[Note: This entry was previously cooster n 3.]
cooster n1 Also cooster wagon Also sp kooster [Supposedly from the nickname of the inventor, James Julius Svendsen, though there is apparently no independent evidence that the nickname antedated the vehicle; see quot 1991, which was written by Svendsen’s grandson.] WY hist
A two- or four-wheeled covered vehicle towed behind a string of wagons and serving as living quarters for the freighter, in its four-wheeled form practically identical with a typical sheep wagon n.
1906 St. Nicholas 33.1144 WY, While traveling we had what is called a sheep wagon or “Cooster.” This vehicle is used by the sheep herders of Wyoming. . . Inside is a bed, table, seats and a stove. 1907 NW Miller 70.668/4 WY, Let it be explained that a “kooster” is a light wagon lashed at the rear of a freighter’s outﬁt, in which he carriers [sic] his food, spare clothing (if he has any), bedding and other supplies. 1909 Natrona Co. Tribune (Casper WY) 20 Jan 1/4, O. J. Brigham . . was found dead in his “kooster” by Pete Fisher, another freighter. . . Messrs. Brigham and Fisher were on their return from the Pathfinder project where they had been with freight. 1910 Johnson Highways Rocky Mts. 181 WY, I have three wagons . . hitched one behind the other, and back of those is a cooster—a canvas-covered two-wheeled cart in which I cook and sleep and carry what things I need on the road. 1918 Casper Daily Tribune (WY) 9 Dec 7/5, [Advt:] For Sale—One 2-wheel Cooster in good repair. 1951 Casper Tribune–Herald (WY) 17 Sept 20/2, A Casper pioneer, the late J. J. Svendsen is credited with building the first sheep wagon. . . His first wagons were two-wheeled trailers which were part of the string team freight outfits, and they were called “coosters,” and Mr. Svendsen was nick-named “Cooster Svendsen.” Later as their worth was recognized by sheepmen, they were standardized and made in much the form one finds today. 1962 Annals WY 34.116 (as of 1900-1910), Clutching a present, I remember climbing up into the “cooster” wagon that was her home. 1976 Sublette Co. Artist Guild More Tales 160 WY (as of c1900), The better outfits had what was called a “Cooster.” . . This was either a two-wheeled or a four-wheeled unit resembling an old fashioned sheep wagon. This was the living quarters. 1991 Western Horseman June 58 WY, Cooster [=James Julius Svendsen] designed and built a covered wagon for use in the freight business. The vehicle had two wheels mounted in the rear. . . He named the vehicle the Cooster wagon.