John Werner, Scarsdale, NY, is the winner!
Scurvy deaths is the answer for Week 459 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.
Join in the discovery!
Monday: Clayton Shoecraft
The Clearwater Story: A History of the Clearwater National Forest, tells of two men from Deerlodge, MT who were on the lam after being accused of killing a man. George Gorman and Clayton Shoecraft had not been convicted, but public opinion was so against them that they decided to make their way to the Idaho wilderness.
As the story goes, they were almost broke, but started asking packers what it would cost to go to the backcountry of the Clearwater. The first packer they contacted had a price that was too high, so they continued on to Lolo Hot Springs and got another bid. By the time they paid the packer they had very little money for food. They bought some dried fruit and vegetables and a few other staples such as flour, sugar and salt, along with a few traps.
On their way to Cayuse Creek, they went past Hansen's cabin on Blacklead where they discussed their plans for trapping during the winter. Hanson learned that they had very little food and planned to depend on game to subsist.
They had a cabin at Cayuse Creek and according to their diary, killed two elk and salted them down . They also established a trapline up Cayuse Creek. In mid-winter, they began to suffer with what they believed to be rheumatism. Their symptoms included swollen joints, pain in their limbs and their teeth loosened, almost sure signs of scurvy. The men's conditions grew worse. They were able to hang on until the snow melted along the banks of the creek. It was about this time that one of them concluded that they had scurvy, but they were too weak to go anywhere. The last entry reported that his partner had died and he was no longer able to get out of bed.
In the spring or 1908, the bodies were found by the Hanson Brothers and buried in a common grave. Gorman and Shoecraft had nothing in the cabin of value. They had lived in abject poverty. No gold was found in the cabin.
The original cedar slab marker was gone when a ranger went to find the location in 1922. The location is now marked with a Forest Service sign, according the publication.
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