Week 30: July

Week 30: July 23 thru 29th

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

7/23 of… 1838

Samuel Stone Hall was born on a farm near Leominster, MA. He ran away to the West, gained a reputation as an author, a dead shot. and he became Buckskin Sam Hall.  {001}


Seth Bullock is born in Amherstburg, Canada. Merchant, sheriff.  {001}


Explorer/prospector Capt. Richard Sopris becomes the first white man to enjoy the Yampah Hot Springs at what will become Glenwood Springs, CO. The spectacular mountain that rises over 6,000 ft. above the Roaring Fork River and surrounding countryside (Carbondale, CO) to a height of 12, 965 ft. above sea-level was named Mt. Sopris by members of the expedition. The names of all 14 expedition members were carved on a large cottonwood tree on the island near the spring.  {001 & 009}


 Clark Gruber $10 gold coin - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thClark, Gruber & Co. opened a private mint in a two story brick building on the corner of Market and 16th Streets in Denver, CO. Minting $10 gold pieces (an “Eagle”) at the rate of “fifteen or twenty coins a minute”. Next, a $20 gold coin (a “Double Eagle”)… “the weight will be greater, but the value the same as the United States coin of like denomination”. A $5 and a $2.5 gold coin were soon added, with production reaching $18,000 per week. In not quite three years of operation, they minted $594,305 worth of Pike’s Peak Gold into coins. They also purchased 77,000 troy ounces of raw gold* and shipped “large amounts of dust” to the Philadelphia Mint. The building, assaying and minting equipment was purchased by the US Treasury in April 1863 and became the United States Mint, which actually, only operated as an assay office until 1906. Clark, Gruber & Co. remained as a bank until 1865 when they were purchased by the First National Bank of Denver. Photo: U.S. PD? internet – 1860 C, G & Co. $10 gold coin.  {001}
*at the then market price of gold, $20.67 oz. (Troy), that’s not quite $1.6 million in 1860’s dollars.
The Originals Index – Trade in the Old West
Commerce in the Old West around 1860…


Vigilante Leader A. B. Webster is assaulted at his post office job by Samuel Strawhim and Joe Weiss, who had been warned by the vigilantes+3 to get out of town. When Weiss went for a gun, Webster shot and killed him. (where??)  {001}


Ft. Smith, AK. It’s Blue Duck‘s hanging date, but George Maledon will be denied his victim this day. One-time paramour Belle Starr is working legal magic and for the moment, the hanging is postponed…  {001}


Jeff King enlists in the U.S. Army as an Indian scout, at Fort Wingate, N.M.  {001}


Porum Range War – Mack Alfred, murdered on the way back home from Porum, OK.  {028}
see also:
PLAYERS – Timelines Master Index- Timelines A-L – Porum Range War Timeline


The Gene Autry Show (Melody Ranch) makes its debut on CBS TV. Ninety-one half hour shows air starring Gene Autry as himself with Chill Wills, then Fuzzy Knight, and finally Pat Buttram as sidekicks. The show transitioned to color in its fifth and final season.  {001}


National Day of the Cowboy logo - Week 302005/07/23 – First National Day of the Cowboy. According to the organization, the day is to be celebrated each year on the 4th Saturday of July. The National Day of the Cowboy (NDOC) organization was founded in June 2005. A nonprofit organization to encourage celebration and involvement; taking the responsibility to educate the public at large about pioneer heritage and cowboy culture, in an open inclusive atmosphere, not influenced by private corporations or their individual marketing or self-promoting efforts. It received non-profit status from the IRS 12/07/2005. Logo: © NDOC, Fair Use. {001}
see also:
References – Rules to Live ByNDOC Code of Conduct for Cowboys & Cowgirls
This article also appears in Firsts in the Old West2005

7/24 of…1800

Born in Haysboro, TN, William Selby Harney, soldier, U.S. Army General officer.  {001}


Brigham Young arrives in the Salt Lake Valley from Illinois with 128 pioneers after eleven months’ travel*. They will become the founders of Salt Lake City.  {001}
Quotes Index – Commentators QuotesBrigham Young


