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Yellowstone Biographies: "R"
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
information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.
Randall, Dick   Dick Randall came to Miles City, Montana from Birmingham, Iowa in 1884 at age 17. He was a cowboy for some years prior to buying a small herd of horses and settling in Gardiner.  He drove stagecoach for Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. during that time and was known as “Pretty Dick.” He also guided hunting parties outside the park. Dick married Dora Roseborough, who was from Kansas. In 1887 they settled on land located about 12 miles north of Gardiner that would later become the OTO Ranch in.  In 1898 the OTO Ranch was established and became the 1st dude ranch in Montana. Twelve cabins and a 12-room lodge were built, along with a 2-story saddle room, shower house, laundry area, and powerhouse with a water-powered turbine. The ranch eventually consisted of 7,000 acres. He once led 368 members of the Sierra Club on a horseback pack trip around the park. Their son Gay Randall helped with the operation and wrote an interesting book about life on the ranch and the surrounding wilderness entitled "Footprints Along the Yellowstone." Activities included cattle ranching, horseback riding, big game hunting, and hiking. The heyday of the dude ranch spanned the years 1912 to 1934. The great Depression and the poor economy caused Dick and his wife Dora to sell the ranch in 1932 after 34 years of operation. The buildings went untended and fell into disrepair until 1997 when the Forest Service and volunteer workers began rehabilitation of the buildings and site in general. Randall died in 1957 at age 91. [78] [71c] [–OTO Ranch]
Raymond, Rossiter W.  Rossiter Raymond was a member of the Raymond-Clawson tourist party of 1871.  He was accompanied by Calvin C. Clawson, A.F. Thrasher, and others, and was guided by Gilman Sawtelle of Henry’s Lake. The group has been recognized as the 1st commercial tourist party to enter Yellowstone. [25L;87]
Raynolds, William F.   William Raynolds led a military expedition to Yellowstone that became known as the Raynolds Expedition. The party attempted an expedition into the heart of the Yellowstone area in May of 1859. The party included Jim Bridger, Ferdinand Hayden, and others. They traveled down the east side of the Wind River Mountains, but were unable to cross over them. They continued down over Union Pass and attempts to enter Yellowstone from the south also failed due to deep snows. The party ended up going up the west side of the park and down the Madison River to Three Forks. [25L;87]
Reamer, Robert    Robert Reamer was born in Oberlin, OH in 1873. After working several different architectural jobs, he wound up near San Diego, CA., where he met Harry W. Child.  Child hired Reamer, now age 29, to design the new hotel at Old Faithful.  Reamer became a close friend of the Child family for many years. He was responsible for the design of many of the park’s greatest buildings, including the Old Faithful Inn (1903), Northern Pacific Ry Depot at Gardiner (1903), Lake Hotel renovations (1904-1924), Lake Lodge (1920’s), Canyon Hotel (1910-11), and the Mammoth Hotel renovations in 1936-38. Other buildings to his credit include the Child residence at Mammoth, the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. residences in Gardiner, Thumb Lunch Station (1903), Fishing Bridge Hut (1935), North Entrance Ranger Station (1924), Chinese Gardens Cottage (1909), the Bunkhouse and mess house in Gardiner, (1906), YPTCo barn/garage at Mammoth (1903), the Upper Hamilton Store at Old Faithful, and the famous US map in the Map Room of Mammoth Hotel. He continued to design projects for Yellowstone until his death January 7, 1938 at the age of 64. [25L;87] [75]
Reeb, George ‘Morphine Charley’   He was convicted of the stage coach robbery that occurred Aug. 14, 1897 about four miles from Canyon Hotel along the Norris road. He was aided in the robbery by Gus ‘Little Gus’ Smitzer. Famed poacher Ed Howell was hired to track down the perpetrators of the robbery and later received reward money for his actions. Both men were convicted in District Court in Cheyenne, Wyoming the following May and sentenced to 2-1/2 years in the federal pen. George Reeb was indeed addicted to morphine and the jail time cured him of his habit, of which he was grateful. Smitzer was later hired as an irrigator at the Rose Creek Ranch, and served faithfully for a number of years. Smitzer is buried in the Gardiner cemetery and his headstone notes he was born in 1849 and died in 1931. [31]
Reese, George W.  George Reese was born Oct. 10, 1837 in Piqua, Miami Co., Ohio, and moved later with his family to Illinois and in 1856 relocated to Kansas. He and two of his brothers left Kansas and headed west to the gold country of California, the Black Hills and Montana. George returned to Kansas in 1861 and volunteered for service in the Civil War, serving until its conclusion. After his discharge in 1865 he hauled freight by wagon from Kansas to Montana. He eventually stayed in Montana and was in the Yellowstone gold country as early as 1867 with Lou Anderson, Hubble, Caldwell and another man. They discovered gold in the first stream above Bear Creek and named it Crevice Creek. He returned to Kansas periodically and married Arvilla Disney in November of 1870 in Topeka. However, she died shortly after in August of 1871. He returned to Montana and was living along the northern border of the park at least by 1877 and was present at the gunfight at the Henderson Ranch with the Nez Perce on Aug. 31, 1877. He then guided for Gen. Howard in his pursuit of the Nez Perce and was known as the “Old Guide of the Mountains.” Reese reportedly was involved in numerous Indian fights during his life. His first cabin south of Reese Creek was burned by the Nez Perce in 1877, and he built a house on upper Reese Creek by 1883, but was unable to obtain title to the land. He built a third home and ranch on lower Reese Creek, which was named after him.  