[FORT CANTONMENT.]

The following letters from C. M. Scott in 1879 tells about the new fort, which he states was started in 1878.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 27, 1879. Front Page.

                                         FROM THE INDIAN TERRITORY.

                                   STOCK ITEMS, HORSE STEALING, ETC.


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 half’s journey from Caldwell, brought up at Drum’s 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 Drum’s 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 Johnson’s 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.


Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 28, 1879 - Front Page.

                                Territorial Matters - The New Military Post, etc.

                                                  Another Letter from C. M.

                                  FORT CANTONMENT, I. T., August 13, 1879.

FRIEND MILLINGTON: Inasmuch as you have sent me paper and envelopes, I believe you are really anxious to hear from this section, and will endeavor to do my part towards adding to the interest of the COURIER; for I appreciate the fact that you are in earnest in the publication of the best paper in Kansas.

Fort Cantonment is a new military post, established in 1878, and is not completed yet. It is situated on the south side of the North Fork of Canadian River, eight miles below Barrel Springs; twenty miles below Sheridan’s Roost, and thirty miles below Cottonwood Grove. It is 130 miles southwest of Winfield, and 160 miles from Wichita.

Fort Cantonment is a six-company Post, commanded by Lieut. Col. Dodge, of the 23rd Infantry. During the Colonel’s absence on furlough, Capt. Geo. M. Randall, of Co. I, of Arizona and Indian fame, fills his place. The number of people at the Post, however, will not exceed 700, none of the companies being full; one company having only 27 men.

There are stationed here companies A, C, D, G, I, and K, commanded as follows.

Co. A, 23rd Infantry           Capt. Stilley.

Co. C, 23rd Infantry           Capt. Hallett.

Co. D, 23rd Infantry           Capt. Thos. Smith.

Co. G, 23rd Infantry           Capt. C. Wheatin.

Co. I, 23rd Infantry            Capt. G. W. Randall.

Co. K, 23rd Infantry           Capt. Goodale.

The country about the Post is sandy, with great groves of jack-oaks on the north, and cedar in the canyons, that afford the military wood and lumber. Limestone, building-stone, and sand are also to be found, so that the permanent structure of the Post can be made very substantial at a comparatively low cost.

A telegraph line is being made from Cantonment to Camp Supply and Fort Dodge; also to Fort Reno and Fort Sill. This has long been a “military necessity,” and will greatly facilitate matters in case of Indian troubles.

Corn retails at the sutler’s store for $1.00 per bushel, and it is hard to get at that. Beef sells on the block at 5½ cents per lb., and at 6¼ cents per lb. where it is cut up to suit purchases. Here and there we notice flour sacks with the brand of the Winfield mills, and quite often your citizens are inquired after.

A number of laborers are employed in making hay and cutting wood, for which they receive $25 per month and board. Mr. Bigford, of Leavenworth, has the hay contract at $7.00 per ton, and the wood contract at $4.90 per cord. A number of Arapaho Indians are engaged in cutting the wood. They were in need of more hands in the hay-field, yet ere this reached you I suppose the demand will be filled, as many parties returning from Leadville and Colorado come by this route to Texas, and are generally in need of money and work.

The sutlers complain of trouble in getting freight from Wichita, for which they pay $1.15 per cwt., for 160 miles of hauling. Most freighters take back a load of bones for which they get $9 per ton at Wichita, giving them a load each way. A ton of buffalo horns is worth $12.

In some sections, where white buffalo hunters operated, these bones are spread over the prairies like snow-flakes. And now that we are on the subject of bones and buffalo, let me give you an idea of the enormous destruction of the red man’s cattle.

In the fall, when it is cool enough to keep hides with but little trouble, six or eight men will form a party and locate on the range; generally in the Pan Handle of Texas or south of Red river. They will be armed with Sharp’s 16-lb. rifles, calibre 45; that is, the ball will be forty-five one-hundredths of an inch in diameter, and the gun a breech loader, carrying a ball 1700 yards or one mile. They go out regularly every morning and begin the slaughter—for buffalo in that region are always in sight. One man does the shooting and three skin; killing from twenty to forty buffalo a day to the man. When they have a load, they are hauled to Sherman, Texas, and sold for five or six cents a pound. The large bull hides will weigh forty pounds, and net $2.00 each, while those of the cow will weigh but twenty pounds. On an average these men calculate to make $100 per month above all expenses, and many have made that amount in one week, but they generally average $400 each during the four months of the hunting season.

