Russell Sage Carter ‘From Pawnee Bill to the Moon’, About the Author


Following is the first installment of parts of a book my step grandfather, the late Russell Sage, wrote way back in 1973. He was an amazing man for sure. The first installment concerns an intro by a close friend. I tried to hold true to the manner in which the book was written, misspellings and all.

About the Author

Howdy, My name is Tom T Turnback. I am 90 years old. I am writing this “WHATYEMAYCALLUM” in the year 1970. I lived and grew up with RUSSELL SAGE CARTER the author of FROM PAWNEE BILL TO THE MOON. My Dad made the two races for free land into Oklahoma with Russells Dad in 1889 and again in 1893. Every time the men found land which suited them there would be a DAM SOONER already squatting on it, with two six shooters to back up his squatters rights… Eventually finding what they wanted south of Pawnee in the Cherokee Strip, Carter found a sooner who was homesick and traded a farm in Missouri for Gus Bradleys relinquishment on his illegally staked claim. As we had rode our horses hard for several days, we let them rest as we walked the six miles into Pawnee. Hoping to find someone at the SALoon, the only gathering place in town, who could help write a contract and witness the signatures. Well there was no one in the crowd that could read or write, so the men said “To hell with a contract, if a mans word aint no good his signature aint no better” So they shook hands over a glass of whiskey and called it a deal. Each man had two six shooters strapped on their hips.

I was 12 yrs. old at the time, there was no house on Carters land. So Beins as how Carter could speak the Indians language and being a half breed Chickasaw himself, he naturally was loved by the Indians, Seeing that the white squaw was heavy with child, Old Chief Sitting Bull of the Pawnees let Carter move from the covered wagons into his own deerhide Teepee, Where three nights later Russell Sage was born, My Maw help the old Indian midwife with the delivery.

I spent the next twenty years, living – working with the author, We worked as cowboys on many ranches scattered across the southwest, sleeping out in the open more nights than we ever slept in a house. Contracting to break and tame wild horses for the fabulous price of one dollar a head. And working for the famous old Indian friend and Scout Pawnee Bill.

We lived with many of the Indian tribes whenever and wherever we were near them. We learned to speak their language, I married a Pawnee, and the Kid wanted to marry a Cheyenne but never quiet got around to it.

In the book “FROM PAWNEE BILL TO THE MOON” the author who lived through this period, tells the story as he would to a bunch of cowboys drinking black coffee around a camp fire out on the bald prarie. in his own relaxed manner and narrative style.

About forsythkid

I am just a simple man with a head full of sand who is currently residing in a small town called Forsyth Missouri. I enjoy hiking, camping and all things related to gardening. I rec’d my degree from SIU majoring in Biology many moons ago and still maintain a great interest in the study of all living things. My hobbies include meteorology, the Finnish language and inhabiting cyberspace whenever possible.
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29 Responses to Russell Sage Carter ‘From Pawnee Bill to the Moon’, About the Author

  1. Kaye Colello says:

    Looking for more information on Russell Sage Carter and Minnie. Did they have any children? When were they born? When did Minnie pass away?

    Thank you.

    Kaye Colello (Gates)

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  2. Cheyenne Moran says:

    I think we might be related because Russell’s mother is Sarah Johnson and that’s who we are related to. It is all in our ancestry book. Is there a way that we can contact you? We would like more information. Thank you!

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    • forsythkid says:

      Sure! I’ll send you and email.

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    • Sherrie says:

      I am Russell Carter’s granddaughter. I can send what information I have.

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      • forsythkid says:

        Thank you so much! That would be great – my direct email is Forsythkid@Gmail.com

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      • Deborah says:

        Anyone with any information/pictures, please send to me. Russell is my Mothers 2nd cousin. Her name: Ina Irene Green. Maiden name – Hollingsworth. Her Mother: Lilly Hollingsworth. Maiden: Brown

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      • Tammy Heidelberger says:

        He was my grandfather’s (Charles Albert Carter, son of Arthur Burgoin Carter) uncle. My mom may have some information but I’m not sure about pictures.

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      • Sherrie says:

        We are having family health issues right now. I will try to get information and pictures to you by the end of the week. One of my cousins married a Hollingsworth. Wonder if there is a connection there too.
        Sherrie

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      • Sherrie says:

        I have family pictures and genealogy report I can e mail you if I had an email address.

