Friday, October 23, 2015

Cassie Chadwick (born Elizabeth Bigley)

Cassie Chadwick
(10 October 1857 - 10 October 1907)
Notorious Confidence Woman

Born as Elizabeth Bigley in East Oxford Township, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada. Daughter of Mary Ann and Daniel Bigley, natives of England.

Canadian-born scheister who died in an American prison.

A confidence woman of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who went by numerous aliases:

Elizabeth Cunard
Emily Heathcliff
Lydia DeVere
Lydia Springsteen           
Marie LaRose
Cassie Hoover
Cassie Chadwick
Cassie L. Chadwick

Her most famous con was a the illegitimate daughter of wealthy industrialist, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Of course, they weren't at all related but she bilked banks out of millions with the claim that her "father" would back her debts.

She died of illness on her 50th birthday in the Ohio State Penitentiary, in Columbus, Ohio, USA, after her life of extensive criminality.

She is interred in her Canadian hometown in Anglican Cemetery, Woodstock, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada.

Note: Cassie Chadwick wasn't specifically a woman of the old west but she was moving herself westward (Boston to New York to Cleveland) in her life of crime and swindles when she was stopped by a prison sentence.

Etta Place

Harry Longabaugh (Sundance Kid) and Etta Place
New York City, 20 February 1901

Etta Place
(circa 1878 - unknown)

What we know about Etta Place is actually legend and opinion, and very little FACT, including her name. Who was Etta Place?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Kate Warne - First Female Detective in the United States of America

Kate Warne
circa 1830-1868

Pinkerton Detective (1856-1868)
Secret Service of the Army, Washington, D.C.
Head of the first female detective bureau in the USA, New Orleans, (1865- )

Kate Warne was born in New York circa 1830-1833. Nothing is known about her early life, not even her maiden name. What is told is that she was left a childless young widow, and seeking employment, she entered the offices of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Chicago, Illinois, in 1856. According to Allan Pinkerton:

"[I] was surprised to learn Kate was not looking for clerical work, but was actually answering an advertisement for detectives he had placed in a Chicago newspaper. At the time, such a concept was almost unheard of. Pinkerton said " It is not the custom to employ women detectives!" Kate argued her point of view eloquently - pointing out that women could be "most useful in worming out secrets in many places which would be impossible for a male detective." A Woman would be able to befriend the wives and girlfriends of suspected criminals and gain their confidence. Men become braggarts when they are around women who encourage them to boast. Kate also noted, Women have an eye for detail and are excellent observers."

Because of her position as a detective, an operative, and a spy, it is difficult to discover her real name, as she used many aliases in her work. The names Kate Warne and Kate Warn were the ones to be recorded most often. Other names were various spellings of Kitty Warren and Kay Waren. Angie M. Warren was also used. It's also questionable if Warne or Warn was her maiden name or her "deceased" husband's surname. The case may have been that she was single and claiming she was a widow made her more acceptable as a working woman of the time.

During her time with the Pinkerton Agnecy, she was integral in preventing an assassination plot on the president-elect, Abraham Lincoln, in February 1861.

Upon her death, her age was given as both 35 years old and 38 years old. She had contracted  pneumonia in December 1867 and died of "consumption of lungs" on 28 January 1868. Her final address was 94 Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois.

She was buried on 30 January 1868 in the Pinkerton Family section of historic Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois. Her name is listed as "Kate Warn" on her tombstone.

(Additional information to be added soon.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls aka Laura Ingalls Wilder

(7 February 1867 - 10 February 1957)
Author and Pioneer

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born 7 February 1867 in Pepin County, Wisconsin, to Caroline Lake Quiner and Charles Phillip Ingalls. Laura had an older sister, Mary, two younger sisters, Caroline "Carrie" and Grace, and an infant brother, Charles Frederic, who died just before he turned 10 months of age in 1886.

The family lived in several locations, including Montgomery County, Kansas (Indian Territory); Walnut Grove, Redwood County, Minnesota; Winneshiek County, Iowa; and settled in DeSmet, South Dakota.

