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  • New Deputy Assessor

    Jun 10, 2020

    Hajek Sworn into office: Deputy Assessor, Jordan Hajek was sworn in Friday, May 22 by the Honorable Judge Derek Weimer. She was hired in January of 2019 and has worked very hard and studied very hard to pass the Deputy Assessor Exam....

  • Across The Fence: Time for a change

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Nov 6, 2015

    It has been a little more than six years since this column "Across the Fence" was first printed in the fledgling newspaper, The Gering Citizen. Since that first column more than 300 pieces have followed, nearly 400,000 words, and that's a lot of words from a feller who usually doesn't have much to say. At the start of this journey I shared much of my personal life through family history, personal stories and other events that occupied my day-to-day routines. The Western Nebraska Observer also...

  • Across The Fence: Simply October

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Oct 30, 2015

    I should probably not admit this, but it is already 10 minutes to noon on Monday, Oct. 26. So what is the significance of that? I have a semi-firm deadline of 1 p.m. to get this column submitted, and I now know that I'm not going to make it. Weekend company occupied our Saturday and Sunday as we relaxed in the friendship of folks who have been an important part of our lives for many years. Vibrant conversation, quiet meals and the pleasure of hosting our guest's first time trip to the Scotts...

  • Across The Fence: Final Days of the Nez Perce War

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Oct 23, 2015

    The battle at Big Hole was a devastating loss for the Nez Perce. They had been unprepared for Colonel John Gibbon's surprise attack believing, as Looking Glass had assured, that by leaving Idaho Territory they would be safe. Nearly every Nez Perce family had been affected by the battle leaving family members either dead or wounded. And among the many wounded was Chief Joseph's wife. The killing of men, women and children by U.S. troops changed the face of the Nez Perce War from being a fight...

  • Across The Fence: The Nez Perce War of 1877, Part II

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Oct 16, 2015

    In 1877, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army was William Tecumseh Sherman, whose policy on pacification of the Native Americans focused more on conquest than compromise. Following Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn, Sherman wrote that, "hostile savages like Sitting Bull and his band of outlaw Sioux ... must feel the superior power of the Government." And to those who criticized the killing of Indian women and children by U.S. troops Sherman noted that, "during an assault, the soldiers...

  • Across The Fence: Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain, Part I

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Oct 9, 2015

    In the fall of 1805, Lewis and Clark arrived on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains where they encountered the Nez Perce Indians and found them to be friendly and exceptionally hospitable. In fact, had it not been for the Nez Perce, the Corp of Discovery may well have failed to reach the western coast of the continent. At the Nez Perce village, Lewis and Clark received much needed provisions, assistance in building suitable canoes for river travel and were gifted with horses of the beautifu...

  • Across The Fence: The Solomon River Stampede

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Oct 2, 2015

    I have often tried to stop a spooked cow from high tailing across the pasture in a direction opposite of that which I intended. This maneuver has often resulted in a cross-pasture race between horse and cow or, if not horseback, a sudden and painful introduction to a hard-headed bovine and a dusty patch of ground. I learned early on that I could not physically restrain a thousand pounds of bellering, slobbering beef, though I would continue to unsuccessfully try. Therefore, I can only imagine...

  • Across The Fence: A gathering of warriors at Arikaree Fork

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Sep 25, 2015

    A few miles east of present day Haigler, Neb., the north fork of the Republican River intercepts the smaller tributary of the Arikaree River as it flows northeasterly from Colorado. The Arikaree fork meanders across the Colorado plains before it reaches its three-point crossing of the Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado borders. However, before reaching that junction it passes by a soggy sandbar now known as Beecher's Island. At that place, in 1868, 50 U.S. Cavalry scouts lay under siege by Cheyenne...

  • Across The Fence: The Butterfield Overland Mail

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Sep 11, 2015

    On the Sept., 15, 1858 the newly formed Butterfield Overland Mail Company sent its first Concord stages on their inaugural journey across the U.S. One stage left Saint Louis, Mo., and another left San Francisco, Calif., and within 25 days, each would reach their destination on the opposite end of the Overland Route. The history of our Nebraska Panhandle does not include this historic event in the annals of Nebraska's pioneers. But two years later, in 1860, Nebraska would play host to a major...

