Archive for August, 2010

Those Early Days in the Black Hills

August 14, 2010


Those of Early Days, and the Brave Men Who Defended Them.


The Old Deadwood Coach and the Fortunes It Carried.


Thrilling Episodes on the Dakota Frontier in the Early Seventies.

One night recently at the St. Nicholas I met a man who one time took a ride over several miles of rugged road on the Black Hills treasure coach, and, while seated beside old Buck Henchcliff, the sinewy driver, managed to learn considerable about the history of that perilous route and something of the romance of olden times, with which it is tinged to this day.

Since the settlement of the Black Hills region nineteen years ago, it is estimated that about $85,000,000 in gold has been produced, the most of which has been conveyed to the railroad station in coaches along this route from the Black Hills, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. This enormous amount of bullion was entrusted to the custody of the lumbering stage coaches, which were then the only means of transporting the precious metal to a place of shipment. The roads ran through deep ravines, ambushed by thick underbrush and pine forests.

These brave express messengers of the early times, as a matter of course, took their lives in their own hands in dispatching the duties of their work, but were fearless and courageous to a marvelous degree. It is the history of all rugged countries that their products are correspondingly rugged, but not that their acquisitions are always fearless. To be born among the mountains of Tyrol or other elevated places in the north temperate zone means a certain inheritance of nerve, spirit and fearlessness. To such natural causes has been attributed the sustained independence of little Switzerland throughout an age of monarchies and general civilized despotism.

It seemed, however, that it was unnecessary for a man to be born among the Black Hills, infested at the time with hostile bands of Indians, to succeed to the spirit which most accorded with the natural surroundings. These surrounding consisted not only of dangerous mountain-side roads, gulches and the treacherous savages, who at the time were disposed to pick off the head of any white exposed to their range, but, what was much worse, the desperate road agent, lurking along the coach route, ready to murder for the yellow plunder on board. The presence of the Indians was considered a Godsend rather than a great danger for years, in that their occupancy of the desperate country made these more desperate marauding road agents less formidable. In fact, it was not until after the red men had practically abandoned the territory that these robbers came to be a formidable impediment to the exporting of the bullion.

When the Black Hills first startled the world with their veins of gold the owners of mines at once began to speculate as to how their products could be shipped East. Previous to 1877 this region was owned by the Sioux Indians, and the post office department could not establish communications with the towns already existing. In the time between this and the date when congress ratified a treaty with the Sioux chief a few intrepid men were found engaged in the hazardous business of pony express riding, and prominent among these were H.G. Rockfellow, “Colorado” Charley Utter and Herbert Goddard.

These daring fellows earned some distinction riding between Ft. Laramie and Deadwood, and afterward between Red Cloud, Neb., and Deadwood. For this service they were paid 25 cents a letter. Receipts for a single trip often amounted to $1,000.

The transportation of freight and passengers by regular organized companies was not inaugurated until 1876, when a route from Bismarck to Deadwood was opened up.


The first shipment of gold dust was made in 1876, when Seth Bullock and the Wheeler boys pulled out with something like $300,000 in dust, the latter concluding that they were willing to leave with their profits, but the former is still a citizen of Deadwood, for the trip was made without the loss of life to any of the party, which, besides the Wheeler boys and Bullock, consisted of men hired at $25 a day for their services.

A nest of desperadoes, who had been located at various places along the route, made their headquarters in the Hat Creek country, 150 miles south of Deadwood. The vigilantes of the Deadwood district had made it pretty warm for these bandits, but they settled in its region, confident that they were safe from the bloodhounds of the law, as their stamping ground was so remote.

About this time a lady, who is the wife of a prominent citizen of Deadwood, was a passenger on the treasure coach one time when the vehicle was held up by the road agents. She wore at the time a watch, which was a gift, and prized very dearly. This she concealed in her hair, while the male passengers were being searched. Presently the robbers came to her and demanded her money and valuables. These she readily gave, when, alas! the fiend saw the watch in her hair, and reached out and took it.

“Please, Mr. Robber,” supplicated the unfortunate woman, “dear, good, kind-hearted Mr. Robber, give me my precious little watch?” This appeal was more than he could stand, and with a laugh, he returned it with his compliments.

Another hold-up took place in 1878. Realizing that the ordinary Deadwood coach was not sufficiently impervious to the attacks of these road agents, a treasure coach was built to order containing a metal box wherein the gold was locked. This coach was manned by five picked messengers, and for several weeks it went its way unmolested.

One evening in June the coach rattled into Cold Springs with a load of precious metal, $45,000 in gold. The driver and guards, or messengers, were dismounting, when a stable door flew open and a rain of lead greeted them. William Campbell was instantly killed, and a messenger was wounded. Scott Davis, chief of the guards, at once took in the situation, and, slipping down on the other side of the coach, hustled for timber. Getting under cover, he began sending hot shot into the robbers, managing to wound one. In the meantime Big Gene, the driver, was captured by the gang. He was forced to walk in the direction in which Davis had fled, while the robbers kept him between them and Scott. When within speaking distance, he was forced to beg Scott to stop shooting. Scott had no alternative, and hurried away for assistance. Big Gene was then given an ax and ordered to smash in the treasure box, which he did, and the gold was soon in the possession of the robbers.


One of the messengers, at the beginning of the attack, saw that resistance meant death, and feigned death himself, falling over in the coach. So well did he act his part that the role was not discovered, and the plans of the gang’s escape were overheard by him. Big Gene was strapped to the wagon wheel. Previous to the attack the stockkeepers at the station were surprised and bound and gagged, so that no alarm could be given. The names of the robbers were Blackburn, Wall, Brooks, Redhead Mike and Price. The officers of the law immediately got on their trail and never gave up the chase until the last of these five desperadoes had been captured.

The robbers at last became thoroughly organized and instituted an old successful Indian method of alarm. When the treasure coach was well guarded a messenger at one station would fly like the wind on horseback to the next, from which another would carry the news, until it reached the robbers’ rendezvous, and no attack would be made.

Once, at Cheyenne, the bullion that had been placed upon the scales was suddenly missing. A vigorous search found it in a coal pile near by. No arrests were made, and, as so many prominent citizens of the town were thought to be implicated, the matter was hushed up.

After the establishment of safes in Deadwood robbing fell off quite perceptibly. Then came courts, and toughs were collared and hustled to the penitentiary at Fort Madison, Iowa. With the first batch of these criminals, a motley crew, to say the least, Seth Bullock, sheriff of Lawrence county, set out. At a little peaceful station in Iowa, while en route for the pen, a fussy little state senator boarded the train, and would not desist from his inquiries until he had found out the offense for which each man had been sentenced. On receipt of this information the little gentleman asked:

“Will these murderers, when their sentences have expired, be taken back to Deadwood before being liberated?”

“No,” responded Seth, “they will be turned loose in Fort Madison.”

“Great Scott!” ejaculated the little senator, “what a murderous lot to be left in this state. where did they all come from?”

“Where?” repeated the Dakota sheriff. “Why, every d–d one of them came from Iowa!”

The senator had nothing more to say.

The gold from the Black Hills is now molded into bricks and handled by express companies, who hold themselves responsible for all the precious stuff intrusted to their care. The railroad communications are now complete, and very seldom is a shipment of gold bricks disturbed.

St. Paul Daily Globe (St. Paul, Minnesota) May 6, 1895

Sitting Bull

Image from the Orlando Scott Goff Biography on Rootsweb.


The Man Who Succeeded Sitting Bull in Deadwood.

(From the Chicago Times-Herald.)

Curtis Guild, jr., of Boston, accompanying Governor Roosevelt on his Western trip, accidentally heard mentioned one day the name of Seth Bullock. Mr. Guild asked afterward:

“Who is Seth Bullock?”

Mr. Bullock’s own answer to that question is most fitting:

“I am the man who succeeded Sitting Bull in the Deadwood country.”

If you can imagine a sparce, lean man, with the nose of an eagle, the eye of a hawk, the parchment skin of one who knows more of the plains than the pavement, an unwilling tongue, and an indomitable scorn of fear or death, you will have in your mind’s eye the portrait of one of the few survivors of the “original Western pioneers.” Mr. Bullock is unique not alone for what he has been or is, but because in his class he is almost alone in the country which stretches from the Missouri to the basin of the Snake River. He is a man of standing and a property owner of Deadwood, but civilization has taken from him his real occupation, and the days of knight errantry are ended under the skies which arch above the grave of Custer and the chipped monument of “Wild Bill.”

