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Sunday 2nd

Fine Morning, Sharp frost, Traveled 3 1/2 Hours, part of the
Way rather Hilly, campt on the [Platte?], Train started at 4 P M,
crossed the Platte Bridge, camped on the North Side, Tea 4 Dollars
per Ib.

Monday 3rd

Fine Morning, first 6 miles from Platte Bridge very Hilly ending
for some distance in a valley skirting the Platte Traveled 12 Miles
and campt on the Platte for the last time near "Red Bute," the place
[where] Bro G Simms was Drowned, very cold and Windy.

Tuesday 4th

Fine Morning, No Breakfast, walked about 18 miles, train started
at 6.30, crossed a stream, campt at 1 oc near Willow Springs, Pretty
good Road afternoon went about 7 miles across a very high Hill,
camped at Dark at "Fish Creek," 1 Waggon broke down, Sage Brush
for fuel.

Wednesday 5th

Fine Morning, Crossed 2 streams, Traveled till 1.30 P M over a
sandy Road part of the Way, camped on a small but beautiful stream,
sage brush for fuel, Train started at 4 P M, started for the salaratus


beds, went a long distance across the Prairies, went out of our Way,
lost my Cane went a long distance Back got some distance be-
hind the train got several Ibs of salaritus, camped on the "Sweet
Water River, Sage Brush no Wood cold Night.

Thursday 6th

Fine Morning, Went with my Wife across Independence rock, a
large Grunate Rock rising to a great height from the plain near
the Banks of Sweet Water. Forded the River near the West side of
the Rock, went on over a pretty good road somewhat hilly and camped
on a fine platt near the Devils Gate Traveled in the afternoon about
10 miles over a good Road and camped near the Sweetwater, sage
brush for fuel.

Friday 7th

Fine Morning, sharp Frost, Traveled till noon, Road Sandy,
Crossed a stream, afternoon started at 2 oc P M, very Windy, sand
blowing fearfully, campt before Sundown on a Good Grass Platt near
Sweetwater, Plenty of Chips for Fuel.

Saturday 8th

Cold and Rainy morning, Traveled 8 miles and Campt, at 3 Cross-
ing of the sweetwater, saw snow on the Mountains, Crossed the sweet-
water 4 times, Started at 2 P M over a Good Road between the Rocky
Mountains, campt on the Sweet Water, plenty of Chips, very cold

Sunday 9th

Fine Morning, Train started at 7 A M, commencement of Jour-
ney very sandy, went 15 miles and campt at the Stream from the
Mountain springs, started at 4 P M, went about 3 miles and camped at
Mountain Springs, on camp Guard very cold Night.

Monday 10th

Fine Morning, very cold, stopped at Sage Creek to Water Cattle,
come 5 miles of very Hilly Road, went 7 miles farther and nooned at
"Antelope Springs," afternoon Went 6 miles and campt at "Barlows
Springs," Road very Rocky and Hilly nearly all the Way losing
cattle nearly every day.

Tuesday llth

Fine Morning very cold came 7 miles and Campt on the "Sweet-
water River," afternoon started at 2 P M, came 9 miles and campt
on Hoe Creek, Roads most of the Way very Hilly and Rocky, sharp
frosty night.


Wednesday 12

Fine Morning, Camp moved at 7 A M, came 12 miles over a splen-
did Road most all the Way came over the South Pass did not know
it untill we had passed it, camped at "Pacific Springs," snow on the
Mountains started at 4 P M, came about 11 miles and camped on
"Dry Sandy Creek" 3 3 at 9 P M, bad place for fuel.

Thursday 13th

Fine Morning, camp started at 8 A M, came along a good road
most all the Way, nooned on the Little Sandy Creek, plenty good
Water, little feed, afternoon camp moved at 4 P M, Camped this morn-
ing at 1.30 splendid day, crossed Little Sandy, Traveled 10 miles
and camped at 8 oc P M on the "Big Sandy," Good feed for Cattle,
Plenty of Water, But no Wood.

