Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Dr. Henry H. Hewett - I'm Out to Find You


Post by Doris McCraw aka Angela Raines

Photo property of the Author

Have you ever run across something while researching that just won't let go? It happened when I started on the journey of early Colorado women doctors after reading an obituary in a newspaper. It happened again as I finished the short book about the early women doctors buried in Evergreen Cemetery here in town. 

What you may ask happened this time? Well, I came across the name of an early doctor, not a woman, by the way, that seems to want to keep his identity hidden. His story is intriguing and I just may have to write a fiction piece if I can't find much more.

Here's what I've found to date:

Name: Henry H. Hewett

Birth: 1846 - (+or- a year or two) in New York

He may have enlisted in the Union Army at age 18 in September1864 with the 148th New York Infantry, Company I. He was mustered out in June of 1865 in Richmond, VA.


He lived in Colorado in 1860 during the early gold rush in this state, left and studied medicine in Ohio, returning in 1869


He was a combination miner, Doctor., Deputy US Marshal, and Deputy Provost Marshal here in the Colorado territory. From 1863 to 1866 he lived in California Gulch and from there moved to Georgetown where he had some success as a miner. In 1878 he was in Leadville, and then in the early 1880s, he moved to Aspen.

The only information I have about his death was that he was injured in a stagecoach accident between Aspen and Glenwood Springs. He died from his injuries in Denver.

The last piece of information I've located about Dr. Hewitt is that he was the first County Physician appointed for Lake County Colorado.  

Much like the joy and frustration I've encountered in telling the stories of the early women physicians, I feel this will be another such journey. Dr. Henry H. Hewett, I'm on the hunt and I will find you. 

Doris McCraw


Wednesday, August 17, 2022


Hi everyone! While I was deciding what to blog about this time, I came upon an OLD blog of mine from October 1 of 2012! Oh wow--nearly TEN YEARS AGO. But hey, I'm still just as proud of this book and my participation in this series as I was then, and if you have not had a chance to read it, and the following books, PLEASE REMEDY THAT QUICKLY! This series was the brainchild of Troy Smith, and he did a fantastic job of putting it all together and "herding the cats" to make it all happen. I sure do miss writing for this series and am so glad to have been a part of it. SO...without further ado, I'm posting this re-run of that blog so many years ago and fondly remembering all the wonderful stories that followed this first one!
Today, I’m proud to introduce five wonderful western writers who I was privileged to

work with on a “new concept” western, the kick-off novel of the Western Fictioneers’ Wolf Creek series.

Western Fictioneers is producing a new series of western novels, under the umbrella title Wolf Creek. The series gets its name from its setting, the fictional 1870s town of Wolf Creek, Kansas. The first installment, Bloody Trail, was released on September 1, with a new volume to follow every three or four months. Under the house pen name Ford Fargo, the six authors who collaborated on the first book of the series, Bloody Trail, are Clay More, James Griffin, L.J. Martin, Troy Smith, James Reasoner, and Cheryl Pierson.

Bill Torrance, Spike Sweeney, Derrick McCain, Charley Blackfeather, G.W. Satterlee, and Logan Munro are common citizens, until the day their small town of Wolf Creek, Kansas, comes under a methodically cruel siege. Led by one of the most brutal men of the post Civil War years, Jim Danby, the outlaw gang that invades Wolf Creek figures they got away clean with murder and bank robbery. But the dwellers of Wolf Creek have secrets of their own, and the posse that goes after Danby and his men are anything but the ordinary people they seemed to be before the attack. They'll go to any lengths to keep their town safe, no matter how long they have to follow the BLOODY TRAIL.

I asked three questions of each of the authors about their character, collaboration, and what’s to come in future editions of the Wolf Creek series. For the sake of space, I’ll post the questions once here at the beginning and number the answers to correlate.


1. Wolf Creek is a town filled with secrets, and people "with a past." Tell us a little about your character without giving away all his secrets. What kind of man is he and how does he change in this story?

2. The idea of a collaboration with other authors is sometimes daunting. What did you enjoy most about working with your co-authors under the pen name "FORD FARGO"?

3. Are there any plans for your character to reappear in a future edition of the Wolf Creek stories? If so, what edition will it be?

Let’s start with Clay More’s answers, since his character kicks the story off.

