The Cheyenne, an important tribe of Algonquian Indians, originally lived in Minnesota and visited LaSalle`s Illinois River fort in 1680. The name is derived from the Dakota word meaning, "people of alien speech." They were pushed out of the plains by the Sioux and the Lewis and Clark Expedition reported them to be living west of the Black Hills.

They formed a confederation with the Arapahoes and fought frequently with the Sioux and Crows. In 1835, about half the tribe followed the advise of William Bent to move to the vicinity of Bent`s Fort near the Arkansas River, creating a division between the northern and southern Cheyenne.

After General harney`s Ash Hollow campaign of 1855, the Cheyenne joined with the Sioux in resistance to settlers and between 1860 and 1878 were among the most active forces opposing U.S. government troops. They were finally subdued in the Dull Knife campaign between September 1878 and January 1879.

Cheyenne - History

The Cheyenne people carry a tribal name received from their Siouian allies when they all lived in present Minnesota in the 1500s. The name means "foreign speakers" and was used by the Sioux in reference to Algonquian-speaking tribes. The Cheyenne, however, refer to themselves by the name "Tsistsistas," an old term whose meaning is uncertain. This name did not appear in print until the late 1800s and is not generally used by non-Cheyenne, both because the term "Cheyenne" is imbedded in American historical documents and because many English-speakers find "Tsistsistas" difficult to pronounce. The term is preferred, however, by those who speak the Cheyenne language and adhere to the traditional culture. About eight hundred Cheyenne in Oklahoma still speak their native tongue.

From Minnesota, Cheyenne bands, who then lacked horses, migrated westward in the 1700s, developing alli-ances with the Lakota, or Teton Sioux, and preceded the Teton across the Mississippi River into present North and South Dakota. Although the Cheyenne had been hunters and gatherers in Minnesota, some bands during their migration built villages and grew corn along the rivers of the Plains. The best-known site is Biesterfeldt, near Lisbon, North Dakota. Other bands acquired horses and adopted buffalo hunting, helping invent the tipi-dwelling, nomadic way of life known to students of American Indians. During that time diverse Cheyenne bands lived east of the Black Hills of South Dakota, and it was there that the prophet Sweet Medicine entered a cave in the mountain called Nowahwus, known to English-speakers as Bear Butte, and received the four sacred arrows that are still revered by the tribe.

Sweet Medicine organized the military societies, led by war chiefs, whose duties were to keep order and to maintain a hunting territory. Sweet Medicine also established a judicial system, operated by forty-four senior men known as peace chiefs. Most importantly, Sweet Medicine forbade the killing of one Cheyenne by another, an act that required the cleansing of the sacred arrows in a special ceremony. Sweet Medicine thus created the Cheyenne Nation, sovereign and independent.

Over the next century the Cheyenne established a hunting territory between the forks of the Platte River in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado and formed an alliance with the Arapaho, who lived nearer the Rocky Mountains. Although the Cheyenne and the Arapaho were both small nations, with about three thousand persons each, as a combined military force they were formidable. They drove the Kiowa south and prevented the Shoshone from entering the Great Plains from the west. The Cheyenne and Arapaho kept the Blackfeet and the Pawnee out of their hunting territory and became the dominant traders in guns, horses, and buffalo skins in the central plains. At its greatest extent Cheyenne territory stretched from Montana to Texas and included the Oklahoma Panhandle and the areas around the Cimarron and Washita rivers in western Oklahoma.

At the close of the Civil War in 1865 the Cheyenne faced their most formidable enemies, the encroaching Americans. By that time, immigrant traffic had denuded the landscape along the Oregon and Santa Fe trails, splitting the Cheyenne into a northern group, destined for a Montana reservation, and the Southern Cheyenne, who, with their Southern Arapaho allies, ended up in Oklahoma. The period from 1830 to 1870 was generally characterized by a series of treaties with the U.S. government, punctuated by episodes of warfare. For the Cheyenne, military high points were their defeat of U.S. Army forces near Fort Kearny in 1866 and at Beecher Island in 1868 and their victory over Gen. George Armstrong Custer's troops at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. The low points were their losses at Summit Springs, Colorado, in 1869 and at the Battle of the Washita in 1868 and the massacre of about two hundred noncombatants by U.S. forces at Sand Creek, Colorado, in 1864.

After 1869 Southern Cheyenne bands and families assembled on their assigned reservation in Indian Territory. Fort Reno housed the soldiers who guarded them, and the town of El Reno grew up as a service center for the reservation and the fort. In selecting land to constitute a three-and-one-half million-acre reservation, government officials operated by administrative order, ignoring the numerous treaties signed by the Cheyenne.

Initially, Cheyenne bands gathered around government facilities at Darlington, near Fort Reno, and at Cantonment, near present Canton, where they received rations. After a scandal involving leasing of lands to non-Indian cattlemen, the bands were allowed to disperse around the reservation. Their camping grounds later became the sites of such towns as Hammon, Clinton, Thomas, Seiling, Longdale, Watonga, Calumet, and Kingfisher. With the help of Quaker missionaries, the Cheyenne began to prosper from farming until the Dawes Act (General Allotment Act) of 1887 required them to surrender three million acres of their reservation and settle on 80-acre and 160-acre allotments. Not wanting to live on dispersed plots of land, many Cheyenne leased their allotments to non-Indians and worked in agriculture or manufacturing. Employment was also increasingly available in the tribal government and government-sponsored projects. Since World War II many young and middle-aged Cheyenne have migrated to cities to work, especially to Oklahoma City, Dallas, and Los Angeles.

For Cheyenne people the extended family remains the most important social unit, consisting of grandparents and their children and grandchildren, perhaps twenty or thirty people in all. These families frequently live in adjacent houses in the towns of western Oklahoma or in a cluster of houses in more remote rural areas. Family members see each other often and share economic resources. At the town level, there are gourd dance and veterans' groups, women's craft groups, peyote groups, and Indian Christian churches, all of which unite the local Cheyenne community across family boundaries. These groups support dinners, dances, and powwows. The annual performance of their Arrow Renewal and Sun Dance ceremonies is a source of pride for the Southern Cheyenne, symbolizing their survival and their hope for the future. Visitors attend the ceremonies by invitation only. Unlike powwows, these are not public or commercial events.

The traditional laws governing Cheyenne people are supplemented by the oral traditions of chiefs and religious leaders. This central body of legal authority is the subject of The Cheyenne Way, by Karl Llewellyn and E. Adamson Hoebel. A separate body of "Indian law" is being built by the operation of a federally sponsored Indian court system, and although all Indian people are subject to federal laws, there are some areas of sensitivity and dispute between Cheyenne people and state and local authorities. Patches of federally administered "trust land" survive in the reservation area where the state, counties, and cities may not have complete authority. Especially at issue are the right of arrest, child custody, and questions surrounding traditional religious practices. All of these remain under negotiation by federal, state, local, and tribal authorities.

