Week 35: August/September

Week 35: August 27 thru September 2nd

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

8/27 of… 1859

The world’s first oil well, in Titusville, PA, is drilled by Col. Edwin Drake. The search for oil will move west…  {001}


Salt Lake City, UT. The Ninth Hand Cart Company (Robison) arrives. They are eighty-three days out from Florence, NE, with 233 immigrants, having lost but one on the trek.  {001}


The eruption of Krakatoa in the Sunda Strait of Indonesia makes for spectacular sunsets in the west (and all over the world) for most of the next three or four years. Western movies made it last a lot longer!  {001}


Born: Rose August Wenger in Cleveland, Ohio. She will become Helen Gibson, the first professional stunt woman (1912?).  {001}


20 Mule Team - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndBorax” Smith crosses to the great desert in the sky. Francis Marion “Frank” Smith is gone at 85. He parlayed his discovery of borax at Teel’s Marsh (NV) in 1872 into thriving businesses. By 1877, 30-ton loads behind 24 mule teams were moving borax 160 miles to the Central Pacific RR siding at Wadsworth. From 1883 to 1889, he ran the 2o mule teams and made them and his laundry product famous across the nation.
There were just eighteen mules; the20 mule team wagons - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2nd wheelers* had to be large horses such as Belgians or Clydesdales. It took some big muscles to turn a twenty-five thousand pound borax wagon. There were two of them, each with a 10-ton load, and a water wagon (1200 gal. U.S., 9,600 lbs.). The rig was right at 180 feet long, total weight of about 73,000 lbs. Mules had to jump the chains on the tight curves. The haul was 120 miles across the desert to Mojave at about 17 miles a day. The teamster usually rode the nigh (left) wheeler and controlled the team with a jerk line.* The swamper rode the wagon and braked. These were some mighty men!  During the six years (1883-89) that the teams operated, some 20 million pounds of borax were hauled out.
Smith went on to build several railroads and the Key System (a San Francisco commuter service). He also made some investments in real estate, but it was the borax that had paved the way.** Photos: U.S. PD, Wagons – Kevin Saff; Mule Team USNPS.  TYH! (01) {001}
*Dictonary) – Jerk LineTeamsterSwamperWheelers
**Photo Gallery Index – Mining Photos – Mining MineralsBorax


Final episode of HBO’s western series Deadwood (3 seasons). TYH! (02) (But no movies… shucks!)  {001}

8/28 of.. 1881

The Southern Ute Indians (Mouache) were forcibly removed to a reservation in the Utah Territory.   {001}
Quotes Index – Indian Quotes, from Colorado Governor F.W. Pitkin


Dayton, WA. Dead at 76 was Sgt. Frank Finkel who laid claim to having been the lone survivor of the Custer Massacre.  {001}
Wk. 26, 06/25/1876 – Little Big Horn
References – Books – Novels and History (non-ref) – Koster,  John – Custer Survivor (2017)


Earl W Bascom - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndEarl W. Bascom, the “Cowboy of Cowboy Artists” age 89, died in Victorville, CA. All around cowboy, bronc buster, rodeo champion, dude wrangler, painter, print maker, sculptor, blacksmith, inventor, cattle rancher, motion picture actor… and this is the short list! Father of modern rodeo. Bascom and his brother Weldon, financed by Sam Hickman, owner of the B Bar H Ranch at Arm, MS, produced rodeos in Columbia, MS, circa 1935-37. Read more about this man!  TYH! (03)Photo: © Canadian Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame (Fair use).  {001}

8/29 of… 1836

Sam Colt takes the second patent #1304 on the Patterson Pistol. The protection of the design is fully in place for the first practical revolver/repeater. Colt now sets out to solve the problems of manufacture.  {001}


Frederick J. Dodge born in Spring Valley, CA: an undercover detective for Wells Fargo, constable in Tombstone, AZ Territory and a Texas cattleman.  {001}


Virginia City, NV. A riot ensues as two fire companies compete over a small fire in the city… five hundred thousand dollars in damages, one death, two thousand left homeless.  {001}


Brigham Young - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndBrigham Young, the “American Moses”, age 76, died in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. Mormon leader and politician. After the murder of Joseph Smith in Illinois, Young eventually led the Mormons west to Utah, founding Salt Lake City* and petitioning congress to form the State of Deseret. Instead, the Compromise of 1850 led to the creation of the Utah Territory. Conflict with the U.S. Government led to the Utah War**. Young is credited with founding the University of Deseret in 1850, now the University of Utah. He was the instigator of the Hand Cart Companies (1855), the designer of the carts themselves and a driving force behind their success. Photo: U.S. PD  {001}
see also:
*Wk. 30, 07/24/1847 – Salt Lake City
**Wk. 29, 07/18/1843 – Utah War
Photo Gallery Index – Transportation PhotosMormon Hand Carts


