Scotland, Pittsburg, the Cowboy and Ariosa

A poor young immigrant from Scotland moves to Pittsburg. He founds a new company. Using an innovative manufacturing process, he corners the market on his product and becomes a wealthy robber baron. I know you are thinking it sounds like Andrew Carnage but it’s not. This blog is about the Old West. This Ariosa then … Continue reading Scotland, Pittsburg, the Cowboy and Ariosa


Z is for Zeb. Zeb was the son of a veteran of the American Revolution and born in New Jersey during that conflict in 1779. As a son of a heroic American patriot, Zeb felt compelled to make his own mark on history. He grew to manhood while living in various military outposts in the … Continue reading Z IS FOR ZEB

Y is for the fort.

  Y is for the fort. I will give you its “Y” name later in the post. See if you can figure it out. The year is 1869. The Cincinnati Reds are born as the first professional baseball team. The golden spike is driven into the Transcontinental Railroad in Utah. The Wyoming Territory gives women the right … Continue reading Y is for the fort.

X IS FOR ten

X is for… the King's ten rules.  (You will really have to hang in for this one.) So, first let’s meet Len. Len was born in Cincinnati in 1911 and lived in a tenement on Second Street. When only two, he sailed up the Ohio River to Portsmouth in a boat built by his father and an … Continue reading X IS FOR ten

P is for Pony Express

P is for Pony Express – The Pony Express began overland mail service between St Joe, Missouri and San Francisco, California (their first letter postmarked April 3, 1860) almost one year to the day before the Civil War began. In an era when North and South were coming apart the Pony Express bound East and … Continue reading P is for Pony Express

O Is For Open Range

O is for Open Range – Open range provided free access to grazing land for ranchers in the Old West and still does to some extent today. Open range means cattle are allowed to wander on any land that has not been fenced off by that land’s owner. The landowner not the cattle owner is … Continue reading O Is For Open Range

N Is For Nester

N is for Nester – You cannot read more than a handful of Westerns without coming across the word. The classic Western novel Shane by Jack Schaefer is a story of nesters versus cattlemen. The mythology of the West is in large part the story of the nester against the open range men and it is as … Continue reading N Is For Nester

L Is for Lariat

L is for Lariat – The lariat is the cowboy’s tool for extending his reach beyond his arm. The term comes from the Spanish word la reata which means the rope. And that brings up a caution. If you happen to be around a cowboy with a lariat hanging from his saddle horn, don’t call … Continue reading L Is for Lariat