Hiking in Henrys (Fords), or Warrensburg to Salt Lake City via Yellowstone National Park: being a true and faithful account of the trip taken by Harry T. Clark, Marion Christopher, Leslie W. Hout, Dr. H. (Harry) F. Parker and Wallace Crossley, scribe 1915
Note: August 1, 1915 The very first cars entered Yellowstone. These adventurous fellows from Warrensburg, Missouri were some of the first!
|The "Henry" Ford They Might Have Travelled in, this one from 1912|
TO FOUR GOOD SCOUTS This amplified diary of one of the greatest experiences I may ever hope to enjoy, is affectionately dedicated. They were true comrades and to "hike" with them was a never-to-be-forgotten privilege, a perpetual pleasure, which will furnish me through life many delightful recollections. May this little story be to them a source of enjoyment, now, and in after years.
THE SCRIBE" Reprinted from "Hiking in Henry" articles in the Warrensburg Star-Journal, with illustrations by Ray F. Parkins, captain of Warrensburg State Normal Foot Ball Team, 1915. STAR-JOURNAL PRESS Warrensburg, Missouri December twenty-fifth, nineteen hundred fifteen HIKING IN HENRYS — OR— Warrensburg to Salt Lake City via Yellowstone National Park. (Being a true and faithful account of the trip taken by
Harry T. Clark, Marion Christopher, Leslie W. Hout,
|Warrensburg Missouri ca 1915|
Dr. H. F. Parker and Wallace Crossley, Scribe.) It was Dean Swift who wrote, "I always love to begin a journey on Sunday, because I shall have the prayers of the church to preserve all that travel by land or by water," and surely the journey upon which we set forth that Sunday morning, August 15, was destined to be both by land and water, since for eight days we encountered not rains alone, but flooded areas and swollen streams, in which our mud-jacket- ed Fords took many a deep and cooling plunge, while our clothing and camp equipment with each succeeding day grew soggy from oft suc- cessive soakings. Let it not be understood that the pleasure of those first days was marred in the slightest degree by the mud and water which lay over and under and on either side of the road. We were like boys on a holiday bent, and nothing dampened our ardor. We had no fixed schedule, no appointments to meet, no engagements to keep, were clad in harmony with the exigencies of any occasion— barring those of a so- cial nature— and, having spent our lives in Missouri, were accustomed to muddy roads, hence we adopted the classic slogan, "Ish ka worry," when the mud-holes rose up and slapped us in the radiators. But more of this in detail later, since it is now my intention to begin at the begin- ning, and from the brief notes made along the way from day to day, the scribe will construct a plain, unvarnished story of how we "hiked in Henrys" eighteen hundred miles, a truthful narrative of the common and uncommon events of the trip, not under the delusion that it will be of particular interest to the general public, but certain that the fam- ilies of his fellow-travelers, and, perhaps, his four comrades will appreci- ate, in later years, if not today, the simple story of our five weeks' out- ing, pronounced by all to have been a holiday par excellence, an experi- ence memorable in happy incidents, continued pleasure and good-fellow- ship. The amplified diary is now presented without further apology: Sunday, August 15 At 8 o'clock this morning, the hour set for our departure, our loved ones and numerous friends assembled at the Estes garage to bid God- speed, and scores of curious, interested on-lookers viewed our prepara- tions for departure. The Fords, equipped for the journey, attracted considerable attention. In the touring car were Marion Christopher, Leslie Hout and Harry Clark, the latter reposing luxuriously along be- side the bed-clothing, suitcases, etc., which filled the tonneau. That satisfied smile of Clark's never came off but once during the entire trip, as will appear later. With Dr. Parker in his roadster, which carried the commissary caboose made especially for the journey, rode the scribe. On either side of each car the running boards were laden with suitcases and camp equipment, the outfit presenting a natty appearance, in keeping with the nice, fresh khaki suits, tan leggins and shining faces of the expectant explorers into the great Northwest, with Yellowstone Park as the objective. Several cars trailed after the hiking Henrys as far as Centerview, where occurred the final good-by, a few cheers and several tears. The roads were heavy from an early morning rain, but before we reached Holden the mud had disappeared. The familiar face of Wm. McClain peered from the window of his famous eating house as we stopped to adjust the baggage, and several Holden friends waved farewell as we passed through. At Kingsville we paused for a momentary chat with that prince of good fellows, Ruff Wil- son, and then, with the touring car well in the lead, we headed north. Near the mill north of Kingsville, while surveying the scenery through a pair of bum field-glasses, the writer discerned a dingy brown object in the road about fifteen feet in front of the car. It was a small hand- satchel of ante-bellum appearance, and we suspected it of belonging to a Black Hander, so handled it gingerly. Within was a stout cord that looked like a fusee, a butcher knife and a razor; all the contents could have been carried in an upper vest pocket. We placed our find in the car and proceeded, finally overtaking the others near Lone Jack. They were turning everything topsy-turvey and said they had lost a grip. "What was in it?" we asked the most tearful member of the trio. "Oh, a world of stuff, perhaps twenty-five dollars' worth, including a five- dollar sweater," he replied, "but it's gone, I guess." Later in the day one of the trio spied the satchel and claimed it, which occasioned some noisy smiles from the rest of us. The lost sweater was found later in a suitcase, where a careful wife had placed it. We lunched by the roadside near Leeds and then swept through the boulevards of Kansas City, stopping for a few minutes on Twelfth street opposite the new Muehlebach to supply life-giving oxygen to a disheart- ened tire. A large crowd soon collected and we answered many ques- tions, but it is hoped these replies are not recorded against us. Here we saw Mr. and. Mrs. J. W. Jordan emerging from the Muehlebach with every indication of having enjoyed a good Sunday dinner, and they were the last Warrensburgers we encountered. On over the inter-city viduCt we rumbled and soon were beyond the confines of Kansas City, Kas., on the Leavenworth road and into that very interesting city, past Lansing and the penitentiary and the soldier's home. Going was bad for nearly three hours, and that twenty-seven miles to Atchison after we left the great federal prison was one of the most wretched roads we encountered. It was rough until we were near the limits of Atchison, where we arrived about 5:30 p. m., 135 miles from home. We had had quite a bit of tire trouble during the first day, and Clark and myself had already learned that we were accompanied by three efficient mechanics, to whom a puncture or a blow-out was a _4