John A. Jones – LCW: A member of the Seven Rivers Warriors. Killed in Seven Rivers, NM by fellow gang member Bob Olinger.  {001}


Wild Bunch members Will Carver, Butch Cassidy, Kid Curry and the Sundance Kid take a Union Pacific train near Tipton, WY. They got over $30,000, split up, and got away.  {001}


Born: Orvon Gene Autry “Gene Autry” in Tioga, TX. Radio, recording, movie and TV star.  {001}


Ishi - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndDriven from the forest by fires, an Indian who appears to be about fifty years old is caught stealing meat near Oroville, CA (present-day Tehama County). Taken into protective custody by the local sheriff, he is soon labeled the “Wild Man” by the press. Then, noticed by professors at the University of California, he is “adopted” for study. He will become known as Ishi. Photo: U.S. PD,Online Archive of California, Ishi, sometime before 1916.  {001}
Wk 12, 03/25/1916 – Ishi
The Pretenders Index – TV ShowsIshi: Last of His Tribe (1978)


Frank M. Kendall, sheriff of Twin Falls, ID has issued a wanted poster for one Ed Smith, aka: “Nervy” Smith for horse stealing. He may not want Ed too badly, as he does not offer a reward.  {001}


Josep Henry Sharp - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndPasadena, CA, sees the passing of American artist Joseph Henry Sharp at 93 years. Commissioned by Theodore Roosevelt to paint portraits of two hundred Crow warriors who had survived the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Phoebe Hearst (mother of William Randolph Hearst) bought eighty of Sharp’s paintings of Native Americans and commissioned an additional seventy-five portraits which were to to include members of every major Great Plains tribe. He painted some 7,800 Native American subjects; 3,200 are portraits. An artist and a western historian who aided in the preservation of the view into a way of life that was rapidly disappearing. The Gilcrease Museum (Tulsa, OK) currently curates the largest collection of Sharp’s work in the world. TYH (04) Photo: U.S. PD c. 1910 Peter A. Juley & son.  {001}


Lee Marvin, age 63, died in Tucson, AZ. Versatile Academy Award-winning actor, he played in many westerns, among these: The Comancheros (1961), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and Paint Your Wagon (1969). He won an Oscar for his dual performance of Kid Shelleen and Tim Strawn in the excellent, hilarious comedy western, Cat Ballou (1965). Photo: U.S. PD, Movie promo – as Kid Shelleen.  {001}
see also:
The Pretenders Index – Movies

8/30 of… 1858

The well-outfitted Rose-Baley party (immigrants) had made more than 1,200 miles (1,900 km) from Iowa in just four months. However, as they prepared to cross the Colorado River at Beal’s Crossing (near today’s Needles, CA), they were attacked by three hundred Mohave warriors. Fighting off their attackers and killing seventeen, they still suffered five children and three adults executed, with twelve others wounded. Badly shaken, the party backtracked more than 500 miles (800 km) to Albuquerque, NM, instead of continuing to their original destination in Southern California (LA).  {001}


The Black Hills expedition returns to Ft. Lincoln with news of the gold discovery*. The news quickly spreads across the nation but the army more or less keeps everyone out of the Indian lands until the following fall…  {001}
*Wk. 31, 07/31/1874 – “…gold in the roots of the grass!


An Indian ambush in west Texas was defeated with Gatling guns deployed by Lt. John Pope of the 5th Infantry, commanded by then Colonel Nelson Miles.  {001}


Two masked road agents held up a Black Canyon stagecoach traveling between Phoenix and Prescott (AZ). Just then, another stagecoach came by headed in the opposite direction, so the bandits stopped it as well. Ten passengers were robbed, then held a gunpoint by one of the outlaws while the other one opened both Wells Fargo boxes. The exact amount of their haul was never reported. The two miscreants got away clean and were never identified. Nothing was ever recovered.  {001}


English film director J. Lee Thompson (John Lee Thompson), age 88, died in ??. Thompson made several westerns, including: Mackenna’s Gold (1969) and The White Buffalo (1977) with Charles Bronson.  {001}
see also:
The Pretenders Index – Movies