The Cheyennes and Arapahos share a tribal government, with equal representation of four members each on a business committee headquartered at Concho, near El Reno. The committee oversees four smoke shops where tax-reduced tobacco products are sold, the Lucky Star Casino at Concho, a bingo hall at Watonga, a recreation complex at Cantonment Lake, and a three-thousand-acre farming and ranching operation. Federal government welfare programs are funneled through the tribal government for the benefit of children, elders, and the disabled. The tribe also administers education projects, but there is no longer an "Indian school" on the reservation. Federal schooling off the reservation is available for qualified students, but almost all Cheyenne children attend the same local schools as non-Indians. Only about eighty thousand acres of the former reservation remain in Indian hands. Ten thousand acres of trust land are owned by the tribal government and seventy thousand acres by individuals. Some income is derived from oil and gas royalties, and rent is received from leasing trust land for grazing.

There were 11,507 enrolled Cheyenne-Arapaho citizens in 2003. Of those, about eight thousand would consider themselves Cheyenne. There have been attempts to separate Southern Cheyenne from Southern Arapaho administratively, but with continued intermarriage such efforts become more difficult. A current issue concerning many Cheyenne and Arapaho is the receipt of indemnities for the Sand Creek Massacre. Although the federal government promised compensation in 1865, no payment has been made.


Donald Berthrong, The Southern Cheyennes (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963).

George B. Grinnell, The Cheyenne Indians, 2 vols. (New York: Cooper Square, 1962).

Stanley W. Hoig, The Sand Creek Massacre (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961).

John H. Moore, The Cheyenne (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1996).

John H. Moore, The Cheyenne Nation: A Social and Demographic History (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987).

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Cheyenne - History

From Wyoming Tales and Trails

This Page: Early Impressions of Cheyenne, "Bucking the Tiger," McDaniel's Theatre.

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Bird's Eye View of Cheyenne, 1870, looking northwest. In the distance is Fort D. A. Russell and Camp Carling.

The growth of Cheyenne as a result of its being a transportation hub is indicated by comparing the above drawing with the following illustrations, all made from approximately the same position..

"Bird's Eye" view of Cheyenne, 1882, looking northwest.

"Bird's Eye" view of Cheyenne, approx. 1960, looking northwest.

Freight Train, Cheyenne, undated.

Various writers expressed a very jaded view of Cheyenne in its formative years. A. N. Ferguson, a surveyor for the Union Pacific, described the city in his diary:

Sunday, April 26, 1868-Our train stopped at a station two hours last night on account of Indians. Made North Platte a few hours after sunrise where we had breakfast. This is a very warm morning. Had dinner at Sidney Station. Arrived at Cheyenne about 6 o'clock p.m. Had supper at Rollins House after which we walked around town where we witnessed strange sights. The whole city was the scene of one high carnival-gambling saloon and other places of an immoral character in full blast-bands of music discoursing from the fronts of various places-streets crowded with men-and numerous houses illuminated, and vice and riot having full and unlimited control, making the Sabbath evening a sad and fearful time instead of being holy and peaceful. Retired to bed early.

"Mobeetie was patronized by outlaws, thieves, cut-throats, and buffalo hunters, with a large per cent of prostitutes. Taking it all, I think it was the hardest place I ever saw on the frontier except Cheyenne, Wyoming."

"Certainly, the Cheyenne we saw was far from being an exciting place there was not a single corpse lying at any of the saloon doors, nor any duel being fought in the street."

But as least there was a tree. Two years before in 1873, Isabell L. Bird described her passage through Cheyenne:

The surrounding plains were endless and verdureless. The scanty grasses were long ago turned into sun-cured hay by the fierce summer heats. There is neither tree nor bush, the sky is grey, the earth buff, the air blae and windy, and clouds of coarse granitic dust sweep across the prairie and smother the settlement. Cheyenne is described as "a God-forsaken, God-forgotten place." That it forgets God is written on its face. It owes its existence to the railroad, and has diminished in population, but is a depot for a large amount of the necessaries of life which are distributed through the scantily settled districts within distances of 300 miles by "freight wagons," each drawn by four or six horses or mules, or double that number of oxen. At times over 100 wagons, with double that number of teamsters, are in Cheyenne at once. A short time ago it was a perfect pandemonium, mainly inhabited by rowdies and desperadoes, the scum of advancing civilization and murders, stabbings, shooting, and pistol affrays were at times events of almost hourly occurrence in its drinking dens. But in the West, when things reach their worst, a sharp and sure remedy is provided. Those settlers who find the state of matters intolerable, organize themselves into a Vigilance Committee. "Judge Lynch," with a few feet of rope, appears on the scene, the majority crystallizes round the supporters of order, warnings are issued to obnoxious people, simply bearing a scrawl of a tree with a man dangling from it, with such words as "Clear out of this by 6 A.M., or----." A number of the worst desperadoes are tried by a yet more summary process than a drumhead court martial, "strung up," and buried ignominiously. I have been told that 120 ruffians were disposed of in this way here in a single fortnight. Cheyenne is now as safe as Hilo, and the interval between the most desperate lawlessness and the time when United States law, with its corruption and feebleness, comes upon the scene is one of comparative security and good order. Piety is not the forte of Cheyenne. The roads resound with atrocious profanity, and the rowdyism of the saloons and bar-rooms is repressed, not extirpated.

The store to the right was operated by George E. Thompson, a boot and shoe maker Thompson arrived in Cheyenne at the height of its "Hell-on-Wheels" days.

Interior, billard hall, Cheyenne, undated. Note spittoons on the floor.

Mrs. Bird continued in her description:

The population, once 6,000, is now about 4,000. It is an ill-arranged set of frame houses and shanties and rubbish heaps, and offal of deer and antelope, produce the foulest smells I have smelt for a long time. Some of the houses are painted a blinding white others are unpainted there is not a bush, or garden, or green thing it just straggles out promiscuously on the boundless brown plains, on the extreme verge of which three toothy peaks are seen. It is utterly slovenly-looking, and unornamental, abounds in slouching bar-room-looking characters, and looks a place of low, mean lives. Below the hotel window freight cars are being perpetually shunted, but beyond the railroad tracks are nothing but the brown plains, with their lonely sights--now a solitary horseman at a traveling amble, then a party of Indians in paint and feathers, but civilized up to the point of carrying firearms, mounted on sorry ponies, the bundled-up squaws riding astride on the baggage ponies then a drove of ridgy-spined, long-horned cattle, which have been several months eating their way from Texas, with their escort of four or five much-spurred horsemen, in peaked hats, blue-hooded coats, and high boots, heavily armed with revolvers and repeating rifles, and riding small wiry horses. A solitary wagon, with a white tilt, drawn by eight oxen, is probably bearing an emigrant and his fortunes to Colorado. On one of the dreary spaces of the settlement six white-tilted wagons, each with twelve oxen, are standing on their way to a distant part. Everything suggests a beyond.

