Reflections: Buffalo Bill's dreams for Grand Encampment

 


Reprint of this story from the November 13, 1903 issue of The Grand Encampment Herald brought to you courtesy of Grandma’s Cabin, Encampment, Wyoming. Preserving History - Serving the Community.

BUFFALO BILL IN CAMP

“How can I drive tunnels at Grand Encampment and build canals at Cody, if I do not keep the old show going?” said the world renowned Buffalo Bill to the Herald Monday at the Wyoming House in Grand Encampment. “It takes capital to build up Wyoming, and we have to keep the ball rolling.”

“I have been just two weeks coming home from England,” continued Col. Cody, “and I tell you the most enjoyable part of the trip was the ride over the sand from Walcott; it does me good to get back once more upon my old stamping grounds in Wyoming. Yes, I closed the show two weeks ago Friday night, turned loose my 600 men and about the same number of animals, and brought 200 of the boys home with me. I stopped one day in New York, one day in Chicago, one day in Omaha, one day in Denver, and here I am in Grand Encampment, fifty miles inland, after the fastest trip I ever took in my life.


“Dr. Powell and I are here to visit our Copper Giant mine and to take in the camp. Say, do you know, I have not met a discouraged man in these hills. I am agreeably surprised at the extensive work being done near Grand Encampment, and everybody seems to be confident of success. Why, the prospect for gold and silver is better in Wyoming than it was in Colorado when Denver was only six years old; that’s the age of your town here, I believe. Well you have copper and lots of it, and that’s one thing more than Colorado had when Denver first came upon the map.”

“There is one thing you must not overlook at Grand Encampment,” suggested the Colonel.

“And that is?”

“The interesting of capital,” he replied. “But then I must take that back; when I see the improvements here I must say that you have not overlooked much of anything to have done what you have. You are not behind in anything; great camp, great future not only for the town but also for the surrounding country, as you have thousands of acres of sagebrush land and plenty of water to irrigate same and thus build up a great agricultural community. And by the way, agriculture is the basis of prosperity anywhere. While I admire the way you people have gone into these hills and mined for wealth, do not neglect the man with the plow, for he comes to stay and is always in the vanguard of civilization.”

Speaking of his mining interests here, Col. Cody said: “Yes, I am a heavy stockholder in the Copper Giant. I am well pleased with same and have no stock for sale. Mr. Waterbury and Col. Powell have built a magnificent tunnel, of good proportion and well timbered, and are still driving. It is the best tunnel I have ever seen, and I have seen many. The tunnel is in 900 feet, with a depth almost as great as the length, and I understand that it is the longest tunnel with the greatest depth in the district.”

In company with Supt. Waterbury, the two frontiersmen visited the Copper Giant property on the North Fork, and took in the sights about town, leaving Tuesday for Saratoga. On Saturday night, the people of Cody will give their leader a royal welcome home by holding a celebration in the Colonel’s honor. Col. Cody has arranged to be here again with Dr. Powell sometime during the winter. Next year, the wild west show will resume its tour of England.

Dr. Powell says that he has nothing new to say about the camp, only that he feels more confident than ever in its future. He denies the newspaper report that he died a few weeks ago, and says that if any such event took place he has yet to realize the change. His visit has been pleasant in the extreme, and he adds that he had to bring Col. Cody here just to show him that his northern Wyoming town is not in any respect ahead of the little city

 

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