Charles Bronson, aka Charles Buchinsky, Charles Dennis Buchinskas, age 80, died in Los Angeles, CA. Movie star and tough guy, Bronson played in numerous westerns: Apache (1954), Vera Cruz (1954), Run of the Arrow (1957), Guns for San Sebastian (1969) – a spaghetti western by Henri Verneuil, The Magnificent Seven (1960), Guns of Diablo (1964), The White Buffalo (1977), Once upon a Time in the West (1968) {001}
see also:
The Pretenders Index – Movies

8/31 of… 1779

Governor Juan Bautista de Anza’s+2 troops descended Ute Pass near today’s Colorado Springs and turned south. This morning a scout reports seeing a Comanche+2  encampment near Wigwam (northeast of Pueblo).  {003}


The Donner Party reaches Fort Bridger and enters the “Hastings Cutoff”.  {001}


Late August, shortly after being appointed acting sheriff of Ellis County, Wild Bill Hickok kills Bill Mulvey, who in a drunken rampage refused an order to drop his pistol. Bill shot him through the lungs and twice in the head for good measure. Hays City, KS.  {001}


George “The Kid” McGoldric kills Julius “Frenchy” Burgen and the newly minted mining town of Rico, CO discovers that it needs a cemetery.  {001}


Mail sacks cut open with Black Bart’s trademark “T” shape identify this Siskiyou County, CA, robbery between Roseburg and Eureka.  {001}


A Denver & Rio Grande Western RR train is taken by two bandits between Cotopaxi and Texas Creek in Fremont County, CO.  Pinkerton agents Tom Horn and C. W. Shores soon reel in Thomas Eskridge (aka “Peg-Leg” Watson) and Burt “Red” Curtis for the affair but they have to follow them to the Washita River in Oklahoma to do it.  {001}


Kinetoscope - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndThomas Edison granted a patent for the Kinetoscope, a precursor to the movie projector. The device allowed only one individual to view the film through a peephole at the top of the device. It created the illusion of movement by conveying a strip of perforated film bearing sequential images over a light source with a high-speed shutter. Not a movie projector, as such, but it introduced the basic approach that would become the standard for all cinematic projection before the advent of video. The majority of the developmental work on the device was accomplished by Edison’s talented assistant William Kennedy Laurie Dickson.  The Kinetoscope was clearly instrumental to the birth of American movie culture which was soon to to blossom. Drawing: U.S. PD c. mid-1890’s – Schematic of W. K. L. Dickson’s Kinetoscope.  {001}
Wk. 25
, 06/19/1878 – Horse in Motion Study
Wk.  19, 05/08/1904 – Eadweard James Muybridge
The Pretenders Index – Movies – Look for the “Silents


Texas Ranger Ernest “Diamond Dick” St. Leon dies from wounds received some days before in a gun battle with outlaws John Collier, Bob Finley, and John Ray (wounded) near El Paso, TX.  {001}


Benjamin H Grierson, - Brig Gen U.S. Army - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndOmena, MI sees the passing of U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Benjamin Grierson: Heroic Civil War cavalry commander (brevet major general). Best remembered for his enthusiastic and effective command of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment (Buffalo Soldiers (1866 -1890). Grierson paid a price for what he did; ostracized by fellow officers for his association with the black troops and facing questions about his judgment, simply because he dealt fairly and courteously with the Indians. TYH! (04) Photo: U.S. PD LOC.  {001}
see also:
PLAYERS – Timelines – Timelines A-L – Buffalo Soldiers Timeline
Quotes Index – Commentators QuotesSoldiers
Turner Network Television’s documentary, “Buffalo Soldiers”,
a quote from the Documentary.


John Ford - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndJohn Ford (John Martin Feeney), age 79, died in Palm Desert, CA. Mentor of John Wayne and a renowned film director with many westerns to his credit: Three Bad Men (1926, silent) Stagecoach (1939), My Darling Clementine (1946), Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Searchers (1956), Wagon Master and Rio Grande (1950), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), How the West Was Won (1962), Cheyenne Autumn (1964). Photo: U.S. PD.  {001}
see also:
The Pretenders Index – Movies


The remaining days of this week fall in September.

