Newspaper Page Text
Z\ D D =4 HE OLD mOWTIER Cody, Most Noted of Plainsmen, Had a Reputation as Indian Fighter at Age of Twelve Years; His Spectacular Duel With Yellow Hand ^ j , , V Drawing by Rmselfl r r HEN William f. tody died & few years ago and his body was laid at rest in that picturesque tomb prepared for it on the feummit of Lookout mountain, overlooking the city of Denver, there passed from the stage of the vanishing old west one of the few survivors from among the ranks of the great plains scouts and fron tiersmen, and the most widely known of all of this type whose names were household words a few decades ago. Yellowstone Kelly, who is spending the eve ning of his life at Paradise, Calif., and one or two others who were noted Indian fighters and plainsmen in their day, still survive. When they have passed on the chapter in west ern history devoted to their kind may be closed, and it forms not the least thrilling of the chapters on frontier days. While the great reputation as a frontiersman that Cody enjoyed was well deserved, for he was the hero of as many desperate encounters and thrill ing experiences as any of his kind, he became more familiar to later generations as a not too successful showman ,and a somewhat hazy recollection of the stirring life he led and the extraordinary deeds of heroism he performed in the 60s and 70s remains in the minds of the public. In truth, Cody ranks with Carson, Bridger and oth er great frontier figures. In many respects his exploits were more spectacular and dramatic than those of the others. Cody 's Childhood From infancy Cody was ac customed to frontier life, with its dangers and hardships. He was born in Scott county, Iowa, ste^became^a' proficient °trap- ! Wh™ he was onlv seven - per. years old his father, Isaac Cody, disposed of his farm and moved to Kansas, establishing himself on the Missouri-Kan sas border. Shortly afterward he opened a trading post on the Kickapoo reservation where his son had an opportunity to fa miliarize himself with the In dian character. Young Cody's remarkable ability as a horseman he owed to his uncle, Horace Billings, whom he met in an unusual manner. Billings, himself a plainsman of note, was return ing to the eastern settlements with seven, other men and a herd of several hundred horses which they had taken wild in California and driven across the mountains and plains. Be chance they stopped at the Cody trading post, for Billings had never seen the elder Cody. Watching the lad trying to mount a fractious pony outside the post, Billings approached, slipped -a noose over the ani mal's nose and sprang upon his back. To Cody's delight the stranger dashed away over the prairie in a wide circle and re turned with the pony suffi ciently exhausted to be quite tractable. On telling Billings his name the latter was aston ished to find the boy was his nephew. He took especial pains to make young Cody an accom plished horseman and roper and instructed him also in oth er arts of the plainsman. It was in this way that Cody, at the age of 10 years, was a fine rider, a crack shot with pistol or rifle and could take care of himself with the best of them in anv emergency of frontier life. He picked up several In dian languages and eyen be came as proficient with the bow and arrow as the average Red warrior. Cody Saves His Father In 1854, when the enabling act of Kansas territory was passed, excitement ran high over whether or not Kansas should be made a slave state. The elder Cody, while address ing a gathering against slavery was attacked by a political op ponent and stabbed in the breast, being seriously wound ed. Having shed the first blood in Kansas in favor of freedom for the negro, he was obliged to escape to a point near Fort Leavenworth to avoid hanging by a mob. His enemies pursued him, however, and probably would have surprised and killed hiriT had not young Cody to of , in of in a in M Ua I, t 1 <m IM* w* ** -5» -J* - y /s v ^ Â &C. <//* I y? -=L t > m -j* Yt -, T> U !'//// T S \ w* » '*r. fa *S// ' s ~ & j î If, y, 'S/// ' Ss ? / it ''-m 0< w u </ * m K é V %// /iL, A u § Ck'i', 'r-i > : -s.v. y '/>£ -■-V Z r '4 w % w il Vi /f m / r m m À T- '!/ A u r.y x: z //. & n & /. VS/„ d '/ V" W// '0 2Jj r ï H-„ t OJr^'s t U Copyrighted 1922 by the Cheely-Kaban Syndicate CODY'S FIGHT WITH YELLOW HAND ! Iearned of their plans. In a wild ride of man y miles - hotly pursued by the lynching party, the 10-year-old boy got to his father in time. Together they reached Lawrence in safety, and the elder Cody became a member of the first legislature of Kansas and assisted in or ganizing the territoiy into a state. Before he had reached his eleventh birthday, young Cody was employed by the famous transportation firm of Majors, Russell «Sc Waddell, the greatest freighting concerns of the pe riod in the west. He worked as a cattle herder in Kansas for two years, but at the age of 12 he found himself on the trail to Salt Lake City with a herd of beef for the government troops who were sent west to fight the Mormons. It was on this trip and at this age that he killed his first Indian on the Platte river, some 35 miles west of old Fort Kearney. It was during the attack made by the Reds on the cattle herders, and young Cody at once be came a hero. , Cody Meets Wild Bill Life on the freight trails be tween the Missouri and