Here is the man who was the first sheriff of Lewis and Clarke county, Montana, a man that every desperado in the Territory laughed at one morning, and the next was fleeing before. Not a talkative man, not a man inclined to boast, sure on the trigger, enduring all things in heat and cold, tireless, relentless friend to all in nature, but friend to few of men.

They quote Seth Bullock as having said once upon a time:

“The only men I like is those that does things.”

And in his vocabulary “doing things” does not consist in following pursuits, in trading and bartering, in capitalizing great corporations or mastering the secrets of “pinching” a dollar. His kind of action was trailing big game, rounding up cattle, mastering wild horses, defying lawbreakers, riding with the mountain wind and defeating the mountain storm. This is the action which calls not only for enormous physical strength and courage, but a moral quality suspected by few novelists, analyzed by still less.

Riding down into Deadwood Gulch, your guide points to a clump of trees. Perhaps he is “Bill” Fraser — “Bill” Fraser, who glibly introduces himself as:

“The original axle grease which greased the way for Seth Bullock to get into this ‘ere town.”

Mr. Fraser waves his hands mildly toward this clump of trees and says:

“That’s where he did it, and over there,” pointing in another direction, “is where he did it again.”

By allowing Mr. Fraser all the time he desires you finally ascertain that the spots are where Mr. Bullock faced the famous road agents, shot them down in their tracks, captured them, and sent some to their just deserts.

“But,” says Mr. Fraser, reassuringly, “Seth wouldn’t hurt anybody what was right. He was just doing his duty.”

Doing one’s duty in primeval ways appears to be the keynote to the character of this silent man, who twenty-five years ago made it possible for a law-abiding man to live in Deadwood without having to fight for his life. What he accomplished was in a quiet way.

“He was the most persuasive man ever in these parts,” says Bill Fraser. You can readily believe that when from well authenticated sources you learn of how he gave the lawless element every opportunity to get away from him, kindly warned them of their danger, left loopholes for them to escape through, but when all these chances were despised and tossed aside, shot down the ringleaders with as little compunction as one would dispose of a worm.

“He would wait until the last minute,” says the irrepressible Bill, “and then he’d sort of shift his and around as though it were jerked lightnin’, and the next thing you knew he was shootin’ — shootin’ to kill. He didn’t miss, he didn’t.”

The “bad” men fled from Lewis and Clarke county after he became sheriff to the Deadwood country and took possession of the mining camps. Deadwood sent for him. In time he came a shadow of a man in physique, but wiry, nervy, enduring. He made himself known in a tone of voice as low and soft as a woman’s. He said he desired the law to be observed. When it wasn’t he proposed to arrest the man who offended or kill him if necessary. In very short order his commands were obeyed. For months and years he stood as the unwritten law of the camps. Things had “to be square” or the malcontents must settle with him. Railroads, Statehood, legislative enactments, pettifogging lawyers, and new population took his occupation from him. There has been nothing left to him but memories.

His idea of humor — the pioneer’s idea of humor — is found in the story he tells of X.Y.Z. Builder. They were building a jail in one of the Montana towns and the new cells were just in position. No prisoners had yet been placed in them.

“One day,” says Mr. Bullock, “X.Y., who was a long-winded story-teller, started out on one of his yarns. He had two or three fellows listening, but one and another left him, until only one was left. This fellow finally quit before the story was ended. X.Y. was mad, but he didn’t say anything. Two or three days later he meets the man who was last listening to him, and he invites him over to look at the new jail. He takes him inside and shows him everything, and finally the fellow steps into one of the new cells. Quick as a flash X.Y. snapped the door on him and he was locked in.

“‘Hi, you,’ say the fellow, ‘let me out.’

“But X.Y. is gone. Pretty soon he comes back with a stool in his hand and his pipe. He sets down, fills his pipe, and makes himself comfortable.

“‘Let me out,’ says the fellow.

“‘No,’ says X.Y. ‘You’re going to stay in there until I get my story finished. You wouldn’t listen the other day. Now you’ve got to.’

He never let the fellow out until the story was all told.”

Seth Bullock is a gentleman to the earth born, but he is lonesome. The great untrammeled sweep of the country once so dear to him is gone. The “fence man” has come in, the summer tourist, the people who gawk and gape at tales of olden days, the men who tremble at the sight of a revolver’s butt and rush for a peace bond if they see its muzzle. This is the order of things, this is commerce rising above the pioneer’s level, but, it is weak, disappointing to the men who once ruled in the country of the Sioux.

There comes to their eyes, as there has come to those of Seth Bullock, the sign of a regret that they too had not passed away when the last tepee was struck on the Rosebud and the Sioux passed from the pages of history to the care of the keepers of legends, fables, and the things that are no more.

The Times (Washington D.C.) Jan 27, 1901


How Seth Bullock Ran for Sheriff and Was Defeated by an Editor.

Spearfish, S.D., March 22. — Capt. Seth Bullock, the famous Black Hills scout, who led the Cowboy brigade at the recent inaugural of President Roosevelt, relates the following incident as being the most vivid of his many early-day experiences in the west:

“Fourteen years ago last fall, while crossing the state of Montana, one morning bright and early I landed in a little mountain town of about three hundred inhabitants. No sooner had I dismounted and tied my horse than a dangerous looking man with a six-shooter in each hand came running down the street. I at once recognized him as Dick Pray, with whom I had scouted in the earlier days.

“Why, Dick,” said I, “what in the world are you trying to do?”

“Do!” he thundered, “I’m going to clean out the editor!”

“Hold on, Dick,” I said, “you’re excited — don’t do that ” just cool off and tell me what is wrong.”

“Wrong!” he shouted — “I ran for police judge here last Tuesday, and the infernal editor defeated me by filling his paper up with lies for the past three months — and now I’m going to fix him!”

“Now Dick, see here, listen — let me tell you — I have had some experience with editors and running for office myself and —”

“The thunder you have — where?” he interrupted.

He was now cooling down, and I began: “Well, Dick, a number of years ago, when I was in Kansas, one election I ran for sheriff. But hardly had I announced my candidacy when the editor of the paper came out and devoted a whole page, issue after issue, to running me down — and among other things he accused me of being the leader of a gang of horse thieves for several years in southwestern Kansas. Naturally, such accusations stirred up quite a sentiment in the public mind against me, so I responded with a lengthy article, in which I denied every charge — and, sir would you believe it — the very next week the editor came back at me again, and he not only reiterated and analyzed all the charges — but he proved them!”

The Norfolk Weekly News-Journal (Norfolk, Nebraska) Mar 24, 1905

Silent Letters

August 11, 2010

Random Rhymes



OF vowels, all — good, better, best —
The loud, round “O!” is noisiest:
The rest have ways more laudable
Because they’re all in AU-d-I-b-l-E.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Oct 27, 1909

Woman Perishes in Fire Saving Her Youngest Child

August 10, 2010

A Brave Mother’s Death.

POTTSVILLE, Pa., November 10. — The residence of John Hepter, at Grantville, Dauphin county, was destroyed by fire last night. Hepter is one of the wealthiest and most influential farmers in the Williamstown valley. He was called from home yesterday, but the other members of the family, consisting of Mrs. Hepter and six children, the eldest not being over thirteen years, retired earlier last night than usual. Mrs. Hepter was awakened by loud crackling flames. Rushing from the bedroom, she beheld the entire lower part of the house enveloped in flames. Returning to the room, she picked up two of the children and succeeded in getting them out. Two more were also saved, but badly burned from passing through the flames. The third trip was less successful, as she was forced to leave the house with only one of the two remaining children, which she placed beyond danger. For the fourth time the brave mother entered the burning building, but before reaching the sixth child, a little girl, the youngest of the family, her escape was cut off. They perished. The charred remains were found locked in each other’s arms.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Nov 18, 1882

NOTE: I checked census records for this family. The closest one I could find was actually HepLer, not HepTer, so perhaps it is a spelling/transcription error by the newspaper.

Fort Sam Houston Fire Department

August 9, 2010

I have been trying to date this photo, which belonged to my grandfather, so I searched the newspaper archives and found a few articles that seem to be from the correct time period.  If anyone has any personal knowledge regarding the fire fighters at Fort Sam Houston during this time period, please leave me a comment. (Click the photo for a larger image.)


Blaze Fighters in Fort Sam Houston Vicinity Now One Unit.

