Friday, March 25, 2022

Cowboys & Their Horses


Part of the allure of cowboys is their relationship with horses. Something can be said about a man with the ability to control an animal 5-6 times his weight. In the 1800s, their lives and livelihood depended on a good horse (or several) that could be relied on to either carry them hundreds of miles on a cattle drive or a few miles into town to transact business dealings. Cowboy ranchers needed horses to move a herd of cattle among the various grazing spots on their land holdings or to ride the perimeter of their fence lines, making repairs as they went. At roundup time, cutting horses (specially trained horses to work close in with cattle) were used in the branding process.  Horses trained to a harness were also needed to drive a wagon, a buckboard, or a buggy into town to haul back supplies or to run errands.

In the mid 1800s, a team of oxen cost between $40-$150, a team of mules cost $200-$400, but a good horse could cost between $100-$300. This was at a time when San Francisco carpenters earned $4/day (1861), Army privates earned $16/month (1869), police officer Wyatt Earp earned $60/month in Wichita, Kansas (1875), California farm laborer earned $41/month (1880) or silver miners in Tombstone earned $4/day (1881). Cowboys were provided with room and board and earned between $30-$45/month (often much less during the winter). So you can appreciate how valuable the horse was to a working cowboy or rancher.

I watched a recent show titled American Horses that provided tidbits I’d never known about different breeds. A specific breed, Pryor Mountain Mustangs, has been tied through DNA to Spanish horses from the colonial period. An endangered breed that live in Montana and Wyoming, they are identified by zebra stripes on the backs of the legs, stripes on shoulders and withers, and a solid body. Other breeds discussed were the Morgan, Appaloosa, and Quarter horses. I recommend the one hour show for anyone who is interested in horses.

In my novella set in 1868, Lone Star Angel, Luc Tarrant owns a struggling ranch in west Texas where he runs cattle and breaks wild mustangs to the saddle. In mid-December, Carnelian Wendell springs a surprise visit on her sister, the housekeeper, and upsets more than his predictable routine.


“Whoa, Star, just a little breeze. Nothing more.” Carni Wendell pulled the reins to the left, wondering if she should have paid the stable master to drive her out to the Bar-T Ranch. This time she promised herself she wouldn’t be a burden as a visiting relation, so she’d hired the horse and cart for the month.

In the distance, dark clouds chased the afternoon sun from the base of a craggy mountain. A chilly wind blew across the west Texas hard-packed prairie, twisting a dirt devil and tossing stray tumbleweeds across the path. Star stopped and nickered as an apparition appeared on the horizon.

A dark horse with a rider cantered in her direction and stopped not ten feet away, scraping up a dust cloud.

“Take a wrong turn, lady?”

The broad-shouldered man’s voice was deep and full of suspicion.

“Easy, Star.” With effort, she pulled the prancing horse back to an uneasy stand and turned her attention to the stranger. His hat shaded his eyes, but couldn’t hide a strong jaw covered with beard stubble and a tight mouth pulled down at the edges.

A loose tendril of hair tickled her forehead. With a gloved hand, she tucked it under the knitted scarf wrapped over her ears and neck to fight off the chilly air. “I’m looking for the Bar-T Ranch. Would you know if I’m on the right lane? Can’t really call this uneven, pot-holed path a road.” She paused, expecting the silent stranger to answer.

Leather creaked at his shift in position. He rested a forearm across the pommel and stared.

“The stable master in Wayside Gap told me to turn south at the double fencepost. Not that I’m too good with directions, but those were the only double posts I saw.”

“Thought I recognized Einhardt’s mare.”

What? The man commented on ownership of a horse, not about the boundaries for a cattle ranch? She waited for his confirmation she was headed in the right direction. “So, I did take the correct turn?”

“Could be.” The man stood in the stirrups to peer over her shoulder. “What’s your business here?”

