I case you missed it, today is the 110th anniversary of the death of notorious Wyoming bad boy (and wearer of a fantastic ‘stache) Tom Horn. Rather than doing a standard bio for such a well know figure, how about a few illustrated fun facts?
Did you know….
1. Horn wrote an autobiography called A Vindication: Life of Tom Horn while in jail? The book was posthumously published by John C. Coble.
2. Horn served in Cuba during the Spanish-American War?
3. There is an (incorrect) rumor that Horn shot Steamboat, the legendary bucking horse? The story goes that the old horse was so well loved that when the time came to put him down, no one had the heart to shoot him. So they dragged Horn, the most cold-hearted man they could find, out of jail and made him do it. There are clearly a couple of big holes in this story, but the largest may be the dates. Horn died in 1903, a full 11 years before Steamboat’s demise in 1914.
4. Horn’s trial is one of the few from that time period in Wyoming where the trial transcript was preserved? The nearly 1 cubic foot of material is available at the Archives.
5. Horn had a talent for braiding horsehair? He was well known for this skill and many examples of his work can be seen in museum collections.
6. The gallows upon which Horn was hanged was designed so that the convict would hang himself?
7. The 3rd Territorial Legislative Assembly met in the same building where Horn was hung? When the 3rd Territorial Legislature convened in 1873, the Capitol Building had not yet been built. The 9 councilmen and 13 representatives met in the newly constructed Laramie County Courthouse. This original building has since been razed, but the current Laramie County Courthouse Complex sits on the same block.
8. Horn escaped from jail? He was recaptured before he got too far and was escorted back to jail by a large crowd.
9. There was a black man on Horn’s jury? His name was Charles Tolson.
10. Steve McQueen, who portrayed Horn in the 1980 movie , Tom Horn, was married in Cheyenne? McQueen claimed that he chose the location because he liked the way Cheyenne looked as the location for the news stories.