Western HISTORY Thread

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Colorado Uli, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico history is fascinating.

    Note: Thread title changed to “Western HISTORY Thread” to better reflect its intent.


    We see the remains of old farms, ranches, mines, smelters, etc. out in the boonies when we ride and I always want to know what happened there. Who were the people? Where did they come from? Why did they chose to come all the way out here?

    Since there's lots of folk here who really enjoy the West's history tidbits posted here by @nwcolorider and others, here's a place specifically for that. Copy and paste from other threads is cool.

    Without his permission, I'll get it started by copying some of Norm's historical lessons from a recent thread.


    From Norm:
    So those of you that have made the ride or know know that I enjoy the history of the area we will be riding.
    Form the Great Diamond Hoax, The outlaws, Tom Horn etc.
    There was a Hermit that lived in the Bench Road area for years.
    Echo Park was called Pats Hole for years.
    Here is the story on ol Pat
    by Kerry Ross Boren

    Pat Lynch spent over 40 years living the life of a hermit in the area of Echo Park in what is now known as Dinosaur National Monument. He was born in Ireland and left home at an early age to become a seafaring man. According to his stories, he was shipwrecked off the coast of Africa and was adopted by a tribe of natives. He wed one of the tribe’s maidens and fathered two children by her. Later, becoming restless, he abandoned the tribe and made his way to the United States.

    He joined the U.S, Navy just in time to serve in the Civil War. In 1863 he was wounded in battle and discharged from the service. Soon afterward he enlisted in the Army under the name of James Cooper and served there until around 1870 when he made his way westward. Pat collected pensions under both names after moving west.

    It is uncertain whey Pat ended up in the remote area along the Yampa River. There was strong suspicion that he had killed a man and was on the run from the law. Over the years Pat became friends with many of the families living along the river and would often pay them visits. He frequently visited the Chew family at Pool Creek. They said he always talked with an Irish burr and used the slang of seafaring men. Ralph Chew said that many times when talk would come up of someone dying or being killed, Pat would ask if they had been killed with an axe. Some believed Pat had killed a man in this way and that he may have come to this area to hide from the law. He brought with him a small herd of horses which he bred and traded during his many years in the area which locals would come to know as Pat's Hole.

    My grandfather, William C. Boren, went into business with Pat for several years in raising horses in Pat’s Hole and nearby Rainbow Park. Grandfather brought his family to live on a makeshift ranch in Rainbow Park, where he raised and broke horses which he then drove over a precarious route known as “Horsethief Trail” to Pat’s place in Pat’s Hole. Then the horses would be traded and sold to the outlaws. My father, who was just a boy at the time, recalled that Pat was a “strange old fellow who used to talk to himself and tell stories to his horses.”

    According to F.C. Barnes, a long time friend of Pat's, the old hermit lived just like a coyote. “If he found a drowned horse he would take a quarter of it or so and make jerky out of it. He had jerky and bread cached all over the mountains. Sometimes when we were on a ride he would stop and study for a minute and then go to a rock or cave and come back with some bread and jerky. The bread looked like it may have been cooked over a year ago.”

    Pat knew the area like the back of his hand and had many places where he would hole up during a storm or when overtaken by darkness. These were usually caves and many went undetected until years after his death. Friends had said that Pat strongly believed in spirits and would often talk to them and set out food for them. He would also talk to the animals who shared his canyon home and believed they understood him. He believed that a mountain lion had saved him from starvation by leaving him deer kill, and that one particular lion in the canyon would answer when he called.
    As Pat aged he began to forget things easily. Friends said that he scarcely knew what he was talking about and would ramble on from one subject to another. The last few years of his life he was too feeble to live alone, so he stayed with some friends in Lily Park. It is said that his last wish was to be set adrift on the river he loved so much. but when Pat died on 27 February 1917, he was buried next to the Yampa River in Lily Park where a weathered stone still marks his grave.
    [​IMG]
    #1
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  2. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    This is a story I first heard about in Ken Burn's epic series, The West, and every time I hear Mark Knopfler's song "Prairie Wedding" I think of it.
    This is part of the true story of a couple who persevered against all odds in the harsh, often beautiful lands of the open West.

