pony express century ride


As might be expected, just about all references to it in film (and there were silent films as early as the turn of the last century featuring the Pony Express) are wrong. To the Paiutes, the Pony Express and its stations were emblematic of the encroaching white man and thus legitimate targets. Les Bennington, National Pony Express Association president, is one who doubts young Cody actually rode for the Pony, but adds, “I cut him some slack, because even if he didn’t dispatch mail at that time, he later kept the vision and memory alive by featuring the Pony Express at all his Wild West shows.”.

In a second or two it becomes a horse and rider, rising and falling, rising and falling — sweeping towards us nearer and nearer — growing more and more distinct, more and more sharply defined — nearer and still nearer, and the flutter of the hoofs comes faintly to the ear — another instant a whoop and a hurrah from our upper deck, a wave of the rider’s hand, but no reply, and man and horse burst past our excited faces, and go winging away like a belated fragment of a storm! America loved Broncho Charlie Miller, whether he was telling the truth or not.

Charging rates as high as $15 for delivery of a single item, the Pony Express, while attractive to the general public, was almost invariably a prerogative of the very well-off. Often the mochila contained only a couple of dozen letters. ‘Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18. A year later the same newspaper reported that another ‘last of the Pony Express riders’ was gone. The business was called the Central Overland California and Pike’s Peak Express Company, a name too cumbersome to appear on anything.

They also had to hire riders and station tenders. At one point, riders dared not cross the conflict zone without an accompanying cavalry detachment, which in turn reduced their rate of travel to a mere 40 miles per day. The Pony had become more affordable, but it was too little too late. We have no idea where he got most of his information, although he appears to have cribbed a fair bit of it from the few early attempts to set down some facts about the Central Overland. One of the first was Captain Sir Richard Burton, the British explorer. In about 1960 on the occasion of its centennial, the memory was sweetened when the Eisenhower administration (Ike was from Kansas, Pony Express country) festooned the West with historic markers recalling the days of saddles and spurs.
Most, however, would remain rudimentary structures, offering a single-story cabin for the station keeper, a corral and a roughed-in shelter for spare horses. Pony Express purists and doubters regularly challenged the old boy, but they never laid a glove on him. Their 1955 book Saddles and Spurs: Saga of the Pony Express provides a solid overview but does not consider how the story of the Pony Express came to be.

The first rider heading east out of Sacramento was probably William Hamilton. Haslam was the real deal. 1934 Schutter Johnson I'm Going to be a Baseball Player (R72), one of the most iconic baseball card sets of all time. It was expensive and complicated to operate such a venture.

While this seems a self-defeating proposition, it may well be that Russell, Majors and Waddell simply saw it as a necessary expenditure in view of their other business ambitions. Long before there were books about the Pony Express, let alone motion pictures, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West presented the Pony Express rider — a fixture in Cody’s extravaganza from the day it opened in Omaha, Neb., in 1883 until the day it closed in 1916. Each would have to be equipped and manned. Well, I should think so! In 1933, Goudey produced one of the most iconic baseball card sets of all time. But by the time the wiry 19-year-old completed his assigned run, the situation had changed. Follow Pre-War Cards on Twitter and also be sure to like our page on Facebook. After completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, mail was delivered at speeds that soon made the Pony Express seem quaint. It is possible that he never even read Visscher’s work.

(Hickok actually worked for the firm but merely as a stock tender in Nebraska.) Wages $25.00 per week.’ Alas, it appears that this memorable ad was the work of an early 20th-century journalist writing in the Western magazine Sunset. Miller was a delightful end piece to the story of the Pony Express.

Each year, the re-ride follows the original trail as close as possible using surrounding roads. The colonel was a delightful if completely unreliable historian. Raymond Settle, a Baptist minister, left his papers to William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. At this point, the next rider would take charge of the mail and begin his run, the idea being to move the mail from St. Joseph to Sacramento in 10 days. Thus, their enterprise not only failed to make a profit, but also incurred a significant loss of more than $200,000. Men are not born in the saddle now, and even the most accomplished modern equestrian could not take the mochila from Fort Churchill to Robbers Roost. The company recruited daredevils, placing eye-catching notices in the St. Louis and San Francisco newspapers that read: ‘Wanted. When Nevada businessman J.O.