Wiseman Massacre: Four Indians, thought to be from the Yankton and Santee Sioux tribes, attack the home of Henson and Phoebe Wiseman while the parents are away. They kill and scalp the five children: Arthur – 16, Hannah14, Andrew – 9, WilliamHenry” – 8, and Loren – 4. In Today’s, Cedar County, NE.  {001}


John and Charles Ruggles are lynched for robbing the Redding and Weaverville Stage and killing the guard at Redding, CA. The loot was never found.  {001}


Sam Ketchum - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thSam Ketchum: outlaw, train robber, and member of the Black Jack Ketchum Gang, dies of blood poisoning from his wounds in the prison at Santa Fe. Photo U.S. PD, pre-1899.  {001}
Wk. 28, 07/11/1899 – Black Jack Ketchum Gang

7/25 of… 1853

Joaquin Murietta - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thJoaquin Murrietta - headflyer-1853 - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thA  group of the newly formed California Rangers* shoots it out with a band of armed Mexican men near Panoche Pass in San Benito County, CA. Two are captured and two of the three killed, are claimed to be Joaquin Murrietta and Manuel Garcia, aka: “Three Fingered Jack”. The head of the one presumed to be Murrietta was toured throughout the state seeking positive identification so as to claim the rewards. It made good money at $1.00 a view as well. Jack’s hand preserved in alcohol secured the reward for his demise and added to the show. Both artifacts were lost in the 1906 San Francisco, CA earthquake and fire. Portrait: U.S. PD pre-1853 unknown, said to be Joaquin Murrietta. Poster: U.S. PD 1853.  {001}
*Wk. 19, 05/11/1853 – California State Rangers
Quotes Index – Gunfighter QuotesSusan Lee Johnson re: Murrietta.


Three more Reno Gang members meet their fate in the hands of vigilantes+3 at Hangman Crossing, IDs: Henry Jerrell, John J. Moore and Frank Sparks.  {001}
The Originals Index – Outlaw Gangs Index – Reno Gang


Wyoming becomes an organized incorporated territory of the United States with the capitol at Cheyenne.   {001}


Lucian B. Maxwell, age 56, died in Ft. Sumner, NM. Entrepreneur, rancher. The Maxwell Land Grant, one of the largest land holdings in U.S. History, was comprised of some 714,765 acres when he sold most of the property to a British company in 1870 for $1,350,000. An armed struggle, the Colfax County War, erupted between squatters and the new owners and continued on and off until a court settlement in 1887 cleared the titles. Today, NRA’s Whittington Center, the Philmont Scout Ranch, Ted Turner’s Vermejo Park Ranch and other ranches cover some of the old grant.  {001}


Walter Andrew Brennan born in Lynn, MA. Movie star.  {001}


Denver, CO, Rocky Mountain News Founder and Editor William Newton Byers writes a strong editorial against Charley Harrison over the shooting of “Professor Charley Stark, the “Mexican Negro“*. The Criterion crowd takes umbrage and vow to take action against Byers.  {001}
*Wk. 29, 07/21/1860 – died, Professor Charles Stark


Jim Winters, killer of Johnnie Curry (Logan) bushwhacked and shot dead by persons unknown. But his tombstone reads, “Vengeance is mine”. Where was Kid Curry?  {001}


Doc Scurloc - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thLCW: Josiah GordonDocScurlock, age 80, died in Eastland, TX. Cowboy, rancher, gunfighter, deputy sheriff and last chief of the Lincoln County Regulators. A participant in most of the Regulators’ battles in The Lincoln County War, he was wounded in the gunfight with Buckshot Roberts at Blazer’s Mill. Photo: U.S. PD 1877  {001}

7/26 of…1764

The Enoch Brown School Massacre: took place during Pontiac’s Rebellion, the earliest recorded shooting on school property in the U.S. Four Delaware (Lenape) warriors shot and scalped Brown, then tomahawked and scalped eleven children. Two of the scalped children survived and four others were taken prisoner. Near today’s Greencastle, PA. There was no such event noted in the West until 1961.  {001}