    Copied from The West's website:

    P.S. I Like You Very Much
    [​IMG]
    I know a land where the gray hills lie
    Eternally still, under the sky,
    Where all the might of suns and moons
    That pass in the quiet of nights and noons
    Leave never a sign of the flight of time
    On the long sublime horizon line --
    Ethel Waxham

    On October 20th, 1905 the Rawlins-to-Lander stagecoach rattled north toward the Sweetwater River in central Wyoming. On board was an unusual passenger, a 23-year-old named Ethel Waxham.

    [​IMG]
    She was a city girl from Denver, a graduate of Wellesley College who had spent a summer doing volunteer work in the slums of New York. Schooled in four languages, she dabbled in poetry, enjoyed staging amateur theatricals, and was voraciously curious about the world. Just a few weeks earlier, she had been offered her first full-time job -- as a teacher in a remote one room school in the center of Wyoming.

    [​IMG]
    "My mother, who was always great for adventure, decided she would take the job. Of course, the adventure started when the Mills family, with whom she would live and whose three children she would teach, wrote her and told her what things to bring and what kind of clothing and what to expect. But there was no mention of how beautiful the ranch was, and what the scenery was like, and what the people were like. So, all those things were a surprise and a revelation to her."
    David Love

    She moved into the Red Bluff ranch and started recording her observations of the remarkable new life she'd begun to lead. And she began teaching -- seven students in all, ages 8 to 16.

    The first fifteen minutes or half hour are given to reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin" or "Kidnapped," while we all sit about the stove to keep warm. Usually in the middle of the reading the sound of a horse galloping down the frozen road distracts the attention of the boys.

    [​IMG]
    A few moments later, six foot George Schlichting opens the door, a sack of oats in one hand, his lunch tied up in a dishrag in the other. Cold from his five mile ride, he sits down on the floor by the stove, unbuckles his spurs, pulls off his leather chaps... unwinds three red handkerchiefs from about his neck and ears, takes off one or two coats, according to the temperature, and straightening his leather cuffs, is ready for business.
    Ethel Waxham

    VisitorsMuskrat Creek.

    [​IMG]
    "I have asked him many times why that Godforsaken country would be his home. He knew about the Red Bluff Ranch and other places along the Wind River Front. But he chose that because, as he said simply, he needed a lot of room. He wanted his outfit to grow."
    David Love

    Ethel Waxham enjoyed Love's wit and his stories about ranching, but when he proposed marriage, she turned him down and went on with her work.

    When the school year ended, Ethel left Wyoming and entered the University of Colorado, and began to work towards a master's degree in literature. Then letters began to arrive.

    [​IMG]
    Muskrat, Wyoming
    September 12th, 1906
    Dear Miss Waxham,
    Of course it will cause many a sharp twinge and heartache to have to take "no" for an answer, but I will never blame you for it in the least, and I will never be sorry that I met you. I will be better for having known you. I know the folly of hoping that your "no" is not final, but in spite of that knowledge... I know that I will hope until the day that you are married. Only then I will know that the sentence is irrevocable. Yours Sincerely,
    John G. Love


    [​IMG]
    November 12th, 1906
    Dear Miss Waxham,
    I know that you have not been brought up to cook and labor. I have never been on the lookout for a slave and would not utter a word of censure if you never learned, or if you got ambitious and made a "batch" of biscuits that proved fatal to my favorite dog... I will do my level best to win you and... If I fail, I will still want your friendship just the same. Yours Sincerely,
    John G. Love


    [​IMG]
    February 15th, 1907
    Dear Mr. Love,
    I am fortunate in having two letters from you to answer in one... The days have been comparatively dull... I am too busy for dances here, if I care to go, which I do not... The seven months I spent at the ranch I would not exchange for any other seven months in my life. They seem shorter than seven weeks, even seven days, here. Sincerely yours,
    Ethel Waxham