mere trifle. At Atchison we secured gasoline, sent cards home, and struck out for Hiawatha, Kas., stopping on the road for a cold supper and regaling ourselves with the dainties provided by thoughtful friends. The roads grew better and wider and we learned at Everts that we were traversing Brown county, richest of all Jayhawker counties. Hiawatha, brilliantly lighted, looked like a town of ten thousand, but it has per- haps a fourth that population. It is a characteristic Kansas Commun- ity, a wide-awake, progressive, not-afraid-of-taxes town. Here we lay our tired bodies to rest, about 175 miles from home. Monday, August 16 Christopher was up bright and early. He wrote to his wife before the others were up and again after breakfast. Before retiring he had talked to her over the 'phone, and it began to dawn on his companions that Jack was overdoing it a little, for we knew we couldn't keep up that gait and feared his lavish attentions would make trouble for us all. He promised to write only once a day and we resumed our journey. This was the day of the great flood. The morning hours passed pleasantly and by 10 o'clock we were in Nebraska. I remember dis- tinctly hearing Clark call out, "Willie Willie Wee!" as we crossed the state line. Falls City appealed to us as a good town, but we never paused in our flight until we reached Verdon. Were I to state that Mayor Blatz and a party of prominent citizens met us at the city gates and tendered us a truly royal welcome, the gentle reader might accuse me of exaggeration, but memories of Verdon will always bring pleasure to the Missourians who enjoyed its hospitality that morning August 15, before the deluge. At Stella the storm broke, the rain descended and the floods came. Up hill we persevered and down hill we slid. At one time both cars were partly submerged in ditches, one to the east, one to the west of the road. By main strength they were placed back in the mud, and we mosied on. Later the touring car grew so hot she refused to budge and we went back a mile to get her started at the end of a rope. By this time a threshing machine engine had gone through a bridge directly in our path and we drove back three miles out of the way to find another road. We wanted to get to Howe. How we wanted to get there! How disappointing, when we did arrive, was Howe. Howe is a counterpart of Shanghai, Johnson county, Missouri, so we kept right on by, through the rain, toward Auburn, twelve miles north. We had heard that Auburn was the loveliest village of the plain, but that didn't make any difference, just so we arrived. The roadster, later known as Betsey, was away ahead of Liz, her mother by adoption and we thought the others had taken shelter somewhere, so we decided to try for the town. The road was a river, and at one time Dr. Parker, blinded by the rain, endeavored to follow the river off through a barbed wire fence, but the eagle eye of ye scribe saw the fence first, so we kept right on between the fences. This was just the second day out, but I felt that I had been away from home a year and seven months. Finally we got into the hoop-skirts of the town and, as luck would have it, turned into a street which ran at right angle with what was evidently an old drainage ditch. We turned the angle and the little Ford was drowned out, so there we sat, in more than two feet of water, for more — 5— than an hour. In this plight, when it stopped pouring and was mere- ly raining, Liz and her crew overtook us.
|Conditions Faces by the Adventurers|
They had stopped in the storm and, with curtains closed, had eaten a lunch, supposing we were safe in the garage at Auburn. Besty was pulled in and the five voy- agers, smiling, soaked and bedraggled, took turns at the hose, washing the mud from one another. Oh you khaki suits! That night you hung on a line around the hotel kitchen range, while your owners, in damp, cold clothing, visited a picture show and talked of the day's doings. It was a three-inch rain at Auburn that afternoon, and all my white collars turned red, because they were in a red leather case. It was at Auburn that Parker bought the 5-cent socks, and it was here that somebody from Warrensburg, in search of dry underwear, caused a frightened female to run shrieking down the stairs. But he wasn't responsible for the rain, was he, so why should all the hotel folks have laughed when he went in to supper that evening? And thus ended the second day, with fifty miles travel- ed. Tuesday, August 17. The small creek directly north of Auburn which we had seen last night nearly two miles wide had resumed its accustomed quietude as we went across the bridge through the sandy lowlands, and with chains all around we made fair progress, getting into heavier roads as we ap- proached Nebraska City, where we stopped for lunch. We met some friends here, and were regaled with interesting stories concerning Major Frank Stoddard, of Lowville, N. Y., who, with Mrs. Stoddard, had visited this little city last winter. About 2 o'clock we proceeded northward, forsaking the Blue Book route upon the advice of Mr. Harry Wilson, a Nebraska City banker, who extended many courtesies, and reached the town of Union, on the Trans-Continental highway, forty odd miles due east of Lincoln. At Union they told us we could proceed no farther, because the creek a mile west was running wild on both sides the bridge, and two cars had just turned back. Nothing daunted by this news, we found a farmer in a spring wagon who had crossed the flooded area a half-hour before and was just starting for home, so we followed him out of town. A hesitation waltz would have been in order when we came to the stretch of water two hundred yards from the bridge, with more water beyond. Finally the farmer drove into the flood, with Clark and Christopher as passengers, their legs dangling from the wagon bed behind, making funny little swirls in the water. Betsey followed at a respectful distance and after we reached the bridge safely, Leslie Hout alone, in the touring car, his companions having forsaken him when danger threatened, set sail as we shouted Westward, Ho! Christopher waded back along the main channel to guide the nervous pilot, but Hout could never recall this incident of his hazardous passage. Finally we were all safely across and but for a partial soaking of our spare apparel, no harm was done. On and on, up hill and down, we hiked toward Colonel Bryan's town, and on the way saw many evidences of agricultural prosperity, great wheat fields and good houses, but only a few small herds of cattle, much to our surprise. At 6 o'clock we arrived at the new Lincoln Hotel, which looked good to us and, as there was no apparent inclination to —6— HOUT'S COMPANIONS FORSAKE HIM