Friday 14th Sept

Started at 8 A M, Traveled 4 1/2 Hours, noon on "Big Sandy,"
afternoon went over very Hilly Rd, very stormy, Thunder and light-
ning, Campt at Dark 3 time on the Big Sandy.

Saturday 15th

Fine Morning, pretty good Road, came 10 miles, Forded "Green
Rr [River] and campt on the West Bank, good Ground, feed and
Water, caught 4 Fish.

Sunday 16th

Dull Morning, Traveled about 13 miles over rather a rough
Road, no grass. Dry camp at noon, afternoon Hills and Vales all the
Way, soil sandy, gravely, sage Brush, Campt on "Hams Fork," Trav-
eled 26 miles without water for Cattle.

Monday 17th

Fine Morning crossed at Hams Fork," Good camping Ground,
came 13 Miles and nooned on the "Black Fork or [of the] Muddy
River," very good Road nearly the Whole Distance, Country very
barren, no Grass, sand, clay and sage wild abound generaly. P M
Train moved out at 5 P M, supply of Bacon Gone, about 120 miles
from Salt Lake City. Train started at 5 P M and went 7 miles over
a good Road, Forded the Muddy, Water mudy, short of good Brush,
met 3 Wagons sent to help Pilgrims with Flour.

Tuesday 18th

Very fine Morning Nelly not very Well, Traveled 3 1/2 over a
pretty good Road, some few Hollows, Country very Barren, The Hills

33. The immigrants now left the California or Oregon Trail and continued in
southwestward direction toward Salt Lake City.


especialy. Campt 1/2 mile from Big Muddy, sagebrush for Fuel,
afternoon rolled out at 1-45 P M, very Windy, Dust blowing making
our Traveling very disagreeable. Train started at 1-45, Traveled over
some rocky Road, camped at Dusk, scarcity of Water, plenty of sage
Brush. Sister Oliver from St Louis, Mo, died, went and administered to
Si Wheeler, little rain in the Night. Children very restless.

Wednesday 19th

Fine Morning, very cold, Nelly very poorly, rolled out 15 to 6
A M, Traveled 10 miles, Forded the Muddy, some difficulty in getting
Teams across very cold, storm of Rain, Sleet, and Snow, hurt my
eye with a piece of Wood, nooned near Telegraph Station, rolled out
at 2 P M, in the morning passed across Hundreds of acres of splen-
did Lands. The Hills covered with Cedars. Buried Cis Oliver. Traveled
through a lovely Vale surrounded by Lofty Mountains came 10 miles,
6 or 7 of them across "Quaking Asp Ridge," several cattle broken
down. The Camping place in a deep Hollow near the Mail Station, a
Good spring of Water and plenty of sage Brush, Teamsters rations
"Flour and Coffee," sharp Frosty Night. A Child ran over.

Thursday 20th

Splendid bright Morning, camp rolled out at 8-30 A M, went 2
miles up a Mountain, Came down for some miles, a steep decent through
valleys surrounded by lofty Mountains. Pd Toll at a small siding,
passed the Toll Bridge at Bear River and campt 1/2 mile West. John
Oghlen, Teamster, ran over, Camped at 2 P M 79 miles from S L
City. Family Well, in good spirits, plenty of Timber and Good feed
for Cattle, Traded some Rice and Sugar for some Potatoes, the first
we have had for some Weeks. Bro Wm Bates lost a Cow, asked the
Captain for a Horse to go back for her, He said he could not spare
one, rolled out at 4.30, went about 7 miles and campt near plenty of
Grass for Cattle and Water, very short of Wood. Frosty Night, met 3
Wagons from S L to help pilgrims.

