Thank You Mr. Bollinger

Most of my experience with research requests have been positive but to today I received a most generous offer from Gil Bollinger a volunteer at the Gatchell Museum Museum in Buffalo, WY. As the email below indicates Mr. Bollinger has offered to send me a bunch of material he has on Prince A. Gatchell who was an officer in the First Maine Heavy Artillery. While most of this material relates to Gatchell’s post war career it has some value to me because I think some of the most interesting stories still to tell have to do with what these soldiers did after the war. I want to thank Mr. Bollinger and other gracious souls like him who go above and beyond to share what the know and make long distance research possible.


Your email request had been referred to me for response. I am a museum volunteer and board member and pleased to inform you that we have quite a bit of information on our museum namesake's father. We are preparing a "care package" to be mailed to you that will include the following items:

1. A copy of my book entitled: Jim Gatchell - The Man and the Museum.

Pages 5-8 in chapter I deal with P.A. and his wife Hattie Ostrander Gatchell. There are four illustrations of them at the end of the chapter. The first three are of them personally and held by the Johnson County Library here in Buffalo. Should you wish to use any of those photos, you'll need to contact the library staff directly - their website is The fourth illustration is of the Wyoming Nation Guard at Camp Perry, Ohio, in 1909, with Adjutant General P. A. Gatchell present. That original photo is in the museum's files and Registrar Sylvia Jackman has scanned it. A CD for your use will be included. There is another P.A. photo ( p.47) with the 1902 Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, also from the Library, but it is not very clear. The Gatchell genealogy that we know is on pp. 43-46. The book's Index also lists a number of other places in the book where P.A. is mentioned.

2. I wrote an article concerning P.A.'s newspaper publishing career in Minnesota, Dakota Territory, Nebraska, and Wyoming, entitled: The Gatchells - Frontier Newspapermen.

A short version was published by the Gatchell Museum Association's newsletter The Sentry - a copy will be included for you. There is a much longer, more complete version, same title, published in the refereed Wyoming History Journal Annals of Wyoming, Autumn 2000, Vol. 72, No. 4, pp. 12-17. I can't find my copy of it just now. If you're interested in reading it contact the Wyoming State Historical Society, Cheyenne, WY 82009-4945 or go to their website

Additional material that may be of interest to you:
P.A. was directly involved with the cattlemen-sheepmen wars in Wyoming.
There was an especially brutal attack south of Tensleep, WY, in 1909, by cattlemen on sheep herders there that is referred to as the Spring Creek Raid. It was an important event in that is marked the "beginning of the end" of such conflicts in the state. The National Guard with P.A. Gatchell was called out in the aftermath.
The best source on this matter is the book A Vast Amount of Trouble by John Davis. I don't have more specific info on that book at hand. The event and the National Guard's involvement, but not P. A. directly, are also discussed in Bill O'Neal's Cattlemen vs. Sheepherders, (1989), ISBN 0-89015-665-4.

That's about all that occurs to me right now. If I remember anything else, I'll contact you. The above materials note his Civil War service but are not related to the First Maine Heavy Artillery. I hope they will be useful to your research. We will need your mailing address if you want them.


Gil Bollinger
Buffalo, WY


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