Yellowstone Biographies: "K"
Who's Who in Wonderland's Past
Copyright 2009 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced
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Kammermeyer, Fred E. F.E. Kammermeyer was Transportation Superintendent for H.W. Child and the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. (YPTCo) from 1917 to the 1940’s. He had been a military transport officer during WWI and was hired by Child to set up and organize the operation of the new fleet of 117 White buses in 1917. These buses replaced the stagecoaches that had been used up until that year. He retired Sept. 30, 1948 as Manager of Transportation Div., Yellowstone Park Co. Fred E. Kammermeyer was born June 30, 1888 in Burlington, Iowa to parents Fred Christian Kammermeyer and Lidia Wilhelmina Tillman. Sometime after 1920 Fred married Evelyn Johnson, born 1888 in Ohio. In the fall of 1924 Fred was an Engineering Extension Student with the University of Wisconsin. In a letter to the college Extension Division, Fred commented upon his employment in Yellowstone that summer: “We handled nearly 150,000 tourists this season, and I supervise six garages and 322 busses and trucks with all the grief that goes with it; so you can readily understand that I could not give study any concentrated thought – much less time – as I put in about 18 hours a day trying to keep up with the problems.” The Polk Guides list Fred’s residence as Livingston in 1943, Billings, 1944, and Bozeman in 1950. According to the Allday family website, Fred died of a gunshot wound to the head on December 21, 1967 at Sun City, Arizona. He was buried in the Sunland Cemetery. Evelyn died March 20, 1969 in Glendale, Arizona. [39-49] [25g]
Karst, Pete Pete Karst founded Karst Stage in 1902 to haul freight and loggers from Bozeman to a logging camp on Taylor Creek in the Gallatin Canyon area. In 1908 he built the Karst Stage Stop Inn about 35 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. It became the first ‘dude ranch’ in the canyon and transported mail, freight, and passengers from Bozeman and surrounding areas to his ranch. He also operated tours in Yellowstone. He motorized his fleet in 1917 when stagecoaches were no longer allowed on park roads. He established the Gallatin Canyon Bus Line in 1924. “Gail’s Golden Guide of the Beartooth Mountains” of 1935 lists Karst’s Kamp as having guest cabins, coffee shop, general store, garage, indoor plunge, and orchestras playing on Saturday nights. Karst sold the business in the early 1950’s and although the dude ranch is no longer in business, Karst Stage, Inc. still operates and provides bus service to the western US and Canada. [25g] [Karst Stage website]
Kayser, Albert Albert Kayser was the owner of the German language newspaper “Oakland Journal” and began issuing postcards, then known as ‘mailing cards’, with mostly California views. One card printed in 1897 featured eight different Yellowstone images on it that appeared to be F.J. Haynes photos. It is suspected that he did not have Haynes’ permission for the images. This card is believed to be the 1st known postcard using Yellowstone images. In 1898 Kayser sold his business and Edward H. Mitchell, a San Francisco publisher of western-image postcards, acquired the postcard portion. Mitchell reissued the Yellowstone card in 1898. [97;Vol.2;No.3,Michael Bodell]
Keeney, Elias Joseph Joe Keeney was a miner and long-time pioneer in the Yellowstone-Cooke City-Boulder country. He was born Aug. 22, 1847 in Linn Co, Oregon Territory. His father, Jonathan Keeney, was a trapper with William Sublette, Kit Carson and Jim Bridger in the Yellowstone, Snake and Columbia River drainages. Joe came to Montana in 1875 with a herd of wild horses and ended up in the Gallatin Valley. Because he did not have a bill of sale for the horses, he was suspected of being a horse thief. Attracting the attention of the Vigilantes, he soon left town. In 1877 he became the first man to locate mining claims on the Boulder River in the Independence area. He also owned land with George Huston that became the townsite of Cinnabar. Joe operated a hotel, restaurant and saloon in Cinnabar for a time. He filed numerous claims in the Cooke City and Clark's Fork area in the 1880's. Keeney was an assistant superintendent in the park around 1882, but got into political trouble when he tried to arrest a judge for leaving a campfire burning. His diligence ended up getting him fired. He died Sept. 25, 1938 at the age of 91 in Livingston Mt. [Thanks to Joe's great-grandson Greg Keeney for this information]
Killion, R.T. R.T. Killion owned the Yellowstone Park Ice Co., which was incorporated January 26, 1959 to operate ice plants and ice vending machines in the park. He subcontracted to Yellowstone Park Co. to operate the ice plant and ice vending machines at Fishing Bridge, Lake, West Thumb, Old Faithful, Mammoth, and Canyon. [25L;60]
Kingman, Lt. Daniel Lt. Dan Kingman was with the Army Corps of Engineers when they arrived in Yellowstone in August of 1883. Kingman was placed in charge and was responsible for the design, planning, and construction of the basic park road system until 1887. He was responsible for the basic figure-8 design that is still used today. He designed and built the wooden trestle and road through the Golden Gate Canyon in 1883 that bypassed the steep and harrowing Snow Pass road. The next two years he rerouted the Gardiner to Mammoth ‘high road’ to the route currently used along the Gardiner River. He left the park as a Captain. He had a boat called the U.S. Pinafore, which was test run on Swan Lake in 1885. Kingman retired from army service in 1916 as a brigadier general, and died in November of that year. [25L;60]
For a detailed history of the Yellowstone Park road system, visit this NPS Road History website.