Carni’s gaze was pulled to the muscles straining the thighs of his muddy denims. The man obviously worked hard for a living. How dare a ranch hand question her? Rudeness was not to be tolerated. Grasping the reins with one hand, she reached under the cart seat to collect the velvet reticule lying at her feet. “I’m tired and I’m cold. As wonderful as our conversation has been, I need to get to the Bar-T ranch. I’ll pay you four bits to direct me to the ranch house.”

She dug out the coins and held them suspended over the side of the cart, staring with a narrowed gaze at the man’s shadowed face. When he sat as still as a statute with only his eyes tracking her movements, her temper simmered. However, discussing her personal business with a ranch hand was unthinkable. She shook her hand and raised an eyebrow in his direction. “Okay, six bits.” Another coin was added to her hand.

The wind teased her skirts, flipping back the hem to reveal several inches of a red petticoat.

His gaze flicked to the exposed lingerie and the right side of his mouth quirked for just a second.

She saw his reaction and steamed even more. He’d taken advantage of the wind’s mischief instead of averting his gaze like a gentleman would. “A dollar for the directions. Take it now, I won’t be offering more.” Money well spent to remove herself from the belligerent company of this quiet man.

Several moments passed before he clucked out of the side of his mouth and urged the horse forward until abreast of the cart. “Whoa, Hades.” He held a cupped hand under her outstretched one, looked up from under the brim of his black hat and winked.

Heat flashed through her at his bold gesture. With a quick movement, she released her hand and let the clinking coins drop into his gloved hand. “Your boss will be hearing about your surly attitude.”

He shrugged and wheeled the horse, guiding it to the middle of the path. “Follow me.” Without a look over his shoulder, he trotted up the small rise and disappeared over the top.

Universal link for all formats

To keep in touch with Linda





Newsletter signup

Thursday, March 24, 2022

"That Girl There is Doctor in Medicine" - America's First Woman Doctor- by Jo-Ann Roberts

In celebration of the 2022 Women's History Month theme, "Providing Healing, Promoting Hope," Elizabeth Blackwell championed the participation of women in the medical profession and ultimately opened her own medical college for women.

The third daughter in a family of five girls and four boys, Elizabeth was born in England and moved to America with her family at age 11.  Her father, who was a social reformer, saw to it that his daughters as well as his sons were well-educated and developed their talents. 

The Blackwell Family 1905

It wasn't an interest in science or anatomy that motivated Elizabeth Blackwell to become the first woman in America to earn a medical degree. Sitting by the bedside of a dying friend suffering from ovarian cancer, the woman said, "If I could have been treated by a lady doctor, my worst suffering would have been spared me." She then went on to encourage Elizabeth to study medicine. At the time, Blackwell was working as a teacher in Kentucky and dismissed the idea.

"I hated everything connected with the body and could not bear the sight of a medical book."       Elizabeth Blackwell

However, within a couple of years after that conversation, Elizabeth began to pursue a medical degree.

After a year of teaching and studying in North Carolina, she moved to Philadelphia, then considered the foremost seat of medical learning in America. Though she applied and was turned down by four medical colleges, a professor at the most prestigious of them told her she could enter if she disguised herself as man. Another professor advised her to go to Paris for training.

"...neither the advice to go to Paris nor the suggestion of disguise tempted me for a moment."      Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth broadened her search to include smaller schools of the northern states---"country schools'--as they were called. When she applied to Geneva Medical College in western New York, the faculty decided to let their students make the call. Assuming the measure could not possibly pass, administrators stipulated that a single "no" vote would end her bid. Some students thought her application was a prank from a rival school, while others were simply amused. Unanimously, they voted "yes".

Blackwell was admitted.

During her two years at Geneva, the male students accepted her and treated her well. But she slowly realized that many women in the small town considered her odd, so she kept to herself.

"I never walked abroad but hastened daily to my college as to a sure refuge...I shut out all unkindly criticism and soon felt perfectly at home amongst my fellow students."     Elizabeth Blackwell

At graduation, Elizabeth found herself at the top of--and respected--by her peers. 

