Jigger Bob

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Jigger Bob was a Paiute Indian who worked for the Pyramid Lake Police. His father was from Pyramid Lake and his mother was from the area that later became Gerlach.[1]

In 1918, Jigger Bob was in the Indian Service Police and paid $20 per month.[2]

Park uses Jigger Bob as a source in his ethnographic notes on the Northern Paiute.[1]

Mergen[3] repeats two stories told by Jigger Bob to Frank McCulloch and recounted in Nevada Magazine in 1947[4]. Mergen also includes a portrait of Jigger Bob by Robert Caples.

Birth Year

His birth year has been reported as 1822 and as 1857, below is a discussion of his birth year.

  • The 1900 Census reports that he was 50 years old and married to Juda Bob, age 40. [5]
  • The 1910 census reports that he was 62 years old (birth year estimated as 1848) and married to Judy, age 50.[6]
  • The 1918 Indian Census has Jigger Bob being born in 1857.[7]
  • The 1920 census has Jigger Bob being 63 and Juddy being 59.[8]
  • In 1933, he was claiming that he was over 100 years old.[1]
  • Hermann states that there was a cross with the name Jigger Bobb on it and the date August 24, 1936 in the Nixon cemetary.[9] However, the October 10, 1935 newspaper states that he had died before that date. [10]. The Nixon Cemetary Findagrave site does not list him.[11] Hermann states that that he lived until 114! [12]
  • An October 10, 1935 newspaper article states that Jigger Bob died at the Stewart Hospital, presumably at Stewart Indian School, south of Carson City. The article states that he was said to have met Fremont's expedition in 1945. The article states that there are some doubts his claim of being born in 1822, it states that about 15 years previously (ca 1920), Major Creel (father of Cecil Creel of the agricultural extension service) spent several days on the reservation looking for an Indian who may have witnessed the 1860 battle where Major Ormsby was killed. Creel reported that he only found one, who at the time was a boy of 12.[10]

Jigger Bob vs. Jigger Bobb

There is some question as to whether his last name was Bob or Bobb. Most sources use Bob [5] [13] [6] [2] [7] [8] [10] [1] [12] [14] [15] [16] [17] [3], though some use Bobb. [18] [19] [9]

Was Jigger his last name or first name?

The Reno 1920-21 directory lists his name as "Jigger, Robt".[20]

Why Jigger?

Websites associated with buckaroos report that a Jigger Boss was the second in command.[21]. Jigger Bob was at one time perhaps Dave Numaga's right hand man, but this could just be a coincidence.[14]

Jigger Bobb Canyon

Jigger Bobb Canyon was named for Jigger Bob.[18] In 1979, the name was determined to be Jigger Bobb Canyon, not Jigger Bob Canyon.[19]

The Sutcliffe 1957 map is the earliest map that shows Jigger Bob Canyon. [15]


There are at a few photos and drawings that mention Jigger Bob.[16] [17] [22] [3] [13] [23]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Willard Zerbe Park, Catherine S. Fowler, Willard Z. Park's ethnographic notes on the Northern Paiute of western Nevada, 1933-1940 , Volume 1 p. xxiii. Parents and age in 1933. $17.00
  2. 2.0 2.1 United States Civil Service Commission, "Official Register of the United States 1915 Directory," 1918.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bernard Mergen, "At Pyramid Lake," p. 257-260, 2014
  4. Frank McCulloch, "How the Great Spearhead Came to Pyramid Lake", Nevada Magazine, August, 1947
  5. 5.0 5.1 United States Census, 1900 Nevada Washoe ED 51 Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation."
  6. 6.0 6.1 United States Census, 1910 Nevada Washoe Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation ED 78."
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Volume Reel 289 - Indians of North America--Census; Native American Census - Nevada (Paiute Indians): 1906-7, 1909-21," page 61.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "United States Census, 1920 Nevada Washoe Reno ED 44."
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ruth Hermann, "The Paiutes of Pyramid Lake: A Narrative Concerning a Western Nevada Indian Tribe," 1972. Uses Jigger Bobb.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Reno Gazette-Journal, "What Jigger Bob may have seen,"Reno, Nevada, p. 4, October 10, 1935.
  11. Nixon Cemetary," Findagrave.com.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Nevada Outdoor School, "Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Profiles: Pioneers, John C. Fremont," Jigger Bob lived to be 114. This document states that Jigger Bob met Fremont and guided Fremont towards where the Truckee River empties into Pyramid Lake. However, "The expeditions of John Charles Frémont," p. 607 mentions a guide but does not name the guide. This document cites Hermann (1972), so there could be more information there.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Nevada State Journal, "Educating the Indian on Pyramid Lake Reservation," Reno, Nevada, p. 10, July 18, 1909.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Nevada Outdoor School, "Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Profiles: Pioneers, Captain Dave," "Captain Dave had six men stationed about that area, Jigger Bob was among these men, although they had no arresting authority."
  15. 15.0 15.1 Sutcliffe (1957, Rp. 1964) Map.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Nevada Historical Society Photography Collection, WA490 Photo, "Butchered Hog Mr Gerlach at right Paiute Jigger Bob from PL Indian Police c 1910"
  17. 17.0 17.1 University of Nevada, Reno. UNRS-P2710-124," "Lorenzo D. Creel with four men. Man to Creel's right is same man as in photo #29, 30, 31 and 34. Pyramid Lake. Nevada, 1918. [Identification supplied by Paiute elder: Jigger Bob, far right, from Big Canyon; "used to holler around" to show he was coming; Joe Mandel, far left] (See also #5112 and #5308)"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Jigger Bobb Canyon, GNIS
  19. 19.0 19.1 Decisions on geographic names in the United States," no.7901-8204, 1979-82. "Jigger Bobb Canyon: canyon, 10.5 km (6.8 mi.) long, heads at 39 59'00" N, 119 42'55" W, trends N to open out W of Pyramid Lake; named for a Paiute Indian reported to have been born near Pyramid Lake in 1822; Washoe Co.; Nev.; sec. 1, T 25 N, R 20 E, Mount Diablo Mer.; 40 03'37" N, 119 41'30" W. Not: Jigger Bob Canyon"
  20. Reno, Washoe Cty, Nevada 1920-21 City Directory Page 232 lists "Jigger, Robt, patrol".
  21. "Cowboys and Buckaroos - People Terms The People and the Land," retrieved 2017-02-05.
  22. Russ Lindsay, "Robert Cole Capes: Rooted in Nevada," Jigger Bob image (ca 1930).
  23. Steuben Republican, "Life Among the Indians," Angola, Indiana, p. 2, August 18, 1909. Better quality photo.