A BETTER AND HAPPIER CLASS OF PEOPLE
Piney And Clear Creek -- Post Correspondent Visits Ranches On Above-Named Streams -- Clearmont A Live Freighting Burg -- The Piney Creek And Valley A Beautiful Place -- Clear Creek And Valley Still Nicer Than Piney -- Healy, Patterson & Healy's Big Steam Sheep-Shearing Outfit, And Many Other Things Of Interest
Last Thursday the writer enjoyed a drive down the Piney river from Kearney to the Big Red ranch, a distance of eighteen miles. This is a beautiful stream of clear, swift-flowing water, and the valley is luxuriant with green fields of alfalfa and small grain. Below we note some of the farms and farmers visited:
Wednesday night was spent at the hospitable home of G. E. Grier, at Kearney. Mr. Grier, with his family, came from Iowa three years ago. They have 555 acres of land, 450 of which is under the ditch and planted to alfalfa and other crops. They have a fine three-story frame house and a large red barn.
A. J. Sinsel, just across the Piney from Mr. Grier, has an unimproved homestead and he works the Helena Meyers place. He crops 100 acres and runs 100 head of cattle. Ms. Sinsel has been on the Piney thirteen years.
J. E. Greub has been in Johnson county thirty-five years and in his present home on the Piney fifteen years. He has a very large ranch and runs lots of cattle. At the time the writer visited the Greub home Mr. and Mrs. Greub were at Buffalo attending the graduating exercises of the Buffalo high school pupils, (their daughter being one of the class) and we did not have the pleasure of making their acquaintance.
C. J. Hepp has 1,000 acres of good land and has it most all under ditch, has 200 head of cattle, and is one of Johnson county's first settlers. Mr. Hepp was also absent from his ranch when the Post man called.
H. E. Hill hails from Montana and has 320 acres of land on Box Elder creek, a little stream which flows into the Piney.
Arthur H. Senff is a young and energetic ranchman who owns a fine farm, 1,000 cattle and has a large two-story house and substantial out buildings.
J. B. Culver is an old-timer in Johnson county but has only recently settled on the Piney. He has a good farm started, however.
Mrs. Peter, who is the mother of Miss Lena Senff, the young lady who is one of the contestants in The Post's Portland Fair contest, has resided at her present home on the Piney since 1883. She own 800 acres of land, a large bunch of cattle and a fine house and lawn.
A. W. Long is about one of the best fellows to meet in the whole country. He has 600 acres of deeded land, 200 of which is under the ditch, and several cattle and horses. Mr. Long has lived on the Piney seventeen years.
C. C. Collins and wife came from Kansas one year ago and bought out Ed. Newcomer. They have 320 acres of land but only 90 of it is watered at present. The Hamilton postoffice is at the Collins home and Mrs. Collins looks after Uncle Sam's business in a manner very satisfactory to the patrons.
The writer took dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton was not at home but Mrs. Hamilton got us a nice dinner and treated us very royally. The Hamilton's have resided on the present place for eleven years. They have a good little ranch and are just completing a large, seven-room red stone house, which when completed will be one of the best houses in the county.
Hiram Sturdevant has 160 acres of his own and has a section leased. He has sixty head of cattle and has lived on Piney twenty years.
On account of the high water the writer did not cross the river to the homes of Messrs. E. B. and Allen Williams, but could see their nice houses and learned from a neighbor that they have lived on the Piney twenty years, have lots of land and cattle and that they read the Sheridan Post.
David Jackins has a half section of land under the ditch, a very large stone barn and other good out buildings and lots of cattle and has resided on the Piney 20 years. Mr. Jackins is not married but has a brother who is married and he and his family live with Mr. Jackins.
W. P. Graham has the Hogoson ranch leased for a term of years, and is making money. The ranch contains 500 acres, 150 of which are watered.
Henry G. Campbell has a farm of 220 acres of his own and a quarter section rented. His outbuildings are not very grand but he has a fine place. His wife has been at Buffalo the past winter, where she has had the children in school.
H. L. Todd and his two sons are from Missouri and are successfully operating the large ranch of Chas. Waegel. This ranch contains lands till further orders and has 640 under the ditch. They have two stone houses, one frame house and a large barn. Mr. Todd has only been here a few months, but is thoroughly in love with the country. Mr. Weagel's are moving to Buffalo where he will hereafter reside.
