Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw
Writing historical fiction is great fun, but it's even more fun when you can add details that create a richer reality. In many cases writers use actual people, places and events to weave their stories around. Such was the case in my current work "Never Had A Chance" in the "Cowboy Celebration" anthology. I used the town of Pueblo, Colorado, an actual lawman by the name of Patrick Desmond and Teresita Sandoval.
Patrick Desmond was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1841 and died in Ogden, Utah in 1890. The years in between are the stuff of legends. At least according to some of what I found. According to the information from Pueblo, Patrick was quite the lawman. He was responsible for bringing in numerous outlaws, and was a member if the Rocky Mountain Detective Association. He arrested an Alamosa stage coach robber in Pueblo, and was involved in a stopping a counterfeit ring Pueblo. His luck was not always the best in his financial life. On Feb 1, 1884 the livery owned by Desmond was destroyed by fire for a loss of $14,000. Insurance only covered $4,500. Desmond met his demise in Ogden, Utah at the hands of Thomas Todd, a former bartender at the "Bucket of Blood" saloon in Pueblo. In an altercation Todd shot and killed Desmond, but was only given a four year sentence, which he served in the state of Utah. (Todd returned to Colorado after his sentence and continued his violent streak.)
Maria Teresa 'Teresita' Sandoval,http://bit.ly/1GXxlP9, is an early pioneer woman everyone should know. Born in New Mexico in 1811, she married at a young age and moved to Colorado. She met Matthew Kinkead and moved with him to Ft. Pueblo, where she helped run fort and trading business. When Kinkead left for California with their son, Teresita moved in with her daughter, Cruzita and her husband in the Arkansas River Valley. There she took control of her daughters property after the death of Cruzita's husband. Teresita died in 1894. http://bit.ly/1fby74ihttp://bit.ly/1fby74i
Pueblo, Colorado itself is a great story. Early on the area at the confluence of the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek, was drawing settlers. In 1806, Zebulon Pike built a stockade there when he famously tried to climb the peak that now bears his name. Ft. Pueblo was a business fort similar to Bent's fort. In 1854 they suffered the Christmas Eve Massacre, and to this day no one has learned what really happened. Wm. Jackson Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs, located his Colorado Coal and Iron company, latter known as Colorado Fuel and Iron there. Prior or WWII it was the first and only steel mill west of St. Louis, Missouri. Even in modern times, Pueblo is known as the "Home of Heroes". President Eisenhower was quoted as saying, while presenting Raymond G. 'Jerry' Murphy his medal of honor, "What is it...something in the water out here in Pueblo? All you guys turn out to be heroes!" In 1993 Scott McInnis read into the congressional record that Pueblo was the only city to have four living Medal of Honor recipients from the same hometown.
Fighting the pain, Tom rolled to the right, moving to the edge of the bed. He was in a bed. The knowledge calmed him somewhat, but he still needed to find the answers to his questions. He'd almost made it to a sitting position when the door opened.
So, you are awake," the male voice stated. A voice with a Spanish accent. "I will send for the doctor; in the meantime, you lie back down," he continued, as he pushed Tom back toward the pillow. "Please, stay here until the doctor says otherwise. I do not want you doing anything that will require you to stay longer." So saying, the man quickly went out the door, closing it firmly.
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Until next month, happy reading and enjoy your summer, and be sure to check out "Home For His Heart" the first in the Agate Gulch series of stories.
Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris lives in Colorado and focuses on Colorado and Women's History. Currently, when not writing fiction, she is researching the women doctors who practiced medicine in Colorado prior to 1900. She also publishes a haiku and photo five days a week. You can view them at: http://bit.ly/1dVnNwO