugh and Smith blocks 
and many in the Richards and Cunningham block.'"* 

In 1898 the United States became involved in the 
Spanish-American War. William J. Evans, although 
bom in Wales, enlisted in the Wyoming battalion and 
was mustered into service at Cheyenne. On May 18, 
1898, his unit boarded a San Francisco-bound train, 
enroute to Manila.'" Released from duty at the end of 
the war, he returned to work in Casper.^- 

Early in 1 900, Ms. Wealthy Stanley moved to Casper 
from Hay Springs, Nebraska. Bom in Iowa in Novem- 
ber, 1 853, she soon caught the eye of widower Evans.''^ 
His daughter Edith was in her first year of teaching 
5th and 6th graders at old Central and Ernest Evans 
was convalescing from pleurisy at the home of his sis- 
ter, Clementina, when W.T. and Wealthy were mar- 
ried in November after a brief courtship.''"' Emest's ill- 
ness had not been considered serious, though it had 
been disabling. Suddenly, however, his condition wors- 
ened and he died on August 4, 1901."^ 

Four years later, on December 19, 1905, Evans filed 
for a homestead patent on a parcel of land three miles 
east of Casper where he and wife Wealthy started a 
small ranch. In addition to the homestead, he leased 
several hundred acres from the State"" He built a com- 
fortable frame house and a carriage house, that included 
a bunkhouse. During a remodeling project several years 
ago, it was discovered that he had insulated the walls 
of the house with brick. The house is standing.'" 

In 1906 the framed Episcopal chapel Evans had built 
fifteen years earlier was moved to the rear of the lot at 
the comer of Second and Wolcott streets. On the site, 
Evans began construction of a beautifial brick St. Mark's 
Episcopal Church.""* 

Early the next year, while the church was still under 
constmction, Evans contracted with Marvin L. Bishop, 
Sr., to build Casper's first brick mansion. Bishop knew 
exactly what he wanted— a replica of his childhood home 
in the Shenandoah Valley. Bishop selected a lot at 818 
East Second Street which, at the time, was a short dis- 
tance east of town. He then drew some sketches from 
memory of the home he had loved as a boy. A plan 
was drawn and Evans began the work. The result was 
a beautiful, high-ceiling, southem-style mansion. Built 
of a traditional red brick, it boasted white shutters and 
tall white pillars supporting the portico. The home still 
stands at the same location today and, at last report, 
was still occupied by members of the Bishop family."" 

In 1907 Evans was fifty-five years old. In that era, 
he had already surpassed the average man's life ex- 

pectancy. At this late age he built what, even by today's 
standards, would be considered a sumptuous house and 
a large church, both out of brick, in just over a year. 
The church was completed and first services were held 
in it on November 27, 1907.-^" At the same time, Evans 
continued to operate his ranch. 

At the beginning of the next decade, Evans still was 
working as a stonemason and plasterer. '' On April 24, 

40 "^ J Evans, 77, Pioneer Contractor, Succumbs," Casper 
Tribune-Herald, Oct. 13, 1929, 1-2. Many members of the com- 
munity (especially children) had suffered illness and even death 
as a result of drinking polluted water from the wells in and around 
Casper. The governing body of the town had unsuccessfully tried 
to establish a clean and reliable drinking water supply for several 
years. In late November and early December of 1895, a diphthe- 
ria epidemic struck Casper. Most families that could afford to do 
so took their children from Casper before a quarantine was im- 
posed. The quarantine was lifted in February of 1896. On May 
26, 1896, Casper's first public water system went into operation. 
The epidemic evidently provided the urgency needed to get ap- 
proval to implement the project. Evans again became a grandfa- 
ther in August of 1896 when Cecil Evans Nicolaysen was bom. 
on the fourteenth of that month. Beach, 358. 

■" "Death Claims Former Resident," Casper Tribune-Herald, 
May 21, 1945, 2. On July 8th, the Nicolaysen family increased 
by one with the birth of their second son, Peter C, Jr. Beach, 358. 
In his first month in the world, his uncle, William J., was en- 
gaged in the battle of Manila. Mokler, 52. 

■*- Early in 1899, W. T. Evans and Peter C. Nicolaysen, Arch, 
Ted, Ralph and Trevor James Evans, Cecil Nicolaysen and Peter 
C. Nicolaysen, Jr., posed for a photograph of the "men of the 
family," in Casper. William J. Evans was absent from this photo- 
graph, but on July 6, 1899, he received his orders to return to the 
United States. In 1900 and 1901 he and W.T. Evans were both 
listed as members of the Casper 'Volunteer Fire Department. 
Mokler, 62, 155. 

" "Scarf Caught in Wringer is Fatal to Aged Casper Woman," 
Casper Daily Tribune, May 12, 1927, 

" Mokler, 215; "Death of Ernest Evans," Natrona County Tri- 
bune, Aug. 8, 1901, 1; "Scarf Caught in Wringer is Fatal to Aged 
Casper Woman," Casper Daily Tribune, May 12, 1927. Edith 
continued teaching, but in the primary grades from 1900 and 1901. 
Mokler, 216-217. 

■" "Death of Ernest Evans." In 1903 Trevor James Evans posed 
for a portrait with a Casper photographer and William Custer 
Nicolaysen was born on July 24th of that year. 

"'' Tract Record Book, U. S. Land Office, Douglas, Wyoming, 
Department of the Interior, 56; Anderson and Glass interview. 

" Trevor Evans interviewed by Jefferson Glass, March, 1998. 
The house is located at 484 Evans Street in Evansville, Wyo- 
ming. Evans' great-great grandson, Trevor Evans, resides there. 
During remodeling, the carriage house has been converted into a 
garage, but it still looks very much the same as it did when it was 
built more than ninety years ago. 

■" Robert David manuscript. 

■'" Casper Chronicles, 63. 

'° Robert David manuscript. Two years later, on December 1, 
1909, Gerald Clifford Nicolaysen was born, the seventh and last 
child to P. C. and Clementina. Beach, 358. 

-^' Wyoming State Business Directory, 1910-11, 159. 

Autumn 1Q98 


191 1, he was issued the patent on his homestead. Two 
years later, he applied for a homestead patent on an 
additional 160 acres adjoining his ranch.'- It was about 
this period that Evans' occupation began appearing in 
the directories as "rancher" instead of "stonemason." 

In 1921, Evans at the age of sixty-nine, retired as a 
mason and began living the life of a gentleman 
rancher.^' He had built a large portion of the City of 
Casper and helped it grow from a rough-hewn array of 
assorted structures, plopped in the middle of a vast prai- 
rie into a prosperous and organized business district, 
surrounded by a pleasant and comfortable residential 
neighborhood. He had lived in Casper nearly half of 
his life. In the fall of 1 92 1 , he watched as the old City/ 
County jail was torn down. It had been one of the first 
major structures he had built in his new home town.'"* 

Casper was gaining increasing interest as an oil re- 
fining town in 1 922 and Evans was about to partici- 
pate in the growth. The Wyoming Refining Company 
had previously purchased land to build a new refinery 
adjacent to Evans' ranch, but for unknown reasons this 
plan never materialized. The Texas Oil Company, plan- 
ning a refinery near Glenrock, was also considering 
the site east of Casper. 

Speculating on the possibility that the Texas Com- 
pany would build, Guaranteed Investment Company 
of Casper negotiated a real estate venture with Evans 
for portions of his land. On March 15, 1922, the firm 
dedicated the town of Evansville, Wyoming, consist- 
ing of 122 lots.-- The town was named for landowner, 
pioneer contractor and rancher W. T. Evans. 

The Texas Oil Company eventually agreed to locate 
on the Evansville site but they needed more land than 
was available with the Wyoming Refining property. 
On July 7, 1922, the Evans Realty Company donated 
the required 120 acres and on July 25, builders began 
construction.'*' By July 29, the foundations for the stills 
and the stacks were already in place, and it was noted 
that construction would be rapid." 

By August 10, 1922, all of the lots in Evansville were 
sold and an additional 137 lots were platted. "** In Sep- 
tember, the water company was incorporated, with 
$ 1 00,000 in capital. Shortly after the refinery went into 
operation, the company began providing gas utilities 
to the public. By fall, all of the lots in the first addition 
had been sold and 82 more lots were platted in a second 
addition. '^ 

The named streets of Evansville at this time were 
Texas, Williams, King, Evans, and Leavitt streets, all 
running north and south. East/west streets were the 
Yellowstone highway and First through Fifth streets. 

In those days, the main street of Evansville was Evans 
street. Most of the business district occupied both sides 
of this street from the Yellowstone Highway to about 
third street.*"" Late in 1922 several businesses already 
had opened including the Evansville Garage and 
Grocery, three pool-halls, three restaurants, two gro- 
cery stores, a 'gentleman's furnishings' store, three 
boarding houses, a furniture and hardware store, a sec- 
ond-hand store, a barbershop, a lumber yard and a 
church. Both railroads also expressed intentions of 
erecting stations there.''' 

The town's first school, held in the Baptist Church, 
opened for classes on January 2, 1923. The next month, 
the refinery first fired the stills, beginning to process 
about 6,000 barrels of petroleum per day and w ith a 
monthly payroll of about S60.000."- 

By early 1923, the population of Evansville was 289 
living in about sixty homes and shopping in twent\ 
businesses. The town had one church, electric lights, 
telephones, and a modem water system."' On May 1 5, 
1923, the Town of Evansville became an incorporated 

Less than nine months later, on February 3, 1924, 
the town of Evansville was reported to have had a popu- 
lation of 300. A reporter predicted that the population 

" Tract Record Book. This new acreage was patented on Sep- 
tember 15, 1916. He applied on June 11, 1913. Just a month ear- 
lier, on May 3, 1913, his eldest grandson, Cecil Nicola>sen, died 
at the age of 16. His eldest granddaughter, Beatrice, married 
Neal .Avery Tyler on Dec. 31, 1916. Beach, 358. 

"-' His ranch appeared on the first map drawn of Natrona 
County. "Map of Natrona County, Wyoming," (Casper: Wheeler 
and Worthington, Civil Engineers, 1921 ). The map is held in the 
Natrona County Surveyor's office. 

'-■ Mokler, 123,202a. 

-"' "Guaranteed Investment Co. Is Big Bond House and Realty 
Firm Here," Casper Sunday Morning Tribune, Julv 22, 1923. 

=" Mokler, 256. 

'' "Work Progressing on New Plant of Texas Oil Co.," Wyo- 
ming Weekly Review and Natrona County Tribune. July 29, 1922, 

*» Mokler, 240. 

'" Ibid. 

''" Anderson and Glass, interview of William Trevor Evans. 

"' Mokler, 241. 

"- Mokler, 257. 

''' Business and Professional Directoiy of Casper. Wyoming, 
1923, 53-55. Some of the Evansville advertisers in the 1923 Cit\ 
Directory were Guaranteed Investment Company (Casper and 
Evansville); the Tubbs Building ("centrally located in Evansville 
First Class Restaurant & up to Date Pool Hall"), E.T. Foe Lum- 
ber & Hardware Co.; American Cafe {".\t the Gate to the Texas 
Refinery"); Evansville Garage; Roof's Cafe & Bakery; Beeman 
Mercantile Co.; and F..H. Banta & Co., Real Estate. 

" Ibid. 


Annals o{ Wyoming:Tne Wyoming History Journal 

soon would double."' This reporter's estimation of 
growth was overly optimistic, but the town did grow. 
Soon, the Evansville school was built. Without the sup- 
port of the school district, however, it was forced to 
close after about a decade.*'" 

Archibald, Evans' son, started a sheep ranch on Cole 
Creek, east of Evansville, in partnership with his 
brother-in-law, P. C. Nicolaysen. In 1 926 he contracted 
tick fever. While convalescing from the illness, he de- 
veloped pneumonia and died that June."^ Less than a 
vear later, Evans' wife Wealthy was killed in a most 
unusual accident. On May 12, 1927, while she was 
doing the family laundry, her shawl was caught in the 
electric wringer of her washing machine. She had man- 
aged to unplug the machine, but it was too late to stop 
the momentum of the apparatus. She was strangled."* 

On October 12, 1929, William Tranter Evans died in 
his home in Evansville from natural causes. He was 
seventy-seven years old. His obituary described him 
as a wealthy Natrona County pioneer and contractor 
who was instrumental in the building of Casper. Al- 
though he was a member of a few organizations (in his 
later years, he was a member of both the Elks and Moose 
lodges of Casper), he was deeply involved in the Epis- 
copal Church, serving as a vestryman of St. Mark's 
most of his life."'' 

