How To Use This Site

How To Use This Site

This blog was updated on a daily basis for about two years, with those daily entries ceasing on December 31, 2013. The blog is still active, however, and we hope that people stopping in, who find something lacking, will add to the daily entries.

The blog still receives new posts as well, but now it receives them on items of Wyoming history. That has always been a feature of the blog, but Wyoming's history is rich and there are many items that are not fully covered here, if covered at all. Over time, we hope to remedy that.

You can obtain an entire month's listings by hitting on the appropriate month below, or an individual day by hitting on that calendar date.

We hope you enjoy this site.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

2016 Page Updates, Volume II

Most years we don't have too many updates to handle in a single update thread (since we've started those), but this year we have.

So, as we don't want that thread to wipe out the blog, here's a volume two for 2016.

July 1, 1916:   Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, married on this date in 1916 in Denver.
The Eisenhower's at his duty station in San Antonio, 1916.
On this date, in 1916, Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower wed in Denver Colorado, her hometown.  She was 19 years old, and he was 25. The wedding took place at her parents home and was presided over by a Presbyterian minister.  The couple met in San Antonio where she was attending finishing school, and where the family also wintered.  Her father was a meat packing executive for Doud & Montgomery and had retired at age 36.  Dwight Eisenhower was, of course, a serving office in the U.S. Army.  An excellent training officer, Eisenhower was not assigned a role that lead in his entering Mexico during the Punitive Expedition, and indeed he remained in the United States in a training role during World War One.

July 2, 1916Sheridan Enterprise, July 2, 1916. Mexico and the Somme

Border tensions shared front space with the British offensive on the Somme on July 2, one day after the British offensive had commenced.

July 5, 1840:  

1840  Father Pierre De Smet celebrated the first Catholic Mass observed in Wyoming.

 First Catholic Mass in Wyoming

July 5, 1916:   The Crisis Passed. July 5, 1916
The news, reported in various fashions, was in fact correct. While the Guard continued to be mobilized, the danger that war would break out with Mexico had passed.

Having said that, the European crisis clearly was ongoing.

July 6, 1836:   Narcissa Whitman and Eliza Spalding at the 1836 Rendezvous

This entry more likely belongs at our Today In Wyoming's History blog, as it isn't so much of a church item (well maybe it is) as a history item.  Note how particularly early this Oregon Trail event was, 1836.  Well before the big flood of travelers starting going over the trail in the late 1840s.

March 1, 1866:   Crowheart Butte, Wyoming

This item, linked in from our Some Gave All blog, is noted here, not because this is the correct date, but rather because I can't find an exact date.  The sources I've read refer to this event happening over five days in "March", so this is being linked in here.

This is a bit of an unusual roadside monument in the West as it doesn't commemorate a battle between European Americans and Indians, but rather between two separate tribes if Indians.  It commemorates the March 1866 battle between the Shoshone and Crows near the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

The date, and the event, are interesting ones.  By 1866 warfare between the United States and the combined Sioux and Cheyenne had broken out in earnest.  The Crows were fighting the Sioux and had been for quite some time.  Indeed, they were fighting a loosing battle in their war with the Sioux and had offered to throw in with the United States in aid that effort.  Ironically, the Shoshone were allies of the United States.

Both the Shoshone and the Crows were under tremendous pressure from the Sioux and Cheyenne, who had been expanding out onto the territory that had formerly belonged to those tribes. The Crows in particular had suffered a tremendous territorial loss in that they had been pushed out of the prairie region of Wyoming for the most part by that time but they were still attempting to contest for it.  The Shoshone had also suffered a territorial loss but, with their anchor in the Wind Rivers, which the Sioux had not yet reached, their situation was not as dire.

Nonetheless, we see how these factors can play out in odd ways. Both tribes were here essentially defending their traditional grounds. The Crows could hardly afford to loose any more of theirs as they'd already lost so much.  Nonetheless, as can be seen here, they were defeated in this battle and they would in fact go on to have to accept the loss of much of what they had formerly controlled.

The Shoshones were already looking at asking for a reservation at the time this battle took place and even though this ground had been already assigned to the Crows by treaty.  The Crows were effectively defeated by the Shoshone in the area and Crowheart Butte became part of the Shoshone Reservation very shortly thereafter.

