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The Cover Photograph 

'Cowboy Dinner, Laramie County" 

Photograph by J. E. Stimson 

Collections of the Wyoming State Archives, 

Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, Cheyenne 

Cheyenne photographer ./. E. Stimson shot scenes fi-om throughout Wyo- 
ming. Born in I irginiu and trained in photography in Wisconsin, he 
came to Cheyenne in 1889 and remained there the rest of his life. Many 
of his photographs, including this cover picture, were made from 
glassplate negatives. In 1953. the 7.560 glassplates. along with pic- 
tures made from other forms of negatives, were purchased by the State 
of Wyoming. The Stimson photographs became the foundation for the 
superb photographic collection held by the Wyoming State Archives. 
Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Cheyenne. The cover 
image dates from the beginning of the 20th century. 


Information for \\ liters 

The editor ot.-)/»w/.!o/ I) i'om;);.s; welcomes manuscripts and photographs on ever> aspect ot the historv olWNoniing and the West Appropriate 
lor submission are unpublished, research-based articles uhich provide new intbrmation or which otter new interpretations of historical events. 
First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections ofevents will be considered tor use in the "W\oming Memories" section. 
Historic photo essays lor possible publication in "Wyoming Memories ' also arc welcome. Articles are reviewed and refereed by members olthe 
journal's Editorial Advisory Hoard and others, .Articles previously appearing on the internet or in other publications will not be accepted. 
Decisions regarding publication are made b\ the editor. Manuscripts (along w ith suggestions for illustrations or photographs) should be submit- 
ted on computer diskettes in a format created by one of the uidely-used word processing programs along v\ith two printed copies. Submissions 
and queries should be addressed to Editor, .innals of llyoming. P. O. Box 4256. University Station. I.aramie WY 82071. or to the editor by e- 
mail at the tbilowing address, philry 


Phil Rolierts 

Assistant Editors 

Sarah Bohl 
Annif Prouts 

Book Review Editor 

Carl Hallheru; 

Editorial Advisory Board 

Barbara Bogart. Evanston 

IVlal>el Br'<i\vn. Newcastle/Chcyfnnc 

Katherine Curtiss, Sheridan 

Dudley Ciardner, Rock Sprmsrs 

Sally F. Cn-ifiith, Liisk/Ha\ertnwn. Pa 

Don Hodi^son, Totrint^ton 

Loivn .Itist, Riverton 

James R. Land, Wapiti 

Mark Miller. L.naiiiie 

Mark NeKoii. (.reeii Rner 

Sherry L Smith. Moose'Dallas, Tex 

Thomas F Stiomk. t asper 

Lawrence \1 W,.,,ds. Woiland 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Publications Committee 

Rick F\\ il;", Laramie 

David Kathka. Rock Springs 

Sherry L. Smith. Moose 

Ann' Law i>'IH e. LalMlllle 

Nant \ Curtis, ( ilemlo 

Dick Wilder. Cody (e\-..iriclo) 

Loien .Icist, Rixerton (e\-olfici.)) 

Phil Rolierts, Laramie (e\-ofticio) 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Exccuti\e Committee 

nkU Wilder. President. Park County 
Clara Vainer, 1st Vice Pres , Weston Co, 
Patty Myers, 'Jnd Vice Pres , Platte Co 
Linda Faliian. Seuetary Pl.itte C'oiintv 
.lames Van Sunk.. Treasurer. Star Valley 
.■\m\' LawreiKe, ,\ll>an\' (. ount\' 
C"inth' Brown, Laramie Count\' 
.lohn Waggenei". .MItain' Count\' 
.ludy West. Meml.ershi|i Cooixlinator 

Governor of Wyoming 

Da\ id Freiidenthal 

Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and 
Cultural Resources 

Phil Nohle. Director 
Cultural Resoiu'ces Division 

Wendy Breilehotl. .Aelministratoi 

Wyoming Parks & Cidtural Resources 

William Diiltois, (. he\enne 
Enieison W Siott. .Ir. Biifhilo 
Diann Reese, Lyman 
Vern Vi\ion, Rawlins 
David Reetz. Powell 
Herb French, Newcastle C^. Over, Pavillion 
Carolyn BiifK Casper 
-leri'ilynn Wall, E\anston 

University of Wyoming 

Philip Dubois, President 
Oliver Walter, Dean, 

College of .Arts and Sciences 
Kristine I'tterback. Chair, Dept. ot History 

Arnnals of 


The XV^'oining Histoiy Journal 
Winter --2003 Vol. 75, No. 1 
Studying History Through Biography: Editor's Comment J 

Rosemary Quinn: Profile of a Teacher 

By William H. Dubois 3 

Two sisters. Rosemary and (iracc Marie (,Hiinn. moved to C heyennc to teach school in 
the middle lQ20s- Historian William R Dubois writes of their careers based on 
Rosemary's own words Oral histor> interviews ofher arc held in the collections of the 
.American Heritage Center. Universilv ot'Wvominy 

Bert Lampitt and Big Horn Basin Murders, 1909 and 19'21 

13v KsttT Johansson Murray 7 

Lampitt. a sheepherder suspected in the murder ol a C ud\ man in 1404. moved to 
Grass Creek to work in the oil fields In 1^2 I . he killed two men at the oil compnay 
camp He was convicted and sent to prison for this crime Murray tells the true storv of 
two heinous crimes sparked h\ iealoiisv 

Traces of George Harper, Laramie Plains Rancher 

Hy Richard Willc ...r...rr::^ Hi 

Who was this once prominent lormer mavor of l-arai'iile'' RicTiard Walle completes a '. 
quest to uncover the traces of Harper from dues letl at his ranch and from the written 

Wyoming's Estelle Reel: The First Woman Elected to -''' 
a Statewide Office in America v '^..-^-^ 

By Sarah R. Bohl :.::' 2i2 

When Estelle Reel was elected State Superintendent of Public Instruclion in V\ \omina 
in 18*54. she made histor\ for becoming the first woman anywhere elected to a state- 
wide office In mid-term, however, she resigned to accept a high-ranking position in 
the federal government She never returned to live in Wyoming Sarah Bohl writes of 
Reel's election and service as superintendcnt-the "Wvoniing part" ofher life 

Book Reviews 37 

Leonard, Lynching in Colorado. IS5,S-I9I9, reviewed by Michael J Pfeifer 
Nugent. /))/(.) ihe ll'esl Tlie Story of lis People, reviewed hy Don Hodgson 
Nash. Tlie Federal Landscape An Economic Hislon- ot ihe Jlllh Century West, rev iewed 
by Mike Mackey 

Index +0 

Wyoming Picture hisulc-liack coxt-p 

.4nnal.toflVvoniing The Wyoming Hisloiy Journal hpubWihed quarterly by the Wyoming State Historical 
Societv in association with the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the .Ameri- 
can Heritage Center, and the Department of Histor). University of Wvoniing f he journal was previously 
published as the Oiiarlerly Biillelin ( 1 '523-1 "525). .Annals of Wyoming ( l'325-l'5'53). Wyoming .Annals 
( 1'543-|Q95) and Wyoming Hisloiy Joiirnal{\995-\'i96) The .iiinals has been the official publication 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. $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 in .Annuls ofll'voining are abstracted in Histori- 
cal .Ahslrucis and .America llislnry and Life 

Inquiries about membership, mailing, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to Judy 
West. Coordinator. Wyoming State Historical Societv. PMB# 184. 1740H Dell Range Blvd . Cheyenne 
WY 82009-4945. Editorial correspondence should be addressed to the editorial office of Annals o/ 11 Vfi- 
mmg. American Heritage Center. P. 0, Box 4256. Universitv Station. Laramie WY 82071 
Our e-mail address is: philr<(uwvo edu Printed by Pioneer Pi intmg. Cheyenne 

Copyright 2003, Wyoming State Historical Society ISSN: 1086-7368 

Editor's Comment 

Studying History through Biography: 
Life Stories of Wyomingites 

Biography increasingly is gaining 
acceptance from historians as a legiti- 
mate means of writing about histors. Not 
only will a well-written biography de- 
scribe and anah ze a single individual's 
role in history, but also place the indi- 
vidual into the context of the times. 

Few W\ omingites have been the sub- 
jects of full-length biographies, al- 
though the deailh of such studies has 
begun to change in recent years. For 
example, in the next year or so. full- 
length biographies will be completed on 
Nellie Tayloe Ross and Thumian Arnold, 
both W\ oming figures w ho became na- 
tionally prominent in the 20th century.' 
Irrigation pioneer Elwood Mead, rancher 
John Clay, editor Asa Mercer, photog- 
rapher J. E. Stimson, druggist/collector 
Jim Gatchell. geologist Samuel Knight, 
and botanist Aven Nelson are among 
the subjects of recent monograph- 
length studies.- Articles about lesser 
known Wn oming figures have appeared 
in recent issues of Annals of Wyoming, 
including pieces on restauranteur Harry 
Hynds. Jackson Hole resident Verba 
Lawrence, sisters Amalia and Annie 
Simons. Buffalo merchant Robert Foote. 
Natrona County sheepman Marvin 
Bishop. Sr.. German publisher F. W. Ott. 
schoolteacher Glendolene Kimmell and 
outlaw Geneva Collett. and rancher R. 
S. Van Tassell.' Aspects of the careers 
of attorney Arnold and Supreme Court 
Justice Fred Blume were featured in re- 
cent issues of the Wyoming Law Re- 
view.^ Several compilations of biogra- 
phies have appeared over the years, 
containing the brief sketch "biogra- 
phies" of many hundreds of Wyoming 
residents— many with just the essential 
facts in a person's life without examin- 
ing much more while others are rich 
sources of little-known information no 
longer available elsewhere." 

In this issue. Annals presents a se- 
ries of article-length biographies of sev- 
eral Wyomingites— some famous and 
some lesser known. At least two are "no- 

torious," while the others drew the in- 
terest of historians through good w orks 
and memorable deeds. While each ar- 
ticle is billed as "biography," the ap- 
proaches taken in each work are quite 
different. Two are "chapters" of longer 

I Teva Scheer is completing the first full- 
length hiograph\ of Ross. ientati\ ei\ set 
for puhlication next year, and Spencer We- 
ber Waller's biograph\ of Thurman Arnold 
\\ ill be published the following year. See also 
fori Van Pelt. "Discovering Her Strength; 
The Remarkable Transformation of Nellie 
Ta> loe Ross." Annals of Wyoming 74 (Win- 
ter 2002). 2-8; and the introductory, biogra- 
phy in Gene M. Gressley. I'oilaire and tlie 
Cowboy: Tlie Letters of Tiuiniian Arnnid 
(Colo. Assoc. Univ. Press. 1977). 

- James Kluger. Turning on Water with a 
Sliovel: Tlie Career of Elwood Mead {A\bu- 
querque; VNM Press. 1992); L. Milton 
Woods. John Clay. Jr.: Commission Man. 
Banker and Rancher (Spokane; Arthur 
Clark. 2001 ): and Woods. Asa Shinn Mer- 
cer: Western Promoter and Newspaperman 
CSpokane; Arthur Clark. 2002): MarkJunge. 
J. E Stimson. Photographer of the )l't'.>;/( Lin- 
coln; Univ. of Nebraska Press. 1986): Gil 
Bollinger. Jim Gatchell. The Man and the 
Museum ( Buffalo; Gatchell Museum Assoc. 
1999): Frederick W. and JoAnn B. Reckling. 
Samuel Howell "Doc" Knight. Mr. Wyoming 
l'niversit^• (Laramie; UW Alumni Assoc. 
1998): Roger Williams. .4ven Nelson of Wyo- 
ming (Boulder; Colo. Assoc. Univ. Press. 

' See. for example; Robert V. Goss. "A 
Tale of Two Sisters; Pr\ or and Tischman In 
Yellowstone in The Best and Worst of 
Limes." Annals 74 (Spring 2002): Paul 
Richardson Fleming. ""Ridgway Glover. Pho- 
tographer." Annals 74 (Spring 2002): 
.Murrav L. Carroll. "Robert ["oote; A For- 
gotten W\ oming Pioneer." .Annals 74 (Win- 
ter 2002): Larr\ K. Brown. "Murdered b\ 
Madness: The Case of Geneva Collett.". -1)7- 
nals 74 (Winter 2002). 24-35: Shirley E. 
Fl_\ nn. "Che_\ enne's 1 larrv P, Hynds; Black- 
smith. Saloon Keeper. Promoter. Philanthro- 
pist." .Annals. 73 (Summer 2001). 2-11: 
Miguel A. Resales. "A Mexican Railroad 
Family in Wyoming." Annals 73 (Spring 

studies still in progress, while others 
probably are the "final word" on the in- 
dividuals profiled. Each article provides 
a fascinating glimpse of Wyoming his- 
tory told through biography. 

-Phil Roberts 

2001 ). 28-32: Carol L. Bowers. "School Bells 
and Winchesters; The Sad Saga of 
Glendolene Mvrtle Kimmell. ".•f»ij;(:7/.s( Win- 
ter 2001 ). 14-32: Carl Hallberg. "Finding His 
Niche; F. W. Ott. A German Publisher." 
Annals 72 (Spring 2000). 2-13: D. Claudia 
Lhompson. "Amalia and .Annie; Women's 
Opportunities in Cheyenne in the 1870s." 
Annals 72 (Summer 2000). 2-9; Gil 
Bollinger. "The Gatchells; Frontier News- 
papermen. ".■)«/!a/5'( Autumn 2000). 12-17: 
Jetferson Glass. "Mar\ in Lord Bishop. Sr.. 
Pioneer Sheep Rancher. .Annals 72 (Autumn 
2000). 27-35: Shirley E. Flynn. "Renesselaer 
Schuyler Van Tassell. ".-l)!/7(3/5 71 (Summer 
1999). 2-7: Sherr> L. Smith. "A Jackson 
Hole Life; Verba Law rence." Annals 7 1 ( Sum- 
mer 1999). 35-43: Mike Mackey. "Thomas 
Harrison and the Search for Oil in North- 
west Wyoming. 1908-l916.".4;»;a/570(Au- 
tumn 1998). 32-45. 

^ Michael Golden. "Joume_\ for the Pole; 
The Life and Times of Fred H. Blume." Land 
and Water Law Rev. 28 (1993). 195-270: 
5 1 1 -592: Spencer Weber Waller. "The Short 
Unhappv Judgeship of Thurman Arnold." 
Wyoming Law Review 3 (2003 ). 233-256. 

^ H. H. Bancroft. History of Nevada, Colo- 
rado and Wyoming {San Francisco: The His- 
tory Co., 1890). was among the first of this 
genre with biographies appearing in exten- 
sive footnotes. 1. S. Bartlett. Histoiy of Wyo- 
ming (Chicago; S. J. Clarke. 1918). and 
Frances B. Beard, Wyoming from Territo- 
rial Days to the Present {Chicago: American 
Historical Societ\ . 1 933 ). each contained two 
volumes of profiles and portraits of W_\ o- 
mingites. For a few recent examples of bio- 
graphical compilations, see; Mabel Brown. 
First Ladies o/HVom;«g (Cheyenne: Wyo. 
Commission for Women. 1 99 1 ); Jean Mead. 
Wyoming m Profile {'Qou\i^ex: Pruett. 1982): 
and Lori Van Pelt. Dreamers and Schem- 
ers: Profiles from Carbon County. 
Wyoming's Past. (Glendo; High Plains. 

Wyoming Memories 


Profile of a Teacher 

By William R. Dubois 

Rosemary Quinn came to Cheyenne in 1923 
to teach art in the junior high school. Her sis- 
ter Grace Marie arrived in 1924 to teacli fourth 
grade. Rosemary also taught fourth grade for 
many vears. Both of them taught more than 40 
years, departing in 196^. 

The Quinn sisters were born in Arkansas and 
reared in Morrilton. for a time, they lived in 
Vian, Oklahoma. Their father was a freight 
agent for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Grace 
Marie died in 1987. Rosemary, at this writing 
in 2003. is still in excellent health. She is 104 — 
her birth date was Jan. 4. 1899. At the age of 
97, she made eight tapes telling of her life, and 
this article deals M'ith her years in Wyoming. 
The tapes and a transcript of them are avail- 
able at the American Heritage Center. Univer- 
sity of Wyoming. 

Both of the Quinn sisters graduated from Northeast- 
ern College in Oklahoma. Rosemary was two years 
older. Both were under five feet and nian\ thought 
they were twins even thougii Rosemary iiad auburn 
hair and Grace Marie was brunette. Rosemary said 
she was offered a Job in Miami, Okia., but when they 
discovered she was Catholic, the school officials said 
they could not use her because "'society" in that town 
did not accept Catholics. Instead, she moved to Sapulpa, 
Okla.. and taught there for two years. Her mother told 
her she had to sta\ in a contract for two years, so it 
was after that when she moved to Nampa, Idaho, where 
she taught for two more years. After graduation. Grace 
Marie taught in Nampa. but for Just one year. The two 
planned to be "tramp teachers" and move from place 
to place. 

Stories About Travel 

En route to Nampa. they passed through Cheyenne 
for the first time. They arrived from Colorado and it 
was almost night. It iiad been raining and site said tiie 
viaduct was "ricketv and friuhteninii to cross." Thev 

saw the sign for the Plains Hotel and managed to get a 
room there for the night. They decided Cheyenne e\ en- 
tualK was where they wanted to teach — even though 
their friends "threw up their arms in horror" at hearing 
the plan. 

Rosemary tells of crossing Wyoming — passing the 
tree-in-the-rock. seeing the wildtlowers and the many 
animals along the road such as antelope and rabbits. 
The\ were fascinated by Ames Monument. She told of 
staying overnight in Rock Springs when en route to 
Nampa. While she said they enjoyed their time in Idaho, 
they still wanted to return to Cheyenne to teach. 

Tourist couils were in fashion then — little indi\ idual 
houses with one room equipped with a small stove. Lin- 
ens were furnished as well as pots and pans for cook- 
ing. The Quinns always chose to eat at cafes or in the 
hotels. Roads in those days were mud and gravel, but 
in a few years, governments began oiling them and travel 
became easier. The Oiiiims always returned to Arkan- 
sas in the summers to help care for relatives there. 
They always drove, but at Christmas, when they re- 
turned for the holidav s. the\ took the train. 

In the early \ears. a driver needed a "little blue book" 
to tell how far to go and where the ne.xt stops were. 
Highway markers came at a later date, she said. One 
time their car got stuck in a puddle of mud. The sheriff 
came along and told them he had a prisoner in the car 
and that the prisoner would help them get out of the 
mud. Neither of the men would accept an\ mone\ for 
helping. Rosemar\ mentioned that truck dri\ers were 
"always helpful in telling you information" and which 
towns not to stop in — where to stay and eat. 

One time the\ were returning from Vedauwoo west 
of Cheyenne when they were flagged down b\ the 
game warden. He needed to use their spare tire be- 
cause two of his tires had been ruined. He gave the 
sisters some beautiful trout which the\ distributed to 
their friends in Cheyenne who wondered where the\ 
had caught them. They said they had "caught them with 
a spare tire" and never explained further! 

On one trip, the car lights failed as they were dri\ ing 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

along the highway. A train stopped and the trainman 
told them he could take a message to Cheyenne. The 
Quinns told him to go to Walton Motors and the firm 
would send out a "service battery." A short while later, 
the service person arrived with the battery and the 
Quinns were not charged for the service. 

One time the Quinns were going "home" for Christ- 
mas on the train. They went with a friend to the Plains 
Hotel for dinner. They planned to walk over to the de- 
pot, just a block away. A senator from northern Wyo- 
ming stopped them and invited them to come to his room 
for a drink. They said they couldn't because they had 
to catch the train. They found out. however, that the 
train was going to be at least I 1/2 hours late so they 
went back and had the drink. In the interim, the train 
made up time. By the time they returned to the depot, 
the train had already left. They had to stay in Cheyenne 
for the night. That meant getting Dinneen's to get their 
car out of storage, take them home, and come back for 
them the next morning. (Car dealers stored cars in those 
days and Dinneens was one garage that did that for 
customers). Rosemary said that when they got to Ar- 
kansas, their father "gave them the works" about miss- 
ing the train. 

During World War 11, it was not always easy to get a 
train ticket. She said the soldiers were always very nice 

and helped them to get on. Many times, the two sisters 
just stayed in the observation or club car. 

Rosemary and her sister enjoyed going to Little Bear 
Inn which, at that time, was about 25 miles north of 
Cheyenne. It was owned by Larry and Helen Murray. 
One night, a terrible blizzard came up and their car got 
stuck between two trees. Murray arranged for strang- 
ers to take them back to Cheyenne. The sisters heard 
the sound of gurgling coming from the back of the car 
and they concluded that the driver was taking whiskey 
to a nearby "dry" state. They told the driver to drop 
them off two blocks from their apartment because they 
did not want the strangers to know where they lived. 
On another occasion, they had to stay overnight at the 
Brown Palace in Denver because of the weather. An- 
other time, they went to Laramie for a baby shower 
and had a terrible return trip through a storni. One time, 
they were stranded on a bus coming from Denver. A 
truck filled with fruits and vegetables stopped and the 
driver gave everyone in the bus something to eat. 

The Community and Social Events 

The Quinn sisters loved Cheyenne {and. I might add, 
Cheyenne loved them). They enjoyed horseback riding 
and became capable riders. They often went out to Ed 
McCarty's ranch. (McCarty provided the stock for 

Cheyenne Apartments, home to the Quinn sisters when they lived in Cheyenne. 

Winter '2003. 

Cheyenne Frontier Days, the Denver and Fort Worth 
stock shows, and the Pendleton Roundup). The sisters 
would go out to watch the stociv being unloaded. They 
saw famous bucking horses there including Midnight. 
Five Minutes to Midnight, and the Brown Bomber. 

In the winters, the Quinn sisters took up snow -shoe- 
ing and skiing. They loved the outdoors and enjoyed 
seeing the wildlife. 

She said the\ always enjo\ed the cocktail parties and 
dances — even during Prohibition. The sisters often w ent 
to "the Fort" — than Fort Russell, but after 1930, Fort 
Warren and now Warren Air Force Base — but after 
1 930 known as Fort Warren. There, they attended par- 
ties and rode horses. One ride got Rosemars into trouble. 
She rode the colonel's horse named "Hamish" and fed 
him sugar cubes with her toe. The colonel rode the horse 
for review one day and Hamish wanted a sugar cube. 
When he did not get it. he threw the colonel off After 
that, Rosemary was forbidden from gi\ing the horse 
any more sugar. 

In Cheyenne in those da\ s, big parties were held about 
twice a month and theQuinns also liked to give smaller 
parties in their home at the Che\ enne Apartments w here 
they lived. (The apartments are now known as The 
Landmark). The Quinns were popular young women. 
Rosemary once dated Milward Simpson, who many 
years later became Wyoming governor and senator. She 
said that "he found out I was a Democrat and a Catho- 
lic and that was the end of our dating." The Quinns 
were especially fond of dancing at the Officer's Club. 
All of the women wore long dresses. One time, the 
entire party was stranded overnight at the club b\ a 
blizzard. Rosemary said the_\ "looked prett\ funn\ com- 
ing to breakfast in their evening clothes." 

The Quinns enjoyed dances at the Elks Club and also 
at neighboring ranches where dances were held in the 
barns. Hay bales were placed along the sides for seat- 
ing. People would bring their babies. Ia\ them on the 
bales where the children would sleep. Fiddles and gui- 
tars furnished the music and they danced waltzes, two- 
steps, tangos, and the Charleston. The\ did not square 
dance. Dances often were held on Saturday nights be- 
cause they could last until 2 or 3 in the morning. Rose- 
mary said they often went to Mass at noon after a night 
on the town. 

As teachers they associated with townspeople as well 
as their fellow educators. They dated airline pilots — 
ones who carried the mail across the United States. 
The pilots stopped in Cheyenne and flew to Salt Lake 
City or Omaha. Some of the pilots would party with 
them and "they always had good whiskey." The pilots 
got it while laying over at various stops for rest days. 

They would fly in a load of Canadian whiskey and give 
it to friends or sell it. One time, a pilot thought he was 
going to crash so he threv\ the whiskey out of the air- 
plane. He would have been fired if he had li\ed and 
the> found out he had the whiskev . Rosemar\ said that 
before the runwa_\s were lighted, the planes tiew onl\ 
in the day time. If a plane came in late, people were 
asked to drive out to the runwa\ and turn the car lights 
on to make the field bright enough for the plane to land. 
A pilot li\ ing in their apartment building was killed. The 
Quinns asked the apartment manager to let them in so 
they could retrieve .several empt> liquor bottles from 
the apartment. She said he was Mormon and the\ did 
not want his parents to think he had drunk all of the 
liquor. He v\as not a drinker but onl\ a bottle collector. 

When they were in college, the Quinns learned how 
to make wine — from dandelions. Oklahoma was a "dry 
state" at that time. Rosemar\ said that during Prohibi- 
tion in Cheyenne, the> made w ine from chokecherries. 
It was quite delicious, she said. Also. the\ made the 
chokecherries into a liqueur that was like cherry her- 

The\ liked a southern truit called red haws — berries 
from hawthorn bushes. One time the_\ saw some near 
Wheatland when the> were there for a teachers' meet- 
ing. They were afraid to ask the landowner if the\ could 
pick a few of them so they waited until after dark and 
then went gathering. 

While li\ ing in Che\enne. the> once attended an Irish 
wake. Even though they were half Irish, they were not 
familiar with the custom. The\ went to one for a man 
whose son and wife were friends who lived in the same 
apartment house. The place had to be cleaned and the 
curtains washed and ironed. A huge feast was pre- 
pared with lots of food and drink. The deceased was in 
one room with no furniture except for chairs around the 
room and the casket in the center. ">'ou could go in and 
kneel down b\ the casket and sa\ a prayer, and then 
you went over and sat in one of the chairs." Rosemar\ 
said. Each person told of all of the nice things they could 
about the deceased. As the chairs vacated, more people 
came in. "After \ou went in and said a pra\er, you 
would go eat and drink and sta> as long as >ou cared 
to." Some people even stayed the entire night. Every- 
one laughed and talked. The\ would then have the fu- 
neral the next day. 


Rosemary said she found teaching fourth graders to 
be quite different from teaching junior high students. 
She told of a little girl in her class whose grandmother 
ran a house of prostitution in Cheyenne. (It was illegal. 

Annals of Wyoming; The Wyoming History Journal 

but they existed in Cheyenne, often catering to soldiers). 
One day. while teaching the class, Rosemary looked 
out of the window and saw the little girl sauntering along. 
It was almost time for the bell to ring — the tardy bell — 
and the principal "had a fit when children were tardy." 
Rosemary yelled to the little girl to run, but she acted as 
though she hadn't heard the teacher. At recess, Rose- 
mary asked the little girl, "Why did you not run?" The 
little girl told her she was "too tired to run." She ex- 
plained that it was "all she could do to get up and go to 
school" that morning. She said, "My grandmother had 
an awful busy night last night. There were cars all 
around and people coming and going. ...and the neigh- 
bors thought someone had died." Then the little girl told 
Rosemary, "it was so busy that if you had made up as 
many beds as 1 did last night, you'd be too tired to run, 

One time Rosemary decided to have a pet show for 
her class. Each child was to bring an animal. One little 
bo\ brought a lamb. The lamb had ticks on it and the 
children were having a great time pulling ticks from the 
lamb instead of looking at the other animals! Not all 
children had pets so the next time, Rosemary changed 
the plan and had a foreign doll show. In the social stud- 
ies class, they studied different countries. Each child 
would choose a county and study it, dress a doll to rep- 
resent the country, and write something about the coun- 
try. The student could get all the help they wished in 
making the doll clothes. Even the boys participated in 
the show. 

Eventually, Rosemary added a Wyoming history unit 
and it became one of the most popular subjects. She 
said that one of her students became a history teacher 
and taught Western history at Central High School in 
Cheyenne. He said his interest in history came from 
her in the fourth grade. (That story is true — I am the 

In Rosemary's classes, students learned to combine 
art skills with history. Each Christmas, the girls would 
make sagebrush pins for their mothers for presents. 
The boys would make sagebrush candles. Rosemary 
said she was pleased that Clarice Whittenberg wrote a 
book on Wyoming history that was useable by fourth 
grade students. She said the only part she had to em- 
bellish was the ranching unit. One time she told a story 

about how a man cured a cow by splitting its tail and 
pouring salt and pepper on it and wrapping it up. The 
cure would get rid of "doodlebugs." A Cheyenne rancher 
did not believe her, but later, he was in Texas and found 
out that it was true. 

One time her principal thought the children needed 
more entertainment and organized a dance. She said 
the teachers enjoyed it more than the students so that 
ended that plan! Since she had a southern accent, she 
said sometimes students would say they missed spell- 
ing words because they could not understand her. IVIany 
times, they just asked her to repeat words since they 
liked to hear how she pronounced them. 

Rosemary Qiiinn's stories of growing up in the 
South and her family life are interesting for further 
reading. Certainly, she and her sister left a wonder- 
ful legacy with many young people in Cheyenne. 
When she celebrated her 100th birthday, six of us 
from Cheyenne attended her party. One former stu- 
dent. Ruth Finch Powers, was nearly 92 years old 
when she died in spring 2003. When she had her 
90th birthday, .she said she found it hard to believe 
that she got a card from a former teacher! 

William R. "Bill" Dubois III taught American and 
frontier history in the Cheyenne schools for 37 
years. He has a baccalaureate degree from North- 
western Universit}' and a Masters in history from 
the University of Wyoming. He helped to write The 
Magic City of the Plains in 1967 and Landmarks 
of Cheyenne in 1976. He recently published a 
\ book on the Plains Hotel, co-written with Shirley 
Flynn. His grandfather was the architect of the 
hotel. Dubois serves on the board for Cheyenne 
Historic Preservation, the United Medical Center, 
the Historic Governor 's Mansion, the Cheyenne 
Concert Association, and the American Heritage 
Center. He is past president of the Wyoming State 
Historical Society and the Laramie County chap- 
ter. Director of the board that created the Old West 
Museum, he also has served on the Centennial 
Commission and the board of the State Parks and 
Cultural Resources Department. 

Bert Lampitt 
and Bi^ Horn 
Basin Murders, 
1909 and 1921 


:*#^-^. i^/ 


4 ^L^ TORMED" is one of eleven cryptic words chis- 

V^P eled in Mesa Verde sandstone on a mountainside 
near Cody, Wyoming. The carvings on a south-facing 
cliff are at the comfortable height fora fairly tall man to 
stand and pound them carefully out of the timi rock 
probably tapping a small chisel with a stone or hammer. 

These eleven words and two dates have been pre- 
served by being on private land with limited access. 

The blocky print capitol letters average about four 
inches high. At the top of the group is the one word 
"STORMED" and directly under that are two words, 
"TEN. DAYS.", with a period after each word. Then 
the rock carver's name appears, "BERT LAMPITT". 
Beneath the man's name are dates: "5-22-30-1906". 
Presumably, it stormed from May 22 to 30, 1906. 

To place these words in context of the weather of 
that time, the Cody newspaper, the Stockgrower and 
Farmer, mentions how mild the winter had been at the 
Wapiti ranger station. But snow fell in April. The May 
9, 1906, edition of the paper had two items about the 
breaking drought. The first stated, "Soft snow storm 
occurred last Friday moistening the range in good shape 
and insuring a speedy growth of grass." And it was 
important enough to repeat in another column: "A re- 
cent rain and soft snow did untold good to the country." 
But on May 24, 1906, the paper again mentioned the 
weather, noting that a terrible windstorm had come up 
on Sunday evening caused cancellation of the young 
people's Epworth League meeting at the Methodist 
church. And it was during the above ten-day period 

The chiseled words 

Author's photograph 

that the "bad weather" caused cancellation of the wild 
west rodeos at Marquette.' 

After ten days of late May moisture, one can imagine 
the flourishing growth of grass on the range. This fact 
provides meaning for the last three words of this six- 
line message — words that do not seem to make sense 
or have been misinterpreted by viewers through the 
years. The words are "A. BEEF STAKE." As guid- 
ance to its meaning, one must consider the old-time 
phrase. "Grub Stake," which could be used both as a 
verb and as a noun. A grubstake was money and/or 
supplies furnished to someone as an investment or to 
provide a start in some endeavor such as mining. Would 
it not make sense then that knee high range grass lushly 
growing after ten days of moisture could be a Beef 
Stake for a stock grower? 

This is not the end of the chiseled words, nor the end 
of the story. There are three more words and one more 
date. These are located to the lower right and added an 
unknown number of years after the above inscription. 
The incised printing is similar but not exactly the same 
as the work produced above. It has the look o\~ less 
precision. Another person probabK did it. 

These words are ominous with meaning. The word 
"KILLED" is just above the name "DOC ASH" and 
lastly the year " 1 909" with no periods. - 

' The tilling of the Shoshone Reser\oir with water in 1910 eov- 
ered the settlement at Marquette. 

- The abo\ e photograph of the inscription has been highlighted to 
bring out the car\ ings. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

On the frigid, snowy night of December 6, 1 909, 
a man was murdered in Cody.' The main char- 
acters involved in the incident were the murder victim, 
Seth Arthur Ash. known as "Doc" Ash; the accused, 
(Albert) Bert Lampitt; and Dorothy "Dot" Newton. 

Born on a farm near Storm Lake, Iowa, on Decem- 
ber 3, 1869. Ash aspired, persevered, and graduated 
from Highland Park College. Des Moines, Iowa, as a 
pharmacist and analytical chemist. Everyone called him 
"Doc" but he was not a medical doctor. Earlier in life 
he had married and, in 1902, divorced in Storm Lake. 
He moved around, settling for a time in Anoka, Minne- 
sota. From there, he moved to Cody, overcoming health 
problems by spending time in the mountains. Later, he 
worked for Cummins Store, a general merchandise store 
that included a drug store."* 

Ash had no family in Cody, but he was not entirely a 
stranger in town." He had known Justice of the Peace § 
C. W. Dibble when both men lived in Storni Lake. By = 
1909, Dibble had known Ash for some twenty years. In " 
Cody, "Doc" lived in a small ten-by-twelve foot cabin J 
just behind the Dibble bakery on the south side of < 
Rumsey Avenue in the block between 2nd and 3rd 
streets, (as the town grew the streets were renumbered 
1 2th and 1 3th). About 1 905, Dibble had "moved his Little 
Gem restaurant to Lot 5 in Block 50," later turning the 
business into a bakery.^ 

After a few years in Cody, Ash bought a one-third 
share of the Western Drug Store which stood in the 
200 (later changed to 1200) block, west of the (old) 
Shoshone Bank on the north side of Sheridan Avenue. 
It was but a short distance from the back door of the 
Western Drug, across the east-west alley to Ash's cabin. 
Dallas A. Tinkcom owned the other two-thirds of part- 
nership he and Ash had formed in 1907. Tinkcom had 
been an Ash schoolmate in Storm Lake. 

At the time, the growing town of Cody provided plenty 
of jobs. Some of these new businesses included the 
sulfur reduction plant across the river, south of DeMaris 
Springs; the Roller Flour Mill at the northwest comer of 
present-day 1 2th Street and Wyoming Avenue; and most 
of all, the federally- funded Bureau of Reclamation Dam 
in the Shoshone Canyon, where workmen blasted out a 
road through the Canyon and filled a narrow wedge in 
the canyon with concrete, resulting in the world's high- 
est dam. 

By 1 909 Doc Ash, at the age of 40, tended toward 
middle-aged stoutness. Nonetheless, Cody residents 
considered him good-looking with a fashionable black 
moustache. As a Main Street businessman, he usually 
wore a three-piece suit and tie. He hunted successfully 

"Doc " Ash ami his trophy bear hide 

and a studio photograph shows him with a trophy griz- 
zly bear hide. 

In the late 1 9th century, the northern Big Horn Basin 
had been "cattle country." After the great die-off of 
cattle during the winter of 1886-1887. sheep-raising 
gained in popularity. The Wyoming Woolgrowers had 

The account ofthe Ash murder comes from contemporar>' news- 
paper reports in the Cody Stockgrower and Farmer: the Northern 
Wyoming Daily .\>u'i ( Worland): the Basin Republican: and undated 
and unidentified newspapers in the file on Ash held in the Park 
County Historical Archives. The murder, not altogether unusual in 
the annals ofthe West, provided materials for a fictional murder — 
that of Mormon Joe in Caroline Lockhart. The Fighting Shepherd- 
ess (Boston: Small. Ma>nard & Co.. 1919). The Cod_\ author not 
onl> used the technique, location, and the weather at the time, but 
also colorful details ofthe case in her popular Western tale. 

■" Biographical information is drawn from the files on Ash held in 
the Park County Historical Archives. 

- Besides relatives in Iowa, he had a brother. Dr. Eugene Ash. in 
government service in the Panama Canal Zone, and a sister. Alice 
Calhoun, living in Boston. 

'' In 2002 the City of Cody owned Lot 5 which is now a narrow 
parking lot. just east of an old north and south alley. Cody Eagle 
Lodge ow ned the property east ofthe rectangular parking lot. Martha 
Marston Newton bought the little cabin and moved it north across 
Rumsey Avenue to its present location behind 1 232 Bleistein when 
she owned that property. Where the Dibbles lived at that time has 
not been ascertained, but in April 1909. Charles W. and Stella A. 
Dibble bought property. Lot 1 6 in Block 9. from Hany B. Robertson. 

Winter ^2003 

gained considerable clout in Wyoming, and the Big Horn 
County Woolgrowers in 1909 urged its members to at- 
tend the 6th Annual Convention in Cheyenne. The State 
Board of Sheep Commissioners was active in the fall 
of 1909. and at one meeting. William L. Simpson spoke 
out to end the quarantine of sheep for "lip and leg ulcer- 
ation," later called hoof and mouth disease.' 

By the first decade of the 20th century, sheep raising 
surpassed cattle ranching in the area.** Many sheepmen 
had become prosperous and prominent. A. C. Newton. 
Santford C. Watkins, Henry D. Fulton. Reuben 
Hargraves. were some of the nearby sheep raisers. The 
Chapmans of the Two Dot and Dave Dickie had herds 
farther afield. 

The Newtons had two children. Their daughter. Dor- 
othy Deane Newton, had been born in Johnson County. 
Nebraska, on December 12. 1 89 1 . and brought to Cody 
at the age of 14 months. In 1906. a Codv newspaper, 
noted that "The pretty daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. 
Newton, won a contest of most popular young lady in 
Wyoming."" The 14-year-old Dorothy Newton won the 
state-wide contest, sponsored by the Chevciine Tri- 
bune and. with it. the first prize of a $450 piano and a 
gold watch. In reporting the story, newspapers called 
her father, A. C. Newton, a "wealthy flockmaster."'" 

The third individual involved in the drama was Bert 
Lampitt. born in 1 883. who had come from Plainfield. 
Nebraska, to the Big Horn Basin in 1900. Lampitt. an 
experienced sheepherder, worked in Cody for six months 
in 1 906 for Roger McGinnis of the Cody Lumber Com- 
pany. Through his many years of previous experience. 
Bert knew all of the area sheepmen and their families. 

In Cody during the decade, people worked hard and 
socialized. During the spring of 1906, 
the local paper advertised a great 
many dances: the Military ball; a 
Mask Ball; Bachelor Club dance. 
There is no evidence that 1 5-year-old 
Dorothy Newton attended these pub- 
lic dances, but she would have danced 
in homes and informal gatherings. It 
is doubtful if eccentric sheepherder 
Bert Lampitt. a loner, went to dances. 
it could have been about this time that 
Lampitt worked briefly as camp ten- 
der for A. C. Newton and when he 
developed an infatuation with the 
"pretty and popular" Dorothy New- 
ton. (While the date is uncertain, the 
date he recorded on stone indicates 
that he was working north of Cody in 
May, 1906). 

The marriage of A. C. and Flora (Flo) Newton, par- 
ents of Dorothy (Dot), was on the rocks by 1909. (It 
wasnotterminated. however, until April 15. 191 1 ). About 
the time that Dorothy Newton reached marriageable 
age, she had been singled out by "Doc" Ash as a pos- 
sible wife. Doc was significantly older than Dorothy, 
but he was considered one of Cody "s most eligible bach- 

' Simpson, the father of Gov. /Sen. Milward Simpson, is credited 
with ending the rift between the tlockmasters and agriculturalists. 
Before 1910 Big Horn County included Washakie and Park Coun- 
ties and the towns of I en Sleep and Cod\ . No problems occurred in 
the west end of Big Morn count>. the cattlemen set a "deadline" 
between upper Rattlesnake Creek and I rout Creek Basin to keep 
Newton's sheep east of it and they did not cross the line. T. A. 
1 arson wrote. 'Detectiv es employed by the Wyoming Woolgrowers 
.Association were a deterrent to raids thereafter, and cattlemen quit 
murdering sheepmen and herders." Larson. Htstoiy oj Wyoming. 
(Lincoln; L'niversit> of Nebraska F'ress). 1965. 371 

" In April. 1909. the so-called Spring Creek raid near Ten Sleep 
resulted in the deaths of three sheepmen. Sheriff Felix Alston and 
Prosecuting Attorney Percy Metz ""began a thorough investiga- 
tion" and the culprits were tried, convicted and sentenced. See .lohn 
W , Dav is. ,4 I ast Amoiiiit of Trouble A llisloiy o/ ihe S/viiig Creek 
/?(/;</ (Niwot: Colo. Assoc. Univ. Press. 1993) 

' Cody Stockgrower and Farmer. June 7. 1 906, 

'"How could a 14-year-old girl in a remote comer of Wyoming 
win a state popularitv contest promoted by a Che\enne newspa- 
per'^ According to a telephone conversation u ith Oorothv's daugh- 
ter .leanne Kuiper on .lanuary 3 1 . 2002. .leanne said. " 1 he contest 
was actually between the cattlemen and sheepmen of Wyoming. 
Dorothy was the daughter of a sheepman and her main opponent 
was the daughter of a cattleinan in the southern part of Wyoming," 
Jeanne further explained. "The piano was one of Ihe best Kimball 
oak pianos w ith elaborate hand-car\ ed oak lea\ es adorning the frame. 
It was shipped out to Cod\ on a flatcar from Chicago," She did not 
know what became ofthe watch, but she still had the piano in her 
home in Denver. 

viewed fram the east. In 2003. it was located at 1232 Bleistein. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Ash had become friends with Flo Newton, Dot. and 
Dot's younger brother Brownie. At this time Flo and A. 
C. were estranged, so when Ash sought Dorothy's hand 
in marriage he talked it over with Flo instead of Dorothy 's 
father. Plans had been laid for a coming-of-age birth- 
day party for Dorothy at which time her betrothal to 
Doc Ash would be announced. (She would turn 1 8 on 
December 1 2). At that event. "Doc" would present her 
w ith the diamond engagement ring. 

The winter of 1 909- 1910 turned out to be extremely 
cold. Newspaper accounts reported the death of sheep; 
even some herders froze to death." 

On Monday evening, December 6, 1 909, six days be- 
fore Dot's birthday, her prospective fiance was mur- 
dered. Local newspaper accounts vividly describe the 
story . Near Second Street ( 1 2th) and Rumsey Avenue, 
shortly after 1 1 :30 p.m.. a gun shot blast was heard, 
followed by piercing screams. The commotion awak- 
ened at least one man, G. A. Pulley, the Iowa-born 
ov\ner of Cody's "lovva Store." who threw on outer 
garments and went outside to investigate. Pulley lived 
north of 12th and Rumsey and when he stepped out- 
side, he saw a man staggering down the alley toward 
the house of Frank Campbell (now 1 320 Bleistein Av- 
enue) and formerly occupied by Dr. Louis Howe.'- 
Another neighbor. Jakey Allen, joined Pulley just as the 
victim fell on Howe's porch. The two men were horri- 
fied to recognize the fallen man as Doc Ash of the 
Western Drug.'- 

As he laid on the porch. Ash was holding his hands 
tightly across his stomach and groaning with agonizing 
pain. He explained an assassin had shot him as he en- 
tered his house. Joe Isham, night policeman, and two 
Perry boys joined the group. The assembled men de- 
cided to carry the stricken man across the alley to the 
Waples Hospital, a three-story building (now 1321 
Rumsey Avenue). '"* They aroused Dr. Waples and car- 
ried Ash inside and up the stairs to the operating room 
on the second floor. Barely ten minutes had passed. 
They sent for another doctor, W. S. Bennett, and Ash's 
friend, Charles W. "Sandy" Dibble. After examining 
the victim it became obvious his end was near. The 
buck shot had struck him just below the diaphragm, liver 
and spleen were lacerated, his intestines were cut to 
ribbons and part of these intestines protruded from the 
gaping hole in his stomach; it was that which he was 
attempting to hold in when first found. 

One of the physicians asked, "Who shot you?" "Some 
son of a bitch in my house," Ash answered. About this 
time, his close friend Dibble rushed into the room and 
shouted. "My God, Ash. what has happened?" He re- 

peated the previous answer and told Dibble that he tried 
to escape the assassin whom he believed was still in his 
cabin, but he tripped over the woodpile, leaving a bloody 
trail as he staggered eastward. When the doctors tried 
to minister to him he stopped them. "Never mind me, I 
want to make a will," Ash told them. 

Someone grabbed a sheet of Waples Hospital statio- 
nery and someone scrawled the words: 

" Lockhart emphasized the cold and snowy weather at the time 
of the murder of Mormon Joe in her novel. Lockhart based Kate, the 
heroine of the book, on a combination of Caroline herself and Dor- 
oth> Newton Efner. See Lockhart. The Fighting Shepherdess. 88, 

'- Dr. Louis Howe had been treating Ash for "appendicitis" dur- 
ing 1909 and later presented a sizeable bill to the Ash Estate. Dr. 
Howe later reduced the bill by two thirds to $33. 

" Which alley is difficult to ascertain because at present in the 
1 200- 1 300 blocks of Rumsey. Bleistein. and Salsbury Avenues, the 
allev s run east and west as well as north and south. 

'"■ This three-stor\ building in 2002 was owned b\ Ann Simpson, 
wife of Alan, who is grandson of William L. Simpson. 

Dorothy Newton holding a cat. This may be Dorothy 's 
graduation picture. 

Winter '2003 


I hereby will all my property to Dorothy Newton. S. 
A. Ash. [Illegible scratches apparently were Ash's at- 
tempt to sign.] 

Witnessed by: C. W. Dibble W. S. Bennett Chas. H. 
Stump, [signatures]. Made at 12:36 a. m.( Dec. 7. 1909). 

Ash gasped his last words to his friend Dibble, "Sandy, 
I'm done for." A few minutes later, he was pronounced 
dead, having lived one hour and twenty minutes after 
the gun shot blast. 

Immediately the ne.xt day, the county coroner 
empanelled three men for an inquest. Designated were 
rancher A. J. Martin of the Southfork; Ash's partner 
Dallas Tinkcom; and young Harr>' Thurston, Forest 
Ranger. Prosecuting Attorney Percy Metz and Deputy 
Sheriff Ed Cusack of Basin attended the inquest. 

The verdict of this jury on December 7, 1909, de- 
clared S. A. Ash died by a trap set gun. Examination of 
the cabin revealed the manner of his death. A single- 
barrel twelve-gauge shot gun, using a Winchester shell, 
had been placed on the stove and aimed directly at the 
door. Attached to the trigger were three pieces of cot- 
ton cord tied together, so arranged and fastened to the 
knob of the door that its opening caused the weapon's 
discharge. An open window from which the screen had 
been removed showed the route of entrance and exit. 
Extensive tramping in the snow around the cabin oblit- 
erated any incriminating tracks. 

They held the funeral Thursday under the direction 
of the Odd Fellows (lOOF) and Eagles (FOE) lodges. 
The townspeople turned out to pay their respects to the 
well-liked citizen and he was laid to rest in Riverside 

Ash's spur-of-the-moment death bed will was to cause 
lengthy litigation that took years to settle. A month af- 
ter the funeral, on .lanuary 8, 1910, Ash's brother and 
sister filed a legal objection to the death bed will and 
contested it on grounds the "decedent was not of sound 
mind" when it was written. They hired William L. 
Simpson as their lawyer. Dot Newton did not turn 18 
until a few days after the murder. Consequently, Flo 
Newton, her mother, had to act as her legal guardian. 
She hired C. A. Zaring of Basin as her attorney.'" 

About the same time. Dot placed an ad in the 
Stockgrower cuid Farmer offering a reward for ap- 
prehension of Ash's murderer. She said she would sell 
everything he had left to her, except the keepsakes, for 
the reward. But there were no takers. 

Townspeople wondered who could have cominitted 
such a cowardly assassination, it didn't take long for a 
suspect to be found. Bert Lainpitt was suspected for 
three reasons: it was known he was infatuated with 

pretty Dot Newton: he was known to be adept at set- 
ting trap guns (at one time, he had killed a bear with a 
set gun); and he had been hanging around town that 
evening, leaving between 1 I :30 and midnight. When he 
came to town earlier that day, he had tied his horse to 
the support of a large signboard at the top of the Mill 
Hill near what is now 12th and Wyoming Avenue about 
three blocks from the location of Ash's cabin. '^ 

After leaving town that night, Lampitt rode down off 
the two benches between Cody and the river, his horse 
thumped across the wooden bridge and climbed the 
matching hills north of the river. He then rode northeast 
across the Hargrave Bench to the Hargrave's Ranch 
on Cottonwood Creek, a distance of four miles from 
Cody. A well-known trail ran from Cottonwood Creek 
on to Eagle Nest and Powell, at that time, unimpeded 
by any fences. '* Many people chose that route to Powell 
and it is possible that Lampitt rode on to his wagon and 
sheep at Eagle Nest, even though it would have been a 
long, cold and risky ride. He most likely stopped at 

'' His grave lay neglected and mostly forgotten until 1925 when 
a nephew had the body removed to Storm Lake. Iowa. His good 
friend. C. W. Dibble, was appointed special administrator of the 
estate, estimated to be about $2000. His personal items were me- 
tieulousK itemized, including some 37 books, cribbage board, cloth- 
ing, dow n to how many of handkerchiefs were white and how many 
were blue. He had kept some of his property at Newton's Trail 
Creek Ranch, including a phonograph and records, field glasses, a 
buggy, a watch, and various other items including the diamond en- 
gagement ring he planned to give to l^ot al the party planned for 
December 1 2. During the author's telephone interview with Jeanne 
Newton Kuiper. when asked if she knew what had happened to the 
engagement ring, she replied. "I'm wearing it on my finger right 
now." Jeanne is Dorothy's daughter. On November 12. 1910. the 
court appointed Victor Lantry administrator of the Estate and Dibble 
turned over the legal matters to him. On May 28. 1912. V. G. Lantry 
died and on January 7. 1914. Dorothy Newton was appointed to 
succeed Lantry. On April 18. 1915. Dorothy married George 
Bonaparte Efner. On October 11. 1915. the Ash estate was finally 
settled. Dorothy received $25 as administratri,\ and $144.51. all 
that remained of the Ash Estate. Legal bills had eaten up the rest of 
the approximately $1 700 in five years, including for some reason, 
bills for Victor Lantry "s last illness. Dorothy gave birth to twins 
July 17. 1918. a boy and a girl, but only the girl. Jeanne, survived. 
George Efner died April 2. 1919. and Dorothy died July 2.3. 1919. 
Their child. Jeanne Efner was adopted by her grandfather. A. C. 
Newton, and called Jeanne Newton. 

'" William L. Simpson "read for the law" under Douglas Preston 
of Lander and passed the State Bar examination. He moved his 
family to Cody in 1907 and lived in the red brick at the 
northwest end of Bleistein Avenue. C. A. Zaring graduated from the 
University of Indiana Law School in 1896 and came west to Basin 
in 1901. Park County Historical Archives. 

"Caroline Lockhart described the murderer in her story as wear- 
ing a mackinaw coat and a cap with ear flaps, and carry ing a coil of 
rope. axe. and gun in a gunny sack. Lockhart. 87. 

'* Louis Moore, interview bv author. March 1. 2002 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Hargrave"s ranch and then settled into his herding rou- 
tine the next day. 

Big Horn County Sheriff Felix Alston sent Deputy 
Sheriff Rice Hutsonpillarand Town Marshal Tom Kane 
after Lampitt on Saturday morning. They arrested him 
at Eagle Nest as he was coming back from Sand Cou- 
lee. When one of the officers told Lampitt. "You are 
under arrest," Lampitt asked, "What for?" The officer 
answered, "You can guess can't you?" He did not an- 
swer. The officers brought Lampitt to Cody and jailed 

Proving the owner of the set gun would provide key 
evidence. It was a cheap, single-barrel shotgun with 
rubber stock pistol grip. Many witnesses remembered 
that young Willard Rucker had been given the gun by 
his father. W. W. Rucker of "The Wonder Store." The 
Rucker family had moved to Portland, Oregon, but be- 
fore leaving Wyoming, had sold off much of their house- 
hold and personal effects, including the gun. No one but 
Rucker knew to whom he sold the gun, but when Sher- 
iff Alston traveled to Portland to question him, the man 
refused to talk. 

As Lucille Patrick later told the story in Best Little 
Town by a Dam Site. "After a week in jail, with ru- 
mors flying and talk of lynching prevalent, Lampitt's 
father arrived in town accompanied by his own lawyer, 
C. E. Lear."'" 

The preliminary hearing went forward before Sheriff 
Alston returned from Portland. Without solid evidence, 
the county attorney had no case. They released Lampitt 
to go back to herding Hargrave"s sheep, much to the 
relief of Hargrave who had taken over the job himself 
while Lampitt was in jail. 

Despite the evidence pointing to Lampitt as Ash's 
murderer, the man had a clean record. Many people 
couldn't believe he had set the gun and some testified 
that he was frugal, had a bank account, neither smoked 
or drank or used profane language.-" 

As years went by, the folk tales of Bert Lampitt 
faded.-' How long Lampitt continued to herd sheep 
around Cody is not known.-- It is clear that by 1 9 i 8. he 
had changed careers and was working for the Ohio Oil 
Company. He worked in 1919 in the Kirby Oil field. 
Despite the distance, he returned to Cody often. At 
some point, he had become infatuated with a friendly 
waitress at the Standard, a short order restaurant. And 
this was to figure into the next criminal incident in 
Lampitt's life. 

At 1 :30 a.m. May 7. 1 92 1 , a loud detonation and 
terrific explosion destroyed the Ohio Oil Camp 
bunkhouse at Grass Creek, Wyoming. The fairly new 
bunkhouse consisted of six small single apartments. 
Harry Foight occupied apartment # 1 , and his friend W. 
C. Seaton had apartment #2. J. A. Crandle, Charles 
Wilcox and Edward Schroeder occupied 3, 4, and 5. 
Apartment #6 was unoccupied. Explosives had been 
placed directly beneath the room occupied by Harry 
Foight and his dog. The detonation tore off the dog's 
head and legs and disintegrated Foight's body. The blast 
also killed and dismembered Seaton who had been in 
his apartment next door. The three other men, Crandle, 
Wilcox and Schroeder, were badly injured. Knocked 
unconscious by the blast, the men's bodies were dropped 
to earth 100 feet from where the bunkhouse stood.-' 

''' Lucille Nichols Patrick, Best Little Town by a Dam Site (Chey- 
enne: Flintlock Publishing Co.. 1 968). 259. 

'" This was not the belief of author Caroline Lockhart who used 
the mechanism of the set gun in her novel. The Fighting Shepherd- 
ess. 89. Nowadays Lampitt probably would have been convicted 
by using "behavioral profiling" and "signature analysis." methods 
investigators use for "getting into the mind of offenders." Lampitt's 
responses would now classify him as "emotionally flat", and he 
would be labeled a "stalker." Caroline Lockhart called him "men- 
tally subnormal." For explanation of these methods, see John Dou- 
glas and Mark Olshaker. Mind Hunter. (New York: Lisa Drew Pocket 
Books. 1995), 259. Lockhart also recalled in her newspaper in 1921. 
that during the Ash murder case Tom Kane. Cody's Town Marshal, 
worked hard to prove the ownership of the cheap, single-barrel 
shotgun, but was unsuccessful. In frustration Kane "threw down 
his badge on the table before Mayor Frank Houx and resigned." In 
her fictional story of the murder of Mormon Joe in The Fighting 
Shepherdess. Mayor Tin Hom Frank calls Sheriff Lingle off the 
case because he said continuing to speak of it would hurt the town's 
image. Potential settlers would be afraid to come. Lockhart. 1 50. 

'' One year after the murder. C. W. Dibble wrote a memorial 
piece published in the Park Count}' Enterprise. It was directed "To 
Honest People" and brought out the fact the crime had gone unpun- 
ished. Enterprise. December 7. 1910. For a later reference to the 
case, see Cody Enterprise. May II. 1 92 1 . 

" Louie Moore of Cody, who turned 90 in 2002. recalled a story 
handed down from his parents. Mrs. Charles (Neva) Stump had 
parked her car on Main Street and was standing on the sidewalk 
holding her arm when Bert Lampitt came along. He asked. "What's 
the trouble?" Neva answered. "This damn Ford broke my arm." 
These cars were started by using a front end crank, and had a terrible 
kick, the crank had flipped back striking her arm. Instead of helping 
her get to a doctor Lampitt was going to teach the Ford a lesson. He 
grabbed the crank and actually lifted the front end of the Ford off 
the street. Louie said. "Lampitt was exceedingly heavy built." Moore 

'' John C. Thompson, in his "In Old Wyoming" column, in an 
undated H'yoming State Tribune, wrote. "Lampitt. unsociable of 
disposition and shunned because of evil reputation, lived alone in a 
little shack nearby." Actually, the shack was nearly a mile from 

Winter i2003 


O «#»*i 



* 'va- 


? 'V 


. * 



Ohio Oil Contpuny camp. Grass Creek, Wyoming, c. 1922 

Just as in the Ash murder 12 years earher. the mo- 
tive apparently involved a love triangle. Harry Foight. 
who had died in the explosion, was one of the three. He 
was a World War I veteran who had been working as a 
tool dresser at the Grass Creek field, working for driller 
George McGrady of Ohio Oil.-^ 

The second person in this triangle was Mrs. Grace 
Lee. waitress in the cookhouse and caretaker of the 
biinkhouse. It was well-known that Grace Lee preferred 
Foight over the many other admiring unattached males 
in camp. All stepped aside e.xcept for one — Bert 
Lampitt, who had quit sheepherding and gone into oil 
field work. 

Grace Lee had known Lampitt from the time she 
worked as a waitress in the Standard Restaurant in 
Cody. She admitted in the preliminary hearing that she 
had had a platonic friendship with Lampitt. The two 
had gone to Yellowstone Park on one occasion, but the 
friendship waned when Lampitt starting showing an ugly 
streak. Grace complained to her sweetheart. Lampitt 
and Foight exchanged words and threats. In the verbal 
exchange, Foight accused Lampitt of the Ash murder. 
Lampitt replied, "They didn't get me for it." 

After the verbal encounter, Lampitt's anger contin- 
ued to fester. He went out to the oil well where McGrady 
and Foight were working. According to Elizabeth Nuhn, 
McGrady's daughter; "Bert Lampitt came to the drill- 

ing rig in the afternoon and quaireled w ith Hany Foight. 
My dad said to Lampitt, 'Bert, this is no place to fight. 
We are on company time. Solve your problems after 
hours. ""-^ 

That night, explosives placed directly beneath Foight's 
apartment exploded. The 1 :30 a.m., blast brought e\er}, 
uninjured resident of the camp to the spot — except 
Lampitt. Someone called the Hot Springs County Sher- 
iff George W. Holdridge and county coroner Peter H. 
Knight in Thermopolis. Rain had fallen most of the night 
and the 40 miles of muddy roads slowed their travel. 

Because Lampitt was conspicuously absent from the 
crowd, the Sheriff went to Lampitt"s shack, nearly a 
mile from town, and knocked. Lampitt opened the door 
rubbing his sleepy eyes. The coroner led him to the 
crime scene where he was shown the dismembered 
bodies. "Here are the men you killed last night." the 
coroner told him, but Lampitt showed no interest or 
emotion. Aftera preliminarv investigation, Lampitt was 
arrested and jailed. 

The evidence was circumstantial, but seemed con- 
clusive. The tire tracks at the crime scene were the 
same as those made by Lampitt"s car and footprints 

" Elizabeth McGrad\ Nuhn. "Memories of an Oil Field." .An- 
nals of Wyoming 5?, (Spring 1986). 3.4. 
-' Ibid. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 




/fA iii.'/^ 





2.^\ yf ,^ 

rnmr ii. ,?,-y^/-^7^,^^gg^^ 


wripht / 7.5/^ Build t-flR<^£. 

Complexion _£2.^/£Z£?. Moustache , 

Arrested ^ -p^ — I ^ 

f,..,.,^^...„-p,//::A/n/?A/ r,OtJA/-rY I ^ 

The prison record for Bert Lampitt (above) and his 
prison portrait, made when he was received at the 
penitentiary in Rawlins, 1922. 

matched Lampitt's. The powder magazine where the 
Ohio Oil Company kept high explosives had been bur- 
glarized. Marks in the woodwork of the doorwav where 
the lock was forced open matched an iron bar in 
Lampitt's car. When he was questioned, his car was 
ready to roll, loaded with camping gear and food. 

Lampitt had come into an inheritance of undisclosed 
amount and no cost was spared in hiring legal aid which 
cost him $4,500. His brother from Omaha attended the 
trial. Attorney General W. L. Walls of Cheyenne led 
the prosecuting team and William L. Simpson of Cody 
led the defense assisted by C. A. Zaring of Basin and 
Lin I. Noble of Thermopolis. Despite the most expen- 
sive lawyers for Lampitt, the case for the State seemed 

The trial, set for January 1 , 1 922, bogged down over 
choosing the jury. The names of women who were listed 
on the county's tax rolls were included forthe jury pool. 
Supporters of the effort to win jury service for women 
in the county called it a "hard fought battle," but, ulti- 
mately. Judge Percy Metz ruled that only men could be 
chosen for the jury. 

After opening statements, the prosecution introduced 
the preliminary hearing testimony of Grace Lee. She 
had testified at the preliminary hearing in May 1921 
about the rivalry between Foight and Lampitt. At that 
time, she quoted Lampitt as saying, "I will kill both of 
you." She stated that Lampitt believed in getting even: 
"Bert Lampitt believed in getting revenge." She again 
stressed that her recreational trips with Lampitt in his 

car were "purely platonic." She was not present to tes- 
tify at the trial, however. After the preliminary hearing 
in May, Grace Lee left the state to return to her old 
home in Kansas. She refused to return in January to 

For the prosecution, John Winters of Cody testified 
that Lampitt was an expert with explosives and trap set 
guns. William Murray, employee of the Cody Trading 
Company, produced a sales slip dated April 21, 1921, 
showing Lampitt bought five feet of fuse. Photogra- 
pher W. H. Bates testified that he had seen Lampitt 
dynamite caves. Bert Cogswell of Cody testified 
Lampitt rented a small bam from him wherein had been 
several sticks of dynamite which later were missing. 
Deputy United States Marshall Joe LeFors, famous 
Wyoming detective, took the stand and unequivocally 
stated Bert Lampitt was the murderer.-' 

Lampitt gave his occupation as "rancher, plumber, oil 
field worker, auto repairer." No mention was made of 
his occupation twelve years earlier in Cody when he 
herded sheep. He proffered a story about the fuse, claim- 
ing he bought the fuse to blow some rocks down to 
cover a cave into which sheep had been falling. This 
cave was located on Trail Creek near Red Butte, north 
of the old A. C. Newton ranch. Apparently, if his testi- 

^' Northern Wyoming Herald. Feb. 8. 1922. 

" The Northern Wyoming Herald, posted a daily bulletin of the 
trial in their office. The reports were printed in summary form in 
the weekly papers on Feb. 8 and Feb. 15. 1922. 

Winter '2003 


mony is to be believed, he had been hanging around his 
old herding territory. 

The prosecutor asked Lampitt point blank in the trial, 
"Did you cause the explosion on May 7?" 

Lampitt answered, "No." Nonetheless, the circum- 
stantial evidence continued to grow. 

Caroline Lockhart. writing in the Cody Enterprise. 
reported: "When Bert Lampitt testified, he proved he 
was a man of iron nerve."-* She described him as 
"changing from a burley, sandy haired youth to a hag- 
gard middle-aged man." Another comment, "...for 
twelve years this fiend has been at large. .."and further 
descriptions included, "mentally subnomial" and of "mo- 
rose and sullen nature." The consensus of opinion of 
him in Grass Creek agreed, "He was not of the disposi- 
tion to make many friends, was well known, and al- 
though considered eccentric was a man of industrious 
habits." Although apartment #6 was vacant in the men's 
bunkhouse. Bert preferred to live alone in his shack 
away from the town. 

The case went to the jury at 5:30 p.m., on February 
! 0, 1 922, and the jury returned with the verdict at 9:25 
p.m. Lampitt had already returned to his cell and had 
gone to sleep. He was summoned, dressed, and ap- 
peared in the courtroom. Lockhart wrote, "He looked 
sleepy." He retained his coolness and seemed to have 
no concern for his fate. Judge Metzread thejur>"s ver- 
dict. The jury found him guilty of first degree murder in 
the deaths of Foight and Seaton. 

The next day Bert Lampitt appeared before Judge 
Metz for sentencing. The judge gave him life imprison- 
ment with hard labor and fined him $900 and court costs. 

After the sentence was announced. Judge Metz asked, 
"Have you anything to say?" Lampitt answered, "No 
sir, your honor." He was delivered to Rawlins on Fri- 
day, February 18, 1922.-" 

Bert Lampitt remained in prison for 25 years for 
the brutal, premeditated murders. In 1947, when 
he was 63 years old, Bert Lampitt was released from 
prison."' He left the Wyoming State Penitentiary and 
drove north to Montana and obscurity. 

-* Lockhart owned the Cot/vE/irf'-pn^e in 1922, She had a great 
interest in the trial and covered it in detail. 

-'' Most of Lampitt's prison records are. unfortunately, restricted. 
The only records available were front and side photograph of pris- 
oner 3303. clean shaven showing heavy set. stolid, expressionless 
face. slightK bulging eyes and heavy head of hair. Brief statistics 
supplied information on "Lampitt. Albert. No. 3303. Crime: First 
Degree Murder; Age: 38; Height: 5 ft. 103/4 in.: Weight: 173 rj. 
Build: Large; Hair: Lt. Red. Sandy; Eyes: Yellowish Slate; Complex- 
ion: Florid; Born: Dec. 15. 1883. Nebraska; Occupation: Auto 
Mechanic; Received from Big Horn County; Sentenced Feb-1 1- 
1922-Life." The records are held in the State Penitentiary prisoner 
nies in the Wyoming State Archives. State Parks and Cultural Re- 
sources Department. Cheyenne, 

"' In his report to the Secretary of the State Board of Charities 
and Reform, the warden v\role: "1 have to report as follows as to 
Convict LAMPITT. ALBERl. No 3303 discharged May 5. 1947. 
bv reason of Expiration of sentence while at prison," Typed in 
middle of page: "Using his own automobile for transportation he 
stated that he was going up into Montana. "Convicts Discharged or 
Removed - State Penitentiary. Rawlins." record held in the Wyo- 
mine Stale Archives. Chev enne. 

Ester Johansson Murray is a native of Cody, 
the daughter of an old-time guide on Park 
Count}' dude ranches. She is a graduate of the 
University of Wyoming. Her work has ap- 
peared in Annals of Wyoming on several oc- 
casions, the most recently in the summer. 2001. 
issue— an article titled "Earlv Cody Bands. " 

Traces of 
George Harper: 

Site of George Harper 's homestead, Carbon County 

Laramie Plains Randier 

By Richard Walle 

Discovery and Obsession 

On a clear blue-sky morning in the Medicine Bow 
Mountains, I was in the woods, on a flat spot, in a 
clearing, next to a creek, just two days before the 
100th anniversary of the man's death, whose life 
had become my obsession. According to a map from 
the early 190O's at least two structures once stood 
here, but shards of glass, smashed and rusted tin 
cans, rifle cartridges, and odd pieces of metal scat- 
tered on the ground were all that remained. I had 
come to this place after seeing it labeled on a Gen- 
eral Land office map from the I870's: Harpers Mill, 
it read. Harper.'' Who was Harper? 

I wcjs born at least two centuries too late. I should 
have been born during the Age of Discovery, but I 
compensate for my tardy birth by perusing historic 
maps and reading pioneer journals. It makes me 
feel like an explorer of old, but such exploring loses 
meaning unless one goes out to find those places 
that begin as names in diaries or on maps. That sense 
of exploration took me to Harper 's Mill, and after 
finding the spot, it became imperative that I discover 
Harper 's story. 

I had no clue where to begin my quest for Harper 
until by luck I found a map that not only had 
Harper 's Mill on it, but also Harper 's Ranch. I 

searched land ownership records at the county court- 
house under the township and range of the ranch. 
George Harper (figure I ) was the first name en- 
tered at the top of the first page. Several weeks later, 
ffoiind Wyoming Place Names by Mae Urbanek. on 
a bookshelf at the Carbon County Museum in 
Rawlins. ' I turned to the index and scanned the list- 
ings under the letter "H": "Harper - a station house 
named for George Harper stockman and mayor of 
Laramie 1895. " 

I reasoned that if Mr. Harper was the mayor of 
Laramie, he was likely buried there. I was correct: 
the cemetery records showed that George Harper 
died on June 24, 1897, and was buried in Laramie 's 
Greenhill Cemetery on June 28.- The date of his 
death, naturally, led me to his obituary, which was 
quite lengthy, a statement of his position in the 
Laramie community. Subsequently, I consulted other 
sources— books, maps and information from other 
researchers such as the diligent Elnora Frye and 
the helpful people from St. Matthews Episcopal 
Church, the Wyoming State Archives, the American 
Heritage Center at UW, and the Bureau of Land 
Management in Cheyenne. What follows are my find- 

Winter '2003 


In the five years since the research began. I found a 
line here and there, just traces of George Harper. 
He was born in Yorkshire. England, on March 10. 1 83 1 . 
and married Elizabeth Leaman in 1852.' The couple 
had five children, but only three are identified in the 
record. Perhaps the other two children died as infants 
in England. The three living children were: Ann Alice 
(who later married Robert Marsh, another prominent 
rancher on the Laramie Plains) who was born in 1 853; 
Edward, born in 1855: and Ellen, born in 1858.^ Be- 
cause Harper was able to study medicine, becoming a 
physician and surgeon, it is likely that his family was 
financially well off" 

George Harper came to the United States in 1 859 as 
a physician on a ship called the Bellwood.'" Elizabeth 
and the children, however, stayed in England until 1 863 
when the> moved to New York.' George began prac- 
ticing medicine in Brooklyn after his arrival in the United 
States, but when the Civil War started, he enlisted in 
1861 in the Union Army.'' Harper initially was a mem- 
ber of the First Long Island Volunteers, in Company E 
underthe command of Henry Ward Beecher. This com- 
pany eventually became part of the 27th ArniN of the 
Potomac. Harper saw a great deal of battlefield action. 
His obituary provides the best narrative of this phase in 
his life: 

Mr. Harper was wounded six times during the war. and 
was wounded three times at the battle of Fair Oaks. Vir- 
ginia, which was fought on the 3 I st of May. i 862, and 
where 6.000 men on each side lost their lives. He was 
then with McClellan's corps. Mr. Flarper was on one of 
the flanks there which was repeatedly assailed and was 
one of the tighters u ho prevented it being tumed b\ the 
enemy and contributed much to the success ofthe gov- 
ernment arms in that memorable engagement, of which 
McClellan is said to not have made the most. After first 
being wounded there, he was taken to the rear and cared 
for and again went to the front and was wounded in the 
back. He was this time taken to the rear and placed in a 
wood shed, an improvised hospital, with little hope that 
he would live. For two years after the war. he was a 
practical invalid from his wounds, which failed to heal 
and continued to discharge pieces of his canteen and 
clothing. Mr. Harper was all though the hard fought 
battles ofthe wilderness, and was among Mead's forces 
at Gettysburg, where the swell tide ofthe confederacy 
beat against the impregnable bulwarks ofthe north, and 
where for three days the carnage resulted in a loss of 
more than 20.000 Union soldiers and more than the same 
number of confederates. During most of this fight. Mr. 
Harper was on the hill where is now the national cem- 
etery, where a great monument and a magnificent statue 

of Lincoln overlook one ofthe most peaceful and beau- 
tiful scenes today and can be found in all the battlefields 
ofthe war. He saw that magnificent charge, unsurpassed 
in military history, by Pickett's confederate division, 
when twenty thousand men marched forth as though 
they were on dress parade and centered on the union 
line, while hundreds of guns of the opposing armies 
belched forth death." 

At the end ofthe war. Harper was promoted to major 
and offered a regular army commission. He declined, 
and continued to practice medicine until mo\ ing west in 

Harper and hisyoung family lived briet1\ in Nebraska 
where he found work as a freight clerk with the Union 
Pacific Railroad.'" This job likel\ led to his firstjob in 
Laramie as cashier in the Union Pacific freight house." 
He arrived in Laramie in May 1 868 with the first wave 
ofpassenger trains to travel the newest section of flnion 
Pacific track.'' Harper's wife and children arri\ed by 
November 1 868. at the latest, because the entire Harper 
family, two adults and three children, was baptized into 
St. Matthews Episcopal Church in November 1868." 
Thisfamil) baptism implies the Harpers intended to stay 
in Laramie longer than they had in Nebraska. 

In its early days. Laramie and the surrounding plains 
were filled with opportunity for those willing to work 
and invest. The railroad kept expanding, bringing new 
people and goods to the area. A lumber industry began 
in the town's surrounding forests, mining operations 
developed in the mountains, and the plains were recog- 
nized as some ofthe greatest grazing lands in the west. 
In this environment George Harper departed his role as 
soldier and doctor and began his life as an entrepreneur 
ofthe frontier. 

On October 1, 1871. George and 14 other Laramie 
men formed the Vulcan Silver Mining Company of 

' Mae I irbaiick. \Vyoniiii>^, Place Xaiiu's { Boulder: lohiisiin Pub- 
lishing. I%7). ^^4. 

"Harper George." Green 1 lill (.'enieter\ Reeords. Laramie. 

' I larper biograph\ . Coulatit Collection, folder 1 6. tio\ 2. VVyo- 
nilng State ,\rehi\es. Stale I'arks and Gultural Resources Depart- 
nient. Che> enne. VV\ oniing. hereafter eiled as Coutant Golleetion. 

■* Coutant Collection. 

* Laramie Daily Booiiwiviig. .lune 25. 1 847. 
'' Laramie Daily Boomerang, .lune 25. 1 847. 
' Laramie Daily Boomerang. July fO. 1897. 

* Laramie IXiily Boomerang. June 25. 1 897. 
"Laramie Daily Boomerang. June 29. 1 897. 
'"Coutant Collection. 

" Coutant Collection. 

'- Laramie Republican Boomerang. June .lO. 1928. 
" Parish Register. September 13. 1868-August 21. 1881. St. 
Mathews Cathedral, t.aramie. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Laramie, which proposed mining and smelting in the 
Ferris Mining District ofCarbon County, Wyoming Ter- 
ritory.'^ George Harper was designated treasurer. 

Harper gave the Union Pacific four years of diligent 
work, then in May 1872. Harper and Harry Thomas, 
one of his mining partners, were "going into business 
raising stock and manufacturing lumber at Rock Creek, 
and quitting the freight business."'" On July 1 7, 1 872, 
Harper moved from Laramie "out to Rock Creek where 
his mill and ranch" were located.'" The location of 
Harper's Ranch is described differently in the re- 
searched literature. Some sources refer to Rock Creek, 
some state he lived near Lookout." A historic map from 
1 872 shows the ranch on Three Mile Creek. The latter 
is believed the true location. 

The proximity of Harper's Ranch and Mill to the Over- 
land Trail suggests Harper had a good sense of busi- 
ness and planning, as his ranch was a short ride north 
of the Overland Trail and his mill is roughly the same 
distance south of the well-known track, 
optimal positions for the transport of 

Harper was not only involved in the 
traditional industries of lumber and 
ranching, he was also willing to take a 
chance on new endeavors, such as 
wheat farming in the Laramie Basin. 
"We congratulate ourselves that we are 
going to get the wheat raising experi- 
ment thoroughly and fairly tried this 
season. Mr. Johnson is going to sow 
some up at Red Buttes; Mr. Harper 
over on Rock Creek. "'^ 

In 1876 the Harpers encountered 
some trouble from Native Americans. 
Though the details are unknown, the 
family apparently lost some property, 
likely livestock.'" The Harpers and sev- 
eral others filed claims against the gov- 
ernment for damages, but the cases did 
not go to court until January 1892. 
George Harper's original claim 
amounted to $ 1 7,000, suggesting he pos- 
sibly lost a great deal of stock and prop- 
erty. When the case finally reached the 
courts, however. Harper's claim was 
only $9,000, and it was stated, in the 
Daily Boomerang, that he might only 
receive half that amount. Ultimately, 
Harper may have had to return what- 
ever he received because a suit was 

filed on August 29, 1 894, as advised by the State Ex- 
aminer, proclaimed that some money paid to those claim- 
ing damage to property was not authorized by law.-" 

in February 1 879, Harper's abilities as a rancher and 
businessman received a vote of confidence from C. S. 

'■* "Corporation Files," Wyoming Secretary of State, records held 
in the Wyoming State Archives. 

'' Laramie Weekly Sentinel. May 17. 1872. 

^''Laramie Weekly Sentinel, iuh 17. 1872. 

" The 1880 Wyoming Census Index lists the Harpers on Seven 
Mile Creek, but this is believed a census precinct rather than the 
location of his ranch. The ranch is also referenced in survey notes 
from 1872 though the surveyor mistakenly called it the "John" 
Harper Ranch. The reference to other locations, such as Lookout 
and Rock Creek, are a product of how people in a frontier environ- 
ment view time and space, which was less precise in those years 
when the nation was wide open and young. 

'" Laramie Weekly Sentinel. February 14. 1877. 

'"' Laramie Daily Boomerang. November 17. 1 89 1 . 

'" Laramie Daily Boomerang. August 29. 1 894. 

Winter 'lOOa 


Morey and C. A. Sprague of the Chicago- 
based firm. Sprague. Warner. & Co. To- 
gether, the three created George Harper and 
Co., a "large scale" cattle firm that would 
operate for at least five years.-' Morey re- 
portedly searched the western United States 
for five years to find the best stock raising 
investment possible; his search brought him 
to the Laramie Plains. Harper himself stated 
the company intended to go East for the best 
bloodedbulls. but in April 1879. Harper ven- 
tured to southern Colorado and purchased 
2.700 head of the "finest blooded" cattle. " 
Whether this cattle included bulls and the 
plans to go East fell through, or if the Colo- 
rado purchase made up the bulk of the herd, 
minus the bulls, is unclear. 

Confusion exists as to George Harper's 
role as founder and owner of the "old" Diamond Ranch. 
In the book. IVvuniiiig's Pioneer Ranches, a list of 
brands shows a diamond with an "H" inside for George 
Harper (registered 6-29-1872) and an open diamond 
for George Harper and Co. (registered in 1880). The 
book also states that a man named Ed Harper settled 
the "old" Diamond Ranch on Three Mile Creek, sold 
out to Marsh and Cooper before 1 882. but continued to 
manage the ranch for the new owners.-' Giving Ed 
Harper credit for settling the ranch, however, is an er- 
ror. The diamond brands were registered to George 
Harper, so it is more likely George settled the "old" 
Diamond Ranch. -^ Ed Harper, George's son, made an 
attempt at settling homestead No. 337. which amounted 
to 160 acres in the McFadden area, but died on March 
3. 1888. apparently before the patent was granted.-^ 

George Harper purchased other property that year. 
On May 29. 1 888, he bought lots 5, 6, and 7 of Block 6 
in the town of Rock Creek from Mary Garrett. The 
sum of the purchase was five dollars: the reason for 
the purchase is unknown.-" 

George Harper had been through several changes in 
his life and it changed again after his daughter Ellen 
died from heart disease on January 29, 1887. and his 
son Edward died of Bright's disease thirteen months 
later. According to his obituary, George Harper stopped 
ranching approximately 1889 and moved back to 
Laramie.-' Perhaps the loss of two children in two years 
left Harper with little interest in ranching, and town life 
was a comforting option. 

When the Harpers came back to Laramie, they lived 
at 503 University.-" He began working for Dunbar Mer- 
cantile and Banking approximately 1889 or 1890, al- 


, ^A'%t-'- ill. 

,„„„ Ui''''^'> :M 
■^^Sgil Jyt..— - i_Li A. 

"Siiule? \ 

General location of Harper 's ranch 

" Laramie Weekly Sentinel. Februan 21. 1879. 

" Laramie Weekly Sentinel. February 21. 1879. 

■ ' Robert Bums. A. S. Gillespie and W. G. Richardson. Wyoming s 
Pioneer Ranches {l.aramk: Top-ol-lhe-Worid Press. I9.S5). 418. 

'^ This ranch should not be contused with the Diamond Ranch 
Compans on Rock Creek, which operated in the earh 190()"sorthe 
Diamond Cattle Company, which apparently rose from the old 7L 
ranch owned by Marsh and Cooper. See Bums. 418. I he order of 
events described here are supported by a biographical sketch in the 
Wilkerson Biographies. VV_\ oming State Archi\ es. w hich says ( jeorge 
Harper began managing the Marsh and Cooper ranch in 1881, 

-'The Laramie Weekly Sentinel recordsthal George Harper— not 
Fdward-filed a "notice of intention final proof of claim" on August 
25. 1888. The result of this attempt to claim Fdward's old home- 
stead is not clear, but according to the BLM patentee database, the 
elder Harper's only patent was an 1885 claim on 160 acres sur- 
rounding his original ranch. See. United States of America. Home- 
stead Certificate no. 168. If he had been successful in claiming 
F.dward's land, it should be in the database, I'here is no Fd I larper 
in the BLM database for Wyoming patentees. 

-" Book H. Deed Record. Albany County. Clerk's Office. I aramie. 

-' Laramie Daily Boomerang. June 29. 1897. 

