head

History & News

A Rock Springs man’s film career

6 youngsters sit sideways on a beam facing the camera. Rock Springs native Mickey Daniels, sits second from left, with other Our Gang cast members from the original silent film series.A grumpy man in a hat stares at a younger man holding a bottle pointed at the angry man. A couple looks on from the background with a confused expression. The scene depicts Mickey Daniels, the young man with the bottle, in 1932's Too Many Women.A movie poster for the 1935 film Roaring Roads, with Mickey Daniels receiving prominent billing. Text reads: 'Roaring motors and racy romance! William Berke presents: Roaring Roads. With David Sharpe, Gertrude Messinger, Mickey Daniels, Mary Kornman. Directed by C. Edward Roberts and Raymond Nazarao. Distributed by Ajax Pictures Corporation.' The top drawing depicts Mickey Daniels with a young women in a hat with her arm around him making a kissing face. The bottom image depicts a man with racing googles as an older women leans over him.The city of Rock Springs is pictured with a prominent image of the Rock Springs coal sign in the top left. The Rialto Theater, circled at right, circa 1930, as evidenced by the featured film Up the River, starring Spencer Tracy and Claire Luce. Now long gone, the Rialto was located on South Main Street in Rock Springs just west of South Main’s intersection with C Street.

Photo #1 - Rock Springs native Mickey Daniels, second from left, and other Our Gang cast members from the original silent film series

 

Photo #2 - Mickey Daniels, second from left, in 1932's Too Many Women

 

Photo #3 - Daniels received prominent billing for Roaring Roads (1935)

 

Photo #4 - The Rialto Theater, circled at right, circa 1930, as evidenced by the featured film Up the River, starring Spencer Tracy and Claire Luce. Now long gone, the Rialto was located on South Main Street in Rock Springs just west of South Main’s intersection with C Street.

 

(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - April 9, 2022)     One of the hardworking volunteers at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River recently came across a portrait of a young man named Mickey Daniels and inquired about who he was. Daniels, from Rock Springs, was a prolific film actor in the 1920s and 1930s

In 2019 museum staff prepared an article about Daniels and his career, which was the subject of a special updated release on Saturday.

Rock Springs native broke into the movies in 1922

At least one Rock Springs native was able to break into the movies, and he did it after appearing at the Rialto Theater in the early 1920s.

Mickey Daniels, born Richard Daniels, Jr. in Rock Springs on October 11, 1914, was the son of Richard Daniels, himself an actor born in Wales, and his wife Hannah. Mickey started performing young, and he was spotted by a talent agent during a performance at the Rialto Theater on South Main Street in 1921. (Like many theaters of the time, the Rialto offered live entertainment as well as films.)

By the next year he’d been signed by producer Hal Roach for the groundbreaking Our Gang series, whose stars were a group of loveable, ragtag kids.

Daniels appeared in over 100 short and feature films between 1922 and 1941. Film buffs in particular remember him as Mickey the Truant Officer in 1933's Fish Hooky, one episode of the Our Gang series later syndicated on television.

Daniels left acting in the 1940s and died in San Diego, California, in 1970.

A YouTube video about Daniels and his film career can be found at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECSRz-9UOko .

A Reliance Snapshot

Picture of two men in front of a forge. Text reads: Blacksmith John Bastalich, at left, at work in Reliance in 1913. Born in what would become Yugoslavia in 1888, he and his wife Sophia had 6 children: Elynor, Lillian, William, Carl, James, and Eileen. The identity of the man at right is unknown.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS BUDGET MEETING

Text reads: April 2, 2022. Museum Board meeting scheduled. The Sweetwater County Historical Museum Board of Directors will hold a special virtual budget meeting at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, April 5th. The public is invited to attend the meeting on GoToMeeting at goto.com. THose with questions are encouraged to call the museum at 307-872-6435.

The Sweetwater County Historical Museum Board of Directors is having a special budget meeting on Tuesay, April 5th at 5 P.M. via GoToMeeting. The link will be posted for the meeting.

A Rock Springs judge and his guns

Colt Model 1878 double-action revolver, a six-shot .45, engraved and fitted with a lanyard loop. The metal body of the weapon is covered in foliage like engravings.Nickel-finished Iver Johnson Second Model Safety Hammerless pocket revolver in superlative condition, once the property of Rock Springs pioneer David G. Thomas.A two-barreled Remington Model 95 derringer. It is much smaller than the other guns pictured.A black and white photo of Judge David G. Thomas in a suit, tie, and simple mustache.

Photo #1 - Colt Model 1878 double-action revolver, a six-shot .45, engraved and fitted with a lanyard loop

Photo #2 - Nickel-finished Iver Johnson Second Model Safety Hammerless pocket revolver in superlative condition, once the property of Rock Springs pioneer David G. Thomas

Photo #3 - An old west classic - a two-barreled Remington Model 95 derringer

Photo #4 - Judge David G. Thomas

(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - March 28, 2022)     Three classic antique handguns that belonged to a prominent Rock Springs pioneer were recently examined through the Sweetwater County Historical Museum’s Vintage Firearms Research Program.

David Griffiths Thomas was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1857 and came to Rock Springs as a young man in 1878, when he went to work for the Union Pacific Coal Company while he studied law on his own. After becoming an attorney, he went on to a long and distinguished career, serving as Prosecuting of Attorney of Uinta County, followed by service as County and Prosecuting Attorney of Sweetwater County, six years as State Coal Mine Inspector, a member of the last Wyoming territorial legislature, Superintendent of the U.P. Coal’s mines in the Rock Springs District, Mayor of Rock Springs, and Justice of the Peace. Judge Thomas died in his Rock Springs home in 1935, age 77.

Museum staff identified the largest of Judge Thomas’s three handguns as a fully-engraved .45-caliber, double-action Colt Model 1878 revolver, manufactured late in 1884. Colt’s single-action Model 1873 Single Action Army, the standard American army issue at the time, had been a major success and the Model 1878 was one of Colt’s early attempts to break into the double-action market. (A single-action revolver must be manually cocked for each shot; double-actions are fired with a long trigger pull.)  Colt produced just over 51,000 of the big pistols; production ceased in 1905.

  

Next was a five-shot Iver Johnson Second Model Safety Hammerless, a double-action revolver with a bright nickeled finish in .38 Smith & Wesson. The Safety Hammerless was a highly popular, inexpensive pocket revolver that fired only in the double-action mode. Judge Thomas’s Iver Johnson was manufactured around the turn of the 20th century. Modern shooters will take note of the revolver’s “trigger safety,” a feature today of many striker-fired semi-automatic pistols such as the Glock.

The third of Judge Thomas’s pistols was one of the most iconic and instantly-recognized of American frontier-era handguns, a two-barreled Remington Mode 95 derringer, manufactured from 1866 to 1935. Museum staff identified the Thomas derringer as a Type II, also called a “Model 3,” made between 1888 and 1911. The Model 95 was a two-shot chambered for the .41 rimfire cartridge. A single-action break-open with a rotating firing pin, it was easily concealed in a vest or pants pocket.  A short video illustrating how the Model 95 functioned can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-owZZ3quUs&t=4s

Those with a vintage firearm (or firearms) who would like to learn more about are encouraged to contact the museum at (307) 872-6435 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There is no charge for the Museum’s Vintage Firearms Research Program.