Milton Sublette - The Lost Mountain-Man


Milton Sublette was one of five men who banded together and formed the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. They were able to buy out his brother William, Jedidiah Smith and David Jackson. But there is more to this story.
William Sublette started Fort Laramie in 1834 known then as Fort William. The name was changed to Fort John in 1841 when it became part of the American Fur Company. In 1849, it became Fort Laramie. From 1849 to its end forty years later it remained Fort Laramie a United States Army Fort.
Now back to the subject of this post, Milton Sublette.
In 1826, he took either an arrow or a hatchet to a leg in an Indian battle in the southwest. At the time, he was only 25 years old. The leg wouldn’t heal and eventually he had part of it taken off. A year or so later another piece was taken. It is possible that he had other surgeries on the often infected leg.
He lived on using a leg made of cork and used a one mule wagon to get around when he could. He died at the ripe old mountain-man age of 36 in 1837. He was buried on the grounds of Fort Laramie in a grave that was soon forgotten. But his brother Solomon came through and put a proper marker on the grave in 1843.Years after Fort Laramie was out of business Milt Sublette’s grave and the entire Fort William and Fort John cemetery were lost. In modern times, during an attempt to stabilize the ruins of the post hospital on the hill in the northwest part of the fort. Guess what?
The hospital had been built over the old post cemetery. In the process of work on the old walls and foundations, a few bodies were discovered. One with an amputated leg – Milton Sublette.  What a perfect resting place for the old mountain-man, the most famous fort of his era. 
The old Fort Hospital - Milton Sublette's Final Resting Place

Post a Comment