Letter on Casper and Rongis Stage Line stationery sent by an early and important Wyoming oil prospector from the middle of nowhere via one of the lines stagecoaches. Iver Johnson.
Letter on Casper and Rongis Stage Line stationery sent by an early and important Wyoming oil prospector from the middle of nowhere via one of the lines stagecoaches
Letter on Casper and Rongis Stage Line stationery sent by an early and important Wyoming oil prospector from the middle of nowhere via one of the lines stagecoaches

Letter on Casper and Rongis Stage Line stationery sent by an early and important Wyoming oil prospector from the middle of nowhere via one of the lines stagecoaches

“14 miles from any body”, Wyoming: 1892. Envelope or Cover. Three-page letter on illustrated stagecoach stationery with matching mailing envelope. The letter is dated “At camp 14 miles from any body Wyo., Jan 6th 1892.” The cover is franked with a 2-cent Washington stamp (Scott # 219D) canceled by a 7 January Casper postmark. In nice shape. In this letter, Johnson gives his wife complex instructions for moving money between banks, workers, and creditors. Transcript included.

“As the stage will soon go past here, I take the opportunity of sending out a few lines . . . sent Dft on you for one hundred Dollars and I wish you deposit with The First National Bank Cheyenne one hundred Dollars more for C.H. King & Co . . . have the Bank sign a telegram. . ... When that is done you have Emile or Clarance to get a Dft on Omaha for one hundred more which you can send to me by mail. . .. This will make three hundred Dollars . . . but you can give warrant to Clarance . . . in fact I wrote you to turn all checks over to them so what money we have to use these we will allow them interest on. . .. If Clarance or Emile get the Dft for your they can get it in there own name & sign it over to my order. Warren or Clarance will tell how that is done correctly . . . please let me know if that soda money have been paid. I have had worked done on all Soda Lakes, so they cant play any schemes on that. I wrote you from Casper what deal I have made with Mr Iba, which presumes will make them stop & think what to do next. . .. I have the Buffalo Coat on most of the time. . ..”. Very good. Item #009582

When he wrote this letter, Johnson—a Norwegian immigrant—was no doubt prospecting for oil fields in Natrona County, Wyoming. By 1892, Johnson—a prominent pioneer merchant—owned a network of dry goods and grocery stores in Wyoming with his partner, E.J. Baker. He was also an oil prospector who in 1882, along with Territorial Geologist Samual Aughey, was the first to discover oil 40 miles north of Casper in the Salt Creek district, the most prolific oil field in Wyoming. He next discovered another major oil field near Lander, about 150 miles west of Casper. In 1892, when this letter was written, Johnson was searching for oil—which he would find—near Teapot Rock (of the infamous Teapot Dome Scandal). This letter was written during one of Johnson’s explorations while prospecting along the Caspaer and Rongis Stage Line.

The Casper and Rongis Stage Line never reached Rongis (now a ghost town near Rock Spring). Rather, the line—also known as the Bessemer-Casper Stage Line, ran one coach per day to Lander, about 140 miles to the west , and two per day to Casper, about 20 miles to the north. The line was owned by William Clark with his son, John and headquartered in Bessemer, where the Clarks also owned the Searight House, "the best hotel in Central Wyoming, with accommodations unsurpassed."

For more information about Johnson and the Wyoming oil fields see the online collections at the Niobara County Library, Natrona County Towms at roots.web, Wyoming Tales and Trails, and WyoHistory.com.

Price: $750.00