Week 49: December

Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th

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

12/3 of…1864

Gold is discovered in Confederate Gulch near Townsend in the Montana Territory.  {001}


Twenty-two militiamen led by the ever aggressive Jump Off Joe, are scouting Captain Jack’s Stronghold in the lava beds south of Tule Lake, CA. They are ambushed by the Modoc and all are killed. (This incident, and “Jump off Joe” may prove to be entirely fictitious? Still checking…)  {001}


The Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux had refused the government’s offer of $6,000,000 for the Black Hills the previous September. Now the U.S. Secretary of Interior directs the Commissioner of Indian affairs to inform the Sioux that any Indian not on the reservation by 01/31/1876 will be deemed “hostile”.  {001}


Canoncito, NM, bartender Frank Page kills outlaw Samuel “Rattlesnake Sam” Johnson when he refuses to pay for his drink ($.25) — but then discovers he will not be able to collect the offered reward.  {001}


Scarfaced Charley - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Dead is Scarfaced Charley — Modoc warrior, and possibly an instigator of the Battle of Lost River during the Modoc War*. Col. Frank Wheaton appointed him chief of the prisoners of war (after the execution of Captain Jack**) during the forced relocation to a reservation in Oklahoma, CA. Photo: U.S. PD 1873 Louis Heller.  {001}
*Wk. 48, 11/29/1872 – Battle of Lost River
**Wk 40, 10/03/1873 – Hanging
PLAYERS – Timelines – Timelines A-L
Indian Wars TimelineModoc War


San Francisco Call-12-03-1896 - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Wyatt Earp referees a prize fight, San Francisco, CA, between Tom Sharkey and Robert Fitzsimmons. The fight ends with a call of a low blow by Fitzsimmons and the fight is awarded to Sharkey. Accusations that Earp had fixed the fight even before the call, persist to this day. Here is one newspaper’s take: “It was the most bald-faced steal that has ever been seen in the San Francisco prize ring and will do much to hurt boxing on this coast if, indeed, it does not kill it entirely.” Newspaper quote and reprint: U.S. PD pre-1923 San Francisco Call 12/03/1896.  {001}


Ezra Meeker - 1921 - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Oregon Trail pioneer and promoter Ezra Manning Meeker died in Seattle, WA, at age 97. This man’s story is way too big for The Reader, so here is but a tiny taste: He traveled the Oregon Trail in 1852 with oxen for motive power, and became a successful hops farmer (then there were aphids…). He was a would-be gold miner, Klondike grocer (in the 1901 Alaska gold rush) and an unsuccessful politician… a Wild West Show performer, and an author: Ox Team or, The Old Oregon Trail, 1852–1906 (1906); Uncle Ezra’s Pioneer Short Stories for Children (c. 1915) and others. As a historian he created “The Old Oregon Trail Monument Expedition” to help the nation remember the Oregon Trail and in 1906, at the age of  76, he retraced his 1852 trip in reverse (with oxen again!) promoting the placement of monuments along the trail. His efforts continued until his death in 1928 with some 150 monuments eventually installed. On the way to the Dayton Air Races in 1924, flying with the U.S. Army Air Corps, he flew over some of the trails he had traveled. Photo: U.S. PD 1921  This old timer was a piece of work! TYH! +3  {001}
see also:
The Originals Index – Trails – bottom of page
Quotes Index – Commentators QuotesEzra Meeker and others…
Memorials Monuments and Sculpture – Oregon Trail Marker – first photo
Photo Gallery Index – Pushin’ Up DaisiesEzra Meeker

12/4 of 1812

Oliver Loving born in Hopkins County, KY. Cattle baron.  {001}


Caroline Weldon, born Susanna Carolina Faesch in Kleinbasel, Canton Basel, Switzerland. Indian activist, artist.  {001}


