A Ride With The President

In late May of 1903 the president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt,  rode 50 miles from Laramie to Cheyenne. The story is well known in Wyoming and to Roosevelt and presidential scholars. Not much has been said about those accompanying him, and I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the riders who rode with the president up the mountain trail.

Francis E. Warren - U.S. Senator from Wyoming
Warren was the man that did it all for the State of Wyoming. Served as territorial Governor twice before being elected as Wyoming's first governor. Shortly after becoming Governor he was elected to the Unites States Senate. Warren served as a Senator from 1890-93 then was elected again in 1895 and served until his death in 1929. At the time of his death, he had served longer than any other U.S. Senator and was the last Civil War Veteran to serve. Warren was also a Civil War Medal of Honor winner.  Warren's daughter married John J. Pershing in 1905. Pershing went on to lead the American Expeditionary Force in WWl.

Frank Hadsell - U.S. Marshal
Appointed a U.S. Marshall for Wyoming in 1872, Hadsell is best known as one of the posse leaders who tracked down Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch after the Wilcox Train Robbery.
Wild Bunch

Joe LeFors - Deputy U.S. Marshal
LeFors was appointed by Hadsell, reportedly after asking repeatedly. He bragged of being with Hadsell after the Wilcox Train Robbery but most likely was not. He did lead a posse after the Wild Bunch robbed the train at Tipton Wyoming. LeFors is best known for bringing in Tom Horn. In modern days LeFors name is well known among western movie lovers because it is mentioned as the mysterious man in the white hat chasing Butch and Sundance in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

N.K. Boswell - Albany County Sheriff
Boswell was the first sheriff of Albany County and most responsible for cleaning up- actually; they strung them up – Laramie’s crooked Marshall Steve Long along with his half-brothers, Ace and Con. Today he may be best known as the man who built the historic N.K. Boswell Ranch south of Laramie near present day Wood’s Landing.

R.S. Van Tassell - Cheyenne area rancher
One of the largest landowners in Wyoming history. One of his holdings, his Laramie County Ranch, was where Roosevelt and his companions stopped several times and changed horses at least once was listed as approximately 21,000 acres. During the ride Van Tassell who was near 70 years old at the time set such a fast pace that President Roosevelt, nearly 30 years his junior, reportedly said, “Say, Van, you old rascal, I believe you're trying to show me up.” Van Tassell for much of the 50 plus mile ride rode his favorite mount, Gypsy. Van Tassell kept and rode a horse named Gypsy for more than 50 years. Obviously several different horses, but most certainly a good way to remember your horse's name.

Seth Bullock - Black Hills Forest Reserve Supervisor

A long time friend of the president. Bullock was a Lawman from Deadwood South Dakota, a position he took over the day after Wild Bill Hickock was murdered.  He met Roosevelt in 1884 when he was in Deadwood and Roosevelt was a lawman in North Dakota. Roosevelt once said of his friend, "Seth Bullock is a true Westerner, the finest type of frontiersman." Bullock, although never deployed was a captain in company A of Roosevelt's famous Roughriders. When Roosevelt was inaugurated, Bullock rode in the parade along with Tom Mix to honor his friend. It was Roosevelt, as president, that appointed Bullock to the position in the Black Hills.
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