Keith County, NEGenWeb
Barbed Wire
The Law at the End of the Trail
OGALLALA
1873 - 1887
by Karyn Stansbery
Transcription by Keith Hughes

Permission to reprint granted by The Author

Barbed Wire
NOTES

1. Many books and articles address the early range cattle industry. Those providing background for this article include:

BIBLIOGRAPY


1..... J. Marvin Hunter, ed., The Trail Drivers of Texas, 2d ed. (Nashville: Cokesbury Press, 1925)

2..... Nellie Snyder Yost, The Call of the Range (Denver: Sage/Swallow Books, 1966)

3..... Yost, Boss Cowman: The Recollections of Ed Lemmon, 1857 - 1946 (Lincoln: Univ of Neb Press, 1969)

4..... James C. Olson, History of Nebraska (Lincoln: Univ of Neb Press, 1955)

5..... Norbert Mahnken, “Early Nebraska Markets for Texas Cattle”, Nebraska History 26 (Jan-Mar 1945) pp 3-25 and (Apr-June 1947) pp 91-103

6..... Mahnken, “Ogallala: Nebraska’s Cowboy Capital”, Nebraska History 28 (Apr - June 1947) pp 85-109

7..... John Bratt, Trails of Yesterday (Lincoln: Univ of Neb Press, 1980, rpt of 1921 ed.)

8..... James H. Cook, “Early Days in Ogallala”, Nebraska History 14 (Apr-June 1933) pp 86-99

9.....Harry Chrisman, Ladder of Rivers: The Story of I.P. ‘Print’ Olive (Denver: Sage/Swallow Books, 1962)

10.... Edgar Beecher Bronson, Reminiscence of a Ranchman (New York: Doubleday, 1909)

11.... John Clay, My Life on the Range (Norman: Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1962 rpt of 1916 ed.)

12.... A. B. Wood, Pioneer Tales of the North Platte Valley and Nebraska Panhandle (Gering Neb.: Courier Press, 1938) p 65

13.... Grant L. Shumway, ed., History of Western Nebraska and Its People(Lincoln: Western Publishing & Engraving Co, 1921) 2: 106-7

14.... John Carson, The Union Pacific: Hell on Wheels (Santa Fe: Press of the Terrirorian, 1968)

15....Wayne Gard, The Chisholm Trail (Norman: Univ of OK Press, 1954)

16....Robert G. Athearn, Union Pacific Country (New York: Rand, McNally & Co, 1971)

17....Gene M. Gressley, Bankers and Cattlemen (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966).

18.... Robert K. DeArment, Bat Masterson: The Man and the Legend (Norman: Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1979), p.185-192.

19.... John Armknecht, ed. “How the West Was Lost: A History of Ogallala and Keith County” (Ogallala Youth Council: Jul 1965

