Tuesday, February 28, 2023

The Last Ranger of Fort Henry


 History, as we know it, often leads to unique discoveries. Here lies one. As historical writers, we glory in the mystic of the cowboy. Our heroes are so often bigger than life. Yet, we temper our heroines. Their qualities, though grand, rarely outshine our heroes... 

Sometime - Sometimes history shows us that heroines are far more courageous than we give them credit to be.

In 1782, West Virginia was part of the great state of  Virginia. It was considered the Western Frontier of it's time. In these mountainous areas the Scots and Irish flourished making homes for themselves and their families. They were skilled mountain men and hunters, who often knew the trails as well, if not better than the Native Americans. But encroaching on the livelihood of the Native Americans put them into harms way. The American Revolution would provide an opening in which the Native Americans might win back their hunting grounds.

In actuality, the alliance did two things. First, it raised the hopes that the Native Americans might force the British Government into renewing the treaty that kept settlements from going beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Secondly, for the British, there was hope the Native Americans could best the Colonial Army which the Brits had not been able to accomplish due to the guerilla warfare the Continental Army  used with much success.

The Colonial governments knew their frontier was scarcely protected. They built a line of forts along the trails in hopes that they might temper the raiding parties of the Native Americans and provide protection to the families in the wilderness. But, as Abigail Adams might have admonished, "Don't forget the women."

In 1782, A group of British Rangers and 250 Shawnee warriors besieged a colonial fort named Fort Henry  near what is now known as Wheeling, West Virginia. Forty two men and their families sought refuge behind the palisade walls, The garrison was under the command of Colonel David Sheppard of the Ohio Militia. He took a lesson from the colonial troops in Massachusetts during the early days of the war and hid his gun powder in the cellars of the homes in various locations around the fort. As the siege began, the men stood on the ramparts, fired their weapons, then handed the empty guns down to family members waiting below to reload. In two hours of fighting, many lay dead or dying. Their gun powder began to run out. It seemed all was lost for every man was needed to man positions along the fort.

As the discussion continued, the British and the Shawnee continued to pick off men. One of the women below the rampart was Elizabeth Zane. Her job was to reload her father and her brother's Kentucky rifles along with the men on either side of them. During a volley of shot, her father fell from the ramparts above to her feet, struck dead by a British bullet. Shouts arose for more gun powder. When no one volunteered, the plucky Miss Zane, stood and shouted, "I'll go!"

The commander hesitated.

She pointed out that all the able bodied men were needed at stations. He had no choice but to allow this daring, young woman her chance. 

She slipped from the fort and ran sixty yards to her family home outside the fort's protective walls. Slipped into the basement. The sight of a woman on the run must have startled the  British. They didn't return fire until she ran back cuddling the keg of gun powder in her arms. Needless to say, the fort was saved by her brave actions.

Okay, you may be asking yourself, why are we talking about the American Revolution in a western column. Ah, it is very important to this blog and to all readers of great western novels. Elizabeth's family left  West Virginia after the Revolution was won. They settled in the wilds of Ohio and she raised her family. It was her great grand nephew that learned of her exploits and was so enamored of them that he put them to paper, publishing his first book. Lucky for us, he didn't stop with just his great aunt's story. For the author of Betsy Zane, later to be re-titled The Last Ranger, was none other than Zane Grey one of the greatest fictional, western writers of all times. 

 Grey in 1925 Zane Grey Photo from Wikipedia

 Elizabeth Zane.jpg19th century engraving of Betsy saving the fort

  Today, Wheeling, West Virginia still holds Pioneer Days with Betsy's story. Zanesville Ohio  is named for the family.

Elizabeth Betsy Zane was married twice, bore nine children and is buried in St. Clarksville, Ohio.                                                                        

When studying history... always follow the bread crumbs. 

