"In mid-19th Century America, communication between St. Joseph, on the fringe of western settlement, and gold mining communities of California challenged the bold and made skeptical the timid. Into this picture rode the Pony Express. In rain and in snow, in sleet and in hail over moonlit prairie, down tortuous mountain paths . . . pounding pony feet knitted together the ragged edges of a rising nation.” Frank S. Popplewell

Saloons of the American West

The pony express lasted from April 1860 to October 1861. It was created to provide the fastest mail delivery between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California. It was also used to try and gain the million dollar government mail contract for the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company. It consisted of a total of 183 men and 400 horses to travel day and night, summer and winter. The riders were paid hundred Dollars per month.

Henry Ford with his first car in 1896. Start small and carry on!

Original Pony Express Stable in St. Joseph, MO

"Texas Jack" Vermillion (John Wilson Vermillion) would grow up to become one of the many gunfighters in the Old West, with colorful nicknames like "Texas Jack" and "Shoot-Your-Eye-Out" Vermillion. He is most well known for his participation with Wyatt Earp in the Earp Vendetta Ride after the Clantons had killed Morgan Earp in 1882.

Pony Express photos - Google Search

The rough-riding talents of Lulu Parr were not first seen at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. Her skill with the gun caught the attention of Pawnee Bill, who signed her to his show in 1903. She left that show but came back in 1911. By that time, Pawnee Bill had joined Buffalo Bill’s show. Buffalo Bill was so in awe of Lulu’s willingness to ride unbroken ponies that he presented her with an ivory-handled Colt single-action revolver, engraved with “Buffalo Bill Cody to Lulu Parr—1911.”

Nat Love and his family! The Old West....Somebody give it up for the man known as "Deadwood Dick".

Young Will Rogers, Oklahoma Cowboy.

Real women of the west were ranchers who confronted the elements while roping cows and mending fences. Sadly, very little was documented about women working to drive cattle up the trails of the Old West.

Al Jennings: The Most Inept Outlaw of the Old West

April 3, 1860: The Pony Express begins its first delivery of mail between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California.

Sacajawea. Stolen, held captive, sold, eventually reunited the Shoshone Indians. She was an interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark in 1805-1806 with her husband Toussaint Charbonneau. She navigated carrying her son, Jean Baptiste, on her back. She traveled thousands of miles from the Dakotas the Pacific Ocean. The explorers, said she was cheerful, never complained, and proved to be invaluable. She served as an advisor, caretaker, and is legendary for her perseverance and resourcefulness.

cowgirls

Cowgirl from the old west, 1886 - "It ain't the clothes that make the cowgirl, it's the attitude and heart." ~Unknown

People walk across the frozen Mississippi River from East St. Louis to St. Louis on Feb. 12, 1936. The Municipal (later MacArthur) Bridge piers are in the background. (Lou Phillips, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Vintage Cowboys in their wooly chaps

Although California relied upon news from the Pony Express during the early days of the Civil War, the horse line was never a financial success, leading its founders to bankruptcy. However, the romantic drama surrounding the Pony Express has made it a part of the legend of the American West.

Teddy Roosevelt-----This circa 1885 photo of the young Roosevelt shows him after he had a bit of seasoning by hunting and trail-riding in the West. At age 27, though he wasn’t quite the robust, filled-out, plains-tested rough-rider he would be a few years later after immersing himself in the struggles of running a ranch. He was forever grateful and forever friends with Seth Bullock of Deadwood fame, and with the other westerners whose tutelage and support helped him survive and grow as a man...