John "Jack" Sheehan Oral History

Dublin Core


John "Jack" Sheehan Oral History


John "Jack" Sheehan Oral History


January 6, 1950


Reel-to-reel tape, .Docx,



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Margaret “Peg” Wheat


John "Jack" Sheehan



(This tape recording was made January 6, 1950 by Margaret “Peg” Wheat, and transcribed by Paul Jensen. Edited by Raeburn Sottile. A copy of this, as well as the audio, is available in Wheat's papers at UNR, but I believe not online.)

[ED- As this was recorded long before the oral history project, it does not share the same conventions, nor are its conventions internally the same. Many questions are in parentheses, likely asked by Wheat. It is also broken into sections with headers, though how often headers were put in seems to vary. As there is no recording, I have left everything in place, with the exception of standardizing notation of reel changes, placing original footnotes in brackets, like this one, and standardizing how speakers are notated, when they are notated (so, for example, Mr. Sheehan was sometimes referred to as Sheehan, Jack, and Mr. S. Whenever there was annotation that I caught, he is now referred to as MR. SHEEHAN) or if it is abundantly clear who is speaking. There are many places where speakers are not notated because I am not 100% certain who is speaking.]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Churchill County Museum or any of its employees.

Content Warning: descriptions of child abuse (NOT standard punishments of the time)

  1. SHEEHAN: I am 86. I was born on the Comstock on the tenth day of January 1864. I am the oldest man living that was born on the Comstock. I run away from home when I was nine years old, I came down here to Wadsworth--and then to Churchill County to a ranch about one mile north of Old River and that ranch belonged to John Luce. That was in 1873, when I went there. I left here with the understanding with John Luce that if I stayed a year, he would give me a horse, saddle and bridle, which he later did. He afterwards sold the ranch. I lived with Lem Allen--that was Cranston Allen's son. Lem Allen was her [Mrs. Sheehan’s] uncle. Then I lived with Asa Kenyon at Ragtown. Then I lived with Bill Brandon and then I went to live with Bailey.


  1. SHEEHAN: Did you ever hear about the school? The Churchill County Institute.

(Where was it?)

  1. SHEEHAN: It was where they called the Upper Sink. That is what they called it--the church. [ed- an Adventist Church was later built on the same spot] It was four or five miles south of Fallon. That was the only school in Churchill County. It was a boarding school. I went to that school. All the children in the country went to that school, and the children would board there. On Friday afternoon, the people from ten and fifteen miles around would come and get their children, take them home Friday night and Saturday and bring them back on Sunday afternoon.

MRS. SHEEHAN: Tell them who your teacher was.

  1. SHEEHAN: W. H. A. Pike, Judge Pike, and his wife, Ida Pike, was the daughter of Asa Kenyon. She was matron there. The boys and girls would come there.


  1. SHEEHAN: Do you know where Grimes was at the Upper Sink? That lake from Grimes's was 12 miles long and six miles wide when that lake was full. There were three branches of the Carson River. The branch went south of the Theelan place [Ed- The Theelan place is where the Lewises live (read: lived in the 1950s) now--on the Carson river, about two miles west of Fallon. The Bailey place was later known as the Wingfield place, now owned by john Serpa, north of Fallon.] --that was called the Upper Sink. The other went north of the Theelan place--The other was on the north and went into the old Humbolt Sink. That was the Upper Sink and about 2 miles east of the Theelan place was where the New River branched off from Old River.-- there was where I lived. The Old River was on the north. It ended up in the Humboldt Sink. There were only four ranches when I went to live with John Luce [ed- his ranch was later known as the Bianchi ranch]. They were on the New River, Old River and Upper Sink--between the sink and the Humboldt. From Grimes's, the water went to Stillwater. It got to Grimes's before it got to Stillwater and then into the Lower Sink,--From Stillwater on down.
  2. SHEEHAN: Do you know where the old Lem Allen ranch is? It lies below the river forks. That was on the Bill Bailey ranch. Below it were two islands. One was called the little island. The other one, the big fork went to the lake. The other fork of the river went to the ranches. The other land belonged to the Dillard ranch and the Cushman ranch. That was where they got their water to irrigate with. That Bailey ranch. I do not know how many acres there were in that ranch. It was the biggest ranch in the country. He was the biggest cattle man in the country. The fence from the lake to the opposite end of his ranch was twelve miles long. There were miles of tules. That was where they cut 3,500 tons of hay. The balance was in pasture. It was where I went to work. WS Bailey owned that ranch.


  1. SHEEHAN: W.S. Bailey, who owned that ranch, ran a slaughter house in Virginia City, and furnished them meat, nearly all the meat to Virginia City, Gold Hill and Silver City. And then, he had a slaughter house in Reno and had his own refrigerator cars and he killed and shipped to San Francisco.
  2. SHEEHAN: I went to work for him in 1878. in 78, we left Reno on the 13th day of October and went to Warner Valley, Oregon, where Bailey and Mapes had a big cattle ranch. We got 750 head of steers and drove them from Werner Valley to the Truckee Meadows, where were fed that winter. [ED- he later added “These were the first shorthorn cattle to enter this country and they are the basis of our herd stock today. Before that time all the cattle here were of the Spanish type.”] We went back the next year in 79 and got 1250 head of cattle and brought them to the ranch on the Island. And then I went back again in 80 and got 1650 head from Werner Valley and took them to the Bailey ranch. We would make about 20 miles a day. At night, we would have to guard the cattle. When I went up there in 78, I was 13 years old. I went on guard at 12 o'clock at night. I would come in for breakfast and ride all day.

(How may were on a drive?)

  1. SHEEHAN: That depended on the number of cattle we had.

(Perhaps ten men to 1000 cattle?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Yes. He would have about ten men. We always had a lot of horses. We wouldn't feed the horses at all or the cattle wouldn't get hay. They lived on what they picked up. W.S. Bailey was killing cattle. He was buying all the time and I was taking cattle from the ranch to Virginia City. We took most of the cattle to Virginia City.


  1. SHEEHAN: We would pick out the cattle at night. At sunrise, we would start them to Virginia City. From the Bailey ranch, we had a Buckeroo camp near the Lem Allen Ranch, where we kept our horses. The first ride was made from the Bailey ranch to the Big Bend of the Carson. That was above the narrows. I went north of Fort Churchill You headed straight south from there until you got to the hills near Hooten Wells and then northward to the Buckland Ranch or Towles Ranch. Sam Buckland made that ranch.


  1. SHEEHAN: And there was the Towle Ranch and that was known as the Knewland ranch.

(Where was the big bend?)

  1. SHEEHAN: That was the upper end of the Carlin ranch. The Carlin ranch was the old Gates ranch. You know where the Lahontan Lake is? That should be there. On the north-west side was the Cap Pray ranch. Up on the hill was the Willis Gates place, after you came over the hill. (Up on the hill were several rocks due east of the Hooten Wells. Do you know anything about that?) No. Bob Douglas was at the top on the path. You were talking about the Sink Station, Wild Cat station? That was more than six miles and a half from Hooten Wells. Carlin owned a ranch in there. All that land was on the upper Lahontan. They lived on the west side, and Hugh Carlin lived on the east side. Carlin died back east--Buckland died---Gates died. Gates ranch was real close to the Lahontan dam. He would be north of Carlin.

(Have you heard of Honey Lake Smith?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. The Stockton station was on the Overland Route, between the dam and [long pause] and that was Stockton station. When I went to Churchill that year I stopped on this ranch.


  1. SHEEHAN: The old man did not know where I was. It was a year and a half before he knowed where I was. It was a man that lived at Soda Lake, and he found out what my name was and where I belonged. He used to go to Virginia City. He asked my old man, if he had a boy in the upper sink. He said, "I have got a boy, but I do not know where he is. "I will tell you where he is living," said the man. He is down on Carson Sink living with Lem Allen. I come up occasionally, if you have any word you want to send to him, I will deliver it." The old man said, "You go and see him."--he used to whip the whey out of me. That was the reason, I run away from home. "You tell him, if he will come home and go to school, I will not lay hands on him again." "If you got any expenses, I will pay you for it." I didn't know anything was going on. I saw a man in a buggy team drive up and talk with old men Allen. I was watering some horses at a trough in the yard at the time. I thought, "That fellow is after me," when he made a "Bee-line" down after me. I thought, now if he is, after me, I will take this horse of mine and he won't catch me. He drove up. "Is your name Sheehan?" I said, "Yes." He told me that he was in Virginia City and talked to my father and he told him to get you and bring you home. I did not give him much satisfaction and he drove off. Lem came down where I was and he told me that the fellow was after me. He advised me to go home. "Leave your horse here," he said, "and come down and get your horse whenever you want him." So in a day or two the feller came down and I went with him and went home. Going home, we got into the darndest wind storm you ever seen. We stopped at Stockton Station going home that night.

Around there, toward the river was a place called the Log Cabin. The Desert Station was toward Dayton. It had a rock well with rocks around it, and a rock corral. That Stockton Station well was a great big well with a pump and one horse on it that went around and around. There is nothing there to indicate anything there now, at all. The road does not go near it. Stockton Station was about in the center of the Valley between Lahontan and Dayton.


  1. SHEEHAN: Stockton Station was a telegraph station. Only one telegraph line in the country. My old friend, Jim Richards run the telegraph station at Stillwater. They had an office at Stillwater. Jake Williams ran the office at West Gate. (Jim Richards had a store in Fallon later.) Jim Richards was the operator at Stillwater. He had a little place there. He would wind that instrument up. It had weights on it. It had tape on it, and that would be going all the time. Lots of times, when I was a boy, M.E. Sanford had a little place there too. And he would say, "Come on." let’s go over and see what's new." We would go over and Jim would pull out some tape and read the tape. If everything was all right, he would say, "come let's go on." But if something was wrong, He, Jim Richards, had an old gray horse and he would take off over that line horseback. Sometimes, he would have to all the way to Virginia City to fix that line he would go right by Stockton Station. Do you know where Newman's was? Have you got that lined up as to Fort Churchill. Starting at the narrows--that was above Newmans. I can give you every ranch from Coony’s [? Original has name as “Cuney” and this is crossed out and corrected multiple times, but copying makes it difficult to read.] ranch. Do you know where the road come up into Virginia City? The six-mile canyon--that was the Coony’s Ranch.


  1. SHEEHAN: When I was driving cattle, I would make the Carlin ranch from the Bailey ranch and then to the Coony ranch. I would make that the first night out. It was 26 miles, then the next day, I would make the Coony ranch--that was 16 miles. That was where I turned off the Carsen River to go to Virginia City, and then go out the six mile canyon that used to be full of houses, sluice boxes, mills and teams running up and down there. And the cattle we had in them days, were all Spanish cattle—wilder than deers. Now in order to avoid the six mile canyon, we went up a mile and half to the Levey Brian canyon and turned up it, up over the hill, and up to the slaughterhouse. That was right below the Geiger Grade--in close where the Toll house was--where the Geiger Grade goes toward Reno.
  2. SHEEHAN: That second day we would leave Coony's before daylight in order to get the wild cattle in there at four o'clock in the morning, and that was 12 miles from Virginia City. We would get up and start them cattle at 2 o'clock in the morning and cot to the slaughter house at sunrise. Talk about your riding—26 miles, 44 miles and 12 miles,--56 miles from the slaughter house to the ranch. The "old man" would say, "you go to the ranch today and get the cattle tomorrow." Bring up, 60 head of beef and 75 head of calves." I got 10 dollars a month for that. And then he raised my wages from 10 to 15. I stayed with him until I was 18.

Quits Bailey to Go to Mexico:

  1. SHEEHAN: I used to go with a boy by the name of Pete Davis. Pete used to work for a fellow down at Stillwater. He came up to see me. I asked him what he was doing here. He said, "I want to see you." "I am going to Mexico. Are you ready to go with me?" I said, "Yes." He was ready to go. I had to go to the ranch and settle up with the "old man." We went up and the first time, I was ready to go to Virginia City and was about to take a bunch of cattle with me. The "old man" said, "What are you doing up here?" I replied, "I am going to quit." "You are going to quit?" "I am going to Mexico." I said. He said, "I do not want you to go, I was just going to raise your wages." I said, "I am going." I had some horses and a good buckaroo rig. I sold them. "I will be gone about 10 years." Lots of times the foreman was away from there. I was on the road all the time. When he wasn't in a hurry for cattle, we would stay that day and night in Virginia City and go home the next day.


 (How much was meat selling for in those days?)

  1. SHEEHAN: If I were a cattle man end I had a thousand head of cattle or 1500, or 2500. The old man would ask you, if you if you wanted to sell. If the man said "Yes, I want to sell." The old man would say, "I will take the whole bunch at 10 dollars a head and the calves thrown in."

(How much was round-steak?)

  1. SHEEHAN: You can figure it out. At that time the price of meat was awful cheap. At the slaughter house I went to, the heart, liver and tongue--they would give to you. At Clark Station, there was a man by the name of Briddleman, who owned it. He owned that ranch. He had a dairy in Virginia city end he had 200 head of milk cows. Up there, he had one bull he gave 1200 dollars for. He committed suicide and his wife was left with this ranch. She wanted to sell them cattle and she stopped the "old men" on the road. Mr. Bailey, I have these cattle and I cannot handle them alone. Will you buy them. I will take 10 dollars a head and the calves thrown in.
  2. SHEEHAN: When the boss was away, I run that place. I was only 14 years old. The boss would say to do so and so. I had 10 men working and I was giving orders and them fellows would do the same for me, the same as for the foreman. The old man would telegraph me and say you bring so many saddle horses and get these cattle and it was 1200 cattle and they were selling cattle at 40 dollars ahead. He was running cattle all over. When he moved cattle, he wired me to say, come with 1000 head of calves and 1000 head of dairy cattle and get ready to go to Wriggley Valley on the other side of Reno. You had to take those cattle to Pyramid Lake, and into Long Valley and then into Sierra Valley and from Sierra Valley into Wriggley Valley. I was throwed in with some of the best cattle men in the country. The cattle were Spanish cattle from Texas. Them cattle was wild. They started running, when they would see you coming.

 (Were there any sheep in this country?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Kaiser and Williams had a few. The only sheep in the country. They had them on the Freeman ranch, which belonged to Kaiser and Warren Williams.


  1. SHEEHAN: WS Bailey was the big cattleman and Happ Mason of Mason Valley was the next. Tom Ricke in Antelope Valley was next. They were the three big cattlemen in the West. There were some Cattlemen in the Humboldt Valley, who drove cattle from the Humboldt to San Joaquin. They came right through Fallon and stopped at the Buckeroo ranch, where I worked, and put 2000 head of cattle in there. There, they would put the tired and sore stock. We would let them stay for three or four days. They would have 100 head of saddle horses with them. He would put the horses in the pasture, and when they got ready to leave they would thank you and say if you come up their way--stop. In the good old days, there was no charge. When you killed beef, coming down from Oregon, after the first years. The boss would say, "We got to kill tonight." We Would take a 1 ½ year old. The next morning, we would take the two hind quarters and leave the rest of it there.

(Do you remember any stories about an earth quake?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No

(When was the first earthquake of any note?)

  1. SHEEHAN: We do not remember any,--1916 was the first one.

Has anybody given you any information about the upper Sink Lake.' [Ed – Later, the Greenhead Club or Government Pasture.] About what they could do there and what they did there? What they used to do? That lake at one time It was 12 miles long. (From East to West?) Well, I don't know.

WS Bailey was pretty 'cunnin" in locating land. He would take a section here and there surround an open piece. He would locate 40 sections this way. John Luce, when he moved down there, locates on of these places. It was when, I was going to the boarding school.


