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finals of 


The Wyoming History Journal 

Winter 2004 

Vol. 76, No. 1 


I --- 

The Cover Art 

"Snowed Up in the Rocky Mountains" 

Thomas Kennet-Were Collection, American Heritage Center, 
Univesity of Wyoming 

Thomas Kennet-Were, an English gentleman and artist, traveled across the United States and part 
ofCanadn in 1868 and 1869. He documented his trip by writing ati account of his travels, which 
he titled "Nine Motnhs in the Lhiited States, " and by painting maiiy scenes hi watercolor When he 
left 0)iuiha, Nebraska, in March 1869, he tmveled on the Union Pacific Railroad, still being 
constructed across Utah. West of Laramie the tmin was unable to break through the snow. 
According to Kennet-Were: ". . . ivhenivegotupinthemonungwefoufidthatbytheattanptsofthe 
driver to charge through the snow the coupling chaim were broken. The engine andficight cars were 
about a quarter of a utile ahead, a few hundred years before us was a passenger car, and ive in die 
last were stuck in a snow-drift. Here we remained 26 hours, during which time weftdly appreciated 
the comfoit of a sleeping car in which we ivere able to keep warm and amuse ourselves by pLrying 
cards and coni>ersing with felloiv passengers, whose acquaintance by this time we had made. Our 
tinned meats here became veij acceptable, diough I have never eaten any thing so nasty as they were. 
. . . We attempted in the tnoming, after clearing the line of snow, to nwve the car, but the wind 
which in die ftrst pLice caused die snow-drift continued so high that our efforts were of no avail. We 
appealed to the driver for help . . . he told us that on his hist trip he had taken 22 days to do what 
we had done in 12 hours, and guessing that we had 'better bide quiet he shut his door and went to 
sleep. " Kennet-Were's experience was similar to many Union Paciftc riders eighty years Liter who 
were caught in the blizzard in Nebraska and Wyoming in early January 1949. For more 
infonnation about the Blizzard of 19^9 see diis issue's "Wyoming Memories. " 

Information for Contributors: 

The editor of Annals of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and photographs on even,' aspect of the histon' 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 Appropriate for submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer 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 tor 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 by one of the widely-used word processing 
programs along with rwo 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 

Book Review Editor 

Carl Hallhcrg 

Editorial Advisory Board 

Katherine Curtiss, Sheridan 

Dudley Gardner, Rock Springs 

Sally F. Griffith, Lusk/Havertown, Pa. 

Don Hodgson, Torrington 

Loren Jost, Riverton 

James R. Laird, Wapiti 

Mark Miller, Laramie 

Mark Nelson, Green River 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Publications Committee 

Barbara Bogart. Evanston 

Rick Ewig, Laramie 

Linda Fabian, Wheatland 

Rowene Giarrizzo. Powell 

Carl Hallberg, Cheyenne 

Amy Lawrence, Laramie (ex-officio) 

Phil Roberts, Laramie (ex-officio) 

James VanScoyk, Scar Valley 

Rose Warner, Cheyenne (ex-officio) 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Committee 

Lmda Fabian, President, Platte County 
Dave Taylor, 1st Vice Pres., Natrona Co. 
Art KJdwell, 2nd Vice Pres., Park Co. 
Cindy Brown, Sec^eta^)^ Laramie Counr\' 
James VanScoyk, Treasurer, Star Valley 
Laura Lake, Natrona Count)' 
Clara Varner, Weston County 
John R, Waggener, Albany County 
Marge Wilder, Park County 
Judy West, Membership Coordinator 

Governor of Wyoming 

David Freudenthal 

Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and 
Cultural Resources 

Phil Noble, Director 

Cultural Resources Division 

Wendy Bredehoh, Administrator 

Wyoming Parks & Cultural Resources 

Carolyn Buff. Casper 

William Vines. WTieadand 
Herb French, Newcasde 
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 of Arts and 
Kristine Utterback, Chair, Dept. of History 

nals of 


The Wyoming History Journal 

Winter 2004 Vol. 76, No. 1 

"The Worst Campaign I Ever Experienced": Sergeant 
John Zimmerman's Memoir of the Great Sioux War 

Edited by Paul L. Hedren 2 

The 1902 Murder of Tom Gorman 

Byjohn W.Davis 


Wyoming Memories: Blizzard of 1949 

By Amy Lawrence, James L. Ehernberger, 
and Lucille Dumbrill 


Book Reviews 

Edited by Carl Hallberg 38 

Recent Acquisitions in the Hebard Collection, 
UW Libraries 

Compiled byTamsen L. Hert 39 

Index 40 

Wyoming Picture Inside back cover 

Annals ofWyoming: The Wyoming History Journal is published quarterly by the Wyoming State Historical Society in association 
with the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the American Heritage Center, and the Department 
of History, University of Wyoming. The journal was previously published as the Quarterly Bulletin (1923-1923). Annals of 
Wyoming (1925-1993). Wyoming 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 distributed as a benefit of membership to all 
societ)' members. Membership dues are: single. $20; joint, $30; student (under 21), $1S. 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 Annals of Wyoming are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. 

Inquiries about membership, mailing, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to Judy West. Coordinator, 
Wyoming State Historical Society. PMB# 184, 1740H Del! Range Blvd., Cheyenne WY 82009-4945. Editorial correspon- 
dence should be addressed to the editorial office o^ Annals of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Depr. 3924. 1000 E. 
University Avenue, Laramie WY 82071. Our e-mail address is: 

Copyright 2004, Wyoming State Historical Society 

Printed by Pioneer Printing. Che\'enne 
Graphic Design. Vicki Schuster 

ISSN: 1086-7368 

2 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

"The Worst Campaign I Ever Experienced": 


- ■ W W ."'-.,, ■■ ■ ■- " .' ~ ' ' ■-■■■:■■■ 

Sergeant John Zimmerman's Memoir 
of the Great Siou:: War 

Edited by Paul L. Hedren 

Fort Fetterman on the North Platte River functioned as a gateway tunneling troops and materiel to Brigadier General 
George Crook's successive campaigns against Sioux and Northern Cheyenne tribesmen in 1876-77. This late-1876 
scene post-dates Sergeant John Zimmerman's passing of the post, but the attendant bustle remained constant 
throughout the year D.S.Mitchell photo, courtesy Larry Ness. Yankton. South Dakota. 

Zimmerman was 
among those 
ushered to the 
front as the United 
States Army 
reinforced itself in 
the wake of 
George Armstrong 
Custer's defeat in 
the Battle of the 
Little Big Horn 
River, Montana, on 
June 25-26,1876. 

Shelved among the collections of the Wyoming State Archives is an untitled, 
unheralded, thirty-page holograph by J. K. Zimmerman relating his experiences 
with Brigadier General George Crook in the 1876 summer campaign against the 
Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians. Zimmerman, then a corporal in Company 
I, Fourteenth U. S. Infantry, was among those ushered to the front as the United 
States Army reinforced itself in the wake of George Armstrong Custer's defeat 
in the Batde of the Litde Big Horn River, Montana, on June 25-26,1876. A 
sizeable command of infantry and cavalry commanded by Crook had already 
engaged many of those same Indians in the Battle ol Rosebud Creek, just days 
before Custer's demise. Although claiming a victory. Crook retired to the security 
of a camp along Goose Creek, Wyoming, where Sheridan is today, to await 
reinforcements and resupply. 

Zimmerman's company was then stationed at Camp Douglas, Utah, but the 
thirty-four-year-old soldier was not with his outfit when it was called to the front. 
Instead, the corporal was on detached service escorting a prisoner to New York, 
likely to the Bloomingdale Asylum in New York City. Upon learning from a 
newscrier of Custer's death, he hastened to return to his company. In Omaha he 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

was permitted to attach to some 250 recruits bound 
from the Cheyenne Depot to Crook's Big Horn and 
Yellowstone Expedition. Supplies and rations were 
also headed to the campaign, and the Cheyenne Depot 
commander, in turn, put Zimmerman in charge as 
freight traveled west to Medicine Bow and north to 
Fort Fetterman. He apparently rejoined his outfit at 
Fetterman, the forty men of Company I under 
command of First Lieutenant Frank Taylor having 
only recently arrived from Utah. 

John K. Zimmerman's history before enlisting in 
the Regular Army is sketchy. He hailed from 
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in the southeast 
corner of the state near Philadelphia, and identified 
himself as a farmer when joining in Cincinnati on 
March 25, 1871. He was twenty-nine years old, which 
is quite a bit older on average than typical first-time 
enlistees. Perhaps Zimmerman was escaping the toil 
of the farm. There is no ready indication of service 
during the Civil War, though he was certainly of age 
and did mention a Civil War episode in his memoir. 
His enlisting officer. Captain Daniel Benham of the 
Seventh Infantry, noted Zimmerman's blue eyes, light 
hair, fair complexion, and five-foot six and one-quarter 
inch frame. He was soon assigned to Company I, 
Fourteenth Infantry, then stationed at Fort Laramie, 

Zimmerman was discharged from this five-year 
enlistment on March 25, 1876, at Camp Douglas, 
upon the conventional expiration of service, but he 
reenlisted the very next day. Prompt, unhesitant 
reenlistments became Zimmerman's hallmark that he 
repeated several times again. Although his company 
was not among those ushered initially to the front as 
the army commenced its war against the Sioux, when 
the soldiers led by Crook and Brigadier General Alfred 
Terry faltered in mid- 1876, their commander. 
Lieutenant General Philip Sheridan, detailed 
increasing numbers to the field, ultimately depleting 
the garrisons at distant posts like Fort Bridger and 
Camp Douglas. Men like Zimmerman were not 
particularly conscious of the reasons for waging this 
war against the northern tribesmen, but by then many 
of these latecomers thought it had much to do with 
avenging Custer. 

Though we know very little about Zimmerman's 

life before the army, he was motivated some ten years 
after his service in the Great Sioux War to pen this 
compelling memoir. In it we learn a bit more about 
the writer. Clearly Zimmerman was an erudite man. 
His long, continuous narrative is thoughtful, 
reflective, and insightful, his spellings precise, and 
his penmanship clear and exact. And Zimmerman was 
a trustworthy soldier. He was appointed corporal 
shortly after reenlisting in 1876 and exercised personal 
initiative when escorting the prisoner from Utah to 
New York. Foolish soldiers were not entrusted with 
independent cross-country adventures. Nor were they 
charged with shepherding field-bound supplies from 
a railroad depot to the war front. 

Zimmerman's memoir is interestingly 
circumspect. He deliberately focused on the personal 
hardships he and fellow doughboys and troopers 
endured, and readers today intuitively feel the heat, 
wet, cold, and hunger engulfing the men on Crook's 
late summer march from the Yellowstone River in 
Montana, eastward across the Little Missouri badlands 
in Dakota, and then southward across interminable 
prairie en route to the Black Hills. He provided few 
names, mentioning Crook and Custer in passing, but 
not his commanding officer, first sergeant, any of his 
close comrades, or the occasional foil dotting his story, 
like the sentry frightened by the coyote and the courier 
who guided the men to camp one night during the 
horrendous starvation march. Mostly, Zimmerman 
wanted to report a personal tale of perseverance and 
survival, and of having participated in the great 
campaign against the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne 
in 1876. His was a commoner's perspective, to be 
sure, scored by intense personal privation, day-to-day 
toil on a monotonous trail, the joy of discovering and 
eating wild plums when rations were short, and the 
melancholy of burying fallen comrades killed in the 
fight at Slim Buttes, Dakota. This is unvarnished 
history, and a tale of valor well worth remembering. 

John Zimmerman probably never imagined that 
his memoir would one day be published. We do not 
know his motive for writing this story, aside from a 
presumed self-interest, and this editor has discovered 
no prior outlet for it. With a fluid, almost stream-of- 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

consciousness quality, Zimmerman's manuscript 
evinces no effort at regularizing punctuation or 
correcting infrequent misspellings. Zimmerman did 
separate thoughts into paragraphs but frequently ran 
sentences together, separated only by commas. Any 
editor in his day would have corrected these matters 
of convention. This editor elected to exercise a light 
hand, regularizing Zimmerman's punctuation and 
capitalization and correcting his misspellings, but 
otherwise retaining the other hallmarks of this 
extraordinary composition, as he wrote it. 

No one who has always had their wants supplied, 
such as the necessaries of life, do not know the misery 
that is passed through in being without food a few 
days. It was sixteen years ago in September last since 
I was eating apple dumplings at Grand Pas. I have 
not had any since that time, only what I have made 
myself On several times I have been off on duty 
alone or in small parties, then if chance afforded an 
opportunity I usually had a good old time with apple 
dumplings, if not with real green apples with Aldens 
evaporated apples, something that is furnished by 
Uncle Sam, somewhat the same as dried apples. No 
one who has never experienced the pangs of hunger, 
have an idea what a delightful sensation it is to dream 
or even think of eating some delicacy. The 
imagination seems to relieve the knawings of the 
stomach. I will give a little experience of my own ten 
years ago. 

I was on detached service in 1876 (which is being 
away from the company alone or in small parties) being 
sent east with a prisoner. Starting back, I left New 
York on the fifth of July, the same night I arrived at 
Washington, D.C., purposing to stop over a few days. 
As soon as I landed at the Depot I heard the Newsboy 
cry "Gen Custer and his command killed by Indians 
under Sitting Bull. " This was enough. Soon as I heard 
it I knew that our company would be there as soon as 
they could, having been ordered to be in readiness 
for sometime. 

I immediately proceeded west on the Baltimore 
and Ohio railroad. Arriving at Omaha I reported for 
duty, wishing to be sent to the Big Horn Mountains 
to join the command but was told it was impossible, 

as the country was full of Indians on the warpath, 
and no communications with the front. I found out 
that a body of two hundred and fifty recruits would 
start in a few days to fill up all the companies on the 
trail. I requested to be sent with them, which was 
granted. Everything was being got in readiness at 
Cheyenne Depot, Wyoming Territory. 

Four car loads of horses, mules, wagons and 
rations were started on the U.P. railroad for Medicine 
Bow, ten hours run from Cheyenne. I was placed in 
charge of all this Government property and rations 
on the train, proceeded immediately, with the 
understanding that the Soldiers (recruits) would 
follow on the next train and reach Medicine Bow as 
soon as I would, but detentions of various kinds 
delayed the train with recruits for two days and nights. 
As the train on which I was ran into the station, the 
people refused to think that they were going to be 
reinforced as the country was full of Indians and the 
citizens were standing guard at night. 

When they found out that the troops would not 
arrive until night, they were much afraid of a 
massacre. For two days and nights they were still in 
suspense, waiting, watching, and wishing for the 
delayed train. Every night until the recruits came they 
were under arms. As the train hove in sight for a 
certainty it brought relief to many a family who 
oftentimes before had seen Indians on the hill tops 
about town, ready to pounce down upon them at any 

After unloading the cars then came a trying time 
for the recruit horseman, the trying time for the poor 
rider, many of them never having rode a horse before, 
the horses many of them having no person on their 
backs before. It was a pitiable sight to see the many 
mishaps that befell them. You could see guns, hats, 
caps, and blankets strewn along the road. Even the 
men themselves were often thrown off and the horse 
went scampering over the prairie, some of the old 
hands would have to catch him again. The first night's 
camp was a new era in many of their lives. Each man 
was issued his days rations which was to last till the 
next night. Many of them could eat it up in one meal, 
if very hungry, and thought it very queer that they 
could not get as much as they wanted, many of them 
being used to going to the cupboard at home at any 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

time for a lunch. After eating their supper, then to 
bed sleeping under one blanket or a double up with 
two or three oi them, no root overhead except the 
sky, probably before morning would be raining hard. 
No matter what weather, all must be up early enough 
to be marching by daylight, feeding their horses before 
their own breakfast. 

Five days marching brought us to Fort Fetterman, 
Wyo. Territory. Then came a trying time for all of us, 
in crossing the North Platte River. It was very high 
for the season, occasioned by so much rain, which 
was rather unusual so late in the spring. Each man 
must ride his own over, no matter how deep, and in 
absence of ferry boats, all the wagons must cross in 
the water. Often the horses would drift down stream 
a mile or more, the wagons would sometimes turn 
over, baggage and all going down stream losing a 
portion of it. 

This crossing of the river was mostly after dark. 
Once safely over all had to prepare to move by 
daylight (about 3.30) hardly any one getting any sleep. 

From this forward all the new hands were drilled 
tolerably well in the misfortunes of camp life. Things 
began to look more cheerful. Otir way from this on, 
had to be felt by day and night by an advance guard 
of Cavalry, looking for Indian signs. Every night camp 
was about on the same footing, little sleep, bad water 
(alkali, saltish) being distasteful to any one even those 
who were used to it. 

We spent several days marching through a country, 
black from the grass being burned by the Indians on 
purpose to starve our animals, but as long as we had 
wagons with us we had a supply of oats and corn. 
We arrived at our intended camp one night, and found 
it already occupied by whom we did not know. To 
make sure everything was put in order for safety or 
fight as the case might be, a bugler was ordered to 
the front to blow officers call, and if answered by 
them we would know they were friends not foe. It 
was answered immediately and we knew we were in 
safety. It was General Merritt's command of the Fifth 
U.S. Cavalry, en route to join Gen. Crook's command 

North-central Wyoming's placid Powder River country witnessed a flurry of campaign action in 1876 as troops commanded 
by General Crook traversed these rolling plains on three separate occasions^ and supply and hospital wagons traversed it 
many times more. Photo courtesy the author 

Annals of Wyominc]: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

in the Big Horn Mountains, the same as our 
destination. We were with a large command now, and 
we did not hope to catch up with them, as we 
expected them far in advance, but they had a brush 
with the redskins, and were delayed a day or two in 

Three more days marching brought us to the large 
waiting command of Gen. Crook, at the foot of the 
Big Horn Mountains, and the combined forces now 
numbering over two thousand men, about half each, 
cavalry and infantry. We were now close to the 
mountains, the water was clear and pure soft as spring 
water. We lay over one day getting ready to take the 
trail after the Indians that had massacred Gen. Custer 
and command. It was now five weeks since the terrible 
battle was fought, and no white man had been to the 
battle ground since to bury the slain. For this reason 
no time was to be lost in getting ready for the start. 
On the fourth of August 1876 we started on our 
memorable journey with rations for fifteen days, 
taking with us for each man, one blanket, one 
overcoat. All wagons, spare bedding, extra horses and 
mules were sent back toward Fort Fetterman. 
Cavalrymen kept their horses, Infantry on foot. All 
mules taken with us, were used to carry rations and 
our blankets and overcoats, carrying them during the 
day and giving them to us at night to sleep under. 

Each man was issued his days rations separately 
every night as follows, three tablespoonful of ground 
coffee, three tablespoonsful sugar, three of Beans or 
rice, twelve crackers (four inches square), twelve 
ounces of bacon. This was a full days ration for one 
man, and is the field or campaign ration. The man 
may eat it up all at one meal or make two or three fit, 
as it suits him best, many could eat it up at once, and 
more too. Each man had one quart cup, no other 
cooking utensil. He toasted his bacon or ate it raw, 
boiled his coffee in the cup and drank it from the 
same, making it strong or weak as far as the coffee 
would go. The first days march after leaving our spare 
bedding and supplies we had to cross the Tongue 
River, as many as sixteen or seventeen times. The 
river winds through the mountains like a snake, very 
deep in the spring, but low in summer, only three or 
four feet deep at that time and about one hundred 
yards wide. The river runs through great cuts in the 

mountains, steep and high, impossible to climb, 
beside this was the Indian trail for the north country 
and the only passable route. 

The cavalry rode through the water good enough, 
but the Infantry had to march and wade right through, 
sometimes breast high other times knee deep. Our 
first crossing was thought to be our only one, as we 
had not been told of the others yet; all took off their 
shoes and stockings, after crossing put them on again 
and continue the march to the next fording place. At 
the third crossing, our feet began to get sore from the 
sharp rocks and sand. We were then told that there 
were more than a dozen such crossings before us yet 
for this day, and it would be useless to try to march 
without keeping our shoes on so after this we marched 
into the river removing nothing, and not delaying the 
march, never thinking of changing any more. 

After the last crossing (16 or 17) we went into 
camp and it was quite a relief to think that it was the 
last crossing of the Tongue River for a time at least. 
But such looking shoes and boots as most of the men 
had on was a sight, almost all of them turned down 
at the heels and run over and had to be straightened 
and dried that night that they could march in them 
next day. But while all this is going on I must not 
forget to mention that with the command were about 
two hundred friendly Indians who acted as scouts, 
and were always in advance to give us any information 
as to Indian signs, as they were all well versed in the 
lay of the country, the habits and haunts of the other 
Indians, who were on the warpath, also the crossing 
of mountains, streams, and trails generally, as to the 
best routes traveled. That day we lay in camp almost 
all day enshrouded in almost darkness, smoke from 
the burning prairies and forests together with a fog 
with no wind to move it from the valley between the 
mountains, or drive it away. At any moment we were 
liable to be drawn into ambush by the Indians as they 
were not far away. In the afternoon the weather 
cleared up and we marched until the middle of the 
night, which brought us up to a few straggling Indians, 
were left behind the main body as decoys and spies 
for the main body in advance, but we knew they must 
be some distance ahead from appearance of the 
valley and the trail they left behind them, beating and 
pounding the grass with the many pony tracks. 

Annals of Wyoming. The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

Thousands of ponies and buffalo as they always drive are carried on the same pack unless the squaws carry 

the buffalo before them. them on their backs like a knapsack, they are then 

From this on we could see some of the effects of strapped to a board and the board is carried by the 

the fight with Custer, as the battle ground was just squaw on her back. When they stop the board is stood 

across the mountain to our left where the cavalry went up by a tree stump or rock, baby's head upward, 

next day and buried the slain, which was over two Following them a few days further we came to a 

hundred and fifty officers and men. The Indians left halt one day, seeing the hills full of Indians on our 

many graves by the wayside. When they buried a front, and seemed as if they were in line of battle, 

brave they roll him up in a blanket and place him in a The scouts soon reported them Indians but could not 

tree top and tie his pony at the foot of the tree until say if friendly, but it soon turned out that they were 

he starves. His war implements are placed in the the advance guard of Gen. Terry's, who was coming 

blanket with him, the pony is for his use in the happy from the North to meet us and hoped to catch the 

hunting grounds, as well as his war implements, and Indians in this valley, the Rosebud (thickly studded 

show the great spirit what a warrior he was; he cuts with wild rose bushes). He came down from the 

notches in his bow or gun stock one for every one he Yellowstone River, at which place he had landed from 

has slain of his enemies. Government boats. The Indians were a little too sharp 

Next night we came to the great Indian Camp, for us and slipped away. The wiley old chief Sitting 

where they had the great scalp and war dance after Bull or tin hat as we called him, was smart enough to 

the massacre of Custer and his command, and one break up his party in small bands, and struck out 

of the greatest scalp dances the Sioux ever had as toward Canada and parts of Montana and Dakota, 

they considered this battle one of their greatest making a new trip for all hands by following them in 

achievements in warfare, and thought the great spirit their wanderings. As we were just out of rations a 

was on their side. A long pole at least twenty feet division was made of Gen. Terry's supplies, and the 

high was planted in the ground and lariats (pony ropes two commands started in different directions hoping 

of raw hide) were tied at the top, and the braves to catch a few of the redskins by driving them back 

would run the ends of these ropes through their to their reservations, or by destroying their food and 

breasts; by cutting loose part of the flesh with a knife, supplies. But as it will appear hereafter we were nearly 

then run and jump round the pole, until exhausted or driven to the wall ourselves by starvation and 

the flesh breaks away. He was then considered a excessive marching and would have been unfit for 

warrior. any engagement during the last few days of our 

Terrible barbarous — but mostly done in scalp and campaign, 

war dances, other braves would then take their places At this time we were on the Yellowstone River 

at the same feat - other braves would keep up an near the mouth of the Powder River and it was raining 

irregular dance and howl, the medicine men would hard all the time. The marching was miserable on 

beat on the Tom Tom, a sort of rawhide drum, the account of mud. One night on the Yellowstone I will 

squaws keeping up large fires: this sort of performance never forget as it was a continual pour all night, and 

going on till the break of day. From this on the Indians not the least shelter for any one. The picket line had 

seemed to be in haste to get away. We saw tepee poles to be kept up and I was on picket with a squad of 

thrown away and such other articles as would be an four men about five hundred yards from camp. All of 

encumbrance in a long march. An Indian and his us except one would sit together on some brush or 

family carry everything they have on poles each side rocks while the other would be out further to the front 

of a pony, the two ends dragging the ground thus the on watch, the rain wetting us through and through, 

pack is put on the poles behind the pony, tied with About midnight a coyote (small wolf) gave one awful 

rawhide both to the poles and the poles to the pony, screech, which always sounds like a hundred of them 

two ends dragging the ground. The poles are for their together but they are harmless, but a terror to any 

tepee (tent) when in camp. Their papooses (babies) one who is not used to them. Suddenly a sentry (a 

8 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

recruit) came bounding in upon us almost frightened soon as possible as the village must be charged, there 

to death with the cry that the Indians were there, but being a good supply of wild meats, which would help 

all the others knew what was the matter and had a our command a few days further on. We hastened 

s;ood laugh at his expense. We could not get him to forward as fast as possible and in three hours we saw 

venture to the front again, alone, that night, and he the small party of cavalry all surrounded by Indians, 

will never forget it. as they had already run the Indians out of camp and 

Breaking camp at this place we had to cross the were holding them at bay with considerable loss to 

Powder River, and it was very swift and deep Irom so both sides. 

much rain. It was up to our breast and had to be As our whole command came in sight the Indians 

waded, some of them losing their guns, and fell back to the hills (except a few who were in a 

ammunition, by falling or slipping, on the smooth ravine surrounded) waiting and watching our 

rocks. Every one had to carry one hundred rounds of movements, and kept up a continuous fire all the time, 

ammunition, and it was no small weight, with our This made no difference. We were in their camp in a 

other traps; and was very cumbersome in struggling hurry, and among their tents and tepees, bullets flying 

in the water. For about ten days after this we had the all around, but no one was paying any attention to 

best time on the whole trip as the weather was good this until we had something to eat. Afterward the 

and we had a moderate supply of provisions, no Indians were taken care of in this manner, their bullets 

Indians molested us. During part ol the time we had caused considerable damage among the Soldiers, 

passed through what is called the petrified country especially from those who were found in the small 

as all the wood, shells, bones, and many other things ravine, so a bold charge was made on their place of 

turned to stone; there were no trees to be seen concealment by a thousand rifles brought to bear on 

standing or alive but the ground was strewn with their hiding place. 

petrified wood, even a few logs were turned to stone, Soon the havoc was complete. The few remaining 

which must have lain on the ground for hundreds of Indians alive surrendered to us with several squaws 

years. A little further on we came to quite a forest of and papooses. They held up a white flag and sent an 

wild plum trees, and all being loaded with fruit, many old squaw to parley with us and this stopped the fire 

of them ripe, and good to eat, and we had a great for awhile. Then the bucks tried to slip away from us. 

feast of them. Shortly after this came the This exasperated the scouts so much that they jumped 

commencement of our hard times, as we were right in among them, commencing to scalp them, 

notified that our rations were running short, and must flinging the scalp high in the air, hooting and howling, 

expect to live on half rations and probably less in a This was the only time I ever saw any scalping done 

few days. A few days of short rations soon whets up by any one. Indian upon Indian was the real boisterous 

the appetite and even the miserable quid of tobacco sr}'le. They were soon forced to surrender and come 

was quite a solace to many a soldier on the march as out ol their concealment giving up their guns, many 

money was more plentiful than tobacco or food. It ot them wounded that had to be carried out and laid 

was a common thing for one soldier to offer another in their camp by the fire. 

twenty dollars tor a small piece of tobacco, yet this All who could walk were taken with us next day, 

would not buy it, much less any bread or crackers. those who could not were left in the old camp, with 

While marching one day after this we were robes and blankets, with provisions and shelter, with 

suddenly surprised to see a horseman at full speed a few squaws to take care of them. Nothing pleases 

coming in the distance. Our conjectures were soon the Indian so much as to scalp his enemy. He draws 

silenced by the news that a large Indian village had the long knife, give a long whoop, with one stroke 

been run into by a small body of our cavalry who the thing is done. That night we feasted on Indian 

had been sent on ahead to hurry up and forward rations dried meats, such as dried venison, Buffalo, bear and 

to us. elk, also some dried wild berries and plums cured by 

The courier was sent to ask for reinforcements as the Indians in their way. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

All such things as would be of any use to them, 
we destroyed or took with us, so that they would be 
hindered much in following us. 

All the ponies we captured we took with us. Many 
of the Indians got out of" camp in such a hurry that 
they had no pony or blanket, so we either kept them 
or destroyed them (keeping ponies, destroying 
blankets). They must then walk. 

At two o clock next morning we were aroused 
out of a sound sleep to go on the picket line, as we 
expected the Indians to return to us strong handed at 
dayHght by being reinforced from other villages up 
and down the valley and we must be prepared for 
emergencies which we were sure would come. All of 
the men except a few to take care of the sick and 
wounded and a few to guard the pack animals and 
horses went out from camp about five hundred yards 
forming a circle around camp, lay down upon our 
arms, waited for the savages and the peep of day. We 
almost felt that the Indians were there in force, but 
could not hear or see them. We were as still as mice, 
and walked stealthily so as not to move a rock or 
break a twig, and marched and waited for the fust 
streak of dawn. According to expectations, the 
moment we could see a few rods in the advance, the 
familiar crack of the rifle broke the stillness of the 
morning, telling us plainly that the Indians were there 
seeing us at a much greater distance than we coulci 
see them. Finding us well prepared they made one 
desperate charge expecting to drive us out of their 
village, but in this they were foiled. We were too strong 
for them, compelling them to fall back to the hills 
again, where they waited for reinforcements from 
other tribes in the valley, and try some other move 
on us. Now we must be up and going as we could not 
stay long under the fire of the Indians, as at any time, 
more of these villages might come to their aid. We 
would be out of food and our sick and wounded must 
be taken to a place of rest and attention. 

We could not think of leaving any of our 
command behind only the dead, and they had to be 
buried secretly and securely in this way. A large hole 
was dug in the ground right in the main trail, all of 
them laid in it, covered with their blankets, then with 
canvas filling up the hole as nearly as possible. A fire 
was then built on top of this, the ashes afterward 

scattered out about the place, all the command, horses 
and men, then marched over the spot, obliterating all 
signs of breaking the earth. Everything was made 
ready to move. After the Indians fell back to the hills 
and one side of our circle was opened out as follows 
the troops marching at a distance each side of the 
train. We had no time to loiter, our food was going to 
run short soon again, we had at least ten days march 
to communications. 

The sick and wounded were taken care of in this 
manner... the only conveyance was the horses and 
pack mules. On those they rode or were carried, since 
we had no rations, thev were used for the sick. A 
packsaddle was made somewhat like a sawbuck, thus 
by laying a blanket or two on top one could ride sort 
of comfortable. It was good for the purpose intended, 
but only a makeshift for a riding saddle, but "any port 
in a storm" it was much better than walking for a 
sick man. The wounded were carried in this way, two 
mules for one man, one in front, one behind the 

Soldiers wounded in the fight at Slim Buttes. September 9- 1 0. 1876, 
were transported to hospitals in mule-drawn litters like this. 
Photographer Stanley Morrow captured this scene in the southern 
Black Hills as Crook's command threaded its way to Camp Robinson, 
Nebraska, and Fort Laramie. Photo courtesy Larry Ness, 
Yankton. South Dakota. 

10 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

patient; two poles were tied, one on either side of 
the mules thus made fast to the mules at both ends, 
making them on a level. A blanket was then stretched 
across the center between the mules and left sag down 
a little. On this the wounded were conveyed as gently 
as possible, as we were in a very hilly country, 
sometimes straight up, sometimes down, over ditches, 
gullies, creeks, mud and slush, sometimes miring down 
the mules. It was any thing but pleasant for a wounded 


After the circle was opened out we marched in 
the same fashion all day, the sick train on the center 
between two lines of men. The rear was brought up 
by the cavalry who played a trick on the redskins after 
we left camp thus - the Indians finding that we were 
moving out came down from the hills pellmell to get 
whatever left behind, and to capture a straggler or 
two which they saw, as a few men only, were left in 
sight of them. It made them feel quite brave making 
a bold dash to take them in, but in this they were 
foiled to their regret, as a large body of cavalry had 
concealed themselves in a small ravine, and just as 
the Indians came up to it they poured a murderous 
fire into them, which completely routed them sending 
them back to the hills again. They remained there 
until every one was out of sight after this. They never 
molested us any more or even came in sight and they 
might have done us a lot of mischief had they known 
our condition. Traveling all day we came to what we 
took to be in the distance, a pretty lake of water, but 
when we went into camp we found its waters Alkali , 
the worst kind. 

This was now the commencement of the bad lands 
of Montana, bad water, no wood for fuel, but little 
grass, if we made a fire it must be of wet grass, scarce 
at that. 

Everything was black, bleak, and barren, all fiiU 
of little hillocks, as if loads of hay had been dumped 
about. Next day we came to the mountain of bones 
and shells bordering on the bad lands, which looked 
as if a mountain had been made almost of bones, all 
bleached and another of shells. From the top of these 
we could see the point of our destination, "Bald 
Mountain" of the Black Hills. "So near and yet so 
far," looked like a days march to the mountain (which 
was 1 00 miles) and yet we had to go twenty-five miles 

further. One hundred and twenty five miles to Crook 
City, edge of the Black Hills. 

We were not growing fat by any means. Our meat 
was all gone except a few strips of dried buffalo, no 
bread, no crackers, no coffee, no sugar, bacon long 
since disappeared, nothing but the water of the prairie, 
as we had any amount of rain. Bread. Bread - any 
thing would be paid for bread. Occasionally we would 
get a few wild berries, but these only whetted up the 
appetite, being very sour. 

All this time the mules and horses were falling by 
the wayside, as they had nothing to eat except a few 
blades of grass picked here and there, and but little 
time to pick it. 

The cavalry had long since ceased to ride, the 
horses could not hold themselves up much less a rider. 
We came nearer and nearer to old "Baldy," getting 
weaker and weaker. We were now within one day's 
march of it, and even more, as we were told in the 
morning that this would be a thirty mile march, and 
most of us so weak that we were hardly able to march 
at all. Up early, no breakfast, up at peep of day and 
start right on the march, no bother about cooking, 
traveling steady all day long, no rest, the ground was 
wet, better to keep moving or standing, all was water 
and mud. In the morning an old Indian said he could 
lead us in a direct route to our destination, as the day 
was cloudy any one had to go by instinct more than 
anything else, but he done it exactly as he said he 
would, telling us it was a long march for any one, but 
alone those worn out. We found out that he was right, 
it took us until after 1 2 o clock at night. 

The night was so dark you could see but little 
distance ahead, raining hard, mud under foot. This 
was more trying to the horses and mules than the 
men, as they would mire down and could not get out. 
The saddle was taken off and both left to their fate. 
The road or trail was full of horses, mules, and 
saddles, which had to be gathered up and brought in 
during the next few days. Probably a week before all 
got into camp. Men were fagged out long before night, 
and began to drop behind, others trying to give 
encouragement by saying camp might soon be at hand, 
but on and on we marched, still no signs until about 
half past eleven. A fire appeared in our front as a 
beacon to guide us onward. When we got to this fire a 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 




'^' ^mm - 

As Crook's summer campaign 
drew to a close, his troops 
subsisted on horse and mule 
flesh. Here in a posed 
reenactment for Yankton 
photographer Stanley Morrow in 
mid-September 1876. an 
infantryman dispatches an 
emaciated cavalry horse. Photo 
courtesy the W. H. Over 
Museum. Vermillion. South 

courier was stationed at it to say to us that camp was We had five miles more to travel to get to a good 

a short distance ahead. This gave renewed camp that the teams might reach us without crossing 
encouragement and all hands sent up a shout, that the river, as they were loaded down with our supplies. 

was carried back tor miles and many a man afi;erward 
said that this shout brought them into camp that night 
as they seemed to have renewed energy. Out oi a 
company oi forty men, about ten only would come 
into camp and stack arms, which was after midnight. 

The others were all along the road for ten or fiheen 
miles back. Our camp this night was only a lay down 
on the bare ground, many being too weak to look lor 
blankets and unable to carr)' them it they lound them. 
But as good luck will have it, the rain ceased and we 
had a night that was moderately cool. 

During the whole night we heard stragglers 
coming into camp, trying to find their companions. 
Our First Sergeant (who is now dead and buried at 
Washington, D.C., died while on furlough) when 
about five miles from camp, fell down and could go 
no farther. He told me that it we got to camp safe, to 
come back after him in the morning and bring him in 
dead or alive, but when we sent up the shout at the 
bacon fire, it was carried back so far, that he with 
some others made a final start, and struggled into 
camp before morning. But hundreds of them did not 
arrive until late next day, many had to be brought in 
on packmules. 

The river between us and the proposed camp was the 

Photographer Stanley Morrow documented the quartenng of a 
cavalry mount, reminiscent of Crook s infantry and cavalry troops 
butchering dozens of horses and mules during the grueling days of 
their Starvation March. Photo courtesy the author 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

Belle Fourche and as usual with other streams, high 
from incessant rains, breast deep, very swift, and many 
of" us too weak to stand against the current. A small 
stream was first crossed and it was comical to see the 
weak men tr\'ing to climb up and down the steep banks. 
After crossing the small stream, a hundred or more 
cattle were driven in sight toward our camp, a mile 
ahead of" us. This sent forth new cheers Irom all hands, 
as we knew that a good teed awaited us as the cattle 
were sent out on purpose to give us some 
encouragement, as we were told so often about rations 
being close at hand. When we came to the Belle 
Fourche, all the cavalry men were waiting there with 
their horses lor us to ride over the river as they had 
been to the new camp, and the horses had a good feed 
of oats and they looked much more able to cross a 
river than before. Each cavalryman rode one horse 
and led another over and back in the water and the 
spare horse was always rode by the Infantryman. So 

we all crossed over dry, and I doubt if all of us could 
have a waded the river safely. 

Once over we went into a beautiful camp about 
fifteen miles from Crook City, Wyoming Territory, edge 
ot the Black Hills, and a more famished lot of men I 
never saw before - save once when the Andersonville 
Georgia Prisoners were exchanged for Yankee 
prisoners in 1864 during the war of the rebellion. 

As this Indian campaign was an extreme case to 
many, being without rations so long, they did not eat 
with judgment, and many of them were the worse 
for it afterward. 

This ended the worst campaign I ever 
experienced, and the sequel to this will make as much 
of a history I have already written. Such campaigns 
do not show their effects until years afterward, and 
today out of forty men to a company, I can only find 
three that were in that long and arduous march after 
Sitting Bull or what many of them vowed there they 

Zimmerman may be visible in this infantry camp along the Belle Fourche River north of Deadwood. Photographer Morrow 
was among the early visitors to Crook's command, the soldiers having just emerged from the dreadful Starvation March and 
still showing the tatters of the campaign trail. Photo courtesy the W. H. Over Museum, Vermillion, South Dakota. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


would never be caught in another campaign. 

John Zimmerman's absorbing tale ot soldiering 
with General Crook, the Indian fight at Slim Buttes, 
and the Starvation March, clearly one of the defining 
episodes of this enduring saga, did not complete his 
service during the Great Sioux War. But it is telling 
of his psyche that he limited his memoir to that time 
between his hearing ot Custer's demise in early July 
1876, and the closure ot the Starvation March in mid- 
September. In a very real way, hearing the news ot 
Custer's death across America may have had the same 
shock value and memory impact as did the 
announcement ot the Pearl Harbor attack or 
assassination of President Kennedy among current 
generations ot Americans. So it was tor Zimmerman. 
Custer was a very visible citizen, and his death in 
Montana a cataclysmic moment. Similarly, the 
Starvation March had a distinctive, harrowing, wartime 
quality for those two thousand soldiers who endured 


"*» . * 


^^■'i'.- "^ r** . -isi *^ 

>, .-««• 

Zimmerman may also be posed in tliis camp of infantrymen seen just 
east of Custer City in tlie souttiern Black IHills in early October 1876. 
Photographer Morrow followed Crook 's men as they idled their way 
through the Black Hills, recuperating after the debilitating Stan/ation 
March. Tentage and other camp amenities had not yet been 
returned to the soldiers. Photo courtesy the author 

it, parallel with, if different in scale, the experiences of 
those combatants in the Gettysburg battle or 
Normandy landings. Despite the greater enveloping 
stories— the Civil War, World War II— singular 
moments are what most respective survivors chose to 
remember ot it all. 

Zimmerman and the men ot the Big Horn and 
Yellowstone Expedition spent nearly a month 
recuperating on a deliberately slow trek through the 
Black Hills en route to Camp Robinson, Nebraska, 
where they arrived in mid-October. The expedition 
disbanded there, but Zimmerman's company 
remained at Robinson on detached service through 
December, tending attairs at the bustling station and 
nearby Red Cloud Agency. In turn, in December, 
rather than departing tor their permanent home in 
Utah, Company I was next detailed to a six-month 
stint at the Army's single-company outpost in the 
southwestern Black Hills, Camp Mouth ot Red 
Canyon, where it guarded a treacherous stretch of 
the Cheyenne-Black Hills Road. Regrettably, 
Zimmerman did not report on these episodes, which 
to some modern historians are every bit as 
interesting— and even more unheralded— than 
Crook's summer campaign. 

Zimmerman's featured experiences may have 
amounted to the "worst campaign [he] ever 
experienced," or, tor that matter, the only genuine 
Indian campaign endured during his long service, but 
it did not sour his devotion to the United States Army 
nor the army's warm embrace of him. At age thirty- 
nine and a sergeant in 1881, he was discharged from 
Company I, Fourteenth Infantry, at Camp Douglas, 
upon expiration ot term ot service, character 
"excellent." As before, he promptly reenlisted for 
another five-year term. Zimmerman was discharged 
at Vancouver Barracks, Washington, in 1886, still a 
sergeant, and this time with a character reference 
noting "An Excellent Man." Again he reenlisted, now 
at age forty-four. During this enlistment he transferred 
to Company H, Fourteenth Infantry, and his company 
changed stations from Washington to Fort 
Leavenworth, Kansas. 

At age forty-nine, Zimmerman reenlisted one final 
time in 1891. Early in this enlistment, however, he 
exercised a unique provision available to veteran 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

soldiers when he sought and obtained an early 
discharge from the service. On July 26, 1890, the 
War Department had promulgated General Order No. 
8 1 , allowing enlisted men who had served ten years 
or more to be discharged by way of a favor, "The 
purpose being to extend all possible indulgence to 
meritorious men, especially in cases where a discharge 
would obviously be for the material benefit of the 
soldier." Zimmerman applied for such a discharge on 
September 22, 1891, declaring that he had "served 
continuously for over 20 years. My discharge," he 
wrote, "would be for the material benefit of myself, 
as my brother died recently, and I now have the 
opportunit)' of greatly improving my condition by 
going into business." 

Zimmerman's commanding officer. Captain 
Samuel McConihe, Company H, Fourteenth Infantry, 
approved and forwarded his petition, noting, "This 
soldier is not indebted to the U.S. Sergeant 
Zimmerman has been continuously in the service 
since March 25th, 1871. He has been a Sergeant since 
Nov. 1st, 1878. I have known him nearly the whole 
time of his long service. He has always been a most 
faithfiil, conscientious, prudent, sober, and deserving 
man. From my personal knowledge of his excellent 
character, and his good service which has extended 
through a period of over 20 years, I recommend that 
a discharge be given him at this time, as a favor, upon 
his own application, and for the reasons he has stated 

Zimmerman's final discharge was effected at Fort 
Leavenworth on October 7, 1891. He was given 
retained pay of $6.43, his undrawn clothing allowance 
amounting to $56.16, and accrued savings of $2,000. 
He was unmarried at the time of discharge. He applied 
for neither a Civil War nor Indian Wars pension, 
received neither Civil War nor Indian Wars campaign 
medals, and seems to have slipped into history, 
leaving only his valuable reminiscence of service 
during the Great Sioux War. 

' Zimmerman's outline of service is drawn from 
Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 
Microcopy 233; Fourteenth U. S. Infantry Muster 
Rolls, Record Group 94, Entry 53; and letters and 

orders in the Principal Record Division, Adjutant 
General's Office, Record Group 94, Entry 25, all in 
the National Archives, Washington, D.C. 

Contextually, the story of the Great Sioux War is 
best developed by Charles Robinson III in A Good 
Year to Die: The Story of the Great Sioux War (New York: 
Random House, 1995). Efforts to resupply and 
reinforce Crook's Big Horn and Yellowstone 
Expedition are discussed by Paul L. Hedren in Fort 
Laramie in 1876, Chronicle of a Frontier Post at War 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988), 
chapter 5. The movement of Crook's troops in August 
and September 1876, including the fight at Slim Buttes 
on September 9-10 and the Starvation March, is well 
told by Jerome A. Greene in Slim Buttes, 1876: An 
Episode of the Great Sioux War (Norman: University 
of Oklahoma Press, 1982). A homage to Zimmerman 
and other Regular Army enlisted combatants engaged 
in the 1876-1877 war is provided by Paul L. Hedren 
in We Trailed the Sioux: Enlisted Men Speak on Custer, 
Crook, and the Gr^^? 5/o2«c W&r (Mechanicsburg, Penn.: 
Stackpole Books, 2003). W 

Paul L. Hedren 

is the National Parl< Service's 
superintendent of Niobrara National 
Scenic River and Missouri National 
Recreational River, headquartered in 
O'Neill, Nebraska. He is the author or 
editor of seven books focused on 
the Old Army and Great Sioux War 
and a regular contributor to Western 
history journals, including Annals of 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


The Dry Fork of Brokenback Creek, looking east, as it issues from the Big Horn Mountains. Courtesy the author 

tiny outpost 
lay at the base 
of this large 
range, along 
the eastern 
rim of the Big 
Horn Basin of 

In the spring of 1902, Tom Gorman and his wife, Maggie, lived on the Dry 
Fork of Brokenback Creek, a small stream issuing out oi the Big Horn 
Mountains just a few miles north oi Ten Sleep, Wyoming. The Gormans' 
tiny outpost lay at the base oi this large mountain range, along the eastern 
rim of the Big Horn Basin ot^ northern Wyoming. Tom Gorman and Maggie 
McClellan had been married in BuHalo, on September 19, 1898, when Maggie 
was barely eighteen; Tom had been considerably older, twenty-eight.' 

What was the Gorman house was leased from a man named Ed Miller. Miller 
had moved upon the land in April 1899 and built a small log house as part of 
proving up his homestead claim.- This house, only about 430 square feet, still 
stands where it did originally, about thirty or forty feet from the stream (which 

' This article is drawn from a manuscript titled Goodbye, Judge Lynch, Hoiv Laii> and Order Came to Wyoming's Big 
Horn Basin. The University of Oklahoma Press has accepted the manuscript for publication. Records ot the 
Johnson County, Wyoming Clerk, Marriage License and Certificate of Marriage between Mr. Thomas C. 
Gorman and Miss Maggie M. McClellan; September 3, IS'^S (License) and September 19, 1898 (Filing ot 
Certificate); Book A of Marriage, page 418. The 1 900 Census, Big Horn Counrv', Wyoming, shows Maggie 
to have been born in August. 1 880. 

" National Archives and Records Administration, Homestead Proof — Testimony of Claimant by Henry E. 
Miller, Record Group 40 (records of the Bureau of Land Management), Homestead file #1288 for Henn,- 
E. Miller, Land Office at Buffalo. Wyoming, July 6, 1905. 

16 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

true to its name, usually does not flow water).' The 
house is on the floor of a small canyon so tightly tucked 
into the mountains that from the house only the interior 
of the canyon can be seen. The high peaks of the Big 
Horn Mountains, when viewed from a far distance, 
look like huge rock formations sitting atop a forested 
plateau, what John McPhee referred to as "crowns on 
tables."^ But from within the Dry Fork canyon, all 
that is lost in a reduced horizon. The floor of the 
canyon is very narrow, about two hundred feet wide, 
and it is filled with box elder, cottonwood, and 
sagebrush. When the sun lowers, the canyon becomes 
dark quickly. The house has always been off the beaten 
path, so that a visitor must divert from a county road 
and only after traveling for a mile or more into the 
mountain does the house come into view. 

In 1 900, Tom Gorman asked his younger brother, 
Jim, to come out to Wyoming from Pennsylvania.' 
This was probably a happy event; Tom had last seen 
his brother when Jim was only seventeen or eighteen. 
But this is an age when young men change quickly 
and perhaps Tom was surprised by the twenty year- 
old man who arrived in Wyoming.'' The great 
complication here was that Maggie Gorman, by 
almost all accounts, was remarkably attractive. 
Whatever there is about a woman men find appealing, 
Maggie had it. She had that elusive, ephemeral 
feminine quality that launches ships, that billions are 
spent to achieve, that most desired of human 
qualities, to be desirable. Many years after her brief 
and tragic time of infamy, people in the Ten Sleep 
country still talked about the aura of Maggie 

Jim Gorman resided with Tom and Maggie when 
they lived south of Ten Sleep on the George 
McClellan ranch and when they moved to the Ed 
Miller place north of Ten Sleep, but there were 
frequent disagreements between the brothers. In the 
fall of 1901, Tom objected to the attention his 
younger brother showed his wife, and drove Jim away 
at rifle point. ** It was not long, though, just the 
following spring, when Jim came back into the 
picture. Something drew him back to his brother's 
home, and it was probably Maggie, whether because 
of things she did, or simply because she was a "fine 




Jim returned to his brother's home, but he and 
Tom continued squabbling.'" There were later sharply 
conflicting accounts as to why and how it happened, 
but there is no question that on April 20, 1902, Jim 
killed his brother, burying a hatchet in Tom's head. 

That spring, Tom had been freighting to and from 
Casper with his partner, Fred Bader. ' ' In April, they 

' Gloria Cutt, interview by the author, February 5, 2000. Mrs. Cutt is 
a present owner of the land, who reports that the original structure, 
about which she and her husband Fred are building, measures 18 feet 
by 24 feet. In his homestead entry papers, Mr. Miller stated that the 
house was 18 by 20 feet. 

* John McPhee, Rising from the Plains (New York: Farrar, Straus and 
Giroux, 1986), p. 63. 

■■ "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Novem- 
ber 10,1902. 

° "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Novem- 
ber 10, 1902,- see also the 1900 Census, Big Horn County, Wyo- 
ming, and the marriage license referred to in footnote 1 above. 

' Bob Swander, interview by the author, June 10, 2003. Mr. Swander 
now lives in Cody, Wyoming, and is "pushing 70." He grew up and 
ranched near Ten Sleep, and recalled a discussion, which probably 
took place in the 1970s, with Jim and Topsy Bull, then an elderly 
couple who had known the Gormans. He was talking to the Bulls 
and the sub)ect of the Gorman murder came up. Topsy, a lively lady, 
stated to her husband, "Everybody thought that Maggie Gorman 
was good-looking; you didn't think so, did you?" Bob thought the 
scene was cute, as Jim Bull recognized his predicament, and just 
stopped saying anything. Bob thought that Jim probably did think 
Maggie Gorman was quite good-looking, but certainly was not going 
to declare this to his wife. 

" "A Foul Murder Unearthed," Tlie Wyoming Dispatch (Cody), June 13, 
1902; "Murder Near Hyattville," Sheridan Enterprise, June 21, 1902; 
"Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, No- 
vember 10, 1902. 

Lylas Skovgard, Basin City (Basin: Timbertrails, 1988), p. 56, quoting 
a man who watched Maggie Gorman testify. 

'" See "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, 
November 10, 1902. The accounts of local newspapers, such as 
those in Basin or Meeteetse, are, in general, not available. Fortu- 
nately, however, the Cheyenne Daily Leader printed a detailed story 
apparently taken from the Big Horn Rustler, and this is the most 
complete, and, probably the most reliable of the newspaper stories 
that appeared in 1902 regarding the first Gorman trial. In the report- 
ing on the 1909 case oi Slate v. Brink, the first case arising out of the 
Spring Creek Raid, the accounts in the Rustler were seemingly the 
most thorough and most accurate of all the many newspapers closely 
covering that event. 

" Paul Prison, Under the Ten Sleep Rim (Worland (Wyoming), Worland 
Press, 1972), p. 45; interview notes taken by prison which are in the 
author's possession; Verona Bowes, "Vigilante Vengeance, Western 
Justice Rides a Death Trail," Daring Detective, Deccember 1938, p. 28. 
This last reference is to a magazine article which is in large part a 
fictionalized version of the event, sensationalized to stress salacious 
details, but at least the article started life honestly, beginning with 
interviews of some of the participants, including Fred Bader. The 
"photograph" of Maggie Gorman in that article is clearly a construc- 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal - Winter 2004 17 

Big Horn County, Wyoming 1903 

Big Horn County as it appeared in 1903. Map courtesy tlie author 

finished a trip and Tom wanted to do some work on 
his wagons and the horses needed a rest, so Bader 
and Gorman decided not to start out again tor a 
couple oi weeks.'- There was a time, therefore, in 
which the people in the area were not particularly 
concerned at not seeing Tom. But then the neighbors 
started inquiring about him and were given 
unsatisfactory and inconsistent answers as to where 
he had gone - there were ambiguous references to 

Things came to a head when Bader went to the 
Gorman home in June to ask about Tom. The 
Germans had a little girl, probably born in late 1900.''* 
Bader described this child, saying she was "a pretty 
little golden haired girl - they named her Rose."'"* 
Almost one hundred years later one oi Bader's 
children recounted conversations with his father about 

'- Notes oi Paul Prison in the possession of the author. 

" This was addressed in many ot the contemporaneous newspaper 
reports and later writings, not always in the same manner, but consis- 
tently enough to show that nosv neighbors thought something was 
not right at the Gorman house and thev were not satished with what 
they were told. See Prison, Under the Ten Sleep Rim, p.4ti. "Murder 
Near Basin," Wyoming Derrick, June 1'1,1'^02; "Murder Near 
Hyattville," Sheridiin Enterprise, June 21, 1902; and "Jim Gorman 
Convicted, " Big Horn Count)' Neu's tind Courier. November 1, 1902. 
The problem with the text here is that there is a lot of general 
recollection, but not nearly enough contemporaneous documents, so 
the conclusions presented had to be made from a review ot all 
materials available, determining what is the most plausible, consider- 
ing internal consistenc)' and known tacts. 

'^ 1900 Census, Big Horn County, Wyoming, Ten Sleep Precinct. On 
June 10. 1900, when the 1900 census interviews were undertaken, 
Tom and Maggie Gorman reported no children, but by May 1902 a 
child is being described as "a little girl," not .is a baby and she is 

'" Interview of Fred Bader by Paul Prison. Papers ot Paul Prison in the 
possession of the author. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

this visit to the Gorman home, and the one thing he 
remembered most distinctly was his father's memory 
of how strange the httle girl was acting.'" Fred asked 
her where her father was and little Rose said something 
about "under the wagon."'" 

Of course, all ot this led to great suspicion. Bader 
and other neighbors contacted the authorities, asking 
Sheriff Dudley Hale to come out and investigate. In 
the meantime, Jim and Maggie took a wagon and a 
buggy, filled them with provisions and bedding, and 
headed north towards Montana.'* 

Hale did come to the Dry Fork of Brokenback 
Creek, tound "suspicious conditions," and traced 
Tom's body to a small washout, where it was buried 
about one hundred yards from the house, underneath 
"a thin covermg of dirt, sagebrush and stones."'" 
There had been an attempt to burn the body.'" Dr. 
Dana Carter and the Assistant County Attorney, C. 
A. Zaring, were called to the scene; an inquest was 
quickly held, with the conclusion that Tom met his 
death by murder.-' All of these events apparently 
happened in a hurry, because during this time it was 
learned that Jim and Maggie had been seen "traveling 
north."-' Deputy Frank James pursued the two 
Gormans, finding them in a camp on Dry Creek near 
Germania (now Emblem)." 

Maggie and Jim were brought back to Basin City; 
Jim was placed in the county jail and Maggie was 
kept in a private house, under guard." On June 14, 
1902, both of them appeared before F. T. Brigham, 
justice of the peace, on a charge of first degree 
murder, and both pled "not guilty." On June 16, both 
appeared before the justice of the peace again and 
they waived preliminary hearing. 

The first newspaper stories about Tom's killing 
were hardly balanced. For instance, the Cheyenne Daily 
Leader carried a "special from Cody" in which it was 
stated that "a horrible murder was committed near 
Basin, a short time since, and only became public 
yesterday. Tom Gorman, on Broken Back creek, 
about forty miles from here, discovered an intrigue 
between his wife and his younger brother, James 
Gorman. The victim endeavored to drive his brother 
away, when the pair turned upon him and killed him 
with clubs."" 

The first article that appeared in the Sheridan 

Enterprise began with unabashed editorializing: "It's 
pretty difficulty (sic) to have the mind realize that a 
wife, bound by sacred ties, and a natural brother 
would be the parties to the murdering of a husband 
and brother, but unless all the circumstances 
surrounding the taking off of Tom Gorman are at 
fault, such is the case in the latest and most cruel 
murder in Big Horn county."^" 

The article further declared that "it would appear 
that the deceased became convinced that unlawful 
relations were maintained between the guilty pair and 

■ Paris Bader, interview by author, February, 2000. 
' Paul Prison notes in author's possession. 

* "Murder Near HyattviUe," Sheridan Enterprise, June 21, 1902. The 
chronology here is a puzzle. It is not at all clear from contemporary 
reports, but it appears that it was several days later when Jim and 
Maggie Gorman were arrested. The warrant for their arrest was 
sworn out on June 7 and returned on June 13. The natural expecta- 
tion is that they would have gone directly to Montana, and it did not 
normally take several days to reach Montana from the location of 
the Gorman house. One possible reason for delay is the possibility 
that Maggie talked Jim into leaving Rose at her parents, the McClellans, 
who lived a few miles south ot Brokenback Creek. 

' "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Novem- 
ber 10, 1902; "Murder Near Hyattville," Sheridan Enterprise, June 
21, 1902. 

' "Murder Near Hyattville," Sheridan Enterprise, June 21, 1902; "Mur- 
der Near Basin," Wyoming Derrick, ]une 19, 1902. This was reported 
consistently enough that it must be credited, but the evidence at the 
trial seemed to indicate that the fire was confined to an attempt to 
conceal the burial spot. 

' Autobiography of Dr. Dana Carter, Wyoming State Archives; In 
State V. James Gorman, Big Horn County Case No. 109 (files of the 
Clerk of the District Court of Big Horn County, Wyoming), all the 
witnesses were endorsed on the Information. They were Clarence 
Day, Jake Shandy, Dick Shandy, Mike Bader, Hugh Collins, Charles 
McDonald, Mrs. Charles McDonald, G. W. Walker, Roy Grant, Ken- 
neth McClellan, Ed Mills, Jake Johnson, Arthur Ilg, and George Bull. 
Oddly, Dr. Carter is not listed, but in light of the statements in his 
autobiography, there can be no doubt he was at the Gorman place 
and helped in the search. Apparently, though. Dr. Walker later con- 
ducted examinations of the body of Tom Gorman. In Skovgard, 
Basin City, pp. 51-52, the author incorrectly states that C. A. Zaring 
was the county attorney. Though Zaring was later involved with the 
case, in 1902, the Big Horn County attorney was W. S. Collins, who 
swore out the complaint against the defendants. See Volume 1 of 
the District Court Journal, 440, files of the Clerk of the District 
Court of Big Horn County. 

' Skovgard, Basin City, p. 52.; "Black Page in Basin History, "Basin 
Republican Rustler, March 19, 1936. 

' "A Foul Murder Unearthed," Wyoming Dispatch,]\int 13, 1902; "Mur- 
der Near Hyattville," Sheridan Enterprise, June 21, 1902. 

' Skovgard, Basin City, p. 53. 

■ "Kills Brother," Cheyenne Daily Leader, June 13, 1902. 

' "Murder Near Hyattville," Sheridan Enterprise, June 21, 1902. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 19 

frequent quarrels resulted. Mrs. Gorman and James 
finally decided to commit the foul deed that ended in 
taking the life oi husband and brother, and fleeing 
together to distant parts." It closed with a startling 
pronouncement: "In addition to the above inlormation 
has been received that the little daughter of the 
mtirdered man is also missing. When the man and 
woman hurriedly left the scene ol their crime the little 
girl was taken with them btit when arrested she was 
not to be found. The fear is entertained that she was 
pushed from the wagon and drowned in the Big Horn 
River."-"'' Other newspapers picked up this theme. The 
Ndtroiia Comity Tribune went so far as to report that 
Maggie and Jim were lynched when a committee asked 
them where the child was. Supposedly, Maggie told 
this group of people that it was none of their business 
and she went on and abused the men in the group. 
Whereupon, "without hirther ceremony the couple 
were taken out and hanged."-'^ To the credit ol the 
Wyoming Dispatch, a Cody newspaper, it took the 
Natrona County Tribune to task, saying: "There has been 
no lynching, nor will there be. The child above referred 
to is with its mother, and has been all the while. It is 
strange how so many erroneous reports similar to the 
above, originate in our country. It must be that some 
newspaper correspondent is seeking notoriety."'" 

It is not clear where little Rose Gorman was at 
the time of the arrests. Perhaps she was with her 
mother "all the while," as the Wyoming Dispatch 
indicated, but none of the newspaper accounts 
mention the little girl when telling of her mother's 
arrest. Another possibility is that she had been left at 
the home of her grandparents, the McClellans. 
Wherever she was, she certainly had not been 
drowned, and later newspaper stories quietly 
mentioned the little girl being with her mother." 

Whether it was from the newspaper reports or 
general reputation, though, most of the people of 
the Big Horn Basin believed from the beginning that 
Maggie was just as guilty as Jim.'- They assumed that 
the two were lovers and that Maggie had a hand in 
her husband's death in some form.'' Tom was well- 
liked, his brother was not, and Maggie was seen as 
highly attractive. Bader seemed to express the attitude 
of the citizens of Big Horn County when he said that 
Tom was "homely, but a good hard working fellow 

and honest. Jim was good looking lazy and dishonest;" 
he further declared that Maggie was fickle and 
emotional.'' Such loaded perceptions certainly affect 
the analysis of an event and these shared observations 
could well have unfairly colored the judgment of 
Maggie's peers. Unfortunately, the historical chronicle 
is fragmented and ambiguous, making it impossible 
to know with reasonable certainty (to use an 
anomalous legal phrase) whether the community 
judgment of Maggie was based upon accurate 
perceptions or distorting stereotypes. 

Regardless of whether the people of Big Horn 
Coimty had fairly judged Jim and Maggie, the county 
attorney, Winfield Scott Collins, had to address the 
very concrete problem of prosecuting a murder. A 
trial date would not be set until October 1902, but 
much time and effort must go into preparation before 
such an event. We know that Collins was working on 
the case before September 1902, as he presented 
reqtiests for reimbursement to the Big Horn County 
Commissioners in September, asking to be paid for 
"Livery Hire" and "Horse feed & Meals" in the 
Gorman case.'^ Collins would have obtained a good 
idea of Jim's defense from a number of possible 
sources, most probably statements made by Jim at 

"Murder Near Hyattville," Sheridan Enterprise, June 21,1 902. 

' "Murder Near Hyartville," Sheridan Enterprise, June 21,1 902. 

' "Lynched at Basin," The Wyoming Dispatch, ju\y 4, 1902. 

' "Lynched at Basin, ' The Wyoming Dispatch, julyi. 1902. 

' "State Happenings," Sheridan Enterprise, November 13, 1902. 

' See Skovgard, Basin City, p. 56 

' Prison, Under the Ten Sleep Rim, p. 45; Tacetta Walker, Big Horn Basin: 
Stories of Early Days in Wy;'"""^ (Casper, 1936), pp. 230-.W 

' Inter\'iew ot Maureen Hoilcroft and Paris Bader by the aurhor, June 
1 1 , 2003. Mrs. Hoilcroh:, of Buffalo, Wyoming, is another of Fred 
Bader's children, and stated that, "Our dad said she was a good 
looking woman ' (referring to Maggie Gorman). The quotes come 
Irom Paul Prison notes ot a Fred Bader interview in the possession 
ot the author. Records trom the Wyoming Attorney General (Big 
Horn County Sheriff Prison Register, p. 6) indicate that Jim Gorman 
weighed 150 pounds, was "slender" and was 58" tall, and had red 
hair. The Verona Bowes article (see footnote 1 1 above) contains a 
photograph ot subjects identified as Jim and Tom Gorman, but this 
identification is probably wrong. The same photograph found in the 
Washakie Museum states that the two men were two brothers from 
Lost Cabin and the two men shown look very similar; certainly one 
could not be described ,is "homely" while the other is described as 
"good looking." 

' Commissioner's Journal, Big Horn Count)', Volume #1, p. 346. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winler 2004 

the time of arrest and during incarceration. By the 
time trial drew near, ColHns surely knew that Jim was 
going to claim self-delense, asserting that his brother 
attacked him and was killed when Jim defended 
himself Such a defense can be very hard to overcome 
when the only witness describing an event is the 
accused person. 

An interesting thing happened before the trial, 
however: Two attorneys, M. L. Blake of Sheridan and 
John Arnott of Basin City, were retained on behalf 
of Maggie."' There is some indication that Arnott 
had been hired back in June when arrests were first 
made.' On the other hand, not until a week before 
the trial date of October 27 did the district court 
appoint an attorney for Jim, when he announced that 
"he has no funds with which to employ counsel."-'* 
The obvious implication was that Maggie was 
unwilling to present a joint defense with Jim. 

Based on her later testimony, it is clear what 
Maggie must have told her lawyers. She told them 
she had nothing to do with the killing of her husband, 
that Jim was responsible, and that he forced her to go 
along after the killing occurred. This information was 
surely passed on to the county attorney by Maggie's 
lawyers, probably with a proposal to turn state's 

Such a proposal would have caused some very 
heavy thinking by Collins. It was clear very early that 
Maggie was not involved in the killing, but there were 
serious questions as to whether she helped plan it, or 
assisted Jim after it happened. On the other hand, if 
Maggie was a strong witness, her testimony might 
defeat any claim of self-defense by Jim. But a decision 
to allow a defendant to turn state's evidence, and 
provide a lenient deal in return, has to be made very 
cautiously. The worst thing a prosecutor can do is to 
provide leniency to the person who proves to be the 
worse actor. Thus, the worse actor escapes 
punishment, and the remaining defendant will 
probably be acquitted because less culpable. 

If Collins did his homework, he would have 
interviewed Maggie at length. There is nothing in the 
historical record to indicate that he did interview her, 
but he most probably did, and, if so, this is what she 
would have told him: Jim had lived with Tom and 
Maggie at different intervals between 1900 and 1902. 

The brothers had quarreled several times, had each 
time made peace, but during the year before her 
husband's death, Maggie felt very frightened and 
intimidated by Jim. One day she noticed her husband's 
absence and shortly thereafter saw a fire near the 
house. Then she had a conversation with Jim and he 
said he had killed Tom and buried his body nearby. 
He told Maggie that he stepped from behind a wagon 
as Tom came by and hit him with a hatchet and that 
Tom dropped without a sound. After Tom fell, Jim 
hit him again to make sure he was dead. She had not 
revealed what she knew because Jim had threatened 
to kill her and her child."*" 

Obviously, if a jury believed the testimony of 
Maggie, a self-defense claim by Jim would be out of 
the question, but it all hinged on her believability. 
The calculus of determining whether a jury will 
believe a witness is a very complicated one. Of 
course, the internal consistency of Maggie's story and 
its plausible relationship to other facts was highly 
important, but probably as important was the 
personality of the witness. Would this beautiful young 
woman charm an all-male jury, or offend them? Did 
she project integrity? Did she have the fortitude and 
intelligence to fight off the inevitable hard cross- 

The county attorney apparently found Maggie's 
story persuasive, because the decision Collins made 
was to enter into an agreement with Maggie, whereby 
the charges against her would be dismissed if she 

" Journal of the District Court, Vol. 1, Records of the Big Horn 
County Clerk of the District Court, p. 423. 

" The Justice Docket, printed at page 52 of Basin City, and which 
covers events between June 7, 1902, and June 16, 1902, lists John P. 
Arnott as employed by defendant; see also "All the World's a Stage," 
Basin Republican Rustler, March 14, 1940. 

'* Journal of the Big Horn County District Court, Vol. 1, p. 423. 

^' It was the job of Maggie's attorneys to represent her, and in criminal 
prosecutions, one o{ the most common - and effective - defenses is 
to paint one's client as "the good guy" and one or more of the co- 
detendants as "the bad guy," and offer to provide evidence support- 
ing these positions, in return for lenient treatment by the prosecu- 

^ This account directly follows the detailed description of Maggie 
Gorman's testimony in the November 10, 1902, Cheyenne Daily Leader 
("Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy"). As well, it incorporates the 
recollection of Zinny McCreery as set out by Ray Pendergraft. Ray 
Pendergraft, Washakie: A Wyoming County History (Worland, Saddle- 
bag Books, 1985), pp. 4142. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


would testify against Jim. Fhe wisdom ot that risky 
decision was soon tested. 

The cases against Jim and Maggie were set tor 
the 1902 October term of court, which meant that 
proceedings would begin the week ol Monday, 
October 20, 1902." For months, all the people 
involved in the case had been preparing tor, worrying 
about, and dreading the time ol trial, but now that 
time had arrived and lawyers, witnesses, jurors, and 
court personnel congregated in Basin City. One of 
those "court personnel" was the presiding district 
judge, Joseph L. Stotts.^^ Stotts was a man from 
Sheridan who had practiced law there before coming 
to the bench. He had served as district judge since 
1897 and his court was very active.^' Stotts had to 
travel from Sheridan to Basin, ol course; in 1902, his 
trip began trom a railroad in Sheridan, to Billings, 
Montana, and then south, continuing by rail. The 
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad had crept 
into the northern part ol the Big Horn Basin, arriving 
in Cody Irom Toluca, Montana, in November 1901 .*' 
The nearest railhead to Basin, though, was still a good 
fifty miles to the north, in Garland, and required a 
long day in a wagon or on horseback.^^ In every county 
in Wyoming, cases were set for two different dates. 

during a spring term and a hill term, an arrangement 
that accommodated the arduousness ol travel."*^' 
When Stotts arrived in Basin in October, he stayed 
there and worked through all the pending cases before 
returning to Sheridan. In present day Wyoming, terms 
are viewed as archaic relics, having little significance 
because communication and transportation are highly 
efficient, but in another day they served a very 
practical purpose. ot the Big Horn Cnuntv District Court, Vol. 1 . p. 4l ^. 

At that time. Big Horn County was part ot the Fourth Judicial 

District, which also included Sheridan County. See Wyo. R. S. 1 SOO, 

Joseph L. Stotts was appointed to the district court in 189" and 
served until January 190S. See Stiite ex rel. Burduk v. Schmtger. 17 
Wyo. 65, 76! 96 P. 238 (1908). Between 1898 and 1906, more than 
sixt)' cases ttom Judge Stotts court were appealed to the Wvommg 
Supreme Court. 

Lawrence M.Woods, Wyoming's Big Horn Basin to 1901. A Liite Fivnttfr 
(Arthur H. Clark Company, Spokane, 1997), p. 20-4. 
John W Davis, Sadie and Charlie (Worland, Washakie Publishing, 
1989), p. 14. 

The modern statute setting out terms ot court is § S-3-101, Wyo. 
Stat. Ann. (LexisNexis 2003). The applicable st.jtute in 1902 was § 
3299, Revised Statutes of Wyoming 1 899. For an interesting in 
which F". E. Enterline challenged the validity of the term statute 
(asserting that his client was improperly convicted, because the leg- 
islature had not passed any statute allowing courts to proceed), see 
Younger i: Hehn. 1 2 Wyo. 289, 75 R 443 (1904). 

The courthouse in Basin (ca. 1901). Courtesy the Wyoming State Archives. Department of State 
Parks and Cultural Resources. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

On October 20, 1902, Maggie was arraigned upon 
an information filed by Collins charging murder. She 
was present in court with her attorneys, Blake and 
Arnott, and she pled "not guilty.""' Gorman was also 
arraigned on charges of murder, and at this time two 
Sheridan attorneys were appointed for him, E. E. 
Enterline and, oddly M. L. Blake."** Blake was never a 
strong presence in the legal community in Wyoming, 
but Enterline was a major figure for more than half a 
century. In 1 892, as a young attorney in Rock Springs, 
he filed suit against the biggest corporation in the state, 
the Union Pacific Railroad, and took the case to the 
Wyoming Supreme Court. "'^ He lost that case, but 
persisted as an active and assertive attorney. During a 
span of more than fifty-five years, the name of E. E. 
Enterhne is listed more than one hundred times as 
counsel for one of the parties in a case before the 
Wyoming Supreme Court."" In 1898, he moved to 
Sheridan."' He had no way of knowing it in 1902, but 
bv 1 9 1 he would form a partnership with Joseph Stotts 
in Sheridan; Stotts was already associated with another 
lawyer, a young man named Fred Blume."' Enterline 
moved to Casper in the late 1920s and practiced law 
there until at least 1943."' 

Jim's attorneys made a motion for a separate trial, 
probably because they were aware Maggie was going 
to be assisting the state against her brother-in-law.^'' 
The first order of business in State v. James Gorman 
was the selection of a jury. In any criminal case, the 
make-up of a jury is highly important, the first step 
in a process intended to secure a conviction. Wlien 
the charge is murder (mandating a death sentence 
under Wyoming law in 1902), this beginning 
proceeding is crucial. By state statute, the chairman 
of the county commissioners, the county treasurer, 
and the county clerk were charged to meet on the 
second Monday of January of each year and make a 
list of persons to serve as trial jurors (placed in a 
series of four jury boxes); they were to select from 
the last assessment roll of the county and were to 
omit those persons "known by them to be incompetent 
or not qualified to serve as trial jurors. "^^ 

This arrangement is obviously different from the 
one used in the beginning of the twenty-first century, 
even more than may at first appear. The modern 
procedure is designed to produce a jury that is broadly 

reflective of the general make-up of the society. In 
Wyoming, in 2003, assessment rolls are not used at 
all; the jury list is prepared from voter rolls, which 
are further expanded by the use of driver's license 


The applicable statute a century ago directed that 
people were to be listed on the assessment roles who 
owned land, buildings, or personal property such as 
livestock, "carriages and vehicles," "clocks, watches, 
jewelry, gold and silver plate," furniture, musical 
instruments, farming utensils, and corporate stock.^^ 
A review of the actual rolls shows that the great 

Journal of the Big Horn Counry* District Court, Vol. 1, p. 423. 

" Journal ot the Big Horn Count)' District Court, Vol. 1, p. 423. 

" Redman v. Union Pacific Railway Co. . 3 Wyo. 678, 29 P.88 (1892). 

° When the name E. E. Enterline was entered in the author's LexisNexis 
computer research program, one hundred "hits" appeared, which 
was evidently still not the total number of times he appeared in a 
case before the Wyoming Supreme Court. Almost any case that is 
taken all the way to the Wyoming Supreme Court is considered a case 
of importance. 

' WorLind Grit, November 2, 1 909. page 2. 