•* A search of Title Abstracts at the Albany County courthouse 
showed Robert Marsh owned several lots in the vicinitv of 5th and 
liniversits Streets. The records also show that Edward Harper 
bought lots 7and 8 of block 162 from Marsh in 1 883. Six years later, 
in 1889. the year following Edward's death, the district Judge 
awarded these same lots to Elizabeth 1,. Harper. f:dv\ard's mother. 
George's wife. This is about the same time George Harper gave up 
ranching, according to his obituary . there is other evidence suggest- 
ing the Harpers resided in this area of town. The Directoiy of Chey- 
enne and Laramie Wyo. Territoiy 18HS-89. compiled by the Wyo- 
ming Publishing Co.. lists Mrs. George Harper as being at Fifth and 
University (p. 24). Her obituary says she died at "her home on 
Fifth Street." Laramie Daily Boomerang, .luly 10. 1897. George 
Harper's cemetery record gives the same location. Fifth and Univer- 
sity, for his place of death. A newspaper article from 1928 stated 
that Alice the eldest child moved with her family to 5th and Univer- 
sity after her husband. Robert Marsh, died in 1893. Lxiramie Re- 
publican Boomerang. June 30. 1 928. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

though his exact position with the firm is not known.-' 
He started selling his ranching properties. Frank Harrison 
bought Harper's 1 60 acres on Three Mile Creek in June 
1890."' Three years later, he purchased the rights to 
the "diamond" brand once used by George Harper and 
Company. "" 

Throughout the early 1890s, the Harpers were very 
active socially and assumed a stronger role as grand- 
parents.^- The Harpers likely cared for Ellen's child, 
who was only six months at the time of her mother's 
death, while the father. John Guenster returned to his 
family in New York and got settled: 

George Harper, wife and baby and Master George 
Marsh leave for Jamestown, New York, in the morning 
to visit John Guenster and family who were former resi- 
dents of this city. They will be absent about four 

After this visit to the East, the elder Harpers made at 
least two more trips to New York in 1 892 and 93, stay- 
ing for the entire summer on both occasions." 

Although Harper was no longer involved in large cattle 
operations, his organizing and managing talents were 
still in demand. In 1895, George Harper was elected 
mayor of Laramie as a Republican and subsequently 
served as Deputy County Clerk.'" On January 24, 1 896. 
Harper became a trustee of an organization called the 
"Mining Exchange" — the Laramie Mining and Stock 
Exchange — an organization of the area's best busi- 
nessmen dedicated to the "development of the mineral 
and other natural resources of southern Wyoming.'" 

Harper was 66 years old and he was a busy man in 
1 897. That summer, however, he suffered a stroke on 
June 22. He was "comatose" for two days before he 
died on June 24." According to news accounts, his wife 
Elizabeth Harper "expressed hope that they (she and 
George) would not be long parted." The day after 
George Harper was buried, his wife contracted bron- 
chitis. The press reported that the woman decided this 
illness would be the end of her and "manifest a desire 
to die at the same hour'" as Harper. She missed that 
precise moment by only 45 minutes: she was 67 years 

George and Elizabeth Harper and their children are 
buried at Green Hill Cemetery in Laramie. 

Another Visit 

On a clear, blue-sky Wyoming morning with early 
season snow on the highest peaks. I drove up the 
interstate. This was a much anticipated day; I fi- 
nally received permission to visit where 1 believed 

George Harper 's homestead once stood. While do- 
ing my research, I pondered this opportunity and 
wondered what I might find. My obsessive side even 
planned a pedestrian access route to the suspected 
location should my curiosity force me to trespass. I 
discovered, however, that if one is respectful and 
takes time to call the appropriate persons, closed 
doors can open wide. The land owner offered to 
take me to the property; and the lessee admitted 
knowing of an old foundation on the land, then spun 
a great story about multitudes of cattle dying in the 
blizzard of 1886 such that one could walk from the 
old homestead for two miles on frozen stock and 
not touch the ground! 

The homestead was right were the old maps and 
the lessee said it would be. On the flood plain of a 
creek washing out of the Medicine Bows with high 
grassy bluffs on each side, I found two foundations 
made of unshaped but roughly tabular sandstone; 
one representing a habitation and the other an out 
building, likely a barn. The habitation consisted of 
one complete wall, a partial wall, an isolated comer, 
an earthen berin and two depressions. Together the 
sandstone and earthen berms formed a rectangle, 60 
feet east-west by 25 feet north-south, with no vis- 
ible interior walls. Lying on the earthen berm was a 
section offence or a gate made from narrow diam- 
eter logs and limbs The wood was severely deterio- 
rated but was held together by some fairly recent 
looking wire and bolts. River cobbles and pieces of 
quartz protrude from the berm and I wondered if 
the mounded earth and gate were from a more re- 
cent use of the area, perhaps as a corral. Livestock 
had definitely been there because in bare patches 
around the foundation 's southeast comer were nu- 
merous dime-sized fragments of purple glass manu- 

■'' Laramie Daily Boomerang. June 25, 1897. 

'" Book R. Carbon County Deed Index. 213. Carbon County 
Clerk's office. Rawlins. 

'' Bums, 418. 

'- Numerous indexed entries in the Laramie Daily Boomerang, 
1890-1893. indicate they frequently attended local social events 
and entertained visitors as well. 

" Laramie Daily Boomerang. May 2. 1891. 

■■''' Laramie Daily Boomerang. May 1 8, 1 892; June 3, 1 893. 

■" Laramie Daily Boomerang. March 29. 1895; June 25. 1895. 

^'' Laramie Daily Boomerang. January 24. 1 896; Laramie Mining 
and Stock Exchange, Albany County, Wyoming Mineral Resources 
(Laramie: Republican Book and Job Printing. 1896), copy held in 
the collections of the American Heritage Center, UW. 

■" Laramie Daily Boomerang. June 25, 1897. 

■" Laramie Daily Boomerang, July 10, 1897. 

Winter ^003 


factured between 1880 and 1917. One glass shard 
had "QUART" embossed on it. 

Two different t\pes of ceramic, one with a porous 
white past and one with yellow paste Those with 
white past were both rim sherds, one with the curva- 
ture of a plate and one with the curvature of a cup. 
The yellow paste fi-agments were merely body sherds. 
There were 29 pieces of plate glass. 2 nun thick: a 
first rib -from a juvenile bovine showing chop marks 
near the top end. Two fragments of clear glass em- 
bossed with "sure ": a crockery rim: 6 large, severely 
pitted and rusted nails with square shanks but lop- 
sided, possibly hand-wroughl heads: numerous small 
pieces of coal and cinder: the top t proximal) end of 
a bovine radius, also chopped: and a leg bone (fe- 
mur) fi-om an small, unidentified animal. 

The barn foundation, north of the house and across 
the creek about 300 feet, was another arrangement 
of sandstone, earthen berms. and shallow depres- 
sions. These elements, however, formed an L- shaped 
floor plan and comprised at least 4 internal divi- 
sions (rooms). Some "rooms " were possibly open 
livestock stalls. The long segment of the structure 's 
L-shaped floor plan was roughly ^2 ft. long and 40 
feet wide. The short part of the "L" was 40 feel 
east-west and 30 feet north-south. The oidy male- 
rial items at the barn were a piece of pi ale glass 
and three metal teeth from a hay cutter, rusted ami 
pilled like the square nails. Down stream a couple 
hundred feet. I discovered part of a cast iron wood 
burning stove, also weathered and pitted. 

The artifacts /found may not seem like much to 
some, but I thought it was .spectacular. I like history 
with a bit of imagination. IVhaTs the point of re- 
searching a person if one does not take the time to 
walk where they walked and touch what they 
touched: if was great to stand wiihin that sandstone 
foundation and see the Harpers gathered around a 
table and a kerosene lamp. 1 could extend this imag- 
ining to Laramie for after doing this research. 1 see 
past the town '.v automobiles and modern buildings, 
and I recognize the houses and buildings contem- 
porary with George Harper 's life. I see the remains 
of Alice Harper Marsh's home and the grotesque 

cinder block additions now attached to each end. 
There are the homes of Simon Durlacher. Edward 
Ivinson. and Ora Haley. 1 envision I he Laramie Club. 
Old Main standing alone on the plains, and the wide 
dirt streets of Laramie Citv. Historic research has 
heightened my interest and appreciation for historv 
and historic preservation. 

There is little doubt that George Harper was one 
of the first nnichers and residents of the Laramie 
Plains.'"' He was in Laramie in 1868: his Diamoiul 
H brand was one of the first registered in the 
county.^" George Harper helped bring large-scale 
ranching to the Laramie Plains and he was verv 
respected. He was one of the "kiiulest-hearled old 
gentlemen" as well as being a man of "active intel- 
ligence" and one of the" most competent men in the 
ranching industry. ^' 

-''' He was included in the W'ilkerson Biographies, described b> 
Hubert Houe Bancroft. Hisloiy of .\evaila. Colorado. Wyoming 
1540-1888. XXV. (San Francisco: The Histor> Company. 1 890). as 
one ot'the county ■s'"earhest settlers." and included in a paper b\ C. 
W. Brainel tilled. "Laramie's Old Timers--The Pioneers \\ ho lounded 
the Cit\ of Laramie." Laramie Daily Boomerang. December 19. 

^" Burns. 418. 

*' Laramie Daily Boomerane.. .lunc 23. 1 897; Coutant Collection. 

Richard li'alle came to Wyoming 1 9 years- ago 
with "a cardboard box full of clothes and a 
cotton sleeping hag. " He has been in the con- 
tract archaeology profession for thai entire 
period of 1 9 years, working not only in IVyo- 
ming. hut in North Dakota. South Dakota. 
Nebraska, Nevada. Arizona, and New Mexico. 
He is presently an archaeologist for the U. S. 
forest Service and a graduate student in the 
Department of Anthropology. University of 

*Z7€£ \jiiit ^^Woman clLzci£.a to a ^tatzujids: (DrrL(2& in czn-ms^ziaa 

otographer. New York, 
ing State Archives 

^'ovjaid inz zna of nax ±ucc£i.i.fuL izxm ax J^axamiE. (^ountu c^ujizxLntzn- 
atnt oj ^cnooLi, cZxizLLE cy\£.zL HaL^ELs.ato (Lai-bzx to aiiEnatnz WuomLna 
■dJxzjiuljLican iJ-'axtu caucui.. What txanihlxEa tnzxz aiai. XEJioxtza ainzx- 
zntLu in uaxioui. hahzxi., uut vanzn aLL cva± laia ana aonz, cyxzzL naa ac- 
czbtza tnz haxtu nomination a\ tnz <:y\ zhuhliaan aanaiaatz jox <::~>tatz ^a- 
hzxintznaznt or u-^uliLic Unxtxaction fox tfiz zLzction of iSg^.. 

Winter ^003 


C) eel's campaign was hard-fought, but it paid off 
V when Reel ended up receiving the largest num- 
ber of votes a candidate in the state had ever seen. 
This was not the onl\ notable result of the election, for 
upon winning Reel became the first woman in the LInited 
States to hold a statewide office. Thougii she did not 
know it at the time, the results of this election would put 
Reel on the fast track in the political arena.' 

Themes that would become recurrent in both Reel's 
private and public life began to develop during this time, 
such as Reel's role as a beacon for the woman's suf- 
frage movement and her personal feelings of exhaus- 
tion and depression. However, despite the prejudice and 
other distractions Reel faced, she proved that a woman 
was not merely capable of juggling the multiple roles 
that came with holding public office, but also could do it 
with skill and success. 

Though Reel would eventually receive the largest vote 
in state history in the election of 1894. her nomination 
for State Superintendent almost never happened. At 
the Republican caucus in Casper, both Reel and Theresa 
Jenkins, another county superintendent, were being con- 
sidered as nominees for State Superintendent. The party, 
which was trying to avoid a heavy southeastern bias. 
attempted to spread the nominees throughout the state. 
Knowing this. Laramie Count\ resolved to heavily lobby 
two positions, leaving the rest to fend for themselves. 
After reviewing the slate, the county decided their stron- 
gest candidates were those for auditor and treasurer, 
so Reel was left with few supporters. 

As newspapers reported it. Reel decided to circum- 
vent the situation by seeking support elsewhere to break 
the slate and push through her nomination. Whatever 
the inside politics actually were. Reel ended up as a 
nominee from Uinta County, even though she was from 
Cheyenne. The newspapers did not mention it. but Reefs 
brother Heck owned a large ranch in Uinta County; 
whether this was significant or not is questionable since 
Heck was strong Democrat. Regardless of how these 
events actually unfolded, the fact that Reel thus 
wheedled her way into the her nomination angered many 
people, and subverted the party goal of a\ oiding a heavy 
southeastern bias.' 


Despite the controversy surrounding her nomination. 
Reel was determined to prove she was the right candi- 
date for the job. Often described as having boundless 
energy and enthusiasm. Reel took immediately to the 
campaign trail against her opponents. Democrat A.J. 

Matthews and Populist Sarah Rollman. As a candidate 
for a statewide position. Reel was determined to visit 
all corners of the state despite the hardships that this 
incurred. This vigorous campaign would eventually pav 
otf though not for the reasons some new spapers would 
later report. 

Soon after her victory at the polls. Reel wrote a new s- 
paperarticle titled "Campaign impressions." In it. Reel 
recounted the vast distances she covered in her cam- 
paign in traveling to all comers of the state, both "settled 
and unsettled." As she stated, this was all done b\ rail- 
road, stagecoach, and ranch wagon, and even by horse- 
back.' At one point Reel even descended into a mineshaft 
in Rock Springs to campaign among the miners, an in- 
telligent move that garnered her many votes in her op- 
ponent Matthews' hometown. One newspaper reported 
that Reel "stumped the state twice." once riding 150 
miles in a stagecoach to reach a small town. The article 
pointed out the peculiarities of electioneering in Wyo- 

'F:\en thoimh she was the first woman In America to be elected to 
a statewide office. Reel's life and career have received relativeiv 
little scholarlv attention. This article is extracted from a mono- 
graph-length hiographx of Reel, in preparation, f \cept for bio- 
graphical sketches in contemporar\ biographical compilations, her 
three years as State Superintendent of Public Instruction has been 
mostl_\ ignored. See Progressive Men of the State oj II yomitig (Chi- 
cago: A.W. Bowen and Co.. 1903);CoraM. Beach. Women of It'yo- 
iiiing, I (Casper: S.E. Boyer and Company. 1927). Her career in the 
federal service is the subject of K. Tsianina Lomavsaima. "l^stelle 
Reel. Superintendent of Indian Schools. 1898-1910: Politics. Cur- 
riculum, and Land." Journal of American Indian Education. .35 (May 
1996): 5-.32, The main sources for this article on her Wyoming 
career are from the Wyoming State [department of Education Let- 
terpress Volumes, held in Collection #579. Box I. Wyoming State 
Archives: and Reel's personal papers held in the listelle Reel Me\ er 
Collection. H60-1 10. Wyoming Slate Archives. State Parks and 
Cultural Resources Department. Cheyenne. .Also of value was the 
listelleReel Administrative File. 1154-91. also held in the \\ \oming 
State Archives. 

-Scrapbook.-Personul. Political. Misc.. 189(1-1896." 77. Hstelle 
Reel Meyer Collection #H60-1 10. Box 3. Wyoining State .-\rchi\es. 
Hereafter cited as Scrapbook. "Personal. Political. Misc" 

^ An article in the .\eM' York Mail and Excliange later questioned 
Reel about the peculiar riding gear she wore while campaigning 
among ranchers. Because of the barbed wire fences. Reel said a 
woinan in an ordinary clothing would ha\e it ripped to shreds in 
only a few days, so she had an entire riding habit made of leather to 
protect her from barbed wire. Scrapbook. "Personal Political Misc.." 
24. For Wvoming politics during the period and Reel's role in it see 
T. A. Larson. History- oj Wyoming {\..\neo\n: LIniversity ofNebraksa 
Press. 1965); Lewis L. Gould. Wyoming: .4 Political Histoir, 1868- 
1896 (New Haven: Yale University Press. 1968). See also W. 
lurrentine .lackson. \V . lurrentine. " I he Wyoming Stock Grow- 
ers' Association: Political Powerin W_\oming lerritory 1873-1890." 
Annals of Wyoming 20 (.lanuary 1948). 61-84: and T. .A. Larson. 
"Wyoming's Contribution to the Regional and National Women's 
Rights Movement. .4 /)/;iv/.s of Wyoming 52 (Spring 1980). 2-15. 

a 4 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

ming. noting that in every town, there was first a cam- 
paign address, which was always followed with a ball. 
The paper also claimed that Reel admitted her tactic 
was to seek out the Democrats and dance attentively 
with them all evening."* 

Speaking as a true politician. Reel said that her "'mis- 
sion" to meet as many Wyomingites as possible taught 
her "what a wonderfully energetic and intelligent popu- 
lation Wyoming possesses and how certain it is that our 
state is bound to take the lead in wealth and good citi- 
zenship."' Reel was impressed by the natural resources 
of the state, especially oil. Also, as a strong proponent 
of arid land acts, she believed in the great agricultural 
potential of the state if only water could be brought to 
the land, specifically advocating irrigation bills in the 
state legislature." 

One of the most important obstacles that Reel had to 
o\ ercome in her campaign was the idea that a woman 
could not fulfill the numerous duties of the office. Most 
people had little problem with a woman as state super- 
intendent since women were already accepted as lead- 
ers in educational arenas: it was the other responsibili- 
ties the office entailed that concerned them.' The Su- 
perintendent of Public Instruction in Wyoming had many 
duties prescribed by the Constitution in addition to the 

primary educational component. The holder of this of- 
fice was one of five elected officers of the state, and as 
such was Secretary of the State Board of Land Com- 
missioners and Secretary of the State Board of Chari- 
ties and Reform. However, most men overlooked the 
fact that, despite all these responsibilities, the office- 
holder in actuality had very little power or influence. 
Though the state constitution directed the legislature to 
define the duties of the office, this was never done, in 
effect leaving the superintendent with much responsi- 
bility but little or no authority in any of these roles. ^ 

■•"A Charming Lady Office Holder." in Scrapbook. "Personal- 
Political. Misc.. 11894-1896."" 35. 

' Scrapbook, "Personal. Political. Misc.."" 209. 

' Scrapbook. "Personal. Political. Misc.."" 209. 

' Of the twelve county superintendencies at the time, ten were 
held by women. In a letter written to Reverend W.H. Sweet in 
Salina, Kansas. Reel noted that even in the first election in which 
women were allowed to vote, two women were elected as county 
superintendents. Therefore, men were accustomed to women hold- 
ing office: the real problem was the level at which the office was 
held. Letterpress Book 4. p. 413. State Department of Education, 
Box I . Collection 579. Wyoming State Archives. 

Terrence D. Fromong. "The Development of Public Elemen- 
tarv and Secondary' Education in Wyoming. 1869-1917.'" Unpub- 
lished Ph.D. dissertation. University of Wyoming, 1962. 158. 

Heck Reel and the Old Alert Hose Company Mandolin Band. Heck Reel was Estelle 's elder brother 

Winter '2003 

Perhaps the role that caused the most opposition from 
voters was the position of Secretary of the State Board 
of Land Commissioners, a Job for which many felt a 
woman was unsuited.' The fiiifilhTient of the duties of 
this office were essential to the success of schools in 
the state since all funding was derived from land rent- 
als or sales. Reel's campaign brochure assured the public 
that ""Reel has shown more than ordinary interest in 
public questions, especially those affecting our public 
lands." and noted that she had been a delegate to the 
Trans-Mississippi Congress in San Francisco, where she 
spoke intelligently on the necessity of irrigation in the 
West as well as laws restricting speculators and re- 
serving the land for homesteaders and ranchers. Reel 
also noted that, in her opinion, the best of the papers 
presented at the conference was delivered b\ a woman. 
Miss M.A. Hamm. an opinion she believed was shared 
by many since it was the only one printed in full in many 
newspapers. She also noted that she had heard some 
of the ""ablest men in the West"" discuss these issLies 
and that, while they were complicated, any woman who 
studied them could understand them as well as any 
man.'" Reel favored the Carey Land Act. saying that 
the state had potential for growth if it could only find 
the capital needed to get the immense water resources 
to the land that needed it. and get people to the state 
once it was irrigated. " 

Many people were still not convinced. The editor of 
the Newcastle Democnit felt that putting someone with 
no experience in land transactions was irresponsible, 
saying that if a woman were elected to the office it 
■"might as well remain vacant. ""'- 

Reel felt confident in her priorexperience and ability 
to fill this office, yet convincing the public of this was 
her biggest challenge. Reel had never given a speech 
prior to her nomination other than at educational institu- 
tions, though the paper noted that her campaign speeches 
were "sharp, business-like little speeches.""" 

ReeTs campaign speech was simple and brief; she 
said it would be "egotistical"" of her to try to ""enlighten"" 
the crowd on issues of tariffs or free silver, two major 
political issues of the day, and instead she had come ""to 
meet you in a social way and to get acquainted."" She 
then went on to outline the duties of the office as set 
forth in the State Constitution and noted her experience 
as county superintendent.'^ In her speeches, promo- 
tional circulars, and newspaper advertisements, after 
outlining the responsibilities of the state superintendent. 
Reel repeatedly made the point that "'any intelligent 
woman can perform these duties.""'' The speech"s brev- 
ity and content indicates that Reel understood her audi- 
ence and what she needed to do in order to gain votes. 


Though equal suffrage had existed in Wyoming since 
territorial times, this did not mean that all the men (or 
women) of the state felt comfortable with electing a 
woman to public office. One of the greatest fears of 
both sexes was the masculinization of women, a trans- 
formation to which man\ felt suffragettes were par- 
ticularly susceptible because of their desire to par- 
ticipate in theman"s vNorld of politics and public life. By 
first convincing her audience that she apolitical, and then 
presenting herself simply as making a social call. Reels 
feminine identity was preserved; she appeared less 
threatening and above party politics to the men. and as 
a friend to the women. 

Reel also was aided by numerous endorsements from 
newspapers and prominent Wyomingites. A campaign 
brochure for her statew ide campaign noted that ""she is 
particularly well fitted for the State Superintendency. . . 
[she] has always taken a deep interest in ever\thing 
pertaining to education and has kept in the front rank in 
the advanced ideas upon educational matters of the 
present day . . ."" The brochure also stated that Reel was 
""one of the most popular candidates in the State, having 
been elected County Superintendent by two of the fin- 
est majorities ever given."" This brochure included an 
article by the Cheyenne Tribune praising Reel: ""Her 
ability to successfully perform the duties of State Su- 
perintendent cannot be questioned. In administrative ca- 
pacity, know ledge of educational matters, and attention 
to details. Miss Reel has shown superior abilities. ""The 
sitting state superintendent. S.T. Farwell. also com- 
mented favorably on Reel's abilities. 

The state Republican committee insisted that ""the 
office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is one 
which should be filled by a woman. Educational work is 
peculiarly that of a woman." since '^S percent of teach- 
ers and all but one of the county superintendents were 

"Pamphlel iii Administrative File H54-9I. Kstelle Reel Meyer 
eol lection. Wyoming State Archives, hereafter Administrative File. 
This brochure includes an interview from the Denver Republican in 
which Reel notes that men feel she cannot perform these duties, 
going on to refute them hy sa\ ing that she had heard many speeches 
concerning these issues at the Trans-Mississippi Congress, and 
while tlicy were complicated she felt that an\ wontan who studied 
them could understand them as well as a man. 

'" Pamphlet. Administrati\c File, 

" Pamphlel. .Administrative File, 

'- Scrapbook. ■■Personal. Political. Misc.. 1 890- 1 896." 92, 

"""A Charming Lady Office ttolder." in Scrapbook. ■■Personal- 
Political, Misc.. 1894-1896." 35. 

" Scrapbook. ""Misc.." 369. Reel Collection. State .Archives. 

'" Scrapbook. ■■Misc." .Vi9; Promotional circular, .Administra- 
tive File, 

"' I'amphlet. Administrative File. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Reel received numerous endorsements from media 
around the state. '' The Rock Springs Miner reported 
that Reel "is one of the best educated and most brilliant 
women in the state, equal to every duty that will be 
required of her in her official capacity and it behooves 
every man and woman in the state to vote for her.'"" 
The Saratoga Swi informed readers that Reel "can think 
and act for a dozen ordinary men. She would make a 
most admirable state superintendent."'" The Sheridan 
Journal happily reported that "There is nothing of the 
'strong mined [sic] cranky woman" about her. On the 
other hand she is intelligent, vivacious, and lady-like in 
deportment. She is a lady of refinement and eminently 
qualified to fill the position which she is seeking.'"" 

Not all newspapers in the state supported Reel; the 
Laramie Boomerang criticized people who were put- 
ting so much emphasis on her charm and her dancing at 
political balls. The Boomerang reporter noted that "if 
the contest of votes is dancing vs. dignified, scholarly 
bearing. [Matthews] will certainly win when the lead- 
ing educational office of Wyoming is concerned.'"-' The 
Carbon County Jo;//77(7/ mentioned Reel's position on 
the "land question" and her support of Carey's land bill, 
making its position clear by stating. "It will be seen from 
Miss Reel's attitude and her official position, should she 
unfortunately be elected, that she would be as plastic 
as putty in the hands of the Cheyenne ring. The only 
safe thing is to defeat her with the rest of the gang 
ticket."-- The Journal was not the only newspaper 
concerned with Reel's susceptibility to party influence; 
the Wyoming Bee also stated "She is the tool, pure and 
simple, of the Cheyenne gang, and as such secured the 
nomination over the head of Mrs. Therese Jenkins. . ."-' 

Rumors about Reel's campaign also circulated around 
the state. One rumor held that she had agreed to marry 
her opponent, A. J. Matthews, if he won the race, a 
proposition she said was ridiculous since Matthews was 
already married. Perhaps the most persistent story, 
which followed Reel for years to come, was one stat- 
ing that she had sent "perfumed letters" bearing her 
picture to all the "lonely cowboys" in the state, so that 
they rode over 100 miles to vote for her and "[waved] 
six-shooters in the faces of those who voted against 
[her]."-'' According to one report. Reel's picture was 
"preserved with care and is now a prominent feature in 
the decorations of hundreds of cabins..."-' Though 
these rumors were false, chauvinism was prominent 
among both sexes, and they continued to plague Reel 
throughout her political career. 

Much of the press's criticism of Reel during her cam- 
paign was harsh and biting, some of it even calling into 
question her moral character. In a letter to the editor of 

the Carbon County Joz/n7<7/, an anonymous source (who 
was later speculated to be Governor Osborne), asked 
"Will someone please state who is acting as Miss Reel's 
chaperone, and, if she has one, whether it is a male or 
female?" The letter stated that Reel was traveling over 
the state chaperoneless with the five male statewide 
candidates, of course insinuating that Reel's morality 
was being compromised.-'' The Newcastle Democrat 
also questioned her character, noting that the state su- 
perintendent "directs and moulds the education of our 
children. Now let me ask you mothers and fathers who 
have seen Miss Reel, or who have heard of her, how 
would you like your daughters to take pattern after her 
and have her as a pattern to follow?"-' 

Despite the criticisms and personal attacks. Reel con- 
tinued to campaign among all demographics. As a final 
thought in her campaign brochure, the state Republican 
committee encouraged voters that "Miss Reel should 
poll the full vote of the intelligent Republican party and 
receive also the suffrages of the most liberal and dis- 
criminating Democrats."-* Apparently those receiving 
this brochure took the admonition to heart. When the 
ballots were counted. Reel had won by a handy plural- 
ity; in fact. Reel received the largest number of votes 
of any state candidate and carried every county in the 
state, even Johnson County where every other Repub- 
lican candidate lost.-" She became the first woman in 
the United States to hold a statewide office. 

Newspapers described Reel's inauguration in detail, 
noting how she took off her hat before being sworn in, 

" Reel, who in several letters of correspondence mentioned her 
appreciation for the press and its contribution to her campaign, 
returned the favor. In one letter she noted that she had expended 
more than $60 in subscriptions to Republican newspapers in the 
state. Letterpress Book 7. p. 693. 

"* Scrapbook "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1890-1896." 

'■* Scrapbook. "Personal. Political, Misc.. 1890-1896." 11. 

■" Scrapbook. "Personal. Political, Misc.. 1890-1896." 77. In 
another article, the Sheridan Journal editor coyly wrote 
"[Matthews] may be all right to dance the Virginia reel but he will 
find that the Wyoming Reel will dance him such a lively whirl that 
he will not be able to work himself out from the November land 
slide, even by algebra." Scrapbook. 82. 

" Scrapbook. "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1890-1896." 18. 

" Scrapbook. "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1890-1896." 18. 

" Scrapbook. "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1890-1896." 90. 

^■' Scrapbook. "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1890-1896." 18. 35. 

^' Scrapbook, "Personal. Political. Misc., 1890-1896." 18. 

" Scrapbook. "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1890-1896." 92. 

" Scrapbook. "Personal, Political, Misc.. 1890-1896,"' 92. 

-' Pamphlet. Administrative File. 

-' "Election Result in the State." in Scrapbook. "Personal. Politi- 
cal. Misc., 1894-1896." 149. 

Winter ■■2003 


Miss EsTELLE Reel. 




of Public Instruction, 


D uties of Superint endent of Public 
Instruction, briefly compiled 
from Wyoming State Laws. 

The Superintendent of Public Instruction 
shall make a biennial reporl of the condition 
of the public schools of the Stale 

1"he Superintendent of Public Instruction 
IS Secretary of the State Board of Charities 
and Reform, and as such shall keep a record 
I if the proceedings of the board; shall coun- 
tersign all documents made or approved by 
the Board; shall make an annual report to 
the Governor. 

The Superintendent of Public Instruction 
IS Secretary of the State Board of Land 
Commissioners, and as such shall make out 
and countersign all leases of State lands, 
and keep a record of the same, shall tile 

and preserve the bonds or leases given b\ 
purchasers to secure deferred payments, 
shall make out and deliver Certificates of 
purchase to purchasers; shall keep the seal 
of Hie Board; shall keep the minutes of 
the Board; shall receive the rental of State 
lands, and receipt for same, turning over 
the money thus received to the State 

Any Intelligent Woman can 
perform these duties. 

Reel, at the time of her election, and e 
kept her eyes "modestly"" downcast, and afterwards 
received an "ovation"" that made her blush." Despite 
these descriptions of shy femininity. Reel would prove 
to be dedicated and effective in her public role. 

Unfortunately, even after her election, rumors per- 
petuated during her campaign continued to mar her ac- 
complishment. Anti-suffrage newspapers continued to 
report that Reel had only won because she circulated 
pictures of herself to all the "young, lonely cowboys"" in 
the state. Reel attempted to set the record straight, re- 
sponding to one eastern newspapemian who asked about 
these allegations that "the editor of whom you speak 
has been misled by a wild- West story. . . In common with 
other candidates on both state tickets my picture was 
printed in state newspapers, on campaign literature, etc.. 
but it had no more perceptible effect on the \ oters than 
the picture of the other candidates.""" Still, this story 
would follow her for the rest of her life and continue to 
tarnish her political career. 

czducational J^ut 

xtracts from her campaign literature. IS9-). 

ized curriculum, the debate over whether the govern- 
ment should provide free textbooks, and the issuing of 
teaching certificates. Of course, people from all across 
the country also wrote to Reel asking for a \\oman"s 
perspective on many lesser issues as well. 

One of ReePs main goals while in ottlce was creat- 
ing a standardized curriculum that could be implemented 
throughout the state, especially in the poor rural areas. 
so that students from these schools would be able to 
merge w itli urban students if the> w ished to pursue higher 
education. Reel often expressed a particular interest in 
methods for improving country schools. In an interv iew. 
Reel told the St. Louis Democrat utid Journal that the 
only way to improve rural schools was to improve the 
quality of teachers, and increase funding so that rural 
schools could purchase the same supplies and equip- 
ment as urban schools; if this were done. Reel believed, 
rural students would surpass students in city schools. "'- 
Reel therefore wrote to rural teachers throughout the 
state asking for suggestions on what curriculum would 
be useful in systematizing teaching with a minimum of 


Some of the major problems Reel faced during her 
term in office were awaiting her when she arrived. Most 
prominent among these were the need for a standard- 

"' Scraphook. -F^ersonal. Political. Misc.. 1894- 1 S%." 103. 
" Letterpress Book 3. p 122. 1 etter to "Mr, .1.1. Kendall" 
■'- Letterpress Book 7. p. 694. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Cort Meyer met Eslelle and married her. years after 
her Wyoming service as state superintendent 

training." She combined these suggestions with her own 
ideas, publishing the Outline Course of Study for IVyo- 
niing Public Schools in 1897. This pamphlet was so 
popular that Reel and her publisher soon exhausted all 
their copies, but Reel could not have any more printed 
due to the lack of appropriations for her office." 

In her introduction to the course of study. Reel as- 
sured the teachers of Wyoming that she intended the 
course of study to serve as a guideline at first, though 
she hoped it would eventually be adopted in its entirety. 
Reel advocated arranging schools by grade and only 
teaching one subject at a time. Her intention was to 
assist the rural schools in rising to the standard of city 
schools, so that a student transferring from anywhere 
in the state would be able to continue studying the same 
material at the same level without losing any time.'" 
Also, keeping in mind the tenuous situation over text- 
books. Reel arranged the course of study so that it could 
be utilized without reference to textbooks. Reel urged 
teachers to cultivate in their students "self-control, con- 
centration, endurance, application, appreciation, insight, 
receptiveness and responsiveness," for she believed 
these traits were much more important than memoriza- 
tion of specific facts or trivia. As Reel says, "facts are 
means, not ends... it is what they suggest, make pos- 
sible, inspire, that has value.""'" 

After this introduction. Reel suggested a curriculum 
based on the subjects of reading, arithmetic, language, 
geography, history, physiology and hygiene, writing, 
drawing, and nature study. For each grade from first 

through eighth. Reel gives a suggested course of study 
on each subject for the entire year. Many of these sug- 
gestions seem based in Reefs belief that children should 
not learn by memorization but rather by expression of 
their own thoughts." Many of Reefs proposals were 
also practical; for instance, the eighth grade curriculum 
in math is focused on teaching brokerage, stocks, profit 
and loss, and insurance, as well as assignments focus- 
ing on checks, bonds, bank notes, and commercial prin- 
ciples involved in financial transactions.^* In each sub- 
ject. Reel gave suggestions of books for teachers to 
read to familiarize themselves with all these subjects. 

Particularly interesting is the curriculum for physiol- 
ogy and hygiene. These courses were meant not only 
to teach children proper personal care and habits, which 
were believed to improve both the physical and moral 
health of the children, but also posture and graceful- 
ness, especially in comparison to the movement of ani- 
mals. This was to be accomplished by examining ani- 
mal joints and human bones, "being careful not to hor- 
rify pupils with a ghastly human skeleton all at once." 
An important issue taught in this subject throughout the 
grades was the effects of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. 
The curriculum for this subject was again practical in 
nature; students were taught what to do in emergen- 
cies such as "fire, water, poisons, bites from snakes 
and rabid animals.""'" Though Reefs course of study 
was accepted throughout the state and was beginning 
to be implemented, provisions listed under an 1899 law 
requiring free textbooks destroyed many of the ben- 
efits of Reefs program.''" 

Another major problem with the educational laws of 
the time was the problem with teacher certification. 
Provisions for issuing certificates had been in place since 

" Fromong. 260-262. 

'■• Letterpress Book 7. p. 542. One of the most interesting items 
discovered in Reels scrapbook was a letter from P. Mejuef of Pe- 
tersburg. Russia, thanking Reel for sending him a copy of her bien- 
nial report and the school laws. Scrapbook. "Misc.."' 169. 

'" Estelle Reel. Outline Course of Sludy for Wyoming Public 
Sclwols. (Laramie: The Republican Book and Job Print. 1897), 3. 

■"' Reel. Course of Study. 4. 

" Reel. Course of Study. 30. 47-48. 

'* Reel. Course of Study. 1 7. 

'" Reel. Course of Study. 38-41. Reel seemed particularly wor- 
ried about the effects of tobacco and alcohol on youths. A letter 
written to Jason Hammond of Lansing. Michigan, noted that, while 
there was a city ordinance prohibiting the sale of tobacco products 
to minors. Reel expressed a hope that a similar statewide law soon 
would be passed. Letterpress Book 6. p. 313 

""' Fromong. 263-264. 

" Fromong. 183-184. in 1886 the legislature mandated the teach- 
ing of temperance in all public schools. Teachers were also sup- 
posed to be specifically knowledgeable in the effects of alcohol, 
stimulants, and narcotics on the body. 

Winter i?003 


1 873, but not until 1 886 were the first requirements made 
as to the content of the exams/' However, teacher 
examinations were by no means standardized in terms 
of how they were conducted or graded, or what sub- 
jects could be included. Interestingly, the law did re- 
quire that county superintendents must be satisfied that 
the candidate was of good moral character in order to 
receive a certificate: Reel described one case where a 
certificate was annulled once the moral character of 
one teacher was determined to be ""bad."^- Reel re- 
ceived numerous inquiries concerning teaching certifi- 
cates, and in each one she had the same reply: Wyo- 
ming laws did not provide for statewide issuance of 
certificates: each candidate had to pass examinations 
given by county superintendents in the county where 
they were applying before they were allowed to teach. ^^ 
Count) certificates were onl\ valid for one vear, and 
onl> in the counts in which it was issued. The\ had to 
be renewed yearly by retaking the exam, and there was 
no appeal process for rejected e.xams.^^ Though Reel 
lobbied for a change in this system, she again was dis- 
appointed at her lack of results: again, no major alter- 
ations were made until 1 899 when certificates began to 
be divided into four classes, allow ing for statew ide cer- 
tificates to be issued as well as standardization of county 
superintendent exams.^^ 

Much of Reel's correspondence concerning educa- 
tional matters was w ritten either in response to job seek- 
ers in other states or to recommend Wyoming teachers 
for positions in other states. Reel responded to most job 
inquiries by noting that the suppK of teachers was greatly 
in excess of demand, and suggesting that the inquiring 
individual put in his/her resume with county superinten- 
dents. Reel repeatedly mentioned the low wages paid 
to educators in Wyoming and the resultant lack of ex- 
ceptional teachers willing to come west.^' 

Reel was unwilling to recommend friends for posi- 
tions in Cheyenne for several reasons; one was that 
she had an ongoing feud with a member of the Chey- 
enne School Board, Professor Churchill. Churchill had 
angered many in the educational community by refus- 
ing to follow the law requiring renewal ofteaching cer- 
tificates though still continuing to teach. In response to 
one request for a recommendation. Reel explained to 
Alice Higgins of Illinois that, "my influence with the 
school board here is very slight as the members who 
manage affairs and the City Superintendent have been 
and are politically opposed to me and would keep out 
rather than help any friends of mine who should apply 
for places.""^' Also. Reel often pointed many of these 
applicants elsewhere: as she advised Higgins, "If you 
should decide to come west 1 think you could do better 

in Portland, Oregon, than any other place in the west I 
know of at the present time. 1 spent a week there last 
summer and found the conditions, work, wages and 
expenses, better for teachers than any place 1 have 
ever been."^'* 

One of the most important educational issues during 
Reel's tenure was a debate that had been raging since 
territorial days over whether the state should provide 
free textbooks. Both the territorial superintendent and 
governor in 1 888 recommended that funds from the leas- 
ing of state school lands be earmarked for textbooks, 
and in that \ear a law was enacted providing for unifor- 
mitv of textbooks for an investigative five-year period. 
When this law expired in 1893. nothing was done to 
renew it, though Superintendent S. T. Farwell did sug- 
gest books as a basis for study. ^" Two years later, w hen 
Gov. W. A. Richards made his first address to the third 
legislative assembly, he asked for a free textbook law. 
citing precedents in other states. Unfortunately no new 
laws concerning textbooks were passed until 1 899, the 
year after Reel left office.'" Though Reel was not able 
to effect the change herself, she believ ed in the good of 
uniform textbooks. Dozens of textbook publishers sent 
her numerous copies of textbooks in an attempt to get 
her to recommend them for use in schools. Even though 
Reel could not mandate their use. she still wrote re- 
views of them for the publishing companies. ' 

Wyoming schools were also lacking quality school li- 
braries. Katharine Sharp of the Amiour Institute in Chi- 

^- Letterpress Book 6. p. 21<^. 

*■ Letterpress Book, uniuinibered. 7.i. 182. 

'M-romong. 184-l,S,s 

'' l-romong. 186-187, 

*'' Letterpress liook. uiuimbered. 43. 97. A letter to Lottie Sellon 
ot Kansas City. Missouri, and one to Nina .lohnson of Oklahoma 
C'it\, noted that teachers in the cit\ reeei\ed between S.'id and $75 
a month as a salarv. "'though the price ot'living is \er\ expensive." 
Letterpress Book, unnumbered. 2.s.'i, In a letter to Helen Worthington 
of Barp. . Illinois. Reel noted that rural teachers received only $45 to 
$50 per month, and that all teachers faced a reduction of $ 1 to $ 1 5 
per month for the coming > ear. Letterpress Book 4. p. 49(.). This is 
compared to a letter to May Higgenbotham of Philadelphia. Penn- 
s\l\ania. in which Reel described the \earl\ salaries of count) 
superintendents as ranging from $600 for tlrst class counties to 
S.iOO lor fourth class counties: apparentiv these salaries were in 
addition to the normal teacher's salar> . 

" Letterpress Book 7. pp. 417. 257: Scrapbook. "Personal Po- 
litical Misc.. 1890-1846," 46. Several items of correspondence 
refer to Reel's problems with school boards in Che\ enne. Lor addi- 
tional examples, see Letterpress Book, unnumbered. 93. 255. 

" Letterpress Book, unnumbered. 257. Kor additional examples, 
see pp. 93. 97. 

'" Lroinong. 258-260. 

'"Fromong. 168-169. 

"' Sec letter to S.M, Ingles. Letterpress Book. vol. 4. p. 336. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

cago wrote to ask Reel about library administration, 
funding, and selection in the state. Reel replied that there 
was no organization or authorization in the state for li- 
braries.-- Reel often complained about the poor state 
of school libraries, noting that some schools did not even 
have the rudiments of one. especially those in rural ar- 
eas. She advocated building libraries in every school in 
the state, suggesting 84 books to form the basis of ev- 
erv school library (many of which were mentioned in 
her course of study), though she had no authority or 
funding to enforce this plan.'' 

Faulty school laws were another troublesome issue 
about which Reel received many complaints from par- 
ents. For instance, one concerned mother wrote to Reel 
asking if the district could compel her children to attend 
school even though there were none within a reason- 
able distance (the answer was no). On this occasion, 
as on many others. Reel noted that "Our school law is 
very defectiv e" and that the only way to effect changes 
in the district was to get a large number of friends and 
neighbors together at the annual meeting to vote for 
whatever reform was desired.'^ 

An issue that caused Reel numerous headaches was 
the legislatively required biannual fiscal reports. Each 
county was required to send in an account of their ex- 
penses each year. Due to the poor quality of many clerks, 
these reports often had to be changed and amended 
several times. For almost eveiy county. Reel was forced 
to return the original submitted report at least once be- 
cause of discrepancies, both large and small.'' 

Conversely. Reel had her own problems getting fund- 
ing from the legislature. Wyoming was in the midst of 
an economic downturn in the i 890s and one of the last 
areas considered for funding was education. In a letter 
to Mrs. Jennings in February 1895. Reel despondently 
wrote, "The prospects are that my contingent fund will 
be almost all taken away from me as the politicians 
seem determined to make my office of as little impor- 
tance as possible.""'" 

Reel lobbied legislative members for much-needed 
reforms in educational laws, though because of other 
more pressing matters, the state legislature often ne- 
glected to consider these issues. As Reel noted, school 
legislation was often left until the very last, by which 
time the legislature was so rushed with work they had 
no time to consider educational bills." 

Even when legislation was introduced, it was often 
not to the benefit of the teachers: for instance, in 1 897 
House Bill 13 was presented as a measure to raise the 
salaries of county superintendents, b'Jt the same bill pro- 
posed that they then be forced to pay all their expenses, 
which would lead to a pay decrease.'^ 

Despite all the problems Reel faced, she was able to 
make some progress in some areas. A big problem with 
the educational laws was the lack of regulations con- 
cerning school attendance. Attendance was particularly 
a problem in rural areas where school sessions them- 
selves were intermittent and based on seasons or har- 
vests." Children were required by law to attend school 
from the ages of six to eighteen for a time equivalent to 
three years, though the timing of this was never clearly 
defined."' Still, enforcement of compulsory attendance 
improved during Reefs term; in 1 893 the average num- 
ber of days school was in session was 89.21, while in 
1898 the average reached a high of more than 100 

Another major change that was initiated during Reel's 
term in office was the growth of secondary schools, a 
reflection of the nationwide trend as the country 
switched from agriculture to industry, necessitating new 
kinds of training. In his address to the third legislative 
assembly. Governor Richards recommended a law au- 
thorizing the development of secondary schools in larger 
towns for older students to obtain mechanical training."- 
Growth was slow but significant, in 1 894 only two high 
schools existed in the state; by the end of 1 895 that 
number had jumped to five." 

J-and JDoazd and iJ-^oLit 


Though Reel faced much skepticism during her cam- 
paign over whether she was capable of performing the 
duties pertaining to land questions, she soon proved that 
these concerns were unfounded. The duties of the State 
Superintendent in regard to the Land Board were es- 
sential. As historian Terrence Fromong pointed out, the 
amount of money available for schools "depends upon 
the efficiency with which (and the rate per acre at which) 
the State Board of Control keeps the unsold school sec- 
tions leased, and the efficiency with which the money 
in the Permanent School Fund is kept invested." In- 

" Letterpress Book 4. p. .^74. 
" Fromong. 263. 
'•• Letterpress Book 4, p. 487. 

" For only a few examples, see LeUerpress Book 6. pp. 93-97; 
Letterpress Book 7. pp. 424-425. 458. 466. 
''' Letterpress Book, unnumbered. 23. 
" Letterpress Book 6. p. 200. 
'* Letterpress Book 6. pp. 330. 33 L 335. 
'*' Fromong. 257. 
'•"Fromong. 173. 
"' Fromong. 248-249. 
''^ Fromong. 177. 
'■' Fromong. 249. 

Winter '2003 


come from the permanent school fund continued to in- 
crease during Reel's tenure, amounting to a sum of "con- 
siderable proportions.""^ 

The Wyoming Constitution provided for two school 
funds: the permanent school fund and the common 
school fund. The permanent school fund received money 
from two sources, proceeds from the sale of school 
lands and 5 percent of the proceeds from the sale of all 
government lands in the state. The common school fund 
received its money from interest paid on the permanent 
school fund as well as rentals of school land."' 

The original land grant for Wyoming public schools 
was three million acres. In 1897, during the middle of 
Reel's term. Congress granted Wyoming pennission to 
select more than 300,000 additional acres in lieu of school 
sections located in federal K protected areas. The Pub- 
lic Land Commission had located and selected these 
"indemnity lands" by 1 898, which likely had no small 
part in Reel's success in increasing school revenues. 

Reel had her own ideas on how to increase income 
from school lands. A biography written by Reel's friend 
Cora Beach stated that Reel made a "thorough study 
of the land leasing s\ stem" which allowed Reel to make 
changes that led to unprecedented success. As Beach 
noted. Reel's handling of the system led to an increase 
in revenues from hundreds to thousands of dollars col- 
lected from these lands within months of her taking of- 
fice."" In 1895 the legislature directed that this money 
be distributed to the counties on the basis of enrollment 
as reported by each county superintendent, and this 
practice was continued throughout Reel's term.' 

in a letter written in January 1 896 to W. H. Wolfard 
of Saratoga, Wyoming, Reel indicated that school land 
could be rented annually for five percent of their ap- 
praised value, and that not less than a legal subdivision 
could be leased except inside city limits."'* Reel pro- 
posed relaxing the conditions for leasing state-owned 
lands that were being used for open range; she felt that 
this would not only cause the land to be utilized in such 
a way that it would make a profit for the state (that 
would of course be funneled to the schools), but that it 
would also be valued more by stockmen and ranchers. 
Reel also believed that if the state showed initiative by 
promoting the use of state lands, the government might 
also turn over federal lands to the state. In her view this 
would transform Wyoming from one of the poorest to 
one of the richest states in the nation."" 

She wrote of her impressions of the campaign. The 
"strongest and most lasting impressions" were that the 
state's "latent" resources needed to be developed so 
that Wyoming could be transformed into the "rich and 
prosperous state she deserves to be instead of the strug- 

gling commonwealth she now is." Reel promoted irri- 
gating the "fertile land" throughout the state by utilizing 
the Green. North Platte, and Big Horn river systems. 
For her the lack of railroads in the state was not a rea- 
sonable impediment to its agricultural development, cit- 
ing the agricultural prosperity of the Star Valley. "There 
is no state in the union in which the opportunities are 
better than in Wyoming for a profitable combination of 
farming, stock-raising and mining." she wrote. It could 
not be done by private initiative; success depended upon 
the support of the legislature. If the state could achieve 
agricultural success, the development of other resources 
would be rapid, especially industrial activities. " 

She favored irrigation legislation such as the Carey 
Act and the Desert Land Act. and opposed "corrup- 
tion" in land claims. Her views brought her between 
the Republican split in the state between those who 
followed Senator F. E. Warren's leadership and those 
who followed ex-Senator Carey. Following the 1894 
election, Carey tried to gain reelection to the U. S. Sen- 
ate but the legislature, influenced by Warren, dumped 
him in favor of an Evanston Republican— with Warren 
in the other Senate seat. It began the long-lasting Carey- 
Warren feud that influenced Wyoming politics for the 
next quarter century. 

Warren forces continued to find fault with Carey's 
activities while the Carey forces reciprocated. Land 
was one battleground issue. As an article in the Casper 
Derrick reported. Carey had applied for a large tract 
of government land to be allotted to the state between 
Casper and Glenrock and had begun to fence it off 
When the five-member state land board, of which Reel 
was secretary, found out about this, they prevented the 
granting of his application. According to Warren propo- 
nents, Carey immediatelv stormed down to Chevenne 
to rant before the board, where the Derrick reported, 
he was told the rejection of the application "was purely 
political and done to hold him down politically." 

As part of the Republican apparatus put together b\ 
Warren. Reel showed no support for Care\ . According 
to press accounts, however, the land issue was the rea- 
son. The Derrick reported that upon hearing the rea- 
son for the board's action. Carey raved some more. 
This supposedly caused Reel to become disgusted w ith 

"■'Fromong. 211-212:223-224. 
"' Froniong. 218-21 9. 

"" Cora M. Beach. Women oj ll'voiuing (Casper: S. E. Bo> er and 
Company. 1927)1. 40. 
"' Fromong. 225. 
"" LeUerpress Book 5. p. 183. 
"" Box 2. Scrapbook. "Misc. F. Reel." 390. 
"" Scraphook. "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1894-1896." 209. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

his actions and drop her formerly "astute" friendship 
with him. In fact, the Derrick reported that Reel after- 
ward had choice words to speak about Carey, calling 
him the author of the "Mand grab law" among other 
things.' ' This put her solidly in the "Warren camp" and 
set the stage for future political rewards.'- 

ReeFs ordinary land duties brought her notice in the 
newspapers. When Reel brought in $370 from a land 
sale she conducted on the courthouse steps in Chey- 
enne, it was the first time on record, according to an 
article from June 1895, titled "Miss Reel as Auction- 
eer," that a woman officiated as a public auctioneer. 
As the article noted, "Tt has often been said that this 
was one of the things a woman could not do, but Miss 
Reel proved not only that a woman could, but did it in as 
expeditious and thorough a manner as any man could 
have done."" 

Even after she had been in office for some time, her 
auctioneering still drew attention. In an auction of school 
lands, an article in the Cheyenne Tribune. April 1 6, 1 897, 
noted that Reel "cried the bids so sweetly that lots of 
fellows who got to thinking about it afterward felt real 
sorry that they didn't wink the prices away higher."" 

jDoaxa or (Lnaxiiis.% ana <:i'\ Eroxm 

The least amount of correspondence and press dur- 
ing Reel's term came from her duties as the Secretary 
of the State Board of Charities and Reform. Appar- 
ently during Reel's tenure many of Wyoming's charges 
were "cared for and educated" in Colorado, since they 
could provide better care and treatment there than in 
any facilities in Wyoming.'- The Colorado Institute for 
Deaf, Dumb, and Blind in Colorado Springs held four 
charges at Wyoming's expense because there was no 
facility in Wyoming for them. This expense went to- 
ward room and board, washing, medical attention, books, 
and general care at an annual cost of $1000, which 
Reel estimated at far below the cost were they kept in 
Wyoming. Three Wyoming girls were held in a Denver 
school for femalejuvenile delinquents. This school was 
intended to transform women into productive members 
of society by teaching them how to do housework and 
needlework, read literature and practice writing. 

Reel visited the institution at Golden for male juve- 
nile delinquents, which held seven Wyoming "pupils." 
Boys here made and mended all their own clothes, took 
care of livestock, and raised crops. They were also made 
to produce a weekly newspaper, do blacksmith and car- 
pentry work, and run a brickyard, along with having 
four hours of lessons each day. As Reel reported. 

charges were allowed to choose their profession; for 
instance, one Wyoming boy was training to become a 
baker, two were learning to be tailors, and another was 
studying scientific farming and irrigation. In her report. 
Reel concluded that Colorado should be allowed to con- 
tinue to care for Wyoming charges unless their num- 
bers dramatically increased.'" 

An article appearing in the Chicago Tribune in April 
of the same year noted that Reel was inspecting peni- 
tentiaries there and getting ideas for how to run these 
institutions from Eastern cities since Wyoming was ex- 
pecting to open a new prison shortly." The Cheyenne 
Daily Leader wrote that the committee was making a 
two-week tour of penal, reformatory, and charitable in- 
stitutions in Nebraska. Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, 
and Michigan to research systems there, since the state 
was intending to build a new penitentiary at Rawlins to 
replace the cramped Territorial Prison at Laramie.'* 

Reel filed a report with the State Board of Charities 
and Reform after she attended the 1 895 Congress of 
the National Prison Association in Denver. She made 
particular note of a paper presented by the warden of 
the Illinois state penitentiary that described convict la- 
bor as brutal and resented by the prisoners, and pre- 
dicted is speedy abolition. Reel described what she had 
heard about prison conditions and administration in Penn- 
sylvania, Minnesota, and Colorado. All seemed to fo- 
cus on rehabilitation of prisoners— to make them en- 
tirely indistinguishable from other members of society 
upon their release.'" 

In one piece of correspondence from March 1895, 
Reel indicated that the state's Deaf Dumb, and Blind 
Asylum had been converted into a "Soldier's Home."*° 

" Scrapbook. "Political." 75. For an account of the origins of the 
Carey-Warren feud. seeT. A. Larson. /y;5ton'o/ M Vom;>;g(Lincoin: 
University ofNebraska Press, rev. ed.. 1978). 291-293. 

'^ Reel's later career is the subject of another part of the author's 
larger study from which this article is derived. 

" Scrapbook. "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1894-1896." 289. 

'^ Scrapbook. "Misc E. Reel." 319. No title. 

" Scrapbook, "Misc. E. Reel," 41. 

"■ Scrapbook. "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1894-1896." 149. 

" Scrapbook, "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1894-1896." 29. 35. 

"Scrapbook. "Misc.." 31; Scrapbook. "Personal. Political, Misc., 
1894-1 896." 35. 

" Scrapbook "Personal. Political. Misc.. 1894-1896." 44. 45. 

""Letterpress Book, unnumbered. 260 

Winter i2003 




Throughout her term. Reel continued to complain of 
exhaustion and frustration with the demands of her job. 
In a letter to a friend in Sheridan, written almost imme- 
diately after she took office. Reel told her: "The work 
of the campaign, of the inauguration, and of a new po- 
sition, have almost prostrated me and I am very anx- 
iously looking forward to the time when I can take a 
vacation be it ever so brief"**' Even into April 1895, 
Reel complained, "I have been working almost day and 
night ever since inauguration day."'- She was to have 
little relief from these laments during her tenure as su- 

It does not seem unusual that Reel would suffer from 
depression, considering the strains put upon her by her 
office and her lack of association with women. In a 
letter to a friend named "Billy" w ritten in the late spring 
of her first year in office. Reel complained that "Chey- 
enne is awfully dull, socially and in a business way. You 
can congratulate yourself that you are living in a place 
where there is at least life and excitement every day of 
the year." A letter to another friend written in June 
1 895 expressed similar feelings of boredom, especially 
since school was out for the term: "Cheyenne is very 
dull since all the teachers have gone away. . .There are 
no men to make it interesting. I look forward to a very 
dull summer, as I don't expect to get away for a vaca- 
tion. "«' 

In her letter to "Billy." Reel also complained about 
"endless meetings of Land boards, dreary sittings of 
the State Board of Charities and Reform, wearisome 
visits to the Insane Asylums. Hospitals. Penitentiaries, 
etc." These duties were time consuming enough, but 
they were not the end of her responsibilities, for as she 
says, "now to crown it all I ain expected to travel through 
Colorado. Iowa, Nebraska, and Michigan to look at simi- 
lar institutions in these states. And all the time, day af- 
ter day there are letters by the dozen and by the score 
to answer."'^ Because she had Just one secretary work- 
ing with her in the office, the task of answering this 
correspondence fell to Reel herself 

Some of the few personal letters included in her cor- 
respondence records indicate that Reel was suffering 
from exhaustion for much of her term. She often com- 
plained of illness in her letters, ranging from continuing 
troubles with her eyesight to a severe attack of perito- 
nitis early in herterm. At one point she was even under 
doctor's orders to rest. Frequently she wrote of her 
desperate longing for a vacation. At one point. Reel 
was forced to abandon plans for an extended vacation 

when the only secretary in her office became deathly 
ill. She sorrowfully wrote to a friend in Chicago. Hobart 
Martin, that her trunk had been packed for three w eeks 
in anticipation of the trip, and she could not bear to un- 
pack it. "Seriously. Hobart," Reel wrote, "I am very 
tired ofthe kind of life I lead, but it ism\ bread. I've not 
had much butter. "^- 

Reel also expressed her frustration to her friend 
Gertrude Huntington, county superintendent in Saratoga. 
"I wish we could all go out and join your sister in Cali- 
fornia. The Legislature is upon us. Just think. 40 days 
of constant worry and annoyance..."*" in a later letter 
to Huntington, Reel responded to her complaints over 
trouble in straightening out the district's finances by 
saying "I am very sorr>' that you are troubled so much 
but you know that 1 have 'gone gray' in this kind of 

Reel's public duties took precedence from her pri- 
vate life. It was the end of May before Reel found time 
to thank her friend Zoe Grigsby of Pittsfleld. Illinois. 
(Reel's hometown) for a Christmas gift she had re- 
ceived. Reel apologized for not visiting even though she 
had been in Chicago the month before on business of 
the Board of Charities and Reform: "I am so bus\ all 
the time, that I ne\er have a moment for private af- 

Much of her campaign support came from the fact 
that she was not married. Many voters believed that, 
with no family life, her public career would not be hin- 
dered and. apparentlv. she shared this view. This did 
not mean that Reel was content with this aspect of her 
life, however. Scattered among her scrapbooks are love 
poems, romantic stories, articles on skin care and beauty 
techniques, and many references to marriage. Some of 
her correspondence reveals that she was interested in 
marriage, in a revealing postscipt to a letter to her former 
political opponent A. J. Matthews, Reel wrote: "If you 
know of any eligible bachelors, widowers, 'or most any 
old thing.' please keep us on your list, as we are a can- 
didate for matrimony on the anxious seat." While this 
may have been a reference to the rumors circulating 
during her campaign that she planned on marrying 
Matthews depending on the election results, it never- 
theless shows that the subject of marriage was on her 

*' Letterpress Book 4. p. 346. 

*■ Letteqiress Book, unnumbered. 323. 

"- Letterpress Book 4. p. 369. 

*■' Lener to "My Dear Billy." Letterpress Book 3. pp. 381-382, 

"' Letterpress Book 5. p. 233. 

*'' Letterpress Book 6. p. 264. 

*' Letterpress Book 6. p. 387. 

'* Letterpress Book, unnumbered. 455. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

mind. A later letter to Matthews, which unfortunately 
is partly illegible, brings up the subject again, jokingly 
referring to the "matrimonial bureau" and noting that 
she believed she was "an impossible case."**" 

err i^^HaatiEt fox c^aj-j-xaaEttEi. 

Throughout her term as Superintendent of Public In- 
struction. Reel was a focal point for the women's suf- 
frage movement. Though it was an unavoidable posi- 
tion, it seems that Reel was reluctant in this role, and 
was even annoyed at the attention she received as the 
one of the most prominent women in public service, in 
a letter to a friend, she expressed her frustration: "Be- 
sides the ordinary business letters about which, of course, 
there can be no complaint, it seems to me that every 
crank in the country writes to get my opinion on Woman 
Suffrage. Life Insurance. Higher Education, or some 
like subject.""" However, in her public correspondence 
she cordially answered all questions that arrived from 
around the country concerning the consequences and 
benefits of women's suffrage. 

Her reluctance as a mouthpiece for the women's 
movement does not mean that Reel was uninterested in 
the topic of woman's equality. For instance. Reel wrote 
to Mrs. Thomas Orchard of Ogden. Utah, asking for 
her opinion of the practicality of woman's suffrage there: 
"Would it be an aid to the women of the state as it is to 
us in Wyoming? Would it have a tendency to elevate 
politics'^ Would it help Utah or retard its growth?'"" 
These questions suggest that Reel was privately un- 
sure of the benefits of universal suffrage, though all the 
newspaper articles and columns she wrote concerning 
this topic are emphatically supportive of it. 

Many of the people who wrote to Reel were curious 
about the history of women's suffrage in the state. One 
such writer was Mrs. Eugenie Cleophas from Cleo, 
Wyoming."- Reel answered all of Cleophas' questions, 
saying that she believed women's suffrage made the 
parties more careful in choosing their candidates, while 
the presence of women at the polls "has tended to make 
the elections quiet and orderly," a question over which 
many people seemed concerned. Reel assured Cleophas 
that women did not vote with one mind but were di- 
vided into political parties just like men, and took great 
interest in campaign issues, "being, as a rule, more in- 
telligent voters than the majority of the men. "However, 
though there were many women employed as school- 
teachers or domestic and clerical workers. Reel noted 
that women in the state were otherwise "not very promi- 

Reel also received correspondence from medical doc- 
tors asking about work or certification in Wyoming. In 
one case, a female doctor from Chicago wrote to ask 
Reel's opinion on whether Wyoming's equal suffrage 
laws would give her an advantage in securing a position 
because of her sex. Reel responded in the negative. "I 
think, in the west, the disposition is to expect a woman 
to do a man's work, if she undertakes any occupation 
usually supposed to be a man's," though a woman could 
achieve the same degree of success as their male coun- 

Others who wrote to Reel were curious about 
women's roles in other political duties. Reel asserted 
that women's suffrage was an entire success in Wyo- 
ming. In a letter to Dora Sheldon of Iowa, Reel esti- 
mated that 95 percent of Wyoming women voted. She 
also noted that women were not forced to serve on 
juries, that women received equal payment with men, 
and that all classes of women voted. 

Reel also addressed a big fear of anti-suffragists by 
admitting that sometimes a wife's vote would kill that 
of her husband, but emphasizing that it did not result in 
disaster.'" In fact. Reel said that allowing women to 
vote was the impetus for reform. Women's influence 
had already led to having bad laws repealed. People 
observing the consequences of women's suffrage "fail 
to discover any injurious effects upon the women them- 
selves, or their families. Political duties do not neces- 
sarily take up the time of any woman to such an extent 
that she need neglect any of her household duties. . .""* 

Reel listed the benefits of suffrage: it frees women 
from dependency on males, it raises women from an 
inferior status, it improves the possibility of reform, it 
increases order during elections, and it ensures the se- 
lection of superior candidates. Reel wrote: "it will not 
be long before women, learning their strength, will unite 
together, and holding the balance of power, will be en- 

'''' Letterpress Book 6. p. 218: Letterpress Book 6. p. 278. 

'"' Letter to "My Dear Biliy." Letterpress Book 3. pp. 381-382. 

'" Letterpress Book, unnumbered. 323. The question about el- 
evating politics is apparently referring to the widespread reports 
that allowing women to vote in Wyoming had a great "civilizing" 
effect on the election process and led to less violence at the polls. 

''-The community name does not appear in Mae Urbanek. Wyo- 
ming Place Names (Boulder: Johnson Publishing, 1967). Quite likely, 
the name was given to the "post office" located at Mrs. Cleophas' 
ranch home. 

"' Letterpress Book 4, p. 461. 

"■■ Letterpress Book 7, p. 73 1 . 

" "A Charming Lady OfTice Holder." in Box 3. Scrapbook. "Per- 
sonal. Political. Misc.. 1894-1896." 

'"" Letterpress Book 5. p. 3 1 . 

Winter '2003 


abled to exert a most potent influence in public affairs."*' 

Many people wrote to Reel for advice on how to ad- 
vance the cause of equal suffrage. In a letter sent to 
famed suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt of Neu York 
City, Reel advised, "my public speaking during the re- 
cent campaign was confined to very brief talks. . . It may 
be that brief talks explaining what Suffrage has done 
for Wyoming may accomplish as much, or more, for 
the cause than more elaborate oratorical efforts." "^ 

Reel also was asked to address issues dealing with 
women as educators. In one instance a man from Wis- 
consin asked Reel for statistics concerning the effi- 
ciency of women on school boards. Though Reel had 
no such figures, she still advised the man that, based on 
her experience, it was "wise" to have both men and 
women on the school board.'™ A letter sent from Phila- 
delphia asked Reel whether any conflicts arose from 
the fact that male teachers were sometimes under the 
control of women superintendents. In response. Reel 
emphasized that instances of difficulties were rare, and 
that men were careful "not to assert any superiority 
over their women co-workers." Additionally. Reel felt 
that only the "fitness" of the person being considered, 
not the gender, should be the onl\ detemiining factor in 
who was selected as administrators.'"" 

Despite the answers, in her correspondence Reel re- 
vealed she grew tired of the tedious and sometimes 
ridiculous questions she was forced to address on the 
subject of women's fitness for political office. In the 
middle of her term as superintendent. Reel suddenly 
found herself dodging the rumor that she was planning 
a run forGovemor of Wyoming. Apparently, the story 
started when Governor Richards mentioned once on a 
trip to St. Louis that his 19-year-old daughter was com- 
petent to handle the work involved. Newspapers re- 
porting this remarked, "I fa girl of 19 could run the Gu- 
bernatorial office, why could not a woman of experi- 
ence like Miss Reel be Governor?"" " This idea began 
to buzz around town, and soon Reel was in the midst of 
a media frenzy as newspapers around the country 
falsely announced her candidacy and speculated on her 
chances of winning. Reel protested these stories, fi- 
nally writing a letter to the editor of the New York Sun 
explaining the facts. 

However, this simple letter itself provoked another 
controversy, especial 1\ among suffragists. In writing her 
reply to the Sim. Reel stated that "The idea of running 
a woman for Governor of the State of Wyoming is not 
worthy of serious consideration." As the Sun responded. 
and as many suffragists questioned, "Indeed, and why 
not?"'" The answer, as found in her correspondence 
and other writings, is simple: Reel considered herself 

not to be radical in her ideas of how women were to 
achieve suffrage or on the subject of women's equality. 
In her response. Reel wrote that just because half of 
the voters in Wyoming were v\omen. thev did not ex- 
pect to hold half of the offices in the state, and that the 
only offices they should hold were strictly educational 
or clerical. As long as they were allowed these posi- 
tions, and received equal pay for equal work. Reel said. 
"the_\ will be well satisfied. The\ will not attempt to 
encroach upon offices which should alwa\ s be filled by 
men. one of which is the Governorship."'"" 

The editors, and probably many suffragettes, remained 
perplexed by these statements, though Reel had made 
her reasoning known in several previous inter\ lews. For 
instance. Reel had w ritten an article in w hich she ques- 
tioned the right of women to seek a broader public mis- 
sion than that which they already had. Reel stated that 
every woman, like every man, has a desire for influ- 
ence, but this desire should not be expanded into new 
fields. Instead. Reel believed that the immediate fight 
for women's equality should focus on first gaining equal 
wages for the fields in which women v\ere alread\ es- 

A letter written in April 1896 to Ella Buie of St. Louis 
similarly addressed this conviction. "I believe the suc- 
cess of the Women's Suffrage idea in Wyoming has 
been due mainly to the fact that the women of the State 
have not asked too much at any time of the male 
voters... [women] were extremel_\ modest in their re- 
quests for preferment and power. They essayed no radi- 
cal refonns and did w hat good they could in politics and 
legislation in a quite unobtrusive manner. . ." 

Reel then address Buie's request for advice on how 
to achie\ e equal suffrage in Missouri: "Do not attempt 
at first to secure uni\ ersal suffrage. Get first the pri\ i- 
lege of voting in school elections. This secured, work 
for a voice in municipal atTairs. If you secure this, the 

■" Letterpress Book 5. p. 31. 

''"Letterpress Book, unnumbered. 286. Reel often made dispar- 
aging remarks about her own speaking ability. For instance, she 
responded to a request to speak at the teacher's institute in Sheridan 
County: "As you know. 1 am not a fluent speaker and would not 
think of charging for the lecture." Letterpress Book 6. p, 23 1 . 

'" Letterpress Book 4. p. 488. 

Letterpress Book 4. p 4W. 

"" Scrapbook. "N.E..'\. 1846-18^7." 4. 

'"- "The Protest of Superintendent Reel." in Box 3. Scrapbook. 
"Political E. Reel." 98. 

"" "The Protest ofSupermtendent Reel." in Box 3. Scrapbook. 
"Political L. Reel." 98. 

'"'' "A Wider Mission." in Box 3. Scrapbook. "Personal. Politi- 
cal. Misc.. 1890- 1896." 47. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

right of suffrage in County, State, and National affairs 
will follow in due time."'"^ In other words, Reel advo- 
cated taking the movement slowly, allowing men to be- 
come acculturated to the advancements one step at a 
time. She feared that if too much was asked for all at 
once, the entire movement might be squashed in its in- 
fancy. She urged women to first pursue expansion within 
conventional women's spheres, such as caring for chil- 
dren (education) and home (community). They could 
use these gains to push for roles outside their traditional 
interests. In this context. Reel's response to the Sun 
seems to make perfect sense. 

This fundamental disagreement with radical suffrag- 
ists did not diminish Reel's position as one ofthe most 
visible female public figures in the nation. She contin- 
ued to give interviews expounding upon the virtues of 
equal suffrage in Wyoming to newspapers wherever 
she traveled. In 1 897 she represented the Woman's Club 
of Cheyenne at the national meeting ofthe Women's 
Republican League. '"" 

\Un to Waininaton 

Though Reel faced both personal and political hard- 
ships during her time in office, she met these difficulties 
head-on and with integrity. Despite political divisions 
within her own party and criticism from Democrats, 
many ofthe public believed she rose above common 
politics. A newspaper article written in February 1 897 
note: "There is one state officer who appears to be 
doing her duty as she sees it and without reference to 
the wishes ofthe gang, and that is Miss Estelle Reel, 
superintendent of public instruction. She has made a 
good officer and is to be highly commended...""" 

Reel was exhausted by the heavy burdens she had 
borne during her three years in office, yet her political 
career was about to take an important leap. After work- 

ing for William McKinley's presidential campaign in 
1898, Reel applied forthe recently vacated position of 
Superintendent of Indian Education. Despite her con- 
nections with Warren who recommended her highly, 
she also received warm support for this application from 
Warren's opponent, Joseph Carey. '°* 

Though no woman had ever held so high a position in 
the federal service. Reel's application received the unani- 
mous approval ofthe Senate. Reel was soon packing 
her bags and moved to Washington, D.C., leaving the 
office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the 
first statewide office ever held by a woman, before the 
term ended. 

'"' Letterpress Book 5. p. 325. 

'"" Letterpress Book 7. p. 394. 

"" Scrapbook. "Campaign. 1896-97," 50. 175. 

"" "U. S. Department ofthe Interior, Office of Supt. of Indian 
Schools endorsements," folder in Box I, Estelle Reel Meyer Collec- 

The author, a native of Missouri, is a graduate 
student in history at the University of Wyoming, 
where she is specializing in the history of Wyo- 
ming and the American West. She holds a 
bachelor 's degree in history from Northwest Mis- 
souri State University. During her career, she 
has worked at the National Archives in Kansas 
City, the Missouri Supreme Court Historical 
Society and Missouri State Archives in Jefferson 
City, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody. 
This article is extracted from the first portion of 
a monograph-length biography of Reel, now in 
progress. She is serving as assistant editor of 
Annals of Wyoming, a position she has held for 
the past year. 

Book Reviews 

Significant Recent Books on Western and Wyoming History 

Edited by Carl Hallberg 

Lynching in Colorado, 1858-1919. 

By Stephen J. Leonard. Boulder: University Press of Colo- 
rado. 2002. Illus. tables, maps, notes, bib., index. 232pp. 
Cloth. S24.^5. 

Reviewed by Michael J. Pfeifer, The Evergreen Slate Col- 
lege, Olympia, Washington 

Unlike scholars of the South, historians of the West have 
devoted little serious attention to collective violence in the 
region's past. Stephen J. Leonard's study of lynching in 
Colorado advances our understanding about a crucial as- 
pect of the legal and social relations of the nineteenth and 
earlv twentieth century West. 

Employing a rigorous methodologv . Leonard documents 
175 lynchings in Colorado between 1858 and 1919. Leonard 
begins by analyzing the important precedent set by the extra- 
legal proceedings of the "People's Courts" which conducted 
infonnal trials and executions of accused criminals in Denver 
and other Rocky Mountain towns. These infant jurisdic- 
tions lacked legal institutions between 1850 and the fomia- 
tion of Colorado Territory in 1861 (Chapter I ). Yet the organi- 
zation of legally-constituted courts hardly ended lynching in 
Colorado. As the railroad and discovery of pockets of gold 
and silver created towns throughout the state. K nching sprees 
often expressed the unstable social relations of novel places. 
Spates of lynching, sometimes prefomied by well-organized 
vigilante committees and sometimes by spontaneously-as- 
sembled mobs, followed allegations of property crimes and 
murder in Denver. Pueblo. Leadville. and smaller hinterland 
towns, such as Ourav . in the 1 860s. 1 870s, and 1 880s (Chap- 
ters 2 and 3 ). 

However, bv the 1880s. Coloradoans turned awa\ from 
lynching persons accused of transgressions against prop- 
erty and began to reserve mob murder for those accused of 
murder and sexual offenses (pp. 54. 73). Homicides that were 
viewed as particularly heinous were the most likely to pro- 
voke mob violence. Leonard highlights this tendency with 
an in-depth analysis of the 1884 Ourav lynching of Michael 
and Margaret Cuddigan, a husband and pregnant wife who 
had allegedly murdered a ten-year-old child. Marv Rose 
Matthews (pp. 73-87). Leonard also charts the "tug-of-war" 
between lynching's proponents and its opponents. Advo- 
cates of lynching often cited the purportedly deterrent effect 
of rapid hanging on crime, and the expense that it spared 
county coffers from an unpredictably and potentially lengthy 
trial. However, besinnina in the 1880s. critics of mob vio- 

lence gained the upper hand and law enforcement became 
more aggressive about protecting prisoners from mobs. Op- 
ponents declared lynching inconsistent with •'civilization" 
and cited the potentially negative effect of mob killings on 
investment and the attraction of new settlers (Chapter 5). 
Finally, between the 1880s and 1919. as lynching in Colorado 
waned, it also became highly racialized. Leonard describes 
how white Coloradoans drew upon racial and ethnic animosi- 
ties to collectiveK murder at least nineteen Hispanics. nine 
African-Americans, five Italians, two Chinese and one Jew 

Leonard has written a well-researched and highly readable 
history of a hitherto-neglected topic in Colorado's past. He 
skillfully traces general patterns in collective violence in the 
state, vet also understands that with Ivnching. specificitv 
matters. Throughout the hook, he adeptK weaves in the 
details of illustrative cases. Despite the necessity to impose 
coherence on a complex and disorderly topic. Leonard's nar- 
rative flows well. Moreover, his occasional use of wit leav- 
ens a morbid topic. Yet it would be helpful if Leonard would 
connect more of the dots and view events in Colorado as an 
aspect of a larger cultural transformation in the West and in 
the United States. Lynchers in the West and in other regions 
acted out a vision of punitive, localized criminal justice that 
rejected reforms that sought to centralize and regularize the 
legal system. By contrast, the growing number of "respect- 
able" people in western towns who rejected lynching placed 
their faith in due process law as a regulator of social order 
and the How of capital. Regardless, reading Leonard's book 
will amply repay those interested in K nching in the historv of 
Colorado and of the American West. 

Into the West: The Stor> of Its People. 

By Walter Nugent. New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1 999. .y.v;7 ^ 
■493 pp lllus . maps, notes, bib., index Cloth. S35. 

Reviewed by Don Hodgson, Eastern Myoming College 

Not only does Walter Nugent's Into the West add to a 
growing interest in the 20"' century American West but comes 
at an opportune time on the eve of the 2000 census. Basing 
his research on a wealth of demographic data. Nugent under- 
takes the task of presenting the story of the West from the 
first Native American migrants to the more recent Vietnamese 
and Cambodians. His expansive and well-documented work 
chronicles the m> riad of groups from within and outside the 


Annals of Wyoming; The Wyoming History Journal 

nation that poured into the West to create a landscape of 
ethnic, racial and cultural diversity. From the earliest time, 
the West became a "melting pot" of sorts for peoples, who, 
according to Nugent, were motivated by the desire for land, 
its resources, a better quality of life, material gain and even 
nostalgia (Nugent applies nostalgia to the desire for adven- 
ture, individualism, freedom, romance, and secrecy). 

With an obligator) reference to Turner's "frontier thesis," 
Nugent differentiates between X\\t frontier and the west. Dis- 
counting the end of the frontier in 1 890, the expected ques- 
tion is pressed. "Where is the West?" Relying on the U.S. 
Census Bureau's delineation of 13 states in the Mountain 
West and Pacific area that stretch from Montana to New 
Mexico and west to the Pacific. Nugent adds the Great Plains 
along with Alaska and 20"' century Hawaii for his preference 
of a"Census West plus the Great Plains." Definition in hand, 
the first third of the book presents a sketchy but coherent 
overview of the West's history up to the 20"' century. De- 
spite the familiar story of exploration and empire, the inter- 
pretative and thematic approach of immigration is empha- 
sized; and the patterns of diversity, minorities and urbaniza- 
tion are established for more intensive consideration in the 
remainder of the book. 

Demographics not only help to explain who came into the 
West but also pemijt a review of assumptions about its his- 
tory. For instance, rather than casting blame on the Spanish 
and Mexican occupation. Nugent contends that the Califor- 
nia gold rush resulted in the "great devastation" to Native 
Americans in that state. Between 1848 and 1860. California's 
Native population fell from an estimated 200-250.000 to a mere 
20-25.000. In another revision, despite drought and depres- 
sion that produced adverse effects on the West in the 1890s 
and the 1930s, economic gains were still made and people 
continued to migrate into the region. California was able to 
gain nearly 200.000 people during the 1 890s: and in the Great 
Depression. Nugent relates. "Most states in the region, and 
southern Califomia above all. continued to grow well be- 
yond the national average of the 1930s." Regarding the baby 
boom, assumed to have begun at the conclusion of World 
War II. Nugent relies on demographics to argue that the baby 
boom began in 1941 and lasted until 1965. Coupled with the 
swelling migration of the post-war years and the growth of 
cities and industn,'. the West had become by 1960 the "lead- 
ing edge of American culture, economy and society." 

Nourished by railroads, mining, ranching, farming, and 
growing cities, the West was in the opening years of the 20''' 
century being transformed by newcomers and prosperity. 
Simultaneously, rural and urban growth were occurring in the 
West. Homesteading reached a peak in 1913 in what Nugent 
describes as the "Golden Age of the Settlement Frontier." He 
writes, "In the first thirteen years of the century the Great 
Plains west of the 98"' and 100th meridians truly opened up... 
The entire Plains became an enormous wheat field and cow 

New Deal public works such as dams, irrigation systems 
and roads brought long-lasting consequences for the West. 
And the 1 934 Taylor Grazing Act, passed in the interests of 

conservation, served to stabilize ranching, but unlike the his- 
toric Homestead Act. did not draw large numbers of people 
into the West. Empowering ranching interests, "the rancher 
finally defeated the homesteader." but for the Great Plains, it 
would henceforth fail to keep pace with the rest of the West 
in population growth. Wyoming is an example of limited and 
anemic population increases. 

World War II accelerated changes that Nugent asserts were 
bound to occur in the West. Cities in the West gained more 
people, more industry, more military bases, more Latinos and 
more black migrants. Los Angeles" horizontal expansion be- 
came a model for other cities, while Boeing and Seattle boomed 
as did the Northwest. Las Vegas lost innocent obscurity. Las 
Alamos mysteriously appeared, and small cities such as 
Wichita. Ogden. San Antonio and others across the West 
moved beyond adolescence. 

The concluding two chapters focus on the bracero pro- 
gram, the 1 965 Watts riot, the consequences of the 1 965 and 
1986 immigration reform acts, interstate highways, urban- 
metropolitan sprawl and the dramatic increase in Latin-Ameri- 
can and Asian peoples. 

Nugent's book invites readers and purveyors of Western 
history to incorporate population and demographics into their 
understanding of the West, past and present. Clearly, a deeper 
appreciation for diversity and minorities is gained from the 
reading, and there is a greater sense of continuity between 
the 19"' and 20"' centuries in the West. Readers in Wyoming 
and surrounding states may be dismayed at the lack of atten- 
tion given their own state's events as the author increasingly 
focuses on Los Angeles and Califomia as the book progresses 
into the 1990s. It would have also been interesting to have 
included information about the missile defense system that 
sprouted missile silos like anthills across the Great Plains. 

Nugent recognizes that the West was always fragmented 
and diverse, but was also a distinct region that became inte- 
grated into the nation during the 20''' century and assumed 
national leadership. In his conclusion. Nugent calls for "A 
new national story, one that must include all the American 
people, whatever their ancestors' origins . . . ." Few would 
argue with that plea. Into the West represents a solid and 
substantial beginning. 

The Federal Landscape: An Economic History 
of the Twentieth Century West. 

By Gerald D. Nash. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 
1999. 224 pp. Maps, notes, bib. esso}-. index. Cloth. $40: 
paper. $17.95. 

Reviewed by Mike Mackey, Powell, Wyoming 

In his book. The Federal Landscape, the late Gerald Nash 
wrote an overview about the federal government's financial 
contributions and influence in the economic development of 
the 20th century American West. 77?^ Federal Landscape 
takes the reader from 1 900, a time when the West was still, for 
the most part, a colony of the East and dependent on the 
capital of eastern investors, to the development of the com- 

Winter iiOOS 


puter chip and the Wesfs emergence as a region at the fore- 
front of American economic and technological development 
at the dawn of a new century. However, Nash argues that 
this transition would not have come about had it not been for 
the federal government's massive infusion of cash into the 
region during the 20th century. 