  1. SHEEHAN: It was in the spring of the year. There were loads of ducks, geese and swan, all kinds of water fowl. The ducks and mud-hens would begin to lay. The mud-hens lays on the water. The ducks lay on the dry land next to the water. You see, when the wild ducks would leave the next, they would cover the next with feathers to keep the eggs warm. The mud-hens would build nests in the tubes above the water. John Luce would come up to the school and get me on Friday night. He would get me in an old cart. He said, we will go out and gather some eggs." At the school there was Johnnie and Jim Newman, boys from the Fitche ranch, George Buckland, the Carlin boys. All went to that school and all boarding. When they left home and started to school, they would stay to the end of the term. Now do you know how to gather eggs? We would go out in the tules and we filled that cart with eggs. You would go out from the shores a half mile end gather eggs. We would go carefully so that we would not break them.


  1. SHEEHAN: There used to be wild hogs in them tules. Did you ever hear about them wild hogs? You never did? Nobody ever told you about them hogs? You heard about Dillard, Wightman and Cushman. They turned out a lot of tame hogs in the tules in the early days and they lived off the tulle roots. Now, they got along so that there were 2500 wild hogs. When they were sold, they were running on Bailey's ranch. They were running on the meadows and destroying the hay. We had five dogs that would run them hogs and kill them. Bailey got after the men to get rid of the hogs. They didn't do anything about the hogs. There were boars with 12 year marks on them. Bailey said, if they did not get rid of them, he would sue them for damages. They decided to sell them. A feller bought Uftailt, hogs for 1250 dollars. I helped catch 1250 hogs myself. 500 of them went to Virginia city. 200 of them went to Bodie, and 250 went to Balville. We caught them. There was four of us on horseback and 2 four-horse wagons. We had 5 dogs. We had some of the best hog-dogs ever seen.

[Start of reel 2]


  1. SHEEHAN: The first ranch was the Howard ranch, the next ranch was the Newman ranch, and the next ranch was what was known as the Italian ranch. The next ranch was the Cooney ranch. Now that is all the ranches as far as I know. It is where the Careen river left from the Cooney ranch up the six mile canyon.


(Do you know anything about the camels at the Newman ranch?)

  1. SHEEHAN: There is nobody that knows anything about that camel outfit. You will hear stories about the camels and there were people who were here at the time and never heard anything about them. As far as the camels were concerned, they would have to keep them camels wherever they stopped. They packed salt on the camels from Sand Springs to the mills on the Carson river—you know. They were just like pack horses.

 (I heard, they rounded them up end kept them at the Newman ranch?)

  1. SHEEHAN: A horse is scared to death of a camel. Many of them mills was on the Carson river and there was a few little mills, but the main miles was on the Carson River. That was where they would take the salt. There is a camel barn Dayton, still in excellent condition.


  1. SHEEHAN: The Bank of California had 86 horse teams hauling ore and wood up there. That was only a private organization. On one Bank of California team, there were six horses. They were all wood teams. They were hauling from the railroad to the mines. They all burned cord-wood. Some of them had railroads right to the mines, like the Crown Point, Yellow Jacket, and the Vulcher. These outside mines unloaded at the Bulwick Switch for all the mines in Gold Hill and that vicinity. It was where they unloaded most of the wood. Most of the wood came from Tahoe. Just one outfit had their teams up on the divide. They got their hay from the Gerson liver. I have no idea what hay was worth. There were a lot of teams out of Wadsworth and Fallon. Them fellows had to buy our hay along the road. Such ranches as the Allen Ranch and the McGee [ed- originally it says “McKee” but this was crossed out and correction difficult to make out] ranch sold a lot of grain and hay.

(What did you eat when you were driving cattle to Virginia City?)

  1. SHEEHAN: The buckaroo in them days did not have anything to eat at noon. That was a rule. When ye left the ranch, the first day out--that was the Carson, the big Bend, that was noon.--half way to the Carlin ranch. We got up at day light--We had a coral a mile from the house. It was here, we had the cattle ready to start in the morning. We took the cattle all day. We did not take a lunch with us. When we got the cattle over to Carlins's, we would water them--the first water we had. We would get there about 4 o'clock and we would let them feed up towards the Carlin house until sundown. And then, we would coral them. When we got up the next clay to go the 18 miles on the route, there was no place to eat. If they carried a lunch, you was a tenderfoot. The next day, we passed the Newman ranch. There is another road to Mason Valley. There used to be a station there and the road went to Mason Valley.
  2. SHEEHAN: On that 18 miles, we would let the cattle feed. There wasn't a buckeroo who wouldn't get hungry at noon. We would get up to that station about noon. When the boss was along, we would say, by gosh I am awfully hungry. He would say, "I will pay for this lunch, if you will go get it. The Carson river would be running bank full, mind you! And I had to swim. I wouldn't pay any attention to swimming that river. There was three months in the spring that I wasn't dry from swimming the river—when I was on the ranch. I would say, "Alright." I would get a lunch for four bits--he gave me 4 bits. I would go over and get the lunch and come back. It would be bread and cold meat—such as sandwiches. That is all we would have. Bailey, the old man, was one of those fellers, who always wanted to eat at noon.


  1. SHEEHAN: We had jerky. Do you know what jerky is?

(Oh yes, I have made it.)

  1. SHEEHAN: I can beat any man, baring none, making jerky. Well, we would kill a beef below Lem Allen's and we sold to them ranchers. Nearly every night, we would kill a beef. We would kill only yearling heifers. That was some of the best meat there was. And we would have cattle all over the country – Truckee river to the road there. We had one two story adobe house. In the upper story, we kept our meat. Lots of times, we would have a half a beef. When we would be going off for a week or ten days, the boys would say, "There is a half a beef up there." I would go up there and jerk that meat. The wire ran the full length of the building. When I jerked that meat, there would be three or four strings of wires, about 30 feet long. That was loaded with jerky all the time. When we would come in and there was no fresh meat, we would go up there and eat jerky for the next couple of meals. Then the next night, we would kill beef again. That was the way we would eat jerky.

(How do you make jerky? Do you dip it in hot water?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No! We did not dip it in hot water. Some people do. If you dip it in hot water, you take it out--she turns white on you. The way I do it--there are no secret about it. In order to get it salted right--In making jerky you--you know how to cut it in strips. Just take a water bucket and you fill it half full of water, and then you put in salt until it will float a potato. Then you put your pepper in. Then you go to cutting. Then you keep putting in into the bucket until you made that bucket full. Just throw it into the brine. And then you get your hand down and with your hand and turn that. That is how you. . . and turn that all over. Then you just go to hanging and by the time you get it hanged, it will be seasoned enough, Some people use hot water, but hot water turns it white and makes it hard. The main thing about jerky is to have that seasoning right.
  2. SHEEHAN: They used to stop at our place, taking cattle from alcola and take them clear down to the San Joaquin. They were the biggest cattle men on the coast. They would come along with one thousand, two thousand head of cattle maybe 2,500 with 100 saddle horses and put them in our corral. After making the trip across the Humboldt, the 40 mile desert, them cattle would be tired end wore out. Then they had another from the sinks across to Walker river. They would have quite a trip across it. They would stay here for quite a while. From these Mexicans--Mexican herders--That is where I learned about jerky.
  3. SHEEHAN: I was going to tell you about the old man. Sometimes, he would help me drive a bunch of cattle up. He always called me "Johnnie" and he would say Johnnie take a lunch with you? If you were with a bunch of them buckeroos, they would give you the horse-laugh. The old man would say, take a lunch with you. We always had biscuits. In the morning, we always had plenty of T-bone steak and sometimes, he would take some jerky. He would say, "Did you bring a lunch?" "No." "Darn you." “I forgot it" His usual word was "by thunder." So, "by soap, you are always forgetting your lunch?" That was where we got our lunch. From the Jerky.
  4. SHEEHAN: Sometimes, the Carson river there, going to the six mile canyon to the slaughter house there would be two feet of snow. It made you so cold that we would have to go straight up there. And, I didn’t freeze my feet. I do not know way. And my hands--and in buckskin gloves. We always wore buckskin gloves. They used to have them big silk handkerchiefs. The men-folk always used to have those.

(Were you in around here that winter when it was real cold?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. I was down in the Mojave Desert that winter. I was running a pack train that winter.

MRS. SHEEHAN: That was the winter, that uncle Bill lost so many cattle--I remember that.

(That was almost the end of that big cattle period?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Yes. Well that was not the end, but it knocked them. Well, some of them had 3 or 4 thousand head and it knocked them down so that they had only two or three hundred head left. Like to cleaned them up. Like her uncle there. Her uncle took 1500 head of cattle to Gilles Mountain one fall. The mine was there. We would take a thousand head to Gilles mountain, and I took them out there by Gilles falls and Gilles mountain, And then the next spring, we went back and gathered them up. There was a lot of fine feed there--lot of bunch grass. There was no one feeding there in them days. Uncle Bill did not die until after Tesse was born – Our first child.

(You started to tell me how many ranches there was around Fallon?)

  1. SHEEHAN: You want to get the ranches around Fallon? You got them to the big bend?


  1. SHEEHAN: The Jim Coke ranch was the upper ranch and then there was Shanes up near Lahontan. That is not under water. Then the Kaiser place. The Clarke ranch was the Farthest up. Do you know where Trolson was? Do you know where the Kaiser ranch was? That is owned by an Italian up there. [Mori] Then the Trolson ranch was right close to the school. [Northam School] Now what I was going to say. We went near the Coke ranch and the Kaiser ranch--Dan Paine and J. Walker made that ranch. Kaiser made that ranch. That was the last ranch in that part of the country. The next ranch was Asa Kenyon's, Rag Town.

(The land in between is now owned by the Harrimans--There was nothing in there at that time?)

  1. SHEEHAN: The Trolson ranch was made by Dan Paine. Dan used to be a teamster and there was a feller by the name of J. Walker in with him. Trolson got the reach from him. And you got that down? The next is the Gunnine Ranch. The next ranch was the Meers ranch. The next ranch was the Henry Theelan ranch--St. Clair. The next ranch was the old Towle ranch (Bill Lattin’s) That was the Toomie Ranch. Then the next ranch was Lem Allen ranch. Then the next was the Ferguson ranch. The one that Archie McIntosh has now. The next place was the Bailey ranch--our buckeroo camp called the Dobey-- It had the big adobe building.

(Is there anything left there now? Where the big adobe building was?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. The last time I went there the adobe had all fallen down.

(Whose piece was that close to?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well, the Ferguson and the McGee [?] places and the next place was the McGee place where Wayne Wightman lives. That was the old Pat McGuire place. And then the next place was the Ordway place. Do you know where the church used to be? You know, down from the church is a kind of a raise or kind of a point. That is where the Ordway house used to be. Well the next place was the Frank McKevie place. He had a little place there. He was an Irishman. And the next ranch belonged to Brite and V.C. P. Burplank. The next ranch was the Sam Turman ranch. The next ranch was the Joe Cushman ranch. The next ranch was the Dave Wightman Ranch. The next ranch was the A. B. C. [C could also be a D or an O, hard to make out] Ade Dillard ranch and the next ranch was Hill and Grimes's. That was what they called the Grimes ranch. Hill used to be his partner. These are all the ranches that was in that part of the country.

(Did a road run all through there?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Yes! That run right along the south fork of the Carson river--close to their ranches all the way. At Stillwater, the ranches down there was the Dolittle ranch, and then came the William Ranch, then the John Higgins ranch, and the last ranch was the Dutch Bill ranch--Bill Harmon.

(Was Dutch Bill, Bill Harmon?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. But his name was Dutch Bill Harmon. No relation at all to these other Harmons. He had the last ranch toward the Humboldt Sink.

(What was the Upper Sink?)

  1. SHEEHAN: I just told you that the water run into the lake and there was a slough that run right by Stillwater into the Lower Sink. If they were going to Stillwater, they would say, "I am going to Stillwater." And if they had any business down below, they would say, "I am going down to the Lower Sink."

(Was there any water running down New River?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Oh Yes! We will take New River next. That river came out of Old River. It came out of the Carson river about 2 miles below Theelans. That was New River. it was running all the time. The New River run into the upper sink. And now, the Old River Run down there. Old River run into the Humboldt to the north-east. I didn't give you the places of those who live on the Old River. The only place there was--the Jim Brown's ranch. The Old River went below the Theelan ranch, and the first ranch below it was John Luce. I went to work for him when I was a boy. Down below it was George Brown. The ranch that joined him belonged to his brother, Lime Brown. Then the next ranch joining him belonged to John Brown. Now they was all brothers. The last ranch--and that was down close to the sink, was George Richardson's ranch. And that was all the ranches down there.

 (Now is there any of the Browns left?)

  1. SHEEHAN: There is none of them left. They are all dead. There are no descendants here.

(Did they have any children?)

  1. SHEEHAN: John Brown had a boy and a girl. The girl married George Webb. Lyman Brown had three kids, but he left and went up north. George Brown was a bachelor and he didn't have any. Jim Brown of New River had some kids. The old man got drowned there on New River, and the old lady died. The only outfit that, is left of that family is some of the Webbs and they are up in Reno. And they are Browns on the the mother's side. The girl's name that married Webb was Stella Brown.


(Was there any people here by the name of Hawes?)      

  1. SHEEHAN: No. I will tell you who they are: They were an old outfit— I never studied them. I will tell you who they were. Do you remember when Johnnie Walker was sheriff and that outfit near Dixie Valley was stealing cattle? That was the outfit. I do not know much about them, only, that they were stealing cattle. Now, in Dixie Valley, there was only two or three places out there, and there was nothing out there. They arrested them [Hawes] and had a trial and turned them loose. They didn't send them up.

(Were they getting about masquerading as Indians?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. No not that I know of. There was an outfit there --just a family, the only people and that was long ago. The sheriff, Johnnie was a friend of mine. We used to ride together. And he went out there at night and arrested them. And the boy, I left the country with, to go to Arizona, went out there with Johnnie to bring them in. They were a bad outfit.

 (The next person I want to know about is Mrs. Canfield? Possibly, she lived out at the Coldfield Station?)

  1. SHEEHAN: What did you say her name was?


  1. SHEEHAN: No. Her name was Caine. Caine was her name. That woman you were talking about, her name was Caine. She is buried over here in the cemetery.

(Wadsworth cemetery)

  1. SHEEHAN: She owned horse strings out there. She had a man that was a partner of hers. He was a silent partner by the name of Wightman.


Not the father of Fred Jr. or Wayne


  1. SHEEHAN: He was no relation to Dave Wightman. He was in with her on the Cold Springs place. I know her, and know her well.

(Did he have a wife? Was he married? Old man Wightman?)

  1. SHEEHAN: He didn't have a wife here. His daughter married Jim Danielson. Mrs. Danielson was old man Wightman's daughter. Did you know that.

MRS. SHEEHAN: My Mother told me that.

  1. SHEEHAN: Anyhow, this Mrs. Caine moved to Sand Springs before she moved to Cold Springs.

(Did she ever tell you any stories about Cold Springs?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No?

(She was at Sand Springs when you worked for her.)

  1. SHEEHAN: That was in the early days when she was at Cold Springs. She was quite an old character that old jane. I went out there. John Luce and me to see Old Kellog about getting a lease on them wild horses. We stopped at Cold Springs and she wanted me to stay, and go to work, and she was there alone. And she had to do the work. She tried to get me 2 or 3 times to come and live with her.

(There are two places out there at Cold Springs.)

  1. SHEEHAN: They are about a mile or a half a mile apart.

(Do you know which place was the place she lived at?)

  1. SHEEHAN: There was a lot of corrals at her place. The other place-I don't know anything about that. I wasn't taking in the country like I am now.

(What was that old man's name that used to be out there?)

  1. SHEEHAN: I don't know. I got some of Mrs. Caine’s horses. When Whightman went out there, she was running horses. That fellow that Williams killed.

(What Williams was that?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Warren--Yes he did.

(I did not know that Warren Williams killed a man.)

  1. SHEEHAN: It was over the horse range. That man had horses and Kaiser and Williams had sheep. Kaiser and Williams run sheep on the range. Williams literally killed him.

(What was his name?)

