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Spurs and the Great West

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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1591 Post by nrobertb » Tue May 12, 2020 10:59 pm

Great western character actors: Warren Stevens (not related to Mark Stevens)
Warren Stevens was born in Pennsylvania and joined the Navy at age 17. His interest in acting was piqued while he was attending Annapolis, and this resulted in 12 weeks of summer stock in Virginia. His friends, Gregory Peck and Kenneth Tobey, later arranged interviews for Stevens at the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. Following service as a Marine Corps pilot during World War II, Stevens began concentrating on his acting career, working in radio and summer stock and joining New York's Actors Studio.. His break came via a key role in Broadway's "Detective Story", which in turn led to offers from Hollywood studios and a contract with 20th Century-Fox. In the half-century since his movie debut, he has acted in dozens of features and hundreds of TV episodes.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1592 Post by nrobertb » Wed May 13, 2020 10:46 pm

Comanche was a mixed-breed horse who survived General George Armstrong Custer's detachment of the United States 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (June 25, 1876).

The horse was bought by the U.S. Army in 1868 in St. Louis, Missouri and sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His ancestry and date of birth were both uncertain. Captain Myles Keogh of the 7th Cavalry liked the 15 hands (60 inches) gelding and bought him for his personal mount, to be ridden only in battle. He has alternatively been described as bay or bay dun. In 1868, while the army was fighting the Comanche in Kansas, the horse was wounded in the hindquarters by an arrow but continued to carry Keogh in the fight. He named the horse “Comanche” to honor his bravery. Comanche was wounded many more times but always exhibited the same toughness.

On June 25, 1876, Captain Keogh rode Comanche at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. The battle was notable as their entire detachment was killed. US soldiers found Comanche, badly wounded, two days after the battle. After being transported to Fort Lincoln, he was slowly nursed back to health. After a lengthy convalescence, Comanche was retired. In April 1878, Colonel Samuel D. Sturgis issued the following order:

(1.) The horse known as 'Comanche,' being the only living representative of the bloody tragedy of the Little Big Horn, June 25th, 1876, his kind treatment and comfort shall be a matter of special pride and solicitude on the part of every member of the Seventh Cavalry to the end that his life be preserved to the utmost limit. Wounded and scarred as he is, his very existence speaks in terms more eloquent than words, of the desperate struggle against overwhelming numbers of the hopeless conflict and the heroic manner in which all went down on that fatal day.

(2.) The commanding officer of Company I will see that a special and comfortable stable is fitted up for him, and he will not be ridden by any person whatsoever, under any circumstances, nor will he be put to any kind of work.

(3.) Hereafter, upon all occasions of ceremony of mounted regimental formation, 'Comanche,' saddled, bridled, and draped in mourning, and led by a mounted trooper of Company I, will be paraded with the regiment.

The ceremonial order inspired a reporter for the Bismarck Tribune to go to Fort Abraham Lincoln to interview Comanche. He "asked the usual questions which his subject acknowledged with a toss of his head, a stamp of his foot and a flourish of his beautiful tail."

His official keeper, the farrier John Rivers of Company I, Keogh's old troop, saved "Comanche's reputation" by answering more fully. Here is the gist of what the reporter learned (Bismarck Tribune, May 10, 1878):

Comanche was a veteran, 21 years old, and had been with the 7th Cavalry since its Organization in '66.... He was found by Sergeant [Milton J.] DeLacey [Co. I] in a ravine where he had crawled, there to die and feed the Crows. He was raised up and tenderly cared for. His wounds were serious, but not necessarily fatal if properly looked after...He carries seven scars from as many bullet wounds. There are four back of the foreshoulder, one through a hoof, and one on either hind leg. On the Custer battlefield (actually Fort Abraham Lincoln) three of the balls were extracted from his body and the last one was not taken out until April '77…Comanche is not a great horse, physically talking; he is of medium size, neatly put up, but quite noble looking. He is very gentle. His color is 'claybank' He would make a handsome carriage horse...

In June 1879, Comanche was brought to Fort Meade by the Seventh Regiment, where he was kept like a prince until 1887. He was taken to Fort Riley, Kansas. As an honor, he was made "Second Commanding Officer" of the 7th Cavalry. At Fort Riley, he became something of a pet, occasionally leading parades and indulging in a fondness for beer.

