I. S. BARTLETT.
In his eightieth year, but robust, active and at the zenith of his extraordinary intellectual powers, I. S. Bartlett is one of the remarkable men of Wyoming. Having survived by almost a decade the Scriptural limitation of three score years and ten, and in age a score of years beyond the point at which a majority of men retire from active participation in business affairs, he yet enjoys excellent health, holds an important position under the state of Wyoming and is carrying on intellectual work which well might be trying to one of half his age. Having lived forty years in Wyoming, he is most eminently qualified to write the history of this great state.
Ichabod S. Bartlett was born at Amesbury, Massachusetts, in 1838, seven years before the Mexican war. He was twenty-three years of age when the Civil war began, and twenty-four years old when he enlisted, in August, 1862, in the Tenth New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, for service in behalf of his country in that memorable struggle. He continued, in the Union army until 1868, serving, after the end of active fighting, as paymaster in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. In 1878 he came to Wyoming, which since has been his home, in the capacity of military storekeeper at Camp Carlin, near Cheyenne. From that time until the present he constantly has been connected with important development projects, business enterprises and public offices. His newspaper experience, which began in 1888, has been constantly broadening, he having been associated in numerous capacities with Wyoming publications and having contributed extensively to magazines of national circulation. His articles dealing with historical events, and his scientific papers, have been widely quoted. In 1906, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, he became managing editor of the Cheyenne Leader, a daily newspaper, and the brilliant editorial work which he did during the ensuing two years set a new mark in Wyoming journalism. At the present time he is secretary of the Wyoming Humane Society, a position in which he has done a great deal of valuable work, at the same time continuing his literary labors.
Mr. Bartlett's varied and interesting career as soldier, war correspondent, editor, miner, and pioneer of the mountain west, reads like a romance.
He enlisted as a private, was made sergeant major of his regiment before it left the state, and was promoted to a lieutenancy in the field at Spottsylvania, Virginia. Soon after he was assigned to the pay department, with headquarters at St. Louis, Missouri, and was sent to Vicksburg, where he was on duty during the memorable siege of that city by Grant's army. After the capture of Vicksburg he was ordered to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and made the trip across the plains over the old Santa Fe trail in the winter of 1864.
From Santa Fe he was sent to El Paso, Texas, and while at that place was appointed acting collector of customs. While in this service, President Juarez of Mexico, with his cabinet, military staff and small army, retiring before the forces of Maximilian, made old El Paso (now Juarez) across the Rio Grande the capital of the Mexican republic for a period of ten months. During this time Mr. Bartlett became an acquaintance and warm friend of Mexico's greatest hero and statesman. In the November number of the Pan-American Magazine of 1914 is an article giving Mr. Bartlett's personal recollections of President Juarez, which is not only, valuable historically, but deeply interesting.
He returned to the states in 1869 and for several years engaged in business in Chicago. In 1878 he was appointed mihtary storekeeper at Camp Carlin, near Cheyenne. This was at that time the largest military supply depot in the western country, being the source of supplies for the army posts of the northwest and for expeditions and campaigns against various Indian tribes.
In 1881, the Indian troubles having practically ceased, the depot was discontinued and Mr. Bartlett engaged in mining operations in the Hartville district, first giving his attention to copper and afterwards to iron mining. He was the first to locate and operate iron mines in the famous deposits of the Hartville-Sunrise district, which is now claimed to contain over five million tons of high grade Bessemer ore worth one dollar per ton in the ground. In connection with his sons he opened up the limestone quarries of the district and thus established one of the great and growing industries of our state.
He first gave to the world the story of the remarkable prehistoric remains once known as the "Spanish Diggings," but found on investigation to be the most ancient aboriginal quarries on this continent. His efforts brought the most noted scientists and ethnologists of the country to explore and report on these mysterious fields, which many believe belong to the stone age.
