Hilma Krohne with sons J.D. & C.B. c1927 Krohne Island
Clockwise from top left C.O. Krohne c1904 Krohne Island
Right Prize winning apple display State Fair c1910 Lower
apple picking, sorting & packing Krohne Island c1910 this
was a big operation and 1,500 trees produced a lot of
apples, after packing they were rail shipped throughout
Montana and the nation.
C.O. Krohne with son B.T. inspect his orchard for winter
kill in this rare c1908 photo, Krohne Island at riverbank.
A frail C.O. Krohne examines his orchard for winter kill
trees c1908, he is standing on two wooden legs, notice he
walks with 2 canes, in just 9 years he would be gone of a
stroke as a direct result of loosing his legs in the 1880's.
Only in his early 50's at death in 1917, one can only
imagine had he lived another 20 years.
C.O. Krohne seated in his 1908 Mitchell "Mother-in-Law Seat
Roadster", in front of the Krohne Block 116 E. Callender St,
Livingston c1909 note the fact his is the only auto on the
then unpaved street, also note the window in the center of
the building reads "Charles O. Krohne Real Estate" the
Krohne Estate still has the Brass E & J oil side & tail
lights from this car. This Mitchell would have cost
$1,725.00 in 1908, TWICE THE PRICE OF THE AVERAGE HOME IN
LIVINGSTON AT THE TIME ! The Krohne family owned and
operated the very first automobile in Livingston, C.O.
Krohne's 1903 "Haase" Model "B" Phaeton.
Krohne Island House c1925 Hilma Krohne 1886-1971 & C.B.
Krohne 1920-1988, the house still stands today, looking
exactly the same, occupied by a 5th generation Krohne Family
This impressive brick courthouse, shown
shortly after construction, opened August 1, 1896, amid much
fanfare. Initially part of Gallatin County, one of nine
original Montana territorial counties. Park County had been
created nine years earlier in February 1887, with Livingston
as county seat. Despite some opposition, this venerable
landmark was razed in 1974 to make way tor the new
city-county government complex.
Here is Coxey's Army on the way to
Washington D.C. to demand jobs in 1894. Livingston played an
important part in the great American Railway Strike, because
it was an important division point of the Northern Pacific.
The first train was held up here on June 27. For 13 days, no
train passed through town. It was July 11 when the strike
was called off.
The first town at the great bend of the
Yellowstone was Clark City, where merchandise for railroad
builders first arrived. Unknown to residents there, railroad
officials had purchased land farther north and decreed that
the tracks should be placed there, where they could reap a
handsome profit. Clark Street was named for the abandoned
Clark City. Post office was established in Clark City on
October 17, 1882, and in Livingston on November 13, 1882.
James "Yankee Jim" George came to the area in 1873. He
squatted above the canyon and took over the wagon road,
which had been constructed the previous year by Bart
Henderson and Adam "Horn" Miller. He built a way station and
charged toll over the road. Henderson and Miller had built
the road to take mining supplies by wagon into the Cooke
Yankee Jim's toll gate was between the house
and barn. Toll charges were $2.50 for one wagon and one team
of horses or mules; $1.50 for each additional team; $1 for a
single horse and rider; 75 cents for a pack horse; and 5
cents for each head of horses, cattle, or sheep.
The Wan-I-Gan grew in size and services
during the 28 years when the Whithorns owned it from 1948 to
1976. Twelve cabins were available for tourists, fishermen,
hunters, and (for 17 years) Dr. Townsend's patients. Those
cabins were marked by births, deaths, and recuperations. The
Horn House was added in 1954. The Wan-I-Gan ceased being a
business in December of 1983.
President Roosevelt rode down from Mammoth with Major
Pitcher. James C. McCartney, the so-called "Mayor of
Gardiner," joined them. The child is thought to be Paul
Hoppe, son of Walter Hoppe, owner of the log livery stable
in the background. Upstairs from the stable was a public
In 1886, Floyd Thompson made the trek west to Livingston and
joined the Thompson Brothers partnership. The enterprise
boomed, and the brothers built a new complex on the corner
of Main and Callender Streets. This 1890s view depicts Floyd
tending the counter in the dry goods department. Catherine
Lane Interiors resides at the same location today.
Well known throughout Montana, the Gateway
City Band was on-call to entertain at the myriad of local
social functions and festivities. Incorporated in 1903, the
band purchased new uniforms in 1907. Lead by Joe Brooks,
they played at functions held throughout Montana and played
regularly at the Montana State Fair.