Comanche died of colic on November 7, 1891, believed to be 29 years old at the time. He is one of only four horses in United States history to be given a military funeral with full military honors, the others were Black Jack, Sergeant Reckless and Chief.

Comanche is often described as the sole survivor of Custer's detachment, but like so many other legends surrounding the Little Bighorn battle, this one is not entirely accurate. Other horses survived, but, in better condition after the battle, were taken as spoils of battle. As historian Evan S. Connell writes in Son of the Morning Star

Comanche was reputed to be the only survivor of the Little Bighorn, but quite a few Seventh Cavalry mounts survived, probably more than one hundred, and there was even a yellow bulldog. Comanche lived on another fifteen years, and when he died, he was stuffed and to this day remains in a glass case at the University of Kansas. So, protected from moths and souvenir hunters by his humidity-controlled glass case, Comanche stands patiently. The other horses are gone, and the mysterious yellow bulldog is gone, which means that in a sense the legend is true. Comanche alone survived.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1593 Post by nrobertb » Fri May 15, 2020 10:56 am

If you enjoy this forum, now is the time to make a donation and keep it from going under. If it disappears we have no one to blame but ourselves. I am amazed by the lirerally hundreds of people who regularly visit it, but are not members. If you are one of these, now is the time to join and help support the forum.

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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1594 Post by nrobertb » Sat May 16, 2020 3:20 pm

JOIN THE FORUM AND MAKE A DONATION!

Thomas James Smith, also known as Tom "Bear River" Smith, (12 June 1830 – 2 November 1870) was a lawman in the American Old West and briefly marshal of cattle town Abilene, Kansas. He was killed and nearly decapitated in the line of duty.

Little is known of Smith's youth, though he was well known as a tough man and had been a professional middleweight boxer. Originally from New York City, where he worked as a police officer, he also served as a lawman in a few small towns in Wyoming, including Bear River, as well as in Kit Carson, Colorado, prior to his move to Kansas. While working as a police officer in New York City in 1868, Smith was involved in the accidental killing of a 14-year-old boy, after which he resigned and began working for Union Pacific Railroad in Nebraska.

Smith received the nickname "Bear River" due to a stand he made during a skirmish with vigilantes while serving as a lawman in Wyoming. A vigilante group had lynched a railroad employee who was suspected of murder. Soon afterward, railroad employees retaliated against the vigilantes, resulting in most of the small town of Bear River City, Wyoming being burned to the ground, and a shootout between town citizens and mob members erupted. Smith stood both sides off until troops from Fort Bridger arrived and imposed martial law. Bear River City soon became deserted, another railroad ghost town.

Smith has been described as having been a handsome man with a thick mustache and an almost fearless nature. There are a number of examples of Smith refusing to back down, despite whatever odds might be against him.

Prior to Smith's appointment as Abilene Marshal, two St. Louis, Missouri, policemen had been hired. The town of Abilene was, at the time, a wild cattle town, and the crime rate had increased almost overnight, beginning in 1867, to the point where murder and shootings were commonplace. The town had numerous saloons and brothels, and up until that point a police force was all but nonexistent. The two St. Louis lawmen resigned before their first day of service was complete. The mayor of Abilene, Theodore Henry, sent for Smith in late 1869, who came highly recommended due to a reputation he had built while working alongside lawman Pat Desmond in Kit Carson, Colorado.

Smith was also commissioned as a Deputy US Marshal, and was insistent that he could police Abilene using his hands rather than using guns. For a time, he was somewhat successful, although he was forced to use guns in the course of his duty on a few occasions. On one occasion, shortly after taking office, Smith single handedly overpowered two men known for their bad temperament, "Big Hank" Hawkins and his partner, known only as "Wyoming Frank". Smith banished them both from Abilene, after beating them both at the same time using only his bare hands. However, being the marshal of a town like Abilene at that time proved to be a dangerous job to have. He implemented a law of "no guns in town limits", which was extremely unpopular with many of the cowboys that drifted through town, and over the next two months Smith survived two assassination attempts. Several other incidents and arrests led him to develop a solid reputation, and he became widely respected and admired by the Abilene citizens.

