ONE MILE ABOVE SEA
Where the Burlington Tops the Continental Divide;
Thrifty Little City in the Midst of Scenes of Natural Beauty;
The Town and Its People
In a fertile little valley, amid the foot hills of the picturesque Big Horns, some three miles south of the Montana line, is the thriving little town of Parkman. Within the whole state of Wyoming, which embraces within its boundaries the most beautiful scenery in the world, there is no town the location and surroundings of which would more greatly appeal to the eye of the artist. No brush could do it justice, no pen could describe its beauty.
On the north and west are the snow clad Big Horns, just far enough away to show their many points of beauty to the best advantage. To the east are the Wolf mountains, barren, rugged, but withal fascinating to the eye, magnificent and imposing.
The scenes of natural [beauty] which immediately surround Parkman are not wild, forbidding and awesome. The roughness of the mountain peaks is softened by distance, and serves simply as a background for a picture of rural beauty, of fertile farms, grass-carpeted hills, and pretty valleys.
Although irrigation ditches may be seen on every hand, the country contiguous to Parkman has depended to a great extent in the past upon dry farming methods, and nowhere in the state has the dry farmer met with a greater measure of success. Extremely dry as the past season has been, many of the farmers of that vicinity raised from 30 to 40 bushels of wheat with no water but that which fell on the land.
E. M. Owens had 50 acres of winter wheat which made 39 bushels per acre, machine measure. On another tract of land he raised 20 acres of wheat which made 42 bushels per acre.
Frank Paulis raised one piece of wheat in the same neighborhood that made 48 bushels per acre, and another place that made 36 bushels per acre. The first piece was summer fallow, while the other was on meadow.
Many other farmers did equally well by the dry farming method, and 18 car loads of wheat have already been shipped from Parkman to the Sheridan mills besides what has been sold elsewhere and is still in storage on the farms.
Parkman has two general stores and both are doing a big business. The stock carried shows that the residents of that section demand the best and are able to pay for it. W. T. Davis is the proprietor of one of these stores and the other is owned by E. T. Polly. D. A. Diltz conducts a lumber yard, and R. W. Bales is the proprietor of a large and well equipped livery barn.
Parkman has a physician in the person of Dr. A. T. Taggart, who also conducts a drug store. A well patronized and well kept hotel is owned by Ace Phillips, and a newly furnished and very popular boarding house is conducted by E. T. Polly.
A fine two-store brick building has recently been erected by the Woodman lodge of that place. The upper floor is used as a lodge room while the lower story was especially designed to serve as a dancing hall, but is available for all kinds of public gatherings.
The Parkman Woodman lodge is one of the strongest in this section of the country outside the larger cities. The lodge was established five years ago and now has a membership of 60, owns its own home and is in good condition financially. E. T. Polly is consul and George Diltz is clerk.
There is also a Royal Neighbors lodge, with a large and enthusiastic membership, and to this lodge is due much of the prosperity and popularity of the Woodman lodge, of which it is an auxiliary.
While Parkman has not yet arisen to the dignity of being an incorporated village, the enterprise of its citizens is unmistakably evidenced by the fact that it has a complete and effective system of water works, which supplies water at a high pressure for ordinary uses and for fire protection. Not being incorporated the town could not install the waterworks system, so it was done with private capital. Later, when the town is incorporated, the ownership of the plant will probably pass to the city.
Upon a hill side some 200 feet above the main part of the town, a big reservoir, with a capacity of 1000 barrels, has been dug. It has cement sides and bottom and is absolutely proof against all seepage.
From a well some distance away the water is pumped to the reservoir by a 10-horsepower gasoline engine. All the care required for the engine is that someone must fill the gasoline tank and start the engine. With very little trouble and expense the reservoir may be kept full at all times, and this will furnish an ample reserve in case of fire. The well from which the water is drawn is 40 feet deep and eight feet in diameter. Usually the well contains 30 feet of water, and the supply seems inexhaustible.
Parkman has a good system of public schools. The building is located on the hillside in the northeastern part of town and is large, well lighted and well kept. It is provided with the best rolling maps, globes and other equipment which according to modern standards is deemed necessary in teaching the young idea how to shoot. There is also a large and well selected library. Miss Ferne King of Sheridan is the teacher.
Every other Sunday religious services are held at the school house, conducted by Rev. Dalzell of Dayton. A Sunday school has been organized and will be held at the school house every Sunday afternoon.
The agent at the Burlington depot is R. E. Hayworth, and he is assisted by F. L. Arnold and W. B. Rhinehart. The depot is open day and night, the three men each working an eight-hour trick. Two engines are constantly stationed at Parkman to help trains over the hill. Parkmanís altitude is approximately a mile. It is the highest point on the Burlington west of Sheridan, and the heavily loaded trains are constantly demanding the assistance of the helpers. A wye has been built south of the main track to enable the helper engines to turn, so that they may be able to work both sides of the hill.
The patriarch of Parkman is David A. Diltz, a character of whom the little place may well be proud. Mr. Diltz is a natural artist. He has never taken an hourís instruction in art, and yet some of his pictures have received favorable comment from some of the leading artists of the day. One, a pen and ink drawing is on exhibition in Chicago, and other products of his pen and pencil have had places of honor at various art exhibitions.
Although in his seventy-fifth year, Mr. Diltzí hand is apparently as steady as it was half a century ago. Some Easter eggs which are in the collections of his grandchildren, and which were made within the last year, are works of art. The eggs were colored and the pictures then drawn or scratched with the point of a pen knife. Scenes of animal life, landscapes and flowers appear on the eggs. Every detail is carefully worked out, and in every line and curve the hand of the gifted artist is apparent. Mr. Diltz does this work only as a pastime. He is a carpenter by trade, and still engages in that class of work.
Last Updated April 2005
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