Nash suggests that during the first 30 years of the 20th 
century the West was still a colony of the East. Following 
the stock market crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great 
Depression, the role played by the federal government in the 
West changed. Under the New Deal the federal government 
began spending billions of dollars on massive dam building 
projects which continued into the 1960s and 1970s. Those 
projects provided flood control, water supplies for communi- 
ties and agriculture, electricity, and jobs. The outbreak of 
World War I! brought increasing federal infusions of cash. 
Between 1 940 and 1 945 the government spent $60 billion in 
the West. Defense contracts led to the expansion and growth 
of companies like Boeing, and military bases that sprang up 
across the West employed hundreds of thousands of civil- 

Following World War II the cash coming into the West 
grew. A federal highway system was constructed, and de- 
fense spending increased as America fought a cold war with 
the Soviet Union and conventional wars in Korea and Viet- 

nam. The federal highway system connected the far-flung 
cities of the region and brought tourists from other areas of 
the country. Defense contracts led to a growth in the aero- 
space industry and the development and growth of Silicon 

During the last 30-35 years, the situation has changed. A 
number of groups want to slow or stop development as they 
seek to preserve the West. The cold war has ended, and 
some military bases have closed, resulting in a significant 
decrease in the number of defense contracts and civilian 
workers employed by the government. In spite of this, Nash 
argues that many companies once dependent on govern- 
ment contracts have adapted and continue to prosper, rely- 
ing primarily on business dealings with the private sector. 
The author describes the past two decades as the beginning 
of a new economic growth cycle focusing on computers, 
transportation, and telecommunication, with less reliance on 
government funding. However, little of this development in 
the West would have come about without the massive infu- 
sion of federal funds throughout most of the century. 

The Federal Landscape ranks high among Nash's many 
contributions to the study of the West. This concise, easy to 
read overview, will be useful to anyone interested in the his- 
tory of the 20th century American West. Also, it will surely 
find its way into the classroom. 


The Wyoming Stale Hisloncal Society was organized in Octoher 1^53. The folhnvin}^ are Society past presidents: 

1953-55: Frank Bowron, Casper 

1955-56: William L. Marion, Lander 

1956-57: Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody 

1957-58: Dr. T. A. Larson, Laramie 

1958-59: A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins 

1959-60: Thelma G. Condit, Buffalo 

1960-61 : E. A. Littleton, Gillette 

1961-62: Edness Kimball Wilkins. Casper 

1962-63: Charles Ritter, Cheyenne 

1963-65: Neal E. Miller. Rawlins 

1965-66: Mrs. Charles Hord. Casper 

1966-67: Glenn Sweem, Sheridan 

1967-68: Adrian Reynolds. Green River 

1968-69: Curtiss Root. Torrington 

1969-70: Hattie Bunistad. Worland 

1970-71: J. Reuel Armstrong. Rawlins 

1971-72: William R. Dubois. Cheyenne 

1972-73: Henry F. Chadey, Rock Springs 

1973-74: Richard S. Dumbrill, Newcastle 

1974-75: Henry Jensen. Lysite'Casper 

1975-76: Jay Brazelton. Jackson 

1976-77: Ray Pendergraft. Worland 

1977-78: David J. Wasden. Cod\ 

Board inewhers are elected annually hy the mcmhc 

the Board. New officers are installed at the Society 

in 1953 to 1996. the executive director of the Socie 

Archives and Historical Department (and successor 

1978-79: Mabel Brown, Newcastle 

1 979-80: James June. Green River 

1980-81: William F. Bragg. Jr.. Casper 

1981-82: Don Hodgson. Torrington 

1982-83: Clara Jensen. Lysite/Casper 

1983-84: Fern Gaensslen. Green River 

1984-85: Dr. David Kathka. Rock Springs 

1985-86: Mary Gamian. Sundance 

1986-87: Ellen Mueller. Cheyenne 

1987-88: Mary Nielsen. Cody 

1988-89: Loren Jost. Riverton 

1989-90: Lucille Dumbrill. Newcastle 

1990-91: Scott Handley. Pine Haven 

1991-92: Dale Moiris. Green River 

1992-93: Dr. Walter Edens. Laramie 

1993-94: Sally Vanderpoel. Torrington 

1994-95: Ruth Lauritzen. Green River 

1995-96: Maggi Layton. Riverton 

1996-97: Dr. MikeCassity. Laramie 

1997-99: Patty Myers. Buffalo 

1999-2000: Dr. Mike Jording. Newcastle 

2000-02: David Taylor. Casper 

2002- : Dick Wilder. Cody 
rship- The society president is chosen from amon^i the members of 
's annual meeting, held in September. From the Society 's founding 
ty was a slate employee, usually the director of the Wyoming Slate 
■ agencies). Lola Homsher was the Society 's first executive director. 


airline pilots 5 
alcohol 28 
Allen. Jakey 10 
Alston. Felix 12 
Ames Monument 3 
Anoka. Minnesota 8 
Armour Institute 30 
Arnold. Thurman 2 
Ash, Dr. Eugene 8 
Ash. Seth Arthur "Doc" 

Ash's cabin 9 
Attendance laws 30 
Bates. W. H. 14 
Beach. Cora 31 
Beecher. Henry Ward 17 
Bennett. Dr. W. S. 10. 11 
"Bert Lampitt and Big 

Horn Basin Murders" 7- 

biannual Tiscal reports 30 
Big Horn County 

Woolgrouers 9 
Biography, ed comment 2 
Bishop. Mariin. Sr 2 
blizzard 5 
Blume. Fred 2 
Bohl. Sarah R. 

"Wyoming's Estelle 

Reel." 22-36. (bio. 36) 
brands 19 
Bright's disease 19 
Brown Bomber 5 
Broun Palace 4 
Buie. Ella 35 
Calhoun. Alice 8 
Campbell. Frank 10 
Carbon County Journal 

Carey. J M. 31. 32. 36 
Carey Land Act 25 
Casper Derrick 31, 32 
Casper, land 31 
Catt. Carrie Chapman 35 
Chapmans ranch 9 
Cheyenne Apartments 5 
Cheyenne ring 26 
Churchill. Professor 29 
Clay. John 2 
Cleo, Wyo 34 
Cleophas. Eugenie 34 
Cody 8-15 
Cody Enterprise 15 
Cody Lumber Co 9 
Cody Trading Co 14 
Cogswell. Bert 14 
Collett. Geneva 2 
Colorado Institute for 

Deaf. Dumb, and Blind 

common school fund 31 
Cottonwood Creek I 1 
country schools 27 
Crandle. J, A, 12 
Cummins Store (Cody) 8 
curriculum. Reel on 28 
Cusack. Ed 1 1 
dances 5. 9 
Diamond Ranch 19 
Dibble baker\ 8 

Dibble. C. W. 8. 10. 11 
Dibble. Stella A, 8 
Dickie. Dave 9 
Dinneen's 4 
Doc Ash and his trophy 

bear hide (photo. 8) 
doodlebugs 6 
Dorothy Newton holding 

a cat (photo. 10) 
Dubois. William R . 

"Roseman Quinn; 

Profile of a Teacher." 

3-6. (bio. 6) 
Dunbar Mercantile 19 
Durlacher. Simon 21 
Eagle Nest 11.12 
Eagles (FOE) 11 
Efner. George Bonaparte 

1 1 
Elks Club 5 
equal suffrage 25 
exhaustion ii 
Farwell. S, T. 25, 29 
Ferris Mining District 18 
Fighting Shepherdess 

8. 12 
Fi\e Minutes to Midnight 

Foight. Harry 12-13 
Foote. Robert 2 
Fort Warren 5 
Fromong. Terrance, 

quoted 30 
Fulton, Henry D, 9 
Garrett, Mary 19 
Gatchell. Jim 2 
Grass Creek 1 5 
Grass Creek field 13 
Grass Creek. Wy 12 
Greenhill Cemetery. 

Laramie 16 
Grigsby. Zoe 33 
Guenster. John 20 
Hamm. Miss M. A, 25 
Hargra\ e Bench 1 1 
Margrave's ranch 12 
Hargraves. Reuben 9 
Harper. Ed 19 
Harper. Elizabeth 20 
Harper. Ellen 19 
Harper. George 16-21. 

(photo. 16) 
Harpers Mill 16 
Harper's Ranch 16. 18 
Harrison. Frank 20 
Heck Reel and the Old 

Alert Hose Company 

Mandolin (photo. 24) 
Higgins. Alice 29 
high schools 30 
Highland Park College 8 
Holdridge. George W, 13 
Houx. Mayor Frank 12 
Howe. Dr. Louis 10 
Huntington. Gertrude 33 
Hutsonpillar. Rice 12 
hygiene 28 
Hynds, Hanry 2 
Iowa Store (Cody) 10 
Irish wake 5 
irrigation. Reel support 

for 31 

Isham. Joe 10 
Jenkins. Theresa 23. 26 
Johnson County. Neb 9 
juvenile delinquents 32 
Kane, Tom 12 
kimmell. Glendolene 2 
Kirby Oil field 12 
knight. Peter H 13 
Knight, Samuel 2 
Kuiper. Jeanne 9, 1 1 
Lampitt. Bert 8-15 
land auction 32 
land grant 31 
Lantry. Victor 1 1 
Laramie Boomerang 26 
Laramie Mining and Stock 

Exchange 20 
Laramie Plains 17. 19 
Lawrence. Verba 2 
Leaman, Elizabeth 17 
Lear. C. E. 12 
Lee. Grace 13. 14 
LeFors. Joe 14 
Little Bear Inn 4 
Little Gem restaurant 8 
Lockhart. Caroline 8. 10- 

12. 15 
Lookout. Wyo 18 
Marquette. Wyo. 7 
Marsh. Alice Harper 21 
Marsh and Cooper 19 
Marsh. George 20 
Marsh. Robert 17 
Martin. A. J. 11 
Martin, Hobart 33 
Matthews. A. J, 23. 26. 

McCarty, Ed 4 
McGinnis, Roger 9 
McGrady, George 13 
McKinley, William, Reel 

support for 36 
Mead, Elwood 2 
Mercer, Asa 2 
Metz, Percy II, 14, 15 
Miami, Okla 3 
Midnight 5 

Moore, Louis, quoted 12 
Morey, C, S. 19 
Morrilton, Ark. 3 
murder. Doc Ash 1 1 
Murray, Ester Johansson, 

"Big Horn Basin 

Murders" 7-15, (bio, 

Murray, Larry and Helen 

Murray, William 14 
National Prison Assoc 32 
Nelson, Aven 2 
Newcastle Democrat 25 
Newton, A. C. 9 
Newton, Brownie 10 
Newton, Dorothy "Dot" 

8-1 1 
Newton. Flora 9. 1 1 
Newton. Martha Marston 

Newton ranch 14 
Noble. Lin 1. 14 
Northeastern College in 

Oklahoma 3 

Nuhn. Elizabeth 13 
Odd Fellows (lOOF) 1 1 
Officer's Club, dances at 

Ohio Oil Co 12. 14 
Ohio Oil Company camp. 

Grass Creek 13 
Orchard. Mrs. Thomas 

Ott. F, W. 2 
"Outline Course of Study" 

Overland Trail 18 
Patrick, Lucille 12 
penitentiary 32 
Permanent School Fund 

Plainfield, Neb 9 
Plains Hotel 3, 4 
Powers, Ruth Finch 6 
Preston, Douglas 1 1 
Prohibition 5 
prostitution in Cheyenne 

Public Land Commission 

Pulley, G, A. 10 
Quinn, Grace Marie 3 
Quinn, Rosemary 3 
red haws 5 
Reel, Estelle, 22-35 

(photo, 22) 
Reel, Heck 23 
Richards, Alice 35 
Richards, Gov. W, A. 29, 

Riverside Cemetery 

(Cody) 11 
Robertson, Harry B 8 
Rock Creek 1 8 
Rock Springs Miner 26 
Rollman, Sarah 23 
"Rosemary Quinn: Profile 

of a Teacher" 3-6 
Ross, Nellie Tayloe 2 
Rucker, Willard 12 
Sand Creek School House, 

Albany County 27 
Sapulpa, Okla. 3 
Saratoga Sun 26 
school libraries 30 
Schroeder, Edward 12 
Seaton, W. C. 12 
Sharp, Katharine 30 
Sheep Commissioners, 

State Board of 9 
Sheldon, Dora 34 
Sheridan Journal 26 
Simons, Amalia and Annie 

Simpson. Milward 5 
Simpson. William L. 

9. I 1 
Sprague. C. A. 19 
St. Louis Democrat and 

Journal 27 
St. Matthews Episcopal 

Church 17 
Standard Restaurant 

(Cody) 13 
State Board of Charities 

and Reform 24. 32, 33 

State Board of Control 3 1 
State Board of Land 

Commissioners 24, 25 
State Superintendent of 

Public Instruction 22-35 
Stimson, J. E. 2 
Stockgrower and Farmer 

(Cody). 7 
Storm Lake. Iowa 8 
Stump. Charles H. 1 1 
Stump. Neva 12 
Suffragettes 34 
teacher examinations 29 
teaching 5 

textbook uniformity 29 
textbooks, free 28 
Thomas, Harry 18 
Thompson, John C 12 
Three Mile Creek 18, 20 
Thurston, Harry I 1 
Tinkcom, Dallas A. 8. 1 1 
Tourist courts 3 
"Traces of George Harper: 
Albany County Rancher" 
Trans-Mississippi Congress 

Two Dot Ranch 9 
LIrbanek. Mae 16 
Van Tassell. R. S. 2 
viaduct. Cheyenne 3 
Vian. Okla 3 

Vulcan Silver Mining Co 17 
Walle, Richard, "Traces of 
George Harper: Albany 
County Rancher" 16-21, 
(bio, 21) 
Walls, W L. 14 
Walton Motors 4 
Wapiti ranger station 7 
Waples Hospital (Cody) 10 
Warren. F. E. 31. 36' 
Watkins. Santford C. 9 
Western Drug Store 8 
whiskey 5 

Whittenberg. Clarice 6 
Wilcox. Charles 12 
wine, chokecherry 5 
wine, dandelion 5 
Winters. John 14 
Wolfard. W. H. 31 
Woman's Club. Cheyenne 

Women's Rep. League 36 
women's suffrage. Reel 

views on 34 
Wonder Store (Cody) 12 
Wyoming Bee 26 
Wyoming Constitution. 

schools and 31 
Wyoming history, fourth 

grade teaching of 6 
Wyoming Law Review 2 
Wyoming State Peniten- 
tiary 15 
Wyoming State Tribune 12 
Wyoming Woolgrowers 8 
Wyoming's Estelle Reel: 

Wyoming's Pioneer 

Ranches 19 
Zarina, C A. 11. 14 

Wyoming Picture 

From Photographic Collections 
in Wyoming 

Newspaperman Tom F. Daggett ed- 
ited three different newspapers in the 
Big Horn Basin in the early days. A 
talented writer and fearless editor, he 
worked for newspapers and wire ser- 
vices as a reporter around the country 
prior to coming to Wyoming. The story 
goes that while on assignment in El 
Paso. Texas, he quit as a national cor- 
respondent for a New York newspaper 
and moved to Wyoming. 

He started a newspaper in the oil 
boomtown of Bonanza and called it the 
Bonanza Riisilcr. He wrote the news 
and editorials, but he also set the t> pe. 

When that town faded away, he 
moved the paper to Basin and renamed 
it the Bin Hani C \iiinly Riisilcr ( later. 
it merged w ith the Blisiii RcpuhliciinXo 
become the Basin Rc/nihlican-Riistlcr). 

Soon after the tlrst newspaper in 
Worland was founded in 1905. the 
WarlanJCirit. Daggett was hired as its 
editor b_\ the owners. C. F. Robertson 
and A. (i, Rupp. Daggett died in 
Worland in 1910. It is said that his body 
is buried in an unmarked grave in the 
Worland cemetery. 

Tom Dai^i;cii in ihe olfkcs of Ins 
newspiipcr. ihc Bii; Horn (^'i>iiiii\' 

Riisilcr. Scpi 3(1. /.vyy. 

Stale Parks ami C ulUiral Resources Deparliiient 

Join the Wyoming State Historical Society.., 
and your local historical society chapter 

State IVlenibership Dues: 

Single: $20 

Joint: $30 

Student (under age 21): $15 

Institutional: $40 

Benefits of membership include four issues per \ear of 
Annals of Ityniitin)^. ten issues of the newsletter. "Wyo- 
ming History News." and the opportunity to receive in- 
formation about and discounts for various Societ\ activi- 

Tlie Socief}- atso welcomes special i^ifls aiui memorials. 

Special membership categories are available: 

Contributing: $100-249 

Sustaining: $250-4W 

Patron: $500-99') 

Donor: $1,000 + 

For infiirmalion iihoiil memhersliip in llic ll'yoiiiini;Skiic 

ffislorical Sociely aihl infarmalion ahmil IhcliI clhiplers. 


Judy West, Society Coordinator 

Wyoming State Historical Society 

PIV1B# 184 

I740H Dell Range Blvd. 

Cheyenne WV 82009-4945 

Arnnals of 


The Wyoming History Journal 

Spring 2003 

yoh 75, No. 2 

/!'^/, .- 






The Cover Art 


''Sheridan, 1903 

Anonymous artist 

a watercolor painting in the Percy Metz collection, American Heritage 

Center, University of Wyoming 

This small -watercolor depicts Sheridan as it appeared in 191)3. according to this anonymous 
artist. The charming picture was donated to the American Heritage Center as part of the Percy 
Metz collection. Metz. a long-time Big Horn Basin resident, served for many years as a state 
district judge. Prior to that time, he icc/.v county attorney for Big Horn County Mhen the county 
lines extended to include much of the Big Horn Basin. 

The Society, Annals Staff Thank Five Retiring Editorial Board Members 

My special thanks to five exceptional friends 
of this journal. All five have ser\ ed eight years 
on the Annals Board of Editors. Their two 
terms will expire with this issue. Thank you 
to Barbara Bogart, Evanston; Mabel Brown, 
Cheyenne; Thomas Stroock, Casper; 
Lawrence M. Woods, Worland; and Sherrv 
Smith, Moose/Dallas. 

Eight years ago, they graciously agreed to 
serve on the board for the new ly established 
Society publication called Wyoming History 
Journal. The publication, edited by Rick Ew ig 
and this w riter, w as created in response to the 
then State Department of Commerce 

director's eviction of the Society from her of- 
fices. Later, when our relationship returned 
to its traditional cordialit> in 1997, the Jour- 
nal became Annals of Wyoming, and the five 
continued to serve— helping with advice, 
manuscript reviewing, and support. Through- 
out those years since their appointment to their 
first four-year terms and after their subse- 
quent reappointment for four more years, they 
have been consistent friends of our journal. 
On behalf of the Society and the staff of An- 
nals of Wyoming, "thank you, Barbara, 
Mabel, Sherrj, Tom, and Larr> !" 

-Phil Roberts 

Information for Contributors: 

The editor of .-liijials of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and pliotograplis on everv aspect ol'the liistor> of Wyoming and the West. 
Appropriate for submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpretations 
of historical events. First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in the 
"Wyoming Memories" section. Historic photo essays for possible publication in "Wyoming Memories" also are welcome. 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 formal 
created by one of the widely-used word processing programs along with two printed copies. Submissions and queries should be ad- 
dressed to Editor. .-lm)(7/io/'l)yom//;g. P. O Box 4256. Uni\ersit\ Station, l.araniic \\>' 8207 1, or to the editor by e-mail at the following 



Pliil RoLrrts 

Assistant Editors 

Sarul. Hohl 
Annie PinuK 

Book Review Editor 

Carl Halll.fl- 

^j-mnah of 


Editorial Advisory Board 

Rarhara Itoj^art, E\an.ston 

Mabel Brown, Newcastle/Cheyenne 

Katlierlne Curtiss. Sheridan 

DiK-iley Cfardner. Rock Sprintjjs 

Sally F (iriftith. Lusk/Ha\ertow n, Pa 

Don Hodgson. Torrm^ton 

L<iren .lost. Ri\erton 

.lariies R. Laird. Wapiti 

Mark Miller. Laramie 

Mark Nelson, (ireen Ri\er 

Sherry L Smith. Mo.>ve, 1 )allas. Tex, 

Thomas F. Stroock. Casper 

Lawrence M. Woods, Worland 

The Wyoming History Journal 

Spring '_'()0;5 Vol, 75, No. i2 

Subjects of the Mikado: Sheridan County's Japanese 
Community, 1900-1930 

By Cynde Cieoreen o 

The Wyoming Municipal Power Agency: 
The Early Years 

By Michael Howe 8 

The Landscape Architecture of Morell and Nichols, 
Sheridan, 1911-1914 

By .loJin F. Malioney, 15 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Publications Committee 

Rick Ew il;. Laramie 

Das id Kathka. Rock Sprin»;s 

SJlerrv L .Smith. Moose 

Amy Lawrence. Laramie 
Nancy Curtis, (ilendo 
Dick Wilder. Cody (e\-ofllcio) 
Loren .lo^t. Ri\ert<in (e\-otKicio) 

Phil Roberts. Laramie (e\-oflicio) 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Committee 

Dkk \\ ildei. President, Park County 
Clara Vainer, IstVue Pivs , \Neston Co 
,Art Kidwell, Jjul \'Re Pies, Sheridan Co 

Linda Faluan, ScLietarw Platte County 

,!ames \'an Sco\k,, Treasurer, Star \'alle\' 

Amy Lawrence, .Alliany County 

Da\e Taylor, Natrona County 

Cindy Brown, Laramie County 

.lohn Wai;^ener. Albany County 

.ludy West. Membership Coordinator 

The History of Electricity in Rural Goshen County: 
The Wyrulec Company 

By Jack R. Preston •25 

Letter to tlic Editor 35 

Index 36 

Wyoming Picture Inside back ctner 

Governor of Wyoming 

Da\ id Freudenthal 

Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and 
Cidtm-al Resoiu^ces 

Phil N.ible, Director 
CiUtural Resources Division 

Weiuly Bredehotf. Administrator 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Joiirncil is published quarterly by the Wyoming State Historical 
Society in association with the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the Ameri- 
can Heritage Center, and the Department of History . University ot\V\oniing The journal was previously 
published as the Oiiaricrly Bulletin (1923-1925). Annals of Wyoming ( iq25-l<)q3). Wyoming Annals 
(1993-1995) and llvoming Hislon- Journal (1995-1996) The Annals has been the otTicial publication ot^ 
the Wyoming State Historical Society since 1953 and is distributed as a benctit ot membership lo 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 belou .Articles in Annals ofWvuming are abstracted in Histori- 
cal Abslracts and America History and life 

inquiries about niembership. mailing, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to Judy 
West. Coordinator. Wyoming State Historical Society. PMB# 184. 174011 Dell Range Blvd . Chexennc 
WY 82009-4945 Editorial correspondence should be addressed to the editorial otTice of Annals of It'yo- 
ming. American Heritage Center. P Bo\4256. University Station. Laramie WY 82071 
Our e-mail address is revvigu uwyo edu Printed by Pioneer Printing, Cheyenne 

Copyright 2003. Wyoming State Historical Society ISSN: 1086-7368 

Wyoming Parks & Cultiu'al Resoiu^ces 

William Dubois, Clieyenne 
Emerson W Scott, ,lr , BuUalo 
Diann Reese, Lyman 
Vein Vivion, Raw lins 
David Reet/, Powell 
Herb Freiuli, Newcastle 
Ernest C Over, Paxillion 
Carolyn ButK Casper 
,lern!ynn Wall, E\anston 

University of Wyoming 

Philip Dubois, President 
Oliver Walter, Dean, 

College of .Arts and .Sciences 
Kristine L'tterback, Chair, Dept, of History 


Sheridan County's Japanese Community, 1900-1930 

"Japtown" (the while houses along the creek hank) near Acme Coal Camp. Sheridan Count}', c. 1912. 

During the early years of the twentieth century. Sher- 
idan County became home to immigrants from 
around the world. Hundreds of Czechs. Slovaks. 
Montenegrins. Poles. Austrians. Hungarians and Scots 
came to work in the underground coal mines north of 
Sheridan. A dozen or so Chinese entrepreneurs opened 
restaurants and laundries, while uncounted numbers of 
Mexican laborers came to work in the sugar beet and 
potato fields owned b\ German and Scandinavian fann- 
ers. Prior to 1908. however, the number of Japanese 
residents in the countN could be counted on one hand. 

According to the U. S. Census, no one of Japanese 
birth lived in Sheridan County m 1900. By 1910, 80 men, 
women and children claimed Japanese nativity. The 
Japanese population dropped to fewer than 60 in 1920. 
B\ 1930. census records and Sheridan City Directory 
listings showed only a few dozen Japanese families re- 
maining in the area. Within a year or two. most of these 
families were gone as well, leaving only a handful of 
first and second generation Japanese residents in the 

This gradual disappearance had to do in part with the 
economic hardships of the Great Depression as well as 
the declining fortunes of the coal mines and the result- 
ing impact upon the railroads. One of the most impor- 

tant factors, however, was the enactment of a series of 
federal and state laws severely restricting both the ar- 
rival of new Asian immigrants and the civil rights of 
unnaturalized resident aliens.' 

Most of the Japanese men living in Sheridan County 
prior to 1920 worked as section hands for the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy railroad. Almost all had arrived in 
the United States prior to 1907. the year Japan and 
America signed the "Gentlemen's Agreement" which 
called for Japan to halt the emigration of Japanese la- 
bor to the United States.- 

' A substantial body of work exists which focuses on Asian 
immigration issues. These include: Charles McClain. ed. Japanese 
Immigrants and American Law: The Alien Land Laws and Other 
Issues. (New York: Garland Publishing. 1994); Roger Daniels. Not 
Like Li's: Immigrants and Minorities m.America. 1890-1924. (Chi- 
cago: Ivan R. Dee Publishing. 1997): Bill Ong Hing. Making and 
Remaking Asian America Through Immigration Policy, 1850-1990. 
(Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1994); Lisa Lowe, Immi- 
grant Rights: On Asian American Cultural Politics. (Durham: Duke 
UniversitN Press. 1996); Rosemary WMner. Japanese Immigrants. 
1850-1950. (Bloomington. Minn.: Capstone Press. 2001 ). 

"Susan Lowes, A Timeline of U. S. Immigration Laws and Rul- 
ings, '«! < csdl/museums/timelines/ 
iimeline.html> accessed June 2001. 

Spring L'(i();i 

The laborers were brought to Sheridan liikIci- the aus- 
pices of Shinzaburo Ban. a well-educated. higliK re- 
spected and extremely successful merchant and labor 
contractor based in Portland. Oregon. Born in Tok\o in 
I 854. Ban was educated in both .lapanese and English. 
in preparation tor a career in diplomac\ . I le spent se\ - 
eral years with the .Japanese Foreign Service and was 
stationed at both Shanghai and Honolulu. In 1891. Ban 
moved to British Columbia and entered ""the commer- 
cial lite." He relocated to Portland in 1896 where he 
"attained unusual success. a contractor, lumber 
dealer and shingle manufacturer."' By the earlv 1900s. 
he was the leading Japanese businessman in the state 
ofOregon.^ One of his specialties was recruiting work- 
ers to fill Jobs that white citizens didn't want, such as 
migrant farm work, mining and railroad construction. 

Ban's contracting business, the S. Ban Companv. had 
two offices in Japan - in Osaka and Tokyo - at which 
thev recruited Japanese v\orkers for the finion Pacific. 
Southern Pacific and other railroads. The companv was 
so successfid that branch offices v\ere soon opened in 
Denver, Seattle. Ogden (Utah) and Sheridan. 

I'pon their arrival in northern Wvoming. sometime 
around 1 908- 1 9()9. the contract workers were prov ided 
with housing. Japanese groceries and medical care bv 
the Ban Companv . The contractor also paid for funer- 
als for an> men (and their family members) killed bv 
accident or illness while in itsemplov . Of the 36 regis- 
tered burials of Japanese men. women and children in 
Sheridan Countv between 1903 and 1930. 26 of them 
v\ere known to have been paid for bv the Ban Com- 
panv . In 1 909. for example, when 25-vear-old K. Honda 
of Denver was accidentally struck bv a train and killed 
near Alger Station north of Sheridan, local Ban Com- 
pany agent F. M. Suchiro and M. I erasaki. another Ban 
Companv employee identified as "the leader of the Japa- 
nese colony," made arrangements for Honda's burial at 
Mount Hope Cemeterv in Sheridan.' All fees were paid 
bv Ban despite Honda's hav ingoni} been in the Sheridan 
area for a week or two. 

in order to maintain its contract with the CB&Q, the 
Ban Company kept its Sheridan office open through 
the mid- 1920s. A changing political climate in both Or- 
egon and the rest of the United States, however, soon 
led to the end of imported Japanese railroad workers. 
In 191 I, the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Ser- 
vice reaffirmed an 1 870 Act of Congress which stated 
that onlv whites and blacks could become naturalized 
citizens of the LInited States. In 191 7. the Chinese Ex- 
clusion Act of 1882 was expanded to cover all Asians, 
thus eliminating any lingering hope that Japanese might 

be eligible for American citizenship. In 1 923. Oregon's 
Alien Land Law was passed, making it illegal for 
non-citizens of Japanese heritage to own or lease land, 
including the timber lands upon which much of Ban's 
income relied.^ The next year, the federal gov ernment's 
National (Origins Quota Act effectivelv halted all immi- 
gration of non-whites b> stating that ""no alien ineligible 
forcitizenship shall be admitted to the United States."' 

Bv the end of 1924. after being stripped of his lands 
and livelihood, Shinzaburo Ban was bankrupt. Twovears 
later, he Ief1 Portland and returned to his ancestral home 
w here he eventuallv died w ithout issue, bringing an end 
to thirteen generations of Ban family historv.' Bv the 
time the companv closed its Sheridan office in 1 926. it 
was no longer importing rail workers. Instead, it pro- 
vided Japanese goods and groceries for the local Asian 
comnuinitv. Without the influx of new workers, how- 
ever. Sheridan's Japanese comnuinitv quicklv diminished 
in number and the store was no longer needed. 

.After the Ban Companv lost the railroad contract, 
some of its fonncr emplovees stav ed in Sheridan Countv . 
A few continued to work v\ ith the railroad w here, w ith 
their vears of experience, thev became section leaders 
and foremen of the repair crews. Because of both lan- 
guage and racial barriers, however, most of the work- 
ers had to take low-pav ing menial jobs. Some signed on 
as porters for local businesses while others hired out as 
domestic servants and gardeners for the wealthier resi- 
dents of Sheridan and Big Horn. I here were also sev- 
eral hotel keepers, a photographer, a cook or two. and 
several grocers. C^nlv four Japanese were listed as land- 
owners in the countv; thev were partners in a truck 
farm just north of Sheridan, between the citv and the 

' .loscph (jaston. PdrilanJ ()rci;iiii lis Ihsuiry aihl Builders. 
(Portlaiul: S .t Clarke Publishing Co . m I ). ? .">s:i-384. 

^ ( )rcgon State Department ot'Pubiic Instriictmn. ■.Asian .Ameri- 
eans in Oregon."' .Iul> 199(1. <htlp: natldi\ersit> .extension. Oregon 
state. eduAJou nload asianamerieans.pdf " aeeessed No\ ember 200 1 . 

' "A .lapanese I ound Dead." Sheridan FjUcr/vise. 2 1 September 

" I he 1917 ln-iniigration ,Ael (,i4 .S>,//S74) speeitled that those 
aliens who would he eveluded from admission to the I'nited States 
included "persons who are native of islands not possessed b_\ the 
1 nited States adjacent to the Continent of. Asia,..." 

frieia Rnoll. Bt'co/);/*;^ .-(/);tv((.t/;;,'. Asian Soinurners. Iinmi- 
grants and Refugees in the li'esrern i S (Portland. Oregon: Coast 
to Coast l^ooks. 1982). \V\oming"s first anti-.lapancse alien land 
law was not passed until 1943. See Gabriel .1, Chin. "Citizenship 
and Pxelusion: Wsoming's Anti-Japanese .Alien I and Law in Con- 
text." UyoniingLayv Revicn 1 (2001 ). 497-.s2 1 . 

M.i Slat. 153 

" (iaston. Portland. Oregon. 383. 

'" Sheridan Countv Polk Directories. 19(j7-1930. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Even before the Ban Company pulled out of Sheridan, 
some of the railroaders abandoned track work and hired 
on with the Sheridan- Wyoming Coal and Acme Coal 
companies. According to city directory listings, these 
men did not work in the underground mines; instead, 
they worked above ground as tipplemen and yardmen. 
A 1913 newspaper article reported that: 

A number of Japanese are employed permanently at 
the [New Acme] mine as topmen and loaders. They have 
their own boarding house and keep pretty much to them- 
selves. They have been found among the best and most 
efficient workmen obtainable." 

According to a 1912 article, "The Japanese laborers 
have a small settlement of their own and are more than 
content with their quarters."'- This group of small, white 
houses along the banks of Tongue River-known as 
"Japtown"— was located just down the road from 
"Macaroni Flats," a community of Italian miners.'^ 

If they did not live in one of the mining communities, 
most unmarried Japanese men roomed at one of the 
Japanese boarding houses located near the railroad 
tracks on the north end of Sheridan. The San Yo Hotel 

S- BAN, PraaldADt 

OSible Addre«i: 

Qui FortlAiLd 


S. Ban Company 

Importers and Exporters 

Japanese and American 

Silk Goods, Tea, Oak Lumber. 
Sulphur, Napkins, Safety Matches, 
Canned Goods, Beans, Rice, Etc, 

Telephones: Broadway 600, Automatic 513-10 

32-34 Third St-, North 

Portland, Oregon 


duittxb, ooIiO. oonrv, utab sbubisak, ^to. seattIiE, wash. 


S. Ban Company Advertisement, City Directory, Portland, 
Oregon. 1924 

(later Sumida House) and J. Hosaki's Japanese Hotel 
on North Broadway—along with the Ban Company's 
building on North Crook Street— were home to the bulk 
of the Japanese workers. Others lived in tarpaper 
shacks and converted railroad cars erected in the 
CB&Q"s right-of-way between Fifth and Eighth streets. 

Census records indicate that while many of Sheridan 
County's Japanese laborers were married, only a few 
had their wives with them; many of the women stayed 
in Japan where they lived on the wages sent back home 
by their husbands. Of the Japanese women who did 
come to Sheridan, most did not speak English and were 
fairly isolated from the rest of the mining and railroad 
communities. Very few. if any, worked outside the home 
and only a few of their children were enrolled in public 

Even if they were fluent in English, few Japanese 
integrated with the Anglo community; nor were they 
particularly encouraged to do so. Federal, state and lo- 
cal forces were against them: the Japanese were pro- 
hibited from becoming citizens, they could not own land, 
they could not even bringtheir wives and children over 
from Japan.'" At the local level, on those rare occa- 
sions when they chose to acknowledge the city's Ori- 
ental population at all, Sheridan's newspapers referred 
to the Japanese as "Yellow Men," "Japs," "Sons of 
Nippon," and "Subjects of the Mikado." 

Like their fellow immigrants from other countries, 
Sheridan County's Japanese residents had occasional 
brushes with the law. Most had to do with a combina- 
tion of alcohol and billiards. In 1910. four "Sons of the 
Mikado" were arrested for gambling at Y. Koyama's 
Japanese Billiard Parlor on East First Street in Sheridan. 
The unnamed foursome posted bail but forfeited the 
bond when they declined to appear in court to enter a 
plea. A few years later, five unidentified Japanese men 
were arrested for gambling at a pool hall on North 
Broadway, adjacent to the railroad tracks. While they 
also chose to forfeit their bonds, the Japanese propri- 
etor of the hall was convicted of "keeping his place of 

" "Post Representatives Visit the Sheridan Count\ Mines." 
Sliendan Post. 1 1 November 1913, 

'- "Neu Acme Camp Newest Coal Mine." Sheridan Fjilerprise. 
5 September 1912, 

'■' Stanley Kuzara. Black Diamonds of Sheridan {Sheridan. Wyo- 
ming. 1977). 113 

'^ Federal Census Records. Sheridan County. Wyoming. 1910- 

" The same National Origins Quota Act (45 Slal. 153) that 
banned the importation of new foreign laborers also forbade the 
wives and children ofprevious immigrants from entering the coun- 

Spring '2003 

business open after midnight and permitting liquor to be 
drank on the premises."'" 

Violent crime was apparently rare within the local 
Asian community, but there were exceptions. In May 
1 909, Herbeil Yakamura died as a result of "being struck 
on the head by a billiard cue ... by a tellow country- 
man."" According to the Sheridan Enterprise, con- 
flicting stories were told as to the reason for the alter- 

From the stor\ told by the .Japanese it seems that 
Yakamura and others were playing pool in the building 
used by the colony as headquarters in the northern part 
of the city, and that one of the number struck Yakamura 
over the head with the cue, not intending to hurt him. 
But the blow was harder than anticipated and Yakamura 
was taken to the hospital, where he died ... Another 
story is that the Japanese u ere incensed and had it in for 
Yakamura on account of his having taken out his first 
papers, intending to become an American citizen, and 
that he was hurt in a fight, but this story was not the one 
given out by the Japanese who were present at the time 
the deed was done ...'* 

The Enterprise went on to describe Yakamura as; 

... a hard working Japanese, a market gardener, and 
had his headquarters on Big Goose creek vs here he raised 
vegetables and sold them in the cit\ . He is said to have 
had considerable money, and is spoken of by those who 
knew him as a good, sober and industrious \OLMig fel- 
low, being about twenty-five years old.'" 

The name of the assailant in Yakamura's death was 
not revealed in the papers or other official records. It 
was simply noted that he "left the country" and was not 
seen again, funeral home records. incidentalK, referred 
to Yakamura as "H. Kayama," and stated that his death 
was an accident.-" This type of name change was not 
unusual; most Anglo-Americans made little effort to 
learn the correct spelling of any foreign-sounding names, 
be the\ Japanese. Chinese. Polish or Greek. 

Accidents and disease were the leading causes of 
death among all immigrant laborers in Sheridan County. 
Accidents were common in the mines and along the 
railroad tracks: dozens of men and boys of all nationali- 
ties were killed during the mining boom of the 1910s 
and 1920s. At least four of the deceased were Japa- 
nese section hands who received fatal "crushing inju- 
ries" while working for the railroad and at the mines.-' 

Death from disease was also common. Tvphoid. which 
occasionally swept through the mining camps and shantv 
towns that grew up along the railroad tracks, killed at 

least four Japanese miners and railroaders between 1908 
and 1911.-- Particularly lethal to the immigrant com- 
munity was the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918. In 
the last three months of that \ear. just in Sheridan County 
alone, several dozen men, women and children of ev- 
ery nationalitv died of the tlu or its complications. Of 
the 18 men and women that died at Sheridan's Emer- 
gency Hospital - established just to treat intluenza vic- 
tims - four were known to be from the Japanese com- 

(kiohcr IS. i^lS — A _\oung Japanese woman was an- 
other victim of infiuenza yesterday, her death having 
occuned at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The young w oman 
had been ill some days and was removed yesterday to 
the new emergency hospital where death occurred 
shortly after. 

Ocioher 22. I^IS -A Japanese, whose name is at present 
unknown, died at the emergency hospital this afternoon 
at one o'clock. The man had been ill some time and for 
the past twenty-four hours his condition was such that 
it was known that death could not long be delayed. 

October 25. 19 IS — A woman whose nanie is at present 
Lmknt)wn. but who is of Japanese nationality, died last 
night at the emergency hospital of pneumonia resulting 
from infiuenza. 

Nowinher 3. 1 9 IS— S. Akagaki died yesterday morning 
at 1 1 :30 o'clock at the emergency hospital after a brief 
illness, his death due to influenza. Deceased was a Japa- 
nese who had been employed by the Burlington [Rail- 
road]. At the present time his w ife is also seriously ill.-"' 

According to funeral home records, a total of nine 
Japanese were among those who died of intluenza be- 
tween October 1918 and March 1919. When they be- 

.lapancse Com iclcd." S/jiT/iAo) /'o.sY. March 1. U'lx 

'' "Japanese Dies State I lospiial." ShcnJan ! May 9. 

'" I hi J. 

'" IhiJ 

~" Smith tiineral Home. I uneral Record No. 537. May S. 1V04. 
Wyoming Room. Sheridan County I'ulmer Puhlic l.ibrarv . Sheridan. 

-' Japanese-born vietuns of track-related accidents include 
41->ear-old M. Uehigama(April 10. \'-)\ I ), 24-\ear-old R. I israyania 
(March 26. 1913). 33-year-old Teizo Jakahashi (June 2. 1421 (and 
36-> ear-old 1 akenosuke Hasegaw a (December 19. 1922). Reed and 
Champion funeral homes. Sheridan, burial records held in the Wyo- 
ming Room. Sheridan County I ulnier Public Library . 

■- Japanese typhoid \ictims included 1. Masaki (Januan. 1. 1908). 
K.. Mikieda (March 16. 1910). S. Ohashi (August 13. 1910) and 
20-\ ear-old C. Sumimoto (.August 11. 1911) Reed and Champion 
funeral homes. Sheridan, burial records. 

-■• Sheridan Post. October 18. 22. 25. 1918. No\ ember 3. 1918. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

came ill. most of the Japanese victims did not go to the 
emergency hospital, choosing instead to be cared for at 
home h> famil\ and friends. In these cases, very little 
was reported about their deaths. While obituaries for 
Anglo- European fatalities were extensive, those for 
Japanese sufferers were very short. Even so. they re- 
veal how pervasive the disease was in the tightly-knit 

October IS. 1918 - The bodies of U. Okazaki and his 
young wife are both at the Champion & Shannon mortu- 
ary where funeral services will probabK be held Sunda> . 
The husband died October 1 1 and on Wednesday morn- 
ing at 8:30 the wife passed away. Both are Japanese and 
have made their home in Sheridan for some time. 

October 22. 1 9 IS - A quadruple funeral was held Sun- 
day afternoon at the Champion & Shannon chapel, the 
services being for four Japanese, all victims of the preva- 
lent malad\ . Tliey were members of one family. U. Okazaki 
died on October 1 1. and his wife passed away on the 
16th. While the bodies were being held at the undertak- 
ers awaiting interment the father of Mr. Okazaki passed 
awa> . On Thursda\ Mrs. .Akimoto died at the emergencx 
hospital and the funerals of all four were held at the 
same time. 

October 29. 1918 — A double funeral was held at the 
Champion & Shannon chapel Sunda\ afternoon at 2 
o'clock after which the bodies of Mrs. Equeki and S. 
Otoni. two Japanese w ho died a few da\ s previous were 
laid to rest.-^ 

Most of these men and women — as well as others 
from the Japanese community who died in Sheridan 
County - were buried in the Mount Hope (now Sheridan 
Municipal) Cemetery . Their resting places are indicated 
by tall stone markers etched w ith Japanese characters.-' 

Mount Hope Cemetery also contains the remains of 
at least one Japanese suicide victim. On July 15. 1914. 
39-year-old Sam Munesato. reportedly depressed by a 
combination of accumulating debts and ill health, shot 
and killed himself in his small Sheridan home. He and 
his wife had arrived in Sheridan some seven months 
earlier from Montana. Munesato worked for a brief 
time for another Japanese immigrant named Tom Otani. 
but later purchased a small lunch cart (also called a 
■'waffle cart") and went into business for himself Ac- 
cording to friends. Munesato got behind in his payments 
and became despondent, acting "rather strange for sev- 
eral days" prior to committing "the rash act."-" 

Munesato's suicide was front page news in both of 
Sheridan's newspapers. The follov\ ing is excerpted from 

a July 1 7 Sheridan Post article titled "A Subject of the 
Mikado Takes Life by Pistol Route:" 

In a rusty, sheet iron shack, located in a lonely spot 
between the alley off Alger avenue west of Main Street 
and Big Goose creek, and about 200 feet north of the 
bridge at the city mission, some time after 1 1 o'clock 
Wednesday Sam Munesato. a Jap. placed the muzzle of 
a .45-caliber Colts' in his mouth, pulled the trigger and 
sent a bullet thru his brain, the ball not stopping until 
after it had pierced the board ceiling above his head. 
How much farther the missile w ent is not known for its 
further course was not traced. 

Sam, whose wife is a white woman, was the proprietor of 
a lunch wagon located on Alger avenue a few doors 
east of Swan's grocery. At 1 1 o'clock Wednesday fore- 
noon Sam left his place of business stating to his wife 
that he was going after some meat for the noondav meal. 
His wife states that he was in good humor, and said he 
would be back in just a few minutes. He did not return, 
however, when he had said he would. Neither did he 
show up at the lunch car during the afternoon. 

At a few minutes priorto 6 o'clock in the evening. Mrs. 
Munesat w ent over to the hovel on Goose creek she and 
her husband called home. Upon entering the place she 
found in a small room at the northwest comer of the 
building the dead body of Sam lying across a bed. with 
the revolver clutched in his right hand lying upon his 
breast. She gave the alarm and in a short time two or 
three officers were on the scene, besides a large crowd 
of morbid spectators. 

The situation of the bod>, and other indications in evi- 
dence, led to the conclusion that Sam had assumed a 
standing position close to and with his back to the bed. 
He evidently placed the gun against his breast with his 
right hand grasping the butt, inclined his head forward 
until the muzzle was in his mouth, then pulled the trigger. 

On a small stand near the bed occupied by the corpse 
was found a piece of brow n wrapping paper upon which 
was written in the Japanese language a note bearing the 
address of deceased's relatives in Japan, also the re- 
quest that the\' should not be apprised of the fact that 
he had killed himself but that they should be told that he 
had sickened and died from natural causes.-' 

-■• Sheridan Post. October 18. 22. 19. 1918. 

-' Several .lapanese burial plots are concentrated in Lot I -block 
16. Lot 16-block 16. and Lot 5-block 3. Others are scattered through- 
out the cemetePi . 

-'' ""Sends Bullet Through f lead." Shendan Enterprise. July 16. 

■' ""A Subject of the Mikado Takes Life by Pistol Route." 
Sheridan Post. M\ 17, 1914. 

Spring 12003 

Anna and 
Wyoming, I '^13 

After her husband's death (and burial, paid for by the 
BanConipan\ ). Munesato"s\sidin\ lett Sheridan. Uwas 
very hard in those da\ s tor an\ u idou to make a ii\ ing; 
for a woman who had married an Asian immigrant, it 
was e\en more dittlcult. Racial intermarriage was not 
appreciated b\ the leKal communit\ . u liethcr the couples 
involved were Asian and white. Indian and white. His- 
panic and white or Black and white. In 1^13 the Wyo- 
ming legislature passed a bill prohibiting white persons 
from marrying "Negroes. Mullatoes. Mongolians or 
Malays."-^ Even so, census records indicate a number 
of mixed marriages between Japanese men and Anglo 
women (there were none between Anglo men and .lapa- 
nese women).-' 

One of these mi.\ed marriages, between a Polish- 
American maid and a Japanese railroad worker, is fairly 
well documented. Tadaichi Kawamoto, known locally 
as "Tim." was born in Hiroshima. Japan, in 1 882.'" He 
came to the United States in 1896. at which point he 
can be connected with the Shinzaburo Ban Compan\ in 
Portland, it is not known if he came to tlie U. S. on his 
own or was recruited by Ban. 

Kawamoto worked on railroads in several locations 
before coming to Sheridan County in 1902. That same 
year he was promoted to the position of foreman of the 
section gang working at the Dietz Mine north of 
Sheridan. Sometime around 1912. he bought three lots 
of land in Sheridan, which he later lost when Wyoming's 
alien land laws took effect. 

About this same time. Tim met and married Anna 
Bertha Clara Blansky, a 16-year-old Polish-American 
working as a pantry girl at the Dietz Hotel. Born in 
Illinois. Anna was the stepdaughter of Stanley Petros. a 
coal miner who worked in Kawamoto's section gang. 
Anna and Tim married in 1913 and moved into their 

first home, a pair of boxcars placed together near the 
railroad depot. I hey later lived in Dietz and Monarch 
before mo\ ing again to Sheridan. 

The Kawamotos had several children, all of whom 
attended local schools. In an ironic twist, daughter Grace 
Kawamoto received an award for "Best Girl Citizen" 
of Sheridan High School in 1932 — a year during which 
her father was still excluded from applying for citizen- 
ship, despite having lived and worked in the United States 
for 36 years, it was not until 1952. Just a few months 
after the McCarran- Walter Act removed race as a ba- 
sis for exclusion, that Tim Kawamoto tnialls received 
his citizenship papers. 

As a result of the failing mineral industry, changing 
foreign policies, and the Sheridan community's racial 
prejudice (usuall\ covert but occasionalls o\ert). less 
than two dozen Japanese men. women and children were 
still li\ ing in Sheridan Count\ b\ the mid-1930s. That 
number continued to decline until only three or four fami- 
lies remained in the 196()s. and even fewer in the 80s 
and 90s.' \V hile memliers of other ethnic groups thri\ed 
in northern W\oming. the Japanese immigrants of the 
early twentieth century were unable to make Sheridan 
Count\ their permanent home on the range. 

-^ /) y'limini; Scsxinii / i/u.v ( I '-' I .' ). ell. 7. sec. 1 . 

riic number ot interracial marriages between Asian men and 
.American women declined sharpl_\ alter 1922. when Congress en- 
acted the L able .Act (42 Sun 102 I ). which decreed that any U.S.- 
born woman whomamedan alien who was ineligible for citizenship 
\MHild aiitomaticallv lose her citi/enship. In a marriage terminated 
b\ di\ orce or death, a Caucausian woman could regain her citizen- 
ship. The Cable Act was repealed in 1436. 

■" The bulk of the information on the Kawamoto famiK was 
compiled by Edythe Kawamoto Vine and published in Sliendan 
CdiiHiv Heritage Book. Sheridan Count) l.xtcnsion Homemakers 
Council. 198,1 Other information comes I'rom City Director, and 
federal Census records. 

-' For more information on individual members of Sheridan's 
.lapanese communitv . see "Alphabetical List of .lapanese Residents 
of Sheridan Count} . 1 4(),V 1 980."" American Local History Network's 
V\\oming Homepage. www,\oming japindexintro. 

C 'ynde Georgen holds a bachelor 's degi'ce in his- 
tory from the University of Wyoming (19" 8). 
She has worked at the Trail End State Historic 
Site in Sheridan si}ice 1 9S(S— first as curator and 
later as site superintendent. The revised sec- 
ond edition ofOne Cowboy 's Dream, her study 
of the life and family of one-time Wyoming 
Gov./U. S. Senator John B. Kendrick. is sched- 
uled for publication in early 2l)0-f by Donning 



The Wyoming Municipal Power Agency (WMPA) 
is a public power entity created to provide elec- 
tricity to Wyoming municipalities owning their own elec- 
tric distribution systems. Essentially, the WMPA is now 
(2003 ) the wholesale electricity provider for eight com- 
munities in Wyoming. This is the story of how the agency 
began and prospered in the four decades since the con- 
cept was first considered. ' 

In the i960s, the United States Bureau of Reclama- 
tion was the primary supplier of electricity to a number 
of municipalities in Wyoming. During the decade, elec- 
tric plant superintendents of the towns began to meet 
informally to discuss the issue of future power supply. - 
Among the issues the superintendents discussed was: 
What would happen if the Bureau no longer could fur- 
nish power to growing towns? 

In 1973, just as the utility superintendents predicted 
some years earlier, the Colorado River Storage Project 
(CRSP), a Bureau of Reclamation project, could not 
meet the growing electricity needs of its consumers, 
including those in Wyoming. "The towns received word 
from the Bureau that said it would not be able to pro- 
vide the electricity needed to keep up with growth, so 
the towns should start looking at other alternatives," 
said George Clarke, Lusk attorney who took an early 
role in the development of the WMPA.' CRSP sent a 
letter to its consumers on July 1 2, 1 973, requesting that 
they curtail electric service and start generating their 
own electricity as soon as possible.^ 

Further, the government agency warned that current 
electricity wholesale rates would have to increase. At 
a 1973 meeting in Denver, Bureau officials proposed a 
rate increase of five percent If users exceeded the al- 
lotted kilowatts, the Bureau planned to charge five times 
the normal rate for each additional kilowatt.^ 

The rate increase posed a significant problem for 
Wyoming towns, but potentially more significant was 
the "over-allotment charge." Most Wyoming towns 
expected continued growth and most officials believed 
that, if the new policies were implemented, their towns 
would suffer from restricted growth and the inability to 
provide sufficient electricity to existing residents. 

The superintendents agreed that if towns were to 
cooperate in solving the power problem, they would 
require substantial legal assistance. After some dis- 
cussion, the group decided that the role best could be 
filled by a local attorney, from one of the affected com- 
munities, and one with Wyoming municipal experience. 
Such a lawyer would be a better choice than an attor- 
ney from a large law firm practicing far away.'^' Con- 
sequently, Roy Shimek, the superintendent of Lusk, sug- 
gested involving George Clarke, an attorney from his 
community of Lusk. Clarke had substantial experience 
in city issues and accepted the offer to work with the 
group of utility superintendents. Tlie group began meeting 
on a more regular, formal basis. 

With pressure from the Bureau of Reclamation to 
curtail the use of power, and a potential opportunity with 

' In 1 973 the members of WMPA began to keep meeting mnutes. 
For information about tiie organization's actions before that time, 
interviews of participants were the best available sources. 

- George Clarke, interview by Michael Howe. Lusk. Wyo.. 16 
April 2003. 

'George Clarke, interview by Michael Howe, tape recording. 
Lusk. Wy.. 16 April 2003. 

* Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing, Meeting Minnies. Lusk. Wyo.. 16 August 1973. 


''Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Casper. Wyo.. 19 July 1973. 

Spring '2003 


Pine Bluffs 

Member limns of llic li'yumiiiii Municipal Pinrcr Ai;ency 

the MBPP. the members decided it would be best to 
incorporate and to combine ail power contracts at the 
earliest possible date.' Clarke created a non-profit or- 
ganization, fomializing the partnership of the communi- 
ties that would later grow into the Wyoming Municipal 
Power Agency. ** Representatives from nine Wxoming 
towns — Cody. Lusk. Lingle. Guernse> . W heatland. Foil 
Laramie. Torrington. Pine Bluffs, and Gillette — estab- 
lished the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency.' 

B> the beginning of 1974. with the WMPA legally 
incorporated in W\omiiig. the member towns de\ eloped 
an agreement to allow the WMPA to be the wholesale 
provider of electricity.'" In doing so. the plan was to 
have all power supplied by the Bureau consolidated and. 
under a service agreement, distributed b\ the WMPA 
to the member communities. Combining power contracts 
would establish the WMPA as the wholesale electricity 
provider to its member communities. Doing this would 
also further unite the communities, and create a stron- 
ger voice in future negotiations with the Bureaii. 

At the same time that the Bureau was signaling ma- 
jor changes in rates and power a\ ailabilit\ . an alterna- 
tive appeared. The Missouri Basin Power Project 
(MBPP) unveiled plans for the Laramie River Station 
(LRS) to be built near Wheatland. While preliminary 
feasibilitv studies were underwav. attorne\ Clarke met 

with managers from Tri-State Generation, one of the 
entities developing MBPP. After several meetings. Tri- 
State representatives offered the WMPA the opportu- 
nity to purchase up to 1.5% of the total output of the 
MBPP." Howe\er. in order to do this, the WMPA 
would be required to purchase its percentage and be- 
come a project co-owner. 

Whv would Tri-State Generation agree to sell such a 
small share of the overall project to the WMPA? One 
reason was that it was politically expedient. Although 
the WMPA came in a little later than others, it was 
percei\ed that a wholl\-owned Wvoming entity would 
be helpful in acquiring the necessary permits and in 
dealing with the State of Wyoming.'^ Basin Electric 
and Tri-State Generation essentially held open 1% of 

' W Aoming Municipal Power Agenc> Board of [directors Meet- 
ing. Mfcnng Minnies. Casper. W>.. 22 November 1974. 

"George Clarke, interview bv Michael Howe. L.usk. Wvo,. 16 
April 2003. 

■'VVvoming Municipal Power .Agencv Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Mceling Minutes. Lusk. 16 August 1973. 

'" Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. .Meeting .\liniites. Casper. W y o.. 1 7 January 1 974. 

" Clarke interview. 

'- Larry LaMaack. Executive Director of the Wyoming Munici- 
pal Power Agency, interview by Michael Howe. Lusk. 16 April 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

the MBPP for the WMPA to purchase when it was 

Throughout the discussions of how to provide elec- 
tricit> to member communities, it was apparent that the 
members of the WMPA were not entirely committed 
to the idea of purchasing a share of the MBPP. Other 
options were considered and presented. These included 
acquiring power contracts from Pacific Power and Light, 
the Nebraska Public Power District, or the local rural 
electric providers.'"" 

Eventually, the decision came down to economics. 
After considering the options, the WMPA board con- 
cluded that regardless of the decision, the power costs 
would remain similar, but control and responsibilities 
would differ. The WMPA members decided to become 
a participant in the MBPP. The WMPA retained an 
engineering firm, financial consultants, bond counsel, 
and passed a resolution authorizing the WMPA for in- 
clusion as an applicant before the Public Service Com- 
mission for Certificate of Convenience and Necessit\ 
as a Joint owner of the Laramie River Station.'" For- 
mal authorization to become a participant in the MBPP 
was left to the indiv idual tow ns for approval, however. 

But e\en though the MBPP would become an inte- 
gral aspect of the success of the Wyoming Municipal 
Power Agency, that project faced a number of hurdles. 
Meanwhile, the WMPA members had immediate prob- 

As of February 21. 1974. only the town of Wheatland 
had signed the integrated Service Contract, while oth- 
ers planned on signing it in the next couple of months. 
Torrington officials, however, began expressing concerns 
about the contract, especially as it related to the ability 
of a member town to withdraw from the WMPA.'" 
The concerns were not that different than those of other 
members, however. Most WMPA members worried 
about the integrated contract which would have all fed- 
erally-provided electricity supplied directly to the 
WMPA. who then would direct it back to the members. 
What happened if the WMPA failed to send electricity 
to a member, and what happened if the WMPA ceased 
to exist? The Bureau answered these questions, but 
only partially satisfied the members. According to the 
Bureau, if the federal power were not being provided 
by the WMPA to a member community it would do so 
and lower its obligation to the WMPA accordingly. If 
the WMPA ceased to exist, however, the Bureau would 
recapture the federal power and make a decision at 
that time as to the rights of the member community." 

By June 1 974 the need to act on the MBPP opportu- 
nity came to the forefront. The MBPP's application to 
the Wyoming Public Service Commission included an 

allocation of 50 megawatts (M W) of power to the Wyo- 
ming Municipal Power Agency."* There was pressure 
on the WMPA to move quickly, however, in order to 
secure this allocation. The challenge became financial. 

Without the authority granted in a "Joint Powers Act," 
local governments were not allowed to cooperate on 
joint projects. But there was considerable opposition to 
passage of a Joint Powers Act by the Wyoming legisla- 
ture. Pacific Power and Light, a commercial electric 
utility, opposed such a statute. The company was a for- 
midable lobbying force in the legislature.'" Further, some 
legislators opposed the action over concerns that local 
governments would gain too much authority. Despite 
the strong opposition, and with the help of State Repre- 
sentative Alan Simpson from the WMPA member com- 
munity of Cody, the legislation eventually passed. Al- 
though Governor Ed Herschler did not sign the law. he 
allowed it to become law without his signature.-" 

By January 1975. the WMPA was very much in- 
volved in the Missouri Basin Power Project. In fact, as 
noted at the January 28. 1975. board meeting, the 
WMPA already owed $67,000 for its share of project 
expenses.-' To raise funds, the board members voted 
to assess a one-half mill levy on each kilowatt-hour for 
each town, based on the billing from the Bureau, through 
the month of May. Revenue bonds and even a loan 
from the State were being pursued as major sources of 

Attorney Clarke informed the members that if they 
joined together under the newly passed Joint Powers 
Act they could issue Revenue Bonds for the financing 
of the WMPA"s share of the MBPP.-- According to 
Clarke, "the only way to get this done would be to issue 
tax exempt bonds. "-^ 

'-'■ Ibid 

" \\_\oming Vlunicipal Power Agenc\ Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meetinii Minutes. Casper. 22 Noveniher 1974. 

'^ Wyoming Municipal Power Agencv Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Casper. 22 November 1 974. 

"' Wyoming Municipal Power Agency. Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lusk. 21 February 1974. 

" Wyoming Municipal Power .Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lingle. 25 April 1974. 

'" Wyoming .Municipal Power Agencv Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lusk. 5 September 1974. 

'" Ibid 

^" Larry l.aMaack. Executive Director of the W\oming Munici- 
pal Power Agencv. interview b_\ Michael Howe. Lusk. 16 April 

-' W\oming Municipal Power Agencv Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Chevenne. 28 .lanuary 1975. 

■' Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lusk. 20 June 1974. 

-' George Clarke, interview by Michael Howe. Lusk. 16 April 

Spring ■2003 

These were the reasons why, that legally, the WMPA 
is "a public body corporate and politic of tiie State of 
Wyoming created pursuant to tiie Wyoming Joint Pow- 
ers Act by seven municipalities in Wyoming in order to 
provide for the financing, acquisition and operation of 
the power suppl\ facilities and resources required to 
meet the electric power and cnerg\ requirements of 
the electric utility systems of such municipalities.""-^ I he 
original members created the WMPA as a ""Joint Pow- 
ers Agency" as authorized under Wyoming law.-' The 
Joint Powers Act authorized municipalities to enter into 
agreements with one anotiier to create a separate 
agencN in order to jointK supplx the electricit_\ needs of 
its members.-" 

With the construction of the MBPP still a few \ears 
down the road, the member communities still needed 
more electric power. The Bureau contracts had been 
signed and the WMPA was now acting as the whole- 
sale provider of that electricity, but more was needed. 
In fact, there was a growing sense of urgenc\ in ac- 
quiring supplemental power because of the impending 
Bureau's ""t1ve times the normal rate" penalty tor ex- 
ceeding allotted power. Through the WMPA. member 
communities approached local rural electric coopera- 
tives. As of March 21, 1975. several local rural electric 
cooperati\es received contracts for review and indi- 
cated the intention of signing them. They would suppl> 
supplemental power to the WMPA.-' 

During 1975 and 1976, membership requirements in 
the WMPA became a heated topic. Gillette officials, 
who had been involved in the formation of WMPA from 
the beginning, opted out of full membership prior to the 
decision to participate in MBPP. Town officials believed 
the WMPA would have serious electrical tranmission 
constraints. Besides, the town felt comfortable with its 
current power supply contracts from Black Hills Gen- 
eration, an independently-owned pri\ate electric util- 
ity.-^ Nonetheless, local officials there remained inter- 
ested in some involvement with the WMPA. They pro- 
posed an associate membership status at the rate of 
$200 per year.- ' 

Although most WMPA members believed the pro- 
posal was reasonable, there was a question of legality. 
The law creating the Joint Powers Board would not 
recognize having associate members, even though such 
membership was not a problem with an incorporated 
entitv . Consequently, to keep Gillette involved in the or- 
ganization, the members opted to remain incorporated, 
even after WMPA was controlled by a Joint Powers 
Board in order to take advantage of the financial ben- 
efits from such an organization. 


These years. 1975 and 1976, were anxious times for 
the WMPA as it watched the MBPP slowlv come to 
life — at least, on paper. The MBPP Management Com- 
mittee, of which the WMPA had a vote, predicted that 
the project would be running its first unit by January 1 . 
1980."" Still, much needed to be done. The ""Certifi- 
cate of Con\enieiice and Necessit>" application was 
amended and needed approval, the siting permit needed 
to be filed and approv ed. pollution control bonds needed 
to be ratified, and ground for construction needed to be 
broken. The minutes of each of the WMPA meetings 
in 1975 and 1976 re\eal discussions o\er the status of 
these permits and processes, but throughout, there was 
atone of optimism. 

Nonetheless. 1 980. the projected date for first power 
generation from the project, was still four to five vears 
away. The members still needed electric power - even 
w ith the supplemental contracts signed b\ the rural elec- 
tric cooperatives. In an attempt to address these needs. 
the WMPA contacted officials of the Bureau of Recla- 
mation about the possibilil) of increasing the electrical 
output of the Buffalo Bill FJam. on the Shoshone River 
near Cod\. and Guernsev Dam. on the North Platte 
River. ' The Bureau said the dams were at capacity. 
In April 1976 a firm promoting construction of a nuclear 
power plant asked the WMPA about interest in its 
project (although it is uncertain whether there was a 
proposal to purchase a portion of the plant or just to 
view the plant). 1 he proposed plant would be located 
in Puerto Rico and would pro\ ide 600M W of electric- 
it\.'- The WMPA board, however, turned down this 
opportunitN toconsider. orexen \ iew. the plant. Earlier 
that month, the Bonneville Power Administration con- 
tacted the WMPA and indicated that it would ha\ e sur- 
plus power available."' 

-' /hiJ 

•" \\\i)iiimg. ll\(iiiiiiigSuiic Skiiiiies 16:1:101-1(19 

•'■ \\ >()niing VUinicipal Power .Agency. F5oard of Directors. Pre- 
liminaiy Official Stalemenl of I he Power Siif)plv Svsk'in Revciuie 
Bonds l9'8SenesA. Lusk. W>o.. I June 1978. 

-' Wxoming Municipal Power Agency Board ofDirectors Meet- 
ing. \lcciing Minutes. Casper. Wyo.. 20 March 1975. 

"* Larr\ l.aMaack. t:\eciitive Director otthe Wyoming Munici- 
pal Power Agencv. interview b\ Michael ftowe. Lusk. 16 .April 

"' Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board ofDirectors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minnies. Lusk. 19 June 1975. 

"'" W\oniing Municipal Power Agencv Board ofDirectors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lingle. Wyo.. 21 .August 1975. 

"'■ Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board ofDirectors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Torrington. Wyo.. 20 November 1975. 

'-Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Wheatland. Wvo.. 15 Februar\ 1976. 

'-' Ibid. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

As the MBPP was being planned and developed, the 
WMPA found itself in an interesting position — it was 
the only owner of MBPP that had a member located in 
the construction zone - Wheatland. During the August 
1975 WMPA Board meeting, the Wheatland director, 
Jim Dunham, reported on Wheatland residents" con- 
cerns over how the plant would impact the community. 
He asked how the MBPP would address those wor- 

The same question became an issue in the permitting 
process. The Wyoming Plant Siting Council granted a 
siting permit, with the stipulation that an "impact alle- 
viation monitoring committee" be established." Ap- 
parentlv this satisfied Dunham who later said that the 
MBPP was "bending over backwards to help the com- 

With groundbreaking ceremonies for the Laramie 
River Station scheduled for August 20, 1 976. the WMPA 
needed to pursue its financing arrangements quickly. 
The bonds to be issued would be revenue bonds and 
because the WMPA would be a joint powers board, the 
WMPA alone would be liable for the bonds, not the 
individual communities.'' To pay for the bonds, the 
agency would adjust upward the rates it charged mem- 
ber communities. 

Clarke traveled to New York to meet with the bond- 
ing companies of The First Boston Corporation and 
Salomon Brothers."* He took along videos of the mem- 
ber communities in an attempt to portray the situation 
accurately.'" The WMPA wanted to issue $21.5 mil- 
lion in revenue bonds. On July 22, 1977, a bond resolu- 
tion was presented to the members of the WMPA. The 
bonding instrument was intended to last 40 years.^" As 
part of the presentation, the bonding company suggested 
that the WMPA establish a melded wholesale rate to 
its members of approximately 1 6 mills, and adopt a gradu- 
ated rate increase over several years. The firm also 
pointed out that the bonds were more likely to attain a 
higher rating if appropriate and experienced staff were 
in place. Consequently, the board decided that the staff 
should include the executive director, an accounting 
manager, an electrical engineer, and a secretary. 

As the bonding question was being worked out and 
the Wheatland issue resolved, a problem developed w ith 
another WMPA member — Torrington. The town had 
been a full participant in the WMPA from the beginning 
and throughout negotiations with MBPP, it showed ev- 
ery intention of remaining a full member. However, in 
1976. Torrington's Town Council changed its mind. 

On June 24. 1976. Al Hamilton, the mayor of 
Torrington. met with the WMPA Board of Directors. 

Mayor Hamilton explained that he did not understand 
the action of his own Town Council — it was his opinion 
that the decision was "regrettable and not in the best 
interests of the citizens of Torrington.""" Despite 
Torrington's decision to withdraw from the group, the 
Mayor urged the rest of the members to stay united. 
The town officials asked for associate member status 
and the WMPA agreed to allow it. The impact of 
Torrington's associate member status was minimal. The 
WMPA would accrue few benefits, other than the po- 
litical strength of all public power entities being associ- 
ated in one organization, from Torrington's new status. 

While the board accepted Torrington's withdrawal as 
a full member, tensions arose over the money Torrington 
owed to the WMPA up to that point. After consider- 
able discussion, the board informed Torrington officials 
that the town would be liable for obligations incurred 
"up to that date including dues on Bureau power, supple- 
mental power and a proportionate share of the legal 
and engineering fees incurred to that date, including the 
legal fees for the bond attorneys and the test case in- 
volving thejoint powers act."^- The two parties reached 
an impasse. In April 1978, the WMPA board again con- 
sidered Torrington's refusal to pay. Finally, the board 
concluded that, if the WMPA wanted to pursue the is- 
sue, the matter would likely have to go to court. ^■ 

Afterthe associate membership problems with Gillette 
and Torrington were resolved, the WMPA had seven 
full, official members; Lusk, Lingle, Fort Laramie, Cody, 
Wheatland, Guernsey, and Pine Bluffs. This is the group 
that would pursue the interests of the WMPA in the 
MBPP, as well as other electric generation and trans- 
mission opportunities. They would share the costs and 
responsibilities of operating a generation and transmis- 

'"* Wyoming Municipal Power .Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lingle. 21 /\ugust 1975. 

'' Wyoming Municipal Power Agenc\ Board of Directors Meet- 
ing, Meeting Minutes. Wheatland. 15 Februar\ 1976. 
^"' Ibid. 

" Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Wheatland. 24 .June 1 976. 

'* George Clarke, interview b> Michael Howe. Lusk. 16 April 

-'' Ibid 

""' Wyoming Municipal Power Agenc> . Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting .Minutes. Wheatland. Wy.. 22 .lul> 1977. 

•" Wyonnng Municipal Power Agenc> Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. .Meeting .Minutes. Wheatland. 24. lune 1976. 

^' Wyoming Municipal Power Agencs Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. .Meeting .Minutes. Wheatland. 24 June 1976. 

^' Wyoming Municipal Power Agenc> Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. .Meeting .Minutes. Lusk. 1.^ .April 1978. 

Spring lH)03 


While generation issues were important, the mem- 
bership of the WMPA also realized it had to deal with 
electrical transmission problems. During the develop- 
ment of the MBPP. and in particular the Laramie River 
Station, the board decided that it would be best to build 
a 69-kilovolt transmission line directly from the LRS to 
the Town of Wheatland/^ The Bureau of Reclamation 
required only an environmental assessment report be- 
fore ultimately approving this project. The City of Cody 
also had a transmission problem that would require the 
construction of a substation near Cod\. The WMPA 
voted to construct and fund the substation, naming it 
"Big George Number 1 ."" after George Frank, then the 
WMPA Board chairman.'" 

In 1977. the Western Area Power Administration 
(WAPA) was formed by the U.S. government to re- 
place the Bureau of Reclamation as the entity to gener- 
ate and transmit electricity in the West. The WMPA 
had to sign a new contract with the WAPA for trans- 
mission, and did so grudgingly because of rate design.^" 

Throughout the years, the WMPA remained com- 
mitted to the MBPP. In addition, the WMPA 
members looked at all options for the future growth of 
its member communities and potential growth of the 
WMPA itself. Any municipality that owned its electric 
distribution system prior to the adoption of the Joint 
Powers Act could join - this included the non-member 
towns of Powell, Torrington, Deaver, Basin, and Gillette. 
For municipalities interested in joining, they needed to 
express an interest in the WMPA"s plans for future gen- 
eration projects. 

In 1976. the WMPA sent letters to Basin Electric 
Power Cooperative and Tri-State Generation request- 
ing that, "if and when they determined to build addi- 
tional generation in the state of Wyoming that we would 
be consulted."^' A follow-up letter was sent in 1977 to 
Basin Electric. Tri-State Generation and Transmission, 
and Pacific Power and Light indicating that, "if an\ of 
them were to construct generation plants in Wyoming, 
we desired to be considered as a participant."^** 

In August 1977. the WMPA was asked to consider 
buying an interest in a nuclear power plant. The gener- 
ating station was being planned near Fort St. Vrain, about 
60 miles north of Denver.^'^ At the same time, the Platte 
River Power Authority invited the WMPA to tour the 
area of a project it was designing.^" Also, the WMPA 
was asked to consider involvement in the Rawhide power 
plant, in conjunction with the Platte River Power Au- 
thority. Tri-State Generation and Transmission contacted 
the WMPA regarding the design of yet another power 

plant. Although the firm had not established the specif- 
ics of the project, it wanted a commitment from the 
WMPA by February 28. 1978. ' In all of these cases, 
however, the WMPA either decided against participat- 
ing or took no action. 

In 1978 the utility supervisors of Fort Morgan. Colo., 
and Alliance, Neb., met with the WMPA with a view 
toward establishing a three-state municipal group to 
address generation and transmission.'- Nothing came 
of the proposal, however. 

The R.W. Beck consulting turn presented a hydro- 
power proposal to the WMPA on November 9, 1 978.- ' 
The project identified the Bessemer Narrows as a po- 
tential source of hydropower. The WMPA took no 
action on this either. 

As the Beck proposal points out, however, water 
played an interesting role in the WMPA's history, as 
well as the history of the MBPP. Much of the WMPA's 
power came from federal power contracts, such as the 
Colorado River Storage Project, which are primarily 
hydro-generated. The MBPP utilized the North Platte 
River for cooling water, and ultimately built the 
Grayrocks Dam and Reservoir. Because the North 
Platte River flows into Nebraska, that state became 
concerned that the North Platte River water used in 
these projects would jeopardize their rights. Litigation 
over the water was initiated. Ultimately, the parties 
reached a settlement, but each participant in the MBPP 
had to ratify and accept it. The WMPA board minutes 
of Nov. 9. 1978. day reflect the discussion: 

After much discussion, motion In Pratt to accept the 
damn thing as written and to second the danm thing bv 

" W_\oming Municipal Power Agency Board otllirectors N4ecl- 
iiig. Met'ling . Minnies. Cody. 13 May 1977. 

^' Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Mt-eling Mimitcs. Liisk. 1 I Ma> 1978. 

"■ IhiJ 

'' Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board ofDirectors Meet- 
ing. Mf cling Minnies. Casper. 1 7 August 1976. 

" Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board ofDirectors Meet- 
ing. .Meeliiig Minnies. Cody. 13 May 1977. This second set of 
letters was different Irom the 1976 letters in that this set was 
copied to the Puhlic Ser\ ice Commission in order to show a record 
of interest. 

^'' Wyoining Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lusk. 18 August 1977. 

'" Ihid 

" W\oming Municipal Power Agenc\ Board ofDirectors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minnies, l.usk. 15 Fehruary 1978. 

'- Ihid " 

" Wyoming Municipal Power .Agenc) Board ofDirectors Meet- 
mg. Meeting Minnies. Lusk. 9 Novemher 1 978. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

The WMPA's resolution (No. 78- 1 0) ratified the settle- 
ment, hut it did not end the Nebraska/Wyoming dis- 
putes over the waters of the North Platte River that 
continue to the present. 

On April 13. 1978. the WMPA board met for the first 
time as a legally constituted Joint Powers Board.'"* The 
Attorney General for Wyoming officially signed the 
papers authorizing the new status on the previous day. 
The first order of business as a new entity was to elect 
officers. Elected were George Frank, Cody, chairman; 
Kester Akers, Lusk, vice chairman; Jim Dunham, 
Wheatland, secretary: and Jack Harrison, Pine Bluffs, 
treasurer. At the same meeting, the board designated 
June 1 978 as a target date for sel I ing the revenue bonds. 

On June 8, 1978. the WMPA Board of Directors 
passed a resolution. Resolution Number 78-4, authoriz- 
ing "$2 1 ,540.000 in Power Supply System Bonds, 1 978. 
Series A, for the purpose of paying WMPA's 1% share 
of the estimated cost of acquisition and construction of 
the MBPP. the cost of certain transmission facilities, 
and other related costs. """■ The underwriter of the bonds 
was Smith Barney. Harris Upham and Company. The 
action made the WMPA one of the official owners of 
the MBPP. 

As an official Joint Powers Board, the WMPA also 
realized that it might need to do more than simply sell 
electricity. Transmission and distribution systems of 
member communities were important to the entire 
WMPA. R.W. Beck Associates recommended that the 
WMPA "assume the transmission facilities as they pres- 
ently, or will in the near future, exist."^" The reasoning 
behind this recommendation, and the ultimate decision 
of the WMPA, was that it would be less expensive to 
finance upgrades and new facilities through the 
WMPA's bonding capability . 

Lobbying would have to be a priority as well. The 
board decreed that the Executive Director should "keep 
an eye on Agency matters" as well as be ready to help 
the Wyoming Association of Municipalities when 

The WMPA also was interested in energy conserva- 
tion programs. After all, the original reason the WMPA 
was formed was because the towns were using too 
much power. The WMPA board decided that the agency 
would become a clearinghouse of information for elec- 
tricity conservation. Essentially, the WMPA could pur- 
chase materials for members at a better rate, and mem- 
bers would be billed for those materials."'* The WMPA 
would become a clearinghouse for exchange items be- 
tween members. These items might include transform- 
ers and other electrical equipment. Further, the WMPA 

established a policy making its expert staff available to 
member communities, as the need for advice and con- 
sulting arose, at a low cost.'" The agency would spon- 
sor free educational seminars for member communi- 

The Wyoming Municipal Power Agency had be 
come a viable electricity supplier in Wyoming 
for seven communities. In 1986, the WMPA added one 
more member, the City of Powell. 

As its early history demonstrates, the agency mem- 
bers had to overcome political pressures and growth 
challenges, accept both financial opportunities and obli- 
gations, and work cooperatively. The agency retained 
its ownership in the MBPP and continued to pursue the 
most economic options for supplying electricity to its 
members and. ultimately, the consumers in those com- 

'^ Wyoming Municipal Power Agencv Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Miiuile.s. Lusk. 13 April 1978. 

" Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Miiiiiles. Wheatland. 8 June 1978. 

"'' Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lusk. 16 August 1973. 

" Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lusk. 13 .lanuary 1977. 

■' Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors M&A- 
mg. Meeting Minutes. Wheatland. 22 ,luly 1977. 

^'' Wyoming Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors Meet- 
ing. Meeting Minutes. Lusk. 9 November 1978. 

'" Larry LaMaack. Executive Director of the Wyoming Munici- 
pal Power Agency, interview by Michael Howe. Lusk, 16 April 

Michael Howe lives in Cheyenne M'ith his wife 
Laura and their four children. He holds a 
bachelor 's degree in political science from the 
University of Wyoming, and M. A. in politi- 
cal science from Midwestern State Univer- 
sity. He is currently working toward a master 's 
degree in history at the University of Wyo- 
ming. A native of Wyoming. Michael is very 
interested in Wyoming history and the future 
of the state. 

The Landscape Architecture 

of Morell and Nichols, 

Sheridan, 1911-1914 

B\' John E Mahonev 

Definition: "Landscape architecture is both the art and science of arrani^iiii^ land, together with 
the spaces and objects upon it. "' 

Very little research has been done on the history 
ot landscape architecture in W\oming. The first 
landscape architects to practice in Wyoming might be 
thefinn of Morell and Nichols of Minneapolis, Minne- 
sota. By examining the Natural Style in America and 
the World's Columbian Exposition, this article will show 
how some of these landscape concepts were used at 
Trail End State Historic Site in Sheridan. Man\ early 
landscape architectural drawings of the site are avail- 
able and these will be linked to the early techniques. 

The Natural Style was identified by "Landscape Gar- 
dener" A. J. Downing in 1 841 . This style from the En- 
glish Landscape Gardening School was a combination 
ofthe grandeur of the English rectilinear, geometric style. 
with the beauty ofthe natural landscape arranged in 
infomial groupings. 

Downing's Treatise was "adapted to North America; 
with a view to the Improvement of Country Residences 
comprising directions for laying out grounds and arrang- 
ing plantations, the description and cultivation of hardy 
trees, decorative accompaniments to the house and 
grounds, the formation of pieces of artificial water, 
flower gardens, etc."- He was the first American \\ riter 
on landscape architecture. He went beyond botanical 
considerations which led him to an interest in \isual 
quality, as well as operational efficiency.' 

The Treatise described a st\ le that "grew out ofthe 
love of countrv life and the desire to render our own 
property attractive, which naturalK exists to a greater 
or less degree in the minds of all men." ^ 

The Main Court at Trail End today still has the block edging along the drive, the groupings ofthe plant material and 
the evergreen tree background/border. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Do\\ning said there were two distinct modes of landscape gardening that had the 
current admiration of the world. "One was the Ancient. Formal or Geometric Style, 
characterized by regular forms and right lines." The other style was the "Modern, 
Natural or Irreaular St\ le. characterized by varied forms and flowing lines." ' 



^■^i^i^,^™&.V^*i§S^i*^^ i 

The Trail End Location and 
Grading Plan drawing from 
1913, shows the formal, linear 
Mall area which is ihe linear 
walk leading to the Pool. The 
pool area consists of the geo- 
metric shapes which include 
the pool and adjacent shrub 
and flower planters. The 
straight lines of the pergola 
roof are shown at the top of the 
drawing. By contrast, the side- 
walks with planting areas to 
the east (left) are designed in 
the natural style by the use of 
the irregular, free flowing lines 
which connect all of the site 
features before leading to the 
SW corner and off the property. 

A criticism of Downing is that he offered no particular system or method for the 
specific layout of the land." However, along with the blending of the two styles he 
also described the design principles of Unity and Variety. Unity, which he described 
as the "production of the whole"' and necessary for the layout of the land "to as- 
semble in a single composition forms which are discordant, and portions dissimilar in 
plan, can only afford pleasure for a short time". ^ Downing describes the principle of 
Variety as "belonging more to the details, than to the production of the whole. By 
producing certain contrasts, it creates in scenery a thousand points of interest, by 
different arrangements and combinations of forms, colors, light and shade."" 

The March 15. 1913. letter 
from Morell and Nichols to Mr. 
Kendrick states, "in order to 
have the flowering garden and 
the groups appear interesting 
throughout the season, it is 
well to plant a larger amount 
of varieties which would pro- 
long the flowering season. 
Some of the plants will blos- 
som in the early spring, others 
during the summer months and 
still others in the fall. "'" 

Spring ■2003 

City beaiitiftcation was an idea born in 1 893 at the 
World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. "From the 
1890s until as late as the end of the 1920s or even the 
early thirties the Exposition was usually held forth as 
making the pinnacle of achievement in the arts in 

Public interest in outdoor design was a significant 
outcome of the ideas developed from the Exposition in 
Chicago in 1 893. The City Beautiful movement began 
as "civic aesthetics"" or "modern civic ail"" that lead to 
writings in 1903 describing the "City Made Beauti- 
fijl." The degree of excitement about the Expo far ex- 
ceeded anything its creators had hoped for. '"Tlie coun- 
try had never seen anything like it before, including the 
use of outdoor electric lights, then still a novelty, that 
contributed to the general sense of enchantment. Thus 
began a vibrant new interest in what design could do 
for America"s towns and cities. ""'- 

It has a unique reason for treatment here because "it 
was the unprecedented awakening of public interest in 
civic design.""" 

