was born at St. Charles, St. Charles Co., Missouri, USA
, in 1810. There is some question concerning the correct date of Richard's birth. His age is given as fifty in the 1860 Denver census; and sixty in the 1870 Fort Laramie census..1
He was the son of John Baptiste Richard Sr.
and Rosalie Cote
. He resided at Rocky Mountain Region in 1840. John's occupation: Fur Trader at Rocky Mountain Region after 1840. Mid 1830's-1842
Richard came to the fur trade naturally. While he was growing to manhood, his relatives roamed the wild regions from Mexico to Canada in search of beaver.
In Febuary 1819, Cabanne and Company designated one of the Richards to share the responsibility of the command of its Upper Missouri River operations, and in March 1819 of the same year, Thomas Nuttall met another Richard in central Arkansas, loaded with furs obtained by trade with the Osages.
Richard went west in the late 1830's. In 1840, he formed a partnership with A.M. Metcalf and bartered for furs in the Rocky Mountains. Metcalf proved undesirable to Indian agents on the Upper Missouri, and in 1843 they refused him permission to trade with the Sioux near Fort Larimie.. He married Marie Gardinear
at St. Charles, St. Charles Co., Missouri, USA
, in 1841. About this time , Richard married Mary Gardiner, a half-blood living with the Northern Oglalas or Smoke people, and cemented an alliance with that tribe that was to last until his death. They were to have six children John, Jr., Louis, Peter, Charles, Josephine (who married Bat Pourier), and Rosalie..2
John's occupation: Trader at Fort Platte (1841 - 1847), Fort Laramie (present-day), Goshen Co., Wyoming, USA
, after 1842. 1842-1843:
In early 1842 he became an employee of Sybille and Adams, owners of Fort Platte, an adobe-walled trading post built in 1841 on the south bank of the North Platte River about a mile from the mouth of the Larimie. Richard soon became the firm's most trusted employee, and in the spring of 1842 he accompanied Sybille and Adams to St. Louis to sell their buffalo robes. [Two heavily loaded boats left Fort Platte pointed for St. Louis on May 7, 1842. The traders hoped to float their cargo down the Platte on the spring rise to the Missouri, and then on to the fur trading capital. The Platte, however, proved impossible, and after 200 agonizing miles of dragging the boats over the shallow stream, the boat crews cached the robes on the river bank and sent word back to the post of their failure. Obtaining wagons, Adams, Sybille, and Richard collected the robes and personally escorted them to St. Louis.]
The next year , he commanded the expeditions taking robes east. Leaving Fort Platte on May 7, 1843 with 5 or 6 wagons, he reached Missouri in 2 months. Not far from Fort Platte stood Fort John, commonly referred to as Fort Larimie. Owned by the powerful American Fur Company, Fort John engaged in a deadly struggle with its neighbor post for trade in robes, skins, and furs. [During the first few years of its existence, Fort Platte competed very successfully with Fort John. In Aug. of 1843 and 1849-1852.] Intense competition led to the excessive use of alcohol in the Indian trade. Richard seems to have been assigned to the purchase of liquor for Fort Platte, and he rapidly gained a reputation for smuggling alcohol in from the New Mexican settlements.
In 1842 the American Fur Company succeeded in having one of its men, Andrew Drips, appointed Indian Agent for the Upper Missouri. Drips in turn selected another American Fur Company employee, Joseph Hamilton, as sub-agent for the Larimie region. During the winter of 1842-43, Richard used liberal quantities of alcohol in his trade with the Sioux on the north forks of the Cheyenne River, and the loss of life in consequence stirred Drips to action. He ordered his sub-agent to make an autumnal raid on Fort Platte, hoping to catch the bootleggers with a fresh supply of liquor brought in for the winter trade.