The text of this roadside monument makes it quite clear that this sign was made quite some time ago, probably in the 1950s.  The text that is on it would never be placed on a monument today, in that the partisan language regarding "whites" would simply not be done.  Indeed, in many instances such signs tend to get removed.  At least one old historical marker in New Mexico has had some of the text chipped out in order to edit it, and at least one of these road side markers in Wyoming that had somewhat similar content has been removed.  That's a shame, as in editing to fit our current definition of history, we in fact do a little injustice to the story of history itself by removing the evidence of how things were once perceived.

July 29

1776  Silvestre de Escalante and Francisco Dominguez, two Spanish Franciscan priests, leave Santa Fe for a journey through the Southwest.  Their journey would take them all the way to the Great Salt Lake and ultimately they would make a round trip of 1,700 miles in 159 days, although the journey would see them eating their horses in the end.

1872  First claimed assent of the Grand Teton.   Nathaniel P. Langford and James Stevenson made the claim, but it is disputed with some feeling that they reached a side peak.

1878  Thomas Edison and Henry Draper view a total eclipse of the sun from Rawlins.

1916   The Cheyenne Daily Leader for July 29, 1916. Hope on the border?

The Cheyenne Leader was reporting today that there appeared to be some hope that border difficulties might be mediated through a commission.  Of course, it can't help but be noted that Carranza, who appeared to be willing to do this, had not caused the original border difficulty in the first place and Villa wouldn't be participating.

Otherwise, Frontier Days was making the news, as was the Russian offensive on the Eastern Front.

1946  USS Natrona decommissioned.

1977 Cantonment Reno added to the National Register of Historic Places.


1907    Sir Robert Baden-Powell forms the Boy Scout movement.

1932  The Bonus Army disperses and heads home.

1950 Lieutenant General Walton Walker, regarding the Pusan Perimeter,  issued his "stand or die" order to Eighth Army, declaring, "there will be no Dunkirk, there will be no Bataan."

July 30  1916   The Black Tom Explosion: July 30, 1916

German saboteurs blew up New York's Black Tom pier, in a strike against the shipment of American munitions to the Allies.  The massive explosion caused some damage to the Statue of Liberty.  Necessarily, in a year in which the US had just averted one war, and was sliding towards another, a thing like this would have its impact.

The news hit the Cheyenne Leader that very day, suggesting that this paper, which I've been running some mornings, must have been an evening paper.

Note the rodeo news from Cheyenne.

July 31

1867  Ft. Fetterman given that name.  It was only in its second week of existence.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1868  Ft. Phil Kearny abandoned.

From:   Some Gave All:  Ft. Phil Kearny, Wyoming 

These are monuments at Ft. Phil Kearny, the command which suffered defeat at the Fetterman Fight, but endured an attack later at the Wagon Box Fight.

This blog does not attempt to document battlefields photographically, and the same is true of historic sites. For this reason, this entry does not attempt to depict all of Ft. Phil Kearny. Those wishing to see more photos of the post should look here. Rather, this only attempts to depict a few things topical to this blog.

The monument depicted above is an early one, placed by the State of Wyoming well before any archeology on the post had been done, and very little about its grounds was known. Now, because of archeology on the site, this monument is in a location where it is probably only rarely viewed.

These photographs depict a common device for historic sites in Wyoming, a pipe used for sighting a distant location. In this case, the location is the location of the post cemetery. The cemetary originally held the bodies of the soldiers, and civilians, killed at the Fetterman Fight, but the bodies were later removed to the national cemetery at Little Big Horn.

1892  Legendary Wyoming geologist and University of Wyoming geology professor, Samuel H. Knight, born.  His parents moved to Laramie in 1893, so he was associated with Laramie his entire life, save for attending Columbia for his doctorate, and his service in World War One.  The geology building at the University of Wyoming is named after him.

1898  Wyoming volunteers, the Wyoming Battalion, land at Manila and disembark from the Ohio.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1899  The Wyoming Battalion, having been in the Philippines for exactly one year, embarked on the Grant at Manila and started their journey home. Attribution:  On This Day.

1914  Twenty-five Yellowstone coaches robbed.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1914     The New York Stock Exchange closed due to the outbreak of World War I.

1916   The Wyoming Tribune for July 31, 1916.
Cheyenne's more dramatic paper, the Wyoming Tribune, with a grim headline for July 31, 1916.


