John Sublette

(March 5, 1840 - October 3, 1928)

The Lusk Herald
January 31, 1929

John Sublette, Pioneer, One of First in State

Wyoming Pioneer Had a Most Colorful Life; Died Recently at the Age of 88 Years

(by J. M. Johnson)
HANNA, WYO. - John Sublette, 88, who died recently at his home near Elk Mountain, was one of the earliest settlers in the region which years after his arrival came to be designated Wyoming. He was a resident of this region for 65 years.

Mr. Sublette was born in Platte county, Missouri, March 5, 1840. When he was 23 years old he came west with Robert Foote and engaged in freighting with oxen from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to Fort Laramie, then in the territory of Dakota.

In the year 1868 he was married to Miss Annie Mosier, to which union was born 14 children, of which three sons, Walter Sublette of Elk Mountain, Charles Sublette of Denver, Colorado, and John Sublette of Craig, Colorado, and four daughters, Mrs. L. C. Haines and Mrs. D. C. Kelly of Elk Mountain, and Mrs. H. C. Burt and Mrs. H. C. Ohl of Denver, Colo., survive him. He died on October 3 and funeral services were held at his home, October 7, the writer, pastor of M.E. Church at Hanna, presiding. Interment was made in the private cemetery situated under the pines near the home deceased had occupied for 45 years, and in which his bereaved family was born and reared. His remains were borne from his home to their last resting place by the following old-time friends, some of whom he had known from childhood: Wm. Richardson, John Miliken, Charles Paulson, C. Hastings, John Quealy and T. H. Butler.

Mr. Sublette in his youth acted as a scout for the government, at a time when Wyoming was thickly inhabited by Indians, and took part in numerous battles between the Indians and soldiers, and played a very important part in protecting the men composing the construction party, when surveying and building the Union Pacific railroad.

Deceased also cut cord wood and hauled same with ox teams for use of old Fort Halleck, and also for use of the construction parties in connection with the building of the railroad.

White Horse canyon between Walcott and Fort Steele, through which the present Lincoln highway runs, was named by Mr. Sublette, on account of a companion on a hunting expedition mistaking a white horse for a deer and shooting it. Mr. Sublette was also responsible for the naming of Bloody Lake, a small lake situated midway between Hanna and the village of Elk Mountain. Following an uprising and battle in which a number of soldiers and civilians were killed, and in which battle Mr. Sublette took part, he remarked that it was a bloody lake, for the reason that the water was colored by the blood of those slain, and the name remains to this day. Mr. Sublette hauled timber with ox teams from the vicinity of his homestead, on which he spent the greater part of his life, for use in the mines at old Carbon, and the writer well remembers him and his companion had on the heavy timber wagons, propelled by slow moving oxen through the town of Carbon, bound for the forest, there to be loaded with timber for the mines.

With the advent of the railroad, and better transportation facilities, the country became more thickly settled, and the ox teams became a matter of history, and Mr. Sublette, with other early pioneers, laid away the rifle and six-shooter, and made use of the axe and plow, and the land was cultivated and homes built, and Mr. Sublette lived to see the country he had suffered hardships and privations for change from a desert to a land of milk and honey, where cattle and sheep replace the buffalo, elk and deer, and happy, prosperous and contented people replace the redskin, soldiers and scouts.

Mr. Sublette was of a kind and lovable disposition, always eager and ready to assist his fellow men, and believed that happiness was gained only by making others happy, and on account of his charitable disposition and fair dealing, he was honored and respected by all who was fortunate enough to have known him.

Having lived an honorable and useful life, and having been a kind, loving husband and father, a true friend and good citizen, it may be sincerely said that the world is better for him having lived in it.

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