June 2019 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
William Thomas Hamilton - from Wikipedia
William Thomas Hamilton (18221908), also known as Wildcat Bill, was an English-born American frontiersman and author. 


Hamilton was born in the River Till area, Northern England on December 6, 1822. His parents, Margaret and Alexander Hamilton, emigrated to the United States from Scotland when he was a baby. He was raised in St. Louis, Missouri and attended school for five years.The son of financially comfortable parents, he grew up on a farm and learned to shoot a weapon and ride a horse.


He has been described as a mountain man, trapper, and scout of the American West, living in the mountains for more than 50 years. He was given the name Wildcat Bill by Native Americans. He was considered a healer among Native Americans. Also called Sign Man, he excelled in Native American sign language according to Favour.

Hamilton left Missouri for the mountains to improve his health in 1842 with Old Bill Williams, whom he 

 William Thomas Hamilton
worked with and became a companion. He was a trapper and trader for six years. His father bought a third interest in the trapping enterprise led by Williams. With the California Gold Rush, he moved in 1848 to Hangtown, California, where he married and had a child. In 1851, both his wife and child died. After protecting miners from Native Americans with the Buckskin Rangers in California, Hamilton worked for the government protecting pioneers from Native Americans in Nevada, Oregon and Montana and was a scout for George Armstrong Custer from the 1850s through the 1870s. During that time period, he also worked as a trader at Fort Benton, along Rattlesnake Creek at the site of what is now Missoula, and at Flathead Lake, all in Montana. He was also the Chouteau County, Montana sheriff and a U.S. Marshal. Continuing his work for the government, he worked with the Blackfoot People in 1873. Three years later he fought the Sioux in the Great Sioux War of 1876 with General George Crook.

Hamilton lived many years in Montana and trapped and hunted throughout the Yellowstone area, before it was officially discovered. In Montana Territory (18641889) and state, he was commonly known as Uncle Billy. He assisted the Smithsonian Institution in translating pictures of hundreds of Native American signs painted on the cliffs along Lake Flathead.

In his later years, he was a guide and hunter. Hamilton was living in Columbus, Montana by 1903 when he was one of the co-founders of the Pioneers of Eastern Montana. Along with Old Bill Williams, Hamilton worked and was friends of John Bozeman and Jim Bridger.
He died of stomach cancer on May 24, 1908 in a hospital in Billings, Montana and was buried in Columbus, Montana.

George Hearst - from Wikipedia

George Hearst (September 3, 1820 February 28, 1891) was a wealthy American businessman, miner, and politician. After growing up on a small farm in Missouri, he founded many mining operations, and is known for developing and expanding the Homestake Mine in the late 1870s in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In 1879 he listed it on the New York Stock Exchange, and went on to other pursuits. It operated continuously, producing gold until 2001.

After settling in San Francisco in the early 1860s, Hearst became a politician, first representing San Francisco in the state legislature for one term. He also maintained mining interests through his company. Hearst was appointed as a United States Senator in 1886 to fill a vacancy, and was elected as a Democrat later that year on his own account. He served in the Senate from 1887 to his death in 1891. His only child from his late marriage (at age 40) was son William Randolph Hearst, who became internationally known as a newspaperman and publisher. 

Early life

Hearst was born near present-day Sullivan, Missouri, to William G. Hearst and Elizabeth Collins, who were of Scots-Irish ancestry. Hearst, one of three children two boys and a girl was raised in a log cabin on his family's farm in rural Franklin County. His father operated three small farms, all of which were mortgaged, and depended on African-American slaves. William Hearst sold his products in his own local general store.

George Hearst grew up before public education was widely available in Missouri, meaning his elementary education was inconsistent and fragmented. Becoming interested in mining, Hearst supplemented the gaps in his formal education by observing the local mines, reading information about minerals and mining in his free time.

Mining career

When his father died in 1846, Hearst at the age of 26 took over the support of his family: his mother, brother and sister. In addition, he did some mining and ran a general store. He first heard of the discovery of gold in California in 1849. Before deciding to depart, he read further news on the subject to make sure it was true. In 1850, as a member of a party of 16, he left for California.

He and his party first tried placer mining in the vicinity of Sutter's Mill on the American River. After spending a cold winter and making meager findings, they moved to Grass Valley in 1851 on the news of a new lode. Hearst switched to prospecting and dealing in quartz mines. After almost ten years, Hearst was making a decent living as a prospector, and otherwise engaged in running a general store, mining, raising livestock and farming in Nevada County.

In the summer of 1859, Hearst learned of promising silver assays of the "blue stuff" someone had picked up in Utah Territory (near what was to become the Comstock Lode), and had assayed in Nevada County, California. Hearst hurried to the Washoe district of western Utah Territory, where he arranged to buy a one-sixth interest in the Ophir Mine there, near present-day Virginia City. That winter, Hearst and his partners mined 38 tons of high-grade silver ore, packed it across the Sierra on muleback, had it smelted in San Francisco, and made $91,000 profit (or roughly $2,500,000 in 2016 dollars). People who saw the bars of Ophir silver in San Francisco rushed to Washoe.

Hearst knew Marcus Daly from their Comstock Lode work. In the summer of 1872 Daly suggested the potential of the Ontario silver mine in Park City, Utah. The Ontario carried Hearst through the Panic of 1873 and produced seventeen million dollars in ten years. Hearst later financed Marcus Daly to operate his Anaconda mine in Butte, Montana and acquired an interest in that mine as well.


