The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 76
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
[and] constructed of about 75 miles of cedar poles and 39 miles
post oak, Kenosha insulators47 and Johnson (English) No. -9 galvanized
wire. The line cost not far from $7,500, or $66 per mile, excluding
transportation, (in kind) of supplies, and labor of troops (which
are excluded from our estimates).
On April 27th parties from Forts Sills" and Richardson com-
menced work on the division between those posts-the party from
Sill under Capt. W. C. Beach9 and that from Richardson under
1st Lieut. D. B. Taylor,50o both of I ith Infantry. The demands for
the line immediately were so great that native timber of the best
character was purchased-mainly post oak, ash and red elm--ex-
cluding cottonwood. On June 2ist Capt. Beach had completed his
portion of the work (41 1/3 miles), which included the spanning
of Red River with a compound wire 1/3 of a mile long, an under-
taking of no slight task as the river was exceedingly high.51 On
June 22nd Lieut. Taylor who had built about 65 miles connected
the southern line therewith, completing this division. Private Con-
ner2 opened the office at Sill June 23rd. On June 17th Private
W. M. Weddington5" opened an office at Cambridge,54 a thriving
47The Kenosha insulator was machined from wood with grooves for the wire and
petticoat below. That type of insulator was used in the South and Southwest
between 1872 and 1876; it was not efficient, however, and had to be replaced by
other types. George P. Oslin, Director, Information Services, Western Union Tele-
graph Company, to L. T. E., April 23, 1962.
'8Fort Sill, Oklahoma, was established by General Sheridan in January, 1869.
Units of the 7th and loth Cavalry were initially based at the post. Ruth Kent
(ed.), Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State (Norman, 1957), 317.
"gWarren Carpenter Beach was born in New York. He graduated from the United
States Military Academy on June 23, 1865, and served with the 15th and 24th Infan-
try until April 25, 1869, when he transferred to the 11th Infantry. He was promoted
to captain on October 29, 1873, and resigned from the service on June 1, 1886.
Heitman, Historical Register, I, 201.
60Born in Scotland, David Brown Taylor entered the army on November 23, 186o,
and served with engineer battalions to March, 1867. He was commissioned a second
lieutenant in the 24th Infantry on March 7, 1867, and was transferred to the 11th
Infantry on April 25, 1869. Taylor retired from the service on August 24, 1886, and
died on December 12. Ibid., 946.
"1Excessive rains retarded work on both sides of the Red River. A flash flood on
Sunday, June 6, almost drowned the working party that was encamped on a nearby
creek. Greely to Chief Signal Officer, July 17, 1875.
"Henry E. Conner enlisted at Denison on May 5, 1875. He was discharged from
the Signal Service on June 1, 1877. Conner was later moved to the station at
Jacksboro and in January, 1876, was placed in charge of the office at Decatur.
Huber to L. T. E., April 18, 1962; Greely to Chief Signal Officer, November 3o,
1875, February 7, 1876.
"5William M. Weddington served as a private in the Signal Service for about
three years from March 30o, 1875, to April 17, 1878. Huber to L. T. E., April 18, 1962.
"Cambridge was called New Henrietta until the telegraph station was established
there. It gave Cambridge a momentary advantage over Henrietta, but when the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/94/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.