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Poem by Anthony H. Euwer

from November 1919 “Saratoga Sun”

Once every year the President

Proclaims a general day

For folks to get together and

Hold services and pray.

And eat roast turkey by the peck

With cranberries and dressin’,

To show how gratitudinous

They are for every blessin’.

 

But when we gaze down through the maze

Of history and fiction,

You’ll find lots more Thanksgivin’ times

That came without prediction;

Thanksgivin’ times when fate did seem

Most direful, dark and murky,

Nor celebrated with ice cream

Nor cranberries nor turkey.

 

When poor John Smith was just about

Almost burned at the stake,

And Pocahontas begged the chiefs

To save him for her sake,

And when he clasped the maiden dear

And pressed her to him tight,

I guess it was Thanksgivin’ Day

For Johnny Smith all right.

 

When to the Curfew Bessie clung

Until the great bell ceas’d,

Then ran and told old Cromwell bold

Who’d just come from the East,

And for her deed got him to heed

Her Basil’s woeful plight,

I guess it was Thanksgivin’ Day

For Bess and Bas all right.

 

When little Willie Tell so brave

Stood ‘neath the apple red,

And watched the arrow pointed toward

The region of his head,

Then felt the pish – the juice go swish

Down o’er his cheeks so white,

I guess it was Thanksgivin’ Day

For little Billie all right.

 

When that there kid chucked in his fist

Right through the dike’s small hole,

And so saved Haarlem from the flood

That mighty soon would roll,

Saw someone comin’ so that he

Could rest and stretch a mite,

I guess it was Thanksgivin’ Day

For little Dutch all right.

 

When Jonah for three goozly days

Flopped ‘round the whale’s dark tum,

Then finally felt him give a gulp

Till Jonah had to come,

A landin’ him all safe and live

Out in the air and light,

I guess it was Thanksgivin’ Day

For that Jonah boy all right.

 

When honest George decided that

It was best to tell the truth

To keep himself from gettin’ licked,

Way back there in his youth,

And then thought how he had escaped

The birch’s woeful smite,

I guess it was Thanksgivin’ Day

For honest George all right.

 

When what’s-his-name of ancient fame

Beheld the lion’s woe,

And got down on his knees and plucked

The thorn from out his toe,

And when for that the lion he,

Did neither growl nor bite,

I guess It was Thanksgivin’ Day

For both of them all right.

 

And when one day, that hollow tree

Bruce saw and crept inside ‘er,

While o’er the hole a web was wove

By that kind hearted spider,

Which his pursuers seenin’ there,

Passed by as well they might,

I guess It was Thanksgivin’ Day

For Bobby Bruce all right.

 

When Sister Anne from Blue Beard’s tower

For succor long did gaze,

To save her sister from the power

Of her hub’s scandalous ways,

And down the road a cloud of dust –

Oh joy! Oh dear delight!

I guess it was Thanksgivin’ Day

For Blue Beard’s wife all right.

 

And when the check for these here lines

Comes through the wintry weather,

To keep my soul and body both

On friendly terms together,

I can go and feed my face

In a really swell place that night,

Cause it ‘twill be Thanksgivin’ Day

For truly yours, all right!

 

Although the date on this “Roundup” may read a day after Veterans Day, it is never too late to salute our veterans and the brave men and women now serving in all branches of the armed forces. – Dick Perue, Air Force veteran and member of Angus England Post 54 American Legion.

While searching for information for this week’s “Postcard” the following interesting facts were discovered:

Ferdinand Branstetter Post No. 1 of Van Tassell, pop. 18, has not only the distinction of being the first American Legion Post organized in Wyoming, but this little post was the first to be established in the United States. Van Tassell, Denver, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. were the first Posts organized, and their charters were all signed June 28, 1919.

The first meeting of the Post was held that same day and called to order by Wyoming State Chairman Alfred H. Beach. A motion was made and carried that the Post be named in honor of Ferdinand Branstetter, who came to Wyoming from Nebraska about 1914 and filed on a homestead south of Van Tassell. Inducted into the service during World War I, he was one of the first from the Van Tassell area to cross the broad seas and fall on the field of honor.

Charter members were: Mitchell Ammons, Floyd Deuel, Edward C. Calhoun, Albert Chapman, Carl Dallam, Harry Heckert, Harrison Kellogg, Forest Porter, Don C. Taylor, George Ringsby, Nels Nelson, Harry Housh, Warren Jones, Joseph Wright, Ernest Hennebeck, Thomas Ammons, Oscar Miller, Hill Z. Boyles, Tula G. Winey, Otis M. Deeder, Andrew Garretson, Warren Waranock, Otto Kanaka, Stanley Peters, Clarence Kuttner, Ward B. Hill, Carl Hayes, Earl Alderman, Ivor Parker, John Zulinski, Haskell Best and O.B. Peterson.