Cheyenne proved itself a fresh and vigorous experience of a true frontier town--streets dark and suggestive of all sorts of fierce experiences connected with the swarms of swarthy, rough-clad men, who lounged at every corner and filled every shop, yet never offered to molest the visitors by word, act or look, although evidently "taking stock" and remarking upon their unfamiliar appearance.

Our first visit was to an ammunition shop to lay in supplies for a pistol presented to "our" artist upon his journey, that first pistol which is to every young man now-a-days what the toga virilis was to the Roman youth. In this establishment we had an opportunity of examining the outfit deemed requisite for a visit to the Black Hills, in the shape of horribly keen and deadly knives, and firearms of every size and variety. In fact, it was decided by the experts of the party that in this one shop was condensed a larger assortment, and more complete arsenal, of deadly weapons than is to be found in any New York establishment.

Cheyenne, 1877, woodcut, Leslie's Illustrated News

The above is a portion of a woodcut appearing in 1877 in Leslie's Illustrated News. The balance of the picture appears on the next page. In the foreground is a freight wagon and behind it the Cheyenne and Black Hills Express Stage, the famous "Deadwood Stage," which ran from Cheyenne to Horse Creek, Fort Laramie, Rawhide Buttes, Custer City and on into Deadwood.

"Bucking the Tiger" in a Cheyenne Gambling Saloon, woodcut, Leslie's Illustrated News, 1877

The characters are playing lansquenet, sometimes referred to as "lambskinnet," a variation of faro. The signs behind the dealer read, "No Markers Put Up," "Faro Game Limit $12.50," and "Money for Checks." At the very top is the gambling license. The expression "Bucking the Tiger" comes from the images of tigers frequently printed on the backs of the faro cards. Efforts were made to curb gambling. In 1888, the legislature debated the subject. One legislator, Tom Hooper, argued, "Show me the man who will not gamble in some way and I will show you an imbecile."

Although referring to Cheyenne as "peripatetic and Hadean," Mrs. Leslie described the calming influence of churches on Cheyenne:

We arrived at Cheyenne in Wyoming Territory on April 21, 1877. Although originating as a railroad "Hell on Wheels" town, Cheyenne had lost most of its wild character. In 1867 it was a village of tents, that were gradually replaced by wooden structures. Although 20 gambling saloons remain, the influence of the five churches can be felt as all of the saloons close between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays.

[Writer's notes: It is difficult to determine the sense in which Mrs. Leslie intended the term "paripatetic." Originally, paripatetic meant moving about on foot, i.e. pedestrian. It has since taken on several secondary meanings, including moving, changing, and Aristotelian from the practice of Aristotle teaching whilst walking to the Lyceum. Mrs. Leslie's quoted material come from both her articles appearing in her husband's newspaper and her later book, Pleasure Trip from Gotham to the Golden Gate in 1877.]

One of the gambling saloons, James McDaniel's theatre and gambling saloon on Eddy Street (now Pioneer Ave.), impressed Mrs. Leslie mightily:

McDaniel impressed William Francis Hooker, a bullwhacker, differently. He described McDaniel as "bald-headed and also smooth of voice, * * * circulating around among his top-booted guests like a pastor among his flock, and you wonder that such a fine-looking, well spoken man is not in a pulpit instead of a dive." Hooker, The Prairie Schooner, 1918.

Across the street from McDaniel's was Dyer's Hotel. It was reported that when John Hunton's wagon boss Nathan Williams was in need of additional bullwhackers, he would sit on the front porch of Dyer's "Tin Restaurant." The restuarant was so-called because when first founded the dinnerware was made of tin. On the front porch, like a spider for a fly, Williams would wait until cowboys, having been stripped of money by McDaniel, emerged in need of employment. As a sign-up bonus, Williams would offer a free round of drinks in Dyer's bar.

Interior McDaniel's Theatre

It may be speculated that the reason that the "inmates" of the boxes would engage in social chitchat or the drinking of the wine was the quality of the performances on the stage. Bill Nye later observed, "I have seen shows at * * * McDaniel's in Cheyenne, however, where the bar should have provided an ounce of chloroform with each ticket in order to allay the suffering." It has been estimated that at the peak of the Deadwood gold rush, McDaniel was netting over $500.00 a day. McDaniel also opened a theatre in Deadwood and later in Leadville. Regardless, of whether McDaniel well spoken, he was not always well recieved by his patrons. Twice he was badly injured when customers through him from the gallery to the floor below. But by the time of Mrs. Leslie's visit, McDaniels had become a model of decorum, not withstanding that the following year John Irwin was arrested for discharging his revolver in the theatre.

Flyer for McDaniels Museum, 1869

When first started in 1868, McDaniel's attracted customers by letting them view risque stereographs. John Kelly featured in the flyer was an Irish violinist who first achieved fame playing in the gambling dens of Idaho mining camps. The nature of Kelly's original act and the saloons in which he performed was later described by former Idaho Governor W. M. McConnell. Kelly required:

[T]he installation of a swinging stage, or platform, swung by iron rods from the upper joists, several feet above the heads of those who might stand on the main floor below. This platform was reached by a movable ladder, which, after he had acended, he pulled up out of reach of those below. The object was two-fold: First, when he located upon his arie, he was removed from the danger of panics which were an almost nightly occurrence, caused from the sportive instincts of some visitor, who, having imbibed too freely of the regulation vest-pocket whiskey, or having sufferd some real or imaginary grevances, proceeded to distribute the leaden pellets of a Colt's navy revolver, not only into the anatomy of the offender, but quite as freqently to the serious if not fatal injury of some innoncent bystander. * * * * His second object was to be above the course of flying missles and thus preserve his violin, which was a valuable one, from the chance of being perforated by stray bullets.

* * * *

He was a big-hearted son of the Emerald Isle and although untoward circumsances had made him the leading attaction of a den of iniquity, he loved best to play those tender chords that awakened the memories of other days and sent some of the hearers back to their lonely cabins up the gulch better men for the hour they has pent under the musician's spell, even in that dreadful haunt McConnell, Early History of Idaho, p. 139-140.

Master Willie was Kelly's adoptive son, a full-blooded Shoshone. In 1863, a company of miners under Jeff Standifer seeking reprisal for raids on mining camps by Piute Indians, attacked a band of Shoshone killing the entire band except one woman and two boys. The younger of the two boys was found attempting to nurse from his dead mother. The boy was adopted by Kelly who trained the boy first as a contortionist and later in Irish jigs and to play the violin. Willie ultimately became the equal of his adoptive father. At the time of the flyer, Master Willie would have been about six years old. The New York Tribune, March 24, 1870, quoting The St. Joseph Herald descibed Master Willie as able to perform "all the dances of the modern 'minstrel' including 'Shoo Fly' and the 'Big Sun Flower'" John Kelly and Master Willie appeared twice at McDaniel's Museum first in March 1869 for two days and later in November 1869 for two days for the Grand Reopening.