  • Across The Fence - Welcome to Van Tassell: Population 15

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Sep 4, 2015

    On a recent trip to Rushville, where Deb and I frequently travel to visit her mother, we decided to take a different course from the usual Scottsbluff to Alliance to Hay Springs route. Heading west out of Bushnell to Pine Bluffs, we struck a course due north to Albin, then on to Lagrange and up Highway 85 to Torrington. At Torrington, we took Highway 159 north – where after several miles – the pavement ends and gravel roads took us through wide-open grasslands. The scarcity of any dwellings alo...

  • Across The Fence: Edmund Guerrier: Custer's scout in 1867

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Aug 28, 2015

    Edmund Gasseau Choteau Guerrier was born in a Cheyenne Indian village along the Smoky Hill River, when what would become Kansas Territory was then known as a portion of the vast Louisiana Purchase. Edmund's mother was a Wutapai Cheyenne and was named Tah-tah-tois-neh ("Walks In Sight"). His father, William Guerrier, was a Frenchman employed as a fur trader by William Bent and lived among the Cheyenne where he had taken Walks In Sight as his wife. Edmund's early life was spent with his Cheyenne...

  • Across The Fence: 'Medicine Bill' has plenty of mystery

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Aug 21, 2015

    William Averill Comstock – sometimes called "Buffalo Bill" and frequently referred to as "Medicine Bill" – was said to be a half-breed of Cheyenne and white ancestry. Others would claim that he hailed from Kentucky and was part Cherokee and still others would say that he had been abducted as a boy and raised among the "Red Savages" of the plains. Of course, none of these supposed facts were true. William Comstock was a quiet man, not prone to braggadocio or inclined to draw attention to himself....

  • Across The Fence: Old Julesburg brought plenty of 'new' to the area

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Aug 14, 2015
    1

    Tucked neatly in the crook of Nebraska's Panhandle, Sedgwick (Colo.) County has bragging rights to the only two Pony Express stations in the state. Following the southern banks of the South Platte River, the Pony Express dipped down into the extreme northeast corner of Colorado Territory after leaving Diamond Springs. The first westbound stop in Colorado was South Platte and the second was Julesburg. Following the Overland Stage route, the Pony Express took advantage of the existing stage stop w...

  • Across The Fence: Buffalo Baron, Charles Rath

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Aug 7, 2015

    On July 30, 1902, Charles Rath, the son of Johann Christian and Philomene Bertha Rath, died at the home of his sister and brother-in-law in Los Angeles. His headstone in the Rosedale Cemetery is simply inscribed, "Charles Rath Plainsman 1836-1902" In 1848, when Charles was 12, the Rath family immigrated to the U.S. from Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Five years later, in 1853, it is said that Charles "ran away from home." Perhaps it was the lure of the West that pulled Charles from the family's...

  • Across The Fence: Relay race to Roseburg, Ore.

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Jul 31, 2015

    In 1955, the world as we knew it was changing and changing fast. The nation's need for speed, horsepower and independence was reflected in Chevy's '55 Bel Air and the classic Nomad wagon. Ford motor company countered with the popular Victoria and the Thunderbird promised to rival the sleekest of European sports cars. 1955 would see automobile sales peak at 7.9 million sold. Elvis Presley rocked the music world and pink shirts for men rocked the fashion world. Ray Kroc opened the first...

  • Across The Fence: C.B. Irwin: Wyoming's 'Giant Cowboy'

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Jul 24, 2015

    Charles Burton Irwin was a giant of a man. In 1987, Tad Lucas, world famous champion cowgirl bronc rider said of C.B. Irwin, "Fat as he was, he could really ride. He used to run this old yellow horse half way around the track, only in the center field, yelling for me when I was riding his relay race horses. Relays were a big thing at Cheyenne, and C.B. always had a fast string for some of us to ride." In 1979, Irwin was inducted, posthumously, into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame for his...

  • Across The Fence: Re-writing Wyoming's history

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Jul 17, 2015

    On July 10, 1890, Wyoming Territory was granted statehood and became the 44th state to join the ranks of the U.S. Last weekend in Cheyenne, Wyo., a celebration of those 125 years was commemorated with a block party that encompassed the Capitol grounds, the state museum and nearby parks. My wife and I were among the fortunate few who were privileged to be included in a "behind the scenes" tour on the third floor of the Wyoming State Museum where untold numbers of artifacts are securely stored. Th...