There would have been a fortune for a man to have taken cans to the camps of these hunters, and saved the thousands of beeves left to rot on the prairie. Or if the tallow or tongues had been taken care of, or the meat even dried, it would have paid well and saved it from waste.

Within the past two years there has been comparatively little hunting, as the great mass of buffalo went into New Mexico in the spring of 1877, and have not returned. Old hunters conjecture that when they made the usual attempt to come north in the summer of 1878, it was so dry, and the grass so dried up on the Staked Plains that they could not.

The best hunting now, in the Indian Territory, is on the main Canadian, southwest of Fort Cantonment. There bear, elk, deer, antelope, and turkey are still plentiful, with an occasional buffalo now and then, and panthers, wolves, beaver, and otter. The Indians object to whites hunting in the Territory, and they have no authority to hunt there, yet they do. 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.

Camp Supply is 150 miles west of Arkansas City and 36 miles south, or 186 miles distant. It is situated between Wolf and Beaver creeks that make the head of the North Canadian.

Fort Cantonment is ten townships south and sixteen townships west, or one hundred and fifty-six miles distant from Arkansas City.

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, May 12, 1880.

                                                      OPENING OF BIDS.

The following is a list of the bids that were opened in the Chief Quartermaster’s 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.

Cantonment. Wood—C. 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.

The awards will be made known soon. Leavenworth Times.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 1, 1881.

                                                         THE ROUND-UP.

Messrs. M. H. Bennett and Marion Blair came in from the round-up in the Territory last Saturday.

The general round-up was commenced on the North Fork of the Canadian, about twenty-five miles east of the Cheyenne Agency, and then worked up to Cantonment, one party working on west of Cantonment and the other swinging over north onto the Cimarron, where they will camp until the other party works up the upper Canadian country, then they will all work down the Canadian, cross over to the Red Rock country, work that up, and return to the Salt Fork and west to the Medicine country. The boys only found about 1,500 cattle south of the Canadian. The cattle are doing finely and are strong enough to stand the racket in good shape. Saddle horses and men are feeling as gay as a Vassar girl on commencement day. Very few dead cattle were found—less than was expected by the most sanguine.

The method obtained by the captains is to gather about three or four thousand head together, then divide them into five bunches, then each district take a bunch, cut out all brands belonging to that district, then exchange with some other district, and go through it in the same way, until each party has gone through the different bunches of cattle, thereby getting all the cattle that belong to each district together.

Mr. Bennett thinks it will take to the first or fifteenth of August to complete the work before them.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 26, 1881.

Advertisements for bids for oats for the military at Forts Leavenworth, Sill, Reno, and Cantonment have appeared. Bids will be received until July 22nd, 1882.

Cowley County Courant, November 17, 1881.

Two companies of the 9th Cavalry, Capt. Parker in command, arrived from New Mexico on Saturday. One company goes to Fort Reno and the other to Cantonment. Three more companies of the 9th will be along in a few days, and then the Territory will be garrisoned exclusively by colored troops. Caldwell Commercial.

The next item does not mention “Cantonment,” but it starts the saga of the gang of cowboys that were sought...

Cowley County Courant, December 22, 1881.

About two o’clock Saturday afternoon a number of Cowboys attacked Caldwell with the declaration that they intended to take the town, and a bloody fight ensued, the use of firearms being brought into wicked use. All seemed to take an active part, and the fight was a bloody one, resulting in the death of one citizen and two cowboys. Excitement was at such a heat as to make it impossible for the operator at Caldwell to get anything like a full report of the bloody affair up to the time the representative of the COURANT was compelled to leave the telegraph office. Finally it got too hot for the cowboys, and they jumped upon their horses and started out of town. The citizens fired on them from all sides, killing one cowboy and one pony, the rider jumping on behind another companion and rode out of town, both firing as they went.