The two later appeared in Australia, England, and Ireland. About 1881, when Willie was 18, the two appeared in Ireland. There, Willie developed a "congestive chill" and died.

Later, McDaniels' establishment featured a forty-horsepower Brussels organ which would blast out Listen to the Mocking Bird. McDaniel later added a zoo and the "world renowned Circassian girl."

The editor of the Star noted:

But all good things come to an end. Ultimately, McDaniel's operations went belly-up and he ended up destitute and died in a park in El Paso. His 1902 obituary from the wire services was short:

[Writer's notes: Clara Morris was a well-known 1860's and 1870's actress who appeared on stage with, among others, John Wilkes Booth. The Frohman Brothers, Charles, Daniel, and Gustave were theatrical producers who organized a system of road shows and later became motion picture producers.]

The ability of places such as McDaniel's to relieve cowboys of their money was legendary. One cowboy, Bill Walker, who at one time rode for Arizona's Erie Cattle Company and was later a freighter out of Casper, recalled an incident in Cheyenne. He noted that at the time,

"Cheyenne had only one real street then, about three blocks long, but it was sure a great street of its size. It had a clothing store with a plate-glass front, and that store front was the only mirror that a lot of those cowboys had ever looked into. That burg had plenty of ladies, too, as well as saloons and poker joints, and they all got plumb fat and prosperous as soon as our bunch hit town."

But the incident was not the only time that the citizenry were treated to such activities on a main thoroughfare. In 1873, 16th Street was used by some cowboys as the location for some bronco busting. The editor of the Daily Leader deplored the activity because it was cruel to the animals.

Culture and Lifestyle


This Native American tribe lived as farmers, cultivating crops like squash, beans, and corn, also making pottery before migration. They also employed dog sleds and rafts as means of transport, residing in wigwams prepared from birch- bark and dirt or earth lodges. However, after they acquired horses from the Spanish, they gave up farming and became buffalo hunters, often trading animal hides in exchange for tobacco, fish or fruit. Adapting a nomadic existence, they naturally chose teepees for settling since these could be easily built or broken.

Today, teepees are only put up for fun and most live in modern houses.

Cheyenne Indians Warriors

Gender Roles

The Cheyenne distributed work by age and sex. Thus, young and old men had to take care of horses while the middle-aged ones conducted raids, hunted buffaloes and provided for the family. The responsibility of protecting the tribe and the honor of becoming the chief was also conferred only upon men.

Amidst women, the duty of carrying and rebuilding teepees, as well as gathering and making food was taken by the younger and middle-aged women, while aged women generally presided over the youngest members of the village.

Both genders participated in storytelling, hunting, and music.

Clothing and Accessories

The Cheyenne clothing underwent several changes. The men initially wore breechcloths, leather leggings, and moccasins but switched over to plains war shirts commonly sported by the other Indians of the region. Similarly, the tall, feather headdresses put on by the Cheyenne Indian leaders were replaced by the long war bonnets of the Plains Indians. The clothing of women consisted of long buckskin dresses and high fringed boots. Their jewelry comprised of intricate necklaces and armbands. Much later, European costumes like cloth dresses and vests were adopted, and these were adorned with porcupine quills and fancy beading.

Today, most Cheyenne Indians wear modern clothes like jeans, using traditional dresses occasionally or in some ceremony.

Cheyenne Indians Clothing Pictures

Cheyenne Indians Clothing

Food Habits

Before the acquisition of horses, when they were farmers, their diet consisted of buffalo or deer meat, corn, squash and beans. After leaving farming, they traded animal hides with other tribes to get fish, corn, tobacco and fruits. To overcome the scarcity of food in the harsh winter months, they traded cotton, hemp, and other medicinal plants with other tribes in exchange for food.

Marriage and Family Structure

The Cheyenne tribe had an extended family that consisted of parents, children, and grandparents, all of whom stayed close together and shared economic resources.

Most of the tribal marriages were monogamous, and a young Cheyenne normally agreed to get married only after he had proved himself either by acquiring horses or securing a reputed position in war. As a result, courtship often carried on for years.

Tools and Weapons

Powerful tools and arms like hoes and arrows made from animal bones as well as war clubs, spears and hide shields were employed by the Cheyenne warriors.


The Cheyenne men carved delicate wooden pipes, bows, and arrows. Other art and craft works involved quill embroidery, pottery, and beading. In fact, traditional artisans still practice beading. It is interesting to note that the flag of the Northern Cheyenne sports the Indian glyph of the “morning star,” a symbol that has been used in art by the natives for ages.

Dog Warriors could wield tremendous power at home

Dog Warriors sometimes worked as law enforcement at home, trading off these duties with other warrior societies. People acting out could face consequences from whatever group was in charge of maintaining order. Calling them "police" doesn't quite get at the heart of their role in day-to-day Cheyenne life. In Dog Soldiers, Bear Men, and Buffalo Women, Thomas E. Mails dives deeper into the subject. Dog Soldiers and other warrior groups certainly preserved order during daily life and in the midst of moving camp, which could be a complex and chaotic operation.

Dog Soldiers, along with other members of military societies, also managed tribal hunts and sacred ceremonies. With large groups of people in one place, some of whom traveled from distant settlements or other tribes, many understood the need for a recognizable force of law and order.

Dog Soldiers were also called upon to mete out punishment for a variety of crimes. And what if you committed some misdeed and were caught by the Dog Warriors? First, there was a good chance that your disciplining was going to be very public. Not only was it humiliating, but shaming a miscreant in the middle of camp served to reinforce a community's structure. If you break the rules, not only will the Dog Soldiers maybe whip you and cut up your tent, but they'll do it in front of your gossipy neighbor and that cute person you were trying to impress.

Tribal History

Tsistsistas, is the Cheyenne word meaning “Human Beings” or “The People.” The Cheyenne are descended from an ancient, Algonquian-language speaking tribe referred to as Chaa. They were also historically referred to as the Marsh People of the Great Lakes region, as they lived along the head of the Mississippi River in the central part of what is now Minnesota.

The Cheyenne were initially sedentary people – farming and raising crops of their main food sources, such as corn, beans, and squash – before later becoming hunters and gatherers. In 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition encountered the Cheyenne living on the upper Missouri River.

The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes became allies and formed into one Nation. Around the 1830s the Cheyenne were trapping beaver and buffalo and tanning the hides for trading purposes. Economic trade with the French, Europeans, and others began along the Arkansas River in what is now southeastern Colorado, near and at Bent’s Old Fort.

