With Nancy J. Farrier
|Luther "Yellowstone" Kelly|
Born in Geneva, New York, in 1849, Luther became the ‘man’ of the family at eight years old when his father died. As a teenager, Luther prepared to go to a Wesleyan seminary, but the lure of the Civil War drew him to enlist. Some reports say he was sixteen when he enlisted, others say he was only fifteen and lied about his age to be allowed to enlist. Either way, the fighting ended by the time he was able to join the army.
Instead of fighting in the Civil War, Luther shipped out west to join the Cavalry. He stayed in the army for three years, but then became an explorer. He was known for his bravery and fearlessness. He loved Montana and did much of his exploring there.
In 1869, Luther spent the winter at Fort Buford, hunting for game and doing chores at the
Fort. Some of the soldiers were assigned the task of carrying mail between Fort Buford and Fort Stevenson, a very dangerous task. When two of the soldiers failed to return, the post commander asked for volunteers to take some important messages to Fort Stevenson. None of the soldiers were willing to go, but Luther volunteered. He later wrote that he needed the employment.
|Kelly as a Scout|
He set off late so he could traverse the most dangerous part of the trail in the dark. The snow made the road treacherous, but the trip to Stevenson proved uneventful. However, on the trip home he encountered two Sioux warriors who stopped and waited for him to approach. When he came close enough, they opened fire on him. One had a gun and the other used a bow and arrow.
Luther leaped from his horse and killed the Sioux with the shotgun first. The other warrior took shelter behind a tree and he and Luther exchanged fire. Luther hit the warrior, breaking his arm. Luther later wrote, “He rushed toward me in furry and despair, attempting meanwhile, to place an arrow on the string of his bow, but I dropped him in his tracks.”
|Charles Russell depiction of Kelly fighting|
the Sioux warriors.
|Yellowstone Movie Poster|
In 1959, Warner Bros. made a movie based on a book about Yellowstone Kelly. Clint Walker starred as Kelly. There is also a Facebook page devoted to remembering Kelly.
Have you ever heard of Luther ‘Yellowstone’ Kelly? Have you seen the movie? Check out his Facebook page and let me know what you think. I love hearing your thoughts.
Nancy J. Farrier is an award winning author who lives in Southern California in the Mojave Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. Nancy and her husband have five children and two grandsons. When Nancy isn’t writing, she loves to read, do needle craft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Karen Ball of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website: nancyjfarrier.com.