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Full text of "Big Horn County, Wyoming : the gem of the Rockies"

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Big Horn County 

Wyoming 

THE GEM OF THE ROCKIES 



By A. S. MERCER 



t 



\ 



A. S. MERCER 
Hyattville, Wyoining 




Copyright, 1906 

BY 

A. S. MERCER 



INTRODUCTION 



This book is written for the purpose of giving 
the people at large a clear and definite idea of the 
Big Horn Basin — about the last part of the Great 
West to be brought under the magic touch of men. 

The writer crossed the Mississippi River when 
a small boy, while yet the whole region west from 
that point to the Pacific Ocean was unpeopled save 
by the red man. Fort Des Moines and one or 
two other military posts had been established, and 
a few trappers and hunters roamed the mountains 
in quest of furs. Otherwise the imprints of civil- 
ization were unknown between the Father of 
Waters and the Pacific, and between Mexico and 
the Polar regions. 

Hence he has seen that vast region emerge 
from its primal condition and grow to its present 
stage of magnificent development. This all within 
the lifetime of one who is not yet considered an 
old man. 

If such marvelous strides have been made during 
the last sixty years, what are the-coming sixty years 
to show? The lands of Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska 

3 



4 INTRODUCTION 

were virgin. To-day they are selling at prices 
varying from $25 to $125 per acre. They are prac- 
tically "under the plow," and yet the demand for 
land — for homes in the country — is greater than 
ever before. Each year sees the demand growing 
stronger, with prices still advancing. 

Twenty-five years hence the working man who 
is without land will be landless, he and his heirs 
forever, because the price will place it beyond his 
reach. The public is beginning to appreciate this 
fact and a million of people will cross the Missouri 
each year for the next half century, seeking homes. 
Every acre suitable for home-building in all the 
West will be occupied and the cry will be for more 
acres. 

Therefore, now is the time for land-hungry 
people to "go West" and get a foothold before it 
is too late. There is still some government land 
open to the home-seeker, but the best has been 
taken. Partially improved farms, or ranches, as 
they are called in the West, are comparatively 
cheap ; but each year witnesses a material advance 
in price. 

The diversified resources of Big Horn County 
and completion of the railroad to the very heart 
of that region in the spring of this year (1906) 
make it a certaintv that we are on the eve of a 



INTRODUCTION 5 

wonderful day of development. It is confidently- 
believed that during the year 1906 more than fifty 
thousand settlers will locate in the Basin country 
and become active workers and home-builders. 

Heretofore we have been cut off from the great 
world of trade and people by high mountain ranges, 
and the pioneers have moved slowly in develop- 
ment work. But now conditions are changing as 
if by magic. Our farms will be made producers 
because there will be a market. Our coal beds 
will be opened up to supply a demand for fuel. 
Our rich gold and copper mines will become pro- 
ducers because there will be a way to ship our 
ores. The vast area of oil lands will be proven to 
be producers because the oil will run by gravita- 
,tion to the refineries to be built on the railroad. 
Increased energy and better methods will govern 
live-stock production because we will be in easy 
reach of shipping points and be enabled to take 
advantage of market conditions. In short, new 
life will be imparted to everything and all the peo- 
ple will be prosperous. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 



Big Horn County lies in the northwestern por- 
tion of Wyoming, between the Big Horn Mountains 
on the east, and the Shoshone Mountains on the 
west, adjoining Montana on the north, and the 
Yellowstone National Park on the west. It covers 
an area 87 by 150 miles. It is practically the 
Big Horn Basin, the east and west lines following 
the apex of the two ranges of mountains above 
named. 

The term "basin" carries a wrong impression 
to the stranger. It is really a basin nestled between 
the mountains, but it is not a level country. On the 
contrary, it is cut by numerous streams with nar- 
row valleys, and in most instances with high "bad 
lands" lying between. The level, agricultural lands 
are a comparatively small part of the entire area, 
about a million and a half acres. 

The principal stream, the Big Horn River, rises 
in the National Park and flows a little east of 
south for a hundred miles, thence nearly east for 
thirty miles around the Owl Creek Mountains, and 
thence northward into the Yellowstone River. The 

7 



8 BIG HORN COUNTY 

stream is known as the Big Wind River, until it 
turns north and breaks through the mountains, 
from which point it is known as the Big Horn. 

Commencing at the south line of the county, 
Owl Creek empties into the Big Horn from the 
west. Continuing north, the tributaries from the 
west are, in the order named: Gooseberry, fifteen 
miles. Gray Bull, and the Shoshone, or Stinking 
Water, as named on the old maps. This latter 
name was given it on account of numerous large 
sulphur springs that break out along its banks and, 
in one instance, in the middle of the stream, giving 
off a disagreeable odor that reaches for several 
miles. 

Beginning again on the south the following 
streams flow into the Big Horn from the east, in 
the order named : Kirby Creek, No Water, No 
Wood, and Shell Creek. The No Wood rises in 
the Owl Creek Range, which forms the southern 
boundary of the county, and runs a few degrees 
west of north to a point near the center of the 
Basin, where it unites with the Big Horn. The land 
lying between the No Wood and the Big Horn is 
a wedge twenty-five miles across at the south end. 
Into the No Wood empty numerous spring runs, 
or small creeks, from the Big Horn Mountains ; 
then come Cannon Creek, Otter Creek, Spring 



BIG HORN COUNTY 9 

Creek, Ten Sleep, and Paint Rock, all from the east 
or mountain side, making quite a river of the lower 
No Wood. All of these streams flow pure, cold 
water, save the No Wood, which, while made up of 
the finest mountain water, flows somewhat slug- 
gishly and takes on sufficient alkali to taste quite 
plainly, but not enough to render it unfit for domes- 
tic purposes. 

Each of the eastern tributaries of the Big Horn 
has a narrow valley, half a mile to a mile and a half 
wide, of exceedingly rich land in the first bottom, 
with more or less table or bench land on either 
side of a most productive character. Shell Creek 
rises at the foot of Cloud's Peak and has a beautiful 
valley of rich, irrigated land. 

The bad lands lying between these streams are 
made up of broken, rolling, and level lands from 
one to four hundred feet above the beds of the 
streams and are generally well covered with salt 
sage, a small shrub six to eighteen inches high, 
with bunch grass in places. From Ten Sleep Creek 
south there is more grass, the hills being generally 
sodded. 

Owl Creek heads at the junction of the Owl 
Creek Mountains with the Shoshone Range and 
has a level valley for about thirty-five miles, reach- 
ing to the Big Horn River. Gooseberry and Fifteen 



10 BIG HORN COUNTY 

Mile are small streams with more good land than 
water for irrigation. 

The Gray Bull rises in the Shoshone IMountains 
and meanders midst wild, grassy hills some thirty 
miles eastward, where it meets the salt sage 
country for thirty miles on toward the Big Horn. 
The valley lands, like those of the other streams, 
are very rich. 

Twenty miles north of the Gray Bull flows the 
Shoshone, the largest tributary of the Big Horn. 
The various branches that form this stream rise 
in the eastern edge of the National Park. 

The Big Horn River, after leaving the cafion or 
rocky passage it has cut through the Owl Creek 
Mountains, runs for seventy miles practically north, 
entirely across the county, and discharges into the 
Yellowstone River in Montana. The level, irri- 
gable lands of the valley vary from a mile to six 
miles in width. 

Just west of the Big Horn are numerous smooth 
table-lands, something like a hundred feet above 
the river. These flats are almost continuous for 
forty miles, ranging from two to four miles in 
width and are choice agricultural lands. 

Between the Gray Bull and Shoshone Rivers 
there is a wide table-land, reaching back west to 
the foot-hills, embracing an area of half a million 



BIG HORX COUNTY 11 

acres of choice farming land. There are a few high 
benches in this district, but nearly the whole region 
is irrigable from the two streams mentioned. 

North of the Shoshone River there are, perhaps, 
100,000 acres of good bench land that is available 
for agricultural purposes. Farther north, on the 
south bank of Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone, 
there are 50,000 or 60,000 acres of level land reclaim- 
able by ditch from that stream, now in process of 
promotion — the nucleus of a prosperous settlement 
in the near future. 

The foot-hills and mountain slopes on all sides 
are covered with a dense growth of nutritious 
grasses and the thousands of beautiful parks on 
top of the mountains are waving fields of inviting 
green. The mountains themselves are constant 
reminders of the beauty and harmony of nature 
and a soothing balm to the beholder. A glance at 
them cheers and makes the heart glad. 

The canons of the Big Horn River are attrac- 
tions of the highest character that deserve a more 
special mention than our space here admits of. 
There are three — one of five miles where the river 
cuts through the Owl Creek Range; a three-mile 
gorge through Sheep Mountain, and one of twenty 
odd miles through the northern end of the Big Horn, 
or, as locally known, Pryor Gap. These are all 



13 BIG HORN COUNTY 

tumbling waters of magnificence, hemmed in by 
perpendicular walls of rock ten to fifteen hundred 
feet high, and will always be of peculiar interest 
to the lover of nature in her wild forms and capri- 
cious moods. 

The mountains forming the eastern and western 
boundaries of the county vary from 8,000 to 13,000 
feet above sea-level and give an exceedingly 
picturesque appearance from all points of the Basin. 
The altitude of the Big Horn Valley is 3,500 feet 
at the state line and 4,350 feet at Thermopolis. 

AGRICULTURE 

The agricultural possibilities of the county are 
simply wonderful, considering the limited area of 
the irrigable land — not more than one and a half 
million acres, all counted. The lands are rich, the 
crops certain, and the yields large. But the key to 
the situation is water. Nothing can be done with- 
out irrigation. 

The conscious earth receives its saviour, water, 
and smiles. With proper culture wheat, oats, bar- 
ley, rye, and all other grains adapted to temperate 
climates produce larger crops than the average of 
any other state in the Union. Potatoes, cabbage, 
and all of the edible roots and vegetables are at 
home and respond to suitable attention with aston- 



BIG HORN COUNTY 13 

ishing liberality of growth. During the autumn of 
1905 a business man of Basin City asked the farmers 
to bring in samples of their best products for exhi- 
bition to incoming strangers. This is a partial 
list of same: 

Largest Potato 7 lbs. 

Largest Onion . . . .» 2^ 

Largest Tomato 2^^ 

Largest Apple ( Northern Spy),cir.,14^ in. 

Weight IH lbs. 

Largest Table Beet. 25 

Alfalfa, red clover, timothy, red top, and all of 
the meadow grasses grow luxuriantly. Two crops 
a year of alfalfa and clover are always cut, and 
with good management a third cutting may be had 
that will yield a ton and a half to the acre. The 
average yield of alfalfa from two cuttings is four 
tons per acre, but six may be secured with proper 
attention t© seeding and irrigation. In order to 
get the best results the seed must be put on thick 
and the ground thoroughly wet early in the spring. 
Alfalfa hay generally sells for $4 per ton. 

Forty bushels of corn can be grown to the acre 
on the bench lands, as they are free from frosts 
later than the first bottoms. Potatoes give a large 
yield — 300 to 500 bushels to the acre — and are of 
a texture and taste different and better than those 



14 BIG HORN COUNTY 

of lower altitudes or lower latitudes of the same 
elevation. Tomatoes are unusually prolific in the 
central part of the Basin and grow smooth and 
large, with a flavor unexcelled anywhere. Four 
thousand pounds of choice Acme tomatoes were 
gathered ofif ten rows seventy yards long on 
the bench land near Hyattville in 1904, with no 
cultivation save pulling out the weeds. That shows 
what can be done with proper culture. Where such 
a crop of "Love Apples," as they were formerly 
called, can be raised, the question of soil and climate 
is settled. No more need be said. 

Farmers who have raised corn believe that with 
properly selected seed fifty bushels can be grown 
on an acre. 

Sugar-Beets are likely to become the most profit- 
able crop that can be grown in the country when 
the railroads get into the beet land district. Beets 
grown on the No Wood River several years ago 
were sent to the State University at Laramie City 
for analysis and they returned 19% sugar. Thirty 
odd samples of beets grown in the vicinity of Lovell, 
Crowley, Byron, and Burlington (on the Gray Bull 
and Shoshone Rivers) were shipped to a Utah fac- 
tory in 1904 and worked same as large lots are 
regularly treated, the average being lSy2% sugar. 
This is the highest percentage of sugar ever found 



BIG HORN COUNTY 15 

in beets, and marks the Big Horn Basin as a great 
sugar producer in the near future. There are about 
300,000 acres of ideal beet land in Big Horn County 
that will be easily accessible to railroad transpor- 
tation, when the contemplated lines are built. They 
are located along the Big Horn River from the 
mouth of the Shoshone to Thermopolis ; up the 
Shoshone and Gray Bull Rivers, and the broad 
plateaux between these streams ; the bench lands 
west of the Big Horn and along the various small 
streams on the eastern side of the county. These 
lands are far more valuable than our people dream 
of at the present time. It may be stated as a fact 
undisputed that all kinds of substantial property 
is worth in cash on the market such a sum of money 
as it will pay over and above taxes and cost of 
maintenance the current rate of interest upon, 
where the property is located. Provided, of course, 
that it is situated in a country where government 
is established and the laws are duly enforced. 

For instance, a house in any of the older states 
will sell for $10,000 if it will rent for a sum sufficient 
to pay $600 a year net, after paying taxes, repairs 
and a fair surplus for a sinking fund to replace the 
building at the end of the natural longevity of the 
structure. This being the recognized basis of val- 
ues in all countries, there seems no good reason why 
it should not be applied here. 



16 BIG HORN COUNTY 

On this theory, Big Horn County land is worth 
such sum per acre as its annual crops will pay the 
current interest of 10% on, less taxes and cost of 
labor. 

Under thorough culture farmers in northwestern 
Nebraska raise 15 to 17 tons of beets to the acre 
without irrigation and sell them at their railroad 
station for $5 a ton flat. This is without an analysis 
to determine the percentage of sugar they contain, 
while the analysis practice prevails in eastern or 
rather central Nebraska. The beets of northwest- 
ern Nebraska contain more sugar, averaging about 
13^%, hence more desirable and more profitable 
to the manufacturers. 

In Big Horn County, with abundant water sup- 
ply, 25 tons can be grown to the acre with no more 
cost for labor than is required in Nebraska and 
with no danger from drought or other known 
causes. 

The highest cost of the most thorough culture 
and delivery of the product at the railroad in Ne- 
braska is $45 per acre, with a yield of 16 tons — $80 
gross, $35 net. However, in the above figures of ex- 
pense a rental of $3.50 was charged, which, being 
added to the net, gives $38.50 as the producing value 
of the land. 

This amount of labor applied to Big Horn 




H d 



BIG HORN COUNTY 17 

County land will produce an average of 25 tons ; 
tlie percentage of sugar would be 18J4 at least, in- 
stead of ISyy, adding 37% to the value of the raw 
product — making the value at the railroad station 
$6.90 per ton, and raising the acre product to $172.50 
gross. Deduct the cost of labor and delivery to the 
depot, $55 instead of $45, as expense for extra haul- 
ing, and the net profit is $117.50 per acre. This sum 
will pay the interest at 10% on $1,175. This looks 
like a very high price or valuation to put on land, 
but there is no way to avoid arriving at that result. 
However, this is on the theory that the land will 
continue to yield the crop from year to year indefi- 
nitely. Of course, it will not do that. Starting with 
new lands, it will raise two crops of beets. Then 
seed it to alfalfa for two years, plowing in last crop. 
At the end of that time it will be ready for another 
two years' beet-growing and more productive than 
when it was virgin soil. This refertilization costs 
nothing. No high-priced commercial manures ; sim- 
ply disking in 20 pounds of alfalfa seed and letting 
the plant do its work. 

A 160 acre farm of irrigable land, divided into 
two parts, will give SO acres for a continuous beet 
crop, on two year changes, as experience has demon- 
strated. Meantime the alfalfa field would give hay 
from the first cutting for the few work horses, milk 
cows, and pigs required on the farm. 

2 



18 BIG HORN COUNTY 

This division of the productive area of the farm 
cuts the above-quoted figures of vaUiation in half — 
makes whole tract worth $587.50 per acre instead of 
$1,175. And this is what every acre of accessible 
beet land in Big Horn County will be worth in 
time — when the railroads come. There will be a 
dozen sugar factories or more in the county before 
1920. There is no danger of overproduction. The 
United States is short on sugar, producing less than 
one-fourth of our consumption. While production 
is likely to increase more rapidly during the next 
fifty years than does the population, it will be many 
decades before the home supply equals the home de- 
mand, if it ever does. 

The exceptional texture and fine flavor of Big 
Horn County tomatoes will stimulate and make cer- 
tain the development of an extensive canning indus- 
try in this line, and the extreme prolificness of the 
yield will make it a profitable crop over extensive 
areas outside of the beet-growing belts. 

