Six Autographed Letters Sent By Stanley Howard, A Cowboy From Granby, Colorado During The Years 1907-1908
I RODE ALONG GULCHES WHERE IF A HORSE WOULD MAKE A MISSTEP, I WOULD HAVE FALLEN HUNDREDS OF FEET
P.S. I FORGOT TO TELL YOU THAT I HAVE A BOIL AND I CAN’T SIT DOWN VERY WELL
Six autographed letters sent by Stanley Howard, a cowboy from Granby, Colorado during the years 1907-1908
1st Letter as written:
Oct. 31, 1907
Dear cousins Ruth and Earl: I have been looking for a letter from both of you, but I am going to write you a short letter anyway. We had a snow storm this afternoon so we could not work and that gave me plenty of time to write some letters.
Wilson and I are living up among the hills in a tent. Our tent is in the edge of a fine forest and we are 3 miles from the nearest house. We never see anyone except on Sundays when we go to the post office.
I put on a black shirt a suit of duck cloth and a pair of leather shoes that come to my knees and then I think I am “dressed up”. My good clothes have been in the trunk since Aug. 15.
One day a tree fell and hit Wilson on the head. He was unconscious for over an hour. As soon as he was able to walk I took him down to Mr. Buites. He stayed there 3 days and I came back to our camp and worked all by myself without seeing a person. How would you like to do that way.
You ought to have been here for supper tonight. We had macaroni, tomatoes and pan cakes. When you get ready to travel like I am doing you will have to make up your minds to eat anything and every thing and say it is good.
I think next week will finish our work in the woods. There we are going to turn into cowboys and help Mr. Burite “roundup” his cattle. He has about 600 head and they are scattered all over the hills for 10 or 15 miles and are mixed up with every body elses cattle. How do you suppose we can tell them? Every one had the brand L.J. on its left side. L.J. means “love jack ranch” That name of Mr. Buirtes ranch. Then we will help brand all the young cattle. When that is done we are going to California.
Ruth! How is your cactus coming on. Write and tell me all about it. Earl, take a rabbit hunt for me, I am going to raid a coyote den tomorrow.
Both of you write soon. A good long letter.
Give my love to your papa and mamma.
2 page letter, very legible retaining its original transmittal envelope addressed to Mr. Earl H. Beardsley, Ellsworth Station, Ohio. From 2323 Ogden St, Denver, Colo.
2nd Letter as written:
Aug. 4, 1907
Dear cousins Earl and Ruth, This is a pleasant afternoon and I am going to spend a part of the time writing you a letter. I expect you have both been kept busy since your mamma has been sick and harvest time too, I hope your mother is better.
I wish you could have been here with me last Thursday and yesterday. Thursday was a legal holiday, Colorado's birthday. They had a big parade which was composed of 6 stage coaches and prairie schooners, 4 brass bands, 9 of the city fire companies, 50 race horses and 115 automobiles. One of the automobiles carried 42 people. Don't you think it was a big one? Then in the afternoon and evening I went out to the city park and heard the band concert.
You ought to see the animals at the park. I will name the different kinds. Here they are: Black, cinnamon and grizzly bear, black red and gray foxes, wolves coyotes and mountain lions. Wild cats, raccoon, badger, ocelot, porcupine, buffalo, elk, deer and antelope. They have a big cage of golden and bald eagles too. I saw the nicest little buffalo calf. It was only a few days old and looked like a little red calf only its head was woolly like a sheep.
Yesterday I went through the United States Mint and I saw them making money. They were working with silver. First it was smelted and then allowed to cool in long bars. Next it was taken to the rolling mill where it was rolled and rolled and cut until it was finally made into thin sheets. Then it was cut into pieces that looked like shot gun wads. They were making quarters yesterday. After this process it was taken to the coining room and weighed and sifted. It was then run through a coining machine and came out a finished coin.
I suppose you are all through harvesting by this time. They were through in Kansas when I was there. I helped harvest 150 acres of wheat. It took six of us just 5 ½ days to cut, haul and stack it. We made 25 big stacks.
Wilson is working today. He is a janitor in the Empire building and has thirty eight rooms to keep clean. He has to be watchman every fifth Sunday.