He was an avid big-game hunter and an exception- 
ally accomplished bird hunter. He loved birds in gen- 
eral. He imported a variety of European game birds 
that he raised and periodically released on his ranch to 
hunt. He raised ostriches—one of the first in this coun- 
try to raise the exotic species.™ (See photograph of 
Evans riding an ostrich, page 25). 

He also liked to play tennis. This was a sport he prob- 
ably had learned and enjoyed in Wales. When courts 
were built in the Casper area, he took it up again." 
Foremost in all of his activities, he built. 

At the time W. T. Evans erected many of the struc- 
tures in Casper, he probably never dreamed of the im- 

pact such work would have on the Casper area com- 
munity. Few people recognize history in the making. 
He built the businesses, churches, schools and public 
buildings. W.T. Evans was a builder of more than just 
buildings. He built more than houses. He built homes 
and a community. 

^' "Mills and Evansville Prosper as a Result of Industry," Casper 
Daily Tribune, Feb. 3, 1924, 7. 

'"' The old schoolhouse that stood for many years on Curtis 
street, was used as a Town Hall for some years, and hosted many 
town dances. The building eventually began to deteriorate and, 
finally, was condemned. Many residents tried to raise the money 
needed to restore the old school, but were unsuccessful. The build- 
ing was torn down in 1983. Anderson and Glass, interview of 
William Trevor Evans; Joyce Hill, Evansville Town Clerk (re- 

"' "Death Claims A. F. Evans. Old Resident Here," Casper Daily 
Tribune, June 23, 1926, 4. 

'' "Scarf Caught in Wringer is Fatal to Aged Casper Woman," 
Casper Daily Tribune, May 12, 1927. After a memorial service 
in Casper, W.T., accompanied by (Clementina and Edith, took 
her body to Hay Springs. Nebraska to be buried in her family 

69 ,c^ J Evans, 77, Pioneer Contractor, succumbs," Casper 
Tribune-Herald, Ocl. 13, 1929, 1-2. 

™ Anderson and Glass, interview of William Trevor Evans. 
There are no documents to indicate how successful this ostrich 
venture might have been. 

" "W. T. Evans, 77, Pioneer Contractor, Succumbs." 

Jefferson Glass is chairman of the Evansville 
Historical Commission. He recently began writ- 
ing the biography of Jean Baptiste Richard 
(JohnReshaw), 1810-1876, a prominent trader 
on the North Platte for some 40 years. This ar- 
ticle was written in commemoration of the 75th 
anniversary of the Town of Evansville (May 15, 

emovies c^ Q^Juomin^ ^ 
QfJana "^lau Qlson 



The following is a transcript of a presen- 
tation made by Wana Clay Olson, a long- 
time Albany Count\' educator. At the age of 
100. she was the oldest presenter at the 
American Heritage Center 's seventh annual 
symposium in September. 1998. 

Titled "Schoolmarms and Scholars: 
Women Educators of the American West. " 
the conference included discussions about the 
lives and careers of Dr. Grace Raymond 
Hebard. Wvoming historian and long-time 
UWfacult\' member, and June Etta Downey, 
a UW psychology professor for many years. 
Dr. Glenda Riley, noted western historian, 
gave the keynote address on "Women Edu- 
cators Civilizing the West. " 

A symposium highlight was the panel of 
retired Albany County school teachers, in- 
cluding Olson, Eva Bradshaw and Eunice 
Foster, reminiscing about their many expe- 

Education was originally a family affair. Children 
were taught at home by a family member to read, write, 
spell and cipher, now known as arithmetic. This is the 
way it was until a professional teacher was employed 
and a school was built. 

I was bom and raised near the town of Canton in 
northeast Missouri. The first organized school in our 
community was the Allen School. Many descendants 
of the family attended including my generation of Mill- 
ers and Schraders. 

My uncle, Jody Miller, who was bom in 1862, at- 
tended Allen School. This one- room log cabin had 
seats made from logs which were split and smoothed 
and the school was heated with wood. The schoolyard 
was a wonderful playground with no playground equip- 
ment at all. 

There was no course of study so most of the students 
studied what they wanted. Jod\ Miller leamed all the 
mathematics available but not as much spelling and 

When my brother, Wayne, and 1 started to school 
about 1905, the Missouri schools were not standard- 
ized which means there were no first, second, or third 
grades. Rather, we went by the "Reader". If you used a 
certain book during your fifth year you said, "I am in 
the Fifth Reader" not the fifth grade. 

Wayne and 1 attended Allen School for eight years. 
We had two teachers during that time that had attended 
a school of higher leaming. After completing all the 
Readers at the Allen School there was talk of us going 
to Canton to high school. It was decided Wayne and I 
were too young to go to Canton to high school to be 
entirely on our own for weeks and weeks at a time. 
With only horse-drawn vehicles, a trip to Canton was 
usually a two-day ride. 

It was finally decided that we should go to the Pro\ i- 
dence School several miles \\ est w here Mr. Lemon was 
a teacher well-qualified to teach high school subjects. 1 
remember Ancient Historv, Civics. Ad\anced Arith- 
metic, and English. We had a great year but when we 
went to Canton High School the following year, no 
credit was given for our year's work as these classes 
were not certified by Canton High School. 

As teacher training had been established at Canton 
High, I was so happy to enter the classes for we were 
assured we would qualify for teaching the next year. I 
completed the classwork and began teaching our own 
Allen School September 1, 1918, when I was twenty 
years old. Seventeen children enrolled, including 
Freddie, Emma, and Ella, my younger brother and sis- 

It was during this first year of teaching that my fam- 
ily moved to Wyoming. I was unable to travel with 
them as I had to finish my term so 1 moved to a 
neighbor's to board and room until school was out. 1 
arrived in Wyoming the middle of June, 1919. 


Annals of Wyoniing:The Wyoming History Journal 

Wana Clav Olson, author of this article, is pictured in front, seated. This article is a transcript of her presentation 
at the American Heritage Center symposium in September. Other panelists were retired teachers Eva Bradshaw 
(left) and Eunice Foster (right). Session moderator was Dr. Andrew Gulliford (center), author and history profes- 
sor in Tennessee, who is a specialist on the history of rural schools in the West. 

A turning point in Wyoming education was when 
State Representative John A. Stephenson of Tie Sid- 
ing introduced a bill allocating a percentage of the 
Wyoming oil dollars to education. When this bill 
passed, teacher salaries raised immediately from $50 
to $100 a month and "people began coming to Wyo- 
ming by the herds." Like myself, some teachers were 
not adequately prepared, so to become eligible for the 
Wyoming position, I went to summer school at the 
University of Wyoming and began my career in Wyo- 
ming education in the fall of 1919. 

My first teaching experience was probably made 
unique because of the bedbugs. The position was on a 
ranch forty miles northwest of Laramie, near Quealy 
Dome. The conditions here were so bad that other teach- 
ers refused to take a position there. 

The kids hadn't had school for two years and the 
place looked so forlorn. The children peeped around at 
me like rabbits. 

The school and teacher quarters were in an old log 
two-room bunk house. The building wasn't too bad — 
the bed had been freshly made and the cabin had been 
well swept. (I even remember what I wore... my new 
blue serge suit bound with satin piping. It was lovely 
but not exactly appropriate for country school teach- 
ing). 1 unpacked my trunk and hung up my beautiful 
new clothes. 

I met the lady of the house and visited with my new 
pupils. When someone said, "Don't let the bedbugs 
bite," I hurried back to my quarters to learn that indeed 
there were bedbugs — not only in the bed, but in my 
dresses, corsets, and the new blue serge suit. That first 
night I slept with the fifteen-year old daughter and the 
bed bugs bit all night. I kept thinking about that beau- 
tifiil new suit hanging against the wall. 

The bitter winter cold got rid of most of them just as 
it froze the water in the bedside bowl and pitcher. 

We held school from 9 a.m. -4 p.m., and I stayed seven 

Autumn 1998 

months. I was a very, very demanding teacher. "That 
old woman would just kill you if you missed a word," 
I remember one of the children saying. We did one and 
a half years of school in that seven- month period. 

And for that I received a salary of $90 a month, from 
which I paid the parents of the family I was teaching 
$45 in board and room. They fed me antelope and po- 
tatoes and when 1 complained about the food to my 
Dad, he said, "You look all right to me." 

In those days it was often impossible to get to town 
for months. Teachers were not willing to sign contracts 
to live the good part of a year in isolation. The main 
attraction of ranches was to meet and marry a cowboy. 
There was a ranch party where, as the new teacher, I 
was welcomed with blasts from shotguns and where 
everyone danced until daylight. 

In the country school, a part of my contract was the 
janitorial work: sweeping, dusting up the classroom, 
and scrubbing the outhouse. Also, before the children 
arrived in the morning, I would get the heater going 
but we often studied together huddled in our coats. 

After my first teaching position near Quealy Dome, 
I returned to Missouri to marry my high school sweet- 
heart, Carroll Clay, and raise a family. Following his 
early death, I returned to Wyoming with four boys in 
the fall of 1 927 only to discover that teacher qualifica- 
tions had doubled. My mother assisted in the care of 

my four boys in order that I might resume my educa- 
fion. I attended University classes and after much ef- 
fort and determination, received my Normal Diploma 
or two-year certificate in the fall of 1932. This is also 
the year that I was elected County Superintendent of 
Schools, an office I held until 1936. It would be ten 
years after this time that I proudly finished my four- 
year college degree. 

Teaching in the country' schools, whether then or now, 
is a challenging and rewarding occupation. One has to 
be versatile, tough, creative. 

At one country school, I developed a simple hot lunch 
program. I told all of my pupils to bring what canned 
vegetables they could, mixed it together, stoked up the 
pot-bellied stove and we had a good stew every noon. 
If times were hard, it was bean soup but always with a 
bit of side pork and onion. 

Thirty-nine of my 100 years has been devoted to edu- 
cation. And it all started with that small, log building, 
Allen School. From a small country school teacher to 
the County Superintendent of Schools to the Director 
of Special Education to classroom teaching-l have been 
and always will be a teacher. Some of those years was 
like a good stew and some was bean soup. But it is a 
journey I will always cherish. 

— Wana Clav Olson 

If you have a "Wyoming memoiy" you would 
like to share with Annals readers, contact Phil 
Roberts, Annals of Wyoming. Department of 
History, University of Wyoming, Laramie WY 
82071. A 'first-hand" account for inclusion 
in this feature requires no footnoting or par- 
ticular writing style, but must he a non-fiction 
story with a Wyoming connection. Submissions 
should be no longer than six typewritten pages, 
typed double-spaced. 

Thomas Harrison and 

the Search for Oil in 
North^rest Wyoming, 


By Mike Mackey 

On November 14, 1908, Thomas S. Harrison wan- 
dered into Oregon Basin eight miles southeast of 
Cody, Wyoming. Harrison's job as an Inspector of 
Mines for the General Land Office in Cheyenne was to 
inspect the coal mine and Carey Act irrigation project 
of Solon Wiley. His true love, however, was the 
science of geology and its use in petroleum 
exploration. In that field he would make a career and 
national reputation. Oregon Basin would play a key 
role in that career. 

Harrison, bom in Evansville, Indiana, on August 27, 
1881, attended Indiana University at Bloomington 
from 1900 to 1902 before deciding to move west to 
continue his studies in Colorado.' He completed his 
undergraduate work at Denver University in 1904 and 
received his engineering degree from the Colorado 
School of Mines at Golden in 1908." While attending 
the School of Mines, Harrison worked the summer 
months of 1905 and 1906 as a tool dresser on a cable- 

tool rig near Florence, Colorado. Harrison admitted 
that he was perhaps, "the world's worst tool dresser."^ 
But working in the oil fields gave Harrison some 
practical experience to go along with his schooling. It 
was during that time that he had often heard the Stock 
brothers, who were drilling near Florence, discussing 
the rumors of new oil prospects in Wyoming." Such 
talk contributed to Harrison's interest in Wyoming and 
the possibility that he may locate some important oil 
fields himself. 