Hinono’ei, Arapaho History

Hinono’ei, the Arapaho people, lived in the Great Lakes region along the Mississippi River. Around 1680, they began to migrate out of the Great Lakes area after being forcibly moved or pushed out of their established territory by the whites and traditional enemy tribes. Their adaptation to newer lands on the vast Great Plains and their will to survive and advance their people included making weapons such as the bow and arrow and the spear. As the horse and the buffalo flourished, the Arapahos became self-sustaining in their new territory.

Around 1796, while living and hunting buffalo on the Central Great Plains, the Arapaho people migrated to camps along the Cheyenne River near the Black Hills in what is now South Dakota. It is said that this is the area where the Cheyenne became allies with the Arapaho and, in the early 1800s, they began to camp, hunt, and live together. By 1885, the Arapahos began hunting, along with their pony herd of 4,000 along Wolf Creek in what is now northwestern Oklahoma.

Learn More About The Cheyennes

Chyenne Indian Tribe An overview of the Cheyenne people, their language and history.

Cheyannes Language Resources Cheyanne language samples, articles, and indexed links.

Cheyannes Culture and History Directory Related links about the Cheyannes past and present.

Cheyenne Words Cheyenne Indian vocabulary lists.

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Cheyenne: History

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There is little historical information on Cheyenne prior to the 19th century. The Plains Indians were the dominant civilization in the area before settlers claimed Cheyenne. The Plains Indians include the Arapahoe, Lakota, Sioux, Blackfeet, and Cheyenne. They are nomadic tribes, some of which used to be fierce warriors. The Plains Indians annually congregate in South Dakota for their sacred Sun Dance.

The European-American history begins in 1867. In 1867, several gangs of men moved west to work for the Pacific Railroad. By 1869, residents began to crowd the area. Over 4,000 people migrated to Cheyenne, three months following the construction of the first track. This summoning of residents gave Cheyenne the reputation as the "Magic City, Queen of the Plains." Railroad executive, Grenville Dodge, later called the city "Cheyenne" after the Plains subculture.

This vast urban growth attracted a variety of infamous characters to Cheyenne. They were wild Westerners, burlesque dancers, gamblers, thieves, entrepreneurs, and displaced cowboys. As a city defined by the railroad, its expansion quickly diffused Cheyenne of its wild tendencies. With direct access to the East coast via railroad, Cheyenne residents were afforded the textiles and supplies of much larger cities. In 1880, wealthy men and socialites from American and European universities further cultivated Cheyenne.

The "Cheyenne" Club was a group of residents that wintered in Europe and spent their summers in Cheyenne. Cheyenne Club members spared no expenses in the construction of their clubhouse. They had many amenities from a lounge to a billiards room. At this time, Cheyenne transformed into one of the most prosperous cities in the United States. In 1914, the Cheyenne city government officially organized under the aegis of the state of Wyoming. Cheyenne is currently the capital of Wyoming. It is the site of the F.E. Warren Air Force base.

The Cheyenne Club. Postmarked 1909 and sent from Bern Bishop to Arnaldo Ghisla in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Cheyenne Club, constructed in 1880, was located at the northwest corner of 17th Street and present day Warren Avenue. John Coble was asked to give up his membership in the Cheyenne Club after shooting holes in a picture.. he shot the sheep in the painting.

Postmarked 1907. The Library was torn down in 1966

Cheyenne’s venture into public utility began with the Brush Arc Lamp and its battery current, hanging over 16th Street (now Lincolnway) in this postcard.

Cheyenne - History

In 1825, the tribe split into the Northern and Southern Cheyenne, with the Northern Cheyenne migrating into eastern Wyoming. For decades, the Northern Cheyenne warred against the U.S. Army, fighting in fierce battles in present-day Wyoming and Montana. Hundreds were killed by soldiers in what came to be known as the Sand Creek massacre. In 1876, the Northern Cheyenne joined forces with other tribes in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, helping to defeat U.S. forces led by General George Custer. More battles followed.

The Northern Cheyenne faced further difficulty when forced to relocate onto reservation lands in the south. There was little food and illness was rampant, and when a band of the Northern Cheyenne attempted to move back to northern climes, they were captured and taken to Nebraska where they were confined without food and denied heat despite the freezing temperatures. Those who attempted to escape were captured or killed.

Cheyenne - History

Cheyenne, the county seat of Roger Mills County, is located at the junction of U.S. Highway 283 and State Highway 47. Situated in the former Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation, the area was opened to non-Indian settlers with the land opening on April 19, 1892. Named for the Cheyenne tribe, the townsite was surveyed and designated by a federal judge as the county seat of F County (became Roger Mills County in 1907). The town sprang up overnight, with three city blocks of businesses housed in tents, shacks, and dugouts. Within the first year Cheyenne took on the appearance of a permanent town, with a school, a bank, newspaper, saloon, hotel, courthouse, post office, and various stores. Located on the south side of the Washita River, the community is approximately one mile east of the site at which Lt. Col. George Custer's Seventh Cavalry attacked the camp of Peace Chief Black Kettle at dawn on November 27, 1868.

At 1907 statehood Cheyenne's population stood at 288, and it rose to 468 in 1910. The town was incorporated on January 4, 1909. Circa 1912 the townspeople raised the money and provided the labor to build a short line between Cheyenne and Strong City, the terminus of the Clinton and Oklahoma Western Railway. On February 14, 1914, the first train left Cheyenne. Principal outbound shipments were livestock, cotton, broomcorn, grain, and hay. The community grew and population numbers climbed to 826 in 1930, 1,070 in 1940, and 1,133 in 1950.

Cheyenne became a trade center for most of Roger Mills County and the Texas counties bordering on the west. The population briefly surged from 892 in 1970 to 1,207 in 1980 but dwindled to 948 in 1990 and to 778 at the turn of the twenty-first century. It grew to 801 in 2010. Cheyenne's economy and the surrounding area have remained strong due to the vigorous ranching and farming industries, to tourism, and to the production of fossil fuels. During the 1970s Cheyenne and the surrounding area began to reap the benefits of natural gas production in one of the nation's largest-volume gas fields. The mid-1980s saw a temporary decline in production, but resurgence began at the turn of the twenty-first century and continued to boost western Oklahoma's economy.

Tourism has become a significant part of the economy, due in part to the Washita Battlefield historic site, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR 66000633) in 1966, and to the beauty of the natural environment in the more than thirty thousand acres of public lands comprising the Black Kettle National Grassland. That area is open to hiking, wildlife viewing, hunting, and fishing. Local land- owners supplement their incomes by providing lodging at hunting camps, guiding hunting parties, and offering other services to sports enthusiasts who visit the area seasonally to avail themselves of the extensive Rio Grande turkey, bobwhite quail, dove, and deer populations. Recognizing this source of economic benefit, Cheyenne, in cooperation with the county commission, encourages and assists the development of amenities that supplement tourism and capitalizes on local cultural heritage events and attractions.