' See Biyant v. Cadle. 18 Wyo. 64, 104 R 23 (1909). Any Wyoming 
lawyer will immediately recognize the name ot Fred Blume. He was 
to have a storied career as a justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court, 
generally considered the finest jurist the State of Wyoming has ever 
produced. At a time when there was very little precedent from 
Wyoming cases, Judge Blume handed down many fifty and sixry page 
opinions in which he traced a legal concept from Roman law to 
current times, and thus provided rhe srare ot Wyoming with ample 
authoriry in the areas upon which he focused. Graduates of the 
University- of Wyoming College of Law, especially in earlier years, 
srudied one Blume case after another. Probably the only jurist more 
frequently encountered was Benjamin Cardozo. For an excellent bi- 
ography of Fred Blume see Michael Golden, "The Life and Times of 
Fred H. Blume, Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Coun, Land and 
Water Law Review 27 (1995): 95. ' 

Between 1931 and 1933 he served as the President ot the Wyoming 
Bar Association. See the 2003 Wyoming State Bar Directory, p. 8. 
Enterline is apparently the only person to serve as presidenr of the 
Wyoming State Bar for rwo years. The case oi McKinney v. McKinney, 
59 Wyo. 204, 135 P2d 940 (1943) is apparendy the last case in 
which Enterline appeared before the Wyoming Supreme Court; he 
presented oral argument to the court. During the time Enterline was 
in Casper, he was married to Madge Enterline, who was also his legal 

'Journal of the Big Horn County District Court, Vol. 1, p. 424. 

' Revised Statutes of Wyoming 1899, §§ 3345, 3346. See Gunnelland 
Elder V. State, 21 Wyo. 125. 128 R 512 (1912) at 129, wherein there 
is a reference to Chapter 80, Comp. Stat. 1910 (Section 1010). "In- 
competent" here refers to legal incompetence, meaning that a person 
is a minor or mentally impaired, but, as noted later in the text, it may 
have been applied more liberally. 

'§ 1-1 1-106, Wyo. Stat. Ann. (LexisNexis 2001); SuZanne Whitlock, 
Clerk of the District Court for Washakie County, Wyoming, inter- 
view by the author, June 10, 2002. 

" See Revised Statutes of Wyoming 1899, § 1779. 

Annals of Wyoming- The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


majority of people listed owned land and buildings, as 
well as a good amount of personal property.'" Oddly, 
at least for Wyoming, women did not serve on juries. 
At first, when women were granted suffrage in 
territorial Wyoming, they did serve on luries, but this 
practice had died out."" 

The panel that was to hear the case against Jim 
had been selected just a few days prior to the 
beginning of the trial."" At first, twenty-four names 
were drawn. All were not available so that more 
names had to be drawn, which finally resulted in a 
panel consisting of twenty-five jurors, from residences 
that seemed to be evenly distributed around the Big 
Horn Basin: C. C. Smith of Shell, T. T. Nelson of 
Hyattville, G. W Bryant of Burlington, E. M. llg of 
Hyattville, W L. Shafer of Jordan, Leonard Short of 
Embar, C. C. Ellis of Basin, Robert Frame of 
Bonanza, Olan Crandall of Cloverly, W }. Chapman 
of Cody, W B. Curtis of Jordan, William Peper of 
Germania, C. H. Watson of Sunshine, B. }. Neiber of 
Thermopolis, C. F. Manning of Meeteetse, Cornelius 
Workman of Lovell, W E. Beck of Fenton, F. A. 
Whitney of Meeteetse, S. A. Watkins of Cody, A. J. 
Martin of Marquette, Milo Burke of Ten Sleep, A. J. 
Erickson of Burlington, John B. Gleaver of Meeteetse, 
Dave Jimmerfield of Fenton, and W W Leavitt of 

We can place these men in an accurate social 
context, because the 1900 census had just been 
completed, eighteen of them appear in the census, 
and there is information available for another one."" 
A clear, and not surprising, model appears: Of these 
nineteen men, nine were married, with children, and 
they owned their own farms (ranches) and homes free 
and clear. Another three exactly meet this model, 
except that the couples had no children. Further, 
Neiber probably matched the model and Burke 
certainly did, except that he owed money against his 
land.""* C. C. Ellis fit, except, as a painter, he did not 
own a farm. The remaining four men were single, but 
were substantial property owners."'' 

This twenty-five man panel did not look like most 
of the rest of the people in the county. It could fairly 
be called a collection of patriarchs, successful men 
who were leaders in the society. While almost three- 
quarters of the panel members were married, within 

Big Horn County less than half that percentage of 
men were married."-^ And while fewer than half of 
the men in the census owned real property, only two 
of the nineteen panel members did not. Further, 
the census forms show that among the two 
occupations listed most frequently ("farmers" and 
"farm laborers" - more than 90 percent in many 
precincts), around twice as many men are listed as 
farm laborers than are listed as farmers, and yet only 
one in our nineteen lists his occupation as "farm 
laborer.""" Not one juror is an example of the most 
common kind of man found in the Big Horn Basin, 
the lone cowboy who eked out a living while working 
as a hand for different ranching outfits. That is the 
clear consequence of the Wyoming law in 1902, 
which provided for jurors to be selected from a list 
prepared by the county assessor. The Wyoming 
Supreme Court did not shrink from this 
consequence, but declared that "it is a necessary 
qualification of a juryman that he must have been 

" Big Horn County, Wyoming, 1903 Assessment Tax Role, tound in 
the office ot the Big Horn County Treasurer, Big Horn County 
Courthouse, Basin, Wyoming. 

'" T. A. Larson, Hnlory of Wyoming (Lincoln: The LIniversiry ot Ne- 
braska Press, l''b5), pp. 84-85. One can specuLite at length why this 
would be so, ranging from stated preferences by women called to |ury 
duty because ot domestic responsibihties to simple sexual prejudice. 

''° Journal of the Big Horn County District Court, Vol. 1, p. 414. 

"' Journal of the Big Horn County District Court, Vol. 1, pp. 432^37. 

"^ The men not appearing on the Big Horn County 1900 census are 
G. W. Bryant, E. M. llg, B.J. Neiber, Robert Frame, W.J. Chapman, 
Olan Crandall, and Cornelius Workman. There is information 
available about B.J. Neiber, who was the pioneer ancestor of an old 
Worland family. See John W. Davis, Worland Before H^r/irW ( North- 
ern Wyoming Daily News, Worland, 1987), p. 4. There is also infor- 
mation available regarding Cornelius Workman, whose grandson 
Preston is retired and living in Lovell, but Workman has not been 
considered in this group of nineteen. 

"' Since census information is not available for Neiber, it is not known 
whether he owned his land tree and clear. Too, he and his wife, 
Mary, had two children when he died in 1906, but it is not clear 
whether either had been born by 1902. See Davis, Worland Before 

"* W E. Beck was the son of a prosperous man from Fenton, William 
Beck, and apparently owned livestock. Manning owned his own 
home and Watson owned his own home and farm. W. W. Leavitt 
owned his own farm and home free and clear. It is not clear whether 
Cornelius Workman's holdings extended to real property in 1902, 
but they certainly did later. 1900 Census, Big Horn County, Wyo- 

"' According to the 1900 Census, ot the approximately 3100 men in 
the Big Horn Basin, about ttOO were married, or about 35%. 

" 1900 Census, Big Horn County, Wyoming, Meeteetse Precinct. C. F. 
Manning is listed as a "farm laborer." 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

assessed upon the last assessment role of the county, 
and no authority is conferred upon the jury 
commissioners to make a jury hst except from the 
assessment roll.""' 

Though the use ot assessment rolls as the base 
for selectmg a jury assured that any jury would be 
atypical, the selected jurors so closely follow a model, 
that one suspects the overseeing officials exercised a 
further role, informally excluding those who might 
not have been viewed as sufficiently responsible. If 
this was the case, it would not be a shock, because in 
1902 a great many of the citizens of the Big Horn 
Basin were very concerned about suppressing 
lawbreakers and would welcome a jury of stern 
patriarchs. And if such a process did take place, it 
would not have been done because of a 
Machiavellian impulse to manipulate justice, but as 
an expression of an unspoken ethic that was widely 
shared by the great majority of the population, and 
probably not even perceived as unusual. Indeed, 
when the defense started exercising challenges to the 
panel, they showed that their primary concern was 
not the apparent austere make-up ot the jury, but 
more mundane considerations. 

The first step taken was the drawing of twelve 
names, followed by examination of the prospective 
jurors by the attorneys to see if there were 
demonstrable grounds for disqualification, referred 
to as "cause.""** A man from Bonanza was challenged 
for cause and excused, though the record does not 
reveal the basis for the cause."' Bonanza is only about 
fifteen miles down the Nowood River from Broken 
Back Creek, and so perhaps this man had some 
personal involvement in the case. Other prospective 
jurors were challenged for cause, though again, there 
is nothing in the record to indicate why.'" The Big 
Horn Basin, with a population of about five thousand, 
was a small community and, frequently, people 
associated with the prosecution or defense would 
have a great deal of first-hand knowledge of the 
jurors. It was a social society; people did not huddle 
in their homes watching television. On Sunday 
afternoons, the favorite pastime was to go to other 
people's homes and visit, and more often than not, 
talk about other people they knew. Social events, such 
as dances, were central events in their lives. All the 

local newspapers from that time are filled with short 
notes about all the visits everyone was making with 
everyone else. A prosecutor would have the advantage 
of a network of informants, county employees, 
sheriffs and deputies and their families, who would 
report back about jurors, telling what kind of men 
they were, what kind of associations they had and, 
frequently, what comments they may have made 
about a case. The defense would also have its sources 
from employees, friends, and relatives of the 
attorneys. Both sets of attorneys took ready advantage 
of this kind of information. 

After the challenges for cause were completed, 
peremptory challenges began, challenges not requiring 
the announcement of any reason for disqualification. 
The state had ten challenges and the defendant 
twelve. '' The state, however, used none of its 
challenges. Not so the defense, which used all but three 
of Its challenges.'^ Peremptory challenges flow from a 

" Stall- V. Bolln, 10 Wyo. 439, 470, 70 P. 7 (1902). 

"* They were C. C. Smith, C. F. Manning, Robert Frame, B. J. Neiber, 
G. W. Bryant, C. C. Elhs, W. B. Curtis, John B. Gieaver, Cornelius 
Workman, W, L. Shafer, William Peper, and A. J. Martin. See the 
Big Horn County District Court Journal, Vol. I, p. 440. 

"' W. L. Shaffer, who was replaced by Leonard Short; D. Ct. Journal, p. 

™ These include Milo Burke and E. M. llg, D. Ct. Journal, p. 441. C. 
H. Watson replaced Burk and W. E. Beck replaced llg. llg was 
apparently related to one of the listed witnesses on behalf of the 
state against Jim Gorman, Arthur llg. Information Verified by 
Witnesses, Big Horn County, Wyoming District Court Case No. 

'' D. Ct. Journal, p. 443. 

'- The District Court Journal, Vol. 1, shows the following, pp. 441-442: 
after the state waived its first challenge, the defense peremptorily 
challenged W. B. Curtis of Alamo. Curtis was replaced by F. A. 
Whitney. The prosecution kept waiving its peremptory challenges 
and the defense kept using its challenges. C. F. Manning, from 
Meeteetse, was challenged, and the defense thereby took from the 
jury the one man who identified himself as a laborer. A.J. Erickson 
was selected to replace Manning. Robert Frame of Bonanza was 
challenged by the defendant. S. A. Watkins of Cody replaced him. 
Leonard Short, from Embar, was then peremptorily challenged and 
was replaced by E. M. llg of Hyattville. As noted earlier, llg was 
challenged for cause; he was replaced by W E. Beck. The state 
waived its third peremptory challenge and the defense challenged 
C. C. Ellis, the Basin painter. T. T. Nelson was called, but found 
"not qualified." Daniel Jimmertleld of Fenton was then selected. 
A. J. Erickson from Lovell was peremptorily challenged and Olan 
Crandall from Cloverly was selected, but was soon peremptorily 
challenged by the defense. The defense peremptorily challenged B. 
J. Neiber and W W Leavitt of Shell was then selected. After Crandall 
was ousted, W J. Chapman from Cody was selected. G. W Bryant 
from Burlington was peremptorily challenged. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -• Winter 2004 


hundred sources, some very accurately directed 
at a hidden prejudice and some just whimsical. In an 
individual case, perhaps the glint in the eye oi a 
prospective juror ottended Enterline or he had heard 
a juror was a stern man, but it is impossible to know 
why any specific challenge was made. As will be seen, 
though, some general patterns did emerge. 

The state kept waiving its challenges, taking the 
consistent position that it was quite happy with the 
jury exactly as it stood at any given time. With tour 
challenges remaining, the jury boxes were exhausted. 
Whereupon, Stotts issued an "open venire" to the 
sheriff (without apparent objection by the attorneys) 
so that Hale could obtain more jurors." It sounds 
very much like the sheriff was just directed to go out 
and find six men, from wherever he could. This 
procedure sounds questionable, but "open venire" is 
addressed in several Wyoming cases, including Gnnnell 
V. State, 21 Wyo. 125, at 129, in which the Wyoming 
Supreme Court accepts the practice, it not 
enthusiastically. As late as 1979, in Peterson v. State, 
594 P.2d 978 (Wyo. 1979), an open venire was 
undertaken when a justice of the peace |ury was short 
two jurors; the Wyoming Supreme Court once again 
accepted the practice. The sheriff summoned William 
Gibson, John Larson, George Crosby, R. R. Small, 
William O'Toole, and Richard Mullen and they were 
added to the jury box. Crosby was drawn and he 
became the last juror. 

So, the jury members were C. C. Smith (Shell), 
John B. Gleaver (Meeteetse), Cornelius Workman 
(Lovell), A. J. Martin (Marquette), C. H. Watson 
(Sunshine), F. A. Whitney (Meeteetse), S. A. Watkins 
(Cody), W. E. Beck (Fenton), Dan Jimmerfield 
(Fenton), W W Leavitt (Shell), W.J. Chapman (Cody), 
and George Crosby (Lovell).^'^ Since the defense was 
the only party exercising peremptory challenges, the 
final look of the jury was very much the product of 
defense intentions. A map of the Big Horn Basin 
platting the residences of the jurors is instructive. 
Such a map shows a distinctive pattern, as if someone 
were standing at Broken Back Creek and firing a 
shotgun to the west: There are lots of little points in 
an arc a considerable distance away. It was obvious 
that the most important concern for the defense was 
to keep people off the jury who had known the 

Gormans. It seems very likely that the defense assumed 
that such people had liked Tom, disliked Jim, or liked 
Maggie. There is nothing to indicate that the defense 
was otherwise offended by this final collection of 
patriarchs. They look very much like the initial panel; 
five out of the nine about whom we know exactly fit 
the model of a married man with children, owning 
his own home and ranch free and clear.^' One of 
these five, Whitney, became the foreman of the jury. 

It did not take a long time to seat the trial jury; the 
procedure was begun the morning of October 27 and 
completed within enough time that opening statements 
(including one four hours long) were made and 
testimony begun the same day." Clarence A. Zaring, a 
Basin attorney who had been added to the prosecution 
team when Collins complained that "he is alone in this 
case and the defendant has two attorneys," gave the 
opening statement for the prosecution.^^ (Zaring was a 
young man from Indiana, who was then part of the law 
firm Collins and Zaring.^**) Enterline spoke for four 
hours on behalf of Jim.'" 

Many newspapers carried stories about the 
Gorman trial, but almost every report was cursory, at 
least with respect to the evidence presented during 
the trial. This is particularly unfortunate because no 
transcript of the trial is available nor are issues of 
the Big Horn County Rustler, the newspaper published 
in Basin and the one most likely to carry detailed 
information.*" Luckily, there is one contemporaneous 
newspaper article that reported the trial in excellent 
detail. The November 10, 1902, edition of the 
Cheyenne Daily Leader contained a story headed, "BIG 
occupied two long columns setting out the events of 
the three-day trial. It had every sign of having been 
written by a reporter who attended the trial and took 

" The District Court Journal, pp. 441-142. 

'' In addition to the District Court Journal, see the 1''03 Assessment 

Ta.x Role, p. 13. 
" Smith, Gleaver, Martin, Whitney and Jimniertield. I'lOO Census, Big 

Horn County, Wyoming. 
" D. Ct. lournal, p. 443; "Jim Gorman Convicted," 77v Big Horn 

County News and Conner (Meeteetse), November 1, 1''02. 
"D.Ct. Journal, p. 440. 
'" Skovgard, Bium City, p. 39. 
'" "Jim Gorman Convicted," 77v Big Horn County Ncu's and Conner 

(Meeteetse), November I, 1902. 
"" The Basin Republican did not begin publication until 1905. 

26 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

careful notes. Indeed, there is a good chance the 
reporter, though not identified, was someone from 
one of the local newspapers specially hired for this 

The first witness called was Sheriff Hale/''- He 
began his testimony on Monday, October 27, but it 
is not clear whether his testimony was concluded on 
Monday; a great deal of time could not have been 
spent hearing testimony that day. What is surprising 
is that all the remaining testimony in the trial was 
heard the following day, and testimony was concluded 
on that day. 

The purpose of Hale's testimony was to set the 
scene, to provide what lawyers refer to as the corpus 
delicti, proof of the fundamental fact that a crime had 
been committed. Hale used a diagram of the crime 
scene and told jurors about that spring day when he 
came to the Gorman home, learned of "certain 
suspicious conditions," and "traced the body of the 
deceased to its resting place . . ." The Cheyenne Daily 
Leader reported that Hale's testimony "was listened 
to by all in the court room with breathless 
attention. "^'' 

The second witness was even more closely 
heeded, though, as he provided sensational testimony. 
Hugh Collins testified that he had seen stv'eral 
quarrels between the Gorman brothers in which 
Maggie "interfered to prevent a tragic ending." Then 
he stated that on one occasion, apparently when he 
and Jim were walking to Basin, Gorman made some 
startling admissions. Tom had just taken a .30-30 
Winchester rifle and chased Jim away from his home. 
Collins testified that Jim told him that "he had 
enjoyed illicit relations with Mrs. Maggie Gorman for 
about two years, " that this was the reason Tom had 
got after him, and that Jim intended to return with a 
six-shooter and kill his brother.*''^ 

The Cheyenne Daily Leader reported that after 
Collin's direct testimony, "Mr. Enterline took him in 
hand for cross examination," that each of Miller's 
damaging statements was "rigidly dissected," but with 
little effect, and that, "the prosecution felt that an 
important point had been secured in establishing a 
motive for the crime."**' What should be made of this 
testimony? The prosecution had just forwarded 
evidence that on its face represented a damning 

indictment of Maggie, the most important witness for 
the prosecution, showing she had been engaged in 
adultery. The prosecution had to know, also, that 
Maggie would deny any such "illicit relations," so the 
testimony of Collins appeared to show her a liar. Yet 
the prosecution painted Collins' testimony as a great 
coup, emphasizing that it established a motive. 

These thoughts surely came to the jurors' minds 
when the prosecution presented Maggie as their next 
witness. Until the prosecution called her as a witness, 
it was not known by members of the public that she 
was turning state's evidence. The announcement that 
Maggie would testify for the prosecution "caused a 
sensation in court, as she was charged jointly with 
the defendant with the crime, for which he was on 
trial. "**^^ 

From the moment she stepped into the 
courtroom, there was no question that Maggie was 
not about to accede to the judgment of most of Big 
Horn County that she was a scarlet woman, complicit 
in the murder of her husband. At 1 1:30, the morning 
of October 28, 1902, Maggie appeared, "entirely clad 
in black, and heavily veiled." There was a brief 
skirmish in which Enterline protested the acceptance 
of evidence from her, but to no avail, and Maggie 
took the stand and began her testimony. The Cheyenne 
Daily Leader reported "she was apparently as cool and 
self possessed as any person in the courtroom. She 
took off her heavy cloak, raised her black veil, and 
looked at the jury with an air of composure."^'' 

Maggie first told how Jim had arrived in 1900, 
and stated that there had been several quarrels 

*' On other occasions, the Daily Leader also printed thorough ac- 
counts, indicating they were a "special to Daily Leader," which is 
consistent with the Cheyenne paper engaging the services of a local 
reporter. See, for example, the July 20, 1903, issue. It is not stated 
as such, but it is also possible that this story is a re-print of what 
was also published in the Big Horn County Rustler. 

*' "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Novem- 
ber 10, 1902. 

" "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Novem- 
ber 10, 1902. 

*■' "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Novem- 
ber 10, 1902. 

'* "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Novem- 
ber 10, 1902. 

" "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Novem- 
ber 10, 1902. 

" "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Independent Leader, 
November 10, 1902. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


between the brothers, but they had made peace.'*^ She 
said she first noticed her husband's absence on April 
20, 1902. The next day, when she had gone looking 
for horses in the adjacent hills, she saw some smoke. 
Shortly afterwards she had a conversation with Jim 
in which he told her he had killed her husband and 
buried him in a washout. 

The Cheyenne Daily Leader reported the dramatic 
climax of her testimony: 

She related the stor\' of the murder as it had been 
told to her with a tearful modulation ot her voice. 
"He told me," said she, "that Tom was coming 
from the corral, and that, as he came past the 
wagon, I (Jim) stepped trom behind it and hit him a 
biff with a hatchet, and that he iell like a beef 
without a kick or a groan. He said that he hit him a 
second time to make sure that he was dead. He did 
not tell me what he had done with the body," she 
continued in answer to questions, "except to say that 
he had decided not to burn it because it would cause 
too much smoke and smell, and so had buried it." 

Maggie continued and told the jury she had not 
revealed what she had learned because Jim had 
threatened to kill her and her child "if she said a word 
to anyone about the crime." In early June, she started 
to Montana with Gorman "under his threat to kill 
her if she did not." The hatchet used to commit the 
murder was shown to Maggie and she identified it.**' 

Here the Daily Leader's presentation of Maggies 
testimony stops. Unfortunately, neither the Daily 
Leader, nor any other newspaper reported Enterline's 
following cross-examination. Perhaps he chose to ask 
no questions at all, which seems highly unlikely, but 
if so, that striking moment surely would have been 
reported. The Daily Leader's article is very dainty 
regarding any references to sexual relations between 
Jim and Maggie. Besides the Collins' direct testimony, 
they report nothing regarding cross-examination on 
this subject (Enterline surely addressed it, at least 
indirectly, in his cross-examination of Collins). Nor 
does the article say anything about the prosecution's 
positions as to whether their chief witness against 
Jim was a liar and an adulteress. 

Despite the lack of assistance from the historical 
record, it is clear what the position of the prosecution 

had to be. They had to state that Collins had told the 
truth when he said Jim had declared he had "illicit 
relations" with Maggie, but that did not mean it was 
true. A lot of young men strut around and exaggerate 
their sexual conquests, especially as to an 
exceptionally attractive woman such as Maggie. The 
only thing that shows for sure is that Jim strongly 
desired Maggie, which certainly provides motive to 
kill her husband, who had driven him away under 
humiliating circumstances. 

Shortly after Maggie's testimony, the prosecution 
completed its case in chief and rested. Jim 
immediately took the stand in his own defense. His 
story, in the most important elements, was sharply 
different from Maggie's. 

Jim testified that he was born in Allegheny, 
Pennsylvania; he came to the Big Horn country in 
1900 "at the solicitation of his brother," who 
promised him a partnership in his business interests.'" 
He lived with his brother and his wife at intervals up 
to the time of the killing. He stated that he and his 
brother quarreled frequently. The first quarrel was over 
the colors of the British flag, Tom saying it was only 
red and white and Jim maintaining it was red, white. 

All of the discussion of Maggie Gorman's testimony here comes 
from the November 10, 1902, Chiycnne Dtuly Leader article. The 
author considers it the most reliable source. There are other recitals 
of Maggie Gorman's testimony found in the historical record, such 
as that found in Walker, Stones of Early Days in Wyoming pp. 230- 
33; M. B. Rhodes, The Road of Yesteryear, Annals oj Wyoming 34 
Ouly, l')52): 89; and Prison, Under the Ten Sleep Rim. pp. 45-48, but 
all are obviously reconstructions from second-hand information 
and distant memory, are replete with inaccuracies and, m the author's 
judgment, are simply not trustworthy, at least in their specifics. 
Another of these recitals, found in Gustafson, Carl Stanley, "His- 
tory of Vigilante and Mob Activity in Wyoming," Master's thesis, 
University of Wyoming, May 24, 1961, p. 49, the source of which is 
the L. L Newton Collection at the American Heritage Center in 
Laramie, has a great deal of detail, some of which may be accurate. 
There is so much of it that is clearly wrong, however, that it is hard 
to know what part is reliable. For instance, unlike what was stated 
in this version, Jim and Maggie did not pull out for Montana 
shortly after the killing. See Pendergraft, Washakie: A Wyoming 
County History, p. 42. 

"Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cbrtcnne Daily Leader, 
November 10, 1902. 

"Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, 
November 10, 1902. The entire discussion of Jim Gorman's 
testimony comes from this article. 

28 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

and blue. This disagreement escalated to the point that 
Tom ordered Jim off the place at rifle point. Jim 
testified that he later returned at his brother's request. 

Jim stated the next quarrel was caused by Maggie 
and his brother had threatened his life with a .30-30 
Winchester. He said Tom followed him out the door, 
throwing a beer bottle at him as he left, and then 
made him put down a saddle "upon peril of his life." 
Jim admitted he came to Basin on foot with Collins, 
but denied that he said anything regarding improper 
relations with Maggie or that he threatened his 
brothers life. He stayed two weeks in Basin, but then 
spent the following six weeks with Kenneth 
McClellan. Jim testified about his movements the day 
of the killing and said he returned to his brother s to 
get a horse. The Cheyenne Daily Leader reported that, 
"his testimony was given with a frankness that was 

Enterline then tossed Jim a slow and easy pitch: 
"Tell us what happened on April 20, 1902. Tell the 
story of that day to the jury." The Cheyenne Daily Leader 
reported his response in careful detail: 

"In company with my brother Tom, we began building 
a wool rack," said the witness. "We worked together 
on it tor some time and he left me and went into the 
house and stayed a long time. About 2 o'clock in the 
afternoon Tom came out where I was working, and 
asked me if I was going home. Why don't you stay 
and mart)' Anna McClellan, he said, applying an obscene 
name to her. I told him that I did not want to marry 
anyone, and that he had no business to talk about 
Maggie's sister as he did, as he had sisters at home in 
Pennsylvania. Tom got very mad and left me and went 
back to the house. I went on with my work. Shortly 
after our talk about Aina McClellan he came back, 
and grabbed a broken singletree and said to me, 'Now 
get down on your knees and say your prayers, you 

s of a b ,' and he struck me a blow on the 

side of the head which glanced over my left shoulder. 
I picked up a shovel and threw it at him. He kept on 
coming at me, hitting me all over the body with the 
singletree. In my excitement I grabbed a hatchet and 
struck him, I don't know how many times. He fell and 
I dropped the hatchet and went to the corral, intending 
to go away. Shortly after that I came back to where 
Tom lay and found he was dead. Went to the house 
and saw Mrs. Gorman; told her I had had a fight with 

Tom and killed him, and that I was going to give myself 
up. 'Don't do it,' she said, 'they'll hang us both.' She 
advised me to bury the body, which I did. I dragged it 
to the washout, laid it in, and caved the sides down for 
dirt to cover it with. Next morning, I discovered a fire 
on the grave, but I did not build it. Mrs. Gorman said 
that a fire would destroy all signs of fresh dug earth."" 

The cross-examination of Jim is not reported, but 
the response of Maggie certainly is. The trial went 
into an evening session, and at 7:30 that night, Maggie 
was recalled for rebuttal. The Cheyenne Daily Leader 
reported that, "she denied point blank several 
statements made by the defense." The exact 
statements are not identified, but can be easily inferred 
by the inconsistencies in the two versions. Maggie 
most likely denied Jim had reported a fight requiring 
self-defense, that she had told him not to give himself 
up, advised him to bury the body, or suggested a fire. 

The case resumed the next morning at 8 o'clock, 
but no further evidence was presented.'" In Wyoming, 
after the evidence is closed, the jury is first instructed 
and then arguments are given. In a first degree murder 
case, the most important instruction is a general 
verdict form which includes lesser offenses. The jury 
is told to first determine whether a defendant is guilty 
of murder in the first degree, but if they find the 
defendant not guilty of murder in the first degree, 
then to consider the lesser offense of murder in the 
second degree.'- Then if they find the defendant not 
guilty of second degree murder, they are to consider 
the lesser charge of manslaughter. This instruction 
was no doubt given in the Gorman case and is given 
today.'''* There is also little doubt that each of the 
attorneys spent a long time arguing from this 
instruction, although the contemporaneous 
newspaper articles do not provide the details of the 

'" "Big Horn Counr)''s Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, No- 
vember 10, 1902. 

''- "Big Horn County's Terrible Tragedy," Cheyenne Daily Leader, Novem- 
ber 10, 1902. 

'" 4.03A, Wyoming's Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions, Revised as of 
April, 1996. This instruction is referred to as a "lesser included 
offense instruction." See Comment, " The Lesser Included Offense Ln- 
struction. Problems With Its Use," 3 Land & Water L. Rev. 587 (1967), 
by John W. Davis. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 29 

arguments. Zaring began for the state "with a short 
address, in which he reviewed the hicts and deduced 
conchisions from them."'^ Enterhne then gave the 
principal argument on behah ot Jim, and he spoke tor 
two and one-halt hours. He was followed by Blake, 
who, in return, was followed by the prosecuting 
attorney, Collins.'"' Although we do not have a report 
of the content of the arguments, again, they can be 

The prosecution no doubt argued strongly for a 
first degree murder conviction, saying that the 
evidence showed Jim killed his brother purposely and 
with premeditated malice, as required by the fust 
degree murder statute." Jim's statements to Colhns, 
the prosecution wotdd have argued, strongly show 
he had been planning to kill his brother for months, 
and the testimon\' of Maggie shows Jim just 
ambushed his brother and, rather than acting in self- 
defense, hit him a second time to finish him off. The 
defense, on the other hand, no doubt argued that 
neither Collins nor Maggie was credible, but that Jim's 
account was believable, and that he was justified in 
using deadly force, as he reasonably believed his 
brother Tom intended to take his life or inflict great 
bodily harm upon him."*^ 

After the arguments, the jur\' was put in charge 
of the bailiff, and retired to their room for 
deliberation. All the other participants just waited. 
Time moves very slowlv for those waiting for the 
return of a jury. In State v. James Gorman, though, the 
wait was not extensive; the jury was not out long, at 
least not for a murder case. The jurors returned to 
the courtroom at 8 p. m., having deliberated for four 
and one-half hours. 

The announcement of a verdict is a formal event; 
the defendant must be present and the official 
participants in the trial, the judge, attorneys, bailiff 
and clerk of court, also appear. Jim was brought into 
the courtroom and when all the players were gathered, 
the verdict was read: 

"We the jur\' duly empanelled and sworn in the above 
entitled cause do find the defendant guilty of 

--F. A. Whitney Foreman.'"" 

Just a few days after his conviction of manslaugh- 
ter, Iim asked the district court for a new trial. The 
prosecution consented to the recjuest and a new trial 
granted. At that time, the highest appellate courts in 
eleven states had ruled that when such a request was 
made, the prosecution could not again try a defen- 
dant for first or second degree murder, because of 
double leopardy considerations. Eleven other states, 
however, had ruled that the request for a new trial 
represented a waiver of double jeopardy protection. 
When a new judge, Charles Carpenter of Laramie, 
was presented with the question in April 1903, he 
agreed with the latter group of states, and ruled the 
prosecution could proceed with a charge of first de- 
gree murder. Upon re-trial, Gorman was convicted 
of first degree murder, which then carried an auto- 
matic death penalty. 

An appeal followed, but many of the men in the 
area objected to the delays. There was talk of a 
lynching, both of Gorman and Joseph P. Walters, who 
was also in the Big Horn County jail pending an appeal 
of a murder conviction. The talk was strong enough 
that m July the sheriff took the men out of their 
cells to a place north of Basin. Gorman then escaped, 
although he was re-captured three days later. His 
escape very much excited the men who believed a 

" The Gorman file cannot be found and the instructions given to the 
jur\- are, therefore, not available, hut subsequent events show that it 
must have been given; i. e., the legal battle over the consequences of 
such an instruction. Such instructions were given to juries even in 
territorial times. See, tor example. Territory v. WHliiim Booth, Johnson 
Countv District Court Case No. 7^, found in the records ot the 
Johnson County Clerk ot the Disttict Court and h-rritory v. tlids R. 
5;h;V/', Johnson Countv D. Ct. case No. 1 l4. 

'^ Cheyenne Daily Leader, November 10, 1902. 

'"' Cheyenne Daily Leader. November 10, 1902. The newspaper article 
does not recire Collins name, but sinipK refers to "the prosecuting 
attorney," who was Wintleld Scott Collins. One would expect the 
county attorney to save for himself an important role m the final 

"" Revised Statutes of Wyoming 1899, § 49S0. 

"■^ This formulation directly follows Ron v. State. 8 Wyo. t'i 1 , 38.^, ^7 P. 
924 (1899), in which the Wyoming Supreme Court laid out clear 
rules as to when deadly force is permitted in self defense. 

"" D. Ct. Journal, p. -450. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

lynching was needed, and on July 19, 1903, a mob of eight men. The first case to be tried, however, was 
some thirty men entered the jail. They shot to death conducted in an atmosphere of intimidation and the 
Gorman, Walters, and a deputy sheriff Shortly prosecution's case fell apart. All charges were dismissed 
thereafter, Maggie received a note saying if she did not against the defendants. JjU 
leave the country, the same thing would happen to 
her. Of course, she left. The Big Horn County 
authorities attempted to prosecute members of the 
lynch mob, and even obtained indictments against 

John W. Davis 

grew up in Worland, Wyoming, and has practiced law tliere since 1973. 
He is tlie author of A Vast Amount of Trouble: A History of the Spring 
Creek Raid, published by the University Press of Colorado in 1993. Mr. 
Davis is married and he and his wife, Celia, have two sons. Their home 
is known as The Worland House. It was built originally in 1917 for Charlie 
and Sadie Worland and is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


t has been fifiy-five years sj^- 
have called "The Grea^ BE 
hit parts of Wyoming ani 
the 2003 annualmeeting Q 
State Historical Societ)! 
Ehernberger presented an i| 
ecju cational program abou^ 
|ial WSHS members afsl 
eriences with the large ieifis: 
ire the reminiscenees of Ainy 
James Ehernberger, and Luc^ 
all long-time WSHS merri^^" 
they and theii? families 1 
that blizzard ift early 1919. :«', 

Amy Lawrence 

On January 2, 1 949, my mother noted in her diary, 
"Big storm starting at noon — 40 mi. wind and snow." 
That was not unusual for that time of year in the 
Little Laramie Valley. But it kept snowing and the 
wind came up and blew and blew and by daylight the 
situation began to look serious. It was serious, tor 
this was the beginning of the infamous blizzard that 
devastated much of the West, leaving in its wake 
ranges littered with dead livestock; roads blocked by 
abandoned vehicles; trains buried in snowdrifts; a 
human toll of deaths and injuries irom frostbite and 
exhaustion and broken dreams. Cattle actually died 
standing up as the wind blew the snow under their 
hair where it melted, then froze, encasing them in an 
icy death. 

This was not just one blizzard, but a series of 
storms, one right after the other that swept the Plains 
states and kept the people reeling from one 


catastrophe to another. It was well into spring before 
things began to get back to normal and the cost 
counted. There are countless stories of hardship and 
suffering and courage during this rough time. 

My parents. Bill and Rena Lawrence, had a ranch 
on the Little Laramie River about twenty miles 
northwest of Laramie. This is their story — and mine. 
I was working in Laramie at that time. I managed to 
get to work at a garage on 2nd Street that Monday 
morning after the storm began, but it was three days 
before I could get back to my apartment on 1 8''' Street. 
Every street and intersection was clogged with stalled 
cars and snow drifts, so I bunked with friends who 
lived nearby. All I could do to help my folks at that 
point was to worry. 

Meanwhile, mom and dad, who were both m their 
sixties, were trying to cope with the possibility of 
losing our entire herd of cattle. The cattle had to be 
fed and waterholes cut for them. This was long before 

Lawrence Ranch on the Little Laramie River Courtesy Amy 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

the massive tractors with front end loaders, or four- 
wheel drive vehicles were available to the general 
public, and the efficient winter clothing we have now 
was not even imagined. Instead, dad had to resort to 
layers of "long Johns," wool shirts, jeans, and overalls, 
and topped it all off with a heavy sheepskin lined 
coat. At this point he resembled a huge, lumbering 
bear, and would probably have sold our outfit for some 
of today's insulated clothing. The hardest part was 
keeping his feet from freezing. There were wool 
socks, sheepskin liners, and over that some massive 
four-buckle overshoes. Dad was nearly six feet tall — 
with feet to match. He had to get all of that, and 
himself, on a horse, because that was the only viable 
transportation. As an experienced Wyoming cowboy, 
he had a set of extra-wide stirrups for this kind of 

This already had been a hard winter. A big snow 
storm on December 21 had clogged the roads, 
curtailing Christmas shopping and celebrations. The 
pasture we had rented was more than four miles across 
country, and otir cattle had to be fed. So on December 
18 dad had saddled up his biggest, toughest saddle 
horse, and, leading an extra horse, headed for that 
pasture, establishing a pattern that continued for 
several weeks. Some fences and roads were buried, 
but dad, with a cowboy's memory ot his landscape, 
managed to find the gates, river crossings, and bridges 
necessary to get him to the pasture in late afternoon, 
with just enough light to feed the cattle. This pasture 
had an extra bonus, small springs located in heavy 
stands of willows, which offered shelter and water 
for our cattle, and may have helped save our herd. 

Mother, of course, was left to try to cope with 
struggling out to get her chickens fed and out to the 
barn to feed a couple of young bulls we had there. 
Although dad had dug out paths, the constantly 
blowing snow usually filled them in quickly. The 
Rural Electrification Association did not reach us 
until the following summer, so we did not yet have 
electricity or running water and mother was constantly 
tormented by her worry about dad. Since the 
telephone was usually out, he could not even call to 
tell her if he had arrived safely at Uncle Jack's. 

I remember times during lesser blizzards in later 
years when dad would head out to the meadow in his 

big truck to feed the cattle. If he wasn't back by close 
to noon, all we could do was worry and pace the floor. 
There was no way we could have found him if he 
was in trouble. There were many dangers out there. 
The truck could get stuck, he could fall and break a 
leg, or he could slip and fall into the waterhole on the 
river. Wet feet meant frozen feet. These waterholes 
had to be chopped out daily and sometimes when 
the water was dammed up downstream, it would come 
up through the waterhole, creating an especially 
treacherous, slick surface. Or the snow had drifted 
in and had to be shoveled out. As the water dropped, 
and the ice and snow built up, sometimes dad would 
have to chop steps down to the water and shovel 
gravel out of the bottom to cover the ice and make it 
less treacherous for the stock. 

So there was plenty to worry about that winter 
of '49. We had our heifers in our meadow, and luckily, 
on January 5 there was a break in the storm so dad 
was able to find them just as they were beginning to 
pile up against a fence, and get them to shelter and 

Several things saved the Little Laramie 
community from an even worse disaster. Only three 
of the storms actually hit our valley, another skirted 
north of us. The Rawlins area and the northern part 
of Albany County were in far worse shape than we 
were. National Guard trucks and planes struggled to 
get feed to stranded cattle, but the losses were terrible 
in some areas. Other factors that helped us out were 
our old party telephone line— a "party line" radio 
program that relayed messages; and a rotary snow 
plow that had recently been purchased by the 
California Oil Company at the then active Quealy 
Dome oil field. 

We could not ring the phone operator, but she 
opened the line at specified times of the day to take 
and relay messages. She also coordinated with the 
Quealy field and told her listeners when the snow plow 
was coming through. Those who had to get to town 
could follow the plow and follow it back the next day. 
On one occasion, a neighbor had a badly frozen face, 
and with the help of the operator and the big plow 
they were able to get him to town for the necessary 
medical attention. 

Since the plowed road was close to our house 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 



Amy Lawrence on 
Lawrence Road near the 
family ranch. January 
1949. Courtesy Amy 

and I was able to talk to the folks on the parry line 
when there was a break in the storms, I would load 
up on groceries and whatever else the folks needed, 
and bring them out. I would park on the road and 
dad would bring my old "Flyer" sled and we would 
load it with boxes and slide it down to the house. 
However, the grocery situation was never critical 
because mother, trained byyearsof Wyoming winters, 
always had a full pantry. I still do, and have probably 
enough food on hand to survive several blizzards. 

On February 18, mother wrote that it was 
"Thawing and Pleasant." The "Blizzard of '49" was 
over. Although our family and most of our cattle 
survived the blizzard, dad never lully recovered his 
health Irom those terrible rides across country. Some 
of our neighbors suHered several cattle losses, many 
had frostbite, one was coping with the unexpected 
birth of a child who arrived a month early. But, like 
most ol the other ranchers on the Laramie Plains, we 
all dug out, rebuilt, and waited for green grass. 

My mother, Rena Palmer Lawrence, kept a diary beginning with her high school days in 1916. 
Similar ranch diaries are an invaluable historical source. In them, ranch wives noted the weather, 
shipping and calving dates, haying, and other ranch activities. These diaries have even been used as 
evidence in legal disputes such as taxes owed. Following are excerpts during the time of the 1949 

Note: Dad, William H. "Bill" Lawrence, had leased pasture Irom Johnny McGill and took oiu' 
cows there November 20. This field adjoined the Jack Sanderson ranch on what is now Forbes Lane. 
Jack was my great uncle. Mother's parents. Axel and Amanda Palmer, lived on what is now the 
Browns Creek Angus Ranch, a mile from where we lived at that time and where I still live.' 

-- Amy Lawrence 
Dec. 21, 19^8 — Tuesday — Beginningofbigsnow in eve. 

Dec. 22 — To toivn to shop for Holidays — Dad followed me — because ofsiiou ■ — School program in eve at Millbrook 
Dec. 23 — Started feeding at McGills 

' Amy Lawrence has the diary in her possessions. The entries 
are printed as written in the diary. 


Annals of Wvoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

Dec. 24 — Billy gets folks — Jack andAiny here for Christmas Eve dinner — open packages. Lots of snow. 

Dec. 25 — Bill and Amy get stuck in ditch at McGills while feeding — late dinner Jack couldn't come — Folks 

both have bad colds — A [Amy] to town in eve. — Ground blizzard — cold 

Dec. 2G — Sim — Billy late from Jack's 

Dec. 27 — Tried to get to Mom's — stuck on hill — Mom has flu — snoiv-cold-windy. Lute Fisk dinner for 


Dec. 28 — Mom some better — practically snowed in — Bilh rides to J ack's 

Dec. 30 — Finally got to Folks. Walked in fom road. Mom better Billy rode 

Dec. 30 — Friday — Billy rode. Took dinner and shared it with folks. — Fair 

Jan. 1, 1949 — Went to [Holly] Hunt's for annual party — played poker — visited — -fitn. 

Jan. 2 — Sunday — Big ston?i starting at noon — 40 mi. wiyid and snow — very cold — allnite — B barely makes 

it home with truck [1929 Model A] from Jack's — phone out 

Jan. 3 — Teyrible blizzard all day and all nite — zero — sifts in everywhere — B couldn't feed even here — puts 

btdls, horses in barn. 

Jan. 4 — Tues. — No let up — Blizzard all day and nite again — zero — cleared up a bit in p. m. , B finds calves 

scattered — open stack — chickens in bad way — grain room filled [with sifiingsnow] — 8 ft. drifts sheds and 

fence — across road 

Jan. 5 — Wed — calm at last — very cold — B finds strayed calves — nearly gone — B rides to Jack's — almost 

impossible — thru fields — Calif. [California Oilfield at Quealy Dome] snow plow rotary open road around 

hill — took lunch to boys — they took 24 hours to Baths [about four miles]. 

Jan. G — Thurs — Billy rides to Jacks — digs out grain room, garage and chicken house — Fark [Frank Coykendall 

a neighbor] rides up — his cattle at airport — he goes horseback — alone [ten to twelve miles]. Very cold — very 


Jan. 8 — Sat — Fair — cold — wind towards evening — B rides to Jack's — still tough — Phone out. 

Jan. 9 — Sun — Blizzard again — fi-om East. Not quite so severe as last. Very cold. Tough on Billy. Earl 

[Bath] freezes face. 

Jan. 10 — Mon. Storm let up — turned warmer about noon. 

Jan. 11 — Tues. — Folks here — first time since Christmas — nice visit — fair — cold 

Jan. 12 — Bun hare stops by — fair 

Jan. 13 — Thurs. Doris takes Earl to doctor — face fivzen — bad 

Jan. 14 — to town — sttwk in snow at Bamforts Hill — Bob Knadler and Dad help me out — hurried shopping — 

Roads drifiing bad in valley . — Fair — wind 

Jan. 15 — Sat — Netv storm — snow, wind, zero — A couldn't come — roads drified — Tough ride for B. 

Jan. 16- — Eddie Fritzen [with California Co. and plow] — brings groceries — some wind, cold, fair 

Jan. 17 — River overflowing — firezing — getting bad — cloudy — very cold 

Jan. 18 — C.O.C. [California Oil Co.] opens road — big storm goes around us — some snow — cold 

Jan. 22 — Sat. — Amy out in p.m. — stayed for supper — cold and fair — 

Jan. 24 — Amy out for nite — very cold — fair 

Jan. 27 — Folks engine out [this was the Kohler system that supplied electricity] 

Jan. 28 — Friday — 35 below — listened to game — Colo Aggies — Wyo — wowU^ 

- The University of Wyoming Cowboy basketball team defeated the Colorado Aggies that night 56-39 at Fort Collins. The two 
teams played again the following night again at Fort Collins with the same result. Cowboy 53, Aggies 41. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


Feb. 2 — Wed. — Kirk helped B bring cows home from McGilh — cold — clear. 

Feb. 3 — Folks got engine started at last [water and lights restored]. 

[Blowing and drifiing snow and cold each day.] 

Feb. 6- — Sun. — Blew and drifted terribly all day. 

Feb. 7 — Clear — Blowing and drifting. All roads closed. Trains stalled . 

Feb. 8 — Still blowing and drifting badly. B couldn't feed till p.m. 

[Cold, drifting snow until Feb. 1 1.[ 

Feb. 12 — Saturday — Neighbors here waiting for snow plow. Large convoy folloiinng it. — B stalls mick in Mandel 

lane — bringing out grain. B cr I work 2 hrs. to get it out. Clear, snow in eve. — very cold . 

Feb. 13 — A starts to toivn — has to turn back. Cal. Opens Mandel Lane — Harry and Doris [Bath] to Dr. — 

frozen feet. — Fair, very cold and windy. 

Feb. 14 — Alon — A goes in with convoy andfudy LeVasser [water commissionn] har for limch ayid dynamite water 

holes. — fim May brings week's mail. Wyo. Beats U. State 44-36. Bitter cold ivind. 

Feb. 16- — Wednesday — B & I to town at List — about six weeks — warmer — thawed a bit. Too windy to feed in 

a. m. 

Feb. 18 — Friday — Yeomatr^ here to clear stacks and yard — here for lunch. Thawing — pleasant . 

Yeoman had a heavy equipment business and cleared out the 
drifts for several ranches with a "Cat " 

James L. Ehernberger 

For those of us who Hved through and witnessed 
the Great BHzzard oi 1949, vivid memories will 
remain with us throughout our hfetime. It was an 
event in our hves we could never forget any more 
than the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, John F. 
Kennedy's assassination, and, oi course, now Nine- 
Eleven. One thing about it, this storm played no 
favorites as everyone and everything was 

My family lived in Bushnell, Nebraska, just ten 
miles east of Pine Bluffs. We were more "Wyoming" 
than Nebraska because Pine Bluffs is where we 
attended the movie theatre, visited the doctor and 
dentist, did much of our grocery shopping, and last 
but not least, attended the Laramie County Fair. We 
moved to Cheyenne in 1950. 

My father operated a blacksmith shop and a 
hardware store. It was on Sunday, January 2, 1949, 
that I remember assisting my father with the annual 
inventory in our hardware store. This was a good job 
for a twelve-year-old because I could easily climb up 
and down the large racks that contained various types 

of bolts (carriage and machine) and pipe fittings 
(black and galvanized). It was during this inventory 
when one of the local ranchers came in lor hardware 
to hang storm windows. His ranch consisted ol sheep 
and he told us that a big storm was coming in. His 
prediction came true about four o'clock that 
afternoon. The storm blew in very rapidly, even 
though the day was already windy and cloudy, but 
once the snow started to fall there was no doubt that 
it was a genuine blizzard. 

The blizzard continued into the night and did not 
let up on the following day, nor did it subside at any 
time during January 4. However, on Wednesday, the 
morning dawned with clear skies and less wind. The 
sights were unbelievable, snow had drifted all over 
town. These weren't soft drifts. This snow was 
packed like cement! Drifts all the way up to the eaves 
of the roofs were common sights. Automobiles were 
completely buried. No trains were running. The 
highways were closed. NOTHING WAS MOVING! 

Having been more or less snowbound since 
Sunday, I did venture to our local railroad depot about 

36 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 

a block away. I had an interest in the railroad even at 
that young age. Our small depot was divided into 
three sections. One was the lobby, the center portion 
was the agents office, and the other section was the 
freight room. This was one of the few times I could 
recall the old coal stove was fired up in the lobby 
area. The cars froze to the track and could not get 
out of Hillsdale, Wyoming, so all other trains were 
held. The Streamliner, City of Portland, was held at 
Egbert, Wyoming, and the City ofLosA/igeles was held 
at Pine Bluffs. 

The agent and section foreman had discussed 
another Streamliner, Cit)> of San Francisco, which was 
at nearby Kimball, Nebraska, while the morning mail 
train was held at Dix, Nebraska. All of the 
streamlined trains were diesel powered, but the cold 
weather caused problems and eventually the cars on 
the trains started freezing. The train held at Kimball 
required all passengers to be evacuated, filling up the 
Wheat Growers Hotel, and many local residents 
allowed passengers into their homes as well. 

Trains were detoured over another Union Pacific 
line via Sterling, Colorado, then to Cheyenne where 
they went to their destination. Eastward trains had 
to use the same route until the entire railroad could 
be dug out by huge steam-powered rotary snowplows, 
and each of the cars pulled out of the drifts one-by- 

Our three-day storm was nothing in comparison 
to other parts of the country. President Harry Truman 
authorized disaster relief and ordered the military to 
assist. It was this assistance that allowed the use of 
heavy equipment in the attempts to keep roads open 
as much as possible. Airlifts prevented many livestock 
losses. With the military's assistance the human loss 
was kept to a minimum. 

Subsequent storms presented additional problems 
because the wind kept blowing in country roads that 
had been plowed. However, other parts of northern 
Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming 
suffered much more than we did. The Union Pacific 
location section foreman and some of his men were 
stoking the fire. The foreman was listening on the 
train dispatcher's telephone mounted on the wall, and 
on several occasions he conversed with the agent 
about plans to open the railroad. As it turned out, 

the section of railroad between Cheyenne and Sidney, 
Nebraska, had several passenger trains stalled in 
various communities, and it was at least a week after 
the storm that train operations got back to somewhat 
of a normal schedule. 

Due to the poor visibility during the blizzard, the 
trains could not view the wayside signals. It was 
necessary to "station block" the trains. In other words, 
before a train could move to the next station, it would 
have to have reached the second station beyond. 
There was a fleet of passenger trains on the morning 
of January 3, the first being the Los Angeles Limited 
that was pulled by a steam locomotive. This train 
experienced a two-week tie-up (the longest in history) 
in the area west of Rock River to the continental 
divide during February. 

Looking back on this great blizzard, while it was 
severe, our family did not suffer any big losses. The 
farmers and ranchers suffered the most because of 
livestock loss. Train travelers were delayed, but were 
always fed. All highways were closed. The railroads 
were strapped with many expenses keeping their lines 
open and operating special snowplow trains. In the 
Dakotas it was not until late March before some 
people could get out. 

Luckily, my father had purchased a truckload of 
Hanna coal that fall, and we had a fairly full coal bin 
when the storm struck. We had plenty of home 
canned foods too. My mother had plenty of baking 
supplies and provided bread and rolls. The little 
grocery store across the street (requiring us to tunnel 
through the drift) ran out of milk and many other 
provisions, but we all managed somehow. Our 
electricity never failed. 

Since no other storm of this magnitude struck in 
this region prior to the end of 1999, I am able to say 
I had witnessed THE STORM OF THE CENTURY. 

Lucille Dumbrill 

I was a senior at the University of Wyoming and 
my home was in Laramie. I was what the students at 
UW called a "Laramie Girl." I was engaged to marry 
a young man from Upton, Wyoming, Richard 
Dumbrill, who was also a student and a returning 

Annals of Wyoming. The Wvoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


One of the trains ovemhelmed by the snow dunng the 1949 blizzard. This train was stucl< outside of 
Rawlins. Wyoming. Courtesy UW American Heritage Center 

Dick had gone home to Upton tor the Christmas unable to order from or go to the grocery store. She 

vacation, but came back early in order to spend time decided that someone should go to the little store 

with me and my family before school started. We had around the corner from the house for milk and some 

spent some time together on New Years Day and he other things the store still might have. We ciecided it 

had returned to his abode, which was a Butler hut on woiddnt be sate tor one or two people to go alone 

the university campus. That night it began to snow because ot the terribly high winds that woidd blow a 

and since he had been raised on a ranch and was person right over into a drih. The house was right in 

attuned to weather signs, he anticipated that there the middle ot downtown. All oi the young people (I 

might be quite a storm. believe there were five of us) in the house joined 

Early on the morning ot January' 2, he called and hands and snaked our way through the garage and 

asked if he could come to my house. I looked out the around the corner to the store where they dici have 

window and asked if he thought he could make it. most oi the supplies we needed. It took quite a while 

He said yes, and a few minutes later arrived after to make the trip and we were all exhausted, cold, and 

driving through the snow and drifts on the streets. wet by the time we returned. The store was less than 

He parked his car on the street by the house and there half a block away. 

it stayed for three or tour days until the city helped us As I think back fitty-four years I remember this 

plow it out. experience with pleasure. It was a time that strong 

Inside our house it was cozy and warm and our bonds were tormed in the family. We certainly gained 

family settled in to play games and sleep until the a real appreciation tor mother's creative cooking, and 

storm was over. Little did we realize it would last tor found that we could entertain ourselves and each other 

days instead ot the usual hours. We couldn't even and have a great time. We were, however, aware ot 

see the houses across the street. It was as it we were the trials and tragedies that others were tacing as we 

in a world of our own. Dick slept on the sota in the had a radio and listened faithfully. School was delayed 

living room and seemed really happy to be there and when the storm abated a bit, all ot us pitched in 

instead of his Butler hut. to help clean the sidewalks, driveways, and to tree 

My mother, who was usually prepared for all Dick's car from the drifts. The rest of the winter was 

emergencies, cooked wonderful biscuits, bean soup, hard and travel outside ot Laramie almost impossible, 

and other foods she had on hand. The second day but for the most part our school and other activities 

she started to run short of some things as she was continued as usual. flW, 

38 Annals of Wvoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


Edited by Carl Hallberg 

Significant Recent Books 
on Western and 
Wyoming History 

Warm Sands: Uranium Tailings Policy in the Atomic 
West. By Eric W. Mogren. Albuquerque: University of 
New Mexico Press, 2002. 2A^ pp. Illustrations, notes, 
bibliography, index. Hardcover $34.95. 
Reviewed by Kenton G. Jaehnig, American Heritage 
Center, University of Wyoming 

Tfhe West's uranium mill tailing controversy 
was an unfortunate episode in American 
environmental history. Western states 
benefited economically from federal 
subsidized uranium milling and the federal 
government obtained uranium for its atomic energy 
programs. After the demand for uranium dried up, 
both parties were stuck with a costly long-term 
environmental problem: the disposal of radioactive 
uranium mill tailings. 

In his first book, Wii?i?i Sands: Umniimi Mill Tailings 
Policy in the Atomic West, Eric W Mogren explores the 
development of federal policy regarding uranium mill 
tailings. He argues the federal government was 
ultimately responsible for creating and correcting the 
uranium tailings problem and acknowledged this by 
implementing the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial 
Action (UMTRA) Project. He demonstrates UMTRA 
was the result of considerable wrangling between non- 
elected federal and state officials. 

The federal government revived a moribund 
western uranium industry during World War II, when 
it ordered vanadium millers to save their uranium by- 
product for the Manhattan Project. Federal support 
of the industry began in earnest when Congress 
created the Atomic Energy Commission in 1946. A 
non-elected federal monopoly charged with regulating 
atomic energy, the AEC sought national uranium self- 
sufficiency for Cold War defense purposes and 
peaceful applications. To accomplish this, it 
contracted with western uranium millers to buy all 
of their processed uranium. 

Fueled by federal support, uranium milling 
boomed in the West between the late 1940s and late 
1960s. Communities such as Grand Junction, 
Colorado and Grants, New Mexico grew up around 
the uranium mills. As the industry grew, so did the 
uranium tailings piles generated by the mills. When 

millers ceased operations and left town, the tailings 

The problem of radioactive tailings first attracted 
public attention in the 1 950s when state public health 
officials discovered high amounts of low-level 
radiation from tailings in the rivers of the Colorado 
Basin. During the 1960s, such radiation was also 
detected in the air and soil at tailings sites in Colorado, 
Utah, and other western states. Cases of particular 
interest included the Animas River in Colorado and 
New Mexico, air pollution at Durango, Colorado, and 
contaminated soil in buildings at Grand Junction, 
Colorado. In each case, state officials declared that 
radioactive tailings posed a serious long-term public 
health hazard and demanded that the federal 
government assume responsibility for these sites. 

The federal government's response to each case 
followed a remarkably similar pattern. The AEC 
argued that tailings were not a significant public health 
hazard, only to be presented with evidence to the 
contrary. It also claimed that it did not have 
jurisdiction over the tailings, which was hotly 
disputed by state, local, and even elected federal 
officials. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, 
litigation ensued and ended up with the federal 
government assisting in stabilizing and cleaning up 
the tailings sites and assuming most of the financial 
cost of these efforts. 

Due to these episodes and public opposition to 
nuclear energy during the 1960s and 1970s, the 
federal government belatedly accepted responsibility 
for the uranium mill tailings problem. In 1978, 
Congress passed the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation 
Act, under which the UMTRA project was initiated. 
Although plagued by government foot dragging, the 
UMTRA project was completed in 1998, having 
disposed of forty million cubic yards of uranium 
tailings in eleven states and four Indian reservations. 

Warm Sands is an impressive scholarly work on 
this controversial subject. Although sketchy on the 
details of UMTRA project operations, it is well 
researched, carefijlly written, and intelligently argued. 
With the work, Mogren gives every indication he will 
be a very productive scholar in the future. JUUI 

Annais of Wyominci The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 39 

Recent Acquisitions mthe 
Hebord Collectioa 

I l\A/ I iKrr^irioc Compiled by Tamse 

V^ VV l-lkJI^IlOO University of WvominqUbrari 

Gompiled by Tamsen L. Hert, 

Universityof Wyoming Libraries 

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

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

Amtindson, MicEaeli^^^^^^P 
■mumtie^Jn the 

A cumpaiioun yj[ tuur uranium 
mining towns in the West — Uravan, 
Colorado; Moab, Utah; Grants, 
New Mexico; and Jeffrey City, 
Wyoming. Extensively documented 
and illustrated. A great addition to 
the history of the atomic age in the 

Sagley, Jerry: Daniet;^l!roj^^'i 
Potts, Rocky Motmtm^^^'" 
Explorer, Chronicler o^ 
Fur Trade and ... The First 
Known Man in Yellowstone 
Park.m.^hY, ID: Old Faithftjk^ 
Eye-Witiiess Publishing, jZO^P 

Potts was a member of the Ashley- 
Henry expedition and provided 
reports of the travels up the 
Missouri, Big Horn, and Wind 
rivers. He provided the earliest 
accounts oi the area of 
Yellowstone but was unidentified 
for nearly a century. The author 
located the original letters and was 
able to at last identify the author 
of these early accounts. 



Jack Richards photographed areas 
in the northwestern corner of 
Wyoming from the 1940s to the 
1980s, this work includes 140 
photos culled from the 160,000 
plus images in the collection ol the 
McCracken Research Library at the 
BBHC. Includes Heart Mountain 
as well as Yellowstone. 

Brown, Larry 
Made tht 

A compilation of articles on 
various Wyoming residents and 
visitors, some well-known, others 
less so. 

Born on a ranch near Meeteetsee, 
Wyoming, Cleo Brown leaves 
home at the age of 13 and begins 
the lile of a cowboy. This is his 

A detailed study of the various 
lacilities which confined persons 
ol Japanese ancestry during WWII. 
Chapter 6 covers the Heart 
Mountain internment camp. 

lortdn, Warren, -I? 
iottles:Historical . 
Wyoming, 1868-191 


guide to the age and 


rarity ol Wyoming bottles. 

The first "lull-scale biography" ol 
this western icon in more than 
thirty years. JW 

40 Annais of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Winter 2004 


Arnott, John 20 

Bader, Fred 16-19 

Basin, Wyoming 18, 21, 26 

Bath, Earl 34 

Beck,W.E. 23,25 

Belle Fourche River 12 

Benham, Daniel 3 

Big Horn Basin, Wyoming 15-30 

Big Horn County, Wyoming 15-30 

Big Horn County Rustler 25 

Big Horn Mountains 4, 6, 16 

Big Horn River 19 

Big Horn and Yellowstone 

Expedition 2-14 
Blake, M.L. 20, 22, 29 
Blizzard of 1949 31-37 
Blume, Fred 22 
Bonanza, Wyoming 24 
Brigham, FT. 18 
Br>'ant, G.W 23 
Buffalo, Wyoming 15 
Burke, Milo 23 
Bushnell, Nebraska 35 
California Oil Company 32, 34 
Camp Douglas, Utah 2-3, 13 
Camp Robinson, Nebraska 13 
Carpenter, Charles 29 
Carter, Dana 18 
Chapman, W.J. 23,25 
Cheyenne Daily Leader 18,25-28 
Cheyenne Depot 3-4 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 36 
Collins, Hugh 26-28 
Collins, Winfield Scott 19-20, 22, 29 
CoykendaJl, Frank 34 
CrandaJl, Olan 23 
Crook, George 2-3, 5-6, 9, 1 1, 13 
Crook Ciry, Wyoming 12 
Crosby, George 25 
Curtis, WB. 23 
Custer, George Armstrong 2-4, 6-7, 

Davis, John W., "The 1902 Murder of 

Tom Gorman" 15-30 
Dix, Nebraska 36 
Dry Fork of Brokenback Creek 15, 

DumbriU, Lucille 36-37 
DumbriU, Richard 36-37 
Egbert, Wyoming 36 

Ehernberger, James L. 35-36 

Ellis, C.C. 23 

Enteriine, E.E. 22, 25-26, 28-29 

Erickson, A.J. 23 

Fort Bridger 3 

Fort FetteriTian 3, 5-6 

Fort Laramie 3 

Frame, Robert 23 

Fritzen, Eddie 34 

Garland, Wyoming 21 

Cleaver, John B. 25, 25 

Goose Creek, Wyoming 2 

Gorman, Jim 15-30 

Gorman, Maggie (McClellan) 15-30 

Gorman, Rose 17-19, Tom 15-30 

Hale, Dudley 18,25-26 

Hedren, Paul L., ed., "The Worst 
Campaign I Ever Experienced': 
Sergeant Zimmerman's Memoir of 
the Great Sioux War" 2-14 

Hillsdale, Wyoming 36 

Ilg, E.M. 23 

Jaehnig, Kenton G., book reviewer 38 

James, Frank 18 

Jimmerfield, Dave 23, 25 

Kimball, Nebraska 36 

Knadler, Bob 34 

Laramie, Wyoming 31, 36-37 

Lawrence, Amy 31-35 

Lawrence, Rena 31-35 

Lawrence. William H. (Bill) 31-35 

Leavitt, WW. 23, 25 

Manning, C.E 23 

Martin, A.J. 23, 25 

McClellan, George 16, 19 

McClellan, Kenneth 28 

McConihe, Samuel 14 

McPhee,John 16 

Medicine Bow, Wyoming 3-4 

Miller, Ed 15-16,26 

Mogren, Eric W, book reviewed 38 

Morrow, Stanley 9, 11-13 

Natrmm County Tribune 19 

Neiber, B.J. 23 

Nelson, TT. 23 

New York City 2,4 

"The 1902 Murder of Tom Gorman," 
byjohn W.Davis 15-30 

Northern Cheyenne Indians 2-14 

Omaha, Nebraska 2, 4 

Peper, William 23 

Pine Bluffs, Wyoming 35-36 

Powder River 7-8 

Quealy Dome oil field 32, 34 

Rawlins, Wyoming 32, 37 

Rock River, Wyoming 36 

Shafer,W.L. 23 

Sheridan Enterprise 18 

Sheridan, Philip 3 

Sheridan, Wyoming 20-22 

Short, Leonard 23 

Sioux Indians 2-14 

Slim Buttes, Dakota 3, 9, 13 

Smith, C.C. 23,25 

Sterling, Colorado 36 

Stotts, Joseph L. 21-22, 25 

Taylor, Frank 3 

Ten Sleep, Wyoming 15 

Terry Alfred 3, 7 

Toluca, Montana 21 

Tongue River 6 

Union Pacific Railroad 4, 22, 35-36 

Upton, Wyoming 36-37 

Walters, Joseph R 29-30 

Warm Sands: Uranium Tailings Policy in the 
Atomic West, reviewed 38 

Watkins, S.A. 23, 25 

Watson, C.H. 23, 25 

Wheat Growers Hotel, Kimball, 
Nebraska 36 

Whitney, EA. 23, 25, 29 

Workman, Cornelius 23, 25 

"'The Worst Campaign I Ever 
Experienced:' Sergeant John 
Zimmerman's Memoir of the Great 
Sioux War," ed. by Paul L. Hedren 2- 

Wyoming Dispatch 19 

Wyoming Supreme Court 22-23, 25 

Yellowstone River 7 

Zaring, C.A. 18,25,29 

Zimmerman, John 2-14 

Wyoming Picture 

These three young ivonieti trained to he sten uirrlesses in Cheyenne during the J 930s. So/ne of the t^fieal steu uirdess 
duties duri)ig that early age of air transportation i)iehided loeh and utdoek the niai)i eahin door; dust die windowsilh: 
carry luggage and tag the luggage; carry buckets of fuel to pla)ie when necessary; push planes into ha)igar; prepare 
telegrams for passengers; swat flies; offer slippers, clean shoes before retur}iingthe))i to passengers; punch tickets, give 
refunds when necessary; a)id weigh luggage and passengers. Photo courtesy WyomingState Archives, Department of 
State Parks and Cultural Resources. 

Join the — — 

Wyoming State Historical Society.... 

and your local historical society chapter 

State Membership Dues : 

Single: $20 / Joint: $30 / Student (under age 21): $1S / Institutional: $40 

Special Membership Categories are Available : 

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Benehts ot membership mclude tour issues per year iit Aiiiials of Wyoming, nine issues of the newsletter, "Wyommg History News," 

and the opportunity to reeeive inlorniation about and diseounts tor various Society activities. lor more intormation about membership 

in the Wyoming State Historical Society and intormation about local chapters, contact: 

Judy West, Society Coordinator / Wyoming State Historical Society 
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The Society also welconu's special gifts and nwnwriah. 


Run A 

The Wyoming History Journal 

Spring 2004 Vol. 76, No. Z 

The Cover Art 

Charles Belden Collection, American Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming 

Charles Beldeii photographed his daughter, Annice Willistoii Belden, fishmg in the Greybidl River 
on the Pitchfork Ranch. Belden, born in California in 1887, followed his college fiiend, Eugene 
Phelps, to the Pitchfork Ranch, oiimed by the Phelps family. Starting as a ranch hand in 1910, 
Belden two years later married Eugenes sister, Frances, and then helped manage the ranch. Eor tiuo 
decades he photographed the everyday life on the ranch. 

The Back Cover Art 

"Mackinaw^ " 

Stephen N. Leek Collection, American Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming 

The biggest trout is the Lake Trout, also knoivn as the Mackinaw. Most ofthephotograps in this 
issue were taken by Stephen Leek, one of the earliest settlers in Jackson Liole, Wyoming. Besides 
being a iviUlife photogiapher. Leek also was a hunter, trapper, dude rancher, and guide. 

Information for Contributors: 

The editor oi Aiiniili of Vl^w)«/;/^ welcomes manuscripts and photographs on every aspect of the history 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 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 by one of the widely-used word ptocessing 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: 

Gues_ _„, 
Adrian A. 

Book Review Editor 

Carl Hallberg 

Editorial Advisor 


nnais o 



JThe Wyoming History Journal 

Spring 2004 Vol. 76, No. 2 

2 Introduction: Bourdieu on the Big Horn? Or, 
Towards a Cultural History of Fly-Fishing in 
Wyoming and tfie Rocky Mountain West 
Adrian A. Bantjes 


6 Tlieir Numbers Are Perfectly Fabulous: Sport, 
Science, and Subsistence in Yellowstone 
Fishing, 1870 p^ f C c. i '<_^r' 
Paul Schullerv ] '- '" 1 


19 The Past and Present of Fly-Fishing in Jack- 
son Hole, Wyoming: An Interview with Jack 

Adrian A. Bantjes -^ ^^-^ ',1, r, ,, - 

26 These Waters Were AH Virgin: Finis Mitchell 
and Wind River Wilderness 
Jeffrey Nichols 

36 The Fly-Fishing History of the Bighorn Moun- 
tains: An Interview with Sam Mavrakis, Sr. 
Tucker W. Gallowav 

41 Nature, Culture, and the Fly-Fishing History of 
Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West 
Adrian A. Bantjes 


54 Book Reviews 

:■>)' Carl Hallberg 

56 Index 


Wyoming Picture Inside back cover 

Annah ofWyommg: The \X'yomi>ig Hntoiyjouniiihs published qiurif riv h\- the \V\(.iming Sracc Hiscurical Socien" in as^ociacion 
\\ ith rhe Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the .Ajnerican Heritage Center, and the Department ot 
Histon,'. Universit)' of Wyoming. The |ournal was previousK' published as the Qiuirterly Bullehn ( \''~)ljy\*^l^). Annals oj^'yoriinig 
( I ''25- f 993), Wyoming Annah ( 1 993- 1 995) and Wyoming History Journal ( 1 995- 1 996). The Annals has been the official 
publication of the Wyoming State Historical Societj- since 1953 and is distributed as a benefit of membership to all societ)- 
iiicnibers. Membership dues are: single, S20; joint, S30: student (under 21 ), Si 5; insritutional. S40; contributing, SI 00-249: 
sustaining, S250-499; patron. S500-999; donor, S 1,000+. To join, contact your local chapter or write to the address below. Articles 
I n Annah ofWyoming are abstracted in Historical Absnacis and America: History and Life. 

Inquiries about membership, mailing, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to Judy West. Coordinator. 
WVnming State Historical Societ>'. PMB^ 1 84, 1 740H Dell Range Blvd., Cheyenne \XT 82009-4945. Editorial correspondence 
sh"uld be addressed to the editorial office oi Antials of^'yoming. American Heritage Center, Dept. 3924. 1000 E. Universir\- 
\sL-nue, Laramie W\' 820"" 1 Our e-mail address is; rewig@u\\ 

I'nnted by; Piuneer Printing, Cheyenne 
t iraphic Design: Vicki Schuster 

C op\Tight 2004, Wyoming State Historical Society' 

ISSN: 1086-^368 

Annals of VVyominq: The Wyoming History Journal - Spring 2004 


Bourdieu on the Bighorn? 

Or, Towards a Cultural 

History of Fly-Fishing in 

Wyoming and the 

Rocky Mountain West^ 

I guest editoi: 

fiah A. Bontjei 

Fly-fishing, most likely for native 
Cutthroat trout in the Jackson's 
Hole area. Stephen N. Leek 
Collection. American Heritage 

Yet, despite the faet that nearh one-third of the Wyoming population engages in 
fishing, thus placing the state in third place in the nation in terms of per capita 
participation, Wyoming's angling history remains to be written.- The sport has a 
profound impact on regional economies through an extensive network of sporting 
goods stores, fly-shops, guiding and outfitting operations, lodges, etc. The state and 
the federal government spend millions of dollars every year to sustain and develop 
Wyoming fisheries through activities such as the stocking of game fish, conservation 

This special issue stems indirectly from a .''.002 American Studies and History seminar on the history of 
fly-fishing in Europe and America, developed at the University of Wyoming with generous grants from 
the American Studies Program and, later, the American Heritage Center. I am profoundly grateful to the 
students in that class for their insights and contributions. I am particularly indebted to Laramie fly- 
fisherman par excellence Nick Boyd, and to America's leading fly-fishing historian, Paul Schullery, for 
generously sharing their knowledge and encouragement. In addition, I benefited immensely from the 
insights and aid of Elizabeth Storer, Phil Roberts, Jack Dennis, Sam Mavrakis, Jeft" Nichols, Tucker 
Galloway, Eric Nye, Herb Dieterich, Ed Schmidtman, Bob Righter, Ken Owens, and Scott Carlson. 
Anne Marie Lane, Carol Bowers, and Leslie Shores of the American Heritage Center, as well as Tami 
Hen of the Hebard Collection of the University of Wyoming Libraries, went out of their way to unearth 
and reproduce fascinating material. Without Annals editor Rick Ewig this issue would never have 
materialized. Also, thanks to the helpful staff of the American Museum of Fly-Fishing and to Bob 
Wiltshire, director of the International Fly-Fishing Center. 
- The Casper Star Tribune, July 5,2002. The articles in this issue largely focus on fly-fishing, a small sub- 
culture within angling. This choice admittedly reflects rather arbitrary cultural preferences that are 
worthy of analysis themselves. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

and restoration projects, and infrastructural works. 

So why this historiographical lacuna? From an 
academic perspective, the histor}' oi sports and leisure 
is a rich and well-developed field oi inquiry, which has 
attracted the attention, not just ot antiquarians and 
aficionados, but also oi prominent historians, 
sociologists, and anthropologists. Dutch cultural 
historian Johan Huizinga argued that the human hir/ic 
impulse is more ancient than culture itself (culture si/b 
specie ludi), while French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu 
considered sports an important aspect of class habitus. 
(Not surprisingly, celebrities from Queen Elizabeth to 
Dick Cheney surface in this issue). In a seminal article 
published in 1978, Bourdieu argued that "one of the 
tasks of the social history of sport might be to lay the 
real foundations of the legitimacy of a social science of 
sport as a distinct scientific object. . ."' Since then, a vast 
and theoretically sophisticated literature on sports 
history and leisure has emerged, influenced by the new 
social history, anthropology, and, most recently, 
cultural studies. Thus, the theoretical and analytical tools 
needed to approach the topic, whether from the 
perspective of class, religion, gender, race, identity, or 
capitalism, are readily available. * Yet, even though an 
extensive and theoretically sophisticated historiography 
exists for sports such as baseball and football, angling 
history remains rather neglected.^ 

Arguably, the significance of Western angling goes 
well beyond sports or sustenance. In the West, angling, 
and fly-fishing in particular, has become an invoited 
tradition, in the sense used by Eric Fiobsbawm," 
associated with notions of an authentic Western identity. 
This trend's clearest expression is undoubtedly Robert 
Redford's 1992 Fiollywood movie, A River Runs 
Through It, a distinctive interpretation of Norman 
Macleans classic story, which links Western masculinity 
and identity with the elegant activity of flv-fishing. 
Though, as Jackson fly-fisherman. Jack Dennis, argues 
in this issue, the movie did not cause the nineties fly- 
fishing craze and the simultaneous boom in rural real 
estate around Jackson Hole, Cody, and other areas of 
Wyoming and Montana, it cannot be denied that fly- 
fishing has become a significant and double-edged aspect 
of the appeal of the New West. This can lead to bizarre 
usages of fly-fishing as a signifier of Western life, for 
example the recent spectacle of bikini-clad supermodel 

Bridget Hall fly-fishing the North Fork of the Shoshone 
on the UXU Ranch during a shoot for the 2004 Sports 
Idustrated sw'imsuh issue.** 

The Western neglect of its angling heritage stands 
in contrast to the way Easterners have cherished and 
preserved the rich local angling traditions of their classic 
trout streams, such as the Battenkill and the Beaverkili. 
Besides producing an extensive literary corpus, they 
have also established musea of national significance, such 
as the American Museum of Fly Fishing (AMFF) in 
Manchester, Vermont, and the Catskill Fly Fishing 
Center and Museum, which not only hold wonderful 
collections of angling artifacts, archives, books, and art, 
but serve as important communit)' centers as well. 
Prominent eastern universities, such as Princeton and 
Yale, are proud of their angling collections, which 
include works dating back to the Middle Ages. 