  1. SHEEHAN: That is what I am trying to think of now. I guess, it was old Kellog that they got their horses from. Old Kellog started them horses. He was the man that put them out there in the first place. That was what he said. Well, this fellow had a lease from Kellog on them horses. After the killing—that was why John Luce wanted to get the lease from Kellog. We drove a four-horse team going out there.

(On the way out there, did you stop at a place known as the Whitehouse?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. We stopped at West Gate. West Gate was nothing but a telegraph station. The line was running through from Austin to Virginia City at that time. It was the only telegraph line. There was only three stations. One at West Gate, one at Stillwater and one at Virginia City.

(Where did Warren Williams live?)

  1. SHEEHAN: He lived alpine.

(Where did the Towles live?)

  1. SHEEHAN: They lived with them and they lived together at that time.

(Was the telegraph station very big?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No, just a small one. He had some chickens and hogs. We camped there – that fellow and me. We had a piece of bacon with us. We put out our grub-box under the wagon. The piece of bacon was too big, to get it into the grub-box so he [Luce] laid that bacon on the top of the grub-box under the wagon. The station-man had some hogs, we didn't know anything about. The next morning, when we got up, there was nothing left but the hide. No meat. That was all the meat we had. He said, "Well, we ain't got much to eat." He had a shot gun and so did I have a shot gun. He said, "I guess, we will have to go out and get our breakfast. It was spring and there was a lot of dove. We shot enough dove to have breakfast. We had to hunt game until we got back to Stillwater again. I have never forgotten it. You have seen those big white-tailed rabbits. That was the first one, I ever did see. We left West Gate and on the way out to Kellogs, we had no meat. We looked ahead and there near the road was one of those White-tailed rabbits coming down the hill. It stopped right in the middle of the road. John says to me, "Get you gun now and get that one there and don't you miss." Well sir, that was the first rabbit I ever got. Well, we got out to Kellogs. Kellog had a little place up there in the mountains. He was an old Bachelor. He had a pasture and two or three cows. That was where I saw my first mountain sheep. He caught that mountain sheep and he raised it. He took him to the Gentenial. He had him tied up there. One night the sheep got untied. He went down in the pasture and Mountain there he was. He drove him up and caught him. There used to Wipeell be lots of sheep out there.

Pony Express

(Do you remember any stories, they were telling about the Pony Express?)

  1. SHEEHAN: You say the Pony Express was 20 years before that?

(Do you remember any stories?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. There wasn't any. Gardner, our boy, rode in the last one. [Pony express RE—RUN September 8,9, 1923.] That was about 16 years ago. On this Pony Express, [original organization] it took them so long to make time. This here Tavis at San Francisco of the Wells Fargo wanted to see if they could beat that time. So he goes to work and gets ponies and all and starts from St. Joseph to San Francisco. They went to work and scattered horses 10 miles apart from St. Joseph to San Francisco. The boys rode from Lovelock to bake Tahoe. When Chaska West got on at Lovelock they came through here. They had to cross this place here. It was a darkest night you ever did see. The mayor of St. Joseph was driving ahead of them in an old Rao to light the road for them, by gosh. This boy would ride 10 miles and then he other fellow would ride 10 miles and then he would change again and the other fellow would ride in the machine. From here to Reno, our boys made the best time, of any of the riders from St. Joseph to San Francisco. He made the 10 miles in 30 minutes flat. When they got the mail bags changed at Lovelock, a fellow there by the name of Shorty Hopkins, who had made the best time up to that time, said, "You break that record--30 minutes and 30 seconds."
  2. SHEEHAN: And the boys said, "We will try it." We had no idea that the kid would make it. When he got up here, he changed on to a five-dollar Indian horse and he made 30 minutes flat and busted the record on that horse. And they went on to the state line. Travis, the fellow who planned all this, rode to San Francisco himself, and he killed two horses trying to beat that time. He couldn't cut her. After that, they changed and he turned the bag over to Travis. The boys wanted to go to San Francisco for the wind up. He got Gardner and Chaska in the car and went to San Francisco. to wind up at the big rodeo at San Francisco, at the race track. And when they got to Reno, they handed him that bag again. He was going to go on towards Carson. They were 12 to 15 hours ahead of time, and they were going to wind up at this rodeo. The next day, they stopped them and waited. And he said, "I am going to hold you fellows here until 9 o'clock in the morning.” They got in there and wound up at the rodeo grounds. They asked, "Are, you Bronco riders?" "Yes,” Gardner said, "I will ride anything that wears hair." So they wanted a Pony Express rider to ride a bull they had there. The worst bull in the country. They gave it to the kid. The kid rode the bull for them. Chaska was a rider. Wells Fargo gave the kid a gold medal as big as a 10 dollar gold piece. It said on there, " "Pony Express Rider." On the other side--I don't know what it said. He didn't value that. He lost the damn thing.


  1. SHEEHAN: When my father first came to Virginia City in 1862, he came over the mountains with Hank Monk. Monk was the driver. Another passenger on that stage was Mark Twain. He was on the same stage with Mark Twain, when he lit here. Now Bill Bailey had a partner.

(Was it Greenwall?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. No, I used to know his name. He used to be down in that country. I will tell you where that was. You know where Independence was? That was, 120 miles from Independence north. You can say, Bailey brought his first bunch of cattle from Owen's River to the Upper Sink. Fallon was the Upper Sink and Stillwater was the Lower Sink. Well, he brought his first bunch of cattle from Owens River to the Upper Sink.

 (Then you can tell about the Indian outbreak,)

  1. SHEEHAN: I don't know what year that Was. The outbreak in the Owens River? You can look that up.

(That was in 1860.)

[Ed- This incident must be related with the McCain Pony Express rider death in the Lahontan Valley. and the Origin of the Lone Tree.]

  1. SHEEHAN: Bill Bailey had an Indian working for him. There was a big bunch of Indians talking. He heard them say that they were going on the war path in the morning. So he come home and told Bailey about it. he told Bailey what they were going to do. Bailey said, "Get those cattle out of here--what you can. His partner was at Independence. They went out and run the saddle horses in. His partners name was Greenlaw. He asked this Indian boy if he would take a note to Independence to his partner that night. And he said, "Yes" 120 miles--mind you. He said to the boy, "Take any horse that you want.” Now in them days, if you were working for me, I would give you a string of horses.

(How many horses in a string?)

  1. SHEEHAN: That depended on how big an outfit they was. He said to the boy, "You go in there. You pick any horses in that corral. He picked a horse." I remember it, just as well as it was yesterday. He picked out a sorrel, bald-faced horse that was branded JP. The called him JP Baldy. It was a young horse. He went in there and the kid picked out that horse and saddled him. The hour was just about sun-down. By sun-rise, he had made that ride, and delivered that note to Greenlaw. He rushed around and got some men for the cattle and before daylight, but the balance of his men and started them cattle down the Owens River. And sure enough, the Indians got on the war-path, and they Come in and cut off one bunch of cattle for them. It was the next day that Greenlaw come in there and cut them down. So then, then they didn't have any more trouble about losing cattle. One bunch of cattle was lost to the Indians. Then the Indians began to work this way, where they had the fight and they killed a bunch of them. You have got the records of that haven't you? That was a true story. Then, he brought them up to the Bill Bailey ranch.

You do not remember where that was, but you can find out when that Indian war was there. That would give you the date.

(What kind of cattle did he bring in?)

  1. SHEEHAN: All Spanish cattle.

(Have you any idea, how many cattle he brought in with him? Do you have any rough idea?)

  1. SHEEHAN: There was probably two or three thousand. When he bought cattle, he would buy a man's bunch. He wouldn't buy a hundred head. If it wasn't two or three thousand head, he would take the whole bunch.

 (He [Bailey] was never married?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Oh yes: He married one of the McGee girls that lived on that ranch where Wayne Wightman lives.

(Do you know Ira Pierson?)

  1. SHEEHAN: His mother was one of the McGee girls. She was living here only a short time ago.

MRS. SHEEHAN: "She was living here only a short time ago. They had a party for her. She was 94 years old. that was about my mother's age."

(Was this at the Big Dobey?)

No, that was the buckeroo camp. In fact, there was two houses. One was used as a kitchen, a one room dobey house.

(What was called the big dobey?)

It was a big house, a two story house.

MRS. SHEEHAN: "That is where we lived when we first came to this country. We used to live there, up stairs, until dad got his place fixed on our ranch, and we went over there. That house is all gone to pieces."

(Do you know if anyone has any pictures?)

No. I was gone 10 years and when I come back and went down to see him, they had practically deserted that place and the house was all torn down.

(Senora? Was that the place where you were? Do you know, how much--Do you know what he paid for the other cattle that he brought down from Oregon?)

Ten dollars a head and the claves thrown in. Some of them was big enough for work oxen-that they used to work up in Lake Tahoe--in the woods--Ox teams.

(Who did they get them from up there?)

From different ones, from Johnday river in Oregon and any cattle man, who had cattle. He had another cattle ranch--him and George Mapes. That is George Mapes Grandfather. They had a ranch in Werner Valley. They run cattle there.               

Well, the old man might go up there on Werner river [ed- John Day River?] and by 1000 and 1500 hed and drive them down to this ranch. There was where we would gather them cattle to bring them down here. The second bunch, we brought down was 1500--and the next time 1650. Then he didn't get them all. So he wrote and told the foreman to have them gathered, and we would be up there at such and such a time. When the time come, we wasn't there. It was near the time, the old man sent me up there and the buckeroos to help bring them back and when we got there we were nearly a month behind. He got tired of holding them and turned them lose. So, he had to gather them again.

(Those weren't Spanish cattle?)

Oh no! They were American [Shorthorn] cattle. They were some of the first good cattle, he had on the ranch. Bailey brought them Spanish cattle from Texas. He made three drives from Texas. Bailey, himself, brought them cattle into Owens Valley.

[Start of reel 4, switch to reel 3 was not notated.]

(I have a lot of questions in my book. you can answer, "Yes" or "No" on this. Was Coates Station and Hooten Wells the same.)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well, I can't answer that. In my time Hooten Wells was all desert.

MRS. SHEEHAN: My mother was there.

  1. SHEEHAN: When that road was closed, Hooten Wells was deserted. There was nobody there for years and years.

MRS. SHEEHAN: It was there when my mother was there.

(Do you know whether it was called Desert Station?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. I don't think so.

(Do you know anything about this man—Coates?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No.

(have you heard about Murphy's Station?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well now, there used to be a Murphy's Station on the Belville and Candelaria road down there and possibly that Was it--for that was Murphy's Station.

(Do you know where it was?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well now, I couldn't tell you for sure until I stopped and think. Now Murphy's Station was by--it seems to me now that it was between Salt Wells and Dead-horse.

(Did you ever hear of Salines?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. That is Spanish.

(Do you know anything about Soldiers' Springs?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. Are these supposed to be on that road?

(These are places in Churchill County.)

That takes in some territory.

(Do you know anything about the Willows, run by William Pitt? Do you know anybody by that name?)

Pitt, Now let's see. You say about four miles above Rag Town? It was a long time before my time.

(Do you know anything about James and Harvey Hughes? These are older, but I thought some of them might have been there when you were there.)


(And does the name George Brown, four miles above Fort Churchill mean anything to you?)

George Brown, 3 miles above Fort Churchill--there was one on Old River. This is the only George Brown, I knew in that country.

(I wonder if it is the same George Brown?)

There was no ranch 3 miles above Fort Churchill. You have been over that road, but you know where Fort Churchill is, and you know where the Howard ranch was. This is the first big ranch up above. That is the only ranch I know in that territory'

(Some where above Fort Churchill there is a bog stone house. Who built it? A two story stone masonry with smooth stone walls?)

That was made later. I understand, it was a millionaire that come in there and bought up a lot of that.

(This is earlier, this is a lot earlier than the millionaire.)

You say a two-story stone house? I don't…..        

(How about John Smith? My notes were saying it was later known as Cooneys?)

It was the Cooney Ranch.

(Cooney was there when you lived there?)

Oh Yes. He had it for years.

(I was wondering if they were still calling anything the Half-way House?)

No. There could be such a place as that.

 (Do you know anything about James Quick?)


(There was a Newman's that you were telling me about, was that Andrew Newman?)

Yes. That was one of the boys. The boys’ names were Andre, Jim and Johnny.

(And the old man's name was what?)

The old man was dead. I never knew him. Their mother’s was there with them and his name was Riley Huffman. That was on the Newman Ranch and he was interested in that.            

(I had a note and found some reference about Andrew Newman, who operated a state station at Hooten. Was he old enough to be operating a station?)

Oh No. That must have been his father. That was long before, it may have been that was his father's name and operated that Hooten stage station for a while.

(You say his father was one of these early timers?)

Like Sam Buckland. He was the man that opened that ranch there. He was one of the early settlers up in that territory, that stayed there. Of course, now years before, when that road was by Hooten Wells, they would have to come into the Buckland ranch and then up the river. That was the way the camels came--on that road. You have heard about Gates. Yes. Well, Willard Gates married one of the Newman girls. You have head me tell you about that Gate's Ranch down below there.

(My notes say west of Desert Wells.)

 The Gate's place was there on the river.

(Then there was Mansosoho run the Half-way house?)

 I don't know anything about that.

(It was in 1863 in the Journal, but I was wondering, if they were still calling anything the Half-way House?)

No. There could be such a place as that.

(What about Reid?)

I don't know Reid--nothing about Reid.

(Was anybody living at Fort Churchill when you were there?)

No, it was deserted there then.

(I had some reference to the store. I was wondering if anyone was selling there then.)

No, there was nothing in my time.

(Do you remember saying something about swimming across the river and buying your lunch?)

  1. SHEEHAN: That come to me that night when you were over here. That name of that station was Clifton. Where I swam the river. They called it the Clifton. That was on the road to Mason Valley.

(Where the people named Clifton?)

I don't know. It was just called Clifton.

(I know where Clifton is, and did you ever hear of McKeibys?)


(These are Journal of old times, the 1860's)

Everything I told you about them ranches is correct and you can just look in the records and see.

(Now one of the things I would like to have you tell me—What did some of those ranch houses look like. Were they rock or adobe?)

Those at Fort Churchill  

(No, those on the way out?)

No they was all lumber. Lem's house was adobe.

(Did they cut the lumber?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No, it was all hauled in. In them days, lumber wasn't very high. When I was working for Bailey, he would order a car-load of lumber and I would go in and get it. It would cost him only ten dollars a thousand board feet.

[Start of reel 5]

Sink Station or Allen Station

There used to be some terrible characters go through there. Then she told me about the camel trains. Then she told me about the Watts. Some of them live out at Austin now. He came there with a band of sheep and she said that was the first white man. He was a stranger and really looked all right. And he proved to be such a wonderful, man.

And when the Indians came-- There was two young Indians. They came one day and mother was up to Uncle Lem's. His wife was sick, and her father was working out on the road. That was what he did to keep the road a goin’. These Indians rode up and wanted a drink. She was so frightened, she didn't know how she could do anything. one of them opened the door and said, "You needn't be afraid lady. We won't hurt you." And she said he spoke such good English, she couldn't believe it. I will tell you, who he turned out to be,--Jack Allen! And he has sons and grandsons out there at Fallon. Any of them Indians, whose names is Alien is a decedent. And she said, then he went up to work for my uncle. he wanted to know if there was any work around there. Uncle Lem said, "Yes" She never remembered who the other one was. The other Indian. And he went up there to work and took the name of Allen. And he got married in Virginia City--the first Indian to be married by a priest in Virginia City. He raised that family there. Oh, I don't remember he had 6 or 8 kids.

And so, and then she said for pastime she had a little boat and she had a big dog. She said that dog would swim right out in the lake--right along the side of her. He wouldn't try to get in the boat or anything. One time she rowed clear across that lake and back again and her folks didn't like for her to do it. Well, she said, "My dog will bring me to safety." Then soon after that, well then Uncle Lem bought the ranch where he lived until he retired and then grandpa and Grandma Allen moved up there and they lived together. And there is where she met my dad. He was Bill Bailey's brother. He was working for him as a riding man. That was before Jack went down there. He came when we were in California. Mother and dad went to California, and we were born in California. So we are Californians, not Nevadans. My grand dad, my mother's father took care of that road.

