Yellowstone Biographies M - N - O - P
Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.
Marshall, George W. Born in Illinois in 1838 (1838 according to his tombstone in Three Forks, MT; born 1835 as noted in two of his obituaries, and 1846 as quoted by YNP historian Aubrey L. Haines and other authors), George Marshall he went west to California in 1860, working a variety of jobs, including managing a hostelry in Utah and a stage station in Nevada. He married Sarah Romrell in 1875 and in 1876 operated a stage line in Montana between Butte City and Eagle Rock. Marshall received a 1-year mail carrier contract in 1879 for the Virginia City to Mammoth route. He built a house at the Firehole River near Nez Perce Creek that became both a mail station and small hotel. He formed the Marshall & Goff Stage Co. with John Goff in 1880 that traveled the mail route. Their first passengers arrived at the unfinished Marshall's Hotel in early October of that year. That year he also erected a mail station at Norris, possibly in the meadow near the soldier station. Marshall began giving tours of the park that same year and his tours were the first known to originate from ‘within’ the park. The Marshall House was also housed the Firehole Post Office and his wife Sarah was the Postmistress. The Marshall’s had a daughter born January 31, 1881 whom they named Rose Park. She was the first white child born in Yellowstone. The post office closed down in 1882, but by 1886 was open again with John Clark as Postmaster. That service lasted until 1891. Marshall retired from the business in 1885 and moved to Bozeman. He died in 1917 and was buried in Three Forks, MT. [25g]  
Marshall, S. S. (Si). Si Marshall was born in Iowa in 1860 and came to Montana by wagon train when he was a young man. He and his brother George Marshall operated a large cattle ranch near Melville before moving to Livingston in 1882. Later they formed the Marshall Brothers Camping Company, probably in the late 1890's and operated for about 12 years, escorting tourist parties on camping trips through the park. They purchased a livery stable in Livingston in 1884. After retirement from the camping business Si worked numerous different jobs, including that as manager of the commissary at Mammoth. He became a justice of the peace in Livingston in 1941. He died in early January 1944.
Chick Here for more information on my webpage on the Marshall Bros. Camping Co.
Marshall, Wm. Issac. Wm. I. Marshall arrived in Montana in 1866 in search of riches from the gold fields around Virginia City. He traveled to Yellowstone with his family in 1873 and 1875. He began selling stereopticon photos taken by Joshua Crissman at least by 1876, without really giving proper credit. Crissman accompanied the Hayden Expedition of 1871 as a photographer, taking pictures alongside of Henry Jackson. Marshall is known to have conducted interpretive tours in the park in 1873, 1875, 1881 and 1882. He later conducted lectures nationwide concerning the park and other parts of the west. [119b]
Mather, Stephen Tyng. Stephen Mather was business tycoon who made his money in the borax business in California. He became the first Director of the National Park Service, serving from May 16, 1917 to January 8, 1929. He was responsible for `selling’ the national parks idea to the public to encourage visitation. His visions dictated park policies for many years. Prior to that assignment, he was Assistant to the Secretary of Interior and helped to instigate and implement the idea of controlled monopolies in the park. He played a leading part in the addition of many new parks into the system, and lobbied for increased funding and appropriations for roads, improvements, and upkeep. He would use his own money if necessary, to fund favorite projects in the parks until Congress banned the practice. He passed away on January 22, 1930 after having suffered a breakdown the previous year. [25L;69]
Mathews, Larry. Larry Mathews, also commonly spelled Larry Matthews, was quite a colorful Irishman who managed establishments in Yellowstone from 1888 to 1904. He began with the Trout Creek Lunch Station near Hayden Valley in 1888. That establishment served the crowd coming over the Mary Mountain road from the Lower Geyser Basin. When the new road over Craig Pass from Old Faithful to West Thumb opened in 1891, Larry moved his business to Thumb. These facilities were conducted in tents. He established ‘Larry’s Lunch Station’ at Norris Geyser Basin in 1893 after the second wooden hotel/lunch station burned down in 1892. He entertained guests at this new station until the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) opened the second Norris Hotel in 1901. Matthews then went to work at the crude Shack Hotel at Old Faithful and managed the Old Faithful Inn during the first season in 1904. When YPA refused to increase his pay after 15 years of service, he left the park. Larry was born in Drogheda, Ireland in 1854 to parents Patrick and Elizabeth Fredigan McMahon. Larry immigrated to the United States in 1882 and it is assumed that he changed his name to Mathews at that time, to appear less 'Irish.' He moved to Minneapolis and in 1886 married Bridget Clinton. The following year he went to work in Yellowstone for Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) at Mammoth. His daughter Elizabeth, or "Lizzie," was born in 1891. By 1895 Larry was employed during the off-season as a traveling passenger agent in Canada for the Northern Pacific RR. A St. Paul newspaper article noted in January of 1897 that Larry would soon be "in charge of a party of tourists for the city of Mexico handled by the Grafton Excursion Company." By 1904 it is known that he was working the off-season as a tourist guide for the Gates Touring Company on tours of Mexico, and was probably conducting similar tours much earlier than 1904. He later purchased a farm near Rochester, Minnesota to be near his wife's family, but later removed to Crookston to be with his only daughter Lizzie. Larry passed away in 1922.  [25L;69] [Thanks to Elizabeth A. Watry for providing some of this material about Larry's personal life, that she obtained from the Yellowstone Park Archives]
