The Old Wyoming West certainly had its eccentric people.

For example - that Wyoming governor who showed up to his inauguration proudly sporting shoes made from a hanged felon. He had skinned the corpse himself.

The year was 1881, and the outlaw George Parrott, who people called "Big Nose George," had been hanged in Rawlins, Wyoming after an attempted train robbery. Making his crimes worse, he killed two lawmen during the chase.  He then fled to Montana where he robbed the military convoy of a local merchant who was traveling with cash.

Big Nose might have actually gotten away with it, but then he got to bragging about his success at a local saloon. Consequently, he was captured when he returned to Wyoming.

Trial? We don't need no stinking trial. Big Nose was lynched and hanged on a telegraph pole by an angry mob of more than 200 people.

Nobody showed up to claim the body. That is when John Osborne, the doctor who pronounced him dead, decided to take the body home. Why not? The doctor claimed it was for reasons of "medical study."

He extracted Parrott's brain and gave it to a friend of his. What a thoughtful gift. The friend was a surgeon named Thomas Maghee, who wanted to study Parrott's "criminal brain."

Osborne then sawed off the top portion of Big Nose George's skull and gave it to Lillian Heath, a 15-year-old girl. At this point, things are getting more than just a little creepy. But Lillian actually kept the gift her entire life. She went on to become Wyoming's first female physician.

The bottom portion of Parrott's skull was dumped into a barrel with the rest of the bones.

Dr. Osborne then skinned Parrott's body and had a pair of shoes and medical bag made out of the human skin. The bag has never been found.

Several years later, Dr. Osborne was elected governor of Wyoming. At his 1893 inauguration he wore the shoes that a dozen years earlier had been a man.

Don't believe the story? You can see the shoes on display at the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins, Wyoming.

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