Trail End

Rosa-Maye & Manville Kendrick (AHC Kendrick Collection, TESHS)

 Eula & Mattie Wulfjen (Hoff Collection, TESHS)

A Whole-House Exhibit at the Trail End State Historic Site

March 2008 - December 2008

​​Two Wild & Crazy Kids

JOHN KENDRICK AND Eula Wulfjen were both born in Texas – and there ends any similarity in their upbringing. Given the fifteen-year difference in their ages, one might expect a few other differences, but those between John and Eula were based on economics, education, culture, and family values, not just age:

  • John was orphaned at an early age and shuttled back and forth between relatives who didn’t really care what happened to him; Eula was born to a well-to-do ranching family and pampered almost from the start by her parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
  • John was raised with only one sibling, a sister named Rosa (his half-siblings were much older and did not live at home); Eula was one of five children born to Charles and Ida Wulfjen, the others being Mattie, Edna, Hazel and Clarence.
  • John attended school sporadically, finally quitting for good somewhere around the fourth or fifth grade; Eula attended finishing schools in Boulder, Colorado, and Austin, Texas, where she honed her skills in art, music, public speaking and other cultural refinements.
  • Although they both came to Wyoming at the behest of Charles Wulfjen, John first arrived in 1879 as a low-wage trail rider on a Wulfjen cattle drive; Eula first traveled to Wyoming in 1872 to live on her father’s Mule Shoe Ranch outside Cheyenne.
  • When John left his family home as a teenager, it was to get a job and support himself; when eighteen-year-old Eula left, it was to marry John and begin a new life at his ranch in Montana. 


We only have one picture of John Kendrick as a child, taken when he was a young teenager. In it, he looks at the camera with a quiet dignity. But, according to author J. R. Burroughs, the young boy in the photo could be a handful at times:

At the age of thirteen he had yet to enter the saloon which was the principal gathering place for sociable males in the small Texas town where he was raised. One Christmas season the sounds of conviviality proved irresistible and, pushing through the swinging doors, the boy stepped inside. It was customary in the Texas of that day to set off firecrackers at Christmas time and, on this occasion, John Kendrick was well supplied. He lost no time in dropping a lighted cracker in the gaping overcoat pocket of a man warming his hands in front of the stove. The result exceeded his most sanguine expectations. The fellow just had come from the hardware store, and the aforementioned pocket contained a pound packet of black powder! 


As for Eula, we have several images of her as a child. The earliest, taken in about 1876, shows a very serious-minded little girl. She, too, had a bit of a wild streak, as evidenced by this story she told on herself:

I remember getting furiously mad at my big sister but one time when we were little girls in Cheyenne, though I had playfully knocked her head through a pane of glass, being unable to resist the opportunity - when I came upon her unaware one morning leaning against the window pane with her nose pressed flat - I stole to the bed, clutched a pillow and banged her head with all my might. The following crash and scream accompanied with crashing glass frightened me near to death to say nothing of the flow of blood, though why she wasn't seriously cut I will never know.

Youngsters to be Proud Of

The Changing Nature of Childhood

 State Historic Site