Gradually, such interest is emerging in the Rocky 
Mountain West as well." Livingston, Montana, now 

' Johan Huizinga, Homo Lndc'iis: Proeve eener bepdling van bet spel- 
element der ctdtiiiir (Haarlem: Tjeenk Willink, 1938), pp. 1, 7; 
Pierre Bourdieu, "Sport and Social Class," in Chandra Mukerji 
and Michael Schudson. eds. Rethinking PopuLir Culture: Coutem- 
pomry Perspectives in CultumI Studies (Berkele)-: Universin- of Cali- 
fornia Press, 1991), p. 358. 

"" For an encyclopedic overview ot the recent literature on sports, 
see Donald L. Deardorft II, Sports: A Reference Guide and Critical 
Commentary. 1980-1 999 {'Westpon, CT. Greenwood Press, 2000), 
and for novel social and cultural approaches to American sports 
history, especially those emphasizing gender, race, ethnicity, and 
class, S. W. Pope, ed.. The New American Sport Histoty: Recent 
Approaches and Perspectives (Urbana and Chicago: University of 
Illinois Press, 1997), especially Pope's "Introduction: American 
Sport History - Toward a New Paradigm," pp. 1-30. 

' For a serious historical analysis ot tly-fishing, see Paul D. Schullery, 
American Fly Fishing: A History (New York: The Lyons Press, 1 99'^ 
[\" edition, 1987]). For a rare and controversial post-modern 
approach, see William Washabaugh and Catherine Washabaugh, 
Deep Trout: Angling in PopiiLir Culture (New York: Berg, 2001). 
Hunting has received more serious academic attention. See, for 
example. Matt Cartmill, A View to a Death in the Morning: Hunt- 
ingand Nature through Histoty (Har\'ard: Han'ard University Press, 
1993), which is quite relevant to our topic. 

" Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger, and Lyndal Roper, eds.. The 
Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge Universit\' Press, 

Fof more on this topic, see The Denver Post. September 2S, 2002, 
and Paul Schullei-s's unpublished paper, "The Hero with a Thou- 
sand Vices: A Rivet Runs Through It as Folklore and History." 

'^ The Casper Star Tribune. February 13, 2004. 

" Paul Schullery, "Frontier Fly-Fishing in the New West," Montana: 
The Magazine of Western History S2: 2 (Summer 2002); 2-9. 

Annais of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

boasrs the Federation of Fly Fisher's International Fly 
Fishing Center, an impressive educational facility and 
museum. When, several years ago, the Museum of the 
Rockies at Montana State University hosted an AMFF 
traveling show on the history of angling, it added a 
fascinating exhibit on the history of Montana fly- 
fishing. The first Montana stream histories have been 
published, and recently the journal Montana dedicated 
an entire issue to the history of Western fly-fishing.'" 
In Colorado, a number of angling historians are 
beginning to piece together aspects of that rich 
tradition." Yet Wyoming, which arguably possesses one 
of the most important fisheries in the United States, 
lacks, with the obvious exception of the well-studied 
Yellowstone Park,'- any angling histories. Each time 
one oi the state's old-time sporting goods stores closes, 
as has happened recently in Sheridan and Casper, another 
bit of history is lost forever. There are, however, several 
bright spots: for example, the University of Wyoming's 
American Heritage Center, in its Toppan Rare Books 
Library, boasts one of the most important antiquarian 
angling libraries in the West, namely the Toppan/ 
LaFontaine collection, which includes everything from 
medieval treatises to recent publications on Western fly- 

How can we rescue this sporting history from 
oblivion? The first step is to develop an oral history 
program, as this issue attempts to do in a limited way, 
by publishing interviews with legendary Wyoming fly- 
fishermen Sam Mavrakis of Sheridan and Jack Dennis 
of Jackson. Even though oral histories, at least as 
repositories of Rankean factual history, are always a 
bit suspect-anglers being a tad prone to exaggeration 
anyway-, they do allow us to reconstruct what one might 
call the little traditions of the sport, offer invaluable 
information that cannot be found in the archives, and 
add couleur locale in a way that no other source can. In 
addition, we urgently need to salvage the papers, 
photographs, and videos of sporting stores, guiding 
operations, and dude ranches before they disappear 
entirely. The next step is the writing of local or regional 
histories, taking advantage of the rich archival materials 
available in the state archives, the American Heritage 
Center, and local repositories around the state and 

At the same time, historians need to ask bigger 

questions about the cultural meaning of Western fly- 
fishing, and about its social, environmental, and 
economic impact. The articles in this issue, far from 
being antiquarian or eulogistic pieces, as is so often the 
case with sports writing, all use case studies to ask these 
broader, often tough, questions. In his contribution, 
Paul Schullery examines how ancient sporting discourses 
and practices determined the way early travelers to 
Yellowstone Park interpreted the natural environment 
they encountered. Jeff Nichols relates the amazing life 
and legacy of Wind River Range outdoorsman Finis 
Mitchell, but also problematizes the widespread practice 
of stocking "barren" waters, a massive attempt to create 
European-style trout fisheries in the West. As Schullery 
puts it elsewhere, "we have lowered a kind of ecological 
eggbeater into some glorious native ecosystems, 
resulting in changes that, though they may have been 
wonderful for fishermen, were disastrous for those 
beautiftil little worlds that had been cranking along just 
fine without our help since the last ice age."'^ In my 
own contribution, I use the lenses of culture, nature, 
and class to conclude that fly-fishing, even in the 
Western wilderness, is as "artificial" a cultural practice 
as fishing on the most manicured of English chalk 
streams, and remains bound up in ancient, often class- 
based, codes and discourses. 

The toughest question of all is: will fly-fishing 
continue to be a central part of Western life for the 
foreseeable future? Two major problems loom ahead. 
While the fly-fishing community has contributed 
immensely to the American conservation movement 
through organizations such as Trout Unlimited, there 
is potential for ftiture conflict, as Dennis suggests in his 
interview. Angling is often hardly a natural nctWiVf, and 
the new emphasis on the restoration of native species 

'" Montana: The Magazine of Western History 52 (Summer 2002). 

" See, for example, John H. Monnett, Cutthroat and Campfire 
Tales: The Fly-Fishing Heritage of the West (Boulder: University 
Press of Colorado, 2001); Gordon M. Wickstrom, Notes from an 
Old Fly Book (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2001), and, 
by the same author. Late in an Angler's Life: Essays on the Sport 
(Albuquerque; University of New Mexico Press, 2004). 

'- Paul Schullery and John D. Varley, Yellowstone Fishes: Ecology, 
History and Angling in the Park (Stackpole Books: Mechanicsburg, 
Pennsylvania, 1998). 

" See The Casper Star Tribune, March 4, 2004. 

'■* Royal Coachman: The Lore and Legends of Fly-Fishing (New York; 
Simon and Schuster, 1999), p. 189. 

Annals of Wyoming The ''.'Vyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

and habitats must inevitably clash with efforts to 
maintain and develop sport fishing for generally alien 
species, such as brook or brown trout, and in unnatural 
settings, such as tailwaters.''' The second problem is 
related to the morality of the sport. While Izaak Walton 
portrayed angling as a gentle art, practiced by "quiet 
men and followers of peace," Lord Byron was less 
complimentary, and called "the art of angling, the 
crudest, the coldest, the stupidest of pretended 
sports."'" Recent successful efforts to abolish blood 
sports, such as the campaign against foxhunting in 
England, may well spill over into the realm of fishing.' 
Contemporarv' ethical and scientific debates have raised 
the question whether fish are physically capable of feeling 
pain, and, thus, whether angling is a morally acceptable 
practice or nothing more than the gratuitous torture, 
exacerbated by the much-touted catch-and-release 
approach, of innocent animals."* Some scientific 
research, including path breaking work at the Universit)' 
ofWyoming, aims at debunking "the human tendency 
to interpret the behavior of nonhumans 
anthropomorphically, as if animals had humanlike 
experiences and feelings."'' This controversial work, at 
times reminiscent of Cartesian mechanistic approaches 
to the animal kingdom, is warmly supported by sectors 
of the fly-fishing community, which ridicule "Walt 
Disney's use of bourgeois anthropomorphic values to 
imbue animals with cosmic humanistic emotions and 
rationality," taking us "into the world of pop-Zen, where 
pseudo-science shakes hands with Taoism. . .""" Others 
are not that sure."" How such debates will affect 
sporting practices in the future is still unclear, but one 
cannot assume that angling will always be an integral 
part of Western life. 

Still, it cannot be denied that the sport has a rich 
historv' and tradition, reflected in graceful practices and 
a vibrant literature. As Sparse Grey Hackle, the New 
York angling writer, put it, "Some of the best fishing is 
done not in water but in print.""' We hope that this 
issue will be of interest to the general reader, whether a 
brother or sister of the angler or not. To conclude, 
with the words of Izaak Walton, "I shall stay [the 
Reader] no longer than to wish him a rainy evening 
to read this following Discourse; and that, if he be an 
honest Angler, the east wind may never blow when he 
goes a-fishing."-' Ufi 

'^ See Paul Schullen's thoughtful defense ot the reintroduction of 
native fishes: "Because They Belong There: A Non-Native Anglers 
Reflections on Native Species," in Fly Rod and Reel 22 (January/ 
February 2001): 42-45, 71. 

"■ The Compleat Angler or the Contemphnive Man's Recreation (New 
York: The Modern Library, 1998), p. xxxviii. [First edition. 1653], 
p. 8; Byron quoted in Nick Lyons, ed.. The Quotable Fnherman 
(New York: The Lyons Press, 1998), p. 148. 

' On the historical origins of the British anti-hunting campaign, 
see Donna Landry, The Invention of the Coiinttyside: Hunting, 
Walking and Ecology hi English Literature. 16^1-1831 (Houndmiils, 
Basingstoke, United Kingdom, and New York: Palgrave, 2001). 

'" On the research of Dr. James D. Rose of the University ofWyo- 
ming, see The New York Times, May 13, 2003. His findings were 
published under the title "The Neurobehavioral Nature ot Fishes 
and the Question of Awareness and Pain," in Reviews in Fisheries 
Science 1 (2002): 1 -38. Also see Sean C. Chambers, "An Inquiry 
into the Ethics of Fly Fishing: Fish and Pain," (Unpublished 
paper. University of Wvoming. 2002). 

''\lames D. Rose, "Do Fish Feel Pain." Fly Fisherman 34 (Septem- 
ber 2003): 19. For historical background, see Cartmill, A I'iew, 
chapter 6. 

^"John Randolph, "Fish Dont Feel Pain, Fly Fisherman, 34 (Sep- 
tember 2003): "i. 

-' For a more balanced view, see Paul Schuller)', "How Can You 
Do That?" Fly Fisherman 3-t (September 2003): 80, ^9. 69. 

■' Quoted in Lyons, ed., The Qiiotable Fisherman, p. xiv. 

-' The Compleat Angler, p. xxxviii. 

Classic fly-fishing outfit and lake trout. Stephen N. Leek Collection, 
American Heritage Center. 

Adrian A. Banties 

is Associate Professor of History at the 
University of Wyoming. He has 
publishe(j extensively in the field of 
Mexican political and cultural history. He 
recently taught a seminar on the cultural 
history of fly-fishing in Europe and 

6 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

Their Numbers are Perfectly Fabulous: 

Sport, Science, and Subsistence in 

Yellowstone Fishing, 1870 

SK>^^*'^ ' 

by Paul SchuUery 

On August 23. 1 871 , the Washburn Party stopped at the Bottler Ranch, near present Emigrant, Montana. The ranch is shown here the 
following year in a photograph by famed photographer William Henry Jackson, The Bottlers were successful commercial hide-hunters: note 
the shed full of hides (and possibly whole carcasses of elk). Fred Bottler often guided sportsmen, furthering the mixture of subsistence and 
sport among the wild fish and game in the Yellowstone Valley, Photo courtesy the National Park Service, Yellowstone Photograph 


arly in The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner, Written by 
himself [\1\^), Daniel Defoe's shipwrecked hero makes the following diary entry: "May 4. I went a 
fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst eat of, till I was weary of my sport; when, just going to 
leave off, I caught a young dolphin."' 

With this one comment, the durable Mr. Crusoe 
inadvertently suggested the complications we face when 
we attempt to categorize fishing as a human endeavor. 
Here was a man tor whom fishing was an urgent matter 
" of survival, yet it was also a "sport." To the modern 

untrained ear, a "sport" is a pastime — something done 
at best to relax and invigorate, at worst jtist to kill time. 

Here was a man for whom 
fishing was an urgent matter of 
survival, yet it was also a "sport 

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (New York: Dodd Mead and 
Company, 1940), p. 79. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History' Journal ■- Spring 200-! 

To the ear of Daniel Defoe, sport was apparently 
something tar more complicated than that. 

As it still should be. There is a e,ood deal ot 
messiness in the terminology of sport, though it is 
nothing compared to the casual, offhanded manner in 
which many writers, including academics whom one 
would expect to be more careful, reduce such ancient 
human pursuits as hunting and fishing to superficial 
trivialities. Sport fishing and sport himting, at the hands 
of such writers, are "mere" sport, which is to sav thev 
exist only to generate "fun." Outdoor sport is merely 
"recreation" — another belittling descriptor for an activirv 
that has declined in the popular mind from an earlier 
status, in which something was literally and importantlv 
re-created, to its current popular definition, as a 
substitute for doing something meaningful. People are 
thought to participate in outdoor sports as a "leisure 
time" activity, while not engaged in socially significant 

The rhetorical blurring of the two terms "sports" 
and "games" is likewise far advanced, and will probably 
become more confused as American society becomes 
progressively less comfortable with outdoor sports — 
the traditional "blood sports" (as if ice hockey is not a 
blood sport). I cannot correct this problem, hut only 
point it out to suggest further the imprecision of the 
language. When most modern Americans sa\' the\' are 
discussing "sports," they usualh' mean "games." 

Though not all sports are games, neither are all 
games sports. Hunting elk is hardly anyone's idea of a 
game; Monopoly is no one's idea of a sport. And yet, 
the historian John McDonald was right when he aptly 
said that "a sport or game may be thought of as the set 
of rules that describes it."- The two categories ma\' 
have more in common than the\- ha\'e in distinction. 

The imprecision and carelessness of our terminology 
in sport is in fact only a reflection of the amazing 
capacity of sport for both durability and flexibilit}'. Part 
of sport's fascination for us as an institution worthy of 
study should be the way it is transformed during its 
long societal career, even to the extent that it can outlive 
its apparent original cause for existence. For those who 
believe that sports have tended to arise in good part 
from utilitarian practice — as rodeo, for example, tests 
and celebrates skills needed on a working ranch — it 
might seem counterintuitive that a sport would hang 

on after people no longer had any use for its skills. But 
sports can and do transcend at least some of the reasons 
for their creation. We might even say that over the 
course of a few generations, one person's sport can 
eventually become another person's game. 

To illustrate the evolution, or at least 
transformation, of a sport from the realm of 
immediately practical to something more esoteric, 
classics scholar David Sansone used the example of 
ja\'elin throwing, which is still a \ital athletic event 
despite several centuries having passed since there was a 
going militar\' need for javelin throwers. We now throw 
ja\'elins for reasons other than keeping a vital battlefield 
skill in shape. "* 

In a generalK' literate societ\', in which records are 
easily kept and invoked, sport is an intergenerational 
enterprise. Today's javelin thrower has relevance in part 
because he or she competes with the records of even' 
previous javelin thrower, just as today's fisherman casts 
in the shadow of countless earlier angling theorists, 
philosophers, and other temporally remote companions. 
And, as any determined sports nostalgist will tell you, 
once a sport has accumulated enough generations of 
precise statistics, wispy remembrance, and glowing 
legend, there will invariably be a group of enthusiasts — 
both fans and actual practitioners — wanting to prop it 
all up with continued performance of like kind. 

In the cases of hunting and fishing, this urge to 
perpetuate a sport provides us with a delicious iron\'. 
While historians long neglected the stud\' of these 
important human activities, the activities themselves 
thrived and defined themseKes in good part through a 
passionate devotion to their own long traditions. These 
people ma\' not have written \'er\' good history of 
themselves, but they received little help from 

- John McDonald, The Origins of Angling (New \'ork; Lyons & 
Burford, 1 997), p. 3. Mv thanks especial!)- to Richard Hoftmann. 
York Univetsif)', Toronto, tor conversations on definitions and 
the intellectual history of sport. 

■^ David Sansone, Greek Athletics and the Genesis of Sport ( Berkeley: 
Universit)' of California press, 1988), p. 31 . Sansone, incidentally, 
also serves as a type specimen ot a scholar who can switch trom a 
serious discussion ot the histon' ot competitive games to poorly 
thought-out moralizing and ignorant theorizing about the blood 
sports; see pp. 3 1 -32 of his book tor a classic example ot trivializing 
hunting and fishing in order to dismiss them. 

8 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Sprinci 2004 

professional historians, so who is at fauh if the history 
they now hold dear is (even more than most history) 
so inclined to ancestor worship and yarnspinning?'* 

Consideration of Robinson Crusoe and javelin 
throwers may seem a roundabout way to approach the 
varierv of influences and impulses behind fishing in the 
frontier West. But the parallels between the javelin and 
the fly rod are perhaps deeper and more numerous than 
thev might appear. The American West provides some 
striking examples of the several ways in which a sport 
mav simultaneously be valued in a given social setting. 

A Distinguished Set of Anglers 

The experiences of the famous Washburn-Langford- 
Doane expedition (which I will c;ill the Washburn Party), 
who visited the Yellowstone Plateau in the late summer 
of 1 870, serve as a splendid illustration ot the complexity 
of a traditional sport, in this case fishing. The Washburn 
Partv has been worth study merely for the distinction 
oi its members. Their elected commander was Henry 
Dana Washburn, a former Civil War general and Indiana 
Congressman, then surveyor general of Montana 
Territory. The party of nineteen included, among others, 
Helena Judge Cornelius Hedges, Montana Territorial 
Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue Walter Trumbull 
(son of Illinois U.S. Senator Lyman Trumbull), banker- 
businessman Samuel Hauser, and former Montana 
Territory Collector ol Internal Revenue Nathaniel 
Langford (who, in one ol those complex maneuverings 
so belovedly characteristic of territorial politics, had 
recently come as close as possible to being appointed 
Montana territorial governor without actually 
occupying the office). Their small military escort was 
under the command ol Lieutenant Gustavus Doane, 
who would write the most authoritative account of the 

What may have most distinguished this already 
distinguished group as explorers, however, was their 
extraordinary literar\' output following the expedition. 
They had a finely tuned and quite accurate sense of the 
historical significance of what they were doing, and they 
left historians a wonderful treasury of first-hand 
accounts and impressions, many of which were 
published in newspapers and magazines in the months 
following the trip. This wealth of material has been 
employed by historians and others to better understand 

the 1870s— public view of wild nature, the rise of the 
national park idea. Native American activities in and 
effects on the Yellowstone region, historic wildlife 
populations and distribution, and other elements of the 
Yellowstone setting in 1 870. The literary legacy of the 
Washburn Party has only grown in value over the years. 
And it continues to reveal new information, and 
new stimulation to modern historians. A careful review 
of the Washburn Party's experiences with fish reveals a 
rich documentary record that may help illuminate a 
complex and little-appreciated aspect of Euroamerican 
interactions with wild nature in the frontier West: the 
interplay of sport, science, and subsistence in fisheries 
use. Johan Huizinga, in Homo Ltidens: A Study of the 
Play Element in Human Culture (1950), said that "it is 
ancient wisdom, but it is also a little cheap, to call all 
human activity play." For Huizinga, "play is to be 
understood here not as a biological phenomenon but 
as a cultural phenomenon."'' The Washburn Party's 
trout-fishing experiences illustrate the depth and variety 
of that cultural phenomenon. By taking their trout- 
fishing tools, practices, and values into a wilderness 
setting, the Washburn Party offer us a rewarding glimpse 

I do not mean to suggest that thete has been no good history 
written about fishing and hunting, only that it is, proportionately, 
extraordinarily rare compared to histor)' written of many other 
sports, especially the team sports. For an important statement 
ot the problems caused by this imbalance in attention, see Thomas 
L. Altherr and John F. Reiger, Academic Historians and Hunting: 
A Call for More and Better Scholarship," Environmental Histoij 
Review, 19 (Fall 1995): 39-56. For a consideration of some of the 
mythic elements in fly-fishing histor)' as it has been written by 
the fly fishers, see Paul Schullery, American Fly Fishing: A History 
(New York: Nick Lyons Books, 1987), pp. 13-17, 111-121; 
Andrew Herd, "Frederic M. Halford: The Mnh and the Man," 
The American Fly Fisher, 28 (Winter, 2002): 12-17; and Ken 
Cameron, "Rigor without Mortis, ' The American Fly Fisher, 28 
(Winter 2002): 18-25. 

■ The most useful works on the Washburn Party's background 
include Nathaniel Langford, The Discovery of Yelloxustone Park 
(Lincoln: Universin,' of Nebraska Press, 1972), especially Aubrey 
Haines' "Foreword, " pp. vii-xxi; Aubrey Haines, Yellowstone 
National Park, Its Exploration and Establishment (Washington, 
D.C.: National Park Service. 1974), p. 54-99, 137-152; and 
Richard Bartlett, Natures Yellowstone (Albuquerque: University 
ofNew Mexico Press, 1974), pp. 164-207. For more on Langford 
particularly, see Paul Schullery and Lee H. 'Whittlesey, Myth and 
History in the Creation of Yelloivstone National Park (Lincoln: 
Universirv' of Nebtaska Press, 2003). 

" Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in 
Culture (Boston: The Beacon Press, 1955), p. i. The book was 
apparently first published in English translation in 1950, though 
the passages I quote were dated 1938. 

Annals o( Wyoming: Tiie Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

of how complicated a thing it is ior a person to toss a 
hook and Hne into a river. 

Sportsmen on the Trail 

The area that was to become Yellowstone National 
Park in 1872 was by no means unexplored in 1870. 
Not only had Native Americans been intimately familiar 
with this landscape for thousands of years, but also 
whites had been visiting it frequently for more than six 
decades. The Washburn Party saw signs of a number 
of previous white visitors on their trip, and twice while 
in the present park area they encountered other whites. 

But the many accounts of the wonders of 
Yellowstone provided by trappers, prospectors, and other 
early white visitors had not constituted a respected or 
widely accepted body of knowledge. So, in a vividly 
real social sense, the Washburn Party, like a few other 
early exploration parties, actually was engaging in a kind 
of formal discovery." 

Washburn Part}' members, having traveled from 

Helena to Bozeman bersveen August 1 7 and August 
20, were joined by Lieutenant Doane and his small 
detachment of five soldiers at Fort Ellis, just east of 
Bozeman. The group set out on August 22, and 
stragglecf across the landscape of the upper Yellowstone 
region for several weeks before returning home byway 
of the Madison Valley. 

Many of them were sportsmen, and hunting and 
fishing were obvious attractions of this trip. Trumbull 
no doubt expressed the anticipation that several of them 
felt when he wrote that "we intended to hunt for all 
sorts of large game, Indians only excepted. No one 
desired to find any of them."*^ (I will leave Trumbull's 
eyebrow-raising equating of Native American humans 
with "large game" for another time, or another historian; 

General background on the Washburn Parr.- members, as provided 
in this essay, is from the publications of Langford, Haines, and 
Bartlett, as cited above. 
Walter Trumbull, "The Washburn Yellowstone Expedition," The 

Oiviidiid Munthlv. 6 (May 1871): 431. 

The Washburn Party spent much of their time in early September near the shores of Yellowstone Lake. They wrote the first reasonably 
detailed and accurate written accounts of the lake's native trout. They enjoyed fishing the lake, but eventually Yellowstone Lake cutthroat trout 
also became a critically important source of food for the expedition. William Henry Jackson 1871 photograph courtesy the National 
Park Service, Yellowstone Photograph Archives. 

10 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

as I said, this material continues to surprise and 
challenge us). 

That first night on the trail, camped along Trail 
Creek, Hedges wrote in his diary, perhaps with a little 
competitive triumph, that he "caught the first trout."'^ 
Trumbull added, in somewhat grumpy detail, that 
"some of the party fished with very limited success, 
catching only about half a dozen fish by their united 
and untiring efforts.""^ 

The group's various members fished frequently 
from then on, until they left the region that would 
soon become Yellowstone National Park. Fishing- 
minded readers would enjoy reading all their many 
mentions of the trout, but here we will confine ourselves 
to especially telling episodes. 

On August 23, they were in what is now known as 
Paradise Valley, the famously picturesque stretch of the 
Yellowstone River south of Livingston, Montana. They 
stopped at the Bottler Ranch, near present Emigrant, 
Montana, and camped nearby this pioneer holding that 
was known as the last outpost of civilization north of 
the Yellowstone Plateau. Hedges said, "I went down 
to fish after camping. Had no bate but meat which 
they wouldn't touch."" 

Here Hedges introduces us to a key element in the 
society of angling: the social and theoretical rivalries 
among anglers. Bait fishing was, even then, seen as the 
least cosmopolitan form of fishing. According to the 
loftiest dictates of refined sporting society, gentlemen 
(or snobs, depending upon your perspective) preferred 
sophisticated tackle employing artificial lures or flies. 
Washburn Party members revealed various opinions of 
the preference of Yellowstone trout for bait or artificial 
lures, but when it came to what method caught the 
most fish, most party members sided with the bait 
fishermen. In this case, though. Hedges' implication is 
a bit unclear. He could have meant that he needed 
more sophisticated tackle, such as fly-fishing gear, or 
he could just have been pointing up the inferiority of 
meat (presumably beef, elk, or other game) to 
grasshoppers, which were the most acclaimed and 
successful bait of the entire trip. Judging from his later 
experiences, the latter was the more likely case. 

On August 24, Hedges said, "just before camping 
we crossed a good sized creek with big boulders &c recent 
signs of bear among the cherry bushes. Our advance 

had a jack rabbit & sage hen but no fish. Couldn't 
catch any grasshoppers. Couldn't get any pole but 
caught some fish with [Benjamin] Stickney's pole."'- 
These remarks reveal what may well have been a 
common practice among the fishermen, at least 
among those not using store-bought tackle. As already 
noted, Hedges previously fished on August 22, so he 
must have had a "pole " that day. Because poles were 
so readily had at streamside, fishermen might not have 
bothered to carry one with them, or on the pack 
animals. At the end of a day's fishing, they could just 
discard the pole, wind their line around something 
convenient (like a very short stick) and stow it away 
until needed again. The risk of this approach, as 
Hedges appears to have been noting on August 24, is 
in not finding a suitable pole the next time. 

Also on August 24, Langford said that "during the 
forenoon some of the escort were very successful fishing 
for trout. "'^ This is our first indication that the soldiers 
under Lieutenant Doane were also fishing, and they 
were often quite successful. Doane echoed Langford's 
sentiment, saying that, "Our mess-table was here 
supplied with antelope, hare, ducks, and grouse killed 
during the day, with fish caught ad libitum in the 
afternoon."''^ Fish were already assuming a primary 
nutritional role for the party — a role that would increase 
in significance as the trip continued. 


Near Yankee Jim Canyon, Trumbull made the first 
fish-related natural history observations. He said, 

^ Cornelius Hedges, "Excerpts from the Diary of Cornelius Hedges 
(July 6, 1870 to January 29, 1871), transcribed from the original 
diary in the Montana State Historical Society Library by Aubrey 
Haines, November 5, 1962, Yellowstone National Park Research 
Library manuscript file, p. 2. 

' ^ Walter Trumbull, "Yellowstone Papers, No. One," Rocky Mountain 
Daily Gazette, October 1 8, 1 870, p. 2. 

' Hedges, "Diary," p. 3. 

Hedges, "Diary," p. 3. Modern anglers make a distinction between 
a "pole," which is usually just a stick with a line tied to the end, 
and a "rod," which typically is a professionally produced item 
complete with handle, reel, and small metal "guides" spaced evenly 
along its length and through which the line is cast or retrieved. 
- Langford, Discovery, p. 12. 

'^ Lieutenant Gustavus C. Doane, "The report of Lieutenant 
Gustavus C. Doane upon the so-called Yellowstone Expedition 
of 1870," U.S. Senate, 4lst Congress, 3rd Session, Ex. Doc. 51, 
1871, p. 4. 

Annals of Vi/yoming. The Wyoming History Journal ■■ Spring 2004 

"During the day plenty of small game was killed, and 
the fishing was found to be excellent. Trout and white- 
fish were abundant — and such trout! They can only be 
found in the neighborhood of the Rocky Mountains, 
and on the Pacific Slope. Few of them weighed less 
than nvo pounds, and many were over three. They 
had not been educated up to the fly; but when their 
attention was respectfully solicited to a transfixed 
grasshopper, they seldom failed to respond."'^ 

Here again, sporting values intrude on the narrative 
we are reconstructing. Trumbull was operating in an 
established literary mood with his remark about the 
trout not being educated "up to the fly" The suggestion 
that North American trout lacked the polish to respond 
to high-quality tackle was an occasional item of angling 
humor, and at times seemed even to imply a certain 
pride, that our trout were not snobs. Again, bait was 
preferred, but now we know that flies were tried by at 
least one party member. 

Of equal interest is TrtimbulTs mention of 
whitefish. Whitefish were native to the Yellowstone 
River through its entire length as far as upstream 
Knowles Falls, in present northern Yellowstone 
National Park. They were also native to the Madison 
River drainage, by which route the party left the park 
area and returned to Bozeman. Presumably they were 
sometimes part of the party's catch, but this is the only 
mention any parrv' member would make of them. As 
the "poor sisters" of trout in the prevailing sport fishers 
view (then as now), whitefish were rarely worth bragging 

Also in his August 24 entry, Doane (writing in a 
report that was no doubt polished and revised after the 
trip), first discussed the long-term availability and 
dependability of fish as a supplemental food source for 
the party when he said that "several of the party were 
very successful during the morning in fishing for trout, 
of which we afterward had an abundant and continued 
supply.""' Doane here also made his first contribution 
to the natural history of the fish: "The Yellowstone 
trout are peculiar, being the largest of the genus caught 
in waters flowing east. Their numbers are perfectly 
fabulous, but their appetites extremely dainty. One 
may fish with the finest tackle of eastern sportsmen, 
when the water appears to be alive with them, all day 
long without a bite. Grasshoppers are their peculiar 

weakness, and tising them for a bait the most awkward 
angler can fill a champagne-basket in an hour or two. 
They do not bite with the spiteful greediness of eastern 
brook trout, but amount to much more in the way of 
subsistence when caught. Their flesh is of a bright 
yellow color on the inside of the bodv, and of a flavor 

Doane, in his remark abotu the Yellowstone 
cutthroat trout being "the largest of the genus caught 
in waters flowing east," seems to have been comparing 
the Yellowstone Cutthroat with trout in the Missouri 
(or its source rivers, the Gallatin, Madison, and 
Jefferson), or any of the many other rivers that join the 
Missouri and host trout populations. Either he 
personalK' had, or he had learned from someone with, 
personal acquaintance with the various trout populations 
east of the Continental Divide. It is an interesting 
observation, but not one that seems supported by the 
historical record; earlv records of Missouri River trout, 
dating back as far as Lewis anci Clark's travels up and 
down the river in 1805-1806, suggest that Missouri 
River trout were sizeable. 

Doane's comments on the behavior of the eastern 
brook trout were possibly based on second-hand 
information, perhaps from another member of the 
party; Doane himself spent very little time in the East 
in his life.'''^ It would be interesting to know if his 
later experiences with Yellowstone cutthroats on this 
trip changed his mind. Small cutthroat trout in upland 
freestone streams seem to many modern anglers to feed 
at least as hastily and vigorously as do eastern brook 
trout (which have, regrettably, displaced them from 

' Triimhull, "The Washburn Yellowstone Expedition," p. 432. 
Throughout this paper, comments on fish natural histor)', history, 
management, and related topics are based primarily on John D. 
Varle\' and Paul Schullery, Yellowstone Fishes: Ecology. History, 
ijiid Angling in the P,irk (Harrisburg: Stackpole Books, 1'098). 
Additional information provided here on western native fishes, 
see Roger ] Bchnke, Native Trout of Western North Ainerici! 
(Bethesda: American Fisheries Society. 1992). Context on fishing 
histor\' is provided primarily by Schullery, Amenciin Fly Fishing: 
A History. 


Doane, "Report, p. 3 

' Doane, "Report," p. 3. 
'°Haines, Vellowstone Nitional P.trk. pp. 137-139. 1 am also indebted 
to Kim Allen Scott, Special Collections Librarian, Montana 
State University, Bozeman, Montana, for a reading of his in- 
press manuscript biography of Doane. 

12 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

many of their native waters in the West). 

On August 25. the party continued on an apparent 
Indian trail through Yankee Jim Canyon, now just a 
few miles north ot what would become Yellowstone 
National Park. At some point during the day, parry 
member Warren Gillette "tried my luck at fishing in 
YS.— caught nothing. Others of the party caught some 
fine fish — had lor supper last night & breakfast this 
A.M. Antelope, Rabbit, Grouse, duck & fish."''' As 
we will see, Gillette was one of the party who carried 
fly-fishing gear. Perhaps his lack of success was the 
inspiration tor Doane's remark about "the finest tackle 
of eastern sportsmen" not serving well. 

The party followed the Yellowstone River drainage 
upstream, finding plenty offish and other game. On 
August 28, Gillette, now in the area that would become 
Yellowstone National Park, and fishing the Yellowstone 
River near the mouth of Tower Creek, "Caught 7 fine 
trout that would weigh from 2 to 2-1/2 pounds each. 
These fish are not gamy like the trout in the east. They 
make but little resistance in being taken from the water 
& do not run with the hook after taking the bait."-'' 
Gillette was a native of New York, where he lived until 
attending Oberlin College in Ohio. His background 
and his comments this day further lead to the conclusion 
that he, at least, was using "eastern" tackle and was 
familiar with the native eastern brook trout. 

It is part of the Yellowstone Cutthroat's mixed 
reputation among modern fly fishers that it is, indeed, 
not as "gamy" as some other species of trout. The 
prevailing opinion is that, of the common trout species, 
Yellowstone Cutthroats are the least strong fighters 
when hooked. For example, unlike their near cousins 
the rainbows, Yellowstone Cutthroats rarely jump when 
hooked.-' But many of today's trout fishermen, more 
than a century further along in the sport's ethical 
development, do not place quite as high a premium on 
the "fight" as did earlier generations of anglers. Especially 
those anglers who practice catch-and-release seek to land 
the fish as quickly as possible, because the fish's struggle 
to escape — once such a prized part of the fishing 
experience — can exhaust it beyond recovery. 


September arrived as the party enjoyed the scenery, 
fishing, and hunting around the Grand Canyon of the 

Yellowstone River. Langford worried about the lateness 
of the season and the prospects for provisions: 
"However, the perceptible decline in our larder, and the 
uncertainty of the time to be occupied in further 
exploration, forbid more than two days' stay at the falls 
and caiion."'- The party would display a growing sense 
of urgency to keep moving, despite all their enthusiasm 
for discovery and wonder. 

There was another risk. There were many elk and 
other large animals in Yellowstone, in appropriate 
habitats. But those habitats were not uniformly 
distributed across the landscape, nor was the wildlife 
necessarily handy when hunters wanted food. And if 
the animals should begin to migrate to winter ranges in 
lower country, that source of meat would disappear. 
Only birds and trout would remain. 

At Yellowstone Lake that first week of September, 
Washburn joined the chorus of angling theorists who 
seemed to believe, or at least joked, that wild trout have 
to be taught to take flies: "The fishing, which had 
been good all the way up the river, proved remarkably 
so in the lake. Trout from 2 to 4 pounds were to be 
had for the taking. Flies proved useless, as the fish had 
not been educated up to that point. "-^^ He did not 
specify who, precisely, was fishing with flies, but this is 
probably the earliest known reference to the use of flies 
in what would become Yellowstone National Park. 

Like anglers of all generations, the Washburn Party 
enlisted a satisfying array of excuses, including lousy 
tackle, bad weather, poor bait, ignorant fish, and heavy 
streamside brush, to explain their days of failure in this 

' ^ Warren Gillette, "The Quest of Warren Gillette," Brian 
Cockhill, ed., Montana The Magazine of Western History 32 
(Summer 1972): 18. 

-" Gillette, "Quest," p. 19. 

^ For an expert angler opinion and commentary on the Yellowstone 
Cutthroat as a sportfish, and its contrast to the Snake River 
Cutthroat, which is famous for its fighting qualities, see Ernest 
Schwiebert, Troict (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1978), Vol. I, pp. 
287-290, in which Schwiebert recounts conversations about 
cutthroat trout with famous Jackson Hole guide Bob Carmichael. 

-^ Langford, Discovery, p. 38. 

^-' Henry D. Washburn, "The Yellowstone Expedition, explorations 
in a new and wonderful country — description of the Great Falls 
of the Yellowstone — volcanic eiuptions, spouting geysets, etc.," 
Helena Daily Herald, September 27 and 28, 1871, quoted from 
reprint in Louis C. Cramton, Early History ofYellowstone National 
Park ayidlts ReLition to National Park Policies (Washington, D.C., 
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), p. 94. 

A"nais ;•" Wycr'^c The V'.'yomipg Hisiory Jcur^a' ■- Spring 20S4 

fisherman's paradise (blaming the fish is always an 
especially entertaining rationalization). Unlike most 
modern anglers, however, parry members also listed the 
threat ot physical violence as an interfering hictor. At 
least once, the imagined or real approach of Indians 
caused anglers to return to camp.-"^ 

In his September 4 report entry, Doane ofiered the 
most extended observation on the characteristics of trout 
of Yellowstone Lake made by the parry: 

Its waters abound with trout to such an extent that 
the fish at this season are in poor condition, for want 
ot food. No other fish are seen; no minnDWs, and no 
small trout. 1 here are also no clams, crabs, or 
turtles — nothing but lull-grown trout. These could 
by caught in mule-loads bv wading out a tew teet in 
the open waters at anv point with a grasshopper bait. 
Two men could catch them taster than half a dozen 
could clean and get them ready for the frying pan. 
Caught in the open lake, their flesh was \'ellow; but 
in bays, where the water was strongly impregnated 
with chemicals, it was blood-red. Many oi them 
were full of long white worms, woven across rhe 
interior oi the bod\-, and through to the skin on either 
side. These did not appear to materialK- ahect the 
condition ot the fish, which wete apparenth' as active 
as the others.-^ 

The ambitious Doane, whose orders were limited 
ro accompanying the party, made good use oI the 
opportunity to distinguish himsell as an otficial 
explorer, producing the party's most competent and 
fully doctmiented report, including such lormalities as 
dailv temperatures, barometric readings, and elevations. 
His report was a model ot the type, and when it 
appeared in June 1871, it enjoyed a briet reign as the 
foremost published scientific source on the wonders ot 
Yellowstone. But even as it appeared, Ferdinand H,ivden 
of the U.S. Geological Survey and Captain lohn 
Barlow, an engineer with the U.S. Army's Division ot 
Missouri, were preparing much more protessional 
survey parties (including sportsmen-explorers ot their 
own) that within a \'eat woidd simply fiood the world 
with scientific information about Yellowstone. 

Still, Doane's report remains a literary and 
intormational classic trom this early period, and his 
accounts of the life historv ot Yellowstone trout were a 

legitimate contribution to knowledge at the time. 
Though some ot his natural history was suspect (such 
as the fish lacking food; how had the trout population 
persisted tor thousands ot vears if there was so little 
tood? — and such as the explanation ot the color of the 
flesh ot the trout, which is primarily the result ot diet), 
other parts were astute. Immature Yellowstone 
Cutthroat Trout are, indeed, rarely seen; they tend to 
live in deeper water, out ot reach ot sport anglers. And 
the observation ot the worms was to be echoed by 
countless later writers who encountered this visually 
disturbing but relatively benign 'at least to humans) 
patasite. Doane did nor formall)' identify this creature, 
but his acciuate accotmt of it and its effect on trour 
preceded b\' two yeats Dr. Joseph Leidy's formal 
description ot the tapeworm Diphyllobothyint)!.-^' 

Langford, whose reputation as a regional booster 
is well known by historians, said, in an article in 
Scrihner'i Monthly, that the lake "is filled with trout, 
some of gigantic size and peculiar delicacy."- There 
is no evidence in the historical, archaeological, or 
biological record that the trout of Yellowstone Lake 
ever achieved "gigantic " size. A 24-inch specimen would 
be extraordinary, btu in the lexicon of anglers of that 
day even a fish that large would hardh' be considered 
gigantic. It is possible that Langford's own experiences 
to that time had involved only smaller trout, but it is 
also possible that describing the trout this way was for 
Langford just another means ot further enhancing his 
description of the regions glories. 

fiedges, in a newspaper article he later wrore about 
Yellowstone Lake, gave us the party's best single 
reminiscence of what Yellowstone Lake angling was 
like tot a true enthusiast. This account stands as by far 
the most extended and meaningful petsonal 
sportfishing narrative to that point in the Yellowstone 
area's literar)' history. 

-'* Laiioford, "Wonders," p. 119. 

-' Doane, "Report,' p. 19. 

*-^James Pritchard, Pu'serving Yellowstone's Niitiinil Conditions 

(Lincoln: Universir,' of Nebrask.i Press, 1990), p. 80. 
- Langford, "The Wonders ot the Yellowstone.' Scribiier's Monthly. 

May 1871. p. 11 4. 

14 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

By mid-September, when the Washburn Party reached the now-famous geyser basins of the Firehole River, pictured here as photographed 
by William Henry Jackson in 1 871 , they were anxious to reach home. They had little time to fish the Firehole River, now world-famous among 
fly fishers, but it was barren offish life for almost its entire length anyway. The Firehole was later stocked with a variety of non-native sport fish 
by early park administrators. Photograph courtesy the National Park Service, Yellowstone Photograph Archives. 

M\- indi\idual taste led me to fishing, and 1 venture 
that none of the party dare complain that they did not 
have all the fine trout that their several appetites and 
capacities could provide storage tor. Indeed, I feel in 
gratitude bound to bear testimony that for fme fish, 
and solid, satisf}'ing fun, there is no body of water 
under the sun more attractive to the ambitious 
fisherman than the Yellowstone Lake. While upon the 
subject of fishing, allow me to relate one or two instances 
of personal experience. One day, after the loss of our 
comrade [this would be later in September-P.S.], and 
when rations were getting short, I was deputed to lav 
in a stock of fish to eke our scantv larder on our 
homeward journey. Proud of this tribute to my 
piscatoPi' skill, I endeavored under some difficulties, to 
justif)' the expectations of my companions, and in about 
two hours, while the waves were comparatively quiet, I 
strewed the beach with about 50 beauties, not one of 
which would weigh less than 2 pounds, while the 
average weight was about 3 pounds. Another incident, 
illustrative of the proximity of hot springs rather than 

of trouting: Near the southwest corner of the lake is a 
large basin of exceedingly hot springs. These springs 
cover a large field. Some are in the very margin of the 
lake, while others rise under the lake and indicate their 
localit)' by steam and ebullition upon the lakes surface 
when the waves are not too uneasy. One spring of 
large size, unfathomable depth, sending out a 
continuous stream of at least 50 inches of scalding water, 
is still separated from the cool water of the lake by a 
rocky partition, not more than a foot thick in places. I 
returned along the narrow rim of this partition, a-^d 
catching sight of some expectant trout lying in easy 
reach, I solicited their attention to a transfixed 
grasshopper, and meeting an early and energetic 
response, I attempted to land my prize beyond the 
spring, but unfortunately for the fish, he escaped the 
hook to plunge into this boiling spring. As soon as 
possible I relieved the agonized creature by throwing 
him out with my pole, and though his contortions 
were not fully ended, his skin came off and he had all 
the appearance of being boiled through. The incident. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal ■- Spring 2004 

though excusable as an incident, was too shocking to 

We noted it as a singular fact that we saw no other fish 
than trout in the lake, and no small fish ot any sort. 
There was a wide contrast in the color of the meat oi 
these trout. While most oi them were as richh' red as 
salmon, others were quite white; and as a frank 
confession is good for the soul, we will relieve our own 
by confessing that some at our ver\' last camp on the 
lake were knind to be wormy.-^^ 

Despite Hedges's obvious horror at causing such 
agony to the fish that was accidentally boiled, it was 
not true that it was "too shocking to repeat." in fact he 
was anticipating a long popular (if ghastly) practice 
among Yellowstone vacationers. Purposeh' cooking live 
fish just that wav became a popular visitor attraction in 
Yellowstone for many years after the park was 
established. The cruel practice was not made illegal 
until 1929. 

As the parry traveled the forested countn' around 
Yellowstone Lake, Langford's concerns about food were 
realized. The easy hunting was past, and their other 
provisions ran low. On September 6, Hedges said "had 
nothing but salt meat today. Poorest camp we have 
had in tangled woods."-'' But on September 7, now 
near the southern end of the southeast arm of 
Yellowstone Lake, Hedges said "I went out and had 
much fim catching trout, got about a doz & had a 
good supper."'" 

On September 9, disaster struck. As the party 
thrashed through the heav)' downfall of timber south 
of the lake, fiftv-fotir year-old Iruman Everts became 
separated from the grotip, and despite the heroic efforts 
of parry members who searched for him even after the 
first snows began to fall, he wandered lost for thirty- 
seven days, finally being rescued by two local 
moimtaineers in the northern part of the present park. 
Some of his most exasperating experiences in tr\'ing to 
feed himself in the wilci involved his attempts to catch 

Meanwhile, for the main party, trout were getting 
more important as food. C^n September 10, in camp 
on Flat Motmtain Arm on the smithwest shore of 
Yellowstone Lake, Doane reported that "in the 
evenintr large numbers of fish were cati"ht. Private 

Williamson catching fifty-rwo large trout, all that two 
men could carry, in less than an hour."''- On 
September 1 1 , Hedges said "though it was Sun we 
wanted fish so much that I went down & caught about 
a dozen. ... I am to stay & lay in store offish."'^ On 
September 12, Langford said "during the absence of 
Washbtu'n and myself Mr. Hedges has spent the day 
in fishing, catching forty of the fme trout with which 
the lake abounds. Mr. [Benjamin] Stickney has to- 
day made an inventory of our larder, and we find that 
our luxuries, such as coffee, sugar and flour, are nearly 
used up, and that we have barely enough of necessary 
provisions — salt, pepper, etc., to last us ten days longer 
with economy in their use. We will remain at the lake 
probably three or four days longer with the hope of 
finding some trace of Everts, when it will be necessary 
to turn our faces homewards to avoid general disaster, 
and in the meantime we \sill diT a few hundred pounds 
of trout, and carr\- them with us as a precatitionary 
measure against starvation. "^"^ 

On September 16, Doane reported the party's 
preparations to leave the lake. "We spent the evening 

-" Hedges, "Yellowstone Lake, " Heleiui Daily HeralA, November 
9, quoted from reprint in Louis C. Cramton, Early History of 
Yellou 'Stone National Park and Its ReLition to National Park Policies 
(Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), 
pp. 108-109. For variations on these stories, see also Hedges' 
letter ro his sister, which includes the following passage: "The 
Lake itself is 25 miles long — we reached it first Sept. 3 — I left it 
on the 1 ^th having gone entirely around it — I caught hundreds 
of trout 111 its waters, the smallest one would weigh more than 
rivo pounds. . . . there are many hot springs around the lake & 
in some places in the verv' bottom ot the lake — so close &: so hot 
are some ot these springs that one day I caught a large trout & 
in pulling him out he tell olif mv hook o\er a hot spring & before 
1 could toss him out with mv pole he was cooked thru. . . . " 
Cornelius Hedges, letter to "Dear Sister," October 11, 1870, 
Montana Historical Society Collection, SC #1874, p. 3- For 
another account ot Hedges's experience with the trout that tell 
into the hot spring, see Trumbull, "The Washburn Yellowstone 
Expedition," p. 492. 

- Hedges, "Diary," p. 9. 

30 Hedges, "Diary," p. 9. 

■ Lee Whittlesey, Lost in the Yellowstone: Truman Everts's "Thirty- 
Set'en Days of Peril" (Salt Lake Ciry: LIniversity of Utah Press, 
1995) is the most thorough account of Everts' experience, 
including a complete version ot Everts' own published story. 

Doane, "Report," p. 23. 


-'•' Hedges, "Diary, " p. 10. 

-''* Langford, Discovery, pp. 83-84. 

Arnals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

in collecting specimens from the different springs and 
laving in a supply ot fish for future use."'"" Hedges 
added that "I spent most of the time in fishing. Caught 
about 20. Didn't have a good pole and didn't want to 
wade in. Enjoyed the day very much in spite of wet 
feet and head ache. "''^' As on several other occasions, 
we find here a report that subsistence fishing was also 
sport fishing; he still had fun. 

On September 17, the main party moved out, 
heading west to the headwaters of the Madison River, 
\s'hich they would follow downstream. On September 
1 8 they emerged from the forest into the Upper Geyser 
Basin, where they spent a hectic day seeing what they 
could in this extraordinary area. Then they hurried 
down the Firehole River, which at that time was barren 
offish life almost its entire length. On September 19, 
Hedges said "no fish in river. Grub getting very thin." "* 
That same day, the day before they left the present park 
area, Langford said, "we are now on short rations, but 
the fish we dried while camped on Yellowstone lake are 
doing good service."^^ 

Yellowstone's First Fly Fisher? 

Warren Gillette and his soldier companions, who 
had stayed behind at Yellowstone Lake, had no luck 
finding Everts.'''^ They followed the rest of the part)', 
and on their way out they gave us our first specific 
reference to a known individual fly fishing in what 
would become Yellowstone National Park, one of the 
world's great fly-fishing destinations. On September 
24, Gillette, now on the lower Firehole or upper 
N4adison River, perhaps near the junction of the 
Firehole and Gibbon rivers, said, "Tried fishing. My 
only fly was taken off and could get no bites from meat 

For historians of western fly fishing, this is a 
tantalizing but frustrating statement. Had Gillette just 
lost his last fly? — meaning he had lost the others while 
fishing earlier in the trip? Or had just left his fly book 
behind in camp, and just lost the "only fly" he had with 
him? Had he lost the fly in a fish, an underwater snag, 
a bush? What kind of "meat bait" did he try? Had the 
advancing season eliminated the option of using 
grasshoppers? We can only guess, but again, it seems 
most probable, if not certain, that Gillette was the 
person who kept trying the "eastern tackle" mentioned 

by the others, and that despite their sarcasms he found 
flies more effective or at least more satisfying to use 
than meat bait. More than that we cannot support 
without additional evidence. 


We might divide the historical interest of the 
Washburn Party's fish-related exploits into two areas. 
The first is in the field of sport history. Here they left 
us a vivid account of fishing what hyperbolic outdoor 
writers would call "virgin waters. " Though untold 
generations of native people and any number of earlier 
white visitors had caught trout in Yellowstone, the 
Washburn Party left us the first reasonably detailed 
account of it, thus serving as pioneer sporting journalists 
in this now world-famous fishing destination. They 
used a variet}' of tackle, from the most basic to the 
most sophisticated, but they left us all too little 
information on such matters as tackle and line 
specifications, fly patterns, and other details of interest 
to angling antiquarians. 

They displayed an awareness of competing sporting 
styles and codes of their time by their somewhat negative 
comments about the "finest tackle of eastern sportsmen," 
comments which, it seems likely, also implied a certain 
pride in their frontier competence at not needing such 
effete fripperies. Their values were otherwise not 
surprising, except perhaps in Hedge's sympathetic 
portrayal of the agony of a fish he accidentally dunked 
in a hot spring. They were typical of their time in killing 
ver\' large numbers of fish, but deserve pardon from 
the critical judgments of later generations for these 
apparent excesses, because they evidently consumed 
most or all of the fish they caught. Even Private 

- ' Doane, "Report, " p. 27. 

-''' Hedges, "Diary," p. 11. 

-'' Hedges, "Diary," p. 12. 

-^° Langford, DufOf^n'. P- 116. 

■'' Gillette, "Quest," p. 27, on September 18, said "Williamson 
left Moore & myself to make a shelter (which we did with poles 
& blankets) while he went out to hunt. In about an hour we 
heard him halou in the mountains. Heard his shots first. Moore 
took the mule & went to where we heard the shots & returned 
with a fine fat 2 year old heifer Elk. We ate the liver for supper. I 
must not forget that I killed another chicken today with my 
pistol, of which I feel quite proud." 

4" Gillette, "Quest," p. 29. 

Anats of Wvomina The ' 

OTiira Hislop,' .:j 

Williamson's huge carcli of Hfty-two trout on 
September 10 must be kept in perspective by 
calculating how little time such a haul would last when 
confronted by the appetites of" nineteen hungry 

Perhaps the most important part of their sport 
fishing literary legacy was simply in showing the 
modern angler what is at stake in managing wild trout 
fisheries. The first literate sportsmen into a new region 
provide us with a kind ol baseline oi fish and game 
conditions against which we can measure all later 
attempts to sustain and protect these resources. 

The second area of interest is a hodgepodge of 
impressions that the Washburn Party provides other 
historical specialists. To the historian of western natural 
history, thev provided some modest but meaningfiil 
first-hand observations on the regions trout — nothing 
on the scale ot their lengthy accounts oi the geography 
and geothermal wonders, but still pathbreaking 
inlormation new to biologists. To the historian of 
western exploration, trout should, but do not, loom 
large in this chapter of the "discovery" of the West; it 

seems clear that without trout in those critical mid- 
September days the Washburn Party would have been 
in serious trouble for want ol tood. To historians oi 
the development and eventual solidification ol" the 
national park idea as embodied in the Yellowstone Park 
Act ol March 1, 1872, the mens comments of the 
quality of the fishing are an indication of yet another 
ol the many reasons that could be enlisted in marketing 
the park to tourists. 

The trout was one of the most important animals 
in the history ol the Washbtirn Party. Cumulatively, 
part)^ members wrote substantially more words about 
the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout than they wrote about 
any other wild animal species. '' Fishing was, lor this 
or that subset ol the partv, a means ol acquiring lood, 

"* For the most thorough compiLition ot wildhfe obscr\Mtions 
b\' the \X dshburn Pirr\", see P,iul Schulle^^• and Lee Whirtlese\', 
"The Documentan,- Record ot Wolves and Related Wildlife 
Species in the Yellowstone National Park Area Prior to 1882," 
in J.D. Varley and W.G. Brewster, eds.. Wolves for Yellowstonfi' A 
Report to the United States Congress, Volume IV. Research and 
Analysis (Yellowstone National Park: National Park Setvice. 
^")')2),pp. 1.S1-1.S8 

An 1860s-era picture of the Yellowstone River just north of Yankee Jim Canyon appeared in 
Alfred E, Mathews. Penal Sketches of Montana (the author, New Yori<. 1868). The 
Washburn Party would have seen the same country in 1870, passing this way as they 
followed the nver through the canyon. Note the pronghorn in the nght foreground: Mathews 
spoke at some length about the abundance of game in the area. Courtesy the Yellowstone 
Park Research Library. 

18 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2Q04 

of testing one's angling skill, of engaging in friendly 
competition with other sportsmen, and of studying the 
natural world. Trout were appreciated as food, as 
sporting quarry, as affirmation of sporting codes, as 
scientific objects, and even as potential promotional 

This is not to imply that trout were that important 
to everybody, all the time, in the West. It would be 
unfair to liken the intensity of interest that the 
Washburn Party displayed in trout to any similar interest 
shown by other white residents of Montana Territory 
in their day-to-day lives. Only some people fish, and 
among them, the average angler in the Northern Rocky 
Mountains in 1870 would have routinely combined 
sport and subsistence as the only reasons for fishing. 

On the other hand, that same average person would 

have little day-to-day use for all the rich, diverse 
elements and values of literature, fine arts, music, or 
any other central human pursuit. The point of this 
paper is not to elevate trout fishing to a primary focus 
among historians of the West, but to alert those 
historians to the opportunities that trout fishing, in its 
own quiet and unique way, provides us for improving 
our understanding of all the subtle and unspoken things 
that our ancestors were up to when they traveled through 
trout country, mi 

Paul Schullery 

first worked in Yellowstone as a ranger- 
naturalist in 1972. He is the author, co-author, 
or editor of more than thirty books, including 
Searching for Yellowstone, The Bears of 
Yellowstone, and Mountain Time. A former 
director of The American Museum of Fly 
Fishing, in Manchester, Vermont, Paul is 
also author of American Fly Fishing: A 

Arnals o' '.'"'/vomlnq' The Wvoiiipc His::~,' Journa' -- Sp^nq 

The Past and Present of Fly-Fishing in 
\^ Jackson Hole, Wyoming: 
\ An Interview with Jack Dennis^ 

by Adrian A. Bantjes 




Fly-fishing on Jackson Lal<e 
below thie peaks of the Tetons, 
Trolling would become the 
technique of choice on the lake. 
Stephen N, Leek Collection, 
Amencan Heritage Center. 

Jack Dennis, Wyoming's best-known fly-fisherman, fly-tier, and 
angling outfitter, is the author of The Western Trout Fly Tying 
Manual (1974) and owner of Jack Dennis Sports in Jackson, 
Wyoming. Dennis appears regularly on television sporting shows, 
has produced numerous fly-fishing videos, and serves as a fly-fishing 
consultant to foreign governments and other organizations. He has fished 
with celebrities and politicians such as Tom Selleck, Don Johnson, Dick 
Cheney, James Baker, and Eduard Shevardnaze. On April 12, 2002, he 
spoke with a group of University of Wyoming students about his role in the 
fly-fishing history of Jackson Hole, the fly-fishing industry, conservation 
policies, and, of course, the impact of the movie /\ River Runs Through It. 

JD: I was born in Jackson and I spent mv childhood, even' siunmer ot ni\' life 
except for one, in Jackson. My grandfather would come all the way from the 
Philippine Islands to Jackson every summer... He was the banker for Chase 
Manhattan Bank and he traveled the Orient doing what you call correspondent 
banking. He had a first cousin that had a ranch where the Park Service headquarters 

Inten'iew recorded, edited, and annotared by Adrian Bantjes. 

20 Annais of Wyoming- The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

is [today] and he would come and stay with her. In the 
[late twenties,] [John D.] Rockefeller [, Jr.] decided to 
start buying up land to give it to the [Grand Teton 
National] Park and they bought up. . .my aunt's ranch 
and made it one of the first acquisitions. We were 
immediately tagged as one of the traitors in Jackson to 

have sold the land. . . Rockefeller was Standard Oil So 

he was a bad guy; they blamed him a lot for the 
Depression. . .Now, you might say, [how] does that even 
relate to fishing, but that gave us one oi the greatest 
fishing parks in the world, along with Yellowstone.- 

A man by the name of Bob Carmichael... literally 
built the very first Western fly-shop. It didn't happen 
in West Yellowstone; it happened in Jackson Hole. He 
actually bought an existing fly-shop there in Moose, 
Wyoming,... and he opened his in the [late thirties].' 
He was. . .the official guide of Teton Park. They actually 
had guides hired by the park to take people out. 
Remember, this is the thirties and it was still pretty 
wild country. So most people didn't just go wandering 
out fishing; they had guides. Guides were cheap... 
Guys. ..learned. ..from Carmichael, then went 
back. . .and built the famous shops of West Yellowstone, 
which actually started in a guy's garage, a guy by the 
name of [Don] Martinez, who tied flies for Bob 
Carmichael. . .It eventually became the first shop there 
and then a variety [of other shops], [Bud] Lilly's, [for 
example], came... I grew up... around [Carmichael's] 
shop... My grandfather was lucky enough to have 
enough money to afford guided fishing trips and so I 
got a chance to go on a guided fishing trip ... up until I 
was about fifteen at least a couple of times a week if the 
fishing was good. My grandfather was not a great fly- 
fisherman but he loved doing it. So I got exposed to 
the history... at a pretty young age in the fifties... So 
that's my kinda background: guiding when I was eleven 
years old at Carmichael's. They'd have me take a guy 
up and show em the beaver ponds... There were 
fabulous big fish and people just wanted to see them - 
they couldn't catch them-. . .and you'd get twenty bucks 
for doing it. It was a pretty good deal. So that's how I 
started guiding. My experience came from that shop 
and eventually I got into the business from there. 

Q: How did Carmichael end up in Jackson Hole? 

JD: He was from Pennsylvania. That, of course, if 
you study the history of fly-fishing, is a very intricate 
part [of fly-fishing history]. The Catskills, Pennsylvania, 
the famous chalk streams, which very much mimic the 
streams of England. . .Bob Carmichael was the product 
of that area. [Writing about Wyoming,] in the book 
Flies,... Boh says, "Imagine an area where you could 
fish from April first to October thirty-first -which is 
the fishing season-, and fish dry flies the whole entire 
time, and never fish the same water twice.'''* That is the 
way it was there in 1 949. Why did that guy move from 
Pennsylvania? Because, in Pennsylvania, you know when 
their trout fishing ends? In July. Why? Because the water 
gets so hot that the only time you can catch trout at 
that time is at night. Actually, it ends earlier. So,. . .those 
people starred looking at the West. ..Carmichael came 
out here and he brought all that Eastern tradition with 
him, a little bit of catch-and-release. Bob had a rule: 
you could only take one fish per person because that 
was all one person could eat. . .The limit in those days 
was 36 fish a day. When I started fishing, the limit was 
down to 24 fish a day. When I started guiding, it was 
12 fish per day... He saw what happened to the East 
and he knew that it would happen [in Wyoming] ...He 
started educating the people in Jackson ... that you could 
do it a different way. He was a great teacher and what 
he did more than anything was he inspired guides... 
He got young men and... molded them and gave them 
those ideals and then they ran the ball from there. A lot 
of them... started their own shops 

- For background, see Robert W. Rjghter, Crucible for Cotiservation: 
The Struggle for Grand Teton National Park (Colorado Associated 
Univcrsit)' Press, 1982). Also see Horace M. Albright, The Birth 
of the National Park Service: The Founding Years. 1913-1933 (Salt 
Lake Cit)-: Howe Bros., 1983). 
The Moose Tackle Shop, now the Moose General Store. 

" Here Dennis refers to a letter from Bob Carmichael ro J. Edson 
Leonard, dated April 6, 1949, published in Leonard's Flies: Their 
Origin, Natural History, Tying, Hooks, Patterns, and Selections of 
Dry and Wet Flies, Nymphs, Streamers, Salmon Flies for Fresh and 
Salt Water in North America and the British Isles, including a Dic- 
tionaiy of 2200 Patterns (South Brunswick, New York: A.S. Barnes 
and Co.; London: Thomas Yoselofif, Ltd., 1950), pp. 301-304. 
Carmichael states that, "1 do not claim to have 'discovered' 
Jacksons Hole dry fly fishing but will say that those who pre- 
ceded me in the area with theit drys were very quiet about it." (p. 

Annals of Wyoming' The Wyoming History Journa: -- Spnnq 2004 2]_ 

Q: Did Bob Carmichael bring the East coast, dry- 
fly tradition to the Rockies and how did that [impact] 
local wet fly traditions? 

JD: Well, the local people really didn't know much. 
A lot of- [local fly-fishing] was based on Jackson 
Lake. . .You got to understand that most oi the fishmg 
in the West [was] in the lakes because that's where the 
fish were. . .Most of the people started fishing lakes first 
and then gravitated to the streams. So when Bob came 
out there, most of it was in the Glen L. Evans^ school 
of fly-fishing, which was snelled flies, very 
unsophisticated, mostly wet flv-fishing. But Bob did 
something that changed [local practices]. He brought 
[the] Eastern dr\' fly [with him] but then he met these 
people from California that had discovered Jackson. 
California had a very sophisticated culture. . .t}'ing flies 

for steelhead They had developed nymph-fishing 

before, which was really an English deal, . . . because they 
had very little dry-fly fishing, because vou didn't 
catch. . .anadromous" fish. . .on dry flies. So. . .you took 
those steelhead tactics and used them on regular 
trout. ..Those people came and met Boh and introduced 
him to those Western flies. One of the fly tiers that he 
picked up was a guy by the name of Roy [M.] Donnelly, 
who was a very well-known steelhead tier. He started 
interacting with him on t)'ing diy flies and he became a 
very big dry fly tier even though he had never tied dr\' 
flies before. . .Then he met a guy b\' the name of Wayne 
["Buz"] Buszek, who was a more contemporary tier, 
so Bob had almost all his flies tied from California. 
Don Martinez... did the "Irresistible" and... a nvmph 
called the "Martinez Black. "...So Bob learned from 
California, took his Eastern techniques and kinda 
modeled his own Western way of fishing, as did a lot 
of other people besides Bob throughout the West. They 
took a little of this and a little of that, stirred it up in a 
pot, and ended up with a particular method of 
fishing... He always leaned more towards dry flies on 
the river. Bob's collection of flies, I remember [it] just 
like if we were standing there today. . .Most of the wet 
flies were designed for the lake fishing. Now,. . .three- 
quarters [of his guiding] was done on the lakes. He fly- 
fished all the lakes, and they trolled flies, they cast flies. 
Yellowstone, Lewis, Jenny, Bradley, Taggert...[Boh] 
died in '59, his son [ran] the shop until '67,. . .using a 

lot of those converted steelhead patterns, and we did a 
lot of lake fishing. . .We learned to get better fish in the 
rivers, and the Green [River] came on, and the South 

Fork and the Bighorn Remember, the Bighorn is 

a phenomenon, [but] it happened in the sixties. 1 fished 
the Bighorn for pike when I went to college up there. 
If someone had told me this was going to be a great 
trout fishery, I'd have laughed. I went out there with 
one of mv Indian friends who was on the baseball 
team... We were catching northern pike like mad out 
there. But that new...Yellowtail dam,...change[d] all 
that... The histor)' of fishing is a relatively contemporary' 
thing... Can you imagine., .thered be 12,000 fish per 
mile... down there? There isn't a natural stream in this 
countr}' except for Alaska that might have 1 2,000 fish 
per mile. 

Q: How do you fit personalK' in this tradition? 
Which influences molded your approach to fly-fishing? 

JD: When I was four years old, my mother had to 
be put in the hospital. My father was a pilot and I ended 
up with grandparents.. .We'd move ever}' year, so the 
only stability 1 had in my life was fishing in Jackson. 
My father eventually decided to go to Lowry [Air Force 
Base, in Denver] and fly in the reserves and work for 
Cart Brothers running their hunting department. So I 
ended up in Colorado. . .where you'd get a great [fishing] 

influence because Hank Roberts had a big [fly-nlng] 

operation, and... a lot of people fish[ed] the [South] 

Platte [That] was not a tailwater fisher}' then, just 

the Platte River Canyon. So all of a sudden I found 
myself having fishing not only in the summer, hut 
partially in the winter, and [experienced] the influence 
of fly-tying. When I was nine years old, my grandfather 
gave me this fly-tying kit, and I struggled with it... I 
tised to go down to the library in Denver. If you lived 
in Thornton where I lived you weren't allowed to check 
out a book.. .so I'd have to draw pictures. I looked at 
the books and there . . . was nothing out there to teach 
anything. I'll never forget going to a sport show in 

Glen L. Evans, Inc., was a well-known fly manut.icturer based in 
Caldwell, Idaho. 
'' Sea-run fish. 

Buszek established his fly shop in V'isalia. California, in 1947. 

22 Annals of Wyoming: The VVyomino Miginn.. innmai - Snnnn 200J 


Fly-fishing for Lal<e Trout on Jackson Lake. Steplnen N. Leek Collection, American Heritage Center. 

Denver. A mI was U'in^ this "Irresistible" —she was a 
Japanese lady- and I was trying to look at it and every 
time I looked at it she would hold her hand over it. I 
said, '"VC'Tiy are yoti even tying here?" "Well, Mr. Roberts 
allowed me to tie, but I'm not allowed to show this 
fly." And that influenced me so much, that you would 
keep inlormation away from people, for proprietary 
reasons... I learned to tie flies, had a few people show 
me, but mostly I learned it on my own. . .There [weren't] 
many books, what books we could grab on to 
influenced us... 

I got into Jackson right behind Carmichael. There 
was nobody there to take his place... I kinda stepped 
into that, went out and made a reputation. I was ver)' 
lucky that Curt Gowdy"^ put me on a TV show, 77;!? 
American Sportsman, in '68. That kinda gave me the 
confidence. I started the shop when I was nineteen, and 
I kinda just learned my way through it... If I had stayed 
in [college], I probably would have lost that 
opportunit}'. Somebody else would have taken it. It's 
just fate. I leel that I've had an influence on fly- 
fishing.. .There's a guy by the name of Lefty Kreh, 76 
years old, he's the most recognized name in fly-fishing. 
He had a day job until he was sixty; he wrote the sports 
column for the Baltimore 5?/;?... and he wrote for all 
the magazines... Finally, in his sixties, he reached a 

pinnacle in the sport, and his income at that point 
would have equaled what a first year lineman, not 
even... [on] a pro team, [might make]. So there's no 
money in this. . .None of the people in this sport got 
in it for money, they got in it because they loved it, 
and they had a day job. . .Look at Gary Borger' , he 
was a college professor until last year... Dave 
Whitlock'" was a commercial artist. ..Gary 
LaFontaine" was a clinical psychologist for the 
Montana prison system... Mike Lawson'' was a 
school teacher before he opened his shop. He 
taught... industrial arts... Most of these guys are 
terrific teachers because that's what they did. So this 
kinda evolved as. . .a boutique type business. If there 

* Famous Wvoming-born sports broadcaster. 

" GatT,- Borger is professor-emeritus at the Universit)' of Wisconsin, 
Wausau, and a well-known fly-fishing author, teacher, video 
producer, and tackle designer. 

'" Dave Whitlock gave up his position as a research chemist to 
become a fly-fishing artist, writer, tier, and teacher. He owns the 
Whitlock Fly-Fishing School in the Arkansas Ozarks. 

" Gary LaFontaine, a pioneering fly-fishing author, taught behav- 
ioral psychology at the Universit}' of Montana until his death in 
2002. A fly-fishing book collection was established at the Ameri- 
can Heritage Center of the University of Wyoming to honor his 

'- Mike Lawson, a well-known Idaho flv-fisherman, tier, and au- 
thor, owns the Henry's Fork Angler's Shop in Last Chance, Idaho. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

[are] any true professionals, I'd have to call them guides. 
Now we've got about five kids that work [or us that 
guide in the summer here, in the winter in Argentina, 
in the oil-seasons in Costa Rica. That would be a 

professional They're making their whole entire living 

on fishing. And you know what, they last about six 
years, doing that, because its such a hard deal they just 
can't handle it. They start getting really serious burnout. 

Dennis on Conservation and the Fly-Flshing 

JD: There's a movement among... a lot ol the 
young biologists [of the Fish and Wildlife Service] that 
we should go back to the native species. Untortunately, 
we've built up a sport fishing industry, which has been 
perpetuated since our founding lathers wanted to change 
fishing in Pennsylvania. . . [Michael] Finley' ' and I, the 
former superintendent of Yellowstone [National Park], 
had some big talks about that, because we funded a 
Yellowstone introduction program through the One 
Fly Foundation. ''...[Many local guides] lelt that [the 
Park was planning to go] in and tak[e] all the browns 
and rainbows out ol the Madison and Firehole River. 
Of course, I went immediately to Finley and I said, 
"Finley,. ..don't take away a fishery."... What's 
happening within the Fish and Wildlife Service is you 
have the younger ones coming up with a little bit 
different views. So there is a very big conflict. . .and we re 
feeling a little bit threatened. 

In Denver, for years and years, they had the fly tackle 
dealers' association meeting, then it went to Salt Lake, 
now it's back in Denver... It kinda brought the 
competition level up and also changed the 
magazines. . .There is no sport on earth that has more 
books. Consequently, there is no sport on earth that 
has more magazines. . . [There are] probably two dozen 

fly-fishing-oriented magazines It's funny, because the 

readership is very small... Out of five million fly- 
fishermen, they have about 180,000 people that read 
fly-fishing magazines... Yet 75% of [the fly-fishing 
tackle companies'] advertising budget is going to be for 
those magazines... They spend way too much money 
on magazine advertising. . .Yet those magazines are still 
out there. We all feel, among the professionals, [that] 
there need to be about a third of those matrazines, and 

that the manufacturers should be putting more 

money into. . .education but, you know, people 

in the magazines feel differently. They have three 
magazines on saltwater fly-fishing. It would be nice 
to have one, but three.' 

Business has got to grow. Now rod 
manufacturers [have] made [fly-fishing] into an 
industry... It is a small business. I guess there are 
people that want to make a living out of it and 
there's a desire for us to have nice rods, nice lines 
and stuff. Anv business that doesn't grow is not 
healthy. . .The kind of people that really make the 
business go are the kind of people that make any 
business go. Unfortunately, those kind of people 
don't want to get caught in a business they don't 
make very much money in. Consequently, )'ou don't 
get but very few people who know how to reall)' 
run a business. [The rod company] Sage is a prime 
example of a good-run one. 1 remember sitting there 
with some friends of mine and one of them happens 
to be the leading lawv'er in Hollywood. I watched 
him go from just being a lawyer with Disney to 
being the top guy. f^e loves fly-fishing... He has a 
lot of power in the motion picture industry. . .He's 
Harrison Ford's lawyer, he gets 10"o of everything 
Harrison Ford makes, 1 5%....And another guy was 
a big leading New York investor. . . .They're all worth 
a fortune, have big beautiful homes in Jackson, their 
own little streams. Another guy was one of the 
presidents of Deloitte and louche, and then )iie. 
And they're saying, "You know, jack, you really 
made a mistake here. You should have a place in 
Beverlv Hills. Fhink about the amount of money 
vou could make in California. " 1 said, "Look, you 
guys, ...I think you're nuts because here I am in 
lackson. Yeah, 1 don't make anwhere near what 

vou guvs make but vou knciw, I had for 25 years 

all that that vou guvs have had to pay millions to 
come and enjov and vou only tjet to do it on 

" Yellowstone National Park Superintendent from 1194-2001. 

'■' The One-Flv Foundation manages funds earmarked tor consen'a- 
tion projects and raised during the annual Jackson Hole One Fly 
angling competition. The competition, which statted in 1986, 
involves lly-Fishing teams that Fish with only one tly per person. 
Participants include tly-Fishing professionals as well as celebrities 
and politicians such as Dick Chenev, Al Simpson, and Curt Gowdy. 

Annals of VVvoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

weekends"... And they go, "Never thought of it that 
wav." "In one week you do [more] contracts in the 
motion picture business, more than what in ten years 
the flv-fishing industry brings in." At that time, he just 
got through handhng the sale to SONY of Columbia 
Pictures. . . I think it's hard for them to think small. 

Q: Some people say that the movie A River Runs 
Through It^" led to the fly-fishing boom of the nineties. 
Do \'ou think that's true? 

