Grand Basin from Art Hill, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis. Mo. 1903-1905
Animal Life and the World of Nature: A Magazine of Natural History Vol 1
THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY are indebted to their president, his Grace the Duke of Bedford, for all the adult specimens of this now rare animal at present exhibited. These are three in number, a bull and two cows, which were presented on 31 May, 1902. On the 26th of the same month in the following year a bull calf was born, which has thriven, and is now about half grown. At first it was of a foxy red colour, and much resembled a common calf in general form, though with a thicker coat; but it has now assumed the characteristic dark-brown pelage of the adult bison, and shows the typical shape to some extent. It is interesting to note, however, that it more resembles the European than the American species at this stage, the head not having yet acquired its disproportionate size, and the predominance of the fore-over the hind quarter being less marked. These points are well shown in the photograph of the adult American animal, which is much more developed with regard to bisontine characteristics than is the European species.
The Kalispell Bee
Kalispell, Mont. Feb 10, 1903
BUFFALO HERD OF FLATHEAD
Allard and Michael Pablo Imported the Stock From Nebraska.
COLONIZED WILD HORSE ISLAND
But the Buffalo Did Not Choose to Remain in This Sequestered Wilderness and Swam One by One to the Mainland. Two Miles Away— Like to Mix With Other Stock.
So much scientific interest centers in the fast disappearing and almost extinct buffalo that a few words on the herd now roaming the plains in the Mission valley may not be out of place.
The buffalo herd ranges in the Mission valley, west of the main traveled road. They may be on either side or both sides of the Pend d Oreille river. West from Stinger’s ranch, 12 miles from the lake, is a large butte rising from the plain. Near this, some of the buffalo are quite likely to lie found. Leaving the read at or near Stinger’s, the visitor may sc the herd with a couple of hours’ travel. It is not likely the entire herd may be seem in one place.
Eighteen years ago, in 1884, Chas. Allard and Michael Pablo bought of an Indian named Samuel ten head of buffalo, which the Indian brought from east of the Rocky mountains. From “Buffalo” Jones, in Nebraska, they purchased 44 head. 18 of which were graded stock. From this beginning of 36 full blooded and 18 graded animals, the present herd has descended.
At the present writing, February 1902, there are on the reserve 220 full blooded and 65 graded animals. During the past year, there have been sold nearly 100 animals. In the year’s past others have been sold, but the number is not determined.
Twenty-seven head were sold to Conrad of Kalispell, and are now cared for on Conrad’s ranch. Between 40 and 50 are said to have been sold to a company, the majority to stay on the reservation, the others to be used in the show business. Several were sold to Iowa parties.
In 1901, 65 calves were added to the herd. About half of the cows are said to have calves each year. The cows do not have calves until they are four or five years of age. It is claimed that the fertility of the herd is not decreasing. A portion of the calves die or are killed, about the same proportion as for ordinary cattle on the range.
A calf not over 30 seconds born was upon its feet, and not over 20 minutes old showed fight, as stated by Joseph Allard, who owned it. Half-breed cows are fertile, either with buffalo or cattle. Half-breed bulls have not been tried and are not reported.
The stags show many differences in build from hulls. The principal difference is to be noticed in the horns, which are longer, probably larger, standing out farther from the head.
Twenty-seven of these animals were recently taken to Plains, in other that two might lie selected from the number. Five men were driving the animals, and even then half a dozen got away. They would not follow the road but went up and down hill as they pleased. They are sure-footed, quick and nimble. The cows are always on the alert to see an opportunity to escape and move very quickly. After escaping they immediately return to the herd.
The animals paid little attention to barbed wire fences, and went through them on many occasions. After they were put into the high fenced corral at the stockyards they mashed down the gate, several escaping.
In crossing a river on the ice. It is necessary to make a good trail with horses, so the tracks may be visible, otherwise, they will not cross. They look first at the near side and then at the far side, then dash across. An old bull will probably lead when all will follow. They are sure-footed and take ice as easily as a shod horse. They plunge into water without hesitation when separated from the herd and are returning, and swim easily and rapidly. The cows are much harder to handler than the bulls.
They usually range in two main herds, but the winter of 1901 they were in three herds. These are further split up into small bands of from a few to several dozen.
The range of the buffalo herd is along the Pend d’Oreille river, in the Flathead Indian reservation. Occasionally they wander into the cultivated fields of the Indians and squaw men. They range over a territory 8 to 10 miles long and about as wide. With them are many herds of cattle and horses. It takes a practiced eye to tell whether a speck on the horizon is a herd of buffalo, of cattle or of horses.
