In “Powder River Country: The Movies, the Wars, and the Teapot Dome” (April), Oakley Hall noted that the winter of 1886-87 devastated the great ranching concerns of Wyoming’s Scottish and English cattle barons. He further noted that “they were succeeded by moneyed Easterners, like Teddy Roosevelt in the North Dakota badlands.”
Actually, Roosevelt shared their fate. Teddy started his ranching career in 1883. The incredibly harsh winter that ravaged the Powder River country did not spare Dakota Territory. In the spring of 1887, his herd decimated, Roosevelt began to extricate himself from his brief affair with cattle and cowboys.