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      • Sherrie says:

        I have all Russel’s books. He started the books after I suggested he record some of his experiences on a tape recorder I gave him. I then typed his stories up from his tapes. I thought it would be a rough draft and he would write on them and change them, then I would retype them for final form. WRONG! He wanted a final form the first time so he took his tapes to Southwest Missouri State College and the typing class used them for training. The students typed up his tapes and gave him the final pages. Russell asked my sister to do sketches form him. She did one (wagons coming down a hill) but Russell thought it was too dark. He did all the other sketches himself. He had all pages copied and he collated them, glued them and put the covers on them himself in his garage. He gave copies to Senators, Congressmen, college libraries and sold them from his home to family and friends by word of mouth. If someone important ordered a book they got the book but he did not cash their check. I found several of these checks in his papers. He had shoe boxes full of envelopes and letters that people sent him when they ordered his books.

        I admit to not reading all of his books from cover to cover. There were 5 total. “From Pawnee Bill to the Moon” was the first.

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  3. Bruce Schnake says:

    My grandmother was Zelma Carter. I received a copy of “From Pawnee Bill to the Moon” from my father (Zelma’s son). I have lost the book somewhere along the way. Can you tell me if Zelma was related to Russell Carter, and how? Also, can the book be found anywhere? Thank you!

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    • forsythkid says:

      I’m sorry that I did not know Russell’s side of the family well. As a small boy, I spent time with them in Springfield on his small farm where I learned to shoot. Then, I lost touch for many years during the 80’s until I moved back to Mo. in ’91. I have single copies of Russell’s books that were signed and given to my parents shortly after they were produced. I cherish these as they are reminders of a time when the country was young and headstrong.

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    • Sherrie says:

      Russell was my Grandfather. I have a Zelma Ann Carter born May 8, 1909 in Lawrence Co, MO. She was married to Walter Leroy Schnake April 16, 1930. Walter was born October 29, 1909 in Lawrence Co,MO and died December 13, 1961 in Camp Springs, Maryland. His Great Great Grandfather was Calob Carter who was Russell Carters Great Grandfather. So Zelma and Russell are related – way back. The book is no longer in print.

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      • Bruce Schnake says:

        Zelma and Walter were my grandparents on my father’s side, so you have the right part of the Carter tree. Is it Calob or Caleb? Also, I saw the book on Amazon for $196!

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      • Bruce Schnake says:

        If you have information regarding Zelma Ann(e)? Carter’s family, I would love to see it. You can contact me at Bruschnake@aol.com. Thanks so much for the information!

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  4. Sherrie says:

    I have no information on Zemla’s children. I would like to add that information to my geneology report. I got most of my information from work Russell did. I am sure he sent the book to Zelma’s son.

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  5. Caleb Carter says:

    I was wondering if you had any more information on the family genealogy. My name is Caleb Russell Carter, named after the man mentioned born in 1789. I was born in 1988, son of Jack Russell Carter, son of Courts Russell Carter, son of Russell Sage Carter. Russell was my great-grandfather. Wow, I’ve never mentioned myself with that kind of introduction before. Felt like I should be sweating fealty to a king or something. I was just trying to get a feel for what he was like as a person. I never had the opportunity to meet him, and I would like to get a copy of his books so I could read them myself.

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  6. melinda eckard says:

    My grandmother was Russell Sage Carters niece Margreat Dick she would go visit him often I only know of him because of they stories that she would come back and tell. I Know of Both Books She did have them and read both to us

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    • Tammy Heidelberger says:

      Can you document and share any of the stories? Do you know how we can get copies or digital copies of these books? I am doing a very detailed family tree. Tammy Bain Heidelberger
      Triswestam2000@yahoo.com

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      • forsythkid says:

        I will attempt to locate the books after the weather warms – I had to move recently and a lot of my stuff got lost in the process. If they still exist, they would be in a storage area I plan to go through later this spring.

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  7. Charlotte Carter Bain says:

    This is very interesting. I am working on our family history now (2015), and Russell S. Carter was my father’s Uncle. My dad, Charles Albert Carter, he added the Charles himself, talked a lot about Uncle Russell, his father was Arthur Bergoin Carter. In 1982 I was able to tour Carter’s Grove Plantation in Williamsburg, Va. with my parents, it was great to go through. I would love to get any other installments on this book.

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  8. Barbara Malinowski says:

    My grandmother who died in 1966 was his sister. Remember him well. Visit him often in Missouri. He raced power boats in the Lake of the Ozarks. Owned a motel in Missouri and raised turkeys. He would visit my grandmother Leona (CARTER) Cosper in Fort Collins , Colorado and her cabin up the Big Thompson Canyon outside of Loveland , Colorado. I have both books signed by him and love them. His niece (Margaret Elsie Dick) died in 2009. I remember my greatgrandmother Sarah, She lived with my grandmother on her farm and in Fort Collins. Both are buried in Colorado Springs Colorado. Barbara (Dick) Malinowski

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  9. Tammy Heidelberger says:

    I would love the pictures and genealogy reports too please. trisaddi@me.com

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