THE FREMONT COUNTY HERALD. Sidney, Iowa. February 22, 1900. "WYOMING LETTER. An Interesting Letter From Ira Thomas, an Old Fremont County Boy."
Oakwood, Wyo., Feb. 3, 1900. To The Editor Fremont County Herald and Its Readers: When I left Iowa I made a promise to the editor and a number of the Herald readers that I would try and give a true sketch of my trip and how I found things in Wyoming.
When we started, on December 20, 1890, there was a good lot of snow in Iowa, but when we got into central Nebraska there was no snow. When we reached the western part of Nebraska there we found about the same amount of snow seen in Iowa. We started from Malvern at 2:45 p.m. and arrived at Merino, Wyo., at 10:45 a.m., so most of our trip was made in the night and we could not give much of a description of the scenery, but Nebraska is not noted for great scenery. w
When daylight came on the 21st, we were in the land of sage brush. You could look in most any direction and as far as the eye could reach there was nothing but sage brush. There was not much snow and you could see cattle and horses grazing around in different sized bunches.
When we arrived at Merino, we were met there by two of my uncles. One of them had come with a team to take us out in the country and the other had come in from his winter camp on horseback, and with the latter there was a pack-horse carrying the half of a nice, big, fat black tail deer.
We put the deer into the sled along with the rest of our belongings
and away we flew across the country for regular California ride of ten miles. One of our horses was not very well broke and in going down some of the steep places the further we went the faster. Finally we arrived at our destination, lucky to be safe.
On the morning of the 22nd, we had deer for breakfast, and to those who have never had the good fortune to eat venison, you have my word that it is fine meat. We stayed at this place about two weeks and then I went further north to Uncle Ben Shobers, and in a few days here he came again with his pack horse loaded with the choice meat of two fawns and a black tail doe. We have had plenty of the best of meat ever since we arrived.
There is plenty of grand scenery in this country. From where I have located a claim I can look to the west 150 miles and see the Big HOrn Mountains, whose peaks are covered with snow the year around. Looking west about 25 miles I can see the Devil's Tower and the little mountain buttes. To the northeast about 10 miles I can see the Bear Lodge mountains, to the east is the Sundance mountains and to the southeast about 25 miles is Inyan Cairo mountain. These names and distances I have gotten from a person who is an old settler here and seems to know, but to me they do not look to be over one-third the distance.
During my trip out on Buffalo Creek, where my uncle has his winter camp, I was more surprised than ever before. It was there I saw cattle that are fat enough for market that have not had a bit of anything but grass. There was hardly any snow there and good grazing. Uncle killed one and took it to Sundance yesterday and those who saw it pronounced it No. l, and sure it was, for I have never seen nicer beef hanging in either of the butcher shops in Sidney.
There are a good many of the Fremont county people who wanted me to let them know what I thought of this country. For my part I am perfectly satisfied, for a man who has nothing and wants to get a home I do not think he could find a better country. This is really nothing but a stock country, but it cannot be beat for vegetables of an early variety in any country. The vegetables here have a fine flavor and are of good size. There is some irrigating done in this country and that is to the advantage of the man who raises alfalfa and vegetables.
Well, tnis thing is getting about to an end, so I will close. To anyone who thinks this a rubber story that can be easily stretched, we invite you to the stretching.
Yours very truly,
P.S. The Herald reaches us on the next Tuesday after it is issued and if it should happen to go astray for one week, I am quite sure my wife would go on the hunt of it. It seems as if the Herald was and it truly is a letter from home.