    [​IMG]
    Dear Miss Waxham,
    I for one am glad that your curiosity led you to drift up here to Wyoming, and now my supreme desire in life is to persuade you to come back. With love and kisses,
    Ever yours,
    John G. Love


    [​IMG]
    Dear Mr. Love,
    Since you began to sign your name as you do... you must have known that I would not like it and would not continue, since we are only friends. I wrote you not to expect any more letters from me unless you stopped it.
    Ethel P. Waxham


    [​IMG]
    Dear Miss Waxham,
    I will always sign all letters properly in the future. Please forgive my errors of the past. I suppose that I ought to be satisfied with your friendship, but I won't be. Yours sincerely,
    John G. Love


    In 1907, Ethel Waxham received her master's degree, took a job teaching in Wisconsin for a year, then came back and spent another year in Colorado. Everywhere she went, John Love's letters pursued her.


    [​IMG]
    April 3, 1909
    Dear Mr. Love,
    There are reasons galore why I should not write so often. I'm a beast to write at all. It makes you -- (maybe?) -- think that "no" is not "no," but "perhaps," or "yes," or anything else... Good wishes for your busy season
    from E.W.
    P.S. I like you very much.


    For years, John Love slept outdoors, fighting against the terrain and climate to keep his herds alive, struggling to build his ranch. He scoured the countryside for abandoned buildings and hauled them over rough roads to Muskrat Creek. A saloon and an old hotel became bunkhouses, sheds, and a blacksmith shop. He hauled the logs for the main house from the Wind River Mountains a hundred miles away. Each trip took him two weeks.


    [​IMG]
    October 25th, 1909
    Dear Miss Waxham,
    There is no use in my fixing up the house anymore, papering, etc., until I know how it should be done, and I won't know that until you see it and say how it ought to be fixed. If you never see it, I don't want it fixed, for I won't live here. We could live very comfortably in the wagon while our house was being fixed up to suit you, if you only would say yes.
    John Love


    [​IMG]
    Dear Mr. Love,
    Suppose that you lost everything that you have and a little more; and suppose that for the best reason in the world I wanted you to ask me to say "yes." What would you do?
    E.

    Dear Miss Waxham,
    If I were with you, I would throw my arms around you and kiss you and wait eagerly for the kiss that I have waited over four years for. Yours Sincerely,
    John G. Love

    Finally, in the spring of 1910, Ethel Waxham agreed to be John Love's wife.

    [​IMG]
    "When my father was sure that my mother was going to marry him, he had a sheep wagon built especially to his order. And that was to be the honeymoon sheep wagon. They were married on June 20th, in 1910, and it was pretty hot, so they started out for the mountains, and from then on there is a blank in our knowledge. Mother rarely discussed it, except in times of crisis. And my father never discussed it. But apparently it rained a great deal. The horses got away and they were marooned, and they never got to the mountains.
    David Love

    It was the first test John and Ethel Love would face together, but it would not be the last.
    #2
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  3. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    And the rest of this story of love and hardship:


    I Will Never Leave You
    [​IMG]
    After their rain-soaked honeymoon, John and Ethel Love moved into the house he had built for her on Muskrat Creek. His ranch was more remote, more barren than anything Ethel had ever seen before. In an area the size of Rhode Island, the Loves were the only inhabitants.

    We live the ranchiest kind of ranch life... The sheer alone-ness of it is unique -- never a light but one's own, at night. No smoke from another's fire in sight.
    Ethel Waxham Love

    John Love's dream was to build a prosperous future for his new wife -- big herds of livestock, abundant orchards and irrigated fields of grain. But during their first winter together, the Loves lost 8,000 sheep and 50 cattle. Ethel lost a baby.

    Still they managed to complete one irrigation dam near their home and to begin work on a larger one downstream. But the next winter was the worst since the Great Die-Up of the 1880s. Ethel, pregnant again, had left John alone and gone to Denver for the birth. She and the baby, a son named Allan, had just returned when the spring floods began.

