|...moved to Salina, Kansas sometime before Clyde Wilson, along with his younger brother Samuel enlisted in M Company of the 20th Kansas
Volunteer Infantry. At the time of his enlistment Clyde Wilson stood 6 feet tall and weighed 178 pounds. He was said to have blue eyes.
The 20th Kansas deployed to the Philippines but arrived too late to see action against the Spanish but they did go into the field during the Philippine
Insurrection. During his service in the Philippines Wilson rose to the rank of sergeant but younger brother Samuel was not so fortunate, being killed
in action on 29 March, 1899 at Guiguinto River.
Clyde Wilson returned home with his regiment in October 1899 and in March 1900 stood for election of town marshal in his hometown of Salina, He
ultimately lost his bid but was appointed to the town's police force soon afterward. As will be seen Wilson like so many western personalities did not
seem to see any undue conflict of interest in working both sides of the legal fence when opportunity presented itself. By 1903 the afore mentioned
Wild West was dying in fits at starts though a few of the old "habits" lingered - Butch Cassidy and his "Wild Bunch" had only recently still been
active - when Clyde Wilson was hired by the Chicago-born Kansas rancher Chauncey Dewey who owned a spread called Oak Ranch, which
according to a June 9, 1903 article in the Chicago Tribune encompassed some 93,000 acres. The same article says that Dewey (who was often
referred to in the press as a "millionaire") obtained much of the property by taking over the defaulted mortgages of smaller farms and ranches, a
practice which no doubt led to more ever growing animosities between the involved parties.
One such standing feud existed between Chauncey Dewey and Daniel Berry, a farmer and patriarch of a large family. The bad blood had arisen
from the fact that members of the Berry family had refused to vacate property now owned the Dewey Cattle Company. As is many such cases it was
a small spark that set off the final firestorm.
Daniel Berry had several bad debts against him and an auction of his property was held to help pay off his creditors. A five barrel stock tank was
one of the items up for bid and it was purchased for five dollars by Sheriff Robert McCulloch of Cheyenne County on behalf of Chauncey Dewey.
Two of Berry's sons let it be known that if Dewey wanted to take possession of his purchase he needed "...to be damned sure to send the right kind
of man after that tank..."
The following day Chauncey Dewey took the dare and headed over to the Berry spread with ten of his men to back up his claim. Amongst those ten
was Clyde Wilson. Being an experienced former soldier had made Wilson one of Dewey's right hand men. Dewey also made sure that all of his men
were well armed with Colt revolvers and Winchester rifles.
Arriving at the Berry farm Clyde Wilson and another Dewey cowboy began to load the tank in a wagon they had brought for the purpose and Daniel
Berry decided to go tell Chauncy Dewey and "thing or two" his eldest son Alpheaus joining him. At the same time two more of Berry's sons,
Burchard, Beech and a cousin Roy rode up and dismounted. As is so many such cases no one really knows what really happened next or who fired
the first shot. In moments Daniel, Alpheaus and Burchard Berry where all dead, Beech and Roy Berry wounded – the later having a portion of his
jaw shot away.
Dewey and two of his men - Clyde Wilson and another former soldier by the name of McBride - where charged with murder but only surrendered
after a company of Kansas National Guard was called up to keep them from being lynched by members of the Berry faction, a group now swelled in
numbers by outraged local ranchers and farmers. Dewey’s brother C. P. Dewey and two wealthy Topeka bankers posted the $100,000 bond for the
three men. This was an immense sum by the day’s standards totaling over $3,000,000 in today’s dollars.
Brought to trial in March, 1904 the trail must have been seen at the time as one “of the century” with the defense and prosecution employing some
fourteen lawyers between them. More sensationalism occurred when one of the prosecuting attorneys L. D. Hotchkiss met an untimely end in a
“…sudden and shocking death by drowning…” as recounted in the Fourteenth Biennial Report of the Attorney General of Kansas.
During the trial Clyde Wilson testified on his own behalf as reported in the March 2, 1904 edition of the Kansas City Star:
"I came to Oak Ranch, October 7, 1902, and worked as a stenographer and bookkeeper. I went with Chauncey Dewey and his men June 3, 1903 to
the Alpheus Berry place. I had a Winchester rifle and a six-shooter. When we arrived there I was standing close to Dewey when the Berry boys rode
up. They dismounted and tied their horses to a wagon. They pulled their revolvers around in front of them and when they advanced three or four
steps one of them said: 'You will take nothing from here to-day.' As he said this they all put their hands on their pistols. Dewey said to them: 'Stop,
stop where you are.' They fired at us. Roy Berry fired directly at Dewey and Burch Berry fired at McBride. When they put their hands on their
pistols, I put a cartridge into my Winchester. When the Berrys fired I saw a horse drop. Our men then fired. Two of the Berry boys fell. I saw Dewey
shoot. I did not bring my gun to my shoulder until after the Berry boys fell.”
The trail ended as many probably thought it would with the well connected and equally well moneyed Dewey faction being freed after a verdict of not
guilty was returned. Chauncey Dewey, Clyde Wilson, McBride and the entire jury were burned in effigy by an irate mob outside the courthouse.
