Robert haslam

Pony Bob Haslam Born: January 1840, London, England
Died: February 29, 1912, Chicago, Illinois

"Pony Bob" Haslam, was one of the most daring, resourceful, and best known riders on the route. He was born January 1840 in London, England, and came to U.S. as a teen. He was hired by Bolivar Roberts, helped build the stations, and was assigned the run from Friday's Station at the foot of Lake Tahoe to Bucklandís Station near Fort Churchill 75 miles to the east. Perhaps his greatest ride, 120 miles in 8 hours and 20 minutes while wounded, was an important contribution to the fastest trip ever made by the Pony Express. The message carried, Lincoln's Inaugural Address.

When the completion of the telegraph line from the Missouri River to Sacramento put the Pony Express out of business, Haslam continued on his old run as an employee of Wells, Fargo & Company which operated its own enterprise between San Francisco and Virginia City.

He later served as a Deputy United States Marshall in Salt Lake City. In his final years he worked in the Hotel Congress in Chicago. He made a personal business card with a sketch of himself as a Pony Express rider at the age of twenty and entertained guests with stories of his adventures. He died there in 1912, at the age of 72 years.

Pony Bob Haslam's is credited with having made the longest round trip ride oft he Pony Express. He had received the east bound mail (probably the May 10th mail from San Francisco) at Friday's Station. At Buckland's Station his relief rider was so badly frightened over the Indian threat that he refused to take the mail. Haslam agreed to take the mail all the way to Smith's Creek for a total distance of 190 miles without a rest. After a rest of nine hours, he retraced his route with the westbound mail. At Cold Springs he found that Indians had raided the place killing the station keeper and running off all of the stock. Finally he reached Buckland's Station, making the 380-mile round trip the longest on record.

Joe Bensen recounts the story of this ride in his book Pony Bob's Daring Ride.

An anonymous benefactor writes, "I've made myself the unofficial keeper of Pony Bob Haslam's grave. I located it a few weeks ago (July 2009) and it appears to not have had anyone do much with it in a long time other than the normal cemetery mowing, etc. This past weekend my wife and I went back and tidied up the area, and planted some plants and flowers which should prove hardy and survive dry weather: Dusty Miller (the whitish greenery), Celosia (the orange flowers) and Moss roses (to fill in the center). The grave looks appropriate IMO for a Pony Express rider. The desert rose plants in the front center will need some time to fill in and bloom but they will be low, with small flowers when they do. It's about an hour's ride but I plan to stop back every month or so and make sure Bob's grave is looking good. I think he deserves that, and I have to admit a little pleasure at finding a way to make myself a very tiny footnote in the history of Pony Bob.

Source: Settle, Raymond W. and Mary Lund Settle. Saddles and Spurs: The Pony Express Saga and Bloss, Roy S. Pony Express: The Great Gamble.

See also Roy Bloss's essay "Thomas Bowdler's Elegy For The Pony Express."