    [​IMG]
    Black clouds, thunder and lightning showed heavy rains up the creek, although we had only showers about the house. All that afternoon John had been chanting happily, "Roll, Jordan, Roll," in anticipation of water to fill the small reservoirs. I fed the baby and went to bed about nine o'clock. Then Jordan rolled.
    Ethel Waxham Love

    [​IMG]
    "There was a violent storm and a lot of flood water came down Muskrat creek. And it invaded the house in the middle of the night. And mother got up out of bed and took the baby in her arms and staggered through the mud up onto the hill to the honeymoon sheep wagon. And my father tried to keep the flood waters out of the house, but to no avail. They came in about two and a half to three feet deep, swirling through the house."
    David Love

    At daylight we returned to the house. Stench, wreckage and debris met us. The flood... had burst open the front door and swept a tub full of rain water into the dining room. Chairs and other furniture were overturned in deep mud. Mattresses had floated... Kitchenware, groceries and silverware were filthy.
    Ethel Waxham Love

    Bankers from the town of Lander showed up, surveyed the damage, and brusquely announced that they were foreclosing on Love's livestock loans.

    [​IMG]
    The aftermath came quickly. Buyers arrived to take over the sheep, sheep wagons, dogs and equipment. John paid his... own cowboys, and they departed... Before he left, the... banker asked, "What will you do with the baby?" I said, "I think I'll keep him."
    Ethel Waxham Love



    [​IMG]
    "After the flood, my father was of course devastated. All his dreams had gone down the drain. And so he told my mother that he wouldn't blame her if she left him. She said, 'I will never leave you.'"
    David Love

    They went back to living in a sheep wagon while they cleaned out the flood wreckage and began rebuilding. A second son, David, was born, and by the next year, the big dam downstream was finished.

    [​IMG]
    We had a lulling sense of satisfaction and anticipation... awaiting a real test of the dam's strength. The sky in the west was blackened by a hail storm... It filled the dam, overflowing the spillway. Under the pressure the dam burst... John salvaged five loads of rye and more of winter wheat... This was all he had to show for his years of expensive effort on the dam. "Love's Labor Lost," was his summary.
    Ethel Waxham Love

    John Love was 43 years old. All of his work had ended in ruin. He hired himself out as a common sheepherder for forty dollars a month and started over -- yet again.

    We keep open house for all who pass... "When did you eat last?" is the correct greeting.
    Ethel Waxham Love

    [​IMG]
    One of the riders who came through was a chap named Bill Grace. And he had been rather lively as a young man, and killed somebody, and had been sent to the penitentiary for it. But he was a decent sort, and as my father said, the man needed killing anyway.

    [​IMG]
    But we little boys -- we were about ten or eleven years old -- we were in kind of awe to be in the presence of this murderer. And it just happened that day that he was at the ranch, we had been out in the castle gardens and had found an enormous rattlesnake. It was five feet nine inches without the head. And that's a big rattlesnake. And it was beautiful, and we skinned it out 'cause we wanted the skin. And we saw all this beautiful meat and we thought, well, it will make a good supper. So we brought it in and mother took the bones out of it and creamed it and served it on toast. And it was good! And everybody was delighted with it. Especially Bill Grace, who hadn't had anything like that probably in his life.

    [​IMG]
    And we boys were told not to say anything about this being rattlesnake meat, 'cause it might offend Bill. So, we didn't. But we couldn't really quite stay away from the thought. So we were talking about rattlesnake meat and how good it could be. And Bill Grace struck his fist on the table and said, 'If anybody fed me rattlesnake meat, I would kill'em!' And there was a dead silence. And then mother passed the plate of rattlesnake meat and said, 'Have some more chicken, Bill.'"
    David Love

    As the years passed, there were still more setbacks. Fire destroyed one of the ranch buildings. A Wyoming oil boom passed them by. One year, shipping cattle to Omaha ended up costing Love twenty-seven dollars more than he sold them for. Disease took another sheep herd. A bank failed, and with it went the family savings.

