This story starts with Tell W. Walton, surveyor and newspaper man.
Tell Walton had numerous brothers and sisters. His father, Judge George T. Walton, was the first historian for Oxford, Walton Township, Sumner County. Judge Walton later moved to Burden and became editor of the Burden Enterprise in 1884.
Two years older than Tell, Wirt W. Walton was the Cowley County surveyor for some years. He was the local editor for the Winfield Courier in 1875. His interest in politics led to his position as Chief Clerk of the Kansas House of Representatives. He became editor of the Clay Center Dispatch in 1880. On September 5, 1886, editor Wirt Walton was riding in the engine of a passenger train on the Fort Kearney branch of the Union Pacific. The engine jumped the track near Junction City, landing on its side, throwing Mr. Walton out of the left side window, and severely scalding him. He died soon thereafter. No other person was hurt. The engineer was discharged by the Union Pacific Company for having violated the rules of the company by permitting Mr. Walton to ride upon the engine.
In 1873, at the age of 19, Tell Walton became the county surveyor in Barbour County. In 1874 Tell was a member of the De Bois' surveying party from Wichita, which worked southwest of Fort Sill, taking his chance of losing his scalp for $40 a month. While at Fort Sill he was equipped with a Remington rifle, saw General Sheridan take charge, and viewed captured Indian chiefs in the guard house such as Satanta. Soon after news reached Winfield that Tell, while handling a gun, lost part of his left forefinger from one barrel and was struck in the eyes by the contents of the other barrel, when the gun accidentally discharged. Several weeks later Tell contradicted this report and stated his eyesight was all right.
In June 1875 Tell joined with his brother, Peter, who was then living at Parsons, in buying a herd of match ponies at Fort Sill, which they shipped east. While passing through Winfield, they amused the local boys by lassoing and riding the wildest of the ponies.
The Courier commented in August 1875: "And now we learn that Tell W. Walton has been struck by lightning. What with shooting himself, being thrown from Comanche ponies, arrested by the U. S. soldiers, writing for the Plow and Anvil, and now being struck by lightning, all within six months, we begin to think that boy can stand anything. He was a brother of ours before he wrote for the above mentioned machine shop."
Tell moved to Wellington. The following item appeared in the Wellington Press in February 1876. "The courthouse came near being destroyed by fire Sunday morning. Mr. Tell Walton had taken up the ashes in a nail keg, which he placed in a corner of one of the offices, and then left the room. Returning some time after, he discovered the keg to be all ablaze, and the flames already making rapid progress upon the wooden structure of the building. The alarm was given, water procured, and in a few minutes the would-be conflagration was extinguished. This little accident should serve as a lesson to all who are in the habit of taking up ashes in wooden vessels and not emptying the same immediately. Ashes often contain fire when it is supposed they are entirely free from it, and our advice to one and all is, never habituate yourself to leaving ashes setting in vessels of any kind inside of any building."
Tell Walton kept busy in both Sumner County and Cowley County as a road surveyor and Deputy Surveyor.
Some of the first surveys were made improperly. As a result, corners and lines were incorrect. "Claim jumpers" moved or kicked corner stones out of position. Tell's three questions to Geo. R. Peck, U. S. Attorney at Topeka, were answered in June 1876.
Q. By Walton: Should I not, in determining the true location of effaced, destroyed, or doubtful government corners, be governed wholly by well authenticated lines and corners properly identified by the original plats and notes and re-establish them to correspond therewith, as near as ordinary professional skill admit?
A. By Peck: I am of the opinion that the true location of effaced, destroyed, missing, and doubtful corners must be determined by the original plats and notes and well authenticated monuments.
Q. By Walton: In such cases are not the original field notes and plats, or certified copies thereof, my only guide in determining the true location of such lines and corners?
A. By Peck: Yes, qualified by an observance of the above mentioned rule.
Q. By Walton: Should a stone or other monument found near the point designated as the original location of a corner be considered as prima facie evidence of its having been thus established by the Deputy U. S. Surveyor, or should the field notes, coupled with properly identified lines and corners, be equally considered in the matter?"
A. By Peck: To the third interrogatory I reply, always bearing in mind, as a governing rule, that course and distances must yield to undoubted monuments. That much depends upon the circumstances. If the stone or monument is of such type and permanency as to indicate that it was placed there as a monument, it should be regarded as prima facie evidence of having been so established by competent authority, especially if it be near the point designated as the original location of a corner. But if such stone or possible monument is of a movable, uncertain, and doubtful character, the field notes, coupled with clearly identified lines and corners, should be consulted.
Tell Walton did extensive surveying in Grouse Valley. It is believed he was the "Walton" referred to in a letter written by Stacy Matlack July 20, 1877, when he was an Indian Trader for the Pawnees. [Matlack later became a merchant in Arkansas City at the corner of Summit Street and West Fifth Avenue. Taylor Drug is now at this location.]
"The facts connected with the meeting of Alexander, Broome, and Walton, with a party of Osages, on Gray Horse Creek, June 19th, are as follows.
"Upon approaching the creek, they were startled by yells and running horses from the rear, and were at once surrounded by a dozen Indians, who were mounted, armed, and painted.
"They produced a trade dollar of Dunlap & Florer's, and from signs made the whites understood that they wanted to trade it for hair. It was thought best to comply, under the circumstances, and Harry Broome, for and in consideration of the dollar check, allowed them to cut from his head a lock of hair.
"The Indians were now satisfied and left while the whites crossed the creek and stopped for dinner. While in camp they discovered an Indian on a bluff in the distance, who seemed to be signaling someone on the opposite side of the stream, and as they were about resuming their journey, they were again approached by Indians; this time three in number. This party was unarmed, and one of the number spoke tolerable good English. They were talkative and said a large party of Osages were mourning the death of a chief. They also stated that they were poor and had no money, but that they, too, wanted some hair, so that they could have a dance that evening. Broome was asked to furnish the article.
"They objected to Alexander's hair upon the ground that it bore too close a resemblance to the hair of the horse and Walton was in no trouble as his hair was too short to admit of a close cut. I have written a faithful account of the affair as detailed to me by one of the party, in whose word I place implicit confidence. Very cordially, STACY MATLACK."
[Note: At the time of the "hair cutting," Dunlap and John N. Florer were the Indian traders at Pawhuska for the Osage Indians. Florer later became a cattleman on Kaw and Osage lands.]
Tell Walton became county surveyor in Sumner County in late 1878. In 1879 he took a position with the engineering corps of the C. S. & F. S. railroad.
He finally settled down at Wellington, marrying Alice M. Hutchinson on September 22, 1879. Tell Walton and his wife often visited Arkansas City, where she had relatives.
Tell started the Mulvane Herald in March 1880. By December he ceased publishing the paper and filled in for his brother, Wirt, on the Clay Center Dispatch local columns while Wirt was busy at Topeka as a politician.