Located on Lewis and D Streets, it was the
first church constructed in Livingston. Although 1883
newspapers advertised nearly 30 saloons casting about to
capture the spirits of men, the religious side of life was
not neglected. On July 25, 1883, foundations for the
Methodist Episcopal church were laid by Rev. George Comfort.
Centered between Brainard, Minnesota, and
its terminus in Portland Oregon, Livingston became the hub
of the NPRR in 1883. To navigate the Bozeman pass, the NPRR
designed a switchback and used helper engines stored in
Livingston to help with this steep ascent over the pass.
Arriving in Livingston around 1904, Herbert Cummings
(Commings) and son Lyman took over Wakefield's old livery
business in 1906. The Cummings business moved into a new
brick building on Lewis and 3rd Streets in 1909. Businessmen
Mertz and Blair took over the old livery location on
Callender and 2nd Streets, establishing an automobile
business. The advent of the horseless carriage steered the
Cummings family into launching an automobile repair business
and Chevrolet dealership.
Livingston appeared a bustling metropolis in this view
looking east on Callender Street around 1935. Many
businesses had come and gone since the turn of the century,
but a few standards remained, including the Park Hotel,
rebuilt in 1904 after a disastrous fire, and James Vicar’s
Drug Store, a fixture since 1906. In the next decade, the
classic bell tower of City Hall would be removed, forever
changing the skyline.
It seems no early Western town was complete without a local
cigar factory that catered to the gentlemanly pleasure
enjoyed by kings and commoners alike. Livingston was no
exception, and for almost 50 years, the Garnier Cigar
Company provided the smoke enjoyed by railroad workers,
tourists, businessmen, and probably Calamity Jane. Charles
Gamier and son Charles Jr. for a time supported a payroll
surpassed only by the Northern Pacific.
Established in July 1886, the Gamier Cigar Company produced
handmade cigars from leaves grown in Cuba, Honduras, and
Connecticut. Garnier's original factory was devastated by
fire in 1897 but was soon replaced by this brick edifice on
North 2nd Street. One of several manufacturers in town,
Gamier competed with Charles Manley and James Shipton's
cigar brands, J. S. and Livingston Favorite. Gamier also
served as mayor and city treasurer. Crafted in different
shapes and sizes, the Montana Sport was Garnier's only
cigar. However, upward of 40,000 cigars per month were
produced to supply local and regional demand. Featuring i
droopy-eared Mack and white Springer spaniel, Garnier's
trademark logo graced cigar boxes, bands, and advertising
materials for many years. Charles Sr. died in 1939 and
Charles Jr. followed in 1944, bringing an end to this
Carved by a Chicago firm in 1883, this gaily painted
cigar-store Indian was shipped by rail to Charles Manley's
cigar factory in Livingston. "Chief Skookum" guarded
Manley's factory on North Main Street until fire destroyed
the operation July 4, 1887. Manley and his wooden friend
moved to Tacoma, Washington, where they managed a cigar
store for 50 years. Charles confers with "The Chief" in this
This rustic log depot was built at the end of the Northern
Pacific Railroad's spur line - from Livingston to Gardiner
in 1903. Robert Reamer, the architect to the Old Faithful
Inn, designed this attractive building. The Roosevelt arch
was constructed the same year and faced the depot and became
the official North entrance to Yellowstone. Six-horse
Concord stage coaches carried tourists from the depot to the
Mammoth Hotel. After 1916, the yellow tour busses of the Y P
Transportation Company replaced the stagecoaches. Regular
scheduled train passenger service to Gardiner ended in 1948,
and a lamentable decision was made 6 years later to demolish
this historic site.
Long before the white man arrived, the
Shoshone, Bannock, Blackfoot and Crow Indians called this
area "The Valley of the Flowers". This was a sacred, natural
territory used for hunting. In 1864 gold was discovered
bringing an influx of miners and settlers making Livingston
a town in 1882 with the coming of the Northern Pacific
railroad. This 1918 photo shows the 1902 Northern Pacific
Depot on the right behind the locomotive smoke.
from the book "Imprints on
by Ida McPherren, Hugo Hoppe's great niece.
Sherman Canfield was born on a ranch in Nebraska, near what
is now West Point in 1865, was a frequent visitor to
Cinnabar. His father, George Canfield and his mother (nee:
Rhodes) were pioneers of Nebraska, and it was while
operating a small boarding house close to the stockyards in
Omaha that George Canfield met Buffalo Bill.