Friday 21st

Splendid bright Morning, Train rolled out at 8 A M. Passed along
a level Road a mile or so past Threadneedle Rocks, a composition
apparently of mortar and Pebbles, passed a mail station and a Ranch
over a High Mountain. Descended suddenly into a Kanyon, the Dust
blowing fearfully, and Camp at 1 oc at Cache Cave. Good feed and
Water, But no Wood, a stream runs by the Roadside some Distance,
very good Water. Captain Killed a Heifer and sold the meat 12 1/2
Cents per Ib. Train rolled out at 4 P M, past some lovely Vallies
but a scarcity of Wood Dust blew fearfully this afternoon; one


Waggon Capsised crossing a Bridge, some bad places to cross. Camped
some distance in "Echo Kanyon," a Man from the Valley selling vege-
tables & Apples were 40 c Dozen, Potatoes 2 1/2 Do [dollars] Bushel,
Butter 60c Ib, Cabbage 40c each. Frosty towards morning.

Saturday 22nd

Beautiful Morning, children Bad colds. Camp rolled out at 8 oc.
We have now Beef, Butter, Potatoes, Apples, Onions, Flour, Bread
and Molasses so we cant complain, came along the Kanyon, crossed
several small bridges, on the sides of Mountains some very critical
places, one Waggon had a very narrow escape of being hurled down
the Embankment. Campt at 1 oc in the Kanyon, Plenty of Water
and Wood. Camp rolled out at 3 P M, met several parties out to meet
friends Passed on through Echo Kanyon and Campt at 9 P M about
3 miles south of the Mouth of Echo Kanyon. A Bro Gave us Potatoes,
had about 5 Ib of Beef given us, a splendid Night, On Camp Guard.

Sunday 23rd Sep

Fine Morning, Campt rolled out at 8-30 and Camped on Silver
Creek in Weber Valley, passed thro Coalville settlement, quite a nice
place, several good Log and Rock Houses, also a very Good Meeting
House erected in 1865, the folks looked very clean and respectable, some
at work getting in grain. Bishop Lather Wilde served out Potatoes to
the People. A slight storm of Hail, several of the settlers came into
Camp P M, Camp rolled out at 3 P M, went Through Silver Creek
Settlement 7 Years Settled, along Silver C. Kanyon 8 miles in Length.
The Road is a Dugway on the Mountain side, some places rising 60
feet above the Bed of the Kanyon, a good [mill?] stream runs through
the entire Distance. Lofty Mountains on Both sides. Campt at Par-
leys Park about 8 30 P M, sharp Frosty Night.

Monday 24th

Splendid Morning, camp rolled out at 8-30 A M, 25 miles from the
City. Passed W Kimballs Hotel over a Hilly Road over the Big
Mountain 8 miles and camped at 4 P M in a Hollow surrounded by
Mountains, a Creek runs Thro it, very Hard Journey on the Cattle.
Night very cold, sharp Frost, 12 miles from the City. Bro Adams Died
of Mountain Fever making 8 Deaths in our Train since leaving Wyom-
ing, met many Teams going to the Kanyons.

Tuesday 25th

Beautiful bright Morning. Family all Well, left Hardy Station
Mountain Dell, came Through Parleys Kanyon, hedged in on either side
by lofty mountains, a clear stream of Water runs Through the Centre


of Kanyon. Met Several folk we were acquainted with in England, Bro
John Thompson, Foulgers, Earle etc who treated us to Beer, Fruit Pie
etc, we were pleased to behold the City after a long and perilous jour-
ney of Seven thousand Miles across Ocean, Through the States, over
the plains, across Rivers and lofty Mountains, we looking like Walking
lumps of Dust, Our Train passed through the City to the Presidents
Yard were [where] we signed an obligation to pay $180 Dollars for
Transit across The plains from Wyoming, we paid 28 pounds from
London to Wyoming for Sea and Rail fare. 1 My Wifes Cousin Eliza
Wilds hired a Waggon and had our Luggage conveyed to her House in
the ninth Ward, G S L City, Thankful to get a rest! ! !


