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C.S. Fly at Los Embudos Although the quality of the prints available to us are disparate, one can clearly see here the panoramic effect of C.S. Fly’s photographs #182 (above) and #183 (left) described on p. 23. For a full explanation and coverage of all of Fly’s photos taken at Cañon de los Embudos in 1886, see our feature article on p. 18. – #182 True WesT archives; #183 courTesy arizona hisTorical socieTy 78154 –

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True West captures the spirit of the West with authenticity, personality and humor by providing a necessary link from our history to our present.

EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Bob Boze Bell EDITOR: Meghan Saar SENIOR EDITOR: Stuart Rosebrook FEATURES EDITOR: Mark Boardman EDITORIAL TEAM Copy Editor: Beth Deveny Firearms Editor: Phil Spangenberger Westerns Film Editor: Henry C. Parke Military History Editor: Col. Alan C. Huffines, U.S. Army Preservation Editor: Jana Bommersbach Social Media Editor: Rhiannon Deremo PRODUCTION MANAGER: Robert Ray ART DIRECTOR: Daniel Harshberger GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Rebecca Edwards MAPINATOR EMERITUS: Gus Walker HISTORICAL CONSULTANT: Paul Hutton CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Tom Augherton, Allen Barra, Leo W. Banks, John Boessenecker, Johnny D. Boggs, Drew Gomber, Kevin Kibsey, Dr. Jim Kornberg, Sherry Monahan, Candy Moulton, Frederick Nolan, Gary Roberts, Marshall Trimble, Ken Western, Larry Winget, Linda Wommack ARCHIVIST/PROOFREADER: Ron Frieling PUBLISHER EMERITUS: Robert G. McCubbin TRUE WEST FOUNDER: Joe Austell Small (1914-1994)

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July 2017 Online and Social Media Content

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ADVERTISING/BUSINESS PRESIDENT & CEO: Bob Boze Bell PUBLISHER & CRO: Ken Amorosano GENERAL MANAGER: Carole Compton Glenn ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Dave Daiss SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR: Ken Amorosano REGIONAL SALES MANAGERS Greg Carroll ([emailprotected]) Arizona, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada & Washington Cynthia Burke ([emailprotected]) Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah & Wyoming Sheri Riley ([emailprotected]) Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee & Texas ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT: Christine Lake

Join the Conversation “Rattlesnake Jack McIntyre was not immune from being bitten by rattlesnakes. The Omaha Daily Bee, on July 26, 1896, reported that Jack, a ‘repulsive character,’ had been bitten. According to the account, the U.S. marshal reported that the ‘snake is in a bad way.’” —Jack Wolfgang Matthews of New Castle, Colorado

July 2017, Vol. 64, #7, Whole #570. True West (ISSN 0041-3615) is published twelve times a year (January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December) by True West Publishing, Inc., 6702 E. Cave Creek Rd, Suite #5 Cave Creek, AZ 85331. 480-575-1881. Periodical postage paid at Cave Creek, AZ 85327, and at additional mailing offices. Canadian GST Registration Number R132182866. Single copies: $5.99. U.S. subscription rate is $29.95 per year (12 issues); $49.95 for two years (24 issues). POSTMASTER: Please send address change to: True West, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327. Printed in the United States of America. Copyright 2017 by True West Publishing, Inc. Information provided is for educational or entertainment purposes only. True West Publishing, Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Any unsolicited manuscripts, proposals, query letters, research, images or other documents that we receive will not be returned, and True West Publishing is not responsible for any materials submitted.


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WHEN C.S. FLY SHOT GERONIMO Tombstone’s most famous pioneer photographer makes memories at the Cañon de los Embudos surrender site. —By Tom Jonas


ADELNIETZE’S HIT AND RUN RACE WITH DEATH A decade after the surrender at Los Embudos, the clock runs out for one of Geronimo’s proud warriors. —By Lynda A. Sánchez



NEVER WASTED A BULLET The life story of Yanosha, a sharpshooter who was one of Geronimo’s bravest at battle. —By Ronald Terry Brown



BREAKING BRONCS WITH THE BOW-GUN BOYS A famous pioneer photographer recounts the last busting at a historic Montana cow camp. —By Meghan Saar


TOMBSTONE IS SHAKING! One of the 19th century’s largest earthquakes in North America hit six years after the famous gunfight behind Tombstone’s O.K. Corral. —By Mary Reynolds



Ranging from sky-touching-earth horizons to an uncharted wilderness, these 10 destinations offer experiences more than one lifetime can hold. —By Bill Markley

72 Cover design by Dan Harshberger; courtesy Cowan’s Auctions, December 9, 2009


MAY ISSUE KICKS ASS! Your issue on mules [May 2017] left out the single most important thing people need to know about mules: unlike a horse, a mule can kick forward as well as to the rear, with deadly force. This was related to me by a professional horsesho*r and blacksmith whose partner was killed this way while shoeing a mule. Never let your guard down around mules. Mike Meacham Phoenix, Arizona Our friend Brian Downes, executive director at the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum in Winterset, Iowa, sent us this postcard with a note: “The Mule issue of True West is outstanding. Over the top. All I can say is ’bout time. Hats off to you and your outfit.”

In the last issue, you said that Festus’s mule was named Ruth. No, it was Rufus, but when he said Ruf, it sounded like Ruth. Shirley Willard Rochester, Indiana Film Editor Henry C. Parke: I reached out to Ben Costello, author of Gunsmoke: An American Institution. Here’s his reply: “The mule was a male, and he was named Ruth! Ken would often add the name Ruth on pics he would sign that featured the mule. Hope this helps!” Author Deb Kidwell also sent us a video of Ken Curtis telling the story of Ruth. Head to to watch it! Your American mule article took me back to 1996, when my late friend and mentor Dr. Jerry Mills published an essay called, “Equine Gothic: The Dead Mule as Generic Signifier in Southern Literature of the Twentieth Century.” He was expanding on his earlier study, titled, “The Dead Mule Rides Again.” While the stories are set in the South instead of the West, they should help ease your author Deb Kidwell’s concern that the mule is not getting the attention it deserves. One writer cited herein, Cormac McCarthy, set many of his later novels in the West. I want to thank you and Ms. Kidwell for your tribute to the mule and for re-kindling such wonderful memories of my friend. He would have loved this issue of your magazine! Jim Lunsford Oak Island, North Carolina

“When the legend becomes fact... print the legend.” –Maxwell Scott (Carelton Young) The Man Who Shoot Liberty Valance, 1962

IN THE LAND OF PRONUNCIATION LEGEND RULES Ever wonder why locals of Prescott, Arizona, insist their town is “Press-kit” (rhymes with biscuit)? Historian William Hickling Prescott, whose moniker the former territorial capital has been known as since 1864, was pronounced by his Boston Brahmin contemporaries as “Pres-cot” with an emphasis on the first syllable. By the way, Presottonians don’t know why they pronounce their town’s name like a biscuit either, but if you say “Pres-cot” to a local, they’ll know you are a tourist. It seems the gaggle of language that erupted in West is a veritable Tower of Babel run through a blender and then presided over by those who never let the facts stand in the way of local idiosyncrasies. If you don’t believe me, how about these other examples: Why is the Spanish named San Jacinto (San Ha-cinto) pronounced San Jah-ceento by Texans? How come Los Feliz in the Los Angeles area is referred to as Los Fee-lez? Or, why is the French-named town of Dubois (Du-b’wah) pronounced Doo-boyce. For that matter why is the New Mexico town named for Henry David Thoreau (Thur-ough) rolls off the tongue of townies as Threw? And tell me why on I-17 north of Phoenix is the name of a prominent geological formation called Table Mesa? I reckon it was so good they named it twice! Early settlers Southern drawl may have influenced the pronunciation of Prescott like a biscuit, rather than its formal Yankee nasal cantor Prescott like an apricot. – COURTESY NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY –

Oops! December 2016: The caption on p. 50 should have stated “skirted north of the Big Horn Mountains,” instead of “crossed over the Big Horn Mountains.” June 2017 Update: The Rosebud Battlefield does have a vault toilet on site (p. 23).




To The poInT BY B o B B oz e B e l l

If Drunkards Could Fly

A tragic element of the Geronimo story that rarely gets talked about.


om Jonas’s excellent article on p. 18 tells the story behind all 18 of the glass plate negatives (except one, No. 185, that no one has been able to find) that C.S. Fly took at Cañon de los Embudos in March 1886. I have been looking at these amazing photographs for at least 40 years, and I never knew you could see the “store” that the notorious Charles Tribolet set up to sell liquor to the Apaches (p. 23). The sale of that liquor to the Apaches wrecked the peace parley, cost U.S. Army Gen. George Crook his job and sent Geronimo and Naiche out on the warpath for another five months of raiding and killing. When the esteemed historian Robert M. Utley was asked to comment on whether or not Apaches and specifically Geronimo were alcoholics, he stated, bluntly, “Sure, they were all drunks.” But a love for alcohol wasn’t just true of the In-dins. Here’s what artist Frederic Remington had to say about the U.S. Army troops who were chasing Geronimo: “Young men full of enthusiasm, old men full of whiskey.” Fly had a drinking problem as well. So much so that he died of “acute alcohol toxicity” at the age of 52. He separated from his wife not long after he took his iconic photos at Embudos (as well as photos of the Sonoran Earthquake aftermath, see p. 38) because his drinking became so bad. And he may not have made much money on his “copyrighted” photos of Geronimo. The widely published photographs taken at Embudos, however, made Geronimo a national celebrity. He got the honor of riding in Teddy Roosevelt’s 1905 inaugural parade. He was so recognizable, he signed his autograph for a quarter a shot. He reportedly amassed $10,000 in the bank before he, too, died from the effects of drinking, when, after a night of carousing, he fell off his

In this detail of the only known photograph of C.S. “Buck” Fly, the famous Tombstone photographer leads a Grand Army of the Republic procession in honor of the recently assassinated President James Garfield, in 1881. Five years later, Fly took his famous Geronimo photograph, at Cañon de los Embudos. – Courtesy ArizonA HistoriCAl soCiety 49686 –

horse into a cold stream and passed out. He died of pneumonia several days later, at the age of 79. All of which bring up a serious question: If you took the alcohol out of the equation, how much of the senseless killing that transpired after the drunken events at Embudos would have been avoided? I’ll put it this way: We would have a lot less to talk about in this issue of True West magazine. And that’s sobering.

“If drunkards had wings, the sky would be cloudy all day.” —Old Vaquero Saying

For a behind-the-scenes look at running this magazine, check out BBB’s daily blog at t r u e


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“Science is a way of life. Science is a perspective. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that’s precise, predictive and reliable—a transformation, for those lucky enough to experience it, that is empowering and emotional.” – Brian Greene, U.S. physicist

“History is not life. But since only life makes history, the union of the two is obvious.” – Louis Dembitz Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court justice

“The 7th can handle anything it meets.” – George A. Custer, U.S. Army general

“[Do not] hang on to the things that would keep you from doing something dangerous.” – Jay Fielden, the new editor of Esquire

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor

“How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except Negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].” —Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president

U.S. Actress Lille Langtry T R U E



“I would rather have discovered Mrs. Langtry than to have discovered America.” – Irish Author Oscar Wilde

Old Vaquero Saying

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”


And the War Begins The 1862 Battle of Apache Pass starts the conflict between the U.S. and Apache Nation.

For an in-depth and fascinating account of the Battle of Apache Pass, illustrated by Joe Beeler here, check out Paul Andrew Hutton’s award-winning book The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History. – COURTESY SCOTTSDALE ART AUCTION, MARCH 31, 2012 –


erhaps war between the U.S. and the Apaches was inevitable. They were once united by a hatred of Mexico, but the alliance began to change in the 1850s, as more “white eyes” moved into Apache territory. Both sides took up arms, inflicting damage and death. Things got serious in January 1861 when Coyotero Apaches raided the Ward ranch near Sonoita, Arizona Territory, and kidnapped Felix Ward (Mickey Free). Army officials blamed the wrong Indians. At an Arizona Pass parlay in early February, Chiricahua leader Cochise denied knowledge of the kidnapping; Lt. George Bascom tried to take the Apaches into custody, but Cochise escaped and began attacks on Mexicans and whites. Military officials then hanged Cochise’s brother and two nephews—and because of the so-called “Bascom Affair,” the war was




on. The two sides would again meet at Apache Pass, the site of the first major battle. For the U.S. Army, the conflict was something of a surprise. After capturing Tucson from Confederate forces on May 20, 1862, Col. James H. Carleton’s command moved east to take control of New Mexico Territory. An advance group reached the old Apache Pass stage station on July 15, exhausted by their march in extreme heat, torrential rains and on tough terrain. They didn’t realize that up to 500 Chiricahuas, from various clans, had been waiting. The Apaches fired bows and arrows, and rifle shots at the soldiers. Army forces regrouped and got a couple of howitzers into play, the first time such

weapons were used against Southwest Indians. Soldiers desperately sought lifegiving water from the springs, some 600 yards away, but couldn’t reach it because the Apaches held the higher ground. New Mexican Albert Fountain led a charge that drove out the Apaches. They retreated with their dead and wounded, and the soldiers finally reached the spring. Seven soldiers galloped off on horseback to warn other units. Chiricahuas charged after them. While taking cover behind his dead horse, Pvt. John Teal fired a shot that hit the lead Apache—Mangas Coloradas. The warriors, led by Mangas’s son-in-law Cochise, immediately stopped and took their injured chief to safety (he survived, only to be murdered less than a year later). The Battle of Apache Pass was over. Army casualties were two dead and two wounded. The Apaches may have suffered 10 dead and many more injured. The Apache Wars would continue for nearly 25 years. The Apaches never again mounted the kind of force they had at Apache Springs, in size or involving various clans. From that point on, the conflict would be a bloody hit-and-run, guerrilla-style confrontation. Many would die on both sides before the U.S. defeated the Apaches and shipped most of them to Florida.

The Apaches never again mounted the kind of force they had at Apache Springs.


Keeping Movies Alive The world’s greatest collection of Western posters finds an Arizona home.

Arguably one of the biggest lovers of Western movie posters out there, Rennard Strickland (left) paid $100,000 for his favorite poster of all—1931’s Cimarron. – CIMARRON POSTER COURTESY RENNARD STRICKLAND COLLECTION OF WESTERN FILM HISTORY; RENNARD STRICKLAND PHOTO BY FRANK ZAMPINO –


he Man Who Shot Liberty Valance was among the first. Dr. Rennard Strickland found the movie poster for the 1962 John Ford classic, “Together for the First Time—James Stewart. John Wayne,” at the Tulsa Flea Market in Oklahoma some 40 years ago. “I had been thinking about a PBS script I was going to write about the Old West, and this would help illustrate it,” he recalls. He paid no more than $10 for the yellowred-blue poster that was folded up on a table, but the creases weren’t too bad. He never did write the script, but today, the Rennard Strickland Collection of Western Film History is the preeminent Western and American Indian movie poster collection in the world—some 5,000 items appraised at nearly $6 million.

Opening June 20, the collection finds its new home at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, in a partnership with Arizona State University. Besides public display, through September 30, 2018, the posters will be used as a resource for ASU students. “By the end, I filled my home and office, and three storage units,” says Dr. Strickland, an expert on Indian law who is senior scholar in residence at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman. “For years, I had the poster from Heap Big Chief, with Harold Lloyd wearing glasses and a feathered headdress, behind my desk.” The 1919 silent short comedy was meant for a laugh, but not all the depictions of American Indians in films were kind. Strickland says he never turned away from a movie poster because it was racist or ugly. “There was always a division in which both the savage and the Native-American-as-hero was on the screen,” he says. “To do a collection as a valid representation, you needed both.” His most extravagant purchase—and his favorite poster—is of Cimarron, the 1931 movie based on Edna Ferber’s saga about a family building an empire in the American West. It won the Oscar for Best Picture—the only Western to win

the top award until Dances With Wolves 59 years later. “It’s my favorite because it is set among both my tribes in Oklahoma—the Osage and Cherokee,” Dr. Strickland admits. “And I paid $100,000 for it.” Dr. Strickland sees a tremendous history displayed in the cardboard and paper posters distributed to movie houses around the nation. Everything from the first docudrama, 1922’s Nanook of the North, to 1939’s Stagecoach and 1924’s The Iron Horse. The standard “one sheet” was 27 inches by 41 inches. Lobby cards were also sent to theaters—11-by-14-inch photos depicting various movie scenes. For many in the collection, these posters are all that remain to attest these films ever existed. The films themselves have disappeared, along with everything else except these posters or lobby cards. “This is a tremendous gift to the state of Arizona,” Spirit of the West’s Director Mike Fox says. “This collection could have gone anywhere. The Smithsonian wanted it very badly.” Dr. Strickland says he hopes visitors come away with an appreciation for the Old West life: “I want them to feel that they’ve been cheated by living now.” Jana Bommersbach has earned recognition as Arizona’s Journalist of the Year and won an Emmy and two Lifetime Achievement Awards. She cowrote the Emmy-winning Outrageous Arizona and has written two true crime books, a children’s book and the historical novel Cattle Kate.




C o l l e C t i ng t h e W e St BY M e g h a n S a a r

She’s So Money Sacagawea and her sculptor on coin bring riches to the auction block.


By the time Glenna Goodacre designed her Sacagawea coin (she stands with design at top), she was already a world-renowned sculptor, for her Vietnam Women’s Memorial installed in Washington, D.C. in 1993. Seven years after the minting of her coin, the artist suffered a head injury and fell into a coma. Her recovery gave her years of art for her fans, with her final work being a bronze modeled after Clark Hulings’s Helping to Push watercolor. Her retirement ushered in the auction of her personal collection this April, with the top bid, $350,000, going to Puddle Jumpers (above) and setting an auction record for the artist. – Glenna Goodacre photo courtesy national cowboy & western heritaGe MuseuM –

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acagawea played a major role in the success of the first American expedition to cross the western portion of the United States. The teenaged Lemhi Shoshoni interpreter, peacemaker and guide rose to fame after traveling from 1804 to 1806 on that “long dangerous and fatigueing rout to the Pacific Ocean and back,” wrote Lewis and Clark Expedition leader William Clark. Her courageous accomplishment led to Sacagawea becoming, in 2000, the first woman minted on U.S. money…by a woman. Glenna Goodacre designed the $1 golden coin—featuring Sacagawea carrying her infant son Jean Baptiste on her back, like she had during her famous journey—after the famous sculptor’s design won a contest. Yet she was not the first woman chosen to design a coin for national circulation. Laura Gardin Fraser was a notable coin designer who had fashioned, among other commemorative coins, the Oregon Trail Memorial half-dollar with her sculptor husband James Earle Fraser (who designed the buffalo nickel). Then Laura won a contest in 1931 to create a quarter in honor of President George Washington’s 200th birthday. So why, then, is Goodacre’s Sacagawea dollar the first circulating U.S. coin designed by a woman? The quarter Americans carry in their pockets and wallets carries the design by John Flanagan. Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon usurped the decision by the Bicentennial Committee and Fine Arts Commission and chose to go with a design by Flanagan instead. Thus, Goodacre not only earned the distinction of being the first woman to mint a woman on U.S. currency, but also

her coin became the first circulating U.S. coin by a woman. In 1999, the 200th anniversary year of Washington’s death, Laura’s design finally got minted, on a commemorative $5 coin. Having died in 1966, just before her 77th birthday, she never lived to see her Washington Quarter sculpture minted. Goodacre not only lived to see her Sacagawea sculpture end up in people’s pockets, but she also chose an interesting time in the coin collecting arena to retire from sculpting (last fall), destroy her molds for existing sculptures and auction off her personal collection (this April 6) at Arizona’s Scottsdale Art Auction. Last year, Americans learned the news that the U.S. Mint will add other courageous women to the nation’s currency, most notably the escaped slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. That design will be released in 2020. This year, as in years past, the Sacagawea coin will have a new American Indian on the tails side: Sequoyah, creator of the Cherokee writing system. In 2018, Sauk Olympian Jim Thorpe, over an outline of his ancestor Chief Black Hawk, will take his place. As for Goodacre, she retired with a bang in Scottsdale. Collectors made nearly $1.15 million on her art, but more than that, the April auction broke her artist record, with the $350,000 bid for her nearly 13-footwide, six-foot-tall bronze of children jumping over puddles. The humanity she carved in those children’s faces is a deft touch felt in all her art purchased by collectors at the auction, particularly those featuring that courageous young mother and babe, looking forward, about to tackle the next snowy pass on their monumental journey west.