. John's occupation: Trader at Fort Platte (1841 - 1847), Fort Laramie (present-day), Goshen Co., Wyoming, USA
, after 1843. 1843-1844
During the summer of 1843, Bernard Pratte and John Cabanne became the owners of Fort Platte, and Richard, Hamilton's main target, became unemployed. The raid, however, occurred as scheduled. In early September 1843, Hamilton made his move, but the Fort Platte traders, learning of his mission, moved the liquor cached in the post and his it elsewhere, escaping detection. When Richard returned to the Larimie region shortly thereafter, he reached an agreement with Pratte and Cabanne. On Nov. 5, 1843 they requested permission from Drips to include Richard under their trading license and apparently received it.
The Fort Platte traders did well during the winter of 1843-1844, utilizing the liquor brought in by Richard from Taos and which escaped Hamilton, but the next winter Fort John began to emerge triumphant in the contest. The pleasure applied by the sub-agent and the greater financial resources of the American Fur Company were probably factors in the victory. Whatever the reasons, Pratte and Cabanne abandoned their post during the summer of 1845. Acting for the company, Joseph Bissonette took the goods left over from the spring trade and moved down the North Platte to a point about eight miles east of Fort John where he established another post, named Fort Bernard after Pratte. In December, Honore Picotte of the American Fur Company post, Fort Pierre, reported that he had succeeded in buying out the Pratte and Cabanne interest at Fort Benard and that the two traders were glad to be out of the business.. He is a work associate of an unknown person at Fort Bernard (1845 - 1846), Lingle (present-day), Goshen Co., Wyoming, USA
, after 1845. 1845 The American Fur Company found Richard less cooperative. Occupying the half-finished log fort, he carried on a brisk winter trade much to the annoyance of Picotte. The Fort Pierre manager declared that Richard and the other Taos peddlers obtained many of the good robes by trading corn for them and recommended that five hundred bushels be sent to Fort John. Richard's partners in the enterprise were his brother Peter, Joseph Bissonette, a Mr. Branham of Kentucky, and one of the Bordeaux. On June 11, 1846, Edwin Bryant met some of Richard's partners near Grand Island, Nebraska, navigating two mackinaw boats loaded with buffalo robes, bound for the nearest port on the Missouri.
In the spring of 1846, the Indian trade having been completed, Richard and his partners concentrated on the emigrant trade. Here, too, they competed successfully with Fort John using another technique. They simply undersold the powerful rival, at times 30-40%.[Richard charged ten cents less a pound for flour and three and one half cents less a pound of bacon.]
In late June, 1846 the main party of emigrants swept by Fort Bernard and Fort John, and on July 10, 1846 Richard left his post to make his annual pilgrimage to New Mexico for liquor. Several days before, he met the Crosby-Brown party of Mississippi Mormons who planned to winter on the east side of the mountains. They had come west on the Oregon Trail as far as Ft. Benard without knowing they were ahead of Brigham Young and the main body of saints. Richard recommended Pueblo and became their guide, proving a faithful and able pilot according to Brown.
On Aug. 20, 1846 Parkman found Richard in Pueblo quartered in the trapper's stockade. Prevented from reaching Taos because of the Mexican War, Richard stayed in Pueblo to await the cessation of hostilities. During his absence, Fort Bernard burned to the ground. The reasons for its destruction are not known, but Richard must have suspected the American Fur Company.
During the next six years, [1846-1852] Richard continued to trade on a small scale at various sites along the North Platte and the Larimie. By June 1847, opposition to Richard's Fort Benard had been effectively disposed of.
In 1848, Joseph Robidoux supplied the backing for his trade in buffalo robes, and as in the past, Richard obtained corn from Kansas to supplement regular trade items. In the Spring of 1848, the new Indian Agent for the Upper Platte and Arkansas, confiscated his some kegs of liqueur and dumped it into the Platte. In 1850 he apparently had a trading post at Ash Point about 20 miles below Fort Larimie, but sold his interest to Seth Ward and William Guerrier early in 1851..3
He employed Joseph Knight
at Fort Laramie Region, Wyoming, USA
, after 1849. He worked for John Richard on occasion in the Fort Laramie area after 1840 and as an fur trader and overland freighter working from Saint Joseph to Montana..4
He resided at Fort Laramie Region, USA
, circa 1850. He is a work associate of an unknown person at Fort Laramie Region, USA
, after 1851. In the early 1850's, Richard branched out into other business activities. Forming a partnership with a French-Canadian names Monterevier, Richard began farming above Fort Larimie. Prince Paul Wilhelm of Wurttenberg visited the farm in Oct. 1851, and viewed the entrepreneur's corn field, vegetable garden, and orchard. At the same time, Richard entered the ferrying and bridge building business with Langdon, Steele, Miller, and Randall.
