The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 32
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
West and virtually to wipe out the species. The killing left the
prairies whitened with bones that pioneer farmers in need of a
few dollars would pick up and haul to the nearest railroad town.
The hide hunters were recruited from adventurers who had
drifted west for various reasons. Some were former soldiers or
railroad construction workers who sought an exciting and lucra-
tive life. Others had left Eastern homes to avoid the sheriff or
the outraged father of a trusting girl. Still others, like the Mooar
brothers, of Vermont birth, were young men from respected
families who saw in the West an opportunity for independent
and satisfying life.
Josiah Wright Mooar and John Wesley Mooar had grown up
in the Vermont town of Pownal. Their father and one of their
uncles had been in the sawmill business in Vermont and in Mich-
igan. Wright, the younger brother but the first to go to the buffalo
country, had worked in a Vermont woolen mill for several sum-
mers, between terms of school.
In the winter of 1868-1869, Wright had attended school in
Michigan, living at the home of an uncle. From there he had
gone to Chicago, where, for a short time, he was a conductor on
a streetcar. Back in Vermont, he worked at weaving for most of
the winter. Then he decided to seek his fortune in the West. In
March, 187o, he went by train to Chicago, and from there to
Rochelle, Illinois, where an old friend of his father lived.
This friend was Jim Ladd, a carpenter. Wright stayed in
Rochelle for three months, working for Ladd. Working with him
was another youth, a little older than Wright-John Lindley,
from Massachusetts, a nephew of the carpenter. When the wheat
harvest started in midsummer, the two youths found more lucra-
tive work in the fields. Following the reapers, they bound the
sheaves of wheat by hand, with straw. When the season ended,
each had two hundred dollars in his pocket. That was enough to
take them to the real West.
After three days in Kansas City, Mooar and Lindley went on to
some of the towns on the Kansas Pacific. They visited Lawrence,
Topeka, Junction City, Ellsworth, and finally Hays City. This still
was a wild frontier town, even though James B. (Wild Bill)
Hickok had spent a term there as marshal. Its saloons and gam-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/58/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.