Please visit my web pages on Norris Lunch Station, Trout Creek Lunch Station, and Larry's Lunch Stations)
May, D.B. D.B. May was a Billings businessman who secured the beef contract for the hotel association in the park for the 1888 and 1889 seasons. He originally had his operation near Norris Geyser Basin, but moved to Swan Lake Flats and Indian Creek due to bear problems. He was awarded a contract in 1890 to build an elevator to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It was intended to be constructed on a strip of land adjacent to Red Rock Point and carry at least ten persons. Luckily permission was revoked later in the year and nothing became of the project. [LE;5/19/1888;4/27/1889] [25g]
McBride, James. Jim McBride was a scout for the army from 1890 to 1918 and became the first Chief Ranger in Yellowstone in 1919, serving in the park until 1938. A lake near Slough Creek was named after him. Born in 1864, he died May 3, 1942 and is buried in the Gardiner cemetery. [25L;69]
McCartney, James C. James McCartney was born ca1835 in New York and first came to the Montana Territory in 1866, no doubt to join others in the quest for gold. It is thought he first passed through Yellowstone in 1869 and joined the Cooke City gold rush the following year. The 1870 Federal Census for Gallatin County listed him as 34 years of age and his occupation as carpenter. He became a co-owner with Harry Horr of the first lodgings available in the park. In 1871 they claimed a homestead of 160 acres at the mouth of Clematis Gulch in Mammoth on July 5 and built two cabins that year that became known as McCartney's Hotel. The cabin used as a hotel was a 1-story log building 25 by 35 feet with an earth-covered slab roof. Guests were required to provide their own blankets and slept on the floor. During a Yellowstone visit in 1874 Lord Dunraven commented that it was “the last outpost of civilization – that is, the last place whiskey is sold.” A third cabin and outbuildings were erected the following year. A crude bathhouse was also built on the nearby Hymen Terrace and five plank shacks were eventually built containing wooden bathtubs. In a legal claim to Interior in 1891, McCartney described his buildings: 1-story log dwelling with 4 rooms, 25’ x 35’; 1-story log dwelling house 30’ x 20; log barn, with squared logs, 30’ x 15’; 1-story hewn-log building 30’ x 25’; squared-log building 20’ x 16’. A 50’ x 16’ stable was also on the property. In 1873 McCartney received a 10-year lease from Interior and Horr released or sold his claim to McCartney. Horr later went on to found the Horr Coal Co. and town of Horr a few miles north of Gardiner. McCartney’s cabins were the only lodging available in the park until George Marshall built his hotel in 1880 in the Lower Geyser Basin. During the Nez Perce campaign in 1877, Indians killed Richard Dietrich, a tourist from Helena, while he was standing on the doorstep of the hotel on August 31. McCartney’s status in the park and relations with the administration were unstable at best and he was encouraged to leave the park on an involuntary basis. McCartney eventually settled outside the northern park boundary around 1879 in the area that would become the town of Gardiner. He was the town’s first postmaster in 1880 and later became unofficial ‘Mayor’. He was the man who introduced President Roosevelt at the dedication ceremonies of the new Roosevelt Arch in 1903. After McCartney’s official eviction from the park around 1881, the government used his cabins and burned some of the outbuildings. McCartney claimed to own the buildings until 1883, when Supt Conger officially took possession of them in April. George Henderson and his family moved into one of the cabins in 1882 and operated the post office and store for a few years in another. McCartney finally received $3,000 in 1901 in compensation for his park holdings that were taken away from him. Sam Toy set up a laundry in the hotel in 1902 and operated until the building burned down on December 4, 1912. By 1885 McCartney was advertised as a Lumber Dealer in Gardiner, maintained a feed stable, selling grain and hay, and rented horses and carriages. In 1887 he received a contract to provide hay to Camp Sheridan. McCartney died at age 72 on February 5, 1908 in a Livingston hospital. His estate was valued at $10,000, consisting of various properties in Gardiner and Cooke City. [108a] [LE;6/16/1887;2/08/1908] [43m] [1870 & 1880 Federal Census,YNP] [YNP Army Files Doc.1136-37]
McGowen, Mrs. E. Mrs. E. McGowen was the wife of Assistant Superintendent Charles McGowan and gave Morning Glory Pool its name in 1883. She was permitted in May of 1884 to construct and maintain a telegraph line through the park to Cooke City. Some poles were erected, but the project was then abandoned and the lease forfeited. She was also employed by the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) in various capacities. Her daughter, Coda Finch, ran the tent hotel at Old Faithful in 1883-84. [73h]  
