Page 61 - 4090-BOOK2
P. 61

 His wife also had a pet moose that followed her around, and she was reported to be an excellent shot with a rifle. Rock could also ride some of his massive bison, including a large bull named “Williams Jennings Bryan” after the famous Nebraska politician and leader of the agrarian Populist Party.
Rock’s efforts to crossbreed bison with domestic cattle helped lead to “beefalos” which both preserved the species and has somewhat diluted pure bison. Regarding the bison he said, “I am always glad to add a buffalo to my collection and seldom sell any. Given sufficient space and solitude (for they are very nervous) buffaloes propagate rapidly. I want to secure as many as possible in order to form a nucleus. Then, in case the Government ever does decide to set apart a portion of its millions of idle acres for the use and cultivation of the buffalo, I will be able to furnish the herd necessary for the start.” He noted the value of the bison as a source of both fur and meat and noted they breed readily and could be tamed through kind treatment. Unfortunately for Rock, that didn’t always work out. Domestic farm animals are dangerous enough, but a massive bison in a bad mood was a real danger. He had many close calls over the years and met his end at the hands of a
     bison he had raised since it was a calf and named Lindsay. Though he and the animal had played together for years and it would allow him to ride it, even a powerfully built 6 ft+ tall man like Rock was no match for an angry bison. Lindsay gored him to death in March 1902 when he turned his back. Lindsay was in turn shot and killed in an attempted rescue. Much of his remaining menagerie was purchased by Senator William
Clark of Montana and lived on at the Columbia Gardens amusement park in Butte. That same year was the real turning point for the American bison at Yellowstone thanks to Colonel C.J. Jones taking over as game warden, guarding against poaching and bringing in more bison to strengthen the herd, and within less than a decade, members of the herd were being relocated across the country to keep it manageable. Rock would have been happy to see it and likely even more proud of the country if he could see the herds today, nearly ten-fold the number left in the 1880s. CONDITION: Good with a lot of western frontier character you’d expect from a famous hunter and animal tamer’s
rifle. The metal has smooth mottled gray and brown patina with mild dings and scratches from use in the West. The dust cover assembly is absent. The silver displays attractive aged patina and has softened engraving. The wood is also fine and has the same type of dings and scratches from honest use. Mechanically excellent. This is a rare opportunity
to get your hands on a truly one-of-a-kind Marlin Model 1881 lever action rifle with “RW ROCK” inscription attributed to legendary western rancher Rocky Mountain Dick. Estimate: 10,000 - 20,000

   59   60   61   62   63