Hops are destined to become an important crop 
throughout the valley lands of the county. They 
grow wild in the low, sub-irrigated bottoms of all 
the streams, the yield and size of buds being abnor- 
mally large. The quality and strength of the dried 
hops have been proven by use in the family, and sev- 
eral breweries have tested them in a small way^ 
which tests were extremelv satisfactorv. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 19 

Possibly it may seem to some readers that we 
have given the sugar-beet more attention in these 
pages than it is entitled to, and that our statements 
as to its profitableness as a farm product are extrav- 
agant. With such persons, if there are any, let us 
reason a little. 

The United States Department of Commerce and 
Labor recently issued a bulletin in which the fol- 
lowing passage occurs : 

"The value of sugar imported during the eleven 
months of 1905 ending with November was $148,- 
575,345, of which $51,485,256 was from the non-con- 
tiguous territories of the United States. The esti- 
mate is that the total sugar imports for 1905 will 
aggregate considerably more than $150,000,000, 
while the highest figure in any fiscal year prior to 
1905 was $127,000,000 in 1894, when an unusually 
large quantity was imported in anticipation of a 
change in the tariff." 

According to the same report, during the eleven 
months of 1905 we imported 4,750,000,000 pounds 
of sugar, and raised, or made at home, only 1,167- 
250,360 pounds, less than one-fourth of our importa- 
tions. Again, unreasonable as it seems to the aver- 
age person, the people of the United States con- 
sumed, in the year 1904, 75 pounds of sugar each. 

Now, if we are only producing one-fifth of the 



20 BIG HORN COUNTY 

sugar we consume, and if our population is increas- 
ing at the rate of 2% annually, the increased demand 
on that basis alone will require 75 pounds for each 
unit of that increase. Figuring our present popu- 
lation at 80,000,000, the increase for the coming year 
will be 1,600,000. Multiplied by 75 gives us 
120,000,000 pounds, with this amount growing 
larger each year. 

Considering these cold facts, is there any appar- 
ent danger of Big Horn County, if every acre was 
devoted to beet-raising, "glutting" or "bulling" the 
market? With all of our agricultural possibilities 
taxed to their utmost, it will be many, many years 
before we supply our own "sweet tooth." 

There are two principal reasons why the soils of 
the arid West are better, more productive, and hold 
up longer under the strain of continual cultivation 
than do the apparently richer soils of the humid 
states. First, the water running through ditches 
and scattering over the hills carries a certain per 
cent, of silt, which it deposits evenly over the irri- 
gated fields, which is really a strong fertilizer itself. 
Second, Professor Hillgard, after thousands of anal- 
yses of the soil from the arid and humid regions, 
says : "The soils of the arid regions lying west of 
the one hundredth meridian, when compared with 
the soils of the humid regfion Iving east of the ]\Hs- 



BIG HORN COUNTY 21 

sissippi River, contain on the average three times as 
much potash, six times as much magnesia, and four- 
teen times as much lime. This is the scientific ex- 
planation of the superior productiveness of the arid 
regions of the West, which every intelligent ob- 
server has noted and marveled to behold." 

Increased productive power and increased lon- 
gevity are in themselves enough to give the West 
the blue ribbon. 

FRUITS 

But little mention has been paid to the raising of 
fruits up to this time, but a few men have planted 
orchards and they are now coming into bearing and 
demonstrating that apples, cherries, and plums will 
do well and give a fruit of fine quality. One man 
has successfully grown peaches and pears, and 
numerous gardens attest the success of strawberries, 
raspberries, currents, and gooseberries. There is 
little doubt in the minds of those who have given 
the matter attention but that most, if not all, of the 
fruits grown in any of the northern states will prove 
a splendid success in all parts of the country. 

MINES AND MINING 
The mineral resources of Big Horn County are 
very great, but as yet wholly undeveloped. Judging 
from present knowledge of the surface indications 



22 BIG HORN COUNTY 

and the limited amount of work done, it is probably 
safe to say that there is a wider area of highly min- 
eralized lands and more mineral wealth in the moun- 
tains surrounding Big Horn Basin than in any 
other part of the United States of twice the ter- 
ritory. 

The Shoshone Mountains, reaching from the 
northern part of the state to the Owl Creek Moun- 
tains, 75 miles, and from 50 to 60 miles in width, 
are one continuous mineralized body. The ore 
ledges dip and rise from time to time along the 
summit of the range, but they have been proven to 
be practically continuous. 

Cook City, just over the line in Montana, is the 
center of a camp covering many square miles and 
reaching far over the line into Wyoming. There 
are hundreds of claims taken in this district and 
clearly defined leads opened up that carry gold 
from $10 to $100 per ton. Lack of transportation 
has prevented development beyond the legal 
requirements of claim holders. 

The Painter or Silver Tip mine is on the head of 
the north fork of the Shoshone River, 50 miles 
west of Cody. More than $100,000 have been 
expended in prospecting and development work, 
and hope is not deferred to make the heart sick. 
Over 2,000 feet of tunnels have been run and many 



BIG HORN COUNTY 23 

shafts sunk. The ores run $22 in gold; 10 to 30 
ounces in silver, and from 9 to 14% in copper. 
Samples of gold rock from this mine have taken 
premiums at many of the great fairs, and develop- 
ment work continues. With abundance of water 
and wood at hand there is no reason why this 
camp should not become one of the great Big Horn 
assets. 

A little way south of this camp is the Sunlight 
district, 45 miles west of Cody. Stinking Water 
Peak seems to be the center of present prospecting 
work. A 12-foot vein of copper has been opened up 
to a depth of 50 feet, and ore carrying 62^% copper 
taken out. Gold is present in quantities varying 
from $6 to $50 per ton. The timber and water sup- 
ply is ample for extensive milling and mining oper- 
ations. A number of men are employed here and 
the work of testing the camp has been going on for 
a number of years, apparently to the satisfaction of 
the men behind the workers. 

South of Sunlight a few miles is the South Fork 
or Shoshone mining district, lying along the south 
fork of the Shoshone River. Extensive croppings 
of leads are found carrying copper as high as 25%, 
gold from $6 to $25 per ton, and galena in liberal 
quantity. Needle Creek Tunnel has been carried 
into Crater Mountain 600 feet and will tap the vein 



24 BIG HORN COUNTY 

250 feet down. A rare metal used in hardening 
armor plate is found here that will reduce the cost 
of smelting very considerably, as it sells for $6 a 
pound. Water, timber, and coal are at hand in 
abundant supply. 

Camp Kerwin is located on the head of 
AVood River, a branch of the Gray Bull, 32 miles 
west of ]\Ieeteetse, and near the summit of the Sho- 
shone ]\Iomitains. The camp as at present pros- 
pected covers an area 25 by 4 miles. Fifty claims 
have been pretty thoroughly prospected and all 
carry gold, copper, silver, and lead. The veins are 
declared to be true fissures, with foot and hanging 
walls. Shafts have been sunk and tunnels run in 
most of the holdings, and in every case the ore grows 
better as the depth increases. Veins run in width 
from 4 to 12 feet. The average value of the ore 
fiom 50 claims is $100 per ton, but a small streak in 
a side spur to one of the main veins assayed 
$128,000 to the ton, about one-third gold. 

Several rich and new strikes were made in Octo- 
ber, 1905, south of Kerwin, and the faith is strong 
that the same leads coming to the surface here will 
be found to extend to the head of Owl Creek. 

There are five strong companies at work in the 
camp with money and credit, and a hundred men 
have been employed the past summer opening up 



BIG HORN COUNTY 25 

the several properties. One of these companies is 
noted the Avorld over for its careful and business 
methods in handling low-grade ores, which knowl- 
edge strengthens the general belief in the great 
future of the camp, for it is known that, after three 
years of examination by its experts and practical 
men, it has invested hundreds of thousands of dol- 
lars in the purchase of claims, and it is always ready 
to buy out the poor or discouraged claim holder. 
One tunnel is in 1,500 feet, and cuts vein 1,000 feet 
below the surface. Electric plants and the latest 
improved drills are in use and "the boys mean busi- 
ness." 

The B. & I\I. Railroad has surveyed a route up the 
Gray Bull River to the foot of the mountain, six 
miles from the main camp, and presumably will 
build the road in the near future — when the camp 
has been a little more thoroughly prospected. At 
least the mine owners have been led to believe such 
is the intention of the railroad people, Kerwin cer- 
tainly is a rising camp and will be heard from very 
soon. 

GOLD REEF 

One of the first mining camps located in the Sho- 
shone Mountains in Wyoming was the Gold Reef 
group, just over the divide from Kerwin, on AViggins 



26 BIG HORN COUNTY 

Creek, which is really the head of the Gray Bull 
River, thirty miles above Meeteetse. 

The Anaconda is a 50-foot lead, carrying gold ore 
as high as $24 per ton. The mammoth lead is 30 
feet wide and runs as high as $20 per ton. The Old 
Abe is a 22-foot vein with $7.50 ore. These veins run 
parallel to each other and are traceable on the sur- 
face for over 4,000 feet. .The ore is easily worked 
and even at a small profit gives promise of being 
another Home Stake proposition. Eighty-five 
thousand dollars have been spent in development 
work, and a tunnel has been cut into the mountain- 
side 1,300 feet ; which, according to the engineers' 
calculations, will reach the vein within the next 200 
feet, giving a test of the ores at a depth of 1,400 feet. 
This tunnel will reach the three veins, thus proving 
the value of all. The work will be continued in 
the early spring, the owners of the mine being all 
wealthy Chicago people. 

There is an ample supply of wood and water for 
milling purposes and the company owns mill and 
townsite lands. With the tunnel completed and 
102 feet of solid ore to mill from, the possibilities of 
the outcome are simply surprising. This is really an 
addenda or annex of the Kerwin Camp and will soon 
be in close touch with the great Burlington railroad 
system, giving it transportation facilities. Gold 
Reef will be heard from in the near future. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 27 

Copper Mountain is a camp on the Owl Creek 
Range, on the southern edge of the county. The 
range begins at the head of Owl Creek, at the ex- 
treme southwest corner of the county, and extends 
for nearly a hundred miles east, where it joins with 
the Big Horn Mountains. The general elevation 
is about 8,000 feet. During the summer of 1905, 
prospectors found a wide ledge of copper-bearing 
rock near the east end of the range, and began pros- 
pecting it. Much of the ore ran as high as 40% 
copper, and some even better than 50%. It also 
carries from $10 to $20 in gold. Development work 
is being done— some short tunnels run and shallow 
shafts sunk. As the work progresses the showing of 
mineral becomes better and old miners are amazed 
at the showing. Four hundred thousand dollars have 
been offered for one group of claims, and expecta- 
tions run high. 

Another group of copper lies ten miles west of 
the above named, the leads not quite so wide, but 
carrying gold and copper in approximately the same 
proportions. ' Tunnels are being run and shafts 

sunk. 

Lying between these copper leads are numerous 
free milling gold quartz veins 4 to 8 feet wide, 
that assay all the way from $13 to $2,000 per ton 
from surface rock. Much of the surface rock shows 



28 BIG HORN COUNTY 

specks of gold as large as small kernels of wheat and 
they are thickly scattered all over and through the 
rock. A look at these specimens is good for sore 
eyes, but unsettling to the mind of the man who has 
no claims. 

The Big Horn River runs twenty miles to the 
westward and can be utilized for smelting purposes 
either in Big Horn County or in Fremont, just over 
the divide to the south. In truth, the summit of 
the mountain is the line dividing Big Horn and Fre- 
mont Counties and a part of each of these camps 
lies on either side of the line. The line has not yet 
been surveyed, so at this writing it is impossible to 
say just what proportion of the claims will be 
credited to Big Horn and what to Fremont. Ten 
thousand miners will probably visit these camps the 
coming summer, as railroads will reach either side of 
the mountain in the early spring. 

The forty miles of Owl Creek jMountains lying 
west of the Big Horn Canon are in Fremont County, 
but they are on the line and will contribute some- 
what to Big Horn interests. This is in the Shoshone 
Indian Reservation and will be opened to settlement 
June 15, 1906. It is known to be equally as rich in 
minerals as the portion east of the river, but pros- 
pectors are not permitted to enter until after the 
reserve is thrown open, so no definite information 
can be given. 



'' 



^ BIG HORN COUNTY 2^ 

Gold placers have been found at several points 
along the western slope of the Big Horn Mountains, 
but no pay streaks have been opened. On top of 
the Big Horn, at many places, there are immense 
deposits of a gold-bearing cement formation that 
carry from $3 to $7 per ton. Thus far, however, no 
process has been tried by which the gold can be 
saved. It is what is known as flour gold and all 
escapes. Bald Mountain, at the northern end of 
the range, has a blanket of this cement 8 by 15 miles 
in extent, with an unknown depth, as the deepest 
hole is down but 35 feet. At several places south 
of Bald Mountain there are vast quantities of the 
same kind of cement — millions and millions of tons 
in sight. It is soft enough, generally, to be worked 
with steam shovels and thus be handled at a very 
small expense, if only the gold could be saved. At 
present, it is not an asset, but when we consider the 
wonderful achievements of the past fifty years in the 
way of improved machinery and methods of work- 
ing low-grade ores it is not unreasonable to believe 
that some time in the near future a way will be 
found to profitably handle this rock. Should this 
take place. Big Horn, Johnson, and Sheridan 
Counties will have untold wealth, for the blankets 
and ledges lie on the line, a part in each of the three 
counties named. Could it be saved, there is more 



30 BIG HORN COUNTY 

gold in the Big Horn Mountains than has been 
taken from the bowels of the earth since gold was 
classed as a precious metal. 

Copper is found in many places in the Big Horn 
Mountains. Near the head of Paint Rock a clearly 
defined vein has been opened up by a 40-foot shaft, 
and a gray copper running $40 per ton in copper and 
gold found. Nothing has been done here beyond the 
necessary assessment work. In this same locality 
there are croppings that look good to the prospector, 
but they are undeveloped. 

Coal is a different proposition. There has been 
no geological survey of the county to determine the 
area of coal land, but it appears to the casual ob- 
server that fully one-fourth of the surface of the 
county is underlaid with black diamonds. 

Mines are being worked in a small way at Gar- 
land, Cody, Meeteetse, Basin, Thermopolis, and all 
along the No Wood for over fifty miles. There are 
a dozen or more varieties or grades of coal varying 
from common lignite to semi-bituminous on the No 
Wood and semi-anthracite on the Shoshone near 
Corbet. The veins run from two feet at Corbet to 
twenty feet on the No Wood. 

The bulk of these lands is still owned by the gov- 
ernment, the largest area of located lands being in 
the vicinity of Thermopolis, where several thousand 



BIG HORX COUNTY 31 

acres were located some years ago and sold to a 
]\Iontana millionaire. Coal from one of the mines 
near Thermopolis was hauled to Casper some 
years ago and, after trial, pronounced a very fine 
locomotive quality. History repeats itself, and, like 
the coal measures of the East, all of these deposits 
v.all be needed and become valuable. Just how soon 
that time will arrive depends on transportation 
facilities and collateral development. 

TIMBER 

The mountains to the east, south, and west of 
the basin are more or less densely covered with a 
hard pine that makes fairly good lumber, but once 
o'ff the mountains there is no wood save scattering 
Cottonwood along some of the streams and occa- 
sional thickets of juniper on the bad land hills. This 
is largely used for fire-wood by the settlers, but 
coal is rapidly coming into general use by farmers, 
every community having a vein near by that can be 
easily opened for neighborhood use. 

STONE 

Sandstone of good quality is everywhere in 
abundance for building purposes, and in many of the 
mountain slopes granite is found. IMarble of a very 



32 BIG HORN COUNTY 

superior kind is found in the Big Horn Mountains 
and onyx has been gathered from half a dozen 
places, but so far not found in sufficient quan- 
tities to justify a belief that profitable quarries 
exist. 

Limestone exists in vast bodies near the mouth 
of the Shoshone and in the southern part of the 
county and all over the foot-hills of the mountains 
on the eastern and the western sides of the county. 

Cement of a good quality lies in vast bodies near 
Cody and many other places. 

There are large deposits of gypsum of a high 
grade in parts of the county, that in time will be 
manufactured into refined products and shipped out. 
There are also vast quantities of the finest pottery 
clay suitable for the manufacture of china table- 
ware. In fact, we are likely to find a hundred 
other valuable articles of commercial value in the 
bad lands and foot-hills that we know not of at pres- 
ent, for no prospecting has been done to ascertain 
what we have. 

The largest deposit of sulphur in the world lies 
in the Shoshone Mountains, a few miles west of 
Cody. It covers thousands of acres and is on top of 
the ground — easily gathered. This will, in time, 
be a source of great revenue and add greatly to the 
business of Cody. 