On 2 November 1870, Smith and a temporary deputy, believed to be named James McDonald, attempted to serve a warrant on two local farmers, Andrew McConnell and Moses Miles. The two men were wanted in connection with the murder of another Abilene man, John Shea. McDonald and Smith located the suspects in a small settlement ten miles outside of Abilene. A gunfight erupted, in which Smith was badly wounded in the chest. Smith returned fire and wounded McConnell. His deputy fled the scene, and as Smith lay wounded, Moses Miles hit him with the butt of a rifle, then took an axe and decapitated him.

McConnell and Miles were captured and arrested in March 1871, Andrew McConnell got 12 years in prison and Moses Miles got 16 years in prison. Smith was buried in Abilene, and a huge tombstone was erected with a plaque to honor his service and ultimate sacrifice. Smith was replaced as marshal by legendary lawman and gunfighter "Wild Bill" Hickock.

Ronald Reagan, in one of his last acting roles and as the host of the syndicated western television series, Death Valley Days, played Smith in the 1965 episode "No Gun Behind His Badge". Michael Witney appeared as Wild Bill Hickok, Mort Mills as Whalen, Barry Kelley as Prentiss, Leo Gordon as Bender, and Shary Marshall as Millie, the saloon girl whom Smith befriends. The television dramatization does not accurately depict the circumstances of Smith's death and decapitation.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1595 Post by nrobertb » Sun May 17, 2020 10:00 pm

Here's an unusual piece. Mercury dime pairs hammered into cup shapes, interspersed with turquoise nuggets. Mercury dimes were silver and were minted from 1916-45. There are 64 dimes visible.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1596 Post by nrobertb » Mon May 18, 2020 12:07 pm

The Sabine River (/səˈbiːn/) is a river, 510 miles long, in the Southern U.S. states of Texas and Louisiana. From the 32nd parallel north and downstream, it serves as the boundary between the two states and empties into Sabine Lake, an estuary of the Gulf of Mexico. Over the first half of the 19th century, the river formed part of the Spanish–American, Mexican–American, and Texan–American international boundaries. The upper reaches of the river flow through the prairie country of northeast Texas. Along much of its lower reaches, it flows through the pine forests along the Texas–Louisiana border, and the bayou country near the Gulf Coast.

The name Sabine (Sp: Río de Sabinas) comes from the Spanish word for cypress, in reference to the extensive growth of bald cypresses along the lower river. The river flows through an important petroleum-producing region, and the lower river near the Gulf is among the most industrialized areas of the southeastern United States. The river was often described as the dividing line between the Old South and the New Southwest.

The Sabine forms the Louisiana/Texas boundary at Toledo Bend Reservoir west of Many, Louisiana.

In northeast Texas, the river flows past Mineola, Gladewater, Big Sandy, and Longview, the largest city on the river, to southwest of Shreveport at the 32nd parallel north, where it establishes the Texas-Louisiana boundary. It flows south, forming the state line for the remainder of its course. It is impounded 10 miles (16 km) west of Leesville, Louisiana, to form the 70-mile-long Toledo Bend Reservoir, with the Sabine National Forest along its western bank. South of the reservoir, it passes through the bayou country, surrounded by wetlands, as well as widespread industrial areas near the Gulf Coast. Approximately 10 miles south of Orange, it meets the Neches River from the west to form the 17-mile-long and 7-mile-wide Sabine Lake, which drains through Sabine Pass to the Gulf of Mexico. The city of Port Arthur, Texas, sits along the western shore of Sabine Lake

Archeological evidence indicates the valley of the river has been inhabited for as long as 12,000 years by indigenous peoples. Starting in the eighth century, the Caddo inhabited the area, building extensive earthwork mounds in complexes expressing their cosmology. The Caddo culture flourished until the late 13th century. Descendants of the Caddo were living along the river when the first European explorers arrived in the 16th century.

The river was named in 1716 by Spanish explorer Domingo Ramón, and appeared as Río de Sabinas on a 1721 map. The river was used by French traders, and at various times, the river was claimed by both Spain and France. After the acquisition by Spain of the French territory of Louisiana in 1763, following France's defeat by Great Britain in the Seven Years' War, the capital of the Spanish province of Texas was established on the east side of the river, near present-day Robeline, Louisiana.

After acquiring the French territory west of the Mississippi River in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the United States started to exert control in this area. It was at war with Native Americans in Louisiana along the Sabine River from 1836 to 1837, in the period when it was trying to remove the Indians to Indian Territory from the Southeast.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1597 Post by nrobertb » Tue May 19, 2020 2:25 pm

The Jemez Mountains are a volcanic group of mountains in Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Los Alamos counties, New Mexico.