Early in 1851, the partners raised $8000 and built two bridges, one over the Larimie near Fort Larimie, now a military post, and one over the North Platte near the mouth of Deer Creek, 100 mile west.
Because the Larimie bridge was inside the military reservation, the Post Council of Administration probably regulated the toll. The price for wagons fluctuated between two and three dollars. In 1853 the spring flood swept the structure away, and since Richard and his partners had done little to keep it in good repair, Fort Larimie's commanding officer recommended that another company be given the contract for a new bridge.
Early in 1853 Richard and his companions built another bridge over the North Platte near the present town of Evansville, Wyoming. This time the men built a more substantial bridge at least those who crossed it in 1853 applauded its strength. Count Leonetto Cipriani crossed the bridge in june and stated that it consisted of 12 arches made from cedar and had piers formed of huge tree trunks filled with gravel. During the next few years, Richard evidently bought out his partners, for travelers make no mention of them.
After 1853 Richard lived near the bridge with his half-breed family. He constructed a log cabin, a blacksmith shop, and a few other buildings on the south side of the river. He named his own price for crossing the bridge, and during high water travelers had little choice but to pay it. The standard fee for wagons was five dollars, and he usually charge four dollars for every hundred head of stock. If the water level was low that emigrants might take a chance in fording the stream, he would reduce the price for wagons to $3 and sometimes to $2.
Richard normally received payment in cash, but he was willing to accept goods for the toll, and he had no difficulty in securing all the furniture and household implements that he needed from emigrants. He traded fresh stock for lame animals and sometimes made a profit of 100% in a single transaction. During the off season he continued to trade for robes and skins with Red Cloud's band.
Richard prospered at his new business. Traveler William Sloan calmed that Richard had pocketed over $40,000 in tolls by June 11, 1853. He made enough money, at least, to provide Ward and Guerrier with enough trade goods for the year. The following year was also a profitable one. On June 11, 1853 for example, Richard made $500 exacting high water fee from Sarah Sutton's party.
Richard was less fortunate in 1855. In April 1855 he lost 75 head of horses to pillaging Sioux. After the battle of Ash Hollow in September 1855, white traders were not safe in Indian Country, and Richard fled to Fort Larimie for protection. Major William Hoffman recommended that 25 soldiers guard the bridge from harm during the winter, and General Harney agreed. Soldiers dubbed the site Camp Payne. Hoffman told Richard that he could return to his bridge if he promised not to trade with the indians until peace had been made. Richard refused and spent the winter at the post in a quiet rage,contemplating the profits lost from inactivity. The spring of 1856, however found him back at the bridge doing a booming business.
During the winter of 1857, Richard again quarreled with the military. In December, General Johnston, commander of the Utah Expedition, ordered 30 rifles seized from his stock of goods. Apparently Richard was keeping the rifles for a Mormon party who planned to return for them in the spring. When Richard appeared at Camp Scott, he declared the weapons were his private property, and demanded $3000 for them. He was informed that the necessity for their retention had passed and that he might have them again. Richard, however, did make some money because of the Utah Expedition; on May 8, 1858, he sold 100 head of cattle to the commissary at Camp Scott.
In late June or early July of 1858, Richard learned of the presence of gold near Pike's Peak, apparently through his Indian connections. With some other traders from Fort Larimie region, he made a trip to the gold fields and took some samples near Cheery Creek. Reaching the Kansas-Nebraska border settlement in late August, he was one of the first men to spread the word of the discovery.