SUGAR BEET 



BIG HORN COUNTY 33 

LIVE-STOCK 

Up to the present time the raising of live-stock 
has been the chief industry of the county. The 
county assessor's books show the following num- 
bers of live-stock of various kinds, as per returns 
made in May, 1905 : 

Horses 13,13-i 

Sheep 226,603 

Cattle 56,956 

Hogs 1,TT7 

Just how nearly these figures show the exact 
number of live-stock in the county will never be 
known, but the presumption is that it is about 80% 
of the actual holdings. The total of the assessment 
roll for the year 1905 is $3,593,144, the bulk of which 
comes from live-stock. 

While large areas in the Big Horn Valley and 
some of the valleys and bench lands on the tributary 
streams will be extensively devoted to beet culture 
and general husbandry very soon after the arrival 
of the locomotive, the raising of live-stock will con- 
tinue to be a leading industry. The mountain 
slopes are covered with abundant and nutritious 
grasses and afford summer range for thousands of 
animals. The bad lands lying between the various 
water courses afiford abundant winter range for the 
herds, unless covered so deep with snow that they 

3 



34 BIG HORN COUNTY 

can not reach the grass and salt sage. This condi- 
tion confronts us about once in ten years. The 
stock-grower, with his ranch or farm in the valley, 
raises from five to six tons of alfalfa to the acre and 
during ordinary years feeds but a part of his crop to 
the old and weak cattle, the strong ones living fat 
and slick all winter in the bad lands. Thus he can 
accumulate sufficient extra hay to carry his stock 
safely through when the deep snow comes. This 
is practical, because if the hay is well cured and ^ 
properly stacked it will keep almost indefinitely in 
the open stackyard. j 

Thus the bad lands, which occupy so much of ' 
the country and are an eyesore to the stranger, are 
multipliers of land values along the streams. A 
small meadow provides winter feed for a large herd 
that roams the mountainsides and bad lands most 
of the year. This, under the old and present system 
of stock-raising, in the arid West. 

But there is likely to come a new and better sys- 
tem. It has been demonstrated in Utah and Neva- 
da that two and three-year-old steers will gain two 
pounds a day all through winter when fed on alfalfa 
hay alone. This can be done in Big Horn County ; 
as easily and as certainly as in Utah and Nevada, 
for climatic conditions are practically the same in all 
of the three states, and the climate is what does the 



BIG HORN COUNTY 35 

work. First, in properly saving the hay without 
the loss of sugar, starch and gluten ; and second, the 
dryness of the air in the winter feeding season. 

Here is a government report that is worth read- 
ing in this connection: 

BEET PULP FOR FAT — IN CONNECTION WITH CORN, IT 
MAKES MOST VALUABLE RATION 

Four lots of twenty steers were fed 100 days at 
the Wyoming station on a test to learn how beet 
pulp would produce flesh. One lot was fed alfalfa, 
corn chop, and beet pulp ; another lot had alfalfa and 
corn alone ; the third lot on hay alone, and the fourth 
lot on alfalfa and beet pulp. 

In figuring the results, hay was figured at $5 per 
ton, corn at 85 cents per hundred weight, and pulp 
at 50 cents per ton. 

Following are the results : 
Lot No. 1— Alfalfa, 1,999 pounds; pulp, 9,433 
pounds ; corn, 662 pounds ; gain, 263 pounds. Cost, 
$13.95 ; profit, $13.52. 

Lot No. 2— Alfalfa, 3,127 pounds; corn, 663 
pounds ; gain, 1T6 pounds. Cost, $13.43 ; profit, $7.15. 

Lot No. 3— Alfalfa, 2,189 pounds; pulp, 9,729 
pounds ; gain, 184 pounds. Cost, $7.90 ; profit, 
$10.97. 

Lot No. 4 — Alfalfa, 4,149 pounds ; gain, 147 
pounds. Cost, $10.32 ; profit, $5.76. 

In figuring the cost and profit, every item was 
considered, including labor, freight, commission for 
selling, and yardage. Conditions were considered 
normal, as the feeding was done out of doors in 
open pens and during the coldest weather of the 
winter. The most remarkable point in the experi- 
ment is the addition to the profit made by the pulp. 



36 BIG HORN COUNTY 

In the lot fed the old way on corn and alfalfa, the 
addition of pulp made an increased profit of over $5 
per head. 

The following figures show the amount of feed 
required in each lot to produce a pound of gain and 
the shrinkage on each lot per head between the feed 
lot and the market : 

Lot No. 1— Alfalfa, 6.31 pounds; corn. 2.51 
pounds; pulp, 35.52 pounds. Shrinkage, 57 pounds. 

Lot No. 2— Alfalfa, 17.76 pounds; corn, 3.76 
pounds. Shrinkage, 57 pounds. 

Lot No. 3— Alfalfa, 1.89 pounds; pulp, 52.87 
pounds. Shrinkage, 77 pounds. 

Lot No. 4 — Alfalfa, 28.15 pounds. Shrinkage, 53 
pounds. 

It will be noticed that in lot No. 1 the pulp cut 
down both the hay and corn A^ery materially, 
and in lot No. 3 the hay was cut down over half by 
the pulp. Those fed pulp and hay alone had the 
heaviest shrink, while the cornfeds showed no dif- 
ference in shrink because of the pulp. 

This report shows but a pound and a half gain 
per day on alfalfa, as against two pounds per day in 
Nevada and L'tah, as above stated ; but, if the truth 
was known, this difference was probably caused by 
the difference in the quality of the hay fed. The 
feeders in Utah and Nevada have been in the busi- 
ness for years and have ascertained by actual tests 
the right time to cut their meadows. They always 
harvest their alfalfa the moment the blossoms besfin 



BIG HORN COUNTY 37 

to show, thus saving all of the nutritious qualities 
and getting the hay in an appetizing condition. 
Wyoming ranchmen, as a rule, let their meadows 
stand until the plants are about all in bloom, and are 
notoriously careless about stacking it in good con- 
dition. The feeding value of alfalfa is reduced from 
25 to 33% by the average ranchman, who poses as a 
farmer and stockman combined. With first-quality 
hay the two pound a day mark of gain can be easily 
secured, and that margin is the difference between 
a handsome profit and a disheartening loss. 

However, accepting the government test as a 
standard for AVyoming, let us see what it means : 
Each ton of alfalfa produced 71>^ pounds of gain. 
With reasonably good care, 5 tons can be cut to the 
acre. The hay from each acre of alfalfa, then, will 
produce 357>4 pounds of meat. This fed during 
the winter to two 1,100 pound steers gives them 
I'iS}^ pounds additional weight and puts them on the 
market fat, at $5.50 per hundred, as against 1,100 
pounds in the fall at $3.50 per hundred. The fall 
sold steer brings gross, $38.50. The fattened steer 
brings in the spring, $70.31, a difference of $31.81, 
as the value of one acre of alfalfa less the labor of 
feeding, which is a small item if a number of cattle 
are in the feed lot. Deduct $2 per ton for raising 
and feeding the hay, and we have $21.81 as the net 



38 BIG HORN COUNTY 

product of each acre of alfalfa. This pays 10% on 
a valuation of $200 per acre for alfalfa-seeded land, 
and shows about the real value of all of our valley 
and bench lands away from railroads. 

But the reasoning may be carried still farther, 
basing our statements on the government findings. 
Lot No. 3, as shown above, made a gain of 184 
pounds on 2,189 pounds of alfalfa and 9,729 pounds 
of beet pulp. This cuts off $4 from the hay value 
and adds $2.37 for the pulp— giving $1.63 additional 
profit, and adds 37 pounds to the carcass, worth 
$2.03— a total increase of $3.66 to the $21.81 above 
specified, or a total net gain of $25.41. If beet pulp 
is a cheapener of cattle feeding, how much more 
valuable would the beets themselves be before the 
sugar, the real fat-producing part of the beet, had 
been extracted. There is at present no exact way 
of ascertaining the value of an acre of sugar-beets 
as an adjunct to alfalfa for beef production, but it 
looks as if the outlying stock-raisers could increase 
their profit by raising and mixing beets with their 
hay for beef production. 

When the old way of starving cattle through the 
winter is abandoned and full feeding takes its place, 
the hay lands will be advanced to their true place in 
the schedule of real property. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 39 

SHEEP 

The " Basin country " is recognized as an ideal 
sheep-growing region and the flockmasters have 
been very successful as a rule. The flocks are taken 
to the mountains in summer and to the bad lands in 
winter. Here they hold their own and generally 
come out strong in the spring without feeding. 
There has been but one winter since 1886 that 
caused serious winter losses. The lamb crop varies 
from 75% to 85% and sheep owners have made 
money rapidly for a number of years. The failures 
have all been the result of poor management. 

There has been some friction been the cattle and 
sheep interests, but this is now practically over- 
come — each class respecting the rights of the other. 

Winter Feeding. With the advent of the rail- 
roads to the heart of the county will come extensive 
feeding operations, both of cattle and sheep. 
Abundance of alfalfa and beet pulp — the cheapest 
known fat producers — will bring this about on a 
large scale. 

SWINE 
Hog-raising has been given but little attention 
thus far in the history of the county, but it is des- 
tined to become an important industry. An acre of 
alfalfa will feed 20 hogs a year ; that is, it will feed 



40 BIG HORN COUNTY 

4 breeding sows and their 20 pigs from May 1st to 
November, when the shoats will be ready to ship to 
the corn belt as feeders with the cattle, and the dry 
hay will keep the sows fat during the winter. Given 
a little bran slop for the first month, the pigs will 
start rapidly, and if they have all the tender, green 
alfalfa they can eat they will weigh about 150 pounds 
at the Omaha market the first of December. These 
pigs make ideal hogs to follow cattle and will sell at 
a premium above cornfed pigs. There is a greater 
"outcome," and they are always healthy — absolutely 
no risk if turned on feed lots free from disease 
germs. The cost of each 150-pound shoat will be 
less than $3, if the business is systematized and 
carried on on a large scale, as one man with a 
mower, rake, and team will feed 2,000 head, save for 
the first month in the spring, while the sows are 
coming in and requiring slops. The sows should be 
placed in a dry field large enough to give freedom 
of action, with ditches at frequent intervals, and 
alfalfa mowed in adjoining fields and raked into the 
hog lot. Commence mowing when the grass is 
young and tender, and as the pigs grow, give them 
older grass. The young grass gives an abundant 
flow of milk to the sows and the pigs eat it with 
avidity after a few weeks of growth. 



BIG HORX COUNTY 41 

OIL FIELDS 

The oil fields of Big Horn County are of wide 
area and of great promise. The Hyattville-Bo- 
nanza belt is the most extensive and the best known. 
It came into notice years ago by reason of an oil 
spring near Bonanza, where the early settlers gath- 
ered the crude oil and burned it in their lamps. It 
is a first-class illuminant, as the following analysis 
shows : 

Analysis of Bonanza oil, crude oil specific grav- 
ity, 8-14:6 (36° Baume), color red, strong green 
fluorescence ; odor like kerosene ; flashing point 
13° C. (55° F.). Distillation into lOfo fractions: 
No. Boiling point. Color. 

1 80° C— 142° C. Water white. 

1 142° C— i:r° C. Water white. 

3 177° C— 209° C. Water white. 

4 209° C— 240° C. Straw. 

5 240° C— 265° C. Darker yellow. 

6 265° C— 303° C. Darker yellow, slight 

fluorescence. 
7 303° C— 350° C. Redish yellow, stronger 

fluorescence. 
8 350° C— 380° C. Redish yellow, stronger 

fluorescence. 

9 380° C. — 400° C. Red, bluish fluorescence. 

10. ..400° C. 7% collected. 

Gasoline 20 to 25% 

Kerosene 55 to 60% 

Light lubricating oils 5 to lO^o 

Paraflin 2 to 4% 

Coke and loss 4 to Q% 



43 BIG HORN COUNTY 

"This is an exceptionally valuable oil and will 
give products much like the Pennsylvania oils. It 
will be observed that the first few fractions are 
perfectly colorless, although they have not been 
purified in any way. Usually all the distillates are 
yellow at first and have to be treated with acid and 
lye. There is no asphaltic residuum." 

The oil fro.m which the above analysis was made 
was gathered at the spring, and while it is correct, 
as to the sample, it is really deficient in the percent- 
age of gasoline. It has been proven by a partial 
analysis that the oil, as it comes fresh from below, 
carries a larger portion of gasoline, this being so 
volatile that it rapidly escapes and leaves the ac- 
cumulated oil in the spring showing less of this in- 
gredient. 

There have been some differences of opinion 
among oil experts as to the extent of this field, but 
surface indications and geological formation seem 
to assert themselves so strongly that there is no 
further doubt. This zone begins 8 miles south of 
Hyattville, at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains 
and continues northwest to a point in the Bad 
Lands north of Cowley, about 70 miles. The width 
of this belt is as yet a little uncertain, but it seems 
to be about 12 miles, possibly a little more than this. 
Oil springs and seeps appear at numerous points 
along Paint Rock Creek and at intervals along the 



BIG HORN COUNTY 43 

line all the way to Byron and beyond — thus indicat- 
ing a continuous oil basin below. A short distance 
from Byron there is a gas leakage that is simply 
marvelous. A circle of perhaps 20 feet across 
bubbles with natural gas. A 1-incli gas-pipe was 
driven down about 3 feet in the center of this pool 
a year ago, projecting a couple of feet above the 
surface of the surrounding land. The gas escaping 
through this small aperture was lighted and has 
been burning ever since, giving ofif a 10,000 candle- 
light flame. If 1 inch of the space yields 10,000 
candle-lights, what must be the amount from a sur- 
face 20 feet square? And what is there below? 
Place a straight edge on the map, one end at 
Byron and the other at Hyattville, and along that 
line will be found several escaping gas-jets and doz- 
ens of oil seeps. Beside, the line is over almost a 
continuous coal bed. The conclusion is irresistible 
that this is the line of the oil zone. This, bear in 
mind, is the illuminating oil belt, the quality of the 
oil superior to any found elsewhere, either in the 
United States or other oil-producing countries. 

There is an extensive zone of lubricating oil 
lying immediately west and south of the above-de- 
scribed territory. This zone first shows oil on the 
west side of the No Wood River near the foot of the 
Owl Creek Mountains, and numerous springs and 



44 BIG HORN COUNTY 

seeps come to the surface, thence extending- north- 
ward as far as the vicinity of Bonanza. In fact, 
drillers close to the great Bonanza Spring- found 
this lubricating oil at various depths from eighty to 
eight hundred feet, showing clearly that it comes 
from the oil basins to the south, and indicating that 
the Bonanza Spring draws its oil from the zone of 
illuminating oil to the east of that point. This is a 
remarkably pure quality of oil, and as the field 
reaches for forty or more miles, is destined to be a 
great source of revenue in the near future. 

East and north of the Hyattville and Byron zone, 
as perhaps it should be called, there is a third zone, 
apparently of black, or fuel oil. No flowing spring 
has yet been found, but in one place on the Big 
Horn Mountains a deposit of half a million tons of 
asphalt is found, carrying sand and dirt, but yielding 
to assay 35% to 40% of asphalt. Unquestionably 
this is the residuum of a once-flowing spring of black 
oil — the wind and hot sun having evaporated the 
oil and left the asphalt to mix with sand carried by 
the wind. Thus far no attention has been paid to 
this field, but the asphalt came from below, and 
when proper search is made the source will be 
found. 

There is also a deposit of this same kind of as- 
phalt residuum found in the triangle between the 



BIG HORN COUNTY 45 

illuminating and lubricating zones above described, 
in the Bad Lands, between the mouths of the Brok- 
enback and Paint Rock Creeks, probably reaching 
back southeast into the Big Horn Mountains be- 
hind Ten Sleep and Spring Creeks. Thus the 
whole of the country east of the Big Horn River 
seems to be underlaid with oil. 

There are oil indications around ]\Ieeteetse and 
Cody, but little attention has been given these, and 
hence there is little to be said at this time. That 
Big Horn County is to become the greatest oil-pro- 
ducing territory in the United States, no one who 
has given the subject thought and investigation 
doubts. 

The oil fields all lay on lands so much above the 
railroad that, when developed, the product will run 
by gravitation to the road. Refineries will be built 
and the commercial product carried by the Hill sys- 
tem of roads for distribution over all the country 
lying between the great Lake Superior and the 
North Pacific coast, thus assuring practically a 
home market for vast quantities. As the Burling- 
ton road will be completed and running trains for 
sixty miles along the border of the oil belt by June 1, 
1906, it is confidently believed that men with money 
will be on the ground in the early spring and take 
hold of the oil proposition in earnest. Geologists 



46 BIG HORN COUNTY 

say that there are three oil sands or basins, the 
third, or lower one, probably containing oil in 
greater quantity than the first and second. Hence 
the status of the district can not be determined until 
the drill has reached the third sand, presumably 
about 2,000 feet down. The market for this oil will 
be unquestioned, having the advantage of a short 
haul against a long one. 

