divorced Ella in October of 1889, and married Sadie Wilson days later.
February 13, 1890 - Sadie buys lot 10, block 1, Santa Fe addition, for $650.
In 1893 Sadie sued for divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty, Sam
having beaten her
on numerous ocassions.
, when a boy of 18, walked barefoot with a wagon train across the ground where Denver, Colorado now stands.
There were only two cabins then.
As Sam was born in March of 1839, he would have arrived in Denver in 1857 (before the discovery of gold at Cherry Creek) or 1858.
In 1858, it would cetainly be possible for Sam
to encounter a nascent Denver City.
By late in 1859, he
would have found a boomtown.
The account tries to add weight to the first point with an even taller tale:
At one time, about six miles east of where Denver's
capitol-building now stands, Sam Belonger
and Buffalo Bill Cody, while on a scouting trip, were chased and surrounded by a war party of eight Indians.
But only two votes for Denver
, and one against; if Sam
went from Minnesota to California he
would have had to detour to Denver
on the way West to be there in 1859, continuing on later that year or early the next to California, backtracking through Wyoming to take the Lander Road.
Maybe it's more prudent to accept the more obvious interpretation: that he
went to California, then returned east to Colorado in the next year or two, as Denver
grew into a bustling boomtown.
is the only reasonable candidate, and we therefore state with some certainty that Sam
was indeed in Colorado by 1861.
On the other hand — Sam
signed a petition submitted to Congress in February of 1861:
This would seem to certify that Sam
traveled the Lander Road to California in 1859 or 1860.
train consisted of seven wagons, seventeen people, and 129 head of stock.
residence is listed as Minnesota, and the train's destination is listed as California.
Any answer would go a long way toward determining the veracity of Armstrong's claim, that Sam visited Denver by early 1859.
surely visited by 1861.
I take it back... On re-reading our materials about the Lander Cutoff, it appears that the petition was initiated in 1859 — seeming to indicate Sam
traveled at this time, and not in 1858 — and that those who signed it had already traveled the road.
This puts us back at square one.
go to California, then back to Colorado, then back to California?
Finally, in February of 1895, Sam is elected to the board of directors of the Free Gold Mining & Milling Co.
For the record, I have for a long time had a problem reconciling two known facts regarding Sam
's journey West, to wit; Sam signed a petition asking the federal government to build a bridge over the Snake River, where one traveler had been swept away, and various property had been lost; and he
voted in an Aspen election in 1861.
The petition was supposedly circulated circa 1589 among emigrants on the California Trail who traveled the Lander Cutoff through Wyoming.
This route would have taken Sam
beyond Colorado on his
If this had been the case, he
would have first gone to California in 1858 or '59, then back to Colorado by 1861, then back to California by 1862 where he
supposedly hauled freight between Sacramento and Austin, Nevada.
What's more, this would put the kabosh on Joe's tale of Sam
walking into Denver
, with bare feet, when the town was just a few cabins on Cherry Creek — which would seem to date the tale at 1859 at the latest.
had gone to Colorado before continuing on his
way to California, the Lander Road seems an unlikely route, and too late to sign the petition.
But what if the petition was circulated on the way out, before the wagons had reached the cutoff?
may have signed because this was the intended route of his
wagon train, but then later continued on his
own to Cherry Creek after hearing of the discovery of gold.
I don't know if this can be determined one way or the other, but it would seem to make the chronology clearer — Sam
detoured for two years before continuing on to the coast.