Stamp - National Grange - 1967 - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Oliver Hudson Kelley founds the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry (The Grange). Kelley conceived of a fraternal organization patterned on the Freemasons, and functioning to improve conditions for farmers. Unusual for the times, the Grange encouraged women and teenagers to participate and required that four of its nationally elected positions be held by women. The Grange advocated for the rights of farmers in clashes with railroads, it launched free rural mail delivery, and aided farmers through research and education. It also advocated strongly for more broadly focused issues like temperance and women’s suffrage. The Granger motto was, “I Pay for All“. Stamp: U.S. Postage 1967, Grange Centennial.  {003}


Yankton, Dakota Territory. Finally apprehended for the murder of “Wild Bill” Hickok* in Deadwood, “Broken Nose Jack McCall is brought to trial.  {001}
*Wk. 31, 08/02/1876 – Wild Bill


Robert Ford (killer of Jesse James) and Dick Liddil murder Woodson “Wood” Hite at Martha Bolton’s (Ford’s sister) home in Ray County, MO.  {001}


George Witherill, lynched by “persons or person to the jury unknown” in Canon City, CO, for the murders of S.K. Wall, Marinus Jansen and Charles R. McCain.  {001}


U.S. Deputy Marshals George Lawson and Hess Bussey kill “Dynamite Dan” Clifton as he attempts escape from a hideout at a farm just outside Newkirk, OK. Another member of the Doolin Gang goes down!  {001}
PLAYERS – Timelines – Timelines M-Z
Three Guardsmen/Doolin Gang Timeline

12/5 of… 1839

George Armstrong Custer born in New Rumley, OH. Soldier, war hero, Indian fighter.  {001}


Bill Pickett born in Jenks Branch, Travis County, TX. Rodeo cowboy, Wild West performer, movie actor.  {001}


Texas Charley (Charles Wilson), J.V. Thompson and J.H. Caltharp hurrah Hot Sulfur Springs, Ute Bill’s Saloon, and the general store. Citizen V.L. Veatch is pistol whipped and threatened with being shot. No one is killed, but no action is taken by the law, either.  {001}


PVW: James D. “Jim” Tewksbury dead of consumption in Tempe, AZ. A major participant in the Pleasant Valley War.  {001}


William Larkin "Billy" Stiles - 1908 - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.After escaping the Arizona Rangers in Mexico*, and having spent some considerable time in China and the Philippines, Alvord-Stiles Gang co-founder Billy Stiles returned to the U.S. Taking the name William Larkin, he became a deputy sheriff in Humboldt County, NV. He was killed when trying to deliver a court summons at the Riley ranch. A hidden assassin, stepped out and opened fire on Stiles, hitting him three times, as he approached the barn with a man named McReynolds. No one else was injured. It was thought that it was a revenge killing for Stile’s involvement in the killing of outlaw Jim Taylor by Sheriff Lamb the previous year. The suspect, Charley Barr, who had sworn to kill anyone connected with Taylor’s death, was arrested and tried. However, for reasons unknown, he was acquitted. Photo: U.S. PD pre-1908.  {001}
* Wk. 07/02/17/1904 – Mexico…


Stagecoach Mary Fields - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Cascade, MT. Whiskey drinkin’, cigar chompin’, pistol packin’ Stagecoach Mary Fields crosses the Great Divide at 82 years. Born a slave in 1832, this unique woman made herself a Montana legend by just being who she was. Six feet tall, 200 pounds and tough as nails, she pulled a pistol from under her apron and won a gunfight—which then got her fired from working at a church school! Went broke running a restaurant because she wouldn’t let anyone go hungry. She delivered the U.S. mail — at times on foot through snowdrifts when her mule Moses couldn’t get a buckboard through — never missed a day in eight years! The only woman in her town who could legally enter a saloon. Look up this fascinating Old Timer! TYH! +3. Photo: U.S. PD [crop*).  {001}
Photo Gallery Index – People and Places Photos
Stagecoach Mary Fields – entire photo
Quotes Index – Women QuotesStagecoach Mary Fields