Hobart & William Smith College (formerly Geneva College)

The news of her accomplishment as the first woman doctor in the United States traveled fast and far. The editor of a weekly newspaper in Washington, D.C. wrote a long article about her.

"She is one of those who cannot be hedged up, or turned aside, or defeated...She is a woman, not of words, but deeds; and all those who only want to talk about it, may as well give up."      The National Era Newspaper


She continued her training at London and Paris hospitals, though doctors there relegated her to midwifery or nursing. She began to emphasize preventative care and personal hygiene, recognizing that male doctors caused infections by failing to wash their hands between patients. 

Along with her sister, Emily--a doctor in her own right--the two doctors founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. And when the Civil War broke out, they trained women nurses for the Union Army, despite meeting resistance from male army doctors. Though Elizabeth left after two years, her sister stayed on to manage the facility for the next 40 years, staffing it with women and caring for more than 7,000 patients per year.

Initially, Elizabeth planned to become a surgeon. But after a medical accident that left her blind in one eye, she was forced to take a different path. Following the Civil War, she launched a women-only medical college in 1868. The Women's Medical College of the New York Infirmary quickly gained a reputation for its rigorous standards and was eventually absorbed by Cornell University.

The Women's Medical College of the New York Infirmary

Though she never married, Elizabeth did adopt a daughter, an Irish orphan named Kitty Barry in 1856. Treating the domestic helper as much as a member of her family, she ensured Kitty was educated. For her part, Kitty stayed by her adopted mother for the remainder of her life.

Elizabeth and Kitty circa 1906

In 1875 she returned permanently to London where she became a professor of Gynecology at the new London School of Medicine for Women. She also helped found the National Health Society and published several books, including an autobiography, Pioner Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women in 1895.

Elizabeth Blackwell's tenacity and trailblazing achievements helped expand women's success in the medical field in the United States and beyond.


Books by Jo-Ann Roberts

Releasing July 15, 2022

Monday, March 21, 2022



All About Apples

By Annee Jones 

In writing my new contemporary western romance, Apples for Ashley, I became curious about the history of apple farming in North America. I was amazed at the fascinating information I discovered!  For example, did you know that apples are not native to North America? They originated in Kazakhstan (central Asia east of the Caspian Sea). In fact, the capital of Kazakhstan, Alma Ata, means “full of apples.” 

The first apple trees in North America were grown in the late 1500s from seeds brought by French Jesuits.  The Pilgrims also brought young trees and seedlings from England and planted them in Massachusetts and throughout New England. Settlers traded fruit, trees, and seeds with American Indians. Apples were a staple in the diet of early pioneers, since they could be eaten fresh, fried, stewed, baked, and made into cider, vinegar, and brandy. Even mediocre apples could be cooked into preserves and apple butter, and the poorest fruit was used as livestock feed.

1880 to 1910 was knows as the “Apple Boom” in the south. By 1910 at the height of the period, North Carolina alone was producing ten million bushels for sale to other parts of the country.  However, over production, falling prices after WWI, and competition from the West Coast soon led to the decline of the apple industry in the eastern and southern states by the mid 20th century. 

            The proverb “an apple a day will keep the doctor away” first appeared in print in 1866 and comes from the tales of the Arabian Nights, in which a magic apple is found capable of curing all human diseases. The fruit is not specifically named in the Old Testament’s Book of Genesis. It’s reputation as a “forbidden fruit” may actually be the result of a pun – the Latin word “malus” means both “apple” and “evil.”


            Speaking of folklore, who was Johnny Appleseed and how did he get this name? The real person behind the nickname was John Chapman of Massachusetts. He condemned grafting – an farming technique used to propagate specific varieties – insisting that the only “good” apple was that which arose from seeds. Thus, he began collecting seeds from Pennsylvania and ferrying them west. However, because the apples were too sour to be eaten, they were primarily used to make cider and applejack (in other words, booze). Temperance activists condemned the apple as a source of sin and – incredibly - demanded that moral people burn their trees. 