In April 1881 Tell W. Walton purchased the Caldwell Post from Mr. J. H. Sain.
The Courier reprinted an article from the Caldwell Post by Tell Walton in June 1881.
"Last Saturday night, while en route to Oxford from this city, we were compelled to patronize the K. C. L. & S. road from Winfield to Oxford. We applied at the ticket office for two tickets to Oxford, and tendered our money, a ten dollar bill. After marking the tickets and passing them over the counter, he found he could not make the change; so he said to get on the train and pay the conductor, or get the tickets after we had arrived at Oxford.
"Thinking it would be all right, and having his assurance that it would be, we boarded the train, and after we got out three-fourths of a mile from the station, the conductor came through the car collecting tickets. We tendered our money a second time, but he refused to even look at it or hear an explanation of any kind, but stopped the train and compelled us to get off where we were, causing us, with our wife and child, to walk nearly a mile over the rough roads and cross the prairie back to the depot. We had some baggage with us, which we were obliged to carry too, or leave on the prairie. . . .
"This * * on the same evening beat a poor, lone woman out of the last cent she had, in making change for a ticket. She gave him a silver dollar, the last she had, and in return got a ticket for Oxford, costing forty cents, and ten cents in money. He claimed that she only gave him a half dollar, but the bystanders would swear that she gave him a dollar."
"John R. McGuire, of Tisdale, says that the other day he applied to the ticket office at Cherryvale for a ticket to Independence, the price of which was forty cents, and offered a half dollar piece, which was refused as not being the exact change. A feeble woman with two small children just then applied for a ticket to Independence, but failed for the same reason. Just then the train for Independence came along and McGuire and the woman got on board. The conductor came along and demanded tickets. The half dollars were offered and refused on the ground that the conductor would not take money but must have tickets. No amount would do. The only alternative was tickets or get off. The train was stopped and McGuire and the woman and her children were put out on the prairie two miles from Cherryvale, to which place they had to walk back. The woman could scarcely walk and her exertions would have been fatal had not McGuire been there to carry her small children."
Instead of reporting news, Tell became the "news" in the area newspapers.
The first items appeared in December 1881. They concerned the crooked Caldwell banker, J. S. Danford.
"Tell Walton dropped in Monday morning fresh from the seat of war at Caldwell. Having deposited all his money in Danford's Bank, it is fair to presume that he walked over. The conductor wouldn't accept a certificate of deposit as legal tender."
This was followed up with items that Tell Walton, among others, had been sued by Danford for $100,000. "As Tell lost some money in the bank failure, he is sitting up nights trying to figure the thing out. Can't you do it, Tell? If in addition to the loss of his $180 deposit, he should have the whole $100,000 to pay, it would cut down his profits for 1881 at least one half."
[J. S. Danford was co-editor and proprietor of the Walnut Valley Times, when the paper was started by him and T. B. Murdock on Friday, March 4, 1870, in Eldorado, Butler County, Kansas. Murdock soon severed the partnership with Danford. In the centennial edition of the Winfield Courier, January 6, 1876, county historian Wirt W. Walton named J. S. Danford as a director of the town company of Creswell. On October 1, 1884, the Arkansas City Traveler commented: "Everybody in the country remembers Danford, the Caldwell banker, who stole a pile of money from his depositors a few years since. He has again come before the public, this time at Cheney, Washington Territory, where he stole $20,000, and skipped out to Victoria, B. C., from which place he openly defies his victims. He ought to be hung."]
The second items relative to Tell Walton concerned his involvement with Ike Sherman, more familiarly known as Jim Talbot, considered one of the most desperate cowboys on the border. Mike Meagher, was acting as the City Marshal when he was killed in Caldwell in late December 1881.
[Mike Meagher was City Marshal in Wichita, Kansas, at various times, being first appointed in 1871. Meagher was re-elected City Marshal on April 4, 1876, in spite of the difficulty his policeman, Wyatt Earp, had caused shortly before the election by striking the rival candidate, William Smith. In 1879 Meagher served as a government scout and rode for awhile with C. M. Scott.]
"It seems that Tell Walton, of the Caldwell Post, was slightly mixed up in the Caldwell trouble. Friday night before the affray, during the rendering of the play of Uncle Tom's Cabin, Jim Talbot, the man who shot Meagher, indulged in obscene remarks, and was requested by Walton to desist. Talbot cursed and threatened to `fix' him next day."
"Will give twenty-five cents for authentic information as to the whereabouts of one Tell W. Walton while the cowboy fight was raging in Caldwell."
Tell W. Walton was a man of some standing among local cattle interests, and under his direction the Caldwell Post grew in influence. The Caldwell Commercial, a rival paper, appeared in May 1880 under the editorship of William B. Hutchison, a veteran Wichita newspaperman and a charter officer of Payne's boomer organization. At first he assumed a moderate position on the question of opening the Indian Territory to settlement. Gradually his editorial policy shifted away from the homesteaders' cause. Perhaps he was wooed away by the Outlet ranchers' money. Cattlemen's range and brand advertisements began to appear with increasing regularity during the period of the Commercial's editorial transformation.
Both Caldwell papers merged in May 1883 under the control of the Caldwell Printing and Publishing Company, a joint-stock venture headed by Benjamin S. Miller and John W. Nyce. They published only one paper, the Caldwell Journal, edited by Hutchison. It was solely a cattlemen's paper, supported almost exclusively by advertising from Outlet ranchers. On October 3, 1883, the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association announced that the Caldwell Journal would be its "official paper."
Thus ends the background on Tell W. Walton, who became an integral part of the "cattlemen" story.
With the coming of the railroad to Arkansas City on December 23, 1879, the role of area cattlemen, who leased land from the Indians in the Territory, became increasingly important.
The Cherokee Indians took advantage of stockmen holding cattle in the Territory due to their claim of ownership of the "Cherokee Strip"land running east and west between Kansas and Indian Territory. In 1880 they alerted all of the stock men that Major Lipe was the only Cherokee tax collector. He had only one deputy, Judge George O. Sanders. They gave notice they would collect taxes at Caldwell. This brought about a convention of stock men at Caldwell in June 1880 to take action with reference to paying taxes on cattle held in the Territory. They told Major Lipe they would pay twenty-five cents per year on every head of cattle held by them in the Territory. Lipe demanded fifty cents. He also demanded a monthly charge of five cents per head for all through cattle. The Traveler commented: "We are informed that this decision will be the cause of many cattle men leaving the Territory: the larger holders driving their cattle further west, while the smaller dealers will probably hold them in some of the border counties, preferring to do a little feeding rather than pay such a high tax. In view of the fact that there is some doubt as to the legality of this tax, and when we think of the great number of cattle on these lands, we think Mr. Lipe will be making money enough at twenty-five cents."