2.    Compendium of History, Reminiscence and Biography of Western Nebraska (Chicago: Alden Publishing Co, 1909) pp 279 -280
3.    Lincoln County, Nebraska, Commissioners Proceedings, vol. A, Aug 15, Oct 16, 1868; Apr 4, Aug 28, 1871, RG218 Microfilm at Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln (hereafter NSHS); Omaha Weekly Bee, Sept 8, 1875
4.    North Platte Enterprize, Feb 8, 1873
5.    Keith County Nebraska Commissioners Proceedings, vol. A, June 9 and 30, Oct 14, 1973, RGB273, microfilm at NSHS (hereafter cited as Commissioner’s Proceedings).
6.    Population Schedules of the Ninth Census of the United States, 1870, Lincoln County, Brule Precinct, microfilm at NSHS; Keith County, Nebraska, Probate Judge’s Term Docket, vol A, June 19, 1874.
7.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, July 20, Nov 5, Dec 16, 1874; Jan 19, Feb 15, Apr 6, May 3, 1975.
8.    Sidney Telegraph, June 17, 1876; Commissioners’ Proceedings, June 23, 1880.
9.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, July 6, 1875
10.    Omaha Weekly Bee, Sept 8, 1875
11.   11 Wayne Gard, The Chisholm Trail (Norman: Univ of OK Press, 1954) p218
12.    The Western Nebraskan (North Platte) Aug 6, 1875
13.    Ibid
14.    Probate Judge’s Docket, Aug 5, 1875
15.    The Western Nebraskan (North Platte) Aug 21, 1875
16.    Probate Judge’s Docket, Sep 11 and 27, 1875
17.    The Western Nebraskan, Dec 15,1875; North Platte Republican, Dec 18, 1875
18.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Jan 7, Apr 17, Apr 22 1876
19.    1870 Census, Lincoln County, Alkali Precinct; Lincoln County Commissioners’ Proceedings, Oct 23, 1868, Aug 28, 1871
20.    Cheyenne Daily Leader, July 14, 1876
21.    Ibid
22.    Sidney Telegraph, June 24, 1876. Two lots directly north across the railroad tracks from Front Street were sold in the mid-1870’s to women who did not have any proclaimed occupation in the community, not even as the wife, daughter, or mother of a local businessman. Both were nonresidents, i.e. women who maintained a North Platte residence, but who apparently spent the summer in Ogallala. Census records of 1880 reveal that neither of the two hotels had women living on the premises.
23.    Robert G. Athearn, Union Pacific Country (New York: Rand, McNally & Co, 1971) p158
24.    The Western Nebraskan, Sept 2, 1876
25.    Sidney Telegraph, Sept 16, 1876; The Western Nebraskan, Sept 16, 1876
26.    Ibid; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Oct 10, 1876
27.    Sidney Telegraph, Sept 16, 1876
28.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Sept 18, 1876
29.    Ibid, Nov 11, 1876
30.    Omaha Weekly Bee, Oct 11, 1876; Sidney Telegraph, Apr 7, 1877; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Feb 20, 1877; John Carson, The Union Pacific: Hell on Wheels (Santa Fe: Press of the Terrirorian, 1968) p31
31.    Keith County News, Oct 9, 1885; Feb 7, 1935; Mar 11, 1915; Population Schedules of the Tenth Census, 1880, Keith County, Brule Precinct, microfilm at NSHS.
32.    Delbert H. Baggott to author, Feb 14, 1987; Yost, Call of the Range, p57; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Apr 27, 1887. The commissioners allowed Joe Hughes $4 “for services erformed by A.S. & L. Burger as jurymen on dead bodies”.
33.    Hunter, Trail Drivers, p99
34.    Yost, Boss Cowman, 88-89
35.    Cook, Early Days 88-89
36.    Hunter, Trail Drivers, 455-57; Cook, “Early Days,” 88-89
37.    Yost, Boss Cowman, 88-89
38.    Sidney Telegraph, Aug 4, 1877
39.    Keith County District Court Journal A, Apr 8, 1878, term, NSHS (hereafter cited as District Court Journal A.)
40.    Commissioners Proceedings, Oct 22, 1877; Inmates No. 296, 297, 298, General Index and Descriptive Record of Inmates, Nebraska State Penitentiary, Feb 22, 1867 - Dec 6, 1926, RG34, microfilm at NSHS (hereafter cited as Inmate Record).
41.    Bratt, Trails of Yesterday, 209.
42.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Oct 2, 1877; interview by author with John J Walraven, Sterling, Colorado, Jan 4, 1987.
43.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Oct 8, Nov 7, Dec 3, and Dec 20, 1877; Jan 3, Jan 8, July 1, 1878.
44.    District Court Journal A, Apr 8, 1878, term.
45.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Apr 6, Jun 21, 1880
46.    Sidney Telegraph, Apr 7, 1877; Probate judge’s Docket, Aug 10, 1877; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Nov 6, Dec 3, 1877.
47.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Jan 26, 1878.
48.    Ibid, Feb 7, 1878.
49.    John Armknecht, ed. “How the West Was Lost: A History of Ogallala and Keith County” (Ogallala Youth Council: Jul 1965) p 8-9; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Apr 28, 1878; District Court Journal A, Apr 8, 1878, term.
50.    District Court Journal A, Oct 11, Nov 23, 1878, terms; Inmates 348, 369, Inmate Record; Yost, Call of the Range, 61; Probate Judge’s Docket, Apr 17, 1878.
51.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Nov 6 and 16, 1878; Apr 24, 1879.
52.    For the storry of the Olive-Mitchell-Ketchum affair, see Chrisman, Ladder of Rivers.
53.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Dec 21, 1878; Jan 23, 1879.
54.   5 Sidney Telegraph, Jan 11, 1879; The Western Nebraskian, July 26, 1879; North Platte Republican, Aug 9, 1879; Omaha Daily Bee, Sept 1, 1879.
55.    Cheyenne Daily Leader, July 11, 1879.
56.    Clay, Life on the Range, 116-7; Theodore Lewis, “The National Cattle Trail, 1883-1886”, Nebraska History 52 (Summer 1971):205-220. For foreign investment in the range cattle industry see Gene M. Gressley, Bankers and Cattlemen (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966).