From an aticle entitled "Fort Pierre-Fort Laramie Trail", (1965), pg. 7, we find that John Richard is mentioned as still using the old trail to bring in his trade goods up intil the Civil War utilizing this Fort Pierre-Fort Laramie trail that traversed Oglala lands along the White River. "It continued to have fragmentary use as a highway. At least until the Civil War, John Richard and other independent traders were bringing in goods from New Mexico to the White River."
In High Hawk's Winter-Count, he is listed in the 1859 with the following description: "A Trader brought blankets", The blankets were of Navaho manufacture, as shown by the B.G. count. Cloud Shield explained that they were brought by John Richard, who purchased many wagon-loads of them from the Mexicans".
Joseph ran the store while Richard supervised business operations on the North Platte and made occasional trips to Denver. The brothers suffered heavy loses in the Denver fire of April, 1863, and when Joseph died the following year as a result of a drinking bout, Richard sold what property and stock he may have had left.
At the same time, the bridge business declined because of competition. During the late 1850s Louis Guinard built a new bridge across the North Platte about 7 miles above Richard's and in a few years drew most of the emigrant travel. In addition to tending his bridge during the high water season, Richard moved place to place during the off-season, trading with the Sioux at their camps. When the army established a sub-post near Guinard's bridge in May, 1862, Richard supplemented his income by selling hay to the small garrison and to other nearby.
Richard's last brush with the military occurred in August, 1864. Soldiers arrested Richard, his family, and a number of Oglalas, and sent him to Fort Larimie under guard. The reasons for the arrest are lost to history, but apparently troops at Platte Bridge Station had engaged some Oglalas in a skirmish, and the army hoped to force the Indians to surrender by holding some of their people hostage.
In a short time, Richard was free, but the incident evidently drained the last bit of enthusiasm he held for the Platte Bridge site. In the spring of 1865, he sold his trading post near the bridge and established a camp on Rock Creek, about 20 miles west of present-day Laramie. In 1869 he settled near Bordeaux, Wyoming, on the creek that now bears his mane and busied himself raising horses and cattle.
After 1865 Richard took a less active part in the Indian trade, but financed the operations of his half-breed son, John jr. who traded with the Crows and the Sioux. Like his father, young Richard sought success in diversity. He carted trade goods to Virginia City, Montana, during the gold rush, held the haying contract for Fort Phil Kearney shortly after the Wagon Box Fight, and supplied Fort Fetterman with both wood and hay..2
He is a work associate of an unknown person at Denver, Arapahoe Co., Colorado, USA
, in 1858. Richard and his brother Joseph returned to Cheery Creek later in the year [Fall of 1858] and built a trading house near the stream, becoming the proprietors of one of the first business establishments in what is now the city of Denver. General William Larimer reported that Richards had a fine stock of Indian goods and a large herd of beautifully marked ponies. By 1860 the brothers had a store and a saloon on Blake Street..2
He resided at Denver, Arapahoe Co., Colorado, USA
, in 1859. John Richard and his brother, Joseph, and their families settled in Denver..2
John was listed as the head of a family on the 1860 Census at Denver, Arapahoe Co., Colorado, USA
. He is a work associate of Joseph Richard
at Denver, Arapahoe Co., Colorado, USA
, in 1863. "Had a ranch on Cherry Creek. The brothers also ran what might have been the first industry in the region making Indian crafts, they employed over 20 indian women. Along with this they also had a store and saloon on Blake street . This was handed over to Joseph who carried on the business. The brothers suffered heavy loses in the Denver fire of April, 1863, and when Joseph died the following year as a result of a drinking bout, His brother John sold what property and stock he may have had left."[Big Bat].2
He resided at Bordeaux Ranch, Wyoming Territory, USA
, in 1869. Chief (?) Rocky Bear
was travel on May 16, 1870 at Washington, D.C., USA