The rest of the folks have all gone out for an auto ride, this afternoon. I think maybe I will go when they come back. How would you like to go along? I rode in one in Columbus, O.It wasn’t as much fun as you would think.
Well, children, I have been waiting patiently for a letter from you since I left home, but I havn’t heard from you at all. I hope I wont have to wait as much longer.
Give my love to your papa and mamma.
2323 Ogden St.
4 pages with transmittal envelop included. Letter was sent to Miss Ruth Beardsley, Ellsworth Station, Ohio. Very legible and in vg cond.
3rd Letter as written:
September 8, 1907
Dear cousin Ruth: I was very glad to get your letter. You must have “lots of nerve” to have som many teeth pulled at once.
I am glad you got your harvesting done so nicely. I am helping make hay now. The man I work for has 600 acres of hay. All I do is ride a hay rake and he pays me $2.00 a day. The hay is all stacked and they dont haul it on a wagon and it isnt pitched with a fork. Can you geuss how they stack it? I will send you a picture some of these times that will show you all about it.
Tell Earl if he wants to go fishing to come out here and he can get all he wants and some big enough to break his hook and line.
If you look in your geography and find Middle Park you will know just where I am, Find the Grand River. That is where we go fishing and where we water our houses every day. Maybe you can find the Frazier river too. If you can find just where it empties into the Grand you will know just where I am because the man I work for owns the land between them.
It freezes ice here every night and yesterday it snowed a little. Two of the mountains south of here wre white with snow at sun down last night. Longs Peak is only 30 miles east of here and the Rabbits Ear Range is north. It is two miles to the nearest mountain. I climbed it last night to see the sun set. The weather was just like winter on its top.
I must close for this time. I will look for another letter just as nice as the other one in a few days. Tell Earl when he has plenty of time, just to drop me a card. Give my love to your father and mother.
2 pgs. With transmittal envelope with pictorial illustration of the “Pike’s Peak Climer – 25% Grade, Cog Road. Addressed to Miss. Ruth Beardsley, Ellsworth Station, Ohio. The stationary also has three vignettes with one being the Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs; the second being Hanging Bridge, Royal Gorge Canon of Arkansas and the third being The Pool and Bath, Glenwood Springs, Colo. Very legible and in vg cond.
4th Letter as written:
Oct. 3, 1907
Dear cousin Earl. I received your welcome letter and will try and answer it. I have only a few minutes to write as we are preparing to go up into the hills after game. Wilson and I were hunting yesterday and Tuesday. We went on horse back and came home both nights. We could not go far enough in one day to find the deer. We saw some tracks but there was not enough snow to follow them. Tomorrow we are going about 14 miles up into a rough country. We will be gone a week. I have a 30-30 caliber Winchester repeater, a duck hunting suit and a pair of lace shoes which come up to my knees. Dont you wish you could go along? There is deer, bear, mountain lions and timber wolves up there and we will have to sleep with our guns at our sides every night.
Last Monday we had a big snow storm, but it is nearly all melted now.
I will send you some pictures so you will know something about this country.
When we return from our hunting trip I will write you a longer letter and I will try and write planner so you wont have so much trouble reading it. I will look for another nice long letter from you.
Give my love to your papa and mamma.
P.S. Wilson found 4 deer horns last Tuesday. We will bring them home with us.
2 pages with transmittal envelope with pictorial illustration of The Palisades, Alpine Pass. The stationary illustrations are The Loop, Georgetown, Colo.; Mother Grundy, Clear Creek Canon and High Bridge On The Loop, Georgetown, Colo. Very legible, vg cond.
5th Letter as written:
Granby Colorado Nov. 19 (1907)
Dear cousins Earl and Ruth, I will try and answer your letter this evening.
We are having fine weather here now. Only a few snowflakes have fallen here and it is very dry. It has been very cold. Just 10 below zero one morning when we went riding after cattle and I frosted my feet and ears.
I expect about all you do is run that new engine. Do you keep the water trough running over and separate your milk twice or three times? Are you going to cut your corn fodder? You must have had a good crop of potatoes. Mr. Burite buys all of his potatoes. He bought 1800 pounds today and they cost “24. He buys all of his oats and they cost $2.65 a 100 pounds.
You must have had a good time in Canton. I should like to see McKinley monument too.
