Note: There were two forts called Reno in the early days. One of these was in Wyoming Territory and was referred to as Old Fort Reno.
The first Fort Reno was in Wyoming Territory...
OLD FORT RENO. WYOMING TERRITORY.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 22, 1876.
Cheyenne, W. T., March 17. On the evening of the 15th Mr. Fielding came into Fort Fetterman from the camp at old Fort Reno, having left there on the night of the 13th. He brought letters, etc., from the men of the command. On the 7th General Crook left the main camp at Fort Reno, taking a pack train and fifteen days rations for the cavalry and struck out after some Indians known to be north of that place, since which date nothing has been heard from him. On the way to Reno his command was attacked several times by Indians. One man was wounded but is alive yet. An infantry man is also wounded. There were no other casualties.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 29, 1876.
THE FIRST GUN IS FIRED.
The War with Sitting Bull Commenced.
General Crooks First Engagement.
A Fight Between the Black Hills Miners and the Indians.
[Special Telegram to the Inter-Ocean.]
Cheyenne, W. T., March 22. Captain George Crook of the Third Cavalry, has just arrived here from Old Fort Reno, General Crooks base of supplies. On the 20th a courier arrived at Fort Laramie with the first news from Crook since he left Reno. Crook had an engagement with Sitting Bull on the 15th, near Fort Phil Kearney in which sixteen Indians were killed. General Crook lost two men. Sitting Bull ran off sixty of Crooks pack mules on the night of the 14th. Crook sends Captain Cook here to enlist 500 men to reinforce him. The Captain has already enlisted about 100 men, whom he picked up between here and Fort Laramie on their way to the hills. He has sent them to Crook, and is enlisting large numbers of Black Hillers here.
The following items cover Fort Reno in Indian Territory...
FORT RENO, INDIAN TERRITORY.
[Some Coverage on Fort Sill, Fort Cantonment, and Camp Supply.]
Arkansas City Traveler, May 3, 1876.
Andres Eising, the Indian scout and interpreter, who loafed around the saloons of Wichita during the winter, was arrested on the 12th inst. at Fort Reno, Indian Territory, and will be here in the course of a day or so to appear and answer to the charge of stealing a horse. He stole the horse in the upper end of town some six weeks since, and a saddle and bridle belonging to Sheriff Dunning, then started for that thief harbor, the Territory. He traded the horse for a pony, in Wellington, and was recognized by some of the citizens who had some suspicion that the horse was stolen. J. O. Kincaid has been on his track and captured his man on the above date. Beacon.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 24, 1876.
Contracts are to be let at Fort Leavenworth, on the 10th day of June, for wagon transportation from Caddo to Fort Sill, Indian Territory; Wichita, Kansas, to Fort Reno, I. T.; Dodge City, or Fort Dodge, Kansas, to Camp Supply, I. T.; Dodge City, or Fort Dodge, Kansas, to Fort Elliot, Texas, and a number of other points farther west.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 21, 1876.
Mr. J. A. Stafford left Wichita Agency on the 15th and arrived here on the evening of the 19th, the entire distance being 180 miles, as follows: from the Agency to Fort Reno, on the south side of North Fork Canadian, 40 miles; to Dan Jones Ranche, on the Cimarron, 40 miles; to Skeleton Creek, 35 miles, to Caldwell, 46 miles, to Arkansas City, 35 miles. Mr. Stafford says the trail is almost continually flocked with cattle. Agent Miles succeeded in capturing the Arapaho Indian who murdered Dr. Hollaways son, two years ago, also Big Mouth, chief of the Arapahos, who was implicated in the murder. Buffalo are very numerous on the plains, and can be found as near as twenty-five miles west of the Salt Fork, feeding southwest. The Pawnees were out last week and killed a number. Dan Jones is doing well and making money.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 5, 1876.
Captain Smiths freight train, from Fort Reno, Cheyenne Agency, arrived in Wichita last Friday week. There were fifteen wagons, five of which were loaded with hides and ten with buffalo robes of Arapaho and Cheyenne tanning.
The train left Cheyenne on the 4th inst. We learn from the men with the train that there was almost a collision at the Fort between the Indians and the military on the 9th inst. The military authorities had some time previous arrested six of the chiefs of the Cheyennes, as hostages for the surrender of two braves who had murdered a white man. The Indians approached the Fort with the avowed intention of releasing their head men, and the prospects of a lively battle were, at one time, very good. By judicious action on the part of the commanding officer, the matter was finally settled, by the surrender of the two murderers and the release of the chiefs. The two braves were immediately forwarded to Fort Smith for trial.
[A JOURNEY TO THE INDIAN COUNTRY: BY C. M. SCOTT.]
TRAVELER, FEBRUARY 21, 1877 - FRONT PAGE. And TRAVELER, FEBRUARY 28, 1877 - FRONT PAGE.
Fort Sill, Wichita, Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Cheyenne Agencies.
[PRINTED IN THE INDIANS, VOLUME II, COWLEY COUNTY HISTORY.]
Arkansas City Traveler, May 16, 1877.
Levi Wilson was awarded the contract for supplying corn at Fort Leavenworth, yesterday, at 89 cents per hundred, and oats at $1.18 per hundred.
James E. Fenlon was awarded the contract for corn and oats at Fort Sill, Gibson, and Reno.
Major Adams, Manhattan, the contract for Fort Riley; 94 cents per hundred pounds corn, $1.50 on oats; and an honest granger got the contract for Fort Dodge; delivered at Newton, corn, $1.10.
A. C. Keever, of Topeka, contract for Dodge, oats, $4.65, delivered at Newton.
Some experienced grain men say that some of the bills are very low.
James E. Fenlon, at Ft. Sill, corn $1.41, oats $1.97; at Fort Reno, corn $1.59, oats $1.97; at Fort Reno, corn $1.59, oats $2.47; Fort Gibson, corn $1.27, oats $2.07.
Leavenworth Items, Kansas City Journal.
Winfield Courier, November 29, 1877.
The detachment of United States troops that came up last week in charge of prisoners, left Sunday morning for their station, Fort Reno. Wichita Beacon.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 7, 1878.
J. H. SHERBURNE has taken the contract for furnishing oats at Fort Reno, Indian Territory, from R. C. Haywood.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 14, 1878.
J. H. SHERBURNE has the contract for 8,000 bushels of oats, to be delivered at Fort Reno, Indian Territory, 125 miles from this place. He is paying 15 cents per bushel.
[LETTER FROM C. M. SCOTT: TERRITORY MATTERS.]
Arkansas City Traveler, May 21, 1879.
At your suggestion I will give you a few brief items from the land of the red man, from which I have just returned after three weeks absence, a ride of 600 miles on horseback from Arkansas City to Camp Supply, via way of Cheyenne Agency and Fort Reno, Fort Bennett, and up the North Fork of the Canadian into the Pan Handle of Texas.
All through the northern part of the Territory we met bone hunters gathering buffalo bones for sale at Dodge City and Wichita. They usually take down corn and bring back a load of bones for which they get $7.50 per ton. I dont know what they get for corn, but it retails at $1 per bushel all through the northern part of the Territory and at 2½ cents per pound, or $1.50 per bushel at Camp Supply. We conversed with several owners of large herds of stock that declared their intentions to make Arkansas City their headquarters this fall.
James Steen was on the road with 900 head of ponies, and is probably at Caldwell now. Others were behind him with from one to three hundred head. All horned stock looked a little thin on account of the hard winter, and grass was short for want of rain. Young stockyear-lings and two year oldscould not be bought; there were none for sale but thousands on the range. On our way back we visited the camp of the Patrol Guards and found them active and ready to meet the wayward Cheyennes, but there is none to meet except those that freight from Wichita to the Agency.
The roads were almost lined with immigrants to Harper and Barbour counties, and wild schemers on their way to Leadville.
Deer, elk, turkeys, wolves, and antelope were numerous, but the buffalo were all in New Mexico, and will not be seen within 200 miles of Arkansas City before July or August, when they will range north.
The Indians were all quiet and peaceable, and many of them planting corn and putting up fences. Occasionally a white whiskey seller ventures in, but Agent Miles has the reputation of knowing a rogue at first sight a mile off, so it is not often attempted.
You may wonder that we ever returned under those circumstances; but we did, and found the town improved to such an extent we hardly knew it. Yours, C. M.
[REPORT FROM C. M. SCOTT.]
Arkansas City Traveler, July 23, 1879.
Fourth of July Among the Cheyennes.
Editor Traveler: I chanced to go down at Fort Reno on that glorious day of the independence of the United States, the 4th of July, and was entertained by a scene that is seldom witnessed of parties living in the States.
[ARTICLE IN INDIAN BOOK.]
Arkansas City Traveler, July 23, 1879
FIGHT ON THE MAIN CANADIAN.
Four Robbers Murder Two Men and Wound the Third One.
On the evening of July 2nd, as W. W. Woods, Troy Stockstill, James Henderson, and T. H. Candy were driving up the Shoto valley, a small creek emptying into the Main Canadian, about 18 miles above Johnsons store, and 80 miles from Fort Reno, near where the Chisholm trail crosses the river, they noticed four men riding in a slow lope toward their camp. Mr. Stockstill and Woods were on their horses, and James Henderson was standing in front of the wagon, while the cook and one herder were close by. Candy was with the herd and not in sight.
The men rode up, halted, and remarked: Hello, boys, how are you getting along?
One of the party responded: Slowly.
After taking a glance around, the men all dismounted at once, and drawing their revolvers, the leader said: I guess we will have to arrest you.
That game had been played often in the Territory, to arrest men under pretense of law, and then disarm and rob them, but these men fully understood the movement, and Stockstill said: No, you dont, and drew his pistol and raised his arm to fire. Just then one of the robbers shot him in the side, which caused his horse to turn, and another shot was put in his stomach. The horse than ran with the lifeless body full half a mile, when the corpse fell clear of the saddle to the ground.
Henderson was shot in the heart and dropped dead in his tracks as he stood unarmed before them. Several shots where then fired at the cook as he ran; and also the herder, who was badly wounded in the arm.
At the first shot, Woods horse became unmanageable and ran half a mile with him before he could control him. As soon as he could turn him he made towards camp, when the robbers sent a volley after him from their Winchester rifles, shooting his horse from under him.
As Stockstills horse ran he was shot twice.
The wounded herder was then requested to step out where they could finish him; but he begged so hard for his life that he was allowed to go.
Troy Stockstill was a resident of Medicine Lodge, Barbour County, Kansas, where he had been engaged in raising cattle, and was a gentleman and well-respected citizen. He leaves a wife and six children, the oldest being young ladies of about 17 or 18 years.
James Henderson was a single man, whose parents live in Oskaloosa, Kansas.
This is only one case out of many that are transpiring almost continually in the Territory.
In the section we speak of there are at least forty outlaws from Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, and the state of society is fearful.
Many an officer in search of criminals that have gone into this and other neighborhoods have mysteriously disappeared, and never been heard from, all going to prove that the Territory should be brought into the Union and have competent men and civil laws instead of being a den for desperadoes.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 6, 1879 - Editorial Page.
In about two weeks Wichita will be honored by the presence of five United States Senators, who, as a special committee, will proceed from this point to Fort Reno and the Cheyenne Agency, Indian Territory, to make inquiries into affairs at those points, in pursuance of a resolution passed at the last session. The committee will be accompanied by a stenographer, secretary, sergeant-at-arms, and will consist of Senators Kirkwood, Dawes, Bailey, Plumb and Coke, whom, we presume, may also be accompanied by their wives. The more particular mission of the committee is to investigate the cause and consequences of last years Cheyenne outbreak. The Senators will probably reach Wichita on the 13th or 14th of August. Eagle.
[REPORT FROM C M. SCOTT.]
Arkansas City Traveler, August 27, 1879. Front Page.
EDITOR TRAVELER: It has been about one month since you heard from me, so I write again. You have heard by this time of the murder of the unknown man near Caldwell, at the crossing of the Shawas-caspah, on the road to Wellington. He was shot behind the ear with a small pistol, and then placed in a blanket and rolled in the brush. A freighter, happening to break his wagon tongue, went into the thicket to cut a pole, and discovered the body. No clue to the murderer has yet been found.
Caldwell still keeps improving. It is now incorporated as a city of the third-class, with efficient police force to quell the racket of the cowboy. They had their first show last week, being of a minstrel variety, with Van Kelso, formerly cook of the Central Avenue Hotel at Arkansas City, as one of the chief actors. About fifty Arapahos with wagons from Cheyenne Agency passed through town, on their way to Wichita after freight.
We had occasion to go into the Territory, and after a day and a halfs journey from Caldwell, brought up at Drums cattle ranche, at the mouth of Medicine Lodge Creek, where Prof. Norton used to trade with the Indians many years ago. It had been very dry, but since the rain the grass has sprung up like magic, and this section now is one of the finest grazing regions we have seen in all our travels; the grass is the alkali or buffalo, and very nutritious. Mr. Drum has 2,400 head that he holds with two herders. The wages of herders is $25 per month and board. Most cattle men have abandoned night herding, claiming the stock does better, and it is not necessary except in cases of storms. Major Drums brand is U on the left shoulder. From Medicine Lodge we went to Clay Creek, where we found Mr. Bates, with 900 head of cows and calves, all looking well. He had been compelled to move camp for water, and the rain helped him, so that he can now make a choice of good ground. Mr. Bates is a merchant at Wellington, and leaves the entire care of the cattle to his two men. His brand is a triangle with T attached, placed on the right side of the animal.
From Bates we went to Johnsons on Eagle Chief Creek. The range here had almost been destroyed for want of rain, and had it been much later would have compelled cattle men to keep out of that section entirely. Mr. Johnson has 1,900 head of stock cattle, and 1,600 more coming up the trail. The Kiowas and Comanches raided his herd as he was coming out of Texas last spring and stole 250 head of large cattle. He will endeavor to have the Agent make them pay for it. He has but three herders with the 1,600 head of cattle, and they seem to get along very well. His brand is 5 with a bar across the top, branded on the hip.
Mr. J. W. Short, on one of the western branches of Turkey Creek, just above where the Ellsworth trail crosses, has forty head of three and four year old cattle, which he offers for $14 per head, and 54 yearlings at $8 each. His two year olds he offers for $12. Here is a bargain for someone wanting to engage in stock. The cattle are half Texan and in good order.
Two men attempted to run off forty head of ponies last week, but were pursued by officers and several shots exchanged. The thieves got in the brush on Salt Fork and made their escape without the ponies.
The blacksmith soldier who deserted from Fort Reno, and took a horse with him, was caught at Wellington. He will probably go to the Leavenworth military prison for five years.
The Dodge City Times was mistaken about the Pawnees killing buffalo on Medicine Lodge Creek. There have been none in that region for more than a year. Deer, antelope, turkeys, and wolves are plentiful, with occasionally a stray elk or bear.
In attempting to cross the North Fork of the Canadian River on the 17th inst., while it was full from bank to bank, our horse mired down in the quicksand and left us to make our way to the shore with gun, saddle bags, etc., on our own back. We landed on the military reserve of Fort Cantonment, the new post, and were accosted by the provost guard, to whom we gave little satisfaction, not being in a humor to talk. He informed us that every person had to have a pass to travel through the Territory. We gently hinted that we preferred to talk with the commanding officer, and were escorted to him. Col. Dodge, being absent, we were not recognized by the new official, but was helped out of the dilemma by the appearance of the Post Scout, Amos Chapman, without producing our papers. Covered with mud and soaking with water, with a small arsenal attached to our person, we well might have been taken for almost any kind of a criminal.
The permanent buildings of the new Post are being erected of stone, on a small mound just north of the temporary post, in a more pleasant and healthy location. There are six companies here of the 23rd Infantry, formerly stationed at Fort Leavenworth. During the absence of Col. Dodge, Capt. George M. Randall, of Co. I, has command. The companies are A, C, D, G, I, and K. The balance of the regiment is at Camp Supply.
Mr. Keating, of Leavenworth, is Post Trader, and has a fine store and stock of goods. They have a saw mill, brick yard, one saloon, one blacksmith, and all the necessary tradesmen here. The health of the soldiers has not been very good, and several deaths have occurred during their short stay. About 23 have deserted this spring, and a number caught and brought back who attempted it. Mr. Bigford of Leavenworth has the hay and wood contract, and is paying laborers $25 per month and board. His contract to furnish wood at the Post is $1.00 per cord, and hay at $7 per ton. Corn retails at one dollar per bushel, and is hard to get. The sutlers say they would buy a quantity if it should be brought in. Board at the citizens mess house is $5 per week. At the laborers, $2. There is not much amusement here, during the warm weather. In fact the 23rd is not so apt in making amusements as some other regiments. Yours, C. M.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, December 10, 1879.
Kansas has 78 townships along the Indian Territory, and measures 468 miles long. It has 25 townships east of the 6th principal meridian and 43 west of it. Arkansas City is four miles west of the 97th meridian and 3 ranges or 18 miles east of the 6th principal meridian.
Fort Reno is 130 miles southwest.
Arkansas City is the supply point for 14,342 Indians, besides the U. S. soldiers at different forts, and the cattlemen and cowboys of the Territory. C. M. SCOTT.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 28, 1880.
Fort Reno, Indian Territory, January 18, 1880. Paymaster Broadhead, U. S. A., arrived here on the 15th inst. On the 16th a circular was issued from post headquarters announcing that the troops would be paid on the 17th, commencing at 9 oclock a.m. Promptly at the hour one of these companies was marched to the Adjutants office, but after waiting some time, was marched back without being paid, and it was whispered that something was wrong. Soon the rumors flew thick and fast that the paymaster had been robbed. The amount was variously stated at from $500 to $26,000. No payment was made, and it was evident that something indeed was very much wrong. The telegraph was soon flashing the news to department headquarters at Fort Leavenworth; but none, of course, of the outsiders knew just what was the matter. This morning it is stated by those who are presumed to know that the paymasters safe was robbed of something over $20,000 while in transit from Leavenworth to this place.
It is stated that a board of officers was assembled yesterday, by authority of the Post Commander, Col. Beaumont, to take such measures as were necessary. The aid of our photographer was also invoked, and a number of negatives of the unlucky safe were taken.
There is a general feeling of sympathy for Major Broadhead; but we of the rank and file suppose that he will not be required to make any part of the loss good. Nevertheless, it must result in great and vexatious inconvenience to him. Times.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 7, 1880.
A small detachment of soldiers under command of a corporal came in from Fort Reno last Monday, having in charge a man named McAlister, who is accused of violating the law in selling whiskey to Indians. Dept. Marshal Horn took charge of the prisoner pursuant to an examination before U. S. Commissioner.
[BID OPENING AT FT. LEAVENWORTH.]
Arkansas City Traveler, May 12, 1880.