Klamer, Henry Ernst Henry Klamer was born in 1858 in Kahoka, Clark Co. Missouri, he moved west at least by the early 1880’s. He was a member of the road crew in the park under Supt. Norris in 1881. He applied to be an Asst. Park Superintendent in 1882, but was passed over for the position. When George G. Henderson assumed control of the Marshall Hotel in 1885, he brought Klamer into the deal with him. They built cottages, a new store, and renamed it the Firehole Hotel. The Cottage Hotel Association, run by the Henderson family in Mammoth, may have taken over the operation in 1886. The Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) came into possession of the property sometime in 1886, by unknown means. Klamer managed the park beef herd for John Harvat in 1890 and the next year received the beef contract to supply the hotels and camps in the park himself. He brought the herd into the park in the spring, pasturing them on Swan Lake Flats, with the slaughterhouse near Indian Creek. This business continued through the 1890’s until Van Dyke & Deever of Gardiner took over the contract in 1901. Klamer married Mary Henderson, daughter of G.L. Henderson in 1892, and in 1897 they established the H.E. Klamer general store at Old Faithful. They were granted a 10-year lease and 2 acres of land to operate the business. The original building was a rather plain, frame-style 2-story building. General merchandise, tourist supplies, Indian goods, and curios were sold and a post office was also located in the store for a short period of time. In 1899 they received permission to establish bathing facilities for the tourists. The distinctive rustic portion of the store facing Old Faithful was added in 1903-04 and featured 20-inch diameter upright logs for porch supports. It was around that time that the log braces were installed around the eaves of the roof, adding to the rustic character. They expanded the store with a 16’ addition in 1913-14, but Henry died that last year on August 12. Mary and her brother Walter Henderson operated the business until 1915 when she sold it to Charles Hamilton, who received financing from Harry Child. Huntley Child, Harry’s son, had an opportunity to buy the business, but turned it down. Hamilton built a large addition in 1923-24 and the store continues to do a booming business. As of 2003, the Hamilton stores came under the ownership of the Delaware North Parks Co. [25k]
For additional information, please visit my Klamer General Store page.
Klamer, Mary Mary Klamer, nee Mary Rosetta Henderson, wife of Henry Klamer. (See ‘Henderson, Mary’)
Knowles, John S. John Knowles came to Montana in 1876 and worked a claim at Emigrant Gulch. By 1882 he began mining on Crevice Creek, which feeds into the Yellowstone River near the North Entrance to the park, and built his cabin there around 1898. He was told to move out when it was discovered his cabin was within the park boundaries. In a letter to the park superintendent in 1899, Knowles claimed he built his cabins before the park was established and had occupied them since 1880. However, since the park was formed before he even came to Montana, he obviously exaggerated those time periods in order to claim legitimacy for his holdings, as he was trying to sell them to the government. He listed 18’ x 20’ and 12’ x 16’ houses, a 16’ x 18’ cabin, a stable and shed. He was asking $200 for the lot of them, which were located near the mouth of Crevice Creek.  [YNP Army Files Doc.2631]