The writer drove in from the Todd place to Clearmont and put up for the night. Clearmont is a hustling little burg on the Burlington railroad, some forty miles east of Sheridan. It contains two general stores, two saloons, one hotel, one restaurant, two livery barns, and a nice rock school house, besides to B. & M.'s fine depot, coal chutes and pumping station. Clearmont is where all the freight is hauled to and from the railroad for the Buffalo country, and also where all the passenger traffic comes in and goes out of the county, and this heavy freight business and passenger traffic, together with considerable sheep business, supports and keeps up the town of Clearmont, and every business man in the town say they are doing very well. This heavy freighting, and so much of it, was altogether a new thing to the writer, and it was interesting to watch the eight and ten horse teams leave for Buffalo with their large loads of goods and to meet other teams all day pulling large loads of wool to the railroad.
We doubled back to the Big Red ranch for dinner on Friday and was shown about the place by the accommodating ranch foreman, George Fink. The Big Red outfit has three places or rather three sets of buildings but the Big Red proper is situated at a point where the Piney forms a junction with Clear creek. This ranch contains thousands and thousands of acres of land and about twenty miles of Clear creek, which is all seeded to alfalfa on either side. It is owned by Leiter & Pratt. Wm. C. Irvine, Wyoming's treasurer, is its able manager. During the trouble between the two owners of this place last winter, the cattle were all sold off and at this time Mr. Irvine is in the west negotiating for 40,000 head of sheep to put on the ranch. About 100 men are employed on this ranch the year around. They own their own steam threshing outfit and smaller farming implements galore. The "Big Red," we take it, derives its name from the color of the mammoth house, barn and other buildings which are all painted alike, vermilion red. The state treasurer and his family will spend the summer at the Big Red. Mrs. Irvine and daughter, Miss Edna, and son, Master Ransler, arrived at the ranch from Cheyenne the day the writer was there.
When the writer went down the Piney from Kearney to Clear creek, a distance of eighteen miles, he thought it was about as nice a valley and that the ranchmen were about as prosperous as any place he had seen in the west. Well, Piney is a daisy and no mistake, but she will have to lay down to the Clear creek valley from the Big Red ranch to Buffalo. The ranches on Clear creek are larger, the houses and buildings are larger and better, the valley is wider, the creek not quite so crooked and one thing that was very noticeable was the large grove around every house. Why, it would make you think that you were back in old Iowa. Below we note some of the places visited on Clear creek:
Going up the valley from the Big Red, we first came to the ranch owned by Oscar Fifer of Brooklyn, New York, and W. C. Copps, who lives on the place and manages it. This ranch contains about three and one-quarter miles of the creek front, has a large two and one-half story brick house, lots of good out-buildings and Mr. Copps has the rock on the ground for a huge basement barn. This outfit runs lots of cattle and farms very heavily, and on account of the many freighters which pass the place daily, Mr. Copps says he is able to dispose of all of his surplus oats and other horse feed to them and he has only to haul it to the gate, a distance of about eighty rods. Mr. Copps has been on Clear creek nineteen years.
Peter Watts is not quite so large a farmer but he has three-fourths of a mile of the creek, and although the writer did not see him, from the neat appearance of things about the place, we would judge he is very prosperous.
One of the biggest ranchmen of Clear creek, is C. M. Walters. Mr. Walters owns three miles of Clear creek, has a mammoth frame house, nice grove and orchard, runs 1,000 head of cattle and controls 15,000 acres of range land. Mr. Walters also is commencing the sheep feeding business as an experiment. Last winter he bought and fed 3,000 sheep and he shipped them to Omaha, two carloads a day for seven days and topped the market each day, one day topping it by 50 cents. Mr. Walters owns a nice home in Buffalo, where, during the school year, Mrs. Walters and the children reside.
Jas. Murray is one of the smaller ranchmen. He has a nice little ranch of 200 acres and he and his wife are living happy and contented.
F. J. Simmons has just leased the Ed. Lawrence place for a term of years, has 350 acres of land under the ditch and has a nice little bunch of cattle.
Next we arrived at the sheep ranch of Healy, Patterson & Healy, where we stayed all night and was highly entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Patsy Healy. Mr. Healy who is manager of the ranch, has the nicest and most richly furnished house that it has been the writer's pleasure to visit for a long time. The house has all the modern improvements to be found in any rich city home, such as bath room, hot and cold water, etc. Besides this company's larger ranch they run thousands of sheep. They own their own steam sheep shearing plant of 20 machines. They were shearing when the writer was there and to a tenderfoot like your humble servant it was a very interesting scene to see twenty men operating the 20 machines. This is one of the biggest sheep outfits in the west and when we were there, there were something like 100 men employed on the place.
W. A. Holland owns two or three miles of the creek, has a large bunch of cattle, and farms extensively. He has a fine frame house and other buildings.
Last Updated April 2005
Copyright 2001-2005 -- All Rights Reserved