Sunday, September 3, 2017

Yes, the Pony Express Sought to Hire Orphans

Several months ago, we did an article about the Pony Express and one of its riders, Robert C. Stricklen, buried at the Grant City Cemetery. One of our readers, Jack Hackley said that he hadn’t heard about the Pony Express hiring orphans.

A Pony Express flyer at the Denver Schoolhouse Museum provides the answer. Letters were $1 for ½ ounce or less, and $1 for each additional half-ounce, down from $5. People could send telegrams to Fort Kearney and have them picked up there and delivered to California.

At the bottom of the flyer is an advertisement for riders: “Riders wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Anxious for adventure and chance to see our great West. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”

Pay was $60/month, plus keep. The rates were as of July 1st, 1861.

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