Headlines like this one almost seem like something that's more from our own era, so perhaps it serves to remind us that giant natural disasters have been around for awhile.

The Wyoming National  Guard was still awaiting orders in that hot 1916 July.
1919  Sportscaster Curt Gowdy born in Green River.

1930 The radio program The Shadow airs for the first time.

1937  Wyoming deeded Ft. Laramie to the Federal Government. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1943  The USS Sheridan, APA-51, an attack transport, commissioned.

1981     A seven-week strike by major league baseball players ended.

2003   Ft. Yellowstone designated a National Historic Landmark. Attribution:  On This Day.

2003  Jackson Lake Lodge designated a National Historic Landmarks. Attribution:  On This Day.

2006  Casper's Jonah Bank received its certificate of Federal Deposit insurance, essentially marking the commencement of its operations.

August 1, 1916:   Cheyenne State Leader for August 1, 1916. Guard getting ready to leave and some leaving the Guard.

Cheyenne's less dramatic evening paper was reporting on this day that it expected the National Guard to depart for the border at any moment.   South Dakota's Guard, we read, was in fact off to the border.  There was quiet a bit of dramatic news for Cheyenne residents returning home to their paper that today.

Somewhat surprisingly, the paper actually reported on who was being discharged for physical infirmity, and even giving the name of one who was being discharged on August 1.

Also, perhaps emphasizing the improving relations with Mexico, in spite of the ongoing deployment of the National Guard, Carranza's forces were pursing a five man raiding party that had been earlier pursued by the 8th Cavalry.  Perhaps emphasizing the global outbreak of violence, we read also that Zeppelins had the UK for the third time in a week.

July 26, 2016:  The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reintroduced black footed ferrets to  the Lazy BV and Pitchfork Ranches in Park County after they were first rediscovered there, after they were believed to be extinct, thirty five years ago.

1916   The Cheyenne Leader for August 3, 1916: Wyoming still mustering its Guard.

There was a variety of grim news for this day which pretty much shoved it to the side, but Lyman Wyoming was hoping to be the home station for a new National Guard company being raised to go to the border.  The telling thing is, really, that Wyoming was still trying to come up to strength for border duty.
Railroad strikes, the Deutschland submarine, and the imminent execution of Roger Casement took precedence, however, in the day's news.
Vienna appears to have been a bit optimistic, we'd note.
1939  Seminoe Dam generates electricity for the first time. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

August 4, 1916   Cheyenne State Leader for August 4, 1916. The Wyoming National Guard still short of recruits.
The August 4, 1916 details the continued efforts to bring the Wyoming National Guard up to strength, this time with an appeal from the Governor for five recruits from every county.

August 5, 1916:   The Cheyenne Leader for August 5, 1916: Recruits still needed.

The Wyoming National  Guard was still shorthanded, which was delaying its deployment.

August 6

1814  Esther Hobart Morris, nee McQuigg, born in Tioga County, New York.

1846  DeForest Richards, Governor from 1899-1903, born in Wilcox County, Alabama. Attribution:  On This Day.

1850   Louis Vasquez becomes the Postmaster at Ft. Bridger.

1867  Indians raided Union Pacific near the present location of Lexington Nebraska.

1890     Cy Young made his major league debut with the Cleveland Spiders of the National League.

1898  The Wyoming Battalion left the steamer Ohio in Manila Bay and went into camp at Paranaque.Attribution:  On This Day.

1910  Crystal Lake Dam completed.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1916   Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages. Previewed on this day.

The film Intolerance was previewed in Riverside California on this day in 1916.  Regarded as a masterpiece of this era, the film is a series of vignettes involving a poor young woman separated by prejudice from her husband and baby and site between stories of intolerance from throughout history.  It was a reaction, in part, to the negative reaction to the racists Birth of a Nation by the same director.  Like a lot of silent movies, it was long, running 3:17.
1916  The Sunday State Leader for August 6, 1916. Laramie steps up to the plate with Guard recruits.

Cheyenne's Sunday State Leader was reporting that neighboring Albany County had come in with Guardsmen to help fill out the state's National Guard.

And the GOP comments on Wilson's policy on Mexico wasn't being well received everywhere.