; "On May 16,  Red Cloud arrived at Fort Fetterman with about 500 of his followers to send him on his historic journey to the Great Father. The other Oglalas were: Brave Bear, and his son Sword (a shirt wearer) of the Bad Faces, Red Dog, Yellow Bear, and High Wolf of the Oyukpas, Sitting Bear of the True Oglalas, Little Bear, Long Wolf, Bear Skin, Brave, Afraid, Red Fly, Rocky Bear, Swing Bear, Black Hawk, and The One That Runs Him Through, who probably represented the warriors. 11....Two days later, the delegates arrived at Fort Laramie to meet former commanding officer Col. John E. Smith who had returned from Washington to escort them. Accompanying the party were the Indians' hand-picked interpreters, John Richard, Jr. (Red Cloud's personal favorite), W.G. Bullock, James McCloskey, and Jules Ecoffey. On May 26, the party left Fort Laramie and arrived safely in the capital on the first of June. The New York Times published many detailed reports of the historic visit of the Oglala and Brule spokesmen 15. .....Commissioner Ely S. Parker and Secretary of the Interior Jacob D. Cox kept the Indians waiting for two days before meeting them on June 7 for the first of several discussions. For over a week the Lakota guests were treated to lavish displays of diplomatic hospitality, and although the Oglalas must have felt overwhelmed at times, Red Cloud, their primary spokesman, remained solemn and business like. They were determined to obtain information for their people and would not shirk their responsibilities. 17 Red Cloud voiced the opinions of all the delegates. He asked the president to abandon Fort Fetterman and prevent settlers from entering the Big Horn and Black Hills country. In addition, the Oglalas expected guns, ammunition, and provisions. Finally, he declared once more that his people would not relocate to the Missouri. 18
The Indians returned to the Office of the Commissioner on the tenth. Secretary Cox, Govener J A. Campbell of Wyoming Territory, former peace commissioners Vincent Colyer and Felix R. Brunot, and their wives were also present. The proceedings had been relatively calm up to this point but Red Cloud created a furor when he angrily informed Cox, who was carefully discussing the terms of the 1868 treaty, that "this is the first time I have heard " of it and "do not mean to follow it" He contended, instead, that the paper he and others "signed" merely provided for the removal of the forts from the Powder River country and formal peace with the whites. Other representatives supported Red Cloud's assertions, and all blamed their interpreters for lying at Fort Laramie council. 19
.... The Oglalas could live on the headwaters of the Big Cheyenne River northwest of Fort Fetterman outside the boundaries of the Great Sioux Reservation but within the limits reserved for hunting. Although they would be expected to trade at the Missouri River they would not have to travel there to receive their annuity goods. The commissioners also asked them to summit the names of those they wanted as their agent and traders. Red Cloud responded that he disapproved of military men for agents, as they frightened his people, nor poor men for agents who would be tempted to steel their annuities. 20 He felt that Benjamin B. Mills would make a fine agent and could trust W. G. Bullock as trader. 21
On June 14, Red Cloud and the other delegates arrived in New York City where he and Red Dog were scheduled to speak at Cooper Institute on the sixteenth.
.... The Indians left New York City immediately after Red Cloud's speech at Cooper Institute and arrived back at Fort Laramie on 26 June" [Price, Catherine, 1956-, Chiefs, headmen, and warriors : Oglala politics, 1851-1889 / by Catherine Price. 1987. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Purdue University, 1987. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 300-313). Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1993, pg. 68-73].5
John was listed as the head of a family on the 1870 Census at Fort Laramie (1834 - 1890), Platte Co., Missouri Territory, USA
He is a work associate of an unknown person at Three Mile Ranch, Fort Laramie Co., Nebraska Territory, USA
, after 1873. Adolph Cuney was a well known Plains Frontiersman. He was a partner in the Three-Mile Ranch saloon and roadhouse with John Richard or Reshaw and Ecoffey in the Platte River region 3 miles north of Fort Laramie.