A herder is kept with the animals continually. He knows where they are, keeps note of the increase, looks after the calves and the herd generally, much more closely than for domestic cattle.
To make a visit to the herd is not difficult, and any number of photographs may be secured.
The country over which they roam is near the Pend d’Orielle river. The soil is sandy, held from blowing by vegetation. There are numerous coulees and a few high buttes. To the east the Mission range, snow-capped in winter and clothed in dark green during summer, makes an imposing view. Occasionally in winter, when the river freezes, the. herd crosses the river and give much trouble.
In the large bay of Flathead lake, extending west from the main body of water is a large island, named Mild Horse island. Several years ago about 75 half breed buffaloes and four full-blooded bulls were placed on this island and left to roam. The island is several miles long and not quite as great in width. It is well timbered and rises several hundred feet above the lake. The writer has not been on the island but has been around it on the water. No one lives on it. Rarely is it visited, even by Indians. It is entirely within the Flathead Indian reservation.
The buffaloes stayed on the island for a couple of years, but did not like it They began swimming to the mainland, a mile and a half away, continuing thus until but a few were left on the island, when they were removed.
This short record shows what can be done by private enterprises, and the work of the Indian. In 20 year’s s a herd of 36 has increased to more than 50, or ten times the original number, with no record of the many sales that have been made during most of this time. In 20 years the number of calves is given at 65 per year, more than double the original number. The range on which the herd is kept certainly does not exceed 70 to 100 square miles, and they could no doubt be kept on a smaller range than this.
There is this notable difference lie between the Allard-Pablo herd on the Flathead reservation and the herd in Yellowstone park, to which so much attention has been directed and which has done so much toward forming an opinion in the minds of men adversely to save to the world a herd of these noble animals. The Allard Pablo herd has a man with it constantly. The animals are therefore accustomed to man and are not alarmed at his approach. The park herd were rarely seen by man and were not carefully looked after. The park herd were placed at a high altitude, over 7.000 feet, where snows were deep, winters long and severe, and where it was very difficult, perhaps impossible, to give them aid in case of scarcity of food. The Allard Pablo herd has a range at altitude below 3,000 feet, where deep snows do not occur, and where poachers cannot molest without fear of discovery. Moreover, hay or grain may be taken to the herd in a few hours in case of necessity. While they range in a treeless valley, they have in the range coulees, morainal depressions, rivers and creek banks, which offer shelter. Several high buttes offer protection from the wind while the river, creeks, and ponds supply abundance of water.
From a careful study of facts, it will become apparent that congress should not cease in its efforts to save the buffalo from extinction. An appropriation of $8.000 will purchase 25 cows and a dozen bulls. If purchased from several different herds there is little danger from inbreeding. This is as large a herd as Allard and Pablo had in the beginning. With the same care exercised over this herd in 20 years, the increase from 25 cows and 12 hulls should make the herd number between 400 and 500. Now there are large tracts of land leased annually for small sums to large cattle dealers. There are large tracts in Indian reservations which can be used for some such purpose more legitimately than if lease to cattle men for stock. If a tract of land containing from 50 ro100 square miles were set. apart for this particular use, with an appropriation at the beginning of $15,000, and an annual appropriation of $5.000 there certainly should be no difficulty whatever of in developing a herd from a small beginning to one that would be a credit to the nation.
The government and care of the herd should be placed under the jurisdiction of the biological survey of the department of agriculture. The men in the survey are keenly alive to the importance of an attempt to save the buffalo from extinction and may be relied upon to look after the animals as carefully as they are looked after in any zoological park. It is hardly to be expected that the animals will thrive in the Yellowstone park, where the winters are long and severe, the summers short and concentrated, and where protection is likewise afforded to the wild animals which prey upon the calves. The buffalo unlike the deer and elk seems to remain in a limited territory. With a range in Montana, Idaho, Arizona or New Mexico, as above mentioned, with a small herd under the care of the biological survey of the government, a small appropriation will, with proper handling, produce a large herd in 15 or 20 years.
It is to be hoped that the recent small appropriation made by congress for the preservation of the buffalo will be sufficient to protect it from extinction. It is doubtful, however, whether they will ever thrive in the Yellowstone park without much care in the winter. A lower altitude, with less snow and longer summer, similar to that of the Flathead Indian reservation, will insure the safety of the herd with small amount of attention and expense. M.J.Elrod.