' Thomas Harrison diary for 1908, Thomas S. Harrison 
Collection, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming 
(here after cited as THC). Casper Tribune-Herald, March 31. 

^ Biography of Thomas S. Harrison, Ed N. Harrison Collection, 
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, Camarillo, 

' Thomas S. Harrison, "Oil and Gas Prospects in the Rockies," 
The Mines Magazine, September 1944, 490. 

' Ibid., 490. 

The "Cliffs Ranch" in Oregon Basin, 1910. 

Autumn 1998 

In June of 1908, shortly after graduating from the 
School of Mines, Thomas Harrison accepted a position 
with the Department of the Interior's General Land 
office in Cheyenne, Wyoming. His job of inspecting 
coal mines and irrigation projects, gave Harrison the 
opportunity to carry out geological studies in the field 
while traveling throughout the state. In October of 

1908 Harrison left Cheyenne on his first trip to the Big 
Horn Basin in northwest Wyoming. Traveling north 
fi-om Thermopolis, Harrison passed through Grass 
Creek and Little Buffalo Basin on his way to Cody. In 
mid-November he visited the Wiley ranch at Oregon 
Basin and inspected S. L. Wiley's coal mine and 
irrigation project. It was also on this trip that Harrison 
met Wiley's daughter Ruth.' He was unaware at the 
time, but the Wiley ranch in Oregon Basin would be the 
site where he would start his family and where he 
would initiate his search for oil in Wyoming. 

After completing his inspections in Oregon Basin, 
Harrison returned to Cheyenne. Shortly after arriving 
at the capital, he decided to take a Civil Service exam 
in an effort to secure a better paying position with the 
government. Early in 1909, after successfully passing 
the exam, Thomas Harrison was promoted and named 
Mineral Inspector in Wyoming. He noted in his diary 
that the new position provided "an experience with 
Wyoming geology . . . of tremendous value."" 

Harrison's first assignment as mineral inspector in 

1909 was in the Salt Creek oil field north of Casper 
where Joseph H. Lobell was trying to persuade the 
United States government to set aside a square block of 
land, 100 miles by 100 miles with Salt Creek at its 
center, for oil exploration.^ Lobell, a somefime lawyer 
and all-time promoter, was described by historian Gene 
Gressley as "one of the most contriving charlatans ever 
to enter the Salt Creek locale."* In 1907 Lobell sold 
placer claims, filed over numerous other claims on the 
same ground, to a Dutch investment group. In August 
1908 the Dutch company, Wyoming Maatschappij, 
hired James and Hugh "Daddy" Stock to drill a well at 
Salt Creek. Dr. Cesare Porro, a famous Italian 
geologist, chose the location. On October 16, 1908, 
while Harrison was making his way toward the Big 
Horn Basin, the Stock's brought in the "Big Dutch" 
well with oil gushing over the crown of the drilling rig.' 

By the time Harrison arrived at Salt Creek in April of 
1909, the Lobell problem had solved itself Once the 
Dutch well was brought in and Lobell fully realized the 
oil producing potential of the area, he tried to gain 
control of the field and the surrounding land with 
government approval. However, tiring of Lobell's 
maneuvering, Wyoming Maatschappij bought out 

Lobell's stock and released him from his financial 
indebtedness. Lobell walked away with more than 
$100,000 in cash but spent the next decade bringing 
suit against nearly every company which carried out 
exploration work in the Salt Creek area.'" 

Even though the Lobell problem had been solved, 
Harrison's trip to Salt Creek was not wasted. During 
his time at Salt Creek, Harrison asked numerous 
questions concerning the Dutch well and made an 
exhaustive geological study of the area. He compared 
the area to the geologic formations he had seen six 
months earlier at Grass Creek, Little Buffalo Basin, 
and, particularly, Oregon Basin. With so many 
similarities, Harrison was sure there was a strong 
possibility of finding oil at the latter locations. At the 
Dutch well, oil seeped fi-om the ground in a fifty-foot 
radius around it. Oil from the well flowed into a pit 
each day to relieve the pressure." Such a oil strike 
fueled Harrison's excitement of the oil possibilities in 
the Big Horn Basin. 

Following his observations at Salt Creek, Harrison 
wrote to S. L. Wiley at the Cliffs Ranch in Oregon 
Basin. Wiley's backers in the Oregon Basin irrigation 
project were getting nervous about the rising costs and 
some were backing out. Harrison was concerned that 
Wiley might give up and return to the family home in 
Omaha, Nebraska. With that in mind, Harrison wrote a 
letter encouraging Wiley to hold on to the Oregon 
Basin property. Harrison wrote that he was sure oil 
would be discovered there. He even outlined for Wiley 
the proper procedure for filing placer claims. Harrison 
did not want his name listed on any claims filed since 
it would cause a conflict of interest with his position as 

■' Harrison diary for 1908, THC. Thomas Harrison affidavit, 
Charles W. Burdick collection (CBC), American Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming. 

"■ Harrison diaries for 1908 and 1909, THC. 

' Harrison diaries for 1908 and 1909, THC. Thomas S. 
Harrison, "The Oil and Gas Record Within the Rocky Moun- 
tains," Oil Reporter, December 25, 1945, 3. Harrison affidavit, 

' Gene M. Gressley, The Twentieth-Century American West: A 
Potpourri (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1977), 51. 

' Gressley, 59-65. Harrison, "The Oil and Gas Record," 3. 
Harold D. Roberts, Salt Creek Wyoming: The Story of a Great Oil 
Field {Demer: W. H. Kistler Stationery Company. 1965), 35-39. 
Mike Mackey, Black Gold: Patterns in the Development of 
Wyoming's Oil Industry (Powell: Western History Publications, 
1997), 17-29. Wilson O. Clough, "Portrait in Oil: The Belgo 
American Company in Wyoming," Annals of Wyoming, (April 
1969), 30. 

'" Harrison diary for 1909, THC. Gressley, Twentieth-Century 
American West, 64-65. Harrison, "Oil and Gas Prospects," 491. 

" Harrison diaries for 1909, THC. Harrison, "Oil and Gas 
Prospects," 491. 




Annals of Wyoming:Tke Wyoming Histor)' Journal 

Minerals Inspector, however, he said he saw "no reason 
why 1 might not at some future time accept, as a reward 
of appreciation, a position. "'- 

It was also at Salt Creek that Harrison was made 
aware of a problem which would plague Wyoming's 
oil industry for another forty-three years. While in 
Casper, on a trip to town from the field, Harrison met a 
young man named Emery, the son of a Pennsylvania oil 
producer. Emery had traveled to Wyoming to 
investigate the stories of the Dutch well and inspect 
Salt Creek for possible development by his father. 
Harrison asked the young man's opinion of the field. 
Emery said he "was going back ... to report to his 
father that never had he seen so much oil in an 
undeveloped area, but to advise him to have nothing to 
do with it."'^ Harrison was somewhat confused until 
the young man pointed out that the field was fifty miles 
from the nearest railroad and that even if a pipeline 
were built to Casper and a refinery constructed in that 
town, there was no market for the oil in the entire 
Rocky Mountain region.''* 

Harrison had no response to Emery's comments. 
The young man was correct. As early as 1 889 a group 
of investors from Pennsylvania led by Phillip M. 
Shannon had moved into the Salt Creek area. The 
Shannon group drilled and completed a number of 
wells on the northern edge of what became the Salt 
Creek field. In 1 894 the investors constructed a refinery 
in Casper, the first in Wyoming, and in 1 895, the group 
incorporated as the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas 
Company. The oil from the Shannon field, as it became 
known, was hauled to the refinery in Casper using 
"string teams" (wagons loaded with barrels of oil 
pulled by twelve to eighteen horses). The refined 
product was sold to a number of railroads operating in 
the area for lubrication purposes. This small and 
limited market was all that kept the Pennsylvania 
Company operating. In 1904, with Wyoming's total oil 
production at only 7,000 barrels per year. Shannon sold 
his refinery and oil holdings to Joseph H. Lobell." 

By 1 905 the Wyoming Labor Journal was asking 
what was wrong with Wyoming's oil industry. The 
Journal explained that there was nothing wrong with 
the industry in the state other than the fact that it was 
being controlled by the Union Pacific Railroad and, 
more importantly, by Standard Oil. The author of the 
article believed that Standard was deliberately holding 
down production in Wyoming until a time in the future 
when it would need the state's oil. The truth was that 
Standard had little or no interest in Wyoming's oil 
potential at that time. The great "octopus" had begun 

loosing control of the petroleum industry several years 
earlier with new oil discoveries being made in Kansas, 
Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. This resulted in the 
establishment of other powerful oil companies such as 
Gulf Phillips Petroleum and the Texas Company. The 
editors of the Wyoming Industrial Journal could have 
easily answered the question, "what is the matter with 
Wyoming's oil industry," by reading its' own pages. 
The Wyoming Oil and Development Company, which 
had drilled a number of wells near Douglas between 
1904 and 1906, was using its oil in the manufacture of 
a product known as "Douglas Dip." The Dip was 
supposed to kill parasites and the diseases they carried 
or caused. "* Wyoming Oil and Development could find 
no other local use for its oil. Young Emery's 
assessment of markets and transportation for oil 
produced in Wyoming at that time was correct. 

In spite of Emery's comments on the lack of a market 
for Wyoming's oil in general and Salt Creek oil in 
particular, Harrison was not dissuaded from continuing 
his own work as far as making comparative analyses of 
geologic structures in the Big Horn Basin to those he 
studied at Salt Creek. Prior to leaving Salt Creek 
Harrison made the acquaintance of Septimus A. Lane, 
who was superintendent for the British-owned, 
International Drilling Trust, the company which the 
Dutch had contracted with to drill at Salt Creek." In 

'- Jeannie Cook, Wiley's Dream of Empire: The Wiley Irriga- 
tion Project (Cody: Yellowstone Printing and Publisliing, 1990), 

" Harrison. "Oil and Gas Prospects." 491. 

'^/Wc/., 491. 

'^ T. A. Larson, Histoiy of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1978), 300-01. Alfred James Mokler, History of 
Natrona Count}' Wyoming 1888-1922 (Chicago: The Lakeside 
Press, 1923), 245-48. Roy A. Jordan and S. Bren DeBoer, 
Wyoming.A Source Book (Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 
1996), 161. Minute Book, 1-3, Pennsylvania Oil and Gas 
Company, Midwest Oil Company collection (MOC), Box 7, 
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. William T. 
Sullins, "The History of the Salt Creek Oil Field" (master's thesis. 
University of Wyoming, 1954), 1-6. Mackey, Black Cold. 5-12. 
Roberts, So// O-ee/t, 18-22. 

"■ "Hot Air vs. Oil Claims," The Wyoming Industrial Journal, 
July 1905, 15-16. J. Leonard Bates, The Origins of Teapot Dome: 
Progressives, Parties, and Petroleum. 1909-1921 (Urbana: Uni- 
versity of Illinois Press, 1963), 16. Gerald D. Nash, United States 
Oil Policy 1890-1964: Business and Government in Twentieth 
Centuiy America (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 
1968), 8. Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, 
Money & Power (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), 94-95. 
"Douglas, the State Fair City, Twenty Years Old and Ripe for 
Numerous Industries," The Wyoming Labor Journal, September 
1909, 6. 

" Mackey, Black Gold, 17-18. Roberts, Sah Creek, 35-39. 

Autumn 1998 

time Lane's connections at Salt Creek would become 
the source of financing for Harrison's future 
exploration projects. 