The following is a list of the bids that were opened in the Chief Quartermasters Department at Ft. Leavenworth on Tuesday, May 4, for supplying the following articles to the government stations in this part of the State and the Indian Territory.
Ft. Supply. WoodL. Chrisman $8.25 per cord; Wm. M. D. Lee, $10.98 for hard wood; M. L. Botts, $7.75; Chas. Rath $8.97.
Ft. Sill. CornT. M. Green, $1.97 per cwt.; H. L. Bickford, $2.16 per cwt.; Joseph Walker $2.12 per cwt.; R. C. Haywood $2.18 per cwt.
Wood. T. M. Green, $7.10 per cord, H. L. Bickford, $6.38 per cord, Joseph Walker, $3.17 per cord.
Fort Reno. CornT. M. Green, $1.79 per cwt.; C. F. Reynolds, $1.35 per cwt. for 150,000 pounds, and $1.47 per cwt. for 225,000; H. L. Bickford, $1.54 per cwt., J. W. Hamilton, $1.56 per cwt.; Wm. Carter, $1.59 per cwt.; Joseph Walker, $2.38 per cwt.; J. C. Frazier, $1.99 per cwt.; Thomas Dixon, $1.69 per cwt.; Theodore Berry, $1.30 per cwt.; J. M. Nellis, $1.46 per cwt.; R. C. Haywood, $1.58 per cwt.; Vincent Crisp, $1.66 per cwt.
Fort Reno. WoodT. M. Green, $6.74 per cord; H. L. Bickford, $5.44 per cord; Joseph Walker, $4.45 per cord; J. C. Frazier, $6.29 per cord; John Hanson, $4.95 per cord.
Cantonment. WoodC. F. Reynolds, $4.38 per cord; H. L. Bickford, $4.38 per cord; J. C. Frazier, $6.29 per cord; Geo. Craig, $3.87 per cord.
Wellington. CornE. Thomas, 74 cents per cwt.; J. W. Hamilton, 79 cents per cwt.; Wm. Carter, 76 cents per cwt.; J. C. Frazier, $1.29 per cwt.; Thos. Dixon, 69 cents per cwt.; and R. C. Haywood, 89 cents per cwt.
The awards will be made known soon. Leavenworth Times.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 19, 1880.
The mail carrier from Fort Reno reports the arrival of the first herd of the drive having reached Wild Horse creek, Indian Territory. The herd consisted of two thousand beeves, all through cattle, and all in excellent condition.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 23, 1880. Editorial Page.
If strangers visiting the Agency would, in compliance with the laws of the Territory, call at the Agents office and procure a pass, much danger and trouble would be avoided. The pass of the Agent is the only one the Indian police will respect. For want of this precaution some arrests have been made which came near resulting in bloodshed.
Mr. J. Morrison, of this place, was awarded the contract for furnishing beef for Fort Reno and Elliott.
Darlington will have a 4th of July celebration. Quite a respectable subscription has been raised for a display at night. Programme not yet made out.
The Agent and the Post commander at Reno joined forces and constructed a lime kiln at the Red Hills, where an abundance of limestone of good quality is found. About 375 bushels of good lime has been made.
The Kiowas and Comanches have challenged the Cheyennes and Arapahos to test the speed of their ponies at a grand race to take place on the 4th of July, at Fort Reno. It seems that the Indians are getting patriotic too.
Now the Caldwell Post has got it: The Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche and Kaw Indians have had a four weeks medicine, which has been pronounced good, and accordingly the Sun dance has been celebrated preparatory to a raid.
It is true that the Cheyennes have been making medicine, that a few of the young men of the Arapahos joined them simply as an act of friendship, probably with a view of winning the heart and hand of some of the fairer damsels of Cheyenne blood. It is also true that some of the Kaw and other Indians visited them during their medicine to smoke ponies and the Kaws took home about forty-five that they had gotten thus. But as to the Sun dance, the Cheyennes know little more of this than a pig does of Latin, it being no part of their religion.
There are a few restless, dissatisfied Cheyennes on the Reservation, but there is no evidence that they really contemplate leaving, while to predict a general outbreak of the Indians here is simply ridiculous.
[STAGE COACH UPSET: ARTICLE BY CALDWELL COMMERCIAL.]
Arkansas City Traveler, September 1, 1880.
A drunken driver upset the stage coach between Skeleton Ranch and Fort Reno, on last Sunday, in which there were several passengers, among them a Mrs. Looney, who was somewhat injured. The whiskey, our informant says, was furnished by the marshal of Wellington. A fine specimen of a law preserving officer he must be to so far forget himself while off duty for a short time as to pour whiskey down a man who has the lives of others in his hands. The stage company promptly discharged the driver, which was right.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 1, 1880.
T. H. B. Ross has the merest luck and the worstest of it of any man on the hill. A couple of weeks ago with a few friends he went down into the Territory to have a little hunt and look around a bitall of which he did, and had arrived at the Cimarron on his return, when he fell in with a party of soldiers, and accepted a very pressing invitation from them to go back to Fort Reno. It was just as well that he did, for he found comfortable quarters until the storm was over, when the line of march north was taken and the party arrived here last Monday. Ross is mad, though, because he didnt corral more soldiers. He only brought up five, but they seemed to take it good naturedly, and Ross let them go as soon as they got to the State line. Caldwell Commercial.
Winfield Courier, December 16, 1880.
The reports from the boomers along the line of the Indian Territory were so conflicting all last week that on Saturday the COURIER sent a reporter to the field of operation to get the facts.
On Monday the boomers began to arrive and go into camp near Arkansas City. Capt. Dave Payne was on hand and in command. He impressed strangers as a large, good looking gentleman not very talkative, but evidently having a strong purpose, which he meant to carry out as effectively as possible without resisting the troops. Beside them were camped about thirty U. S. cavalrymen under Lieut. Mason. Gen. C. H. Smith, of Gen. Popes staff was also present. On Tuesday evening the boomers held a meeting with bonfires and illuminations, and Capt. Payne addressed the assembly in a moderate speech. Mayor W. W. Bloss, of the Chicago Times was present and made a few remarks. A petition to the president was read.
On Thursday the boomers had accumulated to the number of about eighty men and twenty-five wagons and they broke camp and started on their expedition. They moved on Westward and camped on Bitter Creek on the Kansas side of the line, the troops following in the wake.
It was given out that they would cross the line the next morning. Gen. Smith informed them that his orders were to arrest the whole outfit and take them to Fort Reno and there hold them prisoners until released by the government. Friday morning Capt. Payne did not move as was expected. He was inclined to avoid a collision with the troops. The boomers were hot and dissatisfied. They wanted to fight and called Capt. Payne a coward. They held a meeting and deposed Payne and elected Major Mains, of Wichita, as their general and leader.
On Saturday morning they took up their line of march, but instead of entering the territory they marched westward and camped at Shoo Fly creek near Hunnewell close to the state line. The troops camped close by, just across the line in the Territory. Col. Coppinger arrived and took command. Accessions to the boomers arrived from Caldwell and other points so that on Sunday there were in camp about fifty wagons and one hundred and eighty men. They are organized in eight military companies under eight captains with Mains at the head.
In a conversation with Col. Coppinger and Lt. Smith, Maj. Mains said they should disregard the presidents orders and enter the territory at every hazard unless forbidden by Congress. The horses of the troops are in good condition, but those of the boomers present a scrawny woe begone appearance.
Major Randall with two more companies of cavalry was expected to join Col. Mason on Monday the 13th. One company of cavalry is occupying the Oklahoma town site and picking up stragglers. Other companies are watching the threatened incursions from Texas and other points. It was told at Hunnewell that considerable numbers of boomers had already entered the territory from Caldwell and other points, probably for the purpose of stimulating those at Hunnewell to desperation. Statements of persons who should know show that these reports were not true. Our reporter found both opposing forces in camp at the place near Hunnewell, and first visited the boomer camp where was found about 180 rough but apparently earnest, hardworking men with about fifty wagons.
The reporter was escorted by a gay company of young people, consisting of a versatile reporter for the Monitor, who amused the company on the route with speeches and songs. Mr. Ed. Rolland, Mr. J. Houston, a young attorney, Miss Grace Scoville, and Miss May Roland, Mr. and Mrs. Lem Cook, and Miss Summers were down from Caldwell to see the battle. These visitors together first paid their respects to the boomer camp, and were invited to remain and attend their religious services.
The visitors attended and furnished a part of the music for the occasion. The congregation united in singing, Hold the fort for we are coming, Oklahoma still. Waive the answer back to Kansas, By thy grace we will. The sermon was delivered by the colony chaplain, supplemented by remarks from another boomer. The reporter forgets their names. A large flag was floating over the camp and the congregation sang, Rally round the flag. Capt. Payne was called on and made a few remarks. The general and Lieutenant from the other camp attended the service by special invitation. After services the visitors were invited to partake of refreshments with the boomers, which they did with great relish, for camp life was new and interesting at least to the ladies.
Capt. Payne and others, including Major Bloss, treated the visitors with cordial courtesy, and made their visit very pleasant. They visited the camp of the troops where they were courteously received. There was found everything orderly and neat. There were a dozen tents looking trim, forty fine horses standing ready to be saddled and mounted on a moments notice, and forty well clad and equipped soldier boys ready for action on like notice. One of the saddlers was asked how they expected to cope with so many boomers. He answered that the boomers were not well equipped or disciplined, and that no serious difficulty was expected. He did not think they would attempt to cross the line; but if they did, they would be easily disposed of. Some of the soldiers were practicing shooting at a red handkerchief on a bush, but all were civil and quiet. The contrast between the two camps was very great.
Our reporter thought Hunnewell a hard place to get anything to eat and in other respects. At about 4 oclock p.m. the visitors left for Arkansas City, where they arrived at 8 oclock in the evening, returning to Winfield the next day. The conclusion arrived at, is that the stories and press reports afloat about the boom are grossly exaggerated.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 22, 1880.
Three men came in from Oklahoma last Saturday. In interviewing them we inquired as to the number of people in the Oklahoma country, there having been rumors circulated to the effect that colonists were pouring in from other quarters. One of them replied that there were several people there. If his memory served him rightly, he thought there were fully four companies on the ground, but he believed they were paid to make this movenot by the railroads, but by Uncle Sam, who had fitted them out with horses, blue suits, and plenty of ammunition, with instructions to remain there and receive all new comers. Our home-bound friends had been received and escorted to Fort Reno, where the North Star was pointed out to them and the information vouchsafed that it was healthier up this way. They thought so, too.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 19, 1881.
The great march into Oklahoma has not only come to a decided halt, but the columns of the sturdy boomers are fast breaking to pieces, and one by one they are returning to their homes. In consequence of this the military situation has been changed. Co. G, 4th cavalry, Lieut. Wood commanding, left this city last Saturday morning for the Oklahoma country and Fort Reno; Co. H, 4th cavalry, Lieut. Mason commanding, has left Caldwell for Reno, while Co. F, 4th cavalry, Lieut. Martin, will be stationed at some point on the road for a short time.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, February 23, 1881. Editorial Page.
Those who hear Mr. A. B. Meacham, who has twice, at intervals, lectured in Bristol upon the wrongs of the Indians, will be rejoiced to know that the wrongs of the Ponca Indians, who were so unjustly deprived of their lands in Dakota, and one of their head chiefs, Big Snake, brutally shot by a cowardly officer of the Interior Department, are in a fair way of having justice done them.
The above is taken from the Gazette, published in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Friend Thomas, the able editor of the above journal, like a great majority of Eastern men, has lent a kindly ear to the misguided philanthropists who have made the agitation of the Ponca question their chief occupation for the past few years, and is very much wrought up in consequence thereof. It has cost several thousand dollars to satisfy the public respecting the truth or falsity of the charges made by Messrs. Meacham, Tibbles & Co., and beyond the personal gratification of the curiosity of those who fancied themselves equally interested in Ponca affairs, nothing has been accomplished.
The same line of policy toward these Indians is still pursuedthat of gradually but surely fitting them to become citizens of the United States. The Government may be to all intents and purposes an individual in this case, but it has not shown that personal vindictiveness toward the Poncas of which it is accused by the over-zealous philanthropists in Boston and elsewhere. On the contrary, the officials have shown every willingness to hear the wrongs of this tribe, and to make the best reparation possible.
The commission appointed to investigate their affairs reported nothing new concerning the Poncas, and signally failed to make any statement relative to their present condition. Five-sixths of all the Ponca Indians are now settled in the Indian Territory; they are healthy, prosperous, and contented; and while it is true that at first they objected to their removal, they are now satisfied, and are firm in their intention of remaining. They have found better lands than they left, have made rapid progress in building, farming, and civilization, and wish to remain. The Government respects the wishes of the few Poncas now living on their Dakota reservation; but the ends of justice would be better subserved by letting them remain there than by breaking up the Territory agency, where such a large majority are now perfectly satisfied.
It is probably a work of philanthropy with Mr. Meacham; but philanthropy quite often lacks the very essential element of common sense; and whenever confessedly good men advocate measures of questionable wisdom, they should be resisted as firmly as those whose motives are not quite so apparent.
Another error we wish to correct. The editor of the Gazette says Big Snake was brutally shot by a cowardly officer of the Interior Department. Big Snake was what is known as a bad Indian. He had served a term of imprisonment for offenses against the Government, and took pride in creating disturbances. He had frequently threatened the life of Col. Whiteman, then agent of the Poncas, and gave the tribe to understand that he was going to make trouble. Col. Whiteman, knowing the Indians nature probably as well as some of the Boston gentlemen, had a few soldiers come there for the purpose of quietly arresting Big Snake and taking him to Fort Reno, until he was more tractable. Big Snake, however, refused to go, saying he would never get away again, and would rather die here. When the order for his arrest was given by the Lieutenant in command, he resisted with all his strengthand he was the most powerful Indian in the tribe. A military arrest means an arrest, and to avoid the spilling of any soldier blood, a corporals bullet arrested Big Snake forthwith. This course was sanctioned by all except the Ponca agitators, and it was more to gain their end than from any inherent love of Big Snake that prompted their great outcry.
If the editor of the Gazette desires to become posted on Indian affairs, let him come out here, and we will take pleasure in showing him around. He will learn more in one day by actual observation than in reading all the doctored reports ever written. A private citizen sometimes looks at these things through a different lens than that used by paid officers.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 29, 1882.
Word was brought up Tuesday to the effect that Henry T. Stevens had been murdered and robbed, last Sunday morning, near Fort Reno. Stevens left here one week ago, last Monday, with a wagon and five horses, to go to Fort Worth, Texas, for some cattle belonging to Campbell & Dorsey, of Wichita. He was accompanied by Charley Parsons, who he brought down from Wichita, and Jim Morgan and Ed. Derusha, both of whom he hired at this place. The facts, as written by Parsons, are to the effect that on Sunday morning, while the party were in camp, on Deer creek, Morgan snatched Parsons revolver, and taking his own off the wagon, drew both upon the party and told them to move off to a hill a short distance away. Parsons and Derusha obeyed the order, but Stevens refused to go, when Morgan shot him, rifled his pockets, taking about $170, and mounted one of the horses and started off, leading the others. Parsons went on to Reno, where he telegraphed to Mr. Campbell, at Wichita.
We are informed that Morgan took the road towards Caldwell, and at Bull Foot left one of the horses. Since then nothing has been heard from him. Morgan, it is said, came here last fall from Denver, and is described as a tall man with long brown hair and blue eyes.
Stevens, the murdered man, is from Grand Lodge, Michigan, and had lived at Wichita for about a year and a half, where he made many friends. Parties have gone down to Reno to obtain the body and bring it up.
Every effort will be made to capture Morgan, and if he is taken alive, there is no question as to the best means of taking care of him. Caldwell Commercial.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 29, 1882.
Henry F. Stevens, of Wichita, was murdered by Jim Morgan, a companion, on Deer creek, near Fort Reno, Indian Territory, on Sunday, March 19. Morgan robbed the party and shot Stevens, who offered no resistance. All had come from Wichita together.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 12, 1882.
Two companies of cavalry arrived on Wednesday night for Fort Reno. They were sent down in consequence of the threatened risings of the Cheyennes and Arapahos.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 19, 1882.
Capt. Payne still holds the fort on the Canadian river within the Oklahoma lands. There are no outstanding military camps, all troops having been retired to Fort Reno. If any arrests are made in the future, it will only be done by the U. S. Marshal and his deputies. In this case a warrant will be necessary in every arrest. The question of opening the Oklahoma country is thus virtually settled.
It is difficult to tell where items of the above stamp originate, but it is certain they are copied with semi-endorsement by a number of Kansas newspapers. The entire statement is false.
Payne is not in Oklahoma, and if he has been there since the last time he was bounced, he has kept well concealed. Troops from Reno are constantly scouting in the forbidden land, and if there are any boomers there, they would be arrested, and no written warrant would be needed. The Agents order is sufficient to remove any and all trespassers from within the limits of the country which he controls. Besides, Major Randall has a special order to remove all intruders from Oklahoma. As to Payne, he is probably bumming wherever he can get his grub free and find a few loafers who will listen to his twaddle. The decisions of the Secretary of the Interior, published in this issue, settle the Oklahoma business. Cheyenne Transporter.
Winfield Courier, June 1, 1882.
Secretary Lincoln has information that Payne and twenty other colonists, while attempting to invade the Indian Territory, were captured by troops sent out from Fort Reno, and taken back to Kansas. The authorities had not decided what disposition to make of them.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 7, 1882.
Our citizens will remember that some two years ago, Maj. Broadhead, U. S. Paymaster, had a safe shipped from Leavenworth to Wellington by express, and that when he reached Fort Reno with it, $20,000 of its contents were missing. Last Saturday, a verdict was rendered in the U. S. court at Topeka, against the Pacific Express Company, in favor of the United States for this $20,000 and interest. Wellington Press.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, September 7, 1882.
We are informed by parties recently up from Fort Reno, that Capt. Payne and some of his men are still held at Reno, awaiting orders from Washington as to what disposition shall be made of the party. It seems queer that the wisest and best government on earth dont know how to tackle and settle that Oklahoma business.
Winfield Courier, September 14, 1882.
Capt. Payne and twenty Oklahoma boomers were arrested and brought into Fort Reno, Sept. 1st, and placed in the guard-house, awaiting to be taken to Fort Smith. He resisted and fought like a tiger, and was bound hand and foot and hauled in. We trust that the doughty Captain will now be put where he will boom no more, and that this will be the last of a fool who tried to buck Uncle Sam single handed.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, September 28, 1882.
