Hat Creek Dateline: 1880/01/15
Unusual weather encountered
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer
The Cheyenne to Black Hills coaches have continued to run on schedule, however they have experienced some very unusual weather recently. The down coach to Cheyenne a few days ago faced one of the worst winds on record in the Cheyenne area. The "Breeze" blew at 62 miles per hour and filled the air with dust and small pebbles.
It blew down chimneys, tore away wooden awnings, felled fences, and sent large dry goods boxes scurrying along the streets in Cheyenne.
A few days before Christmas, the Deadwood coach experienced a Chinook that raised the temperature 47 degrees in only two hours. The snow and ice that had been crunching beneath the iron tires of the coach a five degrees below zero was suddenly turned to splashing slush by the warm winds in the vicinity of Lead City.
In Cheyenne, 1879 was ushered out and the new year welcomed in with "a little random shooting on the streets and some more not so random." But it was reported that no particular harm was done. The celebrations were not nearly as festive as last year.
On New Year's Day Governor and Mrs. Hoyt, as well as "Mrs. General Merritt at Fort Russell" entertained guests at home.
Charles E. Partridge, telegraph operator at Hat Creek Station, shared the following information from the annual report of the Cheyenne and Black Hills Telegraph Line: There were 17500 paid messages and 900,000 words of press dispatches transmitted over the wires from Deadwood last year. This line connects with the Western Union line at Fort Laramie.
Within the last year O.J. Salisbury (brother of Monroe Salisbury) and Jack Gilmer, part-owner of the Cheyenne to Black Hills Stage Line, have invested heavily in mines in the Hills. Salisbury has been elected president of the First National Bank of Deadwood.
He is also a substantial stockholder in the First National Bank of Lead. Salisbury is an excellent banker, the type that "directs" with firm decisions and close scrutiny of the affairs at hand.
A little over a decade ago Monroe Salisbury and Jack Gilmer started as partners in the stage business in Utah. They are now one of the most powerful corporations in the west. Gilmer, Salisbury & Co. (owners of the Cheyenne to Black Hills Stage Line) now have more than 5,00 miles of daily stage lines in operation. They use between 6,000 and 7,000 horses to pull these coaches.
Their monthly payroll is said to be large enough to come pretty near running the Unites States' government, under John Adams' administrations.