In 1903 and 190-i four wells were drilled near 
Bonanza, some of them as deep as 1,100 feet. The 
Whittier well is supposed to have found oil in satis- 
factory quantity, but an air of mystery and secrecy 
surrounded it from start to finish, and the hole 
being plugged, no reliable information is obtain- 
able. The others were abandoned for lack of funds, 
or other reasons, before reaching the oil sands. 
The well at Bonanza, near the pioneer spring, was 
sunk to a depth of 800 feet, when some misunder- 
standing among the promoters occurred and the 
work stopped. Three or four oil seams were cut, 
and the drillers claim that ten barrels a day could 
be pumped. This is a superior quality of lubri- 
cating oil, as elsewhere mentioned. 



BIG HORX COUNTY ' 47 

IRRIGATION 

The soil of valley, bench and so-called Bad 
Lands Is generally rich, easily worked, and exceed- 
ingly productive when it is brought to life by the 
application of water. Any land growing the com- 
mon sage brush, large or small, and all lands covered 
with the salt sage may be accepted as first class 
without question. Grease-wood land is more of a 
puzzle. Some of it is good, very strong — growing 
anything planted in great abundance and perfection 
— while other patches of it have a "gumbo" soil that 
is very difficult to handle and really undesirable. 
Fortunately there is. comparatively little of this in 
sections where irrigation is practicable. 

Irrigation is a necessity and land without water 
is of little value. Big Horn County has more avail- 
able water than any other county in the state, the 
mountains on every side being constant, everlasting 
sources of supply. A few people are contending 
that ''dry farming" will eventually prove a success 
throughout the arid \\''est, under what is known as 
the Campbell system. • To this theory we plead 
pessimistic. The conservation of the moisture in 
the land by the pulverizing process is all right, but 
the moisture must be in the earth before it can be 
conserved. The Campbell system will do the busi- 
ness in a region where there are 18 to 15 inches of 



48 BIG HORN COUNTY 

rainfall that "goes into the ground," for by that sys- 
tem it can be held in place. But in the Big Horn 
Basin the unplowed land is dry — the limited rainfall 
largely running off and the hot sun evaporating 
what penetrates the surface to a small depth. After 
years of successful irrigation and the wetting of the 
land to a considerable depth, the amount of water 
necessary to produce a full crop will be greatly re- 
duced and some additional lands may be made pro- 
ductive. Hence, the men coming to buy farming 
lands should assure themselves that a water-right 
from the state, giving the full legal allowance of a 
cubic foot per second for each seventy acres, has 
been secured and attached to the land as an insepa- 
rable part thereof. 

PUBLIC LANDS 

There are many thousand acres of public land 
in Big Horn County, but, as stated elsewhere, the 
best, or most available, has been taken by the pres- 
ent settlers. The Homestead Law gives every male 
citizen of the United States the right to file on one 
hundred and sixty acres of the public domain, and 
secure title thereto, after a five years' residence 
thereon. Under this law, no specific amount of 
improvements are required, but it must be taken in 
good faith for the purpose of making a home. A 



BIG HORN COUNTY 49 

single person, if poor and obliged to work for others 
to gain a living, may be absent from his claim at 
least one-half of the time. If a man of family, his 
wife must practically live on the place. Single 
women, and widows who are the head of a family, 
may take up homesteads and be subject to the same 
rules that govern the men. 

The Desert Land Law is still in force, and under 
its provisions one may file upon 320 acres, if he or 
she has not had the benefit of the Homestead Law. 
If a homestead has been taken, the desert claim is cut 
to 160 acres. Under this law, you have got to place 
the land under ditch, irrigate, and raise a crop on 
parts of each 40-acre legal subdivision within four 
years. A payment of 25 cents per acre is required 
at the time of filing and an additional $1 per acre 
when you prove up at the end of four years. The 
filing fee on a homestead is $16, if filing is made at 
the land office; if before a county clerk or United 
States commissioner, $5 extra. Final proof, $15 
to $20, owing to cost of advertising and witnesses. 

The Timber and Stone Act is also in force, under 
which a filing of 160 acres may be made, if the land 
is more valuable for timber or stone than for agri- 
culture. The price of this is $2.50 per acre. 

Mineral lands, under which title oil lands are 
located, are subject to filings of 20 acres. The lands 

4 



50 BIG HORN COUNTY 

have to be surveyed and staked, notices posted 
thereon, and a filing made with the county clerk. 
The cost of this varies from 50 cents to $1 an acre, 
owing to whether one or eight persons file Jointly, 
and the number of claims taken. The Mining Law 
dififers from all other United States land laws in 
that 3'ou are not limited to one claim, but may file 
on as many as you can find and have the ,money to 
pay the expenses of. When the land is proven to be 
mineral land you can purchase it from the govern- 
ment at $2.50 per acre. Meantime, you are required 
to do $100 worth of assessment work on each claim 
after the first year, until you prove up and secure 
title. In mineral filings the year commences the 
first of January. To illustrate: If you file in Jan- 
uary you are exempt from assessment work the 
balance of that year. During the second year, dating 
always from January 1st, you must at some time 
during the year do your assessment work and file 
notice with the county clerk, or your claim is jump- 
"able January 1st following. 

There is one other way to secure title to govern- 
ment land, viz., by the location of what is known 
as "lieu scrip." This is a scrip issued to certain 
persons in lieu of other lands taken by the govern- 
ment from individuals for various purposes, mostly 
from settlers on the forest reserves who held claims 



BIG HORN COUNTY 51 

and moved oft" when the reserve was opened. This 
scrip is largely issued in 40-acre tracts and sells at 
from $5 to $6 per acre. It can be laid on any vacant 
land not known to be mineral, but the price is 
beyond the means of the average Western home 
seeker. 

SEGREGATED LANDS 

There is another class of lands in the arid West 
besides those named above, known as "Segregated 
Lands." Some years ago Congress passed an act 
known as the Cary Bill, introduced and pushed by 
Senator J. M. Cary, of Wyoming. This law gives 
to each of the arid states 1,000,000 acres of land, 
provided they will reclaim the same by irrigation. 
The legislature of Wyoming enacted a law whereby 
ditch companies might file upon the waters of the 
streams of the state for irrigation purposes, specify- 
ing the land to be irrigated on maps filed with the 
State Land Board, and naming the price per acre 
for which they would sell water to settlers. When 
the plans and bonds of the ditch companies were 
accepted by the State Board, the secretary of the 
interior, at Washington, withdrew the lands under 
the ditch, "segregated them," and set them over to 
the state in which they were located. Under the 
Wyoming law, a homestead of 160 acres. of these 



5/3 BIG HORN COUNTY 

segregated lands may be taken when the applicant 
shows certificate of purchase of a water-right from 
the ditch company controlling the water. The state 
makes the price of the land fifty cents per acre, one- 
half payable at time of filing, the balance at the end 
of four years, on proof that he has placed the same 
under irrigation and cultivation. 

Accepting these conditions and requirements, 
ditch companies have organized to convey water 
upon Big Horn County lands as per the following- 
named list ; the aggregate area being in round num- 
bers 400,000 acres. 

IRRIGATION CANALS OF BIG HORN 
COUNTY COVERING SEGRE- 
GATED LANDS 

Big Horn County Development Company. This 

Company is taking water from the south fork of 
the Shoshone River, through a thirty-foot ditch. 
The water is carried to what is known as the Oregon 
Basin, a wide depression that will store an ample 
supply for the 243,000 acres under the ditch. Hun- 
dreds of men and teams and a number of steam 
dredges are now at work excavating, and by Jan. 1, 
1907 the canals, dams, locks, etc., will be complete, 
ready for the application of water to practical irri- 
gation. The cost of the work will be $3,000,000 and 



BIG HORN COUNTY ' 53 

the benefits to the country many multiples of that 
sum. 

Practically every acre of the land lying under 
this ditch is first class in character, being bench land 
free from alkali and having just sand enough to 
render it easily v^orked and to hold the heat of the 
sun's rays in summer for night growth of crops 
planted. It is largely ideal beet-growing land and 
will yield alfalfa and all of the grains, grasses, and 
roots in abundance at the minimum of expense for 
labor. 

The lands are located southeast of Cody, begin- 
ning twelve miles out and reaching twenty odd miles 
eastward from that point. The people of Cody are 
getting ready to build an electric railroad to the 
heart of this tract as soon as the water is turned 
on, thus placing the farmers in hourly contact with 
a market. While a few sections have been sold, 
the lands under this canal are really not on the 
market, and will not be until the work is completed, 
early in 1907. This is, perhaps, the largest ditch 
enterprise undertaken by private capital in the arid 
region, but it is well on the road to success and its 
completion during the present year is assured. 
Once the water is turned in and the lands are offered 
for sale, a large and prosperous community will 
come into being as if by magic. 



54 BIG HORX COUNTY 

Hanover Canal. This great ditch is taken from 
the Big Horn River twenty miles below Thermop- 
olis and carries the blessings of life and perpetual 
sunshine over 50,000 acres of as rich and productive 
land as lays anywhere "outdoors." The land is on 
the east side of the Big Horn River, with the town 
of Worland as a central market. From every home- 
stead the Big Horn ^Mountains on the east and the 
Snowy Shoshone and Rockies on the west are visi- 
ble, with the Owl Creek Range seemingly i-eady to 
fall over upon you from the south. 

The Burlington Railroad is pushing up the river 
through the Hanover lands, and when the coming 
summer's sun rises over the Big Horn Mountains, 
the first gleam will light upon the iron horse snort- 
ing to be away with all speed to bring in the thou- 
sands of land-hungry people waiting just over the 
border. The character of the land and location is 
simply ideal, and nothing more need be said. The 
ditch is practically completed and the land on the 
market. The coming summer will see the bulk of 
this tract under fence and much of it in cultivation. 

Big Horn County Canal Company. This Com- 
pany is employing hundreds of men and teams and 
in the early summer of 1906 will hav'e its forty-foot 
ditch complete. The head-gate is near that of the 
Hanover Canal, but the water covers 50,000 acres of 



BIG HORN COUNTY 55 

land on the west side of the Big Horn River, just 
opposite the Hanover holdings. The lands are 
mostly bench land, oO to 100 feet above the river, 
and are equally fertile with the bottom lands. The 
railroad passes up the valley just across the river, 
but none of this Company's holdngs will be more 
than 5 miles from the railroad track, thus being in 
easy reach of shipping points. The canal reaches 
down the river to Basin City, the county seat, and 
covers all the bench land between that point and 
Worland, thirty miles to the south. 

These lands will be ofifered on the market the 
coming summer, and possibly water may be turned 
in early enough to irrigate a crop this year. With 
this ditch completed, there will be a continuous set- 
tlement from Basin City to Thermopolis, seventy 
miles, farm fences and green alfalfa fields joining 
for all that distance. Then will "ye old-timer" be 
in a strange land — but happy just the same — for 
they are all believers in the goodness of the Basin 
county. 

Lovell Irrigation Company. This Company has 
taken out a ditch on the south side of the Shoshone 
River, twenty miles above its junction with the 
Big Horn, that will water 40,000 acres. The land is 
of a superior quality and has mostly been taken by 
settlers from Utah, the ditch being the result of a 



56 BIG HORN COUNTY 

Mormon settlement. Just opposite this settlement, 
on the north side of the Shoshone, the same people 
have taken out. 

The Sidon Canal. This canal is 36 miles long 
and irrigates 18,000 acres. This work was completed 
three years ago and the land is all located and in 
process of development. ' The homes have been 
taken in 40 to 80, 130, and 160-acre tracts, so that 
the settlement is really a "populous community," 
reminding one of the East, save that the buildings 
are less pretentious. Success has attended every 
experiment in the raising of grain, hay, vegetables, 
and small fruits. Apples, cherries, and plums made 
good yields last year for young trees and, no doubt, 
are clearing the minds of the settlers as to the suc- 
cess of most, if not all, northern varieties of fruit. 

The Germania Canal. The Germania Canal was 
taken out of the Gray Bull River some ten or twelve 
years ago and covers 14,000 acres of high, level 
bench land lying between the Gray Bull and Sho- 
shone Rivers. This land has all been settled upon 
by a thrifty class of people, mostly Germans, and 
the desert has truly been made to blossom as the 
rose, and prosperity is manifest at every home, not- 
withstanding the many hardships of the pioneer 
days when there was no market and the supply 
station a hundred miles away. The farms are not 
for sale and that spells contentment. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 57 

The Cody Canal. This ditch covers 20,000 acres 
of choice bench land and is taken from the Shoshone 
River. The town of Cody is located on the lands 
under this ditch, and as all of the land has been sold, 
the ditch company will turn the corporation over to 
the water holders — the farmers under the canal — 
who will control the enterprise from this time for- 
ward. The land covered by this canal is all exceed- 
ingly productive and has been a large factor in 
supporting and building up the town of Cody. 

The first few years were a period of doubt and 
discouragement, but the outcome has been all that 
could be desired and the faith of the stayers is fully 
justified. Land values are advancing and conditions 
growing better from year to year. Few farms are 
changing hands, because the occupants are satisfied 
and believe in the brilliant future of the community. 

The Hubard Canal. This is an enterprise in 
process of promotion. The survey is made and the 
plans perfected. The water is to be taken from 
Clark's fork of the Yellowstone and the ditch will be 
48 miles long. It will cover 50,000 acres of land on 
the south side of the river, all of good quality and 
nicely situated for irrigation. The proposition is a 
good one and very soon the necessary funds will be 
ready for development work. So practical an enter- 
prise can not long hang fire for want of capital ta 
carry it to fruition. 



58 BIG HORN COUNTY 

There are hundreds of local individual and com- ^ 
raunity ditches covering from 160 to 5,000 acres 
on the various streams, aggregating, perhaps, 
75,000 acres, every farm being partially improved 
with side or lateral ditches and more or less land 
seeded to alfalfa and devoted to grain-raising. 

GOVERNMENT IRRIGATION 

I 

The United States Arid Land Reclamation Bu- ' 

reau has let the contracts and begun the work of 
building what will be the highest dam in the world 
— 210 feet — at the canon of the Shoshone River. 
The dam will be built of granite and cement, forc- 
ing the pent-up waters of the stream back for eight 
miles, and holding in the great reservoir sufficient 
to irrigate 120,000 acres of land lying on the north 
side of the Shoshone River, and extending from 
near Cody eastward to and all around the town of 
Garland. 

The water will be drawn from the reservoir 
through a tunnel several miles long, and spread out 
on the lands below. Work on the dam and tunnel 
is already under way, but the job is so immense 
that two or three years are likely to pass before 
crop-raising will be commenced. Meantime there 
will be much activity in and around Cody as the re- 
sult of so many men being employed. The lands will 



BIG HORN COUNTY 59 

be sold to actual home builders in 80-acre tracts, each 
carrying a perpetual water-right, at the actual cost 
of securing the water,, on small yearly payments, so 
that the poor man may be able to take advantage of 
the opportunity. The secretary of the interior has set 
aside something over $3,000,000 for the great work 
and everything connected with 'it will be done in the 
most substantial manner. 

Whistler Creek. Government engineers have 
made a careful survey of some 40,000 acres of choice 
land on Whistler Creek, twelve miles south of Gar- 
land, and their report is very encouraging. Un- 
doubtedly, this will be covered by a government 
ditch, but at this time plans have not been fully ma- 
tured and no definite announcements can be made. 

The government is also investigating other prop- 
ositions in the county that, if finally approved, will 
add 300,000 acres to the productive area of this 
region. 

Besides the above-mentioned undertakings, there 
are perhaps 200,000 acres- of first-class land lying 
along what we may call dry creeks ; that is, streams 
that run full in the spring and go dry in summer, 
save an occasional spring where cattle drink. By the 
construction of a series of earthen dams along these 
dry beds, reservoirs of small capacity may be made 
and sufficient water stored to make the valley pro- 



60 BIG HORN COUNTY 

ductive. The dependence in these cases, of course, 
is the flood-waters, the measurement of which is 
somewhat uncertain. Hence, these lands are likely 
to be the last to be brought under water, notwith- 
standing that in many cases the cost will be com- 
paratively small. 

Thus it is plainly to be seen that when these 
several enterprises are carried to their conclusions, 
the agricultural resources of Big Horn County will 
be vast in extent and hold an imperial place in the 
social and political control. 

Of the 1,500,000 acres to be put under the plow, 
fully one-third will be found to be specially adapted 
to the culture of the sugar-beet, and not less than 
twenty factories, working up the product of 8,000 
acres each, will be established at the various railroad 
stations. Sixty dollars an acre for this 160,000 acres, 
the amount paid for labor of production, all going 
into the hands of the working people, means $9,600,- 
000 disbursed yearly in the county for actual living 
expenses of the working men and their families. 
This, again, means the distribution of that sum 
among the business men and the farmers outside 
of the beet-growing districts, and, naturally, a 
boundless prosperity among all those classes. Car- 
ried to its legitimate conclusion, it means one of the 
richest and most prosperous of all the counties in 



BIG HORN COUNTY 61 

the United States, barring a few in which are lo- 
cated the great commercial centers, like Chicago, 
New York, etc. 