Daniel Burnham of the firm Burnham and Root. Ar- 
chitects from Chicago was chosen to take control of 
the architectural planning for the Exposition. Frederick 
Law Olmsted & Companv . the firm that had designed 
Central Park in New York in 1 857. was the first to use 
the title Landscape Architect in 1 893 and was appointed 
by the governing board as consulting landscape archi- 

Utilizing the natural landscape of .lackson Park. 
Olmsted created a system of lagoons and waterways 
to go along with the extensive sidewalk system. The 
bodies of water served as decorative reflecting pools, 
waterways for transportation and a cool place to rest 
for the visitors. Landscape historian Newton describes 

Olmstead as "an artist, he paints w ith lakes and wooded 
slopes; with lawns and banks and forest covered 

The immensity of the World"s Columbian Exposition 
and the set of goals it wished to produce included spa- 
tial arrangement of architecture and the land. What 
Olmstead accomplished at the Expo was a lesson of 
exceptional value to the profession of landscape archi- 
tecture. Indeed. b\ 1900 a young student of Olmstead's. 
Charles Eliot, established the first university courses of 
landscape architecture at Harvard University. 

This was the environment on the East Coast and Mid- 
west at the time John Kendrick hired the firm of Morell 
and Nichols. 

John B. Kendrick was a cattleman with a ranching 
empire that grew to include over 2 1 0.000 acres in north- 
ern Wyoming and southern Montana. He had worked 
breaking horses and mov ing cattle as a cowhand since 
he was fifteen." In 1910, Kendrick was elected to the 
Wyoming State Senate and in 1914. was able to win the 
Governorship of Wvoming. He served for two years 
before he became the first United States Senator from 
Wvoming to be elected bv popular vote He \sas then 
re-elected to the United State Senate in both 1922 and 

Noted Wyoming historian T.A. Larson applied the 
phrase "Grand Old Man"" to three early Wyoming po- 
litical leaders during the years 1920 to 1940. The first 
was Joseph M. Carey, the second Francis E. Warren 
and the third was John B. Kendrick.'" Kendrick. with 
only seven years of formal schooling, had an excep- 
tional drive to succeed. He left his native Texas in I 879 
and rode with a trail herd to northern Wyoming. He put 
down roots and Sheridan became the end of the trail 
for Kendrick. 

A leller in the Sheridan 
Press. May ^. I^Jfi. 
praises Senator Kendrick 
for donating hind far citv 
parks anddeekired. "The 
donation, in hne with the 
Senator s avowed pur- 
pose to heautif}' the com- 
munity and make that 
beauty la'ailahle to all of 
the public will be only 
one of many that he has 
made to the cdy of 
Sheridan. " ' 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Kendrick hired the firm ofMorell and Nichols in 191 1. 
Man> letters and landscape architectural drawings be- 
tween Kendrick and Morell and Nichols have been pre- 
served at the Kendrick estate. Trail End State Historic 
Site, and are extremely valuable in understanding the 
design concepts emplo\ed at the site. One of the first 
of these letters was a letter dated May 29. 1911. from 
Morell and Nichols to Kendrick. It was a letter con- 
firming their hiring, told what it was they were to ac- 
complish and establishing their fee of". . .approximately 
eighteen days... on the per diem basis at $25.00 per 

The location of the planting 
areas for trees, shrubs and 
flowers were all individually 
identified by dimensioning on 
thel9l2 Trail End Location 
and Grading Plan drawing. 
The small perfect circles de- 
pict trees: shrubs and flowers 
were located in the irregular 
shaped natural style planting 

Anthony Urbanski Morell was bom in France in 1 875. 
w ent to school there and immigrated to the United States 
around 1902. He spent some of his early career at the 
New York City office of landscape engineer Charles 
W. Leavitt. Morell would later be characterized by 
fellow co-worker Chandler Fairbank as "a highly artis- 
tic Italian who made a good iinpression socially, and 
gave the firm prestige."'" 

Arthur R. Nichols was bom in West Springfield. Mas- 
sachusetts, in 1880. In 1902 he was one of the first 
graduates of the short-lived (two years) landscape ar- 
chitecture program at Massachusetts Institute of Tech- 
nology where he earned a B.S. degree. For a short 
time after college he worked in Schenectady. New York, 
before moving to New York City. There he also joined 
the landscape engineering firm of Charles W. Leavitt. 
One of Nichols" colleagues. Keith Wehrman, later char- 

acterized him as "a good designer, mild mannered and a 
person that believed in large scale plans that met the 
needs of the present while providing flexibility for the 

Some early design projects that Nichols worked on 
included Monument Valley Park in Colorado Springs, 
Colorado, the private estates of John D. Rockefeller, 
Sr., in Pocantico Hills, New York, and George B. Post, 
Jr., in Bernardsville, New Jersey. It was while working 
on the Chester Congdon estate in Duluth, Minnesota, 
that he began to work with Anthony Morell.-' 

In 1909. Morell and Nichols decided to leave the 
Leavitt firm, establish a partnership and move to Min- 
neapolis. The projects they worked on followed the wide 
spectrum of the growing landscape architecture pro- 
fession. These projects included the design of the grounds 
for private estates, city and state park design, residen- 

Spring i2003 

tial subdivision design, cemeten- design, 
and hospital, schools and college de- 
sign plans. They also worked on the 
landscape mall for the North Dakota 
state capilol grounds. 

Many tools of the landscape archi- 
tect are evident at the Trail End site 
including the use of dimensioning, 
centerline road surveying and the use 
of contour lines to depict gradual drain- 
age away from the house. 


Note the science of land- 
scape architecture used on 
the 1913 Trail End Grading 
Plan. The fift}- fool grid sys- 
lein on the drawing shows 
horizontal and vertical spot 
elevations. Dashed contour 
lines at one foot intervals 
depict a gradual, uniform, 
flat slope fulling away from 
the house. Spot elevations 
along the centerline of the 
entrance road also show 
how the areas on the ground 
are to he manipulated. 


Pari ()/ the art of landscape 
architecture associated 
with this design is the 
groupings of the plant ma- 
terial. ")ou will notice In 
the planting scheme that In 
the outlined groups there 
are located a number of 
evergreen and deciduous 
trees which In combination 
with the flowering shrubs 
and the herbaceous plants 
make the group strong, 
giving same a natural 
landscape effect. " " 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Many of the design techniques of A. J. Downing can 
clearly be seen at the Trail End site including the design 
concepts of L'nity and Variety. 

Unity in this design is achieved by the strategic loca- 
tion of the evergreen tress along the property line and 
the location of the apple trees. The smaller evergreen 
juniper shrubs are also strategically located around the 
grounds to tie the site together "as a single composition, 
the production of the whole."-' Variety is shown through 
the use of the green, pink and white flower color of the 
apple trees, the upright form of the Siberian peashrub 
and junipers in contrast with the flowing, single trunk 
apple trees and the use of light and dark shades. 

The lower left portion of the 
1912 Trail End Location 
and Grading Plan shows 
the centerline lay-out of the 
entrance road, the wain 
brick entrance gate and 
wall plus the evergreen tree 
planting locations along 
the north property- line. The 
location of the irregularly 
shaped planting areas are 
shown by dimension lines 
from the known location of 
the proposed brick wall. 

This is the view today 
of the southeast cor- 
ner of the property. 
The joggers on the 
upper bank are jog- 
ging along the south 
property line. The 
joggers in the fore- 
ground are just off the 
property- to the south, 
up the hill from 
Kendrick Park. 

Spring '2003 

The site today still contains many of the original tree 
and shrub grouping areas. TheJui\ 1.1911 letter from 
Morell and Nichols informed Kendrick that thcN had 
completed preliminary site plans. This included "'locat- 
ing the property boundary lines, the main driveway, 
stables driveway, service drive, clothes yard, service 
court, greenhouses, gardens, tennis court and walks con- 
necting them."-^ 

The sidewalk inier- 
seclion treatmeni 
show)! center hutlnni 
in the 1 91 2 drawnig, 
where the sidewalks 
nilersecl a! ninely 
degrees, is also vis- 
ible on the grounds 

This sidewalk intersection 
treatment is still used in 
landscape architectural 
drawings today. The per- 
son in the photo is walk- 
ing at the approximate lo- 
cation of the proposed 
Pool and Pergola area. 
Groupings of old shruhs 
provide the f)cal point 
along the sidewalk. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Kendrick was not only interested in employing land- 
scape architects to design the landscape on his prop- 
erty, he was also interested in beautif\ ing the town of 

In a July 29. 1919 letter to H. A. Loucks in Sheridan. 
Kendrick makes reference to a piece of land to be used 
for a park in Sheridan. "It is an opportunity that must 
not be overlooked and is only another step in the plan 
for ornamenting and beautifying our beloved town of 
Sheridan."-^ The land became Kendrick Park. 

Elevation View of Pergola 
The scaled Elevation View 
from the Trail End drawings 
of the proposed Pergola, a 
patio-like structure, in the El- 
evation vicM- with gentleman 
figure above. Note the dimen- 
sioning technique used to 
show the height of the Per- 
gola, the wood roof members 
over a brick floor, with col- 
umns to match the house; cap 
and base on the columns to 
be the same as Cap and base 
of the south porch on the 
house. This outdoor land- 
scape feature was not con- 





'' Tm 






^^ . ^ ;;,;.;.;#V:l A 




fc^ ,.. 

1^- -■-: - 

£t.eVAT10N ®F 

■MO* »• ■ ' 



Plan View of the Pergola 
The scaled Plan VieM- 
(overhead) from the Trail 
End drawings of the per- 
gola that show the column 
locations, with the wooden 
girders on top of the col- 
umns to wood rafters and 
a finish layer of wood lath 
. The proposed brick floor 
was to be composed of a 
layer of gravel, then a 
layer of concrete, then the 
finish brick. 

Spring '2002 


The Morell and Nichols work in Sheridan contains all 
of the components that are still used in landscape archi- 
tecture practice toda\ ihrinighoLit W yoniing. 1 he earl\ 
drawings from the t1rm would still be considered state 
of the ail. 

It is unknown what brought Kendrick to hire the firm 
of Morell and Nichols. Perhaps he saw some of their 
work in the region or other works of landscape archi- 
tecture in the United States while representing W}o- 
ming as its Governor and State Senator. The citizens of 

Wyoming are still benefiting from his foresight which 
can still be enjoyed today b\ \ isiting Trail Rnd in Sheridan. 
Morell and Nichols also developed at least two other 
sets of landscape architectural drawings in Wyoming. 
Pioneer Park in Sheridan is located just down the hill 
from Trail End and includes a circular drive, variety of 
plant material and hillside grottos. The draw ings for F^ot 
Springs at Thermopolis {helow) in I') 13 (Hot Springs 
State Park) depict a larger scale or master plan type 

The IQI5 Plaulinfi Plan 
shows individual tree 
locations iisin^ circles 
with index uuiuhers in- 
side. The designed 
shrubbery beds are 
shown by the use of two 
symbols with index num- 
bers: one to describe the 
plant variety the second 
number to call out the 
quantity of plants. 




./"CALf: — r.5o 

.'ULY— 1915 


M I NNr:A r\. u r/- Minn . 


^rvtM.THK-*- Afs. s^r_-^-'('--r -^ TMr. :Mr:r-e. ft r •><!■» irrv 

*i**CK CtiacXJS TMLJ3 • ♦ 


Large scale Master Plan-n^pe Drawing of Hot Springs, Thermopolis. Wyoming. 1913. Morell and Nichols. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

' Norman T. Newton. Design on the Z,tH!(/( Cambridge and Lon- 
don: Harvard Universit>' Press. 1976). xxi 

- A.J. Downing. A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Land- 
scape Gardening. Adapted to North America (New York and Lon- 
don. 1841). i. 

' Newton. 261 

■"Downing. 10 

' Downing. 1 1 

"Newton. 64. 

' Downing. .^9. 

* Downing. 41. 

'' Downing. 42. 

'" Morell and Nichols, letter to John Kendrick. 1913. I. Trail 
End State Historic Site collections. Sheridan. 

"Newton. 353. 

'- Newton. 367. 

" Newton. 353. 

I-* Newton. 368. 

'' Trail End Guilds. Inc.. Trail End State Historic Site website. 3. 

"' T.A. Larson. History of Wyoming. 2nd ed.. rew. (Lincoln; 
University of Nebraska Press. 1978). 447. 

'''Sheridan Press. May 9, 1930. 

"Morell and Nichols, letter to John Kendrick. 1911 

''' Chandler D. Fairbank. letter to Greg Kopischke. 1975. Trail 
End State Historic Site collections. 

•" Gregor\ Kopischke. "Pioneers of .American Landscape De- 
sign 11". article for the National Park Ser\ ice. Historic Landscape 
Initiative. 1. 

-' Kopischke. 1. 

" Morell and Nichols, letter to John Kendrick. 1913. 

-'Morell and NichoLs. 1913. 

'■• Morell and Nichols, letter to John Kendrick. 1911. 

-' Morell and Nichols, letter to John Kendrick. 1919. 

John F. Mahoney, Wyoming licensed Landscape 
Architect #0001 A. has been practicing landscape 
architecture in Wyoming since 1978. After stum- 
bling across the early letters between John 
Kendrick and the landscape architects Morell 
and Nichols. Mahoney M'as led to the actual con- 
struction drawings of the estate by the Site Su- 
perintendent at Trail End. "The first time I 
stepped on the site 1 realized this was a designed 
landscape. After a look at the construction draw- 
ings. I saw they were so detailed and of such 
high quality they could have been developed 
yesterday instead of ninety years ago. " A cur- 
rent project .Mahoney is fond of is the proposed 
Vore Buffalo Jump Site in northeast Wyoming 
near Sundance. A second project was the col- 
laboration with an Environmental Artist to de- 
velop wildlife habitat and hidden human view- 
ing areas along the Wildlife Trail at the Rest .Area 
in Pine Bluffs. Wyoming. Mahoney currently 
works for the State of Wyoming and is the Man- 
ager of the Planning and Construction Section. 

The History of Electricity 
in Rural Goshen County 

The Wyrulec Company 

Bv Jack R. Preston 

Electricity came late to rural Goshen Count). Wyo- 
ming. It was not available to all the rural consumers 
until the late 1940s, nearly 80 years after the tust com- 
mercial power system went on line in W\oming. The 
rural areas of Goshen Count_\ were in a technology lag 
from the rest of the country, because of the increased 
incremental cost of buildingelectrical distribution lines 
to the rural areas. ' While a few Wyoming towns had 
electricity as early as the 1880s. it was 1914 before the 
tlrst central station power plant produced electricity for 
any town in Goshen Count> . 

A few rural customers in the county did have elec- 
tricity from central station power plant lines — the same 
ones used to supply the county's towns and villages. 
For those not in the pro\imit\. their recourse was to 
generate power with their own internal combustion en- 
gine-powered generators and wind chargers. 

Within 20 years of Congressional passage of the Ru- 
ral Electrification Act of 1936. creating the Rural Elec- 
trification Administration (REA).electricit\ was brought 
to rural areas throughout Goshen Count_\ . fhe agenc>. 
created to bring power to farms and ranches, had an 
enormous impact on rural life and the rural areas of 
Goshen County. W\rulec Companv. W\oming"s first 
electrical cooperative, was founded under this RliA Act. 
Electricitv that Wyrulec brought rural Goshen Coinit\ 
residents was more important than an\ other dcselop- 
ment of the 20"' centur> . 

Nationallv. the first public use of electricitv came in 
1 882 when Thomas Edison built the "Hrst central sta- 
tion electric system in lower Manhattan.""- Edison 
proved that central station power could serve many 
customers over a large area from one large generator. 
Over the next few years electricity generation plants 
were developed in many cities across the United States. 
The first central station electric power in Wyoming was 
supplied to Cheyenne in 1 882. the same year Edison's 
station started up in New York. The electricity supplier. 

known as the Brush-Swan Electric Light Company, used 
the alternating current (AC) system, as distinguished 
from the direct current (DC) method that Edison"s firm 
was perfecting at the time.' By 1 883. the Brush-Swan 
Companv had installed 1.000 incandescent lights in 
Cheyenne. Most were streetlights, but in 1 884. the Hrm 
put in the first interior lights in a building when it w ired 
the Chevenne Club forelectricitx . 1 he InterOcean ffotel 
in Cheyenne was purpoi1edl\ the first hotel in the world 
with a light in each room. ' 

Cheyenne was not the onl_\ cit> in Wvommgto have 
electricity in the 1880s. Laramie had a light plant b\ 
I 885. houe\er it was an Edison svstem operating on 
direct current (DC). On .lanuarv 27. 1887. R. M..lones. 
operator of the plant, wrote to .1. 11. Vail, an Edison 
official, about power outages at the Laramie plant." 
fhis svstem operated 3,800 lamps by December 31. 

Whenevera new inxention of w ide importance comes 
about, there is much posturing and shilling as to what 
the standards will be. Sometimes the less desirable stan- 
dard wins out because of the political and social power 
of the inventor or it mav be just timing or luck. While 
Edison was dev eloping DC electricitv that worked well 
with streetcar lines, one of the first major uses of elec- 

' 1 he numhcr nf clci.1nc;il si.t\ icc customers connected per mile 
(if line greatis elTects the eost of line per consumer, 

■ Ivrma Ange\ ine. ed. I'coplc-I'hcir I'mici- (Washington. [).C.: 
National Rural I'leelrie Association. U)S()) 4 

Alternating current (AC) changes di reel ions as it Hows through 
the wire. Direct current (DC) Hows in one direction. 

^ 1. A. Larson. History o/ li'yoiiiiiig ^L\nco\n: t!ni\ersit_\ ol'Ne- 
braska Press. \91S). 199; Phil Roberts. David L. Roberts, and Ste\en 
L. Roberts. U'voniingAliiiniuic. (Laramie. W\': Sk\ line West I'ress/ 
W \oming Almanac. 2001 ). 168. 

' Da\id 1 . N>e. Klccln/riiig America (Cambridge. M.\: MIT 
Press. 1992). 3. 

'' litlp://>JamesSearch/DocPiciure php3 

' hltp://ed' cilylist.hlm 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

tricitv, George Westinghouse and Brush-Swan were 
developing AC electricity. One of the major advantages 
of AC power was that the voltages could be transfomied 
to higher levels for mo\ ing large amounts of power great 
distances/ Edison felt that AC power was more dan- 
gerous and called it ""the killer current.""" One of the 
problems in de\ eloping electricity was that something 
had to be done with it other than power electric lights. 
Electric motors and appliances were the most prolific 
items being developed by industry with General Elec- 
tric and Westinghouse being the dominant companies 
supply ing both products that use electricity and prod- 
ucts that distribute and generate electricity. Direct cur- 
rent had disad\ antages and before too long. Edison con- 
verted to alternating current. Brush-Swan and Edison 
e\entuall\ merged into the General Electric Company. 

As central station power was being developed across 
the United States, there were inventors who were de- 
veloping alternatives to pro\ide electricity for the rural 
areas. The two most promising and practical choices 
were small gasoline engine generators and wind-pow- 
ered generators. The combination of these two meth- 
ods provided electricity for farms and ranches until the 
REA cooperatives were developed. 

Many rural Goshen County residents used the gaso- 
line-powered Deico generator, the first widely used 
power source. In the first decade of the 20th century, 
C. F. Kettering and Edward Beeds. employees of the 
National Cash Register Company (NCR), were doing 
independent research while employed by NCR in Day- 
ton. Ohio. Together, they developed electronic starters 
and ignitions used in automobiles. They founded the Day- 
ton Engineering Laboratories Company (DeIco) in 1909 
to build the starters and ignitions for Cadillacs. Their 
compan\ . Delco, was acquired b\ United Motors in 1 9 1 6, 
which was acquired in 1918 by General Motors. 
Kettering subsequently became General Motors presi- 

In the course of perfecting the Cadillac starter and 
ignition, Delco developed 32-volt DC and 1 1 0-volt AC 
generators. Beginning in 1916. Delco began manufac- 
turing the Delco Farm Lighting System, a line of inter- 
nal combustion-powered generators for farm use. 
These generators were designed to power farm elec- 
tric motors and household appliances. Delco ingeniously 
developed a portable electric motor mounted on a stand 
that could be moved around the farm. With this por- 
table device, various types of farm machinery could be 
powered with one electric motor. The 32-volt genera- 
tor was capable of charging batteries for use by the 
farmer and housewife when the generator was not run- 

World War 1 veterans, who had become acquainted 
with electric power in the military service, returned to 
the farms after the war. Many began using generators 
from Ford Model T cars to provide DC electricity for 
their farm radios and other appliances. 

Wind generators also provided electricity to Goshen 
County farms. Jacobs and Wincharger were the two 
major companies that developed during this era. 
Marcellus Jacobs developed his first wind-power gen- 
erator on his father's Montana ranch. By 1 927, he was 
using a variable pitch airplane propeller controlled with 
a flyball governor." "Between 1931 and 1957 thou- 
sands of Jacobs plants were sold and installed in all 
parts of the world, including weather stations within the 
Arctic Circle and at Little America in Antarctica."'- It 
is estimated that the Jacobs Wind Electric Company 
produced about 30.000 of their 2500-vvatt wind charg- 

The Wincharger Corporation produced nearly as many 
wind-powered generators as the Jacobs Wind Electric 
Companv . However, they were not as reliable because 
the governing system was not as effective. Consequently, 
high winds caused significant mechanical failure. Most 
of these systems operated at 32 volts DC rather than 
1 10 volts AC. The advantage of DC for this type of 
power was that unused power was stored in glass-cell 
lead-acid batteries for use when the wind wasn't blow- 
ing. Along with the farmstead size generators, 
Wincharger produced more than 300.000 generators 
producing 200 watts — specifically to power radios. 
These were often sold under the names of other corn- 
pan ies.'^ 

In December 1914 Torrington received the first cen- 
tral station power in Goshen County. The plant, costing 
$5,000. consisted of two 39 KVA generators, one for 
street lights and one for the town's residences.'"" Ac- 
cording to the Torrington Telegram: Lewis Austin, the 
operator, "will start the plant whenever.. ..[he] thinks it 
is dark enough to require the lights, and he will run until 

" http://\v\v\v. html. 

'' David Morris. Be Your Own Power Company (Emmaus. PA: 
Rodale. 1983). 3-8. 

'" Lisa Mirabile. ed.. International Directory of Company Histo- 
ries Vol. II (New York: St. .lames Press. 1990). 34.; General Mo- 
tors. Delco Products. (Detroit: General Motors. 1983). 2-14. 

" A flyball go\emor controls the speed of the wind generator by 
mechanically changing the propeller's pitch. As the speed increases 
the balls fly out and activate mechanical arms controlling the pitch. 

'' Tom Kivarik. Charles Pipher. and John Hurst. Wind Energy. 
(Chicago: Domus Books. 1979). 12. 

" Robert W. Righter. Wind Energy m America (Norman: Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma. 1996). 90-104. 

'■• Torrington Telegram. May 7. 1914; Sept. 17. 1914. 

Spring -2003 

midnight. He will start the Machinery at five o'clock in 
the morning and run until the sun lights the stores and 

The next power development was the Lingle Power 
Plant, a low-head h\dro facility constructed in 1918. 
operated on water supplied through penstocks tVoni the 
Gering-Fort Laramie Canal just southwest of Lingle. 
The plant was initiall\ built to suppl\ power to the elec- 
tric dragline being used to construct the canal.'" As the 
dragline moved along, power lines were extended along 
the canal and a very large extension cord connected 
the power line to the dragline. The excess power was 
marketed to the area towns while the canal was being 
built. After the canal was finished, the total output of 
the plant was sold to the local towns. The plant re- 
mained in operation until the early 1950s when there 
was sufficient and more efficient power supplied by 
the dams on the North Platte River. 

in the late 1920s, two private power companies built 
lines and supplied power to Goshen County residents. 
Mountain States Power Company served customers in 
Yoder. Veteran, and the farms and ranches along the 
transmission lines between the two towns. Wyrulec 
bought Mountain States" Goshen Count) lines on .Ian. 
1 1. 1 943. paying $18,000 for them. Some of the remain- 
ing lines of Mountain States were later sold to Pacific 
Power and Light.'' 

A second company. Western Public Service Com- 
pan\ . provided power to a considerable territorv in Ne- 
braska, but it also had lines in Wyoming, Colorado, Kan- 
sas and Missouri. Western Public Service was a sub- 
sidiary of Engineers Public Service Company, a Dela- 
ware-based utility. That firm was controlled by Stone 
and Webster, an engineering company. (These tvpes 
of holding companies were made illegal b\ the Public 
Utilities Holding Companies Act passed in the middle 
1930s). Western Public Service Company had an in- 
ternal combustion generator in LaGrange that served 
the towns of Huntley. LaGrange and Hawk Springs. 
Wyoming. Wyrulec purchased Western's lines on Feb. 
26, 1942. '« 

Throughout the early 20th century, the federal gov- 
ernment, private power companies, land grant universi- 
ties, equipment manufacturers and the American Farm 
Bureau Federation were all studying ways to make 
power more cost effective for the rural farms and com- 
munities.' " The problem was economics. The high price 
of electricity could not be brought down without greater 
power use: usage could not be increased without lower 
prices. In the Northeast, in the middle 1920s. Gov. 
Gifford Pinchot of Pennsylvania helped form success- 


ful local cooperatives. Few states were able to follow 
Pennsylvania's lead. At this time, a handful of coopera- 
tives and public power companies were being estab- 
lished in the northwestern Ihiited States. 

1 he federal government directlv entered the power 
business when on May 18. 1933. the Tennessee Valley 
Authority (TVA) act was passed. The TV A demon- 
strated that w ith federal gov ernment assistance, coop- 
eratives could bring down the costs of power to rural 
areas. This positive experience with the I VA on the 
Tennessee River set the pattern for further develop- 
ment of cooperatives in the rest of the country. 

Congressional supporters for bringing more electric- 
itv to rural areas, manv representing Midwest and West- 
ern states, at first believed that power had to be sold to 
private electrical companies, not to consumer-owned 
cooperatives. However, grassroots groups in rural ar- 
eas lobbied hard and. finally, cooperatives were fomied 
to utilize the power, selling it to rural areas. 

With momentum from establishment of the fVA. 
Congress passed a cooperative power act. The Rural 
Electrification Administration was established after 
President Franklin Roosevelt signed the enabling act on 
May 11. 1935. 

The measure had been supported bv manv Western 
and Midwestern congressmen, including Senator George 
Norris of Nebraska and Representative Sam Ravburn 
of Texas. A year later, through the efforts of Norris 
and Rayburn. the Rural Electrification Administration 
became a funded agency on May 20. 1 936. The Norris- 
Rayburn REA bill provided for loans "...for building 
electric power lines and for generating and transmitting 
electricity." Another type of loan was to enable the 
farmer to buy electrical equipment.-" To meet the rural 
needs, the program grew rapidlv. In 1935. 527 Wyo- 
ming ranches/farms had electricity. By 1939 the num- 
ber had risen to 3.300 ranches/farms.-' 

'^ Torniii^loii Tclegriini. Dec, 17. 1914. 

"' A dragline is an earth-nio\ ing machine that drags a bucket on 
the ground with a cable pulling it until it tills up \\ ith dirt. Then the 
bucket is lilted b\ the machine's boom and dumped on the edge of 
the canal and the process is repeated. 

' ' W_\ rulec contract u ith Western Public Ser\ ice Compans . .Ian. 
II. 1443. 

'" \V\ rulec contract \s ith \\ estern Public Ser\ ice Compan\ . Feb. 
16. 1942. 

''The f-arm Bureau was the predecessor to the Cooperative 
lAtension Service founded in 1914. By 1919 the Cooperati\e fix- 
tension Ser\ ice had drilled awa_\ from the Fann Bureati which be- 
came a private political entit> . 

'" Marquis Childs. The Fanner Takes A Hand (Garden Citv. 
NY: Doubleday. 1952). 69. 

■' T. A. Larson. Hisloiy oj Wyonun^ (Lincoln: Lniversitv of 
Nebraska Press. 1965). 445. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

W\oming"s first electrical cooperative was Wyrulec 
Company founded in Lingle on Oct. 9. 1936, less than 
five months after the passage of the Norris-Raybiirn 
hill. The tlve incorporators. F. R. Pearson. L. R. Brewer. 
R. V. Allen. Emery Bright, and T. J. Lisle, met in the 
Bump Building law offices of Reid and More in 
Torrington.-- They elected themselves the first direc- 
tors of the company to serve for one year or until their 
successors were elected. They voted to insert a copy 
of the articles of incorporation in the minute book, passed 
the proposed b\ laws, and placed a copy of the bylaws 
in the minute book. The incorporators agreed to apply 
for a Rural Electrification Administration loan. They 
also hired engineers and attorneys for the cooperative. 

A half-hour later, meeting as the newly created board 
of directors, they elected officers. Pearson was named 
president; Allen, vice president: Brewer, secretary/trea- 
surer. The board agreed to sell memberships to indi- 
\ iduals who chose to receive electricity from the com- 
pany, provided that the prospective customer could be 
ser\ ed by the company economically. 

.After a sample membership certificate was presented. 
appro\ ed and inserted in the minute book. L. R. Brewer 
was appointed the company's agent. Wyrulec's princi- 
pal office would be in Brewer's office in Lingle. The 
board designated Citizens National Bank of Torrington 
as the company's depository; stipulating that all checks 
be signed by either the president or vice-president and 
countersigned by the secretary-treasurer. After the 
actions of the incorporators were ratified and the incor- 
poration expenses were approved. President Pearson 
was authorized to adopt REA plans for construction of 
the distributing system. Further, he was given responsi- 
bility to complete negotiations for a loan to cover ex- 
penses and employ the necessary people, subject to 
REA approval, to complete the projects.-' Pursuant to 
Wyoming incorporation laws, they convened a third time 
that evening, as a general membership meeting to en- 
dorse earlier actions.-"* 

Less than a month after the by-laws were passed, 
the board amended them. Cash flow was a problem for 
the company . It was not reimbursing memberships until 
a new one has paid in.-' In a meeting at the Lingle 
office on November 14 the board agreed that the com- 
pany would hold membership certificates in escrow for 
each of the members. If the member ceased to take 
service from the company, he would be required to sur- 
render the certificate. Wyrulec could then sell it to the 
next qualified applicant for membership. A $5 fee would 
be collected from the new member and given to the 
departing member. The board also agreed that the by- 

laws of the company could only be amended by a super 
majority — four of the five directors had to agree on 
such a change. 

Construction plans for transmission and distribution 
lines were ready for member approval at a special meet- 
ing held at Lingle High School in mid-December. The 
first meeting failed to gain a quorum, but later in the 
month, more than two dozen members were present or 
represented by proxy. Along with the plans, they ap- 
proved a construction loan contract from the REA (in 
an amount not to exceed $29,000). To secure the loan, 
the company members voted to execute a mortgage 
note, not to exceed $29,000, at 2.77% interest for 20 
years. The members also signed the construction loan 
contract with REA, and agreed to contract for power 
from U. S. Reclamation Service in conjunction with the 
town of Lingle.-" 

After the meeting, Wyrulec prepared to construct 25 
miles of line. The project could begin as soon as the 
contracts had been signed for construction of line as 
well as a mortgage secured from the REA for the 
$29,000. The note was to be paid off at a rate of 2.77% 
per year with monthly payments for 20 years. -^ 

In March, the directors modified the power contract 
and terms of the construction loan. The permitted bor- 
rowing amount was increased by $71,000, but not to 
exceed $100,000.-'* Membership was growing rapidly. 

" Minutes of the first Board Meeting of W>rulec Company. 
October 9. 1936. 7;30 p.m. 

-'At 8:30 p.m.. at the third meeting, the board adopted the 
recommended b> laws that were appro\ed at the organization meet- 
ing. .A unanimous \ ote was taken to appro\ e the b> laws alter they 
were read section by section. Minutes. October 9. 1936. 8 p.m. 

-■• Minutes. October 9. 1936. 8:30 p.m. Attorneys Reid & More 
w ere designated al the October 27 board meeting to act as attorneys 
for the compan>' w ith the President authorized to contract with the 
attome_\s subject to REA approval. Minutes. October 27. 1936. 10 

-■ Minutes, November 14. 1936. 3 p.m. 

-'' Minutes. November 30. 1936. 8 p.m. After the board meeting, 
the December 1 4 membership meeting was called to order b> Presi- 
dent Pearson. In attendance were F. R. Pearson. L. R. Brewer. .1. H. 
Hergert. R. V. .Allen. David Greenwalt. Emer\ Bright, and Hiram D. 
Lingle. The president announced that no quorum was present so 
the meeting was adjourned until December 22. 1936. Minutes. De- 
cember 14. 1936.8 p.m. 

-' Minutes. December 22. 1 936. 8 p.m. Members present were: 
Fred .Ashenhurst: Richard Remo; .1. S. Montez: M. Lopez; B. T. 
Moorehead: Steve Whilmerl.l. V. Dana. pro\\ ): Fred Sieck: L. R. 
Brewer; G. C. Long; Fr. R. Pearson; W. H. Wagner; Dr. G. O. Hanna; 
David Greenwald; Norina L. Dupertius; Charles Morris; C. W. 
Kiser: Milton Anderson; Emery Bright; Carl J Bums; Carl Arndt: 
W. B. Knott: Donald Knott: .lohn McConnick: W. H. Nida: Hiram 
D. Lingle: Ailecn I lildreth ( Ward Hildreth. Proxy): Phillip M. Wellman 
(Ward Hildreth. proxy). 

Spring ;2003 

It was very impressive for an electrical cooperative to 
grow 300 percent in just fl\e months. 

At the second membership meeting, attended by 35 
members.-' the group ratified the board's decision to 
increase the amount that could be borrowed from 
$29,000 to $ 1 00.000. Among those attending was Hiram 
D. Lingle. the founder of Lingle.'" While membership 
continued to grow . Wn ruiec was having trouble dealing 
with the changing requirements of the REA. an agency 
less than a year old. 

Nov\ that Wyrulec could begin construction of elec- 
trical lines, the ne.xt step was to acquire right-of-wa\ 
for the lines from the landowners where the poles were 
to be placed. These included the State of W\oming. 
Goshen County, the Burlington Railroad, and a number 
of private landowners. The board also increased the 
authorized line to 53.5 miles; it would ser\e 165 mem- 
bers. With these additional members, an increase in the 
power contracted from the Bureau was necessary." 

During May 1937. Wsrulec paid bills for the first time. 
Most were for director's fees and publishing costs. With 
summer approaching, the first construction contract was 
awarded with the low bid of $55,030.10 to Donovan 
Construction Compan\ of St. Paul. Minnesota. At last 
construction was about to begin. '- 

The pace at Wyrulec was beginning to pick up in June 
and the board began holding weekl\ meetings. The board 
modified line extension polic\ . awarded a pole inspec- 
tion contract, authorized an additional loan for $33,000. 
designated an engineer, and appointed board member 
L. R. Brewer as project superintendent.'' This latter 
action posed a problem, however. Brewer could not 
serve as both director and project superintendent. Con- 
sequently, he resigned as director and the board ap- 
pointed A. J. Haeffelin as his replacement. Newly 
elected officers were R. V. Allen as president and T. .1. 
Lisle as vice-president. 

Construction seemed to be moving along, but the REA 
rejected the pole inspection bid. asserting that it was 
too high. The agency instructed the company engineer 
(paid at 4% of the construction contract) to inspect 
materials to be used by the contractor. W\ rulec took its 
first recorded loan advances — $440.23 for organiza- 
tion expenses, $550.35 for engineering services and 
$1021.12 for legal services.'^ 

The board adopted w iring and plumbing codes of the 
REA. hired Miss Elizabeth Rider as the bookkeeper 
and stenographer, approved Phil Rouse as engineer for 
the next line extension project and decided to put up 
signs during construction as required by the REA. 

At one meeting, the board was told that the REA 
insisted that the company obtain insurance." The REA 


also required Wyrulec to pay for the bonding for the 
officers. Man\ members thought the RHA's in\olve- 
iiicnt in W_\rulec's business was becoming onerous, but 
as others saw it. to loan these large amounts of money 
to unsuperv ised cooperatives w ithout financial histories 
could have been disastrous for the new federal agency.'" 

fhe number of Goshen farmers interested in "hook- 
ing up" continued to increase. In September, the board 
authorized taking out a new loan, this one for $156,000 
at 2.88% for 20 years, for the construction of an addi- 
tional 150 miles of line. The addition would bring the 
total sxstem line length to 204 miles. All three loans 
now totaled $2 1 8.000 so the board raised the maximum 
mortgage amount to $1,000,000.'' The engineer re- 
quested approval for line extensions of more than 1 .000 
feet for A. Gobble. L. E. Harriman. H. Eisenbarth. U. 
K.ubo. E. Bright and Mark Carson. 

Wyrulec took on the role of electrical inspector, and 
the board recommended that Oliver Wendell Holmes 
of Yoder be engaged for the dut\.'' The company 

■'" Minutes. March 16. 1937. 10 a.m. 

'" Emer\ Bright. George VVunder. Jacob Kreig. 1.. .1. I oiikin. 1 , .1. 
1 isle, .lohn Walters. J. V. Dana. lr\in. Hoitsnia. R. V, .Allen. L, R. 
Brewer. F. R. Pearson. R. N. Panics. .1 L. Maricy. H. H. Wagoner. 
Carl ,1, Bums. Donald Knott. \\ . B. Knott. Maurice .1. 0\ley. Carl 
Arndt. Lottie M. Craig. C. C. Shepard. Fred Sieck. Herman Uamel 
(Adm. Est. A. .1. Phillips). A. C. Long. 11. S. Kirk. Clark 11, Smith. 
Iliram D. Lingle. Da\ id (Ireenwald. Norma 1 nupertius. C. H. 
0\lc>. C). A, Curr\. Homer ()\lc\. Br. C. (), llanna. lohn 

"Minutes. March 31. 1937. 8 p.m. 

' Minutes. April 13. 1937. lOa.m. 1 he Bureau ot Reclamation 
was the power supplier to W_\ rulec. Fhe power source was h\dro 
power from dams located in Wyoming 

'- Minutes. Ma\ 4. 14. 1937, 

" Minutes, .lune 7. 1 1. 22. 3t). 1937. 

'•• Minutes. July 27. 1937, 

^' Minutes. September 25. 1937, 

"' Minutes. September I. 1937, At this meeting, the board 
adopted a resolution pa\ ing the directors S3 per meeting and 5 
cents per mile to and I'roni the meetings, beginning June 1. 1937. 
I he total amount paid to directors was not to exceed S35 per month 
and payment was to end with conclusion of the construclion loan 

''On the same da_\ at 4 p ni,. the hoard had another meeting. The 
salary for Wsrulec's office secretary. Elizabeth Rider, was set at 
$61) per month, io perform her duties, she needed considerable 
office equipment, including a card tiling cabinet, steel legal-sized 
filing cabinet, a t\ pewriter. two boxes of carbon paper, four sets of 
steel tab indices, four packages of miscellaneous folders, alphabeti- 
cal indexes. 1(10 legal-sized folders and gummed labels. Falbert T_\ pe- 
writer I'xchange offered to furnish the entire package for 5229,90. 

" Minutes. September 25. 1937, He was to be paid $1.50 per 
inspection containing six openings or less and ten cents for each 
additional drop or opening with the maximum price to be charged of 
$2,50.and$i additional for each reinspection, Ifthe contractor was 
on the premises, then he was to pa\ the charges. Otherwise, the 
homeowner would be responsible for the bill. 


Annals of Wyoming; The Wyoming History Journal 

needed a means to record member usage for billing 
purposes. Consequently. Wyrulec purchased 1 59 of the 
REA-approved watt-hour meters." 

Wyrulec had been managed to that point by the offic- 
ers and board. It was time to hire a manager, who would 
be particularly important for taking over when the sys- 
tem was energized. After review ing seven applications, 
the board hired Grover Hartman at a salary of $ 1 25 per 

Line construction had reached close to 1 50 miles by 
October and the board met to set electrical rates. After 
some discussion the following rates were authorized: 

Over 200 KWH 

7 1/2 cents per KWH 
4 cents per KWH 
2 1/2 cents per KWH 
2 cents per KWH 

Wyrulec had to charge a minimum of $3 per month, 
the board concluded. It also modified the bylaws to re- 
duce the meter deposit from $ 1 to $6.^' 

At the November 1 board meeting, the president and 
manager were given the responsibility of estimating the 
average monthly income and expenses for the REA. 
taking into account construction contracts. "*- 

The REA officials told the board that the rates set at 

'" Five bids were received. The Westinghouse and General Elec- 
tric meters were bid at S1673.I8 while the one bid for Sangamore 
meters was for $1751.74. Considering the delivery time, the bid 
was awarded to Mine & Smelter Supply Company of Denver for 
the Westinghouse meters. The board considered the fact that 
Westinghouse equipment was used on the construction project. 

^" The seven applicants were Grover C. Hartman. .1. .1. Eddington. 
Cl\ de Matlock. Charles Simmons. J. B. Spurgeon. Martin Wilbum. 
and Walter Roshong. Hartman. Eddington. Matlock and Simmons 
were present at the meeting to be interviewed. The board went into 
their tlrst executive session and chose the top three candidates. The 
tlrst choice was Grover C. Hartman; second was .1. .1. Eddington; 
third was Clyde Matlock. Minutes. September 29. 1937. 

" Minutes. October 1 1. 1937. At the October 1 1 board meeting 
the stenographer was instructed to write letters to all workers about 
requesting their receipt books be forwarded to the Wyrulec office so 
the solicitation of members can be brought up to date. Membership 
forms were being developed by the president and superintendent. 
J. M. Roushar was hired as the attorney on the 1 50 mile line project. 

■*- Minutes. Nov. 1. 1937. Superintendent Brewer was autho- 
rized to direct Reid& More to turn over all easements, minutes, seal 
and other records to their successor .1. M. Roushar. Brewer was 
instructed to pay Roushar $381.72 and to negotiate the legal rates 
for other matters w ith him. 

'■' Minutes. November 1 1. 1937. 

" Wyoming 6 Goshen. Examining Division Project Control 
Record. REA. 

'' REA form F1-2R (10/21/37). Wyrulec Company Monthly 
Operation Report. Decetnber. 1937. 

^" Minutes. May 8. 1941. 

Wyrulec 's display uj clecincul appliances, c. I Viy 

Spriny; -2003 

the October 1 1 meeting were too low to cover expenses. 
Consequently, tiie next month, tiie board approved higher 

First 40 KWH per month $3.75 per month 

Next 40 KWH per month 5 cents per KWH 

Next 120 KWH per month 3 cents per KWH 

Over 200 KWH per month 2 cents per KWH'' 

W_\ruiec energized its lines and began to serve its 
members/owners on December 4. 1937. one year and 
two months after the formation of the cooperative. It 
had experienced tremendous growth. It had gone from 
no debt to $2 18.000: from no lines to 204 miles of line: 
and from no members to 555 members. '^ 

But when the power was first sent into the lines, the 
entire membership was not completel\ connected to 
electricity. At the end of December 1937, Wyrulec had 
101 connected consumers. The gross incoine was 
$604.00. the total operating expenses were $353.59 and 
the interest paid to the REA was $1 1 1.24 with a net 
incomeof $159.1 7.^' 

Over the next few years. Wyrulec board meetings 
were highlighted b\ the attendance of rural residents 
wanting electrical power from the cooperative. A long 
list of indi\ iduals appeared in the minutes as being ap- 
proved as members of the coop. "A delegation of thiily 
men and women from LaGrange and the surrounding 
country met with the Board, requesting that lines be 
built and electric ser\ ice furnished them. Mr. Cham- 
berlain, representing the delegation, explained their mis- 
sion. Mr. Morgan [Wyrulec's manager] explained the 
cost of building the lines."'" (Chamberlain had been 
one of the petitioners to Western Public Service Com- 
pany to bring power to LaGrange in 1928). As a result 
of the meeting with the LaGrange individuals, the board 
began negotiating with Western Public Service for the 
purchase of the LaGrange electrical system and its at- 
tached lines. 

The REA gave cooperatives the responsibility to edu- 
cate its owners about the possible uses of electricity. 
In 1941 Wyrulec's board postponed the annual meeting 
from Februai7 10. 1942. until May 5, 1942, because the 
"...REA offer[s] a traveling demonstration which will 
have electro-econoiTiy, food for defense demonstrations, 
moving picture[s] and other desirable featurers 
[sic]...""" At a previous Wyrulec meeting, the board 
had "RESOLVED, that the Wyrulec Company apply to 
the Administration for a loan in the amount of 
$22,500.00[sic] under Section 5 of the Rural Electrifi- 
cation Act to be used for the following purposes: (a) 
$ 1 5,000.00 to finance the wiring of the premises of ap- 


System Statistics" 



KWH Sold 

Miles of Line 












1 . 1 69 

















proximately 150 consumers of the Cooperative, (b) 
$1 7.500.00 to finance that [sic] purchases and installa- 
tion of plumbing appliance and equipment by approxi- 
mately 400 of such consumers."'" Not only was Wyrulec 
involved in selling and demonstrating appliances, it was 
helping the rural residents modernize and it was financ- 
ing these improvements with aid from the REA. 

At the 1 945 annual meeting. "Mr. Dick Isaac, a rep- 
resentative from the Westinghouse Co. gave a very in- 
teresting discourse for about an hour on maintenance. 
use and care of electrical appliance[s]. He further states 
that since 1942 all of the Westinghouse plants had been 
in the service of the United States for making various 
war materials and that the\ were unable to furnish any 
of the appliances that he so earnestK advocated and 
recommended. His address was very interesting and 
instructive.""" Westinghouse and Wyrulec were doing 
their part for the war effoil. 

After World War II ended. Wyrulec had growth simi- 
lar to the rest of the United States. The REA was balk- 
ing at lending funds to the coops w hose boundaries were 
not defined. This pushed Wyrulec and neighboring coops 
and public power districts to work together to define 
their boundaries. Roosevelt Public Power District" and 
Wyrulec had minor scrapes over who should serve ad- 
jacent territory at the Nebraska- Wvoming state line. 
There were other boundary issues: "Superintendent 
Lorenzen stated that he was trying to get approv al upon 
the ultimate boundary map, and read a letter from 
R.E.A. concerning the reason for delav in approval; 
they want agreement with the Pine Bluffs Project on 
the Banner Count) boundaries.""- The result was that 
the service territories were defined in both Wyoming 
and Nebraska. 

" Minutes. Deconihcr 4. 1941. 1:30 p.m. 

" Wyrulec System Statistics. 

''' Minutes. November 6. 1941 . 

"' Minutes. April 13. 1945. I 1:00 a.m. 

'' Public Power Districts are quasi-go\enimental entities that are 
formed under Nebraska Law. The> borrowed from the REA Just 
like cooperatives, but they had the advantage ot'ta\ free tlnancing. 

'- Minutes. August II. 1948. 1:30 p.m. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

As the coop matured, it began operating as a utility. 
In 1950 Wyrulec began safety training for its employ- 
ees in conjunction with other Wyoming rural electrics 
and continued to meet the REA's construction standards 
for its borrowers. The same year a capital credit plan 
was approved by the membership that allowed the co- 
operatives" net earnings to be credited to each member 
in proportion to usage. These plans typically rotated 
capital on a 20-year basis with the early years' earn- 
ings being refunded first. This allowed the coop to use 
the 20 years of earnings as equity for borrowing and 
operating purposes. 

By this time Wyrulec decided to build its own office 
and shop. Approval was obtained and the REA's plan 
#K-1 1647 was selected with the "service area be in- 
creased in width and in length to a minimum length of 
65 feet."^' The building was finished in the summer of 
1 952 with air-conditioning installed. An open house fea- 
turing the all-electric demonstration kitchen was held 
from 2-9 p.m. on July 30, 1952. 

In January 1955 Wyrulec purchased the Bureau of 
Reclamation transmission line from Guernsey to Lingle 
for $ 1 840. This line was needed for growth in the sys- 
tem. Their loan limit from the REA was increased to 
$5,000,000 in December, 1956. Because of this growth, 
in June 1957 Wvrulec assigned their Bureau contract to 



L. R. Brewer 
Grover C. Hartman 
Hayden Morgan 
Lawerence Lorenzen 
Ivan M. Whipple 
.lames A. Hudelson 

1937 - 2003 

Years of Service 

June 6. 1937-September29. 1937 
September 29. 1937-June20, 1939 
June 20. 1939-May 17. 1942 
May 17. 1942-July 23.1946 
.luly 23. 1946-July 9. 1952 
July 9. 1952-May 30. 1976 
May 30. 1976-Present 
From: Wyrulec Company Statistics. 

Tri-State Generation & Transmission Company and be- 
came an "all requirements" member of Tri-State. '■* 

With the increased tensions worldwide and the ad- 
vent of the cold war, missile sites were being constructed 
around Cheyenne's Warren AFB. This directly affected 
Wyrulec's service area and increased the electric load. 
An Atlas missile site was constructed near Meridan, 
Wyoming, in 1960 and many Minuteman missile sites 
were built within Wyrulec's territory in the ensuing 
years. These sites demanded heavier lines and these 
lines helped Wyrulec deliver power to other new loads 
on the system. 

"' Minutes September 1 1. 
'•• Minutes. December. 8. 
1957;,lanuar\ 14. I960. 


1954: December 13. 1956: June 


Wyrulec 's office and shops were constructed in 1952 

Spring L'003 

In its first 40 years Wyrulec gained many new con- 
sumers, sold substantiallN more kilouatt-liours of elec- 
tricity, and strung many more miles of line, including a 
portion of Scotts Bluff and Banner counties in Nebraska. 
an area which was not being served b\ the Nebraska 
rural electric companies. 

To protect the interests of W\rulec"s consumers, the 
cooperative Joined with other electrical cooperatives to 
fonn organizations to represent themselves in the state- 
wide, regional and national arena. At the state level, the 
Wyoming Rural Electric Association was formed bv 
cooperatives in 1 94 1 to aid the parent organizations in 
lobbying before the state legislature and to coopera- 
tively join to furnish such serv ices as the U'yomifig Riinil 
Electric News and statew ide safetv training. Wv rulec. 
having lines in Nebraska, also Joined a similar organiza- 
tion known at the Nebraska Rural Electric Association 
founded in 1935 by the rural public powerdistricts. On 
a regional basis, the Midwest Electric Consumers As- 
sociation was formed in 1958 to represent the prefer- 
ence power'' users of a nine-state region. Nationall\ 
the National Rural Electric Association was formed in 
1942 to represent nearly 1.000 cooperatives and rural 
public power districts at the federal government level. 
The association not onlv lobbied the U. S. Congress on 
rural electrical matters, it was also involved in training 
and management consulting for its members.'" 

On December 17. 1 95 1 . a group of cooperatives and 
public power districts met to found Tri-State Genera- 
tion and Transmission Association. The Bureau of Rec- 
lamation told those gathered that the power supply situ- 
ation was not good for the region. Rural electric repre- 
sentatives, gathered at this and subsequent meetings, 
decided to Jointly commission a study on power needs. 
After several more meetings, proposed articles of in- 
corporation were approved for an umbrella organiza- 
tion founded to supply power. The Bureau felt that it 
would run out of power by 1 955 and they wanted pref- 
erence customers to guarantee their power purchases. 
The REA wanted a regional incorporated entity to lend 
money for the development of power supply. On May 
19, 1952, Tri-State became an official corporation or- 
ganized under the laws of the state of Colorado. The 
board consisted of three directors from each of the states 
of Colorado. Wyoming and Nebraska, with provisional 
directors becoming permanent directors. On February 
1 3. 1 953. at the first annual meeting. Oscar Yoder from 
Wyrulec was elected to Tri-State" s board of directors 
as one of the three directors from Wyoming."' Yoder 
served on the board from 1953-1971. holding the posi- 
tion of board secretary from 1 954- 1 962, and board trea- 
surer from 1954-1958. 


At the same time the private power industry was try- 
ing to obtain preference power from the Bureau of Rec- 
lamation so there were hearings and many battles be- 
tween the public and private sectors of the power in- 
dustrv . During 1 953. Tri-State decided to proceed v\ ith 
a loan application from the REA to build a 40-mega- 
watt (MW) pov\er plant in Pine Bluffs. Wvoming. and 
to contract with the Bureau of Reclamation for93 MW 
of firm power and 38 MW of seasonal power.'" Even- 
tually, Tri-State signed a master contract with the Bu- 
reau of Reclamation enabling it to take power for all its 
members. This allowed fordiversity of loads within Tri- 
State and allowed the cooperatives to contract for Bu- 
reau power through Tri-State without as much risk."' 

The power shortage the bureau projected did not 
materialize until theearlv 1970s. Instead of building its 
own power plant, f ri-State contracted to purchase 200 
MW of power from Basin Electric, a "super G&T." 
(A super G&T is a generation and transmission com- 
panv that supplies power only to other generation and 
transmission companies). Tri-State built its own facilitv. 
the AC-DC tie"" at Stegall. Nebraska, which became 
operational on Dec. 7. 1976. 

With projected growth in irrigation load. Tri-State and 
three other regional suppliers contracted in August 1973 
to build the Yampa Project in Craig. Colo., w ith Colo- 
rado-Ute G&T as the operator. Tri-State"s share was 
24 percent of units one and two. Both units went on line 
in 1 980 w ith Tri-State taking 203 M W of the power. 

In September 1975 si.\ utilities formed the Missouri 
Basin Power Project with Basin Electric as the opera- 
tor. Tri-State" s share was 24 percent. The project, near 
Wheatland. Wyo., was completed in 1 982 w ith Tri-State 
receiving 398 M W of power. 

" Municipals and RI^.A cooperatives ha\ c preference in bu\ ing 
power from the Bureau of Reclamation, thus the term "preference 

"National Rural Electric Cooperative .Association. Peopte-Their 
Power (Washington. D. C: National Rural Flectric Cooperative 
Association. 1980). 106-109. 

'■ Mark Dow ling. Iransforming the past, .uito the future. (Den- 
\er: I ri-State Generation and Transmission .Assoc. Inc.. 1993). I- 

'" .'\ megawatt of power will furnish elcctricit\ lor approvi- 
mateh l.OUO homes. 

"' Dow ling. 4-15. 

"The eastern and western electrical grids were constructed and 
tied together separateK . I he_\ cannot be connected directK because 
the clectricit> is not in phase. To match the phases, the power on 
one side of the grid is conserted to DC power and then the phases 
matched and the power reconverted to AC power on the other grid. 
Iri-States' .AC-DC tie allows 100 MW of power to tlow either 
wa_\ across the grid allowing the transfer of power from either grid, 
thus helping to sa\ethe building of a plant or the purchase of power 
on the spot market. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Many problems plagued Tri-State in the ensuing years. 
Tri-State based its load growth on the members' data 
which was too optimistic, and at the same time, the 
agricultural economy fell into a slump and the projected 
irrigation growth never materialized. 

Surpluses caused rate increases in the 20 percent 
range for all of Tri-State"s territory. There were hard 
times for both the distribution and the G & T coopera- 
tives. The pattern of year-to-year kilowatt-hour sales 
growth that had held for Wyrulec"s first 40 years 
changed after 1978. Since then, Wyrulec has e.xperi- 
enced no growth in kilowatt-hour sales. In fact, there 
has been a significant decline. Goshen County has an 
agricultural-based economy with little income from other 
sources. As the county goes, so goes Wyrulec, and its 
electrical load pattern. Other factors such as energy 
conservation, pipeline pumping and irrigation have also 
had an effect over the years. 

But there were positive aspects, because the coop- 
eratives own the plants that now produce the cleanest 
and cheapest coal power in the United States. Through- 
out the years of growth and into the decline of electric 
usage, these plants have helped the cooperatives meet 
their load requirements. 

Since its inception, the production of electricity has 
helped fuel the growth in the rural areas. The changes 
taking place today in the country do not have nearly the 
impact that the REA had in the 1 930s. Nonetheless, the 
millions oftonsofcoal being hauled daily through Goshen 
County, to fuel power plants throughout the United 
States, provide a source of jobs for local residents. The 
monetary effect of the Union Pacific Railroad and the 
Burlington Northern Santa Fe on the local economy is 
very great, and indirectly electricity is again having an 
impact on Goshen County. 

Electricity might have moved into the rural areas with- 
out the REA, but it would have been at a far slower 
pace, and it would have been more expensive. The 
cooperatives nationwide have done an immeasurable 
service for the rural areas. With its cost-based rates 
and its capital credits that it pays to its members, Wyrulec 
fulfills the REA's original purpose of providing reliable 
electrical power to it owners at the lowest price consis- 
tent with good business practices. In the days of na- 
tional scandal in the private power community, the eth- 
ics of public power producers stand alone at the top of 
the utility industry poised to meet the electricity demands 
of the 21st century. 



F.R. Pearson 
L.R. Brewer 
Emery Bright 
T.J. Lisle 
J.F. Zimmerer 
George F. Haas 
Clyde Yelk 

Paul Dupertis 
Hugh Stemler 

E. G. Phelps 
Glenn Hertzler 
George D. Dunean 
Grover Cameron 
Oscar Yoder 
Edward J. Baldwin 
Carl Quo 
Wayne A. Riggs 
Howard A. Haas 
Kenneth Pursley 
Jack R. Preston 
William J. Motsick 
Calvin E. Hoy 

F. E. Wolski 
Larry N. Lamb 
Robert Yiek 
Kerry Kiltv 

Years of Service District 


From: Wvrulec 

- 1937 

- 1938 

- 1937 

- 1938 

- 1939 

- 1946 

- 1973 

- 1948 

- 1945 

- 1972 

- 1951 

- 1948 

- 1950 

- 1951 

- 1976 

- 1967 

- 1978 

- 1983 

- 1973 

- 1994 

- 1987 

- 1981 

- Present 

- Present 

- 1989 

- Present 

- 1991 

- Present 















The author graduated fi-om the University of 
Denver and he is a M. A. candidate in history 
at the University of Wyoming. Wyrulec Com- 
pany provided electricity to the family farm 
when the author was seven years old. In 1978 
he was elected to Wyrulec 's board of directors 
and continues to serve as the Nebraska direc- 
tor. He is past president of the Nebraska Rural 
Electric Association, and past director of Tri- 
State G & T. He is serving as President of the 
Nebraska State Historical Society. He was one 
of the founders of the Farm and Ranch Museum 
(FARM) in Gering, Nebraska. Agricultural his- 
tory is his specialty. 

Spring '2003 

Letter to the Editor 

I grew up in Gillette and have poked around in Gillette's 
historv', so may I invite you to Join me in "reading"" the photo- 
graph of the east side of Gillette's Main Street published in 
the Autumn 2002 issue*^ 

The shadows show the sun is getting low in the sky. either 
late in the afternoon or even into the early evening in those 
pre-daylight savings time days. The leaves on the trees es- 
tablish that it is mid- to late summer. Two conclusions could 
be hazarded from that little infomiation: the absence of people 
on the street might suggest that they are home for the evening 
meal, and that it is a weekday. Whether simplv summer or 
sveekdav. either way those engaged in ranching activities 
would not likeh be in tow n. 

The photo shows cluses toward a time period when the 
photo may have been made. One is the building on the right, 
the first shown on the east side of the street. It appears to be 
made of brick, and. if so. that puts the photo after I ''00. even 
possibly as late as 1910. That particular building appears to 
be the one I knew in my childhood as Gates Men"s Wear, later 
my father"s Stag Shoppe; it is the building now across the 
street on the northeast corner opposite the old post office. 

The hitching rail outside that building suggests that autos 
were not in prevalent usage yet— but in Gillette, that can be as 

late as the 1920s, at least the earl> part of the 1920s I know 

from my research that when the railroad arrived, there was 
not a single tree anywhere around. On the left side of the 
photo, a tree tops the building it is beside— and that building 
is uncommonly tall, more than a single story, puttmg that 
particular tree somewhere between 10-15 feet tall. Pretty much 
in the center of the photo is a tree located outside a business- 
-its size in relation to the trees in the background suggest it is 
relatively newly planted, but it is already as high or higher 
than the false store front, again 10-15 feet high. The other 
trees at the northern end of the stree are clustered in the 

vicinity of the railroad depot if we surmise that a tree might 

grow a foot per year, that would place this photo about 20 
years after the founding of Gillette--roughK 1913 or so. It 
would be incredibly unlikely that this is a photo of Gillette in 
the period of the 1 890s. As the railroad moved on. businesses 
closed-and their buildings dismantled to be reassembled at 
the next anticipated end of the railroad. There could not have 
been so many standing buildings in Gillette after the railroad 
moved on! That alone dates the picture after 1900. The extent 
of the development more points to a period after 1910. A 
tighter frame for the photo w ould be 1915-1 920.... 

If I am correct about that brick building's location, what is 
extremely frustrating is the absence of a photo of the facility 
due east of it (due east of the old Gates Men's Wear), it was 
the stable and office of the stageline. originally from Moorcroft 
to Buffalo, hence to Sheridan, with its eastern point dictated 
by where the railroad ended construction for the season. 
That facility enters into the lynching of Tom Waggoner and 
also into the Johnson County War. 

Days before the stageline was to begin its operations from 


Moorcroft. its entire herd of horses was stolen-and not one 
word was ever reported of those horses being returned. Yet, 
when the stageline went into bankruptcv. a driver who had 
been with the line since its beginning testified the stage horses 
then were identical to the horses the stage line began w ith— 
on time. But. meanwhile. Joe Eliot had arrested one of the 
horse thieves up on the Crow reservation. Two nights before 
Waggoner was killed. Eliot and his prisoner were in Buffalo 
en route to Newcastle where the prisoner was deposited in 
jail the da\ Waggoner was killed. It was reported at the time 
that men w ere seen rounding up horses on Waggoner"s ranch- 
-and the next day. as memorv serves, the stage line began 
operations w ith the horses it had owned all along, the horses 
which had been stolen-and which, somehow, rematerialized 
just in time for operations to begin. 

But this gets more fascinating because of the excuses given 
for the Johnson County War was that homesteaders 
('"thieves") were stealing the cattlemen blind, selling beef to 
the railroad construction crews. The man who had the con- 
tract to suppK beef to the railroad construction crews vsas 
the owner of that stage line. After he committed suicide in 
Clearmont and the line was in bankruptc\ . cattle hides from 
that operation were recovered from a facilitv he had near 
Rozet-more than enough hides to have fed everx railroad 
construction w orker quite well during the entire construction 
season. And during the Johnson Countv War. the stage line"s 
co-owner and manager rode as a deputv sheriff-at the back 
of the Johnson Counts sheriff, a wondrous position remem- 
bering the statge line"s affinitv for Joe Eliot and Eliot"s em- 
plovers, the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association. Every 
ounce of beef tdhat made it into railroad construction work- 
ers" bellies passed through the hands of the stage coach 
line"s ow ners. both of whom had a curious relationship with 
the a known agent of the WSGA. And if those cattle had 
been stolen, the stage line had every one of the hides on 

And a major component of all that is just off the photo 
behind that brick building on the east side of Gillette"s main 
street. Or was. The stable and office were likely long gone 
before the photo was taken. 

Roger Hawthorne 
Milwaukee. Wisconsin 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 


AC electricity 26 

Accidents and disease, miners 5 

Acme Coal 4 

Akagal^i. S. 5 

Aiders. Kester 14 

Akimoto. Mrs. - 6 

Alger Station 3 

Alien Land Law 3 

Allen. R. V. 28. 29 

American Farm Bureau Fed, 27 

.Austin. Lewis 26 

Ban Company 4. 7 

Ban. Shinzaburo 3 

Basin Electric 9. 33 

Beeds. Edward 26 

Black Hills Generation 1 1 

Blansk). Bertha Clara 7 

Bonneville Power Adm 1 1 

Brewer. L. R. 28. 29 

Bright. Emery 28. 29 

Brush-Swan Electric Light Co 

25. 26 
Buffalo Bill Dam 1 1 
Bureau of Reclamation 

8. 11. 33. transmission line 

Burlington Northern Santa Fe 34 
Bumham and Root 17 
Burnham. David 17 
Carey. Joseph M 17 
Carson. Mark 29 
central station power 26 
Chamberlain. Mr. - 31 
Champion & Shannon chapel 6 
Cheyenne Club 25 
Chicago. Burlington & Quincy 

railroad 2 
Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 3 
Citizens National Bank 28 
City beautification 1 7 
City Beautiful movement 1 7 
Clarke. George 8. 10. 12 
coal miners. Japanese 4 
Colorado River Storage Project 8 
Colorado-Ute G&T 33 
Congdon. Chester 18 
Craig. Colo. 33 
Davton Engineering Laboratories 

Company (Deico) 26 
Delco Farm Lighting System 26 
Dietz Mine 7 

Donovan Construction Co. 29 
Downing. A. J. 15. 16. 20 
Dunham. Jim 12. 14 
Edison. Thomas 25 
Eisenbarth. H. 29 
electric power 25 
electrical cooperative, first 

Wyoming 28 
electrical lines, construction of 

Eliot. Charles 17 
Emergency Hospital 5 
Engineers Public Service Co. 27 
English Landscape Gardening 

School 15 
Equeki. Mrs. - 6 
Fairbank. Chandler 18 
First Boston Corporation 12 

Frank, George 14 

Frederick Law Olmsted & Co. 

gambling 4 
General Electric 26 
"Gentlemen's Agreement" 2 
Georgen. Cynde (author). 

"Subjects of the Mikado," 2- 

7; (bio, 7) 
Gering-Fort Laramie Canal 27 
Gillette, Wyo. 1 1 
Gobble. A. 29 
Goshen County 25-34 
Haeffelin. A, J. 29 
Hamilton. Al 12 
Harriman. L. E. 29 
Harrison. Jack 14 
Hartman. Grover 30 
Harvard University 17 
Hawk Springs, electricity in 27 
Herschler. Ed 10 
"History of Electricity in Rural 

Goshen County" 25-34 
Holmes. Oliver Wendell 29 
Honda. K 3 
Hosaki. J. 4 

Hot Springs State Park 23 
Howe. Michael, (author). "The 

Wyoming Municipal Power 

Agency: The Early Years." 8- 

14. (bio. 14) 
Huntley, electricity in 27 
Hyrayama. R. 5 
immigrants. Sheridan County 2 
Immigration and Naturalization 

service 3 
Integrated Service Contract 10 
Inter Ocean Hotel 25 
Isaac, Dick 31 
Jacobs. Marcellus 26 
Jacobs Wind Electric Co. 26 
Japanese 2-7 
Japanese Billiard Parlor 4 
Japanese coal miners 4 
Japanese Foreign Service 3 
Japanese Hotel 4 
Japanese labor 2 
"Japtoun" 2. 4 
Joint Powers Act 10. 11 
Joint Powers Board 14 
Jones. R M, 25 
Kawamoto. .Anna and Tadaichi 

(photo) 7 
Kawamoto. Grace 7 
Kayama. H. 5 
Kendrick, John B. 17, 18 
Kendrick Park 22 
Kettering, C. F. 26 
Koyama, Y. 4 
Kubo. U. 29 

LaGrangc. electricity in 27, 31 
"Landscape Architecture of 

Morell and Nichols, Sheridan. 

1911-1914." 15-24 
Laramie, first electricity in 25 
Laramie River Station 

9. 10, 12 
Larson, T. A. 17 
Leavitt, Charles W. 18 
Lingle. Wyo. 28 
LIngle. Hiram D 29 

Lingle Power Plant 27 
Lisle, T. J. 28. 29 
Loucks. H A 22 
"Macaroni Flats." 4 
Mahoney, John F. (author). 

"Landscape Architecture of 

Morell and Nichols. Sheridan, 

1911-1914." 15-24: (bio, 24) 
Masaki, 1. 5 
Massachusetts Institute of 

Technology 18 
MBPP Management Committee. 

I 1 
McCarran-Walter Act 7 
Meridan. Wyo. 32 
Midwest Electric Consumers 

Assoc. 33 
Mikieda. K. 5 
Minuteman missile sites. 

electricity to 32 
Missouri Basin Power Project 

9. 10. 33 
modes of landscape gardening 16 
Monarch. Wyo. 7 
Monument Vallev Park 18 
Morell and Nichols 

15, 18, 21. 23 
Morell, Anthony Urbanski 18 
Mount Hope Cemetery 3, 6 
Mountain States Power Co, 27 
Munesato, Sam 6, 7 
National Cash Register (NCR) 26 
National Origins Quota Act 3 
National Rural Electric Assoc. 

Natural Style 15 
Nebraska Public Power District 

Nebraska Rural Electric Assoc. 

Nebraska/Wyoming disputes 14 
Nichols. Arthur R. 18 
Norris. George 27 
Norris- Raybum REA bill 27 
North Dakota state capitol 19 
Ohashi. S 5 
Okazaki. U, 6 
Olmsted. Frederick Law 1 7 
Otani, Tom 6 
Otoni, S, 6 

Pacific Power and Light 10, 27 
Pearson, F, R, 28 
Pergola 21-22 
Petros, Stanley 7 
Pine Bluffs, Wyoming 33 
Pioneer Park 23 
Plant Siting Council 12 
Post. George B. 1 8 
Preston, Jack R. (author). 

"History of Electricity in 

Rural Goshen County," 25- 

34; (bio, 34) 
Public Service Commission 10 
Public Utilities Holding Compa- 
nies Act 27 
R.W Beck Associates 14 
Racial intermarriage 7 
Raybum, Sam 27 
Reed and Champion funeral 

homes 5 
Reid and More 28 
Rider. Elizabeth 29 

Rockefeller. John D.. 18 

Roosevelt. Franklin D.. signs 
REA act 27 

Roosevelt Public Power District 

Rouse. Phil 29 

rural electric cooperatives 1 1 

Rural Electrification Act of 1936 
25, 31 

Rural Electrification Administra- 
tion (REA) 25-31 

S, Ban Company 3 

Salomon Brothers 12 

San Yo Hotel 4 

Sheridan County, Japanese in 2-7 

Sheridan High School 7 

Sheridan-Wyoming Coal 4 

Simpson, Alan 10 

Spanish Influenza epidemic of 
1918 5 

Stegall, Nebraska, 33 

Stone and Webster 27 

"Subjects of the Mikado: Sheridan 
County's Japanese Commu- 
nity," 2-7 

Suchiro, F, M, 3 

suicide 6 

Sumida House 4 

Sumimoto, S, 5 

Swan's grocery 6 

Takahashi, Teizo 5 

Terasaki, M. 3 

Torrington 12 

Torrington, first electricity in 26 

Trail End Location and Grading 
Plan 16, 20 

Trail End State Historic Site 
15, 18 

Tri-State Generation & Trans- 
mission Company 9, 32 

Tri-State Generation and 

Transmission Association 33 

Typhoid 5 

Uchigama, M. 5 

Vail.J H 25 

Warren. Francis E 17 

Wehrman. Keith 18 

West Springfield. Mass, 18 

Western Public Service 27. 31 

Westinghouse 26 

Wheatland 10. 12 

Wincharger Corporation 26 

wind chargers 25 

World's Columbian Exposition 
15. 17 

Wyoming Association of 
Municipalities 14 

"Wyoming Municipal Power 
Agency: The Early Years." 8- 

Wyoming Municipal Power 
Agency 8. 9. 14 

Wyoming Rural Electric Assoc. 

Wyoming Rural Electric News 33 

Wyrulec Company 25-34 

Yakamura. Herbert 5 

Yampa Project 33 

Yoder. Oscar 33 

Yoder. Wyo. 29 

Indexed bv Phil Roberts 

Wyoming Picture 

From Photographic Collections 
in Wyoming 

Agnes Wright Spring collection. American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming 

The huililiii^ piciiircJ is ihc Fillmore, ll'yoiiilni;. post uffiee and "Jepol " //; Albany County SaiJ lo he ihe smallest post 
off iee depot in the world, the strueture was built by George Wright as a ptaee to store mail bags. Some years later, the 
freight box (right) was plaeed next to it for freight arriving on the Laramie. Hahn 's Peak and Paeifie Railroad. Wright 
was the fiilher of noted historian .Agnes Wright Spring and Raehel .Ann Wright Fish 

Join the Wyoming State Historical Society., 
and your local historical society chapter 

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. ""Wyo- 
ming History News."" and the opportunity to receive in- 
forniation about and discounts for various Society activi- 

The Soeiety also weleomes speeial gifts and memorials. 

Special membership categories are available: 
Contributing: $100-249 
Sustaining: $250-4W 
Patron: $500-9W 

Donor: $1,000 + 

For information about membership in the 'yoming Stale 
Historieal Soeiety and infirmation about loeal ehapters, 

Judy West, Society Coordinator 

Wyoming State Historical Society 

P1\1B# 184 

1740H Dell Range Blvd. 

Cheyenne WY 82009-4945 


finals of 


The Wyoming History Journal 

Summer 2003 

Vol. 75, No. 3 

The Cover Art 

''Devils Tower*' 

By Dave Paulley 
An oil painting in the collection of paintings commissioned to commemorate the 
Wyoming Centennial of Statehood, it is owned by the Wyoming State Historical 
Society and held in the collections of the Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne. 

The paint ing of Devils Tower shows a parachute drifting down onto the rock formation in northeast- 
ern Wyoming. On Oct. 7, 79-//, George Hopkins intentionally parachuted to the top of Devils 
ToMer in order to win a bet. The stunt turned serious, however, M'hen he found he could not get 
down. For six days, he remained stranded until eight rescuers reached him. despite the heavy 
rain and icy cold. 

Note from the Editor 

Thank you for reading Annals over the past 
eight years. 1 have had the opportunity to edit 
this journal during much of that time. With 
this issue, I take what may be a temporar>' 
leave once again. (I first ser\'ed as editor for 
several issues in the early 1980s). This time, I 
turn over the editor's chair to my old friend 
and colleague. Rick Ewig. Rick has extensive 
experience editing this journal, beginning 
when he, too, was historian in the Wyoming 
State Archives, Museums and Historical De- 
partment. He returned as my co-editor back 
in 1995 when, as associate director of the 
American Heritage Center, he and I helped 
the WSHS "rescue" the Annals from possible 
demise. At that time Celeste Colgan, then-di- 
rector of the State Department of Commerce, 
removed state sponsorship from the Society 
and sought to either eliminate the Annals or 
re-make it into a non-historical magazine. 
Rick and I brought the journal to Laramie, 
with support from the WSHS, the University 
of Wyoming, and many friends of the Society. 

That first issue of what we called "Wyoming 
History Journal" was partially financed with 
funds I had received that year from a teaching 
award that I applied to the printing of that first 
issue. The name "Wyoming History Journal" 
was used after the State Department of Com- 
merce argued that the name "Annals" belonged 
to the State. On Ms. Colgan's departure from 
Wyoming, the name became Annals of Wyo- 
ming again, and Rick continued to serve as co- 
editor . Since that time, the relations between 
the State and the Wyoming State Historical So- 
ciety have returned to cooperation. 

My thanks again to the talented contributor 
historians, the small dedicated staff and Board 
of Editors, helpful Society boards, and inter- 
ested readers. I'm proud of our work over the 
past eight years. My best wishes to Rick as he 
returns to take the editor's chair. Of course, I'll 
continue to read and enjoy my favorite histor>' 
journal as I know each of you will do as well. 

-Phil Roberts 

Information for Contributors: 

The editor of Uiimls of II yomiiii^ uelconies niamiscripls and photographs on ever, aspect of the hislon' of Wyoming and the West. 
Appropriate for submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpretations 
of historical events. First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in the 
"Wyoming Memories" section I listoric photo essays for possible publication in "Wyoming Memories" also are welcome Articles are 
reviewed and refereed by members of the journal's I ditorial 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 tbmiat 
created by one of the widely-used word processing programs along with two printed copies. Submissions and queries should be ad- 
dressed to Editor. .4nnals of ll'yomiiig. University of Wyoming. Laramie WY 82071, or to the editor by e-mail at the following 
address: revvigfJ/'uvvyoedu 


Phil Roberts 

Book Review Editor 

Carl Haliberg 

^pnnals of 

Editorial Advisory Board 

Katherine Curtiss. Sheridan 

Dudley Gardner. Rock Springs 

Sally F Grinith, Lusk Havertowii, Pa. 

Don Hodgson, Torrington 

Loren Jost, Riverton 

James R Laird, Wapiti 

Mark Miller, Laramie 

Mark Nel.son, Green River 

W YvJMllNCj 

The Wyoming History Journal 

Summer 2003 Vol. 75, No. 3 

Devils Tower, Wyoming: An Examination of a Clash 

in Cultures 

By Brenda L. Haes 2 

When the National Park Service issued a ban on climbing during a month of 
Native American ceremonies at the site, climbers objected. This is tlie story of the 
culture clash that culminated in court decisions in the matter. 

Rocky Mountain Entrepreneur: Robert Campbell as a 
Fur Trade Capitalist 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Publications Conmiittee 

Rick Ewig, Laramie 

David Kathka. Rock Springs 

Sherry L- Smith, 

Amy Lawrence, Laramie 

Nancy Curtis, Glendo 

Dick Wilder, Cody (ex-officio) 

Loren Jost, Riverton (ex-officio) 

Phil Roberts, Laramie (ex-officio) 

W^yoming State Historical Society 
Executive Committee 

Dick Wilder, President, Park County 
Clara Varner, 1st Vice Pres, Weston Co. 
Art Kidwell, 2nd Vice Pres., Sheridan Co. 
Linda Fabian, Secretary, Platte County 
James Van Scoyk,. Treasurer, Star Valley 
Amy Lawrence, Albany County 
Dave Taylor, Natrona County 
Cindy Brown, Laramie County 
John Waggener, Albany County 
Judy West, Membership Coordinator 

By Jay 11. Buckley 8 

Prior to their establishment of Fort Laramie, Robert Campbell and business 
partners already were active in the business life of the fur trade. I'nlike many of 
his contemporaries, however, Campbell gained financial success out West. 

Seventy Times Seven 

By Larry K. Brown 24 

The son of the notorious"Ma" B;u"ker shot a deputy sheriff in Wyoming. His wife, 
implicated in the crime, was tried and sentenced to prison in Wyoming. 

Governor of Wyoming 

David Freudenthal 

Victory Gardens and Fort Caspar Artifacts 

By Reid May 34 

May recalls the family work in a "victory garden" during World War 1 1 that yielded 
some surprising artifacts of the old frontier. 

Wyoming Picture 35 

Index 36 

Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and 

Cultural Resources 
Phil Noble, Director 
Cultural Resources Division 
Wendy Bredehoff, Administrator 

Wyoming Parks & Cultural Resources 

William Dubois, Cheyenne 
Emerson W Scott, Jr, BufTalo 
Diann Reese, Lyman 
Vern Vivion, Rawlins 
David Reetz. Powell 
Herb French, Newcastle 
Ernest C. Over, Pavillion 
Carolyn Buff. Casper 
Jerrilynn Wall, Evanston 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming HislonJounml is published quarterly by the Wyoming State Historical 
Society in association with the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the .A.meri- 
can Heritage Center, and the Department of Histon. I'niversitv of Wyoming Tlie journal was previously 
published as the Oucirtcily Bullelin (192.M925), Annuls of Wyoming (1925-199.')), Wyoming Annals 
(199.1-1995) and Wyoming Hisloty .loiinuil (l99^-]996) The Annuls has been the official publication of 
the Wyoming State Histoncal Society since 195.1 and is distnhiited as a benefit of membership to all 
society members. Membership dues are: single. S2(l. joint. $.10. .student (under 21). S15; in.stitutional. 
S40; contributing. $100-249; sustaining. $250-499; patron. $500-999. donor, S1.000-, To join, contact 
your local chapter or write to the address below. Articles in Annals of Wyoming are abstracted in Histori- 
cal Abstracts and America: Histon^ and Life. 

Inquiries about membership, mailing, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to .ludy 
West, Coordinator. Wyoming State Historical Society. PMBs 184. 1740H Dell Range Blvd.. Cheyenne 
WY 82009-4945, Editorial correspondence should he addressed to the editorial office o{ Annals of Wyo- 
ming. American Heritage Center. I'niversity Station, Laramie WY 82071, 
Our e-mail address is: rewig(fl)uwyo,edu Pnnted by Pioneer Printing, Cheyenne 

Copyright 2003, Wyoming State Historical Society ISSN: 1086-7368 

University of Wyoming 

Philip Dubois, President 

Mark Greene, Director, .American Heritage 

Oliver Walter, Dean, 

College of Arts and Sciences 
Kristine Utterback, Chair, Dept. of History 

In 1991, the Washington Office of the National Park Service (NPS) mandated that 
national parks with significant climbing activities develop management plans to accom- 
modate the expanding number of participants. Devils Tower, Wyoming, one of 30 such 
sites; however, had a unique situation. It was the only location that was considered 
sacred as well as recreational. After the passage of the American Indian Religious Free- 
dom Act (AIRFA) in 1978 and the subsequent influx of people celebrating ceremonial 
practices at the Tower, and the simultaneous popularity in mountain climbing, friction 
became evident between the two cultural segments as they competed for the same natural 


'Main Street Wyoming, produced b> Deborah Hammons in asso- 
ciation with KCWC-TV Wyoming PuhHc Television. 30 minutes. 
1996. videocassette. 

Summer "2003 

Devils Tower and the nearby Missouri Buttesare 
believed to be volcanic necks that emerged over 
millions of years as sedimentary rocks eroded and re- 
vealed the spectacular structures. Scientists believe that 
molten magma forced its way underground some 60 
million years ago, and as igneous rocks cooled they con- 
tracted and fractured forming the famous columns noted 
on Devils Tower. Over the years, sedimentary exteri- 
ors eroded revealing the surfaces that lovv rise nearly 
1 ,300 feet above the winding Belle Foi che River. - 

At least 24 indigenous cultures of the 'lains consider 
the monolith sacred to their people. Ma. y stories have 
been related as to the structure's creatii. a. 

The Kiowa tale centers on seven girls \ ho were play- 
ing near their village when some bears happened upon 
them. The girls ran toward the \illage but the bears 
almost caught them, so they jumped on a rock that was 
nearly three feet high. The youngsters prayed that the 
rock would save them and it began to grow. As the 
rock increased out of the reach of the bears, they gouged 
at its sides. The girls are now in the sky and are known 
as the Pleiades or the "Seven Sisters" and the furrows 
can still be seen on the sides of the Tower, or Rock 
Tree, as it is known to the Kiowa. The story not only 
reflects how Tso-i was created, but how the People 
must have faith in the Creator.' 