            I don’t know about you, but after learning about the history of the apple in agriculture and literature, I might not look the same way at the fruit again!  I hope you enjoy my book, Apples for Ashley, Book 2 of The Orchard Brides series. It will be published on April 4 and is available for pre-order here:



Can forbidden fruit lead to sweet romance?

After standing up to the wrath of the owner of a private apple orchard where her daughter picked some of the tantalizing, but off-limits, fruit, will Skye Palmer allow the handsome cowboy to atone for making her little girl cry?

New owner of Humble Tree Orchards Troy Sutton feels terrible - he shouldn't have come down so hard on the child for taking some of his ripe produce - even if the farm's profit margin is in the red zone. Can he find a way to make it up to her and her gorgeous angry mother? And can they come up with a plan to save the apple orchard before the winter frost arrives?

Sweetness is in the air... and perhaps an "apple-y ever after" might just be possible after all...




About Annee Jones

Annee Jones is a heartwarming romance and soon-to-be cozy mystery author who enjoys sharing her heart and imagination with others.  She is passionate about writing stories that offer readers a place where dreams come true!

Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.

Annee also enjoys freelance writing for Publishers Weekly and multiple publishing companies.

Subscribe to Annee’s newsletter on her website:  

Find Annee’s books here:





Want to join Annee’s private Facebook reader group, Annee's Angels?  Request your spot now:

You can also connect with Annee on her FB author page:


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

National Women's History Month - Investigative Reporters

 Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Photo property of the author

Nellie Bly, Polly Pry were two early reporters. There were a number of others. In this post, I am sharing some stories of additional women and their work.

Eva McDonald Valesh
from Wikipedia

Eva Valesh was also known as Eva Gay. Eva began her career as a reporter in Minnesota by exposing labor issues. Born Mary Eva McDonald in Maine in 1866, the family moved to Minnesota when Eva was still young. In 1888 an article on the working conditions for women in the garment industry was the first of many for the St. Paul Globe where Eva went undercover to learn the truth about labor conditions. 

After the difficulty of the birth of her son Frank in 1891, Eva continued her news career working at editing instead of undercover. In 1896 Eva moved to New York. She continued working for the rights of the worker. She ended her career as a proofreader for the New York Times. She died at the age of ninety in 1956.

Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson
from Wikipedia

Eleanor Stackhouse was born in Indiana in 1863. She worked as a teacher, and between 1888 and 1890 she wrote for the Chicago Tribune under the name Nora Marks. Her focus was on domestic workers. There were times she'd pose as a worker, others as a wealthy matron looking for help. 

Unlike Valesh, Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson moved on to write novels, most notably "Greyfriars Bobby". She died on November 4, 1942.

Link to the first Eva Gay St. Paul Globe article: Mong Girls Who Toil

You can find two of Atkinson's works here: Greyfriars Bobby and Lincoln's Love Story

Until next time happy reading and writing.

Doris McCraw

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Cowboy Sayings - Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

“You don’t put your boots on before your socks, or the cart before the horse, so why are you eating dessert before dinner?”

In cowboy times, driving a cart pulled by horses was a common occurrence. Nearly every day, the the cowboy was either doing it himself, or he saw someone who was. Carts often carried loads that would be harder to just set on the back of a horse. But what a cowboy didn’t see was a cart being pushed by a horse.

It’s much easier to get a horse to pull a cart than it is to get him to push it. Moving forward is what horses do minutes after they are born, but pushing against things that are in front of them isn’t second nature. So the point of this saying is that you put the cart behind the horse, not in front of it—meaning there is a natural order to things, and you don’t do things in the wrong order.

