Monday, April 13, 2015

Tombstone Series ~ Those Big Business Sons of Bitches Part II

Sorry for the delay in publication of Those Big Business Sons of Bitches Part II. Life just sometimes gets in the way of plans. Part I was published on March 17th. The "Tombstone Series" tag will take you right there. 

And now Part II of the "reduced history" of John Sherman Bagg by John Sherman Bagg.

"And now we take up the career of Lt. John Blake on General Washington's staff. He was mustered out as a Major General and took script and with Brewer they went to Holden, Maine near Bangor and took up homesteads. General Blake (married Marie Dupree) and his daughter married a Kidder, whose daughter (Sarah Blake Kidder) married a Hayes, whose daughter (Sarah Blake Kidder Hayes) married a (Uriah) Winchester and had three children: Sarah Augusta, Charlotte Maria, my mother Charlotte, and Robert Fulton Winchester. When Robert graduated from Bowdoin as a doctor, he went on a wind jammer as ship's doctor around the horn. Arriving in San Francisco he heard of the disastrous Scourge of Small Pox in San Jose and he jumped ship, peeled off his coat and tied into it.

One of the victims was Colonel (William Welles) Hollister of Santa Barbara. After the epidemic was whipped or died out, Colonel Hollister sent for him (Robert Winchester) and sponsored him. He opened a practice in Santa Barbara and a hospital and clinic on Las Armitas. Here we came upon Robert's sister Charlotte Maria and Stanley Chipman Bagg, taking horse back rides at the ranch and eventually marrying with a daughter, Katherine. A scourge of grasshoppers cleaned them out. 

My dad gathered four mules and a wagon and two tons of beans and drove to Hardyville on the Colorado River above Needles to the ferry, thence to Dos Cabesas below Fort Bowie, where they discovered and located the Detroit mine. It didn't pan out. Tombstone was beginning to boom so they moved there and dad mined. He finally formed the mercantile firm of Bagg and Barrow."

(John Sherman was supposed to arrive March 17, 1881, but mother Charlotte was not about to have him born in this wild west frontier town so she hopped a stage, then a train, finally a wagon to the Hollister Ranch so her brother, Dr. Robert Winchester, could deliver her son on March 18, 1881. They arrived back in Tombstone the day after the Gunfight at the OK Corral October 27, 1881).

"The Tombstone Epitaph was the only paper and was Republican. The Democrats bunch bought a newspaper plant and started the Daily Prospector to compete. The editor was soused beyond usefulness two thirds of the time, so the son of the founder of the Detroit Free Press (my father) was drafted to fill in. After the battle was over and the Republicans were ousted they had no more use for the Prospector so they gave it to Dad to pay for is, as, and when. Later he bought the whipped Epitaph and ran it as a weekly. 

Here is where I enter the picture as a printer's devil feeding the Country Campbell cylinder press, being turned by hand by that big handsome Mr. Jim who chased the bad man, Buckskin Frank Leslie, back to his job as bartender for Wyatt Earp and his brothers in the Crystal Palace Saloon, when he tried to jump Jim's mining claim. Here for three years I was mail boy, delivered the outside route on burro, set and distributed long primer type on Saturday's, ran the press and fed the big Campbell." 

The following was partially excerpted for my blog of December 24, 2012 but in context here it completes the prelude to my Grandfather's quest, he was a man on a mission. 

"When I was 11 my paternal grandmother paid us a visit from Detroit. She wasn't going to have her grandson become a bandit, cow rustler, dirty shirt miner or mule skinner, so she shipped me off and financed my five years in the finest Military Academy in the US, St. Matthews School for Boys. It was rugged and rigid but we had the best professors money could buy in English, Latin, Math, History and overall a West Point Major. Really a fulsome education from 11 to 16, and in uniform all that time with the same routine they had at West Point as far as military was considered.

Out of that to Los Angeles where Dad and Mother had moved after selling out in Tombstone. A year at Los Angeles High School (1897), a year a Pomona College (1898), and a year, eight hours a day in the private lab of Professor Laird J. Stabler where I was grounded in Chemistry, Assaying Cyanide Practice and Mineralogy (1899).

On July 7, 1900 my dad, friend John Vanderburg and I trekked across the desert on a prospecting trip with a two mule team, wagon and assay equipment (each chipped in $150). In September I found the Katherine Mine (named for his sister) in Mojave CountyKatherine Landing and trailer camp on Lake Mojave above Davis Dam is named for her. We filed the claim September 16th. Sold out to Charles Sutro of San Francisco (Arizona-Pyramid Gold Mining Company in 1904) and went through Hearst Mining School at UC Berkeley. From there to Nevada where begins my contacts with mooching sons of bitches of big business."