|The caption reads, "1887- Frank E. Webner-
Pony Express rider. Father of Gordon Webner,
Public Roads Administration. (The squaw merely
held the horse while the photo was taken.)"
"This photo has puzzled us for some time, although I must admit that I've not worked on the Family Tree site for a couple of years now, so more information may have become available. The only Frank Webner that I know of from that time period was not born until December 1865, and his children are listed as Harold, Norman and William. This is probably not the Frank Webner in the Pony Express photograph, although 1887 date referenced is intriguing, since that would imply that the picture was taken many years after the Pony Express was in service."
Becky (Webner) Blair provides additional information December 2001:
I cannot help you much except that the information I have is that he was born Frank Erastus Webner in 1865. (I have not documented this birth date, and it is possible it is incorrect, it is information that has been passed down.) His parents were John Theodore Webner and Mary Ann Ceperly. His wife was Mary Rachel Simpson and she was a member of the DAR. He did have 3 children, Harold, Norman, and William Gordon Webner. It makes me wonder if it is the same Gordon, as many of my relatives from that time period went by their middle names. I do not know where he was born, but his family lived in Chicago, IL. Good luck with your search and please let us know if you find anything.
Left to right: Chris Petee, Mike Petee, Gerry Rensel
|Elixir is a musical group that plays American music of the 1800's and original compositions. Taking Folk, Country, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, and you name it! Elixir redefines our ancestor's music to bring it alive for today's audiences.|
Mike Petee writes:
"I was looking for a good song about the Pony Express and couldn't find one so I decided to write one. I found a picture of an actual rider, Frank Webner, and researched several books that showed that life on the Express, although considered glorious, was in fact a lot of hard work. The advertisements asked for young, unattached boys, preferably orphans to transport mail from St. Joseph. Missouri to the goldmining communities in California. The legend of the Express lives on till this day but in fact it lasted only 16 months and was over a million dollars in debt at the end. The other reason it lost out was something called the telegraph."
1. Frank was a lad, living on a small farm, his father a hard worker, his mother was a school marm
Frank dreamed of glory in the Wild West, Frank as a hero, he'd outshine the rest
He dreamed in school, he dreamed at play, he dreamed that dream would come true one day
And then one day as he walked into town a newspaper ad turned his world upside down, he read
They ride on until the sun, oh yes, they ride on until the job is done
Join the riders of the Pony Express
2. Took home the paper, packed up his saddle bag, left in the morning before breakfast was made
Scribbled out a note, left it on the table with the advertisement, said be back when I am able ,
Frank joined up, started right away, he was in the saddle the very same day
Rode long hours, had little food but dreamed of all the glory and knew it would be good for
He would ride on until the sun, oh yes he'd ride on until the job was done
As a rider of the Pony Express
3. He'd hardly been on the job very long when word came down that the telegraph was wound
He was out of work, the Express was broke, tired and lonely, he felt his life a joke
Later Frank's stories about those days, colored by time, he'd drift, his eyes ablaze
Kids loved his stories, sat totally amazed as the man fed their dreams until his dying day
They'd rode on until the sun, oh yes they rode on until the job was done
As riders of the Pony Express (rode on rode on)
You may hear the first verse on the Elixir web site, and/or, purchase the cd.