Hat Creek Dateline: 1877/04/26
Newspaper editor on stage today
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer
George P. Wallihan, city editor of the "Cheyenne Leader" who writes under the pen name of Rapherty, is on the up coach today. Other notables on the same coach include Gen. Dan Casement, a prominent railroad builder; J. M. Studebaker of Studebaker Brothers, the nation's largest wagon builders; G. W. French, secretary of Wyoming territory; Judges Whitehead and McLaughlin; northern diversion superintendent for the stage line, John Featherstun; and G. M. Brown.
Reporting from Hat Creek Station, Wallihan said that all of them had camped out before and all were "enjoying themselves splendidly." He continued, that they had tried to do justice to the excellent meals furnished at the stations.
In a lighter vein, Rapherty reported that, "Judge McLaughlin is developing an alarming appetite for pie; Dan Casement flirts with all of the pretty girls he sees along the road; Studebaker and Judge Whitehead devote their entire attention to caring for our female freight. Brown has taken charge of a 50-pound sack of ginger snaps which were dropped by some careless pilgrim; while John Featherstun, division superintendent, who joined us at Fort Laramie, and your correspondent, both armed to the teeth ride 'ontop' and keep vigilant watch over the outfit."
For the first few weeks the roads between Custer City and Deadwood Gulch have been reported to be in a condition "better calculated for rafting than staging." This condition brought about by spring snows melting and the frost going out of the ground was made even worse with 19 inches of snow fell the week before last. This late snow melted quickly and turned the northern roads into "one long slough."
It has been a daily occurrence over the worst parts of the road for passengers to dismount and choose footing on the hillsides, while the stage driver urges his horses to plod through mud than seems to be bottomless in some places.
Gilmer and Salisbury, two of the owners of the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage line, have just reopened the Western Stage Line, from Sidney, Neb., to the Black Hills. They had bought out the interest of one of its partners, Jim Stephenson, (Modoe Jim) in March. They have transferred some of their stages and other equipment from Montana and Utah to the new line. Daily passenger service is now established on the Sidney route to the Hills, this should relieve some of the congestion on the Cheyenne route.
(Information source: "The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Routes," by Agnes Wright Spring.)