    [​IMG]
    John and Ethel Love stayed on at Muskrat Creek for 37 years, and watched their children grow, go off to college, and succeed. Phoebe became a chemist, Allan a design engineer, and David a geologist.

    [​IMG]
    "When they left the ranch for the final time, they really had no choice. They were both sick, they couldn't get any help, the cattle business was being bureaucratisized, and their future on the ranch was nothing. So they were resigned to their fate, knowing that they weren't going to live much longer. Mother particularly when she left she said, 'at least I left it clean for the next people.'"
    David Love

    John Love died in 1950. Ethel joined him in 1959.

    [​IMG]
    "I think a lot about my father and in many ways, he is typical of the survivors. After the 1919 winter that pretty much wiped us out, he and I both had to learn to walk again, 'cause we had Spanish influenza and we were sick all winter. And I can still remember us standing together, each leaning on the other, the six-year old boy and the fifty-year old man, and his saying, 'Well, laddy, we can make it.' So, of course, we did."
    David Love
    #3
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  4. KDouble

    KDouble AKA BeefCurtain

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    Great idea for a thread! :beer
    #4
  5. nwcolorider

    nwcolorider NWCOLO

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    Some more Browns Park History from the NW Corner.

    The only crossing of the Green River was at the upper end of Browns Park, at the Jarvie Ranch. For lower valley residents that was a huge loop through some rough country just to get across the river to go south to Vernal.

    Charlie Crouse(Crouse Canyon) and some other ranchers decided to build a bridge just below Beaver Creek. Using the old Precambrian Quartzite as an anchor they built the original bridge. Now ol Charlie Crouse was known to have a few drinks

    and get stubborn. There had been a dance at the Lodore Hall and Charlie had been laying planks across the bridge that day. He knew there were planks all the way across and most of them had been attached that day. So instead of taking the old

    Model A the extra 20 miles around, he decided that he could creep across the bridge. Well half way across some of the boards moved and he dropped the front wheels through the bridge, he then jammed it in reverse and the wheels spun the

    boards in the back and the rear wheels fell through. Now that old car was left suspended by the boards on the frame, with a gap, between. So ol Charlie was on an "island". Charlie decided a little Rye would help out, he proceeded to finish of his

    bottle and curled up on the seat. The work Crew found him the next morning!

    Charlie Crouse on the completed Bridge.

    Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 7.57.50 AM.png



    70 some yrs later this goof ball decided the 5 ton limit meant nothing.

    [​IMG]

    This is gunna be fun! I got loads of NW Colorado History!
    #5
  6. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    IN............
    #6
  7. nwcolorider

    nwcolorider NWCOLO

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    How about a Lady Outlaw.
    Born in rough and rugged Brown's Park in 1878, Ann Bassett was a rambunctious tomboy who took to Western life with a vengeance. She rode bareback, handled a gun, roped and tied calves, displayed a temperament known to get in the way of common sense, and was impervious to family discipline.


    During the Park's heyday, the Bassetts extended a welcoming hand to travelers, neighbors, friends, cattle rustlers and outlaws. Seeking refuge from the law in 1889, Robert Leroy Parker (Butch Cassidy) hid out and worked at the Bassett ranch. Elza Lay, who later joined the Wild Bunch, wintered in the Bassetts' bunkhouse and attended school with Josie.

    Stories surfaced that Cassidy courted Josie and had a long-term, sporadic relationship with Ann. Rumors swirled around Ann's uncanny resemblance to Etta Place — the outlaw companion who traveled to New York and South America with the Sundance Kid (Harry Longabaugh) and Cassidy — declaring they were the same woman. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency concurred.(More on that later)

    In 1900, when fiancé Matt Rash was murdered, (Tom Horn) shot point-blank in his cabin, Ann sought revenge against the assassin's employer, Ora Haley and his Two-Bar ranch. She patrolled the Divide between cattle barons and Park ranchers, shot any Two-Bar cattle crossing over, and meted out a paradoxical brand of justice by pushing others to their death in the swift-running Green River.

