The Daily Deadwood Pioneer Times
Deadwood South Dakota June 2, 1916
At Wind Cave National park the government has set aside a big game preserve. Here is one of the largest herds of bison in the country, and many elk and antelope. Adjoining the government preserve is a state preserve set aside by South Dakota. The state preserve consists of more than 40,000 acres and contains a larger herd of bison and more elk and antelope than the government preserve.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania June 18, 1916
“Pawnee Bill,” Soon to Exhibit Here, Writes of American Animal
By Maj. Gordon W. Lillie. (“Pawnee Bill.”)
Whose Wild West Show Opens at Kennywood Park, July 3.
Pawnee, Okla. June 17.
It seems difficult to realize that today there are only a few hundred buffalo In this country when less than a generation ago there were millions. Millions is but an estimated number, for no man can tell within thousands of the countless numbers that roamed the plains. No one at that time would dream for a minute of their ultimate destruction, but it is closer that the casual student of history is aware. It was not until a quarter of a century ago that the buffalo’s extinction was predicted, and then and since then, every attempt to have the government legislate for their protection has been fruitless. To the westward march of progress the blame has been laid by the people most charitably inclined, and while the population of the far west may, to a degree, be censured, it cannot be entirely held accountable.
It is, in the main, the failure of congress to properly legislate for the buffalo’s protection. Had the government interceded in time and legislated so that the buffalo would have been protected as they deserve, the Indians, who are today being fed and clothed at the people’s, expense, could have lived independent of the government’s assistance. What has been shamefully neglected in the past may even at the eleventh hour be remedied, and the present sixty-fourth congress accomplish what his predecessors failed to accomplish. With the assistance of Congressman Maguire of Oklahoma, I prepared a bill which was introduced for the consideration of congressmen, asking that immediate steps be taken to perpetuate this purely American, animal. No individual can accomplish this as the task is too gigantic. It can only be done by a united effort on the part of the government and the owners of the few remaining buffaloes. The government has a small bunch of buffalo in Yellowstone park, but this herd is not multiplying rapidly enough to insure the propagation of the buffalo with any certainty.
NOT RAPID BREEDERS.
When it is known that only 20 per cent of the existing buffalo are cows and that a buffalo cow calves only every two years, the difficulty to be contended with in present-day perpetuation is only too apparent. The bill introduced carried with it an appropriation for the purchase of pure blooded buffalo, the purchasing of a ranch far removed from civilization, the fencing of the same and an appropriation for its maintenance.
Buffalo do not thrive when surrounded by civilization. They multiply better when turned out winter and summer alike, as nature intended they should be. A buffalo calf will survive a blizzard that would mean death to the toughest of ranch cattle, and buffalo will feed in the deepest snow, through which ranch cattle would not be able to move. Nature has taught them to defy the winter, and provided them with a coat of sufficient warmth to keep them from suffering from the cold, no matter to what degree it may exist. They thrived before the click of the hammer and the buzz of the saw was heard on their prairie home, and if the opportunity is given them now they will thrive and multiply again.
It is my intention to donate my herd of pure-blooded buffalo to the government and, from my experience with buffalo on my ranch at Pawnee, Okla., I am convinced that by assembling all the majority of pure-blooded buffalo that their propagation can be had and the total extinction of the American bison prevented. In writing of the many failures of the government to legislate for the protection of the buffalo, William T. Hornaday, of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C, writes: “The failure of all these well-meant efforts was due to our republican form of government. Had this government been a monarchy, the buffalo would have been protected, but unfortunately in this case, perhaps the only one on record wherein a king could accomplish more than the representative of the people the necessary act of congress was so badgered and beset by obstacles that it never became an established fact, even when both houses of congress succeeded in passing a suitable act on June 23, 1874. It went to the President in the last days of the session, only to be pigeon-holed and die a natural death.”
ONLY FEW PURE BUFFALO.