CLAY MORE—Dr. Logan Munro

1. Logan Munro is a Scottish doctor, as am I. Shortly after graduating from

Edinburgh University he served with the British Army Hospital in Scutari in Constantinople during the Crimean War. In 1856, at the end of the war he had the opportunity to go to India. While there he married Helen, a young governess. A year later The Indian Mutiny took place and he was involved in the siege. Sadly, Helen died from malaria. Disillusioned with life, and bereft at losing Helen, Logan sailed for America. Along came the Civil War, during which he served as a surgeon in the Union Army. When the guns ceased and the smoke cleared he settled down in Wolf Creek. He has seen a lot of action in the three wars he served in and he has honed his surgical skills on the battlefields. He is tired of all the killing and he just wants to settle down as a family doctor in a sleepy town.

I don’t think that Logan has really changed in the course of the story. Like all of the decent citizens of Wolf Creek he is sickened by the attack by the Danby gang. When a posse is formed he insists on going, since he feels that he may be needed. His training and his experience mean that he keeps a cool head when he is under pressure.

2. This was indeed a very daunting prospect, since I was working with top names in the western genre, five writers whose prose and imagination I greatly admired. When Troy gave me the task of opening the story I was naturally anxious in case I failed to engage the reader in those first two chapters, which would result in the whole project collapsing. Troy had worked out an outline for us all to work to and everyone had the opportunity to chip in until we had the plot mapped out. Then each writer told the story through the viewpoint of their character. I think Troy was inspired to come up with the whole concept. We wrote the book sequentially, so I had to write mine quickly and hand it on to Jim Griffin, who then wrote his story and handed it on to Troy. Then Larry took up the reins and handed it on to James. And of course, Cheryl had to finish it off, which she did beautifully.

It was a lot of fun, but each writer had his or her own pressure to keep the story moving. I really enjoyed working with all of the writers and seeing just how the story panned out. I have to say that Troy, who ramrodded the whole thing, did a fantastic job in taking the whole manuscript and blending it seamlessly together. I think the result is a book that has turned out to be greater than the sum of its parts.

3. Yes, I am happy to say that Logan returns in Book 4 - The Taylor County War. In fact, I am working on it right now.

LARRY MARTIN—Angus “Spike” Sweeney

Angus “Spike” Sweeney is the town blacksmith.

He wears a butternut wool Confederate Kepi with a Davis Guard Medal pinned above the eye shade and invites comments, which might just be met with an iron bender’s grip on the throat and a pounding left to the proboscis. Considered a hero of the Davis Guards and the defense of Sabine Pass. He is usually unarmed, but is deadly within twenty feet with his hammer, and can split hairs at fifteen with his hatchet or Arkansas toothpick. A decent and deliberate shot with both a sidearm and long gun.

Spike was born in New Orleans and was a sailor (both in trading vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Mississippi) and on-board smithy, where he acquired some skill as a gunsmith as well. He keeps a garden in the rear of the shop with both vegetables and flowers, and is teased about the flowers. He is bashful around women and wouldn’t swear in front of one if a beer wagon ran over his moccasin clad foot, but is on the prod for a woman who can put up with his (in his eyes) questionable looks, and long hours in front of a hot forge.

Spike’s silent partner at the forge is Emory Charleston, an ex-slave -the two men make an incongruous, but mutually loyal, pair. Em’s biggest complaint about Spike is the Confederate cap he insists on wearing.

JIM GRIFFIN—Bill Torrance

1. My character is Bill Torrance, the owner of the Wolf Creek Livery stable. He’s a

man who seems to care only for horses, and little else. He’s never even been known to carry a gun. In modern-day terms, he’d be considered a “wimp”. However, Bill Torrance is not his real name, and his background is far from the picture he presents to the citizens of Wolf Creek. This becomes clear when the town is attacked by the Danby gang.

2. First, it was an honor to be asked to participate in this project, with authors far more well-known than I, all of whom I admire. What I found most amazing and enjoyable was the complete cooperation among all the authors, and the complete lack of egos. Everyone was willing to bend to let the storyline mesh together cleanly. All of the authors were allowed to use the other authors’ characters in their chapters, as long as they didn’t change the character “owner’s” concept of his or her character. Again, everyone was fine with that. By everyone working together and setting aside our natural instincts to not want anyone else using “our” characters, we were able to avoid transition and storyline problems.