The Cheyenne version of the story is somewhat dif- 
ferent. There were seven brothers. The wife of the 
eldest was kidnapped by a big bear and taken to his 
cave. Her husband mourned her loss deepl> . f he young- 
est was a very powerful medicine man and resolved to 
help his brother. He made special medicine arrows and 
instructed the others to till their quivers. They all went 
after the big bear. At the cave's entrance, the youngest 
brother changed into a burrow ing animal and dug into 
the bear's den. He found the bear with his head in the 
woman's lap. Ihe medicine man put the bear to sleep 
and changed back to human form. He and the woman 
went to the entrance where the brothers were waiting. 
The Indians fled, but the bear soon woke, brought other 
bears, and gave chase. The brothers and wife came to 
the place where the Tower or Bear's Tipi now stands. 
The young man held a rock in his hand and had his 
brothers and the woman close their e\es while he sang 
a medicine song four times. When he had tniished the 
rock was as it is presently. When the bears reached the 
Tower, the brothers killed all of them except the leader 
who jumped repeatedl\ against the structure's sides. 
His claws left the furrows that are visible today. The 
youngest brother shot his special medicine arrows, and 

it wasn't until the fmal arrow pierced the bear's flesh 
that the animal died. I hen the medicine man called bald 
eagles and four magnificent birds tiew to their assis- 
tance. The brothers and woman look hold of their legs 
and were carried safely to the ground.' 

Each of the Indian cultures that considered the site 
sacred has a name for the location other than the one 
by which it is known today. Devils Tower. The names 
and the origin myths generally lend themselves to in- 
volvement with bears as evidenced by the furrows or 
gouges on the sides of the structure. 1 he Arapaho called 
Devils Tower, Bear's Tipi, the Crows dubbed it Bear's 
House; the Sioux named it Mato Tipila or Bear's Lodge 
as did the Cheyenne." 

Col. Richard 1 . Dodge, w ho traveled through the Black 
Hills in 1875 on reconnaissance for the U.S. Geological 
Survey, noted the uniqueness of the formation. It is 
Dodge who is credited (or blamed) with the name 
"Devil's Tower." due to a quote in his 1 876 book on the 
Black Hills: "fhe Indians call this shaft The Bad God's 
Tower," a name adopted vs ith proper modification, by 
our surveyors." This was obviously not the case as in- 
digenous societies did not associate evil with the sacred 
site. A Mr. Newton published one of the earliest maps 
of the region in 1 880. It included the name Bear lodge 
(Mateo Teepee )--New ton's incorrect translation.' 
Somewhere along the wa), the location's name lost its 
possessive apostrophe; in modern times to "chang(e) 
the name of the monimient require(s) an act of Con- 

President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils 
Tower to be the first national monument on September 
24, 1906. The Commissioner of the General Land Of- 
fice recommended that l.L^2.9l acres be set aside as 
sufficient land to manage the site. Missouri Buttes, part 
of the same volcanic s_\stem. were not included in the 
original plan.'* 

-'DL'parlinciit ot the Inlci lor. National Park Ser\ ice. National 
Monument. Wvoniing. Devils /oiivri Washington. D.C: U.S. De- 
partiiient of the Interior. U)S5). 1-2. 

"'Devils lower. "De\ils Fower First Stories." 2(illl. electronic 
document. http://\\u\\ . html. }-4. Dewev 
Tsonetokov . Sr.. ( )klahoma. to author, .i 1 .August 201)2, transcript 
held b> author. 1. 

'Devils lower, '"Devils I oucr lliston. : (.)ur First I ilt\ Nears." 
2(101. electronic document. http;//^O hlnil. 

"Marv .Alice (hinderson. Devils Tmwr Sioncs hi .SVo/it- (( ilendo. 
Wyoming; High Plains Press. 14S8). .^ l-.s5. 

'""First l-'il'ty." electronic document. .V 

'Chri.stopher Smith. "Tribes Say Devils Tower Is No Name For 
.A Pious Peak."&;^ lude Tribune. 4 September IQ^^ft. ,A-2, 

"Proclamation 658. Sept 24. 1406. .U ,SV,;/ .^236, 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Devils Tower's climbing history began some ten 
\ears prior to its becoming tiie first national 
monument. In 1 893, William Rogers and Willard Ripley, 
both local ranchers, constructed a 350-foot wooden lad- 
der "by driving pegs into a continuous vertical crack 
running between two columns on the southeast side of 
the Tower. The pegs were braced and secured to each 
other by a continuous wooden strip." Rogers was sched- 
uled to climb the monolith on July 4, 1 893. as a throng of 
onlookers u itnessed the e\ ent; howev er, the two gentle- 
men needed to place a flagpole at the pinnacle, so the 
event actually took place sometime beforehand. 

Linnie Rogers. William's wife, was the first woman 
to climb the ladder on July 4. 1 895. She wore dark blue 
bloomers and knee-high leather boots." The lower por- 
tion of the ladder was last used in 1927. and was re- 
moved for \ isitors' safety . The upper portion still re- 
mains as a piece of Devils Tower history ; the NPS nomi- 
nated the apparatus to the National Register of Historic 

German-born Fritz Weissner and Americans Bill 
House and Lawrence Coveney were the first individu- 
als to employ European techniques of rock-climbing at 
the Tower in 1 937. They drove in two pitons, or steel 
wedges. Pitons \ar\ in size from two to six inches in 
length with an open eye. As a precautionary measure, 
a piton can "be driven into the rock and the rope clipped 
into the eye of the piton w ith a carabiner. an oval-shaped 
clip. This would anchor the rope closer to an ascending 
climber, thus shortening a possible fall."" The ascent 
took four hours and 46 minutes. '- 

in 1 990 an article addressed concerns about climbing 
in national park settings. Issues, such as permanent 
bolting and portable electric drills, creating new climb- 
ing routes which devastated wildlife and plants as well 
as contributed to erosion and caused birds to abandon 
their nests, numbered among the timely topics. The most 
telling statement in the story was that the NPS had no 
system-wide policy concerning climbing but allowed 
each park to set its own standard depending upon the 
pressure it was receiving.'' 

The following year, the NPS indicatecfthat a climbing 
management plan was necessary due to the increased 
popularity of the sport, as well as the need to protect 
the nation's park resources. Some of the overall areas 
of concern in the system pertained to heavy use areas 
and vegetation loss on hiking and climbing trails, discol- 
oration of rock faces because of chalk usage, and dam- 
age due to permanent bolting and pitons drilled into 
rocks. '■* 

Between 1 985 and 1 995. rock climbing increased dra- 
matically at Devils Tower and resulted in accelerated 

route development and bolt placement. The result was 
nearly 220 named routes. Currently, there are approxi- 
mately 600 metal bolts embedded in the monolith's sur- 
face along with several hundred metal pitons. Devils 
Tower is one of the premier crack-climbing locations in 
the world.'' 

In late 1992. Devils Tower had formally begun the 
management process, and by 1 993 was holding consul- 
tations with environmentalists, rock climbers, and indig- 
enous people. Personnel developed a work group to 
write the Devils Tower climbing management plan. The 
following were the organizations that contributed to the 
work group: two American Indian organizations. Medi- 
cine Wheel Coalition. Grey Eagle Society: two climbing 
groups. Access Fund and Gillette Climbing Club and 
Black Hills Climbing Coalition: an environmental group. 
Sierra Club; a local elected official. Crook County Com- 
missioner; and a NPS representative. Devils Tower 
Chief Ranger; as well as other individual contributors 
and subject matter experts.'" More than 23 indigenous 
groups were considered culturally significant to the 
Devils Tower vicinity and were identified as follows: 
Assiniboine and Lakota of Montana, Blackfeet, Blood 
(Canada), Crow, Cheyenne River Sioux. Crow Creek 
Lakota. Devil's Lake Lakota. Eastern Shoshone. 
Flandreau Santee Lakota, Kootnai and Salish, Lower 
Brule Lakota. Northern Arapaho, Northern Cheyenne, 
Oglala Lakota. Pigeon (Canada). Rosebud Lakota. 
Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux. Southern Arapaho. Southern 
Cheyenne. Standing Rock Sioux. Three Affiliated Tribes, 
Turtle Mountain Chippewa, and Yankton Lakota. Al- 
though not included on the NPS's official Agencies and 
Organizations List, the Kiowa Nation of Oklahoma was 
also included in the proceedings." 

''Devils Tower. "'De\ils Tower Studv How Do They Get Up 
There?,"" 2001. electronic document, 
upthere.html. 1-2. 

'"Devils Tower. "Devils Tower General Management Plan." 2001. 
electronic document. http:/;w w w 
html. 5. 

"Gunderson. 88. 91. 

'-"Up There?." electronic document. 2. 

'-'Claire Martin. "Set in Stone." Naliona! Parks. November/De- 
cember 1990. 37. 

'""Laura P. McCartv . ""National Parks Grapple With Rock Climb- 
ing."" National Parks. September/October 1993. 22. 

''Devils Tower Superintendent Deborah Liggett. Main Street 
IVyoining. videocassette. 

'".liiii Schlinkmann. compiler. "An Interpreter's Guide to the 
Most Asked Questions on the Devils Tower Climbing Manage- 
ment Plan."" 1994. 1. 

"Department of the Interior. National Park Serv ice. Crook County. 
Wyoming. Devils Tower National Monument. Draft General Man- 
agement Plan/Em-iranmental Impact Statement. (Washington. D.C.: 
U.S. Department ofthe Interior. National Park Service, 2001). 172. 

Summer '2003 

Indians, as well as climbers, constituted about one- 
percent each of the visitors at Devils Tower annually.'" 
The primar\ goal of the work group was to balance 
recreational use with the spiritual needs of the tribes 
which held sun dances, sweat lodge rites, vision quests, 
and left prayer offerings at Devils Tower. The plan high- 
lighted the significance of the site to Native Americans 
as well as requested that visitors not climb during June, 
the month of the summer solstice, the most important 
time for Indian worship.'" Since 1978 and the passage 
of the AIRFA, Indian usage has increased. In 1981, the 
first major group of Indians registered at Devils Tower. 
The sun dance has been held annually at the site since 
1984. Although theNPS keeps statistical information 
related to indigenous usage of the site, that data is not 
available to the public.-" 

Christopher McLeod, producer and director of the 
documentary, "in the Light of Reverence," summarized 
the Supreme Court rulings in the 1980s pertaining to 
First Amendment religious freedom protections by stating 
that they didn't apply to Native American spiritual prac- 
tices because Indians needed large areas to pray or to 
conduct vision quests. Based on his research, what was 
missing was an understanding by the dominant culture 
of what a sacred place was.-' 

Lawyer, Indian rights activist, and author Vine Deloria, 
Jr., tried to clarify the philosophy behind sacred places. 
He explained that there are places on Earth that seem 
to have power, although one does not know why or 
what kind of power. He continued that the place leaves 
one with an energized feeling that is why a lot of people 
go to that site under the direction of a medicine man 
and open themselves up to the supernatural forces. 
Deloria said, "It is not like we designate a place and 
[say] it is sacred: it came out of a lot of experience. 
The idea is not to pretend to ow n it, not to exploit it but 
to respect it. Trying to get people to see that that is a 
dimension of religion is really difficult."" 

Charles Wilkinson, University of Colorado law pro- 
fessor, told McLeod: "In the comer of the mind of many 
judges, is the idea that these just can't be real religions. 
Religion is something that you do in a church. Real re- 
ligion isn't something that you do in Nature." If some- 
thing is conducted outside, it must be recreational. Fur- 
themiore, the idea that a religion is in direct relation to a 
specific place is not generally part of these judges" ex- 

Charles Levendosky, a reporter and a member of the 
NPS's work group, wanted to compose an article that 
reflected how an indigenous person might feel at the 
violation of Devils Tower in June. He wrote, "Think of 
someone hammering climbing bolts into one of the tow- 

ers of St. Patrick's Cathedral on Easter Sunday, and 
yelling to another climber while you try to pray down in 
the pews. That's the clash — in real Christian terms. "-^ 
Out of protest for the disrespectful treatment that 
Devils Tower received from visitors' hands, the Da- 
kota, Nakota, and Lakota Nations submitted a resolu- 
tion to the NPS in 1993. The proclamation was in- 
cluded in theNPS' 1995 Final Climbing Management 
Plan and reads as follows: 

WHEREAS, the DEVILS TOWER has been subjected 
to similar damage from an onslaught of rock climbers 
and now has hundreds of steel pins pounded into the 
faceoftliis Sacred Site, and... 

WHEREAS, these sites and man\ others are vital to 
the continuation of our traditional beliefs and values, 

WHEREAS, it is our legacy to protect these sites for 
the future generations, so they too. nia\ be able to enjoy 
these holy places for prayer and revitalization of Mother 
Earth, now... 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this assembly does 
not support efforts by Federal Land Managers to allow 
fiuther destruction to these Sacred Sites by tourists, 
hikers or rock climbers.-^ 

Later, President Clinton would arri\e at the same 
conclusion as the Sioux Nations, and signed an Execu- 
tive Order instructing federal land managers to: "I ) 
accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian 
sacred sites by Indian religion practitioners and, 2 ) avoid 
adversely affecting the physical integrity of such sa- 
cred sites."-" 

The 1995 Final Climbing Management Plan was a 
means of conflict negotiation.-' It included six options 
that varied from a complete and total ban on climbing 
throughout the year to an unlimited, minimally regulated 
plan. The preferred plan offered a voluntary climbing 

'"Liggett, MainStreet ll'vomiiii;. 

'""Native Rites and Wrongs." The Wilioii. (,liil\ 1^97). 4. 

■"Liggett. Mum Slrccl ll'yoiiiiiii; 

-'I'HS's "Point of Vic\\ iPOV')" Series coprcscntation with Na- 
tive ,'\nieriean Pulilie lelcconinuinications. //; ihc l.ighl af Rever- 
ence, produced b> (.'hristopher Mcleod and I'artli Island Institute. 
75 nun,. 2(1111. \ ideoeasselte 

-'Vine Deloria. .Ir,. //; llie lii^lil <>l Reverence. 

''Charles Wilkinson. In llie Light of Reverence. 

■'^Charles 1 e\endosk\. "Face OlTAt De\ ils lower; Climbers v. 
Religion." ( 'as/>er.\nir-Trihune. 24 March 1996, 

-'Department ofthe Interior. National Park Ser\ iee. Roek_\ Moun- 
tain Region. Crook C'ountv. Wyonung, limil ( 'limhini; Mancige- 
nienl I'hin linJntg of .\o Signi/iccnu Impact. (Washington. D.C.: 
U.S. Department ol'lhe Interior. National Park Service. 1995). 9. 

'''Mail] Street Wyoming. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

closure during the month of June, out of respect for the 
indigenous cultures" observance of Summer solstice cer- 
emonies. Commercial guides" licenses were not sold 
during the month of June, cross-cultural educational pro- 
gramming was offered, and climbing closures would 
continue as deemed necessary for raptor nest protec- 
tion — which translated as within view of the nest site 
or 50 meters on either side of the nest. To insure that 
there were no new physical impacts to Devils Tower, 
there were no new bolting or fixed pitons and permits 
for replacement of existing bolts and fixed pitons only 
were allowed. Only camouflaged climbing equipment 
was left on the tower.-' 

The first year, the site had an 85% compliance rate 
with the June voluntary climbing closure. Superinten- 
dent Deborah Liggett reported that very few requests 
were made for replacement bolting, and the Native 
American culture made positive comments about fewer 
climbers as well as notations about fewer bolts being 
pounded into the sacred altar.-" 

By March, 1996; however, Andy Petefish, owner of 
Tower Guides, and the Bear Lodge Multiple Use Asso- 
ciation sued the NPS for violating the Establishment 
Clause of the First Amendment. Petefish argued that 
the voluntary closure wasn't really voluntary because 
if the NPS didn't have enough percentage of people 
participate in the closure, they could enact a mandatory 
closure as stated in the plan. The plan also included a 
ban on issuing commercial guides licenses, which be- 
came a focus in the legal battle. He said, "If anybody 
wanted to hire a commercial guide, like myself to climb 
the tower during the month of June they couldn't, so 
that part of it also wasn't voluntary for any aspect for 
anybody that might want to have a safe, enjoyable climb 
also I couldn't work.""'" 

Ironically, seven of the eight guide companies in the 
area honored the NPS"s request not to climb, while 
Petefish"s did not. The lawsuit filed by Mountain States 
Legal Foundation stated that the park"s policy "estab- 
lished"" religion in violation of the First Amendment." 
Petefish further stated that he was Euro-American and 
that he didn"t want to understand Indian religion, and he 
didn"t have to.'- Superintendent Liggett said, "We were 
sued in part for violating [Petefish's] opportunities to 
make a profit, and in the preliminary injunction stage 
the federal judge upheld his claim and forced me to 
issue a commercial use license.'"" The license issue 
continued until the case was decided." 

Liggett said that one of the factors in the conflict cen- 
tered around the fact that there were "two different 
world views"" involved. In the indigenous walks of life, 
land and religion are inseparable, while in government 

practices there is a definite division between church 
and state. "That"s one of the very, very difficult things 
about this issue.'" On the other hand, Petefish said that 
such arguments were "a bunch of baloney." He stated 
that nature and religion played a role in his own life: 
"Rock climbing is my spiritual activity."' Other climbers 
were embarrassed, especially when Indian prayer 
bundles and signage at the Tower requesting respect 
for such items were vandalized. Bob Archbold of the 
Access Fund (a climbing group based in Rapid City. 
S.D.). said. "You have five percent of the people mak- 
ing 95 percent of the impression. Most climbers, in fact, 
are voluntarily rescheduling their ascents."" Al Read of 
Exum Mountain Guides (located in Grand Teton Na- 
tional Park) did not use his commercial license at the 
tower in June. He said. "Some climbers just want ac- 
cess no matter what the consequences of that access 
might mean to the general public. We don't share that 

In June 1997, 185 people climbed the Tower com- 
pared with 193 in 1996 and 1.294 in 1994. No actual 
figures were available for 1995. other than the NPS 
statement that there was an 85% compliance rate due 
to the voluntary climbing closure. Proponents of the June 
closure added their support to the NPS"s educational 
efforts through talks, demonstrations, exhibits and other 
such activities given by both climbers and Native Ameri- 
cans. According to NPS statistics, the cooperative ven- 
tures appeared to be highly effective.'" 

Judge William F. Downes. the United States District 
Court for the District of Wyoming, ruled on the NPS 
Final Climbing Management Plan on April 3. 1998.^^ 
"[T]he voluntary climbing ban is a policy that has been 
carefully crafted to balance the competing needs of in- 
dividuals using DeviPs/.s/cy Tower National Monument 
while, at the same time, obeying the edicts of the Con- 
stitution.""^** Judge Downes upheld all aspects of the 
NPS"s program. "While the purposes behind the volun- 
tary climbing ban are directly related to Native Ameri- 
can religious practices. . .the purposes underlying the ban 

-"Departinenl of the Interior. Final Climbing Managemeni Plan. 

■''Liggett, Main Street ll'yoming. 

'"Andy Petefish. \tain Street Wyoming. 

""Native Rites and Wrongs." 4-5. 


"Liggett. Main Street Wyoming. 

'^Karen J. Coates, "Stairway to Heaven: When A Chmbing Mecca 
Is Also A Sacred Site," Sierra. (November/December 1996). 28. 

''Ibid., 28. 


'^ Bear Lodge Multiple Use Association v. Babbitt. 2 F.Supp.2d. 
1448(D. Wyo.. 1998). 

^^Ibid.. 1455. 

Summer i-'OOS 

are really to remove barriers to religious worship occa- 
sioned by public ownership of the Tower." He contin- 
ued. "This is in the nature of accommodation, not pro- 
motion, and consequently is a legitimate secular pur- 
pose. .."■''' Further. "The government is merely enabling 
Native Americans to worship in a more peaceful set- 
ting."'^" The Mountain States Legal Foundation petitioned 
the District Court's decision to the Tenth Circuit Court 
of Appeals.^' 

On April 26. 1999. the Court of Appeals affirmed the 
previous Judgment, and addressed the three injuries cited 
in the complaint by Petefish and the Bear Lodge Mul- 
tiple Use Association."*- First, the court stated that the 
petitioners were not constrained by the NPS's Final 
Climbing Management Plan and were free to climb 
Devils Tower throughout the year, including the month 
of June, and that they had done so according to NPS 
records.'*' Second, the "[c]limbers" fear of an outright 
climbing ban in June does not satisfy the constitutional 
requirement for an injury in fact, which must be "actual 
or imminent not conjectural or hypothetical." Finally, 
the Court of Appeals did not find that petitioner Petefish 
had demonstrated economic injury ." 

Bear Lodge Multiple Use Association requested that 
the United States Supreme Court hear their legal dis- 
pute against Devils Tower National Monument Climb- 
ing Management Plan. On March 27. 2000. that motion 
was denied thereby ending the long-standing court battle 
that began in 1996.-" 

What was the outcome of the legal disputes? The 
NPS's Final Climbing Management Plan of 1995 was 
strengthened and even revitalized with the suggested 
court revisions and through the test of time. The origi- 
nal goal, a three-to-tlve year plan, outlived that pro- 
jected period and entered its eighth year of use in 2003. 
The 1998 District Court decision lifted the NPS ban on 
the sale of commercial tour guide licenses during the 
month of June. Some climbing routes are closed from 
mid-March to mid-summer to protect nesting Prairie 
falcons on Devils Tower to lessen climbers" impacts on 
their environments. The NPS's bolt policy continues with 
no new introduction of bolts or fixed pitons on the Tower, 
except for those deemed necessary as replacements. 
Power drills are prohibited and permits are required for 
manual drills.'"' Additionally, the NPS considered nomi- 
nating the adjacent sun dance grounds to the National 
Register of Historic Places, as it would help ensure 
continued protection of this area for the sacred Lakota 

Not only is there a stronger climbing management 
plan in place, but there is also a stronger presence of 
the indigenous community at Devils Tower. Romanus 

Bear Stops, a leader of the Cheyenne River Sioux in 
South Dakota, said that the AIRFA was a step in the 
right direction. "Now that we can go to Devils Tower 
[without interference from climbers], we can breathe 
new life into our culture."^** 

Ultimately, it is not a matter of taking sides, the sa- 
cred usage of the American Indian v. the recreational 
use of the climber, but rather an issue of putting differ- 
ences aside and learning mutual respect, tolerance, ac- 
ceptance, and compromise. Elaine Quiver, a Lakota from 
the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and a mem- 
ber of the NPS consultation work group, said. ".'Xs long 
as we have a misunderstanding that my culture is bet- 
ter than yours, we'll never succeed. We'll always be 
fighting at the base of the Tower and the Tower will be 
standing forever."^" It is a matter of embracing the fact 
that Devils Tower is owned by the LInited States and is 
managed as NPS property, destined for usage by both 
cultures, as well as others. 

'"IhiJ.. 1455 

'"Ihui . 1456. 

■" Arlene Hirscht'elder and Paulette Molin. Encyclopedia of Ma- 
uve American Religions An Intrnduclicmi'New York: Facts on File. 
Inc. 2000). 174, 

■•■ Bear Lodge Multiple Use Associalion \\ Bahbitl. 1 75 F3d 8 1 4 
(lOthCirc. 1999). 

-"/i;W.. 820-821. 

"Ibid. 82), 

■*■ Bear Lodge Multiple Use Association v Bahl^ill. 529 I IS 1037 
(2000). cert, denied 

^'Department ofihe Interior. L''raft (ieneral Management Plan' 
F.nvironmental Impact Statement. 173; Department ot'thc Interior, 
Final Climbing Management Plan. 2-3. 

^'"General Management Plan." electronic document. 4-5 

■""Native Rites and Wrongs." 5. 

■'"FevendoskN. n p. 

Brenda L. Haes is the Assistant University Ar- 
chivist at Southwest CoUection/Speciul Collec- 
j tions Library at Te.xas Tech University, holding 
a Master of Arts degree in History and finishing 
a Masters at that institution in Cultured Anthro- 
pology. She extends her appreciation to Dewey 
Tsonetokoy, Sr.. who attended the National Park 
Service 's consultations for Devils Tower from 
1995 through 1997 as an official tribal repre- 
sentative on behalf of the Kiowa Tribe of Okla- 
homa. In later years he attended as a concerned 
citizen for the Kiowa Ethnographic Endeavor 
for Preservation. Ms. Haes is indebted to him 
for the information that he shared with her. 
which was invaluable in lending insight and depth 
to this article. 

Rocky Mountain 

Robert Campbell Denver Public Librar> Western Collection 

Robert Campbell As a fur Trade Capitalist 

By Jay H. Buckley 

Between 1825 and 1835 Robert Campbell emerged a$ a fur trade 
entrepreneur. Campbell serMed as clerk for Ashley-Smith, as brigade 
leader for Smith, Jackson, and Sublette, and as supplier and financier 
for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. Campbell quickly became a domi- 
nant figure in the American fur trade. In addition to leading fur bri- 
gades, Campbell and his partner UDilliam Sublette built several trading 
posts (most notably fort Laramie), supplied the annual rendezvous, and 
challenged John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company on the Missouri 
River. Through it all, Campbell's business acumen helped him pursue 
economic opportunities that paved the way for future financial success 
as a Missouri businessman. 


Summer '2003 

^^ ampbelFs tenure in the fur trade provides an 
B example of frontier capitalism. As a central fig- 
^B ure in the complicated history of the rivalries, 
politics, struggles, and strategies of the upper Missouri 
fur trade, he greatly influenced the fur trade, including 
the men and companies involved, established friendly 
relations with numerous Indian tribes, resurrected fort- 
building and the demise of the rendezvous system, and 
helped to link St. Louis to its most important commer- 
cial enterprise-the fur trade. During the Rocky Moun- 
tain fur trade era ( 1825-1840). few individuals fit the 
role of a successful businessman as well as Campbell. 
Fur trade historian Dale Morgan remarked that a good, 
balanced history of the trans-Mississippi West fur trade 
in the 1 830s would have to 
be centered, at least in part, 
around the life and career 
of Robert Campbell.' 

Campbell experienced 
many of the same things 
common to mountain men, 
but his profitable career was 
the exception rather than the 
rule. Better educated and 
more articulate than the av- 
erage mountain man. 
Campbell left numerous let- 
ters, documents, and pa- 
pers. Fewer than a dozen 
mountain men left the 
mountains with any signifi- 
cant amount of wealth. 
Campbell" s personality; hon- 
esty, education, and business 
acumen helped him become Map h> author 
one of these successful entrepreneurs. Campbell seized 
the leadership and partnership opportunities offered by 
Ashley, Smith, and Sublette. Although he probably never 
really enjoyed nor cared for the solitude and romance 
of the mountains. Campbell saw the w isdom of making 
money while the good times lasted and then managed 
to leave while it was still profitable. To Campbell, the 
prospects of success outweighed the risks involved. 

Like other mountain men. Robert Campbell hoped his 
ambition and hard work would lead to economic suc- 
cess and rapid upward mobility, eventually culminating 
in wealth and prestige.- Yet relatively few of the hun- 
dreds of mountain men ever achieved financial suc- 
cess. What were the key elements that mountain men 
needed to make the fur trade a viable means of acquir- 
ing wealth and how did Robert Campbell become a suc- 
cessful Rocky Mountain entrepreneur? Some of the 

factors that spurred Campbell's successes include de- 
veloping relationships and making important connections, 
dealing diplomatically with Indian tViends and foes, and 
dealing with competitors while implementing innovative 
changes in the fur trade. 

Born February 12. 1804. to Scotch-Irish parents 
Hugh Campbell and Flizabeth Buchanan in Aug- 
halane. Tyrone County. Ireland. Robert was the 
youngest of six children. His family owned several farms 
and served as landlords to tenants who worked the land. 
Unfortunately.Hugh Campbell. Sr.. died in 1810. leaving 
his wife Elizabeth, and his children Ann, Hugh. Andrew, 
Elizabeth, James Alexander, and Robert in a precarious 

financial situation.' As eco- 
nomic conditions in Ireland 
worsened, many Scotch-Irish 
immigrated to Pennsylvania 
and the other middle colonies 
seeking better economic op- 
portunities." Because of their 
landholdings. Hugh Campbell's 

' [)alc Morgan, cd.. The li'esl o/ 
IVillianiH Asliley The Inienuiliniuil 
Struggle for the Fur Trade of the 
Missouri, the Rocky Mountains, ami 
the ("olunihia. with Tlxploratiiins Be- 
yond the Continental Divide. Re- 
corded in the Diaries and Letters of 
William 11 Ashley aiui His Contem- 
poraries. ls:2-l83S (Denver: 
Rosenstock-Old West Puhiishing 
Compan\ . 1 %4): \iii. 302. .^ 1 8. 322. 
For book-length treatments see; Ja\ 
H. Buckley. "Rocky Mountain En- 
trepreneur: Robert Campbell's Sig- 
nificance in the Fur trade. 1825- 
1835. "(MA thesis. Bngham \oung 
University. 1996); Marlene F. Flawver. "Robert Campbell; Fxpect- 
ant Capitalist." (M.A thesis. L'nixersity of Missouri-Kansas City. 
1983); Drew A flolloway. "Robert Campbell and the Rocky Moun- 
tain Fur Trade: Fhe Myth and the Reality." (M.A thesis. Vermont 
College of Norwich Univ.. 1989); Stephen F. Muss. "Fake No Ad- 
vantage; Fhe Biography of Robert Campbell." ( Ph.D diss. St. Louis 
Llniversity. 1989); W illiam R. Nester. From Mountain Shinto Mil- 
lionaire: The "Bold and Dashing Life" of Rohcrt Campbell {Co- 
lumbia: Univ. ofMissouri Press. 1999). 1 he author thanks Lyndon 
S. Clayton and .lulie .A. Harris for reading drafts of this paper. 

- William H, (joetzmann. "The Mountain Man as .lacksonian 
Man." American Quarterly 1 5 ( Fall. 1963 ); 402- 1 5. 

' Robert Campbell Papers. Missouri Historical Society. St. Louis. 
Missouri. Aughalane is a rural area just east of Newtownstewart 
near present-day Plumbridge, 

■* Liam Kennedy and Philip Ollerenshaw. An Economic History 
o/C''toe)-( Manchester. F^ngland: Manchester Uni\ersity Press. 1985): 
William F, Adams. Ireland and Irish Emigration to the ,Ve'ii World 
(New ^■ork; Russell and Russell. 1967); Kirby Miller. Emigrants 
and Exiles (new York: Oxford University Pres. 1985). 

BiiL-jpiHi OF -JCRrnERpg 1HEL:1ND 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

family fared better and the children could afford to at- 
tend school. Robert's oldest brother Hugh, who had re- 
centl\ studied medicine at Scotland's prestigious 
Edinburgh Llni\ersit>. decided to leave Ireland in 1818 
with hopes of achieving success in America. Hugh en- 
tered commercial pursuits in Milton. North Carolina, be- 
fore settling in Richmond. Virginia, where he began 
building a reputation as a man of integrity with a keen 
business sense. His letters home told of his success 
and when he invited his younger brother Robert to Join 
him. Robert readiK agreed. - 

in 1822 Robert boarded the Climax and began his 
trans- Atlantic vo>age from Londonderry to Philadel- 
phia. After arriving in America, he traveled to Hugh's 
home and began working as a clerk at his store. Hugh 
offered Robert what he needed most: encouragement, 
friendship, occasional censure, and numerous business 
contacts. Hugh served as Campbell's most significant 
acquaintance, as well as a father figure, advisor, and 
financier. He instilled in Robert the need to cultivate 
friendships and form business relationships. Hugh's most 
important advice to Robert came in a letter in the fall of 
1825. He wrote "You doubtless are aware that when 
fortune smiles friends remember us. ..Take Care my 
dear Robert of making cronies-I do believe that no oc- 
currence of a trifling nature that has ever given me 
more cause to regret."" 

When Robert contracted a lung infection, Hugh ad- 
vised him to go West in hopes of regaining his health. 
Campbell rode a river boat down the Ohio River and 
arrived in St. Louis in 1824 where he was hired as a 
clerk by his next important contact. John O' Fallon, for 
whom he worked from the fall of 1 824 to the summer 
of 1 825. As a founding member of the Erin Benevolent 
Society, O'Fallon helped Scots-Irish immigrants find 
opportunities in America.' Campbell's brief education, 
his internship with Hugh, and being literate prepared 
him for this new clerical position. O'Fallon, the nephew 
of Superintendent of Indian Affairs William Clark, had 
just received an appointment as the sutler at Council 
Bluffs in 1 82 1 and was friends with the important men 
of Missouri, including the Chouteau family and Senator 
Thomas Hart Benton. Campbell assisted O'Fallon with 
procuring and delivering supplies to points along the 
Missouri from St. Louis to the Platte River. Campbell's 
health continued to decline and he still suffered from 
congestion and occasional bleeding in his lungs. He 
sought professional advice about his respiratory ailments 
from St. Louis physician Dr. Bernard G. Farrar, who 
suggested a rugged outdoor lifestyle as the best cure.* 
Campbell obtained a reference letter from his employer 
and sought his fortune in the fur trade. 

The St. Louis-based fur trade had begun during Span- 
ish and French occupation, played a key role in the settle- 
ment and development of upper Louisiana, and provided 
the impetus for westward expansion." The Louisiana 
Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Treaty 
of Ghent, the Transcontinental Treaty with Spain, Mexi- 
can Independence, and Missouri statehood had opened 
up commercial interests in the Rocky Mountain fur trade 
and on the Santa Fe Trail. Men such as Manuel Lisa, 
the Chouteaus. Andrew Henry and William H. Ashley 
were all trying their hand at harvesting beaver pelts 
that brought between $3 and $10 in St. Louis, a fabu- 
lous sum for the day.'" When Ashley and Henry real- 
ized that trapping parties could yield higher returns and 
profits than trading with the Indians, they obtained li- 
censes to trap the upper Missouri. Newspaper adver- 
tisements seeking hundreds of "Enterprising Young 
Men" to ascend the Missouri and work for one to three 
years brought prompt responses from men like Jedediah 
Smith. David Jackson. William Sublette, and Jim 
Bridger." Unfortunately, Henry and Ashley's firm faced 
repeated failures with capsizing keelboats, raiding 
Assiniboines and Atsinas, and an Arikara attack in 1 823. 

'J. Thomas Scharf. Hisloiy ofSaini Lows Cuy and County: from 
the Earliest Periods to the Present Day: Inchiding Biographical 
Sketches of Representative Men \o\. I (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts 
&Co.. 1883). 372n. 

"Hugh Campbell to Robert Campbell. September 18, 1825;Dale 
L. Morgan and Eleanor T. Harris, eds.. The Rocky Mountain Jour- 
nals of W'llluuii Marshall Anderson: The West in /.Sii((San Marino: 
Huntington Librar>. i%7). 271-72. 

' John O'Fallon also financed the mercantile firm ot'OTallon 
and Keyte with his partner James Keyte. John OTallon Papers. 
Missouri Historical Society; Mary Ellen Rowe. ""A Respectable 
Independence': The Early Career of John O'Fallon." Missouri His- 
torical Review 90 (July 1996): 393-409: James N. Primm. Lion of 
the ra//ev(Boulder:Pruett Publishing Co.. 1981): 171. 

' Robert Campbell. "A Narrative of Colonel Robert Campbell's 
Experiences in the Rocky Mountains Fur Trade From 1825-1835 
(St. Louis: Campbell Papers. Missouri Historical Society, n.d.). 

" Howard L. Conard. "Fur Trade." Encyclopedia of the Histoiy of 
Missouri (St. Louis: The Southern Historv' Co.. 1901 ). 536-543. 

'° Fred R. Gowans and Linda H. White. "Traders to Trappers 
Andrew Henry and the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade: The Life and 
Times of a Prominent Fur Trade Figure." Montana: The Magazine 
ofWestern Histoiy43 no. 1, 3 (Winter. Summer. 1993): 59-65, 55- 
63. For details of the Ashley-Henry partnership, see Richard M. 
Clokey. H'illiam H. Ashley: Enterprise and Politics in the Trans- 
Mississippi IIWMNorman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1980). 
62-77; For their trading license from John C. Calhoun and the War 
Department, see Morgan, ed.. The It'estofll'illuim H Ashley. 1-2. 

" Advertisements appeared on February 13. 1822 in the St. 
Louis Missouri Gazette & Public Advisor, on March 1 6 in the Afo- 
souri Intelligencer, and on March 20 in the Missouri Republican. 
Other notices ran periodically in various Missouri newspapers that 
spring and over the next few years like the one on January 1 8, 1 823, 
that appeared in the Missouri Gazette & Public Advisor. 

Summer '2003 


Nearly $100,000 in debt, Ashley and Henr> faced fi- 
nancial ruin and ended their partnership. Meanwhile. 
Jedediah Smith crossed South Pass, located the bea- 
ver-rich Green River basin, and established contact with 
the Crows. Utes and Shoshones.'- 

While Campbell was clerking for OTallon. Ashley 
recei\ed the exciting news about thi beaver bonanza 
along the Green River and about the need to suppl> the 
men remaining in the 
mountains. Holding a 
rendezvous would help 
Ashley avoid the loss of 
men and pelts to the 
Blackfoot Confederacy 
and the Arikaras on the 
upper Missouri, the ex- 
pense of building and 
using costly trading 
posts on the river to col- 
lect and transport furs, 
and reiving on Indians 
to do the trapping. 
Great overland cara- 
vans replaced river 
transportation for bring- 
ing needed supplies into 
the Rockies during the 
summer and exchang- 
ing them with moui.iain 
men and friendly Indi- 
ans for fur at the sum- 
mer rendezvous, which 

the returning men sold in St. Louis in the fall.'' Ash lev "s 
innovation of trapping rather than trading enabled him 
and his successors (including Campbell) to dominate 
the northern and central Rockies fur trade for almost a 
decade. Moreover, the sw itch from trading to trapping 
represented an important economic change and antici- 
pated a broader shift to corporations and markets in 
America b> the latter part of the nineteenth centur_\. 

Campbell's ne.xt important contacts included Ashle_\ 
and Smith, who had formed a partnership in 1825. In 
early October. Ashlev sent Smith to gather men and 
supplies for the following vear and due to Campbell's 
connections with O'Fallon. Smith hired Campbell to clerk 
forthe Ashlev-Smithfimi.'"" Smith. Campbell and their 
68 men. w ith pack horses and mules, left St. Louis on 
November 1. traveling along the south side of the Mis- 
souri Ri\er before reaching Fort Rile_\ on .lanuarv 1. 
1826. Due to the lateness of their start. Smith decided 
to winter with the Pawnee along the Republican River. 
Campbell and Smith impressed the Pawnee chief 

Map b> author 

Ishkatupa. who insisted they stay in his lodge, and also 
formed a lasting friendship.'" 

Ashley received word that the expedition had halted 
so he brought additional men and supplies and reunited 
with Smith and Campbell. Not ha\ ing sufficient num- 
bers of horses, the men took turns walking to Cache 
Valley in present-day Utah where thev arrived in June 
for the 1826 rendezvous. In less than three \ears 

Ashley's men had 
trapped 500 packs of 
beaver (50.000 pelts) 
worth more than 
$250,000 on the east 
coast.'" Ashley now 
had the money neces- 
sar\ to launch his po- 
litical career so he dis- 
solved the Ashley- 
Smith firm, selling his 
share to Dav id E. Jack- 
son, and William L. 
Sublette who formed 
the partnership of 
Smith. Jackson. & 
18. 1826. Campbell 
acted as w itness and 
recorder for the trans- 
action and agreed to 
continue pro\ iding his 
clerical services to the 
new com pan V and 
Smith's two new partners. Bill Sublette in particular, 
were the next important contacts Campbell made.'" 

'" Cloke>. ./,?/;/tn. 78-100. W illiam R. Ncster. The Ankara liar 
The Firsi Plains Indian it ar IS2JI (Missoula: Mountain Press Pub- 
lishing C'oinpan>. 2001 1: White and Gowans. " traders to Trap- 
pers." Montana 43; 62; "More Reports on the Fur trade and inland 
Trade to .Mexico. 1 S.'! 1." Glimpses o/lhe Past 9 (3 ). ( Reprint. 1 942): 
XO: Dale L. Morgan. Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the H'est 
(Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co.. 1953). 8h-9J. 

'' Fred R. Gowans. Rncky Mountain Rendezvous IS25-IS40 
(Pro\o; Brigham ^'oung llni\ersit> Press. 1976), 

'"" Campbell. "Narrative." 4. Richard M. Clokev. H'llliain H. 
Ashle}' l.nterprise and Polities in the Trans-\tississippi H'est 
(Norman, l^niversitv ofOklahoma Press. 19X0). 161-69 

'^ Campbell. "Narrative." 4-6, Smith's confidence in Campbell 
enabled Robert to attain leadership positions \er> quickly in the 
.Ashlev -Smith and later the Smith, .lackson. &. Sublette partner- 
ships, \Kngdn. Jeilediah Smith. 172-4, 

'" Cited in \\ illiam F Parrish. et al. Missouri The Heart of the 
XalioniSl. Louis: Forum Press. 1980), 69, 

" Campbell provides one ol'the leu records of this important 
transaction, Campbell. "Narrative." 8-9. An addendum to his nar- 
rative states that in the summer of 1826 "We remained in Cache 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Campbell's success in building a friendship with in- 
fluential men such as Hugh Campbell, John O'Fallon, 
William Ashley, Jedediah Smith, and William Sublette 
created a network of influential contacts with connec- 
tions to high-ranking military officers, government offi- 
cials, financiers, and merchants. His reliable character 
made him a valued associate and presented him with a 
string of employment opportunities that helped him to 
become a major player in the fur trade and to earn a 
substantial amount of money at the same time. 

Know ing the right people was not enough to suc- 
ceed in the fur trade. One also had to become 
proficient in the diplomatic negotiations with In- 
dians. The same integrity, honesty, and character that 
earned Campbell lifelong friends also won him the trust 
and confidence of many Indians. Campbell was adept 
in his relationship with Indian tribes because of his open 
and honest nature, and his genuine friendships with In- 
dian leaders. Campbell's first Indian contact was with 
the Pawnees during the winter of 1825-1826. Ashley 
had unwisely sent Smith and Campbell to the Rocky 
Mountains from St. Louis in the late fall. Winterquickly 
set in on the Plains, forcing their party to take refuge at 
a Pawnee village on the south side of the Republican 
Fork of the Platte River. One third of the mules died 
and their 70-man party suffered greatly for want of 
provisions. In their situation, they consumed the Paw- 
nee corn caches for sustenance. When the Pawnees 
returned from their buffalo hunt. Smith and Campbell 
paid them for the corn they had consumed, which im- 
pressed Chief Ishkatupa so much that he insisted the 
two stay in his lodge until they left a few months later to 
join Ashley. Ishkatupa would be the first of many In- 
dian leaders from the Missouri to the Columbia-men 
like Cut Face (Shoshone), Insillah (Red Feather or Little 
Chief; Flathead), Bracelette de Fer (Iron Wristbands; 
Shoshone), Friday (Warshinum; Arapaho), Eshehunska 
(Long Hair. Old Burns; Crow), and Arapooish (Rotten 
Belly; Crow)-who would regard Campbell as a fi-iend.'* 
While Campbell was expanding U.S. fur interests, 
the British fur companies were actively working to 
hinder American competition and settlement to the Pa- 
cific Northwest. In 1821, the Hudson's Bay Company 
sent trapping brigades to the Snake River country to 
trap all of the beaver and create a "fur desert" as a 
political move aimed at keeping Americans from ven- 
turing into the Oregon Country, an area that had been 
under British/American joint-occupation since 1818. 
Hudson's Bay Company leader John McLoughlin sent 
out Peter Skene Ogden and a large number of profi- 
cient Iroquois trappers formerly of the NWC to once 

again cover the region. On May 23, 1 825, one of the 
most notorious confrontations between British and 
American trappers occurred at Mountain Green, later 
known as Deserter's Point, near present-day Ogden, 
Utah. As a result, 29 men-most of them John Grey's 
Iroquois trappers-joined the Americans with the prom- 
ise of higher wages and status as free-trappers.'" 

After Campbell had spent a year learning the ropes 
from David E. Jackson, Smith, Jackson & Sublette as- 
signed Campbell as the leader of the northern brigade, 
which included the Iroquois trappers who had left the 
HBC. Smith, Jackson & Sublette relied solely upon 
Campbell to uphold their interests against the HBC."-" 
Campbell readily adapted to his new role and his bri- 
gade set out to trap the Flathead country along the head- 
waters of the Missouri, Columbia, Deer Lodge and Bit- 
ter Root rivers. Campbell made a good impression, not 
only among his band of Iroquois but also among the 

Valley only a couple ofweeks, long enough to complete the traffic 
with the trappers. After we left Cache Valley, .lackson and Sublette 
met us on Bear River. Ashley then sold out his interest in the fur 
trade to Smith, his partner, and to Jackson and Sublette, the new 
firm being known as Smith. Jackson. & Sublette." Dale L. Morgan 
Papers. MS 560. Microfilm reel 77. frame 1074. (Salt Lake City: 
University of Utah Marriott Library -Manuscripts Division, in coop, 
with UC Berkeley, n.d.); Morgan. Westof William H. Ashley. 149-153; 
John E. Sunder. Bill Sublette. Mountain A/ow (Norman: University 
ofOklahoma Press. 1959). 64. 

'* Campbell. "Narrative." 4. 

'" Lyndon S. Clayton. "The Role of the Iroquois in the North 
West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company and Expansion of 
the Fur Trade: Western Canadian Interior. New Caledonia. 
Columbian Enterprise and the Snake Country. 1790-1825." (M.A. 
thesis. Brigham Young University. 1999); John P. Reid. Contested 
Empire: Peter Skene Ogden and the Snake River Expeditions 
(Norman: University ofOklahoma Press. 2002). 103-13. While 
Ogden's brigade encamped on the river, one of John Weber"s groups, 
under the direction of Johnson Gardner, attempted to lure Ogden"s 
men away by promising higher wages and by claiming the British 
men were trespassing on American soil. The next morning a contin- 
gent of Americans waving flags confronted Ogden and told him he 
must leave or be driven out. Gardner's ploy worked. 1 he Ameri- 
cans received 700 beaver pelts and were joined by 29 of Ogden's 
men. In reality, the British and Americans were both trespassing on 
Mexican soil and the only man possibly possessing a Mexican 
license. Etienne Provost, remained aloof from the conflict. Provost 
was but one of a number of Americans and Mexicans operating out 
of Taos and Santa Fe. trading and trapping in the southem and 
central Rockies. Jack B. Tykal. Etienne Provost: Man of the Moun- 
tains (Liberty\,Utah: Eagle's View Publishing. 1989). 48-54; David 
J. Weber. The Taos Trappers: The Fur Trade in the Far Southwest. 
1540-1846 (Norman: University ofOklahoma Press, 1971 ). 49. 

-" Campbell, "Narrative." 14-15; Morgan. Jedediah Smith, 1 79; 
John C. Jackson. Shadow on the Tetons: David E. Jackson and the 
Claiming of the American West (Missoula: Mountain Press Pub- 
lishing Co., 1993), 124; Vivian L. Talbot. David E. Jaclcson: Field 
Captain of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade (Jackson: Jackson Hole 
Museum and Teton County Historical Society. 1996). 69-70. 

Summer 2003 


Flatheads and Nez Perce by honoring their request that 
his men not hunt buffalo in the Bitterroot Valley for a 
weel< or two. CampbelTs friendship had a profound in- 
fluence upon Flathead Chief Insillah. who was among 
the first Indians baptized by Catholic Father Pierre Jean 
De Smet. Father Adrian Hoecken wrote Father De Smet 
from Flathead Camp in the Blackfeet countr\ that: 

Among our dear Flatheads. Michael Insula or Red 
Feather... Is well knoun and much bekned b\ the whites, 
who have had occasion to deal witli him. as a man of 
sound judgment, strict integrit\ . and one whose tldelitv 
they can implicitly rely. A keen discerner of the charac- 
ters of men. he loves to speak especially of those whites, 
distinguished for their tine qualities, that have visited 
him. and often mentions w ith pleasure the sojoum among 
them of Colonel Robert Campbell, of St. Louis, and of 
Major Fitzpatrick. whom he adopted, in accordance w ith 
Indian ideas of courtes\. as his brothers." 

While returning to the Three Forks. Blackfeet attacked 
Campbells part\ along the Jefferson River and killed 
the Iroquois Chief Pierre Tevanitagon. for whom Pierre's 
Hole is named.-- Following the incident, the Iroquois 
and freemen decided the\ would go no further and de- 
sired to return to the Flathead camp to spend the win- 
ter. CampbelFs hunt had been very successful, averag- 
ing 70-75 skins per man. Though he needed to remain 
close to keep his Iroquois trappers from British intlu- 
ence, Campbell traveled through deep snow to report 
the fall hunt results to the partners wintering at Cache 
Valley. As Utah, western Wyoming, and southern Idaho 
produced ever decreasing numbers of beaver due to 
the extensive trapping of the previous four years. Smith, 
Jackson & Sublette turned their attention northwest to 
Flathead countrv and northeast to Crow territory. 
CampbelFs brigade trapped the Big Horn, Wind, Tongue. 
Rosebud, and Powder rivers, concentrating on the area 
in eastern Wyoming between the Big Horn mountains 
and Black Hills. Part of the area he trapped in during 
1828 and 1829 is now part of Campbell County.-' 

In 1 828 Campbell led a brigade to the Crow territory 
alongthe Yellowstone and its tributaries. Asthev moved 
east, CampbelFs brigade cached 1 50 pelts at the junc- 
tion of Little Wind and Wind rivers. A band of Crows 
discovered and raided their cache. Campbell confronted 
their chief, Arapooish, to implore him to find out who 
stole the pelts and have them returned to their proper 
owners. Amazingly. CampbelFs reputation among the 
Crows, particularly his friendship to the principal chief 
of the Crows, Long Hair (Old Burns), enabled him to 
get the stolen skins back.-^ 

Campbell related "I went into that country trapping 
as before stated. I then went up to the Cache river at 

Po-po-agie, where it joins the Wind river, and made a 
cache there to put in mv beaver. A war party of Crows 
that had been down to the Cheyennes and Arapahos. 
were returning and found my cache. They took 150 
skins." Campbell was staying in the lodge of the princi- 
pal chief of the Mountain Crows. Eshehunska (Long 
Hair. Old Bums). Some Crow warriors brought in some 
scalps and held a scalp dance during which sotne of 
them recounted their exploits. ""Among other things the\ 
boasted of having found my cache. The old Chief then 
came into my lodge and said to me "Ha\e \ou been 
catching beaver?" "Yes"!. I answered. "What \ou do 
with it?" asked the chief "Put it in the ground." said I. 
"Where is it'^." he enquired. I drew a plan of the ground, 
where my beaver had been cached. The old chief then 
said, "^'ou talk straight about it!""" Long Hair related 
that there had been no white traders among thern for 
four years and that a war party had found CampbelFs 
cache and opened it. taking 1 50 skins. L\hibiting both 
integrity and charity, the chief told Catiipbell ""Now dont 
let your heart be sad. You are in my lodge, and all these 
skins will be given back to you. I'll neither eat. drink nor 
sleep till \ou get all \ou skins. Now count them as the> 
come in! He then mounted his horse and harangued the 
village. sa> ing to his people that he had been a long time 
w ithout traders, and thev must not keep one skin back."" 

-' llirain Chittenden and .Allrcd lalhot Richardson, cd.. Life. 
Letters anil TruveL^ oj Lather Pierre Jean De Smet. S .J ISdl-lS".^ 
4 vols. (New York: Francis P. Harper. 19115). 1231-32. In 1832. tour 
Nez Perce Indians \ entured to St. Louis to learn more about Chris- 
tianity. Lollowing their visit. Robert Campbell encouraged the es- 
tablishment ot'missions among the Flatheads in the 183(ls\shen he 
wrote on April 13. 1833. that ""Ihe Flat Head Indians arc proverbial 
tor their mild disposition and friendship to the whiles and 1 have 
little hesitation in saving a missionar> would be treated b\ them 
with kindness." Cited in lliram M. Chittenden. The Ameriean Fur 
Lrade of the Far West (1902; reprint. New York: Barnes & Noble. 
Inc.. 19351.637.902-03. 

-- Campbell w itnessed his tlrst scalping when the Iroquois retali- 
ated tor the mutilation of Old Pierre b\ killing two Blackfeet. 
Campbell. "Narrative." 16. 

-' Organized on Ma\ 23. 191 1. with Gillette as the countv seat. 
Campbell Counts represents the seventh largest county in Wyo- 
ming covering 4.761 square miles. Campbell Count\. \V\oming. 
received its name for Robert Campbell and W \ oming's first territo- 
rial governor, .lohn .A. Campbell. Marie IF lirwm. Wyonuiiii Ihs- 
lorieal Bhiehook (Che>enne: Wyoming State Archives., n.d). 1 163. 
Charles G. Coutant. History of Wyoming and the Far West. 2d ed. 
(New York: Argonaut Press. Ltd.. 1966). 132. 

-■' During this visit, the famous chief honored Campbell b\ allow- 
ing him to measure his hair, which Campbell found to be more than 
eleven feet long. Morgan and Hdimi. .Anderson. 199-200. For a full 
account of CampbelFs negotiations with Arapooish (Rotten Bellv ) 
see Coutant. Hisloiy of Wyoming: Washington In ing. .-tdventiires of 
Captain Bonneville. I ' S..4 . in the Rocky Mountains and the Far 
West. Rev. ed. (New York: G. P. Putnam. 18681. 239-248. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Nearly all of the skins were returned, Campbell and 
Long Hair were both satisfied, and the chief broke his 

Some tribes, such as those belonging to the Blackfoot 
Confederacy-Blackfeet, Piegans. Bloods, and Atsinas 
(Gros Ventres or Grovan of the River)-did not wel- 
come American trappers and traders because they re- 
alized the rendezvous system aided their rivals, provid- 
ing armaments and supplies to Shoshones, Utes, Crows. 
Flatheads, and Nez Perces. Confederacy members had 
benefitted from trading with the British along the 
Saskatchewan River and did not want to lose the ad- 
vantages the British traders provided them. As hun- 
dreds of mountain men and thousands of Indians gath- 
ered to resupply and to participate in games and recre- 
ation, the presence of many trade goods and the huge 
horse herds served as the ultimate temptation for Plains 
Indians. As could be expected, several major encoun- 
ters took place during the rendezvous era. Blackfeet 
raiders traded the horses and furs that had been stolen 
from the Americans with British traders for guns and 
tobacco. Fear of Blackfoot hostilities forced Americans 
to keep their brigades large enough to withstand an at- 
tack but large parties reduced trapping efficiently.-" 

When Blackfeet attacked the trappers Indian allies, 
mountain men usually joined them in battle to support 
their friends. Such was the case of the two attacks at 
the Bear Lake rendezvous in 1 827 and 1 828. At the 
first one. a Blackfoot war party surprised and killed 
five Shoshones. Shoshone Chief Cut Face asked the 
mountain men to show their friendship and loyalty by 
assisting them in mounting a counterattack. William 
Sublette gathered nearly three hundred trappers and 
charged the enemy. Campbell recounts how the pow- 
der brought out in 1 827 was so poor his men joked how 
they could pull the trigger and lay the gun down before 
it actually fired. In 1828, Blackfeet once again attacked 
Campbell's men at Bear Lake, killing his cook. Camp- 
bell led the men to some willows for protection and 
after nearly four hours of fighting and with ammunition 
running low. Campbell and another volunteer broke 
through the fray and rode eighteen miles to Bear Lake 
where men awaiting the rendezvous came as reinforce- 
ments. The Blackfeet. correctly interpreting Campbell's 
intentions, retreated before the relief party arrived.-' 

The last major incident Campbell had with Atsinas 
occurred near Pierre's Hole in present-day Idaho when 
Atsinas attacked mountain men leaving the 1832 ren- 
dezvous for the fall hunt near Teton Pass.-' The Atsinas 
made a fortification in the willows and fought tenaciously 
against the trappers and Indian allies so word was sent 
to the men in Pierre's Hole of the battle and Campbell 

and Sublette brought reinforcements. After several more 
hours of fighting, during which Sublette received a shoul- 
der wound, the Atsinas tricked the trappers into think- 
ing a large party of Blackfeet were now attacking the 
unprotected men, women, and children at the rendez- 
vous. The trappers raced back to Pierre's Hole and the 
Atsinas fled under the cover of darkness. Several moun- 
tain men and Indians died and many were wounded 
while Atsina casualties totaled between 27 and 50.-° 
These attacks by members of the Blackfoot Confed- 
eracy demonstrate just how critical it was to make it 
through these skirmishes unscathed. Campbell was lucky 
and received no wounds while Milton Sublette. William 
Sublette, and Thomas Fitzpatrick did. 

Despite Blackfeet hostilities. Campbell had befriended 
Iroquois. Crows, and Flatheads. and exhibited genuine 
friendship with Ishkatupa. Insillah, and Eshehunska. 
After retiring from the mountains. Campbell served as 
a liaison for the government. His vast knowledge and 
association with dozens of Indian tribes resulted in two 
appointments as Indian Commissioner. The first was in 
1851 when he joined Pierre De Smet. Thomas 
Fitzpatrick Jim Bridger, and David D. Mitchell for the 
important Treaty of Fort Laramie and met with 10,000 
Indians from tribes representing the Sioux, Cheyenne, 
Arapaho, Snake. Bannock. Crow and others on Horse 

-- Campbell. '"Narrati\e." 21-22. 

-'• Oscar Lewis. The Effects of While Contact Upon Blackfoot 
Culture With Special Reference to the Role of the Fur Trade (New 
York: .1. J. .Augustin. 1942). 36-40: John C. Ewers. Blackfeet: Raid- 
ers on the Sortlnvesiern Plains (Norman: Universlu of Oklahoma 
Press. 1958). In 1837. the artist Alfred Jacob Miller estimated 
Blackfeet and Atsina killed between fort_\ and fift> mountain men a 
year during the fur trade. Marvin C. Ross. ed.. The H'est of Alfred 
Jacob Miller (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1951). 148. 

-' Campbell. "Narrative," 19-20. Beckwourlh claims it was he 
and not Campbell who rode through the line. Delmont R. Oswald, 
ed.. The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwoiirth. Mountaineer. 
Scout. Pioneer and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians as told to T 
D. Bonner [London. 1892; reprint, Lincoln: University ofNebraska 
Press, 1972). 101-10. 

-* LeRoy R. Hafen, ed.. [Warren .A. Ferris] Life in the Rocky- 
Mountains. .4 Diary of Wanderings on the Sources of the Rivers 
Missouri. Columbia, and Colorado 1830-1835. with Supplemen- 
tary Writings and a Detailed Map of the Fur Trade (Denver: Old 
West Publishing Co., 1 983), 222-3: The Atsina had probably taken 
the flag earlier when they had massacred a party of British rather 
than of having received it from the British as the Americans be- 
lieved. W. F. Wagner, eA., Adventures ofZenas Leonard. Fur Trader 
andTrapper. /Si/-/Si6 (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers Com- 
pany, 1904), 1 1 1-118; Washington Irving, Bonneville. 73-80. 

-" Robert Campbell, writing a letter to his brother Hugh just 
before the battle began, provided the very best primary account of 
the events of the battle. Campbell, Rocky Mountain Letters. 7-1 1. 
William H. Garrison, ed. The Life and Adventures of George Nidever 
(Berkeley: University of Califomia Press, 1937), 26-30. 

Summer 'J00:3 


Creek of the Platte (south of Ft. Laramie). The Great 
Council lasted eighteen da\s and out of it grew the 
Treat> of Fort Laramie. After the demise of the AFC 
in 1865. Campbell turned his attention to try and elimi- 
nate corruption among the Indian agents on the upper 
Missouri and called for the abolition of the inadequate 
treaty system. President Ulysses S. Grant appointed 
Campbell tothe Board of Commissioners for the Inter- 
est and Civilization of the Indians, which in 1870. estab- 
lished more amicable relations between the U. S. gov- 
ernment and the Indians.-" 

CampbelLs involvement in the fur trade increased 
during the 1 830s. His intellect and courage had 
brought him to positions of leadership and respon- 
sibility for Ashley & Smith and SJ&S. Following the 
1829 rendezvous, SJ&S entrusted Campbell to trans- 
port the furs back to St. Louis where he arrived in late 
August. Campbell received $3,0 1 6 for his four years of 
services to Ashley-Smith, and Smith, Jackson, and 
Sublette." Fur traders Lucien Fontenelle and Andrew 
Drips proposed forming a threesome but Campbell de- 
clined, informing them he intended to form a partner- 
ship with his friend Jedediah Smith in the near future. 
Letters from his mother Elizabeth, sister Ann. and 
brother Hugh, along with family financial concerns fi- 
nally convinced Campbell to take leave of the mountain 
business for a time and return to Ireland. '- 

After returning from Ireland to St. Louis in JuK 1 83 1 , 
Ashley employed him in clerical work that fall while 

Map drawn h\ author 

Campbell waited for his friend Smith to return from 
Santa Fe." During CampbelLs absence. SJ&S had sold 
out to the Rock\ Mountain Fur Company (RMFC). made 
up of Thomas Fitzpatrick. Jim Bridger. Milton Sublette. 

'" Traveling with W illiaiii Fa\el (who recorded Camphell's \ar- 
ralivc at this tiniel Campbell's goodwill mission took him to Fort 
Laramie where he parla\ed with Red Cloud about issues such as 
American encroachment into the Black Hills. Nadeau. Fort Laramie 
and ! he Sioii.x tiniians. 161; Hiram M. Chittenden and Albert T. 
Richardson, eds.. Life. Letters and Travels of Father Pierre-Jean de 
Sniel. S J FS()1-IS'3(4 vol.; New York: Francis P. Harper. 1905). 

" Morgan and Harris. .Inderson. 272. Actual wages may have 
been $2,927.87 according to .Ashley's account records. Morgan. 
West of William LI Ashley. 198-202. 319. 

'- Lucien Fontenelle and Andrew Drips to Robert Campbell. 
Council Blufts. August 9. 1829. Campbell Papers. Missouri His- 
torical Societv, the pleading for Robert to leave the land of the 
"Blackt'ooted. Blackheaded and Blackhearted Savages" and to come 
home filled nearly every letter from his family. An example is a 
letter written from Hugh to Robert on November 13.1 828 saying "1 
conjure \ou to abandon it [the mountain trade]. . . Sell everything 
and come work with me. . Return to ci\ ilization & Security . Do 
not— do not refuse me." See also .Ann Campbell to Robert Campbell. 
June 5. 1827, and June 1 1. 1829. asking Robert to return home. 
Campbell Papers. Missouri Historical Society. 

'' Campbell wrote a letter to John O'Fallon to hear where Smith 
was, O'Fallon wrote back on June 30 that unconfirmed rumors 
reported the parts had crossed the .Arkansas without incident. He 
did not know that Smith was already killed. John O'Fallon to Rob- 
ert Campbell. June 30. 1831. St. Louis. Campbell Papers. Missouri 
Historical Society . Morgan and Harris. Anderson. 272-3. Smith had 
sent Robert's brother Hugh a letter in November 1 830 and told him 
that he would have eight to ten thousand dollars to invest with 
Robert. Morgan, Smith. 323-4, 357-8. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Henry Fraeb, and Jean Gervais following the 1 830 ren- 
dezvous. Smith, Jackson, and Sublette retained the right 
to serve as middlemen, sell the company's furs, and 
provide supplies at the rendezvous, provided the RMFC 
notified them in time. With SJ&S dissolved. Smith 
wanted to form a partnership with Campbell but since 
the latter was in Ireland. Smith purchased his own out- 
fit and joined with Jackson and Sublette in trying his 
luck on the Santa Fe Trail. Unfortunately. Comanche 
warriors killed Jedediah Smith while he scouted ahead 
searching for water along the Cimarron Cutoff" Jack- 
son and Sublette reached Santa Fe on July 4 before 
being joined b\ Fitzpatrick, who purchased supplies from 
the men and headed north through Taos, picking up Kit 
Carson and several others to help him take the supplies 
to the Rockies for distribution that fall and winter. Jack- 
son and Sublette decided to end their partnership. With 
Jackson heading for California. Sublette returned to 
Missouri as the only possible supplier to the RMFC for 
the following year. 

In October. Campbell traveled to Lexington where 
he met Thomas Fitzpatrick, who had just recently re- 
turned from the mountains, and William Sublette, newly 
arrived from Santa Fe. Together they formulated their 
plans for 1832." Sublette, who had just returned from 
the Santa Fe Trail, decided to outfit a train to supply the 
RMFC at the 1 832 rendezvous. Robert Campbell bought 
his own outfit and accompanied him. Campbell employed 
five men and purchased ten pack horses laden with 
goods for his own small venture that he joined to 
Sublette's caravan.'" On April 25 Sublette received a 
two-year license to trade with the Indians from Super- 
intendent of Indian Affairs William Clark, which included 
provisions to take 450 gallons of whiskey." Leaving 
Independence in mid-May, Sublette's train of some 60 
men departed with Campbell bringing up the rear. Trav- 
eling up the Platte until they reached buffalo country 
near the Black Hills (Laramie Range), they reached 
the Black Hills a month later.'* They continued west, 
crossed South Pass and Teton Pass and descended into 
the Teton Basin, just west of the Tetons on the Wyo- 
ming-Idaho border. What was to become the largest 
and grandest rendezvous of the fur trade, the 1832 
Pierre's Hole gathering was a gaudy affair with hun- 
dreds of men from the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, 
the American Fur Company, free trappers, engages, 
and thousands of Flathead and Nez Perce Indians." 

Because of so much competition, Campbell needed 
to deal effectively with competition and display flexibil- 
ity and innovation due to the changing circumstances. 
Two of the competitors Campbell faced during his de- 
cade in the Rockies were the Hudson's Bay Company 

and the American Fur Company. The Hudson's Bay 
Company's Snake River brigades had been quite suc- 
cessful in keeping American trappers from venturing 
further west than present-day Idaho. One of Campbell's 
successful diplomatic encounters with the HBC came 
in February 1828 when he and two companions trav- 
eled by snowshoes back to his men camped on the 
Snake River. On February 1 7, 1 828, instead of finding 
his men, he arrived at the snowed-in Hudson's Bay 
Company camp of Peter Skene Ogden at the 
confluence of the Portneuf and Snake rivers. Campbell, 
after traveling 44 days on snowshoes, could barely walk 
and needed to nurse his sore ankles. Even as a guest at 
a competitor's camp, Campbell was firm with Ogden, 
informing him that two of Ogden's trappers, Goodrich 
and Johnson, still owed considerable debt to SJ&S and 
had not been released from service and requested that 
they return. Ogden reminded him of the incident in 1 825 
when his Iroquois and a large catch of fur fell into 
American hands at Deserter's Point on the Weber River. 
Campbell used both skill and diplomacy in keeping his 
Iroquois trappers from defecting back to the British, in 
getting Goodrich and Johnson to rejoin him to repay 
their debts, and later in persuading the Flatheads to trade 
with the Americans instead of the British.^" 

Campbell's challenge to John Jacob Astor's Ameri- 
can Fur Company proved more difficult since the AFC 
was the most successful large-scale American fur com- 
pany with trading operations extending from the Co- 
lumbia to the Missouri. By the 1830s, they began at- 
tending the rendezvous. Following the 1 832 rendezvous, 
the RMFC agreed to pay William Sublette nearly $ 1 6,000 
to be settled the following year. Campbell arranged to 

'■' Since Campbell was in Ireland. Smith had appointed newly 
elected congressman Ashley to serve as executor in the event 
Campbell was not present. As it turned out. both served as execu- 
tors of Smith's will in the late summer of 1 83 1 . Papers of the Si. 
Louis Fur Trade. Part Three: '"Robert Campbell Family Collec- 
tion." (Bethesda: University Publications, courtesy. Missouri His- 
tory Society. 1991-1994) reel 15. series 2. part 2. frames 44-47. 

" Talbot. Jackson. 93; Hafen. Broken Hand. 98-9. 

-"' "The 1 832 Account Book of Robert Campbell." Papers of the 
Si. Louis Fur Trade. Part Three: "Robert Campbell Family Collec- 
tion." reel 15. series 2. part I. 

" Sublette Papers. Missouri Historical Society. 

'^ Most likely this is when Robert Campbell chiseled his name 
on Independence Rock in Wyoming. Robert Campbell to Hugh 
Campbell. July 18. 1832. Lewis" Fork (Snake River). Campbell. 
Rocky Mountain Letters, 7-11. 

''^ Gowans. Rendezvous. 73-95. 

'"' Glyndwr Williams and David E. Miller, eds.. Peter Skene 
Ogden 's Snake Country Journals, 1827-28 and 1828-9 (London: 
Hudson's Bay Record Society, 1971), 62-66. Reid. Contested Em- 
pire. 184-86. Morgan and Harris. Anderson. 272. 

Summer '2003 


sell most of his merchandise, sent the men out on the 
fall hunt, and retained a few men to help him transport 
the furs to St. Louis/' By October 3 he had made ar- 
rangements with Ashley to sell the 1 69 packs of beaver 
pelts and then he faithfully nursed his friend back to 
health at Sublette's Sulphur Springs ranch on the out- 
skirts of St. Louis. While there the two discussed the 
developments of the past year and plotted together on 
how to capitalize on the future. On December 20, 1 832, 
they formed the Sublette & Campbell firm of St. Louis 
(S&C) and planned their strategy to compete with their 
American Fur Company rival.^- 

The early I 830s marked the heyday of the Rocky 
Mountains fur trade. The RMFC faced new competi- 
tion from Boston merchant Nathaniel W\eth, army of- 
ficer Benjamin L. E. Bonneville, and various indepen- 
dent trapping parties like Gant and Blackwell. James 
O. Pattie, Joshua Pilcher, Charles and William Bent, 
Ceran St. Vrain and others who edged in and garnered 
a portion of the beaver trade. With all of these new 
companies competing for pelts, the RMFC's returns 
began to diminish and even though S&C held the exclu- 
sive rights to supply the rendezvous, they realized that 
to survive they needed to diversify their portfolio and 
decided to challenge the American Fur Company on 
the Missouri River by building rival posts adjacent to 
those of the AFC. The firm saw the benefits of trading 
with Indians for buffalo hides in the growing robe trade. 
Moreover, S&C hoped to force the giant fur company 
to make concessions to keep the AFC stayed out of the 
mountain trade in exchange for S&C to withdraw from 
the Missouri or at least put enough pressure on them to 
produce a buyout. 

Campbell had an insider's perspective on the fur trade, 
had lived through its dangers, and had contacts to pro- 
cure merchandise and provide financing. With the po- 
litical clout and financial resources of the Astors of New 
York and the Chouteaus of St. Louis, the AFC posed 
the most viable threat to take control of the Rocky 
Mountain fur trade in the 1830s. John Jacob Astor's 
company had recently moved west from the Great 
Lakes and Mississippi River regions and appeared con- 
tent for a time to dominate the river trade, in 1 832 the 
AFC decided to try its hand in the Rocky Mountains 
and sent out Lucien Fontenelle, Henry Vanderburgh, 
and Andrew Drips. Vanderburgh and Drips let others 
lead them to the furs and then outlasted them through 
cutthroat competition (ie. charging lower prices, using 
liquor to secure the Indian trade, etc.). Moreover, com- 
petition increased the use of liquor to gain an advantage 
and put competitors out of business. With so much ri- 
valry, there were simply not enough furs to go around. 

With the Rocky Mountains crowded, Sublette and 
Campbell saw the wisdom in establishing a river trade 
to tr\' and break the AFC's monopoly on the Missouri 
River. Additionally, S&C had the powerful political and 
financial backing from Ashley, now a congressman, who 
honored their drafts, handled their accounts, gave them 
cash advances at six percent interest, and sold their 
furs for a two and one-half cent commission.^ ' Although 
S&C owed Ashley upwards of $27,500, the partners 
had $46,750 coming from the RMFC as well as 1 1 .000 
pounds of fur to sell. They also reached an agreement 
to supply the RMFC at the 1833 rendezvous. Though 
Sublette and Campbell's ambitious undertaking to op- 
pose the giant AFC appeared foolhardy at first glance, 
conditions seemed right for such a challenge. Astor, 
nearing 70 years old, had already contemplated retire- 
ment and 1833 marked the end of the American Fur 
Company's 25-year charter granted by the New York 
legislature in 1 808. Astor foresaw a complete reorgani- 
zation of the company headed by his son William in 
New York and Ramsay Crooks and Pierre Chouteau in 
St. Louis. While in Europe in 1 832, Astor saw his first 
silk hat and recognized the beaver trade would soon 
decline. He saw the expedience of making profits from 
beaver pelts before the demand for them further dimin- 
ished.^^ Despite the AFC's apparent uncertain future, 
few bankers and suppliers offered S&C fmancial sup- 
port. Undaunted, Campbell and Sublette combined their 
determination, experience, and confidence with Ashley's 
credit, business contacts, and political clout to give their 
opposition to Astor real promise. 

Campbell and Sublette traveled east in December 
1832 to learn the market conditions firsthand and to 
establish business contacts in Washington, Neu York 
and Philadelphia who would be willing to supply them 
during their forthcoming year. Yet even with Ashley's 
instructions and letters of introduction, few Washington 
money brokers willingly offered the partners assistance 
until Ashley made a speech in the House of Represen- 
tatives praising the partners' abilities, character, and 
predicting their eminent success.^^ Several bankers and 

■" .Articles of Agreement between the RMFC and Sublette quoted 
ui llat'en. Broken Hand. 1 16-8. 

■*■ ["ereiic Morton Szasz. Scots in the North American West. I '90- 
19 r (Nomian: University ofOklahoma Press. 2000). 3 1 : Sunder. 
Sublette. 112-3, 

-''Clokey,.-(i/i/fy. 186. 

" David Lavender. The Fi.'^l in the Wilderness {Qaxdtiw Cit\. NY; 
Doubleday. 1964).411-2. 

■" Sunder provides an excellent description of the pair's tra\ els, 
S .nAex. Sublette. 1 16-23. .lohn I', Terrell. The Six Turnings Major 
Changes in the American West. I806-IS34 (Glendale; .Arthur H. 
Clark Co,. 1968). 221, 

Annals of Wyoming, The Wyoming History Journal 

supply houses took this speech to mean Ashley was 
reentering the fur trade and so they quickly offered 
Campbell and Sublette credit. Of particular assistance 
was Robert CampbelTs brother Hugh, now part of Gill. 
Campbell & Company who operated a Philadelphia store 
at 94 Market Street. While Campbell and Sublette en- 
joyed Christmas Eve at his home. Hugh agreed to sup- 
ply S&C with the majority of their dry goods. Sublette 
and Campbell wrote Ashley requesting $2000 and in- 
formed him of their decision to go to New York for 
their hardware. They asked for his assistance in notify- 
ing Reddle Forsyth & Co. of Pittsburgh to get two new 
keelboats that would handle I 8 to 20 tons. On March 8. 
Ashley's New York broker Frederick A. Tracy com- 
pleted the sale of Campbell and Sublette's furs and by 
the end of the month, S&C had paid off all their debts 
and still had nearly $ 1 5,000 left over to outfit their forth- 
coming enterprise.^" 

With their finances in order, the two partners imple- 
mented their plan. Campbell hired 25-year-old French- 
man Charles Larpenteur as a clerk, received their li- 
cense to trade on April 15 from William Clark, and 
started west. Campbell drove along livestock-20 sheep, 
two bulls and four cows-the sheep to supplement their 
diet of bacon and hard-tack until they reached buffalo 
country, and the cattle to start a herd at their post at the 
confluence of the Yellowstone of the Missouri.^' Due 
to Campbell's organization and efficient leadership the 
caravan traveled rapidly, successfully beating the AFC's 
supply train led by Lucien Fontenelle to the 1 833 ren- 
dezvous and enforcing the RMFC obligation to purchase 
supplies from S&C. Rival trader Nathaniel Wyeth com- 
mended Campbell's caravan "for efficiency of goods, 
men. animals, and arms, 1 do not believe the fur busi- 
ness has afforded a better example of discipline.""'^ 

The competition between the AFC, the RMFC, and 
the HBC, in addition to the added pressures from 
Bonneville and small outfits, had taken its toll and few 
trappers garnered any significant profits. By the ren- 
dezvous' end, Campbell had doubled his profits by trad- 
ing $15,000 in goods for fur worth at least $30,000. 
Campbell left to find Sublette, whom he expected to 
meet near the mouth of Yellowstone, taking the profit- 
able years' furs with him. Campbell avoided misfor- 
tune once again when his bull boat capsized and he 
went under the water three times before making it to 
shore. He arrived at the confluence of the Yellowstone 
and Missouri rivers near Fort Union on August 28.^'^ 

Meanwhile, Sublette boarded the steamboat Otto and 
with a large keelboat full of a valuable cargo of mer- 
chandise, supplies, equipment, and 30 men, set ut for 
the upper Missouri establishing 12-13 new posts at stra- 

tegic points to trade with the Sioux and other tribes and 
to compete with the AFC. The most important post would 
be located near Fort Union at the confluence of the 
Yellowstone and Missouri rivers.^" Upon Campbell's 
arrival at the Yellowstone's mouth on August 28, he 
waited for Sublette, who arrived two days later with his 
large keelboat full of supplies and an abundance of li- 
quor for the Indian trade. 

Campbell took responsibility of building Fort William, 
named in Sublette's honor, while Sublette, his brother 
Milton, and nine or 1 men left in late September and 
floated the summer's turs down the Missouri to St. 
Louis.- ' In a letter to his mother written before Sublette 
left. Campbell recalled how "after both [had] travelled 
nearly 4.000 miles in four months" that their planning 
and timing enabling them to meet within two days was 
truly remarkable. He told her that he and his 60 men 
had already completed four houses in 1 days and that 
he expected to stay there all winter trading with the 

^" Sublette mentions Tracy gave him $176,500 at Ashley's re- 
quest. See Robert Campbell and William Sublette to General Wm- 
iam H. Ashley. Philadelphia. December 24. 28. 3 1 . 1 832. and .lanu- 
ar\' 8. 1833. Campbell Paper. Missouri Historical Society. 

■" Sublette and Campbell's trading license enabled them to trade 
at 33 places in Indian country for a year and a half "Siunda. Sublette. 
124. Campbell's 45-man train, with supplies valued at $15,000, 
moved with precision, leaving Lexington. Missouri, on April 28. 
Carter. "Robert Campbell." 55. Ashley always praised his efficient 
co-adjutants Campbell and Sublette for a ""great deal of his success 
in the government of his men" while he was in the fur trade and that 
they excelled in keeping the men under strict rules and thorough 
discipline. The regularity of their marches and order in their camps 
became adopted as the rule or code for all American traders traveling 
to the mountains. W. G. Eliot, Jr.. 1838 memorial address cited in 
Morgan. The If 'est of II illlam H Ashley. 3 1 7n. Larpenteur spent the 
next 40 years on the upper Missouri, the majority of the time as an 
AFC clerk. Elliot Coues. ed.. Forty Years a Fur Trader on the Upper 
Missouri: The Personal Narrative of Charles Larpenteur. I833-18'^2 
vol. 1 (New York: Francis P. Harper. 1898). 1 1-67. An enjoyable 
account of the 1833 Campbell caravan and its members is told in 
Mae Reed Porter and Odessa Davenport. Scotsman in Buckskin: 
Sir William Drummond Stewart and the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade 
(New York: Hastings House. 1963). 27-28. 

■•^ Nathaniel Wyeth to Mr. F. Ermatinger. Green River Rendez- 
vous, July 18, 1833. F. G. Young, ed.. "The Correspondence and 
Journals of Captain Nathaniel J. Wyeth 1831-6." Sources of the 
History of Oregon { 1 899): 69. 

■'''Campbell, "Narrative." 29; Brooks. "Campbell's Private Jour- 
nal." 1 17; Terrell. The Six Turnings. 225. 

*" The identifiable posts built by Sublette & Campbell of St. 
Louis include: Fort William on the Upper Missouri; a small post 
near Fort Jackson, sixty miles above Fort Union; a Mandan trading 
house near old Lisa's Fort; a tiny post on White River near Fort 
Kiowa; a trading group at Crow Camp on Wind River: a post near 
Fort Tecumseh and Fort Pierre; and a Yellowstone post eight miles 
from the rivers' mouth, iund&v. Sublette. 127n. 

" Coues. Larpenteur. 50n.. 53. 

Summer '2003 


Crees and Assiniboines for beaver skins and buffalo 
robes. In a letter to his sister Anne. Campbell explained 
his real reason for sta\ing in the fur trade was not the 
excitement or love of adventure, but that his primary 
objective was "to make money" and "were it not this 
we would all endeavor to fashion ourselves to civilized 
life and no doubt feel ten times the happiness which we 
enjoy here."""' 

To Campbell fell the full responsibility of building his 
main operation post. Campbell deftly organized the men 
and instructed them to cut cottonwood pickets. Located 
two miles by land, six miles b\ water below Fort Union, 
the fort was 150 feet by 130 feet with a stockade of 
eighteen-foot cottonwood pickets. "The boss" house 
stood back, opposite the front door; it consisted of a 
double cabin, having two rooms of 1 8 x 20 feet, with a 
passage between them 1 2 feet \v ide. There were a store 
and warehouse 40 feet in length and 1 8 feet in \\ idth. a 
carpenter's shop, blacksmith's shop, ice house, meat 
house, and two splendid bastions."*' By November 1 5, 
only a few buildings remained unfmished so Campbell 
sent most of the men out to find Arapahos. Cheyennes. 
Crows, Sioux, and other Indian tribes to alert them of 
the new fort and invite them to come and trade. ShortK 
thereafter, a large village of Assiniboines assembled near 
the fort. 

Campbell's Fort Williamjournal demonstrates that the 
handful of successful entrepreneurs like Campbell were 
not a reckless breed of men and did not t1t the devil- 
maN-care stereotype. For the most part, they were se- 
rious-minded, sober, and often religious. Campbell let 
his men have Sunday otf and devoted time to reading 
the Bible, writing family and friends, and fasting. He 
expressed gratitude to God "for his gracious goodness 
in preserv ing me through all the dangers I have passed" 
and prayed for wisdom, understanding, and judgment 
"to lead well and incline his heart to seek after thee as 
the one thing needful without which all worldiv gain is 
but dross. "'^ 

Campbell found lovinghisneighborquitediftlcult, es- 
pecially when the resourceful McKenzieat FortL'nion 
was willing and able to drive out competition through 
threats, purchase, and cutthroat competition. As the chief 
upper Missouri outfit post for the AFC, Fort LInion rep- 
resented the finest, largest post for hundreds of miles. 
With more than 500 men employed and thousands of 
dollars in trade goods, McKenzie could afford to teel 
confident." McKenzie began driving fur prices out of 
Campbell's reach, sent spies to watch and report on the 
activities at Fort William, used homemade liquor from 
his still to insure Campbell could not secure any of the 
Indian trade, and even stole C mpbell's favorite dog.*" 

Scale 2 cm=1 mile 

Of greater consequence, however, was the fact 
McKenzie gave his agents carte blanche permission to 
pa\ any price to secure the Indians" furs. This costly 
method w iped out some of the profits, but it effectively 
enabled his agents to undersell Campbell on all parts of 
the river. McKenzie's plo\ worked and b\ spring 
Campbell only had 1 00 packs of buffalo robes ( 1 robes 
to the pack) while McKenzie had 430 packs.'' By com- 

^- Rolicrt Campbell lo his mother I- li/ahelh and sister .Ann. June- 
tionot'the Missouri and Yellou stone. September 12. ]H}4. C'mnpbell 
I'apers. Missouri Historieal Societ\ 

*' Coues. Larpenleur. 6 1 . 

