Sam V Getts

Teamster for the Army

SAM V. GETTS, was born in Pennsylvania in 1836. He lived on the farm until he was fifteen, then served two years as an apprentice at carpenter work. He went to Wisconsin in 1855 and drifted to Leavenworth, Kansas in 1858. Soon after reaching Kansas he joined the army. He made his first trip out on the plains, starting for Utah with Morrison's command, but went only as far as Cottonwood Springs. There he met General Harney, who transferred him, and he went back to Leavenworth as a teamster. After leaving the army, he went to work for the Kansas Stage Company, driving on the Leavenworth and Fort Riley road. He then went to Atchison, where he first began driving on the Overland Stage Line, working on the eastern division until 1862.

For the next four or five years he drove into and out of Denver. For several months during the spring and summer of 1864 he drove from Denver down the South Platte sixty miles to Latham station. Early in June, 1867, he started for Salt Lake in charge of an outfit of coaches for the stage company. Mr. Getts took considerable pride in the fact that he took the last mail in the gap that was carried by the Overland Stage between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific roads, the day before the golden spike was driven, May 10, 1869.

The completion of the first transcontinental road echoed the death-knell of the overland stage line, and Getts went to Salt Lake, and from there drove to Ogden and Uintah until the following winter. In 1870 he returned to Montana, driving and superintending for Salisbury until the completion of the Union Pacific's branch line into that region in 1883 wiped out that important stage line.

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