A posse of citizens followed the cowboys out south of town about four miles and caught some of them, and at last reports were returning to the city with the prisoners, where the Santa Fe train is waiting to take them to Wellington.

A later dispatch says that the cowboys returning under guard have bucked, not wishing to see it that way, but that the citizens have rounded the cowboys up, and sent to town for more help. The citizen killed was Mike Meagher, an ex-mayor of Wellington, who has ever been considered a brave and daring fellow, and a dangerous man. One of the cowboys who shot when the row first commenced, the second as they were retreating out of town, and the third out about four miles.

As we go to press, we learn the cowboys escaped from citizens on foot and meeting freighters on Pond Creek, took their horses and rode away, twenty citizens in pursuit, Meagher and Geo. Speers killed, and W. C. Campbell wounded.

Cowley County Courant, December 29, 1881.

As many of our readers are interested in the cowboy trouble and would like particulars, we clip the following from the Caldwell Post, which is as authentic as any statement of the affair will be.

To begin at the beginning of this affair, one would have to get into the secrets of men’s hearts, so we will only begin at the apparent beginning.

One Jim Talbot, who has been around the city about a month gambling, drinking, bullying, and attempting to bulldoze everyone, was the leader of the party. With Talbot, on the drinking spree during the night, were Jim Martin, Bob Bigtree, Tom Love, Bob Munsen, Dick Eddleman, and George Speers.

Speers did none of the shooting, but was in the act of saddling one of Talbot’s horses when he was shot. Talbot, Martin, Bigtree, Munsen, and Doug Hill were standing, holding their horses near Speers, waiting for him to saddle up.

After the fighting in the city, and Mike Meagher and George Speers were killed, the five outlaws—Jim Talbot, Bob Bigtree, Bob Munsen, Jim Martin, and Doug Hill—rode off to the east of town, across the railroad track. Some one of the citizens fired at and killed a horse from under one of them. He got up behind one of the other men. A party of citizens organized, mounted horses, and started in pursuit.

The outlaws met a man bringing hay to town, with a lead horse in the rear of the wagon. They cut the horse loose and rode it off. At W. F. Campbell’s they got two more horses, those they were riding having been wounded. The party of citizens got sight of them just before they crossed Bluff Creek into the Indian Territory. There were five of the outlaws then, but after they appeared on the prairie beyond, there were only four. They followed at a break-neck pace, both parties keeping up a constant fire for about twelve miles.

The outlaws headed for Deutcher Bros.’ horse ranch on Deer Creek, intending to get fresh horses there, but were so closely pressed by the pursuing party that they could not make change and get away. When they reached the ranch, the citizens were only a few hundred feet away.

The outlaws passed on to the bluff and creek about six hundred feet south of the ranch, dismounted and took to the brush and rocks, firing all the time at the citizens. The citizens finally drove them over the bluff and into a canyon, where there had been a stone dugout. Into this three of the outlaws went, threw up breast-works of stone, got behind them, and would bang away at anyone who showed an inch of his person to their view.

The citizens surrounded the gulch and kept up a constant firing at the fort, but without effect. One of the outlaws took refuge up in a small gulch leading to the west, and was not seen until he fired at W. E. Campbell, who was sliding down the hill on his face to get a commanding point above the fort. The outlaw’s ball took effect in Campbell’s wrist, passing between the two bones. Another ball passed through his clothes six or seven times, and made a small flesh wound on his thigh. This disconcerted the citizens to a certain extent, and it being dark, they could do but little good in fighting. Being up above the outlaws, they were splendid marks for their fire, while the outlaws were in the shadows, so that their position could not be distinguished. Had the fourth man been anywhere else in the gulch the citizens could have taken them in; but his position covered every point that the others were exposed from. In fact, they held the key to the situation. Thirty minutes more daylight would have told the tale for the outlaws; or had Campbell escaped the fire of the villain that shot him, he could have killed the other three in as many minutes as his position commanded the fort in every corner. The two parties were not seventy-five feet apart at any time during the battle, while Campbell’s men were not over twenty-five feet from him when he was shot. Jonny Hall got a bullet through the top of his hat, missing his head about an inch.