From the John Hunton Diary:
A short distance west of Fort Laramie, at the edge of the old military reservation, are remains of the Three Mile Ranch where soldiers and others who wished to join the fun once cavorted in questionable forms of gaiety. The original site of Three Mile, on the Clark Rice place south of the Laramie, has been reduced to several mounds of rubble, with a few handrivited old barrel bands scattered around and a remarkably preserved rock-walled wekk which could probably still be used with a little cleaning out. Albert Nietfeld, born on an adjoining place and the son of Pioneer Henry Nietfeld, piloted us to this old well and also on the search for Eagles Nest-else we might still be looking for it.
On the north side of the Laramie, almost directly opposite the old well, is the later site of Three Mile, now part of the John Yoder ranch. A long, narrow building with several closely spaced alternating doors and windows along its front, still stands in fairly good condition at this location. According to John Hunton the structure was built in 1874 by E. Coffey and Cuny. Mr. Hunton recalls that these gentlemen found business slowing down at their trading post, saloon and road ranch that summer and "decided to add new attractions." They built several such cottages and recruited ten or more broadminded young women from Omaha and Kansas City to make headquarters there. Among them was the fabled Calamity Jane. So it must have been from these same windows and doors that mistress Calamity and her professional sisters made their welcoming bows to the men of the wes, and no introduction neccessary. [John Hunton Diary. (1956), v.2, pgs. 30-32]
Also From John Hunton's Diary we find:
"About the time of the first appearence of Calamity Jane in this part of the country (meaning the Fort Laramie area). in the fall of 1873 E. Coffey and Cuny started a large trading outfit five miles west of Fort Laramie on the north side of the Laramie River, where they carried on quite an extensive business selling goods, running a saloon and general road ranch.
"In 1874 business got very slack with them and they decided to add attractions and for that purpose they constructed eight two-room cottages to be occupied by women. They sent to Omaha, Kansas City and other places and in a short time had their houses occupied by ten or more young women all of whom were known as sporting characters.
"Among this bunch was"Calamity Jane" who who was of the type generally given her by magazine writers and newspaper correspondents. ... [John Hunton Diary. (1956), v.2, pgs. 109-111]
The combination of brothel, roadhouse, and legitimate ranch may have been unique to the partnership of Cuny and Ecoffey. But these there enterprises each appeared independently elsewhere around Fort Laramie, such as Wright's brothel, mentioned above, which was also three miles west on the south side of the Laramie River. The Six Mile Ranch southwest of the fort doubled as a genuine roadhouse in 1876 as well as a house of prostitution, a tradition that dated from years earlier. Other ranches, such as those owned and operated by John Phillips and John Huton were true cattle spreads, with incidental, often elaborate services for travelers. William G. Bullock, another Fort Laramie old-timer, operated a ranch up the Laramie beyond Cuny and Ecoffey's, and he also partnered with Hutton on the Chugwater. All together there were at least three cattle ranches on the Laramie River, ten on Chugwater Creek, and dozens more on the road to Cheyenne. Small and large, these establishments interacted in countless ways with Fort Laramie, especially during the event-filled year of 1876.33[Hedren, Paul L., Fort Laramie in Eighteen Seventy-six: ,1988, pp.45-46]
"Fort Laramie's closest ranch neighbors were probably Adolph Cuny and Jules Ecoffey, who owned the Three Mile Ranch west of the fort on the Laramie River. Both Cuny and Ecoffy were old-timers in the area. Ecoffey, for instance had a long history of friendship and association with the Sioux, serving in the 1860's and 1870's variously as trader, interpreter, and conficonfidant to Red Cloud and his Oglalas30.