After leaving Salt Creek in late April, 1 909, Harrison 
returned to the Big Horn Basin carrying out inspection 
work at Greybull and Byron. Harrison met Sid 
Koughan in Byron at what is known today as the 
Garland oil field. Koughan recently had moved rotary 
drilling equipment from Texas to the Garland tleld. 
When Harrison arrived at Byron, Koughan was in the 
process of converting his rotary rig into a standard, or 
cable-tool rig. Even though the discovery well at 
Spindletop in Texas had been brought in with rotary 
equipment eight years earlier, in 1901, the rotary 
drilling bits of the day were no match for the hard sands 
ofthe Rocky Mountain formations."* Harrison said that 
"the rotary fish tail bit . . . would not cut the Cretaceous 
Pierre shales."'" It took the pounding of a 1,500 to 
3,000-pound bit and tools of a cable-tool rig to break 
through the formations in the Rocky Mountains. 
Harrison noted that more than one drilling contractor 
went broke trying to use rotary equipment in Wyoming 
during those early years.-" 

After leaving Byron Harrison returned to Oregon 
Basin where he stayed at Wiley's Cliffs Ranch and 
carried out fiirther geologic studies of structures in that 

area. He also spent a good deal of time with Wiley's 
daughter Ruth, and on July 13. 1909, became engaged 
to her. After leaving Oregon Basin and returning to 
Cheyenne, Harrison continued making comparisons of 
the various geological structures he had observed. He 
also studied the work of others who had preceded him 
to Oregon Basin. Geologist C. A. Fisher had mapped a 
portion ofthe Oregon Basin structure prior to 1906 
while working for the United States Geological Survey 
(USGS). Geologist Chester W. Washburn had 
mentioned the oil possibilities in that area in a bulletin 
published in 1907.-' By late August of 1909 Harrison, 

"^ Harrison diaries for 1*50'), THC. Cook, ll'iley's Dream of 
Empire, 86-87. Yergin. 82-86. Harold F. Williamson, The 
American Petroleum Industry The Age of Energy IS99-1959 
(E\anston: Northwestern University Press, 1963). 29-32. 

'" Harrison, "Oil and Gas Prospects," 49 K 

-"Ibid., 491. For an explanation of cable-tool rigs and how the\ 
operated see, Charles A. Whiteshot. The Oil H'ell Driller A 
HisloiT of the World's Greatest Enterprize. the Oil Industn 
(Morgantown. WV: The Acme Publishing Company, 1905). 75- 
77. Roswell H. Johnson and L. G. Huntley, Principles of Oil and 
Gas Production (New York: .lames Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1916). 

-' Harrison diaries for 1909, THC. Mackey, Black Gold, 33. 
Thomas Harrison, "The Oregon Basin Oil Field, Wyoming," 1- 
11, Box 24, CBC. 

Field Division employees ofthe Government Land Office. Cheyenne, in 1908. Thomas Harrison is in the back 
row, standing, second from right. 

Annals of Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

in a letter to his fiiture in-laws, said, "The State 
Geologist and myself have pronounced the area there 
(Oregon Basin) as offering unusual prospects to the 
seeker of oil."-- 

Harrison continued his work as Mineral Inspector 
until early in 1910 at which time he resigned his 
position to marry Ruth Wiley. Thomas Harrison and 
Ruth Wiley were married on February 23, 1910. 
Following a honeymoon in Mexico City, the 
Harrison's returned to the Cliffs Ranch in Oregon 
Basin where Thomas tried his hand at fanning and 
ranching. Though he made a concerted effort, and even 
went so far as to study soil samples in an attempt to 
improve crops, Harrison's heart was not in farming. In 
addition, he did not see how anyone could make a 
living at it.--* 

While doing his best to become a farmer and rancher, 
Harrison was continuing to carry out his studies of the 
geology at Oregon Basin. He also kept abreast of what 
was going on outside of Wyoming. The automobile 
was increasing in popularity while at the same time 
becoming more affordable. In 1910, for the first time in 
history, gasoline had surpassed kerosene in total sales 
in the United States. Petroleum products were no 
longer being used primarily for illumination and as 
cleaning solvents and lubricants. They were becoming 
an important source of fuel. Not only was the 
automobile a factor, there was talk of converting ships 
and trains from coal burners to oil burners.-'* In spite of 
having no local market for oil produced in Wyoming, 
Harrison could see that technology was creating a 
global market and an increase in demand for petroleum 

Early in 1911 Harrison contacted S. A. Lane at Salt 
Creek and explained the situation at Oregon Basin. 
The Oregon Basin anticline, he said, contained two 
separate domes and was approximately thirteen miles 
in length, running north and south, and four to five 
miles in width. It fell within the Townships of 50, 51 
and 52, Range 100 W, and Township 5 1, Range 101 W. 
Harrison was sure that oil could be found in great 
quantity. However, he did not have the financial means 
to purchase drilling equipment and pay the number of 
men who would be required to carry out a major 
drilling program. Harrison explained to Lane that he 
would survey the Oregon Basin structure and locate 
and file placer claims if Lane would attempt to interest 
a company in carrying out the drilling and accepting the 
financial burden for the project. In return for his help, 
Harrison would list Lane as one of the locators and 
make him a partner.-^ 

During the spring of 191 1 Harrison began surveying 
the Oregon Basin structure using his past experiences 
and knowledge of geology to choose what he believed 
would be the most promising locations to drill for oil. 
Though he had confidence in his abilities, Harrison had 
to involve S. A. Lane in the project for another reason. 
Harrison's own drilling experience was limited to two 
summers of work in Florence, Colorado, in an 
established field. In addition, the usefulness of geology 
itself was only slowly and grudgingly being accepted 
in the oil industry. The importance of anficlines to oil 
exploration was beginning to be accepted by practical 
oil men by the late 1800's. Most experienced oil men 
believed that they could locate an anticline as easily as 
a geologist. The few companies that' did employ 
geologists at that time did so on a part-time basis.-* 
Having a practical oil man like Lane as a partner or 
locator would give his project legitimacy in the eyes of 
prospective investors. 

Through the spring and summer Harrison carried on 
his surveying work and marked his location claims 
across Oregon Basin. The placer mining law, under 
which petroleum exploration fell until the passage of 
the Oil and Gas Leasing Act in 1920, stated that an 
individual could file a claim on twenty acres of federal 
land. An association of eight individuals could file on 
160 acres of land per claim. Harrison filed all of his 
Oregon Basin claims under associations made up of 
himself, his wife, father-in-law, a few relatives, S. A. 
Lane and E. Erben, the latter two being experienced oil 
men. Once a claim was filed, the individual or 
associafion was required to drill a well, or in lieu of 
drilling, timber a shaft of at least twenty feet in depth. 
This work was required to be of at least $100 in value. 
Once a total of $500 in improvements had been made 
and a commercial show of oil found, the locator could 
pay the $2.50 per acre purchase price and file for patent 
on the land. Harrison completed his surveying and 
assessment work and filed his claims, covering nearly 
13,000 acres in Oregon Basin, at the Park County 
Court House in Cody on November 17, 1911.-^ 

-- Cook, Wiley's Dream of Empire, 87. 

-^ Harrison diaries for 1910 and 1911, THC. Cook, Wiley's 
Dream of Empire, 86-89. 

-' Yergin, 111, 152-57. Nash, United States Oil Policy, 4-8. 

-- Harrison diaries for 1911, THC. Cook, Wiley's Dream of 
Empire, 87-89. Mackey, Black Gold, 34. 

-" Harrison diaries for 191 1, THC. Mackey, Black Gold, 34-35. 
Whiteshot, The Oil Well Driller, 814. Edgar Wesley Owen, Trek 
of the Oil Finders: A History of Exploration for Petroleum (Tulsa: 
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1975), 61- 

Autumn 1998 


With Harrison busy surveying and filing claims. 
Lane pitched the Oregon Basin exploration idea to his 
employers. Though Lane had originally worked for the 
International Drilling Trust, when he was contacted by 
Harrison in 1911 he was employed by the Franco 
Wyoming Company at Salt Creek. This organization 
was made up of a group of wealthy French investors 
from Paris. In September of 1909 the French group 
purchased the bankrupt Belgian Belgo, a company that 
Joseph H. Lobell was involved with and had bled dry, 
and incorporated the new Franco Wyoming Company 
under the laws of the state of Delaware.-'* P. E. de 
Caplane was a chief stockholder and the treasurer of the 
Franco Wyoming Company. Caplane was interested in 
the Oregon Basin proposal and agreed to be the main 
source of financing for the project.-'' 

In December of 191 1 S. A. Lane escorted several of 
the French investors to the Cliffs Ranch in Oregon 
Basin to meet with Harrison and go over plans for 
developing the field. The type and amount of 
equipment needed was discussed as was the money 
situation. All seemed to be proceeding smoothly when, 
during the first week of January, 1912, Mr. Philippot, 

Caplane's representative in Wyoming, told Harrison he 
did not want to proceed with the drilling program or the 
ordering of equipment until he could meet with the 
investors in Paris. Harrison sent a telegram to Lane 
expressing his concern over any delays.'" He did not 
want to insult or infuriate Philippot, but as Harrison 
explained to Lane, "1 want someone to operate here and 
as soon as possible for this is a great field, I believe, and 
I fear someone else may come in."" 

-' Harrison diaries for 1911, THC. Mackey, Black Cold, 2. 
Bates, The Origins of Teapot Dome, 18-19, Samuel W. Tait, The 
Wildcatters: An Informal Histoiy of Oil-Hunttng in America 
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1946), 165-6(i. Harrison 
oil claims records, Park County Court House. Cody Wyoming. 
Park Count}' Enterprise. November 18, 1911. 

-' For a detailed explanation of the corporate chaos during the 
early years at Salt Creek, see "The French, Belgians and Dutch 
Arrive at Salt Creek," in Gressley's, The Twentieth-Century 
American West. 

-'A. C. Campbell to stockholders, December 27, 1912, Bo.x 16, 
CBC. Harrison diaries for 1911 and 1912, THC. "Acquisitions of 
Lands in the Salt Creek Field," Box 12, CBC. 

™ Harrison diaries for 191 1 and 1912, THC. 

■'' Harrison to Lane. January 7, 1912, Box 39, CBC. 

Visitors arriving at Wiley's home called "The Cliffs " in Oregon Basin, 1910. 

Annals ot WyomingiTne Wyoming History Jour 

During the time period in wiiich Harrison waited for 
w ord to proceed, he received his leases and permission 
to drill from the Commissioner of Public Lands in 
Cheyenne. He also located additional leases in the area 
and began searching for drilling equipment locally. By 
the end of January the French investors had chosen a 
new representative for the Oregon Basin project, Pierre 
Humbert, and wired $2,100 to Harrison for the 
purchase of building materials. As mid-February 
approached, Harrison notified Humbert that he had 
spoken to a sales representative who would sell two 
new "23 Star" portable drilling rigs to them for $2,400 
each. These rigs, though limited to drilling only twelve 
to thirteen hundred feet deep, could be moved from 
location to location by string team. In addition to 
locating the rigs, Harrison and his crews had nearly 
completed the construction of "Camp No. 1." The 
camp consisted of a 10x1 6-foot bunk house and a 
26x1 6-foot kitchen and dining room." 

In late Februar}' two Star rigs had been shipped from 
Akron, Ohio, and two standard rigs with three steel 
derricks had been shipped from Pittsburgh. Most 
drilling operations in Wyoming in 1912 constructed 
wooden derricks for each well to be drilled. However, 
the new steel derrick could be dismantled and moved to 

the next location in a short period of time. Nine storage 
tanks and several thousand feet of cable also had been 
shipped to Oregon Basin. Harrison placed an order for 
casing and sent an application to the State Engineer's 
Office in Cheyenne for permission to expand the size of 
the nearby Sage Creek Reservoir.'-' Water was a 
necessity in drilling wells. It was used in the drilling 
process to remove debris from the hole and to supply 
the boilers of steam engines which powered the rigs. 
With plans to run four rigs simultaneously, the current 
capacity of the reservoir was insufficient. 

On March 14, 1912, Harrison received $2,500 to 
cover additional expenses. It was also on that date that 
six of the storage tanks arrived. Two days later one of 
the Star rigs arrived in Cody; the second followed two 
days later.''' With the arrival of new equipment and 
flinds, Harrison was getting anxious to begin drilling. 
He told Lane, "We have moved the contents of the first 

^- Hopkins to Harrison, Januarx' 16, 1912; Harrison to Lane, 
January 27, 1912; Harrison to Humbert, February 5, 1912, Box 
39, CBC. 

