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This is Page 29.

See some past weeks' photos below.

See an index of all past weeks' photos here.

See Page 1 here with the current photo of the week.

 

We welcome your pictures. We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We're looking for vintage photos and contemporary photos: family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo to share, email us for information about sending it to us.

Each week, we'll post selected photos from those received. We'll also share some photos posted previously elsewhere at CowboyPoetry.com.

 

Send your photo.

 Email us for information about sending it to us.

 

 

If you enjoy this feature, you may also be interested in our 
Western Memories Project, the personal recollections— many with photos— contributed by BAR-D visitors.  Your stories and photos are welcome.


June 23, 2008


previous weeks' photos

index of all photos


 

Wyoming writer and poet Jean Mathisen Haugen  shared family photos, stories, and some Western history.  She calls her story:

Great-Great Grandpa Gambled—With a Ranch and a Daughter

My great-great grandfather, Gilbert Avery, was born in New York state and married Janie Vaughn in the mid-1860's. They had two daughters, Anna Augusta Avery (Doane)—my great grandmother—and Nellie Avery (Doane). Unfortunately, Janie Vaughn Avery died of tuberculosis when Anna was about five years old in 1872. Gilbert remarried to a strapping young lady, Sarah Jeanette Wilson (better known as Nettie) the following year and they became the parents of 10 more boys and girls.

In 1885 they moved west to Milford, Wyoming (6 miles north of Lander, Wyoming) and took up a place there. Here their large family carried on for several years. Anna, his oldest daughter, married Frank Doane at Eldred, Pennsylvania in 1886 and they came west to Milford in 1888 with their two oldest childen, Luella (Van Patten) and Gilbert. In 1890, Nellie, who had married Frank's brother, Elmer Doane, came west with Elmer and their son Charlie. Sadly, within a month or so, Nellie, too, died of tuberculosis.


Nettie Wilson Avery and her first six children

Jeanette Wilson Avery's brother, Ase Wilson, took baby Charlie in and raised him. (Charlie ran away to be a hobo when he was 18 and was killed by a train in Colorado.) Ase Wilson had run away to the Civil War at age 15 and lied about his age; he served as a drummer boy and a soldier in the War. He came west and helped start Milford (then known as North Fork) and started the first flour mill in the area at Milford in 1878. Jeanette and Ase's mother, Julia Sherman Wilson, was a second cousin of famed Civil War General, William Tecumseh Sherman. Julia and Ase are buried at the North Fork Cemetery at Milford (which is now a ghost town.).

In the late 1890's Gilbert and Jeanette moved their family to the new town of Meeteetse (in northwest Wyoming) on the way to Cody, Wyoming (which was then known as Stinkingwater, before the proper ladies of the community thought it should be renamed!). The Avery's were a large family and contained several characters. Gilbert, himself, liked to gamble and the family story goes that he gambled off his daughter, Jenny, to one Archie McCoy who was said to have been a member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang. The photo below is the pretty red-haired Jenny, who was quite a bit taller than Archie. They were married a few years, had some children, and later divorced. I have not been entirely able to pin down if the story is true, however, a cousin did mention that Gilbert did gamble off the family ranch once and his wife, known to most of the family as Nettie, kicked him out for quite a while! Gilbert died around 1918, but Nettie lived on to age 96 and passed away at Meeteetse in 1946. She was a tall woman who was fondly thought of by her step-daughter, Anna Avery Doane (Anna's daughter, Mary Jeanette Doane Hornecker, my grandmother, was named for her).


Archie and Jenny McCoy

Nettie Wilson Avery worked for many years at the well known Wyoming ranch, the Pitchfork Ranch on the Greybull River, once owned by millionaire, Otto Franc. Franc had made his money after he and his brothers came to New York from Germany and imported bananas. He came to Wyoming in the 1870's and started his ranch. He was behind Butch Cassidy being convicted of stealing a $5 horse in 1892 and Butch being sent to the Wyoming Pen at Laramie for a couple years. Franc later died mysteriously at his ranch (some thought Butch may have been behind his being shot in his yard).

