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The Western Echo A Description of the Western State and Terretories of the United States

The Western Echo
A Description of the Western State and Terretories of the United States
Title: The Western Echo A Description of the Western State and Terretories of the United States
Release Date: 2018-07-28
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 45
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[Image unavailable:Sketch of author George W. Romspert & signature.]


Western States and Territories


United Brethren Publishing House.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1881,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.



The Prairie Fire111
Indian Cruelty131
The Mountain Lake282
Scene in the Sierra Nevada Mountains361
San Francisco Bay386




Start from Dayton—Coal-Mine—Indianapolis—IllinoisRoads—Springfield—Crops—Poor Water—MissouriRiver—Enter Iowa—Enter Missouri—Kansas City—DesMoines Valley and City—Western Iowa—Fourthof July at Lewis—Council Bluffs17
Omaha—Homestead Land—Coming Onto the Plains—ColdWinds—Platte Valley—Republican Forks—FortWallace—Big Sandy—Old Battle-Ground—ArkansasValley—Irrigation Farming41
Arrival of Lesher and Wonderly—Our Start South—FirstBuffalo Herd—Cimaron River—Strayed Team—OldHunters—How to Hunt Buffaloes—WolfHunt—Prairie Fire—Herd at Ten-Mile Creek—Blizzard—Find{8}a Frozen Man—Hide Season Ends73
Summer Trip Through the South—Indian Agencies—CanadianRiver—Lion Fight—Red River—DoubleMountain—Staked Plains—Pecos River—IndianSkirmish—Santa Fe, New Mexico—Return to theArkansas Valley—Description of the Plains—Mirage—Dangersof the Prairie—Wild Horses andHow Captured—Creasing Animals128
Cattle-Business Explained—Branding Stock—Round-Up—Mavorick—Beef-Gathering—Stampedes—Tender-Feet—Stock-Raisingin Texas—Cattle-Trail—BuyingCattle from Trail—How to Enter StockBusiness—Sheep-Raising—Greasers—Texas Cattle-Fever168
Cow-Boy History—Mustangs and Broncos—Cow-Boyswith Six-Shooters—Dodge City—Boot Grave-yard—PrairieMysteries—Dance-Halls—Sketch of BuffaloBill—Theory of the Plains—Trading-House—AntelopeChase—We Prepare for a Mountain Tour201
We Start for the Mountains—Las Animas—Pueblo—ColoradoSprings—Manitou—Mineral Springs—WeAscend Pike’s Peak—Balancing Rock—Garden of{9}the Gods—Devil’s Hole—Return to Manitou241
Start for South Park—Ute Pass—Rainbow Falls—SouthPark—Bear Fight—Leadville—Sallie Ray—ChimneyGulch—Trout-Fishing—Denver—Cheyenne—BlackBitter Creek—Antelope Springs—Wolf Adventure—GreenRiver—Old Emigrant Road—Echo Canon—Utah—ParkCity—Ontario Mine—Quartz-Mill—Kindsof Mines—Prospecting—Start for Salt Lake274
View of Salt Lake Valley and City—Tabernacle—Historyof the Mormons—Joe Smith—Came to Kirtland,Ohio—Brigham Young Converted—Located atIndependence, Missouri—Located at Nauvoo, Illinois—Joeand Hiram Smith Killed—Emigrated toCouncil Bluffs—Came to Salt Lake—Trouble withthe Government—Mormon Theology329
We Leave Salt Lake—Reach the Sierra Nevada Slopes—Tunnels,Gorges, etc.—Reach California—Sacramento—SanFrancisco—Hotel Runners—Fruits—PalaceHotel—Chinese—Dennis Kearney and Party—DeYoung-Kalloch Tragedy—Chinese Bakers—CaliforniaClimate—Ships—Golden Gate—WoodwardGarden—Portland, Oregon—Washington Territory—Sailfor Santa Barbara and Los Angeles—Prescott,Arizona—Meet General Fremont—BigTrees—Return to Ohio356




It is the object of the author, by this volume, to place before thepeople a brief history of the western states and territories throughwhich he traveled in a late long overland tour, together with a sketchof the customs and occupations of the people in all the parts described.A journey by wagon through so much territory, by so many unknown, hasfurnished the author with knowledge that will be of so much value topersons who think of going West, and more especially to those who intendtrying their fortunes in the regions of the setting sun, that he feelshimself somewhat in duty bound to reduce it to print. Many fabulous andspeculative histories have been written of the same country; and, withprejudiced pens, they have been deceitful records. Far from this is themotive of the present writer. And he hopes the fruits of his labor willprove valuable to{12} persons who intend relying upon the merits of theWest for a future livelihood as well as those who intend journeyingthither merely for health, speculation, or pleasure; for to all suchthis work is respectfully dedicated.

Dayton, Ohio, May 1, 1881.