" Humbert to Harrison, February 26, 1912; Harrison to Lane, 
March 2, 1912; Harrison to Humbert, March 7. 1912; Humbert to 
Harrison, March 7, 1912, Bo.x 39, CBC. 

'■" Harrison to Humbert, March 10, 1912; Harrison to Lane, 
March 14, 1912, Box 39, CBC. 

Thomas Harrison (third from left) poses with drilling crew at Oregon Basin. 1912. 

Autumn 1998 


three cars to the ranch. The boys and horses have 
worked under the very worst conditions—in storms, 
zero weather and snow, but have done the work without 
much kicking and without undue urging on my part."'" 
The weather was ail that was holding Harrison back. 

By April they began hiring driUing crews. Drillers 
would be paid five dollars per day plus board and tool 
dressers four dollars a day plus board. Harrison had 
received a power of attorney from the other locators in 
his associations of eight so that he could sign leases 
with the French investors when the time came. He 
would also have to refile the claims he posted at the 
coimty court house in Cody the previous year because 
it had been more than five months since the original 
filing and no drilling had yet taken place. Once the 
drilling program was under way it would be a busy 
season. Discovery wells containing a commercial show 
of oil would have to be drilled on every claim filed. For 
that reason. Lane informed Harrison, Humbert wanted 
to run two towers on both of the Star rigs and the two 
standard rigs.^*' 

Toward the end of April Harrison was eager to get 
started, however, rain and snow had kept his roads in a 
constant state of disrepair. It had been impossible to 
haul water to the drilling locations by wagon. With the 
passing of more time and no change in the weather, 
Harrison and his men began laying water lines from 
Sage Creek Reservoir to the drilling locations. One of 
the Star rigs was able to begin drilling on April 25, 
1912. Three days later, on April 28, there was a show 
of oil on the Hallene well at a depth of 236 feet.^^ Two 
deep test wells were to be drilled once the standard rigs, 
drilling tools and crews arrived in the field. 

During the early summer months Harrison was made 
manager of the French operation at Oregon Basin. By 
late June the first standard rig arrived and on July 1 5 on 
the SW quarter of Section 32, Township 51 N., Range 
100 W., the McMahon well, the first deep test, was 
spudded in. A short time later, Caplane arrived at 
Oregon Basin to inspect the operation he was 
financing. Harrison and Caplane went over the field 
and the paper work pertaining to the project. Noting 
that discovery wells had been drilled and affidavits 
filled out attesting to the presence of oil, Harrison 
refiled his original eighty claims at the Park County 
Court House in Cody.^** 

As drilling continued on the McMahon well, 
Caplane and his family toured Yellowstone Park. On 
August 22, at a depth of 1,305 feet drilling on the 
McMahon well was halted due to a large flow of gas 
estimated at approximately 10,000,000 cubic feet per 

day. Three days later Caplane and his family returned 
from Yellowstone as the driller, Hesslin, at the 
McMahon location was trying to push through the gas 
bearing strata. The day's drilling resulted in deepening 
the well by only three feet as the gas blew rocks and dirt 
fifty feet into the air. Caplane wanted the well capped 
and a new well drilled at another location. The drilling 
was stopped. Harrison was disappointed. He noted in 
his report that they had succeeded in penetrating only 
the first seventy-five feet of the gas bearing sand. 
Harrison believed there was another 150 feet in the 
strata and that the bottom thirty feet was the most 
promising as far as oil was concerned.'" 

Harrison met with C. M. Edgett, his assistant 
manager in the field, and driller Hesslin to discuss the 
possibility of deepening the McMahon well. Much to 
the relief of the drilling crew, Hesslin decided he could 
not drill the well any deeper. During the last days of 
August Harrison and Edgett made a number of 
geological studies to detemiine where the next deep 
well should be drilled. A site was chosen on the 
southeast quarter of Section 5, Township 5 1 N., Range 
100 W., on what was known as the Pauline claim. 
Work began in early September in preparation for 
drilling. In the mean time, with the McMahon 
discovery, management felt that all claims should be 
clearly posted with affidavits of discovery affixed to 
the comer posts. ^" 

On September 4, 1912, the French investors filed 
articles of incorporation for the Enalpac Oil and Gas 
Company in Cheyenne. Enalpac (the reverse spelling 
of Caplane) established its main office in Casper where 
other companies owned by the French group 
(Wyoming Oil Fields Company, Natrona Pipe Line 
and Refining Company and Franco Wyoming Oil 
Company) were located. The president of Enalpac was 
Cheyenne attorney Charles W. Burdick. Vice- 
president was Casper attorney A. C. Campbell with W. 
D. Waltman serving as the manager of all the French 

'' Harrison to Lane, March i8, 1912, Box 39, CBC. 

'" Lane to Harrison, April 9, 1912, Bo.x 39, CBC. 

" Harrison to Lane, April 25. 1912; Harrison to Humbert, April 
26, 1912, Box 39, CBC. Drilling record for 1912. Box 12, CBC. 

'" Harrison diaries for 1912, THC. Victor Ziegler, "The Oregon 
Basin Gas and Oil Field," Bulletin No. 15, State Geologist's 
Office, 1917, 236. Records of the County Clerk, Park County 
Court House. 

" Harrison to Waltman, August 26 and 31, 1912, Box 25, CBC. 
C. M. Edgett diary for August 1912. THC. Thomas Harrison 
diaries for 1912, THC. 

■'" Harrison to Waltman, August 3 1 and September 7. 1912, Box 
25, CBC. 


Annals of Wyoming :The Wyoming History Journal 

owned companies in Wyoming. Two months earlier, in 
July, the Overland Oil Company had been incorporated 
and was operating in Oregon Basin. Overland Oil was 
also financed by Caplane and his French partners.'" 

By late September the McMahon well was leaking 
badly after being temporarily plugged a month earlier. 
With his other drillers busy on the Pauline well, and 
unsure of how to deal with the McMahon well, 
Harrison hired his acquaintance from Byron, Sid 
Koughan, to run casing in the Mcmahon well and cap 
it. Koughan had experience with gas wells in Texas 
and Louisiana and with the help of his two assistants, 
he was able to seal the McMahon well by early 
October. In the meantime Harrison was having 
problems with the Pauline well and his drillers. One 
driller, McCune, left Oregon Basin in September and 
on October 14 Harrison fired driller O. L. Long for 
insubordination and unsatisfactory work. Long had 
relied heavily on the experience of McCune and with 
the latter gone. Long's incompetence became 

Harrison was wishing he had made more of an effort 
to keep McCune at Oregon Basin. McCune knew his 
job and the men worked well for him. Harrison hired 
another driller named Mills in late October, but Mills 
had not drilled for five years and being from the South, 
could not handle the weather or the altitude. In 
addition, he refused to work with driller Hesslin. On 
October 20 Harrison contacted Koughan to see if he 
could borrow some tools to fish a bit out of the hole at 
the Pauline well. Koughan did not have the proper tools 
but said he would build what was required. Harrison 
left driller Hesslin in Cody to help Koughan. Instead of 
helping Koughan, Hesslin went to several of the bars in 
Cody and got drunk. He was fired on October 23.^^ 

With unrest among the men and the hiring of two new 
drillers. Holmes and Williams from Casper, in addition 
to problems with the Pauline well, Harrison had been 
required to spend nearly four weeks at the drilling site. 
The problems with the Pauline well, caving, filling 
with water and lost tools, had resulted in unforeseen 
expenses. Caplane put a ceiling on expenses for 
Enalpac operations at $5,000 per month. On average, 
expenses had only been $3,800 to $4,000 each month 
but the existing problems had nearly doubled that for 
the month of October, and November looked no 
better.'*'' Harrison knew that there was oil at Oregon 
Basin, but by November of 1912, he had to be 
wondering if it was worth continuing. 

December proved to be a better month than the 
previous two. Harrison was happy with the work of his 

two new drillers. A survey map of the Oregon Basin 
field listing all of the locations and claims was nearing 
completion. The comer posts for all of the claims had 
been put in with the name of each claim being painted 
on those posts, and discovery notices had been placed 
at all of the discovery wells drilled during the previous 
months. And in spite of problems, the Pauline well 
reached a depth of 1,725 by Christmas eve. With the 
situation apparently improving, Harrison left Oregon 
Basin to visit family members in Indiana.^- 

Though most other drilling operations in Wyoming 
had already been halted due to the cold weather, CM. 
Edgett, managing operations in Harrison's absence, 
was trying to complete the Pauline well prior to 
shutting down for the season. Cold weather and storms 
were slowing operations to a near standstill. On 
January 5, 1913, the temperature dropped to sixteen 
below zero. Water lines to the boiler were freezing and 
drilling was restricted to one daylight tower. On the 
ninth the crew ran casing with the well blowing water 
thirty feet above the floor. By January 21, the well 
reached a depth of 2, 1 90 feet. The tool dresser was sick 
and laid up in Cody, the cook had been in town drunk 
for a week and was passing bad checks, but the rest of 
the crew proceeded with the work at hand. On January 
28 work was halted as the well continued to blow water 
on the men.'*" 

Oil-skin clothing arrived for the crew from Cody in 
early February and the work on the Pauline well 
resumed. It was decided to fill the hole in back up to a 
depth of 1 ,760 feet where an oil bearing sand had been 
encountered. The crew spent two and one-half days 
dumping rocks into the well and pounding them down 
with the drilling tools, but they seemed to disappear. 
Returning from Indiana, Harrison ordered a joint of 
casing to be filled with concrete. Once it had set up the 
casing was lowered to the bottom of the hole and 

■" Campbell to Burdick, December 27, 1912 and Burdick to 
Campbell, February 1, 1913, Box 16, CBC. Enalpac articles of 
incorporation, Box 39, CBC. Park County Enterprise, July 3, 

'- Harrison to Waltman, October 5 and October 12, 1919, Box 
25, CBC. 

" Harrison to Waltman, October 19 and October 26, 1912, Box 
25, CBC. 

■" Harrison to Waltman November 2 and November 9, 1912, 
Box 25. CBC. Waltman to Caplane, November 30, 1 9 1 2, Box 2 1 , 

'^ Harrison to Waltman, December 4, 1 1 and 26, 191 2, Box 25, 
CBC. Harrison diaries for 1912, THC. 

"> Edgett to Waltman, January 1, 14, 21 and 28, 1913, Box 39, 

Autumn 1998 


pounded down. Again, several loads of rock were 
dumped into the well. Finally the bottom seemed to be 
solid. The crew spent three days running the casing 
because the well continued to blow water which froze 
to the men and their oil skin clothing. Driller Knox said 
that he had never worked in such adverse conditions in 
his life, but in spite of situation, the work was 
completed. Unfortunately, once the string of casing 
was on the bottom, it settled twelve feet below the 
desired depth. ^' 

The casing was again pulled and rocks dumped into 
the well. When the bottom seemed solid, the casing 
was run again. This time it did not settle. In spite of this 
minor success, Harrison stopped all work at the Pauline 
site because water continued to blow from the well and 
freeze to the men and equipment causing a number of 
accidents. The crew did maintenance work on the star 
rigs and ran guy wires from the steel derricks on the 
McMahon and Pauline wells to anchors to prevent 
them from being blown over by strong winds which 
seemed to have settled over the area. 

In the meantime Harrison contacted Waltman about 
possible claim jumpers. A number of "scouts" had been 
in Oregon Basin looking over the area throughout the 
winter months.^" Harrison was doing all he could to 
protect the field and in spite of the problems faced, told 
Waltman, "I am very enthusiastic over the character of 
the oil and the excellent prospects our two deep wells 
have shown us existed. "'''' 

Harrison's concern over the possibility of claim 
jumpers was echoed by the management in Casper. 
Waltman ordered many of the shallow discovery wells 
deepened to insure a good show of oil. The crews were 
thus occupied with drilling deeper discovery wells and 
trying to control the increasing flow of gas from the 
Pauline well. But the nervousness over claim jumpers 
continued when Harrison saw a Mr. Morrison of the 
Midwest company wandering through the field. He 
was also concerned with correspondence being carried 
out between one of his drillers, Mr. Elsea, and Jack 
McFadyen. McFadyen was the superintendent in 
charge of the Ohio Oil Company's operations in 
Wyoming. Though the Ohio was not producing oil in 
Wyoming at that time, as a former member of the 
Standard Oil family, their interest caused worry.'" 