Until next time, 

Nan O'Berry

Monday, February 27, 2023

Legendary Cowboy Actor's

Hello, and a big welcome to Ruthie Manier's Cowboy Kisses Blog. Today I am going to talk about some of my favorite western Heroes. John Wayne in the cardboard picture above with me, at a store my mother and I were checking out, found in Sedro Woolly, Washington is number one on that list. His name at birth was Marion Robert Morrison he was born May twenty-sixth of nineteen hundred and seven. I loved to watch The Duke on the big screen at the drive-in. John was tall and handsome and always played the good guy. He had a way of talking that got everyones attention. My favorite John Wayne movies are McClintock, True Grit, Rio Bravo, Stagecoach and Fort Apache. All of The Dukes movie's were good, but the scene when he chased Maureen O'Hara around town in her under clothes was hysterical! The second in line is Clint Eastwood. He was not the normal good guy, sometimes, especially on his Spaghetti Westerns it was hard to tell which side he was on. He played the quiet deadly parts. Clint was and is a handsome man with beautiful eyes, and that Eastwood smile we all adore. He was born May thirty-first of nineteen thirty. Clints real name is Clinton Eastwood Jr.. My favorite Clint Eastwood western movies are The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, A fistful of Dollars, The Outlaw Josey Wales. The third in line is Gregory Peck. He was tall, dark and handsome. The Yellow Sky, How the West was Won, and Roman Holiday were a few of my western favorites but I could watch any of his movies over and over again. His real name was Eldred Gregory Peck and was born on April fifth of nineteen-sixteen. The fourth in line is James Maitland "Jimmy" Stuart. In my eyes, Jimmy was one of the best actors of all times. I liked the sound of his voice, his awesome facial expressions, and he just really got into all his roles. My personal favorite Jimmy Stuart movie is It's a Wonderful Life. I watch it every single year on Christmas Eve. He was born on May twentieth nineteen and eight. He was a nice all-around type of man and was loved for his ordinary roles. I liked all of his movies and especially the movies with Henry Fonda. Shenandoah was another favorite and of course How The West was Won. These are just a handful of my favorite Legendary Cowboy Actors. There are many more like Henry Fonda, Gary Cooper, Robert Duvall and Sam Elliott and my favorite legendary woman actress is Maureen O'Hara. Who are your favorite legendary western actors? What are your favorite western movies that they starred in? ***** My next WIP is PEYTON the fourth installment of The CHASING TIMES series. For those of you who have not had the good fortune of reading The Chasing Time series I am glad to tell you it is a time travel western romance series. I have enjoyed writing this story extensively. The character’s old and new have done all the work, except for the typing. I have to say this is one of the fun parts about writing a series. You feel like the character’s are part of the family. When I started writing Peyton's story it was going to be mostly about Peyton and an occupational therapist, but the rest of the Clark family has gotten way out of hand and simply said, took over the story. The opening scene is where it left off in Marissa and little Johns story, Christmas Eve at Ma Clarks Ranch. The Clark family is gathered at the big family table eating dinner. Peyton was found out about the family secret when Jesse Junior hears the adult's talking quietly and think's they are talking about the portal at which time he pulls on his father Jesses sleeve and asks, "Pa, is aunt Marissa talking about the time traveling portal at the Birdcage, our family secret?" Out of the mouth of kids, right. Next thing you know Marissa has told Peyton she wants him to go to the future with them in two days for Kate and Daniels’s wedding reception. Marissa of course has more motives up her sleeve then she cares to admit. She wants Peyton to see a specialist while he's in the future for his leg that was injured during the civil war. Two days later the same day of Kate and Daniels wedding the entire Clark family journey to Tombstone via covered wagons and horses. At the stroke of midnight, they step into the future of a hundred and thirty years. From that moment on the characters are holding my brain hostage while they tell their story. I am hoping to finish Peyton soon! Thank you for reading. See you the fourth Monday of March for my next blog. Until then keep safe, and be kind, and as the song goes, don’t worry be happy! Find my books on Amazon, find me on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

A recent release

Saving Maddie - A Ridge Ranch Novel 

As much as Wyatt Ridge tries to escape his roots and his family's horse ranch, when his brother calls for help, he’s always there. Long before the Ridge Ranch series starts, there’s a drift between James Ridge and his boys. As the oldest, Wyatt was affected more than his younger brothers, Connor and Cooper. He was expected to come home and take over the ranch as every oldest Ridge for generations had before him. The problem was that Wyatt wanted nothing to do with the ranch and it only cut the drift between him and his father deeper. 