The Minneapolis Journal
Minneapolis, Minn. March 28, 1903,
NUCLEUS FOR A BUFFALO HERD IN STATE OF IOWA
Fifteen Animals Taken From Native Wildness in Montana to Luana, Iowa, Where They Will Roam and Multiply Undisturbed—’,’Buffalo Trust” Dissolved by the Death of Allard—Real Buffalo Hunt.
Special to The Journal.
Luana, Iowa. March 25.—From the greatest herd of buffaloes in the world and the only herd living in native wildness, fifteen animals, caught after a wild chase by forty full-blooded Indians in full paint and feather, have been brought to this place.
In their honor the Milwaukee railroad proposes to change the name of the town to “Bison Valley” and Burgess & Hanson, the owners of the bison, plan to keep their herd inviolate and wild until it rivals the great herd of 320 full-blooded buffaloes which a Montana Flathead Indian acquired after twenty years of care and husbandry.
“It is not that we ourselves hope to profit by the investment,” says T. W. Burgess. “We have bought them that our children or their children may profit by the venture. We will follow the course of Merrs. Pablo and Allard and let the buffalo roam, feed and increase undisturbed,”
The recent death of Allard has resulted in the dissolution of what may legitimately be termed the “buffalo trust.” The farsightedness of this Flathead twenty years ago gave him more than half the full-blooded buffaloes of the United States. Upon his death, his share of this collection was divided among his heirs. His widow sold her portion of forty-seven bead to C. E. Conrad of Kalispell, Mont. Burgess & Hanson were soon in Montana and called on Allard, son of the great ranchman and purchased the beginnings of their herd.
Other Herds of Importance.
Prior to the death of Allard, Sr., the only other herds of consequence were owned by “Scotty” Philips of Pierre, S. D., “Buffalo” Jones of Kansa s and Charles Goodnight of the Panhandle country, Texas These three ranchmen owned in all about 120 full-bloods and many more strains.
Messrs. Burgess & Hanson have been convinced of the wisdom of the plan of Allard and recognize the coming value of the buffalo. This is why they have determined to produce at this point what will become the greatest herd of buffaloes in America. Good bulls now sell for $1,000, their heads alone being worth $200 to $300 for mounting.
It was in 1883 that Allard, the Flathead, rode his pony over the mountains to the Flathead valley, driving seven weary buffaloes before him. Here they were kept by Allard and Pablo until eighteen years later, the seven buffaloes had become 320. With thousands of cattle, they roamed the Flathead valley, sixty miles wide, safe from the outside world under the protection of the mountains and the ubiquitous Indians. They were never disturbed and none was sold despite tempting offers.
A Buffalo Hunt.
T.W. Burgess thus describes his experiences when he went to the Flathead valley to buy the first of his buffaloes:
“When Charles Allard,’ Sr., died, his half was divided among his heirs, and some of the heirs were selling their share. When Mr. Hanson and myself heard this,’ we boarded the train and journeyed over the mountains to see the Indians who had buffalo to sell.
“On reaching the reservation, the first thing to do was to get a permit from the agent to enter and trade with the Indians, for had we traded without a permit or paid any purchase money, the Indian, if he was so disposed, could keep the part payment and also the goods, and we would have nothing but the experience. After receiving the permit, we hired saddle horses and started for the Allard ranch, which was reached the next day. Mr. Allard said he would trade buffalo for money. The next morning found us in the saddle in pursuit of real living buffalo.
“After a ride of about twenty-five miles and six miles below the foot of Flathead lake, we gained the first sight of the big herd. With Allard as guide, we managed to select four cows for immediate delivery.
“Here we chanced to be present at a settlement for a bunch of cayuses. As each cayuse passed through the gateway, it was represented by a kernel of corn. Each kernel of corn was represented by three beans and each bean by a dollar. The beans were put in piles, and the purchasers had to cover them with an equal number of dollars.
“The day for the delivery of the buffaloes had arrived, and a round-up party of forty Indians, dressed in full paint and feathers, and two white men, all on the best thoroughbreds in the valley, owned either by the Indians or the government, gathered at the ranch to participate in ma the buffalo hunt.
“Allard led the small army toward the feeding ground. When the party approached the massive beasts, they were seen to be suspicious, and as we drew near, they lumbered off in a very ungraceful gallop which indicated anything but speed.
