Friday, April 2, 2010

Reminiscences by Nelson Bennett

Nelson Bennett

Compiled and Edited by


with the assistance of


Reminiscences are not at all times satisfactory for the reason that the relator is of necessity compelled to use the personal pronoun frequently. If it were possible to be a looker-on and not a participant it would be easy to relate events, but it has not been the luck of the writer to be thus situated. Since early childhood when things were "doing” an irresistible force drew me there. Is it strange, then, that the frontier became my shifting abode, or that each new field, each exaggerated report of the riches still further on, found me at least trying to get there?

Thus it was that the great open prairies of Iowa and Nebraska which had lured me from my home in Canada in early youth lost their charm when Drake struck oil in Titusville. Again, the borders of Dixieland, deserted by the Southerners at the close of the War, offered inducement for investment in lands, there was 1 also. By this time Ye miner of '59 had drifted along the eastern slope of the Rockies from Pike's Peak northward to South Pass and the Sweetwater country and here the mirror of exaggeration reflected its alluring description of gold with Arabian Night’s brilliancy. George Francis Train, Oakes Ames and other writers of the John Law order, had interested the United States in building a great trans-continental railway to the setting sun and hither I go. The grinding of machinery, the rolling prairie schooners carrying tools, equipment and supplies to the multitude still further West; the antelope, deer, buffalo and wild beasts roaming the country, all fed and stimulated my roving disposition.
At a point near the then terminus of the Union Pacific Railway, Rawlings Springs, with sixteen companions, I embarked for an overland march to the nearest "will-o-the-wisp" where we should find the hidden treasure in quantities to satiate the appetite of the most greedy miser.
Well do I remember the day when first a "gold camp" became visible. As we came to the brow of the ridge overlooking "South Pass City" a sluice box nestled among the willows bordering the creek below, "Ho, Joe" and "Ho, Joe", was taken up in the camp beyond the creek, making us "tender­feet" think some important personage by the name of Joe was lost and in desperation all were calling for him. We soon learned we were the cause of the commotion and this was the ordinary greeting of the old time miners to the new comer or tenderfoot.
South Pass City was then the principal camp in the "Sweet Water", although the great amount of development was being done at “Atlantic City” about nine miles further on. Still further north was Miner's Delight, this latter camp was noted for its beautiful gold specimen nuggets, which were found in all sizes and shapes in the gulch; most remarkable specimens of gold bearing quartz were taken from the ledge crossing the upper end of this arroyo. This was indeed an alluring spot, and the richer properties being in the hands of men who had small appreciation for the value of gold, much of their wealth was put in immediate circulation and this gave life and stir to the place, saloons and gambling being the chief diversion. Each of the principal owners of the "Miner's Delight" properties had "taken their man" and whilst the tenderfoot did not take his hat
off to them, they were nevertheless held in respectful awe by the men who perhaps more brave, still did not care to run counter to their claims.
"Atlantic City" was more cosmopolitan and here most of the boys took up their abode, prospecting the neighboring gulches for placer gold, or the hills for quartz, or taking work when the chance offered. One William Neely, an ex-confederate soldier from North Carolina, who had spent most of his time of enlistment as a prisoner in Camp Douglass, Chicago, was my prospecting partner. "Bill" and I were sleeping in a log cabin covered with brush and a heavy top layer of earth. A heavy rain soaked this roof until its weight broke the ridge pole, one end of which caught Bill's head pinning him fast to the ground and broke his jaw, thus temporarily relieving me from a continuous argument upon the respective merits of Federal and Confederate soldiers. Bill was a good fellow, full of American blood and this accident lost both to him and myself a very lucrative property. We had been prospecting in "Smith's Gulch" and were to have pursued our work next day but the accident disabled my partner and necessitated my remaining with him. When Bill became convalescent I went to the gulch, only to find four Cornishmen had discovered gold on the identical ground and in consequence the whole gulch was staked and being worked. I bought 100 ft. of the lower end of the Cornichmen's claim of 1500 feet for $1, 000 and made a neat sum from it.
One day, while Bill was yet confined to his blankets, the morning stillness was violently broken by several rifle shots to the East of the camp. "Indians, Indians!" was the cry and immediately all was excitement; men running with rifle, shot gun or revolver; here and there a woman calling to John, Tom or Dick, "Don't you go; stay with me".
Down the trail passes a man carrying a bundle running for his life. A hundred feet behind comes an excited woman, yelling "Stop him; Oh, my God, he's got my baby!" It was old Frenchy, an eccentric character, broken by over use of spirits, who in his flight espied a baby at the door of a cabin and grabbed it thinking to save that much anyway. He was stopped and the frantic mother's baby restored. The “scare” proved to be a marauding band of Brule Sioux, perhaps the bravest and most troublesome of all the tribes of that greatest of Indian nations. The Sioux, Arrapahoes and Cheyenne had been raiding the camps of the Union Pacific, but had not yet run against the "real thing" which was in store for them. In these mines were assembled ex-warriors from both North and South, and in cases of this kind they cooperated against the common enemy. In this first raid there were no casualties on the miners' side, save one man killed about five miles from camp. Old Colonel Pease led the miners against the raiders and while no scalps were taken several braves were packed across their ponies and hurried away from range of guns that finally routed them and not only were the stolen horses recaptured which the Indians had gathered up but some of their own “mustangs” were taken.
Soon after this an old man and his wife hailing from Kansas camped on the creek. They lived in their wagon, having constructed it on the principle common among sheep herders now-a-days. A colored trusty had accompan­ied them across the plains and he alone knew of four thousand dollars in $20 gold pieces hidden by these old people. This gold was stolen. Appeal was made to the leading miners. The colored man strenuously denied any know­ledge of the theft. It took but one "raising" at the end of a quarter inch rope to ascertain that "anudder nigger knows whar dat gold is, boss". Another man was
arrested and still a third, and, after “treatment” the gold was recovered and the culprits turned over to the authorities.
In those days and until 1873 the miners made their own laws concerning claims, water rights and town lots and like matters and the civil authority was largely in their own hands, owing to the inaccessibility and the remoteness of established courts, accounts for the formation of the "Vigilance Committees"; organizations subjected to a great deal of unmerited criticism. It is true, abuses, aggravated ones at times, crept into the efforts of well meaning men but what new government emanating from even the highest authority is not open to such menaces? I venture to say there was less abuse of strict justice, less mistakes made by the so-called "vigilantes" from 1850 to 1873, considering the vast empire practically controlled in that manner, than in most of the territorial governments before or since. The accuracy and swift justice meted out to the offender had a most wholesome effect. Locks on doors were superfluous then. The public domain was the peaceful pasturage for stock of rich and poor and no herder or caretaker was necessary save to protect it from marauding Indians or carnivorous animals. The merchant trusted to an extent unknown and ludicrous in older communities, yet if he made a loss it was because the bones of his debtor lay bleaching in some far away fastness of the hills, in which event his debt was considered honorably discharged.
As the prairie schooner vanished and “God's people” came, ensconced in Pullman car, plush and velvet, locks became imperative and the old camp merchant promptly "busted" through too-extended the glad hand. Vigilantes were scorned and their name made a reproach by the "Holier-than-thou" who knew no law but fear of hell and respected none save it had a glimmer of pomp and brass buttons. Trickery and deception became a synonym of business sagacity. Legislatures made good and wholesome laws only as the legislator was enabled by dint of courage to withstand the intrigues of lobbyists and to erase from malicious bills the evils therein contained. In those days it seemed that the entire East had dumped not only its criminals but its defenders of crime, debauched politicians and too frequently, discarded ministers whose religion only penetrated their anatomy to the roots of their tongues.
The South in reconstruction days was not more cursed with “carpetbaggers” than the West with the overflow of these characters, and now the East is blazoning our iniquities before the world as though it were a latent element first springing from Western soil. As a matter of fact, van Dieman's Land or Siberia as criminal colonies are not cursed with such a foxy, narrow, wreckless class as inundated the West in the first days of the rush when transportation became easy. Yet with these and since, the West has received and been blessed with many of the noblest and most enterprising of American citizens. People who brought energy and enthusiasm, wealth and influence and culture, whose presence has been an inspiration to the community, to meet whom is a feast of reason and a flow of soul.
Recurring from these reflections of later days to memories of Sweet Water: A rifle and navy pistol were absolutely necessary during the two years I spent there, not alone from marauding bands but from the single prowling Indian. All savages had mustangs, cayuses or bronchos, as they were variously called; they were excellent riders and the animals had wonderful endurance. Thus a few of the Indians were enabled to make forced marches and surprise and murder isolated prospectors or hunters, stampede stock and the like and get away before the miners could intercept them. A dozen or more of these murders had been committed, leaving bodies horribly mutilated during my first summer in the district. In the fall the miners were agreeably surprised when the request for a conference looking to peace pro­posals care from the Northern Arrapahos under Chief Friday through good old Washakie of the Allied Shoshone and Bannock Tribes. This latter Chief had, through all the Wars of his tribes, opposed trouble with the white man. In consequence the various tribes of Sioux, Cheyennes and Arrapahos had made war upon his people as well upon the Whites. The conference was held and Friday and his people, some two thousand in all, were permitted to camp on the lower Wind River (the eastern part of the Shoshone Reserve) and trade was established between them and the mining camps. This trade was very lucrative in buffalo robes, deer skins and furs and everything seemed to go smoothly until the following April, when a young man yet in his teens, came into Atlantic City in midday, naked as when born, with an arrow in his back, the stem of which pulsated with each breath and a bullet hole entirely through his body. He was besmeared with mud from being rolled in the trail; after stripping his clothes off, he fell from the bullet that pierced his chest. After thus tantaliz­ing him they helped him upon his feet and pointing toward camp said in Shoshone "pike-way" meaning "go", and then shot the arrow into his back. Every detail of their actions from the time he heard them call "How", the casual greeting of the 5hoshone s, until they shot the arrow into his back, was described by the boy before_he died some twelve hours later. He was the son of Dr. Erwin, afterwards agent for the Red Cloud Sioux, The miners immediately sent trusty scouts to trail these marauders, about 40 in number, so that no mistake could be made in the tribe. While this was going forward, a prospector from the outlying district of "Strawberry" reported finding the bodies of three miners who had been murdered on the same day as Frank Erwin, one of whom, known as Curly had been mutilated and stood upright against the cabin by jamming his head against a spike; the others had the sinews extracted from their backs and legs and were otherwise mutilated in a manner unexplainable in print. Some 40 or more empty shells lying upon the cabin floor suggested the fight the three men made.
Our scouts having returned, reported they had traced the marauders' trail into the Arrapahos camp. .A company was quickly organized from a11 the region. One Smith, superintendent for Jack Morrow in Overland Transportation, was made Commander; there were three companies, one each from the camps of Miner's Delight, Atlantic City and South Pass. The Miner's Delight Company was under Captain Nickerson, the others I have forgotten. This outfit made a circuitous trip to the Arapaho camp intending to surprise them in the morning (as they did us when after scalps); but, whether by chance or as the result of some notice they had received, we know not, we were confronted by a squad of Arrapahos under their War Chief Black Bear about an hour before night fall and a fight ensued in which some thirteen of the Indians were left on the field including the War Chief. This Black Bear in earlier days had at various times flaunted a scalp staff from the top of which dangled the scalp of a white woman with auburn hair. Is it any wonder that these bronzed old trappers stripped every particle of skin from this savage that had a semblance of hair upon it? The chase that followed the fight was from the hills down a valley about nine miles to Friday’s main camp, and although the utmost speed on horseback was made, yet tepees (Indian tents) could be seen tumbling down and the entire tribe was packed away before the miners got within shooting distance. A goodly number of their bronchos were rounded up and a few
bales of robes were left. The chase was continued by the stronger horses until some time in the night. Smith had left orders to bivouac at a certain point with the remaining portion of the outfit, including the poorer animals and the commissary stores. A party of Bannocks who had been apprised of our intentions and wished to have a part in the affair, had organized under a young chief "Tibo" and joined our force after most of the miners had gone to sleep. At about 2 o'clock next morning our camp was surprised by simultaneous shooting and war whoops from the opposite side of the adjacent stream --, a direction least expected and least guarded -- instantly every man grabbed his gun some were dressed and some undressed. Bang, bang, bang! a volley answered their yell. But now came a whoop from the other way accompanied by the weird chant of the Bannock warriors and bang, bang, bang! the guns flashed within 75 feet of our bivouac. There being but a few guards, and but few who recognized the Bannock war cry and who knew what this new noise was, it required their utmost exertion to keep our men from shooting into the ranks of our friends. Imagine the consternation that existed for a few minutes until the situation was cleared up. The wiley foe was simply harassing us and left as suddenly as he came, but it had the effect of destroying our slumbers for the remainder of the night.
To make sure that Friday and his tribe were leaving the country a detach­ment was sent down the river to reconnoiter. At a point ten or twelve miles below, the valley widened out and a considerable belt of cottonwood covered the lowland. As we approached this timber, in an open space of perhaps fifteen acres entirely surrounded by

trees, was a gray horse apparently eating grass. Some of the young men proposed getting the horse. Smith said "No; that is a decoy" and ordered us to fall back out of range of the timber. With­out permission one of the party deliberately shot at the horse as he said "to see if he was eating or just fooling". The poor animal switched his tail and tried to break away but his head was securely tied to the ground. Immediately a volley rent the air and the lead whizzed over our heads. We, being on a bench rising from the lowlands, the Indians had held too high to catch us. Simultan­eously a party of Indians, stripped save their breechclouts, mounted upon beautiful animals, emerged from the woods. We fell back as ordered but kept up a responsive firing until our line covered the narrow space (about one-­third of a mile) between the river and mountain side, our object being to keep the Indians from cutting us off from our friends whom we had left in the morn­ing. Here was a beautiful display of horsemanship as well as considerable strategy on the part of the Indians. They would approach our center in single file on a dead run, crouched as closely to the horse as possible, when within gun shot they turned at right angles, dropping their bodies on the opposite side and shooting at us. Thus they were in rapid motion at their nearest point whilst we were comparatively still. They would then slowly return to a safe distance, resting the animals while others performed the same feat. They thus followed us until we fell back under support of our friends when they left. Other scouts from the opposite side of the river reported the entire tribe travelling east as rapidly as possible and we therefore gave up the chase. During this running fight the only casuality was one horse shot through the body. In fact, it was the general conclusion that both sides were shooting
wild or else, as more probable, our guns were too foul from the previous days shooting to do execution. One rather amusing incident occurred, however: I was on the extreme right guarding the hill side, some Indians under cover of a depression, had undertaken to make over a ridge. I gave the alarm and putting spurs to my animal made up another draw or gulch, which headed at the same point where the Indian animal made up another draw or gulch, which headed at the same point where the Indians were bound to gain the summit. The head Indian and myself could not have arrived more simultaneously had we planned to do so. Both animals running at high speed were not more than 35 feet apart when we came in sight. Bang! Two bullets flew in opposite directions. The gravel from the Indian’s bullet struck my animal and myself, it having passed within a few inches of my chest, striking the bank opposite. Wall Hagen and Dutchy were close behind me and their firing undoubtedly surprised the red skins who quicker than I can tell it wheeled down the canyon. As we started down after them, Dutchy's saddle girth broke and he went rolling down the hill and his horse being light, ran away.
The fact that the Indians did not return our fire, and one riderless horse being led by them as they emerged from the canyon, was evidence that some one had made a "good Indian".
In this narrative it is not my purpose to account for the hostilities of the various tribes, neither do I attribute such hostility to innate barbarism or desire for human blood. There is no doubt but most of it was engendered by malicious acts of white men. Whilst at times innocent mistakes were made yet most of these could have been remedied or explained away satisfactorily had it not been for mischievous meddlers, persons who cared nothing for right or justice when an Indian was in question. The Government sent out, or at least paid for, Indian supplies in accordance with treaty stipulations
Oftentimes these never reached the Indians; at other times one-half would be turned in and represented as the whole. For instance, a pair of blankets would be cut in two and one side given instead of the pair. Short weights in sugar, flour and provisions, and such acts were blamed upon the Government. Prospectors invaded the reservations; if minerals were found, an effort would be made to change the boundary line of the reserve. All these things were causes of trouble. An Indian could not punish an individual, but wreaked his savage vengeance upon the whole family, tribe or race; hence when war was declared it meant death to any white man found. It also meant mutilation, scalping being a minor punishment. Those who understood an Indian's reasoning could easily account for the white man's retaliation by scalping. An Indian considered it an evidence of gross cowardice not to scalp a fallen foe and for fear that such belief would increase their depredations, the miners, though many abhorred it, were compelled to retaliate in kind.
My camp on Smith's Gulch was about three miles from Atlantic City. Mid­way ran a parallel gulch, much deeper than Smith, called Atlantic Gulch. About 40 days after Black Bear was killed, Colonel Dave Jordan with the Fifth U. S. Cavalry, I believe, bound from Fort Bridger to the Shoshone Agency, had camped over night in the latter gulch. Old Dan Comstock, dis­coverer of the great mineral belt at Virginia City, Nevada, was stopping over night with me. My two saddle animals were corralled in front of the cabin. Dan was annoyed by the pawing of one of them and got up to see what was the matter. As he opened the door he quickly slammed it shut, exclaiming "My God, boys, the country is full of Indians!" I had several men working the claim, and they slipped into their trousers, and we opened the port-holes and saw two bands of about one hundred Indians each passing our dug-out. Some of the men proposed taking a shot, but I ordered them to desist until we could get the animals inside as I did not care to lose them, both being high priced and very serviceable. They were nervous and we could not pull them in, so, in as much as we were not being molested, we waited until the Indians had ad­vanced beyond gun reach. They were separating as they approached Atlantic Gulch. I saw my opportunity, slipped a bridle on my animal and proposed making between the two columns and notifying Gordon, as it was plain they were about to crossfire him. Dan said, "You'll be killed sure; they won't leave enough hair on you to make a souvenir for your Mother". Anyway, I mounted and with Winchester in front, I lit out, my brother hitting the animal as I started. Before the Indians could close in upon me I had passed them and as I approached the ridge looking down upon Gordon's Camp ran square upon three big bucks who were evidently signaling as they were using staffs with feather ornaments. They were as much surprised as I. Putting heels into their horses they ran toward their companions, whilst I contented myself with using my gun, the only whip I had, upon my horse and with my voice tried to arouse the sleeping soldiers. As I rode down the hill I passed a sentry who upon being told what was doing, joined me and rode into camp. The bugle was now calling and the men were scrambling into their clothes. Lieutenant Stambaugh, whom I knew well, a nephew of General Sherman, was first to address me and to him and Col. (then Major) Gordon, the command­ant, I briefly told about the Indians I had seen. The Colonel told me to go back to the top of the hill and watch them, and that he would have the soldiers mount as soon- as possible. I did so, and by this time the Indians had crossed above and below going toward Atlantic City. At the same time, it now being daylight, I could see a lot of braves rounding up the loose stock near Atlantic. I also saw Gordon facing his force toward me. I signalled with my hat to go the other way, but on he came galloping up toward me. By the time I could make him understand, the stampeding animals from Atlantic had come over the plateau and were running toward Cordon's camp closely followed by the entire Indian squad. The first shooting was therefore directly across Cordon's Camp. The Indians left the stampeded stock among the soldiers tents and ran up Atlantic Gulch, the soldiers following. It made a very thrilling sight in the stillness of that beautiful Sprang morning, guns ringing out, the mounts about even in the race to the death. The Indians halting long enough to return the fire gave the fresher American horses the better of the first mile, but the big unworked, well groomed Cavalry horses had not the staying qualities of the hardy bunchgrassers and at the second, third and fourth mile more than one-half of Cordon's force returned unable to keep up with the flying column.
Gordon and his men, now reduced to perhaps one-half, followed the fleeing Indians into the Twin Creek hills near Red Canyon. Here he found the wily red skin had led him into an ambush. Indians now appeared upon all sides, the soldiers were compelled to take such shelter as they could get by working their way to the top of a butte, where some small timber gave them protection from the onslaughts of Chief Friday's warriors. The butte being round, when once the soldiers had attained the timber, they could easily repel a superior number. How many Indians were killed we did not know as none were left on the field, but the fact they could not get to the dead body of Lieutenant Stambaugh, which lay on the hillside in plain view or to the bodies of others who had fallen, was proof of the valiant fight put up that day. It is a well known fact that Indians will expose themselves to great danger in order to scalp a fallen foe, but they got no scalps that day, albeit they had the enemy corralled in very close quarters, and only left after night fall, at which time the miners would have come to the rescue. The miners, however, as well as Gordon's returning forces were kept busy with small squads of Indians who would appear here and there in different parts of the mining regions for the undoubted purpose of keeping the miners from reinforcing Gordon at Twin Creek hills. Lieutenant Stambaugh was a gallant young officer, as was also Sergeant Neice, both of whom were shot that day.
I admire the courage of the American soldier; his prowess is sufficiently attested by facts when occasion permits, and therefore it is needless for reports to be exaggerated or falsified. In the case above described, you can well imagine my surprise and that of the nine men who saw my run that event­ful morning, when a copy of the Army and Navy Journal appeared with an account of "A timely rescue of one Bennett, a miner", in which it was stated "In the early morning (giving date) our pickets were amazed and surprised at the appearance of a band of Arrapahos with a white man as a prisoner, whom they compelled to march along the ridge under the taunts of their spears in plain view of our entire force. Our gallant commander, by adroitly sur­prising the braves recaptured the miner, whom they undoubtedly intended marching within view of his fellow miners and there putting him to death and mutilation," followed by an account of Stambaugh's death and the day's doings of the regiment, in which it was reiterated that "the men deserved great praise and the officers manifested great courage and skill in saving the life of the miner, etc. " The narration as given by me states the facts as they occurred as nearly as can be told by the man who did the job under the eyes of his men who covered him with their rifles until out of reach and who saw him and the Indians until he descended the plateau after passing both bands of Arapahos.
Not long after this occurrence John Donovan and myself were on a hunting expedition at the head of Big Sandy, a tributary of Green River. The first night out we camped about six mile s southwest from South Pass City. Next morning John and I had killed an antelope and on returning to camp espied some Indians running under cover of a ridge with the evident purpose of heading us off in the bend of the creek a short distance ahead. Our camp was in this bend and protected by a barren quartz ledge. This ledge was not such as to give proper protection for either ourselves or the animals but was the best available. Here we halted; John and I taking shelter behind such projecting racks as were available. The Indians had now appeared beyond the bend as well as at the edge of the ridge which latter was within easy gun shot. As soon as an Indian showed his head above the ridge we took a shot at it. Much to our comfort, they soon left, crossing the creek to the north. We now, thinking they were about to join the large number who had disappeared beyond the bend and thus surround us, concluded to make a break to the south where we knew some herders were temporarily camped. John mounted and I handed him a roll of blankets; he put spurs to his animal and left. Noticing a big buffalo robe which I did not want to lose, I grabbed it together with my rifle, and with a run leaped across my animal. This unusual proceeding scared the beast, it jumped forward and I landed square on its hips; it kicked and I landed as squarely on my back upon the barren rock. With all kinds of stars blazing before my disorganized vision I still clung to my rifle and grabbing the lariat attached to the animal mounted and followed my fleeing partner.
We could not account for the quick departure of the Indians until we met
one of the herders. He informed us that the Indians had left us because the main band had rounded up Smith's entire herd of draft animals consisting of some 200 mules". This was the same Smith who had led us against the Arrapahos. "That the miners had gotten after the Indians and had them cut off from the pass so they had made their way directly into the mountains, all of which was afterwards corroborated.” The miners fully expected to get them corralled somewhere where they could go no further with the mules or their own cayuses, as they knew of no trail by which they could escape. In this they were mistaken, although the Indians were hard pressed and the trail so difficult that they left a good many of the mules here and there in the fastnesses of the mountains. The Indians followed an elk trail which led across the various hogbacks and canyons leading into the foothills of the Popoagie (po-po-zhee), where they again had an open trail leading to their own country.
John and I continued our trip to Big Sandy. There at a point well up into the main Rocky Mountains we found an outing party consisting of a U. S. Judge and a staff of officers and lawyers who after a term of court at South Pass City had taken this attractive outing before returning to Cheyenne, which was headquarters for this itinerant Court. Upon being informed of the Indian raid the Court decided to leave at once. Jimmy Goodson and Buckskin Jack, two old time trappers and hunters, had acted as guides to the party and concluded to remain in the mountains. The Court, inadvertently or otherwise, had left a keg containing a small amount of whisky which was promptly claimed by the guides. John and I made reconnoisance of the surrounding country that day in order to locate the runways of moose and elk or what wild game there might be in those parts. I returned early in the afternoon to the open grassy spot where the officers of the Court had made their admirable camping grounds surrounded by thickly grown black pines. As I approached this open space, I saw the guide, Jimmy, standing straight as an arrow, rifle in hand; in front of him was the keg. Just at the edge of the trees a log was protecting Jack's body. "Jack, you buckskin - - raise that weapon and the coyotes will sicken themselves on your carcass", said Jimmy. "Well,” said Jack who was afraid of Jimmy, "you just touch that ere keg and we'll pack you outen here 'cross your own critter, Jimmy Goodson.” At this moment I stepped in the opening and called out "Here, what in h--1 are you fellows doing?” Jimmy answered, without taking his eyes off Jack's head, which was the only part of him visible, "If Jack raises that gun, you'll find out". Yes, and if you touch that keg, Jack will be choked for killing a hog, I reckon now that there'll be a witness to the killing," replied Jack.
