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Current Newspaper, Carlsbad, New Mexico
February 13, 1896Frontier Pharmacy

Catnip – The leaves can be made into a tea and fed to babies with colic.

Chicory – Young leaves can be eaten as a spring green and the roots dried and roasted as a coffee substitute.

Dandelion – The leaves and small flower buds are a sought-after spring green. Dried and roasted roots make a coffee substitute. Can also be used as a remedy for dropsy.

Goldenrod – The flowers can be used for dying yarn. The leaves can be made into tea for nausea.

Milkweed – The “fluff” from this plant makes a great stuffing for mattresses and pillows. The leaves can be used to make chair seats; shoots, roots, and young lower buds are all edible.

Red Raspberry – The leaves can be dried and made into a tea for dysentery, to ease childbirth pains and as a wash for sores.

Rose Hips – Tea made from these berries can be used as a treatment for scurvy.

Sassafras – The inner bark of the roots can be boiled in water for a spring tonic and as a beverage with meals.

Willow – The inner bark can be used to make tea for reducing fever.


Pearl Grey was born on January 31, 1872. He was a talented baseball player, and played for the University of Pennsylvania while getting a degree in dentistry.  Pearl was scheduled to follow in his father’s footsteps as a dentist.  Looking for excitement, he played some semi-pro baseball.  But that didn’t satisfy his need.Zane Grey Picture

Incidentally, Pearl never liked his first name, which was thought by everyone to be a woman’s name.  So he decided to change it to his mother’s maiden name, Zane.

Pearl, or as we know him now, Zane Grey never wanted to be a dentist.  He wanted to be a writer.  His first novel was a forgettable one about one of his ancestors.  But his life was changed when in 1908 he met Colonel C. J. “Buffalo” Jones.  Buffalo Jones convinced Zane to write his biography.  So Zane could get a feel of the atmosphere of Buffalo Jones’ life, Jones took the 36-year-old writer out west.

While out west, Zane Grey experienced the excitement of the west, like roping mountain lions.  Grey was fascinated with the people and landscape.  The biography of Jones, “The Last of the Plainsmen” was completed that same year.
  Although it got little attention, Zane Grey had found his calling.

About four years later Zane Grey published a novel that gained him lasting fame…Riders of the Purple Sage.  This novel was about a weak easterner who became a man because of his exposure to the culture of the West.  It was a theme that Zane would repeat in the almost 80 books he published during a life that lasted 64 years.


On January 24, 184Gold Mining8, John Marshall and John Sutter discovered gold at a sawmill construction site near Sacramento, California.

When James Marshall told Sutter of the gold discovery, his first thought was not of the potential of vast wealth, but of how it would adversely affect an empire he was developing called New Switzerland.

Even though Sutter owned 50,000 acres of land, the mill was on public land.  At that time, California was in the process of being transferred from Mexican to U.S. ownership.  With no government authority, Sutter and Marshall exchanged clothing and other trinkets with local Indians for a lease of land surrounding the site.  Even though they tried to keep the discovery a secret, in no time the whole world knew about it.

As men were panning for gold, Marshall was busy cutting lumber, and Sutter was tending his crops.  Within a year, both of their businesses failed.  Without a clear title, James Marshal was eventually run off the land where the mill was located.

John Sutter’s 50,000 acres came from two Spanish land grants.  One was declared void, and squatters took over the other.

Eventually, both men tried mining for gold.  But they failed.  John Sutter died penniless in 1880…And James Marshall did the same in 1885.

Although Sutter and Marshall, the discoverers of gold, never saw a profit from the discovery, during the first 25 years following the discovery, over 978 million dollars worth of gold was taken from the area of Sutter’s mill.


Solid MuldoonDo you think that rock stars are a creation of modern history?  Not necessarily so.  Back in 1877, the Old West had a rock star.

It was 1877, and Darwin’s theory of evolution was a hot topic of conversation.  To support his theory, in March of that year, a giant petrified man was found in Colorado, along with a petrified turtle and fish.  It was announced by its finders that, “We have found the missing link which Darwin claims connects mankind with the beast creation.  It is certainly the petrified body of a man with a tail.”