*■* Brookes. "Campbeirs Private Journal." 1 1 8 

'* Fort Union had 1 2 clerks and 129 men on its pa\ roll in 1833. 
Ray H. Mattison, "Ihe Upper Missouri I'ur Trade; Its Methods of 
Operation." \ebraska Hisloiy 42 no. 1 (March 1961): 5. Ra> H 
Mattison. "Fort LInion: Its Role in the LIpper Missouri Fur 1 rade." 
Xorlh Dakota Histon' 29 (Jan-.April. 1962); Rarton M Barbour. 
Fort i ition and the I ppcr Miss<nin Fur Trade (Norman Unuer- 
sits of Oklahoma Press. 2(101 ). 

^" McKen/ie paid Francois L^eschamp $40 for information on 
the happenings at Fort William and $700 per annum for his ser- 
vices. I?rooks. "Campbell's Joumal." 1 1.'', 

" Campbell and Sublettes" other forts also fared poorlv In addi- 
tion to buftalo robes. Campbell had traded tor packs of beaver 
(live), wolf (six), and fox and rabbit (one). Coues. Larpenleur. 59- 
64: Terrell. The Six I'lirnmgs. 228n. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

peting vigorously at the various rival posts near the 1 3 
S&C established, McKenzie compelled the partners to 
divide their forces, weakening them for their eventual 
overthrow, McKenzie only had to wait for his eventual 

Yet despite McKenzie's apparent victory, the AFC 
desperately wanted to put the damaging publicity they 
received for operating the liquor still at Fort Union be- 
hind them. American Fur Company officials met with 
Sublette in New York in January and February for a 
week's worth of negotiations that resulted in their buy- 
ing out the competition.^" In a letter to McKenzie dated 
April 8. 1834. AFC officials explained that they had 
reached an agreement with Campbell and Sublette to 
"keep them from purchasing a new equipment" avail- 
able to them because of their esteemed reputations and 
the backing of Ashley."" The AFC agreed to retire for 
one year from the Rocky Mountain area with the con- 
dition that Campbell and Sublette relinquish their attempts 
to trade on the Missouri. Additionally, the company prom- 
ised to purchase Campbell and Sublettes' posts and their 
merchandise. Campbell arranged with McKenzie to sell 
the partners" merchandise and Missouri trading posts, 
sent part of his men south to Fort William on the Laramie, 
and was back in St. Louis by early August.'' 

Dwindling profits and the increased competition at 
the last few rendezvous indicated to Campbell and 
Sublette that the beaver trade was dwindling. For the 

last ten years, transporting goods from the east to sup- 
ply the mountain men and hauling the 1 00 pound packs 
of beaver from the mountains to St. Louis had been the 

-^ The American Fur Company records are full of letters on how 
to crush Sublette & Campbell by pay ing extravagant prices to keep 
the robes and trade flowing to the AFC. Mattison. "Upper Mis- 
souri." 15-16. 

^'' Sunder Sublette. 134-35; Lavender. Fist in the Wilderness. 
416-18. Don Berry, A Majority of Scoundrels, an Informal History 
of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company (New York: Harper and Broth- 
ers. 1961). 344-54. 

'* Cited in Chittenden. American Fur Trade. 354. 

"' Campbell. "Narrative." 30. 45. Campbell. "Private Journal." 
115-18; Hugh Campbell to Robert Campbell. Philadelphia. Febru- 
ary 14, and April 5. 1834. Campbell Papers. Missouri Historical 
Society; Carter. "Robert Campbell." 67; "Correspondence of Rob- 
ert Campbell. 1 834- 1845." edited by Stella M. Drummand Isaac H. 
Lionberger Glimpses of the Past. 8 (Jan-June. 1941 ): 3-65; Coues, 
Larpenteur. 63n; The actual contract of the transfer and reorganiza- 
tion was signed June 3. 1834. James L. Clayton. "The American 
Fur Company: The Final Years." (Ph. D. diss.. Cornell University. 
1964). 152. 170-210. With the negotiations completed, a potential 
rival bought out. and his monopoly of the Missouri River trade 
restored. John Jacob Astor retired from the fur trade several months 
later. On June I. 1834. Astor sold the Northern Department to 
Ramsay Crooks and the Western Department to Bernard Pratt. 
Pierre Chouteau and Company. Evidence suggests the AFC wished 
to engage Campbell as a partner, which, in light of the competition 
between Campbell and McKenzie. would have been interesting. 

^■^ LeRoy R. Hafen and Francis F. Young. Fort Laramie and the 
Pageant of the West. 1834-1890 (Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark 
Co.. 1938). 25-26. 

Slimmer 'iOOS 

rule. Ashley's rendezvous system had been revolution- 
ary, adequate for beaver skins wherein mountain men 
could be the chief suppliers. Now. Campbell and Sublette 
saw the wisdom in reluming to the old, established 
method of trading with the Indians for fur. particularly 
tanned buffalo robes. They had the foresight to per- 
ceive the beaver trade was nearly over and the next big 
wave would be bulky buffalo robes transported east in 
wagons. The post trader would replace the mountain 
man and rendezvous system. In fact, this proved true 
as only tlve small AFC rendezvous occurred after 1 834. 
Campbell and Sublette, therefore, made plans to estab- 
lish a central trading post to control the vast interior."- 

The establishment of such a post part-way between 
St. Louis and the fur trapping areas meant a much 
shorter distance for transporting supplies and furs to 
and from the mountains. Located just 800 miles from 
St. Louis and fewer than 30 days march from Indepen- 
dence, Missouri, a fort on the Laramie River would ser\e 
as a type of oasis in the desert, provide a storage facil- 
ity for the bulky buffalo robes, and offer protection from 
the elements, Indian raiding parties, and rival compa- 
nies. Not only would the shorter trip be less hazardous, 
the fort could operate year-round due to its favorable 
location and easy access to both trappers and Indians. 

Because a large part of Campbell and Sublette's fi- 
nancial success depended upon Indians, location of the 
post was critical. The partners agreed that the second 
Fort William (Campbell later renamed it Fort Laramie) 
should be located in the heart of buffalo country at the 
junction of the Laramie and Platte rivers. Situated be- 
tween the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains, 
they recognized it as an excellent gathering place for a 
large number of Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Sioux Indi- 
ans, who could come and go, bringing their furs in at 
any time. The site also served as an intersection of the 
great Platte route to the mountains, the trappers trail 
from Fort Pierre south to Colorado, Taos, and Santa Fe, 
and the only permanent post between Fort Union in 
Montana and Bent's Fort in Colorado and their 1834 
license granted them the right to trade there."' 

With the AFC out of the way in the Rocky Mountain 
trade, Campbell and Sublette prepared for a prosper- 
ous year in 1834. Campbell and Sublette gained a profit 
from the sale of their posts and supplies, but even though 
they had an agreement meant the AFC could not send 
a supply caravan to the 1834 rendezvous but Nathaniel 
Wyeth had already left Independence on April 28 on 
his way to supply the rendezvous.'"* Wyeth had an agree- 
ment with Thomas Fitzpatrick and Milton Sublette to 
supply RMFC in 1834 but they owed Campbell and 
Sublette a large sum of money. The RMFC agreement 


V I 





Vi: lid 

M ^:m 

imf\x "■ ^'^ f 



Interior of Fort Laramie Painting b\ Alfred Jacob Miller 

with Wyeth represented their desire to get out from 
underthe domination of Campbell and Sublette. Sublette 
realized that if Wyeth beat him to the rendezvous, he 
and Campbell would lose out. He quickK caught up 
with Wyeth's train by mid-May and when he arrived at 
the Laramie River at the end of May, he had a three- 
day lead on Wyeth. "- 

Campbell and Sublette carried out their plans to build 
a fort near the confluence of the Laramie and North 
Platte rivers to effectively enter the buffalo robe trade 
of the Plains and be close enough to the mountains to 
supplv the mountain men. About three-quarters of a 
mile up the Laramie River from its junction with the 
Platte, Sublette crossed over to the west bank and dis- 
patched a dozen men with provisions to begin construc- 
tion on the second Fort William ( Laramie)."" With fewer 

" Merrill J. Mattes. The Great Plane River Ruad (L\nco\n: Uni- 
versitN of Nehra.ska Press. 1969). 481. Fort William's establish- 
ment marked the decline of the rendezvous system and the estab- 
lishment of the first of the great permanent supply depots tor the 
Indian trade and overland migration; terrell. The Sl\ Turnings. 237-9. 
Huben 11. Bancroft. Histoiy of Xevada. Colorado, and ii'yoming. 
l54(l-l8SS\o\. 25. (San Francisco: History Company. 1890). 683. 
Their bond listed at $1500 and the capital employed at $2957.12. 
■"Abstract of Licenses issued to trade with the Indians." House 
DocuinenI 97. 33rd Cong.. 2nd sess.; Senate Document 69 Series 
268. .Ian 21. 23rd Cong.. 2nd sess. (Washington. 1835), 

''^Llokcy. Ashley. 196. 

"^ Terrell. The Si.x Turnings. 236. Remi Nadeau. I'ort Laramie 
and the SioiLX Indians {Eng\e\\ood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. 1967). 3. 

'* Hafen and Young. Fort Laramie. 27. 


Annals of Wyoming; The Wyoming History Journal 

provisions to carry. Sublette moved quickly, easily beat- 
ing Wyeth to the Ham's Fork rendezvous and, since he 
was the RMFC's principal creditor, the RMFC was 
obligated to purchase his supplies before Wyeth arrived. 
After affecting the dissolution of the debt-ridden RMFC, 
Sublette left the rendezvous on July 10, taking 60-70 
packs of beaver and arrived back at Fort William 
[Laramie] ten days later. Sublette reached Missouri in 
late August with his load of furs."' 

The Rocky Mountain Fur Company had a disappoint- 
ing beaver hunt. Too much competition and sinking prof- 
its caused the company to dissolve. Despite Campbell 
and Sublette's agreement with the AFC dividing the 
mountain and river trade in 1834. an AFC party under 
Lucien Fontenelle and Andrew Drips trapped in the 
partner's territory in 1834. Toward fall. Fitzpatrick, 
Milton Sublette, and James Bridger joined Fontenelle 
and Drips, to fomi Fontenelle. Fitzpatrick. & Company. 
With the Rock\ Mountain Fur Company dissolved, this 
new AFC controlled company purchased the mountain 
interests of Sublette and Campbell, including a provi- 
sional offer to buy Fort William [Laramie] the following 
year. In less than a year, the AFC had gained control 
of both Fort Williams, but Campbell and Sublette had 
made a substantial profit from their business dealings."'* 

On April 9, Robert Campbell left St. Louis for Fort 
William [Laramie] to transfer the fort to Fontenelle. 
Fitzpatrick. & Company and to bring down accumu- 
lated bea\ er pelts and buffalo robes. Leaving St. Louis 
with two companions. Campbell made excellent time, 
reaching the fort in May. Campbell spent 1 5 days final- 
izing the transfer arrangements with Fontenelle. 
Fitzpatrick. & Company. After collecting his employ- 
ees" furs at Fort William [Laramie]. Campbell. Andrew 
Sublette and 12 companions built several bull boats to 
transport the 460 buffalo robes back to St. Louis. A 
land party took the 630 beaver pelts back on the mules 
Campbell had brought the supplies on."" Robert 
Campbell became the first American to successfully 
navigate the North Platte for a considerable distance. 
The shallow river provided multiple dangers, but until 
quicksand forced him to land near Scott's Bluff he pro- 
ceeded on without much difficulty.™ Just below the 
forks of the Platte, Campbell encountered a hostile 
Arikara village. Using sign language and a gift of to- 
bacco, Campbell got his party safely through. Traveling 
on the north shore, they rode their mules as fast as they 
would carry them until they reached the Pawnee Loupes 
village on the Loupes Fork of the Platte, passed Lucien 
Fontenelle's AFC caravan and a group of Oregon bound 
missionaries before arriving in St. Louis in August." 

Campbell had the luck to survive dangers, the pluck 
to successfully compete with larger rivals, and the 
vision to foresee the decline of the beaver trade 
and the increase in the robe trade. 

Robert Campbell wisely left the mountains before the 
beaver trade collapsed. Too many trappers relying on 
too few resources nearly brought the beaver to extinc- 
tion. Coincidentally. the fashionable French silk hat be- 
came affordable, striking the death knell for the beaver 
trade. Even in 1 834 when Campbell and Sublette built 
Fort William (Laramie) they realized buffalo hides would 
be the next major fur commodity. The financial panic 
of 1 83 7 brought a sudden end to the high prices for fur. 
The dwindling beaver supply, an overabundance of com- 
petitors, and the success of Fort Hall. Fort William 
(Laramie), and Bent's Fort brought an end to the ren- 
dezvous system in 1 840. The qualities of leadership and 
enterprise that brought Campbell success in making 
money in the fur trade carried over into his St. Louis 
business affairs upon his return to civilization and he 
became one of St. Louis' leading citizens and wealthi- 
est merchants. Campbell engaged in various merchan- 
dising ventures, including real estate, invested in rail- 
roads and steamships, and mercantilism. Supplying 
western forts from his mercantile store in St. Louis. 
Campbell continued to participate in the fur trade. 

In I 836 Campbell and Sublette commenced several 
business ventures in St. Louis. Campbell operated a 
general mercantile store at 7 North First Street. In ad- 
dition to receiving the majority of business coming in 
from Santa Fe and Chihuahua. Campbell supplied ex- 
plorers such as Fremont, fur companies, gold rushers 
and other overlanders. opposition groups to the AFC. 
as well as treaty presents and annual Indian annuities. 

"' Sublette and Campbell had thus put down the potential threat 
of Nathaniel Wyeth. who, upon being beaten to the rendezvous, 
took his forty-one men and merchandise on to the Snake River. 
Wyeth's group arrived a little above the Portneuf and Snake 
confluence on July 14th and began building Fort Hall. Hafen. Bro- 
ken Hand. 140-43. 

"* It appears that after the Rocky Mountain Fur Company (com- 
prised of partners Milton Sublette, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Jim Bridger. 
Jean Gervais, and Henry Fraeb) dissolved after the 1834 Ham's 
Fork rendezvous. Campbell and Sublette decided to focus on their 
St. Louis plans to settle down and "entirely withdraw from the 
Indian country ." Sunder. Sublette. 1 44. 

"" Campbell recorded in a July entry about 630 beaver skins: 386 
skins # 1 grade, 1 1 8 #2, 30 #3, and 96 small #2. He listed 460 buffalo 
robes; 50-60 damaged. 50-60 painted. 15 yellow calves, about 25 
rub. and 3 others damaged. Papers of the St- Louis Fur Trade. Part 
3 "Robert Campbell Family Collection," series 2: 82. 

'" Campbell, Rocky Mountain Letters. 21-3. 

" Niles Weekly Register 4» (8 August 1835): 406. 

Summer '2003 


Campbell also provided merchandise for Fort William 
(Laramie), Fort Kearny, the majority of goods sold at 
Bent's Fort, and commodities bought and shipped b> 
Judge William Carter at Fort Bridger.'^ In 1855 an army 
officer related how Campbell's name was good for any 
amount of mone\ and more highly valued than go\ em- 
ment currency." 

Campbell's reputation as the leading financier and main 
competitor to the American Fur Company and the 
Chouteau coalition emerged. As historian John Sunder 
wrote, "to upper Missouri fur trade investors in St. L.ouis 
and the East. Campbell represented anti-Chouteau capi- 
tal in its purest fonn."" Through thrift, sound judgment, 
and persistence, Campbell used his financial assets and 
political connections effectively and continued to pros- 
per from the fur trade from his St. Louis operation base, 
only now it was buffalo hides rather than beaver pelts 
thai garnered high profits. Campbell continued to an- 
tagonize the American Fur Company throughout the 
1840s. 50s, and 60s. He provided the financial backing 
for Alexander Harvey and Charles Primeau in the late 
1 840s and 50s to challenge the AFC on the upper Mis- 
souri. Harve>, Primeau & Co. built Fort Campbell on 
the opposite bank of the river from Fort Benton. Fort 
Campbell did a surprisingly good business in buffalo 
robes and garnered about half that of Fort Benton. For 
a time, the firm of Robert and William Campbell (no 
relation) continued operations until Robert's brother 
Hugh joined him in St. Louis in 1859.'^ A year before, 
former St. Louis mayor John F. Darb\ honored Camp- 
bell as one of the 3 1 pioneers in business who helped 
build St. Louis. St. Louis historian J. Thomas Scharf 
said that Robert Campbell "did as much perhaps as any 
other single individual to give St. Louis her early fame 
in the far West" and was "for nearly a half centur\ a 
conspicuous figure in St. Louis business and social 
circles, and in every relation of life was eminently wor- 
thy of the regard in which he was universally held."'" 

While Campbell never enjoyed the mountain man 
lifestyle, he willingly faced the dangers to earn money. 
He put the capital to use in his St. Louis business ven- 
tures and was a courageous leader who displaved ex- 
emplary character and shared his considerable wealth 
with others. A very successful entrepreneur, Campbell 
lived to become a millionaire. He owned a handsome 

mansion on Lucas Place (now a museum, located on 
1 5th and Locust Streets), as well as a great deal of real 
estate in Missouri and Illinois." His storx pro\ ides an 
important connection of the economic development of 
half a continent and a closer look at the forces which 
projected St. Louis as the crossroads to trade, empire, 
and the western movement and illuminates the life of 
an enterprising young pioneer who helped open the West 
through the search of furs and profits. 

" li was during this time that one of Caiiipbell's clerks at his St. 
f ouis store abbreviated "Fort U illiam. on I aramie River" to "Fort 
Laramie." Fhe mistake eauyht Canipbell's attention and he reeog- 
nized it as the proper name For the Fort Robert Morris stated. "Mr 
Lampbell changed the name oFthe tort. 1 have this Fact From Str 
Campbell himselF" Campbell carried on a significant amount of 
correspondence u ith Fort Faramie's post sutlers Seth Ward. Will- 
iam Bullock, and John Mutton .Agnes W, Spring, ed.. "Old Fetter 
Book." Annals ojllyomiiii; 13:4 ( 1941 ). 2.Wn. 2.37-3.iO: Coutant. 
Ilistun n/li'yoming. .^01 -(12 

" Campbell. Rocky Mounlain Letters. 5. Marilyn F Holt. "Joined 
Forces Robert Campbell and .lohn Dougherty as Military Entre- 
preneurs." licstern llislnncal Oiuirtcrlv 3(1 (Summer 1994): 183- 

" .lohn F, Sunder. I'lie I'nr Trade tin the I p/>er Missouri. IS4H- 
/.S'6.1 (Nomian: University of Oklahoma Press. 1965). 92-3 

''- He also bought a steamboat named the Robert Campbell ,loel 
Overholser. Fort Benton ItorlJ's Innermost I'ost (Helena. .Ml: 
Falcon Press Publishing Co.. 1987). 15-41. R. G. Robertson. Co/»- 
petittve Struggle America's Western Fur Trading Posts. I~64-I865 
(Boise: Tamarack Books. 1999). 

'" Walter B.Stevens. iV Louis. The Fourth Cilv. rcU-IWigC^l. 
Foiiis-Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.. 1 404). 990, 

" The Campbell House. A Romantic Sunival of Early .St Louis 
(St. Fouis: privately printed). 3. St. Louis' leading citizens built 
mansions all along Washington Avenue. Olive Street, and in particu- 
lar along Locust Street (Formerly Fucas Place) Charles Van 
Ravensvvaay, Saint Louis tn Inlornuil llislon- of the (.'m' and Its 
People. I '64-1865 {Si. I ouis: Missouri Historical Socielv Press. 
1991). 434. 

The aiilhor. a native of Lyman. IVyoming. is 
assi.slant professor of history at Brigham 
Young Lhiiversity. Provo. Utah, where he .spe- 
cializes in the histoty of the American West. 
Native American history, and the history of 
19th century America. He hohls the PhD in 
history from the University of Nebraska. Lin- 
i cohi. 







Barker, born 


Oct. 30. 


1893, near 




moved at age 

10 with 

family to 

Webb City, 

Missouri. At 

the age of 15, 


he was 





The sky, like a moist sponge, bathed Cheyenne in a 
grey pall that Monday, August 1, 1927.' And yet 
Wyoming's capital buzzed with a festive air as folks 
rushed through streets still stained by scat left from the 
previous week's famed Frontier Day's horse parades.' 

But the dark-eyed Carol Hamilton, with hair the sheen 
and hue of a blackbird's wing, did not share that joy. 
Well-groomed in a large hat and dark blue dress, the 
37- year-old sat in her Chrysler and tried to read as her 
beau, "Bert," walked toward the American National 
Bank at 16"" and Capitol Avenue.- He had gone there 
in his grey suit and a cap to cash some travelers checks 
gained from a heist in Buffalo, Kansas, that past De- 
cember. They would need the cash, Bert said, for their 
trip back to Oklahoma - the state of Carol's birth as 
well as the home of his "Ma," the matriarch of the infa- 
mous Barker crime gang.-' 

In what seemed like a blink, Bert rushed back with 
his cobra eyes cast down and went to Carol's side of 
their two-door car. "I got a rumble in the bank." he 
said. Though chilled by his words, Carol tried to stay 
calm as she stepped out on the road and let him get in 
through her door. They had bags and camp gear lashed 
to the running board on the driver's side.^ 

Just then, a "tall ... stout" young man walked up with 
three checks in his hand and asked the pair to drive 
back to his bank. There seemed to be some concerns 
about the business 

Bert had just done there. They said they would. But, 
when the stranger had gone, Bert backed up their green 

From "Actual Detective Stories of Women in Crime" 

coach, drove down a few blocks, then whipped on to 
the Lincoln Highway and sped off ^ 

For the best part of an hour, the pair raced toward the 
Wyoming-Nebraska line. Then, just one-and-a-half miles 
west of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, they saw a man - 
Laramie County Deputy Sheriff Art Osbom - speed 
toward them. Carol said, he drove 

' Mike Couch. National Weather Service. Cheyenne. Feb. 11. 
2003; "Slayer Eludes Officers in Manhunt." \]'yoming Eagle (Chey- 
enne). Aug. 5. 1927. 1; "False Reports Great Hindrance to Local 
Force Hunting Killer." Wyoming Eagle. Aug. 5. 1927. 2. 

' "Carol Hamilton. #38 [Colorado State Penitentiary #141 72]." 
Wyoming Women Inmate Records, Wyoming State Archives. Chey- 
enne; also "Statements of Defendant Made in the Sheriff's Office. 
City and County Building. Cheyenne. Sep. 20. 22. and 24. 1927." 
State V. Carol Barker (Hamilton). First Judicial District Court Record, 
held in [Robert] Nelson Museum of the West. Cheyenne, pp. 4. 1 0.32; 
"Woman Says Husband Shot Osborne [sic]," Wyoming State Tri- 
bune & Sunday State Leader. Cheyenne. Sit'p. 19, 1927. 1.2. In fact. 
Bert "limped noticeably" to the bank. 

'"Statements of Defendant.. .."7-8.9- 10,27,32.33; "Slayer Eludes 
Officers...".; "Arthur E. Osbom Murdered Monday." Pine Bluffs 
Post. Aug. 4. 1927. 1; "Find No Trace of Slayer of Art Osborne 
[sic], Wyoming State Tribune. Aug. 3. 1 927. 1,6. They were Ameri- 
can Express Travelers Checks and. though accounts vary, some say 
he cashed them for from $20 to $30. 

■* "Statements of Defendant...." 4.19.27; also "False Reports 
Great Hindrance to Local Force Hunting Killer." Wyoming Eagle. 
Aug. 5. 1927, 2. When Barker endorsed the check at the bank, he 
signed his name as "R.D. Snodgrass." confusing officials for some 
weeks as they searched for that fictitious individual. 

^"Statements of Defendant " 6.9.29. The Lincoln Highway 

was, and is U.S. Highway 30. 

Summer '2003 


a rather old car; it did not have a top ... or it was down: 
and signaled us to stop. We drove beyond him just a 
short distance before we stopped and he came around 
the side . . . where Bert was sitting." 

They could see he did not have a gun in his hand as he 
strode towards them. "I think you are the people I want," 
the lawman said with a grin.' 

"Surely not, officer, you must be mistaken; we haven't 
done anything," Carol replied as she forced a smile of 
straight white teeth.* With that, Bert raised his nickle- 
plated .32 caliber Colt automatic from his lap. "Put them 
up and come around and get in." he barked. In Carol's 
haste to make way, she slipped as she got out. And, as 
she fell, she heard at least three shots. Stunned, she 
stood to find the poor Osborn face down in the dirt on 
the far side of their car- his revolver still holstered at 
his side." 

Just then, with a west-bound sedan in sight, she fought 
off her fright and dragged the woimded man to the north 
side of the road, into the ditch. Then, she rushed back 
to her seat as the vehicle passed on its way.'° 

Arthur E. Osborn. Laramie County deputy sheriff, died 
Aug. I. 192^. after Herman "Bert" Barker shot him on 
the old Lincohi Highway about two miles west of Pine 

When once more in flight, her fears roared back. 
"Daddy," she screamed. "What did you do it for?" Bert 
said he had to shoot when the lawman tried to grab the 
gun from his hand. But. Carol would have none of it." 
"If I thought you were going to do anything like that I 
would leave you right now... Let me out of this car; 
please put me and m\ things out on the highway." she 
pled.'- But Bert stayed the course. "I need you too 
bad." he said as he drove on till they reached the State 
Line road. There, they turned right and. w ith a plume of 
dust in their wake, made their way through fog and rain 
to the top of Cemetery Hill. From there, they sailed 
southeast, down a spine of buttes, till they crossed into 
Colorado's wild Weld County.'' 

Within a half-hour or so, the> stopped at a school 
house near Pawnee Butte, some 13 miles southeast of 
Grover. Colorado. There, with the sun still high, the> 
stripped their stuff from the large blue trunk on the rear 
rack of their vehicle, then dumped it at the side of the 
road. They hoped that would so change the look of their 
car the law would be thrown off their track. '^ 

As Carol and Bert fled the high plains, officer Osborn 
died about 3:20 p.m. -"within ten minutes after being 

" "Statements of Defendant " 9.10-1 1.28; and "Search for 

Sla\er of Officer is Fruitless." Wyoming Stale Tribune. .\\i%. 1. 
1927. 1. 2; "Find No Traceof Slayer of Art Osborne [sic]; "Arthur 
E. Osborn Murdered Monday." Pme Bluffs Post. Aug. 4. 1 927. 1 . 

'"Sheriff Carroll Pays High Tribute to /Vrthur Oshorn." Pme 
Bluffs Post. Sep. 29. 1 927. 1 ; " Wonian Sa\ s Husband Shot ( )sbome 
[sic].": "'He (Osborn) was such a pleasant man. he had such a nice 
smile." said Carol. Later, she also told Sheriff Carroll. 'I will never 
forget that friendly smile, those kindly blue e>es."' 

* Alvin Karpis. as told to Bill Trent. Public Enemy Xumher One 
The Alvin Karpis Story ( roronto/Montreal: McClelland and Stewart 
Ltd.. 1971). 106 

''Coroner's inquest. Arthur E. Osborn. Pine Bluffs. Aug. 1, 1927. 

'" "Statements of Defendant...." 1 1.13, 
Osbom's revolver was a .32-20 caliber Colt .Ann\ Special. Barker's 
pistol was a .32 rimless caliber Colt automatic and Osborn's re- 
volver was a .32-20 caliber Colt Army Special. 

" "Statements of Defendant..." 10.12.20; "Woman Sa.\s Hus- 
band Shot Osborne [sic]." 

'■ "Statements of Defendant..." 11.12 

" "Statements of Defendant...." 11; "Woman Says Husband 
Shot Osbome [sic]."; Wyoming Atlas <t Gazetteer: Topo Maps of the 
Fjitire State -Public Lands -Back Roads (Freepon. Maine: DeLorme 
Mapping. 1992). 25; Colorado .Atlas ct Gazetteer: Topo Maps of 
the Entire State -Public Lands -Back Roads (Freeport: DeLorme 
Mapping. 2002). 94. 

" "Statements of Defendant...." 1 1.14-15.20.44: "Woman Says 
Husband Shot Osborne [sic(.""; "Finds Trunk of Slayer of Arthur E. 
Osbom." Pine Bluffs Post. Aug. 25. 1927. 1 : "Find Trunk of "Slay er 
Deputy Sheriff Osborne [sic]." Ilyoniing Eagle. Aug. 19. 1927. 1; 
/Vuthor conversation with William "Bill" Bashor, Grover. Feb. 17, 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

taken back to Pine Bluffs" - or just a bit more than an 
hour after he had left town on his fatal mission." 

When Laramie County Sheriff George J. Carroll 
learned that one of his best men had been brought down, 
he sent a posse of "practically every able bodied man in 
Pine Bluffs and the surrounding farming territory" in 
search of the man. who had passed the bad checks in 
Cheyenne. The sheriff described the culprit as being 

about forty years; height about five feet seven inches; 
weight about 150 pounds; smooth shaven" and his 
spouse "'. . . being of dark comple.xion and weighed about 
170 pounds.'^' 

But. when the police failed to find their prey the ne,\t 

day. Carroll cast a nation-wide net w ith the bait of more 

than $1,200 in rewards." He also had more than 1,600 

circulars sent to every state, plus Canada, as he asked 

for leads - any leads - that might land those, who had 

killed one of his deputies. '- 

+ * * 

The rest of Carol's and Bert's trip seemed but a blur 
until they reached Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, Au- 
gust 5, just four days after the deputy's death There, as 
"Mrs. and Mrs. Sitiallwick," they rented a room for a 
few days to rest.'" And - once more to thwart the law 
- they swapped their soiled Chrysler for a Ford coupe 
that would take them on to a farm Carol ^claimed she 
owned northeast Hebner Springs, Arkansas.-" 

Though she tried to convince Bert he should stay w ith 
her until things cooled off, he left a few days later to, 
once more, '"pull a job." Where, she did not know.-' It 
would be late September before she would learn that 
Bert had died by his own hand that past August 29 
when police stopped him in Wichita after he had robbed 
an ice company in nearby Newton. -- 

The Barkers immediately had their eldest son's corpse 
brought back to Oklahoma so they could put him to rest 
in the Williams Timberhill Cemetery at the town of 
Welch. When Carol learned of their plans, she bought a 
bus ticket from Arkansas, but claimed she arrived too 
late for his funeral that Wednesday, August 3 1 .-^ So, a 
friend drove her from Miami, Oklahoma - the Barkers' 
hometown - some 1 5 miles west, so she could see her 
lover's grave, "a big rounded-up pile of dirt." There, 
she dropped to her knees and cried, "Oh, Bert. Bert, 
you poor, poor fool. If we would only have lived de- 
cent... if we would ..." As her voice failed, she took 
flowers from the box she had brought with her, then 
placed them with care on the fresh earth. "Good-by... 
Honey," she said as she stood and wiped tears from 
her eyes, then turned and ran back to the car.-"* 

When authorities - including Sheriff Carroll from 

Wyoming - learned she had been seen that night at his 
grave, they set a trap. But, it failed. They caught her, 
however, about 8 a.m., on Friday, September 16, at the 
farm home of "relatives" some seven miles west of 
Neosho, Missouri. She had gone to that town, she said, 
"to buy her Bert a tombstone before," as she put it, "1 
ended it all." But, when faced with the law, she said, "I 
know what you want. 1' 1 1 go with you without any trouble 
... All I want now is for the State of Wyoming to end 
me - and I don't mean life imprisonment."-' 
Sheriff Carroll left w ith her that same day en route to 

'' "Search for Slayer..."; "Find No Trace of Slayer of Art Osborne 
[sic]"; "Arthur E. Osborn Murdered Monday." Laramie County 
Coroner Bayley H. Finkbiner. accompanied by Dr. ,f H. Conway 
held their inquest on August 2. in Pine Bluffs. According to the 
August 2 Tribune story. "One shot had entered Osborn's left arm. 
about four inches above the elbow, passing through his arm with a 
downward slope, entering his left side just above the hip bone, 
lodging the hip join on the right side. The second shot entered his 
back just above the left kidne\ and lodged in his right shoulder, 
indicating b\ the direction of the bullet that he must have been 
falling or in a stooping position when the shot was tired." The 
following da_\. the Tribune added that Dr. M. L. Morris [in whose 
oftlce Osborn died] "reported Osborne had been wounded three 
times, and. presumabl> b> two shots as the course of one bullet 
appeared to be through the ami and into the body where it perfo- 
rated the intestines in six places and lodged in the lower pelvic 
region. The second shot was apparently from the back and through 
the left shoulder." 

'" "Woman Says Husband Shot Osborne [sic]"; Robert Winter. 
Mean Men: the Sons of Ma Barker (Danbury, Conn.: Rutledge 
Books. 2000). 17-18. 

""Proclamations of the Governor. 1890-1959." Book 1 & 2. 
1890-October 1954. pp. 547-548. Wyoming State Archives. 

'* "Woman Sa>s Husband Shot Osborne [sic]"; "State of Wyo- 
ming v. Carol Hamilton (aka Barker)." First Judicial District Court. 
Laramie County Criminal Case file #6-460. Wyoming State Ar- 
chives; author telephone conversation with Maxwell E. Osborn. the 
son of Deputy Sheriff Art Osborn. Sun Lakes. Ariz.. Jul. 14.2002. 

'■' Winter. 1 7; also "Woman Says Husband Shot Osborne [sic]." 
Wyoming State Tribune & Sunday State Leader, op. cit. 

^" Winter, 1 8; E-mail from Charles Stuart. Cleburne County His- 
torical Society. Heber Springs. AR. to author. Mar. 7, 2003 

-' "Woman Says Husband Shot Osborne [sic]." 

" Ibid. Karpis. Public Enemy Number One: "Woman Says Hus- 
band Shot Osborne [sic]"; Robert Winter. Mean Men: the Sons of 
Ma Barker, 96; Rick Mattix and William J. Helmer. "Evolution of 
an Outlaw Band: The Making of the Barker-Karpis Gang." Part I - 
website: http://\vww'.oklahombres.ore/barkerl.htm . Feb. 1 8. 2002; 
photo4.html . Feb. 18.2002 

-' "Widow of Bandit Arrested Near Neosho." Neosho. Mo.. 
Sept. 17. 1927. 1. 

'■' "Woman Says Husband Shot Osborne [sic]"; Carol Hamilton 
Barker (as told to Harlan Mendenhall). "My Life as a Gang Leader's 
Wife." Actual Detective Stories of Women in Crime (Chicago: De- 
cember 1938). 42. Welch. Okla.. is in Craig County. 14.3 miles west 
of the Barkers' home in Miami (Ottaway County). Okla. 

-' Ibid:. "Woman Says Husband Shot Osborn"; "Widow of Ban- 
dit Arrested Near Neosho." Sep. 17, 1927. 1. 

Summer ■200:i 

Cheyenne, where he and his staff soon 
learned from her not onl\ how and why 
their deputy had died, but what the pair 
had done in those months prior to that 
crime. Bert, they learned, had been 
wounded by a shotgun blast January 1 7. 
1 927. at his gang's hideout in Cartersvilie. 
Missouri, following a failed heist of a bank 
safe at the town of .lasper. 32 miles north 
of Joplin.-- 

When Missouri officials failed to make 
a case against Bert tor his role in that 
crime, they turned him over to the Ar- 
kansas authorities to stand trial for his past 
crimes in that state. While in the Fayette- 
ville jail, however. Bert escaped. That is 
when. Carol said, they tied to the West 
Coast... so he might mend in the sun 
there.-' But. while en route back to Okla- 
homa. Bert tried to pass the stolen checks 
in Cheyenne and that is when his life be- 
gan to fade to black.-* 

As for Carol, her mood so improved through confes- 
sion and reflection that, in a jail chat with a reporter 
later that same month [September], the "apparentl) re- 
fined, well mannered woman" said. 

I want to live. I want to go through with this thing, meet 
the requirements of the law. and then devote mN life to 
righting the wrongs that my dead husband committed. 
My husband, even though he did not live as he should, 
was a good man. At heart there wasn't a bad thought in 

As she and the scribe talked, she glanced at a smal 
photo she held of Bert. "Oh. Mr. Reporter." Carol con- 

he was so good to me; 1 loved him so much; he tried so 
hard to do nice things for ine; and never once did he say 
an unkind word to me . . . And now to think that he is 
dead; that 1 shall never see him again. 

When asked why then had Bert shot poor Osborn. she 

Oh, 1 do not know; I can't understand. I am sure that if 
he had thought it over and not acted on the spur of the 
moment he would not have done so. Really, Mr. Re- 
porter, he didn't want to hurt anyone.-" 

But her version of his life failed to jibe with the facts 
known by the men of the Federal Bureau of Investiga- 
tion, as well as many others in law enforcement. 

The Bert they knew - the eldest of four sons bom to 
George Eliasand Arizona Donnie (nee Clark) Barker- 
had been born on October 30. 1893"' in or near Au- 

Carol Hamilton Barker 

rora, Missouri. About 1903, the Barkers 
moved in-state to Webb City, where he and 
his brothers. Lloyd William, Arthur Robert 
"Doc," and Freddie went to grade school. 
Five years later, following brief stay in 
Joplin. the famil\ had moved to Tulsa. 
where the police arrested the 1 5-\ ear-old 
for stealing chickens and sent him to jail 
forayear." Such sins, however, would be 
the start of a life on the lam that so scarred 
histor\ that there are still but few. who 
have not heard of the feared Barker 

-" \\ inter. 77-7S. I hough nearl_\ two do/,en pel- 
lets later uinild be plueked I'rom his hide, one left 
under his lelt knee eap eaused hini to limp "notiee- 
ahl\" the rest of his life. 
^' Ihul 

'^ Ihid/. Winter. 73-74. 

-" -I Must Li\e to Right My Dead Husband's 
Wrongs.' - Widow of ( )sborne's |sic] Sla\er." l/'io- 
nuno Ea^le. Sep. Z.i. U'27. 1. 
'"Winter, wiir 

" "Woman Sa>s Husband Shot Osborne [sie|." 
'- "I he Kidnaping of Edward George Bremer. St. Paul. Mmne- 
sota. HistoPi and Early Association of the Karpis-Barker Gang 
Prior to the .Abduction of Mr. Bremer." Eederal Bureau of Investi- 
gation Barker-KarpisGangSumman, (RCS: ED, I.C. #7-576). Nov. 
19. 1936; Winter. 5. 6. 12-14. 15-18 

William J. Rmer. judge in I he First Judicial District 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Back in Cheyenne, thanks to Carol's cooperation. 
Sheriff Carroll lost no time in taking the "well dressed, 
and apparently well composed... Mrs. Barker" on Mon- 
day, September 26, before the First Judicial District 
Court. There, as she stood just a few feet from his 
bench. Judge William A. Riner read the charge: that 
she had tried to help a felon - Herman "Bert" Barker - 
in his flight from the law." How would she plead, he 

"Yes, sir," she sobbed. 

"You mean you wish to plead guilty?" Roche Mentzer, 
the Laramie County Attorney and Prosecutor, inquired. 

"Yes, sir." 

When asked by the judge if she wished to say more 
before he read his sentence, she tried, but could not 
control her voice. So, Judge Riner deemed that, be- 
cause "...she had not taken part in the actual murder of 
Deputy Osborne," she would serve at least two years, 
but no more than four in the Colorado State Peniten- 
tiary. Wyoming had no such facility for their women 
criminals. Carol began to cry and, as the sheriff took 
her back to her cell, she "only with difficulty.. .restrained 
a complete break- 

Three days later - Sep- 
tember 29, 1927 -Sheriff 
Carroll drove her to Canon 
City, Colorado, where, as 
Inmate #14172, she an- 
swered questions put to 
her by the clerk, who 
logged her into the prison: 
Occupation? "House- 
wife." Parents? "Mother." 
[Her father had died in 
1915.] Children? "No." 
Religion? "Catholic." 
Then, a doctor weighed 
her -"180 lbs" - and mea- 
sured her height - "5' 6- 1 / 
4"" - and examined her 
skin for marks and scars." g 

Once in the Women's :i 
Ward cell in which she < 
would be forced to live for s 
the next two years,'" o 
Carol recalled "Our lovely, | 
white-haired matron, Mrs. o 
[Hannah L.] Campbell, 
made it as easv on us as 

Carol Hamilton as Inmate No. 
State Penitentiary 

possible, and was very encouraging to us all. I worked 
in the laundry, went to chapel on Sundays."" Such ex- 
periences, not all unlike those she must have known as 
a child, may well have caused her to cast back in her 
mind to the time when her life began on April 16, 1 890, 
in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. There, as Mary Carol, she 
seemed to have a happy childhood as the second of six 
children bom to Cornelius D. "Tony" Antone and his 
wife, Lydia.'* 

Tony, an Oneida Indian from New York, had gone 
southwest in 1 886 to help move logs from the Sapulpa 
area - fifteen or so miles southwest of today's Tulsa - 
to the railroad terminal at Red Fork, also in that area. 
The prior year, Lydia Van Loon had left Missouri to 
"see the Pacific Ocean." But, when she reached Red 

" "Art Osborne [sic] Slayer's Wife Sent to Prison," Wyoming 
State Tribune. Sep. 26, 1927. 1 ; State ofWyoming v. Carol Hamilton 
(aka Barker). Laramie Count>' Criminal Case tile. 

" "Art Osborne [sic] Slayer's Wife Sent to Prison": State of 
Wyoming v. Carol Hamilton; "Wife of Slayer Receives Penitentiay 
[sic] Sentence." Pme Bluffs Post. Sept. 29. 1927. 1. Convicted 
Wyoming women felons were imprisoned under contract from Oct. 

6. 1909. until May 21, 1921. at 
the Colorado facility. 

-•' "Carol Hamilton. #38." 
Wyoming Women Inmate 
Records; Winter. 48. On her up- 
per left arm, he found a vaccina- 
tion scar, plus as a faint scar on 
her inner forearm and a "jagged 
scar" that crossed the back base 
of her left index finger. On her 
right arm. he saw a "large jagged 
scar" caused by the botched re- 
moval of a tattoo as well as a faint 
horizontal scar at the inside bend 
of her wrist. And. while examin- 
ing her head, he made note of a 
small black mole on her right ear 
and a U-shaped scar near the hair 
at the center of her forehead. Ac- 
cording to Winter, the tattoo con- 
sisted of the initials "FEM." 

"■ "My Life as a Gang Leader's 
Wife." 42. 
" Ibid. 

'* E-mails from Penny Boren, 
Skiatook. Okla.. Dec. 4. 2002 and 
Mar. 8. 2003; Sapulpa. Oklahoma. 
74066. compiled by the Sapulpa 
Historical Society (Sapulpa, OK: 
Sapulpa Oklahoma Historical So- 
ciety). 1979, 94; Certificate of 
Death. #622307, Carol Tankersley 
[sic]. State of Oklahoma, Depart- 
ment of Health. Oklahoma City, 
Nov. 19,2002 

14172. Colorado 

Summer i2003 

Colorado State Penitentiaiy for Women where Carol Hatnilton \ms incarcerated after her conviction 

Fork, she took a Job and that is where she met Tony. 
They married there on June 9, 1886. and moved to 
Sapulpa. where she would gain some fame as the first 
white woman to Hve in that area. She and Tony built the 
first house there from logs they cut on the banks of 
Rock Creek. Though poor, the proud and respected 
Antones seemed to do well as Carol and her siblings 
joined their lives.'" 

At about age thirteen. Carol's folks sent her to the 
Chilocco Agricultural School, a Catholic institution just 
north of New kirk, near the Oklahoma-Kansas line, to 
gain a basic education as well as skills that might help 
her lead a useful life. But. soon she ran back home. 
She claimed s\\Q left school, because "...papa is almost 
down with the consumption, he is not able to work and 
mama needed help." But her mom. she said, "...dont 
[sic] like for me to miss school." So. a contrite Carol 
penned a note on January 5. 1904. and asked Colonel 
S.M.M. Cowan, the institution's superintendent, to let 
her return "...on my own expence [sic]." And. she did 
go back to graduate with her eighth-grade class. ^" 

Though it is not clear what life she lived in the next 
two decades, she said she met her Bert in August 1 924. 

I was 24 [sic: 34] andhe was nearly 33 . . . I was working 
as a waitress in a cafe. Bert otlen ate at the place where 
I was working. . .(He) said his name was Herman Hamilton 
... He was refined, spoke softly and seemed to be a 
perfect gentleman. He said he dealt in cattle - a lucrative 
trade in Oklahoma at that time.^' 

Following a courtship of "'dates, dinners, dances, and 

parties," she said she "was desperately in love ... I 
even loved to hear the name "Bert" which he wished 
me to call him." 

Marriage, she claimed, came that November in 
Crowder, Oklahoma, when a Justice of the Peace made 
her the wife of "Herman Hamilton." She did not learn 
his true name, however, till "several months later," af- 
ter they had rented a home in Wichita Falls, Texas. Then 
came "the most terrible shock" of her life. She said she 
went to bed early as Bert sat and read in their parlor. 
"I'll leave the bedroom door open so I won't be lone- 
some," she told him as she kissed him goodnight. 

"That's swell, honev. Now you run ahead and get 
your beauty sleep. I'll be along pretty soon." 

About two hours later, she woke up to find the bed- 
room door closed and she heard voices in the parlor. 
Though she caught but bits of what they said, she knew 
they argued. 

Robbery. ..well, kill him then. ..don't wait ...we've got to 
getmore money ...four thousand dollars... we'll 
stick up that ...■*- 

'' Sapulpa. Oklahoma. ~4066. 94. 202; "C. D. Antone. First 
Sapulpa Citizen, Passes." Sapulpa Herald. Ma> 5. 1915. I; Creek 
County Burials. 1917-1975. Nancy Green Chapter NSD.AR. 
Sapulpa, Okla.. n.d.. 71. 

*" Letter. "'Mayme" (Mary Carol) Antone. Sapulpa, l.T. [Indian 
Territory], to S.M.M. Cowan, Superintendent. Chilocco Indian 
School. I.T.. Jan. 5. 1904; Letter. Cowan to Miss [sic: Mrs.] Lizzie 
Antone. Sapulpa, I.T.. Jun. 26. 1905: E-mail from Penny Boren. 
Dec. 4. 2002. 

"" ""My Life as a Gang Leader's Wit'e." 9. 

*■ Ibid. 9-\Q. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Stunned, she said she slipped out of bed and tiptoed to 
the door. "Elmer's got all the dope on this store in Eiectra 
[about 26 miles northwest of Wichita Falls]," she heard 
one say. "It"s a cinch. 1 tell yuh, we can get four thou- 
sand bucks just as easy as that." 

''Well don't get so loud," Bert warned. 

Through the keyhole, she saw six men. Bert sat in a 
chair at the table with a pencil in hand. The others 
grouped about him. "Well, it sounds all right to me," 
Bert said. "We'll pull it all right. Now here's the details 
again. All you guys get 'em clear. Bill you drive the car. 
Pale, you ..." 

When the gang had gone and Bert had joined her in 

bed. Carol wailed. "Bert, you lied to me you lied to 

me." Yes. he had lived a life a crime, he said. "But I'm 
still in love with you, Carol. If you think you don't want 
to live with me I won't try for one minute to keep you. 
You can leave me and just forget that we ever met."^' 

So. with more sleep and the next day's dawn, she 
once more caved in and said she'd stay. "That's the 
girl," he laughed. "You'll never regret it." 

But she did as she met more and more of those in 
Bert's gang: - a veritable "who's who" of criminals in 
the late 1920's and ■30s. In fact, some of the worst of 
those bad folks proved to be Bert's mom, the notorious 
"Ma" Barker and his brothers. And, the more she lived 
their kind of life, the more she took on their taint. 

I was soon worked into the middle of the gang's activi- 
ties [she said], not in the actual pulling of jobs, as they 
speak of robberies and holdups and murders, but in the 
"casing" of the towns where the particularjob was to be 

She also began to smoke, drink liquor, and talk as 
tough as those with whom she spent so much time. But 
though that kind of life crushed her "...conscience into 
the ground," she said she "'couldn't get away from (her) 
home training. ..couldn't forget that (she) was doing 
wrong. "^■' 

Though she had long known of her mother-in-law's 
vile reputation, Carol said she did not meet the infa- 
mous "Ma" till her youngest son, Freddie, had been ar- 
rested near the Barker's home in Tulsa in the spring of 
1926 and sent to Fort Smith, Arkansas, "where he was 
wanted on a charge of some kind.""^ According to Carol. 

Ma called us at once to tell us what had happened and 
asked Bert to send money to spring Freddie. So Bert 
gave me ten $ 1 00 bills and 1 got on a train and went to 
Tulsa. I hated that trip worse than anything I had done 
since I had married Bert. But there was nothing else I 
could do but go ahead with it.Mrs. Barker and I went 

over by bus to Fort Smith, sprang Freddie and brought 
him back to Tulsa.^'' 

Two days later in Wichita Falls, Carol remembered a 
call she had received from her mother. "'Carol,' Mother 
said. I could detect a note of anxiety in her voice. 'Some- 
thing must be wrong. Some officers were just at the 
house here asking about you. Are you in any kind of 

"Some officers?' I gasped, then tried to talk calmly. 
'Did they say what they wanted with me?' 

"No, they didn't say anything about that," her mom 

"Well, don't you worry any. Mother... A friend of ours 
got drunk up at Muskogee the other day, and ...and ran 
into a filling station. They probably just wanted to know 
if I knew where he was." Carol later bemoaned, "How 
it hurt me to lie to my mother, but I couldn't stand to 
have her find out the terrible mess I was in. ..or my 
connection with the gang."^' 

So, with the law on their heels, Carol and Bert left 
Wichita Falls in haste and made their way toward Okla- 
homa, "because they'll least suspect," said Bert, "that 
we're coming back ... and besides I know some good 
hiding-places there. "^'' 

Once they crossed the Texas state line, they drove to 
Radium Springs, a spa just a mile or so south of Salina 
in the northeastern part of the state. "These springs are 
a good place to cool off" Bert said. "We'll just lay low 
here in these mountains for a while."'*'' 

That the authorities still looked for the pair did not 
seem to stir Bert in the least, but Carol so rued their 
plight she "hardly could enjoy the beautiful scenery be- 
cause of the terrible fear." In fact, as days dragged on, 
she nagged Bert that they should leave before the law 
found them there. Finally, he gave in and said they would 
go to see one of his old cronies at Richer, Oklahoma, 
not far north of his family's home in Miami.-" 

Once they reached the house where that friend lived, 
Bert went in search of his pal's room while Carol walked 
back to the car get their bags. Later, she said, 

I was inside the car, had my luggage and was almost 
ready to go back into the house when I happened to 
look out of the glass in the rear of the car. I stopped 

'^ Ibid., 10. 
". Ibid.. 1 1 

Karpis. as told to Bill Trent. 83. 
■"" "My Life as a Gang Leader's Wife,' 
" Ibid. 
" Ibid. 
■" Ibid. 
^" Ibid.. 15. 


Summer '2003 


suddenly. I didn't know what to do. There were two 
poMcemen in unifomi iooicing at our license tag and 
checking it with a number they had written on a small 
pad ... 1 knew that if 1 went back into the house where 
Bert was the officers probably would get both of us. But 
I thought 1 might be able to go in exactly the opposite 
direction and maybe not even be caught. With my heart 
pounding in my throat, 1 got out of the car and as 
nonchalantly as possible started walking away . . . and 
the house where Bert was. Then 1 heard one of the 
officers say: "There . . . isn't that her . . . ?" I wanted to 
run. but I thought 1 had a better chance if I didn't. 1 
walked faster. Then I heard the other officer say; "She 
fits the description we got of the woman." Then 1 heard 
them start toward me. The feeling I experienced when 1 
heard their footsteps is one I hope and pray I never 
experience again. I wanted to control myself, but I 
couldn't. I dropped my suitcase and started running 
just as hard as 1 could. 

"Hey, you ... stop!" one of the lawmen shouted. When 
she failed to do so, officer U. S. Jennings gave chase 
and, after they had run a block or so, he grabbed her 
arm and snapped a pair of cuffs on her wrists. 

"Where's your husband?" Jennings asked. 

"I don't know," she snapped. Then, with her next 
breath, she said. "1 don't have a husband. I'm Just trav- 
eling by myself " But those lies failed to sway Jennings 
as he whisked her off to Jail. There, for the first time in 
her life, she found herself in a cell, but it would not be 
her last time in such a place. Later, she would recall, 

I was completely broken in spirit. 1 wanted to kill my- 
self, and I think that perhaps if I had a gun I would have 
done that very thing. 1 was never so disgusted with 
myselfinallmy life.^' 

Regardless, because Carol led the law astray that 
day, Bert could have escaped. Instead, he stayed. 
Worse, that night he drank too much, then went to the 
Jail to demand her release. But the authorities, stunned 
by his stupidity, instead tossed him in the same cell with 

Despite all that, their luck held as a friend called Ma 
Barker, who soon came on the fly with Q. [Quilliki] P. 
McGhee, a Miami, Oklahoma, attorney, who had long 
served their gang. And with his help, Carol and Bert 
found themselves out on bail, though it took most of 
their cash.^' 

"Listen, Carol," Bert said as they drove back that 
night to Tulsa, "I'm going to send you on the train to 
Memphis, Tennessee ... I'll follow through in the car in 
a few days. Gettin' out of Jail there at Richer cost too 
much money. I'm 'bout broke again." 

So, as he wished, Carol went on to Memphis, where 
she claimed she got a suite in a fine hotel, bought new 
clothes, and lived "like a queen." 

Perhaps you wonder at my living so luxuriously when 
Bert had mentioned that he was almost broke [Carol ex- 
plained] ... he considered himself "about broke" unless 
he had at least more than $5,000. 1 had taken $2,000 with 
me to Memphis, and that sum had to last me about two 
weeks - until Bert arrived there with more.'* 

The "more" - about $25,000 worth of Jewels Bert 
had fenced for $1 5,000, plus "quite a bit of cash"- had 
come from a theft that May 1926 from the Newton 
Jewelry Store at McAlester, Oklahoma. '' 

Flush once more with their new found wealth, they 
planned a night on the town. But, as they left their room, 
three armed detectives stepped forth. "All right, you 
two, you're under arrest." McAlester authorities had 
tracked Bert to Tennessee and, with the help of local 
lawmen, they nabbed the pair as suspects in the New- 
ton Jewelry Store robbery.^" 

But once more, as if by magic, Q. P. McGhee came 
on-scene. This time, with a fake warrant, he swore 
Ketcham, Oklahoma, authorities wanted the pair for a 
bank robbery there. And with such guile, he not only 
squirreled Bert and Carol out of the Memphis jail that 
June 2, but out of the "Volunteer State."" 

Once more out of the law's hands, Carol's thoughts 
turned back to that time they had gone to the resort in 
Oklahoma. "Do you think we'll be able to buy that prop- 
erty at Radium Springs now?" she asked Bert. 

"I'm still planning on it, Carol. Bert replied, "and some- 
time soon, too." Though she vowed not to know the 
details, she claimed, "...we had the Radium Springs 
property a little less than a month later.'** 1 was so happy 
to get it. My husband made it out in my name."'" But 
her joy proved to be short lived. In reply to a note she 
had written, inviting her mother to Join her and Bert at 
the resort for a vacation, she received the following 
from one of her kin: 

" Ibid. 
'- Ibid. 
"■'• Ibid 
'' Ibid. 49. 
" Ibid.. 50. 

"'■//jj^y.; Winter. .52-55. 

" "My Life as a Gang Leader's Wife." 42: Winter. 55-56. 
■' Mattix and Helnier. 4. 

^'' Telephone conversation between Mrs. Betty Lou Thomas. 
Pn or. Okla.. and the author. Mar. 4, 2003 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Carol: Your Mother... cannot come to visit you be- 
cause (she is) dead. (She) died grieving over your ac- 
tions. (She) learned all about you and your marriage... 
Please don't come to see us any more."' 

Shamed by thoughts that her sins had killed her mother 
and had torn her family ties to shreds, she once more 
considered taking her own life. "'But I didn't have the 
nerve." she said. Instead, she turned to whiskey. "It 
was my only source of relief - it lasted only for a short 
time - and after it had worn off I felt more miserable 
than ever," she said. "So 1 plunged recklessly into crime 
along with the rest of the gang. It proved to be a trail 
she could not get off."' 

Nor would life improve for Bert. Following still an- 
other arrest and conviction, this time for a failed bank 
job in Jasper. Arkansas, authorities sent him to jail in 
Fayetteville. In the meantime, once more on the loose, 
Carol took a room in a Tulsa boarding house. In the 
meantime. Ma went to see her imprisoned son. On one 
such visit, she slipped to him four hacksaw blades she 
had stashed in her clothes. And, with those tools, he 
sawed his way free, then ran to the edge of town where 
he linked up with "Pa" Barker, who waited in a car. His 
dad then took him straight to Carol's apartment. "- 

But, though glad to see him, the strain of all that had 
past between them and the sight of his wounds took 
their toll on Carol. In fact, her smile soon changed to 
tears as she cried out. "Oh. Bert, why did I ever marry 
you," then threw herself in bed, where she sobbed her- 
self to sleep. When she woke up in the dark, she found 
Bert gone, but he had left her a note: 

Honey, we're going to go on a long trip to the West - 
where we'll be safe. Just you and me. We'll leave to- 
night. I'll have the car ready when 1 get back. We both 
need a good, long rest. - Bert 

Soon, he returned to their room and said with a smile, 
"We'll, are you about ready to go?" 

"I believe I am." she replied as if there had been no 
spat. "I think it will be a lot of fun." In fact, it proved to 
be a dream come true as Carol had long wished for a 
trip through the West. Within an hour, they were on 
their way. The date: March 27, 1927. "The night was 
clear," she said. "Stars filled the heavens and the moon 
was the most beautiful I had ever seen.""' 

The next two or three weeks at their hideaway on 
the West Coast, according to Carol, "(it was) the best 
time I had had in ages." Bert too seemed to enjoy the 
experience. "Why can't it be this way always?" she 
asked. "Why don't we sta_, out here and never go back. 

Why don't we change our names and you get a re- 
spectable job, and we'll forget all of the past." 

But the die had been cast. "Ma says everything is all 
right down there [in Tulsa], and for us to come back," 
Bert said as he returned to their room, after having talked 
to her by phone. Despite Carol's pleas, Bert vowed 
they must go home. Oklahoma.. .to his gang. That 
decision proved fatal for him and helped put Carol in 
the Colorado State Penitentiary.""' 

Fortunately, though, her time in the pen seemed to 
pass "...quite rapidly." And, on September 26, 1929, 
authorities approved Carol's parole to her old friend and 
attorney McGhee, who had offered her employment 
back in Oklahoma."^ 

Though it's not clear what type of work she performed 
for McGhee, those who knew Carol best have said she 
moved back to Sapulpa and took a room in the Carleton 
Hotel, where she picked up " ...a few dollars as a hus- 

''" "My Life as a Gang Leader's Wife." 50. 

" Ibid. 

-' Ibid.. 33-34. 

" Ibid.. 34. 

"' Ibid..A\-Al. 

''■ Ibid.. 42; Wyoming's Charities and Reform Board. Book J. 
Sep. 16. 1929. p. 340; "Cora Hamilton. #38." W\oming Inmate 
Records. Wyoming State Archives. Cheyenne. 

Dorothy E. Simmon, Carol 's niece 

Summer ■200$ 


tier." Then, once she gained her "sovereign" release 
from the law on May 1 9, 1 930, she went to West Tulsa."" 
There, with thirteen diamonds that Bert had left her. 
she sold one by one for cash on which to live. Finally, 
with but four left, she claimed she ". . . got a job work- 
ing in a cafe, it was a very nice cafe, too - one of the 
best in Tulsa." Perhaps she did. But. once more, some 
of her crime cronies have sworn she made more - much 
more - through prostitution."^ 

Regardless, as she walked home one evening, she 
unexpectedly met her eighteen-year-old niece, Dorothy 
Slaymon."'* "Why, Aunt Carol, where on earth did you 
come from? 1 heard that you had been killed." Those 
words pierced the Carol's heart. "They had told her 
that," she thought, "perhaps, so she wouldn't ever find 
out what a terrible thing her Aunt Carol had done." As 
they hugged in the lamp light, Carol explained her "'mys- 
terious' disappearance" by lying that she had been "out 
in California working" and had just returned. And she 
excused herself for having failed to stay in touch with 
her family by adding, "I always was a bad hand at writ- 
ing." With that, Dorothy, who worked as a stenogra- 
pher, suggested they share an apartment "to cut down 
expenses." At first, Carol balked in fear Dorothy might 
learn of her past with Bert as well as how she supple- 
mented her income. But, she gave in, because. "1 was 
awfully hungry for companionship." Besides, she 
thought, "(Dorothy) would help me forget the past. We 
would start life out together anew.""'' 

How prophetic those words proved. Within a year, 
she and Dorothy moved to a "jazzy new apartment there 
in Tulsa, where Carol managed what at least one Barker 
gang member called a "massage parlor.""' 

Late 1930 brought more changes. That is when her 
Carol claimed to her kin she had wed the new love of 
her life: Seth Camberlin Tankersley." But, if they did 
marry, that relationship did not last long. Seth took a 
new spouse but two years later. '- 

Though few seem to know how Carol spent the last 
three decades of her life, it seems she lived much of 
that time in Oklahoma City as "Mrs. Seth Tankersley." 
There, under the care of Dr. John J. Batchelor for some 
five years, Carol suffered from diabetes and related ills 
till she died at age seventy-two at St. Anthony's Hospi- 
tal on December 31,1 962. Cause of death: "Thronibo- 
sis-Cerebral-hemiplegia" [blocked blood vessel(s) in the 
brain, resulting in a stroke]. It had been brought on four 
days earlier by diabetes-induced damage to her vascu- 
lar system." 

Following a funeral mass at St. Joseph's old cathe- 
dral, where she long been a member of the Roman 

Catholic church, her family buried her on January 2, 
1 963, in the Fairlawn Cemetery at Oklahoma City.'^ 

Soon after, her sister, Elizabeth and brother. Tom. may 
have found, as they cleaned out her home at 100-1/2 
West Grand, the small Bible Carol had kept and cher- 
ished since age eight. Her mother, who had given her 
that book also had written the following on its flyleaf: 
"To my baby Carol, from Mother ... God forgives not 
seven times but seventy times seven times."" At first, 
Carol said she did not fully understand the meaning of 
that inscription. But, with Bert's death, she said she 
knew, "1 could be forgiven . . .1 could start over again." 

"'• Karpis. 106-107^ 

"'Mattix and Helmer; "My Lite as a Gang Leader's Wife." 34; 
Karpis. 106-107. According to Karpis. she moved to West Tulsa, 
because '". . . the hustling (there) was more lucrative" 

"* Creek County Burials. 19r-19~5. the Slav man [sic: SlaymonJ 

'''' "My Lite as a Gang Leader's Wife," 42-43. 

"'Karpis. 106-107; "Alvin E. Karpis of Tulsa, Okla., and Miss 
Dorothy E. Slymon |sic; Slaymon]." Kiefer. Okla. Marriage Records. 
■ State of Oklahoma, Creek County. Sapulpa, Okla., Sept. lb. 28. 

" Karpis. 106-107; "My Life as a Gang Leader's Wife." 43. 

'- felephone conversation, Joel Tankersley. Green River. Wyo.. 
and author, .Ian. 6, 2003 

"E-mail from Courtney A. Brown, M.D., Louisville. KN'. to 
author, Feb. 26, 2003 

" Certificate of Death re Carol Tankersley; also "Mrs. Carol 
Tankersley." The Daily Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, Okla.. Jan. I . 

" Bible. New Testament. St. Matthew. Chap. 18:21-22. ". . . 
1 hen came Peter to him. and said. Lord, how oft shall my brother 
sin against me, and I forgive him'^ Till seven times'.' Jesus saith unto 
him. I say not unto thee. Lentil seven times: but. I intil seventy times 

Larry Brown is author of seven books and nu- 
merous articles. He also has written short sto- 
ries published in prestigious magazines. IVyo- 
ming Writers, Inc.. honored his Hog Ranches 
of Wyoming: Liquor, Lust and Lies Under Sage- 
brush Skies, with a "Western Horizon" Award 
in 1995. His Petticoat Prisoners of Ohi Wyo- 
ming won the Wyoming State Historical Soci- 
ety "Publications " award in 2001. Brown has 
been a frequent contributor to Annals. 

Wyoming Memories 

Victory Gardens and Fort Caspar Artifacts 

By Reid May 

During World War II the concept of "victory gar- 
dens" became quite popular. It was decided that our 
small church group, under the direction of President 
MacFariane of the Casper Branch of the Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, plow and plant some 
virgin bottom land quite close to the North Platte River 
near Casper and raise some corn and tomatoes. 
MacFariane either owned or had leased this parcel. 

My father. Frank P. May from Midwest, Wyoming, 
volunteered to do the plow ing. This was done probably 
on a Saturday in early May of either 1943 or 1944. My 
brother Joseph Allen May from Evanston, and I went 
with Dad on that spring day. Joe was about 12 years 
old at the time and I would have been about ten. 

Shortly after Dad put the plow to the soil, we discov- 
ered an artifact or two. At first our discoveries were 
rather modest — several ox shoes and yoke keys. Later, 
we found dozens of more significant items including 
10-12 lead bullets or slugs. (All but one of these slowly 
disappeared over the years at "show-and-tell" sessions 
of the four boys that were born to our family. I man- 
aged to retain one of these and it is one of my most 
prized possessions). 

One item, that we kept in a drawer of Mom's Singer 
sewing machine, was a blue-gray medicine bottle about 
seven or eight inches long and in perfect condition. It 
was rather square in form, not round like most medi- 
cine bottles, and one very distinguishing feature — on 

one side was embossed the word "cocaine." None of 
us has a clue of what became of this fantastic artifact. 

There were several brass military uniform bottles 
among the items we found that day. We also found three 
or four human skulls, apparently Native American, 
which my father turned over to the MacFariane family. 
However, the biggest find (other than the human re- 
mains mentioned above) came a few weeks later. My 
brother Joe was hoeing com when his hoe struck metal. 
He dug into the soft soil and unearthed a brass U. S. 
Arniy cavalry belt buckle. He has it to this day and 
proudly tells the story of its discovery at every opportu- 

The men of the group surmised that they had discov- 
ered the site of the original Fort Caspar, but apparently, 
no one contacted the sheriffs office or any historians. 
I would be interested in knowing if there are any other 
reports regarding this discovery. 

The author was born at the "Institute " near 
Worland where his father was the irrigation su- 
pervisor. The family moved to Casper where he 
and his brother Joe attended McKinley School. 
They later moved to Midwest. Brother Dean L. 
May, born in Worland in 1 938. was a well-known 
Western historian at the University of Utah. He 
died May 6, 2003. The author now lives in 
Saratoga, Calif. 

Wyoming Picture 

From Photographic Collections 
in Wyoming 

The len voting wunieu pictured were members uj the L'liiversity uj H'yommg Home)! s Athletic Association. The photo- 
graph, unlabeled as to names of the women and the man pictured with them, dales from about 1950. From an album 
labeled "W A A. ". the photograph is from the Louise Thouin and Ruth Campbell Collection, Accession #681 ', Ameri- 
can Heritage Center. I 'niversity if Wyoming. 

Join the Wyoming State Historical Society, 
and your local historical society chapter 

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. "Wyo- 
ming History New s." and the opportunity to recci\ e in- 
fonnation about and discounts for \ arious Society acti\'i- 

The Society o/.w welcomes .'special gifts and memorials. 

Special membership categories are available: 
Contributing $100-249 
Sustaining: $250-499 
Patron: $500-999 

Donor: $1,000 + 

For information about memher.'ihip in the Wyoming State 
Hi.'itorical Society and information about local chapters, 

Judy West, Society Coordinator 

Wyominj; State Historical Society 


1740H Dell Range Blvd. 

Chevcnne WY 82009-4945 


Access Fund 4. 6 
Access Fund and Gillette 

Climbing Club 4 
American Fur Company 

8. 16. 17. 20. 23 
American Indian Religious 

Freedom Act (AIRFA) 2 
American National Bank 

Antone. Cornelius D. 28 
Antone. Lydia 28 
Arapaho 3 
Arapooish (Crow chieO 

12. 13 
Archbold. Bob 6 
Arkansas State Peniten 

tiary 32 
Ashley & Smith 11.15 
Ashley. William 10. II. 

17. 20 
Ashley's rendezvous 

system 2 1 
.Assiniboines 19 
Astor. John Jacob 8 
Alsinas 14 
Aughalane. Tyrone Co . 

Ireland 9 
Aurora, Missouri 27 
Bad God's Tower 3 
Barker. Arizona Donnie 

(nee Clark) 27 
Barker. Bert 24-32 
Barker brothers 27 
Barker. Carol Hamilton. 

24-33. (photo. 27) 
Barker. Ma 24. 31 
Barker. Pa 32 
Batchelor. Dr John J. 33 
Bear Lake fight 14 
Bear Lake rendezvous 14 
Bear Lodge Multiple Use 

Association 6. 7 
Bear Stops. Romanus 7 
Bear's House 3 
Bear's Lodge 3 
Bear's Tipi 3 
Belle Fourche River 3 
Bent. Charles and William 

Benton. Thomas Hart 10 
Bent's Fort 22 
Bitterroot Valley 13 
Black Hills Climbing 

Coalition 4 
Blackfeet 14 
Blackfoot Confederacy 

Bonneville. B. L, E, 17 
Bracelette de Fer (Iron 

Wristbands) 12 
Brown. Larry K, (author) 
24-33; bio. 33 
Buchanan, Elizabeth 9 
Buckley. Jay H- (author) 


Buffalo. Kansas 24 
buffalo robes 21 
Cache Valley. Utah II 
Campbell Co. Campbell 

trapped in 1 3 
Campbell. Hugh 9. 23 
Campbell. Hugh. Jr 10 
Campbell. Mrs, Hannah L. 

Campbell. Robert 8-23 

health of 10; opens St. 

Louis store 22 
Campbell. Ruth 34 
Campbell. William 23 
Canon City. Colorado 28 
Capitol Avenue 24 
Carroll. Sheriff George J. 

26. 28 
Carter. William A. 23 
Cartersville. Missouri 27 
Cheyenne version 3 
Chilocco Agricultural 

School. 29 
Chouteau family 10. 17 
Chouteau, Pierre 17 
Church of Jesus Christ of 

Latter-Day Saints 34 
Clark. William 10. 16 
climbing history 4 
climbing management 

plan 4 
climbing moratorium. 

June 6 
Clinton. President Bill 5 
Colorado State Peniten 

tiary 28. 32 
Coveney. Lawrence 4 
Cowan. Col, S.MM, 29 
Crees 19 

Crooks. Ramsay I 7, 20 
Crowder, Oklahoma 29 
Crows 3 
Cut Face (Shoshone) 12. 

Darby, John F, 23 
De Smet. Father Pierre 

Deloria. Vine. Jr 5 
Deschamp. Francois 19 
Deserter's Point 12. 16 
Devils Tower. 2-7 
"Devils Tower. Wyoming; 

An Examination of a 

Clash in Cultures. " 2-7 
Dodge. Col Richard 1 3 
Downes. Judge William 6 
Drips. Andrew LS, 17. 22 
Edinburgh University 10 
Electra. Okla. 30 
Elias. George 27 
Erin Benevolent Society. 

Eshehunska (Long Hair. 

Old Bums; Crow) 12 
Exum Mountain Guides 6 
Fairlawn Cemetery 

(Oklahoma City) 33 
Farrar. Dr Bernard G 10 
Fayetteville, .'^rk,. jail 27 
Final Climl ing Manage 

ment Plan 5. 7 

Fitzpalrick. Thomas 

14. 16. 21 
Fontenelle. Fitzpatrick. & 

Company 22 
Fontenelle. Lucien 1.5, 

17. 18. 22 
Fort Benton 23 
Fort Campbell 23 
Fort Caspar 34 
Fort Hall 22 
Fort Laramie 8 

Fort Laramie treaty 14 
Fort Riley, Kansas 1 1 
Fort Smith. Arkansas 30 
Fort Union 18. 19 
Fort William (Mo. River) 

18, 22 

Fort William (Fort 

Laramie) 21, 22 
Fraeb, Henry 16 
Friday (Warshinum; 

Arapaho) 12 
Gant and Blackwell 1 7 
Gardner, Johnson 12 
General Land Office 3 
Geological Survey 3 
Gervais, Jean 16 
Gill, Campbell & Co. 18 
Gillette Climbing Club 4 
Grant, President U, S, 15 
Grey Eagle Society 4 
Grey, John 12 
Grover, Colorado 25 
Haes, Brenda L. (author) 

2-7, bio, 7 
Hamilton, Carol 24-33; 

(photo 28) 
Ham's Fork rendezvous 

Harvey, .Alexander 23 
Harvey, Primeau & Co 

Hebner Springs. Ark. 26 
Henry. Andrew 10 
Hoecken. Father Adrian 

House. Bill 4 
Hudson's Bay Company 

Independence Rock 16 
Indian Commissioner. 

Campbell as 14 
Insillah (Flathead chieO 

12. 13 
Iroquois 16 
Iroquois trappers 12 
Ishkatupa. Pawnee chief 

II. 12 
Jackson. David E. 1 1 
Jasper. Mo. 27 
Jennings. U. S. 31 
June voluntary climbing 

closure 6 
Ketcham. Oklahoma. 31 
Keyte, James 10 
Kiowa tale 3 
Kiowa Tribe (Okla ) 7 
Laramie River 21 
Larpenteur, Chartes 18 
Levendosky, Charles 5 
Liggett, Deborah 6 

Lincoln Highway 24 
Long Hair (Old Bums), 

Crow chief 13, 14 
Lucas Place, St, Louis 23 
Mateo Teepee 3 
Mato Tipila 3 
May, Dean L, 34 
May, Frank P. 34 
May, Joseph Allen 34 
May, Reid (author) 34 
McAIester, Oklahoma 31 
McGhee. Q, [Quilliki] P. 

McKenzie - 19, 20 
McLeod, Christopher 5 
McLoughlin, John 12 
Medicine Wheel Coalition 

Mentzer, Roche 28 
Miami, Okla. 26, 30, 31 
Milton, N C, 10 
Missouri Buttes 3 
Mitchell, David D. 14 
Morgan, Dale 9 
mountain climbing 2 
mountain men 8-23 
Mountain States Legal 

Foundation 6, 7 
Muskogee, Okla, 30 
national monument 3 

nation's first 3 
National Park Service 2- 

National Register of 

Historic Places 4, 7 
Neosho, Missouri 26 
Newkirk, Okla. 29 
Newton, Kansas 3, 26 
North Platte River 22 
O'Fallon, John 10 
Ogden, Peter Skene 12, 

Osborn, Art 24. 25 
Osborn, Arthur E. 24. 25, 

(photo 25) 
Pattie, James O, 17 
Pawnee Butte 25 
Pawnee Loupes village 22 
Petefish, Andy 6 
Picher, Oklahoma 30 
Pierre's Hole 14, 16 
Pilcher, Joshua 17 
Pine BlufTs, Wyo. 24, 26 
Pine Ridge Reservation 7 
posts, fur trading built by 

Sublette & Campbell 18 
Primeau, Charles 23 
Provost, Etienne 12 
Quiver, Elaine 7 
Read. Al 6 

Reddle Forsyth & Co. 18 
Richmond. Virginia. 10 
Riner. William J. 27. 28 
Ripley. Willard 4 
rock-climbing 4 
"Rocky Mountain 

Entrepreneur; Robert 

Campbell as a Fur Trade 

Capitalist" 8-23 
Rocky Mountain Fur Co, 

8, 15, 16, 22 

Rogers, Linnie 4 
Rogers, William 4 
Roosevelt, President 

Theodore 3 
Sapulpa, Oklahoma 28, 

29, 32 
Saskatchewan River 14 
Scharf J. Thomas 

(quoted) 23 
Scots-Irish immigrants 10 
Scott's Bluff 22 
Seven Sisters 3 
"Seventy Times Seven" 24- 

Sierra Club 4 
silk hat 22 
Sioux Nations 5 
Slaymon, Dorothy E., 33 

(photo 32) 
Smith, Jackson & Sublette 

8, II, 13, 16 
Smith. Jcdediah 11, 15. 16 
South Pass 1 1 
St. Louis 23 
St. Vrain. Ceran 17 
State Line road 25 
Sublette & Campbell 17 
Sublette. Andrew 22 
Sublette. Milton 

14. 18. 21 
Sublette. William 8. 16. 18. 

Sulphur Springs ranch 17 
summer solstice 5 
sun dance 5 

Sunder. John (quoted) 23 
Tankersley. Seth Camberlin 

Teton Basin 16 
Tevanitagon. Chief Pierre 

Thouin. Louise 34 
Tracy, Frederick A. 18 
Tsonetokoy, Dewey, Sr. 7 
Tulsa, Oklahoma 26 
University of Wyoming 

Women's Athletic 

Association, inside back 

Van Loon, Lydia 28 
Vanderburgh, Henry 17 
"Victory Gardens and Fort 

Caspar Artifacts" 34 
Webb City, Missouri 24, 27 
Weissner, Fritz 4 
Welch, Okla, 26 
Wichita Falls, Texas 29 
Wilkinson, Charles 5 
Williams Timberhlll 
Cemetery 26 
Wyeth, Nathaniel 17. 18. 

"Wyoming Memories" 34 
Wyoming Picture, inside 
back cover 

Indexed by Phil Roberts 


The Wvoming Slate ffislorical Society was organized in October 1 953 The folhiwlnii are past presidents of the Society: 

1953-55: Fnmk Bowron. Casper 
1955-56: William L Marion. Laiidcr 
1956-57: Dr. DcWilt Dominick. Cody 
1957-58: Dr T A. Larson. Laramie 
1958-59: A H MacDougall. Rawlins 
1959-60: Thclma G. Condit. Buffalo 
1960-61: E A Littleton. Gillette 
1961-62: Edness Kimball Wilkins, Casper 
1962-63: Charles Ritter. Cheyenne 
1963-65: Neal E Miller. Rawlins 
1965-66: Mrs Ch;irles Hord. Casper 
1966-67: Glenn S\\ eem. Sheridan 
1967-68: Adrian Reynolds. Green River 
1968-69: Curtiss Root. Torrington 
1969-70: Hattie Bumstad. VVoriand 
1970-71: J Reuel Amistrong. Rawlins 
1971-72: William R Dubois. Cheyeime 
1972-73: Henr> F Chadey. Rock Springs 
1973-74: Richard S Dumbrill. Newcastle 
1974-75: Hcnr> Jensen. L\ site/Casper 
1975-76: Jay Brazelton. Jackson 
1976-77: Ra\ Pendergraft. Worland 
1977-78: David J Wasden. Codv 

1978-79: Mabel Brown. Newcastle 
1979-80: James June. Green Ri\ er 
1980-81: William F Bragg. Jr . Casper 
1981-82: Don Hodgson. Torrington 
1982-83: Clara Jensen. Lysite/Casper 
1983-84: Fern Gaensslen. Green Ri\ er 
1984-85: Dr Da\ id Kathka. Rock Springs 
1985-86: Mar\ Gamiaii. Sundance 
1986-87: Ellen Mueller. Cheyenne 
1987-88: Mar> Nielsen, Cody 
1988-89: Loren Jost. Ri\ erton 
1989-90: Lucille Dumbrill. Newcastle 
1990-91: Scott Handley. Pine Haven 
1991-92: Dale Morris. Green Ri\ cr 
1992-93: Dr Walter Edens. Laramie 
1993-94: Sally Vanderpoel. Torrington 
1994-95: Ruth Laurit/en. Green River 
1995-96: Maggi Layton. Riverton 
1996-97: Dr Mike Cassity. Laramie 
1997-99: Patt\ Myers. Buffalo 
1999-2000: Dr Mike Jording. Newcastle 
2000-02: Da\ id Taylor. Casper 
2002-03: Dick Wilder. Cody 
2003- : Linda Fabian. Wheatland 





nnais o 



The Wyoming History Journal 

Autumn 2003 

Vol. 75, No. 4 


The Cover Art 

*'Air Mail Service Statiouy Cheyenne, Wyoming" 

Postcard from the collectiotis of the American Heritage Center, Univesity ofWyorning 

This postcard illustrates the linking of tlie nation through the U.S. Air Mail Service. The first air 
mail service bega)i i)i May 1918 with flights between New York and Washington, D.C. During 
the next two years the service moved slowly west and on September 8, 1920, the country celebrated 
the beginning of the transcontinental air mail service. On that day, planes flying east and west 
landed in Cheyenne, one of the main stops along the route. Flying east out of Cheyenne, the De 
Havila)id Four biplanes landed in North Platte, Nebraska, on to Omaha, eventually to New York. 
Flying west, the planes stopped in Rock Springs to refuel, next to Salt Lake City, and ended their 
flights in San Francisco. According to a newspaper report of the time published in the Casper 
Daily Tribune, "the transcontijioital daily air mail is the most difficult flyingproject yet tmdertaken. 
It iiivolves daily operatioii over a route nearly 3,000 miles long with flying firquently under most 
trying conditions. " The accou)it also discussed the weather, an important consideration for the 
pilots flying the biplanes, and stated "the greatest difficult)' in this respect . . . will be encountered 
by westbound planes between Cheyenne and Laramie. " Of course, it was the wind which provided 
the greatest obstacle. Because of the air mail service, Cheyenne became an important stop on the 
transcoiitinental air route, a distinction held by Wyoming's capital city until the mid- 1940s. 

Information for Contributors: 

The editor ofAiiimls of Wyoiiniig welcomes manuscripts and photographs on every aspect ot the historj' of Wyoming and the 
West. Appropriate For submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new 
interpretations of historical events. Fitst-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections ot events will be consid- 
ered for use in the "Wyoming Memories" section. Historic photo essays for possible publication in "Wyoming Memories" also 
are welcome. Articles are reviewed and referred 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 bv one ot the wiclelv-used word processing programs along with two 
printed copies. Submissions and queries should be addressed to: Editor, Annals of Wyoming, Dept. 3924, 1000 E. University 
Avenue, Laramie WY 82071, or to the editor by e-mail at the following address: 


Rick Ewig 

Guest Editor 

lohn R. \\*ag_eener 

Assistant Editors 

Sarah Bohl 
Annie Proulx 

Book Review Editor 

Carl Hallberg 

Editorial Advisory Board 

Kathcnnc Curtis^.. Sheridan 

Dudley Gardner, Rock Springs 

Sally F. Griffith, Lusk/Havertown, Pa. 