The first time this idiom was used in literature is in the 1500’s, but it was likely an oft used phrase well before then, since horses and carts have been around a lot longer. But now that horses and carts are a rare occurrence, we may not hear the phrase often. What about you?

Have you ever heard this saying before? Used it yourself? Could you see yourself using it now? Let me know in a comment!

On average, P. Creeden releases a story each month. Interested in learning more? 
Join her reader group on Facebook:

Monday, March 14, 2022

Civil War Housewife by Zina Abbott





Civil War soldiers did not have much in the line of extra clothing, so the clothing they wore took a lot of wear and tear.  Soldiers were often sent off to war with “housewives” or small sewing kits made by their wives, mothers, or girlfriends. 

These were usually made from scraps of fabric such as cotton, twill, or silk and sometimes leather. They could be folded or rolled to pocket-size, and then fastened with ribbon, yarn, or a button.   They contained essential sewing supplies such as needles, pins, thread, buttons, a small pair of scissors, extra scraps of fabric for field repairs, and possibly a thimble.  When a soldier needed to sew on a button or mend a tear, all of the necessary supplies were available. 

 To see an example of the "housewife" that is part of the Minnesota Historical Society collection, please CLICK HERE

A “housewife” was also known as a “huswife” or “hussif”. Today we would call this a sewing kit. “Huswifes” became very popular in the 1700s and were often elaborately embroidered. They were easily carried, lightweight, and essential for soldiers, sailors, or a men in a variety of occupations who constantly needed sewing supplies to mend clothing that could not be easily replaced either due to lack of availability or cost. “Huswifes” were used throughout the 1800s.

To see an example of a Civil War-era housewife that at one time was available on eBay, please CLICK HERE


An essential part of any soldier’s gear, these mending kits were not an army-issued item. Commercial versions were available from sutlers, who were civilian merchants who followed the army camps. This housewife of oil cloth and silk , above, could be rolled for storage.

The above housewife, or sewing kit, was given to Capt. Leo Rassieur, 30th Missouri Volunteer Infantry.

Ladies even enjoyed making these fabric sewing kits for themselves. Some of them were made of silk and included elaborate embroidery designs reminiscent of the “crazy quilts” popular in the late 1800s. For an example, please CLICK HERE.

One popular source of sewing needles was the "James Smith & Son's" brand. The needle could also be used for removing splinters, and on occasion, sewing up a wound. Some soldiers even took up recreational needlework. After the First World War (1914-18), embroidery became a popular therapeutic occupation for wounded soldiers.


The above is a military sewing kit or housewife (hussif), 1NZEF, World War 1 sewing kit of brown suede with three reels of cotton, buttons, thread and needles comprises .1 holder .2-.4 cotton reels .5 seven metal buttons .6 three plastic buttons .7 wad of thread and needles. Military issue of this style of sewing kits, or hussifs, continued through World War 2.

Today,  sewing kits usually come in zippered pouches or cheap plastic boxes,

If you would enjoy making your own American Civil War-era housewife or “hussif,” Please CLICK HERE to find a pattern. Use fabric scraps with small prints. For greater authenticity, use Civil War reproduction prints.  

 Although my latest novel, Abilene Gamble, is set after the Civil War, during a flashback scene, I make mention of a housewife. To find the book description and purchase link for this book, please CLICK HERE.





Wikimedia Creative Commons

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Fern Hobbs - A Brave Woman Ahead of Her Time

March is Women in History Month. 
Today, I'd like to introduce you to Fern Hobbs.   

In January 1914, Fern Hobbs became an international celebrity when her boss, Oregon Governor Oswald West, sent her as his personal representative to the unruly town of Copperfield, Oregon, where she played a key role in w hat would become known as the Copperfield Affair. 

 Fern was born in Bloomington, Nebraska to John Alden and Cora Brush Hobbs. The dates on her birth vary, but it appears to have been in May  1883. Her family moved to Salt Lake City when she was six. The family's next move took them to Hillsboro, Oregon. 