Lieut. C. W. Taylor, 9th U. S. Cavalry, with a squad of ten men, arrived at Fort Smith on the 21st inst., with Capt. Dave Payne and his party consisting of the following persons: W. P. Miller, A. P., A. L., and E. Lewis, A. C. McCord, M. Hatfield, P. W. Odell, M. Rumman, H. A. Weatherby, W. H. Osburn, wife and child, and Miss Dicy Dixon. The entire party were served with summons to appear at the November term of the U. S. District Court at Fort Smith, and then released. Payne and his party were taken from Fort Reno, via Henrietta, Texas, and in that place Payne served out a writ of habeas corpus, which Lieut. Taylor resisted all attempts to serve. While it makes little or no difference what becomes of Payne, Lieut. Taylor ought to be made to understand that the military are subservient to the civil authorities, and any attempt on the part of a Lieutenant, or any other officer, to resist civil law, makes him just as liable to punishment as Payne can possibly be for his attempt to settle upon the Oklahoma lands. That young man Taylor needs a lesson on the firm of the United States government.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, September 28, 1882.
Lieut. Taylor of the 9th U. S. Cavalry with a squad of ten men arrived on the noon train yesterday from Fort Smith, to which place he had taken Payne and his party, and left on the stage for Fort Reno. Taylor, from what others report to us, feels bigger than old Grant because he stood off the civil authorities of Henrietta, Texas, when they came at him with a writ of habeas corpus for Payne. If the facts as reported in the daily papers and as stated by himself are true, Taylor ought to be court martialed at once and dishonorably dismissed from the service. For if subalterns like him can openly set at defiance laws enacted for the protection of the people against the military tyranny of such upstarts, what might not a commanding officer do, and with impunity, to subvert our liberties? Admitting that Payne is the great criminal in the country, he was entitled to the writ of habeas corpus to be examined under it, and if Taylor understood his duties as a soldier and a citizen of the U. S., it was his province to obey the writ without any grumbling or the ruffing up of his young military pin feathers. It is just such men as Taylor that creates in the mind of the average old Kansan a huge disgust for the regular army and the average freshly hatched West Point lieutenant.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, September 28, 1882.
Who is this Lieut. Taylor of the 9th U. S. Cavalry, whom the people of the United States feed and clothe and furnish spending money, and yet is too great to obey the laws of these same people? Major Bennett, the commander at Reno, who detailed Taylor to take Payne to Fort Smith, should make a searching inquiry into Taylors conduct at Henrietta, and if the facts are as stated, report him to headquarters to be dealt with according to the laws of the land.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, October 5, 1882.
PAYNES SIDE OF THE STORY.
Stuck away off in an obscure corner of the Topeka Commonwealth of the 30 ult., we find the following letter from one of Paynes party. If the statements made by Mr. Osburn are true, then Lieut. Taylor exhibited in the light of not only a mere military tyrant, but a brute, unworthy to wear the uniform of a servant of the American People.
Osburns story is rather disoriented, but it bears on the face of it a desire to give the cold hard facts. If he has filed in that particular, Lieut. Taylor owes it to the service, the people, and himself, to show wherein Osburn is wrong or has misrepresented. False military ethics may require him to keep silent, in order perhaps, to screen a superior officer; but Mr. Taylor should remember that he is an American citizen as well as an inferior officer in the military arm of the government of the people, and as such he owes to his fellow citizens an explanation of his conduct as one of their servants.
But read Osburns letter.
FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS, September 26, 1882.
Special Correspondence to the Commonwealth.
Capt. Payne requests me to write you a sketch of our Oklahoma business, which I will do by saying that on Aug. 3rd we left Hunnewell, Kansas, for our new homes, about twenty-five in number. We arrived in three days drive, and commenced selecting our new homes, which we did until we were all satisfied, which was about August 12th, when we began building houses and digging wells, which we engaged in until August 26th, when the troops came and ordered us to load and move. This we did not agree to at all, but Lieut. Taylor, commanding the troops, tied us, hitched our teams, loaded our wagons, and then loaded us and carried us to Fort Reno, where we were held prisoners about twenty hours, without anything to eat, our teams faring as well. After holding us there without any accommodations, in rain and sun, for eight days, they sent a tent and stove, after thirty-six hours rain and still raining, and after eleven days they sent a Jesse James gang and stole our property, consisting of teams, wagons, and outfits for traveling, and took them to I dont know where. Enough to say we were robbed of them and they are gone.
We were pitched into government wagons and started on our road to Fort Smith, Arkansas, via Henrietta, Texas, Texarkana, and Little Rock. On our second day, on account of the rough traveling, the two ladies and a child in the crowd got sick and asked for a rest, but none was granted, and when we reached Fort Sill the child was very sick, as was also Mrs. Osburn, the mother of the sick child; but no rest was to be had, although they had to ride each day in a wagon, drawn by six mules, loaded with freight and from eight to twelve persons. When we reached Henrietta, Texas, the eighth day, the physician, Dr. McGee, said the child was very sick and told the lieutenant that he endangered the life of the child by traveling, that he must let them rest a day or two. But no; so we tried to stop him by a writ of habeas corpus, but he defied the civil laws, and intimidated the sheriff with firearms. So we came on, meeting with very bad usage from Lieutenant Taylor, in charge, but Sergeant Mason and the soldiers were perfect gentlemen, to whom we shall always be thankful for kindness. We arrived here Sept. 20th, and were taken to the courthouse and guarded until the morning of the 21st, at which time the court served a summons on us to appear at the next term of court, to answer the charges brought against us, for invading the Indian Territory, they being too cowardly to give us a trial at the present term. No more at present.
I remain yours as ever, W. H. OSBURN, Secretary.
The following is another side of the story, as published in a special to the New York Herald. It appears to have been written by someone interested in making as favorable a showing as possible for Lieut. Taylor. Read between the lines, it simply means that Taylor was acting under instructions from others higher in authority, instructions given for the sole purpose of preventing a legal decision upon the question between Payne and the government.
Captain Payne and party were being escorted by Lieutenant Taylor and six well armed soldiers of the eighth cavalry. Yesterday evening at Henrietta, on the Indian Territory border, Taylor narrowly escaped serious trouble. Payne pretended to fear passing overland eastward from Fort Reno, in the Territory, to Fort Smith, in Arkansas, saying the Indians would attempt to lynch him or do him bodily harm, and he demanded that Lieutenant Taylor escort him south to Texas and thence to Fort Smith by rail Of course, Lieutenant Taylor granted the request. On arriving at Henrietta, Texas, Payne caused to be procured a writ of habeas corpus in the Texas District Court. Lieutenant Taylor refused to surrender his prisoner to the civil authorities, whereupon a writ was issued, commanding his arrest and that of Payne and party also. Taylor took his soldiers and captives, barricaded the car, and held the fort, so to speak, refusing admission to any of the state officers, and when the Fort Worth and Denver railway train left on which he and his party were, they all accompanied it. Lieutenant Taylor justifies his course on the ground that Payne and his party were United States prisoners and he had an authority to surrender them.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, October 19, 1882.
Jas. Thompson, post saddler at Fort Reno, is up visiting his old Caldwell friends.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 25, 1882.
The Oklahoma papers along the border are venting considerable spleen on Lieut. Taylor, of Ft. Reno, who recently refused to surrender Payne to the civil authorities while en route to Ft. Smith. It is amusing to note the ridiculous lengths to which they carry their tirades. Payne never will appreciate the leniency with which he has been treated, and the military authorities should give the bummer a lesson by setting him to pounding rock at Fort Reno. About two months of this invigorating exercise would probably revolutionize the whole Oklahoma question. Transporter, Oct. 13th, 1882.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 15, 1882.
Quite a grand ball was given by Companies C and D of the 26th Infantry at Fort Reno on Nov. 9th, 1882. The programme was tastily gotten up at the office of the Transporter.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, November 23, 1882.
Major Miles and family returned from their eastern visit on the noon train Monday, and took the afternoon stage for Fort Reno. He reports having had a most enjoyable time while east.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, December 14, 1882.
PAYNES LAST RAID.
While on our visit to Cheyenne Agency and Fort Reno, we ascertained that the stories published regarding the treatment of Payne and his party by the military were, to say the least gross exaggeration. The facts, so far as we could learn from a variety of sources were as follows.
Payne and his party, when captured by the military, had to be tied and put in the wagons and were taken directly to Fort Reno. On arriving there, they were placed under guard, but properly cared for, being furnished with wood and provisions. Payne stated to the commanding officer that all he wanted was to have a trial, and that he was perfectly willing to go to Fort Smith, promising at the same time that neither he nor any member of his party would make any attempt to escape or give any trouble to the officer in command of the military guard detailed to conduct them to Fort Smith. The party was placed under charge of Lieut. Taylor, and by him taken to Henrietta, Texas, that being the nearest railroad point. On arriving at Henrietta, Payne requested and received permission to go about town. An hour or so afterward, and about the time the train was ready to start, Payne returned, accompanied by the sheriff with a writ of habeas corpus. Lieut. Taylor stated that his orders were to take the party to Fort Smith, where Payne had said he was more than anxious to go; that he did not consider it his duty to obey the writ, as the party were United States prisoners, and that he would not respect it.
The sheriff then left to obtain a posse to take the prisoners by force, but before he returned the train pulled out with the entire party on board. Payne then endeavored to try the bluff game on Taylor, but the latter wouldnt stand it, and the former finally subsided.
This is an unadorned statement of the case; and of the truth in every particular, we have not the least doubt. Under the circumstances, the attempt, on the part of Payne, to cast any reflection upon Capt. Bennett, commander at Fort Reno, and Lieut. Taylor, who took the party to Fort Smith, is both mean and contemptible.
The military endeavored to treat the party with every consideration possible under a strict observance of orders from headquarters, but their efforts in that line were not appreciated by Payne, and it is safe to predict that the next time he is caught in the Territory, he will fare far different from what he did at any other time.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, December 14, 1882.
A Trip to the Territory.
Taking advantage of an offer from the Vaile, Miner & Co., stage line, the COMMERCIAL man took a seat in one of the companys coaches on the 27th ult., and struck out on his first visit to Cheyenne Agency and Fort Reno. A pleasant lot of passengers were aboard, consisting of W. N. Hubbell; Rev. A. E. Funk, a Mennonite minister, who is to have charge of the mission at Cantonment; P. A. Smith of the Mumford Johnson trading ranch on the South Canadian; and a Mr. Stokes of Philadelphia.
The stage left Caldwell at 2 p.m. and arrived at the Agency about half past 2 oclock the following afternoon, after an all night drive. At the Agency we had the pleasure of meeting Agent Miles, Will Darlington, Capt. Connell, and Doc. Mann, formerly of Wichita, who has taken a clerkship in Agent Miles office.
Entertainment was found at the City Hotel, kept by Messrs. Murphy & Kellar, and after a good wash and an excellent dinner, the Agency and its surroundings were examined.
The next day, a visit was made to Fort Reno, which was found to be one of the neatest posts in the West, finely located on a high knoll and supplied with water works, the water being pumped up from the North Fork into two immense tanks. Pipes from these tanks extended all over the post, furnishing plenty of water for all purposes, and giving security against fires.
At Reno we met Capt. Bennett, commander of the post, and one of the oldest captains in the service. We found him a most agreeable gentleman, and an officer who enjoyed the good will and respect of citizens and soldiers alike. Also, we had the pleasure of forming the acquaintance of Neal Evans, of the firm of N. W. Evans & Co., post traders, and Herman Hauser, chief clerk in the quartermasters department. Mr. Hauser has been in the Q. M. Department for twenty years, and ever since Reno was established, whatever the changes in its officers, has always been retained in his present position. This fact alone is sufficient testimony of his abilities and the faithfulness with which he discharges all the duties of his position. Messrs. Evans & Co., carry a large stock of goods and the appointments of the store are complete in every particular. We found Neal up to his eyes in business; but under it all, a genuine, affable gentleman.
Time and space will not permit a lengthy report of our experience while in the land of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, but it will not do to close without referring to a trip down the Canadian under the guidance of Tom Donnell, to whom we are under many obligations for courtesies shown. Tom procured an outfit, and on Friday we whirled out in fine style, down the valley of North Fork, taking in both sides of the stream to a distance of about fifty miles east of Reno. Thence, we crossed over to Deep Fork, and followed the rough and rugged banks of that stream west to the old Chisholm trail, thence to the place of beginning. The trip was a delightful one in every particular, and during its progress, Tom pointed out the different locations of the Payne boomers, and gave us an outline of his experience in scouting through that country in all sorts of weather. But little game was seen on the trip, though we were assured that deer, turkey, quail, and grouse were numerous on all of the many streams running through what is called the Oklahoma lands.
The North Fork has many fine, large bottoms, the soil of which is rich and deep. The valleys on Deep Fork are also rich, but small. On the uplands the soil appears to be of the same character as that of the uplands of Western Kansas; but we cant say that the country is an agricultural one in any sense. It is a splendid country for all kinds of stock, but the distribution of rain is too uncertain to make it a success as a grain growing region. From seven to ten miles east of Reno, several Arapahos have fine farms and this year have raised a fine crop of corn, but it is the first crop they have had in several years.
Of the return home but little need be said, further than that owing to the blizzard which came down on Wednesday afternoon, three out of the crowded stage deemed it prudent to hold over at the companys station on Kingfisher, where they were properly cared for by Tom Cluney, the station keeper. Tom is a Vermont Yankee, one who served during the late war, logged in Minnesota, drove a team in the Boston Mountains of Arkansaw, worked in California, and can turn his hand to most anything. He lives alone at the station, caring for all the stock, furnishing breakfast for passengers on the down coach, and makes himself useful in a thousand and one ways that only a Green Mountain boy can. We must also acknowledge obligations to Captain Bennett, Mr. Hauser, Agent Miles, Messrs. Murphy & Kellar, Henry Schweitzer, Hausers foreman, who gave us a splendid Thanksgiving dinner, Capt. Connell, and John Poisell, at whose ranch we camped one night, and last, but not least, to Tom Donnell.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, December 14, 1882.
While on our wanderings down in the Territory, we heard a conversation among cowboys accidently brought together at one of the stage ranches on the road between here and Reno. They were discussing the cattle business, as only cowmen can, and commented upon fencing, cowmens work, etc., at the same time freely criticizing some of the cattle bosses. In speaking of the extra work entailed by reason of fencing, one of them stated that S. Tuttle was one of the whitest men on the range. He had built a comfortable house for his hands, and while he exacted faithful services on their part, at the same time he did not require impossibilities. The line riders had each only ten miles of fence to look after, instead of twenty-five, as on some ranches, and in so far as he could, Mr. Tuttle made the hard and laborious life of a cowboy as smooth as circumstances would permit. The moral to this will show itself next spring when, we believe, S. Tuttle will find very few of his cattle outside of his range at the general round up.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, December 21, 1882.
The Cheyenne Transporter of last week has the following items. We offer the suggestion to Lafe Merritt that he put date lines at the head of the editorial and local pages. It will save a heep of trouble to his readers.
The Canadian River Cattle Company has bought the Bugbee ranch, with 12,000 cattle, and the Turkey Track ranch, with 11,000 cattle, both adjoining the double H or horseshoe ranch, in the Panhandle, already owned by the aforesaid company, and the three are now consolidated, making the whole a herd of about 35,000 cattle.
Service commences today under the new mail service from Darlington to Cantonment. The mail leaves Darlington on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6 a.m., and returns on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 9 p.m. The fare from Darlington to Cantonment is $6.00, and the express rates two cents per pound.
W. N. Hubbell, an old Indian trader formerly of this agency, and W. B. Hutchison, of the Commercial, were down from Caldwell last week, spending several days here and at Reno, and in company with Tom Donnell, took a hunt out through what is known as Oklahoma land. Hutch, being an old newspaper man and editor of the best paper on the border, of course made his lodge at the Transporter office while at the agency, and is one of those fellows whom we like to have happen around for what he dont know about the newspaper business is not worth learning.
On Saturday last the prairie fires were sweeping the country north of the Agency, and for a time the Cheyenne mission was in danger. Seeing this, Agent Miles, with a large force of employees, went out to the scene of danger, and succeeded in checking the progress of the flames before extending east of the stage road, and the fire passed westward up the river without doing but little damage, save sweeping the range before it. Mr. A. M. Walker also had two of his men on the field to assist in keeping the leaping fire from the range which lies east of the stage road.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, December 28, 1882.
Rumors were current on Tuesday to the effect that a stage driver on the route between Camp Supply and Fort Elliott had been killed, and that H. A. Todd, superintendent of Vaile Miner & Co.s stage line, had been assaulted and badly beaten by Indians. Upon inquiring at the stage office in this city, we learned from the agent, Mr. Tushams, that about two weeks ago a dispatch came from Supply, stating that Dan Smith had started out for Elliott with the buckboard and mail, and he could not be found. The dispatch was forwarded to Mr. Todd, who was at Fort Reno, and he immediately went to Supply and instituted a search for the missing driver. The buckboard having the mail on it intact, with one mule hitched to it, was found on the prairie. The other mule was afterwards found a short distance off, but nothing could be learned of the fate of Smith, though strict search was made and creeks and water holes dragged for his body.
Mr. Todd proceeded to Elliott, when, so he writes to Mr. Tushams under date of the 22nd inst., that Dan Smith was certainly killed, and that suspicion of the crime had fallen upon certain parties. It appears that Smith had on his person two checks, one for $500 and one for $100 and four ten dollar transportation tickets belonging to the stage company. The fact that the mail was not molested, would seem to show that if he was murdered, it could not have been for the purpose of robbery.
It seems Smith was in the habit of indulging in sprees, and it is stated that when he left Supply for the last trip, he was greatly intoxicated. If that was the case, it is more than likely that he fell off the buckboard, and half crazed by drink, wandered to some out of the way place, where he laid down and died from exposure.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, January 18, 1883.
The status of that strip of land lying between Kansas and Texas, bounded on the east by the Indian Territory and on the west and north by New Mexico and Colorado, having been brought to the attention of the Interior Department, Commissioner McFarland, of the general land office, has decided that it is not a part of the Indian Territory, which the commissioner says is protected from disposal by the government by existing treaty stipulations. The commissioner therefore thinks that the said Strip, composing an area of about 165 miles in length and 40 miles in width, while not surveyed and platted, is open to settlement.
Now here is a chance for Captain Payne, and the fellows he has induced to put in from $2 upwards toward his Oklahoma colonization scheme to secure free homes and to wrestle with the coyote and prairie dog for the possession of an inheritance which shall descend to their childrens children.
Personally we know nothing of the character of this No Mans Land, but from the best information obtainable, we have no hesitancy in stating that it is fully equal for agricultural purposes to the famed but unattainable Oklahoma region. It is said to be well watered, has excellent grass, and many claim that it has coal veins running through it, and other valuable mineral deposits.
