This book covers Walter’s life from cradle to grave, including his original birth certificate, to his first article in the 1914 Hunter Trader Trapper, and finally, his last Holiday Greetings letter in 1980. If you want to know the legend from head to toe, this is the book for you.
Although all know of Walter’s legacy of trapping, he was much more; an author, logger, farmer, fisher, hunter, guide, gummer, pearler, bottle hunter, historian, biologist, carpenter, lover of wildlife, fur farmer, ginseng hunter, goat trapper, stamp collector, air raid warden, reemployment committeeman, veteran, veterinarian, game warden, photographer, city slicker, bait dealer, house cat owner, school trustee, stockholder and mostly a man of common sense and good humor. Although trapping is included in this book, my goal is to shed light on the other parts of Walter’s life. He was easily quotable, making common sense and poignant comments about all aspects of life. I have included many of them. If a photograph caption is in quotes, it came from Walter. With all aspects of history, there are different points of view as to what happened when. This book is no different. Since I was not there when these events happened, all I can do is write what I found and let you, the reader, determine what you want to believe or disregard. At times, Walter wrote conflicting information. I contribute this to the passage of years and a memory that had the general thought of an event but may have lost the detail of time. I wanted to write this book because of the connection Walter had to the Triumph Trap Company. If you have read my other books, you will know all have that connection. With Walter, he was a jobber selling many of their traps. Because he was a writer as well, he was able to use that platform to advertise Triumph Traps. In my research, I have found no one else referred to large sized Triumph Traps as much as Walter did. He often included references about the Triumph No. 415, No. 415X, No. 31X and No. 42X Ranger in his articles. I have included many examples of those references. Please note that parts of this book are written about practices from long ago. Many of these practices are illegal or not socially acceptable today. My intent in including them is not to glorify them in any way. My intent is to show a picture of what the conditions were when Walter lived. Also, all towns are in Maine unless noted otherwise. Part of Walter’s legacy includes the contacts he made with numerous people through the course of his life. I have included several photographs of those people along with comments Walter made about them. Some of the photographs are of well-known trappers including EJ Dailey, Herb Lenon, Ed Danko, Pat Sedlak, V.E. Lynch, O.L. Butcher, Frank Terry, Oscar Cronk, Jim Mast, and others. Walter also corresponded with other notable trappers including George Thiessen, Edwin F. Keith, John Kleffman, Ed Howe, Claude E. Marble, Raymond Thompson, Willie T. Harmon, Walter A. Gibbs, Frances E. Adams, Gene Hill, and Pete Rickard. Walter’s trapping partners included his father, brother, Clifton McIntire, Adin Green, Bill Gourley, Walter Tozier, Stan Howland, Paul Stubbs Jr and Wendell Shaw. He was heavily influenced by his interaction with Margaret Brown Glassford, Howard Whiting, Charlie Temple, and Robert and Terris Moore. He had many pets, mostly wildlife, with one exception – Berg, a farm cat. His wildlife pets included Elmer Gnawwood – the beaver, Chuck – the woodchuck, Harry and Harriet – woodpeckers, Susie – deer, Gentleman Jim – Susie’s son, Red Wing – Susie’s daughter and Red – the fox. Photographs in this book were taken long ago by Walter or others. Many had imperfections on them. I did not try to enhance or repair the photographs as many were one of a kind. Over two hundred articles by and about Walter were researched for this book. I probably missed some that I do not know about. I know I missed one for sure unless it was never written. From November 1961 to September 1964, Walter had a series of articles in Fur Fish Game titled “From the Deacon Seat.” The first one was in November 1961 with a continuation in December 1961. Chapter Two was in the July 1962 issue and Chapter Four was in the September 1964 issue. I could not find Chapter Three in issues August 1962 to August 1964. Did he forget a chapter or did I miss it? If you find Chapter Three, I would be interested in a copy. Where space allowed, I included photos of Walter’s Friends and Customers throughout the book. I also included Walter’s comments. This is just a small sample of the best photographs and comments. Walter was easily quotable, so I will start the book with a quote that will lay the groundwork. In 1977, Walter made the following comment.
I have farmed and trapped and guided and run trout hatcheries and bossed the river and run a trapper’s mail order business and written four books on trapping and lived in the woods. Mister, I like to do things.
As you read through the book, I think you will agree the last sentence was an understatement