J. W. WEIMER.
Richland Township 1872: J. W. Weimer, 25. No spouse listed.
Richland Township 1881: J. W. Weimer, 33. No spouse listed.
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Courier, February 11, 1875.
The following is the list of petit jurors drawn for the March term of the District Court: J. B. Nipp, S. W. Chatterson, S. P. Berryman, P. F. Endicott, J. E. Dunn, G. W. Melville, J. W. Melville, J. W. Weimer, A. T. Gay, Sanford Day, Isaac Howe, B. C. French, S. M. Fall, Thos. Hart.
[CORRESPONDENT FROM POLO, RICHLAND TOWNSHIP: “M. C. SELTER.”]
Winfield Courier, June 3, 1880.
J. W. Weimer has a very fine flock of sheep; so has Frank Blue.
[POLO, RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, CORRESPONDENT: “M. C. SELTER.”]
Winfield Courier, June 24, 1880.
Mr. Weimer, Frank Blue, and C. W. Doty have sheared their respective flocks of sheep. They report a good wool crop.
There is another candidate in the field for the nomination of Justice of the Peace. His name is J. W. Weimer. He is a very able young man, being a graduate of one of the law schools of the east, and a man of more than average talents. He would, if elected, make an excellent Justice of the Peace. M. C. SELTER.
[POLO, RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, CORRESPONDENT: “M. C. SELTER.”]
Winfield Courier, July 15, 1880.
The fourth has passed pleasantly by, passed down to be recorded by time in the memory of those who participated in the festivities of the occasion. The day was observed here on the third. The people living near here met in John Grooms’ grove, and were the recipients of a treat that was unlooked for. It consisted of the reading of the Declaration by ’Squire Larkin. Speeches by C. W. Doty, J. W. Weimer, H. J. Sanfort, John Watts, and W. C. McCormick, and a display by the Home Guards under the supervision of Sergeant John Flint. The speakers acquitted themselves with recognized ability.
Winfield Courier, February 3, 1881.
Among our visitors and paying subscribers who called last week was J. W. Weimer of Richland.
Winfield Courier, August 4, 1881.
Some friends of J. W. Weimer, of Richland township, are trying to get his consent to become a candidate for the office of county surveyor. They say he is a first class surveyor and has had two terms as county surveyor in another county. We know him as an intelligent republican.
Winfield Courier, August 25, 1881.
At a very largely attended Republican caucus held in Richland township on Tuesday, of which N. J. Larkin was chairman and J. W. Weimer was secretary, L. B. Stone was put forth as a candidate for the office of County Treasurer.
[THE OLD SOLDIERS - GETTING READY FOR THE REUNION.]
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 6, 1881 - FRONT PAGE.
Below will be found the proceedings of township meetings, organizations, and muster rolls as far as heard from. The last week before the reunion we will publish the muster rolls
Special meeting called by Vice President Maher. Mr. Stuber was nominated and elected to the chair. Officers elected as follows.
Captain: C. H. Bing.
First Lieutenant: J. W. Weimer.
Second Lieutenant: Lewis Stevens.
Orderly Sergeant: John Flint.
First duty Sergeant: J. M. Bair.
Second duty Sergeant: J. R. Shannon.
Third duty Sergeant: W. Wilson.
Fourth duty Sergeant: Abijah Howard.
Color bearer: Sam Phoenix.
First Corporal: L. B. Stone.
Second Corporal: D. Roberts.
Third Corporal: D. Maher.
Fourth Corporal: W. McCormick.
Fifth Corporal: Poke Robbins.
Sixth Corporal: T. Tice.
Seventh Corporal: T. Watt.
Eighth Corporal: H. Bellwood.
H. H. Hooker was chosen to procure old fashioned martial music. Time fixed for march as follows: North Richland falls in line of march on October 20th., camps at the south line of Richland; on 21st again at six a.m. sharp, by a signal of reveille and fall in take up our line of march to Winfield where we may meet many of our old comrades and enjoy the past and chuckle around the camp fires and fight the battles over, dwell in old patriotic songs and airs of rebellion times. Boys we were right not wrong, forget not the old flag each and everyone rally to the call. A suggestion by J. W. Weimer and decided and put on motion and carried without a dissenting vote, that all the ex-soldiers of Richland township on the day of march to Winfield shall promptly be on hand at the set time and place, at Floral, 8 a.m. sharp. Business closed by voting thanks to the patriotic women of Richland for the presentation of a nice flag. Builders of flag as follows: Mrs. Sam Phoenix, Mrs. Wm. Vandwood, Mrs. W. R. McPherson, Miss Kitty Williams, Miss Mary McPherson. H. H. HOOKER, Secretary.
J. W. WEIMER, CO. R, 163 OHIO VOL., PRIVATE.
Winfield Courier, May 25, 1882.
We understand that Mr. J. W. Weimer, of Richland, has consented, under the pressure of friends, to become a candidate for the legislature in his district. He is one of Richland’s best citizens.
Winfield Courier, June 1, 1882.
Mr. J. W. Weimer, of Richland, made us a pleasant call Friday. J. W. is actively in the field as Richland’s candidate for the Legislature, and if selected will make a valuable member.
Winfield Courier, June 1, 1882.
County Political Points. The representative question in the north district is getting active. S. M. Fall, R. F. Burden, John Wallace, John D. Maurer, and S. P. Strong are mentioned as possible timber, while E. A. Henthorn and J. W. Weimer are in the field.
Cowley County Courant, June 15, 1882.
We were about to nominate Bob Strother, of Harvey, for Representative, but hearing that Wash. Weimer was on the track, concluded not to, but if the race between the present candidates should be close enough to justify, Bob will make a dark horse that we can trust.
[CORRESPONDENT: “E. A. M.”]
Winfield Courier, July 13, 1882.
ED. COURIER: On Thursday the 6th inst., in company with E. A. Henthorn, senior editor of the Burden Enterprise, I started for the Sunday school picnic convention in North Richland. We drove west to New Salem, past springing corn and numerous stacks of splendid wheat, to the “Gunn quarter,” where Mr. Jas. Barr was threshing his wheat. Mr. Henthorn being agent for the rental, we stopped, and there I saw as fine wheat as ever threshed. The berry is full and plump, and the yield estimated at twenty bushels per acre.
From here we drove to the city of Salem and then to the picnic in “Groom’s grove,” on Dutch Creek, arriving there at 11 o’clock. As the morning had gathered quite lowery the crowd gathered slowly, and we had the pleasure of seeing how they came to such places. Some on foot, some in wagons, some on horseback, and some in buggies.
Through the courtesy of Mr. Henthorn, I was soon on a talking basis with the leading men of Richland, Rock, and Omnia townships. Nearly all the good-looking candidates were present For representative were E. A. Henthorn, Washington Weimer, father of his country, and John Maurer.
[FLORAL CORRESPONDENT: “BUCKEYE.”]
Winfield Courier, August 3, 1882.
The political pot has been simmering along for some time, but now additional fuel is being added, and it will take but a short time to get up steam. Richland has but one candidate, namely, Mr. J. W. Weimer, candidate for representative for the shoe string district. He has recognized ability and has a good chance to get away with the stakes. Mr. Maurer of Dexter, candidate for same office, has called on a number of our people. He appears like a modest, unassuming gentleman and would make a good legislator.
Winfield Courier, August 17, 1882.
RECAP 67TH & 68TH CONVENTIONS....C. R. MITCHELL WAS NOMINATED IN THE 67TH; J. W. WEIMER OF RICHLAND WAS NOMINATED IN THE 68TH.
Winfield Courier, August 17, 1882.
General Order No. 8. AUGUST 16TH, 1882.