CLIMATE 

The climate of the Big Horn Basin is ideal in 
every respect. Sheltered by the high mountains 
that surround it, the storms that gather in other sec- 
tions are cut off, leaving the country free from ex- 
treme atmospheric disturbances, save those that 
gather within its own boundaries. Mercury rises to 
100 degrees at rare intervals in summer, and drops 
to 30 and 40 degrees below zero in winter. But the 
absence of moisture in the air at all seasons renders 
these extremes harmless in their effects. Alen work 
in the open field the hottest days with little discom- 
fort because, when the night comes, "tired Nature's 
sweet restorer, balmy sleep," wraps them in her em- 
brace and morning finds them fresh and full of 
renewed vigor and activity. 

So the cold days of winter, few in number, are 
accompanied by dry air that seems to shield one 
from the effects of biting frosts experienced in the 
lower and damper altitudes. During the winter of 
1904-05 there were but three days when men work- 
ing outdoors did not hang their coats on the fence 
and work in their shirt-sleeves. A dry, cold atmos- 



62 BIG HORX COUNTY 

phere is conducive to health and a hot, dry air is not 
uncomfortable. 

The usual rainfall of the Lasin is not to exceed 10 
inches, mostly coming in the spring. Seven winters 
out of eight the snowfall never reaches more than 
3 or 4 inches in the valleys and lower bad lands — 
this on account of its dryness blowing into drifts in 
the gullies and leaving much of the land uncovered. 
About one year in eight or ten snow falls to a depth 
of 10 to 15 inches and remains from 30 to 90 days, 
making it necessary to gather in the cattle and feed 
them hay. While this is something of a hardship, 
the losses are light because of the abundance of 
alfalfa being grown and held over for just such 
emergencies. 

The crowning glory of the climate is the almost 
perpetual sunshine. This is a healing balm to the 
nerves and makes the average citizen feel that it is 
good to be alive. As a result of the climatic condi- 
tions, the healthfulness of the country is all that 
could be desired. 

The following record of the heat and cold, kept 
by William Booth, of Paint Rock Creek may be con- 
sidered official, as he was appointed by the W^eather 
Bureau of Washington, and has standard thermom- 
eters. However, it really gives an erroneous im- 
pression, because every day when there was a pass- 



BIG HORN COUNTY 



63 



ing cloud that cast but a momentary shadow over 
tlie instrument, is marked as "partially cloudy," 
when, in fact, the sun shone bright all day, except 
the five or ten minutes of a passing cloud that left 
no moisture in its wake. 



CLIMATE OF THE BIG HORN BASIN 

JANUARY 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




Jan. 


1 


32 degrees 


13 degrees above Zero. 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 


2 


24 


7 


" " " 


(( 11 


" 


3 


30 


6 


(( If li 


Clear. 


" 


4 


35 


4 


K li li 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 


5 


30 


1 


li 11 11 


Clear. 


" 


6 


33 


4 


li il li 


" 


" 


7 


47 


12 


li li tl 


" ' 


" 


8 


48 


13 


a 11 li 


11 


" 


9 


35 


15 


a li 11 


li 


" 


10 


38 


3 


11 11 11 


Cloudy. 


" 


11 


40 


11 


11 il a 


Clear. 


" 


12 


33 


19 


11 11 , tl 


Cloudy. 


" 


13 


50 


17 


" " " 


" 


" 


14 


53 


18 


11 11 li 


Clear. 


" 


15 


40 


24 


il 11 a 


" 


a 


16 


47 


20 


" " " 


" 


" 


17 


45 


28 


11 a li 


" 


" 


18 


37 


13 


11 li tl 


" 


tt 


19 


25 


2 


" below " 


" 


" 


20 


26 


4 


" above " 


., " 


" 


21 


27 


7 


" " " 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 


22 


30 


4 


(( 11 11 


" " 


" 


23 


35 


3 


li il 11 


Cloudy. 


" 


24 


24 


4 


" below " 


Clear. 


" 


25 


28 


1 


" above " 


Partially Cloudy. 


*' 


26 


22 


2 


" below " 


Cloudy. 


u 


27 


28 


8 


« " " 


" 


(t 


28 


35 


9 


" above " 


" -Snow. 


« 


29 


40 


21 


« >t (I 




iC 


30 


35 


5 


K It 11 


" 



64 



BIG HORN COUNTY 



FEBRUARY 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 


Feb. 1 


35 degrees. 


20deg 


rees above Zero. 


Cloudy-Blizzard. 




' 2 


37 


5 


' " " 


Clear. 




' 3 


35 


2 


( a it 


" 




' 4 


47 


16 


I it it 


Partially Cloudy. 




' 5 


50 


30 


t it 11 


Cloudy. 




' 6 


37 


12 


< (( it 


Clear. 




' 7 


20 


1 


< « (( 


" 




' 8 


32 


4 


' below " 


" 




' 9 


15 


10 


« it it 


Partially Cloudy. 




' 10 


32 


6 


t ti it 


Clear. 




' 11 


45 


10 


' above " 


Partially Cloudy. 




' 12 


50 


29 


t H it 


a a 




' 13 


40 


13 


I it . it 


it tt 




' 14 


37 


2 


t « tt 


Clear. 




' 15 


32 


1 ' 


i It ti 


Cloudy. 




' 16 


55 


17 


t « It 


" 




' 17 


45 


20 


i it it 


(( 




' 18 


40 


18 


t a tt 


Clear. 




' 19 


45 


15 


t it <( 


" 




' 20 


35 


24 


' " " 


Partially Cloudy. 




' 21 


40 


6 


< it it 


Clear. 




' 22 


60 


29 


t ti tt 


Cloudy. 




' 23 


50 


27 


I it (I 


Partially Cloudy. 




' 24 


55 


29 


t it tt 


" " 




' 25 


52 


21 


t It tt 


Clear. 




' 26 


70 


21 


t <t a 


" 




' 27 


52 


34 


t tt it 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 28 


42 


27 




Clear. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 



65 



MARCH 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




Mar. 1 


60 degrees. 


29 degrees above Zero. 


Cloudy. 


" 2 


44 


15 


Clear. 


" 3 


40 " 


28 


" 


" 4 


55 " 


29 


Cloudy. 


" 5 


49 


23 


" 


" 6 


60 


28 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 7 


63 


36 


" " 


" 8 


65 


32 


Cloudy. 


" 9 


53 


28 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 10 


47 


5 


" " 


" 11 


58 


32 


Cloudy. 


" 12 


42 


21 


" 


" 13 


45 


21 


Clear. 


" 14 


50 


23 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 15 


60 


29 


Clear. 


" 16 


48 


23 


" 


" 17 


60 


23 


Cloudy. 


" 18 


60 


31 


" 


" 19 


59 


26 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 20 


48 


34 


" " 


" 21 


50 


20 


« « 


" 22 


47 


19 


« « 


" 23 


60 


29 


Cloudy. 


" 24 


45 


7 


" 


" 25 


22 


13 " below " 


Clear. 


" 26 


32 


3 


Cloudy. 


" 27 


40 


7 " above " 


" 


" 28 


60 


25 


Clear. 


" 29 


61 


30 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 30 60 


31 


Cloudy. 


" 31 59 


26 


Clear. 



66 



BIG HORN COUNTY 



APRIL 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




April 1 


55 degrees. 


24 degrees. 


Clear. 


" 2 


60 


29 


'■ 


" 3 


64 


28 


" 


" 4 


70 


28 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 5 


63 


25 


Clear. 


" 6 


49 


36 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 7 


45 


26 


" " 


" 8 


48 


17 


Clear. 


" 9 


65 


23 






" 10 


63 


29 




' 


" 11 


67 


30 




' 


" 12 


70 


29 




' 


" 13 


73 


38 




( 


" 14 


80 


38 




I 


" 15 


63 


24 




' 


" 16 


53 


18 




' 


" 17 


75 


27 


" 


" 18 


70 


29 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 19 


80 


46 


" " 


" 20 


75 


37 


Cloudy. 


" 21 


58 


33 


" 


" 22 


55 " 


31 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 23 


57 


29 


Cloudy. 


" 24 


60 


34 


Clear, 


" 25 


60 


33 


" 


" 26 


70 


36 


" 


" 27 


85 


39 


" 


" 28 


77 


48 


Cloudy. 


" 2y 


70 


39 


Clear. 


" 30 


68 


40 





BIG HORN COUNTY 



67 



MAY 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




May 1 


75 degrees. 


30 degrees. 


Cloudy. 




' 2 


70 


41 


" 




• 3 


54 


40 


" 




' 4 


73 


35 


" 




' 5 


65 


40 


Clear. 




! ^ 


72 


37 


Partially Cloudy. 




7 


64 


34 


Clear. 




' 8 


60 


29 


" 




' 9 


73 


33 


" 




' 10 


75 


43 


Cloudy. 




' 11 


73 


33 


" 




' 12 


65 


28 


Clear. 




' 13 


64 


24 


" 




' 14 


70 


36 


" 




' 15 


72 


37 


" 




' 16 


75 " 


33 


" 




' 17 


77 


29 


Partially Cloudy. 




' 18 


80 


45 


Cloudy. 




' 19 


82 


45 


" 




' 20 


71 


49 


" Rain. 




' 21 


75 


49 


Clear. 




' 22 


82 


44 


Partially Cloudy. 




' 23 


83 


39 


Clear. 




' 24 


69 


36 


Cloudy. 




' 25 


49 


32 


" 




' 26 


70 


30 " . 


Clear. 




' 27 


80 


33 


" 




' 28 


83 


4(i 


" 




' 29 


80 


38 


" 




' 30 


85 


43 


Cloudy. 


" 31 


82 


46 


Partially Cloudy. 



G8 



BIG HORN COUNTY 



JUNE 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




June 1 


81 degrees. 


47 degrees. 


Partially 


Cloudy. 




' 2 


70 


43 


Clear. 






' 3 


65 


38 


Partially 


Cloudy. 




' 4 


63 


43 


Cloudy. 






' 5 


70 


34 


Clear. 






' ' 6 


80 


48 


" 






' 7 


79 


46 


Cloudy. 






' 8 


62 


47 


" 






' 9 


76 


41 


Clear. 






' 10 


75 " 


32 








' 11 


80 


39 


" 






' 12 


90 


48 


" 






' 13 


85 


46 


ii 






' 14 


95 


47 


" 






' 15 


93 


48 


Partially 


Cloudy. 




' 16 


92 


48 


" 






' 17 


98 


53 


Clear. 






' 18 


80 


49 


" 






' 19 


85 


52 


" 






' 20 


94 


45 


" 






' 21 


93 


55 '• 


" 






' 22 


80 


46 


Cloudy. 






' 23 


64 


40 


" 






' 24 


80 


32 


Clear. 






' 25 


85 


40 


Partially 


Cloudy. 




' 26 


86 


41 


Clear. 






' 27 


92 


52 








' 28 


93 


48 


" 






' 2i) 


97 


48 


" 






' 30 











EIG HORX COUNTY 



69 



JULY 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




July 1 


90 degrees. 


57 degrees. 


Clear. 


" 2 


90 


46 


Cloudy. 


" 3 


80 


51 


Clear. 


" 4 


85 


47 


Cloudy. 


" 5 


75 " 


50 


" 


" 6 


80 


44 


Clear. 


" 7 


95 


47 


" 


" 8 


90 


50 


Cloudy. 


" 9 


90 


47 


" 1 


" 10 


95 


53 


Clear. 


" 11 


96 


51 


» " 


" 12 


85 


52 


Cloudy. 


" 13 


72 


50 


" 


" 14 


87 


43 


Clear. 


" 15 


86 


55 


" 


" 16 


90 


43 


" 


" 17 


94 


40 


" 


" 18 


93 


42 


" 


" 19 


93 


49 


" 


" 20 


96 


52 


Cloudy. 


" 21 


95 


50 


Clear. 


" 22 


96 


52 


" 


" 23 


90 


52 


" 


" 24 


92 


53 


Cloudy. 


" 25 


95 


50 


Clear. 


" 26 


97 


50 


Cloudy. 


" 27 


97 


54 


" 


" 28 


90 


56 


Clear. 


" 29 


85 


45 


" 


" 30 


90 


43 


it 


" 31 









TO 



BIG HORN COUNTY 



AUGUST 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




Aug. 1 


91 degrees. 


49 degrees. 


Clear. 




•• 2 


95 '' 


50 






3 


90 


60 


" 




4 


93 


49 


" 




5 


90 


51 


" 




6 


94 


48 






7 


95 


50 


" 




8 


90 


55 






9 


95 


45 


Partiall}- 


Cloudy. 


" 10 


86 


54 " 


Cloudy. 




" 11 


95 


55 


Clear. 




" 12 


96 


52 






" 13 


98 


53 






'• 14 


95 


59 


Cloudy. 




" 15 


93 


57 " 


" 




" 16 


97 


56 


" 




" 17 


95 


51 


" 




" 18 


87 


50 


" 




" 19 


88 


49 


Clear. 




" 20 


80 


45 






" 21 


74 


53 






" 22 


80 


42 


" 




" 23 


85 


52 






" 24 


86 


50 






" 25 


87 


49 






•' 26 


92 


50 


Cloudy. 




" 27 


95 


.52 " 


" 




" 2S 


90 


57 


li 




" 29 


95 " 


45 


Partially 


Cloud}-. 


« 30 


90 


51 




" 


« 31 


8.5 


52 


Cloudy. 





BIG HORN COUNTY 



71 



SEPTEMBER 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




Sept. 1 


79 degrees. 


42 degrees. 


Clear. 




•• 2 


75 ■' 


39 


'• 




•' 3 


80 


42 


« 




" 4 


76 


42 


« 




" 5 


85 


41 


" 




" '^ 


95 


46 


« 




7 


85 


50 


<f 




" 8 


95 


60 " 


" 




" 9 


93 


55 " 


Partially 


Cloudy. 


" 10 


85 


55 " 


Clear. 




" 11 


77 


36 


" 




•• 12 


67 


43 


« 




" 13 


65 


42 " 


le 




" 14 


80 


29 


" 




" 15 


79 


39 


« 




" 16 


90 


43 


« 




" 17 


85 


44 


te 




" 18 


90 


43 


" 




" 19 


70 


40 


Cloudy. 




" 20 


71 


33 


Clear. 




" 21 


80 


38 


'• 




" 22 


82 


47 


Cloudy. 




" 23 


83 " 


40 


Clear. 




.. 24 


77 


39 


" 




" 25 


80 


38 


" 




" 26 


76 


43 


« 




" 27 


75 " 


43 


" ■ 




" 23 


76 


33 


Cloudy. 




- 29 


70 

72 


38 

4u 







73 



BIG HORN COUNTY 



OCTOBER 



DATE. 


IKITTKST. 


COLDEST. 




Oct. 1 


80 degrees. 


42 degrees. 


Clear. 


2 


SO 


40 


" 


" :! 


77 


43 
43 


„ 


t) 


SO "■ 


32 


Partially Cloudy. 


" (i 


(IS 


35 


Clear. 


( 


74 


3S 


" 


" 8 


(I.') " 


28 


" 


" 9 


(13 


25 


Cloudy. 


" 10 


(IS 


22 


" 


" 11 


(12 


34 


" 


" ]2 


(iO 


28 


Partially Cloudv. 


" 13 


(iS 


20 


Clear. 


" 14 


72 


28 




" 15 


(12 


28 


" 


" H) 


42 


22 " 


Cloudv. 


" IT 


40 


"s 


Clear." 


" IS 


r>2 


11 




" 19 


(17 


17 




" 20 


54 


21 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 22 


50 


28 


" 


" 23 


68 


25 


i< It 


" 24 


60 


13 


Clear. 


" 2,-) 


62 


11 


" 


" 2d 


60 


17 


'• 


" 27 


70 


20 


" 


" 2S 


(IS 


24 


" 


" 29 


70 


25 




" 30 


67 


23 




" 31 


i 


18 





BIG HORN COUNTY 



NOVEMBER 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




Nov. 1 


66 degrees. 


18 degrees. 


Clear. 




2 


(58 


20 






3 


64 


15 


" 




4 


62 


18 


" 




5 


6Ci 


16 


" 




6 


60 


15 


" 




' 7 


62 


15 


" 




8 


62 


30 


" 




!) 


60 


20 


Partially Cloudy. 




' 10 


42 





" " 




' 11 


5i) 


13 


" " 




' 12 


6"i 


18 


« « 




' i:-i 


(i4 


19 


Clear. 




' 14 


60 


23 


" 




' ].-) 


61 


30 


Cloudy. 




' K) 


59 


24 






• 17 


64 


23 


Clear. 




' 18 


60 


33 


Cloudy. 




' ]!) 