At the Oct. 4, 1919, meeting, the main order of business was the election of Edward Calhoun, Floyd Deuel and Warren Jones as delegates to the first State Convention of the Legion, which was to be held in Douglas. The Commander E.C. Calhoun was also sent as a delegate to the first National Convention of the American Legion, which was held in Minneapolis, Minn.

In 1921, the Van Tassell Post held Memorial Day Services, and through the years, many impressive ceremonies were conducted by members. Post No. 1 assumed the caretaker responsibilities for the Van Tassell cemetery for many years and was responsible for many improvements in the community.

The structure that originally housed the Van Tassell American Legion Post is no longer in existence. However, the site is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places and both a memorial plaque and state historical marker have been erected, as is shown below.

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. Focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States. Membership swiftly grew to over 1 million, and local posts sprang up across the country.

Today, membership stands at over 2.4 million in 14,000 posts worldwide. The posts are organized into 55 departments – one each for the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines.

American veterans who served at least one day of active federal duty during wartime, or are serving now, are potentially eligible for membership in the American Legion. Members must have been honorably discharged or still serving honorably.

A soldier from Saratoga stood guard in Paris, France during the organizational meeting of the American Legion. . . . but, then, that’s another war story.

“Mental suffering is the worst of all human illness. Yet, curiously, 75 percent of this illness is the result of self-pity,” reads an editorial quip in the April 1927 edition of the “Big Horn Hot Springs Health Reporter,” a journal devoted to health, happiness, news comment on community and human affairs published in Thermopolis.

Other interesting comments – maybe, or maybe not, factual – follows. Read with an open mind and then judge or just enjoy these stories from the “Health Reporter” of 1927.

Old timers

Mr. John Sherlock and son Mr. Richard Sherlock, old-time residents of romantic South Pass, are at the Washakie Hotel and Baths for a week, coming up from Casper where they have been as witnesses in the Ediin murder trial. Mr. Sherlock is one of the oldest citizens now in the State of Wyoming. His people came into the state in 1868, and Mr. Sherlock has resided in the South Pass district almost continuously since that time.

It is quite a treat to hear old timers like “Billie” Simpson, Colonel George Sliney and Mr. Sherlock discuss the days gone by. Many bits of real history are often told in these meetings which, if written, would add materially to the recorded history of early days in Wyoming. Mr. Sherlock remembers the days when trappers observing the steam from the springs thought it the smoke of Indian encampments and in haste turned back from the summit of Copper Mountain from whence they observed it. In all these years past Mr. Sherlock has believed in the merit of the Big Horn Hot Springs Mineral waters and has proven his faith by repeated visits and always with happy results.

Personal mention

Everybody knows Eugene McCarthy, the genial, prominent sheepman from Casper. Eugene has made the Washakie Hotel his home for two or three weeks twice and three times a year for lo these many years. He believes that more good is accomplished here for humanity than anywhere else on earth according to the population served. Mr. McCarthy is an honest Irishman and believes in honest treatment and natural remedies. His out-of-door life has taught him the wonder of nature and her disposition to care for her children if given opportunity. The management of the Washakie Hotel and Baths swear that Mr. McCarthy is a clean character because he takes two baths a day, some days.

Mr. J.G. Nygren, of Oshkosh, Neb. is on his first visit to the wonderful Big Horn Mineral Hot Springs and is stopping at the Washakie Hotel and Baths. “J.G.” ever wears a genial smile, but since his course of baths, he just beams. All his hometown friends will be coming to the Washakie as soon as they have seen him after his return home.

What’s a chiropractor?

The Chiropractor of today undoubtedly has the “Indian sign” on the “Yerb Doctor” of recent years. Your chiro doesn’t even gather roots, neither does he dose or physic. His blacksmith physical structure is such that he could throw a physic scare into a Jack Johnson. If a misguided invalid is led into his dormer room office and yields in fear and trembling to having his or her back cracked to cure ulceration of the stomach there’s always the possibility that the patient won’t die of stomach trouble. The homo americanus was a noble race, even if they were Indians and believed in signs, mystery and “yerbs,” but he, as a race, couldn’t stand the treatment.

These headlines in the May 23, 1907 issue of the “Wyoming Observer,” published in Saratoga, portrays a controversial election and vote count. The newspaper reports:

The city election was not altogether what some anticipated. The decision of the council was not as some of the members thought it should be, judging from views expressed by them. The decision was not a surprise to any one, especially to those present, who were attentive to the actions of the majority it was plain to see the outcome.

The town clerk had already notified the two men to appear on Saturday night at the town hall at 8:30 p.m. at which time and place a tie vote was to be decided. They were there, the poll book was in Rawlins – a move unnecessary, and the canvas could not be had. Adjournment to Monday night at 8 o’clock, when they again had the book in their hands, but in some manner, and apparently at Rawlins, a technicality was found in the scoring by fives in the Brewer column, which, if correct, gave him one vote to go on. The judges had compared their books with the ballots counted, and their totals had balanced.