Notable Glenna Goodacre Lots Included (All images courtesy Scottsdale Art Auction unless otherwise noted)

The pueblos surrounding the artist’s home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, inspired this Buffalo Dancers bronze; $14,000.

Goodacre’s Sacagawea and Jean Baptiste bronze sold for the next highest bid, at $95,000. The artist created this sculpture in 2001 after her coin relief pattern was accepted by the U.S. Mint; this is one of 12 bronzes cast.

Crossing the Prairie is Goodacre’s tribute to the mothers who walked alongside wagons during America’s Westward expansion. “I had a good time sculpting the movement of fabric in this piece,” she admits. “I found the old bonnet in a costume shop in Santa Fe [New Mexico];” $45,000.

The Sacagawea dollar coin design hammered down at $3,500, while one of the coins the U.S. Mint presented to Goodacre went for a $500 bid. The sculptor requested she be paid her $5,000 commission in Sacagawea dollars; the U.S. Mint struck these on specially burnished blanks to give her coins a unique finish.

WOMEN OF CURRENCY 1865: A U.S. $20 bank note features a scene showing the baptism of Pocahontas. 1886: Martha Washington’s face on the $1 marks her the first solo woman featured on U.S. money. 1979: Susan B. Anthony is minted on the $1 coin. 2000: Sacagawea replaces the women’s rights activist on a golden $1 coin. 2020: To commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the U.S. Mint will unveil the Tubman Twenty, with Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, as well as other notable American women on the $5 and $10 bills.

This After the Ride is a maquette, a small study, of the larger-thanlife-size representation of President Ronald Reagan that Goodacre sculpted for his presidential library in Simi Valley, California; $14,000.


Western Art Coeur d’Alene Art Auction (Reno, NV) 208-772-9009

July 29-30, 2017

Vintage Movie Posters Heritage Auctions (Dallas, TX) • 877-437-4824 T R U E



100 Years of Celebrating the Wild West!

long live the wild west Just east of Yellowstone. ■ #1 TripAdvisor attraction in Cody, Wyoming. ■ Five museums – one price. ■ ■

image: James Bama (b. 1926), Rookie Bronc Rider, High School Rodeo, Cody, WY, May 1975, black and white photograph, P.243.02828, Gift of James Bama.

720 sheridan avenue | downtown cody, wyoming |


Get a Grip, Cowboy Grips do more than change the looks of your handgun. They can help—or hinder—the way you handle it.


ne of the most important aspects of handgun-shooting is having a proper grip. Too loose a hold causes the gun to jump or roll in your hand, not to mention the chances of a sloppy or weaving aim. Likewise, too tight a grip can cause your hand to tremble and move slightly, throwing your shot off target. In Cowboy Action Shooting and Cowboy Mounted Shooting, handgun stocks must conform to strict rules, which do not allow for contemporary rubber or modern target grips. Traditional materials—wood, composition or “hard rubber,” genuine or simulated mother of pearl or ivory, bone, stag and so on—are acceptable as long as the stocks conform to the original 19th-century shape and size, and have not been customized in such a way as to create a “target-type” stock.

Too loose a hold causes the gun to jump or roll in your hand, not to mention the chances of a sloppy or weaving aim. It’s fun to gussy up your handgun, and one way to change the appearance of your revolver or semi-auto pistol is by adding custom grips. Cosmetics aside, and regardless of the type of shooting you do, consider handles that offer a firm and comfortable fit in your hand. I love the look of plain pearl or ivory stocks on any Old West handgun. However when it comes to a working arm, grips without textured adornment, like carving,

Having a firm grip on your six-gun can make the difference between a hit and a miss. Stocks with checkering, high-relief carving, scrimshaw or some other textured surface like American elk horn (stag) help in controlling handguns, especially singleaction “peacemaker-type six-shooters with the traditional plow handle-style grip. Here Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association’s Larry Brady makes a successful ride with his Colt SAA fitted with factory checkered eagle grip panels. – ALL PHOTOS BY PHIL SPANGENBERGER UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED–




grip on their guns—especially the plowhandled “peacemaker-type” single actions. Although stag grips (American elk horn) are actually more representative of revolvers produced in the early 20th century, they do add character to any six-gun they are fitted to. Due to the irregular, often rough configuration of stag horn, along with their inherent thickness, these grips also offer a firm hold for serious shooting—especially for those with larger hands—while enhancing the looks of your shooting iron. Several firms offer exotic woods, mother of pearl, stag and a variety of simulated materials that provide a handsome appearance as well as a firm grip for straighter shooting. Get a firm handgun grip and shoot straight! Phil Spangenberger has written for Guns & Ammo, appears on the History Channel and other documentary networks, produces Wild West shows, is a Hollywood gun coach and character actor, and is True West’s Firearms Editor.


1858 New Army Black Powder Revolver – Buffalo Bill Centennial Limited Edition .44 caliber, fully-functional, textured synth-ivory grips, hand-chased engraving, gold lettering.


Altamont Company Don Furr [emailprotected] Eagle grips Paul Persinger Grips


Buffalo Bill writing about his revolver, 1906.


Selecting and buying the right handgun grip can be challenging. A number of outfits offer quality, attractive six-gun stocks in a variety of materials—from exotic woods like rosewood and ebony, American elk horn, genuine mother of pearl, and imitation pearl and faux ivory—for virtually every currently manufactured handgun. Here are some companies I’ve dealt with and have been extremely satisfied with their grips and their service:

To honor Buffalo Bill’s centennial, Uberti is offering a limited-edition, fully engraved version of his 1858 Remington revolver. Only 500 units will be made of this 2017 exclusive; make sure you don’t miss out.






the middle of March 1886, Camillus Sydney Fly, perhaps Arizona’s best-known frontier photographer, loaded his camera, camping gear, provisions and a box or two of pre-sensitized eight-by-10-inch glass photographic plates onto pack animals and departed his Tombstone studio, accompanied by his assistant, a Mr. Chase. Fly was hoping to catch U.S. Army Gen. George Crook at Silver Springs on his way to the expected surrender of the renegade Apache chief Geronimo and his followers. After an encounter with American forces several months earlier in the Sierra Madre Mountains of northern Mexico, Geronimo had unexpectedly offered to meet with Gen. Crook, who commanded the Military Department of Arizona and was well-respected by the Apaches. Word soon spread of the upcoming conference, and Fly wanted to record it on film. Geronimo had declined to meet Crook on American soil, fearing American treachery, and chose Cañon de los Embudos (translated as “Canyon of the Funnels”) in northeastern Sonora, Mexico, as the meeting location. After a January meeting with Geronimo to make preliminary arrangements, Lt. Marion Maus marched his men about 80 miles north to the mouth of Embudos canyon on San Bernardino Creek, about 14 miles south of the international boundary. Maus established a camp there and waited until the arranged meeting time in March, watching for smokes from the Apaches that would signal their readiness for the summit.




#176 The first shots C.S. Fly took of Geronimo included this one showing 28 men—soldiers, civilians and Indians. George Crook is seated at right, wearing his customary pith helmet, under the shade of Sycamore and Cottonwood trees in the creek bottom. – ALL PHOTOS TRUE WEST ARCHIVES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED –




This map shows the probable Sonora, Mexico, location of the March 1886 summit between Apache leader Geronimo and U.S. Army Gen. George Crook, and the trails used by the U.S. military to reach the site in the canyon of Embudos Creek. Geronimo agreed to surrender at the meeting, but he fled into the mountains soon after. — BY TOM JONAS –

When smokes were observed and Apaches were spotted in late March, Maus sent a message to Fort Bowie for Crook and then moved his camp up to where Embudos Creek emerged from the mountains. After receiving word, Gen. Crook and several companions headed south from Fort Bowie, along the western slope of the Chiricahua Mountains, on a 50-mile, two-day ride to Silver Springs. Fly met the general at that camp site on the evening of March 23 and secured permission to follow along behind the column to record the momentous occasion for posterity. Beyond John Slaughter’s ranch headquarters, the military party traveled on a road that crossed the unfenced U.S.-Mexico border into Sonora, passed the ruins of the old hacienda of the original San Bernardino Land Grant,




crossed Cooke’s Wagon Road and continued south, paralleling the flowing San Bernardino Creek. Three miles south of the border, on March 24, the troops stopped at Contrabandista (translated as “Smuggler”) Springs and made camp. At this spring, probably modern El Ojito, was a makeshift store run by a Charles Tribolet, an unscrupulous U.S. Army beef contractor. Tribolet’s most profitable merchandise was not beef, but tobacco, mescal and whiskey. The following morning, Crook’s party left the valley of San Bernardino Creek and headed southeast toward the meeting place. They crossed the canyons of Guadalupe Creek and Bonito Creek, and reached Embudos Creek, near where it flowed out of the Sierra los Embudos. Here, Embudos Creek was bounded on the south by lava buttes that rose sharply

from the canyon’s edge. The Apaches had chosen their campsite on the upper slopes of these buttes, where they could see approaches from all directions and could easily melt into the mountains behind at the first hint of treachery. Geronimo had chosen a campsite, on lower ground, for the U.S. Army, on the opposite side of the creek. The first meeting with Geronimo took place on the afternoon of Crook’s arrival, March 25. When Fly whipped out his camera, he saved for posterity the only known images taken of American Indians during wartime, which are published on these pages (all except one, No. 185, which no one has been able to locate). Fly’s numbering was not sequential, and these are shown in the order he took them, starting with the previous page.

The steely nerve required to photograph the only known images of Indians still at war. General George Crook thoughtfully allowed photographer C.S. Fly to come along to record the event at Cañon de los Embudos for posterity. One of Fly’s dramatic photographs would inspire a reproduction of Crook’s conference with Geronimo in 1883, as a bronze bas relief on Crook’s tombstone in Arlington National Cemetery. When Crook met with Apache leader Geronimo and his council on March 25, 1886, the general selected a shaded glade under a large sycamore and seated himself on a little ledge at the base of a knoll. This placed him above the Apaches. Geronimo sat cross-legged on the ground across from Crook. Nana sat next to Geronimo, and everyone began to gather around them. The general wore a canvas jacket and overalls along with a cork pith helmet. Packmaster Henry Daly was impressed by how carefully Crook had braided his beard into two long strands. The general put on some style, although a bit eccentric even by frontier standards. Just as everyone began to settle in, Chihuahua and Ulzanna made a noisy arrival. They galloped through the packer’s camp and dismounted at the glade. Crook warmly greeted Chihuahua, and then everyone posed for the camera. The careful photographer even moved several of the Apaches. Tom Horn and Al Sieber were both there, but could not quite squeeze in enough to be in Fly’s photograph. The morning after, Capt. John Bourke followed Fly over to Geronimo’s camp. Bourke felt Fly was acting a “damned fool for going into the camp and that he’d never come out.” The captain underestimated his man, for Fly, whose Tombstone studio in Arizona Territory was adjacent to the O.K. Corral, was not easily intimidated. The Apaches proved quite agreeable to being photographed. Bourke was amazed at how Fly, with “nerve that would have reflected undying glory on a Chicago drummer, coolly asked Geronimo and the warriors with him to change positions, and turn their heads or faces, to improve the negative.” The end result was a series of remarkable photographs that represent the only known images of Indians still at war. A Distinguished Professor of History at the University of New Mexico, Paul Andrew Hutton won the Western Writers of America Spur for his most recent book, The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History.

On April 1, 1886, having let Geronimo slip through his hands once more, George Crook (above) resigned. Illustrated in a bas relief on his monument in Arlington National Cemetery is the general’s greatest success in his Indian-fighting career—his 1883 meeting with Geronimo, which convinced the Apaches to return to life on the San Carlos Reservation...before they escaped yet again. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –




#186 Fly’s first exposure was a candid shot of the group (No. 186). Another shot (No. 176), shown on p. 18-19, was posed by Fly for better composition. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

#175 When the meeting broke up, Fly moved his gear to the American camp on the north bank of the creek, taking several more exposures late that afternoon. Number 175 shows the packer’s camp on a hillside north of the creek. From the top of this hill, the San Bernardino Valley would have been visible to the north and west. The view shows Gen. Crook with his supporting staff, 35 men in all.



#184 Made at the camp of the scouts under Lt. Marion Maus, this photo shows all of the U.S. forces present at Cañon de los Embudos. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –





#182 Number 182 is a view looking west toward the camp of the Apache scouts, with the Sierra los Embudos in the background. The camera is nearly in the same spot for No. 183, but rotated a little to the left. The ridge at the far right of this photo is the same as the one in the far left of No. 182. One original print of No. 183 has a notation on the back stating that Charles Tribolet’s “store” is visible in the photo. Pictures 182 and 183, when placed side by side (see p. 2-3), form a panorama of the view to the north and east of Fly’s camera position. Comparing this with the local terrain suggests that Fly took these two photographs on a rise about 300 yards north of Embudos Creek and slightly west of a tributary stream that enters from the north. The U.S. Army camp was a short distance north of Fly, and the Army’s scout camp was toward the east.


#177 On the morning of March 26, Fly crossed the Embudos ravine to the Apache camp, located on high ground in the lava rock buttes that form the south bank of the creek. Number 177, which Fly titled “Bird’sEye view of the hostile Camp,” appears to be made near the bottom of an overhanging butte, possibly just after Fly had reached the top of the lava wall that formed the south bank of Embudos Creek. A small wickiup appears in the foreground, possibly for a sentry, and the main encampment is visible in the distance at the top of the butte.




#170 Several Apaches, mostly boys, pose in front of a wickiup on the rocky hilltop. The boy in front is Santiago “Jimmy” McKinn, then 11 or 12, who was captured by the Apaches several months earlier near Silver City, New Mexico Territory. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –




#181 Judging by the similar vegetation, No. 181, “A Group of Hostiles,” may have been taken in the same area of the camp. It shows 16 Apache men, women and children. Again, a nicely posed shot by Fly, with mounted men in the back row. –COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

#171 The “money shots” for Fly were probably the ones including Geronimo. Number 171, titled by Fly “Geronimo and Natches [Naiche] mounted, Natches with hat on; son of Geronimo [Tsisnah] standing by his side. This group photograph was taken by special request of Geronimo.” – COURTESY LIBRARY OF COMGRESS –




#174 Number 174 was made nearby. It is titled “Geronimo, Son and two picked braves, Man with long rifle Geronimo.” – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

#178 Fly titled three photos “Geronimo and his warriors,” which were all taken at the top of the butte among the grass and Spanish bayonet. The first of these, No. 178, shows 32 Apaches, several of them women. Geronimo stands in front of the horse.




#179 The second one, No. 179, is a closer view, showing Geronimo just left of center.

#180 The last one, No. 180, zooms in even more and reveals that Geronimo, standing in center, is holding a ceremonial drum. – COURTESY ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 78151 –




#187 Additionally, Fly prepared two more negatives at his studio—187 and 188—in which Geronimo is the only visible subject, much of the surrounding image having been opaqued out. Number 187 has Geronimo standing with rifle, and No. 188 shows him on horseback. These were cropped from field exposures 174 and 171, respectively. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –


When Fly completed his photography on the morning of March 26, he packed up his gear and left for Tombstone, about 80 miles away. Within a couple of days, he had prints made and for sale. Back in the mountains, things were not going as well. Crook had met with Geronimo on the afternoons of March 26 and 27. At length, Geronimo agreed to bring all of his people in to surrender at Fort Bowie in a few days. When Crook left Embudos early on March 28 to return to Fort Bowie, the situation was already deteriorating. The Apaches had been heard carousing the night before under the influence of Tribolet’s liquor. In the very early morning hours of March 30, Geronimo and his party rode silently back into the mountains. They continued raiding in Arizona and New Mexico Territories and in Sonora, Mexico, for several months before finally surrendering to Gen. Nelson Miles at Skeleton Canyon on September 4, 1886. Cartographer Tom Jonas specializes in 19th-century trail research in Arizona and the Southwest, cartographic analysis and custom historical mapping.







delnietze’s proud bearing is so obvious in C.S. Fly’s photos—the white paint carefully drawn over his nose and face, as he steadfastly gazed into the “strange box” that captured his image in a desperate time. The calmness he depicted, however, was not in his heart. He no doubt had thoughts similar to those echoed down through the ages:




“Surrender? No longer will the sky and earth be sewn together as it is here in the land of my grandfathers. I must pray to Ussen, our Creator. My family waits to learn what the white men who write tracks across paper have to say.” Adelnietze was among the Apaches at Cañon de los Embudos in northeastern Sonora, Mexico, in the spring of 1886 and probably fought in most of the major

#181 Adelnietze stands in the center (see closeup on opposite page) of this group of 18 men, women and children photographed by C.S. Fly at Geronimo’s camp, before the Apache “surrender” to Gen. George Crook on March 27, 1886. The next decade, death found him. – ALL PHOTOS COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

Adelnietze was shown in other Fly photos, including this one published in Harper’s Weekly on April 24, 1886. (From left): Lazieh, Adelnietze, Fun and Geronimo, with Naiche standing at the far right.

raids and skirmishes up to that time. He had served as a U.S. Army scout and was an important member of Naiche’s band, possibly Naiche’s cousin. He did not comply with the terms of the surrender agreement made with Gen. Nelson Miles at Skeleton Canyon. In September 1886, Adelnietze and six others at Skeleton Canyon, including Natculbaye and Satsinistu, disappeared into the Sierra Madre Mountains, where they joined other Nednhi and Chiricahua guerrilla survivors of the Apache Wars. From 1886-1896, his small band might have had an opportunity to live peacefully within the vast rugged canyons of the Sierra Madre. Their families were with them, and they continued to ransack the small Mexican and U.S. ranchos and pueblos for extra supplies. However, times had changed along the borderlands. More troops patrolled, and settlers streamed into the native lands. Raiding was easy, but escape was no longer guaranteed. Adelnietze did not know about the horrors being heaped upon his brethren in the hellhole prisoner of war camps in Florida, Alabama and later Oklahoma Territory. No doubt he missed his kin, but at least he was free to smoke a cigarillo, take a cow when needed or trade with Mexicans. Perhaps he had turkey quills filled with gold dust to purchase supplies from willing traders. This fragile existence was much better than anything Naiche and Geronimo endured. But then the Apache murders of Horatio Merrill and his 16-year-old daughter in December 1895 and of Alfred Hand in March 1896 became the last straw.