(Who was using the road?)

Oh yes, that was before they got to using this other road, so much, and they had two different routes when they came from Austin. It was where George Watts belonged--in Austin.


Around back of the lake where grandpa lived. Yes, that was the first road put in there. That is where they traveled and that was where they had the camels. That was the road that the camels worked on from Sand Springs. They went on the south side of the lake and they crossed by Hooten Wells and they hit the Buckland ranch. They were hitting--in going to Virginia City with the salt.

(What did they call that road? Did they call it the Competition?)

I never heard of it.

(Did they call it the Simpson road?)

No. I have heard mother tell what that road was. Wasn't it the old Immigrant road? I think that was what they called the old immigrant road.

(The immigrant road was supposed to come across this way.)

  1. SHEEHAN: That was the one that came down the Humboldt, and they called that the immigrant road too.

(I have never found a good name. I have heard it called many names, but I don't know what they called it at that time.)

Since then, some of the roads had no names just the immigrant road and they would tell them just what point you were going.

I know they used to call that Allen's station where grandpa and grandma lived--that is the Wild Cat.

(When was it named Wild Cat?)

After they left.

  1. SHEEHAN: That road wasn't used and hadn't been used and hadn't been used for a long time after I went there. Now the main road was from here. [Wadsworth] Now Wadsworth was the feed town for all them towns like Austin, Zone, Belville and Cendelaire--Columbus. All that Freight came to this town--when the town used be across the river there. The old town used to be across the river. All that stuff was hauled by big teams-16, 18 as well as 24 mule teams going to them camps. Some of them teams would go to Belville and two and three teams would go to Columbus, another would be for Candelaire, another for White Pine, another for Belmount, another for Austin. That was the main road from here going east.

(The one going past Allen's station—was the road for all this?)

No. That was the old road. This road went from here to Hazen. Hazen was off to the right. It want where they called the Wells. They went there where the first water was. That was called the Wells. The next station was called Rag Town. The next station was Pap McGees-- that was down below Allens, where Wayne Wightman lives. The next station was Grimes and from there on out there would be stations every 20 or 25 miles.

(Can you tell me where the well is close to, I have never been able to find it?)

Well that well is from where the old town is. The old town [Hazen]--she was off west about three quarters of a mile from the old town from where the road is--that used to be the old town. It is off there. The highway is to the right of the old well. No, it would be to the south-west. The well is off to the south. The well is off to the left.

(Which way are you going?)

Going towards Fallon. That would be to the west on the east side. It would be off to the left about three quarters of a mile from the old town of Hazen. off to the left. That would be about a half mile from the highway, as I can judge now, from the highway over to the old Well. It was to Fallon from old Hazen. Why sure, towards Fallon towards Ragtown. Ragtown was the first water until you come to the well from the well in here.

(I have heard of the well, but I haven't been able to locate it.)

Well there it is.

(It was called just the "Well?)"

There was a little station there. Bob Shirley run the station and a saloon there for a little while and then he went to Fallon, Bob Shirley was his name. Bob Shirley used to be sheriff. You probably read about him when you were kids. There is a story that-

(When your mother was living out there at Allen's Station, did you really have trouble with the Indians? Did they hide from them?)

They didn't have any trouble at all. No.

MRS. SHEEHAN: There was some old Indians who came along, some old men and they went out on the lake shooting ducks and they brought them some ducks and they went there after that time, the young Indians came there that time. Everything was all nice and then the others ventured out. Mother said they were very peaceful. They didn't hurt anything. They didn't have any trouble with them at all.

(Did she tell you how far the water was from the house? Where the well was?)

Why their house was right along by the lake and they used the water that run near the house like a slough and they drank it. Now I have another story to tell you.

MRS. SHEEHAN: They drank that water. My uncle and aunt was there at that time. They were living on their place, but that was before they bought their old home. She went down to the slough and got a drink and it was late and she thinks, she must have swallowed a little bunch of snakes. As much as 30 years afterwards, every once in a while she would get very sick, deathly sick. Mother would say, she thought she was going to die. And then Doc Bemmis. Old Doc Bemis was an old quack of a doctor out there. They called him and he laid his hand on her stomach. He said, "Lem, I will tell you. There is something that is making her so sick. I um going to give a little strychnine." And he said, "If there is, it will kill whatever it is and it will pass and we will see what it is. But, I am not going to give her enough to kill her. He gave her some every hour and she passed the snakes. One of them was about this long. I remember my mother was there for a long time and she didn't think she would live. And she passed three snakes.

(What kind?)

MRS. SHEEHAN: Water snakes. She never could imagine where she got them and she finally got to talking to mother. Mary she said, I think I know, I took a drink one night, I had a dipper and dipped up some water and took a drink and something got into my tnrcNat, like straws and I tried to cough it up and spit it out and I couldn’t And she said, that was when I swallowed them snakes. They were just little snakes and they kept growing up. She had a family of six children after she swallowed those snakes. They lost their first three children, after they came out here. That is the Allen Girl's mother—mother of Daisy and Bess. The girls wouldn't talk about it. But their sister, who lives in sparks, Mrs. Proctor and her sister and especially ma, we talked about it. I don't see anything disgraceful about it.

  1. SHEEHAN: I should say not."


"It was only an accident in the first place." That old doctor saved her life.

Did anybody tell you about Dr. Bemis and his wife living out there in that school house


You never heard about it. By Gosh, There is a lot of things you should have…

(and he chuckles.)(I have so much enjoyed this evening.)

MRS. SHEEHAN: My sisters, like Daisy, would say, "Oh hell, What is the use of telling about those old things. I says, "Don't you like to think about them." Now here, I don't have anybody to talk to. Now, when I would go out there, I would bring up one thing and another to the girls. I said, "I like to talk about those old times and what we did and all.

(The reason I like It so much is that I know every inch of the ground in Churchill County. I nave pictures of what is left of the old station. The beautifully made walls out there. There must have been an Adobe house, some rock houses and some small shads--they probably kept saddles in them. Those were right close to the corrals. They must have had some cellars.)

They did, they had an awful storm there once, and they went into the cellar.

  1. SHEEHAN: There ain't an old person in Fallon that could give you any information. Ira Kent and me, I think come there the same year. I think, I was there a year a head of him. Kent and someone else came about the same time.

(Old man Smart came about that time.)

Oh no! Not for a long time after that Gallic Ferguson came there before that. She was a teacher.

MRS. SHEEHAN: “I went my second term of school to her. She was my teacher. I went to Oellie Ferguson. Vet Smart didn’t come there until after she was married. She taught there for another year and was married. She married John Ferguson. Old man Smart came down. He was a blacksmith. Then Vet, and Cora, and Frances.

  1. SHEEHAN: They had some fine old men out there too.

(They had to be fine to live out there and make a go of it.)

MRS. SHEEHAN: They were the finest men you ever seen. Their word was just as good as a 20 dollar gold-piece. if they promised a certain amount of money on such and such a day, you bet your boots, you got it. And if they didn't, they were there to tell you why you didn’t, but now days in this younger generation what are they?

[Start of reel 6]

Sheehans and Ferretti

(Where did the road go?)

  1. SHEEHAN: It was hardly in existence by 69. Well, they go to Genoa, to Colville. Colville was one of the big mining camps in Nevada. You had to go through Dayton. in the early days. They went that road and headed up through Como. They bad to go through Dayton to get to Carson. Coleville was the county seat. It was the oldest mining camp in Nevada.

Coleville was the county seat?)

(Colville was the county seat of Lyons County.

(Well I didn't know that.)

And John can tell you about that.

JOHN FERRETTI: What I know about that? I know people then that moved to Dayton--From Dayton to Yerington.

(One thing that I want to ask you. I have a whole bunch of notes here, they are dislocated here, but the first one, I find here is about Mrs. Murphy. Did she have any children?)

  1. SHEEHAN: They didn't have any children.

FERRETTI: They didn't have no children? They lived at Dead-horse wells. I knew her. She has two daughters here. Yes, that was where she was from. They owned the "Springs."

  1. SHEEHAN: Now in the early days, when the teams were there, he run Dead-horse wells. I didn’t know he had any daughters.

FERRETTI: he had two: He didn't want to live there. Then he came to Fallon.

FERRETTI: We used to go down there and pump water for them. Me and Adolph Miller, we used. to go down there in the evening and pump water from the deep well. She couldn't do it.

(Is that the same Mrs. murphy?)

All: Yes, the same one.

(Then I wanted to know from you, if you knew J. C. Scott?)

Who? No--

 [Ed- J.C. Scott, probably an old mining man who lived in Dayton and was interested in the Como mines, at Como.]

(Anybody by the name of Allison Redman, and do you know of such a name?)


(You might. I don't know whether there was a man or woman-- they had a toll bridge out at Grime’s. Does that mean anything to you now?)

At St. Claire? There was two bridges at Grimes's, but I don't know anything--but here and Grimes's.

(What was Hills' real name?)

  1. SHEEHAN: His name was Bill.

MRS. SHEEHAN: There wasn't even a Bill Grimes.

  1. SHEEHAN: Oh yes, there is a Bill Grimes. No Listen! No, Hill I mean.

(You mean Hill?)

MRS. SHEEHAN: That wasn't Hill's real name. They were German, I heard mother tell that wasn't their real name. This is what they went by.

  1. SHEEHAN: That is what you would have to call them is Bill Hill, because that was all that anybody knew him by.

MRS. SHEEHAN:  Mother and his wife were great friends. They went back to Germany and died there.

  1. SHEEHAN: She was shot by a Chinaman--you know. They thought, she wouldn't live for a long time. Then he shot himself. Mother was in California at that time. It was after she was married. She [mother] was so worried about it. She could never look at a Chinaman after that. That is, who it was Mrs. Hill. I remember now, I heard mother say, Bill hill had changed his name because, he didn't want that old German name. And that is what you would have to call him because that was what it was.

(Now some of these questions? I will ask these questions before you come so that we would have this out of the way. Who was the first teacher in this valley?)

  1. SHEEHAN: The first teacher, I know of, was W. H. A. Pike.

(Was he before Allen?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Before Allen: Young Lem Allen: No? no! He never taught school. No! No! Sure Not! Pike, I say, Pike was the first teacher. The first school was in Churchill County, that I know of was right there where that church was. Now, that there, was called the Churchill County Institute. That was the only school in the county. I went there myself. The first toucher was W. H. A. Pike--that was judge over there in the Sinks.

(Do you know a man by the name of Sam Springs?)



(And do you know if there is a cemetery on the McGee place)

On the McGee place? Yes.

(Who is buried there?)

Everybody was buried there at that time. I couldn’t tell you.

MRS. SHEEHAN:  Cranston Wasn't! He is buried at where the church was, in that Adventist cemetery. At this one, [McGee place] some of the Wightman children are buried there.

[Ed- this is not true. The Wightman children are all buried at the old Dave Wightman Place]

MRS. SHEEHAN:  I heard mother tell about different ones that left, that went over to Fergusons.

(Over to the Ferguson place?)

MRS. SHEEHAN:  Jack Ferguson. Arnie McIntosh lives there and there is a cemetery out there in that field. I know a lot of people buried there. The Trolsons are buried there. And the Kenyons are buried there. Kenyon and his son and daughter from Rag Town. Asa Kenyon--Tom Kenyon's father.

  1. SHEEHAN: I knew him.

(You knew my uncle then,--Jim McLaughlin?)

I wish I could get to talk with him.

(It was Tom Kenyon--Asa Kenyon's son?)


(I thought he was a much younger brother.)

No, he was the oldest of the family. Ha was related to Harry Sheline. I think, he was, because he went ahead with the work on the place. He [Tom] is old than I. We went to school together there.

(Tom Kenyon and you went to school there?)


(Ha is a lot older than you.)

Yes, he is a lot older. Well, he was only 10 years, Yes, we went to school together--in fact, I used to live with his folks,

MRS. SHEEHAN to MR. SHEEHAN: You and Maggie were about the same age, Tom's half-sister. Mrs. Pike was a half-sister—and Mrs. Summers.

(Well, we discovered that there was another graveyard by-Do you know whether it was the Sagouspi place?)

Sagouspi? Wightman's ranch? Wingfield place?


 George Millers--

 (North of town—way up north.)

I don't know that.

(He sure lived there a long time—years.)

  1. SHEEHAN: Where? On Old River?


Old Ried had the last one down there.

  1. SHEEHAN: He had the next one.
  2. SHEEHAN: That is the George Richardson place. G. W. Bensoll was there for a long time--he got it afterwards. When I went out there, there was only two ranches on Old River. That was the three Browns and George Richardson. They had a place down there.

(Now, where is Laura Brendan buried?)

  1. SHEEHAN: That was when I was gone.

MRS. SHEEHAN:  I remember, when I was just a little kid. I don't know where they buried her. I remember, we went down there and they buried her. They have got it all fenced in—with a head stone.

(just one buried there?)

MRS. SHEEHAN:  She was just a young child. She was only 14 or 15 years old. That Beldon was her sister.

(As far as you know, that is the only person that is buried down there in that grave yard.)

MRS. SHEEHAN:  The only one, I ever know of. Now, down there at Stillwater, there is a little one.

  1. SHEEHAN: If she was buried there, one of Lyman Brown's boys is buried there. He had the next ranch there. The boy was going to school up there with us. The old man would bring him up, and come up there on Friday afternoon and get him home. And on Sunday afternoon, they would bring him back. He was coming up there one day, and he didn't have no bed on the wagon. The boy was sitting in there behind, monkeying around--coming up. He fell off and a hind wheel run over him and killed him. That was one of Lyman Brown's boys.

(You say, How do you spell Lyman?)

L-y-m-a-n. Oh, they always culled him Lyons. There was three brothers, George had the first ranch, Lyman had the middle ranch, and John had the last one. They all joined on. They all had three ranches. Lyman had the low ranch--and it was the only ranch clown there.

(He had the Brandon Ranch?)

  1. SHEEHAN: That was the George Brown ranch.

MRS. SHEEHAN: You heard Bill tell. about that. He had been here with them sheep, and he had been out there, and he and dad there put the headstone down there on Laura’s grave. And I said, why don’t you move her body?" No. He said, he thought, they would just leave it alone. And he said, that they had a fence around it.

(Are there any other graves? Do you know of any graveyards around?)

MRS. SHEEHAN:  They had a little one at Stillwater. There wasn't many buried there--but a few. Dutch Bill had two or three babies buried down there and the Murphies--Bill Murphy.

FERRETTI: There used to be a graveyard on the old Moore Ranch in Dayton.

  1. SHEEHAN: Oh. Yes.

FERRETTI:  They leveled it off. I can remember that.

MRS. SHEEHAN: And the Wightman ranch graveyard. It was on a sand hill. It was out in a field. There must be six or eight graves there.



(Yarbrough place)

MRS. SHEEHAN: Wightman's have three there. Down where Ray Downs lived. That old Wightman ranch. MeGee was Wayne’s great grandfather. His grandfather was a Wightman and his grandmother was a McGee. And there is a little cemetery dawn there on the Wightman ranch. I think the three children, and Birdie, and the little boy that was drowned--and one or two children. They were all of our generation, but I know they had the cemetery. I have been there. I don't know--there is other children buried there. The Murphies had one or two buried there. The Murphies was old lady Wightman's sister's family in Stillwater. Not this family of Murphy's that we have boon talking about, but another family. He held an office down at Stillwater. They were all related by Wightman's.

(The name, I was trying to think about a few minutes ago was Summers.)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well Summers had a ranch between Rag Town and Dutch Henry's [ed – is Dutch Henry Henry Theelan?]. Well now, I will tell you where Summer's place is. It is where Richardson's had that service station.

