“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cody in Park County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)

Phillip H. Vetter

1855 - 1892

Phillip H. Vetter Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2015
1. Phillip H. Vetter Marker
Inscription. Phillip Henry Vetter was born February 7, 1855 near Woodstock, Shenandoah County, Virginia. He was killed by a grizzly bear on the Greybull River in Wyoming in 1892.
A few years after the Civil War, Phillip's family came West by wagon train and settled in the Wind River Country near Lander, Wyoming Territory.
Through the 1880's Phillip Vetter pursued the occupation of market hunter and trapper. About 1890 he moved over to the Greybull River above Meeteetse, Wyoming. Here he built a log cabin and continued his hunting and trapping.
On September 1, 1892, Vetter left a note at his cabin which said, "Jake, if you come to get your horses, I'm going down to the river after some bear."
A week or so later John Corbett, and old buffalo hunter, was riding over to John Gleavers on Wood River. When he was near Vetter's cabin, black clouds threatened a heavy rain. Corbett decided to wait out the storm in shelter with Vetter.
He road up to the cabin. The door stood open. Inside, Corbett found Vetter's body. Dishes from Vetter's last meal stood unwashed on the dusty table. The storm was forgotten. Corbett jumped on his horse and raced to the Gleaver ranch.
The two men returned and sought to piece the story together. They found Vetter's neatly written note to Jake. In contrast, scribbled on the edge of
Phillip H. Vetter Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2015
2. Phillip H. Vetter Marker
a newspaper in Vetter's handwriting, in what they believed his blood, were several terse messages. The first said something about a battle with a grizzly bear. A later notation said, "Should go to Franc's but too weak." Vetter's handwriting grew shakier. "It's getting dark, I'm smothering." The final message read, "I'm dying."
One of Vetter's arms had been badly mangled and his chest was crushed. He had tried unsuccessfully to stop the flow of blood.
The men walked down to the river to look for more clues. Near the stream the men found a water bucket and Vetter's hat, and not far away was his rifle. A shell had jammed in the chamber. On the ground lay two empty casings.
The wounded bear had mauled him severely before leaving him for dead. Vetter was able to drag himself back to his cabin where he wrote his death message in his own blood. Thirty-seven year old Phillip Vetter died alone, far from help.
Corbett and Gleaver built a casket of rough boards with timbers hewn from logs for a lid. Vetter was buried on (a) upper river bank, near his cabin. A slab of sandstone with the inscription "P.H. Vetter - 1892" was placed at the grave.
Erected by Old Trail Town.
Location. 44° 30.914′ N, 109° 6.315′ W. Marker is in Cody, Wyoming, in Park County. Marker can be reached from Demaris Drive near West Yellowstone Avenue (U.S. 14). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1831 Demaris Drive, Cody WY 82414, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sampson E. Stilwell (here, next to this marker); Jim White (here, next to this marker); John Jeremiah "Liver Eating" Johnston (here, next to this marker); W.A. Gallagher and Blind Bill (a few steps from this marker); Belle Drewry (a few steps from this marker); Trail to Old Cody City (within shouting distance of this marker); Lee Street – Cody City (within shouting distance of this marker); Stone Circles (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cody.
More about this marker. This marker is located in the cemetery at the west end of Old Trail Town.
Additional comments.
There are lots of Phillip H. Vetter descendants living in Moorefield, WV.
    — Submitted August 14, 2018, by Frank W. Vetter of Moorefield, West Virginia.

Categories. Cemeteries & Burial Sites
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on November 29, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 326 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 29, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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