With other mining investors, Hearst set up Hearst, Haggin, Tevis and Co., in which he was a partner. He had interests in the Comstock Lode and the Ophir mine in Nevada, the Ontario silver mine in Utah, the Pacific mine in Pinos Altos, New Mexico, the Homestake gold mine in South Dakota, and the Anaconda Copper Mine in Montana. The Homestake Mine was one of his biggest investments. Although the gold ore was lean, the massive deposit supported an active mine until 2001. Hearst later[when?]invested in the Cerro de Pasco Mine in Peru. His company grew to be the largest private mining firm in the United States. Hearst acquired the reputation of being the most expert prospector and judge of mining property on the Pacific coast. He contributed to the development of the modern processes of quartz and other[vague] kinds of mining.

George Hearst acquired the San Francisco Examiner newspaper as a sign of loyalty to his friends by accepting it as payment for a gambling debt owed to him. He primarily used the Examiner to promote the interests of the Democratic Party, and to laud the party's initiatives, especially when they were under public attack. His son William Randolph Hearst insisted on taking control of this holding of his father. The younger Hearst made the Examiner the foundation of what became his Hearst publishing empire.

Personal and political life

While building his mining career, George Hearst had supported his family in Missouri. In 1860, he returned to the state to care for his ailing mother and take care of some legal disputes. During this time, he became reacquainted with Phoebe Apperson, a neighbor of 18. The 40-year-old Hearst married her two years later, on June 15, 1862.

In 1862 Hearst and his new bride, Phoebe Apperson, moved to San Francisco. Phoebe gave birth to their only child, William Randolph Hearst, on April 29, 1863.

Hearst was elected to the California State Assembly in 1864, serving one term from 1865 until 1866. He was one of 12 members representing San Francisco. His knowledge of mines and the mining industry proved valuable, and he was selected for a special Committee on Mines and Mining Interests. During this time (1865) he acquired Rancho Piedra Blanca at San Simeon, California. He later bought parts of adjoining ranchos. This land was later developed by his son as the Hearst Castle. The Hearsts also maintained a town home in San Francisco at the corner of Chestnut and Leavenworth.

Hearst owned a thoroughbred horse racing stable. One of his better known horses was "Tournament", which won the Jerome Handicap. Following Hearst's death, Tournament was bought by Foxhall P. Keene, when the Hearst stable was auctioned at a dispersal sale on May 14, 1891.

Hearst ran unsuccessfully in 1882 as the Democratic candidate for Governor of California. Until this point, Hearst had a political relationship with Central Pacific Railroad. However, when the railroad's leadership backed the other Democratic nominee in the primary, Hearst joined Christopher Augustine Buckley and Stephen M. White in developing the Anti-Monopoly Coalition.

Senatorial career

Hearst was appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John F. Miller, and served from March 23, 1886 to August 4, 1886, when a successor was elected. In 1886 he was elected in the regular election that year by the state legislature to the Senate as a Democrat, serving from March 4, 1887 until his death in 1891. As senator, Hearst focused on reducing Central Pacific's power in American commerce.

Death and legacy

Hearst died, aged 70, in Washington, D.C. on February 28, 1891. The California Legislature and state courts adjourned, so officials could attend his funeral. When Phoebe Apperson Hearst inherited her husband's wealth, she donated a great deal of it to help found new libraries at several universities. Hearst is buried in Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma, California. His widow and son were later buried there after their deaths.

The Hearst Memorial Mining Building on the Berkeley campus is dedicated to George Hearst. 

Kitty Leroy- from Wikipedia

Kitty Leroy (1850 December 6, 1877) was a dancer, gambler, saloon owner, prostitute, madam, and trick shooter of the American Old West.

Leroy was born in Michigan and by the age of 10 she was dancing professionally. By the time she was fourteen she was performing in dance halls and saloons. She also had developed shooting skills that few could match, including the ability to shoot apples off people's heads. She married for the first time by 15, but the marriage was short-lived. She ventured west seeking her fortune, settling for a time in Dallas, Texas. By the age of 20, she had married a second time and was one of the most popular dancing attractions in town. She soon gave up dancing to work as a faro dealer and became known for dressing in men's clothing, and at times like a Romani. By this time, Leroy had developed into a skilled gambler.

She and her second husband headed to California, where they hoped to open their own saloon. Somewhere along the line, she left him for another man, marrying for a third time. However, this marriage was extremely short-lived. According to an unconfirmed legend, the two became involved in an argument, during which she challenged him to a gunfight. When he refused to fight her because she was a woman, she changed into men's clothing and challenged him again. When she drew her gun, he did not, and she shot him. As he did not die right away, she called for a preacher and the two were married. He died within a few days.

Leroy made her way to Deadwood, Dakota Territory, in 1876, traveling in the same wagon train as Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok. There, she worked as a prostitute in the brothel managed by Mollie Johnson. She opened the Mint Gambling Saloon and married for a fourth time to a Prussian prospector. However, when his money ran out, they began to argue often. She hit him over the head with a bottle one night and threw him out, ending the relationship.

Her saloon was successful. In addition to the gambling income, Leroy occasionally worked as a prostitute but mostly managed her own women. On June 11, 1877, Leroy married for the fifth and final time, this time to prospector and gambler Samuel R. Curley. This marriage, as her others, was volatile. Curley was alleged to have been extremely jealous and Leroy continued to have affairs, one of which was with her latest ex-husband, and another, according to rumor, with Wild Bill Hickok. On the night of December 6, 1877, Curley shot and killed Leroy in the Lone Star Saloon, then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. The pair were laid in state in front of the saloon the next day, then buried together. The January 7, 1878 issue of the Black Hills Daily Times of Deadwood, under "City and Vicinity", reported:

    The estate of Kitty Curley upon appraisment, amounted to $650. More than one-half of which is claimed by and allowed to Kitty Donally, 
    and the ezpenses have doubtless consumed the balance. P.H. Earley has been appointed trustee or guardian for the child.

She is mentioned in the HBO series Deadwood, portrayed as a beautiful murder victim.

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