(So that is it.) [Ed- Oar Place, Bill Bell in the 1950s]

You hear that. Well, they were Germans and I don't know what the old man's name was.

(What was her name?)

MRS. SHEEHAN: Wasn't Elizabeth was it?

  1. SHEEHAN: They owned that ground.

(Now, here is another name, I want to know about? Centerville?) [Ed- 4 miles above Ragtown]

  1. SHEEHAN: No.

(This would be about 1-1/2 miles west of Dutch Henry's? seems almost like the same place?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Didn't Higgins live there?
  2. SHEEHAN: Now, Summer's had that place. They couldn't make a living on it. And a man by the name of John Higgins got that place. They afterwards moved down to Stillwater. The Summers moved down there, to about 1-1/2 miles south of Dutch Henry's place,--another of the Allen places. They had the place rented there for three years. They sold that place to Ferguson.

(Now here is another question. You remember when you were a little boy. You went to Cold Springs? You said something about Kellog?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Yes.

(Where was Kellog’s?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Now, I couldn't just exactly tell you where he lived. Have you ever been over that road? There is two hill loads. Now just before you start to go over New Pass, there is a road turning off and going west. Danielson end Williams places.

(I know where Alpine is.)

  1. SHEEHAN: And right there at the end of Cherry Creek. Danielson. Charles Danielson, in the post office, his dad had a place out there. And the Williams had a place at Alpine. In that country Kellog was an old miner, and he was the man that turned them horses loose. Yes. He was the man that had the first big bunch of mustangs in the State of Nevada. And that is what John Luce and me was going out there for. John wanted him to lease them horses to him. I can't give you the exact location. He had a little ranch there. We went out there, and he, sometime before that had told John that he would give him a lease on the horses. And when we went out there he just leased them to a feller. So we couldn't get the lease. That was the only time I was there. Old man Kellog he was an old miner. You have heard of him, John.

FERRETTI:  There was a feller by the name of Kellog on the ranch in the early days. it is there on the map.

(There is another question--when the Allens came West, did they go up and work at Buckland's?)

MRS. SHEEHAN: had a brother, one of my uncles was up there--some place near Buckland's. And I have heard mother tell that too.

(They are trying to find out the Frenchman’s name for whom the Allens worked)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well there was nothing up there only ranches near Bucklund's and I know them all. And that was-

(Did they give you any name at all?)

It wasn't Boyer?

(All they said was… or Carlin. What was the Frenchman’s name near Buckland's?)

  1. SHEEHAN: They might have called them Boyer's?

MRS. SHEEHAN: You see Jack, when the folks came out here before. That was the year you were born. He might have been up there a little while and left. My uncle Joe did, because he later came into Wadsworth and started a shoeshop.

  1. SHEEHAN: That ranch down below that joined on to Buckland's ranch. Just where she makes the turn going down to the Toyland place.

FERRETTI:  Yes, I know. That was Boyer's. A feller afterwards had it. You might remember by the name of Whitehead moved in there. Whitehead worked that- No.

  1. SHEEHAN: That was the only Frenchmen and that wasn't a French name. They might have referred to him, John?

(I will write that down with a question mark after it.) (What I want to know is the name of the town in Werner Valley, where you got those cattle. It that the same as Mollier?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No. That is a different county altogether. Where we got the cattle was in Werner Valley is about 40 miles north of Fort Bidwell.

(Fort Bidwell?)

  1. SHEEHAN: That Is up at the head of Surprise Valley.

(Well they are talking about the first cattle coming into this place called Mollier. I don't know where it is?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No! But, there is a Mollier county up there.

(Yes. There is ,where you got them?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Mollier is not a town.

(That is not where you got the cattle?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Where I got the cattle, was in Werner Valley Grant County.

(That settles a good argument. I thought that was different, but I did not know. That is fine. Just fine. Can either of you fellers tell me about Fort Sage?)

Fort Sage? Where is Fort Sage?

(It would be going up through Red Rock, going into Long Valley--I believe.)

Oh, up in that country! Oh!

(They spoke about the Fort Sage Country, when they would go up in that area. I know there is a Fort Sage, but I have forgotten.) [Ed – Fort Sage was on a the only high butte in Long Valley after leaving Pyramid Luke. North end of the valley. It can be seen for miles.]

  1. SHEEHAN: Every man had-would have to ride a colt in the morning. Two Green horses. They would give every man a number of horses and colts, they would have to break. So, we got up there to Smoke Creek and camped there early int he morning--and a feller had to ride. I told the feller, "You catch that sorrel mare there. You ride her this morning. We might as well start in now." So he did. He caught her. I didn't think she would buck much. After they, had caught them. Well, I stayed there to help these fellers with the green horses. They got on this horse and this mere started to run and buck--and stepped into a gopher hole--and fell. And when she got up, she was lame. I could see she was lame and wouldn't do to ride. So, I got another horse for this fellow, and turned her lose. We turned her lose, and went into a place called Duck Lake


  1. SHEEHAN: Up north. Surprise Valley. Do you know what they called Duck Lake out there?


  1. SHEEHAN: Duck lake Ranch. We went over there that day. And the next morning, when we went after the horses, she was still lame. So I said, "I don't want to take this mare any farther. She is still lame. I will leave her until I come back, and, when I come back, I will pick her up. He said, "Alright." So, I left her there, and went to Oregon and get the cattle and came back with the cattle. When we got there, the mare was just as lame as the day I left her. I didn't think she was going to get over it. So, I said to this feller, "here, that mare is still lame, I will give her to you." "I won't take her home," "She is no good to me." So we came down here. We had to camp at Ragtown overnight. We drove and made a dry camp on the other side of Fernley, and the next day we went to Ragtown. And so when the horses wore in there, I had a man take a saddle horse to go ahead with the horses. And he [Asa Kenyon] Came out to look for his mare and his mare wasn't there. I was behind with the cattle. When I got there Asa cone out there and chatted. he said, "Where is my mare, Johnny. I happened to tell him that I was sorry about what had happened to her. And he never said anything. He was one of these fellens, when he got mad, he didn't side in like anybody else and tell you what he thought about it--or cuss or something, like that. But, he would just stand thare and laugh. I knew him so well. So, I thought. "Old boy you are not putting anything over on me--I know you too damn well." I said, "You are not, but you dare not say anything for I will make it damned interesting for you if you do." So he didn't say anything.
  2. SHEEHAN: One day there was some fellers in there and they got to talking about me. And they got to telling what I was doing and what kind of a feller I was. And old Asa was there and he was taking it all in. Well, he said, "I used to think a whole lot of Johnny, but he stole a horse from me." He thought, I had got away with his old mare. It, used to be comical, the set-toos they had.

(How long did you live with him?)

  1. SHEEHAN: well, I lived with him until I started to go to school. And then, I went down there end went to boarding school. And that is how I lived with him.

(That was after you lived with Luce?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Yes! Sure! Luce is the first feller I lived with. And you know where that ranch is. That was part of the William's ranch. Right over from Johnny Oats. Right straight over--toward the river. That was the first ranch that was on Old River.
  2. SHEEHAN: But now old Asa Kenyon,--I will tell you this much about him. You know that Overland Road came through Rag Town. And they called that the 40 mile Desert across from the sink of the Humboldt to the Carson River. When they crossed that desert, there was no water and the cattle would be poor and thin. Any how they hit that water and they would stay there and rest. That was the reason they called Ragtown, Ragtown--was on account of all these tents of the immigrants, when they were comin in. When they come in there to Rag Town,--they started up the Carson River to California or wherever they were going. And that is how they-- Lots of times, a feller comin across there--some had Oxen, some had horses, some had mules. Just according to what they had when they were coming from the East. And their stock would be pretty thin. And he had a bunch of of hide-binders there. Well, Asa had a bunch of men. Well, they was just nothin, but cut throats. Sometimes, the fellers comma in there had a good bunch of horses and mules. They would turn them out there on the river, and during the night let them run there a day or two. Maybe, he would get around and find out how long they were going to stay there. These fellers would go out there some nights. Rustlers. And they would run them off in the sand hills up above there. Or, run them off this way towards Soda Lake and through there. The fellers would come out in the morning and couldn't find their horses. After two or three days, he would finally go to Asa and tell him that they couldn't find them. And Asa would say, "Well, what will you give me to send some men out and see if I can't find them for you?” “Well, I will-“ he would set the price 200 dollars--500 dollars. He would find out how much money they had and if they would agree, they would go out and run them in and the next morning, they had their horses. So then, they had that station there. That is one way. And the same way with cattle. They would take them cattle and run them off in the hills there. And they couldn't find the cattle-- and they would give so much to go and look for them and they would bring them in. They had that station there and a fellow would come along. Lots of times going east to some of those mining camps like Peoehe, Austin and some of that Country. They would come along there and stop there. And if the feller would have a good saddle horse. Why: Is that recording?

(Yes, I will shut it off if you want to.)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well, he would go up there and look at that horse. And, he would put on what they called a hair-brand. Take scissors and cut that hair and put that brand on like a “K”. Clip that there. They would put that "K" under the horse's mane. Well, the feller would get up in the morning. Pay his bill end start down the main road--Then, to Austin was down by Stillwater. He would let that feller get down the road four or five miles. The old Asa had a couple of his men stop him---overtake him, and stop him and say, "Here, you have one of my horses. This horse was stolen from me. And I see you have got him, and I want him." And the feller would say, "Well no, this horse don't belong to you." And Asa would say, "Well my iron is on him. So you did!" The feller would say, "Well, Let's see your iron." Well they would get out and raise the mane. "If that horse isn't branded with a "K" under the mane, it don't belong to me." They would raise the mane and there the “K" was. They would take the horse away from the feller. Well, the feller would see what kind of a bunch he was in and lots a times, they got away with it. Say but, that is the way they done. And the kind of a place it was. But a-- damned site worse than that.

(I guess, for a while, they cut the place completely out in their travels. I mean, they didn't even stop, when the overland trail ran through there. It got just an awfully bad reputation.)

  1. SHEEHAN: There was a lots of that. Some of the fellers that went through there, found out. Then fellers, around there, that had some of the ranches. There was only four miles to that Summer's place. Summers wouldn't tell you, if he was alive or not. And, these other fellers wouldn't tell you--Wouldn't knew anything. They kept their mouths shut. They got to keep quiet.

(Did some of these fellers around there start finding out about it?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Sure. After they got away from there, they would tell about what happened at Ragtown. Why they could just ask some of these other fellers and, tell these other fellers what had happened there. And they would not stop long. After they got by Ragtown--and up the river a little piece. These fellers dasn't dare to follow them.

(Where was Rag Town in comparison to the 49er road? Was it right there by the river or was it off just a little ways where the road ran into the river?)

The Orehouse? The old Ore's house?


Right there is where the station was.

(Was it up on the hill? On the high ground?)

Yes. It was up on the high ground.

(I didn't know that.)

That below. For in the high-water times, it would come up pretty close to there. When the river was running high in the spring of the year.

(Was all of Ragtown on the high ground then?)

Was what? Yes. There was nothing there: but a warehouse--there was the station. That was where the folks lived and where they cooked and eat. Asa had a blacksmith shop, and they had a barn and cellar house. That was all of Ragtown. The immigrants would stop and put their tents up. That is why they called it Ragtown. Where is John? he has been sitting here and hasn't said a word.

(Do you know where the next station would be?)

It was farther north, toward Dayton.

(It was there—lots of it.)

No. No. Just some old rocks.

  1. SHEEHAN: John [Ferretti] What was that well between Stockton and Virginia City?

FERRETTI:  There used to be a well there besides.

(It is still there?)

No. It was along side the road.

(Yes) (It was along side the road, but the well isn't there.)

The well ain't there?


Well then--

(Well, this old Stockton Station had a very beautiful well all lined with rock.)

FERRETTI:  It had two wells.

I Just knew there was one well?

(Well, where we was?)

There is two of them there. There was two wells about 150 feet apart.

(Where the house was?)

They put that house in and also water. The other was a little above the cabin.

(Did you put the house in?)


(The one I am talking about is the well where you laid the ties.)


(Did you cover it with ties?)

Yes. There is two of them. I can take you over there and walk right to it.

(Is the other one under the house now?)

No, the other ono is out in the open.

(Now, let's See, Johnny, was there some timber sticking up on it?)

No, they was both open and dangerous. If you drove through there in the night, they would have been, and they are.

(Well, the one that is covered with ties? Which way is the other one? East?

East from it about the same size, built up with rock. Same depth, same water

(Who did you say built the well?)

FERRETTI:  George Midgley was telling his mother was a cook.

(Who was it, George Midgely?)

FERRETTI:  His mother was cook and he was working there. He was telling about it.

  1. SHEEHAN: You tell John about that Soldier's Mine. That was about two or three Miles.

FERRETTI:  It would be west of Fort Churchill.

(Ft. Churchill?)

FERRETTI:  There is a tunnel and shaft that the soldiers put in there in the 60's.

(Did they strike anything at all, or whore they just fooling around?)

FERRETTI:  Just, fooling around. There was another fellow from Reno. He went in there end sunk down. But the old tunnel and shaft is still there.

(Now there is another thing I want to ask? You knew that real well, now at Quilesey Dam, there is some caves.)


(Now, when you go around to the west of the caves, there is a little ridge and there is some writing on the rocks.)

FERRETTI:  There is some writing down in the cave.

(No, those are Indian writings. These are Whiteman's writings.)

FERRETTI:  Have you been up there? Did you walk up there?

(I sure did! Now there is a date on these rocks and it is 1844. These are pictures. They must have been made by white people. They don't look like Indian writines.)

FERRETTI:  There is a picture of a man and a horse and some initials and the last initial is F. Have you ever run across that?

(Yes. Do you know what made those writings?)

FERRETTI:  I don't know. I can't find out. I used to go up there all the time. We would go up there and look for arrowheads. There was some nice ones up there.

(Up on the canyon?)

FERRETTI:  Upon on the hill. We used to go up there on horse-back. On the other side and go across. It was pretty hard climbing.

(I have climbed it--lots of times. Now there are some sticks stuck in those cracks and you can pull them out.)

FERRETTI:  We found arrowheads about that long, there, They gave them to the state. We found them in the rocks.

(You actually found arrow heads on them?)

FERRETTI:  We gave them to the state.

(Did you find any little ones?)

FERRETTI:  Yes. We used to go up there every Sunday afternoon to kill time.

(I camped there at Quilesey, about three weeks one time.)

FERRETTI:  Quilesey Dam? We put that in--1918. Have you been at Metter? They took half of it. If it rained, it was the worst flood. That soldiers mine is a good road.

(I don't mind it. I will go any place any car will go)

Have you ever been to Aurora?

(No I haven't.)

You ought to go up there.

(One of these days. I don't think my husband has been there. So one of these days, we will come by and pick you up.)

  1. SHEEHAN: John knows that country up there—Aurora and Bodie and that country.

(Do you know anything about a high lake right by Aurora and Bodie? What kind of fish are they?)


(Remember, they are not Pyramid-lake trout?)

No. Ho.

(I have been wondering if they would be blended?)

FERRETTI:  I guess so. They are from high up in the mountains.

Do you know where Slingo is? Cole Valley? Have you been there


By the basin. Slingo valley by Cole Springs. Ten miles west. We worked there and we used to ride right up to the top of that hill. Way up there. There would be a small stream there. There would be trout swimming around. How they got there, I don't know. That place up there is an old well isn’t it? There is water right on 50 on the Sacramento. He just sold that for 90 thousand dollars.

(That is Slingo valley you were talking about?)


(There wasn't a road in there?)

He put a road in. You ought to see the road. They don't go there with a car. That place up there, there is strawberries and rubarb, apple trees, lilacs from the early days. I was surprised to see it.