Outside of the government herd in Yellowstone park and my own herd on my ranch at Pawnee, Okla., not including those in zoological gardens, the only pure-blooded buffalo in existence can be found in the following herds: C E. Conrad’s, at Kalispell, Mont. This herd is permitted to wander as it pleases in the mountains and valley, in which the forage is abundant. This herd is gradually increasing. Frank Rockefeller owns a good herd at, Luana, la., but they are captives and are decreasing rather than multiplying.
This was part of a herd of the tribe of the Flathead Indian reservation owned by Mr. Pablo and Charles Allard. When Allard died the herd was divided among his heirs and later purchased by two cattlemen, Hansen and Burgess, who intended to breed for profit. Their attempt was a failure and they sold out to Frank Rockefeller. At one time the Pablo-Allard herd consisted of 320 head, more than one-third of all the pure-blooded buffalo in the world. James Phillips, who is known all over the western range as “Scotty” Phillips, has a heard on a range near Ft. Pierre, S. D., and it is thriving. There are nearly 50 head in the bunch. This herd is the product of a hunt over 20 years ago. Fred Dupree, an old French trapper, foresaw the early extermination of the buffalo and started for the Little Missouri country to capture a few calves for the purpose of raising a herd. When Dupree died “Scotty” Phillips purchased the buffalo, which had been raised in the Cheyenne river valley and cared for by the old French trapper.
The Wichita Daily Eagle
Wichita Kansas Aug 27, 1916
CORRECTS MYTHS ON BUFFALO
G. W. Brown, Ex- Hunter – of Kansas, Says They Didn’t Halt Wagons As Reported. THEY ALWAYS GAVE WIDE BERTH HIM
Neither Did They Run Into Storm But Rather Turned Tails and Fled From It.
Now that the American bison has been swept from the face of the earth as a wild animal. G. W. Brown, of Cushing, Okla., an admirer of The Eagle and at one time a famous buffalo hunter believes that the tales of the few hunters left should be collected and saved for future generations. Mr. Brown is not given to reciting his experiences but stretched a point for The Eagle. He says that the Smoky Hill country in Kansas was the best place for buffalo hunting he knew about in his time. In a reminiscent mood the other day the plainsman penned some of his experiences and for a plainsman to sit down in writing bits of his life’s history is indeed a treat to the city-bred and present-day folk. His story follows:
“I killed my first buffalo at a place called Russell Springs, a little spring creek that put into the Smoky Hill river from the north, about twenty- five miles east of Fort Wallace, on the old Santa Fe trail. It was considered very dangerous for a man to go over a mile from one of the United States forts because the Indians were not to be trusted. We buffalo hunters were the first to venture any distance off the east and west trails.
“The country was new and rough, making it necessary for a man who started on a hunting trip to make his own trail across the prairies. When we left one watering spot, we never knew just how far we might have to travel before we could locate another. A buffalo hunter has to go where the buffalo are and he must know the country pretty well before he can do this. Old plainsmen tell wonderful tales about the buffalo being so thick that they would have to stop their wagons to let them pass. These tales are not true if my experiences with the big game can be taken as a fair test of how plentiful the game was. I have never seen a buffalo fail to give white men the right of way.
We had to learn to shoot them at long range. There was a long time that we made very little money from our hunting because we had not yet learned how to kill the game and handle the hides. In the year 1871, I hunted all winter at a station on the old Kansas Pacific railroad about twenty-five miles west of Fort Hayes. Here I could get up in the mornings and find .buffalo within a few yards of our door, rubbing themselves against a telephone pole.
‘We used to sell our buffalo meat at Fort Wallace for three cents a pound, but the weather got so warm that we had to give up handling the meat. We skinned the animals and shipped the hides to Leavenworth. These hides “brought us anywhere from $1.50 to $2.00 each. Later on, the hides became more valuable, when they started using them as robes and for leather. It was about 1877 before the white men learned to tan the hides, and by this time the game was more than two-thirds gone. The big herd that I was hunting in was called the north herd. It roamed from the Missouri river as far south as the Smoky Hill river.
