Week 35: August/September

Week 35: August 27 thru September 2nd

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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}

1860

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}

1883

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}

1892

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

1931

20 Mule TeamBorax” 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 wheelers* had to be big 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 left (nigh) 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 commuter service in San Francisco, and he invested in real estate — but it was the borax** that had paved the way. Photos: U.S. PD, Wagons – Kevin Saff; Mule Team USNPS.  TYH!  {001}
see:
*Dictonary) – Jerk LineTeamsterSwamperWheelers
**Photo Gallery Index – Mining Photos – Mining MineralsBorax

2006

Final episode of HBO’s western series Deadwood (3 seasons). TYH! (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}
see:
Quotes Index – Indian Quotes, from Colorado Governor F.W. Pitkin

1930

Dayton, WA. Dead at 76 was Sgt. Frank Finkel who laid claim to having been the lone survivor of the Custer Massacre.  {001}
see:
Wk. 26, 06/25/1876 – Little Big Horn

1995

OWDR Earl W Bascom WebEarl 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 byOld West Daily Reader Subscribe Today

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