To those of a scientific turn of mind, this No Mans Land offers peculiar advantages for studying the flora and fauna, in petrified forms, of the ages when the arctic regions were the home of the tropical plants, and mammoths. For, if we may believe the late Prof. Mudge, this No Mans Land was the great dumping ground of the drift sent down from the north on the great ice floes and arctic currents which swept over this part of the continent ere the Rocky mountains reared their peaks above the surrounding waste of waters and glaciers.
If Payne really wants to do great good for humanity, and likewise enroll his name among the savants of the age, he will direct the steps of his colony to this favored land and there, with pick and shovel, delve among those rich deposits of a pre-historic time, thereby adding to the information of this and succeeding generations and at the same time keeping himself out of mischief, and, perhaps, his name off the guard house book at Fort Reno.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, February 1, 1883.
The Cheyenne Transporter of the 26th ult., has the following.
Andy Sandell, the beef contractor at Ft. Reno, has been sick for some time. Thomas Lemons is handling the herd and business while Andy is sick.
The range boys have been enduring a severe time during the recent cold snapsome freezing their fingers, ears, and nose. Thats pretty tough on em.
The river at this point has been closed for the past two weeks, and today the Agency people commenced laying by a second supply of ice, which is about six inches thick.
Indian horses have been dying from some unknown disease the last two weeks. News comes in every day of horses dropping off in various camps, and the disease seems to prevail throughout the countrysouth and west Oburn & Montgomery have lost some twenty head of their cow horses, and Wm. Frass reports four head died at his camp.
Winfield Courier, February 8, 1883.
Capt. Payne with about 50 teams and 150 followers left Arkansas City February 1st to go to the North Fork of Canadian River, in the Indian Territory, about 130 miles south of this place, to the land known as Oklahoma. The colonists were well provided with food and arms. A few hours after their departure someone telegraphed the Secretary of the Interior, who made a requisition for troops, and Gen. Pope ordered Major Bennett, Commander of Fort Reno, Indian Territory, to send all the available troops to the Oklahoma country to intercept them. The cavalry started so as to meet the boomers on the ground, for the purpose of ejecting them.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, February 15, 1883.
T. H. B. Ross received a letter on Tuesday from J. H. Miller, dated the 8th inst., in which it was stated that a squad of troops under Lieut. Stevens, had arrested Payne and a few others, but that the main force of the boomers had refused to pay any attention to the troops. The letter is dated February 6th, and was sent by a courier to Arkansas City. Since its receipt, we learn that troops from Sill and Reno had been sent out and the entire party of boomers captured. One thing is certain, that the entire outfit will be taken in and removed from the Territory, and the poor dupes who have spent their time and money in following D. L. Payne, will find themselves out to that extent, even if they are not punished otherwise.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, February 15, 1883.
Joe Weidenman [?] returned last Sunday evening from a trip to Cheyenne Agency. He left the Agency on Tuesday of last week, and had to lay up three days on the road on account of the weather. He states that he heard on Friday that Payne had been captured and taken to Reno. Joe says troops came from everywhere, and the boomers couldnt avoid being taken in.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, February 15, 1883.
W. S. Decker, with N. W. Evans & Co., Fort Reno, Indian Territory, arrived on Saturday afternoon with Mrs. Evans and her mother. The party left on Monday afternoon, Mr. Decker intending to go as far as Lawrence. Mr. Decker informed us that the boomers were expected to arrive at Reno on Saturday, and it was likely that they would all be taken to Fort Smith.
[ATLANTIC & PACIFIC RAILROAD SURVEYORS FINISHED.]
Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1883.
The Fort Smith Elevator says that the surveyors of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad have completed their survey from Reno to a point west on the Canadian, where it crosses said stream, and thence to Ft. Smith. The survey runs as practicable along the south bank of the Canadian River, through the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations until it nears the M. K. & T. Road, crossing it ten or twelve miles south of the Canadian River, near McCurtains store, crossing South Fork and the waters of Sans Bota, and, by Scullyville to Ft. Smith. Ft. Smith is nearly due east from Fort Reno, but the Canadian River bends southwardly about forty miles out of a direct line, and the distance from Fort Smith To Reno, where this branch of the road joins the road from Vinita to California, is near three hundred miles.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1883.
Lieut. Stevens with a detachment of the 6th U. S. Cavalry was in the city Monday, having escorted the colonists from the B. I. T. The Lieut. left next morning for Hunnewell, where he will meet Capt. Carroll, from which point the military will return to Fort Reno.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, February 22, 1883.
The streams in the Territory are bank full or have been during the past week; consequently, the mail between this place and Reno has been very irregular.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 1, 1883.
Payne, and sixteen men who had made former raids with him, were brought up from Fort Reno last week, under a cavalry escort, and turned loose at the line last Thursday. We learn that at first it was the intention to take Payne and his party to Fort Smith, but orders were received to escort the outfit to the Territory line and let them loose. The entire party took the afternoon train for the north, Payne stopping off at Wichita. We have heard, however, that he is now at Arkansas City organizing another party to go into the Territory again.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 15, 1883.
THE WIRE FENCES.
Agent Tufts Report to Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
UNION AGENCY, MUSKOGEE, INDIAN TERRITORY, March 1, 1883.
SIR: Referring to cattle letter dated January 6, 1883, I have the honor to report that I have visited the lands known as Cherokee land, west of 96 degrees, and find there a large number of cattle, estimated to be 300,000, ranging on the Strip. About 200,000 are there by and with the consent of the Cherokees, and on which there was paid a grazing tax to the Cherokee authorities of about $41,000 during the year. About 100,000 cattle on these lands belong to citizens of Kansas, who turn them loose on these lands and pay no tax.
After a careful investigation, I have to answer the questions submitted in the above official letter as follows.
5. What effect has such fencing had upon legitimate travel and upon mail routes?
Answer: There are but two mail routes through the land in question: from Caldwell, Kansas, to Ft. Reno and points beyond; from Arkansas City to Nez Perces Agency. There are no fences within two miles of either road. There are no other roads for legitimate travel across these lands. Pastures are supplied with gates for the use of parties traveling through. The fences do not interfere in any manner with legitimate travel or mail routes.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 22, 1883.
LETTER FROM THE TERRITORY.
Prairie Fires - Indians Going to Farm - The West Trail.
CANTONMENT, INDIAN TERRITORY, March 14, 1883.
EDITOR COMMERCIAL: As I promised, I write you a few lines, although there is nothing of very great importance going on here to write abouteverything is unsettled, and it seems as though nothing is steady.
Last week the prairies were set on fire in every direction and not a blade of grass can be found in the burnt districts. The country from North Fork to Red River and from Reno to Supply has been burnt off. There is no grass between here and Reno, and but little between this point and Supply.
I returned from Reno this morning. While there, I met a great many Indians who told me that a large majority of them intended to farm it, and would locate their farms up in this direction, as this is a better country than around the Agency. They intend moving as soon as the grass gets up a little.
Some parties anticipate trouble here in the spring, but I think not, at least I can see no foundation to base such an opinion on.
The citizens of Caldwell ought to have someone here to make arrangements to have the trail kept open through herefrom the way the Indians are taking up claims, they are liable to change the trail. As this is the nearest and best trail to Caldwell, it should be looked after. There are now parties below in the interest of Dodge City.
The Indians will hold a big meeting as soon as grass comes. Respectfully, W. WELLS.
[Oh me! Oh my! What can I say! The following article in the Winfield Courier states that J. W. Herring from Texas was involved with the Ross horse thieves. The paper got his information from Sumner County officers. Next article from the Caldwell Commercial of April 26, 1883, states that S. W. Herrin of Clay County, Texas, was the name of individual involved with Ross horse thieves. Both Fort Reno and Fort Sill are mentioned.]
Winfield Courier, April 19, 1883.
We clip the following account of a big catch in horse thieves made by the officers of Sumner County. The fellows seemed to have gone into the horse stealing business systematically and on the wholesale plan. The only fault we find is that there were too many live ones captured. A dead horse thief is worth a dozen live ones. The Press gives the following account of the capture.
About two weeks ago an old man named J. W. Ross, from Clay County, Texas, went into camp about five miles southeast of Hunnewell, with a herd of horses and mules, which were placed on sale. On the 13th ult., he was joined by his sons, Samuel Ross and James Ross. This party was followed by a man named J. W. Herring, who had three horses and a mule stolen. Mr. Herring started out on the first inst., on foot, but secured a horse upon reaching a cow camp and when he arrived at Fort Reno, telegraphed to Caldwell for the authorities to look out for the outfit.
Yesterday morning, the 11th inst., a posse consisting of C. M. Hollister, deputy U. S. Marshal, L. W. Thralls, of this city, Henry Brown and Ben Wheeler of Caldwell, John Hunnewell, J. W. Herring, and three others, whose names we failed to learn, rode out from Hunnewell to the Ross camp. Four horsemen were sent around on the opposite side and just at daybreak the other seven approached on foot. When within about thirty yards of the camp, the Ross boys opened fire and commenced retreating. The fire was returned, of course. Samuel Ross ran about fifty yards, firing as he went, and then took shelter in a thick clump of bushes. He was soon shot through the head and heart and died instantly. James Ross ran about one hundred yards. His right hand was shot nearly off and he was wounded in both legs above the knees. The old man surrendered without resistance.
Before leaving Hunnewell, L. W. Thralls presented a young man from Wichita, who gave his name as Pettigo, with a pair of bracelets. Pettigo held an order from one M. F. Cornelious on J. W. Ross for that sorrel horse. He described the horse and pointed him out without any trouble.
The dead man, the wounded man, Ross, the father, and Pettigo were all brought to this city on the noon train and are in the county jail at this writing. Cornelious will be arrested probably before morning.
There were twenty-one mules and twenty-five horses in the camp. These are now in the hands of the sheriff. The wounded man confessed that a large part of them are stolen.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, April 26, 1883.
On Tuesday evening we met Mr. S. W. Herrin, of Clay County, Texas, the gentlemen who so vigorously followed and secured the capture of the Ross gang of horse thieves. He gave us an interesting account of his experience, of which we can only give a mere outline.
On the morning of April 1st, Mr. Herrin went to his stable and found that his two horses and two mules had been stolen. He immediately started out on foot, and followed north to Acers ranch on the side of the Big Washita, where he secured a pony. At the river he found where a mule dragging a rope had crossed the stream. This threw him off the trail, which he did not find again until after sundown that evening.
The next day Mr. Herrin crossed Red River above the mouth of Cache Creek, and about the middle of the afternoon he again struck the trail, leading to Arbuckle mountains, which he followed until he came to the old Fort Sill road, and found no trouble in tracking the stock to within eight miles of Sill, when he discovered that the trail left the road and turned east. Mr. Herrin then went to Sill for assistance, and secured the services of Jack Mullins and Comanche Jack. Starting out with them the next morning, the track of the thieves was found about twelve miles east of the Fort. This was followed until the old Chisholm trail was reached. Following that trail until he arrived at Mumford Johnsons ranch on the Canadian, Mr. Herrin there found that the pursued had continued on up the trail. They had made lively time, and it seems that after crossing Red River, they had only stopped once on the road between the stream and Johnsons ranch.
Leaving Johnsons, Herrin went to Fort Reno, where he telegraphed to Caldwell, Dodge, and other places, and the next day took the buckboard and came to this place, arriving here on Sunday, the 8th. Here he found that the Ross party had camped near the stockyards, on the Thursday previous, and that some of the men had come into town and got dinner. He also learned that after leaving the stockyards, the outfit started east in the direction of Hunnewell.
On Saturday evening Mr. Herrin and Deputy U. S. Marshal Hollister started for Arkansas City, and on arriving there could not find any trace of the fugitives. Returning the next day, they ascertained at South Haven that three men, having four horses with them, had passed north. A description of the stock satisfied Herrin that one of his horses was among the number. Herrin and Hollister then went to Hunnewell, and ascertaining the location of the Ross camp, assistance was secured, and on Wednesday morning the camp was taken, with the result as stated in the COMMERCIAL.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, May 3, 1883.
Deputy U. S. Marshal Hollister received a postal card Saturday stating that fifty head of ponies and four mules had been stolen from the Pawnee reservation by three thieves on Tuesday of last week. The thieves shot the colts that were with the mares. On Monday Deputy U. S. Marshal Matthews arrived here, having followed the track of the thieves to where it crossed the Arkansas City trail leading into the Reno road, and finding that the party were making their way west as fast as possible. Matthews came into Caldwell and took the train for Dodge, from which point he will strike across the country and endeavor to head off the thieves before they can reach the Panhandle.
It is more than likely the thieves will be taken by the time we go to press.
Caldwell Journal, May 17, 1883.
Our friend, T. L. Lemons, writes us from Fort Reno regarding an accident which occurred to G. W. Gorton, of Gorton Bros., whose ranch is on Preacher Creek. Owing to a lack of space we can only give a summary of his interesting letter, to the effect that while eating breakfast on the morning of the third inst., the vulcanized rubber plate to which an upper set of teeth were attached, became broken, and was accidently swallowed by Mr. Gorton. The piece was of triangular shape and about one inch in length, and lodged in the throat. Mr. Gorton immediately started for Fort Reno, and consulted Dr. Legard, Post Surgeon, and his assistant, Dr. G. A. Thompson, who used every means to remove the obstacle, but without effect. Dr. Hodge, surgeon at the Cheyenne Agency, was called in consultation, and it was decided that the obstruction could only be removed through an external opening in the throat, and the operation was successfully accomplished by Dr. Legard, with the assistance of Drs. Thompson and Hodge. Mr. Gorton has continued to improve since the operation, and, our correspondent says, will be able to return to his ranch in a few days.
Caldwell Journal, May 24, 1883.
A company of Indian boys came up from Fort Reno, Saturday, and went up to Halstead to work on farms there. They were more orderly and better behaved than lots of white boys.
Caldwell Journal, June 14, 1883.
We find the following items in the Cheyenne Transporter of the 10th, last.
George Washington, a Caddo, well known and respected among the whites from Texas to the north line of the old Osage reservation in Kansas, died week before last at his home on the South Canadian, at the age of 73 years.
George left considerable property, but for all that and his adoption of many of the white mans ways, the Transporter says he was buried in true Caddo style.
Preparations are being made for a grand celebration of the Fourth of July during the day at Reno and at night at the agency.
A. M. Walker, manager for Oburn & Montgomery, is down the country fixing to receive cattle for his firm to turn in on their Indian beef contract. The first herd of 1,100 head has already arrived.
It is announced that Ben Goode will be the inspector for the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association at this and the Wichita Agency. John Carmack, the recent Inspector, was obliged by bad health to relinquish the position.
The three race horses, Cow Pony, Long Branch, and Bulger, stolen last fall from George Bent, were captured on the Panhandle a couple of weeks ago, and were delivered to George last week. He valued these horses highly, and paid a reward of $100 each for their return. They were stolen by a member of the Kutch gang of stock thieves, and the thief is now jailed at Henrietta, Texas.
The rate on cattle has been fixed by the Frisco road at $60 per car from Vinita, $65 from Tulsa, and $67.50 from Red Fork, the station across the river. Western cattlemen are said to laugh at the expectations of heavy shipments, as there is so much wooded country to pass through that the losses from strays would be very heavy. Indian Journal.
The Journal is quite right regarding the wooded country and laughing business.
Caldwell Journal, July 5, 1883.
Lieut. Jno. H. Gardiner arrived from Fort Riley last Friday with 300 colored recruits, which he turned over to Capt. H. Carrol. Capt. Carrol left for Ft. Reno with the recruits on Friday night.
Caldwell Journal, July 12, 1883.
Payne, it seems, is determined that the troops at Reno shall not enjoy an inglorious ease, while he exists, as he is making preparations to take into Oklahoma the half dozen followers who still think he is the greatest man on earth.
Caldwell Journal, July 19, 1883.
Under authority from the secretary of war, General Pope has instructed the commanding officer of Fort Reno, Indian Territory, to provide five four-mule contractors teams to transport the supplies of a band of Northern Cheyennes to be escorted to Pine Ridge Agency, Dakota. The full expenses of these wagons, going and returning, to be defrayed by the interior department. The band will be escorted as far as Fort Supply, Indian Territory, by a troop of cavalry from Reno. On reaching Supply, the troop will be relieved, returning to Reno, and a troop at Supply will conduct the Indians to a point near Fort Hays, Kansas, at the crossing of the Kansas Pacific railway, where it will be relieved by a troop from Hays, and return to its station. The troop from Hays will escort the band to Sidney, Nebraska, where further instructions will await them. Transportation will be furnished the escort from the post to which it belongs. Acting assistant Surgeon G. A. Thompson will accompany the party as the medical officer from Fort Reno to Pine Ridge Agency.
Caldwell Journal, August 2, 1883.
H. M. Vaile and J. R. Miner, of the star route fame, were in town for a couple of days this week, looking after their line between Caldwell and Fort Reno. They dont look like as though they would break into a house or rob a hen roost; on the contrary, taking a good look at them in a crowd, one would take the first for a presiding elder and the second for a superannuated Presbyterian preacher. The devil is not so black as he is painted, and notwithstanding the howl of such reformers as Dana, of the New York Sun, and the highly cultured Bliss.
Caldwell Journal, August 9, 1883.
Stockmen have found the telephone between this city and Hunnewell a great convenience. Some of them talk of having the line extended to their ranges in the Territory. It is certain that a line from this city to Ft. Reno would be found very useful, not only to stockmen, but to our own citizens and the folks at Reno and Cheyenne Agency. Whether a sufficient number of subscribers could be secured to induce the telephone company to build the line is another question.
Caldwell Journal, September 6, 1883.
Sergeant Wilson, with a detachment of the 9th U. S. Cavalry, arrived last Friday from Fort Reno with a party of Oklahoma boomers, captured the week previous. The boomers numbered 125 and had 38 wagons. A few of them went through town while the others went to Hunnewell and Arkansas City. Our interviewer failed to get hold of any of the party, and consequently we cant give their opinions regarding the unprofitable trip they made.
Caldwell Journal, September 27, 1883.
Major Dewees returned Saturday from a trip to Leavenworth and Kansas City, and took the afternoon stage for Fort Reno.
Caldwell Journal, September 27, 1883.
Wm. Crimble came up from Ft. Reno last Saturday, and reports everything running along smoothly on the North Fork. He has some work to finish up for Reynolds, Doty & Hubbell, and also a building to put up for Evans & Co., which will necessitate his return, and possibly keep him at the Fort until about Christmas.
Caldwell Journal, September 27, 1883.
Dr. C. G. Thompson, of Fort Reno, passed through the city yesterday on his return from Dakota, where he accompanied the northern Cheyennes who had been permitted to return to their old reservation. The Doctor stated that the trip was a tedious one, occupying over sixty days, during which time the Doctor was in the saddle every day. He promised to send the JOURNAL a description of the trip, with an account of the most interesting incidents connected with it.