“One time I saw the buffalo so thick that I could hardly see the ground for them. Around the outside of the herd, the bulls were stationed. I was very anxious to kill a fat cow, so I got down on my hands and knees and crawled about 200 yards. The buffalo came up on all sides of me until I was able to get a shot at a fat cow. When I shot, the herd ran and the ground under me trembled and shook, there were so man running by me.
“I have seen buffalo, during a blizzard turn tail and run with the wind. Some writers claim that buffalo always ran against a storm but this is not true to my knowledge of the animals. They travel with storms.
“I killed my last buffalo in the year I 1884 in the southwest corner of Kansas, about three miles from a point of rock on the south side of the Cimarron river.”
The Washington Post, October 22, 1916
HUNTED BUFFALO AS IN THE OLD DAYS
Indians on a Texas Ranch Used Bow and Spear
……For a brief interval time turned backward a good 50 years at the big Goodnight ranch in the Texas Panhandle a few days ago, says the Kansas City Star. Once again rang out the triumphant whoop of the Indian as he prodded his cayuse in pursuit of a buffalo: again a flint barbed arrow whistled through the air and sank deep into the flesh of the fleeing animal. And the successful hunter raised his bow high in the air-the olden signal to the women of the camp that the slain game awaited their preparation for the feast.
……It was like the brief cut-in of a moving picture film, for scarcely had the buffalo lurched forward in its death agony before the click of cameras, the honk of motor horns and the put-put of motorcycles sounded. The year 1916 had come back into its own.
……This momentary show of what was once the common life of the plains was staged by Col. Charles Goodnight, owner of the ranch and widely known as a stockman. He planned to reproduce a buffalo hunt as nearly as possible like those before the white man’s rule of the plains began. One of his requirements was that the animal should be shot with bow and arrow. And there the colonel met trouble. He discovered that few of the redskins of the present day could handle a bow. Finally he found four among the Kiowas who were familiar with the old-time Indian weapons.
George Hunt, the son of a chief, but who prefers to be known as the United States district farmer for the Kiowa agency, was one. The others were Horse, Kiowa George and Luther Sahmont, all well past the half-century mark. Despite their age all can ride a horse in the easy fashion of the plains Indian. All, too, can remember the days when the Indians roamed the plains in untrammeled freedom and when the buffalo afforded a daily part of the menu of the camps.
The Goodnight ranch lies in what was once the Kiowa country, but from which the tribe has long been exiled. Hill and arroyo alike were familiar to the four hunters, who were given an opportunity to live over the days long gone.
Horse Fired Fatal Arrow.
……The news of the hunt had spread far, in the little town of Goodnight was well crowded with visitors on the day set for it. Covered wagons jostled touring car, and spurred and booted cowboy rode alongside sputtering motorcycle. The whole Panhandle country seem to have taken a day off. In an arena half a mile square was formed, bordered on three sides by motor cars packed as closely together as they could stand.
……Into this inclosure was led the doomed buffalo. It was a six-year-old cow, one of the herd of 250 on the Goodnight ranch. It was a pugnacious animal, as the Indians had found when they helped to corral it the day before. As a precautionary measure, lest the animal should get away from the hunters, a man with a loaded high-power rifle road with the Indians.
At a given signal the redskins rode into the arena. His long hair streamed down the shoulders of the oldest of the hunters; the others had to recently patronize the white man’s barber. They wore nearly the garb of the old, free days as convention would permit. There were no saddles on their ponies.
……Led by Horse, they road in triangular formation toward the buffalo. As they approached, almost simultaneously, they drew back their bows and discharged the arrows. One Pierce the buffaloes body, driving almost entirely through it. The cows stumbled upon its knees, sought vainly to arise, then toppled over, dying. It was generally conceded the death-dealing arrow was shot by Horse, oldest of the hunters.