Cheyenne's arts community is represented by several galleries located in town and in the surrounding area. In the City Park pioneer history is displayed in a collection of small museums, including a one-room schoolhouse, a small chapel, a military veterans' memorial exhibit, a wax figure exhibit, and a variety of historical exhibits showcasing colorful and historic local personalities and locally produced arts and crafts. Cheyenne is also renowned for its Old Settlers Reunion, held every five years to celebrate the 1892 land opening. At the turn of the twenty-first century the public school system, the Minnie R. Slief Memorial Library, the Cheyenne Star newspaper, and the Mignon Laird Municipal Airport continued to serve the community.


"Cheyenne," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (2d ed. Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, 2003).

Roger Mills Minute: A History of Roger Mills County (Cheyenne, Okla.: Security State Bank, 1992).

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The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Dorothy Alexander, &ldquoCheyenne,&rdquo The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture,

© Oklahoma Historical Society.

Cheyenne - History

After seven seasons, Cheyenne put up the saddle after saving a studio, a network, and forever changing American entertainment. Under the auspices of William T. Orr and creator/developer Roy Huggins, Cheyenne established the one-hour continuing drama as a pop-culture staple, eventually emerging as the dominant narrative force in American fiction. Helped in no small part by the charms of its star, the Big Man himself, Clint Walker, and the show’s blend of high adventure, drama and romance – all of which may be found in high abundance in this complete 13-Episode Collection. From shotgun marriages to abominable mountain-monsters. From range wars to the state senate. From amnesiac gunslingers to blind saloon singers, Cheyenne Bodie faces them all as he delivers his two-gun mix of justice and mercy across the plains. Long may he ride!

Title Screen

Cheyenne is an American western television series of 108 black-and-white episodes broadcast on ABC from 1955 to 1963. The show was the first hour-long western, and in fact the first hour-long dramatic series of any kind, with continuing characters, to last more than one season. It was also the first series to be made by a major Hollywood film studio which did not derive from its established film properties, and the first of a long chain of Warner Brothers original series produced by William T. Orr.

Series History

L. Q. Jones (Smitty) and Clint Walker (Cheyenne)

The series began as a part of Warner Brothers Presents, a program that alternated three different series in rotation. In its first year, Cheyenne traded broadcast weeks with Casablanca and Kings Row. Thereafter, Cheyenne was overhauled by new producer Roy Huggins and left the umbrella of WBP. The show starred Clint Walker, a native of Illinois, as Cheyenne Bodie, a physically large cowboy with a gentle spirit in search of frontier justice who wanders the American West. The first episode, about robbers pretending to be Good Samaritans, is titled “Mountain Fortress” and features James Garner (who had briefly been considered for the role of Cheyenne) as a guest star, but with higher billing given to Ann Robinson as Garner’s intended bride. The episode reveals that Bodie’s parents were massacred by Cheyenne Indians, who then reared him. In the series the character Bodie maintains a positive and understanding attitude toward the Native Americans despite the slaughter of his parents.

Cheyenne ran from 1955 to 1963, except for a hiatus when Walker went on strike for better terms (1958–1959) among other demands, the actor wanted increased residuals, a reduction of the 50-percent cut of personal appearance payments that had to be turned over to Warner Brothers, and a release from the restriction of recording music only for the company’s own label. The interim saw the introduction of a virtual Bodie-clone called Bronco Layne, played by Ty Hardin, born in New York City but reared in Texas. Hardin was featured as the quasi main character during Bodie’s absence. When Warners renegotiated Walker’s contract and the actor returned to the show in 1959, Bronco was spun off as a show in its own right and became independently successful.

For most of their runs, Cheyenne, Bronco, and Sugarfoot, starring Will Hutchins, alternated in the same time slot. Cheyenne was the senior partner of the three. Only a snippet of the Bronco theme song was heard in the opening credits, as a kind of aural footnote to that of Cheyenne. Occasionally Cheyenne, Bronco, and Sugarfoot appeared together in the same episode of each other’s series. In the 1961 Cheyenne episode “Duel at Judas Basin,” Walker, Hardin, and Hutchins join forces to stop a trapper (Jacques Aubuchon) from selling guns to the Sioux Indians. The trapper has also framed Tom “Sugarfoot” Brewster of murder.

Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie

Even after returning to the program — having been prohibited from seeking other work during the long contract negotiation — Walker was unhappy to continue to play a role which he felt he had already exhausted. He told reporters that he felt like “a caged animal.”Though Cheyenne aired for seven years, the series made only 108 episodes because it was in repeated alternation with other programs and was out of production during Clint Walker’s contract dispute.

At the conclusion of the sixth season, a special episode was aired, “A Man Named Ragan,” the pilot for a program called The Dakotas, starring Larry Ward, Chad Everett, Jack Elam, and Michael Greene, that was to have replaced Cheyenne in the middle of the next season. However, because Cheyenne Bodie never appeared in “Ragan”, the two programs are only tenuously linked.

Walker reprised the Cheyenne Bodie character in 1991 for the TV-movie The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw and also played Cheyenne in an episode of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues in 1995.

