Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Harry Yount


 Henry S. Yount (March 18, 1839 – May 16, 1924) was an American Civil War soldier, mountain man, professional hunter and trapper, prospector, wilderness guide and packer, seasonal employee of the United States Department of the Interior, and the first gamekeeper in Yellowstone National Park. He was nicknamed "Rocky Mountain Harry Yount". Yount served two terms in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He first enlisted for a six-month term in November 1861. He was wounded and taken prisoner by the Confederate States Army in an opening skirmish of the Battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas in March 1862 and was held as a prisoner of war for nearly a month until released in a prisoner exchange. He re-enlisted in August 1862 and served until the end of the war. He was promoted three times and was a Company quartermaster sergeant when he was discharged in July 1865.


 He worked as a hunter and a prospector, and as a bullwhacker for the U.S. Army, in the years following the Civil War. For seven years in the 1870s he worked as a guide, hunter and wrangler for the expeditions of the Hayden Geological Surveys, which mapped vast areas of the Rocky Mountains. In 1880, Yount was hired by the United States Secretary of the Interior, Carl Schurz, to be the first gamekeeper in Yellowstone National Park, and during his 14 months in that job wrote two annual reports for Schurz, which were then submitted to Congress. His reports described the challenges of protecting the wildlife in the first U.S. national park and influenced the culture of the National Park Service, which was founded 35 years later in 1916. Horace Albright, the second director of the National Park Service, called Yount the "father of the ranger service, as well as the first national park ranger". Yount was a prospector during much of the last four decades of his life.

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