The lack of an important oil find at Oregon Basin was 
becoming a point of concern for Caplane and the other 
Enalpac investors. Caplane, along with D. A. Ehrlich 
and W. D. Waltman arrived in Cody on July 17, 1913, 
to investigate the tleld for themselves. After viewing 
the McMahon and Pauline wells, Caplane informed 

Harrison that he had retained the services of the 
eminent Italian geologist, Cesare Porro, to conduct a 
thorough study of Oregon Basin. Caplane also made 
Harrison vice-president of Enalpac and appointed him 
as the company's geologist. For this Harrison was to be 
paid $250 per month. In addition, Harrison was 
retained as consulting geologist by the Franco 
Wyoming Company, another Caplane interest, at a fee 
of $100 a month and thirty dollars per day expenses 
when working in the field."'' 

Dr. Porro arrived at Oregon Basin on August 4 and 
set up residence at the Cliffs Ranch. On the tlfth and 
sixth, Harrison gave Porro a tour of the field and the 
two geologists examined the McMahon and Pauline 
well logs. The following day Porro told Harrison he 
would rather examine the tleld alone in order to form 
his own opinion. Porro tramped through the field by 
himself for more than a week and on August 23, 
informed Caplane that Oregon Basin had some good 
points and bad points. The good was the structural 
dome; the bad was a lack of oil in any of the croppings 
of formations in which Enalpac was drilling. Porro 
urged the drilling of three or four more deep test wells 
at points he would designate, but felt that the field 
would never be a large producer.'- 

While Porro was making his assessment of the field, 
Harrison was occupied with other projects. He recently 
completed formal leasing agreements between himself 
and his fellow locators and Enalpac Oil and Gas, 
Overland Oil and Development and the Imperial Oil 
Company, the latter two being wholly owned 
subsidiaries of Enalpac. This agreement, coupled with 
the fact that Harrison and his locators had received 
patents on four quarter sections and one slightly 
smaller tract, ( the patented land was the N W quarter of 
Sec. 5, T. 51 N, R. 100 W, SE quarter of Sec. 5, T. 51 
N, R. 1 00 W, SW quarter of Sec. 29. T. 5 1 N, R. 1 00 W, 
N W quarter of Sec. 30, T. 5 1 N, R. 1 00 W and the S W 
quarter of Sec. 32, T. 5 1 N, R. 1 00 W ) resulted in the 

" Edgett to Waltman, February 5, 1Q13; Harrison to Waltman, 
January 18, February 12 and 18, 1913, Bo.x 39. CBC. 

" Harrison to Waltman, February 23 and 25, 1913, Bo.x 39, 

'" Harrison to Waltman, March 20, 1913, Box 39, CBC. 

'° Harrison to Waltman, March 11, April 2 16, 1913, Box 39, 
CBC. Mackey, Black Cold, 51. Hartzell Spence, Portrait in Oil: 
How the Ohio Oil Company Grew to Become Marathon (New 
York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1962), 23, 45, 70-71. 

" Harrison to Waltman, July 22, 1913, Box 39, CBC. 
Memorandum of .Agreement, July 1913, Box 25, CBC. 

■ - Harrison to Waltman, August 7,8, 12, 19 and 26. 1913, Box 
39, CBC. 


Annals of Wyommg;Tne Wyoming History Journal 

incoq^oration of the Oregon Basin Oil & Gas 
Company, a business dealing solely with oil leases. 
Lane was named president of the company with 
Harrison, Lane and Casper attorney A. C. Campbell 
serving as the board of directors. The articles of 
incorporation were filed in Cheyenne on November 13, 

With a solid lease agreement for himself and his 
locators and no major oil discovery in Oregon Basin, 
Harrison began to look for other possibilities. He 
located claims in the Little Buffalo Basin area eleven 
miles south of Meeteetse and at Grass Creek, another 
thirteen miles south of Little Buffalo Basin. The claims 
were filed in October, 1 9 1 3, at the court houses in Park 
and Hot Springs counties. Harrison believed both 
fields had potential and took Dr. Porro to inspect Grass 
Creek and Little Buffalo Basin once he had finished his 
report on Oregon Basin. ^'' 

Following the completion of his report on Oregon 
Basin, Porro chose a site on the SW quarter of Sec. 29, 
T. 51 N, R. 100 W for the drilling ofthe next deep test 
well. On September 3 one crew and the teamsters 
began moving a steel derrick and drilling equipment to 
Porro's site, known as the Hallene location, so that 
drilling could begin at the earliest possible date. With 
the crew involved in moving equipment and rigging up 
to drill, Harrison and Porro spent two weeks looking 
over Grass Creek and Little Buffalo Basin to determine 
the oil prospects at those locations."' By late September 
Harrison left Porro in Casper, where the two had been 
examining the Salt Creek field, and returned to Oregon 
Basin to superintend the drilling ofthe Hallene well. 

Drilling on the Hallene well began on October 6, 
1913. By November 17 the well was near 1,300 feet 
deep but the hole was showing signs of going crooked. 
Rock had been placed in the well and drilled out in an 
effort to straighten the hole. The driller even put cast 
iron down the well and drilled it out, but to no avail. 
After a week with no success, a five foot piece of eight 
inch pipe was placed in the hole to be drilled up, but it 
disappeared altogether. Finally, after inserting and 
drilling up an eight-foot-long piece of eight-inch pipe, 
the hole was straightened. On December 9 the well was 
down 1,457 feet and was flowing in excess of 
5,000,000 cubic feet of gas per day. The following 
week the gas flow had increased to 6.5 million cubic 
feet. Harrison was upset at the waste of gas, but with 
orders from Casper, he continued drilling.'' 

By mid-December the well was 1,515 feet deep. It 
was caving badly and the flow of gas had increased. 
Harrison again urged Waltman to cap the well to 

prevent waste. At that point gas had been the only 
product appearing in great quantity at Oregon Basin. 
The property value depended entirely on the gas. The 
flow of gas from the Hallene well had reached nearly 
7,000,000 cubic feet per day and had been flowing at 
that rate for two weeks. In addition, freezing weather 
made it nearly impossible to supply water to the boiler 
for the rig's steam-powered engine. Waltman finally 
gave in and agreed to cap the well. On Christmas eve 
casing was run to the bottom of the hole and by 
December 26 the well was capped." 

With the capping of the Hallene well, Enalpac 
operations were closed down at Oregon Basin until 
spring. For Harrison, the year 1913 had ended on much 
the same note as 1 9 1 2. After nearly three years of work 
and a large expenditure of money, Enalpac had three 
good gas wells but had made no significant oil 
discovery. Harrison spent January and February of 
1914 reconsidering his claims at Grass Creek and Little 
Buffalo Basin. It was also during those months that he 
located and filed claims in Elk Basin, approximately 
twenty-five miles northeast of the Cliffs Ranch. The 
Elk claims, as they were called, were filed at the 
County Court House in Cody on March 12, 1914.'* 

Harrison also made a trip through Badger Basin, 
approximately thirty miles north ofthe Cliffs ranch, in 
the early months of 1914 and examined that structure. 
He determined that the Frontier formation in that area 
was in excess of 4,000 feet deep and not worth locating. 
His observations proved true as the discovery well at 
Badger Basin was not drilled until 1 93 1 and was 8,723 
feet deep (that well was a world 'record for a cable tool 
rig at that time). By early March Harrison completed 
his reports on Elk Basin, Little Buffalo Basin and Grass 

" Mackey, Black Gold, 36. Lease agreement between Oregon 
Basin Oil and Gas Company and Enalpac Oil and Gas Company, 
1, Box 367, Warwick Downing Collection (WDC), American 
Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. Wyoming Tribune, 
November 19, 1913. 

" Harrison diaries for 1913, THC. Records ofthe County Clerk, 
Park County Court House, Cody, Wyoming. Thomas Harrison, 
"Cesare Porro (1865-1940)" in The Bulletin of the American 
Association of Petroleum Geologists, August 1952, 1684. 
Roberts, Salt Creek, 104-05. 

" Harrison to Waltman, September 2, 9 and 19, 1913, Box 39, 
CBC. Harrison diaries for 1913, THC. Cook, Wiley's Dream of 
Empire, 88-89. 

" Harrison to Waltman, October 8, November 26, December 9 
and 14, 1913, Box 39, CBC. 

" Harrison to Waltman, December 21 and 31, 1913, Box 39, 

*' Harrison diaries for 1914, THC. Records ofthe County Clerk, 
Park County Court House. 

Autumn 1998 


Creek sending them off to the Midwest Refining 
Company in Casper in an effort to interest them in 
drilling those three fields. ^'^ 

In the meantime Waltman, Enalpac's corporate 
manager, was looking for a market for the Oregon 
Basin gas. He met C. A. de SauUes, of the American 
Smelting and Retlning Company, at Crawford, 
Nebraska. The two men went to Oregon Basin to 
examine the wells. American Smelting, according to 
de SauUes, would consider building a zinc smelter in 
Cody if, in addition to a good gas supply, top quality 
coal and clay deposits also could be found in the area. 
Such a smelter would consume approximately 
7,000,000 cubic feet of gas per day. The gas wells 
impressed de Saulles who forwarded his report to Mr. 
Newhouse, the vice-president of American Smelting. 
Unfortunately, as Waltman soon learned, the zinc 
smelting industry was suffering from over production 
and losing money."" 

The drilling crews returned to Oregon Basin in 
March of 1 9 1 4, and worked on completing the Hallene 
well through mid-May. Harrison, in the meantime, 
grew disillusioned with the Enalpac operation and 
resigned as president and Oregon Basin field 
superintendent in May. D. A. Ehrlich took Harrison's 
place as field manager. Harrison accepted a position as 
consulting geologist for the Midwest Refining 
Company. He was to be Midwest's on-site consultant 
for drilling operations at Grass Creek and Little 
Buffalo Basin. The company had approved Harrison's 
exploration suggestions concerning those structures."' 

On May 9, 1914, President Wilson issued a second 
withdrawal order. The order stated that approximately 
85,000 acres of federal land in Big Horn, Park, 
Washakie and Hot Springs counties was to be 
withdrawn from future oil exploration. The original 
withdrawal order came on September 27, 1 909 and was 
issued by President Taft. At that time conservationists 
like Gifford Pinchot were concerned that the increased 
use of petroleum for automobiles and the conversion of 
ships and trains from coal to oil, would result in too 
great of a demand on the country's petroleum reserves. 
However, it was stipulated that any land claimed or 
drilled prior to the issuing of the order belonged to the 
claimants and could be explored. For that reason some 
lands in Oregon Basin and other fields in northwest 
Wyoming targeted by the withdrawal order were not 

In June of 1914, with the outbreak of World War I in 
Europe, Harrison's decision to leave Enalpac was 
further justified. During the late summer Germany 

invaded France and P. E. de Caplane was wounded in 
one of the early battles. With France at war, Caplane's 
investment capital in the Oregon Basin operation 
quickly dwindled. Though several more deep test wells 
would be drilled in that field, Harrison focused on 
exploration at Grass Creek and Little Buffalo Basin. "^ 

When Harrison arrived at Grass Creek in late April of 
1914 to take care of drilling equipment being sent by 
the Midwest company, he found that he was not alone. 
The Orchard and Worland group, backed by Valentine 
of California, had jumped Harrison's claims. 
Worland's men were armed and intended to keep 
everyone else out of the tleld. Harrison apprised 
Midwest company officials of the situation and they 
brought in their own armed men. Valentine and 
Midwest officials reached an agreement in time to 
avoid a gun battle."'' 

Actual possession of a tleld was often more 
important than paper claims. Historian Hartzell Spence 
described oil claims best when he stated, "the man who 
made his Placer Act claims stick was the one who could 
dig in, hang on, and, if necessary, shoot back.""" 