"Both of you men are wrong and both should be ashamed", I said, walking directly between them. "Jimmy, give me that gun; Jack, you leave your gun and come here". Both did as ordered. "Now, you two old friends quarrel­ing over a little whisky; I am utterly ashamed of both of you". "We11, I haint got nothing gainst Jimmy, 'cept he goes and gits mad 'cause I took 'nuther drink than he did and calls me names and I just can't stand 'buse", snivelled Jack. "Yes and you know, Jack, you can have every broncho I've got but you cant play no hog on me", answered Jimmy. "That will do now, boys", I said, "You two old chums shake hands and hate yourselves for the rest of the day; I will take the keg and be barkeeper and see if I can keep you boobys under restraint." "Gosh, Jack, what do you think of that?" said Jimmy, holding out his hand. "Well, he's got sense and I'll bet my sack on him every time", said Jack. Peace and goodwill was restored. Supper was served by Jimmie and Jack.
Frontier life, with all its rough exterior and all its vicissitudes, was made cheerful by stories of still earlier days, and whilst partaking of our broiled ribs of venison, and crisply cooked mountain trout, tears glistened in the eyes of those Western adventurers as reference was made to "the girl I left behind me", or our home "in God's country." A queer make-up were those old trapper hermits; strong and nervy, steady as the eternal hills when facing danger; weak as babes when appealed to in the spirit of friendship by those in whom they had confidence. Wicked and cunning when in pursuit of an enemy; big hearted and tender, yet ever susceptible to that curse, whisky. Nor must these trappers be mistaken for the pioneer prospector. They were a distinct species of the genus homo - the former are seekers of adventure, know all the passes and by-ways in the mountains; make good guides or scouts, but seldom interest themselves in mineral formations or minerals; whilst the prospector is intent upon discovering mineral wealth that he may quickly attain the fortune he failed to get at home, and return to make happy again the loved ones he so sadly, yet determinedly left behind. The comparatively few who have succeeded, as well as the many who are still delving in the dark canyons of the Rockies, or the arroyos of Mexico, will appreciate the above distinction.
Well do I remember a young man from the State of New York who, in 1871, having failed in finding gold, determined to go to a small stream in Red Canyon, Wyoming, and on an adjacent flat piece of ground undertook to raise a crop of potatoes which, if successful, might insure him the fortune he had failed in finding in the mines. Potatoes were selling to the miners for from 5 to 10 cents per pound. But Tom was warned of the almost sure death to undertake such a thing. "Well", he said, "you know my desire; I have been gone now two years and she is still waiting. It is either death or money and I am going to try it". And with two Texas oxen, a cart, a roughly improvised plow and some seed potatoes, Tom with his dog and his rifle as his only companions, left the Sweetwater mines and made his lonely home in a dugout near the little spring which was to furnish water to irrigate his proposed potato patch. He succeeded in raising potatoes enough to net him a neat sum of money, and he did return to the object of his affections, but at what a sacrifice! He left camp a young man with dark hair, a man full of vigor and determination; he returned in four months, his oxen killed by the Indians that raided South Pass and drove off Smith's mules. He and his dog had taken refuge in the dugout prepared for such occasions, having been compelled to do so many times during that summer, at one time being confined there two days before the Indians left. His hair had turned white as the snow on the mountain peaks and he looked a physical wreck. I often wonder if "Tom's girl" realized, or even excused, the terrible sacrifice he made for her sake. If so, what joy existed at that home; he was an exemplary young man with a purpose in life pure and manly, and if his love was reciprocated as it deserved, all was well; if not, poor Tom, for him the gloom of despair and unrequited love.
It was near the site of Tom's potato patch that Jimmy Goodson, the guide mentioned above, was corralled for twelve hours by a band of Cheyennes. These Indians appeared upon a bench or table-rock overlooking the narrow outlet of the Popoagie from the Rocky Mountains, a short distance above Red Canyon. They treacherously called to Jimmy in the friendly dialect of the Shoshones. He answered their greeting but refused to let them come to him; thereupon they shot at him and missed. He jumped behind a clump of willows which, with its ever present mound at the base, was the only shelter Jimmy had against a continued all day attack of at least 35 of these most fierce aborigines. Before darkness stopped their efforts to dislodge him he had seen a number fall on the table-rock and two were lying dead in plain view from his position, both having attempted a dislodgement by being let down by their comrades from the rock above and then running across the open space between the rock and the brush on the river's bank. If they had succeeded, Jimmy would have been at their mercy but his unerring aim had saved him from the horrible torture which was meted out to dozens of unfortunates during the years 1869-70 and ‘7I. Jimmy made his way under cover of night to Atlantic City and after relating his experience, describing accurately the locality, the brush, the plateau where the Indians were, exactly where the two Indians were hit and where they lay after death, and the efforts their fellows made to recover their bodies, and all the details of the fight, a number of men, with considerable hes­itancy, accompanied him to the scene the next day, and, sure enough, there were the two dead Indians, one shot through the head and the other with his back broken. The latter had devised the scheme of reaching Jimmy by shoving three rocks, as you would pile three bricks, two supporting the third, before his creeping body. Coming over a short raise in the contour of the ground, his back became exposed and Jimmy's bullet found the spot; the former had undertaken a quick run across the spot and fell dead as described. Several pools of blood upon the plateau, together with many empty rifle shells, told the tale of that day's battle. It is a well known fact that none of the Indians of the plains ever left a dead comrade when they could possibly pack him off. The bush behind which Jimmy took shelter was literally picked in pieces by bullets, yet he had not been touched; the Indians being on an elevation had invariably shot over him; they could not get behind him, save by crossing the flat as attempted by the two, because of the abrupt cliff ascending from the water back of him and forming the base of the main range of the mountains. Some Bannocks happened along during this inspection of Jimmy's victims and recognizing their moccasins, as those of Cheyennes, took great delight in being allowed to carry off their scalps as trophies.
During this summer there occurred a chance which had long been sought by Washakie. This Indian had always had great influence with the various branches of the great Shoshone (or snake) tribe. During the trouble with the Utah Mormons, whether inspired by them or not, the Utah Shoshones and Bannocks, contrary to the wish of Washakie, were committing depredations upon miners and immigrants, in cases such as that on Raft River, killing whole outfits, although they were all this time friendly to the Mormons. They were led by the Bannock Chief Tiboushee, who was the recognized War Chief of the allied Bannocks and Shoshones. General Connor, of the California Volunteers, was sent against them and in a fight in the Bear River Valley, near Franklin, some 75 miles north of Ogden, Utah, he well-nigh annihilated Tiboushee's fighting force, thus compelling the latter to sue for peace. The Government refused to recognize Tiboushee and thus compelled the allies to recognize the authority of the diplomatic Washakie, who with a small following had refrained from these depredations by remaining under the eye of, and protection of the U. S. Officers at Fort Bridger. All branches of these two, then powerful tribes, in order to receive the annuities distributed by the United States, recognized Washakie, but continued however to revere Tiboushee. Both factions lived and roamed together for mutual benefit and protection. Washakie could only ingratiate himself in their affections and win their due respect by some competitive act of bravery. This opportunity, long delayed, was now at hand. A considerable force of Sioux had attacked the camp of the allies on the Big Popagie, making a special target of Tiboushee`s wickiup, which was easy to discern, being larger and having many paintings, supposed to represent battles in which the Chief had displayed his superior prowess. The enemy was pursued and overtaken some forty miles below the camp, being so closely pressed by the pursuing Shoshones and Bannocks that they deserted the animals captured during the raid, as well as many of their own saddle bronchos, and took shelter among the rocks which at this point formed a formid­able breast work and hiding place. Here was the chance. Both Tiboushee, the intrepid War Chief and Washakie, the peacemaker, were to the fore. Tiboushee, commanding the bulk of the braves who were intent upon rounding up the abandoned horses and surrounding the fleeing enemy; Washakie, equally brave, with a smaller following, pushed his opportunity by invading the rendezvous of the enemy, and was seen in hand to hand combat to have slain two braves, and brought their scalps as proof of his prowess. Luck had not so honored Tiboushee. Upon their return, the great camp fire illuminated the surrounding hills as never before; the sound of the tom-tom calling the tribes to the war dance reverberated up and down the wooded stream; the wail of the newly made widow, or orphaned daughter, as it rose and fell upon each moving breeze, was lost in the greater chant of success as the warriors danced their weird war dance in one continuous circle around the blazing bonfire. Never were such shouts of approval, such gleeful contortions, or such thumping of tom-toms heard or seen as when the victorious Washakie, naturally large and robust, with stately tread, holding aloft his scalp staff with the two newly won trophies at­tached, attesting his superiority in battle, entered the arena. He had not stood there long until the singing, dancing circle was again broken by the entrance of another and even better built man, proudly erect and audaciously dignified, but with eyes cast downward, no weapon, save a staff with spear attached. Advancing before the now stoical Washakie, the heretofore haughty War Chief Toboushee handed the staff to his successful rival, bared his big palpitating chest and with a slap of his hand upon his heart, bade Washakie to use the spear. All was still now save the crackling fire and the listless moans of the mourners; the moon and the stars seemed to swing in the heavens in breathless suspense and doubt. Washakie now appeared even more grand, his mind, though untutored, quickly grasped the situation and reversing the savage precedent, he handed back the weapon, saying "No, my brother, it shall not be; you and I must live in peace. You are the War Chief, and such you shall be." And the pipe of peace and brotherly love was there smoked. The din of the tom tom and the chant again resounded nor ceased until the participants became exhausted. There existed no faction in that camp thereafter and Washakie's authority was not questioned.
Many times there had been assertions made and stories uncorroborated of the existence of a white girl among the more seclusive Bannock. More seclus­ive? Yes; the Bannocks, although allied with the Shoshones, never appeared as friendly as the latter and did not come in contact with the white man as did the Shoshones. But now came a change and this suspect became a reality. She was a comely young girl with auburn hair which had been kept well besmeared with grease, and this, together with her smoked face, had disguised everything excepting the facial outlines which were those of a white girl. I remember first seeing this girl high up on the mountain side in the fall of 1870, when she, with many families of Bannocks were gathering pine nuts. These pine nuts are gathered in the burr and piled in heated pits until the burrs are charred and the nuts are thus easily shook out and gathered, and prove a very sweet nut when thus treated, and are eaten during the winter evenings around the tepee fires much the same as we are wont to do with the good old chestnuts of Pennsylvania, or the beech or butternuts of New England. At that time I said to my companion "if that girl is not white, Nature has made a mistake." My companion remarked "I do not wonder she has the attention of those young bucks, as she is by odds the most attractive." And it was so; she was the belle of the crowd and seemed to enjoy the distinction.
The next time I saw her was at the Shoshone Agency upon their Wyoming Reserve. It had now become known, through Washakie's investigations, that she was spared at the massacre of an emigrant train on Raft River in Southern Idaho, as the emigrants were making their way to California. The mound can still be seen at the side of the old emigrant trail where those unfortunates built breastworks in self defense. None escaped to tell the story; the only version we have is from the Indians themselves, or a somewhat suppressed account through Mormon channels, and there can be no doubt but that certain of the latter benefitted to the extent of appropriating wagons, harness and the like stuff that could not be used by the savages, as was done in similar cases, notably the Mountain Meadows Massacre in which John D. Lee took an active part and was shot on the identical ground where he helped in the butchery, by order of the U. S. Court in the late ‘70's.
This girl had no remembrance of her parents or of their terrible death. She was the pet of the only people she knew. Was it wonderful that she pre­ferred to remain with those people when apprised of her nativity and proffered schooling and a home among her relations in Michigan? I do not know what became of her but thoroughly believe it would have been a mistake at that late date to have taken her from the tribe; her life and affections were there; her love and lovers were there. She knew nothing of our tastes, our etiquette or our homes, and indeed we could not have made of her a "white” woman, who would have assimilated our ways, and been contented among us.
Trip to Yellow Stone
In 1871 Bart Henderson reported the discovery of gold upon the head waters of Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone. United States Military officers had also reported indications of auriferous deposits as they passed through the Big Horn and Powder River countries. In pursuit of these possibilities, five men, in­cluding myself and a Mr. Austin, who was an old timer and therefore acted as guide, undertook the trip from Miners Delight, with the intention of prospecting the westerly slope of the Big Horn Range as well as the easterly slope of the Belt, or Main Rockies, as far north as the Yellowstone. This was a very hazardous adventure. The entire country between Wind River and the Yellow­stone was neutral ground, so far as Indians claims went. This was also a great buffalo range and all the tribes west came here to hunt, and the powerful Sioux on the east made continuous raids upon these innovators, as well as upon their hereditary enemy, the Shoshones. We were therefore in continual danger of running into a hostile camp, because we could only tell which was which by interviewing those we met, a disastrous undertaking with a hostile Indian.
Upon our arrival at the military camp at the Shoshone Agency on Big Popoagie, we learned that a portion of the Shoshones were somewhere north hunting and we were therefore to look out for them and not mistake them. I had been suffering terribly from rheumatism in my shoulders, so much so that I disturbed the slumbers of my fellows during the night and got but little sleep myself. We arrived at a big hot spring the first day from the military camp. Mr. Austin caused us to camp there for our noon meal. During this time I went down the stream from the bubbling pond to where the waters were not so hot as to scald my flesh and took a bath. I soon found myself so weakened that I was compelled to call for help; my companions assisted me with a mass­age as best they could. I donned my clothing and pursued the journey, and from that day to this have not been troubled with rheumatism.
After crossing the Owl Creek Range, an easterly spur of the Rockies, the whole country was literally alive with buffalo. One evening Mr. Austin con - eluded to secure some buffalo meat. We packed but one day's supply of fresh meat and used the loins of deer or antelope usually, with occasional change to hare, mountain sheep, elk or other of the various animals inhabiting those regions, as well as fish or birds. Mr. Austin had proceeded but a short distance up the sloping hillside, within view of our cache, when he selected a yearling buffalo and shot it. The animal fell, but its writhing enraged the bulls, and he was compelled to shoot several of them in self defense before obtaining a point of safety.
This herd of Rocky Mountain bison was the last great herd in America, and they were wantonly slaughtered a few years after, during the building of the Northern Pacific Railroad through their range. But useless, needless and cruel as that slaughter was, there is no question but that same range is now producing much more and infinitely better meat from domestic animals than it ever could have from the wild roaming buffalo. Of course, "ye old timer" hates to think of the entire disappearance of those native products of the western country, and so do the older generation of the east who remember the annual flight of the American Wild Pigeon and other migratory birds, all now a curios­ity to the present generation. But like the Red Man, they are doomed to extinction by the ever increasing flood of Europeans and their descendants, commencing with Columbus’ discovery of this contenant. A survival of the fittest! Irresistible fate! Immutable law of nature! Why not make it as merciful as possible? How long will the Anglo Saxon maintain this prestige? God in his inscrutable wisdom does not rest, neither can anything of His. If we halt, we are lost. The elements are no respecters of persons; the onward tide seeks the vacant places. The tide is now approaching from the West. When will they meet: the Orient and the Occident; the circuit is about complete. The germs of Confucious' wisdom, walled in for lo, these many centuries, are now developing in the Orient; the little brown man has thrown down the wall of seclusion; the Hindoo begins to think and act. Are we building upon the sand?
But I must pursue my journey of that far away day. In such a country, beset by friendly and unfriendly savages, the prospector was compelled to resort to seclusion and delusion. He must not be ambushed; he must make careful scrutiny of all the surrounding country. One man must use field glasses from each eminence; another watch the rear; another herd the grazing animals in some secluded nook, whilst the remaining two prospect. The midday meal is the only one where fire is used, and then in as much seclusion as possible the evening meal is taken before dark, and then we travel after darkness for a mile or more and bivouac, leaving again in the early morning for some favorable spot where we can prospect and repeat the performance of the day before.
We now cross the "Grey Bull", a stream of no mean pretensions, running
as all streams do after crossing the Owl Creek Mountains into the Yellowstone River. Between this stream and Clark's Fork, we cross a high divide and here we encountered a prolonged snow storm; our animals could not travel because of the balling of the snow on their feet. We therefore drew the shoes from their feet, intending to put them on when we got over the divide. Imagine our con­sternation when we found the nails had been lost or more probably had not been put in the kit. Owing to the gravelly and rocky nature of the country a horse could not travel any distance barefooted, when once used to shoes, without becoming tenderfooted, and eventually so lame as to be incapacitated. We were now put to our wits ends for a remedy. I rode a McClellan saddle and took the thick leather from its side and fitted it to my horse’s feet, fastening the same with the little brass screws extracted from the saddle. This did very well so long as it lasted; the others did, as I was soon compelled to do, namely, use the skin from the leg and thigh of deer or elk which we pulled over the hoof and tied above the same; these we renewed twice a day.
As we approached Clarks Fork, at a point where it emerges from a deep gorge with perpendicular walls many hundreds of feet high, we rode among a herd of snow white Rocky Mountain goats. This was a beautiful sight. They had not been molested, and were as indifferent to us as a herd of Angoras would have been. It was indeed surprising to see these animals leap from crag to crag, playing, and butting each other, on what seemed scarcely space enough to hold a footing, yet not a slip or misstep did we see among the more than five hundred animals in the flock. Upon the plateau above was a band of elk looking down at us; on the plain, or valley below, were hundreds of buffalo. All in all, this presented perhaps the best view of wild game animals I ever saw, and I have seen a number of good ones.
Upon our approach to a small willow clad stream, after leaving the Grey
Bull, and which our guide called Battle Creek, we espied to the north of us a goodly number of what was either horsemen or a band of elk rapidly descending a butte. At a distance of two to five miles it is difficult to distinguish Indians on horseback from Elk; the latter carry their heads high and in a bunch may easily be mistaken for horsemen. To make sure, we took shelter in the willows until Austin and I could reconnoiter. Upon our approach to the summit of the ridge north of the creek, we beheld a squad of about thirty Indians coming at a brisk gallop toward us. We fell back under cover of our comrades; the Indians came in view over the ridge, turning eastwardly and obliquely to us. They now halt; one man rides out and holds up his hand. Austin moves out from me; a second Indian starts; Austin draws down his rifle, whereupon the Indian stops and returns to his band. Austin now proceeds toward the first Indian, the latter answering by coming toward him. The Indian now calls "Tibo", Shoshone for white man. Austin, who understood Shoshone, answered "Yes, who are you?” "Shoshones", came the answer. "Come down and I go up", answered Austin. At this, they approach each other, talking as they did so. Finally they came down to me, but neither Austin nor myself could recognize the Indian. We therefore called from ambush two of our comrades and permitted four more Indians to come down, none of whom did we knew, yet they all talked Shoshone. Finally, with great precaution we permitted the band to come within 200 feet of us, and Austin went to them, but still he did not recognize one of them. They, however, stated that Washakie, Tiboshee, and their followers were back of the butte where we first saw them, and invited us to go to their camp for the night. After considerable misgivings, we told them to permit all but two to go in advance, the latter to remain with us and we would thus proceed to Washakie's camp. As we approached the Butte we turned up a small depression toward the divide. We had not proceeded up this draw one half mile when we were all startled by the yell and appearance of about four hundred demonical Indians, clad in breech-­clout and mounted bareback upon their war steeds, coming directly toward us. Our advance escort now put spurs to their horses and galloped up the hill toward the oncoming horses. We stop and with drawn rifles hold the two Indians with us, one of them excitedly exclaiming "Me go see, me no sabe; Shoshone no hurt Tibo; me go quick." All right, you go, we hold your brother and kill him if one of us is hurt," said Austin. We now swing our horses in a close circle, dismount, and with guns pointed over our saddles, each awaits results, Austin making the only remark, to the effect: "Boys, we are sold; do not shoot until we are attacked, then kill as many as possible." Five men with sure death staring them in the face never stood more determined and perhaps less nervous than did we as we watched the swiftly approaching rifles as they glistened in the bright sunshine, swinging to and fro with the swaying bodies of the wild men excited by the weird yells they utter when in pursuit of an enemy. We now detect an apparent halt of the center line as it meets those who had just left us. They divide as if to surround us from both sides. We are now even anxious for the first shot. On they come, the very heavens reverberating with their war-­whoop, and the hills vibrating with the beating hoofs of the speeding horses. They begin to pass us on either side; our captive or hostage now begins to chant; now he ejaculates "heap good". The center line which had temporarily halted now comes directly down the draw. Our first Indian appears with a larger one, both riding like mad side by side in advance of their fellows. "Washakie" cried our hostage, "Washakie" says Austin, and five men utter a long sigh of relief, as if taken from the proverbial jaws of death. Within fifty or more paces the two alone came to us, the others passing on the hillside following those in advance. Explanation was quickly made by the big chief, and one Indian was delegated to escort us to camp. It was afterwards learned that the alarm was the result of a trick on the part of a number of young braves of the Shoshones, who had been on a "jay-hawking" trip across the Big Horn Mountains, where they had stampeded some Sioux cayuses and were bringing them home. These marauders had espied some Shoshone scouts and mischievously made a dash toward them, giving the Sioux war whoop. Of course the scouts immediately warned the tribe of the presence of their hereditary enemy, and the rush of warriors as described was the result. They did not know we were in the country, and we were equally ignorant of the motive of their hostile appearance until it had been explained to us after we had gone through the terrible experience of being surrounded by an overwhelming number of savages, stripped, striped and mounted for war, and so far as we knew we were to be victims of their unmerciful savagery. But, on the contrary, we were taken to Tiboushee's teepee; our horses were herded during the night, and on the return of the braves from the race, together with the mis­chievous young bucks who had caused it, a big dance was immediately inaugurated and put into action.
It may be interesting to the reader to know something of how this dance is called. When a big dance is to take place, that is, a dance in which the tribe as a whole is to participate, one of the talkers, or I may say orators, is informed that the Chief, or council consisting of head chief and sub-chiefs, desire a dance in honor of the occasion, or in honor of victory, or a war dance to incite the war spit-it in anticipation of trouble.
The orator steps to the side of his tent or to the fire in front of it, if one be there. In a loud sonorous voice he announces the call, giving the reason for it, and recites anything of a special nature applicable thereto tending to incite vigor and enthusiasm. During this announcement there is no assembling of children or display of attention, but everyone hears it and acts. A big bonfire seems indispensable; the tom tom is the only musical instrument. This is a raw hide stretched over a wood hoop and looks similar to a crude tambourine. The operator simply beats imperfect time upon it with a stick. The squaws form a separate squad, sometimes in the center near the fire whilst the bucks dance in a circle around them; at other times they may form an inner circle around the fire. All sing a sort of chant:
"ha-a-ha yaw, ha-yaw, ha-yaw" now low, then rising to a high pitch, then dying away again. And the dancers: well, it is hard to describe them in action. They have a springy motion, always from the ball and toe of the foot, the heel never touching the ground. One foot up and one down, two short springs to each foot, body bent forward, thus keeping time to the chant and tom toms. Each one for himself. Some enthusiasts will undergo considerable contortions during the dance, but it soon gets monotonous to a looker-on, although the participants will frequently fall from exhaustion.
The next morning our horses were brought in and we proceeded on our journey northward. Our animals were by this time very tender footed and lame. A shepherd dog which had followed us was unable to proceed further owing to sore feet caused by cactus thorns and we were compelled to put him on a pack animal. Only two animals were now able to carry their load, and we were compelled to walk most of the time. This worked a great hardship upon us and was the direct cause of a threatened tragedy which was only prevented by two of the stronger willed of our limited force. We had espied a lone Indian mounted and leading two fine-looking bronchos. Upon hailing him, he had answered "Obsoroka", which meant "Crow", and the only word any of us could understand. Neither could he, or would he, understand us. With one finger of his left hand pointing to himself, he pointed toward the Crow country with his right. We understood that to mean he came from the Crow country; and resting his head upon his hand twice, we took to mean the distance was two sleeps, or two days ride. We wanted to trade horses but he would not understand. Frenchy says: "Let's take them." "No, that will not do; he will get to Washakie and then we will be exposed", says another. "Well, here is a chance to get some good horses. By Heavens! I am tired and lame and I rather that d---d Injun's carcass should bleach in this wilderness than mine", said another. "For God's sake, don't do that; we are only two days from the Agency and suppose we take a week, or longer, what matters that?" said Austin, who, by the way, had by far the most able horse. Frenchy, who by this time was getting excited as the Indian wanted to leave, said "Do you 'tink ze copper-skinned ----- voulda let me go; not a much - I keel him." "No, you will do nothing of the kind." and "Stop, Frenchy", simultaneously asserted two voices. The matter was well talked over, and as a result the Indian was told to go. He went and I am sure five men will rejoice over his departure so long as they shall see the light of day. How many times crime is committed through temporary suffering, or on the spur of the moment, with little provocation! Many a miner's death was attributed to the stealthy treachery of these Crow Indians. In fact, they had at that time a very unenviable reputation among prospectors. So much so that most myster­ious depredations were laid to them. Thievery or night prowling murder has always been condemned and held in greater contempt than almost any other form of crime. The highwayman takes some chances when he orders a dozen or more men to "Hands up, and line up there d---d quick." But the thief or night prowler is a coward at heart and is entitled to no consideration when caught. But com­mon decency would suggest that you know your man before condemning him and that sentiment saved that Injun.