Eventually, the military and civilians relentlessly pursued Adelnietze and his small band to Guadalupe Canyon, a rocky passageway often used by the Apaches as an easy escape route into Mexico from Arizona Territory. A decade had passed since the surrender, but these fateful and brutal turn of events led the U.S. to Adelnietze’s ranchería in May 1896. A military ambush was planned and brutally executed. A few days earlier, toddler Apache May (shown on p. 96) had survived an attack that destroyed all the renegade Apaches’ cached supplies. She was found wearing a dress stolen from the Merrill’s home and was later adopted by famed rancher John Slaughter. The Apache military scouts also found Adelnietze’s rifle—an 1873 Springfield with a shortened barrel—field glasses, bows, arrows and moccasins. Fleeing for their lives, the band scattered, as was Apache custom. Several scouts, troopers and civilians closed in for a second time. Most escaped, but Adelnietze was mortally wounded. Tracking him, the scouts first found discarded blood-soaked leggings and then, eventually, his body. One of the bloody leggings was given to the editor of The Tombstone Prospector as a souvenir. The life blood of the proud, freedomloving Adelnietze soaked into the ridges along Guadalupe Canyon, 10 years after he was photographed at Embudos canyon. Lynda A. Sánchez researches Apache history, legend and lore, following the footsteps of her mentor, Eve Ball, and is working on her next book, The Broken Loop: A History of the Lost Apaches.







e was known as one of the bravest of Yanosha hamstrung the buck with his knife Geronimo’s warriors, a sharpshooter when it charged him. who never wasted a bullet. He also “Not a word of command was given,” helped other warriors get their man—Juh Lt. Allyn Capron reported, “but they all successfully killed Chiricahua seemed to know instinctively” Apache killer Lt. Howard what to do. Cushing in Arizona Territory Yanosha did not fear in 1871 thanks to a tip from Geronimo. As Lt. Charles Yanosha. Toward the end of Gatewood’s Chiricahua the Apache Wars, Yanosha emissaries Charles Martine often sat at Chiricahua leader and Kayihtah approached Geronimo’s right in the counGeronimo’s Mexican hideout cils of warriors. in the Sierra Madre Originally a member of his Mountains in an 1886 search cousin Chatto’s band, Yanosha to locate the renegades, was born probably in the Kanseah reported their Yanosha, possibly 45, 1850s. He was related to Chief approach. Geronimo ordered while a prisoner at Naiche, youngest son of them shot as soon as they Fort Sill in Oklahoma Cochise, and Yanosha’s sister, were close. Territory in 1898. “They are our brothers,” Shegah, was Geronimo’s – COURTESY LYNDA A. SÁNCHEZ – fourth wife. Yanosha said. “Let’s find Yanosha mentored why they come. They are Geronimo’s nephew Jasper Kanseah, born brave men to risk this.” “They do not take the risk for us, but for around 1872, in the art of war. Kanseah remembered Yanosha serving as a scout the money promised by the White Eyes,” under Chatto in 1883. Not wanting to scout Geronimo countered. “When they get close enough, shoot!” against his own people, Yanosha joined Geronimo when he fled the reservation in “We will not shoot,” Yanosha said. “If May 1885 until Geronimo’s surrender in there is any more fighting done, it will be September 1886 that exiled the Apaches with you, not them. The first man who lifts to Fort Marion in Florida. a rifle, I will kill.” “I will help you,” Fun said. After a yellow fever scare moved the “Let them come,” Geronimo said. Apaches to Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama in 1888, Yanosha joined a scout “Come up,” Yanosha called down. company. During one company maneuver, “Nobody is going to hurt you.” when two deer took flight, an officer sent He survived 27 years as a prisoner of war the Chiricahuas after them. After a pursuit and settled with his wife, Rachel Tsikahda, of several miles, they cornered their prey. and 161 fellow Chiricahuas on the Mescalero




Apache Reservation in southeastern New Mexico in 1913. Yanosha returned to Mexico with some friends in 1928, looking for a rumored cache of gold. In 1937, he helped guide Dr. Helge Ingstad’s expedition in search of a “lost” band of Apaches. He lived into his 90s or possibly early 100s, dying in 1954. Four of Yanosha’s

children had died as prisoners of war at Fort Sill in Oklahoma Territory. One son, Homer, and a daughter, Wynona, survived to carry on the family legacy. Ronald Terry Brown studies Apache history and lifeways; his novel, The White Painted Woman, shares the history of Mescalero Apaches and 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers.

Helge Ingstad (above right) posed with his two guides, Yanosha and Mora (above left and center), in the winter of 1937-38. Ingstad sent Yanosha home early from the expedition because he did not trust Yanosha’s comments on locating the “lost” Apaches and felt the guide was more interested in finding gold. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

#174 The most famous photograph of Yanosha was taken by C.S. Fly and shows Yanosha standing (from left) with Geronimo’s son Chappo, Geronimo’s halfbrother Fun and Geronimo, on March 26, 1886, just before surrendering to the U.S. Army. Apache leader Geronimo went back on the warpath, but eventually surrendered for good that September. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –




BY M e g h a n S a a r

Breaking Broncs with A famous pioneer photographer recounts the last busting at a historic Montana cow camp.

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round 1885, George “Dick” Ingersoll helped drive a herd of longhorns from Texas to Montana Territory and settled in the Miles City area. Along Sunday Creek, he built up his Bow-Gun Ranch, the cow camp where famed Miles City photographer L.A. Huffman found himself at the turn of the 20th century. In both photographs and words, Huffman documented “The Last Busting at the Bow-Gun,” as he called his July 1907 article for Scribner’s Magazine.

the Bow-Gun Boys When L.A. Huffman’s grandson W.R. “Bill” Felton Jr. visited the True West offices in 2003, he shared with us a photo that many consider to be the best taken of a roundup, “Going to the Roundup.” Huffman’s scene must have looked similar to the view he saw when he approached the Bow-Gun Ranch boys. – COURTESY W.R. “BILL” FELTON JR. (1917-2007) –

“...he blats that indescribable bawl that only thoroughly maddened, terrified broncos can fetch, something uncanny, something between a scream and a groan, that rasps the nerves and starts the chill....” T R U E



“ raw windy September evening [1904] I pulled up at the Bow-Gun, one of the old-time cow camps of the north country, built nearly twenty-five years back, and now sadly fallen to dilapidation and decay,” he wrote. “I had come twenty miles to see ‘broncs busted’ by new methods; and I thought, as I unhitched, of the Bow-Gun boys of a far time, and harked back to the days when the environs of Milestown—aye, its main thoroughfare withal—was the daily chosen arena for the busters of those times, when a hand rode out his string whenever or wherever it was dealt to him, and was of the sort that resented the appellation ‘Horse Fighter’ or ‘Buster.’ He was born to the saddle and lariat, as farmer lads are born to the milking pens and the furrows.” He added: “But times have changed. There’s little doing in bearskin shaps [sic]. Fewer men are drawing fifty a month, making up in hat rim what they lack in skill and brains. And here was the old Bow-Gun almost at the end of it, soon to become a third-rate sheep camp.” The first horse to be broken was one named after the famous Irish playwright. Let’s follow Huffman’s experience of the ranch’s “last bucking” in his photographs.

(1) The crew awoke to a voice yelling, “Roll out, Roll out, while she’s hot,” photographer L.A. Huffman recalled. The cook had steak, stacks of griddle cakes and coffee. After breakfast, foreman Bob asked Warren how many horses he wanted the boys to run in for him. Warren replied six would do. “He’d have six, not more, raw onion-eyed, four- and five-year olds, for his first morning’s work...and six horses, mind you, that had never smelled oats or felt weight of rawhide since they had had that Bow-Gun signal burned on their shoulders, some terrible day of their colthood,” Huffman wrote. – COURTESY COEUR D’ALENE ART AUCTION, JULY 27, 2013 –

(2) Lee Warren, the buster (on the right), next to his hazer, is ready to go break his broncs. Huffman described Warren’s outfit in his article for Scribner’s Magazine: “Just a plain, Magazine ordinary, single-rigged cowsaddle, bridle, and lariat, spurs, quirt, and some short pieces of grass rope for the cross-hobbling.” – COURTESY COEUR D’ALENE ART AUCTION, JULY 27, 2013 –




(3) “Warren, as he looks them over with critical eye, uncoils the rawhide, adjusts hondo and loop. At his first step of approach they break away,” Huffman wrote. “Round and round they circle, in vain effort to dodge that flying noose, which, at the second cast, falls true, and the bright bay leader of the bunch, Oscar Wilde (a name that Warren flung to him with the first throw that he so neatly dodged, and Oscar he will be to the end of his days in the Bow-Gun saddle bunch) is in the toils, leaping, bucking, striking savagely at the thing that grips him by the throat, now held taut by Lee and his two helpers, who, when his first desperate lunges are past, take a turn of the rope round the snubbing-post set deep in the earth.” – ALL PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE COURTESY HERITAGE AUCTIONS, MAY 25, 2007 –

(4) “For a full half-minute Oscar has found that dust-laden air so good that he has relaxed, forgotten to fight,” Huffman wrote. “Deftly and quickly Warren hobbles his front feet together and slips on the bridle. Oscar bounds to his feet, but quickly finds that his struggles to free himself only result in a succession of falls that cause him to hesitate, until, in some mysterious way, he finds his near hind foot, too, caught in a noose and made fast to his near front one. He’s cross-hobbled now and ready for the saddle.”

(5) “Here the skill and patience of the bronco rider are put to a severe test. He must hold his horse by the reins and rope, lay the saddle blanket, then with a one-hand swing place that forty-pound saddle where it belongs.”

(6) “Cautiously, tensely, without the shadow of hesitation, Warren lightly swings to his seat. The critical moment has come.... In response to the first pull at the rein, by one or two quick, short, nervous steps [Oscar] discovers that his legs are once more unshackled. Up he goes in a long, curving leap like a buck. Down goes his head, and he blats that indescribable bawl that only thoroughly maddened, terrified broncos can fetch, something uncanny, something between a scream and a groan, that rasps the nerves and starts the chill, hunted feeling working your spine.” Then, Huffman added, after repeated flicks of the stinging rawhide quirt and the digging in of steel spurs on Oscar’s flank, “...the horse chooses doing the circle, the thing of the least punishment.”

(7) After Warren mounted and remounted Oscar half a dozen times, Oscar’s first lesson was finished. Warren moved on to the next horse... and the next...and the next— until he rode his last bronc for the Bow-Gun.




By Mary reynolds

Tombstone is Shaking! One of the 19th century’s largest earthquakes in North America hit six years after the famous gunfight behind Tombstone’s O.K. Corral.


May 3, 1887, in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, Dr. George E. Goodfellow examined his last patient of the day, a child. He heard the earthquake first, and thought the noise was a mining mule team passing beneath his office on the second floor of the Crystal Palace Saloon. “This noise increased; and the building, a two-story adobe, began to shake gently, then more violently. By this time it seemed to me to be a severe whirlwind, such as frequently occurs here at this season of the year,” he wrote in a letter to Science, published on May 20, 1887. In the saloon below, chandeliers crashed to the floor and glasses fell from shelves and shattered. The doctor picked up his patient and ran outside into a wall

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of noise: “When the open air was reached, the noise was like a continuous roll of heavy firing, with occasional short peals like a sharp clap of thunder.” Geologists today estimate that the magnitude of this earthquake was 7.4, with an epicenter near the remote Mexican village of Bavispe. Twenty million people in the U.S. and Mexico would have felt that earthquake if it happened today. Unlike California earthquakes that occur when tectonic plates bump into each other, intraplate earthquakes happen along fault lines throughout

James Douglas Jr. and Thomas Sterry Hunt traveled from Bisbee, Arizona Territory, to explore ground fissures caused by the earthquake near Agua Prieta, in Sonora, Mexico. Harper’s Weekly originally published this Douglas photograph in its July 2, 1887, issue. –Courtesy Jerome state Park –

Earth’s motion rang the West. These earthquakes, though rare in recent human history, created Western topography as we know it today. Earthquakes gradually pushed up the mountain ranges that run north to south and formed the wide valleys, or basins, of what geologists call the Basin and Range Province: parts of today’s Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

Earth-Shattering Memories The earthquake damaged only buildings in Tombstone, but killed in Bavispe. “At three in the afternoon, on the third of May” (a las tres de la tarde, el tres de Mayo) is a phrase Mexicans in Bavispe today repeat like a chant, remembering the stories of their grandparents. At the church of San Miguel de Bavispe, the caretaker went outside to ring the church bell at three in the afternoon. This hourly task saved her life. At that moment, the earthquake tore the church’s Ponderosa Pine supporting beams away from the three-foot-thick walls; the roof crashed into the empty sanctuary below. The shaking lasted only two minutes, but every building quivered as solid ground turned into an ocean rising and falling with multiple waves. Most of the residents were at home, resting in the heat of the day. The worst place to be was inside, beneath the viga beams that held up heavy roofs made of branches and mud. As the adobe walls shuddered, ceilings fell and killed 42 people in Bavispe. Another 27 were seriously injured. Tremors shook the roofs from almost every house, leaving 700 residents without shelter. The force of the quake echoes through family stories in Mexico. Retired Mexican cowboy Antonio Borquez Renterria sits on his porch on a spring afternoon in 2015, gazing at the northern peaks of the Sierra Madres. Renterria’s grandfather, Manuel, was lucky to be outside of his house when the earthquake hit. Nine-year-old Manuel and his burro zig-zagged down the hill to the Bavispe River, where he planned to

church bells in Mexico City, more than 1,200 miles south. fill the burro’s water sacks. The violent earthquake stopped him in his tracks. “I saw springs of water shoot up, the earth opened, the water was red from coming through the clay. It was muddy water—colorado,” Antonio’s grandfather told him. No one in Renterria’s family died, but, he said, “we changed the way we built houses; we use different posts now to support the roof.” Bavispe was only 90 miles south of the Arizona Territory border when the earth’s motion rang church bells in Mexico City, more than 1,200 miles south. Five hundred miles north of Bavispe, a bank’s plate glass window shattered in Albuquerque, New Mexico Territory.

The Doc Takes His Shots Later in the summer of 1887, Clarence Dutton, of the U.S. Geological Survey, commissioned Dr. Goodfellow to go south. Joined by photographer Camillus S. “Buck” Fly, Goodfellow’s team packed their horses and headed south from Tombstone into the jagged canyons of the northern Sierra Madres, searching for the epicenter. Fly knew of Sonora’s rugged terrain from his time photographing Geronimo’s surrender in nearby Cañon de los Embudos the year before. Dr. Goodfellow’s medical talent, honed while treating frontier gunshot wounds and mining injuries,

helped him treat victims of the earthquake. He also measured the way buildings collapsed and investigated changes in topography, and Science magazine would publish his findings the next year. The Mexican government commissioned its own scientist to find the earthquake’s epicenter and map the geology of Sonora. Engineer José Serrano Aguilera led a team of military surveyors from the city of Hermosillo, traveling north and east over mountains where he would meet Goodfellow and Fly in Bavispe. Goodfellow mapped a rupture that started just south of the border, near the San Bernardino Ranch, and extended south for 33 miles. The scientist found proof of the colorful stories told to Bavispe children: “Extensive evidence exists of irruption [sic] of water, sand, and fiery gases,” he wrote in his Science article, published on August 12, 1887. He reported that mountain fires, mistaken for volcanoes, were caused by ignited gas and falling boulders that sparked against flinty rocks. “The average offset is a little over seven feet. At Pitaicachi Peak, the slip exceeds 20 feet,” Goodfellow wrote, in a more detailed report that Science published on April 6, 1888. “It is the only known location where offset bedrock, rather than alluvium, was observed.... The appearance of the footwall of the slip in many places is a polished and striated surface, as if the same place had been the seat of similar perturbations in the past.” Fly’s images showed total devastation in a way that Goodfellow’s scientific analysis did not. The 20-foot slip Goodfellow described is far better understood through Fly’s placement of people against what looked like a cliff; where they stood used to be 20 feet above their heads, with ocotillos shooting tall and spindly above agaves. Dropped along the fault line, the wide band of newly exposed earth demonstrated the power of the quake... and the smallness of the men. Fly knew placing people in his shots would allow him to illustrate the

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Tombstone Dr. George Goodfellow rides Rosillo, a gift he received after he aided survivors of an 1887 earthquake that struck Sonora, Mexico (below). He then published his experience of the earthquake in an 1887 Science article, which included his map (shown) of the rupture that totally destroyed the town of Bavispe.

earthquake’s dramatic destruction, particularly his views of Bavispe’s collapsed church, the center of life in the poor Mexican town. In addition, Fly posed seven children in front of the one structure in town that had a roof. His jarring angles of vigas over broken adobe bricks showed that the people of Bavispe hadn’t started to rebuild in the four months since the earthquake. No disaster relief organizations had come to set up tents. Nobody brought food and water. No teams of volunteers assisted in constructing what the earthquake had torn down.


The Mexican Expert Near Bavispe, Fly and Goodfellow encountered a Mexican scientist taking measurements with his team. Engineer and geographer Aguilera had been commissioned by Mexico’s President, Porfirio Díaz, to survey the damage and scientifically document the earthquake’s effects. Aguilera was an expert in earthquakes. In 1886, he had studied at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, at the time of the earthquake in Charleston, South Carolina, which hit at an estimated 7.0 magnitude, caused 60 deaths and resulted in $5 million to $6 million worth of damage. President Díaz counted on him to create accurate geological maps to attract more foreign investment to Mexico’s mines. Aguilera traveled with two military surveyors from Hermosillo over Sonora’s mountain ranges and valleys. He noted numerous new rock falls along the way. And he saw evidence of fissures filled with water near Bavispe, writing in his translated report that the “water mingled with a fine yellowish sediment,” the same sediment seen in the river 800 yards away. The American team shared data with Aguilera. He now knew the exact time that the earthquake was felt at various locations in the U.S. and Mexico. The engineer calculated that the wave traveled a remarkable one mile per second




between Bavispe and Tombstone, 100 miles away. Aguilera drew an intensity or isoseismal map showing the reach of the earthquake—from Mexico City, Mexico, to Albuquerque, New Mexico Territory, and from Yuma, Arizona Territory, to El Paso, Texas—about 772,000 square miles. President Díaz’s hope of attracting foreign investors came true. In 1889, American William Cornell Green purchased Cananea, in Sonora, Mexico, and turned it into one of the richest copper mines in the world, producing 70 million tons per year. Copper ore increased in value because of its use in telephone lines beginning to stretch across the continent. Like many on the frontier, the three earthquake explorers welcomed challenges and new experiences. Dr. Goodfellow, known as Doctor Santo— Sainted Doctor—to the people of Bavispe, received a medal from Mexico’s President for his service to rural Mexicans. Frontier photographer Fly created the first known photographs in the world of an earthquake’s rupture scarp. And Aguilera published several scientific papers in

American and Mexican journals, including the first geological map of Sonora. The earthquake dramatically changed aquifers in southern Arizona Territory, and it may have marked the beginning of today’s water crisis. Tombstone buildings shivered and cracked. In Charleston, one observer said, “The walls did a shimmy and the floor did a two-step.” Near Tucson, springs stopped flowing and wells dried up. In contrast, the earthquake immediately increased flow in the San Pedro River, wiping out stagnant malarial pools, thus saving the Mormon community of St. David from the malaria epidemic. Last year, The New York Times and The Arizona Republic reported dangerously

The colors in José G. Aguilera’s map (shown) indicate different types of rocks and served as a guide for U.S. mining investors. His work surveying the earthquake damage also produced an isoseismal map, in which he assumed the epicenter of the 1887 earthquake was located near Batepito, about five miles west of the surface rupture trace. - PUBLISHED IN AGUILERA’S 1888 ARTICLE, “ESTUDIO DE LOS FENÓMENOS SÉISMICOS DEL 3 DE MAYO DE 1887” –

low water levels in Lake Mead, the reservoir that supplies Colorado River water to Arizona farms and cities. Hydrologic changes immediately after the 1887 earthquake may have been early warning signs that groundwater and surface water supplies are not infinite. Mary Reynolds is writing a history book about the 1887 Sonoran earthquake and its hydrologic impact. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

The Sonoran Earthquake’s rupture is the longest visible rupture in the world—and the first to be photographed. The man who took the photos was none other than Camillus S. Fly. In August 1887, Fly photographed these American and Mexican survey parties where the earth sank several feet, at the epicenter near Bavispe, Mexico. The previous year, he was creating his famous images of Geronimo and his Apaches in Cañón de los Embudos—only 10 miles from the quake’s epicenter. – COURTESY ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, PC47_B6F19_49701 –




June 17, 1886

Trapped! 31 M e x i c a n Vaqueros VS

GeroniMo The apache Warrior— cornered in caVe!