    Ann then bought a cabin in Douglas Mountain. Working in concert with her brothers at the Bassett ranch she aspired to reach goals similar to her mother's, one of the frontier's first female ranchers. Not wanting to do the work herself however, the 26-year-old stunned Brown's Park residents and chose — some say, "entrapped" — Hi Bernard, 47, manager of the most-hated Two-Bar Ranch.(One of the ranches that hired Horn)

    Ann proposed a business arrangement and marriage with the amply experienced cattleman. Hi was enraptured by her striking beauty and hourglass figure. They married in 1904 and the Bassett-Bernard Cattle Co. seemed to work.


    In 1910, Bernard moved to Denver and the couple divorced.

    Alone on her ranch, Ann continued her attack on Two-Bar by closing and cutting off access to the vital watering hole on her property. Retaliating, Two-Bar sent a stock detective to find evidence of rustling on her property. Three days later, freshly butchered meat was discovered hanging in Anne's storeroom. Ann and her new foreman were arrested for cattle thievery.

    Whether innocent or guilty, Ann's trial in Craig, Colo., caused a sensation. A local opera house, rented for the trial, was packed with spectators waiting to see the fancily dressed, educated woman who spoke like city folk face off in a duel with the greedy cattle tycoon. It ended in a hung jury. A party proceeded for three days closing of main street in Craig.

    Set for re-trial in 1913, a credible witness for the defense was "legally" killed. The foreman disappeared. Haley was accused of tax evasion. And the Queen of Rustlers paraded triumphantly through town.

    Ann Bassett remarried in 1928 to cattleman Frank Willis. The couple remained in Utah, where they maintained a ranch. She remained there for the rest of her life. Ann Died in 1956, friends and family were the ones who buried her ashes in an undisclosed area in Browns Park.

    Ann "dissappeared" for a few yrs and is thought by many to have been with Butch Cassidy, many around these parts say she was Etta Place.
    Ann on the left, Etta Place, Butch Cassidy's girl friend on the right .


    [​IMG]

    On a side note, I know four old timers up here that say Butch Cassidy came back also and spent a few years in Baggs WY before returning to Utah.

    This is a good read on that story.

    http://www.history.com/news/the-mysterious-deaths-of-butch-cassidy-and-the-sundance-kid
    #7
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  8. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    The outlaw thread , subscribed
    #8
  9. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    The whole time I was reading your story I was picturing that tractor broke through the boards.
    #9
  10. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    Cool story on Ann Bassett. She played a role in the other story you told the other day about that “cattle detective” coming to Browns Hole, no? Please repost that one
    #10
  11. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    If you are into the famous ones like Butch Cassidy, there are lots of great stories to come. Butch, besides Browns Hole, also hid out in a place called Robber’s Roost near ... nothing (well, kinda near Hankville, UT).
    #11
  12. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    I read a book on the life of cowboy Bill Tibbits from the Moab area that really grabbed my attention because in included so many locations I’ve ridden so it made it easy to picture his horse rides and identify with his views.
    I’ll get to him later.
    #12
  13. picard

    picard engage!

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    Always been one of my favorite towns in CO
    https://www.creede.com/discover-creede/history.html

    "At the same time that Creede was booming, the capital city of Denver, Colorado was experiencing a major legal reform movement against gambling clubs and saloons. Numerous owners of major gambling houses in Denver quickly relocated to Creede's business district. One of these relocators was the infamous confidence man Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. Soapy became the uncrowned king of Creede's criminal underworld, and opened the Orleans Club. Other famous people in Creede were Robert Ford (the man who killed outlaw Jesse James), Bat Masterson, and William Sidney "Cap" Light (the first deputy sheriff in Creede, and brother-in-law of Soapy Smith). On June 5, 1892 a major fire destroyed most of the business district. Three days later, on June 8, Ed O'Kelley walked into Robert Ford's makeshift tent-saloon and shot him dead. The town of Creede was incorporated on June 13, 1892, but the anti-gambling reform movement in Denver had ceased, and the Denver businessmen moved back to their old stomping grounds.