The fire fighting organizations of all army stations located in the vicinity of Fort Sam Houston have been consolidated and Fire Chief Hogan of Camp Travis placed in control of training and operation, according to a general order issued by Maj. Gen. John L. Hines, commanding general of the Eighth Corps area, Friday. Fire departments affected by the order are Fort Sam Houston, Camp Travis, Eighth Corps Area Depot No. 2 and the remount depot.

The consolidation was made in the interests of economy and efficiency, and after October 15 the four units will operate as one fire department insofar as fire prevention and fire fighting is concerned.

None of the personnel or equipment of the various units is to be transferred without the approval of the corps area headquarters however, the order states.

The area which the newly consolidated fire department will have to cover is scattered, extending several miles from the central station at Camp Travis. Up to the present time the department has operated very efficiently, as no destructive fires have ever occurred, with the exception of one warehouse.

The fire department is manned exclusively with soldier firemen, with Chief Hogan, former city fireman, as chief. In addition to keeping a close watch in order to prevent fires, the department keeps the men constantly in training.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) Oct 14, 1921

This photo goes with the one above. I haven’t been able to identify any of the men named here. Here is a list of the names, as best as I can make them out:




New Equipment Here For Camp Travis Fire Department.

Fire-fighting clothes have been received by the three stations comprising the Fire Department at Camp Travis and Fort Sam Houston. they are of canvas lined with fleeced wool and interlined with material that is water proof. There are pants and coat and each fireman will have a suit handy to his cot on retiring at night. The pants are built sailor fashion, designed for speed in donning them rather than for style, and to keep the water off in rainy weather or should the fireman get mixed up with the stream from the hose.

There are three fire houses in the military reservation in charge of Fire Chief Hogan; No. 1 is equipped with an Ahrens Fox Pumper, No. 2 has a Brockway Hosewagon and No. 3 has a 10 valve White pumper.

Most of the buildings in Camp Travis are of frame but an automatic general fire alarm system that extends throughout the entire camp and through Fort Sam Houston coupled with the fact that the fire-fighting apparatus is of the most modern known, makes the risk an extremely light one.

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Nov 8, 1922

This photo in the newspaper looks like it could have been taken about the same time, if not the same day, but none of the names listed on my photo above are listed in the article below, so I can’t be sure.  (Click for larger image.)

Headquarters of the Fort Sam Houston Fire Department, showing part of the officers and men of Wagon Company No. 4, who guard Uncle Sam's huge investment in the Staff Post and Cantonment Garrison. The department on paper is carried as a wagon company. It's chauffeurs rate as horse shoers and other ratings are similar to those in any wagon company. Lieut. Joseph L. Hogan, chief of the Fort Sam Houston Fire Department, a former member of the San Antonio city fire department. Chief Hogan is responsible for the department as far as actual fire fighting is concerned. Lieut. T.J. Weed, fire marshal at Fort Sam Houston, including Camp Stanley. Lieutenant Weed, with Chief Hogan, drew the plan whereby Wagon Company No. 4 was changed bodily into the crack fire-fighting organization it has become. In addition to being fire marshal and responsible for maintenance of discipline in the department Lieutenant Weed is adjutant of the Second Division Trains and holds temporary command of one or two other organizations pending assignment of other officers to them.

PROBABLY the most unique fire fighting organization in the world and certainly in the United States Army is Wagon Company No. 4, which was converted bodily into a crack fire department, but still functions on the organization rolls of the Second Division as a wagon company.

“We must have a well organized fire company,” went out the word from division headquarters.

Lieut. T.J. Weed, Quartermaster Corps, adjutant of the Second Division trains, was given the problem to work out in conjunction with Joseph L. Hogan, then captain in the San Antonio city department, and later chief of the Camp Travis and later of the Fort Sam Houston consolidated departments.

Under the plan arranged by the two Wagon Company No. 4 was converted into the fire company and the former rank of the men involved still stood on organization rolls. But there really is this difference, the sergeant wagon masters really are station chiefs, the corporals, or assistant wagon masters now serve as company clerks, mess sergeants, etc. The chauffeurs of the fire trucks are carried on the company pay rolls as horseshoers.

The personnel of the wagon company today shows many changes from its original roster. The pick of the entire Second Division was given its commander and the result was the gathering of a splendid body of men. Capt. E.A. Fischer first was placed in command, later being succeeded by Capt. Wilbur Elliott, who in turn was succeeded as fire marshal and commander of the company by Lieutenant Weed, who now holds that position in addition to other duties.

Three Assistants on Job.

Fire Chief Hogan is assisted by three other civilians, all of whom are former San Antonio city fire department members and thoroughly conversant with the duties of a fireman and how men should be trained to make first-class firemen of them. They are First Assistant Chief Ed Hogan, a brother of the chief, Second Assistant Chief E. Kirsch, and Third Assistant Chief J.E. Dowdy.

In the enlisted force of the fire department there are three sergeants, three corporals and 84 enlisted men. In order that the men should be satisfied with their new duties and the possible hazards they might be called upon to take in the department, they have been given various specialist ratings which carry with them a slight increase in pay.

Wagon Company No. 4 is one organization which holds no drills, as a whole, and never assembles as a whole. While it maintains company headquarters and a mess, where the men eat, and draw their pay, these are the only two things which bring the men assigned to the various stations to company headquarters. At meal times one piece of apparatus drives up and its crew alights, with the exception of one man, who stands by the apparatus while the others eat hurriedly. After the last man had eaten the truck returns to the house, relieving the other piece which then carries its crew to the mess hall. In this way the firehouses never are left unguarded.

Fire drills of all sorts are given at regular intervals, including hose drills, catching plugs, ladder drills. Occasionally a salvaged building in isolated occasion will be set off, alarm turned in and the firemen will receive the actual practice of combatting flames.

Behind the highly organized fire company stands splendid equipment, including seven pieces of motor apparatus ranging from the Dodge car used by Chief Hogan to a large Ahrens-Fox pumper. These vehicles are supplemented by approximately 40 hand hose reels throughout the cantonment garrison and army post. Altogether the department has about 20,000 feet of standard hose.

Men Always in Watch Towers.

High towers are features of the fire fighting equipment at the  cantonment garrison and at no time is the vigilance of the watchers relaxed. Like the foresters who watch over the great Government preserves, these servants of the Government constantly scan the horizon for smoke or flames. Not along does the responsibility of guarding the cantonment with its millions of dollars worth of fixed property, but the knowledge that within the buildings are many additional millions worth of fine equipment and that much of the housing construction is of flimsy wooden type, adds gravity to the firemen’s duty.

The fire fighters do not confine their activities to Fort Sam Houston as included in the consolidation. Fires anywhere in the vicinity of the cantonment garrison also are considered as imposing duty upon the firemen. They have sent equipment to farm houses beyond the camp limits and successfully combatted flames. Frequently, when the alarm is near the post, they aid the city department with which a reciprocal understanding is maintained. Runs are made as far as Government Hill, at times.

Included in the department are three stations in the cantonment garrison, one at the staff post and one at Camp Stanley.

A modern telegraph fire alarm system is a feature of the equipment of the Fort Sam Houston department. There are direct alarm lines from the camp laundry and camp exchange, both of which are very large and valuable buildings with highly valuable contents. The big warehouses and the hospitals are equipped with automatic alarms which are set off in headquarters station when the temperature of the buildings reaches a certain degree of heat.

All fire alarms are answered by the military police, to patrol the grounds around the threatened building, and by a surgeon with an ambulance, equipped with first aid appliances.

Recreation Rooms Provided.

It would be dull indeed for the firemen were their daily life to consist altogether of duty. Lieutenant Weed therefore had arranged with the assistance of Chief Hogan, for the installation of recreation rooms at each of the fire stations. The equipment will included pool table, game boards, literature of various kinds. A recreation room also will be installed at company headquarters for the tower guards, fire alarm operators and others stationed there.

Both the military and civilian heads of the department are natives of San Antonio.

Lieutenant Weed is a San Antonian. With the exception of a few years during which he has been in the public service, in the army and other branches of the Government, he has spent practically all his life in this city. With the Government he served in construction work on the Panama Canal and in the consular service in Mexico.
Upon the entry of the United States into the World War, Lieutenant Weed was serving in the office of Gen. H.L. Rogers, then Colonel Rogers who later served as Quartermaster General of the Army, but who at that time was serving as Quartermaster of the Old Southern Department. When General Rogers was ordered overseas Lieutenant Weed accompanied him, remaining there for over two years, when he was ordered back to the United States for duty in the office of the Quartermaster General of the Army. He remained there for two years, until ordered to the Second Division.