MY OLDER brother Ralph came suddenly out of the back-
ground on the day that "Babe" came to us. Babe
became the great love of his youth. Innocently she was the
cause of a nagging inferiority complex that made of him one
of the shyest of men. But that is getting too far ahead. I
was to tell the whole story of my remarkable big brother, be-
ginning with the things I so vividly remember of home and

Babe was a magnificent, blooded mare. Of bright bay
color, seventeen hands high, of amazing intelligence, and a
nature as gentle as Mama's house cat. I remember my
brother was so terrified of something happening to his pet
that he would often sleep in her manger o' nights and my
understanding parents never blinked.

That act of Ralph was partly because he knew that
"down South" the darky hostlers were on guard day and
night. Yet more, southern New Mexico in the 1880's was a
wild place. The great herds from the Texan plains had dis-
covered our fertile valleys, and the outlawry connected in-
separably with the cattle industry of that time had made
deep changes in the outlying districts. There were still bitter
hatreds left over from the terrible Lincoln County War.
The horse and cattle thieves of those stressful years still
hid in the Organ and San Andres, the White and Sacramento
ranges, just east of Las Cruces. And our little town, remem-
ber, was both county seat and shipping point. In this con-
nection, I am quite sure that if my mother had had any
inkling that my father was so soon to be made judge in that
enormous, dangerous southern judicial district, she would
never have consented to remain "for a few years" in that
borderland of Mexico and Texas.

Always we must have been both a divided and yet a



close-knit family: Mama and Ralph; Papa and me. My
brother was tall and slim, two and a half years my senior,
and his favorite sport (so it seemed to his younger sister)
was to topple her over with one poke at a well-rounded
tummy. For which I hated him, of course. He was the pest
of my life. A meany. He just wasn't human with feelings
like mine.

But Ralph and I believed we knew everything our
parents did. They spoke freely before us. Looking back, I
used to pity other children who might be sent from the room.
We two never were. My parents would say : "Don't mention
this, children." Ralph would nod, then glare at me. I would
roll my eyes negro servants always did that and cross my
fat bosom to show my sincerity. I meant well, always.

One afternoon Papa came home fuller of town talk than
usual. He said that a friend of ours, the big cattleman
Johnnie Riley, had been in the law office to get some legality
of transfer papers attended to properly. While in the East,
selling a trainload of his La Cueva steers at the new stock-
yards in Kansas City, Mr. Riley had been approached by an
agent of a Kentucky race-horse farm about the possibility
of sequestering a bunch of fine colts for a limited time, and
he had agreed to do it. He had hired Pat Coglin and Jim
Nolan, and there was a certain remote range across the
Organs now ready to receive the stock.

The greatest secrecy was necessary. The closely
guarded special car with the colts had arrived that day. It
would be unloaded just before dark when loiterers would be
at supper and no strangers apt to be prowling. But Papa
was to be there. And Mr. Riley, who also was a loving
father, had sent word that "Ralphie and Maudie" could be
there also. We glowed. We gobbled, and then we three set
out to walk the mile to the shiney new red depot. Ordinarily,
Johnnie Riley would have come dashing up in his fine buck-
board and pair of blacks. But not that evening.

A little knot of reliable men were gathered near the
shute in the loading pen where the stock car had been


shunted. The agent and Mr. Riley exchanged papers, and
two negro hostlers began leading the beautiful, spirited colts
down the board gangway.

The car seemed empty but not quite. The agent
cleared his throat, spoke to a big black inside : "Is she still
alive, Pete?"

"Yessuh. But she's good as daid I'll tote her,


As if carrying costly china, the big black came down the
shute, a bay colt pressed to his breast. Tears poured down
his face, for this was the finest colt of them all, the real
reason for the transfer. The week of travel had been too
much even for the scion of the racing farm where the fabu-
lously fast mare "Maud S" was making race track history.

The darky knelt to ease the dying creature to the dungy
floor of the yard. Except to roll big eyes she was moveless.
Her incredibly long, slender legs were like bent and folded
pipestems. Her bright coat was a tight covering over the
thin frame, a mere boney rack that was her body.

