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Yellowstone Biographies: "D"
Who's Who in Wonderland's Past


Copyright 2009 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced
or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an
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Dean, James H.  James Dean was one of the assistant superintendents under Supt. Conger in 1883, serving until June of 1885. He spent the summer of 1884 with his family at Norris in a small house built for them by the government. However it was unsuitable to withstand the cold, harsh winters and they moved to Mammoth to live that winter. He became clerk at the Firehole Hotel  in 1885, serving there for several years. In 1888 he was hired to manage the Cottage Hotel at Mammoth, the year before the GL Henderson family sold the operation to the Yellowstone Park Association. Dean managed the National Hotel in 1891 and was appointed Superintendent of YPA in 1892, having supervision of all the park hotels. His office was located in the National Hotel. He served as president of YPA from at 1896 (or 1898) until 1901, when Harry Child, Edmund Bach and Silas Huntley bought out the company. Around 1902 he resigned from the company and went to live with a nephew Mr. Charles Picken (or Pickings) near Harmony Grove in Maryland. By 1910 James and Rebecca had moved to California and were living in Coronado Beach, near San Diego. James died October 17, 1919 in Coronado Beach after being in ill health and suffering a stroke the previous year. He was about 75 years of age and was survived by his widow.
     James H. Dean was born around 1844 in New Market, Frederick County, Maryland. His future wife Rebecca T. Pickings (or Picken) was born in Maryland around 1845. By 1869 Dean was living in the town of Frederick, MD and went to work as a steward at the Maryland school for the Deaf and Dumb. The school had just opened the previous year and served about 60 students, 25 of them that had never received any formal schooling. The school taught sign language, the finger alphabet, writing, speech, lip reading, along with vocational skills such as shoemaking, carpentry, printing, dressmaking, sewing, and housework. He held that position until 1877. At that time he went to work for a hotel and restaurant called the Old Dill House in Frederick. By 1879 the hotel became known as the Carlin House, after proprietor Frank B. Carlin. Around 1898 it was renamed Hotel Burgess, after the new owner. In 1883 he traveled to Yellowstone with Rebecca to work as an assistant superintendent. [LE;7/18/1885;10/10/1891; 4/2/1892;12/19/1896; 4/9/1898] [30;300-02] [10;172] [The News, Frederick, Md; 3/1/1888; 5/3/1890; 10/19/1889; 7/30/1894; 12/12/1898; 1/10/1899; 9/29/1902; [Frederick Post; 10/30/1919]

Deckard, Frank  Frank Deckard was born December 6, 1874 at Ranier, Oregon, Frank began freighting in Yellowstone at age 17. He married Susan Elnora Hanson on 11/29/1876, but was later divorced. He owned a ranch near Jardine for 35 years that he sold to the government in 1929, but continued to live in Jardine. He was found dead Sunday, Oct. 26, 1930 in his cabin on Buffalo Flat near Jardine. He had a bullet hole through the head above the right ear. A .38 Colt revolver was found in his hand and it was determined that the death was self-inflicted. Services were held in the Gardiner Eagles Hall with Clarence Scoyen officiating. Burial was in the Gardiner Cemetery. [YNP Vert. Files: Deckard; Park County News, 10/30/1930]

DeLacy, Walter W.  W.W. DeLacy was the leader of a gold-prospecting expedition in 1863 (he called his companions the ‘Forty Thieves’) that discovered Shoshone Lake and its drainage to the Snake River. He compiled the first accurate map of the park two years later. Unfortunately his findings were not published until 1876, long after other maps and charts had been produced by various other expeditions in the early 1870’s. His historical ‘claim-to-fame’ was thwarted by his delay in publishing his findings. DeLacy Creek is named after him.  DeLacy was born Feb. 22, 1819 at Petersburg, Virginia. He graduated from St. Mary's College in Maryland and became a railroad surveyor in 1839. He taught for the Navy and spend much time at sea before retiring and returning to civil engineering in 1846. He participated in the war with Mexico, helped engineer the Mullan Road in Montana, and laid out the site of Fort Benton on the Missouri River. He was in the Sioux War of 1867 and participated in numerous other surveys in Montana and Idaho. He later became a city engineer in Helena and died there May 13, 1892. [Dan Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography] [25L;34]

