Charles C Haynes

Staging: A Long Career

CHARLES C. HAYNES, born in Ohio in 1837, was doubtless one of the most prominent of the large army of drivers that in the early '60's was employed on the great Overland Stage Line.

Mr. Haynes began staging in Ohio in 1855, driving on the old Columbus Pike, between Cleveland and Medina. In 1856 he went to Michigan, and drove on the Grand Rapids road, the Detroit road and on the Allegan Road. Later he drove out of Grand Rapids to and from the Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad. He naturally felt somewhat proud of the fact that he drove the last team into Grand Rapids, when, about the middle of July, 1857, the palatial steam cars took the place of the more ancient Concord Coach.

When the original Overland Mail Company was organized and put into operation in 1858, Haynes went to Tipton, Missouri, which by this time had become quite an important staging center, the overland coaches for San Francisco starting semi-weekly from this point. At that time it was the terminus of the Missouri Pacific, the farthest western line of railway east of the Rockies. Here he drove west on the Independence stage road. In 1859, after the close of the border-ruffian excitement in Kansas, he pushed on westward to Leavenworth and began driving for the Kansas Stage Company on the old Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley military road.

Early in 1861, when the civil war broke out, the overland mail route was moved to the north, and Atchison was made the starting-point for the stages. Haynes drove from a number of points on the Overland Stage Line between Atchison and the Rockies, until 1865, when he went to Salt Lake and began work on the Montana road. In 1866 he drifted out to California, and was employed by Wells, Fargo & Co. on the Overland and Dutch Flat road, remaining there until 1868, when he returned to Salt Lake and began driving on the Montana road for Wells, Fargo & Co. In the spring of 1869 he was sent out on the west road between Salt Lake and Austin, Nevada, and took charge of the last division, from Jacob's Wells to Shell Creek.

In May, 1869, when the Union and Central Pacific railways were completed and formed the first transcontinental line, Haynes hauled off the stage stock on the "Overland" and put it on the Elko and White Pine road. White Pine at that time was one of Nevada's great silver camps. He then went to driving again, and continued until the fall of 1870, when he went into the employ of the Northwestern Stage Company as division agent from Elko, Nevada, to Boise City, Idaho. On this important line he had charge of 275 miles of road. In 1872 he was transferred to the old reliable "Overland" from Boise City to Kelton as division agent, and was in charge of that road until 1875. He then went to the Pacific Slope and took charge of the permanent road from the end of the Southern Pacific to Bakersfield, California, for the Coast Stage Company. He ran this line until the railroad was completed to Los Angeles; then he came east as far as Battle Mountain, Nevada, and ran a stage line of his own until 1879, to Tuscarora. He then sold out and returned to Boise City, and again took charge of the "Overland" road for Gilmer, Salisbury & Co., until 1880, when he quit and went to the Wood River country, where he secured a mail contract from Ketchum to Sawtooth City and put into operation a stage line of his own. After running it three months, he sold out and retired to his ranch on Goose creek, where he lived until 1889.

After Mr. Haynes retired, he owned an old Concord coach built by the Abbot-Downing Company. It was a handsome vehicle, a bit marred by Indian bullets and arrows, but he kept it looking neat. He drove this stage to the Falls of Shoshone, in Idaho, twenty-six miles from his home, transporting tourists and others who desire to view the wonderful "Niagara of the great Northwest." The old six-horse coach owned by Mr. Haynes carried through the romantic and charming scenery hundreds and thousands of tourists, many of them leading citizens from all parts of the country. In July, 1897, Hon. William J. Bryan and his wife and three children rode in it from Shoshone to Blue Lakes and Shoshone Falls, while he was on his trip to the Yellowstone Park. Concerning a previous journey he had made, Mr. Bryan wrote to the editor of the Shoshone Journal, under date of May 25, 1897, as follows: "Our driver, Capt. C. C. Haynes, was so experienced, and his six horses so fast, that the twenty-five mile coach ride across the lava-covered plain was made in less than four hours, and neither tiresome nor unpleasant."

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