Week 26: June/July

Week 26: June 25th thru July 1st

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Names in bold will be found in Players; bolded Titles in References.

6/25 of…1865

David Butterfield‘s first wagon train — carrying 150,000 lbs. of goods and escorted by 250 troopers — left Atchinson, KS, on the Smokey Hill Route for Denver, CO, 592 miles west. Improvements were made to the route as they went and locations for stage way-stations were selected. Butterfield Overland Dispatch+2 stagecoaches would soon follow.  {001}


The Custer Fight - Week 26The Custer Fight – C.M. Russell – 1906

Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, age 36, defeated and killed with 268 cavalry troopers at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, MT (Battle of the Greasy Grass). Led by Sioux Chiefs Gall and Sitting Bull alongside Oglala Lakota Chief Crazy Horse, possibly as many as 2,500 Cheyenne Tsitsistas (Sioux term: Sha hi ye na-), Arapaho, and Sioux warriors decimated Custer’s command in less than thirty minutes. Legend has it that warrior Rain-in-the-Face* killed Custer. He said he didn’t. White Cow Bull said he shot a buckskin-clad man from his horse in the middle of the Little Big Horn River at Medicine Tail Coulee on the first charge. Later, he described a fight with a tall strong soldier in a blue shirt, armed with a rifle, not a carbine, at “The Last Stand”. This may well have been Custer, who was armed with a Remington-Hepburn. Brass casings from that rifle were found around and under his interestingly mutilated body (all of the bodies were mutilated one way or another). A Cheyenne warrior named Yellow Nose was claimed to have captured the 7th Cavalry’s flag during the battle. There is a claim that a Sgt. Finkel** escaped the massacre when his horse bolted (debated). One has to wonder if Custer felt some regret at having left the Gatling guns and Rodman cannons behind. Comanche - Week 26Custer’s sorrel horse (four white socks), VictoryCaptain Fredrick Benteen and Major Marcus Reno and their commands barely survived.*** Total army casualties were tallied at : 268 killed, 49 wounded (six of these later died of wounds. Indian casualties were said to be: 136 warriors, 6 women and 4 children killed, and perhaps another 150+ wounded. Far too complex for the OWDR, endless debate follows this event, look it all up and enjoy!
Painting: U.S. PD 1906 – C.M. Russell – The Custer Fight – LOC. Photo: U.S. PD, Grabill – LOC,  Legend has it that Capt. Miles Keogh’s horse Comanche was the sole 7th Cavalry Survivor. {001 & 007}
*Wk. 37, 09/14/1905 – Rain-in-the-Face
**Wk. 35, 08/28/1930 – Sgt. Frank Finkel
**06/27/1876 – below
Wk. 23, 06/09/1876 – background
Wk. 24, 06/17/1876 – background
Quotes Index – Indian Quotes – Politicians, Soldiers, Preachers and others…
–  Boyer, Benteen & Custer
Wk.. 14, 04/04/1933 – Libby Custer


Mitch Boyer - Week 26Mitch Boyer (Bouyer) Aka:  Kar-pesh, Kapi (born c. 1837), died with Custer at the Little Bighorn, reported to have been shot off his horse at Medicine Tail Coulee (and killed later*). One of the finest scouts in the old West. It was said that when Boyer was convinced that Custer would attack, he gave away all of his possessions, knowing he would die that day.  {001}
*Photo Gallery Index – Indian Photos – Indian Warrior Women – One Who Walks With the Stars 


Indian women warriors: Pretty Nose (Arapaho), Buffalo Calf Road Woman (Cheyenne), Moving Road Woman (Hunkpapa Sioux) and Minnie Hollow Wood (Lakota Sioux) were said to have fought well in the battle. Girls were also said to have been among the Sioux “Suicide Boys“.*  {001}
– above
*Wk. 25, 06/24/1876 – Suicide Boys
References – DictionaryIndian Warrior Women
Quotes Index, Indian Quotesfrom the Indians themselves
– Rain-in-the-Face
Photo Gallery Index – Indian Photos – Indian Warrior Women


Closed Hand died just below Last Stand Hill. Little Whirlwind was killed in the same vicinity. Noisy Walking died that night in his father’s lodge at the Little Bighorn camp. Cut Belly, shot down in the vicinity of where the Stone House now stands, died a few days later at the Powder River. The Northern CheyenneSuicide Boys” have kept their vow.  {001}
Information taken from the 1931 account of the Battle by Cheyenne Warrior Wooden Leg.
“…after the Suicide Boys initiated the charge, the battle lasted only about another half-hour.”
Stands in TimberCheyenne Warrior
– above
Wk. 25, 06/24/1876 – Suicide Boys
References – DictionarySuicide Boys