Caldwell Journal, October 11, 1883.
Letter From the Territory.
FT. SILL, October 2, 1883.
DEAR HUTCH: I reached here yesterday, after a stay of six days at Reno.
I found considerable sickness among the Cheyennes and Arapahos, some twenty of the latter having died in the last two months. There is considerable sickness among the Kiowa and Comanches, as there is every fall; but so far, no deaths have occurred. This is probably owing to the fact that the Indians are widely scattered over their reservation.
No news here. Col. Henry is away, which leaves Capt. Byers in command. The hay contract for this post was completed and filled today. There has already been a good many prairie fires, and much of the country between here and the Washita has been burned over. Everything is very dry. Cache Creek and Medicine Bluff are lower than they have been for years. Rain is badly needed. PHIL. McCUSKER.
Caldwell Journal, November 15, 1883.
Orman Wells has taken the Skeleton ranch, and will run it at high points. Mr. Wells will do his best to make Skeleton one of the best ranches on the road between Caldwell and Ft. Reno.
Caldwell Journal, December 13, 1883.
J. S. Evans, of the firm of N. W. Evans & Co., Fort Reno, passed through town on Sunday, en route for the post. He has been East purchasing goods for the holidays and the winter trade.
Caldwell Journal, December 20, 1883.
Vaile & Miner will put on a daily stage between Caldwell and Fort Reno next spring. The increase of travel demands a daily stage now, but the company is not prepared to establish the needed stations and put on additional stock.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 23, 1884.
From the Cheyenne Transporter we learn that the officers quarters at Ft. Reno were destroyed by fire on Thursday, 10th inst.
Winfield Courier, May 8, 1884.
Late advices from the Indian Territory say that Capt. Carroll and Lieuts. Stevens and Day, of the Ninth Cavalry, have arrested some fifty Oklahoma boomers during the past week, and that arrests will be made until Oklahoma is cleared of intruders. Those who have not been in the Territory before will be escorted across the line and warned not to return, but those whose presence this time is a second offense will be taken to Fort Reno, and prosecuted before the United States Court at Fort Smith.
The Oklahoma colonists (whose expedition from Kansas City failed last year), reorganized and is under the leadership of Capt. B. S. Walden, for a similar purpose to that of last year. Another meeting will be held next week. There was quite a large attendance.
Winfield Courier, May 8, 1884.
Officers from Fort Reno, Indian Territory, recently took charge of all the wagons of a party of Emporians, who were en route to Oklahoma. They were looking for whiskey, and found a keg of it in one of the wagons. Even if Uncle Sam does allow the settlers to go to Oklahoma, he will not allow ex-saloon keepers from Kansas to resume business across the line.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, May 10, 1884.
The latest report from Oklahoma is that the soldiers conducted a squad of 48 men to Ft. Reno and turned them over.
Winfield Courier, May 22, 1884.
United States Marshal Williams and Capt. Murray Meyers arrived in Wichita May 12th, from the Indian Territory, having in charge some thirty odd Oklahoma boomers arrested at Fort Reno. These men will be arraigned before J. F. Shearman, Commissioner of the United States district court at Wichita. The above officers had also in custody the white man who murdered the Indian chief, Running Buffalo.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 14, 1884.
General Augur has organized a new military district, to consist of that portion of the Indian Territory included between the Cimarron River and the southern boundary of Kansas, and west of the ninety-sixth meridian, including Ft. Reno, and is to be known as the district of Oklahoma. Col. Edward Hatch, ninth cavalry, has been designated as the commander. In order to enable him to carry out President Hayes proclamation of February 12, 1880, and all existing orders found thereon, in relation to arrest and removal of all unauthorized persons from the Indian country, and the prevention of threatened invasions thereof, there will be assigned to him, in addition to the troops already in the district, two troops of the ninth cavalry from Fort Riley, Kansas, one from Fort Elliott, Texas, and one from Fort Supply, Indian Territory. He is also authorized to call for troops, when necessary, from Forts Sill, Elliott, and Supply.
Arkansas City Republican, August 2, 1884.
Arkansas City, Kansas.
ARKANSAS CITY, July 21, 1884. Inasmuch as my last letter was copied into several of the local papers, I feel sufficiently encouraged to write again.
For three weeks the weather has been dry here, and parties who were contracting hay raised the price fifteen cents on the ton, but since we have had a very heavy rain, which insures the corn crop and will make grass to grow for a month to come. Hay stacked on the ground can be contracted at $1.25 per ton, and delivered in town will sell for $4.90. Most ranchmen will put up from fifty to one hundred tons this year, both for saddle horses and cattle. A half ton of hay each will insure the life of many weak cows.
New oats are offered at fifteen cents, and it will pay the government contractor, whoever he is, to buy the million and a half pounds wanted at Forts Reno, Supply, and Sill to visit this place.
I expect new corn will be offered at twenty cents to begin with.
Cattle are on the decline, owing to the stringency of the money market, and from an unsettled feeling of the stockmen on the Cherokee strip, as the soldiers are on the state line at Caldwell and Hunnewell to remove settlers, and perhaps if one goes all will have to go.
Butchers stock brings Kansas City prices here with our local butchers, but shippers can be bought now and then on a good margin.
T. J. Gilbert & Co., who range on the Kaw Indian reserve, are just in with 1,570 head of through Texans. They have 750 twos and 350 cows.
Mr. Mills, of the Cherokee nation, has been lying on the east side of the Arkansas River for four weeks, waiting to cross: He puts his cattle on the range near Camp Supply.
Wiley & Harkness bought 1,300 head from Witherspoon Bros., of Pease River, Texas.
Tom Berry, of Shawneetown, Indian Territory, has sold out his store and will devote his time exclusively to cattle.
King Berry shipped five car loads of beef steers from Tulsa, Indian Territory, to St. Louis last week. He gets his cattle through for $50 per car from the Territory, while we in the state have to pay $40 to Kansas City.
Drury Warren has had Charles Elwood arrested for stealing cattle and it looks as though the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association will be able to pay $500 for another conviction.
J. R. Blackshire, of Elmdale, Kansas, has about sold all of his one-half Galloway males at from $100 to $200 each.
If we could get double-decked cars or one-half rates on sheep, you would see them in Kansas City by the thousands before fall.
Regular Correspondent in K. C. Indicator.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 10, 1884.
Darlington, Indian Territory, now has telephone connection with Fort Reno. The wire is free to all, the expenses being paid by the businessmen of Darlington.
Arkansas City Republican, October 4, 1884.
Murder at Ft. Reno.
About nine oclock on Saturday morning the peace and quiet of this community was broken by a murder at the Post. Mrs. Steve Elliott was shot down in cold blood by a drunken soldier by the name of Smith, belonging to Co. D, 20th infantry. The reports of the cause of the bloody deed are various; while some say the lady refused to loan him money, others think that he murdered her out of pure malice, contending that she had previously cast insinuations regarding his intimacy with other women. Cheyenne Transporter.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 8, 1884.
Capt. Rarick left for Fort Reno last Saturday to take charge of a soldier named Smith, who last week murdered a Mrs. Elliott at that place. The murder was a most cold blooded one, and was perpetrated purely out of malice, so far as it is known at present. Capt. Rarick was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Mr. Harper, of Osceola, Iowa, who is visiting this section of the country.
Arkansas City Republican, October 11, 1884.
Capt. Rarick left for Fort Reno, Indian Territory, last Saturday, to take charge of the soldier who murdered Mrs. Elliott, mentioned in last weeks REPUBLICAN. He will arrive here the first of next week.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 15, 1884.
Capt. Rarick came in last Sunday with the Ft. Reno murderer. He was accompanied on his trip by his brother-in-law, J. W. Harper, and Frank Reed. The boys had to use some strategy and nerve in getting their prisoner away from Reno, where there was a strong disposition toward lynching. A crowd of forty headed by the murdered womans husband, followed Rarick the first day in the hope of overtaking him and forcing him to give up his prisoner; but Capt. Rarick was too shrewd for them and successfully eluded the mob, though the pursuers passed at one time within a quarter of a mile of him and his little party. Rarick, Harper, and Reed are a strong trio, and would have made it warm for any set of men undertaking to interfere with their business.
Arkansas City Republican, October 18, 1884.
Deputy U. S. Marshal Rarick came down from Kansas this week after the soldier who recently murdered the lady, Mrs. Elliot, at Ft. Reno. Rarick started with his prisoner for Wichita yesterday to be held for trial before the U. S. Court. Cheyenne Transporter.
Arkansas City Republican, December 20, 1884.
A special to the Wichita Eagle of yesterday from Cheyenne Agency gives the following bit of Oklahoma news.
Major Deweese, commander at this post, goes today to the Oklahoma field to view out and to establish a new camp there. A large body of troops will join the forces of Gen. Hatch from Reno, which places the command in Oklahoma in readiness to eject all settlers in however strong a body they may come. A few straggling boomers have already been coming in, not many however, and the military have the field under control.
Arkansas City Republican, January 3, 1885.
W. L. Couch, the leader of the Oklahoma colonists, has sent the following appeal to President Arthur from the camp at Stillwater, in the Territory.
A large number of law-abiding citizens are now residing on Oklahoma lands, who have exhausted every expedient that they could invent to have the title of these lands settled. We are peaceable, law-abiding citizens, disturbing no one, and violating no law of the United States. We are now confronted by a detachment of United States troops who threaten our lives if we do not quietly submit to an arrest which would again result in our being dragged to Ft. Reno, and from there to some state line to be turned loose without recourse to law. We are not willing to submit to military arrest; which under the jurisdiction of civil law, cannot be done, as we are not insurgents but citizens of the United States who located upon, and are occupying, the public domain. We hold that section 2147 R. S. does not apply to this land as it is not Indian country, the title being in the United States. We pray your Excellency to order a stay in the action in this matter. An early consideration and reply will be gratefully accepted by thousands of honest home seekers throughout the United States. Reply to Arkansas City, Kansas.
Arkansas City Republican, January 3, 1885.
Rumor reaches us that the Oklahoma boomers and the soldiers came together last week and that the boomers routed the soldiers. A dispatch to the Wichita Eagle from Caldwell Wednesday says: Gen. Hatch arrived here today and immediately made a requisition upon Quartermaster Agent Lomens for transportation for 500,000 pounds of freight, to accompany the column in the field in Oklahoma. He has detachments of troops en route now to the Oklahoma country from Ft. Riley, Ft. Leavenworth, Camp Supply, Ft. Reno, and Ft. Sill. Part of these troops are at present writing in that country, and inside of the next ten days all of them will be there. His orders in the matter are sweeping and explicit, and with twelve or fifteen hundred men to back him, the boomers are likely to be bounced in style. There will be no childs play in the matter and the would-be settler in Oklahoma will do well to make himself exceedingly scarce until the storm blows over.
Arkansas City Republican, January 10, 1885.
CALDWELL, KANSAS, Jan. 2. General Hatch expects to move on Oklahoma early next week, probably on Monday, with seven troops of the 9th cavalry, and one troop of the 24th infantry, one troop from Ft. Hays, one from Ft. Riley, three from Ft. Sill, one from here, and two from Ft. Reno. Forage stores for fifty days campaign are being concentrated here and sent to the front. There is no particular excitement here over the matter, as the local boomers have given up the idea of invading to force the country. They await congressional action. No couriers have arrived from the seat of war in the past six days. The latest report is that Lieut. Day is close to Couchs colony on the Cimarron, and neither party is strong enough to capture the other. Couch dont want Day, and Day cant take Couch without a fight. This childs play will close when General Hatch strikes the colony, if they do not move peaceably.
A SERIOUS JOKE.
About 2 oclock yesterday morning a party of boys on a lark, found a party of boomers in a saloon playing cards. The boys to frighten the boomers kicked the table over. The boomers skipped for camp, but one more bold than the others returned with his pistol. The boys gave him a chase and when nearing his camp, he turned and fired upon them, two balls taking effect in the abdomen of Jake Windalls, one of the boys. The boomer was arrested and by request of the wounded man turned loose, stating that had he been in the boomers place, he would have killed the entire party. The physician removed the ball from Windalls body today and he is thought to be out of danger.
Arkansas City Republican, January 10, 1885.
CALDWELL, KANSAS, Jan. 5. Two troops of cavalry arrived today from Ft. Hays, Capt. Duncan in command. Two days will be required to reshoe the horses and put the command in motion for Oklahoma. Thursday the troops will leave here for the boomer camp at Stillwater, Indian Territory, where the Capt. Couch colony of three hundred men are located. This section will there be joined by three troops from Ft. Sill and two from Reno. Gen. Hatch will command the regiment. He was seen by the press agent at his headquarters today and from him learned the particulars. He will have two Hotchkiss guns and skilled men to work them with him. He does not intend to lose a man in his short range fights, but will retire and open on the boomer camp with these long range guns. He does not desire a fight, but his orders are iron-clad and specific and will be executed to the letter. He hopes the colonists will not resist when called upon to surrender, but if they will not peaceably, there will be trouble.
A colonist direct from Couchs camp yesterday called upon the press agent for the scope of Gen. Hatchs orders and his intentions in matters. From him we learn that they obey Capt. Couchs orders implicitly, and will resist the soldiers when he gives the word. They are all well armed and prepared for a fight, and they will not be removed by superior numbers and force; they denounce the President, congress, cattlemen, and the war department in unmeasured terms; say they would have cleaned Lieut. Days company out if he had opened fire on them. No collision was had between Days men and the boomers, as was reported. He ordered them to surrender. They refused, armed themselves, took refuge behind their breastworks, and awaited his executing of the order to fire in five minutes. His instructions did not cover that emergency and he retired, but went into camp nearby. Thus do matters rest. It is so stormy now the soldiers cannot move on nor the boomers move out. They say when removed they will burn every ranch out on the Oklahoma and Cherokee strip.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, January 14, 1885.
Gen. Hatch left Caldwell Sunday morning with a troop of the Ninth Cavalry for Stillwater, Indian Territory, to remove Couchs company of boomers. He will be joined at that point by four companies from Reno and Sill and one from Camp Russell. There is no possible doubt that the boomers will be removed, and that at once. Whether they decide to fight or not remains to be seen. A large wagon train of supplies accompanied the expedition. About Thursday the General will march to Stillwater with his command.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 21, 1885.
Word just received from Caldwell says that Gen. Hatch, with a troop of the Ninth Cavalry, left that city Sunday morning for Stillwater, Indian Territory, to remove Couchs colony of boomers. He will be joined at that point by four troops from Reno and Sill and one from Camp Russell. There is no doubt that the boomers will be removed, and that at once. Whether they decide to fight or not remains to be seen. A large wagon train of supplies accompanied the expedition. About Thursday the general will march to Stillwater with his command. Wellington Daily Press, January 3rd, 1885.
Arkansas City Republican, January 24, 1885.
Word reached Capt. Rarick yesterday morning there had been a jail delivery at Wichita and several U. S. prisoners had escaped. Among them was Smith, the soldier who shot Mrs. Elliott at Ft. Reno; Perry, who killed a man near Hunnewell, in cold blood; and two horse thieves. It is generally supposed that they received material from some outsiders by which their escape was made. The prisoners made keys of babbitt metal and unlocked the doors and got out into the passageway, and then dug a hole through the wall. As yet the fugitives have not been captured.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, January 28, 1885.
CALDWELL, Jan. 21. Hatchs command is in camp 30 miles from Stillwater waiting the arrival of troops from Fort Reno. High water and storm prevent any definite action this week.
Arkansas City Republican, January 31, 1885.
HATCH HEARD FROM.
Advice from Oklahoma up to the Nineteenth.
Gen. Hatch Issues a Proclamation to the Boomers.
CALDWELL, KANSAS, Jan. 23. By mail and courier the press agent has received news from Gen. Hatchs headquarters at Camp Russell, Indian Territory. The communications were dated Jan. 19, and were delayed by storms until today. The communication read as follows.
General Hatch and General Finley are in camp. The general is waiting for Major Dewees who left Ft. Reno yesterday with three troops of cavalry, F, G, and C, and company D infantry. As soon as they arrive, the general will assume command, and with the troops, will joint Capt. Moore, who has the three troops in Stillwater. On Friday the troops will all be in Stillwater. A battery of two Hotchkiss guns is expected with the Reno troops. The last account of the boomers in Stillwater sent in by Sergeant Wilson gives 375 men.
The following notice on Tuesday was served on Couchs colony at Stillwater.
To whom it may concern: That the orders and proclamation of the President of the United States may be enforced pertaining to the Indian Territory, for the ejectment of persons, who are now there without authority and who have already resisted with arms. In order to remove them, it has been found necessary to evoke the assistance of the military. The general commanding the department of the Missouri has been entrusted with the enforcement of the laws, and has dispatched a large force under command of the undersigned, with instructions to see that the laws are observed in the Indian Territory of Oklahoma. It is within the knowledge of the officers in command that some hundreds of men have banded together to resist with arms the execution of the law in an avowed insurrection against the government. It is devoutly to be hoped that any unlawful action on your part leading to the sacrifice of human life may be avoided. It must be clearly understood that the killing of any soldier obeying orders in the execution of his duty by men armed to resist the law is simply murder, and that they will sooner or later be tried for the same as principals or accessories. None will regret more deeply such a result than the commanding officers and the officers serving under him. The responsibility must rest entirely with yourselves. It is with great regret the commanding officer learns that men who served their country faithfully during some of the best years of their life to sustain the laws of the government, are openly leagued with the insurgents against the flag they served so well. It ill becomes them as old soldiers of the union, and upon reflection they will acknowledge their error. To you, as well as all citizens, legislation is open to settle any grievance. There is no necessity to resort to arms. Should the collision occur, to which it is the intention of your leaders to compel you, the military will not be responsible for loss of life or stock from roving bands of Indians who seize the opportunity to inflict injury. All trouble can be avoided by observing the proclamation of the President of the United States, and peaceably leaving the territory as directed.
[Signed] EDWARD HATCH, Brevet Major General, Colonel Ninth Cavalry.
Arkansas City Republican, January 31, 1885.
Kansas has 78 townships above the Indian Territory, and measures 468 miles in length. It has 25 townships east of the principal meridian and 43 west of it. Arkansas City is four miles west of the 97th meridian and three ranges or eighteen miles east of the 6th principal meridian.
Camp Supply is 150 miles west of Arkansas City and 36 miles south, or 180 miles distant. It is situated between Wolf and Beaver Creeks that make the head of the North Canadian.
Fort Cantonment is 10 townships south, and 16 west, being 156 miles distant from Arkansas City.
Fort Reno is 130 miles southwest.
Arkansas City is the supply point for 14,343 Indians, besides the U. S. soldiers at the different forts, and the cattle men and cowboys of the Territory.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, March 21, 1885.
