RIVERTON RANGER-50 YR-1956
SWAINS, WILLOUGHBYS MADE WALK, CASPER-LOST CABIN
Imagine walking from Casper to Lost Cabin! The Swains and the Willoughbys did it, back in 1899, and lived to tell the tale laughingly.
Charles Swain, like many of the oldesters of that day had "an itchy foot." That is, he wanted to see the country. When his nephew came to Wyoming and began working at the Snyder homestead in Snyder Pass, Swaim could no longer remain in Indiana. He came to Wyoming, too, got work, and sent for his family.
Mrs. Swaim's eagerness to make the trip was dulled by the death of her baby boy, and perhaps the long walk would never have been made by the little group, had not her neighbors, the Willoughbys, taken matters in their own hands and wired Mr. Swaim to meet them in Casper on a certain date.
There were five of the Swaims: Mrs. Swaim, her daughter by a former marriage, Pearl Hartley, and the Swaim girls, Minnie, Lovina anf Glennie.
There were nine of the Willoughbys: Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Willoughby, Harris, Hattie, Eliza, Livia, Jessie, Martie and Walker.
When Mr. Swaim met them, driving a light wagon, he must have looked at the crowd of youngsters and adults, wondering where they'd all ride on the return trip. There was no money among them for the purchase of another team and wagon. They would do well to buy enough groceries to see them safely to Lost Cabin.
But the Indianans had built their plans all through the long winter and were not willing to linger in Casper. Loading the trunks and other luggage onto the wagon, and putting the women and three little children a board, they started on the long trip, the men and the older children walking.
They made about 20 miles the first day, and stopped over at the Johnson Ranch late at night, a weary and bedraggled little group. But the next morning they were on their way early, determined with all possible speed.
The second night they slept somewhere near Powder River, and the third night they camped near Wolton in a snowstorm.
The change in the weather was not only disconcerting-it was dangerous. The problem of sleeping through the night worried the parents, who devised a way of keeping by all sleeping in one long bed.
One tarp was spread, the bedding placed hurriedly on it and another tarp placed on top to keep out the moisture. Then the party went to bed, the babies in the middle, the parents at the outer edges.
But no one told little Glennie, 11 to put her shoes under the covers-if there was room. She left them outside and found them filled with snow in the morning.
Albert Lewis took the Swains in the first night at Lost Cabin, and his brother Will, a camp-mover then, for Noble and Bragg Sheep Co., was there. He scarcely looked at 11-year-old Glennie, whom he was to marry only six years later.
The willoughbys moved into a house at the Bader ranch that first night, but before long Mr. Willoughby negotiated with George Bice for Bice's boarding house in Lost Cabin and built up a thriving hotel-The Willoughby Hotel-a somewhat ramshackle two story building.
From then on, for many years, the Willoughbys and the Swaims played a prominent part in the life of Lost Cabin and the surrounding area.
Pearl Hartley, later Mrs. Crossley, taught the Bader school and was paid by subscription. A Miss Gibbons was the second teacher. She had about seven pupils, among them three Swaims. Ella McBride Farthing and Miss Allie Davis both of whom Later became county superintendents, were also early teachers in that district.
Mr. Swaim and the children loved the Lost Cabin country, but Mrs. Swaim failed in health and begged to return to her Indiana home. After four years they moved back to Indiana, where she died, after two years.
The family returned to their beloved westland soon after her death, and that summer Glennie Swaim married Will Lewis. They lived at Lost Cabin and later near the mouth of Badwater, until 1915, when they came to Lysite, lured by Dave Schoening's generous offer of a lot, free, to every woman. They built their present home in 1921.
Mr. Lewis retired, but Mrs. Lewis, a bright-eyed and very active woman in spite of increasing years, is Lysite's mail truck driver. Since 1938 she has been serving the Badwater district from Lysite.
Her sister, Lovina, now Mrs. Don Robson, has been postmistress at Lysite since 1915.
Two other 1905 marriages of importance to the Swaim-Willoughby family were those of Eliza and Livia willoughby to Johnnie Johnson and Dr. E. L. Jewell. They were married in the Big Teepee by Judge G. W. Woolf, father of Mrs. Lloyd Allen, who with her husband, still lives on the old Woolf homestead.
The Willoughbys moved to Lysite about 1915, but have all moved away, several of the family, including Mr. Willoughby who is now far advanced into the 90's, living in California.
Minnie Swaim Logan was killed in an automobile accident, and Mr. Swaim died some years ago.