The Unbelievable Gniraw Lien
The story of Gniraw Lien is a story repeated often two hundred years ago but today the story is lost to most Historians and Wyoming scholars, tall taletellers, (try to say that real fast about eleven times) and outright lyres. Gniraw Lien of Irish and English descent was probably the first white man to explore the area of Wyoming and the American West. The story that follows is his story, the story of the “Lost One”, Gniraw Lien.
It was late in the spring of 1748 when Lien decided he had had, (hey the word had used twice in a row) of Boston, packed everything he owned in a brindle sack, threw the long stick over his back, blew out the only light in his lonely one room flat, a single candle, and stepped outside. The sun was just starting to rise as Gniraw pulled the door shut, pulled the brim of his hat down to shade his eyes from the sun and started walking. Walking right into that bright early morning sun and right into a new life.
After walking for less than an hour Lien ran into the beaches of Boston Harbor. Turning around Lien took a deep breath and headed west where he had intended going to start with. Forty-five minutes later Lien was back to his flat. There was still some bread and cheese in the cupboard so Gniraw started a small fire made coffee and ate as he contemplated his new life in the west. Gniraw had no idea how far west he would go, but this he knew, it would be away from the settlements as far as he could get.
As Gniraw walked he fantasized about his new life in the west, until he realized he was once again walking east. An abrupt turn around was made at this point and west he was finally heading. Really! The bells on Boston Tower sounded out noon as Lien once again passed his old flat and stopped in, this time to pick up a small notebook and a pencil, which he stuffed in his shirt pocket.
Lien spent the next year heading west, mostly. Upon reaching the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming Lien figured he was almost to the Pacific and this would be a good place to stop. And if you are getting tired this is a good place for you to stop and lay this book down and get some sleep because this story doesn’t get any better. Gniraw Lien was a man alone and he liked it that way!
The next few years were spent working, mostly capturing and razing buffalo for meat. The first two he captured were young cows enough to start his own herd. One day setting under the shade of his own back Lien said to himself, “BOY, this is some hard work raising these cows, hey that makes me a cowboy, and somehow the word stuck and Wyoming has been the Cowboy State ever since. Without that moment of brilliance we might have been the cow chasers state or the brander’s state or the only state without a nickname.
Three years later Lien found himself many miles south for the winter, he had intended on going East, but, opps, wrong turn. Good fortune followed him to this area though because it was here he found the beautiful Kiowa maiden A-nn-a-see and married her. He called her Ann and they were to live happily ever after. She was an exceeding shy person and seldom came out of the shelters they lived in to meet with anyone passing by, unlike her husband who loved to talk to everyone. Gniraw even named the place where they met after her to honor thespot where they met; he called it Shy-Ann. Much to Liens disgust the spelling was later changed to Cheyenne.
The Liens spent their first few years together on an unnamed river and life was good.
A-nn-a-see was a good cook and good old Gniraw started to put on some weight, enough that they took to calling the nearby river the FAT River because of these extra pounds. Seems the local Indians of the area had a tough time pronouncing the F sound and when they said Fat River it sounded like they were saying Platte River. The Liens never heard if the name Fat stuck to the river they named but they supposed it did.
After a few good years Gniraw Lien wanted to show his wife off to his old friends in Boston, he just knew how shocked they would be if they found out he was married to a real live wild Indian from the west. Every thing was packed and the happy couple headed off to Boston, and ended up in Yellowstone country. Seems the direction problem had once again reared its ugly head.
This story gets even worse from here, but if you are still awake----READ ON!!
The Yellowstone country was beautiful and the happy couple built their first solid home a nice log cabin a few days walk south of Yellowstone. The next year Ann delivered their first child a healthy boy they named Jack, ah, our son Jack. The area soon became known to all as Jackson. Two Years later The Liens had moved back to the Big Horn Range to avoid the bitter cold winters in and around Jackson and Ann gave birth to a beautiful girl they soon named Sheri. After six years and no more children Ann one day told Gniraw that she must be DONE having children and they should name there new home after their last child Sheri, just as they had done with Jack and Jackson. Yep, you are way ahead of me on this one! Sheri-DONE was the name they picked and it became the present day city of Sheridan, Wyoming.
After the children had grown and left the home for good Ann and Gniraw built a wonderful new cabin out on the high plains about in the center of present day Wyoming where they were happy for many years. Then out of nowhere one day Gniraw announced he had decided they should really go home, to Boston, for good. They packed their belongings and headed east. They thought! After more than weeks travel, and very tired, they found them selves in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. I know I know Las Vegas wasn’t even thought of yet, but I didn’t want to have the poor couple walk all the way to the Pacific. They wearily turned around and headed back for their cabin in the middle of Wyoming. But they never found it. Can you see this one coming? Lost Cabin Wyoming now had a name. And they lived happily for the rest of their lives.
The preceding story is a complete fabrication of a truly fragmented mind.