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About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 27, 1902)
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FRANK DU TEIL.
The above likenesses, strange as It may seem, are not those of cow punchers or desperadoes, but camera
shots at a pair of Lincoln young men, Frank Du Tell and Bruce Gilbert. The pictures were taken on their re
cent trip to the Pacific coast, Harry Grupe completing the party. On the way they stopped In Arizona and saw the
Grand canyon of the Colorado river, the most massive chasm in the world. The pictures were taken while the two
were standing near the brink of the canyon. The triangular canvas contrivance, against which each is leaning,
is a signal stationed there by government surveyors. This signal is located on the highest point in that portion of
the country, the elevation exceeding 7,000 feet, and the white of the canvas can be seen for scores of miles away.
Jfn Indian Scare
In Early B
Memories of an event that excited
great Interest among the few pioneers
of Nebraska forty years ago are re
vived In a story told a Courier repre
sentative a few days since by Captain
Alley, the well known attorney and
politician of Wllber. In recounting his
memories of the event he refers to it
as the bloody battle of the Weeping
"Water, In which he was a prominent
participant. It must not, however, be
confounded with that other and earlier
conflict from which this romantic little
stream that pierces Cass county Is re
puted by early and long-treasured tra
dition to have derived its name.
The battle of the "Weeping Water to
which Captain Alley refers, in his
story, the recounting of which re
kindles the fires of youthful fervor in
his eyes, prompts him to speak in
whispered in tones of awe and causes
him to rear again his brow aloft In de
fiance of the ravages of time upon his
physical posture, was fought and won
some time in 1SC3, and created great
commotion in easternnewspaperdom.
"The line of frontier settlement had
then pushed no farther west than
what was known to early settlers, and
the Indians as Salt Basin. Or coursa
no resident of Lincoln need be told
where that was.
"Rock Bluffs, now an obscure Caps
county village nestling on the brow of
the Missouri river bluffs a few miles
below Plattsmouth, was then the gate
way to Nebraska and a place of great
and promising importance. Many who
afterwards became and still are promi
nent residents of Plattsmouth were
Rock Bluffs pioneers, and It was In
Rock Bluffs that the throwing out or
manipulation of the precinct election
returns defeated the then budding
political aspirations of the late Hon.
J. Sterling Morton and doubtless
changed the entire history of the state.
"Rumors of an incursion of hostile
Indians had awakened a reign of terror
in the settlers all over the section ly
ing between the banks of the Missouri
and the present site of Lincoln. The
usually dauntless pioneers were leaving
their homes with their families in
numbers and in almost an agony of
apprehension seeking safety in flight
eastward. Within a few days hundreds
had come pouring into Rock Bluffs
either to find protection there or push
on farther east to points where they
might feel assured of it.
"The situation was recognized as a
critical one for this new section west
of the river. It was reported that the
Indians had massacred some whites
over on the Little Blue and were mov
ing eastward with murderous intent.
"I had come up from St. Joseph to
visit my uncle. N. R. Hobbs, a pioneer
settler long since deceased, and was
induced to accept a position" as prin
cipal of the schools. .1 was then quite
young and full of the dauntless ardor
of the youthful pioneer. As the stream
of frightened settlers poured through
Rock Bluffs it was realized that steps
should be taken without delay to check
the exodus, and a few adventurous
spirits determined to go out to meet
the Indians and reassure the, terrorized
fugitives. It took but a few hours to
organize. There were fourteen of us,
as I recall it, and although the young
est of the little band, 1 was elected
captain. Among those whose names I
recall as those of participants in our
seemingly desperate undertaking, are
J. M. Patterson, the Plattsmouth
banker and ex-state senator, and his
brother Ambrose, now dead; John C.
Clemmons, Nell Bohanan. William Gil
more, still a farmer residing near
Plattsmouth. and Charley Cutler.