3. Yes, Bill Torrance, now using his real name, will be appearing in a future Wolf Creek book. I believe Volume 6. In that book, we’ll learn more about him, plus he’ll be interacting with Edith Pettigrew, widow of one of the founders of Wolf Creek. Bill had a confrontation with her in Bloody Trail, so when they meet again the sparks will once more be flying.

TROY SMITH—Charley Blackfeather

1. Charley Blackfeather’s father was an escaped slave, and his mother was Seminole –he

was raised as a member of that tribe, and as a very young man fought against the U.S. military in the Seminole Wars. Later, during the Civil War, he served in the same blue uniform he had once fought against… now (1871) he serves as a cavalry scout, making use of his vast knowledge of Kansas and Indian Territory.

Charley is an adept tracker and hunter. He bears a lot of pain from the losses he has suffered in the various wars, but carries it stoically. He can be pretty intimidating if you don’t know him well –but if he is comfortable with you he can display a wry sense of humor. In the course of our first episode, Charley is visited by ghosts from his past that re-awaken his grief and rage. He also begins to develop new friendships, with people he would not have expected he would ever trust.

2. As editor of the series, I admit I did have some trepidation about trying to coordinate this kind of complex project, and about dealing with so many different authors. I feared it would end up being an exercise in herding cats, and that I would have a lot of stubborn, narcissistic, recalcitrant people to deal with (in other words, writers.) But I was pleasantly surprised. This book, and the ones that are set to come after, were joys to work on. Everyone cooperated wonderfully- it really did feel like a team from the outset. And the rich, vibrant characters everyone created came alive immediately.

3. Well, that’s kind of a trick question in my case. As editor, I will be writing a section in every book, to help pull the various other parts together. I have two characters –one for stories that take place mostly in town (Marshal Sam Gardner) and one for stories that take place largely outside of town (Charley Blackfeather.)

JAMES REASONER—Sheriff G.W. Satterlee

1. My character, Sheriff G.W. Satterlee, is a former buffalo hunter and army scout who

drifted into packing a badge, and in the process he discovered that he's an instinctive politician who enjoys the power of his position. He's not the morally upright lawman hero so often found in Western fiction, but neither is he the corrupt official out to line his own pockets. Rather, he's somewhere in between . . . which means that he's capable of either inspiring us or disappointing us, depending on the situation in which he finds himself and his reaction to it. In BLOODY TRAIL, he discovers that maybe he has a little more of a conscience than he thought he did. As with most things about G.W. Satterlee, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, we just don't know yet . . . and probably neither does he.

2. I really got a kick out of the passion and enthusiasm the other authors brought to the project. Everyone tried to make this the very best novel it could be.

3. Since G.W. Satterlee is the county sheriff, headquartered in Wolf Creek, he's bound to make plenty of return appearances, ranging from brief cameos to leading roles in some books. I believe he's supposed to be featured again in the fourth book in the series.

My blog can be found at http://jamesreasoner.blogspot.com


1. I have two characters in this story, Derrick McCain, who has come back to Wolf

Creek after many years of "drifting" after the war. He's uneasy with himself and his past--he did some things that he regrets both during and after the war. But he has a personal stake in joining the posse to go after the gang that attacked Wolf Creek...he's seeking revenge of his own. My other character is Carson Ridge, a member of the Cherokee Lighthorse law enforcement. He makes a brief appearance but will be back in future editions of Wolf Creek.

2. I truly loved working on this project. Getting to read the other parts first really helped me in my decision as to how to end it properly, since I wrote the last two chapters. It was important to "get it right" because the ending has to leave the reader wanting more. But every chapter built on the one that came before it, and Clay, Jim, Troy, Larry and James really made my job a lot easier than it might have been otherwise. This was Troy's idea, and he has been organized and kept the ball rolling all along. So for me, the entire experience was really a good one--and nothing like I'd ever done before.

3. Derrick McCain will appear in book 5, Showdown at Demon's Drop. I also have a couple of short stories planned for his character in future anthologies. Carson Ridge may also appear in book 5--I'm not certain yet, but I know he will turn up again in the future somewhere!

Thursday, August 11, 2022

On This Day in the Old West: August 12

 On August 12, 1969, Emperor Joshua A. Norton issued a new proclamation. What? You weren’t aware that the United States had an emperor? Well, we did, from 1859 to 1880.


Joshua Norton was born in England, but not much is known of his life until he arrived in San Francisco in late 1849. We do know he spent much of his early life in South Africa, but there’s no clue as to what he did for a living or how he got to San Francisco from Boston, Massachusetts, where he landed in March 1846.