Well earl if you were to stop in for dinner with me you would likely get bacon, pancakes or maybe bread and some rice soup orbean soup. I might make you a Dutch stew. Our stove is something like the one your mother has.
The cattle are “rounded up” now all but a few which we have not found. Four of us began riding last Thursday morning and have been riding every day since except today. Mr. Burite and I rod about 50 miles the first day and found 70 head, The others brought home more. The second day I rode by myself and found 30. The rest brought in a big bunch. That was about the way it went all the time. We got about 550 altogether and there were 25 we could not find. Yesterday we had lots of fun and today too. Yesterday morning Wilson and I found 8 head of Mr. Burites cattle in with Selaks. He has the first ranch east. We had to separate them. Such hard riding. These saddle ponies will follow a steer just like a dog. When the steer turns the pony does too. A person has to hold on there or you will go on while the horse turns round. Wilson runs one so hard he went over the bank into the river and where he came out he was so run down his tongue hung out. After we got those we got the whole herd together and run them into a corral. There we separated (or “cut out” as they call it) all the dry cows and fat steers. There this morning we cut out the milk cows and feeders. All that was left were calves. Then we cut out those that were branded and had only 40 head left to brand. That took 5 of us all forenoon. One man kept the iron hot. Mr. Burite did the branding. Wilson and I and another fellow roped and held the cattle. That was lots of fun. We lassoed them then wound the rope around the snubbing post then some one else would rope his hind feet and wrap his rope around another post, the other fellow would grab its tail, give him a pull and over he went. One kicked Wilson in the face and when we let the last one loose he chased us all out of the corral. The brand is on the left side of back just back of the shoulder and the ends of each ear cut off. I dont think Dewey would amount too much after cattle. He is too big. These horses are too small for the east but they are all right for this country. I rode along gulches where if a horse would make a misstep, I would have fallen hundreds of feet. I’ll tell you more about the “roundup” and teach you how to throw a rope when I get home.
Ruth, I was sorry to hear you were not feeling well. You had better come out here and grow fat. I weight 164 pounds.
Yes we have tomatoes and corn cakes sometimes and they taste good.
I shall want to hear you play when I come home. If you dont get to school much this winter you must practice your music a great deal. That is what will make you a good player.
Have you still got your dog. I think we could have used him out here to drive cattle.
I dont think you had better write me any more letters until I send you my address again because we are going to leave here next week.
Give my regards to your papa and mamma. I am,Your cousin
P.S. I forgot to tell you that I have a boil and I cant sit down very well.
4 pages with transmittal envelope, very legible and in vg cond. Addressed to
6th letter as written:
July 26, 1908
Dear cousins Ruth and Earl: I received your letter a few days ago and I will answer it right away. I was gld to hear from you and I hope you will write often.
We have not commenced haying yet but will commence mowing tomorrow. It will be three or foour days before we commence hauling. I have had several different kinds of work since I came here. I am learning to irrigate. That is what I am going to do tomorrow. It is lots of fun to irrigate here because there are so many gophers and I can run the water into their holes and out they come.
I sowed twenty acres of grass seed yesterday and that is what I am going to irrigate tomorrow. Mr. Burite says get the water on the high places and the low places will take care of themselves.
I shot at a coyote yesterday but I only threw dirt on him. Wilson killed a porcupine. There are lots of game his year. I sent for a hunting license and as soon as it comes I am going to get some game. I wish you were both here to go trout fishing with me, I have caught about 25 since I came. They are not biting very good yet as feed is very plenty on the river.
Mr. Burite has 13 little colts this summer and he branded 60 calves so you see his live stock is increasing.
You asked which I like best, Colorado or Texas? I think Colorado is the finest state of all and I like better this summer than I did last. Yes, I am getting fatter than ever. Last Sunday I weighed 170 pounds. I have nothing more to tell you, this time so I will close. Remember me to your papa and mamma.
2 pages with transmittal envelope present addressed to Miss Ruth Beardsly, E;swprtj Statopm. Ohio. Ver legible and in vg cond.
In total the 6 letter have about 2,800 words with one of the best descriptions of a “round-up” and calf branding which we have ever owned. Also a very interesting descriptions of Colorado Statehood festivities and the Denver Mint.