In late June of 1914, the discovery well at Grass 
Creek was brought in on the NE quarter of Section 18. 
It was a fifty-barrel per day well and produced a light 
paraffin oil from the Frontier formation. It was not long 
before the Ohio and the Midwest company were both 
drilling at Grass Creek. After Harrison had filed his 
Grass Creek claims he organized the Grass Creek Oil 
and Gas Company with S. A. Lane as president. This 
was a leasing company based along the same lines as 
the Oregon Basin Oil and Gas Company. Lane leased 
the Grass Creek claims to both the Midwest and the 

'' Harrison diaries for 1914. THC. Cook. ir;7fc'\''.s Dream of 
Empire, 88-89. United States Department of the Interior. Bureau 
of Mines, Bulletin 418, "Petroleum and Natural Gas Fields in 
Wyoming," 10-12. Thomas Harrison. "Geology Report for the 
Midwest Oil Company," 1920, 15, THC. 

"" Waltman to Caplane, March 13, 27 and April 25, 1914, Box 

'■' Harrison diaries for 1914, THC. Waltman to Caplane. May 
18, 1914. Cook, Wiley's Dream of Empire, 89. 

"- Harrison diaries for 1914, THC. Waltman to Caplane, May 
27, 1914, Box 21, CBC. Mackey, Black Gold. 23-24. Roberts, Salt 
Creek, 53-55. Bates, The Origins of Teapot Dome, 22. Gressley, 
The Twentieth-Century American H'est, 70. 

" Harrison diaries for 1914, THC. Waltman to Caplane, 
October 23, 1914. Box 21, CBC. 

"■' Harrison diaries for 1914, THC. Cook, IViley's Dream of 
Empire, 89. Ellen Sue Blakey, "Wild West Wyoming" in Oil on 
Their Shoes: Petroleum Geology to 19! 8 (Tulsa: The American 
Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1985). 

'' Spence, Portrait in Oil, 66. 


Annals oi Wyoming:The Wyoming History Journal 

Ohio. During the next few years more than 300 wells 
were drilled in that tleld."^ 

On September 29, 1914, Ed N. Harrison was bom at 
the Cliffs Ranch in Oregon Basin. Thomas Harrison 
was doing survey work and preparing to drill at Little 
Buffalo Basin at the time. In November of 1914 gas 
was discovered in the Frontier formation on the NW 
quarter of Section 2. Though it was an important 
discovery and several more wells were drilled. Little 
Buffalo Basin remained a gas producing field until the 
late 1930's." 

By the close of 1914 the war in Europe had led 
French investors in oil exploration in Wyoming to 
further cut financing of those projects. As a result 
Harrison's employment 
as a geologist by Enalpac 
and the Franco Wyoming 
was terminated.*''* In spite 
of that, his reputation 
with the Midwest com- 
pany was growing and he 
had made several impor- 
tant discoveries at Little 
Buffalo Basin and Grass 
Creek. Harrison's future 
as a petroleum geologist 
was looking up. 

In 1915 Harrison was 
carrying out geological 
surveys for the Midwest 
company in Montana, 
Wyoming, Colorado and 
Oklahoma. During this 
period he continued to 
urge Midwest to drill at 
Elk Basin. By the sum- 
mer of 1915 Midwest 
agreed. The company 
engaged the services of 
driller Gustave O. 
Forsman and the Elk Basin discovery well was brought 
in on October 8, 1 9 1 5, in the Frontier fonnation. Initial 
production was approximately 1 50 barrels per day but 
as the result of a legal injunction caused by claim 
disputes, the well was capped. Once the legal disputes 
were resolved, over the next year and one-half more 
than forty wells were drilled at Elk Basin. When the 
discovery was made the Midwest and Ohio moved 
quickly to exploit the field.*'' 

Harrison's reputation as geologist continued to grow. 
In January of 1 9 1 6, as a result of his suggesdons to drill 

at Grass Creek and Elk Basin, the Midwest Refining 
Company promoted Harrison to Chief Geologist. His 
salary was $5,000 per year with an additional rate of 
fifty dollars per day whenever he was in the field. The 
promotion was impressive considering that most oil 
companies did not have geology departments at that 
time. In February Harrison left northwest Wyoming 
and moved his family to Denver, the Midwest 
company headquarters.'" 

Harrison resigned from the Midwest company in 
1920. He worked as an independent consultant, 
becoming one of the most highly respected geologists 
in the Rocky Mountain region. It is likely that 
Harrison's greatest regret was not finding oil at Oregon 

Basin, the field where he 
started his career in the 
oil industry, and the field 
he knew would be a great 
petroleum producer. 

After Harrison left 
Enalpac, that company 
stagnated. A few more 
gas wells were drilled 
but the owners lost 
interest. In 1920, as a 
result of the enactment 
of the Oil and Gas 
Leasing Act, Enalpac 
lost control of the Or- 
egon Basin field. Due to 
Enalpac's inactivity the 
majority of the field was 
leased to others. In 1926 
the Ohio Oil Company 
hired Paul Stock Drilling 

Harrison Collection 
Thomas Harrison. Consulting Geologist, 1929. 

** Harrison diaries for 
1914, THC. Harrison well 
logs and drilling reports for 
Grass Creek, 1914, THC. 
"Petroleum and Natural Gas 
Thomas Harrison, "Grass Creek 
Wyoming," Structure of Typical 
1929. David Dickey suite, Grass 

Fields in Wyoming," 37-39. 
Dome, Hot Springs County, 
American Oil Fields, Vol. 11, 
Creek, Box 16, CBC. 

^' Harrison diaries for 1914, THC. "Petroleum and Natural Gas 
Fields in Wyoming," 54-55. 

*■* Burdick to Waltman, December 19, 1914 and Burdick to 
Harrison, December 17, 1914, Box 25, CBC. 

<>" Harrison diaries for 1915, THC. Mackey, Blacli Gold, 54. 
"Petroleum and Natural Gas Fields in Wyoming," 27-28. Richard 
W. Heasler Jr., "Gustave O. Forsman and the Discovery of Badger 
Basin Oil," (Unpublished Paper, May 1997), 19-24, 40. 

™ Harrison diaries for 1916 and 1917, THC. 

Autumn 1998 


to put down a well in Oregon Basin. Stock, using new 
improved drill bits, brought in a rotary rig and was able 
to drill down and "mud off the gas bearing sand which 
had plagued Enalpac for so many years. On February 
1, 1927, oil was discovered in the Embar sand at a 
depth of 3,354 feet." Harrison was right about Oregon 
Basin's potential. It is the third largest producing field 
in Wyoming's history. To date it has produced more 
than 440 million barrels of oil and 2 1 2 billion cubic feet 
of gas. 

Thomas Harrison played an important role in the 
discovery of oil in northwest Wyoming. His story is 
indicative of many of those "rugged individuals" who 
came west to tame the frontier. Though he possessed 
the knowledge required and demonstrated a willing- 
ness to work hard, it was not enough. He still required 
the financing and technology of major corporations and 
approval of the federal government to use the land to 
succeed. Though he made important contributions to 

the discovery of oil in Northwest Wyoming and went 
on to become one of the most highly regarded 
petroleum geologists in the Rocky Mountain region, 
Thomas Harrison failed to realize his dream of 
controlling and producing the Oregon Basin oil field. 

"' General Land Office to Enalpac, July 22, 1920, Box 23, CBC. 
Billings Gazette, June 28, 1928, 4. Mackey, Black Cold, 42-43. 

Mike Mackey is an independent historian liv- 
ing in Powell. He has published a number of 
articles and books dealing with various aspects 
of Wyoming history. The author would like to 
thank the University of Wyoming 's Bernard 
Majewski Fellowship for a grant to research 
and write this paper. 

Letters to tne Editor 

Another Origin for the Phrase? 


As usual I enjoy the Annals of Wyoming and espe- 
cially the last issue which had the Jordan auto ad. 
Being an old car buff of sorts, I have a reproduction 
of it framed on our wall. 

"Somewhere West of Laramie" is a real catchy 
phrase. I liked it better when our famous Wyoming 
train bandit (Bill Carlisle) used it a few years before 
the Jordan ad. 

I am enclosing an excerpt out of his book. The Lone 


Paul Canoso, Diamondville 

Excerpt from Bill Carlisle. Lone Bandit, p. 147: 

"A woman and her daughter had the room directly 
above me and during the week I became acquainted with 
them. Together we talked and laughed over the letter 
which appeared on the front page of the Denver Post and 
which was worded as follows: 

Denver Post: 

To prove that this letter is the real thing, I am enclosing 
a watch-chain which I took from the last hold-up out of 
Cheyenne— this chain can easily be identified. 

To convince the officers that they ha\ e the wrong men 
in jail, I will hold up a train somewhere west of Laramie, 

(signed) The White Masked Bandit" 

Comment on "Project Wagon Wheel" 


....[Project Wagon Wheel: A Nuclear Plowshare for 
Wyoming] was an interesting account and Adam 
[Ledererjcertainly covered the Plowshare histor\ well 
and laid a good foundation for the Wagon Wheel 


Sally Mackey, Pinedale 


Recent Acquisitions in the 
Hebard Collection, UW Libraries 

Compiled by Tamsen L. Hert, University of Wyoming Libraries 

The Grace Raymond Hebard Wyoming 
Collection is a branch of the University of 
Wyoming Libraries housed in the Owen Wister 
Western Writers Reading Room in the American 
Heritage Center. Primarily a research collection, 
the core of this collection is Miss Hebard's personal 
library which was donated to the university 
libraries. Further donations have been significant 
in the development of this collection. While it is 
easy to identify materials about Wyoming 
published by nationally known publishers, it can be 
difficult to locate pertinent publications printed in 
Wyoming. The Hebard Collection is considered to 
be the most comprehensive collection on Wyoming 
in the state. 

If you have any questions about these 
materials or the Hebard Collection, you can contact 
me by phone at 307-766-6245; by email, or you can access the Hebard 
HomePage at: 

New Publications 

Flood, Elizabeth Clair. Rocky Mountain Home: 
Spirited Western Hideaways. Salt Lake City: 
Gibbs- Smith Publisher, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe NK 2004 .F66 1996b 

Knight, Christina L. The Changing Character and 

Land Use of a Gateway Community: Jackson 

Hole, Wyoming: a Thesis. University of Kansas, 


Hebard HD 211 .W8 K654 1997 

ICraulis, J. A. From Acadia to Yellowstone: the 
National Parks of the United States. New York: 
Smithmark, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe E 160 .K73 1996 

Kylloe, Ralph. Fishing Camps. Salt Lake City, 
UT: Gibbs-Smith Publisher, 1996. 
Hebard & Science SH 462 .K95 1996 

Includes the Crescent H Ranch and the 
Spotted Horse Ranch in Wyoming. 

Anderson, Nancy K. Thomas Moran. 

Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art; New 
Haven: Yale University Press, 1997. 
Hebard N 6797 .M576 A4 1997 

Cheney, Richard B. and Lynne V. Cheney. Kings 

of the Hill: Power and Personality in the House 

of Representatives. New York: Simon & Schuster, 


Hebard & Coe JK 1411 .C48 1996 

Melford, Michael. Big Sky Country: A View of 
Paradise: the Best of Montana, North Dakota, 
Wyoming and Idaho. New York: Rizzoli 
International Publications, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe F 590.7 .M45 1996 

Miller, Mark E. Hollow Victory: the White River 
Expedition of 1879 and the Battle of Milk Creek. 

Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1997. 
Hebard & Coe E 83.879 .M56 1997 

Dawson, Louis W. Wild Snow: A Historical 
Guide to North American Ski Mountaineering. 

Golden, CO: The American Alpine Club, 1997. 
Hebard & Coe GV 854.9 .S56 D39 1997 

Monaghan, Jay. Tom Horn: Last of the Bad Men. 

Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997 


Hebard & Coe E 83.88 .H67 H34 1997 

Drinkard, G. Lawson. Retreats: Handmade 
Hideaways to Refresh the Spirit. Salt Lake City, 
UT: Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 1997. 
Hebard & Science TH 4835 .D75 1997 

Moulton, Candy. Roadside History of Wyoming. 

Missoula: Mountain Press Publishing Company, 


Hebard, Coe & CoeRef F 761 .M68 1995 

Autumn 1998 


Pisani, Donald J. Water, Land, and Law in the 
West: The Limits of Public Policy, 1850-1920. 