Norton operated in San Francisco as a successful commodities trader and real estate speculator. He was actually one of the city’s richest citizens by late 1852. In December 1852, Norton saw a business opportunity. China, faced with a severe famine, banned the export of rice, a move which caused the price of the grain to rise in San Francisco from four to thirty-six cents per pound. Norton bought out a shipment of rice from a Peruvian ship carrying 200,000 pounds. He paid twelve cents a pound, thinking to make a profit when he sold the rice at thirty-six cents. However, shortly after he signed the contract, other Peruvian ships arrived with more rice, causing the price to plummet to three cents a pound. 


After spending nearly two years in a heated court battle with the Peruvians, Norton lost his bid to have the rice contract voided. He lost his fortune and the Lucas Turner & Company Bank foreclosed on his holdings in North Beach to pay his debts. Norton declared insolvency in August 1856.


There followed a three-year period during which Joshua Norton practically disappeared from the public eye. It is known that he took lodgings in a working-class boarding house and in September 1857, he served on the jury during the trial of a man accused of stealing a bar of gold from Wells Fargo. In August 1858, Norton ran an ad announcing his candidacy for US Congress. 


By 1859, Norton had become completely disillusioned with what he considered “the inadequacies of the legal and political structure of the United States.” In July, he published his first “Manifesto” in the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, addressed to the “Citizens of the Union” and outlining what he saw as the national crisis. Norton suggested the imperative for action to address this crisis but did not lay out any concrete plans for such action.


Two months later, on September 17, Joshua Norton hand delivered a letter to the offices of the Bulletin:


At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of San Francisco, California, declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these United States; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of February next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.


He signed this letter Norton I, Emperor of the United States.


The newspaper, thinking this a grand joke, printed the letter in their evening edition, and the 25 year “reign” of Emperor Norton officially began.


The Emperor issued many decrees on matters of state, such as the one abolishing the US Congress in 1859, and the subsequent decree ordering the US Army to depose the elected officials in 1860. Neither the Army nor Congress paid any attention to these official notices.


On August 12, 1869, a decree was issued abolishing the Democratic and Republican Parties. Norton stated he was “desirous of allaying the dissentions of party strife now existing within our realm.” Sounds like a reasonable plan--maybe we need a new Emperor nowadays.

Emperor Norton spent most of his days inspecting the streets, taking note of the condition of the sidewalks and cable cars, the state of repair of public property, and the appearance of the local police officers. He spent time in parks and libraries and paid visits to newspaper offices and old friends in the city, in Oakland, and in Berkeley. In the evenings, Norton was often seen at political gatherings or at theatrical or musical performances, where he was given free admission.


He wore an elaborate blue uniform with gold-plated epaulettes, sometimes given to him secondhand by officers at the Army post at the Presidio of San Francisco. Norton embellished this with several accoutrements, such as a beaver hat sporting an ostrich or peacock feather and his rosette. He also carried a walking stick and an umbrella. 


The 1870 US Census lists Joshua Norton as a 50-year-old living at 624 Commercial Street; occupation: Emperor. It also noted that he was insane.


Emperor Norton reigned until January 8, 1880, when he collapsed on the corner of California Street and Dupont Street (now Grant Avenue), in front of Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral. The police immediately sent for a carriage to take him to the nearest hospital, but Norton died before it arrived. The San Francisco Morning Call reported the following day, “On the reeking pavement, in the darkness of a moonless night, under the dripping rain … Norton I, by the grace of God, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, departed this life.” Two days later, the San Francisco Chronicle posted an article on Norton’s funeral with the headline “Le Roi Est Mort.”


Your characters would likely have been aware of the existence of this beloved eccentric, as his antics and proclamations were widely reported in newspapers around the West. They might well have run into the Emperor if they traveled to San Francisco during the years of his reign. The Emperor always makes a wonderfully humorous addition to a historical story.


J.E.S. Hays



Wednesday, August 10, 2022

 Ranger Jim's Ramblings for August, 2022

Howdy, all,

I realize I'm a day late, but there's two reasons. First, I've been a bit under the weather. Second, today was release day for the 12th volume in my LONE STAR RANGER series, A RANGER AT PEACE.

