The party that left Buffalo on last Thursday morning for the B. & M. [Burlington & Missouri] railroad consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Coble, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Carwile and children, Messrs. Hopkins, Pfeiffer and Austin, did not have the delightful drive anticipated. There may be a road by which it is only eighty-five miles to Gillette, but the party did not find it, and instead of arriving at noon on the next day in time to take the afternoon train for the east, went straggling into Gillette, some at six, some at nine and some not until Saturday morning.
At Powder River, where the stage crosses, is quite a settlement; several tents, a road ranch and a stage barn. There are a number of people expecting to locate at this place, as the next stop of the B. & M. is expected to be near here. At this point the ministerial representative of the party was approached by a gentleman who said that he was thinking about starting a saloon and solicited his opinion in regard to the success of the same.
At this place it was learned that a large party of surveyors were at work near by looking for a better route to Buffalo than the one that was surveyed some time since. This indicates the intention of the B. & M., to push on to Buffalo in the near future.
From this point on, the grass on the range is very fine, being so thick and long that hay can be cut on the open range at almost any point along the road. The numerous haystacks show that some one has been taking advantage of this. The great drawback, however, to this section of the country is the scarcity of water, making this otherwise admirable country almost valueless.
At Gillette quite a number of cattlemen from this part of the country were found quartered with Mr. Eyler, the agent for the B. & M., among them being Mr. Fred Hesse, Charley Ford, Fay Parker, Blair of the Hoe outfit and Brown of the 21.
Gillette is at present in a flourishing condition, but must surely share the fate of Merino and Moorcroft and Merino when the railroad builds on beyond it. The lack of water is quite noticeable here, there being but one well in town, all the rest of the water being obtained from a spring four miles away.
A portion of the party that returned came beck over the road constructed by the county, finding it much shorter but very trying on the nerves of one unaccustomed to mountain roads. Whatever may have been the feelings of any of the party as they left, it was with joy that those returning hailed the sight of Buffalo and Clear Creek.
Last Updated April 2005
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