45 '] 


29 


Clear. 




' 20 


55 


20 


Partially Cloudj-. 




' 21 


60 


23 


Clear. 




' 22 


60 


32 






' 23 


67 


30 


" 




' 24 


40 


22 


" 




' 25 


50 


14 


" 




' 2(3 


62 


24 


" 




' 27 


61 


29 


" 




' 28 


47 


36 


Partial!}' Cloudy. 




* 29 


43 


20 


" " 




• 3i) 


40 '• 


21 


Clear. 



74 



BIG HORN COUNTY 



DECEMBER 



DATE. 


HOTTEST. 


COLDEST. 




Dec. 1 


50 degrees. 


26 degrees above Zero. 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 2 


36 


21 


Clear. 


" 3 


35 


10 


" 


" 4 


35 


9 


it 


" 5 


48 


13 


K 


" 6 


47 


14 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 7 


55 


19 


Clear. 


" 8 


50 


21 


Cloudy. 


" 9 


53 


22 


Clear. 


" 10. 


45 


25 


Cloudy. 


" 11 


40 


13 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 12 


40 


12 


" " 


" 13 


41 


20 


Clear. 


" 14 


46 


15 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 15 


45 


17 


" " 


" 16 


35 


14 


Clear. 


" 17 


40 


15 


" 


" 18 


35 


21 


" 


" 19 


36 


19 


" 


" 20 


50 


21 


" 


" 21 


60 


27 


u 


" 22 


55 


28 


" 


" 23 


45 


13 


" 


" 24 


40 


17 


Partially Cloudy. 


" 25 


25 


10 " below " 


Clear. 


" 26 


12 


16 


" 


" 27 


40 


20 


" 


" 28 


39 


2 « 


" 


" 29 


50 


17 " above " 


" 


" 30 


54 


31 


" 


" 31 


53 


31 


*' 



BIG HORX COUNTY 75 

As a health resort the Big Horn country is des- 
tined to become noted both on account of its balmy, 
clear atmosphere and the celebrated mineral springs 
found here. 

Perhaps the most wonderful thing in connection 
"with climatic conditions of this great inter-mountain 
sanitarium is the difference between registered ther- 
mometer heat and "sensible" heat. The earliest 
pathfinders in the Rockies realized that there was 
something unique (for want of a better word) in 
the difference between real and apparent cold and 
heat. The first followers of these early adventurers 
found that the ordinary mercurial thermometer did 
not show the real facts in its registers of weather 
changes. In other words, that zero weather in the 
arid West did not carry with it the physical discom- 
forts of zero weather in the East, whence they came. 
With mercury down to the zero mark they worked 
outdoors in their shirt-sleeves — a thing impossible 
in their native states. 

The cattle and other live-stock grazed on the 
hillsides and plains as leisurely and unconcernedly 
as they would in Illinois, for instance, at a regis- 
tered temperature of 20 degrees above, and never 
stopped laying on adipose tissue by reason of in- 
creased demand to keep up the animal heat. It was 
a mystery, but all the same a fact that experience 



76 BIG HORN COUNTY 

demonstrated clearly under their daily observation. 
Why? They gave it up. Finally Uncle Sam heard 
of this peculiar condition and began to investigate. 
By the use of two thermometers, a wet and dry one, 
he showed that in the same western locality the dif- 
ference between the registry of the wet and dry 
thermometer was 45 degrees. That is, if mercury 
should drop to 35 degrees below zero by the com- 
mon instrument, the real or sensible mark would be 
10 degrees above. 

This, then, is the explanation — dry air contains 
45 degrees less heat or cold than the humid atmos- 
phere of the country east of the Missouri River — a 
very "big" score and triumph for the climate of the 
arid ^^'est and especially marked in the Big Horn 
Basin. 

THERMOPOLIS 

The town of Thermopolis, though situated in 
Fremont County, is really an asset of Big Horn 
County. It is just over the river on the west bank 
of the Big Horn, nestled lovingly between the hills, 
four miles below the great whirling Canon that cuts 
in twain the Owl Creek [Mountains, at an elevation 
of 4,350 feet. The surroundings are very beautiful, 
and, did space permit, would receive suitable de- 
scription. As a desirable place for residence, it has 



BIG HORN COUNTY 77 

no superior. The pure waters of the Big Horn River 
roll by its front door, a joy forever. 

The town exists by reason of the presence, across 
the river in Big Horn County, of a wonderful hot 
spring, surrounded by several small ones. The 
spring was on the Shoshone Indian Reservation, 
but its wonderful curative powers becoming known. 
Congress, by treaty with the Indians, purchased it 
and turned it over to the state of Wyoming to be 
cared for and kept as a public sanitarium. 

The spring issues from the base of a hill 250 feet 
high, and runs 500 feet to the river, where it falls 
over a -iO-foot bank to be lost in the pure water 
below. Eighteen million six hundred thousand gal- 
lons of water are discharged every twenty-four 
hours, heated to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. On 
either side of this stream there is found what is 
termed "The Formation," a mass of soda, lime and 
other mineral ingredients given off by the water as 
it cools in its flow. 

The lands adjacent to the spring are reserved 
for the use of the campers who flock to the healing 
waters by thousands, and for sites for free public 
bath-houses and for such sanitariums as will in time 
be required to accommodate the visitors. Half a 
dozen free bathing-houses have been built and one 
extensive hotel stands on the formation close to the 



78 BIG HORN COUNTY 

spring, under lease from the state. Hence the town 
was founded over the river and out of the county — 
the river being the county line. 

Analysis of Thermopolis Hot Spring. 

Grams per Grains per 
Litre. Gallon. 

Silica 0855 4.986 

Iron and Alumina .0039 .227 

Potassium Chlorid , .1756 10.240 

Sodium Chlorid 4492 26.195 

Sodium Sulphate 2591 15.110 

Magnesium Sulphate 3334 19.443 

Calcium Sulphate 2256 13.156 

Calcium Carbonate .6037 40.454 

Total Solids 2.2260 129.811 

The late Dr. Julius A. Schuelke, once resident 
surgeon at Thermopolis and major, U. S. A., in a 
paper read before the Industrial Convention of Wy- 
oming at Sheridan, in 1903, says : "There is no 
more ideal spot, so far as climate is concerned, than 
the Big Horn Basin. This delightful section, shel- 
tered on all sides by high mountains, with an eleva- 
tion of from 3,500 feet upward, offers all the various 
degrees of altitude so essential to the sufferer from 
tuberculosis. During the recent blizzards that 
raged all over the United States, that drove the mer- 
cury to seven degrees Fahrenheit below zero in 



BIG HORX COUNTY 79 

Atlanta, mined the orange groves in Florida, and 
caused snow-storms in tropical Peru, Big Horn 
Basin enjoyed the climate of the Riviera. At Ther- 
mopolis the thermometer during the months of De- 
cember and January last did not go down to zero, 
but an average of forty degrees above was main- 
tained. 

"In the treatment of disease, water has, from 
time immemorial, been an important factor. Prop- 
erly used, it is a great remedial agent. I have seen 
a great many watering-places, and only recently 
spent three months at Buda-Pesth to recuperate 
from a prolonged sojourn in the tropics. Its 
springs, like those of Aix-la-Chapelle, Leplitz, 
Marienbad, and others, have been known a thou- 
sand years or more. I had an opportunity to draw 
comparisons between them and Big Horn Hot 
Springs, and I had no hesitancy to agree with M. 
P. Schuetzenberger, professor of chemistry in the 
College of France, when he informed me, in 189-i, 
after kindly analyzing our waters, that, of their 
kind, they represent the highest type known." 

The reputation of these waters has gone far and 
Vv'ide, and the number of persons who have come 
on crutches and been hauled on beds — who have 
thrown away their sticks and danced with delight — 
is almost numberless. Some of the cures seem to 



80 BIG HORN COUNTY 

be marvelous in the highest degree. Of course, 
the waters are not a panacea for all the ills that 
flesh is heir to, but for certain things they almost 
invariably do their work. 

The following may be named as ailments for 
which baths in the Thermopolis hot water, accom- 
panied with liberal drinking of same, are generally 
effective : All forms of syphilis and urinal diseases ; 
rheumatism in all of its varying forms and stages ; 
practically all kinds of stomach, kidney, and liver 
troubles ; skin diseases. 

There are about 500 people in the town, and an 
air of thrift is everywhere visible. The business 
houses are generally built of stone — there being red, 
gray, and white sandstone in the hills on every 
side. An electric-light plant has been placed at the 
mouth of the canon and the buildings and streets are 
lighted by electricity. A fine stone school-house 
stands on the plateau at the edge of the town and a 
graded school is in good working order. 

That Thermopolis will grow into a city of 
importance seems to be assured. It has been incor- 
porated and shows all of the earmarks of a live com- 
munity. Semi-bituminous coal is found in the hills 
to the north and east in great veins covering thou- 
sands of acres — and as it is of a superior quality 
both for domestic use and for steam purposes, it will 




< 

< 
o 

2 

h 

M 

w 
> 

< 
33 



BIG HORN COUNTY 81 

be extensively worked and will unquestionably 
draw and develop extensive manufacturing interests 
to its vicinity as the population of the country in- 
creases. 

The OavI Creek Mountains, five miles to the 
south, reach for eighty miles east and west, with 
Thermopolis in the middle. Copper Alountain, else- 
where described, is but a few miles away. The 
Gold Nugget group of gold-bearing rock is even 
nearer and, in fact, the entire mountain is one vast 
deposit of mineral, which in the near future will be 
opened up. Thermopolis will naturally draw a 
full share of the traffic incident to the development 
of these riches, and if awake to her interests may 
secure the building of great smelters, as she has the 
coal and water necessary for such concerns. 

Necessarily Thermopolis will receive a great im- 
petus from the opening of the Shoshone Indian 
Reservation next June, as it lies at her very door. 
Thousands of people will gather there in the early 
spring and a half hour's ride will put them on the 
reservation when it is thrown open. 

Altogether, the outlook for this place is exceed- 
ingly bright and its growth to an important town 
or city seems a certainty. 



82 BIG HORN COUNTY 

CODY 

The city of Cody is on the south bank of the Sho- 
shone River, at the foot of the Shoshone range of 
mountains. The elevation is 4,900 feet. The Cody 
ditch covers 20,000 acres of land in the immediate 
vicinity, and makes of the lawns and gardens, an 
ever-living flower-bed and greensward. The inhabi- 
tants number about 800 and the town is incorpo- 
rated with ma3'or and board of trustees or aldermen. 
Electric lights illuminate the town and solid stone 
business blocks attest the push of the people. A 
board of trade looks sharply after the accumulating 
interests of both present and future. Good schools 
and numerous churches speak for the progress and 
morals of the community. As a business center, 
it enjoys an extensive trade with practically every 
point in the county. Long strings of freight 
wagons move out almost daily to the distant settle- 
ments. 

Being the terminus of the B. & M. R. R. it nat- 
urally distributes all the supplies to the people liv- 
ing in the foot-hills of the Shoshone INIountains and 
the mining camps scattered from Sunlight to Ker- 
win. The mountain country reaching from a few 
miles Avest of the city clear to the National Park is 
rich in minerals and a knowledge of this fact, just 
beginning to spread, will make an outfitting and 



BIG HORN COUNTY 83 

supply point to cover a vast region sure to become 
a beehive of mining development v^ithin a short 
period of time. 

The live-stock interests — thousands of cattle and 
sheep being in the country round about — make 
Cody the shipping point, thereby distributing many 
dollars. The government will spend $3,000,000 on 
its irrigation dams, tunnels, and ditches at Cody 
within the next few years and the great Oregon 
Basin enterprise is spending millions on its work 
in close proximity. 

Uncle Samuel has constructed a road from Cody 
to the National Park, and thus it becomes the start- 
ing point for thousands of tourists who will, in 
increasing numbers, visit that "Playground of the 
Gods" in all the years to come. 

When the ditches now under way are com- 
pleted, Cody will be the natural trading point for 
the settlers upon 300,000 acres of rich farming land. 
Two or three sugar factories will be located in the 
town as soon as the water is spread over the sur- 
rounding fertile lands, and other manufacturing in- 
terests are likely to develop. 

The De Maris Hot Springs are just above the 
city, on the bank of the river, and are attracting a 
goodly number of visitors. Reports of the healing 



84 BIG HORN COUNTY 

character of the waters are very encouraging. Fol- 
lowing is an analysis : 

Per cent. 

Carbonic Acid (combined) 17.670 

Sulphuric Acid (combined) 24.326 

Calcium Oxide (Lime) 29.432 

Magnesium Oxide 5.180 

Iron and Aluminum Oxides 0.521 

Organic Matter 1.160 

Water of Combination 12.332 

Moisture 3.201 

Lithium, Sodium, and Potassium (Oxides 

and Chlorides) 6.179 

By Chemistry Department of Nebraska L^niversity. 

Looking north from the town, Heart I\Iountain 
looms up grandly before you, apparently but a step 
away, a most magnificent peak 8,000 feet above the 
sea. It is a continual feast of beauty to the oldest 
inhabitant as well as to the new arrival. The lover of 
nature in its primal allurements can find new scenes 
and charming, fascinating views within a half day's 
ride that will hold him in chains for days and weeks. 
'Tis apparently but a step from the bustle of human 
endeavor to the solitude and grandeur of nature. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 85 

BASIN CITY 

Basin, the county seat of Big Horn County, is 
on the west bank of the Big Horn River, practically 
in the center of the county. The location is ideal in 
that it overlooks the river and the magnificent Big 
Horn range of mountains forty miles to the east — 
a view always pleasing to the eye and inspiring to 
the soul. There are about 500 people domiciled in 
the village, among them men of sterling worth and 
great courage. Already a splendid water system 
has been installed and an electric-light plant is in 
formation. The mayor and council are men of 
action and they have at heart the upbuilding of the 
town. 

The railroad grade is completed through the 
eastern side of the place and within a few months 
the locomotive whistle will become a familiar sound. 

The Big Horn Canal will soon be turning its 
life-giving waters upon the rich lands adjacent to 
the town and hundreds of new farms will be opened 
up to pass their products into the trade center, and 
the surrounding plains will be clothed in a garb of 
green. Two large stone banks are in course of con- 
struction that really would be a credit to any town 
of four times the population of Basin. 

A graded school, college, and churches show the 
trend of thought among the people. A $13,000 steel 



86 BIG HORN COUNTY 

bridge spans the river in front of the town, and a 
$6,000 court-house, made of brick, accommodates 
the county officers. Fairly good coal lies in the 
hills on two sides of the town and reaches out for 
miles both west and southeast, making it a certainty 
that Basin will become more or less of a manu- 
facturing place. The population is increasing 
rapidly and faith is strong among all classes. Tele- 
phone lines radiate in all directions, placing the 
entire county in touch with the county seat and the 
great outside world. 

WORLAND 

The town of Worland is on the east bank of the 
Big Horn River, midway between Basin and Ther- 
mopolis. According to the latest railroad map this 
will be the terminus of the Burlington road for a 
time, waiting, no doubt, the construction of the Bur- 
lington from Guernsey west to Salt Lake, when the 
road will push on through Big Horn Cafion and, 
joining the other branch near Atlantic City, form 
a trunk line from the northeast to the southwest. 

There are 50,000 acres of choice level lands 
within seven miles of the depot, every foot of which 
will be under successful irrigation by the close of 
the year 1906, the Hanover, the Big Horn and the 
Bluff Canals furnishing the water. Here will be 



BIG HORN COUNTY 87 

established two or more beet factories and a flour- 
ishing' little city will be the result. This being the 
end of the Burlington road, undoubtedly it will be 
made a registering point for land seekers at the 
opening of the ShoshoneReservation June 15, 1906, 
and thousands of persons from the Xortheast will 
come in to take a chance in the land lottery. Of 
course, this will make it an exceedingly live town 
during the summer and much of that temporary 
growth will become permanent. Worland is the 
present headquarters of the Hanover and Big Horn 
County Canal companies, and with their hundreds 
of men and teams employed give a decidedly busi- 
ness air to the place. 

GARLAND 

Garland is a station on the railroad thirty miles 
east of Cody and is the distributing point for mer- 
chandise and supplies going to Basin and the east- 
ern half of the county. Of course, with the rail- 
road pushing south along the Big Horn River, the 
trade of Garland will be largely curtailed, but con- 
ditions are rapidly shaping that will make of it a 
larger and better town than it has ever been. There 
is a wide, level stretch of bench land between Gar- 
land and the Shoshone River that wall average six 
miles wide and twenty miles long. It lies under the 



88 BIG HORN COUNTY 

government ditch and will all be "brought in" as 
farming lands, mostly under the eighty-acre home- 
stead ruling of the Land Department at Washing- 
ton. This will all be at the door of Garland and 
make it a prosperous town. 