(Mr. Sheehan, we were talking about last night. Do you happen any who would have trees around Fallon, that is, more that 75 years old?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well, I will tell you, when I went there. There wasn't a tree outside of a few trees up on the Brown ranch. Around Fallon, there was no trees there at all. Now most of the big one are cut down. Now at Allens, the ones that was out there was put out there as posts. There wasn't a tree on New River. Not a single tree. Until them ranchers come in there. Now there was some at Jim Browns place and that was the only place on New River. So many of them are cut down there.

(We are going to try to find the oldest trees in the valley.)

MRS. SHEEHAN: Now that Hangman's tree was there. But it is burned down wasn't it? Yes, it was pulled up… That was quite interesting. My mother, soon after she came there, that was up to the Allen ranch, then that they had two up there. Well, Dick Bass has got it now. She said their names, because she remembered the incident and I have heard her tell about their Hanging. Hangman's tree.

(Do you know who it was that was hung there?)

Dad, who were they?

  1. SHEEHAN: That was in the early days too. I knew the circumstances, but I couldn't tell you now. I heard it lots and lots of times when I was a boy from old John Luce that I went out there with. He was an old teamster. And used to run teams over that road in the early days. And he knew everything that happened, but that was years ago.

And then you know there was a report about Indians getting in there and killing some of them fellers.

(Did you ever get that? Where?)

No. up above Rag Town

(Between Rag Town and the dam?)


(I heard a story about that above the dam.)

But this is, as far as I can make out, was up around Trolsons' place--four or five miles above Rag Town.

(You mean in the 60's?)

I don't remember what year it was in. But lot of the early day stories go on there. I didn't pay much attention.

The trouble is to get data, such us that, course the men that was telling them was men I didn't know. But them old timers-- I have heard them repeat these things time and time again. So I know them by heart. Not only that, but them fellers, I told you about, I knew every one of them. I could gamble, would be facts.

MRS. SHEEHAN: Talking about trees, Dad used to workup at that ranch, Wingfield place. When we come there--course we were at the adobe for a while. And we worked for Uncle Bill a while and then we homesteaded that ranch and he set out some posts. There ought to be some trees there about 70 years old--on that ranch unless they cut them all down. That would be them two ranches, the oldest would be the Bond ranch and the Bailey ranch. The three ranches were all together. William's Avenue. Right there. Jake Allen had the Oats place. And my other uncle, by the name of Bond, my mother's sister's husband.

(What was her name?)

MRS. SHEEHAN:  Kate Bond. And then Uncle Jake's wife's name was Kate on the Oats ranch. Oh my, there were some huge big trees all around the lane. And they were where the Williams lived. Cora Hursh, their daughter, lives there.


He sold out to Harmon. He sold the land that is now Fallon. That was when they started the Post Office. And that was where they got its name.

 (Was the first Post Office where Cora Hursh lives?)

It was on the corner where Della Williams had her papers. The printing office. And she sold that to the store. And there is a Federated Store there now?


Well, there was where I went, where Jim Richard's store was. Richard's had a store there and a Post Office. The town was named Jim Town. The Indians used to call it Jim Town. It was the first store put in there.

Fallon lived in that house where Cora Hursh lives. He was the one that started the Post Office, but he never had the Post Office in his house. It was put in Jim Richard's store. I have gone in there and sorted out mail for him many times.

He had a little store and Post Office.

(Richards, you say lived in the Bond house?)

Oh, I mean Fallon. On, Fallon owned that--Fallons' brother-in-law. Well, I knew him, but I can't remember him. Mike Fallon.

Ira Fallon married one of the Theelan Girls. Jess Bruner was Fallon's brother-in-law. That was Mrs. Fallon's brother.

FERRETTI:  I met him up there on the ranch. The old lady Fallon. He used to work in the Sunny Saloon. That was the only time I met him. He was a little club footed. He walked with a limp. I knew him years and years ago. He married George Cirac's sister [ed- sister in law] had three or four children. They told me that they had three. She died, but he is still alive. Jessie Bond, there, is Fallon's brother-in-law. There is a Fallon boy, that married kate Theelan, and moved over to Smith Valley. The other one Minnie Theelan married Fred Branch.

(It was the one that married the Theelan girl that started the Post Office?)

No. It was his Father.     

(No wonder, I couldn't Let it straight.)

Then he had two brothers--Frank and Lou. That is Ira Fallon had. And they all lived here except Ira. His [the father’s] name was Mike. He looked Irish too.

Mr. Sheehan, Hogs.

  1. SHEEHAN: Them wild hogs out there. They used to be a lot of tules out there. And there on that Douglas ranch, there was at one time 2500 head of hogs running there, and I helped catch 1000. Five hundred went to Virginia City, 25 went to Bodie, and 200 of them went to Belville. And I helped catch all the wild hogs.

FERRETTI:  I was taking care of Gates, and I caught three car loads.

  1. SHEEHAN: The first bunch of them hogs, they took to Virgina City. They caught them and put them in a corral there. They didn't know how they was going to make it. They caught a lot of them and sewed their eyes up. That is, they sewed them so they could see a little, but not too much. When they got them to driving, why, they would go all right, But you take one of them tule hogs, and when he started, that was the way. Or, when you let them out of a corral and started, them hogs would start in different directions, see. You couldn't turn a hog when he started.
  2. SHEEHAN: Then you take that horse. We was all on horseback. Two hogs started to run off aways from the main bunch--you run him there, but he would dodge right in behind your horse and away he would go. And the only way you could do, was to "las" that hog and take him back. Well, after you drive them for a half-day, then they will all stay together. See, you can head them off then, that way. When we first started, there is where we had the trouble. So all them fellows around there would get out and help us start them three or four miles and then get them again. A lot of them fellows wouldn't believe there, what you told them and how we caught them. Well, there was still some down there and you helped to catch them.

FERRETTI:  Three car loads.

(I have been down there so much and I am surprised that I have not found tusks,)

FERRETTI:  And Gene Howell and his brother-in-law.

  1. SHEEHAN: You take it now, it is all ranch country. But you take it when I was down there, It was nothing, but that house on the big island, where we lived and hundreds of acres of tules--patch after patch of tules, with sloughs and lakes running through them. We burned the tules every fall, as soon as they could dry, and the cattle got most of the grass out of them. We fired them and burned them all up.

MRS. SHEEHAN: My uncle [Bailey] owned all that place at that time. Dad would take us kids down there. We had to nearly swim on slough going across. We went around through the willows and then wind around tules all the rest of the way. All of us kids great then, you know--it was sport. We like to do around there. Dad used to take us down there lots of times to Uncle Bill's plane.

  1. SHEEHAN: On that place, there was two islands. The big island and the little island. On the big island was where our house was. And we cut 2500 tons of hay. Of wild hay on that ranch. Gosh, we went to work and cleared that off. And there was hundreds of acres of ground. Now it is all under cultivation.

(Was Grandma Sanford down there in the early days? When the 52 flood was there or did she live someplace else?)

MRS. SHEEHAN: Mother isn't here, I can't ask her.

FERRETTI:  I think the biggest flood was in 89.

MRS. SHEEHAN: Mrs. Sanford? No, I don't think so. If they were living in that part of the country, it would be up there along the stations. Her sister lived at that station first, before they ever went to Stillwater. Her name was Whitney. And I ought to remember the name she had. She had two of them. I heard her tell them, many a time. The Harmon kids would be able to know. I think Mage might be one of the nieces. She had a record of the family. Mother knew the brother and their sister along them different stations.

  1. SHEEHAN: Well you know, when I first went there, I was the first "Leppy" that was in that country. Course all of them fellows knew me. By gosh, they just 'treated me just the same as they would some of their own boys. Any of the places that I went, that was all there was to it.

(You were the only Leppy?)

  1. SHEEHAN: You know what a Leppy is?


  1. SHEEHAN: A calf without a mother.

MRS. SHEEHAN: He had a father and a step-mother, but he didn't like his step-mother so he left home.

  1. SHEEHAN: I run away from home, when I was only nine years old.

(Now did you get down there?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well, I will tell you how I got down there. I used have trouble with my step-mother. And a funny thing--and the old man would get after me. And when he wipped me, he would almost beat me to death. So, I got so that I would be afraid of him. Anytime, I thought I was going to get wipped, I wouldn't go home. I would stay out at night and I would sleep in an ore bin. Anywhere at all, where I could keep warm--keep from freezing to death. Sometimes, I would be out three or for days. The old man looking for me--and me dodging him. One day the boys come along. The old man sent me down town for something. I don't know what it was. And I got down town with the boys. I used to live up in Crown Point Ravine. And the boys said, "Let’s go down to the Slaughter House—that was down on the American flat. I said, "All right." I went to the American Flat with the boys and we got down there. I didn't go after this errand. And we got down there, three or four of us together. And they called us in for dinner. When we got back, I knew that I would get the whey knocked out of me, and I left home. I got to thinking about the matter and "well the old man will murder me if I go home. I will just get out of here." They used to run a train every hour out of Geld Hill--one up and one down. That night, I went down and slept under the Crown Point mill. The next morning there was a 6 o'clock train going to Carson. I went up and jumped on that train, and went to Carson. When I got to Carson, there was another one going to Reno and I jumped on that tram. And I went to Reno. And I got to Reno, along come another train going to 120 and I jumped on that train, and I landed in Truckee at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. That was pretty good traveling for a kid nine year's old, who didn't have any money and anything to eat.
  2. SHEEHAN: I got up to Truckee and started up the platform and I see a boy come toward me with a bootblack box on his shoulder. When I got up to him, He was a Gold Hill boy that had run away. I knew him well. His name was Tom Booth. He was tickled to death to see me. He said, when did you eat?" I said, "Yesterday noon." and he said, "Come on." And he took me over to a China Restaurant. We had a meal. So he goes to work and says, "I will get you some brushes and fix you up. Here is a bootblack box and you can black boots and get some money to eat. So he did. We stayed around Truckee for a while. Then, I jumped a train and went to Sacramento. I got down to Sacramento and stayed there for a while. Things didn't suit me, and I jumped on a train and went back to Truckee. I stayed in Truckee for a while and I thought; "Well, I had better get out of here.” I went and got on a freight train-- a load of lumber. I jumped on that and I went to sleep and when I woke up, I was across the river over here--Old Wadsworth. Wadsworth used to be across the river. I got up and looked around to gee where I was. I saw lots of teaming going out of there--teams. I went down town. Of course, I always was a horse man. Liked horses. We used to go over to the Corrals there. They used to have big feed yards and lots of teams there all the time--teams, in here loading, coming in and going out. And I got in with them teamsters. I helped them lead the horses to water, helped them feed, helped them get their hay and grain in there. And, by gosh, I just was getting along fine. Blacking their boots. In them days, all teamsters used to wear boots, you know. Good deal! Oiling their boots, used to be two-bits. They all had big boots. You had to oil them especially in the winter time, you know, black them boots. Instead of giving me a quarter, they would give me a half-dollar. There was a store-keeper there by the name of Jim Ferguson. He was my banker. I would pick the money up and give it to him, and he would keep it for me. Then there was a fellow there, by the name of Waters. I guess, you wouldn't know,--Waters died. Yes, he had a livery stable there, and he had a yard.
  3. SHEEHAN: This old rancher would come in there. Waters had an office there. This John Luce would come in there. I used to be around Waters a good deal. I seen, he was helping these fellows down there. So old John Luce come in there. He was there for a day or two and bought some horses. So old Water's said, John, why don't you take him out there. He will be company for you and a good boy and a good worker. John said, "I don't know about that. I don't know,--but I will-- I will see him and have a talk with him." So he got to talking to me and he wanted to know if I didn't mind going on the ranch. And I said, "I don't know." He said, "I will tell you what I will do." "If you will come and go out there and stay with me a year, I will give you a horse, saddle and bridle. That just hit me. I said, "Let's go." That is how I come to get out in the country. And I went out there and stayed with him for over a year. He had a bunch of horses. He had 40 or 50 head of horses. Nothing there that would suit me. And he said, "If you see any horse around this country that you would like. I will buy him. So, I run across a horse one time. And I said, "That is the horse, I would like to have." So, he bought the horse and giave me the horse. Then he sold that ranch. He sold the ranch to Lem Allen, and I stayed there quite a while.

[ED- Original transcript says “xxxx Repeated from page 6” Presumably pointing out that this is a retelling of the story from the section titled “Boyhood: returns home]

  1. SHEEHAN: There was a fellow, who used to live up there at Soda Lake. He got my pedigree and knew what my name was. He knew the old man at Gold Hill. So one day, he went to Gold Hill and asked the old man, if he had a boy down there on the sinks. And the old man said, "I got a boy somewhere, but I don't know where in the devil he is. We ain't heard from him for 18 months. He run away from here." "Well," this feller said, "He is down on the sinks." He said, I was stopping with Lem Allen then. And he said, "I come up here every now and then." My old man said, "You go and get him and talk to him. And bring him home here. And, I will pay you for bringing him." So, by-gosh,--the way things will come to a fellow. I was out there watering a horse. I saw a fellow drive up there to the old Allen place in a buggy and stop his team. I looked up at that fellow, and it just struck me that, he was after me. "Now, if he is after me," I thought. I had my horse and Saddle there. "If he was after me, I will give him a run for his money." Just as soon as I can get that horse saddled, I will get on that horse, and I will--and he won't catch me." I figured it out there while I was settin on that trough watching that fellow. Finally, that fellow drove down. His name was Stone. He asked me my name. I told him. He said, Where do you live?" I said, "I am living here." He said, “Where do your folks live?" I said, "At Gold Hill." Then, he up and tells me that he was talking with my old man. He said, "He sent me down after you." So, I was figuring what he would do. Now, I will wait until he gets away from me, and I will saddle that horse and I will beat it. Just a short time before that I was telling you that I was going out there where that Wightman woman was.


  1. SHEEHAN: She wanted me to come and stay with her. It had only been a short time before that. She wanted me to come and stay with her. I thought, "Well, I will just beat it, and go out there and stay with her. I will just beat this fellow to it." When, I was studying this over. Lem come down. Old Lem Allen He told me that this fellow was down here after me, and that father wanted me to come home. "And he told me, what he said, 'that if I will come home, I will never lay any hands on him again. 'and come home, and go to school” And so he talked me into it. And Lem Said, "You leave the horse here. You go on home and go to school. When vacation time comes, you come down and get your horse and stop with me on your vacation. And I said, "Alright, I will go home." And that is how I come to stop at the Stockton Station. That was in the year of 1875. One night, we started up there. He said, "I will be down here in the morning and we will go to Virginia and Gold hill. We started and I never seen the wind blow so hard, as it did coming down toward the Stockton Station. So, we stopped all night at the Stockton Station. There was a station there then.

MRS. SHEEHAN: He didn't stay home very long, though.

  1. SHEEHAN: I went home and went to school until vacation. Then I went down these and got my horse and took him up there and sold him. During vacation, my step-mother and me got into a rough and L said I am going. And I said, "Give me that money, I am going." She gave me that money. The old man was somewhere on a picnic. She said, "How are you going." I said, "I am going on the train tonight." She said, "Ain't you going to wait until your father comes home? "No" I went over and jumped on the first passenger train. And away I went. And I never did go home to stay.

MRS. SHEEHAN: I can just imagine Gardner. He wouldn't live in that home either.

(Where did you go next. Where did you stay when you went back down there?)

MRS. SHEEHAN: Where did you stay then? You didn't go to Jims?

(Where did he go then?)

  1. SHEEHAN: I guess, I went to Rag Town then. And then I went to work and went to school.. And then I went to work for Asa Kenyon.

MRS. SHEEHAN: That is when you went to Rag Town?

  1. SHEEHAN: Yes.

(I would like to know a lot more, but I don't know what to ask you.)

FERRETTI:  You out to go up there and see that mine, by golly. That is what they called the Soldier's mine.

  1. SHEEHAN: John can tell you about Mark Commo at Aurora.

(Were you in Aurora?)

FERRETTI:  I was there, last summer, for a month.