|Cheyenne, WY 1915|
There was nothing to do but retrace our tired footsteps, and back we went out over the sage-brush trail. In the gloaming, eight miles out we finally came upon our treasured haver- sacks, lying on a hillside about ten feet from the trail, and when we reached Cheyenne the second time that evening there was a pleasant interchange of criticism, among the explorers, for, had the other car followed, as it should have done, it would have picked up our lost articles, even as we had recovered that little brown bag the first day out. After one minute, however, we were all good friends again, and at the end of a satisfying supper we looked out on the bright lights and lively Saturday night crowd of Wyoming's capital city, with its fine public buildings, its invigorating atmosphere, its historic associations, with memories of wild life, frontier days and its present importance as the center of a big sheep and cattle industry. Cheyenne is 6,100 feet above sea level and 145 miles from Julesburg, so we felt we were at last getting into the mountains of the Northwest. Some may wonder why we had not been camping out, since we had talked so much about this feature of the trip before starting and were well equipped for roughing it. It will be recalled, first, that the weather was not suited to al fresco living and that bad roads had prevented us from covering the distances we had intended, so that we did some traveling after dark, and felt we had no time for striking camp, which, to be successful, must be done always before nightfall. When we reached Cheyenne the seventh day out we were about two days behind our tentative schedule. We could have gone into camp that evening before we reached the city, but who wants to hear the coyotes howl when he can mingle with his fellow-creatures on a Sat- urday night in a city famous the world over, where even Teddy the Strenuous One found excitement ample for his red-blooded, thrill-loving disposition? After all, however, Cheyenne was comparatively tame, and the beautiful Plains Hotel, with its soft beds, made such strong appeal that we retired early, only the scribe remaining in the barber shop until a —10— late hour, under the heroic treatment of one who knew how to reduce a blistered face and soothe its pains, while at the same time reducing the pocketbook in proportion. The day's drive in the sun, with the top thrown back, had caused my countenance to bloom like a peony, all to satisfy the whim of a doctor who thought the sunshine would help his stomachache. Never again! At Cheyenne paper money disappeared almost entirely and all change appeared in silver, but even the silver began to look good before the hike was ended. They speak in "bits" out west. It was in Wyoming, the "Equality State," that we first paid "two bits" for a shave. The gasoline market was also looking up and "two bits" a gallon was the Cheyenne tariff. The only wonder, however, is that some of these cities are so pros- perous in appearance. Here is Shy Ann set down, or up, in the midst of the elevated plains, with the great ranch-houses in her trade terri- tory few and far between, a town of fifteen thousand, perhaps, and everybody happy. But how do they all live and where does the money come from? We Missourians asked this question, and the answer was: "Sheep, cattle, tourists and one another." Uncle Sam has been particularly kind to Shy Ann, and whatever may be said as to her shyness or one-time wild propensities, she has a strong pull with the old man, because one of the largest military posts in the United States was located here several years ago, and about $7,- 000,000 was expended in buildings and improvements, according to Blue Book figures. The military headquarters form a good sized town with a commanding general and staff, a regiment each of artillery, cav- alry and infantry, two companies of signal corps, one company of engineers and a hospital corps. The fort is practically deserted now because all the soldiers are along the Mexican border, but the United States Senator who reached into the pork barrel and grabbed this big piece of bacon for his own home town, not only provided meat but bread and butter for all time to come, and contributed materially to the permanent prosperity of Cheyenne. Sunday, August 22. The morning was fair and we lingered long in Cheyenne, but finally concluded it would be best to hit the trail. Just before starting we encountered Howard Bailey of St. Louis, who has perhaps handled more mules through his East St. Louis firm, the Maxwell-Crouch Company, than any man in America, and is known throughout the country as a thorough gentleman at all times, of high social and business at- tainments. "You have the best looking outfit I have seen" was his comment and the by-standers all agreed with Mr. Bailey. We drove out past the capitol and through Fort D. A. Russell, where an Indian, with his wife and daughter from Walla Walla, Wash., in a Haynes Six joined our party. They were well educated people, evidently of some wealth, and were somewhat nervous about starting off alone, across Wyoming with its long distances between towns. Our route today led across high table-lands, through a sheep farming coun- try, where we saw great herds, watched by herdsmen, with their faith- ful dogs. The trail was plain, now descending into small canyons, now wind- —l1— ing upward over the range of foothills and at Chugwater, fifty miles from Cheyenne, we stopped for a late lunch at the little Fox hotel. Chug- water may never get to be a big town, but it is likely to become an im- portant trading point. It is now a raw imitation of a village, with small unpainted buildings, all new. Mrs. Fox, formerly of Omaha, gave us a good dinner and informed us that this is a prosperous community. She told me she had landed there three years ago with four hundred dollars and that last year her taxes were $130.00, which indicates no small increase in the Fox fortune. In front of the small hostelry when we drove up were two new cars, a Reo Six and a Ford roadster, and at the table we met the drivers, Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Oviatt, of Sher- idan, Wyoming, enroute home from Denver on their wedding trip. They had bought the roadster in Denver and after enjoying the beauties of Estes Park had proceeded northward to Cheyenne. Here Mr. Oviatt found a letter from his business partner requesting him, if possible, to bring the Reo to Sheridan, so with the bride in the Ford, and the groom in the Reo, the bridal party started for home. It was somewhat rough on Mrs. Oviatt as she was just learning to drive and the roads were rather bad in places, with washouts due to recent rains. No true Missourian lacks in gallantry, so as we left Chugwater we put the charming little bride into the Reo Six with her husband, and I took
