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A FRONTIER RACD.
How a $95,000 Gold Dust Purse was Won at the First Denver Race Track. [Denver Trihune.] One early May morning in 1860 three trav el-stainee and weary looking objects made their way into the frontier settlement of Denver from the old Salt Lake trail. Two men seated upon the back of one horse, in Mexican style, was not an uuusual sight in those days ; but there was a something about this trio which had the air of the extraordi nary or mysterious. The news of the strangs arrival spread from cabin to cabin in a few minutes; and when the party halted at the Elephant corral a large crowd of people were already waiting to speak them wel come. The strangers were attired in full buckskin suits and armed to the teeth ; their horse, a seemingly spirited bay, was attenua ted and hoof-worn; his hide was covered with streaks of dry foam and alkali mud, and his back was scarified from the constant carrying.of the saddle. He was a pitiable sight as he tottered into the stall allotted to him, and the prediction was made by the bystanders that he would not survive the night. "Give Old Ruffian the best there is in the feed box," said one of the new comers, ten derly. "He has stood by us through a rough tramp, and saved our necks. It it hadn't been for him we'd been food for Mormon crows loug before this." The truth was soon out : the two w re Tom Hunt and Jim Harrison, the notorious outlaws of Utah, and the horse was none other than "Border Ruffian," the famed Salt Lake racer. Ruffian had reigned as king of the Mor mon turf for several years ; in long or short tests of speed under the saddle he had never been second at the outcome. His name was a household word in every camp in Utah and the adjoining Territories, and his victories afforded themes for the most thrilling stor ies. Money could not induce his owner to part with. Hunt and Harrison, who were partners in the proprietorship of a gambling bell, had lost a reasonable fortune in battlilg against Ruffian, and resolved to steal and transport him to'a new country. While their plans were yet immature, Hunt murdered a prominent Mormon, and after a brief trial he was condemned to hang for the crime. The sc.ffold was erected on the outskirts of Salt Lake, near the Overland road, and the mur derer was to swing midst all the pomp of legal execution. In the excitement attend ing the preparation on the morning of the expected hanging, Harrison entered the sta ble of Ruffi n and spirited the racer away. He then rode to the gellows unexpected, slipped two six-shooters into Hunt's hands, and before the officials or multitude had re covered from their surprise, the outlaws were charging down the Weber Canyon trail at a speed which defied capture. One of a num ber of parting rifl shots killed Harrison's horse, and it became necessary for Ruffian to carry both men. The Mormons pursued the desperadoes both day and night, but wvere powerless to overtake them, so wonderful was thespeed and endurance of the stolen bay. Not until one hundred miles had been covered did men or beast stop for food o. rest, and the morning of the tenth day they arrived at Denver, 600 miles from the Mor mon Capital. These facts once circulated, Ruffian be came the hero of the hour, and in contem plating his tanrvelous feats, the outlawed owners were almost forgotten. Every kind ness and care were lavished upon him, and in two weeks he was in a condition to go in to training for the camp. Captain A. B. Miller, a wealthy sporting man, had bought him and then challenged the country for a rival. Among the '59 pioneers of the settlement were three brothers, "the Greer boys," as they were familiarly know. They had come from Iowa, were passionately fond of racing stock, and possessed a number of fast race horses. Conspicuous amongst these was a bay-almost the counterpart of Ruffim in weight, color and style-who had worked bis way across the plains, in the harness of a "prairie schooner." Rocky Mountain Chief, as he was called, had retained the