Monday, March 9, 2015

Tidbits about Emmetsburg

The mining camp of Emmetsburg was established during the time period of 1865 to 1878, during the heyday of placer mining in Henderson Gulch. Lore has it that the name was in honor of Robert Emmet who was executed (sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, and in the event, hung, and his body beheaded) for high treason in Dublin, Ireland on August 25, 1803. Irish Nationalists organized under his name as the Robert Emmet Literary Association and kept his name alive while they settled the American west. One of the pioneers of Henderson Gulch was James A. Murray, who later erected a monument to the miners buried there. According to Bill Farley, author of an upcoming biography, Murray was a dedicated Irish nationalist and no doubt he and the other Irish pioneers of Henderson commemorated Emmet, their hero, by naming their settlement in his honor.

Emmetsburg has the dubious distinction of being remembered for two violent incidents.

In 1871, a Chinese miner, Ah Hoy (listed as living in Deer Lodge in the 1870 census), was apparently caught with stolen goods (or coins) in his possession, was tried in irregular manner by a "people's court", and, the vote of the court having a majority of one in favor of his execution, was summarily hung. Knowles, the district judge, was not amused, and impaneled a grand jury to determine who was responsible for this lynching, but it seems the perpetrators escaped accountability for their actions.

A second infamous incident involved mining partners. According to an Ancestry Message Board on the Internet The St. Louis Globe Democrat, on April 10, 1875 page 2, carried an article titled "Fighting to the death", which originally appeared in substantially the same form in The New Northwest, the local newspaper of that time.
Cartwright (David) and Wallwork (Mathew) were partners in a prospecting enterprise near Emmetsburg and had been working together for some time. They had at one time had differences, but they had been amicably adjusted. Ferguson was the friend of both, esteemed by both, and is Justice of the Peace of the township.  On Monday last, Wallwork, Ferguson and Charlie Cooper had just returned from Phillipsburg and Wallwork and Cartwright happened to be in Ferguson's cabin about noon. Only the three men were present. Wallwork and Cartwright drifted into a quick quarrel and both drew weapons simultaneously-Wallwork a derringer and Cartwright a navy revolver. Ferguson interposed to prevent an affray and caught the revolver which was accidently discharged in the scuffle, the ball passing through Ferguson's right hand, between the first and second fingers, breaking the bone of the first, but not severing the tendon. The ball lodged in the floor of the cabin.  All three left the cabin, Ferguson going to Caplice & Smith's store to have his hand dressed. Wallwork and Cartwright came together again on the street. Frederick Grant was the only witness of the first part of the second encounter. He said they were standing about five or six feet apart, each armed as before. Cartwright said to Wallwork two or three times: "I'll riddle you for that"- presumably having reference to the accidently shooting of Ferguson, or the remarks made in the cabin. Wallwork responded "Commence" or words to that effect and fired his derringer. Cartwright fired his revolver about the same time. Some say the firing was simultaneous, others that Wallwork fired first. Wallwork's derringer had entered about one inch below the outer of Cartwright's breast. He fell, raised to his knees, and fired two more shots, and fell over on his side with a moan. Wallwork, who had received in the front every ball fired from the revolver, turned to walk away, and again turned back, when Cartwright raised a little and fired a fourth shot, that also striking Wallwork. One barrel remained loaded, six shots fired had each hit a man. Wallwork received one ball which lodged three inches above the right knee, one passed into and through the upper part of the right leg from the side, and two balls entered the left leg from the front, one fracturing the femoral artery and one entering four inches below and to the left. Cartwright died. Wallwork has little chance of recovery. Both men were well thought of, were sober, and given to desperate deeds and had been friendly. But both were game. Wallwork was a large powerful man. Cartwright was a small man.
The men detailed in the previous story are listed in the US Federal Census of 1870 as residents of Emmetsburg. Wallwork was listed as a saloon keeper(line 9), though he was also a postmaster, butcher and landlord,  and Cartwright as a miner (line 18).
Following are copies of the Emmetsburg, Montana Territory, US Federal Census 1870. Listed are all of the residents that were home during the time of the survey. Blank lines designate dwellings that were empty at the time of the survey. Note that no Chinese are listed as residents; apparently, they arrived the next year as land surveyors in 1871 noted that the gulch was largely worked by Chinese miners.

Page 125 has only one name living in residence 181 who is William McFarland age 55 who is
farmer, born in Ireland and has personal items valued at $500.00.

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