    I think "Poker" Alice Ivers Tubbs also lived in Creede for a short while, but not in Lake City, where the pizza place named after her is located.
    #13
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  14. picard

    picard engage!

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    Whenever you write about this area, there is no getting around the cannibal stories :-)
    #14
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  15. homerj

    homerj 742 Evergreen Terrace

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    I was really fortunate to see the Robidoux inscription before it fell.

    My image
    [​IMG]

    Mesa County Library image of collapsed inscription
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    Translated from the French, this means: "Antoine Robidoux passed here 13 November 1837 to establish a trading post at the Green River or White." Or, because the third letter of the word "wiyte" has deteriorated and there is an accent mark over the final "e", the last phrase may read, "at the Green River or Winte (Uinta)." Also, "1837" may read "1831" instead.

    Robidoux was a from St. Louis but gave up his U.S. citizenship to become a Mexican citizen and started a business in Taos. At first he and his brothers were freighters on the Santa Fe Trail before eventually they getting into the fur trading business. Robidoux had trading forts all over the southwest as well as near modern day Gunnison and Vernal. Those forts closed in 1844 due to plummeting fur prices and raids by the local Indian population. But Robidoux's influence reaches much further. In 1841 he gave a speech in his native Missouri describing California. One of the people in attendance was John Bidwell who then set up the first wagon expedition from Missouri to California. Bidwell would go on to discover gold on Feather River in 1844. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill and then Bidwell's Bar kicked off the California Gold Rush after the end of the Mexican-American War.

    Robidoux was back in Missouri by this time and made a second fortune outfitting settlers on the California and Oregon Trails. Settlers who were set in motion in large part by reports (from Bidwell and others) of gold and fertile land on the Pacific coast.
    #15
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  16. nwcolorider

    nwcolorider NWCOLO

    Joined:
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    This was on Dinosaur National Monuments Facebook Page. Thought I would put it here, because where the shooting took place is a half mile from Diamond Mtn campon this years Dino Ride
    Browns Park just north of the Monument was a wild place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Starting in the 1870s settlers moved into the valley looking for a good place to raise cattle. Because of its geographic isolation the area attracted outlaws in addition to normal settlers. The prime grazing lands also put the local settlers at odds with large cattle companies who wanted to graze their stock in the area.

    Many of the locals were known or suspected cattle rustlers who were at odds with large cattle barons. This lead to a situation of moral ambiguity over who actually owned large herds of cattle and conflict inevitably arose. One of the most notorious examples were the killings of Matt Rash and Ned Huddleston alias Isom Dart.

    In April of 1900, a stranger arrived in Brown's Park giving his name as Tom Hicks and his occupation as a horse buyer. Ann Bassett, didn't trust Hicks from the start and soon came to the conclusion that he was not a cowboy. Shortly after his arrival, notices appeared on the cabin doors of the Park's more notorious cattle rustlers telling them to leave or else.

    The warnings were laughed at until one night Matt Rash, allegedly Ann Bassett's fiance, received a visitor. The cowboy didn't even have time to stand up before three shots were heard followed by a later fourth shot. The person who had killed Rash had taken the time to shoot his horse, a gift from Elizabeth Bassett before fleeing. Rash's Body was found sometime later in an advanced stage of decay.

    Later that October, Isom Dart walked out of his cabin and two shots rang out. Isom fell dead, a bullet through his head. Under a nearby tree, they found two empty thirty-thirty shells. Everyone was now convinced, Ann Bassett had been right. Tom Hicks was the only man around who carried that caliber rifle.