|Casper Wy, 1915|
—20— "Parker says Christopher made him chase grass-hoppers until he was leg- weary, but when the catch was counted he was in the lead." were Mr. and Mrs. Henry H. Droege and Mr. and Mrs. John W. Stapf, congenial couples who were making a "hotel" tour and "seeing America" after the most approved fashion. On our way to Basin we forsook the black and yellow trail which we had been following since we left Cheyenne, thus avoiding what they told us were the extremely bad roads through the Thermopolis coun- try. The black and yellow markings were rather scarce along the en- tire route but we never lost the road, because at diverging points was always a post or pole, or frequently a stone painted black and yellow, indicating the Yellowstone trail. When we arrived in Basin we were about a hundred seventy-five miles from Powder River, and in the four days' trip from Casper we had traveled about two hundred fifteen miles. At times we found good stretches of road but until we neared Basin it was pretty rough. The last thirty miles, from Hyatville which we left at six o'clock, was over a fine smooth highway and we covered it in an hour and fifteen minutes. The Big Horn River, a large stream, flowed near-by and at Basin was the first bridge we had seen for days. Mr. and Mrs. Dunbar were un- able to go on that night because of a broken spring and remained at Hyatville. This is a high country and fit for grazing only, but we didn't see a great many cattle, and most of the sheep were up in the mountains. It is the annual custom among the coyotes to "stick around" where sheep are herded, and this fact accounts for the scarcity of these night howlers along our route. Wyoming has had more rains this year than in all the previous decade, and the grass lands looked most inviting. In fact, throughout Western Nebraska, where we first came upon the range country, the cattle, horses and sheep we saw were all in fine condition, and high up in the hills the wheat and oat crops of the dry farmers gave color and good cheer to what might otherwise have been a dull gray landscape. Saturday, August 29. Last night we called up the hotel at Cody, sixty miles away, by telephone and inquired about our injured dishwasher, whom we had shipped ahead, learning to our great satisfaction that he was doing fine and would be ready to continue the hike with us by Sunday. So we made no haste out of Basin this morning, and about ten o'clock drove westward, out past the Carnegie library. Eleven miles out we crossed the Greybull River and then the good graded road led by a winding route across a stretch of alkali fiats, after which we found a good dirt thoroughfare in the irrigated valley which surrounds the town of Burlington. "Get water here" say the route books, for it is more than thirty miles across the sage-brush before the traveler looks over the hill at Cody sprawled upon the second bench above the chattering Shoshone, on its way north toward the Big Horn River. About half past three o'clock we came suddenly upon the little city and descending past the water-tower drove up to the Irma where, in the shade of the broad veranda, attended by his new found friend, Mr. Crutch, our crippled comrade gave us a joyous welcome. The Mayor shouted "Tie up your ponies and feed 'em some hay" and we alighted. —21—
First Cars Enter Yellowstone Park August 1915
It then became the privilege of the writer to personally conduct his comrades on a tour of inspection and show them the many inter- esting features of Hotel Irma, including the remarkable display of pict- ures, paintings and historic mementoes of Buffalo Bill's thrilling career. The walls of the corridors, dining room and great bar and billiard room are hung with trophies of Col. Cody"s travels in which Buffalo Bill is the central, dominant figure; souvenirs from European mon- archy groups of distinguished men, famous old Indian chiefs, wild game in splendid samples of the taxidermist's art, with profuse reminders of the days when the bison and the Indians divided honors as monarchs of the primeval prairies. To my great regret the notes made in reference to some of these great paintings have been misplaced but one will ever linger in my mem- ory, "The Conquest of the Prairie."
In the foreground a group of Indians on ponies are peering across a canyon toward an approaching horseman, a lone hunter and explorer, first emissary of the great white race to reach the boundless plains. To the right and rear of the In- dians are seen their tepees, with the squaws and dusky offspring, cow- ering in the shadows. A herd of buffalo is thundering past toward wil- derness more remote, and far back across the hills, in the trail of the horseman, comes the wagon train of pioneers who braved the wilds to found this wondrous empire, which we call the west, while in the dis- tance dim a bridge is seen spanning a mountain gorge. A train of cars is approaching the bridge, thus telling of the wonderful works of en- gineering and progress in the years to come, and in the hazy, shadowy tints beyond is seen the smoke and spires of the future great city, which later arose here and there among the vastnesses of those virgin solitudes. This is one of the most remarkable pictures I have ever seen, —22— portraying as it does the onward march of civilization, since first the savage as in a vision looking toward the East, beheld what now is his- tory. The priceless painting in the Cody collection, however, is the figure of Buffalo Bill on horseback, the work of no less renowned an artist than the late Rosa Bonheur, greatest of all animal painters. Aside from its value as a wonderful work of art it is distinctive in that it is the only human likeness ever reproduced on canvas by the immortal Bonheur, who now sleeps in the old cemetery of Pere le Chaise in Paris. Among other interesting pictures seen at the Irma are beautiful works in oil showing the Roosevelt hunting party, at Cody's hunting lodge, Pahaska Tepee.