Numerous Puebloan Indian tribes have lived in the Jemez Mountains region since before the Spanish arrived in New Mexico. The Pueblo Indians of this region are the Towa-speaking Jemez people for which this mountain range is named, the Keres-speaking Keresan Indians, and the Tewa-speaking Tewa Indians.

The highest point in the range is Chicoma Mountain at an elevation of 11,561 feet. The town of Los Alamos and Los Alamos National Laboratory adjoin the eastern side of the range while the town of Jemez Springs is to the west. Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is the only ski area in the Jemez. New Mexico State Highway 4 is the primary road that provides vehicular access to locations in the Jemez Mountains.

The Jemez Mountains lie to the north of the Albuquerque Basin in the Rio Grande rift. They are a classic example of intracontinental volcanism and consist of a broadly circular ridge surrounding the famous Valles Caldera. The latter is the type location for resurgent caldera eruptions.

Much of the range is federal land, including Santa Fe National Forest, Bandelier National Monument, and the Valles Caldera National Preserve. State lands include Fenton Lake State Park in Sandoval County. Hiking trails crisscross the range and lead to many of the summits, although some regions are closed to hikers either because of environmental restrictions or because they are on the territory of Santa Clara Pueblo or private landholders. (Access to pueblo lands is available by permit.) The summits are generally easy to climb (in good weather) and require no technical climbing skills, but rock climbing is popular on some of the basalt cliffs near Los Alamos, Caja del Rio and elsewhere in the range. The mountains also are home to Pajarito Mountain, a small downhill ski area and offer some opportunities for cross country skiing, although not every winter produces enough snow to support this recreational activity. The region is prone to forest fires because of the tendency for spring weather to be dry and windy, creating conditions under which fires caused by human activities or lightning can spread rapidly. The Las Conchas Fire in 2011 was the most recent large wildfire. Parts of Los Alamos National Laboratory were also damaged, although none of the laboratory's special nuclear materials were threatened or released.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1598 Post by nrobertb » Wed May 20, 2020 1:32 pm

Forgotten western movies: 20 Mule Team (1940)

In Death Valley, the Desert Borax Co. is on the verge of failure as borax deposits are exhausted. Along with the other mule-team drivers, Bill Bragg (Wallace Beery) goes unpaid and is barred from his room over a saloon owned by Josie Johnson (Marjorie Rambeau), whose daughter, Jean (Anne Baxter), is engaged to company clerk Mitch (Noah Beery Jr.). When borax is found next to the body of a dead prospector, Bragg searches for the man's claim -- only to find that Mitch is the prospector's partner.

Wallace Beery ... Skinner Bill Bragg, an Alias of Ambrose Murphy
Leo Carrillo ... Piute Pete
Marjorie Rambeau ... Josie Johnson
Anne Baxter ... Jean Johnson
Douglas Fowley ... Stag Roper
Noah Beery Jr. ... Mitch
Berton Churchill ... 'Jackass' Brown
Arthur Hohl ... Salters
Clem Bevans ... Chuckawalla
Charles Halton ... Henry Adams
Minor Watson ... Marshal
Oscar O'Shea ... Train Conductor
Lloyd Ingraham ... Stockholder
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1599 Post by nrobertb » Thu May 21, 2020 10:26 am

Here's an antique high back saddle by the Askew Saddle Co. Kansas City, Missouri 1866-1928. The Askew Saddlery Company was the ultimate culmination of two of Kansas City, Missouri's most prominent and pioneering businessman the Uncle and Nephew William Askew and Frank Askew. The saddle company factory is now an apartment building.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1600 Post by nrobertb » Fri May 22, 2020 3:11 pm

The Mazatzal Mountains are a range in south central Arizona, about 30–45 miles northeast of Phoenix and the Phoenix metropolitan area. The origin of the name remains obscure but one possibility is that it is from the Nahuatl language meaning "place of the deer". The crest of the Mazatzals forms the county line between Maricopa County and Gila County. SR 87, the Beeline Highway, traverses the Mazatzals on its way to Payson. The highest peak is Mazatzal Peak at 7,903 feet. They also include the Four Peaks, with elevation 7,659 ft, 2,334 m; a prominent mountain and landmark of the eastern Phoenix area.