FELLOW SOLDIERS: I have been honored by being made the Colonel of the Cowley County Veterans on account of the resignation of your late Colonel, Chas. E. Steuven, and upon assuming command would urge upon all the old soldiers of Cowley County the importance and pleasure of at once enrolling your names in some one of the company organizations of the county to go to our grand reunion at Topeka.
The following companies are organized.
Capt. H. C. McDorman, Co. A, Dexter, Kansas.
Capt. R. Fitzgerald, Co. B, Burden, Kansas.
Capt. Wm. White, Co. C, Akron, Kansas.
Capt. J. W. Weimer, Co. D, Polo, Kansas.
Capt. J. B. Nipp, Co. E., Arkansas City, Kansas.
Capt. Thomas Cooley, Co. F, Red Bud, Kansas.
Capt. J. A. McGuire, Co. H, Winfield, Kansas.
Capt. A. A. Jackson, Co. I, Seeley, Kansas.
Report your names at once to someone of these company commanders if you wish to secure transportation at rates for old soldiers to Topeka. The cost of the round trip, with rations, will amount to about five dollars. To secure these rates, you must report at once, as your names cannot be put on the rolls after the first day of September.
All soldiers enrolled and all company commanders, with their companies, are ordered to report in Winfield early on the morning of September 11, 1882, to fill up the companies not full and organize two new companies, if there are enough soldiers. We leave Winfield Monday evening, September 11th at 3 o’clock for Topeka. Each soldier will supply his own blankets and cooking utensils and one days rations. Each company commander will be expected to preserve such discipline in his company as will reflect additional honor upon our record as soldiers and upon the county of which we are citizens.
By order of T. H. SOWARD, Commanding regiment. H. L. WELLS, Adjutant.
Winfield Courier, August 17, 1882.
The old soldiers met pursuant to call of the chairman at Summit schoolhouse, Richland Township. Called to order by J. W. Weimer, and the object stated to be to reorganize and make arrangements to go to the reunion of old soldiers at Topeka. J. W. Weimer was then elected captain; J. M. Bair 1st Lieutenant, and T. R. Shuman 2nd Lieutenant. It was then voted to get uniforms with military caps. Names of those wishing to attend the reunion were enrolled. Quite a number were taken down. It was then voted to put the drums in complete repair and take them along. A collection was taken up for the purpose. The finance commit-tee was continued for another term. Addresses were made by Colonel Steuven, Adjutant Wells, J. M. Bair, and others. Adjourned for drill by Col. Steuven. The old soldiers have not forgotten the drill movements, which were well executed. Ordered that a copy of proceeding be furnished the COURIER. J. W. WEIMER, Chairman. N. J. LARKIN, Secretary.
[REPRESENTATIVE CANDIDATE J. W. WEIMER WRITES LETTER.]
Winfield Courier, August 24, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: We have noticed in past issues to the COURIER the simmer and boiling of the political pot, and since the stirring off at Winfield on the 5th and at Burden on the 10th the number of candidates in this section grew suddenly and beautifully small. But each member of the corps of candidates took the portion allotted by the convention with due complacence characteristic of republicanism—majority rule. As a candidate I too have committed myself to the verdict of the same power. Believing however that the honor conferred by the Burden convention might have been coveted by better men.
Bright on the plain of my life shall be a fertile spot ever green to the memory of many friends for their respect. Without consulting personal interests which, in one’s own opinion are not small, I am before the voters of the 68th District. From a sense of duty and loyalty to law and loyalty to the best interests of the majority upon the subject of prohibition, I will say the line was drawn a year ago and we will fight it out on this line “if it takes all summer.” The plank referring to railroad tariff touches but too mildly the giant monster that is disturbing the social and industrial elements among the farming and laboring people. Extortionate railroad rates are no less a crime than the mortgage laws of our own state at present. Mortgages should be taxes where the money is invested, and in case of foreclosure should be satisfied with the property upon which the loan was made, and not be secured by the future prospects of a helpless family. The present unequal distribution of R. R. School tax is too plain a case of injustice to need comment. On a safe financial basis we want more money. We want inflation such as we have had since January 1, 1879: 170,000,000 imported gold, 80,000,000 from our own gold mines, 90,000,000 in silver and its substitute, and good bank notes to the amount of 210,000,000. This is inflation simple and sound about 380,000,000. Some of the county officers get too much pay in the opinion of many and there are many other reforms needed and should have attention. J. W. WEIMER.
Winfield Courier, August 24, 1882.
Gene Wilber and J. W. Weimer were in the city Friday night.
Winfield Courier, September 21, 1882.
Cowley at the Reunion.
EDS. COURIER: You have been very liberal in the use of the columns of your paper to the Old Veterans of Cowley County, and in their behalf we sincerely thank you while we ask the further indulgence, that we may tell the veterans and citizens who did not go, what we saw, and the part we took in the grandest reunion of veterans since the war.
On Monday, September 11th, we began to assemble in Winfield, and by Monday night over 200 old soldiers were on Main Street around a large camp fire, with drums and fife, singing and cheering as only soldiers can. Adjourning to the Opera House we had music, dancing, songs, and speaking until near midnight, when we separated to meet at the A. T. & S. F. Depot at 5 o’clock a.m. The trip was pleasant until we reached Newton, when we were put on emigrant cars, and we can truly say we never had as disagreeable a ride on a railroad before. The cars were crowded, sultry, and dirty, and with the hot wind and blinding dust, will not soon be forgotten. We arrived in Topeka about 4 o’clock p.m., Tuesday, reached camp Douthitt at 5 p.m., reported to our division commander, Gen. Millard, and by 6 o’clock the Cowley County Veterans had 30 large hospital tents pitched with plenty of straw for bedding. Soon rations were drawn, and after sunset, around our camp fires we drank our coffee and ate our meat, beans, and hard-tack as in days of yore. One of my old company who camped with his wife on the ground assigned to Cowley County vets, the beardless youth of 20 years ago, was bearded and gray headed now, and although we fought and marched together four years, his face was unknown, but his voice was the same and our greeting with eyes swimming in tears was such as never will be forgotten. You don’t know what it is to meet an old comrade, unless you have experienced it. Tuesday night we fought our battles o’er, told our jokes, and sang our songs, and all through the night rang out that old familiar inquiry, “Oh! Joe, here’s your mule.” Wednesday morning before the sun rose every old veteran was on the alert to find his old companion in arms. Around the headquarters of each state, the veterans thronged. How earnestly each face was scanned for some familiar feature. There are few better maskers than Old Time when you give him twenty years to get up his costume. I will tell you how we beat Old Time and found our friends. The soldiers of each state marched to the parade grounds, and forming a hollow square, called the number of each regiment. As the number of the regiment was called, the soldiers of that regiment would step inside, greet, and pass outside the square. Empty sleeves, wooden legs, maimed bodies, and scarred faces made our eyes swim in tears, but the joy of meeting those with whom we battled for four years will never be forgotten.
And now permit me to write of Cowley County. We were honored by being made the 1st veteran regiment, and while it took often 3 or 4 other counties to make a regiment, Cowley was a grand one of over 300 veterans by herself. The officers of the regiment, Lieut. Col. Vanorsdal, Maj. McDorman, and Capts. Magrady, McGuire, White, Weimer, Jackson, and Adjutant Wells, as well as the Lieutenants and Sergeants, added another honor to the laurels. They won battle fields by their conduct at the reunion. They performed their whole duty and did it well. To the veterans of Cowley County I want to say that I never saw heroes bear themselves more proudly. I did not see or hear of a rude action or an intoxicated veteran from Cowley County. The banner county for prohibition in Kansas, was the banner county for deportment at the reunion. . . . T. H. SOWARD.