Salt Lake in the 50s was filled with danger and excitement. The wagons were huge affairs, ca pable of carrying as much as three and one-half tons of mer chandise. They were provided with a double canvas cover stretched over bows to protect the freight from rain. Several yoke of oxen drew each wagon, the wagons not being string to gether and pulled by a dozen or more yoke of cattle as was done in later years. The train usually consisted of 25 wagons and 25 drivers, with other employes for herding, etc. The wagon master was called the "bull wa gon boss," and his word was law. Majors, Russell & Wad dell had 250 trains, consisting of 6,000 wagons, 75,000 oxen and 8,000 men. Young Cody, in his thirteenth year, drew $50 a month wages. One of the drivers in the train to which he was attached was James B. Hickok, later fa mous as "Wild Bill," the border town marshal, who remained a close friend of Cody until Hickok was killed at Deadwood in the middle 70s. Becomes Army Scout For a year or two Cody was employed variously in trapping, mining in Colorado and as a pony express rider, and his life was one of continual hardship and danger that required the j utmost resourcefulness and | courage. It was during his j service as a pony express rider j that his reputation on the j plains began to grow. In 1862 j he joined the expedition against the Indians in Kansas as a scout, and the next year enlisted in the Seventh Kansas volunteers, seeing much heavy fighting in Tennessee and Mis souri. On this campaign he fell in with his old friend, "Wild Bill" Hickok ,who was a Union scout and spy, and together they had some thrilling ad ventures and hair-raising es capes within the Confederate lines. After the war he returned to his plains life, and in 1867 first fell in with General Custer, for whom he became guide for a short period. Cody was always of a specu lative disposition, but his busi ness judgment was usually not good. His first bid for wealth came about 1868, when he and a friend. William Rose, know ing that the Kansas Pacific railway would cross Big Creek, in Kansas, decided to buy a site and lay out a town there, ex pecting to make a fortune from the sale of town lots. Their j town they named Rome, having | in mind their intention of mak ing the place "howl" as a live western city. They offered an inside lot to anyone who would build upon it, reserving for themselves a considerable num ber of choice locations and all corner lots. Rome shortly be gan to howl according to their expectations, and soon there were 200 houses, a hotel and several saloons and stores. They believed they were about to make a "killing" in a finan cial way. But about that time a Dr. Webb, who was townsite agent for the railroad, arrived in Rome. Going to work quiet ly, he staked out another town site about a mile from Rome and called it Hays City. He then announced that the rail road would build shops there and establish a division head quarters. Within a few weeks every building in Rome had moved to Hays City. Flat broke, Cody went to work as buffalo hunter for the construc tion department of the railroad. Cody's Buffalo Record Cody was soon hailed as the greatest buffalo hunter in the world. Only one man disputed the title. That was a scout, Comstock, who was attached to Fort Wallace. A trial of skill waa arranged with a stake of $500. The place selected was 20 miles east of Sheridan, Kan sas. The event was widely ad vertised and hundreds of peo-;a ple from as far away as St. j Louis went to see the match, j It was agreed that both men ! should ride into the herd, Cody j taking the right side and Com- ! stock the left. Cody rod® his j famous buffalo horse, Brigham, j and used a ,50-caliber rifle which he called Lucretia Bor gia. A man went with each to the head of his part of the herd, and killing the leaders, soon had the rest running in a circle. He kept riding around them, shooting, until he had 69 animals lying dead in a very j small circle. Comstock rode | after his animals and killed the j rearmost each time. He killed ; only 46 buffalo and they were ! scattered over a distance of j three or four miles. Cody was ' cheerfully acclaimed the cham- j How Cabinet Officials View National Situation What They Consider the Day's Greatest Problems—The Outlook As They See It. At evpry conference on the "state of the union"—as the old phrase has it-—tl<nt meets in Washington, for mally or informally, the specters of fevered Europe and the depressed state of American agriculture attend, bidden or unbidden. Every business and every statesman knows that either of these specters may upset every rosy forecast of the- commercial and indus trial future. It appears that the spec ter of agricultural discontent is about to be laid so far aa it is within the capacity of government to do it, but there are many misgivings regarding Europe, and a gnawing thought even in the mind of the most determined op ponent of economic intervention in Europe that by doing nothing to set tle the problems of Europe we may be doing everything to rear porten tous problems for ourselves. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that several of the cabinet mem bers who contributed their views to a recent number of the Magazine of Wall Street on what seems to them worthy of remark, refer directly or in directly to the incidence of the prob lem of Europe and of our agricultur al economics on the present condition and the business outlook. The presi dent gave particular attention to the agricultural position in his -annual message, and his disclaimer of re sponsibility for Europe betrays his in ward concern. Secretary Wallace, in his contribution to this symposium nat urally devotes his attention to the ag ricultural question, but he finds that the unsettled state of Europe is a ma jor factor in determining it. Secretary Mellon conditions his forecast of the future on developments in Europe and dwells on the disparity between the prices of agricultural commodities and those of others. Mr. Hoover finds the farmer's distress obtruding itself in all his calculations affecting commerce. Some Are Optimistic Every contributor to the symposium pion, and this circumstance, coupled with the fact that, as hunter for the Kansas Pa j cific, he killed 4,280 buffalo in j jg months, gave him the name ! of Buffalo Bill. j ç oc jy' s adventures as a scout ! , + . j a ld gulde I0 . r th ® an ^ °. n th ® j P' ains al * e almost without end in the telling. 1 or several years he was chief of scouts for Gen eral Sheridan, being attached to various commands and per forming invaluable service. In 1 1872 he made a trip eastward and was lionized in Chicago and New York. James Gordon j Bennett, of the New York Her | aid, gave a great banquet for him. He returned to Nebraska and was elected a member ©f the state legislature. About this time the renowned Ned Bunt line wrote a play for him and engaged Cody and Texas Jack, sounds at least a minor note of optim ism, but Postmaster General Work dispenses with all depreciatory quali fications and boldly declares "that, we are "in the midst of a commercial and industrial activity such as this coun try has not seen before.'' Attorney General Daughert.v mentions neither Europe nor agriculture, but oue sus pects that the danger of political in fection from Europe was in his mind when he wrote: "I see nothing in the flux and change of the times to alarm those who are accustomed to base their operations on faith in the United States of America.'" Of course, Eu rope (rotables Mr. Hughes, and the troubles of the farmers and other in ternal problems are not ordinarily topics at the state department. Sec retary Davis comes almost up to Dr. Work's level of optimism when he de clares that industrial peace is near. Secretary Fall also makes a charac teristic contribution to economic hope fulness when he speaks of the natural riches yet at our command at home, and the stores of them that await our economic conquests of the tropics. Perhaps the best approximation of a composite of statements that deal with both adverse and similar topics is that all is surprisingly well with America at the moment, but tempered with ap prehension. implied rather thnn spok en, that the storms that rage abroad may descend upon us and dash the fairest prospects. Our Rapid Recovery Secretary Hoover says the most re markable feature of the commodity slump in our history was that it was passed without panic. He says: "The outstanding feature of the last fiscal year was that it marked the low point in the most violent commo dity slump in our history. During the 12 months both prices and manufac turing production outside of foodstuffs fell off roughly 40 per cent, some four to five nullion people were unemployed and business stagnated. Our recovery another frontier character, as stars. The play was produced in Chicago but when Cody came on the stage he could not re member a line of his part. Ned Buntline, who also had a part in the play, seeing the scout's embarrassment, helped him by asking: "Where have you been so long, Bill?" Cody glanced helplessly up at the boxes and suddenly spied a 1 prominent business man who was very well known in public and who had hunted Bui falo with Cody. A happy idea came to the latter and he re plied: "I've just brought Milligan back from a hunt, and he's still wearing his hair." This scored a great hit and the theater was, for minutes, in a tumult of applause. There has been marvelously rapid, for, within 1« months after the bottom of the slump, unemployment was practically extinguished and production was pro ceeding up to 85 and 95 per cent of normal. The readjustments are still unequal in price levels between vari ous commodities and between wage earners and farmers. Nevertheless the outlook is so improved; over a year ago to be scarcely comparable. "The most distinguishing feature of the slump was that for the first time a major commodity crisis—the great est we have ever faced—was passed without panic. Our rapid recovery is to be attributed to the fact that we were not compelled in relief from fin ancial panic to repair the vast destruc tion from bankruptcy that has inevitab ly followed such occasions. This fact is in main due to the federal reserve system which lias successfully stood the severest test that can ever be ap plied to it. "The fall in the prices of agricul tural produce during the recent de pression was the most violent of all commodity liquidations. In a general way agricultural prices are upon the basis of about 124 now, compared to pre-war 100, while industrial wages and public services and manufactured commodities are upon a basis of some what between 160 and 180, compared to