But when two of the Indians were directed to give chase and, if possible, cut out a portion of the herd, that the four cows might be selected, the speed of these monsters was fully revealed. The only way that a cut-out could be made was by putting fresh horses on the trail at intervals of an hour or two, and by so doing they finally succeeded in cutting out a bunch by getting them started up. a different ravine than the one chosen by the main herd. This was after eight hours of furious riding that exhausted several relays of horses but apparently did not tire the buffaloes at all. The bunch cut out was constantly pursued until by nightfall they were driven in the nearest, corral, four cows cut out, and the remainder given their freedom.
Long, Hard Chase.
“The following morning, before the sun had peeped over the outline of the mountains, every horseman was in his saddle for the final chase. When the gates of the corral *were thrown open the buffalo rushed out as though inspired by a last determined effort to free themselves from their pursuers.
“Each buffalo took a separate course at full speed, each followed by a group of horsemen. By noon, after six hours of riding, they were farther from the railroad station than when they started, and still apparently fresh.
“By everlastingly sticking at it, the four animals were at last rounded up and started in a diagonal course from, the feed ground to the shipping point. When landed at the station, three days and nights had been required to make the drive.
“The cows were put in car s having trap-doors, where they stayed during the ten-day journey to Luana.
“The buffalo, when running at full speed, keep their heads close to the ground, never turning to the right or left. There is more danger pursuing them from the rear than from any other point, or when they are closely pressed they will plant their forefeet on the ground and swing their hind parts around as though on a pivot, and they have you on their weapons of defense instantly.”
Crossing With Cattle.
“Scotty” Philip, “Buffalo” Jones of Kansas and Charles Goodnight of Texas, are experimenting on a large scale with cattle, or hybrid buffalo. The cattle are more prolific than the bison and. herein lies one of their advantages. The seven-eighths and upwards cross make fine robes and resemble the buffalo to a certain extent, making a fair counterfeit, but they shed the long hair of the foretop, beard, lower mane, and forelegs. Taken on the whole cross with full-blooded cattle Is a failure, for a large percent of the cows miscarry at seven months, and die. In the second place, a herd of the first cross has a resemblance to a bunch of old-fashioned scrub, cattle, brindle, yellow, line-back, pointed-behind, with horns.protruding.in any direction and without a semblance of the buffalo except a little extra size in the forequarters. As they are bred up, they: naturally more nearly, approach the true .species of .buffalo.
Conrad’s Early Experiences.
C.E. Conrad of Kalispell, Mont., who bought the “Widow Allard’s share of the Allard buffaloes, says:
“I came to Montana when a young man in 1868, and for fifteen years lived at Fort Benton, then the shipping entrepot for the entire northwest. I had a line of trading posts throughout Montana and in Canada, and from these, I handled a large portion of the buffalo hides shipped out of the northwest. I have seen millions of buffalo on the plains, and often when passing up and down the Missouri river on steamers, I have been compelled to stop the boat and await the crossing of large herds of buffalo at points selected for fording places. I have placed the forty-seven buffaloes I bought from Mrs. Allard in a 200-acre field one mile from Kalispell.”
Never Thoroughly Tamed.
Mr. Burgess believes that it is impossible to domesticate a buffalo entirely and will make.no attempt to do so.
“I have known of a buffalo captured when a calf and kept tied in a barn for five consecutive years,” he says, “watered from a pail and fed from a box. But his vicious disposition was never subdued so that it was not dangerous to remove old hair in the spring even, with a garden rake. I also knew of a calf kept with tame calves in a box stall, but it fought till it died. I want to correct the popular impression that buffalo ‘wallows* are made by wallowing in the mud. The buffaloes are particularly tormented by flies because they shed in the spring. They roll in the dust to fight them, and this makes.the wallows. They never lie down in the mud.”‘
The Billings Gazette
Billings Montana, Apr 10, 1903
A BUFFALO TRUST.
Will Purchase All Buffalo Not in Government Reservations.
Boston, Mass., April 7.-Pawnee Bill is forming a buffalo trust and says that the tenderfoot of the east will be eating buffalo meat before long. He has just cornered a herd of 288 buffalo and within a few weeks will become owner of all the remaining buffalo outside of government reservations. He has purchased a large stock farm near Kenosha, and will take his buffalo there to breed. He hopes before long to raise enough to begin shipping to Milwaukee, Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Fort Worth and other slaughtering points. A thoroughly sound buffalo is worth, slaughtered, about $1,200 in eastern markets, and he expects to make a fortune raising them for slaughter. He says the far western ranges are no longer suited to raising buffalo, hence his purchase of the Wisconsin land.