In July 1880 the "Texas fever" hit Bolton township in Cowley County, causing concern over allowing cattle to pass through it.
In August 1880 Capt. C. M. Scott (then working as a special scout for the Kansas Governor) purchased 500 acres of land near the mouth of Grouse creek, with a view of making it a stock ranch.
In October 1880 the U. S. Government came up with new regulations involving the grazing of cattle or other stock upon Indian reservations in the Territory. This ended the use by unauthorized persons of grazing stock and forced stockmen to obtain approval of the Indian agent and agency Indians after determining payment for leasing their land. Further, it restricted cattle trails to be used crossing Indian reservations.
In March 1881 a meeting at Caldwell gave stockmen the privilege of driving through Texas cattle west of the west line of the Nez Perce Agency, and in any direction to shipping points upon the strip of country lying north of that Agency and south of the State line.
This hurt all cattle stockmen owning native stock in the vicinity of Indian Territory.
Had the "dead line" been placed ten miles south of the State line, with a drive limited to one mile in width, and leading directly north to the various shipping points, this danger would to a great extent have been avoided.
In April 1881 the Caldwell Commercial published a stock and brand book, containing the laws of the Stock Association, of the Indian Territory, with cuts of all the brands, and the location of the cattle camps of the western part of the Indian Territory, and with the post office address of the owners.
It was decided by the convention of stockmen at Caldwell that the round up would commence on the first day of May 1881. The range was divided into six districts.
In May 1881 the Traveler reported that the following Cowley County men were holding stock in the Territory: On Red Rock and Black Bear creeks, Messrs. Eaton, Potter, James Estus, H. S. Libby, A. A. Wiley, and Drury Warren. In other parts of the Territory stock was held by R. A. Houghton, Henderson, Capt. Nipp, Walker Brothers, Berry Brothers, Dean Brothers, Shriver, and others. Stockmen talked of holding a meeting for the purpose of protecting native cattle from the Texas drive in Indian Territory.
Also in May 1881 Hackney & McDonald, attorneys from Winfield, sold to Illinois parties through Alex Fuller their tract of Cherokee land in southern Cowley County (3,154 acres) for $2.50 per acre cash. The purchasers were proposing to buy even more land in that neighborhood, which they would fence, and then stock it with short horned cattle.
Area cattlemen were concerned about the Texas drives of cattle, but due to the spring round ups, were unable to confer with Texas cattlemen and take any action.
Returning from Texas, A. A. Wiley reported that Messrs. J. Smythia, H. Endicott, A. J. Gilbert, J. W. Ledlie, and James Henderson, with 1,100 head of cattle, were on Deer creek, where cattle would be held till disposed of. Mr. Wiley was on his way to the Nation with supplies to establish a ranch. The Fairclo Brothers soon returned after purchasing stock. They were followed by John W. Ledlie, of Winfield, who was holding stock south of Arkansas City in the Territory. Ledlie reported Texas stock were cheap and in good condition. R. A. Houghton returned from the Territory attending to the rounding up of his stock. He lost forty head during the winter.
Other cattlemen such as T. A. Gaskill were just starting to Texas to purchase stock.
In July 1881 cattlemen such as James C. Henderson of Arkansas City began to advertise their brands.
A series of letters appeared in the Traveler concerning the Cherokees collecting tax.
Thomas S. Parvin, Esq., Arkansas City, Kansas.
Sir: In reply to your letter of the 28th ult., addressed to the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, and by him referred to this office, inquiring whether the Cherokee National authorities have the right to collect, from U. S. citizens, tax on cattle, sheep, etc., grazing in the Indian Territory south of Arkansas City, I have to state that such right has been fully recognized by Congress, and by this Department, and that the properly constituted Cherokee collectors or agents can lawfully collect such tax. In the event of the imposition of any unreasonable or oppressive tax by the Cherokees, the United States will intervene and afford the necessary relief, but so long as the tax is reasonable, and does not exceed the penalty imposed by the act of June 30, 1834, for grazing stock on the Indian lands (which is $1.00 per head), it is considered that the Cherokee Indians are fully justified in imposing it, and should be sustained by this Department. Very respectfully, H. PRICE, Commissioner.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 27, 1881.
We received a call on Monday last from Mr. Joe G. McCoy, the authorized agent of D. W. Lipe, Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation, to collect taxes due the Cherokees from cattle men holding stock in the Territory, east of Hunnewell and north of Chicaskia. Mr. McCoy also informs us that he is authorized to accept one-half of the assessed rates for sheep from men living on the line, and presumably holding their sheep in the State part of the time. In connection with this we copy the following from the Caldwell Commercial, of last week.
"For the past two months the agents of the Cherokee Nation, at this place, have made every effort to induce parties holding cattle on the Cherokee strip to come forward and pay their taxes. From the best information we can obtain, there are at least 200 persons holding cattle on the strip, and out of that number not to exceed forty have complied with the law or shown any disposition to do so.
"The agents of the Nation have acted with great leniency toward the cattle men, giving them all the time that could reasonably be expected, but having become satisfied that some of the grazers are determined not to pay under any circumstances, they have made up a list of such to the number of 100, and in accordance with instructions forwarded the same to Chief Bushyhead. The Chief will send it through the Interior Department, to Agent Tufts, at Muskogee, and the instructions to him are, when such a list is placed in his hands, to cause every man, whose name appears thereon, to be removed from the strip. To do this he can call upon the military, if necessary.
"It is but recently that cattle men have been driven from the Choctaw lands for refusing to pay a grazing tax to that Nation. They were removed as intruders with no recourse whatever, and so it will be with those on the Cherokee strip who fail or refuse to pay the tax assessed by the Nation. As to the right of the Nation to levy this tax, there can be no question, and of this no cattle man can plead ignorance. Every effort has been made by Major Lipe, Treasurer of the Nation, to furnish them all the information on the subject necessary for a clear understanding of their position as occupants of the Cherokee lands, and now, if they are compelled to leave the Territory, and the enjoyment of privileges, which no money can buy elsewhere, they will have no one to blame but themselves."
Farmers providing cattle feed began to get good money for it in late 1881. The farmers around Maple City sowed large quantities of millet at a great profit that winter when stock men from Missouri, Arkansas, and Indian Territory drove in their stock. On Grouse creek the stock men bought every ton that could be purchased, paying $2.50 per ton for millet hay.
Troubles began to occur in Indian Territory.