Col. Cody and his life's story become quite real, as we gaze upon his personal collection of souvenirs and see his bright little grandson making friends among the guests, now and then seeking the loving caresses of his grandmother, Mrs. Cody, who makes her home here, keeping in constant touch with the itinerary of her distinguished spouse, as he parades before an applauding public, and lifts his hat to throngs throughout the country. Buffalo Bill was the Indian's fiercest foe among all the famous west- ern scouts, but he made friends of many of the most noted Indian chiefs and has been photographed with some, whose names at one time were a terror to the early settlers, and to Uncle Sam's soldiers. In the years following Indian uprisings he became a builder, and erected hotels in three thriving cities of Wyoming. The town which bears his name is very proud of the old man, who mingles on familiar terms with all his fellow-citizens as though he had never dined in state with presidents and kings. It is a good trading point, with up-to-date business houses and modern improvements. Farther down the Shoshone Valley, watered by a fine government system of irrigation on the road north toward Frannie and Billings in a most fertile fruitful area where Uncle Sam sells farms at $50.00 an^ acre, on twenty-year payments without interest and furnishes all the water needed, from the great Shoshone reservoir, the highest in the world, about twenty miles west of Cody, on the road to Yellowstone Park. The most attractive settlement along the length of this pro- ject is Powell, and on the train I met two Missourians, who said that after two years' residence there, they had no desire to go back to their former homes in Carroll county, or anywhere else, so well pleased with the climate are they as well as with what Fortune is adding to their earthly store. It is valleys like this that save Wyoming. Cody has seen many prominent men in its day, and on the registers at the Irma are names of a large host who at one time or another have been in the spotlight of events. It was here two years ago that Charles G. Gates, heir to the great fortune of John W. Gates, debauched his life away and died in his private car. Dr. Bennett, who attended him, received a fee of $15,000 for accompanying the remains to New York. His drug store is a far vorite rendezvous of guests at the hotel, just opposite, and here I learn- ed many interesting things about the town and its founder. Prom now on, since the Park is opened to automobiles, it will become a fa- —23— vorite resort of those who travel by gasoline, but even this summer, we were told that cars from every state but one, Rhode Island being the exception, had passed through. The hotel facilities are first class, with comfortable rooms and good meals, thanks to Mr. Garlow's careful su- pervision. We loved that invigorating atmosphere, in which Wyoming is enveloped; it makes one want to linger for awhile, because every hour brings strength and healing, and the nights— such wonderful nights we spent under the stars that "glisten, glisten, seeming with bright eyes to listen." Never to me did sleep seem so restful, so refresh- ing as that which came on those high altitudes. Sancho Panza must have steeped his senses in forgetfulness beneath the skies upon some eminence in Andalusia, the night he gathered inspiration for invok- ing God's blessing on "the man who first invented sleep", for only in the mountains, I verily believe, does the human race get full value received for the hours it remains in bed. On the comfortable porches of the hotel we drowsed away the morn- ing hours and heard more stories of the early days. One which I recall concerned Buffalo Bill when he was employed as hunter for the con- struction company of the old Kansas Pacific, back in 1867-68. In less than eighteen months Cody is said to have killed nearly five thousand buffalo, tc furnish food for the army of twelve hundred men who were engaged upon that great enterprise, now known as the Union Pacific. "Speaking of killing buffaloes" said an old chair warmer at the hotel, "You may not know that the coming of the railroad across the plains in 1868. was the beginning of wholesale slaughter of the American bison. Hunters thronged the region east of the Rockies, and in seventeen years the buffalo was practically extinct. Along the line of railroads, traversing Kansas and Nebraska, passengers frequently shot buffalo from the slow moving trains, and let the carcasses lie upon the prairie. This was wanton slaughter for they didn't kill for meat, nor even for the hides. I have heard it said that in some places on the prairies, a man could walk for hours on dead bodies of buffaloes without stepping on the ground, so heavy was the slaughter of these noble animals by hide hunters who thrived upon the buffalo robe market." It is estimated that in Kansas alone, which gathered up the bones for carbon works in the great cities, and in thirteen years paid out two and a half million dollars for the bones, at eight dollars a ton, that thirty-one million buffaloes were killed. "It seems preposterous," says a writer "to readers not familiar with the great plains forty years ago, but not to those who have seen the prairie black from horizon to horizon with those shaggy monsters." The career of Buffalo Bill and stories of his remarkable deeds as hunter, as government scout, on the staff of well known army officers, appeal to all who love adventure, wild life and brave deeds. On Col. Cody fell the mantle of Kit Carson, foremost frontiersman of his gen- eration. He is seventy years of age, and his name is a household word throughout civilization. He has rubbed shoulders with the savage and walked arm in arm with kings. Whatever may be his faults, he is one of America's most remarkable men and his passing will sever the chain which binds the new west to the old. After dinner we made preparations for departure, and it was with —24— deep regret we said good bye to Cody. Here we had made several pleas- ing acquaintances and here I had seen some old friends from Mexico, Mo., who had been touring Yellowstone. Here the scribe had conval- esced rapidly and while still seriously crippled, was able to ride among the bedding in the touring car's tonneau, in Lizzie's lap, as Doc Parker put it. Waving farewell, we descended to the valley and began to climb gradually toward the Shoshone can- yon, where nature has been most lavish in her display of rugged grandeur. The road grew narrow as we gradually rose above the rush- ing Shoshone, far below us tops of tall trees waving, upward along a narrow shelf of road, which now and then pierced a cliff, emerging on the other side to turn a sudden curve from which straight skyward rose the wall of rock, on either side the canyon, with towers and battle- ments upon their summits inaccessible. Sometimes the ascent was steep and tortuous and the little Henrys would seem unequal to the task, but we finally reached Shoshone reservoir, where we rested for an hour, with Mr. and Mrs. Dunbar, who had come with us from Cody. The great dam which holds Shoshone here is worthy of a chapter and must be given better mention, but not today. The Dunbars left us here and we later struck camp on the banks of the turbulent little stream, with high granite cliffs as the background of our sheltered re- treat. The trout were not so plentiful here, but we had a delicious meal and then enjoyed a backward glance upon the scenes and inci- dents of the trip, with comment on some forgotten features, which will appear in Mondays story. Monday, August 31. Under the jack-pines we pitched our tent and around the camp-fire we held a pow-wow. It had been one of our very best afternoons out, that drive from Cody through the mountains. The Shoshone reservoir, highest in the world, as previously stated, had impressed us all, but Christopher the most because he was most familiar with the dam subject and saw it not from a Pertle Springs viewpoint alone, but through the eyes of a civil engineer. The great wall of concrete, more than two hundred feet thick at its base, rises in an inward curve about three hundred feet high, where the opposite granite bluffs come near together, and when one thinks of the two hundred fifty feet of water which is held by this great concrete construction, extending for many miles west until it becomes an inland sea, he can then begin to realize perhaps the tremendous pressure which is resisted. Steps lead down from the roadway to the top of the dam, and on below to the depths of the canyon where the spill-way tunnels carry off the surplus water, and where the great valves are located. The man in charge of the engine-house took Christopher down through the hillside in a bucket and Jack had an opportunity for thorough in- spection of the mechanical features. Here is power harnessed and un- der perfect control, sufficient to turn all the wheels and light all the cities of the plains if properly applied, but as yet the dam is only utilized in connection with the great irrigation project sixty miles' away along the Shoshone valley. After we had passed beyond the miles of water which form this —25— wonderful reservoir, we came upon a really beautiful home surrounded by substantial improvements, and fields