The Minneapolis Journal
Minneapolis, Minnesota Apr 23, 1903
PAWNEE BILL’S BUFFALO RANCH
MAJOR GORDON WILLIAM LILLLE PROPOSES TO ROUND UP ALL THE BUFFALO IN THE WORLD SAVE THOSE OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT OR IN THE PUBLIC PARKS.
The first buffalo ranch ever instituted east of the. Mississippi river will soon be opened-by Major Gordon William Lillie, familiarly known as “Pawnee Bill.” who has been buying up buffalo for some time, and who hopes at his spring roundup to own every buffalo in the United States.
The new quarters of these monarchs of the plains, that are so rapidly disappearing, will be located on the historic Daniel Wells farm, in Kenosha, Wis., will cost nearly $1,000,000, and will be fitted up with everything necessary to the successful breeding of these animals in captivity. Over land 600 acres in extent, these precious buffalo will be allowed to roam, and they will be carefully guarded by their natural enemies, the Indians. The little houses on the ranch, which Mr. Wells built for his tenants, still remain and will become the homes of the red men and their squaws, whom Pawnee Bill will bring east with him when he drives his valuable herd to their new quarters. In these modern wigwams, far from the homes of their sires, will live the Cheyennes, the Arapahoes, and the Kiowas.
The getting together of all the buffalo In the United States, and practically all the buffalo in the world, has been no small task, but it is practically completed, and when the trains bring the buffalo and their Indian tenders from the ranches in Oklahoma the entire supply of buffalo which is available for the market will be within a few miles of Milwaukee and Chicago.
For the last few years, government statistics have shown that the buffalo is fast disappearing from the plains. In this entire country to-day the government records show there are but 365 buffalo.
Major Lillie already owns 288 of this number, and before the close of the deal for the removal to Wisconsin, he will have corralled the only other animals not owned by the government or in public parks. Major Lillie on his farm in Oklahoma has a herd of 210 head, at the Goodnight ranch, in Texas, recently purchased by Major Lillie, are seventy-eight head; the Allard herd in Montana has twelve head, the government has placed in its park at Yellowstone thirty-two head; in Lincoln Park, Chicago, are fifteen head; Bronx park, New York, has seven of the prized animals; Golden Gate park, San Francisco, has six; Philadelphia twelve, and Cincinnati four.
It is expected that the deal will be entirely closed up within the next thirty days, and the stock will be shipped to the new home as soon as the rigors of the winter are past and the land has been prepared for their reception. The value of this ranch can scarcely be estimated. At this time a buffalo alive is worth considerable money, but dead it is worth almost as much. A good, firm buffalo, butchered, will bring $1,000 or $1,200 on the market. The pelt is worth $150, the head mounted brings $250, and the meat, when dressed, will bring from $1 to $2 a pound. There is a demand for this meat in Chicago, New York, and the larger cities, and .during the last holiday season twenty-five buffalo were needed to supply the markets in the cities.
As there is absolutely no chance for competition, the trust organized by Major Lillie will certainly have the entire control of the market, and it will be able to regulate the price by the production of the single herd.
Major Lillie is an interesting character. He was not born to life on the plains but was reared in a peaceful, home near Bloomington, Ill. When he was a boy his father took him to Oklahoma and Bill was the hero of the famous raid that followed the opening of the Cherokee strip for settlement. With a single bound he became the leading white man in the new territory, and, having the advantage of a good education, he soon became the interpreter for the government, the teacher in the schools and the “Little Giant” of the west. ‘He founded the town of Pawnee and opened its banks and general stores. He was noted throughout the west as a rider and a shot, and his daring exploits in the opening of the new country were similar to those of Daniel Boone in the opening years of the century.
Iowa City Press Oct 16, 1903
Dakota As Viewed By An Iowan
W.M. Boone and party have returned from a profitable and enjoyable trip to South Dakota.
……They arrived at Blunt, South Dakota, October 7th and on the same morning were taken in carriages over the broad prairie to Onida, and other interesting points.
South Dakota is an immense prairie undulating, restful to the eye and permitting wide views. He who admires quiet tones and pastoral effects- the green carpet of the earth- will linger long over a Dakota scene as it appears in these early autumn days.
One of the greatest natural advantages of this country are the natural gas wells. There are five natural gas and artesian wells in Sully county. This gas is odorless and smokeless. The gas and artesian water come from the one well.
……In the city of Pierre, the capital of the state, the gas is used for illuminating and heating and furnishes the power for the electric light plant and the waterworks.