When Buffalo Bill formed the Wild West Show in 1887 and took
it to England, he took George Canfield's son, Sherman, with
him as his private secretary. Sherman followed the
show until 1892 when his father was manager of the newly
constructed Sheridan Inn, and Sherman quit the show to
assist his father in its management.
It was while he was with Buffalo Bill that Sherman got to
know the crowned heads of Europe by their first names and
often entertained them in the royal box at the show.......
Cinnabar, Sherman telephoned to Cooke City, Gardiner,
Horr, Aldridge, Red Lodge, and sent a cowboy riding to
outfits to give notice that there would be a tryout for
riders for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show the coming Sunday.
The next morning, I came home and that night every man in
Cinnabar and the cowboys, who had arrived for the tryouts,
got gloriously, hilariously, drunk.............
That night Cinnabar celebrated in a mild form of the
previous night’s carousal but the lights were out and
everyone between suggans before midnight for the next day
was the day of the tryouts for the coveted position of rider
in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
The bucking contest was held on the arena in front of
Cinnabar’s grandstand at noon as the last stage had rolled
Parkward. A few tourists laid over for the show and were
part of a crowd of approximately five hundred spectators who
witnessed what was one of the greatest exhibitions of bronco
busting I have ever witnessed through all the years that
followed. Sherman was the sole judge.
It was a clean exhibition of horses that had never been
ridden trying to get the objectionable weight on their backs
off and the weight sticking. Along in mid-afternoon a
funny incident occurred. A young man, about
twenty-three years of age, came riding up the road leading a
wild horse. The man was wearing cowboy boots and spurs, but
no chaps, sombrero or the customary vest. He asked to
ride in the tryouts.
Stares, sneers and sniggers were openly directed in his
direction but Sherman said to let him ride. A cowboy held
the wild horse while the stranger uncinched his flimsy old
saddle; transferred it to the bronc and climbed aboard.
With that the fun was on. With his head to the ground
and back arched like an angry cat's the wild cayuse bucked
and pitched sunfished; jumped straight up and came down a
twisting and then shook himself in an effort to get rid of
the man on his back........
Unable to unseat his rider, the horse broke into a run down
the road........... Sherman stood waving his hat and
cheering one of the finest rides he had ever seen.
The cowboy who had practiced every spare moment for a year
for the event but who did not have enough money to purchase
a cowboy outfit got the job............
Park County, so named due to its proximity to Yellowstone
National Park, was created by the territorial legislature
February 23, 1887.
Prior to the coming of the white man the only residents were
Crow Indians who roamed the entire Yellowstone River basin.
The first white people to enter the local area were the
famous Lewis and Clark along with their party including
Sacajawea. Jim Bridger (the famous scout and mountain man)
wintered with the Crow Indians near Emigrant in 1844-45.
In the three decades after Lewis and Clark, this area as
well as much of the mountain west was actively trapped by
hundreds of men, primarily for beaver. In the decades
starting 1840 and 1850, the trapping activity largely ceased
because of lack of beaver demand due to the changed styles
and the country being trapped out.
Gold was discovered in Emigrant Gulch in 1863. By the fall
of 1864, several hundred men were working claims there. When
winter came, 75 log huts were built at the mouth of the
gulch and the town named Yellowstone City.
In 1864, John Bozeman opened up the new road bearing his
name to shorten, by several hundred miles, the route between
Fort Laramie and the gold localities of Western Montana. The
road passed through the Livingston area and then out over
In the mid-1860s, there was much travel going east. The
almost complete lack of roads in the territory led to the
use of the rivers, including the Yellowstone, as routes. The
Livingston area was an embarkation point for hundreds of
people prepared to risk the hazards of the river and Indians
in mackinaws (these were flat boats 30-50 feet long and 4-5
feet high at the sides, some with crude cabins on them).
Much of the lumber came fro the first saw mill in the area
on Mill Creek. In 1865 one fleet of 42 mackinaws left the
boat yard on September 27. A year later a fleet of 16
mackinaws left the Livingston area with 250 miners carrying
$500,000 in gold. They made the 2700 mile trip to St. Joseph
in 28 days.