One of my favorite short scenes in this book is when Conner calls Wyatt about a bobcat attacking the herd. Wyatt doesn’t have anything to do with the daily operations of the ranch, but he drops everything to help his brother protect their livelihood. While he might have stepped away from the ranch, he was never far from his roots. Ever heard it takes a village to raise a kid? When Wyatt finds out he has a daughter, he has no choice but to reach out to his family and friends, which, for this loner, isn’t something he does easily. Watching this little girl wrap everyone around her finger is precious. 

Saving Maddie was released the end of January and can be found here

When Wyatt Ridge’s life gets turned upside down, he might just realize his daughter isn't the only one who needs saving? 

Arianna Wade -
It feels like I've been running forever. When the first move wasn't enough to shake the shadows of my past, I know that I need to do something drastic. Moving to the middle of nowhere to nanny for a young girl in need seems like the perfect solution. But this fresh start comes with strings attached, and I'm not ready for the chemistry that sparks when I meet the young girl's father. 

Wyatt Ridge - 
I'm used to disappointing people, like my father, who wishes I had followed in his footsteps. But I'm happy with my life, and running my own construction business leaves little time to dwell on the past. That is, until one phone call changes everything. Suddenly, I have custody of a hurt and scared daughter I never knew existed, and I'm asking for help for the first time in my life. 

Ms. Wade is perfect with my daughter, and as hard as I try, I can't deny that part of me thinks the two of us might be perfect too. Even though we've both been burned before, maybe it's possible for two broken people to save each other. 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Ridge Ranch Series - 
Managing Ryan - A Ridge Ranch Novella 
Sign up for my newsletter to get a free copy. 

Can one wrong turn change two lives? 

Ryan Weston -  
My life might not be perfect, but it’s perfect for me. Quiet. Simple. I help run the Ridge Ranch. It’s hard work and gives me what I need. But it doesn’t leave me much to offer anyone. Especially the woman standing on the ranch house’s front step. My instincts scream at me to turn her away. The last thing we need is a beautiful woman distracting the ranch hands, but I can’t deny the little things needing attention around here. Including a decent meal. I can't be the man she needs, but I need her more than anything. 

Heather Wright - 
The job I was promised is ripped away before I even get through the door. A lack of funds and a wrong turn find me in the little town of Emerson, Minnesota. Now, all that stands between me, a warm meal and a place to sleep, is a grumpy cowboy. I convince him he needs me, or at least the ranch does. I’m thrilled he accepts; it can’t be that hard to cook for a cowboy and his ranch hands. Can it? Now, if only I can convince him that he needs me just as much. 

Finding Liv - Conner and Liv’s Story 

What happens when sweet city meets country? 
Will sparks fly or will she want more than he can offer? 

Conner Ridge - 
Running a cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere doesn’t leave time to meet people. Not wanting to be alone, I made an arrangement with a friend. We're supposed to get married if we ever stop dragging our feet, but something unexpected happens—I meet her. We couldn’t be more different if we tried. I was born to raise cattle. She was born for the finer things. So, why am I drawn to her? Is it too late to change course and listen to my heart? 

Liv Meyers - 
I’ve spent my life fighting against expectations to be the perfect southern belle, when all I want is to find my own way. Things are on track until I lose my job, and this city girl lands herself in the middle of Minnesota. A handsome cowboy sweeps me off my feet and it doesn’t take long to fall for him. When I discover he’s not available, it might just break me. The town sees me as an outsider, but I’ve never felt more at home. When I truly lose everything, will I make my life here or go back to the city.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Fort Laramie

   Fort Laramie is a major piece of Wyoming's history from 1834 to 1890. Growing up in Newcastle, Wyoming I was only two hours away but finally stopped to check it out in 2011. A great experience and so much history there. Fort Laramie is mentioned in my books, but at the time it was called Fort William.

Fort William was founded by William Sublette in 1834. It began as a trading-post to service the overland fur trade. The American Fur Company purchased it in 1836. The company renamed it to Fort John after John Sarpy, a partner in the company. The fort traded with the Native Americans. Trading buffalo robes for a variety of goods. The buffalo robes were shipped east. As the supply of buffalo hides declined Fort John shifted its role. In 1841 the first of the west-bound emigrants arrived and they began trade with the travelers.
    In 1849 it was purchased by the U.S. Army to establish a military presence along the emigrant trails. The named changed to Fort Laramie. The fort would grow as stables, officers' and soldiers' quarters, a bakery, a guardhouse, and a powder magazine to support the fort garrison. There was also a sawmill though it suffered several fires. The fort would serve to protect the wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. 