[OTTER CREEK CORRESPONDENT: NAME NOT GIVEN.]
Winfield Courier, November 2, 1882.
There is but little said here in regard to politics. None of the candidates have been in our part of the township this fall, consequently we have not had any political speeches; but our minds are made up to support St. John, J. W. Weimer, and the whole county ticket, and we are for prohibition first, last, and all the time. Oh! That the time may speedily come when the temperance banner may wave all over this glorious nation of ours, when this monster Intemperance may be wiped out, when there will not be a saloon to allure the young to the dark Dens of destruction.
Winfield Courier, November 9, 1882.
Augusta, Kansas, October 28, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: In looking over the columns of your paper the other day, I was highly gratified to notice that J. W. Weimer, Esq., had been nominated as candidate for Representative from Cowley County. Having had a long personal acquaintance with Mr. Weimer, and having ever found him all that was desirable in a man—being closely connected with him in the Grange elevator at Wichita, he was, upon his leaving our employ, complimented by a unanimous vote of the directors and stock holders, as being a man worthy of confidence, whose ability was such as to fit him for any position to which he might be called; and in view of all this, it would afford his many friends in Butler County much pleasure to learn of his election, and thereby endorse the action of the voters of Butler County, who some years ago unanimously elected him as County Surveyor.
Respectfully Yours, E. R. POWELL, Secretary Butler County, C. C. C.
Winfield Courier, November 16, 1882.
SOME PORTIONS OF THE OFFICIAL VOTE OF COWLEY COUNTY.
C. R. MITCHELL, REPUBLICAN, DEFEATED H. D. KELLOGG, INDEPENDENT REPUBLICAN...706 TO 675. [REPRESENTATIVE 67TH DISTRICT.]
J. W. WEIMER, REPUBLICAN, DEFEATED W. R. MEGREDY, GREENBACK AND DEMOCRAT...660 TO 540. [REPRESENTATIVE 68TH DISTRICT.]
Winfield Courier, November 16, 1882.
C. R. Mitchell’s majority, according to the official vote, is thirty-one.
J. W. Weimer’s majority is one hundred and twenty.
Winfield Courier, February 22, 1883.
Last week Wednesday the House carried Hon. C. R. Mitchell’s motion to reject the joint resolution re-submitting the prohibitory amendment by a vote of 65 to 51. In the roll call we find the names of Mitchell and Weimer for rejection and Johnston against rejection. What do the prohibitionists who voted for J. J. Johnston think of that?
[PLEASANT VALLEY TOWNSHIP CORRESPONDENT: “HORATIUS.”]
Winfield Courier, February 22, 1883.
The past two weeks your humble servant enjoyed a business and pleasure trip to Topeka, Manhattan, Lawrence, Ottawa, and Osawatomie. While at the capital city, he spent two days at the State House observing the workings of the Legislature. To him the House appeared to be a more dignified body than the Senate, notwithstanding the fact that the latter excels in eloquent, classical oratory. Our Senator Hackney, by his fearless, daring, and undaunted style of expression, never fails to command attention when he secures the floor; and his utterances on all questions under discussion ring out no uncertain sound. The time your reporter spent in the Senate, our efficient Senator was the recipient of a flood of complimentary letters from his constituents for the bold stand he had taken against the anti-prohibition clique of Winfield. The Senator is evidently correct on this principle, and “He who is right is twice armed for the fight.” Our members in the House were continually on the alert for any legislation affecting the welfare of Cowley County. “Our Bob” is the observed of all observers—being decidedly the handsomest Representative of the entire body. Weimer possesses keen insight, quick perception, and sound judgment, and speaks and votes correctly on all questions. Johnston, although the most restless, keeps an eye to retrenchment and reform. The writer is under many obligations for kind treatment to our able Senator and efficient Representatives. HORATIUS.
Winfield Courier, March 8, 1883. Editorial Page.
Skipped most of editorial re passage of The Railroad Law.
“A new section is added which provides for taxing railroads in organized counties, for the purpose of paying the commissioners, etc.”
“The railroad companies are compelled to issue duplicate freight receipts to shippers. Right is given to any person to build a switch and connect with the track of a company. Sweeping penalties are provided for the enforcement of all provisions of the bill. Tariff sheets are required to be posted. There are several minor changes in the verbiage.”
“Of course, the law will not suit everybody, but is a much better law than we had reason to anticipate. It is probably a better law than either the House or Senate bill would have been, and is probably the very best for the people that could have been passed. We are glad to note that Mitchell and Weimer voted for it; Johnston voted against it. Hackney voted for it.”
[Law in full was given in another article, which I skipped. MAW]
Winfield Courier, April 5, 1883.
Hon. J. W. Weimer called on us Tuesday for the first time we have seen him since he escaped the pen—the west wing of the capital, we mean. He is looking healthy and vigorous after his winter’s work and now attends to his farming and his sheep. He has 500 sheep which he will move to Cedar Township for better range this summer. He made a clear record in the legislature and gained the respect of that body.
J. W. Weimer leaves for Yellowstone Park: to be Assistant Superintendent...
Winfield Courier, July 19, 1883.
J. W. Weimer left for Yellowstone Park Monday, where he will at once assume his duties as Assistant Superintendent. The position is an excellent one and J. W. is in luck. He will let our readers know of the Park in future issues of this paper.
[LETTER FROM WEIMER: YELLOWSTONE.]
Winfield Courier, August 16, 1883.
Letter from Hon. J. W. Weimer.
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK,
WYOMING TERRITORY, AUGUST 7, 1883.
Ed. Winfield Courier, DEAR SIR: I arrived safe in the wonderland several days ago and find it as all others do—more than could be expected. At first I thought of returning, consequently did not write. The Western Press Association arrived here yesterday and you will shortly have a better pen picture of the Park than I can draw; but as soon as time permits, I will drop you a few notes. Met ex-Senator Conkling and several other prominent men. Yesterday I had the pleasure of accompanying a part of the Press Association through this part of the Park. I led them to the famous Bath Lake, and all old and young took advantage of the rare treat, and a jollier set of school boys you never saw. Among them were W. D. Bickum from Ohio, and B. R. Comen, Ohio, the gentleman who wrote the Act of Congress setting this apart for a National Park. The lake is a natural reservoir of hot water large enough to accommodate five hundred persons at once. J. W. WEIMER.
Winfield Courier, September 20, 1883.
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WYOMING TERRITORY,
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, SEPT. 12, 1883.
Upon my arrival at headquarters after a twelve days’ tour in the mountains, I was greeted by the familiar face of the COURIER, also several correspondents, asking questions of a similar nature, which by your indulgence I take pleasure to answer through the columns of your paper. The number of daily visitors are greatly decreasing, and the tourist season is virtually coming to a close. After the 20th of this month it is unsafe to cross these mountains with any degree of pleasure, on account of snow storms—especially for eastern or southern people (known here as “tender feet” or “pilgrims.”) The best time is from the 15th of August to the 15th of September, in order to avoid bad roads, cold nights, and mosquitoes and flies in the spring, and snow storms in the fall. The probable cost may be approximated by a study of the following schedule of charges fixed by the Hotel and Stage Company and approved by the Hon. H. M. Teller, Secretary of the Interior.
Board and lodging single room per day: $10.00.
Two persons in single room: $4.00.
Fourth story single room: $3.50.
Two persons, fourth story: $3.00.
Private parlor per day: $5.00.
Private baths in bed rooms per day: $.75.
Baths in bathing hall, each: $.50.
Guides or cooks for private camps per day: $4.00.
Hire for a tent for private camp per day: $1.00.
Board and lodging in tents at fixed camps per day: $5.00.
