City Slickers

Photo above: City Slickers III. Wind River area, Wyoming. Son Matt, Brother Dave, Son John Paul, Me J.P.

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SMALL TALK: View the story of the air rifle that doubled the size of the United States. Fantastic bit of 2nd Amendment history re: Lewis and Clark.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How I Got to Flyover Country--Sort Of

From his boyhood home on a tobacco farm in Maryland, my great grandfather Raphael Morgan made his way West during the Civil War years at the age of sixteen. Finally settling in Montana, he married a 1/2 Indian woman and founded a large family and an even larger ranch. The following article, written by Linda Reno, a St Mary's County genealogical researcher, provides some interesting details. Her article was published in the latest issue of the magazine, Country Times.

"Raphael Morgan, son of James Alexander Morgan and his second wife, Mary Ann Delahay was born near Morganza December 16, 1849. Initially the Morgans were very prosperous and lived on the land James had inherited from his father, Raphael Morgan (died 1833).
The Morgan family went through some very hard times during the 1860s. In 1863, they lost their property through foreclosure, but things were to get even worse. On June 27, 1864 James Veasey Morgan (James Morgan’s son by his first wife, Ann Priscilla Howard), age 26 and Alice Morgan (Mary Ann’s daughter), age 20, both died. Alice had just been married three weeks before to William Burroughs. Then, just a little over two weeks later, on July 13, 1864, Mary Ann (Delahay) Morgan also died. All three were buried in the Old St. Joseph’s Cemetery at Morganza. James Morgan died in December 1871 and is buried beside his wife.
In 1865 Raphael left home and headed west. He went first to Cottonwood, Nebraska where he obtained employment herding stock. In 1870 he moved to Montana where he worked for several ranchers herding cattle. About 1875 he rented a ranch and began raising his own stock.
On July 28, 1880 at Choteau, Montana Raphael married Mary Weipert, daughter of Isaac Weipert (born in Quebec, Canada). Mary’s mother was from the Blackfoot Indian tribe. In 1886 Raphael and his wife secured 1,120 acres (Indian allotment claims) in Teton County, Montana.
In Teton Co. Becker and McLean of Medicine Hat, N W T have purchased 500 head of horses from Raphael Morgan and are now preparing to drive the herd overland to their destination. The brands will be vented near Cutback.” (Anaconda Standard, Montana, 7/20/1899).
At the time of the 1910 census, Raphael and his family were living at the Ft. Belknap Indian Agency in Chouteau County, Montana. Raphael was listed separately from his wife and 11 children who were in the same place but were listed as a part of the Indian population.
By 1920 the family had moved to Spokane, Washington where Raphael died on March 10, 1927. His obituary read: Pioneer Once Hunted With Buffalo Bill. Raphael Morgan, 78, whose funeral was held yesterday, was one of the pioneers of the Pacific northwest, arriving in Montana 64 years ago when Indians and buffalo were the chief inhabitants of that state. For two years he hunted game with Buffalo Bill, riding with the ox teams that brought freight from the Missouri river to Helena and shooting game for the drivers. Mr. Morgan later entered the cattle and sheep business and was one of the large stock raisers of Montana. He was twice shot by Indians and had frequent brushes with them in the early days. He came to Spokane in 1913.
Mary (Weipert) Morgan died in 1833. She and Raphael are buried in the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Spokane, Washington."

By Linda Reno, Charlotte Hall, MD



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Anonymous said...

I assume the pic at the head of your article is of your great grandfather. None of Mrs. Raphael?

To most folks, those days are ancient History. We lose sight of how close we are in time to 2 or 3, even four, generations of our forebears. I'm 74 and I remember my grandfather, Alphonse Arthur Joseph Paquin, telling about all the excitement in the village of Manville, RI on the day the newspaper reported that William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, was killed on July 14 1881.
I had a great uncle, Omer, of approximately the age of my grand parents who was said to have been left at the gate of an outpost in Quebec, Canada as a newborn. Seems the tribe that his mother belonged to didn't cotton to raising a half breed. He had several daughters and sons, only one of which carried the coloration and facial features of her grandmother. She was also the semi-loose cannon of the bunch. She was my favorite aunt A real pistol!

I think of History in a slightly wry way:
If any one of us could go back in a time machine and collect from each generation of our ancestors the one man who lived the longest in that generation and assemble all of them in one room, we wouldn't need a very big room to include the one who lived at the time of Jesus. Somewhere between 20 and 25 guys is all. Imagine the stories they could tell.

JP said...

My apologies to Linda Reno for initially citing her as "Janet". Must have been a disconnect between my brain and my fingers as I typed. At any rate, I have corrected the error, Linda.


Al Morgan said...

Our Grand father was Albert Morgan
we are related, my brother is named after Raphael.