The next day we flushed two wickiups of Bannock Indians returning from the Crow Agency. After convincing ourselves of their nationality and friend­liness, we accepted their invitation to camp near them in a secluded spot in a poplar bottom. The next morning we loaned two of them a pistol each, they agreeing to kill a young buffalo while chasing him on horseback. This proceed­ing, whilst it appeared exciting to them and the buffalo, was no more so than would be the chasing on horseback of a range steer by cowboys, nor did it require the dexterity necessary to lariat a steer on the open range, a feat not at all uncommon among Western herders. An expert with a lariat can catch either horse or steer under full speed, by either foot, and throw it to the ground. This is expert work, but running alongside a buffalo, or ox, and shooting it with a Navy pistol requires no especial training, just a little care, lest the infuriated animal turns and gores your horse.
[Here a pencil statement on the original manuscript: “Insert here story of Indians burial.]
We now come to the old Bozeman trail, so called because it marks the route of the original immigrants led by the old pioneer guide and trapper by that name. This trail was followed closely by the engineers who located the Northern Pacific Railroad across the Dakotas into Montana; and was the northernmost trail of the early day miners. Navigation up the Missouri River was accom­plished as far north as Benson in Montana, and supplies were distributed from that point both south and north among the mining camps as well as Indian agen­cies and to the mounted police of the Northwest Territory of British America.
There was still another overland road, or trail, which crossed the Bozeman trail and parallelled it for many miles. This was made by old Jim Bridger (mentioned heretofore), who came in from the Platte River with a large train of immigrants soon after Bozeman. Through sheer jealousy, Bridger would not follow a trail made by Bozeman, and teams and men were compelled to make a new road or be deserted by their guide. This is ludicrous, but true.
There has been a great deal of adverse criticism regarding the vast land concession to the Northern Pacific Railroad Company by the United States. But, if critics had seen the country as it was at the time Jay Cook, et al, asked for a land grant, and that alone, through this barren waste, hundreds upon hun­dreds of miles of bleak uninviting plains, sparsely covered with buffalo grass, or sage brush and cactus, followed by still more hundreds of miles of broken worthless "Bad Lands", and then greater distances of worthless Mountain Ranges, they would have come to the conclusion that Mr. Cook had undertaken a her­culanean task with mighty little real merit in the securities he would have to present to investors. I refer to the country at that period. Irrigation was in its infancy in this country. The Dakotas were thought an impossibility as an agricultural country, save along the river bottoms, and entirely too cold for stock raising, so of what possible use were they? The "Bad Lands" had been deserted by the Creator and Satan refused to occupy them, so repulsive were they. A succession of red sand rock mounds and alkali clay. What little water appeared was too strongly impregnated with alkali to be useful for man or beast. A deep solitude prevailed, the only visible activity being an occasional stratum of ligneous coal smoking with spontaneous combustion. The mountains had not been sufficiently prospected to justify an assertion as to their prospective mineral value, and the whole expanse, an empire within itself, could only be made valuable by real necessity after the millions of acres of better lands throughout the then unoccupied domain had been settled. Thus it appeared at the time of which I write (1869-73). Since that time our population has increased at a rate then unthought of; the necessity has arisen. Development of new methods of agriculture along scientific lines has proven that the Dakotas and a great part of the territory westward is available for agricultural and grazing purposes. The once despised sage brush deserts are now most eagerly sought for; and, wherever water can be obtained, these lands are the equal of any of our rich soils, producing almost all cereals and fruits common to this latitude with the greatest certainty.
We now turned up the Yellowstone and arrived in due time at the Crow Agency, which was not far from where the town of Livingstone now stands, the junction of the Northern Pacific with the branch road to Yellowstone Park.
Here we found Bart Henderson who told us of the discovery of gold above the Basin of Clarks Fork. But he was not enthusiastic, and after resting a few days we concluded to return to Sweetwater. In order to avoid any possible treachery from the Crows we made a pretense of going west and made a detour of the Yellowstone for a distance and turned east through the foot hills. In doing so, we encountered a good deal of snow. In fact, I think Mr. Austin lost his course and took us too far into the mountains, although he did not confess it. Anyway, we were several days so far up in the hills that our animals well-nigh perished for want of grass, and we had a terrible time getting them through the gorges and over snow covered ridges. When we did attain the lowlands we found our animals very weak and ourselves much the worse for the experience. Our boots had been so long water-soaked from the melting snows that they became useless, and our clothes were torn from contact with branches and rocks during our ascent and descent of the many ridges and gorges we crossed. Yet nothing daunted, we substituted raw hide for boot covering, and walked because our animals were only able to carry our blankets and commissary.
In order to test the country further toward the Big Horn River, we kept an easterly course beyond that on which we came. This took us further into the bad lands and alkali, which, by an unfortunate circumstance caused us no little inconvenience and considerable suffering. We had cached our outfit in some willows close to where we had cooked our breakfast. Some of the men were prospecting, others hunting or herding the horses. By some mishap, probably a little whirlwind, common to all dry countries, fire had been com­municated to the dry brush and grass from the coals left at the breakfast fire. Before any of us got to it, our entire outfit was burned, including cartridges, excepting those on our persons. There was nothing left for us to do but make our way to the Shoshone Mission on Wind River, probably one hundred and fifty miles by the nearest route - not an inviting prospect for men almost bare­foot, with horses worn out and an almost total absence of water, save that heavily charged with alkali, for at least half the distance. We were now entirely dependent upon our guns for food as the fire had not left us an ounce of anything. As we plunged into the bad lands all kinds of game disappeared and our larder became empty, our stomachs ditto, and we had no rawhide to renew our foot covering. Worst of all, however, was lack of fresh water, the alkali parched our mouths and we lost time chasing imaginary indications of fresh water, mostly mirages. The second day out we undertook to attain a snow peak which did not look more than five miles away. We lost a half day to ascertain we were chasing a mirage. The third day we espied an antelope, all hands prepared to make sure of it, one man staying with the horses, the others circling around the coveted prize. We stealthily crawled up on the unsuspecting antelope. Frenchy, being in best position, takes care­ful aim; the others ready to shoot in case he should miss. "BANG!" We all ran to the fallen creature. But lo! the poor thing had scarcely a bit of hair on its body. Its eyes were a sour milk blue, stone blind. Its skin was not fit for our feet and there was no flesh upon its rickety frame. So we plod on again without food or water. The horses did better, because there was dew enough during the night to moisten the grass that entered their stomachs. At last, after I do not remember how many days, we saw a number of antelopes just as they had begun to run from us. Hurriedly we drew our rifles and four bullets whizzed at the rearmost one. It wavered but kept going. Frenchy, with the quick inconsiderate impulse of his make-up, took after him as if it were a matter of life or death, stopping at intervals to take another shot at the weak­ening antelope. He literally "run it down", and triumphantly brought back a portion of fine venison. That night we camped on a fresh water stream and ate our antelope steak. A curious feature to all of us was the absence of taste. Water went down our throats as if it were grease. Simply felt cool and suggest­ed more water, and withal we had an inordinate desire for salt. We had sense enough not to drink too much. Some of the party got a return of their taste the next day after striking water, but mine did not return until after I reached the Shoshone Agency and had drunk nothing but milk for twenty-four hours.
Joe Parrish, a young man from Missouri, had undertaken a farming ad­venture, similar to that of the New Yorker heretofore described, on the Little Popoagie. At his invitation, I stopped with him for a time. One day, Joe and I concluded to hunt black tail deer. We followed up a creek which breaks through the slope of the mountains from a small plateau at its source. This plateau was covered with a quaking [“ash” was penciled out and replaced by a unrecognizable three-letter word, perhaps “oak”?] grove and was the haunt of the black ­tailed deer. As the stream concentrated below the grove it had cut a deep ravine, and Joe took the east side, whilst I took the west in our ascent toward the grove. Below the grove the mountains sloped gradually for probably three miles to the valley and were covered with bunch grass and flowers indigenous to that country. About halfway up this slope I discovered, in advance of Joe, what proved to be a huge bear digging roots. Owing to a slight rise in the ground, Joe did not come in sight of the bear until within about one hundred yards. Nor could I call his attention to it because of the width of the chasm between us although both Joe and the bear were in plain sight. Joe had permitt­ed his dog to follow him; the latter scented bruin and ran ahead until it saw the bear now standing erect on hind feet. With a bark the dog starts for the bear. It was a grizzly, and it clumsily loped up the mountainside. Joe ran up to see what the trouble was. Bruin soon tired of the uphill race and concluded to change his course. He turned on the dog; the dog was quick to take in the situation, and reversed position, and with ears thrown back and tail between its legs, made for its master. The race was now on, with a down hill course. There being no trees handy, Joe threw his gun and hat, and down the mountain he went, dog next and bruin a close third and not a bit groggy. There was a small rock cliff overlooking the gorge and a nut pine on its top. Joe sailed up that like a bird. Where the dog went I could not see, but he disappeared behind the cliff. The bear stopped at the base, looked around a little and swaggered up the hill in a sort of "well -I-guess-you-fellows-won't-chase-me-again-" style.
I hurried up to the edge of the gorge and called to Joe "What are you doing up there?" The answer came back "Getting my breath." As we arrived at the head of the gorge I asked Joe why he did not take a shot at the bear. He answered "I did not come out to hunt bear. A bullet would not have affected that beast any more than a shot from a pop gun would affect a scare crow." And I thought so to. At times these bears display a great deal of cunning. I remember two men who were hunting bear above South Pass. They were "still" hunting; that is, hunting without dogs. They discovered very fresh signs at the edge of a cliff of rocks, overhanging the stream. One of the men agreed to go up around the cliff, whilst the other worked his way along the animal's trail at the bottom. The latter had not gone twenty feet when he was struck a terrific blow by the bear which knocked him headlong into the stream. His cries brought his partner quickly to the rescue, and he shot the animal dead, its body falling across the prostrate man. The bear had deliberately stood erect upon hind legs, its body hidden by a small indenture in the cliff, and as the man came forward upon its trail it struck him with such force as to knock him about ten feet and broke his arm and two ribs. It proved to be a grizzly of immense size; its claws were at least two inches in length and its weight I have forgotten. The power of such an animal is enormous; they have been known to catch an ox and murder it by fastening their teeth in the ox's back and strik­ing it in the abdomen with their forepaw. I have read many stories of combats between different wild animals, but always treat them with a grain of salt when the bear comes out second best. In my humble opinion they display more cunning and have greater strength than any animal of their weight known to the forests or mountains, and they are neither slow or clumsy when angered.
An amusing incident occurred in a legal contest over a claim for debt in early days in Wyoming. Jack Holbrook was a member of the first Legislature of the then new Territory of Wyoming. In the old regime under the laws of Dakota, there was an exemption of $600 worth of property from levy or execut­ion for debt. The new law, as enacted by Holbrook and his fellow legislators, contained no such provision. Women suffrage in its broadest sense had been granted. In conformity therewith, the Governor had appointed a very estimablelady as Justice of the Peace for South Pass District. This lady had a better knowledge of justice than of law. The case referred to was duly tried and Holbrook's testimony tended t o show that the wrong party had been sued. His evidence left no other conclusion than that he was the delinquent party and "Her Honor" promptly ordered judgment against the witness Holbrook. The latter enjoyed the joke hugely and thinking himself immune from attachment, by reason of the $600 exemption law, just let the judgment stand without contest. One bright morning as Mr. and Mrs. Holbrook were partaking of a neatly pre­pared breakfast, a Deputy Sheriff entered and levied upon the cooking stove and kitchen utensils, as well as all furniture, including a well appointed bed and bed­room set. Holbrook was now enjoying his wife's discomfiture and coyly joshing the officer, when the latter remarked: "Mr. Holbrook, it was unfortunate that you forgot an exemption law whilst you were at Cheyenne." "What!" exclaimed Holbrook, "Was there no exemption law passed?” Well, by George, I'll just pay that d---d judgment right now". And he did. That same Legislature, how­ever, did pass an exemplary law, and I do not recall another like it. It was to this effect:
"Any man living, or cohabiting with any woman, shall upon proof thereof, be declared the legal husband of said woman; provided that if said parties, or either of them, are already married to another, both shall be de­clared guilty of adultery and be subject to the penalties provided in such cases."
The excesses and extravagances of the owners of the Miners' Delight Mine had put them in debt, despite the richness of the property; and a Receiver was appointed by the United States District Judge. Neither the Judge nor the Re­ceiver were known in the region before this occurrence. For reasons not apparent to anyone in the camp a squad of U. S, soldiers was brought in from Fort Bridges in charge of Lieutenant Stambaugh, who lost his life on Twin Creek Hills, as above related.
It was not long, however, before the employees under this Receiver dis­covered why the soldiers were there. Gold dust and bullion in those days were used as a substitute for currency in the mining camps. But with the advent of this God fearing ( ? ) apostle of eastern civilization, the bullion was shipped out and the employees were told to wait until it could be sold and currency brought in. They did wait. A second clean up was made and the bullion shipped out and so on, until all of the exposed ore in the mine had been run through the mill and no development done to keep up the supply, when, one very cold, stormy morning Mr. Receiver disappeared and neither the currency nor the Receiver ever came back, of course, the employees kicked but they were told the property was in the hands of the U. S. Court and there was no redress save by and through the Judge who had appointed the Receiver and any effort in the way of attachment or other legal or illegal means to obtain their dues would be in contempt of Court and the military contingent would be used to punish the offend­ers. This was not the first, nor has it been the last time, the U. S, soldiery have been used to shield crime. If anyone has doubts, let him investigate these uses (or abuses) of the soldiers in Alaska, and in connection with the courts of Montana during recent years. Criticize courts? I answer, criticize anything and everything open to criticism. A thief, or weakling under his influence, can do irreparable damage, when immune from exposure or criticism and holding an office of trust. Well, the employees quit work, and Jack Holbrook, one of the original owners, came to the rescue by offering the men the contents of his store as pay. It was an unusual scene: the distribution of the contents of a miscellaneous stock of goods to a lot of frontier miner. I drew a sack of potatoes, 150 pounds of flour, two pairs of overalls, an undershirt, a wheel barrow, and a quantity of small stuff, while my partner, Jim Moore, drew a half barrel of bourbon whisky and a sack of sugar, together with some towels, soap, etc. By the time the boys got through, Holbrook's store looked like a cyclone cellar with the roof blown off. But here was the difference: Holbrook was a so-called man of the world, fearless to a degree of wrecklessness, yet with the heart of love for fair play, live and let live, open and above board. Meet a Holbrook, and you meet a friend - a man. Meet that "Receiver" and those of his tribe and something suggests deception; wolf in sheep's clothing; outwardly a gentleman, but "I don't know you." If you see him coming, you put your hand on your pock­et book, or lock your mouth. You dont feel safe to answer his questions; you doubt him. God protect us when the Courts dont, or else we must protect ourselves a s best we can.
In Atlantic City there lived a man who, like many others, was good enough when sober, but, under the influence of liquor, was a "wild and wooly Westerner". He had lost a leg during the war, and was known as "Peg Leg." Peg, when drinking, was ugly and seemed to crave trouble; it did’nt matter much with whom. At the particular time in question, Peg had a wonderful craving for human gore. He wanted a man for breakfast; anybody; anything was good enough for him. There was a very pompous old German doctor practicing in the camp. The boys had some fun at the doctor's expense, yet they respected his dignity and age, if not his ego. Peg happened to take a violent spasm in front of Murphy's Hotel and, wheeling on his wooden leg, fired his Navy re­volver down the trail. The bullet caught the doctor in the cheek. He spun around like a top, yelling "Mein Gott; stop dat lunatics." Peg seemed to awake to a realization of what he had done and bounded down the hillside with leaps which would have given credit to a gazelle. But as he approached the bottom in an enormous bound, he drove the wooden leg through the roots of a willow bush and fell headlong into the creek, where he was unable to extricate himself until his pursuers had made him a prisoner.
The Doctor's wound was found to be in the fleshy part of his cheek and not serious. The boys now concluded to give Peg a scare and send him out of town, in a manner similar to the "move-on" system of many cities today. So Peg was duly locked up in a windowless cabin. The Doctor's wound was carefully dressed and he was notified that Peg was to be hung within thirty minutes in accordance with his demand, which was "I vill not be satisfy ontil I see dat Peg Leg hang mit de neck, den I die in peaces." Peg was duly regaled with a rope and led out in front of the room in which the doctor was placed. Of course, poor Peg was now sufficiently terrified. One of the orators made a talk. Witnesses were plenty to prove Peg shot the doctor without cause or provocation. The rope was thrown over a projecting ridge pole in front of the doctor's window. Peg was given a chance to plead with the doctor to save his life. The door to the doctor's room was thrown open and Peg entered. The doctor now went into a spasm, "Take dat beast out ouf ere; I vant to zee him, No." During the doctor's curses, poor Peg was prostrate on hands and knee with his peg sticking out straight behind him, praying for mercy. The doctor in very desperation finally said “If you gid oud uf ere kuick, und mit dese men bromise not to cum back less you killed be, I vill led you lif, und not before".
So Peg was led out of camp and warned not to be seen in the region again. He took the hint. I saw him afterwards in Idaho.
Speaking of the "move on" practice indulged in by police authorities, it seems to me a most vicious and unseemly thing to do. The “tramp” evil will never be eradicated under such a system, besides it is a great injustice to neighboring communities. There should be both Federal and State laws to prevent it. [The next is proper placement of baseball game according to penciled-in sentence in original]
Pioneer Base Ball Game in the Sweet Water Country
At the Washakie Agency the soldiers had organized a baseball club. In
order to relieve the monotony of camp life a number of young men, who had been members of clubs at home, secured an outfit and challenged the soldiers to a game on the Fourth of July. The only level spot where a game could be played was about two miles from camp. It became necessary to rustle every sort of conveyance to get the people to and from the grounds. Everything was free. The officers accompanied the soldiers, all coming in ambulances. I had seen service on a winning team in Iowa and was duly elected Captain of the "Atlantic City Invincibles". We had had but one practice game together. We were sup­posed to wear buckskin uniforms and some of the boys had full suits. There was a thunder storm in the morning which wet those unfortunate enough to have been caught. When the game was called these unfortunates were handicapped by the stretching of the wet buckskins. It was easy for them to doff the buckskin shirt, which they did; but they could not so dispose of the elongated trousers and they were compelled to cut them off at the bottom. The afternoon was very warm and dry and the buckskin shrank faster than it had extended in the morning, so by the time the game was nearly through the "A. C. I.'s” looked more like bathers than ball players.
For the first three innings the soldiers had a walkover; the Invincibles were simply taking notes and trying to limber up their tights. Our supporters, loaded with gold dust and Fourth of July patriotism, were also taking notes. The officers were now getting anxious to bet, with odds out of sight. I was continually importuned to know if we had a show. At the Fourth Inning the A. C.I,'s were invited behind the Grand Stand - a big pile of sage brush - by the Colonel of the Regiment to partake of the hospitalities of the sutler’s canteen. This was a fatal mistake for the Colonel. At the end of the fifth inning a big hearted merchant, from whom I had borrowed my buckskin trousers, had reciprocated the Canteen on behalf of Atlantic City. I consulted my team and we all felt confident that the next four innings would bring us through in fine form, pro­vided we could change pitchers. The soldiers had been knocking "Coyote", as our pitcher was called, all over the field. We knew "Lanky Ben" was invincible as a pitcher. Lanky was a butcher, and never bothered about using a gun or a sledge hammer when killing a steer. He would just pick up a convenient stone and knock the animal in the head without apparent effort. While practicing in camp, his swift balls had scared the bays so it was difficult to get one to agree to catch for him. Hence my reluctance to place him in the box. But something had to be done. After considerable persuasion and a draft -upon a bottle of Mormon "Valley Tan", Jack Fargo consented to try and stop a few balls for Lanky. After thus reforming our lines, word was quietly passed around that there "was going to be things doing from now on, and to take all bets."
The White Sox, of Chicago, or the Blue Bellies, of Boston, never rallied as did the "Atlantic City Invincibles." "Soldiers at the Bat." Lanky Ben was six foot two and had an arm like Hercules. "Let ‘er go, Ben," cried the Captain, who held first base. "Let ‘er go, Lanky", yelled the bleachers; and it went. In those days if the striker struck at the ball and the catcher caught it, it was "out." The striker struck; the club flew out of his hands, hit the catcher in the face and the ball imbedded itself so deep in the latter's abdomen that the batter pulled it out while the catcher was still asleep. Of course, I claimed a "catch" as the ball was held by the catcher, and it was allowed by the umpire, who claimed he had lost his left eye in the same kind of a play while catching for the "Terrors", or some other wonderful team in Cincinnati. I now had to substitute a catcher, Jake Patterson, who offered his services, provided he was allowed to hang a guard from his neck to shield his person. Jake was a swarthy fellow and had a paw on him like a grizzly bear. The favor was granted Jake and he borrowed the cushion from the Colonel's ambulance, and the game went on.
We were not so sure of Jake's ability and I had to caution Ben against throw­ing too swift. "Play ball", said the umpire. "Give ‘em a touch of high life in Sweet Water", cried a fan. "Give General Rosencranz a fair ball, Lanky", said another. "Yes, in his weinerwurst", said a third. The soldier striking had a German appearance and dialect, hence these sarcasms. Ben sent him a fair ball; the soldier struck at it after it had imbedded itself in the cushion, and another contention arose over that. The A. C. I 's claimed a catch and a strike; the soldiers claimed a catch and a strike was not out; that it must be a strike and a catch for an out: and they were sustained; the next ball was a foul. It went high in the air, and a number of the fans could not resist the temptation to take a shot at it. The shortstop caught what there was left of the ball, and "Rosecranz" was out. Things were surging our way now. Most of the officers and soldiers had their money now up and it was up to the Invincibles to "win or leave the Sweet Water". Jake was nervous over Lanky's bullets, and wanted to take an end gate out of a freight wagon and stand behind that. We could take no chances of that kind. The camp was not panning out very good, and a soldier's pittance looked inviting to us. So we gave Jake another bracer, and the game went on. The next striker fared no better than the previous two and was duly struck out. It was now our turn to the bat, with something like 20 points to the bad. The soldiers tried to rally; they installed a fellow in the box whom they dubbed "Whirlwind", and gave him all sorts of encouragement from a promise of a caddy of tobacco to a six months furlough. "Play Ball”, and whizz goes the ball. "Spat", and a thousand Comanches could not have made more noise than did our fans while Billy Clayburn was making a home run. "Next man to the bat." "Play Ball". "Whizz," and "Spat", and the ball goes out to third base. A muff, and the striker is safe on first. A second striker hands one over centerfield; the right fielder thinks he should take it and the two come together in a head on and lose the ball. We are now coming to the front; the soldiers badly demoralized, a man on second and third. "Whizz", "Biff", a grounder, stopped by the pitcher, but its force had well nigh thrown him down. He threw it to the catcher to stop a tally from the third base. In the mix-up the runner returned to the third, thus leaving full bases. Lanky Ben comes now to the bat, the bleachers keep up a din of cat calls and yells "Send 'um home, Lanky." "Give ‘um the strong arm, old boy." "Whiz, whack" and the ball flew straight as a bullet over left field and was lost in the sage brush, thus bringing in four tallies. The Colonel now called officers and men behind his ambulance for consultation, and – well, it was soon discovered that the keg had mysteriously disappeared and time was requested, but the day was fast passing, and the request was refused. This purloining of the keg was conceded to be unfair, and unsportsmanlike, but who was guilty?