Frontier Days Recalled.
After the killing a reception was held by Col. And Mrs. Goodnight, and many were the stories of frontier days were told.
The buffalo was dressed and it’s meat served at a big feast. More than 100 guest were present at the dinner.
Col. Goodnight settled in the Panhandle country in 1876, he and his partner taking up half a million acres of land. In 1880, noting the rapid extinction of the buffalo, Col. Goodnight determined to save a few of the specimens. He captured three animals then, and his herd has slowly increased till it now numbers 250.
He has succeeded in crossing the buffalo with ordinary cattle, and has a herd of what he terms cattalo, which he greatly prizes.
The Wellington Daily News, Oct 26 1916
……On his ranch near Goodnight, a rail way station in northwestern Texas, Charles Goodnight has 148 buffalo and 35 cattalo, the latter being a cross between the wild buffalo and the domestic Poll-Angus cattle. It was upon the suggestion of Mrs. Goodnight that Colonel Goodnight began to save a stock of the original buffalo. This was in 1878. The race of bison had begun to lessen, by the murderous slaughter which the government permitted, and it occurred to Mrs. Goodnight that a herd of them should be saved for the benefit of science. Accordingly, Colonel Goodnight, thinking well of the idea, captured one male and three heifer calves, and from this stock sprang an important station for breeding wild buffalo and the cross of the wild and domestic. From this stock, he has sold $20,000 worth of the wild buffalo to national, municipal and private parks.
……Colonel Goodnight, now quite an old man, is much gratified by the results of his experiment. Recently he said: “I have been able to produce in the breed the extra rib of the buffalo, making fourteen on each side, while ordinary cattle have only thirteen ribs on each side. They make a larger and hardier animal, require less feed, and longer lived, and will cut a greater percent of net meat than any breed of cattle. No one knows how long a buffalo will live. I have had a buffalo cow more than twenty-eight years old which produced a calf. The cattaloes are a decided success. They will carry their young and make beef at any season of the year. They do well in the extreme south, or far north, and I believe it will only be a matter of time until they will be used on all the western ranges.”
……The buffalo, and the cattalo as well never drifts with a storm, and, knowing the road home, goes there in the face of the worst blizzard. The buffalo has better manners than the domestic animal. For example, the buffalo does not muddy the water of a pool or stream when it drinks, stepping up to the edge of the water only, and never stepping in. Buffalo and domestic cattle will not mix in the same herd or be at all neighborly unless grown up together from calfhood.
The Wichita Daily Eagle
Wichita, Kansas Nov 28 1916
Getting Early Wichita History Straightened Out
The author of the following, Kos Harris, attorney, spent a year or more collecting data. He believes that those who want to preserve a true account of the first settlement in Wichita will find his effort of much value.
The preservation of the past for the amusement of the present and the information of the future is, to my mind, the duty of this generation. As the years go by the difficulty of proving a fact is tedious and unsatisfactory work and often is fruitless. The historian who hunts for facts hundreds of years old has a task, when we of Wichita, in our own generation, hardly obtain the facts to demonstrate things and places which should be within the recollection of men yet living.
“After we left Wichita we followed the Chisholm trail and located our camp on a tributary of the North Canadian river and built a cabin. We moved our goods to the Indian camps in small lots, so we could trade sooner and get back to our own headquarters for the reason that too many goods taken out to the Indian camps made the thing drag along. When we reached a camp of Indians we always had to give them a feast and sometimes this lasted for days before we could get them into a trading notion.
“We made several trips to the Indian camps from our headquarters and bartered off our goods and left for Kansas in the following March.
“Our goods on the home trip which we received was about fifteen hundred buffalo robes, and by the way, these were the best lot of buffalo robes we ever got. We also got some small furs and twenty-seven head of mules. Our success was mainly due to the fact that Greiffenstein’s wife, at that time, was “Cheyenne Jennie,” who was a good interpreter, as well as being an Indian. She was the best Indian I ever saw or met.”