While overseas Lieutenant Weed rose from the grade of sergeant to that of captain, serving in the latter grade as chief of the administrative division office of the Chief Quartermaster, A.E.F. In Washington he occupied a similar position, and was assigned the additional duty of preparing a history of Quartermaster Operations in Europe, which was completed prior to his transfer here.

Hogan Native of San Antonio.

Chief Hogan is a native of San Antonio, having been born and reared in this city. He spent a number of years in the fire department in San Antonio, where he was promoted successively until he became a station captain. When war was declared he immediately enlisted and later commissioned. Under the fire marshal, Chief Hogan is technically responsible for the efficient operation of the Fort Sam Houston department, while the fire marshal enforces military discipline.

Men on duty with the fire department follow: First Lieut. T.J. Weed, fire marshal; Joseph L. Hogan, fire chief; Ed. J. Hogan, assistant fire chief; J.E. Dowdy, third assistant fire chief.

Station No. 1: First Sgt. W.J. Bailey; P.F.C. Ernt Estes, 1st chauf; P.F.C. Gus J. Clay, 2nd chauf.; P.F.C. Otto E. Karth, 3rd chauf.; P.F.C. Sidney F. Pedigo, P.F.C. Frank D. West, P.F.C. Charles Smith, Pvt. Jesse Baggett, Pvt. Robert E. Hapkins, Pvt. James O. Hill, Pvt. Andrew Karpik, Pvt. Mark H. Earle, Pvt. John Lamont.

Station No. 2: Sergt. Robert Payne, P.F.C. Flint D. Bingham, P.F.C. Charles E. Youngblood, Pvt. George A. Brown, P.F.C. Mark W. Parker, Pvt. Orville G. May, Pvt. George White, Pvt. Herman G. Miller, Pvt. Arthur Fielding, Pvt. William F. Cumming.

Station No. 3: Sergt. Michael T. Mason, P.F.C. Arthur Foley, P.F.C. Luther Waddell, P.F.C. Leonard Deuctcon, Pvt. James J. Gotely, Pvt. Herbert C. Landrum, Pvt. Robert L. Sarran, Pvt. Courney Barker, Pvt. Marion Anderson.

Station No. 4: Tech. Sergt. Tony Huege (attached); Sergt. W.Z. Zapadnik (attached); P.F.C. Eddie Eddyhouse; P.F.C. Carl Hanmann, P.F.C. Carl L. Storey, Pvt. Robert E. Hunt, Pvt. Jack P. Stout, Pvt. Nicholas J. Sassano.

Fire inspector, Chester A. Carter.

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Jan 28, 1923

This article pretty much repeats  a lot of what is in the above article in regards to fire equipment etc.


Joseph L. Hogan Prefers to Direct Army Firemen to Handling City’s Department.

Being chief of Fort Sam Houston’s fire department appeals more to Joseph L. Hogan than does heading the department of San Antonio.

Persistent rumors that Chief Hogan had been tendered the position of head of the city’s fire department, made vacant by the resignation Tuesday of Chief A.J. Goetz, was confirmed Wednesday afternoon, at least to the extent that Chief Hogan admitted that he had been approached tentatively on the subject and had refused to consider a change of positions.

“It would not be proper to say that I had been offered the position,” said Chief Hogan. “However, it is true that I have been approached not alone by one but by several persons to confer with me to ascertain whether, if it were offered me I would take the position of chief of the San Antonio department. It appeared plain to me that if I wanted the position I could get it, but I have refused even to consider leaving the Fort Sam Houston department.

“I may appear strange to some people that I take this attitude, but my reasons are easy to see. In the first place the position I now hold is based on merit alone. I feel fairly sure that so long as I am able to furnish an efficient fire-fighting organization at Fort Sam Houston I can hold it. There is not a great difference in salary, while free medical attention, and other services which I receive in the position as army chief practically make up the difference.

Political Angle Displeases.

“On the other hand, if I go into the city fire department there is first of all to be considered the fact that it is a political appointment and politics is capricious. I might hold that position just as long as I hold this at the fort, but the political angle spoils it from my point of view.”

Chief Hogan announced that he was a strong supporter of J.G. Sarran, now assistant chief and acting chief of the department for appointment.

Chief Hogan was connected with the San Antonio fire department for a period of nine years, joining about the same time as former Chief Goetz until working up from call man to truck captain. While in that position Hogan quit the fire department to become a lieutenant in the army during the war with Germany.

Hogan Has Five Stations.

When it was decided to have a real fire department at Fort Sam Houston, Hogan was chosen chief on his merit and was given charge of training the men of Wagon Company No. 4 was a department. He is responsible for the efficiency of the fire department, while Lieut. T.J. Weed, fire marshal, oversees maintenance of ?_____.

Under the chief at Fort Sam Houston are four fire stations in the Fort Sam Houston area and one at Camp Stanley. In addition to a personnel of non-commissioned officers and privates chosen on a basis of personal merit from various organizations in the garrison, the chief brought with him to the fort’s department three other civilians, all former members of the San Antonio department and thoroughly conversant with how to best drill the men under them as fire-fighters. In addition to the four civilians there are three sergeants, three corporals and 84 enlisted men in the department. Equipment includes seven pieces of apparatus, all motorized, ranging from a Dodge car used by Chief Hogan to a large Fox-Ahrens pumper. Supplementing these are approximately 40 hand reels in all parts of the post and 20,000 feet of standard fire hose.

Under Chief Hogan the efficiency of the fire department is kept at top notch by constant watchfulness and drills.

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 26, 1923

Sol Star – A Picturesque Pioneer

August 7, 2010

Sol Star (Image from Wikepedia)

Sol Star was a friend and business partner of Seth Bullock’s. These two men had a lot in common.  Both were foreign born. Both lived in Montana during the 1870s, and both caught the Black Hills fever and headed for Deadwood. And both men had a hand in civilizing and bringing about the statehood of South Dakota.

The Deadwood S.D. Revealed website has a Sol Star biography written in 1901. NOTE: They give his place of burial as Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Lawrence Co., South Dakota, but he was actually buried in the New Mount Sinai Cemetery in St Louis, Missouri.

The Daily Independent - May 30, 1874


The Daily Independent - Jun 21, 1874

It is fashionable to angle for trout in the Little Blackfoot, and Sol Star, who was out with Gen. Smith and party reports the fish as hungry as Crow Indians — they will bite at anything except a crowbar.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Aug 11, 1874

The Daily Independent - Jan 16, 1875


Auditor Sol Star arrived last evening at the Capital of Montana with bag and baggage, also the archives of the Auditor’s office. See his notice in to-day’s INDEPENDENT.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Mar 2, 1875

The Daily Independent - Mar 5, 1875

Receiver’s Office.

The business of the Helena Land Office has been retarded for some time, owing to the resignation of Mr. Sol Star, and the non-appearance of his successor, Mr. Sheridan. But the office runs smoothly again. Commissioner Burdett has modified the acceptance of Mr. Star’s resignation, and Mr. Star, as ordered, will resume the duties of the office until the arrival and qualification of his successor. We understand it will not interfere with his duties as Auditor. The following is the dispatch:

WASHINGTON, March 25, 1875.

To Sol Star, Esq., Helena, M.T.:

“The acceptance of your resignation has been modified so far as to take effect upon the appointment and qualification of your successor. You will, therefore, continue to act as Receiver until that event.”

S.S. BURDETT, Commissioner

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Mar 27, 1875

Short Stops.

Mr. Sol Star has ordered from the East a large stock of queensware, glassware, wire and willoware, lamps and chandeliers, which he expects to open to the trade about the 1st of June.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Apr 4, 1876

Sol Star and Seth Bullock, on their way to Benton, narrowly escaped drowning in the Little Prickly Pear.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jun 24, 1876

Sol Star & Seth Bullock (Image from


Mr. Sol. Star, who had shipped a large invoice of queensware to Helena and designed opening a store, has taken the Black Hills fever, shipped his goods back from Benton to Bismarck, and designed starting to-day for Deadwood City. Sorry you are going, Sol., but good luck to you.

Butte Miner (Butte, Montana) Jul 8, 1876


Sol Star has gone East by way of the river.

Seth Bullock left yesterday for Dakota Territory. He will be absent several weeks.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jul 8, 1876

You can read about Sol and Seth’s arrival at Deadwood (Google book link)  in the 1899  book,  The Black Hills, by Annie D. Tallent.

Lincoln Territory.

Delegates representing all the interests and localities in the Black Hills, assembled in convention at Deadwood on the 21st ult. and adopted a memorial to Congress setting forth the wants and necessities of the people. We notice that our former townsman, Sol Star, was appointed one of the Committee on Organization, and W.H. Claggett, late of Deer Lodge, one of the Committee on Resolution.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) May 8, 1877

Implicated in Star Route Frauds.

WASHINGTON, September 28. — President Arthur to-day directed the removal of Sol Star, postmaster at Deadwood, D.T., for confessed complicity with the Star route contractors in defrauding the Postoffice Department.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Sep 30, 1881

Sol. Star.

Sol. Star denounces through the columns of the Black Hills Pioneer, the statement emanating, as he supposed, from one Pursy, to the effect that he had confessed complicity in the Star route frauds. He says that such statements are unqualifiedly false in every particulas and are malicious slanders and fabrications; that no such confessions were ever made, and that no facts existed on which the alleged confession could be made. Mr. Star was for many years a resident of Helena, and has many friends here who would be glad to learn of his complete vindication.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Oct 11, 1881

Sol Star and the Star Routes.

Mr. Sol Star has been removed from the postmastership at Deadwood on the charge of being complicated in some of the Star Route frauds in Dakota. As Mr. Star is well-known in this territory, being at one time Territorial Auditor, the following, which we clip from the Black Hills Times, concerning his removal, and his letter of explanation, may be fo some interest to our readers. We therefore produce them:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1. — Star, postmaster at Deadwood, removed yesterday, has confessed that for several years past he has made false certificates of star route service between Sidney and Deadwood. His confession exposes the rascality of the star route ring in the northwest.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1. — The action of the president in removing Postmaster Star, of Deadwood, was caused by his revelations concerning the star route in the northwest. For some months past one of the most efficient inspectors of the postoffice department has been secretly investigating the management of the Deadwood postoffice, and when he confronted the postmaster with his proofs the latter confessed.

The telegraph lines have been weighted with reports concerning star-route frauds, in which postmaster Sol Star of this city is proclaimed as being implicated, and as having made a confession to that effect. To those who know the facts it is scarcely necessary to state the report is an unmitigated lie from first to last. He has made no confession of fraud for the best of all reasons — there is no fraud to confess on his part. The confession, so called, we here publish. As will be seen, nothing short of entire malice could constitute this report of facts as a confession of crooked dealing. It is about as much of a confession as an almanac is a confession of the state of the weather:

DEADWOOD, D.T. Sept. 1, 1881.

John B. Furay, Special Agent Postoffice Department:

In reply to your verbal request in relation to the arrival of mails on route 34,156, I beg to state that the record of arrivals as reported by my mail bills was based upon the schedule time given by the contractor, and not the actual time of arrival. The report thus made was not made with any expectation or promise to receive a reward from the contractor, but was done and reported, first, because I believed that if the public was satisfied the government would also be with the arrival of the mails; and second, having so reported for two years last past without hearing any complaint from the department I took it for granted that my view of it was correct. I am now informed that such a report was detrimental to the interest of the government, and that the actual time of arrival, and not the schedule time or near the schedule time, is what was wanted. I desire to state that in my belief arrivals of mails will vary from two to four hours later than as reported, as follows: From July, 1879, to September, 1881, for ten months in the time mentioned, the time of actual arrival will vary from two to four hours per day, and for two months in each year named, say for March and April, 1880, and March and April, 1881, the time from that reported will vary from one to three days too early.

Yours truly,

SOL STAR, Postmaster.

The Daily Miner (Butte, Montana) Oct 11, 1881

The elation of the star route people over a verdict of acquittal from Judge Dundy’s court in Omaha will, it is stated, not avail them in other cases. These cases originated in the confession of the postmaster at Deadwood that he had been giving false certificates of the arrival and departure of mails in order to enable the contractors to draw their full pay, though they had not fulfilled their contract. This confession was obtained by Postoffice Inspector Furay, in an investigation set on foot by himself. There were strong local influences of mail contractors in that region. Monroe Saulsbury, one of the largest mail contractors who lives at Deadwood, prevented an indictment of guilty persons once, but it was finally had. On the trial, however, the Deadwood postmaster refused to testify on the ground that he would criminate himself. The confession in these cases was made last summer by Sol Star, a former resident of this Territory, and led to his removal from the position of postmaster of Deadwood.

The Daily Minor (Butte, Montana) Feb 25, 1882


The Inter Mountain professes to be indignant because the Black Hills Plains says some kind words about Mr. Sol. Star, one of the newly elected aldermen of Deadwood City, and thinks that “such perversity in press and people cannot help the application of Dakota for Statehood.” It is quite likely the thought never entered the head of the Times writer that he was jeopardizing the interests of his Territory when he penned the favorable notice of his townsman, the genial, clever Sol. He may take it all back after seeing the Inter Mountain of the 16th inst., but we don’t believe he will. Now we propose to say a few kind words about Mr. Star even if by so doing we imperil Montana’s prospects of Statehood. But we will state in the outset our firm belief that Mr. Sol. Star is no more a star route thief than the Inter Mountain editor is an angel.

Mr. Star lived many years in Montana and while here he occupied responsible positions both public and private and earned a reputation for intelligence, capability and integrity of character which we are yet to learn he has lost. He served a term as auditor of this Territory and faithfully performed its duties and when he retired from the office he carried with him the confidence and respect of a host of friends. It will be news to those friends and to Mr. Star, himself to learn that he confessed “to the commission of a felony.”

Mr. Star did nothing of the kind. He simply certified as postmaster to the arrival and departure of the mails. Sometimes the mail did not arrive or leave exactly on schedule time, but as is generally usual among nearly all postmasters, where there was not too long a continuance of diversion from schedule time, he made no exceptions in his certification. These, as we understand them, are the simple facts of the case, but the officious, and as the sequel has proved, not over scrupulous Furay preferred charges against him in the interest, it is said, of one of his (Furay) friends. Mr. Star resigned, stood his trial and was acquitted.

If Mr. Star is as guilty as the Inter Mountain would have its readers believe the citizens of Deadwood are certainly a bad lot, for in the face of all this Star route business they have elected him as an Alderman of the city. Our word for it he will make a good one. If he is not the Sol Star of old it is because he has too closely followed the precepts and practices of the Republican party of which, while here, he was an honored and leading member.

The Daily Miner (Butte, Montana) May 18, 1882

If the Inter Mountain has not completely exhausted itself in its endeavor to injure the reputation of an old, well-known and much-esteemed ex-resident of Montana and now a respected citizen of Deadwood, could it not dispose of a portion of its time and space in noticing the Dorseys, Bradys, Howgates and a score of other worthies of the party to which it seems to owe allegiance? It appears to ignore the fact that two of these distinguished Republican luminaries are on trial for swindling the government and that the other is a fugitive from justice. Just for a change from diatribes against Governor Potts, slanderous accusations against Mr. Sol Star and stale editorials from the New York Herald, give us a live article about something else its knows nothing about — for instance the effect which a “dishonest coinage law” and “fraudlent dollars” have upon the business of the country.

The Daily Minor (Butte, Montana) May 19, 1882


Republicans and Democrats Hold Powwows In Their Respective Burgs.

HUDSON, S.D., August 29. — The republican state convention reassembled at 10 o’clock this morning and heard reports of the committee on credentials and organization. Permanent organization was effected by the election of Sol Star as permanent chairman and E.W. Caldwell as secretary with two assistants. Mr. Star made a brief address, and Judge Moody took the platform amid deafening cheers. On behalf of the delegation of Lawrence county he presented the chairman with a tin gavel made from tin taken from the Etta mine in that county. Judge Moody’s speech was very eloquent and was frequently applauded. The convention then adjourned till 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Aug 30, 1889

The Convention Meets.

MITCHELL, Aug. 27. — Convention called to order by C.T. McCoy, chairman, at 2:15….

Sage of Faulk nominated Sol. Star of Deadwood for temporary chairman. He was unanimously elected.

