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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

101 Ranch: 1925

101 Ranch: 1925

May 11, 1925. Washington, D.C. "Ezra Meeker with 101 Ranch." The Wild West show rolls into town at the Florida Avenue fairgrounds. Ezra Meeker, "hero of the Oregon Trail," was part of the parade. National Photo glass neg. View full size.

 

Meeker and his Oxen

Ezra Meeker trekked back along the Oregon Trail in 1906 when he was 76. He raised money along the way as part of an effort to commemorate the trail and even drove his wagon and oxen illegally down Broadway in New York (it's against the law to drive cattle down the streets of New York), before meeting with Teddy Roosevelt in Washington. Congress refused his request for $50,000 to mark the Trail.

He later had the two oxen - Dave and Dandy - slaughtered and stuffed and had them pulling his wagon as part of an exhibit that was taken across the country by train in 1915. Today, they and the wagon can be seen at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.

101 Ranch

It is interesting to see a picture from the 101 show. My family is from Ponca City, Oklahoma, which is near the 101 Ranch. When it was a working ranch in its heyday it got the name from it being 101,000 acres. In the ranch's later life it was turned into a wild west show.

Lived to be 98

Old Ezra must have been doing something right because he lived from 1830 until 1928. He saw a tremendous amount of history and remarkable changes in his long lifetime. And he does look exactly like Gabby Hayes, they could have been twins. He could have seen four or even five generations of his family, so the guy was really blessed.

That's odd

A man bereft of lid. Get that man a homburg, pronto!

Where's John Wayne?

It looks like Gabby Hayes is riding shotgun!

Not as down-home as he seems

For all his old-timey covered wagon-ness in this picture, Ezra Meeker was no relic. This was only one year after he flew from Vancouver, Washington over the Oregon Trail to Dayton, Ohio in an open cockpit army plane at the age of 94.

It's amazing to think that someone born only 4 years after Thomas Jefferson died would eventually take to the skies.

Ezra Meeker

was the main pioneer founder of the town of my birth, Puyallup, Washington. His home (the Meeker Mansion), built in 1890, still stands in Puyallup as an historic landmark and museum.

Incidentally, it seems no one from outside the Puget Sound region can ever pronounce the town's name correctly, and even locals are of two minds (some say it's "pyoo-AWL-up", while others pronounce it "pyoo-AL-up").

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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