In 1864 Hunter’s Hot Springs was discovered by Dr. Hunter
and his party, passing through. Dr. Hunter returned six
years later, built a house and took residence, in spite of
Indian dangers. Later, the area was famous as a resort for
In 1866, 600 Longhorn cattle that had made the “long drive”
from Texas were trailed into the Shields Valley by Nelson
Story for eventual sale to the miners further west. Before
this could be accomplished, over half of the cattle were
lost to marauding Sioux.
In April 1867, John Bozeman was killed by Blackfoot Indians
near Mission Creek. This incident, added to others, caused
the then territorial governor to organize a militia to
punish the Indians and protect the settlers. Six hundred men
encamped at Fort Howie at the mouth of the Shields River.
In 1868, in accordance with the Crow Treaty of that year, an
Indian agency was established on the Crow reservation on
Mission Creek. It was considered the finest fort in the
territory, fully stockaded, blockhouses on the corners, etc.
The requirements of the Fort for supplies caused a ferry to
be set up across the Yellowstone River four miles east of
the present site of Livingston. A small settlement, known as
Benson’s landing, grew up here. For many years, it was the
focal point of the area with some log houses, a hotel,
several saloons, etc. It served as a stage stop, trading
post and post office.
For a very long time, the area of Yellowstone Park was
almost completely unknown. The stories told over the years
by Jim Bridger, traders and the Indians were received
incredulously. The place was known as “Colter’s Hell” from
Colter’s stories of his winter there in 1807-1808. In 1869,
the first real exploring party entered the Park area,
followed by the Washburn party of 1870 and Hayden party of
1871. This lead to the creation by Congress of the country’s
first national park in 1872.
By 1880, the population for the county was only about 200.
In 1881, the Northern Pacific Railroad, building a line
westward, entered the state of Montana. Livingston was
reached November 22, 1882 where a settlement of 500 people
had sprung up, awaiting the railroad.
1883, the National Park branch of the NP Railroad was
completed and the east west sections of the railroad joined
together near Garrison, this opened up the entire country.
Following these events, the local area had a period of rapid
growth. By 1890, the county had a population of 6,900.
Steady growth since then has brought the county to where it
This is the famous photograph, dated 1883, that purportedly
shows a gathering of famous Old West characters all in one
place - at Hunter's Hot Springs, Montana. Shown left to
right in the order of the photo's annotations are: 1.
(Unidentified) 2. Wyatt Earp (standing) 3. Theodore
Roosevelt (seated) 4.) Doc Holiday 5. Morgan Earp (brother
of Wyatt Earp - standing) 6. "Liver Eating" Johnson 7. Butch
Cassidy (standing) 8.) Sundance Kid (seated) 9.
(Unidentified) 10. Bat Masterson 11. (Unidentified) 12.
Harry Britton 13. (Unidentified) 14. Judge Roy Bean 15. Ben
Greenough. Researcher Jason Leaf says the photo itself is
genuine - that is, it hasn't been doctored - but it's the
identify of the men that is in question. (Photo courtesy of
The story of a vintage photograph and the man who
became obsessed with unraveling its secrets
By Jerry Brekke
Montana Best Times, February 2003 issue
Two-and-a-half years ago a co-worker handed Jason Leaf a
photograph. It was a copy of a 19th century photo of a group
of 15 men posing on the front porch of a hotel. What made
the the print remarkable was a list of names identifying the
Wyatt Earp, Teddy Roosevelt, Doc Holiday, Morgan Earp and
Montana mountain man "Liver Eating" Johnston were listed,
along with Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Bat Masterson,
Harry Britton, Judge Roy Bean, and Ben Greenough. Noted,
too, is a place and date: Hunter's Hot Springs, Montana -
If the names are to be believed, the image is the largest
assemblage of Old West celebrities ever pictured in one
Leaf, a 44-year-old Vancouver, British Columbia resident,
was skeptical. But a story in a local newspaper began to
change his mind.
"Within hours of receiving a copy of the Hunter's Hot
Springs photo in May of 2000, I viewed a copy of the famous
'Fort Worth Five' 1900 photograph in my local paper, which
had just come into the news because the original had sold
for $80,000 at auction," said Leaf recently.
The "Fort Worth Five" photograph is an image of Butch
Cassidy and the Sundance Kid posing with other outlaw
members of the Wild Bunch in a Fort Worth, Texas studio.
"Comparing the real Butch and Sundance from the Fort Worth
Five image to Man 7 and Man 8 in the Hunter's Hot Spring's
photo, compounded with finding out from the historical
record that both Butch and Sundance were in southeast
Montana in 1886, led me to lend credence to the whole list
of names," said Leaf.