While working as a pioneer in prospecting and developing the resources and industries of a new state his pen has not been idle. He has written many valuable papers relating to the early history of Wyoming and the wonderful undeveloped resources of the states of the mountain and plain, some of which have been published by the national government as senate and house documents. He has also been active in public affairs. In 1882 he was elected a member of the house of representatives and in 1891 he was elected chief clerk of the house. In all the positions he has held, public or private, he has acquitted himself with honor and ability, and it may be said of him. as of one of Shakspere's characters:
"Age cannot wither nor custom stale his infinite variety."
One of the most distinguished of the women of Wyoming and intimately connected with its territorial and state history for nearly forty years was Mrs. I. S. Bartlett, the subject of this sketch. Mrs. Bartlett came to Wyoming with her husband in August, 1878, and died in Cheyenne, April 16, 1918.
MRS. I. S. BARTLETT.
Mary Jane (Eastman) Bartlett, was born in Chicago on the spot where the Tribune building now stands, November 17, 1847. Her father was Zebina Eastman, a prominent antislavery reformer and editor and a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, who appointed him United States consul at Bristol, England, in August, 1861.
Mrs. Bartlett spent eight years in England, where she pursued her studies under special tutors. She became especially proficient in literature and the study of French, Spanish and Italian and in her early married life read and translated many works in these languages simply as a diversion in household duties.
She has been a notable figure in Wyoming history, in wide activities connected with public affairs, social reforms and in club and church life. At the time of her death she was secretary of the Women's Civic League and vice president of the Associated Charities and a very prominent and active worker in these organizations.
She was a member and former regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a member of the King's Daughters, the Whittier Club, the Priscilla Club, of the Hospital Aid Society, of the Congregational Aid, the Red Cross and numerous other organizations. Her unremitting work for and devotion to Red Cross duties preceded the break down of her health and fatal sickness.
Although always unassuming and unobtrusive, her bright intellect and fresh interest in public affairs gave her the distinction of being the first woman in this country to be nominated for the United States senate by a legislative caucus. At the same legislative session she was nominated and elected chief enrolling clerk of the house, and was the first enrolling clerk of the state to adopt typewriting in the enrolling of bills.
She was the first woman in the United States to organize a woman's political club and was unanimously elected its first president. That was in 1892. In 1893 she was appointed by the federal government to act as woman commissioner from Wyoming to the Columbian exposition at Chicago and filled the position with distinguished ability during the whole term of the exposition. On the celebration of Wyoming's entrance into statehood July, 1890, she was selected as poet of the occasion and contributed a beautiful poem entitled "The True Republic," beginning :
"The first republic of the world
Now greets the day, its flag unfurled
To the pure mountain air."
Now greets the day, its flag unfurled
To the pure mountain air."
This poem is published in full in that part of this history relating to the celebration of the state's entrance into statehood.
At her death, Mrs. Bartlett was seventy years and five months old, and up to the time of her last sickness was an active leader in the intellectual and moral development of the state, and gave the best of her remarkable talents in aid of humanitarian and civic reforms, while her private life was full of deeds of charity.
She was survived by a brother, Judge Sidney C. Eastman, of Chicago; three sons, Sidney E., William A. and Albert B.; and a daughter, Edna S. Bartlett. All are residents of Cheyenne, except William A., who lives in Pocatello, Idaho. The Cheyenne Leader, referring to the death of Mrs. Bartlett, editorially, says:
"Wyoming can ill afford to lose such noble women as Mrs. I. S. Bartlett. They occupy a niche in the state's history entirely apart from the deeds of the more rugged men who helped to build this barren wilderness into a thriving community of cities and towns.
Mrs. Bartlett lived a rich and useful life, devoting almost all the time she could spare from her home affairs to civic and club duties of city and state. And she was a pioneer in more than one sense, for she was the first woman to be nominated for the United States senate by a legislative caucus and was the first woman in the country to organize a woman's political club.
Throughout a long, active career she became known for her untiring zeal in the cause of better government, better citizenship and civic and social reforms. It was, perhaps, characteristic of her devotion to duty that she so impaired her health by unflagging attention to her Red Cross work that her last illness found her unable to resist its inexorable claim. * * * She died, as she had lived, in the service of her state and country."