After a stunned silence, the men moved aside to talk it
over. Riley, backed by Pat and Jim, refused to accept a
dying animal. The agent cursed and foamed. Hanging to
my father's hand I listened to the clash of words and wills.
Since the telegraph office was closed for the night, and the
New Mexicans were on edge to get out of town, the dead-
lock had to be settled immediately. It was decided to shoot
the colt.

Even here a new snag arose. Hardened men of the
range and veterans of cattle wars that they were, the New
Mexico men refused to kill the little animal. The negroes,
called, likewise refused in horror. The agent, mouthing
curses, grasped his long revolver and strode forward to do
it himself. And there was my brother with the bright head
in his lap. Ralph was fondling her as I did "Blond-head,"
my newest wax dolly.

Thinking back, it must be the lad grew up in the
moments that followed the stern orders to "get outta the


way while I finish the business." He leaped to his feet,
straddled the bay colt, and defied anyone. He seemed to
grow taller. Outraged fury shook voice and body. Blue
eyes blazed.

It was a scene that had only one ending even with hard-
headed, sharp business men. "Babe" was given to nine-year-
old Ralphie McFie "to bury." Papa was ordered so to alter
the papers to read on the morrow. Parting instructions
were given by the negro hostler as he carried Babe to the
back of the Riley buckboard where Ralph's arms waited.

It was mostly exhaustion. Mama made a muslin nipple
and warmed the goat's milk which it took in quantity. In
no time Babe staggered to her feet.

Mr. Riley did not know the colt had lived and was grow-
ing like a jimson weed until months later when he asked
Papa pointblank. He threw back his curly blond head and
laughed. He was a fine, generous spirited man.

The advent of Babe was wonderful, but more so to me
was the discovery that my tyrant had become heroic, that
he had feelings feelings deeper and stronger than mine
because he would fight for them. One of my early indelible
memories was his drawn, blazing features in the dusk, gray
as the metal called "steel."

It was not that the name was a family one ; it was the
way my brother looked; fierce, primitive, completely self-
forgetful. It was the look of all iron-willed, pioneer men who
keep on fighting and thinking of the still greater fields to be
claimed ; the look common to gallant soldiers who face great

My brother's life was to be one long, bitter fight. He
was to be a builder, builder of a small empire thousands of
miles from his home. Between the lines of his dry, yet
detailed home letters we. could visualize his set features as
he met the almost twenty years of hard things before all was
finally well with him in the far Philippine Islands.

What befell the other colts went by the board with me.
Things leaked out. It was said that Babe was foal of "Maud


S." We never investigated but we kids liked to think it
was so for boasting purposes. We both rode her with no
thought of "breaking" her in. Even when the fine racing
cart came from St. Louis, Ralph simply called Babe, backed
her into the long shafts, buckled straps around her trim
body ; then they trotted out of the big corral gate, one body
as it were, boy, horse, cart.

Babe was in great demand for races. Her swift, rip-
pling walk kept other horses a-trot. She outran horses
brought up from Ft. Bliss, down from Stanton, Bayard all
of which were fine Army horses and the army in those days
had the best of animals.

Yet the range had wonderfully fleet little racers. The
White Oaks ranches were famous for them the Rhodes
boys, Gene and Clarence, were always on hail for fiesta time
at Cruces, or at Mesilla across the Rio Grande. 1

In from the range came the Ake and Isaac mustangs, the
Riley cowboys, and other groups who didn't touch our
family life: the Fall, Cox, King, and Oliver contingents,
still shying off from the Coglin, Nolan, Coe, Gilmore and
Doctor Blazer sons. There were big families then tall, stal-
wart sons with mild mouths but jutting chins; all wise in
range and cattle lore.

With Babe his loadstone, Ralph's ambition was to "run
stock," and kindly Jeff Ake encouraged him Bunk Ake and
my brother were chums. The big Ake clan used to winter
(for the younger ones to get schooling) not far from our

1. I can remember only once when my loyalty to Babe faltered and it was
only for a moment. My best friend, at that time, was Nellie Rhodes who lived in
Mesilla. We had the same birthday, and once when I rode over to spend the gala day
at Nellie's, her grownup brother Gene rode in from their big cattle holdings in the San
Andres range.

