Robert J Spotswood

Division Agent

ROBERT "BOB" SPOTSWOOD was a somewhat noted character on the Overland Stage Route. In the late 1850's, and just a teen-ager, he was a bullwacker along the Platte River with wagon freight-trains. He was hired by Bela Hughes as a messenger from Atchison to Denver in 1862 for the Overland Stage; and was promoted just a short six months later by Ben Holladay to division agent between Denver and Julesburg, and, then on the North Platte division from Latham and Denver northwest, replacing Jack Slade.

Spotswood was as different from Slade as night and day. He was a gentleman, had an education, and although he was only 23 years old when made division agent, was well respected across the plains.

On the morning of June 29, 1865, while out to the north and west of Virginia Dale with Jim Enos, the Virginia Dale Station hunter, the caravan of coaches, mail and passengers came under attack. The caravan having been taken by storm, as soon as he could he got the vehicles in as close together as possible. The fight was a bitter one, lasting all day, and few of the men engaged in it came out without being hit. Two were stretched out; one, Alexander Hardy, a hostler, dead, and Jim Enos, the noted hunter at Virginia Dale, with an Arapahoe arrow protruding from his abdomen. (See Jim Enos)

Spotswood stayed with the Overland several years, and was one of its most capable and efficient men. After the railroad had put an end to the Overland Stage lines across the continent, he and another Overland employee, W. C. McClelland, went into their own staging business. They ran several lines up into the mining camps in the mountains and made a good deal of money.

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