The party visited the 10,000 acre ranch of Mr. Wadleigh who was a member of the legislature from Clinton County, Iowa, in 1879. Mr. Wadleigh’s home is lighted and heated by the natural gas. The artesian water as it flows from the well at a temperature of 103° is piped through the house and on their western ranch, the Wadleigh’s enjoy all of the modern conveniences of city life.
South Dakota, one of the most pleasant features of the trip was the visit to the buffalo ranch owned by Scotty Phillips.
……The party including ladies and gentlemen of South Dakota sailed up the Missouri River in a launch from Pierre to the buffalo pasture. Mr. Phillips is the owner of the only buffalo herd in existence in captivity on its native soil. The owner took the party in his carriage into the midst of the herd. Ten of these animals have escaped and are roaming the prairies. They have become very ferocious and the Cowboys have been unable to recapture them. Next month Mr. Phillips will give a buffalo hunt the purpose of recapturing these animals. On being asked if Pres. Roosevelt had been invited he replied: “no man is invited, all men are invited.” These buffaloes when killed are to be returned to the owner, who will have them mounted, and will present them to educational institutions.
The Times-Dispatch Nov 1, 1903, Richmond Va Cartoon
Western Kansas World –LOC
WaKeeney, Kansas November 07, 1903
BISON OF TWO CLIMES
American Buffalo’s Tail Indicates Happier Life as to Insects.
Prof. Lucas, curator of paleontology and zoology, recently remarked that in “addition to possessing the finest group of American bison or buffalo in the world, the National Museum was to be congratulate upon the ownership of an unusually fine stuffed and mounted specimen of the European bison, the “aurochs” of the Germans, the wlsent (bison) of the Poles, or the “urus” of Julius Caesar. Tacitus and other ancient Roman writers. This specimen was obtained from the czar of Russia’s game preserve in Lithuania, one of the two places in Europe where the European bison still exists and is a large male. Visitors to the museum, especially those who take an interest in mammals, are thus afforded an opportunity of comparing the American with the European bison and judging of the differences.
Despite the close similarity between the two varieties, the European aurochs or wisent was, the professor said, quite a different animal from its American relative. As a matter of fact, he said, the European bison is a much larger and heavier animal than the American buffalo, although to see one of each variety standing side by side would give one the impression that the American buffalo is the larger of the two on account of the dense masses of hair about the head, shoulders and fore feet of the latter. Yet while this is true, the European bison has a longer and heavier beard than his Occidental cousin. The strangest feature of it all is that while the American buffalo has a short tail, never longer than two feet at the utmost, and with a wisp of hair on the end, the bison of Europe has a long, horse-like switch, profusely haired and touching the ground. In this respect, the European bison resembles the yak of Central Asia, which naturalists regard as a form of mountain bison.
How the European bison came to have a long, hairy tail and the American a short, stubby appendage, is a puzzle difficult for the evolutionists to solve. It must be remembered, however, that the bison of Europe dwelt in the forests and swamps, where there were many insect pests, including mosquitoes, while the American buffalo lived on the open prairies, where the winds were too strong for insects. Consequently, the European bison, having; the more need for a long tail, developed one in the course of time. – Washington Post
The Vermont Watchmen Nov 19 1903
A Western Trip
North Montpelier People Return From a Pleasant Journey
C.S. Bennett, Mrs Blanche Wilson and Liss Flora Wilson, of North Montpelier, arrived in Montpelier early on Monday from the west, where they have been visiting the past two months. They visited C.C. Bennetts, Pierre, South Dakota, with Scotty Phillips of Fort Pierre, and with him the buffalo park out on the plains on the west side of the Missouri River, where Mr. Phillips has 95 head of very fine buffalo inclosed in a 2,000 acre pasture, by strong fence, six and one half feet high. Scotty had a fine team at the park and took his guest all through, among and close to the buffalo, so that they had a good view of them. Mr Phillips is a cowboy of Scotch parentage and is a fine specimen of that noble race. He has nearly 12,000 head of cattle out on the plains west of the “Big Muddy” herded by cowboys. The Indians express their appreciation of the kindness of their genial friend, Scotty Phillips.
……After visiting C.C. Bennett’s family in Pierre, they returned to Marshall, Minn., where his daughter, Mrs. L Coburn lives. She is the mother of Mrs. Wilson and the grand-mother of Miss Flora Wilson. After a few weeks’ visit at L.Coburn’s they came on to Chicago, in which city they spent several days with Mrs Alice Hollister Jones, and family. They visited Armour’s great packing house and stock yards, Lincoln Park, Masonic Temple, Marshall Field’s great store which contains 1,000,000 feet of floor space and 7,000 employees, also the famous Board of Trade building. Chicago and Rock Island station built of granite quarried in Woodbury on Robinson mountain and manufactured by the Hardwick Granite Co., The building is an immense structure of beauty and convenience.