of grain and alfalfa. Here we stopped and Christopher braved the barking dogs to make a call, for this was the Hollister ranch, and Mrs. Hollister was formerly Miss Mary Christopher, a cousin of our comrade. His defiant glance and heavy black moustache struck terror to the canines, and he finally reached the house unharmed, only to find that Mr. and Mrs. Hollister had taken a pack-train and gone up into the mountains looking for big game. A little later far to the left and right we descried on two high peaks the waving colors of Old Glory and knew that we were passing into the U. S. Forestry Reservation. The roads were fine and we could have gone on to Pahaska Tepee easily, but we all agreed "Here is an ideal spot to rest for the night, a camping ground par excellence." The little pine squirrels chattered unceasing accompaniment to our conversation and it turned to bear and wild cats, then for the sake of peaceful dreams, we changed the theme to birds, which reminded Harry Clark of what we had seen away back in Nebraska, before we reached Oxford. We had just made a long detour through a series of dry can- yons and coming out upon the range we saw the ground covered with thousands of pigeons? No, they are larger than pigeons and be- sides they are all white, except for that blue band across the back and wings. Three large flocks we saw and then we had a puncture and a conversation. "They must be plover of some sort," said Clark, although they look like sea-gulls. "Here comes a native," said Hout as he picked up his tire tools, and when we inquired about the birds which were flying in clouds down the valley, the answer was, "Sea-gulls." "But what are they doing here on this side the Rockies?" we asked. "Blown inland by the wind, that's what we all reckon,' and we said "Good-day!" But why are all these waterfowl wasting their lives along that Repub- lican River valley? I have seen them in small numbers along the Mis- sissippi and Missouri Rivers, but there were enough sea-gulls out there in Nebraska to decorate the shores of any first-class ocean. The night came on and somebody again mentioned bears. "Forget it," said Parker. "Who's afraid? Do you remember the badger Betsey captured, single-handed? We should worry about bears: Let's talk about mud holes," and then he recalled a beautiful Nebraskan custom, which, while it affected us deeply at the time, we had almost forgotten. Road overseers, attention, please, while I relate what happens in some Nebraskan counties, through which we passed. It's a new way out of an old trouble. Where the highway became miry, and the mud gets deep, especially in narrow strips into which wheels are likely to drop to the axles, they build a mud-raft or apron, of heavy stringers and oak boards, and lay it across the mud hole. We saw scores of these make- shift culverts and they were doing humble, but worthy service during the wet season. At other places we crossed small creeks and ravines on a ford of concrete, just as wide as the road, built in the bottom of the stream, thus preventing washouts and affording a solid footing at all times. In Western Nebraska where the rain is scarce we noted that all the small towns had windmills at every house. At Imperial and Lamar as —26— we drove through the streets on the way to Holyoke, Col., we seemed to be passing through regular windmill avenues. Out in that country the settler when he first arrives, digs a cyclone cellar, and then puts up his windmill, between blows. If the big fan is there next morning, he orders lumber for his house. One tourist thought the windmills were great electric fans, built out of sheer kindness to the cattle, so that during the heated season they could gather round and catch the breezes. But this is not so because the lady rural router we saw delivering letters and parcels in a touring car, that very day laughed at the idea. "The cattle came up to the windmill to drink," she said "and not to be fanned." Upon which we thanked her heartily. "Well, she didn't get stuck in the mud that day like we did," said Hout. "But I'm going to bed," and we all followed suit, with Parker and Christopher on the ground just outside the tent under a quaking aspen. They were awakened later by Kewpie who tried to make them think a bear was after them, but they played the hero and refused to be badly scared, although the aspen quaked and the pine trees moaned. This morning we drove on to Pahaska Tepee, with mountains tow- ering to the north and south, and in the distance snow capped peaks. It was like the Garden of the Gods, only more so, because the fellow that named these Wyoming formations used some judgment at the christen- ing, and we readily recognized most of the important freaks in stone. At the mountain lodge of Buffalo Bill we were made welcome by his daughter Irma, Mrs. Frederick Garlow, and here we met other friends we had seen on our route. Pahaska Tepee is built of logs, a great cen- tral room rising to the roof, with stairs leading to the balcony at the second story, on which the bed-rooms are located. It is conducted as a first-class hotel and we found it so interesting that we tarried over night, getting the Fords in trim for the great climb over Sylvan Pass next morning. Here we were, two miles from the Park, at last, and we wanted to enter in the morning to camp on the Yellowstone Lake at noon, and at the famous canyon in the evening. That night we dressed for the "ball" which Mrs. Garlow gave, and all the guests attended. As the fun was at its height we heard some commotion at the door and in marched the Allies, who had camped close by. The Dunbars and our New York friends were there with a party of Ohio schoolmarms who were just leaving the Park, three soldiers from the eastern entrance, one piano and one phonograph. Just outside a big camp-fire blazed merrily and here we spent most of the evening, watching the merriment within the hall. The lights were out early and we were soon in slumberland, dreaming of Teddy Moran, a Frenchman we had met that day, and the song Mrs. Garlow had tried to teach us on the cool veranda which starts, "I'll tie up my pony, and feed him some hay," and winds up with shout "Powder River. Fill 'em up again!" a favorite war cry among the cow boys in the days when drinking was the fashion. Mrs. Garlow, with two charming children, a little son and daughter, spent the summer at the Tepee and entertained the traveler? to and from the Cody entrance to the Park. She is a woman of culture, very entertaining, a talented musician, and a fine manager. She has her —27— forces well organized and the entire establishment, kitchen, laundry, stable and garage, is well conducted, with every necessary convenience. "But there is one peculiar thing about that laundry," remarked one of the guests. They don't give a rap whether your clothes are clean or soiled, they wash 'em just the same," and when we asked for a diagram of the joke over which he was so visibly amused he said, "I guess it's on me, gentlemen, for don't you know I had two piles of duds, one clean, one dirty, and sent the clean bunch to be washed again." We excused him for the mistake because Wyoming at that time of the year is not only refreshing, but intoxicating, if you take too many deep draughts of its wonderful air, while your shoulders are thrown back. Tuesday, September 1. Betsey is growing capricious these days, and there is no cranking her in the early morning. We must needs tie her to her mother's apron string and drag her about fifty yards before she will consent to go it alone, so we drove out of Pahaskee Tepee with the roadster trailing at rope's end, until we came into the main road. About a mile beyond we reached the Park entrance, said "Good morning!" to the young sol- diers we had met the night before and handed them our firearms, which they sealed, registered and returned immediately. Then an in- spector gave our brakes a test and we passed on up the government road toward Sylvan Pass, 8600 feet, where we crossed the divide and descended past Sylvan Lake, an exquisite sheet of water in a setting of heavy spruce, with high, rugged peaks surrounding it. Eleven miles further on, over beautiful roads we reached Turbid Lake, which is well-named because of the many hot springs and steam vents along its shores, and bottom, which keep it constantly agitated. Winding down the mountain sides where the road is said to be impassable before the first of July, owing to the snows which linger in these alti- tudes, we now and then caught glimpses of Yellowstone Lake. Along our route we noticed camp-sites where the government permits trav- elers to rest, warning them, by signs on trees, to clean the camp-ground before leaving, and carry off all refuse to pits provided for that pur- pose. Especial care is urged against fire, which must be completely extinguished when the camp is abandoned, and lest the traveler inter- fere with traffic or frighten horses, all camps must be at least one hun- dred feet from the road. Another regulation to which our attention had been called con- cerned motor cars, which when meeting or passing vehicles drawn by horses, must always take the outer, and therefore, more dangerous edge of the road, and only in cases of emergency is night travel per- mitted in the Park.