Despondency now shone on every face of Uncle Sam's warriors. They changed pitchers, a finely built fellow, First Sergeant Somebody - said to be the son of the then Mayor of Buffalo, N. Y. - went in the box. "Play Ball". Whiz goes a short strike to left. "Safe on first". "Whiz." "Foul." "Look
out, Fatty, hold that base." "Whiz". Fatty starts for second. "Run, Fatty, run." The catcher throws to second; ball about six feet out of line; second base catches it, and tries to touch Fatty. The latter with a leap undertakes to shoot his feet to base with a slide. An unfortunate sage brush root caught his shrunken buckskin trousers and held him with toes six inches from the sack. "Out". Fatty borrowed a duster from a nearby fan, and retired behind the sage brush mound to mend his torn garment. "Whiz; spat", a beautiful strike sends ball to field, and before it is recovered, second base is reached. From this on a succession of strikes and runs seemed to be all there was to the game. Before the side was out, the A. C. I's had exceeded the score of the soldiers, and with the latter's inability to rally, and night coming on, the officers agreed that it was a forlorn hope and gave up the game and their money. That night officers and soldiers were the guests at a grand ball and supper at Murphy's Hotel, where they whiled away the hours in giddy dance with the elite of Atlantic City and the surrounding country.
One day whilst we were encamped in a cottonwood bottom in the Yellow­stone, during a drizzling rainstorm, we espied a small bunch of Indians coming toward where we were sheltered. They were following closely the edge of the timber. As they approached within about one hundred yards of us, they turned into the timber. We grabbed our guns and commenced reconnoitering. The Indians had halted but a few feet from where they turned into the brush. We soon discovered they had no knowledge of our presence. The squaws were un­strapping the pack animals, one of which had an elongated bundle tied crosswise on its back. The bucks busied themselves in building a fire, and fixing a sort of scaffolding in the lower limbs of a tree. The squaw, having in charge the long pack, let it tumble on the ground without an effort on the part of anyone to ease it down, yet it contained the body of a "good Indian" as we soon ascertained.
When the scaffolding and the fire were made ready, all, save an old man, assisted in lodging the dead comrade's body in the tree. The old man chanted a weird song as he placed small twigs or faggots on the fire. We noticed a bow and arrow, a knife, and other belongings of the departed brave, duly placed along­side the body, that it might have protection during its journeyings through the "happy hunting grounds."
The mourners now stood fifteen or twenty feet from the fire, forming a square around the same; and, whilst the old "Medicine Man" placed more faggots upon the fire, the real mourning commenced, all, save a couple of squaws, joining loudly in the refrain, or chant, led by the Medicine Man. The two squaws wailed and mourned, and tore their hair in desperation. Considering the gloom of the day; the ever rustling of the raindrops among the green leaves; the mournful and suggestive silence of the surroundings; our isolation from civilized man, it altogether made it one of the most somber exhibitions of man's inherent belief in a future existence that ever came to my notice. When you think of it, what difference was there in the belief of these untutored aborigines from that of the most circumspect orthodox minister? Here they were administering the last sad act at the end of this man's pro­bationary period. Bidding his soul depart in peace. They were manifesting their faith in God by humble song, and by their contribution to the future use of the deceased of all that he had accumulated whilst among them; they at once exhibited their faith in a future existence, and a pro mortem respect for the dead that is none too common among more civilized men. Their gifts are not placed beside the body for temporary display, to be taken away the day after the funeral, but to remain with it until both shall have taken wings to the happy hunting ground; or, in other words, they remain together until the elements shall have disintegrated them, and the material body has returned to earth, and the immortal! who knows where?
"God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform,
He plants his footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm."
So says the old poet but I believe nothing of the kind. God is no mystery,
nor ever has been to a thinking man. His footprints are not hidden in the depths of the blue waters; there is no mystery in his work. He speaks to all alike. He is one continuous exhibition of permeating power and knowledge. "All in all." Every creature has seen Him and heard Him. Not understand­ing Him, men crouch in fear, even while His blessings are being bounteously bestowed upon them. They seek to "appease His wrath" with peace offerings and sacrifices, mistaking the reprimands of their own conscience for wrath of God. The Indian, true to his instincts, which are God's primary lesson, prepares himself for a happy future state, where game is abundant, and lest proper arms should not be provided, they send them up in the way of a sacrifice - and are careful to sacrifice nothing save that which belonged to the departing friend. (In this way, they differ from civilized man in that the latter is willing to sacrifice anything which belongs to the other fellow, whether he be dead or alive.)
Emerson tells us that "Cause and effect are the Chancellors of God." The trouble is that the "Chancellors" do not have the same materials to work on at all times. Whatever process has brought our best men to their present and fullest attainments has not brought the entire race, nor indeed any considerable proportion of it, to any such standard. Yet, the germ, the instinct, the man, is there and wherever found he is following on the same general lines of de­velopment of all other men when at his standard of development. The Indian is no exception; his environments, the plentiful supply of food and raiment within easy access, which he could obtain with little exertion, made him in­dolent and nomadic. His energies were therefore not taxed as are those who are less fortunate in situation. The harder to obtain a living, the more necessity for care, industry and perseverance, and out of such experience has arisen the greatest men and nations. Yet the Indian's fire and faggots, his chant, his moaning, his blackened face, his self-inflicted wounds, are they not suggestive of burning candles, of altars, images, sacrifice and the mourning regalia and observances of his pale faced brother? The placing of bodies in trees, though to us it seemed the height of laziness, might it not have been that in their simplicity, they refrained from imprisoning the soul by putting it under the earth?
After closing out Jack Holbrook's store in Miners' Delight, a party consisting of Jim Moore, myself and a younger brother, took a hunting trip down among the stunted cedar and juniper covered hills drained by the Popoagie. We appropriated a deserted cabin which was conveniently located near a bubbling spring, with plenty of giant sage brush for fuel. We did not use hounds, although one accompanied us. Indeed, dogs for hunting purposes would have been a nuisance, in that they would have frightened the game and made it much more wary of approaching danger. The three of us started out, each taking different localities to hunt in, with the purpose of locating the game for future hunting. Jim and myself had located a goodly number of black-tailed deer, he bringing home a saddle of venison, whilst I contented myself with some cottontail rabbits, which I shot as I returned through the sage bottom. My brother, whom the dog had followed, did not return. During the first half of the night, I kept a sage brush fire burning outside the cabin, and fired occasional shots in order to assist him provided he had lost his bearings in the darkness. But he did not come. The next morning I took my saddle horse and went in search. It was near night before I struck his trail, which showed he was going down stream after having crossed the divide between the Popoagie and Beaver Creek, both of which lead down into the Big Horn which was the heart of the hostile Sioux country.
The next morning I took up the trail and to my utter amazement he was pursuing a straight course down the stream, going directly into the flat sage brush plains and away from the hills and mountains, in which he had 1ived since his arrival from Iowa, the year before. Just at sundown that day, after a forced ride of one and one-half days upon his trail, I found him camped for the night in a crevasse in the bank of the stream. He had lighted a fire with his last match and said he "intended to kill the dog and cook it before he let the fire go out," as he had now given up any hope of finding any game until he "got to the range" (pointing to the Big Horn Mountains) "where he had left two days before." He had lost his hat, and whilst I had seen plenty of game during my pursuit of him, he "did not see a thing since he left the range." I fed him and while he was eating, he asked me "How did you happen to come up the river?" I said, "Why, Al, I didn't come up the river." He answered, "You just came up from that way." He would not believe that we had both traveled over forty miles down stream. I took a stick and threw it into the stream. As it floated off, he remarked "I never saw a darned stream that insisted upon running up hill like that."
In order to divert him from what I perceived to be his set purpose to follow out his illusion, I started during the night under the pretense that we must do so in order to make the limited amount of food I had with me hold out until we got to camp, and by making a detour away from the stream, I struck a course which had the desired effect of turning him around and thus got him home.
Some men will get lost on the least provocation, while others seem instinctively to be able to take up a trail, though almost obliterated, and follow it to any point, or they will wander thro' hills and valleys, during storm and fog, and still keep their course. Others are better on the plains than in the hills. Some get astray on water, while never lost in timber and vice versa. I have noticed however that a good deal depends on the digestion. If a man's health is normal, his digestion good, and he has had some experience, he is not likely to err in direction.
I found I could not depend on my brother in this respect and therefore concluded to take him to Miners Delight. As it was winter, and there was no provision for keeping horses up there, we concluded to go on foot. As we came to the line of snow the walking was difficult and the soft snow soon penetrated our boots and wet our feet. As we ascended the Twin Creek Hills the weather suddenly changed, and became very cold with a strong wind blowing in our faces from the mountains. My brother showed signs of freezing by becoming lethargic. I was compelled to resort to strenuous action to keep him moving; even going so far as to slap him and jerk him along. He made the excuse that he was not cold but tired. I knew better, and by laborious effort worried him along into a canyon where the top of a dry nut-pine showed above the drifting snow. Here I demonstrated the wisdom of carrying plenty of matches, a thing every man should do when in the mountains. My hands were so numb that I could not take hold of a few matches, and I simply took a handful and lighted the whole bunch. By dexterously placing twigs upon the lighted bunch I started a fire upon the drifted snow, and quickly made a wind break with green branches and snow, and then dragged my brother before the fire, cut his frozen boots off and wrapped his feet in my neck wrapper, and thus saved his life, and probably my own. He was not frozen, but numbed to the point of freezing. And, indeed, both of us lost our toe nails, as well as considerable cuticle from portions of our faces and hands. In that same storm, a young man who started but a short time after us, was frozen, and found the next day in a delirious condition. He lived about six weeks and was buried on the ridge overlooking miners' Delight.
There was no minister of any church or denomination in the camp; and the young man belonged to no society that we knew of, and the miners did the best they could under the circumstances, as is always done by them. Old man McDonald, by age more reverential if not by occupation, headed the funeral cortege to the grave; the box was lowered, and the old man read a suitable chapter from the Bible declaring "From dust thou camest and unto dust thou shalt return", and we all silently prayed that the spirit might return unto Him who gave it. Thus ended the career of a young and hopeful man, one whose ambitions had carried him into the wilderness in the hope of bettering his condition; by hewing out of this vertebra of the continent a name which would be an honor to those whom he had left behind, as well as to himself. It is sad to contemplate how few realize these hopes. The pioneer makes the path easy. He ferrets out the latent resources of the country beyond. He marks the dangerous places in the arroyos and mountain passes. He ascertains the strength and cunning of the savage habitue of the region, and leads the mighty influx of immigration to points of vantage, that they may reap the benefit of his pioneering.
I sometimes wonder if the men who voluntarily lead in the development of the country were not as much entitled to recognition from the Government as those who assisted in saving it from disintegration after it had been occupied and developed? I doubt if any greater proportion of the latter joined the Army through patriotic motives than did the pioneers who came West with equally patriotic impulses. Neither was the soldier confronted with like danger and exposure, nor has a like proportion sacrificed their health and lives in the Army as has been done in the service of pioneering the plains and Mountains of America.
In narrating experiences during my stay in the SweetWater country, I have purposely omitted describing many horrors which occurred, unless there was something in connection with them in the nature of a relief from the simple act of barbarity. I will here say that besides the many who lost their lives through Indian depredations whom I did not know, there were at least twenty­-six with whom I had personal acquaintance who were murdered by Indians and most of whom were mutilated in a manner indescribable in print.
In narrating experiences during my stay in the SweetWater country, I have purposely omitted describing many horrors which occurred, unless there was something in connection with them in the nature of a relief from the simple act of barbarity. I will here say that besides the many who lost their lives through -Indian depredations whom I did not know, there were at least twenty=six with whom I had personal acquaintance who were murdered by Indians, and most of whom were mutilated in a manner indescribable in print.
When this subject is seriously contemplated, who is to be blamed? Since Columbus kidnapped the first native from the West Indies, and since the days when the Pilgrims stole the Indians’ corn, the inexorable law of Nature, the survival of the stronger, has been extinguishing the aboriginal race from America, until, like the buffalo, the only place they are now seen is in a "corral" called by way of distinction a "reservation." The Indian saw his ultimate fate, and like the five of us in the Grey Bull Canyon experience, resolved to "fight to the last," and he has done so.
When Columbus planted the cross on the coral reef in October, 1942, he professed Him whom he pretended to represent, and the European immigrants for four hundred years have accomplished in the name of Him who said: "Thou shalt not steal, and thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not covet; and Love thy neighbor as thyself; do unto others as ye would they should do unto you," the greatest destruction of human life, the biggest robbery of territorial empire, and all in the most inhuman manner known, to history.
Dear reader were you ever put on limited rations in order to make your provisions hold out for a day of relief, or until you could get to where a supply could be had? If so, you will appreciate how good the last pot of boiled beans tasted to us who were participants in the following: In the Spring of 1872, we had become pretty well convinced that there were more propitious fields for prospectors further West than those offered by the Sweetwater Country, yet there were still some streams Eastward from the Strawberry district which had not been fairly tested, so a party of six, including myself, went there with a two weeks supply of provisions. We found prospects of gold enough to induce us to remain until our provisions were well nigh exhausted. By placing ourselves on about three fourths rations we could remain four days. We did this but owing to a belated snow storm, of which there were many in springtime, we were unable to do any work for three days. When the storm had ceased the snow was about 12 inches deep and the Antelope, which constituted our fresh meat supply, had gone far down into the valley below so we were confined to our "outfit" and therefore cut the rations to about one half our usual requirements in order to finish the work in hand. Soon after this our larder was reduced to one shank of cured ham and about ten pounds of Mexican beans. These were placed in our largest iron bucket and put upon the fire to cook whilst we all put in our best efforts to finish an open cut across the gulch we were prospecting. At the dinner hour our ham and beans were fairly well done and we ate a half meal from them. We put more water in the bucket and placed it again upon a well arranged bed of hot coals and returned to our work. When night came we had concluded that the gulch was “barren”. We sat around the now well cooked beans, the Kettle was again full as the additional boiling had swelled the beans as only Mexican beans can swell. A half ration was dished out and never did beans taste so good, never was a home roasted turkey devoured with such gusto as were those beans, no one was satisfied, and none had ever tasted anything so palatable. A vote was taken and it was unanimously agreed that "we would take another half ration", which we did with alacrity. We had been on half rations for several days and one full ration of those beans was like trying to satiate a childs appetite with a mouthful of chocolate candy. We tried to amuse each other with stories but invariably came back to "Mexican beans". Some sang songs but always and ever came the refrain, "Bean porridge hot, bean porridge cold etc.” W e tried to sleep until morning when we were to "hike" for Atlantic City which would take about two days through the slush, but those beans would not rest nor let us, so by the glow of the still burning embers it was unanimously agreed that "if we ate those beans we would not have to pack them," besides, we would forever put at rest the temptation which was slowly but surely pushing each one to try and steal a full meal to the discomfort of all the others. So in the dead of night the remainder of those succulant brown friends of the pioneer miners with the well flavored extract of ham bone permeating each and every little joker were consumed with as much relish as though they had been reed-­birds dished up with all the necessary garnishments at "Sherry's" or the "Waldorf-Astoria". What did we care? There could be only two days between us and plenty and our friends the beans would carry us through.
After arriving at Atlantic City, my Brother and I concluded to leave Wyoming and hunt new fields. We had spent what money we had in our efforts to find new "diggings", and concluded to get out. Each had a saddle animal and by using an old wagon which had been left by some out-of-luck person, we were enabled to take along two other unfortunates. We made directly for the Union Pacific at Green River crossing, there we arrived on a beautiful Sunday evening. There were camped there some 25 wagons of immigrants, consist­ing of Kentuckians en route to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Among them were the ever present and always pleasant "fiddler" and a very talkative young fellow who was working his passage West by doing the blacksmithing for the train. One of my friends had a needlegun which seemed to interest the black­smith very much, finally the latter suggested a trade of his Kentucky squirrel rifle for the needle-gun, but when my friend assented and proposed the dif­ference in value be paid by the blacksmith in cash the latter suddenly bethought that it was Sunday and he "could not trade since he carried a church certificate in his pocket."
In the morning following, the immigrants got out first and engaged the ferry ahead of us. We were at the crossing watching the movements when two men came hurriedly from the R. R, Depot and crossed to the opposite side. They returned on the boat with the blacksmith between them and the "fiddler" close behind. I asked the latter what was the matter with the blacksmith? "Oh he couldn't trade guns on Sunday but he could steal a wagon on Sunday night." answered the fiddler. And so it was he had stolen a new wheel from the depot and hidden it on one of the wagons. We did not wait to see what happened but thieves got little quarter or sympathy in those days.
At "Bridger" we sold our horses and wagon and took the train. I going West and my brother returning home in the East. At Evanston we stopped for dinner and a portion of Washaki’s Indians were there. I spoke enough of their language to attract them around me. By putting a button up as a target for the young bucks to shoot at with their bow and arrows, I started a game that soon developed into a winner for the boys as the passengers took the queue and used small coin in place of the button.
My buckskin suit and evident familiarity with those Bannocks caused me much amusement and no little annoyance during the run down to Ogden, Utah.
As soon as I took my seat in the car, a good lady came and landed a bundle of tracts in my lap I thanked her, and she took occasion to ask me if my "Peace with the Lord was assured"? I answered that "to my knowledge I had had no misunderstanding with Him." Of course, she assured me that we were inherent sinners and our only hope must necessarily rest in "His Saving Grace.". I finally disposed of her by assuring her that “I would read her brief and then consider the matter. My friends had not gotten through joshing me with regard to my conversion before another dear old lady approached me from the same direction as the first and offered me a paper of black cherries. I mis­chievously pretended not to know what to do with them when the kind old soul assured me that they were "Oxhurt cherries and delicious to eat." My friends and I did enjoy them hugely and in our hearts were grateful as they were the first we had had for several years.
My sack became empty in Salt Lake with still some 25 or 30 miles to a mining Camp, which in those days was the only place where a "gentile" could hope to get work. A number of 4 and 6 animal teams laden with argentiferous galena were frequently passing through the streets to the railroad station from Little Cottonwood in the Wasatch Mountains. So I borrowed enough money from my friend to pay my fare on the stage to that camp. My seat mate was suffering with a violent headache and a flushed face. He was a young man just from Pennsylvania. Imagine my horror, as well as the other occupants of the stage, to find on arrival that he was afflicted with smallpox, from which he died inside of two weeks. I do not recall that any of the passengers took the disease, yet several in the camp did and some five or six died from it. One poor fellow I remember would go to the distance of a block around the pest house to keep away from it. He took it and it killed him whilst many like myself, in no way immune (save by vaccination) took allkinds of chances by going to their cabin (the pesthouse) and inquiring about them and attending to their wants and did not take it,
Since that time I have had the dread disease invade my Camps of work­men, at least twice in large R. R. Camps, and by quick and careful attention prevented its spread and lost none. I do not believe it is contagious in its early stages and at no time save by contact or innoculation. I have examined cases together with others to ascertain whether they were real or not and still have never taken the disease. Quick isolation and careful fumigation, or burning of premises, is most necessary.
In 1872, Little Cottonwood was shipping argentiferous galena ore from a number of prospects. The Emma Mine was the largest producer. All shipping ore had to be of a quality to bear heavy transportation charges as there were no smelters in Utah at that time. Indeed a good deal of the ore was sent to Wales for treatment. The camp was new and I wanted to avail myself of the oppor­tunity of finding a mine.
My buckskin suit was all right but I had no tools and my stomach could not hold out indefinately without food.
The largest appearing store was Clasby and Reeds, and the Post Office was there, hence I had an excuse for visiting the place. With considerable anxiety and no less misgivings was Mr. Clasby approached and asked if he would trust me with a "grub stake"? (provisions sufficient to go into the mountains hunting for mineral deposits). He looked me over, asked when I came in?. And turned to a clerk saying, "Give Buckskin a grub stake and tools to the extent of twenty five dollars.
With this I started prospecting. My camp consisted of a sibly tent, frying pan and coffee pot, buffalo robe, blankets and Kit of prospectors tools, the tent, robe and blankets I brought with me. I had not been there but a few days when a vacant town lot was detected. It was promptly appropriated and my tent placed thereon. In that camp the "Code" required, "to hold a town lot there must be occupancy or an enclosure" otherwise it was subject to location. Some lots had boards properly enclosing them, many were simply marked or "enclosed" with one line of poles horizontally laid, or by strips of rawhide stretched around the lot, hence many contentions arose and frequently men were killed or wounded in these quarrels on property, which really belonged to no one save the right of might. And even more bloody strife occurred over mining locations until one year after (1873) when Congress passed the first effective Federal mining law in this country. I may tell later on of some of these fights over mining and town lot disputes.
There was one lot on the Main street in the camp which was held for speculation by an enclosure with a rawhide stretched upon poles, and inside a post with a notice that "this lot is held for sale by___________ ".
One day a finely dressed German was looking interestedly at the lot, as I passed he asked, “who is ______________?” I told him. And also that he was prospecting. "I want dat lots. It vould yoost suit mine pisness". I asked what he would pay for the lot, suggesting that it was held pretty high? "Vat you tank it vorth?, he asked. "I can get it for 800 dollars" was my answer, knowing something of values I felt sure that it could be gotten for that. "Vell if you get it today I vill pay dat." Alright sir, see me in two hours at the Recorders Office. I answered. The "Recorder" in a mining camp at that time, was the Chief (and often the only) executive officer of the place. Off I went to hunt my man on the mountain. It took about 30 minutes to find him. His price was 250 dollars cash. He agreed to be at the Recorders office within the hour. My friend, Dave Latham was working in a tunnel but a five minutes walk away. He had money and I must work Dave for the 250.00. I quickly, and probably a little excitedly, told him my errand. He hesitated but when it was agreed that he should get twenty five dollars for the use of his money for a few hours he assented. He agreed to get his money and come at once to the “Recorders” office. Hurrying to the Recorded, whom I had met favorably, I told him of my anxiety to carry the deal through without the German knowing what I was paying for the lot. He agreed to help. Before Dave arrived the German came into the “Street and Ralph’s” store in one end of which the Recorder had his desk. He was anxioius about the deal as others had offered to secure a site for him at much less money. Of course, the option was on and if I could deliver the lot he could not get out from under. Fortunately he turned to the Recorded to ask his opinion. The Recorder told him that the deal would go through alright so far as I was concerned [Here in the original(bottom pg 58) there is some blank space to the end of the line and it begins on the top of pg. 59.]
Filling.” Just now comes in Dave. I tell him to place his money with the Recorder, and to divert the German invite him to take a cigar, they being in the other end of the store, this was fortunate as he became interested in conversation with the clerk about the merits of goods. Whilst so engaged the owner of the lot came in in a great hurry. I quietly rushed him to the Recorder who handed him the quit claim deed to sign. I suddenly recalled that I had neglected to ask Dave to take a cigar so he went to the stand with me. The Recorder paid the seller his 250 dollars got his deed signed and out went one impediment. He then called to the German saying “your paper is all ready to be turned over sir”. I kept Dave busy at the cigar stand, telling him of my exploits prospecting. This was the story that held Dave: “Dave last Saturday I saw an eagle dart down and fasten his tallons in the back of a “wood chuck” and soar up to a great height, let the animal drop and then dart down and pick up the dead animal, carry it to a near by cliff eat what he wanted and pack the remainder away”. All of which was true. Of course, Dave had to tell of things he had seen the buzzards do in his native Georgia, all of which gave the Recorder ample time to get the Germans 800 dollars and put all out of sight save 275 dollars which both he and I congratulated Dave upon getting such a handsome dividend in so short a time.
The Recorder took out a fair portion for his services and I went directly to Clasby and Reed's store and paid my bill for the "grub" and tools they had so kindly advanced me a short time before, with this 500 dollars I was enabled to erect a house on my lot which brought me a handsome rent.
I remained in the Wasatch Mountains for nearly two years. The snow fall there is enormous, and snow slides are appelling. After winter set in I went at work mining in a prospect known as "the Bruno". The tunnel entrance was covered and used as the blacksmith shop. Jim Moore and myself were the only ones working. One day upon coming out we were surprised to find the shop had been completely swept away by a snow slide. Jim and I saw a great many terrible slides that winter and many men lost their lives and as many made miraculous escapes, below Alta, about one and one half miles, a slide came down from the big Porphyry dyke, sweeping on the sleigh road and carry­ing a number of heavily laden ore teams across the narrow valley and well up the opposite side. I do not recall how many were killed but do remember that one was saved.
One of the drivers had been carried across the valley and just as the snow blocked against the opposite hill, he came heels up with head and should­ers pinioned in the snow. Those who had escaped saw him and pulled him out. Poor Jim Moore stayed with the camp and after helping to rescue many an unfortunate lost his own life by being in a blacksmith shop at the moment an avalanche swept it away. Yes, "Poor Jim Moore", my friend and companion. Laurel wreaths have been spread over few men more deserving. In all vicissitudes, dangers and hardships, he was ever an optimistic friend. In enjoyment his joy was in others pleasure, in need he was a friend. Honest to a degree, nothing ever tempted him to wrong doing and none were more contemptible in his sight than wrong doers. Lofty ambitions, awaiting an opportunity, a time, when things would come his way he was stricken down whilst faithfully earning every cent he was promised for his services, A young, able bodied, intellectual man, and friend of all, was buried in the depths of frigid snow, a victim to an unalterable law, the avalanche is no more respect­ful of man than is the flood or any other of natures works. "Man who eats of forbidden fruit will surely die" poor Jim ate once too often.