Ben Kuhl - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Jarbridge, NV. Believed to be the last stagecoach robbery (it was a mail wagon) in the U.S. Petty criminals Ed Beck and Billy McGraw, and horse-thief Ben Kuhl killed driver Fred M. Searcy and got away with $ 3,000. But Kuhl left behind the bloody palm print which became the first such evidence used in a prosecution. His death sentence was commuted and he was sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled in 1945 and is thought to have died in northern California within the year of either pneumonia or tuberculosis acquired in prison. It was not uncommon in the times to release dying prisoners. Photo: U.S. PD 1917 Nevada State Prison, Ben Kuhl.  {001}


Tom London - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Tom London (Leonard Clapham), age 74, died in Hollywood, CA. He played in the silents, then made a successful transition to the talkies. He is thought to have appeared in some 2,000 films, far more than any other actor. His quality as a person, a character actor, roper and trick rider added to the show in westerns from his first film Lone Larry (1915-silent), to High Noon (1952). He was sidekick to Sunset Carson in four; Bandy McCabe in Days of Buffalo Bill (1946). TYH! Photo: U.S. PD pre-1963, Studio Promo {001}

12/6 of… 1846

Temecula Massacre (CA): Somewhere east of today’s Temecula, CA, a combined force of California militia and Cahuilla Indians attacked and killed an estimated 33-40 Luiseño Indians (part of the Mexican-American War, and related to the Pauma Massacre).  {001}
see also:
The Originals Index – Battlefields and Massacres – Massacres of Indians


William Surrey Hart (William S. Hart) born in Newburgh, NY. Silent film star.  {001}


The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is adopted. Slavery and involuntary servitude — except in punishment for a crime — are outlawed in the United States.  {001}


Jefferson Davis - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Jefferson Finis Davis, age 81, died in New Orleans, LA. Soldier, politician, and the only president of the Confederacy. Photo: U.S. PD pre-1861 Matthew Brady.  {001}


The worst mining disaster in American history” A devastating explosion struck mines 6 and 8, of the Monongah Mine, WV (coal), killing 362 miners, destroying the two connected mines and many surface facilities; including the ventilation system.* Most of the miners were killed instantly, but it also trapped the few survivors below. Rescue attempts were difficult, dangerous and unsuccessful.
This event was part of the 1907 death toll of some 3,000 miners across the nation. The public took notice and, at last, so did congress. Legislation was passed and the United States Bureau of Mines was established in 1910, replacing the the ineffectual Federal Department of Mines (est. 1896).
The regulatory effort would creep slowly westward.  Photo: U.S. PD a newspaper photo of the time.  {001}
* References – DictionaryBlackdamp and Whitedamp


Leadbelly - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, age 61, died in New York, NY. A superb talent on a 12-string guitar, he was well known as a songwriter/performer in blues and folk music. Best known for his songs “Goodnight Irene,” “Midnight Special,” and “Rock Island Line,” he also played and preserved many traditional cowboy and herding songs. He was an inmate at Angola Prison in Louisiana when John Lomax arrived with his teen aged son, Alan, to record work songs and cowboy songs the prisoners knew. Lomax helped Leadbelly get his pardon and took him to New York where he was a popular success.  Photo: U.S. PD pre-1950 unknown.  {001 & 003}
Quotes Index – Commentators QuotesPioneersAlan Lomax

12/7 of…1845

Born: Cassius M. Hollister (the “Cash” will come later) born near Cleveland, OH. Mayor, sheriff, deputy U.S. marshal.  {001}


Buffalo Hunter Ralph Morrison is killed and scalped by Cheyenne near Fort Dodge, KS. {001}
Photo Gallery Index – Hangings and Shootings (Caution!)