Reinforcements arrived at the ranch from town about ten o’clock. Pickets were formed around the gulch, but the outlaws had flown before that time. There were only about fifteen men at the place during the evening fight, and most of them returned to town as soon as Campbell was shot, leaving only six men to guard the gulch and over thirty head of horses. The horses required the attention of at least four men, for they were what the outlaws needed.

The morning round-up revealed the fact that the outlaws had escaped. The entire party, except Sheriff Thralls, Frank Evans, Bob Harrington, Jim Dobson, Sam Swayer, Mr. Freeman, A. Rhodes, another man, and the writer hereof, came to town. About thirty-five came in, leaving the small party to look up the outlaws, inform the camps below to look out for stolen stock, etc. Our party visited two or three camps on Deer Creek and started for home. We met several parties coming out from town, most of them for fun, others for business. They all returned before night.

A party of fifteen was organized by the mayor and started out Sunday evening to guard certain cow camps to see that no horses were stolen from them. The outlaws traveled six or seven miles, possibly ten, Saturday night.

Two freighters were camped on Bullwhacker Creek, about eighteen miles south of this city, Sunday night, when Talbot’s party, five in number this time, rounded them up and took five horses from them. Two of the party were bare-headed, and one had a slight wound in his foot. The outlaws started south.

The freighters came in about two o’clock, when Sheriff Thralls, with a posse, started his pursuit. Another party of freighters passed the outlaws near Pond Creek during the night. The outlaws were going south.

A party was organized Tuesday evening and started to Cantonment to intercept them there. Mr. George Brown was in charge of the party.

Cowley County Courant, December 29, 1881.

From the Wichita Beacon we copy the following concerning one of the victims of the Caldwell tragedy.

“The remains of Mike Meagher were laid out in the parlor of Capt. Steel until 10 a.m., Tuesday, when they were removed to the Catholic Church for the funeral services. The face looked as natural as life, and was more like a quiet sleep than like death. Mike had his faults, but they were more on the generous side than on the mean side of human nature. For the past twelve years, since he has been in this section, his official life has thrown him in contact with the roughest, most desperate and dangerous class, and he has stood many a time between this city and bloodshed by his good judgment, cool bravery, and by the generosity of his nature, which the most desperate recognized. Mike had his faults; there was even blood on his hands, shed while he was an officer. How much of that was on his soul, no one but his Maker can know. We only know that Mike had qualities that drew about him many warm friends, and in this city nearly everybody liked Mike Meagher. His wife is quite heart-broken over her sudden and cruel loss, and for her and the others of Mike’s family we have great sympathy.”

Cowley County Courant, January 5, 1882.

We clip the following from the Caldwell Commercial, which has some connection with the escaped cowboys, but more particularly to a W. J. Keffer, who, if we mistake not, resides in this county and is well known to many of our citizens.

Last Sunday about dusk W. J. Keffer, a freighter between Caldwell and Cantonment, arrived at Gilmore’s stable with the five horses which the Talbot gang had taken from the Harmon’s on the night of the 12th inst. Early on Monday morning we sought Mr. Keffer for the purpose of interviewing him as to where and how he obtained possession of the stock. Keffer at first declined to be interviewed, but a vigorous pressure of the reportorial thumbscrews finally extorted his version of the affair which we condense as closely as possible.

According to Keffer’s story, he had lost three head of horses on the Friday night previous to the shooting in town. The next day he started on a hunt for them. On Monday or Tuesday of last week, he heard of the loss sustained by the Harmon’s, and obtained a description of their stock. Last Friday afternoon, while riding on the bluffs on the other side of Big Turkey creek, north of the Cantonment trail, he saw a party of men riding towards the creek, and having several horses besides those they rode. They entered the timber and disappeared from sight. He then crossed the creek, and in the brush he discovered three of the horses taken from the freighters, and one gray and one black horse, all tied up. There were other loose horses around, but he did not care to stop and examine them at that time. About a mile and a half from where the horses were tied, he met two men riding two of Harmon’s large bay horses. He describes one of them as a tall, dark man, with black whiskers, and a little bald on the front part of his head; the other appeared to be a medium sized man, light complexion, and face shaved with the exception of whiskers and mustache.