A Kansas City Times special of Wednesday from here says: Reports are arriving of restlessness among the Cheyenne Indians near Ft. Reno. Two stockmen direct from that locality Tuesday night report that the Indians are indulging in war dances at various points. The REPUBLICAN has heard of no uneasiness among the Indians, and this report is only circulated to alarm the boomers.
DEATH AT THE FIRST FIRE.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 2, 1885.
A duel was fought on the race track at the Wichita Agency, Indian Territory, between two men over a small bet, and both were killed. The particulars of the affair were received from a scout from Fort Reno. Frank Copeland, a cowboy and scout, became engaged in an altercation with a half-breed Indian named Foster, and after two or three minutes wrangling, the men decided to fight at fifteen paces with Winchester rifles. The dueling ground was measured off inside the track and the men took their places. Many persons witnessed the horrible affair. At the call of three both men fired and both fell dead, Copeland receiving a bullet through the brain and Foster one through the heart. The men had been good friends for a long time and were well known at all the Indian agencies in the territory.
Arkansas City Republican, Wednesday, April 4, 1885.
The disputed territory known as Oklahoma has an extent of about 1,800 square miles. In order to reach it, it is necessary to go from the borders of Kansas 120 miles westward through the Cherokee country. Its boundary on the south is the Canadian River; on the north, the Cimarron River; on the west, the reservation of the Cheyenne and Arapahos. It originally embraced nearly 5,000 square miles of territory, but various reservations have been set off, so that its dimensions have been reduced to 1,800 square miles, as mentioned above.
The name Oklahoma was given to the country by Colonel Boudinot, a Cherokee, and signifies in the language of that tribe the home of the red man.
[NOTE: ABOVE STATEMENT IS QUESTIONABLE.]
A bill was introduced into congress, some years ago, to establish a territorial government in the Indian country, to be called Oklahoma, but the project fell through.
Oklahoma occupies a position nearly in the center of the Indian Territory. In general, it may be defined as bounded on the north by the Cherokee strip of land lying west of the Arkansas River; on the east by the reservations of the Pawnee, Iowa, Kickapoo, and Pottawatomie tribes of Indians; on the south by the Canadian River; and on the west by the reservation of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. The territory within the boundaries thus described is about sixty miles on a line running through its center north and south, and about forty miles east and west, except in the northern part, where it overreaches considerably both east and west. The total area comprises 1,887,800 acres, or over 500,000 acres more than the state of Delaware. The nearest route from Kansas is by way of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad to Caldwell, on the northern border of the Indian Territory. From that point a stage road and cattle trail runs down the west side of the Oklahoma country to Fort Reno, which is about three-fourths of the way down the western border. At that point the road passes out of the Oklahoma country on its way to Fort Sill. From Caldwell to the north line of the Oklahoma country is about sixty miles, the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River being crossed at about half the way. Indianapolis Journal.
The Journal is mistaken about Caldwell being the nearest route to Oklahoma. Arkansas City is headquarters for the boomers, and is the natural gateway to Oklahoma. Come by way of the Santa Fe.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, May 27, 1885.
Indian Chieftain, Vinita: A civil engineer and corps have been sent out by the Frisco railway company to locate a cattle trail from Red Fork to Fort Reno. They will make a careful examination of the country and select the most practical route. It will then be so marked that all cattlemen can find it. It is not improbable that this will be the means of diverting a large number of cattle from shipment at Caldwell and Hunnewell.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 27, 1885.
The Southern Cheyennes on the War Path.
The war department has received reports from Fort Reno, Indian Territory, to the effect that great excitement prevails there over a threatened outbreak by the Cheyenne Indians, known as the Southern Cheyennes. They are making preparations to go on the war path. The cause of the trouble is from dissatisfaction with their agent, Col. Dwyer, who had been instructed to enroll the name of every member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes that was on the reservation. The Cheyennes refused to allow this and withdrew from the agency. They threatened to kill Col. Dwyer and to burn the agency buildings. The absence of troops from the fort placed the agency people in a perilous and almost helpless condition. On the 15th their anxiety was relieved. Three companies of cavalry arrived and later on three companies of infantry.
From the Associated Press dispatches concerning the trouble, we glean the following.
News was received at the war department late Monday afternoon to the effect that the difficulties with the Cheyenne Indians is becoming very serious. Gen. Augur has ordered four companies of the 5th cavalry to go to the scene of disturbance in addition to the companies at Ft. Reno, and additional companies are held in readiness to go at a moments notice.
The Southern Cheyennes are located in the western portion of the territory. The country is level and devoid of trees except along the streams. Owing to its great extent, it is very easy for the Indians to keep out of the way of troops. It is believed here that the Indians are well supplied with arms and ammunition. They are said to be good fighters and fight altogether on horseback.
The last trouble with the Cheyennes occurred about nine years ago and continued for more than a year. It was caused by the Indians of that tribe massacring a portion of a family moving overland. The massacre occurred in Kansas. The father, mother, and daughter were killed and the four remaining children taken captive. The daughter who was killed, before she was captured, took the life of an Indian with an axe as he attempted to get into the wagon in which the children were gathered.
Prior to this massacre the Cheyennes became unfriendly towards the whites, and a number of men disguised had burned a bridge on the Kansas Pacific railroad for the purpose of stopping a train that they might plunder it. After the destruction of the bridge, the soldiers were sent to capture the men implicated. An officer chanced one day to see an Indian standing a long distance away. He drew nearer, fired, and killed him. The Indian was the son of Lone Wolf, the great Cheyenne chief. When he was buried four hundred ponies were killed above his grave. Though Lone Wolf himself did not participate in the outbreak which followed his sons death, it was thought that the shooting of the young Indian greatly induced the tribe to go on the warpath. The massacre of the Georgia family followed and the one years fighting began.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 2, 1885.
Lieutenant Stevens, of the Ninth Cavalry, has returned to Fort Reno from Oklahoma after having thoroughly secured the country. No colonists were found in that section.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 4, 1885.
No Indian Invasion.
TOPEKA, JUNE 27. The governor is in receipt of the following letter.
FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS, June 26, 1885.
To the Governor of Kansas:
I have had the honor to receive your excellencys letter of yesterday. In view of the late reports in the newspapers concerning the alleged breaking out of the Cheyennes, I am not surprised at your anxiety about the counties bordering on the Indian Territory. I am happy to answer you that, in my judgment, founded upon the latest reports from Fort Reno and Fort Cantonment, no immediate danger to any portion of your state is to be apprehended from the Cheyennes or any other Indians. There has recently been a good deal of excitement among the Cheyennes, and some of their young men have been insubordinate, and, in some instances, have acted very badly. This indicates, among Indians who have been quiet on a reservation so many years, that there exists somewhere what they conceive to be a grievance. The government has appointed a commission to ascertain whether or not they have just cause of complaint. If the commission find they have, the government will undoubtedly correct it. If the commission find they have not, it is equally certain the government will take efficient steps to reduce them to submission, and it is believed with sufficient force and confine [?] preparation to whatever trouble may result, to the limits of the Indian Territory. Should anything occur, which there is no reason to believe, which threatens danger to any portion of the citizens of your state on the border, I shall not only inform you at once, but will do all in my power to avert it. I enclosed a copy of a telegram received last night, which shows that the Cheyennes will be glad to meet the commission.
I am, with the greatest respect, your excellencys most obedient servant.
C. O. AUGUR, Brigadier General, commanding.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 4, 1885.
The Cheyenne Scare.
WICHITA, KANSAS, June 26. The Daily Eagle is in receipt of a special from the Cheyenne Indian Agency late this evening, of which a synopsis is transmitted by the Associated Press.
The situation at the agency looks critical. The officers, employees, and traders are liable to be attacked by the infuriated Cheyennes at any moment.
The Indians are drilling daily in regular warlike form. The arrival of the troops under Sumner only seems to have stirred up the Indians, who put out extra spies in all directions. Without prompt and efficient action on the part of the government, a bloody raid and massacre will be the result.
The special, which is from a reliable man at the agency, says that the Indians are in sufficient force to butcher all the whites, including the troops now stationed there. The Indians keep their ponies picketed night and day. They are well armed and have plenty of ammunition. The people at the agency dare not attempt trying to reach the Kansas border.
Five companies of the Fifth cavalry under Major Carpenter passed through this city by special train today, and will be within one days march of Reno by tomorrow morning.
WASHINGTON, June 26. General Augar has reported to the war department that he has sixteen companies, ten of cavalry and six of infantry, at Fort Reno, Indian Territory. The last company arrived at the fort today. The general apprehends no immediate outbreak of the Cheyenne Indians. They have been informed of the proposed appointment of a commission to investigate their troubles, and express willingness to await the result.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 4, 1885.
WICHITA, KANSAS, June 10. The dispatches of Sunday morning and the assurances of the departments at Washington to the contrary notwithstanding, excitement is at a fever at Reno and Darlington in the Territory, and the attitude of the Cheyennes is very threatening. The special dispatches to the Eagle Saturday were read to some pretended friendly Indians on Sunday, and their grunts of disapproval were long and loud. The Eagle is in receipt of two more today in which it is asserted that the Indians will make a desperate fight if asked to surrender their arms, which could only have been successfully done under President Arthurs orders, previous to the appearance of grass this spring. Darlington and Cantonment seem to be at the mercy of some 3,000 braves, and our specials say the streams are rising rapidly between the agency and the fort. Few Indians are to be seen about the post, the warriors all being gathered at a point twelve miles above, on the North Fork. A friendly Arapaho brings in the news that three white freighters were murdered near Cantonment by the Cheyenne Indians. Scouts are riding the trails in all directions day and night. All the rivers between the border at Caldwell and the agencies are swimming. Ft. Reno is under a double row of sentinels and no Indian is allowed inside. Cantonment is sixty miles up the river, and is perfectly helpless if an attack is made. There was, when the last Eagle special was sent, nine companies of troops at Reno and one in Oklahoma, which had been ordered over, but before these troops could make any move, two companies would have to be sent to Cantonment and two left at the agency, which would leave but six companies for the post and for the field. The Indians are all superbly mounted and armed to the teeth with the best arms manufactured and a full supply of fixed ammunition. Our dispatch says that there is but one way and that is to disarm the Cheyennes. As to the movements of the large body of Indians in camp on the North Fork, but little is known, as neither agency people or soldiers have felt that it would be safe to attempt to find out by reconnoitering with so few troops at hand.
Arkansas City Republican, July 4, 1885.
One of our businessmen was down to Cheyenne Agency and Ft. Reno last week. He came home Tuesday and in conversation with a REPUBLICAN representative, informed us that the actions of the Cheyennes were threatening. They are holding what are known as sun dances and medicine dances.
The residents of the agency have not lighted a lamp for two weeks, for fear. The Indians are sufficient in force to massacre all the people and soldiers there. Each day the situation is becoming more serious. Kansas is liable to be called upon.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 11, 1885.
TOPEKA, KANSAS, July 9. The following letter was sent by Governor Martin to Secretary of War Endicott today relative to the troubles with the Cheyenne Indians, and the exposed condition of the counties on the southern border of Kansas.
TOPEKA, KANSAS, July 9th, 1885.
To the Honorable Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.
SIR: For over forty-eight hours past a dozen counties in southwestern Kansas have been in a state of wild excitement and panic, thousands of settlers having abandoned their houses, their crops, and stock, and fled to the towns for a protection, which, if the supposed danger had been real, could not have been afforded them by the towns for the town people were no better armed nor better prepared to repel an Indian raid than were those of the country districts.
For weeks past the imminent danger of such a panic, if not of an Indian invasion, has been apparent. The Cheyennes were known to be discontented and threatening and our southwestern borders were exposed and defenseless.
More than two weeks ago, I called the attention of the honorable secretary of war to this situation of affairs and on the 26th of June last, I earnestly requested the general commanding this department to station a cavalry force on the southern border of Kansas, between Barber and Meade counties, in order to prevent an Indian invasion and give assurance of protection to our peaceful citizens. If the national government locates in the Indian Territory at large, numbers of savage, discontented, and dangerous Indians, its plain duty is to provide an ample force to restrain them within the boundaries of that territory and on their reservation. The state of Kansas cannot afford to maintain a standing army on its southern border and ought not to be compelled to maintain such an army in order to protect its borders from invasion by the Indians and to give assurance of safety and protection to its citizens. This is a duty which the general government, not the state, should discharge.
So long as the Cheyennes, or other turbulent and dangerous tribes, are in the Indian Territory, so long will the borders of Kansas be menaced by such dangers and disasters, such sufferings and losses to it as have resulted during the past forty-eight hours. This is the plain duty of the national government. It seems to us it should stage a permanent and adequate military force on the southwestern borders of Kansas. Posts should be located and maintained at convenient points from the west line of Barber to Seward County. These points should be so connected with each other by pickets or vidette outposts as to guard all that section of Kansas.
The troops stationed at Reno afford little or no protection to the borders of Kansas. The Indians have only to move westward a few miles on their own reservation and they are out of reach of the troops with the borders of Kansas exposed and within easy striking distance. Calling your attention to this condition of affairs, I request that prompt and adequate measures be adopted for the protection of the borders of the state against any possible invasion by the Indians of the territory. In the name of the people of Kansas I protest against a further continuance of the civil or military policy which has twice before permitted the Indians to invade our borders with fire and sword, which during the past forty-eight hours has sent thousands of people, men, women, and children, fleeing in terror from their peaceful homes. It may be that this panic is without reason, it may be that no Indians have crossed the line. It was, however, certainly true that more than one hundred Cheyennes, the worst of their tribe, have escaped from their reservation and gone, so the commanding officer at Reno believes, to the head of the Cimarron River, but whether this panic is baseless or not, so long as they are where they are and what they are, so long will Kansas be menaced and apprehensive, and so long will the citizens of our southwestern counties be liable to such panics with their resulting demoralization, loss, and suffering.
The commanding general of this department has just ordered eight companies of cavalry to our southwestern border. This force, if situated as I have indicated and permanently maintained, will be a plea to give the citizens of exposed counties assurance of protection, and I sincerely hope that permanent military posts will be established along the borders at the points I have mentioned, so that the people of this state may in the future be permitted to pursue their peaceful avocations with confident assurances that there is no danger, or possibility, by the Indians of the territory. I have the honor to be, with very great respect, your very obedient servant. (Signed) JOHN A. MARTIN, Governor of Kansas.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 11, 1885.
On the War Path.
WICHITA, KANSAS, July 7. A special dispatch to the Daily Eagle, dated Kingman City, Kansas, 5 p.m., says: J. B. Wilson, living three and a half miles east of Lawndale, Pratt County, and whose character is vouched for by the president of the bank of Kingman, arrived at that place this afternoon and says that
A MAN WAS KILLED
nine miles west of Lawndale last night by a band of Indians. A son of the murdered man, about 12 years old, who escaped and came into Lawndale, brought the first news of his death. The boy further stated that he passed four wagon loads of women and children fleeing in the direction of Kingman, at which latter point the excitement was very great, the men arming and getting ready to proceed to Lawndale tonight. The news above reached Kingman about 4:30 this evening.
A later special to the Eagle says that three families had just arrived from the settlements beyond, and that they report that riders are passing rapidly through the country warning settlers that the Indians are moving swiftly north and burning everything before them.
TOPEKA, KANSAS, July 7. Early in the evening the citizens of this town were considerably aroused by the reported receipt of a telegram announcing the arrival of the Cheyenne Indians in the counties of Pratt and Comanche, and that they were doing great damage to life and property.
At 7 p.m., Gov. Martin received the following from Col. Quiff of the Santa Fe.
The day operator at Wichita says that an outbreak was reported in the southern part of Pratt County today. Several were killed and the balance of the people driven off. Stock all driven out. One man who came in from Pratt County today says he is the only one left in his family. The balance were killed, but the operator does not know how many were killed.
All possible exertions are being made by the governor to protect the citizens of this state from outrages by the Indians.
A dispatch was received at the office of commissioner of Indian affairs from Inspector Armstrong reporting some of the Cheyennes have broken away from the reservation and gone into the Panhandle of Texas. Secretary Lamar sent a dispatch to the president.
Cavalry From Leavenworth.
LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS, July 8. Four cars of cavalry left Fort Leavenworth this afternoon for Kingman, Kansas, commanded by Major Sanford of the sixth cavalry. The train consisted of 28 cars, and horses for the command were shipped at the same time. It is expected they will arrive at Kingman Thursday morning.
Gen. Augur is in receipt of a number of dispatches, both from Major Sumner, in command at Ft. Reno, and Gov. Martin, of Kansas. Major Sumner says in substance that there is no disturbance in his immediate vicinity; and, while there are about one hundred Cheyennes absent from the reservation, they are not on the war path, but are hiding their arms and ponies for fear that they are to be taken from them.
Not an Indian has come into the state. But dispatches from Major Sumner at Ft. Reno say that 100 young braves with Chief Magpie have left the Cheyenne reservation and are now on the head waters of the Cimarron, southwest of Kansas.
The report made to Gov. Martin by Adjutant General Campbell of the state, also says that there is no reliability to be placed in the reports that are being sent over the country. The latter is now in the extreme southwestern part of the state and telegraphs that there are no Indians or any signs of them in that section. Gov. Martin also repeats to Gen. Augur the dispatch sent by the Santa Fe agent at Kingman, which was sent out from Topeka in the afternoon, accounting for the scare.
WICHITA, KANSAS, July 8. The Eagles special from Kingman, dated 6 p.m., says: A reliable party who was sent out last night has just returned. He has ridden over the entire southern and western portions of Pratt and Kingman Counties, and reports no Indians and nobody hurt, and the further he went, the further away the Indians were reported to be. The usual number of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians were hanging about Medicine Lodge and other smaller towns trading. Some of these small bands had no doubt been seen crossing the prairies, which gave rise to the terrible scare of yesterday.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 18, 1885.
WICHITA, KANSAS, July 10. The Daily Eagles special from the Indian Territory this evening says that the excitement is hourly increasing. The Cheyennes for three or four days have been going on in bands from twenty to fifty. Some of these bands return in a day or two and then go again, so it is impossible to tell how many of them are away or how far they have gone. The bridge across the river between the fort and the agency is being pushed rapidly.
A BAND OF CHEYENNES
night before last stopped at the ranch of the C. & A. Cattle Company, having in their possession a herd of stolen mules and horses. They forced the ranchmen to get them something to eat. Another band was seen with a lot of stock within twenty miles of the camp supply. Stock stolen from the panhandle of Texas is already making their appearance among the home Indians. No doubt some of these roving bands get so far north as the Kansas line, and their presence gave rise to the late scare, as they appear to go north or northwest from the agency.
WANT A BIG TALK.
