~February 11, 1882 • Black Hills Weekly Times ~


Quite an Interesting and Enthusiastic Meeting Saturday Evening--The Southern Route the Favorite--Committee Appointed.

At an early hour on Saturday evening the board of trade room in the McLaughlin building was crowded with our citizens to have a talk with each other on railroad affairs. Before the meeting was called to order there was a general interchange of views on the subject. It was apparent from the general drift of conversation that every one was in favor of having a railroad to this point as soon as possible. The southern road seemed to be the favorite, yet there was no opposition to any road. The different routes were discussed.

About 8 o’clock Judge McLaughlin, chairman of the board of trade, and E. C. Bent, secretary, stepped on the platform and the meeting was called to order by the judge, who stated the object of the meeting was to talk railroad, and the best route and see what the people were willing to do toward assisting to build one to Deadwood. He said it was generally understood (with how much truth he did not know) that the Northwestern and St. Paul roads would not proceed any further than the river for at least a year. It is fair to believe that this is their policy for they will receive as much freight where they are as if they extended their road another hundred miles. The chairman then called the attention of the meeting to the proposed building of the Union Pacific from Grand Island, which will land at no distant day in the neighborhood of Red Cloud. He then spoke of the proposed southern line to Cheyenne. The legislature of Wyoming is taking action in the matter and Laramie County would vote $400,00 for the purpose of extending a road from Cheyenne to Fort Laramie. Judge McLaughlin read an article from the Denver Times, which predicted that the Union Pacific would have two roads to the Black Hills within two years from now. The judge said the only way we could hurry up the building of a railroad here would be for us all to put our shoulders to the wheel and help the work on by giving substantial aid.

Colonel Curmack then took the floor and said he was in favor of a railroad, and especially a southern road, as the more he thought of the matter the more apparent it was that that was the road for us to have, as our interests are mostly with the other mining camps.

Mr. Mather was loudly called for, and he declared himself in favor of the immediate construction of a railroad, preferred the railroad to Cheyenne. His experience in Colorado led him to believe that our interests would be best served by a southern railroad. He spoke of the rapid growth of Pueblo and said that we wanted a southern road if we had all the eastern roads at our door today.

Mr. Cushman was in favor of voting bonds if it was necessary to do so for a southern road, as he believed that was the best way for us to go, as it had been demonstrated by actual trial in Colorado. It was only a short time ago that it was denied that a southern road could be made successful, but the actual experience of the Denver and Rio Grande had busted that fallacy. After describing the country that a southern road would pass through and its advantages to us in the Hills by crossing the other roads that would in all probability be sure to direct their course west, he took his seat.

Colonel Thomas was the next speaker. He said that it was apparent to almost every one that we must have a railroad, and that soon. He hoped we could get a southern road, as that would connect us with the other mining camps of the west, and our interests were identical with them. He was in doubt whether the county could vote the bonds necessary for that purpose. He asked that a committee of four be appointed, but it was afterward increased to fifteen members.

Captain Gardner, of Spearfish, seconded the motion, as he thought it was evident we had to do something to bring emigrants to our fertile valleys, and capital to our county, so that our extensive mines would be worked. He was opposed to voting bonds unless it would be for a standard gauge road. He said he had been informed by the officials of the Union Pacific that their Grand Island branch would reach Red Cloud agency this year sure.

Colonel Cormack took the floor again and said if we entered into an arrangement with the Cheyenne people and agreed to vote bonds to an amount that should reach 18 percent of the assessed valuation of the three counties of the Hills, we would probably secure $600,000, or the whole amount of the bonds would reach $1,000,000. We could with that amount build a narrow gauge road to intersect the Cheyenne branch and own it ourselves, and if we did not want to run it we could lease it to the Union Pacific or some other good company.

The chair then appointed the following gentlemen on the committee of fifteen, Judge McLaughlin being made chairman by motion: D. McLaughlin, chairman; Messrs A. D. Thomas, Seth Bullock, F. Jenson, R. P. Cormack, R. Hood, C. V. Gardner, Sam McMaster, A. J. Knight, P. E. Sparks, J. H. Davey, J. K. P. Miller, A. A. Choteau, S. Cushman, Wm. Harmon.

A motion was then made that the people of Custer and Pennington counties be cordially and earnestly invited to join us in this movement in their own way and at an early day carried.

Mr. Grimshaw thought that by the appointment of the committee it was a close corporation of Coloradoians. He was opposed to a north and south road, as he did not see what good it would do us, as we all wanted to go east when we wanted to make our purchasers.

Mr. Mather taking the other side made a few good-natured remarks, saying he did not care where the railroad came from, he wanted a railroad.

Seth Bullock followed, and he said it didn’t make any difference to him where the railroad came from as he was not a Coloradoian, but had been in the west where there were no railroads and had got used to walking, but he thought railroads were a good thing if a man did not have to walk on the ties.

Short speeches were made by Judge Carey, General Dawson, T. H. Russell and Mr. Charlton, all in favor of railroad building.

A motion to adjourn was then made, but before putting it Judge McLaughlin took occasion to say that if Governor Ordway and Delegate Pettigrew would stop making faces at each other for a little while and attend to the people’s business, we could have a bill passed in congress (without any trouble enabling us to issue bonds for our relief, whereby we could vote bonds for building a railroad. The chairman cited several cases wherein congress had done the same thing for other communities.

~February 11, 1882 • Black Hills Weekly Times ~

The Unusual Display of Jasackery.

The Pioneer must have been “playing to bad luck” again in its periodical attempts to “pull the tail out of the tiger,” and to ease itself pitches into the TIMES, all on account of an item which we published Saturday, in which we stated that rumors of smallpox in the First ward were afloat, but discredited the truth of the rumor, and so stated and also our reasons. Thinking to make capital out of it, the Pioneer rants and tears in the following manner:

The TIMES yesterday contained an item calculated to convey the impression that smallpox had made its appearance in Deadwood, the article referring to Judge Dudley, though no name was mentioned. This is in keeping with that handbill. There never was an opportunity to injure Deadwood that that miserable apology did not take advantage of it and publish it, as the item referred to prove. There is not now and has not been a case of smallpox in the city, and such articles are only calculated to do injury, with no possible chance of doing good.

That same sheet, forgetful of the above effusion, in another column copies an article from the Inter-Ocean, which argues that it is the duty of everybody to expose cases of smallpox when known to exist, and is supported by the Sherman street “error” in the following words: “The painful effort upon the part of every infected community to deceive the outside world is almost criminal.”


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