proud distinction of being the best horse in the Territory up to the time of Ruffi:n's ad vent, and his owners did not propose to let the honor fade until his defeht had been ac complished. So a mile heat, best two in three, was arranged to take place September on the McNassdr farm, noith of Dtnver, the purse being $40 000 in gold. The horses were put in active.training: the news was heralded to to Tarryall, Breckinridge, Alma, California Gulch, Clear Creek and the other dig!;ings, and for hundreds of miles in a country where the modes for travel were the most primitive and slow, the approaching race became the one topic of conversation. From the outlying camps and settlements miners and farmers flocked into town, days in advance of the advent; one with his buckskin pouch overflowing with the pioflts of the sluice box, and the other accompanied by his wife, daughter, and a few head of betting stock. The outside stakes c0 the race were about even, the gamblers aud sports being sor RBuffian, and the miners and farmers betting on Chief On the day pre ceding that of the race the owners had a ferocious discussion about the horses, at concluded by increasing the stakes to 4, 000 a side (this w all the maoney the Q:i brothers could raie), maritng tlie putree $;:, 000, the largest one ever made for a mile race in the United States. E Derby or Prix de Paris never created 1 fiercer enthusiasm, and afternoon sun never shone upon a scene more wildly animated than that frontier race course. Thee was no high enclosure, no morose ticket seller, no insolent gate tender, no protecting po licemen. All was go as you please, go i where you please, and uneniding confusion ; at least ten thousand men, woman and chil dren encircled the track in a hapless, swel tering chain. The roughest and kindest, the 1 uilest and purest of the border elements there migled without distinction. The men all armed and many of them carried rifles. An imposing stand had hastily been constructed from rough boards and logs, and in this structure the judges officiated. The. gold dust purse had been melted at the mint and 1 the 400 pound retort of shining metal was suspended by wires and ropes stretched across thk track from the stand to a huge poet. Men wildly staked their claims, their homes, stock and money, and those of the women who possessed diamonds or jewelry did not hesitate to risk their baubles on the result. At last amid frenzied cheers the horses got got a start, Ruffian forging ahead from bhe stand. Chief flew the track, went over a 1 deep embankment, and before he could re cover the first heat was practically decided in Ruffian's favor. A yell of disappointment went up from the multitude, and a rush was made to lynch the man who started Chief. He succeeded in escaping the mob unharmed however. More than one hundred thousand dollars had changed hands on the heat. The gamblers, encouraged, doubled bets; staked everything on the second heat, and the out siders, yet confident, met them all cheer tully. An even start was obtained in the second heat, and the two horses passed into the quarter stretch neck and neck. At the half pole, Ruffian, in response to hard whipping, slowly took the lead. All this time, Chief had been given a free rein, but had been spared the lash. Charlie Hamilton, a des perado, who had all his earthly possessions staked on the Chief, stood at the back stretch pole as the horses approached, a navy revolver in each hand. "Lay the whip to that horse or I'll drop you from the saddle," he shouted to Eugene Teats, Chief's rider, sighting both of his weapons. Teats knew that Hamilton would keep his word unless the order was obeyed, and although he was confident that Chief would win the second heat without urging he lost no time in applying the whip. He drew blood at every stroke, and Chief went under the wire winner of the heat by 100 feet, in 1:42. Then commenced a riot and turmoil, the like of which was never before or since wit nessed on a race course. Men pulled their Ssix shooters and fired madly, indiscriminate