Newspaper Archive of
The Sundance Times
Sundance, Wyoming
June 3, 2004     The Sundance Times
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June 3, 2004

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T "Where the Kid got his name" undance The County Newspaper of Don and Marilyn Denzin NEWS FILE HC B5, BOX 201 OARK AR 72852-9501 Continuing the Crook County news since 1884 i~ !! i'~ ~ A journey across America At the young age of 64 years, Robert Burnett has no desire to set at home in semi-retirement and watch the days go by. Working for the last twenty years in a produce packing plant in Talent, Ore., Burnett has taken his off season time to travel by bicycle from Oregon to Connecticut. Leaving Talent, Ore., on March 15, he has maintained a daily jour- aal of his days on the road with the intent to write a book on the .experiences he has had and will find as the journey continues. Leav- ulg behind his mother, three sisters and one brother, Burnett, a 30 Year member of the International Lions Club, plans on attending the International Lions Club Convention in Detroit, MI this sum- n~r. Weaving across the nation with a pre-planned route in mind, and the self-agreement to divert from the plan at any time to see all he COuld, Burnett wanted to spend a day in the Sundance area. He was told about Devils Tower when he was crossing Montana and adjusted hi~ travel plans to see the monument. He stated, =Devils Tower is fabulous. God made it, but the Devil is gettin' the credit." Road construction, snowy weather, high winds and getting some- What lost at times has made the first leg of the journey worthy of a nOVel. Burnett found himself going out of his way to see a sight, ending up on a primitive road of dirt and rocks for 65 miles. He was Pleased to have a local passer by come to his aide. Crossing Montana he came upon an eight mile stretch of road construction which had the driving lane choked down to the minimum. He was handling it fine when he heard the air horn and turned to see a big yellow Kenworth fixin' to say hello. =God's kindness stopped the wreck," he noted. bruCamping in fairgrounds, KOAs and quite often amongst the sage- sh, he is always looking for a good safe place to spend the evening. Alter leaving Sundance, his journey will lead him to the Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, then south to the stateline of Nebraska and on east to Iowa. His ultimate ending to the trip is to totlch the waters of the Atlantic ocean sometime in August. He plans to retire his ride in Hartford, Conn., after seeing the home of Samuel elements. He will return to Oregon via bus transportation to get back to work for another season. When asked if he had a good appetite after a day of traveling he ~ated, "qhrhen I started this trip, my doc told me I needed to be at about 190 Ibs. for my health. I weighed in at 220 Ibs. when I left and at Arco, Idaho I tipped the scale at 180. I am not much for eating _br~ddast and carry trail mix and whole grain to get through most of the day. Don~ get me wrong, I'm not a health nut - just a nut." A man of means to make this journey, he stays in touch with a cell Phone and uses ATMs when the need arises to replenish his cash flow. He has found generosity of the American people along the way. More times than not, he is offered money and food when stopped for the evening. He recounts a couple of occasions when he has woke Up to start his day and found money under a rock beside him and One time he had some money taped to his bike handle. On two different occasions he was forced to receive twenty dollars from folks that would not take no for an answer. He said to not accept the ~0toney would have hurt their feelings so he has saved all the money Robert Burnett, Talent, Ore., is shown preparing for his departure from Sundance for Hartford, Conn., recently. he has received and is sending it to the National Diabetes Founda- tion fund. When asked how long he has been riding bikes for his travel, he said about 35 years. It seems that Burnett liked to drink a little after work and he stated, =After never having a driver's license, driving while drinking, no insurance and a visit with the judge, I gave my Buick to my mother. The judge was kind back then, he gave me a $305 free, made me go to classes to stop driving while drinking and told me I had to get a driver's license." He paused for a sip of coffee and continued, =Well, I only sent the judge $15 of that fine, never got a driver's license, but I did go to the classes. When I had to return to The Sundance Kid... tittle did he know "I had mixed emotions at first l~t now I'm prouder everyday that I arY. great-uncle was the Sundance d," said William David Long- ~ough of Jenkintown, Pa., in an B~cle published by Bernice Fried sky, "fn Search of the ~.ndance F/d: =He was a part of history. The rest of my family are ~urned- off, and would like to forget the Whole thing, except for my wife, lay daughter Karin and my niece ~ld nephew. But I see the ~h~ndance Kid as just an adven- turous young boy who went West a~l entered the way of life as it was then, when rustling wasn't &en considered a crime at first. H education was above average. was an avid reader and intelli- ~nt. He took up the cause, which ~ta ~ua, ival. If I thought he had anyone, perhaps I might feel ~ifferently." (note: William D. ~mssed~iaD~'m- a~'1998. He was the last person to ~aTy name lineage. T~,re still re- ~abt a number of~ng ~. of them carry the fam~y name.) according to research by descen- etUts of "The Kid', Harry A. onJm,_baugh was the last child of tve born to Josiah and Annie ~tc~thgabaugh in the springof 1867. The dedication and unveiling of the Sundance Kid will be Fdday, June 11 from 1:00 p.m. time of his birth, Pennsyl- tO 3:00 p.m. The annual community garage sale will also be taking place on the Courthouse vtaia did not require birth records, lawn that day. demise began. On February 27, 1887, at the age of 20, Harry stole a light grey