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Richard Henry and Charles Beal Hamilton

Fort Bridger

Richard Henry and Charles Beal Hamilton

Richard Henry Hamilton (RHH) (1828-1888) came west from Missouri to settle at Fort Bridger in 1857-58. He and his brother-in-law and 1st cousin William A. Carter, became partners in a cattle operation to provide beef for the military troops that then served at the fort. In subsequent years Hamilton and Carter brought more cattle into the area from Oregon and Texas in order to supply the army with beef. Hundreds then thousands of head of cattle, sheep and horses were raised and maintained on the 500 square mile open range of the military reservation as well as the adjoining land. In 1869 this area was in Carter County whose boundaries went from the southern boundary of the Territory of Wyoming to the northern boundary including Yellowstone. Richard was the livestock boss and was in charge of these herds. Richard and
his Shoshone Indian wife Wanipe had six children between 1865 and 1875.

RHH and his second wife, Sophronia, had two children, one of which was Charles Beal Hamilton. Charles spent his early years at Fort Bridger and was often horseback, tagging along with his father who was the army’s butcher at that time. He helped gather cattle for slaughter and spent much time helping prepare beef for use by the army and for sale to the emigrants. Charles was only 10 when his father died and he helped his mother with the livestock. He inherited some of his father’s cattle and homesteaded on his own in 1899. Th is was the beginning of the Hamilton ranch.

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