Fremont County Museum System

Tom & Frankie Moriarty

Frankie Burlingham’s family was the first family to settle in Dubois in 1889. Tom Moriarty and Frankie Burlingham first met in 1890 when Frankie was 11 years old. Frankie was riding a mule and was barefott while Tom was on a roundup for the Amorettis. In 1891 the Burlingham family along with Charlie Peterson and Charlie Smith built the first road through Stoney Point. It replaced the long detour up Wagon Gulch and down Bench Creek. The new path was near the current highway route.

One source says Tom and Frankie were married October 31, 1898 by a Justice of the Peace, Jack Wiggins, with Alice Welty and James Tappan as their witnesses. In those days priests were hard to find. The Amoretties brought Father Dwyer up from Lander and on November 16, 1898, he married the two at the Stoney Point Ranch with Jim Tappan and Alice Heuett standing up with them.  Alice Welty made the wedding dress. It was a big wedding with John Hough, Harry Madill, Alice Welty, Karl Welty, Hattie and Ben Butler, the Amoretttis, and all the Burlinghams. The house was lined with bear hides and Navajo rugs and was decorated with pine boughs. The couple had been engaged a year. This was the second wedding in the Upper Wind River Valley. The first had been Frankie’s sister Hattie’s marriage to Ben Butler. Who were married by Jack Wiggins at the Butler ranch, later the Mockler Ranch and now the Warm River Ranch just west of Dubois. Frankie’s marriage was the first to be solemnized by a priest.

Tom and Frankie had four children, Daniel Webster, Thomas William (Bill), Mary M. and John Francis (Jack). This picture was taken in 1906 with Frankie and their four children. In the same year they opened the first restaurant at the current location of the Twin Pines Lodge and later in the same year added a boarding house.

Tom passed away August 23, 1943. Their son Bill lived with Frankie after the passing of Tom. One day Frankie and Bill went up the DuNoir Valley to the place where they once lived. The foreman for the ranch, which was owned by Retlaw (Disney) Enterprises, ran them off. Later on he made the mistake of stopping at the Moriarty home to ask if Bill was available to build fence. Frankie said later when repeating the incident, “I gave him the best cussin’ I ever gave anyone.”

Frankie worked hard and lived in primitive conditions. Luxuries for her were indoor plumbing, running water and a warm home. Frankie died at the age of 98 at the Fremont Manor in Riverton on September 8, 1977. She was always a joy to be around and took life with a grain of salt.

The picture is part of the Dubois Museum Collection, and the information is from Mary Allison’s book titled “Dubois Area History”.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums

All three museums are hard at work on scheduling programs for 2018 and information will begin to be available very soon for more great programs and activities.

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum need your financial support. In the current economic environment the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark over the last three and half years. Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.