Don Hodgson, Torrington 

Loren Jost. Riverion 

James R. Laird. Wapiti 

Mark Miller, Laramie 

Mark Nelson. Green River 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Publications Committee 

Barbara Bogart. t\'anston 

Rick Ewig, Laramie 

Linda Fabian, Wheadand 

Rowene Giarrizzo, Powell 

Carl Hallberg, Cheyenne 

Phil Roberts. Laramie (ex-ofFicio) 

James VanScoyk, Star Valley 

Rose Wagner, Cheyenne (ex-officio) 

Wyoming State Historical Society 

Executive Committee 

Linda Fabian. President, Platte Counr\' 

Dave Taylor, 1st Vice Pres.. Natrona Co. 

Art Kidwell, 2nd Vice Pres., Park Co. 

Cindy Brown, Secretar)', Laramie County 

James VanScoyk, Treasurer, Star Valley 

Laura Lake, Natrona County 

Clara Varner, Weston County 

John R. Waggener. Albany County 

Marge Wilder. Park Count)- 

Judy West. Membership Coordinator 

Governor of Wyoming 

David Freudcnthal 

Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and 
Cultural Resources 

Phil Noble. Director 

Cultural Resources Division 

Wendv Brcdehoh, Administrator 

Wyoming Parks & Cultural Resources 

Carolyn Buft, Casper 
W''illiam Vines. Wheatland 
Herb French, Newcastle 
Ernest C. Over, Pavillion 
Diann Reese. Lyman 
Alexandra Service. Thermopolis 
Emerson W Scott. Jr.. Buffalo 
Vern Vivion, Rawlins 
Jerrilynn Wall, Evanston 

University of Wyoming 
Philip Dubois, President 
Oliver Walter, Dean, College ol Arts and 

Kristine Utterback, Chair, Dept. of Histor\' 

finals of 


_The Wyoming History Journal 
Autumn 2003 Vol. 75, No. 4 

Linking Wyoming to the Nation: 

Wyoming's Transportation History 

By John R. Waggener 

Flight 409: Tragedy on Medicine Bow Peak 

By Mel Duncan 

The United Airlines Stewardess School in Cheyenne, 

By Michael Kassel 11 

Putting Wyoming On the Map: The Story of the 
Official Wyoming Highway Map 

By John R. Waggener 19 

A Room for the Night: Evolution of Roadside Lodging 
in Wyoming 

By Heyward D. Schrock 31 

Index 4(1 

Wyoming Picture Inside back cover 

Annals of W\'omtng: The Wynminii History- Journal is published quarterly by the Wyoming State Hisloncal Sociely in 
association with the Wyoming Department of Stale Parks and Cultural Resources, the Amencan Hentage Center, and the 
Department of History, University of Wyoming The journal was previously published as the Quarterly Bulletin ( 1923- 
1925). Annals of Wyoming (1925-1993). \\\oming Annals (1993-1995) and Wyoming History Journal (1995-1996), The 
Annals has been the official publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society since 1953 and is distnbuted as a benefit 
of membership to all society members. Membership dues are: single, $20; joint. S30, student (under 21 ). S15. institu- 
tional. $40. contributing, $100-249: sustaining. S250-499; patron, 5500-999; donor. S1,000+, To join, contact your local 
chapter or wnte to the address below. Articles in Annals of Wyoming are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America 
Hisior\- and Life. 

[nquines about membership, mailing, distnbunon. reprints and back issues should be addressed to Jud\' West, Qx>rdinator. WVoming State 
Hi.stoncal Stxiety. PMB# I S4. 1 740H Dell R^mge BKd,. Che>enne W^' 82(X")9-i445 Edilonal correspt^ndence should be addressed to the 
editonal office oi Annals of Wyoming. Amencan Hentage Center Dept. 3924, !(X)0 E. Um\ersit\ A\enue, Laramie W 'I' 82071 
Our e-mail address is: Printed bv Pioneer Printing, Cheyenne 

Graphic Design: Vicki Schuster 

Copyright 2003, Wyoming State Historical Society 

ISSN: 1086-7368 

2 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 


John R. Waggener, Guest Editor 

'hen I was a bov growing up in Green River, one ot my biggest thrUls was hearing Dad yell out to us kids 
in the sandbox, saying, "Isids, let's go to Little America and get an ice cream cone." With Mom and Dad 
up front and we kids in the back, the 1969 Ford Galaxy 500 was off— rolling west down 1-80. Though I 
have to thank Mom and Dad for treating me to those wonderful ten-cent cones, I also have to thank Mr. 
S.M. Cover for making them available. He saw an opportunit}- in Wyoming. He saw an opportunity centered on 
transportation, and he constructed his fine roadside stop (complete with an ice cream machine) to serve the needs of 
travelers going east or west on the nation's great corridor, US 30. Transportation has always been a rich component to 
the histor\' of Wvoming. A phvsiograpliic feature known as the Wyoming Basin allowed much of this histon' to happen. 
Southern Wyoming acted, and still acts, as a corridor for movmg people, goods, and ser\'ices across this nation. The fact 
that Wvoming is a corridor makes it one of the most vitally important states linking the west to the east — something 
Lewis and Clark attempted to do two hundred years ago. But saying Wyoming is just a corridor does not tell the whole 
story. In this special edition of Annals of Wvoming, "Linking Wyoming to the Nation," four articles have been selected to 
share some of Wyoming's other fascinating stones about transportation. Mel Duncan, in his article, "Flight 409: Tragedy 
on Medicine Bow Peak," tells the reader this airline crash was the nation's worst airline crash to that date. He describes 
how the crash was pivotal to the eventual overhaul of the nation's air traffic control system. When reading Michael 
Kassel's article, "The United Airlines Stewardess School in Cheyenne, Wyoming," the reader wiU discover United Airlines 
was the first airline in the world to have trained female flight attendants on its aircraft and that those first eieht stewardesses 
and literally thousands of others were trained in Cheyenne. Even peripheral transportation-related things, like Wyoming's 
official road map, have made a national impact. In my article, "Putting Wyoming on the Map: The Stor\' of the Official 
Wyoming Map," you will learn 
why Oregon dubbed Wyoming's 
map the "king of them all." 
Finally, Hex'ward Schrock will 
allow the reader a place to spend 
the night, when he describes the 
development of lodging in "A 
Room for the Night: Evolution 
of Roadside Lodging in 
Wyoming." When viewing the 
"Wyoming Picmre," featured on 
the back page, you will discover 
that the electric garage door 
opener, something most 
Americans take for granted toda\', 
was invented in Wyoming in 
1918. As guest-editor of this 
edition, I hope you find these 
articles beneficial to your 
understanding of Wyoming's 
transportation histor)'. I also hope 
this issue rekindles memories for 
you like it did tor me. Enjoy W\'- A harness shop served as the backdrop for this 1908 photo of the Thomas Flyer horseless carriage as it 
omine's rich transDortation stopped at Lovejoys Garage in downtown Laramie before it headed bac/t out on the road. The eventual winner 

. of the New Yorl< to Pans Road Race, the Thomas Flyer completed the round-the-world race in 169 days proving 

heritage. (/,g automobile could and would replace the horse. Elmer Lovejoy Collection, American Heritage Center, 

University of Wyoming. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 3 

Tragedy on 
Bow Peaic 

By Mel Duncan 

The aircraft was 
demolished on 
impact. This was 
the worst acci- 
dent to that time 
in the history of 
aviation in the 
United States. 

On October 6, 1953, a United Airlines DC-4 crashed into Medicine Bow 
Peak, killing all 66 people on board.' The aircraft was demolished on impact. 
This was the worst accident to that dme in the histon,- of commercial avia- 
tion in the United States. 
Flight 409 originated at New York's Idlewild Airport at '?:\0 p.m., on October 5, 
1955. Its destination was San Francisco, Calitornia, with intermediate stops scheduled for 
Chicago, Omaha, Denver, and Salt Lake Citv. Delayed bv weather, the flight arrived in 
Denver on Thursday, October 6, at 5:51 a.m., one hour, eleven minutes late. A routine 
crew change was made and the new crew consisting of Capt. Clinton C. Cooke, Jr., First 
(ItTicer Ralph D. Salisbun,', )r., and Stewardess Patricia D. Shuttleworth took over the 
flight duties. Cooke and Salisbury were making the trip together for the first time. The 
company dispatcher briefed Cooke on the en route weather. 

Cooke was well acquainted with the route, having flown it forrv'-flve times in the 
pre\aous year. He was tliirty-five years old and had accumulated 9,807 fl\ing hours, making 
him one of the airline's most experienced pilots. Salisbun' was thirty-three years old and 
the father of two. He had worked for the company since 1 952 and had accumulated 
2,41 8 flying hours. Salisbun,- was a promising young pilot who held a degree in aeronauacal 
engineering and was devoted to the many aspects of aviation. 

The aircraft was refueled to a total of one thousand gallons of fuel, bringing its 
takeoff weight to 64,147 pounds. The maximum allowable weight for the DC-4 was 
64,800 pounds. 

The flight left Denver's Stapleti )n Field i m the nn irnmg of October 6, bound for Salt 

' Information from this article comes from the "Inited .\irlines Flight 409 Crash Collection," .Ace. 10404, 
American Heritage Center, Universit)' of Wyommg (3 bo.\es) and from subject file, "Aircraft Accidents - 
\X-yoming - Medicine Bow Peak," which is held at the American Heritage Center, University of Wvoming, and 
from references cited in the booklet, "Flight 409" copyrighted in 1996, revised 2002, by Mel Duncan, Chey- 
enne, Wvoming. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

Lake Citv. Cooke called the company dispatcher and 
reported his takeoff time as 6:33 a.m., now one hour 
and nvent\-threc minutes late. These were the last words 
the world would hear from flight 409. Carrying sixt\-- 
three passengers and three crewmembers, only one seat 
had remained unfUled. Two of the passengers were infants. 
Less than one hour later, flight 409 made histor)-. 

The flight was scheduled to flv north from Denver, 
over Laramie, then make an almost 90-degree turn at the 
Rock River radio beacon to continue west to Salt Lake 
Cit)'. Flight 409 failed to report passing Rock Springs at 
the scheduled time of 8:11 a.m. A routine radio search 
was initiated with negative results. The Ci\dl Aeronautics 
Agency was notified of the missing aircraft at 10 a.m., on 
the morning of October 6. 

At that time there was no radar coverage to mark 
the time and place of disappearance. In the event of 
suspected crashes, initial air searches were normallv 
conducted along the planned flight path. The search was 
initiated along this route. 

The flight had been cleared from Denver to Salt 
Lake Cit)' via Victor 4 to Laramie, V-1 1 8 to Rock Springs, 
V-6 to Fort Bridger, and V-32 to Salt Lake Cit}'. The 
company operating rules stated that pilots would foUow 
these air routes even under visual conditions. The 
operating manual further stated that for unpressurized 
aircraft, "Flight will normally be conducted at levels not 
to exceed 12,000 feet." This would include the un- 
pressurized DC-4. 

Most of the commercial DC-4 aircraft were 
manufactured during World War II as C-54s and were 
later released for civil aircraft fleet use. This particular 
aircraft, N30062, was manufactured as a C-54, serial 
number 18389, during the war year 1943. The aircraft 
had accumulated 28,755 hours of use. Nine hundred fift\'- 
four of these aircraft were manufactured before the 
Douglas Aircraft Company began building the 
replacement DC-6. In 1955, the newer DC-6 was plagued 
with problems and the veteran DC-4s were kept in service 
beyond their expected service life. 

The DC-4 was powered by four Pratt and WTaitney 
R-2000 engines, each producing 1450 horsepower. The 
Hamilton Standard propellers were fourteen feet in 
diameter. It was capable of cruising at about 230 miles 
per hour. By the early 1 950s it was being replaced as U.S. 
airlines sold their older airplanes to foreign airlines. 
However, the U.S. Nav}' continued to use a version of 
the aircraft well into the Vietnam War era. The DC-4 
was not pressurized and normally flew at about ten 

thousand feet. The seating capacity was sixty-four 

The aircraft was reported missing about an hour after 
its scheduled reporting time over Rock Springs. In answer 
to the missing aircraft alert, the Wyoming Air National 
Guard launched two search aircraft from Cheyenne: a 
two-seat T-33 piloted by Mel Conine and a single seat F- 
80 piloted by Ed Weed. They intuitively pointed their 
aircraft toward the highest mountains in the region. Elk 
Mountain and Medicine Bow Peak. With Conine as pilot 
and an observer in the rear, they were able to conduct an 
effective search. 

Aircraft wreckage had been reported on Elk 
Mountain but proved to be wreckage from a prior 
aircraft accident. They then turned south to search the 
Medicine Bow Mountains. Just southwest of the highest 
portion of Medicine Bow Peak they spotted first the 
black stain on the mountain and then the actual wreckage 
at 11:40 a.m. Extreme turbulence prevented them from 
flying close enough to spot any possible survivors and 
they turned to return to the base. As thev turned, they 
were contacted by a United Airlines DC-3 also searching 
in the area. Conine was asked to direct the UAL aircraft 
to the crash scene. This aircraft, piloted by Frank Crismon, 
also encountered extreme turbulence near the mountain. 

After the discover)- of the wreckage on the face of 
the cUff, and no visible indication of the forward portion 
of the fuselage, it was, for a time, thought that the forward 
portion of the aircraft must be over the crest of the 
ridge. A C-47 from Cheyenne was launched to search 
the area for the remainder of the aircraft. Nothing was 
found and with ground crews arriving on the scene, that 
part of the search was terminated. 

Information was relayed to the 44*'^ Air Rescue 
Squadron, stationed at Lowr)? Air Force Base in Colorado, 
and an SA-16 rescue aircraft was dispatched to the scene. 
Although the rescue aircraft had the capabilit}' of dropping 
a parachute team, none were dropped, due partially to 
high winds over the crash scene. 

At the Salt Lake Cit)' airport friends and relatives 
waited with increased anxiet)- with each passing hour. By 
mid-morning those inquiring about flight 409 were 
ushered into a company room for a briefing as the events 
transpired. It was afternoon before the company could 
confirm their worst fears: the aircraft had crashed. There 
was a lingering hope that there could be survivors; 
however, as the afternoon wore on it became increasingly 
apparent that there would be no survivors. Finally, by the 
evening of October 6, it was announced that there were 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -■ Autumn 2003 

indeed no survivors. 

Between sevenn' and one hundred would-be rescuers 
made their wav to the crash scene b\' Thursday evening, 
onh' to determine that all aboard had died in the crash. 
Carbon Count\- Sheriff John Terrill of Rawlins was one 
of the first on the scene and took charge (jf earlv rescue 
attempts. When it became apparent that there were, in all 
likelihood, no sun.'ivors, and in the tace of snow and 
howling winds, he called ott all et-forts at dusk and 
ordered all rescuers to return to the base camp about a 
mile awav. 

The high winds and falling snow drove the rescuers 
to seek shelter in the closest buildings to the crash scene, 
the Universit\- of W'voming Science Camp some six miles 
awav. Here a meeting was held on the evening ot the 
crash to determine how the task of removing the victims 
of the crash could best be accomplished. It was 
determined that the help of experienced mountaineers 
was requireci and that the L niversitv of W'v< )ming C^unng 
Club and their Colorado counterparts should be 
summoned to the scene. Bv Friday morning every 
available ambulance and hearse in the regnon was brought 
in to transport bodies to Laramie. 

about six miles awaw In addition, a line was laid to 
Centennial and then, by interconnecting lines utilizing the 
U.S. Forest Service, Union Pacific, and Little Laramie 
Telephone Company lines, to the fjmnor Hf)tel in 
Laramie. News coverage and recovery- coordination was 
handled at the operation center in the hotel. 

The Wyoming Air National Guard sent a \\'< )rld \\ ar 
II combat ambulance to the scene and began making 
runs from the base camp at Mirror Lake, down to the 
L'niversin.' ot Wyoming Science Camp. The science camp 
was turned into a temporan morgue. 

By Friday morning, October ^, virtualK every 
newspaper in the United States featured an article on the 
crash. \t first they reported sixts-four people killed, then 
sixt\"-tlve, and with the discover,- of another infant nn 
board, the toll was set at sixt\'-six killed. 

More than three hundred workers \\erc on the scene, 
including the national guard, Cj\il Air Patrol and state, 
counn, , and 1( ical law ent< ircement officials. Tlie \\ \'ommg 
Army National Guard, led b\' Capt. Kenneth T. 
McGinness, headed for the mountain with four trucks 
and a jeep. The Civil .\ir Patrol sent representanves. The 
Carbon Counts' Sheriffs department, led by Terrill, had 

Rescue personnel scour 
the crash scene at the 
base of the cliffs where 
much of the wreckage 
settled American 
Heritage Center. 
University of Wyoming 

Workers from Mountain Bell Telephone Company 
were summoned from all across the state. After meeting 
with United Airlines personnel they were requested to 
lay wire torm the old science camp to the crash scene. 

been the first to arrive on the scene, .\lbany Count\' 
Under-Sheriff Ingrum arrived shortly after, and a 
discussion transpired to determine in which counr\' the 
crash was located, .\fter a time it was determined that 

6 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

the crash site was indeed located in Carbon Count)-. John 
Hill of the Universin- of Wyoming was later called in to 
sur\-ev the crash site and determine an accurate location. 
The Wyoming Highway Patrol was also dispatched to 
the scene. From Rawlins, Father John Meyer and Father 
Michael Butier of Saint foseph's Church left for the crash 
site. The Red Cross also arrived to lend support to the 
rescue teams. 

^■Vrriving at the scene, the first tiling apparent was the 
gigantic smudge on the rock cliff high above the base 
camp. As one moved toward the base of the mountain 
the first portion of the aircraft to come into view was a 
portion of the main landing gear and nvo tires that had 
rebounded some 1500 feet from the point of impact. 

The first of the rescuers said they found the first 
bodies 500 feet from the point of impact. The media of 
that time were more graphic in their descriptions of 
accidents, especially when describing human remains. One 
reporter described the headless body of a young woman, 
another described the orange color of the bodies, and 
another the personal effects scattered about the scene-- 
all with considerablv more detail than recent reports. 

A major portion of the aircraft was lodged on a 
ledge high up the vertical cliff It was apparent that 
experienced mountain climbers would be required to 
remove the bodies. The Universin,- of Wyoming Outing 
Club was notified and subsequendy ten members of the 
Rockv Mountain Rescue Group from Boulder, 
Colorado, and four members of the Colorado 
Mountaineering Club were flown to Laramie to assist in 
the recovery. Friday was the first day of recovery 
operations. An unexpected break in the weather brought 
clear, relativelv warm weather with little wind, unusual 
for that time of vear in the Medicine Bow Mountains. 

However, a light mande of snow covered the scene 
making the slopes sHppen- and hazardous. Six teams of 
about six men each were formed. Each team included a 
UAL employee. These teams consisting of about half 
experienced and half inexperienced mountaineers were 
designated to work on the crash scene high up on the 
mountain. Additional teams were designated to work 
the lower slopes. One of the first tasks required was to 
secure the precariously balanced tail section to the 

The first day of recover}- efforts produced several 
problems. Workers high on the cliff were dislodging 
rocks and aircraft parts, which tumbled down the slope 
endangering those working below. ^Although the cliffs 
were extremely steep, the method of lowering the remains 
by rope proved to be ver}- difficult. As the remains were 

being lowered they often became lodged in the rocks 
and required additional climbers to free them. As the 
work progressed it became apparent that there were too 
many workers on the slope and they were a danger to 
one another. Only four bodies were delivered to the 
temporan' morgue that day. 

On Friday evening another meeting was held at the 
L^niversir\' of Wyoming Science Camp and a revised plan 
was established betu-een the climbers and L"i\L. It was 
agreed that only two teams were to work on the high 
slope. In addition, a partA- of two would climb to the 
top of the cliff where they could survey the scene and 
locate bodies from above. A n\-lon and steel line from 
high on the cliff was extended to the base of the 
mountain. A troUey consisting of a ten-inch snatch block 
pulley was attached and a 1,200-foot nylon line was 
attached to be used as a brake and hauling Une. 

More than half of the bodies were located in and 
around the rear portion of the aircraft lodged on the 
ledse. Some twent\- bodies were scattered sixt\- feet above 
and sixt}' feet to the left of the ledge. One body was 
found 150 feet above the ledge and required a climber 
to rappel down the cliff to wrap and secure the remains. 

The airline company contracted with a local rancher 
to furnish pack animals to pack in needed supplies and 
equipment and to pack out the bodies. At first, each body 
was wrapped in new wliite canvas but before long the 
more traditional body bags were made available to the 

A preliminan,- effort was made at identification of 
the bodies at the science camp. Further efforts were made 
at the Laramie mortuan'. At the time it was announced 
that all the bodies had been accounted for and identified. 
Recover)- efforts were completed by Tuesday afternoon, 
October 11. The cold snowy weather resumed the 
following da\-. 

From all of the collected information, the accident 
can be at least partially reconstructed. After leaving the 
Denver area, the aircraft apparently deviated from its 
planned flight path and crossed the Medicine Bow 
National Forest on a heading of approximately 300 
degrees. A few minutes after 7 a.m., a logging crew saw 
a large aircraft, flying low in a northwest direction. One 
eyewitness later testified he heard a distant noise, like a 
mining blast, a few minutes after the aircraft passed, but 
at the time did not associate it with the aircraft. 

Among the sixt)--six people killed were five members 
of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, nineteen military 
members, two infants, and the crew of Cooke, SaUsbur)-, 
and Shutdeworth. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 7 

Aboard the flight was 436 pounds ot mail. /\ high 
priority was placed on recovery but onh' about one 
hundred pounds were recovered, and of that onh' tliirtv- 
two pounds were in condition to turward to its 

The steepness ot the talus slopes made the 
investigation difficult and hazardous. The invesdiration 
team climbed part of the wa\' to the crash scene but due 
to hazards of falling rocks and snow-covered boulders, 
the team climbed no higher than 1 1,275 teet. The team 
was severely limited by the terrain and weather conditions. 
They did, however, determine that the aircraft was intact 
at the time of impact. It was also determined that all 
four engines were operating at the time nt impact. .\11 
of the engines and the twelve propeller blades were 
accounted for. Number three prop hub was taken to 
Denver for further studw Sexeral ( ither pieces i if wreckage 
were also remnved tnim the mountain tor further study. 

A preponderance ot the evidence indicateci that the 
aircraft hit the mountain in a nose high attitude. The 
wintishield was shattered but still in its frame; the 
windsliield wiper was still attached, (^uite possibly the 
crew saw the mountain during the last seconds and 
attempted a pull-up. Further evidence indicated that the 
aircraft contacted the mountain in a 15- 
degree left wing down attitude. A flash 
fire had apparently occurred at contact 
and some parts were still smoldering the 
evening of the crash. 

Upon conclusion of their 
investigation, the board released the crash 
remains to the company. To discourage 
curiosity seekers from climbing the 
mountain and removing debris, the airline 
company requested military destruction 
of the remains left on the iik luntain. A 
team from Fort Carson was called in to 
shell the site. At first a small cannon and 
then explosives were used in an attempt 
to dislodge the tail section from its 1( >ft\- 
perch and to burj- the wreckage. This was 
only partially successful. 

Through direction of the National 
Guard Bureau in Wasliington, D.(], a flight of Colorado 
Air National Guard Lockheed F-8U Shooting Star fighter 
aircraft was selected for another attempt to destroy the 
remains. Led b\ then Lt. Colonel Walt William, the seven 
aircraft took oft from Buckle\- Meld near Denver. Loaded 
with two tanks ot napalm each, the flight reported 
fourteen direct hits on the crash site. These aircraft were 

subjected to powerful downdratts as the\' pulled up from 
their target, posing a question of whether these same 
downdratts or wind currents coukl ha\e been related to 
the cause of the crash. 

The next tew months were spent inspecting the 
wreckage parts that were taken to Denver and 
inten iewing associates ot the crew and e\ewltnesses who 
had seen the aircraft. Cooke had a spotless reputation 
and although the investigators were inclined to blame the 
accident on the pilot, considerable pressure was put on 
them by the .\irline Pile its Association t(_> investigate mi ire 
thoroughK . 

On .August 2j, L'56, almost a \ear after the crash, 
the Ci\il Aeronautics Board returned to the crash site, 
still not satisfied that they had investigated even' possible 
shred ot evidence. The group consisted of not only Civil 
Aeronautics Board members but also members of the 
AirUne Pilots Associaoi m and representati\es of the iurline. 
Three days were spent on the mountain examimng and 
re-examining the components they were able to find. 
The focus of this examination was an\' ci impc ment w Inch 
could ha\ e caused incapacitatu >n ot the cre\\'. The ci ickpit 
combustion heater was a prime suspect and a 
concentrated effort was made to find it. Remarkabh it 

UnAeii Air Lines requested a military unit to shell the crash site to remove 
any lose rock and to further destroy any remaining parts A unit from Fort 
Carson (Colorado) was brought in to carry out this mission The area was 
later napalmed American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming. 

was located and examined for any indication of a failure, 
which could have fed carbon monoxide into the cockpit. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

However, it was so badlv damaged that a positive 
conclusion could not be made. 

In the final analysis, the board determined that either 
a shortcut was being attempted or that the crew was 
incapacitated and the aircraft was iil\ing \nthout assistance. 
The board was reluctant to blame the pilot, but 
nevertheless stated that he must have purposefully 
deviated from the prescribed flight route for reasons 
unknown. The eyewitness accounts of the aircraft tlying 
low across the mountains just minutes prior to the crash, 
and the apparent climb to a higher altitude, were the 
most incriminadng facts against the pilot. 

The area of the crash debris is covered by snow for 
a major portion of the year and the talus slopes make 
for a rather difficult climb into the area. In 1991 and 
1992, a less than normal snowpack and a warm summer 
allowed for easier access to the area and much of the 
crash material was exposed. Literally thousands of 
fragments are found among the rocks. Peering down 
between the rocks one can see aluminum shreds, wiring 
and aircraft parts that are almost completely disintegrated. 
A tew larger parts can be seen King on the surface. Most 
are not readily identifiable. However, three of the Pratt 
and Whitney R-2000 engines are still on the rocky slopes 
and can be readily identified. Most of the cylinders are 
stiU attached although trophy seekers have removed some. 
In 1969, some of the spark plugs remained undamaged, 
though by 1 996 all removable spark plugs had been taken. 
A couple of the piston rods stiU move as smoothly as 
they did when assembled. Thousands of aluminum shards 
are scattered among the rocks. Electrical wiring is wound 
around the boulders. A few hea\T ferrous metal parts 
are still intact, somewhat rusty, but solid. The stainless 
steel shines as brightly as the day it left the facton'. On 
one larger piece, the UAL blue trim is chipped and faded, 
but StiU identifiable. Through the years many parts have 
been removed trom the site, and until the site becomes 
fift}- years old, it is not protected from removal efforts 
by anyone so inclined. 

But even today, lingering questions remain. Was the 
crew incapacitated? Was the peak obscured bv clouds? 
Was the altimeter setting correct? Was there turbulence 
and downdraits near the mountains? Why was the aircraft 
some twent\' miles off course? Was it any single factor, 
or was it a combination of events that caused the accident? 
Apparently we will never know the exact cause; we can 
only speculate. 

A bizarre after-effect took place less than a month 
after the Medicine Bow crash. Another UAL flight, this 
time flight 629, a DC6 following the same route, crashed 

after leaving Denver. On November 1, 1955, at 6:52 p.m., 
the evening sky near Loveland, Colorado, was lit up by 
n\o flashes of light and the aircraft with its fort\'-four 
occupants was scattered onto the farmland below. 

Aiter an extensive investigation, |ohn Gilbert Graham 
was brought to trial for the bombing of the aircraft. 
Speculation was that after hearing of the flight 409 crash, 
he developed the morbid inspiration to destroy the aircraft 
and rid himself of his mother. During the trial it was 
speculated that Graham had calculated the flight time to 
the same area and set his bomb to explode at the 
approximate location of the previous DC-4 crash. He 
had seemingly reconciled with his mother, packed her 
bags (which included fourteen pounds of dynamite), and 
purchased a large insurance policy on her for the flight. 
His plans were thwarted when the aircraft was delayed 
so that the bomb instead exploded near Loveland. This 
was the first terrorist-st}de bombing of a commercial 
airliner. Of note, the insurance policy was void, as 
Graham forgot to have the insured sign the required 

The Medicine Bow crash remained the worst air 
disaster for less than a year. Onjune 20, 1 956, a Venezuelan 
Lockheed Super Constellation crashed off the Newjersey 
coast, killing all seventh'- four persons aboard. Ten days 
later a Super Constellation and a DC-7 colUded over the 
Grand Canyon, kiUing 128 people. This series of accidents 
was the impetus that drove Congress to appropriate 
money to update the air control system, adding radar 
and procedures to promote flying safet\'. 

On August 25, 2001, a commemorative bronze 
memorial plaque was unveiled during a formal ceremony 

During the August 25, 2001. ceremony, onlookers point toward //le October 
6. 1955. crasti site. The plaque, yet to be unveiled, is just to the left. American 
Heritage Center University of Wyoming. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 9 

at the Miners Cabin Scenic ( )\eil(>(ik. More than 13(1 
people attendeti the ceremon\ incluclinu; ianiiK' memlaers 
of those who perished in the crash. On the plaque is 
inscribed "In memoiT of the 66 passengers and crew 
that perished on Medicine Bow Peak, October 6, I'^'SS." 

Crash Analysis 

'I'he Ca\\\ Aeronautics Board investigation makes no 
specific conchision of the speed ami attittule of the 
aircraft on impact. However, the accident report contains 
numerous references, which give some indication of these 

"A propeller governor was also located on the talus 
slope." The propeller governor is mounted in the prop 
dome and would be one of the first components of the 
engine assemblv to make ci.intact in a head-c m crash. The 
governor was certainlv tlamaged but the control head 
was removed and installed on a seniceable governor 
and it was determined that the control head was 
pi )siti( ined U )r 2( )8( I engine tpm. The fact that the control 
head was not completeh' demolished indicates that the 
engine and prop assembly did not contact the escai-pment 
at anvwhere close to 90 degrees nor at a speed 
approaching the 200 miles per hour cruise speed. 

"'The left windshield, with windshield wiper attached, 
was tound, its frame nvisted, and the glass was shattered." 

Point where much 
of aircraft settled 


This view of the crash site shows the point of impact visible 
by the blacl< oil streal<s on the cliff wall Much of the 
wreckage, including a wing, can be seen at the base of the 
cliff, and a tire rests at the foot of the mountain. American 
Heritage Center, tjniversity of Wyoming 

1 lad the n( )se i )t the aircratt made a head-i )n direct impact 
at cruise or e\en climb speed, the windshield and the 
entire nose would have been demolished into innumerable 
unidentifiable fragments. It seems apparent that the aircraft 
contacted the mountain in a nose high attitude, possibly 
close to stall speed. 

"The four engines were located and examined." 
Although the engines were severely damaged, the ver\' 
tact that the\- were intact suthcicntK' to allow inspection 
indicates that the\ did not contact the clitt at climb or 
cruise speed. 

"All 12 propeller blades were accounted tor..." 
Although twisted and bent, the\ were ne\ ertheless 
identifiable, again indicating that contact was made at 
reduced speed and probably a nose high attitude. At least 
one prop blade was thrown high <i\'er the ledge. It was 
later recovered and is now" m the .American llentage 
Center collection. 

Further reference to aircratt components adils to the 
theor\ that impact forces were not as great as would be 
assumed with a high speetl and ck ise ti ) ')( l-degree contact. 
"Both large C02 bottles were found." Although their 
heads were broken and the bottles empty, thev were 
nevertheless intact. "( )x\gen bottles were also rec<n"ered 
with \al\'es attached." The tail section was generalh' still 
intact and although severely damaged, the CAB inspectors 
remarked, "the right stabilizer received only minor 

\\ hile these findings of the investigation board indicate 
that the .lircraft did not contact the cliff during a normal 
flight attitude, the board made no mention of speed .md 
attitude in their report. Perhaps it was so obvious that 
they merely neglected to mention it. Perhaps they 
determined that in realit\ it made no difference what the 
airspeed or attitude was. In their final anahsis the\' 
determined "that the probable cause of this accident was 
the action of the pilot in debating from the pl.inned 
route tor reasons unknown." 

In addition, examination ot the remaining parts on 
the slope tends t(.) bolster the theor\- that the aircratt 
contacted the mountain at less than climb or cruise speed. 
In 2001, one of the propeller spider gears became visible. 
It ma\ haxe been on the talus surface tor all these years 
or may have recentiv moved to the surface in the constantly 
shifting rocks and debris. The gear is made of ferrous 
metal and has rusted but remains identifiable. The thrust 
nut IS still installed and pinned. The prop spurs are also 
rusted but intact. The blades were apparendy thrown 
off b\- the force of the impact and the inherent centrifugal 

10 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal •- Autumn 2003 

Otlier parts, although uniformly damaged, remain in 
large pieces. Until recentl\' the left nose sheet metal, with 
the companv red, white, and blue paint was still \isible 
and remained on the slope. Photographs taken at the 
time of recover\" illustrate that many large pieces including 
one wing were not completelv demolished as would be 
expected in a liigh-speed crash. 

In conclusion, it seems apparent that the tlight crew 

saw the mountain and attempted to puU up, but when 
considering the power available and the probable 
downdraft, it was too little and too late. ~ 

- Information for this analysis was obtained from "United Air Lines 
Flight 409 Crash" Collection, Ace. 10494, Box 1. Folder 4, American 
Heritage Center. University of Wyoming. 

A rescuer pauses tor a photo opportunity next to the tail section of the DC-4. American Heritage 
Center, University of Wyoming- 

Mel Duncan, who retired several years ago from the Wyoming Air National Guard, is author of two 
books about the Medicine Bow Mountains. This article is derived from a program he presented to the 
Albany County Chapter, WSHS, in 1996. Some 200 people attended the program, the most well- 
attended in the chapter's history. He also spoke at the dedication of the marker, described in the 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 


I The United Airlines Stewardess School 

in Cheyenne, Wyoming 


Michael Kassel 

However, from 
1947 to 1961, the 
airline industry 
maintained a 
presence in tine 
Capital City with a 
training school for 
operated by 
United Airlines. 

Often referred to as "The Original Eight. " 
the first graduating class poses in front of 
one of the fleet's eight 18-passenger 
Boeing Model 80As for this May 1930 
shot at the Cheyenne Airport Left to 
right on the lop row are Ellen Church 
and Alva Johnson Left to right on the 
lower row are Margaret Arnott. Inez 
Keller. Cornelia Peterman. Harriet 
Fry. Jessie Carter, and Ellis 
Crawford Courtesy United Airlines 

hevenne's municipal airport has plaved a significant mle in the dcvehipment 
(jt earl\' aviation in America. To the average resident of the cit)-, this ma\' be 
something of a surprise. Currenth', the airfield seems more like a small 
regional airport like man\- thoiisantls ot others tound throughout the countn'. 
In the earlv days of aviation, however, Chevenne's airport was one of the finest in the 
nation and one of the principle centers of the airline industry-. Unfortunatelv, technolog}- 
and the demand for efficiency necessitated the gradual decline of Cheyenne's role in 
this area of transportation after World War II in fa\'or of those advantages provided 
b\- larger cities, particularh* Denver. ' However, from 1 ')4~ to 1961, the airline industr\' 
maintained a presence in \X voming's Capital Cit\' with a training school tor stewardesses 
operated by United i\irlines. This was a substantiallv reduced role for the Chevenne 

' Roger D, Launius and Jessie L. Embry, "Cheyenne Versus Denver: City Rivalry and the Quest for 
Transcontinental Air Routes," Annals of IVyoniing. Vol. 68 (Summer 19')6): 22. 

12 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

airport as oiilv t^vo vears before the field was used as 
United's principle "roundhouse"- for the repair and 
overhaul of its entire airliner fleet, its main flight training 
center and, during the war, one of the largest modification 
centers for American bombers during the confUct. 

To explain wh\- anv of these things happened 
here in this relative^ small western citv, it is necessan* to 
describe the nature of air travel during the early 1930s. 
Beginning in 1920, Cheyenne served as one of the 
principle stops on the first transcontinental air mail route. 
A significant number of communities were selected to 
be stops on the route because of the limited range of 
the aircraft, the limited capacity* of the airplanes (in this 
case the abOitv to flv over high mountains), and its location 
on one of the principle geographic guides leading from 
east to west, the Union Pacific Railroad." In 1927, the 
Boeing .Air Transport Companv was established and was 
contracted to take over the air mail service leaving 
Chevenne for Los Angeles."' Within the next two years 
the Boeing Air Transport Companv began to haul 
passengers, as wcU as the mail, and absorbed or joined 
several smaller airUnes to become what was to be known 
as United Airlines.' In that same vear, the Boeing Air 
Transportation Company established its main overhaul 
base in Chevenne. The irrowintr trend would continue 
tor the next two vears, as Chevenne became the principle 
maintenance facilin,- for the airline.'' 

It was in this environment that Chevenne had its first 
experience with airline stewardesses. In 1930, Steve A. 
Stimpson, manager of the Boeing Air Transport 
Company's Pacific Coast division, and Ellen Church, came 
upon the idea of hiring women as Uaisons between the 
airline and its passengers. He noticed how having 
someone available with information about connecting 
flights and time delavs, and who could offer simple 
ser\-ices greadv enhanced the enjovment of the passengers' 
experience.^ At first, management was skeptical but 
Stimpson ultimatelv prevailed. Stimpson envisioned the 
role women would plav to be similar to that of stewards 
on ocean liners.' In Stimpson's mind, nurses were the 
logical choice to become the first airline stewardesses. 
They would be able to help passengers who became ill, 
would be sensitive to individual needs, and have a strona 
empathv with the passengers.'" In liis original proposal 
of the stewardess concept, Stimpson wrote: "The 
average graduate nurse is a girl with some horse sense 
and is ven' practical and has seen enough of men to not 
be inclined to chase them around the block at every 
oppormnit)-."" Other requirements for the job were that 
the candidates had to be unmarried, be no older than 

twent\'-five, be a height no greater than five feet four 
inches tall, and weigh no more than 115 pounds.'- The 
height and weight requirements were practical 
considerations. The aircraft of the time were tinv by 
modern standards with narrow aisles and small engines. 
Any extra weight on the plane beyond that of the 
passengers and their luggage would have a significant 
impact on performance.'' 

Eight candidates applied and met the criteria 
Stimpson set. Boeing Air Transport Company then flew 
them to Cheyenne to be trained. '"* Two of the 
stewardesses recalled their experience. "When Jessie 
Carter told her folks she was flying to Cheyenne to learn 
about her new job, thev thought she said China. This 
news spread quickly throughout surrounding 
communities, met always by disbelief and shock. Flying 
halfwav around the world was not the objection. No 
one, it seems, could understand how Mr. and Mrs. Carter 
would allow their daughter to flv am'where, unescorted, 
with men."'"' Manv vears later Harriet Fr}' Iden recalled 
her trip to Chevenne in detail: 

' W'orks Progress Administration History Project File #1376 — 

Transportation, "History of the Chevenne Municipal Airport," 

\\'\oming State Archives, Chevenne. 

' Launius and Embn', "Chevenne X'ersus Denver," p. 14. 

^ Franlc J. Taylor, HJgb Horizons: Darede\-U Fhing Postmen to Alodem Magic 

Carpet — The United Airlines Ston' (New York; McGraw-Hill Book 

Company, Inc. 1951), p. 190. 

'/bid., p. 191. 

'' David Baring, "Chevenne Airport 20(10 Economic Impact Study," 

Chevenne, |anuar\' 2002, p. 5. 

Susan Dittman stated in a letter to the author dated September 16, 
20(13. that she believed Ellen Church, the first stewardess hired b\- the 
company, proposed the possibilitv of using trained nurses as 
stewardesses to Stimpson prior to his submitdng the idea to the 
Boeing Air Transport Company. In Mrs. Dittman's view, Church 
should be credited with the original concept. See also David Fisher 
and Bill Gar\-ev. "Seventh- five Years United," Hemispheres, April 2001, p. 

^ Gwen Mahler, Legacy of the Friendly Skies: A Pictonal History- of United 
.\irlines Stewardesses and Flight Attendants (Marceline: W'alsworth Publish- 
ing Company, 1991), p. 29. 
' Ibid., p. 30. 
'" Ibid., p. 46. 
'- Ibid 

' ^ Ibid. On page 60, Mahler quotes an experience of one early 
stewardess, Inez Keller, when her plane tried to pass over a mountain 
range in Wyoming: "The pilot made a pass at the mountain at least 
three times and couldn't get over it. So he went back to land, opened 
the door and asked me to get out. He immediately took off and made 
it over the mountains." Mahler records that Ms. Keller firmly believes 
that the plane only made it over the mountain because it was 120 
pounds lighter. 

'■" LeClerque Jones, Cheyenne Landmarks (Chevenne: Laramie County 
Historical Societ)-, 1976), p. 72. 
'' Mahler, Legacy of the Friendly Skies, p. 68. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 13 

1 remember we met at "^ a.m. in Chicago tor the flight t( i 
Cheyenne, \\ voming, fur training. I was a red haired 
countr\girl from Polo, 111., and 1 had ne\'er flown before, 
but I loved It when the plane left the ground. 

Later, something went wrong with one of the 
motors. I don't know whv we all didn't get cold feet and 
run, but we didn't. I don't think anv of us ever got ner\'ous 
about flving. We sort of took the difficulties for granted."' 
There were many difficulties to be taken for granted, as 
the future stewardesses were to find out. 

At first pilots and crews wanted little to di) with the 
new stewardesses. Men of the airline had a widch' held 
opinion that it made as much sense to flv with one wing 
as to tly with women. '^ However, these eight women, 
followed bv hundreds of others, soon proved their worth 
to the crews, passengers, and the public at large bv 
working hard, being unflappable in difficult circumstances, 
and doing their utmost to make flying a pleasant 
experience. Bv the end of the decade, the stewardess 
had become an indispensable part of the airline industr\-. 

For the Chevenne airport, things were kjoking good 

Five weeks of "sky girl" (as stewardesses 
were often referred) scfiooling at tfie 
Ctieyenne stewardess school of 
United Airlines are capstoned during 
this May 10. 1953. graduation 
ceremony at Denver Mr C Enge. 
general manager of passenger 
services, pins the silver wings of a 
full-fledged stewardess on Scotty 
Sinclair while her Instructress Ruth 
Dean watches Courtesy United 
Airlines Archive 

The eight stewardesses arrived in Chevenne on May 
15, 1930, to start four davs of intense training. But, as 
comes as no surprise to anvone who e\er lived in 
\X yoming, snow arrived shortiv afterward and a four- 
dav traimng period lengthened to two weeks. This was 
the only time that the original eight stewardesses were to 
be together.' After their brief stav in Chevenne, the eight 
voung women went their separate wavs on different 
airline routes and in doing so created a legacy that has 
become an institution in commercial tlvinij. 

"^ "It Started in Che\enne 4(1 \'ears At^o," SunD.W M.i^d^ine, \[.w 24, 
1970, p. .1. 

' Mahler, Legdcv of the Fnendlv Skies, p. 6(). It is of interest to note that 
Mahler mentions that during this time all eight stewardesses were 
caught on film. VChether this means a motion picture canncjt be sure. 
What can be sure is that there were at least t\vo photographs taken 
here in Che\enne with all eight women posing bv an earlv Boeing 
80A trimotor. 

14 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

by the early 1940s. The business of commercial aviation 
was good, but things got decidedly better with the coming 
of the Second World War. In support of the war effort, 
United's maintenance faciUt)' was absorbed bv the federal 
government and expanded to become the Cheyenne 
Modification Center, responsible for the upgrade of 
thousands of B-17 bombers for the war in Europe.''' 
While the facility" employed many hundreds of people in 
the work for the militar\'. United as a civilian operation 
was not idle. In 1942, the company moved its flight 
training division to Cheyenne from California."" 
Operations in the cit}' ran continuously until the end of 
the war, when many of the airline-related industries 
abandoned Cheyenne. Time would prove that the next 
few years would be bleak with the sole exception of the 
stewardess school. 

United Airlines expanded its routes in 1947 by 
inaugurating flights to Hawaii.-' What made this possible 
was the introduction of the large and powerful DC-6 to 
United's inventon-." After the introduction of the new 
aircraft, the maintenance faciht)', which had been in 
Cheyenne for eleven years and had been a model of 
production during the Second World War, was moved 
to San Francisco to a new faciiit)- that was specificaUy 
tailored for the new aircraft.-^ The loss of four hundred 
jobs associated with the maintenance facility was 
devastating for the Cheyenne economy."'* To add to the 
calamit}- for the communit}', the training faciht)- located 
there since 1942 moved to Denver.-' In what the 
Cheyenne airport administration considered to be a 
conciliator)' move,-'' United relocated its stewardess school 
to Cheyenne. The man placed in charge of this transfer 
was Jack Hayes. 

Hayes began his tenure with United Airlines fresh 
from high school in 1935. A native of Nebraska, he 
started with United because of a friend already working 
for the company. Hayes' specialt)' in high school was 
electronics. It so happened that United had positions 
available working with radios to communicate weather 
conditions to incoming aircraft. Before he could enter 
this profession, however, Hayes needed to become a 
licensed radio operator. While he studied to become 
certified, Hayes spent nearly three years in Iowa Cit\' doing 
basic house keeping, punching rickets, fueling planes, and 
other odd jobs. After Iowa Cm, he accepted a position 
in Jersey City, New Jersey. It was during this time that he 
became a licensed radio operator and worked for nearly 
four years doing the job for which he had originally 
applied. As Worid War II began, Hayes found himself 
intimately involved in the huge task of using the airline's 

planes to help the federal government fly materials to 
Britain. Through this experience, he became familiar with 
how to supervise airline operations at a major airfield. 
Hayes' reputation grew with his involvement in air 
operations and during the course of the war his old Iowa 
City supervisor offered him a position as assistant director 
in Philadelphia where he was then working. Within a very 
brief period of time, Hayes assumed the duties of 
director for United's Philadelphia operations. After a brief 
period, he became the director of United's station at 
Akron, Ohio. From his own account, things in Akron 
were ver)' good for his career, but before long Hayes 
was offered an opportunit}' he could not refuse.-^ 

After two years as director of Akron's United 
facilities, Hayes was offered the better paying position 
of instructor at the airline's training school in Chicago, 
which he accepted. Hayes soon was fuUy involved with 
the training of pilots, stewardesses, and ground crews. 
It was in 1947 that United placed him in charge of 
opening a new stewardess training facilit)' in Cheyenne. 
His account of why the airline chose to move the school 
from Chicago to Cheyenne differs from that of the 
official Cheyenne Municipal Airport administration 
reports. The move may not have been a conciliaton' move 
for the loss of the maintenance facilit)^ According to 
Hayes, the post-war period was one of explosive growth 
and new facilities were becoming essential. The move to 
Cheyenne was necessar}' due to the fact that United was 
expanding its hangar facilities in Chicago and had 
subsequentiy torn down the training center there.-** 

At the time Hayes did not see the transfer to 
Wyoming as a positive development in his career. He 
remembered that he drove to Cheyenne with another 
man. Neither of them was enthusiastic about moving 
from Chicago to what they considered to be a small 
town in the middle of nowhere. Already in bad humor 

'" Taylor, High Horizons, p. 128. 
^" Haring, "Cheyenne Airport," p. 5. 
-' MMet, Legacy of the Friendly Skies, p. 99. 

- Taylor, High Horizons, p. 150. The DC-6 was a technological leap 
forward for United. This Douglas aircraft was capable of speeds up 
to 300 mph, was pressurized, and could carry fifty passengers. In 
contrast, the famed Douglas DC-3, which formerly comprised the 
bulk of the airline's fleet, could only fly 180 mph and carry twenty- 
one passengers. 

"^ Ibid., photograph)- plates ben.veen pages 142-3. 

-■* Interview with Gilbert Robbins conducted by Jean Brainerd, OH- 
1586, Wyoming State Archives, Chevenne. 
-^ Haring, "Cheyenne Airport," p. 6. 
-' Ibid. 

-'Personal inter\'iew with Jack Hayes. Cheyenne, \X'yoming, April 15 
and 22, 2003. It should be noted that in telling the story, Hayes was not 
able to recall the exact dates of these transfers. 
-** Hayes interview. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 15 

about coming to Cheyenne, the men decided to make 
the best of things before reporting to work. Both Hayes 
and his companion were g(ilfcrs and sought out the 
nearest golf course. To their shared horror, Chevenne's 
municipal golf course at the dme was nothing more than 
a few holes dug in the ground. All the grass was brown 
and there was nothing that looked like a golf-course green. 
Disgusted, the two men decided that the only thing left 
to do was get to work. When the two men found the 
hanger thev were to use for the school thev discovered it 
was in disarray with a great deal oi "residue" lett over 
from the maintenance operations. Apparendy Hayes had 
arrived almost immediately after the transfer ot 
maintenance operations trom Chevenne to San Francisco. 
Cleaning the building and getting it ready for the 
stewardess candidates was a big job. He remembered 
that the ( mly posinve thing about the facilit)- was that the 
cafeteria iur the (Cheyenne Modification Center was still 
there. Under Hayes' direction, the upper level ot the 
maintenance faciliU' was converted into dormitf)ries and 
training rooms for the stewardess candidates. lnimediatel\' 
upon their completion, the new candidates began to 
arrive. All he recalled was that "there were a lot of people. 
It was a lot of fun.""' 

The stewardess training was rapidly accomplished, 
as the airline always needed new stewardesses as those 
who served only had an average tenure of twenr\'-six 
months.'" United found it difficult to maintain the six 
hundred stewardesses necessary- for all its flights. Some 
ot the women found other jobs atter finding the litestyle 
did not appeal to them, but most left their positicjns for 
a very simple reason; they got married. Unable to convince 
stewardesses that their jobs were much more important 
than romance and family, the operation of a fast-paced 
training program was a vital necessity for United. L'pon 
arriving in Cheyenne, candidates were subjected to an 
intense three-week course that trained them how to use 
more than "2,000 separate items in eleven service kits"'' 
aboard each plane. Conditions were primitive and the 
training was intense, but the glamorous job of stewardess 
still had a great deal of appeal for young women. One 
woman lucky enough to be one of the early graduates 
of the Cheyenne Training School was Jane Forbes. 

Forbes recalled that she first became interested in 
flying when she took an aviation course at her Hillsboro, 
Illinois, high school in 1944. She was the only girl in the 
class and remembered the boys did not much care for 
her being there. The course did not involve any flying, 
but instead relied on books to teach the basics of flight. 
After her graduation, Forbes took flight training at Stevens' 

Frnate College in Columbia, Missouri. Soon atter her 
graduation in 1948, fortune seemed to smile on Forbes 
as circumstance soon pro\'ided her an opportunity to 
join United. She remembered she came out west to join 
her boyfriend at a Phi Delta Formal Spring Dance being 
held at the Universin,- of Colorado in Boulder. The date 
did not go well, but she never went back home. While at 
the dance, Forbes met a friend who worked for United. 
He relayed to her the compan\' was in desperate straits 
for new stewardesses and she should apph'. When Forbes 
did so she found that at only twent\' years ot age she was 
too young to join. Instead of becoming a stewardess, 
Forbes worked in the payload control office at Denver, 
regulating the seating ijn tlights. She thought the job was 
decent, but she wanted to fly.'' The requirements she 
had to meet were different than those of the tlrst eight 
stewardesses who came to Cheyenne nineteen years 
before. Stewardesses were to be a minimum of twenrs- 
one years of age and no older than twenrj-seven," had 
to have two years of college or previous working 
experience with United (the nursing requirement was 
dropped in 1942),*'' and had to be between five foot 
three inches and five foot six inches tall. Forbes barely 
passed the height requirement. She arrived in Cheyenne 
in U)49, just after the worst spring snow storms the state 
had ever recorded, thinking it was the end of the world. '^ 
Like most other women who attended the program, 
Forbes found the t( )llowing days of training a blur of 
acti\ity. She was supposed to be trained through a 
standard three-week program, but remembered doing 
it in ten days.^'' The training schedule, which eventually 
stabilized in 1951 to be about five weeks long, consisted 
of classes for eight hours a day, tlve days a week. "The 
training consisted ot meteorology, communications, 
principles of aeronautics, infant care, graceful walking, 
flight connections, and general geography."' Other 
courses included lectures on the histon' of the airline and 
the sers'ing of in-tlight meals and other duties aboard 

-' Ibid. Haves iaQghingl\' recalled that one ot ttie tew things he 

remembered about the other man was that he was a fantastic goiter. 

Upon discovering the condition of what Chevcnneites called a golf 

course, the man was furious. Haves decided to sell his golf clubs and 

has not pla\"cd since. Instead, he took up tennis, a game he conunues 

to pla\' to this da\', 

^" Taylor, High Honzons^ p. 1 8Ci. 

" Mahler, Legacy of the Friendly Skies, p. 99. 

^' Personal inter\'iew with lane Forbes, Che\'enne, W'voming, April Lt 

and 21, 2003. 

-" Mahler, Legacy ot'the Fnendly Skies, p. 1 1 9, 

'■■ Ibid., p. 89. 

^^ Forbes interview. 

^*' Forbes inter\'iew'. 

" Mahler, Legacy of the Fnendlv Skies, p. 119. 

'*/bjd.,p. 12'l. 

16 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

the aircraft."'' Models of the DC-6 were used and full- 
scale simulators recreated conditions in a flight cabin. '" 
As remembered b\' Forbes, these simulators were 
constructed in the old hangar formerly used for aircraft 
maintenance and did not take up much room. In these 
simulators instructors walked the candidates dirough even- 
aspect of a t}-pical flight: how to take care of passengers, 
how to learn their names, how to fasten seatbelts, and 
how to train for emergencies.*' Classes on handling 
emergencies consisted of first-aid training,"" and how to 
use fire extinguishers and oxygen masks."*' In Mahler's 
book, Legacy of the Friendly Skies, the author recorded 
that Sue Kundig, a 1951 graduate of the school, recalled 
that during training sessions candidates had to wear 
suitable attire. This attire consisted of wearing heels and 
stockings, a girdle, and a full sUp. It was also required that 
the ensemble must be finished off with red nail polish.''' 
This was done to train the candidates to look and act like 

At night, the stewardess candidates stayed at a two- 
room dormiton' located at the training center. Conditions 

were spartan and privacy almost non-existent. Each room 
housed twenty stewardesses who each had a bed and a 
dresser."" It was here that most took the time to study 
for the next day's classes, socialize, and get what Little 
relaxation tiiey could."*' With weekends off, the stewardess 
candidates and their instructors hit the town. Forbes 
remembered one of the popular haunts of the students 
was the Litde Bear restaurant north of Cheyenne. "It 
was a nice place to go though it was ver)' small. The 
food was ver\' good and people entertained themselves 
by telling stories. Some danced. The dance floor was 

"'/fa«i.,p. 116. 

'" Forbes intendew. She admitted she did not recall whether or not 

these simulators were installed at the time she actually got involved in 

the training. However, she did remember using them when she 

returned to the school as an instructor in 1952. As the DC-6 was 

quicklv becoming the principle aircraft of United's inventory, there is 

■A strong lilcelihood thev were there. 

^' Maliler, Legacy ot die Fnendlv Shcs, p. 116. 

^- Forbes inter\'iew. 

■"^ Mahler, Legacy of the Fnendly Skies, p. 121. 

■"Jfaja.p. 119. 

« /bid, p. 117. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 


rcalh' tui) small but bins .uilI twirls will dance aii\ where, 
even on the front porch if thev ha\e to."^'' While the 
Little Bear was popular, another freeiuented place was 
the Wigwam Lounge in the Plains Hotel. Starang in 1 952, 
stewardesses often visited the lounge on weekends, 
sometimes a whole class at a time. This fact was not lost 
on the young men of the town who frequendv sIk iwed 
up shortly after the stewardesses arrived."* Kundig recalled 
"even'one always recognized us as being from the school 
because we were always dressed up and wearing spike- 
heeled shoes."""* Another woman who went through 
trainins; in Cheyenne recalled that one of the hiLrhliLrhts 
of training at the small ti iwn was the abundance of dates 
available because ot the National (iuard. She fell in love 
with the western charm of the town and recalled that 
man\- of her dates included dancing in the Frontier 
Room, also at the Plains Hotel. ^'' 

Near the conclusion of their training, the stewardesses 
enjoyed a briet flight on an airliner. Forbes remembered 
that her flight consisted ot a brief passage over Cheyenne 
and down to Den\'er. This was done to orient the 
candidates with the interior and flight conditions abc lard 
an actual airliner. Later this flight was important to the 
advanced emergency training of the candidates. In these 
instances the flight was reterred to as a "Crash (bourse" 
and lasted about ninet\- minutes. During these flights, the 
plane, usually a DC-6, banked at 45 degrees and dropped 
six thcjusand feet a minute. It was here that the trainees 
got the experience (it using their oxygen masks." 

Having completed the school in ten days, Forbes 
began her nearK' three-year career as a L nited Airlines 
stewareiess. During that time the training sened her well, 
although the training did n( )t ci i\er all ci mtingencies. The 
stewardess was responsible for the comfort of the 
passengers, including when the plane went through 
turbulence or when a passenger became ill. Forbes 
remembered helping passengers use the "burp cups" 
provided for just such occasions. She was on one of the 
last flights of the venerable DC-3 on the re lute fn im 
Denver to Chicago, euphemisticalK" called "The Burp 
Cup Special." True to its name, the journey made several 
passengers sick, one of whom, in the process of getdng 
sick, lost his false teeth in the buip cup. Tliere was nothing 
for Forbes to do but tlsh them out.''' 

Other stewardesses also had experiences that took a 
great deal of c]uick thinking and extreme patience. Susan 
1. Dittman, another former stewardess and triend ot 
Forbes, recalled in a letter: 

I torgot to teU ^•ou m\ most memorable odd tlight- 

\vc had a trip tnini (.hi |( Iiicii^dI \i> bus |Boston| with a 
sti ip in Hartford, ( J mn. \X'c hatl abi lut M I psi^rs [passengers] 
out of that station and one ot those psgers was named 
Mrs O'Connor — she was about 75 — sitting in the first row 
ot a D(^() with no i>ne next t<i her — the door was closed 
and she began to become somewhat violent and wanted 
out ( if there and was verv confused — so we got her strapped 
down and I to hold tile seat belt end so that she 

wouldn't get up — she was almost uncontrollable 1 

thought she would react quietly to a catholic priest 
((VConnor being a good catholic name) but she hit at the 
priest and broke his glasses. Then I thought a glass of 
water would have a calming effect and she threw it at me — 
lirtle did I know the water made mv mascara run and I 
looked as if 1 had a blackeve — tins went (jn tor the 45 mms 
[minutes] it took to get to Boston — the pilots radioed 
ahead ti ir her taniih' and atter even'( mc deplaned her tamilv 
came ( m b( lard. Then she became ver\' raU( inal and turned 
t( I me and said as sweet as p( issible "Tliank V( lu dear." The 
grc lund crew thi >ught 1 had been beaten up — 1 hadn't, )ust 
the mascara running down mv face! .\nother passenger 
sent a letter ab( lut us to L' AL — sa\ing hi iw g( jod we were to 
her, etc. I can still see her, especially saving "Thank \iiu 

Doubtless man\ other graduates nt the training 
pr( igram at Che\ enne could reci mnt i ither sti iries. It was 
those stewardesses with exceptional experience and 
dedication United asked to return to Cheyenne to teach 
the next generation. The airline asked Forbes to become 
an mstrticti >r and she returned ti > Cheyenne in May 1 '•^?2. 
Dittman also returned to share her expertise with the 
new candidates. However, in November l'h52, Fdrbes 
married anel had to step down as an instructor and a 
stewardess at United. "' Dittman likewise met her husband 
while in Cheyenne and also gave up her airline career.^"* 
W hile requirements came and went with the changing 
demands ot the airline, marriage was still the end ot a 

^'' H.i\es inter%ie\\". 

^ W'voming £.]tr/e. N'")\L'mbc'r 2, I ^'fi 1 

^^ M.ihler, Leg.icvofthe Fncndiv Sk!c>, p. 1 2 1 

'" IbiJ. M.ihler docs not cl.lhonite .il^out how the pruNimity of the tiu.irt.1 produced more d.ttes. It c<">Likl well he there was 

.imple time tor men ot the ^u.ird to mingle with the stewardesses 

during the week, as the tralQlnt; school and the tiuard tacilitics were 

in close pro\im]t\" to each other at the airheld. 

'" IhiJ..p. 1411, 

"~' Forbes interview 

'- Letter to jane Forbes trom Susan I, Dittman, .\pnl 1~. 2(llti- The 

letter is printed as written. Letter in autlior's ctillection. 

^^ Forbes inten'iew'. 

'"' Personal inter\-iew b\ telephone with Susan Dittman, ttouston, 

Texas, April 27, 200.i. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

stewardess' career until it was ruled in 1970 to be in 
violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The result was 
to allow former stewardesses to return to work if they 
so chose even after being married for several years or to 
receive back pay."'"' Neither Forbes nor Dittman 
attempted to return. 

With the arrival of the jet age in 1958, things began 
to change for the stewardesses as well as for the Cheyenne 
training school. The school integrated new technology- 
into the training program. William Hinkley, the emergency 
procedures instructor, could be frequentiy seen coaxing 
and nudging trainees down the new inflatable slides 
suspended nearly ten feet off the ground."' Along with 
new emergency procedures, training was modified to 
deal with the new technology of the DC-8 and the 
subsequent reduction of flight time with larger numbers 
of passengers. Along with sHde training, the stewardesses 
had to contend with automatic drop-down oxygen masks, 
more efficient gaUeys, trays attached to seat backs, the 
sers'ice ot liquor on board the aircraft, in-flight movies, 
and the growing use of computerization.'' Of those 
taking the training, more than 47 percent were rwent\' 
years old and only required to have a high school diploma, 
a height not to exceed five feet nine inches tall, and a 
weight not greater than 140 pounds,""^ Each candidate 
upon completion of training could be expected to serve 
the company for about two years with salaries of $290 a 

To meet the demands of commercial jet travel. 
United Airlines constructed a new training school at 
Chicago during the early 1960s. This faciLit\', known as 
Jet Age Universit}', took over the stewardess-training 
program that had been in Cheyenne for fourteen \'ears. 
Instead of open dormitories and jur\'-built classrooms, 
the new facilit}' offered dedicated classrooms, dormitory 
suites, a cafeteria, a year-round swimming pool, tennis 
courts, a full-plane mock-up, and beaut}' salons.''" 

During the school's years of service in Cheyenne, 
sixty-seven hundred stewardesses completed their 
training.''' The school closed in 1961. Hayes continued 
working for United in Denver, only to return to Cheyenne 
in 1973 when he retired. In the course of his tenure here 
in Cheyenne with the training school, he grew to love the 
location. Hayes and his wife raised two children on the 
south side of the cit}' and on weekends drove them 
through the nearby mountains. He loved to hunt and 
truly appreciated the Wyoming lifestyle.''" Forbes 
remained in Cheyenne after her marriage and never left. 
Others who worked for United, either as mechanics or 
as graduates of the training school, remained in Cheyenne 

while many others moved elsewhere. 

With the closing of the school, Cheyenne lost its last 
direct connection to an airline that had been a strong 
economic parmer since the late 1920s. The Wvoming Eagle 
lamented in a brief article that aside from the loss of the 
economic benefits of the stewardess school, the city also 
lost a romantic connection to a time when ladies of the 
sky visited the Wigwam Lounge.''' The town and its 
airfield became quieter in 1961 with tiie loss of the school, 
and several people yearned for the time when Cheyenne 
gave the ambassadors of the "Friendly Skies" their wings. 

^Mahler, Legacvofthc FnendlySkies^p. 159-60. 

" Ibid., p. 133. 

' Ibid. pp. 124 & 134. 

■'Ifcid.p. 139. 

'/faid,p. 133. 

° Ibid, p. 141. 

' Ibid., p. 144. 

- Haves interview. 

' Wvoming Eagle, November 2, 1961. 

Michael Kassel grew up in Cheyenne, 
Wyoming. After receiving his Associates of 
Arts degree from Laramie County 
Community College in 1990, he attended 
Southeast H/lissouri State University where he 
received a Bachelors of Historic Preservation 
and Museum Science degree in 1993. He has 
worked at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home 
and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri, and the 
Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design 
in Quincy, Illinois. In 2001, he returned to 
Cheyenne where he is exhibits manager for 
the Cheyenne Frontier Days ™ Old West 
Museum. He is pursuing an M.A. in history 
from the University of Wyoming. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 19 

Putting Wyoming on the Map: 

story of the Official Wyoming Highway A/lap 


by John R. Waggener 


Warning Signs for Highways 

BgUA&E llil» »s 

JT or 01 hor ON u* mid. 
Boaa so AD. aiDE uoad. 

■SWW ■ ud of tum- 
id "SLOW" eifu in tn- 


Wyoming TraflElc Lawa 

D l.rvn — A ■(<«] LB iiciu of li Eilt» par Imc 

uloT vaMcJo 0.1 t flpved Ihil Is rruoiuiib oT propiT 
trcrr ponoB ■^LBlI ftt ftU tutu hftve tb« mgtar Vi 


llflBI OTBT tooj UAdJe povoF 
M diSBKd. 

rgKd ponloaa of Ufbvvj^a pro- 


U T A 

DfdtaAjf tft^L^cJu not to 

aiaHT"" WAi-^Ulcl- B^^prouaias U,. Intw 
I1EG16TRAT10S— Vobitln. Wiriig o™b«. ot 




CondjUoB Ujp 


Jo.. 1. 19!* 

The 1926 Official 
Wyoming Highway 
Condition Map is a 
simple, single- 
sided black and 
white sheet map 
that highlighted 
the road 

conditions of the 
time American 
Heritage Center. 
University of 
Wyoming Map 
reprinted with 
permission from 
the Wyoming 


Hien the newlv-created Wyoming Highway 
Commission met for the first ame on April 
2, 1917, among the first items discussed was 
that of creating a highway map. The com- 
mission, chaired by Cheyenne resident Robert D. Carey, 
instructed the newly appointed State Highway Engineer 
Z.E. Sevison, to: 

Prepare a map of the State of Wyoming, showing the main 
roads, giMng especial attention to the roads over which mail 
is earned. The State Highway Engineer should have a num- 
ber of copies of such made for each member of the Com- 
mission and as mav [sic] more as he thinks is advisable.' 

The highway department contracted with the well- 
known Clason Map Company of Denver, Colorado, to 
print the map. It ultimately was copyrighted in 1018 and 
titled "State of Wyoming System of State Highways 
Designated by State Highway Commission." This road 
map was large by those day's roadmap standards, mea- 
suring 18 inches x 25 inches — its scale being one-inch 
equals 20 miles. Z.E. Sevison reported in his annual ad- 

One must travel back to 1911, a time 
when the automobile was quickly gain- 
ing popularity across the nation, to 
begin to trace the origin of Wyoming's 
official road map. 

dress to the commission: 

This map being on a rather large scale, it has not been pos- 
sible to have this printed in sufficient numbers for general 
distxiburion, and I believe that this map should be ordered 
printed on a smaller scale so that it may be furnished to 
those who ask for it." 

It is not known whether this map was ever printed for, 
and distributed to, the public. 

Wvoniing Highway Commission Meeting Minutes, April 2, 1 'T 1 ", p. 4. 
■ 1917 AnnuilReponoftheStite Highway Commission, 1917, p. 2. 

20 Annais of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

Though this was the first map produced by the high- 
way department, the State of WVoming had been pro- 
ducing road maps prior to the creation of its highway 
department. One must travel back to 1911, a time when 
the automobile was quickly gaining populariu' across the 
nation, to begin to trace the origin of Wyoming's official 
road map. In his message to the Eleventh State Legisla- 
ture, Governor Joseph M. Carey spoke of the impor- 
tance of good roads across the state: 

No question is being more discussed throughout the 
United States than that of good roads. Good roads are a 
source of great satisfaction to the taxpayer. They are 
something tangible and he daily sees the result of the 
money expended upon them. Good roads are productive 
of great savings in the wear and tear not only on vehicles, 
but upon beasts of burden, and nothing does more to 
promote industrial development, settie the country' and 
build up towns and cities.' 

In his address on that Januars' day in the State Capitol, 
Carev told the legislators, "No one can now contradict 
the tact that the automobile is to become an ever\-day 
feamre on our public highways, both for pleasure and 
for business." "* Indeed, the governor's foresight was 
correct. By 1914, motor vehicle production exceeded 
wagon and carriage production." Soon, existing trails 
began to be improved and new roads constructed across 
the state. 

The tasks of constructing, improving, and 
maintaining the roads were first delegated to the State 
Engineer's Office. With the aid of count\- sur\'eyors, the 
engineer's office immediately began producing a road 
map of the state. A 12 x 16 inch foldout map was 
included in the engineer's 191 1-1 91 2 biennial report.'' The 
map was copyrighted by the state on November 19, 
1912. This map was probably intended for internal use 
only, as the map is extremely crude with so little detail it 
would hardly be useful to a motorist. The usefulness of 
this map came to the engineers and policy makers. Having 
this spatial information would greatiy enhance their road 
planning and constructicjn process that was soon to begin. 
For the next four years, the engineer's office oversaw the 
road improvement program, and in each of the engineer's 
reports an updated state road map was included. 

In 1916, these crude state engineer maps were 
replaced by an all-new map. This latest edition was 
produced as a joint effort between the engineer's office 
and the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph 
Company. This single-color (black on white) map is quite 
detailed in that hachures (artistic representations) are used 

Governor Joseph M. Carey, the Political Father of the Wyoming 
highway system. Courtesy Wyoming State Archives. 

to illustrate mountain ranges, and numerous water bodies 
and other physiographic features are shown. Several upe 
fonts are used giving the map an artistic touch, and road 
names such as the Lincoln and Yellowstone highways are 
noted. The cartographer even took the Ubern' to include 
pioneer routes such as the Oregon and Overland trails. 
This 1916 map could have been the state's first map 
to be used by eager motorists, and though the state can 
only be given partial credit for this map. Assistant State 
Engineer Shawwer did write in the biennial report that: 

In cooperation with the Mountain States Telephone and 
Telegraph Company this office compiled the accompany- 
ing State road map, from information obtained from 
Counn- sur\'eys and other sources. The Telephone 
Company has produced a map on a much larger scale, 
which it proposes to place in hotels, garages, and other 
conspicuous places. AH the roads in the State are divided 
into blocks and indexed. The conditions of the roads in 
each block are received by telephone and bulletins of such 
roads are posted daUy on each map. 

' Message of Joseph M. Carer, Governor ofW'ynniJng, to the Eleventh State 
Legislature, 1911, p. 13. 

^ Message of Joseph M. Carev, Governor of W'vommg, to the Eleventh State 
Legislature, 19\ 1, p. 13. 

' Drake Hokanson, The Lincoln Highway: Main Street Across jAmerica (Iowa 
Cin-, Iowa: Universiw of Iowa Press, 1988), p. 19. 
'' Eleventh Biennial Report of the Wyoming State Engineer, 1912, p. 51. 
Tlwrteenth Bienrual Report of the KX'yoming State Engineer, 1916, p.40. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 21 

The accompanving map Shaw\'er referred to was 
that of a folded map included in the 1915-16 engineer's 
report. This map is 10.5 x 13.5 inches in size. VXTiether or 
not the telephone company actually produced and 
displayed the larger wall maps f(jr use by the public is 
unknown. Nonetheless, it was a clever marketing scheme 
on the part of the telephone company to utilize a road 
map to encourage the use of telephones while providing 
a valuable senace to motorists. This fine )une 1916 map 
was the last highway map the engineer's office would 
produce. Five months later the citizens of the Equalit)- 
State went to the polls and granted permission to the 
state to create a highway department.'^ By the following 
spring a department solely designed to oversee highway 
development and maintenance was established, and the 
state engineer exited the road-making business and in 
doing so closed the first chapter of the evolution of the 
Official Wyoming Highway Map. 

In 1917, Governor )ohn B. Kendrick did what Jo- 
seph M. Carey had done six years earlier. He stood be- 
fore the legislature and presented a case for more high- 
way development across the state. Kendrick urged the 
lawmakers to move forward in creating a highway de- 
partment that the voters of the state wished to have. In 
his speech delivered on January 9, 1917, Kendrick 
summed up the histon' of the good roads movement 
by saying: 

In a new and sparsely settled state of widely separated com- 
munities, no problem is more important than that involv- 
ing the construction and maintenance ot highways. Con- 
gress, a few months ago, passed a measure providing fed- 
eral aid in the building of highways in the different states. 
At the last election, the voters of XK'yoming adopted an 
amendment to the constitution making it possible for our 
state to participate m the Federal aid, and the responsibility' 
now devolves upon the Legislature of providing the neces- 
sary' macliiner)' for working (jut the best plan for participa- 
tion. A highway commission should be provided, with an 
active secretan,' who would be the principal executive, who 
would give his entire ume to the work, and who would, 
among other qualifications, be a competent civil engineer.' 

His suggestions were persuasive and immediately put 
into motion. On February 17, 1917, Kendrick approved 
an act creating a state highway commission.'" Less than 
three months from the time he asked the legislature to 
create a highway department, the Wyoming Highway 
Commission held its first official meeting at the State 
Capitol. On April 2, 1917, the meeting was called to 
order by acting Governor Frank L. Houx." 

As was the case with the engineer's office, it was not 
a primar\' goal of the Wyoming Highway Department 
to produce road maps or engage itself in public rela- 
tions. The thrusts of the highway department in the early 
years were to acquire right of ways, survey the proposed 
highway system, construct bridges, and build roads. '-^ The 
few maps created during the first six years of the 
department's existence were probably intended for the 
use by department employees and other state and fed- 
eral officials. The maps known to exist from this era only 
appear within state reports, the one exception being the 
1918 Wyoming Highway Commission map mentioned 
at the beginning of this article. However, the trend of 
producing maps only for internal government use would 
come to an abrupt stop in 1924. 

When the Wyoming Highway Department was 
formed in 1917, it was just in time to prepare tor the 
automobile revolution. The federal government called 
the 192()s "the great highway boom."'' During the early 
part of the 192Us, the transportation industn,' evolved at 
an unprecedented rate. \'ehicle sales across the nation went 
from 1.6 million in 1921 to 4 million only two years 
later. '^ In Wyoming alone, motor-vehicle registrations 
more than doubled in only five years, jumping from 
21,372 vehicles in 1919 to 43,639 in 1924." 

Though welcomed by many Wyomingites, the in- 
creased traffic had significant downsides. Many ot the 
early travelers to the state avoided the expenses of hotels 
and cafes by choosing to pull off the road and setting up 
a "car camp" for the night. "No space seemed too re- 
mote or too difficult, as long as there was room to pull 
off, pitch a tent, and build a tire."''' Often, these motor- 
ists left their campfires to burn, trespassed on ranchers' 

" Report ot'tlie Committee for the Invesagnaon ot the State Highw^iv 
Depdrtment and State Highway Commission, December 31,1 "^3(1, p. 04. 
'' I.S. Bartlett, Histon of Wyoming (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 
Vol. 1, 1918), p. 259. 

'" Ibid 

" \K'vonvng Highway Commission Meeang Minutes, Apn\ 2, 1917, p. 1. Houx 

replaced Kendrick who was elected to the U.S. Senate halfway through 

his term as governor. 

' ^ Report of the Speaal Committee for tlie Inyesagaaon of the Sute Highway 

Department and State Highway Commission, December31, 1930,p, 64. 

'^ V.S. Department of Transportation, Americas Highways 1776-1976: A 

Histor\- of the Federal-.\id Program (Washington D.C: U.S. Department ot 

Transportation, 1976), p. 109. 

•'Ibid. p. 115. 

' ^ Report of the Speaai Comnvttee for the Inyesagaaon of the State Highway 

Department and State Highway Commission, December 31, 1930, p. 58. 

'"Warren James Belasco, .\mencans on the Road: From Aatocamp to Motel 

1910-1945 (Cambridge, Massuchesetts: AQT Press, 1979), p. 7, 

22 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

propem-, and failed to pack out their garbage. Many 
steps were taken to eliminate this problem. Most nota- 
bly, towns around Wyoming established designated auto 
camps. Literature also began to be published by recog- 
nized auto clubs reminding campers to keep a clean 
camp. The American Automobile Association (AAA) 
issued a "Courtesy of the Camp" code that educated 
the tourist-camper of proper camping behavior. Wyo- 
ming also joined the effort, and by 1924, it had two 
major reasons to publish highway maps for the general 
public. There now existed a system of roads across 
W'voming, and there were sufficient numbers of mo- 
torists using (and abusing) those roads. 

In 1924, the Wyoming Highway Department be- 
gan issuing free "condition maps" to motorists.' These 
maps were distributed around the state and the region 
to hotels, fiUing stations, chambers of commerce, and 
auto clubs.'* These condition maps, simple sheet maps 
of 11 X 1 7 in size, only featured main towns and roads 
and highlighted few physiographic features. 

Though simple, the condition maps fultlUed two 
goals. First, these maps indicated the conditions of the 
roads. Knowing the road conditions was ver\- impor- 
tant during this era. It has been noted motorists spent 
so much time concerning themselves with road condi- 
tions they failed to see anything else." When viewing 
the map, travelers could take note of a given road sur- 
face to see if it was improved with oil, a crushed rock 
road base, or whether the road was unimproved be- 
yond basic grading. Traveling on an unimproved road 
after a Wyoming thundershower would spell doom for 
motorists. Though the maps were generally effective, 
the best "maps" during this era were still word of 
mouth between travelers. It was considered a cardinal 
rule for passers-by to trade information.'" 

The second purpose of the map was to dissemi- 
nate information regarding highway safetv', highway 
rules, and friendly reminders to motorists about clean 
car camping. Wyoming was ven,- proud of its natural 
resources, and the highway department was wUHng to 
do what it could to help consen,'e those resources. The 
map included simple rules of etiquette such as remind- 
ers to motorists to extinguish campfires before leaving. 
Francis "Frank" Hayford Allyn, the first graduate of 
the Universit}' of Wyoming's College of Engineering, 
created the condition maps.-' 

Through the 1920s, car camping began to fade. 
One visionar\- predicted that by the early 1 930s ever\' 
middle class American family would be able to go coast- 
to-coast with nothing more than a small suitcase.'' The 

transition from car camps led to cabin camps then mo- 
tor courts and fmaUy to the large roadside inns of to- 
day.'^ The need to put notes on condition maps remind- 
ing motorists to keep clean camps began to fade right 
along with the car campers. Before long the department 
would have to produce a new map to meet the needs of 
the new traveler. The eight-year histor}' of the condition 
maps ended when the last condition map was produced 
on May 1, 1931, the same day the Empire State Building 
was dedicated. 

OnJanuar\' 8, 1932, "Governor A.M. Clark met with 
the Commission for the purpose of considering bids 
for the publication of (a) new State Highway Map."*"* 
The Wyoming Highway Department realized an all-new 
map was needed to fulfill the demands of the modern 

In the Eighth Biennial Report of the Wyoming Highway 
Commission the new map received a well-deserved write- 

In order to provide the public with a dependable and accu- 
rate State map, the Department compiled and issued such a 
map early in 1 93 1 . This map contained more than the usual 
amount of information, it being the intention to publish a 
map which was accurate in every detail and which would 
ser\^e many purposes other than that of the ordinary' tour- 
ist pocket map. The cost of issuing such a map was consid- 
erably more than for the ordinan,- map, but it is believed 
that this cost was fuUy justified by the diversified uses that 
have developed for the map, indicating that its continued 
revision and pubUcarion each year is a desirable feature of 
the work of this Department. The map as published not 

" Letter from Wyoming Highway Department to Smith-Brooks 

Printing, Co., Aug. 9, 1923, Wyoming Departmentof Transportation, 

reel 435, hereafter W^-DOT. 

'" Letter from Wyoming Highway Department to Automobile 

Assurance Association, Sept. 24, 1924, W'YDOT reel 435. 

" Americans on the Road, p. 37. 


^'Sutherland, Robert L., Histon-ofthe U.VC. College of Engineering 1893- 

1993 (Laramie, Wyoming: Universit)' of Wyoming College of 

Engineering, 1993), p. 21. Allyn was bom May 6, 1875, at St. Mar\''s 

Station along the Union Pacific Railroad in Carbon County. He 

became a draftsman for the Wyoming Highway Department in 1920. 

Allyn always signed his name and the corresponding year in the lower 

right hand corner of the maps. For more information about Allyn see 

"Mr. and IVlrs. Frank H. Allyn," by Laura Ekstrom, unpublished 

manuscript in the Frank H. Allyn biographical file, American Heritage 

Center, Univeristy of Wyoming, Laramie. 

^ Americans on the Road, p. 1 34. 

-' For more informadon about lodging accommodations, see Heyward 

Schrock, "A Room for the Night: Evolution of Roadside Lodging in 

Wyoming," Annals of Wyoming 75 (Autumn 2003): 31-39. 

-^ Wyotnjng Highway Commission Meeting Minutes, Januarys, 1932, p. 70. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 23 

only is one of the sen'ices provided by the Hii^hwav De- 
partment, but in order to advertise the resources ot the 
State through wide distribution, the Department of 
Commerce and ]ndustr\- cooperated in paving the cost 
of the map and prepared much of the matenal on the 
reverse side, which relates to the resources of the various 
counties and towns.""' 

Though the map was copyrighted in 1931, it was 
not published until mid- 1932, as bids were not opened 
for the printing of the new highway map until Febru- 
ar)' 9, 1932.-" Mills Printing of Sheridan, Wyoming, 
received the printing contract. For some uni<nown rea- 
son, Mills farmed out the job to Smith-Brooks Print- 
ing Company ot Denver, Colorado."' During the years 
ot the early and mid 1930s, out-of-state printers pro- 
duced \X yoming maps. S.E. Boyer of Prairie Publish- 
ing Company in Casper realized this and wrote a letter 
to the highway department urging the department to 
keep the map production in state. He reminded high- 
way officials that "the Wyoming State Highway Map, 
since the beginning of the use of the colored map 
[1932], has been printed in the State of Colorado."-** 
Boyer's wish to print the map eventualh' came true in 

The early 193ns were an unlikch' time tor Wyo- 
ming to invest in a relatively expensive cartographic 
project. ,\fter all, the cfiuntn' was deep in the doldrums 
of the Great Depression. An examination of the Wyo- 
ming Department of Commerce and Industn-'s mis- 
sion might be one ot the keys to this map's origin. In 
1931, the Wyoming Legislature, \aa Section 103-87 of 
the Wyoming Stamtes, made it known to the Depart- 
ment of Commerce and Industry that: 

It shall be the dut) ot the executive manager under direc- 
tion of the board, to cooperate with other departments 
of the State government; to pubUsh and to cooperate in 
the publishing and dissemination of literature, bulle- 
tins, maps, leaflets, and other material of educational 
and commercial value."" 