Keffer says he did not appear to notice them, but went on to his camp. Keffer says when he met the men, one of them, whom he thinks was Talbot from the description he had of him, dropped behind and asked if he was looking for horses. Keffer answered that he was. The men then rode on without saying anything further. On Saturday morning about 3 o’clock, Keffer says he went to where he had seen the horses tied, and found all five of them, including the two he had seen the two men riding the day before. These five he untied, led out, and started for town. Reached Pond Creek ranch on Saturday evening, where he met one of the Harmon’s, and came into Caldwell on Sunday evening as before stated.

Two freighters who passed Wilson’s camp on Turkey Saturday, arriving here on Sunday night, say that Wilson told them the desperadoes stayed at his place on Friday night, and on Saturday morning. They sent the horses back, saying they intended to keep their word, if they did get into a shooting scrape.

This, of course, contradicts Keffer’s story; but as the latter is an old resident of Cowley County, and has been engaged for a number of years in freighting, he may have told the whole truth and nothing but the truth regarding the manner of obtaining possession of the stock.

Since the above was written, facts have come to our knowledge which go to show that Keffer lied, wholesale and retail, when he made his statement to us. We are informed that the ruffians went to the stage station on the Cantonment road, last Thursday, and stated that they wanted to find a man by whom they could send back the horses they had taken from the freighters. Not finding anyone, they left, and on Friday returned, and finding Keffer there, they turned the horses over to him with instructions to take them to Caldwell. This, we believe to be the bottom facts. Keffer sought to make it appear that he was a great hero and a brave man; hence he invented the yarn about stealing the horses from under the noses of the desperadoes. As a picturesque liar, Keffer has failed miserably.

                              [Note: Some of the stories refer to Talbott—not Talbot.]

Arkansas City Traveler, March 8, 1882.

The Southwestern Stage and Mail Company, of which Mr. H. A. Todd is manager, was awarded the contract for carrying the mails on the Caldwell and Ft. Sill, Caldwell and Cantonement [Cantonment], Supply and Mobeetie, and Harper and Medicine Lodge routes, and several others we do not know the names of. The contracts run from July 1st, 1882, four years. Some of the routes were taken at surprisingly low rates, while others were away up yonder. Caldwell Post.

Arkansas City Traveler, April 5, 1882.

                        Proposals for Wood, Coal, Charcoal, Hay, Corn and Oats.

                                            Headquarters Department of Mo.,

                                    OFFICE OF CHIEF QUARTERMASTER.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Ks., March 31, 1882.

SEALED PROPOSALS, in triplicate subject to the usual conditions, will be received at this office, or at the offices of the Quartermasters at the following named posts until 12 o’clock noon, Leavenworth time, on Monday, May 1, 1882, at which time and places they will be opened in the presence of bidders, for furnishing and delivery of Wood, Coal, Charcoal, Hay and Straw during the fiscal year commencing July 1, 1882, and ending June 30, 1883, and of Corn and Oats for the period beginning July 1, 1882, and ending Nov. 15, 1882, at Forts Leavenworth, Riley, Hays, Wallace, and Dodge, Dodge City, Junction City, and Caldwell, Kansas; Forts Supply, Sill, Reno, and Gibson, and the Cantonment, Indian Territory; Fort Elliott and Gainesville, Texas; Forts Lyon and Garland, and Camps on Uncompangre and White Rivers, Colorado, and Camp on Snake River, Wyoming Territory.

Blank proposals and printed circulars stating the kinds of supplies, and estimated quantities thereof, required at each post or station, and giving full instructions as to the manner of bidding, amount of bond to accompany proposals, conditions to be observed by bidders, and terms of contract and payment, will be furnished on application to this office, or to the Quartermaster at the posts named.

A preference will be given to articles of domestic production, conditions of price and quality being equal, and such preference will be given to articles of domestic production, produced on the Pacific Coast to the extent of their use required by the public service there.

The Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals. Proposals for a less quantity than the whole required, will be received.

Envelopes containing proposals should be marked: “Proposals for       at      ” and addressed to the undersigned, or to the respective Post Quartermasters.

                                    J. D. BINGHAM, Deputy Q. M. Gen., U. S. A.

Arkansas City Traveler, April 12, 1882.

                                               THROUGH CATTLE TRAIL.

                                       The Route Which Cattle Coming from Texas

                                          must follow through the Indian Territory.

The following letter has been handed us for publication, in order that it may be clearly understood by what routes cattle from Texas may pass through the Territory. The trail business should have been attended to ere this, but with prompt action on the part of those interested, and if satisfactory to all concerned, the trail as laid out last season might receive the approval of the Commissioner of Indian affairs.

                                         CHEYENNE & ARAPAHO AGENCY,

                             DARLINGTON, INDIAN TERRITORY, April 1, 1882.

W. N. Hubbell, Caldwell, Kas.

DEAR FRIEND: All cattle herds will be required to follow the old Chisholm trail east of this agency, or on the trail west of Cantonment. The trail passing between this Agency and Cantonment in the vicinity of the Red Hills, over which a few herds passed last season, was not authorized by the Indian Office and cannot be used this season except it first be authorized by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

You will please give this notice to cattle men.

Very respectfully, JNO. D. MILES, Indian Agent. Commercial.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 9, 1882.

John D. Miles, United States Indian Agent, gives notice that all cattle found in the Indian reservation that do not belong to Indians, or upon which the owners have not paid the penalty, will be promptly removed by the military, respecting only the rights of Indians in possession of their own herds and the family of those who have intermarried with whites in the possession of herds that are actually and bona fide their own.

The attention of drovers is also called to the fact that the only trails over which cattle are authorized to pass is east of this agency about sixteen miles, and west of Cantonment about ten miles; and herds found passing over this reservation at any other point, will be stopped, and the penalty of one dollar per head imposed.

The boundaries of the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations are described as follows.

Commencing at a point where the Washita river crosses the 68th degree of west longitude; thence north on a line with said 98 degrees to the point where it is crossed by the Red Fork of the Arkansas river (sometimes called the Cimarron river); thence up said river, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to the north boundary of the country ceded to the United States by the treaty of June 14, 1865, with the Creek Nation of Indians; thence west on said north boundary and the north boundary of the country ceded to the United States by the treaty of March 21, 1866, with the Seminole Indians, to 100 degrees of west longitude; thence south on the line of said degree to the north boundary of the country set apart for the Kiowas and Comanches, by the second article of the treaty concluded October 21, 1867, with said tribes; thence east along said boundary to the point where it strikes the Washita river; thence down said Washita river in the middle of the channel thereof to the place of beginning. Commonwealth.

Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, October 12, 1882.

                                              AFTER THE TALBOTT GANG.

                                         A Hunt of Two Weeks and No Capture.

About the 14th or 15th of last month, information was received from below that the Talbott gang, or part of them, was located in the southwest part of the Indian Territory and had with them a lot of stolen horses and cattle. The information came from a reliable source, and acting upon it, Sheriff Thralls organized a party to hunt up and if possible capture the gang.

The sheriff and his men left on the 19th of September, returned last Thursday the 5th, inst., having been gone seventeen days. From Henry Brown, Assistant Marshal of this city, who accompanied the expedition, we learn that the party went from here to the Cheyenne and Arapaho country, and after consulting with Agent Miles, a detachment of troops was secured to accompany Sheriff Thrall’s party; and if need be, assist in the capture of the outlaws.

It was also learned at the agency that Dug. Hill and Bob Munsing [? NOT SURE OF LAST NAME] were among the outlaws, the former going under the name of Bob Johnson, and the latter by the name of Slocum; also that Dug Hill had been connected with and was observed in the company of a man named Kooch [? AGAIN, NOT SURE OF THIS NAME], holding cattle on Quartermaster [?] Creek, ever since the 27th of last July.