Saddle ponies per day: $3.50.
Saddle ponies first hour: $1.00.
Saddle ponies each subsequent hour: $.50.
Pack ponies each per day: $2.50.
Wagon hire double team with driver per day: $10.00.
Lest your readers get the idea that this is an old place and considerably improved, let me say that such is not the case. The National Hotel, partially completed, and the superintendent’s quarters are the only improvements worth speaking of; a few cabins and dugouts complete the amount. Other improvements are tents and tepees, and it is not uncommon for bears to come to the back door to molest the quiet slumber of tender-feet and pilgrims. This part of our country is too high for the production of anything in the line of vegetation, on account of frost. Every month of the year has its share of frost and ice. The thickness of half an inch is nothing strange in July and August. But it is famous for nature’s monstrosities. No other district of the same size in the world can afford the same amount of natural scenery of a different nature. There is at present a government, geological, and topographical party at work in the park, and when completed I will, if desired, supply your readers with facts concerning the Wonderland, and all questions within my knowledge.
While writing this a small shower passed over, and while the nearest mountain west is covered with snow and still snowing on its top, here in the valley it is pleasant.
Mr. John Hanahan of Cedar Township just drove into headquarters with a six mule government team. He has been absent nearly two years. He was the first Cowley man I met.
Respectfully, J. W. WEIMER.
Winfield Courier, November 1, 1883. Editorial Page.
We would call attention to the communication from Hon. J. W. Weimer on first page. His many friends in this county will read it with interest.
Winfield Courier, November 1, 1883.
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WYOMING TERRITORY,
Yellowstone National Park, October 16th, 1883. In giving a description of this trip, it will be remembered that only a plain sketch of the leading objects—such only as would attract the notice of the most careful observer—can be given, while an enthusiast or a lover of the beautiful or the curious would regale himself for weeks upon the thousand and one other objects herein omitted.
A large number of the tourists, or sight-seeing pilgrims, go in wagons provided for that purpose, and at great expense, being entirely at the mercy of the hotel and stage company, who, as might be expected, are here for the money there is in it, and their scruples for charging have developed in like proportions. This mode of traveling not only prevents access to many objects of interest, but shortens the time on account of excessive expense. Others more daring, as well as wiser and more curious, avail themselves with aboriginal methods of traveling in the mountains. If any of you are ever fortunate enough to take a trip of this kind in a country where side-hill grades are only wide enough for a donkey to trail and steep enough to require his ears to be pried back to keep the bridle off, you will never wonder why Indians ride single file, even back in the states where roads are roomy and smooth.
Our party, four in number, Mr. Fish, an Adirondack scout, of Minnesota, Mr. Erret, an ex-army officer, another gentleman, and myself, with each a Bronco to ride and another to pack our supplies and camp equipage on, organized at the park headquarters, Mammoth Hot Springs. This place is so named, not from the size of the springs, but from the great number and the mammoth structures built by them.
Coming from the railroad, which is a branch of the North Pacific, built for park purposes, coming from Livingston, Montana, to the park limits on the north, the road is mountainous, at least you would think so had you been in the writer’s place while coming over the same road with a wagon loaded with government supplies, drawn by eight mules in the care of John Hanahan, of Cedar Township, Cowley County, and seen the whole outfit go down over the mountain fully eighty feet, making four revolutions and alighting in the trees below. By a little forethought and a hasty application of leg bail, Mr. Hanahan and myself made a narrow escape by keeping ahead of the racket and going a little farther down.
The first to attract the attention of the tourist when he arrives at the last hill, which is considered as belonging to the park, is the government headquarters, occupied by the superintendent, Major P. H. Conger, a log building one and a half stories high with shed rooms on three sides and a dome-like fixing of Octagon shape on top, on each side of which is a post-hole, intended for sentinels and self defense in Indian times; on top of this is a flagpole ornamented with a large brass ball. This building occupies a very imposing site on what is called Capital Hill, and facing the great formation of the springs. A little to the right and still more imposing is a steaming mountain, ever faithful, carrying from the fiery interior of the earth a chalk-like substance, and with it building terrace above terrace in pulpit-like scallops one above the other until now a mountain of almost alabaster whiteness rises to a thousand feet, and defies the world for a similar structure.
The water of these numerous springs are of different temperatures, varying 100 to 175 degrees, and have a very different taste. They hold in solution a great amount of substance and are very transparent. The colors vary according to the substance held in solution, giving to each spring, basin, pool, or bowl, as you may wish to call them, a different color. The springs proper cover a level area of several acres; when viewed from the top of what is called Cleopatra’s bowl, which is fifty feet higher, is feast to the observer’s eye, of every hue and tint, as they blend their shimmering, shining waters, looking like great magnified diamonds in a snowy plain.
Other leading objects of interest are Cupid’s Cave, right under Cleopatra’s bowl, Devil’s Pot, Devil’s Frying Pan, and Sulphur Pit, at the last of which pure, dry sulphur is obtained hot enough to scald the hand by the steam; Bath Lake, used for bathing, and large enough to accommodate five hundred at one time, of swimming depth, and temperature to suit your own idea of comfort or health by approaching or receding from the heating source; Poison Cave, from which the writer has frequently taken dead birds and others that were nearly dead, also deer and other animals are said to have been found dead here; Orange Geyser, that one would readily name himself from its shape and color, is fifteen feet high, twenty feet wide, and has a small jet of hot water on the top, slowly though faithfully building higher and higher; Liberty Cap, a monumental-like rock sixty feet high, fifteen or twenty feet in diameter, evidently the product of a hot spring formed perhaps a thousand years ago, standing out by itself; now comes the Devil’s Thumb and Hell-gate, the ever faithful sentinels at the point where the road begins its ascent to other parts. These names at first seem inappropriate. But one should hear the Rocky Mountain oaths and epithets that salute the ears of the overloaded team in trying to ascend at this place, which would surprise those of the Flanders, and can only be coined in the Rocky Mountains,
And if you wish to climb this terrace of snow
And to the top in safety go.
Get all the team you can command
Then, perhaps, you’ll escape the Devil’s Hand;
If halfway up you chance to stop,
Cease your lash and oaths, there’s no hope,
For woe betide your creatures dumb,
You’re fast beneath the Devil’s Thumb.
This is all the reason I can see for naming these objects, and claim no authority for this. But a great deal of work has been done here, and these two last named sentinels receive fewer victims. Equipped as we were, we passed this place with perfect ease, and all went merrily for several hours while we climbed to the mountain top in Indian file. At the first small descent, we were for the first time introduced to the tricks of the Broncho pony, when our pack pony bethought himself of how he kept from doing any service for nearly a year, and he was not long in convincing us that his rehearsal was no failure, by sending his burden in loose parcels in every direction over the side of the mountain, plunging stiff-legged, head-long over rocks and logs, taking with him our faithful scout who was leading him at the time. He had the rope around the neck of his own horse. Cooking utensils, fresh bread, canned fruit, bacon, and blankets well seasoned with baking powder and pepper—so was the pony, scout, and the side of the mountain. We stopped the fat rascal by entangling him in the ropes used for fastening the pack, called lash ropes.
It is now quite late, and when you hear from us again, we will be all straightened out and on our way to the Norris Geyser Basin.
Snowed for the last eight days, and it is now two feet deep in the valleys and four on the mountains, and still snowing. J. W. WEIMER.
Winfield Courier, January 10, 1884.