Just across the Shoshone is the Whistler Creek 
irrigation proposition that is sure to materialize 
and add 30,000 more acres of farming land to Gar- 
land's budget. Three miles north of the town and 
near the railroad, several coal veins crop out and 
sufficient work has been done to prove the presence 
of high-class lignite in great abundance and so 
situated as to be easily handled. This will become 
a source of continuous support, employing many 
men. The oil basin beginning at H3-attville and run- 
ning north by west dips into the country near 
Garland and is certain to prove a rich store-house 
of buried wealth. 

MEETEETSE 

The town of Meeteetse is on the Gray Bull River 
at the foot-hills of the Shoshones. The Avord means 
"place of rest," and aborigines made it a general 
camping place because of its charming surroundings. 
Instead, however, of its being a place of rest, it is 
a place of activity. It is the center of one of the 
best grazing districts in the West and hundreds of 



BIG HORX COUNTY 89 

small and dozens of large holders of sheep and 
cattle make it a trade and social center. 

There are two banks and numerous general 
stores and the amount of business done is almost be- 
yond belief to one who does not know the outlying 
country. There are but a hundred inhabitants, but 
an air of thrift pervades the town that is really re- 
freshing. 

Thirty-two miles up the mountain, on the very 
top of the Shoshone Range at the head of the Wood 
River, is Camp Kerwin, destined in the near future 
to become world famed for its mineral output. Ker- 
win is the camp that turned out the $128,000 gold 
ere, and every hillside shows mineral in more or 
less richness. Meeteetse is its supply point and the 
trade is rapidly increasing. 

The Burlington Railroad Company has surveyed 
a route up the Gray Bull River to this little city 
and it is but a question of time when the iron horse 
will be pulling ore out from and supplies into this 
great store-house of nature. ]\Ieeteetse should 
catch hundreds of summer tourists who have leisure 
and love the excitement and pleasures of mountain 
sight-seeing, fishing, and hunting, because in the 
region round about his most ardent desires can be 
fully satisfied. 

Good coal in the adjacent hills and cheap and 



90 BIG HORX COUNTY ^ 

abundant farm products from the rich valleys above 
and below the town will make jMeeteetse the winter 
home of the thousands of miners who spend their 
summer in the mountains above. Aleeteetse will 
grow. 

OTTO 

The town of Otto is on the Gray Bull River, 
twelve miles west of Basin, and is a pleasant rural 
village, drawing its support from a rich agricultural 
country surrovmding it. There are good schools 
and the community is prosperous. J\Iachinery for 
a modern creamery has been purchased by the 
farmers and will be put into operation in the village. 
It will be on the line of the Burlington Railroad 
when the Camp Kerwin branch is constructed. 

BURLINGTON 

Burlington is a very prosperous community 
twenty-five miles up the Gray Bull River from its 
mouth, and is in the midst of a very extensive 
irrigated farming district. It has several stores, a 
bank, and graded schools. The settlement was 
commenced by a colony from Utah, ditches taken 
out and homes built. Should the railroad ever reach 
this point, it will grow into an important position, 
as there will be a hundred thousand acres of irri- 



BIG HORN COUNTY 91 

gated land tributary to it, and one or two beet facto- 
ries are sure to be located there. The people are 
av/ake to the school question and will strive to make 
it an educational center. Certainly there is a bright 
future for the town. 

HYATTVILLE 

Hyattville nestles between the banks of the 
Paint Rock and Medicine Lodge Creeks, a C|uarter 
of a mile above their junction, and six miles west 
of the Big Horn Mountains. As a town site it is 
ideal, but its growth has been slow. The country 
up and down the valley to the east and west is one 
of the most prosperous in tlie county, all being 
owned by ranchmen with bunches of cattle ranging 
from fifty to seven hundred head, and the whole 
stretch, fifteen miles, is one continuous alfalfa 
meadow. But the trade area is too small to support 
more than a village with its two general stores, 
blacksmith shop, school, and church. 

The citizens still have hopes that the great moun- 
tains, forming the background of the magnificent 
view as they greet the morning sun, has something 
good in store for them. 

There is a flattering gold and copper prospect 
near the head of the south fork of Paint Rock. The 
vein is seven feet at the surface, with trap rock foot- 



92 BIG HORN COUNTY 

wall and granite hanging wall. Assays run as high 
as $40 with $10 to $15 average across the vein. The 
shaft was sunk thirty-five feet when water came in 
and stopped work. With new, rich mineral finds 
almost daily in the mountains to the south and 
west, why should not faith be kept in the Big Horn? 
Oil springs scattered up and down the stream 
for fifteen miles hold out yet another promise of 
future thrift, because these hidden lakes of oil will 
not always lie undisturbed by the searching drill. 
They will yield up their liquid gold and touch the 
community with a magic thrill. 

SHELL 

Shell is a little town on Shell Creek well toward 
the mountains, and while yet embryotic, is a pleas- 
ant spot, surrounded by an exceedingly prosperous 
community of farmers and stockmen. Happy 
homes dot the long stretches of level land by the 
murmuring stream and the bellowing herds come 
down from the mountain pastures in the autumn 
to make glad the hearts of their owners and swell 
the bank account. 

LOVELL 

The new town of Lovell has been laid out on the 
south side of the Shoshone at the railroad crossing. 
It has many thousands of acres of rich, irrigable 



BIG HORX COUNTY 93 

lands to support it and as a shipping point will 
gather trade as the years go by. 

COWLEY 

Cowley is on the line of the railroad six miles 
north of Lovell. The town was established by the 
Utah people when they took out the Sidon Canal, 
and now numbers several hundred people. It is in 
the midst of a farming district and will grow as 
agricultural development grows. There are two 
hundred and fifty children in the four-room school 
and the people are awake to educational interests. 

BYRON 

Byron is another village of the Mormon col- 
onists, close to the Shoshone and above Lovell. 
Like Cowley, it is surrounded by fertile lands that 
are rapidly being put under the plow, and will be 
the social center of a happy and prosperous people. 
Two hundred children in school tells the story of 
the community aspirations — "Give the little ones 
a chance !" 

The Z\Iormon settlers deserve special credit for 
their efforts. Three years ago this section of the 
country was practically a desert. To-day it is a 
smiling landscape, spotted with homes and verdure 
clothed — the result of the combined effort of will- 
ing hands and brave hearts. 



94 BIG HORN COUNTY 

The Utah beet sugar factory, having fully inves- 
tigated the quality of Big Horn County grown 
sugar-beets, has promised to place a factory at or 
near Cowley. Work is likely to be commenced this 
year. Then will history be seen to repeat itself. 
Where now the unpretentious cabin stands on good, 
but low-priced land, half a score of 3^ears Avill see 
the cabins give way to well-built houses with pianos 
in the parlor, handsome carriages under the sheds, 
and lands worth on the market from $300 to $500 
per acre. Truly, a magic transformation, but one 
that "sugar" will bring about. 

FRANNIE 

Frannie is the point where the railroad branches 
ofif to run south up the Big Horn Valle3^ It is a 
small town on Sage Creek flat, two miles south of 
the Montana line, with much good land adjacent, 
but heretofore without water for irrigation. As a 
"dividing point" it will have some prestige and in 
time, when "the water comes," is likely to grow into 
importance. 

There are a number of country stores scattered 
about the county that some time may grow into 
importance as the resources of the country are 
developed. They are not, however, of sufficient 
present importance to specially mention. 



BIG HORX COUNTY 



95 



JORDAN 

Is a postoffice on the lower No Wood where, 
some years ago, was erected an up-to-date patent 
process flouring mill. Three hundred horse-power 
was developed by taking a ditch from the No Wood 
River, and this is the pioneer mill of the county. 
First-class flour is made from our hard wheat, and 
now that the population is rapidly increasing, 
farmers will be encouraged to greatly increase their 
wheat production. 

BONANZA, 

On the No ^^'ood, at the mouth of Paint Rock 
Creek, is simply a good country store and post- 
office, but it is in the center of an extensive oil 
belt, or rather at the junction of two extensive oil 
basins, and when the fields are "brought in" will 
necessarily be a point of importance. 

POSTOFFICES OF BIG HORN COUNTY 



Basin* 

Bigtrails 

Bonanza, 

Burlington 

Byron 

Clark 

Cloverly 

Coburn 

Cody 

Cowley 

*County seat. 



Embar 

Fenton 

Fourbear 

Frannie' 

Garland 

Germania 

Hyattville 

Ilo 

Irma 

Ishawood 



Jordan 

Kane 

Kirwin 

Uovell 

Marquette 

IVIeeteetse 

Middleton 

No Wood 

Olwen 

Otto 



Painter 

Redbank 

Rome 

Shell 

Sunshine 

Tensleep 

Valley 

Welling 

Winchester 

Worland 



96 BTG HORN COUNTY 

HUNTING AND FISHING 

String-otit laws for the protection oi <;amo aiul 
fish liavo boon enacted l>y tlie \\"\oniini;- le^islatnre 
and in coiiseiiuence ]M-(iiniscnons slanj;hter has 
been stopped. 

Game fish may Ite cau;;ht by means of rod, line, 
antl hook, in llie I'is;' Horn Ri\-er and tribntaries 
durinq' May, June. July, .Vugusl, antl September ; but 
no more than twenty pounds of game fish ma\' be 
in the possession of any one person or ]x\rtv at 
any time. No trout or black bass less than .six 
inches in lenj;th can be legally caught. Xo game 
fish can be offered for sale or shipped within or 
without the state. The state fish connnissioner may 
permit seining in lakes which have been stocked 
with lake trout, whitefish, or carp. 

A bona fide citizen of the state of ^^'yom^ng may 
hunt, during the open season, within the limits of 
the county in which he is an actual resident, by the 
payment of a gim license of two dollars. It is not 
necessary for a citizen to ha\e a gun license to hunt 
game birds, according to the intent of the law, as 
per recent decisions, though the late amendments 
to the game laws include citizens and non-citizens 
as requirctl to lia\e licenses. Non-resident hunters 
must secure a license at a cost of fifty dollars, and 
must be accompanied by a registered guide. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 97 

During the open season licensed parties may 
kill two elk, two deer, two antelope, one mountain 
sheep, and one mountain goat, between September 
15th and November 15th. The barter or sale of any 
part of the animals above mentioned or the posses- 
sion of more than the specified number is prohib- 
ited, under penalty of heavy fine or imprisonment. 
License must be carried and shown upon request. 
Game killed by non-resident licensed hunters may 
be shipped from the state, upon a certificate from 
a justice of the peace stating that such animals were 
killed according to law. It is unlawful to sell any 
part of any wild animal, hides, horns, or tusks, or to 
use dogs for the purpose of coursing or running the 
animals above mentioned. Taxidermists can not 
buy hides, horns, or any part of game animals or 
birds, but mounted birds or stufifed heads and horns 
of animals lawfully killed may be shipped within 
or without the state. 

The forest reserves east of the National Park 
and the Jackson Hole country are undoubtedly the 
best hunting districts of the West. Thousands of 
elk, deer, and antelope graze in the little mountain 
parks and offer splendid sport. These fields are 
conveniently reached from Cody and Thermopolis, 
at either one of which places suitable outfits and 
guides may be secured. 

7 



98 BIG HORN COUNTY 

SHOSHONE INDIAN RESERVATION. 

The government having secured the cession 
of about a million and a quarter acres of land from 
the Shoshone Indians, it will be opened for settle- 
ment under such rules as the land department at 
Washington may determine, presumably the same 
as the Rosebud opening in South Dakota. The lands 
are to be opened to settlement June 15, ,1906. 

Two or three hundred thousand acres of this 
land are classed as agricultural, and are easily 
irrigated by large cooperative ditches. Within the 
area to be opened are half a million acres of miner- 
alized mountains, for years known to be rich in gold 
and copper, but beyond the reach of the prospector. 
June 15th this will be open to the manipulator of 
the pick and shovel and "the mountains will be 
alive." 

Intending visitors who live along the Burling- 
ton, Northern Pacific, and other northern lines of 
railroads will come to Worland, which undoubtedly 
will be a point of registration, thirty miles from the 
reservation line. There will be ready communication 
to the opening district by carriage, wagon, or saddle 
horses at reasonable prices. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 99 

THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK 

The following description of Yellowstone Park 
was written several years ago, after a sixty days' 
outing in the Park and the mountains surrounding 
it. Some slight changes of geysers have taken place 
since that time — some have subsided, others taken 
their place. These changes, however, are not of 
such importance as to count in the general descrip- 
tion. 

At that, time the tourist traveled from the east, 
all entered at the northern gate and made the rounds 
in the order named in my descriptive pages. Since 
then the government has built a road from Cody, 
Wyoming, up the north fork of the Shoshone 
River and across the Forest Reserve, entering the 
Park proper at the Lake Hotel, ninety-six miles 
fiom Cody. 

The way leads among towering peaks, rocky 
gorges, and pine-clad slopes ; passes leaping waters, 
sentinel rocks, and sylvan lakes. The views, from 
start to finish, along the road are equal to any to 
be found in the Rockies or the Alps, barring, of 
course, the wonderful displays of thermal action 
in the Park. This ninety-mile ride is worth going 
thousands of miles to enjoy, for enjoyment it is 
every moment of the time consumed on the trip. 
Cody is the end of the Burlington Railroad and 



100 BIG HORN COUNTY 

there the stages for the Park connect. Parties can 
choose between the regular coaches, making sched- 
ule time, special carriage or saddle horses and all 
necessary conveniences for beds and provisions, 
with cooks and guides, or can stop at the several 
hotels along the way, where good accommodations 
are to be had at $3.50 to $4 per day. Regular stage 
fare is $15 to $20 for round trip. Expense of private 
rigs is in harmony with your notion as to what you 
want. 

Resting above the clouds ; kissed by the breezes 
that form in the upper realms and carry no taint of 
disease or the death-dealing germs that linger in 
the lowlands of earth ; guarded on every side by 
snow-capped peaks that pierce the sky and mirror 
back the endless forms of beauty that enchain the 
beholder, is the Yellowstone National Park, the won- 
derland, the marvel of nature, and the playgrounds 
of the gods. 

Search the world over, from the ice-crusted 
polar regions, where midnight lingers through half 
the year and nature sleeps, to the life-inspiring 
southland, where the orange yellows on the tree, 
the grape purples on the vine, and the breadfruit 
springs spontaneously from the ground ; from occi- 
dental plains to oriental mountains ; wherever sun- 
light penetrates the veil and moonbeams play, and 



BIG HORN COUNTY 101 

nowhere else can be found such a combination of 
the beautiful, the grand, and the sublime — such a 
climax of nature's handiwork as is to be seen in 
this apex basin of the Rockies. 

Here we see the rolling approaches to the foot- 
hills, green with grasses and decked with flowers of 
a thousand hues. There the foothills themselves, 
the bodyguards and picket sentinels of the great 
ranges, ever on duty as the trusted soldier on the 
tented field. These supports to the great encircling 
chains are as varied in their conformation and con- 
sistency as are the conceptions of the human mind. 
One is the perfection of symmetry, when viewed 
from any quarter, its sides smooth and inviting 
from base to summit ; another, rock piled upon rock, 
craggy projections here, cavernous depths there; 
walls perpendicular and walls hanging over ; stones 
smoothed by the action of the elements on their 
surfaces or shaped into all manner of forms by these 
same elements. 

