William Sublette was the eldest of five brothers. It’s possible his having a handful of brothers developed in him a much more sociable attitude than most mountain men.
When William was 24 he started on his ventures as a member of fur trader, William Ashley’s second expedition up the Missouri River. It was a disaster with Indians killing and wounding many of the traders and taking most of their supplies. But, shortly afterward, Sublette was back in the same area, this time with Jedediah Smith. For safety, they took what was to become the South Pass through the Rocky Mountains.
By the age of 27 Sublette was an experienced mountain man. So, he and some others purchased Ashley’s fur trading company.
On May 12, 1832 William went to a rendezvous at Pierre’s Hole, Idaho. He traded goods and had a reunion with his brother, Milton. The middle of July, Milton and some other trappers headed out to the Snake River. The trappers ran into a group of Indians. One of the men shot a chief, which resulted in an all out battle.
Word got back to the rendezvous, and Sublette and 200 men came to the rescue. They attacked the Indians head-on. Unfortunately, the well entrenched Indians killed 32 trappers. In the process Sublette was wounded in the face by an arrow. From that time forward he had the nickname “Cut-face."
Four years later Sublette returned to civilization, and became a businessman, gentleman farmer and politician in St. Louis, Missouri until he died of tuberculosis in 1845.