Mr. Star was introduced by the committee and addressed the convention as follows:

Gentlemen of the Convention: On behalf of the Black Hills country, and particularly those residents of Deadwood here, I can but return to you my thanks personally for your grateful acknowledgment of services I have rendered you at a convention of a similar nature and character at the city of Huron a year ago, and to the pledges I have made and services I have rendered. I can only add in addition, that I will endeavor to discharge these duties which devolve upon me as temporary chairman of this orginization without fear or favor…

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Aug 28, 1890

A bill has been introduced at Pierre by Sol Star of the Black Hills, providing for the resubmission of the question of prohibition. It is safe to say it will not pass.

Mitchell Daily Republican (Mitchell, South Dakota) Jan 17, 1890

Mitchell Daily Republican - Jan 28, 1890

The Black Hills Journal website has some interesting tidbits in regards to the history of prohibition in South Dakota,  and mentions Deadwood, specifically.


Sol Star is elected mayor of Deadwood for the eight time.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 6, 1891

Gossip among the Republican delegates in town this afternoon en route to the Aberdeen convention was to the effect that Sol Star of Deadwood was to be pushed to the front on the anti-prohibition issue, and that Judge Moody would be at the head of the Lawrence county delegation. Minnehaha county was claimed for Star, while French of Yankton was thought to be the second choice of the Star men.

Mitchell Daily Republican (Mitchell, South Dakota) Sep 28, 1891

The Hills on Jolley.

Sol Star in the Sioux City Journal: We saw that there was no show, ans so we went for the best man, and that man is Col. Jolley, of Vermillion. He is the very best man that the party could have nominated. He is a worker, thoroughly posted in the needs of the state, an able man and one who will do the state credit at Washington. I think, too, that he will be broad enough to look out for our interests as well as those of his own part of the state. We are satisfied with the nomination and Jolley will get the support of the Hills Republicans.

Mitchell Daily Republican ( Mitchell, South Dakota) Oct 4, 1891

Sol Star was re-elected for the ninth time mayor of Deadwood, by 37 majority. Another republican victory.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 9, 1892

Dec 16, 1892


Mar 6, 1896


Gravestone image posted by afraydknot,  on Find-A-Grave, along with a biography.


Deadwood, S.D., Oct. 19 — Sol Star, picturesque pioneer of the Black Hills, and who, with his partner, Seth Bullock, was among the first to take the Old Black Hills trail from Bismarck to Deadwood, has left on his last, lone, prospecting tour. “If the streets up there are paved with gold, Sol will be right at home,” said one of his old pals.

Sol Star, several times mayor of Deadwood, and one of the best liked of all the old timers, was born in Bavaria in 1840, coming to America at the age of 10, and to Helena, Mont., in 1865. He remained at Helena and Virginia City until 1876, serving as register of the United States land office from 1872 to 1874, and for one year as territorial auditor of Montana. He arrived in Deadwood on Aug. 1, 1876, with Capt. Seth Bullock, who years ago gained fame as a personal friend of Theodore Roosevelt. The Partners picked Deadwood as a good camp. They had a large consignment of goods en route to Helena for them, and upon Bullock’s suggestion this shipment was headed off at Bismarck and brought to Deadwood over the old Black Hills trail.

The trail from Bismarck to the Black Hills was beset with hostile Sioux, angry with the whites because of ignored treaties, and when Bullock and Star reached old Crook City they were compelled to fight a pitched battle with the redskins. Again they encountered the enemy on Big Bottom, but they finally reached Deadwood with their skins and their goods intact. Upon their arrival here they opened a general store, and their partnership in this business continued until 1894. Star was mayor of Deadwood from 1884 to 1893 and from 1895 to 1899. For 19 years he served as clerk of court, and in 1889 he attended the first state convention at Huron, where the enabling act was ratified, and he nominated the first set of officers for the new state of South Dakota. Later he served in both branches of the state legislature.

The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Oct 19, 1917

Seth Bullock – Before Deadwood

August 4, 2010

Main St. - Helena, MT - 1872 (Image from

While I was researching Robert V. Carr, the official poet of Seth Bullock’s Cowboy Brigade, I decided to search “Seth Bullock” to see if  I could find any Carr references. That didn’t turn out to be fruitful in regards to Carr, but I did run across quite a bit more on Seth Bullock. Since I found so many news articles, I typed them up, and  have decided to break them up into at least two separate posts. This first one covers Seth’s time in Montana – before he went to Deadwood. (Updated: 8/11/10)

Attempt to Break Jail.

A well conceived attempt to break jail was frustrated yesterday morning by the vigilance of Sheriff Bullock. It has been known to the Sheriff and his deputy that for several days past the prisoners were preparing to escape, but the keen eye of Bullock had watched their maneuvres, and he and the Under Sheriff have been standing guard, armed with double-barreled shot guns to prevent their escape. The prisoners had succeeded in cutting the iron of the inner door — not quite through, but leaving just sufficient uncut for the door to swing without falling down — and knowing that the outer door is not closed until about 9 o’clock at night, it was their intention to wrench the inner door from its hinges between the hours of 7 and 9 p.m. and effect their escape. Their plans were well laid and their failure is due to the strict guard kept over them.

The master spirit in the attempt was Samuel O. Duster. N.B. Larabee and Wm. Brooks (colored), also inmates, are not supposed to have been very active in the work. It was one of these latter names that informed the Sheriff of what was going on. The Sheriff has decorated the prisoners with his strongest and most approved style of jewelry; and now his slumbers are peaceful. We understand that it is the intention of District Attorney Toole to try this case mutilating or injuring county property to test the validity of the law inflicting punishment in such cases.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Apr 15, 1874

1870 Census - Helena - Seth Bullock


Saturday, May 30, at 10 o’clock.

You will find at the auction sale of Jno. E. McDonald, on Spruce and Dearborn streets, household goods, consisting of parlor, dining-room and kitchen furniture, a handsome marble top bed-room set, with English Brussels and three-ply carpets, cooking and heating stoves, a spring mattrass, a magnificent French clock, a perfect time-keeper, strikes the hours and half-hours, a water-fall, a gold finch taking his regular drinks, and music attached that will soothe a cross baby to sleep; books, magazines, chromos, etc., a Grover & Baker sewing machine, also a top buggy, with a set of gold mounted harness. Sale positive.

dtd-my26     Auctioneer.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) May 26, 1874


Helena Engine Company No. 1.

A special meeting of the above Company will be held in the Engine House on Saturday evening at 8 o’clock to make arrangements for an appropriate celebration of the 4th of July. A full attendance is requested.

By order     SETH BULLOCK,

W.J. AUERBACH, Secy.     Foreman.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) May 29, 1974

Sheriff Bullock started yesterday for Deer Lodge with three prisoners for the penitentiary — Lackland Frazier, Harry Clifford, and Samuel O. Duston, sentenced for one year each.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Jun 7, 1874


Sheriff Bullock, yesterday afternoon, sent a prisoner by the name of Jimmy Phillips, now confined in jail on the charge of petit larceny, after a bucket of water. Noticing that he was gone longer than was necessary, he stepped out of the jail to see what had become of the prisoner. He, however, made his appearance in a moment or two.

Jesse Armitage’s store was near by, and he soon missed some money out of the drawer. He communicated the fact to Sheriff Bullock, who proceeded to search the prisoner, and found it upon him. This may be considered one of the sharpest tricks ever played by a prisoner in this country. While the bucket was being filled he had stepped into the store and robbed the drawer of its contents so quietly and quickly that he was not detected in the act. He then got his bucket of water and returned to the jail. Young Phillips is evidently a hard case, and nothing but iron bars will ever be able to restrain him from taking other people’s property.

The Daily Independent ( Helena, Montana) Jul 3, 1874

Helena Library - not the original (Image from

Here is a link with the history of the Lewis & Clark Library.

Library Festival.

The Helena Library Association will have a festival this evening in the Herald building on Broadway. No pains have been spared by the Committees to make it a pleasant affair. A noble object we trust that it will be well attended.

Committee on Arrangements —
Mrs. W.C. Child, Mrs. J.R. Gilbert, Mrs. E.W. Knight, Mrs. ?.W. Cannon, Mrs. D.A.G. Flowe??ee, Mrs. Dr. L.W. Frary, Mrs. Sam I. Neel, Mrs. Wm Sims, Mrs. A.J. Davidson, Mrs. Jon. McCormick, Mrs. A.J. Smith, Mrs. R.L. McCulloch, Mrs. T.O. Groshon, Mrs. Nick Kessler, Miss Clara Guthrie, Mr. Benj. Stickney, Wm. Nowlan, W.?. Chessman, A.H. Beattie and S.C. Ashby.

Ice Cream Committee —
Miss Lou Gutherie, Miss Mary Pope, Miss Mather, Miss Bailey, Miss Hattie Rumley, Miss Jennie Totten, Miss D. Anchel, Miss Marabel, Julia Coates, Mrs. Mae Bromley, Mr. C.G. Reynolds, Jno. Heldt, Aaron Hershfield, H. Wyttenbach, and Seth Bullock.

NOTE: I am trying to picture Seth Bullock serving ice cream!

I didn’t type all the names listed for the following committees:

Committee on Strawberries — …
Committee on Tables — …
Lemonade Committee — …
Reception Committee — …
Floor Managers — …

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Jul 8, 1874

Helena - Main St. Looking South (Image from

Mardi Gras Hop.

For the benefit of the Helena Library Association, will begin at International Hall, on Broadway, on Tuesday evening, February 9th, 1875.

General Managing Committee —
C. Hedges, D.S. Wade, W.F. Sanders, S. Koenigsberger, Wm Roe, John Kinna, S.H. Crounse, D.C. Corbin, W.C. Child.

Committee on Reception —
A. Sands, T.H. Kleinschmidt, A.M. Holter, R.E. Fisk, Seth Bullock, H.M. Parchen, C.A. Broadwater, W.F. Chadwick, A.J. Simmons.

Committee on Invitation — …
Committee on Music — …
Committee on Supper — …
Committee on Tickets — …
Floor Managers — …

Music will be furnished by Prof. Hewin’s band, and no pains will be spared by the Professor to make the music lively.

The hall will be kept comfortable by a stove at each end.

Tickets will be sold at the door at $2.50 each.

Supper will be served at the St. Louis Hotel, and will be separate and apart from the tickets for the hop.

The Committee on Invitations hereby extend a general invitation to all.

Dancing will commence precisely at 8 1/2 o’clock. Supper will be announced at 11 1/2 o’clock.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Feb 5, 1875

Helena Volunteer Firemen - Seth Bullock (3rd from left)

Image from Deadwood S.D. Revealed


Washington’s Birthday, February 22d, 1875.

For the Benefit of the Fire Department.

Committee of Arrangements —
Seth Bullock, M.M. Chase, Wm. Sims, Henry Klein, A.R. Wright, Ted Sweeney, Joseph Davis, J.P. Woolman.

Committee on Supper and Soliciting — …
Committee on Music — …
Committee on Decoration — …
Committee of Reception — …
Floor Managers — …
Committee on Selling Tickets — …

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Feb 20, 1875


Sheriff Bullock, whose absence from town has been observed more than a week, has been heard from at San Francisco. It is surmised that his visit has some connection with a gentleman who operated here a few years ago as “our wealthy banker,” but whose last days in Helena were passed in the company of a deputy sheriff. It is rumored that the sum of $7,000 has been offered to compromise the case in suit.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Mar 18, 1875

Fred. Shaffer Captured.

Below will be found the dispatches received by Sheriff Bullock yesterday relative to the capture of Shaffer and his companions at Bismarck. These dispatches were sent by mail from Corinne, hence the delay in receiving them. We learn that a requisition will be at once issued, and an officer promptly dispatched to bring the prisoner back, and he will probably be placed upon his trial at the present term of our District Court:

BISMARCK, May 24, 1875. — To Sheriff Bullock: Fred. Shaffer and company were captured here, for the murder of Franz Warl, and lodged, by the Police Court, in the County Jail, as suspicious persons. Send instructions and requisition. Answer at once.

P.M. DAVIS, Police Justice.

BISMARCK, May 25, 1875. — To Sheriff Bullock: Fred. Shaffer is in jail here. Send requisition immediately.


The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Jun 3, 1875

A Visit to the County Jail.

Yesterday afternoon the reporter availed himself of the invitation of Sheriff Bullock to take an inside look at the county jail, and found six prisoners incarcerated there, viz: Jeff. Perkins, of Benton, convicted for assault with intent to murder, and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary; Wm. Flynn and John Stout, both for grand larceny, and sentenced to two years each in the penitentiary; an insane Chinaman, awaiting the order from the Governor for admission to the Asylum. The chief object in view  was to see W.W. Wheatley and W.H. Sterres, convicted of the murder of Franz Warl, and awaiting sentence. They are kept closely locked in their cells and are very comfortable. Wheatley still protests his innocence of the blood of Warl. He claims that Sterres’ testimony, which was so damaging to him, was made in execution of the threat that both Shaffer and Sterres had made to him in case he did not leave town and should inform on them. Wheatley is certainly a weak-minded youth, and entirely devoid of principle. The reporter failed to discover the least redeeming trait in his character. It is said that the divine spark is never extinguished in man, but in his case it is very difficult to imagine it in him. He asked for the news, and as to the popular feeling regarding him, evidently indulging the hope that some degree of evidence might be given to his statement of innocence, strengthened, doubtless, by the recommendation to mercy, attached to the verdict of the jury, who found him guilty of willful and premeditated murder. He is not afraid to die; is only 25 years old; the world has many claims for him. He has a brother in Bismarck. Rev. Mr. Shippen has called twice to see him. He clings tenaciously to the hope that the sentence of death may not be executed upon him; but if he must die he has the consolation of knowing and feeling that he is guiltless of the terrible crime of murder.

William H. Sterres is entirely penitent, and has no hope that he will not be sentenced, and that it may not be carried into execution. He expects to die, and is anxious that his execution may not be long delayed. Shortly after his arrest he sent for Rev. Father Palladino, who visits him almost every day, and has supplied him with religious works to prepare him for baptism, which is to be conferred on him next Monday. Sterres has a wife and child in Sioux City. Conscious of the enormity of the crime for which he is to suffer, he is resigned to offer on the altar of justice the sacrifice of his life as the penalty of the law. The reporter left the jail a sadder man than when he entered it, impressed with the feeling that the sufferings of ta conscience burdened with such a terrible crime must be more acute than a thousand deaths.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Jun 20, 1875

Prickly Pear Creek - Photo by mmerrick

Larger photo and a map can be found on Panoramio.

On the afternoon of the 21st, while Sol Star and Seth Bullock were en route for Benton by private conveyance, and while attempting to ford the Prickly Pear, they met with an accident which nearly resulted in the loss of their lives.

It appears that when their team had reached the middle of the stream, the horses became frightened at some floating brush, and bolted down stream. Below the ford the water was deep and the current swift.

After strenuous efforts they succeeded in getting the horses and buggy out all right, but on the same side of the stream they started in from. The parties and their effects were thoroughly drenched, they retraced their way to Firgus’ ranch for repairs, and proposed to make another attempt next day.


Butte Miner (Butte, Montana) Jun 27, 1876


The One Hundredth National Anniversary.

Names of Officers and Order of Procession.

William F. Wheeler, Chief Marshal of the Day in charge of the procession; Henry Wyttenbach and Charles J.D. Curtis, aids and assistants; Seth Bullock, James M. Ryan, E. Frank, L.P. Sterling, Ben R. Dittes, John O’Meara and E.T. Johnson, Assistant Marshals.

Order of Procession.

In charge of Henry Wyttenbach, Assistant Marshal:
Helena Silver Cornet Band.
Minute Men of 1776.

In charge of Seth Bullock, Assistant Marshal, and the several officers of the Helena fire Department:
The several Fire Engine, Hose and Hook and Ladder companies.
Car of State, in charge of C.M. Travis and is two assistants.

In charge of L.P. Sterling, Assistant Marshal:
Carriages for President of the Day, Chaplain, Orator, Historian, invited guests from abroad; also for Governor and other United States, Territorial and county officials.

In charge of James M. Ryan, Assistant Marshal:
Catholic Benevolent and Total Abstinence Society, and other societies of Irish citizens, under their society officers.

In charge of Dr. E. Frank, Assistant Marshal:
Helena Gesang Verein Harmonia and German citizens,
Montana Lodge No. 1 I.O.O.F., in charge of its officers.

In charge of Capt. John O’Meara, Assistant Marshal:
Base Ball clubs according to seniority of organization, under their respective Captains.
Boys from the schools, under charge of teachers or men appointed by the Principal of the Schools.
Mining delegations and citizens from abroad.
Citizens on foot, in carriages and on horseback.

In charge of E.T. Johnson, Assistant Marshal:
Colored citizens of Montana.

In charge of Ben R. Dittes, Assistant Marshal:
Ancient and Honorable Artillery.
Helena Commandery of Knights Templar, commanded by the Eminent Commander, T.H. Kleinschmidt.