Despite the best efforts of enthusiasts, we are not even sure exactly who rode for the Pony Express. His claims to have ridden for the Pony — a run that would have taken him up from Sacramento over the Sierra Nevada and down into Carson City, Nev. — were lively. Others—including Henry Wallace, Billy Richardson and Alex Carlyle—also claimed to have been the first to gallop westward. Must be expert pony riders willing to risk death daily. This article, which originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of Wild West Magazine received the coveted Western Heritage Award (Wrangler) in the Magazine category. The stamps will vary from card to card.

Rather, Hickok was an assistant keeper at Rock Creek Station in southeastern Nebraska (near the present-day town of Endicott). Despite that very short lifespan, the Pony Express name and tale lives on more than 150 years later and the outfit is featured in some pre-war card sets. Considering how many riders and way station keepers had been involved in moving those letters from St. Joseph, Mo., the venture rates as one of the most fabled failed businesses in American history. The greatest proponent of the Pony Express story in modern times was William Waddell, the great-grandson of William Bradford Waddell. The government contract for expanded mail delivery they had hoped to land for their Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company fell apart, and the Butterfield Overland Stage began operations along the western division (from Salt Lake City to Sacramento) of the central route. But beyond that distinction, the set featuring modes of mail is interesting for two reasons. They make no mention of Colonel Visscher, either. Frankly, in the 21st century we do not have horsemen or women who can ride like that any longer. The best examination of his boyhood, undertaken by a forensic pathologist with an interest in history, would seem to indicate that Cody never sat in the saddle for the Central Overland. While the riders were the stars of the Pony Express, they had a strong supporting cast. To stand on the edge of a rain-soaked field in central Nebraska and see the lone figure of a man on a galloping horse appear on the distant horizon is still a stirring sight. Students of the story of the Pony Express will note that its memory waxes and wanes. We have a vivid eyewitness account in the Territorial Enterprise, the newspaper where Mark Twain cut his teeth, of a race on the Fourth of July in 1868.

History is replete with financially ruinous ventures and misadventures—from Edison Records to Betamax, from Swissair to Titanic’s White Star Line, and from Charles Ponzi to Bernie Madoff. Even though the Pony Express Company was no longer operating, its logo lived on when Wells Fargo purchased it and used it from 1866 until 1890 in their freight and stagecoach company. August 1, 2020 — Pony Express Century, CANCELLED for 2020, Eagle Mountain, UT, Ride the routes of history as we pedal 100 Miles, 100K or 50K along the same paths the Pony Express riders of yesteryear. Like Burton, the brothers left from St. Joe, probably from the Patee House, headquarters of the Pony Express. The service eventually trimmed that weight by stripping riders of their additional weapons and Bibles.

In wartime, service demands would surely skyrocket, and the resultant profits were bound to be enormous. The Pony Express was short-lived and its financial collapse essentially ruined its backers. The leather blanket cover was designed by Pony Express rider Jay G. Kelley. The horses, for their part, weren’t left to graze but given nutrient-rich feed shipped from Iowa farms to each station—again a very costly proposition. ORPHANS PREFERRED was probably a later concoction. Household names in their heyday on the frontier, William Hepburn Russell, Alexander Majors and William Bradford Waddell had made their reputation hauling freight to military outposts. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. East of Salt Lake City, the Pony Express appears to have piggybacked on existing overland stage operations, but west of the Mormon Jerusalem, things got a little dicey. In January 1861, Russell—his company bankrupt—signed over most of his holdings to his largest creditor, “Stagecoach King” Ben Holladay. Russell, Majors and Waddell also saw an opportunity to compete for a million-dollar government contract for dedicated mail service to the region. They either remembered nothing of significance or their memories were fabulous, resulting in wild stories in which the Pony just got bigger and bigger each year in the retelling.

In a retaliatory strike on May 6, 1860, angry warriors raided the Williams establishment, which housed a saloon and general store and served as both a stagecoach and Pony Express station. If Russell, Majors & Waddell left significant records, those have never been discovered. Orphans preferred. Telegraphs were convenient, and stagecoaches kept the mail coming. But the few remaining riders who were actually interviewed late in their lives never mentioned Indians or desperadoes. With riders and horses assembled, the service was left to equip them for the job. The memory of the Pony Express remains sweet. And, as far as anyone can determine, only one or two mochilas of mail went missing. It seems plausible, and many personal anecdotes support this theory, that just about anyone could ride for the Pony if they were available and the Pony needed a rider. On May 10, 1860, he left his home base at Fridays Station—on the present-day border between California and Nevada—and had little difficulty on his 75-mile run east to Bucklands Station.

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