  • Across The Fence: Three women are queens in the world of rodeo

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Jul 10, 2015

    Over the years it has become somewhat of a tradition to celebrate Father's Day at the Grover Rodeo. The rodeo in that small northern Colorado town has been an annual event since the early 1920s and attracts professional rodeo cowboys from across the nation. The so-called "Biggest little Rodeo" kicks off the areas rodeo season and is followed by the Greely Stampede along with numerous County Fair Rodeos, all leading up to the "Granddaddy of 'em all," Cheyenne Frontier Days. There are still a few...

  • Across The Fence: The Long Hard Pull

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Jun 26, 2015

    I know that I'm not the only person who, from childhood, developed a lasting love of all things "railroad." At the top of that list comes the old steam locomotives that make my pulse pound a little harder and a bit faster when I watch the sleek black beauties belch smoke and cinders. I grew up next to the tracks of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe near the town of Nortonville, Kan. The tracks cut through the southeast corner of one section of our land, a little more than 100 yards from our...

  • An old barn and new memories

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Jun 19, 2015

    It was nearly two years ago when our oldest daughter and son-in-law announced their move to a small ranch in Routt County, Colo. The ranch is an addition to their Larimer County ranch and will provide summer pasture for yearling heifers and supplement winter feed with high nutrient, North Park grass. The ranch borders a section of the Yampa River and sits on a fertile, spring-fed valley floor. Despite the increased altitude, the western slope boasts winters of mild temperatures but deep snow,...

  • Across The Fence: Massacre Canyon

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|Jun 12, 2015

    On July 2, 1873, a hunting party of Pawnee left their reservation near Genoa, Neb., on the Loup River. It was customary for the Pawnee to mount an organized buffalo hunt in the early summer and late fall of each year. Since their confinement to the reservation in east central Nebraska, these hunts were supervised by a sub-agent from the reservation that was chosen by the tribal council and approved by the agency. In the summer of 1873, John W. Williamson, a young and inexperienced sub-agent,...

  • Across The Fence: Charley Nebo, a cowboy just passin' through

    M. Timothy Nolting|Jun 5, 2015

    The original of the Charley Nebo photograph belongs to historian Robert G. McCubbin and in a handwritten script across the top is titled: "The Genuine Cowboy Captured Alive." Charley Nebo is the cowboy on the left and beneath his image is written: Chas Nebo Prop'r Nebo's Horse Ranche ("Cottonwood Charlie.") Written on the photograph beneath the gentleman standing beside Charley is "Nick Geni" (Here the corner of the photo has been torn off leaving the partial word, "Half Br.") On the back of...

  • Across The Fence: Fort Sanders, a forgotten fort on the U.P. line

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|May 29, 2015

    As the Union Pacific Railroad stretched its ribbon of steel across the Great Plains, "End of Track" towns sprang up faster than a desert flower after a spring rain. Although not near as pleasing to the eye as a cactus flower, the tarpaper shacks and canvas tent towns were an integral and thorny partner of the ever lengthening reach of rails and ties. These temporary towns served as delivery points for the needed railroad ties, spikes and plates, dynamite, and all other supplies needed by the...

  • Across The Fence: Salt Creek Massacre, May 18, 1871

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|May 22, 2015
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    "When a white army battles Indians and wins, it is called a great victory, but if they lose it is called a massacre." – Chiksika, Shawnee. In 1871, Henry Warren had contracted with the U.S. Army to freight supplies coming from the east to military outposts in west Texas. Warren's freighters hauled supplies to Fort Richardson, Fort Griffin and Fort Concho. On May 18, 1871, Warren's teamsters were on the Jacksboro-Belknap road more than 25 miles from Fort Richardson. As the 10-mule teams l...

  • Across The Fence: From Wounded Knee to the Land of Oz

    M. Timothy Nolting, For The Sun-Telegraph|May 15, 2015

    Lyman Frank Baum, born May 15, 1856, was the seventh of nine children born to Benjamin Ward and Cynthia Ann Baum. Frank, as he preferred to be known, was one of the five children who survived to adulthood. Benjamin Baum became quite wealthy during the Pennsylvania oil boom through the manufacturing of barrels used in the storage and shipping of the refined product. Consequently, Frank was raised under the privilege of wealth on his parent's substantial estate, Rose Lawn, in Mattydale, N.Y....

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