DeMaris, Charles  In 1886 Charles DeMaris discovered and developed the hot springs on the western edge of Cody that still bear his name. DeMaris was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1827 and moved to Chicago with his parents at age nine. He became involving in the building contracting trade and lumber business in Chicago and Michigan. He relocated to Louisiana at the close of the Civil War, but dissatisfied with the area, headed north on a steamboat to Fort Benton and pushed on to Leesburg Basin in Idaho to mine for gold. His efforts were successful and in 1871 he bought cattle and entered the stock raising business. DeMaris sold his mining interests in 1879 and drove his cattle to Montana to graze on lands where Billings now stands. He removed to the DeMaris Hot Springs in 1886 and touted the purported healing qualities of those waters. Around 1895 the future town of Cody was plotted around the Springs area, but various problems caused the town to be moved east to its present location in 1896. DeMaris married Nellie Fitzgerald of Cody in 1898, who assisted Charles greatly in the development of the hot springs. The couple had a son named Charles, born around 1901. Charles Sr. died June 26, 1914 at his home at the Springs. He was 87 years of age and was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Cody. [Park County Enterprise, 6/2/1914]

Dewing, Jennie Henderson  Jennie Henderson was the daughter of G.L. Henderson and wife of John Dewing, she operated a general store at Mammoth from 1883-1908. (See ‘Ash, Jennie’ and ‘Henderson, Jennie’)  Click Here to read the article I wrote on Jennie Henderson Ash and her General Store for the Spring 2005 issue of Yellowstone Science.

Dietrich, Richard  Richard Dietrich was a member of the Helena party during the fateful summer of 1877 when the Nez Perce made their forey through the park. Escaping from a skirmish at Otter Creek, Dietrich, along with Andrew Weikert and Leslie Wilkie made it safely back to Mammoth Hot Springs, but their friend Charles Kenck was killed. Weikert and James McCartney went back to Otter Creek to look for Kenck while Dietrich remained at McCartney's cabin at Mammoth. Yellow Wolf, a member of the Nez Perce, later told what happened to Dietrich, a music teacher from Helena: "It was coming towards sundown when we saw a white man standing in the doorway of a house. We stopped not far from him but did not dismount. We sat on our horses, six or seven of us, thinking. Chuslum Hahlap Kanoot (Naked-foot Bull) said to me, 'My two young brothers and next younger brother were not warriors. They and a sister were killed at Big Hole. It was just like this man did that killing of my brothers and sister. He is nothing but a killer to become a soldier sometime. We are going to kill him now. I am a man! I am going to shoot him! When I fire, you shoot after me.' " Dietrich was killed August 28, 1877 and his body was returned to Helena for burial. [Billings Gazette, 8/26/2002, "Wrong Place, Wrong Time for Music Teacher"]

Dingee, Williamm A.  William Dingee was a member of the ill-fated Cowen-Radersburg party that visited Yellowstone in the summer of 1877 and was attached by the marauding Nez Perce Indians (see George Cowen). Dingee and A.J. Arnold managed to escape when other members of their party were taken captive. He was born Jan. 1, 1834 at Highland Falls, New York and joined the Colorado gold rush in 1859. He left for Montana during its gold rush and arrived in Bannack on May 17, 1863. He eventually moved to Helena and became a merchant. He died in Helena November 13, 1899 at age 65. [Society of Montana Pioneers Register, Vol. 1, 1899; The NY Times, 11/14/1899 ]

Doane, Lt. Gustavus C.  Gustavus Doane was born May 29, 1840 at Galesburg, Illinois. He traveled with his parents by ox train to Oregon in 1846. He graduated college in California and enlisted in the Army in 1862 and commissioned first lieutenant in 1864. He retired from the military after the war and served briefly as mayor of Yazoo City in Mississippi. He re-joined the Army in 1868 and was appointed 2nd Lt. in the US Regulars and stationed at Ft. Ellis in 1869. Early in 1870 he was a participant in the massacre of a Piegan village on the Marias River in which 173 Indians were killed, only 33 of which were men. He accompanied the Washburn Expedition of 1870 with a small contingent of soldiers (one sergeant and four privates). The following year he guided the Hayden Expedition into the park. Doane was with the first command to reach the devastated Custer battle site in 1876 and assisted with burial duties. Late that year he and a small crew attempted to float the Snake River from its source to the mouth at the Columbia River. The boat capsized early in the trip and the attempt was given up. He volunteered for Artic duty late in 1877. In 1878 he married the daughter of the founder of Hunter Hot Springs in Springdale, Montana. He became a captain in 1884 and died in Bozeman May 5, 1892. [15b] [25g;19,26] [Dan Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography]

