Area Rancher WoundedWritten by Dick Perue
Recoil of heavily loaded shotgun nearly knocks his head off.
Three deep stitches required to put his nose in place.
This shocking headline appeared in the Dec. 29, 1904 issue of “The Saratoga Sun.” Details of the incident were reported as thus:
Yesterday afternoon Albert Nixon had an accident with a shotgun that came near resulting fatally. The gun was an old muzzleloader, which species of weapon Albert was not familiar, and in loading it, he put in an extra large charge. When he undertook to shoot the gun, the recoil crushed the stock, and the breech plowed into his face. Beginning at the upper lip, it nearly tore off the nose and made an ugly wound that stopped just in time to save the right eye.
Dr. Price was called to the house of William Lee, on the Hugus Ranch, where the accident occurred, and found it necessary to take three deep stitches and to use a great deal of adhesive plaster to get the nose back in place. Dr. Price says the wound is an ugly and painful one but does not anticipate any serious consequences from it.
The after Christmas issue of the paper also noted:
Took corrosive sublimate
Bertha (last name omitted by writer), an inmate of a Rawlins house of ill repute, attempted to commit suicide Saturday by chewing up six tablets composed of corrosive sublimate. Her mouth and throat were severely burned, but she will recover.
However, all the news that week wasn’t bad. An article in the hometown weekly newspaper states:
Went coon hunting
W.B. and James Harden, accompanied by several boys, were up the river hunting Sunday and bagged three coons, all fairly good-sized animals. Mr. Harden had run across the tracks the morning before and the following day took the dogs and captured the coons. These animals are rather scarce in this country, only having made their appearance a few years ago.
Two Nights in a Mountain Blizzard: Martin Farrell Lost in the Hills from Sunday Afternoon until Tuesday NightWritten by Dick Perue
Above are the headlines in the Dec. 30, 1904 issue of “The Grand Encampment Herald.” Following is the newspaper article.
Martin Farrell, agent for the Dixie Clothing Co., was “up against the real thing” from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday night. He left Encampment Sunday noon on horseback, headed for the Carbon Timber Co.’s headquarters east of Hog Park carrying six suits of clothes to be delivered at the tie camp.
Frank White, the stage driver, who makes regular trips three times a week to and from the tie camp, told Farrell that he could not get over the trail alone and advised him to wait until Monday, when he could follow the stage, Farrell declared that he would be in camp before night and so started out. He reached the half-way house on Green Mountain without difficult but after he had gone about two miles farther he became lost in the storm.
Monday night he camped all by his lonesome in one of those monster snow banks up yonder on the Continental Divide, with no one near to disturb his meditations or annoy him in his solitude. The wind was blowing some – if you have ever been up there you will know – and the atmosphere was the limit of the extension, “chillfully” speaking, and Farrell was handed the icy mitt in earnest. Next morning he managed to wander around some, but darkness came on again and he was forced to spend another night in the snow and cold. About five o’clock Tuesday night he made his way to the tie camp headquarters and has since been in a critical condition. During the trip, Farrell had nothing to eat and had only two matches in his clothes to encourage a fire, and he lost the six suits of clothes.
Frank White goes to the half-way house in the afternoon and starts from there early the next morning, making the tie camp about noon. He has never failed to get his outfit through, even in the worst weather, but he declares that the trail in mid-winter is no place for a tenderfoot. The snow is drifted as deep as 20 feet in places, and in a storm it is difficult even for the old timer to keep the trail.
An advertisement in the same newspaper the following week reads:
“To avoid cold feet take Nuzum’s stage, heated by Clark’s heaters. Tickets for sale at Snider and Park’s at the following popular prices: Grand Encampment to Saratoga, $1.50, round trip, $2.50; Grand Encampment to Walcott, $3.00, round trip, $5.00.”
The Midnight Bells Ring Every YearWritten by Dick Perue
The midnight hour, solemn and drear –
The bells ring out our good old year.
I listen to the plaintive sound
Vibrating o’er the country ’round.
Alas, my friend has to depart,
My good, old year, it pains my heart!
He was with me ’mid sunny rays,
And clung to me on cloudy days,
A friend in joy, a friend in woe,
Yes, such was he, but he must go!
No more he shall return to me,
With all his charms and gifts so free.
And ah! It grieves me too, the thought
That I’ve not used him, as I ought!
And when I think about this year,
Forever now to disappear,
Now also of the years of yon,
Ring out since long, to be no more,
With childhood’s sport, when dreams I dreamed,
When fancy’s rays upon me beamed,
With dear old home and all its charms,
And smiling eyes and loving arms,
With beckoning hopes of rainbow hue,
With hearts sincere, that stronger grew,
The bells say sadly, “Gone for aye,
Time sweeps your pleasures all away!”
Ah! Cease to ring thou mournful bell,
I do not like thy funeral knell,
Curtain mine eyes, thou blessed sleep,
And let me joy in dreamland reap!
The notes are hushed – the year is dead,
And what he was and gave has fled.
But no – once more I hear it ring.