Ever since there was an East there was a West, and from the factthat the great race of humanity had its birth upon the highlands ofAsia, the latter has always been a land of discovery, into which theboldest of an overpopulated country must make the first strides, contendwith the greatest dangers and exposures, and break the first soil. Thegreat pair of Eden have wonderfully multiplied; and their posterity,like a mighty wave, is fast flowing toward the western horizon. Thisgreat emigration has been a continuous seige of adventure; and many aworthy life has been lost while opening the road that must soon bear thebroad marks of civilization. Many volumes contain the records ofhumanity; and the most interesting and touching part of man’s career isthe frontier life, which has been a continuous battle in the wildernessever since the first back{14} was turned against the eastern sky. What aglorious thing it has ever been that for every difficulty there has beena surmounter, and for every wave a rider! What a treasure to theworld was he who first plowed the foaming Atlantic and moored his barkupon the shores of the great America! The event has proved one ofnecessity for the support of the growing millions, and is a lesson thatfor every creature there is a home. The mighty rivers that flowed solong in vain through the East of this golden land now bear upon theirbosoms mighty ships, laded with the produce of the soil. The littlestreams that rippled so long unheard upon their pebble beds, have allkissed the ruby lips of civilization; and the splendid soil that yieldedso long to the savage tread, has at last found a husbandman, and fieldsof golden grain wave proudly where the roots of the mighty forests havelong since decayed. But, like every other country, the first part foundhas been the first overdone. One half of the world knows not how theother half lives; and, likewise, thousands who live in the civilized andimproved East are perfectly ignorant of the great country ly{15}ing west ofthem. True, the land has been crossed and the history written; but theaccounts have been so varied that many who have a desire to find newhomes and breathe purer air, feel quite a delicacy in puttingeverything they have to so uncertain an adventure. Many examples offamilies seeking their fortunes in a land of which they have not eventhe most limited knowledge,—or into which they have been betrayed bythe misrepresentations of those who value money in their own pockethigher than comfort in the poor man’s family,—and returning inperfectly destitute circumstances, have proved this fear to be wellfounded. Nearly all the histories that have been written of the land nowin view were got up by land-sharks, or by persons who took a singletour through the country, often on the train, and not seeing one eighthof the country of which they write, nor stopping long enough in a placeto learn the ways and customs of the inhabitants, nor testing the soil,climate, and general prospects of the country upon which the emigrantmust rely. Far from this method has been the means of this author’sinformation, which he wishes{16} to place before the people in the presentvolume. With a deep conviction of common duty, every line is marked; andthe many facts gathered by so much peril and exposure will certainlybe a valuable fountain to all those to whom this work is dedicated.

G. W. R.

The Western Echo.



Start from Dayton—Coal-Mine—Indianapolis—IllinoisRoads—Springfield—Crops—Poor Water—Missouri River—EnterIowa—Enter Missouri—Kansas City—Des Moines Valley andCity—Western Iowa—Fourth of July at Lewis—Council Bluffs.

A back turned upon the State of Ohio is a back turned against theEden of the Union! And to a person whose lot it has been to be born inthis beautiful land, and whose borders he has never crossed, to think ofquitting a civilized and happy home to wander in the land where thesavage screams and the growl of the wild beast may be heard is certainlysomewhat embarrassing. Nevertheless, being more than ordinarilyinterested in the narratives of the frontier, the author, with twocomrades, John Routsong and Johnny Lair,—being stout, robust young men{18}of the vicinity of Dayton,—resolved to test the truth of what we hadheard and read by seeing for ourselves, even if it had to be done atthe price of a hair or two. Accordingly, a topped spring-wagon and agood team were procured, and lightly we tripped along, eager to proveourselves Davids, and anxious to wrap ourselves in the robes of the wildbuffaloes of the prairie, the giants of our own slaying. The first partof our journey, from its novelty, was the merriest; and sweeter dreamsthan we dreamed while lying upon the hard ground, with nothing but atent to shelter us from the dews of heaven, were never dreamed by a kingin his palace. Wishing to fully experience the effect of camp-life, wedid our own cooking from the start; and never having graduated in thepastry art, we were obliged to forsake knickknacks. And how naturalit was that we grew more and more hardy from our new diet, which we eatin the pure, open air. Being in the month of June, the weather was warmand the roads were delightful, and we merrily passed along until wefound ourselves treading Hoosier soil. As we wended our way toward theinterior of the state, equestrianism became quite common; and in some ofthe{19} back parts of the country we were amused at seeing the peoplefinding their way to church in two-horse farm-wagons. Many other littlenovelties and changes attracted our attention; and we musingly passedalong until we stood upon the bank of the Wabash River, where stands thepleasant little village of Montezuma. The stream is about two hundredyards wide; and being very deep, we found it necessary to take theferry. This was something new to us; and as we floated across the streamwe imagined ourselves in the Mayflower, plowing the foamy Atlantic,and carrying with us the seeds of life and death. The former wecalculated for all who wished us no harm; but the latter we fullymeant to spring up in the path of the wild buffalo and the bear. Ourimaginary ocean, however, was soon crossed; and having been told by theferryman that there was a coal-mine up the river a-piece, we determinedto visit what we had never before had the opportunity of seeing.

There lay the dark fuel, and here ran the tunnel into the foot of thehill whence came the coal. Of course, wanting to see it all, wedetermined to explore the thing to our satisfaction. The tunnel beingbut three feet wide by three{20} and a half high, we were obliged to stoopvery low. Onward we went, bold as the lion in his cave, lightly talkingof the great dampness and the little car-track that wound its way so farinto the bowels of the earth, etc., etc., until we found ourselves aboutfifty yards from the daylight door. Here a slight caving from the sideof the passage caused a panic in a party of three, and for some minutesthe bowels of Vesuvius never knew a greater rumbling than was heard inthe tunnel of that coal-mine. When the weakest,—who had been trampledinto the mud by the stampede,—had once more dragged himself intodaylight, we concluded that we knew all about coal-mines, and thoughtit not necessary to penetrate any more hills to inform ourselves better.Betaking ourselves to the wagon, we once more resumed our journey.

Coming into the splendid city of Indianapolis one bright morning, wewere greatly struck with its great life and beauty, and concluded tocamp in a pretty grove just back of the great asylum and spend a fewdays in surveying and acquainting ourselves with the Hoosier capital.The first was reception-day

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