Called “Jeronimo,” after Spanish troops prayed to their patron saint, San Jeronimo, to save them from the Apaches, Geronimo turns out to be a crack shot as well as a savvy guerrilla fighter. – IllustratIons by bob boze bell –

By BoB Boze Bell Maps & Graphics by Robert Ray Based on the research of Edwin R. Sweeney and Paul Andrew Hutton

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Well-armed vaqueros, riding 30 strong and led by rancher Patricio Valenzuela, lock on the trail of Geronimo’s Apache band. In a running fight, Geronimo is separated from the other Apaches, then unhorsed. He is forced to take refuge in a cave. He is trapped, and he knows it.


atricio Valenzuela, the hacendado (ranch owner) of the Agua Fria hacienda eight miles east of Cucurpe in Sonora, Mexico, is alerted by his vaqueros of raiding Apaches who have butchered one of his cows and an ox at Tapacadepe. Valenzuela hits the trail with 30 fighting men, along with a pack mule carrying extra cartridges. Riding north, the armada reaches Cerro el Gusano and stops to water their horses. Fresh from the repast, the posse soon catches up to the Apaches who are resting on a ridge. Geronimo (born Goyathlay) sees them first and gives the order for Apaches to abandon their supplies and flee. The Apache leader mounts a horse and takes with him a hostage he captured in April, a 12-year-old girl, Trinidad Verdin. Valenzuela’s brave vaqueros charge the temporary camp and pursue the fleeing Apaches up a box canyon. In the confusion, Geronimo’s horse loses his footing on a loose boulder and stumbles, spilling both riders. As he heads deeper into the canyon, Geronimo calls out for Trini to follow him, but she sees her chance to escape and run toward

the Mexicans who, thankfully, don’t shoot her as a hostile. Valenzuela commands the only exit to the box canyon. He deploys his men to split up, rake the canyon and flush out their prey. Moving out, on foot, the two groups stealthily scour the canyon’s length to the end where a cave shelters Geronimo. He is trapped, and he knows it. Outnumbered 31 to one, Geronimo hunkers down with his 1873, singleshot Springfield rifle and gets ready for the assault he expects at any minute. He no doubt vows to take as many Mexicans with him as he can. One of the vaqueros gets careless: Francisco Valenzuela y Munguia pokes his head up to see if he can spot the elusive Apache, and a single shot from the cave hits him between the eyes. As the other attackers scramble to get an angle on the desperate Apache, two more shots ring out, then a fourth. At dusk, Valenzuela calls his men back. Four of his men have been hit, three of them killed, with bullet holes in their heads. Disheartened, Valenzuela withdraws. Geronimo escapes in the darkness. He has three more months to run.

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A Bloody Trail of Death After bailing from the Cañon de los Embudos negotiations with U.S. Army Gen. George Crook earlier that year, in March, the holdout Chiricahua Apaches, led by Geronimo and Naiche, embark on a reign of terror for five months. They leave behind a trail of death as they raid ranches and attack villages, killing more than 60 “civilians” before agreeing to surrender one last time. Here are a few of the bloody highlights of this killing spree:

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• On April 3, 1886, Apache warriors raid several ranches near Fronteras, Mexico, stealing roughly 30 horses and a dozen or so oxen.


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May 30, 1886, Mohave County Miner Sa n


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Sant a Cruz River

Dragoon Mtns.

Whetstone Mtns.

Santa Rita Mtns.


Fort Huachuca Calabasas

Arizona Territory

Patagonia Mtns.

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April 27, 1886 Apaches attack the Peck ranch, and Geronimo takes Trinidad Verdin hostage.

Sonora, Mexico Sierra Pinito



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Apache Marauders

June 17, 1886 Geronimo is trapped in a cave.





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Naiche and Geronimo’s Reign of Terror April–August 1886

• Moving west, on April 20, they kill two men and three women. Three days later, they raid the Casita ranch, killing the owner and wounding his son. They kill two Mexican soldiers who found their trail. Moving north, they raid ranches, stealing cattle and horses. • On April 26, they kill three Mexicans and one American, before crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. They kill one American and chase another into the Arizona town of Calabasas. The next day, they attack the Peck ranch, killing Peck’s wife and slamming her baby’s head into an adobe wall. After burning the house and taking a 12-year-old girl, Trinidad Verdin, hostage, they ride out to locate the owner. They kill his hired hand and, strangely, spare the life of Artisan Peck, allegedly because he wore red-sleeved underwear, which Geronimo found humorous, calling him “Mangas Coloradas.” They strip Artisan of his clothes and boots (perhaps Geronimo wears Artisan’s boots in the photo on the next page?). The bloody raids continue all summer; Naiche even takes a raiding party north into Arizona, killing at least 13 people in 18 days. By late August, the killing subsides, and Lt. Charles B. Gatewood convinces Geronimo to come in one last time. This time, the surrender sticks. T R U E



“We have not slept for six months and are worn out.” —Geronimo, August 27, 1886

One of the First Geronimo Photos Photographer A. Frank Randall is credited with taking the first photographs of Geronimo, including this one, at Arizona Territory’s San Carlos Reservation in 1884, after the Apache leader “surrendered” to Gen. George Crook’s campaign in 1883. – COURTESY COWAN’S AUCTIONS, DECEMBER 9, 2009 –

Cave Fighting Historically, one of the worst places to defend is a cave, especially one made of rock. The problem is that attackers merely have to fire random rounds into the cave, as the ricochets are deadly. The worst case of this happened in the Tonto Basin, in December 1872, when elements of the 5th U.S. Cavalry surrounded a cave on the north wall of Salt River Canyon in Arizona Territory. Attacking at dawn on December 28, soldiers fired volley after volley into the cave (see illustration). About 75 men, women and children were slain, most of them from the ricocheting bullets. This makes Geronimo’s defense in the cave fight near Cerro el Gusano even more amazing. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –




Aftermath: Odds & Ends After his escape from the cave fight north of Cucurpe in Sonora, Mexico, Geronimo joined other Apache stragglers as they tried to reconnect with Naiche’s band. All of them, evidently a party of five, headed south, where they hooked up with the main group near Tepache. Hot on Geronimo’s trail were several squads of soldiers, including Capt. Henry Lawton and his crew. On July 12, Lawton’s scouts found a small trail from the south merged with a larger one from the north. The next day, they located the hostile camp, on a low saddle between two buttes overlooking the Yaqui River. A two-pronged, flanking attack failed as the wary Apaches fled once again in different directions. However, they left all their equipment, provisions and mounts, which numbered 19.

A. Frank Randall photographs Naiche and Geronimo at Fort Bowie in Arizona Territory after their surrender to Gen. Nelson Miles. Notice the different hats and clothing than those they wear in the Embudos photos (see p. 18-29), especially Geronimo’s fancy boots, which he probably purloined from one of his many victims slain along the U.S.-Mexico border. – COURTESY ROBERT G. MCCUBBIN COLLECTION –

After their imprisonments in Florida and Alabama, Geronimo and Naiche are transferred to Fort Sill, Oklahoma Territory, in 1894; they are shown, working cattle there. On one of his trips off the reservation, Geronimo visits the 101 Ranch, in 1905, which inspires the Miller Bros. to put on their own Wild West show. From warrior to cowboy is a long stretch, but Geronimo makes it seem smooth as pie. As author Paul A. Hutton puts it, “The man was a chameleon.”

On July 13, Gen. Nelson Miles took the train to Albuquerque to meet with Lt. Charles B. Gatewood, then stationed in New Mexico Territory. The general offered Gatewood the job of going into Mexico to get Geronimo. Gatewood said he thought the “mission sounded like a fool’s errand,” but took the job. After more than a month of trailing dead ends in Mexico, Gatewood, along with two scouts Kayitah and Martine, met with renegade Apaches and talked them into meeting Gen. Miles. On September 4, 1886, Geronimo and Naiche surrendered to Gen. Miles at Skeleton Canyon in the Peloncillo Mountains in Arizona Territory. On September 8, the U.S. military put Geronimo and Naiche on a train at Bowie Station to the prisoner of war camp in Florida.


Six months and dozens of deaths after Geronimo and Naiche fled from the Embudos negotiations, the Apache Wars were finally over.

Several of the Apaches with Geronimo do not surrender to Gen. Nelson Miles at Skeleton Canyon and continue raiding. One of them is Adelnietze, who is finally run to the ground in 1896 (see his story, p. 30). Others fight on, well into the 20th century.

Recommended: From Cochise to Geronimo: The Chiricahua Apaches, 18741886 by Edwin R. Sweeney, published by University of Oklahoma Press, and The Apache Wars by Paul Andrew Hutton, published by Crown Books T R U E





Mollie’s Miracle C.S. Fly’s industrious wife saved historical views of Territorial Arizona from going up in flames.

While her husband took photographs out in the field, Mollie Fly shot the studio work, including this image of an unidentified man wearing a silver-buckled gun belt attributed to Tombstone gunfighter “Buckskin Frank” Leslie. – COURTESY HERITAGE AUCTIONS, JUNE 11, 2016 –


he rough and tumble days of Tombstone, life in nearby silver mines and that defiant stare of Geronimo’s all live on in black-and-white images thanks to the quick eye and daring nature of a tall photographer named Camillus S. Fly. Give a bigger hand to his wife, Mollie, for her foresight to preserve these moments, frozen in time in glass plates and negatives. Born in Illinois in 1847, Mary Edith “Mollie” McKie was already a photographer when she met C.S. in San Francisco, California, in the




late 1870s. Little is known about her early life, including why she divorced her first husband, Samuel D. Goodrich. Historians disagree over whether she taught C.S. the photography business, but after the couple married on September 29, 1879, they moved to Arizona Territory that December and within months opened their studio in Tombstone. The mining town’s residents recalled how C.S., or “Buck,” did most of the field work for Fly’s Photographic Gallery, while Mollie took charge of the inside work, including studio portraits, the intricate color work and the business end. Cora Henry, one of the couple’s two foster daughters, wrote in 1950 how her father worked: “You had a picture taken…[he] would bow you in and scrape you out.” Cora was kinder about Mollie: “Mrs. Fly was a little woman of about five feet of pure dignity, very plainly dressed, but in manner[s,] Queen Victoria had nothing on her.” Mollie was also enterprising, finding ways to make extra money. The couple ran a boarding house out of the studio, and, in January 1900, The Tombstone Epitaph reported the studio had opened a candy store. Several months earlier, The Tombstone

Prospector reported on another business, directed at female customers. “Ladies desiring latest styles in hats would do well to call on Mrs. C.S. Fly at the Photograph Gallery and examine the assortment of handsomely trimmed millinery offered at reasonable prices.” What the papers don’t reveal were the long separations in the marriage due to Buck’s drinking and his mining and ranching attempts. Mollie was at his side, however, when he died in Bisbee, in 1901, from what the doctor called “acute alcohol toxicity.” Despite several studio fires, Mollie saved what photos she could. She published a small book in 1905 that showed her husband’s greatest adventure, accompanying Gen. George Crook on his campaign to parley peace with Geronimo in 1886, during which C.S. had instructed the Apache warrior on how to pose for the camera! In 1911, she sold the Fly negatives and plates to Arizona’s Territorial Historian Sharlot Hall. Mollie then left Arizona forever, moving to Los Angeles, California, for her remaining years and dying in 1925. Her husband may have captured the Old West with his camera, but Mollie was the one who preserved it all for the rest of us.

“...Queen Victoria had nothing on her.”

Susan L. Sorg has roots stretching back several generations in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. She spent 20 years in TV journalism and has written articles published in True West, Arizona Highways, Cowboys and Indians, Western Art Collector and Native American Art. She lives with her husband, Ron, in Maine.

Mollie Fly sits in Fly’s Photographic Gallery in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, with her two dogs in this circa 1885 photograph. – Courtesy ArizonA stAte LibrAry, ArChives And PubLiC reCords, history And ArChives division, #94-0011 –

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Texas Captains of Cotton and Cattle Discover the Old Southwest on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The Levi Jordan Plantation, now a Texas State Historic Commission Site, grew sugar cane and cotton. The plantation home is being restored, while archaeological work is underway at the former slave quarters. – ALL PHOTOS BY CANDY MOULTON UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED –


labama-born Levi Jordan left the border country between Louisiana and Arkansas in 1848 and resettled near the San Bernard River in Texas. He brought 12 enslaved men and women with him. Jordan and his family lived in a modest plantation home while the enslaved workers tilled the soil, raising sugar cane and cotton, the two principal crops of the region. Jordan’s plantation expanded as he bought more workers until ultimately he had 144 enslaved individuals who tilled and harvested the fields, managed the sugarhouse production and took care of the grounds and the family home.




The Levi Jordan Plantation is now a Texas State Historic Site, located near Brazoria, open for special tours, on Saturdays. (A new visitors’ center is being planned.) Less than thirty minutes from the Jordan Plantation visit the Varner-Hogg Plantation near West Columbia, another Texas State Historic Site famous for its cotton and sugar production. Varner-Hogg’s Plantation has been restored with tours available that include the grounds, the location of the sugarhouse, the plantation home and a visitors’ center with a collection of artifacts and interpretation about the site. Some of the 20th-century buildings are now available for lodging.

Plantation Texas In 1824, Virginian Martin Varner purchased a parcel of land from Stephen F. Austin, one of the 297 original grantees in Austin’s colony. Varner and his family obtained 4,428 acres and brought at least two enslaved men to farm and raise livestock on a small scale and establish a rum distillery. A decade later Varner sold the property to Columbus R. Patton of Kentucky. The Patton clan moved to Brazoria County bringing a large slave labor force. Soon the property became known as the Patton Place. It included a plantation house, smokehouse, sugar mill and slaves’ quarters, all built by the enslaved men using bricks they made by hand.

The fully restored Varner-Hogg plantation home is open for tours daily and has furnishings that both represent the plantation era, and that belonged to the Hogg Family. Foundations of the sugarhouse (below) show the size of that structure, which was a key component of the slave plantation production.

The sugar cane enterprise developed by Columbus Patton included a two-story mill, one of the largest in the region. Patton held on to the plantation until 1854 when, due to ill health, the property became mired in family wrangling, and, later, probate courts after his death. Eventually, in 1876, the Texas Land Company purchased the plantation and work shifted from sugar production to ranching, employing many African American cowboys. Former Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg bought the property in 1901, believing there was an oil reserve under the land. While he never struck large quantities of oil during his lifetime, after his death, production did occur, making his heirs quite wealthy.

Adjacent to the Varner-Hogg home is the kitchen where enslaved workers prepared meals for the plantation family. The kitchen is included on the plantation tour.


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Early Texas entrepreneur Charles Stillman founded Brownsville, Texas, adjacent to Fort Brown, on the north bank of the Rio Grande in 1848. Stillman’s partnership with Mifflin Kenedy and Richard King made Brownsville a major cotton trading port. – PHOTOS COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

collection of decorative arts and her admiration for George Washington. From these two plantations, we can now head west along a route that was used to ship cotton from plantations in this area of Texas to markets in Mexico and elsewhere.

Texas Gulf Coast Heritage Ultimately, his daughter, Ima Hogg, donated the property to the State of Texas and it is now a State Historic Site reflecting her

My route is from the Varner-Hogg Plantation in West Columbia, Texas, to the Levi Jordan Plantation near Brazoria, and then west to Cuero for a visit to the Chisholm Trail

Heritage Museum. From there I traveled southwest on U.S. 183 and U.S. 77 to Corpus Christi and eventually to Kingsville and Sarita. At Corpus Christi, I detoured to Padre Island National Seashore. I’m not certain what I expected to find here, but I certainly did not anticipate that the landscape would remind me of the Nebraska Sandhills. While there were areas of expansive beachfront—miles and miles of it on the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world—what struck me was the interior of the island with its gentle hills covered with waving grass. I could imagine cattle grazing this landscape, and from the early 1800s until 1970 it was used for ranching. Patrick Dunn owned most of the island by the 1940s, ranching there until the 1960s when he

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Mifflin Kenedy and Richard King, future founders of the King Ranch, made their first fortune as steamboat captains, including on “The Cotton Road” along the gulf coast of Texas before the Civil War. – CouRTEsy LibRaRy of CongREss –

sold to the National Park Service, which subsequently established Padre Island National Seashore.

Coastal Ranching Empires In the same way that the sugar and cotton plantations, owned by Levi Jordan and Martin Varner and later Governor Hogg, were cornerstone properties in southeastern Texas, the expansive properties owned by Mifflin Kenedy and Richard King dominated Southern Texas. Those two men were both steamboat captains before they became cattle kings.

Kenedy, born in 1818 to Quaker parents in Chester County, Pennsylvania, left home in the spring of 1834, sailing as a cabin boy on the Star of Philadelphia, bound for Calcutta, India. He would later become a clerk on a river steamer and ultimately would captain steamers on the Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi rivers. When

acting as a substitute captain on the Champion, plying the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee rivers in Florida, he met Richard King.

Kenedy and King: Emperors of Texas In 1850 Kenedy and King formed a steamship partnership with Brownsville

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See the fascinating history of South Texas come alive in vibrant murals and learn about the area’s cultural, economic and religious development. View “Vaquero,” a video describing cowboy life in the Wild Horse Desert. Open Tues. - Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday 12 noon to 4 p.m. Admission: $3 Adults $2 Seniors and Teens 13 - 18 Children 12 and under free 200 East LaParra Ave • Sarita, Texas 78385

Information: 361-294-5751

Founded in 1846 just prior to the Mexican-American War, Fort Brown was an active army base for a century. In 1869, the post was improved with modern brick buildings, including the base hospital (above). In 1948, Texas Southernmost College occupied the decommissioned fort’s hospital and other buildings. – PHOTOS COURTESY CAROL M. HIGHSMITH ARCHIVE, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

founder Charles Stillman, called M. Kenedy and Company. They had already made the move to Texas and, during the Civil War, had made a fortune trading cotton, hauling it along a route known as “The Cotton Road” down to Brownsville, Texas, where they loaded it onto steamboats for transport to markets in Mexico, or to ships that could take it to other foreign markets, away from the blockade established by Union forces. In 1860, Kenedy and King purchased the Santa Gertrudis Ranch, which they operated jointly for eight years until Kenedy sold out to King. Kenedy later purchased the Lurales Ranch near Corpus Christi. King and his wife, Henrietta, would expand their operations in the area called the Wild Horse Desert, ultimately building it into one of Texas’s largest ranches, encompassing 825,000 acres and becoming internationally known for Santa Gertrudis cattle and quarter horses. T R U E



Two riders pose in front of the Santa Gertrudis Ranch, headquarters of the King Ranch since 1860. Visitors can take paid tours of the historic ranch property Wednesdays through Sundays.


The Kenedy Ranch Museum is located in the Kenedy Pasture Company building in Sarita, Texas, and tells the story of Mifflin Kenedy and how he carved out one of the largest ranches in Texas.

Steamboat captain Mifflin Kenedy, represented here in an exhibit at the Kenedy Ranch Museum, came to Texas with his friend Richard King, and the two established immense cattle ranches that continue to operate today.

The ranch spawned a town—Kingsville— and Henrietta King and her son-in-law, Robert J. Kleberg, were instrumental in bringing the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico railroad to the area. Mifflin Kenedy, meantime, ranched on the Lurales and other property south and west of the King Ranch. His operation, too, created a town–Sarita, named for his daughter. While the King family continues to own and operate the empire started by Robert and Henrietta King, the Kenedy family line died out, even though the Kenedy Ranch remains operational.

To learn more about the King Ranch, visit the King Ranch Museum in Kingsville, or better, take a tour of the ranch property. The history tour gives an overview of King’s story and an opportunity to see a small section of this expansive ranch, including the old Cotton Road, plus the ranch housing, horses and cattle. Other tours focus on birds and wildlife. I saw my first-ever alligator as we took the history tour! In Sarita visit the Kenedy Ranch Museum which shares the story of Mifflin Kenedy. This small museum has a full wall mural and audio program depicting area history. While the Kenedy story is often overshadowed by the King Ranch narrative, it is every bit as interesting. It is perhaps likely that had the two steamboat captains not met in Florida, neither would have made the mark they did in Texas. What the sugar- and cotton-producing slave plantations have in common with the ranching empires of Kenedy and King, are stories of people making a living from the land. Candy Moulton is a regular contributor to True West. When not writing articles or managing the Western Writers of America, she is busy developing films and multimedia programs for museums and visitors’ centers in the West.