Then come the mountains, themselves the giants 
in nature, rearing their proud heads far into the ethe- 
real blue, and from their vantage ground wearing a 
smile that reaches out and gladdens the earth in its 
lowerfields. The dewdrops from the mountains, gath- 
ered there while the storm king reigned, are the joy, 
the life of the plains below. On yonder peak rests 



102 BIG HORN COUNTY 

the snows of centuries, a robe of whiteness unspotted 
by the changing rays of the sun,unsunied by the tor- 
nado's sweep, and free from the cyclonic embrace of 
electric combinations. Down the sides of these cloud- 
piercing piles the pine tree grows in sturdy thrift, 
and from the shady nooks spring babbling brooks 
that dance and sing their way to the Missouri and 
the Columbia, whence they wander on to lose their 
identity in the tropical seas and the western ocean. 
Raised from the lower depths by the strong pulsa- 
tions of nature, these mountain walls encircle an 
area sixty-five by seventy-five miles, the depository 
of nature's master mind — the outward manifestations 
of the secret laboratory being worked below. There 
are over fifty geysers sending their heated waters 
from thirty to two hundred and fifty feet into the air ; 
thousands of hot springs ; boiling mud pots ; soda 
fountains effervesced by hidden combinations ; crys- 
tal springs ; calibate waters ; sulphur hills ; com- 
posite towers ; petrified forests and obsidian or glass 
mountains, all the work of the genius who presides 
as chief director of this burier experimental station. 
The usual tour of the Park begins at the Mam- 
moth Hot Springs, near the northern boundary. 
Covering an area of 170 acres, with thirteen terraces 
and more than half a hundred hot springs, this is 
the most remarkable development of thermal action 



BIG HORN COUNTY 103 

known to man. Deep down toward the earth's 
center, lakes and oceans of liquid, boiling in rocky- 
cauldrons, blend with molten masses of earthy 
matter, and through secret, winding ways the 
pent-up forces reach the light. Laboring in the dark 
passages and struggling with new and stronger 
conditions and substances, combinations are formed 
that yield to the light of day, and the transforma- 
tions give us the marvels of the hot springs region. 
Look upon that terrace ! On the apex of a 
round, gently sloping hill 500 feet across, bubble 
up sea-green waters from unknown depths. The 
crater is 100 feet in diameter. The transparency 
of the boiling water is such that for hundreds of feet 
down into the breathing mass the slightest object 
can be seen and every motion or cloud that disturbs 
the air above is accurately reflected below and 
spread before your gaze. The thousands of minute 
projections on the sides are mirrored back in per- 
fect form and endless variety of shades and color- 
ings. The overflow, spreading in all directions and 
yielding to the action of light, has evaporated, vmtil 
the minerals, formerly in soluton, have crystallized 
and built up a series of little basins, or pot-shaped 
depositories, the dividing walls being composite in 
character. These pools are in regular terraces, one 
above the other, for hundreds of feet, down either 



104 BIG HORX COUNTY 

slope. The walls being made up of such a variety 
of mineral substances, the water, as it gently flows 
over them, gives off the most wonderful coloring 
effects, including all of the primary colors, with 
every possible shade of blending — red, from the 
brightest scarlet to the softest and most delicate 
rose tint — yellow, from the deepest sulphur through 
all the variations of cream. Interest in this phase 
of the terraces is greatly heightened by the changing 
rays of the sun, the peculiar shade varying with the 
declination of those rays. Hence, for every hour 
of sunlight there is a new series of blended coloring 
that holds the mind in exaltation and ecstacy of 
delight. And each separate pool, while to the casual 
observer not dift'ering from others adjacent, really 
produces eft'ects dissimilar from those of each and 
every other one, thus affording such endless variety 
to the student of colors as to satisfy the most ardent 
lover of rainbow tints. No coral from equatorial 
seas is handsomer than the spongy moss of fibrous 
matter that forms along the little rivulets escaping 
from the hot pools, and one involuntarily compares 
it to the most beautiful specimens from the tropical 
isles. Taken as a whole, the terraces impress one 
as being a most remarkable manifestation of the 
mysterious workings of nature in happy conjunction 
with the beautiful. 



BIG HORN COUNTY 105 

Proceeding southward, we pass through the 
"Golden Gate," a charming roadway between "Ben- 
son's Park" and "Terrace Mountain," distinguished 
by reason of the high perpendicular walls on one 
side and the canon below, this beautified by a water- 
fall of sixty feet that dashes down upon and loses 
itself among the gray, moss-covered rocks. Con- 
tinuing along the drive, the spring of natural 
apollonaris water is sampled with a relish ; the 
obsidian or black volcanic glass mountain, a rarity 
in all lands, is skirted and numerous special attrac- 
tions met with on the way to Norris Geyser Basin. 
This basin covers an area of six square miles and 
numbers among its most inviting features the gey- 
ser's Congress, Constant, Black Growler, Monarch, 
New Crater, and the Emerald Pool. Besides the 
above named, there is a wide flat near by that is 
filled with openings containing boiling water of 
various hues and emitting sulphurous odors of high 
degree. The greatest care must be observed in 
visiting this region, as the crust formation is so 
thin and treacherous as to give uncertain support 
to the pedestrian. 

Leaving Norris Basin the road passes near the 
celebrated "Gibbon Paint Pots," one of the curious 
and interesting wonders of the Park. These are 
a series of mud springs, or openings in the highly 



106 BIG HORN COUNTY 

colored clay, each one filled with a mass of what 
might be taken for ready mixed paint, boiling- over 
a seven-times heated fiery furnace. The most inter- 
esting one of these is located fifty feet up in the hill- 
side, and while the motion of the semi-liquid mass 
is less violent than that of the adjacent pools, each 
pulsation of steam from below molds and sends to 
the surface a perfect rose in full bloom. 

Passing on by "Gibbon Falls" and the "Firehole" 
River, each of which deserves special mention and 
detailed description, we reach the Lower Geyser 
Basin, where 693 hot springs and 17 geysers have 
been named and catalogued. The noted geysers of 
this basin are the Fountain, Great Fountain, and 
Excelsior. Not less interesting, however, than these 
wonderful displays is the Prismatic Lake, located 
500 feet west of Excelsior geyser. This is the 
largest spring in the Park, being a rectangle 250 by 
400 feet. It rests on top of a silicious formation, 
built up of layers as time and atmospheric influ- 
ences have separated the solid and liquid matter 
boiling up from the nether regions. Gazing out to 
the center of the lakelet, the water is of the deepest 
blue, while that approaching the margins is in- 
tensely green, with a yellow circle, fading to orange, 
forming the outer rim. Outside of the rim there 
is a brilliant red deposit, which shades into purples. 



1 BIG HORN COUNTY 107 

browns, and grays, the coloring being in clearly 
defined bands and so marked as to at once attract 
and hold the attention of the visitor. A succession 
of diminutive terraces has been formed on every 
side of the mound by the slowly passing waters, 
which in these passages over the terrace give a 
sparkle and shimmer that greatly increase the 
pleasing effects. The richness and delicacy of color- 
ing here displayed are simply unsurpassable. The 
constantly rising clouds of steam act as reflectors 
and give off, not alone the bright colors seen in the 
waters, but all those of the perfect rainbow. 

The next point of interest is the Upper Geyser 
Basin, and it seems to be an intensified reproduc- 
tion of the Norris and Lower Basins. It covers an 
area of 4 square miles, contains 26 geysers, and 
over 400 hot springs. "Firehole" River drains it 
and the surface, generally speaking, is a succession 
of undulations, as if the waters of old ocean had 
rolled over it and, suddenly receding, had left the 
imprints of mighty waves to mark their former 
abiding places. Each wave mark is crowned with 
a "geyser cone" or hot-spring vent. Entering the 
valley one is quite affected with a feeling of awe, 
realizing, as it were, that he stands face to face with 
the active and mysterious forces of nature. Low, 
rumbling sounds fall upon the ear ; the sky is heavily 



108 BIG HORN COUNTY 

draped with vapor from the escaping steam ; the 
earth trembles with a vibrating motion ; sulphurous 
fumes fill the air; vegetable life is destroyed, and 
the very heavens above seem to echo a cry of warn- 
ing to beware of lingering in this land of lost souls 
and migratory spirits. 

The geysers of this basin are the grandest to be 
found on earth and Old Faithful is the crowning 
glory of them all, sending a vast column of water and 
steam 150 feet into the air every hour, from year's 
end to year's end — always coming up smilingly to 
greet the excursionist and demonstrate the won- 
derful power and majesty of nature's hidden forces. 
A short drive from the Upper Basin over the 
Continental Divide, and you are on the shore of the 
Yellowstone Lake, a body of crystal water fifteen 
by twenty miles, but of irregular outline. Nestled 
at the feet of towering mountains ; bordered by a 
continuous fringe of dark green forest ; dotted with 
islands, and sending arms or inlets out into the 
midst of the surrounding landscape, tourists with 
one accord pronounce this the handsomest inland 
sheet of water on the western continent. It is 7,788 
feet above sea-level and is an important source of 
that great father of rivers that drains and fertilizes 
a dozen states of the Union. 

Leaving these beautiful scenes, and the myriads 



BIG HORN' COUNTY 109 

of speckled trout that seem to vie with each other in 
their efforts to dangle from your fishing tackle, a few 
hours' easy coaching carries you to the great cafion 
and the leaping waters of the Yellowstone. I have 
stood on the margin of the Columbia and watched 
with keenest zest the waters of that beautiful river 
as they dash over the Dalles and Cascades, having, 
in one giant effort to be free, cut their way through a 
mountain chain 8,000 feet high. I have gazed into 
the dark, almost bottomless depths of the Colorado 
Caiion, where the perpendicular walls of salt rise 
thousands of feet on either side. I have rested at the 
feet of the beautiful Shoshone Falls of Snake River, 
where the vast volume of water plunges over castled 
recks and is lost in spray and foam before its leap is 
ended. I have sat upon Table Rock and viewed 
through youthful eyes the magnificence and grand- 
eur of Niagara, only to come in my later years and 
bow down at the shrine of the Yellowstone. Words 
fail and the most vivid imagination tames when an 
attempt is made to picture to other minds the 
reality as it stands and spreads out before the 
onlooker. There comes the mighty river, rolling 
swiftly over its rocky bottom, 1,000 feet below the 
point of observation. With a dash and a roar it 
drops 360 feet, a foaming mass, sparkling as if set 
with a million diamonds of the finest ray. The 



110 EIG HOR^T COUNTY 

suddenness of the fall and the diffusion of drops into 
spray bring a feeling of awe, mixed with supreme 
delight. Having reached the canon's bed below, the 
waters whirl along the almost measureless depths 
in a ribbon of pearl until lost in the maze of emeralds 
and other precious settings. The sides of the walls, 
in many places as straight up and down as if formed 
by master mechanics with plummet and line, are the 
embodiment of perfect color combinations. No 
shade of the prism's reflections but stands out before 
3^ou in intensified degree, spreading a shimmer and a 
sheen of such brightness and loveliness as to dazzle 
the eye and fill the soul. The brightness and halo 
of the grand uncovered tunnel through the moun- 
tains is such as to inspire the mind of the beholder 
with the thought that came to Milton when, in writ- 
ing a poem on the parable of Christ turning w^ater 
into wine, he said, "The conscious water saw its 
God and blushed." So, the conscious mountainsides, 
seeing their God in all the out-pourings of nature 
around and about them, blushed; and their blush 
remains to heighten their beauty and bless the for- 
tunate mortals whom circumstances favor with a 
visit to these soul-developing landscapes. > 

But the coloring and magnificent depths are not 
all. The voice of nature sings in the dancing waters 
of the brooks that wind their ways from rock to rock 



BIG HORN COUNTY 111 

mid fern and moss ; in the boiling springs that bub- 
ble up from the home of the fire gods ; in the carved 
statues which fill every niche and projection of the 
mighty walls ; in the sentinel rocks that guard every 
side ; in the ribbon of silver that unwinds for miles 
before your gaze and hides away behind the crimson 
hills ; in the little geysers that toss their heated 
sprays into the air like tea-pot steam, boiled and 
steeped in the kitchen of the gods; in the flowers 
that bud and bloom and in the stately pines that 
frnige the mountains and carry healing in their 
breath. The cafion and falls of the Yellowstone, 
with their wonderful settings of natural jewels, sur- 
pass any other view of similar character in this 
country and, judging from the best information ob- 
tainable, that of the most-favored canons of Europe 
and the eastern world. To see them is a joy for- 
ever — not to see them should be a regret forever. 
Desiring a view of the Park, as a whole, you 
ride from the Grand Canon Hotel ten miles, to the 
summit of ]\It. Washburn, whose rounded top sits 
10,000 feet above the sea and is nearly in the center 
of the reservation. On every side the view is stayed 
by snow-capped peaks, the guards of honor of the 
Clark Fork, Madison, Stinking Water, and Teton 
ranges of mountains. Describe a circle of vision 
about you and every part of the basin comes under 



11-3 BIG HORN COUNTY 

review — the green, velvety slopes of the distant 
mountains ; the crystal lake ; the sparkling water- 
falls ; the towering rocks and craggy peaks ; the 
shadowy waves of clouds that hang and glide over 
the distant geysers ; the white waters of the Yellow- 
stone River in their resplendent settings ; the gorge 
of the great canon; the beautiful valleys, with their 
reminders of peace on earth, that separate the foot- 
hills and reach down to the lake and rivers ; in short, 
the smile of God seems to rest upon you as you 
linger drinking in through every sense the invig- 
orating draught which nature has here distilled. 

Descending from this point of panoramic 
observation and riding over to Tower Falls and the 
Petrified Trees, the special attractions of the Park 
will all have been visited and the excursionist will 
be ready for the return trip to the ]\Iammoth Hot 
Springs, whence he started. But he will have seen 
only the special features. There are hundreds of 
other views that if located outside of the Park 
would be considered sufficiently attractive to draw 
large numbers of visitors from all parts of the world 
Being, however, thus overshadowed, their beauty 
is unappreciated and few persons even know of 
their existence. The great mistake of most tourists 
is that they hurry along the main highways and rush 
from point to point without a proper study of 




ENTRANCE SHOSHONE CANON 



BIG HORN COUNTY 113 

nature as opened to them. No one can "do the 
Park" in less than twenty days, and then he will 
have failed to see many of the charming things 
which invite his examination. 

As the National Park is the IMecca of all lovers 
of the grand and sublime in nature, where the most 
impressive object lessons of that mysterious power 
and majesty which controls terrestrial matter and 
conditions are given, so it should be the great Ameri- 
can teacher of patriotism. When the waters were 
called back and this magnificent stretch of country 
that reaches from the rock-ribbed shores of the 
Atlantic to the Pacific waters oi the Occident was 
lifted up, the creating architect, with foreknowledge 
of future conditions; placed midway between the 
oceans this scenic attraction that it might be acces- 
sible alike to the East and the West. There it sits 
overlooking a continent, beckoning to the people — 
the old, the middle aged, and the young, the men 
and the women (for the women, God bless them, 
will yet control the destinies of the world) — to come 
and worship nature, to learn of the great teacher, 
and be assured that in the formation of our own 
America the very climax of creative genius was 
displayed. 

The history of the world proclaims that the 
love of country and home is most strongly developed 

8 



114 BIG HORN COUNTY 

and most deeply rooted in the hearts of those races 
and peoples whose firesides are surrounded by the 
grand and sublime in nature. Centuries of fighting 
on the blood-red battle-fields, guarding the ap- 
proaches to the passes in the Alps and Pyrenees 
Mountains, attest the patriotism of the little bands 
of natives whose every breath of life had been 
drawn amid the glories of alpine hills. The invading 
hosts from the plain countries came not for the love 
of native land, nor in defense of family treasures, 
but for conquest alone ; thus clearly defining the 
difference in character of the men who sought to 
conquer and those who gave their lives in defense 
of their liberty, their home, and their loved ones. 
The very air of the mountains is filled with an 
elixir of life that endears every crag and stony peak ; 
each vale and rolling plain ; every gorge and mossy 
niche, and every smiling hillside to him who lingers 
there. Hence it should be deemed not only a highly- 
prized privilege but a duty of every citizen to spend 
some time in the American Alps and be filled with 
the patriotic spirit which is inseparable from such 
a communion. 

The most reliable estimates place the sum of 
money spent annually by the people of the United 
States for touring in Europe at $150,000,000 in gold. 
The principal inducement for the expenditure of 



BIG HORN COUNTY 115 

this vast sum of American gold is the desire to wan- 
der beside the mountain streams ; sail on the sleepy 
kkes in the broken ranges ; climb the giddy heights ; 
gaze upon the snowy peaks, and watch the rainbow 
tints painted by the morning and evening sun upon 
the white-robed hills and yawning chasms. This 
desire springs from the fact of the wide, the univer- 
sal advertising of the pleasing features of such an 
Eastern trip, while comparatively little is known of 
the charms and splendors of the West. We have a 
Switzerland of our own in comparison with which 
the transatlantic one pales into insignificance. 

The great backbone of America, from the line 
ot British Columbia to the Republic of Mexico, is 
one continuous line of beauty, the scenic effects 
of which are fully equal at all points to the most 
famous resorts of the European mountains. What 
shall we say, then, when we name the Garden of the 
Gods, Pike's Peak, the perpendicular walls of the 
western division of the Rockies, the Wasatch Chain 
that separates the states of Wyoming and Utah, 
the grand Tetons, Jackson's Lake, etc.? 

As this little book will be read by thousands of 
Eastern people who will later visit Big Horn 
County, I have admitted a few advertisements of 
conservative banking institutions for the informa- 
tion of intending visitors. 



BIG HORN COUNTY BANK 

BASIN, WYOMING. 

OLDEST BANK IN BIG HORN COUNTY. 
MEMBER AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION. 

OFFICERS: 
W. J. Booth, President. J. D. Allen, Vice President. 
D. L. Darr, Cashier. M. B. Rhodes, Ass't Cashier. 

Accounts of individuals, firms and corporations solicited and their busi- 
ness giyen careful attention. Liberal treatment given our customers consistent 
with conservative business principles. 

STOCKGROWERS BANK 

THERMOPOLIS, WYOMING. 



OFFICERS: 
James Dickie, President. W. Dean Hays, Vice President. 
J. W. Martin, Cashier. L. L. Small, Ass't Cashier. 



Does a general banking business with good connections in 
most Eastern cities. Eastern exchange bought and sold. 




m 1 3 1953