McGuirk, Matthew. Matthew McGuirk established McGuirk’s Medicinal Springs in 1871 along the Gardiner River near the 45th Parallel. The river was originally referred to as Hot River and eventually became known as “Boiling River”. The area had been known as Chestnutville, after a small tent camp set up by Col. Chestnut the previous year. McGuirk settled into the area in Aug. 1871 and on November 11 he began construction of a house, barn, and stables. George Huston, Fenly Johnston and a man named Woody assisted in the project and completed the buildings by March of 1872. McGuirk was the first person to bring a wheeled vehicle into the park when he brought an ox-cart down from Livingston and had to dismantle it to get it through Yankee Jim Canyon. He built bathing pools in the hot spring formations and a rock dam above the pools as protection from the Gardiner River. He continued to build roads and irrigation ditches, investing a total of about $4,000. The house was built with squared timbers measuring 16' x 24'. Split rock was used for the chimney and split cedar covered the roof. McGuirk filed a claim for 160 acres on March 9, 1872, eight days after the bill creating Yellowstone National Park was signed. He applied for a lease in 1873, but was refused. Supt. Langford ordered him out of the park in 1874, and his buildings were used as government housing. In 1889 Capt. Moses Harris had men raze the buildings, although McGuirk claimed it was in 1888. McGuirk later moved to Los Angeles and petitioned Congress for reimbursement. In March of 1899 he was awarded $1,000 compensation for his efforts. [60g] [AF Doc.1149&2702] [25g] [31j]
McKay, Robert. Robert McKay received permission in 1915 to operate trucks with trailers on the Gardiner-Cooke City road for the Buffalo Mining Co. of Cooke City. He was given a contract in 1917 to construct and maintain the road from Gardiner to the Northeast Entrance. [25L;71]
McLaughlin, John S. John S. McLaughlin was Yellowstone Park superintendent from March 3, 1964 to Oct. 7, 1967. He held a similar position in Mesa Verde NP from 1940-42 & 1946; Grand Teton NP 1946-50; Grand Canyon NP 1955-1964; and Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP from 1967-1972. McLaughlin served as Asst. Regional Director of the NPS in the Midwest Regional Office, Omaha, Nebraska from 1950 to 1955. [25L;71]
McMinn, Silas. Silas McMinn opened a small coal mine with E.C. Clark at the northern edge of Everts Ridge in 1883 to supply coal to the new National Hotel at Mammoth. The mine yielded two tons a day and cost $5.00 per ton, half of which went to the teamster hauling it to Mammoth. The grade of coal there was not too high, but operations continued on and off until 1920. The Army employed him as an extra scout from Dec. 1899 to Feb. 1900. He also had a ranch near the park boundary along Reese Creek around 1899-1901 and he was known to do some occasional poaching. Nearby McMinn Bench was named after him as early as 1897. The coal mine was rehabilitated by the NPS in 1993.  [25g] 
Meldrum, John. John Meldrum (Judge Meldrum) became the 1st Judicial Commissioner in the park on June 20, 1894 under authorization of the newly passed Lacey Act. He was 92 years of age when his term ended on July 2, 1935. A stone house was built for him near the edge of the Mammoth Terraces at Clematis Creek. The house remains the residence of the park judge. [25L;71]
Merry, Henry G. Henry Merry was general manager of the Montana Coal and Coke Co. at Horr (Electric) Montana from 1900 to 1905. Merry drove his auto through the north gate of Yellowstone illegally on June 14, 1902. The car was an 1897 Winton that had bicycle tires, tiller steering, and an engine under the seat. It became the first known car to enter the park. According to a letter written by his son H.M. Merry in 1951, these are the details of the incident: Henry Merry was highly allergic to horse dandruff and could not approach horses without suffering an attack. When he was invited to a military ball at Mammoth, he decided to drive his Winton to avoid an attack. As he approached the north gate, the horse of the mounted sentry panicked at the sight and sound of the noisy, smoking vehicle, and bounded off into the hills. Merry continued on his merry way to Mammoth unmolested. During the ball Maj. John Pitcher, commander of the post, received a communiqué that a 'horseless carriage' had entered the park. Merry 'fessed’ up to his 'crime' and Pitcher fined him a ride around the park in the forbidden vehicle. Pitcher reportedly regretted that he could not confiscate the auto for his own personal use. Autos continued to be banned from the park until August of 1915. [YNP Box H2 Letters Regarding History of YNP]  [25g] 
