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Richard May

The subject of this sketch is a familiar Wyoming personage, commonly known as Indian Dick, whose residence if at Wind River, about forty-two miles west of Fort Washakie, Wyoming. He is supposed to be one of the few surviving members of the very lamentable Mountain Meadow massacre. When he was about the age of nine years, he left Salt Lake City, where was then his home and went to reside with the Bannock tribe of Indians with whom he made his home for the next six months. At the end of that time he was ‘rescued’ or rather taken from the Indians by U. S. soldiers under General Canby, the same gallant officer who was afterwards treacherously murdered by the Modoc Indians, Young May was carried by General Canby to Fort Bridger, where he remained for about one year. He then ran away from the post, found his way unto the Shoshone Indians and was afterward sold by the Indian who had laid claim to him to another Indian for a blanket. He had a number of exciting experiences while making his home with this tribe and participated in two of their wars with other tribes. Subsequently he left the Shoshone and for two years lived in Montana with the Crow Indians. Still later he joined his fortunes with the Cheyenne’s and went with them into Colorado where he joined with them in their wars with the white settlers there. Returning again to the Crow nation he lived with that tribe during its fierce wars with the Sioux. Upon leaving the Crows the spirit of adventure led him to find his way to the Blackfeet tribe of northern Montana, for a time he resided with them and also joined with the Flatheads and with the Monterey’s, thus becoming thoroughly familiar with Indian character and languages. He speaks the Flathead, Blackfoot, Crow and Shoshone tongues and is well known at all of the Indians of the western country. During a period of three years he was the guide and interpreter at the military post at Fort Washakie. In 1876 he was with the army of General George Crook which was campaigning against the Sioux, serving in the capacity of government scout and made a great reputation for himself by his great efficiency. He participated in the fight at Slim Butte and was in all of the stirring and trying episodes of the campaign of that year. He continued to reside with the Shoshone tribe until he purchased the ranch which he now occupies, engaged in the business of ranching and cattle raising and is how the owner of a fine place of about 320 acres with a considerable herd of cattle and he is steadily adding to his holdings of both land and cattle. During his early life among the Shoshones he was united in marriage to Lucinda, a member of that tribe. She as a superior woman and was a valued helpmate to him for more then twenty-two years before her death. In November 1900 he was again married, his present wife having been Miss Annie Calhoun, the daughter of James Calhoun, one of the early pioneers and a respected citizen of the Wind River Country. They have one child, Frank, and their home is one of the most hospitable ones of their section of the state. During his life on the plains Mr. May acted for a number of years as guide into the Yellowstone National Park. Among other notable parties of whom he had charge, a prominent one was General Phil Sheridan and Secretary of War Robert Lincoln along in the eighties, many other dignitaries also receiving his care.

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