    The stranger turned out to be Tom Horn, infamous killer for hire. The people of Brown's Park believed that Ora Haley, owner of the Two Bar Ranch had hired Horn as a "stock detective" to protect his cattle interests. No one was really sure that this was actually the case but never the less many believed it.

    Ann Bassett, "Queen of the Cattle Rustlers," earned her sobriquet and declared a personal war on Ora Haley and the Two Bar(eventually she married the foreman)empire due to what she considered was their insatiable lust for land of the small settler and out of revenge for the Tom Horn killings of her friend Isom Dart and "lover" Matt Rash. Her deeds included driving hundreds of Two Bar cattle over the cliffs into the Green River and have become Brown's Park legends.
    Tom Horn
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    Isom/Isam/Isham Dart
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    #16
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  17. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    When I see the words: "Creede's criminal underworld", it makes me giggle a bit, just seeing how small of a place it is today. Oh, and how Texan it is, too.
    #17
  18. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    Never heard of Robidoux before, and I lived in Mesa County for many years. Thanks.
    #18
  19. nwcolorider

    nwcolorider NWCOLO

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    From History Utah
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    Fort Robidoux, a fur trading post also known as Fort Uintah and Fort Winty, was located at the junction of the Uintah and Whiterocks rivers in the Uinta Basin of northeastern Utah(west of Vernal). It was founded in 1832 after Antoine Robidoux bought out the Reed Trading Post that had been in operation at that site since 1828. Robidoux had traded for beaver pelts in the Uinta Basin region as early as 1824. By 1828 he had established his first trading post in the intermountain corridor of the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains on the Gunnision River near present day Delta, Colorado. Robidoux took out Mexican citizenship and married Carmel Benevedes, the adopted daughter of the governor of New Mexico, that same year. This enabled him to obtain a Mexican trading and trapping license.

    With Robidoux's focus on the Colorado fort, William Reed, his twelve-year-old nephew James Reed, and Denis Julien traveled to the Uinta Basin and established the Reed Trading Post, making this the first permanent non-Indian residence and business in the state of Utah. Once his operations were well established on the Gunnison River, Robidoux purchased both the site and business from William Reed and expanded their operation by building a larger fort and bringing in trappers to trap the beaver-rich streams of the Green and Uintah rivers.

    By shifty maneuvering and grim determination, Robidoux kept the upper hand in the Uinta Basin region's fur trade against competition from Fort Davy Crockett(Also called Fort Misery, a 1/2 mie north of the Lodore Campground of Dino Ride Fame!)
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    , located in Brown's Hole on the Green River, as well as from the American Fur Company, the Hudson's Bay Company, and traders out of Bent's Fort. Robidoux's business practices at Fort Uintah included trapping and trading for furs from the Indians and from free trappers, horse trading, and the illegal practice of trading both guns and liquor to the Indians. There is some evidence that Robidoux was also involved in During his years in business such notables as Kit Carson, Miles Goodyear, Marcus Whitman, Joe Meeks, Captain John C. Fremont, August Archambeaux, Rufus Sage, and the Reverend Joseph Williams all visited Fort Uintah. As the beaver trade declined in the late 1830s and early 1840s, so too did Robidoux's business. In August 1844 the Ute Indians attacked and burned both Fort Uintah and the Gunnison fort. Causes for the attack could have included Robidoux's cheating of the Indians, involvement with the capture of Indian women and children for prostitution and slavery, and sales of guns and alcohol to the Utes. The attack and burning of Robidoux's forts were the only successful attack by Indians of a trading post in fur trade history. Indian slave trade.
    #19
  20. homerj

    homerj 742 Evergreen Terrace

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    There is a great book about the Johnson County Range War called Banditti of the Plains written by Asa Mercer, a journalist from the era. It's a great, if very biased, primary source. Tom Horn is alleged to be involved in the murder of Nate Champion while on that assignment. He (Horn) is buried in Boulder.


    Another famous gunfighter, Doc Holiday, is buried in Glenwood Springs but his grave marker was lost when a brush fire went through the cemetery.
    #20