The investigation begins
Leaf contacted Daniel Buck, a Washington, D.C.-based
historian and noted authority on the lives of Butch Cassidy
and the Sundance Kid. Buck and his wife, Anne Meadows, have
written numerous articles and published two books about the
outlaws, including Meadows' book, "Digging Up Butch and
Sundance." Their work has also been featured on radio and
Buck told Leaf the photo was not what it purported to be. He
speculated that the group was made up of local ranchers and
businessmen, somewhere in the West during the late 1880s.
Buck also pointed out that Morgan Earp - brother of lawman
Wyatt Earp - was dead by 1883 and that Butch and Sundance
were too young to be in an 1883 photo. Although Meadows'
history confirmed that Butch and Sundance were in southeast
Montana in 1886, Buck said a photograph's date should not be
changed to fit a theory.
No one, however, had ever made a critical analysis of the
Hunter's Hot Springs (HHS) photo. Historians tend to dismiss
it out-of-hand as being bogus and those who believe the
photo authentic tend to accept it without question. Buck
encouraged Leaf to find out what was known about the photo's
location and date and to build his case from that point.
Leaf embraced the suggestion. In June, 2000, he launched a
research adventure that would consume at least two hours of
time every day for the next two and a half years. He based
his research on the premise the Hunter's Hot Springs image
"What historians had to say went in one ear and out the
other," said Leaf. "I decided to accept the photo as
authentic until it could be proved otherwise."
Dating the photo
First on Leaf's research agenda was an attempt to establish
the place and date of the photo. Leaf said the process was
"No one disputes the authenticity of the photograph - the
picture does not seem to have been 'doctored' at all, in a
photographic sense - it is only the list of names attached
to the bottom of the photo which historians have dismissed
as bumpkinesque folklore," said Leaf.
From 1886 newspaper accounts, Leaf learned that Dr. A.J.
Hunter sold the resort to Cyrus Mendenhall and the hotel
underwent substantial renovation after the purchase. An 1885
sketch of the hotel, provided by Crazy Mountain Museum in
Big Timber, confirmed by comparison that steps were added to
the porch by Mendenhall. Additional comparisons of the
structure left little doubt that the photo was indeed taken
at Hunter's Hot Springs, a famous resort a mile north of
Springdale, Mont., which is no longer in operation.
Further newspaper research divulged that a second remodeling
project in 1888 eliminated the steps when landscaping
provided for a graded path to the hotel's entrance. Leaf
concluded that the photograph could not have been taken in
1883, but within the period between late summer 1886 and
An 1886 date made Leaf's premise about the photo's accuracy
even more plausible. Because in 1886 Theodore Roosevelt was
on a hunting trip in Montana ; Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid were in fact working within a day's ride of
Hunter's Hot Springs; and "Liver Eating" Johnston made
frequent visits to the springs area.
The fact the Northern Pacific Railroad route came within a
mile of the resort added more plausibility to these men
being at the resort, along with many of the other Western
celebrities purportedly in the photo.
"The West," said Leaf, "was really a very small place."
Tackling the list of names
Leaf next turned his attention to verifying the list of
names - a task much more difficult than authenticating the
photograph. The researcher submitted his theories to Western
history enthusiasts, historians and historical societies
such as Montana Historical Society, the Pinkerton Detective
Agency Archives, and the Theodore Roosevelt Collection at
Harvard University. Each accepted his presumption of locale,
but none accepted the names.
Small details of the photograph and its list were examined
and checked against proven records for clues. On the list,
Earp was misspelled (Erp). Butch Cassidy's real name, Robert
Leroy Parker, was noted on the photo as Geo. Parker, a
Pinkerton file misnomer, but also the name of a tennis pro
who played at Hunter's Hot Springs in the early 1900s. In
the photo Roosevelt is listed as "Teddy Roosevelt," but he
actually wasn't called Teddy until after the 1898 Spanish
American War. Leaf also contacted experts to identify the
rifle held by Man #8 and to date the bottle laying on the
ground in front of Man #3.
"I really wanted to believe the list was true," said Leaf.
His first year of research provided Leaf a great deal of
circumstantial evidence and hypothetical scenarios, but
little undisputable fact. A pivotal point in his
investigation came when, through evidence supplied by a
family historian, Leaf ruled out Ben Greenough, a young
friend of "Liver Eating" Johnston, as a group participant.