Her father had financial struggles, so Fern helped raise her younger brother and sister, enrolling them in school. She supported them by working as a governess in Portland while studying stenography. She got a job as secretary to the president of the Portland Title Guarantee and Trust Company, which failed while she worked there. Ben Olcott, appointed by Governor Chamberlain to represent the state in investigating the bank over the state's assets, took note of Hobb's strong loyalty to her employer.  

After the bank's failure, she worked as a governess for J. Wesley Ladd in Portland while she continued her studies. Olcott, who managed Oswald West's successful campaign for governor in 1910, recommend West hire Hobbs to work as his private stenographer. 

She was given the job and impressed the Governor so much, she became his private secretary two years later, making her the first woman in Oregon to hold an important political position. It also made her the highest-paid woman in public service in the United States, earning $3,000 per year (roughly $84,000 in todays dollars). 

By studying for a law degree in her spare time, Fern graduated from Willamette University and passed the bar in 1913. Governor West soon sent her to Washington D.C. to represent the state, making her the first woman to represent a governor's interests in the nation's capital. She successfully negotiated  with congressional committees and the U.S. Department of the Interior to straighten out ownership issues around various parcels of land worth millions of dollars.

Later in the year, letters began to arrive for the governor from concerned citizens of a tiny town located near the south end of Hell's Canyon on the Snake River. Copperfield had once been a booming construction camp where big copper strikes in the area had generated interest from developers. A railroad branch line, dam and power plant were soon constructed. The project brought hordes of workers to the area and the population by 1907 had reached about a thousand people.  Stores and hotels were opened, with reportedly eleven saloons and as many brothels. Brawls broke out daily. Drinking and illegal gambling provided entertainment. Then the construction projects wrapped up and the population plummeted to around eighty. 

 The economy became based primarily on alcohol, gambling, and prostitution, establishing a reputation for Copperfield as a wild, lawless place. 

 Residents who were unhappy with the turn the town had taken for the worse, penned letters to Governor West, complaining the city had been taking over by saloonkeepers and riffraff. 

 The governor could not abide alcohol and leaned heavily toward prohibition for the state. The letters became an opportunity for him to push his prohibition agenda. He sent a telegram to Baker County sheriff in December 1913, directing him to close and keep closed all saloons and establishments selling liquor in Copperfield. The sheriff was given a deadline of completing the task by Christmas. 

 When nothing had been done by the deadline, it angered the governor. The sheriff and and the district attorney declared it would be illegal to shut down properly licensed saloons in a "wet" town. They claimed the unrest in the town was a feud between a few saloonkeepers and they could resolve their issues without further interference. Threats were made to shoot the governor if he dared set foot in Copperfield. 

 Governor West then reportedly told the press he would send his diminutive secretary, Fern Hobbs, to demand the resignations of corrupt city officials, close the saloons, and declare martial law if necessary. The media had a field day with the proclamation and people scoffed at the governor's plan. No one thought he'd actually do it, and they certainly didn't think "little Miss Hobbs" could close down some of the wildest saloons in the West. 

The governor pushed the story of the Baker County officials refusing to act. Headlines soon popped up across the nation, highlighting a story of how David had challenged Goliath in the rugged hills of eastern Oregon. A photograph of petite Fern was in every Oregon newspapers. 

 Before she left for Copperfield, a reporter questioned Fern is she would go armed. 

She replied, "Armed? Well, yes; I am. I have a dressing bag, a portfolio and an umbrella." 

 The governor sent a telegram, addressed to the mayor of Copperfield. He requested the mayor arrange a public meeting so Fern could address the mayor, city council and citizens to deliver the message from his office. 

 Saloonkeepers H. A. Stewart and William Wiegand, also known as the mayor and city councilman of Copperfield, weren't pleased with the telegram. They draped patriotic flags in conspicuous places, and festooned the bars with pink and blue ribbons and cut flowers. 

