Baca County History

by the Plainsman Herald

Baca County News Nov 1898,


The following provides a sampling of a what was important in Nov 1898 as reported in the Nov 11, 1898 Springfield Herald. I think in the future I will tie these closer to the Month in which they occurred, but we will start with this one for now. There was very little local news. J.R. Austin called the time from 1890 to about 1910 the “Dormant Years” so I supposed that makes sense if not a lot was happening. Note that in the “Local and Personal” Section the news repeats some of the ads from the paper. Per the ads what was important were wagons, buggies, the stageline, railroad, doctors and phonographs. The most familar Baca County name in 1889. Some may remember the J. K. Doughty name from the blog post “BOSTON, LAMAR, & SAM KONKEL’S “AN OUTLAW IN LAMAR”


American Cowboy Fills the Bill —He Is Used So Live In the Saddle for Days, Is Resourceful, Has an Indian Instinct of Locality.
(Special Letter)

To be a perfect cavalryman the man must have learned  to ride before he learned to walk. is the saying of a high military authority. It is supported by the fact that the conquering cavalry forces in all ages of history have been recruited from regions in which the horseman was the only man of consideration, and the art of riding was taught the hoy at so early an age that it was an instinct with him rather than an acquirement. 

There is another class of cavalryman like the British mounted regiments in India, the French in Algiers, and those splendid riders, the United States cavalry, seasoned by scouting service and Indian campaigns on the plains—cavalrymen of the modern school who fight either in the saddle or dismounted, and through constant frontier warfare against savage horsemen have become admirably effective troopers. For the gathering, branding, herding and shipment of the millions of cattle that roamed the plains, a class of men who could ride, and endure and take risks, was required, and thus the cowboy was developed. He is the successor of the Texas and Mexican vaquero. multiplied and modified. He can ride and throw the rope as well as the old time vaqueros, but has more of the civilized and fewer of the homicidal traits than his lawless, picturesque predecessor. 

He was bred upon the ranches or came as a young man from the “States,” attracted by the adventurous life of the plains, and Inspired by the hope of making a fortune in cattle raising, as so many men did in the beginning. Usually the newcomer was a passable rider before he came west. Afterwards, by experience more or less painful, he learned the idiosyncrasies of broncho nature, how to keep his saddle in a “pitching sea,” with his pony Jumping stiff-legged beneath him, and to handle cattle in all their moods in all weathers.

 It would be difficult to find anywhere cavalry recruits better fitted in character and training than the cowboy of the plains. In everything but military discipline he is a proved soldier through ills mode of life. He is hardy, enduring, accustomed to hardships, to sudden call to duty, and to long stretches in the saddle without food or rest. His bed is the ground under the rain or stars as may happen; his simple fare is much the same as that of the army soldier. His home is the saddle, and he is usually a good shot, who can manage his firearms handily from the back of a horse. His standard of honor and duty, as he sees them, is high, and he thinks that nothing is so disgraceful as cowardice. In his personal quarrels and in defending his life and his employer’s property against Indians and white robbers he has in many cases had already his baptism of fire. He is resourceful in emergency, and. a valuable quality in a cavalryman, He has an Indian Instinct of locality and difficult country. Moreover, he is an ultra-loyal American, aggressively patriotic and ready at all times to fight for his country’s honor at “the drop of the hat.” 

What discipline and Intrepidity the cowboy will show in action, when led by officers like Wood and Roosevelt, is told in the story of the charge of La Quaslna and the carrying of the hill of San Juan in the taking of Santiago de Cuba. Employed as infantry, throughout the advance and siege, the rough riders showed the steadiness of regulars, not only in active fighting but in the harder ordeal of waiting under fire. 

Local and Personal

Dr. L S. Bryant, DENTIST, Will visit Springfield about Dec. 14, and remain 5 days. 

Severe cold weather election day and the day following. J. W. White and L. Knox brought the election returns over from Minneapolis precinct. 

The Lamar-Springfield Stage Line has a new ad in this issue. 

Sam Squires is back from Richfield, Kansas, where he was drilling wells. 

N. N. McLean, Lamar keeps fresh, pure drugs. Also a line line of shoes, gent’s furnish’ngs. etc. 

S. A. Fairbank was a passenger on the stage to Lamar Monday. He was going to his ranch near Granada, where he will start with a bunch of cattle for Kansas City. 

Mathews’ at Coolidge, Kans., Will buy your produce. They deal in car load lots and will sell to you cheap.

 We are requested to announce that there will be another spell, ing match at the school house Week from to night. Let everyone come, it will do you good besides a source of amusement, 

W. G. Boyd, ‘-The Fair,” at Lamar is a good place to do your trading. He handles dry goods, boots and shoes, at prices that will suit you. 

Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Christy was In town Wednesday night on their Way to Lamar to visit with the Harrison family. Val Hays will look after things on the ranch during their absence. 

D. C. Owens has again assumed control of the Lamar and StonIngton mail routes, and tells us that the mail will be carried hereafter according to schedule time. This Indeed would be very satisfactory to the patrons ol the offices on these routes as the service of late had become almost intolerable. 

R. L. Lowder, U. S. Mail Attorney, was here looking after the mail routes first of the week. Mr. Lowder was looking in particular after the Lamar-Springlield Stonington routes, the ones that have been giving trouble for the past six  weeks. He informed us that the mail would run regularly hereafter.

Thanksgiving Day. Nov. 24th. has been designated W President McKinley as the day forgiving thanks. The people of Springfield and vicinity have decided to observe that day by exercises at the school house filled for the occasion. Everyone is invited to attend and help to make the day pass pleasantly.

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