John B. Wade

Born January 7, 1842, Springfield, Illinois

John B. Wade was born in Springfield, IL to James A. and Sarah Wade. Before moving west they operated the hotel at Springfield which was the boarding place of "Abe" Lincoln while a member of the Illinois legislature. The father (James) then entered military service and as an officer accompanied, then Captain, US Grant into Mexico during his service in the Mexican War.

The family arrived at Fort Bridger on Sept. 16, 1850. Father, James A. Wade appointed United States Marshall of Utah Territory in 1851. John B. Wade was thus early familiarized with pioneer life. He was as a youth identified with the trading outfit of "Jim" Bridger and "Pike" Vascus, whose trading post was located at Fort Bridger. John was educated in the schools of Salt Lake City and left them at an early age to pursue adventure. He was captured by the Utes and remained a prisoner for a period of two years. After escaping he returned to Fort Bridger.

In anticipation of the new service he was engaged by the Pony Express as a rider and rode the trail from Ft. Laramie to Salt Lake City. He was to cover that leg of the journey throughout the existence of the Pony Express and often related that the solo trips on horseback were fraught with danger and that he was pursued by hostiles on several occasions, escaping by whatever means were available. He made both the first and last trips of the company.

In 1861 following the superceding by the stage line he hired on as stage driver for a short time and then he purchased stock for the California Pioneer Stage route from Camp Floyd, Utah, to Virginia City, Nevada.

In the fall of 1862 he was with the Montana party that first discovered gold at Alder Gulch.

In January of 1863, Shoshoni raids under Chief Bear Hunter had provoked Federal retaliation. John was guide and scout for Col. Patrick E. Connor when they set out from Ft. Douglas, Utah, in deep winter snow. On January 29, 1863, having led the troops 120 north to a site near present Preston, Idaho, they encountered 300 Shoshoni warriors shortly after dawn. The hostiles were defensively placed in the Battle Creek ravine west of Bear River and situated in the high river embankments. By mid-morning the battle was over and the final toll was 384 Shoshoni killed along with 67 US Troops.

John was also one of the first at the scene of the Ft. C.F. Smith massacre, arriving a few hours after four companies of US troops had been killed by savages. He 1875 he settled down and raised stock on his 320 acre ranch near Green River, Wyoming.

John B. Wade married in 1882 to Carrie A. Adams and they had nine children.

Information provided by John B. Wade's great grand son Bill Rindone, Aurora, Oregon. He obtained the information from "Progressive Men of the State of Wyoming" published by A.W.Bowen and Co. of Chicago, 1903.