Not a half-mile from where Yellowstone River flows from the lake, we crossed it upon a steel bridge, and a soldier boy gave us a nice string of trout he had just taken from the stream below, while we in turn gave him a ride to the military station near the Colonial or Lake Hotel. It was nearly noon and the sight of the fish awakened our appetites, so we drove into the camping ground, set apart here for automobiles and Fords, on the high, grassy banks beneath the tall pines and the waves of that beautiful lake lapping the shore not thirty feet away. The day was ideal, and the picture was entrancing, —28— OUR FIRST LUNCH IN YELLOWSTONE PARK
|First Motor Cars in Yellowstone passing Upper Basin Camp of the Wylie Permanent Camping Company, August 1, 1915.|
which is an extinct hot spring cone we ascend into the first terrace, to a height of a hundred feet, then up to Pupit Terrace. The boiling water from the hot springs, carrying a deposit carbonate of lime forms a coating over these peculiar formations which rise one above the other in several acres of crusty surface, as it pours over the circular edges, creates an iridescence effect in the most delicate tracery imaginable. The great springs seem to boil constantly, but the bubbles seen are only escaping gas. These great craters forming through the ages, as a result of some awful subterranean upheaval loom high above the hotel and the fort buildings, and it takes all morning to view their varied wonders. New springs are constantly bubbling forth and the tourist must choose his path with caution because the surface beneath his feet covers mys- terious caves, and rings hollow to the footfall. Below these are surely vast caldrons which produce the steam and gases, and send the boiling water to the outer air. It is fascinating but terrifying, and most un- canny of all the freak formations here is the Devil's Kitchen, a deep depression, into which you may descend into sulphurous fumes, the while it hotter grows. We were glad to stand once more upon the broad parade-ground below and view the color-scheme of the chalk-cliffs from a safe distance. Another large party at the hotel tonight, but the crowds are thinning rapidly this week and there will be fewer yet the next, be- cause after September 15, no tourist is permitted to enter the Park, and on September 19, the hotels will all be closed. "I look for snow tonight," said an old attendant at the hotel, "and if it comes there will be a great exodus from the Park." We Warrensburgers exchanged glances for before breakfast tomor- row morning we plan to leave for Old Faithful, through geyserland, and if it snows, or even rains it will seriously interfere with the trip. We retired early, however, to dream of all the wonders which surrounded us, of roads that hang twixt earth and sky, of tire and engine troubles, of waterfalls and boiling springs, and Mississippi bubbles.
|Harry F. Parker, MD American Legion Photo|
Friday, September 4. At an early hour this morning, before the hotel began to show much signs of life, we were astir and on our way towards the Norris Geyser Basin, twenty miles distant. The road led up into the moun- tains and we were soon enveloped in a cloud, so that the Silver Gate and Hoodoo Rocks could hardly be appreciated. A little farther on is Golden Gate, where a concrete viaduct supports the highway, and all along are points of particular interest and beauty which were ob- scured in the mist. Seven miles out we emerged upon a clearing, and concluded to stop and get our breakfast. As we drove in among the trees, we discovered three tents and camp fires, at one of which the Allies were huddled over their morning meal. We recognized the little roadster near a dog-tent as belonging to two splendid young fellows from Salt Lake City we had previously en- countered, and they invited us to use their bed of coals, but we unpacked the gasoline stove and soon had coffee, eggs and bacon. The —35—
The spruce boughs thrown on the great logs blazed and crackled merrily that evening and we all enjoyed the experience. Mrs. Niess and her bright little eight-year old daughter sat with us awhile; Trapper John went to his shack in the yard at dusk; the pine trees murmured and moaned as their tall tops bent together caressingly and the tired lads from Salt Lake went out to sleep with the squirrels, in their little army tent. One by one the group around the fire dispersed, the police- man finally grew tired of spinning yarns and we four found ourselves alone, dreaming of future days when we might return to linger for weeks perhaps up here where "Nature's heart beats strong amid the hills" where her voice is clear and inspiring and her handiwork so mag- nificent that it requires but one glance at the varied majesty to convince us that the "course of Nature is the art of God." And as we drowsed along to Slumbertown on those truly wonderful beds in the rooms adjoining the big hall, we could see the reflection of light from the fire-place, take comfort in the cheer that blazed on the hearth, and go to sleep with thoughts of a quiet, comfortable Sun- day, little dreaming that Clark would actually go grouse-hunting and shatter the stillness of the Sabbath air with my own shot-gun which up to that time had not been removed from its case. Well, Clark did, and he didn't, but for a few minutes he had Hout badly fooled as will ap- pear later. Sunday, September 6. There was no hurry about getting up today, for as we had been told there would be no dinner before three o'clock, we preferred break- fast as late as possible. About ten o'clock the Salt Lake boys packed for departure and we promised to see them when we should arrive at Utah's lovely capital. We hung our bedding, which had become soaked for the 'steenth time, in the Park, out on lines to dry and some of the boys tinkered with the cars, which had been neglected for sev- eral days, getting them ready for the journey which we would soon resume. There was talk of going out for a hunt with Al Niess and we con- cluded to wait over at the Utaida for two or three days in order to satisfy the sporting blood of Hout and Parker, who longed for a try at big game. In the early morning deer had been seen just across the river and the evening before through glasses we could distinguish two elk far down the stream on the opposite shore. Al said he was going out after an elk and that the boys could accompany him, but of course, he, having a state license must do all the shooting. This conversation was carried on in loud language, so that we might all grasp the idea. Par be it from Parker or Hout to slay any game without a certificate of privilege! Perish the thought! Along about twelve o'clock, Al passed the lodge, on horseback and — 41 —
|Salt Lake City 1915|
|Denver Train Station 1915|
One day was spent in Denver, and then came the last lap of the trip to Kansas City, the best town of its size in the world, beside which other western cities are "pikers." It really impressed us so, and the scribe is truly proud that a city of such size, such spirit, such glorious promise has sprung up so near the western borders of Warrensburg. Kansas City is the future great, the hub around which, in time, will revolve the social and commercial activity of the United States, and about the only thing lacking now is a rock road all the way to War- rensburg, for farmers nowadays all like to "see the Fords go by".