WYOMING LETTER—OUR VISIT CONTINUES. More time has now elapsed than we expected since you last heard from us on the mountain side with our entire outfit spread promiscuously over the ground and our pack pony entangled in the lash ropes, and myself firmly planted with my right knee on my neck and his left foot drawn firmly to his breast, animatedly prescribing terms of an unconditional surrender. And no time was lost by the high joint committee that convened around the prostrate form of our ignoble captive, the bucking Indian bronco. We soon persuaded his royal horse ship to acknowledge superiors, feel the unpleasantness of his condition, and promise to cater to the clever wants of our sight-seeing company. His inherent rights, the free use of his very natural, quadruplicated basis, he claimed were allowed him by the constitution of his country, to which we consented and forthwith disentangled the lash ropes. Of course, the treaty was verbal and the convention adjourned informally to meet again under similar circumstances. The character of this horse will be better understood if the reader knows he is a stray picked up after Chief Joseph of the Nez Perces Indians when they were making their masterly retreat in advance of Gen. Howard’s army, who were driving them through these mountains from the west a few years ago, and appropriated to park purposes—like his first owners, good under unavoidable circumstances. Packing is an art, and in the Rocky Mountains is a trade peculiar to itself, requiring no little skill, and commands double the wages of common labor. But our task was completed by our inexperienced hands in about double the necessary time required, and here we leave the reader to judge of the ridiculous burlesque attempt at imitation.
As we moved down toward the beautiful valley in the near advance, looking like time-worn pilgrims, and like them rejoicing that things were as well with us as they really were, the bundles on our quadruped servant reeled from one side to the other sufficient to torture the poor dumb brute into a repetition of his bucking propensities. But the uncouth appearance of our work attracted the attention of the first man we met, who by the way was an expert in the art, and kindly offered us the benefit of his skill by way of a lesson if allowed to undo the whole business, in which we gladly consented, and by this time were interested enough to notice every loop and knot applied in the transaction. So great was the change in our appearance, that we sometimes thought the gentleman had stopped the wrong party, and our servant of burden moved off with ease and pride as though he had been promoted from President Arthur’s train to ours.
After this all was regular and pleasant and our whole attention was given to what we could hear and see within the range of ears and eyes. After leaving Terris Mountain, where the bucking racket took place, it is only about two miles to Swan Lake in the valley of the Gardner. It covers several acres, is very shallow, and its waters, like all others, very clear; named from the feathered game that frequent the place in great numbers. From this to the east is Sheepeater mountain, 9,000 feet high, named from the tribe of Indians that lived at its foot and subsisted on the sheep that made their home in its rugged sides. Further on in the same direction is Mt. Stevens, while in the northwest a few miles away are the iron rust colored rocks of Electric Peak towering giant-like to the height of over 11,000 feet and bidding the mammoth hills at its foot to hide in its shadow. Then a little to the west and south are Pyramid Peaks of Madison ranges with their northern sides wrapped in perpetual snow, as old, perhaps, as the adamantine rocks themselves. These with many minor objects of attraction, as brooks, springs, and miniature parks shaded by evergreen trees, make up the sublime scenery by which we are now surrounded as we hasten on for Willow Park, to camp for the night. This camping place is one of the finest in the park, and I describe it as being all that man or beast could wish. Two miles further on is Obsidian, Cliff, and Beaver Lake. Here for the first time in life had we the opportunity to see the work of these industrious rodents. Their dental operations among the trees are fresh, and their skill for river damming is here fully displayed. The lake mentioned above is the result of their work in damming Willow Creek. At the foot of this semi-artificial lake, on the east is Obsidian Cliff, the composition of which is pure glass of a clear black color, making it semi-transparent, with now and then red streaks promiscuously intermixed. Manufactured as it is in nature’s own laboratory, and by volcanic agency raised in basaltic columns to the height of 200 or 300 ft. The road runs along close to its base and is graded with this same material, and for a half mile you can ride over a bed of pure glass.
Here the scene changes. After passing the head of the lake, you begin to climb a hill on the east side of the valley, and the road, which is a dug-way, is composed of a substance of a geyser formation. It is nearly as white as snow, more like slacked lime than anything else, and from the bed of the stream below you are regaled with the fumes of hot sulphurous gas and of other mineral substances, adding to the already revolting odor—an element that makes you instinctively call the place by its right name, “The Stink Hole.” The formation is evidently the result of an extinct geyser or great hot spring at no great distance in the past. Now the hill becomes quite steep and the timber very dense, and on the top, nestled away in this almost dark forest, is the Lake of the Woods; and the tourist longs to stop, if for no other purpose than to see how easily twenty-four hours of time could be killed.
Five miles down the valley of the Gibbon brings us to the Norris Geyser basin. Here the rivaling curiosities of all nature begin. And having stopped here but a short time, will not attempt anything like an adequate description of the place. This basin is a group of many hot springs, small geysers, and gas holes, evidently the safety valves for the internal machinery of the infernal regions directly beneath our unhallowed feet. To see at one glance about 100 acres covered with boiling caldrons, splashing mud, spouting jets of hot water, hissing pans, and orifices blowing brimstone fumes all round you, you imagine that this is not a very good place to tarry and that you had better all unite in prayer. But as you advance your fears gradually vanish and the disagreeable odor is forgotten, while your growing curiosity leads you to examine more closely the different items of curiosity until at one place naturally in the course of the inquirer, you are standing upon a rock admiring a boiling pool of emerald water directly at your feet, and then walk round a few steps to witness it more closely, and to your astonishment you see that this rock is only the thickness of your hand and is positioned over the very center of a bottomless pit of boiling water; then how very soon the charm disappears and an expedition of further inquiries is the order for this place. The geysers at this place are here considered insignificant on account of the anticipation of what is yet to come, but at Winfield would no doubt attract some attention.
I see, Mr. Editor, that this letter has become quite too long, though I have abridged it almost to nothing, and if you can glean a faint idea of the trip, my end is accomplished, and we go back to the elevated road on the gallop off to Gibbon canon and Elk Park to camp again in this real paradise of a place.
To be continued. December 24, 1883. Snow from 2 ft. to 5 ft. deep. Ice 10 inches. Elk and mountain sheep quite numerous. Respectfully, J. W. WEIMER.
Winfield Courier, January 17, 1884.
WYOMING TERRITORY LETTER.
At Gibbon Canyon in Elk Park is where we bid adieu to the reader and drew rein for another rest in camp. This place is 25 miles from government headquarters and the last camping place for the next 17 miles to come and therefore necessitated an early halt.
Here by a joint vote, our scout, Mr. Fish, and senior member, Mr. Sawyer, decided to go on through to the Firehole basin, the seventeen miles referred to above, while myself and partner decided ourselves a majority and tarried by the way to see the Paint Pots, which are a half mile to the right of the road. The first thing to attract our attention was a small stream of red water—affording as it did an easy guide to the object in quest. Tracing it to its source, we found that it came from a pot of red mud called Blood Geyser. In this group are many pots or bowls varying from the size of an ordinary cooking utensil to the size of very large cisterns. The paint or rather mud in the different vessels varies much in consistency and also color. The colors are black and white, blue, and all the shades by blending these. But chief among the group is one having a diameter of about 15 feet, funnel shaped, its contents being a facsimile of putty in color and density, puffing and splashing like the boiling of hot mush—only larger in proportion to the size of the pots. No doubt this same batch of mud has been boiling for thousands of years. Here let me say if any of you ever visit this place, look a few paces east of this place in a shallow spring of clear water and you may find some of the handsomest specimens of many sharp pointed petrified substances that can be found in the park. After collecting a few of these, we hurried back to the main road, and just as we were in full headway a foot bridge of two logs across the river attracted our attention, and on the opposite side, against a tree was a hand board reading “Trail to Monument Geysers on Mt. Schurz.” Though several miles behind the other members of our party, we decided to ford the river with our horses and make the tour. With some care we avoided scalding the feet of our horses in hot water, which was quite plentiful on the left bank of the stream where we entered. The height of this basin is 1,000 feet and quite steep. Before we had proceeded very far the practical idea of relieving ourselves of every incumbrance, including all unnecessary wearing apparel, was resorted to. This change as well as the exalted emotions of seeing monuments at such an elevation made the task of climbing practically easy for ourselves, but our ponies saw nothing to relieve their growing reluctance. This basin has four or five of these monuments varying from six to twelve feet in height, very hard and quite smooth, each having a small opening through the center and emitting hot air or rather sulphurous gas, and are more like smoke stacks or flues in appearance; some hot springs and one hot air escapement so dry as to be imperceptible and the tourist is liable to get his eyebrows scalded in attempting to look down its throat to see from whence comes that loud noise so loud as to drown the loudest conversation when near to it. For noise it is next to the Old Growler of Norris basin, that we forgot to mention.