 On January 2, 1914, Fern Hobbs arrived in Copperfield. According to an article in The Spokesman Review (January 19, 1914), all the residents of Copperfield were at the depot when she stepped off the train "dressed plainly in blue with a neat little hat covering her wealth of blonde hair... There was such a pretty smile in her blue eyes and such a womanly gentleness about her that, when she asked for the city officials, rude jest was turned to admiration." Other reports say she wore a fur coat and black boots. 

 Accompanying Fern on the trip were Lieutenant Colonel B.K. Lawson of the Oregon National Guard, and five members of the coast artillery with rifles "locked and ready." The "welcoming committee" greeted her well armed, warned by the attorneys for Steward and Wiegand to use force if necessary to keep the saloons open. 

 When Fern requested a platform from which to speak, someone produced a soap box for her to stand on. It was cold. Snowing. But in a clear tone she stated she'd been sent by the governor. Reportedly, gallantry won over pride and she was directed to speak  at "town hall" instead of a soap box in the street. 

 Mayor Stewart held an umbrella and escorted her to the meeting hall that had quickly been reorganized from a dance hall to a makeshift city hall.  A platform stood at one end of the room. Fern walked right up on it and according to an article from The Oregon Daily Journal published January 2, 1914, she said, "I have a proclamation here from the governor." 

 The mayor told her to read it.

 "I have been sent here as Governor West's representative with a message addressed to the mayor and city council, which I wish to read to the assembly before delivering it to the mayor." Fern read the complete message from the governor, and then presented typed letters of resignation she'd prepared on behalf of the city officials. 

The mayor declared he refused to sign without a hearing. 

Four of the other six council members also declined. 

 Colonel Lawson read the governor's prepared proclamation establishing martial law and posted it on a wall. He declared all liquor in all saloons had to be ready to ship out of town by four the following afternoon, and demanding the confiscation of all weapons. 

The women who had attended the meeting were asked to leave the building. Lawson's declaration was the first time martial law had been  put into effect in Oregon since the Civil War. While the meeting had taken place, the militia men who accompanied Lawson had been closing the saloons, padlocking doors, and confiscating weapons. 

 The town was soon disarmed, order restored, gambling equipment was confiscated, and more than 170 weapons were seized. Fern left Lawson in charge and took the four o'clock train that afternoon back to Baker City where she officially removed Copperfield's town officials before a judge before returning to Salem. 

 The Copperfield Affair became headline news not only in Oregon and across the nation, but also overseas. 

 Writer Stewart Holbrook reported: In England, the Copperfield story escaped all bounds. One read that Miss Hobbs took off for the hellish place in command of a full battery of field artillery, plus machine gunners, in a special train; that she snapped commands to her troops and had them unlimber and train the heavy pieces on the doomed city.

  There was even a theatrical reenactment of the event, advertised in the Oregon Journal, January 28, 2014. 

 The actions of Governor West and Fern were challenged in court, but the Baker County circuit court determined the governor's actions were within his powers and the Oregon Supreme Court agreed. 

 Petite Fern Hobbs became the girl who tamed a lawless town, even though she didn't see the overwhelming importance of her actions in facing down an armed mob. 

 A few months after her visit to Copperfield, a fire of "unknown origin" destroyed several buildings. Two more fires occurred, and in 1927 the post office closed, leaving Copperfield as a ghost town. In 1965, the community of Oxbow was founded near the site of Copperfield when the Idaho Power Company was building the Oxbow Dam. Today, Copperfield Park includes 12 acres of manicured lawn, paved roads, terraced landscaping and numerous trees as well as a campsite.

Fern Hobbs had a long and remarkable career. In WWI she traveled with the Red Cross to France where she assisted with the war effort. She died  April 10, 1964, in Portland and was and buried in the pioneer cemetery in Hillsboro.  

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Find out more about Shanna on her website at