The Treaty of Fort Laramie was signed in 1851. It was to keep peace between the whites and the Native Americans. In 1854 a small troop was killed during the Grattan Massacre. Though Fort Laramie was never attacked by the Native Americans several civilians were killed in the area and their property destroyed or stolen. The Great Sioux War in 1876 was set off when gold was discovered in the Black Hills. Fort Laramie was a staging point for supplies and soldiers during that time.

The fort continued to grow in size and importance. Fort Laramie was the principal military outpost on the Northern Plains. It became the primary hub for transportation and communication through the Rocky Mountain region as emigrant trails, stage lines, the Pony Express, and the transcontinental telegraph all passed through the post.
When the transcontinental railroad was finished, fewer wagons came through and the fort was deconmissioned in 1890. The army auctioned off the abandoned buildings and the area transformed into occupied homesteads. The homesteaders dismantled many of the buildings for their own use. In 1927 the state of Wyoming purchased 214 acres of the original fort to preserve the original fort site.

Many of the buildings have been rebuilt to replicate the original fort. However, a lot of the fort is nothing but old foundations.
  Stopping at Fort Laramie is a wonderful step back into history. It's also rumored to be haunted by the "Lady in Green." A good legend but that is a story for another day.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Famous Western Movie Horses~Buttermilk

This is a stock image not a photo of Buttermilk

Buttermilk, Dale Evans famous buckskin was a Quarter horse that was rescued as a colt on his way to the slaughter house. The kind-hearted farmer who rescued him trained him to become a roping and cutting horse. The buckskin had been abused as a colt and it took love and patience on the farmer’s part to teach him to trust again.

It was love at first sight when Dale first saw the beautiful gelding ‘Soda’, then owned by horse trainer Glen Randall. She later renamed him Buttermilk Sky which was shortened to Buttermilk.  Buttermilk and Trigger were soon stars in their own right on the Roy Rogers Show and movies. Buttermilk could actually outrun Trigger and was often held back so Trigger could take the lead. The two horses made a striking contrast, Trigger with his light flowing mane and Buttermilk with his dark.

Buttermilk had his own following who purchased Buttermilk replicas and Buttermilk lamps.

Buttermilk was born in 1941 and passed in 1972.  Like Trigger he went to the Roy Rogers – Dale Evans Museum after he died. Except for a rocky start, he had a grand life.

*Quarter Horses originated in the United States. They were developed for quarter-mile races and used to herd livestock.





Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Why do authors not mention what's underneath the jeans? by Rhonda Lee Carver

 I love reading reader questions. They definitely put a smile on my face. Recently, I was asked by one reader, "When those sexy cowboys are undressing, why don't authors mention what kind of undies they're wearing?" Great question. I've thought of this too, at least for myself. 

So, let's think about this together...

Are you interested in what style of undies sexy cowboys wear? After all, there could be all kinds of problems down there if a man isn't wearing something that's comfortable. 

1. What undies look best on a man?

2. What feels best?

Something soft and silky, perhaps?

3. What supports the man with a BIG...ego?

4. What's most functional?

What do you think?

New Cover. New Pre-order!

Plagued with guilt after her brother’s death, a grieving woman has a chance at a second chance.

Living in a haze of mistrust and tragedy, Chosen Shaw has closed herself off from everyone. Once known for her ability to see things that can help others, she’s now the woman who killed her brother.

Bend Ryder is the new sheriff in town and has a mess to clean up after the last one met an untimely death. He’s eating, sleeping and breathing a cold case involving a mysterious kidnapping, and is willing to do anything to solve the case—even if that includes looking outside of the box. Truthfully, he doesn’t believe Chosen has a “gift” but enlisting her help might be his only hope.

But, she’s left that world behind. Can he convince her to help?

Soon, they find themselves embroiled in another kidnapping.

The two find a solid connection, despite the pressures all around them. As trust and romance grow, the demons of the past start to build walls. They have a tight hold on her emotionally and physically. If she has any chance for a future with the man she loves, she must absolve herself from the guilt and let love heal her heart...and help solve a crime that has been a dark cloud over Second Chance.

Protecting His Second Chance is a story of grief, guilt, angst, redemption, and a happily ever after. Love is the ultimate healer.