Biographical Sketch of Harry F. Parker, M.D., Johnson County, Missouri, Warrensburg Township >From "History of Johnson County, Missouri," by Ewing Cockrell, Historical Publishing Company, Topeka, Cleveland, 1918. ********************************************************************** Harry F. Parker, M. D., the founder of the "Oak Hill Sanitarium" in Warrensburg, has not only pre-eminently succeeded in the practice of medicine in Johnson county but he has made a name for himself that is widely known and he is now only thirty-three years of age. Doctor Parker was born January 8, 1884 in Johnson county, the son of Col. J. H. and Elizabeth Ann (Field) Parker, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Missouri. Col. J. H. Parker was the son of William W. and Elizabeth A. (Higgins) Parker. The father of William W. Parker, Solomon Parker, was of Scotch descent and a lineal descendant of one of the three brothers who emigrated from Scotland and settled in James- town, Virginia, during the earliest Colonial days. William W. Parker came from Virginia to Missouri with his maternal grandfather, Mr. Higgins, and his son, J. H., and settled in Lafayette county in 1842, on tracts of land they had purchased and entered from the government. Their route to Missouri led over the Allegheny mountains and along the national road from Cumberland to Wheeling, West Virginia. Mr. Higgins died in Lexington, Missouri, in 1843 and in the same year his daughter, Elizabeth A. (Higgins) Parker, the mother of Col. J. H. Parker, also died. William W. Parker and his son, J. H., were engaged in the pur- suits of agriculture in Lafayette county, as were also the family of Fields, prominent pioneers of Missouri. J. H. Parker and Elizabeth Ann Field were united in marriage in 1860 and to them were born the follow- ing children: William, a well known farmer and stockman; John, deceased; Frank, deceased; Joseph, deceased; Sallie, deceased; James H., who is engaged in the real estate and stock business in Julesburg, Colorado; Bettie, deceased; and H. F., the subject of this review. Col. J. H. Parker has been prominently connected with the early history of Johnson County. Politically, he is affiliated with the Democratic party and he represented Johnson county in the state Legislature. Col. Parker has also filled a number of appointive offices. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. While residing in Johnson county, Col. Parker erected a church near his home and con- tributed generously toward its support. A sketch of Col. and Mrs. Par- ker appears in the Biographical History of Missouri in the edition of 1915. Harry Field Parker was one of the youngest students who have attended the Warrensburg High School, graduating at the age of sixteen years. He entered the University of Missouri and was in attendance at that institution for two years when he matriculated in the Medical School of Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, graduating with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in the class of 1906. For one year Dr. Parker was interne in the City Hospital of St. Louis, which was then under the direction of the board of health. Dr. Parker had charge of the Hearne Hospital in San Diego, California, for one year. In 1908 he returned to Warrensburg, Missouri, opened his office, and began at once an extensive practice. Three years after locating in Warrensburg, Doctor Parker founded the "Oak Hill Sanitarium," located at 519 South Holden street, which he still owns and maintains at a high standard. The hospital has the best and most modern equipment and is always fill- ed to its capacity. The patients who have been taken there are among Doctor Parker's warmest friends and admirers upon leaving the sanitar- ium. It has proven of great value and has filled a long felt need of the citizens of Warrensburg and adjoining counties. Doctor Parker de- votes his time exclusively to his large practice. His practice is of a general nature and he has proven equally efficient as physician and surgeon. "Oak Hill Sanitarium" is open to all the physicians of John- son County, who send many of their patients there. It is under the official management of Mrs. Maude M. Irwin, a trained nurse who has been connected with the institution since its founding. November 25, 1908, Dr. Harry Field Parker was united in marriage with Martha Sousley of Nebraska City, Nebraska. She is the daughter of Capt. J. R. and Martha (Cheatham) Sousley, both of whom are now deceased. At the time of her marriage, Mrs. Parker resided in Lowville, New York. Doctor and Mrs. Parker reside in their home at 118 West Gay street in Warrensburg. Besides his city residence, Doctor Parker is owner of the "Meadow Lawn Stock Farm," comprising 400 acres of the best farm land in Hazel Hill township, and it is devoted to the breeding of Shorthorn cattle. ==================================================================== USGENWEB NOTICE: In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or for presentation by other persons or organizations. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than stated above must obtain the written consent of the file contributor. This file was contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by: <> Penny Harrell <Incog3678@aol.com>