Gene was a dapper, nonchalant figure; always singing or humming to himself, I
remember. That day he was riding a beautiful black, and its trappings were of carved
leather with shining silver trimmings. My heart leaped. I must ride that horse or die.

"Na, na," teased Gene, "a fatty like you would break his back." Oh, how I
hated him. It was such an insult. Only Ralph could call me that with impunity. But I
remembered that I was a guest. Nellie and I put on dignity and walked down to watch
the Rio Grande which was nearby.

After all, I had been disloyal to Babe ! I didn't "see" Gene after that.


fine new brick house, a short mile from town, and I remem-
ber being vastly proud that Grandma Ake liked best of all
the snuffbrushes that I got for her tender little under-
ground branches of mesquite root, whittled and chewed ( !)
into a tiny, fine brush with which to dip her ground tobacco.
As Ralph grew, Jeff hired him summers, paying in the
fall with steers which Ralph was allowed to select cows
even, in good brooding years. And when Jeff .bought the
farm halfway to Dona Ana which Papa and Johnny Barn-
castle owned jointly, Ralph helped out winters too Babe
making it possible to keep their beefers within a safe dis-
tance from the valley ranch. 2

I remember that Jeff Ake made a trip to Santa Fe to
say goodby to Ralph and his own kinfolk when they were
getting off so hurriedly to the War the Spanish American
War in '98. At that time Ralph owned a tiny herd of forty
head with several good horses to boot, all of which were
running the Ake range. Jeff took them over, but Ralph kept
his brand, I remember. It was a Flying U Bar, one that
couldn't be altered.

To go back, however. Ralph was forbidden to race. One
day he did and his leg was broken when the iron hoof of
the other, rearing animal, also ridden by a boy, came down
on my brother's leg just above the knee. It had taken place
in a pasture in the old river bed close by home. The tall
Keezer boys, Roy and Henry, carried Ralph across McFie
lane to mama. The story cooked up was an accident at the
Keezer swing. The neighbor boys were terrified of their

How well I remember the terrible days that followed.
It was a fearful break and there was no doctor obtainable
for four awful days.

My uncle Samuel Steel set the limb as best he could . . .

2. This ranch was just north of the big old walled Frank Fletcher-Guadalupe
Ascarate hacienda on the east side of the Old Alameda, not far from the hills. The
Alameda was grassy and lined by immense old alamos. It was the favorite picnic
grounds for crowds of any size, with room for baseball and races.


he had had some practice with his dairy herd, and doctoring
was a sort of hereditary thing in the Steel family. But it
wasn't right, we all knew.

I remember they strapped the swollen limb on a cotton-
padded board and kept it across a green-painted, tin foot-tub
all those four days and nights. The tub was kept full of hot
vinegar, replenished every few minutes by our negro Mollie
and her half-grown son Jack who seemed never to rest or
sleep. Somebody sat there dippering the hot vinegar over
the leg. I remember they had to hold my brother too.
Neighbors helped, and all our big family took anxious turns.

Dr. Lane finally was found at a ranch in the hills, where
one of the lovely young Davies girls was having typhoid. He
could hardly believe what was told him about the four days,
for it was a wonder that Ralph had not had gangrene. Of
course he had to re-set the leg.

For many a month Ralph was an invalid. Two things
resulted. He became set against religion from overhearing
my very pious grandmother say his trial was a "retribu-
tion," although she was thinking only of its effect on my
delicate mother's health.

Ralph said : "Damn religion." His legs were of differ-
ent lengths and his bitterness was intense. But the "damn"
went deep with my parents because such language wasn't
used by our clan.

Ralph was then, as I remember, around thirteen; tall,
serious, manly. My father had been made judge, and, try-

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