The Caldwell Post in September 1881 printed the following: "W. N. Hubbell has been authorized by the local stock men to offer a reward of one hundred dollars for the apprehension of the party or parties who set the prairie on fire in the Indian Territory about six miles southeast of Caldwell on the night of August 30th, and also on Thursday last. Evidently the fire was started by someone intent on destroying the range in a certain locality; and we can see no reason for such dastardly work, unless it is to keep Territory cattle from water in Bluff Creek near the State line. If the fire was set out by anyone holding cattle along the line for the purpose of keeping Territory cattle from encroaching on the range, it shows a low, contemptible, disposition, and one that will land him in the pen before many years, if he does not die with his boots on. A man, or thing that would do such a deed, would steal, and should be branded on the forehead with a curry comb brand. It will not be healthy for anyone caught by the stock men of these parts setting out fire in the Territory.
In mid-October 1881 the Topeka Commonwealth received word from Caldwell.
"There is great excitement here, and all over the Cherokee strip today. The strip extends from where the Arkansas River strikes the Indian Territory, to the Panhandle of Texas, and is 57½ miles wide. On this it is estimated there are 300,000 head of cattle on which the Indians levy a tax of one dollar per head, they having that right according to the decision of the Department at Washington. About one-half of these cattle have paid the tax, the owners of the other half refuse to do so. Indian Agent Tufts, with United States soldiers, leave here today to drive the cattle off the strip. Many owners of cattle, this morning and yesterday, offered to pay the tax, but were told it was too late. The Agent says, not only that the Indians will not receive the tax of those who have heretofore refused to pay, but that these recalcitrant men will not in the future be allowed to herd their cattle on the Cherokee strip.
"The cattle now on the strip are not in a condition to ship to market, and as they cannot be driven to the south on the Indian reservations nor to the north, because of the law of Kansas, the owners are forced to sell them at such prices as they can get for them. These cattle are actually worth $15 per head on an average, or an aggregate of $1,500,000.
"Cattle buyers who have heretofore paid the taxes enforced by the Cherokees, will be allowed, if they purchase these, to keep them on the `strip.'
"Speculators and others are raising all the money they can with which to make purchases. Men started last night for Emporia and other money centers to raise money to buy cattle with. Many are willing to mortgage farms and everything else they have to get money.
"The last train of cars loaded with cattle to be shipped this year started today, cattle shipping being mostly over for this year."
The Arkansas City Traveler on October 19, 1881, reported that Agent Tufts, with U. S. troops, was at Caldwell moving all cattle men who refused to pay the cattle tax to the Cherokee Government; and that the Cherokees refuse to take payment now, and will not be granting permits hereafter. This will compel many to sell their entire herds, and cattle can be purchased low in consequence thereof.
In January 1882 Arkansas City joined other merchants in selling galvanized and painted wire.
On March 1, 1882, the annual spring meeting of Stockmen on the Cherokee Strip was largely attended at Caldwell, and most of the stock owners were represented. They decided to have a brand book published, and set the time for the spring "round-up." The following newspapermen were present: W. P. Brush, of the Kansas City Indicator; Tell W. Walton, Caldwell Post; W. B. Hutchison, Caldwell Commercial; T. A. McNeal, Medicine Lodge Cresset; Will Eaton, Cheyenne Transporter; J. H. Carter, Hunnewell Independent; W. M. Allison, Wellingtonian; J. C. Richards, Wellington Press; W. P. Tomlinson, Topeka Commonwealth; Tom Richardson, correspondent, Leavenworth Times; and Halsey Lane, correspondent, Texas Live Stock Journal.
In the latter part of March Major D. W. Lipe, authorized agent of the Cherokee Council, started to collect a tax for all stock on the Cherokee Strip from parties liable. A notice was published in area newspapers by John M. Neal, U. S. Indian Inspector, dated Caldwell, March 23rd, 1882.
"Notice is hereby given to all parties holding cattle, sheep, horses, hogs, or other stock in that strip of country, known as the Cherokee Outlet, being part of the Indian Territory, that they are intruders and trespassers under the intercourse act.
"To remain they must have license for so doing from the Cherokee Council, and without such license, properly obtained, they shall be promptly removed in such manner as shall be
directed by the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, by whose order I give this notice. Six days from the date of this notice will be given for parties to settle with the authorized agent of the Council, Major D. W. Lipe, who will be at Caldwell to attend to this.
"At the end of the above named time all the delinquents will be reported for removal."
Non-complying stockmen were ejected. Further, they were subject to fine and had to pay a penalty of $1 per head for all stock in Indian Territory.
The "Round-Up" in May and June 1882 passed quietly and quickly. It showed that the loss of stock the past winter was but 1 percent; the cattle were never in better condition; and would reach the market a month earlier than usual. The increase in herds surprised the veteran stockmen.
[A news item appeared in May 1882: "Jack Chisholm, a prominent stock man of the Indian Territory, passed in his checks lately and is now awaiting the final round-up. He was a son of the Chisholm who laid out the trail of that name."]
Major D. W. Lipe, treasurer of the Cherokee nation, opened an office in June 1882 upstairs over the Stock Exchange bank, in Caldwell, where his only authorized agents, P. N. Blackstone and George Sanders, received taxes on livestock grazed on the Cherokee strip.
Stock men on the Cherokee strip planned for another round-up to recover stray cattle.
Howard Brothers, Arkansas City merchants, sold over 45,000 rods of barbed wire to the Dean brothers (Albert and Cal) to fence in their stock range in Indian Territory.
In September 1882 Ed. M. Hewins of Cedar Vale purchased Wilson & Zimmerman's stock and range on Skeleton creek, Indian Territory, paying the enormous sum of $200,000.
A special meeting of the Cherokee Strip Stockmen's Association was held October 24, 1882. Ed. M. Hewins stated the meeting was called for the purpose of taking such action as would prevent the stealing of stock from members of the association, and where stock was stolen to bring the thieves to prompt punishment. Mr. Hewins proposed that A. M. Colson, chairman of the Inspection Committee, be empowered to offer a reward of $1,000 for the arrest and conviction of any person or persons stealing stock from members of this association, and that detectives should be employed to aid in the detection and capture of parties engaged in stealing stock from members of this association. His motion carried. An assessment was made on each member to pay their proportion for the Inspection Committee.
Col. J. H. Windsor and Major Jonathan Gore of the Pennsylvania Oil Cattle Company were elected members of the Cherokee Strip Association upon paying the requisite admission fee. The company had started a ranch south of Arkansas City, and had sufficient pasture room for 10,000 head of cattle. The company's brand was a P on left shoulder, O on the side, and Co on left hip. Senator Roberts, of Pennsylvania, was a member of the P. O. Company.
Late in September 1882 two Cherokee Nation agents arrived in Arkansas City to collect the tax due the Cherokees for holding stock on the strip in the Territory south of the State line.
Standley, the Traveler editor, commented: "The demand for cattle ranges is growing every day. Last week parties were here from Kansas City to purchase land along the State line in large bodies, but could not find enough in one body to suit them. It won't be many years before every man will have to own every foot of ground he grazes on."
