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Jesse 'Jess" Barkhurst

The final chapter in the life of one of Carobn County's old-time residents closed Oct 31,1949, with the death of Jesse William Barkhurst.

He was born December 21,1877, in Mt. Ayer, Iowa, the eldest child of Mr. and Mrs G.H. Barkhurst.

In 1880, the family moved west to Wyoming where G.H. worked for the Union Pacific near Rock Springs, Wyoming and then for many years had a hotel business in Ft. Steele. G. H. and brother, Ira, homesteaded in the Brush Creek area, near Saratoga, Wyoming where Jesse and his brothers and sisters were raised. In 1912 he was married to Miss Sadie Daniels in Hallerton, Iowa. Mr. Barkhurst followed ranching and other lines of work. Some years later they moved to Rawlins, where he lived till his death. Besides his widow, Jesse left two sons to mourn, Lyle and Jack, a daughter, Mrs. Virgil Holloway of Rawlins; two sisters Mrs H.N. Fuller and Mrs. Garry Herring of Encampment and two brothers Scott and Gershom Barkhurst of Brush Creek.


His son Lyle wrote about his father attending school in Rock Springs, and was there at the time of the rioting between the Chinese and the Whites. On Brush Creek, he used to run as many as 20 greyhounds while pursuing the gray wolf packs which frequented the cedar breaks west of Brush Creek.

He was a great lover of dogs and horses and at one time owned a racehorse named, Ragalong, which, at times, won for him considerable amounts of money. He was on of the old-time cowboys, and rode with well-known old timers as Harry Hunter, Charlie Irvin, Amos Wilcox, William Turnbull, Thad Sowder, Otto Plaga, Clayton Danks, and others.

Jesse was also a bronc rider of the old school, and worked for the famous Buffalo Bill, Wild West Show during 1908 and 1909. He rode bucking broncs in every state in the United States except New Jersey, and rode before the King of England in London, as well as in Paris, France. He like the other old timers, made his own saddles, and in the show rode two horses daily. Si Compton was the king of the cowboys at the time and Jesse rode with him at the Pendleton Rodeo, Calgary Stampede, and Cheyenne Frontier Days. He was well known on the Laramie Plains as well. He bunked with Tom Horn just before the latter was captured and later hanged and Jesse remembered the song that Charlie and Frank Irvin sang when Horn was executed, "Keep Your Hand Upon the Throttle and Your Eye Upon the Rail," which was said to be Horn's favorite song.

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