ly; gold dust, in the quarrel for stakes, was scattered recklessly in the sand, and even the woman forgot their modesty so far as to curse their ill luck in round Anglo Saxon ephithets. Ruffian was completely broken down after tbii beat, and the gamblers, appreciating Sthat they were braten, became frantic with rage. Con Orem and Charley Switz, who atterwards became noted prize fighters, stood at the door to the stand and held the crowd at bay until the judges had given their decision. Chief was ordered on the track, and after making the half mile wire was de clared winner of the race, The judges had to be escorted from the track to town by an armed escort composed of volunteers from the winning side. Mounted on broncho ponies with pistols t and Bowie knives drawn, the Greer brothers a nd a party of friends made their way to the $95,000 nugget and cut it to the ground. It was loaded in a wagon and taken into town, a guard accompanying the precious freight. SThere was a large number of people shot and stabbed in the melee, but fortunately e none died from their wounds. SThat night Denver was one blazing revel Sry; one gorgeous orgie. The immense nug get was cut up into smaller and more com mercial commokities. Teats was presented n with $5.000 worth of these. The balance e of the winning were equally divided by the brothers, and in less than forty-eight hours Ihey had squandered all. In a state of in ebriety they sold the Chief to Captain McGee, the war guerrilla, for $150, who was subsequently tortured to death by the In diana. When McGee was captured, Chief e.caped to the Ogallala range and fell inwith the famous band of wild horses which has existed in that region for years. He was never recovered. SRuffian seeme. to realize that his days of glory on the turf had come to a sudden end ing. and after that memorable contest he be g came ambitionless and worthless. For Sweeks he stood in hies stall motionless and Swith bowed head, impervious alike to the 5 caresses of visitors and the voice of the host ler, escarcely tasteing the graint allowed him. One bitter cold November morning the great Mormonracer was found stiff and lifeless upon the floor. . A 31l isuvsmei s. : An New Yorker was seated in- an Opice in a ( nnison city one day not los( ago, when a 4 gtly-ooolng oi edlli iutered and led4 if ,. that was'i . place where they sold shares of observed, "I have heard the White Horse spoken of as being a likely mine." "It cer tainly is. We took 10,000 dollars worth of ore out in one day." "Phew she must be just old richness ! "How many men have ye got to work ?" "Oh, about 300!" "Haveye though? Are the sheers going off purty lively ?" "Shares are selling like hot cakes, and we have only a few left. Everybody says the White Horse is a big investment." "What are sheers worth to-day ?" "I will sell you at ninety-five though I know they will be face value to morrow." "No! You don't really mean ninety-five ?" "I do." "Well that's better. There's a 100 shares which you sold my pard yesterday for twenty dol lars. I went over to the mine, and found nothing but a hole and a dead mule and I told him I'd come up and get my money 4 back or do some shooting. I'm 'tarnal glad to find them sheers has riz from twenty to ninety-five. That will give my pard his money back, and buy me a winter outfit be sides. Here's the sheers and now let me see the color of your money." "But, sir, we " "Pass out the cash," said the old man, as he rested at the end of his shooter on the edge of the counter. The "Company" E rd left his revolver in his overcoat outside. After a look round, with a bland smile he began counting out the money; ani as he made the exchange, he said 'Certaily, esir gr atest of pleasure, ,sir Sorry you didn't hold the,; .,ne day more and get the full face value " Atchison's Trading Post SIX 1MILES SOUTH OF FORT RIAGINN IS. A complete stock of General Merchandise, INDIAN GOODS, And Miners' Outfits. Having removed my stock of merchandise from Ft. Maginnis, and added a large and complete invoice of new goods, I am prepared