“It’s okay. This happens to all men at least once.”

Bend Ryder drew his hand away from his face and looked down at the naked woman curled up in his bed. She looked at him through a veil of thick eyelashes and her plump lips slowly eased into a grin. Farrah was new in town, visiting her aunt after her husband, Sheriff Jackson Mellough, met an untimely death.

Two days after his funeral, the town of Second Chance elected Bend to office. Since, he’d been busy cleaning up the mess Mellough had created.

Farrah walked her slender fingers down his abs and paused at the shiny silver buckle. The slight movement caused the sheet to slip, exposing her bare bottom. Sweat beaded his brow. “Maybe I can help solve the problem,” she purred.

She shifted to her knees, but Bend caught her shoulders in a gentle grip. Her chin snapped up and she nailed him with her brooding brown gaze. The tip of her tongue slid over her bottom lip as if to remind him what he was turning away.

A woman as beautiful and seductive as Farrah had never faced this problem, he guessed, even if she tried to pacify his ego by saying this happened all the time. A streak of disappointment sliced through him. Truthfully, he’d never had this…issue before tonight. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Dr. B.P. Anderson - Colorado Springs Early Physician


Post by Doris McCraw aka Angela Raines

Photo property of the Author

I wrote about Dr. Garvin last time. Dr. Garvin was the first doctor in what is now known as Old Colorado City. A look at Dr. Boswell P. Anderson Sr. might be a nice follow-up, as Dr. Anderson was the first doctor in Colorado Springs according to early records.

From Find A Grave Site
Dr. Boswell P. Anderson

Boswell P. Anderson was born in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 13, 1847. He served in Company D of the 43rd Virginia Cavalry. After the war, he attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville in 1868 and then the Washington University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. 

If the records are correct Dr. Anderson set up a practice in the area in 1872. However, it seems he was in Denver from 1870-1872. Perhaps it will be easier to just bullet what Dr. Anderson did prior to his death in August of 1919.

* Served in the Civil War on the Confederate side, possibly one of Mosby's Raiders

* Shot in the chest during the war, the bullet was never removed

* Contracted TB

* Was the doctor for the Midland Railroad

* Helped start Saint Francis Hospital - Colorado Springs

* Part of the beginning of Glockner Sanitarium - Later Penrose Hospital

* Involved with the various medical societies

Dr. Anderson left his mark on the region and his story is one that many might find larger than life.

Until next time: stay safe, stay happy, stay healthy, and keep reading



Monday, February 13, 2023

Black History Month – A Famous Horse Trainer – by Jan Scarbrough

In honor of Black History Month, I want to tell you about the famous African American horse trainer Tom Bass.

The African American Heritage Trail of Kansas City, MO, gives basic details:

Tom Bass was a former slave who became a world-famous rider and trainer of fine show horses. At a young age Bass became known for his skill with and knowledge of horses. Bass rode before presidents and royalty and represented Missouri at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. He invented the “Bass bit,” a horse bit that prevented the abuse of horses during training.

The blurb for the book Whisper on the Wind: The Story of Tom Bass - Celebrated Black Horseman gives perspective on Bass’ fame:

Before Jackie Robinson ever donned a Dodger uniform - there was Tom Bass. Before Rosa Parks ever demanded a seat in the front of the bus - there was Tom Bass. Before Martin Luther King ever had a dream - there was Tom Bass. Before Barack Obama ever ran for President - there was the legend of Tom Bass - the black horse whisperer.

Bass' forte was the American Saddlebred horse.

The American Saddlebred has a long and proud history. The American Saddlebred became a recognized breed evolving from the Kentucky Saddler to the Saddle Horse in the 1800s. This breed was created through the refinement of prominent Thoroughbred and Trotting Horse foundation sires that crossed with Canadian Pacers, Hackneys, Morgan Horses and more to develop the breed officially organized by the American Saddle Horse Breeders Association in 1891.

From the battlefields of the American colonies to the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, the American Saddlebred has trotted to a tremendous legacy as the “Horse America Made.” (American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association)

When Bass became known as the best horse trainer in the 19th century, he trained horses for notable people including Anheuser-Busch executives Adolphus and August Busch, Will Rogers, and President Theodore Roosevelt. He also started the Tom Bass Riding Club. Celebrity guests to his farm included William Jennings Bryan, President William McKinley, and circus magnate P.T. Barnum. (Wikipedia)

What does this have to do with Cowboy Kisses? Have you heard of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show? A 2021 article says: The "Wild West" that America fell in love with didn't exist. It was invented by Buffalo Bill — who himself was a character invented by the eccentric William F. Cody.