If the reader now draws lightly on his imagination he can have some idea of the transformation of our exalted emotions to feelings more humble as we neared this great basin. After getting as near heaven as the height of the mountain could lift us, we come to the very threshold of a direct communication between the infernal regions and our world. Those monuments are more like mementoes of the departed but end of original sin firing up for the coming of the political reforms that vote the anti-prohibition ticket of Kansas. To the right and at the upper end of this basin is a mound, the crater of an extinct geyser from the top of which to our great satisfaction in beholding spread out before us like a sea, an undulating lawn of evergreen limited only by the reach of sight and the distant horizon. With this scene sharply drawn upon the tablet of our memory, we hastened to untie our ponies and make a rapid descent to the foot of the mountain, adjusted our little baggage, mounted, forded the stream with care, and galloped off to meet our comrades at Gibbon Falls.
The only object of interest in this rapid ride was the walls of the canyon, which at some places are 2,000 feet high and almost perpendicular. The Falls are close to the road and from the noise made by them cannot be missed. These falls are only about 80 feet and in view of what lies in the future, we simply pronounce them splendid and hurry on to the lower Fire Hole basin. Here by mere accident we overtook the advance of our party, who had gone into camp near the roadside for the purpose of intercepting us. It was already dark and late enough to make matters interesting as they had all the provisions and bedding. While doing our part of the camp and moderately getting on the other side of a piece of elk steak and other cold grub, a weak eruption of a gaseous reprehension for our not keeping up with the party took place in the neighborhood of our senior member, but irreverently we notified his seniorship that we were out on this trip without a guardian and every man was his own sovereign dictator. Everybody feels better when they have their own way, “you know.” This was the only harmonizer used during the trip. After a very short calm we all curled down under the starry blue canopy of heaven telling stories and relating incidents of the day till enchanted Morpheus stole our cares away and the night passed swiftly away. Tomorrow we will visit this basin and go to Hells Half-acre. Respectfully, J. W. WEIMER.
Winfield Courier, February 7, 1884.
As we promised in our last, we now take up our line of march to visit the Fire-hole basin, sometimes called Lower Geyser basin. This was on the first day of September—and let me say here, for the benefit of others, that this is decidedly the best time in the year to visit the Park. Entering, as we did, from the north, the roads fork to the right, crossing the two branches of the Fire-hole River, the headwaters of the Madison. After crossing these two branches, you come to the Pioneer Hotel, at the point where the Virginia and Beaver Canon road enters the park. The government has a storehouse here for the keeping of supplies for the use of the men employed in improving roads and bridges, also a blacksmith shop, for the same purpose and for the accommodation of the traveling public. From the hotel to the east may be seen the rising steam of many hog springs, the most notable among the number being the Queen’s Laundry, appropriately named, as it is frequently used for cleaning garments, by throwing them in, and after being held in agitation in its seething caldron a few hours, they are taken out perfectly cleaned.
Near this place is Fairy Falls, where the water makes a perpendicular leap of two hundred and fifty feet. There are a great many hot springs at this place, and by going close to them, which can be done with perfect safety, you can see the fantastically-shaped and coral-decked walls are not only firm, but special objects of beauty that seem to prompt involuntary exclamations of wonder and surprise; and this is further heightened when you come to look down through their tinted but wonderful clear water to an immeasurable depth. The fountain is the only one in the system that most resembles a geyser in its habits. It has a throat or rather crater of about twenty-five feet in diameter from which the water is thrown in vast quantities sixty feet in height, and then falls back in glistening globules. If it were not for the tourists having heard of the upper geyser basin, they would pronounce this a natural fountain of marvelous beauty. It acts about every six hours.
A short distance to the east from this geyser, through some scattering trees, is a group of paint or mud pots. They occupy about 50 feet square. The surrounding rim or rather crater is about three feet high and perfectly safe to walk upon. In the one end (to the south, I think it is) is almost snow white boiling mud, while the other end is a bright pink and is somewhat thicker in consistency, boiling and forming numerous little craters with the orifices through which hot mud is thrown at intervals. The noise is similar to but greater than that of thick boiling hasty pudding. The white end boils more rapidly and its mud is agitated over its entire surface. These disturbances create peculiar shapes, and singular noise is made by escaping gas or steam—most interesting and truly wonderful.
From here to Hells Half Acre is five miles up the river on the right hand side. If you can imagine a road smooth, rough, level, hilly, hard, soft, and several corduroy crossings, interspersed here and there on both sides with some of the most beautiful little evergreen groves in the world, you have a good idea of our surroundings while making this short distance.
This interesting and very conspicuous object lies on the left hand or opposite side of the river from the road and cannot be missed. A short distance below the river is fordable with buggies, but most of the tourists hitch their horses and cross on a foot bridge made for that purpose. The geyser to which this rather impious name is applied, though by no means a misnomer, is close to the bank of the river and considerably elevated—the elevation being the formation of an ancient hot spring which this geyser is now ruthlessly engaged in destroying, undermining as it does its own banks; and the rocks that cave in from the top are thrown out by its powerful eruptions. This enlargement has advanced until at present its area is little less than half an acre and its walls from twenty to thirty feet high. Unlike all other geysers, it builds no cone or crater of its own. Its only object seems to be destruction as if prompted by anger. Its waters are at all times in a boiling agitation and intensely hot, filling its orifice with such a vast column of white steam, looking more like a foaming mist. And by remaining as you naturally will a short time to gaze into its maze of bewilderment till a passing breeze sweeps the steam away for a moment and you look down into this seething, boiling pit not with a feeling of pleasure but terror. This pool constantly discharges an immense amount of water and occasionally becomes air-charged and then raises its entire volume to the height of three hundred feet and majestically holds it steady for fifteen minutes at a time. A little cowardly wisdom at these times may often save the tourist the displeasure of carrying off with him an unpleasant memento of having been a living witness to one of those grand demonstrations especially as nearness adds nothing to the grandeur.
We had the misfortune of not seeing twin eruptions, but were told by the men who were at work at the bridge that it would raise the river eight inches in a few minutes, and they had to remove their mules and themselves for a considerable length of time on account of the heat. Close by and a little further from the river is one of the largest hot springs in the park. Its boiling is so even and regular that it looks like a pile of water and its rim was built up so even that it overflows on all sides. So hot was its water that we were unable to remove a specimen from its edge at fingers depth without being scalded. The next five miles has nothing uncommon and little to attract attention save now and then a little complaint of tender overalls. Our pace was nevertheless increased and we galloped off to the upper geyser basin and went into camp for the next two days in the very midst of the crowning wonders of the world.
January 12, 1884. The weather is all that the charms of winter could afford. Where the snow is not drifted it is 6 feet deep. One place in sight on Specimen Mountain is over a hundred. Mercury playing at zero, sometimes a little below, and as high as 32 above. It is said by Montana papers the winter is unprecedented for mildness. Bands of Elk in sight every day and graze within rifle shot of our quarters, and eat of our hay.
Our Visit in the Upper Geyser Basin. When nearing this basin, the first thing to attract the attention is a small jet thrown about sixty feet high, near the river bank, and it is called Riverside geyser. It acts three and four times a day and happened to be in full blast when we arrived. Close by on the other side is another, and on account of the spreading stream that it throws out, is called “The Fan Geyser.” Here the road crosses the river on a bridge. Nearby is what may be called a real geyser: “The Giant.” Its eruptions are irregular, but when it does act, its volume is seven feet in diameter and over two hundred high. Its grandeur is in the length of time it acts, which is about one hour and a half, and its deep underground rumbling is enough to fill a weak geyserite appetite at once. To the right is the “Grotto Geyser,” I supposed named from its peculiar shaped cavern-like crater. Instead of having a smooth opening at the top through which to discharge its waters, it is thrown out at the sides and churned and dashed around at a furious rate. It looks as though it would blow its grotesque grotto or cavern to atoms. This lasts thirty minutes. Twenty-five rods further on is the “Comet Geyser.” To use the camp expression, it “goes off” four times a day. Its crater is rather large, regular, and very beautiful, has nothing uncommon to attract attention here, but no doubt if it were in the public square at Winfield, would be looked upon with some interest, but here it is very tame. To the right and near the edge of the basis is “The Splendid Geyser.” It goes off five and six times a day and sometimes in quick succession. It gives no notice of its going off, as most others do. I suppose the appearance of its display gave rise to its name. Then comes “The Devil’s Well.” To vary the scenery and to a great extent rest the strained curiosity of the sightseer, its waters have the same unnatural clearness peculiar to these boiling pools. Its temperature is above that of ordinary boiling water, and campers take advantage of it in cooking their victuals in it by suspending camp kettles to a pole laid across the top—quite a fuel saver and no possible danger of burning like the paint pots spoken of before. They can boil for centuries and not burn. Its depth is unknown and it boils very even, regular and slow, while only a few feet from it is “Castle Geyser,” that is every moment in the most restless state. It is the noisiest geyser in the basin, constantly throwing its waters to the height of 20 or 30 feet, churning, growling, puffing, splashing, as if trying to go off, and angry because of a lack of water. This lack is made up every day or two, when it is thrown in an immense volume to the height of 100 feet, and lasts 30 minutes, followed with an escape of steam with such force as to be heard many miles distant, while close to its foot is the Devil’s Well, showing not the least signs of agitation. Next to it is a group of small geysers. The principal one from its peculiar, puffing noise of its action, is called “The Saw Mill.” It acts about half of the time, looked upon as rather a small affair. The “Lion, Lioness, and their two cubs” have built for themselves an imposing elevation and on the top have stationed themselves close together. The largest lion acts independent of the rest. The cubs usually act together. Their names are not a misnomer. Tourists are often suddenly frightened by the growling, while nothing can be seen at the time but empty craters. To the left and nearly at the head of the basin is the “Giantless Geyser.” It seldom goes off, but its crater is always full of water and one can see many feet down its rough throat. It is said to throw a stream 250 feet high and last 15 hours. To the right and near the river is the “Bee Hive Geyser.” The symmetry of its crater is the finest in the park, resembling that on the sign board of the Bee Hive store, only much larger. The opening through the top is 2 feet in diameter. It goes off once in twenty-four hours and lasts 8 minutes, height 230 feet. At one time I stood full 20 rods away and received a bath usual to a small shower. It seems to act with very great force. When not in action its orifice is empty for many feet down. Crossing the river on a foot bridge of two logs, we come to the very head of the basin and here is located “Old Faithful Geyser,” like an ever watchful sentinel or the ruler of a small empire, Old Faithful, so called on account of the regularity of his actions. Every 60 minutes he lifts his majesty to the height of 160 feet as if to look over the entire basin, and holds his imperial majesty for 3 to 5 minutes, then sinks back as if to count 60 minutes more and recruit his strength the time to repeat himself again. Thus faithful day and night, winter and summer, cold and warm, by his regularity “Old Faithful”has gained the admiration of all that ever saw him. “Grand Geyser,” by all who ever saw it, seems to pronounce it the most satisfactory. It is located near a rocky bluff and many tourists linger near it for whole days rather than miss seeing it go off, but my geyserite appetite was so completely glutted that I found more pleasure in the woods examining the craters of old volcanoes and admiring the lofty pines on the mountain side. Its actions are very irregular; but in the evening of the last day of our stay, the signal was given that the Grand Geyser was going off. I heard the rumbling noise and felt the underground pulsations, saw the excited tourists run, and white steam rise above the tall trees; but I had all the geyser that I could digest for the next two weeks, and was satisfied with the description by the rest of the company, and here it is. Mr. Sawyer, an old gentleman: “Weimer, I’d rather than five dollars you’d seen it, oh, it was grand.” Mr. Everett. “By George, Weimer, it went off five times and you might easily got there, why didn’t you run like the rest of ’em? Why the whole for 200 feet high was covered with the purtiest rainbow you ever seen, and it would expand and contract just as the water did and when it sunk back in its hole the rainbow seemed to creep in after it, ‘By golly.’”
Thus day and night the scenes with the accompanying music go on, some lashing the air in angry fury with boiling water while others fill the air with groans of monster spirits writhing in agony on account of close confinement. On a clear bright morning the basin looks like a great manufacturing city, only instead of the dirty, black smoke, there are white clouds of steam and in most places the surroundings are exquisitely clean.
At the close of the second day our visit of the place was complete, at least mine was. Here is the place that fatigue gives way to excited curiosity instead of relaxing pleasure. While the party was planning for an early start in the morning, the idea struck me how easily could providential power stop these many little safety valves and send the whole business through a hole in the sky. What a horrible thought to bid goodbye to woman suffrage, prohibition, fashion, and party platform to take a voyage in a little cataclysm as this.
Respectfully, J. W. WEIMER.
[POLO, RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, CORRESPONDENT: “OLD NED.”]
Winfield Courier, March 6, 1884.
We understand J. W. Weimer will return soon. We would like to see the smiling face of our bachelor friend.
Winfield Courier, April 3, 1884. Editorial.
A Beautiful Gift. Hon. J. W. Weimer is down home from the Yellowstone National Park on a vacation of a couple of weeks. He presented the Editor with a most beautiful specimen of the ornamental work turned out at nature’s great work shop in that park. It is a large cavalry horseshoe with all the nails in and bent over in the shape when clinched on, and all is finely coated with a thick coat of snow like mineral matter deposited evenly all over the whole by the mineral waters of the geysers. Mr. Weimer has our cordial thanks for this exquisite specimen as well as for the excellent articles which gave description of the park that appeared in the COURIER.
Winfield Courier, April 3, 1884.
Hon J. W. Weimer came in from Yellowstone Park last week on a short visit. He has passed a pleasant winter although tolerably cold.
[REPUBLICAN COUNTY CONVENTION.]
Winfield Courier, April 24, 1884.
Richland Delegates: J. W. Weimer, A. Stuber, Jno. Sargent, S. W. Phoenix.
Winfield Courier, June 12, 1884.
Yellowstone National Park. We are suddenly reminded that several weeks have already passed since we were one of the busy beings of your throng while the red tape of our furlough was rapidly unwinding and the additional days of grace from Uncle Sam’s spasmodic generosity gave us warning that it was time to set sail for the National Park.