A meeting was held in early November 1882 by the stockmen of the Cherokee strip at Willow Springs to take steps to protect themselves from the monopoly that proposed to fence in twenty-four miles square south of the State line and west of the Arkansas river. The men deemed it unjust, and believed the Cherokee Nation would protect them in their rights, since they held the range for years and always paid the license.
In November 1882 Cherokee Chief Bushyhead called attention to fencing ranges in the Territory, to which he made no objection; but in plain and pointed language entered a protest against a few individual Cherokees parceling out the Strip to their personal advantage.
The Caldwell Commercial gave advice: "The stockmen on the Strip should make some kind of an arrangement with the Cherokees whereby a fair sized strip of country can be held open for the exclusive use of cattle shippers. In order to do this they should at once set down upon those fellows who are selling ranges for their own advantage. Our advice would be, give not a dime to any man, full blood, half white, or brevet Cherokee, for the privilege of occupying a range. Pay honestly and faithfully every dollar due the Cherokee nation for the privilege of holding stock on the strip, but not one cent for a shark to put in his pocket. In other words: `Millions for de fence, Not one cent for tribute.'"
On November 22, 1882, the Traveler printed comments made by the editor of the Tahlequah Advocate: "We know not what views are entertained, and what policy will be pursued by our National Council, regarding the question of `Wire Fencing' west and east of `Ninety-Six,' but with our present light, we cannot adopt the leader on that subject, which appeared in the Advocate two weeks since in our absence on the plains. We believe that the whole thing is wrong, and will not stand the test of rigid scrutiny. The non-citizen cattle king certainly has no right by himself to fence in a foot of land. Has he the right in the name of an adopted citizen or native, to fence in forty by fifty miles, aggregating upwards of a million acresusing cedar from the soil to do it with? We trust that our National Council will bravely and wisely handle this subject, and for the good of all."
Editor Standley of the Arkansas City Traveler wrote an editorial December 6, 1882.
"There is an enterprise going on below us in the Indian Territory that is bound to interest every farmer and stockman along the entire line of the State, from the Arkansas river to the west line of Sumner County. We allude to the fencing of nearly 200,000 acres of land that is now claimed by stockmen as their range, and for which they have paid the Cherokee Nation a tax for the privilege.
"Looking at the matter as a disinterested party in so far as our patrons and friends are concerned, it does seem to us where the parties have held the range for years, and for which they have never refused to pay, that they should have the first preference, if any privilege or preference is given, and the matter should be acted on at once if the parties interested mean to do anything to protect themselves.
"We have heard many violent and determined threats that if the rights they have paid for are ignored, that the posts and wire will be torn up and the whole country fired, the latter having already been carried into execution, and mile after mile of nicely cured grass has gone to the flames.
"We condemn this act as infamous beyond expression, for while it did not materially injure the monopoly that is causing the trouble, it damaged numbers of stockmen within the limits who were not in sympathy with the movement in any manner.
"Better come together like men and adjust the matter, if it can be adjusted; and if not, then go to work legally to test the authority of the men who claim the right.
"Unless the Cherokee Council decide that the wire is an `improvement,' the fence is illegally there, and from the tenor of the Chief's message to the Council, we think it is not an `improvement,' and believe it what the Chief terms it, `an unbridled enterprise of some citizens that have led them into error, and requires the interposition of the Council to defend the common rights.'"
The Cherokee council met at Tahlequah in early December 1882, and passed a bill relative to fencing in the Cherokee Strip. It stipulated: "All fencing, of whatever character, done or that may be hereafter done, on the herein before mentioned lands for purpose of pasturage by citizens of the Cherokee Nation, or persons claiming to be citizens of the same or in the names and on account of such persons by citizens of the United States, under whatever pretense, are hereby declared to be illegal and unauthorized, and the owners and claimants of such fences, whether of wire and posts or other material, are required to remove the same within six months from the date hereof, or the same shall become the public property of the Cherokee Nation and be sold subject to removal.
"This act shall not be so construed as to prevent licensed stockmen from constructing such lots at their usual headquarters, not exceeding twenty acres in extent, as may be necessary for the better management of their stock."
Captain C. M. Scott of Arkansas City, Kansas, resigned November 30, 1882, after serving the State of Kansas as a special scout under the command of Governor John P. St. John in the Indian Territory. Scott had previously been editor of the Arkansas City Traveler and U. S. Postmaster at Arkansas City. In December 1882 he had established a location in the Territory to hold his stock.
Scott traveled by train to Washington, D. C., where he had a consultation on December 22, 1882, with Hiram Price, commissioner of Indian Affairs, Scott claimed that part of his Outlet range had been illegally fenced by a Cherokee citizen acting in behalf of the Pennsylvania Oil Company. "The company's wire," Scott said, "threatened to close United States mail routes across Indian Territory."
[On the day following Scott's visit with Price, Standard Oil Company representatives met with Henry M. Teller, Secretary of the Interior, who declined to approve their lease to the land they proposed to fence south of Arkansas City at the Kansas State Line.]
Arkansas City Traveler, December 20, 1882.
Pursuant to notice published, calling a stockmen's meeting at the Central Avenue, on Monday last, about thirty stockmen responded, and the meeting was called to order at 1 o'clock p.m. Mr. Hodges was called to the chair, and O. O. Clendenning was appointed Secretary. The Chairman then read an article from a Cherokee paper, stating what the Cherokee Council had done to prevent Eastern Companies from fencing, and thus depriving the stockmen of the several ranges for which they had paid and held license to in the Indian Territory.
Mr. J. E. Snow, Attorney of Winfield, then read a series of resolutions prepared by himself and W. P. Hackney, the acting attorneys for the stockmen. The resolutions are too lengthy to be inserted here, but the sum and substance was that the stockmen there assembled pledged themselves to abide by and aid each other to the utmost extremity in resisting the action of the fencing monopolies which are attempting to illegally force them from their ranges.
The resolutions were adopted and signed; and the following gentlemen, Messrs. F. M. Stewart, D. Warren, and W. H. Dunn, were appointed a committee to act in the premises and decide as to the action necessary to be taken to enforce the resolutions as adopted.
A motion was put and carried that the minutes of the meeting be published after which the meeting adjourned subject to a call of the committee.
Commissioner Price, after meeting with Scott, wrote to Secretary of the Interior, Henry M. Teller, urging an end to the unauthorized settlement and improvement of the Outlet. Price cited an interpretation of the 1866 treaty, issued two years earlier by the Attorney General, to support his contention that fencing on the Outlet was in violation of federal law. On December 29, 1882, Teller sent Price's letter together with his own instructions to Secretary of War Robert Lincoln, who, upon written request from Agent John Tufts at Muskogee, was to dispatch troops to destroy "all improvements of every character" on the Cherokee Outlet, unless they were first removed voluntarily by the cattlemen who had constructed them. Price ordered Tufts to inform ranchers that fences, corrals, and dwellings should be dismantled within twenty days, or federal troops would be sent to carry out the order.