Born: Silas Stillman Soule in Bath MA. Abolitionist, jayhawker, soldier.  {001}


Ada County, ID Sheriff “Big Dave” Updyke, and three other outlaws robbed a stagecoach bound for Salt Lake City, in Portneuf Canyon, taking some $86,000 in gold. In the melee, the stage driver and a passenger were wounded and four other passengers were killed. The loot, subsequently buried and lost, became the “Lost Portneuf Gold”.  {001}
see also:
The Originals Index – Lost Treasures in the Old WestPortneuf Gold


U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte, using Department of Justice expense funds, established the Bureau of Investigation, the BOI or BI for short. The first “Chief”  was Stanley Finch. Its name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1935 (the title is now, “Director”).  {001}


Gene Autry enlistment - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thDuring the broadcast of his CBS Melody Ranch Radio Show, Gene Autry took his oath to join the U.S. Army. The show continued until August 8, 1943, when it went off the air, until after the close of WWII, resuming 09/23/1945 as a 15 minute music program. Photo: U.S. PD 1942 studio/Gov promo.   {001}
Wk. 38, 09/23/1945 – Melody Ranch returns.


John Baker “Texas Jack” Omohundro born in Pleasure Hill near Palmyra, VA. Cowboy, scout, buffalo hunter, showman.  {001}


Samuel Houston, age 70, died in Huntsville, TX. General, president of the Republic of Texas, senator and later governor of the State of Texas, namesake of the city of Houston, TXTYH!  {001}


The Dan Castello Circus opens in San Francisco, CA. The first circus to play both the east and west coasts.  {001}


Sixteen days out of Fort Concho*, the Staked Plains Horror begins: Capt. Nicolas Nolan+4, supposedly in pursuit of a Comanche raiding party led by Red Young Man, leads his mixed party of Buffalo Hunters+2 and 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers+2 west from Double Lakes onto the Staked Plains heading for Rich Lake [17 miles]. Comanchero guide Jose Tafoya+2 has informed Lt. Cooper that some forty Indians have been seen moving in a northwesterly direction, “evidently not suspecting that troops were in the country”. This and more bad and misleading information from Comanche leader Quanah Parker (who is pursuing the same group of Indians) is relayed to Captain Nolan and they become lost. Water discipline is poor and there is dissension in the ranks; this will be the first day of “The Thirsting Time”+4…   {001}
*Wk. 28, 07/10/1877 – departure from Ft. Concho


First stage robbery by “Black Bart”, between Sonora and Milton, Calaveras County, CA.  {001}


At three in the morning, shots from the street crash into the ceiling above the stage at Comique Dance Hall and Theater in Dodge City, KS, scattering the startled patrons. City policemen Jim Masterson and Wyatt Earp quickly respond and engage the shooters, “visiting” Texas cowboys. The cowboys escape except for George Hoy who falls from his horse, shot in the arm. Hoy dies of infection several weeks later.  {001}

7/27 of… 1821

Col. Augustine de Iturbide enters Mexico City at the head of the Army of Three Guarantees and the next day declares Mexican Independence from Spain. The country will be called New Spain and Iturbide will become Augustine of Mexico, Emperor. He will serve but a year — and turbulent Mexico will not have another emperor until Maximilian in 1864.  {001}


Cyrus Thomas born in Kingsport, TN. Ethnologist, entomologist.  {001}


California Trail Expedition: Benjamin Bonneville sent a party of men to explore the Great Salt Lake and find an overland route to California. Commanded by Joe Walker, the group included Old Bill Williams and Zenas Leonard. They eventually discovered a route from the Green River, along the Humboldt River across present-day Nevada, to the Humboldt Sink. Then to present day Genoa, NV at the base of the Sierra Nevada. The ascent of the Sierras was up the west fork of the Carson River to Hawkins Peak, then  to the headwaters of the Stanislaus River and finally descending to the river itself and following it down to the Central Valley of California.  {001}