Lawrence, KS; University Press of Kansas, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe HD 1695 .W4 P57 1996 

Rawlins, C. L. Broken Country: Mountains & 

Memory. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 


Hebard & Science QH 104.5 .W4R36 1996 

Simpson, Alan K. Right in the Old Gazoo: a 
Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press. New York: 
William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1997, 
Hebard & Coe PN 4888 .P6 S56 1997 

Steinhart, Peter. The Company of Wolves. 

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. 
Hebard & Science QL 737 .C22 S74 1995 

Stories From an Open Country: Essays on the 
Yellowstone River Valley. Billings, MT: Western 
Heritage Press, 1995. 
Hebard & Coe F 737 .Y4 S76 1995 

Sumner, Mark. Devil's Tower New York: 

Ballantine Books, 1996. 

Hebard & Coe PS 3569 .U4655 D485 1996 

Utley, Robert M. A Life Wild and Perilous: 
Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific 

York: Henry Holt & Co., 1997. 
Hebard & Coe F 592 .U87 1997 


Vander, Judith. Shoshone Ghost Dance Religion: 
Poetry Songs and Great Basin Context Urbana: 
University of Illinois Press, 1997. 
Hebard & Coe ML 3557 .V34 1997 


Allen School(Missouri) 29 

American Heritage Center 29 

American Smelting 43 

American Smelting and Refining Company 43 

Andrew, Peter 16 

Badger Basin 42 

Baptist Church, Evansville 27 

Baronette, Jack 14, 18 

Barton, B.S. 10 

Bates Hole, 24 

Bedbugs 30 

Bell Theater, (photo) 24 

"Big Dutch" well 33 

Big Horn Mountains 15, 16 

Bishop, Marvin L. 26 

Bitterroot Mountains 10 

Bonneville, B. L. E. 9 

Bradley, Frank 9 

Bradshaw, Eva 29 

Brick-making, Casper 22 

Bridger, Jim 12 

Burdick, Charles W. 39 

Byron, Wyo. 35 

Campbell, A. C. 39, 42 

Canoso, Paul 45 

Canton, Mo. 29 

Caplane 39, 41 

Carey Act irrigation project 32 

Carlisle, Bill 45 

Cashmere, Wash 19 

Casper 21-26 

Casper's first brick mansion 26 

Casper's first town hall (photo) 24 

Cawston Ostrich Farm 25 

Clark, William 10 

Center street, Casper 21 (photo, 21) 

Chickens 2-6 

Chicks, raising 5 

City/County Jail (Casper) 23. 27 

Clay, Carroll 31 

Clay mine 22 

Cliffs Ranch 35, 41 

Cliffs Ranch in Oregon Basin 33 

"Cliffs Ranch" in Oregon Basin (photo) 32 

Colorado School of Mines 32 

Colt Killed Creek 8 

Commissioner of Public Lands 38 

Coolidge, Pres. Calvin 8 

Couer d'Alene Indians 13 

County Superintendent 31 

Cox, Lafe 16 

Crawford, Nebraska 43 

Davis, William 17 

de Caplane, P. E. 37 

de Saulles, C. A. 43 

Deer Family 1 5 

Doane, Gustavus C. 15 

"Douglas Dip." 34 

Downey, Dr. June Etta 29 

Dunraven, Earl of 13,14, 15 

Edgett, C. M. 39, 40 

Edson, Marshall 17 

Eggs 2, 6 

Ehrlich, D. A. 41, 43 

Elk Basin 42, 44 

Elk migration 8 

Elk of North America 7. 1 8 

Emery, - 34 

Enalpac Oil and Gas Company 39, 4 1 , 43, 44 

Erben, Emanuel 2 1 , 36 

Evans, Archibald F. (Arch) 21 

Evans, Beatrice 22, 23 

Evans, Cecil 21 

Evans, Clementina 21 

Evans, Elizabeth Caroline Hunt 20 

death of 23 
Evans, Ernest 26 
Evans. Herbert O. 22, 23 
Evans, Ralph Walter 21 
Evans Realty Company 27 
Evans, Trevor James 21 
Evans, Wealthy 28 
Evans, William J. 26 
Evans, William Tranter 20-28 

death of 28 
Evansville 20 

incorporated 27 

platted 27 

street names in 27 
Evansville Garage and Grocery 27 
Evansville Historical Commission 28 
Fisher, C. A. 35 
Fisher River 10 
Fishing Bridge 12 
Florence, Colorado 32, 36 
Forsman, Gustave O. 44 
Fort Bridger 13 
Fort Owen ledger 1 3 
Foster, Eunice 29 
Franco Wyoming Company 37, 41 
Franco Wyoming Oil Company 39 
Frison, George 19 
Frontier formation 42 
Garland field 35 
General Land Office in Chevenne 32 


Annals of Wyoming ;TKe Wyoming History Journal 

Glass, Jefferson 20, (bio) 28 

Gothbera ranch 22 

Grand Teton National Park 12 

Grant, Neb. 21 

Grass Creek 33, 42, 43 

Grass Creek Oil and Gas Company 43 

Gressley, Gene 33 

Grinnell, George Bird 13, 14, 15 

grizzly bear 7 

Guaranteed Investment Company of Casper 27 

GulfOil 34 

Gulliford, Dr. Andrew (photo) 30 

Ham's Fork of the Green River 12 

Hallenewell 39, 42 

Harrison, Ed N. 44 

Harrison, Ruth Wiley 33, 36 

Harrison, Thomas S. 32 

Hayden survey expedition 9 

Hebard, Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard 29 

"Herding Chickens on a Wyoming Cattle 

Ranch" 2-6 
Herrick Ranch 2 
Hesslin, driller 40 
Hudson's Bay Company 10 
Humbert, Pierre 38 
Hunting Trips on the Prairie and in the 

Mountains 1 6 
Idaho Wildlife Review 1 7 
Imperial Oil Company 41 
International Drilling Trust 34, 37 
Jackson Hole Elk Refuge 8 
Jones, J. R. 16 
Journal of a Trapper 1 2 
Kanota 1 1 

Kay, Dr. Charles 18, 19 
Kimball, W. S. 22 
King and Company bank 23 
Kittson, William 10 
Kno.x, driller 41 
Kootenai House 10 
Koughan, Sid 35, 40 
Lamar Valley 12 
Lane, Septimus A. 34, 36, 37 
Lawrence, Amy 2, (bio) 6 
Lawrence, William H. (Bill) and Rena Lawrence 

2, (photo, 4) 
Lemhi Pass 1 1 
Lewis and Clark 8, 10, 16 
Lewiston Morning Tribune 7, 10, 18 
Little Buffalo Basin 33, 42, 43, 44 
Lobell, Joseph H. 33, 37 
Long, O. L. 40 
Ludlow, Colonel William 14 
Mackey, Mike 32, (bio) 45 
Mackey, Sally 45 
Majewski Fellowship 45 
Mammoth Hot Springs Basin 14 
McFadyen, John 41 
McMahonwell 39, 40 
Meeteetse 42 
"Memories of Wyoming Teacher Wana Clay 

Olson" 29 
Merriam, Clinton 9 
Midwest Refining Company 43 
Miller, Jody 29 
Missouri Breaks 14 
Mountain wapiti 10 


Murie, Margaret and Olaus (photo) 1 7 

Murie, Olaus 7, 8, 9, 1 1, 16, 18, 19 

National Elk Commission 8 

National Elk Refuge 12, 18 

Natrona Pipe Line and Refining Company 39 

Necrotic stomatilis 8 

Newell, Robert 1 1 

Nicolaysen, Edith Beulah 23 

Nicolaysen, Elizabeth Maren 23 

Nicolaysen, Peter C. 22, 28 

Nielson, Errol 17, 18 

Norris, Philetus W. 15 

Ogden, Peter Skene 10 

Ohio Oil Company 41, 44 

Oil and Gas Leasing Act 36, 44 

Oil fields 32-45 

"Old Central" (Casper) 22 

Olson, Wana Clay 29 

Orchard and Worland group 43 

Oregon Basin 33, 35, 39, 41, 43, 45 

Oregon Basin anticline 36 

Oregon Basin Oil & Gas Company 42 

Oregon Basin Oil and Gas Company 43 

Oregon Basin oil field 45 

Ostrich 28, (photo) 25 

Overland Oil Company 40 

Palmer, A.xel 2, (photo, 5) 

Palmer, Joel 13 

Park County Court House 36 

Paul Stock Drilling 44 

Pauline well, 40 

Payette River 1 1 

Pend d'Oreille 17 

Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Company 34 

Pennsylvania Oil Company refinery 23 

Perkins County, Nebraska 21 

Philippot, Mr. - 37 

Phillips Petroleum 34 

Pinchot, Gifford 43 

Placer Act claims 43 

Plains elk 9 

Point, Father Nicolas 13 

Polk, Lou 23 

Porro, Dr. Cesare 33,41 

Portneuf river 10 

Powder River 1 1 

Project Wagon Wheel 45 

Quealy Dome school 30 

Richards and Cunningham block 26 

Richards and Cunningham building (photo) 23 

Richards, Cunningham, and Company 23 

Riley, Dr. Glenda 29 

Ritchie, Brent 17, 18 

Rohrbaugh and Smith blocks 26 

Roosevelt, Theodore 15,16 

Rosebud Creek 12 

Ross, Alexander 10, II 

Rotary drilling bits 35 

Russell, Osborne 12, 14, 15, 18, 19 

Sage Creek Reservoir 38 

St. Mark's Episcopal Church 22, 26 

Salmon River 1 1 

Salt Creek 33, 37 

"Savvy of a Sage: Olaus Murie and the Historic 

Range of Wapiti in the West" 7-19 
"Schoolmanns and Scholars: Women Educators 

of the West" 29 

Shannon field 34 

Shannon, Phillip M. 34 

Sheepeater Indians 12 

Shoshone Mountains 1 5 

Snake River 9 

Snake River Brigade 10 

"Somewhere west of Laramie" 45 

Spanish-American war 26 

Spindletop 35 

Standard Oil 34 

"Star" portable drilling rigs 38, 39 

Staffordshire, England 20 

Stanley, Wealthy 26 

State Engineer's Office 38 

Stephenson, John A. 30 

Stock, Hugh "Daddy" 33 

Strong, General W. E. 14, 15, 18 

Stuart, Granville 15 

Talbot, Bishop Ethelbert 22 

Tennis 28 

Texas Company 27, 34 

"The Cliffs" in Oregon Basin (photo) 37 

"Thomas Harrison and the Search for Oil in 

Northwest Wyoming" 32-45 
Thunder Mountain 1 7 
Union Pacific Railroad 34 
United States Forest Service 1 7 
United States Geological Survey 35 
Valentine of California 43 
Waltman 41 
Waltman, W. D. 39, 41 
Wapiti 10. See also Elk 
Washburn survey 15 
Washburn, Chester W. 35 
White Masked Bandit 45 
Wiley, Solon 32 
Wiley, Solon L. 33 
Williams, J. C. 22 
Wilson, Uncle Nick 13 
Winter range 8 
Wolfe, Emil 9 
Work, John 11 
Wyeth, Nathaniel 11 
Wyoming Derrick 22 
Wyoming Labor Journal 34 
Wyoming Maatschappij 33 
Wyoming Oil and Development Company 34 
Wyoming Oil Fields Company 39 
Wyoming Refining Company 27 
Yellowstone National Park 9, II, 14, 16, 17 
Yellowstone River 12 
Zontek, Ken 7 (bio) 19 


Wyoming Pictures 

Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876-1977) is shown riding a camel (right) on a trip to the Pyramids in Eg\-pt. The other 
camel is ridden by her grandson David. Ross, the first woman elected governor of any state when she won 
election in Wyoming in 1924, ser\'ed as director of the United States Mint in Philadelphia fi-om 1933 to 1953. 
She was the first woman named to that post. The camel tenders posing proudly are not identified in this photo- 
graph fi-om the Nellie Tayloe Ross collection, American Heritage Center. Universit}' of Wyoming. 

Join tne ^OC^oming State Historical Society 

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