Thrall’s party traveled about one hundred miles southwest of Cantonment, to Seger’s cattle camp, where they halted and Seger went over to Kooch’s camp, about twenty miles distant, to ascertain the exact whereabouts of Hill and Munsing. [REST OF PARAGRAPH TOO FAINT TO READ WELL...COULD READ THE LAST PART.]          

However, the sheriff’s party proceeded to Kooch’s [?] camp, and on arriving there, found that “Bob Johnson” was gone and that “Mr. Slocum” had cut his foot and gone to Cantonment to get some medicine for it.

The Thrall’s party then followed Quartermaster [?] Creek to where it empties in the Washita and not obtaining any trace of the fugitives, came on home.

Mr. Brown also informs us that in addition to the camp of Seger and Kooch, the Standard Cattle Co., Ben Clark, Henry Street, and others are holding cattle in that section of the Territory. The country is supposed to be a part of the Kiowa and Comanche reservation, but whether that is the fact we are unable to say.

According to the next article, Cantonment was abandoned to Bob Bent...

Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, October 19, 1882.

The first copy of the Cheyenne Transporter our eyes have beheld for two months arrived yesterday, and is dated the 13th inst. We see by it that Agent Miles has placed Bob Bent in charge of the abandoned post at Cantonment and that the teams and wagons taken from Payne’s party have been sent north to be delivered to the owners. It strikes us that the last operation is a queer one to say the least. The Transporter also announces the death at Fort Sill, of Mrs. Capt. Leggett, of diphtheria. Her death has occasioned the deepest sorrow among an extensive acquaintance of admiring friends.

The next two items indicate the end of Cantonment as a military fort...

Arkansas City Traveler, December 6, 1882.

A telegram has been received by Agent Miles from the department, stating that the Mennonites had been authorized to occupy the buildings at Cantonment (recently turned over by the war department) for educational purposes.


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 company’s 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.


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.

“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.”

Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, December 28, 1882.

                                                     Of Interest to Cattle Men.

LEAVENWORTH, Dec. 23. John Volz, of this city, who has a cattle ranch in the Indian Territory, near the Cantonment, has just received information from there that a council has been called by the head chiefs of the Cheyennes. The propositions to be discussed are:

1. The organization of a government similar to a territorial one.

2. The election of a Governor and Council, or Legislature.

3. The levying of taxes pro rata upon cattle ranges and herders. Mr. Volz favored the scheme, and thinks it will tend to shut out the larger cattle dealers, who are trying to freeze out the lesser ones, or at any rate give small herders a chance.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 17, 1883.

                                                     Of Interest to Cattle Men.

Leavenworth, Dec. 28. John Volz, of this city, who has a cattle ranch in the Indian Territory, near the Cantonment, has just received information from there that a council has been called by the head chiefs of the Cheyennes. The propositions to be discussed are: 1. The organization of a government similar to a territorial one. 2. The election of a Governor and Council, or Legislature; and 3. The levying of taxes pro rata upon cattle ranges and herders. Mr. Volz favored the scheme, and thinks it will tend to shut out the larger cattle-dealers who are trying to freeze out the leaner ones, or at any rate give small herders a chance.

Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 29, 1883.

H. C. Keeling, the old post trader at Cantonment, surprised us by walking in yesterday afternoon and wanting to know what had become of his COMMERCIAL. It seems that after leaving Cantonment, he went to Deming, New Mexico, there made a location, and is now on his way to Cantonment after his goods. Mr. Keeling will return to Deming within ten days, and we know he will carry with him the best wishes of a host of friends in this country for his financial success.

Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, May 3, 1883.

Mr. A. H. Todd, for a long time connected with H. C. Keeling’s trading store at Cantonment, arrived on Monday, and will take part in opening up the Keeling outfitting store in the Reilly block. Mr. Todd is a pleasant gentleman whom our people will take to on better acquaintance.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 9, 1883.

The ponies stolen from the Osages April 24th passed Pond Creek Ranch, thirty miles below Caldwell, April 26th, going towards Cantonment.

Caldwell Journal, May 31, 1883.