Episodes – List of Cheyenne Episodes

Guest Stars

Claude Akins was cast as tough-minded Sheriff Bob Walters, with Gail Kobe as Della Carver, a crestfallen mother whose son has disappeared, in the episode “The Long Search” (1958).
Chris Alcaide appeared as Deputy Hack in “Star in the Dust” (1956) and as Harry Thomas in “The Quick and the Deadly” (1962).
Evelyn Ankers appeared as saloon owner Robbie James, who tries to keep her daughter from learning about her occupation, in the episode “Gambler” (1958).
R. G. Armstrong was cast as Nathanael Grimm in “The Return of Mr. Grimm” (February 13, 1961). In the story line, the wealthy Grimm seeks the hanging of Sheriff Cheyenne Bodie for the justifiable homicide of Grimm’s wayward son, who was fleeing from a posse. Grimm closes the businesses he controls in town, and the threatened townsmen demand that Bodie stand trial though no crime has been committed. Anita Sands appears as Grimm’s secret daughter-in-law, Grace Evans, who unknown to him is carrying his grandson.
Barry Atwater played George A. Custer, with Liam Sullivan as Marcus Reno, in the two-part episode, “Gold, Glory, and Custer – Prelude” and “Gold, Glory, and Custer – Requiem” (1960). In the story line, Cheyenne Bodie guides a party led by Custer into the Black Hills, an area protected by a treaty with the Sioux, in apparent search of gold.
Trevor Bardette was cast in six episodes, beginning with the role of Amarillo Ames in “Lone Gun” (1956).
Dan Barton played Jim Ellis, a schoolmaster with a questionable past who claims to have killed a bank robber, in the 1957 season premiere episode, “Incident at Indian Springs”.
Whitney Blake, prior to Hazel, was cast as Beth Tobin in “Riot at Arroyo Seco” (1960), an episode which focuses on how a water shortage threatens to destroy a town.
Dan Blocker, prior to Bonanza, appeared as Pete in “Land Beyond the Law” (1957) and as Deputy Sam in “Noose at Noon” (1958).
Peter Breck, who played Nick Barkley on The Big Valley, appeared in three different roles, as James Abbot in “Legacy of the Lost” (1962), Sheriff Matt Kilgore in “Indian Gold (1962), and Tony Chance in “Dark Decision” (1962).
Peter Brown, prior to Lawman, appeared as Jed Wayne in “Renegades” (1958). In the story line, Wayne enlists in the United States Army after his father is killed in an attack by Comanche renegades. Olive Sturgess guest stars as Kathy Donovan, who takes an interest in young Wayne and is the daughter of the fort commander, Colonel Ralph Donovan (Bartlett Robinson), who distrusts the Indians. This episode also focuses on the spirit and endurance of Wayne’s mortally lame horse and the wisdom of the Comanche chief Little Elk (Steve Darrell).
Ellen Burstyn (billed as Ellen McCrae) appeared as Emmy Mae in “Day’s Pay” (1961).
Edd Byrnes appeared as Clay Rafferty in “The Brand” (1957).
Jean Byron was cast as newspaperwoman Fay Kirby, with Frank DeKova as Chief Sitting Bull in “The Broken Pledge”, a story of betrayal of the Sioux. Also cast are Whit Bissell as George Armstrong Custer, William Fawcett, Gary Vinson, and John Dehner (1957).
Ahna Capri as Mary Randall in “Trouble Street” (1961).
Philip Carey as Cole Younger in “One Way Ticket” (1962).
John Carradine as Delos Gerrard in “Decision at Gunsight” (1957).
Mary Castle as Alice Wilson in “Test of Courage” (1957).
Peggie Castle appeared as the devious southern belle Mary “Mississippi” Brown in the episode “Fury at Rio Hondo”, set in Mexico (April 17, 1956), and as Amy Gordon in “The Spanish Grant” (1957).
Joan Caulfield appeared as Darcy Clay, the owner of a herd of sheep, who clashes with cattlement in the series finale, “Showdown at Oxbend” (December 17, 1962).
Billy Chapin, former child actor, appeared in the second episode of the series, “Julesburg” (October 11, 1955) as Tommy Scott, whose older brother is crushed to death in a stampede as he tries to save Tommy.
Robert Colbert in “Two Trails to Santa Fe” (October 28, 1960) plays Army Corporal Howie Burch, who tries to steal gold from miners working a claim near the fort where he is stationed. Burch is also trying to win back the affection of his former wife (Randy Stuart), whose husband (Richard Webb), is one of the miners. Then the Army decides to abandon the fort, an action which places the miners in jeopardy from Indian attacks.
Tim Considine was cast as Billy McQueen, with Connie Stevens as Clovis in “Reprieve” (1959).
Russ Conway appeared as Marshal Stort in the 1958 episode “Ghost of Cimarron”.
Richard Crenna appeared as Curley Galway in “Hard Bargain” (1957).
Walter Coy appeared in various roles in four different Cheyenne episodes, “The Bounty Killers,” as Sheriff Sam Townley in “Town of Fear”, “Apache Blood”, and “Savage Breed” between 1956 and 1960.
Ronnie Dapo, a child actor, appeared as ten-year-old Roy Barrington in the 1962 episode “One Way Ticket”.
Francis De Sales guest starred twice in 1957, as Lieutenant Quentin in “Land Beyond the Law” and as a sheriff in “The Brand”.
Angie Dickinson appeared as Jeannie Trude in “War Party” (1957).
James Drury was cast as Bill Magruder in “The Imposter” (1959).
Andrew Duggan plays the outlaw Black Jack in “The Angry Sky” (1958) and the stern cattleman Ed Foster in the series finale, “Showdown at Oxbend”.
Dean Fredericks appeared three times, including as Yellow Knife in the episode “Quicksand” (1956) and as Little Chief in “The Broken Pledge” (1957).
James Garner, later to play Bret Maverick on “Maverick” and Jim Rockford on “The Rockford Files,” appeared as Lt. Forsythe in “Mountain Fortress” (1955), the first episode of the series as Lt. Rogers in “Decision” (1956), episode eight and also as Rev. Bret Mailer in “The Last Train West” (1956), which was episode fifteen of season one.He also appeared as Peake in “War Party” (1957) in the second season.
Jock Gaynor (later of NBC’s Outlaws) as Johnny McIntire, with Joan O’Brien as his intended, Selma Dawson, in “Incident at Dawson Flats” (1961)
Lorne Greene as Colonel Bell in “Gold” and “Glory” (1960)
Tod Griffin as Sheriff Frank Day in “The Empty Gun” (1958) and as Rafe Donovan in “The Greater Glory” (1961)
Alan Hale, Jr. as folksy rancher Les Bridgeman in “Hired Gun” (1957). In the story line, Bridgeman hires Cheyenne Bodie, who has gone undercover for the local sheriff, to work on the Bridgeman Ranch, unknowing that Bridgeman’s wife Lilli (Whitney Blake) has hired a professional assassin to kill her husband so that she can instead marry a competing rancher, Kiley Rand (Don Megowan)
Ron Hayes (later of The Everglades) as the Durango Kid in “Town of Fear” (1957)
Kelo Henderson made his screen debut as Doc Pardes in “The Brand” (1957).
Dennis Hopper appeared as an arrogant young gunfighter, the Utah Kid, in the episode “Quicksand” in the story line, he gave Cheyenne Bodie no choice but to kill him in a gunfight. He also appeared in an episode called “The Iron Trail” in season two (1957) as Abe Larson, the leader of a gang of youths planning to kidnap the President of the United States.
Ron Howard played “Timmy” (uncredited) in “Counterfeit Gun”, Season 5, Episode 2 (1960).