The accumulation of snow in Little Cottonwood is a fright. I have seen an accumulation of four feet of new snow, in a timber grove when there was no possibility of the wind piling it up, during one day's storm. Let a storm of this kind occur upon mountains already covered with packed and frozen surface and the slides are sure to be very dangerous. When this new snow starts at or near the top of a range the accumulation rapidly gains headway and its compact weight and force will drive trees, boulders and almost anything before it, into the bottom below. For this reason the spring storms are more danger­ous than early winter ones.
Reed and Clasby's store was a one story building with a steep roof. The snow would accumulate to a depth so great that the entire business had to be done by a door in the peak of the roof and descent by steps on the inside of the building. A saw mill just above the camp, of the ordinary height of such buildings, the snow entirely covered it leaving the smoke stack the only visible thing. Miners returning as late as May, had to take iron bars and probe the snow to find their cabins, wood was piled near buildings and could only be used by tunnelling in the snow from the house to the pile, ordinary chimneys were kept above snow level by adding pipe as necessary. After a storm every­body got out and tramped snow to open the road down the valley.
At that time, owing to improper transportation and lack of furnaces for treatment of copper ores, the copper in all camps of Utah was neglected and consequently the greatest source of wealth was left for others than the pioneers.
After the weather modifies and the snow becomes packed, snow shoes ("webs") are discarded and prospectors along the ridges use the snow drifts to great advantage on descending, by seating themselves in the bowl of the shovel, legs extended on either side of the handle, they descend with great speed.
In 1874 with a Mr. Isaac Spangler I started a store in "Dry Canon", a small camp in the Oquirrh Range south of Salt Lake. We did a good business but my ambition got me into a "mix up" which proved disastrous. Mr. Spangler was a good salesman and as winter came on business was not so great as to need both of us. I got an opportunity to buy into a saw mill. The outfit in­cluded some 30 Kentucky mules, timber was hauled from the mountain side about six miles above the mill. We put men in the timber cutting logs, making roads etc. The first snow was awaited to commence hauling. Finally it came and for one wholeweek it piled up making it impossible to keep the road open. All hands were put at work opening the road. Just now our Kentucky mules were mules were smitten with a disease we did not understand. This was the first appearance of episootic. Not a single animal was able or fit to work. Nothing could be done but let the road fill up with new snow. A pay day was now due. A draft upon the store was necessary. The men were paid, the current bills were paid, but the second payment now due on that Mill and Mules was not made. Instead the mill and mules were returned to the original owner. My debt was absolved but my interest in that store was well nigh nil in doing so. It prob­ably was as well, because the camp was short lived, the mines were not permanent and inside the year it became a "dead camp". It was here that I first met Marcus Daily, who in later years became notorious as an opponent of W. A. Clark in the latter's political ambitions in Montana. I may speak of that later.
Daily was a good natured Irishman. A man who worked his way from pick and shovel to "boss", superintendent, expert miner and finally to Manager and part Owner of the great Anaconda mines in Butte and the town of Anaconda and smelters there.
That Daily was a success we know, but how much merrit accompanied it is greatly misunderstood. Daily was foreman for Walker Brothers of Salt Lake City on Ophir Hill. That firm had confidence in him, they built a "silver” mill at Ophir, no doubt upon his assurance that there was enough "dry" ore to justify the process. It was soon proven the ore could not be so treated. That is, there was not enough chloride ore to keep the mill going. The great bulk being smelter ores. A new strike was made east of Salt Lake City called the "Ontario Mine". This was offered in Salt Lake for a small sum when the ore in sight, the geological formation, and other things pertaining to continuance were considered. Mr. Daily was sent there by his employers to report upon the advisability of purchase. He turned it down as not worth the money (my recollection is 17, 000 dollars). The mine is still producing and has paid upwards of $30,000,000 in dividends. He recommended the pur­chase of a property between Ophir and Dry Canon called "The Poor Man". Walker Brothers bought it at many times what the Ontario could have been bought for, and they spent as much more in trying to justify Daily's judgement and finally shut it down, and Daily's services ended for the time.
At this time Butte Montana, was developing some veins of ore bearing gold and silver in apparently paying quantities. Mr. Daily went there and took a bond upon location of an immense vein the Alice, (the Rainbow Lode) out­cropping through a soft granite formation. Representations were made to Walker Brothers and after investigations, the property was purchased and it fell to my lot to move the entire machinery from Ophir, Utah, to Butte, Montana. During my stay in Utah, I was frequently in Salt Lake and other places in Mormondom. I did considerable business in the settlements, as well as the towns and had a fair opportunity to observe the condition of those people and their life in polygamy as well as monogamy. Also to some extent get their reasons for animosity toward and ostracism of the "gentiles" as all others (including Jews) were called. When one understands the first, he can easily understand the latter, they believed that their ‘profession of faith had all to do with the persecutions they sufferred at the hands of mobs and murderers whilst in the States’. "They concocted lies about us, accused us of stealing, appropriating others property and doing all sorts of wrong, excepting murder, to incite the people against us.” “We moved from, place to place in hope of relief and peace. Our teacher, the founder of our faith was brutally murdered and the authorities acquiesced in the crime". All this and much more I heard from those who were where these scenes were enacted. "Then we concluded to go into the wilderness and seek a land, a foreign land, where we hoped and were told we could worship God in accordance with the light we had. After terrible suffering” (it will be remembered many of them had nothing more than a hand cart to cross the plains with and great numbers fell by the wayside or perished when winter overtook them). "We found the promised land only to find that we were still within the jurisdiction of the country we were trying to leave". (Mexico had ceded all its northern territory to the U. S, whilst the Mormons were enroute) "Never faltering :in our faith we settled a thousand miles from the nearest settlement of white men, in a desert, a veritable wilderness of discouragement, hunger, exposure. Hard work was all in sight save the ever present faith in our ultimate deliver­ance. Then when the light of God's blessings began to shine, when the desert began to blossom with an abundance scarcely dreamed of by our leaders who comes but our very persecutors from whom we had sacrificed so much to escape” here tears trickled down the face of a woman (my informant) with features as sublimely moulded, with voice as sweet and motherly, with demanure as suggesting of a good Christian heart as could be found in any equally cultured home in any land. “Oh, yes their insults to my children, to me, were but the echo of their foul mouthed utterances before we left the states, and they were repeated in every settlement or hamlet they passed.”
It was this ill advised, abusive language by so many on their way to California and other mining districts, which is quietly given as the cause of the Mountain Meadows Massacre and other equally atrocious deeds, by many Mormons. They claim that drivers 'bull whackers" as they were called, would name oxen after the leaders of the Mormon church and when passing settle­ments would use those names in the most vile, vulgar, way known to those early rascals, whether these things are born out by the light of history remains to be seen. That a great majority of pioneer Mormons believed them and taught them to their children is true, that they were Mormons who goaded by such as above related, forgot the lessons of charity, did many cruel things in retalliation, is true. But that Mormons in general encouraged other than Christian duty and forbearance under adverse circumstances is doubtful. My obser­vations whilst among them convinced me that as a class they would average in uprightness, charity and sociability with other Christian communities of equal opportunity. True a well deserved care for the moral and spiritual wel­fare of the rising generation existed which was looked upon by many “outsiders” or “gentiles” as ostracism. Who will question the necessity for it at that time? The country was over-run by an influx of fortune seekers, and many reckless men from the railroad camps of the “Union Pacific” were among them. It is a boast of Mormondon that no semblance of a "redlight" district or a gambling house was know in Utah until the railroad whistle was heard”
The severity with which some of the early offenders against female virtue were handled tended to put a healthy embargo upon that class of offend­ers, and probably had something to do with the malicious stories circulated regarding ostracism.
Polygamy was practiced under church regulations, and of course in violation of Federal law although palliated to the satisfaction of their con­science by the constitution permitting the full exercise of religious liberty. There were many who did not practice it and thought it ill advised especially when the population of the church was augmenting so rapidly both by conversion and berths.
As to the effect polygamy had upon the family my opportunity to closely study it was somewhat limited. I boarded for a time with a polygamous family. There were two wives in one house, rather an unusual practice among them. The older wife was mistress of the place, each called the other "sister". The children of one addressed the other as "Aunty". The children were a source of continual annoyance and self-denial on the part of these mothers. The elder children of Wife No. 1, did not respect the rights of the children of No. 2, and one could not but wonder at the self control of thr mother when a husky boy pushed her little daughter from a chair, it dropping upon the floor, whilst the boy, indifferent to the child or mother, seated himself before the fire, yet whilst such things were more or less frequent not once did I see the mother lose her temper or dignified poise. No. 1 did the house work whilst No. 2 did the cooking. Each had their own family rooms and hence the child­ren need only meet whilst at meals, or in the general sitting room. Still they were together more or less as children are. At the table one had the better opportunity to study them, although the fathers presence had a con­trolling influence among the children. It did not, however, prevent the undercurrent of jealousy, or dissatisfaction, cropping out in the womens efforts to avoid its appearance. Sometimes this would be so pronounced as to cause that unavoidable blush or flush facedness which is so hard to withhold under trying circumstances, even though one may control all other emotions.
There was no limit to the number of wives a man might have, so far as I could learn. Some said it depended upon the acquiescense of previous wives. And also upon the ability to provide, whilst some wives claimed they were not consulted, and in many cases it was evident that the man thought it was a poor woman who could not help him some. Anyway there were many proofs of polygamous marriages in defiance of both objections. I was introduced to a dignitary of the church in Springville Utah, in 1875, who in turn proudly intro­duced his son with the remark, "He is my fiftieth child" He was said to have had nine wives, and did not exhibit any nervousness about it either.
The Mormon Church is a well organized institution. It is so arranged that each individual member thereof is at all times under close scrutiny, or at least his faith and loyalty is well known by the authorities of the Church in his district. Either man, wife or children are liable to be visited by inquis­itors and if any member is suspected of decreasing faith or disloyalty, his case is closely scrutinized. Members of his family, his neighbors and all are quietly interrogated. Then if cause exists he is "labored" with. If recalcitrant he is called before higher authority and if still obdurate and defiant, he is excommunicated, and what did that mean?. An outcast in the church, in society, and so far as possible in business, so far as his environ­ments were concerned he was alone in the world. In sight of friends but had none, in speaking distance but none answered. that such an organization grows. What a life! Can we wonder that such an organization grows? Every Mormon man is subject to call to speak impromptu at any meeting when a talk or sermon is necessary and therefore all who have even a little adaptibility in this line are able to speak "off handed" in any place, hence we are so often surprised at Mormon speakers fluency. The common schools of Utah are free as elsewhere, but the Mormons fill the teachers positions and the Church reaps whatever advantage the system gives.
Cooperative stores were organized by Brigham Young and the church under the suggestive name "Zions Co-operative Mercantile Institution". I think this was in 1874. The Salt Lake House was and is the distributor to all the subordinate Houses in Mormondom. So far as possible all church members are induced to trade in these stores. Stock was sold to them and they were participants in the business to that extent. Whilst Mormons were supposed to trade exclusively with their stores yet their management solicited as much outside trade as possible. If "The Bretheren" secured as good prices as were given by others they were justified in patronizing the home concern without compulsion.
The Church sends Missionaries each year to many countries. These Missionaries are selected at annual conference and all men are liable to such selection and must go when "called".
With the new doctrine they preach, and the "raw" material sent out, it is wonderful the number of converts they secure. Some return home bringing with them several hundred of these new recruits. Each convert upon arrival in "Zion" or Utah must be re-baptised, Baptism. A story was told of "Apostle Heber Kimball". Mr. Kimball had been sent to Denmark, together with a former resident of that country and returned in due time with a great number of converts. They were sent out to Heber Valley to settle there. A beautiful stream winds its way through the valley and a quiet place near the Church was selected for the baptism. Brother Kimball was the choice of these newly arrived bretheren to perform this holy ordinance.
When he had been in the water for an hour or more, becoming doubt­ful of his ability to continue to the end, he asked his fellow worker who had been with him in Denmark to assist him. Brother Jensen having been in his native country for the past three years had neglected his “English”. So when he undertook the service of baptism it was with some hesit­ation that he used the English language. He began with a very verbose, heavy woman, and got along all right until the word "Holy Ghost" at which he stammer­ed and finally asked "Brother Kimballs vat you calls dat odder fellows? Upon being told he said, addressing , the strangling woman whom he had left under the water when he stopped for want of words, "Oh yes I gif you anodder for det Holy Ghost", and nearly drowned the poor creature. Jeter Clinton was a pioneer Mormon, polygamist, bishop and police justice. Jeter was also a preacher and notoriously rabbid against "Gentile imposition and intrusion". Of course, his reputation for invective gave him a full house whenever it became known that he was to preach.
One Sunday, Jeter was particularly hostile against those "dirty intruders". In his harangue he used much abusive, slangy invective against those Mormons who tolerated Gentiles either in business or socially. During his discourse it developed that a "sister" had been betrayed and the vile deed was laid at the feet of "those imps of Satan, robbers of virtue, murderers of the innocent and destroyers of our homes, those nasty gentiles,” continuing he said: "Bretheren, rise in your might and by God's help rid Zion (Utah) of these pests". At this juncture he stopped and in a deep low voice asked, "But dear bretheren, dear sisters, in the name of our Father, what can be done to save our fallen sister?". A boozy soldier who with some companions had strayed into the Church, being awakened by the sudden modulation of the speaker's voice heard the last appeal and to the consternation of all exclaimed "Marry her".
At that time there were no barriers against “Jeter” doing so albeit he had several wives with children in various places throughout the territory.
Whilst “Jeter” exercised the functions of Police Justice in Salt Lake City outsiders, especially soldiers and miners, had to be very circumspect and keep strictly within the ordinances of the city or subject themselves to arrest. At one time, the commander at Fort Douglas became convinced that his soldiers were being needlessly incarcerated just after pay-day and actually used force to liberate a number of them.
“Jeter” had a novel way of passing judgment upon these victims of his system. Almost invariably a charge of “disorderly conduct” was filed against them. When the evidence was in the court he would ask "What amount did you find on this person?" Officers answered "fifty five dollars your Honor". "I fine you fifty-five Dollars". “I fine you forty five dollars”. “Bring on the next prisoner". And no matter what amount was found, “Jeter” always tapped the pile.
I heard many stories from Mormons regarding the days of the “reformation”. President Young was insistent and strenuous in his efforts to hold his people aloof from the “contaminating influence of the “gentiles” All histories of the Mormons of Utah acknowledge this. The proposed state of Deseret. His objection to governors appointed by the Executive of the United States; His resistance to U. S. authority, even to the point of rebellion, all were in pursuance of this policy of exclusiveness. Whilst hundreds of miles of vacant territory intervened between his people and the civilized world, Brigham held the Key to the situation. The greatest difficulty was to keep Fanaticism from running rampant. There was but little diversion from Church services, save the daily toil,and whatever pent up energy existed in individuals developed in over zealous religious enthusiasm, or in fault-finding with existing conditions. Hence the growth of fanaticism developed the "Morrisite Sect" which culminated in the cold blooded murder, near Ogden, of its leader and many of his followers whilst upon their Knees praying, in full belief that by some miraculous manner Providence would stay the hand of their enemy (said to have been emmissaries of President Young) But the discontented had to be dealt with differently. Luke­warmness led to indifference, was contagious, and finally created incipient re­bellion against church authority. All this was intolerable, a reformation became imperative and was put into effect. Even "blood atonement" became necessary. The horrors of this period, as related by those living there and having cognisance of them were only excelled by that older religious persecution of individuals, called by misnomer "The Reformation", by reason of the greater numbers involved. The killing of individuals "to save their souls", it was related, was not uncommon. The "Danites" had a new calling. Instead of pursuing obnoxious outsiders they now became "Destroying Angles" and could satiate their blood-thirsty appetites upon recalcitrants within their own fold. Neither was it stopped until the U. S. Government sent an army to assert its power and establish itself in defiance of Brigham Young and his followers. During this period of attempted coersion on the part of the United States these same "Danites" turned their attention to the overland immigrants slowly wending their way across the continent toward California and the mines, and many an immigrant was picked off by these murderers disguised as Indians, and in instances like Raft River in Idaho, and Mountain Meadows in Southern Nevada, whole trains perished at their hands. That the leaders of these bands of mur­derers were such through religious fanaticism or through any spirit of revenge for wrongs perpetrated upon their people seemed absurd to one who saw many times both John D. Lee and Bill Hickman. Lee was a cunning, cat-eyed, deceitful looking man with a stab-him-in-the-back expression. He would take no chance by standing in front of an enemy albeit he wore his hair long as a defiance of the enemies bullets, "by order of God". Bill Hickman had all the earmarks of a bad man - a murderer, cattle rustler, or any old thing whereby “Bill” could replenish his own larder. Uneducated, coarse and brutal, just such a man as was capable of doing just what he confessed to have done.
As a scientist, I make no pretensions whatever but always am open for information. When Rush Valley was first occupied by the "Saints" a Mr. Helm settled near the sink of all streams running down that valley. During the spring freshets the water accumulated at this sink and formed a considerable pond, in and around which grew a forest of bull-rushes; frogs, lizards and such amphib­ious animals as are usually found in mud holes were there. No fish could exist in this pond, and none existed in the streams perpetually running down the trib­utary mountain sides save mountain trout and a small species of greyling, neither of which can exist in brackish or polluted waters. Mr. Helm raised cattle and other live stock. These animals were continually standing or wallow­ing in this pond during hot weather, and no doubt puddled the source of seepage to the extent of stopping the underground flow of the valley into Salt Lake through the gravelly bar near Stockton. Hence a lake has formed where this sink once existed and fish of an entirely different species from any ever seen above this "sink" or in any possible place tributary to it are now plentiful therein. Where did they come from? Probably where Linneaus' rock came from, "they growed". Is it not possible that God's “six days work” is not yet complete; that nature is still doing its regular stunts where conditions are ripe for them?
Wintering out: Speaking of Rusk Valley reminds me of a little episode way back in the seventies. I had placed some horses to be wintered with one "St. John", whose father was the founder of the settlement of that name and all seemed to be living in or near the original home.In early spring I took a man with me to get my horses. Going to the house a woman informed me that the Mr. St.John, who had taken my horses, was up in the hills cutting wood and she knew nothing of the horses. So following her directions, I started hunting the man. We had not gone over two miles before we passed a number of my horses pawing snow to get at the grass under­neath. They were very poor, hair long and bore every evidence of neglect. We followed the sled road into the hills and met our man and his brother coming out with a sled load of wood being hauled by two of my horses, both so poor they were quite unfit for any service. The men were much perturbed at our coming and immediately began to give excuses for the appearance of the animals as well as for their being in harness. I gave him a lecture on veracity and "prevention of cruelty to animals", and wound up my peroration by a slap in the face, at the same time telling him to "have those horses rounded up by 4 o'clock and we would take them away".
We went down into the valley looking for a horse which had strayed away the fall before and about the time specified we rode up toward the St. John home. As we approached the horse corral a whole squadron of warriors scurried from the house to head us off: -
1st, Old man St. John with Kentucky squirrel rifle.
2nd, Our man St. John with manure fork.
3rd, Old lady St. John with fire poker.
4th, 2nd lady St. John with butcher knife.
5th, Another brother St. John with an axe.,
and numerous little St. Johns with death dealing tools. We halted whilst they
filed in front of the bars. John Hutton, my man, remarked, "they have their war paint on". I answered "lets charge their works", and we rode up within ten feet of their line when old man St. John, who was an elder in the church, drew down his gun, with all others about a "draw swords" position, and said, "not a step further or you are dead men". "What's the matter, uncle", we asked. "How dare you strike my son?" John laughed and humorously remarked, "If he ever struck your son he would not have been able to have joined your army". "Never you mind about this army, we are going to defend our family". "Family? Gee, what a flock for a family", said John. "Say Mr. St. John, what is all this display of force about?" At that he suddenly took hold of my horses bit and the "family" advanced a step. I slid off the horse and looking him in the eye told him, "Let go that horse and open that corral or there will be trouble, real trouble in the St. John family". "Well, I think it is an outrage and we want .pay for keeping those horses". I told him we had no other idea than to pay him for keeping the horses on the public range, but not for feeding them as his son had agreed and neglected to do". The matter was settled in that way. The son's black eye was in lieu of the services he got in using my horses without authority. "All's well that ends well".
Speaking of law as administered by a female judge in Wyoming how does her idea of justice compare with this Utah judge appointed by a gentile Governor. In 1875 Dry Canon and Ophir were rapidly failing as producers and failures were not uncommon. The Territorial law permitted attachments upon personal prop­erty before trial, in cases where a debtor had left the County without first securing such indebtedness. A certain person had quietly sold out a boarding house and left various debts unpaid. Among them was some thirty dollars which I could illy lose. In searching around it was discovered that some portion of the purchase price of the boarding house had not been paid and was still available. I consulted the only legal (? ) authority in camp. He was Justice of the Peace and an Irishman. He was convinced that the goods were the property of the absconding party and advised that he issue an attachment at once, and then I should make my complaint to him and in due time the goods would be sold for the benefit of the creditors. My debt being a preferred claim, an attachment on the goods and any unpaid debt was issued. All went well until the day of trial, when to my surprise the absconder appeared in person and by attorney. His attorney demanded that, "In-asmuch as the defendant was present it was prima facia evidence that he had not abscond­ed". I tried to explain “that many a thief had come back after finding his game was nil”. The Court said, "Mr. Bennett, this Court has great sympathy for the man who provides daily bread for the people. He should have his pai, but, as so ably stated by the learned gintilman, this Court cannot hold that a man is gone whin he is in this prisence. Now therefore, the said attachment is dissolved until such time as this Court will have passed judgment and re-established it in accordance with the law." The defendant, his attorney and the man who made the purchase, and still owed a portion of the price retired. I gave evidence establishing the validity of the claim. There was no defense.
The Court held as follows: “Mr. Binnett, according to the ividence, and the statutes in such cases provided, I declare joojmint in your favor." I supposed that he would now advise a renewal of the attachment but I soon found that he was better informed. He said: "But Mr. Binnett in as much as this Coort has dissolved the attachment and has no redress, provided a settlement has been made since, therefore you will be assessed the costs which are seven­teen dollars and one half. The Bailiff is authorized to receipt you for the same". It was not long after this that he and his bailiff were run out of the Camp for levying black mail upon Chinese laundrymen.
During 1877 the Walker Bros. of Salt Lake City concluded to move their mill from Ophir Utah to their mine above Butte, Montana, a distance of nearly 600 miles. The mill contained numerous large and unweildly pieces, consist­ing of ore settlers, settling pans, boilers, batteries, engines, together with a multitude of stamps, amalgam plates, (y)(h)ammers, shafts etc. Seventy-five freight wagons and 500 draft animals were necessary to carry this machinery to its destination. The owners advertised for contractors to bid on this work. I put in a bid with references consisting of such prominent gentlemen as my limited business and opportunities permitted. In due time a letter came asking me to "come to Salt Lake City". Upon arrival I was interrogated by Mr. Rob Walker as to my ability to handle such a job. As to my knowledge of machinery he was soon convinced when shown that I had installed some heavy machinery at the Emma Mine (of which his firm were owners), Also had charge of the machinery of a smelter at Sandy, south of Salt Lake. "Well, how are you fixed as to teams to move all this machinery?” "I have six Utah-bronchos, and a whole lot of energy incased in as willing a body as any man in the Rocky Mountains". "That’s good", he replied soberly. "But how are you financially?". I have enough money to get that mill from Ophir to Salt Lake City and when I get it on Main Street in front of Walker Bros. Bank I believe I can borrow enough to take me through". "Mr. Bennett, when you get that mill before our place here you shall have money advanced on your contract enough to pay your way whilst on the road". "We give you the contract not through any sentiment, but as a business proposition. We have known of you and your efforts under adverse circumstances and find no time when you have not carefully complied with your agreements and we believe you will in this case. You can go ahead".
A prepared contract was handed me and signed. I thanked him and
left. No more was said until the entire outfit pulled into Salt Lake City about noon on Saturday, the day before the funeral of Brigham Young. Even in those days of big teams and wagon trains, this one attracted much attention because of the unique loading of the big pieces. There was a great deal of speculation as to our ability to convey some of those pieces very far without accident, and indeed the many alkali bottoms and ramshackle bridges in Utah justified the misgivings. All these were overcome by care and attention. Many bad places were avoided by making detours. Often this involved equally hazardous hill­sides and long strong poles were carried for use as levers in such occassions. As many as eight men at a time would be seen riding out on the end of these poles to keep a big boiler or other top heavy machinery from tipping a wagon over. Whilst in unavoidable alkali bottoms extra animals would be hitched on and it was no uncommon sight to see those big wagons plowing mud to their axles, yet the entire mill was delivered on time and without the loss of a single piece or a broken part.