(I don't know anything about Aurora at all.)

FERRETTI:  Bodie was a pretty nice place, out there on a flat.

(Is there anything left?)

FERRETTI:  A few houses. They would watch them. They wouldn't take them. There was a lot of old furniture and you know.

MRS. SHEEHAN: Jack used to haul beer there. They got a watchman. There is a lot of tourists going to see them. When was up there, by car, I stopped in there. A lot of people went to see the church. I never went in, up there, I don't know how it was.

(What do you mean--watch?)

MRS. SHEEHAN: So they don't carry it away.

FERRETTI:  It don't belong to nobody. Gaines owns the mines, but he don't own the buildings. Now the one up there at Bower's Mansion have a lot of old furniture like that. He owns all the mines.

MRS. SHEEHAN: He owns all that ground. He don't own the town.

FERRETTI:  He got a store in Bridgeport.

  1. SHEEHAN: He has?

FERRETTI:  He got himself buried right on top of that knoll.

  1. SHEEHAN: Is that so?

FERRETTI:  That was a great town at one time. There is still a lot up there yet.

(I will go up there sometime during fishing season up passed Sweetwater--that is a good fishing country up there too.)

FERRETTI:  Green ranches. In Aurora, they are all old brick buildings.

  1. SHEEHAN: All Brick?

FERRETTI:  There has been somebody hauling them away. Some of the buildings are torn down. Some to Reno. They were stopped. Mrs. Doyle was born there. Did you know Henry Borling?

  1. SHEEHAN: Yes.

FERRETTI:  He used to be sheriff there.

  1. SHEEHAN: The last time I was up there was the time of the foot and mouth disease. The first governor of Nevada is buried up there.

FERRETTI:  I know.

(What was his name?)

FERRETTI:  I can't think of it.

MRS. SHEEHAN: Was it Nye?

FERRETTI:  They are keeping that cemetery nice up there.

  1. SHEEHAN: Are they?

FERRETTI:  There is lots of folks buried up there, I will tell you. at Aurora. Bodie is not very big. Aurora is bigger than Bodie.

MRS. SHEEHAN:  I will look through the book and see who the first governor was. I don't remember the family yet. It was in some paper.

FERRETTI:  Up to the fork, you can go anytime.

(What fork is that?)

FERRETTI:  Soldier Mine--that way.

(There is just a chance, we might go up there either Friday or Saturday--Go to Wellington and then where?)

FERRETTI:  Then go south-east. You follow that road and you will see. You will have to get off to that creek up there. You go for a couple of miles. Then you see a road to the right and you take it. Simpson takes the water. You pass the first ranch. There is only one house to the ranch. Right above there you turn to the right and you go to Simpson. Now you see it all along on the rocks.

(We are taking photographs of all those old writings and individuals out there. It is not just writing, it is a study. That is the Indian writing. That is what I mean.)

FERRETTI:  And it has small names on it.

(I have been up in that cave just a very few times. That one summer that I was up there.)

FERRETTI:  I used to go up there every Sunday afternoon and look for arrowheads. Course in the summer, there is a let of rattle snakes.

(Rattle Snakes don't scare me either. They make me jump, but they don't scare me either.)

  1. SHEEHAN: That Rock. I found that John, under five feet of gravel--digging a grave. Now, where did that come from? What would like to know. Nature, didn't put that there, Nature, didn’t make that. This was all underwater. I would like to find someone that was interested in that Kind of work.

(I Don't know. I will tell you what. Don't be surprised if he stops here about next Sunday.)

Buckland Graves at Ft. Churchill

 (This is about the Buckland Children. Now Go ahead.)

MRS. SHEEHAN: The one little boy was burned to death. Just a little fellow. Then there was another one or two that died a natural death. One had scarlet fever and now there was three children that died, There was only two that I remember. One died of some disease and the other was burned to death. Their room caught on fire. They don't know what happened. Unless the children turned a candle over or something. It burned the whole room and there was nothing left.


(Will you talk to us about the Mojave Desert?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well, when was on the Mojave Desert, I was driving. I was a teamster. I was hauling ore to the mill at Calico. That was in 1887. I was hauling quartz to the mill in Calico. I followed that business for three years. Then, I quit that and bought a pack train. I packed all the water for all the mines outside the Mown of Calico. In fact, all the ore for the leases off the main road. So that it could be hauled to the main road. So that it could be hauled to the custom mills. At Calico, I followed that work for two years and a half.

(Do remember any of the old mines or anything?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well no--not of any interest. They was all small leases. They didn’t amount to very much. You understand, what moan by packing that ore don’t you? Now they have a main road like this highway. They could get over that with a big team. They would run ten to twenty mule teams on that road. You would have to have a road for them to get over. Now, if there was a mine off here, a half mile, three miles or four miles. I would pack from the mine over here, to the road, where it could be picked up and put on the big trains and hauled to the big mills. I hauled all the water to these outside mines on this pack train. I packed water in and ore out, when they had ore. If they didn't have ore, I packed water in. I always--It had to be taken in there by pack train and that is all. And I sold out to come back home here.

(Would the ore be sacked and stay sacked until you got it to the mill?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Oh, yes! It was sacked and when they got to the road, it would be loaded into the wagons end taken to the mill and of course it would be taken out of the sacks at the mill.

(What did you carry water in, Cans?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Ten-gallon tanks. I kick myself that I didn't take more pictures of the pack train, by gosh, and such stuff as that. I did have a few pictures taken of the pack train, which was packed with ore. If I knowed about pictures, as I do now, would have some wonderful Pictures.

(Well, didn't you tell me something about them giving you some ore? A small quantity of ore that was worth something.)

  1. SHEEHAN: Oh Yes! Now the mills. There was one--there was two mills. There was one they called the Country Mill and they had no custom work. But in order to get any ore milled there, you would have to have ten tons. That was the: least they would mill. They didn't give, what they called "Clean Up", short of ten ton. And now, lots of these “chloriders,” they would prospect on a piece of ground and find a small streak of ore and they would take a lease on that. Most always two of them want in together, they would go in there and go to taking out ore. Maybe, they would get four or five ton. Maybe, some of them would get only two ton some eight or ten ton. Well, then the ore would pinch and there was no more ore there and they couldn't fine none. Well, we will say for instance, they would have five ton of ore out on the dump, and it pinched on them and they couldn’t get any more ore out. Well, there they had five ton of ore. They couldn't get it worked there, unless she was awfully high grade. And they would get ready to move. And I would have to move in there and pack them out. Go in there and get everything away from there. And they would say to me, here Jack, "here is some ore." "That is pretty good ore, we will give you that." I would say, "All right." Here is another leaser, a half mile from him, and he has got out some millins. He has some millin. He may have 50 ton or he may have 150 ton. He would want me to neck that. I would go over and I would Lay to him. "Well now, so and Lo have me some ore over there. I have got five ton of ore over there. Now if you want it, I will give it to you. They would jump at it. They would say, "sure we will take it." And all that I would get out of it would be that packin, from that mine to the road. see. I would give them that ore. I did that for a long time. I gave away a good many tons of ore. A fellow would have two or three tons of ore, some four or five, sore six or seven. Finally, some of these fellers, I bought this pack train from went up town and bought a saloon and run a saloon. He used to do the same thing as I was doing. Finally, he said to me, "Look here you and me are the biggest chumps there is in his country. And I says, "What do you mean?" He says," "That going to work and giving this are away. Anybody, Johnnie who gives you ore, pack it down here, and hold it until you get ten ton, then you take it up there and have it milled.
  2. SHEEHAN: So, I got my noodle together and seen he was right. So I said, "This is just what I will do. " So I went to pack a feller out there, one tide, I had thirty sacks of ore. And I said that, I think it was Freddy--no I don't say just exactly. I’ve forgot how many sacks there was with that ore in. When this feller come along and bought me out. Well, this feller said, "I have get so many sacks of ore. You can have that." "Now, that is damn good ore Jack." And I took it down and put it in a cabin there that I had. There were two fellers mining up there on the hill. And I used to pack them stuff there right along. It was six months before I could get any money out of them. I would pack them water, and I would pack them grub, everything like that. And sometimes, I would come up there and they would say, bring your bill the next time, when you come. And I would bring, my bill and they would have money and they would pay me and settle. But no millin." I would say to myself, "Where in the devil are those fellers getting that money? They got money. They are both drinking men. And they would go down town and get drunk. And they would settle up with me. Now, I would say, "Where are they getting that money?" I would see one come along. Come up from Daggert. Come up in the morning and stay until after dinner. And then he would go back to Daggert. And I would see one of them come along with a sack or so, put it in a butcher wagon covered with canvas. Covered up. I took a tumble.
  3. SHEEHAN: And this butcher was a good friend of mine. So I stopped him one day. This feller's name was O'Niel. I said, the name was Suttcliff. I said, now I said, "I see, Jimmy, I said, "O’Niel put a sack in your wagon the other day and covered it up. I said, "What was it?" Well, he said, "It was ore. And I said, "What do you do with that ore?" Well he said, "I took it down to Daggert." Well, I said, "What do you do with it down there?" "Well," he said, "I ship it. I shipped to San Francisco by Wells Fargo. I said, "'Who do you ship to down there. "Well," he says, "This broker down there,--Thomas Price." Ahuh, So I get to thinking about it there--thinking it over. And, I will take some of this ore, I have got in here that was going pretty good. I didn't have it assayed. I -I’ll ship down four sacks of that ore and I will see just what I can get out of it. maybe, will get a little out of it. If I do, it is just all gain. So, by gosh, I took four sacks down and I shipped it. In the meantime, a feller came along and wanted to buy me out and I sold. Sold to a feller by the name of George Burns. That was after, I sold some. "Here George, here is some ore." "it is darn good ore.” “I will give that ore to you." I had shipped this ore about two weeks before I sold.
  4. SHEEHAN: I sent down to this same outfit and told them, if they hadn't worked that ore and if they had worked that ore--hold the returns there. I would be in San Francisco in a few days. And, by gosh, when I got settled up there, I went to San Francisco and went down there to their offices. And asked them if they had worked that ore and they said, "Yes. But, you come around tomorrow, Mr. Sheehan. and we will give you the money. We are making out a statement here now. We will have to protect the shipments, and pay you.” So the next day, I went around there, and I went in and he said “Just a few minutes now Mr. Sheehan ; We are still working on your statement here. I will have it finished in just a few minutes.” So he said, “Here you are.” In them days, in all these broker's offices, why they had coin. They would generally have them in. a square tray and there would be twenty dollar gold pieces piled up and five dollar gold pieces piled up and then silver. They paid you right there. There was no check, unless it was big money. He said, “Here Mr. Sheehan, I have got this statement.” He went over and grabbed a hand full of twenty dollar gold pieces and began to pile them up. And so my eyes began to bug out. I think there was 360 or 260 dollars that he gave me for them four sacks of ore. I don't remember just exactly. It just surprised me so, I didn't know what to make out of it and here I gave him all that ore. I think there was 28 sacks--either 28 or 30 sacks. And, I only got four of them out and gave him the balance. So you can see what I gave him. I gave him more money than I got out of that darn pack train.

(How many animals did you have in your pack train?)

  1. SHEEHAN: I had about 30 that I kept working all the time. But I had a monopoly on all the burrows between Needles and San Bernadino. That was three hundred miles.

(What do you mean, you had a monopoly?)

  1. SHEEHAN: And there was a lot of prospecting going on out there in Death Valley and around there. We all had burrows. And now, say, you and your partner would have six or seven burrows. Well you had been out prospecting and you would get through prospecting and wanted to quit, to go into some other part. Maybe into Arizona. And there, you had this pacts outfit or five or six burrows or whatever you had and wanted to sell them. Well, they would come into Daggert. Lot of them would go to Daggert. There is where they generally landed, and would want to sell. No one would want to buy them. They would say, "Well here, if you want to sell them burrows, you go up Calico. Jack Sheehan, there, is the burrow-man. He will buy them from you. And, he brought them there. And, it didn't matter what kind of burrow you had, if they was good, poor or what they was. Sometimes, he had, say, there would be four burrows there. Well there would be them burrows, there would be the pack saddles, there would be the camp outfit, tents, saddle bags. Maybe, a lot of grub and a lot of tools. And they would all be on these burrows. See. Why the fellow would say, "Now there is the outfit, right there." "Now, what do you want for them?" He would say. Now if the price wasn't too high, I would say, "All Rights" "I will take them at that price." And if they was too high, I would say, "No" "I wont give you that, but I will give you so much.

(Now, how much would a string like that be worth?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well, in them days, down there, you could get an awfully good burrow for twenty dollars. And I would Say, "I'll give so much." And he would say, "Take them." And if there was any good burrows with them—good big burrows. I would take them and put them in my main outfit. See, if they was just a bunch of common burrows, I would turn them out. Maybe, they were poor; maybe, they didn't have any shoes on them. I would go to work and turn them out, and let them get in good shape. I would shoe them, if I thought I was going to get rid of them soon. And if anybody wanted any burrows to prospect with, they would come to me for burrows, see. They would come to me, and say, "Jack, have you any burrows for sale?" "Yes," "I always have burrows for sale." "I want to get some." "how many do you want?" "I want three, I want four, or I want five." "Can you let me have that many, Jack?" I would say, "I can rig you right up." "Yes, everything that you want--pack, cooking utensils and everything you want." I would tell him, "You come down here tomorrow morning, and I will have the things fixed here so you can see what I have got." And when they would come down here, I would get all this stuff out and have the burrows there and all trimmed up. Lots of time, I would get three times as much as I paid for them. Well then, the same men would go into Death Valley, and maybe be gone six months, and come back and I would buy the same outfit back, and give them a third of what they paid for it. Maybe a quarter. Maybe, they would try to sell them to somebody else. "No! Go up there, Jack Sheehan will buy them. I had a monopoly on all the burrows that was there. Course, when I made a sale on them, I got a lot more from them than I paid for them. By gosh, I had some awfully good burrows.

(Yes, if you could find burrows. You have no idea, how hard it is to find burrows--common burrows.)

You can go into California and down into Arizona and you can pick up burrows.

(There are some down in Tonopah)

  1. SHEEHAN: Well Yes, there was, but I understand, they got rid of a lot of them. Did you get the picture of that? Draw a picture of that foot. What did you say that feller was doing? What kind of work?

(He Is in school. He is going to the university of California.)

  1. SHEEHAN: Oh, he is still going to school?

In the summertime, he  a guide in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Forest Ranger, you know.

(He wears a flat hat, Tells people all about the hills and everything. Do you know anything about the weather during those particular years?)

  1. SHEEHAN: The Weather? In the spring, it was covered with water for two or three months. Do you remember where Lem Allen's old ranch was? It was a mile below the upper river and there was another river down below that --down by what they called the island. You would travel down there by the Cushman and Wightman ranch. In the spring the water would come down the Carson, down Old River, and New River and what they called the upper sink. In the spring all them rivers would be swimming. That is what I mean, they didn't scatter around couple of ranches. Lots of them fellers can tell you about Old River. A man by the name of Paine Campbell carried the mail. That was the 18th of May I was twelve years old. That was when the big snow was on. That was in the 90's

MRS. SHEEHAN: Big snow? When were you born?

  1. SHEEHAN: 75. That was in 87. There was a big one in the 90's. That was when the lost so many cattle.

(That is very interesting. I am glad you told that about the water.)

  1. SHEEHAN: WS Bailey had a lot of buckerooing. Bailey had a piece there about a mile square between the two rivers. Well in the spring the rivers were running bank full. In the morning, when we would drive up our saddle horses. I would have to swim them two rivers to get to where the horses were. I would do that for a month at a time. That is why. That was what they called the Upper and Lower Sinks.

 (Do you remember any winters that was colder than others?)

  1. SHEEHAN: While I was down there, I never witnessed any severe winters.

(A long time ago, you mentioned about somebody, who ran a toll road through the saem [sic], down between Hazen and Ragtown?)