"Once I had one famous name drop out," said Leaf, "I had
reason to question the rest."
In July of 2001, Leaf went public with his research, posting
it on a Web site he designed titled, "Who Are Those Guys?"
at www.huntershotsprings.org. The
site features comparison photos of the supposed celebrities
and frequent updates of information from viewers that are
both critical and supportive of Leaf's opinions about the
Largely because of his Web site, by the end of 2001 Leaf had
uncovered at least five different lists of names written on
copies of the photo identifying the mystery men. They range
from recent Internet auction copy of the picture - which the
seller dated 1886, apparently as a result of Leaf's research
- to a copy of the photo whose list of names is believed to
date from 1944.
Discoveries made during a trip to Montana provided new
insight into the Hunter's Hot Springs photograph's
clandestine history. In Livingston, historian Doris
Whithorn, who aided and encouraged Leaf's long-distance
investigation, provided what might be the first known public
reference to the photo.
It was an April 23, 1964 article in The Park County News
headlined, "Who Remembers T. Roosevelt, W. Earp, Bat
Masterson, Liver Eating Johnston, Ken [sic] Greenough at
Hunter's?" and includes the photograph and a plea to the
readership for help identifying the pictured men.
With only five names on the list and the possibility that
names may have been tagged on over the years, "My original
theory went wrinkly at the edges," said Leaf, "and I gave it
the old heave-ho."
Added to Leaf's ever-expanding amount of research material
were four volumes of newspaper references compiled by
Livingston archivist Miles Iverson, who noted every
reference made to Hunter's Hot Springs between 1871 and
"In looking through his documentation, I couldn't understand
why there wasn't mention of these people (in the
photograph)," said Leaf. "Then I realized the reason they
weren't mentioned is because they weren't there."
One tantalizing possibility
So who are those guys?
A major contribution to Leaf's project was submitted by a
great-grandchild of Franklin Rich and Lizzie Hunter Rich,
who operated the Rich Hotel at Hunter's Resort at the same
time the photo was taken.
Sharon Pohlman, family archivist for the Rich family, and Al
Rich, grandson of Franklin's brother A.A. Rich, submitted
photos and a detailed family history. Pohlman's contribution
proved to Leaf's satisfaction that Butch Cassidy was, in
reality, Franklin Rich and the unidentified Man #1 was his
brother Al Rich.
Leaf admits that his insistence the original list of the
names on the photo was accurate until proven false skewed
his investigation for two years, and he is now prepared to
do an about-face - almost.
"My recanting notwithstanding, I haven't yet given up hope
on the Liver Eater for the number six position," said Leaf.
"There may be one celebrity in the photo, after all."
John "Liver Eating" Johnston was a well known Montana
resident and his frequent visits to Hunter's Hot Springs
were documented in the press and by the Rich family history.
Leaf's research project has attracted international
attention. A December 2001 article in Maine Antique Digest
utilized the Hunter's Hot Spring photograph and Leaf's
findings as an example to decry the selling of
misrepresented collectibles on Internet auction Web sites,
and True West Magazine has contacted the researcher for an
upcoming article dealing with his recantation.
"I don't think the photo was ever a malicious prank," Leaf
said. "Copies of the photo have sold over the years and they
will continue to sell in the future. No one is hurt too bad
when they buy a copy. Most I've seen sell for $15 to $20 -
not bad for something you'd like to believe in."
At least once the photograph sold for much higher than that.
A couple years ago at a Clyde Park auction, bidding fervor
for a copy of the photo took the price to about $200.
For Leaf, his research has brought its own rewards in
support received and friendships made.
"Jason Leaf was the first person to make a serious effort to
locate the exact site of the photograph and put a date on
it," said Wild Bunch historian Daniel Buck. "That in itself
was an admirable piece of work. But what came next was
extraordinary. Even though he began his journey believing
that the caption was correct, that the gentlemen depicted
were in fact the largest assembly of Old West celebrities to
perch on a porch anywhere anytime, Jason kept an open mind
and went to work. He researched, he traveled, he e-mailed.
Slowly, the famous names dropped away, replaced by those of
Hunter's Hot Springs locals, whose photographs he had
uncovered. Jason proved that nothing is impossible."
The adventure is far from over. Leaf said his goal has
always been about "verifying 15 biographies" of the men
pictured in the mystery photograph.
"I feel an obligation to the descendants of the guys who are
really in the picture," said Leaf. "I'm positive that most
would like to have a part of their history restored to
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