The Annual Ranch Hand Breakfast (above) is open to the public and will be held November 18, 2017, King Ranch, Kingsville, TX. – COURTESY CAROL M. HIGHSMITH ARCHIVE, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

PLACES & EVENTS TO VISIT Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, Cuero; John E. Conner Museum, Kingsville; King Ranch Museum, Kingsville; King Ranch Saddle Shop, Kingsville; Kenedy Ranch Museum, Sarita; Harvest Festival, Varner-Hogg Plantation, Oct. 7, West Washington; Ranch Hand Breakfast, Nov. 18, King Ranch, Kingsville; Candlelight Christmas, Varner-Hogg Plantation, Dec. 2, West Washington

GOOD EATS & SLEEPS GRUB: El Tapatio, Kingsville; Big House Burgers, Kingsville; Landry’s Seafood House, Corpus Christi; Snoopy’s Pier, Corpus Christi LODGING: Ranger’s Cottage, Varner-Hogg Plantation, West Washington; Omni Hotel, Corpus Christi; Comfort Inn, Kingsville

GOOD BOOKS, FILMS & TV: BEST READS: The Uncompromising Diary of Sallie McNeill, 1858-1867 by Ginny McNeill Raska and Mary Lynn Gasaway Hill; The Slave Narratives of Texas edited by Ron Tyler and Lawrence R. Murphy; Kings of Texas by Don Graham; King Ranch Story: Truth and Myth by Mona D. Sizer; Petra’s Legacy: The South Texas Ranching Empire of Petra Vela and Mifflin Kenedy by Jane Clements Monday and Frances Brannen Vick; Bob Kleberg and the King Ranch: A Worldwide Sea of Grass by John Cypher; Letters to Alice: Birth of the Kleberg-King Ranch Dynasty by Jane Clements Monday and Frances Brannen Vick FILMS & TV: The Woman of the Town (United Artists, 1943); Red River (United Artists, 1948); Giant (Warner Bros., 1956); The First Texan (Allied Artists Pictures, 1956); The Comancheros (Twentieth Century Fox Co., 1961); Riverboat (NBC, 1959); Lonesome Dove (CBS, 1989); The Son (AMC, 2017)




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Wyoming Territory’s Green River Station (above) was the locale of the “only decent meal” Mark Twain tasted for quite some time during one stagecoach journey, as the author noted in his 1872 frontier tome, Roughing It. – GREEN RIVER STATION PHOTO COURTESY NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY; MARK TWAIN PHOTO COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

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nce Missouri-born Samuel Clemens headed west in July 1861, he began his lifelong career of penning frontier life accounts that were both serious and humorous. Unable to prosper as a silver miner, he began reporting in 1862 for the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada Territory, where he first signed himself Mark Twain. He frequently commented on the food he experienced out West, whether he dined at sophisticated restaurants with china or at campsites with tin plates. Stage stop dining could be hit or miss. Twain noted: “At the Green River station [Wyoming Territory] we had breakfast— hot biscuits, fresh antelope steaks, and coffee—the only decent meal we tasted between the United States and Great Salt Lake City, and the only one we were ever really thankful for.” He contrasted his stage fare against railroad meals by sharing an 1869 account by The New York Times of a Pullman train journey heading west from Omaha, Nebraska: “It was a revelation to us, that

first dinner on Sunday…in addition to all that ordinarily makes up a first-chop dinner, had we not our antelope steak (the gormand who has not experienced this—bah! what does he know of the feast of fat things?) our delicious mountain-brook trout, and choice fruits and berries, and (sauce piquant and unpurchasable!) our sweet-scented, appetitecompelling air of the prairies? ...we washed them down with bumpers of sparkling Krug, whilst we sped along at the rate of thirty miles an hour, agreed it was the fastest living we had ever experienced.” The restaurant fare in California was memorable. He noted a hungry man in San Francisco could head to: “…the Miner’s Restaurant [where] he could get a plate of beans and a piece of bread for ten cents; or a fish-ball and some few trifles.... At French Pete’s he could get a veal cutlet, plain, and some radishes and bread, for ten cents; or a cup of coffee—a pint at least—and a slice of bread; but the slice was not thick enough by the eighth of an inch, and sometimes they were still more criminal than that in the cutting of it.”

While camping along Nevada Territory’s Humboldt River, he ate with his party in the “still solitudes of the desert” where “…our wolfish hunger appeased with a hot supper of fried bacon, bread, molasses and black coffee, the pipe-smoking, songsinging and yarn-spinning around the evening camp-fire...was a happy, care-free sort of recreation….” Twain mused over one cooking mishap after catching a “fine trout” from Lake Tahoe in 1861: “But unfortunately, I spoilt part of the breakfast. We had coffee and tea boiling on the fire, in coffee-pots and fearing they might not be strong enough, I added more ground coffee, and more tea, but—you know mistakes will happen. I put the tea in the coffee-pot, and the coffee in the tea-pot—and if you imagine that they were not villainous mixtures, just try the effect once.” He was more successful at cooking during an 1863 venture in Steamboat Springs: “The hot, white steam puffs up out of fissures in the earth like the jets that come from a steamboat’s ’scape pipes, & it makes a boiling, surging noise like a steamboat, too—hence the name. We put eggs in a hankerchief [sic] & dip them in the Springs—they ‘soft boil’ in 2 minutes, & boil as hard as a rock in 4 minutes.” Try your culinary skills at cooking one of Twain’s favorite fishes—trout. Sherry Monahan has penned The Cowboy’s Cookbook, Mrs. Earp: Wives & Lovers of the Earp Brothers; California Vines, Wines & Pioneers; Taste of Tombstone and The Wicked West. She has appeared on Fox News, History Channel and AHC.

TWAIN TROUT 1 cup bread crumbs or flour ½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. ground pepper 2 tbsp. butter for frying 2 tbsp. oil 1 lb. trout fillets, 1-inch thick Parsley or watercress for garnish Mix the bread crumbs and salt and pepper in a bowl. Melt the butter and oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan. Coat the trout fillets in the bread crumb mixture and fry until golden on each side—about two minutes. Turn and cook an additional two minutes. The fish should flake when done. Garnish with parsley.

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Recipe adapted from Missouri’s Kansas City Journal, May 7, 1899




n r e t s We


‘Never Take No Cutoffs’ A retelling of the Donner Party’s eternal humanity, as well as histories of Western man hunters, army frontier bands and cowboy music, and a rollicking frontier adventure.

“…they watched as others cut flesh from the dead and ate members of their families and friends.”

Roman slave and poet-playwright Terence famously wrote in his 163 B.C. play Heauton Timorumenos, “hom*o sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto,” or “I am human, and I think that nothing of that which is human is alien to me.” Anyone who reads Michael Wallis’s The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny (Liveright, $27.95), might consider concurrently contemplating Terence’s poignant summation of the human condition across the millennia. Wallis opens his dramatic hist wory of the Donner tragedy, a timeless parable of Biblical proportions, with a recounting of the state of California’s dedication of the Pioneer Monument at Donner Lake on June 6, 1912. Three women, representing the eight remaining survivors of the tragic tale, were special guests at the unveiling of the bronze family atop the 22-foot pedestal, which represents the depth of the snow that accumulated that horrific winter of 1846’47 in what later became known as Donner Pass. During California’s record-breaking snowfall of 2016-’17, nature provided a The wrongful influence of Lansford W. Hastings and his error-laden Emigrants’ Guide to Oregon and California on the fate of the Donner Party is a centerpiece of author Michael Wallis’s The Best Land Under Heaven. – COURTESY YALE COLLECTION OF WESTERN AMERICANA, BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY, YALE UNIVERSITY –




Summertime is traditionally a great time to catch up on reading, so why not pick up a new Western novel, biography, history book (or two, or three or…) to take with you or give to someone for an upcoming vacation? In late June 1846, the Donner Party’s oxen trains, as part of the larger Boggs Party camped near Scott’s Bluff. The strength of the larger wagon train would soon collapse into rival parties who fatefully decided to ignore—or follow—the ill-conceived Hasting’s Cutoff. – WILLIAM HENRY JACKSON’S “SCOTT’S BLUFF” COURTESY SCOTTS BLUFF NATIONAL MONUMENT, NPS.GOV –

reminder of the terrifying, awe-inspiring deadly power of the Sierra Nevada winter that trapped the desperate emigrant wagon train in the most human of all conditions: cannibalize the dead or die. As author Wallis poignantly notes, the three survivors, “Martha (Patty) Reed Lewis and sisters Eliza Donner Houghton and Francis Donner Wilder…were here when there was no more game, no more oxen or horses to eat….they watched as others cut flesh from the dead and ate members of their families and friends.” The strength of Wallis’s recounting of the Donner Party is his comprehensive research of the United States’ first sixty years and the restless, daring nature of the American people. An expert storyteller, Wallis provides detailed family histories of the Donner and Reed families in the United States and their participation in the growth of the nation from the Eastern Seaboard to their settlement of the Trans-Appalachian West. While most of us are familiar with the cannibalistic climax of the story in the Sierra Nevada, readers of Wallis’s book will find inspiration, empathy and pathos in the universality of the motivations, moxie and ambitions of fathers and mothers always striving to create a better life for their children—no matter the odds or sacrifices. Conversely, the award-winning author does not glorify the Donner-Reed failure, but appropriately concludes that their survival is layered in the timeless human condition of fateful irony. “What made the Donner

Party so distinctive was that that group of people had originally set out to civilize what they saw as a barbaric land. The acts of survival cannibalism refigured their story with a cruel twist—the civilizers themselves became savages.” Wallis’s The Best Land Under Heaven, the first major synthesis of the Donner-Reed family saga since Desperate Passage: The Donner Party’s Perilous Journey West (2008) by Ethan Rarick and The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride (2009) by Daniel James Brown, will be considered for many years the primary volume for students and scholars seeking a detailed and well-annotated history of the tragic tale of emigration on the Overland Trail to California. The Tulsa, Oklahoma, author generously provides the reader with detailed end notes, a comprehensive bibliography and a thorough accounting of his research process—all of which provides a roadmap to begin a further inquiry into the legendary tale. While I disagree with the author’s dramatic opinion that “this Gothic tale of cannibalism draws a real parallel between individuals consuming flesh and the desire of a country to consume the continent,” I whole heartedly concur that “were it not for a few wrong turns, bad directions, and fierce winter storms, the Donner Party would have been an unremarkable wagon train. But as it happened, it became a cautionary tale of Manifest Destiny and an unforgettable calamity.” —Stuart Rosebrook

Here are 10 recent releases I recommend: America’s Best Female Sharpshooter: The Rise and Fall of Lillian Frances Smith (University of Oklahoma Press) by Julia Bricklin Billy Pinto’s War, American Legends Collection (FiveStar) by Michael Zimmer Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West (St. Martin’s Press) by Tom Clavin Ghost Towns of the West (Voyageur Press) by Phil Varney and Jim Hinckley Mountain Man: John Colter, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and the Call of the American West, American Grit series (New Country) by David Weston Marshall The Pinks: The First Women Detectives, Operatives, and Spies with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency (TwoDot) by Chris Enss Smoke Wagon, A Morgan Clyde Western (FiveStar) by Brett Cogburn Song of the Lion, A Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito Novel (Harper) by Anne Hillerman Tom Jeffords: Friend of Cochise (TwoDot) by Doug Hocking Valley of Bones, A Byrnes Family Ranch Novel (Pinnacle) by Dusty Richards —Stuart Rosebrook




written Sound the Trumpet for the music historian and readers interested in music and the military, especially in the American West. Gleason’s narrative contributes to our

knowledge of instrumentation, performance, music portfolio, band logistics, support of military operations and the role of bands in the American military experience. I hope there is a sequel in the works for the post-World War II military band. —Vernon L. Williams, professor of history Abilene Christian University

A Lyrical History of the West

In Sound the Trumpet, Beat the Drums, Bruce P. Gleason recounts the role of the U.S. Army mounted bands from the American Revolution to World War II, including the 1st Illinois Cavalry Band (above). – COURTESY BRUCE P. GLEASON COLLECTION –

Sure ’nuff cowboy songs and stories from a sure ’nuff cowboy—does it get any better than that? Edited by Charles Seeman, executive director emeritus of the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada, the second

The everyday lives of working cowboys in ranching and rodeo (above) inspired the late cowboy-singer folklorist Glenn Ohrlin’s life’s work, The Hell-Bound Train: A Cowboy Songbook. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –




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Blaine Lamb has long been fascinated by all forms of transportation, but has a soft spot in his heart for railroads. This may be because his great uncle, with whom he grew up, was a railroader—a telegrapher for the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway. A native San Diegan, Lamb spent many an hour at the railroad’s yard office and at the stations along the line. Following a career in California government as an archivist, historian and curator, he retired as chief of cultural resources for the state parks system. He is the author of The Extraordinary Life of Charles Pomeroy Stone, as well as many articles and reviews on Western history. He recommends these fi ve railroad classics for their varying perspectives on the building and operation of American railroads:

1 Steamcars to the Comstock (Lucius Beebe #32 Cheyenne Holster For 7 1/2” Colt SA and #26 Double Row Money Cartridge Belt.

and Charles Clegg, Howell-North): The West has had many short-line railroads, but none as fabulous as the Virginia & Truckee and its narrow-gauge cousin, the Carson & Colorado, and none of their chroniclers as fabulous as Beebe. This is a highly illustrated book with copious captions, and includes photographs by Beebe’s personal and professional companion, Clegg, and other Western railroad photographers.

2 Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (Richard White, W. W. Norton): Rather than the traditional view of the men who built (or overbuilt) the transcontinental lines as visionary buccaneers of American transportation, White sees them more as “Men in Octopus Suits” who did not know much about constructing or operating railroads, but sure did know how to make money from them. This book is well researched, but the reader need not fear, the author is both perceptive and witty.

Examine 360 pages of 85 significant events that explain the trail’s development from the Great Plains to the Sierras. Early maps, guides, emigrant diaries and 175 period illustrations depict the trail and are paired with the current sites.

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3 Sunset Limited: The Southern Pacific Railroad and the Development of the American West, 1850-1930 (Richard Orsi, University of California Press): Lest the reader

think that Western railroad barons did nothing but lie, cheat and steal, Orsi offers a welcome corrective. Also thoroughly researched, this detailed and clearly written account highlights how the “Espee” played positive roles in Western land settlement and conservation of natural resources, including preservation of Yosemite National Park.

4 Union Pacific: The Birth of a Railroad, 1862-1893, (Maury Klein, University of Minnesota and Oxford University): Pictured is volume one of a three-volume history of a monumental railroad. In this work, Klein carefully traces the UP’s development from a poorly constructed partner in the first transcontinental route to the largest transportation company in the United States. 5 Appetite for America (Stephen Fried, Bantam): The railroads brought a level of sophistication and modernity to the West, and none more so that the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe through its relationship with culinary entrepreneur Fred Harvey. With station eating houses staffed by the famous “Harvey Girls,” renowned hotels, elegant dining cars and ceaseless promotion, the Fred Harvey Company convinced Western travelers, “We are in the wilds, not of them.”

5 edition of Glenn Ohrlin’s long out-ofprint The Hell-Bound Train: A Cowboy Songbook (Texas Tech University Press, $24.95), first published in 1973, is a resource on Western cultural history that should be in everyone’s library. Glenn Ohrlin was a working cowboy, a rodeo cowboy and an amazing cowboy entertainer. Not only does this great book contain the words and music to such classics as “Windy Bill” and “The Sierry Petes,” but Ohrlin tells the stories of where these great cowboy songs came from. This book smacks of real cowboy stuff because a real cowboy and a real character wrote it. — Jim Wilson, singer-songwriter of the album West of Somewhere


The largest collection of new and out of print Civil War & Western Americana books. Lincoln and Custer Collections, American Indian History, Arts & Crafts. Helping collectors and history buffs learn more about specific events and people in American history.


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Western Adventure Lee Martins’ The Last Wild Ride (CreateSpace, $7.35) tells the story of Sam Jefferies, a rugged cowboy carrying a death wish until he is asked to protect and escort Lorena Ramsey and her son to Texas after she kills her husband Hoag Ramsey while protecting her son. Hoag’s mother, Emma Ramsey, wants to see Lorena hanged and pursues them with her husband, her remaining sons and hired hands. The story is full of suspense and adventure. Lee’s written detail paints a picture describing the people and places throughout the book. It is an easy, fast read that I strongly recommend. It will keep your interest, encouraging you to keep reading to find out what happens next. —Lowell F. Volk, author of the Luke Taylor and Trevor Lane series

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I Killed John Wayne Bruce Dern recalls the experience of shooting down the beloved icon in The Cowboys.

The snarling villain who killed the iconic John Wayne in The Cowboys is how some fans still see Bruce Dern. He went on to play bad guys in other Westerns, including 1973’s Pat Garrett and Kid. Billy the Kid Yet Dern has had a resurgence in the genre, particularly as a leading man in 2013’s Nebraska, which earned him an Oscar nomination. He’s also acted as the plantation owner in 2012’s Django Unchained. And he’s the only actor who Quentin Tarantino allowed to improv for Unchained 2015’s The Hateful Eight—the director intentionally set the intermission for when Dern’s character was killed, so the audience would dwell on it. – BRUCE DERN (LEFT) AND JOHN WAYNE’S WIL ANDERSEN FIGHTING BRUCE DERN’S LONG HAIR IN THE COWBOYS (ABOVE) COURTESY WARNER BROS. PICTURES –


ho would’ve guessed that, in the last decade of his life, a lung lost to cancer, John “Duke” Wayne would star in a dozen films, three of them—1969’s True Grit, 1972’s The Cowboys and 1976’s The Shootist—among the best of his career? The premise of The Cowboys was refreshingly original: with all the ablebodied cowhands chasing a gold strike, an aging rancher (played by Wayne) hires a schoolhouse-full of boys to move his cattle to market.




Actor-turned-director Mark Rydell, of Lee Strasberg’s famed Actors Studio, wasn’t known as a Western filmmaker, but he’d already directed 10 Gunsmoke episodes for CBS. Fresh from the success of the 1969 Steve McQueen comedy The Reivers, he began reading an as-yet-unpublished novel, The Cowboys, by William Dale Jennings. Forty pages in, Rydell knew he wanted to film it. Jennings was an unconventional Western author to say the least. Raised in Denver, Colorado, the playwright, novelist and decorated WWII soldier gained fame in 1952 by refusing to plead guilty to hom*osexual solicitation in a Los Angeles park; he’s frequently cited as the “gay Rosa Parks.”

When Rydell brought the property to Warner Bros., his heart was set on George C. Scott as rancher Wil Andersen, but the studio heads pleaded with him to consider Wayne. Rydell reluctantly flew to Durango in Mexico to meet with Wayne on the set of 1971’s Big Jake. “He was very conservative politically,” Rydell says of Wayne, “and I was a liberal Jewish kid from the Bronx. We couldn’t have been more polar opposites. But I found him to be one of the nicest guys I ever met.” For the screenplay, Rydell matched Jennings with Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr., the legendary husband-and-wife writing team from The Reivers. He also

brought along Reivers composer John Williams and hired three-time Oscarwinning cinematographer Robert Surtees. All the bad guys except the lead were stuntmen who knew how to ride, fight and die on camera. To keep Wayne out of his comfort zone, Rydell did not cast characters from Wayne’s stock company (with the exception of Duke’s friend Slim Pickens), but from the Actors Studio: Roscoe Lee Browne as the cook, Colleen Dewhurst as the madam, blacklist-victim Sarah Cunningham as Wil’s wife. For the lead villain, Bruce Dern was ideal—except he was acting for Douglas Trumbull’s Sci-Fi film Silent Running. “My first starring role,” Dern tells True West. “My agent called me: ‘You’ve got to have two days off next week because I have a role you must do. No one can know this. They’re doing a movie where John Wayne’s going to be killed, and you’re going to be the guy that does it!’” Trumbull shot miniatures for two days so Dern could get away to act in The Cowboys. The biggest casting challenge was finding 11 boys to play the cowboys. In a stroke of genius, Rydell cast half actors and half rodeo kids. Actor-turnedstuntman Stephen Hudis, who played Charlie Schwartz, remembers, “Before we set foot on location, we had eight weeks of intense riding training. They would have acting classes, and we would help them out with that, and they would help us with the horseback.” Dern remembers Clay O’Brien, the smallest boy of the group, almost didn’t make it into the film. “John Wayne said, ‘Well, you’re too small, son,’” Dern recalls. “Clay, in that little voice, piped up, ‘I can drop you, you big son of a bitch.’ The kid twirled a rope three times, hooked his boots and dropped Wayne on his ass. ‘Who’s too small now?’” Since then, O’Brien has won seven World Champion rodeo titles. Stuntman Walter Scott was thrilled to act with Wayne, playing one of the cowhands who abandons him: “When [Wayne] says his line, I say, ‘What do you expect? You work us like dogs, night and day and Christmas too.’ He looks at the director, says, ‘Is he gonna read that line that way?’ I’m thinking, aw hell, he hates my acting. ‘Because if he does, I’d hit t r u e


w e st


Duke and his Kids from 1972’s The Cowboys (from left): A Martinez, Stephen Hudis, Mike Pyeatt, Norman Howell, Steve Benedict, Nicolas Beauvy, Sam O’Brien, Bob Carradine, Al Barker Jr, Sean Kelly, John Wayne and Clay O’Brien.

