Seth Bullock of Deadwood

Seth Bullock

In 1867, at the age of twenty, Seth Bullock left Canada to come down to the Montana Territory and do some gold mining. Four years later he was elected to the territory’s state senate. Next Seth took a horseback ride around the Yellowstone area, and sent back reports that helped influence its becoming our first National Park.

 
Then he became a county sheriff and proceeded to face down a lynch mob, as well as legally hang the first man in the Montana Territory.
 
Deciding to move on to new territory, he went to Deadwood in 1876. With no law, and no official process of selecting a sheriff, by popular demand, he became the town’s first lawman.
Seth Bullock
Also being a good businessman, he served as the president of a mining company and a bank.
 
As a lawman, while trailing an outlaw named Crazy Steve, he ran into a posse led by a deputy U. S. Marshall from the Dakota Badlands who had just caught Crazy Steve. The U. S. Marshall and Seth became lifelong friends. Incidentally, the marshal’s name was Theodore Roosevelt.
 
Although Seth became a captain in Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, he was never sent to Spain.
After Roosevelt became the President, he sent for Seth, and told Seth that he was needed in Washington.  Seth responded that, “There’s just one job that would get me to live in this town, and you’re filling it just fine.”  Seth settled for the job of a U.S. Marshal.
Seth served with distinction until his death on September 23, 1919.  Roosevelt had called Seth Bullock the ideal American.  But he wanted only one word on his tombstone… Pioneer.

 

Seth Bullock

Cattle Industry Going Wild

By the mid 1880’s the cattle industry was going wild. To get as much money as possible, speculators were overstocking the grazing ranges of Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. And with several mild winters they were also saving money by not putting up feed for wintertime.
 
 
The summer of 1886 was a dry one. By autumn the range was almost barren of grass… And then winter came early with record-breaking snow falls. January 9, 1887 was the worst day of the worst winter, with an inch of snow falling each hour for 16 hours. The temperature went as low as 63 degrees below zero.
 
With no stored winter feed the cattle wandered into towns. Great Falls, Montana had as many as 5,000 cattle eating trees and anything else eatable. Most ended up dying in the streets of the town.
 
In the spring the ranchers went out to check the damage. Where once cattle grazed the ranges, now there were only carcasses. Rotting cattle filled the rivers and streams so it was impossible to find water fit to drink.
 
 
Some ranchers lost as much as 90% of their herd. The Continental Land and Cattle Company lost almost all of their 30,000 head. The Swan Land and Cattle Company found only 10% of their 5,500 three-year-olds. Hundreds of ranches went into bankruptcy… including rancher Theodore Roosevelt, who went back east to renew his political career.
 
As a result of the devastating winter, those ranchers who survived decreased the size of their herds. They realized they needed more control of the cattle and stretched barbed wire across their land. They also started doing more farming to provide plenty of winter-feed. This, in turn, changed the cowboy into a farm hand.
 
 

Seth Bullock

   BullockIn the Old West there were men who seemed to be everywhere and do everything. Today you’re going to be introduced to one of those men. His name is Seth Bullock.
In 1867, at the age of twenty, Seth Bullock left Canada to come down to the Montana Territory and do some gold mining. Four years later he was elected to the territory’s state senate. Next Seth took a horseback ride around the Yellowstone area, and sent back reports that helped influence its becoming our first National Park.
Then he became a county sheriff and proceeded to face down a lynch mob, as well as legally hang the first man in the Montana Territory.
Deciding to move on to new territory, he went to Deadwood in 1876. With no law, and no official process of selecting a sheriff, by popular demand, he became the town’s first lawman.
Also being a good businessman, he served as the president of a mining company and a bank.
As a lawman, while trailing an outlaw named Crazy Steve, he ran into a posse led by a deputy U. S. Marshall from the Dakota Badlands who had just caught Crazy Steve. The U. S. Marshall and Seth became lifelong friends. Incidentally, the marshal’s name was Theodore Roosevelt.
Although Seth became a captain in Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, he was never sent to Spain.
After Roosevelt became the President, he sent for Seth, and told Seth that he was needed in Washington. Seth responded that, “There’s just one job that would get me to live in this town, and you’re filling it just fine.” Seth settled for the job of a U.S. Marshal.
Seth served with distinction until his death on September 23, 1919. Roosevelt had called Seth Bullock the ideal American. But he wanted only one word on his tombstone…Pioneer.

 Page 2 of 2 « 1  2