Laura, as Laura Ingalls Wilder, wrote a beloved series of children's books lovingly referred to as "The Little House Books". The books were based on her family's pioneering adventures settling "the West". One book focuses on the children of her husband, Almanzo Wilder, and his family in Malone, Franklin County, New York.

Laura and Almanzo Wilder were married 25 August 1885 in DeSmet, Kingsbury County, South Dakota.Their daughter, Rose Wilder, was born 5 December 1886 in DeSmet. Rose would become known as Rose Wilder Lane, a well-known writer of her time. Their unnamed infant son was born 1 August 1889 and died 12 August 1889 in DeSmet where he is buried.

Additional information to follow.

Helpful links:

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum - Mansfield, Missouri

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society - DeSmet, South Dakota

Little House Books

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum - Pepin, Wisconsin

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum - Walnut Grove, Minnesota

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Book - The Last Gunfight

by Jeff Guinn

The Real Story of the Shootout at the O. K. Corral - and how it changed the American West

The shootout actually took place at a location near the O. K. Corral (a small horse corral) in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.

Tombstone, Arizona Territory
26 October 1881

A deadly shootout erupted between lawmen Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, Doc Holliday, and cowboys Billy Claiborne, Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, Ike Clanton, and Billy Clanton.

Virgil Earp was the Town Marshal, his brother Morgan was the Assistant Town Marshal, and their brother Wyatt had been named temporary lawman. They were aided by friend Doc Holliday whom Virgil had designated a temporary marshal.

The cowboys were two sets of brothers, the Clantons and the McLaurys, and their friend Billy Claiborne.

The book includes family backgrounds as well as the settlement of Tombstone.

The author attempts to separate the myths from facts of this famous incident which lasted about 30 seconds.

It also includes photographs of early Tombstone and of the members of the Earp, Clanton, and McLaury families, plus Doc Holliday. A map of Tombstone and a general location map are also included.

 Tombstone, Arizona Territory

Tombstone Historic District

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Barbara Stanwyck (1907-1990)
Queen of the Frontier
stars as notorious Jessica Drummond of Arizona Territory
 Forty Guns (1957)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

First Daily Newspaper Published by a Woman

Elizabeth Mallet was said to be the first person to publish a daily newspaper. In March 1702, Miss Mallet established and published the Daily Courant in London, England.

She founded the newspaper for the purpose of doing greater justice for women through the elimination of impertinences in the other newspapers of the time.

New Orleans States
New Orleans, Louisiana
7 September 1921
Page 6, Column 2

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Tips for Stagecoach Travelers, 1877

Scenes from The Big Valley, "Last Stage to Salt Flats", Season 2, Episode 12
Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Long, and Lee Majors

Tips For Stagecoach Travelers

The best seat inside a stage is the one next to the driver.  Even if you have a tendency to sea-sickness when riding backwards you’ll get over it and will get less jolts and jostling.  Don’t let any “sly elph” trade you his mid-seat.

In cold weather don’t ride with tight-fitting boots, shoes, or gloves.  When the driver asks you to get off and walk do so without grumbling, he won’t request it unless absolutely necessary.  If the team runs away...sit still and take your chances.  If you jump, nine out of ten times you will get hurt.  In very cold weather abstain entirely from liquor when on the road, because you will freeze twice as quickly when under its influence.

Don’t growl at the food received at the station...stage companies usually provide the best they can get.

Don’t keep the stage waiting.  Don’t smoke a strong pipe inside the coach.  Spit on the leeward side.  If you have anything to drink in a bottle pass it around.  Procure your stimulants before starting, as “ranch” (stage depot) whiskey is not “Nectar.”

Don’t lean or lop over neighbors when sleeping.  Take small change to pay expenses.  Never shoot on the road, as the noise might frighten the horses.  Don’t discuss politics or religion.

Don’t point out where murders have been committed, especially if there are woman passengers.

Don’t lag at the washbasin.  Don’t grease your hair, because travel is dusty.  Don’t imagine for a moment that you are going on a picnic.  Expect annoyances, discomfort, and some hardships.

                                    ---- Omaha Herald, 1877

Courtesy of the El Dorado Historical Museum, Placerville, California