Died in the Napa Valley, Colonel Joseph Ballinger Chiles, California pioneer trail blazer and guide. He first emigrated to California with the Bidwell-Bartleson party in 1841.* He returned east and led the first of the seven parties he would lead back to California (1843 – 1848). His 1843 trek established the trail from Fort Boise to California by way of the Malheur, Pit, and Sacramento River. Chiles led one of the first wagon trains to cross Carson Pass (1848). He also pioneered the “Forty-Mile Desert” cut-off from Humboldt Sink to the Carson River, which turned out to be a popular route with gold seekers in 1849. In California he operated a grist mill, raised livestock, and made wheat whiskey in the Napa Valley. Sometime in 1849 he and Jerome C. Davis began operating a profitable ferry across the Sacramento River. He acquired an immense amount of cheap property from the Mexican Government yet supported Fremont’s revolt (1846).** A wise, prudent and busy man and by all accounts a “delightful” fiddle player. Photo: U.S. PD pre-1923 {001}
*Wk. 20, 05/18/1841 – Bidwell-Bartleson party
**Wk.28, 07/13/1890 – John C. Fremont


The Apache Kid surrenders; he contacted the army and said that if the soldiers hunting him were recalled, he would surrender. They were, and he did. He and four others were court martialed, found guilty of mutiny and desertion, and sentenced to death by firing squad. This was commuted to life in prison in August. General Miles intervened, and the sentence was further reduced to ten years in prison. Sent to the  Alcatraz Island Military Prison (CA), until their convictions were overturned in October of 1888.  They returned to the reservation…  {001}


The largest ever combined reunion of Union and Confederate American Civil War veterans brings more than 50,000 to the Gettysburg Battlefield at Gettysburg, PA.  {001}


Mary Hallock Foote, age 90, died in Grass Valley, CA . Author and illustrator. Hers were firsthand accounts and fine illustrations from one who was there. A Frequent contributor to Century Magazine, author of numerous stories and Novels: Led-Horse Claim (1883), A Touch of Sun and Other Stories (1903), The Valley Road (1913), among others. The 1971 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose was based on Foote’s letters, and generated considerable controversy within the family. The 1972 memoir, A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West, edited by Rodman W. Paul, was taken from the same sources. 1976 saw an opera based on the novel performed in San Francisco.  {001}

6/26 of…1813

Capt. Richard Sopris born in Pennsylvania. Prospector, soldier, lawman, politician and more.  {001}


Republic of Texas: Henry Francis Fisher and Burchard Miller sold the Fisher-Miller Land Grant to the Adelsverein (Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas). Who also agreed to take over the expenses of the San Saba Colonization Company, and to make Henry Fisher part of the Verein colonial committee. Fisher and Miller were certainly aware of the dangers of settling in the Comancheria, but did not inform the Verein. The Verein asked no questions and accepted the sale on face value.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 16, 04/20/1844 – Adelsverein


Joseph Smith, Jr Portrait - Week 26Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) founder Joseph Smith, age 38, is murdered when a mob storms the jail in Carthage, IL, where he is being held for causing the destruction of the offices and press of the Navoo Expositor (Navoo, IL) — the first and only issue of which printed an expose critical of his activities (political and polygamous). Photo: U.S. PD, of a portrait owned by The Community of Christ Archives.  {001}


The U.S. Government pays The American Fur Company $4,000 for Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory.  {001}


The Christian celebration of Christmas is declared a holiday in the United States, then 37 states.  {001}


The ever willing Vigilantes of Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory, string up murderer Francisco “Navaho Frank” Tafoya.  {001}


Cyrus Thomas - Week 26Died, Cyrus Tomas, age 84. Ethnologist, entomologist, student and interpreter of the West (Indian archeology, climatology, etc.) Thomas was a member of both Hayden Expeditions to study the west (1869, 1871), and an original member of the Grasshopper Commission (1877). His theories were not quite always on the mark… he proclaimed that more cultivation and population would make an oasis of the semi-arid West as: “Rain follows the plow“. While it certainly helped send a plethora of pioneers to try farming and marvel at the grasshoppers, it wasn’t quite right — as the Dustbowl of the 1920’s so amply demonstrated. Photo: U.S. PD, pre-1910 unknown.  {001}