Born in Westchester County, NY, Ranald Slidell Mackenzie. General, U.S. Army, in the Civil War and Indian Wars.  {001}


Born: Luther Sage “Yellowstone” Kelley in Geneva, NY. Soldier, hunter, trapper, scout.   {001}


John B. Allen becomes the first white man to file under the Homestead Act in the Arizona Territory.  {001}


Arrested! – Pinkertons take Simeon and William Reno in Indianapolis, IN. Tried, convicted and housed in the jail at Lexington, concerns about potential lynch mobs cause the prisoners to be moved to a safer location in the Ford County jail . That night a mob broke in where the outlaws had been just hours before. The Vigilantes want these outlaws!  {001}
The Originals Index – Outlaw Gangs Index – Reno Gang


Ellsworth, KS: Texas cattleman/gunslinger Print Olive and local badboy Spike Kenedy shoot it out over a poker game; both are wounded, both arrested.  {001}
Quotes Index – Gunfighter Quotes – Ellsworth Reporter (08/01/1872)


Jose Tafoya+2 leads Capt. Nolan’s+4 command deeper into the waterless desert and abandons them. The situation is growing grim: day two of “The Thirsting Time”+4. Nolan confides to his diary, “The command now commenced to suffer exceedingly for water…”  {001}


The Baltimore Morning Herald wrote, “Butchered by Bannocks – An Awful Massacre at Jackson’s Hole. – TROOPS ARE TOO LATE. – Men, Women and Children Killed. – NOT ONE ESCAPED.” A perfect example of the journalistic hyperbole of the times. Here is my short distillation of The Bannock War of 1895 in Wyoming… It was the usual: white man wants what Indian has — but with a new twist. The land, of course — but this was also about elk. In the beginning, the Indians ate elk and used elk teeth for the craft trade — which then grew, driven largely by whites. White hunters forced legislation that turned Indian hunters into poachers. Some were arrested, but were usually released over local jailhouse economics. The Indians all went back to the reservation having injured no one. One old, blind Indian was mysteriously killed. Race Horse, one of those arrested and who was to stand trial, was cleared when the Supreme Court declared Indians were not subject to the poaching law on Indian land. End of “war”.  {001}
Quotes Index – Indian QuotesBannock Wars – more of the talk of the times…


Jason Nelson Robards born in Chicago, IL. Movie star.  {001}

7/28 of…1819

Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe born in New Jersey. She will become noted Western author Dame Shirley.  {001}


John White discovered gold on Grasshopper Creek in southwestern Montana. A supply road was soon established through the Cache Valley to Salt Lake City.  {001}


Buffalo Soldiers Monument - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thDrawing heavily on Civil War veterans, Congress authorizes six regiments of “colored troops” {USCT} with white officers*: the 38th & 41st infantry regiments) consolidated into the 24th IR (1869), and the 39th & 40th infantry regiments consolidated as the 25th IR (1869), and two regiments of cavalry: the 9th and 10th. Many of these units fought in the Indian Wars and the Cheyenne would come to call the fighters of the 10th Cavalry “wild buffalo” (1867). In time, all black soldiers would be called “Buffalo Soldiers“+2 . Legend also says the name derived from the similarity of their hair to that of the buffalo. Considerable respect from any Indians who faced them and numerous awards of the Medal of Honor attest to the fighting courage and prowess of these troops. TYH!  Photo: Buffalo Soldier Monument at Fort Leavenworth, KS; PD US Gov, sculpture by Eddie Dixon.  {001}
*Wk. 03, 01/19/1899 – General Ranald S. Mackenzie


Lieutenant Colonel (Brevet Major General) George A. Custer assumes command of the 7th Cavalry at Ft. Riley, KS.  {001}


Bonde R. Pearson, aka: Barnet, Barney… born somewhere along the Oregon Trail (or more likely in Sweden, brought to America in 1872 when his family emigrated). He will become “Idaho Bill”  {001}