The order for removal of stockmen from the Cherokee Strip was rescinded by Secretary of the Interior, Henry M. Teller, on January 5, 1883, when he was approached by B. H. Campbell, who represented a syndicate of Chicago capitalists desirous of obtaining a lease of a tract of land thirty miles square in the Indian Territory belonging to the Cherokee and Cheyenne Indians. They proposed using the land for grazing cattle and agreed to cut only such timber as necessary to provide posts for wire fences to enclose the land. They offered $50,000 rental for the land. The Indians were represented as being anxious to enter into the arrangement.
The situation was summed up by The Commonwealth in Topeka later that month.
"The Chicago capitalists who are negotiating with the Secretary of the Interior for a lease of 2,400,000 acres of land in the Indian Territory, are under the leadership of B. H. Campbell, late United States marshal for the northern district of Illinois. They offer the magnificent sum of two cents an acre for the richest land in the west. The scheme goes on all fours with Uncle Rufus Hatch's offer to take the Yellowstone Park off the government's hands for a hotel site, or that other proposition of the Standard Oil Company to `freeze out' all the small cattle men in the Territory."
Arguments against such a lease were many. "The Cheyennes did not control any lands in Indian Territory; even if they did, neither they nor the Cherokees, jointly or separately, had anything to say about leasing lands in the Territory for grazing purposes; Secretary Teller had no authority to lease lands in the Territory for any purpose whatever. To acknowledge the authority of the Secretary to give a lease to Mr. Campbell's Chicago syndicate, is practically an assertion that the land in question belongs to the government, and therefore is subject to settlement. Certainly no one assumes that to be the case."
A special meeting took place January 8, 1883, in Topeka by the Stockmen's Association of the Cherokee Strip, whose members owned over ninety percent of the livestock grazed upon the Cherokee Strip, began to tackle the difficulties of stockmen. At this meeting they expressed unanimous disapproval of the Standard Oil Company or any other corporation or company of individuals in fencing up the grounds known as the "quarantine grounds," said grounds having been set apart by the association, by and with the consent of the Cherokee authorities, for the benefit and use of persons driving cattle from Texas and other points for shipment.
The Arkansas City Traveler began to alert stockholders and citizens of events. Editor Standley wrote the following in his January 10, 1883, editorial.
We have discovered the following in the Washington letter of the Kansas City Times. "By the Cherokee law each Indian has been allowed to appropriate a given quantity of land suitable for grazing purposes in the Indian Territory. It appears that the rich and powerful corporation known as the `Standard Oil Company,' have gone into the speculation of cattle raising, and the better to serve a monopoly, have hired Cherokee Indians at nominal rates to take up grazing lands for the benefit of the company. Heretofore the people of Missouri, Kansas, and Texas have been able to graze their cattle in the Indian Territory by paying so much a head, but the plan of the Standard Oil Company is to drive out all those engaged in raising cattle in a small way. The leases or contracts made with these Indians by the Standard Oil Company have been submitted to Secretary Teller, and to his credit, be it said, he has peremptorily declined to approve them. This evidences the fact that the Secretary appreciates the interests and wants of the western people, and is not to be dragooned into injustice by even so powerful a corporation as the Standard Oil Company."
On January 17, 1883, the Traveler had more information.
"The Secretary of the Interior has called upon the Secretary of War for troops to tear down the wire fences in the Indian Territory, and the fence will have to go."
"Major Lipe positively refused to grant the Oil Company any license on the country below us known by the Cherokee Strip Stock Protective Association, as `quarantine grounds,' and says, (speaking of those who have paid the tax): `When anyone of them comes forward next spring to renew their license, he proposes to accept the money and issue the permit.'"
John Q. Tufts, the Indian Agent at Muskogee, was chosen by the Secretary of the Interior in January 1883 as special agent to investigate the rights of the Cherokees and cattlemen in fencing of the land west of 96. As a result, a special meeting of the Cherokee Strip Stock Association was held in Caldwell, Kansas, January 27, 1883. The object of the meeting was stated by the chair and letters were read by Mr. Tell Walton from E. M. Hewins concerning matters pertaining to the vital interests of the association. A committee of five was appointed to make a draft of the Cherokee Strip, showing the quarantine grounds, trails, fencing, etc.
The Cheyenne Reporter reported in February that several heavy eastern capitalists and stockmen gained the consent of the Cheyennes and Arapahos to fence the western and southwestern portions of their reservation, who signed leases, covering bodies of grazing land of about 500,000 acres each, with the privilege of fencing the same and erecting the necessary ranch buildings and improvements. It was pointed out that the Interior Secretary would have to approve the unanimous action of the Indians for this grass-rental, which would bring in nearly $10 per capita for every man, woman, and child on the reservation.
Early in February Major Gore, superintendent for the Pennsylvania oil group, came back through Arkansas City to their ranch in Indian Territory. Senator Roberts, of Pennsylvania, accompanied by Mr. Windsor, shortly followed.
Editor Standley of the Traveler commented: "They remained several days looking up their interests in the stock speculation they are about to engage in, in the Territory south of this place. It was the intention of these gentlemen to fence in all that country west of the Arkansas River, and north of the Ponca Reserve, as far west as the Shakaska [Chicaskia] River; but another Cherokee, Mr. Mills, laid claim to the range as far east as Bitter Creek, and that portion of it was abandoned. The original intention as suggested by Mr. Gore, superintendent of the company, was to run the fence on the divide between Deer Creek and Chilocco, leaving a strip about four miles wide on the State Line. After losing the Shakaska country, he was overruled in this and the posts were set about one mile below the line, cutting off the ranges of Mr. Chambers, Mr. Hill, Scott & Topliff, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Parvin along the State Line, who had paid the Cherokee tax, besides a number who hadn't paid, and several in the Territory who had paid. This wanton overriding of the rights of these gentlemen naturally produced trouble and the Secretary of the Interior interfered and stopped it.
"Mr. Roberts then came out to see what had been done, and returned with the conviction that the people had not been treated fairly, and with the determination that they should be, and the result is that the rights of all those who have paid the tax will be respected. C. M. Scott's range will be left entirely out, as well as all of his neighbors, and the fence placed west of the Ponca road and south of Chilocco Creek.
"There is a disposition with some to crush out the company entirely, which is wrong. These gentlemen have the same right to the unoccupied range as anyone when they have paid the tax imposed by the Cherokees, and as long as they hold themselves within the bounds of right, without infringing on others, we would rather have them there than not have them. That the Cherokees have a right to impose a tax is recognized by the Department of the Interior, and having that right, it is clearly a matter for them to decide the terms and the parties to whom the grazing permit is granted. Those having paid the Cherokee tax are protected, and we cannot well see what more could in justice be demanded.