OWDR Cowboy Artists original logo - Week 26OWDR CAofA 50th logo - Week 26Oklahoma City, OK sees the formal dedication of the Cowboy Artists of America. The brainchild of frosty cow camp experiences and a productive bull session at the Oak Creek Tavern in Sedona, AZ. American Western Artists: Joe Beeler, Charlie Dye, John Hampton and George Phippen lined out an effective organization for artists working in numerous media. Still prospering today, this, invitation only, group of early and contemporary Western artists sets a mighty high standard. Celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2016.  Logos: U.S. © CA, Fair Use.  {001}
see also:
Quotes Index – Commentators Quotes Legends BeginRichard Nilsen (2011)

6/27 of… 1872

Working for the Pete Gallinger Company trailing 2,500 hundred Texas cattle to Dodge City, KS+2. Red River Dick (Deadwood Dick+2) and the cowboys experience a blinding thunderstorm at South Forks. Hail the size of “walnuts” results in a massive all-night stampede and a thirty mile, life threatening, wild ride in the dark across the cliff, boulder and gully strewn Kansas plains. When it was over and the sun came out in the morning, they had not lost a man, horse or a cow. Feeling mighty fortunate, they press on to Dodge City to turn the herd over to its new owners, and allow they will “paint the town a deep red color and drink up all the bad whiskey in the city”!  {001}


The beginning of the 2nd Battle of Adobe Walls+2, (Hutchinson County) TX. Twenty-eight men and one woman holed up in Jim Hanrahan’s Saloon, Charles Rath’s Store and Myer’s and Leonard’s Store fought for their lives against a mixed band of Indians estimated to have been 750 to 1,000 warriors advised by Medicine Man Minimic. The Comanches were led by Quanah Parker, the Kiowas by Lone Wolf and the Cheyenne by White Shield and Stone Calf. Billy Tyler, Ike and “Shorty” Shadler killed, scalped and mutilated. At day’s end, thirteen Indian heads stared from sharpened stakes in Myer’s and Leonard’s stockade wall as the outpost buried their dead. Buffalo hunter Bat Masterson was also in this fight.  {001}


The massive Indian siege against the 7th Cavalry troops of Captain Fredrick Benteen and Major Marcus Reno on the bluffs above the Little Bighorn River is lifted by the arrival of General Terry and Colonel Gibbon.  The Indians strike camp and move south. Now they can go find out what has happened to Custer‘s command…  {001}
Quotes Index – Indian Quotes
Politicians, Soldiers, Preachers & others…  – Benteen)


Snake Creek, OK. Outlaw and moonshiner Aaron Purdy is killed in a hot gunfight with Deputy U.S. Marshal Heck Thomas (wounded) as he, Burrell Cox, Hank Childers and Jim Wallace have at the outlaws.  {001}
PLAYERS – Timelines Index – Timelines M-Z – Three Guardsmen Timeline


Kid Curry escaped from jail, leaving unpaid a $5,000 fine and a sentence of twenty years at hard labor, for the killing of two policemen in Knoxville, TN.  {001}
Wk 50, 12/13/1901 – Shootout in Knoxville, TN


John McIntire, born in Spokane, WA. TV actor.  {001}

6/28 of… 1841

James CookseyJimEarp born in Hartford Kentucky. Bartender.  {001}


Texas Jack Omohundro - Week 26Leadville, CO. Texas Jack Omohundro, age 33, died of pneumonia. Real cowboy, buffalo hunter, actor, showman, and inspiration for numerous Col. Prentiss Ingram dime novels, he was the first to demonstrate cowboy roping skills onstage.  TYH!  Photo: PD Wikipedia  {001}


Deputy Sheriff Edward L. Lloyd shot to death attempting to arrest a horse thief. Johnson County, WY.  {001}


Folsom Prison, CA. Having learned of his brother’s wounding and capture, ex-Evans Gang member and turncoat George Sontag and four other prisoners attempt an escape. Three are killed, with George and the other surviving escapee wounded. No joy.  {001}
The Originals Index – Outlaw Gangs Index – Evans Gang (Chris)


The Wild Bunch botches an attempt to rob the bank at Belle Fourche, SD. Tom O’Day, drunk and the source of the problem, is captured, and gets tossed out of the Bunch for messing up the caper.  {001}