Col. Chapman, commander of Fort Supply, accompanied by his interpreter, has arrived at Darlington to act with Commissioner Armstrong. The Indians are anxious to discover the intentions of the government toward them and express more than usual desire for a big talk.
BATTLE BETWEEN RANCHMEN.
A courier arrived at Reno Sunday from Silva with a report of a fight between the ranchmen at Johnsons, and those of Murray & Wilsons range over a burnt steer. One of Johnsons men named Adam Ward was killed. Col. C. B. Campbell of Wichita had his horse shot from under him and several men had bullets shot through their clothes. Munford Johnson himself escaped through a shower of lead with Winchesters while only two of Johnsons had six-shooters, one of whom it is stated was killed. The man killed fell from his horse before he had fired a shot.
An Eagle special from the Skeleton Ranche says that the mules ran away with the southbound United States Mail near that station, upsetting the stage and breaking the leg of E. W. Entz, the driver.
TROOPS FOR THE FRONT.
Fourteen coach loads of soldiers, principally of the Eleventh Infantry, passed through Wichita, going to the front, at 2 p.m. In one of the sections was a sleeper or special car said to contain Gen. Sheridan, but the trains did not stop long enough to gain particulars.
INDIANS QUIETING DOWN.
WASHINGTON, July 13. The war department is in receipt of dispatches from the Indian territory which say the dissatisfied Indians are becoming quiet and there is a favorable outlook for the settlement of the Indian troubles.
SHERIDAN TO THE FRONT.
KANSAS CITY, July 13. Gen. Sheridan and Gen. Miles passed through the city tonight from Chicago, en route for Ft. Reno, Indian Territory, by way of Caldwell, Kansas.
THE TRAIL TROUBLE.
WASHINGTON, JULY 13. Inspector Armstrong has succeeded in carrying out his instructions to open up the cattle trail through the Indian Territory. He telegraphed Secretary Lamar this morning that all differences between the drovers and ranchmen had been settled and that cattle from Texas are now moving without obstruction.
WICHITA, KANSAS, July 14. The Eagles special from Reno reports that the Indians are almost frantic in their efforts to discover what the government intends to do. They fear that their plans may be frustrated, although it is very evident that they really know about all that is going on about headquarters, knowing that the four companies which went north were for an escort to General Sheridan.
Reports at Reno say that Magpie and his band are encamped on the opposite bank of the North Fork, and that they had been traveling around and trying to intimidate the Arapahos. The telegraph operator is in Cantonment.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 22, 1885.
The Turbulent Cheyennes.
Cheyenne Transporter: The Indian trouble at this agency is rapidly nearing a crisis. Since the arrival here of Commissioner Armstrong, the department has become fully alive to the situation, and there is no longer any doubt but that Agent Dyer will be sustained by the entire power of the government, if necessary, in preserving order and punishing crime at this agency. Lieut. Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan and Gen. Nelson Miles, who handled the Cheyennes in their last war against the United States, will arrive here before this appears in print to take charge of the troops in the field and to carry out the orders of the government in relation to the Cheyennes who have been so lawless for some time past.
Lieut. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, the eminent military chieftain, accompanied by Gen. Nelson Miles, the renowned Indian fighter, arrived at Ft. Reno at 9 oclock last night. They were accompanied by a brilliant staff. The general and his distinguished party were brought through from Pond Creek, a distance of 90 miles, in twelve hours by relays of government ambulances and cavalry escorts. Couriers were sent from station to station ten miles apart on the dead run, arriving at Reno every three-quarters of an hour, bringing constant intelligence of the progress of the party and their safety. Now that the commanding general has arrived here, it is expected that the various unruly tribes in the Territory will be brought into subjection, and made to understand that the government is able and powerful enough to dictate that disturbers of the peace must suffer. Gen. Sheridan is well acquainted with this country, having been in command of fighting troops here years ago. General Miles has fought Indians from this section to the Staked Plains, and is well acquainted with the topography of the country. The people of the states surrounding the Territory are anxiously awaiting developments.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 23, 1885.
A special from Reno, I. T., says that while a party of cowboys, returning from a drive to the railroad, were encamped night before last on Six Mile Creek near Reno, one Harvey Lucas was shot through the head while asleep by another cowboy named Brown. The murderer escaped.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 25, 1885.
The Cheyenne Situation.
Special Dispatch to the Daily Eagle.
CHEYENNE AGENCY, INDIAN TERRITORY, July 18. Gen. Sheridan is now at Ft. Reno making himself familiar with the situation and deciding on a plan of action. Very few Indians are about the agency or post now, but have dispersed over the reservation. An Arapaho (friendly) Indian came in last night with the news that a large band of Cheyennes had turned their horses into his corn field and ruined his corn crop. The war correspondents of the Chicago Tribune and Herald and Kansas City Times are here, and find by investigation that the trouble at this agency originated long before the advent of the present agent or the grass leases, but that the department refused to listen to the reports; and finally, finding it was no use to complain, the wrongs were
SUFFERED IN SILENCE.
Had it not been for the timely action of Col. Sumner and his troops, the trouble would have culminated in a massacre. Since then the Indians have been kept more or less inactive watching the troops stringing in, then waiting for Commissioner Armstrong, and finally awaiting the arrival of Gen. Sheridan. Magpies band, recently raiding out west, had 147 horses and two large, fine mules when they passed Cantonment coming in. They kept the north side of the river.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 25, 1885.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, July 18. Messrs. Towers & Lee, the committee representing the anti-Texas cattlemen, sent a dispatch to Secretary Lamar tonight, saying that they had used the legal remedy open to them, and that only, and it is their intention to press the matter into the courts. They charge that the action of the department is such as to invite a violation of the animal industry law by all drovers of infectious Texas cattle, and state that already the Texas fever is spreading near Cantonment in the neighborhood of the herds in controversy. In conclusion they say: We can only regret that our earnest appeal to you as the high official of the nation, who had the power, if he had the will, to protect us in our right, and save us from financial disaster, should have been in vain.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 25, 1885.
As a mild specimen of the atrocities perpetrated by Indians upon white settlers of the west, the Washington correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette relates of the Apaches, against whose transfer from Montana to the Indian Territory Gov. Martin protests.
These are the cheerful gentlemen who with their knives cut out the eyeballs of Tom Pugh, of Cincinnati, while he was yet alive, and committed such other atrocities upon him that one shrinks in horror from the thought of them.
They are the same pleasant wards of the government who hung white women in Lake Valley up by the heels and bored their bodies through with the linch-pins of the emigrant wagons, heated red hot, after horribly outraging them and torturing and mutilating their husbands and children before their eyes.
They are the same jolly companions who cut off the heads of Mrs. Hayes infant and rolled it down the steep mesa amid yells and dancing before taking the mother in hand, who was forced to witness the act, as she had been forced to see the fire burning on the naked, prostrate form of her husband, with the long, sharp sticks driven into his eyes by the squaws, and hot wedges driven in his toe-nails.
They are the same estimable citizens who butchered Judge McComas, wife, and son, and have in the last few years, committed many hundred atrocities of the kind I have little more than hinted at.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 25, 1885.
THE INDIAN TROUBLE ABOUT SETTLED.
General Sheridan has induced the Cheyennes to assemble at the agency. They fear that they are to be disarmed and are unanimous in their opposition to such a procedure. They claim that they paid a big price for their arms, spot cash, and that should the government take their guns and revolvers, it would be months and maybe years before the accounts could be verified and properly audited, the appointment made, and the Indian get his money back, which money they had got in payment for freighting and selling their stock.
A Kansas City Times special dispatch from Ft. Reno, Indian Territory, of the 21st inst. says.
The Arapahos number 1,500 instead of 2,000; and the Cheyennes will not show over 3,000 people. The Indians offered to give up all their arms and horses to the commissioner, who refused them, because if they received money, they could go to Caldwell and buy more. Agent Dwyer has tendered his resignation, claiming that he has not had proper support from the department in enforcing the law and order on refractory Indians. Should his resignation be accepted and a new agent appointed, it is uncertain whether the Indians would be obedient to his orders or not. The troops are being gradually withdrawn from here to their proper stations. Troop I of the Fifth cavalry has gone to Fort Supply, and A of the Fourth infantry for temporary duty at Cantonment. Others will start in a day or two.
Arkansas City Republican, July 25, 1885.
President Cleveland did what no other president ever did. It is barely possible that Lincoln, when president, sent an order directing the commanding officer of all the armies of the U. S. to a given place for a given duty; but if he did, we cannot recall it to mind.
The president, according to the telegram, issued an order directing Gen. Sherman to proceed at once to Fort Reno and in person take command of the few soldiers at that point and in the neighborhood. What there is behind this new departure in military affairs, we dont know. One thing is certain, average democrats hate Gen. Sheridan as the devil is said to hate holy water, and this order of the president may be for the purpose of humiliating him. On the other hand, it may be that the order was issued through ignorance on the part of the president. He may not know that it is only on paper and technically that he is the commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States. Commonwealth.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 30, 1885.
The enrollment of the Indians at Fort Reno was begun on the 21st. The Arapahos were 1,500 in number instead of 2,500 as had been estimated, while the Cheyennes will not show more than 2,000 people.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, August 5, 1885.
Caldwell Journal: Gen. Miles has left the Indian Territory for Ft. Leavenworth. He considers the Indian trouble practically ended but eight troops of cavalry will remain along the Kansas border for some time to give confidence to the settlers. Four troops of cavalry and three companies of infantry will be stationed at Ft. Supply; the garrisons of Reno and Elliott reinforced; and one company of infantry be left at the Cantonment.
Arkansas City Republican, August 8, 1885.
Kansas To Be Protected.
Gov. Martin received yesterday morning the following dispatch from Lt. Gen. Sheridan.
FT. RENO, INDIAN TERRITORY, VIA DODGE CITY, July 23, 1885.
Gov. John A. Martin: I have your letters of the 16th and 20th. They have been referred to Gen. Miles, who starts from here for Fort Supply tomorrow morning, and will make an examination of the country and points you mention as military stations. There need be no fear on the part of the settlers of southwestern Kansas from hostilities by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. I have gone down to the bottom of affairs here, and know that the irritation was the result of bad control and oppressive measures. I hope for a correction of the evils and am confident that when I leave here, the people in Kansas may gather their crops and sleep peacefully at night. Gen. Miles is an officer of good judgment, who will do all that is necessary to restore confidence from a panic so paralyzing in its effects as this one has been to the industries of your state.
P. H. SHERIDAN, Lieutenant-General.
The press dispatches of July 22 show that the interior department has turned over to Gen. Sheridan the entire control of the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, August 15, 1885.
The Payne Oklahoma colony at Caldwell has broken camp in compliance with instructions from Capt. Couch. He says Attorney General Garlands legal opinion that all leases made with Indians are illegal sustains the claims and arguments of the colonists in every particular. The presidents action ejecting all trespassers from the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations doubtless is but the beginning of the end of justice, and the obliteration of discrimination.
Capt. Couch believes the administration is acting in good faith towards all, that though seemingly slow, the grand result of the opening of Oklahoma will soon be attained. With a desire to in no way be any embarrassment in the good work now being vigorously prosecuted by the administration, Capt. Couch has requested his colony to break. Some will do freighting from Caldwell to Reno. Others have taken hay contracts. An office has been opened up in Caldwell by Capt. Couch and Secretary Blackburne, by whom all correspondence will be answered. Samuel Crocker is again at Caldwell from the Cowley County jail, having given bond for his appearance at the September term of the United States District Court.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, August 19, 1885.
Fight Among Cowboys.
FT. RENO, INDIAN TERRITORY, August 17, 1885. A letter from Erin Springs to the press reporter furnishes the news of a desperate fight between cowboys which occurred yesterday at the ranch of Frank Murray, thirty-five miles southeast of here in the Chickasaw Nation. A party of twenty-five cowboys rode up to the ranch and fired a volley of about one hundred shots at the boys inside the cabin, with whom they had previously quarreled over branded stock. The boys inside being well armed retaliated, dropping dead Dick Cavat and seriously wounding Dick Jones and Bob Woods, of the attacking party. It is known that serious trouble has been brewing between the two factions for many weeks, and this killing makes four persons shot dead at this ranch since last April. Cavat, the cowboy last killed, is said to have been a bad character, while Woods and Jones are equally as notorious.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 16, 1885.
CLEVELAND AND THE CATTLEMEN.
How Gen. Sheridan Misled the President Into His Executive Order.
Mr. Joseph Nimmo, Jr., late chief of the bureau of statistics, is now stopping in the city, a guest of the Leland House. He is en route to the states and territories embraced in the range and ranch cattle, horse and sheep growing area of the interior, with a view of writing a book upon that subject. To a reporter he said:
Im devoting special attention to the Indian and public land questions. I came to this city direct from the western portions of Kansas and the Indian territory, the scene of the recent troubles regarding the cattlemen and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian tribes. As the result of very careful investigations my views have been radically changed in regard to the merits of the whole subject since I left Washington. It appears to me that the whole difficulty has had its origin in the fact that a number of army officers, with their friends, were formerly largely engaged in the herding of cattle on the Cheyenne and Arapaho lands, without paying a cent for the privilege, which was terminated in the leasing of the lands. Hundreds of thousands of other cattle were also grazing on the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations without any compensation whatever to the Indians. These latter cattle were ostensibly passing through the Indian territory on the two trails extending from Texas to the northern ranges, but, in fact, being held on the Cheyenne and Arapaho lands, where they were fattened, and thence shipped in large numbers to the markets of Kansas City, St. Louis, and Chicago.
The army officers stationed at Fort Reno, who appear not to have been in the army ring which had its headquarters at Camp Supply, 100 miles away, and twenty-five miles north of the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations, as well as the Indian agent stationed at Fort Reno, declared that it was utterly impossible for the army to keep these cattle off the Indian lands. To have done so, it would have rendered necessary the erection of a fence around the entire Indian territory, and also have rendered necessary the fencing of the two trails running through it. Fifteen hundred miles of fence would have been required, and then it would have been necessary to have stationed guards all along these lines to keep the cattlemen from cutting them.
Finally, after mature discussion of the whole subject as between the army officers at Fort Reno, the agent, and the tribes, assembled in council, it was decided to be best to lease the lands to responsible parties, not one-twentieth part of which lands were occupied or needed by the Indians for any purpose. Secretary Teller at first stoutly refused to accede to this proposition, but he was finally prevailed upon to do so on arguments showing that such leasing would be protective of the interests of the Indians and promotive of their welfare. The strongest argument of this sort was made by army officers stationed at Fort Reno. Gen. Pope, commander of the department, wrote a long and very earnest appeal in favor of the plan of leasing, and Gen. Sheridan cordially endorsed all that was said by Gen. Pope, and the secretary of war transmitted the entire correspondence to Secretary Teller, of the interior department. Upon this earnest appeal Secretary Teller relented, allowing the Indians to lease as much of their land as they had no use for to responsible parties.
I will mention as one of the amusing features of this business the fact that seven eighths of the lessees were democrats, and that they secured the approbation of the secretary of the interior almost entirely through the influence of democratic senators and members of congress; so that the leasing was in fact an army arrangement, backed up and carried out almost entirely by democrats. I am of the opinion that a thorough investigation of the recent difficulties will disclose the fact that they had their origin in the discontent of certain contumacious Indian leaders of bands who kept themselves aloof from the main bodies of their tribes, certain squaw men, and certain army officers and their friends stationed at Camp Supply, outside the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations. During the last two years the latter have in connection with the bad Indians and the squaw men, been using all their efforts to stir up discontent and to poison the mind of the lieutenant general against the cattlemen. The animus appears to have arisen from the fact already stated that their business of cattle raising was cut off at the time of the leasing of the lands, and that they were compelled to drive their herdsbelieved to have amounted to about 20,000 headover into the pan-handle of Texas, where the grazing was neither so rich nor so extensive. Besides this they had previously been paying considerable sums of money to the outlaw Indians who make their abode along the northern line of the reservation, and also for a considerable portion of the time at Camp Supply.
I believe it was these Indians who made all the trouble, and Gen. Sheridan was grossly deceived in regard to the whole matter, and unintentionally misled the president. I believe further that the leasing of the lands by the Indians had, up to the final denouement, the approbation of nine-tenths of the tribes, and that it proved to be beneficial to them, as it was a very large and valuable source of revenue, the lease money having invariably been paid promptly and in advance.
I will add that the raising of cattle, horses, and sheep in this country, on wild lands belonging to the United States as well as to the Indians, has been practiced ever since the country has been in existence, and that at the present time millions of cattle are ranging gratuitously on free lands of the United States throughout an area thirty or forty times as large as the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations; and that for the life of me I cant see what harm was done in permitting cattle to graze on the unoccupied land in those reservations, especially when such occupancy was a source of revenue to the Indians, and prevented a like occupancy by cattle whose owners paid nothing whatever, an evil which Gen. Sheridan and Gen. Pope both declared could not be cured except by the leasing of the lands to responsible parties.
Mr. Nimmo will start on Thursday for St. Paul and the Pacific coast over the line of the Northern Pacific railroad, along which route he will study the cattle question. Chicago Mail.
Arkansas City Republican, October 10, 1885.
Moving the Cattle.
A special dispatch to the Globe-Democrat from Trinidad, Colorado, tells an incident connected with the removal of the cattle from the Indian Territory.
Rube Baldock, of this city, returned today from the Indian Territory, where he went some two months ago, to help Hunter, Evans & Slattery, of St. Louis, to remove their cattle from the Cheyenne and Arapaho agency. They had 14,000 head of cattle on the leased lands, which they moved to Kiowa, near the line of Kansas, Texas, and the Indian Territory. The stock was moved in four herds, and Mr. Baldock had charge of them, numbering 2,180 head. He had the advance herd and had no guards or other protection except his own driver. When he camped overnight at a little town on the North Canadian, or Beaver Creek, some sixty miles west of Fort Reno, some Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians ran into his herd and stampeded it. The next morning he moved such cattle as he could gather readily to water at the river and proposed to remain till he could gather the remaining scattered ones; but that morning his outfit was surrounded by thirty or forty Indians, the same that Gen. Sherman had armed for scouts, who demanded money and beef. Mr. Baldock refused the demands, and called on Capt. Randall, United States Army, who was camped not far away with a few colored infantry, for protection. The captain readily responded and immediately went upon the ground with some twenty soldiers, who drew up in line and ordered the Indians to leave. The Indians were stubborn, but the captain brought his men to a ready and advanced about a hundred yards, and gave them a final warning to disperse, instanter, whereupon the hostiles courage left them and they retreated. Mr. Baldock then moved his outfit some six miles further west, which took him off the reservation, where he camped until he got together, such as he could of the scattered herd, and from there proceeded to his destination without further hindrance. Mr. Baldocks herd was the only one of the outfit that went off the reservation with the protection of a military guard.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, November 4, 1885.