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him. You’d better move him over there.’ And I just jumped across to where he was pointing, and we did the scene again.” The kids adored Wayne; Dern, not so much. But that was by design. “When I got there,” Dern says, “John Wayne said, ‘I want you to do yourself and me a favor. Around the set, I want you to kick my ass in front of these little kids, so they’re absolutely terrified of you.’ He gave me the license to do that. “The day we come to the scene where I shoot him, [Wayne] said to me, ‘Ooh, are they going to hate you for this!’ I said, ‘Maybe, but in Berkeley, I’m a hero.’” Ironically, Dern, the bully who terrorizes and almost drowns the kid with glasses played by Nicolas Beauvy in the movie, made friends with the actor. Beauvy, now a realtor, remembers, “I was a big sports fan and so was he, so even after the movie was finished, he’d invite me to Lakers games in Los Angeles. He is a great guy.” Looking back, men and boysturned-men talk with amazement at how hard Wayne pushed himself, doing nearly all his own stunts, his own riding. Rydell and Wayne set the bar awfully high, and in grasping it, cast and crew did some of the finest work of their careers. The Cowboys premiered at the tail end of the Western movie cycle that had continued uninterrupted since 1903’s The

Great Train Robbery. Dern concedes, “A lot of people will tell you that the reason they don’t make them anymore is because Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, those are the Westerns to the kids now. But you and I know there’s always a place for a Western. The stories are great, the times are great and, for the most part, it really happened.”

IN THEATERS THE HERO (Premieres June 9, 2017; The Orchard) Lee Hayden (played by Sam Elliott), once a Western movie icon, now uses his golden voice to narrate barbecuesauce ads. He receives bad news and semi-good news: a bad biopsy and a lifetime achievement award from an outfit he’s never heard of before. When his stoned acceptance speech goes viral, he sees a chance for a comeback, as well as a reconciliation with his neglected daughter (Krysten Ritter). Critics predict an Oscar for Elliott’s restrained, but raw performance. Henry C. Parke is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, California, who blogs about Western movies, TV, radio and print news:

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The Screen’s Greatest Horse Stuntman And the comment that kept famed Westerns Director John Ford from hiring him again. Stagecoach, 1939.

Yakima Canutt made his transition to film from rodeo through Tom Mix, another actor who got his start in rodeo; Mix invited Canutt to be in a couple of his pictures. We’re unsure if this early photo of Canutt came from the rodeo arena or the Hollywood stage, but this may have been taken when he got his first taste of stunt work, in a fight scene for the last episode of the Lightning Bryce serial, shot in 1920. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –


he most memorable action sequence in Stagecoach comes near the end of the 1939 film. Shortly after the river crossing, the passengers expect a smooth ride into Lordsburg, New Mexico Territory, but Apache leader Geronimo and his men have other ideas. They swoop down from a hill to attack, and the stagecoach races for the Mojave Desert’s Lucerne Dry Lake Bed, commencing a moving battle scene that runs relentlessly for an astonishing six minutes, from the moment the unsuspecting Samuel Peaco*ck (played by Donald Meek) catches an arrow in the chest to the first sight of the cavalry led by Lt. Blanchard (Tim Holt).




Shot for three days on location, the Apache chase seamlessly intercuts with studio shots of the actors against rear projections. While doubles portray the other actors in this scene, John Wayne performs his role. With the chase moving at about 45 miles per hour, the stage door swings open and Wayne is seen hanging on it. He scrambles up onto the roof of the coach, lies on his belly and starts firing back at the Apaches. Next comes the sequence that would make a legend. Yakima Canutt first performed this in 1937’s Monogram release, Riders of the Dawn Dawn, doubling for Jack Randall, and he would do variations on it for the rest of his career. The stunt is frequently imitated, most notably in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. Canutt, dressed as an Apache, rides up on the left of the stage’s lead team, jumps from his pony over the near horse to the wagon tongue and begins to stop the lead team. What comes next made this gag merely extremely dangerous, rather than suicidal. Not visible to the camera were metal bars Canutt had attached between the harness hames on each of the three teams, which kept the distance between the horses at three feet. When Wayne’s Ringo Kid shoots him, Canutt drops between the horses, catching himself on the tongue and letting his back drag. Ringo Kid shoots him again, and Canutt drops all the way to the ground, between the horses.

Canutt crosses his arms across his chest as he falls, which may look odd, but he had good reason to do so. “...the clearance under the coach is critical,” Canutt recalled. “If you were to double your arms with your elbows up, the front axle would strike them. All in all, it is a gag that you could easily rub yourself out with if you make the wrong move.” When the stage passes over Canutt, he collapses and then rises to his knees—to prove that a person, not a dummy, was in the scene. That last move momentarily scared the hell out of Director John Ford, a former stuntman himself, who’d expected Canutt to fall off the side of a horse, not between the teams. He thought the collapse was real, and that Canutt had been injured. When the scene was finished, Ford’s three cameramen were not sure they’d caught it. When Canutt told the director, “I’ll be happy to do it again, Mr. Ford. You know I love to make money,” Ford replied, “I’ll never shoot that again. They better have it.” Of course, they did. Next in the sequence, the stagecoach driver (played by Andy Devine) is shot in his right shoulder, nearly falls from the wagon and loses the reins for the horses on the right side. He calls to Wayne’s character, and Canutt, now doubling Wayne, leaps from the top of the coach to the first team, supporting himself on their backs (and those hidden bars), leaps to the second team, then the third, straddles the lead right horse and gains control. Although Wayne didn’t perform this stunt, Wayne did act out the last shot of the

Hollywood knew how to mine cinematic gold. Yakima Canutt’s daredevil horse stunts from 1939’s Stagecoach (shown) were reused by MGM in two pictures. If John Wayne hadn’t brought Canutt onto John Ford’s set, who knows when, if ever, the Westerns genre would have advanced from kiddie fare to adult cinema. – ALL STAGECOACH PHOTOS COURTESY UNITED ARTISTS –

sequence, in which he rides the horse, sans saddle, at breakneck speed. Among the other stunts in the chase are numerous dramatic Apache horse falls, some done by Canutt, some by Iron Eyes Cody, and a horse drag, in which an Apache is shot out of his saddle, but his foot gets caught in the stirrup—he’s dragged for several seconds. These actions were shot from a camera car with three cameras rolling, to provide three choices for each shot, so dangerous stunts did not need to be repeated. That these falls and drags were more impressive than in most Westerns was due largely to Canutt’s skill in staging, along with Bert Glennon’s brilliant cinematography; rather than the usual camera paralleling the action, the falls often come right at the camera. From Ramona in 1916 through the Cheyenne series in the 1960s, Glennon’s artistry, particularly in black-and-white movies, would grace films in all genres, including eight of Ford’s finest. Upon completion of Stagecoach, Ford told Canutt, “Any time I’m making an action picture and you’re not working, you are with me.” Yet, at a studio party that night, the film’s editor, Otho Lovering, was telling Ford, “I really think you’re going to have one of the best Western action pictures ever made,” when a tipsy Glennon interjected, “Yes, thanks to Yakima Canutt.” Glennon’s comment was too much for the prickly Ford. Except for a single horse fall by Canutt in 1939’s Young Mr. Lincoln— booked without Ford’s knowledge—the screen’s greatest Westerns director and the screen’s greatest horse stuntman would never work together again.

FOOTAGE TOO GOOD TO WASTE Dudley Nichols based his screenplay for Stagecoach on the Ernest Haycox story “Stage to Lordsburg,” which John Ford’s son, Patrick, had read in Collier’s magazine and brought to his father’s attention. When MGM made 1942’s Apache Trail, based on yet another Haycox tale about folks on a stage trying to reach Lordsburg, New Mexico Territory, Lloyd Nolan got to play the outlawturned-hero. Interestingly, John Wayne had initially suggested Nolan play the Ringo Kid role in Stagecoach, before he took on the part himself. Apache Trail’s big Indian chase uses the alternative angles of horse falls and the horse drag from Stagecoach. When Apache Trail was remade as Apache War Smoke in 1952, with Gilbert Roland in the lead, the same horse falls and horse drag shots were featured in the movie.

Henry C. Parke is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, California, who blogs about Western movies, TV, radio and print news:





Magic City of the Plains Old West heritage is celebrated in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

On July 5, 1867, Gen. Grenville Dodge chose a site for a new rail town on Union Pacific’s transcontinental line on Crow Creek in Dakota Territory. By 1876, the territorial capital, named Cheyenne in honor of the local Plains tribe, had quickly become the territory’s most important commercial city.


ithin five months of its founding as a railroad town on July 4, 1867, Cheyenne, Wyoming, boasted a population above 4,000. The stunning growth attracted some of the West’s biggest names to what Eastern newspapers called the Magic City of the Plains. The list included Wyatt Earp and Calamity Jane. Range detective Tom Horn was executed in Cheyenne and Wild Bill Hickok married a former lion tamer at the First Methodist Church there in March of 1876. Bill must’ve had a certain smile on his face, because the minister wrote in his record book, “Don’t think he meant it.”




– COURTESY NARA 531115 –

Today’s visitors smile, too, for this authentic frontier town of 62,000, set against the picturesque front range of the Rocky Mountains, has something for every Western traveler. The year’s main event is the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo and Western celebration. Held late in July, it draws 130,000 people to parades, concerts, arts and craft shows, and the popular Indian Village, with food, exhibits, dancing, music and storytelling. Visitors can tour the livestock pens that hold bulls and other animals. “This is the West so it’s muddy and you walk through more than dirt,” says Darren Rudloff,

president of Visit Cheyenne. “It’s the real deal, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” The Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, which tells the story of the rodeo from its beginning in 1897, houses a large collection of horse-drawn wagons and carriages. See the Deadwood Stage, an 1865 passenger wagon, and an Overland coach from 1860. The Union Pacific Railroad played a central role in Cheyenne’s development and still serves as the town’s second-largest employer. About eighty trains a day roll through town. An observation deck in the magnificent depot, built in 1887, allows tourists to see the

Railroads helped build Wyoming, and the state’s oldest locomotive, Union Pacific’s 1242, aka “Old Sadie,” was built in 1890 and is displayed at Cheyenne’s Botanic Gardens. – ALL PHOTOS BY MATTHEW IDLER, COURTESY VISIT CHEYENNE UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED –

A tour of downtown Cheyenne should include the Governors’ Mansion State Historic Site, home to the state’s leading official from 1907 to 1976.

trains come and go. “Watching trains is a spectator sport in Cheyenne,” says Rudloff. Rail fanatics delight in going to Holliday Park to see the Big Boy Steam Engine. One of only 25 built, these coalfired monsters were designed to pull trains over the Wasatch Mountains between Green River, Wyoming, and Ogden, Utah. A tour of downtown should include the Plains Hotel, completed in 1911. The lobby is a beautiful space, with a grand chandelier and sunlight filtering in rainbow colors through its stained-glass ceiling. The Nelson Museum of the West features displays on the U.S. cavalry, historic firearms, the art of the Plains and an exhibit on 19th-century Wyoming cattle barons. The latter includes a buffalo horn mirror that belonged to Buffalo Bill Cody. In the “Art of the Plains” exhibit, see shirts, dresses and moccasins decorated with quill work or glass beads. The Old West firearms collection includes a single shot flintlock pistol with decorative tacks along the barrel, used by an Indian in the 1840s. A circa 1900 inscription to Annie

Oakley and others appears on an 1873 Winchester rifle. Twenty-four miles west of town, 11,000acre Curt Gowdy State Park offers outdoor activities from archery to birdwatching. Next door, in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, see otherworldly rock formations that Indians called Verdauwoo, “land of the earthborn spirits.” Rockclimbers love it, while others just marvel at incredible views. Eleven miles north of Cheyenne at Terry Bison Ranch, visitors can ride a train into a herd of buffalo, a rare opportunity to see these huge creatures up close. The ranch also has horseback riding and a steakhouse. Bison burgers anyone? A tour of Wyoming’s State Capitol Building and Grounds includes Edward J. Fraughton’s The Spirit of Wyoming bronze, which stands in dedication to the spirit of the citizens of the Cowboy State. T R U E



The Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum has an extensive transportation collection, including one of the famous Deadwood stagecoaches that carried passengers and freight between the South Dakota goldfields and Cheyenne.

As a public art project, Cheyenne has been decorating thoroughfares and other areas with fiberglass cowboy boots, each eight feet tall and painted in different styles by various artists. Twenty-three boots now stand throughout the city. They’ve become icons of Cheyenne, symbols of its colorful life as a modern cowboy town. Leo W. Banks is an award-winning writer based in Tucson. He has written several books of history for Arizona Highways.

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WHERE HISTORY MEETS THE HIGHWAY Start your trip at the Cheyenne Convention & Visitors Bureau in the old Union Pacific Depot (left), 121 W. 15th St.

Fort D.A. Russell Days

On the first weekend of Frontier Days, the F.E. Warren Air Force Base holds an open house with historic home tours and military re-enactments. The cavalry established Warren’s precursor, Fort D.A. Russell, in 1867.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, experts describe the building as one of the last grand 19th-century railroad depots on the transcontinental line. The building houses Cheyenne’s visitor center and a museum. A model train exhibit with 300 cars fills most of the 1,700-square-foot second floor.

This portion of the Nelson Museum displays a variety of military uniforms and other memorabilia. See the Medal of Honor awarded to 19-year-old Massachusetts farm boy Francis E. Warren for his Civil War gallantry. President Chester A. Arthur later appointed him Wyoming’s territorial governor.

The Wrangler

The retailer has been a landmark since 1943. Buy a hat, boots, jeans or a belt with a buckle the size of a dinner plate. Well, almost. After shopping, head to downtown’s Gunslinger Square, 15th Street and Pioneer Avenue, to see skits and shootouts.

star of the western TV show Laramie (1959-1963)

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By Bill Markley

10 Destinations You Must Visit in a Lifetime The West conjures images: sky-touching-earth horizons, uncharted wilderness, turbulent rivers, an unbounded Milky Way flung across the heavens. Howling coyotes, thundering bison herds, ferocious grizzly bears and ghostly antelope. Original inhabitants building Southwestern pueblos and perfecting plains horse-culture. Conquistadors and mountain men crossing blistering deserts, traversing icy mountain passes. Pioneers crossing the prairie. Cowboys driving herds to raucous cowtowns. Soldiers fighting Indians wanting to continue their lifestyle. Desperados, lawmen, gamblers, dancehall gals, homesteaders—all contribute to the patchwork quilt that is the West. There’s more to learn, see and experience than one lifetime can hold. Here are 10 must-see destinations.

Visitors to Western Wyoming can make Jackson their headquarters to explore Grand Teton National Park (left) and Yellowstone National Park, just a little more than an hour north. – ALL PHOTOS BY CHAD COPPESS UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED –




Internationally famous Monument Valley, featured in nine John Ford Western films, is managed by the Navajo Nation as a tribal park. Visitors can stay in the park at a new hotel, The View (below, right), in which every room faces the rising sun over the iconic rock formations. – PHOTO OF THE VIEW HOTEL COURTESY R.S. ORTEGA –

The Southwest’s Four Corners At Four Corners, you can stand where Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico join. Located on the Colorado Plateau, this area abounds with fantastic geologic formations: canyons, mesas and buttes. A thousand years ago, ancestral puebloan people constructed towns on cliffs, along rivers and in canyons, only to abandon them after several hundred years. Dinetah, the Navajo ancestral homeland, was originally in the canyonlands of northwestern New Mexico. The Navajo people abandoned Dinetah in the 1700s for the lands they currently hold, as the Utes disputed their territory and the Spanish applied pressure to change their culture. They learned sheepherding, weaving and silver-smithing. Anglos arrived in the 1850s, building towns, farms and ranches. A range of activities awaits outdoor enthusiasts. Fly-fish the San Juan River, considered New Mexico’s premiere trout stream. Or, downriver at Mexican Hat, Utah, raft through whitewater. Ride the train from Durango to Silverton, Colorado, through the San Juan Mountains. Hike in Canyonlands,




Monument Valley or another national park or monument. Visit ancient ruins, Hovenweep National Monument, Utah, the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, or Aztec Ruins National Monument, New Mexico, with its reconstructed kiva. Examine tapestries and jewelry at Navajo Nation trading posts at Hogback, New Mexico, and Red Rock, Arizona.

Guide to the Four Corners Plan Your Visit @ Places to Visit Ganado, AZ:: Hubbell Trading Post. Oljato-Monument Valley, AZ-UT: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Shonto, AZ: Navajo National Monument. Cortez, CO: Canyons of the Ancients, Cortez Cultural Heritage Center, Mesa Verde National Park. Durango, CO: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum. Aztec, NM: Aztec Ruins National Monument. Shiprock, NM: Shiprock Rock Formation. Moab, UT: Canyonlands National Park. San Juan County, UT: Hovenweep National Monument.

Goulding’s Lodge (left), which served as John Ford’s Monument Valley film company headquarters, is a must stop for any traveler to the Four Corners. Dine in the lodge’s restaurant, tour its museums, and stay a few nights while exploring the region.

Lodging & Restaurants Kayenta, AZ: Wetherill Inn. Cortez, CO: Far View Lodge, Mesa Verde National Park. Durango, CO: The Strater Hotel. Farmington, NM: Irish Cantina, Los Hermanitos. Mexican Hat, UT: Old Bridge Grill Café, San Juan Inn. Oljato-Monument Valley, UT: Goulding’s Lodge, The View Hotel.

A tour of Cochise County should include a visit to Bisbee’s famous “Gulch,” (far left), Tombstone’s Boot Hill Graveyard & Gift Shop (left) and Willcox’s Chiricahua Regional Museum (below). – PHOTO OF BISBEE COURTESY COCHISE COUNTY TOURISM/ PHOTO OF CHIRICAHUA REGIONAL MUSEUM COURTESY SULPHUR SPRINGS HISTORICAL SOCIETY –

Lodging & Restaurants Bisbee: Neariah’s Mexican Restaurant. Douglas: Gadsden Hotel. Tombstone: Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, Crystal Palace Saloon, Landmark Lookout Lodge, Tombstone Monument Ranch, Virgil’s Corner Bed & Breakfast. Willcox: Big Tex BBQ Restaurant.