6/29 of… 1863

Sherriff Henry Plummer’s Deputy, Donald H. Dillingham, murdered in broad daylight by Buck Stinson, Haze Lyons, and Charley Forbes in Virginia City, Montana.  {001}


The Kidder Massacre. Second Lt. Lyman Kidder, ten enlisted men, and an Indian scout were killed by a Northern Cheyenne and Sioux war party led by Oglala Sioux Chief Pawnee Killer, Sherman County, KS.  {001}
Quotes Index – Indian Quotes
– Politicians, Soldiers, Preachers & others… – Custer


“A bright flash, as of lightning, gleamed over the central part of Virginia City, NV,” followed immediately by an immense, exceedingly “sharp and ringing” explosion which shook downtown at 11:00 pm. “A cloud of dust and smoke rising up at the corner of B and Taylor streets showed where the disaster had occurred.” Ten dead, including several prominent citizens, a city block lost to fire. No definitive cause was ever discovered. Was it Van Bokkelin or his monkey?
However, The Territorial Enterprise, (above quotes also) said, “…the horror which has resulted in a loss of life so lamentable, should he accepted as a warning against the storage of dangerous amounts of powder or nitroglycerine in the habitable parts of the city.”  {001}


John Marvin Hunter, age 77, died in Kerrville, TX; Journalist, printer, historian, and founder of the Frontier Times Magazine (1923) and the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera, TX (1933). He was inducted into the Texas Hall of Heroes in 2009.  {001}

6/30 of… 1861

The final day of service on the Oxbow Route of the Butterfield Overland Mail. Butterfield continued service, the same day on the Central Overland California Route (Butterfield Overland Dispatch+2) from St. Joseph, MO to Placerville, CA. The run on this route took between 25 and 28 days.   {001}


President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill passed by the 38th United States Congress, creating the Yosemite Grant. This is the first instance of park land being set aside specifically for preservation and public use by action of the U.S. federal government. {001}


2nd Battle of Adobe Walls, TX+2. Buffalo Hunter Billy Dixon made his record long shot (55-90) into a group of about fifteen Indians on a bluff overlooking the outpost. Today, the shot that knocked an Indian from his horse is credited at 1538 yards (debated by some, but often duplicated by Friends of Billy Dixon, a contemporary ultra-long range shooting organization). (The author, a founder of FoBD, has duplicated this shot on a number of occasions [45-120].)  {001}


Pioneer Editor G.W. Robinson founded the witty and clever Frontier Echo in Jacksboro, TX. The place was lively: shootings, hangings, horse thievery, damsels of spotted virtue, and a miscellany of skullduggery. If Robinson knew about it, it was in the paper.  {001}


Washington, D.C.. An obviously mentally disturbed Charles Guiteau danced his way to the gallows, recited his poem “I am going to the Lordy,” and then danced at the end of a short rope for allegedly killing President James A. Garfield. He had claimed during his trial that he had only shot Garfield, it was the doctors who had killed him. Nineteenth century medicine and justice were still a little rough around the edges even in the “civilized” East.  {001}
Wk 38, 09/19/1881 – died James A. Garfield


Texas Ranger Captain Frank Jones killed attempting to arrest Mexican outlaws Jesus-Maria Olguin and his son, Severio on Pirate Island in the Rio Grande River. Undercover work by “Diamond Dick” St. Leon generated a hit list of nearly twenty family members who had been involved in the killing. Rangers, led by John Hughes, soon shot or lynched them all and cleaned out the Pirate Island Gang. El Paso, TX.  {001}


Country fiddlers Henry Gilliland and A.C. “Eck” Robertson record “Arkansas Traveler” and “Turkey in the Straw” for Victor Records. Thought to be the first commercial recording of country music. Soon followed by many more.  {001}


William Henry Jackson - Week 26William Henry Jackson, age 99, died in New York, NY. Artist, soldier (Civil War), illustrator, photographer, publisher. Fleeing a failed love affair, Jackson took the train as far west as it would go (1866). His adventures at last led him to Omaha, NE, and photography in 1867. Good relations with local tribes led to an amazing legacy of photographs of the Omaha, Osage, Otoe, Pawnee and Winnebageo Indians. Contracted by the Union Pacific RR to document its western passage for advertizing, his work was seen by F.V. Hayden and resulted in his inclusion in Hayden’s 1870 Expedition and then in the Hayden Geologic Survey of 1871, where Jackson’s photographs became visual proof to Congress of the majesty of Yellowstone. Jackson is a long story…  TYH! Photo: U.S. PD pre 1923 unknown.  {001}
Wk. 51, 12/23/1887 – Dr. Ferdinand Vanderveer Hayden


