Hero, Murderer, Or Legend? Wyoming Celebrates Tom Horn This Weekend
Many books have been written and controversy still surrounds the story of Wyoming's Tom Horn.
Today the legend of Tom Horn is celebrated each year in Bosler, Wyoming.
August 12th through the 14th Bosler will celebrate this rich Tom Horn Days. Three days of action-packed events featuring concerts, pasture bronc riding, pasture team roping, muley roping, stray gathering, camping, vendors, Sunday morning cowboy church, area history presentations from local historians, and more.
Since 1874 when the Swan Brothers formed Swan Land and Cattle Company, and other big cattlemen such as Ora Haley, Bosler and Coble invested in vast tracts of rich Wyoming grasslands, cowboys have been on the job day and night riding the rough string, pushing cows, and gathering, branding, and shipping. The rich heritage of the Laramie Plains around Bosler, WY is steeped in this history, including being the part time headquarters of stock detective Tom Horn. (Tom Horn Days Website).
Was he a hero? Was he a villain? It depends on who you ask. It depends on what part of his life you are looking at.
Thomas Horn, Jr., (November 21, 1860 – November 20, 1903) was an American scout, cowboy, soldier, range detective, and Pinkerton agent in the 19th-century and early 20th-century American Old West.
He is believed to have committed 17 killings as a hired gunman throughout the West.
Horn was convicted in 1902 of the murder of 14-year-old Willie Nickell near Iron Mountain, Wyoming. Willie was the son of sheep rancher Kels Nickell, who had been involved in a range feud with neighbor and cattle rancher Jim Miller.
On the day before his 43rd birthday, Horn was executed by hanging in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Was he guilty or not? That is still debated today.