APACHE KID

I just finished putting together our weekly radio show that will be aired the week of March 19 – 25. As a part of Arizona’s centennial celebration, it included a conversation with Phyllis de la Garza about the Apache Kid. Phyllis has written a couple of books about him.

The Apache Kid, raised on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, became a sergeant of the Indian Scouts under Al Sieber. While Sieber was away, some Apache had a tiswin party. Unable to break up the party, Apache Kid joined in.

The Kid and some other scouts ended up going AWOL. When they returned, they were tried for being AWOL and sentenced to hang. Eventually, the sentence was changed to life. And after a year and a half, they were pardoned.

All of this took place in a military court. Next, Apache Kid was tried in civilian court for shooting Al Sieber in the leg…Although he was present at the shooting, there is no evidence he knew or had anything to do with the shooting.

On the way to Yuma Territorial Prison, with several other prisoners, the guards were overcome and everyone escaped. The Apache Kid was never captured. From that point, any atrocity that took place in the area was blamed on the Apache Kid.

I relate this story, not because I think the Apache Kid was a totally innocent person, but to show how events, rather than the person involved in the events can control so much of our lives.

END OF KANSAS TRAIL DRIVES

It seems that Kansas had a love-hate relationship with Texas cattle and the cowboys that brought them up.

The love part was the profits to be made providing supplies to the cattle drives and a good time to trail-weary cowboys.  Frontier struggling towns like Dodge City, Caldwell, Ellsworth, Hays, and Newton competed with Abilene to be the top “Cow Town” of Kansas.

But, as Kansas started getting less “frontier” and farming became more important, residents, anxious to attract businesses other than saloons and places of ill repute, started getting less enamored with the Texas cattle industry.

Although the Texas cattlemen tried to stay away from cultivated farmland, according to one cowboy “there was scarcely a day when we didn’t have a row with some settler.”

In addition to this, the Texas cattle carried a tick fever and hoof-and-mouth disease for which they were immune, but the Kansas cattle weren’t.

So, on this date back in 1885 the Kansas Legislature passed a bill that barred Texas cattle from the state between March and December 1.

This, along with the closing of open range with barbed wire fences, signaled an end to the cattle drives to Kansas.

OLD WEST TERMS

I get intrigued with Old West cowboy terms.  And that intrigue shows itself in that we have an Old West Trivia Contest sponsored by Bronco Sue Custom Hats.  The prize is a custom cowboy hat.  If you would like to check it out go to: http://chronicleoftheoldwest.com/old-west-trivia-shootout2.shtml.

Here are some of my favorite descriptive terms:

PRAIRIE TENOR – A coyote.

BARKIN’ AT A KNOT – Doing something useless.

WEARING THE BUSTLE WRONG – A pregnant woman.

ROUND BROWNS – Cow chips.

TEAR SQUEEZER – A sad story.

COLD AS A WAGON WHEEL – Dead

Which of your favorite terms did I miss?

 

JESSE CHISHOLM

On this day back in 1868 Jesse Chisholm died of food poisoning.

Even though the Chisholm Trail is known for its use during the cattle drive era, Jesse wasn’t a cattleman, but a frontier trader.  He had a great knowledge of the southwest that was valuable in trailblazing.

Because he was a trader, Jesse Chisholm’s trail was a straight road with easy river crossings and few steep grades so lumbering heavy freight wagons would have no trouble traveling it.

A year before Chisholm died; his trail also began to be used for cattle drives.  For five years, more than a million head of cattle traveled up the road, creating a path that was 200 to 400 yards wide.  Traces of the trail can still be seen to this day.

CIVIL WAR PICTURES

Our friend, Michael F. Blake, does a lot of research about the Civil War.  He sent us a couple of links to some recently enhances, and quite frankly, stunning photos from 150 years ago when the United States was being torn apart by this war.

Here are the links: 

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/02/the-civil-war-part-1-the-places/100241/

 http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/02/the-civil-war-part-2-the-people/100242/

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