Loath as we were to part with Cowley County’s varied interests, we took good-bye from the hands of many friends, left our best wishes, and sped away with Mr. Wallace before the cloud of despondency that hung over our physiognomy had so thickened that our social inwardness gave language to its depression in the form of a briny shower from the windows of our soul and our heroism took the form of a fit of hypochondria and leave an unfavorable impression upon the panoramic medley of politics, railroad bonds, sociables, etc., together with the general boom as it all faded away in the rear while Mr. Wallace belabored the gray back of his ten year old colt that took the buck board with its precious cargo towards Douglass, splashing pancake sloughs and bottoms by the quarter-section that would have astonished the natives along the road had they not seen the like a thousand times before.
Here we visited friends a few hours and meditated seriously as to the policy of leaving the halcyon day among friends plenty and pretty women simply to become the brave succor of Horace Greeley’s advice “young man go west,” and write back that you have been there and make believe that you are the hero that has seen its wonders face to face, and that the possession of a limited purse and no fixed object to take warning and not do as we done, go off without getting their “piktur” took and leave with it a lock of hair for ten chances to one they will never see the states again. Kansas people had better be slow in letting go of good enough. To avoid a repetition by going over the same route twice, we booked for the hog market of Kansas by way of the overland route, and started at 2 p.m., and arrived early next morning. Here we concluded to stay for the day to see what might be seen in that length of time, not for the purpose of encumbering this article with any foolishness of the place because that is a very small product of Kansas City. A careless view of the stock and grain yards of the place not only shows it to be the hog market, but the metropolis of Kansas, or in other words the safety valve to relieve the great resources of Kansans of their over production and thereby ease the ever declining frailty of our greenback party. Early in the afternoon we wended our way back to the Union depot and contracted for another shipment to the twin metropolis of the great northwest, St. Paul and Minneapolis, via eastern Iowa, a distance of over 600 miles. In thirty hours more we were safely landed as per agreement mutually entered into by the parties of both parts and duly paid for in advance. The most noticeable change thus far is the disappearance of the great corn cribs and growing elevators, which are much the largest in Kansas, and long before we reach eastern Iowa, they dwindled down to ugly nothingness and the cribs look like dissipated old bachelors and elevators like gangling old maids, being with consumption. Something like Kansas in the spring of 1875. But the uninterrupted luxuriant carpet of blue-grass, in our opinion, more than makes up for the sickly difference in the last year’s corn crop. This with the thrifty groves of trees and numerous tidy villages has an untiring beauty that lends the traveler more genuine pleasure than any state that we have ever traveled over. The Union depot at St. Paul is reached just in time to be too late to take in other than the immediate locality, so we in cold blood, declined all omnibus accommodations and by our own conveyance repaired to the Sherman House and took quarters for twenty-four hours. The regulations at this depot are such that mistakes are scarcely possible even by the effort of the most timid kind and the officials and the employees deserve more than a passing notice for kindness toward the ever moving throng that never ceases at this place. Minneapolis is ten miles distant and a train passes between the two cities every thirty minutes, giving ample facilities for visiting both places at the cost of very little time. The rivaling cities are both healthy. Though Minneapolis is the younger, it has already the ascendency and will eventually claim the bulk of one great city when the two grow into one. In St. Paul we visited the location to see the foundation of a hotel that is to cost $1,500,000, and another in Minneapolis is to cost $2,000,000. These and other schemes that naturally came under our observation proves readily that the tide of immigration and flood of wealth is not southwest, as by some supposed.
From here west the agricultural territory rapidly dwindles away and blends with the great grazing region we read of. The ungainly sage brush takes the place of forest trees and the vague effort that the bunch grass makes to hide the poverty stricken soil it will grin through from an unlimited plain and foot hills for miles and miles around like the pleasant grin of solicitation of starvation at your door. Now and then an irrigating ditch is seen, but dull monotony for the first time makes you fully realize the luxury of a dining car and palace sleeper as an indispensable appendage to a train on the western plains. With these on hand eleven hundred miles of unclaimed real estate is spread in the rear of the train with much ease and little pleasure in about fifty hours, all things favorable.
Gardiner, Montana Territory, is now reached, the last town on the Yellowstone River. It lies on the very edge of the National Park and is aspiring to importance as the Denver of Montana, but a Methodist minister would instantly name it the Sodom of iniquity or iniquity.
Now, Mr. Editor, we do not pretend to have leaked any wisdom, but after traveling 2,000 miles with ears and eyes well open, we become so replete that we could not help dropping a few facts for which we beg your indulgence and withhold any apology.
Very Respectfully, J. W. W. [WEIMER]
Editor Millington once more requested J. W. Weimer to write about Yellowstone National Park in January 1886. Weimer responded a month later.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 18, 1886.
Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming Territory, January 28, 1886.
Your note of inquiry dated Jan. 8th, 1886, was received last night. If I can indulge your pardon for undue silence, I will say in reply that I am enjoying the winter quite well. The Park is growing more interesting the longer I stay. You need not be surprised if I say that the weather for mildness is unparalleled, approximating a semitropical climate. With one exception, on the 7th inst., the mercury congealed for several hours, then rallied, and has since indicated mostly from few to 40 degrees above. There is scarcely enough snow here in the valley (Yellowstone East Fork) for sleighing; forty miles further down there is none, while in the mountains there is enough to drive the game down, and hundreds of elk are seen along the main road. From our cabin door we can see elk and mountain sheep nearly every hour of the day. Game is becoming quite numerous, and we have nearly all kinds here. From the wood rat to the lion and bear and from the stately elk to the web-footed rabbit.
All kinds of stock is still living on the range. The government horses are kept in the east of the park, the highest range in this country, and the rundown ponies are thriving on the mountain side.
During the tourist season, I had charge of the south end of the park, the great geyser district, and had a most enjoyable time visiting with the continual stream of curious visitors and made some pleasant acquaintances. After it was over I proposed to the superintendent a scheme of patrol through the western part of the park. Myself and Ed Wilson, after fifteen days hard work, succeeded in bagging eight horses and five men, who called themselves old timers or bad men. They were convicted and fined, their guns, knives, etc., were confiscated, and they were turned loose with a better opinion of law and order. When the weather is fine, this affords a whole lot of fun; but I can’t say, without a stretch of conscience, that it fully gratifies my ambition. It’s rather too interesting in some of its little episodes. When the snow is from knee to hip deep, a well furnished parlor with a stove in it and a dining attachment is good enough for me. Then you know the promise of being exterminated at sight is not entertaining nor an invitation to a merry Christmas dinner and ball.
I almost forgot to say that during my long silence the COURIER has wended its way to the backbone of creation and kept me posted on the boom and healthy progress you are having. Cowley is sure to be the great bread and meat county of the west. So, Mr. Editor, put me down for Cowley and its people first, last, and all the time, for I’m sure to be there.
It might be interesting for our folks to know that the Yellowstone National Park is the outgrowth of the spirit of Kansas aggressiveness. A monument of grace to the nation of which Kansas above every other state has a right to be proud. It was made a park by a bill introduced by Senator Pomeroy in 1872. Thanks to the wisdom of Congress for its true spirit of conservation for securing the marvelous scenes for the people of the whole world that nature has centered here, and now preserves in their integrity safe from vandalism and the greed of speculation.
The more I think of writing about this place, the larger grows the volume of interesting items and the less able I feel for the task and by your permission will itemize a few things in another letter and take chances in running the gauntlet of THE COURIER’s critics. For the present I will take advantage of a German baron, an educated gentlemen and a great traveler, who now comes to my relief. He says, “to see the world one must finish here, because if he sees dis first, he will vote to stay and the rest will shust say ‘you von damn liar.’” J. W. WEIMER.