Once Nettie told her son, Floyd Wellington Avery (better known as "Fudd") to go out and get a load of wood for the cookstove and not to come back until he did! This was about the time of the Yukon Gold Rush in 1898, and Fudd had a hankering to head north to make his fortune. Fudd traveled for some time and met up with Jack London, the famous author of the Yukon, who was said to have written a story, "Sundown Slim" about Fudd. This may or may not have been true—I haven't been able to track down the story as yet. At any rate, Fudd married a lady who never thought too highly of him, left her and continued his ramblings for 20-odd years. One day, 20 years after heading out, he came back home to the Avery ranch, grabbed an armload of wood and walked in the door, hollering out to Nettie, "Hey, Ma, here's your wood!" I have not heard exactly what she had to say in reply!


 Allie Avery Leseberg, Delma Avery Scovel,  Floyd "Fud" Avery, Maude Avery Doores,
Louis Shultheis (Sr.) and Gilbert "Bert" Avery.  c. 1950

Another daughter, Alice or "Allie," married a Leseberg while the Avery's were still near Lander and they settled on the North Fork of the Popo Agie River. They had a large family, most of whom later settled near Dubois, Wyoming, 75 miles north (Dubois also had a different name to begin with—it was known in the early days as "Neversweat" because the locals preferred to rustle cattle and horses rather than ranch! Butch Cassidy and a partner, Al Haines, had a ranch on Horse Creek just north of Dubois).

Yet another daughter, Delma Avery Scovel, settled out in Idaho in later years. Her grandson (or perhaps great-grandson) is Mike Scovel, a well known western artist who does many paintings for Leanin' Tree Cards.

Anna Augusta Avery Doane passed away in the spring of 1924 at Lander at age 55 and her husband died in 1933. They had 11 children and raised most to adulthood. Their ranch was located a few miles south of Lander just over Lander Hill and was later owned for many years by their son Maurice Avery Doane. (It was one of the oldest ranches still in family ownership in Fremont County during the county's centennial in 1984.) My grandmother, Mary Doane married John Hornecker on June 8, 1919 and they ranched for most of their lives on Squaw Creek near Lander, raising 8 chidlren.

There are still Avery's around Lander, but not many left at Meeteetse (Meeteetse is an Indian name and the meaning may mean "meeting place"). Meeteetse is a lively small ranching community and the cemetery there houses most of the Avery clan, including great-great grandpa Gilbert, the gambler. He left an interesting legacy behind and a few notable tales!

(The photos of Nettie Wilson Avery and her children when they were young, and then in later years. when they were grown,  are courtesy of my cousin and Nettie and Gilbert's grandson, Louis Schultheiss of LaGrange, Illinois. Louis is our family historian, who feels the old tune from the 1950's, "I'm My Own Grandpa," could well apply to the Avery clan!)

 

This story is also included in our Western Memories feature.

 

Jean Mathisen Haugen has contributed other photos and stories, including:

A story about Western artist and "flintnapper" Tom Lucas from Lander, Wyoming

A story about her grandfather, Walt Mathisen; eight generations of Jean's family have ranched in the Lander area.

The story of a tree planted by her family over 117 years ago

A story about her family's brand, "Saga of the Old ND Brand Continues for 123 Years" in our Western Memories pages

 

Read more about Jean Mathisen Haugen, some additional family ranch history, and some of her poetry here.
 

 


 Please share your photos for Picture the West.

Send your views of the West.

We need your photos. If you enjoy this feature, help keep it going by sharing your photos.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo and story to share, email us.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you have a photo to share, email us.


 Please share your photos for Picture the West.

Send your views of the West.

We need your photos. If you enjoy this feature, help keep it going by sharing your photos.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo and story to share, email us.


 

See Page 1 here with the current photo of the week.

 


 

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