In 1876 these partners operated a ranch in the traditional sense, at least according. to J.H. Triggs, who in the extensive discussion of grazing and stock growing in southeastern Wyoming that appeared in one of his guidebooks, listed 2,000 head of cattle and 150 horses and mules on their place.31 Cuny and Ecoffey offered other services too. Morton, the post quartermaster, would contract with them for wagons and teams later during the summer. And in the true spirit of frontier entrepreneurs, they operated a roadhouse for Black Hills travelers, offering meals, an outfitting store, a billiard hall, a blacksmith shop, and a corral with hay and grain. Appealing to baser instincts, they also ran a saloon and brothel, principally for Fort Laramie's soldiers. The unvarnished nature of that concern was described with some detail by General Crook's aide-decamp Lieutenant Bourke:
Several times, on mild afternoon, Lieut. Schuyeler and myself went riding, talking the best road out from the post. Three miles and there was a nest of ranches, Cooneys and Ecoffey's and Wright's, tenanted by as hardened and depraved a set of wretches as could be found on the face of the globe. Each of these establishments was equipped with a rum-mill of the worst kind and each contained from three to half a dozen Cyprians, virgins whose lamps were always burning brightly in expectancy of the upcoming bridegroom, and who lured to destruction the soldiers of the garrison. In all my experience, I have never seen a lower, more beastly set of people of both sexes.32
"In common with many other army officers from the colonial period on, Bourke disliked "borderers" of any stripe. Especially those he found at three "ranches" within three miles of the fort-Cooney's, Ecoffy's and Wright's-which were combination gin-mills and whorehouses. "In all my experience, I have never seen a lower, more beastly set of people of both sexes." [Knight, O. "War or peace". Nebraska History. (1973): pp. 528]
From Crawford's Rekindling Camp Fires, we find the following reference to the Adolph Cuny in the winter of 1875-76:
"When we reached the Old Woman's Fork on Rawhide Creek the third day of our journey, we found Scotty Philips in camp with an outfit belonging to Adolph Cuny , and his partner". [Crawford, Rekindling camp fire. 1926., pg. 218]
On November 1 1876 an employee of Cuny's was killed.
"And on November 1 Joe Walters was killed in a fight at Cuny's Three Mile Ranch Cooney's Walters was a discharged twenty-third Infantryman, who until recently had been an employee at the Hat Creek Ranch adjacent to the Sage Creek cantonment and now was tending bar at Cuny's. Apparently he scuffled with a freighter named Charlie or Garsy Brown, had his own gun turned on him, and was shot through the bowls.29 " [Hedren, Paul L., Fort Laramie in Eighteen Seventy-six:, 1988, pp.206-7]
From Stella Dora Twiss:
Ecoffey and Cuny established "Three Mile", a general road ranch, in 1873. When business slowed down they decided to expand the operation. They constructed eight two-room cottages to be occupied by women. According to the book The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Routes, published in 1967, the pair sent to Omaha, Kansas City, and other places. And in a short time their houses were occupied by ten or more young women, all of whom were known as sporting characters. Among this bunch was Calamity Jane, whose character had been whitewashed considerably by the newspaper correspondents of the day. Prospectors often passed through Three Mile and gold dust began to be plentiful at the place. In November of 1875, Ecoffey and Cuny sent three pouches of gold dust, about $125 worth to the editor of the Cheyenne Leader. By 1876 the Three Mile was a regular meal station on the stage route. Good meals were served at fifty cents each.
Ecoffey died in November of 1876 of injuries inflicted by a man named Stonewall, who had attacked him three months before. Two years later while trying to prevent a robbery of his freight line, Dora's grandfather was killed by Clark Pelton, alias Billy Webster. Cuny had been deputized at the time and was pursuing the robbers when he was ambushed and fatally wounded by Pelton. Josephine, not realizing her husband's interests were still hers, loaded up her eight children and left everything behind to return to her people, who were camped near Fort Robinson. In time she moved back to Cuny Table where her oldest son, Charles, had established a ranching operation. Elizabeth and her son formed a partnership on the land that is still inhabited by Josephine's descendants..6,7,8,9,10
John died circa December, 1875 at Niobrara River, USA
. During the winter of 1875, Richard and Alfred Palladay started north with a wagon of trade goods, but death ended the trip on the upper crossing of the Niobrara River. Marauding Cheyennes were evidently the perpetrators of the crime, but several white men were accused, including the famous scout, California Joe. He was buried at Ft Robinson, and later moved to Ft. McPherson and buried in a common grave. [Big Bat Pourier, pg. 44].2
His body was interred in 1876 at Nebraska, USA
, at Fort McPherson.2