"It begins to look now as though the wire fence will be built in accordance with the wishes of stockmen and the usages of the country. Time will tell."
A week later Tell Walton, editor of the Caldwell Post, and Marion Blair, were in Arkansas City as a committee of the Stock Association to confer with local stockmen regarding wire fences.
John Q. Tufts, U. S. Indian Agent at Muskogee, Indian Territory, wrote a letter to C. M. Scott, asking that the grievances of the several parties in the Indian Territory, south of Arkansas City, be written and sent to him as he was unable to meet the parties at this place.
The Traveler reported on this meeting in its February 28, 1883, issue.
Pursuant to call a number of stockmen met at the office of C. M. Scott, in Arkansas City, Kansas, and organized by calling Mr. John H. Tomlin, of Winfield, to the chair and C. M. Scott, Secretary.
The following gentlemen were present: W. J. Hodges, John Myrtle, John Love, J. M. Love, Weathers, Tipton, Chinn, Wicks, D. Warren, Hugh McGinn, J. H. Saunders, Moorehouse, Dr. Carlisle, and others.
On motion a committee of three was appointed to settle all claims of stockmen with the parties proposing to fence, or any other whose interests might conflict.
Committee: W. J. Hodges, Chairman; Drury Warren, and C. M. Scott.
Mr. Weathers thought the Oil Company had no right in the Territory, and did not believe in adjusting matters with them. Thought they should not be recognized in the meeting at all.
Mr. Hodges thought if they paid the tax and complied with the law, they had as much right as anyone to the unoccupied range, and that we should not expect the range to lay idle, and that it would not, and anyone claiming it and paying for it would be protected, whether they were of Kansas, Pennsylvania, or England.
Mr. Chinn said if a man paid, he had no protection against Texas cattle, to which Mr. Hodges replied; only through the Stock Association.
Mr. Warren didn't see any harm in the Oil Company occupying the range as long as they interfered with the rights of no one legally there.
Mr. Love is on the west side of the range they propose to fence. He hasn't paid his tax. When he stopped there, he did not expect to remain longwas going farther west, but finally concluded to remain. He then rendered payment to the Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation, and his offer was refused, although he was first on the ground, and had conflicted with no one; and after they had refused, the grant and privilege was given to Mr. Gore. He did not believe in discriminating in favor of a monopoly, and that too, when they were not on the ground, and have not yet a hoof of stock on the range. He said there was no fairness in it, and that the Oil Company were only acting fair since they could do no better. That they had tried to shut out all alike and would have done it if they could, and he appealed to the stockmen to stand by him as he had stood by them.
Mr. Hodges thought Mr. Love's case one of merit, and that his right would not be ignored.
On motion the meeting elected Mr. Tomlin, Mr. Love, and C. M. Scott a committee of three to forward the grievance to Major John Q. Tufts at Muscogee, Indian Territory.
On motion Drury Warren, Mr. Wicks, and Mr. Weathers were appointed a committee of three to attend the meeting of the Cherokee Strip Stock Association, to be held at Caldwell March 6, 1883.
The following resolutions were introduced and passed.
Resolved, That it is the sense and desire of this meeting that no quarantine ground be established east of Bitter Creek.
Resolved, That no through Texas cattle be permitted to be driven along the State Line east of Bitter Creek, or within four miles of the line during the summer months and that we will use our best endeavors to prevent such doing.
Resolved, That each and everyone of us become a member of the Cherokee Strip Association, and that we stand by one another in the protection of our rights.
Stockmen reported very small losses of cattle on the Cherokee Strip during the winter.
On March 1, 1883, it was estimated that 300,000 head of cattle were being herded on the Cherokee Strip. The owners of approximately 100,000 of these were not paying taxes to the Cherokees. During 1882 over 950 miles of fencing, belonging in the main to citizens of the United States, had been put in. These parties supplied gates for through traffic so that the fences did not interfere with legitimate travel or mail routes. Agent Tufts was of the opinion that the fences would be of incalculable good in restraining the cutting of timber, which had been ruthlessly going on in the past. He submitted a report to Hiram Price, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in which he stated: "I respectfully recommend that the fences now on these lands be permitted to remain, and other parties desiring to fence be permitted to do so subject to the following conditions.
"1. Permission from the Cherokee Nation must be obtained.
"2. That no fences shall be erected within two miles of any post road.
"3. If any parties fencing their range cut or permit any timber to be cut within their pastures, they shall be subject to removal from the Territory and the fences destroyed.
"4. All fences shall be removed at once from the Territory whenever those in possession shall be notified to do so by the department.
"The effect of a settlement of this matter in this way will be that the Indian office will not be called upon every few months to remove from the Territory cattlemen who refuse to pay tax. The Cherokee Nation will collect double the tax; the destruction of the timber will be effectually stopped, and the young timber protected from fire.
"The only opposition I found to this fencing was from those who claimed that the timber on these lands belonged to anybody that got it, and from those who live in the States and own large herds of cattle on these lands and refuse to pay taxes. The Pennsylvania Oil Company, who attempted to fence without permission from the Cherokee authorities and enclose the ranges, and owners of small herds of cattle on which they had paid Cherokee tax, have agreed to settle with those whose ranges they had intended to enclose in their pasture, and obtain permission of the Cherokee authorities, or go elsewhere for their range.
"This arrangement satisfies Mr. C. M. Scott, and others, who complained to the Department of the action of the Oil Company, and if permitted to do so, will fence their ranges during the coming summer."
Agent Tufts named the following companies or organizations claiming to own fences and the quantity of wire in each: Comanche pool, 55 miles; Bollinger & Schlupp, 60 miles; Drumm & Snyder, 50 miles; Miller & Pryor, 45 miles; George Thompson, 40 miles; S. & Z. Tuttle, 58 miles; Bridge & Wilson, 45 miles; Bates & Co., 33 miles; Hewins & Titus, 60 miles; Cobb & Hutton, 56 miles; C. H. Moore, 24 miles; George Miller, 72 miles; H. Hodgson, 35 miles; Dean Bros., 40 miles; E. M. Ford, 87 miles; C. H. McClellan, 72 miles; G. Greever, 60 miles; T. Mayhew, 37 miles.
March 6, 1883, marked the date of the third annual meeting of the Cherokee Strip Stockmen's Association in the Opera House at Caldwell, called to order by the president, Ben S. Miller, who made the following remarks.