Miles, Arthur Wellington. A.W. Miles was born in Westminster, Worcester Co., Mass. June 20, 1859. Miles served in the Army, and was stationed in New Mexico, Ft. Keogh and served with Gen. Miles during the Indian campaigns. He started a hardware store at Coulson after he retired. By 1882 he had a similar business in Billings and joined up with Col. Babcock in Bozeman to create the firm Babcock & Miles. During the winter of 1882-83 he opened a business in Livingston and began to prosper. By the 1890’s his operations included the A.W. Miles Lumber and Coal Co., the A.W. Miles Land and Investment Co., the Park Ice and Storage Co, a sheep ranch, and interests in other businesses around Montana. Between 1887 and 1909 Miles served two terms as the mayor of Livingston and as a Montana State Senator. He purchased a 1/3 interest in the Wylie Camping Co. in 1905 and A.L. Smith bought the other 2/3 interest for silent partner Harry Child. The company was renamed the Wylie Permanent Camping Co. with Miles as president and general manager. Miles was a 20% owner in the short-lived Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Co. in 1916, but lost all of his transportation holdings the next year due to the consolidations of the park transportation companies. The Wylie and Shaw & Powell companies merged in 1917 to form the Yellowstone Park Camping Co. with Miles owning 51% interest. The company was sold in 1919 to Howard Hays and Roe Emery and became the Yellowstone Park Camps Co. Miles retired to Los Angeles in the late 1920’s and son Daniel took over his businesses, continuing it until 1982. In the early 1900's he served as a Montana State Senator. A.W. Miles died May 7, 1933 after spending the winter in California. He had been ill since November. His obituary noted that his body would be sent to Hollywood to be buried next to an infant son. His wife, a native of Hoillston, Mass., died at age 80 of a paralytic stroke in Pasadena, Calif. on June 10, 1941. She was survived by son Dan and daughters Mrs. Adena Wright of Detroit and Mrs. G.E. Mitchell of Los Angeles. [97s;AW Miles Records] [25g] [56m;1102] [42e;6/11/1941] [42e;5/8/1933]
Miller, Adam “Horn”. Adam Horn Miller was born in Bavaria in Oct. of 1839 and moved to St. Louis when he was a child. He came up the Missouri River in 1854 from St. Louis and settled in Emigrant Gulch as early as 1864. (According to Mary Margaret Curl he came to Montana in 1849 [16u]) He prospected in Yellowstone that year with John Davis. He later prospected with Bart Henderson, Ed Hibbard, James Gourley, Sam Shively, Pike Moore, and Joe Brown. He discovered gold in the Cooke City area with Bart Henderson and others in 1869-70, naming their mine the Shoo Fly Mine. The next few years he helped Bart Henderson build the road from Bottler’s Ranch to Mammoth. He acted as guide for Supt. Norris in 1877 in the northeastern portion of the park when Norris was looking for another northern approach to the park. He again guided Norris and photographer Henry Bird Calfee in 1880 on an exploration of the Hoodoo Basin. Miller was one of the scouts under Gen. Howard during the Nez Perce War of 1877. Miller also did guiding and hunting out of Cooke City. When asked if he ever killed and Indian, he replied, "I never went to see, but I shot a good many." Later on he settled down in a cabin across the Yellowstone River from Yankee Jim. Miller Creek and Miller Mountain were named after him. He died in 1913. His obituary described him as a "man of sterling character, a man without enemies of any kind, it is said, and a citizen who always had a kind word for everyone." [16u]  [25g] [www.colorado-west.com/cooke; Horn Miller obit]
Moore, J.H. J.H Moore, or more commonly known as "Pike" Moore, was born around 1832 in Missouri, about 50 miles from St. Louis. When in his late teens, Pike was on a hunting trip and met Adam "Horn" Miller. Together they joined an ox-wagon train to California to join the Gold Rush. Apparently they spent several years in the California goldfields and around 1865-66 headed to Montana Territory where they prospected around Bannack, Virginia City, Confederate Gulch, and Last Chance in Helena. In 1870 the two men, along with James Gourley, discovered gold in the Cooke City area. (Note: some accounts include Bart Henderson and Ed Hibbard) For the next 30+ years Pike prospected the mountains along the northern border of Yellowstone, investing his time heavily in the Shoo Fly Mine. He also worked the JH Moore claim, located along Miller Road, near Cooke City. It was located just across the road from the Horn placer claim. Reportedly Moore was offered $25,000 for his Shoo Fly Mine in the late 1800s, but turned it down, believing it was worth more. That was quite a tidy sum in those days, and would have allowed Pike to live out his days in relative comfort. Pike was also involved with Yankee Jim George in the toll road through Yankee Jim Canyon. During Pike's final days he lived in Gardiner with Charley Scott and died of dropsy (edema) on March 1, 1903, after being ill for several weeks. He is buried in the Gardiner Cemetery. [Anaconda Standard, 3/4/1903; "Old Timers" by Earnest Seton Thompson; Livingston Post, 4-16-1903; Park County News, 3/21/1957, Dick Randall article on Horn Miller; "The Toughest Man in Montana Territory," by Gay Randall, about Horn Miller]
Moorman, Edward H. Ed Moorman was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on Dec. 18, 1875. He came west in 1899 and went to work for William Wylie, who operated the Wylie Camping Co. He started out helping Wylie’s son and Uncle Tom Richardson build a house and fence on Wylie’s property on Elk Creek west of Bozeman. The first of June Ed and Uncle Tom drove a herd of milk cows from Bozeman up into the park to supply the camps. Moorman held the position of ‘Camp Man’, and was in charge of keeping the camps warm, dry, clean, supplied, and occasionally chased away bears. He helped Uncle Tom in the construction of his trail to the base of the Lower Falls. Moorman became manager of the Canyon Camp in 1903 and was promoted to Supt of Transportation for the Wylie operation in 1905. Wylie sold out that summer to A.W. Miles and A.L. Smith, who was the front man for silent partner Harry Child. Moorman stayed on and managed the company that season. He soon managed the commissary in Gardiner and later became bookkeeper. He continued on with the company and became a partner and minority stockholder in 1919 and was listed as Secretary/Treasurer of the Yellowstone Parks Camps Co. by 1922. Vernon Goodwin became President of the company in 1924 and Moorman became Manager. Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Co. brochures from 1928 list Moorman as General Manager and he maintained that position until 1946 when he stepped down from the position and Huntley Child, Jr. took over. He retired after 1948. [62p]
