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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Everyone Loves A Story About The Old Western Days

altered free photo from bloggers site

Especially with a few unusual cowpokes.

So how about a story of the old west and a redhead cowgirl.

 I have such an interesting tale and with  facts to add to the mysterious Mrs. M  Ritterling I mentioned before here concerning the records and her suicide.  Well the other day I happened upon a article written by Marven Weitzel whose wife,   Jeanette has some  the Ritterling family information. I am pleased as punch that she is going to look up some of  her information and email me. It should be interesting to see the results.

In case you wish to view Margaret  Har[s] stone or leave her flowers at Find a Grave source
Now we know the mysterious Margaret Har  Ritterlings husband was Henry [born Mar.1845.Immg 1869 or early 1870. He had worked in Rochester, New York and in 1870 he entered the military service. He served in many fort locations. .Later he was one of the founders of Guernsey community in Wyoming. I have found his biography myself in a book at google reader and a couple other sources. I 'll leave a few links later. Marven wrote this;  which I find I can't express as well as he:
 "My wife delights in telling me about the houses that comprised his home and businesses, and remain standing in Guernsey today. Her grandfather was living in Henry's home when we lived there. The home to the south was once a brothel owned by Henry, and the one adjacent to the north was a bar which he also owned. In addition, he conducted extensive ranching operations and had considerable acreage. What most people never knew about my Uncle Henry was how he got the money for his businesses, Jeanette told me years ago. I understand that whenever he needed money, he went to the banks in Cheyenne, but not to borrow. He would slip in and rob the banks, lose the posse in the hills and head back to Guernsey. What she told me isn't documented, but she swears its the truth. She told me of another episode about her great great uncle Henry that took place some time after his emigration to this country from Germany. He ended up as part of cavalry unit at old Fort Laramie, and spent some time fighting Indians during the time when Gen. Custer made his last stand at Little Big Horn. When he was mustered out, he homesteaded in the Medicine Bow area and built a cabin." 

So Henry is quite the character.THE TEXT OF - PROGRESSIVE MEN OF THE STATE OF WYOMING  said he was discharged from the military service on  Sept.12.1880. so this must have influenced his thinking of having a wife. He  went back east to find a wife. Before that he also made a trip to Germany in the winter and returned 1881. On returning, he became an ambulance driver.  In spring of 1882 he arrived in Laramie region  and had land for cattle raising  three miles west of Fort Laramie by Laramie river the old California trail. .

 I wonder when he arrived back from the east with the  would be bride - Margaret Har[s] from Germany  with flaming red hair. [I would say that might mean a little Scottish or Irish mix in the background?]  The various Census tells me  her birth was about 1845- 1849.they married summer 23.OCT. 1883. I read  that  Henry's line of work often kept him away from the homestead for extended periods. His young bride didn't appreciate being left alone because she had a big fear of the Indians who often roamed the area.    We all have learned through the media that the little woman was often handed a gun and she was to end it before the Indians  got to her.

She was found in a barn hung from the rafters. People don't know if she did this because of her terror of the Indians passing through in the area, or if her husband tired of having a wife.Or other foul play. 
His wife ,  Jeanette did learn from  local Wyoming history:
" that at about this time a tribe of Indians from Florida was traveling through the area, headed for Canada. She theorizes that they were the Indians that Henry's wife saw. Its ironic, she says, because they would not have gone near her because they felt red-haired people were possessed of evil spirits."

If I recall right  our M&M had mentioned the surname O'HARA or O'HORA and a hint of  this  tragic story about a young lady who killed herself afraid of the Indians reaching her,  when she wouldn't have had to do so.
One can't help but admire this story that remains about this family. Our own experiences and history  about  people helps us  make up our own minds about versions of what might have happened with Margaret Hars.
I'd love to hear your version.

The picture has been painted about their life, what do you think happened?

Links: o. Co.

Picture source::  Graphics fairy

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