Excerpt from Buell Hampton


Every author who, early or late, finds it his delightful, yet dangerous, privilege to “get under cover” owes something to Pliny the Younger for recording the fact that Pliny the Elder used to say that “no book was so bad but that some good might be got out of it.”

With this delightful assurance as an incentive, the author of “Buell Hampton” began, some twelve years ago, to construct the story herewith presented.

There is so much in the following tale of the great Southwest that is based upon facts and actual happenings that I hardly know where history ceases and fiction begins.

I know the grain-bags of promise were torn open and found to be filled with the tare seeds of disappointment, which were blown carelessly about by the windpuffs of adversity.

The Osborns, the Hortons, queenly Ethel, and Marie, — the singing girl, — Lord Avondale, Jack Redfield, and Hugh Stanton are still in the land of the living, and will doubtless peruse these pages with varying degrees of approval. Judge Lynn died about one year ago, but will long be remembered in the Southwest for his oddities and grotesque sayings. I was present when a shadow fell between the old banker and his beautiful young wife, and, with the days, it deepened, until it was obliterated by the clods of Graceland Cemetery.

The prairie-fire, the foot-race, and the pitiless hot winds were actual occurrences, while the fields of sunflowers are, in season, still to be seen in all their gorgeous splendor.

Major Buell Hampton is a flesh and blood personality, with whom I spent many an enjoyable evening, and whom I learned to love for his wealth of wisdom and kindness of heart. His rise and fall, the tragedy on the red banks of the Cimarron River, and his strange disappearance, are a part of the tragic history of the cattle-range of the Great Southwest. The music of the old violin still lingers with me, and is inseparable from the strange character and complex destiny of this wonderful man. W. G. E.


George Willis Emerson, author.About the Author:

Willis George Emerson was born in Blakesburg, Iowa, and buried in Los Angeles County, California. He is known throughout his life for being a financier, lawyer, town builder, politician, author, and a miner of copper in Wyoming.

He first shows up in Meade County history as a director of the American Mortgage Trust Company in 1887. He was the author of several works of fiction, all with a western setting, and Buell Hampton is considered by many as one of his best efforts.

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