LAST BUFFALO HUNT
The Allentown Leader Pa. Nov 24, 1903
President Roosevelt to be invited to Join South Dakota Party
A Ranchman’s Costly Sport
Herd Will be Turned Loose Into Missouri River Valley and Crack Shots Will Be Forced to Find Their Game
Invitations will be issued this week to what will probably be the last wild buffalo hunt of the United States.
……Scotty Phillips, whose ranch is located 8 miles north of Fort Pierre, South Dakota, who is the owner of next to the largest herd of full blood buffaloes in the United States, is the author of the invitations. President Roosevelt will be invited to become a member of the party, which will be made up of old buffalo hunters and distinguished men of the West. President Roosevelt killed his first Buffalo as the guest of J.A. Ferris of Medora, N.D., and Mr. Ferris will be asked to attend.
……A bunch of the buffaloes is to be turned loose in the Missouri River Valley, and the party will be compelled to find them and run them down, just as if they had always been living in the wild state. The animals have roamed over 1000 acre ranch and their dispositions are quite untamed.
……The Philips heard now consist of 129 head, of which two thirds are full-blooded. The herd is the product of a hunt of over 20 years ago, when Fred Dupree, an old French trader, foresaw the early extermination of the species and started for the little Missouri country to capture a few calves for the purpose of starting a herd. In this hunt he led a band of Indians and mixed bloods, which only accomplished their purpose after a long and dangerous search among the few herds of bison in that country. Only a half a dozen calves were taken alive and from these the present herd has been developed.
……Mr. Dupree held the Buffalo on the Cheyenne River with no greater care than to see that they kept along that stream, up to the time of his death, and in the settlement of the estate none of the numerous heirs cared to take them in his share, so they were sold to Phillips after an ineffectual attempt to dispose of them to the government. One of the bulls of this herd was sold for the show purposes for $1000 so it is evident that Mr. Phillips entertainment will be a lavish one.
……The largest herd of buffaloes in the United States is the property of M. Pablo of the Flathead Indian Reservation of Montana, who has 170 full-blooded animals. He guards his property jealously and no opportunity to hunt them will be given while he is owner. He has but little more than half of the great herd of 320 possessed jointly by Pablo and C Allard before Allard’s death in 1902. This was over a third of all the Buffalo in the world. Which number about 350 at the present time. The Flathead herd demonstrates that reproductive powers of the Buffalo when given proper surroundings. The two men bought seven buffaloes in the spring of 1883 and allowed them their liberty in their fertile Flathead Valley. This is surrounded by mountains, which keeps the buffaloes from wandering away, and kept out marauders. The seven multiplied in 20 years to 330.
……The herd that is next in size to that of Phillips is the property of Charles Goodnight of the Panhandle ranch Texas numbering 75.
When Allard died half of the Flathead herd was divided among his heirs and many of them sold their holdings to CE Conrad of Kalispell Montana, a banker has 37 head of the Flathead herd and Burgess & Hanson of Luana, Ia., have opened a farm with 20 of them.
……“The party will surely have plenty of fun. “says Tom Burgess of Luana, who expects to be one of the hunters. “Anyone thinking that the spirit of the Buffalo can be tamed by putting him inside a big fence is mistaken. I participated in one of the thrilling buffalo hunt, when I purchased some of the animals of the Flathead herd. The Buffalo were running wild, so there was no way of taking them but to run them down.
The date for the delivery of the buffaloes arrived and the Roundup party of 40 Indians, dressed in full paint and feathers, and two white men, mounted on the best thoroughbreds in the Valley, had gathered to the Allard ranch to participate in a real buffalo hunt.
……When all were ready the party, with Allard Junior, in the lead started for the feeding ground. When we approached the massive beast they were seen to be getting suspicious and finally, they lumbered off at an ungraceful gallop that indicated anything but speed. It was when two of the Indians were directed to give chase and if possible cut out a portion of the herd that the cows could be selected from, that the speed of the monsters was shown. The only way a cutoff could be made was to put fresh horses on the trail at intervals of an hour or two, and by so doing they finally succeeded in starting apart of the herd up a different ravine from that taken by the main herd. They were pursued until driven to the nearest corral in the cows purchased were cut out and the remainder given their freedom.
