Title: Letter from William F. Cody to C. L. Hinkle

Date: March 10, 1902

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

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[drawing]Drawing Auditorium Hotel
Breslin & Southgate
R. H. Southgate, Manager.

My. Dear. Hinkle.

I am here seeing some Gentlemen- Who are talking of building the Cody & Salsbury Canal. In a few days they may send their attorney to consult the Board and Engineer. [1] I am useing my best energy to get that Canal built. And I hope they will take the water out in the Canyon. So that a big water power can be developed near Cody and then that big tract   of land near hart mountain- can be watered. [2] It was lucky that the Mormons did not get any more land off the lower end or this great expensive Canal would never have been built and all that fine land next the Mountains would have for ever remained unsettled. [3] And there never would have been a great power plant to turn the wheels of industry I wish that the Board and   Engineer would appreciate this- And use their influence to get these Gentlemen to take the water out of the river in the Canyon. This is going to be an expensive Canal. And the price of water right will have to be liberal. Say from twelve to twenty dollars per acre. And they will sell for that— I expect to get five thousand Sweeds men women & children in to the Basin inside of two years- I am on   My way to Buffalo with Mr Wiley to meet the Directors of the Shoshone Irrigation Co- [5] rest a sured I am not idle And am doing my level best to build up Northern Wyo—

Please remember me to the Govenor & Gentlemen of the Board & also Mr Bond— [6]

Very truly Yours

W.F. Cody

 

[drawing]Drawing Auditorium Hotel
Breslin & Southgate
R. H. Southgate, Manager.
Chicago.

Chicago, Ill. 1902 Mar 10 7-PM

[stamp]Postage stamp, red, rotated on side

United States Postage 2 Two Cents 2

C. L. Hinkle

State Land Boar[d]

Cheyenne

Wyo

Note 1: Cody refers to two Wyoming state government entities—the Board of Land Commissioners (of which Curtis Hinkle was chief clerk) and the office of the state engineer. Both of these authorities played a role in overseeing irrigation projects in the state. [back]

Note 2: On early maps of the area Shoshone River was listed as "Stinking Water River." The Shoshone River Canyon is a deep canyon between Rattlesnake Mountain and Cedar Mountain west of Cody, Wyoming. Heart Mountain's summit is about ten miles northwest of Cody. Both the power plant and irrigation system watering the lands around Heart Mountain envisioned by William F. Cody in this letter were eventually built by the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Shoshone Project after Cody relinquished his development rights to the government. [back]

Note 3: Mormon settlers organized as the Big Horn Basin Colonization Company were then at work on the Sidon Canal on the lower Shoshone River. Certified as complete by the Wyoming state engineer in 1903, the canal irrigates about 20,000 acres of land near the towns of Byron, Lovell, and Cowley. William F. Cody and Nate Salsbury had been persuaded to give up a portion of their water rights for the Cody-Salsbury canal in order to leave sufficient flow for the Sidon Canal. Here Cody expresses the belief that if Mormon settlers were to obtain and irrigate more land on the lower Shoshone River, the water rights remaining for Cody and Salsbury to sell to others would not generate enough revenue to finance their own canal project. [back]

Note 4: Cody's promise of a large band of Swedish settlers in the Big Horn Basin did not materialize. [back]

Note 5: Cody and his partners in the Shoshone Irrigation Company were then considering an offer from Omaha businessman Solon L. Wiley to buy them out. Wiley was unable to secure the needed financing, and the deal eventually fell apart. [back]

Note 6: DeForest Richards (1846-1903) was then the governor of Wyoming. Fred Bond (1856-1903) was then Wyoming state engineer. [back]

Note 7: The Hoffman House was then a leading New York City hotel. Cody often stayed at the Hoffman House when he was in the city. [back]

Title: Letter from William F. Cody to C. L. Hinkle

Source: McCracken Research Library (MRL), MS6.0128

Date: March 10, 1902

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

Topic: Empire

People: Hinkle, Lorin Curtis, 1869-1931 Wiley, Solon Lysander, 1840-1926 Richards, DeForest, 1846-1903 Bond, Fred, 1856-1903

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