Gallatin, MO. Armed men, later claimed to be Jesse and Frank James along with Cole Younger, take the Davies County Savings Bank, driving away approaching citizens by firing revolvers — which also alerts the town. After forcing cashier Captain John Sheets to open the safe, they deliberately murder him and flee into a gathering storm of citizenry. As they are mounting to flee, the man said to be Jesse James was thrown by his spooked horse and dragged by the heel for a short ways. As the crowd screamed, “Catch him, catch him!” brother Frank spirited him away, doubled on his mount. (The lost horse was later traced to Jesse.) Jesse and Cole (widely viewed as partisans) made pubic denials of anything to do with the crime. The political situation was such that no action was ever taken against any of them and later they couldn’t be found. Captain Sheets had been in the Missouri Federal Militia, often opposing the (Confederate) guerrilla groups the James/Younger clan had joined during the war.  {001}


Novelist Willa Sibert Cather born in Back Creek Valley, VA. At nine her family moved to the Nebraska plains. In Red Cloud, she observed the diverse people who lived there. At 11, she delivered mail to area farms and got to know the immigrant farmers. She cut her hair short and went by “Willie” or “William,” dressed in boy’s clothing and was one of three students to graduate from high school. Forsaking a budding interest in medicine, she wove these experiences into a writing career and become famous. Photo: U.S. PD ad photo, O Pioneers (1913) bookcover .  {003}
Quotes Index – Commentators Quotes Willa Cather [3]
Quotes Index – Rules to Live ByWilla Cather
References – Books – Novels and History (non-ref)Cather, Willa


John Barclay Armstrong and fellow Texas Ranger Leroy Diggs attempt to collect a large reward posted on accused murderer John Mayfield. Mayfield goes for his gun and is killed. Forced to flee by a crowd of Mayfield’s friends and family, they lose the body and therefore the reward. Wilson County, TX.  {001}


Dancer, trick shooter, gambler, prostitute, madame and saloon owner Kitty Leroy murdered by jealous husband (her fifth) Samuel R. Curly at the Lone Star Saloon in Deadwood, SD. Curly then suicides and they are buried together.  {001}


Rube Burrow+2 was captured by two black men, Jesse Hildreth and Frank Marshall, with the help of two white planters, John McDuffie+2 and Jeff “Dixie” Carter+2, at George Ford’s cabin, in the Myrtlewood Community of Marengo County,AL. McDuffie had suspected Burrow would be in the area and warned Hildreth to be on the lookout. When Burrow showed up at Ford’s cabin, Hildreth was inside and was able to get word back to McDuffie. Hildreth and Marshall jumped Burrow and held him for McDuffie and Carter. Rube offered Hildreth a hundred dollars if he would let him go. Hildreth said “I couldn’t use it then, cause you’d kill me first”. {001}


Nathan Roderick Cox, “Rod Cameron” born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Movie star.  {001}


Dr. George E. Goodfellow - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.The passing of Dr. George E. Goodfellow at age 54 in Los Angeles, CA. An amazing, talented and brilliant man. A physician, the first civilian trauma surgeon and the first known to use spinal anesthesia. He made himself an authority on gunshot wounds, pioneering some surgical procedures and the use of sterile techniques. His interest in the natural world led him to publish the first surface rupture map of an earthquake in North America (1887 Sonora earthquake). He was among the first to research the actual effects of Gila monster venom.* His commentaries  on Tombstone‘s gunfight and hanging victims are legendary**. He was an excellent boxer, a proven knife and gunfighter.  Look up this interesting man, and while you do it, TYH! +3 Photo: U.S. PD pre-1910.  {001}
References – Resources and Hazards – Animals
Reptiles and AmphibiansGila monster
**Quotes Index – Gunfighter QuotesDr. George Goodfellow (2)
**References – Dictionarytraumatic spondylolisthesis
References – Books – Novels and History (non-ref)
Souter, Dr, Keith: The Doctor

12/ 8 of… 1883

McDade, TX. More than two hundred citizens join a vigilance committee to deal with murders, rustling, and other crime within the community.  {001}