……“The following morning before the sun had peeped over the ridge of the mountains every horseman was in his saddle for the final chase. When the gates were opened the buffaloes rushed out and each took a different course, and each was followed by a party of yelping Indians. By noon they were farther from the railroad then when they started. By keeping everlastingly at it they were finally rounded up and started in a diagonal course from the feeding ground to the shipping point. And when they were, at last, landed three days and nights had been required to make the drive.”
The Semiweekly Billings Gazette
Billings, Mt. Dec 11, 1903
PARK FOR BUFFALOES
Proposal to Use the Wichita Forest Reserve.
GREAT GAME PRESERVE PLANNED Extensive Tract of Mountain Land In Oklahoma Said to Furnish Excellent Haunts For Animals Unaccustomed to Civilization-Climate Well Suited to Buffaloes-Smaller Game to Be Introduced.
To make the Wichita forest reserve in the Wichita mountains of northwestern Comanche county, Okla., a great game preserve, for the purpose primarily of perpetuating the almost extinct American buffalo, once so numerous over this western country, is an interesting project upon which a number of southwestern sportsmen have interested themselves, says the Kansas City Journal. Little is being said about the plans.. The people interested, however, are quietly getting in whatever work they can, creating a sentiment in that direction, and they seem to have hopes of ultimately securing success for the undertaking.
Briefly, it may be explained that in the Wichita hills of southwestern Oklahoma a forest reserve of 58,000 acres was set apart by congress years ago. Since that time this reservation has been utilized only by a few stockmen, whose stock has been running wild over the rough and timbered tract. It furnishes excellent haunts for those animals not accustomed to civilization, and for that reason, if nothing more, it is eminently adapted to become the permanent home of the last remnant of the buffalo. The climate is exactly suited to the animal. Then there is the vegetable growth sufficient to sustain easily a large herd of them. For centuries before the country was settled by whites, no doubt, it was the abode, along with other parts of western America, the buffalo. The sportsmen use this in arguing that there would be no question of the forest reserve’s fitness on score of climatic conditions.
Again, this tract of mountainous land is surrounded by the land possessions of the Kiowas, Comanches, Apaches, and Caddoes. They and the buffalo are old friends. The Indians long ago came to regard the buffalo as almost a part of the Divinity, and it would rejoice the tribes of southwestern Oklahoma to have him returned to that part of the country where only they could, for the sake of olden times, get a glimpse of his rawboned frame, covered by the growth of shaggy hair. It would be scarcely necessary for the whites, according to the belief of those backing the project, to exercise any great vigilance for the protection of the buffaloes in this reserve. The animal, with his almost sacred position among the aborigines, would be safely guarded from the ruthless search of white hunters.
It is a matter of common knowledge that the buffalo is doomed to complete extinction unless the government and a few wealthy stockmen interested in the upbuilding of this animal race take the matter up in proper form. In the Yellowstone park there are a number of buffalo-nobody seems to understand just how many. “Buffalo” Jones of Topeka. Kan., who was made game warden of that park, is supposed to have the figures somewhere about his system, but if so they have not been given any publicity. The conditions in the Yellowstone render easy the possibility of an incursion into the great reserve from adjacent mountains and escape after shooting as many of the animals as desired. But in southwestern Oklahoma, the reservation flanked on every side by the Indian allotments, allotments, whose occupants are ever ready to fight for the preservation of the buffalo, buffalo, this feature would be removed.
Besides the few in the Yellowstone park there is the herd at the Goodnight ranch, Texas, one in Montana. another in Minnesota, possibly a few head in one or two large zoological gardens and the herds of Buffalo Bill and of Pawnee Bill at Pawnee, Okla. These could be gathered together and when not on exhibition those animals belonging to the show people could be placed it the Wichita reserve for wintering and at such other times as might be arranged for the purpose of increasing the number of buffalo.
The Oklahoma sportsmen have investigated the conditions thoroughly and find that at the same time other game could be introduced into this great forest. A few years ago about a dozen pairs of Mongolian pheasants were liberated in Oregon. The birds were of a good type of game fowl. Now they have multiplied to such an extent that all over that section of the state these pheasants are found and are shot, whenever allowable, for food, being much sought in this respect. The pheasant importation scheme for the Wichita reserve is to be encouraged. Already there are deer and antelope, and occasionally a black bear appears in that section of the territory.
Pierre Weekly Free Press Dec 17, 1903, Buffalo Overcoat