Mounted on splendid horses and
armed with elaborate precision, we
sallied forth in the night time to seek
and subdue the red marauders. We
rode forward cautiously throughout the
night, not knowing at any time that
the next step might land us within
flghth:s distance of the bloodthirsty
Early the following morning we
wearily went down the beautiful val
ley of the Weeping Water to the pio
neer village of that name, for there was
even then such a village. As we drew
near the settlement the consciousness
of fatigue was summarily dissipated by
the spectacle of three Indian tepees
pitched in a cluster close to it, and al
though It was time for the denizens of
the town to be astir, not a living sould
could be seen. With the caution of
trained scouts and the preparedness of
road agents we drew close to the te
pees, having first separated into two
squads in order to head off a possible
flight on the part of the tent dwellers.
When close to the tepees I hailed them.
The reply that came was in unmistak
ably good English, so that when, a mo
ment later, a number of heads pro
truded we were prepared to identify
them as those of white men. Had there
bvcn no response of the kind before the
showing of heads the consequences
would surely have been such as I
could never since have recalled with
out a shudder.
"We found sheltered In those tepees
a number of men who had just come
over from Council Bluffs to put up a
stone mill for Gene Reed. They had
heard nothing of an Indian scare and
I need not tell you that the discovery
was a grateful surprise to us.
"Even at that primitive period Ot
the state's development the people of
Weeping Water entertained hopeful
views of the wellfare of their city and
were looking askance at the river
towns, probably in anticipation of the
long and bitter county seat war that
raged for years between Weeping
Water and Plattsmouth and was ter
minated but a few years since by the
erection of a new court house in the
latter city. As a result of this feeling
of rivalry the people of the two plonker
towns entertained toward each other
no very warm sentiments of neighbor
hood. Our party had not equipped for
a long campaign, and the ride had
quickened our appetite. Upon enter
ing the town we found the inhabitants
all there, with a few frightened set
tlers from other points as guests. We
canvassed the town from end to enJ,
but were unable to secure even a cup
"This indifference to our necessities
so irritated us that we became disgust
ed and resolved to go back home. We
determined to first ride over to the
home of Kirkpatrlck, another old
pioneer of that section who was known
to us as a good sort of gentleman, who
would doubtless extend to us the hos
pitality of a breakfast.
"As we rode away from Weeping
Water toward his place we encountered
the town herd, when some of the
younger spirits of the party determined
to attest their resentment toward
Weeping Water in a peculiar way.
They accordingly proceeded to cut off
the bushy end of the tails of the calves
in the herd. We took them, bone and
all, and by slitting them down one side
and peeling the hide from the bone
we secured some very deceptive imi
tations of Indian scalps. I remember
that they were all black but one, which
was white. These we fastened to our
"In due time e got back to Rock
Bluffs, but news of our coming and of
our bloody trophies preceded us. Peo
ple whom we met sought to draw from
us the story of our crusade of slaugh
ter, but we were all sternly mysterious.
Just outside of Rock Bluffs we met old
Abe Towner, a Methodist exhorter,
who reproved us for having killed so
old a man. He was looking at the
white calf's tall.
"The ruse worked like a charm. The
belief prevailed that we had wiped out
the savages. In fact we had, as their
incursion was an Imaginary one. The
exodus of settlers was stayed, and
those who had gone came back re
joiced. I have still in my possession
files of many of the leading eastern
newspapers of that, the columns of
which teemed with graphic descriptions
pf the battle of the Weeping Wated,
showing that the war correspondents
of that day were as alert and progres
sive as their successors are today. It
was months before the truth became
known to the people of eastern Ne
braska concerning the bloody battle of
the Weeping Water."
DR. BINJ. T. BAILEY,
At flt,! t 4, u StuUaya, 11 1 p. m.
DR. MAY L. FLANAGAN,
At , 10 to 11 a. .: 4 to .
SuUbtytt o i-M p. m.
(Mot, Zafcrug Black, 141 Sa. lftk. TaLMI.
DRS.WENTE & HUMPHREY
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