Historical Details

Hat Creek Dateline: 1882/05/15

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 06/17/1992

Guernsey stops on way to 999 Ranch
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer

Charles A. Guernsey came through today on his way from Cheyenne to the 999 Ranch. After their beef drive to Ogallala, Neb., last fall, Guernsey has spent the winter with family and friends in New York and Connecticut. Prior to this time all of his 200 mile trips to and from Cheyenne have been horseback. He is now proudly driving a nice light team pulling his new buckboard. We will probably see quite a bit of this outfit during the summer.

The spring roundup will be starting in about three weeks. As superintendent of the 999, Guernsey's arrival at this time is to see to it that everything is in readiness for the roundup.

On the trail from the 999 to Ogallala last fall, Guernsey thought it was interesting to overhear the boys speculate as to who would be taken along on the railroad ride to Chicago, and what they would do while there. Harry Dougherty said "you will see me wearing boots so fine you can see the wrinkles in my socks." All of them intended to remain in Chicago and "paint the town red" for 10 days or two weeks or until their summers wages were gone.

On the railroad trip from Ogallala to Chicago, Guernsey and three cowboys went along. They had prod poles and lanterns and rode in the caboose. At each coal and water stop the train made they would inspect the 22 cars and see how well the cattle were riding. If any were down, the "cowpokes" would poke them with the poles and try to get them on their feet.

On the long slow runs of 20 to 40 hours it was sometimes necessary to pull onto an emergency siding and unload a car on account of cattle down and being trampled upon. Some of them were left behind to be killed or shipped later.

After five days they arrived at the Chicago stockyards at about 2 a.m. and checked in at the Transit House for the balance of the night. By 11 the cattle had been sold, at noon Guernsey and the cowboys went downtown via the horse streetcar line. Guernsey went to the Grand Pacific, "the" resort for cattlemen, while the boys continued to begin "painting the town red."

Late that night the boys returned by horse car to the Transit House to sleep in the more natural atmosphere. The following day when Guernsey returned to the hotel about noon the three boys were waiting and said, "These canyons are too deep and long and too many of us; if you will get our return transportation, we will take the train back to Wyoming tonight." Thus much "paint" and money were saved.

One of Guernsey's friends in Bridgeport, Conn., is an agent for a big life insurance company. At the friend's request, Guernsey applied for a policy, passed the required medical examination, and gave his address as Hat Creek, Territory of Wyoming. When then the application reached the company headquarters in Hartford, Conn., it was returned with a statement to the affect that they did not issue insurance to parties living in uncivilized parts of the United States.

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