9/1 of… 1821

A pack train trading party led by Captain William Becknell departs Arrow Rock, MO, bound for Santa Fe (NM). This event led to the opening of the Santa Fe Trail, a major trade and military route into what would become the American southwest.  {001}
see also:
The Originals Index – Expeditions


William Clark - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndThe Death of William Clark, age 68, in St. Louis, MO. American explorer, soldier, Indian agent, and territorial governor. Along with Meriwether Lewis, Clark lead the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803-06) across the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean. They claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States. TYH! (05) Portrait: U.S. PD 1810 by Charles Wilson Peale.  {001}
The Originals Index – ExpeditionsCorps of Discovery


John P. Clum born near Claverack, NY. Indian agent, politician, newspaper editor.  {001}


 Clay Street RR cable car - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndAndrew Smith Hallidie engineered a safe and efficient means of transporting passengers over the growing cities’ precipitous hillside streets and San Francisco‘s first cable cars began routine service on the Clay Street Hill Railroad. Other engineers improved the “grip”, the brakes, and various other parts of the system, but the cable car made Hallidie a wealthy man. Photo: U.S. PD pre-1900, by unknown, Cable Car Museum.  {003}


The Weaverville to Redding stage in Shasta County, CA, taken near French Gulch by Black Bart.  {001}


Johnny Mack Brown born in Dothan, AL. Movie star.  {001}


Richard Speed - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndThe Doolin Gang, including “Tulsa Jack” Blake, Dan “Dynamite Dan” Clifton and “Bitter Creek” Newcomb, fight a gun battle with U.S. marshals at Ingalls, OK. Bill Dalton shot and seriously wounded Deputy US Marshal Lafeyette Shadley+2, and U.S. Deputy Marshal Thomas J. Hueston+2 during the gun battle inside George Ransom’s saloon. Posse member Dick Speed was killed in the street by “Arkansas Tom” Jones+2 and a badly wounded “Bitter Creek” George Newcomb thereby escaped death. Five citizens (two died) and three of the outlaws were wounded. “Dynamite Dan” has three fingers shot off and soon becomes “the most killed outlaw in America”.*  Photos: U.S. PD, pre-1893, Dick Speed.  {001}
*Quotes Index – Gunfighter Quotes – – “The most killed outlaw in America!
The Originals Index – Outlaw Gangs Index
Doolin Gang – Wild Bunch
09/02/1893 – below

9/2 of… 1779

Governor Juan Bautista de Anza’s+2 troops reach the Arkansas River near present day Pueblo, CO, where they succeed in capturing some Comanche horses. Most of the Utes depart with their spoils while the rest continue south along the Taos Trail (bordering the southeastern edge of what would become known as the Greenhorn Mountains). In the gathering darkness Anza pushes his divisions to surround the Indians. Cuerno Verde (Green Horn) and many of his men escape, leaving behind eight dead warriors and many wounded. Anza holds his ground through the night, restless for light and for the chance to confront Cuerno Verde again.  {003}


Born in Waynesboro, TN, Clay Allison: Gunfighter.  {001}


The Rock Springs Massacre (WY). In one of the most violent of many outbursts of anti-Chinese sentiment in the west, white miners, members of the Knights of Labor, attacked the Chinese settlement in the community. They looted, robbed and murdered at least 28 and wounded fifteen (estimates run much higher). Nearly eighty homes were burned and some railroad property was also destroyed, with total losses pegged at $150,000. The massacre was fueled largely by racial prejudice and deep resentment against Union Pacific wage and hiring practices, and use of the Chinese as strikebreakers. Troops were brought in to keep the peace but the incident sparked other such attacks in the west and northwest. No charges were ever brought against any of the perpetrators. There were an estimated 100,000 Chinese immigrants in the U.S. at the time.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 18, 5/6/1882 – Chinese Exclusion Act


PVW, Pleasant Valley, AZ. Notorious rustler and horse thief Andy Blevins and a group of cowboys ambush and kill John Tewksbury (leader of the sheepmen) and Bill Jacobs at their sheep camp in Tonto Basin. Tewksbury’s pregnant wife Mary Ann is driven off by gunfire and other sheep men are besieged in a small cabin, but survive to slip away after dark. Tom Graham insists, “No, the hogs must eat them!” and the cowboys allow wild hogs to eat the bodies of the murdered sheepmen.  {001}


Lafayette 'Laf ' Shadley - U.S Marshal. - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndThomas J Hueston - U.S -Deputy Marshal - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndMore fallout from the gunfight of the day before at Ingalls, OK: an ailing Arkansas Tom Daugherty+2 is captured when Jim Masterson threatens to use dynamite to blow up his hotel room. Lawmen Tom J. Hueston+2 (L) and LafayetteLafe” Shadley+2 (R) die of their wounds. Photos: U.S. PD pre-1893, courtesy Officer Down Memorial Page.  {001}


From the 2nd to the 7th is the first performance of the Calgary Stampede, founded by Guy Weadick (1886-1953, a well known roper) and H.C. McMullen, a livestock agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway).  {001}

OWDR-barbed-wire-divider2 - Week 35: August 27th thru September 2ndEnd: Week 35, August 27th thru September 2nd.
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{001} C 02/20; E 09/19: F 01/16; P 08/18

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