Those examining the book, at least a good number of them, expressed their opinion that it was a clerical error, a false stroke of the pen or the pen had run out of ink and the pressure had caused the points to spread, making two feint lines instead of one as intended. Some of the council seemed to think they could not go back of the judge’s total count, having their oath for the correctness of the count.

To settle the matter, Councilman Price made a motion that J.B. Eager and John C. Brewer, having received the highest number of votes, be declared elected. The motion carried.

We now have C.C. Hickok to wield the big stick as mayor and his cabinet of councilors consist of John W. Cluff, C.R. Brenner, John B. Eager and J.C. Brewer.

The political ring rule method seemed to permeate the heart and brain of some who were so afraid of losing control of the affairs of the town. This control is taken into business, to the detriment of the business interests of the town. It is used personally and socially to the detriment of the citizens. The political bosses know full well that with a town united in business, its people united on all other lines for the good of the community and the up-building of the town and community, means without dispute a popular convention for the nomination of town officers, and with this their political controlling power is gone and they are merely political relics of the past.

Many people oppose a centralized government. Some of our best writers tell of its evils to a nation and a commonwealth. It is considered ruinous. It places the control of affairs in too few hands. In the election just closed the appointments made by Mayor Hickok on the night of his qualification are:

C.S. Taylor to succeed himself as marshal; George Broadhurst remains clerk, and J.F. Crawford will handle the wealth of the town.

Editorial comment in the same issue of the paper declared:

A man remarked on the street Monday night that a man who stole a coat or a sheep was sent to the pen for five years. The man who committed murder stood a mighty good show of acquittal, but the man who stole a town council should draw a premium. We wish to ask who is at fault, the man or the council?

Today, as in 1907, your vote does count. Be sure to exercise that right, no matter how painful it seems in 2016.

The healing powers of the world’s largest mineral hot springs, located across the Big Horn River from Thermopolis is promoted in a 1927 publication. It notes:

The Big Horn Mineral Hot Springs flows 18,600,000 gallons of water each 24 hours at a temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit and carries 28 different minerals, most of them known to be essential to good health. Many diseases are cured here after the doctors have tried and failed as explained in the following case histories, as reported in the April 1927 “Health Reporter.”

Have you ever known the anxiety of weeks at the bedside of a son 14 years old who as the result of scarlet fever, was left with Brights Disease and uremic poisoning? Such has been the trial of Mr. Jess Beadle, of Roundup, Mont., whose son George was so stricken that the doctors in attendance could do no more for him. With George so ill that death was momentarily expected, Mr. Beadle and his sister, Mrs. James Turner, of Glenrock, who had been with the boy in Roundup, boarded the train for Thermopolis. Arriving at the springs the boy was at once placed in the baths. Relief was immediate. George has been at the springs now for a week. His condition as we go to press is such that Mr. Beadle is planning to return home while Mrs. Turner remains during the time that George is convalescing. Mr. Beadle’s one complaint since coming here has been that he did not know about the springs sooner.

Dan Sutherland, “Cheerful Dan,” as he is called by those who have met him here at the springs, came back this month after an absence of two years. When Dan was here before, he had a rheumatic hand, which was so bad that it appeared that he would lose the use of it. Before Dan left the hand was entirely cured of rheumatism, and though it was weak for a time, he says it is sure OK now. Dan will bathe for three weeks just in interest of good health. If everyone made a practice of doing this every year the average life of man would be prolonged 10 years.

Among the more recent arrivals at the Springs are Mrs. Augustus Ritz and Mrs. Susie Turluk of Glendive, Mont. Mrs. Augustus Ritz came to Thermopolis some years ago for treatment for dropsy and was entirely cured and upon this fact is founded her supreme faith in the medicinal value of the Big Horn Hot Springs mineral water. They are stopping at the Washakie Hotel and Baths while here.

Steve Markovich and Matt Prink, from the Dubois Tie Camps, are here to take baths and treatment after a winter of strenuous labor and exposure in the logging business. These men are wise. They know that after a winter of hardship nature will be ruthless in her demand for rebuilding their systems before another hard task is placed upon them. They are taking baths and treatment at the Washakie Hotel and Baths.

Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Allen of Riverton are at the Washakie Hotel and Baths. Mr. Allen, a prominent Riverton attorney, will play golf as well as take the baths while here. Our Thermopolis golf course is a joy to real golfers. If our eastern resorts attempted to equal the natural advantages of our delightful course, it would cost them no end of money.

Mr. George Larcome of Shelby, Mont. is a convert to the theory and result of natural treatment as given at the Washakie Hotel and Baths. The drinking and use of the mineral waters for bathing soon clears up the cause of most diseases and nature does the rest.

For the first time, those who need the Big Horn Hot Springs Mineral Waters shipped to them in their homes will be able to have this service. Mrs. Edleman, proprietor of the Big Horn Hot Springs Bottling Works, will bottle these wonderful mineral waters for shipment to your homes. See ad elsewhere in this issue.