“Let me say here that the Cheyennes, Arapahoes and Comanchees furnished the best robes of any of the Indian tribes. This was accounted for, for the reason that they hunt the buffalo when the fur is at its best and their squaws had a way of dressing the buffalo hides that left the robes as soft and as pliable as buckskin, whereas all the other robes we ever bought of the Osages and Kaws were more like sowskln and always had to be redressed.
The tribes of the North country, such as the Sioux, furnished many robes, but the buffalo went South in the fall before the fur was at its best and on their return in the spring, you would find the robes tinged with yellow and commencing to shed, whereas down in the Territory, we found buffalo robes in the best condition.
We also found game in abundance and I do not remember at any time that we did not have antelope, deer, wild turkey and buffalo, while on our way up the Chisholm trail to the Cowskin.
“As we came back some of our mules got away, which delayed us for some days and. in “rounding up these mules, we ran entirely out of any kind of provisions and the last three days before we got to the Arkansas River, the only thing we had was corn, which we parched and which was intended for the wagon mules. When we reached the Cowskin we were a tired, job-lot of hungry men.”
“The first man we met, as we returned, returned, was “Doc” A. J. Greenway. who used to live at the corner of Main and Greenway, now called Kellogg street. Doc was part Indian. He had a nice string of fish, which we bought from him.”
“During our absence Luke Ledrick and E. H. Durfee, under the firm name of Ledrick & Durfee, had built a stockade 25×100 feet. The front of this stockade was a store house for Indian trading goods and the __ which ran back about 50 feet, was used as a residence and. sleeping rooms. ALL OF THIS WAS LOCATED ON OR NEAR THE RESIDENCE OF W C. WOODMAN ON WACO STREET. .We went to this stockade and found goods and found these parties looking for customers.”
“The next year the ‘Indians were not only at war amongst themselves, but were having more or less trouble with the United States government and the whites, and the result was no one got any buffalo hides, except a few that were brought in by hunters, the Indians having abandoned the buffalo hunting and thinking about war.”
“So far as I now recollect,” the ; buffalo seemed to disappear about this time and the Indians were out of a job.
By the way, at that time, it took a man of some nerve to go out on the open plains, or down into the Indian Territory to get any buffalo, as the Indians were on the war path. “At this time, it was reported that the buffalo were farther North and West and up on the line of what was the old K. P. railroad. There were a good many hunters, however, who came from the East to look over the West, at that time, and they arrived at Wichita, Larned or Dodge City and waited until they could get hold of some man who would would be a good scout or guide.
“I remember that Wild Bill at that time, had a lot of followers around him and a bunch of broncoes and he was employed as a guide at a salary. The hunters outfitted themselves well and the caravans moved on to the buffalo hunting grounds. The guide went ahead to look out for both Indians and buffalo. About this time, they commenced to use “field glasses.” Prior to that time, we had only a few, and they were not good or strong. After we got new field glasses, however, it was much easier to hunt than before.
“I remember one morning, when we were out, we had a good field glass and discovered a large herd of buffalo, lying down. Between the buffalo and where we were we discovered what we thought, and what proved to be a ravine. We got there, tethered our horses and our hunters scattered themselves in parties and crept up the ravine within about forty to one hundred yards of the buffalo.
After the first fire of the guns, the buffalo jumped to their feet, stood perhaps a second or two in a dazed condition and stampeded, leaving the dead on the ground. It never seemed to me there was very much glory in killing these fine buffalo, simply for the hide and rump and leaving the balance on the plains for the coyotes and wolves to eat.
“Subsequently, when the K. P. road was built, there were many hunters, and the buffalo then became a thing of the past.
“The Indians hunted buffalo on horse back and had good fleet ponies and notwithstanding a good deal has been said to the contrary, there were a great many of these Indians who were very good shots.