Chaps, Spurs, & Short Grass | TSLN.com

Chaps, Spurs, & Short Grass

Father liked the Horsehead country but decided to go on to "Scoop Town", now Sturgis, where mother's sister lived. He and Ed Crane, who had a six-mule team and two wagons, freighted from Fort Meade to Deadwood until late that fall, when we came back to Horsehead. Father bought the improvements, consisting mostly of a dugout, from a man by the name of Garrison. That was our home for over two years. We were really comfortable in it as it was warm in winter and cool in summer. There was a large elm tree in the yard, which still [1959] stands there on the place now owned by Gene Roll.

My youngest sister Ethel had a little trouble with that tree one day. She climbed up about fifteen feet, then was afraid to come down. As Father was there to catch her if she fell, he decided to help her with a few taps of his buggy whip on her bare legs, and she came down without any trouble.

The spring of 1887 we went back to Scoop Town and Father and Ed again freighted the same as before. Crane was a good 'buddy', always saying, if things went wrong, "Never mind, we'll live on canned cherries next trip." We stayed there until fall, then came back to Horsehead.

On our way home we were camped on Lame Johnny Hill close to where the notorious 'Lame Johnny' was hung a few years before. Father thought it was time I was learning to be a 'cowboy' and put me on Pet. She started down to where the mules and the bell mare Jewel were grazing. Everything was going fine until I saw the quirt which was hanging on the saddlehorn. One lick and she went into high and I rolled off on my head, which was lucky as it didn't hurt me any, but mother wasn't on speaking terms with father for a while and I wasn't allowed to ride for some time.

At this time the following settlers were living on Horsehead: Commencing about two miles from where it ran into the Cheyenne River was James Shepard, a bachelor who ran a road house for some time. Then Uncle Jake Bingham, a bachelor at that time but later married and had one son, Loren. Next was W.L.Judkins who at this time was foreman for the Z Bell located on Slate Draw. Then Enoch Jones, an Englishman and Civil War Veteran who had three daughters; one married Abe Wilson, Lucinda who married Will Henderson and Florence who married Joe Wiehl and lives in Hot Springs at this time [1959]. Then Uncle Jack Bean who had two daughters, Gladys the wife of W.L. Judkins or 'Yank' as he was known, who was Clerk of Courts of Fall River County for two terms after leaving the Z Bell; and Mattie, the wife of C.B. West or 'Shorty', of which more will be said later on. Uncle Jack Bean also raised a girl, Mertie Richardson, who later married George Marty.