United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians. The Supreme Court rules that the Black Hills were illegally taken from the Lakota Sioux (in violation of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868) and that the initial offer,* plus interest, should be paid by the U.S. Government. That value in 1980 was $106 million. The Lakota have consistently refused the money, asking instead to have the land returned. The value of the escrow account is now approaching $800 million. The issue is still in litigation as tribes and descendants of Indians across America continue to seek justice for treaty violations and usurped lands.  {001}
*Wk. 49, 12/03/1875 – Black Hills


The last day of this week occurs in July.

7/1 of… 1860

President of the Miners Union and a Kansas territorial legislator, Capt. Richard Sopris leads 14 men and their pack train out of Denver (CO, not yet) to prospect for gold west of the continental divide.  {001 & 009}


The Pacific Railway Act. “An Act to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri river to the Pacific Ocean, and to secure to the government the use of the same for postal, military, and other purposes.” First of a series of acts which resulted in the Transcontinental Railroad and a multi-line telegraph. Among other benefits, the railroad would receive title to 6,400 acres of federal land per mile of track laid (with some minor exceptions). From 1850 to 1871 the government granted land to aid in the construction of pioneer railroads through undeveloped regions. These railroad routes represented no more than eight percent of the total U.S. railway mileage. In exchange for this generosity in giving away the Indian’s land, the land-grant railroads carried mail at 4/5 the established rate, and government property and military personnel at 1/2 the established rate. Until the land-grant rate reductions were abolished, payments by the railroads for land grants totaled about $1,250,000,000 in the form of reduced rates, or more than TEN TIMES the value of the lands at the time they were transferred.  {001 & 023}
Wk. 19, 05/10/1869 – Promontory Summit, UT


Canada established as a nation by the British North America Act (BNA) (later, Constitution Act – 1867). Constitution, major legal structure, etc. Today, celebrated each year as Canada Day.  {001}


The fun is over in Dodge City, KS+2, for Red River Dick (Deadwood Dick+2) and the (now mostly broke) Gallinger Outfit cowboys, as they start back for Texas. They will be six weeks on the trail. After resting up at the home ranch for a few days, it’s back out on the Texas plains rounding up another herd for the next drive North.  {001}


Allan Pinkerton - Week 26Allan Pinkerton, age 64, died in Chicago, IL. In partnership with Chicago attorney Edward Rucker he founded the famous and notorious Pinkerton National Detective Agency (1855), nemesis of many Western stage and train robbers. He died from biting his own tongue. At one time there were more Pinkerton agents than there were soldiers in the standing U.S. Army. Photo U.S. PD , M. Brady.  {001}
see also:
Photo Gallery Index – Lawmen and Outlaws PhotosAlan Pinkerton
PLAYERS – Timelines Index – Timelines M-Z Index – Pinkertons Timeline
Quotes Index – Rules to Live By – last words… Pinkerton Code of Conduct


Robert A. ‘Clay’ Allison (14) tried to catch a falling feed bag, fell under his own wagon and died within the hour. Pecos, TX. His granite tombstone reads, “He Never Killed a Man that did not Need Killing”.


The newly minted Evans Gang — Chris Evans and brothers George and John Sontag, attempt a train robbery along the Minnesota River between St. Peter and Kasota. They don’t get much… except notice by the Pinkertons.  {001}
The Originals – Outlaw Gangs – Evans Gang (Chris)


OWDR Rufus Buck Gang Hanging newspaper - Week 26Five members of the Rufus Buck Gang — Rufus Buck, brothers Lewis and Lucky Davis, Maoma July, and Sam Sampson, hanged at Ft. Smith, AK (1 pm). The only men ever hanged for rape at Ft. Smith, and the next-to-the-last hanging under the auspices of “Hanging” Judge Isaac Parker. Photo: U.S. PD 1896 newspaper.  {001}
References – Books – Novels and History (non-ref)
Leonce Gaiter
Quotes Index – Gunfighter Quotes Rufus Buck
The Originals Index – Outlaw Gangs Index – Rufus Buck Gang

barbed wire divider2- Week 26.End: Week 26, June 25th thru July 1st.
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{001} C 09/21; E 07/20: F 06/11; P 07/17

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