Moran, Thomas. Thomas Moran was a famed artist who accompanied the Hayden expedition of 1871 and created the first paintings and drawings of the park’s many wonders. His works, along with those of photographer Henry Jackson, assisted in the effort to preserve Yellowstone as a National Park. He completed his massive landscape painting of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in 1872 and Congress purchased it for $10,000. He was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England January 12, 1837 to Thomas and Mary M. Moran. The family immigrated to America in 1844 and Thomas Jr. was educated in Philadelphia. He studied art and wood engraving in the U.S., Paris, and Italy and became known as an illustrator and landscape artist. He accompanied an expedition to the Grand Canyon in Arizona in 1873 and painted landscapes that were purchased by Congress for $10,000 each and were displayed in the Capitol. The Yellowstone painting was entitled "The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone." Moran illustrated for Scribner's Magazine, Longfellow's Hiawatha, and Whittier's Mabel's Martin. Moran's brother Edward was a marine painter and brother Peter was known for his paintings and etchings of animal life. In April of 1862 Thomas married Mary Nimmo, daughter of Archibald Nimmo of Strathaven, Scotland. Their son John Leon became a figure painter. Thomas Moran died in 1926 at age 89. [The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, 1904] [Who's Who in America, 1902; Webster's Biographical Dictionary, 1948] [25L;74]
Click Here for the Wikipedia page on Thomas Moran.
Nauerth, Isabel. Isabel Nauerth was wife of Jack Haynes. See `Haynes, Isabel’.
Nichols, Ellen Child. Ellen Dean Child was the daughter of H.W. Child and married Wm. Nichols in 1905. Three years after her husband's death in 1960 she became Chairman of the Board of Yellowstone Park Co. Two years later she was Treasurer of the firm, but still controlled a majority of the stock with her son John Q. Nichols. The company was sold in 1966 to Goldfield Enterprises. She was known as the Grand Dame of the Yellowstone Park Co. [25L;76]
Nichols, John Q. John Q. Nichols, son of Wm. Nichols, became General Manager of Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. in 1935. In the 1950’s he was a vice-president of Yellowstone Park Co., along with Huntley Child Jr. In 1956 John became President, with his father as Chairman of the Board. He resigned in 1961 due to the increasing financial problems suffered by the company, but remained a major stockholder in the company. [25L;76]
Nichols, William Morse. William Nichols was born in 1881 in Hartford, Conn. Familiarly known as “Billie”, he attended the US Military Academy at West Point from around 1899 to 1903. He graduated as a second lieutenant in 1903 and was assigned to the 11th Cavalry and sent to Yellowstone Park. He married Harry Child’s daughter, Ellen Dean Child, in 1905 and resigned his commission in the Army in September of that year. In 1907 he served as secretary to Harry Child, and two years later became Secretary of the newly formed Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. He was the second largest shareholder of the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Co. in 1916 with 28% of the shares. With the death of Harry Child in 1931, Nichols was elevated to president of the company. The various Child/Nichols enterprises were merged together in 1936 with Nichols as President of the new Yellowstone Park Co. During the lean war years, business was bad in the park and few facilities were open. Nichols was forced to sell his shares of the Flying D Ranch in 1944 to help pay off debts to the railroad companies. During the mid-1940’s his son John Q. gradually began to take over active management of the company. In 1956 Billie resigned as president of the company to take over as chairman of the board of directors of YPCo. He remained with the company until his death on August 6, 1957 at Mammoth, after suffering a heart attack about nine days earlier. [25g] [62k;Wm.M. Nichols Papers]
Nicholls, Bill. Bill Nicholls was co-owner with Harold Young of "Snowmobiles of West Yellowstone”. They started winter tours of the park in 1955 in Bombedier snow coaches. [25L;76]