JD: I think it was evolvbig that way. ..After the 
war people had a lot more recreation time,. ..the 
spinning reel came in, and there was a real move to go 
out and fish. Because spin fishing was so easy..., the 
emphasis was not on quality, it was on just taking fish. 
[There] was a lot of. ..consumerism. It mirrors the 
consumerism in the United States, two cars in every 
garage and all that. ..But what. . .changed fly-fishing is 
the changing ol the lines. . .When you went out in the 
thirties, forties, fift:ies, you had to grease your fly line. 
It was a long process. And you had to soak your leaders. 
Two things happened: the invention of good nylon, 
which. . .provided leaders that vou didn't have to soak 
for an hour, and the inventing of the plastic coated fly 
line. Then the fiberglass rod came along, which made 
fly rods portable. Before that, it was too expensive. A 
cane fly rod would have been [in] today's dollars abotit 
rwo thousand dollars. . .The cost of a fly rod has gone 
way down. . . .There were ver\' [few] books. . . But all of 
a sudden in the seventies there was this great interest in 
doing books on fly-tying, books on getting better, and 
[a] few people [saw an] opportunity. . .to teach. . .That's 
when it started gaining momentum. And then the 
guiding phenomenon started. People had enough 
money and they figured that they didn't have any time 
to learn; they just hired a guide... So the guiding 
operations gradually grew. That takes off about sixties, 
seventies. . .Another thing happened, it's quality water: 
taking the Madison, making it catch-and-release, 
identifying in the early eighties waters that needed 
protection. The change in the attittide of people. ..[The 
catch-and-release ethic] appealed to a new generation 
of Americans... It started [in the eighties] with the 
guides. The guides realized that you couldn't bonk the 
fish over the head and keep coming back there and 

catching them The guides kinda perpetuated on the 

rivers the catch-and-release ethic mainly out of self- 

Everything kinda all came together at once in the 
movie, it just all started... gaining in popularity, and 
the movie just kinda kick-started it to the general 

public I think what happened is it just all came 

together at the same time. The books got better. . . [They 
first] attempted to [make the movie] in '81, '82. It 
would not have had the impact [at that time]... What 
A River runs Throiigl) It [reflected was the longing for] 
a simpler way of life... That's when we saw the 
movement out to Jackson. You can't blame the movie 
[for] that. People were looking to get back to a simpler 
way of life out West. . .1 think it was just a time waiting 
to come. Fly-fishing kinda hit it... In 1980, William 
Hurt tried to get it, the actor. He was good friends 
with Glenn Close, who lives in Big Piney. He got to 
tying flies with my book. . .and then met Glenn through 
a Broadway play. He came out to [Glenn's father,] Bill 
[Dr. William T] Close,"' [who] is about as pure a fly 
fisher as a guy can fmd. Here's a guy who's fished all 
through England, who [was] a missionary doctor in 
Africa, discovered the Ebola virus, he's a superstar in 
his own line... He taught Bill a lot about fly-fishing 
and [its] history... He read A River Runs Through It, 
and it just blew him away. It was always Bill's favorite 
book, and I think he tried to get it... [But] Bill just 
wasn't the personality and the old Norman was kinda 
his own man. The movie portrays him as this gentle 
guy and his brother [as] the wild guy. But Norman 
didn't have a lot of friends. He was pretty ornery.. . .He 
was a typical writer. . .So I think Bill just didn't hit all 
the right buttons vvith him. I remember about '86, '87, 
[Robert] Redford took an interest in it, and he did like 
four, five years of research. . . Before he died, [Maclean] 

'■ The 1992 movie, directed by Robert Redford, was based on 
Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It (Chicago: Univer- 
sity of Chicago Press, 1976). Maclean was a Universit)' of Chi- 
cago Professor of English. He died in 1990. His son John vehe- 
mently denies chat Maclean is in any way responsible for the 
fly-fishing boom of the nineties. See Gerry Merriam, "Norman 
Maclean," www.missoulian. com/specials/ 1 OOmontanans/list/ 

'" William T. Close was a missionary physician in the Congo for 
sixteen years (1960-1976). His team helped contain the first 
Ebola virus outbreak of 1976. 

Annals of Wyoming- The Wyoming Histcr/ Journal - Spring 200- 

sold the rights to Redford...! worked a. lot with 
Redford's people. They wanted me to be the advisor 
on it, and I told them I didn't have the time or the 
ability to do it... I did think it needed to be [shot] in 
Montana and it needed to have somebody who lived 
[there]...! recommended John Bailey' and that's who 
they eventually hired. The reason [the movie] turned 
out the way it is, is because ot John Bailey. . .Actually, 
Jerry Siem did most of- the casting... He's the guide 
and rod designer. . .He worked. . .as a guide and then he 
went up and worked tor Winston before he went to 
Sage... John had Redford's ear. He said, "This is the 
way it's gotta be written and you can't Hollywoodize 
this. It's gotta be the way the book is. This book is like 
a Bible to a lot ol people." 

I remember getting the book from Norman... He 
gave me this book, [and] he says, "Well, it's not much 
of a book, it's just kinda a story of my family. . .All my 
life I've tried to make sense ol what happened to my 

brother, and my father always [told me I] got to write 
about this. I'm just old enough now and I'm done with 
being a college profossor."...He just kinda minimized 
it. He says, "I think my best stor)' is the one on the 
forest service. [The story A River Runs Through It is] 
too personal. . .1 had to change some things just to make 
it work." Actually, the way his brother died [in the story] 
is not the way he really died. I think he just was an 

alcoholic So, it A River Runs Through It wouldn't 

have got made, somebody [else] would have tried 
to. ..get [fly-fishing] going. It would have 
happened... They've been trying to get A River Why 
made. [The author, David James] Duncan says every 
time he turns around he's got somebody going to do 

Owner of Dan Bailcv's FIv Shop in Livingston, Montana. Son of 
legendary Hv-fislierman Dan Bailev. 

Afteran 1890 planting in 
Shoshone and Lewis lakes in 
Yellowstone in 1 890, lake trout 
or mackinaw proliferated and 
soon colonized Jackson and 
Jenny lakes, often negatively 
affecting the native cutthroat 
population. The lake trout, a 
voracious predator that has 
been known to reach a weight 
of more than 1 00 pounds, today 
threatens the native population 
of Yellowstone cutthroat in 
Yellowstone Lake. Courtesy 
Amencan Heritage Center. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal - Spring 2004 

By his 
reckoning, Finis 
stocked two and 
a half million 
trout fingerlings 
in 314 lakes 
during the 
1930s. He went 
on to hike, 
climb, photo- 
graph, fish, and 
guide others 
through the 
region for half a 

"Fishing Gorge Lal<e is a great reward for the effort required to get to it. It has rainbow trout 
which migrated downstream from both Seneca and Hobbs Lakes. Then they also followed 
downstream into Suicide Lake which can only be reached from Gorge, unless one wants to 
commit suicide. That's why I named it Suicide Lake." Finis Mitchell quote. Courtesy 
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. 

In 1931, six horses plodded up a rough trail, each loaded with two milk 
cans full of water. In each can, a thousand inch-long trout sloshed 
beneath a layer of burlap. When the pack train reached the shore of a 
small alpine lake, Finis Mitchell unloaded the cans and tipped them 
into the cold mountain waters, and the tiny fish scattered into the depths. 
Those fish were entering a new world. Almost none of the hundreds of 
lakes that dot Wyoming's Wind River range had indigenous populations of 
trout. In MitchelFs words, "these waters were all virgin."' By his reckoning. 
Finis stocked two and a half million trout fingerlings in 314 lakes during the 
1930s. He went on to hike, climb, photograph, fish, and guide others 
through the region for half a century. Finis set out to make himself the 
range's acknowledged expert, perhaps even a legend, and he succeeded." For 
many hikers and fisherman. Finis is an inspiration, a kind of Johnny Appleseed 
in overalls who could still be found walking his beloved range decades after 

Finis Mitchell, Wind River Trails: A hikingand fhhinggnide to the nutny traib and lakes of the Wind 
River Range in Wyoming (Salt Lake Cit)': Wasatch Publishers, 1975), p. 8. "Finis" is pronounced 
with a long initial "i," it rhymes with "highness." 

Mitchell repeated "314" many times; e.g. Pinedale Roundup, March 3, 1949; Mitchell, Wind 
River Trails, pp. 8-9; and personal interview with Finis Mitchell by Mark Junge, July 3, 1989, Oral 
History 2010, Wyoming State Archives, Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources 
[hereafter cited as OH 2010]. During the early 1970s, Finis created a list of the lakes he stocked 
for David Dutek, a WGFD fisheries biologist in Green River; the list names about ninety-five 
lakes (there is some ambiguity) and is labeled "Finis Mitchell records," n.p., ca. 1972, copy in 
author's possession [hereafter cited as "Finis Mitchell records"]; David Dufek personal commu- 
nications with author, April 12, August 7, and August 9, 2002. The discrepancy may be the result 
of inadequate record keeping or the long time gap. Irv Lozier, a longtime friend of Mitchell's, 
claims that "Finis was almost determined to be a legend in his own time"; personal interview with 
Irv Lozier, Cora, Wyoming, July 17, 2002. Rebecca Woods, author of Walking the Winds: A 
Hiking and Fishing Guide to Wyoming's Wind River Range, 2"'' ed. (Jackson, Wyoming: White 
Willow, 1998), believes that Mitchell knew the range "better than almost anyone, myself in- 
cluded"; Rebecca Woods, personal communication with author, August 2, 2002. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journai -- Spring 2004 

his good deed.' By the 1970s, some called him the 
"Man of the Mountains" or even "Lord of the Winds." 
His trout stocking was one of the things of which he 
was most proud.' 

Some environmentalists and fisheries biologists, 
however, believe introduced fish have compromised the 
natural or wild quantities of fishless lakes throughout 
the West, and fisheries managers confront a variety of 
dilemmas caused by the exotics. In Mitchell's case, 
however, most people seem to have chosen to believe 
that the descendants of his fish are both natural and 
wild. However he is viewed, Mitchell helped to shape 
a wilderness as he built his legend. 

The Wind River range in west-central Wyoming 
contains rwenry-three peaks above thirteen thousand 
feet and is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 
On the Pacific side of the Continental Divide, the 
federally designated Bridger Wilderness contains most 
of the lakes Mitchell stocked. Nearly all of the waters 
of the Bridger are part of the Green River drainage, the 
largest tributary of the Colorado. The steep, rockv 
outlets of mountain lakes often formed waterfalls which 
blocked native fishes from migrating upstream into 
those waters.^ 

The range has a long human history as a commons, 
perhaps as much as fourteen thousand years worth. 
Archaic Indian peoples hunted and gathered edible 
plants there, and Shoshone bands hunted, carved tools, 
and walked its passes.'' Trappers found the region rich 
in beaver, and several of the famous 1830s rendezvous 
were held on the upper Green River. By the 1870s, a 
few people had settled north from the railroad line, 
and soon ranchers were grazing cattle and sheep in the 
openings, parks, and meadows of the range. "^ Its vast 
watersheds received federal protection when President 
Theodore Roosevelt added much of the range to the 
Yellowstone Park Timber Land Reserve. The Winds 
thus became one of the early pieces of the permanent 
public domain." 

MitchelFs family joined the small influx of 
immigrants in 1906. Finis' father Henry traded his 
forty acre Missouri farm for 160 acres in Wyoming, 
sight unseen. Henry, his wife Fay, seven-year-old Mary, 
five-year-old Finis, and toddler Dennis confronted their 
patch of "sagebrush and sand and junk," and Fay begged 
to go back home.'" Finis wrote years later that the 

Winds were already exerting a strong pull on him: "I 
prayed that father would win this argument. So I would 

' I borrowed the "Johnny Appleseed " comparison from the artist 
Mark Vinsei; it appears at, 
accessed Januan,' 2S, 2002; Mark Vinsei, personal communication 
with author, July 24, 2002. 

■* See, for example, James R. Udall, "Finis Mitchell, Lord of the 
Winds," Audubon Quly 1986): 72-88; Finis Mitchell slideshow at 
Casper Rotary Club, October 16, 1989, Oral History 1443, Wyo- 
ming State Archives [hereafter cited as OH 1443]. For "Man O' 
the Mountains," see Mitchell, Wind River Trails, p. 3. 

^ Joe Kelsey, W'vomiiig's Wind River Range (Helena, Montana: Ameri- 
can and World Geographic Publishing, 1988), pp. 7-12, 32-35; 
D.B. Shimkin, "Wind River Shoshone Ethnogeography," Anthro- 
pological Records 5 no. 4 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Universir)' of 
California Press, 1 947), pp. 262-64; Ron Remmick, Wyoming Game 
and Fish Department, "Managing the BWA Fisheries." n.p., 1994, 
copy in author's possession; and Roland A. Knapp, Paul Stephen 
Corn, and Daniel E. Schindler, "The Introduction of Nonnative 
Fish into Wilderness Lakes: Good Intentions, Conflicting Man- 
dates, and Unintended Consequences," Ecosystems 4 (2001): 275. 
The Sweerwater River drains a small portion of the Winds to the 
North Platte River. 

" James R. Schoen, "Archeological Investigations m the High Coun- 
try: Sur\'ey Results from the Bridger, Gros Ventre and Teton Wil- 
derness Areas, Bridger-Teton National Forest," April 1998, copy in 
author's possession, p. 2; Shimkin, "Wind River Shoshone 
Ethnogeography," pp. 24^-84; Ake Hultkrantz, "The Shoshones in 
the Rocky Mountain Area," Annals of Wyoming }i^ (April 1961): 
33-35; and David VIcek, Bureau of Land Management archaeolo- 
gist, personal communication with author, July 3, 2002. 

' William H. Goetzmann, Exploration and Empire: The Explorer and 
the Scientist in the Winning of the American West (New York and 
London: WW Norton and Company, 1978), pp. 116, 196-197, 
242-43; William H. Goetzmann, Army Exploration in the American 
West. 1803-1863 (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1 991 ), 
pp. 52, 81-82; and Warren A. Beck and Ynez D. Haase, Historical 
Atlas of the American West (Norman and London: L'niversity of Okla- 
homa Press, 1989), map 26. 

' Robert G. Rosenberg, Wyoming's Last Frontier: Sublette Count}', Wyo- 
ming: A Settlement History (Glendo, Wyoming: High Plains Press, 
1990), pp. 17-41, 85-86; David Vlcek, "The New- Fork Wagon 
Road: A Nineteenth Century Southwestern Wyoming Lifeline to 
the Union Pacific Railspur," paper delivered at Russ Tanner Sym- 
posium on Southwest Wyoming, Society for Historical Archaeol- 
ogy meetings. Salt Lake City, 1999, copy in author's possession, pp. 

" Harold K. Steen, "The Origins and Significance of the National 
Forest System," in Origins of the National Forests: A Centennial Sym- 
posium, ed. Harold K. Steen (Durham: Forest Histon' Society, 
1992), p. 7; Dan Flores, The Natural West: Environmental History in 
the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains (Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 2001), pp. 1 19-22. 

'" Quote from OH 2010. The Boulder Canal Company promised 
"Irrigable Land - Best on Earth": PinedaU Roundup, August 30. 
1905. The canal company failed, and many homesteads only re- 
ceived adequate water years later; Pinedale Roundup, July 15,1 926. 
See also Finis Mitchell, "My Life," a fragmenrani' manuscript trans- 
lated by Sandra Snow, email to author of July 16. 2002 [hereafter 
cited as Mitchell, "Mv Life"]; and patent no. 568, Sublette Count)', 
"Deeds Transcribed Book 4," p. 296, no. 31942, recorded August 
20, 1912. 

28 Annals of Wyoming' The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

o;et into those massive mountains."" 

The Mitchells scratched a precarious living from 
the soil, which was too high, cold, and dry for most 
farming. On an elk hunt in 1909, Finis climbed his 
first mountain and gained a memorable look at ranks 
of snow-capped peaks. Nearly all of the alpine lakes he 
could see were barren of fish, but the lower waters 
already contained a mix of exotic and native species, 
including the only indigenous trout, the Colorado River 
Cutthroat. A neighbor taught Finis to fish, and two 
lifelong obsessions — climbing and fishing — were 

Wvoming's officials had decided decades earlier to 
maximize the production of territorial waters, and the 
public eagerly joined in a consensus that lasted the better 
part of a century. The legislature created a Board of 
Fish Commissioners, which eventually became the 
Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). The 
board reported in 1883 that "a majority of our streams 
are sterile of good fish, whilst a remainder in many 
places are nearly exhausted of a once bountiful supply." 
They concluded that managed fishing could boost 
Wyoming's immigration and its infant tourist 
economy' ' The board decided to "plant" exotic species, 
including "sunfish, wall-eyed pike and trout, carp, brook 
trout and bass, ..." Fish were a crop like corn or wheat 
to be nurtured in the "soil" of Wyoming's waters. The 
territory imported rainbow, brook, and lake trout, all 
native to North America, along with browns from 
Europe, and planted them in waters throughout the 

The first known stocking in what became the 
Bridger Wilderness occurred in 1907, when cutthroat 
trout were planted in North Fork Lake.'^ When the 
state fish commissioner surveyed the Wind River 
mountain lakes in 1914, he reported five hundred 
fishless lakes, although several of the larger lakes along 
the front had "natural" (i.e. naturally reproducing) 
populations of cutthroat, brook, and rainbow trout."' 

Trout fry' were brought to Rock Springs by 
railroad and transferred to private automobile or trucks. 
Local ranchers and sportsmen drove them north, 
accompanied by National Forest Service rangers, who 
supervised the planting.'^ The region got its own 
branch hatchery at Daniel in 1917. Local papers issued 
blanket appeals to anyone willing to retrieve fry and 

plant them in area waters.''-' One editor grumbled 
about the Winds' unused fishing potential: "Fier 
mountain lakes are well-nigh numberless. Today many 
. . . streams are without trout, and the number of 
lakes without them is appalling [sic]. . . . Fish are as 

' ' Mitchell, "My Life." 

' - On indigenous fish, see Patrick C. Trotter, Cutthroat: Native Trout of 
the West (Boulder: Colorado Associated University Press, 1987), 
pp. 10, 151-62; Patrick C. Trotter, "Cutthroat Trout," in Trout,eA.. 
Judith Stolz and Judith Schnell (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole 
Books, 1991); Shimkin, "Wind River Shoshone Ethnogeography," 
p. 268; and "Native Fish Species of Wyoming," Wyoming Game 
and Fish Department Website, 
native.htm . accessed August 1, 2002. On Finis' climbing and fish- 
ing, see OH 1443; Mitchell, Wind River Trails, p. 6; OH 2010; 
Mitchell, "My Life"; and Finis Mitchell, Letter to the Editor, Pinedale 
Roundup. October 9, 1980. 

' ' Quoted in Neal Blair, The History of Wildlife Management in Wyo- 
;H/tt^ (Cheyenne: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 1987), p. 
22. See also Robert W. Wiley, "Wyoming Fish Management, 1869- 
1993," administtative report for Wyoming Game and Fish Depart- 
ment Fish Division, July 1993, copy in author's possession, pp. 1-2, 
Appendix 1, p. 22. 

' ^ Blair, Wildlife Management, pp. 24, 30; John Byorth, "Trout Shangri- 
La: Remaking the Fishing in Yellowstone National Park, Montana 
The Magazine ofWestern History 52 (Summer 2002): 38-47; Robert 
Henry Smith, "Rainbow trout," in Trout, pp. 304-23; William A. 
Flick, "Btook trout," in Trout, pp. 196-207; Charles Harold Olver, 
"Lake trout," in Trout, pp. 286-99; and Robert A. Bachman, "Brown 
trout," in Trout, pp. 208-29. 

' ^ Ralph Hudelson, Galen Boyer, and Jack McMillan, "High Moun- 
tain Lake and Stteam Survey of the Btidger Wilderness Area: 1969- 
1975," Completion Report: D.J. Report F-l-R-8; F-lR-9; F-IR- 
1 0; F- 1 -R- 11 ; F- 1 -R- 1 2 (Cheyenne: Wyoming Game and Fish De- 
partment Fish Division, 1980) [hereafter cited as Hudelson, Boyer, 
and McMillan, "High Mountain Survey"] . Finis Mitchell was among 
those who contributed written reports for this survey; k. 

'" Wiley, "Wyoming Fish Management," p. 5. 

'" "Fry" refers to a larval trour after it has absorbed its yolk sac; 
"fingerling" can mean a tiout up to one year old. Older sources 
sometimes use the terms interchangeably. See Theodore C. Bjornn, 
"Spawning and development," in Trout, pp. 60-64; and Trout, s.v. 
"fingerling," p. 368. 

' * For examples of planting, see Pinedale Roundup, March 1 6, June 8, 
and June 22, 1911, September 25, 1913, July 2, August 6, and 
Octobet 8, 1914, and October 7, 1915. See also Hudelson, Boyer, 
and McMillan, "High Mountain Survey" 11.8, 12.12, 12.13, 12.15, 
and 12.22. 

'" On the hatchery, see Barbara Pape, "Daniel Fish Hatchery," in 
Daniel Wyoming: The First Hundred Years, 1900-2000, ed. Hayden 
H. Huston (Daniel: Daniel Community Center, 2001), pp. 130- 
31; Pinedale Roundup, February 8, 1917; and Blair, Wildlife Man- 
agement, p. 53. For appeals, see Pinedale Roundup, April 25, 1924, 
June 25, 1925, September 30, 1926, August 18, 1927, and August 
9, 1928. State officials often thanked those who assisted; see, for 
instance, Carl Lund, "Fish Hatcheries Department Report," in 
Bruce Nowlin, "Biennial Report of the State Game and Fish Com- 
missioners of the State of Wyoming, 1927-1928," p. 35. 

Annals o'' Wyoming' The 'A'yominq Hislor/ Journal - Spring 2004 


necessary as scenic attractions to lure the tourist.""" 

The Mitchell himiiy benefited from this early 
stocking, but by 1^)IS, Henry had abandoned his 
troubled farm and brought the family to Rock Springs. 
When Henry became ill, Finis had to leave school after 
the eighth grade to find work.'' The Union Pacific 
Railroad hired him in 1923, and two years later he 
married Emma Nelson. When the Depression hit. Finis 
was laid ofi in 1930. He tell back on his wilderness 
skills he had learned as a boy. A family friend suggested 
that he open a fish camp, so Finis, Emma, and Henry 
Mitchell obtained a Forest Service lease to establish a 
camp at Mud Lake in Big Sandy Openings, |ust inside 
the boundaries of Brida:er National Forest." Finis 
quickly found, however, that only five nearby lakes had 
native trout, so he and his father attempted a 
cumbersome stocking process. They catight seventeen 
grown cutthroats in Big Sandy Lake and packed them 
to nearby fishless lakes. Two years later. Finis caught 
one of those emigrant trout: "He looked like you had 
blowed him up with a pump he was so fat."-' Soon 
after that first stocking attempt, Walter Brewer, 
superintendent of the Daniel hatchery, came by the 
camp. Brewer offered to bring fiy to the Mitchells if 
they wotild plant them. Finis was thus in a well- 
established tradition of voluntary stocking of state- 
hatched fish by private citizens into lakes on the public 

By Finis' oft-told count, during the next seven 
years he and his helpers planted 314 alpine lakes, 
mostly in the Big Sandy, East Fork, and Boulder Creek 
drainages about nine thousand feet. Many other local 
residents stocked area waters, including Finis' brother, 

-'" Pmediile Roundup, ]<m\.u\ry 18, 1923. 

'' Warranrv' Deed no. 40287, Sublette Count)', "Deeds IVanscribed 
Book 4," p. .V9. Finis took correspondence courses in unknown 
subjects and taught himself to type; Piuediile Roundup, August 3, 
1922; personal interview with William Mitchell, Pinedale, July 
16, 2002. 

"' Mitchell, Wind River Trails, p. 7; Rack Springs Daily Rocket-Mmer, 
December 2, 1987; and OH 2010. Henn,- and Fay Mitchell di- 
vorced at some point before this; personal interview with Anna 
Dew. July 30, 2002, by telephone from Glendive, Montana. Anna 
Dew is the daughter of Finis and Emma. 

-"■ Mitchell, Wn,d River Trails, p. 11; Udall, "Fims Mitchell," p. 79. 

■^ Although Mitchell never names Walter Brewer outright in the 
sources found, he does refer to "the state hatchery," "the superin- 
tendent," and planting fish with "Walt." The Daniel hatcherj' was 
the nearest and most convenient, and Brewer is known to have 
planted many waters on the Wind River front. OFi 20 1 0; Pinedale 
Roundup, September 2^,1 '^30, December 31.1 93 1 ; Pape, "Daniel 
Fish Hatchery," pp. 130-31; and Ralph Faler. personal communi- 
cation with author, July 5. 2002. 

The exactness ot Finis' figures suggests that he kept careful records. 
He kept extensive diaries and log books, but access to those was 
not available; Anna Dew, personal communication with author, 
July "i. 2002. For others, I relied on the following sources: Jim 
Washam, personal communication with author, July 31, 2002; 
Alta Faler, personal communication with author, July 8. 2002; 
Ralph Faler, personal communication with author, July 5, 2002; 
Cliff Brewer, personal communicition with author, August 2, 2002; 
Irv Lozier intei'view; Anna Dew interview; Mitchell, Wind River 
Trails, p. 81; and OH 2010. 

'The president of the 
Westinghouse Electnc 
Supply Company fishes 
Pole Creek as it enters 
1000-lsland Lake, Pole 
Creek is the mam stream 
which crosses under U.S. 
187 one mile east of the 
Pinedale Airport. At that 
point it is carrying, as 
near as I can count up 
in my mind, the waters 
from 136 mountain 
lakes." Finis Mitchell 
quote. Courtesy 
Amencan Heritage 
Center, University of 

30 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

Dennis.-^ Finis wrote that the hatchery might bring 
him "rainbow, cutthroat, CaUfornia golden, brook, 
or German brown" trout.-*' His favorite, and the 
favorite of many fishermen for its beaur)^ rarity, and 
excellent taste, was the California golden, native only 
to the Kern River watershed. - 

For six decades. Finis insisted that he had planted 
fish ("FREE for all people") for the benefit of fiiture 
fishermen.-*^ An interviewer provoked an indignant 
denial when he suggested that the stocking was a business 
decision, but Finis and Emma later agreed that it was 
indeed part of their effort to earn a living.-' The full 
answer must include a little of both altruism and self- 
interest. While the success of the camp depended on 
thriving populations of trout, the payoff from stocking 
fmgerlings was years away and uncertain at best. The 
Mitchells were thinking both of short-term gains and 
generations of fishing to come. And, as Finis' legend 
grew, he probably took a longer view of what he had 

When the war brought better economic times in 
1940, the railroad rehired Finis and the family moved 
back to Rock Springs, where he and Emma lived for 
nearly the rest of their lives. '" With a steady paycheck, 
the mountains ceased to be the means by which Finis 
made a living, and became again a source of beauty, 
spiritual solace, and recreation. As soon as the snows 
melted. Finis headed north on virtually every weekend 
and vacation. " He meant to do more than just enjoy 
the scenery, however. In 1949, he wrote that "it has 
been my sole ambition since I retired from the fishing 
business in 1937, to master this rugged and massive of 
all Rocky Mountain ranges." "Master" meant hiking 
every trail, climbing every mountain, and exploring 
ever)' watershed, until his knowledge of the place was 
encyclopedic. ^- 

Finis' standing as a backcountry expert grew over 
the decades, thanks in large part to his vigorous 
promotion of his favorite region (and by extension 
himself). By the early 1940s, he was presenting 
slideshows and giving talks to local groups. Invitations 
came from people he had met at the fish camp or on 
the trail. As his reputation spread, he addressed audiences 
across the country.''' Trout stocking was an important 
element in his story. In the same 1949 letter in which 
he laid out his goals, Finis was already rehearsing the 

legend that he would repeat countless times: 
"Everyone knows I operated the first fishing camp 
to be established on the Pacific slope of our Wind 
River Range. . . . They also know that ... we packed 
out on pack horses 2 million trout with which we 
stocked 314 individual lakes, and from these through 
connecting streams, another 700 became stocked. "^'' 
Finis also reported running totals of his Wind River 
experience. In 1987, he estimated that he had hiked 
fifteen thousand miles, climbed 276 peaks, and worn 
out twelve cameras taking 120,000 photographs.'^ 

Finis became especially well known after 1975, 
when he published Wind River Trails, the first general 
guidebook to the region, which included a short 
autobiography.''' The 1970s and 1980s brought 
magazine and newspaper profiles, an honorary 
Doctorate of Law degree from the University of 
Wyoming, and awards from the Environmental 
Protection Agency, the Izaak Walton League, the 
National Forest Service, and the state legislatures of 

^'' Mitchell, Wind River Trails, p. 8. 

-" "Finis Mitchell records"; OH 2010. On goldens, see Phil Pister, 
"Golden trout," in Trout, pp. 280-85. 

■' For instance, in a slideshow videotaped in 1987; "Finis Mitchell 
videorecording no. 3," Hay Library, Western Wyoming College. 
"FREE . . ." appears on "Mitchell Peak," postcard no. 110114, 
distributed by Great Outdoot Publishing, Pinedale. 

'' OH 2010. His children both told the author that Finis' original 
motivation was indeed economic; William Mitchell interview; Anna 
Dew interview. 

'" Anna Dew interview; OH 2010; and Joe and Lynn Thomas, per- 
sonal communication with author, July 8, 2002. Joe Thomas re- 
membered that his father purchased Finis Mitchell's Mud Lake 
lease and equipment in 1940 and operated the Big Sandy Lodge 
there. Finis spent his last several years in a senior home in nearby 
Green River; John R. Waggener, personal communication with 
author, October 14, 2002. 

" OH 2010; William Mitchell interview; and Anna Dew interview. 

'- Pinedale Roundup, March 3, 1949. See also "Finis Mitchell 
videorecording no. 1," Hay Library, Western Wyoming College; 
Woods, Walking the Winds, "First Ascents," appendix, pp. 225-26; 
Irv Lozier interview; and William Mitchell interview. 

'^ William Mitchell interview; Anna Dew interview. For examples of 
slideshows across the nation, see Superior [Wisconsin] Evening 
Telegram, September 28, 1979; "Itinerary-Finis Mitchell-Georgia 
Visit-November 1980," n.p., OH 2010 file, Wyoming State Ar- 

'" Pinedale Roundup, March 3, 1949. 

^^ Rock Springs Daily Rocket-Miner, December 2, 1987. William Mitchell 
reports that the photograph total is closer to a quarter million; 
William Mitchell interview. 

* Melvin Davis, personal communication with author, October 8, 
2002; Jeff Grathwohl, director of University of Utah Press, per- 
sonal communication with author, August 2, 2002. The latter 
press purchased WiW^/Wr75a/Zffrom Wasatch Publishing in 1999. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 31 

Wyoming and California.^" Perhaps his proudest 
honor was the designation oi "Mitchell Peak," a Wind 
Rivers mountain Finis climbed many times. ''' During 
the 1980s, age finally began to catch up with him, 
and by the early 1990s, he was too trail tor further 
hiking. Mitchell died on November 13, 1995, one 
day before his ninety-fourth birthday.'' 

Finis lived to see many changes in the management 
of Wyoming's fisheries. Fie was aware Irom an early 
date of the possible failures of stocking. His son 
remembers catching rvvo hundred fish in a single evening 
in 1945 trom Middle Fork Lake, which Finis had 
stocked with brook trout. "They were starving to 
death. . . . These high lakes don't produce food last 
enough to support a big population."^" Finis vowed 
"to lure enough anglers ... to at least partially save the 
millions ol accumulated trout which has [sic] resulted 
from my stockings. . . ."*' 

Fish biologists had already determined that high 
altitude stocking should be more caretully regulated. 
In 1 935, James Simon called for "discretion" where food 
was scarce, and suggested taking the various species' 
native habitat elevations into account; cutthroat and 
golden trout in the highest lakes; brook or cutthroat in 
the middle zone; and rainbow, cutthroat, or brook in 
the lower waters."*' In 1940, Simon, then the state 
fisheries chief, declared that his agency would no longer 
allow private individuals like Mitchell to plant fish: 
"Great losses have been suffered through improper 
planting. Both the Federal agencies and the Fish 
Department have allowed such losses through 
distributing fish to individuals who did not give them 
the proper care."^' The Game and Fish Department 
began to hire trained fisheries biologists concerned with 
appropriate habitats for indigenous species instead ol 
working solely for the largest possible catch. The long 
tradition of volunteer planting ot exotic species by 
private individuals no longer seemed the wisest 

The higher degree ol foderal protection alforded 
Wind River lakes strengthened the emphasis upon 
indigenous species. On February 9, 1931 (just months 
before Mitchell planted his first hatchery fish), the U.S. 
Secretary ol Agriculture established the Bridger 
Primitive Area, which meant an emphasis upon 
nonmechanized transport and limited permanent 

structures. As a practical fact, the service's management 
changed little, since the region received so little human 

As the wilderness ideal gained currency, some 
considered the Winds ideal candidates for a higher level 
of protection. In 1957, the regional forester proposed 
that the area be administratively reclassilied as 
"wilderness." Among the "outstanding features" the 
forester highlighted was its fine trout fishing. The 
Secretary of Agriculture accepted the recommendation 
in 1960 and desi2;nated the Bride;er Wilderness. V(Tien 
Congress passed the landmark Wilderness Act four years 

For an example ot profiles, see Wli/I Stnvt loiirnal. September 20, 
1 979; for the honorary Doctor ot Laws degree, see Casper Star- 
Tribune, August 1 , 1 977; for the EPA award, see Pinedale Roundup, 
November 23, 199S, tor the Izaak Walton League's Joseph W. 
Penfieid Award, see Rock Springs Daily Rocket-Miiwr, December 2. 
198^; tor the Forest Services' 75"'' Anniversary Award, see Pinedale 
Roundup, October 2, 1980; for the Wyoming Senate honorarium, 
see Wyoming Eagle, February 25, 1989; and for the California honor, 
see California Senate Rules Resolution No. 1 ^6, October 8, 1969. 
In 1997, Western Wyoming College dedicated "Mitchell's Dining 
Room" on its Rock Springs campus. The room contains a portrait 
ot Finis and Emma, originals of many of Finis' honors listed here, 
tramed articles, some of his own writings, and other memorabilia. 

'^ The L'SGS set aside its long-standing rule against naming 
landtorms for living persons; Rock Springs Daily Rocket-Miner. 
August 13, 1975. 

"' 014 2010; William Mitchell interview; Udall, "Finis Mitchell"; 
and Pinedale Roundup, November 23. 1995. 

■"' William Mitchell inter\'iew. See also "Finis Mitchell records"; 
OH 2010. 

' ' Pinedale Roundup. March 3, 1949. 

^ ' James R. Simon, "A Survey ot the Waters of the Wyoming 
National Forest," Department of Commerce, Bureau of 
Fisheries, April 1935, copy in author's possession, pp. 11, 13; 
Hudelson, Boyer, and McMillan, "High Mountain Sun,'ey," c-d. 

^' lames R. Simon, "Report ot the Fish Division," in Robert Grieve, 
"Biennial Report ot the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, 
1939-1940," p. 32. 

^■' Blair, Wildlife Management, pp. 77, 138; Wiley, "Wyoming Fish 
Man.igement," pp. 7-10; personal interview with Fred Eiserman, 
July 29, 2002, by telephone trom Casper; and inrerview 
with Tom Bell, July 29, 2002, bv telephone trom Lander; and 
personal communication with Mike Stone. Julv 31, 2002. 
Eiserman was fisheries biologist tor the district that included the 
western Winds in the 1950s and later state fisheries resource 
manager. Bell was a WGFD fisheries biologist in the late 1940s. 
Stone is currently Wyoming's Chiet of Fisheries. 

■"^ Albert Wm. Collotzi, Don Bartschi, Glen Dunning, Ralph 
Hudelson, "Bridger Wilderness Fish Management Plan, " fuK' 
1978 (revised), pp. 1-2 [hereafter cited ,is Collotzi et al., 
"Bridger Wilderness Fish Management Plan"]. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

later, the Bridget was one oi the "instant" areas created 
because of its existing administrative status."*'' 

hi one important way, the Winds do not seem to 
fit the famous definition of "wilderness" written into 
the Wilderness Act, which reads in part: "... [A]n area 
where the earth and its community of life are 
untrammeled bv man, . . . which is protected and 
managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and 
which . . . generally appears to have been affected 
primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of 
man's work substantially unnoticeable; . . .'"' The 
meanings of "natural" and "nature" are various, but the 
Wilderness Act clearly refers to non-human processes 
or aspects of the material world. The research ecologist 
Peter B. Landres and his collaborators have proposed a 
useful distinction between "wild," which they equate 
with "untrammeled" (defined as "unimpeded, 
unhampered, uncontrolled, self-willed and free") and 
"natural" (for which thev suggest the synonyms "native, 
aboriginal, indigenous, and endemic"). The Wilderness 
Act assumes that wildernesses are both "wild" and 
"natural." Mitchell's stocking helped expose some of 
the ironies inherent in that assumption."*'^ 

Like virtually every other landscape, the Bridger 
Wilderness contains evidence of thousands of years of 
human use, such as Indian lithic sites, the remnants of 
small dams, and trappers' cabins. And several hundred 
lakes contain the imprints of the work of Mitchell and 
others. The descendants of those planted trout can 
hardly be considered to "trammel" the entire wilderness, 
but some environmentalists and biologists believe they 
have hindered the free action of the communirv' of life 
within individual lakes. ^'' 

Trout are large, voracious, and opportunistic 
predators that can alter the ecology of a mountain lake. 
Finis wrote that the lakes he stocked were "just fidl of 
water lice, leaches (sic), fresh water shrimp, and that 
kind of stuff ..." As he later discovered, however, 
some lakes lack sufficient food for an exploding trout 
population. '° Simon wrote that "a lake with no fish 
present may appear to have good food until fish are 
introduced, then in a short time, this food supply 
diminishes, leaving the fish in a semi-starved 
condition."^' Fish introductions can have consequences 
upon existing vertebrate and invertebrate communities. 
For instance, trout originally planted during the 1 930s 

in Idaho and Washington have significantly lowered 
the densities of amphibians.^- Although trout-prey 
relationships in Wind River lakes have not been 
intensively studied, specialists, including WGFD 
biologists, believe that larger-bodied individuals within 
each prey species have almost certainly declined. ■' 

'"' Collotzi et al., "Bridger Wilderness Fish Management Plan," 
pp. 1-2. The Bridger Wilderness was expanded by some 
36,000 acres in 1984; see "Laws and Administration for the 
Bridger Wilderness," in National Wilderness Preser\'ation 
System Website, http://w\ 
publaw_view.ctm?wname=Bridger, accessed September 11, 

■*' Wilderness Act, Statutes at Large, 78, section 2 (c), p. 89 1 . 

"•^ Peter B. Landres et al., "Natural and Wildness: The Dilemma 
and Irony of Managing Wildernesss," USDA Forest Service 
Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-3, 2000, pp. 377-81. See also 
William Cronon, "Introduction: In Search of Nature," in 
William Cronon, ed.. Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human 
Place in Nature (New York and London: WW Norton, 1996), 
pp. 25-37; Cronon, "The Trouble with Wilderness; or. Getting 
Back to the Wrong Nature," in Cronon, Uncommoyi Ground, pp. 
69, 79-89; and David N. Cole, "Management Dilemmas That 
Will Shape Wilderness in the 21" Century," Joimial of Forestry 
(January 2001); 4-8. 

^" Knapp, Corn, and Schindler, "The Introduction of Nonnative 
Fish into Wilderness Lakes," p. 275; and David S. Wilcove, The 
Condor's Shadow: The Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America 
(New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1999), pp. 120-21. 
Good general discussions of stocking can be found in Delano 
R.Grafif, "Why stock?" in Trout, pp. 341-45; Robb E Leary, 
"Why Not Stock?" in Trout, pp. 346-50. 

'" Mitchell, Wind River Trails, p. 8. One investigator in the 1940s 
lound more than 90 percent of trout stomach contents to be 
diptera, a large genus including many flies; one contained the 
remnants of a four-inch rodent. See O.H. Robertson, "An 
Ecological Study ot Two High Mountain Trout Lakes in the 
Wind^River Range, Wyoming," Ecology 28 (April 1947): 97-98. 
For a long list of potential trout foods, see Hudelson, Boyer, and 
McMillan, "High Mountain Survey," Appendix A, 1, 

^' Simon, "Sur\'ev of the Waters of the Wvoming National Forest," 
pp.7, 12. 

'- David S. Pilliod and Charles R. Peterson, "Local and Landscape 
Effects of Introduced Trout on Amphibians in Historically 
Fishless Watersheds," Ecosystems 4 (2001): 322-33; William J. 
Liss and Gar)' L. Larson, "Complex Interactions ot Introduced 
Trout and Native Biota in High-Elevation Lakes," http:// 170.htm, accessed 
November 1 , 2001 ; and Paul Stephen Corn and Roland A. 
Knapp, "Fish Stocking in Protected Areas: Summar)' ot a 
Workshop," USDA Forest Service Proceedings, RMRS-P-15- 
VOL-5, 2000, pp. 302-03. 

^'^ Personal interview with Kurt Nelson, WGFD Fisheries Biologist, 
Bridger-Teton National Forest, Pinedale region, July 17, 2002; 
personal inten'iew with Ron Remmick, WGFD Fisheries 
Supervisor, Green River and Pinedale region, July 2, 2002; and 
Debra Patla, "Amphibians ot the Bridger-Teton National Forest," 
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Amphibian Project, n.p., 
Herpetologj' Laboraton,', Idaho State University, February 22, 
2000, copy in author's possession. 

Annais of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal ■- Spring 2004 

"Here I photograph a Union Pacific Railroad photographer as he shoots over Upper Cooks 
Lake with (left to right) Monta Lester, Wall Mountain, Fremont, Narrower, and Knife Point. I 
seldom go to the Wind River Range to fish any more. My aim is to climb all the peaks and 
take pictures to show people what is actually theirs." Finis Mitchell quote. Courtesy 
Amencan Hentage Center, University of Wyoming. 

The various trout subspecies do not necessarily 
coexist well. Differences in spawning season or feeding 
habits can result in the dominance of one and the decline 
or complete elimination of another. Brook trout have 
especially thrived as they can spawn heavily in conditions 
where other subspecies do less well. More importantly, 
brook trout eggs and fiy were more easily available than 
other species, and so more widely planted. ^^ Simon 
found golden trout succeeding in Clear Lake in 1934.^^ 
Mitchell reportedly planted brooks in Clear Lake in 
1931, and today, only brooks are found. ^'' Goldens 
were planted in the Cook lakes as early as 1929, but 
they have been fighting a losing battle against brooks 
since about 1943.^ Where native cutthroats compete 
with other trout, the latter often prove hardier.^*^ Finis 
admitted in 1985 that he had not understood the 
"disasters" that brook trout could cause, and advocated 
careful poisoning ot the unwanted fish.^' 

Some subspecies get along too well, however. 
Goldens can interbreed with rainbows, for example, 
producing hybrids with reduced lertility. The widely 
stocked Yellowstone Cutthroat can interbreed with 
native Colorado River cutthroats."" While none ol the 
trout subspecies in Wind River lakes have been listed as 
endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species 
Act, Wyoming classifies the increasingly rare Colorado 
River cutthroat subspecies as "sensitive.""' The WGFD 

worries that another Mitchell could endanger the 
desirable imported golden trout population. The 
department suggested in 1*^80 that "some misguided 
person . . . with a large dishpan" could catch brooks 
Irom the East Fork River and transplant them into 
nearby lakes, wiping out the golden trout. "- 

^^ Flick. "Brook trout, pp. l^'9-202; Simon, "Report of the Fish 
Division. 193^-1940," p. ,V). The WGFD con.sistentiy reported 
planting more brook trout than any other subspecies; see, tor 
example, Frank Cook, "Fish Hatcheries Department," in Robert 
A. Flocker, "Biennial Report of the State Game and Fish 
Commissioner of the State ot Wyoming, 1933-.1-4, p. 30. I he 
Daniel hatchery' superintendent planted more brooks than all 
others combined in 1939, but in 1940, more "natives" (i.e., 
cutthroats from all sources) than brooks were planted; Simon, 
"Report of the Fish Division, 193''-40," p. 40. 

"■ ' Simon, "Survey ot the Waters ot the Wyoming National Forest," 
p. 10. 

""■ "Finis Mitchell records"; Woods, W'ti/k/ug r/v Wiuriu p. 116. 
Hudelson. Bover, and McMillan, "High Mountain Sur\'ev," 

^^ Ray Ring. "The West's fisheries spin out ot control," Hig/i 
Country News. September 18. 1*^95; Trotter. "Cutthroat trout," 
pp. 262-64. 

^" Piuedale Roundup, September 19, 1985. 

"" Leary. "Why not stock?" pp. 349-50; Trotter, "Cutthroat trout." 
pp. 248, 264. 

"' Wyoming Game and Fish Department, "Wyoming Game and 
Fish Department Comprehensive Management and Enhance- 
ment Plan tor Colorado River Cutthroar Trout in Wyoming," 
1987; "Conser%'ation Agreement and Strateg)' tor Colorado River 
Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhy)ichus cLirki pleuriticui) in the State ot 
Colorado, LItah, and Wyoming," March 19T). 

''- Hudelson, Boyer, and McMillan, "High Mountain Sur\'ey, ' 

34 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

These problems and the consideration of the 
Wilderness Act brought about a major change in the 
management of Bridget waters. The comprehensive 
1978 Bridger Wilderness Fish Management Plan 
established the "natural or wildfish concept" as a 
management goal. The WGFD defines "wild" as "a 
naturally reproducing fishery" without further 
stocking.''' By the mid-1990s, WGFD stocked only 
nine lakes on the Bridger, all with either golden or 
Colorado River cutthroat, and the agency no longer 
stocks fishless lakes. The official Wyoming fishing 
regulations brochure provides a toll-free number for 
fishermen to report illegal fish planting ("costly to both 
you and the fisheries resource").''^ 

For a few people, however, the end of stocking is 
not enough. They believe that the presence of trout 
in Wind River lakes is unnatural, and that il it were 
politically possible to do so, those fish would be 
removed.''^ Such removal, however, would entail 
further human manipulation of the lakes through 
poisoning or other methods, compromising the 
wildness ot the region and possibly injuring other plant 
and animal species.'* 

Those who regret the stocking of Wind River lakes 
are almost certainly in the minority. Most people 
familiar with Finis' story take, at worst, a "what's done 
is done" attitude. Mitchell's actions, after all, were in 
a well-established tradition of developing fisheries in 
as many waters as possible, and he acted with the 
support of the WGFD, the National Forest Service, 
and public opinion long before the Wind Rivers were 
designated wilderness. To those who protest the 
ecological damage wrought on the indigenous flora 
and fauna, Wyoming officials note that more than 
half of the lakes on the Bridger Wilderness are still 
fishless, just as "in their pristine state."'' The plights 
of the fairy shrimp or the caddisfly have not yet 
received much attention.''** 

Other people are much more enthusiastic about 
Finis' stocking. The Bridger Wilderness is popular 
with backpackers, probably half of whom carry a rod 
and reel. During the 1 930s, stocking hundred of lakes 
for a handful of hikers seemed quixotic, and as a 
dedicated backpacker, Mitchell was unusual. Only 
560 persons reportedly visited the Bridger Primitive 
Area in 1936, and less than one hundred of those 

traveled on foot.''' By the 1970s, Finis seemed 
virtually a prophet for the thousands who came to 
hike and fish the Bridger like he did. Today, about 
three hundred thousand people visit the Wilderness 
annually, and fishing for trout in the gorgeous alpine 
scenery is one of the main attractions. " 

Many people seem to have reached an unspoken 
consensus that Wind River fish are both "natural" and 
"wild," and thus in keeping with the Wilderness Act. 
By the time the area was designated "wilderness," many 
generations of fish had spawned, grown, and died since 
Mitchell's 1930s plantings, in many lakes without any 
further stocking. By the WGFD's classification and 
Peter Landres' definition, those descendants are indeed 
"natural," i.e. native-born. And the department has 
declared those fish to be "wild" under their policy of 
no further stocking; that is, no more human 
manipulation other than fishing. ' Finis himself drew 
a revealing distinction between Wind River lakes and 
the Flaming Gorge reservoir: "They keep dumping 

"' CoUotzi et al, "Bridger Wilderness Fish Management Plan," p. 
3; Wyoming Game and Fish Department, "Why not visit a fish 
hatchery?" n.p., n.d. See also Hudelson, Boyer, and McMillan, 
"High Mountain Survey," j; Blair, Wildlife Management, p. 236. 

'"■' Remmick, "Managing the BWA Fisheries," p. 3; Wyoming 
Game and Fish Commission, "2002 through 2003 Wyoming 
Fishing Regulations," p. 17. 

'" Remmick, "Managing the BWA Fisheries"; David Hohl, 
personal communication with author, July 3, 2002; personal 
interview with William Worf, by telephone fi-om Missoula, June 
24, 2002; and Kurt Nelson interview. Hohl is the former 
recreation super\'isor for the Bridger National Forest, Pinedale. 
Worf is the board president of Wilderness Watch and former 
supervisor of the Bridger Narional Forest. 

'''' Landres et al., "Naturalness and Wildness," pp. 377-81. 

*"'" Remmick, "Managing the BWA Fisheries." 

''* Kurr Nelson inten'iew; William Wort interview; Tom Bell 
interview; and Fred Eiserman interview. 

"' Pinedale Roundup, December 3, 1956. On backpacking, see 
Roderick Frazier Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind, 4''' 
ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press), pp. 316-19; on Finis 
and other backpacking, Ir\' Lozier interview; William Mitchell 
" Untitled draft histor)' ot Bridger-Teton National Foresr, 
personal communication with author from James R. Schoen, 
July 10, 2002. 
' Landres et al., "Naturalness and Wildness," p. 377; "Bridger 
Wilderness Action Plan and Implementation Schedule," March 
1995. pp. 23-25; and "Why not visit a fish hatchery?" See also 
Kenneth R. Olwig, "Reinventing Common Nature: Yosemite 
and Mount Rushmore — A Meandering Tale of a Double 
Nature," in Uncommon Ground, pp. 379-408, esp. 386. 

Annals o( Wyoming' The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

in more and more fish all the rime [into Flaming 
Gorge]. And that's sort oi a man-made condition. 
While this up here is a natLual condition." " 

The consensus on Wind River trout has been a 
useful one: it helped Finis burnish credentials as a 
conservationist, it helped wilderness aclvocates garner 
support for statutory protection, and it served to 
promote Wyoming fishing and tourism, li we accept 
that humans are part ot "nature," we can perhaps 
reconcile the apparent contradiction oi the 
Wilderness Acts language. Mitchelfs dedication to 

his chosen place was extraordinary, and he deserves 
to be remembered as a friend of wilderness. He is 
also in a long tradition of humans using the Wind 
River mountains for food, drink, recreation, and 
communion with goci or gods. Fhe place we know 
today as the Bridger Wilderness, including its 
superb trout fishing, is their collective creation. Mii 

'- Finis Mitcliell testimony. May 31. 1473. tape recording. Pinedale 
Resource .Area MFP. Bureau of Land Manauement. 

Finis Mitchell displays the sign, 
"Our Sacred Rim," which he and 
30 children and adults from three 
or four area churches placed in 
the Wind River Range. The rim 
IS south of Fremont Gorge and 
placed where pictures can be 
taken with the sign in the 
foreground and Gannett Peak, 
13,804 feet, can be seen on the 
honzon. Many lakes lie 2,000 
feet below the nm, Fremont 
Peak. 1 3.745 feet. Suicide Lake 
and the white water of the 
streams leading into the lake can 
also be seen from the nm, 
Gannett Peak is the highest 
mountain in Wyoming and 
Fremont Peak is the second 
highest in the Wind River 
Range, Mitchell said a couple 
from London, England, joined 
their group when they reached 
the range and that the 
youngest member was a 1- 
month-old baby. Courtesy 
Wyoming State Archives, 

is assistant professor of history at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received his 
Ph.D. in History from the University of Utah in 1998 and is the author of Prostitution, Polygamy, 
and Power: Salt Lake City. 1847-1918 {Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002). 

36 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

The Fly-Fishing History of the Bighorn Mountains: 
An Interview with Sam l\^avral<is, Sr; 

by Tucker W. Galloway^ 

pioneering fly- 
fisherman of tine 
Bighorns and former 
owner of the Ritz 
Sporting Goods 
Store in Sheridan, 
Besides operating 
one of Wyoming's 
legendary sporting 
shops, IVIavrakis 
starred in numerous 
angling movies, 
fished with Joe 
DiMaggio and other 
celebrities, and 
rubbed elbows with 
Queen Elizabeth II. 

TG: Did your father fly-fish? 

SM: No, no, he was just an old Greek gambler, bootlegger, and racketeer. He 
started a gambling joint and a pool hall. In fact, when he come to the U.S. Irom 
Greece in 1909, he worked in a coal mine in Price, Utah, for a while and then he 
moved out here. There was a coal mine village out here called Monarch. . .And he 
got hurt in the mine there so [he was] given the company pool hall. That's when my 
brothers and I were six, seven years old. He bootlegged and bootlegged and 
bootlegged. ..My brothers and I, when we'd get out of school at night, we'd hurry 

Adrian Bantjes edited and annotated this interview. Sam Mavrakis clarified several points during a brief 
phone interview with Bantjes on March 16, 2004. 

For details, see Galloway's unpublished paper, titled "Fly-Fishing and Tourism History of the Big 
Horn Mountains," University of Wyoming, 2002. 

The Ritz Sporting Goods Store in Sheridan was a legendary gathering place for hunters and anglers 
until it closed in 1998. See Bob Krumm. "Downtown Sheridan will be a bit colder," in The Billings 
Gazette, December 10, 1998. Waldo "Irish" Leach (1914-2002) was one of Mavrakis's fly-tiets. See 
The Cmper Star Tribune, July 30, 2002. 

Annais of Wyoming- The Wyoming Hislon,' Journal - Spring 2004 

home to bottle more beer, so he'd have something to 
sell the next day. When he got caught bootlegging, I 
remember one time they put him in jail for a month. 
But they put him in onlv at night, thev turned him 
loose in the daytime. So he'd come home and brew 
another batch of beer, and when he'd go to jail at night 
we'd go home and [bottle] em. Oh, it sure was a good 

When my dad had a pool hall and a gambling joint 
in the Ritz and I had a football scholarship to BYU and 
I'd come home, he'd put me to work dealing 
cards. . .Then the chief of police wotild call once a month 
and he fines me. Even though it was illegal to gamble, 
we did anyway but we had to pay a fine ever}' month. 
A hundred and four dollars and seventy cents fine. And 
always cash. So my dad would give me one hundred 
and four dollars and seventy cents, and I'd take it down 
to cit)' hall. The chief would say, "Raise your right hand, 
son. Are you guilty?" And I'd say, "I don't know what 
the hell I'm guilt}' ol but I guess I am." But. . .there was 
a stool pigeon, and I'll never forget the bastard, a guy 
by the name of Earl Moore, -he worked at the post 
office-, and he'd come down every day and take our 
names oil the police blotter and take them up to the 
courthouse and record them. So my dad and I decided 
to go to Greece, oh, about 55 or 57 years ago, and I 
couldn't get a passport, because [I was] recorded at the 
courthouse as a gambler, bootlegger, and racketeer. So I 
had to send to Malcolm Wallop, United States Senator, 
and another Senator, to help me to get my passport. 

TG: How did you start fly-fishing? 

SM: I used to fly-fish a lot when we had the poo! 

hall. In fact, I'd sit there and tie flies in my spare time 

and build rods, repair rods and reels... My dad built 
the pool hall there in 1915, I think, a gambling joint 
and a pool hall. . . [I] racked balls and gambled and stuff 
for my dad. Then finally they closed gambling and the 
whorehouses and everything in town and then. . .they 
made a sporting goods store out of it. That was in about 
'47. That's when I got into the movie business. . .Years 
ago, George Grunkemeyer' [of Vacationland 
Studios^ ] . . .used to write a fishing story, and then he'd 
go back East and sell it... Grunkemeyer wrote the story, 
but I did the fishing. I was the expert in fishing. . .1 was 

a ham actor... Half-hour movies. Alaska, Canada, 
Montana, Wyoming, Florida, Mexico, we went all over 
the countr)' making these movies. He was a hell of a 
good fly-fisherman. He taught me some... When he 
said we got to make a fly-fishing film. . . [in] Alaska or 
Canada, I'd check the history on the stream up there, 
read a bunch of books, and learn a hell of a lot, and tie 
a bimch of flies. I can sit there and tie a fly in thirty 

TG: What kind of fly-fishing techniques did you 
use? How has fly-fishing equipment changed since you 
first started fly-fishing? 

SM: Well, I did a lot of research and I found out 
that 99 percent of the streams coming off the Bighorn 
Mountains, those fast cascading streams, are wet-fly 
fishing. They're not dry fly... We taught that in the 
movies. So when we went fly-fishing, we'd go straight 
upstream,. . .with short, loose casts, and let it sink, and 
when the line stops, strike, and you'd got a fish. . .In the 
olden days we had those bamboos, real light and delicate 
bamboos. You didn't have tapered lines, you just had a 
level fly line, and with the soft action of the bamboos, 
voti could cast quite a ways. . .But then they come up 
with glass rods and steel rods; they're stiffer so you got 
to use heavier lines, and now... they've come up with 
graphite rods... You used to use a lot of automatics 
[reels]. But automatics, if you're catching big fish like 
we did a lot of times, is not worth a damn. Because 
you get to the end of this spring, and it tightens, tightens, 
tightens, and it busts your line and leader off. . .So we 
got away from using automatic reels right off the hat. 
Just use hand cranks. 

George Grunkemeyer owned a photography studio and a 
movie studio, Vacationland Studios, in Sheridan. George's son, 
George Wilham -Bill" Grunkemeyer (1942-2003) Followed 
in his father's footsteps and in the mid l')80s formed Grunko 
Films, which produced fishing, hunting and wildlife \ideos. 
Gov. Dave Freudenthal proclaimed April ~. 2003, as "Bill 
Grunkemeyer Day" in Wyoming. 

Among other movies, Vacationland Studios made Wyoming 
AAventiife (1956) for The Wyoming Travel Commission and 
the Ford Motot Company. Mavrakis made about eight or ten 
movies with George Grunkemeyer. Personal communication 
from Sam Mavrakis, March 16, 2004. According to Ktumm, 
Mavrakis also starred in three Wright and McGill Co. promo- 
tional movies. See note 3. 

38 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

Small stream fly-fishing in Wyoming. Stephen N. Leek Collection, American Heritage Center. 

TG: What are your favorite flies? Have they 

SM: Years ago there's a guy by the name of [Franz 
B.] Pott," he designed the Potts fly, a hair fly. In fact, I 
tied a couple yesterday. He tied them with badger hair, 
and he put a colored stripe on the belly. That he called 
a "Sandy Mite." Then, in 1954, I designed these two 
flies. I call them my "Greek Brown" and my "Greek 
Grey" and that's all I've ever used for all those years, 
wet-fly fishing... You've got a lot of fancy flies since 
then, but, you see, when you're fishing— and this I 
emphasized in the movies a lot--when you're 
fishing... fast cascading water... you fish with wet 
flies... I tie them with a little different, heavier hook, 
and I tie them with a chenille body and they absorb 
water real easy, you see, and they sink. Then if they 
don't sink far enough, you take this leaded wire and tie 
a couple of strands on the body down there on the 
shank of the hook before you put your fly on it and it 
acts like a sinker and helps it sink, you see. 

One thing also I've found... You know, they say, 

"Guys, boy, I tried everything in the book, and I 
couldn't catch fish and finally I picked on a fly that 
was green and brown and stuff and I caught fish like 
crazy." That is a bunch of unadulterated baloney. The 
only reason he caught fish then is because the fish 
[saw] a silhouette he enjoyed. . .They can't see the color. 
All they see is the silhouette. . .My secret— and I've said 
this many times— you walk up to a body of water and 
eyeball it, and tell yourself this is typical wet fly water, 
this is typical dry fly water, this is typical big fishing 
water, this is typical lure fishing water, and put on 
what you think you should use and catch fish, then 
you're a true angler. Like I say, in the last fifty-some 
years, in all the movies I made, all I take is that Greek 
Brown and Grey, and I put a few in an envelope in 
my shirt pocket and that's all the flies I use. Next time 
you catch a fish, you dress him up, and cut his belly 

In the 1 920s, Pott, a Missoula, Montana, barbet and wigmaker, 
was famous for his woven hair trout flies. The Montana fly- 
tying influence thus made its way as far south as Sheridan. See 
Paul Schullery, American Fly Fishing: A History. The Full Story of 
Fly Fishing in America (New York: The Lyons Press, 1999, 2nd. 
ed.), pp. 184-85. 

i,npa[s ■;■' ■.'.'vijiri'; 'ne '.VvD^ir::; 

open, and you'll see green bugs, blue bugs, purple 
bugs, yellow bugs. Hell, he eats anything that comes 
along, you know. He's not particular about a certain 
color... That's a btmch ol" baloney. Putting it where 
the fish are at; that's it! 

TG: What do you know about the earliest stocking 
efforts around here? Do vou think the Game and Fish 
has done a good job? 

SM: Well, I remember in the late twenties and 
thirties, there's a guy that worked tor the Wyoming 
Game and Fish Department. He used to plant fish and 
stock them all over the state and pick me up and we'd 
go and stock em, . . . Laramie, Lovell, Cody, and all over, 
and that was in the thirties. [Now] the Game 
Department is. , .stocking all the streams, improving the 
habitat, 1 think [the fishing] is better now than it's ever 
been before. And all the reservoirs the\''\'e btiilt, vou 
know, they've introduced a lot ot fish... A lot of" big 
water running down below the reservoirs. . .They're the 
finest game department in the world. In tact, I made a 
cotiple oi films tor the game ciepartment too...The\' 
were sure fantastic people. I sure liked them. In tact, 
years ago, the Wyoming legislators were trying to pass 
a bill to take the Wyoming Game and Fish money, you 
know, from licenses and all that stuft, and put it in a 
general ttmd so they could use it tor an\'thing...So I 
got wind of it, and I had 10,000 cards printed. 10,000. 
"We're opposed to our legislators taking our Game 
Department funds. " So I sent them to all the sporting 
goods stores all over the state. They signed them and 
sent them to Cheyenne. ..One day one ot the 
legislators--! knew him real well, he was trom here— 
he called me up and says, "For Christ's sake, you damn 
Greek, call ott your dogs. We got the message. " I 
became a hero ot the Game Department. 

TG: How do vou think the privatization of land 
around Sheridan has attected tly-fishing? 

SM: Well, its hurt it. 1 think not the privatization 
so much because most ot the people, the ranchers, are 
friendly enough that [it] you ask them, they'll let you 
go fishing. But I think that what's hurting them mostly 
is these outfitters and guides are coming out and leasing 

a bunch ot land and closing it for you. 

TG: Did you ever do any guiding when you 
owned the Ritz? 

SM: No, just in the movies. Oh, 1 think... the 
Prince ot England, Lord Porchester,'^ Vice President 
Dan Quayle, George Bush [Sr.], Joe DiMaggio, Ben 
Johnson, the movie actor,' Pam Dauber, the movie 
actress,'" I've taken a lot ot those people out. I had a 
system: I put them in my jeep with a cooler of tood 
and drinks, beer and so, and take em fishing, never asked 
them tor a picttire. ..Then, when I got em home and 
we had supper here at the table and got them halt tull 
ot wine, the sky was the limit. I remember one time 
Joe DiMaggio was sitting there and having supper and 
he was pretty well loaded by then, and I said, "Joe, 
would \'ou sign a baseball card? " And he sa\'s, "Hell, 
yes. How many do you got? " I says, "I got a dozen. ' 
He says, "Bring em all out. "...Ever}'body else, Ben 
Johnson and [the] Vice President, and the Queen, 
tickled to death to. . .write up some picture. I had them 
all in the Ritz there...! had that museum... So, trom 
[being] a gambler, racketeer and bootlegger, I meet the 
Queen, the King, the Vice-President, the President, 
Bobby Knight, Joe DiMaggio, and all ot them, and 
took them all fishing. Oh, I had a good time, though, 
with all those guvs. Nice tellows, and plain people. 

TG: How do you think tourism has attected the 
Sheridan area tor flv-fishin";? 

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visited Canyon Ranch in 
Big Horn, Wyoming, in 1969. According to Tad Bartimus, 
Mavrakis "shared a drink with Prince Philip fifteen years ago 
at the Canyon Ranch." See "Queen Elizabeth Visits Wyoming: 
British Monarch Savors the Land and the People," in Aineri- 
aui Wat Vol. XXII: no. 2 (March/April 1985), pp. 2')-.55. 
During that visit, he presented the prince with flies. The 
Liimmie Ddi/y Boomerang, October 14, 198-4. 

'"' Sir Henry Herbert, Lord Porchester and the 7''' Earl ot Carnarvon 
(1924-2001), married Jean Wallop, sisrerofLInited States Sena- 
tor for Wyoming, Malcolm Wallop. Lord Porchester was the 
Queen's racing manager. According to Mavrakis, he was nick- 
named "Porchy." Personal communication, March 16, 2004. 
Johnson ( 1^M8-1996) starred in numerous HolK-wood produc- 
rions, including many Westerns. 

'" Best known tor her role in the 1978 television series "Mork 
and Mindy." 

40 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

SM: Oh, tourism helps a hell of a lot. Because 90 
percent can't fish ... and all they're doing is coming 
and spending money, you know. . .Maybe one out of a 
hundred can fly-fish. In fact, the only one I took out 
that could fly-fish was Bobby Knight. He was 
fantastic. . . He was a beautiful caster.. .He was the only 
guy I took out that I didn't have to help. The rest, 
movie actors and princes and queens, I had to help 
them all. They used to come to the Ritz, and the first 
time they'd buy a fishing license, and then ask what 
kind of flies to use, and I'd mention two or three, and 
the first thing he'd buy a dozen. It doesn't matter. A 
dollar, seventy-five cents a piece. And he wouldn't cast 
... and he'd snap em off. They were big business. 

TG: Did you lose a lot of old pictures when the 
Ritz burned down? 

SM: Yes, 90 percent of them lost. The Queen, 
when she came years ago," she had her own 
photographer when she came in the Ritz and took 
hundreds oi pictures and she had them developed and 
sent them to me. Then when the place burned down, 
she realized that some of those pictures might have 
burnt, so she sent me a complete new roster of them. 
All kinds of pictures. . .She was sure a nice gal. We got 
to be good friends... I used to take [Lord Porchester] 
pheasant hunting out here on [Malcolm] Wallop's place 
and actually he was the best shotgun shot I've ever 
seen in my life. Three pheasants would come on up 
and he'd go "Boom, boom, boom," and all... three 
would be in the air coming down at once, that's how 
fast he was. But when [the Queen] came, she told me 
this was the third time in her entire life that she was 
able to go into a store like mine and shop.'' She was 
like a little kid: "I want this, I want that, I want 
this. "...We got to be real good friends. ..In the 
meantime, she got to the door, and she didn't go out 
yet. An obnoxious [journalist] come in with a big TV 
camera, completely ignored her, come up to me and 
says, 'Tm from BBC broadcasting Britain. What did 
the Queen buy?" So cruel and rude, you know, and I 
looked at her, and she's standing in the doorway. . .and 
I looked at his camera real long, and I said, "Sir, it's 
none of your goddamn business." She says, "Thank, 

you, Sam, you're my friend." Probably the first time 
she heard cursing like that in all her life.'-' U| 

" Queen Elizabeth II visited Sheridan from October 12 to Oc- 
tober 15, 1984, as a guest of Lady and Lord Porchester. For 
details see, "A Horsey Holiday for Her Majesty: Queen Eliza- 
beth tours Kentucky farms and Wyoming ranches," in Time 
vol. 124, no. 17 (October 22, 1984), p. 47. The Queen stayed 
at Canyon Ranch in Big Horn, established in the 1880s by ' 
Oliver Wallop, the future Earl of Portsmouth. Time quotes 
local rancher William Schroeder as commenting, "What's the 
fuss?. ..There's been limeys infesting this valley for 100 years 
now. It's too late to get all worked up over another one." 
Ironically, Canyon Ranch is today operated by guide Paul 
Wallop as a fly-fishing and shooting resort. 

'- The Sheridan Press reported that when the Queen hosted a 
dinner part at the Maverick Supper Club it was "believed to be 
only the third time in her life she ordered from a restaurant 
menu. " The Sheridan Press, October 15, 1984. 

" The Sheridan Press described the Queen's visit to Sheridan as 
follows: "Shortly after 10 a.m. the queen srepped out ot her 
limousine wearing a coral two-piece suit in front of the Ritz 
Sporting Goods Store. She was greeted by owner Sam Mavrakis, 
a world-renowned fly fisherman, who also met Prince Philip, 
the queen's husband, on his trip to Canyon Ranch in 1969. 
Mavrakis presented the queen with a handmade fly pole per- 
sonally inscribed to the Duke of Edinburgh and a box ot hand- 
tied flys [sic]. Referring to Prince Philip, the queen said, "He'll 
really appreciate this. He just loves to fish." She also stopped 
at King's Saddlery, the Big Horn Mercantile, and the Bradford 
Brinton Memorial." The Sheridan Press, October 15, 1984. 
For a photograph of Mavrakis offering the fly rod, see The 
Sheridan Press October 16, 1984. The Laramie Daily Boomer- 
ang, October 14, 1984, adds: "Mavrakis said he had been 
nervous about the queen's visit for weeks, but the moment 
she walked into the store and shook his hand all ner\'ousness 
disappeared. "She's a wonderful person -a warm human be- 
ing," he said. The queen ordered items for herself and several 
members of her family, but Mavrakis would not reveal what 
they were buying, "It's a private visit and it should be kept 
private." The Denver Post, October 14, 1984, was less dis- 
creet, and reported that Her Majesty had purchased "a down- 
filled khaki vest and matching pants, and down parkas for her 
husband and three sons." 

Tucker W. Galloway 

is a Wyoming native. He Inas a Baclielor's of 
Science in IVIolecular Biology and a second in 
botany, both from the University of Wyoming. 
He plans to attend medical school in 2005. 
He advises all who read this article to enjoy 
flyfishing, respect the trout, and in the words 
of his grandfather, "stay sober 'til sundown." 

Annais of Wyoming. The Wyoming Hisiory Journal -- Spring 20C4 



hr ^^A'l^^ Ao EmiMj^B^ 

Introduction: Fly-Fishing Cultures and the Imagined West 

In recent years, American popular culture has come to portray fly-fishing as 
an essential ingredient of Western culture and identity. By analyzing the creation 
of this particular representation we can learn much about the way Westerners and 
non-Westerners alike have invented, and continue to invent, an imagined West. 
In a recent article in the journal Montana, environmental historian Paul Schullery 
succinctly identifies the problem: "The question. who, in fact, has defined the 
West as a fly-fishing kind ol place? And the answer is that lor the most part it was 

not us [T]he West is a national fantasy, a place where bigger, stranger, more 

heroic things are possible."' 

Is there any truth to this novel stereotype? Moreover, is there anything 
specifically Western about angling in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West? 
Stereotypes of Western angling often seem reminiscent oi Frederick Jackson Turners 
frontier thesis. Here, in the sublime Rocky Mountain wilderness, rugged. 

Paul Schullery, "Frontier Fly-Fishing in the New West. "Montana: The Magazine of Western History 52 
(Summer 2002): 5, 7. 

Yellowstone Lake, Mary's 
Bay, 1871. Photo by W,H. 
Jackson. Courtesy 
American Heritage Center. 

Ar^ia's of \'V"om!nQ: The VV'/ominc Histor,' Journal -- Sprino 2004 

individualistic Western anglers battle monster trout 
on big brawling rivers like the Yellowstone, generally 
nymphing with heav\' rods and weighted flies. As West 
Yellowstone guide Bud Lilly put it, "The scale of 

western fishing is grand These are big 

rivers... Western trout have a larger-than-life 
reputation."- Fly-fishing in the West is a true encounter 
with nature. Charles Brooks, the biographer ol the 
Madison River, described the middle section of the river 
as "a frustrating, maddening, sometimes haughty, 
sometimes frightening, but always seductive stream. It 
is too big, too rough and brawling, too mighty and 
majestic to become intimate with."' This is also a 
homegrown, democratic, or, as John Gierach puts it, 
populist tradition, played out, not on the "beats" of 
privatelv owned streams, but on millions ot acres of 
pristine public wilderness.^ As Tom McGuane 
amusingly tells us -and his joke is particularly apt for 
the West, "When a perennial and unsuccessful 
independent candidate for president from the Midwest 
explained the origin of the United States, he said that 
Europeans, tired of asking for permission to fish, looked 
lor a place to live in which they could fish wherever 
they pleased."^ 

This is a far cr\' Irom the sport as practiced on the 
manicured chalkstreams of Kent or the freestone rivers 
ol the Catskills. Eastern or British flv-fishing is often 
stereot}'pically portrayed as highly technical dr)' fly- 
fishing for finicky, "educated" trout on bucolic, dainty 
little streams. This is a sport of the privileged, whether 
members of the British aristocracy or Eastern plutocrats, 
who congregate in elite clubs on private trout waters 
such as the Houghton Fishing Club on the River Test, 
or the classic club waters of the upper Beaverkill in New 
York. This clubby ambiance still characterizes the 
Battenkill Valley near Manchester, Vermont, an old 
resort where Americas nineteenth-centur)' elite engaged 
in golf, fly-fishing, and other summer leisure activities 
while residing at their summer villas or at the Equinox 
Hotel. Today, this ambiance is enhanced by Land 
Rover's four-wheeling school, falconry and equestrian 
clinics, luxun,' outlet malls selling Burberr)' coats and 
Barbour shooting jackets, and the Orvis store, where 
the fishing department can be found hidden behind 
the upscale clothing and furniture departments. 

The purpose of this essay is not to argue that there 

is no such thing as a distinct Western fly-fishing 
heritage, but to point out what Western anglers actually 
have in common with their Eastern and European 
brethren. Far from being a homegrown tradition, 
Western fly-fishing is, of course, part of an arcane and 
highly globalized sporting tradition inspired by 
ancient, generally British, socio-cultural practices. This 
becomes clear when we examine fly-fishing's 
relationship to nature, society, and sporting praxis. 

The Western angling environment, though 
undoubtedly more rugged than that |-ound, say, in 
England, is not, strictly speaking, natural. It is essentially 
artificial, the result of an impressive effort to recreate 
European style fisheries in an alien environment by 
extensive tinkering with local native ecosystems, 
whether through the extensive stocking of non-native 
species, or the creation of tail waters and manmade 
spring creeks. This is not only true of the United States; 
the proliferation of fly-fishing reflects the globalization 
of sporting traditions. During the nineteenth and early 
twentieth centuries, trout fisheries were established from 
India to Tanzania, and from Patagonia to Japan, all in 
an effort to recreate a British sporting landscape, culture, 
and praxis. 

Though in the West access traditionally has been 
much better than in Europe or on the East Coast, where 
many quality waters are monopolized by select fishing 
clubs, the sport still has a long history of exclusivity. In 
the West, the development ol fly-fishing during the 
nineteenth century was closely linked to the expansion 
of the railroads and the growth of a burgeoning tourist 
industry that catered to the urban middle and upper 
classes and wealthy Easterners. More recently, angling 
has assumed such a cachet that it has become part of" 
the wider process of the resettling of the West by wealthy 
outsiders, many of whom are eager to establish exclusive 
"sporting estates" and "fishing lodges " on private waters. 

' Bud LilK- .ind Paul Schullcry, Bud Lilly's Guide to Western Fly 
Fishing (New York: Nick Lyons Books, 1987), pp. 5-6. 

' Charles Brooks, The Living River: A Fisherman's Lntimate Profile of 
the Madison River Watershed -Its History, Ecology, Lore, and An- 
gling Opportunities (New Jersey, New York: Winchester Press, 
Nick Lyons Books, 1979), p. 133. 

' John Gierach, Another Lousy Day in Paradise (New York: Simon 
and Schuster, 1996), p. 204. 

^ Charles Lindsay and Thomas McGuane, Upstream: Fly Fishing in 
the American West (New York: Aperture Foundation, 2000), p. 

