Denver Posse Accepts "Major"

August 10, 2021 at 3:17 AM


Former Brookville resident Dan Shannon (left) presents a copy of "Major:  The Life of Israel McCreight" to Denver Posse of Westerners Sheriff Robert Easterly.

           The DuBois Area Historical Society's recently published book, "Major:  The Life of Israel McCreight" found a warm reception in Denver, Colorado.

            Earlier this year former Brookville resident Dan Shannon, who serves as the Book Review Chair for the Denver Posse of Westerners in Denver, contacted a local relative Jack Green of DuBois. Shannon had found several articles written by Major Israel McCreight in publications of the Denver Posse. His question, who was this M. I. McCreight from DuBois?

            Green referred Shannon to the book's author Tom Schott, who corresponded with Shannon and sent him an autographed copy of the book. At the Denver Posse of Westerner's annual business meeting on July 28, Shannon presented the book to the organization's Sheriff, Robert Easterly. The book is to be added to the Posse archives at Ft. Logan in Denver, Colorado.

            "Thank you very much for reminding us of that great pioneer, M. I. McCreight," wrote Shannon in an e-mail informing of the book presentation.

             The Denver Posse of Westerners' objectives are to investigate, discuss, present and publish facts related to the American West, and to promote all corollary activities and interests. The organization dates to 1937 when Chicago, Ill., magazine editor Leland Case, was inspired following a visit to the well-respected Skansen Museum in Sweden. This museum played a pivotal role in Sweden’s artistic and economic renewal. Leland returned home with an intention to form groups to explore their cultural roots.

             A group called the "Westerners" was formed. Three months later the Denver Posse became the second chapter. Today there are 57 active chapters in the United States. Many chapters are involved in the “publication of the facts and color relative to the historical, social, political, economic, and religious background of the West.” The Denver Posse published its first monthly booklet in March 1944 and continues to do so with slight changes including the booklet’s title, Roundup. The Posse also started publishing a Brand Book in 1945 that continues to the present.

             The Denver Posse is currently trying to answer the question of how McCreight made the connection to that chapter. In McCreight's time period, membership was by invitation only. Speculation is that McCreight, who spent time in the west, no doubt made a connection with one of the Posse's members.

             Major Israel McCreight (1865-1958) was born in Reynoldsville. Spending his formative years in what was then wilderness, he sought a business education in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He later went to the West looking for adventure, finding it in abundance in Dakota Territory, along with a lifelong friendship with Native Americans.

            McCreight ultimately became one of the developers of DuBois through his banking career with Deposit Bank and his numerous community interests. His concern for conservation led him to help in preserving the last remaining virgin timber standing in Cook Forest. His DuBois home, "The Wigwam", became a destination for famous visitors from his time period, including Indians. But he always felt his greatest achievement was becoming a chief of the Sioux Indians.