to supply settlers, miners, and travelers with as good goods an<l at as low figures as any store in this seetion of the coun,ry outside of Fort Benton, 40 JNO. S. ATCHISON. Lath, Shingles. HOLTER & ELLS t Will deliver Lumber to order at any point along the Missouri River from Stickney Creek to Fort Benton. Parties wishing lumber address HOLTER & ELLR, - -1tt Care WM. MOORE, Benton Road. SChoteau House NEW HOTEL. Thoroughly Refitted and Newly Purnished. JERRY SULLIVAN, SProprietor. SConductei on first-class prmnciples. Everything new neat and attractive. Feelin a sured that we can offer the very best of accommodation, we res e pectfully solicit the patronage of the public. PRICE' REA"ONABLI. ' THE LARGEST AND BEST HOTEL IN CHOTEAU COUNTY. SPALACE PARLORS Front Street, Fort Benton. -:THE - Finest Tonsorial Parlors IN THE NORTRWEST. SAMIUEL PALDING, Propraetor. CENTENNIAL HOTEL SBENTON, MONTANA. R. 8. 1CULBE1RTSON, SPROPRlETOR. NEW AND COIFJ TABIZE R00 IS With or without fre. The house ha. been recently f enlarged and new sleeping rooms added. Board by the day or weeL. Special ratc5 given Regular Boarders. SPassengers on Coaehbes wishing to Stop ir st bl11 aoase will please Inform lthe drivers. SF. J. GAUGLER, Dealer in a line of SGeneral Merchandise. MAITWIENSDALE, 31. T, I alays have n hand £ full supply of goods demand edby the trade, and eU them a reasonable A good hotel, under the mausaement of Mrs. Bar i rows; a saloon and view aftbte, anter the manate ment o Msews.b ihieds &..Lund, and a cotplet blaekmnith- shon are ran In connectlea with the Sstor . Coe toe "too nl ad use _ nse befors bsq I_ tng1 * tmhbdal.s M. t DAVIDSON & MOFFITT, Manufacturers and Dealers in HARNESS, SADDLES Saddlery Hardware, Etc., Etc. WOOL SACKS, TWINE, SHEEP SHEARS, TENTS, ETC. -o- Agent for Hill's CONCORD BUGGY AND TEAM HARNESS. -0 Cash Paid for Hides Furs, Peltries, Wool, E c., Etc. Repairing Neatly aI,. Prom p ly Done. 1881. ESTABLISHED 1876 L. H. ROSENCRANS, -:MANUFACTURER AND DEALER IN: SADDL£ , HARNESS, SADDLERY HARDWARE. Black.Snake Whips, Hobbles, 3 California Lashes, Halters, Curry Cembs, Rading Bridles," Horse Brushes, Side Saddles, Mexican Spars, Horse R ankets,) Block Stirrups, Surcingles, Slipper Stirrups, Horse Collars, Iroe Boa.-d Stirrups Harness Soap, Plaited Bridle BReis, Feed Bags, Picket swivels, Whip %talks, GI .ves and Mittens, Teuts, Harness Oil, Cinches, Mills, Leak & Co.'s Gloves adl Mittens. Cor. Front.and Bond Sts., Fort Benton, Montana. SULLIVAN & GOSS, Harness and Saddle MANUFACTUR ERS, Front Street, Benton. MIont. 3 kWe keep a full line of Saddlery Hardware, Collars, Whips, Blankets and Coronas. Saddle-Trees of every descriotion, including the celebrated IRON ,FORK and LIVE OAK TREES. Particular attention paid to the manu facrure of TEIAS, COLORADO, CHEYENNE AIhD IONTANA STYLE STOCK SADDLES, Also all grades of Harness, from the Lightest to the Heaviest, suitable for Stock men, Ranchmen, Freighters and others. No Machine Stitched Work in our Stock I Ladies' Saddles always on hand. Highest Cash Price paid for Hides, Furs, Wool and Peltries. Prompt atteniion paid to orders by mail and satisfaction guaranteed. OVERLAND HOTEL Front Street, Fort Benton. This popular Hotel is situated in the centre of the town, convenient to the business houses, and opposite the steamboat landing. A number of New Rooms have been recently added, and nothing is left undone which will contribute to the comfort and convenience of guests. JOHN HUNSBERGER, PROPRIETOI. ALL C~OACHES RUNNING INTO FORT BENTON ARRIVE ATIAND DEPART FROM THIS HOTEL. WRIGHT & EDWARDS MININ"G COMPANY OFFICE, PORT BENTON, MONTANA. -- - CAPITAL, $1,000,000. 500,000 SHARES. Own the Wright & Edwards Mines and Mill Site Attached. -0 TRUSTEES:, JWON w. POWRa , al. L. WEaoT, JOl'R *. I·ILL, *. 3*. coLIN!q 1. 5. DYDONeNLLY. JOSEPH 8. HILL, Presldent. J. J. DONNELLY, tsecretaty. H. L. WRIGHT, Vici-Presideat T. E. COLLINS, Treasurer. ' A limited numberot ba~reaof TresuryJtock is ofered for sal at s0 cents per share antil firther advanced witheat notice.