This contract practically took me out of Utah and gave me a start in the Transportation business. From the profits I made I was enabled to purchase the neuclus of an outfit which was kept on the Idaho and Montana roads from Corrine which was the shipping point from the Union and Central Pacific Railroads to all Montana and Eastren Idaho points.
Brigham Young's remains were placed in a coffin, by his own request, "deep enough to permit him to sit up in it". Whether he had occasion to do so I am doubtful as he looked dead enough whilst lying in state in the Mormon Tabernacle before his funeral. To make sure that he would not "rise again", without a miraculous deliverance an immence granite slab was placed upon his grave. So far as known the slab remained as placed. It was generally understood and not contradicted so far as I know, that Mr. Young died from intestinal troubles superinduced by eating too much green corn. Certainly he was not sick but a short time. This wily old Yankee was a great lover of good things and liked them fresh from the garden and field. But even his great physical strength and robust constitution could not withstand the abuse of ‘ten or a dozen ears of green corn’ at one meal.
Mr. Young was then under the ban of Federal law and was being vigor­ously prosecuted for polygamy. The night after the funeral I stopped at a Mormon Hotel in Farmington, some twenty miles north of Salt Lake City. Here the. bretheren collected to hear from those who had attended the funeral. After a good description of the several incidents of the funeral, the huge crowd in attendance, perfect attention, and masterful handling of the services, etc., one faithful old gentleman said in a spirit of great confidence, "President Snow (I believe I am right as to the name, N. B.) told me today that it had been re­vealed to him that God had interposed in behalf of president Young to save him from further humiliation at the hands of the gentiles, who were about to arrest him and persecute him through a lot of trumped up charges including murder. When arrested he was to have been incarcerated and then surreptitiously carried out of the country where they could easily put him out of the way but God had mercifully taken him home’". And then with a considerable manifestation of triumph he exclaimed: "And then will rise up in Zion, men who will carry out the President's plans and the enemy will be thwarted and Zion purged of the accursed plague", to which a ha-sty "Amen, Amen" was the response.
Brigham Young in the pulpit or out was a man of great vigor and force­fulness. He always seemed optimistic and had a remedy to suggest. He was always comfortably but plainly dressed, and usually had a bandana kerchief superfluously around his neck. He was not afraid to prophesy and took good care to make them come true when applicable to temporary affairs. It is said that when his eyes first caught sight of Jordan valley from the Wasatch Mount­ains he proclaimed that, as "the land of Zion”, with the assertion that the "City of Zion will be on a stream to the right of that which we now see and there shall the temple of God be built”. The good bretheren tell these things in all sincerity as “inspiration”. The bad Gentiles say runners had been sent out in many directions, some as far as Santa Barbara, California, who had reported in more or less detail regarding the intervening country.
Mr. Young was not in favor of developing mines near Salt Lake. Yet he stated, "from the Tabernacle, I can see more hidden wealth, gold silver and other minerals useful to man than the nations have thus far known." Time is fast proving him right.
It was said and generally believed that he desired commercial relations with the gentiles closely circumscribed and transacted through the leaders as far as possible. This was easily accounted for. The church authorities were being prosecuted for numerous crimes committed whilst their President was Governor of the territory or ignored the existence and authority of those appoint­ed by Federal Authority. The church and people needed the money but consid­ered it dangerous to permit the Mormons generally to intermingle too indis­criminately with gentiles even in business.
Hence "Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution" was originated as heretofore described. Trading with mining camps and all outside settle­ments was confined to certain leaders so far as possible. A rather ludicrous story was told of some of Mr. Young's plans to thus monopolize trade in behalf of the church. Of course "'tithes" were strenuously exacted from rich and poor. This was paid in whatever products accumulated from the business of the individual. Hence during harvest time the "Tithing” yards -- a big place enclosed by an adobe wall -- was a scene of great activity when one tenth of all products of farm and pasture was accumulated and sold to any and all who wished to buy.
President Young had a large enclosure back of his "Zion House", divided into many pig pens where a great number of hogs were fed for the market. The talkative bretheren used to tell this story, whether true or not I do not know.
It was claimed that “the president had a revelation” and issued an order in conformity therewith as follows: "It has pleased the Lord to reveal to his servant Brigham Young that He, our Lord as of old, is displeased with those sons and daughters of Zion who defile their person by eating flesh of swine. Henceforth it shall be unlawful for ‘Latter Day Saints’ to eat thereof. The raising of swine shall be discontinued from the promulgation of this edict save by such as receive permission from the President of the "Church of Latter Day Saints". ‘Brother Brigham" was very careful not to discriminate between bretheren and therefore took the whole business of "Hog-Raising" to himself’.
Utah Story.
During my life I have not heard of many persons of my full name - Nelson Bennett - but one in Utah made a singular impression upon my mind.
One day a letter came to my address in Salt Lake City - all letters were either delivered in “boxes” or at the general delivery -- This one was obtained from the latter -- It was written and dated at Corinne, Utah and started thus: "Dear brother since I last saw you I have bin married since which time we have got 2 cows, 8 pigs and 40 chickens and are all the time getting more". After reading thus far I became convinced he was no brother of mine, 1st because none lived in Utah -- 2nd none were so illiterate and 3rd such fecundity could only obtain in Utah -- I therefore returned the letter to the Post Office underwritten "Not Guilty".
I have thought that possibly the Mormon's "Valley Tau" had much to do with crimes in the early days. This "Valley Tau" was a substitute for whiskey, a distillate from grain, fruit or vegetables; any old thing which would make men drunk. Some said it was made from a drug of which enough could be carried in a vest pocket to make of barrel liquor. Anyway, it was so vile that a few drops fed a jack-rabbit would brace him up until he would spit in the eye of a cougar -- such stuff would fill men with a desire for revenge, or murder, or any other crime coming into their crazed brain.
It was during this summer (1877) that the Nez-perces Indians took the war path under the leadership of Chiefs Joseph and "Looking Glass". The latter was war Chief of the tribe and was undoubtedly one of the ablest fighters among the American Indians. He lost his life in the last fight in Montana near the British boundary -
During my stay at Butte, Montana, whilst delivering the machinery for Walker Bros. mill the Nez-perces came from Idaho through the Bitter Root Mountains by way of the ‘Lo Lo’ pass. This route brought them down the Lo Lo Creek directly passing Fort Missoula, commanded at the time by Gen. Gibbons of Civil War fame. He had but a handful of men very poorly equipped and was in no shape to offer resistance to the splendid Indian fighters. General Howard was following them with a well equipped force of U. S, troops, but the Indians - for reasons let history explain - seemed to care little for this force and by reason of their successes, at the outset of this war with Howard and his men, they had become emboldened to the extent that they openly defied the U. S. Troops. They entered Bitter Root Valley above Missoula. This was one of the best settled valleys in Montana. Joseph sent out runners notifying these settlers that they would not be molested and if they would sell anything to the Indians, cash would be paid therefor. The people of the valley had anticipated a raid from these then hostile Indians and were mostly assembled in Missoula and Stevensville. These settlers agreed with the Indian runners to let the tribe pass up the valley in peace provided there were no depredations commit­ted upon settlers or their property. With this understanding the Indians encamped but a few miles from Stevensville. Next morning a number of squaws with ponies entered Stevensville and purchased quantities of goods, provisions, etc. from the stores. Sacks of twenty dollar gold pieces were placed upon the counters and as purchases were made the amount was taken from these sacks by the clerks. No protest of price or objection was offered by these Indians. When through trading, they returned to camp and all seemed friendly as of yore. It must be remembered that these Indians were no strangers to the people of Montana. They were in the habit of making annual excursions from Idaho to the Buffalo ranges of Wyoming and Dakota and were intelligent and peaceful. Taking their time, when their ponies and themselves were rested, they moved on up the valley.
Gen. Gibbons was making what show he could whilst waiting for Howard and followed the Indians up the valley. During this time the news had been spread throughout Montana how the "Nez-perces had invaded the territory, defied the military, mocking Gibbons and his fort, and unless the people got out in force, they would all be killed, etc, etc."
I could not see much danger provided the people kept faith with the Indians. We had all heard of their more civilized mode of warfare, as com­pared with previous Indian uprisings, as well as their announcement of good intentions and friendship if allowed to pass in peace. Imagine my surprise when one of my men came hurriedly from Butte and said, "Mr. Bennett, there is a mass meeting down town. Mr. W. A. Clark is chairman and they have passed resolutions to take (impress) all horses necessary in order to equip a force to go to assist Missoula against the Nez-perces".
Having had some experience with excited men, I concluded to "round up" my stock preparatory to pulling out for Utah. The animals had not been in coral but a few minutes before men began arriving and estimating the probable efficiency of the horses in the enclosure. Pretty soon one of them came to me and said, "Mr. Bennett, we are very sorry but an emergency has arisen and the Governor has impowered us to organize a cavalry force of all the men who will volunteer to assist in repelling the invasion of the Nez-perces from our territory. We are short of horses and are compelled to impress such of yours as will serve our purpose". "By what authority do you propose such procedure"?. I asked. "It is a necessity a military necessity and of course the territory or U. S. Government will reimburse your loss". "Just listen to me a moment. These animals are mine. I am a citizen of Utah and no man or men will take one of my animals without my consent. They are not for hire and I am d----d if you shall take them from me". The emphasis on the d----d seemed to have a deterrent effect. With a little more parleying they concluded to "try and secure some Montana horses". I afterwards heard of many claims upon the State for redress and compensation by parties who were imposed upon by these self-appointed officials.
Gibbons followed the Indians above Stevensville and engaged them on the divide at the Big Hole Crossing. This old veteran soldier never went against a better handled squad of men. Again and again he undertook to dislodge them and each time he found he had brains as well as bull dog tenacity to deal with. His mountain howitzers were trained upon them only to be surrounded and captured. His small force was well nigh exhausted when assistance came. Some of the very men who had agreed to keep hands off had treacherously induced a number of settlers to join them in following the Indians and it was this force of frontiersmen which saved Gibbons and his men from annihilation. When, or in what history have these men received credit or notice for so doing? For their treachery it serves them right, but as to the army reports it is in keeping with army methods. As a matter of fact it often happened in these Indian wars. Many an historical record is written as a "great military triumph" when the facts if known, were that the pioneer, the miner, the retired veteran, saved them from miserable defeat.
The next day we pulled out for Utah, knowing that if the Indians con­tinued south they would either come down the Big Hole River or cross to Birch Creek. In either case they would cross the Utah road far to the south and we desired to pass these points before the Indians arrived. They chose the most southerly route, continuing along the east slope of the Bitter Root Mountains until they emerged into the great Basaltic Valley of the Snake River on Birch Creek in Idaho. Many, myself among them, thought that if the Indians took this route, they would continue along the foothills in a south westerly course to Wood River and thence northerly into their own country again, when they could play the old Indian trick of intermingling with those of their own and other tribes, throughout the great mountainous region of the northwest.
It was a warm day in June of 1877 when my outfit camped at the crossing near the sink of Beaver Creek for dinner. The animals had been turned out upon the abundant bunch grass, dinner was about eaten, when with the aid of my field glasses, I noticed a cloud of dust at the western horizon. It could not be one of those whirlwind dusts so common in desert countries because it was continuous and covered too much space. Jim Brown who had carried a part of the mill to Butte for me was also camped there. He was an old freighter and when his attention was called to this cloud of dust he tabooed the idea of it being "Joseph’s” Indians. Said it probably was a herd of cattle. The dust was now plainly visible with the naked eye. My teams, and all the out­fit, were hurriedly put underway south excepting Brown’s. He, Brown, crossed his legs and quietly smoked and chafed us for our timidity.
It was thirteen miles to the next water and we concluded that we would be out of the Indians' course when there. Our guess was a good one; before we had gotten six miles away, our glasses disclosed the slow moving column of "Joseph's" entire band. Before Brown awoke to the facts the Indians were so close upon him that he barely had time to save his animals by running them back to Pleasant Valley, one days drive toward Butte, Montana. He left his commissary, harnesses, horse feed, clothing and everything save the bare animals and men. The Indians camped near his wagons and awaited until Gen. Howard overtook them. Neither did he succeed in dislodging them. They gave him battle and only left when they were good and ready. Brown did not get back to his wagons for two weeks. The wagons and harness, save straps and rope, were intack. All provisions, feed and the like were gone. So the laugh was on him.
A very sad incident occurred the day before Brown was driven from his camping grounds at Beaver Crossing. A freighter, by the name of ______ Greene, with two teams and ten animals and three wagons each, was camped on Birch Creek, just opposite the pass through which the Indians emerged into the Snake Valley. His load consisted of general merchandise for Salmon City, Idaho. The Indians approached the wagons and desired to purchase some groceries. Greene undoubtedly though best to sell to them rather than have a controversy. As the drivers were overhauling the cargo to get the goods wanted, they un­covered a barrel of whiskey. The "Bucks" saw this and insisted upon having a drink. Greene, who was not a coward opposed this. But some of the sub-­chiefs assured him that "the Indians would go to their camp at once and would not be permitted to return". He then made the fatal mistake and opened the barrel. They got some liquor and left only to return later with numerous others and demanded “more whiskey”. Greene said "no". They undertook to take it. Greene struck one with his gun. Instantly they commenced a fusill­ade and killed him and his men. The Indians drank whiskey to their fill. Had a "high jinks". The Chinese cook was spared. He was stripped of clothing, made to get down on hands and knees and play horse whilst the young bucks rode him, using his cue for bridle reins, until by sheer exhaustion he would fall to the ground. Again and again he was raised up and made to repeat the performance until they themselves became stupified with whiskey and laid around like so many animals. Poor "John" still had life enough to quietly roll into the nearby stream and float himself down about a mile where he hid in the thick willows skirting the stream until the tribe left the next day. There is but little doubt that Green and his men killed some of the Indians as the Chinaman said, "Missee Gleen shotte bella fast and boy he shotee too". Of course “John” was too frightened to see much of anything. His body was black with bruises from their riding whips. The Indians burned the entire outfit, which is also proof that some of them got hurt as these Indians only destroyed property of those who fought or injured them. They did no scalping so far as I know.
While in Butte I met an old Sweetwater acquaintance, Joe ----.
Joe had a prospect on Anaconda Hill. The vein was so wide that it seemed as though the hill was almost entirely mineral bearing, yet the contents were low in gold and silver and very refactory. Joe could not get this ore treated locally and was not financially able to send enough out for sampling to ascertain its contents. He, like myself, knew more of teams than of mining and offered to trade his mine for an eight horse team and two wagons which I declined. I told Joe to sack up a minimum car of the ore and I would take it to Corinne, Utah and ship it to Pueblo, Colorado and have it sampled and then make a thorough test of the ore. Ten tons were thus sampled and the returns sent to me. After deducting ten dollars per ton, (a nominal amount) for the wagon haul, also for railroad freight, sampling and smelting charged (all of which were high in those days) I returned to Joe upwards of three hundred dollars.
From this experiment a very lucrative business sprang up on the ship­ment of Butte ore to the southern smelters. The Union Pacific encouraged shipments by lowering their rates and the teaming outfits made a ten dollar per ton rate which was back loading, some thing they had not experienced before, and was just so much clear gain to them. It was not long thereafter that Joe sold his interest for $60, 000. His claim was a part of the great Anaconda lode and was worth millions.
It is not often that the pioneer prospector gets a tithe of the value of his findings. The reason for this is obvious. He is a poor man hunting through, over and around the eternal hills, rocks and crags for hidden treasures. His is a hard, hazardous, hermits life. His comforts and pleasures are shrouded in hope. He lives upon the bare necessities of life. Buoyed up by expectancy, delving here and there, when he at last he finds indications of mineral. He must then get dynamite and tools, windlass and cable, buckets, etc., to sink or tunnel upon his claim. In order to do this he must interest someone with money to get these things and pay a man to help in the work. Men with money are always looking around mining regions and generally get one-half the property. When the claim is developed and seems likely to make a mine the prospector sudden­ly finds his creditors have an eye upon the main chance to collect their bills. He also must keep faith with them and a portion of his interest is sold ) gener­ally at a sacrifice) to do so, thus he becomes a minority owner in his discovery. Then "development" work must be pushed, machinery is purchased, more men are put upon the pay-roll. Mr. Prospector sees his discovery developing into a mine of promise and he also sees a debt accumulating which he is not able to carry. He must sell, or be sold, and the "shark" #1, 2, 3, or a dozen, buy him out not at his price, but theirs. All do not fare thus, but few get out with a fair price. Poor old Dan Comstock went crazy after letting go of his interests in the great Comstock Lode at Virginia City, Nevada, for a bagatelle. I knew him well. He was perfectly sane until reference was made to Virginia City and the “Comstock”, then he would fly into a delirium of rage and curse those who were piling up millions, whilst he was in poverty.
Dan took to the hills for the last time when Bart Henderson discovered
oriferous deposits above where Cook City Montana is now. He strayed around into Montana and died a broken hearted, ill starred adventurer. His energy and stoical determination uncovered the greatest silver gold mine ever known to that date. From that great mineral store house many fabulous fortunes emanated. United State Senators were created in spite of the will of the people, indeed Nevada was created a State through its influence before it had one half the inhabitants usually required by Congress for the creation of a State. The first transcontinental railroad was stimulated to an early completion through the prodigous influx of people and consequent increased demand for trans­portation. It also enabled western men to secure for the west a proportionate share of stock of that great avenue of commerce, the Central Pacific Railroad. But poor old Dan tramped the cactus with his blankets and prospectors kit, ate his Mexican beans and “sour belly” (fat salt pork) and silently condemned the inequalities of fate until his mind and body became immune from cares of this world and his mortal remains were tenderly laid to rest by those who were pursuing the same ignus fatuus.
A big team freighting is even better than sixhorse stages for breaking wild horses and mules. The stage has to make schedule time and a stubborn animal is liable to cause delays. Again to hitch a wild animal "on the wheel", that is; on the tongue of a 6 horse coach and force it over the road for sixteen miles is liable to overheat it and ruin it. A 12 animal team with a wild animal "on the wheel" is not much worried, as the lunging of the animal makes but little impression upon the other animals whilst pulling steadily upon their loaded freight wagons. The slow walk of the team gives the untutored animal an opportunity to find out what is wanted of it, without running the life out of it, as is the case in a stage team.
Before leaving Utah, a friend of mine, a stock raiser in Rush Valley had given me four large untamed mules out of his herd. The only thing I gave him in return was my verbal promise that I would pay him on my return from Montana, a stipulated price, which I did. In those days a mans word was in lieu of his note. Like the Quaker “If thou deceivest me once it is thy fault. If thou deceivest me twice it is my fault." These four mules and some seven western broncho horses formed the nucleus of what was destined to become a very large transportation outfit. With the profits left from the mill contract, after paying all those who had been hired to haul for me, I purchased additional horses and mules together with wagons, harnesses, etc., to make up two ten animal teams with their wagons. With this outfit, I loaded a cargo of mill machinery for the Hope S. M. Co. of Phillipsbury, Montana. By the time Montana was reached the fall rain had set in and it was thought best to go by way of Warm Springs Creek, crossing the mountain at Silver Lake, thus to avoid the overflowed flats along Deer Lodge and Flint Creek Valleys. The heavily loaded wagons cut into this new road terribly and we were fourteen days making as many miles on top of the range. Here I learned a lesson which stood me in good stead during all the following years of my active business life. With the animals weakened by the terrible and continuous fall rains; wading in mud under the lash of hardened drivers; feed reduced to rations of half quantities; the men wet from head to feet; working hard and making no progress; out of humor; getting meals very irregularly; working overtime and still no headway. All of this, and myself impetuous, impatient and often dis­agreeably brusque in my treatment of my men.
One day in which we had made but a few hundred yards of progress and working long into the darkness in our efforts to right a tipping load, myself on my back underneath the wagon trying to jack it up out of the mud I was suddenly seized with an inspiration: "What gain? What advantage to your or these men and animals to work and worry against fate? “Can you not see that you are largely to blame for these troubles? You must rest, your men must rest and your animals must rest and have time to fill themselves with such grass as they can gather on the mountains before you can hope to make headway." "Yes; yes;" I whispered, solliloquisingly, "What a fool I have been. There is another day tomorrow and if by honest effort, we do not get out of here, then we will have done our duty when we have done an honest days work and there will still be days following each other. This wagon will rest right where it is until tomorrow, my men and teams shall have time for rest and food. A new leaf from this moment shall be turned." I crawled out from under and said "Boys unhitch those animals. Here­after we will feed our animals and ourselves at regular hours, work regular hours and no more, and when the days work is done, we will fine any man for mentioning work until he gets his orders next morning outlining his duties for that day". And since that day on top of the Warm Spring range in November 1877, I have tried to hold to that inspiration. When I quit work for the day I banished its cares.
Heretofore I fretted through the night, dreamed of my work, planned in my sleep, and when morning came, my brain was tired and knotty. My body was shaky with nervousness. Indeed I was not in fit condition to handle men or business, and in consequence they were not handled properly. The wonder is that I did so much.
The next morning the orders were to bring in the stock, feed it a much heavier ration, eat your breakfast and at 8 o'clock have your teams in place. We will then make what progress we can until 12 noon, and then feed and rest until 2 P. M., then go ahead until 5:30 P.M., and then quit for the day." That day we got out of the mud and actually made more progress than for a week before. Thereafter our work was a pleasure. The animals seemed to understand the changed condition, all pulled together, no one of them jerking and flying back; wagons moved, all moved together, even the weather changed, the sun shone bright. In three days we were unloading at the "Hope” Mill in Phillipsbury. Plenty of good Montana oats were obtainable, blessings of peace and plenty soon relegated our experiences on Warm Spring Mountains as an incident in lifes journey from which I gleaned a lesson which has been adhered to since to my great advantage.
On the way down to Corinne, Utah, the winter had set in with such vigor as to compel putting the teams in winter quarters near Red Rock, Montana, above and south of where Dillon is now. Myself with two others took saddle animals and made our way through to Salt Lake. In those days the U. S. mail contracts in the West were let to the "lowest responsible bidder," under a provision that a coach, or vehicle, of capacity to carry a certain number of passengers should be provided. The driver could be the mail carrier provided he was an American citizen and his vehicle was of American make. And it has often occurred to me that a similar plan would make an easy substitute for the much aggitated question of "Ship Subsidy". Let the carrying of our foreign mails to the lowest bidders who must be American citizens, and their vessels entirely of American make, manned by Americans and of certain capacity and speed. It seems to me that would at least put American vessels on every line where American mails are sent to foreign countries. Hence Americans abroad would at least see an occasional American flag upon a vessel in a foreign port. A thing which is as scarce today as buffalo on the plains.
But to get back to my trip south. At Beaver stage station in Northern Idaho we stopped over night. The thermometer was 100 below zero. Next morning we passed the north bound stage a few miles out from the station. All seemed to be well equipped and comfortable, yet when they arrived at the station a woman with her baby alighted and to the consternation of the mother, and surprise of all, the baby was found to be frozen dead.
Way up somewhere in Eastern Washington lived a family with whom I had lived most pleasantly for over a year before they migrated from ‘Mormondom" to the land of Whitman and his co-workers in the missionary field. The railroad would carry me to San Francisco and ocean boats to Portland and a series of Columbia river boats and portages together with Bakers Strap railroad to Walla Walla. "Why not go up there for a month's visit since I had had so pressing an invitation to do so by a member of the family with whom so many Sundays had passed all too quickly around the foothills, midst the juniper and nut-pine groves, of the Oguirrhs of Utah"? Yes, to San Francisco by rail, through thirty odd miles of snow sheds on the Sierra Nevadas, around "Cape Horn", which gives the first view from these rugged mountains the Aroyo into the gold bearing streams which lead down to where old Suttons men first played marbles with the yellow nugets gathered from the flume which carried the water to his primitive saw mill. As we descended the swollen streams it was quite evident that the Sacramento must be undergoing one of those floods which have many times proved so disasterous to the farming industries of that rich valley. The whole valley from Sacramento to the harbor of San Francisco was one sea of rushing waters. Our train was diverted around by way of Stockton to San Francisco. My observation at that time, and my frequent visits through California since, justifies the conclusion that California is a country of wonderful poss­ibilities always subject to either a, drought or a flood, with an occasional earth­quake thrown in by way of extra diversion. And how like this are the people; Californians are either soaring in the heights of the seventh heaven of expect­ancy or wading in the lower depths of despair. There is no middle ground where they are content. Live in California and you take on that spirit; "Full sail on the incoming tide of success" or "scoot down", like a man on a shovel down the snow side of a mountain, when misfortune overtakes you.
