‘The man sleeping next to Roosevelt was Bill Jones, who was wanted for shooting up a passenger train the day before. Teddy’s Mingusville education had been extended.’
Thanks much for R.K. DeArment’s October 2009 article “The Cowboy Brigade’s Inaugural Invasion.” It was a vivid and interesting piece on the sensation that Seth Bullock and 60 fellow cowboys made at the 1905 inaugural parade of Bullock’s longtime friend President Theodore Roosevelt. Living near Bullock’s old stomping grounds of Deadwood and Belle Fourche, S.D., I’m always glad to see articles on Bullock, who did so much for the frontier and post-frontier days of the Black Hills area. Those wanting more information on him would do well to read the fully documented 2009 biography Seth Bullock: Black Hills Lawman (South Dakota State Historical Society Press), by Black Hills State University history professor David A. Wolff.
Thank you for the fine article by Bob DeArment about the cowboy brigade recruited for Theodore Roosevelt’s 1905 inauguration parade. Unfortunately, the caption for the photo provided on P. 37 fails to identify the great Tom Mix. Mix, 25, is standing in the front row, on the right side of the photo and fourth down from Seth Bullock. He is wearing a white or light-colored shirt. To have Seth Bullock and Tom Mix in the same photo is a real treasure.
The editor responds: For our younger readers, let it be noted that Tom Mix (1880–1940) made his first movie in 1910 and became the “King of Cowboys” when John Wayne was a mere lad and motion pictures were all silent. Only about nine of Mix’s 335-plus movies were talkies, and, unfortunately, about 90 percent of his pictures are either lost or as yet unavailable for viewing.
Just received my December 2009 issue of Wild West. Magazine opened to P. 10, Top Ten most embarrassing moments in Texas history. Being a native Texan, I felt shortchanged. Maybe somebody is missing a finger but where is No. 8? Please rectify the situation, or I will be forced to submit claim for 10 percent of subscription price (just kidding). Let me know what No. 8 is if you can. But do not claim that the missing No. 8 qualifies and makes the list.
Editor responds: We have all our fingers here, but we can’t always count on them. With our faces red from embarrassment, we finally present No. 8 on Texas historian Wayne Austerman’s Top Ten: The Deacon’s Surprise (April 12, 1894). Sheriff G.A. “Bud” Frazer assumed outlaw “Deacon” Jim Miller to be dead after he pumped six shots into him during a Pecos gunfight. A steel plate Miller wore beneath his frock coat saved his life, and after recuperating from minor wounds, he emptied a shotgun into Frazer’s face.
Your October 2009 article [“Giants in the Land”] on large freight wagons was excellent. Those giants of the land certainly are impressive. It’s nice to see that Doug Hansen and his crew are keeping these awesome wagons around. Also, I plan on framing the Theodore Roosevelt front cover of that October issue and placing it on my wall by my Old West library. Keep up the good work.
St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Roosevelt and Thompson Seton
I enjoyed “Teddy’s Ride to Recovery” [by Roger Di Silvestro] in the October 2009 issue. I have seen the place where William McKinley was shot, and my wife’s garden club has decorated the Buffalo home where Roosevelt was installed as president. I have been in the area of the Adirondack Mountains where Teddy learned of McKinley’s shooting and dashed to get to the railroad to come to our area. Roosevelt traveled in the West with Canadian artist-writer Ernest Thompson Seton, who was “Chief Scout” of the Boy Scouts of America from 1910 to 1915. As teenagers in 1955, my wife and I were members of the Buffalo Indian Dancers, and we stayed for 10 days at the Seton ranch near Santa Fe. I joined Boy Scouting in February 1945, and I’ve taken a volunteer leader’s course at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M., and enjoyed their Seton Museum very much. 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.
Ronald P. Koch
The editor responds. Let’s hear it for Ernest Thompson Seton (1860–1946). I never made it past the Cub Scouts, but as a boy one of my favorite books was Seton’s Wild Animals I Have Known (1898)—the most intriguing of those wild animals being a wolf named Lobo. Also check out the PBS program The Wolf That Changed America [www.pbs.org], about former bounty hunter Seton’s 1893 hunt for Lobo in New Mexico Territory.
Being born and raised in the Wibaux (Mingusville), Mont., area, I was thrilled to read Roger Di Silvestro’s article on Roosevelt. Since childhood, I’ve had a great interest in finding out when and where in Mingusville Teddy had his fateful fight with the bully. Through books, articles and old photos, I believe the fight took place in a one-story saloon with a sleeping loft, not the Nolan Hotel. When Roosevelt rode into Mingusville in early August 1884, the town was just a couple of months old, and I believe the two-story Nolan Hotel was still under construction. Roosevelt did stay at the hotel in late February 1885. That time he shared his bed with another cowboy, a common practice at the time. Teddy was awakened a short time later by a crash at the door. A lantern flashed in his face, and he found himself staring into the wrong end of a lawman’s gun barrel. The man sleeping next to Roosevelt was Bill Jones, who was wanted for shooting up a passenger train the day before. Teddy’s Mingusville education had been extended. I feel over the years these two incidents have led to the confusion of the “bully story.” Love the magazine and look forward to more articles about my part of the country.
I feel compelled to write after I devoured your October 2009 issue. I do not recall ever before enjoying any magazine as much as I did that issue. The stories about Teddy Roosevelt were special to me because I worked on a ranch in South Dakota back in 1946. I also enjoyed the feature about the best quotes and the one on the big freight wagons. I think I read every line in the October issue. The old photos are great.
In the “Letters” department of the October 2009 issue, the editor asked a question, “But can anyone tell a mule from a hinny?” If my three hinnies were normal, then yes. Mules have long ears, while hinnies have short ears, and hinnies have slightly rounder hooves than mules. I only had them one year—1967. The hinny is more treacherous!
Fair Grove, Mo.