From Hazen, that road ran toward the Carson River. Do you know where them tules are from Hazen? That road was there. Down where the water is, you will see some signs there. That road ran down there until it got near to that field. They headed down toward that hill and went toward Ragtown. About two miles from Ragtown they had a toll road. They had to pay toll to get over there.

A man by the name of Ephram Price owned that toll road. [ed- Price is crossed out but the correction is very hard to read – perhaps Clark?] They went right over that toll road and right into Ragtown. From there, they went down there by Richardson's and then down to St. Claire. From there down about two miles from Richardson. From there, the road would turn to the right and go down Old river. That was what they called Old River. Course, the Carson River Would go by Lem Allen's ranch.

(Where did it cross over?)

That is what they called St. Clair Station. Do you know where the Theelan ranch is? Gus Himlar's. That used to be a station. That used to be a Post Office.

(Did he have it before?)

Gus Himlar had it before Lem Allen. A man by the name of St. Claire had that station first. Then afterwards, they moved the Post Office down to Lem Allens, but that was gone in….

 (They are making a new map down around Fallon and they are wanting to know at what place to put the name of St. Claire?)

Do you know where the bridge is? That was the station. I don't know whether that would be where the house is there or not. Now I was there before he got married.


Theelan. He afterwards built that house to the east of it. There is an old house?

(The adobe that I know is east of the house.)

The house that is now there is built west of it. I think, they tore down the house. The house where all the girls were born is east. Now the Post Office, down by Grimes was called Hill. There is where Hill is.

(Did they have a Post Office down there?)

Oh, Yes!

(That answers some questions that we have wanted to know.)

I have been over it all times, day and night. Henry Fielding was a son-of-a-gun. When he sold his cattle, he would always come there and get me and Johnny Bailey and shoo them in here for shipping. We would drive them to the well. He had a load of hay, feed them and then stay there. We would guard them, and we would stay there until about 12 o'clock at night. Then the cattle would start to get up. Then we would start again, and we would get in here (Wadsworth) about 9 o'clock in the morning.

Pap McGee? He had a half dozen girls, and they all married Cowboys. One parried Bill Bailey, that was my uncle. One [Sarah] married a Wightman. One [Ellen] married a Springer. And my uncle Bill married Susie. Then, the next one [Annie] married a cowboy [John Day]. Ellen married Springer. Bill married Dell Overton. Another one [Mary] married Pierson, and he was a teamster. he is still alive. He is 92. Ira Pierson down in Fallon. The old man lives in Susanville.

Now, then, you got the road, you have got that road lined up. Now the other road that took off from Wadsworth and forked down to Aurora and Bodie. Then there was a branch of it that went to where Lahontan is now. That was called the Walker River road. It turned across the flat that run as far as the Carson. And if you wanted to go to the Lahontan, you turned off down that road. If you wanted to go to Yerington you turned the other way. It made a short cut across to the Carson road.

(Was there a short-cut across there?)


(So that is where they went to Lahontan?)

That was an old government road. That was the old Herman road.

(Then there was no cut-off until you got to Schurz? And then it turned off and went down the Walker River.)

The other road went to Wellington. From Wellington, it Went to Bodie and up that way.

(That mine rush, when they opened the reservation. Do you know what year that was?)

That was in the 90's.

(Where did you leave from, and where did you go to?)

When that opened, I was living in Sparks, and came down here and got a partner, by the name of Joe Effnick [? Corrected, very hard to read] That was supposed to be opened on a Sunday. Well, there was recorded that there was a mine down there near Hawthorne on the Indian reservation that was very rich. That was a mystery to everybody.

They put guards on all the roads leading into that reservation and wouldn't let anybody get in there, see. Until this Sunday at 12 O'clock noon. Until they fired that gun. I don't know how many there was. You can get that. How many men that made that rush. It must have been about five-hundred. It was the same way up here at this end of the reservation.

Well, I knew that country pretty well. That road that run from Bond to Schurz. That was an old road. It hadn't been traveled much, only now and then by Indians. You would go straight down that road, that is the same as that road now. You followed that for miles, you see. That road was only used by Indians. I knew that road. They had that road going into Hamilton, well guarded so men couldn’t get in there.

I said, "I know that road pretty well, and I will bet these fellows, I can get in there.” I had a big bed and three darn good tramp horses. I had one pack horse. Do you know where that is. Let's see. I went there to the first water. That is on the way going to Schurz. Allen Springs. That is the place where some of these fellers would get together and I said to Joe. "We will go to Allen Springs. Like today. And, well come there. And would leave. And it would be opened tomorrow noon. And we will take some saddle horses and a pack horse and our grub that we will eat. And we will get in there where there won't be anybody to bother us.” And that is the way we went in. We got to Schurz that night. When we got there everything was taken up. We waited until the next morning.

We went up on the hill. Upon the reservation hill and located a lot of ground, but there wasn't any springs, and it didn't amount to anything. We couldn't find anything there that was worth enough to ship, so we had to drop it.

(You located ground before you got to Schurz that evening?) No. Ho, we didn't locate anything. The next day, we began to scatter out. Some of these boys and I had some of this ground spotted, you know. And they went up there and located. And followed there to do some work and they could not find anything that was rich enough to ship. They stayed there for a long time.

We located over on the east side. What is called the Walker Lake gravel pit. That belonged to the railroad company. That was a great body of gravel. There was nothing in it. Just washed gravel. They used to load train-loads of gravel and take it into California.

We found out and we knew for sometime that they didn't have the ground located. We went down there and located that. And we put all these railroad men's names in it. See. The railroad found it out. They came to me and said, "Well you fellers went down there and located that gravel pit. You take your names off of that or we will fire every one of you. So they did. All, but Fritz. And when they continued. He said, "You go to hell, I am not going to take my name off of there. We had it there for two or three years and then we got shed of it.

Now did you notice a road going downhill on the east side of the river--going down toward the reservation. You seen that road you knew where that road went to?

(Well, I suppose that road went into Nixon?)

It went down that way, and went within 50 miles of Gerlock.

(The first road?)

The first road that went down by Pyramid Lake was on the east side of the river. Why, they went down that way for years. Did you ever hear about that Indian fight?

(Sure heard about it. What do you know about it?)

It was a mess. It was such a mess.

MRS. SHEEHAN: It was before his time. And now the Indians try to claim that it was a reservation long before that. It wasn't. There was all white settlers there. These ranches owned by these Italians was always owned by white men. All this talk about the Americans taking this ground from the Indians. The Americans came there well before, and located that ground before there was a reservation. They didn't run them off at all. There wasn't a reservation there at all. That lard was claimed up like that land there by Fallon. I knew, they were on that ranch. They are telling a lot of lies.

  1. SHEEHAN: There was hay lands down here in 73 when I was a boy. A man named Herloader. He lived here in town. Every now and then, he needed something. They had saddle horses then. And we would go down to the ranch, the Herloader ranch, down below the Polly place. After that, when they put the highway in, they put the road down on this side. Some of the ground down there was rough and had a lot of rocks in it. The put it down near where they got it now.

The Indians said that to Pat McCarran. He knows. He lived up there when he was a boy. He know it was always belonged to white people. It wasn't Italians either. The Italians got that land from other people.

Daisy Allen's people [sister] lived down on that DePaoli ranch for years. All of it was owned before there was a reservation set apart there. I can't see why they come in and lie like that.

The foreman up there in Sparks [Wallie noted as first name, last name unintelligible]. He was born in this house. This house used to be owned by an Italian. The Foster children [ed- Eva Proctor written above “the Foster Children” unsure what that means exactly] were born here, and they lived down there on the Polly ranch, and when the town burned down, they moved over here. He married my sister and they lived here in town and they owned this house. McPherson lived here and their children. She had twins there and another one. They all lived in that house.

A feller by the name of McDonald had a Post Office and a store here for years. And he owned land and he sold it. to an Italian. The Italian sold it to an Indian, Johnny Joe was the name. He owned it for years. Their boy died and they moved. You know how the Indians are. And they sold it to Ceresola.

Now in the old town. There is a lot of place here in town. I can't place them. Some of the houses here have been moved and I can't remember where they were. But, my brother-in-law can tell you where every house was in this town. He died here and he worked in the store for years.

I remember one, John Lee, and he and another feller by the name of Austin. He had a store over there when it burned down. He moved when the town moved to Sparks. After that they moved to Sparks. They have been in Sparks for 47 years. That was the summer the town moved to Sparks. You have to go on that old road now, so you know just exactly how it runs.

(You know the government has been making a map. You know they are doing a lot of surveying, putting out stakes and all. They are making maps. And he wanted to know where certain roads ran, what roads they were using and where they began. I knew a lot of them, but there were pieces, I didn't know and was sure of. The first St. Claire? But I was pretty nearly sure of it. Now is there anything you can tell me about old Asa Kenyon?)


(I said that I don't have all of that road. Do know any of the names that was associated with him?)

Did this old fellow that he was living with? He knew it all. He knew just exactly what they was. He lived with John Luce.

(I have made a lot of checking on that.)

  1. SHEEHAN: About Asa Kenyon?

MRS. SHEEHAN:  About them people? I am satisfied about them people.

(Maybe this other feller was as tough as he was?)

  1. SHEEHAN: No, he wasn't.

MRS. SHEEHAN:  She looked Tough. She looked like an old witch. Steal! She was a little bit of hell fire. Yes, and she talked through her teeth. I just despised the sight of her, I couldn't stand that woman. And she owned a fine-looking pipe organ.

They wasn’t bad looking. But the second one was a fine-looking woman. You didn't find one any better looking. But her half-sister came to our place and told us who she was. And did you know, she was going out to see Tom. He lived out in Eagleville. And I said to mother. He was just a little kid. And their decedents--And she talked about them. And she had two younger sisters. And one was named Karen. She was with Hasten Sommers… Her daughter brought her out. She wanted to see the old home. And it had burned down just a few weeks before. The old house and the place. Leete made the old place. I don't know old Lilly is.

(Then there was a house? Was that the one that burned down?)

That was the home that Leete built. Down by the old place in the same locality where the house was. Right there is where it used to be.

(I thought that Rag Town was where the Ore house was?)

The old house was down there on the hill. You know. Do you know where the Taumen hills are? Right straight across from that. Where the Oasis is that is Rag Town. That is there Kenyon lived. There was no fence. It was not there.

(Do you mean there where that brick house is down a ways?)

That, it was not down there by Ragtown. Until you go down there by Richardsons. Old man Summer had a little place there. And then next Nix Howies and St. Claire.

(You know, right there at Ragtown. You know that big field? Right east of the house there at Ragtown?)

It was just Sage Brush.

MRS. SHEEHAN:  Isn't that a pretty field?

The road went right down through that and down to Richardsons. Then, it went right straight down there.

(The immigrant road went right through that field then?)

No. That came into the house. That immigrant road was right between them two lakes, two Soda Lakes. The old immigrant road. Yes Sir. They didn't know them lakes were there. I have heard many of them say that when they came from the east. The old road came nearly through there and they didn't know there was a lake on-either side for years and years. Do you remember that?

(I was a little kid.)

The middle lake was where Jeffries [?] lived for years and years.

(The Aerial photo show the road comes into the field. It is just deeply worn.)

  1. SHEEHAN: I will tell you now that came about. There would be so many of them immigrants coming in there that would come into that road. See. And say for instance, that was a house. They would come in here. You would see some there in that field you were just talking about. Well, remember that house was on a flat hill. Yes. All this down here. There was no bridge in there. They used to camp right in there.

(Right in that location?)

Yes. Where the field is now. So the road would turn here and there instead of turning into the house.

(Where was the cemetery?)

MRS. SHEEHAN:  Right along the side of the house. Well some of them was buried there. Frank was buried there.

  1. SHEEHAN: Fred and Minnie was buried down at Fergusons.

MRS. SHEEHAN:  And a lot of other people were buried there. mother told me that Frank Kenyon was buried there.

  1. SHEEHAN: There was a lot of them buried down there on that flat that people don't know anything about. But they had little fences.

(They had a lot of little picket fences? They piled a lot of skeletons. That was what I say. I have heard people tell about that. I expected that.)

I have known that they were there.

(I have heard that a lot of immigrants died of cholera?)

Bill and Fred Harriman. Both their sisters died there and they were buried up on the river. It seems that there was scarlet fever or something like that. I don't think it was cholera. It seems to me that when mother was coming through here, they were buring up the river. I don't know where, but towards Dayton or in there. I know that I often heard Mag Kenyon tell about how her brother Frank died. He was a good deal older than the other boy that was shot. He went to put his boots off and then he died. I don't know how he died. I don’t know what was the matter with him. She says, he was buried near there, by the house. They had a railing around there for a long time.

  1. SHEEHAN: It would be right by the side of the house. That was a big corral. It was a big corral where the big teams came in. Oh Yes! On the right-hand side, there where they had that ditch. There was cemeteries all over that country. There at the Magee place, they had a cemetery. It was to one side and there was many a one buried there. Now most of them was killed. Now down in the hollow, down there where that fill is. Right east of the house. Yes, that is east of the house.
  2. SHEEHAN: He was a bad one that Ada Kenyon. He used to say… He said that some fellers could steal, but that they were darn poor hiders. He said, "I am a good hider." He certainly was a good hider. There was an old bachelor. He was a clean old fellow.

(You lived with Kenyon after you lived with Luce?)

  1. SHEEHAN: Oh Yes.

MRS. SHEEHAN:  I don't know how he came to go to Kenyons.

  1. SHEEHAN: He sold out, John Luce sold out to go to the Island.

(That was after you came back again that you lived with Kenyons, wasn’t it?)

Yes. Now, I will tell you there is a feller up in Reno there that married one of the Kenyon girls and there was three of his kids there in 82, and they stayed down there a while. He married one of them Kenyon girls. Howard Munington is still alive. tie is still alive up there and we can't locate him. Jim Pool. He is about 93 years old. I don't believe you can get anything out of him about the Kenyans. McKay? No. That was what he was going to say. That is the only person left

One of them was right across the street from us. Maggie is the oldest one. Chas Willey, one of the finest men in this country. he had this salt works out here for years and years. They had six children. he made a lot of salt. And she got up and left him. She got up and left, Jack. Yes. There was it tenon out there. She fell in love with him. And when she came home one day, Willy was gone. And they didn't know where he went. Finally, they found him. Pool's wife was another witch--just like her mother. She was a tyrant.

The younger girl was what we all thought was a little nutty. She taught school for quite a while, but she was a little queer. They thought that he [Fred] shot himself accidentally. He was a nice boy. The boys like him. He was the same age as my oldest brother. Then she had a little girl, younger than him. And, she was a cronny little thing. She was terrible. Finally, she died. But the little girls, Fred, and the old man were buried down there in the Ferguson cemetery. But the old lady Kenyon was buried here at Wadsworth. She died here.

This Kenyon boy, generally picked the money up. Bob is a bookkeeper out there at the Tungsten mine.

Now you take the Allen Family. As smart a feller as Uncle Lem was. You could have found out anything from them. One of these Monahew kids you can’t find out anything from them. They don’t know anything. You can't understand, why they don't have some of those brains. So was Charley. But, he was alright mentally. I said to Daisy. She said, " You know to look at him he looks fine, but he isn't all right." And the one in the Post Office, and the girls, they must take that after their daddy and mother.

That road that came in from the Humboldt, cane in right over across to the house. That Kenyon house ought to be a little higher up, about where the Wagon Wheel is. Did they tell you why they called it Ragtown? It was because of all them tents. Sometimes, there would be as high as 60 tents there. That was why they called it Rag Town.

You remember, big long trains come in there, and they would stay together all the time. And they would come in there and stay for a couple of weeks. Stop there, feed their stock, and rest t themselves. Next, it was over the grade going to California.

[End of transcript]

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“John "Jack" Sheehan Oral History,” Churchill County Museum Digital Archive: Fallon, Nevada, accessed September 22, 2021,