Thorp purchases Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage Line
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer
Russell Thorp has purchased the Cheyenne to Black Hills Stage Company. To announce the purchase, the following notice appeared in the Cheyenne Daily Leader:
Notice: Gilmer, Salisbury & Co., having this day sold the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage Line to Russell Thorp, request that any person owing them will call at their office in Cheyenne, and settle at once. All accounts against the late firm will be settled at once on presentation to Luke Voorhees.
May 15, 1883 Gilmer, Salisbury & Co.
Gilmer and Salisbury will now devote their attention to their extensive mining and staging interests in Montana and Idaho. They have established stage routes from the terminal station of the Northern Pacific Railroad to many towns and mining camps. These routes enable the towns to form through connections to St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Lusk Voorhees will no longer be in the Black Hills stage business. He will oversee the operation of the Lusk Voorhees Cattle Company. The ranch headquarters of the company will be the old "Bluffs" stage station on the Raw Hide to Horsehead trail. This is located about 15 miles east of the Running Water stage station, his 1300 head of cattle are wearing the LZ brand.
Fearless, vigorous and aggressive as superintendent of the stage line, Luke Voorhees has kept their wheel rolling for the last seven years. In turning the reins of the Cheyenne to Black Hills stage line over to Russell Thorp, Voorhees is giving them to a most worthy successor. Thorp is indeed a man widely experienced in stage line management and thoroughly schooled in the ways of the west.
In 1882 Thorp had become superintendent of a stage line from Tie Siding (south of Laramie City) to North Park, Colo. This line to the new Colorado mining district was owned by Patrick Brothers.
The Raw Hide Ranch and Stage Station have been extensively improved by Thorp since he purchased them last November. Even though heavy snow hindered travel much of the winter, a force of carpenters from Cheyenne have completed the work on the residence and store.
Mrs. Thorp and Russell Jr. have joined him at Raw Hide and the meals prepared at the stage station by their Chinese cook (Firday) will be long remembered by many travelers.
Problems are always present in operating a stage line, within the last week heavy rains between Fort Laramie and Cheyenne have done much damage to the trail. Bridges were washed away at Horse Creek and Kelly's Ranch, approaches to bridges were damaged at Pole Creek and Hunton's Ranch where the Chugwater Creek was 100 yards wide.
(Information sources: "The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Routes," by Agnes Wright Springs; "Wyoming Annals 1923," by Frank Lusk.)