Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

April 5, 1894. Atkinson Graphic 12(34): 1.

The Hunters of Holt!

Grand Achievements of Atkinson Nimrods in the Field of Sport.

A Record in the Arena of Hunting and Fishing That Discounts all Former Records.

"The Hunters of Kentucky" are far more renowned in song and story than any other Caucasian kindred or tribe that ever became famous in the annals of the "chase." Daniel Boone, who was the progenitor of all the blue-blood of Kentucky, and from whose loins sprung the blue grass of that region, was a hunter that gave more honorable fame to the "Dark and Bloody Ground" which he redeemed from savage domination and planted with christian civilization and patriots of broad conception of personal liberty, than any other name that has embellished the thrilling pages of Kentucky's history and made her name and fame grandly conspicuous among the sisterhood of states.—Although one of the hunters of "Old Kaintuck" sent the great savage warrior, Tecumseh, to the happy hunting grounds, that heroic act did not make the Colonel president of our republic, yet the following refrain—

"We shout and sing, Oh rumpsey-dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh"—

sung at the opportune time, made him vice-president. But the hunters of Kentucky had molded the pattern and cast the image of a president that was given vital official existence in 1828. It was the hunters of Kentucky that made Jackson chief executive of the nation for eight years, and who was sung into the presidential chair of which the following doggerel conspicuously aided in the result:

  • "He led us down to Cypress Swamp—
  • The ground was low and mucky—
  • There stood John Bull, in marshall pomp,
  • And here stood Old Kentucky.
  • Chorus—O, Kentucky! The Hunters of Kentucky!"
  • "Old Packenham had made his brags,
  • If he in fight was lucky,
  • He'd have our girls and cotton bags,
  • In spite of Old Kentucky"
  • "But Jackson he was wide awake—
  • He was not scared at trifles—
  • For well he knew what aim we take
  • With our Kentucky rifles."

Now, if the hunters of Kentucky could yield such a potent power in the politics of the nation, why should not the hunters of Atkinson emulate their illustrious example? As Nimrods they have had no peers since the days of Isaac Walton. In keen marksmanship and in fruitful strategy in bagging all sorts of game, neither Boone or Crockett ever achieved greater results in chase. This fact has been conspicuously emphasized by a recent seven days experience of four expert hunters with a large retinue of skilled servants and camp followers. This outfit comprised of Dr. Sturdevant, Will Dickerson, W.E. Hamlin and Herman Holmquest, and with an intuitive conception of the vicisitudes that might environ them, their commissary stores were abundantly provided with every necessity and luxury that might be required to make such a carnival in the realm of an exciting and protracted chase, a pronounced success. A cursory glance at the invoice in the hands of the clerk of the commissary department revealed the following data embracing the leading supplies ordered for this expedition: Two hundred and fifty-seven gallons of XXX Kentucky bourbon, (vintage of '67,) 17 cases of medicated gin, (strictly for medicinal purposes,) and 7 kegs of raw gin (distilled in the Holland dialect,) 732 cases of bottled beer, (corks slightly drawn) 20 baskets of champagne, (Caeserian vintage,) 1/4 gill of aqua pura, 3 soda crackers; 5 salted herring, 1 pound of cloves and two wooded toothpicks.—The ordnance department was lavishly supplied, one item included 60,000 rounds of cartridges. A large supply of submarine bombs, stolen from an anarchist arsenal located near the headquarters of the populists of Holt, was a novel feature of the ammunition contingent, which had been suggested by the fertile genius of Jeweler Hamlin, and proved to be a grand source of profit. These bombs were to be exploded in the several lakes that dot southwestern Holt, in order to tame the fish so they could be caught without torturing them with hooks or spears.

Thus equipped the expedition started from Atkinson highly elated with the ardent anticipation of securing rich rewards in fish, fowl and other game in lavish profusion. The first day out the richly freighted cavalcade reached the vicinity of Holt Creek. Here, as the shades of night were falling, the elated hunters were met by a detachment of the Dorsey Invincibles, bearing an illuminated parchment richly scented with perfume distilled from flowers grown in the garden of Eden before the fall of man, on which was inscribed, in golden script, a pressing invitation for the hunters to visit Gen. Tuller's magnificent Park and camp near the Electric Fountain, which the managers of the world's fair donated to Gen. Tuller as a sincere token of their appreciation of the General's gallant and distinguished services at the sanguinary battle of Holt Creek, wherein and whereat the ghost dancers were annihilated. The hunters felt highly honored at this mark of social consideration, emanating, as it did from so high a source, but they were forced to decline the proffered hospitality, as a prior engagement had billed them to hold a temperance meeting at the hospitable home of Zenas Dickerson that evening. The meeting on that evening was burdened with a prolific crop of reform. Dr. Sturdevant was the speaker, on whom the mantles of Neil Dow and Father Matthew had evidently fallen. The trophies of this temperance revival made Hamlin, Bill Dickerson and Herman Holmquest converts to the gospel of total obstenance.

The Graphic would be pleased to detail the exploits of these four hunters during their subsequent six days chase they had in bagging game in southwestern Holt, but want of space in this issue forbids.

Among the variety of game that they freighted into Atkinson were 786 geese, 2307 ducks of various strains and plumage, 47 sand-hill crane, 15 antelope, 37 ordinary deer and one spikehorn buck. The grizzly bears, mountain lions, wild cats and other wild quadrupeds that fell before the unerring aim of their repeating shotguns were too numerous to be brought home. But they are all collected in Green Valley and guarded by a special detail of the Dorsey Invincibles. This successful hunting tournament has made the four who bagged the game illustrious, and as a slight recognition of their prowess in the field of sport, one of the number was elected alderman of this city last Tuesday.

Moral:—If you desire to become famous and enjoy official preferment, kill something.