Ed Fenlon, one of the lessees of the Cheyenne and Arapaho lands, passed through town Friday last on his way to Cantonment to look after some cattle interests.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 4, 1883.

Capt. Somers, formerly Quartermaster at Cantonment, was in the city Monday, inspecting the corn to be delivered at the military posts by Major Searing.


Caldwell Journal, August 2, 1883.

                                                            Territory Items.

                                             Cheyenne Transporter, July 29th.

In the absence of Agent Miles, Mr. O. J. Woodard is acting agent, and fills the position with much credit to himself.

Johnson Foster, the half-breed Creek who murdered Robert Poisal, while being taken to Fort Smith, killed the marshal who had him in charge and escaped. The marshal’s name was Mr. Weir.

The Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association has appointed Ben. Goode as the inspector at this and the Wichita Agency, and Ben. is now on duty. Mr. Goode has a thorough knowledge of the cattle business, and is about as well posted on brands as anyone we know of, and he will ever look to the interests of the association he represents.

The Wellman boys, who are farming John Poisal’s place this year, are at the Agency every alternate morning with all kinds of vegetables. They raised a fine large crop, and they have no trouble at finding buyers for their products.

Herds passing Cantonment recently are:

Reynolds & Matthews, 1,140 2-year-old steers, with P. W. Reynolds in charge.

Mr. Barns, with 500 beeves.

A. Forsyth & Co., with 750 beeves in charge of D. D. Swearenger.

Texas Land and Cattle Co. (T5) had 3,500 head of stock cattle in their laurel-leaf brand.

Dr. Burnett, 1,900 steers.

Mill Iron Cattle Co., 1,000 beeves.

Witherspoon Brothers, 800 steers.

Reynolds & Matthews, 2,600 steers.

Monroe Cattle Company, 1,500 steers.

Caldwell Journal, September 13, 1883.

Rev. S. S. Haury, in charge of the Mennonite mission at Cantonment, came up on the stage Tuesday morning, and went north on the afternoon train. Mr. Haury is doing good work among the Cheyennes.


Caldwell Journal, December 20, 1883.

                                                            Territory Items.

                                                    [Cheyenne Transporter.]

Wm. H. Lockridge, range manager for the Cheyenne & Arapaho Cattle Company, passed through here last week on his way home from Kansas City. Mr. Lockridge has the material for a dwelling now en route for his headquarters camp, which is located at the springs eighteen miles southwest of Cantonment.

Arkansas City Republican, July 12, 1884.

MARRIED. We are in receipt of a card, elegant in design, announcing the marriage of H. H. Campbell and Miss Amy E. Scott, on July 10, at the Chilocco Indian School, Arkansas City. Both parties are well and favorably known in this vicinity, the bride having been three years employed in the Cheyenne school, and the groom about the same length of time has been actively employed here. He is now postmaster and manager of Capt. Connell’s branch store at Cantonment. Sorry to say, we will be unable to witness the marriage of these friends, and all we can do is to extend to Mr. and Mrs. Campbell the best wishes and congratulations of this community. Cheyenne Transporter.

Arkansas City Republican, July 12, 1884.

MARRIED. Married at the Chilocco Indian school building, Thursday evening, July 10, 1884, by Rev. S. B. Fleming, Mr. H. H. Campbell, of Cantonment, Indian Territory, and Miss Amy E. Scott, of Chilocco, Indian Territory.

This was a most pleasant and agreeable occasion. About thirty guests were present, mostly composed of the employees of the government industrial school and the immediate friends of the bride and groom. At 8:30 p.m., the spacious parlors, recently handsomely furnished, were opened up and the Indian children called together in the schoolroom, to which the company in the parlors repaired, and the ceremony was performed in the presence of all the children.

After the ceremony was performed and the happy couple congratulated by their friends, the company repaired to the spacious dining room, where a repast fit for a king awaited them, and as jolly and good-natured a company as can well be imagined partook of the good things so bountifully provided. Many beautiful and costly wedding presents, too numerous to mention here, were received by the happy couple. Altogether it was a most enjoyable occasion. These young friends are to be heartily congratulated in their new relations.

                              [Note: I stopped checking after above item. MAW]

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