For this episode, Liz recalls her Wild West phase as a child and reads a letter from a train conductor in South Dakota looking back years later and telling the tale of meeting “bundle of rags” Calamity Jane the week of her death, and carrying her off the train.
Know anything more about this letter?
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100 Main Library
Iowa City, IA 52242
Alliance Nebr .June 22nd 1929.
Mr. Edwin L. Sabin.
La Jolia. California.
Dear Mr Sabin.
In reply to your favor of June 13th. will say, I did tell our friend some time ago of Calamity Jane and having carried her from the tratn at Terry S. Dak. The date was Aug 2d 1903, and I will give you the facts as I have them on my memory.
About July 15th I was standing on the siding at Englewood S. Dak. Waiting for the South bound Passenger from Deadwood, It came in on the opoaite track and stood beside the Eng I was running and I saw Calamity in one of the coaches and ask her whare she was going, and her reply was I am making the rounds of the hill towns for the last time and am going to cash in, she was bound for hot Springs, and went from thare to Buffalo Gap Rappid City Sturgis White Wood Bell Fourch, And about the Latter part of July Showed up at Spearfish, and on the Morning of Aug 3rd came to the traine just before leaving time, I had quite A long conversation with her In which she againe informed me she would not live long and said she3 was ready to go, we put her on the traine and when we arived at Terry S. D. I ask the Conductor if she was not getting off thare, he informed me he was not sure but she had passed in as she suggested at Spearfish, While the crew were unloading the Freight I went to the Coach and Awakened her as she had been drinking verry heavily while in Spearfish and had not eaten much. She stoped with Jack Kingsley who was a Saloon Keeper thaer and had known her since coming to the HIlls in 76. And had a verry kindly feeling for her. After I got her onnher feat she seemed to take new life but i was compleled to carry her from the tratn and asisted her to the trail that led down the hill to the town she tyrned and Thanked me and said good by Kid and that was the last time I saw her alive as she died before we left Deadwood ao our return trip tp Spearfish the time was about I.P.M. I think. She was both drunk and sick and I will alwas remwmber she was verry frail and was A bundle of rags and filth, but was loved by manny of the old timer who gave her the best burial the town could aford, and had the largest funeral I had ever sean in Deadwood.
I have wondered what interest you had in our old friend Calamity, let me here from tou againe I am curious. M hoping this is the information you wanted.
I am yours verry sincerely.