Tom Gaumer
A subject or two, maybe
Tue Aug 23, 2:13

Bob

"Wyatt said a special branding iron was there that was specially made to make US into D8 in one burn. Most rustlers knew to use a running iron because it would do a cleaner job and making a complete branding iron for only 6 mules would be a waste of time and guarantee a blurred brand."

I would like to know your source for stating that a running iron would do a cleaner job, particularly if one wanted the brands to be as identical as possible. (Source Joyce's many years living on a cattle ranch with a cowboy and living that life.)


According to some sources, even having a running iron in one's possession could be reason for a quick appointment with a tree limb and a rope (google "running iron"). (I believe that is correct but I believe the total loss of ranchers and outlaws south of Tombstone over rustling apparatus was zero?) Correction if you have one?) In terms of whether making a DS branding iron would be worth it, based on the following referenced article, you be the judge. On May 18, 1867 the Arizona Miner reported the theft of five “splendid mules” by Indians from Toll Gate Station, valued at $1,200 ($25,056 in today’s dollars). That was 5 mules in 1867, when there were fewer people and mules in Arizona, so the value may have gone down, but I imagine 6 government mules in 1881 would be worth a pretty penny. If the price of mules, especially mules that had been certified for government service by an Army purchasing agent, had dropped by 50% by 1881, that would still be in excess of 13-14 thousand dollars in today's money for six mules. Cut that in half again, would it be "a waste of time" (your words) to make a special branding iron for 5 to 6 thousand grand of free money? (Lots of figures there. I asked what a mule would cost now and Google said 1000 to 8000 with a $3000 average. Divide by 30 and you have $100$ cost back then. But the point about cost may be something to consider? It would stil leave you with a blurred brand though which might not go over well with the buyer?)

Tom, you say, "Also US mules would have a second brand on them. The US would be on the right side of the mule near his front shoulder. Another brand would be on the left side near his rear shoulder naming the military unit that owned him.

"This being true how could Wyatt think changing just one brand would hide the true ownership of the mule?"


(That is the point. Wyatt didn't know and thought the D8 would do the whole job. When Wyatt was stealing horses when he was younger, they were privately owned and probably had only one brand.)

I have to thank Joyce for reminding me about the "card" placed by Lt. Hurst in the EPITAPH that helped me to answer this one. In describing the mules, the only brand he refers to is the "U.S.". He makes no mention of another more complex brand that would have been even harder to alter than the simple "U.S.". To pose your question in a slightly different manner: This being true how could Lt. Hurst think changing just one brand would hide the true ownership of the mule? (Hurst didn't comment on the second brand one way or the other. Perhaps he was hoping the rustlers were as uninformed as Wyatt and it might help him identify the mules later?) The mules obviously did not have the second brand on them) or Hurst would have mentioned it. (why?) Also, why would the Cowboys steal six double branded mules in the first place? (Perhaps they didn't know any more than Wyatt or intended to blur the brand and claim it was too small to do right?)?) If so, how would they intend to cover up the one identifying the unit? (If they knew they would need a running iron or another specially made iron to blur the brands and maybe we are not to know?
Keep Laughing
Tom






