A BETTER AND HAPPIER CLASS OF PEOPLE
Tongue River Ranches And The Mines And Ranchester Visited By A Representative Of The Post -- Large Acreage Of Small Grain Sown -- How Things Are Progressing At Dietz, Carneyville, Monarch And Ranchester -- Tongue River Ranchmen Have Fine Land And Plenty Of Water For Irrigation Purposes
Last week J. F. Mills of The Post made a trip to Tongue river, visiting the mining camps and hamlets en route and calling upon the various ranchmen. He found the range and crops looking fine and everything in a prosperous condition.
A short stop was made at Dietz, where during the summer season the Sheridan Coal company employs about four hundred men, and during the winter months works more than double that number. The company has abandoned its working at mine No. 3, it is said, on account of encountering a bed of quick-sand and much water, and is running a slope down to vein No. 2, from the opening of mine No. 1. A little coal is being dumped at No. 1 and mine No. 2 is working full force, five or six days each week.
Carneyville, three miles northwest of Dietz, is a model mining camp. The houses for the miners and families are substantially built, and are away from the noise and dirt of the mining operations. Superintendent Stout, at the present time, is working fifty to sixty men, and is taking out a fine grade of coal. Carneyville is perhaps a village of 250 souls. The store at the place is conducted by Jenkins & Barnes.
At Monarch the writer found that the Wyoming Coal mining company was operating quite a large force of men three or four days each week. President Holbrook of the company is now touring Europe. Treasurer Kooi is in charge of the office and Thad Stevens is in charge of the company store, where a nice stock of merchandise is kept. Monarch is a nice, clean camp of 400 or 500 people.
At the present time P. L. Mock is busy on the ranch of Geo. B. Masters, opening a coal mine, it is said, for Mr. Masters and Stewart Kennedy. It is said the vein is eighteen feet thick, and is a good grade of coal.
The first ranchman above Monarch is Fred McPhillamey, who has a quarter section of fine, irrigated land. This year he has planted twenty-five acres of small grain.
R. C. Hayes is one of the old-time ranchmen on Tongue river, having settled there twenty-three years ago. He has a quarter section of land, and water for one hundred acres, with ten acres in grain and the balance in hay.
Barton Tucker hails from Bohemia, and has a forty-acre piece of land just above Monarch. He raises garden truck and alfalfa.
Theo. Bachman and son have a fine ranch of several hundred acres on Tongue river. They water eighty acres, and have sown twenty acres of small grain this spring.
That the Tongue river ranchmen are progressive is evidence by the fact that they recently took stock in the Tongue River Telephone company, and have extended the line from Ranchester to Monarch. They expect soon to have direct connection with Sheridan via the Bell line, but at present, messages go via Dayton. Nearly every ranchman on the river now has a 'phone at his house.
R. McPhillamey and son Jesse have 800 acres of superior land on Tongue river. They irrigate 500 acres, which is mostly in hay and pasture. There is a half acre of strawberries and considerable small fruit on the place, and this is tended by Elmer L. Cooley. The McPhillameys own 150 head of cattle.
W. H. Snow is working the Jesse Morrow ranch, which comprises 540 acres and is about one-half watered. Mr. Snow has in thirty acres of wheat and oats.
Stevens & Rhodes own 320 acres of excellent ground, the principal part of which is under ditch. The place is worked by G. W. Rhodes, who has sown fifty acres of small grain this season.
Geo. B. Masters has 540 acres of deeded land and controls many hundred more of state land, under lease. He and his brother, T. B., own several hundred head of cattle. Geo. has one of the best places on Tongue river.
L. H. Brooks has a ranch of 4,000 acres, 680 acres of which are deeded. He waters between 300 and 400 acres, and has fifty in grain. Mr. Brooks now runs about 300 head of cattle. He is not only a very hospitable ranchman, but is a shrewd business man, having formerly been associated with A. Diefenderfer in the hardware business at Sheridan, and is now interested in the Sheridan Lumber company, and the First National bank of Cody. John Donahue is Mr. Brooks' right hand man at the ranch.
John Schmidt, the genial dutchman who formerly conducted a coal business in Sheridan, is upon the John Moore ranch, now owned by Peter Reynolds. This ranch comprises 160 acres of bottom land, 100 of which is susceptible of cultivation and irrigation. John has planted sixty-five acres of grain. During the spring months Mr. Reynolds has erected a modern cottage, stable and granary on the place.
Geo. Ulrich, a young bachelor who needs someone to do his cooking, has this spring sown about 100 acres of wheat and oats, upon the Carpenter ranch, now owned by J. F. Mills. This place comprises 240 deeded acres with 140 under ditch, besides 240 acres of leased, state land.
