Rupert Montgomery "Rupe" Sherwood

Death Date: August 23, 1931
Age at Death: 82

Burial Details

Cemetery Location: Fairplay, Colorado


Eagle Valley Enterprise page 2 - September 4, 1931
Me and Prunes, by Rupe Sherwood.
So poor old Prunes has cashed in--too bad. Still in a way I'm glad the old boy's off and is calling it a day.
I'm going to miss him scand'lous; the world won't seem the same Not having him a-standin' here hee-hawing in the game.
We've sure drawed cards together aplenty' Prunes and me, We've bucked the play in every way the cards was dealt to we;
Sometimes we filled our hands and won--so seldom 'twas a joke-- Most often we just bob-tailed flushed and wound up stony broke--
But no matter if we win or lose, old Prunes hee hawed the same; The trails were all alike to him; it all was in the game.
We played with fortune. Come the breaks our way or plumb 'gainst us Old Prunes just toted fair and stuck 'thout making ary fuss.
When grub was plenty, grass was long, and trails was smooth he took His share and share alike with me. If things went scant he shook
His head and lafed: "He-haw He-haw!" The philosophic cuss And dine on greasy gunnysacks an' bacon rinds--an wus.
I've prospected in company with every kind of man That ever hit these hills. Sometimes I'd meet with one who'd pan
Out fairly good; but mostly they was allus lookin' out For Number One. I reckon you know what I'm talking 'bout.
I've throwed in with 'em--every race an' breed an' color, too--An' found 'em all just lackin' of some one thing--maybe two.
Some had no guts; some had no sense; some wasn't honest' so Not one of 'em could average up with Prunes, my old burro.
For Prunes was faithful, honest, an' he never tried to shirk From doin' of his bit, no matter how damned hard the work.
And he didn't grouch and grumble when the eats was kinda short; He took all things just as the come. Old Prunes was a good sport!
An' I don't think he delib'rately laid down on me when come His time to peter out and hit the trail for Jackass Home.
But I'm kinda peeved to think he's goin' it upon his own An' leaving me behind to play the deal out all alone.
I'm not much on religion; and sometimes I've a doubt About this "Immortality" sky-pilots rave about.
But I'm gamblin' if there be another life after this one It won't be just restricted to the things called man alone.
But everything now livin' will surely live again--(I know a hundred that deserves to, more than most men)
An' if they do, sue as shootin' 'mongst those heavenly tunes I'll betcha fifty bucks we'll hear the "Hee-haw" of Old Prunes.
Maybe the preachers got it right. I hope they have! I'd like Along with Prunes, among those golden fields to take a hike.
We'd sure find pay dirt if it's there' you bet yer life on that. For Prunes an' me knows values when we see them--that is that!
Ad' if, belike, they shouldn't reckon us just good enough To trail 'round with the gang up there, and go to treat us rough.
An' slide us down the chute to where no icy moss festoons, We'd prospect there for sulphurets--and find 'em, too. Hey, Prunes?
Eagle Valley Enterprise page 1 - September 4, 1931
"RUPE" SHERWOOD GOES ON LAST LONG PROSPECTING TRIP. Early settler of Eagle County, pioneer prospector and trapper of Colorado starts on long trail at age of 82--died at Fairplay Hospital August 23.
...-ful characters of this vicinity in the early eighties, started on his last long prospecting trip on Sunday, August 23, from the Fairfield hospital in Fairplay, Colo.
The Breckinridge Journal of last week, says for many weeks Rupert M. SHERWOOD had been suffering from infection following gangrene in his foot. He was recently taken to the Fairfield hospital and Dr. DUNKLE and his able corps of hospital assistants did everything possible to comfort and relieve the sufferings of Mr. SHERWOOD. Mr. SHERWOOD passed on Sunday morning, August 23, 1931.
He had repeatedly requested that at his death his body be cremated and his ashes buried at the grave of Prunes, the faithful old burro, where the monument is erected on the main street of Fairplay, Colo. In compliance with his request his body was taken to Denver and cremated and services were held at the monument last Sunday at 11 o'clock a.m., Jude Ben C. HILLIARD of Denver addressing the gathering.
In a recent interview with the Journal reporter, Rupe told how he made his first $500 which was as follows: He and Josh HALL were on a treak with burros in the Montezuma district in Summit county when they found deer tracks that lured Rupe aside while Josh took the burros into camp for the night. The tracks led past a bank where a prospector had dug a hole exposing a finger or two of pure gold. Rupe pried out a sample, put his name on a location stake and the next morning returned with Josh to work their claim. "A man came along with two horses and a jug of whisky," Rupe related. "He said, 'Just my darn luck; let's have a snipper.' It was his location, but he had gone to Georgetown to get grub. I intended to give him his rights, but he pulled out a roll and handed me $500 and asked if that would settle the account. Of course it would, and he later made a famous mine."
SHERWOOD came to Colorado in 1862, as a mere boy. He was one of a number driving a herd of 300 head of horses from the middle western states to the Pacific coast when on the trail between Fairplay and Leadville, the lure of Colorado was too strong to permit the youth to go on to the Pacific coast, and he gave up the job as a herder of horses, and he took up trapping of game and fur bearing animals, then plentiful in the country tributary to the continental divide. For years he was a fur trader between the Continental Divide and the Missouri river, but the lure of gold lead him to prospecting for that metal, and the most interesting years of his life was spent with a gold pan and prospecting pick, in company with "Prunes" his faithful old burro. SHERWOOD's life history would not be complete without mention of Prunes. The latter was the most famous burro in the Rocky mountain region and was buried a year ago last June after a reputed life of 62 years, and a monument to his memory erected in the main street of Fairplay, Colo.
In 1883, SHERWOOD thought he was through with mining and trapping, and took up a homestead on the Eagle river, eight miles east of the present town of Eagle. The ranch which he preempted is now owned by Geo. W. Watson and is now one of the best improved cattle ranches in the county. When the Rio Grande railroad built through the valley a switch was established near the ranch and was named "Sherwood Switch." SHERWOOD lived here for many years and during his residence was one of the prominent men of the vicinity. But the call of the mines was persistent and he abandoned ranching and returned to South Park where he had been prominent until his death.
The passing of "Rupe" SHERWOOD and "Prunes" is a reminder of the end of the early, colorful days of mining and adventure in Colorado.