The Mazatzal Wilderness Area protects 252,500 acres of the Tonto and Coconino National forests. Established in 1940 and expanded to its present size in 1984, elevations range from 2,100 feet at Sheep Bridge in the southwest to 7,903 feet on Mazatzal Peak.

The eastern side of the wilderness consists of brush- or pine-covered mountains, sometimes broken by narrow, vertical-walled canyons. On its west side below the steep brush-covered foothills, the Verde River flows through the Sonoran Desert. The Verde was designated by the U.S. Congress as Arizona's one of the two Wild and Scenic Rivers in 1984.

The Arizona 87 highway section south of Pine is where the north Mazatzal Mountains merge into the western region of the Mogollon Rim, as the Rim continues northwest into the Oak Creek Canyon region.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1601 Post by nrobertb » Sat May 23, 2020 11:12 am

McKenzie Pass, elevation 5,325 feet is a mountain pass in the Cascade Range in central Oregon.

It is located at the border of Linn and Deschutes counties, approximately 25 miles northwest of Bend, between the Three Sisters to the south and Mount Washington to the north. Oregon Route 242 goes over the pass.

At the summit of the pass, Oregon Route 242 crosses a 65-square-mile lava flow just west of Sisters. Surrounded by lava, the Dee Wright Observatory was constructed in 1935 by Civilian Conservation Corps workers and named after their foreman. Visitors climb to the observatory to view the Cascade peaks visible from McKenzie Pass. Also near the summit is Clear Lake, a renowned location for fresh-water diving.

Highway 242 is not recommended for large trucks, trailers or motor homes due to numerous tight switchbacks. The pass is closed from November to July due to snow.

The pass is named for Donald McKenzie, a Scottish Canadian fur trader who explored parts of the Pacific Northwest for the Pacific Fur Company in the early 19th century.

Parts of central Oregon were used as a training grounds for Apollo astronauts between 1964 and 1966. The astronauts would practice walking on terrain that was similar to the surface of the moon. In August 1964, Walter Cunningham struggled in a lava flow at McKenzie Pass, where he eventually fell and tore his space suit. Cunningham piloted the lunar module on Apollo 7 in 1968.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1602 Post by nrobertb » Sun May 24, 2020 10:26 am

These were known, appropriately enough, as "the big wheels". They were used in logging in the midwest and west. They could haul one huge log or several smaller ones. The "driver" didn't ride it but walked alongside the team.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1603 Post by nrobertb » Mon May 25, 2020 4:26 pm

These are belly dump wagons, used for spreading dirt or gravel in road construction during the old days.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1604 Post by nrobertb » Tue May 26, 2020 3:17 pm

Great western character actors: William Wellman Jr.
Rangy, sturdy-looking actor William Wellman Jr., was born in Los Angeles on January 20, 1937, one of seven children born to legendary director William A. Wellman and his fourth wife, one-time actress Dorothy Coonan Wellman, who appeared in a few of her husband's pictures. Bill Jr. spent most of his childhood surrounded by Hollywood celebrity. He got the fresh taste of a film set as a youngster when he appeared unbilled in a couple of his father's features.

Starting off in featured parts in the war pictures Lafayette Escadrille (1958) and Darby's Rangers (1958), both of which directed by his father, Bill Jr. found other work on his own in less quality films. Some of the teen exploitation he found himself in have since attained cult status, including High School Confidential! (1958), Macumba Love (1960) and College Confidential (1960). "Billy Jack" director Tom Laughlin also began using Bill prominently in his early work such as Like Father, Like Son (1961) [The Young Sinner] and The Born Losers (1967). In sparser times he managed to find some unbilled bits in several of Jerry Lewis's film slapstick of the 1960s, and fell in with the party crowd in A Swingin' Affair (1963), Winter A-Go-Go (1965) and A Swingin' Summer (1965). His TV career kicked in as the 1960s approached with a number of rugged guest roles on such established westerns as "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Rawhide," "Laramie" and "Gunsmoke."

In later years, Bill found work in a few more cult classics, including Black Caesar (1973), It's Alive (1974), and Laughlin's "Billy Jack" sequels. Establishing himself as a solid character actor, he took the lead in the apocalypse thrillers Image of the Beast (1980) and The Prodigal Planet (1983), the latter featuring daughter Cathy Wellman.
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