Nate Stewart is now 21 years old, a Lieutenant commanding a small company of Rangers. Trouble a-plenty awaits them in Tascosa, the most dangerous town in the Texas Panhandle. 

However, Nate's got a bigger concern. Does he want to remain a Ranger, or get married, settle down, and have a family? Sonya Martinez knows what she'd like. But Nate just isn't certain. Besides, the outlaws of the Panhandle have other plans for Nate... like seeing him dead.

Here's a trivia question for all of you. Two of the characters in the book are named Colby Sawyer and Avery Fisher Hall, Who can tell me where those names come from?

Pick up your copy from Amazon today!

Until next month, when hopefully the weather will be cooler.

"Ranger" Jim

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Ron Schwab - 2021 Peacemaker Award Winner


Family can be a good thing. We can thank Ron's son for giving Ron the nudge to get his stories out in the world. Ron's dedication to telling those stories is pretty inspiring. Read on to find out how this former lawyer is making his mark in the fiction world.

From Ron's Amazon Author Pag

* Do you like to write short or longer stories?

I have never mastered the short story and do not enjoy writing them. I am in awe of the skill of those who craft good short stories. I had some success with a 30,000-word novella, Peyote Spirits, but that is my minimum for word count. Almost everything I write falls within the 65,000-to-90,000-word range.

* Do you write for the market or yourself? 

Both. My publisher son gives me his thoughts on the type of novel he thinks he can market best and then the idea strikes. For instance, Old Dogs published in April 2021 was our biggest financial success. I had assumed that the book would remain a standalone, but in December Mike said it was time for a sequel. Day of the Dog was released in April 2022 and has been a great commercial success, bringing with it a revival of the first book. We try to produce four novels annually, and the market decides when another series book is due.

Amazon -
2021 Peacemaker Award Winner

* What life experiences influenced your writing?

It would be more difficult to think of something that has not. It has been helpful, however, that I was a large animal veterinarian’s son and grew up in a rural atmosphere. I also have raised cattle and hogs and in my previous profession worked with many farmers and ranchers in Nebraska.

* Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am a pantser. I’ve never outlined a project, and I have no idea what is going to happen in the next chapter till I get there. It wouldn’t do much good. In the novel Medicine Wheel, I created a female character who was fated for death, but by the time I got to that point I was so enamored of her, I couldn’t bring myself to kill her, and she recovered from her illness. I confess that I am sometimes forced to write myself out of a plotting corner.

* Is there a writing routine you follow or do you write when the muse strikes?

I try to write something every day with a goal of 2000 words. I’m not too hard on myself when I don’t reach my objective, though, and of course, quite pleased when I hit 3000.


* Is there anything else you feel people would like to know or would be surprised to learn about you?

 I am 81 years old and started my writing career at age 74, not counting three best-forgotten titles published under a pseudonym for Tower/Leisure books over 40 years ago. I was a country lawyer for 50 years and wrote a few novels which I did not attempt to publish during those years. My youngest son Mike read one of them, called, and said he thought he could publish and sell that book and the several others I had lying around. Two of those novels, Last Will and Night of the Coyote were Peacemaker finalists in 2015. Changing careers was a risk, because there is no market for a small-town law practice, and I made enough bad financial decisions in my life to assure that I would not be retiring before age 95. My wife Bev, who does first edit, was supportive, and we now live most of the time in a Kansas Flint Hills cabin. It has worked out quite well, and I am very fortunate to be living my dream in my old age, although I will still need to keep writing and publishing for another 15 years or so.

* Do you write in other genres?


* Research, do you find it important? 

It is important in most of my books. I have written a few historical westerns, including Cut Nose, which was a Spur finalist, and I always try to include bits of history in my novels sufficient to give the reader the illusion of my expertise.


* Do you have unique ‘marketing’ tips you are willing to share?

I write for the Amazon/ Kindle market. It was my son’s idea, and he formed his own publishing company to publish my novels. He has since worked with a few other writers but is convinced that to find commercial success in that market, a writer needs to release multiple titles during a year’s time. Some of these may be from a writer’s backlist, but it appears important to keep books in front of the reading public in that market. It’s different, of course, if one has million-book best sellers.

* What advice would you give to those who dream of writing, or what advice would you give your younger self?

Persistence. My hero Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in the world will take the place of persistence. Talent will not…genius will not…education will not.” I suspect most writers understand this.

For more about Ron and his Books:

Amazon Author Page


or follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RonSchwabBooks