Cy Warman

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Cy Warman (June 22, 1855 – April 7, 1914) was an American journalist and author known during his life by the appellation "The Poet of the Rockies".[1][2]


Cy (Cyrus) Warman was born on a homestead to John and Nancy Askew Warman of Greenup, Illinois. He was educated at the common schools there and later became a farmer. Warman married Ida Blanch Hays of St. Jacob, Illinois in 1879.

In 1880, after failing as a wheat broker in Pocahontas, Illinois, Mr. Warman migrated to Denver, Colorado where the Colorado Silver Mining Boom was in progress. There, Warman worked for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad progressing from a "wiper" (charged with keeping the engine area clean) to locomotive fireman and later to railroad engineer. These experiences became the basis for many of his early writings.

In 1888, Mr. Warman became editor of the publication Western Railway. He sold his interest in Western Railway in March 1892 and relocated to Creede, Colorado at the height of the Creede mining boom. There, he founded the Creede Daily Chronicle.[3][4]

Warman achieved national recognition in 1892 when, after riding from New York City to Chicago in the cab of the locomotive The Exposition Flyer, he wrote his first railroad story, "A Thousand Miles in a Night" for McClure's Magazine.[5] This was the first of a series of widely popular "True Tales of the Railroad" articles written for McClure's.

Warman's first wife, Ida, died in 1887. Warman remarried in 1892 to Miss Marie Myrtle Jones. Miss Jones inspired the lines for "Sweet Marie", a song which became a popular success in 1893 and was later featured in the 1947 film Life With Father starring Irene Dunne and William Powell.[6][7][8][9]

Warman's writing also attracted the attention of the editors of the New York Sun. The Sun sponsored him in a journey of over 500 miles on horseback throughout the San Juan mining district of Colorado. The writings inspired by this journey were then published as regular and occasional pieces by The Sun.

For two years after his early successes, Warman traveled in Europe and the Far East as well as Alaska. Upon his return, he lived in Washington for several years and finally built a home in London, Ontario where he lived until his death in 1914.


In the winter of 1913-1914, Warman was stricken with paralysis while in a hotel in Chicago. He died several months later at the St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago after having been acutely ill for several weeks.[10]

Partial List of Works[edit]

Books And Pamphlets[edit]

Journals and Periodicals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Obituary Notes". The Publishers' Weekly. New York, NY: R. R. Bowers Company. LXXXV (15): 1254. April 11, 1914. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ "A Railroad Engineer Writes Verses: The Poet of the Rockies", San Francisco Call, June 14, 1893, retrieved May 17, 2012 
  3. ^ "Mr. Nunn Goes To Denver", Aspen Daily Chronicle, p. 4, March 10, 1892, retrieved May 16, 2012 
  4. ^ "New Paper For Creede", The Aspen Daily Chronicle, p. 3, February 17, 1892, retrieved May 16, 2012 
  5. ^ Warman, Cy (January 1894). "A Thousand-Mile Ride on the Engine of the Swiftest Train in the World: From New York to Chicago in the Cab of the Exposition Flyer". McClure's Magazine. S.S. McClure, Limited. II (2): 164–184. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ Vore, Elizabeth (February 1901). "Cy Warman and His Boys". The Overland Monthly. San Francisco, CA: Frederick Marriott. XXXVII (2): 674–675. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ Composer: Moore, Raymon; Lyricist: Warman, Cy (1893), Sweet Marie, Manhattan Music Publishing Co., retrieved May 16, 2012 
  8. ^ "Cy Warman at Buffalo Meeting". Locomotive Firemen's Magazine. XXIII (5): 449. November 1897. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Soundtrack for "Life With Father"". Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Poet of Rockies Dies in Chicago", Telluride Daily Journal, p. 4, April 7, 1914 

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