Norris, Philetus W. P.W. Norris became the 2nd park superintendent in 1877, serving for 5 years. He was known for his explorations of the park and geyser basins, and wrote extensively of his findings. He established the first written rules and regulations for the park and had them published in local newspapers and posted on signs around the park. He obtained the 1st congressional appropriations in 1878 and set out to build a road from Mammoth to the Lower Geyser Basin. He followed a trail blazed by Julius Beltizer in 1874. He continued to build many other roads and trails in the park, but his detractors claimed he was more interested in the number of miles built, rather than in the quality of the roads. He was severely criticized for this after his departure, however funds were limited and he attempted to stretch them as far as he could. Through his efforts 234 miles of trails and crude roads had been constructed by 1879 and two years later he was responsible for 104 miles of the 140-mile road system. He built the first administrative building in the park on Capitol Hill at Mammoth in 1879. Due the Indian troubles of 1877-78, the building was erected more as a protective fort and became known as the Norris Blockhouse. In 1880 he circumnavigated Yellowstone Lake in a 20’ sailboat called the “Explorer” and deemed the Lake quite navigable. Norris Geyser Basin, Norris Pass, and Mount Norris were named after him. His tenure ended in February of 1882 and he died three years later in Kentucky. [25L;77-78]
Norton, Harry J. Harry J. Norton has been described as a "romantic-looking fellow, dark-haired and handsome, and had a history full of incident and adventures . . . He was a man of undoubted nerve; will power was the dominant trait of his character." He fought in the Mexican War, was a government scout, hunted, mined for gold and was the sole survivor of a raid by the Apaches on the Gila River. Norton was among one of the earliest tourist groups to travel the park. He explored the park in early September of 1872, leaving from Virginia City. The following year he published a guidebook entitled “Wonderland Illustrated, or Horseback Rides Through the Yellowstone National Park”. He described the wonders to be found in the park and made note of necessary or optional supplies and equipment that would be needed for the adventure. His guidebook also accepted advertisements for Virginia City businesses. In 1874 he became local editor for the New Northwest newspaper in Deer Lodge, Montana. Norton left Montana in the winter of 1874-75 and went to Silver City, Nevada where he published what was described "as a typical mining camp journal,” the Silver City Mining Reporter. Norton seems to have been a bit hot-headed as one newspaper reported an altercation he had with “Prospecting Bill.” Bill called Norton a few choice names whereupon Norton throttled Bill, drew his gun and smashed it in his face, knocking out a tooth. As he pulled the trigger to fire, another newspaperman grabbed the gun and the hammer came down upon his hand, saving Bill from meeting his maker. While in Silver City Norton fell in love with Mary Blackburn, seventeen-year old daughter of Judge Blackburn. The Judge's beautiful young daughter was besieged with suitors that Norton vied with for her affections. His most serious competitor was a rich and daring Mexican. Feeling that he might lose the battle of suitors, Norton found a pretext to challenge the Mexican to a duel, who instantly accepted. The challenger chose Colt revolvers at 20 paces with the contest set for the following morning. Norton reportedly worked late at the newspaper office that night with a cool and level head and even wrote his own obituary, which he instructed his printers to utilize should he not survive the duel. The next morning the men, back-to-back, paced off and at the count of three, turned and fired. Norton's shot was fired with deadly aim, while his opponent's shot went over his head. He immediately rushed over to Mary's house to explain what happened and told her he must flee town immediately. She agreed to go with him and they fled to Virginia City where they wasted no time in getting married. The couple traveled around the west, living in the Black Hills for a time where they apparently had a daughter. He seems to have worked at a paper known as the Black Hills Newsletter and Mining Reporter. In 1879 he wrote a book entitled “A Bird’s-eye View of the Black Hills Gold Mining Region" and traveled to New York to work on getting it published. Late in 1879 he moved on to Leadville, Colorado but sent Mary back home so as not to expose her to the dangers and wild life of that raucous town. He became editor of The Chronicle and wrote an idealized story of his life, filled with romance and history called "On the Yellowstone." It was made into a play after his death in New York City by Salmi Morse, author of the Passion Play. Critics however, were not particularly fond of the play. In the June of 1880 Norton's reckless life caught up with him and he was taken ill with pneumonia. He summoned his wife by telegram to be by his side and she arrived in town the night he died. Brokenhearted, Mary returned to Nevada to live with her parents, who eventually moved to the Pacific Coast. When a rich relative died, Mary used her share of the inheritance to move to New York City, where she became the leading lady in the play "On the Yellowstone," which Morse produced. In 1884 Morse was found floating in a New York river and an inquest reported that it was an accidental drowning, although reports persisted of suicide. [25L;79] [14u;10/24/1876; 3/1/1884] [42e;7/19/1874] [Black Hills Pioner Newspaper, 1878-80] [Galveston Daily News; 4/7/1884]
Oakes, Thomas F. Thomas Oakes was vice-president of the Northern Pacific RR when he formed the Yellowstone Transportation Co. with Charles Gibson in 1886. He also held 10% of the shares in the Yellowstone Park Association that was created that same year. Oakes succeeded Robert Harris as president of NPRR in 1888. It was Oakes that relieved E.C. Waters of his position as general manager of Yellowstone Park Association in 1890. As compensation, Waters was offered the job of managing the boat company on Lake Yellowstone. [25L;80]