pre-war 100. This is by far the most serious element of instability that remains of our domestic disloca tions due to war. Farmer Is "Goat" "The slump was in part the rota tion of the business cycle in our pro ductive industries. Thirteen times since the civil war have we passed through, these experiences. The peak periods of booms are times of specula tion, overexpansion, wasteful expen diture in industry and commerce, with consequent destruction of capital. The valleys are periods of economy and gain in national efficiency. The obvi ous way to check the losses and misery of depression is to cheek the destruc tive extremes of booms. The intelli gence of a people who have solved the prevention of financial panic and its interpretation into the widespread waste of bankruptcy can surely apply itself also to some measure of the solution of the prevention of com modity slumps and their fatal inter pretation in vast unemployment." Secretary Wallace contends that continued high freight rates, war-time wages, and overproduction have (Continued an Mine) after, however, Cody's dialogue was wholly impromptu. Immediately after the Custer disaster on the Little Big Horn in 1876, Cody took the field with the Fifth cavalry, under General Wesley Merritt, who came into action with a war party of 1,000 Cheyennes on War Bonnet creek, in South Da kota. Cody's own description of the battle follows : "We arrived at the creek the night of July 16th, and at day light the following morning I went out on a scout and found that the Indians had not yet crossed the creek. On my way back to the command I found a large party of Indians which proved to be the Cheyennes, coming up from the south, and I hurried to the camp with this important information. "The troopers quietly mount ed their horses and were or dered to remain out of sight, while General Merritt, accom panied by two or three aides and myself went out on a little tour of observation to a neigh boring hill, from the summit of which we saw that the Indians | were approaching almost di rectly toward us. Presently 15 or 20 of them dashed off to the west in the direction from which we had come the night before; and upon closer obser vation with field glasses, we discovered two mounted sol diers, evidently carrying dis patches for us, pushing for ward on our trail. "The Indians were evidently trying to intercept these two men and Generai Merritt feared that they would accomplish their object. He did not think it advisable to send any soldiers to the assistance of the couriers for fear they would show to the Indians that there were troops in the vicinity who were wait ing for them. I finally sug gested that the best plan was to wait until the couriers came closer to the command, and then just as the Indians were about to charge, let me take the scouts and cut them off from the main body of the Chey ennes, who were coming over the divide. " 'All right, Cody, if you can do that, go ahead.' "I rushed back to the com mand, jumped on my horse, picked out 15 men and returned with them to the point of ob servation. I told General Mer ritt to give us the word to start and presently he sang out: 'Go in now, Cody, and be quick about it.' Cody's Famous Duel "Ths two messengers were not over 400 yards from us, and the Indians were only about 200 yards behind them. We dashed over the bluffs and ad vanced on a gallop toward the Indians. A running fight last ed several minutes, during which we drove the enemy some little distance and killed three of them. The rest rode off toward the main body, which had come in plain sight and halted upon seeing the skirm ish that was going on. We were about half a mile from General Merritt, and the Indians whom we were chasing suddenly turned upon us and another lively skirmish took place. "One of the Indians, hand somely decorated, as a war chief usually was when on the warpath, sang out to me in his own tongue: 'I know you, Pa he-haska (Long Hair) ; if you want to fight, come ahead and fight me.' "The chief was riding his horse back and forth in front | of his men as if to banter me, and I concluded to accept the challenge. I galloped toward him for 50 yards and he ad vanced toward me about tho same distance, both of us rid ing at full speed, and then, when we were only about 30 yards apart, I raised my rifle and fired ; his horse fell to the ground, having been killed by my bullet. Almost at the sama instant my own horse went down, having stepped in a go pher hole. The fall did nob hurt me and I sprang instantly to my feet. The Indian had also recovered himself and wa were now both on foot, not; more than 20 paces apart. We both fired simultaneously. My luck did not desert me, for his bullet missed me, while mine struck him in the breast. He reeled and fell, but before he had fairly touched the ground I was upon him, knife in hand, and had driven the keen-edged weapon to its hilt in his heart. Jerking his war bonnet off I scalped him, and as the soldiers came up I swung the top-knot and bonnet in the air, shouting, 'The first scalp for Custer.' " This was virtually Cody's last service as a scout on the plains for the following year he en gaged in stage productions which later grew into his Wild West show. Until a year or two before his death at Denver he remained in the arena with va rious enterprises of the kind he initiated.