Now moving with a steadier swing,
Bounding, sweet notes, conveying cheer,
The bells ring in the bright New Year.
New life, new hope, new peace, new cheer.
Farewell the old, welcome the New Year!
Yes, church bells, ring from lofty spire
That heavenward point, with hope to inspire!
The happy song is in your clang,
Which one sweet night God’s angels sang,
“Glory to God and peace on earth
Good will to man,” at Jesus’ birth.
- Rev. S.F. Rederus
This New Year poem was published in the Jan. 1, 1907 issue of “The Saratoga Sun.”
Wyoming Cattle Top Stock ShowsWritten by Dick Perue
A series of articles in the Dec. 27, 1907 issue of “The Laramie Republican” touted cattle raised on the Laramie Plains, which went on to win at both the National Western Stock Show in Denver and the Chicago International.
A few of the articles follow.
Best feeder calves
The champion car of feeder calves of the 1907 Western Stock show at Denver was raised in Albany County, was purchased there by Mr. Batchelor of Illinois to be fattened and shown at the 1907 Chicago International, winning first prize as fat yearlings from their district, almost tripling their weight with 10-months’ feed.
The second prize fat yearlings from the north-central district this year were bred by Mr. Fred Remington of Douglas and were fed by Stiner Bros. of Illinois. These gentlemen have fed this brand of calves for several years and showed their appreciation of them by paying $29.50 per head for a car this year that won first prize in their class, as well as Mr. William Reynolds purchasing a car of second prize winners at $25 per head. These two cars of calves will be fitted for the 1908 international by their present owners, who are noted as being among the best feeders of Illinois of fancy show cattle.
Grand champion feeders
The grand champion feeder calves of all ages and breeds of the international this year were bred on the Wyoming and Nebraska line, in northeastern Wyoming, and were purchased at private sale by an Ohio gentleman at $30 per head to be fitted for the 1908 Chicago International. Besides winning several hundred dollars in prizes, the above mentioned feeder cattle sold for an average of $4.85 per hundred this year. Not withstanding that the average price of fat cattle was only $6.48 per hundred or $150 per hundred less than they brought in 1906, stock cattle were selling 15 cents per hundred higher than in 1906, thus substantiating the fact of the growing demand for the heavy, well-bred western feeders, even on a declining market and facing a financial stringency. Along with this fact and a margin of from five to 10 dollars per head in favor of the northern-raised animals over the southern and northwestern grown.
Fed on ground peas
The fact that the grand champion bull of the 1907 International was matured on ground peas and oats, never having eaten corn in his life, ought to arouse our cattlemen to the importance of breeding fewer and still better cattle, of the low down, thick flesh kinds, using few brands and flesh marks as possible and handled in a more domestic way, thus being able to grow a cleaner, gentler animal, better suited to the demands of the eastern feed lots.
This accomplished, it matters not whether the origin be Scotch or English, the color black, red, roan or white face, our eastern brother feeders are ready to take these kinds at the highest market price to be ripened by him into the choicest of good, pure, wholesome food, as perchance I may say, and I do not think the time far distant when we will mature our own cattle, in our own feedlots, on our home-grown peas, oats, barley and alfalfa and such native hay that we can raise and are growing to perfection throughout our state that can not be excelled in the world for its excellent quality as a pure, sweet, meat-producing factor.
A Cowboy’s Christmas PrayerWritten by Dick Perue
The following poem was submitted to an Advent book years ago by the Rev. Glen Fuller, a sinful cowboy who turned preacher and served for many years as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Saratoga.
I ain’t much good at prayin’, and You may not know me, Lord.
I ain’t much seen in churches where they preach Thy Holy Word,
But You may have observed me out here on the lonely plains,
A-looking after cattle, feelin’ thankful when it rains.
Admirin’ Thy great handiwork, the miracle of grass,
Aware of Thy kind spirit in the way it comes to pass.
That hired men on horseback and the livestock that we tend
Can look up at the stars at night and know we’ve got a Friend.
So here’s of Christmas comin’ on, remindin’ us again,
Of Him whose coming brought good will into the hearts of men.
A cowboy ain’t no preacher, Lord, but if You’ll hear my prayer,
I’ll ask as good as we have got for all men everywhere.
Don’t let no hearts be bitter, Lord; don’t let no child be cold,
Make easy beds for them that’s sick, and them that’s weak and old.
Let kindness bless the trail we ride, no matter what we’re after,
And sorter keep us on Your side, in tears as well as laughter.
I’ve seen old cows a-starving’, and it ain’t no happy sight.
Please don’t leave no one hungry, Lord, on Thy good Christmas night.
No man, no child, no woman and no critter on four feet –
I’ll aim to do my best to help you find ‘em chuck to eat.
I’m just a sinful cowpoke, Lord – ain’t got no business prayin’ –
But still I hope you’ll ketch a word or two of what I’m sayin’.
We speak of Merry Christmas, Lord – I reckon You’ll agree,
There ain’t no Merry Christmas for nobody that ain’t free.
So one thing more I’ll ask You, Lord: just help us what You can
To save some seeds of freedom for the future sons of man!