A Leavenworth dispatch, dated the 29th, reports information received at Fort Leavenworth to the effect that Oklahoma boomers, under Capt. Couch, have entered the Indian Territory and are bound for Oklahoma. The dispatch writer gives the following details.
The advance guard have already arrived in the forbidden territory and have proceeded to stake out choice claims and place thereon signs warning everybody to keep off. The main body have not yet reached Oklahoma, and are under command of Capt. Couch, who has organized a staff and equipped them with all the paraphernalia of war. Couchs party is well armed and equipped, and the announcement is boldly made that they are going to stay. It is estimated that the boomers now inside the Indian Territory number about 4,000.
This riotous defiance has naturally attracted the attention of Gen. Miles, and that officer has ordered Major Sumner, at Fort Reno, to take sufficient force with him and eject the invaders. There are six companies of troops at Fort Reno and a similar force at Fort Sill who can be used to chase out the boomers. If the above report states facts correctly, it would seem that Couch and his followers are alike lacking in brains. It is pretty evident that it is the intention of the government to throw open the unassigned land in the territory to settlement, and a quiet occupation of the ground until that time arrives, might have been winked at. But this hurrah and noisy parade are an invitation to the authorities to intervene, and the threatened ejectment is a proper response to the defiance. How Couch and his fellow speakers can declaim against the monopoly of cattlemen and syndicates, when they set up a worse monopoly by attempting to drive everybody away who does not belong to their gang and pay tribute to their chieftain, is not obvious to common sense.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, November 12, 1885.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., November 5. Indian Territory advices say that the invasion of Oklahoma continues. The boomers are coming in from all points for miles from Fort Reno. A number of families encamped claim to be en route for the West, but evidently the expect to remain in Oklahoma. The men are headily armed. The same state of affairs is reported in other parts of Oklahoma. Troops are ready to move when ordered. Crouch is being watched and will likely be arrested before he can gather the scattered boomers. There are fears of trouble between the latter and the Indian police.
Arkansas City Republican, November 21, 1885.
Capt. Lee, agent at the Cheyenne and Arapaho agency, sent the following message to Commissioner Atkins, Tuesday. All of the cattle have been removed from the reservation. Thousands of cattle have been turned loose in Oklahoma to graze. One hundred and twenty boomers have been arrested and brought to Ft. Reno within the past ten days and the troops are still out.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, November 25, 1885.
A letter received today from Fort Reno says that the report that 4,000 boomers are in Oklahoma is an exaggeration, and that the invaders do not number more than 400. Col. Sumners command has returned to Reno from a scout in the southern part of Oklahoma, having captured less than 100 boomers, with their wagons, horses, etc. These captives are now en route for Caldwell, Kansas, under military escort. Col. Sumner a few days ago started from Reno with two troops of cavalry and one company of Indian scouts for a place called Brewertown, on the Stillwater River, near old Camp Russell, where a large number of boomers are believed to be located. Thus far the boomers captured have exhibited no disposition to resist the military. Globe-Democrat.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, November 25, 1885.
Col. Sumner is raking in the Oklahoma boomers at a lively rate. One hundred were recently arrested and taken to Fort Reno and the military are after more. This question of settling Oklahoma is a vexed one, and ought to be settled by declaring that country open for settlement; but for the present, it having been decided the other way, the boomers should be treated as the violators of any law and thoroughly punished. Then when the country is open, as it surely will be, give everyone the same chance. There is another thought in connection with the opening of a large part of the Indian Territory to settlers that is worth studying for the money there is in it. Kansas will furnish along its southern boundary, the metropolis of all that section just as Missouri has furnished Kansas the metropolis at the Kaws mouth. Kansas City is too far away to manage directly the trade from the Arkansas valley and the Oklahoma country, which will, therefore, naturally drift to some town in Southern Kansas, and none is so well situated for that purpose as Arkansas City, if they are enterprising and take time by the forelock by making preparations for the immense business that will ere long flow to them. The government will not long continue its present policy toward the Indians; in another decade they will be scattered, and with certain extra privileges and advantages, be forced to earn their own living. The Indian policy of the future will be one that will tend to make the Indian independent and after allowing him the right of taking a claim, finally admit him to citizenship. Clay County Argus.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 25, 1885.
Cowley County Jottings.
S. H. Deweese was interviewed a few days ago while plowing in his corn field. He tells that a party of his neighbors, W. S. Voris, Will Christy and his brother, and Rev. Jones, while hunting in the territory, were arrested by soldiers and taken to Fort Reno to give an account of themselves.
Arkansas City Republican, November 28, 1885.
A cattleman writes from Oklahoma, but his letter has been delayed so long, and some of the information it contains has been published in the Eagle before, therefore, we will not publish it but give some news it contains.
He says that the committees sent to investigate things in Oklahoma gave out the impression at Ft. Reno that Oklahoma would be opened for settlement before long. There are thousands of cattle there and they are turned loose without herders until the next spring round-up.
Bobb Poisett, a half-breed Arapaho, and Ben Keiff, a white man who is married to a Cheyenne squaw, who have lived in the Oklahoma country for the past ten years, and who have well cultivated farms, fine houses, and hundreds of cattle, have been ordered to leave by the military agent and commander.
The soldiers have a saw mill in full operation in Council Grove, and are sawing lumber for building and bridge purposes for the Ft. Reno agency. Grading has not yet commenced on the Frisco, which is to be extended from Tulsa southwest through the Oklahoma country.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 9, 1885.
Ejected by Force at Arms.
J. S. Anderson, of this city, had a small bunch of cattle in Oklahoma, and had put up hay for their winter feed. He was put out by the military some time ago, but made a violent protest against this invasion of his rights, and returning to his ranch, defied the power of the United States to remove him. His vaporing did not seem to scare anybody, however, for on Tuesday of last week he was arrested at Deer Creek, and carried to Ft. Reno for examination before a United States Commissioner. The charges against him were returning to the Indian country after being ejected, and building a ranch there and raising cattle without permission from competent authority. The commissioner bound Mr. Anderson over in $500 to take his trial, but as the bond required to be executed at Wichita, he was delivered over to the military to be taken there. Col. Sumner then informed him he was going to drive out his cattle. There was no resisting this determination, and accordingly P. M. Gilbert, an associate boomer, who had about 70 beeves on Andersons ranch, got the cattle together and drove them to the state line. Anderson owned 179 in addition to Gilberts 70; but 400 tons of hay, put up for their use, had to be abandoned. Gilbert lives in Oxford, and the herd will probably be wintered in that neighborhood.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 23, 1885.
Col. Crandall, from Fort Reno, was in town last week, and visited the TRAVELER office in search of back numbers of the Globe-Democrat, thinking they might contain orders from the war department. He reports matters perfectly secure at Cheyenne Agency, there being troops enough present to suppress any uprising that might occur. One hundred and fifty of the most active warriors of that tribe are in government employ as scouts, and are doing useful service. He reports discontent at the loss of the grass money, and admits there may be suffering from diminished rations; but this grim old militaire evidently is not a philanthropist, and his sole trust is in carbines to keep the hungry red man quiet.
Arkansas City Republican, December 26, 1885.
An Indian Territory special to the Kansas City Times says:
The Cheyennes and Arapahos are becoming very restless and trouble is imminent. The cause of the discontent is the loss of the money derived from the cattle leases. This money had been distributed per capita among the tribes and was the source of pleasure to the Indians and profit to the traders.
When the leases were abrogated and the cattle driven off the reservation, payment of course ceased, and the Indians who were loudest in denouncing the cattlemen and urging expulsion are now complaining about the changed conditions.
Reports from Ft. Reno say that no outbreak is likely to occur in that vicinity, but other parts of the reservation are far from being quiet. The issue of annuity goods, which was made recently at Darlington for the first time in three years, was expected to have a soothing effect; but on the contrary, led to much ill feeling among the members of the two tribes.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 14, 1886.
All hunters in the Territory without a permit from Colonel Sumner, commanding the United States troops at Caldwell, have been arrested by the military and taken to Fort Reno, and all who pass the Territory line without permission are arrested. The Kansas line is being patrolled by mounted videttes, and this paradise of hunters is as unaccessible to white men as though located in the moon.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 11, 1886.
Wm. Martney was brought up from Arkansas City Monday afternoon by Deputy U. S. Marshal Rarick, having been committed from U. S. Commissioner Bonsalls court for stealing a team of horses in the Territory last month. Rarick caught him in Ft. Reno.
Arkansas City Republican, March 13, 1886.
Captain O. S. Rarick came up from the Territory Monday with Wm. Martney, who he arrested for stealing a pair of horses from Michael Conroy, near the mouth of Sand Creek, south of Arkansas City, on the 17th of February. Captain Rarick has been on his track since that time, and finally caught him on the 3rd inst., at Fort Reno, Indian Territory. He brought him to Arkansas City, and he was arraigned before United States Commissioner Bonsall, and waived an examination. The bond was fixed at $1,000.00, and upon his failing to give it, he was committed to the Cowley County jail, to await the sitting of the United States District Court, which convenes next September at Wichita.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, March 31, 1886.
OPENING THE TERRITORY.
The Democrat publishes a long string of whereases, professing to recite the grievances of small cattle owners, settlers and others, caused by the unfairness of the government in excluding such persons from the Territory, while others are allowed to remain there undisturbed. The specific charge is made in this arraignment that foreign and domestic cattle syndicates are allowed to graze their herds in the Territory, in defiance of the presidents proclamation, while the men having but few cattle and those having none are driven away by military force. A long rehearsal of assumed wrongs brings the writer to the gist of his argument, in the following resolution.
That we sincerely and earnestly request our Representatives in congress assembled, to take immediate action, and we invite all representatives of capitalists, corporations, and monopolies, to assist in taking immediate action in legislating for the opening of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Strip to settlement under the homestead land laws of the United States, which seems the only remedy for the approaching conflict and render justice to the Red, Black, and White man, to the rich and the poor alike; for all of which we shall every pray.
This extraordinary screed is published, as we are told, by order of L. A., No. 2842, and we are further informed that a large number of citizens of Arkansas City assembled and adopted the same. To attach weight to this disloyal and untruthful utterance, it would be well to inform us what organization adopted it, and also to name a few of the persons who assembled to make this appeal to the public.
In the first place it is not true that small cattle owners are driven from the Territory with their herds, while foreign and domestic syndicates are undisturbed. In clearing out the Oklahoma country, Major Sumner, with three troops of the Fifth United States cavalry, stationed at Fort Reno, and Capt. Hamilton, with another troop of the same regiment, scoured that region as fully as their limited force would permit, and drove out everybody they encountered, and also removed all the cattle they found pasturing there. It is true that the grass leases of the friendly tribes on the Cherokee strip have not been removed; but we cannot see that any injustice or unfair discrimination is shown in this forbearance. The leases were executed with the tacit approval of the secretary of the interior, the rents are promptly paid to the Indians, and nobody is harmed. That is a dog-in-the-manger policy which seeks to ruin another man because we cannot partake his advantages, and this seems to be the policy which prompts the men who are clamoring against cattle syndicates.
The TRAVELER reflects the will of the people of this locality in asking that the Indian Territory be thrown open to white settlement, and the lands allotted in severalty. Such is the wish also of a large proportion of the American people, and even a good share of the Indian occupants of that country ask that houses be patented to them. Evidently the president is committed to such a mode of proceeding, believing, we doubt not, that it would be popular with the masses, and win favor for his administration. But we cannot conceive that filibustering will advance this end. It is lawless invasion. It sets the actors in antagonism with the government, and creates an impression in the public mind that the people of this border country are reckless adventurers, and organized land thieves. Congress is now dealing with the subject, and petitions addressed to that body, asking the passage of a law to admit white settlers, is the only mode provided by our political institutions to forward the desired end.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, May 29, 1886. From Tuesdays Daily.
Wm. M. Manadiger and Fred A. Cimeran, paymasters for the government, passed through the city en route for St. Louis today from Ft. Reno, Indian Territory.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 5, 1886. From Thursdays Daily.
W. S. Decker, formerly with Evans Bros., & Carton, of Ft. Reno, Indian Territory, is in the city. Mr. Decker has recently been licensed as an Indian trader anywhere along the Santa Fe road in the Territory.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, September 18, 1886. From Mondays Daily.
Captain Couch, the Oklahoma chieftain, was arrested the latter part of last week, according to reports brought up from that country by teamsters. The Captain had a contract for grading on the Santa Fe in Oklahoma. This news reached Uncle Sams Army and it went after him and arrested him. He and his wife are now at Ft. Reno, Indian Territory, according to reports, and held in custody.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 22, 1886.
A Game of Bluff.
Capt. Couch was in town the beginning of the week, telling about his arrest for invading the Territory. He had previously been placed under bonds for his attempts at colonizing that terra inhibita, but a doubt was suggested to his mind whether the proceeding was legal. However, he obtained employment on the grade of the Southern Kansas railroad, and armed himself with a pass from Captain Price, in command of the cavalry troop at Chilocco. He went to work with the rest of the graders, but was shortly arrested and placed in confinement at Fort Reno. After a harassing delay he was carried before the circuit court, at Wichita, and discharged without his even coming to trial. This treatment he exclaims against as an outrage on the citizen. And he has good reason. If invading that coveted domain is an offense against law, let the trespasser be punished as the law directs. On the other hand, if there is no law to protect an American citizen entering Oklahoma and making his abode there, let these harassing proceedings be stopped because they bring the officers of the government into contempt. Capt. Couch was engaged to work on the Southern Kansas railroad, he held a pass from Capt. Price, and his arrest and confinement were purely an outrage.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, September 25, 1886. From Tuesdays Daily.
Capt. Couch was in the city yesterday morning. He informed his friends here that he was arrested and taken to Ft. Reno, Indian Territory. The report got around that his grading contracts with the Santa Fe were fraudulent and that it was only a scheme of his to get into the Oklahoma country. He was kept in custody until the troops arresting him could telegraph to the A. T. & S. F. Headquarters and ascertain if his contract papers were all O. K. The answer came they were, and the Captain was turned loose after losing a week or so of valuable time.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, November 20, 1886. From Tuesdays Daily.
CALDWELL, KANSAS, November 15. A company of soldiers have been ordered to this place from Fort Reno to keep prospectors out of the Indian Territory. The greatest excitement prevails and thousands of claims have been staked out in the Territory below Caldwell, where silver is believed to exist in as large quantities as it does in the state.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, November 20, 1886. From Fridays Daily.
W. S. Dickey left for Ft. Reno, Indian Territory, this morning.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, November 24, 1886.
STAR AND KANSAN: What the Cherokees have feared has come to pass. Silver has been found in paying quantities in their territory below Caldwell; and though a company of troops have been ordered from Fort Reno to keep out eager prospectors, it will require more troops than there are in the United States service to keep those lands from being taken possession of by the miners, as was the Deadwood region, should the deposits prove extensive enough to cause a rush thither.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 12, 1887. From Tuesdays Daily.
Col. Sumner, of the U. S. Army, passed through the city today en route for Ft. Reno, Indian Territory.
Winfield Newspaper Union, Saturday, April 9, 1892. Front Page.
Three troops of the Fifth Cavalry have entered the Cherokee strip from the south, and are engaged in removing sooners along the Black Bear. They will sweep the strip of all intruders as they come north and go into permanent camp for the summer on Chillico creek, just across the state line south of Arkansas City.
[THEY HAD CHILLICO CREEK FOR CHILOCCO CREEK.]
The Ponca-Pawnee-Otoe ghost dance trouble was brought to a sudden termination this week by the arrest of a few of the leaders by Agent Wood for being off their reservations without permission. Except for his prompt and fearless action, the chances are more than even that nothing short of the presence of troops would have quelled the mutinous spirit that was being daily inflamed by several of the most influential chiefs. The tribes on several of the reservations south of Guthrie have been very uneasy for a long time, and though they have submitted to the allotment of their lands in severalty, it has been with an ill grace.
Intelligence reached Major Wood, the agent, that the Pawnees were devoting their time to dancing instead of preparing to put in their crops. He sent an Indian policeman to bring in the leaders, but the desired individuals refused to obey. The assistance of a U. S. deputy marshal was sought and he arrested Frank White and Buffalo Black on the above charge. Several Pawnees followed the marshal and his prisoners to the agency, but the agent immediately ordered them back to their reservation. The Cherokee commission arrived at the Ponca agency last week and resumed negotiations with the Poncas. As yet no result has been attained. Councils are being held every day and it is likely that an agreement will be soon reached.
The cold snap and the storms of the past two weeks, added to the late spring, have played havoc with the cattle grazing on the Indian lands in Oklahoma and the Indian Territory. In the Osage, Pawnee, and Otoe reservations, the number pastured this winter has been smaller than usual, but large numbers have died, and some of the smaller cattle owners are ruined. In the Chickasaw nation the loss has been fully 20 percent, and in the Creek country hundreds have died and many more are dying every day. In the great Comanche and Kiowa reservations, the loss has been greatest. Men coming from there report having counted thousands of carcasses along the trail and say that the cattle are still dying very fast. The loss is estimated at from 30 to 40 percent.
A great deal of petty thieving has for sometime past been going on along the Santa Fe railroad, and lately Special Agent Madsen of the company commenced to investigate the matter. He traced some of the stealing to a negro, who recently came from Texas, and on Tuesday succeeded in capturing him at Guthrie. He was at once taken to Purcell to answer for his doings. Yesterday morning Marshal Madsen returned here again on the early train, accompanied by Marshal Wilson of Purcell, and two more arrests were made at once.
It is certain that there has existed an organized band of thieves, plying their vocation between Denison, Texas, and Oklahoma towns, and it is expected that other arrests will follow soon. It is hoped that this may tend to break up the gangs of thieves who at times have resorted to very daring robberies, and made life and property very insecure along the line.
Major Samuel C. Cushing of the subsistence department received telegraphic orders from Chicago Saturday directing him to forward without delay to all posts in the Indian territory such subsistence stores as have been estimated for, without waiting for the regular period of supplying the same. Many of the supplies are for use of troops in the field and will be used by the cavalry and infantry stationed at Supply, Reno, and Sill. At the first named post troops A and F, Fifth cavalry, are on duty, and headquarters of B, E, H, and I companies, Thirteenth infantry; at Reno headquarters B, C, E, G, K, and L, Fifth cavalry, with Colonel Wade in command, and G company, Thirteenth infantry, and at Sill, D and H, Fifth cavalry, F. H, and L, Seventh cavalry, and A, C, and D, Thirteenth infantry. This makes thirteen troops of cavalry available for the protection of the Indians and keeping sooners out of the territory. It is a much larger force than was used at the opening of Oklahoma in 1889.
The excitement over the opening of the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation is becoming more intense every hour. . . .
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