Gee! Were you ever seasick? Three hours outside the Golden Gate and I didn't care a sou whether the boat sank or not - with a preference leaning toward the "sink". Sweet memories all vanished. Just get me back to land, let me rest on terra firma. I dident care a snap whether the ocean was on top of me or not. "Just put me on the ground. Let me follow that good food I had taken on the past week with my friends, which was now being so violently cast into the rolling, foaming waters of the ‘Pacific”. Oh, that word "Pacific" makes me double up yet when I think of the terrible misnomer. All by my lonely? Well, not much. Every fellow I saw was mocking me, doing the same as myself, only his mouth was open wider and he had two humps on his back to my one. This thing lasted until I was turned inside out, saw cross-eyed, squeezed thru the rolls of an iron mill, whirled on an axle three thousand revolutions a minute, and hadn't a drop of blood or moisture in me. Still that cruel old tub (then the pride of the “Pacific”, d-----d that word), the Geo. W. Elder, rolled on. When I got thoroughly churned, and was absolutely dry, which took 36 hours, a good Samaritan laid his hand on me and quietly (the first quiet thing during all that time) asked me "How do you feel, Mr?
"Great heavens, man, I feel like an Italian centissime. I feel like an illusion. I, I, Feel like Jimmy Fadden looked after he had been dead and drying twenty years on the sands of the Death Valley. In fact steward, I feel like Hell!
He advised me to swallow some gruel which he recommended highly as an antidote for my trouble. I did not wait to argue the point but between spasms, threw my mouth open and motioned him to inject his "antidote". It had the same effect as throwing a gallon of soft soap into the Bee Hive Geyser. My whole anatomy was effervescent. When I emerged from that overflow, I looked like a man who had been bathing in a tub of hot glue. But it had the “antidotal” qualities so highly recommended by the steward and I soon recovered my composure. From that time on, that rolling, tumbling ship had no terrors nor effect upon me. I was soon able to take my meals regularly during the remainder of the voyage. Strange to say, I have never been sea sick since although I have repeatedly been at sea in stormy weather and calm both on the Pacific and the Atlantic and on the Great Lakes.
We now cross the Columbia Bar and enter the Columbia River. If the Mississippi River is the "Father of Waters" surely the Columbia is entitled to be called the "Mother of Waters". When the poet wrote, "'Where rolls the Oregon and leaves no sound save its own dashing," little was known of the immense empire of virgin soil, and less of the almost inexhaustable latent resources of the many mountain ranges drained by this great river. And indeed, little could be done toward the development of either until the railroads made it possible to reach these regions.
The head of oceanic navigation was then as now at Portland, Oregon. Here that irresistible, restless old bunch of nervous energy, Ben Holliday, was pushing a railroad up the Willamette Valley. A number of river boats of the stern wheel variety were operating the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Locks had been built at Oregon City, thus enabling these boats to ascend the Willamette to Corvallis at all seasons. While the Columbia rapids or Cascadeswere provided with a portage railway, thence by boat to the Dalles, thence by rail-portage to Cecilo and again by boat to Umatillo and Wallula, and thence by rail (a wooden rail with iron straps fastened on top) to Walla Walla.
The Willamette valley had been a mecca for an indifferent, careless, go-as-you-please lot of settlers mostly from Kentucky and Missouri, induced there by a liberal offer of the U. S. Government of 640 acres of land to each bonafide male citizen of the country who would settle and live upon said land a certain time. This land was very productive; needed but little work to put it under cultivation. When a crop was ripened, headers (a machine which cut the heads of grain and left the straw stand) were used. The grain being very ripe, enough was scattered over the ground during the harvest to re-seed the land. The fall rains started the new crop and Mr. Farmer's (?) only labor for three succeeding years would be the harvesting and selling his crop.
Many of these pioneers were too indolent to remove their decaying buildings, and it was no common thing to see an addition with the family living therein, attached to a partially fallen, decaying old house out of which they had moved. I have seen many new fences, built close to old decayed ones, both being parallel. Here was a case where new blood with economical ideas was needed and has finally come. The great trouble was the soil was too rich for these old fashioned people. They loved hunting and field sports and their children grew up in an easy atmosphere which had a degenerating influence. During the fall these men went on the chase and immediately after harvest both men and women spent several weeks in the hills gathering berries and having “a good time generally”.
There was not much chance to make a fortune out of farming in the upper country with so many portages and necessary transfers, and indeed, it had only been recently proven that cereals could be raised at all in the Walla Walla country save by irrigation.
When dry farming became successfully proven, the far seeing ones, like Baker of Walla Walla, Ainsworth and Holliday of Portland, could easily encourage settlers to that promising country, "where fifty bushels of wheat could be almost assured, with no clearing or other preparatory work save turning over the surfaces with a “gang plow", by the implied assurance that railroads would surely be built directly to the seaboard, that is to Portland. Hence the Walla Walla and Palouse regions were being rapidly home­-steaded. The picture of long lines of canvas covered wagons, "Emblems of civilization", extending out into the grass covered hills, upon the plateaus and soon thereafter upon the slopes of the Blue Mountains was indeed an inspiring revelation to one who had seen nothing but irrigated valleys and the arable portion of the Willamette before alluded to. Here the hills and plateaus needed no irrigation whilst the lowlands required artificial watering to insure crops. One, unacquainted with these conditions riding upon a Northern Pacific train, passing thru the 'draws', coulees and narrow valleys of Idaho and Eastern Washington still wonders where the well filled warehouses get their stores of cereals. Here and there may be seen from the adjacent hills or edges of the higher plateaus, overlapping farm lands which are but the lower rim of an immense empire of volcanic deposits impregnated with all the elements necess­ary for cereals, fruits and vegetables at the same time retaining moisture sufficient to insure a fair crop in the driest season with bumper crops most of the time.
In these early days the Columbia River was literally swarming with many varities of salmon. Along the Dalles and indeed all projecting rock points, the various tribes of native Indians, Siwashes and Kloochmen, were industriously dipping these fish from the waters with a net, forming a sack, suspended to a pole. These they cut into strips and dried in the sun, called "jerked salmon", by the white men. This constituted a major portion of the food of all the Indians inhabiting the water shed of this great river. The Columbia River Chinook Salmon make their run early in the spring and are by far the better fish of that region.
From Walla Walla, Lieutenant Mullen, a government Engineer, opened a passable wagon road through an almost unknown country to Helena Montana. This road was known as "the Mullen Road". A considerable amount of mining supplies was conveyed into Montana mining districts for a short time only. The Missouri River was soon found to be navigable as far as Fort Benton and was much more convenient than the very uncertain western route, yet Walla Walla derived considerable prestige and consequent growth by reason of this highway. The entire intervening country to Helena became opened to prospectors and this development, together with the knowledge derived of the possibility of building railroads through the region had its effect in stimulating an early attempt to connect the Great Lakes with Portland and Puget Sound by railroad.
The only considerable piece of railroad in the territory of Washington at the time of this my first visit to Walla Walla-1877- was between Wallula and Walla Walla. This road was built originally of timber joists dove-tailed into cross ties. These joists had a strip of strap-iron screwed on top making iron surface on a wooden rail. The equipment was equally primitive. Many passengers, myself among them, preferred riding on top of the car rather than take the hazardous chance of being impaled upon the end of one of those strap-rails, which was liable to occur when one end of the strap became loosened, curled up and penetrated the car.
One could not help noticing the wonderful latent wealth awaiting the hand of industry in this land of Whitman, Spaulding and others, who in their zeal, had wandered far from civilization to proclaim Christianity to the Indians of this wilderness of sage brush and bunch grass. Dr. Marcus Whitman saw it, and also saw that unless something was done quickly this whole country, nearly one fourth of the then limited United States, would be lost to Great Britain. With even more courage than had brought him, together with his comrades, upon his mission of mercy, as he saw it, he now in the winter of 1842-3 set out aloneto make the very hazardous journey to Washington D. C., to apprise the govern­mental authorities of the great empire of virgin soil, mountain ranges containing vast mineral wealth, rivers swarming with food dishes, navigable for many hundreds of miles, all lying at the mercy of a few British trappers and adven­turers who were claiming it as British territory. And there was but little to base an American claim upon at that time. Per­haps as much as had any other nation, however, De Fuca, in the Spanish service, had mapped the Pacific Coast, imperfectly 'tis true, to the 55th parallel as early as the beginning of the 16th century. Capt. Grey, a Bostonian, discovered the Columbia River and named it after his ship in 1792. The Hudson Bay Com­pany had plied their avocation throughout the entire region and had reverently and assiduously planted the British flag at their varous posts. Capt. Drake had been along the Coast, even before De Fuca, and Capts Cook and Vancouver, all British citizens, had laid claim to the discovery of the region co-terminous with that of Capt. Grey. Of course the ignorant inhabitants who were found occupying the region were not considered only as a means of information and personal convenience. "In fact, the land and space they occupied was encumber­ed by them".
It is questionable whether the French Government's claim to the region was not based upon more just and at least human grounds than any other. The French Jesuits had penetrated almost the entire region where these aborigines dwelt. And the Catholic faith and teachings of these earliest and most devout missionaries carried an inspiration and respect of human rights which was influential among the natives. These devout Frenchmen did a charitable work in pursuance of their devotion to their church which stands out as a brilliant star of success among the many failures of Christian missionaries.
All other nations laid claim from the standpoint of adventure and dis­-covery, France laid claim by reason of the spiritual and temporary pact existing between its people and the inhabitants of the region. France sold its rights for a mess of pottage and England and America divided the spoils at the 49th parallel. What little is left of the old Jesuit teaching is about all the Indian has to show for his 'bone'. His land, buffalo, elk, fur bearing animals, camas, wapatoes, all are gone, so far as sustaining his existence and even his clam­ beds are fast disappearing by and through the ever increasing rapacity of the dominant race.
Whilst in the Walla Walla country my visit was made delightfully pleasant
and homelike by a family with whom I made my home for considerable time in Utah.
How few persons realize what a family home is to those young men who by reason of ambition, unrest or perchance lack of opportunity, have left their homes and the associations of youth and are trying by personal effort to build up for themselves a competence in far away places. The ordinary boarding house, camp life, the trail and all phases of frontier life are not satisfying; simply experimental, adventurous, dissatisfying, unrestful. An oasis in this desert of disappointment is when one is lucky enough to get admittance to a home, to realize that he is really one of a veritable homelike, home made family. A family ruled and governed by love. Where each vied with the other to contribute to the welfare and good cheer of the home. Such was the home. And the family, who, finding the mines of Ophir and Dry Canon a failure, had turned their faces to the Northwest and were now residents of this new and prosperous Walla Walla region. I had been in communication with them; the wonderful richness of the soil, the fact that it needed no irrigation, the talk of better railroad facilities, had all been glowingly described, and, withal a friendly invitation from the elder daughter to "come see their new home and them", was my reason for the trip. This young lady had inherited a cheerful, companionable disposition, a goodly physique and was good looking. She was a good and almost fearless rider. I considered her as a younger sister. In Utah we had spent many enjoyable rides through the canyons and foothills of the Opuirrh Range. We had robbed many servis and raspberry bushes of their fruit; we had taken shelter under the overhanging cliffs during the passing thunderstorms, we had laughed with the fearless abandon of early manhood at the rear­ing and nervous leaping of our horses at each stroke of lightning; commented upon the vibration, intonation and echo of the roaring thunder as it appeared to shake the entire range. We had seen the dark clouds roll by, the lightning disappear; leaving the rainbow silhouetted against the adjacent mountain side. We had received the mother's goodnatured rebuke for our dilatoriness followed by a well prepared meal, all of which made life worth living. This young lady in Walla Walla County was still the same interesting, affectionate, sisterly person as in Utah. Her parents were now established in a beautiful land of permanent homes many miles from where my occupation (as far as I could see) would be. I was still a rover and my business being unsettled by its very nature, I could have no permanent home. Again the village where she lived was a growing one. Many well-to-do families were settling there. Society was taking a tangible form. All this was apparent. And if ever I had more serious intentions than the most friendly ones toward this little "sister", I hid it in the secret recesses of my mind from that time on. I was not ready to perform the manifest duty of every young man and did not make an effort to find out if I could have succeeded in such an endeavor. I can only say that if her husband has not been a happy man it is some fault other than hers.
In passing I desire to say a word regarding a sensible woman-- the mother of this "little sister". She was, albeit a Westerner, an educated woman, with fine cut features and intelligent mein. A naturally dignified, unostentatious independent person, with a discriminating eye and a charitable heart. Was it any wonder that her children were attractive? She was not afraid that they would be contaminated by evil influence, because she had taught them of evil as well as of good. They knew how to discern between the insin­uating sophistries of adventurers and the homelier everyday good intentions of reliable manly men and womanly women. Such mothers are a boon to any community, and the salvation of many unsettled well meaning young folk who need just such good cheer and optimistical advice as she was wont to give. God grant us more mothers like that one.
A stage trip from Walla Walla across the Blue Mountains through the La Grande Valley, over the hills to Baker City, on down Burnt River Valley, across the Snake River below where Huntington is now, way out across the sagebrush plains of this most prodigious exhibit of volcanic lava spread in all America, and probably the world, we reach Boise City. How many days? How many nights? Oh, I don't know. With two passengers and a full load of express, boxes, bags of mail and sample trunks we sat up, awake and asleep. When tired of talking we wandered off, in our efforts to sleep, among the usual pleasures a dream brings to a healthy man, usually winding up by being dumped in the bottom of the coach midst innumerable boxes which had broken from their moor­ings by the incessant pounding and jolting of the wheels striking chuck holes and boulders in the roadway.
The stage route passed through the Umatilla and Cayuse Indian Reserves. It was this latter tribe which raised the tough western breed of small horses which took the name of "Cayuse” ponies. At the time I am writing of these ponies, they could have been purchased at five dollars each and were a very serviceable, tough little horse. They were easily trained under saddle and would chase cattle or wild game as directed by the posture of the rider regardless of reins. I owned one in Wyoming which needed no reins. Whichever way I leaned in the saddle it would go that way, and did not hesitate to bite at cattle which were dil­atorily lagging behind the herd. Such a saddle animal is excellent for lasso work as both hands of the header are loose.
Boise City was the capitol of -the territory. Its chief commercial enter­prise was in supplying U. S. soldiers at the military camp, and the mining camps in the adjacent mountains. Boise Creek was used by all residents for lawn and garden irrigation. Each resident erected a rustic water wheel of perhaps fifteen feet diameter which was moved slowly by the swift current. On the outer ring were attached tin cans, such as discarded fruit, oil or lard cans. These cans were filled as the wheel carried them in the stream and were automatically dumped into a trough when raised to the top of the wheel.
The squeaking of these numerous wheels might have been music to the ear of the owner of the garden but to me it was as irritating as a herd of hungry swine in the Chicago Stock yards or the still more noisy herd in the “stock pit".
Nevertheless, it was a practical illustration of what could be done by irrigation and from these primitive wheels has developed the modern modes of irrigating large areas of upland plateaus where gravity is unobtainable.
Little did I expect to ever be a party to the redemption of the miles and
miles, and ever dreary sameness, of the sage brush plains and plateaus of Idaho.
The thought of a railroad ever being able to pay for its running expenses seemed an illusion. Yet now one can sit at a comfortable desk and write of these stage days when the cayotes bark was a nightly turbulence and the rattle snake a dreaded pest, whilst whirling through grain fields, orchards and modern homes build upon these dreary wastes. If I had not stopped on the way a whole week of continuous night and day staging would have been consumed between Walla Walla and Shelton. The junction of the stage line with the Central Pacific Railroad in Nevada.
On my arrival in Corinne, Utah, an old friend, “Bill Norton” engaged me to take to take a "gold mill" into Bonanza, Idaho. He had made a discovery of a very rich auriferous quartz-lead well in the heart of the Bitter Root Mountains in Idaho. To reach it, it was necessary to cross the Snake River valley from Eagle Gorge, called Idaho Falls now, to the sink of Little Lost River. There was absolutely no water for 30 miles, and but a trail to follow through lava beds and scaria, all of which made it very slow, laborious work and extremely hard on the animals as we had only water accomadation for the animals for one feeding. We got through without mishap and found good water and good grass at the sink. All the streams entering on the north side of this valley from the Bitter Root Range entirely disappear through the crevasses in the enormous beds of lava covering the valley.
Following up Little Lost River we cross an easy divide above "Thousand Springs”, into the hills sloping down to Salmon River. At Salmon River we found the stream rapidly swelling from the melting snow high up in the range. It became necessary to exercise the greatest care in crossing as the center of the channel was so deep that the animals had to swim for about twenty or thirty feet. Horses are the better swimmers and do not give up as easily as mules so we devised the following scheme:
I sent my train boss across on his saddle horse who tested the depth of the channel. For about thirty feet he found the greater depth being about six and one half feet with a strong current running. Our machinery-loaded wagons would stand that depth provided we could pass well up stream in crossing. Of course this necessitated a longer continuance in the deeper water. When the "boss” returned, he took a quarter inch rope and hauled one end across; to the other end we fastened a stronger rope which he in turn pulled across until it reached dry land. We then fastened the remaining end into a neck-yoke attached to the collars of a strong span of horses. The boss attached the rope to his saddle; the driver on a separate horse started the span of horses to which was attached a still stronger rope to which was again attached two spans of Kentucky mules, dragging another strong rope attached to the draw-chain of the lead span of a twelve mule team, which had been hitched in front of another twelve mule team, to which three wagons entrail. So, with the wagon boss on horse­ back, leading as above stated, upon my signal, the first outfit started across Salmon River. By having other drivers on horseback along side the strings of working animals, we kept them whipped up and when each span struck the deep water, there were still enough on solid ground to keep the whole thing moving. A number of the mules turned "turtle" in the stream but no stop was made until the wagons had crossed into shallow water, where they were easily righted. By repeating the effort the whole train was crossed and driven up to where Challis now stands, without an accident. Thus we took into that new secluded camp the first wagon-train that ever entered that region.
From Challis, the whole cargo was packed on Mexican mules about 60 miles into “Bonanza”, to the site of the mill below the mine. It will be understood that all this machinery was made so that it could be segregated into pieces such as could be packed as above. Each pack train consisted of from 30 to 50 animals. In cases where necessary, a strong animal would carry as much as 500 pounds. The general load was about 300 pounds. They would make about 15 miles before unpacking and that would constitute the day's work.
Each train, either pack or wagon, had a bell-animal, usually an old mare, to which was attached a cow-bell. It was wonderful how mules became attachedc to this animal. Scarcely ever would one stray from her. In the case of the pack trains, the bell-animal would always lead; with the wagon train, she was hitched behind the mess wagon. Thus any loose or unused mules would follow the train and be out of the way.
On the return trip., I loaded a part cargo of ore for disposal as best I
could. This proceeding will illustrate somewhat the confidence existing among the pioneers. Bill Norton was a Georgian and he and I were almost virulently opposed politically yet we were friends otherwise. Now this ore had to be very rich to stand packing out of the “Bonanza” country to Challis and thence by wagon to Corinne and rail to market. Gold was frequently visible in the rock and when sampled, it averaged upwards of 1100 dollars per ton. Not a line, receipt or even a bill of laden was exchanged between Norton and myself. Beside just as I was about to follow the wagon train he handed me a sack of gold dust- over 5000 dollars worth- to dispose of for him. The only instructions received were to "sell the stuff and place the proceeds to my credit in bank in Salt Lake". This was done after deducting freight and sampling charges leaving a big bank balance for Norton for which I sent him a certificate of deposit on my return to Challis a second time.
By the time we got back to the Salmon River the water had receded so that we were enabled to cross without trouble. The grass was now excellent and the animals being rested, made good headway.
When about ten miles below "Thousand Springs" on Little Lost River, we met five men going to Challis who told us of the breaking out of the "Bannock" war of that year-1878-under the leadership of a young chief called "Buffalo Horn". These Indians had experienced much the same trouble with their "Camas" as had the Nesperces” the year before. Besides they saw a continual contraction of public domain, on which they were wont to roam and hunt, by occupancy of the invading settlers; the buffalo were rapidly disappearing, all of which effected their freedom and threatened to confine them to the confines of a limited space around their agency, and the unsatisfactory rations doled out to them It will be remembered at this time the fanatically entrancing "sun dance" was crazing nearly all the western tribes. The Indians had had a protracted séance of this illusion on their annual visit to the big camas priarie south-east from Boise. Already white men were claiming portions of this prairie and in a frenzy of excitement, it is the opinion of many observers of the occurrence. the young men under the leadership of Buffalo Horn got the tribe into that - for them - last effort at freedom as they understood it, to wit: the extermination of the white race.
After committing their first act of violence in the murdering of some of these white settlers it was generally supposed that the Indians would make their way toward the buffalo country and thence north to the Brittish possessions. In­stead, they worked in an opposite direction going as far as the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon before they broke up into small bands and gradually drifted back into their Fort Hall reserve.
It was one of these small bands which attacked Joe Shelton's bull train on Little Lost River about a month after we had returned from Challis. Joe had loaded merchandise for Colonel Shoup- afterwards U. S. Senator- and was the next outfit over this new route. Heretofore all goods had been packed in by way of Salmon City.
Just as Joe's train had passed through the Narrows into the open Thousand Springs Valley, he was attacked. He coralled his train, putting the wagons in a circle around the stock. The Indians fought principally from ambush. They succeeded in killing Jesse McCaleb, a partner of Shoup and an excellent man., also some of the cattle. It is not known how many Indians there were nor how many were killed during the attack. The Indians made several efforts to storm the coral and were repulsed each time. They held Shelton for 48 hours. A half breed got out the first night and made his way to Challis and secured help. Upon their appearance, the Indians slipped away under cover of the hills and dis­appeared.
The old saying "its an ill wind that blows no good" was singularly illus­trated here. The day that Shelton got away two companies of cavalry sent out from Bannock, Montana were scouting the foothills along the sink of the Lost Rivers. I had loaded merchandise for myself, intending opening business in Bonanza. My train was passing Twin Buttes about 8 miles from the "Sink", when I detected dust of unusual quantities arising toward Lost River. To our great relief we finally, by use of field glasses, concluded it was U. S. soldiers although we knew nothing of their coming. It was not long before a Sergeant and a couple of troopers came out to us. They told of the condition their “mess” was in and were delighted when told the contents of the cargo. They had expected to get a supply of rations from Boise Barracks but none had come and they knew nothing of the reason. The reason was that the Indians had taken into the Bitter Root Mountains instead of coming by way of Camas Prairie as expected- and the Boise troops and supplies followed them.
Upon arrival at camp grounds above the sink of Little Lost River the Captain in command asked me to sell them provisions for a few days supply. The troops had been paid just before leaving Montana and had cash. A rope was stretched around the goods as they were piled out of the wagons. I never did such a business before. There were seventeen men in my outfit. After getting the animals and herders away, I made overseers of wagon bosses, clerks of teamsters, and myself and one other were cashiers. Crackers 25cents per pound, one pound canned salmon one dollar, same for corned beef, thirty-five cents for "sow-­belly"-dry salt pork-, fifty cents for ham- coffee, sugar, salt, flour and all went as fast as we could deliver it until the force was satiated and two or three days ration were provided. The soldiers had to pay for extras, such as tobacco, canned fruits and salmon, whilst the Government paid for regular ration materials.
The next night we went into camp below the Narrows. We still knew nothing of the whereabouts of the Indians and only learned of their coming east from Umatilla through the cavalry the night before. We now took extra pre­cautions and the stock was driven across the stream into a protected nook. About eleven o'clock the up-stream guard gave an alarm of approaching horses. The stillness of the night enabled him to detect the noise for some time before they came in sight. The men were hurriedly placed in front with orders not to shoot until I ordered so to do. By lying prostrate we could see if the approach­ing animals were mounted. We soon found they were not. As they sighted the big circle of covered wagons they shied off to our right. Several hundred Amer­ican horses passed on, snorting and puffing in their mad stampede, not a man in sight. Our first thought was that the Indians had stampeded some cavalry horses and we waited anxiously at the outlet of the narrows to give them a surprise. In about thirty minutes sounds of hoofs again were heard from the narrows. All were now on the alert. It was the chance of a lifetime. Seventeen well armed men in such a location could annihilate five times the number before they could recover their first alarm and locate us. The sound is more distinct but lacks vibration, and soon could be detected as but one animal. As it emerged from the narrows I called a halt and all our anticipated opportunities vanished. It was a lone trooper mounted upon the only horse which did not escape, one which, in its efforts had gotten entangled in its lariat and was thrown to the ground and so remained until untangled. Of course it was "Indians stampeding the horses", but as none were seen or heard it was more probably some prowling wolves which had created the stampede. In the soldiers dilemma I concluded to help him would be the proper thing. So I sent two men out to help him overtake and bring back the fleeing horses. They had halted about five miles below and it was well nigh morning when the three men got them rounded up and back to Col. Green's camp immediately above the battle ground where Joe Shelton had been attacked but a few days before. This was the Boise force which the Montana cavalry had expected to meet further south. We were now asked as a special favor to waste no time in getting up to Col. Green's camp. They were, if possible, in worse condition for provisions than the Montana outfit. So at the break of day we were pulling to the next market for our wares. This crowd was all broke, not a dollar among the lot but they "must have provisions", and I had the stuff. Uncle Sam's credit was good to me so I sold out everything eatable and took U, S. Vouchers for my pay. That was undoubtedly the most unique and profitable bit of "forced sale" transaction I was ever engaged in. Upon leaving, the Colonel gave me an escort of about 25 men which I excused the next morning for fear we would starve and thirst before arriving at Challis. It took a double guard around the wagons to keep this "escort" from robbing us of everything we had. We unanimously agreed that we preferred to be scalped by Indians rather than be robbed by our friends. I believe this attack on Joe's train and the killing of Jesse McCaleb was the last act of violence in that outbreak of the Bannock Indians.