"It becomes my painful duty to call this Association to order again. Painful, because it will be a rehash of what we have done, the past year, some of which has come to light, and some of which may never show up. On looking to my right, I miss the face of one who, in life, was one of the best supporters the chair had, and whose council and suggestions were always so timely. I refer with sorrow to our friend and brother, A. H. Johnson, who was stricken down in the prime of life last summer, without a moment's warning, by the Power that controls the elements. He has gone to a place where `scattering,' `gatherings,' and `round-ups' are no more. Whether to a range that is fenced or open, we know not; but we do know that if it is fenced, no Congress, Secretary of the Interior, or Indian Commission can tear it down at their pleasure."
The following resolution was adopted by the Association.
Resolved, That it is the sense of this meeting that all the trails across the Cherokee Strip, leading to all shipping points in Kansas and the northwest be left open and free from all barrier, such as wire fences, board fences, or any kind of fences whatever.
Resolved, That we, as an association and as individuals, deprecate and discountenance the actions of any person, company, or corporation in building any wire fences or other barriers upon the ground set apart as quarantine grounds for through Texas cattle or for shipment of Territory cattle, and that we will use our individual efforts to discourage any further occupancy of the said grounds for ranch purposes by local stockmen.
Resolved, That this association recognizes the rights of the Cherokee Nation in collecting a grazing tax upon cattle grazed on Cherokee lands in the Indian Territory, and that under the permits issued by the Cherokee Nation is our only legal right in said Cherokee country.
Resolved, That it is the earnest wish of this association that the title and control of the said Cherokee Strip be definitely settled and the unquestionable legal control of it be determined that we may be the better enabled to conform to all the laws governing it.
Resolved, That this association fully endorses the action of the official meeting of the association held at Topeka, Kansas, on January 8, 1883, and that we re-affirm the resolutions there adopted as the sense of this meeting.
Resolved, That the thanks of this association are due and are hereby tendered Hon. E. M. Hewins and Major A. Drumm, for the able and efficient manner in which they represented our interests before the Secretary of the Interior, and that we fully endorse their actions and statements in the matter; and that the association is entirely satisfied with the action of the Secretary of the Interior Department in appointing a special agent to investigate fencing matters on the Cherokee lands, and will give said agent all the assistance in our power to arrive at an equitable conclusion in the matter. M. H. BENNETT, Chairman.
The committee on credentials reported the following list of new members, which report was accepted: D. R. Streeter, Northup & Stephens, C. W. Blaine, F. M. Stewart, R. B. Clark, R. H. Campbell, W. J. Hodges, G. A. Thompson, S. A. Garth, W. H. Harrelston, W. M. Dunn, G. B. Mote, Crutchfield & Carpenter, Walworth, Walton & Rhodes, W. B. Lee, W. W. Wicks, J. A. Emmerson, John Myrtle, J. H. Hill, A. J. Snider, A. G. Evans, R. W. Phillips, E. W. Payne, Tomlin & Webb, H. W. Roberts, E. P. Fouts, W. W. Stephens, A. Mills, C. M. Scott, H. P. Standley, Lafe Merritt, J. N. Florer, D. W. Roberts, C. H. Dye, M. W. Brand, Drury Warren, W. P. Herring, S. T. Tuttle, E. W. Rannols, N. J. Thompson, W. H. Dunn, E. A. Hereford, J. Love, Johnsons & Hosmer, S. T. Mayor, D. A. Streeter, M. H. Snyder, S. P. Burress, C. C. Clark, J. C. Weathers, G. V. Collins, and H. H. Campbell.
A telegram dated Kansas City, March 6, to W. B. Hutchison, from Agent Miles, was read as follows: "Agent Tufts recommends that fences be permitted to remain and others with the consent of the Cherokees."
The following report of committee on round-ups was presented by its chairman and on motion of Mr. Hodgson was adopted.
We, the assigned committee on round-ups, appointed by the Convention of the Cherokee Strip Stock Association, held in Caldwell on March 6th, 1883, herewith submit the following report.
Division No. 1. To be composed of what is known as Red Rock and Salt Fork country, including the territory of, and then to the south line of Kansas, and thence west, including all tributaries of the Salt Fork, in the west line of the Comanche County Pool. Said division to meet at the Red Rock crossing of the Arkansas City road, and Thomas Wilson to be appointed as Captain of said division.
Division No. 2. To be composed of the country lying south of division No. 1, and extend as far south as the division between the Cimarron and the North Fork of the Canadian, and to commence work at McClellen's pasture, and, if necessary, to work on the North Fork, east of the crossing of the Chisholm trail, and work west as far as the west line of the Comanche County Pool. This division to meet where the Arkansas City wagon road crosses the Skeleton Creek, and Howard Capper to be appointed captain of said division.
Division No. 3. To be composed of the country lying south of division No. 2, and as far south as the Washita River; and to extend as far west as A. J. Day's range. Said division to meet at the Chisholm trail crossing of the North Fork of the Canadian, and H. W. Timberlake to be appointed captain.
We also recommend that the captains of the several divisions be empowered to discharge all parties not doing their duty or refusing to obey orders, and that the said captains be authorized to employ other men to fill vacancies, at the expense of the parties who were represented by the parties discharged.
We also recommend that Marion Blair, A. J. Day, W. E. Campbell, J. W. Carter, H. W. Timberlake, and J. W. Hamilton be appointed as a committee to confer with the round-up committee appointed by the stock meeting to be held at Medicine Lodge on the 28th and 29th of the present month, and that the joint communities then decide upon a date for the beginning of the spring round-up, together with such other recommendations as they may desire to proffer; and that the report be published in the Caldwell, Anthony, and Medicine Lodge papers. A. DRUMM, Chairman.
Mr. Hodges asked leave to file paper for consideration of the convention at the proper time concerning Oil Company troubles. Paper was read and discussed.
Mr. Gore, representing the Company, supposed to be the Pennsylvania Oil Company, stated that it was not a part of said company, but was a private enterprise, and that they were willing to agree to anything reasonable concerning the ranges.
Mr. Hewins thought the paper should go to the committee on arbitration.
James W. Hamilton from the committee on organization, reported that articles of incorporation had been adopted and filed with the secretary of state as the Cherokee Live Stock Association, that the board of directors for the first year were Ben S. Miller, A. Drumm, John A. Blair, S. Tuttle of Caldwell; W. Payne of Medicine Lodge; and Charles H. Eldred, of Carrolton, Illinois; and others. The committee also reported a code of by-laws.
The report was read at length, and after a warm discussion, adopted; and the convention adjourned until three o'clock p.m.
At the three o'clock session seventy-three stock men came forward and paid their membership fee of $10, after which a meeting of the board of directors was called, the names passed upon, and then adjourned until Friday morning.
Just at this point, we desire to say that the new organization is a move in the right direction. Through it, the rights of the smallest stockman in the Territory will be as fully protected as those of the powerful combinations. In fact, it makes of all parties one complete organization, wherein the weak will have a show for the capital they may have invested.