Dobson, David  David Dobson and Wm. Ramsdell approached Jennie Henderson in 1883 to have her sell coated specimens in her post office store on a consignment basis. The two men had received permission to coat various articles in the mineral-laden waters of the Mammoth Terraces. By 1888 Dobson was serving as the mail carrier for the Cooke City route. [25j]

Douglas, Henry F.  Henry Douglas was the post trader at Fort Yates in the Dakota Territory and apparently had political connections in Washington DC. Douglas and Carroll Hobart filed an application in July 1882 for a 10-year lease on 4400 acres of park land for their exclusive use in constructing and operating a hotel and transportation system. In January 1883 the two men formed the Yellowstone Park Improvement Co. with Rufus Hatch as financier. In March the Secretary of Interior negated their lease, changing most of the exclusive terms and lowering the lease acreage to 10 acres, divided between seven areas. The company went bankrupt in 1885 and was replaced by YPA. [25L;35]

Drury, Newton Bishop  Newton B. Drury served as NPS Director from Aug. 20, 1940 to Mar. 31,1951. He was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt due to his uncompromising attitude toward anti-conservationists and commercial interest groups. Earlier on he was with the Save the Redwood League in California and served as a research associate with the Carnegie Institution of Washington (1938-43). He resigned in 1951 over differences with the secretary of Interior under President Truman. Drury returned to the Save the Redwoods League in 1959 and was instrumental in the creation of Redwood National Park in 1968 in California. Drury was an honorary vice president of the Sierra Club. He died December 15, 1978. [25L;35] [Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian naturalists and Environmentalists, ed. by Sterling, Harmond, Cevasco, & Hammond]

Ducharme, Baptiste  Baptiste Ducharme was born March 15, 1781 near Montreal and joined Gen. Ashley’s expedition of 1822 as a trapper. He trapped for Bonneville in 1823. He became a free trapper in 1824 and claimed to have gone up to the head of the Yellowstone River. He crossed over to the head of the Snake River and came down the Firehole River past the geysers. Ducharme lived in the Rocky Mountains until the early 1840’s. E.S. Topping talked to Ducharme prior to his writing his book in 1885 and Ducharme was still able to describe the many geysers he saw.  [97p;14-15] [2]

Duret, Joseph  Joseph "Frenchy" Duret was born in France around 1862. He arrived in Stillwater County in 1885 and in the early 1890s owned property in both Gardiner and Cooke City. For five years he hunted and fished, and operated a butcher shop in Gardiner, providing fresh meat to Fort Yellowstone. He moved to the Slough Creek area, just outside of the park boundary around 1899. He was known to poach park animals and seemed to be in trouble with authorities on a regular basis. His wife claimed he had killed upwards of 200 bears in his 20 years on Slough Creek. Frenchy was killed by a grizzly June 12, 1922 that was caught in one of his traps. He apparently shot the bear to finish him off, but as Frenchy approached, the griz came back to life, broke the chain and mauled Frenchy to death. Rangers discovered his body the next day and buried him on his ranch.  An article from the Roundup Record Tribune, dated August 4, 1922, described the events surrounding Duret's demise: "Yellowstone park rangers are trailing a huge grizzly bear that recently killed and partly devoured Joseph Duret, sixty, and old-time Montana trapper. Duret's body was found on Slough Creek, near the park, with an arm and a leg partly chewed off. Signs indicated the bear had been caught in one of Duret's traps, but had broken loose when the trapper came by on his rounds. Horace M. Albright, superintendent of the park, said there were evidences of a terrific battle, and a rifle, clawed and chewed, was found near the broken trap. One shot had been fired from the rifle and a bloody trail showed that the man crept a mile and a half after receiving his injuries." [Doris Whithorn, Twice Told on the Upper Yellowstone, Vol. 2]

Dwelle, Harry F.  Harry Dwelle moved from Ohio and settled in an area on the south fork of the Madison River about 5 miles from the West entrance in the early 1880’s. In 1884 he established Dwelle’s Stage Stop to service the Bassett Bros. stages that were running to the park from Beaver, Idaho. In 1898 Dwelle’s Inn (also known as Dwelle’s Madison Fork Ranch and the Grayling Inn) became an overnight stop for the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co. that transported tourists to the park from Monida. Monida & Yellowstone ceased using Dwelle’s Inn after the 1907 season when the Union Pacific RR (UPRR) reached the West entrance of the park. By that time Dwelle was also running a general store. He married Sarah Burnside in 1903. Acting park superintendent S.B.M. Young complained in 1907 that Dwelle’s “. . . place has been a resort of park poachers . . . the principle merchandise he deals in is intoxicants.” [18t]



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