Mile 1573: Spring Valley Station

“The keeper of . . . Spring Valley was Constant Dubail, a Frenchman. It was here that Elijah N. Wilson was wounded in the head by an arrow. . . .

“In September [1860] Elijah N. Wilson was sent along the line from Schell Creek to Antelope station with a number of horses. He made the trip safely, delivered his charges, and started back the next day. When he reached Spring Valley station he found two young men who invited him to stay for dinner.

“Wilson accepted the invitation and turned his horse loose, thinking it would go to the stable in the corral. Instead it joined some others which were grazing behind the station. A short time later they saw Indians driving all of the horses across a meadow toward a cedar grove a short distance away. They ran after the thieves on foot, but the animals entered the trees before they could be overtaken. As he ran, Wilson fired his revolver, but without effect. Having outdistanced his companions he entered the cedars ahead of them.

“As he ran around a large one, an arrow struck him in the forehead about two inches above the left eye and lodged there. He fell to the ground unconscious. The young men came up and did what they could for him. When they tried to pull the arrow out the shaft came loose leaving the point stuck in his forehead. The Indians got away with all the horses.

“Being certain Wilson would die the young men rolled him into the shade of the cedar and set out for the next station on foot. On the following day they came back with some men to bury him. Finding him still alive they carried him into the station and a messenger was sent to Ruby Valley, a full days ride each way, for a doctor. Upon his arrival he removed the arrow point but there was little else he could do. He cold the young men to keep a wet rag on the wound and went back. For six days Wilson lay fighting for his life with only such rude nursing as his friends could give him.

“No doubt he would have died had not Howard Egan come along, possibly on his way back to Sale Lake City. The Division Superintendent took one look at him, then sent a rider post haste to Ruby Valley to bring the doctor back. For twelve days longer Wilson lay in a stupor, hovering between life and death. Then to everyone’s delight he began to mend. In a short time he was able to ride again. The wound left such an unsightly scar upon his forehead chat ever after he wore his hat outdoors and indoors to hide it.”

[Note: The Pony Express National Historical Study, and all reports based on it, state that Elijah N. “Uncle Nick” Wilson died as a result of his wound.]