South Dakota’s Black Hills

Arizona’s Cochise County As large as Rhode Island and Connecticut combined, Cochise County in southeastern Arizona is named after the Apache leader. The Chiricahua, Dragoon and Whetstone mountain ranges bound desert and semi-arid grasslands. Coronado searched here in 1540 for the Seven Cities of Gold. In 1821, it became part of Mexico when it won its independence. The 1853 Gadsden Purchase ceded it to the United States. Led by Cochise, Mangas Coloradas, Victorio and Geronimo, the Apaches contested American encroachment on the land they’d claimed, and fought the U.S. Army from 1849 through 1886. Cochise County was lawless in the 1880s with rustling, holdups and murder. In 1877, Ed Schieffelin prospected east of the San Pedro River. Friends said the only rock he would find was his own tombstone. He found silver ore and named the mining district Tombstone and the new boomtown received the same name. Here, the Clantons and McLaurys feuded with the Earps and Doc Holliday, erupting in a gunfight near the O.K. Corral. Tour Bisbee’s underground Copper Queen Mine. Watch Tombstone’s gunfight at the O.K. Corral re-enactment, wander

through its courthouse, examine the Bird Cage Theater’s artifacts. Visit frontier army posts, the museum at still-active Fort Huachuca built in 1877, near Sierra Vista, or hike to Fort Bowie’s ruins built in 1862, near Willcox.

The Black Hills of South Dakota, sacred to the Lakota people and other plains tribes, rise from the prairie a dark island of rugged pine-covered mountains. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty guaranteed territory including the Black Hills exclusively for Indians, calling it the Great Sioux Reservation. In 1874, Lt.-Col. George Custer’s Black Hills expedition discovered gold, launching a gold rush. Deadwood and other lawless mining camps flourished while highwaymen robbed stagecoaches and vigilante justice prevailed. Law and order was established as the hills rapidly became settled.

Guide to Cochise County Plan Your Visit @ Places to Visit Benson: San Pedro Valley Arts & Historical Society, Singing Wind Bookshop. Bisbee: Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum. Douglas: Slaughter Ranch. Tombstone: Boothill Graveyard & Gift Shop, O.K. Corral and Historama, Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. Willcox: Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum & Cowboy Hall of Fame, Chiricahua Regional Museum & Research Center.

A week touring South Dakota’s Black Hills’ historic sites, monuments and natural wonders should include a driving tour on Custer State Park’s scenic Wildlife Loop to see the buffalo herd.




Guide to the Black Hills

Built in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Harney Peak Fire Tower on Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak) provides panoramic views of the Black Hills. The summit can be reached by a scenic, strenuous 3.5-mile hike from the Sylvan Lake Day Use Area.

Today, enjoy the natural wonders of Custer State Park viewing free-roaming buffalo herds and other wildlife. Hike Black Elk (formerly Harney) Peak, the highest point east of the Rockies. Ride the 1880 train to enjoy the scenery between Hill City and Keystone. Roam the streets of Deadwood, where Wild Bill met his demise and Calamity

Jane went on sprees, and visit their graves at Mount Moriah Cemetery. Don’t pass up Mount Rushmore, Shrine of Democracy and Crazy Horse Mountain’s extensive Indian artifact display. Drive through Spearfish Canyon, site of Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves’ final scenes. Above all, find a solitary trail and walk in the forest.


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Plan Your Visit @ Places to Visit Crazy Horse: Crazy Horse Memorial. Custer: Custer State Park. Deadwood: Adams Museum, Days of 76 Museum, Mount Moriah Cemetery. Hermosa: 777 Bison Ranch. Hill City: 1880 Train/Black Hills Central Railroad, South Dakota State Railroad Museum. Hot Springs: Wind Cave National Park. Keystone: Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. Lead: Black Hills Mining Museum. Lodging & Restaurants Cheyenne Crossing: Wickiup Cabins, Stage Stop Café. Custer: Black Hills Burger and Bun, Custer State Park. Deadwood: The Bullock Hotel, Oyster Bay, Saloon #10, Pump House. Hill City: Alpine Inn, Desperados Cowboy Restaurant. Lead: Spearfish Canyon Lodge, Latch String Inn, Stampmill Restaurant & Saloon.

Texas’s Hill Country Central Texas’s Hill Country varies from rolling grasslands to oak forests, bisected by canyons, and refreshed with springs. Bluebonnets, Texas’s state flower, abound during springtime. Apaches lived here when Spanish explorers entered in the 1700s and Comanches later swept in claiming the Hills. Texas became a Mexican province in 1821 as Americans began settling Hill Country. Texas rebelled in 1835, and in 1836, Santa Anna, Mexico’s president, led an army in killing all Texan defenders in the Alamo, an old San Antonio mission. Their sacrifice bought time for Texas to win independence. In 1839, Austin was established as Texas’s capital in the Hill Country and later became a Chisholm Trail destination. A large German population settled in the Hill County beginning in the

1840s. Comanche raids ended in the late1870s and small farms and ranches thrived. Hone your horsemanship in Kerrville and Bandera, “Cowboy Capital of the World,” stay at a guest ranch, eat a chuck wagon dinner, enjoy a rodeo, or saunter into a honkytonk. View the Y.O. Ranch buffalo herd. Immerse yourself in New Braunfels and

San Antonio’s Battle of Flowers Parade, is part of the month-long Fiesta San Antonio celebration that started in 1891 to honor the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. – COURTESY THE LYDA HILL TEXAS COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS IN CAROL M. HIGHSMITH’S AMERICA PROJECT, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –




Guide to the Texas Hill Country

Visitors to Texas’s Hill Country will discover opportunities to experience first-hand the region’s cowboy culture, including trail riding at one of the many guest ranches near Bandera (above). – COURTESY BANDERA CVB –

Fredericksburg’s German culture. Roam Fort Concho, constructed in 1867. Visit Austin’s Bullock Texas State History Museum. Enter the Alamo in San Antonio and stroll the River Walk. Author Bill Groneman recommends, “When you see Texas Longhorns in the country, take a minute and imagine you are back in the nineteenth century.”

Plan Your Visit @ Places to Visit Austin: Bullock Texas State History Museum, Texas State Capitol. Bandera: Frontier Times Museum. Fredericksburg: Texas Rangers Heritage Center. Kerrville: Museum of Western Art. Llano: Enchanted Rock State Park. New Braunfels Braunfels: Gruene Historic District. San Antonio Antonio: The Alamo, Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, The Witte Museum. Lodging & Restaurants Austin: Driskill Hotel, Franklin Barbecue. Bandera: 11th Street Cowboy Bar, West 1077 Guest Ranch. Fredericksburg: Auslander Biergarten. Llano: Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que. San Antonio: Buckhorn Saloon, Crockett Hotel, La Fonda on Main.

Old West

new adventures National Day of The American Cowboy July 22 Great Western Cattle Trail National Annual Meeting August 4 - 6

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A tour of the Columbia River Gorge must include the The Dalles (right). The original terminus of the Oregon Trail, the historic river town is home to the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, Fort Dalles Museum, Anderson Homestead and Old St. Peter’s Landmark (foreground, right). – THE DALLES AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE –

Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge The Columbia River originates in British Columbia, snaking 1,200 miles southward. Turning west to the Pacific Ocean, it cuts through the Cascades, creating the Columbia River Gorge and forming the Washington/Oregon border. Laced with waterfalls, the gorge is an 80-mile canyon in places 4,000 feet deep. Humans have salmon-fished and traded here thousands of years. Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery canoed the Gorge in 1805 and 1806. American and British fur companies competed here until the Oregon Treaty of 1846 stated it was United States soil. The 1830s and 1840s saw families heading for

Oregon’s Willamette Valley, traversing plains and mountains on the Oregon Trail and reaching the Colombia River Gorge where the Deschutes River enters. They traveled downriver to The Dalles, the end of the wagon trail. There pioneers built rafts to continue downriver, risking treacherous rapids. Later, steamboats plied the Columbia, railroads ran along it, and the government dammed it and built locks.

Camp, hike, horseback ride, tour wineries or book a day-cruise in the Gorge, a National Scenic Area. Interstate 84 runs through the Gorge, but choose a leisurely route on either the Washington or Oregon side. Examine petroglyphs at Columbia Hills Historical Park. Get a bird’s-eye view atop Beacon Rock. Visit Fort Dalles Museum displaying artifacts from the Gorge’s history. Tour the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center.

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Portland is a perfect starting and ending place for a tour of Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge. In the city’s Cultural District, the Oregon Historical Society, decorated with Richard Haas’s mural, The Trompe L’oeil (right), provides a rich introduction to the state’s history. – COURTESY TRAVELPORTLAND.COM –

Guide to the Columbia River Gorge Plan Your Visit @ Places to Visit The Dalles: Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, Fort Dalles Museum and Anderson Homestead. Mt. Hood: Mt. Hood Railroad. Oregon City: End of Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, McLoughlin House, Willamette Falls. Portland: Oregon Historical Society Museum, Oregon Maritime Museum. Troutdale: Historic Columbia River Highway (75 miles to The Dalles), Multnomah Falls. Lodging & Restaurants Corbett: Multnomah Falls Lodge. The Dalles: Baldwin Saloon, Cousin’s Country Inn. Government Camp: Timberline Lodge. Hood River: Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa, Full Sail Brewing Co. Portland: Bridgeport Brewery & Brewpub, Huber’s Café, Jake’s Famous Crawfish, Sentinel Hotel.

Wyoming’s Yellowstone Country Yellowstone Country’s amazing topography is matched only by its abundant wildlife. Ranging from Cody, Wyoming, to Yellowstone National Park through the Teton Mountains and Jackson Hole, Yellowstone Country can be described in one word: spectacular. Shoshoni, Crow, Blackfeet, Bannock and Gros Ventre lived here. Trapper John Colter entered the Yellowstone Park area in 1807. People called it “Colter’s Hell.” The Yellowstone Country became well-known to trappers, including Jim Bridger and Jedediah Smith. After several expeditions Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel in Cody (right), is an ideal place to stay when touring Wyoming’s Yellowstone Country and his namesake city, including the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. T R U E



explored Yellowstone Country, Congress passed legislation in 1872, and President Ulysses Grant signed into law the creation of Yellowstone National Park, and in 1929, Congress created Grand Teton National Park. Buffalo Bill Cody recognized an opportunity and lent his name in partnership with an investor group who founded the town in 1895. Stroll through Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel. Take in the Cody Nite Rodeo. Poke around Old Trail Town’s original buildings. Immerse yourself in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Focus on Yellowstone National Park. Subterranean volcanic activity creates geysers, hot springs, and mud pots. View Old Faithful Geyser, the Falls of the Yellowstone, Monmouth Hot Springs, look for wildlife,

PIONEER TOWN, STEP INTO THE OLD WEST. being cautious of grizzly bears. Hike around Grand Teton National Park’s Jenny Lake. North America’s largest elk herd, 7,500 animals, winter-over at Jackson Hole’s National Elk Refuge. Don’t miss the elk antler arches at Jackson’s Town Square.

Guide to Yellowstone Country Plan Your Visit @ Places to Visit Cody: Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody Dug Up Gun Museum, Old Trail Town, Shoshone National Forest. Jackson: Grand Tetons National Park, Jackson Hole Museum, Teton National Forest. Cody and Jackson: Yellowstone National Park. Lodging & Restaurants Cody: Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel, The Cody Cattle Company, Elephant Head Lodge, Rimrock Dude Ranch. Jackson: Flat Creek Ranch, Jenny Lake Lodge, Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, White Buffalo Club. Moose: Dornan’s and Dornan’s Chuckwagon. Yellowstone National Park: Old Faithful Lodge, Roosevelt Lodge Cabins.


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A Gold Country adventure should include a tour of a replica of the home of famed Gold Rush entertainer Lola Montez. The California Historic Landmark, in Grass Valley, California, houses a museum and the Nevada County Chamber of Commerce. – DENNIS BASHOR, COURTESY GRASS VALLEY CVB –

California’s Gold Country Tectonic forces thrusting California’s Sierra Nevada into massive peaks, created gold-bearing-quartz veins. Eroded gold concentrated in a 120-mile stretch of the western foothills, called The Mother Lode or Gold Country. Indians have lived in California for 10,000 years. Europeans explored its coastline in the 1500s. Spain claimed the Gold Country region as part of Alta California and it became a Mexico territory after the 1821 revolution. In February

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1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo transferred California to the United States. In 1840, Mexico had permitted John Sutter to establish a colony at the Sacramento and American rivers confluence. On January 24, 1848, James Marshall, Sutter’s foreman, found gold in a lumber mill’s tailrace on the American River. The discovery of gold ignited a mass emigration that would reach 300,000 argonauts. Gold fever struck not only Americans, but also wealth-seekers from Mexico, South America, Australia, Europe and China. It was a new dream—free gold for the taking, and nothing like it had ever been seen. A person had the opportunity to become rich, and raucous boomtowns mushroomed to separate the miners from their gold. Step back in time at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. Pan for gold at Marshall Gold

Discovery State Park. While strolling Old Sacramento’s streets, visit California State Railroad Museum, Delta King Riverboat, Wells Fargo History Museum and other historic sites. Immerse yourself in an 1850s gold rush town by touring Columbia State Historic Park.

Guide To Gold Country Plan Your Visit @ Places to Visit Angels Camp: Angels Camp Museum and Carriage House. Coloma: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. Columbia: Columbia State Historic Park. Grass Valley: Empire Mine State Historic Park, North Star Powerhouse Museum. Nevada City: Bourn House, Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. Placerville: Hangtown’s Gold Bug Park. Sacramento: California State Capitol, Old Town Sacramento, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park.

For three days, August 4-6, 2017, the town of Lincoln, New Mexico, will hold its largest annual event: Old Lincoln Days and the pageant, The Last Escape of Billy the Kid. – GARY COZZENS, COURTESY LINCOLN HISTORIC SITE –

Lodging & Restaurants Angels Camp: Angels Creek Café. Coloma: Coloma Club. Columbia: City Hotel, Columbia Candy Kitchen, What Cheer Saloon. Grass Valley: Golden Gate Saloon, Pine Street Burgers. Nevada City: Broad Street Inn. Placerville: Cary House Hotel, Heyday Café. Sacramento: Delta King Hotel, Pilothouse Restaurant, River City Saloon, Old Town Sacramento.

New Mexico’s Lincoln County Larger than the state of Delaware, New Mexico’s Lincoln County covers varied topography, from rangeland to mountains. Apaches, Utes and Comanches ranged here. Sparsely settled by Mexicans, it passed into

American hands in 1848. Ranching outfits began using the rangeland as Lincoln, the county seat, prospered. Ranchers and businessmen vied for lucrative cattle contracts. Confrontations escalated between ranchers Alexander McSween and John Tunstall and Lincoln merchants John Riley and Jimmy Dolan known as “The House,” resulting in Tunstall’s murder by The House in February 1878. Seeking revenge, Tunstall employee Billy the Kid started killing the murderers—the beginning of the Lincoln County War.

Drive the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway starting at its visitors center in Ruidoso Downs. While there, tour the Hubbard Museum of the American West and the Ruidoso River Museum, which displays Pat Garrett’s badge and gun. Walk the streets of Lincoln where Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett trod. Explore its 17 historic structures including Lincoln County Courthouse, where Billy made his bloody escape. Visit during Old Lincoln Days in August as re-enactors re-create Lincoln’s past. Tour Fort Stanton built in 1855 to control the Mescalero Apaches.

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Travelers to Nevada’s historically rich Comstock Country should tour Genoa, which claims to be the oldest town in Nevada—as does its mining town neighbor Dayton— and enjoy a hearty respite at the Genoa Bar, the state’s oldest saloon. – COURTESY NEVADATOURISM –

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Guide to Comstock Country Plan Your Visit @ Places to Visit Carson City: Governor’s Mansion, Nevada State Capitol Building, Nevada State Museum, Nevada State Railroad Museum. Dayton: Dayton Museum, Dayton State Park. Genoa: Genoa Courthouse Museum, Mormon Station State Park. Virginia City: Comstock History Center, Mark Twain Museum of Memories, Piper’s Opera House, Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Lodging & Restaurants: Carson City: Corley Ranch, Duke’s Steakhouse. Dayton: Roadrunner Café. Genoa: Genoa Bar & Saloon, 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs & Spa. Virginia City: Gold Hill Hotel, Red Dog Saloon, Virginia City Inn.

Nebraska’s Sand Hills Nebraska’s Sand Hills appear foreboding. Massive dunes frozen in time, an endless sea of grass, they cover a fourth of Nebraska bounded on the south by the North Platte River. Windblown sand formed the Sand Hills 5,000 years ago, and grass stabilized them 1,500 years ago. The Ogallala aquifer lies shallow beneath the surface, exposing itself as lakes and wetlands. Rivers run through the Hills— the Niobrara, Snake, Loup and Dismal. Sandhill cranes and other wildlife thrive. Plains tribes including the Lakotas hunted buffalo here. Settlers ignored the Sand Hills, thinking they were useless for agriculture until the 1870s, when ranchers began grazing cattle.

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A drive across Nebraska’s Sand Hills should include a tour of Scotts Bluff National Monument (above), near the towns of Scottsbluff and Gering, and a weekend at Fort Robinson State Park, site of the Crazy Horse Marker (right) in Crawford. – PHOTO OF SCOTTS BLUFF COURTESY NEBRASKA TOURISM/PHOTO OF CRAZY HORSE MARKER BY CHAD COPPESS –




Leave the beaten path and take Nebraska Route 2, Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway, 272 miles between Grand Island and Alliance. Visit Grand Island’s Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer and explore its 1890s town. Stop at Custer County’s Museum in Broken Bow. Explore nineteen historic buildings at Dobby’s Frontier Town in Alliance. Learn about the early fur trappers at the Museum of the Fur Trade, near Chadron, the site of James Bordeaux’s trading post established in 1837. Visit Fort Robinson near Crawford, built in 1874, where Dull Knife’s Northern Cheyenne people were interned. Here, Crazy Horse surrendered and was killed. Step back in time at Fort Hartsuff near Burwell. Built in 1874, the fort is well preserved.

Guide to the Sand Hills Plan Your Visit @ Places to Visit Alliance: Knight Museum and Sandhills Center. Broken Bow: Custer County Museum. Burwell: Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park. Chadron: Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, Museum of the Fur Trade. Crawford: Fort Robinson State Park. Grand Island: Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. Scottsbluff/Gering: Scotts Bluff National Monument. w Ogallala: Boothill Cemetery, Front Street. Valentine: Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, Niobrara National Scenic River. Lodging & Restaurants Alliance: Ken and Dales. Burwell: Rowse’s 1+1 Ranch. Chadron: Helen’s Pancake & Steak House, Olde Main Street Inn. Crawford: Drifters Cookshack at High Plains Homestead, Fort Robinson State Park Lodge. Mullen: Double R Guest Ranch. Valentine: The Bunkhouse Restaurant & Saloon, Heartland Elk Guest Ranch. Bill Markley author of Deadwood Dead Men, thanks his crack team of travel advisors: Stuart Rosebrook, Doug Hocking, Rod Timanus, Guy Brunt, Bill Groneman, Mike Pellerzi, Dave Pfahler, Chris Markley, Monty McCord, Chris Enss and Chad Coppess.