Upon driving into Ranchester the first thing that met the gaze of the writer was a pile of ashes and tin cans, where a short time ago the postoffice and D. E. Edgeton's store stood. The fire occurred about nine o'clock a.m., on Saturday, May 13th. No one was in the place, but Mr. Edgeton, and he thinks it caught from a defective flue. As the building was lined with paper the fire spread in a minute to every part of the store. The postoffice case was saved, but most of the records were burned. The postoffice is now conducted in the building between the school house and J. A. Shumaker's store. The loss by fire was about $3,000, $2,000 of which was covered by insurance. Mr. Edgeton is well spoken of about Ranchester, and everyone expresses regret over his misfortune. He contemplates erecting a two-story building, for a store and hall, but was not fully decided to again go into business at Ranchester.
The Burlington's business at Ranchester is attended to by Geo. S. Cooper, who knows his business. He gave the Post man the following figures upon shipment from Ranchester for the year 1904: horses, 11 cars; cattle, 35 cars; hogs, 1 car; sheep, 3 cars; wheat, 1 car; oats, 1 car; hay, 56 cars; straw, 8 cars; potatoes, 6 cars.
The freight received at the station for the year under consideration was as follows: lumber, 3 cars; coal, 2 cars; corn, 10 cars; miscellaneous merchandise, 318,289 lbs. The earnings of the station for the year were $7,619.76, an increase of $6,000 over the year 1903.
Mr. Cooper is not only a good railroad man, but is also a genius. On Jan. 10, 1905, he patented a cattleguard, which fastens to the bottom of the steel rails and comes up as a gate in front of an animal when approached. It works by a crank movement, and drops back into place when the animal backs off. A patent semaphore is a contrivance which Mr. Cooper is working upon.
J. A. Shumaker keeps cigars, tobacco, groceries, working clothing and other ranch supplies, and also feeds and lodges weary travelers.
Wm. Snell, the Ranchester blacksmith has been in the village seven years, and is kept quite busy at his trade. He has been in the west thirty years. Mr. S. has just completed a nice three-room cottage, near Bert Edgeton's new five-room house.
John Olsen conducts a livery business at Ranchester, and also farms quite extensively. He has 209 acres of land, of which 120 acres are tilled and watered.
McShane & Co. cut railroad ties and mine props in the mountains above Dayton, and drive them down the river to Ranchester, where they are loaded on cars. The flume in Tongue river canon is being repaired, and it is understood that this firm has quite a large order booked for railroad ties for new construction work.
J. A. Campbell has 200 acres of fine Tongue river land, just above Ranchester where he waters 140 acres, and this season has sown 35 acres to grain. He is under the Hanover ditch.
L. Rice, who formerly worked one of the Whitney ranches above Dayton, is opening a good new place just above Ranchester, where he waters 100 acres of his quarter section. Mr. Rice had much sickness in his family during the past winter, and lost a grown son.
Ed and Clarence Hults, who conduct J. D. Thorn's 800-acre ranch on Tongue river are this year raising 125 acres of grain. The "76" is practically all watered, and is one of the finest ranches in Sheridan county. Last week Ed Hults was quite painfully hurt, by being run down by a bronco team, which dragged a harrow over him. He received a bad cut over the eye and on the lower lip, and was considerably bruised about the body. His wounds were dressed by Dr. Edmunds of Dayton, and the patient was able to go to town the following day.
Thos. W. Short has been in the country seven years, and owns 420 acres of the best land on Tongue river. His place is nearly all watered, and he is a successful farmer.
F. E. Williams who leases the Lambert estate, is a son-in-law of Mrs. Jas. Lambert, who lives on the place, her husband having died during the past winter. She has a half section of land which is practically all watered. Mr. Williams has in twenty-five acres of grain.
Henry B. Stoops has a 160-acre homestead, a new place, which he is improving north of Tongue river.
John Hutton was busy planting spuds when the Post man called on him, but was not too busy to stop and talk for a minute. He came from that good state of Iowa, and is making a success of farming in this country. Mr. H. has 280 acres of land, waters 260, and has sown 35 to grain this season.
T. B. Masters is one of the progressive ranchmen of his section. He went to Colorado with the Sheridan county delegation, to study beet culture and conditions relating to this industry, and has been a hard worker for the factory. Like many of the ranchmen, he is not in favor of giving up the proposition. Mr. M. bought Geo. Lord's 560-acre ranch about 3 years ago. He has fifty acres in grain.
"Uncle Billy" Robinson owns a fine ranch of 720 acres, just below Dayton. This year he has planted eighteen acres to potatoes and forty acres to grain. He supplies the Pullman dining cars with potatoes, on the Burlington, from Billings to Chicago. Mr. Robinson and Atley Smith, his partner in the stock business, have many hundred head of stock and put up a large quantity of hay. N. F. Parr lives on and is employed at the Robinson ranch.
Last Updated April 2005
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