Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard

Extraordinary Entrepreneur and Scoundrel of the Western Frontier

Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard

Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard
Extraordinary Entrepreneur and Scoundrel of the Western Frontier

By Jefferson Glass

John Baptiste Richard-known as "Reshaw" the French pronunciation of his last name-was both an adventurer and an opportunist. The early American West was changing fast, and Richard jumped on opportunities before most men even realized they existed.

He was a fearless adrenaline junkie, always on the edge of danger in his many personifications. Richard owned several trading posts and was not above illegally trading whiskey with Indians. He built the first bridge to span the North Platte River, which washed away in high water. Despite this failure Richard continued to see the money-making possibilities of a toll bridge and rebuilt near present day Casper. From there he had a front row seat for the Westward migration. His historical contributions were not limited to Wyoming as he was a merchant in Colorado during their gold rush and made frequent trips to Pueblo for supplies for his trading posts. Richard could also be considered Wyoming's first rancher.

Richard was right in the middle of the action and from that vantage point he took part in some of the greatest events of early Western history.

  • • 978-1-937147-04-4 • trade paper • index • bibliography • 288 pp •  $19.95ORDER NOW
Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard

Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard
Extraordinary Entrepreneur and Scoundrel of the Western Frontier

By Jefferson Glass

His daily life adventures as an early-time businessman cannot be made up. The book was well researched and well written. Anyone who sits down to read it should have plenty of time. I did not want to put it down.”
••Dennis Sun, Wyoming Livestock Roundup

 “The book is multigenerational in its scope and extremely well documentedБ─і. Still, I found it a good read and highly educational.” ••Bruce Bradley, True West Magazine

 “The interconnections of people and place that tie to John Baptiste Richard’s story are interesting and literally a chronicle of the earliest business dealings in Wyoming as this man could be called Wyoming’s first rancher, who also mined and sold coal, traded in buffalo hides, furs, whiskey, and transportation.”
••Candy Moulton, The Fence Post

Jefferson Glass

Jefferson Glass believes in the hands-on study of history. He has traveled thousands of miles and hiked hundreds of miles on the routes used by western frontiersmen.
            He’s been fascinated with oral histories of the Oregon Trail from his earliest childhood. In his native Oregon, he knew families who proudly displayed heirlooms that their ancestors had carried in wagons across the country on that famous thoroughfare. It was only natural for him to become engulfed in the history of the region when he relocated to central Wyoming over thirty years ago. For most of that time he has been a resident of Evansville, Wyoming, and lives a few hundred yards from the site of Reshaw’s Bridge.
            His interest in history prompted him to found the Evansville Historical Commission and to serve as its chairman for several years. It was then that he began his research on local history including John Richard and his bridge. He wrote “Founder of Evansville: Casper Builder W.T. Evans,”published by the Annals of Wyoming in 1998. In 2000, he assisted the Bishop family in research that would result in Bishop Family Home in Casper being on the National Register of Historic Places. He then wrote a second article for Annals of Wyoming, “Marvin Lord Bishop Sr., Pioneer Sheep Rancher,” published the same year. Jefferson later served on the board of directors for the Cadoma Foundation which preserves and protects Wyoming’s historic buildings (www.cadomafoundation.org).
            In 2002 he wrote, “Crossing the North Platte River: A Brief History of Reshaw’s Bridge-1852-1866” for Annals of Wyoming. By this time he had been compiling material for the story of John Richard for several years and had written drafts of this book. In 2012 he was commissioned by WyoHistory.org to write a entry on Reshaw’s Bridge for their website (www.wyohistory.org).

Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard

Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard
Extraordinary Entrepreneur and Scoundrel of the Western Frontier

 

2014 Wyoming State Historical Society Non-Fiction Winner

2015 WWA Spur in the Best First Nonfiction Book category


Historical Society