The Bisbee Massacre. Seeking the payroll for the Copper Queen mine (which had not yet arrived,) a hold-up at the Goldwater and Casteneda Store in Bisbee, AZ, Territory goes seriously awry. As the frustrated masked bandits search the store and rob customers, other citizens become aware that something is amiss. In the shooting spree that follows, four locals — including a pregnant woman and a visiting New Mexico lawman — are killed. The bandits leave town in a hail of fire but sustain only a shot through a coat. James Krigbaum rides in the night for the sheriff at Tombstone, passing the inbound stage carrying the payroll, on the way. From Bisbee the next morning deputy sheriff Billy Daniels leads a posse (including newcomer John Heath) on the robbers’ trail. Heath tries to convince Daniels that the robbers have gone to Tombstone but Daniels is a good tracker and follows what he sees. Heath and another man return to Bisbee. The trail soon leads Daniels to identify all of the miscreants and learn that Heath was, in fact, the mastermind; he sends the posse back to arrest him. The Copper Queen prints wanted flyers and the roundup begins…


Shortly after he was captured, Rube Burrow+2 was taken to the jail at Linden, AL by John McDuffie+2 and Jeff “Dixie” Carter+2; Rube entertaining them all the way with funny stories. In the early morning hours, complaining of hunger, he talked his jailers into handing him his bag, which had some ginger snaps inside. It also contained a gun which Burrow soon held to the head of one of the guards to escape. Locking two guards (including McDuffie) in his cell, he took another guard with him to help find Carter at Glass’s store to recover money that had been taken from him. Carter was in the store, and when he came outside, he and Burrow exchanged gunfire. When the smoke cleared, Dixie Carter was wounded, but Rube Burrow, lay dead in the street. Burrow had reportedly believed Dixie Carter was Nick Carter, the fictional detective, he wasn’t, but it didn’t matter now…  Photo: U.S. PD pre-1923, Rube Burrow.  {001}


President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Montezuma Castle (AZ) as a National Monument.  {001}
see also:
References – DictionaryMontezuma Castle
Wk. 23, 06/09/1906 –


Leon Jacob, (Lee J. Cobb) born in New York City, NY. Movie star.  {001}


National American Indian Memorial - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.Congress sets aside land (Fort Tompkins on Staten Island, NY) as a location to erect a National Indian Memorial but authorizes no funding. President William H. Taft breaks ground with a silver spade in 1913. However, private funding fails and the project fizzles. Even the bronze plaque marking the groundbreaking is gone. As with so many things Indian, the white man never comes through. Photo/Design: Rodman Wanamaker, sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Thomas Hastings.  {001}

12/9 of… 1867

Displacing Golden, Denver becomes the capitol of the Colorado Territory.  {001}


Explanation of the shooting death of “Texas Charley”, aka Charles W. Wilson, who “…came to his death by gunshot wounds at the hands of some person or persons unknown to us…”. The Rocky Mountain News further describes the killers as “public benefactors”.  Wilson had spent some time terrorizing and irritating the residents of Hot Sulfur Springs, CO, and fifteen men who had been on the second floor of Doc Bok’s store (where the fatal shots originated) could not identify any of the shooters — thus the aforementioned verdict.  {001}


Genoa, AK. The Rube Burrow Gang takes the Texas Pacific train for nearly $2,000.  {001}


William Wellman - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.William A. Wellman, age 79 , died in  Los Angles, CA. World War I pilot, actor, director, producer. His acting debut was with Douglas Fairbanks (starring) in The Knickerbocker Buckaroo (1919, silent, lost) and he directed several notable westerns: The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Harry Morgan and Jane DarwellBuffalo Bill (1944), starring Joel McCrea and Maureen O’Hara and Across the Wide Missouri (1951) staring Clark Gable. Photo: © Warner Studios? by Screenshot, cropped screenshot from the film The High and the Mighty (1954).  {001}

barbed wire divider2 - Week 49: December 3rd thru 9th.End: Week 49, December 3rd thru 9th.
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{001} C 09/18; E 08/18; F 06/011; P 10/17

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