Tom Bass sold Buffalo Bill Cody his famous gray gelding Columbus. The horse could stand on his hind legs then drop to his knees in a bow. He could trot sideways, then bow. Columbus was a “high school” horse able to do a Spanish Trot (changing leads every other step). Amazingly, the Saddlebred could canter backwards for a full turn of the arena!

The American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association has produced a short film honoring the black trainers. Tom Bass is featured about a minute and a half into the film.

Out of The Shadows: Bringing to Light Black Horsemen in Saddlebred History

Along with writing contemporary westerns, I write romances with American Saddlebreds in them. Sign up for my newsletter at https://janscarbrough.com/contact and download a free book!

Friday, February 10, 2023

Mended Hearts

I waited until the last minute to write this post, because my plans have been turned on their end in recent weeks. One day, I'm working and planning my next book, and the next, I'm facing heart surgery. Again.

I was born with several heart defects and was operated on by Dr. Denton Cooley twice in the late 60s. The second surgery was open heart--one of the first cases using a new experimental procedure that allowed him to operate on babies. After that, I lived a normal life.

A couple of years ago, my cardiologist discovered that I had a deformed aortic valve, so he began watching it more closely. These bicuspid valves usually fail gradually in the 5th or 6th decade of life. Mine followed that prediction, but it went from good to severe in less than a year. 

I've had a valve-replacement consult and more testing with a specialist who is very good. Next week, I'll meet with him again, to learn if he can fix my valve with a simple cath procedure, or whether a surgeon will have to open my chest. 

God has given me peace about this and has clearly been going before me and making a path, but it is still a risky procedure that could change life as I know it. 

In the meantime, I'll keep reminding myself of God's endless abilities and this:

"Cardiac surgery has undergone a rapid and extraordinary development during the past 50 years. Many operations that were once considered experimental are now routine, and thousands of open heart procedures are performed each year. In 1997, in the United States alone, surgeons performed 197 000 cardiovascular procedures, including 2300 heart transplant operations. These statistics are astonishing to both Dr Cooley, who began practicing >50 years ago, and Dr Frazier, who began practicing 30 years ago."

If you're interested in the history of heart surgery, you might enjoy reading the full article: 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Jack, the Baboon!

Howdy y'all!

I hope February is treating you kindly. Mine was off to a bumpy start. But hey, it can only get better! Right?

Anyhow, like most historical authors, we are always digging into the past, gathering all kinds of interesting tidbits. And do I have an interesting tidbit to share today!

This piece takes place my side of the globe. I might never use it in a story, but it's definitely fascinating!

Jack was a baboon that worked on the railway system in South Africa for 9 years without ever making a single mistake!

James Wide worked for the Cape Town — Port Authority Railway service, and sounded like quite the daredevil. He earned the moniker Jumper for he had the habit (dangerous indeed) to jump from one railway car to the other, even when the trains were moving. One fateful day in the late 1870s he misjudged his jump and fell under the moving train. He lost both his legs from the knees down.

Fortunately James Wide survived, although his life was changed forever. He made himself two new legs out of wooden pegs and took a job at the Uitenhage station as a signalman, with a self-made wooden trolley, he managed to get around. Only he needed help.

One day James went to the marketplace in Uitenhage... and met Jack. Soon followed perhaps one of the oddest friendships of the time. James bought Jack after witnessing the baboon driving an oxcart. Apparently one of the the first things he trained Jack to do was push him to and from work in a small trolley.


But Jack was destined to do more... James soon taught his furry friend how to operate the signal levers. When the railway authorities were informed by a concerned passenger that a baboon was operating the levers, a superintendent was sent to fire James. Instead, he tested the baboon's capabilities. The superintendent later wrote that Jack knew the signal whistles as well as he did.

It's reported that Jack received an official employment number, paid 20 cents a day and half a bottle of beer weekly. Sadly, Jack passed away in 1890, after developing tuberculosis.

His skull is kept at the Albany Museum in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain