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Pinedale Online > News > March 2019 > Sublette County - - Then or Now

Frances Clark. Photo by Sublette County Artists' Guild.
Frances Clark

Sage Grouse. Photo by Lynn Thomas.
Sage Grouse
Drawing by Lynn Thomas

Carvings on the Aspen. Photo by Sublette County Artists' Guild.
Carvings on the Aspen
Sublette County Artists Guild features Frances Clark: 'Sublette County - - Then or Now'
by Sublette County Artistsí Guild
March 2, 2019

Pinedale Online is proud to present writings by the Sublette County Artist Guild. The Sublette County Artistsí Guild, originally called the Writer's Club, was organized in 1928 by six ranch women in Sublette County, Wyoming, who had a common desire for self-expression and good company. The only requirement was that each member must present something original at each meeting. The women reached their meetings at homes and ranches in the area by slow travel on very poor roads, necessitating a long tradition of convening only in the summer. Some members created original drawings and paintings, while others wrote poetry, short stories, histories, and reminiscences, producing a trove of imaginative work and first-hand accounts of early Sublette County life. Click on this link for more information about their writings: Sublette County Artistsí Guild

Sublette County - - Then or Now
By Frances D. Clark (June 1982)

I find it necessary to go back to the then in order to find a now . . .

How Green River Basin became a County is well documented in County and state records, but where the county seat should be located and who might take over is recorded only in the minds of "old timers." Iím an old timer, and the way I remember goes like this: Pinedale and Big Piney both made bids for the county seat. Some Daniel folks thought Daniel should be the place. That quieted down when Prof Sommers and Joe Ewer suggested an entirely new location half-way between Big Piney and Pinedale - - they would call it La Gap, but that too fell apart -- only Pinedale and Big Piney appeared on the ballot.

The tie camp of that day seemed to get its share of bad characters- -the little cemetery shows this. It is said they all died with their boots on, but the one that really shook me up was the one when Billy Williams was shot and killed. This is a story Iíve heard my late husband tell. This took place at the last tie camp.

It seemed there was a new hand in camp, a quarrelsome fellow. He became angered with Billy and shot Billy through the head and walked away into the darkness. Then a "tender foot" from the east said he would get the law in from Evanston. There had never been a lawman in camp. He was picked up by someone with a team and sled and ended up where Daniel now stands. While he was eating breakfast and tell someone what he planned o do, the cook came into the dining room saying, "We donít need any law --one of us is going to eat breakfast in Hell," drew a six-shooter from under her apron and killed the man. She wasnít foolin! When the camp closed for keeps, Cora and Kendall turned into cow country again real fast. I like men of action. I think I liked it then.

Some residents along the extreme south and east, most cowpunchers, may have had a hard time knowing if they lived in Sweetwater County or the new Sublette County. It is a matter of record that a moonshiner near Pinedale was found dead in his dugout still room on that day, but the record says he voted Ė this same Frank Armstrong and the record still stands.

Iím quite sure I liked it then!!

June 1982

Note: Tie camp is referring to a camp where the men who cut timbers to be used for railroad ties lived. In 1867 Charles DeLoney (father of Frances) contracted with the Union Pacific Railroad to provide ties to the railhead in Green River, Wyoming. The ties were floated down the Green River. The cemetery mentioned is most likely the one off the Green River Lake Road near the Kendall Guard Station.

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