  • No SubjectBob Cash, Mon Aug 22 13:16
    I was hesitant to move my debate with Tom and Joyce up here because I don't want anybody to miss the excellent and informative interview with Chuck Parsons. Anybody interested in learning new and interesting... more
    • A subject or two, maybe — Tom Gaumer, Tue Aug 23 2:13
      • Just a point hereButch Behan, Sun Sep 25 14:17
        about Wyatt. He was attempting to fleece J. Y. Patterson out of $2,500 in the early 1900s in Los Angeles. Los Angeles police arrest Wyatt and, I believe, two other guys for a "bunco" scam. Wyatt was... more
      • Re: A subject or two, maybeBob Cash, Wed Aug 24 8:06
        Tom, you say, "That is the point. Wyatt didn't know and thought the D8 would do the whole job." Hurst's "card" in the EPITAPH was actually a reward poster seeking informants as to the whereabouts of... more
        • Bob/ this is interesting...Joyce A. Aros, Wed Aug 24 9:10
          ...because, once again, Hurst does not explain his position very well in his reward post. He says "...it is believed that they were there branded on the left shoulder over the Government brand, U.S., by... more
    • Bob/ sources...Joyce A. Aros, Mon Aug 22 16:59
      Well, first I appeal to any actual working cowboys that are on this board to jump in and correct me if I am wrong on any of this branding thing. Tom's source for the examination of the branding iron... more
      • Re: Bob/ sources...Bob Cash, Tue Aug 23 8:56
        Lt Hurst's card to the EPITAPH was basically a reward poster. He knew he was addressing it to a non-military audience, so he would have had every reason to describe two brands on the still missing mules.... more
        • Bob/ sources again...Joyce A. Aros, Tue Aug 23 9:38
          The Pattersons appear to be the ones Hurst was dealing with according to his post. He claimed other names too but does not indicate whether or not he actually had contact with them. Perhaps I was... more
          • Why so het-up, Frank?paul j, Thu Aug 25 7:49
            Joyce - I'm very impressed by your interpretation of events. It's confusing which "Frank" was approached or offered to help Hurst. When you wrote this: "It looks like Hurst waited, got no response... more
            • Paul/was there another Frank?...of course.Joyce A. Aros, Thu Aug 25 9:23
              ....Well, sometimes I run ahead of myself when I am wound up on these things, but I should have differentiated between Frank Patterson and Frank McLaury. Of course, I am sure you realized I was referring... more
              • just clarifyingpaul j, Thu Aug 25 9:47
                Joyce - I didn't think you were confused. The confusion between Frank Patterson and Frank McLaury has come down through the many times this 'mules incident' has been reported and written up by others... more
                • Re: just clarifyingBob Cash, Fri Aug 26 7:15
                  Paul, since you have studied this entire situation probably more than any other researcher/author, what is your opinion on whether the stolen mules had a second brand unmentioned by Hurst or Wyatt, the... more
                  • Bob/Wyatt's whopper....Joyce A. Aros, Fri Aug 26 7:53
                    Bob, if you go back and look at my original posts on this subject and also in my book when you get it, you will see that Wyatt's story about tracing the McLaurys to the ranch is indeed full of holes. There... more
          • Re: Bob/ sources again...Bob Cash, Tue Aug 23 14:13
            Ioyce, you still did not answer my question, In light of your previous post: Do you think thee were any mules stolen and broght the McLaury or Patterson ranch?
    • ...everything. I will admit a slight error on my part in a forthcoming post.
      • Point of ClarificationBob Cash, Mon Aug 22 13:29
        For those not familiar with this board, I just want to point out that Tom and Joyce and I are good friends and I consider both exceptionally fine human beings. I'm fairly certain they are better than me.... more
        • In support of a clarification...Joyce A. Aros, Mon Aug 22 15:54
          Thank you for assuring everyone that we have been having a great time haggling these points for years, and that we are indeed good friends and will manage to get you straightened out somehow or other... more
          • We are all friends just exercising ourTom Gaumer, Tue Aug 23 2:26
            Bob and Joyce considerable intellects. LOL I have known Bob a long time and respect his considerable ability to research and present the results I think the two references he found about Wyatt... more
            • Clay Allison in confrontation with Wyatt (nm)Sharon Cunningham, Tue Aug 23 7:36
              • Clay Allison & Wyatt???Sharon Cunningham, Tue Aug 23 7:42
                Sorry for the short post; got so excited about SOMEone's finding a confrontation between Clay & Wyatt in 1902 & 1905, I hit the wrong key.... In FACT, Clay Allison died in a horse-drawn wagon accident... more
                • The info from Bob came from 1902 and 1905Tom Gaumer, Tue Aug 23 11:47
                  Sharon if I remember right? It was 25+ years before Lake thus pretty much confirming the confrontation took place, Bob will likely put the info up again if you missed it. Keep Laughing To... more
                  • Re: The info from Bob came from 1902 and 1905Bob Cash, Tue Aug 23 13:59
                    Here's a thhread on different Wyatt and Clay (and Bat) articles. The most important is the one discovered by Chris Penn written by Judge Ed Colborn and published in 1896 before Wyatt's article of the same... more
                    • The original articleSteve Gatto, Wed Aug 24 11:49
                      Bob, The original article for the Colborn account was published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on March 3, 1896. The Chicago Chronicle published the account on April 26, 1896. The account Chris Penn... more
                      • Re: The original articleBob Cash, Wed Aug 24 17:43
                        Thank you, Steve. Are there any additions to the text appearing in the Enquirer?
                        • Re: Re: The original articleSteve Gatto, Sun Aug 28 13:51
                          With the exception of minor changes to the heading, they're more or less the same story lines.
                        • DeArment's Bat bookerik hewitt, Thu Aug 25 21:09
                          If DeArment's research is correct neither Bat nor Wyatt were in Dodge when Clay "treed" the town. Bat was in Kansas City and Wyatt was 4 miles off fighting fires with other deputies.
                          • Re: DeArment's Bat bookBob Cash, Fri Aug 26 13:56
                            Thee's been a lot of research done since DeArment wrote Bat's bio, and a lot of it was done by people who learned how to resarch Western characters by emulating DeArment's methods. I don't have DeArment's... more
                            • Re: Re: DeArment's Bat bookerik hewitt, Fri Aug 26 18:27
                              DeArment has the date as Sep. 17 or 18, 1878. Did the "Rogers" factor the Cheyenne renegade activities into their timeline? DeArment sets his dates for the event and Siringo's arrival on this and... more
                              • Re: Re: Re: DeArment's Bat bookBob Cash, Mon Aug 29 8:55
                                Erik, Roger Myers has not passed on. I said he "is now absent" as in absent from this board. It is my understanding that he recently had an article published in the WWHA Jornal. I wish he would begin to... more