Brad Johnson appeared as Sheriff Dan Blaisdell in the 1960 episode “Home Is the Brave”.
I. Stanford Jolley appeared seven times, the last having been as Ezra in “The Quick and the Deadly” (1962).
Sally Kellerman played the marriage-minded Lottie Durango in “The Durango Brothers,” the seventh (and final) season opener in 1962.
Douglas Kennedy portrayed Blake Holloway in “The Spanish Grant” (1957).
George Kennedy portrayed Lee Nelson with Madlyn Rhue as Ellen Lassiter in “Prisoner of Moon Mesa” (1959).
Robert Knapp appeared as Frank Thorne in “Massacre at Gunsight Pass” (May 1, 1961) and as Deputy Rankin in “Wanted for the Murder of Cheyenne Bodie” (December 10, 1962).
Harry Lauter appeared three times, the last having been as Walt Taylor in “The Vanishing Breed” (1962).
Robert Karnes (a regular on NBC’s crime drama The Lawless Years) as Matt Walsh in “Man Alone” (1962)
Wright King appeared in three episodes from 1956 to 1958 and once each on the Cheyenne spin-pff series, Sugarfoot and Bronco.
Michael Landon in the episode “The White Warrior” (1958) appeared as White Hawk or Alan Horn, a young white man who like Cheyenne Bodie was raised by Indians after the massacre of his parents. White Hawk rises to the occasion to help Cheyenne as he heads a wagon train to California amid the threat of the Apaches. Randy Stuart appeared in this episode as Clara Bolton, a single woman on the wagon train who takes a liking to White Hawk. Peter Whitney played the brutal Eli Henderson, who tries to remove Cheyenne as the wagon master. Earlier, Landon played a trooper in “Decision” (1956).
Ruta Lee, as Lenore Walton Hanford in “Wanted for the Murder of Cheyenne Bodie” (1962), the penultimate episode of the series. Bodie is mistaken for a notorious gunfighter and framed for his “own” murder. The episode also stars Dick Foran, Richard Webb, and Gregg Palmer.
Dayton Lummis portrayed as Frank Collins in “The Young Fugitives” (1961). Richard Evans played his son, Gilby Collins, a burgeoning outlaw. Anne Whitfield portrayed Nita, Gilby’s new-found girlfriend, who convinces him to turn himself in to authorities.
Scott Marlowe played Mickey Free in “Apache Blood” (1960), the story of a young white man captured by Indians who tries to return to his own people.
Donald May and Merry Anders appeared in dual roles in “The Long Rope” May as Fred Baker/Randy Pierce, and Anders as Ruth Graham/Fay Pierce (1960).
Ann McCrea was cast as Faith Swain, whose herd Cheyenne is driving to market under the alias Ace Black, in the 1958 episode “Wagon-Tongue North”. Unknown to Faith, Cheyenne had earlier killed her husband in self-defense.
Frank McGrath, cast a year later on Wagon Train, made a brief appearance in the same episode as a ranch foreman, John Pike, who is killed by the Comanches. (1956)
Patrick McVey appeared three times as law enforcement officers between 1957 and 1961.
Tyler McVey appeared as Henry Toland in the 1960 episode “Gold, Glory, and Custer”.
Joyce Meadows as Madaline De Vier in the episode “Cross Purpose” (1961)
Roger Mobley (earlier of NBC’s Fury and later on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color) as Billy in “Sweet Sam” and as Gabe Morse in “The Idol” (both 1962)
Christopher Olsen, as Chris Olsen, appeared as Kenny in the episode, “Incident at Indian Springs” (1957).
Gregg Palmer appeared as Dillard in the 1961 episode “The Frightened Town”.
John M. Pickard guest starred as Ben Cask in “Dark Decision” (1962).
Slim Pickens appeared as Gary Owen in “Big Ghost Basin” (1957).
Mike Ragan appeared in “The Last Train West”, “Lone Gun”, and “Hard Bargain” (1956-1957).
Gilman Rankin appeared as Ringo in “The Mutton Punchers” (1957) and as Price in “Trouble Street” (1961).
Hayden Rorke (I Dream of Jeannie) appeared as Major George Early in “The Long Winter” (1956).
John Russell (later of Lawman) portrayed Matt Reardon, a gunslinger befriended by Cheyenne Bodie in “The Empty Gun” (1958). In the story line, Reardon tries to make amends to Martha Fullerton (Audrey Totter), the widow of the first man that he killed in a challenge. Standing between them is her vengeful son, Mike (Sean Garrison), who calls out Reardon for a final gunfight. Tod Griffin plays Sheriff Frank Day.
James Seay appeared as Duke Tavener in “Gambler” (1958).
Robert F. Simon appeared as Chad Wilcox in the episode “Born Bad” and as Hub Lassiter in the segment “Prisoner of Moon Mesa.”
James Stacy was cast as Luther James in the series finale, “Showdown at Oxbend”, along with his later Lancer co-star Andrew Duggan.
Harold J. Stone appeared as the brutal loudmouth Rafe Larkin, “The Last Comanchero,” in the first episode of 1958. Edd Byrnes appears again in the series in this episode as Benji Balton, whose parents in the New Mexico Territory were murdered by Larkin and whose girlfriend is being held hostage by Larkin’s only surviving son.
Randy Stuart, in addition to “Two Trails to Santa Fe”, was cast in three other episodes “The White Warrior”, “The Long Search” (as saloon owner Margaret “Peg” Ellis, who takes an interest in Cheyenne), and “Retaliation.”
Rod Taylor as Clancy and Edward Andrews as Duncan in “The Argonauts” (November 1, 1955). Gold dust miners are the best of friends until they strike it rich, only to have Indians attack and their valuable dust cast to the wind because of the greed of Duncan.
Vaughn Taylor stars as Doc Johnson, an unusual outlaw known as “The Ghost of the Cimarron” (1958). Cheyenne must ally temporarily with Johnson to clear his own name with the law, as officers think Cheyenne is part of the gang. Peter Brown appears in this episode as Billy Younger Wright King, as the Kiowa Kid.
Ray Teal, later the sheriff on Bonanza, appeared in “Julesburg” as a ruthless cattle baron. Cheyenne comes to the lawless town to aid honest settlers.
Dawn Wells appeared as Sarah Claypool in “Lone Patrol” (1961).
Terry Wilson of Wagon Train appeared in an uncredited role as a robber in “Death Deals the Hand” (1956).
Jeff York was cast as Nick Avalon in “Trial by Justice” (1959).
Tony Young appeared twice, as the Indian Yellow Knife (uncredited) in “Two Trails to Santa Fe” (1960) and as the Indian Johnny Brassbuttons in “Johnny Brasbuttons” (1962). In between those episodes, he appeared in the short-lived CBS western Gunslinger.
Broadcast history
ABC televised the show from 1955 to 1962: September 1955-September 1959 Tuesday 7:30-8:30 P.M. September 1959-December 1962, Monday 7:30-8:30 P.M. April 1963-September 1963, Friday 7:30-8:30 P.M. The series finished #13 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1957-1958 season, #18 for 1958-1959, #17 for 1959-1960 and #28 for 1960-1961.

In its last season, Cheyenne still drew good enough ratings to force the cancellation of the new comedy/drama It’s a Man’s World on NBC, co-starring Glenn Corbett, Michael Burns, Ted Bessell, and Randy Boone. In the spring of 1960, Cheyenne outdistanced singer Kate Smith’s return to television on CBS’s The Kate Smith Show, which was canceled after some six months on the air.

Cheyenne is now shown twice every weekday on the Encore western channels.

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