This Catherland Journal Blog website was produced to share some historical visits to the Cather Wyoming Homestead property near Kaycee Wyoming. John, Jerry and Jim Cox, the great grandsons and grandsons of Jay W. Cather and Howard B. Cather have been active visitors to the land since their their mother, Imogene Cather Cox, died at age 92 in 2007. Imogene and her two brothers, Bud and Howard Jr., lived on the homestead in 1917. Much of the historical material was produced by her mother Imogene Myers Cather and supplied by Imogene Cox and her brother Bud Cather. The current photography was supplied by the three Cox boys. It is our intent to keep journal up to date with future visits. Jerry and Jim are on a mission to recreate the original homestead house in preparation for a 100 year family celebration on the property in 2015.
If other family members have photos of their previous visits, please send them to me John Cox, firstname.lastname@example.org, along with the visit date and I will post them to the journal.
WYOMING 1917 – ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY IMOGENE MYERS CATHER
On July 12,1917 we bought our new Chevrolet touring car—we were so proud of it—cost $595. We had a good time driving that summer before we went back to Wyoming.
On October 3, 1917 we started out. My mother, brot Buddy back on the train and got there three days before we did. We pulled a trailer really loaded. My father, Al Myers, Imogene and Howard & I. 788 miles and took us 5 days.
First day we drove 178 miles. When we were leaving Kearney, the connection on the trailer broke. We left the trailer beside the road, drove back to a blacksmith, got it fixed, returned to find someone had stolen our loaded trailer. A boy told us it was the telephone men. We traced it back to the other side of town. They had unloaded it in a barn. Howard picked up his gun and told them to put it back. They did. Then he asked them for $25 for delaying us, or he would report to the police. They got the money, but then said they would report us for speeding. We went to the police, but found we would have to stay in town until Monday, so decided to go on.
Had a fine trip, good roads and good weather excepting one day it rained, so we laid over almost a day in Douglas. We traveled O.L.D. Lincoln highway and Yellow stone trail (this trail was marked with yellow paint on stones along the way). We hit Kearney, Grand Island, North Platte, Cheyenne and Douglas across to Ross which was just a ranch house an P.O. We camped the first nite at Overton, the second at Kimball, breakfast at Sidney. The third nite about 50 miles from Cheyenne and breakfast in Wheatland. The fourth in a hotel at Douglas—reaching Buffalo about seven thirty on the fifth day. Trip cost $25.00.
We drove out to the land the next day and staid over nite. Howard bot lumber for second room or kitchen 14×16, cost $300. (The original house was a one room 10×12, $100.) We went out for three weeks and left Bud with my mother at Lynn’s. My father helped build-he made me a nice cabinet and Howard and his father dug a basement under one room. My father built us a nice library table, legs were logs from mts (someone stole it from cabin after we left altho it was padlocked. Howard built a brick chimney and plastered the house, ( the only one in the country)—hauled material 43 miles.
We staid on land until December 1 when we went in town until February 1. We were at the Yellow house. From there we had a pretty view of the mts. and could walk downtown and had pretty clear Creek running thru the town, clear as crystal.
WYOMING CATHER LAND HOMESTEAD BACKGROUND
I, John Cox, pieced together the early history of the Cather Homestead. The process of preparing the oil and gas leases on the property required confirmation of the actual ownership of the mineral rights. Upon review of a number of documents I determined that the oil and mineral rights only apply to Section 32 – 640 acres of which the west half is owned by the JW Cather Land Trust and the east half own by the HB Cather Land Trust.
As the following indicates, the Cather Homestead process took place in two phases. JW and HB each applied for 320 of Wyoming Johnson County land in 1915. The land was conveyed to them in 1920. In 1920 they applied for an additional 280 and 201 acres which were conveyed to them in 1923.
August 13, 1915 – DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR – Homestead Application – Section 32 E1/2 – 320 Acres
July 12, 1920 – Deed of Trust – Section 32 E1/2 – “Reserving to the United States all Coal…”… limitations by the June 22, 1910 Homestead Act…” signed by President Woodrow Wilson.
March 20, 1920 – DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR – Homestead Application – Section 5 Parts – 201.18 acres
December 6, 1923 – Deed of Trust – Section 5 Part – “Reserving to the United States all Coal and other minerals… limitations by the December 29, 1916 Homestead Act…” signed by President Calvin Coolidge.
August 5, 1915 – DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR – Homestead Application – Section 32 W1/2 – 320 Acres.
September 24, 1919 – Deed of Trust – Section 32 W1/2 – “Reserving to the United States all Coal…”… limitations by the June 22, 1910 Homestead Act…” signed by President Woodrow Wilson.
March 20, 1920 – DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR – Homestead Application – Section 5 and 31 Parts – 280 Acres
October 18, 1923 – Deed of Trust – Section 31 Part / Section 5 Part – “Reserving to the United States all Coal and other minerals… limitations by the December 29, 1916 Homestead Act…” signed by President Calvin Coolidge.