horse valued at $80 and the personal goods and chat- tels of Alonzo Craven. Crook County Court records show that in August 1887 Longabaugh was tried for grand larceny and found guilty. He was sentenced the same day to 18 months in the county jail at hard labor. According to public record, on January 22, 1889, H.A. Alden, the Crook County prosecuting attor- ney, sent a letter to Colin Hunter, the secretary to the Board of the Prison Comm_ission, in which he wrote, "We have forwarded to the Governor a petition for the par- don of Harry Longabaugh whose Please see KIO page 14 nia. It is thought that this was four years. where he first developed his love In the spring of 1886 he headed for working with horses, north to Montana with a cattle On August 30, 1882, at the age drive, according to Donna Ernst of fourteen he left his family in who is married to a great-great Pennsylvania to go West in a coy- nephew of The Sundance Kid. When winter came he was laid off and moved to the Black Hills area near the Montana-Wyoming-South Dakota border looking for work. After about a month, it is believed he began working his way back to- ward his old employer in Montana. On the return he stopped at the VVV Ranch ered wagon with a cousin's family also called Western Ranches, Ltd. from Illinois. They eventually located on the Belle Fourche River homesteaded in Cortez, Colo., and in northeastern Crook County, he stayed with them for almost Wyoming, and that is where his io the exact date and place are llltknown. The family has relied on ee~Is records as well as family l~X~Is and memories for verifi- cation. ~la youngster, it is believed loved to read. He had his library card, issued J. ua,y al, ISS2, for .4ollar by the Young Men s Literary Union in ,Ll:a~nixville. It appears "oat in later years Harry van learned to enjoy op- tra and the arts. _ By the I880 census, .~ Harry was listed as ~ttYears old, it appears he had already left home. He boarding and working at the ~ilmer Ralston Farm in West ~cent Township in Pennsylva- visit with the judge, he asked me why I did not pay the free, and I told him I used my money elsewhere. He asked if ! had gotten my driver's license and I was not going to lie and said no. He then asked if I had attended the classes and if I had the records of attendance. You know the judge was kind. He let me sit it out for $20 a day to square things up." He went on, "After that I quit drinkin', smokin' and driv- ing, now over the years, I have had no car payments, no insurance payments, don~ care about the price of gas and have not had to visit with the judgeV Robert Burnett may be a little nuts by some standards of the way Americans choose to live their lives, but by the standards that he has set for himself, he is a wise man. City Council to hold public hearing on capital facilities tax The Sundance City Council will hold a public hearing at the regu- lar meeting on June 7 at 8:00 p.m. in the City Hall. The purpose of the hearing is to discuss the pro- posed one percent capital facili- ties tax that will be on the gen- eral election ballot on November 2. The Council will receive com- ments and answer questions re- garding the tax. The proposed tax will generate $3,750,000 to be divided pro rata among Sundance, Hulett, Moorcroft, Pine Haven and the county. Sundance will use $350,000 of the tax money to pay down debt incurred from the water bonds, lines and tank. The remaining $400,000 will be used to extend sewer and water services to the new additions in the south and southeast part of Sundance. Six local positions to be filled on the general dection ballot Up for re-election is one County Commissioner, the State House District One Representative and the State Senate District One Rep- resentative, as well as the mayor and two city council positions. The deadline to turn in applications for these positions was 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 28, 2004. Running for Crook County Commissioner is incumbent Harold J. "Stormy" Burch, Jr. of Hulett. Butch was appointed to the Commis- sion when Mark Semlek resigned to take the State House Represen- tative position. Challenging Burch in the election will be R. Reynard Mills of Sundance. Mills has been a long time member on the Crook County School District No. 1 Board. Also running for County Commis- sioner is Patricia A. Frolander of Sundance. She and her husband Robert ranch west of Sundance. In the race for State House District One Representative is incum- bent Mark Semlek (R) of Moorcroft. Semlek has served one two-year term. Running against Semlek is Ogden Driskill (R), a long-time rancher from Devils Tower. State Sentate District One incumbent C.L. "Chuck" Townsend is running unopposed. Townsend was appointed to the Senate on De- cember 5, 2003, after Bill L. Barton resigned for health reasons. The Sundance City Council has two positions opening. Incumbent Paul S. Brooks will be looking to retain his seat on the council. In- cumbent Norma Peterson, who was appointed when Steve Lenz re- signed to run for County Commissioner, will be running to keep her seat. April D. Gill, Crook County Sheriff's Office ~ecretary, dispatcher and reserve deputy, will also run for city council. Mayor James A. Miller is running unopposed for his ninth term. Hospital receives terrorism grant The Sundance Hospital received a grant from the state in the amount of $20,250 to use towards bioterrorism protection. They also received a $10,000 grant last year for the same purpose. The $10,000 grant will be used to purchase a biohazard hood for the hospital. The new grant will be used to insure the safety of personnel irl the lab by conducting staff training. New reference and text books will be purchased for staff. The money will also be used to purchase a new microscope, centri- fuge, incubator for micro-organisms and a computer with high speed Internet to send and receive pictures for communication in case of a bioterrorism attack. The equipment will ar' ?