Omohundro, "Texas Jack". John B. “Texas Jack” Omohundro served as a scout for the Army on the western frontier beginning in 1869. He met Wild Bill Hickok that year, along with Buffalo Bill Cody, who got Jack signed on as a scout. In 1872 Cody and Omohundro served as hunting guides for the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia in Yellowstone. The men also guided for various other visiting European and English nobility, including the Earl of Dunraven, who wrote of his Yellowstone experiences in his book "The Great Divide". In the summer of 1877 Omohundro was guiding a group of English tourists through Yellowstone, during the Nez Perce uprising, but apparently avoided the violence. Texas Jack later performed with Buffalo Bill in the stage shows "Scouts of the Prairie" and "Scouts of the Plains." Jack died of pneumonia on June 28, 1880 at age 34. [10u]
Parker, Jim. Jim Parker was permitted in 1918 with Jay Wilcox to raise potatoes on Turkey Pen Pass to sell to the tourists. [25L;84]
Peale, Albert Charles. Albert Peale was mineralogist and geologist for F.V. Hayden's US Geology and Geographical Survey of the Territories from 1871-79. He wrote a series of letters to the Philadelphia Press during his explorations of Yellowstone in 1871 that described the many wonders of this natural wonderland. The letters were compiled into a book published in 2005 and edited by Marlene Deahl Merrill entitled "Seeing Yellowstone in 1871: Earliest Descriptions & Images from the Field." Peale was a medical doctor and also served as geologist for the US Geological Survey in 1881-98. He was a member of numerous scientific societies and authored the book "Yellowstone National Park and Mineral Springs," along with numerous other geological reports and papers. In 1898, the United States National Museum appointed Peale as aid in charge of the paleobotany section of the Department of Geology, and he held that position until his death in 1914. Peale was born April 1, 1849 in Heckscherville, Penn. [Who's Who in America, 1902]
Peterson, William. Member of the Folsom-Cook-Peterson expedition of 1869, William Peterson was born December 3, 1834 on the Bornholm Islands, Denmark. He went off to sea at age 11 and sailed for 11 years before retiring that profession and joining the California and Idaho gold rushes. BY 1865 he arrived in Confederate Gulch, Montana and went to work with Charles Cook for the Boulder Ditch Co. After the Yellowstone expedition he prospected for gold at Grasshopper Creek near Bannack, Montana, and eventually wound up in Salmon, Idaho. He became mayor on two occasions and built the first power plant in the town. Married and the father of two children who never passed through the rites of adulthood, Peterson died November 28, 1919. [Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, Daniel Thrapp, Vol.III] [25L;84]
Pitcher, Capt. John. Capt. Pitcher was Acting Supt. with the 1st Cavalry from May 8, 1901 to June 1, 1907. According to the Livingston Enterprise, Pitcher “…made every effort [in 1902] to exterminate the wolves and coyotes in the park, owing to the danger to the young game.” More than 200 animals were poisoned that year. Pitcher was from Texas and was appointed to the US Military academy in 1872. He became a 2nd Lt. in 1876 and served with the cavalry during the Indian uprisings in the West. He retired with the rank of Colonel and died Oct. 12, 1926 at his estate in Annapolis, Maryland. He was buried in Arlington Cemetery with his father, Brig. Gen. Thomas G. Pitcher and his brother Col. Wm. L. Pitcher. [LE;5/10/1902] [25g] [Arlington National Cemetery Website]
Potts, Daniel. Daniel Potts was a member of the 1822 Ashley-Henry Expedition and he is known to have trapped in the Yellowstone area in 1926 with Jedediah Smith and William Sublette. They visited Yellowstone Lake and the Thumb Geyser Basin. A letter describing his travels in the park became the first published account of the wonders in Yellowstone. It was published in a Philadelphia newspaper on July 27, 1827. Potts Hot Spring Basin near West Thumb was named after him in 1957. [25L;85]
Ponsford, John W. John W. Ponsford (J.W. Ponsford) was a miner, Bozeman businessman and occasional partner of Jack Baronett. In 1880 Baronett rebuilt his bridge over the Yellowstone River near the current Tower Junction and Ponsford assisted him in the effort. In the spring of 1882 it was reported in the newspapers that Ponsford and J.L. Sanborn purchased the bridge from Baronett for $2500 with the agreement they rebuilt the approaches to allow for six-mule team outfits to cross. I suspect this was more of a lease agreement, as in later years after the government claimed ownership of the bridge; Baronett sought redress in Congress to obtain compensation for his bridge. In 1884 Ponsford and Sanborn petitioned Interior for a lease of ten acres of ground about a mile west of the bridge as a "stopping place for travelers." The location would have been near Tower Junction. No evidence has been located to show that the request was granted. Ponsford also prospected in the Clark's Fork area with Baronett and others. He was amongst those miners who desired stock in the new town of Cooke City upon its creation in 1880. His fellow miners and potential lot-buyers included George Huston, Baronett, John Dewing, Col. P.W. Norris, Adam Miller, X. Beidler, James Gourley, and Bart Henderson. He also operated coal mines near Bozeman in the 1880's.
John Ponsford, also known as James Ponsford, was born March 21, 1847 and at age 22 was a private with the 2nd Cavalry stationed at Fort Ellis. He took part in the 1870 massacre of an Indian village on the Marias River in Montana that took the lives of mostly women and children. By the mid-late 1870's Ponsford owned several billiard halls/saloons in Bozeman. By 1883 he was a deputy sheriff in Bozeman and pulled the spring that hung a man named Clark, was had been convicted of murder. It was the first legal hanging in Bozeman. In 1893-94 Ponsford was Chief of Police in Bozeman. Famed Montana lawman and dispenser of Vigilante justice John X. Beidler dictated his biography to Ponsford in the late 1880s. Ponsford died Sept. 16, 1912 and is buried in Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. May be same person as above J.W. Ponsford. [Nat'l Archives Letter Rec'd Interior, 2/5/1884; Helena Independent, 10/5/1877 & 12/28/1883; Bozeman Avant Courier 5/22/1879, 6/3/1880, 6/24/2880; Butte Daily Miner 4/5/1882; Sunset Hills Cemetery]
Povah, Terry. Terry Poval was son of Trevor Povah and Eleanor Hamilton (daughter of Charles Hamilton). He took over as President of Hamilton Stores in 1979 when his father retired. [25L;85]
Povah, Trevor. Trevor Povah married Charles Hamilton’s daughter, Eleanor in 1940. After his father-in-law’s death in 1957, he and his wife took over the operation of the Hamilton Stores. [25L;85]
Powell, John D. John Dudley Powell was part owner of the Shaw & Powell Camping Co., formed in 1898 to operate moveable camps in Yellowstone. In 1913 they were permitted to establish permanent camps and operate stages to transport their guests from camp to camp. When the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Co. was formed in 1916, Powell held one share of stock. Other stockholders included Frank Haynes, A.W. Miles, William Nichols and Huntley Child. The operation only lasted one year, as the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. was granted monopoly status on transport in Yellowstone beginning in 1917. John Powell was born June 1858 in Baraboo, WI to parents John Wm Powell & Harriet Mildred Dudley Powell. He married Viola Taylor of Madison WI in 1885. She was also involved in the Shaw & Powell operation. The couple was residing in Livingston Mt at least by 1900. They had one child, Hollis Dudley Powell who died at about age 20 in 1912. In 1920 John was listed on the census as a Stockman and in 1930 as Retired. Viola passed away June 6, 1932 in that town and John followed August 18, 1938. Both are interred in The Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston. [25L;92]
Pritchett, George. George Pritchett was the man who in 1870, along with Jack Baronett, located the lost Truman Everts near Crescent Hill in the northern part of the park. While Baronett cared for Everts, Pritchett rode to Fort Ellis to seek a wagon and doctor. The Army was unable to help, so he continued on to Bozeman where a civilian wagon and driver were procured. [25L;85]
Pryor, Anna. Anna Pryor, nee Anna Kathren Trischman, was born July 18, 1884 in Montana to George and Margaret Gleason Trischman. She moved with her family to Ft. Yellowstone in 1899. She married George A. Pryor, accounting clerk for YPA, in 1907. Daughter Georganna was born April 18, 1908 in Helena, Mt (died Nov. 8, 1961 in Glendale, Calif). That year the couple purchased the Specimen House at Mammoth and went into the curio and deli business. A few years later, ca1910 she had another daughter named Margaret. After selling out her Yellowstone business to Charles Hamilton in 1953, she returned to her winter home in Los Angeles. Anna lived to be 89, passing away on Oct. 27, 1973 in Los Angeles. See below - "Pryor & Trischman". [25h]
Pryor & Trischman. Anna and Elizabeth Trischman were daughters of Army post carpenter George Trischman, who came to work in Yellowstone in 1899. In 1908 Anna and husband George Pryor, purchased the Specimen House at Mammoth from Ole Anderson. They enlarged the house and called their business the Park Curio & Coffee Shop. They sold ice cream, curios, souvenirs, newspapers, toiletries, coffee, tea, box lunches, and operated a bakery and soda fountain. In 1912 George Pryor signed over his interests to Elizabeth Trischman and the business became known as Pryor & Trischman. In 1922 they opened a deli at the new ‘free auto camp’ at Mammoth, and five years later added a cafeteria to the operation. They established a small stand in 1924 at the Devil’s Kitchen on the Mammoth Terraces called the Devil’s Kitchenette. In 1932 they bought out all of George Whittaker’s Yellowstone Park Store holdings at Mammoth and Canyon, which included an interest in the service station businesses. The company became Pryor Stores, Inc. in 1946. After 45 years of operation in Yellowstone, the women sold their business in 1953 to Charles Hamilton for $333,000. The Canyon store and gas station were torn down in the early 1960’s and the Pryor Coffee Shop at Mammoth was razed in 1984. The Hamilton Store at Mammoth is the only remaining building from the Pryor & Trischman operation. [25h]
Click Here to view the article I wrote on Pryor & Trischman for the Spring 2002 issue of Annals of Wyoming. It is 15.5mb in size and the article starts on page 47. "A Tale of Two Sisters: Pryor & Trischman in Yellowstone in the Best and Worst of Times."
Pryor, George. Born in Virginia in 1881, George Pryor was employed by Yellowstone Park Association as an accountant as early as 1904. He married Anna Trischman June 5, 1907 at the Episcopal Church in Gardiner. They went into business together in 1908 when they purchased the Specimen House from Ole Anderson. In 1912 he turned over his share of the business to Anna’s sister Elizabeth and submitted an application to Supt. Brett to operate a dairy herd at Mammoth to supply milk and butter to the post and local civilians. There is conflicting evidence whether he actually put the proposal into action. A letter written by Robert Reamer in Oct. 1912 noted that “George Pryor is now the proprietor of a dairy, furnishing milk for people around the Post.” A letter from the acting superintendent in Sept. 1913 recorded that Pryor was no longer in the park and was unable to fulfill his obligations with the dairy permit. In 1912 Pryor also sought permission to establish a steam laundry at Mammoth, but it seems nothing came of the proposition. There is little mention of him in park archives after that time. The 1920 Fed. Census for Yellowstone listed Anna as a Widow. [25h] [1910 Federal Census,YNP]