And labor was unhappy in New York.
1945  The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, the first use of such a weapon, and of course one of only two such uses.

 Japanese photograph found in 2013 of cloud from Hiroshima approximately thirty minutes after detonation.

1965     President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.

August 8, 1916:      The Cheyenne State Leader for August 8, 1916. The mysterious disappearance of Private Dilley 

Guardsman Pvt. Dilley mysteriously disappeared.

August 9, 1916:     The Cheyenne State Leader for August 9, 1916. The Inglorious Reappearance of Pvt Dilley?

It seems that Pvt. Dilley's circumstances were not quite as tragic as reported yesterday, maybe.

A person has to wonder a bit about his fate, assuming he was tracked down and arrested.  His desertion came at that point in time at which the Army was evolving from the Frontier Army practice, in which 1/3d of the enlisted men went AWOL or deserted annually, and which the offense was not too seriously worried about unless the departing troops took equipment with them, to one which would regard this as a much more serious matter.  And, to add to it, when conscription came for World War One public sentiments were so strong that in some areas a man of military age could not walk for more than a couple of blocks without being accosted by citizens wondering if they were shirking their duty.  Young women, in fact, were particularly zealous in offering offense to men who appeared to be less than enthusiastic about military service.  Pvt. Dilley's actions may have had implications he didn't consider at the time.

Assuming, of course, that he had deserted.  Which perhaps, he had not.  He never reappeared, in spite of having family and friends in the state.  His father was certain that he'd been murdered, which he may very well have been.

If he left service without discharge, he certainly wasn't the only one to attempt it.  Disciplinary problems were a huge factor with the Wyoming Guard, including desertions, which were not all that uncommon.  As we've seen, going AWOL was fairly common as well, at least in the context of briefly leaving to marry.

On other matters, 2ar was in the air, with the Guard being inspected and the paper contemplating what war with Mexico might mean, which apparently meant war with Japan.  Odd to see that speculated on in this context.

Love was also in the air, and yet another Guardsman went AWOL to elope, something that seems to have been a regular occurrence.

August 10, 1916The Cheyenne State Leader for August 10, 1916. One battalion to be ordered to the border.

One battalion of the Wyoming National Guard looked to be deployed.  The Guard was nearly one soldier short, however, due to an elopement, one of quite a few that these papers reported on.

And, the World War One homesteading boom was really on.

1916   The local weather, August 10, 1916
Because its in keeping with the focus of this blog, and because I just realized another way to find it.

Lander, WY 

High of 69.1°F and low of 28.9°F.

Cheyenne, WY
High of 73°F and low of 51.1°F.

Sheridan, WY
High of 75°F and low of 48°F.

Nice temperatures during the day,and in Lander and Sheridan, cool temperatures at night. 

August 13, 1916:   Cheyenne Sunday Leader, August 13,1916: Deutschland Sunk?, Guard to the border, Wyoming Guard sure it will go.

Lots of sobering news in this Sunday edition of the Leader.  Guard to deploy, French and Russian gains in Europe, and the Deutschland reported potentially sunk. She wasn't and would survive the war.

The weather was going to be partly cloudy with a chance of rain, much like our weather today, a century later. 

All Guardsmen were ordered deployed to the border, and the situation with Mexico appeared to be getting a bit more tense again.

Meanwhile, the Russians and French were reported gaining in the war in Europe, and a front page cartoon worried that Japan was taking US trade while the US focused on war production for Europe.
The Basin Republican for August 13, 2016. "Great Scott Woodrow! I've been Up in the Air Almost Four Years!"

As we'll see with the two following posts, the Basin Republican was one of the local papers that must not have subscribed to a wire service, and therefore published almost all local news.  It did, however, in this election year run an add directed at Woodrow Wilson, captioned "Great Scott Woodrow!  I've been Up in the Air Almost Four Years!"