Though, as we shall see, private Catskill-style clubs 
are relatively rare, Western trout streams have become 
increasingly privatized, or are in the process ot being 
locked up bv guiding outfits that cater to wealthy 
sportsmen. Though the vast expanses ot Western public 
lands militate against total monopolization, the 
democratic, populist tradition ot local fly-fishing may 
one day become a distant memory. 

The development ol Western angling practices and 
techniques is another topic of cultural interest. 
Wyoming angling is the result of the interaction of what 
one might call, borrowing anthropologist Robert 
Redfield's concept, the great tradition of fly-fiishing, 
essentialK' imported from Britain and the East, with 
local little traditions and environments, that ultimately 
resulted in a distinctly Western style of fly-fishing. This 
article examines the development of the sport of fly- 
fishing in Wyoming and neighboring Rocky Mountain 
states (Colorado, Montana) by focusing on the 
interaction between local players, such as anglers, guides, 
dude ranchers, developers, state game and fish 
employees, and external actors, e.g., railway companies, 
wealthy sportsmen, omside angling promoters, federal 
agencies, etc. The result ot this interplay over a period 
of roughly 125 years is the creation of one of the best 
sports fisheries in the United States. Ironically, the West 
has made the transition from an angling frontier to a 
fly-fishermahs Mecca, in the process becoming a center 
that now disseminates angling practices to the rest of 
the countiy and the world. 

Western Nature and Fiy-FJshing 

Early travelers' accounts clearly indicate that Rocky 
Mountain waters offered excellent fishing for seemingly 
endless numbers of native cutthroat trout.'' Yet many 
streams and lakes considered excellent fisheries today 
lacked "game fish," as narrowly defined by 
contemporaiy angling discourse, and were thus seen as 
"virgin" or "barren," just waiting for the finishing touch 
of man to create a sporting paradise. Fish were, of 
course, a valuable food source for soldiers, settlers, 
railroad workers, and miners, and exploited on a colossal 
scale. Market fishermen did a brisk business supplying 
booming Western towns and camps with a steady 
supply of fish. The effects of overfishing and 
environmental degradation were devastating for the 

native cutthroat. By 1937, the Greenback 
{Oncorhynchits elarki stouiias) was considered extinct 
throughout its vast former range (though small pockets 
were rediscovered in 1969). The Colorado River 
cutthroat ( O. elarki pleuriticus) only survives in the 
isolated mountain headwaters of a few streams, such as 
the Little Snake River in Wyoming. The Westslope 
cutthroat (O. elarki leiuisi) now only inhabits l."^ percent 
of its former range." 

The 1883 report of the Wyoming Territorial Fish 
Commission acknowledged that "it is an admitted fact 
that a majority of our streams are sterile of good food 
fish, whilst a remainder are nearly exhausted of a once 
bountiful supply."' The Laramie and North Platte river 
basins, for example, today known for their excellent, 
often blue ribbon, fishing, held no trout at all. This 
was true of other watersheds as well. According to the 
Wyoming Fish Commission, the Sweetwater and 
Powder rivers. Clear Creek in Johnson County, the 
headwaters of the Little Missouri River and Sand Creek, 
were barren of trout. This was also true of many of the 
state's thousands of high mountain lakes, for example 
in the Wind River and Snow\' ranges. In southeastern 
Wyoming, trout fishing was limited to a handful of 
small tributaries of the South Platte, in particular Dale 
Creek, where the native greenback population was 
rapidly heading towards extinction.'" 

Early Western Angling Tourism 

Paradoxically, while western Fisheries rapidly 
declined during the late nineteenth century, angling 
tourism became a significant factor, as was the case on 
many famed Eastern streams. The Wyoming Fish 
Commission understood that "wherever [tourists] can 

" On n.itive cutthroat, see Robert J. Behnke, Trout and Salmon 
of North America (New York: The Free Press, 2002), pp. 155- 
I'-W; John H. Monnett, Cutthroat anil Campfirc Ta/c-s: The- 
Fly-FishiJig Heritage of the West (Boulder: Universit)' Press ot 
Colorado, 200 D.Vp- 16-31. 

Neal Blair, T/te History of \i'tldhfe Management in Wyoming 
(Chevenne: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 1987), p. 
15; Monnett, Cutthroat, pp. 6, 21-24. 

' Behnke, Trout, pp. UiO, 19.i, l')5. 

'' Citation m Blain History, p. 11. 

'" Chuck Ritter, "The Good Old Days," in Wyoming Wildlife 
XXI (Jantiary, 1957): 21, 25. In addition. Fish Creek, Trail 
Creek, and Sheep Creek. Baxter and Stone also mention 
Lonetree Creek in Albany and Laramie counties. See George 
T Baxter and Michael D. Stone, Fishes of Wyoming. (Chey- 
enne: Wyoming Fish and Game Department. 199S), p. 178. 

44 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

Fishing for native 
Snake River 
cutthroat trout near 
Jackson Hole. 
Unlike other 
subspecies, the 
Snake River 
survived the 
introduction of non- 
native species and 
is still the 

predominant fish in 
the Snake River, a 
famed western 
fishery. Stephen N. 
Leek Collection, 
American Heritage 

find game fish and fish they will certainly 
go.... Thousands of dollars will be left here annually by 
encouraging legislation."" The conckision they reached 
was that Western waters were to be stocked with non- 
native game species. However, even before the stocking 
ol Wyoming waters started in the 1880s, the first 
tourists traveling through Wyoming and other Rocky 
Mountain regions fotmd excellent fishing, often in 
streams today not featured in the guides. In his 1873 
The Fishing Tourist Angler's Guide and Reference Book, 
angling writer Charles Hallock eulogized the fabulous 
fishing opportunities ol the Rockies, especially around 
Sherman in the Laramie Range: 

The Rocky Mountains are traversed 
everywhere by trout streams; and the overland 
tourist who is inclined to spend the months 
of July and August among their peaks and defiles 
and magnificent upland parks, can hardly cast 
his line amiss in any of them. In the vicinity 
of Sherman, on the line of the Union Pacific 
Railway... the trout fishing is equal to any on 
the road. Dale Creek, a tributary of the Cache- 
a-la-Poudre River, and other streams in the 
immediate neighborhood, abound in trout of 
the finest quality, and weighing from a quarter 
of a pound to two pounds each; their flesh is 

hard and white as that of the mountain-trout 
of Vermont. Even the tiniest rivulets swarm 
with them. Fifteen miles beyond Sherman, at 
Virginia Dale, the Dale Creek traverses a canon 
whose walls are 600 feet high, and the adjacent 
scener}' is wonderfully diversified by grottoes, 
gorges, dells, canons, precipices, towering- 
peaks, and rugged recesses. Antelope, elk, black- 
tailed deer, bears, sage-hen, and grouse, abound 
in the hills and on the plateaus. There is 
excellent hotel accommodation for the 

Hallock also recommended Lake Como and the 
Medicine Bow River, the Bear River and Bear Lake on 
the Wyoming-Utah line, and the Fort Bridger area, 
where excellent rooms and guide service could be found 
at Judge Carters Hotel.'' 

In neighboring Colorado territory, tourism 
developed early as well. Denver lawyer, judge, and 

" Citation in Bkir, History, p. 24. 

'- Chatles Halloclc, The Fishing Tourist Angler's Guide and Reference 

Book (New York: Harper and Btos., 1873), pp. 217-18. 
" Ibid. 

Annals of Wyoming- The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

sporting writer, Lewis Browne France (1833-1907),''' 
who often published under the nom de pliuue 
'Bourgeois,' described his angling adventures in a series 
of- delightRil books and articles. During the mid- 1 860s, 
anglers like France would travel thirty-five miles fiom 
Denver to Bear Creek to camp and fish lor trout. By 
the early 1870s, angling tourism began to focus on the 
"Grand" (Colorado River) and Williams' Fork in the 
Middle Park near Hot Sulpher Springs. France describes 
the arduous trip, first to "Idaho" by train, and Irom 
there fifty miles overland via Empire and over Berthoud 
Pass to camps along the Colorado. Here tourists fished 
for plentiful seventeen-inch trout and soaked in the still 
undeveloped hot springs.''' In 1875 France embarked 

Third Annual Fish Fry, 
Saratoga, Wyoming, 
September21, 1910. While 
the North Platte River 
drainage held no trout pnor to 
the stocking efforts of the early 
1880s, it soon produced 
prodigious numbers offish. 
Three thousand nine hundred 
twenty trout were consumed 
that day. Despite such 
waste, and thanks to special 
regulations, the North Platte is 
today a blue nbbon fishery. 
Courtesy Amencan Hentage 

on a summer vacation with his wife and "the governor" 
(his son) in the still relatively pristine Estes Park region. 
From Denver, France took the Colorado Central to 
Longmont, and then made his way by horse team 
fifteen rough miles up the Saint Vrain canyon along 
an often barely visible trail. There he set up his base 
camp at Fergusons cabin below Prospect Mountain 
and spent six weeks fishing the Thompson and Falls 

'■* For a brief biography, see John H, Monnett, "Foreword" to 
L.B. France, With Rod diiei Lnie in Colorado Waters (Boulder; 
Pruett Publishing Co., 1996), pp. vii-xi. 

'^ L.B. France, With Rod and Line in Colorado Waters (Denver: 
Chain, Hardy & Co., 1884), pp. 6, 9-13, 18, 22-23, 29, 31. 

"One hundred and fifty fish in five hours," Successful fishing expedition to Jack Creek, near 
Saratoga, in 1910, (Courtesy Amencan Heritage Center. 

46 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2Q04 

rivers, and smaller streams in Horse Shoe and Willow 
parks."' Even at that early date, tourists were regularly 
making their way up into the range, but the streams 
were still not fished out: "The trout struck and I landed 
them so fast that the sport began to be 
monotonous..." "[C]ombining business and sport," 
France filled a sixteen-pound lard can with trout. '^ 

Just as Wyoming old timers today laugh at the 
fancy city slickers who, clad in elegant designer apparel 
and armed with the most expensive tackle, overrun 
our streams every summer, France ridiculed the dandy 
"tenderieet" who increasingly disturbed the peace at 
Estes Park: 

There was one young gentleman... He was 
dressed in light drab pants, cheviot shirt, and 
a broad-brimmed felt hat, the band of which 
was stuck full of flies of all sizes and a multitude 
ot colors. He had a fiftv-dollar rod and a fifteen- 
dollar reel oi" wonderful combination; his eyes, 
emphatic with disgust, glaring through his 
glasses, he avowed there were no fish in the 
Park. He held up a crimson fly that would 
have driven crazy any fish except a sucker...! 
told him that the trout was a queer fish, and 
that perhaps he had better try a blue flannel 
rag, and offered to give him a piece of my 
shirt, but he got mad, tore around, and 
threatened, in popular parkmce, to take off the 
top of my head.'^ 

By the early eighties the author was nostalgically 
lamenting the loss of his idyllic mountain getaway at 
Estes Park, which was now "easy of access..., the trail 
having given way to the wagon road,"'' and decrying 
the "desecration" of places like Grand Lake, where 
shanties and shacks were sprouting up everywhere and 
even chic French tourists appeared, including, he noted 
with horror, a mademoiselle with a monkey.'" 

Just as the railroads had opened up to mass tourism 
the Catskills, the Adirondacks, Michigan, and other 
angling destinations, the development of railroads had 
an enormous impact on sport fishing in the Rocky 
Mountains.-' In 1869, the transcontinental railroad was 
completed. From the 1870s on, a rapidly expanding 
network of Western railways, for example the Colorado 
and Southern (the "Fisherman's Special" up the South 

Platte Canyon--), the Denver and Rio Grande, and 
the Midlands, transported angling tourists, including 
many Denverites, to new fishing resorts and ranches 
located on distant mountain streams and lakes. By 
the early twentieth century, a widespread network of 
angling resorts catered to the needs of Colorado 
anglers. Close to Denver was the famed Canyon of 
the South Platte, where tourists lodged in cabins at 
Deckers Springs Fishing Resort in Deckers or took 
rooms at the Hotel Glenisle. The Gunnison River, 
reached by the Denver and Rio Grande, boasted 
numerous fishing inns, including the popular inn at 
the Cebolla depot, right on the river, the Rainbow 
Hotel in Sapinero, and the lola Hotel and Fishing 
Resort. North of Grand Lake John G. Holzwarth built 
the Holzwarth Trout Lodge shortly after 1917, 
followed by his Never Summer Ranch in 1923. Here 
trout catches were "limited" to twenty pounds per 
person. The Keystone Hotel, in Home, Larimer 
County, welcomed anglers fishing the Cache la 
Poudre.-' Trapper's Lake near Meeker featured a 
famous fishing lodge, established in 1917, which, sadly, 
burned to the ground during the Big Fish Fire of 

In Wyoming, railroads played a similar role. The 
1886 Angler's Guide Book and Tourists' Gazeteer [sic] 

'" "Bourgeois" [L.B. France], "The Lure," in Charles F. Orvis and 
A. Nelson Cheney, eds.. Fishing with the Fly. The Orvis-Cheiiey 
Collection (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1883), 

' Ibid., p. 149. 

* France, With Rod and Line, pp. 33-34, 41. 

'' "Bourgois," "The Lure," p. 145. 

" France, With Rod and Line, pp. 96-98. 

' Paul Schullery, American Fly Fishing: A History. The Fidl Story of 
Fly Fishing in America (New York: The Lyons Press, 1999). pp. 
43-49, 130-31 

-' Nolle Mumey, Wigivam: The Oldest Fislmig Chtb in the State of 
Colorado, with some Histoiy of Douglas and Jefferson Counties 
(Boulder: Johnson Publishing Company, 1969), p. 35; William 
C. Harris, ed., The Angler's Guide Book and Tourist's Gazeteer of 
the Fishing Waters of the United States and Canada, 1886 (New 
York: The Angler's Publishing Company; Chicago: The Western 
Angler's Publishing Co., 1887), pp. 39-43. 

'' See for references the Denver Public Library's Western His- 
tory/Genealogy Department's photographic collection; Harvey 
H. Kaiser, Landmarks in the Landscape: Historical Architecture in 
the National Parks of the West (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 
1997), p. 173. 

•^ Monnett, Cutthroat, pp. 96-99; Nanci and Kirk Reynolds, West- 
em Fly-Fishing Vacations (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1 988), 
pp. 89-90. 

Hi?;r.rv Journa' 

followed the Union Pacific lines and the stagecoach 
routes. In southwestern Wyoming, travelers stopping 
at Aspen, Carter, Cokeville, Piedmont, Milliard, Twin 
Creek, and Evanston, could tr\' their luck lor "mountain 
trout," whitefish and grayling in the area's mountain 
lakes or on the "grand Fishing section [s]" of the Bear 
River, the Blacks Fork of the Green, the Smiths Fork 
ol the Green, the Henrys Fork of the Green, the Hams 
Fork, (Big) Muddy Creek, Spring Creek, and the superb 
Beaver Creek. Fort Bridger was recommended lor 
accommodations, while Cokeville had a Union Pacific 
"eating house." Hotels cost two or three dollars a day, 
the "section house" at Hilliard filt\' cents a dav, a guide 
and team ol horses five dollars. Adventurous souls could 
take the stagecoach 1 SO miles north to Fort Witshakie, 
where splendid lly-fishing could be had on the lorks ol 
the Little and Big Wind rivers. Those getting off at 
Rawlins or Fort Steele would have to rough it. To fish 
for trout and 'mullet' on Savery Creek, the (Little) Snake 
River, or at Battle Lake, anglers would travel fifty miles 
and camp out. Near Laramie, Tie Siding, and 
Sherman, "very fine trouting" lor "brook" or 
"mountain trout" [sic] was to be had on Dale Creek, 
Fish Creek (the best), Texas Creek, Sheep Creek, Trail 
Creek, and the Cache la Poudre River in neighboring 
Colorado. ^^ Tourists traveled to Yellowstone Irom the 
north via the Northern Pacific Railroad, and, from 
1909 on, also entered via West Yellowstone. The first 
cars were allowed to enter the park in 1915, opening 
up the park to the mass tourism ol "Sagebrushers."-" 
As late as the 1940s, Cheyenne and Casper anglers 
hopped on trains and were let oil near choice fishing 
holes on the North Platte. When lack Hemingway 
visited his lather and stepmother in Casper in 1946, a 
railway engineer called Blackie took him out to the 
excellent water below the Black Canyon, now long 
submerged by Seminoe Reservoir, where they hooked 
into five-pound rainbow." 

While in Colorado fishing resorts were common, 
in Wvomino; and Montana other forms ol loddng seem 
to have prevailed. Alter the turn ol the centurv. 
Easterners eager to settle in the West established the 
first dude ranches, such as the Eaton Ranch in Wolf 
Wyoming. The Dude Ranchers' Association worked 
closely with the Northern Pacific Railroad to attract 
well-heeled Eastern dudes to the West. By the 1930s, 

some dudes arrived in Wyoming on the new direct 
flights to Cheyenne Irom New York and Chicago."- 
Angling was an important component of the dude's 
vacation activities. The Eaton Ranch advertised fishing 
on Woll Creek, "a fine trout stream," as one ol its 
highlights. A 1911 pamphlet leatured pictures of the 
stream and a woman fly-fishing, and advised the use of 
flies such as the Montreal, Silver Doctor, Beaver Kill, 
and Dusty Miller, tied on a no. 12 hook. The "quiet 
stream through the ranch \'ard will allord well repaying 
sport, with the dinner gong within easy earshot." 
However, better fishing lor larger trout could be had 
up the canyon or at the lamed Dome Lake, "the 
fisherman's Mecca.""" A lew ol these dude ranches 
ultimately became elegant fiy-fishing lodges, most 
notabh' the Crescent H Ranch near Wilson, Wyoming, 
with its superb private waters on Fish Creek and the 
Snake River, which became an Orvis-endorsed fly- 
fishing lodge."' Less pecunious locals relied on rustic 
cabin lodging lor their fishing trips, lor example, the 
Woods Landing Resort on the Big Laramie, still in 
operation today, or the now abandoned Rainbow Camp 
on the North Laramie. 

Managing Delicate Fisheries 

Ai English chalk stream, carelully tended by a river 
keeper and his stall, who cut weeds in the streambed, 
lay out hellgrammite boards, mow the river banks, and 
often heavily stock the waters, seems the antithesis of 
the rugged Western style ol angling lor wild trout in 
remote streams and lakes. Yet the excellent fishing 
opportunities Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West 
have to oiler today are, to a ven' significant degree, the 
result ol a massive and extremely costly ellort spanning 

-^ Harris, The Angler's Guide Booh, pp. 207-08. 

-'' Monnett, Ctitthvoiit, pp. 38-,Vl; Joel H. Bernscein, F.vnilies that 
Take in Friends: An Infornial History of Dude Ranching 
(Stevensville, Montana: Stone)'dale Prcs.-;, 1983), p. 44. 

- Personal communication, Gerald K. Henning; Jack Hemingway, 
Misadventures of a Fly Fisherman: My Life with and without Papa 
(Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company 1986). p. 225. 

-" Bernstein. Fanii/ies. pp. .V)-64, 99. 

-" Eaton Ranch Pamphlet. 1911. I am grateful to Tucker Gallo- 
way tor providing me with a cop\-. 

'" For glossy pictures and details, see Ralph Kvlloe, Fishing Camps 
(Salt Lake Cit>-: Gibbs Smith. Publisher, 1996), pp. 74-75; 
Reynolds and Re\nolds, Western Fly-FishingVacations, pp. 1 92- 

48 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 

r-^^^^-^a-^^ Pte i iifi ^ ^ - ^ 

Angling on the Big 
Laramie River near 
Laramie, 1910. After 
stocl<ing in ttie late 
nineteenth century, the 
river soon produced 
rainbows up to seven 
pounds. However, the 
diversion of water to 
Colorado and heavy 
irrigation negatively 
affected the stream. 
Courtesy American 
Heritage Center. 

more than a century to stock and scientifically manage 
game fish in thousands of Western lakes and streams. 
Angling is only to a limited extent a "natural" practice. 
Instead, In many areas of the West, nature has been 
manipulated and modified to accommodate ancient 
cultural practices rooted in the European past. 

As elsewhere in the United States, the West was 
not immune to the disastrous effects of over-fishing, 
pollution, and environmental degradation related to 
logging, mining, industrialization, and urban 
development. The wanton destruction of fisheries by 
"fish hogs" mirrored the near extinction of the buffalo. 
To counter this precipitous decline and address the lack 
of game fish in many parts of Wyoming, the state 
legislature passed legislation to protect a rapidly 
dwindling resource, while massive stocking campaigns 
were undertaken, starting in the 1880s. Neal Blair has 
chronicled the administrative process in great detail. The 
Wyoming Territorial Legislature passed an act for the 
protection of game and fish as early as 1869, and 
appointed a fish commissioner in 1 880. That same year, 
fifty thousand rainbow and brook trout were shipped 
to Wyoming by rail from Wisconsin and planted in 
tributaries of the North Platte River. Streams and lakes 
throughout Albany, Laramie, and Carbon counties were 
once again stocked heavily with trout the next year. 

Other species soon followed, though many initial 
plantings failed: carp (1883), landlocked salmon 
(1890), brown trout (1890), crappie (1885), mackinaw 
(1 890), whitefish( 1890), sand pike or walleye (1882), 
and grayling (1900)."' Starting in 1882, the Wyoming 
Legislature enacted legislation providing for the 
propagation and distribution of game fish. At Soldier s 
Spring (Fort Sanders) near Laramie, the state's first fish 
hatchery was established in 1884. The hatchery soon 
produced millions of non-native brook trout, lake 
trout, and rainbow trout for planting throughout 
Wyoming. " Fingerlings were transported in cream cans 
by rail, and sometimes by wagon, a risky endeavor, 
especially during the hot Wyoming summers. New 
hatcheries soon followed in Sheridan and Sundance. 
The fish commission successfully introduced brook and 
rainbow trout to the North Platte, the Big Laramie, 
the Sweetwater, the Powder River, and Sand Creek. The 
results were often phenomenal. The Big Laramie River, 
for example, was soon rendering rainbows up to seven 
pounds and brook trout of up to three and a half 
pounds." Even the remote Yellowstone Park streams, 

" James R. Simon, Wyoming Fishes (Cheyenne: Wyoming Game 

and Fish Department, 1946), p. 12. 
'- Blair, History, pp. 1 7-24. 
" Ritter, "Good Old Days," pp. 20-25, 29. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming Hislory Journal - Spnno 2004 


such as the Firehole and Gibbon rivers, were 
repeatedly stocked with brook, brown, rainbow, 
grayHng, and even black bass. A hatcher)' operated on 
Yellowstone Lake Irom about 190^ to 19S5, when 
the park finally discontinued fish plantings. The 
Firehole River, once devoid ol trout, is now considered 
one of the nations classic trout streams, immortalized 
by angling writers such as Ernest Schwiebert.'* 
Starting in the 1930s, enterprising outdoorsmen like 
Finis Mitchell began stocking the Wind River Range, 
using pack trains to carry the fish into isolated alpine 
lakes. '^ By 1923, state hatcheries had been established 
at Laramie, Dubois, Hvattville, Cody, Story, Cokeville, 
and Daniel, and the state added new hatcheries in 
Tensleep in 1928, at Como Bluff and Auburn during 
the 1940s, and at Casper and Tillett Springs in the 
1930s. Fish production grew astronomically, from 
nearly 6 million in 1923 to 29 million by 1931-32.* 
Starting in I960, the Game and Fish Commission 
began to deploy aircrah tor planting purposes, a far 
cr}' from the old milk can approach.' 

The post-war years witnessed the rapid growth ol 
recreational fishing. Wyoming was becoming a fishing 
destination tor tens ol thousands ot non-resident anglers: 
"Fishing in itselt has become one ot the main recreational 
factors affecting the economy ot many of our local 
communities, and the state as a whole." Not 
surprisingly, the responsibilities of the fish division 
expanded dramatically to include consei-vation, stream 
rehabilitation, pollution monitoring, access and 
infrastructure, scientific studies, etc. ''^ 

Ironically, one factor that gave an enormous boost 
to Western angling was the construction ol numerous 
dams during the twentieth century. Manv ot todays 
hotspots (or, "hog holes," as Gierach calls them'' ), such 
as the Green at Flaming Gorge, the Miracle Mile and 
Grey Reef on the North Platte, the Bighorn below 
Boysen Reservoir and below Yellowtail Dam at Fort 
Smith, Montana, the Shoshone below Bulfalo Bill 
Dam, the South Platte below Cheeseman and Spinney 
mountain reservoirs, the San Juan below Navajo Dam, 
etc., are recently created tail waters. The tamed Green 
River fishery below Flaming Gorge Dam at Dutch 
John, Utah, for example, came into existence in 1964 
alter a massive campaign to exterminate non-game 
species and stock millions of game fish.^" Some of the 

region's best fisheries are thus very recent and entirely 
artificial creations, fly-fishing Disneylands, as some 
anclers call them. 

1 he classic Western spring creeks, which tend to 
hold trout of enormous size and pose the expert angler 
with the ultimate fly-fishing challenge are also, in a sense, 
artificial environments. Many, lor example the lamed 
spring creeks in Paradise Valley near Livingston, 
Montana, are extremely vulnerable to spring flt)ods 
and other environmental lactors and require constant 
maintenance. Numerous Montana spring creeks, such 
as the McCoy Cattle Company creeks near Dillon, are 
essentially manmade environments, the result ol 
extensive landscaping, dredging, and rechanneling with 
heavy ecjuipment.*' 

Class and Fly-Fishing: Elite Angling Clubs 
of the West 

In Great Britain, fly-fishing has been associated with 
an "aristocratic" sporting ethos. Though the L^nited 
States has seen the emergence ot both elite and 
ciemocratic angling traditions, the New York bourgeoisie 
certainly sought to emulate the British angling ambiance 
at numerous private clubs established on prized CatskiU 
streams. '" Does the West have a distinct, more 
democratic, or populist tradition.'' Certainly, the 
availabilirv' ol prime trout waters throughout the Rocky 
Mountain region enhanced the opportunities lor broad 
segments ol the population to engage in fishing. 

■ Baxter and Stone, Fishes ofWyojiiiiig, p. 16"; Brooks, The Living 
River, pp. S6-3''; For details, see John B\orth, "Trout Shangri- 
La: Remaking the Fishing in Yellowstone National Park," Mon- 
tana : The Magazine opX'estern History S2 (Summer 2002): 38-47. 

' Finis Mitchell, Wind River Trails (Salt Lake Cit}': Wasatch Pub- 
lishers, I')?''). See Jeftrey Nichols' contribution to this issue. 

' Blair, Htston, pp. S9, 72, 88, 105, 158. The Laramie hatcher\' 
closed in 1042, the Cokeville operation in 1946. 

■ Ibid., p. 160. 

' Ibid., pp. 1S9, 169-70. 

' John Gierach, Even Brook Trout get the Bhies (New York, Simon 
and Schuster, 1992), ch. 7. 

' See Ed Engle, Fly Fishing the Tailivaters (Harrisburg, Pennsylva- 
nia: Stackpole Books, 1991); Blair, History, pp. 173-76, 195; On 
dams, see 

William G. Tapply, "Creeks on the Rise," American Angler 11 
(March 2004): 66-74. 

■ On angling clubs, see Schullery, American Fly Fishing, ch. 12; 
William Washabaugh with Catherine Washabaugh, Deep Trout: 
Angling in Popular Culture (New York: Berg, 2000), ch. 5. 

Annals nf I'Vyommg: I he Wyoniino Historx' Journal -- Spring 2004 

However, the West is not immune to angling elitism, 
and we find a few examples oi angling clubs in 
Colorado and Wyoming. In 1894, inspired by the 
dream of Edward Gillette, surveyor and chief engineer 
for the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad, a 
group ot influential Nebraska and Wyoming 
businessmen established a fishing lodge on 1,040 acres 
surrotmding Dome Lake, a renowned fishing hole 
located in the Bighorn Mountains near Sheridan. By 
the time it became a private club in 1901, Dome Lake 
boasted an impressive lodge, comfortable cabins, 
electricirs', a chel and servants, and three stocked lakes. 
Earlv members included Nebraska businessmen, 
bankers, and lawers, such as C.N. Dietz, George W. 
Holdrege, and Capt. Henry E. Palmer, as well as 
members of the Sheridan elite, such as cattleman and 
future Wvoming governor and senator, John B. 
Kendrick, the Moncriefife brothers, Oliver H. Wallop, 
and Bradford Brinton. Between 1894 and 1897, the 
resort's waters were stocked with nearly 190,000 
brook, rainbow, and cutthroat trout. Interestingly, the 
club has lasted until this day, with membership still in 
the hands of the descendents ol the original 
members. ^^ 

In Colorado, the most exclusive angling club 
catered to the needs of the Denver social elite. Located 
on a prime stretch of trout water on the South Platte, 
the Wigwam Club was established in 1921 when 
Denver Post owner E G. Bonfils and his associates 
purchased the old Gill Resort and constructed a lodge 
and cabins on the club's 240 acres. Membership included 
the creme de la creme of Denver society, and the club 
was often referred to as the "Millionaires' Club, " which 
may be a slight exaggeration. '''^ The club was very 
protective ol its exclusive fishing rights, and hired a 
heavyweight wrestler to discourage poaching by riffraff 
from neighboring resorts. 

Much later, in 1 964, George Butler Storer, an Ohio 
broadcasting entrepreneur who had fallen in love with 
the West, spent an initial $2.5 million on the 
development of the Old Baldy Club, an exclusive golf 
and angling resort located on the North Platte River 
near Saratoga, Wyoming. According to The Denver Post, 
the club, created for "persons ol means who love to 
hunt and fish and golf and who respect the rules of 
sportsmanship," boasted an eighteen-hole golf course, 

twelve miles of trout stream (fly-fishing only), a 
clubhouse and chalets, and a pro shop. Resident 
initiation fees ran one thousand dollars, annual dues 
live hundred dollars.'*'' Today, this "sportsman's 
paradise," now enhanced by a pool, tennis courts, a skeet 
and trap range, and a stocked private lake, has 250 
members.""' Fishing is still excellent on Old Baldy's 
waters, especially the famed Trout Run, thanks to the 
stewardship of the club's stream manager and fishing 

Such clubs are no anomaly, and elite interest in the 
Western fly-fishing scene has increased dramatically in 
recent years. The popularity of fly-fishing is undoubtedly 
linked to the Western real estate boom of the 1990s. 
Wealthy outsiders have streamed into the Greater 
Yellowstone area and, for that matter, just about any 
scenic region of the Rocky Mountains, in search of 
solitude, hunting, and fishing, in the process 
dramaticallv transforming many Western rural 
communities. Wyoming's Teton County is today the 
nation's most affluent cotmry,"*** boasting, for example, 
the offices of Christies Great Estates. The historic 
Crescent H Ranch, with its 1927 lodge and a core of 
233 acres, until recently an Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing 
lodge, recently went on the market for nearly $17 
million. Surrounding tracts and homes, with access to 
the ranch's seven miles ol private Blue Ribbon fishing 
on Fish Creek, the Snake River, and other spring creeks 
and ponds, are selling briskly. Many properties are 
marketed as "private fishing estates," where 27-inch 
rainbows and 3 1 -inch cutbows can be caught."*'' Some 
Jackson realtors specialize in "the protection of privately- 
owned wildlile and trout habitat," and oiler lor sale 

"'' Kevin E. Rucker, Where Time Stands Still: A Histoij of the Dome 
Lake Club (private edition, n.d. [2001]), pp. 7-22, 34. Also 
see Michael A. Amundsen, Wyoming Time and Again (Boul- 
der: Pruett Publishing Co., 1991), pp. 31-42. 

■*-' Mumey, Wigwarn, pp. 119, 152, 178. 

"■^ Larry Birleffi, "A Place for Eagles," Empire Magazine (The Den- 
ver Post), December 6, 1964. 

^" Old Baldy Club promotional pamphlet (2000). 1 am grateful to 
Ander Schumann for providing me with detailed information. 

"^ Ander F. Schumann," Old Baldy Club, Saratoga, Wyoming: An 
Oral HistoPi' and Analysis of the Old Baldy Club," Unpub- 
lished paper, Universirv' of Wyoming, 2002. 

^''' The Casper Star Tribune, April 18, 2004. 

^'' Real Estate of Jackson Hole Pamphlets, circa 2002, 2003. 

Annals o' Wyoming The Wyoming Hislcn..' Jojrnal - Spring 2004 

fly-fishing properties in Wyoming, "the most wealth- 
friendly state," Idaho, Montana, and other Western 
states. Wyoming fly-fishing ranches on the Green, 
Bighorn, Wind, Salt, and Hoback rivers typically run 
in the $2-3 million range. ^" Exclusive new 
developments in Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado, 
are now planned /rro/rW spring creeks and along trout 
streams. Near Bozeman, Bud Lilly designed a stretch 
of Baker Creek for a new fly-fishing residential 
community.^' Sic transit gloria mimdi, some might say, 
while others, including prominent fly-fishermen, 
maintain that upscale fly-fishing "tourism saved our 
country" and actually benefits the conservation oi 
threatened Western trout habitat.'- 

Western Fly-Flshing Techniques 

Western angling traditions developed gradually as 
the result ot the interaction of external influences, i.e.. 
Eastern and British traditions brought in by outsiders, 
and local experimentation. Early practices were often 
primitive, due to the distances separating settlers from 
the fine tackle shops of the East or West coasts. One 
Montana angler describes his first experimentation with 
"flies" during an arduous march from Corinne, Utah, 
to Missoida, Montana, in 1877. For want of the real 
thing, he cast a red piece of flannel on a hook to rising 
trout and promptly hooked an eight-inch fish.^' 
Colorado angler Lewis France initialK' fished with plum 
bush pole, linen line, and simple wet flies, borrowed 
from a friend, "saved over from more civilized times. "'^ 
Our Missoula "fly-fisher" used an "eighteen foot 
tamarack" with a no. 3 Frankfort, Kentucky, reel, which 
a friend described as a "nail keg," before making his 
own flv rod, and finally sending East for "a very fine 
split bamboo rod."''' France suggested carrying the 
following tackle: "in your fly books a little of everything, 
but of o;rev and brown hackles,... coachmen and 
professors, an abundance... [If nothing else worked, 
there were always hoppers]. For a rod. . .Ash butt and 
second joint, with lancewood tip, Greenheart or 
Bethabara. . .Then, when you feel that you can handle 
a rod with the same deftness a mother her firstborn, 
save up your money and buy a first class split 
bamboo.""' After the turn of the centur}', many Western 
hardware stores and some hotels carried fly-fishing 
tackle, creels, and flies.' On the opening day of the 

1904 trout season, June 1, the George Tritch Hardware 
store on Arapahoe Street in Denver, which claimed to 
carry the best stock of tackle in the state, offered a 
complete fly-fishing outfit, consisting of a two-tip 
bamboo rod, twenty-five yards of silk line, a click reel, 
two dozen snelled hooks, three leaders, and three dozen 
flies, for the princely sum of two dollars. They also 
carried wading pants, khaki wading boots, fishing coats, 
landing nets, fishing hats, and "refrigerator lunch 
baskets. "'"^ 

In her 1 892 classic. Favorite Flies and their Histories, 
Mary Orvis Marbury published the opinions of a 
number of Western anglers on the effectiveness of flies. 
The results indicate that Western fly-fishermen were 
rather consei-vative and stuck to a very limited range of 
traditional flies, especially varieties of the Coachman, 
the Brown Hackle, the Professor, and the Black Gnat.'" 
Charles P. Hill of Rawlins, Wyoming, preferred the 
Scarlet Ibis when fishing the distant waters of the Sierra 
Madre, such as the (Little) Snake River and Slater and 
Savory creeks. C. S Farren, of Cokeville, used a wide 
variety of flies, but the Coachmen were his "standard 
flies."''" Clearly, late nineteenth-century Western anglers 
tended to depend on a limited number of standard flies 
and tackle procured from New York or San Francisco.''' 
Innovations were met with derision by anglers such as 
William H. DeWitt, of Helena, ^lontana: 
"I... emphatically condemn the flies, recently placed 
upon the market, made in the verisimilitude of flies 
and insects. They are a thing of beauty upon the dealers 
card, and attractive to an amateur buyer; but three or 
four casts make hotchpotch of them, and excite the 

"" Sec w\v\v.Hyri,shint; 

"■' T.ipply, "Creeks...,' p. "0. 

'■Jack Dennis, "Fishing in che Shadow ot theTerons," presentation 
at the University Flycasters' Anglers' Symposium, Laramie, Wyo- 
ming, April 22-2.\ 2004. 

^' Mary Orvis Marbur)-, Favorite Flies aitd their Histories (London: 
Phoenix House Ltd., 195^ [reprint of llSi edition]), p. 448. 

'■* France, With Rod and Line, p. 6. 

^'' Orvis Marbury, Favorite Flies, pp. 4S1-52. 

'" France, Wtth Rod and Line, p. 33. 

' See the Denver Public Library's Western History/Geneaiogv 
Department's photographic collection tor numerous examples. 

'''"' Tlie Denver Post, NLiv 2^1. 1 904. I am grateful to Tamsen Hert for 
this reference. 

^^ Or\'is Marbury, Favorite Fhes, pp. 432-40, 446o'i. 461-67. 

'■" Ibid., pp. 43^-39. 

'"' Ibid, pp. 4'SO-Sl. 

"- Ibid., p. 662. 

52 Annals of Wyoming: The Wvoming History Journal -- Sprino 2004 

ridicule of a crafty, four-year-old trout who has been 
snapping up grasshoppers for three seasons."''" 

Denver ultimately became an important regional 
center for the angling industry. The Goodwin Granger 
Co., established after World War I, and the Phillipson 
Rod Co. (1946), crafted fine cane rods. From the 1920s 
on, the Wright and McGill Company produced fly- 
fishing tackle. Hank Roberts' company supplied 
premier flies.''^ By the 1920s, Missoula and Butte were 
producing legendary homegrown fly tiers such as Franz 
B. Pott, who pioneered woven hair flies, Jack Boehme, 
Norman Means, and, later, George Grant. A decade 
later. West Yellowstone and Livingston, close to the park 
waters, Yellowstone River, and the spring creeks of 
Paradise Valley, became innovative angling foci, featuring 
a mix of local and newly arrived fly-fishing experts, such 
as Bud Lilly and Dan Bailey. In the Jackson area, 
pioneers like Bob Carmichael and "Boots" Allen 
developed a new style of Western fly-fishing.'"'* 

Despite such developments, the West seemed 
remarkably resistant to change. Before World War II, 
Western fly-fishing was essentially wet fly-fishing. 
Western anglers ignored the dry fly revolution, first 
championed by Frederic Halford in England during the 
1880s and well established among Eastern anglers such 
as George LaBranche. During the 1930s, newcomers 
like Dan Bailey, of Livingston, and California tier Don 
Martinez, of West Yellowstone, introduced dry fly 
fishing in Montana.''^ But it was not until the 1940s 
that dry flies were well established in Montana and 
Colorado. As late as 1949, Bob Carmichael could still 
describe this technique as innovative: "I do not claim 
to have 'discovered' Jackson's Hole dry fly fishing but 
will say that those who preceded me in the area with 
their drys were very quiet about it. Fishing these waters 
first in the early thirties, 1931-1936, I found fishing 
too good to be very interesting. Local natives wanting 
a change of diet would catch a bull head, cut a willow 
and horse out enough trout to satisfy their immediate 

In many areas of Wyoming, such as the Bighorns, 
fly-fishermen refused to adopt new techniques and 
continued to tie wet flies. The now archaic Pott flies, 
such as the Sandy Mite, a stonefly imitation, were 
common throughout Wyoming until quite recently. 
It is startling that even today, more than eighty years 

after their introduction, fly-fishermen such as Sam 
Mavrakis of Sheridan and Mike Kaul of Pinedale still 
tie and use Pott flies. ''^ As Bud Lilly of West 
Yellowstone recalls, even "[t]he early 1950s were still 
a time of pioneering in fly fishing around our part of 
the country," though gradually the efforts of locals 
and imports, such as Bailey in Livingston, Lilly, 


Extensive photographic evidence leaves no doubt that many Western 
women enthusiastically embraced the sport of fly-fishing. Stephen N. 
Leek Collection, Amehcan Heritage Center. 

' See for details Dicl< Spurr and Michael Sinclair, Colorado Clas- 
sic Cane: A Histoiy of the Colorado Bamboo Rod Makers (Grand 
Junction: Centennial Publications, 1991), and Monnett, Cut- 
throat, pp. 80-82. Also see jack Dennis' interview in this issue. 

' SchuUer)', American Fly Fishing, pp. 184-85; Pat Minday, " A 
millionaire couldn't buy a piece of water as good': George Grant 
and the Conservation of the Bighole River Watershed," Mon- 
tana: The Magazine ofWestern Histo>j52 (Summer 2002): 21-37; 
Ken Owens, "Fishing the Hatch: New West Romanticism and 
Fly-Fishing m the High Country," Montana : The Magazine of 
Western History 52 (Summer 2002): 10-19; George E Grant, 
Grant s Riffle: . . .A collection of thoughts, ideas, and memories (Butte, 
Montana: Bighole River Foundation, 1997). Also see the inter- 
view with Jack Dennis in this issue. 

' See the inter\'iew with Jack Dennis in this issue. Also see Schuller)', 
American Fly Fishing, pp. 185-88; Owens, "Fishing the Hatch..." 

' Quoted in J. Edson Leonard, Flies (New York: A.S. Barnes and 
Company, 1950), p. 302. 

See the inter\'iew with Sam Mavrakis in this issue. Mike Kaul, 
"The Green and New Fork Rivers," presentation at the Univer- 
sity Flycasters' Anglers' Symposium, Laramie, Wyoming, April 
22-23, 2004. 

' Bud Lilly and Paul SchuUery, A Trout's Best Friend: The Angling 
Autobiography of Bud Lilly (Boulder: Pruett Publishing Com- 
pany, 1988), p. 36. 

Annrils of Wyoming- The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 


Martinez, and Vint Jolinson in West Yellowstone, and 
Carmichael and Allen in the Jackson area, would begin 
to pay olh'"'* As Schullery has noted, in recent decades 
a process ol" ctiittual homogenization has come to 
affect local, relatively isolated. Western angling 
traditions. Yet this same development has allowed 
today's Western anglers, such as Jack Dennis, Gary 
LaFontaine (R.I. P.), Mike Lawson, Bud Lilly, etc., to 
assume national prominence and disseminate a new, 
hybrid style ol Western fly-fishing aroimd the globe.'''' 

Weighing the catch near Jackson Hole. Stephen N. Leel< Collection, 
American Heritage Center. 


Despite its claim for uniqueness. Western fly- 
fishing is a cultural practice with deep roots in Eastern 
and European sporting traditions. It evolved throtigh 
the interaction of local and imported discourses, 
techniques, and practices. In the process, Westerners 
dramatically altered the Western environment to 
maintain fisheries of often exotic game species, 
destroying existing natural ecosystems. Yet, as Schullery 
convincingly argues, despite the continuities and 
similarities one can find between Western fly-fishing 
traditions and those of other parts of the United States 
and the world, "authenticity has endured. There is such 
a thing as western angling, and it has a long, distinctive, 
and flavorful history." " What that Western element 
exactly is is hard to explain. Maybe the mystique of 
Western angling is best captured in the lyrical prose 
of Tom McGuane, when he describes a caddis hatch 
on the Madison, or the gaze of a doe across a wild 
moimtain stream, or in Russell Chatham's limiinous 
paintings of stmimer evenings on the Yellowstone 
River. ' Unfortunately, lyricism alone is not enough. 
Whether we like it or not, and for better or worse, 
fly-fishing has become an integral part of Western life 
and culture. Only by understanding its origins and 
development as a cultural practice can we contemplate 
its present impact and future. mi 

""' Schullery, Frontier Fly-Fishing..., ' p. 8. 

"> Ibid., p. 7. 

" Lindsay and Thomas McGuane, Upstream. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal - Spring 2004 


Edited by Carl Hallberg 

Significant Recent Bool<s 
on Western and 
Wyoming History 

Breaking Clean. By Judy Blunt. New York: Alfred A. 
Knopf, 2002. xxii + 303 pp. Illustrations, map. Hard- 
cover. $24.00. Reviewed by Elizabeth M. Esterchild, 
University of North Texas 

Jr udy Blunts narrative describes the reality of ranch 
life in the contemporary American West. Her tale 
I is about commitment and loss, about hard work 
d heartbreak, about pure contentment and searing 
anger. It is a true story told plainly, and thereby is both 
timeless and timely. 

Alone among western writers, even women writ- 
ers, Blunt reveals one of the best kept secrets about ranch 
countr)': how the dark shadow of patriarchy lingers past 
its time. Patriarchy - male dominance - does not touch 
all aspects of ranch life, but where it does it is rooted in 
de facto male ownership of most of the ranch prop- 
erty. Growing up in Montana, Blunt first noticed male 
privilege in the asymmetrical division of labor by gen- 
der. She learned to do outdoor work - the many skills 
connected with riding, working cattle, driving tractors, 
putting up hay, building fences - and performed them 
just as well as her brother. But she had the added bur- 
den of working inside the house long after the outdoor 
work was done. And she learned even earlier to do what 
ranch women know, to hold their tongues when men 
are talking. 

Only toward the end of the book does Blunt re- 
veal what she learned earlier in life. As a youngster, she 
watched in amazement as her grandfather's ranch prop- 
erty was divided between his two sons, leaving nothing 
for his daughters. Not long afterwards, her father an- 
nounced his plans to repeat his father's action. Even 
though she had wholeheartedly given her soul to this 
land, she would never own one square inch of it. 

After marrying a neighbor who was twelve years 
her senior, Bkmt learned she could neither own prop- 

erty nor direct the course of her own labor. Her father- 
in-law's wife showed up every day, telling her repeat- 
edly what groceries she could buy and how she should 
do her work, which, among many other things, in- 
cluded cooking for the haying crew. She then began 
writing about the pain in her life. Perhaps the sharpest 
hurt developed the day her father-in-law strode in from 
the noon meal and found it not quite ready. With a 
roar of displeasure, he took her typewriter out to the 
shop and pounded it to death with a sledgehammer. 

Blunt reftises to be the bitter person one would 
expect from the broad outlines of her life just given. 
Throughout the book, she pauses often to tell about 
the wonders and the joys of ranch life, many of them 
connected with animals, both pets and livestock. Among 
these pleasures was the absolute contentment she expe- 
rienced in the barn on cold nights watching and re- 
maining ready to help a young heifer give birth to her 
first calf In those wondrous times, even as she knew 
she would be breaking clean of the shadow of patriar- 
chy, she could still reflect on all the beautifiil aspects of 
being a ranch woman. 

Few ranchers today acknowledge the existence of 
patriarchy or understand its profound impact on their 
lives. But it does exist and it continues in dozens of 
ways. Perhaps Blunt's forthright telling of her story 
will encourage others to speak Ireely about all aspects 
of the lives of ranch women and men. 

The Important Things of Life: Women, Work, and 
Family in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, 1880-1929. 
By Dee Garceau. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1997. x + 215pp. Maps, notes, annotated 
bibliography, index. Hardcover, $50.00. Reviewed by 
Elizabeth M. Esterchild, University of North Texas 


fascinating account of women's lives, this book 
opens our eyes to the centrality of women's 
.work in building early day mining and ranch- 

Annals of Wvomlno: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 55 

ing communities. Garceau used the decennial cen- 
suses of 1880-1920 to identify demographic charac- 
teristics, work lives, education, family, and household 
structure ot town and rural women. Other soiuces 
included oral histories, written memoirs, local news- 
papers, folklore, and one hundred interviews she con- 
ducted with older women and men. 

Garceau studied the largest ethnic groups in the coal 
mining industry: first the English, Irish, and Scottish; 
then Swedish, Finnish, German, and Slavic women in 
later times. Ohen born abroad, these town women - 
townspeople were 85 per cent ol the population - con- 
trasted sharply with ranch women who were mostly 
native born and largely from the Midwest. Ranchers 
had often migrated in clusters of related families, bring- 
ing with them an agrarian, middle class tradition ot 
owning property and being sell employed. In town, 
people had come more often as individuals seeking a 
livelihood. Their attempts to maintain ethnic traditions 
were somewhat thwarted because several distinct na- 
tionalities mingled in the work in the coal mines and 
there was little, it any, ethnic segregation in residence 

In addition to cooking, cleaning, and laundry, ranch 
women did gardening, dairying, sewing clothing, and 
raising chickens. The latter could be used to directly 
sustain the family or, by selling the products, to sup- 
port indirectly the ranch. This productive labor, which 
was a source ol immense pride to ranch women, coupled 
with frequent male absence and having fewer children 
than their mothers, all helped create more control lor 
women and to erode some ol the patriarchal authority 
exercised by men. But women continued to interpret 
their work as supporting the family, rather than as a 
means for achieving autonomy. Ranch daughters gradu- 
ally became involved in more outside, or mens work; 
they, too, rarely used this labor as a stepping stone to- 
ward independence. Rural women "held to traditional 
notions of womanhood even as their behavior departed 
from it" (p. 10). 

In the coal towns, single women worked as ser- 
vants in middle class lamilies, and in hotels and board- 
inghouses. Married immigrant women kept boarders, 
raised gardens, milked a cow or two, and took in laim- 
dry. Later, daughters took up white collar work as the 
range ol businesses expanded alter 1900. The town 

women used these jobs as stepping stones to a richer 
lile in which they were less dependent on their hus- 
bands, though they did not stray far away from tradi- 
tional values. 

Garceau explored myths surrounding single women 
homesteaders, finding fewer than might be supposed. 
Most women homesteaders were simply getting addi- 
tional land for their parents or husbands. Only a few 
used their work to gain independence from conven- 
tional family life. 

Ranch daughters had more variety in their work 
than their mothers, which Garceau implies was a life 
cycle change rather than something that would carry 
throtigh to future generations. Women would marry 
young and produce children which took them away 
from the outdoor work. Garceau mitrht also have noted 
the distinction between private and public spheres, so 
that girls could "cowboy" in the privacy of the family 
more often than in the large gatherings of men in round 
ups and harvest times. Generally, women were excluded 
from men's work (except in emergencies), which was 
both more glamorous, dangerous, and conscientiously 
profit oriented than women's work. Finally, inherit- 
ance patterns in the West favored sons much more 
than daughters, so that women rarely acquired enough 
propert}' or livestock to live independently of men. 

Women came closer to achieving parity among 
the working classes in town. Neither women nor men 
acquired much propert)^ and men's work was perceived 
as mtmdane, albeit dangerous. Single women and wid- 
ows could come closer to earning wages equivalent to 
men's, and this, too, eroded male control more rapidly 
than on the ranches. 

Overall, there was probably much more similaritv 
between town women and ranch women than this re- 
view implies. Clearly, Garceau used conventional ma- 
terials, but drew unconventional insights regarding 
women's lives. In so doing, she has set a very high stan- 
dard in using the contrast between the two to illumi- 
nate the lives of both. Uf 

56 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Spring 2004 


American Heritage Center 4 
American Museum of Fly Fishing 3-4 
The American Sportsmen 22 
Bailey, John 25 
Bantjes, Adrian A. (author) 2-3, 19-25, 

41-53: bio 5 
Battenkill Valley, Vermont 42 
Big Horn Mountains 37 
Blair, Neal 48 
Bonfils, EG. 50 
Borger, Gary 22 
Bourdieu, Pierre 3 
Bozeman, Montana 9,11 
Brewer, Walter 29 
Bridger National Forest 29 
Bridger Primitive Area 3 1, 34 
Bridger Wilderness 27-28, 32, 34 
Bridger Wilderness Fish Management 

Plan 34 
Brooks, George 42 
Bush, George 39 
Buszek, Wayne "Buz" 21 
Carmichael, Bob 20-22, 52 
Catskill Fly Fishing Center and 

Museum 3 
Chatham, Russell 53 
Close, Glenn 24 
Close, William T. 24 
Crescent H Ranch 50 
Crusoe, Robinson 6, 8 
Dafoe, Daniel 6-7 
Dale Creek 43-44, 47 
Daniel, Wyoming 28-29 
Dennis,Jack3-4, 19-25, 52 
DeWitt, William H. 51 
Doane, Gustavus 8- 13, 15-16 
Dome Lake 50 
Donnelly, Roy M. 21 
Dude Ranchers' Association 47 
Eaton Ranch 47 
Estes Park, Colorado 46 
Evans, Glen L. 21 
Farren, C.S. 51 
Finley, Michael 23 
Fish hatcheries 48-49 
Flaming Gorge reservoir 34-35 
Fly Fisher's International Fly Fishing 

Center 4 

Fly fishing 2-53 

France, Lewis Browne 45-46, 5 1 

Galloway, Tucker W 36-40 

George Tritch Hardward Store 5 1 

Gierach,John42, 49 

Gillette, Edward 50 

Gillette,Warrenl2, 16 

Gowdy, Curt 22 

Grand Teton National Park 20 

Green River 27, 47, 49 

Grunkemeyer, George 37 

Hackle, Sparse Greg 5 

Hauser, Samuel 8 

Hedges, Cornehus 8, 10, 13, 15-16 

Hemingway, Jack 47 

Hill Charles R 51 

Hobsbawm, Eric 3 

Houghton Fishing Club 42 

Huizinga, Johan 3, 8 

Hurt, NX'illiam 24 

Jackson Lake 21 

lackson, Wyoming 19-24 


Knight, Bobby 39-40 

Kreh, Lefty 22 

La Fontaine, Gary 22, 52 

Landres, Peter B. 32 

Langford, Nathaniel 8, 10, 12-13, 15 

Lawson, Mike 22, 52 

Lilly, Bud 20, 42, 51-52 

Lord Byron 5 

Martinez, Don 20 

Maclean, Norman 3, 24-25 

Marbury, Mary Orvis 5 1 

Mavrakis, Sam 4, 36-40, 52 

McDonald, John 7 

McGuane, Tom 42, 53 

Mitchell, Dennis 27, 29 

Mitchell (Nelson), Emma 29-30 

Mitchell, Fay 27-28 

Mitchell, Finis 4,26-35,49 

Mitchell, Henry 27-29 

Mitchell Peak 31 

Moose, Wyoming 20 

National Forest Ser\'ice 28-29, 34 

Nichols, Jeffrey 4, (author) 26-35; bio 


Old Baldy Club 50 

Paradise Valley 10, 49 

Pott, Franz B. 38, 52 

Quayle, Dan 39 

Queen Elizabeth 39-40 

Redfield, Robert 43 

Redford, Robert 3, 24-25 

"A River Runs Through It" 3, 24-25 

Roberts, Hank 2 1-22, 52 

Rockefeller. John D. 20 

Rock Springs, Wyoming 28, 30 

Sansone, David 7 

Schuller)', Paul 4, (author) 6-18, 41; 

bio 18 
Sherman, Wyoming 44 
Simon, James 31,33 
Snowy Range, 43 
Storer, George Butler 50 
Teton County, Wyoming 50 
Turner, Frederick Jackson 41 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 23 
Wallop, Malcolm 37, 40 
Walton, Izaak 5 
Washburn, Henry Dana 8-12 
Washburn - Langford — Doane 

Expedition 8-18 
Whitlock, Dave22 
Wigwam Club 50 
Wilderness Act 3 1-32, 34-35 
Wind River Mountains 26-35, 43, 49 
Wyoming Game and Fish 

Department 28, 31-34, 39, 49 
Wvoming Territorial Fish Commission 

Wvoming Territorial Legislature 48 
Yankee Jim Canyon 10, 12 
Yellowstone Lake 12-13, 15-16 
Yellowstone National Park 8-12, 15-17, 

19-20, 23 
Yellowstone River 10-11 


Wyoming Picture 



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finals of 


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Vol. 76, No. 3 


"Fort Laramie" 

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Is of 


The Wyoming History Journal 

Summer 2004 Vol. 76. No. 3 

2 Native American Sagas from the 
Diaries of John Hunton 

|ohn Hunton and L.. Ci. (Pat) Mannerv 
Edited bv Mike Crtiske 

14 Pat Flannery 

SalK- V'anderpoel 

24 J. D. Conley's Cabinet of Curiosities 
and Other Early Wyoming Museums 

Beth Stiuthwell 

ih >-iNivtK5.iiv 33 Recent Acquisitions in the Hebard 

Libraries Collection, UW Libraries 

lamsen L. Hert 


36 Book Reviews 

(Cj>ii'lLMli)ii'ii)Lri3 41 Contributors' Biographies 

42 Index 

Wyoming Picture 

Inside back cover 

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Annals of Wyominp: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

Native American 
Sagas from The 
Diaries of 
John Hunton 


John Hunton and L. G. (Pat) Flannery 
Edited by Michael Griske ' 


I suspect that most readers of 
Annals ofWyo? heard of 
John Hunton, who was a Wyo- 
ming pioneer and prominent 
businessman in the Fort Laramie area when the post 
was headquarters for miUtary operations against the 
Sioux and other Native American nations, as well as 
being one of the major crossroads of the Old West. 

Some of you might also remember L. G. (Pat) Flannery, my grandfather and Mr. 
Huntons good friend, despite a fifty-five-year difference in their ages, who was a 
Wyoming historian, newspaper publisher, statesman, cattle rancher, and veteran 
of both world wars. A colorful character in his own right, Pat dedicated the last 
years of his life to historical research and to a very special labor ol love, the publi- 
cation of the diaries kept by Mr. Hunton in which his entries span more than half 
a century. 

' Mr. Griske is the grandson of L.G. (Pat) Flannery. The John Hunton Diaries are located in the 
John Hunton Papers held by the American Heritage Center. 

John and Blanche Hunton. 
Courtesy John Hunton 
Papers, American Heritage 
Center, University of 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 3 

My grandfather published the diary entries be- 
tween 1 873 and 1 882 in tour volimies oi fiheen hun- 
dred copies each, and two more vokmics with entries 
between 1 883 and 1 888 were pubHshed aher his death 
in 1964. hi addition to these daily diary entries, Pat 
also included narratives by Hunton anci others in these 
books, and his own painstakingly-researched editori- 
als, to clarify and expand upon events of" that period. 
As a result, the publications vividlv preserved dav-to- 
day life on the frontier and presented profiles as well 
as true exploits not only of people living in that era 
who have been all but forgotten, but also of such 
well-known Western folk characters as Wild Rill 
Hickok, Calamity Jane Canarv, Buffalo Bill Cody, 
Generals George Armstrong Custer and George 
Crook, Red Cloud, Spotted Tail, and many others, 
most of whom Hunton knew personallv. 

As previously mentioned, Pat initiallv had onlv a 
relatively small number of these books printed. His 
plan, as I recall, was to pursue republication in larger 
numbers after the first printings, but he passeci awav 
before having a chance to make this dream a reality. 

His only child was my mother, Billie Griske, who 
renewed the copyrights for Pat's works in the 1980s 
and, in response to numerous requests for the origi- 
nal volumes, republished a few excerpts in small book- 

After Billie's passing, I decided that 1 would also 
like to share this fascinating and historical material 
with others, lo that end, km now pursuing the pub- 
lication of an abridged and reformatted version of 
mv grandfathers monumental works so that this 
material can once again be accessible to Western his- 
torv enthusiasts. 

In the meantime, 1 thought that subscribers to 
the Amiitls woidd enjov reading the following profile 
of John Himton and sagas of Native Americans from 
the original volumes. Note that Hunton's diary en- 
tries are indented and italicized, and narratives other 
than those aiuhored b\' my grandfather are in quotes 
and indented, so that thev can be differentiated at a 
glance from Pat's writings. M\' editorial comments 
anti insertions are bracketed for the same reason. 

L. G. (Pat) Flannery, Mr. Hunton's close fnend to whom he 
bequeathed his diahes. Courtesy L. G- Flannery papers, 
Amehcan Heritage Center, University of Wyoming 

A Profile of John Hunton 

John Hunton was born at Madison C. H. [the C. 
H. beintr for court house or count\' seat], Virginia, 
onjantiary 18, 1839, of Alexander B. and Mar\- Eliza- 
beth (Carpenter) Huntiin. Little is known of his 
childhood. He joined the arm\- at [age] 18 and saw 
his first military service at Harper's Ferry in 18^9. 

Madison was in that borderland between the 
North and South where the cleavage of loyalties split 
families, set brother against brother, and father against 
son. Hiuiton chose the Soiuh. He was with Pickett 
at the charge of Gettysburg and ser\'ed with the Con- 
federate Armv of Northern Viririnia until Lee sur- 
rendered at Appomattox. 

With his homeland overrun and devastated, John 
Hunton tiu'ned his eves westward and m the spring 
of 1876 traveled, via St. Louis and Glassgow, to Ne- 
braska City. From there he whacked btdls on to Fort 
Laramie, bastion of the plains and headquarters of 
military operations against the Indian tribes. There 
he worked for several years as a clerk in the Sutler's 
store at the old fort, which was to be "home " for the 
vouns^ Virsiinian for most of the rest of his life. 

4 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

That first winter, 1867, he shared a room with 
the famous scout, Jim Bridger, who had been em- 
ployed by the government to guide our troops. They 
occupied the northeast corner room of the Sutler's 
building which was being used as a small hay mow 
when Mr. Hunton pointed it out to the writer about 
1919. At that time the north end of this historic 
building, made ol adobe bricks and imderstood to 
be the first permanent structure in what is now the 
state ol Wyoming, was a horse barn. It has since 
been restored and preserved by the National Park 
Service. But in 1919 the main room ol the old store 
still had its counters along the walls, there were still 
some articles of ancient merchandise on its dusty 
shelves, bundles ol undelivered letters in its aban- 
doned post office and a stack of bullalo hides, rotted 
with age imtil they tore apart like tissue paper, were 
piled in one corner ol the room from floor to ceil- 

In 1870 Hunton took a contract to supply Fort 
Laramie with firewood, and his government contracts 
expanded steadily during the next ten years into big 
business lor that period. In addition to wood he 
supplied hay, beel, charcoal, lime and other commodi- 
ties to Fort Fetterman and Camp McKinney as well 
as to Fort Laramie, and hauled Ireight with oxen from 
Medicine Bow Station to Fetterman, Ft. Steele, Ft. 
Phil Kearny, Ft. Reno, Ft. Smith and other early mili- 
tar)' installations. 

In 1871 he became half owner, in partnership 
with W. G. Bullock, of the SO cattle, understood to 
be the first herd in this area, aside from work oxen. 
This herd, according to Hunton, was started in 1868 
by a man named Mills who brotight the stock Irom 
northern Kansas. 

Hunton was the last post trader at old Fort 
Laramie; he was one ol the first and also one ol the 
last commissioners ol Laramie County when it em- 
braced the present counties ol Goshen and Platte. 
Most ol the early settlers in that area proved up on 
their homesteads belore him when he was United 
States C6mmissioner from 1892 to 1907. As a civil 
engineer, largely sell-taught, he participated in the 
original survey ol north central and western Wyo- 
ming when it was mostly an uncharted wilderness 
area, and he planned and surveyed many of the earli- 

est private reservoirs and irrigation systems in south- 
eastern Wyoming. 

On one of our rides together- . . . , [Hunton] 
expressed himself to the writer as considering the white 
man primarily responsible lor the Indian wars. He 
said the tribesmen were originally a dignified, trust- 
ing people who kept their word and agreements and 
were inclined, for the most part, to be friendly until 
alter they had been lied to, cheated and treated with 
contempt by their white brothers, or at least by some 
ol them. But he also pointed out that once their 
confidence had been destroyed, the Indians not only 
learned and embraced the civilized arts of treachery 

and deceit they added to them certain distinctive 

techniques of savage cruelty and cunning which made 
warlare on the plains a fearsome thing. 

The Grattan Massacre^ 

The Laramie River flows into the North Platte 
about two miles below (east) ol Fort Laramie. Start- 
ing some distance below this point, their lodges 
stretching lor miles along the Platte, was an encamp- 
ment of several thousand Indians, various bands and 
tribes ol the Sioux Nation. The year was 1854. It 
was the month of August. 

They had gathered lor their annual handout of 
goods and supplies, due them Irom the United States 

- Hunton and my grandfather used to "ride the range" together 
in a bucivboard on business or just for relaxation. During these 
outings, Hunton would occasionally speak of his life, times, 
and views, including the perspective sympathetic to Native 
Americans that echoes reasons discussed in this article's narra- 
tives for their adoption ot savage wavs. 

' My grandhither described the following events In his books 
even though they took place a tew years before Hunton came 
to Fort Laramie. However, this narrative sets the stage for Pat's 
other passages about the quarter-century of hostilities on the 
plains that the massacre precipitated and their significant im- 
p.act on Hunton's life, all of which started with the seemingly 
trivial killing ot a "lame and half-starved old cow" abandoned 
by its emigrant owner. The major report on the Grattan 
Masssacte appears in House Executive Document 63 (Serial 
788), 33 Cong., 2nd Session, pp. 1-27. For more information 
about the "Grattan Massacre" see George E. Hyde, Spotted Ta'd'i 
Folk: A History of the Brule Sioux (Norman: Universit)' ot Okla- 
homa Press, 1974), pp. 31-32, 50-58; Robert W. Larson, Red 
Cloud; Warrior-Statesman of the Lakota Sioux (Norman: Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma Press, 1997), pp. 67-68, 71, 75; and Robert 
M. Utiey, Frontiersmen in Blue: The United States Army and the 
Indian, 18-^8-1865 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
1981), pp. 113-15. 

Annals of VVvomirq: The '.'Vvo.thpq Historv Journai - Si/^'ri-er ; 

government under treat)'. The date set for distribu- 
tion was long past. They had been waiting tor weeks. 
Their goods were stored several miles upstream in a 
warehouse at what was known as the Gratiot Houses, 
a trading post also called Fort John, a short distance 
east of- Fort Laramie — but the Indian Agent, Major 
J. W. Whitfield, had not arrived to issue them. Each 
day the Indians had to drive their ponies a greater 
distance for trrass. Each dav their hunters had to rantre 
in ever-widening circles in search of game for the 
cooking pots. They were tmderstandahlv restless and 

Also running near the Platte, almost within sight 
of these Indians, was the emigrant route generally 
known as the C^res,on Trail, o\'er which an almost 
constant stream of covered wagons plodded their 
weary way wesr^vard. This trail was known among 
the Indians as "The Holv Road" because of the terms 
of a trearv' between the Siotix and the white men 
made on Florse Creek, near Fort Laramie, in 18S1. 
This treaty provided that the red men would not at- 
tack or molest the white mans wagon trains travel- 
ing this trail; that if Indians should steal from the 
emigrants, the chiefs would see that full restitution 
was made; that if the whites stole from the Indians, 
the government would recompense them for their 
loss. In return for this safe passage, the United States 
promised to issue the Sioux tribes $^0,000 worth of 
goods each year — deliverv to be made near Fort 
Laramie. It was a touchy situation, an uneasv truce, 
marred by some incidents on both sides — but it 
worked pretU' well, the wagon trains had gotten safely 
through, until this lame and half-starved old cow came 
staggering along the afternoon of August 18, 1854. 

She belonged to a . . . wagon train, which left her 
behind when she could no longer keep up. A young 
Miniconjou brave named F^igh Forehead, on his way 
to visit the camp of the Brules nearby, discovered the 
cow, down, helpless and apparently abandoned. F^e 
promptly slaughtered her, summoned some of his 
Brule friends, and they had a feast. The wagon train 
proceeded to Fort Laramie, [where] the owner of the 
cow reported her stolen by Indians and demanded 

Conquering Bear, chief of the Brules, also heard 
of the incident and realizina; it mi2;ht be considered a 

violation of the treaty, immediately went to Fort 
Laramie and offered a pony as restitution for the cow. 
Old records indicate that a good horse was worth at 
least two good cows alons; the trail. 

LJnfortimateK', most of the officers and men on 
duty at Fort Laramie were absent, leaving only a skel- 
eton garrison in the post and Lt. LIugh B. Fleming 
in temporarv command. Lt. Fleming, a voung of- 
ficer, was apparcntK' reluctant to make a decision in 
the matter and C'onquerimi Bear, unable to siet an 
answer to his offer, returned to his camp and held a 
night conference with other head men. EarK' next 
morning, Man Afraid of F^is Horses — although some 
translations say it should be Man Afraid of His 
Woman — a sort of over-chief among the Sioux, 
returned with a small delegation to the Fort and re- 
newed the offer. Again they could get no decision 
from Lt. Fleming, who left them cooling their heels 
all morning and into the earh' afterin)on. 

Now comes the most amazing and difficult to 
understand part of the whole proceedings. Although 
refusing to accept ftdl restitution for the cow as the 
treaty provided, Lt. Fleming instead authorized Lt. 
John L. Cirattan to take a detail to arrest High Fore- 
head, which he had not authoritv to do, and then 
washed his hands of the whole affair. Grattan, a green 
and hot-headeci 24-vear-old, just graduated from West 
Point, started celebrating his first command with a 
bottle while assembling his expedition — a wagon, 
two 12-lb. cannon, a sergeant, 25 privates, and 2 
band musicians. When Chief Man Afraid and his 
delegation saw this column cross the Laramie and 
head toward the Indian encampment about 2 p.m., 
with Lt. Grattan and Lucian Auguste, a half-breed 
interpreter mtich hated hv the Indians, at its head, 
they were disturbed and decided to trail along. What 
they observed was not reassuring. I he interpreter 
was obviouslv drunk, and at least some of the sol- 
diers were nipping from a bottle of their own. 

The first stop was at the Gratiot Houses store- 
room, where Lt. Grattan told the clerks and [a] few 
soldiers on guard about his mission, while interpreter 
Auguste galloped his horse among the Indians out- 
side, shouting insults and brandishing his pistol. As 
they came to each band of Indians, Grattan issued 
orders for them to stay in camp, which Auguste passed 

6 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

on, embellished with more threats and insults. 

The next stop was at the Bordeaux Trading Post, 
. . . , where Grattan told James Bordeaux to send for 
Conquering Bear. While they awaited his arrival, 
Auguste continued his campaign of insults and threats 
among the Indians in the area. Bordeatix, who of 
course understood the Sioux language as well as En- 
glish, was greatly alarmed and told Grattan the man 
[Auguste] had to be stopped or trouble was sure to 
follow. He also told the lieutenant il he would put 
Auguste inside the post away from the Indians that 
he, Bordeaux, could settle the whole thing in 30 min- 
utes. Grattan took no action. 

When Conquering Bear arrived, Grattan de- 
manded that he surrender High Forehead. The Bear 
told him High Forehead was not a member ol his 
tribe, merely a visitor at his camp, and he had no 
authority over him or to surrender him. The Brule 
chief also increased his olfer ol indemnity to several 
ponies, and Bordeaux and other white men present 
all urged Grattan to delay further action until the 
Indian Agent arrived. 

Lt. Grattan's answer was to march his men right 
into the Brule camp, point his cannon at Conquer- 
ing Bear's lodge, line his men up on both sides, order 
them to cap their rifles and be ready to fire. He then 
stepped forward and told the Brule chief he intended 
to personally search the camp and arrest his man. 
Bear said that would be a bad thing to do, and of- 
fered a mule, worth at least tAvo horses, in addition to 
the ponies — many times the value ot any cow. The 
pow-wow continued. Augustes interpreting became 
more inaccurate and insulting to both sides. Then 
suddenly High Forehead stepped from one of the 
lodges, shouted to Grattan he would not surrender 
but was not afraid to die, and [was] ready to fight 
[Grattan] to the death. 

Meanwhile, from the root ol his trading post, 
Bordeaux and several other white men could see that 
braves from the other tribes had quietly surrounded 
Grattan on both flanks and the rear. They persuaded 
Bordeaux to go and replace Auguste as interpreter to 
prevent a fight. Bordeatix jumped on his horse and 
started, but he was too late. 

Several scattering shots were fired and one In- 
dian fell. The Bear shouted at his Brules to hold their 

fire, that maybe the white men would go away. In- 
stead, Grattan stepped back into line, grabbed the 
lanyard of one cannon, and signaled his men to fire. 
The cannon were pointed a little too high and their 
balls whistled harmlessly over the tepees, but at the 
first volley Conquering Bear, who had tried so hard 
to prevent a clash, foil mortally wounded. The Brules, 
gathered about their foUen chieftain, responded with 
a flight of arrows. Lt. Grattan was one of the first to 
go down — his body carried 24 arrows when recov- 
ered. The interpreter and a soldier holding Grattan's 
horse galloped off toward the Holy Road at the first 
shot and were next to be killed. Several men piled 
into the wagon and the driver whipped his horses 
back over the trail. Indians covering the rear took 
care of them. The remaining 15 or 20 soldiers re- 
treated over rough ground to the base of a brush- 
covered hill and, for a time, their fire held most of 
the warriors beyond arrow range. But when they 
made a dash from their cover across a flat stretch 
toward the Holy Road, hundreds of mounted war- 
riors charged and hacked them down. Within a few 
hours after those thirty men had left Fort Laramie, 
full of high spirits in more ways than one, all were 

The now thoroughly-enraged warriors spared 
Bordeaux and his family because he was a brother-in- 
law of the tribe and long-time friend, and [the Brules] 
failed to find the several white men hidden on his 
roof But they rampaged through the night, swear- 
ing death to all whites. Next morning they rode up- 
river to the warehouse where their goods were stored 
— and from which the few soldiers and clerks had 
discreetly retired — helped themselves to what they 
wanted and scattered most of the goods — flour, sugar, 
bacon, etc. — from the shelves in a fury of destruc- 
tion. Then on they went to Fort Laramie, where 
some say they made a token attack, others that they 
contented themselves with circling the Fort on their 
ponies and driving off all loose stock. On the third 
day, they struck their great camp on the Platte and 
returned to their various hunting grounds. 

So it was not until the fourth day that a civilian 
and military burial party was able to reach the scene 
of the massacre. What they found was not pretty. 
The slain had been mutilated beyond recognition. 

Anna's of VVyoming The Wyoming History Journal -- Si:"imer 2J04 

Hot August sunshine had done the rest. Only the 
body of- Lt. G rattan was returned to the post tor 
burial. It was identified by a watch he was carrying. 
The rest were quickly covered in one common, shal- 
low grave. The incident triggered a quarter-century 
of intermittent savage warhire on the plains . . . 

About 1920, . . . John Hunton showed the writer 
this common grave. It was a depression about IS 
feet in diameter and perhaps 3 teet deep in the cen- 
ter. The surroimding land was still brush-covered 
river bottom. He told us it had been a moimd when 
he first came to the coimtry in 1 867. I he winds ol 
more than hah a centurv had hollowed it out. Mr. 
Himton stepped into the depression and scratched 
around with his cane. He unearthed a tarnished brass 
button, a uniform collar insignia, and what appeared 
to be a piece ot arm bone and a human tooth. We 
reburied these evidences of an ancient tragedy in the 
dust}' earth and went away from there. 

An Ill-fated Trek to Washington 

Tuci., Mar 23 [1S~5] - Expedition under Capt. Mix 
started to bring minen out of Blaek Hills... Considerahle 
exeitenie)it about Blk. Hills. . . 

The above long-past and forgotten minor mili- 
tan' movement was a prelude to major war with the 
Sioux, which was to follow discoven' of gold in the 
Black Hills [of South Dakota] and the rush of thou- 
sands of miners into that area, which the Indians con- 
sidered a violation of their territory and of their peace 
treaties with the white man. 

It is difficult tt) imagine the . . . [magnitude of 
this mass migration] from all over the nation — men 
lured by the magic word "gold," with their dreams of 
quick and easy wealth, and the women who always 
follow the path of such ad\enturers. Newspaper sto- 
ries and other records of the day show that [before 
the rush was over], large organized groups from the 
states of Maine, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Missouri, 
Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Tennes- 
see, Louisiana, and New York — to mention a few 
— flooded into Che\'enne . . . , all clawing their way 
toward that Promised Land. Huntons [entries in his 
diaries for that "feverish period" indicate that] . . . 4- 

horse and 6-horse coaches [were] passing through Bor- 
deaux at all hours of the day and night . . . 

[At first, the Sioux used peaceful means in tr\ing 
to persuade the white man to honor the treaties and 
stem the flow of tiold-crazed miners, as discussed be- 


Fri. May ~ /I8~5J — Louis Loub passed, said Indians 
were on way to Washington . . . 

Sat, May 8 — Making fenee. Indians passed going to 
Washington . . . 

The above laconic entries were the prelude to 
considerable history. We are indebted to [the late] 
Hon. Joseph C. O'Mahone)', chairman of the Senate 
Committee on Indian Affairs . . . , the Librarv of 
Congress, [the Annual Reports of the Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs for the years 1874 - 1877, and the 
Washington Star] for much of the following infor- 
mation concerning that delegation of Indian chief- 
tains who passed through Huntons Road Ranch at 
Bordeaux that May dav ... on their way to see the 
Great White Father in Washington. They were 
headed bv Chief Red C:ioud. ' 

For more informjtion .ibout Red Cloud see Robert i\1. 
L'tle)', The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sit- 
ting Bull (New York: Henry Hoir, 1993); and Larson, Red 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

Others in Red Cloud's delegation, according to 
Washington records, were: American Horse, Little 
Wound, Shoulder, Conquering Bear [not to be con- 
fused with the chief Conquering Bear who was killed 
during the Grattan fiasco described above]. Face Sit- 
ting Bull, Trail Lance, East Thunder, Black Bear, Iron 
Horse, Pawnee Killer, and Mr. and Mrs. Bad Wound. 
In all there were three delegations from the Sioux 
Nations which converged on Washington that spring, 
the other r\vo being led by Lone Horn, chief of the 
Minneconjous, and Chief Spotted Tail. 

Three Indian Agents, Maj. H. W Bingham, J. J. 
Saville, and E. A. Howard accompanied the delega- 
tions, and William Garnett and Louis Bordeaux went 
along as interpreters. They arrived in Washington 
on the I6th and 17th of May and were quartered at 
the Tremont House. 

Chief Red Cloud and the delegations first met 
President Grant at the White House on May 19th, 
but after greeting them, the President said he was too 
busy to discuss their problems that day and shunted 
them along to talk with the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs and the Secretar}' of the Interior — a real case 
of "passing the Buck" if there ever was one. 

This brush-off seemed to anno\' the big chiefs. 
Lone Horn is reported to have "informed the Presi- 
dent that he and his forefathers had owned all of this 
country at one time, and that he was claiming entire 
ownership, as of that day, tor the Indians," and they 
were "fully prepared to fight for their rights." Next 
Spotted Tail and Red Cloud chimed in and said, "with 
angr\' gestures that unless he appointed a day very 
soon to meet with them, he, the President, would be 
sorry." But . . . Grant, it seems, just wasn't in any 
mood for pow-wowing and "with this the entire del- 
egation marched out." 

At a subsequent meeting with the Indian Com- 
missioner, "Red Cloud spoke first, maintaining that 
the white man had told him many lies, and he had 
come to Washington to find the truth from 'The Great 
White Father'." He received a promise they could 
see the President some other day. 

On May 21st, "the delegation and their inter- 
preters appeared at the Commissioner's office to de- 
mand a change of quarters from the Tremont House 
to the Washington House, maintaining that their 

rooms were too small." The Commissioner's long 
reply to this complaint added up to "no soap," and 
the Indians went away mad again. At one confer- 
ence. Lone Horn complained "they did not have 
enough food on their reservation nor weapons with 
which to obtain food." The Commissioner's come- 
back was that Lone Horn's band was short of food 
because they "entertained and supported other Indi- 
ans " — and the request for guns was turned down 
because "Bad Indians" might get them. It is not sur- 
prising that the boys began to feel they were getting 
no place fast. On one of these occasions, the Com- 
missioner asked Spotted Tail how he felt about the 
situation, and the chief replied, "I don't brag about 
the Black Hills countr\' when I am talking to white 
men, but I love it and don't want to leave. " 

Finally, on May 26th, they got their interview 
with President Grant, and the old general lost no 
time in laving, down the law of might makes right. 
He is quoted in part as saying: "They must see that 
the white people outnumber the Indians two hun- 
dred to one in the territories of the United States. 
This number is increasing rapidly and before many 
years, it will be impossible to fix the limits where the 
Indians can prevent the white people from going. It 
will soon become necessary for white people to go to 
countries, whether occupied by Indians or not, the 
same as thev go from one state to another." 

And so Red Cloud and his red Brothers got the 
truth from their "Great White Father." The Presi- 
dent then proceeded to " . . . point out to them the 
advantages both to themselves and [their] children if 
they enter into an agreement I shall propose to them. 
There is a territory south of where they now live, 
where game and grass is better, and where whites can 
be sent among them to teach them the arts of civili- 
zation. This year there has been great difficulty in 
keeping the white people from the Black Hills in 
search of gold . . . Each recurring year this same diffi- 
culty will be encountered unless the right to go to 
that country is granted by the Indians. In the end, 
this purpose to get into that country may lead to 
hostilities between the whites and the Indians with- 
out any special faults on either side. " President Grant 
then ended the interview by saying, "I want the Indi- 
ans to think of what I have said to them. I don't 

Annals of VVvomina The '.''."■. omina HistOTv Jou'nai - Sjn^mer 2C.'- 

want them to talk today, hut to speak freely with the 
Sectetar)' ot the Interiot and the Commissioner of 
Indian AHairs. 

The\' met with Secretary of the Interior Delano 
and Commissioner Smith on May 27th and were 
given some more blunt advice. After telling them 
how good it was for the Indians to be at peace with 
the whites and pointing out that the government was 
spending $1,200,000 annually on supplies iov the 
Sioux, the Secretarv threatened discontinuance of 
further aid unless they accepted the government's of- 
fer, being quoted as saving, "Now if vou don't do 
what is ris;ht, Cono;ress will retuse to "ive you any 
more aid.' ( . . . That still seems to ha\'e a familiar 
echo in some of toda\''s official statements concern- 
ing our foreign economic policy). 

And what was the government's offer for the 
Black Hills and other concessions? "Commissioner 
Smith then stated that Congress would give them 
S23,000 for their land and send them into Indian 
Territory to settle. ' No, friend, we didn't leave off 
any ciphers. $23,000 . . . was the government's of- 

Spotted Fail's repK' to Secretary Delano's propo- 
sition was something of an oration, its logic wtirth\', 
in our opinion, of presen'ation and was as follows: 

My father. I have coundcrcd all the (iieiit F,ither told 
me. iVid hiire eoiiie here to give ]'(iii all iiinirer . . . When 
I ii'iii here before, the President gave me my eomitry. and 
I put my itake down in a good phiee. and there I want to 
stay . . . I respeet the Treaty (doubtless referring to tlie 
Treaty' of 1868) but the white men wlio eome in our 
country do not. You speak of anotlier eountry, but it is 
not my country: it does not eoiwern nie. and I want 
noticing to do witlt it. I was luit born there . . . If it is 
such a good eountry. you ought to send the white men 
now in our eountry tin-re and let us alone . . . 

Wrangling ct)ntinued on a number of minor 
points, including interpretation of the terms of the 
Trean,' of 1808, but the Indians refused to si^n any 
new treat}' or agreement until they had tetiuned home 
to consult with their people . . . |Thev] left Washing- 
ton empty-handed on June 4th. 

Had a successful solution been found, the great 
Indian wars of 1876 mio;ht not have been fought. 

and there would have been no Custer Massacre. For 
a time, our government did try, unsuccessfully, to 
stop the tide, according to most historians — but the 
magic word "Cold " was too powerful a drug, then as 
now In yain did Washington issue its proclamations. 
In vain did our troops tn,' to block the trails . . . [but 
in retrospect], perhaps no human power could ha\'e 
stemmed that ant-like, gold-crazed horde. 

So the Indians fought and thousands died . . . 
But [their] cause was hopeless. Ihe strength of the 
Sioux was broken. President Crant "spoke with a 
straisrht tongue " — the odds were too "teat. 

The Saga of Fallen Leaf ^ 

rhe legend of Ah-ho-appa (Fallen Leaf) and of 
her father Shan-tag-alisk (Chief Spotted fail of the 
Brule Sioux) has been often told in song and story, 
and in many wavs. At least part of it is true. It is a 
sttange tale of intermingled fact and fanc\' abt)ut a 
girl who wanted to li\'e and lo\'e in a world of which 
she was not a part — and of her father, a remarkable 
leader of men. 

In the simimer of l'-)28, a few months before his 
death, |ohn Himton was interviewed at C^ld Fort 
Latamie b\' Joseph C. Masters. He showed Mr. Mas- 
ters where Ah-ho-appa had been buried on a scaffold 
and told him what he knew of the circumstances. 
Mr. Mastets then wrote a newspaper feature story 
about her. In I '-HiO, Russell Ihorp of C'he\enne sent 
[my grandfather] a clipping of that stor\' and . . . 
photographs of the scaffolding which held her remains 
for many years. . . and of her father. 

Ah-ho-appa must have been a lonely girl, not in 
phwsical or spiritual harmon\- with her own people, 
or so the legend "oes. Since she did not feel and 

^^ The niilitan' and emigrants" lust tor land. gold, and adventure 
were not the onlv forces that threatened the Sioux' way ot lite 
duriiig this bjgone era. For instance, some ot them were 
lured troni their tribes b\' a tascination tor the "white man" 
and his culture. In his works, mv grandtather presented the 
tollowing case in point, the sad stop,- ot an obsessed maiden. 
Fallen Leat, and her tather. Spotted Tail, whose "ill-fated" jour- 
ney to Washington in 187S with other chiettains and their 
delegations previousK described in this article. For more 
intormation about Ah-ho-appa see Wilson O. Clough, "Mini- 
aku. Daughter ot Spotted Tail, Atiihils of Wyoming 1 (Oct. 
1967): 187-216; and Hyde, Spotted Tad's Folk. pp. 108-110. 

10 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

think as they did, she could not be one with them. 
And from the whites, whom she admired and appar- 
ently wished to emulate, she was set apart by the 
chasms ot heredit)', skin color, and prejudice. 

Thus it was that during a long visit at Fort Laramie 
about 1864, she would sit, day after day, alone and 
apart, on a bench at the Sutler's store, observing all 
that went on — thinking who knows what thoughts 
and experiencing who knows what lutile longings. 
Some stories say she was secretly in love with one of 
the dashing young officers. As to that, this writer has 
no evidence. 

It is said the daily ceremony oi guard moimt al- 
ways held her enthralled, and that the soldiers took 
pride in putting it on with special dash — just for 
her. To them she was "The Princess," set apart by her 
grave reserve and dignity. 

And then one day. Spotted Tail led his people 
north, back to the Powder River country, and took 
his daughter with him — away from Fort Laramie, 
which she never saw again in life. After her depar- 
tiue, at a gathering of officers at the old fort, one of 
them claimed to have known Ah-ho-appa in earlier 
years and said that even as a small girl, she had sworn 
ne\er to marry an Indian, and she never did, al- 
though legend has it that some of the rich young 
braves of the tribe offered Shan-tag-alisk as many as 
200 ponies for her hand. Another story is that on 
one occasion, a Blackfoot warrior attempted to carry 
her off by force and she cut him up with her knife to 
the point of death. Spotted Tail took such pride in 
this exploit that he never attempted to force her into 

General Harney is said to have once presented 
her with a little red book which, although she could 
not read or even speak English, became one of her 
most treasured possessions. She dressed herself as a 
young man, liked to carry a gun like her father, and 
performed none of the squaws' menial tasks. 

Two years after her departure from Fort Laramie 
found Ah-ho-appa dying in a lonely tepee on the 
Powder. Some said it was consumption — others a 
broken heart. Shan-tag-alisk, in desperate grief, prom- 
ised to take her back to Fort Laramie in the spring 
(1866), but Indian tradition, handed down from gen- 
eration to generation, has it that she told her father 

how much she would love to go, but that it was too 


And so she languished and died — but not until 
after a promise from Spotted Tail, that he would bury 
her on a hillside near Fort Laramie, where her spirit 
could look down upon the old parade ground and 
watch again the guard mount she loved so well . . . 

They wrapped the frail body in smoked deerskin 
and placed it upon two white ponies, lashed closely 
together, for the week-long journey through deep 
winter snows. A rtmner was sent ahead by Spotted 
Tail, asking officers to grant his daughter's dying re- 
quest for burial overlooking Fort Laramie. 

The funeral cavalcade, while still some fifteen 
miles from the Fort, was met by a military escort sent 
by Post Commander Major George O'Brien. It con- 
sisted of an ambulance, a company of cavalry in dress 
uniform, and two 12-pound mountain howitzers. 
Ah-ho-appa's mortal remains were placed in the am- 
bulance, her two white horses tied behind. 

Chief Spotted Taif father of Ah-ho-appa. Courtesy of the Grace 
Raymond Hebard Papers, American Heritage Center, University 
of Wyoming. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 1 1 

The entire garrison, headed by Col. Maynadicr 
oi the First U. S. Volunteers, turned out to meet the 
hmeral cortege at the Platte River, about two miles 
from Fort Laramie. Next da\' the burial scaffold was 
erected on a gentle slope, hall a mile or so north of 
the Fort hospital. It was made of stout poles, laced 
together at the top with thongs to hold the coffin. 
(About 1920, John Hunton took this writer to the 
site of that scaffold, some of which was still standini;, 
with a few rotting boards from the coffin K'insr on 
the ground below.) 

The two white ponies were sacrificed, their heads 
and tails nailed to the poles, so that Ah-ho-appa would 
not be afoot in the spirit world. 1 he bodv, still in its 
deerskin shrtuid and fiuther wrapped in a red blan- 
ket, was then placed in the elaborately-decorated cof- 
fin resting on a caisson and slowly hauled to the scaf- 
fold, escorted bv the garrison in dress array. 

Post Chaplain Wright conducted a formal white 
man's burial service. When he had finished, Spotted 
Tail indicated he wanted his daughter buried in the 
Indian way. He wanted to find her in the red man's 
happy hunting ground and be reunited with her 
there. He did not want her lost to him forever in the 
white man's heaven. His every wish was followed. 
When the ceremonies were over, Shan-tag-alisk cut 
what he doubtless hoped was the last thread binding 
his daughter to the white man's hereafter by return- 
ing to Chaplain Wright the parfleche sack contain- 
ing [the little army Episcopal pra\'er book given to 
her by Ceneral Harney many years before] . . . 

The soldiers were deployed in a large square about 
the scaffold. Within that square, the Indians stood 
in a circle around the coffin. K4ajor O'Brien placed 
a pair of white kid cavalr\' gloves in the coffin to 
keep Fallen Leaf's hands warm on her lonely journey 
to the other world, and also a new dollar bill with 
which to buy food along the way. Then the Indian 
women came up, one bv one, and talked to her in 
long, earnest whispers — doubtless messages for her 
to carry on to their own departed loved ones. And 
each put something she might need beside her body 
— a bit of mirror, a string of beads, some little to- 

The lid was then fastened down, [and] the squaws 
lifted their princess to the top of the scaffold and 

lashed a buffalo skin over all, as the men stood by, 
mute and motionless. The soldiers, facing outward 
in their large square, fired a final salute of three vol- 
leys. Red men and white men then marched back 
together to the post as darkness fell and it began to 
sleet and snow — that is, all marched back except the 
howitzer detail, which remained at the burial site, 
built a large fire, and discharged their cannon even.' 
half hoLU' Luuil da\'bi"eak. Sioux warriors apparently 
kept a watchful eye on the grave for Jquite some time 
after that] . . . 

Many years later, so the story goes, a young and 
impetuous military doctor came to Fort Laramie. He 
had the impudence and appalling lack of respect to 
remove the bones of Ali-ho-appa and make a skel- 
eton of them for his office. One day, scouts brought 
word to the post that Shan-tag-alisk, with a part)' of 
warriors, was approaching to take away the remains 
of his child. Post atuhorities, in near panic, gave the 
great, friendh' chief and his party a ceremonious wel- 
come and persuaded him to rest overnight at the Fort 
before going to claim his daughter. This gave them a 
chance to replace Fallen Leaf's bones in her casket 
before morning and remo\'e e\ idence that her grave 
had been violated. Had thc\' failed, old [Spotted Fail] 
might have felt relieved of la promise he made to his 
daughter to] . . . never again . . . make war on the 
whites — and who could have blamed him? She was 
flnalK' btuled tmder a suitable monimient at the Rose- 
bud Agency in South Dakota. 

Eugene Ware, an officer who was present and 
wrote an account of ]Fallen Leaf's] burial at Fort 
Laramie, added this thought to his record: 

Hfr story /s tlw story of the persistent inelancholy of tfie 
luiiihvi niee; of /c/)/gs horn in fiore/s ivid (fyiug tliere: of 
geniuses horn wlwre genius is a erinw: of heroes horn 
before their age lUid dying unsung: of heaury born wlwre 
its gift iCiis fat,//; of inerey horn among wolves; of states- 
nien born to find society not yet ripe for their labors to 
begin, and bidding tlw world adieu firnn the scaffold. 

The daughter of Shan-tag-alish was o>ie of those indi- 
viduals found in all finds, at all places, and anun/g all 
people; she was misplaced. 

See Eugene F. \C^ire, T/ie hidhvi War of 186-1 (Lincoln: 
Univer.sir)' of Nebrask.i Press, l'-)'-)^), pp. 407-^(18. 

1 2 Annals of Wvominq: The Wyoming HisiorA' Journal -- Summer 2004 

The record also indicates that her father was of 
unusual intellect . . . with deep and abiding under- 
standing ot himian rights and ciignitv, who realized 
the hitilitv of" war as an instrument oi" justice. If his 
reasoning and attitudes were those oi an "ignorant 
savage," perhaps more ol: the same would be benefi- 
cial in high places — even today. 

A Brother Lost 

Fri, May 5 [1876] — Got back to Milk Ranch about 
sunset. Heard of horses beingstolen on Chug &]im [one 
of John Huntoii's brothers] niissnig. Went to Post 
[Fetterman] . 

Sat, May 6 — Staid at Post last night. 8 A.M. got 
telegram announcing that Jim had been killed by Indi- 
ans. Started to [Bordeaux]. 

Sun, May 7 — Got to Ranch 2 P.M. Started to Chey- 
enne with Jim's remains at 5 o'clock P.M. . . . 
Mon, May 8 — Staid at Kellys last night . . . Got to 
Cheyenne at 5 PM. Arrangements [Jor Jim's futieral] 
made by Mr Fogelsong and Frank Hunter . . . 
Tues, May 9 — /// town [Cheyenne] all day. BURIED 

The several [newspaper and other] stories of how 
Jim Hunton was killed vary considerablv in detail. 

Many years later, John Hunton's own account of 
Jim's killing was written b\' him tor the Fort Laramie 
Scout xx\A published therein [as follows] . . . 

. . . May 4, 1876, James Hunton, my brother, left . . . 
my home on the afernoon of that day to go to the ranch 
of Charles Cofjee, on Boxelder creek . . . to get a horse he 
had traded for. While going down through 'the notch' in 
Goshen Hole, about half way between the two places, he 
was waylaid, shot atid killed by five Indian boys, who 
were out on a horse stealing expedition. The Indians 
then went to my ranch . . . afier night atid rounded up, 
stole and drove off every head of horses and mules (38) I 
owned except my saddle horse, which I had with me . . . 
The horse my brother was riding ran and the Indians 
could not catch him and the next moriTing was seen on 
top of the bluff east of the ranch. Blood on the saddle told 
the tale and a searching party found the body that afer- 

There is reason to believe John Hunton learned 

some of the details of his brother's death directly from 
the ver\' Indians, or at least one of them, who com- 

Jim Hunton, the brother of John Hunton, was killed in May 
1876. Courtesy John Hunton Papers, American Hentage 
Center, University of Wyoming. 

mitted the act. One sultry summer day in the early 
[1920s], jogging to the "Station" Irom Fort Laramie 
with Mr. Hunton in his old buckboard ... he told 
the writer substantially this story. 

Some time alter his brother's death, when there 
was again an uneasy peace between the red men and 
the white, Hunton was present at an Indian "feast " 
— we do not know the date or place. He told how 
on occasions the Indians would gorge themselves with 
unbelievable quantities of meat, often to the point 
where they would fall over unconscious, as though 
drunk, and sleep the clock around where they lay. 
He also recalled that these same Indians . . . could 
travel for da\'s without food and apparently suffer no 
serious discomfort or loss of strength. 

And at such feasts following the end of hostili- 
ties, it was considered proper and commendable for 

Annals of Wyoming TheWyominqHistory Journal -Summer 2004 13 

warriors who had distinguished themselves to make 
speeches bragging of" tlieir exploits and telHng how 
they had killed their late enemies. On this night a 
young Indian arose and told in gor\' detail how he 
and others had killed jim Hunton. 

John Hunton said simply, "When I heard it, 1 
suddenly saw red" and he reached for his gim with 
hut one thought, to kill that Indian. Squatted beside 
him in that dim circle by the flickering fire was a 
young cavalry officer who saw Himton's move and 
grabbed his gun arm by the wrist before he could 
draw. Without moving from their places, and ap- 
parently unobser\'ed, the nvo men struggled silently 
for a few seconds until Hunton retrained his senses. 

and sat stoically dead-panned during the remainder 
of the evening, as demanded by protocol. 1 he old 
"cntleman observed thouditfullv that had he fired 
on his brother's killer, the twenty or thnt\' white men 
present woidd LuidoubtcdK ha\'e been killed in a 
matter of seconds b\- the hundieds of Indians who 
surrotmded them. 

So that unknown, cjuick-witted \'oimg officer 
with a strong grip possiblv robbed history of another 
massacre. We would probabK' all be stnpriscd if we 
knew how manv momentous events actually hinge 
on small incidents which seldom find their wa\' into 
the books. 


1 4 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

L. G. Flannery Papers 
courtesy American 
Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming 

We take the 
Hunton treasure 
for granted with- 
out remembering 
or even knowing 
the guardian of 
that treasury, Pat 

Those oi us steeped in Wyoming history seem to forget that the whole 
wide world thinks it knows everything there is to know about our 
short history from western movies and romance novels. The other 
impression of Wyoming history was said, partly in jest, the other day by Rae 
Whitney, the widow of a tormer priest who sometimes served our All Saints' 
Episcopal church when we were without a full time rector. Rae was born and 
educated in England where history can go back endless numbers of years. 
She said, "1 wonder about you Wyomingites and your passion for history, it 
seems to me you have very little of history." I replied, "That explains why we 
make so much of what we have." The actual eyewitness accounts of the fron- 
tier and its people are rare. One of the most valuable collections of personal 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Jourral" Summer 2004 15 

experiences in the earlv days of the development oi 
Wyoming is the John Himton collection. We take the 
Hunton treasure tor granted without remembering 
or even knowing the guardian oi that treasur}', Pat 
Flannery. Without his chance acquaintance with 
Hunton, which developed into a lite long friendship, 
the Hunton diaries, if they still existed, might be in 
some nice air controlled archive revered but forgot- 
ten. To tell the truth that is where they are, safely pre- 
sers'ed at the American Heritage Center at the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming in Laramie. 1 he\' are not forgot- 
ten. Nearly every history of Wyoming 1 have read has 
referenced Huntons diaries as a source, made pos- 
sible by the dedication of Huntons friend and heir to 
the diaries, Pat Flannery. 

Other sources for those of us who want to learn 
about our early days are the few diaries preser\'ed in 
our state facilities, the archives in Cheyenne and the 
Heritage Center. In some fortunate circumstances 
there were letters such as the beautifullv illustrated 
examples of the artistic talent of Charlie Russell, fhere 
are the careful records of Lewis and Clark, but as far 
as I can fmd out, little was written by Jim Bridger; 
nothing by Jacques La Ramie. Some are photocop- 
ied and preser\'ed in the archives. In fact an account 
of my family's ancestor's adventures on the trail to 
the gold fields in California is among those. 

Not many of the early residents of Wyoming were 
able or even interested in recording their day to day 
activities on the beaver trap line, or himting for a 
meal. Those conditions were not condticive to im- 
mediate recording of events or experiences. Their 
times were so different from our own that we forget 
they lived in a world where paper and pencil were 
not easily replaced; not ever}' pioneer could read and 
write. Our lives seem imremarkable, too, but future 
generations may marvel at how primitive we were. 
John Hunton was unique, he was educated and he 
recorded many of his experiences in letters home and 
the diaries. From one of John Huntons letters comes 
the motto for the village of Fort Laramie, embla- 
zoned on the roadside as the traveler approaches. He 
was asked about conditions in the West and he re- 
plied to the correspondent that Fort Laramie was a 
town of 250 good souls and six old grouches. Fort 
Laramie has proudly displayed that sign for man\- 

years. Hunton had arri\ed in W\'oming, at Fort 
Laramie, in 1867 where he shared a room with Jim 
Bridger. A Virginian and veteran of the Civil War, 
he had "whacked mules" along the trails from Ne- 
braska Cir\', a staging point for the West, as far as 
Fort Laramie. Much later in his life Himton became 
a friend of Pat Flannery. 

Flannery was a contemporar)' of m\- parents and 
his daughter, Billie, was myTorrington school friend. 
We were junior members of the American Legion 
Auxiliary too. When we were older her children 
played with my children when we all li\ed in 
Torrington or Cheyenne. Pat was a fixture in our 
communit)', as the publisher and editor of the local 
newspaper he inserted little tidbits of information 
about the quirky habits of our populace or other 
funny events. He was an ardent patriot and one of 
the strong supporters of the American Legion, hav- 
ing served as he did in World War I. He arrived in 
Coshen Count\' in 1*^)22 with many veterans of that 
war under the auspices of a government program 
which provided homesteads in a lotter\' opportunirv. 
When Pat came to Wvoming with his bride, Laura 
Alice Moomah, and their baby daughter, Billie, he 
homesteaded near Fort Laramie. 

Leon Grayson "Pat" Flannerv was born in St. 
Louis, Missouri, on March l4, 1894. He started 
school in St. Louis and in Chicago before his parents 
moved to Colorado when he was twelve. After high 
school in Denver he attended the Colorado State 
College of Agriculture at Fort Collins before his mili- 
tar}' service. His interests at the universit\- included 
the school newspaper 

By the time the Flanner\'s arrived at their home- 
stead, the former centerpiece of tra\'el on the se\'eral 
trails leading to the gold mines in California or to 
Oregon, the old fort was a decaying shell. Planner)' 
became a friend of an elderly neighbor, an "old timer ' 
John Hunton. He learned of the diaries Hunton had 
carefulK' filled through fifr\' years. 

Much like other WW] veteran homesteaders, Pat 
did not last long as a farmer Manv of the idealistic 
new farmers were not farmers or even had rural back- 
grounds. Some of those reading this stor}^ may know 
that farming is an art, usualK- handed down from 
father to son with hands-on practice. It was not easv 

1 6 Annals of VVyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

to learn how to farm in the three year "proving up" 
residency period required to gain legal title to the 
plots of land. At the time ot this project by the fed- 
eral government the acreage of each farm was eighty 
acres. A few earlier efforts at peopling the West had 
granted one hundred sixty acres largely in Colorado. 
The additional complication of irrigated farming 
proved daunting lor the easterners who had lived in 
areas with sufficient natural moisture to grow crops. 
Many just used the property as a leg up to continue, 
or return to, former vocations or to establish another 
profession, usually in the area from which they had 
come bv selling their homesteads. The population of 
Goshen County during and immediately after the 
earlv 1920s swelled to some eighteen thousand souls. 
And it diminished to its present number of about 
twelve thousand by the mid to late 1930s. The diver- 
sity of these new Wyoming residents was one of the 
unique aspects of the population. They were all vet- 
erans and that was the only requirement with a small 
filing tee for the lottery drawing. The homesteaders 
came from nearly every one of the forty-eight states; 
ever)' religion was represented, every ethnic back- 
ground. Like Pat and my parents, some stayed on 
the homestead even after the three year residency re- 
quirement. In some cases the length of time in mili- 
tary service allowed for that 'overtime' to reduce the 
residency needed. My mother insisted that they only 
had to live on the homestead seven months a year for 
a year and a half because of my fathers lengthy ser- 
vice before WWT and in France durino; the war. 

The Flannery heritage and education was pub- 
lishing so it was almost pre-ordained that Pat and 
Alice Flannery would found The Fort Laramie Scout, 
a weekly newspaper. It had a limited circulation, was 
delivered by mail and the annual subscription rate 
was two dollars. Its readership quickly increased be- 
cause of Pat's quick way with a phrase, and a mock- 
ing kind of humor for the foibles of those people 
who were the subjects of his news. As he roamed the 
area, his outgoing personality found items of local 
interest to add to state and national news. His asso- 
ciation with Hunton had increased to a trusting 
friendship. Pat proposed publishing excerpts from the 
Hunton diaries in each edition of the paper. Hunton 

demanded the assurance that Pat would not alter any 
information or phrasing or spelling in the diaries to 
make them sound better than they were. The short 
item in each newspaper ended with "to be contin- 
ued." It was the first public recognition of Hunton's 

Very soon the newspaper expanded with a new 
name of The Goshen County News and Fort Laramie 
Scout. Its editorial office was in Lingle some ten miles 
east of Fort Laramie and the Flannery homestead. 
The expanded readership resulted in a very good, lu- 
crative newspaper. Pat sold the Lingle paper to Floy 
and Leo Tonkin and moved his operation to the 
county seat at Torrington another ten miles east on 
the railroad line. The Tonkins were as creative and 
ambitious as the Flannerys and their paper continues 
publication to this day. 

The Goshen County Neivs frankly supplied a 
Democrat political party view for its readership. Pat's 
advocacy was strong for the Democrats just as the 
Torri)igton Telegrani offered the opposing view. It was 
not unusual for the strongest Republican to subscribe 
to Pat's paper because it was entertaining. He pre- 
sented the news with humor and respect. The con- 
tent was something like the publication much earlier 
in England of the works by Dickens. In addition to 
the Hunton column, it featured a serialized novel 
which filled more space in the paper than Hunton's 
excerpts, cartoons, and a nod to national and inter- 
national news. An example of its attraction appeared 
on January 26, 1927: 

Our learned county superintendent of schools, C. C. 
Smith, believes that an agile body and firm muscles 
are worthy and necessary compliments to an active 
brain and strong mind. While illustrating his theory 
with a few simple feats of physical prowess before sev- 
eral of our able and charming school marms at his 
home the other evening he is said to have performed a 
split that was all wool and a yard long, illuminating 
and revealing, uncovering the entire proposition so to 

It is understood that Mr. Smith did not, at first in- 
tend to go into the matter at such great length but. ..a 
rug upon which he was demonstrating slipped, caus- 
ing him to hastily revise his plans and execute this 

Annals of VVvommii The Vv'voniiiiQ Hislorv Journal -- Summer 200-; 

split - one of the most complete on record....the News 
regrets that it cannot proceed with fijrther details. ..ahcr 
accomplisliiiii; his teat he is reported too have backed 
modestK' to the wall and slid as inconspicuousK' as 
possible onto a sohi where he remained demurely seated 
- thus keeping the details hurlv well hidden. 

In the early l')20s when Flannery and Hunton 
met, he was well and still ser\'cd as president ot the 
Wyoming Old limers who met at the state htir in 
Douglas once a year. The Htmtons had miwcd to 
Torrington a more comkirtable access tor the two 
friends. In the discussion ol the fmal disposition of 
the diaries, it was clear that Hunton expected they 
woidd be published. The agreement was the same as 
the the one regarding the excerpts in Pat's newspa- 
pers. It was not a formal document, there was to be 
no fooling around with Huntons own words or an\' 
effort to make them more interesting than they were. 
In the case of these two friends it would be honored, 
tmlike Yogi Berras sa\'ing: "An oral agreement isn't 
worth the paper its written on." When Pat edited the 
diaries he used Htmtons words even when he added 
explanations of some details. 

Pat bought the Hunton farm just outside Fort 
Laramie when it was available. Its dwelling was ex- 
acth' like most ol the primitive houses of the original 
residents. It was a shack about twelve leet hv twenty. 
The conversations between Hunton and Flannery 
are forgotten, but when Hunton died in 1928, Pat 
Flannery received the fitty diaries, one for each vear 
through 1927, with the exception of the later months 
of 1888 and the first few months of 1889. 

There was never any question in Flannerv's mind 
that he had inherited a priceless treasure. He ct)n- 
stilted the respected historian Cirace Ravmond Hebard 
about the appropriate way to use them. Thev agreed 
that a passage of time, perhaps rwenr\'-five years, would 
give a perspective to the life and work ot Hunton 
and allow for more careful presentation of the dia- 

Pat continued to publish his newspaper which 
crusaded h)r many needed improvements in the 
county: a new bridge over the Platte River; he sup- 
ported the establishment ol an orphanage at 
Torrington bv the Roman Catholic Church, and as- 

sisted in acquiring the land for it; he lauded the win- 
ners in high school athletics and other activities; he 
reported on honors at the coimt\- and state fairs. In 
the matter ol the bridge, which was considered mod- 
ern, made of concrete as it was and fairly new, he 
pointeci out that it presented a serious hazard since it 
had no pedestrian lane. Flannerv explained that the 
new Hollv Sugar hictorv had caused a basic change 
hv the users ol the bridge. Workers in the lactory 
south ol the town of Ibrrington had to compete with 
traffic to walk to wt>rk. 

He wrote of the tragedies in the community.. .an 
example was the death ol "little Mae Hackleman. 
There is sorrow in the home ot her parents and a 
happy presence has also departed from Jim Johnsons 
school bus. ..she was taken sick a few weeks ago and 
her death came Friday after an unsuccessful mastoid 
operation in Chewnne. His stor\' continued to name 
bus mates who would miss their "pet and her "kindh', 
cheerlul little spirit. " 

On another occasion he described in detail the 
death ot a young woman killed in the nearby town 
ot Henr}' in what must have been a case ot mistaken 
identity since the local police officer, lim Nolan, was 
driving her home to Morrill. He explained there was 
a report of a stolen car and officers approached a car 
on the side of the road, shots were fired by C.L. Landiy 
ot the DeLue detective agenc\' and Miss SvKia Kelly 
was accidentalK' killed. Fhat same paper ttild ot the 
hunting accident death of Billy Heffi'on, the nephew 
ot the large Heffron family. I he Heftrons, unmar- 
ried brothers and sisters, lived in a spacious house on 
IS'"' street west. Fhey had adopted Billie .\nd his sis- 
ter, Doll)', when their parents died. Billies gun had 
discharged as he pulled it trom the car to shoot a 
rabbit on the same street about a halt mile west of his 
home. 1 have never seen anyone cHie, especialK' h\' 
gimshot, so 1 remember well the description hv Keith 
Housen, Billies friend who was there that day. Keith 
tried to assist Billie who was lying; on the road, with 
spasms and heavy jerking. Keith said he had always 
thought that anyone shot just dropped dead and did 
not move as they do in the movies. Keiths conversa- 
tions were not reported in the newspaper. As the reader 
can see it was a folksy newspaper, naming names and 
describins; incidents in a manner not seen in today's 

18 Annals of VVyoming: The Wyoming Histor/ Journal -- Summer 2004 


When the Goshen Chapter oi the Wyoming State 
Historical Society was chartered in 1954, Pat, Alice, 
and my parents were charter members. In 1955, the 
society at it's annual meeting honored Pat with it's 
outstanding historian award. Pat received a document 
signed by the revered historian Lola M. Homsher. 

Pat was among the sixty-six members ot Post # 5 
ol the American Legion, veterans ol World War I 
who formed a "Last Mans Club." To those of us whose 
fathers were members its purpose was ghoulish and 
repugnant. It was a club which was to meet once a 
year, the First weekend in June, to toast their com- 
rades in arms, those lost in the war and those who 
died each year. The membership was limited to the 
sixty-six who attended the first meeting on June 3, 
1940. The men in the prime of their lives a little over 
two decades alter "the big war" scoffed at the idea ot 
death. It was hir away, but inevitable they knew. The 
three who sur\'ived the longest were to drink a bottle 
of wine held in trust by the "head man ' from each 
banquet. Political views were not discussed at those 
annual meetings where they were bound together by 
the war and their common memory. No matter how 
politicalK' oriented they were there was no subtle axe 
to be ground. Pat was an ardent Democrat; my fa- 
ther a passionate Republican. My father, Phil Rouse, 
and Pat must have mutually agreed that lor our coun- 
tr\' to sun'ive r\vo strong political parties must be 
encouraged to provide balance and a lair exchange 
of ideas and positions. At least that was my lather's 
often mentioned reason for voting, or for working 
for a candidate. 

Pat was among the majority who made the effort 
to get to every reunion, to participate in the 
comraderie and listen to the stories often colorfully 
embroidered with the passage of time. In the annual 
photographs one can feel the friendship and the bond- 
ing, although the backgrounds, beliefs, and careers 
were as dissimilar as any collection of people could 
be. NearK' all had been homesteaders who had come 
to eastern Wyoming with high hopes of owning land 
and becoming wealthy. A goal reached by few. The 
Legion hall where they met had, of course, the obliga- 
tory bar, but the photographs do not show any large 
number of glasses for liquor. In the one dated 1953, 

Pat is the only man with a cocktail glass in his hand, 
he is easily identified in the group by his bow tie. I 
have never heard that Pat imbibed to any degree. It is 
interesting to speculate how it happened that he 
looked like the only man who might be a drinker, 
when I know that nearly all would join in a drink at 
least once a year. One of my historian friends com- 
mented when I mentioned that I was researching in- 
formation about Pat, "My mother always referred to 
him as a flannel mouth Irishman." I looked up that 
meaning, it seems it refers to a stereotype of a good 

It was my privilege and that of other daughters 
and our mothers to prepare and serve the meal. The 
mothers cooked it in the hall's kitchen and we "girls" 
were the servers. The menu never varied, fried 
chicken. ..potatoes and gravy, green beans, hot rolls, 
and pie. The organization and its customs started 
when we were in high school and continued through 
the time when some of us inherited the cooking job 
and our children were the ser\'ers. It was a memo- 
rable activity for me to share. It gave me respect for 
strong pull of love of country and comrades. Over 
the years the preparation and serving of the meal be- 
came less and less of a chore as the numbers of the 
Last Man's Club dwindled. The final three were Dr. 
Bryan Fuller, a veterinarian. Doc F.S. Brown, chiro- 
practor, and Frank Zimmer, oil refinery and eleva- 
tor owner. When the three actually opened the bottle 
of wine, it had turned to vinegar. Ceremonial glasses 
of the spoiled wine were suitably raised in a toast to 
the sixty-three who were gone. They were not alone. 
They had been invited to share their celebration with 
the annual meeting of the "Last Squad," the later 
generation of World War II veterans with the same 
purpose as the Last Man's, remembering. Pat and my 
father had long since been among the honorees as 
they had left this life. 

The eldest among the remaining members hosted 
the reunion each year. When it was his turn to be 
'last man' and host the dinner on June 7, 1954, my 
father led the memorial with a poem which I found 
as I researched Flannery's life and that of the Last 
Man's Club: 

Annals of Wvomino The 'A'v 

- qiirntripr 90(1^ 

"My comrades: 
Each year we meet 
To toast the dead. 
As some have saici. 
But a treastired moment 
With meaning clear ... 
That when we leave 
This earth so dear. 
You , Comrades, 
Will gather here 
And drink to us, 
As we to them ... 
These friends ot ours, 
Whose empty chairs 
Denote their passage 
From worldly cares. 
If thev had taults 
We know them not. 
Of" them, our memories 
Hold no slot. 
These were men; 
Friends so true. 
That here tonight 
We gather anew. 
To toast our comrades 
Of yesterday 
Who from our club 
Have gone away." 

With the advent of the adniinistraticTn of Franklin 
Roosevelt, an increase in interest in the Democrat 
party was generated in Wyoming. Pat entered into 
political activities with his usual zeal. He was elected 
state chairman ot the party and served "almost con- 
tinuously from l'-)33 to 1938 when there was 100% 
Democratic control ot the entire congressional del- 
egation and the five major state offices," according 
to AHce, "when Democrats experienced the greatest 
victories" in the state. She did not mention the 1()0*)'() 
Democratic legislanuc in 1869 which presented the 
Republican governor with a bill designed to embar- 
rass him. It created the right for women to vote! Re- 
publican Governor John A. Campbell had the last 
laugh, he signed it. 

Ihe period of Flannery's guidance saw Gover- 
nors Leslie A. Miller and Lester Hunt and Senator 
Joseph O'Mahoney among others become leaders in 
the state. Flannery himself represented Goshen 

County in the state legislature. In 1948, he gave in- 
ctmibent Republican (Congressman Frank A. Barrett 
a rtm for his mone\' when he lost the election by 
three thousand votes. Flannery was remarkably suc- 
cessful in other aspects of his life. According to Red 
Fenwick, noted columnist tor 1 he Denver Post, he 
was a complicated man, part ot the worldly political 

L. (;. "PAT*- 










The Jc 

Li or Hor 

nc or Fofm 

O. Rl 




help lo 

sove mnv 

be vc 

LJf Own 

Publrshed bv 


P Box 27 S 
Lingle, Wyoming 

Flannery's campaign brochure. Courtesy L. G. Flannery 
Papers, American Hentage Center, University of Wyoming. 

20 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

scene, and still content with the simple life of Huntons 
old shack. 

In an earlier colulmn titled "A HAPPY MAN" 
Fenwick had written that at least in the opinion of 
one very happy gent named L.G. (Pat) Flannery, 

the components of true happiness are relatively 

simple what makes all this seem so remarkable to 

me is that Flannery is a study in contrasts. one 
time [he] was Wyoming's kingmaker. He could name 
a postmaster, appoint a judge, put a man in office or 
take him out. He could almost singlehandedly deter- 
mine the fate of important legislation and without his 
blessing a man's political future wasn't worth a three 
cornered dime." 

Another period oi influence by the Democrats 
occurred long after Alice and Pat were gone. For 
twenty years, Wyoming had governors, Ed Herschler 
and Mike Sullivan, and a secretary of state, Kathy 
Karpan, who were Democrats. With his advocacy of 
the Democratic party, Pat would have been pleased 
to see such worthies carrying his standard. 

As the Depression deepened, he was able through 
his connections to be named to positions in the state 
government: secretary ol the State Board of Chari- 
ties and Reform and later, director of the State De- 
partment of Commerce and Industry. He worked a 
year during the Depression in Washington D.C. be- 
fore he was appointed by Harry Hopkins to the posi- 
tion of Wyoming administrator of the Works Progress 
Administration. That organization researched and 
produced an important volume fdled with facts and 
figures about Wyoming. While it is no longer in print, 
it is often used to research Wyoming history: WTO- 
MING, A Guide to its History, Highways and People. 
In that capacity he supervised the many efforts made 
to ease the Depression years with its high rate of un- 

In his obituary in 77?^ Denver Post, mention was 
made that Flannery resigned the WPA directorship 
with a salary of "$5,000 a year to enlist in the army 
at $21 per month." His obituary, written by Fenwick 
for the Post, described his political career and his tri- 
umphant FULL SLATE ELECTED in 1938. 

As Fenwick wrote, Pat was ever the patriot and 

he did enlist as a private in the army the day after the 
Pearl Harbor attack. In some of her writing Alice 
said that he gave up a high paying job for a noble 
ideal. Her remarks seem to indicate she did not quite 
share the patriotic zeal but we all knew she loved and 
respected her interesting, complex husband. To those 
who had survived the Depression years, as Flannery 
had, his enlistment spoke of a man of principle and 
selfless honor. It explains his popularity and respect 
in every job he held in every community he served. 
As the war ended he had attained the rank of master 

After the war he served in Washington as admin- 
istrative assistant to Senator O'Mahoney for six years. 
As a sidebar tidbit: the senator's name was always an 
interesting topic of conversation. He insisted it was 
O'mahonee (ma as in Ma), but Republicans and other 
critics insisted on referring to the distinguished sena- 
tor as O ma-hoe'-knee. 

After his retirement, Flannery turned again to 
the diaries of Hunton. He left Alice and the children 
and moved, ftdl time, to the shack at Fort Laramie 
and worked on the Hunton diaries with the same 
zeal he had brought to all other projects in his life. As 
that period of time allowed by Dr. Hebard's and his 
decision approached, he began his careful perusal and 
decided how to present them to posterity. Naturally 
he began at the beginning: Hunton's first diary. 

Hunton arrived in Dakota Territory in 1866 and 
served as a clerk at the post store in Fort Laramie. 
Later he settled on a plot which he called Bordeaux, a 
time detailed in the diaries. He had put down roots 
and stayed the rest of his life in the area about forty 
miles wide and sixty miles long which in the present 
day is called Goshen County. He had an association 
with Fort Fetterman and the town of Douglas at one 
time. But most of his life was spent in Laramie 
County, later to be divided into Goshen and Platte 
counties. Three years alter Hunton came to the re- 
gion it became Wyoming Territory on April 3, 1 869. 
He recorded in small books the routine and some- 
times the exciting people and incidents of his life in 
primitive Wyoming. The originals are small leather 
bound volumes 3x5 inches. When time came for 
publication Flannery selected the same size and simi- 
lar suede-like covers. Pat described the diaries as all 

.!nn,JnnrnQl-- Summer 2004 

•^niiirrn ir, Feukuary 4, iSydl 


la (i Ut '/^ Ua /^ ' • ^U^-if^^Ci'^ 


t-^- v^< 



Jvht^iti^^ ///I'M- J, 

/j^^^^- //^'y (li/-/../^^ /'/r.Jy 

I ' M W i ' iV , Ff.bruaky 6, 1874 
,)fi^fUMI^ i,H^/fr %....c.^.^ 

jS^^a^-j - Satuud a^ 7 

AV/ c^^^^ 



Pages from Hunton's 1875 diary Courtesy John Hunton Papers. American Hentage Center. University of 

alike. He chose the 1873 diary ro describe in detail: 
"solidly bound with a double leather cover. The out- 
side has weathered to a deep brown, the inside one 
retains its natuial lii;hr-tan freshness and has two 
leather pockets, front and back.. When the double 
flap of the outside cover is tucked into its slot the 
entire book is well protected against weather and 
rough treatment when carried in a man's pocket or 
saddle bag." 

The pages are gold edged, unfaded, crisp and full of 
"life" and made of paper built to withstand the effects 
of water. In fact, the fh- leaf proclaims the paper to be 
a 'Patent Erasible Surface, Patented October 24, 1 86^. 
Use a soft pencil and erase the moisture.' Hunton made 
his entries with both ink and pencil, apparentK- de- 

pending on whether he wa.s ar home or camped on 
the trail. 

"And not a leaf in the book is loose from its binding, " 
with some awe Pat concluded his description. 

As he workecl on the books he was true 10 his 
promise to organize, edit, and add explanations and 
supplementar\' materials, onl\- to make this earliest 
of W\'t)ming historians perfecth' clear to the reader. 
The fdunton diaries compare for accurac\' and dcfith 
to those of Samuel Pepvs, the most remembered dia- 
rist of all. His diaries do not reveal the salacious inti- 
mate facts of life as Pepys' do. It seems clear that 
Hunton hoped his diaries wotdd be preser\ed and 
read h\ future generations, unlike Pep\'s who it is 
believed did not intend to reveal his observations to 

22 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal - Summer 2004 

a passing parade but to himself. 

There is universal agreement that the Hunton 
diaries would not be as useful, especially in their origi- 
nal volumes, without a word or two here and there 
to clarify the meaning, or the action taking place. 
Hunton casually mentions the names of his friends 
and acquaintances: John Clay, Francis Warren, the 
Kimballs and Wilkins, John Kendrick, Bryant 
Brooks, even Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill Cody. 
He described the life of the frontier and its gradual 
emergence to more civilized society sometimes with 
a comment about the changes. He discusses irriga- 
tion, that vital source of growth. He mentions In- 
dian problems, outlaws, jail breaks, social affairs — 
one chapter is devoted to the Cheyenne Club, a ha- 
ven for the elite of the state. 

Volumes five and six of the diaries were ready for 
publication at the time of Pat's death, February 4, 
1964. Alice arranged for the publication of number 
five by the Lingle Guides publisher, Edwin Lebsock, 
from the manuscripts Pat had prepared in 1964. For 
the sixth volume in 1970, she found a publisher in 
The Arthur H. Clark Company of Glendale, Cali- 

Hunton kept the diaries through 1927. Flannery 
had prepared several manuscripts for publication be- 
fore his death, which are unpublished and stored in 
the American Heritage Center at the University of 
Wyoming. They would have covered the "civiliza- 
tion" of the area and a new cast of characters almost 
as colorful as his earlier acquaintances. The published 
and edited volumes are long out of print, prized by 

Pat's devotion to preserving and presenting this 
slice of Wyoming's short history was difficult for the 
family. No doubt that is true of any person dedicated 
to a mission. When he spent the years in the Hunton 
shack just outside the gates of Fort Laramie National 
Historic Site, changes were occurring there. It had 
been declared a national park in the mid- 1930s and 
efforts were begun to restore it. Those improvements 
after the war had stabilized many historic buildings. 
It was described in a Redbook Magazine as the "jewel 
of the National Park Service." The acknowledgment 
of the importance of Fort Laramie to the West's civi- 
lization can be partially attributed to Flannery's in- 

fluence and connections in Washington, D.C. 

He was so absorbed in his mission that his grand- 
daughter remembers him as a far away person, one 
she did not know very well. In these last days as I 

— Announcing Publication of — 

Volume 4 




1880 - '81 - '82 
$5 per copy 

• 248 Pages. 

• 17 Illustrations and Maps. 

• Summary of Contents for Each Month. 

• Index of Some 800 Pioneer Names, Places and 


• The Continuing Day by Day Record of All Phases 

of Pioneer Lite in Wyoming. A Period of 
New Wealth and New Romance on the 

• Edition Limited to 1500 Copies, Numbered and 

Signed by — 


Previous Volumes of 


Still Available in Limited Supply 

VoL 1—1873-75 - - $3.00 
Vol. 2— 1876-77 - - $5.00 
VoL 3— 1878-79 - - $5.00 

Prices Quoted Include Cost of Mailing to Addresses 
in the U. S. A. 


Brochure for Hunton diaries. Courtesy L. G. Flannery Papers, 
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. 

Annals of Wyoming- The Wyoming Hislory Journal --Summer 2004 23 

inquired about him, I foLUid k'w people rcmainint; in 
the communit)' who actually knew him or remem- 
bered his name. Among those who had heard of him 
the mention oi his name was greeted with respect. 

Pat's research and prepared manuscripts included 
all diaries with the exception of the last lew months 
of 1888 and all ol 1889. It was during that period 
when Wyoming's cattlemen lost their product to the 
worst blizzard recorded until 1949. Hunton was bank- 
rupt at that time, perhaps because of the weather or 
other circumstances, and returned to Fort Laramie 
to the position ol post trader. The diaries resume in 
1890 with no reference to the missing reports for a 
year and a half Flannery thought they may have been 
lost, or destroyed lor some reason bv Hunton him- 

Flannery was diagnosed with cancer and hospi- 
talized in Cheyenne on January 19, 1964. Fie was 
transferred to the veteran's hospital in Denver within 
a week and died there on February 4. F^e was sixty- 
nine years old. He was survived at that time by his 
wile, Alice, and his daughter, Billie, and rwo grand- 
children, Patricia and Mike Griske. His daughter and 
grandchildren are his remaining survivors. It was 
appropriate that his funeral service was conducted in 
the Fort Laramie community church and he is bur- 
ied in the historic Fort Laramie cemeter\'. 

The Wyomingite passion lor making the most ol 
oiu' history was confirmed by the selection ol his 
memorial. Friends were invited to contribute to the 
Wyoming State Historical Socier\' in lieu of llowers. 


2d Annsij of Wvorrina" The Wyomino Mictnn; Journal - Summer 200^^ 

William H. Reed in the bone 
laboratory that was called the 
"Bone Room" at the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming. The 
university hired Reed, who 
was a geologist, in 1896. In 
1903 he became the curator 
of the university's museum, 
which exhibited many fossils 
found in Wyoming. Courtesy 
Samuel Knight Collection, 
Amencan Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming. 


Throughout the 19''' century, that innate human desire to collect and display 
unique and wondrous objects took hold of the American imagination. Popular 
"dime" museums flourished in eastern cities, as places to educate and delight the 
masses. Even non-English speaking immigrants and illiterate visitors could enjoy 
the visual exhibits.' Private individuals often maintained their own "cabinet" 
collections, with souvenirs of personal travels or of their scientific and cultural 

interests. -.^iLi^cui ot ^■''' '' ' •"ling Tei'iuuiy a.ii.u established a 
of popular curiosity museums as well as small, pri- 
vate collections or cabinets. Wyoming's first governors played pivotal 
roles in both encouraging legislation and personally developing public exhibi- 
tions designed to promote the economic potential of the territory. Some of these 
initial exhibits created the core collections of the present Wyoming State Mu- 

In 1891, John D. Conley, a member of the first University of Wyoming 
faculty, created the first campus musetun. This was the first serious public mu- 
seum developed as a tool for education. It became a repository for Wyoming's 
natural and cultural treasures and was soon heralded as "the best working cabinet 

Steven Conn, Museums and Americivi hitellectitiil Life. 1876-1926 (Chicaep, Illinois: University 
of Chicago Press, 1998), p. 4. 

Annals of Wyoming. The Wyor 

- Summer 20C'4 25 

in the West."" This small roomful of exhibit cabi- 
nets formed the foundation for most of the scientific 
and cultural institutions on campus today, including 
the Geological Museum, the Avcn Nelson Herbarium, 
the Anthropology Museum, the American Heritage 
Center, the UW Art Museimi, and the l^ntomology 

Early "Museums" and Cabinets in Wyoming 

1 he first establishments in Wyoming calling 
themselves "museums" were places more for the pur- 
pose of amusement than for scholarship. James 
McDaniel, who billed himself as "the Barnum of the 
West," opened Wyoming's first public museiun in 
Cheyenne during October 1867, one month before 
the Union Pacific Railroad tracks reached the town.' 
This "Museum of Living Wonders," on Eddy Street 
(now Pioneer) between sixteenth and seventeenth 
streets, also housed a saloon with two bars and a the- 
ater. Admission was free, as long as the patron was 
willing to purchase a cigar or a drink beforehand. 
The museum did maintain an entrance separate from 
the saloon's to encourage attendance hv ladies and 


Trofessor ' McDaniel had a flare for self- 

promotion and produced a series of extravagant news- 
paper advertisements, shrewdly positioned among the 
lines of news reporting in The Cheyenne Leaiier. to 
publicize his constantly changing attractions. He 
made a trip east to secure new museum stock in 1 869 
and returned with 

specimens of animals of all parts of the world. Ameri- 
can and Egyptian porcupines, the wonderful white 
parrots, anacondas and monke\'s and apes, of the small- 
est, largest, and funniest kinds. The Museum is now 
filled with every description of curiosities, even to a 
life-like statue of the Feegee Mermaid. No other town 
in the west can boast of an exhibition equal to the 
Mcl^aniel's Museum.^ 

The infamous "Feegee Mermaid " was one of the most 
extravagantly promoted attractions at Phineas T 
Barnum's American Museum in New York in 1843- 
Barnum's elaborate marketing campaign of this rather 
obvious manufactured curiosit)' filled the New York 
newspapers for weeks before the display opened and 

succeeded in netting him one thousancl dollars in- 
come in a single week." It is unknown if McDaniel 
purchased Barnum's creation or if his was a different 
specimen. If any of McDaniels live animal speci- 
mens expired, the\' were merely stuffed and promoted 


Cheyenne Museum 







.\ N I ) 

Cosmoramic Views 

Together witli a rare Collection of Niitive 

und Foreign Animiils, liirdu, 1i<»n<'i>ii- 

htriclnrs, Anar«n(las, etCiUtr., t-U'. 

Tlie kbucumous, or Cjrave Ooks 


(ire uiirucLioiis llml will well ropiiy " vUil. 

Open llii) iiii«l K\ciiliiu* 

."-irm-.Fr liOlWi.n Kirn \Ni> ITth, 

CHEYENNE, Wyotning Territory. 

Advertisement for McDaniels museum found in the Cheyenne 
Daily Leader. Courtesy American Heritage Center, University of 

Univenity ofWyoming Circular of General hiformation. 188~- 

1888. V and 2"^ Editions (Boomerang Publishing Company, 

1 887) ; and Second Annual Report of the Uiiivei'sity of Wvoiiiriig 

(1893), p. 8S. 

The Cheyenne Leaden November 9, 1867. 

The Cheyenne Leader, October 29, 1867: and Milt Riske, 

"James McDaniel, Barnum ot the West, " The Denver Post, 

December 9. 19^9, 

The Cheyenne Leader, January 18, 1869. 

A.S Dennett, Weird and Wonderf(l, the Dtine ALuseiini m 

America (New York Universir\' Press, 1997), pp. 27-28. 

26 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

McDaniel's museum owned a stereopticon with 
fifteen hundred stereoscopic views available for dis- 
play (of which 375 could be seen at any one time). 
Many scenes portrayed a military theme, and were 
actively promoted for the interest of soldiers from 
the nearby Fort D. A. Russell. The most popular 
attractions were a series of the live performers, such 
as "Miss Charlotte Temple, the great English Giant- 
ess," "a world renowned Circassian girl... a beauty of 
rarest description," and Professor A. C. Clark, a "well- 
known pedestrian" whose stunt of walking non-stop, 
without eating or drinking for more than fifty hours, 
was finally halted by a doctor's order. The museum 
also boasted a gallery with "choice pictures of art"; 
"masterpieces of the most noted American and Eu- 
ropean artists" which McDaniel proclaimed that "ev- 
er)'body should visit... for it is a rare chance, indeed, 
of seeing such superb paintings in this weird region 
of earth. "'"^ 

McDaniel's enterprise grew and evolved through 
the years, continually re-inventing its attractions and 
focus. His enthusiasm was undaunted when his vari- 
ous museum buildings twice burned to the ground 
and once suffered a roof collapse due to snow. He 
simply rebuilt in a newer and finer building. His es- 
tablishment continued to grow and thrive through 
its eleven- year life in Cheyenne. The new "McDaniel 
Building" at 1615 Pioneer Avenue eventually housed 
the Sixth Legislative Assembly in 1879, although by 
that time McDaniel had sold the structure and moved 

Another early museum in southeastern Wyoming 
was the "Museum of Rocky Mountain Curiosities" 
located on the north side of the Union Pacific Rail- 
road tracks in the town of Sherman. This museum 
building, actually a glorified curio shop, was located 
at the end of the row of hastily constructed wooden 
structures, including a saloon, store, restaurant, and 
boarding house. Sherman, the highest town on the 
U.P.R.R. transcontinental line, was a required stop- 
ping point for engines needing water and service. 
The businesses in this small town catered to railroad 
passengers looking for a way to pass the time during 
these maintenance procedures. Prairie dogs in 
wooden cages, as well as apples, trinkets, and rocks 
specimens were sold to tourists.'" 


Railroad passengers buying caged prairie dogs sold by the 
Hfiuseum in Sherman, Wyoming. Image from Frank Leslie's 
Illustrated Newspaper, reprinted in Out West on the Overland 
Train by Richard Reinhart. 

Laramie's irreverent humorist. Bill Nye, poked 
fun at the marvels on display in Sherman in several 
of his essays, but it is unknown how much of the 
detail in his yarns was actually based on reality. He 
joked about "two stuffed coyotes chained to the door, 

one on each side " "Sometimes a tourist asks if 

these are prairie dogs."" In "Home-Made Indian 
Relics " he described some merchandise displayed in 

^ Campton Bell, "The Early Theaters, Cheyenne, Wyoming," 
Annals of Wyoming 25 (January 1953): 3-21. 

" The Cheyenne Leader, October 29 and 31, 1867. 

' Marie H. Erwin, Wyoming Historical Blue Book, A Legal and 
Political History of Wyoming 1868-1943 (Denver, Colorado: 
Bradford-Robinson Printing Co., 1946), p. 235; and Bell, 
"Early Theaters," p. 16. 

'"Clarice Whittenburg handwritten notes, Clarice 
Whittenburg Papers (Ace. #364), American Heritage Cen- 

" Edgar Wilson (Bill) Nye, "The Gentle Youth from Leadville" 
in Bill Nye and Boomerang (Chicago, Illinois: Homewood 
Publishing Company, Chicago, 1883), pp. 201-202. 

Annals of Wyominc) The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 27 

Sherman, Wyoming, home to the "Museum of the Rocky Mountain Cunosities." one of Wyoming's first museums. 
Courtesy Amencan Hentage Center. University of Wyoming 

the museum: a "bale ol" Indian arrows" that were so 
"remarkably well preserved. They are as good as new." 
Also tor sale were "...some Western cactus as a curi- 
osity for the tenderfoot who had never fooled with a 
cactus much."'' This museum and the entire block 
of buildings, excluding the depot, burned to the 
ground "with all the ardor with which it was con- 
structed" during a fire in September 1891.''' 

A similar exhibit ol "Rocky Mountain Curiosi- 
ties" was displayed near the Green River train sta- 
tion, in southwestern Wyoming. A pair of caged 
moimtain lions thrilled the travelers outside, while 

we find the neatest and prettiest ot rooms, in which 
fossils and petrifactions jostle mixed drinks and brandy 
straight. Fhere are whole logs of petrified wood, bro- 
ken down the middle to show sparkling quartz cr\'s- 
tals bedded in their hollows; slabs two feet long, with 
delicate dark tracer)' of fishes, ferns, or water plants; 
moss agates of every shade; milkv-whitc, dark gray, 
and purple amethysts; and California diamonds - clear, 
sparkling crystals, colorless as water.''' 

The "California Diamonds" were actually large quartz 
crystals. The more tantalizing title was for the ben- 
efit of gullible, but hopehiUv affluent, tourists. 

Nearby cliffs exposing the fifty million-\'ear old Green 
River Formation were the source of the fossil fish 
and plants. Specimens of these types of fossils are 
still sold in rock shops today. 

There were undoubtedly scores of Wyoming's 
earliest settlers who maintained small personal col- 
lections of the interesting rocks and fossils accumu- 
lated from theif new surroundings but, unless they 
were later donated to a public institution, little record 
of them is left. Bill Nye was inspired to write about 
his own "Cabinet" of "wild western things" in his 
1888 collection, Baled Hay. 

Beginning with the skull of old Hi-lo-fack-and game, 
a Sioux brave, the collection takes in my wonderful 
bird, known as the Walk-up-the-creek, and another 
rara avis, with carnixorous bill and web feet, which 
has astonished eyer\'one except the taxidermist and 

'- Bifl Nye, "Home-ni.idt; Indian Relics" in Bill Nye iitid Boo- 
merang, pp. 235-39. 

'' The Cheyenne Leader, September 17, 1891. 

' ^ Ricfiard Reinhart, Out West on the Overland Train: Across-the- 
Continent Excursion with Leslie's Magazine in 1877 (Palo Alto, 
California: American West Publishing Co., 1967), p. 83. 

'" Bill Nye, "My Cabinet," " Baled LLayiChiago, Illinois: Belford, 
Clarke & Co., 1888), pp. 72-74. 

28 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

The Earliest "Scientific" Promotional Exhibits 

The Wyoming Territorial Legislature authorized 
an act in 1871 creating the first territorial library 
and charged its librarian with the creation of" a min- 
erals display case, in addition to his more typical li- 
brary administrative duties. The legislative assembly 
also proposed a circular soliciting mineralogical items 
for display to be distributed to all citizens oi the ter- 
ritor}^ Unfortunately, the legislature initially failed 
to provide necessary appropriations to fulfill all of 
their own requirements. John Slaughter, appointed 
by Governor John A. Campbell, served as territorial 
librarian from 1872 until 1890. The library, includ- 
ing cases for the mineral cabinet, was eventually 
housed on the third floor of the Cheyenne Opera 
House, after that building was completed in 1882, 
and then moved to the top floor of the new com- 
pleted Capitol Building in 1888.'" 

Wyoming's fledgling mining industry also dis- 
played mineral collections for public inspection. A 
notice in the February 5, 1875, CI wyeniie Leader ^ro- 
moted a "neat little cabinet containing fine speci- 
mens from the Metcalf Mines" displayed at 
Houseman's hardware store in downtown Chey- 
enne.' The Metcalf like many of Wyoming's early 
mining prospects, tried in vain to produce market- 
able quantities of copper, gold, silver, or galena and 
was continually looking for new investors to con- 
tinue its work. 

The late 1 870s saw the convergence of the two 
most important forces stimulating the development 
of museums in Wyoming as promotional tools. The 
first was the appointment of John Wesley Hoyt as 
the territorial governor in 1878. In Hoyt, Wyoming 
gained a leader of remarkable physical and mental 
energy, wide-ranging vision, and uncanny foresight.'^ 
He was a "highly educated world traveler with the 
soul of a poet and the mind of a reformer and con- 
servationist."'' With his background knowledge of 
chemistry, medicine, and natural history and his keen 
interest in scholarship and all forms of higher educa- 
tion, Hoyt encouraged the instigation of several cabi- 
nets and museums devoted to the enrichment of the 
cultural and scientific atmosphere in the state. Sec- 
ondly, at this time Wyoming was actively trying to 
encourage exploration and production in its mining 

industry and to promote this mineral wealth to the 
rest of the world. Hoyt was instrumental in accom- 
plishing this mission and was a great proponent of 
the use of exposition exhibits or traveling museum 
displays to aid in this endeavor.'" In 1882, he and 
Professor Bailey collected and arranged materials for 
a Wyoming exhibit at the National Mining and In- 
dustrial Exposition, held in Denver. The Deliver 
Daily Tribune commended their exhibit: 

Not one presents a more diversified or interesting 
collection of products that will attract the atten- 
tion of the manufacturer than Wyoming. Besides 
the mineral exhibits there are two cases filled with 
its rare fossil turtles and other choice petrifac- 
tions, for which the Territory is famous, while 
photographs and specimens call to mind the en- 
chanted land' of the Yellowstone Park.-' 

In 1881, Hoyt appointed Frederick J. Stanton as 
the state's first territorial geologist. One of the main 
duties of this new office was to promote Wyoming's 
mineral riches. Stanton accomplished this by devel- 
oping several mineral resource exhibits, which trav- 
eled to Milwaukee, Chicago, Omaha, and the Illi- 
nois and Nebraska state fairs. The display at the 
Nebraska fair even won a prize for best mineral ex- 
hibit." It is unknown if these traveling collections 
were ever returned to the state for display. 

It was not until 1 884 that the Wyoming Legisla- 
ture provided funds to the third territorial geologist, 
Samuel Aughey, specifically for the creation of a per- 
manent display of minerals and geologic specimens. 
Aughey was well aware of the fact that several large 

"" Jim Donahue, Wyo»iiiig Blue Book: Guide to the State Govern- 
tneiit d)id Municipal Archives ofWyomiiig, Vol. V, Part II (Chey- 
enne: Wyoming State Archives, 1991), p. 496; and personal 
communication with Dominique Schultes Wyoming State 
Museum, April 2003. 

" The Cheyenne Daily Leader, February 3, 1875. 

' " Henry J. Peterson, "John Wesley Hoyt, Territorial Governor of 
Wyoming" Annals of Wyoming 22 (January 1950): 21. 

" T.A. Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln; University of Ne- 
braska Press, 1978), p. 134. 

-" Peterson, "John Wesley Hoyt," pp. 50, 51, and 60. 

-' The Denver Daily Tribune, August 27, 1882. 

'- William Bryans, A History of the Geological Survey ofWyoming, 
Bulletin 65 (Cheyenne: The Geological Survey ofWyoming, 
1986), p. 8. 

Annals :j! VVvorninq The VVvomina His!orv Jou'rai - Sjmner 

East Coast institutions had been accumulating 
Wyoming's vertebrate fossils since 1868, while the 
state had no collection of "these educational treasures" 
of its own. He was determineci to rectify this by 
financing, at his own expense, an expedition to dig 
dinosaur fossils at Como Bluff during the summer of 
1885. He hired Wilbur C. Knight, who had been 
his student at the University of Nebraska during the 
previous year, as his assistant. rhe\' proceeded to Al- 
bany Coimty to collect specimens for the state."' 
During this expedition and in the course of his eco- 
nomic geology field work throughout the year, they 
collected "several thousand specimens in mineralogy 
anci paleontology."'' Complaining that his office was 
too small for the public to utilize these collections 
properly, Aughev advocated the rental of an addi- 
tional large room to serve as a museum. However, 
only a small display cabinet in the territorial geologist's 
office was ever built. Ihe fomth and final territorial 
geologist, SaniLiel D. Ricketts, was also charged with 
obtaining display quality specimens. The Third W\'o- 
ming Legislature finally did pass a mandate to create 
space and funding for these displa\'s in 1 89S, when it 
formed the W\'oming Historical Society, the fore- 
rimner of the Wyoming State Museiun.''' 

The Wyoming Academy of Sciences, Arts and 

On November 15, 1881 , a new organization was 
formed whose aim was 

the encouragement of historical and scientific research, 
the promotion of the practical industries of W\oming, 
the collection and preservation of authentic records of 
territorial history the formation of historical, scien- 
tific and industrial museums, and the enlargement of 
the territorial library.''' 

The first meeting of this new Wyoming Academy of 
Sciences, Arts and Letters, was held in Cheyenne's 
Baptist Church on January 17, 1882, under the di- 
rection of Hoyt, who ended his term as governor 
that spring. He had previously founded an Academy 
of Sciences, Arts and Letters in Wisconsin so it was 
natural that he was elected as first president of 
Wyoming's academy. Hoyt served in that capacity 

until 1 890. The academy secretary described the 
group as having the "heart}' cooperation of all friends 
of science in Wyoming."" Among its 108 members 
were names which appear repeatedly throughout this 
stor}' of Wyoming's fledgling museum history: John 
W Hoyr and Mrs. Hoyt, A. Judson Cjray, Frederick 
Stanton, John Slaughter, Frank Bond, Francis F'. 
Warren, Melville C. Brown, Stephen W. Downey, ]. 
H. Finfrock, W. H. Holliday, F^lward Ivinson, 
Ethelbert Talbot, and J. D. Conley."'" 

The club's main function was the presentation of 
papers by the membership at regular meetings, but 
the development of a libran' and a museum for mem- 
bers' use were also goals set forth in the academ\' by- 

No books shall be taken from the f ihrar\' or speci- 
mens from the Kkiseum except bv aLithorit\' of the 
trustees but it shall be the dut\' of the Board to pro- 
vide ior the district to the higher institutes oi learning 
in the territor\' of such duplicates of r\'pical specimens 
m natural history as the Academy ma\' be able to sup- 
ph" without detriment to its own collections."' 

Frederick Stanton was elected as the museum's first 
curator and John Slaughter its first librarian. Dur- 
ing the very first meeting of the club, the president 
reported that ntimerous contributions to the library 
and museum had already been received.'" A public 
request for further donations to the museum was pub- 
lished in T/.'f CheyoDie Sun on April 26, 1884. By 

'' Ihid., pp. 14 -IS. 

'"' Samuel Aughcw A)inii,il Report of tltc Icrritonal Geologut to tlw 

Governor of Wyniiiiiig (L.iramie: Boomerang Printing House, 

1886), p. 2. 
-^ Personal communication with Dominique Scliultes. Vlyoming 

State Museum. April 2003. 
''' Peterson, "John Wesley Hoyt," pp. SS-S^). 
' A.J. Gr.iy, "Letter to Edward Ivinson, Dec. 24, 1883. Recortl 

Book, Wyoming Acddemy of Scieticfi, Arts and Letter (Che\'enne.' 

Wyoming State Archives), p. 6. 
-'* Certifiedte Bool;. Wyoming Actidemy of Seienees, Arts iiiid Letters 

(Chevenne: Wvoming State Archives, 1881-1886). 
■"' Trnihiietiom of the Wyoming Aeiidemy of Seienees, Arts and Letters. 

vol.1, 1882, p. 1 1. 
'" Ihid.. p. IS. Note that this reference to "higher institutes ot 

learning" came five years belore the Uni\ersity ol Wyoming was 


30 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

1890, many of the academy officers were living in 
Laramie and were associated with the University of 
Wyoming. Academy letterhead that year listed J. D. 
Conley as the curator of the academy's museum. At 
this time he was also serving as curator of the 
universit}''s museum. No record could be found of 
the ultimate disposition oi the academy museum's 
collections, although correspondence by Hoyt indi- 
cated his desire to combine the two. '' 

The Formation of the University of Wyoming 

It should be noted that many of the men involved 
in the founding oi the University ot Wyoming in 
1886 were already members of the Wyoming Acad- 
emy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Governor Francis 
E. Warren appointed J. H. Finfrock, M. C. Brown, 
W. H. Holliday, J. H. Hayford, Edward Ivinson, Hoyt 
(later replaced by J. Y. Cowhick) and Aughey (later 
replaced by L. D. Ricketts) as members of the 
university's first board of trustees. "*■ These men were 
responsible for choosing the facult)', appointing the 
facilities, and formulating the curriculum. In May 
1887, the university presidency was offered to Hoyt. 
Conley was the first faculty member hired, although 

No record can be found ol the election of either Pro- 
fessor Nelson or of Professor Conley. They have evi- 
dently reigned by right of antediluvial conquest or 
have claimed 'squatters' rights. '"" 

find in this frontier and western country."" Conley 
was an instructor of 

geology, physics, chemistry, mechanical drawing, book- 
keeping, commercial law, correspondence, penmanship, 
aesthetics, farm accounts, methods of instruction in 
physical science, art of technical drawing, as well as 
serving as vice president (of the University), meteo- 
rologist and curator of the museum."' 

This list, prepared in 1936 by oneof Conley's succes- 
sors, Samuel H. Knight, omitted a few jobs: teaching 
commercial arithmetic, astronomy, an extension class 
in geology, "natural philosophy," and the "Art of 
Teaching Drawing, " as well as serving as dean of the 
faculty, faculty secretary, and agricultural chemist of 
the experimental station." Conley also served as act- 
ing university president for the first three months of 
1891, after the board of trustees fired Hoyt, and be- 
fore the new president, Albinus A. Johnson, assumed 
office. Conley also served as president of the Laramie 
Board of Trade. ^** 

The university's very first Circular of General In- 
formation promised that "there will soon be formed a 
valuable geological and mineralogical museum" on 
campus. '*'' The original Bylaws for the Government of 
the Board of Trustees, the Faculty and Students of the 
University ofWyoming required that a museum com- 
mittee be appointed from the trustee members, that 
a curator of the museum be selected from the faculty, 

John Dykeman Conley was born in Brockport, 
New York, and educated in state normal schools be- 
fore entering Hamilton College, New York, in 1865. 
After obtaining his A.B. degree and taking an addi- 
tional year's training in chemistry, he was hired as a 
professor of chemistry and the "kindred sciences" at 
Blackburn University, Carlinville, Illinois. During 
his eighteen years at Blackburn, Conley was instru- 
mental in the design and appointments of a new sci- 
ence building on that campus, an effort which in- 
cluded the arrangement of a large, donated cabinet 
of minerals and fossils.'^ 

Conley moved his family to Laramie during the 
summer of 1 887 and was pleasantly surprised to find 
Laramie "far in advance of anything he expected to 

-" Letters, Wyoming Acaetemy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, February 
22, 1890. letterhead listed John W. Hoyt, President, Prof. J. D. 
Conley, Curator of Museum, Ethelbert Talbot, Hon. V. Pres. and 
L. D. Ricketts, Dept. Officer. 

^- Wilson O. Clough, A Histoiy of the University ofWyoming, 1887- 
75*37 (Laramie Printing Company, 1937), p. 19. 

^•' Chronicles of the Alumni of the University of Wyoming, 1911. 

''' Souvenir: First Annual Commencemetit of the University ofWyo- 
ming, 1891, p. 9. 

^' Clough, A History of the University ofWyoming, p. 23. 

^' Samuel H. Knight, "History of the Department of Geology 
and the Geological and Paleontological Museum of the Univer- 
sity ofWyoming" manuscript in the Wilson O. Clough Collec- 
tion, Ace. #4000026, American Heritage Center, 1936, pp. 1- 

'^ Chronicles of the Alumni of the University ofWyoming, 191 1, p. 

" Clough, A History of the University ofWyoming, p. 46. 

'' Wyoming Circular of General Information, 1887-1888, \" Edi- 
tion, 1887, p. 7. 

Annals of Wyoniinq The Wyoming History Journai-- Summer 2004 31 

and that this curator "shall have charge of the cabi- 
net, museum and all collections."'" Conley served as 
musetmi curator tor the university horn 1887 until 

Early University IVIuseum Collections 

When the interior finish work on the third lloor 
of Universit}' Hall was completed in 1890, space was 
fmally available to arrange a museum display.^' A 
reporter Irom the LaniDiie Boo!?!f>niig visited the cam- 
pus in July 1891 to describe the shared space for the 
new museum and library; 

The work of tlu' fittint; up the room in the north end 
ol the third lloor is m progress. The room will be 
simpK' beautilul in its arrangements. In the center ol 
the south side a Flight ol iron steps with brass railings 
leads to the upper cases ol books. Along in tront of 

these is a beautilul balcony ol antique oak There 

will be eight large glass cases arranged abiuit the room 
and these Prof. Conle\' will fill with his large private 
collection ol lossils, minerals and Indian and Mound 
Builder's relics. '- 

Stnprisinglv, the nototiouslv penurious trustees al- 
lotted $1 ,71 8.88 tor improvements to the libran' and 
museum that year.^' 

The university had been receiving material do- 
nations since it opened. An early museum record 
book lists more than two hundred specimens con- 
tributed by Dr. |. H. Finlrock (president ol the first 
board ol trustees and first donor) between 1887 and 

several collections from the Smithsonian Institution, 
including sevent)'-seven specimens ol ores and min- 
erals, 140 species offish, and mt)re than one hun- 
dred plaster casts ol Indian relics: 

They consist ol fine Adzes, Discoidal Stones, Digging 
Implements, Stone Swords, Gouges, Picks, Stone 
Hatchets, Pipes, Spear-heads, Sinkers and ceremonial 
objects, all carefully colored to represent the originals 
from which thev were taken. ^'' 

Citizen donations included a strange assortment 
ol curiosities ol dubious scientific value, including 
an iron chest that had been used under a stasie coach 
seat to carry the express mail, a pair of dwarl deer 
antlers, five trap-door spider nests, one Indian skull, 
a "perlectly spherical Hairball, taken Irom the stom- 
ach ol a yearling," rwo bottles ol trout eggs, one pait 
ol flying fish "wings," and three stulled ducks. ^" Se- 
lected citizen donations were grouped into one cabi- 
net while Conley filled the other seven cases with his 
own personal collection, accumulated in more than 
twenty years ol collecting. 

Conley's contributions were ol a more practical 
nature, mostly minerals and lossils, which he used 
when teaching Historical Geology and Paleontolog}'. 
Even some ol his "cultural" artilacts were used to teach 
geological processes: 

Prof CAinley has a horseshoe which is a great curios- 
ir\'. When in Yellowstone Park he placed it in one ol 
the hot springs and lelt it lor three days. The lime 

samples ol copper and silver ore, specimens ol galena, 
turquoise and calcareous tula, a cluster ol quartz crys- 
tals, vertebrae of a fossil reptile, the tooth of a whale, 
boxes ol sea shells, a sea urchin, one centipede, a Hint 
Indian sctaper and arrows, a piece ol worm-bored wood 
and a relic from the Chicago fire.'" 

Other ptominent contributors were Hon. Stephen 
W. Downey, Judge Melville C. Brown, Hon. Homer 
Merrell, Dr. Grace R. Hebard, Mr. William H. Reed 
(the "specimen man"). Professors W. I. Smith and 
Dice McLaren and Constantine P. Arnold. Senator 
Joseph M. Carey was also instrumental in securing 

""' Second A)i>iiiiil RL'pori oj the Uinveriityof\\'yo»u}ig, 1893. 

'' Deborah Hardy, Wyoming University: The Firsr 100 ]'eiiii, 1886- 
1986 (Laramie: The University of Wyoming, 1986), p. 23. 

■*' The Laramie Boomerang, July 18, 1891. 

'' First Annua/ Report (\e: L'niversirv ot Wvoming, 1892), 
p. 12. ^ 

■•^ Brent H. Breithaupt, "Dinosaurs to Gold Ores: The 100 Year 
History of the University of Wyoming Geological Museum. 
Wyoming Geological Association Guidebook, 50''' Field Confer- 
ence (Casper: Wyoming Geological Association, 1993), pp. 

^^ Ibid.; Second Annual Report of the University ofWyoming{l895), 
p. 9; and The University ofWyoming Catalogue for the Year 1891- 
1892 (Laramie: The Republican Book and Job Print, 1892), 
pp. 85-86. 

^'' The University ofWyoming Catalogue for the Year 1891-1892, 
p. 85. 

32 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal - Summer 2004 

deposit was so great that it covered the shoe entirely 
and it is now as white as though it had been painted."^ 

Although he displayed "almost everything in geologi- 
cal curiosities," it was those specimen r}'pes not lound 
in Wvoming ot^ which he was most proud. 

While Wvoming is one of the richest regions in the 
world for mesozoic fossils, a region from which Pro- 
fessors Marsh, Cope and others have taken Iragmen- 
tarv remains of many gigantic saiirians and other fos- 
sils, vet, in order to make the geological stor\' com- 
prehensive, including the ancient as well as the medi- 
eval and recent history, more than Wyoming fossils 
are necessary.''^ 

In addition to his geological and archeologlcal speci- 
mens, he also loaned an old flint lock rifle used in 
the Revolutionary War, a pair of silver spectacles, a 
watch chain from the War of 1 8 1 2, and a powderhorn 
carried b\' Conley's great grandfather in the Battle of 

Each of the estimated rwenry thousand specimens 
was neatly labeled and arranged on small wooden 
blocks. An article in the Laramie Boomerang an- 
nounced the opening of the museum with an invita- 
tion for the public to "visit anytime." In tact it en- 
couraged the public to visit many times. 

Wilbur C. Knight was hired as a professor of geology, 
mining engineering, assaying, and metallurgy in 1 893 
and during the next year replaced Conley as curator 
of the museum. William H. Reed was hired in 1896 
as an assistant geologist and he, in ttnn, replaced 
Knight as curator. Under the direction of these two 
men the university museum's geological and paleon- 
tological collections increased dramatically. By the end 
of that decade the museum claimed to have the sec- 
ond largest collection of American Jurassic period 
vertebrate fossils in the world. ^^ Contrary to Downey's 
prediction, the supply of Wyoming's fossil treasures 
are still not exhausted and new materials are continu- 
ally being collected and displayed. 

From these first tentative steps during the nine- 
teenth centuiy, to entertain, promote the territory's 
minerals, and educate, Wyoming's museum collec- 
tions have grown to fill scores of facilities through- 
out the state. At the universit)' Conley's original cabi- 
net of curiosities has expanded into today's broad rang- 
ing campus institutions that draw thotisands of \'isi- 
tors from all over the world. j|h| 

One case should be thoroughly inspected at a time. 
Even in this way a dozen visits would re\'eal some- 
thing new each time as the specimens are so numer- 
ous. The room is fitted up beautifully and altogether 
it is a delightful place. ^" 

The Future of the University Museum 

C^ampus museum development remained an im- 
portant topic of business throughout thel890s. In 
the 56i//z'£';//'r volume produced in June 1891, for the 
first graduating class, Stephen W. Downey is cred- 
ited with advocating the creation of a "fossil palace" 
on the campus: 

Give us a fossil palace by all means. Consider the fact 
that the material which we now can procure in great 
abundance is being fast exhausted. Show the world 
that the people of Wyoming are pioneers in art as well 
as in other walks of life.^' 

The Ltiramie Boomerangs September 17, 1891. 

The Laramie Boomerang, September 17, 1891. 

The Laramie Boomerang, September 17, 1891. 

The Laramie Boomerang, September 17, 1891. 

Souvenir: First Annual Commencement of the Universit)' of^'yo- 

»H»?(1891), p. 9. 

Breithaupt, "Dinosaurs to Gold Ores," p. 21. 


~~i.^ WVOMINl 


in the 


Recent Acquistions 
Hebard Library, UW Libraries 

Tamsen L. Hert, University of Wyoming libraries 

The Grace Raymond Hebard W)'oming Col- 
lection is a branch oi the Llniversity ot Wyo- 
mine, Libraries housed in the Owen Wister 
Western Writers Reading Room in the American 
Heritage Center. Primarily a research collection, the 
core oi" this collection is Miss Hebard's personal li- 
braiy which was donated to the tmiversity libraries. 
Further donations have been significant in the devel- 
opment oi" this collection. While it is easv to identify' 
materials about Wvoming published by nationally 
known ptiblishers, it can be difficult to locate perti- 
nent publications printed in Wyoming, f he Hebard 
Collection is considered to be the most comprehen- 
sive collection on Wyoming in the state. 

If you have any questions about these materials 
or the Hebard C]ollection, you can contact me bv 
phone at 307-766-6243; by email, thert^'uwv', 
or you can access the Hebard HomePage at: http:// 

New Publications 

Call, Lee R. Reflections of the 20''' Century hi 
Star Valley Wyoming, 1900-2000. Afton, WY: 
Printstar, 2000. 

Hebard & Coe F 767 .S73 C355 2000 
An examination of the history of Star Valley com- 
piled from articles originally published for the local 

Cassidy, James G. Ferdinand V. Hayden: Entre- 
preneur of Science. Lincoln and London: Univer- 
sity of Nebraska Press, 2000. 
Hebard & Geology QE 22 .H3 C37 2000 

A histoiy of the development of the Hayden Surveys 
and their relationship to the practice of science. 

Church, Clare. Arthur Ternan (1884-1907): 'the 
Cowboy in Wyoming. " Lymington, Hampshire, 
England : C. Church, 2002. 
Hebard F 767 .A3 T4763 2002 

Pieced together from letters between Arthur and his 
parents, this is a biograph}' of an earl\' resident of 
Alban\- Countv, Wyoming. 

Fifer, Barbara. Wyotning's Historic Forts. Helena, 
MT: Farcountry Press, 2002. 
Hebard & Coe F 761 .F544 2002 

A pictorial histor\' of W\'oming's ftirts. 

Francis, Julie E. and Lawrence L. Loendorf. 

Ancient Visions: Petroglyphs and Pictographs of 

the Wind River and Bighorn Country, Wyoming 

and Montana. Salt Lake City, LIT: University of 

Utah Press, 2002. 

Hebard & Coe E 78 .W95 F735 2002 

Provides a sampling of the wonderful rock art figures 

found in Wvoming's north central region. 

Hagan, Barry J. "Exactly in the Right Place": A 
History of Fort C.F. Smith, Montana Ferritory, 
1866-1868. El Segundo, CA: Upton & Sons, Pub- 
lishers, 1999. 

Hebard & Coe F 739 .F48 H343 1999 
The third of the military posts along the Bozeman 
Trail, Fort C.F. Smith is primarily remembered for 
the Hayfield Fight, August 1, 1867. The author has 
thoroughly researched the militarv records to pro- 
vide this accoimt. 

Henry-Mead, Jean. Westerners: Candid and His- 
toric Interviews. Evansville, WY: Medallion 
Books, 2003. 
Hebard & Coe F 760 .H467 2003 

1 his work contains a sampling of the hundreds of 

34 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

interviews conducted by the author. Many Wyoming- 
ites are included — Chris LeDoux, Conrad Schwiering, 
Dick Cheney, Thyra Thomson and more! 

Huston, Hayden H. Daniel, Wyoming: The First 
Hundred Years 1900-2000: A History of Daniel 
atjd Surrounding Areas. 2 vols. Salt Lake City, 
UT: Agreka Books, 2000. 
Hebard & Coe F 769 .D36 D36 2000 v. 1-2 
"This book is a remembrance of the pioneer settlers 
of the upper Green River valley." Includes many 
photographs and maps. 

Janetski, Joel C. Indians in Yellotvstone National 
Park. Revised ed. Salt Lake City: University of 
Utah Press, 2002. 
Hebard & Coe E 78 .W95 J36 2002 

A popular history of the inhabitants of Yellowstone. 

Jewell, Loretta and Susan Chaires. Then to Now: 
A Collection of Favorite Recipes Spiced With Tid- 
bits of History From Carpenter School and Com- 
munity of Carpenter, Wyoming. Carpenter, WY: 
Carpenter School & Community, 1996. 
Hebard TX 715 .T495 1996 

Includes numerous photographs which accompany 
the historical tidbits. 

1900-1930. Missoula, MT: Pictorial Histories 

Publishing Company, Inc., 2000. 

Hebard & Coe HE 356 .Y4 M445 2000 

A history of one of the overlooked early highways in 

the United States. 

Peterson, David William. Yellotvstone: Like No 

Other Place On Earth. Helena, MT: Farcountry 

Press, 2002. 

Hebard & Coe F 722.55 .P484 2002 

Primarily color photographs with excerpts from the 

1870 Washburn-Doane Expedition. 

Petzoldt, Paul K. Teton Tales and Other Petzoldt 

Anecdotes. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 


Hebard & Coe GV 199.92 .P48 P489 1995 

A collection of reminiscences from this Wyoming 
climbing pioneer. 

Pitcher, Goldie Norah. McFadden: The Totvn 
They Called "Camp. " Rawlins, WY: s.n., 200? 
Hebard & Coe F 769 .M38 P583 2000z 

A history of the short-lived town of McFadden, Wyo- 
ming. Located between Rock River and Arlington, 
McFadden was once home to approximately four 
hundred residents. 

Lindmier, Tom. Drybone: A History of Fort 
Fetterman, Wyoming. Glendo: High Plains 
Press, 2002. 
Hebard & Coe F 769 .F58 L46 2002 

A detailed study ol this fort on the Bozeman Trail. 
Includes short biographies of some of the residents 
and officers of the fort. 

Little, Billie. Sheridan County History: 
Going. . . Going. . . Gone? Sheridan, WY: Sheridan 
County Historic Preservation Commission, 1999. 
Hebard & Coe F 767 .S55 L588 1999 

Results of a photo history contest in Sheridan County 
and the efforts of the commission to "raise commu- 
nity awareness about the disappearing remains." 

Meeks, Harold A. On the Road to Yellowstone: 
The Yellowstone Trail and American Highways, 

Rutter, Michael. Wild Bunch Women. Guilford, 

CT: TwoDot, 2003. 

Hebard & Coe F 590.5 .R87 2003 

From the back cover, "Explore the lives of the pistol- 
packing, hell-raising, high-spirited gals who traveled 
with Butch Cassidy's notorious Wild Bunch gang." 
Biographical information on nine of the women as- 
sociated with the Wild Bunch. 

Scharff, Virginia. Twenty Thousand Roads: 
Women, Movement, and the West. Berkeley: Uni- 
versity of California Press, 2003. 
Hebard F 596 .S26 2003 

An examination of women's stories and their partici- 
pation in the "West." Includes chapters on Sacajawea 
and Grace Raymond Hebard. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal --Summer 2004 35 


Edited by 
Carl Hallberg 

Significant Recent Books 
on Western and 
Wyoming History 

Public Lands and Political Meaning: Ranchers, The 
Government, and the Property Between Them. By 

Karen R. Merrill. Richmond: University of California Press, 
2002. Illustrations, notes, bibliographic essay, index. 293 
pages. Hardcover, $50.00. 

Private ranchers and federal officials have locked 
horns over livestock grazing issues ever since the 
post-Civil War settlement ol the American West. In 
Public Liuuls ivid Political MciDiiiig, Karen iMerrill 
traces this complex relationship from the 1870s to 
1950, a period that saw many changes in perspective. 
The evolution of grazing policy during this era set 
the stage for later conflicts with environmental groups 
that continue today. 

According to Merrills introduction, the vast pub- 
lic lands owe their existence to two factors: ( 1 ) the 
original thirteen states ceded claims to western lands 
in 1787 when the new federal government began, 
and (2) treaties and wars in the nineteenth centur\' 
(p. 7). Six subsequent chapters and an epilogue flesh 
out how different ideas about property have affected 
grazing policies. 

Chapter one discusses nineteenth centurv policy 
making when most lands were open for homestead- 
ing. The development of the Forest Service in the 
Department of Agriculture influenced earlv grazing 
policies, and ranchers organized into groups like the 
National Live Stock Association to better represent 
industry interests. 

Chapter two investigates the role of the home- 
steader in the development of public land policy. As 
homesteading became less of a factor after World War 
I, federal lands were regarded more as property that 
should remain in public ownership. 

Chapter three delves into the early consideration 
of states' rights, where public lands might be given to 
the western states. As these efforts weakened, the 
Forest Service undertook studies to counter the ad- 

verse effects of overgrazing that had occurred in the 
past, and developed regulations. In addition, policy 
shifts in the Department of Interior from homestead- 
ing to grazing management signaled interagency com- 
petition with the Department of Agriculture for con- 
gressional funding. 

By 1929, President f^omcr appointed a commit- 
tee to look into handing the public domain over to 
the states. Chapter four in\'estigates the states' rights 
issue in detail, but the idea ne\er full\- achieved ac- 
ceptance. Chapter five is a summar\' of the Tavlor 
Grazing Act of 1 934, which set forth grazing policies 
that affect the vast majority of rangelands in the west- 
ern United States, both public and private. 

Chapter six covers the period from 1933 to 1950, 
during which the Bureau of Land Management was 
established in the Department of Interior. Public lands 
have become property slated for sustainable manage- 
ment rather than earmarked for disposal through 
homesteading. H\'en so, the debate continues whether 
ranchers hold grazing rights or pri\'ileges on public 

Merrill's epilogue touches on the sagebrush re- 
bellion of the 1980s, environmental groups influ- 
encing grazing policies, and the development of en- 
vironmental impact statements. These issues are be- 
yond the scope of her book, but each was affected in 
part by the historic events she has chronicled. 

As long as the West is comprised of private land 
owned b\' ranchers, and public lanci leased h\ them, 
there will be a need for dialog. The more that ranch- 
ers and land managers communicate, the better will 
be their decisions. Merrill's book has shown this to 
be the case. 

Public Ldudi iVid Political Meaning is an afford- 
able book about a relevant topic. One of its greatest 
contributions is the illustration of conflicts between 
the Department of Agriculture and the Department 

36 Annals ofVVyoming: The Wyoming History Journal --Summer 2004 

of Interior over public land issues and federal appro- 
priations. Before you read another polemic about re- 
moving livestock from the range, read Merrills work 
for a clearer picture of the history behind the scenes. 

— Mark E. Miller, Wyoming State Ar- 

The Wagon Box Fight: An Episode of Red Cloud's 
War. By Jerry Keenan. Conchohocken, Pennsylvania: 
Saves Publishing Company, 2000. 158 pp. Illustrations, 
maps, notes, bibliography, index. Paper, $14.95. 

7 "he Wagon Box Fight is an updated, improved vol- 
ume about a classic account about a classic en- 
gagement. On August 2, 1867, soldiers and civilian 
contractors engaged a numerically superior Lakota 
force bent on destroying them. The attack occurred 
on a wagon box corral serving as a woodcutters' out- 
post ol^ Fort Phil Kearny. The army prevailed because, 
according to Jerry Keenan, "[t]he new Springfield 
breechloader was the predominant weapon on this 
day ..." (p. 33). The breechloaders had given the 
soldiers the ability to deliver a "steady volume of fire" 
without the "usual pause in firing" associated with 
muzzleloaders (p. 39). If the defenders "had been 
armed with muzzleloaders instead of breech-loaders," 
opined the officer who led a relief column of the 
battle, "[the] party would have been massacred be- 
fore my arrival" (p. 46). 

Fort Kearny was a thorn in Red Cloud's side. 
Actually, the fort near present-day Sheridan, Wyo- 
ming, was one of three thorns in his side. The others 
were Fort Reno, to the south, and Fort C.F. Smith, 
farther north. The forts were on the Bozeman Trail 
to protect travelers heading to Montana and its mines. 
In 1866, Red Cloud had refused to treat with the 
commissioners at Fort Laramie who sought unmo- 
lested passage for travelers. Instead of pledges of peace. 
Red Cloud promised to harass intruders in his Pow- 
der River country. Undeterred, the army erected the 
forts, and true to his word. Red Cloud made the sol- 
diers' lives miserable. 

To Colonel Henry Carrington fell the responsi- 
bility of building the forts and neutralizing the In- 
dian threat. He chose a beautiful location for Fort 
Kearny along Piney Creek just a stone's throw from 

today's Story, Wyoming, a picturesque community 
where cabins nestle among the pine growths that were 
crucial to the building of the fort. The threat of In- 
dian attack compelled Carrington to build a pali- 
saded post. Lumber for construction stood four miles 
away. Civilian woodcutters spent their days falling 
timber and moving it to the fort, soldiers dutifully 
guarded them, and the Indians kept Red Cloud's 

In December 1866, a brash Captain William 
Fetterman led eighty men to their deaths by pursu- 
ing a small band of Indians who had been harassing 
the woodcutters. The band was a decoy that led 
Fetterman into a trap. Vastly outnumbered, his com- 
mand perished to the last man. In early July of the 
following year, Fort Kearny received a shipment of 
Springfield breechloaders. In August, when Red 
Cloud's fighters hoped to replicate their victory of 
December, the soldiers armed with breechloaders in- 
stead "exacted a measure of retribution for the 
Fetterman disaster" (p. 17). 

In The Wagon Box FightKeenan updates the story 
about this fight that he first told thirty years ago. He 
has added much to the account, providing more back- 
ground on the historical and geographical setting of 
the battle. More importantly, this volume benefits 
from a 1993-1994 archaeological study of the site 
"to identify where the Wagon Box corral might have 
been located" (p. 97). Veterans of the battle had iden- 
tified two sites for the corral. Each site had its sup- 
porters in a controversy that lasted nearly ninety years. 
The archaeolosrical study determined that a laro-e rock 
monument erected in 1936 approximates the loca- 
tion of the corral. This conclusion must have given 
Keenan great satisfaction, because in his earlier edi- 
tions he had come to the same conclusion. The ar- 
chaeological report, including illustrations, is included 
as an appendix, as are contemporar}' official reports 
and personal accounts about the battle. 

The Wagon Box Fight is an informative, easily 
read account about a tiny slice of Western history. 
Students of the West, military history, archaeology, 
and Indian-US relations will find this a valuable vol- 

Annals of Wvominq The Wyoming History Journal- Summer 2004 37 

— Larry C. Skogen 
New Mexico Military Institute 

Petticoat Prisoners of Old Wyoming. By Larry K. 
Brown. Glendo: High Plains Press, 2001. xix + 256 pp. 
Illustrations, source notes, index. Paper, $14.95. 

Higii Plains Press recently published Petticoat Pr'n- 
o)iers of Old Wyoming, Larr\' K. Brown's third 
voliune nbout crune and criminals in frontier Wyo- 
ming. In his latest work. Brown narrates the place, 
circumstances, and results ol the activities ol rvvent}'- 
four women who were incarcerated in Wyoming's 
fust "gra\' bar hotels "- the territorial prison at Laramie 
and, alter its opening in L^^OK the state prison at 
Rawlins. Beginning with the 1880 story about Nettie 
Stewart-Wright, who allegedly stole government 
property, and ending with Ella Smith's 1908 crime 
ot branding two colts, Petticoat Priioiien documents 
almost thirty vears of gender-baseci pathological be- 
havior that reflects the dysfunctional side ol 
Wyoming's multi-Iaceted late territorial and early 
statehood history. As Brown enimierates, the crimes 
these women stood accused ol ranged h'om the more 
mundane acts of grand larcen\', burglary, arson, rob- 
bery, felonious assault, selling liquor without a license, 
forger}' and counterfeiting, misbranding livestock, 
felonious entry, and theft of government property to 
the more frightening and sometimes confused and 
controversial acts of manslaughter, assault to commit 
manslaughter, and kidnapping. 

On the surface. Petticoat Prisoners is a simple chro- 
nological narrative about those moments in the lives 
of two dozen women when their actions ran counter 
to the established laws of Wyoming and the nation. 
Thematically, however. Brown's history is much more 
than a brief recoimting of events. It is a study of 
gender as a factor in the legal processes that were 
taking form in an isolated, rugged, and often violent 
western frontier environment wheie the forces of 
order anci lawlessness collided sharpK'. 

Brown is a skillful biographer of individuals who 
could not avoid bringing trouble upon themselves 
and their associates. Throughout Petticoat Prisoners, 
he describes the mechanisms of a jirstice system in 
which little regard was shown for an accused persons 
sex, but much attention was given to the details of 

evidence, deliberation, sentencing, confinement, and 
the appeals process. Of the rwent\'-four women in 
Brown's volume, for example, two obtained freedom 
from incarceration because of a lack of evidence, while 
seven others received early releases based upon ap- 
peals either to higher courts or to Wyoming's gover- 
nor for commutation of their sentences. 

Hallmark features include Browns' \'iyid narra- 
tion, Wyoming Women's C^enter Warden Nola 
Blackburn's foreword, the author's preface and intro- 
duction, a bibliographic "sources cited " section at the 
end of each of the book's seventeen chapters and epi- 
logue, twenty-five photographs (the majority are 
prison mug shots), an epilogue that brings closure to 
the narrative, a chronologically arranged appendix 
titled "Female Felons Imprisoned at the Wyoming 
Penitentiaries, " and an index to conclude the work. 
Altogether, these features provide interest, insight, and 
authentication that add richness to Brown's endeavor 

In conclusion. Petticoat Prisoners is a well-docu- 
mented examination about the experiences of a set 
of women whose stories reside within the darker 
realms of Wyoming's history. Brown has prodticed 
another \'olume in his growing repertoire of works 
that reflect with verve the histories William F. Bragg 
produced two decades ago. Equally noteworthy. 
Brown's book is a significant addition about women 
in Wyoming and the West. Overall, Petticoat Prison- 
ers is a book that desers'es its place among the varied 
histories that fill the shelves of private collections and 
public and academic libraries which offer the serious 
reader meaningful works on Wyoming and the West. 

— Walter Jones 

J. Wiliard Marriott Librar>' 

Universitv' of Utah 

America's Second Tongue: American Indian Educa- 
tion and the Ownership of English, 1860-1900. By 

Ruth Spack. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 2002. 
242 pp. Illustrations, bibliography, index. Hardcover, 

Language possesses incalculable importance. It de- 
marcates edges and boundaries, draws lines of 
distinction, and defines. It provides continuitA' be- 
tween generations, passing along cultural tracHitions, 

38 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 

life ways, and history. Its nuances are communicated 
with subtle inflections and rhythms to shade mean- 
ings. It is a great unifier, bringing and bonding people 
together. Most importantly, perhaps, a living language 
can serve as a measure of a populations overall health 
and sustainability. Lamenteci, most recently by the 
politician and commentator Patrick Buchanan, as goes 
the vernacular, so goes society, at least society as 
known at any one place and time. 

Although considered from a perspective very dif- 
ferent from Buchanans, this is an argument made by 
Ruth Spack, an associate professor ot English and 
the director ol English for Speakers ol Other Lan- 
guages Program at Bentley College. Her study ana- 
lyzes the English-only policy that was implemented 
by the federal government in Indian schools in an 
attempt to strip Indian peoples of their cultures. The 
cornerstone ol a process designed to facilitate Indian 
absorption into the mainstream of the dominant 
American societv, English-only began in earnest with 
the Peace Policy of the Grant administration and 
reached its peak by the turn of the century. As the 
handiwork of missionaries and Bureau of Indian Af- 
fairs officials, it is positioned by Spack within a 
colonialist context. "Control over language served as 
an important instrument in political as well as cul- 
tural exploitation," she asserts, "for it could be used 
to represent indigenous peoples' lives in such a way 
as to weaken claims of Native sovereignty and 
strengthen the United States government's bureau- 
cratic and territorial agendas" (p. 14). 

Yet, the promise of English-only was never fully 
realized. According to Spack, this was primarily due 
to "government officials' own ignorance, indifference, 
and colonialist mentality" (p. 42). Additionally, "the 
Indian Office underestimated the life-sustaining 
strength of linguistic and tribal identity. " Even in those 
instances when second language fluency was achieved, 
Spack's research reveals, it was often utilized in a con- 
tradictory manner to federal aims, as a form of subtle 
resistance by Native writers to American Indian poli- 
cies, for example. In the end, then, the English-only 
program had dealt a crushing, but not a lethal, blow. 

This book provides welcome insight into an im- 
portant aspect of Indian history. It is immersed in 
the literature, well written, and replete with fresh 

analysis. But a few cautionary words are in order. 
While America's Second Tongue is packaged as a com- 
prehensive study with broad application, the data that 
informs it is primarily derived from the Yankton 
Sioux Agency and the two off-reservation boarding 
schools, Hampton and Carlisle, which recruited stu- 
dents from Dakota Territory. Against such a narrow 
backdrop, it is important to keep in mind the varied 
experience of assimilation and the problematic na- 
ture of generalizing on the success or failure of Ameri- 
can Indian policies. While Spack's research is thor- 
ough with the context chosen, the Western United 
States and Alaska are all but ignored. 

Moreover, other studies have determined that 
Indians who lived or attended boarding schools lo- 
cated in urban areas felt the sting of acculturation 
more pointedly than did the rural Indians who make 
up the predominant focus of this book. Many of those 
urban students achieved English fluency in day schools 
and reservation boarding schools before having at- 
tended an off-reservation boarding school. As has 
been documented extensively, many tribes (particu- 
larly those situated near population centers) suffered 
virtually the complete loss of their cultures, includ- 
ing their languages, which have become the focus of 
extensive recovery efforts. It should also be noted 
that the obligation of English-only was not confined 
to Indian education. It permeated all facets of the 
reservation environment as well. In brief, the im- 
pact - or success and failure - of the English-only 
program was probably more wide-ranging than the 
research presented here indicates, depending on lo- 
cation, conditions, and circumstances. While this 
book is well done, the inclusion of more compre- 
hensive statistical data would have been helpful. It 
would have provided a fruitful basis for comparison, 
strengthened Spack's thesis, expanded the scope of 
the volume, and more thoroughly revealed tribal and 
regional distinctions. 

— Gary C. Collins 
Maple Valley, Washington 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 39 

CiS'Bl^iJ'Oli) 3111(1)119 


Native American Sagas from the Diaries of John Huiiton, page 1 

Michael Griske was born and raised in Torrington and now resides in 
Hicksville, New York, with his wife, Catherine, and their son, Ryan. He 
recently completed a condensed version ot his grandhithers manuscripts 
about John Hunron's lite, loves, and times, and is seeking a book publisher 
for this enthralling and historical material. For more inh:>rmation, contact 
Mr. Griske at the tollowincr e-mail address: 


Wyoming Memories: Pat Flannery, page 14 

Sally Vanderpoel came to Huntley in southeastern Wyoming in 1922 at 
the age of fourteen when her parents homesteaded there. She graduated 
trom Torrington High School in 19.^8 and the Universit}' ot Wyoming 
four years later, where she loved being a Kappa Kappa Gamma. She is a 
long-time member ot the W\'oming State Historical Socier\' and ser\'ed as 
president ol the society. She has written several books, including Wrinklebclly, 
about the World War 1 veterans in eastern Wyoming. Her latest book, 
published in 2003, is a biography ot former Wyoming Governor Stan 


J. D. Conley's Cabinet of Curiosities and Other Early Wyoming 

Museums, page 24 

Beth Southwell was born in Connecticm but has lived in Laramie, Wyo- 
ming, since 1980. She receixed her B.S. in geologv from the LIni\ersitv ol 
New Mexico and became hiscinated with the histor\' ol Wyoming paleon- 
tology while pursuing graduate work at the Universitv of Wyoming. An 
active volunteer at the U.W Geological Museimi, she enjovs digging for 
dinosaur bones in the Wyoming badlands during the stmimer and digging 
for clues to Wyoming's geologic past in the archives in the winter. 


40 Annals of Wyominq: The Wyoming History Journal -- Summer 2004 


j-\h-ho-cipp,i 9-12 

American Heritage Center, Universit)- of 

Wyoming 15, 22 

American Horse 8 

America's Second Tongue: American Indian 

Education and the Ownership of 

English. 1860-1900. by Ruth Spack, 

reviewed, 37-38 
Aughey, Samuel 28-30 
Auguste, Lucian 5-6 
Bad Wound 8 
Barnum, Phineas T. 25 
Barrett, Frank A. 19 
Bingham, Maj. H.W. 8 
Black Bear 8 
Bridger, Jim 4 
Bordeaax, James 6 
Bordeaux, Louis 8 
Brown, F.S. 18 
Brown, Larry K., Petticoat Prisoners of 

Old Wyoming, reviewed, 37 
Bullock, W.G. 4 
Campbell, John A. 19, 28 
Carey, Joseph M. 31 
Cheyenne Daily Leader 25, 28 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 25-26, 28-29 
Clark, A.C. 26 
Collins, Cary C, reviewer oi America's 

Second Tongue: American Indian 

Education and the Ownership of 

English. 1860-1900. 37-38 
Como Blufif, Wyoming 29 
Conley, J.D. 24-32 
Conquering Bear 5-6 
Denver Daily Tribune 28 
Denver Post \9-2Q 
Downey, Stephen W 32 
East Thunder 8 
Fenwick, Red 19-20 
Finfrock, J.H. 31 
Flannery, Alice (Moomah) 15-16, 19- 

Flanner)', L.G. "Pat" 2-13, 14-23 
Fleming, Lt. Hugh B. 5 
Fort Laramie 3-6, 9-12, 15, 22 
Fort Laramie Scout 16 
Fort Laramie, Wyoming 15-16, 20, 23 
Fuller, Br>'an 18 
Garnett, William 8 
Goshen County News and Fort Laramie 

Scout 16 
Goshen County, Wyoming 15-16, 19- 

Grant, Pres. U.S. 8-9 
Grattan, Lt. John L. 5-7 
Grattan Massacre, 4-7 

Green River, Wyoming 27 
Griske, Billie 3, 15, 23 
Griske, Michael, 23, editor 2-13, (bio 

Griske, Patricia 23 

Hackleman, Mae 17 

Harney, Gen. W.S. 10-11 

Hebard, Grace Raymond 17, 20, 31 

HefFron, Billy 17 

HertjTami, ed. ot "Recent Acquisitions 

in the Hebard Library, UW Libraries," 

High Forehead 5-6 
Homsher, Lola 18 
Housen, Keith 17 
Howard, E.A. 8 
Hoyt, John Wesley 28-30 
Hunt, Lester 19 
Hunton, Alexander B. 3 
Hunton, Blanche 2 
Hunton, Jim 12-13 
Hunton, John 2-13, 14-23 
Hunton, Mar)' Elizabeth (Carpenter) 3 
Iron Horse 8 
"J.D. Conley's Cabinet ot Curiosities and 

Other Early Wyoming Museums," by 

Beth Southwell 24-32 
Johnson, Albinius A. 30 
Jones, Walter, reviewer oi Petticoat 

Prisoners of Old Wyoming, 37 
Keenan, Jerry, The Wagon Box Fight: An 

Episode of Red Cloud's War, reviewed, 

Kelly, Sylvia 17 
Knight, Samuel H. 30 
Knight, Wilbur C. 29, 32 
Landry, C.L. 17 
Laramie Boomerang 31-32 
Laramie, Wyoming 30 
Last Man's Club 18 
Lebsock, Edward 22 
Little Wound 8 
Lone Horn 8 
McDaniel, James 25 
Man Afraid of His Horse 5 
Masters, Joseph G. 9 
Maynadier, Col. Henry E. 11 
Merrill, Karen R., Public Lands and 

Political Meaning: Ranchers. The 

Government, and the Property Between 

Them, reviewed, 35 
Miller, Leslie A. 19 
Miller, Mark E., reviewer oi Public Lands 

and Political Meaning: Ranchers, The 

Government, and the Property Between 

Them. 35-36 
Museum ot Living Wonders 25-26 
Museum of Rocky Mountain Curiosities 

Museums, Wyoming 24-32 
National Mining and Industrial 

Exposition 28 
"Native American Sagas from the Diaries 

of John Hunton," ed. by Michael 

Griske 2-13 
Nolan, Jim 17 
Nye, Bill 26-27 
O'Brien, Maj. George 10 
O'Mahoney, Joseph C. 7, 19-20 
"Pat Flannery" by Sally Vanderpoel 14- 

Pawnee Killer 8 
Pepys, Samuel 21 
Petticoat Prisoners of Old Wyoming, by 

Larry K. Brown, reviewed, 37 
Phineas T. Barnum's American Museum 

Public Lands and Political Meaning: 

Ranchers, The Government, and the 

Property Between Them, by Karen R. 

Merrill, reviewed 35-36 
Red Cloud 7-8 
Reed, William H. 32 
Ricketts, Samuel D. 29 
Rouse, Phil 18 
SaviUe, J.J. 8 

Sherman, Wyoming 26-27 
Sioux Indians 2-13 
Skogen, Larry C, reviewer of The Wagon 

Box Fight: An Episode of Red Cloud's 

War, 36 
Slaughter, John 28-29 
Smith, C.C. 16-17 

Southwell, Beth, author 24-32 (bio 39) 
Spack, Ruth, America's Second Tongue: 

American Indian Education and the 

Ownership of English, 1860-1900, 

reviewed, 37-38 
Spotted Tail 8-12 
Stanton, Frederick J. 28-29 
Temple, Charlotte 26 
Thorp, Russell 9 
Toirington Telegram 16 
Torrington, Wyoming 17 
Trail Lance 8 
Trail, Oregon 5-6 
University of Wyoming 24, 30-32 
Vanderpoel, Sally, author "Pat Flannery" 

14-23, (bio 39) 
The Wagon Box Fight: An Episode of Red 

Clouds War, by Jerry Keenan, 

reviewed, 36 
Ware, Eugene 11 
Whitfield'^ Maj. J. W. 5 
"Whitney Rae 14 
Wyoming Academy of Sciences, Arrs and 

Letters 29-30 
Wyoming Old Timers Club 17 
Wyoming Territorial Legislature 28 
Zimmer, Frank 18 

Wyoming Picture 


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Vol. 76, No. 4 


"Feeding a Wild Bear, 
Yellowstone Park" 

J. E.Haynes postcard, 
Arthur De ma ray Papers, 
American Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming 

"Guests of the park derive great enjoyment from watching the antics ot the bears. The 
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The Wyoming History Journal 

Autumn 2004 Vol. 76, No. 4 

2 The Promotion of Yellowstone 
National Park by the Union Pacific 

1 hornron Waicc 

13 Bronco Nell, A Woman Horse Thief 

Fcli-x Alston 

Edited bv Felix Scott Alston 

fc . 18 Escape from Heart Mountain 

■""■'^Ir'" BcttvY. Taira ■ — -*n, , 



BOOK 25 Book Reviews 

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Carolyn 1 
Lynn Car] 
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Barbara Vlerri,'! 

University of Wy 

Philip Dubois, Presid< 
Oliver Walter, D( — ' 

Kristine Utterbai__,^ 


Ci^'lj'iij'ijlijii'ii)'/^ 33 Contributors' Biographies 
34 Index 

Wyoming Picture 

Inside back lonlt 

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Printed hv: Pioneer Printing. Cheyenne 
Graphic Design: X'icki Schuster 

Annals of VVvominq: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 

Old Faithful as shown in 
Union Pacific booklet 
"Western Wonderlands" 
advertising Yellowstone 
National Park and other 
"interesting vacation lands of 
the West;' (not dated) 
Courtesy American Heritage 
Center. University of 

The Northern Pacific Railway has generally been cred- 
ited with promoting the establishment of Yellowstone 
National Park in 1872, but the Union Pacific Railroad 
(UPRR) quickly saw the potential for a profitable busi- 
ness associated with transporting tourists to the park. 

The railroad surveyed various potential routes from the Utah & Northern main 
line running between Pocatello, Idaho, and Butte, Montana, to the western edge 
of the park. However, during the 1 870s and 1880s, the Union Pacific experienced 
severe financial difficulties and could do little besides advertise what services they 
had for travel to the park. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal -Autumn 2004 3 

The line to what is now West Yellowstone was 
not built until 1907, after the Union Pacific emerged 
from bankruptcy just before the turn oi the century. 
The LInion Pacific Railway Compan\', which had 
been created following the merger of the Union Pa- 
cific Railroad Company with the Kansas Pacific Rail- 
way in 1880,' went into bankruptcy in 1893, and it 
was not until Julv 1, 1897, that the company was 
reorganized as the UPRR, with the Oregon Short 
Line a subsidiary of the new company." 

E. H. Harriman, who took over control of the 
UPRR when it was reorganized in 1897, unclertook 
a massive improvement of the entire railroad, rebuild- 
ing the main lines and building branch lines through- 
out the western states reached bv the railroad. Amt>ng 
the branch lines, and constructed during this time 
period, was the line built by the Yellowstone Park Rail- 
road Company. This company, which was organized 
and controlled by the UPRR, built a line from St. 
Anthony, Idaho, to the western edge of Yellowstone 
National Park at what is now West Yellowstone, Mon- 
tana. ' The Yellowstone Park Railroad was transferred 
to the Oregon Short Line by a deed of sale on Octo- 
ber 31, 1910.-^ 

Following the end of Worlci War I, the Oregon 
Short Line built new facilities at West Yellowstone, 
including a baggage building, a large dining lodge, 
and an employee dormitory 1 he convenience of trav- 
eling over the Lhiion Pacific to reach the park re- 
sulted in half of all rail travelers to Yellowstone tak- 
ing the railroad tt) West Yellowstone for their visit 
between the two world wars. The north entrance, 
reached at Gardiner by the Northern Pacific Rail- 
way, was a close second, while the eastern entrance 
through Cody and the sotith entrance were not used 
by a significant number of tourists.^ 

With the increased popularity of the automobile 
during the 1920s and the negative impacts of the 
Depression and World War II, rail passenger travel 
to Yellowstone decreased. Fhere was a slight increase 
immediately following World War II, but the num- 
ber of rail passengers quickly decreased to the point 
it was no longer profitable to run trains to West 
Yellowstone. The railroads gradually discontinued 
train service to Yellowstone. The UPRR discontin- 
ued the last trains to the park boundar\' in 1960. 

Following that, bus connections were required, and 
that, too, was cut back during the next years. By the 
time Amtrak, a federal agency, took over the nations 
rail passenger trains in 1 9'^ 1 , rail traxel to ^'ellowstone 
was virtually non-existent.'' 

A closer look at the promotion of the park b\' the 
UPRR between the years 1923 and 1960 shows how 
the railroad attempted to entice tourists to travel to 
the park at a time when the railroad was promoting 
rail passenger service. Fhere were advertisements in 
national magazines and local newspapers through- 
out the cotintr\' as well as brochures and booklets 
describing travel to the paik. Even the ptiblication 
for L'PRR employees. Tin' Lhiioji Piicific Magazitie, 
was used to promote visits to the park, with numer- 
ous articles describing the park anei its attractions. 

Robert Atlie.irii, Lhiion I'nifir Country (Lincoln, Nehr.iska: 
Bison Books, 1976), p. 227. 

Don.ild Robertson, Encyclopi'diii of Wesh-rii Railruii/1 History, 
\oliiine II. The Moiiritiiiji States (Dallas, T.i\lor Publish- 
ing Company, 1991). p. 233. 

The Articles of Incorporation of the )el/oicstone Park Rai/roat/ 
Company stated that the new railroad would construct a line 
from "the town of St. Anthony, connecting with the St. An- 
thon\' Railroad, ... to a point near the western boundan,' ot 
the Yellowstone National Park. . . ." The new company was 
authorized tcT issue 1,2?() shares ot capital stock at SHItl.OO 
each. W,H. Bancroft, who was superintendent ot the Oregon 
Short Line, held 1,241 ot these shares as trustee. Bancroft 
and other officials of the Oregon Short Line each held one 
share as stockliolder. Author's collection. 
Corporate History of the Oregon S/wrr Line Railroad Conipany as 
of June 30, 1916, p. 63. 

Based on figures in the "Annual Report of \ellowstone Na- 
tional Park" rele.ised by the superintendent each year. Lhe 
LInion Pacific reached the west entrance to the park and the 
Northern Pacific reached the north entrance. The Chicago, 
l^urlington & Quincy accessed the east entrance, and the Chi- 
cago & North Western provided service to the south entrance. 
The Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul & Pacific also proxided ser- 
vice through the west entrance. 

Based on a review of L'nion Pacific timetables. I he last sched- 
uled passenger train service co West Yellowstone was listed in 
their timetables for the summer of 1960. The following year 
the Union Pacific advertised service to Ashton, with connect- 
ing bus service to West Yellowstone. Later timetables showed 
this ser\'ice was then cut back to connecting bus sen'ice from 
Idaho Falls. 

Typical of these atticles were ones tilled ' The Colden Anni- 
versary of Yellowstone National Park," published in the March 
1922 issue ot The Union Pacific Magazine and "Trip Through 
Yellowstone National Park, published in the August 1922 

4 Annals of Wyoming: The VVyoming History' Journal -- Autumn 2004 

One of the most interesting promotional campaigns 
was the one using cartoon bears, as exempHtied by 
fliers which were pubHshed from 1923 tintil 1960. 
Today, the railroad advertisements tor Yellowstone 
are sought bv collectors ol both railroadiana and 
Yellowstone National Park memorabilia. 

The promotion ot Yellowstone by the UPRR can 
be divided into two segments: from 1880 through 
1 907 (when the Yellowstone Park Railroad Company 
reached West Yellowstone) and from 1908 through 
1960. For perspective, the advertising promotions 
must be studied with relation to the time and what 
was happening in both the park and the country. 


The Utah & Northern Railway, a subsidiary of 
the UPRR, reached the Idaho-Montana state line on 
March 9, 1880, as it was being constructed from 
Ogden, Utah, to Butte and Garrison, Montana. See- 
ing the potential for a profitable passenger trade, the 
railroad immediately began advertising travel to the 
park over their line. During the winter of 1 879- 1 880, 
the railroad published a folder which boldly stated, 
"New Rail Route to MONTANA Via Union Pacific 
and Utah & Northern Railroads. Save Time, Money 
and 1,000 miles of Distance to Montana and 
Yellowstone Park." The folder went on to describe, 
in detail, the disadvantages of traveling to Montana 
on the Missouri River through Fort Benton." Appar- 
ently the railroad had considered building a line to 
the park while the route to Montana was being con- 
structed. Jake Blickensderfer, who had surveyed the 
original route of the Union Pacific across the Mid- 
west, recommended a route from their Utah & 
Northern line at Eagle Rock (present-day Idaho Falls) 
to the western border of the park.'^ In 1879, the 
Yellowstone National Park superintendent's report 
showed a proposed line from the Utah & Northern 
line at Virginia City, Montana, up the Madison River 
to the geyser basins.'" Not only was this line never 
built, but the Utah & Northern bypassed Virginia 
City. A map from Strahorn's To the Rockies and Be- 
yond, published in 1880, shows the railroad planned 
to construct a line to the west side of Yellowstone 
leaving the Ogden-Butte line at Beaver Canyon, south 

of the Idaho-Montana state line, proceeding east to 
the park." This indicated the UPRR was aware of 
the value of a line going directly to the park even 
while the line was being constructed. 

Due to the financial problems of the railroad at 
the time, no construction to the park was done by 
the UPRR, despite those promising business pros- 
pects. Meanwhile, the Northern Pacific reached 
Livingston, Montana, in 1 883, on its way to the West 
Coast, and immediately built a line south to Cinna- 
bar, a short distance from the north entrance at 
Gardiner,'" and quickly realized a profitable sum- 
mer tourist business. Despite encouragement from 
the Northern Pacific, the UPRR was not able to par- 
ticipate," although it did begin offering stage service 
from Beaver Canyon, and later Monida, east to the 
park. This stage service was advertised in special bro- 
chures which had color covers and enticing maps and 
itineraries for travel to and through the park. The 
fact the park was one and one-half to two days stage 
ride from Monida was understandably mentioned 
only briefly, while the tour through the park was 

Travelers, however, knew that the Northern Pa- 
cific, whose terminus was only a few miles from the 
park, was the easiest way to reach the park, and this 
fact was promoted by the Northern Pacific's Wonder- 
land smes. Published from 1883 to 1906,'^ the bro- 
chures noted how easy it was to reach the park if one 
traveled the Northern Pacific. Because the Northern 
Pacific route through the north entrance was so con- 

" Colorado Rail Annual No. /5 (Golden, Colorado: Colorado 
Railroad Museum, 1981), p. 60. 

' Maury Klein, Union Pacific, The Birth of a Railroad (Gar- 
den C\xy, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1987), p. 

'"Aubrey Haines, The Yellowstone Story, V^/HWf/(Niwot, Colo- 
rado: University of Colorado Press/ The Yellowstone Asso- 
ciation for Natural Science, History & Education, Inc., 
1996), p. 255. 

" Ibid, p. 51. 

'- Craig Reese, "The Gardiner Gateway to Yellowstone," The 
Mainstreeter 15 (Spring 1996): 5 

'•' Klein, Union Pacific, p. 523. 

'■' Where Gush the Geysers (Oregon Short Line brochure), 1 899, 
Yellowstone National Park Research Library. 

" Personal communication from Lee Whittlesesy, archivist and 
historian, Yellowstone National Park Research Library. 


Annals of Wyoininq: TheV'/vaTing History Journal-- Autumn 2004 5 

venient, the Union Pacific could not effectively com- 
pete tor travel to the park, and it could not do any- 
thing to make travel to the park anv easier. 

However, in an ethirt to promote travel over the 
rail line to the park, the Oregon Short Line pub- 
lished brochures titled WLwre Gusli the Gcyicn. The 
first edition, published in 1 899, not onl\' had a paint- 
ing on the cover, but also inclucied hand-colored pho- 
tographs on the inside showing some ot the destina- 
tions in the park, along with the rates hit the tour 
packages. Tour routes available included one leaving 
from Monida to the park, and exiting though Cin- 
nabar. The brochure was the convenient size ot a rail- 
road timetable, approximateh' totu inches b\' nine 

After the UPRR entered bankruptcy in 1893, it 
took several vears tor it to reorganize. After it did. 

Harriman became president of the newly reorganized 
railroad. He immediatelv started a program to re- 
build the rail lines.' He also began construction of 
branch feeder hues to provide added traffic anci busi- 
ness for the UPRR. At the turn of the centun,', the St. 
Anthony Railroad was built from Idaho Falls, Idaho, 
north and east to St. Anthonv to reach the Upper 
Snake River Vallev.'" fhe thirtv-seven mile line was 
sticcessful, but remained fift\' miles short of the west 
side of the park. Travel to Yellowstone from Monida 
was still the UPRR's preferred rotite, and the Oregon 
Short Lane even proposed improving the stage road 

'" Where Gush the Geysers brochure. 

' Maury KJein, The Life iDiel Lege)id of E.H. Hanhnan (Chapel 

Hill, North Carolina: the University of North Carolina 

Press, 2000), p. 130. 
'" The Corporate Histoty of the Oregon Short Line, p. 'i.r 

PiclO'ial mop ihowtng »osi Weiiem Empire on< 
scenic Vacolion Wondeilandi ie'ved by tf, 
Union Pacific Railroad and iis connecting lines 


Map of Union Pacific Railroad's western routes from "Western Wonderlands" brochure, ca, 1940. Courtesy 
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. 

6 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 

from Monida ro the park at the turn of the century,''' 
although the railroad did not take action on that pro- 


The UPRR incorporated the Yellowstone Park 
Railroad Company on September 12, 1905, to build 
a line from St. Anthony to the west side of the park. 
Construction began on October 3, 1905.'" Connect- 
ing stage service was provided b\' Fred Haynes' 
Monida- Yellowstone Company from Marysville and 
the end oi" the line to the park while the new line was 
being constructed. Completed on November 12, 
1907,-' the line was almost immediately closed by 
winter snows, but the next spring the railroad began 
advertising and promoting travel to the park in its 
timetables. The success ol this advertising was readily 
apparent, judging by the increase in the numbers ol 
railroad tourists to the western edge ol Yellowstone." 

Tra\'el to the park was interrupted bv World War 
I when the hotels closed, although the camping areas 
remained open.'' Immediately after the war, the rail- 
roads all began a vigorous competition lor tourist 
travel to the park. Although it was a seasonal busi- 
ness, extending from mid-June through early Sep- 
tember, transportation ol passengers was profitable. 
Special hires were ollered and the trip was promoted 
as a side trip on a transcontinental train ride, espe- 
cially during years when there were fairs or exposi- 
tions on the West Coast.'' In 1939, for example, the 
UPRR promoted a side trip to Yellowstone for those 
going either to the New York World's Fair or the San 
Francisco World's Fair in a tour page flier promoting 

During the early 1920s, the UPRR saw its busi- 
ness increasing every year, and the facilities at West 
Yellowstone were accordingly expanded.'^ The origi- 
nal baggage room in the depot was found to be too 
small and a separate baggage building was con- 
structed. The dining facilities were also inadequate to 
meet the needs of the hundreds of passengers who 
arrived on some days, so the railroad built a new, 
large dining lodge designed by the famous architect 
Gilbert Stanley Underwood. In addition, a dormi- 

tory for summer employees was built to replace the 
makeshift bunk cars used by the employees. By 1923, 
more than fifty percent of rail passengers to the park 
traveled through West Yellowstone, a fact duly publi- 
cized by the railroad, although automobile traffic was 
even then rapidly outpacing rail travel to the park.''' 


The advertisements printed by the Oregon Short 
Line hi^hliCThted not only the ease of reaching the 
park over its rail line, but also the various tour routes 
and options available in the park itself. These adver- 
tisements were not particularly elaborate or original, 
but rather were informative black and white bro- 
chures with some color added. They included nu- 
merous black and white photos showing the various 
sights in the park. 

The UPRR also promoted Yellowstone in all 
forms of the media. In 1922, the railroad had a live 
radio broadcast on Bullock's Broadcasting Station 
(KNN) in downtown Los Angeles by a representa- 
tive of the railroad to promote travel to the park.' 

''' "Report ot the Acting Superintendent ot the Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park," October 14, 1902, p. 4. 

-° The Corporate History of the Oregon Short Line, p. 63. 

-' The railroad printed a special pocket-sized brochure commemo- 
rating this event titled "Union Pacific and Oregon Short Line 
Railroads, November 12, 1907, Yellowstone Park, 1909." It 
described the tour routes available through the park for the 
1909 season. 

-- In the 1908 "Report of the Superintendent of Yellowstone 
National Park," it was noted that "the branch line ot the Or- 
egon Short Line Railroad from Idaho Falls to the western 
boundary of the park was completed and ready for passenger 
traffic at the opening of the park season of 1908, and the records 
show an increase of visitors to the park through the western 
entrance of about 3,000 over 1907." According to this re- 
port, 7,172 visitors to the park entered through the west en- 
trance that year. 

'^The "Annual Repon ot the Superintendent tor the year 1918," 
stated that the hotels were closed, but that the camping areas 
remained open, p. 4. 

^'' "Western Vacations at Bargain Prices," in The Union Pacific 
Magazine, April 1932, p. 12. This article noted some of the 
special passenger stopover privileges which were available dur- 
ing the summer of 1932. 

-^ Annual reports ot the Union Pacific Railroad for the years end- 
ing December 31, 1921, 1925, 1926. and 1927. 

''' "Annual Report of the Superintendent," 1923. 

'' "Radio Broadcasts Yellowstone Park Attractions," The Union 
Pacific Magazine, September 1922, p. 40. 


Annals of VVvominq' Tne VVyominq Hislor; Journal -- Au'iin" 2004 

The railroad published numerous special advertise- 
ments and notices through the years to reach various 
markets. It had advertisements in national magazines 
such as National Geographic and newspapers in large 
cities and mailed out brochures with tour routes and 
schedules tor visits through the park, trying to reach 
the maximum number of potential travelers. 

hi 1 909, onlv a year aher the tracks reached West 
Yellowstone, the Oregon Short Line even included a 
large notice in The Official Guide of the Railways, 
something not t\'pically seen in the Guide. Locatecl 





i_4W Expfnset Included 


Cover of Union Pacific Railroad brochure advertising its 1928 
excursions to Yellowstone National Park. Courtesy Hebard 
Collection, University of Wyoming Libraries. 

on the same page as the listing showing the train sched- 
ule to Yellowstone, the advertisement proclaimed: 
"The NEW LINE to Yellowstone Park Direct to the 
Park Boimdarw" An additit)nal note stated: "Side trips 
hir the Park at low rate, allowed on all tickets to the 
Alaska- Yukon-Pacific Exposition." The railroad's em- 
plo\'ee magazine. The Union Pacific Magazine, pub- 
lished during the 1920s and 1930s, also had numer- 
otis articles promoting travel to the park, such as tlie 
ones titled "Yellowstone, America's Animal Refuge""'' 
and "The Winter Job ol a Yellowstone Park Forest 
Ranger," " complete with photographs. I he cover ol 
the Jime 1922 issue ol the magazine was a Havnes 
photograph ol C^astle Cone and Beehive Geyser. 

The L'PRR published a series ol brochures dur- 
ing the 1920s, approximateh' thirt\'-two pages long, 
describing various attractit)ns on the L'nion Pacific 
lines. One of them, published in 192.^, was titled 
"Yellowstone National Park, and it had a color cover 
w ith an artistic rendering ol Old Faithlul, one ol the 
most lamous attractions in the park. " Lhere was also 
a series ol brochtu'es the size ol a timetable titled 
"Western Wonderland" and "Along the L'nion Pa- 
cific System," describing the sights along the railroad 
and alwa\s including ^elk)wstone. Even when the 
Lhiited States Railwax" Administration operated the 
nations railroad dtu'ing World Wir I, the UPRR pub- 
lished a lolder promoting travel to Yellowstone lor 
1919, the \'ear following the end ol the war."' 

The UPRR had its own travel department and 
librar\', with booklet titles mc\v\A\\\'i^ Zion-Bryce Can- 
yo)i-Gra}id Gaiiyon National Parks; Galifornia; Colo- 
rado Playgrounds: and Ditde Ranches. Following the 
establishment ol the Grand leton National Park in 
1 929 south ol Yellowstone, the UPRR also promoted 
tra\'el to that park, either through \'ellowstone or 
through \'ictor, Idaho, with totu' packages lor both 

"'" T/w Union Pacific Miigaziiw, August l^)2'i, p. 10. 

"" Ibid., Februar)' l'^)31. p. 13. 

-'" Yellowsto}ie Niuio)iiil Piirk [Vin'ion Pacific R.iilroact, 1^)23), 32 
pp. Author's collection. 

'' YellowUoiie Natinnal Park — Wyouiuig — Montana — Idaho 
(United States Railway Administration, National P.irk Series, 
Season 1')!')), Yellowstone National l\irk Research Library. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Aulumn 2004 

parks available. '" The Department of Tours and vari- 
ous representatives of the railroad throughoiu the 
countr}' provided information about these tours.'' 

Following World War 11, when rail tourist traffic 
to the park was in decline, the railroad produced more 
modern brochures. Printed with a color photograph 
on the cover, they were smaller, but contained much 
ol the same information. Separate advertisements ior 
Yellowstone were not as common, and the travel itin- 
eraries were merged into other possible sights to visit 
along the Union Pacific lines. A 1959 booklet titled 
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, printed 
by the UPRR, was approximately five inches by seven 
inches, with a color photograph on the cover. By 1 960, 
when passenger ser\qce to West Yellowstone ended 
the advertising budget had been cut to the bone. One 
of the advertisements for 1960 showed a bus, obvi- 
ously cut out and pasted onto a scene showing Old 
Faithful in the background.'^ After that, only the 
informational fliers to travel agents were sent out, 
giving the appropriate tour information as connec- 
tions were cut back, from West Yellowstone to Ashton 
and then to Idaho Falls. '^ However, even at this time 
the railroad's ticket en\'elopes retained a picture of 
Old Faithful and a description of how to reach the 
park using the Union Pacific lines.'" 

During the 1950s, the UPRR also prepared a se- 
ries of large photographs of scenes along its lines, 
including Yellowstone and Grand Teton national 
parks. These large color photographs included the 
words "Union Pacific Railroad" in the bottom cor- 
ner, and were meant to be framed and mounted in 
depots and at travel agencies.''^ 


To encourage its expanding business, the UPRR 
began printing a series of cartoon bear advertisements 
promoting Yellowstone in 1923. Feeding the bears 
was considered a novelty and an attraction for park 
visitors, and the railroad wanted to emphasize the 
ease of seeing wildlife up close. The fliers were appar- 
ently mailed to travel agents and ticket agents all over 
the country to inform them of various train sched- 
ules and sights to see in the park. 

The bear cartoon advertisements were interest- 

ing and noteworthy for a variety of reasons. They 
were, and still are, enjoyable and fun to view. Busy 
with many activities, the bears were shown in comi- 
cal situations. The railroad released up to six differ- 

One of the bear advertisements used by the Union Pacific 
Railroad to promote its service to Yellowstone National Park. 
Courtesy Hebard Collection, University of Wyoming Libraries. 

'* "Reached via Union Pacific" (Union Pacific Railroad, 1929). 
This is a four-page flier advertising tours to the new Grand 
Teton National Parte, one of several printed by the Union 
Pacific through the years. 

-" 'Yellowstone Opens June 20" (Union Pacific Railroad, 1929). 
This information was on the back page of a four-page flier 
advertising travel to Yellowstone National Park, and was of- 
ten found on many of their advertisements. 

'" The Union Pacific Bulletin, March 1960. This was a publica- 
tion of the railroad for their ticket agents to inform them of 
the passenger and tour services available on the railroad. 

-'■' "Additional Information for Agents Regarding Yellowstone 
National Park Tours, Hotels, Facilities, etc. Summer of 1961," 
published by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 
the Union Pacific Railroad, and rhe Northern Pacific Rail- 
way Company. Author's collection. 

-"' Ticket envelope. Author's collection. 

' Author's collection. 

Annals ofWyoming: The Wyoming History Journal --Aulumn 2004 9 

enr bear ads each year, each of them containing dif- 
ferent messages and information. Thev might con- 
tain train schedules, destinations, and sights to see, 
or just nickidc pictures oi views in the park. The Hi- 
ers were centered around \'arious themes, ranging 
from sports to fairs to the latest technology (such as 
"Tell-A- Vision") to references to national elections. 
Designed to attract casual viewers, the advertisements 
always included the UP shield on the front and would 
include scenes such as Old Faithful or the Old Faith- 
ful Inn in the background. The bears would be busy 
doing a number of acti\'ities.'** 

There are more than ninet\' known bear ad\er- 
tisements. Thev were printeci on 11x17 inch paper 
folded to make a four-page flier Onh' a few thoti- 
sand copies of each flier were printed and distributed 
by the railroad. The UPRR released several each vear 
in the 1 920s and 1 930s, and none are known to have 
been printed dtuing World War II since passenger 
service to West Yellowstone was discontinued dtuing 
the war following the 1942 season. Following the 
war, only one or two advertisements were printed 
each year, but the bear cartoon theme was continued 
imtil 1960. The bears were shown on the co\'er page. 
The back page and inside fl\'er would list train sched- 
ules, sights to see in the park or at other locations 
along the UP's lines, as well as special events. The 
advertisements after the war were more colorful and 
busier than the previous ones. 

The same bear cartoons were also used by the 
railroad for other purposes. Some of the advertising 
booklets published during the 1950s, for example, 
included photographs with the cartoon bears added 
onto the same page.''* The children's menu on the 
dining car also had the same bears on the menu, and 
there was even a coloring book with the bears, with 
rhymes promoting Yellowstone.'" 

It is not known who prepared most of the bear 
cartoons, but it is known that the UP would show 
them to the Yellowstone Park Association to receive 
its concurrence before releasing them. The railroad 
typically used commercial artists hired speciflcalh- ior 
that purpose. Walter Oerhle was a Chicago artist who 
prepared some of the advertisements for the railroad. 
He also prepared some of the murals in the Old Faith- 

ftil Inn, which were included in the remodeling of 
the bar at the end of Prohibition in 1933, at the re- 
quest of architect Robert C. Reamer. *' Some of these 
murals are still on the walls in the Inns cafeteria, 
while others have been reproduced on glass etchings 
in the bar. The theme of playful bears was maintained 
on those murals, using the same style of bears. An- 
other artist known to have made some of the adver- 
tisements was William Willmarth'' from Omaha. Fie 
drew niunerous other ad\'ertisements for the railroad 
through the years, until the UP replaced his drawings 
with photographs. 

Fhe railroad also used live bears in some of its 
advertising. There are photographs showing the bears 
with a group of \'oung women on the back of an 
observation can If one Kuiks carcftilK' at the image, 
however, one can see that the bear is being held ti2;htlv 
with a chain h\' a handler.'' Apparentlv the advertis- 
ing department determined that bear cartoons were 
a lot easier to prepare than working with live bears. 
For several \'ears dtiring the twenties, the compan\' 
magazine included the outline of a bear at the header 
oi the section covering the news from the Montana 
Division, which included the line to West 

Although the UP is most closely associated w ith 
the bears at Yellowstone, the Northern Pacific also 

'" The origin.ils of most ot the cartoon advertisements are 
at the Union Pacific Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. Copies 
are also at the Yellowstone National Park Research Library. 

'" In the advertisint; brochure "Yellowstone and Grand Teton 
National Parks." published by the Union Pacific Railroad in 
193'), the same bear cartoons were used on pages describing 
stopovers and train service. Copy in authors collection. 

""' An original copy is .ivailable at the Union Pacific Museum in 
Omaha, Nebraska, and copies at the Yellowstone National 
Park Research Libran,'. The Niitiotiiil Geographic magazine 
had advertisements promoting Yellowstone which included 
cartoon bears. The November 1911 issue had an advertise- 
ment by the Union Pacific listing advantages of visiting the 
park, and there were nvo cartoon bears included in the halt- 
page advertisement. The Mav 1933 issue had a quarter-page 
advertisement by the Northern Pacific showing a similar car- 
toon bear, also promoting traxcl to Yellow stone National Park. 

'' Letter from Robert C. Reamer to Wm. B. Nichols, president 
ot the Yellowstone Park Hotel Company. October 18. 1934, 
Yellowstone National Park archives, box YTC-34. 

'- Michael Zega, "Travel by Train. ' X'nitag,- R,iils, Winter 1997. 

■'■* LInion Pacific Museum photo #4176. 

10 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal --Autumn 2004 

used cartoon bears in its advertising. Its advertise- 
ments, however, were not as exclusive, nor were they 
used as long as those of the UP."*"* The remnants of 
these bear cartoons can be seen at Mammoth Hot 
Springs, where they are on signs advertising food ser- 


It is difficult to judge the overall success of" the UPs 
promotion efforts for travel to Yellowstone National 
Park because the automobile ultimately displaced the 
train as the primar}' means of visiting the park. In 
addition, much of the advertising was intended to 
make potential travelers aware of the park and how 
to reach it, rather then being intended for a specific 
trip. Ho\\e\er, based on the numbers of rail travelers 
through the various entrances, it is apparent that its 
advertising campaign was successful, with more than 
fifty percent of all rail travelers entering the park 
through the west entrance over the UP lines, based 
on the annual reports hv the superintendent of the 

There were four tratewavs used bv the five rail- 

roads to reach Yellowstone, the west, north, east, and 
south entrances. The UP reached the west entrance, 
and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific 
Railroad reached the Gallatin gateway in 1927, with 
the passenger traveling by bus to West Yellowstone. 
Prior to this time, travelers on the Milwaukee Road 
had to travel by bus from Three Forks, Montana, to 
reach the park. The Northern Pacific Railway reached 
the north entrance at Gardiner, and the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy Railroad reached Cody, Wyo- 
ming, and tourists rode buses to the east entrance. A 
few travelers went over the Chicago and North West- 
ern Railway to Lander, and had a one and a half day 
bus ride to the south entrance. The following data is 
taken from the annual report of Yellowstone, pub- 
lished by the superintendent. The number of rail visi- 
tors was reported separately from the number of visi- 
tors by car. This listing shows the number of cars, 
not visitors, who passed through the entrances to the 

■'■' "Yellowstone National Park — 1916 — Yellowstone Western 
Stage Company," advertising brochure. Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park Research Librar)'. 

West North East South 

Entrance Entrance Entrance Entrance 








































Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal- Aiilumn 2004 11 

1 936 

Visits were not reported tor eaeh entrance, but there was a total ot 4 1 2,608 

visitors to tlie park, of whom 19, 472 arrived h\' rail. 

Rail travelers were not reported following World War II since the number 
was insignificant compared to those arriving by automobiles. 

As can be seen by Icioking at the data, the west 
entrance was, ("or most \'ears, the most heax'ily used 
bv rail travelers. After dropping dtuing the Depres- 
sion, the number ol rail travelers slowly rose, but the 
automobile was obvioush' the primar\' means ol vis- 
iting the park. 


Fhe UP's promotion ol Yellowstone Natit)nal Park 
not onl\' encouraged tra\el to the park, but it also 
created a legacy oI artwork that is memorable. Al- 
though it is no longer possible to travel directly to the 
park b\- train, special railroad tours still exist, such as 
the American Orient Express rail tours, which include 
a bus trip througli the parks. 

t'AKK —Reached via the L'niun I'acihc System. 

Image from the Union Pacific booklet The Evolution of the 
Locomotive from 1813 to 1891. Courtesy American Heritage 
Center, University of Wyoming. 


The Oregon Short Line and the Union Pacific 
offered a wide variety of tours through 
Yellowstone National Park from 1908, when the 
railroad first reached West Yellowstone and e\'en 
after 1960, when passenger service was discon- 
tinued to West Yellowstone. With the coopera- 
tion of the competing railroads, a tourist could 
enter through West Yellowstone and leave 
through another entrance. The railroad would 
transport the tourists baggage for them to the 
station from which they would then depart. The 
tours could also be custom made and length- 
ened for a nominal fee, but there were set "pack- 
age" tours which were described in the fixer and 

In 1899 the Oregon Short Line listed the 
following schedule for one of these tours in its 
brochure "Where Gush the Geysers." 
Day 1: Leave Monida and arrive at Grayling 

Day 2: Arrive Fountain Hotel 
Day 3: Visit Upper Basin, stav at Fountain Fio- 

Day 4: Arrive Lake Fiotel 
Dav 5: Arrive Canvon Llotel 

12 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal --Autumn 2004 

Day 6: Arrive Mammoth Hot Springs 
Day 7: Arrive Grayling Inn 
Day 8: Arrive Monida 

Visitors traveled on four horse Concord coaches oi the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Company. 
In 1916, the Yellowstone-Western Stage Company suggested four possible tours through the park. 
They included a two-day tour from the western entrance (shown as "Yellowstone" on their map) to 
the geysers; a tour-day tour to the main points of interest in the park; a five-day complete tour of the 
park; and a four-day tour of the park entering through Yellowstone and leaving through Gardiner. 
In 1917, the coaches were replaced by eleven passenger buses operated by the Yellowstone Park 
Transportation Company. After 1929, following the establishment of Grand Teton National Park, 
tours through both parks were available, and a tourist soon could enter through either West 
Yellowstone or Victor for the trip through both parks. By 1959, the tours by rail were apparently 
more flexible, and escorted tours were still available. No specific tour schedules were listed in the 
booklet titled Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, although the park buses operated on a 


St-l_^EEP ROCK AND point; OF OQuiRR 

Page advertising Yellowstone National Park from View Album of Resorts on the Union Pacific Railroad, not dated. Courtesy 
Hebard Collection, University of Wyoming Libraries. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal --Autumn 2004 13 



As told by Felix Alston 
Edited and with an introduction by Scott Alston 


Texas Trail cowboy; Bald Mountain City (City of Broken Hearts) 
gold miner and election judge; Basin City livery and feed store em- 
ployee and owner, and water and ice man; Lovell and Irma Flat store- 
keeper and postmaster; Marquette and Irma Flat farmer; Yellowstone 
National Park guide; contractor for the National Park road along the 
North Fork of the Shoshone to the national forest reserve; hunter and 
fisherman; Big Horn County Justice of the Peace, clerk, tax collector, 
deputy sheriflF, under-sheriff, county sheriff; warden of the ^C^oming 
State Penitentiary 

Felix Alston in Basin dunng 
the 1909 Spring Creek Raid 
tnal. Courtesy the grandchil- 
dren of Felix Alston, Felix 
Scott Alston and Virginia 
Taylor Muller. 

His love 
affair with 
only ended 
with his 
death in 1956 
at the age of 

In some ways, the succinct foregoing paragraph better illuminates 
the colorful Wyoming years of the diminutive (five foot six inch) Texan 
Felix Alston than a more labored distractive narratixe. Alston's finest 
hours are to be found in the undertakings, activities, and time frame 
delineated by the above few words. His love affair with Wyoming only 
ended with his death in 1956 at the age of eighr\'-six. He left Wyo- 
ming for California in 1919 or 1920 and never returned. Ifhe had ever 
learned to drixe a car he might ha\e tra\eled again to Wyoming, but 
though once a cowboy and master of the reins he was not of the wheel. 
In contrast, his wife Mamie was one of the first women automobile 
drivers in Wyoming. Moving to their California orange grove in 1912, 
she and the four Basin, Wjoming, born Alston children traveled to 
Rawlins every summer in her Studebaker touring car. She was always 
at the helm during this remarkable feat, and remained the Alston family chauffeur 
until her death. 

Alston kept many of his Wyoming contacts until he outlived them all. There were 
annual Wyoming state picnics to be attended in the Los Angles area and friendships 
to be nurtured with those he had left behind and those Wyomingites coming through 
California, as well as with those settling in the state. Curiously, he seemed to have, 
and highly value, as many ex-cons as friends as law-abiding citizens. Maybe it was 
because he knew too well how tenuously thin the line could become between law- 
abiding and unlawful. How civilization had replaced Wyoming's frontier shortlv after 
statehood and how so manv grasped that fact too late or maybe never realized it at all. 
How circumstances and events with new perspectives by the people can carry a man 
across that line and criminalize him. One only has to read the mmierous letters 
Warden Alston wrote to the \arious governors of W\'oming, concerning prisoners' 
parole potential, to understand how he judged his fellow man. He rarely mentioned 
the crimes, but rather spoke of the man's character, trustworthiness, and potential 
place in society. 

In the spring and summer of 1952, Alston dictated numerous recollections of his 
Wyoming years while his third daughter, Helen Jastrow, sat at the Underwood, typing 

14 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal - Autumn 2004 

a verbatim rendering of his spoken words. This was ac- 
complished in the cool shaded yard of his Reseda, Cali- 
fornia, Spanish style home. He was painfully deaf in these 
years and it is likely that his daughter's shouts for clarity 
or repetition permeated the neighborhood. In looking 
back on this, decades later, his daughter was somewhat 
embarrassed and sincerel}' hoped that their neighbors were 
entertained. "At least, they did not complain about Dad 
and I ranting at one another in the yard that summer." 
The story of Bronco Nell was dictated at this period. 

A man and his wite arrived in Meeteetse, Wyo- 
ming, in the spring of" 1 900. They had a string 
ot six or eight work horses, two freight wag- 
ons and what was known as a kooster (a cart covered 
over like a covered wagon containing a cook stove 
and bed that was always trailed behind the freight 
wagons). They also had a small bunch of range horses. 
The man, for some reason that I never knew, put on 
his hat and walked off, leaving the woman to man- 
age the best she could with what propert)' he had left, 
tor herselt and small baby. 

She took the name ol Nell Smith, acquired a 
small place in the edge of this little town where she 
had barns, a corral along with a small bunk house. In 
order for her to make an adequate living for herself 
and child it was necessan' for her to engage in some 
occupation whereby she would have sufficient income. 
She then went on the road with her freight outfit 
hauling wool from any of the interior points to the 
railroad at Casper, Wyoming, or Billings, Montana. 
On her return trips, she would load her outfit with 
groceries or any other supplies needed by the mer- 
chants or the ranchers. While on these trips she would 
break her best horses to work in the team; for this she 
was always referred to as Bronco Nell. She was not a 
big woman — never weighing more than one hun- 
dred and thirt)' pounds, but was very efficient han- 
dling broncos as well as a string team of freight horses. 
As she acquired more teams than she really needed 
she would dispose of the surplus horses, which added 
very materially to her income. 

She acquired a small coal mine about three or 
four miles from Meeteetse, employing one or two 
broken-down coal miners to mine this coal. They 
were the only help she had in conducting this mine 

or her freight outfit. Nell even hauled her own coal 
from the mine to deliver to her various customers in 
the town. 

On account of her manipulating this freight out- 
fit she naturally attracted the attention of all horse 
lovers as well as horse thieves. She was known far and 
wide by all the horse thieves; and any of them were 
willing to increase her herd of horses instead of steal- 
ing them from her. Consequently, they gained her 
confidence and she certainly responded by protect- 
ing them. She would always feed and fmd a place for 
any of them to sleep in her bunkhouse. It was impos- 
sible to get any information from her concerning 
the actions or whereabouts of any of her acquaintan- 
ces who might be violators of the law. 

One of her loyalty acts to the profession of crooks 
was to harbor an escapee from the count)' jail by the 
name of Bob Stratten. He had escaped, made it on 
foot through the Bad Lands for a distance of sixty 
miles to her place. She had a number of colts on 
hand that she was weaning and in order to take care 
of Stratten she turned a basket hay rack upside down 
in the center of the corral, hauled straw by the tons 
entirely covering and burying the hay rack, where he 
lived the balance of the winter, which was a perfect 
place to hibernate. Due to Nell's loyalty Bob was not 
discovered by the law, and when spring came he dis- 

Nell was not satisfied weaning her own colts but 
proceeded to wean colts that were the property of 
others. Some people knew that she was doing it, but 
it was difficult to prove after the colts had been sepa- 
rated so long from their mothers that neither would 
recognize the other. During this time Nell's herd of 
horses increased with amazing rapidity. By this time 
she got to be an awful eyesore and nuisance to all the 
horsemen in the country but they considered it would 
be almost an utter impossibilit}' to secure a jury who 
would convict a woman of horse stealing. For that 
reason some of them were dilatory as to prosecuting 

Several of these horse owners came to me for 
advice as to what action to take since I was sheriff of 
Big Horn County. They seemed to think that the 
loyalty of the average Western man to women would 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journai --Aulunin 2004 15 

prevent a conviction in court. I differed with them 
and contended that it we could get convincing testi- 
mony oi her gtiih we would not have an\' dilhculty 
in securing a verdict ol" gtiiity. At my suggestion one 
oi these horsemen lek two of his colts the mothers 
had weaned with the herd ot range horses. He had 
marked these colts with a hair brand under their manes 
and had the witnesses note anv outstandinii marks or 
peculiarities thev had. Within the next two weeks Nell 
picked up these colts and put then in her corral with 
some oi her own. 

The owner, with his hired man, went to 
Meeteetses histice Court, had a writ ol replevin is- 
sued and delivered to mv deputv sheriH, which he 
sei'ved bv seizing the colts and retinning them to their 

The deptity sheritl called me Irom Meeteetse and 
inlormed me that he had seized the two colts that 
Nell had stolen and returned them to the owner and 
supposed that was all there was to it. 1 told him to 
make special notation ot the entire transaction in his 
mind, as we would probably want him to appear in 
court in case Nell was prosecuted. He said: "\\ hat in 
the hell is the use to prosecute her unless you convict 
her? This cotmtrv never has, in its histor\', convicted 
a woman lor crime." 

I told him that I believed in loyalty to the oppo- 
site sex as much as anyone, but 1 thought the time 
had come when it was necessar\' to put such women 
as Nell out ol business. The hict that she was a woman 
did not constitute a valid excuse tor her to appropri- 
ate other people's property. I never knew or heard ot 
a woman convicted lor stealing horses but we would 
make an exception in this case, as she had become a 
nuisance. 1 considered it would not be dilficult to get 
a verdict ot guilty. 

I went to C.A. Zaring who was county attorney, 
conferred with and gave him all the developments in 
the case as to Nells horse stealing. He looked at me 
and said: "God almighty, do you think we could con- 
vict a woman tor horse stealing? It vou think we can 
I am with you one himdred percent. I have heard 
considerable complaints as to Nell's activities and she 
must be a dinger ot a horsewoman. Within thirty 
days before district court sets we well tile a complaint 

direct under the 'Live Stock Statute' which makes it a 
penitentiarv ottense to steal live stock ot any value." 

1 told him we had positive evidence in that the 
owner ot the colts, along with his hired man, could 
positively identity both ot them. That the deputy sher- 
itt had reclaimed them trom Nell and had delivered 
them back to the owner. Nell had claimed ownership 
ot the colts, btit atter the otticet took possession ot 
them she claimed then that she might be mistaken in 
the identity, which was an impossibility as she did 
not have one animal ot an\- description in that pat- 
ticular range. 

Mr. Zaring tiled a criminal indictmenr, which 
meant that it would be necessary tor Nell to tLuntsh a 
bail bond to appear at the next regular term ot dis- 
trict cotut. 

I did not arrest Nell and take her into custody 
but instructed her to post a bond immediateh' or else 
be remanded to jail. 

On the tlrst day session ot the court Nell appeared 
in person with her law\'ers which consisted ot the 
leading law tlrm ot the countv, Ridgley and West. 
That torenoon session ot the court was devoted en- 
tirel\- to reading ot the criminal docket and setting 
all criminal cases tor trial. Nell's case was the last one 
to be heard. Puring the noon recess the judge no- 
ticed the case on the docket "State ot Wyoming vs. 
Nell Smith" which really meant a criminal indict- 
ment. Never having had a woman criminal in his 
cotut the judge was curious to know what charge was 
against Nell. He asked the coiuit\' atrorne\' and I "what 
was the charge?" to which Mr. Zaring replied: "Horse 

The judge smiled and asked Mr. Zaring "Do \'ou 
realK' believe it is possible to convict a woman ot 
horse stealing? " 

Mt. Zaring replied by saying: "The sherift says 
he has the most convincing testimony which places 
her beyond anv doubt ot guilt." 

At the completion ot Nell's trial the case was placed 
in the hands of jury about four o'clock. The bailitt 
took the jur\- to dinner atter which thev retired to 
the jtu'v room tor deliberation. The judge lett in- 
structions that it the jur\' brotight in a \'erdict betore 
eleven o'clock that nidit to call him and he would 

1 6 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 

hear it, otherwise to turn in a sealed verdict to the 
clerk of the court. About ten o'clock they informed 
the bailiff that thev had arrived at a verdict. All inter- 
ested in the case congregated in the courtroom to 
hear a verdict of "guilty as charged" without any rec- 

Of course, it was necessary to place Nell in jail. 
She and 1 took her little girl, Ruth, over to my resi- 
dence and leh her with my wile where she remained 
until the county commissioners made arrangements 
with a Mrs. Gebhardt in Meeteetse to keep her until 
her mother was released trom prison. 

Nell was transferred with others who had been 
convicted at this term ol court to the state prison at 
Rawlins, Wyoming, where she served her lull two- 
year term as sentenced by the court. 

At the conclusion ol her trial she had given her 
lawyers full power of attorney to dispose ol any and 
all ol her propert}', which they did lor a very nomi- 
nal sum, and lorgot to remit any part ol it to Nell. 

Upon one ol my various trips to the prison while 
taking prisoners there the warden informed me that 
Nell wanted to see me. She had been in prison about 

a year by this time. 

I said: "All right, send her in." 

When she came into the warden's office 1 said to 
her: "Nell, you hate me worse than the Devil hates 
Holy Water — why do you want to see me, and what 

To which she replied: "At one time I hated and 
despised you most of all people I ever knew, but now 
I have made up my mind that you are the most de- 
cent one ol the whole damn bunch. Those lawyers 
have sold all of my property and my time will expire 
here betore a great while and 1 haven't enough money 
to pay my fare home, and don't consider there is any 
chance to steal a horse to ride home. I am wondering 
how I will get there." 

1 told her to write her lawyers to send her suffi- 
cient funds to get home "or else." 

In due time she arrived back in Big Horn County 
flat broke and said she understood her lawyers had 
sold all of her property for two thousand dollars when 
the freight outfit alone was well worth that amount. 
She asked me: "What can 1 do to get even a portion 
ol the sales?" 

The Wyoining State Penitentiary in Rawlins, ca. 1912. Alston served as the warden of the penitentiary from 
1911 to 1919. Courtesy the grandchildren of Felix Alston. 

Annals of Wyominci The Wyoming History Journal-- Autumn 2004 17 

I laughingl)' advised her to tell her lawyers that it 
they did not diwy up some coin h"om the sale of her 
propert}' that she would horse whip them in the street. 

I don't know what action Nell took btit the next 
morning I saw her at the stage station on her way to 
Meeteetse and asked her what success she had finan- 
cially. Nell grinned and said: "I am not broke." 

She went to Meeteetse where she got her daugh- 
ter and thev went to Cody. I have not seen either ot 
them since. 

It would not be fair to end this story without 
paying the highest compliments to that little girl, Ruth. 

A man I know well who has been a lil-e-long resi- 
dent ol Cody told me the following concerning Ruth 
and Nell's life in Cody. 1 will tell it in his own words 
to the best oi my ability, 

"When Nell and Ruth came to Cody Nell put 
Ruth in schools. She would work at any kind of hon- 
orable work that she could get to do to keep Ruth in 
school and in nice clothes. She was well rewarded lor 
her eltorts to educate Ruth and give her the best op- 
portunities that she could possibly afford as Ruth was 
one of the outstanding students in high school, nice 
looking with the appearance of important intelligence 
and refinement. In fact, she was all that anv parent 
could expect of their offspring. She graduated from 
high school with the highest of honors and in some 
kind of a musical contest she won a prize which was a 
fine piano. ' 

Ruth's father, who had walked out on them when 
she was a bab\', and retiuned to Texas, but never tried 
to contact either Nell or Ruth bv comnumication or 
otherwise, had acquired some land holdings on his 
return to Texas on which oil had been discovered. 
During this time he had undoubtedly kept tabs on 
them as he appeared in Cociy shortl)- after Ruth gradu- 
ated from High School. He wanted Nell and Ruth to 
forget all the past and go with him. Nell very prompth- 
informed him that he could do as much and what- 
ever he pleased for Riuh but as far as she was person- 
ally concerned she had made her own wa\' for fifteen 
years without him or his aid and she certainly would 
continue to do so. 

He put Ruth in a college of music in New York 

state where I understand she went to the top. 

With all of Nell's career as a horse thief and pro- 
tecting others in the same profession, she certainly 
deserves a great deal of credit for the manner in which 
she has conducted herself after her release from prison, 
anci, if living, is eighty-three years old. 



Post script: Mrs. Ella Smith, a.k.a. Bronco Nell, was 
charged and tried in Big Horn Count\' in the spring 
of 1 908. She was found guilty of the charges on May 
2, 1908. Sheriff Alston took her into custody at that 
time and transported her to the Wyoming State Prison 
on June 3, 1908. 

The Alston children (left to right) Virginia, Helen. Felix, and 
Unis in 1910, Nell's daughter Ruth was about the same age as 
Unis, born in 1901, Courtesy the grandchildren of Felix Alston, 

1 8 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 

Sketch of Heart 
Mountain Relocation 
Center by Jacl< 
Yamasaki which 
Henry Taira presented 
to Charles Decherl "to 
thank him for helping 
his family escape the 
drab confines of Heart 
IVIountain to the wide- 
open spaces of the 
Dechert Farm." 
Courtesy the author. 

Escape from Heart Mountain 

by Betty Y. Taira 

In 1941, my family was among the thousands of Japanese and Japanese 
Americans Hving on the West Coast. My parents, Shizu (1898-1955) and 
Henry Kakukichi Taira (1901-1967), were born in Okinawa, Japan, and im- 
migrated to Cahfornia around 1917-1919. My sister, Amy Yemiko (1928-1983), 
my younger brother, Calvin, and I were all born in California. We were a typical 
Japanese American family of that period: My father was a landscape gardener in 
Beverly Hills, and my mother ran a small hotel and rooming house at Third and 
Omar streets in Los Angeles, not far from Little Tokyo. 

My father worked for a number of families in Beverly Hills and Hollywood. 
It was always a special day when he would take me with him. He took me most 
often to the Foster s; only much later did I learn of our close connection with 
them. One day I noticed that my name on my birth certificate is "Yeiko Taira." 
When I asked my parents why "Betty" was missing from it, they told me that Mrs. 
Foster asked my father to name me "Elizabeth" after a baby daughter they lost. 
My mother refused because she could not pronounce Elizabeth. Mrs. Foster 
reminded my father that they called her "Betty." So, from the time I was a 
toddler, my family called me Betty, and my legal name is Betty Yeiko Taira. 

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, hysteria 
gripped the country, especially residents of the West Coast. There were immediate 
calls for the removal of people of Japanese ancestry from the Pacific Coast states. 
Initially it was not clear what was to happen to us. On February 19, 1942, Presi- 
dent Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which allowed the army 
to form military zones and exclude any people from those zones who were deemed 
a potential threat to national security. This policy came to fall exclusively on 
people of Japanese ancestry.' 

1 Roger Daniels, Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II (New York: Hill and 
Wang, 1993), pp. 46-48. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal-- Autumn 2004 19 

Above. Calvin Taira in front of the barracks at the Heart Moun- 
tain Relocation Center dunng February 1943. Courtesy the 

Left. Amy Taira on barrack steps at the Heart Mountain Reloca- 
tion Center dunng February 1943, Courtesy the author. 

It was decided that people oi Japanese ancestr\', 
most of whom were American citizens, be removed 
from their homes and phiced, temporariK', in so-called 
"assembly centers." Later thev would be moved to 
permanent camps farther inland. When it was pro- 
posed that one of the permanent camps be located in 
Wyoming, that state's governor, Nels Smith, statecf: 
"If you bring Japanese into my state, I promise thev 
will be hanging from every tree."' Some Wyoming 
residents said that we Japanese might be used as la- 
borers for local farmers. But W J. Gorst of Worland, 
president of the Montana- Wyoming Beet Growers 
Association, said that his organization was opposed 
to bringing Japanese people into the state as farm 

" Daniels, Prisoners Without Tridl, p. 57. 

' Mike Macliey, Heart Moiiiitani: Life in Wyoming's Concentra- 
tion Camp (Powell, Wyoming: Western History Publications, 
2000), pp. 10-12. 

laborers or an\thing else. Fortunatelv for our family, 
that was not the feeling of the majoritA' of W\'oming's 

Our famiK' was e\acuated tt) the Santa Anita As- 
sembl}' Center in May 1942, and then moved to 
Heart Moimtain, W\'oming, in the fall of that \'ear. 
We carried our entire famih's beloniiintis in three 

After our arri\al at Heart Mountain, m\' father 
worked as a carpenter helping to build the camp in- 
firmary After that work was completed, mv father 
and several of his friends went sugar-beet topping at 
Helena, Montana. When that work was fmished, the 
men returned to Heart Mountain, but they soon left 
again, this time to work in the beet fields near Bill- 
ings, Montana. Mv father described their li\ing quar- 
ters as a shack with bunk beds — but e\'en these mea- 
ger conditions pro\ided a more positi\'e environment 
than at Heart Mountain because there were neither 
armed militan' ciuards, nor barbed wire fences con- 

20 AnnalsofVVyominq:The Wyoming History Journai--AutLjmn 2004 

fining them. He said the only fences he saw were to 
keep the farm animals confined. 

When he returned to Heart Mountain, my fa- 
ther sought opportunities through which our whole 
family could leave the camp. Many single men and 
some women were afforded the opportunity to leave 
the camp on an individual basis. It was less of a prob- 
lem to sponsor or hire an individual adult as opposed 
to taking on the responsibility of sponsoring a fam- 
ily with children. The relocation program consisted 
of three different t\'pes of leave. Short-term leave per- 
mitted camp residents to travel outside Heart Moun- 
tain to check relocation possibilities and job pros- 
pects. Indefinite leave allowed the internees to live 
and work outside of the camp. And seasonal leave 
gave residents the opportunity to work on agricul- 
tural projects, and then return to camp when the 
work was completed.' My father had already been 
to Helena and Billings on seasonal leave, but what he 
wanted was to get our entire family out of camp on 
indefinite leave. So I accompanied my father to an 
office in camp to fill out forms to seek a sponsor. He 
was interested in working on a farm growing veg- 
etables, work he learned when he came to America as 
a teenager. I remember the clerk telling my father 
not to get his hopes up about getting our whole fam- 
ily out of Heart Mountain. But one day, my father 
received good news; a man named Charles Dechert 
agreed to sponsor our whole family. Even though the 
government required that reams of paperwork be 
filled out and approved before we would be allowed 
to leave Heart Mountain, the agreement between my 
father and Mr. Dechert was sealed with a handshake. 

In March 1943, Mr. Dechert came to pick us up 
and drove our family to his farm outside Riverton, 
Wyoming, located on the south side of Ocean Lake. 
Finally, we were free of armed guards, five people 
living in one room, eating in mess halls, and taking 
turns using the shower stalls and toilets, which were 
some distance from our barracks. It was during the 
time that we lived on the Decherts' farm that my 
father presented an original drawing by Jack 
Yamasaki^ to Mr. Dechert to thank him for helping 
his family escape the drab confines of Heart Moun- 
tain to the wide-op Ml spaces of the Dechert farm. The 
drawing was the only thing of value he could give the 


My parents were especially thankful for the trust 
the Decherts had in them, that they risked taking 
in a Japanese family in the midst of war and afford- 
ing us the opportunity to escape the confines of camp. 
My father often reminded us of how much we owed 
the Decherts for providing us with a place to live as a 
nuclear family once again, as we had in 
California. One of the things about camp life that 
had truly concerned my mother was that we no longer 
did things as a family. Within the first months of our 
arrival at Heart Mountain, my father had already left 
camp twice to work. In the dining hall, we children 
began to sit with our friends. The men sat in one 
area and the women in another. 

The evening we arrived at Mr. Dechert s farm on 
the shore of Ocean Lake, we were greeted warmly by 
Mrs. Dechert. Their children. Dubby (Donald), Tad 
(Dale), and Chop (Lloyd) were already asleep. It was 
late and we were taken to some fishing cabins owned 
by the Hoffman family where we stayed for the first 
few days while Mr. Dechert put a concrete floor in 
the tie building where we would live. The Decherts 
prepared some food for us and left us eggs and bread 
for breakfast the next morning. They showed us how 
to heat the cabin using the pot-bellied stove, but by 
morning, the eggs were frozen. We were so surprised 
that there were no toilets in the cabin, although in- 
door plumbing was rare then. My greatest fear was 
having to go to the outhouse before we went to bed. 

I don't remember exactly when the rest of us met 
our neighbors, the Reeses, but Mr. Dechert took my 

■* W. Joe Carroll, Relocation Division Final Report, Japanese 
American Evacuation and Resettlement Papers, Ml. 60, 
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. 

^ Jack Yamasaki, an artist, was a friend of my parents when 
we were incarcerated at Heart Mountain. He did pencil 
drawings because the pencil was almost the only art 
supply available to him during our early days in camp, 
and perhaps, that was his favorite medium. In any case, 
the artworks I have seen by Mr. Yamasaki were pencil 
drawings. The sketch has a date on it of March 5, 1943; 
we left Heart Mountain on March 7, 1943. My parents 
gave the drawing to the Decherts sometime between 
springs 1943-1945 when we lived in Riverton, in 
appreciation for their part in our escape from the Heart 
Mountain Relocation Center. 

Annals of Wyoming The V^yoming Histor\' Journal - Autumn 2004 21 

dad to the farms close by to introduce him. To city 
folks like us, the neighbors seemed to live far away. 
As time went on, the neighboring farmers came to 
visit to see what Mr. Dechert was going to do on his 
htrm. We also met other neighbors through our 
schoolmates. 1 don't think any of us had much time 
to play. Everyone had chores to do after school. 

Not too long after we were arrived, Mr. Dechert 
invited "Sam" Seikyu and Helen (Miyagi) Nakahara, 
our very close familv friends, to join us. We lived 
together as one family. The Nakaharas were with us 
until December 1943 at which time they moved to 
New York Cirv. 

Among m\' memories are m\- mother's delicious 
Okinawan donuts [aiidagi] which we took to neigh- 
bors who gave us fresh eggs. We later raised our own 
chickens and had our own eggs, but she continued to 
share Japanese foods with the neighbors. There was 
no shortage of meat because we raised pigs and chick- 
ens, and Mr. Dechert went hunting. We had venison 
and pheasant for the first time. The neighbors would 
also share lamb with us. 

Outside of camp, our life approached ntirmalc\' 
thanks to the local residents. We attended the I'avillion 
School (although we lived closer to Riverton, we 
were in the Pa\'illion School District). Mr. Dechert 

and my father took us to register as soon as we ar- 
rived. They also had to arrange for the school bus to 
pick us up. 1 don't remember the distance from our 
home to I'ax'illion, but it took a long time to get 
there on a good day. On days after the thaw, it took 
two hours because the bus kept getting stuck in the 
mud. On some occasions, when we finally reached 
the school, it was time for hmch. 

The hiaih school was a hutre frame buildino;, and 
the elementar\' school was a two-story brick build- 
ing. Amy, my sister, was in the ninth/tenth gracie, I 
was in the fourth/fifth grade, and my brother Calvin 
was in the first/second grade. 

We attended Sunday school with our school bus 
driver, Mr. Lund, and his wife, who was our music 
teacher. They picked us up and brought us home al- 
though the church was quite some distance from their 

Ihat fust Halloween, we learned how farm kids 
played pranks on their neighbors. Some of our neigh- 
bors came h\ in the evening to pick us up on horse- 
back, and as we ^ot to a neis:hbor's house, the older 
kids would topple the outhouse. I was scared, first, of 
snakes, which I learned were nocturnal animals, and, 
then, about the trouble we would he in for knocking 
o\'er the outhouses. After the mischief, we went to 

Amy Tairas 
classmates at 
Pavillion School in 
1945. Courtesy the 

22 AnnalsofWyoniinq:TheV\/vominqHislorYJournal--Aulumn 2004 

the Fosters' home to bob for apples. We had never 
done that before. 

Mrs. Dechert taught us so many things. We learned 
to make butter by churning the cream she saved from 
the milk; how cottage cheese is made; and even drank 
a bit of real buttermilk. What fun we had learning 
to pull taff}'! I was too young to help with the can- 
ning, but my mother and sister learned. This came 
in handy when the Decherts moved in 1944 to their 
new home, a farm approximately fifteen miles away. 
My sister and mother were able to do their own can- 
ning. Mrs. Dechert also taught my sister how to make 
her great chocolate cake made with mashed potatoes. 

In winter, our neighbors taught us how to ice- 
fish. Ocean Lake was close by, and the water would 
freeze more than a foot. The men had to cut a hole 
in the ice and drop a string line to catch ling. Each 
night, we would walk in the freezing weather to check 
the lines. During the spring and summer months, 
we fished there daily by boat for our dinner. We had 
so much fun. It took ver)' little time to catch a bushel 
of crappies to feed our family and the hired hands. 

Our wells provided us with plenty of water. But 
we learned very quickly that the water was not suit- 
able for drinking. We were able to get water for drink- 
ing and cooking from a neighbor. 

During the harvest season, the farmers would get 

together and help one another thresh the grain. At 
other times of the year, they would help castrate (I 
didn't know that this term could be used in a vulgar 
manner until I left the farm) sheep and cattle. 

To help with the potato harvest our first year there, 
Mr. Dechert hired Indians from the Wind River Res- 
ervation. After some begging from me, Mr. Dechert 
and my father allowed me to go with them to pickup 
the workers. At the reservation, I saw a number of 
tepees where the Shoshone Indians lived. There were 
also some wooden frame houses. Among the things 
they loaded on the truck was a large kettle in which 
they cooked their lunch out in the fields for the two 
women, four men, and two boys who came to work. 
One of the children asked me if I were Indian. When 
I told him that I was Japanese, he let it go at that. 

In terms of interaction, we were the only Japa- 
nese family in the area until our friends the 
Yamashiros joineci us from a camp in Arkansas. Mr. 
Dechert invited them to his farm in 1944. They 
later went to work for the Chambers family closer to 

It is my recollection that there was mutual respect 
with our neighbors. I cannot remember a time when 
we were treated in a negative way, nor did I hear my 
parents discuss it. My thought is that we were the 
recipients of their kindness due to the rapport the 

Betty Taira's Pavillion School classmates on Sadie Hawkins Day. Courtesy the author. 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal- Autumn 2004 23 

Decherts had already established with the neighbors. 

In March 1945, our himiiy moved to Denver to 
join Mr. and Mrs. Takashi Higas' family. Ihere my 
parents worked on a celery ranch where the\' har- 
vested the celery, washed the celery tor packing, and 
crated it tor shipping. Although we lived on the out- 
skirts of Denver, we were surprised that the home we 
moved into had no electricit\'. We had rtmninsi wa- 
ter but no indoor bathroom or toilet. Our h'iends 
had built a large Japanese-style bathhouse, so this as- 
pect oi living was more comfortable tor us. Every 
evening after work, our triends came over to take a 
bath in the ofiiro (bathhouse). It was the one time oI 
dav they could take it easy aher a hard day's work. 

There was an orphanage ciown the street Irom 
us, and the children living there went to school with 
us. When I saw how they lived in crowded rooms, I 
was thankhil that we had a large, rwo-stor)' house 
with lots ol room. 

Amy, my older sister, moved to Washington, DC, 
alter school closed in June; theretore, it became m\' 
job to learn some cooking, do the laundry on Sattu- 
days, and hatd wood to heat the bath water. 1 loved 
stoking the fire tor the bath each dav, but doing the 
laundry was a chore. My mother worked in the field- 
and-packing house from morning to night, so there 
was little time tor her to do the household chores. 
Sunday was supposed to be a day ol rest, but I don't 
think they had many oI those days. 

There were two momentous days in 1943, the 
first was when President Roosevelt died in April, and 
the second was when the war ended in August. V-J 
Day was traumatic tor me because of" messages that 
some lehovah's Witness members leh with me each 
time they visited. Ihey told me that the world was 
coming to an end and that I would know it by all the 
sights and sounds that would occur. One day in Au- 
gust (V-J Day), the trains that came by our house 
blasted their loud horns incessantk — not just at the 
crossings. The Gates Rubber Company's whistles were 
blasting, and people were jumping on top ol their 
cars and trucks. I knew it was the end of the world. 

My parents, ol course, were in the fields. My 
mother had cautioned me that 1 was to keep my eyes 
on my brother when they were not at home. He was 
playing with his best triend Bobby Higa (now The 

Honorable Judge Robert Higa in California) several 
blocks away. 1 ran all the way to the Higas' hysteri- 
cally. When I got there, Bobby's cousin calmed me 
down and told me that ever)'one was celebrating the 
end of the war. What a relief that was to me, the 
world was not coming to an end after all. 

Our family moved again and settled for good in 
Washington, DC. My sister, brother, and 1 attended 
and graduated from the DC public schools during 
the segregation era. Amy finished cosmetolog)' school 
after she was married and had her first child. I gradu- 
ated from college and earned a Bachelor of Science 
in Education and later earned a Master's in Educa- 
tion. M\' brother Calvin became a dentist. 

After spending thirty-five years as an educator, I 
retired from working overseas and moved back to 
Washington, DC. 1 had worked in Washington, DC, 
Honolulu, and with the Department of Defense 
Dependent Schools in japan, Korea, and Spain. From 
the classroom, 1 moved on to become a counselor 
and then assistant principal, principal, and regional 
coordinator. When I retired, I was the assistant to 
the district superintendent in Spain. 1 am semi-re- 
tired now, working at the League of Women Voters 
of the United States just three days a week. 

Calvin and I are the only ones left of our imme- 
diate family. It was important for one of us to meet 
with Mr. Dechert and personally express our grati- 
tude to him, but we had lost contact with him. Still, 
things happen in mysterious ways. During school year 
1984-8S, when I was assigned to the District 
Superintendent's Office in Korea, I was invited to be 
on an augment team for our school evaluations. The 
head of the team from the North Central Associa- 
tion of Colleges and Schools (NCA) was Mr. Jack 
King, former Superintendent of Schools in Lander, 
Wyoming. In my letter of introduction to Mr. King, 
I mentioned that our family had lived in Ri\erton, 
Wyoming, and told him about Mr. Dechert. Not 
only did Mr. King visit the Pavillion School to seek 
some of our former schoolmates, but he also con- 
tacted Mr. Dechert. It was Jack King who reunited 
us with Charles [dechert. 

It was through this connection that I visited Mr. 
Dechert during the summer of 1985. By then, he 
had retired from farming:. We had a woncJerful three- 

24 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 

day visit talking about what made him decide to spon- 
sor our hunily. He said that soon after the war began, 
he had wanted to do something to help in the war 
effort. He decided that growing vegetables would be 
one way to help other farmers in his area since they 
were mainlv crop farmers. At about the same time, 
he heard that some Japanese folks at Heart Moun- 
tain were looking for opportunities to leave camp, so 


Amy Taira's 1943 science class at the Heart Mountain Reloca- 
tion Center. Courtesy the author. 

he thought that he might hire three or four 
men. When he contacted the authorities at Heart 
Mountain, he learned that one person with a fam- 
ily (my father) had signed up to help with vegetable 

Mr. Dechert also said he was concerned about 
his ability to start this farming before the spring thaw 
because he needeci to make some plans betore go- 
ing ahead with this undertaking. But before going 
any ftirther, he discussed with his wife, Lena Schwabb 
Dechert, the possibility of sponsoring a whole 
family as opposed to the three or four men they 
had discussed. We thank both Mr. and Mrs. Dechert 
for their decision to sponsor us. A short time after 
Mr. Dechert's first visit, we were on our way to 

I know from my visit with Mr. Dechert in 1985 
that he, and his wife too, experienced some hard- 
ships. He said that our family left Wyoming at the 
right time for us and for him. His uncle and aunt, 
George and Emma Dechert, had lost a son in the 
Pacific and were not happy that he was sponsoring 

a Japanese family. Had I not asked, I do not think 
Mr. Dechert would have mentioned this difficult 

When I visited with him, Mr. Dechert said he had 
a great desire to get some young Japanese farmers 
from Hokkaido, where much of his cattle feed was 
sent, to teach them about farming methods practiced 
by him and his sons. He told me not to be surprised 
if he decided to visit Japan. I was waiting to hear 
from him later that year, but in October 1985, I re- 
ceived word that he had passed away. Now we are in 
touch with his son Lloyd Dechert and granddaugh- 
ter Dr. Renee Dechert. It is my hope that one day 
before too much time passes, we will have a reunion. 
Although I have visited Wyoming, I would like to 
have my brother and sister's family members see where 
their grandparents and parents lived. If there are any 
buildings left, I'd like them to see our old home. 

We owe our good fortune to our parents who 
sacrificed so mtich to give us what we have today. It's 
too late to tell them that we understand how much 
they did for us. Coming to a new country with noth- 
ing but dreams, they understood the importance of 
education and family. Whatever they did — work or 
play — they did it with us in mind. We honor their 
generation and those who had an impact on our lives, 
like the Decherts, during a very difficult time in his- 


Henry Taira's panel truck in which the family moved from 
Riverton to Denver and then to Washington, D.C. Courtesy the 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoniing History Journal ■■ Autumn 2004 25 


Significant Recent Books 
on Western ana 

Edited by 

cariHaiiberg Wyoming History 

Morning Star Dawn: The Powder River Expedition 
and the Northern Cheyennes, 1876. By Jerome A 
Greene. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003. 
289 pages. Illustrations, map, index. Hardcover. $34.95. 

From the close of the Civil War to 1 876, the north- 
ern plains endured eleven years of intermittent 
warfare between the allied Lakota and Northern 
Cheyenne tribes and U.S. military forces. The year 
1876 was not a good one for the U.S. Army. Colonel 
Reynolds' lackluster performance dining his assault 
on a Northern Cheyenne village on the Powder I^iver 
in March accomplished nothing militarily except his 
own court martial. Ceneral George Crook narrowly 
escaped disaster in a stand-up fight on Rosebud Creek 
in mid-|ime. Less than two weeks later, Cicorge 
Armstrong Custer and his command were crushed 
on the Little Big Horn River. However, by Septem- 
ber, the army's fortunes began to improve in a small 
but successful engagement at Slim Buttes. The last 
struggle of the vear, commonly referred to as the 
"Dull Knife Fight, " took place on the Red Fork of 
the Powder River in the Big Horn Mountains of 
Wyoming and is the basis of Jerome Greene's latest 

In this second volume of the "Campaigns and 
Commanders" series, Greene, a noted authority and 
prolific writer on the Plains Indian wars, examines 
the wintry battle in mid-November in which George 
Crook's cavalry, led by Colonel Ranald Mackenzie, 
made a surprise attack on a band of Northern Chey- 
enne under Morning Star, known to the Sioux as 
"Dull Knife, " at the Indian's winter camp. This single 
campaign and battle was not an isolated, solitary 
event. In order to place it in a proper historical per- 
spective, Greene writes an excellent and valuable ac- 
count about the long string of broken treaties, raids, 
and fights on the high plains from the close of the 
Civil War to the commencement of Crook's winter 

campaign in mid-November 1876. 

This is a very readable and thorough account 
about the campaign from the perspective of both the 
cavalry and the Indians. Greene describes in suffi- 
cient, but not excessive, detail C^rook's logistical prob- 
lems of equipping and feeding a column of soldiers 
and animals stretching more than five miles in length. 
Greene also brings in some of the personalities of the 
participants, such as reports bv officers expressing their 
personal feelings and frustrations about Crook's lead- 
ership and decisions. The Indians are not ignored as 
Greene also describes the background and personal- 
ity of the Northern Cheyenne chief Morning Star, 
who was then in his late sixties and a veteran of nu- 
merous, well-known earlier fights such as the 
Fetterman and Rosebud engagements. 

What is significant about this book, in compari- 
son with many earlier accounts about the Indian 
Wrrs, is Greene's detailed, unbiased descriptions about 
the rigors and hardships suffered by both the Chev- 
enne people and the American militar)' in the winter 
campaign. The army's strategy during the Indian Wars 
on the high plains centered on surprise attacks on 
Indian villages, usually during the wintertime, such 
as Custer's assault against the Cheyenne on the 
Washita in 1868. In contrast, the battles on the Rose- 
bud and Little Big Horn were stand-up fights, where 
the mettle of the Sioux and Cheyenne tested and 
bested the American army. Surprise attacks were there- 
fore usually more successful from a military point of 
view. The disturbing aspect of this strategy was that 
the attacks were willfully directed not only against 
the warriors, but against the non-combatant women, 
children, and elderly as well. The destruction of 
Morning Star's village and his people's winter fooci 
supply, clothing, and shelter in the deep snow of the 
Big Horns was utterly devastating. Greene expresslv 
declines to judge or discuss the morality of such a 

26 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 

Strategy. Instead, he gives plenty of facts from both 
the Indian and mihtary points of view from which 
the reader can make a judgment. 

I wondered why Greene felt that a book cover- 
ing only one campaign and one battle was needed. 
After all, the numbers of the participants involved 
did not approach those engaged on the Rosebud and 
Little Big Horn nor did the campaign directly affect 
the more numerous Sioux. Greene's answer is that 
the destruction of the village and dispersal of its in- 
habitants effectively ended the Northern Cheyenne 
alliance with the Siotix, thus effectively ending the 
"Great Sioux War." 

V. Rodney Hallberg 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 

Interpreters with Lewis and Clarlt: The Story of 
Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau. By W Dale 
Nelson. Denton, TX: University of North Texas, 2004. 
184 pages. Maps, illustrations, notes, bibliography, in- 
dex. Hardcover, $24.95. 

t is a good time to be an aficionado of Lewis and 


Clark. The bicentennial of Meriwether Lewis and 
William Clark's 1803-1806 expedition to the Ameri- 
can West is taking place in the context of a growing 
body of literature on, and public interest in, the mem- 
bers of the "Corps of Discovery." Of course, there is 
Stephen Ambrose's popular study of Lewis, Undaunted 
Courage (1996). Landon Jones' William Clark and the 
Shaping of the West (2004) looks at Clark, and Robert 
B. Betts' In Search of York (2001) discusses Clark's 
African American slave. 

A recent addition to this body of work is journal- 
ist W Dale Nelson's Interpreters with Lewis and Clark: 
The Sto>y of Sacagawea aiid Toussaint Charbonneau. 
The author begins with French-Canadian fur trader 
Charbonneau and his Shoshoni wife, Sacagawea, join- 
ing the Corps of Discovery in 1804. Roughly the 
first half of the book surveys the couple's activities as 
members of the expedition, in particular their role as 
interpreters and negotiators. For example, the pres- 
ence of Sacagawea, a woman, helped convince Nez 
Perces that the explorers' intentions were not hostile. 
The book's second half examines the post-expe- 
dition years. Nelson pays particular attention to 
Charbonneau's work as a fur trader and as an inter- 

preter for the United States. Also discussed is Jean 
Baptiste, born to Sacagawea and her husband while 
they served with Lewis and Clark. Baptiste was a fur 
trader, traveled to Europe and North Africa, guided 
the "Mormon Battalion" during the Mexican-Ameri- 
can War, and participated in the California Gold 

Nelson's chronological and highly readable nar- 
rative incorporates many interesting details and quo- 
tations from primary and secondary sources. There 
are several maps and illustrations, but relatively little 
analysis. Nevertheless, the author's judgments do 
sometimes come through. Charbonneau comes across 
as a flawed, but significant figure who has not re- 
ceived the attention he deserves. (Fiow many things 
have been named after Charbonneau compared to 
better-known members of the corps?) The author ar- 
gues that Sacagawea died at Fort Manuel in 1812, 
rejecting historian Grace Raymond Flebard's thesis 
that the Shoshoni interpreter lived until 1884 and 
died on the Wind River Reservation. 

Still, some readers might long for more analysis. 
Nelson mentions at least one incident in which 
Charbonneau hit Sacagawea, but writes that such be- 
havior was not atypical for early nineteenth century 
American men. Yet, the author also points out that 
Clark chastised the French-Canadian for striking his 
wife, suggesting that there were social norms at that 
time that did not sanction the physical abuse of 
women. It is all well and good to evaluate 
Charbonneau by the standards of his time, but which 
of those early nineteenth century standards should 
we use? 

In addition, one might raise questions about 
Nelson's discussion of certain issues, such as the small- 
pox epidemic of the late 1830s. The author rightly 
notes the devastating impact on the tribes, especially 
the Mandans, and the efforts by the United States to 
inoculate Indians. However, scholars like Russell 
Thornton have shown that some whites had deliber- 
ately tried to infect Native Americans with smallpox 
at various times and that some settlers were pleased at 
the massive Indian deaths caused by epidemics. Ac- 
knowledging such facts would give the book more 
balance on this issue. 

Such concerns aside, Nelson has written a useful 

Annals of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal ■■ Autumn 2004 27 

book. It is readable and offers valuable detail about 
the lives of some members of the Corps of Discovery 
that have not always enjoyed the spotlight. Those 
interested in the Lewis and Clark expedition and the 
history of the 19''' century American West will likely 
fmd hitcrpreters worth a look. 

Christopher K. Riggs 
Lewis-Clark State College 

African American Women Confront the West, 1600- 
2000. Edited by Quintard Taylor and Shirley Ann Wilson 
Moore. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003. 
390 pages. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. Hard- 
cover, $34.95. 

African A))U'ricit)! Wo))h')i Co)ifrout the West is an 
-/j-important contribution to western historiogra- 
ph\', which, in focusing upon a group often 
marginalized in scholarship, reflects the inclusive na- 
ttue of the new Western histor\'. Editors Quintard 
Taylor and Shirley Ann Wilson Moore have selected 
seventeen essays which demonstrate the state of the 
field. In addition, the \'okune includes thirteen \'i- 
gnettes or primar\' documents, giving voice to the 
African American women discussed in the essays. 

This volume does not emphasize the victimiza- 
tion of African American women in the West. Rather 
the stories chronicled are about the social agency of 
these women through familw chmch, civic clubs, and 
reform movements. la\'lor and Moore conclude that 
black, western women "turned to their work of build- 
ing communities, caring for families, founding and 
maintaining institutions, and attaininc: social and eco- 
nomic justice with a profotmd con\iction in their 
own abilities to move be\'ond the limitations racism 
and sexism had placed upon them" (p. 17). 

The essavs are arranged in a chronolocrical fash- 
ion. Debra S. McDonald argues that Afrohispanas 
used the legal system, the chinch, and even witch- 
craft to negotiate a place on the Spanish Southwest- 
ern frontier. Nineteenth century California is the sub- 
ject of three articles. Lynn M. Hudson presents the 
storv of May Ellen Pleasant, who used the mask of 
"mammy" to accimiulate property. Barbara Y. Welke 
describes African American women in San Francisco 
fighting for cc]ual access to public spaces. Susan Bragg 

chronicles the efforts of Sacramento black parents to 
attain eciucational opportunities for their children. 
But the volume is hardly limited to California. Peggy 
Rile\' tells the story aboiu how women in the Bethel 
African American Methodist Episcopal (Church of 
Creat Falls, Montana, shaped their chinch and com- 
munity. Ronald C^oleman focuses upon the life of 
lane Elizabeth Manning James, an African American 
woman who struggled to find a place ft)r her family 
within the racial hierarchy of the Mormon faith. 

Most articles selected by Laylor and Moore focus 
upon the twentieth century West. Susan Armitage 
provides readers with an oral histor\' of Dr. Ruth 
Flowers in Boulder, C^olorado. 1 he first African 
American woman to graduate from the Universit}' of 
Colorado, Flowers makes it clear that the Mountain 
West was hardly free from racial prejudice. Moya 
Hansen, in her study of jobs in Denver during the 
first seven decades of the rvventieth centurw pro\'ides 
c|uantitati\'e support for the anecdotal evidence of 
Flowers. Hollywood stereotyping of black women is 
analyzed by Alicia Rodriquez-Estradas account about 
Fredi Washington and Dorothy Dandridge. Quintard 
Tivlor contributes an essav on campaigns for social 
justice in the Pacific Northwest led bv Beatrice Mor- 
row Cannadv working with the NAACP and Susie 
Revels Cayton, a Communist Party orsranizer. 

Although racial prejudice still characterized 
America during the Second World War, new oppor- 
timities were present for African Americans in the 
West and the nation. The role of African American 
women in fostering a sense of community among 
migrants moving to the East San Francisco Bay area 
is the subject of a fine essay by Cretchen Lemke- 
Santangelo. Cdaytee D. White obser\'es that African 
Americans were initially drawn to Las Vegas by em- 
plovment as maids in the hotel industry, but by the 
1970s many had moved into the gaming industr\-. 

Fhe history of African American women in the 
civil rights movement is the topic of essa\s b\' Merline 
Litre, Chervl Brown Henderson, Linda Williams 
Reese, and Jane Rliodes. Of special interest is the 
argument made bv Rhodes that women played a piv- 
otal role in the Black Panther Part}', its macho image 
nor^vithstanding. Rhodes asserts, "Women were at the 
heart of the Black Panther Partv, and their enduring; 

28 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyominc) History Journal -- Autumn 2004 

presence forced members and nonmembers alike to 
rethink their attitudes about gender" (p. 360). 

In her survey of hterature on African American 
women in the West, Glenda Riley concludes that 
much work has been conducted in the field since the 
1 990s, but much scholarship remains to be done. This 
volume by Titylor and Moore highlights the analysis 
of Rilev and should inspire general readers and schol- 
ars alike to explore the contributions ol African 
women in forging communities in the West. 

Ron Briley 
Sandia Preparatory School 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Dreamers and Schemers: Profiles From Carbon 
County, Wyoming's Past. By Lori Van Pelt Walck. 
Glendo: High Plains Press, 1999. 256 pp. Illustrations, 
bibliography, index. Paper, $14.95. 

Those interested in making lists and identifying 
"the best" in a given category as the turn of the 
century seems to have inspired, may take a lesson 
from this author and her book on Carbon County, 
Wyoming. Organized as one of the territory's origi- 
nal five counties, Carbon County has had a storied 
past. The author attempts to capture that past with 
vignettes on thirty-three individuals who "had some 
stake in forming the County" (p. x). These brief bio- 
graphical entries, approximately two thousand to 
thirty-five thousand words in length, highlight the 
entrant's career and comment on their connection 
with the county. The longest entry is reserved for 
Governor Fenimore Chatterton, who followed a 
checkered path from New York, through law school 
at the University of Michigan, on his way to being 
the state's chief executive at the turn of the century. 
Among Chatterton's notable accomplishments was 
his refusal to commute the capital murder convic- 
tion of range detective Tom Horn to life imprison- 

Chatterton narrowly edged legendar)' mountain 
man Jim Bridger and notorious cattle rustler Ella 
(Cattle Kate) Watson for the most space in the book. 
The shortest entries are reserved for husband-wife 
team Richard and Margaret Savage and land/mining 
partners Ed Haggarty and George Ferris. Each gets 

about twelve hundred words. Four vignettes are about 
women and one is reserved for African American 
Isom (Ned) Dart. In addition to Bridger, other na- 
tional notables include outlaw Butch Cassidy and 
transportation magnet Ben Holladay. 

Individuals less well known, but still important 
to Wyoming and Carbon County, include French 
army officer Philippe Regis de Torbriand. Arriving 
in America to participate in this nation's Civil War, 
Torbriand distinguished himself in battle and was 
brevetted to major general before the war was over. 
He remained in the U.S. Army following the war, 
and his last years as a soldier were spent as commander 
of Fort Fred Steele. Another subject, Thomas Tipton 
Thornburgh, was also connected to Fort Steele, serv- 
ing as "one of the youngest military officers to earn 
the rank of Major" (p. 47). 

Most professions present in Carbon County are 
also represented in this book. Mining, ranching, land 
speculating, and law enforcement dominate the oc- 
cupations represented. However, most individuals 
were engaged in multiple activities (hence the title) 
and seldom stayed with one job for long. The most 
common "cross-over " career came from outlaws who 
settled down to become lawmen. 

Individuals recounted in this volume came or 
passed through all regions of Carbon County. How- 
ever, those whose activities occurred at or near one 
of three places - Fort Fred Steele, Encampment, and 
Saratoga - get mentioned most often. Fort Steele, 
founded by Colonel Richard I. Dodge, provided 
militar)' protection for the transcontinental railroad 
and extended its mission to monitor Indian activities 
after the railroad was completed. The town of En- 
campment evolved from a fur trapper rendezvous 
site, and Saratoga, known for its spring water, began 
as a stage stop and was named for an earlier settle- 
ment in New York. 

This book makes interesting reading. But it is 
difficult for the general reader to understand the ra- 
tionale for how the characters were selected. The au- 
thor, a native of Nebraska and trained as a journalist, 
has done a good job in gleaning data from personal 
memoirs, popular histories, newspapers, and other 
miscellaneous publications. However, the narrative 
does not focus on serious scholarship and is more in 

AnnalsofWyominqTheWyominflHistofyJournal-Aulumn 2004 29 

the category of story telling. Even so, it is a delight to 
read and even serious scholars will find tidbits oi in- 
formation to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. 

C. Fred Williams 
University of Arkansas at Little Rock 

The Church Universal and Triumphant: Elizabeth 
Clare Prophet's Apocalyptic Movement. By Bradley 
C. Whitsel. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003. 
Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. 237 pages. Cloth, 
$39.95; paper, $19.95. 

Alternative forms ot spiritualit\- dealing with the 
occult have been an integral part, albeit an o\'er- 
looked t)ne, ol American religious history. For this 
book, Bradle\' Whitsel, an assistant prolessor ol ad- 
ministration ot justice and political science at Penn- 
sylvania State Universitv in Fa\'ette, has compiled a 
histor\' ol Chmch Uni\'ersal and Iriunipliant, which 
was well known in the early 1 '■)90s when its members 
took rehige in Park Count}', Montana, to wait out 
an imminent nuclear attack on the United States. 
WhitseFs objective is to understand the politics of 
change and adaptation vvithin the chmch. 

The Church Universal and triumphant (CUT) 
was organized in 19^8. What made it so enticing, 
according to Whitsel, was the complicated mix ot 
metaphvsical thought, miUenarian social movement, 
and ultra- patriotism promulgated tmder the charis- 
matic leadership of Mark Prophet (1918-1973) and 
his wife and successor, Elizabeth Clare Prophet ( 1 942- 
). Central to CUT's theology was a belie! "in the 
existence of divine sprit beings (Ascended Masters) 
who governed the course ot lite on earth" (p. 7) and 
that America was assigned a leadership role in the age 
to come. To those ends, CUT sought to bring the 
knowledge of the Ascended Masters to the world anci 
to prepare believers for the coming catastrophe which 
would usher in the golden age ot Aquarius. Onh' the 
continuing threats ot niunerous spiritual and terres- 
trial evils, including the federal government, com- 
munism, extraterrestrials, and in general outsiders 
who were wary of cults or did not know the theology 
of CUT, prevented this seemingly glorious revela- 
tion from occurring. 

For nearly fifty years, CUT credibilit}' and mem- 

bership fluctuated due to differences among the 
church members about its internal operation, inves- 
tigations bv federal agencies, and the failure of the 
prophesized nuclear attack. But throLigh it all, there 
remained a faithful bt)dy of followers. For their part, 
church leaders kept CUl theology meaningful by 
replacing seemingly irrelevant doctrines with new 
ones as the circumstances required. The fall of the 
Soviet Union, the advent of New Age, the violent 
acts of other apocaK'ptic groups, the emergence of 
AIDS, international terrorism, the death of Mark 
Prophet, and the rising star and declining health of 
Elizabeth Prophet further contributed to the CUT's 
continuing attempts to remain true to its spiritual 
foundations. The sticcesses and trials ot the church 
are also reflected in changing location, governing 
strticture, and architecture of the church headquar- 
ters, first in Washington DC, then Malibu, Colo- 
rado Springs, and Park County, Montana. CUT 
managed to siu'x'ive it all. F4ow it did so is what Whitsel 
documents verv thoroughh- using a \ariety of sources 
and interviews. 

Whitsel shows that within a larger context CUT 
was not truK' novel or ium]ue. He provides concise 
and informatix'e histor\- about the origins and de\'el- 
opnient of the metaphvsical movement in the United 
States and shows how many spiritual and administra- 
tive ideas and processes used bv CUT are endemic to 
the milicLi of alternative religions. 

This book is not an eas\' read. Also, unless read- 
ers are familiar with them, references to social theo- 
fists and twentieth century patriotic millennium 
American movements mav seem vague and obsciue. 
However, if readers persevere, they will find WhitseFs 
book ver\' interestina;. 

Carl Hallberg 
Wyoming State Archives 

Ethnic Oasis: The Chinese in the Black Hills. By Liping 
Zhu and Rose Estep Fosha. Pierre: South Dakota His- 
toncal Society Press, 2004. 108 pages. Illustrations, foot- 
notes, index. Paper, $15.95. 

The HBO series, Deadwood, has had quite an im- 
pact on American television audiences, hereto- 
fore unaware that the vocabulary of pioneer 

30 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 

westerners had so much in common with The Sopra- 
nos. Historians and archaeologists, while less prone, 
perhaps, to outbursts of rough-and-tumble mining 
camp profanity, have had much to get excited about 
concerning Deadwood as well. During several recent 
summers, the city of Deadwood and its Historic Pres- 
ervation Office have sponsored excavations and in- 
vestigations of the city's "Chinatown" section by the 
Sough Dakota State Historical Society's Archaeologi- 
cal Research Center. The artihicts thus far uncovered 
have shed considerable light on Deadwood's 
multiethnic past and the four essays in this brief vol- 
ume offer readers an updated assessment about the 
Chinese experience in the Black Hills and similar 
western communities. 

Historian Liping Zhu opens the collection with 
a background essay on Chinese immigrants in the 
frontier-era Black Hills, noting the presence of small 
numbers of Chinese pioneers as early as the winter of 
1875-1876. Never exceeding about 250 individuals 
in Lawrence County, the Chinese population in the 
Deadwood area dwindled to just a few dozen by 1910. 
While some engaged in mining, most took part in 
the creation of a distinctive social and economic niche 
as servants, cooks, laundrymen, and restaurant own- 
ers. What is most interesting about Zhu's piece is his 
finding that, following an initial period rife with anti- 
Chinese hostility, the white majority in Deadwood 
came to accept the Chinese as an integral part of the 
communit)'. Chinese funerals and New Year's celebra- 
tions became popular among white spectators, and 
Chinese residents regularly participated in Fourth of 
July festivities, including parades and fire hose races. 

The second essay is a preliminar)^ report on the 
excavations written by archaeologist Rose Estep Fosha. 
Research conducted thus far by professional and ama- 
teur archaeologists, students, and vokmteers supports 
the "ethnic oasis " thesis. Deadwood's "Chinatown" 
was a predominately male and largely insulated com- 
munity within a community that nonetheless inter- 
acted in significant ways with the dominant society. 
Artifacts recovered included ceramic and glass bottles 
and jars, gaming pieces, opium smoking parapher- 
nalia, clothing items, and porcelain dishware. Fur- 
ther analysis of botanical and faunal remains from 
privy sites will likely reveal more detailed informa- 

tion about daily diet and food preparation, while pro- 
spective excavations of a temple, a laundry, and a 
barn will provide additional data concerning the 
Chinese residents' social, religious, and economic 

Two short essays (presented by their authors at a 
May 2003 symposium in Deadwood) are included 
to offer comparative contexts for the emerging schol- 
arship on the Chinese in the Black Hills. Donald L. 
Hardesty of the University of Nevada, Reno discusses 
archaeological research on Chinese populations in 
frontier Nevada and suggests several promising "re- 
search pathways" (p. 74), such as the exploration of 
Chinese immigrant foodways or cultural landscapes. 
A. Dudley Gardner of Western Wyoming College in 
Rock Springs explores the differences between Chi- 
nese in core communities such as Evanston and Rock 
Springs and communities in peripheral locales, pri- 
marily railroad and mining camps. Archaeological 
research in these places has revealed qualitative and 
quantitative contrasts in terms of diet and material 

In the early twenty-first century, the city of Dead- 
wood continues to trade prosperously on the nasty 
reputation of its short-lived "Wild West" days. Hope- 
fully, many visitors will take some time to investigate 
the heretofore hidden history of the Chinese now 
being more clearly exposed via the always fruitful 
merging of history and archaeology. Ethnic Oasis is a 
worthy contribution to our deeper understanding 
about these diverse frontier communities. 

Frank Van Nuys 
South Dakota School of Mine and Technology 

Rapid City 

Wayne Aspinall and the Shaping of the American 
West. By Steven C. Schulte. Niwot: University of Colo- 
rado, 2002. Illustrate, notes, bibliography, index. 249 
pages, hiardcover, $29.95 

Wayne Aspinall (D-CO) recognized that the 
West has limited natural resources. He un- 
derstood that they needed to be harnessed in order 
for the region's people merely to survive. He spent 
most of his public career fighting for reclamation 
projects and other ventures that helped his Colorado 

Annais of Wyoming The Wyoming History Journal - Autumn 2004 31 

district and the entire American West develop eco- 
nomically. I his campaign made him both a hero and 
a villain. 

Steven Schiiltc astutely explains how Aspinall, a 
seli'-proclaimed conservationist, became one oi the 
biggest enemies of the environmental movement. 
Schulte portrays Aspinall as a multi-use conservationist 
in the tradition oi Gii-t"ord Pinchot and redd\' 
Roosevelt, bclie\'ing that nannal resources should 
provide the greatest good to the greatest number oi 
people. This philosophy motivateci the congressman 
to work tirelesslv for the economic cievelopment of 
the Wests limited resources. However, the new envi- 
ronmental nu.vement oi the l'-)6()s and 1970s em- 
phasized preservation and nature's aesthetic value over 
development. 1 hroughout the 196()s, Aspinall used 
his considerable influences as chair of the House In- 
terior Committee to thwart, delaw and reconfigure 
environmental legislation to reflect more closeh' his 
utilitarian-conservationist philosophy. 1 his made him 
one of the biggest foes of the environmental move- 
ment and a hero to industries and workers depen- 
dent on utilizing the countrv's natural resources. Bv 
the 1970s, the environmental movement was part of 
mainstream Democratic politics and Aspinall found 
himself out of step with the voters. This caused his 
defeat in the 1972 Democratic primarv. Even in his 
retirement, Aspinall continued to advocate for multi- 
use conservation and became active in the Sagebrtish 

AspinalFs intellectual continuity, contrasted with 
America's shift on environmental issues, creates an 
engaging story. Schulte tells this tale very well. He 
does not vilifv Aspinall or his foes, but presents a 
balanced and fair accoimt of both sides. Schulte sees 
Aspinall as neither \illain nor saint. Aspinall is char- 
acterized as a man who saw himself as a conserva- 
tionist doing what he believed was in the best interest 
of his district and the West. This convincing por- 
trayal not only provides insights into Aspinall as a 
man and congressman, but also into the monumen- 
tal change in Americas's views on the environment. 
Through Aspinall, Schulte demonstrates that not all 
conservationists embraced the environmental mo\e- 
ment. Aspinall is eiepicted as a reasonable and prin- 
cipled man who believed in utilizing natural resources 

for the benefit of all humanirs' and not as a lackev for 
extractive industries. This highlights the complexit}' 
and integrity of those who opposed the environmen- 
tal nn)vement and its initiatives. 

Schulte concentrates his study on Aspinall's po- 
litical savvy. It was his legislative acumen that allowed 
Aspinall to put his imprint on environmental policy 
and ultimately, the shape of the West. While Schulte's 
emphasis on the political maneuxerings is important 
to the stt)r\', it sometimes overwhelms the reader. At 
times too much detail is provided on the legislative 
process and the reader loses the context in wliich the 
politic, il battles were taking place. Clreater emphasis 
on the shift in the countrv's beliefs on emironmen- 
tal issues and Aspinall's reaction to this change would 
have benefited the study. Despite this, Schulte pre- 
sents a well-balanced and intriguing story. 

Marquette University 

The Johnson County War. B\ Rill cVNeal. Austin, 

lexas; t:akm I'lcss, 2004. 298 pp. Photos, bibliogra- 
ph\', index. Paper, S2'7.9S. 

In early April of 1892 fifty-seven Wvoming 
ranchmen and their employees got off a train in 
Casper, Wyoming, and set otit hv horseback and 
wagon toward Buffalo. Their stated purpose was to 
rid Johnson County of rustlers who they claimed had 
been preying on their cattle herds to such an extent 
that they could no longer make a profit. On their 
way to the town the group stopped at an is(.)lated 
ranch and killed two men after a prolonged gun battle. 
The delay caused by this incident gave the residents 
of Johnson Cxnuitv time to organize. Townsmen and 
small ranchers besieged the "invaders' in their turn 
at another ranch. In the course of this battle, Pvvo 
more men killed themselves accidentally with their 
own guns. The "rustlers' and "invaders" exchanged 
gunfire for two days, until the United States Cavalry 
from Fort McKinne}' intervened. Ihe troops arrested 
the besieged and escorted them back otit of the county. 
This affair has since been known to histor\' as the 
Johnson County War. 

In spite of the relatively low mortalit}' rate and 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 

the farcical aspects of the business, the Johnson 
County War has inspired numerous writers. Charles 
Penrose, in The Rustler Business, and Jack Flagg, in A 
Revieiu of the Cattle Business in Johnson County, pub- 
lished participants' views from opposite sides. Owen 
Wister, in The Virginian, and Jack Schaefer, in Shane, 
both incorporated elements of the story in their fic- 
tion. Helena Huntington Smith, in War on Powder 
River, wrote the standard history in 1 966. Margaret 
Brock Hanson, in Poivder River Country, edited an 
impressive collection of primary documents relating 
to the subject in 1981. Altogether, the Johnson 
County War may be one of the most thoroughly 
documented western shooting affairs ever. 

Bill O'Neal's The Johnson County W&r draws from 
all these sources in an attempt to reconstruct the events 
from as many points of view as possible. O'Neal has 
been remarkably thorough. The bibliography lists 
court documents, newspapers, histories and novels, 
films, scholarly and popular articles, and a wide range 
of archival sources. To supplement the manuscripts, 
letters, and oral histories found in Wyoming, O'Neal 
(a Texan) has added some previously untapped sources 
trom Texas and Oklahoma. The Wyoming ranchmen 
who invaded Johnson County imported twenty-two 
"hired guns " from Texas (and one from Idaho). These 
men have previously been little more than names in 
the story. Using an autobiographical manuscript writ- 
ten by one, George R. Tucker, O'Neal gives the Texas 
men a voice and refutes the idea that they were merely 
hired killers. Many had previous experience in law 
enforcement and had been employed as deputy sher- 
iffs and marshals. 

O'Neal also tries to put the events in context by 
including chapters on the Wyoming Stock Growers 
Association, the settlement ol Johnson County, the 
lynching of Ella Watson and Jim Averell, and the 
background of American vigilantism. Vigilante ac- 
tions in Montana in the 1860s, according to O'Neal, 
instructed the Johnson County invaders. However, 
the justifications of vigilante apologists like Nathaniel 
Langford and Granville Stuart are taken at face value. 
Modern historians are re-examining these events and 
finding that they were controversial and many-sided. 
O'Neal reports the vigilantes' side as though there 
was no other. 

In the case of his main text, however, he is more 
balanced. To a large extent, his purpose seems to be 
to present evidence without passing judgment. He is 
not always consistent in this neutrality. In his chapter 
on Ella Watson, which draws heavily on George 
Hufsmith's The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate, his 
sympathies are clearly with Ella. But, for the most 
part, O'Neal reports without interpreting and leaves 
it up to the reader to draw conclusions. No attempt 
is made to evaluate the various sources for reliability 
or to critically compare one to another. This lack of 
analysis means that The Johnson County War wiW ap- 
peal more to the general reader than to a scholarly 
audience. In the final chapter O'Neal discusses fic- 
tional depictions of the invasion, but even here he 
does not suggest reasons for the story's popularity; 
nor does he attempt to analyze the various interpre- 
tations. Some such summary would have added in- 
terest to the text. 

The Johnson Coimty War suffers most from ama- 
teurish publication standards. Too many photographs 
appear to be reproductions of photocopies. The text 
presses so close to the margins that it seems, at times, 
about to escape the paper. These points do not affect 
the narrative, but they reduce the pleasure of read- 

Overall, The Johnson County War is a commend- 
able compilation of all the available documentation 
for an event that continues to capture the imagina- 
tion of students and general readers alike. The book 
tells the story thoroughly from the beginnings of big 
cattle ranching in the Powder River Basin to the drawn 
out legal proceedings against the invaders, which 
bankrupted Johnson County. O'Neal certainly knows 
his topic. Readers who wonder how the ranchmen 
could have miscalculated so badly the support they 
would receive locally and scholars interested in the 
reasons why the tale continues to fascinate will have 
to supply those answers themselves. 

D. Claudia Thompson 
American Heritage Center 


Annals of Wyoming- The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 33 


Thornton Waite 

The Promotion of Yellowstone National Park by the Union Pacific 

Railroad, page 2 

I hornton Waite is a project manager at the Idaho National Engineering 
and Environmental Laborator\- and hves in Idaho Ealls, Idaho, with his 
wife Susan. They have two daughters who are attending college. He is 
interested in railroad histor\' and has researched and written four books 
on the histon' ot Idaho railroads. He has also published a portfolio and 
histor\' o[ the Union Pacific bear ad\'ertisements for Yellowstone National 
Park and written numerous articles on railroad histor\' anci contemporary 
railroads for railroad-oriented magazines. Researching the histor)' ot 
railroads and taking photographs of trains are among his ta\'orite pas- 

Felix Scott Alston 

Bronco Nell, A Horse Woman Thief page 1 3 

Felix Scott Alston is the grandstMi ot SheriH Alston. He has been research- 
ing the W\'oming public life (1894 to 1919) ol Alston for fifteen years. 
Numerous trips to Wyoming have been made to the W\'oming State 
Archives, the American Heritage Center, and the libraries and historical 
societies of Park, Big Horn, Washakie, fohnson, Sheridan, and Laramie 
counties. Manuscripts ol other oral histories of Felix Alston have surfaced, 
including Alstons perspective on the 1909 Spring Creek Raid. 

Betty Y.Taira 

Escape font Heart Mountain, page 18 

Betty Y. Taira earned bachelors and masters degrees in education. She spent 
thirty-five years as an educator and worked in U.S. Department ol Defense 
schools in Japan, Korea, and Spain. Upon her retirement, she returned to 
Washington, D.C. where she lives today, and works part-time for the League 
of Women Voters. 

34 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal - Autumn 2004 


Afi-iav! A»ieric,vi Women Confront the West, 

1600-2000. edited by Quintard Ta\'lor 

and Shirley Ann Wilson, reviewed 27-28 
Alston, Felix 13-17 (photo 13) 
Alston, Felix Scott, editor (bio ii) 
Alston, Mamie 13 
Amtrak 3 

Basin, Wyoming 13 
Beverly Hills, California 18 
Big Horn Count)', Wyoming 14, 16 
Blickensderfer, Jake 4 
"Bronco Nell, A Woman Horse Thief," by 

Felix Alston, edited by Felix Scott Alston 

Briley, Ron, xewevJCT oi African American 

Women Confront the West. 1600-2000 27- 

Bronco Nell (Nell Smith) 13-17 
Butte, Montana 4 
Chicago, Burlington &: Quinc\' Railroad 

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific 

Railroad 10 
Chicago and Northwestern Railwa)' 10 
The Church Universal and Triumphant: 

Eliziibeth Prophet's Apocalyptic Movement, 

by Bradley C. Whitsel, reviewed 29 
Cinnabar, Montana 4 
Cod)', W)oming 10, 17 
Dechert. Charles 20, 22-24 
Dechert, Emma 24 
Dechert, George 24 
Dechert, Lena 20, 22-24 
Dechert, Lloyd 24 
Dechert, Renee 24 
Denver, Colorado 23-24 
Dreamers and Schemers: Profiles fi'om 

Carbon Count}', Wyoming's Past, by Lori 

\'aii Pelt, reviewed 28-29 
"Escape from Heart Mountain," hv Betty 

Y. Taira 18-24 
Ethnic Oasis: The Chinese in the Black Hills. 

by Liping Zhu and Rose Estep Fosha, 

reviewed 29-30 
Executive Otder 9066 18 
Fosha, Rose Estep and Liping Zhu, Ethnic 

Oasis: The Chinese in the Black Hills. 

reviewed 29-30 
Gallatin, Montana 10 
Gardiner, Montana 3 
Garrison, Montana 4 
Grand Teton National Park 7, 12 
Greene, Jerome A., Morning Star Daivn: 

The Powder River Expedition and the 

Northern Cheyennes. 1876. reviewed 25- 


Hallberg, Carl, reviewer of The Church 

Universal and Triumphant: Elizabeth 

Prophet's Apocalyptic Movement 29 
Hallberg, \'. Rodney, reviewer o( Morning 

Star Dawn: The Powder River Expedition 

and the Northern Che)ie?ines, 1876 25-26 
Harriman, E.H, 3, 5 
Heart Mountain Relocation Center 18-20, 

24 (sketch 18; photos 19, 22, 24) 
Higa, Robert 23 
Higas, Takashi and family 23 
Jastrow, Helen 13 
Idaho Falls, Idaho 4-5, 8 
Interpreters with Lewis and Clark: The Story 

of Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau. 

by W. Dale Nelson, reviewed 26-27 
The Johnson Count)} War. bv Bill O'Neal, 

reviewed 31-32 
Kansas Pacific Railway 3 
Ring, lack 23 
Lander, W)oming 10, 23 
Livingston, Montana 4 
Mammoth Hot Spiings 10, 12 
Meeteetse, Wyoming 14-15, 17 
Monida, Idaho 4-6, 11-12 
Monida and Yellowstone Stage Company 

6, 12 
Morning Star Dawn: The Powder River 

Expedition and the Northern Cheyennes. 

1 8^6. by Jerome A. Greene, reviewed 25- 

Nakahara, Helen (Miyagi) 21 
Nelson, W Dale, Inteypreters with Lewis 

and Clark: The Story of Sacagawea and 

Toussaint Charbonneau. reviewed 26-27 
Northern Pacific Railway 2-4, 9-10 
Oerhle, Walter 9 
Ogden, Utah 4 
OW FaithRil 7-9 
O'Neal, Bill, The Johnson County War. 

reviewed 31-32 
Oregon Short Line 3, 5, 7, 11 
Pavillion, Wyoming 21 
"The Promotion of Yellowstone National 

Park by the L'nion Pacific Railroad," by 

Thornton Waite 2-12 
Rawlins, Wyoming 16 
Reamet, Robert C. 9 
Riggs. Christopher K. reviewer of 

Interpreters with Lewis and Clark: The 

Ston' of Sacagawea and Toussaint 

Charbonneau 2.(>-X7 
Riverton, Wyoming 20 
Roosevelt, Ftanklin Delano 18 
Santa Anita Assembly Center 19 
Schulte, Steven C Wayne Aspinall and the 

Shaping of the American West, reviewed 

Seikyu, "Sam" 21 
Smith, Nell 13-17 
Smith, Nels 19 

Smith, Ruth 17 

St. Anthony Railtoad 5 

Stratten, Bob 14 

Taira, Amy (Yemiko) 18-24 (photo 19) 

Taira, Bern' Yeiko., author 18-24 (bio 33) 

Taira, Calvin 18-24 (photo 19) 

Taira, Henry Kakukichi 18-24 

Taira, Shizu 18-24 

Taylor, Quintard and Shirle\' Ann Wilson, 

editors, African American Women Confivnt 

the West. 1600-2000. reviewed 27-28 
Thompson, D. Claudia, reviewer ot The 

Johnson Count)} War 51-52 
Three Forks, Montana 10 
Undenvood, Gilbert Stanley 6 
The Union Pacific Magazine 3, 7 
Union Pacific Railroad 2-12 
United States Railway Administration 7 
Utah & Northern Railway 2, 4 
Van Nuys, Frank, reviewer of Ethnic Oasis: 

The Chinese m the Black Hills. 29-30 
Van Pelt, Lori, Dreamers and Schemers: 

Profiles from Carbon Count)', Wyoming's 

Past, reviewed 28-29 
Victor, Idaho 7 
Virginia Cit)\ Montana 4 
Waite, Thornton, author 2-12 (bio 33) 
Washington, D.C. 23-24 
Wayne Aspinall and the Shaping of the 

American West, b)' Steven C. Schulte, 

reviewed 30-31 
Webb, Darr)'l, reviewer of Wayne Aspinall 

and the Shaping of the American West 30- 

West Yellowstone 3, 6, 8-11 
Whitsel, Btadley C The Church Universal 

and Triumphant: Elizabeth Prophet's 

Apocalyptic Movement, reviewed 29 
William, C. Fred, reviewer oi Dreamers and 

Schemers: Profiles fiom Carbon Count)', 

Wyoming's Past 28-29 
Wiilmarth, William 9 
Wilson, Shirley Ann and Quintard Taylor, 

editors, Afiican American Women Confiont 

the West, 1600-2000. reviewed, 27-28 
Wind River Reservation 22 
Wyoming State Penitentiary 16 (photo 

Yamasaki, Jack 20 
Yellowstone National Park 2-12 
Yellowstone Park Association 9 
Yellowstone Park Railroad Company 3-4, 6 
Yellowstone Park Transportation Compan)- 

Yellowstone- Western Stage Company 12 
Zaring, C.A. 15 
Zhu, Liping and Rose Estep Fosha, Oasis: 

The Chinese in the Black Hills, reviewed 


AnnaisofWyominq The VVyom.nQ History Journal --Autumn 2004 35 



Carroll Baker on the newly constructed wooden bridge the stars of 
Cheyenne Autumn used to enter the Lincoln Theater, On the left 
is Cheyenne Mayor Bill Natron and on the nght is Larry Birleffi, 
Courtesy Carroll Baker Papers, American Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming, 

Cheyenne Autumn movie premiere in Cheyenne, Wyoming, October 1964 

m LvV(|^^^^| "TTohn Fords epic morion picrure, CheyeiiiwAnrmnii, 

premiered in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Ocrober 
3, ]'^)64. The festivities lasted several days and 
Light national pLiblicit\' to Wyoming's capital city. 
An entotnMge including many of the film's stars, Carroll 
Baker, Karl Maiden, Ricardo Montaiban, Patrick 
Wayne, Delores Del Rio, Cilbert Roland, and Mike 
Ma7.iirski (jimm\' Stewart would join the group the 
next da\), arri\'ed on a special Union Pacific train 
Ihtirsda}' e\'ening October 1. Two thousand people 
greeted them at the station. 

1 he movie was based on iVlari Sandoz' book of the 
same title. Production notes for the film state it "is an 
tmdiluted accotmt of the shabb\' treatment gi\en a 
band oi '-H^O northern Che\'ennes after the\- had sur- 
rendered to Ceneral Miles in 187" and were sent to 
lix'c on barren reserxation land in which is now the 
State of Oklahoma. . . . On the night of" September *■), 
1878, the ragged remnants: 300 men, women and children, slipped awa\' in the darkness in a desperate 
attempt to reach their Yellowstone homeland, neatb- ISOO miles awa\'. 1 he\- did not wish to cause bloodshed 
but fight they would, if necessarv. This amazing flight, dtuing which the Indians were pursued by as manv as 
10,000 U.S. troops, forms the bulk of Chiyctnu- Aii- 


Warner Brothers selected Chevenne as the site of 
the premiere because the cit\' was named for the Cdiev- F. '^iOS^^b^ 
enne Indians. On Friday, October 2, the Holhwooci 
group boarded a bus and traveled to Fort Laramie, where 
they spent the entire day. The Casper Troopers provided 
entertainment and the Cheyenne Indians adopted 
Stewart and Baker into their tribe. The next da\' the 
actors participated in a parade from the Union Pacific 
Depot to the Capitol, where Stewart presented Chev- 
enne Chief John Wooden Legs a special model of the 
Winchester rifle commemorating Wyoming's sevenr\'- 
fifty year of statehood. 1 hat evening ele\en htmdred 
people attended the premiere at the Lincoln Theater. A 
party at the Mayflower restaurant followed. 

Carroll Baker as she rode towards the Capitol, Courtesy 
Carroll Baker Papers, Amencan Hentage Center. University 
of Wyoming, 

36 Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal -- Autumn 2004 


Order Yours Before 
We Sell Out Again! 

Finally, this classic 8.5" x 11" hardcover volume 
has been reprinted. The book features over 250 
pages of informative text and countless historic 
photographs from Wyoming's rich history. 

The book is only $40.00 and is available through 
some county chapters of the Wyoming State 
Historical Society, select museums and sponsor 
banks. If you prefer, you may add $6.00 for postage 
and the book will be shipped straight to your door! 

To find out where to buy the book in your area, please contact the Wyoming 
State Historical Society at (307) 635-4881. Or, send your check in the amount 
of $46.00 directly to the Wyoming State Historical Society at WSHS Book 
Project, 1740H184 DeU Range Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82009. 




^^ °0 V o^ 

Wyoming Picture 




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1 1=31 'i'iC M 

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* 2005