A Hard Won Life: A Boy on His Own on the Montana Frontier

A Hard Won Life: A Boy on His Own on the Montana Frontier

by H. Norman Hyatt

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Overview

Based on the hand-written memoir of Fred Van Blaricom, this true story recounts a life of hardship and hope in the Montana Territory during the late 1800s. Told in Fred's affable voice and rich with historical detail, A Hard Won Life is a coming-of-age story packed with adventures and grounded in the remarkable lives of the earliest homesteaders—men and women—of the Lower Yellowstone. Meet young Teddy Roosevelt, famed buffalo hunter Vic Smith, saloon owners, devious outlaws, and persistent sheriffs. Working as a cowboy, young Freddie broke horses, helped catch a horsethief, survived the cattle-killing winter of 1886, and at age ten rode alone 100 miles to work a season on a ranch in the Dakota Territories. Fred's was a life of struggle against many obstacles, but he overcame them or abided them with no complaint. As he himself put it: “The hero was throwed, but the horse was tamed.” Meticulously researched and superbly written, A Hard Won Life is a tale of bravery, determination, and one boy's embodiment of the spirit of Montana.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591521280
Publisher: Farcountry Press
Publication date: 02/18/2014
Pages: 584
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction xii

List of Abbreviations xv

Chapter 1 Flight 1

Chapter 2 1872 to 1882 13

Chapter 3 April 1882: Waterville to Glendive 21

Chapter 4 Glendive: April to August 1882 31

Chapter 5 Disaster 42

Chapter 6 Chaff in the Wind 46

Chapter 7 Rescue 54

Chapter 8 Levi 66

Chapter 9 Glendive: October 1882 to June 1883 73

Chapter 10 The Summer of 1883: Glendive to Crain Creek 84

Chapter 11 1883: Uncle Jimmy Crain 101

Chapter 12 1883: From Jimmy Crain's to Johnny O'Brien's 114

Chapter 13 1883: From Johnny O'Brien's to Fort Buford 124

Chapter 14 Alice 137

Chapter 15 The Murder of Clayton Willicombe 143

Chapter 16 1884: I Spend the Summer with the Slawsons 149

Chapter 17 George McCone and the Thirteenmile Hidatsa 162

Chapter 18 1884: The Army Payroll Murder and the Stranglers 167

Chapter 19 1884: I Winter with John and Lottie LaComb 176

Chapter 20 1885: Mickey Farrell's Saloon Up in Smoke 185

Chapter 21 Riding with Teddy Roosevelt 190

Chapter 22 George Grant and Emmet Dunlap 195

Chapter 23 Joe Culbertson 203

Chapter 24 1885: Charlie Burns, Charlie Russell, and Irish Mike 207

Chapter 25 George McCone and Glendive Smith 216

Chapter 26 1885: Owen and Philena Lovering and Juan Vaca 225

Chapter 27 Owen Lovering Loses His Arm 230

Chapter 28 Jimmy Aglew Accidentally Kills Himself 234

Chapter 29 The Sad Demise of Fannie Smith 238

Chapter 30 Smith, Stierle, Obergfell, and Cushing 242

Chapter 31 1885: I Help Capture a Horse Thief 248

Chapter 32 Aleck Ayotte and Vic Smith 251

Chapter 33 August 1885: I Ride to Dakota Territory 257

Chapter 34 Mr. and Mrs. Alf White 264

Chapter 35 Mrs. White Becomes a Cowboy 270

Chapter 36 I Get a Long "Break" in Glendive 275

Chapter 37 1886: Roosevelt Captures Finnigan 279

Chapter 38 Spring of 1886: Abandoned at Trash Creek 283

Chapter 39 July 1886:1 Leave the Whites 289

Chapter 40 Another Night in Medora 293

Chapter 41 Glendive: No Rabid Dogs, No Guns, No Hogs 299

Chapter 42 The Harpsters' Winter Camp 303

Chapter 43 1886 to 1887: The Killer Winter Strikes 310

Chapter 44 1887: Spring Roundup with the HS 316

Chapter 45 With Warren Sirrine to Dickinson 321

Chapter 46 I Work for the Biseigel Brothers 329

Chapter 47 May 21, 1887: Our Long Journey West 333

Chapter 48 1887: Locating in the Bitterroot 341

Chapter 49 The Bitterroot Salish 349

Chapter 50 1891 to 1899: Shovels, Ratchets, and a Girl 357

Chapter 51 1900: The Hanging of Joe Hurst 362

Chapter 52 Montana Politics: Tough and Crooked 367

Chapter 53 1901: I Run for Office, 1902: A Hell of a Fall 372

Chapter 54 January 1, 1904: Wedding Bells 376

Chapter 55 1904 to 1908: Victor: We Settle In 381

Chapter 56 1908 to 1927: Our Farm Sinks, Our Family Grows, Teddy Dies, and We Move to Town 387

Chapter 57 Billy the Kid: Alive and Well in Glendive 394

Chapter 58 Hamilton 397

Chapter 59 Twilight 402

Epilogue 405

Appendices:

Appendix 1 The First of This, The First of That: A Cautionary Tale 496

Appendix 2 Levi and the Civil War 503

Appendix 3 Steamboats on the Yellowstone 528

Appendix 4 The First Settlement in Dawson County 530

Appendix 5 Frank Muzzy and Other Early Woodhawks 532

Appendix 6 The Thirteenmile Hidatsa 534

Appendix 7 Typhoid Fever and the Glendive Water System 538

Appendix 8 Charlie Russell in the Lower Yellowstone Country 541

Appendix 9 Guns, Hogs, Cows, and Dogs 543

Bibliography 546

Index 556

Map 136

Photographs and Portraits:

John L. Burns 93

Alice M. Robert Charlotte Burns 94

Alexander Ayotte 128

Ebenezer Louisa Slawson 151

Vic Smith 252

Fred Van Blaricom 379

William H. Cheney 430

George J. McCone 446

Henry and Anna Dinien Turtle 476

Alice Van Blaricom 483

Perry Van Blaricom 485

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