It took the department Littie time to react to the order. 
Within months it: 

Cooperated witii [the] State Highway Department m the 
preparation and production of the new official state high- 
way map, dividing the cost of lithographing with the 
Highway Department and handled the mailing and dis- 
tribution of the maps generally as a publicit)' measure in 
connection with our colonization program.'" 

Commerce and Industn''s colonization program was 
designed to contact prospective setders and to contact 
people who were interested, or might be interested in, 
agriculture or odier business opportunities in the state." 

With the added money from another department, 
the highway department planned a larger map than pro- 
duced earlier. The 1932 edition grew considerably in 
size compared to the condition maps, thus giving the 
department much more room to add more informa- 
tion. The single-sided 11x17 condition maps have an 
area of 187 sq. in. The 1932 edition has 1 180 sq. in. of 
usable space. The highway department sought the help 
of the Department of Commerce and Industry to as- 
sist with the layout of the new and enlarged map. The 
highway department paid for and designed the map 
side, and the Department of Commerce and Industry- 
paid tor and prepared the map back.'" 

The map back is packed with information and pho- 
tographs. Listed is information sought by the traveler 
such as tourist attractions - 229 of them to be exact. 
However, much attention was devoted to business op- 
portumties, which are not normally featured on maps. 
Each ot the twent)'-three counties received a full para- 
graph of coverage and a photograph representing some 
opp()rtunit\- or attraction in that countw The reader cu- 
rious about Wyoming's mineral resources would learn 
the Wyoming State Geological Department is ven' co- 
operative with prospectors. Want to be a coal miner? 
Come to Sweetwater County! Want to be a sugar beet 
farmer? Come to Goshen County! To sweeten the 
proposition, the prospective farmer is reminded that 
Wyoming's sugar beet is sweeter than those grown in 
other states. 

The 1932 edition also marked the beginning of 
the tradition of noting the governor. A.M. Clark's name 
appears on the cover of the map giving him the honor 
of being the first governor to be mentioned on 
Wyoming's road map. Governors would appear on 
maps in some torm or another off and on throughout 

~^ Eighth BicnruiJ Rcpt >rt of die Wyoming Htgh\\\iv Comnv^sion, p. 22. 
-'' W'voming Highwjv Commission Meeang Minutes, Februar\" 9, 1 032, p. "74. 
"" Letter Irnm W'voming Highwav Department to Snlltli-Brooks 
PnntinRG)., Jan.'), l')33, WTDOT reel 450, 

-'* Letter from Prairie Publishmg Co. to W'voming High\va\ Depart- 
ment, Nov. 19, I9.M, WTDOT reel 4.30. 
~' Speaal Bietiniaj /Report ottbe \\ \ < iming DcpcVtment ot Commerce .ind Industry' 

/5i;-;y5.5, forward. 
"'/fc/ii.p. 18. 
"Ibid.,p. 1. 
'-Ibid.,p. 18. 

24 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

National Forests 

Indian Reservation 

Game Refuges I 


or unimproved 
landing field- 


,— Revolving beacon 

Stationery or flashing beacon 

-:^^:-Commercia) or municipal 

5 ^_^^ 


DeLaVerendrye-1743'"— °-''— " Mormon Trail-1847 1 

John Colter -1807 ■■•" ■■ California Trail i 

Wilson Price Hunt-1811 Oregon Trail -1843-5 ) 

Robert Stuart - 1812 — «> — »«'- Overland Stage Route 

Capt B.L.r Bonneville-t Original fcny Express ) 

1832) Bozeman Trail 

Lieut.J.CFreniont-1842-" — ■— "- Ch^enne Deadwood) 
Qen'I.J.C.Fremont-1843 -o— o— e- Stage Road i 

Overland Trail (orCh«i«i Black Hills WagonRoad 

Gratitude is expressed to the following contributors of 
historic data or other valuable information on this map: 

Dr G.R.Mebard. hvftssarof Po)Hic9l Economy.Utu- 

verslfy of Wyoming, Leraaum 
Brig.Gen.C (lHowland,i/3><'-«J! rortWamn, Wyo 
Hon rrank0.t1ortDrt,i^jt-5«wftvM/jt*c*j)«n,&//^r*A> 
DanW.6reenburg,i'flT«Ara.r/iA'^rff 7^*ioWs)'* 

fining Co, Caa/tv 
1^}^^V^,U S L^^^Stral Enymt»r_Cha/anm 

Traices (Mrs^njs) Beard, sis>*ffutonM/>. c/fj^nn, 

Henry 6.WatSOn,A(p5»'a/«£ry«fl*«/: C/nymnn* 
^SvkfH JtT\S0U,4sfOtunA/ffSfar/3n,Sa/flaktC/f/ 
M0StRev.PA.Mc60VBrn. a^iAqo ofCtmyanm 
>K&r^ S-^r^>a\^v, Miscall Ubranan StataUbrary. 
Addph Hamm. UlBx^o^alSumy, Ch^t/>m 
JotmCThompSOn.i'tftir Tribtj^-leackJ-' 0)^yanrm 
J£Cle3ry,£npnMr 7}m¥Kff^!diftni/)gCc, Caspar 

D.Wood, ir^'ir'WW^W'' Shoihona Indian Agtnex Fort 
" Wathtkia, Wyo 

JohnA. Martin, WyominsPitmnrManhant, Cfiaytnna 


afMg/icu/fure, Washington, D C 
J.B.6nfrrtK iditar. 'TheLuskHtrald: Lusk 
Fred B.Agee, us NafirarastSupamsar. Shtridan. 
Cdword LCfBbU OvilLngmatr, Shoihoni 
f}N.Z\iar\\xr&, County aarirf/,obrar»Counry,Lusfi 
Dias-B. Stafford, EntMfiktMffr Stott Board of Com- 
mrrcr and Industry Chaytnne 
LS.FIannery,/;**!' ThtSoshanNaws'.Torrinffton 
Clare LAushcrman, Wyoming Slata Librarian. 

D.CShcNVTnan,£«r/iw ThaUkimstl^trg a,, Caspar 
M.M.Farl0W, County Oark Frtmont County, landar 
Edward Burnett, Hiyominff Pionaar, Buffalo 
Vfalterlleecham,A»S'rfw/ Oragon Trail Aisoaat- 
ion, BaHr Ora. 
Ernest Logan, Ifyamns/'iaiimrant/Hisfv'an, C/nya/ina 

LR^.Condil, fl«n»-^toi«*o, samw" 

W.R.Smith, County Agricultural Agant,Eif9nslon 

Various County Surv^ors of the State. 


m^ be procured upon application to any of the following:- 

Wyomtng State Highway Dep't, Cheyenne. 

State Dep't of Commerce and Industry. Ch^enne, 

Aqy Chamberof Commerce in Wyoming 

Copyright 1931, by Wyoming State Highway Dep't. 

Compiled and drown by Julius Muller 

The 1^22 Official Wyoming Higtiway Map was the first to feature the famous historical captions- American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. Map 
reprinted with permission from the Wyoming Highway Commission. 

the map's histon\ 

The name of Julius Muller also is listed on the map. 
He is credited as being the person who compiled and 
drew the maps of this era. Muller was the chief drafts- 
man for the department, so he was given much credit 
for work that was generated from that unit, but it is 
believed .\llyn, the cartographer of the condition maps, 
crafted the maps of the 1930s. '^ 

\X yoming's first generation of folded maps was a 
big hit across the nation. The San Diego Historical Soci- 
ety^ was so intrigued with the historical captions that are 
included on Wyoming's map it began an effort to see 
that future editions of the California maps would in- 
clude histor}'. The engineer of the State of Idaho De- 
partment of Public Works was so impressed with the 
cartography on these maps he asked the Wyoming High- 
way Department to share its methods of production. 
The Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park con- 
sidered the Wyoming map to be "one of the most com- 
plete and valuable highway maps issued by any state. "'^■* 
With compliments like these it was obvious the Of- 

ficial Wyoming Highway Map was a great marketing 
and public relations tool for the state. Former spokes- 
man for the Wyoming Department of Transportation, 
Keith Rounds, was often reminded by tourists that the 
Official Wyoming Highway Map is the best marketing 
tool Wyoming has. "^"^ No doubt, a seemingly simple pub- 
lication such as a highway map can leave a profound 
impression on the viewer no matter if the viewer is a 
traveler, engineer, or histor}^ buff 

The historical captions act as a tour guide, encour- 
aging travelers to go from one site to the next. Since 
their inclusion on the map in 1932, many of the eight}^- 
two informational captions have been removed. By 

Cheyenne, Wyoming, Nov. 21, 

"^^ John Walter, interview with autho 

2000, written notes. 

^"'Letter from San Diego State Historical Societ\' to ^XVoming Highway 
Department, November 9, 1936; Letter from Idaho Department of 
Public Works to Wvoming Highway Department, Januar\- 26, 1935; and 
Lettter from National Pari; Ser\'ice to Wvoming Highway Department, 
Nov. 4, 1935, WYDOT reels 344 and 342. 
^^ Keith Rounds, inter\'iew with author, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Jan. 25, 

2001, written notes. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 25 

1990, the number of captions had been reduced trom 
eighty-tu'o to forti,-five. The main reasons for their 
removal lie in the fact the Wyoming Department of 
Transportation received complaints from citizens allud- 
ing to the fact that the map was "too cluttered" and 
because the locations of manv historic sites and events 
were not verifiable. Rounds added that a letter from 
noted historical geographer, John Logan Allen, in the 
1980s challenging the burial site of Sacajawea,"' "brought 
things to a head, and we enlisted a blue-ribbon commit- 
tee to take a look at all those things." The blue-ribbon 
committee, consisting of folks from numerous state 
agencies including the Travel Commission, Archives, 
Museums and Historical Department, and the State Li- 
brary, concluded that manv of the sites should be re- 
moved, so the highwav department responded by re- 
moving manv of them from the map.' 

Through the 1930s and early 1940s, the Official 
Wyoming Highway Map evolved only slighdy from year 
to year. The most notable changes occurred in 1937 
when an all-color cover was introduced as well as a 
greeting to tourists from the governor, and in 1 940 when 
color photographs replaced the black and white images 
on the mapback. During this same era, a substantiallv 
greater number of maps was printed and distributed 
compared to previous years. The department distrib- 
uted one hundred thousand maps during 1937 and 
1938.'* Wide distribuuon of the map also occurred as 
a result of a national advertising campaign. The state 
promoted tourism via ads that were printed in national 
magazines and newspapers. During 1938, 1,117 respon- 
dents requested highway maps." 

The country' experienced an increase in tourism in 
1939, and this may have led Wyoming to do a much- 
needed second printing of the map. In the east. New 
York prepared for the opening of the World's Fair, and 
out west, San Francisco was preparing for the Golden 
Gate International Exposition. Both fairs ran from the 
spring of 1939 to the fall of 1940. Travelers going 
from fair to fair certainlv would have impacted 
Wyoming's great east-west transportation corridor - US 
30. Also, the 1939 Legislature appropriated funds for 
an exhibit in San Francisco when: 

Twent}' thousand dollars was appropriated by the rwent)-- 
fifth legislature for an exhibit at the Golden Gate Interna- 
tional Exposition at Treasure Island, San Francisco, Cali- 
fornia, for 1939. The World's Fair Commission, appointed 
by Governor Leslie A. Miller, presented the request to the 
legislamre, and after consideration of the matter by Gover- 

nor Smith and the legislature, the sum of S20,000 was 

Thousands of pieces of literature were distributed to 
the 749,107 visitors who entered Wyoming's booth dur- 
ing the summer and fall of 1939.'" Both 1939 editions 
were printed as "World's Fair Editions." However, at- 
tention would soon turn from the world's fair to a world 

World War II brought an end to manv of the ac- 
tivities of the Wvoming Highwav Department. The 
Office of Defense Mobilization imposed restrictions 
on such things vital to road construction as asphalt, tar, 
steel, and hea\T equipment. Manpower shortages also 
began to affect the workforce. The highwav depart- 
ment acknowledged, "The number of emplovees now 
in the State Highway Department has already been re- 
duced by approximately one-half as result of the war 
and present national emergency. "■*" WFiat work was 
done was applied to the war effort. The priorities ot 
the department were to create access to oil fields, coal 
basins, and airports.^' 

The war impacted the auto industn' as well. The 
government rationed gasoline and rubber and set the 
national speed limit at 35 mph to conser\'e fuel and 
reduce maintenance on vehicles. Car production also 
came to a halt. In 1941, 3,779,682 automobiles were 
produced, while 1943 saw only 139 cars roll off 
America's assembly lines.'" 

The war slowed the pace of travel to a snail's crawl. 
With no new roads being constructed and with fewer 
motorists using the existing roads, there was litde de- 
mand to produce new maps. In fact. World War II 
suspended road map development altogether.'" The big 

^^ Listing Sacajawea on the map was controversial from the ven,' 
beginning. After the 1932 ediuon was distributed, a South Dakota 
historian asked the Wyoming Highway Department to remove the 
caption because it was inaccurate. Walter, inter\'iew. 

' Keith Rounds interview. 

^ Speaai Biennial Report ot the Wyoming Department ot'Commerce .md Industn' 

2937-;9JO p. 19. 

" Ibid., p. 8. 

" State Department ofCommerce and Industr\- Report ofAcOMaes 1 9ji9- 1 9-HJ. p. 


" Ibid,p. 18. 

■*- Thirteenth Bienni.iI Report of the Wvoming Highway Comnvssion, p, 21 . 


" i\mencas Highways 17~6-19~'6. p. 147. 

''^ Amencan Congress on Sur\'e\'ing and Mapping, The .\merican 
Cartographer (Falls Church, Virginia: .Amencan Congress on Surve\'ing 
and Mapping, July 1987), p. 249. 

26 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

road map producers such as Rand McNally and H.M. 
Gousha switched efforts to militar\' map production 
for the Defense Department."*" 

Wyoming adjusted to the times by implementing 
several alternative methods. The 1942 map, for ex- 
ample, was essentially a reprint of the 1941 map, and 
this same map was used in 1943.*^ However, the de- 
partment got a bit more creative the following ^-ear. 
The department attempted to place stickers on maps 
remaining from 1942, covering up the date with the 
current date. There was a problem though. The stick- 
ers did not adhere to the glossy paper. The department 
remained persistent to find inexpensive ways to pro- 
vide maps to the public for the year 1944. The depart- 
ment again utilized the 1942 edition and furnished a 
map with an ink-stamped message on the back cover 
indicating, "This map issued in 1942 is essentially cor- 
rect as of today..." The map itself stands as the only 
piece of evidence of this 1944 venture. 

The highway department next published a map in 
1946. The map was a black and white rendition of the 
1942 map. Because colored ink was being conserved it 
was necessan' to print a simple black and white map."*** 
Cost was also a concern, and the commissioners de- 
cided to keep the printing from exceeding five hun- 
dred dollars.''" Keeping the cost to a minimum coupled 
with the fact there was a paper shortage,''" allowed the 
department to print no more than ten thousand copies 
of the map."' 

The 1946 edition of the Official Wyoming Highway 
Map displayed one unique feature. It was the only 
folding map produced by the department not featuring 
a photographic or art image on the cover. Instead, the 
cover showed Wyoming's iconic symbol - the bucking 
bronco. A possible reason tor the small silhouetted 
logo being featured on this map may be the fact the 
man given credit for the idea to design the logo, Lester 
C. Hunt, was governor at that time. In the 1930s, when 
Hunt was secretan,' of state (a position, which at that 
time was in charge of motor vehicle license plates), he 
decided to create a logo of a bucking bronco to appear 
on the 1936 plate. He commissioned artist Alien True 
to paint the logo.^' Hunt governed the state from 1 943 
to 1949. The first map to list him as governor was the 
1946 edition. The logo may have been placed there as 
a tribute to him. The map's back does include a tribute 
to the men of the Wyoming Highway Department 
returning from the war. It was added in place of the 
traditional governor's statement, which had been feamred 
on the map since 1937. 

The post-war era brought gigantic changes to the 
Official Wyoming Highway Map when, on December 
18, 1945, the Wyoming Highway Department struck an 
agreement with the Rand McNally Company of Chi- 
cago to begin creating an all-new map. From 1947 to 
1952, Rand McNally improved the map each of those 
years taking it from the map base"" created for the 1 932 
edition to an all-new base in 1949, and finally to the 
1952 colorized version Wyomingites have come to 

Wyoming had been using the same base since 1932, 
and with all of the additions to the map during the 
period of rapid road construction, the map base was 
showing signs of wear. Highway Superintendent J.R. 
Bromley said, "Our old plates are not satisfactory any- 
more as they have become worn to such an extent that 
the maps are not accurate."'"* There was a definite need 
for Wyoming to start over. Wyoming did just that and 
utilized the help of the most widely known mapmaker 
in the nation. 

On February 20, 1946, one hundred and fifr\' thou- 
sand maps for the 1947 season were commissioned to 
be printed at a cost of |6,075.'- However, before this 
map was approved the commission discussed the pos- 
sibilit)' of including Buffalo BUI Cody on the map. Buf- 
falo Bill's 100* birthday commemoration was being 
planned, and Highway Commissioner Cowgill of Cody 
beUeved it would be appropriate to feature Buffalo BiU 
on the map. When the 1947 edition rolled off the press 

^' American Congress on Surve\Tng and Mapping Sun^epng and 
Mapping fNX'astiington D.C: American Congress on Sur\'e\ing and 
Mapping, April-June 1956), p. 632. 

^^ Letter from VC'yoming Highway Department to Federal Public Roads 
Administration, Jan. 27, 1943, W\T)OT reel 521 . 
^^ Letter from Wyoming Highway Department, January 28, 1946, 
W\'DOT reel 531. 

■" Wyoming Highway Commission Meeting Minutes, Apnl 10, 1945, p. 107. 
*" Letter from Wyoming Highway Department, January 28, 1946, 
\X'\T)OT reel 531. 

^' \X voniingHigbwav Commission Meeting Minutes,M^y2\, 1945, p .7. 
" Phil Roberts, Da\-id L. Roberts, and Steven L. Roberts, Wyoming 
Almanac, 5* ed., (Laramie, Wyoming: Skyline Press/Wyoming 
Almanac, 2001), p.76. 

" A map base is the cartographer's draft of the map being made. This 
base, used to make the printer plates, is comprised of many layers of 
sheets of data that contain all of the information that will appear on 
the map such as the topography layer, the highways layer, the text 
layer, etc. 

'" Letter from Wyoming Highway Department to the Wyoming 
Episcopal Church, Diocese of Wyoming, March 6, 1946, WTDOT reel 
" Wyoming Highway Commission Meeting Alinutes, February 20, 1 946, p. 60. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 27 

from Rand McNallv's plant in Chicago there was no 
sight of Cody, though a photograph of the dam he 
began constructing in 1905 does appear on the back 

The 1 947 map is ver)' similar to the editions of 1 940- 
1946, but the overall quality' is much improved over ear- 
lier editions. A new r\pe ot offset Lithography, which 
produced a much higher qualit\' map at an affordable 
cost, was used."' The print is sharper, easier to read, and 
more precise. With a quick glance at the 1947 map, one 
will also note the number of roads that were improved 
beyond basic grading compared to the prewar vears. 
The map back was simplified somewhat. It featured a 
regional road map of the U.S. and a mileage chart. The 
remainder of the back consists of color photographs 
of all of the classic Wyoming themes - cowboys and 
Indians, mountains, Yellowstone, and Devils Tower. This 
map began the trend of Wyoming allowing pictures to 
do the talking. Little text would appear on the map's 
back until the 1980s. 

Rand McNallv used a new paper stock for the 1949 
edition, which more precisely absorbed the printing ink 
creating a sharper, clearer, more exact map. As was the 
case in 1947, the governor did not appear on the map, 
nor did the names of commissioners or other depart- 
mental staff This era of maps was almost entirely dedi- 
cated to tourism, as colorful photographs exhibiting 
Wyoming's cultural and phvsical landscapes were fea- 
tured. The commission wanted its photographs to ap- 
pear as nice as the photographs adorning the renowned 
Union Pacific Railroad calendars. Ralph Bowen of Rand 
McNaUy responded with many comments and sugges- 
tions. First, he noted that professional photographers with 
8x10 view cameras were taking the photographs for the 
Union Pacific. He also noted UPRR was using a supe- 
rior qualttv paper, but this paper would not be suitable 
for a map, as "the paper would have no strength, and 
under folding conditions and considering the other se- 
vere use given maps, it would not last any time at all." 
Rand McNaUv urged the Highway Department to sub- 
mit 4x5 negatives, which would offer the best quaUrs' 

There was even talk that some of the highway de- 
partment staff liked the color photo qualit)' on the Colo- 
rado map. Bowen of Rand McNally said: 

I am reaUv surpnsed that anyone in VC'voming could tind 
ansthing in the Colorado map folder to arouse even a trace 
of jealousy. Aside from the map work itself, which is ex- 
tremely illegible and poorly designed, the color work in the 

pictures, in my opinion, is very- much beneath the qualit)' 
in the Wyoming folder.'" 

Bowen and his staff at Rand McNaUy certainly could 
not help but realize Wyoming was serious about mak- 
ing a better map. Wyoming wanted a map as good as 
Union Pacific's calendar, and certainly, it was not going 
to be outdone by its archrival to the south. Rand McNaUy 
went back to the drawing board and made more 
changes to the map. The changes were more than satis- 
facton* to catch the attention of travelers. It was re- 
ported in the July 11, 1950, ediaon of The Portland Or- 
egonian, that Wyoming's map is the "king of them all." A 
motorist took a trip around the nation and collected 
road maps. Most of the maps were of the usual variety, 
but Wyoming's map was a cartographer's masterpiece. 
The Oregonian reported: 

The supreme accomplishment of this piece ot propaganda 
is the main map, a meticulously drawn and superbly col- 
ored portrayal of physical and historical Wyoming. Here 
the map addict - and there is at least one in ever}- family - 
may absorb details of the highways, mountain ranges, 
watersheds, railways, air lanes, divides, and pioneer trails. 

The accolades connnued when The Oregonian ottered: 

Tins map is no plebian aggregation of signposts fit for 
forgetting in the glove compartment. It is an invitation to 
road romance, a reminder ot remrn to Wyoming. To our 
own Oregon highway de\'elopment commission we com- 
mend this map, its charm and its lesson. Oregon's map, 
of which 2(10,1.100 were ordered this year, is sound, it is 
legible, and useful. But it keeps secret too well the mtinite 
variety", the vigor and the romance of Oregon.'' 

Wyoming, with its "king" ot the highway maps, had 
caught the attention of California, Idaho, and Oregon, 
and through the vears received many more compliments. 
The 1949 Wyoming map was so popular the depart- 
ment exhausted its supply by .\ugust.''" For the 1950 

^ Arthur H. Robinsun, Randall D. Sale, Joel L. .Morrison, and PliilLp C. 
Muehrcke, Elements of Cartography, 5'^ ed. ("New \'orl<: lohn Wilev tS: 

Sons, 1984), p. 458. 

^" Letter from Rand McNallv Co. to W'voming High\va\ Department, 

Mav 15, 1949. VCTDOT reel .^71. 

"" Letter from Rand McNallv Co. to W'voming Highway Department, 

April 25, 1949, ViTDOT reel .ri. 

'" Portland Oregonian, Julv 11, 1950. Copy on WTDOT reel 2119. 

"' Wvonung Highway Cotnnvssion Meeang Alinutes., August 2", 1 949, p. 43. 

28 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

map, It was decided to increase production by fift}' thou- 
sand, making two hundred and fiity thousand maps 
available to the public."' 

By 1950 and 1951, the Official Wyoming Highway 
Alap focused on tourism even more so than the edi- 
tions of 1947-1949. These maps no longer carried travel 
information alerting motorists of speed limits, proper 
vehicle passing techniques, rights of way, and mountain 
driving, although surrounding states still focused on traf- 
fic laws and other travel information. 

While Rand McNally was busy working on 
Wyoming's map, the federal government was busy plan- 
ning an interstate highway system. The Clay Commit- 
tee, formed bv President Dwight Eisenhower to over- 
see this undertaking, decided that "the need is not for 
more highways so much as better ones."" The Wyo- 
ming Highway Department shared that philosophy and 
wanted to create a better road map. In 1952, a map 
rolled off the printing press in Chicago that was such a 
masterpiece it was still used fift}' years later. Since its 
unveiling in 1952, more than thirt^'-five million copies 
of this all-color map Wyomingites have come to know- 
have been printed. 

Wyoming can claim to be the first state in the union 
to feature an aU-color shaded reUef map.'" VCTiat started 
out as a simple version of this map in 1947 had been 
improved. Other states feature shaded reUef on their 
maps, but none have a realistic natural color scheme like 
that portrayed on the Wyoming map. Wyoming's di- 
verse landscape of grasslands, sagebrush steppes, and 
ice-capped alpine regions were captured in fitting col- 
ors of tan, light green, dark green, and white. 

The highway department's drafting unit, which had 
been involved with map production prior to the late 
1940s, relinquished that task at the time the 1952 map 
was released when "on October 19, 1951, the State High- 
way Commission appointed a Secondar}' Roads Engi- 
neer in compliance with this 1950 Federal Aid Act.'""' 
Appointed to that position was G.T. "Shorty" Bath. 
Sometime around 1953, the department decided he 
should be "responsible for the compilation and publi- 
cation of the official Wyoming Highway Map.'"''' Also, 
in about 1953, a public information director was hired."' 
Even though there was an established public relations 
department, Bath maintained control of the map as one 
of his duties. In 1964, however, the map was appropri- 
ately mrned over to the Public Information Office.''^ 
Rounds became the public information officer that 
year.''" Soon after he assumed his duties, he took charge 
of the map. Rounds oversaw the production of about 

thirt)' editions of the map before his retirement on Feb- 
ruary' 1, 2001. 

Numerous map-related undertakings occurred dur- 
ing Round's time with the department. One was that of 
taking ownership of the map plates. When Rand McNally 
received the contract to create an all-new map for 1 949, 
it was required not only to print the map but also to 
make the new printing plates. These plates remained in 
the ownership of Rand McNally. Wyoming only owned 
the copyright to the map.*"' As a result, each year the 
bidding included printing and plate making. Rand 
McNally, already having the plates, had the obvious ad- 
vantage, as its bids from year to year did not have to 
include the expensive plate making fees. Rand McNally 
was the low bidder on ever)' map it bid from 1947 to 
the time the plates were sold to the highway department 
in 1972, with the exception of the 1960 edition. Wheel- 
wright Publishing of Salt Lake Cit)', Utah, won the con- 
tract for that edition. It is believed Wheelwright had an 
excess of inferior paper and was therefore able to sub- 
mit a low bid.^" Indeed, the quaUt}' of the printing and 
of the paper of the 1960 edition is arguably inferior to 
the Rand McNally jobs. Oddly enough, this map won a 
printing award.^' 

Some years only Rand McNally submitted a bid.'- 
Other printing companies complained the process was 
unfair. Among the companies addressing this issue was 
Jeppesen and Company, an aviation map printing com- 
pany. On July 19, 1962, Harold Prommel, manager of 
map sales for jeppesen, approached the commission 
and explained his company wanted to bid on the Wyo- 
ming highway map, but because the bid specifications 

^' Wyoming Highway Commission Meedng Minutes, August 4, 1950, p. 60. 
"Christy Borth, Mankind on the Alove: The Stor\' of Highway. (Washing- 
ton D.C: Automotive Safety Foundation, 1969), p. 229. 
" Wyoming Highway Commission Meeting Minutes. October 18, 1951, 
p. 60. 

^ Eigh teen th Biennial Report of the W\ -oming High wa} ' Commission, p . 47 . 
^^ Nineteenth Biennial Report of the Wyoming Highway Commission, p. 63. 
"Aid., p. 10. 

''^ Wyoming Highway Department, The Highwayman, June 1964, .p. 5. 
^^ Rounds interview. 

^'^ Keith Rounds, April 26, 1972, Wyoming Highway Department 
Internal Document to W.G. Lucas, WYDOT Public Affairs Office 
vertical files. 
™ Rounds inter\'ie\v. 

'' Wyoming Highway Commission Meeting AIinutes,Octohtt 20, 1960, p. 31. 
" Ibid, September 27, 1962, p. 17. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 29 

called for both printing and cartographx', there was no 
\va\' it could be competitive. ' 

[eppescn certainly had the capabilitv to create visu- 
alK stimulating and accurate maps. For years it had been 
producing aeronautical charts tor the \\ \'oming Aero- 
nautics Commission. The highway commission con- 
sidered these aeronautical charts to be among the ver\' 
finest produced. ^ 

The I eppescn compan\ has its roots in Che\ennc. 
Elrey Borge feppesen, a pilot for Varney /VirHnes (later 
to become United AirUnes), lived in Cheyenne and flew 
the route between Cheyenne and Salt Lake Cir\'. After 
losing several pilot friends to accidents attributed to 
navigational problems, he created charts to aid in navi- 
gation. ^ leppesen began handing them out, and they 
became so popular he turned his idea into a profitable 
business, setting up shop at Denver's Stapleton Interna- 
tional Airport. 

Jeppesen did liid on the all-new 1949 Wyoming 
Highway Map, but it mav have been too small a com- 
pany to compete with Rand McNally. In 1952, another 
big map company, H.M. Gousha, acquired an interest 
in jeppesen. " It was too late though. Once Rand 
McN'alh' had the contract, it had, in essence, created a 
monopoly. Had Jeppesen won the contract for the 1949 
map, it is quite possible that a company so linked to 
Wyoming's mapping histon' would have been the one 
credited with creating and maintaining the ( )fficiai Wyo- 
ming Highway Map. 

Pleas from companies like jeppesen led the W \o- 
ming Highway Commission to purchase the plates from 
Rand McNally. This occurred on August 24, 1972, for 
a cost of $1 1,500.00."" Now that the Wyoming High- 
way Department had the map plates, this allowed for 
other companies to pursue the printing jobs. 

A second map-related undertaking during Rounds' 
early years with the department appeared in 1965, when 
the governor reappeared on the map after being ab- 
sent since Hunt's name appeared on the cover of the 
1946 edition. For the first time ever, the governor's ap- 
pearance on a map is mentioned in the commission 
record. The highway commission moved: 

The department should request a statement from Gover- 
nor Clitford P. Hansen together with a color photograph 
of himself, both of which are to be placed on the 1963 
Flighway Map, winch \ear is the 75''' annnersan- for state- 
hood for Wyoming. " 

Rounds secured the statement, and the 1965 map 

was the tirst to feature the governor's portrait and state- 
ment on the back cover. This arrangement became the 
standard, but it did not become an annual tradition for 
several more years. Four years later, the governor's state- 
ment and portrait again was mentioned in the commis- 
sioners' record. Commissioner Gus Fleischli moved to 
place the governor's photo and message back on the 
map. '' As requested, the 1969 map features Governor 
Stan Hathawa\' on the back cover with his statement, 
and since this time, the governor's portrait and written 
statement have appeared on even' map. 

The appearance ot a governor on a map is one of 
the most important identifiers that a map is official. It is 
this "otficialness" that gives the map its credibilit\', and, 
as a result, gives the motorist a sense ol assurance. In his 
W \( iming gecjgraph\' book, Wyoming geographer Ri )b- 
ert Brown identifies three symbols that embi )dy the spirit 
ot \\"\-oming — open space, the bucking bronco and 
cowboy, and the governor.^" Brown stated the Gover- 
nor <it W \-oming ofters a recognizable degree of rug- 
ged individualism; an abilir\' to talk plainly; and a comple- 
ment of other personal characteristics including hon- 
est\, tolerance, mild ambition, and love of family.^' No 
di lubt, Wyoming's license plate helped proiiK )te the ci )w- 
boy image, and so has Wyoming's map. All the gover- 
nors seem to embody the cowboy spirit by sporting 
their cowboy hats for their portraits. In 1987, newly 
elected (jovernor Mike Sulli\'an seemed also to capture 
the "love ot tamilv" qualin,' Brown identified in his bo( )k, 
when he appeared on the map with the first lady, their 
ciiildren, antl even the famih' pet. 

A milestone was reached in 199(1 with the printing 
ot the Wyoming Centennial edition. In anticipation of a 
bus\- tourism season during Wyoming's lllO''' birthday, 
the department produced an astonishing one million cop- 
ies ot the map. The Highway Department appropri- 
ately dedicated the issue to the state's histor\-. The cover 
includes a photograph ot Wyoming's statehood parade, 
which was held in Cheyenne on juK 23, 1S9(.I, to cel- 
ebrate the occasion. The maphack includes an historical 

' Wyoming Highw.iv Coninv:>sion Meeting Minure\}u\v 1*\ ['■'62, p. ^6. 

~^ Wyoming .\lni^nAc, p. 28. 
^'' The .\nieric3n C^rtograpticr, p. 249. 

WVoni/nt,^ Highway Commission Meeang ^bnutes, .\ugust 24. 1 9~2, p. 2 1 , 
^' /fajti.., tVtober 20, 1964, p. 21, 
"" Ibid^.]uk IS, 196S, p. -'. 

^" Robert H Brown, \V lonijni,'; A Geogr.iphv (Boulder. Colo.irdo; 
\Vest\-iew Press, Inc. 1980), p. 148. 
" Ibjd.,p.\49. 

30 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -■ Autumn 2003 

narrative of the state's histor\' written by Rick Ewig, 
who at that time was an historian for the Wyoming 
State Archives, Museums and Historical Department. 

The most recent major update to the map oc- 
curred with the 2003 edition. For the past fift)- years, 
the Wyoming Department of Transportation 
(NX'^TDOT)'- had been using the same map plates that 
were created bv Rand McNalJv in the late 1940s and 
earlv 1950s, just as with the 1932 map plates, the 1952 
map layers were wearing out. Knowing something 
needed to be done to solve this dilemma, W^'DOT 
decided to enter the computer age. Garth Oldham, 
Graphics Designer for the W\T)OT Public Affairs 
Office, digitized the map sheets created bv Rand 
AIcNallv.'^' With all the information from those sheets 
digitized, corrections and updates could be made by 
simplv using the computer. Updates that once took 
hours to complete could be done in minutes. Cer- 
tainly the most obvious change to the viewer was that 
of the overall lightening of the color of the 2003 edi- 
tion, which was changed to make the text easier to 
read. Before digitization, the color of the map was 
fixed and could not be altered. Eastwood Printing 
and Publishing Inc. of Denver, Colorado, printed the 
2003 map. The department printed 1.25 million cop- 
ies of the map for a cost of $110,625.00."-' The only 
Wyoming company to bid on this all-new map was 
Unicover Corporation of Chevenne. 

The State of Wyoming produced its first highway 
map in 1912. Since then, nearly 40 million Official Wyo- 
ming Highway Maps have been produced and dis- 
tributed around Wyoming, the nation, and even the 
world. This in and of itself makes the Official Wyo- 
ming Highway Map one of the most widely distrib- 
uted documents produced by the State of Wyoming. 
The sheer volume of maps produced and widely dis- 
tributed by the state makes the Official Wyoming High- 
way Map a potentially powerful publication. For some 
people, the map they receive in the mail upon request 
influences their first image of Wyoming. So, what im- 
age and information does the map convey about 

Considered to be one of the nicest road maps 
produced, the Official Wyoming Highway Map stands 
as a reflection of the qualit\- road system found in the 

state. A map of this qualit)- certainly stands out as a per- 
suasive document to encourage travel across the state. 
During the 1930s, the highway department struggled to 
identify an audience, allowing some space to attracting 
permanent setders and devoting the remaining space to 
welcoming tourists. Since then, the maps have shown a 
pattern of including tourist-attracting photographs of 
Wyoming's ph\'sical landscapes and the opportunities that 
can be had on those landscapes. For the most part, the 
opportunities that visitors can have in Wyoming have 
had to be imagined, as few pictures show people en- 
gaged in any sort of recreation. Essentially, the Official 
Wyoming Highway Map sets the stage for the tourist to 
discover his or her own opportunit\-. The technology to 
conve\- these oppormnities has improved over the years, 
but the message remains the same. In his 1982 greeting, 
former Governor Ed Herschler said, "Regardless of 
season, you'U find plent}' of outdoor recreation in Wyo- 
ming. Our nearly 98,000 square rrdles of variety' offer 
something for ever\'one, all at an individual pace. Enjoy 

^^- In 1992, tlie Wyoming Higli\va\' Department reorganized and 

became the Wyoming Department of Transportation (^^DOT). 

Subsequently, the Wyoming Highway Commission became the 

Wyoming Transportation Commission. 

^^ Garth Oldham, interview with the author, Chevenne, Wvoming, 

Sept. 22, 2003, written notes. 

'"' \X \oming Department of Transportation. Tabul^non Sheet ot Bids 

Received. |an. 3, 2003, W\T)OT Purchasing Department. 

Real horsepower was utilized in early road construction efforts 
near the town of Douglas. Wyoming. Courtesy Wyoming State 
Archives, J. E.Stimson Collection. 

"^- ■ -^ i ^ Hir JiMi 

John Waggener was born and raised in Green River. He graduated from ttie University of Wyoming with his 
B.A. in Geography and Education in 1995 and his M.A. in Geography in 2001. He is an Assistant Archivist at the 
University of Wyoming's Americ^ Heritage Center. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wvoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 31 


A Room for the Night: 

Evolutiof>of Roadside Lodging in Wyoming 


Heyward D. Schrock 

mericans have an infatruation with the automobile. 
Part of the obsession is the attraction of driving 
somewhere. InitialK', however, earlv twentieth 
LcentuiT car touring was limited to driving close 
to home due to laci< of passable roads. As more all- 
weather roads were built, Americans began to venture 
farther awa\- from home. Longer road trips inevitably 

generated new 

When Americans 
took to the road for a 

businesses, ser\-ices, 
and products to 
meet the needs of 
the autd tourists. 

One business 
created bv the 
aut(5mobile was 
roadside hidging. 
When Americans 
took to the road for 
a prolonged journev 
thev performed 
what would become 
a daily routine of searching tor a room to spend the 
night. As the number of automobiles and tourists 
increased, lodging for the vehicle bound traveler evolved 
to meet the needs of an ever-changing, mobile socien. 
In 1903, the Ford Motor Company was founded 
and Henr\' Ford changed the wav cars were built. In 1 9 1 3, 
Ford produced tliirteen thousand automobiles a daw Bv 
1925, the moving assembly line was so well streamlined 
that new Model T's were rolling oft the assembly line 

prolonged journey 
they performed what 
would become a 
daily routine of 
searching for a room 
to spend the night. 

everjr ten seconds. Mass production made the cost ($290), 
low enough that just about anybody could afford one. 
In 1920, more than nine million motorcars and trucks 
were reaistered in the United States. That same year in 
Wyoming, 24,973 passenger vehicles were licensed. With 
the affordable automobile, Americans had an alternative 
to rail travel and began to pen'ade the roads traveling 
long distances with a freedom previoush' unknown. 
Where as travelers had been controlled by railroad 
timetables and rail nenvorks, the automobile allowed the 
indiyidual t( > pick and choose the time and route of travel. 
This self-determination of movement brought a 
revolution in transportation for Americans during the 
first two decades of the tvventieth centun..' 

At the beginning of the nventieth centur\- early auto 
tourists had few choices for a room after traveling miles 
in an open automobile. An occasional wayside inn, a hold- 
over from stage coaching days, might offer the tired 
motorist a bed. An economical alternative was to camp 
alongside the road. The principle choice was the 
downtown hotel that sen-ed a transient populauon of 
salesman, businessmen, and travelers. Downtown hotels 
had dominated the lodging industn" for more than halt 
a centuiv because of their ready access to the railroad 
station and downtown businesses. Along with banks, 

' James W. Davidson et al. Naaon ofN.ioons: A Nairadve Histon' of the 
Amencan Repabbc (New York: Mc-Graw-Hill Publisliing Company, 1990), 
p. 907; Wyoming Department ot Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, 
\\ \(jming State .\rchives; Carlos .Vrnaldo Schwantes, Going Places: 
TisnspoTudon Redebnes the Twenneth-Centun- West (Bloomington: Indiana 
Universm- Press, 2003), pp. 52, 125. 

32 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

restaurants, and retail stores, hotels were the center of 
economic and social power tor American cities. ' This 
was true for Wyoming as well. 

By the 1930s, large cities and small towns in \X yoming 
all supported a hotel. Business groups and local chambers 
of commerce collaborated in building and promoting 
hotels and, in turn, their communities. Many eager 
businessmen felt that no town or city could prosper 
without modern accommodations for visitors, especially 
automobile travelers. Local newspapers, instruments of 
civic promotion, readily assisted in this endeavor. On the 
grand opening of the Gladstone Hotel in Casper, The 
Casper Dnilv Tribune on November 3, 1 924, commented 
at length on the importance ot hotels in Casper: essentially, 
it noted, "Casper hotel accommodations are now second 
to none in the Rockv Mountain region. This will make 
for greater prosperit)' in this ciri,- and will bring money 
here which might otherwise be spent elsewhere."' 

More importantly, Wyoming hotels like the Ferris in 
Rawlins, the Hcnning in Casper, the Emery in 
ThermopoUs, the Plains in Cheyenne, the Irma in Cody, 
and the LaBonte in Douglas became local landmarks of 
economic and communiu* energy. Many were multistor\' 
structures with formal spaces and palatial lobbies, 
extensive corridors with stores selling luxury items, 
barbershops, and newsstands, formal dining rooms, and 
less formal coffee shops, grand ballrooms, and distinctive 
lounges. Built on expensive land in urban centers, hotels 
were forced to charge high prices for rooms. However, 
they could not be exclusive or cater to one social class. 
\\ yoming hotels allowed many of the aspiring middle 
class to experience a taste of the finer things in hfe. More 
than just a place to stay, they acted as a social center for 
community and public gatherings and as local 
ambassadors to visitors. In August 1937, the American 
Legion state convention was held in Rawlins and the Ferris 
Hotel welcomed the legionnaires, promising to "make 
them feel at home" and that "convention members will 
welcome the opportunir\- to make this hotel their meeting 

Even though the auto tourist trade was only a trickle 
along Wyoming's roads during the early decades of the 
centur\', hotel owners felt that automobile travelers were 
an important revenue market and actively sought their 
business. To draw attention to their establishments, hotel 
owners advertised their lodging facilities, particularly 
noting a wide range ot seemingly important and modern 
amenities for automobile travelers. In 1913, the Hotel 
Virginian in Medicine Bow boasted that it was "the Biggest 
Hotel in the Littlest Town in the World" and was 

"electrically lighted, [with] Hot and Cold Water, First Class 
Cuisine, Telephones." Being located on the Lincoln 
Highway was doubly significant for travelers and Medicine 
Bow, and the ad further stated that "the Virginian is on 
the Overland Automobile Route and its proprietor is a 
good roads booster and builder. So time your journey 
that you may be his guest." Despite the small town setting 
the advertisement added, "one finds the ver\' acme of 
the metropolitan hostelr\- in a town that presents a picture 
of the fast fading frontier."'^ 

In 1916, the Kimball Hotel in Glenrock announced 
that it was "Headquarters for Automobile Parties and 
Commercial Travelers. Meals ser\'ed family st}ie. Good 
clean rooms and bathroom. Garage and Automobile 
Repairs and Supplies in same block." For the tourist who 
wanted to see the real American West and scenic 
Wyoming, Cheyenne was strategically located for 
automobile traffic headed north to Devils Tower or to 
the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. \X'est from Cheyenne 
the auto tourist could reach the Universit\- of Wyoming 
in Laramie then on to the Red Desert and Fort Bridger. 
The Plains Hotel in Che^'enne, with its ideal location along 
the Park-to-Park Highway (Rocky Mountain National 
Park in Colorado to Yellowstone National Park) and the 
Lincoln Highway, proudly advertised in 1924: "Special 
Attention to Automobile Parties. Cheyenne is the Natural 
Gateway to Wyoming. Good Roads and Beautiful 

Not to be outdone, Casper's Gladstone Hotel 
targeted the auto tourist by advertising the advantages 
of Casper: "'The Hub' of Wyoming. Casper is the most 
centrally located cit}' in Wyoming: Therefore, it is the center 
of all industrial, social and recreational activit)' in the State, 
all principal highways — even to Wyoming's furthermost 
points — radiate from Casper." Along with room rates 
the brochure included a mileage chart from Casper to 
principal cities and points of interest in Wyoming. 

' John BrinckerholY |ackson, .\mencjn Space: The Centennial Years: 1865- 
1870 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1972), p. 195. 
- Taft Alfred Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska, 1965), p. 345; "Gladstone Hotel Will Be Opened Tonight," 
The Casper Dailv Tribune, November 3, 1924. 

** Larson, History o/' Wyoming, p. 406; "Department Souvenir Conven- 
tion Magazine American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary," 
Republican — Bulletin, August 17, 1937. 

' "Wyoming Publicm- Edidon," Overland & \ 'ellowstone Automobile Trails 
(August 1913): 31. 

''Gus Holms, ed., Yellowstone Highway in \\\ oming and Colorado {Chicago: 
Wallace Press, 1916), p. 63; D.W. Greenburg et al., eds.. Wonderful Scenic 
W'roming (Casper: Commercial Printing Company, 1926), p. 2, Vertical 
File, Wyoming State Archives; Austin F. Bement, ed., A Complete Official 
Road Guide of the Lincoln Highway (1924; reprint. Tucson: The Patrice 
Press, 1993), p. 412. 

" The New Gladstone Hotel (nd), Casper Chamber of Commerce 
Collection, Wyoming State Archives. 

Annals o( Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 


A hotel's location prcscntetl a chance tor tourists to 
experience local culture. Driving trom San Francisco to 
New York in l')14, l^ffie Price Gladding wrote while 
staving at the Virginian in Medicine Bow, "We had an 
excellent substantial lunch at the hotel and then went over 
to see the shearing [of sheep] a tew minutes walk trom 
the hotel."'^ 

But downtown hotels had disadvantages tf)r the 
automobile traveler. Man\' were inconvenient. Located 
in crowded downtown areas and lacking adequate 
parking and oriented tor train and pedestrian trade, older 
downtown hotels did not make anv special provisions 
tor automobiles. Even though some hotels built attcr 
1920 featured automobile entrances and parking garages 
nearbv, they were still located in or at the edge of business 
districts. Consequently, they were difficult to reach, 
particularly when auto travelers, tired trom the day's drive, 
were least able to deal with unfamiliar communities. Upon 
arriving at the hotel, the tired, dust-covered motorists 
would have to walk through a busy lobby tilled with 

I tcci vet the tlush ot sh.imc ^uttuscd m\ checks under 
that thick layer r>f dust as the bellhop held open the door 
and eight grimy intruders marched in, single tile. Had we 
been clean, we should still have been objects of hostile 
suspicion, owing to our bizarre camping togs. But the 
bellhop, what ever his mental reaction, let us in, and we 
slunk oft to our respective washrooms. ' 

The automobile traveler desired another choice to 
traditional hotel lodging. 

One alternati\'e was to camp along the roads. This 
ability to stop an\where, anytime, was for many an 
adventure and for some an opportunit\ to commune 
with nature. Equipped with camping gear the intrepid 
motorists just pulled ott the road, pitched a tent, made a 
fire, and had a free room t( )r the night. Frequendy squatting 
on private property, usually without permission, auto 
tourists saved money they would have spent on rooms, 
meals, garage fees, and tips. Motor companies sought to 
capitalize on this new market. The Mcntz-Carson Motor 

Haphazard camping is evident in the J E Stimson photograph of the Cheyenne auto camp. 1920 Courtesy Wyoming Slate Archives 

train travelers which was tor many auto tourists, an 
unpleasant experience. Some motorists felt that they were 
given inferior sen.'ice because they were traveling hv 

" Ethc Pnce CiLiddini;, the Conanenr liv the Ijncoln Htghw.iv ("New 
York: Brentano's, 1915), pp. 177-178. 

'' Melville F. Ferguson, Motor Camping on W cstem Trjils ("New "Vork: 
Centun, 1<)2,S), pp. 271-272. 

34 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

Company of Cheyenne offered an "Auto-Camp- 
Comfort Outfit" that "combined with Collapsible 
Folding Tent all in one: a bed, a chair, a table, a settee. 
Live close to Nature in Luxun-, Ease and Comfort.'"" 

This era of free accommodations or "squatter" 
period gained popularit}' just before the start of World 
War I and continued until the 1 920s. Destruction of private 
propert\' and litter forced many landowners to post "no 
trespassing" signs and fence off former camping spots. 
T.A. Shaw, a rancher in the Wheadand area, posted a 
hundred dollar reward for the arrest and conviction of 
tourists responsible for starting a fire that destroyed three 
buildings on his property in 1927. Because of this 
unpleasant personal experience Shaw ended camping on 
his place. " 

During the 1920s, automobile traffic grew from a 
trickle to a flood onto western highways. Due to the 
growth of auto tourists a new development emerged in 
the form of municipal camping grounds. Located along 
principal road wavs in city parks or near downtown 
business districts, these encampments oftered the 
motorists parking, camp sites, and sanitary facilities, aU at 
little or no cost. In 1920, Cheyenne was proud to 
announce, "Camping Ground Readv for Use." The 
Chevenne Chamber of Commerce, Rotarv Club, and 
Wyoming Good Roads Association were credited for 
building the site. Msitors to the grounds would find, "The 
camping ground at Sloan's lake is being cleared off and 
made into a comfortable place for the tourist. An 
information bureau wiU be of great help to the hundreds 
of tourists."'" 

As the auto camps grew in popularity they also 
became objects of significant community pride to 
W voming cities. Competition grew between cities as each 
attempted to construct the most popular motor 
campground. Municipalities augmented their facilities with 
bathrooms, picnic tables, electricit)', and even recreation 
areas. A Wyoming- State Tribune writer traveled the state in 
x\ugust 1920 and reported on county- municipal camping 
grounds with a large caption, "Excellent Municipal Camp 
Grounds Found over State." The Thermopolis 
campground received special merit trom the staff 
correspondent: "Perhaps the greatest attraction to the 
tourist outside the hot baths and the big plunge, is the 
municipal camping ground. Not only is even,- ordinan,- 
convenience provided, but there is a cottage where you 
can cook your meals on electric stoves, do your eating, 
and do your writing." The tourist park also provided an 
"auto washing stand" and a bandstand for "concerts, 
either daily or often as feasible."' ' 

In 1920, Sheridan's tourist camp was considered a 
desirable camping site with "three hundred and twent}'- 
five automobiles registered there in July." And a mark 
of pride for the town, "Sheridan is justiv proud of its 
tourist camp in the heart of that beautiful cit)-. An attractive 
district has been set aside on the banks of the Goose 
Creek and a substantial building has been erected by the 
Sheridan Commercial Club."''' 

Local commercial interests considered the camps an 
economic benefit. By spending a night in a communiU', 
tourists would likely spend money in stores and eat in 
local restaurants. Thermopolis "grocers, butchers, garages, 
hardware and dry goods dealers," in 1920, benefited 
from their auto camp as "approximately §30,000 was 
expended in the cir\- for various supplies by the tourist." 
In )uly 1921, the residents of Wlieatiand were informed 
that "thirt}'-five cars camped in the local park Wednesday 
evening in addition to a number which camped west of 
town. Practically all of these came up town and bought 
groceries and automobile supplies."''' 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce counted more than 
one thousand municipal auto camps in the United States 
in 1922. But the popularit\- of municipal campgrounds 
with auto tourist and cin' leaders was amazingly brief By 
1925, most towns started to charge entrance fees and 
additional costs for telephone use, firewood, shower, 
and sanitar)- facilities. The purpose was to pay for upkeep 
and to keep out undesired, out-of-work transients. Time 
limits on the length of stay were also imposed to curb 
the unwanted "tin-can g\-psies." By requiring tourists to 
pay for a night's lodging and services the communit\' 
campgrounds would oddly enough create their own 
demise. Private commercial campgrounds would replace 
cit\- auto camps once the opportunity' to make money 
from camping fees became apparent."' 

The private camps were substantial business ventures 
that offered more than just a place to pitch a tent. 

"' "Camping or Touring "^'ou Should be Equipped with the Auto- 
Camp Comfort Outfit," W'roming State Tntune, June 10, 1920. 
" "Blaze on T.A. Shaw Ranch Northwest of Town Sunday Noon," 
Whe^id^nd Times, September 22, 1 927. 

'- "Camping Ground Ready for Use," Wyoming St^K Tribune, May 28, 

" B.L. Babcock, "Excellent Mumcipal Camp Grounds Found Over 
State," W'vommg Sate Tribune, August 19, 1920; "Adams Talks at Casper 
on Tourist Park," Thermopolis Record, December 3, 1920. 
" "Shendan Proud of Its Tounst Camp, Vi'yoming State Tribune. August 
6, 1920. 

'' "Adams Talks at Casper on Tourist Park," Thermopolis Independent Record, 
December 3, 1920; "Chamber of Commerce Activities For Past Year," 
Thermopolis Independent Record,Decemher 24, 1920; "Hosts of Tourists 
Use Camp Grounds," Wheadand Times, July 7, 1921. 
" Chester H. Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile (Baltimore: The John 
Hopkins Universit\' Press, 1985), p. 172. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 35 

Campers could buy groceries anci cook their meals in a 
communal kitchen, wash clothes in a launtlr\\ use a 
telephone, and fill their automoliile with gasoline. 
Competition grew witliin the new business and owners 
were always looking for methods to get the auto tourists 
to stop at their camp. (_~)nce it was learned that motorists 
would pa\ fir more substantial and private 
accommodations operators began to ofter cabins. 

Cabins began a new t\pe of overnight lodging that 
would define the future of the hospitality industry. At 
first, owners offered just a plain wooden room, oi:ten 
without furniture, but they verj- quickly saw the advantage 
of furnishing cabins with tables, chairs, and beds. 
Electricin,- and stoves made the i ivernight experience far 
removed from the bucolic camping of outdoors. Guests 
liked the convenience and privacy of cabins over tents. 
No longer would camping gear have to be hauled around 
or a tent pitched at the end ot a long day ot drning. 
Cabins were more resistant to inclement weather, so thev 
could be used year around and provide owners with a 
yearly income. Sanitary facilities were provided usually in 
a building witHn walking distance trom their cabins. Later, 
motel operators would build bathrooms within the 
cabins. By the late 1920s, many operators stopped 
providing tent sites and offered cabins only. 

The popularity- of cabin camps was quickl\' realized 
by Rawlins investors of the Sunset Camps Inc., in 192"^. 
"Since opening a few weeks ago the cabins in the camp 
have filled everv night with tourists. It is thought that a 
camp in Medicine Bow similar to the one in Rawlins will 
be as popular and have as much business as the local 
camp." Construction of cabin camps rapidly spread 
throughout Wyoming once financial opportunides were 
evident to other business groups. Cheyenne oilman, 
politician, and future governor, Leslie .\. Miller, and four 
other Wyoming shareholders formed the Big Horn 
Camps, Inc. "Construction of rustic cabin camps in 14 
Wyoming towns and scenic localities is the object of the 
Big Horn Camps Inc., which has been organized by 
Sheridan and other W\-oming men."' 

Camp owners emphasized a planned lodging layout, 
which replaced the haphazard camping sites that were 
tA'pical of camp grounds. The standard layout of the 
motel was arranged with rows of simple free standing 
cabins in a U or L-shaped configuration around a central 
open space with intervening parking space for cars and 
landscaped with lawn furniture. The cabins looked like 
tidy vUlages ot miniamre cottages. The cabins were placed 
close enough to the road as to be visible to passing 
motorists but set far enough back to appear private. 

E\en during the Depression, middle-class Americans 
continued to take automobile vacations. In 1934, the 
American Automobile Association reported that touring 
figures had returned to pre- 1929 levels. By 1935, total 
vehicle mileage and gasoline sales increased after a slight 
decline. Americans even purchased more new cars in 1935 
than in 1930. For the travel industry overall, people had 
more money to spend on room and board in 1935 than 
any year since 1929. The Wyoming hospitalit^■ industn,- 
mirrored the national trend with an abundance of rooms 
for the highway bt)und traveler. A 1 93( Is Wyoming tourist 
promotional pamphlet stated, "Accommodations for 
vacationists are plentiful." Along with nvo hundred hotels, 
"three hundred and titty tounst camps offer 4,"^ 1 6 cabins." 
In 1938, the Wyoming Motor Court Association Inc., 
promoted "375 Motor Courts for the Motoring Public. 
Rates are reasonable $2.00 for [a] rusuc cabin to SI 2.00 
for the best."''"* 

Travel expenditures continued to rise from the low 
point of 1932-33 and reached new heights with the 
sudden economic increase of 1940-41. The Casper 
Chamber of Commerce reported in l')41 that "S10,0(jO 
IS spent daHv by tounsts in die cir\' during the diree vacation 
months of June, July and August." Casper also hosted 
during a two-year period two national and sixty state 
conventions that brought in an estimated S250,OO0 

Casper's Red and White Auto Court illustrates the configuration of cabin and 
attached auto garage, c. 1940 Courtesy Wyoming State Archives 

' Articles of Incorporation, Records Of Secretan,' State, Wyoming 
State Archives; "Sunset Camps, Inc. Building Four New Cabins on 
Grounds," Rawlins Republican, April 2S, 112'?; "Log Cabin Camping 
Grounds Are to Be Built in 14 Towns." Riw/jn.s Republican, November 
3, 1927. 

'^ Warren James Belasco, Amencdns of die Road: From Autocimp to Motel. 
19111-1045 (C^mhnd^e: Tlie MIT Press, 1979), p. 155; Wonderful Wyoming, 
(np, nd). Vertical File, Wyoming State Archives; Hondy Tounst (Casper: 
Prairie Publishing Company, 1938), Vertical File, Wyoming State 

'" Central Wyomintr Resources Sun-ey (np, 1 94 1 ), Vertical File, Wyoming 
State Archives. 

36 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

During the 1930s, motel owners presented a fresh 
refined image of overnight lodging. They changed the 
words "camp" to "court" and "cabin" to "cottage." 
Motor courts and cottage courts took on the look of 
middle-class suburban homes. Cottages were furnished, 
like suburban houses, with closets, rugs, dressing tables, 
chairs, mirrors, curtains, radios, and bathrooms with 
showers and bathtubs. Many were heated with steam 
and insulated for vear-around use. Attached garages 
became ver}' popular after 1930 with many cottages linked 
wall to wall to form a continuous fagade. The Dreamland 
Cottage Camp of Rawlins in 1937 advertised, "Cool, 
Clean, Up-to-date COTTAGES." The ad went on to 
emphasis in large letters, "RADIO EQUIPPED."-" 

From the very beginning camps had offered 
communal kitchens and some tourist cabins had 
kitchenettes with food sold by small grocer)' stores on 
the premises. Numerous motor courts began to include 
coffee shops or restaurants after motel owners discovered 
that restaurants added profits to their enterprise. Gasoline 
and oil products were available as part of the complete 
traveling experience. Fisher's of Rawlins in 1937 
promoted, "Tourist Rooms, Standard Oil, Quaker State 
Oils, and Pennzoil." In 1953, the Evergreen Camp in 
Glendo was still advertising "Modern Cabins" along with 
selling "Sinclair Products."-' 

By 1939, the business of providing a room for the 
night proved to be Depression-proof Americans were 
driving 25 million cars on the roads and new motor 
courts nationwide were being buUt at the rate of 800 
per year. The Rainbow Tourist Camp of Cheyenne 
offered cabins that were "modern and clean. Cool in 
summer and warm in Winter — insulated Twent\--six 
modern units. One, two, and three-room apartments 
with garage, private showers or mb bath, good water, 
gas heat, phones, fenced playground." The owners, Mr. 
and Mrs. Robert M. Thomas, invited the motor tourist 
to "make this vour home whUe in Cheyenne. "" 

The start of World War II abrupdy reduced tourism 
in America. Automobile production was diverted to war 
machines and gasohne became rationed. Americans 
returned to riding trains and public transportation, Hotels 
experienced a renaissance with train-bound travelers 
looking for lodging. On the other hand, many motor 
courts did not survive the war years, But once the war 
ended the motel industr)' rapidly reemerged to dominate 
the lodging business in America. Motel growth from 
1946 to 1956 expanded to sixt)- thousand nationwide. 
Wyoming's hospitality industn,- reflected the national 
expansion with a total of 570 motels in 1958, up from 

375 in 1938.-' 

The postwar years were the beginning of a 
construction boom in the roadside lodging industry^ that 
would last up to the late 1960s. These years would see 
substantial economic growth for America. With jobs and 
money Americans put the Depression years behind by 
buying houses and cars. The increase of automobile 
ownership and the federal interstate highway program 
of 1956 put Americans on the roads in record numbers. 
Motor courts again took business away from hotels and 
would eventually force many of the older downtown 
hotels to close. Along with continued prosperity the 
motor courts experienced changes in appearance and 

After the war the hospitalit)- industn' began to use 
the more progressive word "motel." Even though the 
term had first been used in 1 926 and occasionally during 
the 1930s, it now became the standard word to describe 
the thriving lodging business of the late 1940s. A 
contraction of "motor" and "hotel," the word "motel" 
became the common name marketing a wide variet\' of 
highway accommodations. The majority' of Wyoming 
motor court owners, though, still continued to use the 
word "court" until the late 1950s. In 1953, 149 out of a 
total of 421 motels used the term "motel," with "court" 
being in the majorit}'. But by 1958, the designation "court" 
had all but disappeared from lodging directories and 
"Wyoming motel accommodations, ranging from nice to 
lush, are both comfortable and convenient." The 
Wyoming Travel Commission echoed this assessment, 
confidentiv commenting that, "You just can't go wrong 
in a Wonderful Wyoming motel."-"* 

The motel's appearance went from the individual 
cabin to a string of rooms integrated into a single bmlding. 
These structures were long, single-story, and rather 
architecturally plain. The new interconnected motels 
lacked individual architectural st\'le and began to look 

'" "Department Convention Souvenir Magazine American Legion and 

American Legion Auxilian'," Republican — Bulletin, August 17, 1937. 

"' "Department Souvenir Convention Magazine American Legion and 

American Legion Auxiliary," Republican — Bulletin, August 17, 1937; 1953 

Platte Count)- Auto Licenses, 1953, Platte Count)' Treasurer, Vertical File, 

Wyoming State Archives. 

^ John MargoUeis, Home Away From Home: Motels in America (Boston: 

Little Brown and Company, 1995), p. 39; Tourist's Jnforrnation Pamphlet from 

Cheyenne, VVVomi'rjg- (Cheyenne: Rainbow Tourist Camp, 1939), Vertical 

File, Wyoming State Archives. 

■^ Director)' ofWonderiul Wyoming: Motels, Hotels, Dude Rnnches, Camp Sites 

(Cheyenne: Wyoming Travel Commission, 1958), Vertical File, 

Wyoming State Archives. 

^^ Wyommg Director)- of Motels (Casper: Prairie Publisliing Company, 

1953), Vertical File, Wyoming State Archives; Director)- otVi'onderful 

Wyoming: Motels, Hotels, Dude Ranches, Camps Sites (1958), Vertical File, 

Wvoming State Archives. 

Annals of Wvoming: The Wvoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 37 

alike. To distinguish different businesses, elaborate and 
lEuminative neon signs lured customers in with catchy, 
inviting, and sometimes amusing names. Cheyenne motels 
exploited the western theme with places like the Cactus 
Patch Motel, the Stage Coach Motel, and the Cimarron 
Motel. Located next to roadways, the neon sign provided 
a vertical dimension to the long, low, straight line building 
configuration. Manv of these eve-catching signs projected 
the qualit)' of the motel and listed the variety' of services 
provided. '^ 

Bv the mid-1950s, many motels began to displav 
soaring roofs, rakish canopies, and vaulted entrance 
porticos reflecting the exaggerated modern architecture. 
Motel guest rooms became gradually more standardized 
with furniture from commercial suppliers specializing in 
hotel and motel furnishings. The new exterior ciesign 
combined with a uniform interior became a profitable 
arrangement for motel owners. Owners also spent 
considerable money on room furnishings in an attempt 
to make guests comfortable and get repeated stays. Air 
conditioning, telephones, and radios became standard 
features. Motels increasingly built the popular swimming 
pool, which was located in the center court)'ard. The 
Frontier Motel of Cheyenne boasted in 1957, "Wyoming's 
Largest & most Luxurious SWIMMING POOL." The 
ad went on to state, "beside the Frontier pool [is] 
Cheyenne's largest and most beautiful restaurant.""'' 

Along with standardization of motel structures during 
this time the industry as a whole started to become 
standardized. The days of small, individual, local 
ownerslup gave way to the national franchised motel. 
Motel chains dated back to the 1 920s but only in regional 
areas. From its very modest beginnings. Holiday Inn 
became the king of the motel industn'. Kemmons Wilson, 
a Memphis, Tennessee, home-builder, transformed the 
hospitality industrv' from the mom and pop business to 
a world franchised chain. In 1952, he opened the first 
Holiday Inn in Memphis, and by 1964, through direct 
ownership and franchises, Wilson had one thousand inns 
in operation from coast-to-coast. Casper and Cheyenne 
both had acquired a Holiday Inn by the mid-1960s." 

During the 1960s other motel chains opened across 
Wyoming. Ramada Inn, Imperial 400, Downtowner 
Motor Inn, and Little America competed with Holiday 
Inn for the motorist's lodging dollar. L'sing the various 
arrangements for ownership, franchises quickly gathered 
the financial resources together with design, engineering, 
construction, marketing knowledge, and professional staff 
that many mom-and-pop operations could not contend 

Cheyenne joined the ranks of communities receiving 
a chain motel with the grand opening of the Ramada 
Inn on October 15, 1960. "The Ramada Inn, Wyoming's 
newest, largest, and most luxurious resort-type motor 
hotel is the first franchise motor hotel built by the Ramada 
and Flamingo motor hotel chain [in Wyoming]." O.N. 
Buckles, president of the local Cheyenne Ramada 
franchise group. Motels Incorporated, and long-time 
Cheyenne businessman, remarked "that Cheyenne has 
been in need for a long time for adequate roadside hotel 
facilities. The new Ramada Inn should provide some of 
the needs in this field."'" 

The new motor inns brought not only national brand- 
name recognition to the hospitality- industn' but corporate 
regimentation to motel architecture. Motels within the 
chain would all look aUke. The standard plan utilized a 
low-cost building technique known as center-core 
construction. One or more stories of rooms were built 
back to back with a utility- core running down the center 
housing all the electrical, heating, and plumbing. The 
bathrooms of ever\' four umts were grouped together 
at intersecting corners allowing for easier plumbing. 
Construction costs were not only lower but the buildings 
were cheaper to heat and cool. Also, motor inns could 
accommodate more rooms on the site than the one ston,' 
motor court. 

Losing the same colors, interior furnishings, exterior 
structural design, and signage, brand identit\' would 
communicate to the motorist a predictable lodging 
experience. The new Ramada Inn in Cheyenne noted 
that "while the general decor of the inn in Cheyenne is 
the same as the 30 others in the Ramada and the Flamingo 
chain, special emphasis has been placed on the location 
and the needs of the clientel [sic]."'" 

Larger and more luxurious than motels, motor inns 
were usually two-or-three story buildings organized 
around a courtyard. Ground floor rooms had outside 
doors that allowed for easy access from car to room. 
The interiors had enlarged lobbies with registration desk, 

■^ Cbevennc Telephone Director^' (The Mountain States Telephone and 

Telegraph Company, 1959), pp. 103, 104. 

"'' The Cheyenne Spot-Lire {Crazv Horse Publishing Companv, 1957), 

Chevenne Chamber of Commerce Collection, W'yt^ming State 


'"Margolies, Home.-\u-ar/romKome,p. 113; C/jerenne5cene, |une 1963, p. 

17; Ci.sper 5 Progress, julv 1967, p. 1. 

'" John A. )akle, Keith A. Senile, and fefterson S. Rogers, 7?ic Motel in 

Anienc.i (Baltim(.)re; The lohn Hopkins Umversm- Press, 1996), pp. 160- 


-'' "New Ramada Inn Grand C^pening Set," W'yomsng State Tribune, 

October 14, 1960. 

^" "New Ramada Inn Grand Opening Set." VVrom/rii,^ State Tribune, 

October 14, 1960. 

38 Annals of Wvomino: The Wvomino History Journal -- Autumn 2003 

adjacent dining facilities, cocktail lounge, and banquet and 
meeting rooms. Corridors led from the central lobb\' to 
the guest rooms. The air-conditioned rooms were large, 
containing two beds, night table, dresser, table with chairs, 
tele\-ision, and bathroom with separate area for shower 
and toilet. The new Ramada Inn boasted that "each one 
of the ''O units includes furrushings that will make the 
guest more comfortable. Beds are large and lights are so 
arranged as to give a maximum amount of lighting. The 
Furniture is designed not onlv for beaut)' but for 
maximum amount of comtort and utilit}'." Cheyenne's 
Ramada could "accommodate up to 250 people and 
will have several special suites. There are also six studios 
which can be used as combination business and sleeping 
quarters." To further impress customers the Ramada had 
"among the outstanding features of the inn meeting 
rooms for 25 to 65 persons, a coffee shop and dining 
room, complete hotel service, a heated swimming pool 
and children's playground, putting green, helicopter 
landing area, year around air conditioning, airport 
limousine service and the newest television, radio and 
music facilities in even" room."'' 

Some traditional downtown hotels attempted to stav 
competitive and acquire the automobile tourist business. 
In 1960, "Chevenne's skyline was augmented Tuesday as 
the new Frontier Motor Hotel sign was hoisted into 

place The new name has been adopted bv the hotel 

designating the addition of 24 modern motel units." The 
opening of the motor hotel announced that the new 
quarter-million dollar add-on had been "built to provide 
only the best for our guests. The Frontier Motor Hotel 
offers all the comforts and services of the finest hotels 
along with the conveniences of the most superb motels.'' 
One convenience that the new motel rooms had as 
opposed to the hotel rooms was size that could 
accommodate larger beds. The Frontier Motor Inn 
boasted that their new rooms "included ever\'thing in 
the way of furnishings that will make the guest more 

The hospitality industry in Che\enne during the 1 960s 
was quite strong and experienced a return of the 
downtown hotel. The Wyoming State Tribune on August 
22, 1963, announced that "Cheyenne [was] to Get [a] 
New Million-Dollar Hotel" in a major headline. "A new 
five-ston,' luxun,- motor hotel that will include a heated 
swimming pool and a basement garage wiU be bmlt at a 
downtown location." Local Cheyenne businessman and 
president of a newly formed corporation, Frank J. 
McCue, received a franchise agreement with the 
Memphis, Tennessee, based Downtowner Corporation 

to build "the new hotel, the first built in the downtown 
area in more than two decades, will have 88 units, a coffee 
shop, dining room, cocktail lounge and special meeting 
rooms." The appearance of the new inn was in keeping 
with the standardization of chain motels, "As in other 
Downtowner Motor Inns, the Cheyenne hotel wiU feature 
a building with a brighdv colored exterior with exposed 
balconies and glass room fronts." The importance of 
the new venture brought Governor Clifford Hansen and 
Mayor Bill Nation to do the ceremonial "turning the first 
spades of earth with two gilt-covered shovels."'' 

By the early 1960s, the 'budget' chain motels began 
to emerge that offered a lower price for a room than the 
larger chains. Motel 6 and Days Inn of America were 
among the first to offer economy to Americans with a 
family and traveling on a limited budget. Throughout 
the 1970s, the franchised motel business inundated the 
market. In 1970, 25 percent of the rooms were owned 
by chains; eight years later 70 percent of the rooms were 
chain-affdiated. ''"* 

During the late 1960s and 19'70s, traditional motel 
design with L-shaped, row, and open court buildings 
gave way to the construction of a multiston' box structure, 
which utilized more available space for rooms. These 
new structures became hotel-like and were located near 
highways. By the 1980s, the ts'pical motel became a 
"highway hotel" that followed new commercial 
development located near highways and interstates. These 
facilities offered by the chain franchises have come to be 
barely distinguishable from one another. 

Today, chain-owned highway hotels now dominate 
Wyoming's roadside hospitakt}- industry. Super 8 Motels, 
Comfort Inns, Hampton Inns, Days Inns aU look alike 
and are built in clusters around interstate interchanges. 
These new highway hotels are nondescript, multistor}' 
boxes with one or two doors leading to the lobby and 
hallways. Gone is the direct access from car to room that 
once auto tourists favored. The large corporation has 
brought a significant degree ot uniformit}- to motels 
across the United States. The architecture of the motel 
along with the arrangement and size of rooms has been 
standardized to meet corporate requirements. '' 

The growth and volume of automobile travel in the 
United States has created a demand for convenient 

^' "New Ramada Inn Grand Opening Set," Wyoming State Tribune, 

October 14, 1960. 

^' "Cheyenne Skyline," Wyoming State Tribune, [une 5, 1960; "The 

E.xciting New Motor Hotel," \<,' yoming State Tribune, June 25, 1960. 

" "New Million-DoUar Hotel," Wyoming State Tribune, August 22, 1963. 

^Margolies, Home Away from Home, p. 114. 

^^Jakie, Motel m America, pp. 171-215. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2003 39 

lodging facilities located near highwavs which in turn has 
driven the development of the franchise highway hotel. 
The evolution of the lodging industn,' has come full circle 
in a hundred years. Tlie early countr\'side cabin camp 
gave way to the more extensive cottage court, which m 
turn developed into the motor court, motel, motor inn, 
and finally to the corporate highway hotel. At first the 
motel was seen as competition with the downtown hotel 
for automobile tourists. But the motel ot ti)da\' has 
become hotel-like and the word "motel" has become 
obsolete. Today, with large corporate and franchise chains 
dominating the hospitalitv industr\', motels are called inns, 
hotels, lodges, and even suites. 

Motels remain an essential trade tor travelers looking 
for a convenient room for the night along the American 
roadside. They have also become symbols of the 
transformation of Wyoming's cultural landscape through 

business c\cles, highway relocation, and consumer 

There are still small family owned and operated 
motels hidden across Wyoming. In Newcasde, the Pines 
Motel has managed to remain in business throughout the 
years and their W'eb site promises "peace and beaut\- in 
the pines. Family owned and operated Motel." The 
owners list "11 rooms. Cozy, well appointed rooms in 
quiet residential area. Excellent housekeeping, 1 stor\', 
exterior corridors." ""' Bypassed by interstate highways 
and the fast pace of life, these rare motels offer a glimpse 
of Wyoming's vanished, early roadside lodging industrw 

"' Miucln, |udy. Pines Mvtcl (1949): 4 pp.; http: / /w\t-\ / 
-mcirthr/ . 

Sunset Camps. Inc . at Medicine Bow. with cabins built in a u-stiape 
configuration and separate communal batlmom building located in tlie 
center. 1927. Courtesy Wyoming State Arcliives. 


Heyward D. Schrock, a native of Wyoming, lives in Cheyenne and currently is the Photograph Historian 
for the Wyoming State Archives. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of Wyoming 
and a Master's Degree in History from Montana State University. He has worked at Buffalo Bill Historical 
Center, Fort Caspar Museum, Custer Battlefield National Monument, and the Wyoming State Museum. He 
has also taught at Casper College and Laramie County Community College. 

40 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal •- Autumn 2003 


Allen, lohn Logan 25 

Allvn, Francis "Frank" Hayford 22, 24 

American Automobile Association 22, 35 

Bath, G.T. "Short)-" 28 

Boemg Air Transport Company 12 

Bowen, Ralph 27 

Boyer, S.E. 23 

Bromley, J.R. 26 

Brown, Robert 29 

Butler, Michael 6 

Campgrounds (VC^'oming) 

Carey, Joseph M. 20-21 

Carey, Robert D. 19 

Carter, Jessie 12 

Casper, W'yoming 32, 35 

Che\-enne, Wyoming 11-18 


18, 34, 

Che\'enne Modification Center 


Cheyenne Mumcipal Airport 11-18 

Church, EUen 12 

Ciyil Aeronautics Board 7, 9 

CivU Air Patrol 5 

Clark, A.M. 22-23 

Clason Map Company 19 

Cody, Buffalo Bill 26-27 

Colorado Air National Guard 7 

Colorado Mountaineering Club 6 

Conine, Mel 4 

Cooke, Clinton C. 3-4, 6-7 

Crismon, Frank 4 

Denver, Colorado 3-4, 8 

Dittman, Susan J , 17-18 

Duncan, Mel (author) 3 

Eastu-ood Printing and Publishing, Inc. Denver, Colorado 30 

E\vig, Rick 29 

Ferris Hotel, Rawlins, VC'yoming 32 

Fleischli, Gus 29 

"Flight 409: Trajedy on Medicme Bow Peak," 3-10 

Forbes, Jane 15-18 

Ford, Henn' 31 

Fort Carson 7 

Frontier Motor Inn, Cheyenne, \X'yoming 38 

Gladding, Effie Price 33 

Gladstone Hotel, Casper, Wyoming 32 

Gousha, H.M. 26, 29 

Graham, John Gilbert 8 

Hansen, Clifford P. 29, 38 

Hathaway, Stan 29 

Hayes, Jack 14-15, 18 

Hili, John 6 

Hinkiey, William 18 

Holiday Inn 37 

Houx, Frank L. 21 

Hunt, Lester C. 26 

Iden, Hamet Fry 12 

Jeppesen and Company 28-29 

Jeppesen, Elrev Borge 29 

Kassel, Michael (author) 1 1 

Kendrick, John B. 21 

Kimball Hotel, Glenrock, Wyoming 32 

Kundig, Sue 16-17 

Lincoln Highway 32 

Littie Bear Restaurant, Cheyenne, Wyoming 16-17 

Loveland, Colorado 8 

Maps 19-30 

McGinness, Kenneth T. 5 

Medicine Bow Mountains 3-10 

Mentz-Cason Motor Company, Cheyenne, Wyoming 34 

Meyer, John 6 

Miller, Leslie A. 25, 35 

Mills Printing, Sheridan, Wyoming 23 

Morman Tabernacle Choir 6 

Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company 20 

Muller, lulius 24 

Nation, Bill 38 

Oldham, Garth 30 

Plains Hotel, Cheyenne, Wyoming 17 

Prairie Publishing Compan\', Casper, Wyoming 23 

Prommel, Harold 28 

"Putting Wyoming on the Map: The Ston' of the Official Wyoming 

Highway Map" 19-30 
Ramada Inn, Cheyenne, Wyoming 37-38 
Rand McNally Company 26-30 
Rawlins, Wyoming 35-36 
Rocky Mountain Rescue Group 6 
"A Room for the Night: Evolution of Roadside Lodging in Wyoming" 

Rounds, Keitii 24, 28-29 
Sacajawea 25 
Salisbury', Ralph D. Jr. 3, 6 
Salt Lake Citj', Utah 4 
Schrock, Hej-ward D. (author) 31 
Sevison, Z.E. 19 
Shaw,T.A. 34 
Sheridan, Wyoming 34 
Shuttieworth, Patricia D. 3, 6 

Smith-Books Printing Company, Denver, Colorado 23 
Stimpson, Steve A. 12 
Sullivan, Mike 29 
Ternll, John 5 
Thermopohs, Wyoming 34 
True, Allen 26 
United Airlines 3-8, 11-18 

"The United Airlines Stewardess School in Cheyenne, Wyoming" 11-18 
University of Wyoming Outing Club 5-6 
University of Wyoming Science Camp 5-6 
Virginian Hotel, Medicine Bow, Wyoming 32-33 
Waggener, John R. (author) 2, 19 
Weed, Ed 4 

■Wheelwright Publishing, Salt Lake City, Utah 28 
Wigu'am Lounge, Cheyenne, Wyoming 17-18 
William, Walt 7 
World War II 14,25,36 
Wyoming Air National Guard 4-5 
Wyoming Army National Guard 5 
Wyoming Department of Commerce and Industn' 23 
Wyoming Department of Transportation 24-25, 30 
Wyoming Highway Commission 19, 21-22, 27-29 
Wyoming Highway Department 21-23, 25-29 
Wyoming Highway Map 19-30 
Wyoming Travel Commission 36 


Born in Illinois in !S~2, Elmer Lovejov came west in 

ISS3 to live on a f.imil\- nmch near Laramie, W'vominn;, 
after he was ihat^noscJ with tuberculosis. Sur\'i\in!^ the 
deadly disease, Lovejov went on to become an active citizen 
of Laramie as well as a prolific inventor. On ^Llrch 26, 
I'HS, he WAS .iwaixlcd a I'.S. patent tor his power-operated 
i,^ini!J-c- door opener. He is also credited with inventing 
(hut not patentinii) the stcerlni^ knuckle in 1^^115, the 
pneumatic balloon tire, which he de\eloped in IS')(), and 
even a vacuum lawn trimmer. 

Ijovejov ideal phce to anker with mech.mics. I le 
his veil own. tni.lwell-(.i.iiup[xil sill p, h nr/i nXi neln Works which 
he started m IH^>3 above die L.iramie Post ( )ffice. Dunm; the 
miaal vears ot his venture he mostly ser\-iced bicycles. He then 
I ipeneda new sin >p.u4l2S. 2nil Save! in d( iwna nn; Luwnie .uid 
expanded his business tt > ' 'fix any t >ld thint; ' ' acc( >rdinii f' ' '■"-'' 
advertisement m the December 26, l'-)(l5,eilition(jttlie\^\iamie 
Rcpuhhc.ui new yp.iper 

2~, 1 8'->.~i, when he drove an. lutomohile out othis shop. md onto tlie 
streets ( it Lir.miie. He is credited w itli beiiii^ die tiiytpeii^on u i h.ive 
.1/1 auti >m< ibile west i )/ die Mississippi River. He dn ive his < >ne- 
c\ Under artt^ die L'ni< >n P.iafic Huln iJc/Dc'/ii if, ;ini.i .iccordiin^to 
a st( m he sh.ired in die ( )cf( >ber2S, I ^>4.\ I .aniniic 
Bi « imcnuu;, .if m< imenta westb< iiuid passeiijjer tr:un hidjiLst 
.imved. .Ml die p.issaiin.-rs came < lut ti > \iewdie "a mtnipaoix ' '.md 
"die tr:ynw.isdel.i\e(.lt\\vim' minutes in Its depimire. w-as 
die interest dispLned by die p.issent^-rs." Two ve.irs Liter he stnick 
a deal w idi die h w nn ibile G mip.m^ imdhe tnidedlvs concept for 
oneotdieirlj k'< nut hile ste.uii-i )jxrate(.Lnitos. 

1j nvfoyp.i^sed.iwayi >n /.uii£in"3, 1'-hl), just( nieweek lieb ire 
his 88di biitlidav. 

Join the 

1' J y> Mi_i_ 


Consttuction diagram of the power-operated garage door opener invented in 
Laramie. Wyoming, by Elmer Lovejoy and patented by him on March 26. 1918 
Elmer F Lovejoy Papers. Ace 176. Box 1. Folder 10. American Hentage Center 
University of Wyoming. 

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