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F O R J U LY 2 0 1 7

25TH ANNIVERSARY PERFORMANCE OF SALADO LEGENDS Salado, TX, July 22-29 & Aug. 5: Discover Old West history under the stars at the Tablerock Amphitheatre in an epic drama chosen by the Library of Congress as a “Local Legacy.” 254-947-9205 •



VIEJO PUEBLO GHOST RIDES San Elizario, TX, July 1: Uncover the hidden secrets of the Wild West with a ride through historic San Elizario’s creepiest sites. 915-206-8723

OREGON TRAIL DAYS Gering, NE, July 13-16: Celebrates the pioneers who settled western Nebraska via a kickoff barbecue, old-fashioned parades and live music. 308-632-2133 •



PAYSON BOOK FESTIVAL Payson, AZ, July 22: Head to this mining town founded in 1882 and meet 70 Arizona authors; fest also offers food, entertainment and door prizes. G UN


TEXAS GUN & KNIFE SHOW Kerrville, TX, July 22-23: Buy new and used guns, knives, gold and silver coins, jewelry, camping gear and military supplies under one roof. 830-285-0575 •


LOGGER DAYS FESTIVAL South Fork, CO, July 14-16: Highlights the skills of lumberjacks who settled the area. Events include: axe throws, wood chopping and pole climb. 719-873-5512 • CONVERGENCE ON SACRED GROUND Lewellen, NE, July 21-23: Historians bring to life Ash Hollow’s American Indians and 1860s pioneers at this Nebraska 150th signature event. 308-289-5552 • NATIONAL COWBOY DAY AT FORT CONCHO San Angelo, TX, July 22: Fort Concho will mark National Cowboy Day with entertainment and programs that highlight the American cowboy. 325-481-2646 •

LONGMIRE DAYS Buffalo, WY, July 7-9: Author Craig Johnson and actors from the hit series Longmire gather to celebrate cowboy culture and Old West heritage. 307-684-5544 •




F O R J U LY 2 0 1 7

FORT STANTON LIVE Fort Stanton, NM, July 8: Civil War and Indian Wars re-enactors put on demonstrations, presentations, a concert and a military ball. 575-354-03411 •

SHOOT-OUT ON WHISKEY ROW Prescott, AZ, July 22 & 23: Head to historic Whiskey Row for frontier gunfight shows, contest contests and Old West entertainment, all hosted by Prescott Regulators & Their Shady Ladies. 928-445-1754 •

LARAMIE JUBILEE DAYS Laramie, WY, July 8-15: Fans of NBC’s Laramie can meet Robert Fuller (right) at this Wyoming history celebration that offers up a kid’s horse show, PRCA rodeo, parade and a carnival. 800-445-5303 • NATIONAL DAY OF THE AMERICAN COWBOY Bandera, TX, July 22-23: Honor cowboys at this dinner and concert under the stars, on the Frontier Times Museum grounds. 830-796-3864• BUFFALO BILL DAYS Golden, CO, July 27-30: Honors the Wild West showman with a “100 Years in Golden” theme parade, concerts and Wild West activities. 303-279-3342 • DODGE CITY DAYS Dodge City, KS, July 27-Aug. 6: Get “into” Dodge for a PRCA rodeo, boot hill bull fry, chuckwagon breakfast and Western art show. 620-227-3119 • M USIC


MOUNTAIN RAILS MUSIC FESTIVAL Alamosa, CO, Weekends in July-September: Take a scenic rid on the Rio Grande train to a mountaintop venue for some live music. 877-726-7245 • BIG HORN MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL Buffalo, WY, July 7-9: Americana, Bluegrass, Folk and Old-Timey tunes will fill the air against a backdrop of the Big Horn Mountains.




PACIFIC NORTHWEST EXPLORER San Francisco, CA, July 30-Aug. 13: Take a tour along the Pacific Ocean, ride the Skunk train, stroll through Victorian-era towns, experience the Cascade range volcanoes and end up in vibrant Seattle, Washington. 877-538-5353 •

GREEN RIVER RENDEZVOUS Pinedale, WY, July 7-10: This 1833 mountain man encampment honors rendezvous culture with fur trade lectures and a pageant. 307-367-4136 •

VIVA BIG BEND MUSIC FESTIVAL Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis & Marathon, TX, July 27-30: More than 50 bands in 10 venues perform Texas music in desert mountain landscapes or against peculiarities such as the Marfa lights. P OWWO W

FIRST PEOPLES POW WOW & DANCE Sheridan, WY, July 12-14: Held on the lawn of the Sheridan Inn, American Indian dancers and drum teams perform traditional ceremonies. ROD E O S

“WORLD’S OLDEST RODEO” Prescott, AZ, Ends July 4: Held since 1888, the self-proclaimed “World’s Oldest Rodeo” features steer roping, bull riding and a parade. 866-407-6336 • GRANGEVILLE BORDER DAYS RODEO Grangeville, ID, July 1-4: Idaho’s oldest rodeo, first held in 1912, offers team roping, barrel and steer riding, and wild horse race competitions. 208-983-1372 • NATIONAL LITTLE BRITCHES RODEO Edmond, OK, July 2-9: Cheer on youth rodeo contestants as they compete to win the roughly $300,000 in awards and college scholarships.

CALGARY STAMPEDE & WESTERN ART SHOW Calgary, Alberta, CA, July 7-16: With roots tracing to 1886, this rodeo boasts concerts, chuckwagon races and nightly stage shows. 800-661-1260 • CATTLEMEN’S DAYS Gunnison, CO, July 7-16: This PRCA rodeo offers horse and livestock shows, a carnival and live cowboy music and poetry. 970-596-0149 • SILVER STATE STAMPEDE Elko, NV, July 13-15: Cowboy entertainment roars to life at this PRCA rodeo featuring ranchstyle bronc riding, a trade show and a dance. 800-248-3556 • SNAKE RIVER STAMPEDE RODEO Nampa, ID, July 18-22: PRCA bull riding, steer wrestling, bareback bronc riding and tie-down roping contests stun crowds. 208-466-8497 • CHIEF JOSEPH DAYS RODEO Joseph, OR, July 25-30: This PRCA rodeo offers traditional American Indian dances, a bucking horse stampede and a friendship feast. 541-432-1015 • NEBRASKA’S BIG RODEO Burwell, NE, July 26-29: This outdoor rodeo brings crowds contests in bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding and calf and team roping. 308-346-5110 •

View Western events on our website.


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20TH ANNUAL PRESCOTT INDIAN ART MARKET Prescott, AZ, July 8-9: Exhibits American Indian weavings, pottery, jewelry and paintings, including Virgil J. Nez’s Power of the West oil, plus offers cultural craft presentations. 928-445-3122 •




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True West is one of the most collectible history magazines in the world. (Back issues have sold for as high as $300!) Collect your favorites now, as the love for history will never go out of date!

Jan-2000 Wild Bill

Aug/Sep-2001 Wild Bill

Aug/Sep-2002 Defeat of Jesse James

Jul-2003 Doc & Wyatt

Dec-2006 Buffalo Gals & Guys

Oct-2006 Tombstone/125th OK Corral

Apr-2011 True Grit/Bridges & Wayne

Aug-2012 Butch and Sundance

Almost Gone!

Almost Gone!

Almost Gone!

Jan-2001 Topless Gunfighter

Almost Gone!

Feb/Mar-2001 Wyatt Earp

Feb-Mar-2003 Guns that won the West

Aug-2004 John Wesley Hardin

Jan-2003 Historical Photos

Jan-2007 Cowboys ae indians

Nov/Dec-2008 Mickey Free

Sep-2009 500 Yrs Before Cowboys

Nov/Dec-2010 Black Warriors of the West

Aug-2013 Tombstone-The Walk Down

Dec-2014 Women Who Left Their Mark

Dec-15 First Mountain Man

Apr-2016 Lonesome Dove

WHILE THEY LAST! Complete Your Collection 2000 o o o o o o o o o o


Jan: Buffalo Bill Mar: Richard Farnsworth May: Samuel Walker Jun: Frontier Half-Bloods Jul: Billy & the Kids Aug: John Wayne Sep: Border Breed Oct: Halloween Issue Nov: Apache Scout Dec: Mountain Men

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Rare Photos Mar: Deadwood/McShane Apr: 77 Sunset Trips May: Trains/Collector’s Edition Jun: Jesus Out West Jul: All Things Cowboy Aug: History of Western Wear Sep: Gambling Oct: Blaze Away/Wyattt Nov/Dec: Gay Western? Killer DVDs

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Mexican Insurgents Mar: Kit Carson Apr: I’ve Been Everywhere, Man May: The Racial Frontier Jun: Playing Sports in the OW Jul/Aug: Dude! Where’s My Ranch? Sep: Indian Yell Oct: Tombstone/125th Ok Corral Nov: Gambling Dec: Buffalo Gals & Guys

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Cowboys Are Indians Mar: Trains/Jim Clark Apr: Western Travel May: Dreamscape Desperado/Billy Jun: Collecting the West/Photos Jul: Man Who Saved The West Aug: Western Media/Best Reads Sep: Endurance Of The Horse Oct: 3:10 To Yuma Nov/Dec: Brad Pitt & Jesse James

o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Pat Garrett/No Country Mar: Who Killed the Train? Apr: Travel/Geronimo May: Who Stole Buffalo Bill’s Home? Jun: The Last Cowboy President? Jul: Secrets of Our Nat’l Parks/Teddy Aug: Kendricks Northern CBs/Photos Sep: Saloons & Stagecoaches



o Jan: Topless Gunfighter o May/Jun: Custer o Jul: Cowboys & Cowtowns

2002 o Aug/Sep: Jesse James o Oct: Billy On The Brain o Nov/Dec: Butch & Sundance

2003 o Jan: 50 Historical Photos o Feb/Mar: 50 Guns o Apr: John Wayne o Spring: Jackalope Creator Dies o May/Jun: Custer Killer o Jul: Doc & Wyatt o Aug/Sep: A General Named Dorothy o Oct: Vera McGinnis o Nov/Dec: Worst Westerns Ever

2004 o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Six Guns Mar: Fakes/Fake Doc April/Travel: Visit the Old West May:Iron Horse/Sacred Dogs Jun: HBO’s Deadwood Jul: 17 Legends Aug: JW Hardin Sep: Wild Bunch Oct: Bill Pickett Nov/Dec: Dale Evans



o Oct: Charlie Russell o Nov/Dec: Mickey Free

2009 o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Border Riders Mar: Poncho Villa Apr: Stagecoach May: Battle For The Alamo Jun: Custer’s Ride To Glory Jul: Am West, Then & Now Aug: Wild West Shows Sep: Vaquero/500 Yrs Before CBs Oct: Capturing Billy Nov/Dec: Chaco Canyon

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Top 10 Western Towns Mar: Trains/Pony Express Apr: OW Destinations/Clint Eastwood May: Legendary Sonny Jim Jun: Extreme Western Adventures Jul: Starvation Trail/AZ Rough Riders Aug: Digging Up Billy the Kid Sep: Classic Rodeo! Oct: Extraordinary Western Art Nov/Dec: Black Warriors of the West

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Sweethearts of the Rodeo Mar: 175th Anniv Battle of the Alamo Apr: Three True Grits May: Historic Ranches Jun: Tin Type Billy Jul: Viva, Outlaw Women! Aug: Was Geronimo A Terrorist? Sep: Western Museums/CBs & Aliens Oct: Hard Targets Nov/Dec: Butch Cassidy is Back

o o o o o o o

Feb: Az Crazy Road to Statehood Mar: Special Entertainment Issue Apr: Riding Shotgun with History May: The Outlaw Cowboys of NM Jun: Wyatt On The Set! July: Deadly Trackers Aug: How Did Butch & Sundance Die?




o o o o

Sep: The Heros of Northfield Oct: Bravest Lawman You Never Nov: Armed & Courageous Dec: Legend of Climax Jim

o o o o o o o o o o o

Jan: Best of the West/John Wayne Feb: Rocky Mountain Rangers Apr: US Marshals May: Texas Rangers Jun: Doc’s Last Gunfight Jul: Comanche Killers! Aug: Tombstone 20th Annv Sep: Ambushed on the Pecos Oct: Outlaws,Lawmen & Gunfighters Nov: Soiled Doves Dec: Cowboy Ground Zero

o o o o o o o o o o o o

Jan: Best 100 Historical Photos Feb: Assn. of Pat Garrett Mar: Stand-up Gunfights Apr: Wyatt Earp Alaska May: Tom Horn Jun: Custer Captured Jul: 50 Historical Gunfighter Photos Aug: Bigfoot Wallace/Train Robberies Sep: New Billy Photo/Top Museums Oct: Charlie Russell/Movie Hats Nov: Wild Bills's Last Gunfight Dec: Olive Oatman-Branded



2015 o Jan: 100 Historical Am. Indian Photos o Feb: Mountain Man-First Survivalists o Mar: Mickey Free/Severed Heads o Apr: Jack Stilwell-Forgotten Scout o May: Armed to Survive o Jun: Billy the Kid-Special Report o Jul: 50 Historical Photos-Panco Villa o Aug: Luke Short-Dodge City War o Sep: Crossing America-Lewis & Clark o Oct: Wyatt Earp in Hollywood o Nov: 22 Guns that Won the West o Dec: The First Mountain Man

See the complete collection of available back issues online at the True West Store! 1-888-687-1881

Wild Bill’s Bad Eyes? Were bounty hunters as despised as most Westerns depict? Jeff Mock Sandy, Utah

I’m sure some bounty hunters weren’t well liked, especially if they were working for the banks or the railroads—both of which were despised by common folks. Plus, some wanted men were pretty popular with the citizenry, who would help hide them from the law and bounty hunters. Keep in mind, though, peace officers or detective agencies, such as Pinkerton’s, or private enterprises, such as Wells, Fargo & Company, more commonly collected bounties than did professional bounty hunters, like the lone wolves we see in the movies. Many town marshals and sheriffs supplemented their meager incomes by collecting bounties. Also, most bounties were for less than $100, not the thousands of dollars one hears about in the movies.

Was “Wild Bill” Hickok’s failing eyesight the result of a venereal disease? David Durost Lancaster, California

If James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok had an eye disease, present-day experts believe that, like many others of his time, he may have suffered from trachoma. Trachoma is often associated with poverty and poor hygiene that allows the bacteria to infect and re-infect eyes; if left untreated, it can cause blindness. In turn, tales have been spun about Hickok having syphilis or gonorrhea. An ophthalmologist told me that going




Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at [emailprotected]


Bounty hunters learned of rewards on Wanted posters, which, like the one shown, bear little resemblance to those depicted in movies and TV shows—they rarely had photos of the culprit. – ALL IMAGES TRUE WEST ARCHIVES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED–

blind from the latter is rare, however, one can go blind from syphilis. Could he have contracted syphilis? Hickok biographer Joseph G. Rosa suggested the gunfighter got a venereal disease from “brief affairs with the Cyprian sisterhood, both in the East and in the West....” Some people don’t believe Hickok had an eye problem. Based on Hickok wearing dark glasses, however, Rosa speculated that the gunfighter could have had an “inflammation of the eyes that made them ‘photophobic’ (quite sensitive to light) is possible that he could have [had] attacks that seemed to blind him— and still have good vision between them.” Bottom line: Whether Hickok had VD is pure speculation. Somewhat like when George Washington’s father asked him if he cut down that cherry tree. Little George replied, “Father, I cannot tell a lie. Maybe I did, and maybe I didn’t.”

Who established the first commercial brewery in the early West? Emilie Harris La Quinta, California

Coors in Golden, Colorado Territory, was the first in the West.

Coors drinkers will be proud to know that this brewery was the first in the West. Shown here is the Coors logo from 1884.

The first known brewery in the New World was established in 1612 in what is today’s Manhattan in New York. German David Yuengling started the oldest-operating brewery in the U.S. in 1829 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. An explosion of suds followed, in Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee, during the 1840s. Best Brewing (Pabst) was the first, followed by Blatz, Schlitz and Miller. In 1860, a German soap maker in St. Louis, Missouri, Eberhard Anheuser, bought a struggling brewery that would eventually be run by his son-in-law, Adolphus Busch. In 1876, that company, Anheuser-Busch, began brewing a style of beer, Bohemian lager, popular in Europe that it named after the city of Budweis. Budweiser became the first national brand of beer, largely because Anheuser-Busch was the first American brewer to distribute beer on refrigerated railcars. Finally, in 1873, German immigrants Adolph Coors and Jacob Schueler began brewing a Pilsner-style beer after buying a recipe from Czech immigrant William Silhan. In 1880, Coors bought out Schueler and became the sole owner. Starting with an initial investment of $20,000, Coors today has the largest single-site brewery in the world.

How often were post offices robbed on the frontier? Gerald Jantzen Okeene, Oklahoma

Robbing a post office wasn’t common in the Old West—although some stores that doubled as mail stations got hit more often. Robbers frequently hit stagecoaches or trains carrying mail pouches, since those often transported cash or bank notes. Yes, back in those days, people actually sent money in the mail.

The Wild Bunch often hung out at Fannie Porter’s bordello in Texas. Where was it? Movies say Fort Worth or San Antonio. Terry Priddy Pipe Creek, Texas

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid biographer Daniel Buck says Fannie Porter was based in San Antonio, Texas. Mary Porter ran a house of ill repute in Fort Worth, which is why some movies get the locale confused.

the Raised onoad MotheR R

Related to Outlaws My mother hated it when I would proudly tell everyone we were related to outlaws, like “Black Jack” Ketchum, John Wesley Hardin and “Big Foot” Wallace. At the time I couldn’t understand why, but since then I have learned that a typical Westerner will punch you in the mouth if you call his daddy a crook, but he will puff out a little when telling you about his grandfather being an outlaw.

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Texas Madam Fannie Porter made a small fortune hiding outlaws. Pinkerton detectives suspected that the Sundance Kid’s girlfriend Etta Place had worked at Porter’s brothel, but could never prove it.

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– CourTeSy LiBrAry oF CongreSS –

t r u e


w e st


Bob Love recommends two Tombstone tomes for your bookshelf: for nonfiction, And Die in the West, by Paula Mitchell Marks, and for fiction, Doc, by Mary Doria Russell.

My father, Harold, did his best to make Tombstone a destination tourism site in Arizona, the “Williamsburg of the West.” He worked to preserve and restore many of Tombstone’s most important landmarks, including Schieffelin Hall, the Crystal Palace Saloon, Fly’s Photographic Gallery and the O.K. Corral (which had gone bankrupt). He also took over The Tombstone Epitaph newspaper after its editor was killed in a plane crash, thus keeping alive what is now Arizona’s oldest, continuously published newspaper. The problem with Tombstone politics is that infighting hampers tourism promotion and growth.

The most recent controversy is that Tombstone’s mayor just banned all the hawkers from Allen Street and is again rewriting the hawking regulations.

People don’t realize what it takes to run a small business, particularly one focused on Old West history, in a small town like Tombstone, where many museums have been forced to close over the years.

Wyatt Earp is an example of a man who outlived his times. Most folks don’t know that since “Doc” Holliday was rooming in Fly’s Photographic Gallery and Boarding House, the Cowboys may have been gathering in the vacant lot next door, just before the Gunfight Behind the O.K. Corral, in the hopes of confronting Doc. The problem with the C.S. Fly photos is many of the portraits stamped “Fly’s Photographic Gallery” were taken by his wife, Mollie, and not by him. Mollie continued to run the gallery for years after they separated in 1887.

The Fly photo I am most proud of is of Apache May (inset), the Indian baby John Slaughter literally picked up and took home. Slaughter brought her to Tombstone to show her off and have Fly take her portrait. She burned to death at age five. My mother always said to value the strong role that women played in keeping Tombstone alive during its boom and bust cycles—from Nellie Cashman to Mollie Fly to “Big Nose” Kate.

History has taught me that historical events like the Gunfight Behind the O.K. Corral are much more complicated and much less random than they first appear.

Wish I had a nickel for every time someone said, “I’m your Huckleberry.”




BOB LOVE, O.K. CORRAL OWNER Raised in Detroit, Michigan, and retired from teaching at the American University in Washington, D.C., Bob Love found himself linked to the West’s most storied locale, Tombstone, Arizona, when his father, Harold, with other investors, purchased the O.K. Corral in 1963. As the owner of the gunfight site, Bob works hard to respect the past, while also trying to appeal to a generation brought up on Facebook and cellphones. Like his father before him, Bob has a hand in helping keep Tombstone’s frontier history alive, whether he’s watching out for the fate of The Tombstone Epitaph newspaper or ensuring his family businesses maintain historical accuracy.

The simple story of the O.K. Corral’s 1881 gunfight is not so simple. It involved politics, romance, stage robberies, cattle rustling, horse and mule thefts, gun laws, capitalism and even the Civil War.

The best movie about Tombstone is 1993’s Tombstone—it’s full of memorable lines, it’s funny, and it’s relatively historically accurate—and it’s available on Blu-ray! The next four years will determine whether Tombstone can increase the number of visitors, or whether tourism will gradually die as the generation that was brought up on TV Westerns passes away.

Tombstone should emphasize its authenticity rather than confuse visitors by mixing authentic buildings and incidents with Hollywood imitations. The truth is harder to market than fictions that correspond with the expectations of the listener, even though the truth is often more interesting.





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