57.    Records of Weather, U.S. Army Observer, 1874 - 1886, entry for July 1879, NOAA Office, North Platte, Nebraska.
58.    Bronson, Reminiscences of a Ranchman, has this shootout occurring in 1880. Several of his recollections of events do not conform to the historical record.
59.    Cheyenne Daily Leader, July 11, 1879; Sidney Telegraph, July 12, 1879; North Platte Republican, July 12, 1879, Omaha Daily Bee, July 14, 1879.
60.    Cheyenne Daily Leader, July 11, 1879.
61.    North Platte Republican, July 12 1879.
62.    1880 Census, Supplemental Schedule 5, Mortality, Ogallala Precinct; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Oct 11, 1879.
63.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, July 16, 1879.
64.    Keith County News, Aug 17, Sept 7, Oct 19, 1878.
65.    The Western Nebraskian, July 26, 1879.
66.    Omaha Daily Bee, Nov 4, 1879.
67.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Nov 21, Dec 14, 1879; 1880 Census, Ogallala.
68.    Nebraska State Census of 1885, Keith County, Ogallala Precinct, microfilm at NSHS; Keith County News, Oct 9, 1885; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Jan 16, Feb 6, 1880; 1880 Census, Mortality Schedule, Keith County.
69.    The Western Nebraskian, Feb 28, 1880; Commissioners; Proceedings, Mar 3, 1880.
70.    District Court Journal A, June 11, 1880, term; Inmates No. 496, 497, Inmates Record.
71.    Sidney Telegraph, June 26, 1880. The 1880 Census for Ogallala, taken just before the shooting, records a William Thompson, age thirty-five, born in Texas, a boarder at Sam Roney’s hotel. His occupation was listed as “printer”.
72.    Probate Judge’s Docket, June 21, 1880; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Aug 2, 1880.
73.    Sidney Telegraph, June 26, 1880.
74.    Robert K DeArment, Bat Masterson: The Man and the Legend (Norman: Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1979), 185-192. Contemporary newspapers accounts make no mention of Masterson’s role in Thompson’s departure from Ogallala.
75.    Sidney Telegraph, July 17, 1880.
76.    District Court Journal A, June 20, 1883, term.
77.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, June 23, 1880; Aug 5, 1882.
78.    District Court Journal A, Feb 27, 1882, term.; Apr 11, 1883, term.
79.    Omaha Weekly Bee, Mar 15, 1882; Inmate No. 623, Inmate Record.
80.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, May 6 and 8, 1882; Eloise Bradley Walker, Suttler to Early Settler: The Story of L. Aufdengarten, an unpublished typescript of a speech given by a grand-daughter of Louis Aufdengarten, now owned by Elaine Nielsen, Ogallala.
81.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, May 20, 1882.
82.    Omaha Daily Bee, June 14, 1883.
83.    Sidney Telegraph, May 19, 1883; District Court Journal A, june 20, 1883, term.
84.    Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln), Nov 7, 1883; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Sept 9, Oct 1 and 29, 1883; District Court Journal A, Oct 27, 1883, term. The journal records the name of the second man as Robert Sell.
85.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Apr 15, 1884.
86.    Keith County News, Feb 7, 1935 (rpt from Ogallala Reflector); Dec 29, 1938, reprint of article from The Western Nebraskian, n.d.; Omaha Daily Bee, Oct 22, 23, 31, 1883; Aug 19 and 20, 1884; Omaha Weekly Bee, Aug 27, 1884; Sidney Plaindealer-Telegraph, Aug 23, 1884.
87.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Apr 20, 1884
88.    Sidney Plaindealer-Telegraph, Aug 23, 1884; Omaha Weekly Bee, Aug 27, 1884.
89.    Commissioners’ Proceedings, Sept 8, 1884; Jan 13, 1885.
90.    Daily Nebraska State Journal, Sept 3, 1884; Omaha Weekly Bee, Aug 27, 1884.
91.    Sidney Telegraph, Apr 25, 1885.
92.    Keith County News, Golden Anniversary Issue, Feb 7, 1935.
93.    The statistical abstracts of the 1880 census give the population of Ogallala as 114, with an additional eighty residents elsewhere in the county.
94.    Omaha Daily Bee, Nov 4, 1879; Olson, History of Nebraska, 173-4; Athearn, Union Pacific Country, 181, 184.
95.    1885 State Census, Ogallala Precinct; Commissioners’ Proceedings, June 2, 1885; Keith County News, Sept 18, 1885; Interview by author with Robert “Butch” Hillyer, Ogallala, Apr 3, 1990.
96.    Keith County News, Mar 18, 1887; Compendium of History, 279-80.
97.    Keith County News, Feb 7, 1935.
98.    Ibid., Sept 18, 1885; Commissioners’ Proceedings, Sept 5, 1885; Probate Judge’s Docket, Nov 23, 1885; District Court Journal A, Nov 23, 1885, term.
99.    Ibid., Clay, My Life on the Range, 277. “Cattle Raising on the Plains”, The West: A Collection From Harper’s Magazine (New York: Gallery Books, W.H. Smith Publishers, Inc. 1990), p119-126.
100.    Omaha Daily Bee, June 22, 1883; Athearn, Union Pacific Country, 293.
101.    Ibid., Clay, My Life on the Range, 139, 73, 79, 172-73; Weather Records, Dec through Mar, 1879-88.
102.    Keith County News, Dec 9, 1887.
103.    Wood, Pioneer Tales, 74, 262.
104.    Yost, Call of the Range, 139; Commissioners’ Proceedings, June 23, 1890; Keith County News, Feb 7, 1935, quoting Ogallala Reflector, Apr 18, 1886.
105.    Keith County News, Mar 11, 1915.
106.    Ogallala Cemetery Records; John J Walraven interview.

TRANSCRIPTIONIST'S NOTE: The heading "BIBLIOGRAPHY" in footnote #1 was added by myself as an aid to researchers. I have also taken the additional liberty of including all books listed as sources in other footnotes in this bibliography section.

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