Well, the mule skinner got religion – and tried talking his mules into pulling with Christian language. They wouldn’t move. Soon, the Mule skinner lost his new found religion, started cursing in his old way and the old mules understood every word and moved right along!!!
A TEN-TON PAYLOAD
IN DEATH VALLEY
by J. P. Shriver
Folks, as many of you know, I sit on floors, go through attics and search basements looking for old stories on Western Americana that have seldom been read and rarely found. Here is a real find for those of you familiar with the history of the 20 Mule Team Borax. Here is “A Ten-Ton Payload,” by J. P. Shriver that documents the Eagle Borax Works from 1876 and successors, Harmony Borax Works and the deposits they purchased and mined. More importantly, however, this piece recites how they hired a mechanic, J. W. S. Perry to build a wagon that would stand up in the desert. This details Perry’s study of heavy freighters used on the West Coast and enormous carts used in the East before railroading. His research led him to believe that the only wheel capable of handling the payload was one ten feet tall with rims fourteen inches wide. He searched with a fine tooth comb wagons built by Studebaker, Shuttler or Moline that would not hold up. This is the fascinating story of how he built the only successful wagon pulled by a 20 mule team. Great stories of the old west –You will love this story as it appeared in this old western magazine many years ago.
DEATH VALLEY MEMORABILIA
IS RAPIDLY DISAPPEARING
My great granddaddy owned the wagon mule train that ran from Temple – Belton, Texas to Ft. Worth. He probably didn’t have to go through the trials, tribulations and travails as did the muleskinners in Death Valley but I bet he felt a kindred spirit. Truth is, Death Valley was one of a kind. It was never a land of gold or silver, truth was – it’s rightful position was in
In a practical world based on Borax.
Please read this. There were many a western story published – the common ones about Cowboys and Indians are listed on Ebay every day but the rarer ones containing pictures, history and descriptions of muleskinners traveling Death Valley for instance, never make it. They are hard to find. As a matter fact, Collectors save them. I hunt them out cause really the better, untold and rarer stories were published in the rest.
Here’s one of ‘em.
Following my retirement, I have dedicated my remaining hours to indexing the Genealogy of our western pioneers. During my research, I discovered that thousands of our kinfolk lay unfound and unrecognized on some book dealer’s shelf gathering dust. Because Pioneer History and Memorabilia was printed before computer indexing, I index every item I sell.
This complete index will be bound and included in this offering at no additional cost.
Humbly, I am trying to keep history alive.
I hope you appreciate the effort.
A TEN-TON PAYLOAD
By J. P. Shriver
ANCESTORS INDEXED HEREIN, CIRCA 1870s – 1880s
ANCESTOR’S LOCATION: CALIFORNIA
GENEALOGY NAMES INDEXED w * INDICATING PICTURE:
COLEMAN, W. T.
DAUNET, Clotilde Garraul, wife of Isadore Daunet
DELAMETER, J. T., Head Forger and Corral Boss
McDONALD, J. M.
PERRY, J. W. S., Wagon Designer *
SHRIVER, J. P., Author
STILES, Ed, Mule Skinner
PICTURES AND DESCRIPTIONS w * INDICATING PICTURE:
Picture 1: For 165 miles the muleskinners cussed their teams over scorching desert. Intelligent mules were hard to come by, and payment of $1,000 for a good team was common. *
Picture 2: It took hard men to carve the borax out of this piece of hell. Within 15 years production jumped from 1,000 tons to over 20,000 tons per year. *
Picture 3: J. W. S. Perry was chosen by the management of the Harmony Borax Works to come up with a wagon design that would withstand the rigors of desert hauling in the Death Valley area. *
Picture 4: It was in a blacksmith shop similar to the one pictured that the actual prototype of the wagon was built. *
PLACES AND THINGS PROMINENTLY MENTIONED w * INDICATING PICTURE:
Death Valley Junction
Eagle Borax Works
Harmony Borax Works *
Lost Gunsight Mine
Post Office Springs
Railhead at Daggett
THE INVENTION OF A WAGON
DESIGNED FOR DEATH VALLEY
While others clip ads from magazines, I save history. It’s a shame that our past is being lost. It’s as simple as that.
My wife kids me that after I find a piece I like, buy it, read it, research it, take a picture, scan it, write the blurb, pay the Ebay entry fee and commission, that I end up making about 50 cents an hour. But, OH HOW I LOVE THIS OLD WESTERN HISTORY. What a story, Rare Story!!! Great Pictures. You will love it as it was published in this old complete western magazine of many years ago. The issue is in good condition, the cover is in vibrant color.
As clearly stated in my description, this is featured story in a rarely found and seldom read unusual and complete western magazine. I don't give out name of publication or date because I have caught competitors copying my index and work and trying to sell it as theirs. I hope you understand.
Buyer pays postage of $3.50 First Class Postage to U. S., Priority Mail at $5.00. $16.95 Priority Air Mail for International Mail. Texans must pay 8-¼ % sales tax. Thanks,
THIS INDEX IS A GENEALOGY IMAGESOFHISTORY COPYRIGHTED PRESENTATION