Timeline

1861
October 4

Frederic Sackrider Remington is born in Canton, New York, to Seth Pierre and Clara Sackrider Remington; he is their only child.

1864
March 19

Charles Marion Russell is born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Charles Silas Russell and Mary Mead Russell.

1865
Ca. 1865

The young Remington with his dog.

Ca. 1865

Remington’s father, Seth Pierre Remington; a carte-de-visite taken in New Orleans and hand-colored by the young Remington

Ca. 1865

Remington as an infant.

1869

Russell family moves to Oak Hill due to C. S. Russell’s mother’s failing health.

1870
Ca. 1870

The young Remington with his mother, Clara Sackrider Remington.

Ca. 1870

Studio portrait of “Dear Little Fred” Remington.

1872

Attends Clinton and Oak Hill (Tholozan) schools.

Receives first horse, Gyp.

September 1872

Remington as the mascot of the Canton Fire Department.

1873

Russell recalls in a letter written to a friend thirty years later: “When I was a youngster of about 9 winters hunting with a party of kids we had one gun this weapon was the old time muzzle-loading musket.”

1874
Ca. 1874

Studio portrait of the young Remington, looking forlorn; photo by Dow Studios, Ogdensburg, New York

1875
Summer

While staying with his grandparents in Canton, Remington creates his first painting, which depicts a barbarian chained to a post in a dungeon, guarded by a Roman soldier.

August

Remington enters Vermont Episcopal Institute, a military school in Burlington; he begins a habit of filling his schoolbooks with sketches of Indians, soldiers, and horses.

September

Remington enrolls as a sophomore at Highland Military Academy, Worcester, Massachusetts; he sketches incessantly, filling notebooks with scenes of action and adventure rendered in pencil, ink, and watercolor.

Ca. 1875

The young Remington with his dog; photo by Dow’s New Studio, Ogdensburg, New York

1876

Young Russell’s sculpture of a knight in armor, cast for him by his father, wins a blue ribbon at the St. Louis Agricultural and Mechanical Fair. His sculpture of a horse and rider jumping over a fence wins a prize the following year.

At some point Russell enrolls in a life-drawing class at Washington University, located in downtown St. Louis.

St. Louis incorporates Oak Hill. Russell likely leaves Oak Hill School after 1876 to attend the Clinton School in downtown St. Louis. It is possible that Russell wrote poorly due to dysgraphia.

Submits artwork (a plaster cast of a jockey jumping a fence or a cowboy on a bucking horse) to the St. Louis County Fair and wins a blue ribbon.

Ca. 1876

Studio portrait of the young Remington; photo by Dow Studios, Ogdensburg, New York

Ca. 1876

Remington in his Highland Military Academy uniform; photo by James M. Dow Studios, Ogdensburg, New York

Ca. 1876

Studio portrait of Remington with his boyhood friend, John Howard; photo by Dow Studios, Ogdensburg, New York

1877

Russell attends Oak Hill Public School during the reign of its strict principal, T. E. Smith. In a letter to one of his old classmates in 1902, Russell recalls his school days: “I guess you remember old Smith our teacher and the lickings he gave us… I off times think of our school days and barring the lickings I think we had a pretty good time.”

March

Remington strikes up a correspondence with Scott Turner, a friend of a classmate who has studied art; they exchange letters and drawings. In a letter dated March 3, Remington writes, “Your favorite subject is soldiers. So is mine.” In an undated letter Remington urges: “Send me Indians, cowboys, villains, or toughs. These are what I want.”

May

Nancy Cooper (also known as Mamie Mann), who will marry Charles Russell in 1896, is born to Texas Annie Mann and James Al Cooper in Kentucky.

Ca. 1877

View of Highland Military Academy, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Ca. 1877

Remington in his Highland Military Academy uniform; photo by the Notman Photo Co. Ltd., Albany, New York

1878
September

Remington enrolls at Yale School of Fine Arts; he finds his art classes somewhat disappointing due to their emphasis on classical training.

1879

“Boyhood” sketchbook while at Burlington. Spends three days attending St. Louis Art School.

August

In Canton, Remington meets Eva Adele Caten (1859–1918), two years older and a student at St. Lawrence University; they begin keeping company.

September

Once again at Yale, Remington pursues his art classes; he also plays on the college’s championship football team, whose quarterback is Walter Camp.

Winter (After Christmas)

Russell begins school at the Burlington Military Academy in Burlington, New Jersey, with his friend Archie Douglass; he stays less than three months.

Ca. 1879

Remington as a “rusher” for the Yale football team.

Ca. 1879

Remington as a student at Yale; photo by Dow Studios,Ca.ton, New York

1880

Remington and his mother move back to Canton. He subsequently obtains a political job in Albany as chief clerk in the Department of Public Instruction, and relocates there.

Russell works briefly on a sheep ranch in the Judith River Basin, but dislikes the work and is soon fired.

February 18

Seth Remington dies; Frederic does not return to Yale.

Spring

Military school expels Russell.

March 19

Just before age 16, Russell travels west to Montana with a St. Louisian named Wallis “Pike” Miller; they travel on the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway to Omaha and then transfer to a Union Pacific train bound for San Francisco. Three or four days after leaving St. Louis, Russell arrives in Ogden, Utah ,and makes his way to Helena, Montana, where he stays for about a week before heading to the Judith Basin—an overland trip that takes three weeks over primitive trails.

Ca. 1880

Remington as a young man sporting a wispy moustache.

Ca. 1880

Studio portrait of Eva Caten; photo by F. Girard, Gloversville, New York

1881

Russell falls in love with Lollie Edgar of Saint Louis, but in 1884 her father dissolves the courtship because she is too young and Russell too irresponsible.

In Helena Russell meets Jake Hoover, a prospector, hunter, and trapper who supplies meat to local ranchers and miners; Hoover hires Russell as a helper and takes the young man under his wing; they travel to the area of the upper Judith River, where Hoover has a cabin in Pig Eye Basin. Russell learns the ways of animals and helps with hunting and trapping; he watches the cabin and performs everyday tasks; amidst all this Russell finds time to model and draw.

From Wyoming Remington impetuously sends a small sketch on wrapping paper to Charles Parsons, the art director of Harper’s Weekly.

Russell acquires his pinto horse, Monte, from Piegan Indians.

August-September

Remington travels to the West for the first time to the Montana Territory, taking the Northern Pacific Railway to its terminus in the western part of the Dakota Territory and then the stage to Fort Keogh and Miles City. He goes by horseback to visit cattle ranches and the gold fields; he makes sketches as he goes.

October

Remington begins work in Albany as a clerk in the New York State Insurance Department.

Ca. 1881

Remington as a youthful cowboy in Peabody, Kansas.