It was named “The Solid Muldoon.”  The Solid Muldoon made a tour of the United States ending up in New York.  People stood in line to pay money to see this “missing link.”  Although Darwin himself, only seeing pictures, felt the whole thing might be an imposture; others said it was definite proof of evolution.

It was February 15, 1878…less than a year after the Solid Muldoon was discovered, that one of the members of the exhibition company, feeling he wasn’t being paid enough, spilled the beans about the missing link.

It seems that back in 1877 two men met to see if they could make some money in connection with the excitement over Darwin’s theory of evolution.  One of the men was George W. Hull.  Eight years earlier Hull had made money by creating and exhibiting a Cardiff giant he had made with 2,900 pounds of cement.  The other was a P. T. Barnum, the great showman and promoter.  Hull took some cement and cast the Solid Muldoon along with the turtle and fish.  Then they had it hid in the Colorado wilderness, so they could later find it.

With the exposure of the Solid Muldoon as only a piece of rock, this star of the Old West faded. But P. T. Barnum continued showing us just how gullible we really are.



January 10, 1880, Call, San Francisco, California – Emperor Norton I, first citizen of San Francisco, was laid to rest today at the Masonic Cemetery in a service that saw a royal cortege more than two miles long. An estimated 20,000 citizens came to say farewell to this self-appointed supreme leader of the United States of America. He was laid to rest in a black robe with a white starched shirt and black bow tie.
He died shortly after collapsing on California Street near Grant on the evening of January 8th on his way to a debate at the Academy of Science. Businessman William Proll was first to arrive to his aid, and knowing him to be a temperate man, believed the Emperor was distressed. A police officer ordered a carriage to convey him to the hospital. Alas, by the time a hack arrived, Emperor Norton had departed this life.
Joshua Abraham Norton, born London, England on February 14th, 1819, came to this city in 1849 from South Africa. Although he arrived with a $40,000 fortune, a failed attempt to corner this city’s rice market in 1854 separated him from his money. His venture, the result of a rice famine in China, caused the price of rice to skyrocket from four cents to 37 cents a pound. Norton bought the entire cargo of the first ship of rice arriving from Peru for 12 cents a pound, little realizing that more Peruvian rice-laden ships were due to arrive the following day. The glut of rice to this city dropped the price to three cents a pound. Norton, gold-seeker turned rice-seeker, was financially ruined.
Penniless but not without temerity, he arose again and on September 17, 1859, he proclaimed himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States in a declaration concluding:

“In virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different Sates of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of February next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.”

Many citizens of San Francisco were amused by the Emperor’s Decrees, but many citizens saw him as an honest and noble man, and above all, a diviner with an eye to the future. Under the Emperor’s imperial hand, proclamations were published, most notably: dissolving the Union (July 16, 1860), barring Congress from meeting (October 1, 1860), abolishing both the Democratic and Republican parties (August 12, 1869), that a suspension bridge be built between San Francisco and Oakland Point (September 21, 1872), and that a Bible Convention be held “for the purpose of eliminating all doubtful passages contained in the present printed edition of the Bible, and that measures be adopted toward the obliteration of all religious sects and the establishment of a Universal Religion,” (January 2, 1873). Perhaps most far-reaching was his call upon the leaders of the world to form a League of Nations where disputes could be resolved peacefully. His letters to Abraham Lincoln and Queen Victoria were seriously deliberated.
With the completion of the transcontinental railroad, tourist arrived daily to this city, and Emperor Norton offered them fine sights worthy of their trip. San Franciscans knew Emperor Norton to be a temperate man, and although he had no visible means of income, he issued paper notes in denominations of fifty-cents to ten dollars with which to obligingly pay his bills, signing and dating each to make the transaction official. He had been known to disperse riots against the city’s population of Chinese by reciting the Lord’s Prayer before the aggressors.
This city will miss him walking with his dog, returning the salute of police officers, ordering the cleanliness of our streets, tempering foul language, and in general, making San Francisco a more royal city for his presence.

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