The surviving Berry's filed a wrongful death suit against Chauncey Dewey, Clyde Wilson and William McBride - the other ex-soldier in Dewey's
service. That case dragged on for years before finally being resolved for some $15,000 in the late 1920s in favor of the Berrys.
In 1910 Clyde Wilson was ranch manager for one Albert Bretschye in Ashland Kansas. Working with him was another of his younger brothers,
Trace Wilson. Clyde Wilson must have retained some of his ill-gotten notoriety because in April of the same year he was reported in the Salina
Evening Journal as being near death as the result of an automobile accident that occurred in Topeka. As if to prove that old associations died hard
the same newspaper reported later in May that Wilson had recovered enough to finish his convalescence in Chicago but that he first planned to stop
at the Dewey ranch and meet up with his former employer Chauncey Dewey, who was also planning to visit Chicago.
Wilson married sometime before 1915. He and his wife Hattie had one daughter named Ida Helen born in Colorado on 10 May, 1915. A few years
later with the U.S. entry into World War One he re-enlisted in the army on 2 April, 1918 joining the 9th Recruit Company at his old rank of Sergeant
and seemingly spent the rest of that year training recruits at Fort Logan, Colorado. He received an honorable discharge on 27 December, 1918.
After the war Wilson, was in the oil and gas production business and by 1940 we was City Clerk in Fredonia, Kansas. He must have found that both
professions was much better suited to a family man than his old gun slinging and cowboy days were.
In December 1927 Wilson applied for military pension benefits based upon his service with the 20th Kansas Volunteers.
Wilson was still active in August 1945 when he served as a pallbearer for William Dillener one of his old comrades in arms in the 20th Kansas
Volunteers. Clyde G. Wilson died on 3 August, 1958, probably with his boots off at the ripe old age of 80 and was buried with military honors at
Gypsum Hill Cemetery in Salina, Kansas.
|Private Clyde G. Wilson and Corporal Samuel Elmer Brick
20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Manila, Philippine Islands.
|Samuel Elmer Brick was born on 8 January, 1878 at Browns Creek, Kansas the son of George W. Brick, a painter by trade and Mary Ann Clanin.
Brick enlisted in the 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry at the same time as Clyde Wilson in Saline, Kansas. Based upon the photograph it seems that
Brick was the first of the two to receive a promotion - in this case to corporal. Brick was slightly wounded at Caloocan on 10 February. This
wounding is mentioned in the regimental history but apparently never officially recorded.
After returning home his life took quite a different turn than that of his gunslinging friend Clyde Wilson. He returned to the family home and like
so many young men in those days took up his father's trade as a painter. Brick married his wife Lillian Belle Padgett sometime around 1906 and
by 1910 had three children and now owned his own paint store - the Salina Paint & Paper Company. In 1920 his business is listed simply as a paint
and paper store.
He seems to have had a certain business acumen since in 1919 he registered a trade-mark with the U.S. Patent Office for Nurex Adhesive Paste
which based upon the nature of his business must have been a type of wallpaper paste. He held a patent (1920) for a type of bookbinding gum to be
used for the making of pads of paper. Reading through his patent (No. 1,341,782) it is obvious that Brick had more than a casual grasp of
chemistry. Two additional patents where also held for waterproof and bookbinding gums. (Nos. 1,389,574 and 1,384,575).
Brick also stayed active with his old military associates. While attending the 10th Annual Encampment of the United Spanish War Veterans in 1913
he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Commander-in-Chief.
During World War One Brick registered for the draft on 12 September, 1918. I have found no record of him serving during the war but with the
war coming to an end the next month this is not surprising.
Samuel Elmer Brick died on 8 December, 1920 at the age of 42 due to complications arising from Lymphatic Leukemia in Dallas, Texas. He was
buried in his home town of Salina, Kansas. One wonders if his death had resulted from exposure to the numerous chemicals related to his chosen
|Right: A reconstruction of Clyde G. Wilson's medal group as it would have
appeared at the end of World War One.
The first medal from left is the Philippine Campaign Medal which Wilson
was entitled to for service with the 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry from
1898 to 1899.
Second (center) is the U.S. version of the World War One Victory Medal
which Wilson earned while serving with the 9th Recruit Company,
General Service Infantry at Fort Logan, Colorado in 1918. His medal was
issued without clasps since the duration of his service during the war took
place within the borders of the United States.
Third (far left) is the 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Spanish-American
War service Badge issued to members of the 20th upon their return to
Kansas in 1899.Originally intended to be a State of Kansas honor to her
veterans, the Legislature failed pass the required bill whereupon the
Kansas Department of the Grand Army of the Republic stepped up and
produced the badge themselves for presentation to this younger generation
|Above: Private Clyde G. Wilson (standing, left) and Corporal Elmer Brick (seated, right) of M Company, 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry in
Manila during the Philippine Insurrection.
Carte de Visite
Centro Atrisico/Fotografia Espanola - Photographer
Manila, Philippine Islands
|Above: The reverse side of the above carte de visite showing the period inscription identifying the subject of the photograph.