August 22, 2016:   Governor Mead announced a sport shooting initiative.   As reported on the Governor's website, the initiative contained the following:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead announced today three initiatives to promote shooting sports across Wyoming: 1) The Open Ranges Initiative will facilitate locally led partnerships to increase access to public shooting ranges. 2) The Wyoming 100 Initiative will recognize the top 100 shooters in Wyoming and 3) The Governor’s Match is a national 2-gun (semi-automatic rifle and pistol) match with some of the best competitors in the country featured. The Governor was joined by representatives of firearms companies from around Wyoming as he signed a proclamation declaring today as “Wyoming’s Day at the Range.”
“Wyoming is a firearms state and we are proud of that,” said Governor Mead. “These initiatives promote safe shooting and participation in shooting sports – whether that’s hunting, target shooting or sanctioned competitions. Working with the Game and Fish Department, the National Rifle Association, the firearms industry and local governments we hope to open more opportunity for people to shoot safely.”
“We have a growing firearms industry in Wyoming,” continued Governor Mead. “Some of those companies relocated here because of our support for their industry. Some are Wyoming entrepreneurs starting a new business. They are helping to diversify our economy – we are glad to have them here.”
The “Wyoming 100” is an amateur level competition and will be open to all shooters. Rules for the competition will be posted on the Game and Fish website and on Facebook at “Wyoming’s Top 100.”  Competitors must have a Wyoming Conservation Stamp available from the Game and Fish.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lex Anteinternet: Tracking the Local Races

Lex Anteinternet: Tracking the Local Races: Patrick Henry before the Virginia Legislature. . . probably not quite the way it really was. I haven't tried to do a thread track...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lex Anteinternet: Tracking the Local Races

Lex Anteinternet: Tracking the Local Races: Patrick Henry before the Virginia Legislature. . . probably not quite the way it really was. I haven't tried to do a thread track...

Lex Anteinternet: The Migratory Bird Treaty entered into.

Lex Anteinternet: The Migratory Bird Treaty entered into.: The Migratory Bird Treaty, a major piece of international conservation and a great success, was entered into between the United States and C...

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Some Gave All: Ft. Fred Steele, Carbon County Wyoming

Some Gave All: Ft. Fred Steele, Carbon County Wyoming:

In the past, I haven't tended to post fort entries here, but for net related technical reasons, I'm going to, even though these arguably belong on one of my other blogs.  I'll probably cross link this thread

These are photographs of Ft. Fred Steele, a location that I've sometimes thought is the bleakest historical site in Wyoming.

One of the few remaining structures at Ft. Steele, the powder magazine.  It no doubt is still there as it is a stone structure.

The reason that the post was built, the Union Pacific, is still there.

Ft. Steele is what I'd regard as fitting into the Fourth Generation of Wyoming frontier forts, although I've never seen it described that way, or anyone other than me use that term.   By my way of defining them, the First Generation are those very early, pre Civil War, frontier post that very much predated the railroads, such as Ft. Laramie.  The Second Generation would be those established during the Civil War in an effort to protect the trail and telegraph system during that period during which the Regular Army was largely withdrawn from the Frontier and state units took over. The Third Generation would be those posts like Ft. Phil Kearney that were built immediately after the Civil War for the same purpose.  Contemporaneously with those were posts like Ft. Steele that were built to protect the Union Pacific Railroad.  As they were in rail contact with the rest of the United States they can't really be compared to posts like Ft. Phil Kearney, Ft. C. F. Smith or Ft. Caspar, as they were built for a different purpose and much less remote by their nature.

What the post was like, when it was active.

A number of well known Wyoming figures spent time at Ft. Saunders.

Ft. Sanders, after it was abandoned, remained a significant railhead and therefore the area became the center of a huge sheep industry. Quite a few markers at the post commemorate the ranching history of the area, rather than the military history.

One of the current denizens of the post.

Suttlers store, from a distance.

Union Pacific Bridge Tenders House at the post.

Current Union Pacific bridge.

Some structure from the post, but I don't know what it is.

The main part of the post's grounds.

from this post are most famously associated with an action against the
Utes in Utah, rather than an action in Wyoming.  This shows the high
mobility of the Frontier Army as Utah is quite a distance away, although
not so much by rail.

1914 vintage highway marker was on the old Lincoln Highway, which
apparently ran north of the tracks rather than considerably south of
them, like the current Interstate Highway does today.

About 88 people or so were buried at this post, however only 60 some graves were later relocated when the Army undertook to remove and consolidate frontier graves.  Logic would dictate, therefore, that some graves likely remain.

Unusual civilian headstone noting that this individual had served with a provisional Confederate unit at some point that had been raised in California.  I'm not aware of any such unit, although it must have existed.  The marker must be quite recent.