One, Al Katz, was a wagon boss, He had a double-barrelled shot gun which he used killing game birds. He discovered that in his excitement he had put a second charge of powder and shot in each barrel. We had no breech loading shot guns there. Al broke the extracting device and was compelled to shoot the lead out. He fastened the gun behind a tree for safety and pulled the trigger with a string. It was well he took such precautions. The gun burst and scattered bark and splinters in all directions. There would have been no question of the killing qualities of the gun if he had had the opportunity to fire it at the looked for Indians the night before.
The merchandise, consisting mostly of hardware, clothing, etc., which constituted the remainder of the cargo was packed into Bonanza where I started a general store. The mineral regions at Challis and Bonanza were showing up well. A new road stimulated an influx of immigration from this time on. A company had already made an application for a star mail route from the railroad terminus to the various mining camps. And the same persons started the building of a wagon road from Challis to Bonanza. By the time my train returned on its third and last trip for the season the new road was opened into Bonanza. The train was ordered to take the load through and deliver it at the store. This was executed under great difficulties as the snow had already begun to cover the range and the road crossed far above the early snow line. By an extraordinary effort and the assistance of the road employees the train got back. Not however, until the cargo had been robbed of the stock of hominy and oatmeal which was fed to the hungry animals on the way out as it was impossible for them to get grass owing to the snow.
This train pushed on hurriedly without back loading to overtake another train which had come to Challis and unload there. At Thousand Springs Valley the weather was so bad that I ordered the train into winter quarters. This was a favorable location for wintering stock. Like so many places in the ranges the storms passed on the surrounding mountains and the bunch grass and white sage was rarely covered with snow. This white sage is perhaps the most nourishing winter feed known to the Rocky Mountain Stockmen. The seed and leaf gets sweet and palatable only after the frost of winter sets in, and is therefore avail­able able at the time most needed.
The train which had gone ahead was caught in a heavy fall of snow about twelve miles below the narrows and became stalled with their load of ore. As soon as ascertained the men were ordered back with the stock to camp in Thousand Springs, leaving their wagons stuck in the snow until spring.
I remained in Challis during December and January. Information was brought in, I forget how, of a family which had undertaken a farming adventure not far from the new star mail route on Lost River. The husband and father had taken sick with that dread typhoid fever and none of the children were old enough to send out for help nor leave at home whilst the mother could attempt so hazardous a journey. The note that the mother sent in was addressed to "any lodge of Masons or any Mason". It fell to my lot to get proper medicine and nourishment to the sick man as well as suffiecent food for the family during the remainder of the winter. With saddle horse and pack animal the journey was made without special incident until the cabin was approached in which the family was housed. The children eagerly watched my approach. The expression of relief and thankfulness upon that mother’s face as I told her I had medicine and provisions was reward enough for two such trips. Even the poor emaciated, sunken-eyed, bones-protruding father seemed to take on, not alone hope, but courage. Whatever prejudice exists against brandy as a spiritous liquor certainly will fade away when this liquor is properly applied upon a run down but con­valescent typhoid patient. This man was at times delirious but the fever had run its course, and his stomach was unable to hold ordinary stimulants. I gave him brandy about every thirty minutes in small doses with a little cold water and sugar. The change was so pronounced that the overworked, careworn mother cried in very joy and audibly thanked God for sending a deliverer in the hour of her great distress and need. Before I left he was rational and could take a little beef tea and gruel. I do not know what became of them excepting that he made a farm there- and no doubt did well financially as all farmers did in the vicinity of mining districts.
From this place I-went direct to the winter quarters of the two trains above mentioned; found the men all comfortable and the stock doing well. The only complaint was that they were unable to secure fresh meat. It looked to me like negligence on their part as there certainly were plenty of indications of deer in the willow covered bottoms along the stream. I proved their existence by taking a needle-gun and securing one within an hour, The boys were visibly chaffed by my success and when the cook saw three ducks alight in a warm spring pond he bantered me to prove my prowess with the rifle by shooting one of them. I boastingly remarked that "one would be of no use and therefore it was up to me to get two". Taking the old needle-gun I crawled up behind a bunch of willows and saw the birds close to shore. Whilst waiting for an opportunity to get two in range, Joe, one of the herders, called out, "don’t destroy it by shooting it in the body". The ducks now climbed out on shore which brought the three in almost exact line. Pushing the rifle through the bushes with careful aim, "bang" she went and but one bird flew. Two were kicking exactly as a chicken with its head off and I called to Joe to get his ducks. To the astonishment of all, myself included, each bird was shot one in the head and the other through the neck. That ended any doubts of my superior markmanship with all but myself. It took a great deal of parrying and evasion during the coming summer to evade shooting contests with anyone whom these boys could goad into a match.
During the next summer business was good and I made a considerable increase in my outfit. Owing to the extension of the Utah Northern railroad toward Montana the wagon freighting was considerably shortened both to Montana and points in Eastern Idaho, So it became the part of economy and convenience to divide the outfit into three trains of fifty animals each. Each train consisted of four teams of twelve animals and three wagons each, with two extra animals and a bellmare for the herd, together with saddle ponies for herding and train boss. These three wagons were trailed behind each other, same as cars in a railway train. One driver handled each team by sitting on the heft hind animal and using a single line called a "jerk line". This line passed from the horn of the drivers saddle to the bit of the left lead animal, called the "leader". This leader was trained to obey the jerk of the driver, thus: a steady pull would bring the team to the left, whilst two or three light jerks on the line would send it to the right. Hence one driver could handle any number of animals. When once placed in the string the animals could do nothing but follow the “leader”. With a trained team it was an excellent place to “break in” wild or untrained animals, as the bucking, or awkwardness, of the new beast had but little effect upon the strength of the whole team. It was an interesting sight to see these big wagon outfits wending their way through valleys and over mountain ranges, now in a cloud of dust over sage brush plains, now up on a mountain side, then down the crooked dug-way, turning short to right and left, finally landing their cargo somewhere or anywhere in the mountains, where dame fortune was located by the ever persevering prospectors -
One warm August day in 1879 one of these trains was slowly wending
its way from the river into Challis, which now had become considerable of a mining town. After seeing the train safely across the Salmon I rode ahead to where a merchant wanted his goods unloaded. A “Col. Dave Wood”, had a large log building in which he kept a general store. Riding up to his place upon entering there was but one man in sight. He was in full miners holiday uniform, a red flannel shirt, blue overalls, slouch hat, belt, pistol, and a big knife. I quietly asked, "Where is Col. Wood? "
"Well I reckon he's taking a walk for his health. What in 'blank' do you want anyway? "
I told him, and without further explanation, he asked "What in 'blank' did you fire Hugh O'Brien for?"
Well this struck me as quite irrelevant, besides I had never fired or dis­charged Mr. O'Brien. (This Hugh O'Brien had been a clerk in my store in Bonanza and quit because of the altitude's effect on his lungs). I had no idea who my "friend" was but could not understand his sole presence in Wood's store. So I said "O'Brien is not in question and I do not care to talk to you." As I started for the door he jumped before me with his gun in his hand. With one hand, his gun was grasped and with the other, my trusty left, he was put out on the first round. I took the knife from him, threw both gun and knife behind the counter and proceeded to kick the fellow out upon the street. When once out I bade him "go back in the store and wash himself and if he was running the place as he evidently had been, to try and attend to business in a business manner". Whilst he was washing, another miner, Owen Long, seemed to come from some hiding place and beckoned to me, warning me that “he "the bully" was a “treacherous fellow and had stabbed someone whilst sleeping and killed another from ambush”.
"Well, I answered, "he dont seem to have much chance around this camp as there is no one in sight."
By this time Mr. "Bully" I have forgotten his real name, had walked out and disappeared. Pretty soon one of Wood's clerks came in from the back way, whilst my teams were pulling into town. The clerk told me where to unload. As I started out to meet my wagon boss, men began to appear and then I found that this fellow, in his tips just enough to make him “devilish”, was really bulldosing that part of the place. They, knowing his previous character, had really thought best to keep out of his way rather than get him excited.
Along toward evening I was warned that he had “secured another gun,
big as the turret to a monitor and was coming for me”.
Really it gave me no alarm as all my men were husky fellows and my family gave me no concern that early in life. So when we were all lined up along the counter of Wood's store in the evening telling stories and passing time I was not much surprised when the fellow came in the door. The store was well lighted and his new gun shone bright as it hung directly in front of him. He turned to the clerk and said ''tell the Colonel that I will not work for him tomorrow as I am bound to get even with that ‘blank blank blank:” and swaggering down toward us- not a person tried to stop him though the ‘Colonel’ and all were in the place. As he came, using his vile. Language I suddenly took a notion that I needed no weapon to handle him and shoved my gun, which I first thought to use, back on the counter, and jumped in front of him, struck his wrist in which hand he was drawing his gun, the gun flew to the floor and it was but a moment until he was again prostrate at my feet.
I then notified Wood and others to take him away and I would settle the whole affair in the morning.
At our mess (breakfast) next morning I told my men to get the teams hitched up and then come with me to Woods store. This they did. I then informed Wood that "that man must come and make an apology to me in front of your store within thirty minutes or I will go and get him". The man was brought out thoroughly sober, walked up to the center of the street and apologized to me. He was warned not to think he could repeat his tactics upon everyone. And in order to avoid similar or worse treatment in the future to abstain from drink altogether. This he promised to do. I never had trouble with him after. In fact, he always met me as a friend and I reciprocated.
The trouble with this man was drink seemed to make a bully of him and being a fairly good fellow otherwise, his acquaintances gave way to him, accepted his abuse when intoxicated, so much so as to imbue him with the idea that he really was a brave man instead of a weak fool-hardy treacherous chump.
Strange how different constitutions are effected by spirituous liquors. Here was a man whose disposition and temperment was entirely changed when in drink. He did not stagger; his feet were all right, but he wanted to run everything and everybody. Others get funny in their own estimation and are quite harmless. Some are brighter, temporarily, but become lethargic and finally stupid. Some have a tongue affliction, not paralysis by a long way, but simply a thickening of the tongue, making speech difficult and disgusting to listen to. All such persons know their weakness and the mystery is why they touch liquor at all? Personally it is my opinion that all such weakness could be largely eradicated by parents. If a plant or an animal has an apparent weakness in its physical makeup when young we at once take measures to rectify it by care and nourishment. If it be ever so healthy we still nurture it with proper care that no deficiency may occur. And that is where the child is so often neg­lected. He is young and vigorous yet the germ of evil may be there, neglect and temptation may create the coming evil. A great many parents think to avoid contaminating the child by keeping it in ignorance of evil. The wild animal that never saw a fence will either scale it, or break his neck in contact with it, when it first appears. Just so with the boy who is kept in ignorance of the use and abuse of liquor, or any other thing which is made an evil by over­indulgence. So with the girl who knows none of the evils which beset her path in coming womanhood. Strong drink never abused anyone until abused. For five generations my fathers house has used whiskey. And out of the hundreds of posterity I know of not one who was ever under the influence of liquor. True some marriages have produced exceptions; and in each case the fault can be traced so plainly that contradiction is impossible. Direct the child, teach it of evil as well as of good; teach it how far it can indulge in this levity and that temptation; teach the boy how to use liquor as well as meat; how far he can go and be a gentleman; and what makes a fool of him; teach the girl in her sphere; let her know the difference between sophistry and friendship; between an intentional insinuation and a social pleasantry; between a lover and a friend; teach both in moral virtue; to respect their fellows and seniors. Our common schools should give more time to moral training in the primary grades. Most of them give none. Instead of hurrying and stuffing them with phonetic spelling in order to further stuff them with mathematics and things their minds are still too much in embryo to absorb, me thinks a good many “social evils” and parental heartaches would be avoided. Our common schools are much like modern chicken ranches. In the latter the chick is con­fined to sitting space only. It is fed with a stuffing machine, and grows up ignor­ant of the world or its natural condition. It has one advantage. It is useful to man- too many of our book-stuffed boys and girls are a nuisance.
I know two families whose children attended the same schools; the parents were members of the same church; the father of one family was the regularly appointed preacher and the other was a deacon of the church.
It was the boast of the preacher that "liquor of no kind ever crossed the threshold of his house", whilst the other took the old Virginia view that "whiskey was more abused than abusing". The latter always had liquors in his house. His children were taught the use and abuse of it; the preachers children were entirely ignorant of either; they were also ignorant of the widely diversified mannerisms and cruder side, of worldly people-- knew nothing of the temptations and snares which would beset their path in life. The others so far as possible were made acquainted with the possible impediments and temptations and taught how to avoid or repel them. What was the result? Of the preacher's family, at least four of the boys drank to excess at times, whilst three of them were known to have contracted delirium tremens before completing the "sewing of wild oats”.
Of the deacon's family of five boys not one was ever known to be under the influence of liquor albeit one of the happiest memories possible was when, in 1909, the two oldest living brothers drank to the health of the family from the old decanter that graced the mantle and table of the deacon sixty years before.
The next summer I transferred my outfit to Red Rock Montana the then terminus of the Utah Northern Railway from which point it carried freight to districts north.-- A word here about a much abused man-- Mr. Jay Gould. When Mr. Gould took hold of the almost defunct narrow gauge strip of railway from Ogden north to Franklin, Idaho, it was after the other directors of the Union Pacific had refused to join him or permit the U. P. to do so, in the venture. Mr. Gould purchased this almost useless strip of road from the from the Mormon owners headed by Mr. John W. Young, son of Brigham Young, and immediately commenced the construction of the line toward Butte Montana. He paid cash and there was no haggling or delays regarding prices and payments. New equipment and fair service was maintained. The country was developed, new industries sprang up, and copper and galena together with all kinds of refractory ores along the line were worked to a profit when before they were of no avail. When the great value of the property was thus proven these same men claimed the road should become a part of the greater system. Mr. Gould let them have it and 1 thank he did what any sensible man would have done; made them pay for the proven value of the property which he had taken the risk of developing after they had turned it down,
Apropos of Mr. Jay Gould’s financial venture I have yet to learn one place where the laboring, or middle class of men were not well paid when he undertook the propogation of real construction work. The men who suffered at his hands were those who would have caught him in their financial web if he had not been a bigger spider than themselves. Like Ralston of California the wisdom of his investments was proven after his death by the wonderful enhancement of value in all his estate.
As railroads were now reaching the heart of the Rocky Mountains and it became apparent that transportation by big teams was to be supplanted by them it was a matter of business for me to turn my attention in that direction. Before coming West a good deal of my experience in the world was in the service of railroads.
At this time, the Northern Pacific Company was actively pushing that road from the East and West. A Mr. Dunn had had charge of construction work on the Utah Northern. I had known him when employed in engineering work near Franklin Pennsylvania in the early ’60,s; so together with the influence of his brother-in-law, Mr. Fisk, we prevailed upon Mr. Dunn to meet the chief Engineer of the Northern Pacific when making his first trip over the proposed road from East to West. General Adna Anderson was chief engineer and Mr. Dunn reluctantly left his office ,then at Dillon, Montana and drove to Boseman. Before leaving the "Chief" he had contracted about 30 miles of grading work in the Deer Lodge Valley. This led to a final contract for grading the entire line from the Missouri River at Townsend Montana to the west end of the Flat Head Reservation, excepting between Helena and the West end of the Mullen tunnel, in all about 250 miles. To appreciate the enormity of this undertaking it must be understood that there was no extra labor in Montana and the fare from the East was so great as to preclude an influx of the laboring classes. It was essential that the line should be pushed to completion if the-land grant of the government was to be obtained. Since Jay Cook's failure in 1873 little had been done toward a ful­fillment of the agreement with the government and a good deal of agitation in congress was manifest in an endeavor to annul the grant.
Mr. Dunn was the one man in all Montana who could command a force equal to the task. The Union Pacific Co. was arbitrary and put rates so high that it was impractical to import men from the East. Mormondom was not yet acquainted with other modes of travel than by horse or ox teams and it was comparatively an easy job for them to move their families to any point a few hundred miles away where they were assured of continuous work at good pay; these forces were generally negotiated for through some bishop or other leader of the Mormon Church, and their services were very satisfactory. They were inured to hardships and privations and camp life was an outing for them. The women did the cooking and the men worked upon the grading of the road bed. As little powder was used as possible because of the exhorbitant freight prices, and indeed all camp supplies were confined largely to such pioneers and early miners used, Flour, bacon, beans, fresh beef, sugar, coffee and canned goods sparingly used. Mormons are good horsemen and they make use of the horse in many ways on railroad construction unknown to most workmen. In those days they used no hay, depending entirely on bunch grass. And some used but little grain. The latter simply kept extra horses (native Utah horses) and when one became weakened from overwork or lack of food they substituted another.
There were upwards of 4, 000 Mormons employed upon this work. The work was subdivided and sublet to them. At times a single family had a contract, whilst others had larger contracts and employed many of their fellows to help in the work. These men were a comparatively sober and industrious lot, whilst through it all there seemed to be a carelessness and consequent waste singularly in contrast with those virtues.
Before entering into co-partnership with Mr. Dunn I had concluded that thus far in manhood my life had been a mistake, or at least I was not fulfilling my place among civilized men. This conclusion was more vividly presented and adopted by reason of a growing belief that finally there had entered into my acquaintance an affinity, one in whose presence I felt inspired as never before; one whose unostentatious grace and womanly character entranced me. In fact, I was in love. Could I in turn hope for reciprocity of affection? I could do no less than make the effort. I fully realized there were other men beset with the same ambitions and I approved their good taste, for was she not worthy of the best?
Whether or not her selection was wise or not there was one happy man, when I standing by her side, promised to "love and protect her" and in turn she promised to be my wife until death do us part". I believe both have tried- if trying has ever been necessary- to live to those solemn vows. Would that we could guarantee as happy lives to those for whose existence we have been responsible. During this family career, studying its intricacies, its cares and joys, I have concluded that a great deal of the troubles of married life is in lack of effort to understand each other. Love is a creation and is capable of growth, of intensifying, or of dissipation. One cannot continue to love where the other repels, and I cannot conceive a more horrid life than to be compelled to live with one who repels your affection; who makes home a disagreeable misnomer. On the other hand palliation and a judicious overlooking of little apparent misgivings or shortsightedness or what not of each other will eventually ripen into love and joy and make life worth living.
In the Spring of 1882 I was notified by one of our foremen that he had a series of blasts to explode and wanted me to see the execution. Taking a safe position the man lighted the fuses, which were so arranged as to follow each other in proper order. The foreman counted the explosions and called "all over". At this time he, Fred Anderson and myself went down upon the broken mass of rock to inspect the execution. There was one blast which had not thrown out properly. The mass was simply cracked or “shook up”. Anderson and myself were question­ing the foreman as to the cause of the failure when we were all sent flying into the air by the delayed explosion. I distinctly realized passing through the air by the side of a rock the size of a saratoga trunk, and alighting on my back in the river "Hell Gate". Instinctively I placed my arm over the rock that was imbedded by my side and placed the other over my face to protect it from falling rocks. At this juncture I lost my sight and probably became delirious. Some of the workmen and engineers seeing the accident hurried to our assistance; two of them were trying to get me out of the water. I told them to raise me to my feet; the change of position raised the flap of skin overhanging my eyes which a rock had cut from my forehead and I saw Anderson on hands and knees, still in the water. His coat tail and trousers were literally cut in strips with blood trickling down each piece. I said, "My God, Fred, what has happened"? His answer without a tremor of voice was, "I reckon we know what was the matter with that blast now".
The trouble was with the "powder man". He had difficulty in loading that hole which was 18 feet deep. At about eight feet there was a crevasse; part of the powder went into that. He always put two fuses in deep holes. One had gone into the crevasse and had exploded, making the foreman's count good; the other had gone down to the deeper hole and was longer in exploding. The fact of loss of part of the powder together with the depth of the hole probably saved our lives. Yet it was still miraculous that none of us were permanently injured. The Engin­eer who saw the accident figured that I described an arch of at least 125 feet. The others fell closer in and were more bruised from falling rocks than I. Had the “powder man” told us of his difficulty in loading we would have avoided the accident.
About one half mile below where this accident occured lived a pioneer family named Manton. Mrs. Manton was a masculine appearing woman whilst “Dennis” her husband was a small wiry Irishman. Both carried the character­istic "mug" of County Meagher "bog trotter". So far as known they had no child­ren. “Dennis” caused considerable trouble with the right-of-way but was a cheap man in his attempts at the “hold up” game so far as his obstruction to construction was concerned. But when “Dennis” had gotten what blood money he could by dilatory tactics he used it to start a “whiskey joint” as near my camps as space would permit. He built upon the river's bank there being just space enough between the wagon road and river to erect the building.
This "Joint" soon became notor­ious “broils and drunken orgies” A number of my employees mysteriously dis­appeared from time to time and suspicion rested upon this place. In fact, it was called "Benderville" in consequence of these suspicions. Finally one man es­caped their murderous attempt but was so frightened that he said nothing about the matter until the body of his companion was found in some drift a mile below "Benderville" He was then apprehended south of Butte trying to get out of the country and gave evidence, which corroborated to the satisfaction of the jury, that after getting their proposed victims drunk the Mantons alias "Benders" would drown them from the back door of the house. It appeared that both proposed victims were drunk and in their hurry the Mantons had thrown them both in after clubbing them into apparent insensibility. The man who was finally drowned made a desperate effort to save himself and both the Mantons were compelled to give their attention to him by clubbing him as he swam near the shore. The other floated down and got ashore on the opposite side and through very fright tried to get out of the country. The evidence of actual murder was so vague and circumstantial save by this one witness who confessed to having been so stupidly drunk at the time that the jury gave a verdict of manslaughter against Dennis and let the woman off.
This closed "Benderville" with a record of mur­derous debauchery and robbery almost equal to the Original Kansas Outfit.
Mrs. Manton did not cease her efforts to free her husband until about two years after his conviction the authorities granted him his freedom. The next winter the two engaged in a drunken brawl on their way home from Drummond. Dennis left the woman in a drunken stupor within a half mile of his house. He had a stupid employee who the next morning took a horse, and an oxhide upon which he dragged the dying woman to the house. The evidence of this person sent Dennis back to the pen where, let us hope, he was kept, or will be, so long as he lives.
The little ludicrous happenings of life are of times the bright spots on
the way. Especially is it so when ones isolation deprives him of the more enjoyable pleasures of society. A Mr. Fisk was a partner on a portion of this work and a jolly good fellow he was. His cordiallity and good nature were con­tinually a source of annoyance to his well-meaning wife. Mrs. Fisk was a stick­ler for social proprieties whilst Mr. Fisk was a general good fellow, well met. Hence there was considerable jealousy manifested at trifling causes. Fisk tried to be judicious and avoid trouble. In fact the trouble was largely one sided as his good nature was hard to disturb. His wife had been on a visit up country for a time. She was to return in one of the Company's rigs. Fisk had been entrusted with an errand by a farmer's wife. Among other things he was to purchase her a pair of stays. He had purchased the things whilst in Missoula. The farmer lived east of Fisk's headquarters and the latter upon going over his work in that direction took the parcels with him. He got pretty near the farmers home when he espied a team coming in the opposite direction which he recog­nized as the one conveying his wife. To let her see those stays would be cause for a divorce, and of course she would want to go back with him. Fisk was not so slow when in trouble. He quickly pulled out behind a rocky point, threw all the packages into a crevasse and turned clear around in time to receive Mrs. Fisk as though his entire mission was to meet her. That afternoon and night it rained and spoiled the entire outfit. Fisk simply duplicated the order at the next opportunity and no one was loser but he. The laugh was on him, however as some of the workmen in an adjacent camp had seen him make the cache and quietly gave him away.
About this time my brother Willard came from the East. I conceived the idea of interesting him in the agricultural implement business in Deer Lodge. This business grew to be an important factor in the early development and settlement of Montana. My business of railroad construction consumed largely the products of the farmers and this could be taken in exchange for the implements they needed to work their farms. In this way many poor but honest men were enabled to take government land, or railroad land, along the line of construction and make comfortable homes with but little preliminary investment. Among the articles sold was harness. Now “Will” had never seen an open horse-collar. The old English collar which was thrust over the horses head was the kind he knew. So when a “rancher” drove in front of the store with two horses leading behind his wagon and ordered collars for those animals

(The Reminiscences end here on page 123. The rest of the manuscript has been lost.)