All organizations desiring to join the procession are requested to meet at their several halls or places of rendezvous at 9 o’clock a.m., and to be on the most convenient side street, near the head of main, at precisely half past nine, ready to take their proper place in the procession as the head commences to move down Main street.

All who are not so ready will fall into the rear of the procession as it passes them.

Assistant Marshals will each be held responsible for bringing their respective divisions promptly into line.

The line of march and subsequent proceedings will take place in the published programme. The whole procession will move at 10 o’clock precisely.

Chief Marshal.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jul 2, 1876


The Celebration in Helena.

The Centennial Fourth was ushered in amid the roar of artillery and the merry ringing of bells. The entire population seems to have arisen at an earlier hour than usual, in order to partake to the fullest extent in the ceremonies and rejoicings of the day.

The long procession in its march through the streets was received everywhere with waving flags and encouraging smiles.

The Helena Fire Department was very fully represented and made a very creditable appearance. The two very handsome banners which they used on this occasion for the first time, was the gift of Mrs. L.B. Wells, and the fireman may well be proud of them.

The Car of State was very handsomely decorated.

The Little Continentals attracted general admiration.

The Knights Templar formed one of the most attractive features of the procession.

The members of the Catholic Benevolent and Total Abstinence Society presented a very fine appearance in the parade.

The Continentals were greatly admired and were one of the finest features of the procession.

The colored citizens under the Marshalship of Col. E.T. Johnson, were a prominent feature.

The Gesang Verein Society was a noticeable feature, the members all wearing “chips.”

The Irish citizens turned out in large numbers and the green flag of Erin was universally complimented.

About 12 o’clock the procession reached the Court House where the reading of the Declaration of Independence, the delivery of the Oration and the reading of an address by the Historian of the Day and singing by the Gesang Verein took place.

After dark a torch-light procession moved through all the principal streets and fire-works enlivened Tower Hill.

The celebration was a perfect success and reflected credit on the Committee of Arrangements and the citizens who so generously seconded their efforts to make memorable the celebration of the Centennial birthday of the Great American Republic.

Marshal Wheeler and his efficient aids deserve great credit for the successful manner in which the parade was conducted. Many persons made the remark that Col. Charles J.D. Curtis excelled himself in his splendid horsemanship and graceful carriage.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jul 6, 1876

Attention, Firemen.

All members of the Fire Department are requested to be at the Clore street Engine House at 2:30 p.m. to-day to attend the funeral of Thos. Ewing.

SETH BULLOCK, Chief Engineer.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jul 6, 1876

These last two are later articles, but they refer to Seth’s time in Montana:

A Boom Town in Montana.

Helena Journal.

I call to mind the time when there was a big boom in Billings, and everybody thought they had struck the spot for a second Chicago. Before the railroad reached Billings men came from the Black Hills, where all you could hear was the great boom Billings was having, and what a lively place it was. Seth Bullock, a merchant of the Hills, sent a stock of good to Billings. In a month or two he thought he would ride over and see how his store at Billings was progressing. It was between 300 and 400 miles, and Seth went on horseback. He rode along and was pretty well tired out when he got into the Yellowstone Valley, and about 9 o’clock one night, when he thought he must have gone far enough, he met a man.

“Can you tell me where Billings is?” asked Seth.

“You’re in Billings now,” replied the stranger.

“Am, eh?” said Seth, rather puzzled.

“Well, if that’s the case can you tell me where I can find Seth Bullock’s store.”

“It’s on this street about fifteen miles from here; just keep right straight ahead.”

Seth was about the worst surprised man you ever saw, but he found it pretty near as the stranger had said.

Fort Worth Daily Gazette (Fort Worth, Texas) Jun 12, 1890


Experience of a Montana Sheriff with the Widow.

Ex-Sheriff Seth Bullock of Lawrence county, South Dakota, one of the early Indian fighters of Montana and the Dakotas, was in a reminiscent mood and among other things he told how he was thanked for hanging a man, says the New York Sun. A murder was committed just after he had been elected sheriff, and, as no murderer had even been brought to justice up to that time in the territory Bullock became famous for having captured the first two men charged with such a crime. Said Mr. Bullock:

“I rounded up a white man and a negro who had red hair and a bad reputation. The negro was a barber from Sioux City, and he came to Montana hunting trouble.

“I had the country so well organized at that time that the courts had a chance to try these men. They were convicted and sentenced to be hanged. Taking life by order of the court was a novelty in Helena, and the people gathered by thousands to see see the hanging.

“Shortly before the hour set for the execution the marshal brought me an order from the court granting a stay of execution for thirty days in the case of the negro. I saw that the crowd would probably be disappointed, and might take exceptions to the order of the court, and I swore in a lot of deputies to stand off the trouble I expected. One of my deputies on that occasion was Sam Hauser, who was afterward elected governor of Montana.

“The white man was duly hanged, and when the crowd saw that a man hanged on a scaffold was just as dead as one lynched on a tree they demanded the negro. I had erected a high board fence around the jail and placed my deputies on the inside, and when the crowd began to scale the fence they were met by the deputies with clubs.

“There was a hot time for several minutes, but when the leaders had been clubbed into docility they concluded to let me hang the negro in my own way. There was not a shot fired, and thirty days later the negro followed his white companion on the gallows.

“Some time later I had business in Minneapolis. A good-looking, well-dressed colored woman called on me at the hotel.

“‘Be you Seth Bullock?’ she inquired. I told her I was. ‘You hanged my husband last year, and I want to thank you.’ She had been married to the man in Sioux City and he had treated her brutally.”

Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, Nebraska) Apr 20, 1898

“Poker Joe’s” Ten Commandments

August 4, 2010

Poker Alice and Friends (Image from

“Poker Joe’s” Ten Commandments.

A correspondent writing from Central City, near Deadwood, gives the latest Black Hills version of the Ten Commandments, which have become the common law of the land:

We had to hang a man here the other day. We’d been putting it off on account of lack of time and a bit of sentiment, till the morals of our town had at last become as bad as those of Chicago. In all camps and towns in the Hills there are certain understood things. They form a sort of second Ten Commandments, and read as follows”

1. Thieves and robbers will be driving out of camp, for the first offense — hung for the second.

2. The man who picks a quarrel had better pick up his traps.

3. Men convicted of murder shall be hung on the same day.

4. Passing bogus money will entitle a chap to pass out of town, everybody taking a kick at him as he goes.

5. Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife.

6. Lying should be discouraged.

7. Whack up even on all “finds.”

8. No shirking in an Indian fight.

9. All notes of hand must be paid when due, or down goes the maker.

10. Rebellion against the legal authority of the town, shoves the rebel out and confiscates his claim.

Most any man can live up to these laws and not shed a hair, and the man who doesn’t mean to, will, sooner or later, be choked to death.


Butte Miner (Butte, Montana) Nov 27, 1877


Merriam-Webster Online:

Main Entry: whack up
Function: transitive verb
Date: circa 1893
: to divide into shares

The Schooner, St. Peter Sinks in Lake Ontario

August 3, 2010

The St. Peter Being Towed

Image from The Ship’s Helm website, which has more on the haunted St. Peter.


Toledo, O., Oct. 28. — The three masted schooner St. Peter, a Toledo boat, foundered yesterday seven miles north-west of Sodus, Lake Ontario in twenty fathoms of water. She had 700 tons of hard coal for Toledo. Captain John Griffin is her owner, his wife and the crew of seven were drowned, but Griffin himself was saved. The schooner was built in 1873 at Toledo and was valued at $4,500.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Oct 28, 1898


Schooner St. Peter and Crew Lost on Lake Ontario.

SODUS, N.Y., Oct. 29. — The 3-masted schooner St. Peter of St. Vincent sank about five miles northwest of Sodus on Lake Ontario. Of her crew of 10 Captain John N. Griffin alone escaped. During the forenoon the people at Pultneyville sighted the St. Peter and word was sent to Charlotte and the tug Proctor started with the lifesaving crew. When within a mile of the St. Peter the crew on the Proctor were horrified to see the distressed ship sink. In 10 minutes the tug was cruising about the spot where she went down. Captain Griffin was picked up in an unconscious condition. After spending half an hour looking for the other members of the illfated crew the tug started for Sodus point, where medical assistance was secured for the captain. He is still unconscious, but will recover.

Bismark Daily Tribune (Bismark, North Dakota) Oct 29, 1898