Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jewel of the West 1883

"Easterners always seem to associate the West with guns.  Not long ago a traveler from some wholesale house in Toronto was sitting around the hotel chatting with one of our old-timers who likes to pose as a tough old guy.  'Tell me' said the traveling man 'Was there much shooting among the cowboys around here?'  'Sure thing' said the old-timer, 'But we never paid much attention to it; why doggone it, when we wanted to start a graveyard back in '83 because the town had grown big enough to have one, a cow-puncher down on the Stewart ranch shot himself just to oblige us.'  This same traveler happened to be talking to me later and he repeated the story and asked me if it could be true.  'Well' I told him, 'As old Mormon Bill once said about the story of the creation ... there's some truth to it - we're here aren't we?'  The true facts are these: A cowboy from Montana was over hunting for some stray horses, he stopped over at the Stewart Ranch bunkhouse and when he took a notion to clean his gun, accidentally shot himself; so it was true that the first one buried in our graveyard had shot himself."  Sixty Years In An Old Cow Town by A.L. Freebairn.