George Reese married a woman named Arminda Vice on July 5, 1885 in Missouri. George was 47 years old and Arminda was only 16, and they were divorced about the time their youngest child, Ira Jay, was 6 years old. George raised Ira and his other sons Bertrand Samuel and James George. George and Mr. Hoppe established a school in Cinnabar by 1884, and George served on the school board for several years. He was mail carrier from Horr to Aldridge for four years and served as Sunday school superintendent. He was a religious man, taught bible study classes, led the congregation in singing hymns, and played the violin and organ. He was a big game hunter and had many specimens mounted for exhibition. He took one of his displays to the St. Louis Exhibition in 1904. He died May 21, 1913 at an age of 75 years, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery at Livingston. His son James and wife (Margaret Curdy) took over the ranch and lived on it until 1922, when they moved to Hiawatha, Utah. [113] [106d] [32] [YNP Vert. File, Biography, Geo. Wash. Reese, by Helen Frandsen Reese, 1986] [56m;1154]
Richardson, James  James Richardson published the 1st park guidebook in 1873 that was entitled “Wonders of the Yellowstone Region”. Much of the information was taken from reports of the Washburn and Hayden expeditions. [25L;88]
Richardson, Herbert F.   ‘Uncle Tom’ Richardson started out as a Wylie Camp employee until receiving permission in 1896 to build a trail down into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone below Lower Falls. The trail originally consisted of ropes and wooden ladders and required a good dose of fortitude. He rowed visitors across the Yellowstone River just above the current Chittenden bridge site and led them down his trail, at a cost of $1.00 per person. He cooked them all a hearty meal before rowing them back across the river. Uncle Tom had his guide permit revoked in 1903, and construction of the new bridge over the Yellowstone River that year began taking away his business. However, it appears he continued to guide, with permission granted in 1904-06. 1147 people were noted as taking the trip with Uncle Tom in 1905 and he was allowed to erect a tent for his use near the trailhead in both 1904 and 1905. In 1905 the army built wooden stairs down a portion of Tom’s Trail and improved other sections. The following year Richardson was allowed to charge people 50¢ for his guide service, but not for use of his trail, which they could now use on their own. Concrete walks and steel stairways replaced the old wooden stairs in 1965. "Uncle Tom" died at his home in Bozeman on April 22, 1913 due to heart problems. Born in 1854, he was survived by his second wife, a married daughter in Nebraska, and two daughters in Bozeman. [25g] [YNP Army Files Doc.5753-54] [YNP Archives Box 42;20] [32] [Anaconda Standard, 4-23-1913]
Rockefeller, Laura Spelman    A foundation was set up in her name in 1918 using funds donated by John D. Rockefeller, and was absorbed into the Rockefeller Foundation in 1929. The foundation donated $118,000 in 1928 to be used by the American Association of Museums for the National Parks. The museums at Old Faithful, Madison, Fishing Bridge, and Norris were built using this money. [25L;88]
Rogers, Edmund B.  Edmund Rogers was Park Superintendent from 1936 to 1956. [25L;88]
Roosevelt, Theodore  Teddy Roosevelt first came west on a hunting trip in 1883 and soon afterwards purchased ranch land in North Dakota. In 1886 he ventured into the northwest corner of the park while on another hunting trip. He met George Bird Grinnell in 1885 and together with other influential sportsmen, created the Boone & Crockett Club in 1888. The organization was formed for the “…preservation of the large game in this country, and…to further legislation for that purpose, and to assist in enforcing the existing laws.” Yellowstone was one of their primary concerns. He visited Yellowstone again in 1890 and for a period of time favored the railroad’s desire to lay their tracks of steel inside the park to Cooke City. He was soon dissuaded from this opinion by his friends in Boone & Crockett. Roosevelt made several other trips to Yellowstone in the early 1890s, but soon the pressures of his political life made those journeys impossible. He became President in 1901 with the assassination of William McKinley. Roosevelt made his most famous trip to the park in 1903 with naturalist friend John Burroughs and was guided by Uncle Billy Hofer. Together they explored the park and saw first hand the condition of the wildlife and the declining buffalo herd. One of their campsites was near Calcite Springs, close to Tower Falls. A legend later sprung up that the group camped under the large tree at what became Roosevelt Camp and lodge. This was however, a promotional scheme devised by the early supporters of the Roosevelt Camp in order to draw business to the location, which was located off the main tour route. Before Roosevelt left the park, he stopped in Gardiner on April 24 and dedicated the new stone arch that was being built at the North Entrance. It was later named after him. The US Forest Service was created during his administration in 1905 and he installed forestry expert Gifford Pinchot as the head of the new U.S. Forest Service. Roosevelt adopted Pinchot’s principle of multiple-use, the nation’s first formal natural-resource policy. The multiple-use policy advocated scientific management of public lands for a variety of uses, including commercial development. Using his presidential powers, Roosevelt set aside a total of 235 million acres of public lands to protect them from exploitation by private interests. [84c] [62i] [25g]

Russell, Osborne   Osborne Russell, one of the Rocky Mountain fur trappers in the early 1800s, first trapped in Yellowstone in 1835 and continued until 1939. In 1836 he described the “parting of the waters” at Two Ocean Pass, where water from one lake flowed both east and west of the continental divide. Blackfoot Indians wounded him and a companion near the mouth of Pelican Creek in 1839 and they narrowly escaped capture or death. He later wrote a book describing life in Yellowstone and the Rocky Mountains. The book “Journal of a Trapper” is still being published and is widely read. [25g;10]

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