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Trouble In Store

July 2024
1min read

In the February 1988 “Correspondence” section, Sid Depner refers to Wallace Stegner’s article “Who Are the Westerners?” (December 1987). His reference to the incident at Anderson’s store on the Snake River in Idaho was of particular interest to our family.

In 1880 my grandfather Mark Hunt was a member of a forty-man “gang” of mechanics that helped build a complete terminal outfit for the Union Pacific.

To quote my grandfather’s account: “The storekeeper was a man named Anderson. The old gentleman was sitting in the gable end of the log house, over the store, when a couple of cowboys rode into the yard and commenced firing with revolvers at chickens. Mr. Anderson was looking on and didn’t say anything, until one of the cowboys proposed to see who could shoot nearest the window where the old gentleman was without hitting the glass. That was too much, and he ordered the clerks to take guns and drop those fellows out of their saddles, which was immediately done. The gang that went ahead of us made boxes to bury them in, and, so far as I know of, no legal steps were taken in the matter. This story was fresh when I arrived there, and I have no reason to doubt it, because as we went out, almost every station we stopped at had a funeral going on.”

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