Fledgling amateur ornithologist U.S. Army Lieutenant Charles E. Bendire was stationed at Fort Lowell, AZ. While exploring the desert in the area he noticed and shot an unusual female thrasher. He sent the bird to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC where it was examined by one of the foremost ornithologists of the times, Elliott Coues.  Suspecting that the bird was an unknown, Coues wrote for more details. Bendire responded with descriptions of its eggs and habits but most importantly with a male specimen. In the end, Coues declared the bird a new species and named it Bendire’s Thrasher in honor of the man who discovered it. Alleged by many to have the most beautiful song of all the thrashers. Photos: LH – Photo: U.S. PD? Audubon; RH – U.S. PD frontpiece of The Auk (01/1898) – Bendire.  {001}


Near Caldwell, KS, a large posse of nearly 150 men were bent on rounding up a gang of horse and mule thieves operating in the area. After a shootout of several hours duration, William “Bully” Brooks+2 and two others were taken. The two were released but Brooks was taken to the county jail at Wellington, KS, and confined with two members of his profession already behind bars.  {001}


“The Thirsting Time“+4, day three: more confusion and disagreement. Now, having missed Silver Lake, Capt. Nolan+4 decides survival means returning to Double Lakes (now 55 miles away) where he knows there is water. The Buffalo Hunters+2 leave the party and through the day the lack of water begins to take a toll as they plod through the 100+ degree heat…  {001}

7/29 of…1796

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is George Catlin, destined to become a painter of Indians and the American West.  {001}


Commodore Perry Owens born in Tennessee(?). Lawman, gunfighter.  {001}


The Battle of Solomon Fork (KS). The U.S. First Cavalry Regiment under the command of Col. Edwin V. Sumner charged a contingent of Southern Cheyenne warriors. The Indians, having been told by medicine man White Bull that they could not be harmed by the troopers’ bullets, were shocked and disheartened to find themselves faced with the first saber charge of the Indian Wars. The chase went on for seven miles before the Indians escaped. Light casualties on both sides.  {001}


Eagle Arms Cup Fire patent - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thThe Eagle Arms Co. of New York, NY updates its patent for its popular Cup Fire revolvers.  {001}
Photo Gallery Index – Weapons Photos – Ammunition Then and NowCup Fire
Photo Gallery Index – Weapons Photos – HandgunsCup Fire Revolvers


The distraught wife arrived from Caldwell in time to watch Welllington, KS, vigilantes+3 visit the local jail and present to Judge Lynch three resident horse thieves: her husband William L. “Bully” Brooks+2 and companions L.B. Hasbrouck and Charlie Smith. Hasbrouck and Smith were quickly gone but poor Bully danced for a while.  {001}


Attempting to travel at night for relief from the heat, and drinking only blood from their dying mounts, the soldiers press on. Capt. Nolan+4 sends some of the strongest men and horses on ahead hoping they will return with water. They make maybe twenty-five miles towards the Double Lakes. No one returns and that night desperation sets in… day four of “The Thirsting Time“+4…  {001}


Solar Eclipse map 1878 - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thA Total Eclipse of the Sun in the West! This eclipse was visible at sunrise at a path across northeastern Asia and passed across Alaska, western Canada, and the United States from Montana through Texas. It then tracked across most of Cuba and southwestern Hispaniola before ending. Maximum duration was three minutes and eleven seconds. Viewed by Thomas Edison among others of note. Illustrations: U.S. PD, Below – 1878 – Langley; RH – NASA 2011 by Fred Espenak.  {001}Solar Eclipse - 1878 - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29th


Local rancher Herman Rosenberg and some friends create a non-profit organization called the “Northwestern Frontier Exhibition Association” and every year during the second week of September the association puts on The Pendleton Roundup at Pendleton, OR. One of the granddaddies of modern rodeo. Art Acord* and other early Western movie stars competed there.  {001}
Wk. 01, 01/04/1931 – Art Acord

barbed wire divider2 - Week 30: July 23rd thru 29thEnd: Week 30, July 23rd thru 29th.
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{001} C 10/21; E 08/20; F 05/11; P 10/21


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