The street closest to the viewer on the right, is Cedar, to its left is Buffalo, and at the far left is
In the early days of Wyoming, all business transactions were done in cash. Thus,
as an example all payrolls for the Railroad were carried in cash. Bullion from the San Francisco
mint would be carried in a safe in the mail car. This, unfortunately, as in the
instance of the stages on the Deadwood Stage road, made tempting targets. One of the
more bizarre episodes in Wyoming History related to the attempted robbery of the
No. 3 Westbound train near Carbon by "Dutch Charley" and "Big Nose George Parrott." The robbery was unsuccessful, however,
one railroad employee was killed. Ultimately, Dutch Charley was captured but was removed by residents of Carbon from the
train on which he was being taken to Rawlins for trial. At the hanging the widow of the
railroad employee kicked the barrel out from under Dutch Charley to finish Charley's
The mortal remains of Big Nose George Parrott, Carbon County Museum
About two years later Big Nose was captured in Montana and was
returned to Rawlins by James Rankin for trial. After Big Nose was sentenced to death, he unsuccessfully attempted to
escape. Nevertheless, the citizenry of Rawlins left nothing to chance and promptly
held a festivity for Big Nose at the corner of Front and Third Streets.
The first effort using a Kerosine barrel was unsucessful. On the second attempt Big Nose was made to ascend
a ladder leaning against a telegraph pole to which the rope was tied.
When the ladder was pulled out from under him, Big Nose managed to get his hands
free and cling to the pole where he begged for some one to take mercy and shoot him. No one did.
Big Nose tired, let go and strangled to death. According to Hubert Howe Bancroft's 1890
History of Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming, 1540-1888, two of Big Nose's compatriots, Jim Lacy and a gentleman named
"Opium Bob" were also guests of honor at
similar festivities. A third compatriot, "Tex" Carter allegedly was successful in escaping and later became a
lawman in Nebraska.
Bill Nye, editor of the Laramie Boomerang, reported the hanging of Big Nose:
"A letter written from the east and addressed to this office asks if we can give any
information as to the whereabouts of Big Nose George. We cannot give any definite information, but the
last seen of him he was standing on a flour barrel near a telegraph pole, and a man
with a stopwatch was standing near him and preparing to kick the flour barrel from under
him. It is thought that the man with abnormal nasal protuberance has gone somewhere by telegraph.
An inquest was conducted to determine who hosted the party. The coroner's jury met. The verdict:
TERRITORY OF WYOMING
Following the execution, local physicians, John E. Osborne, Thomas Maghee, and Lillian Nelson, the first woman
physician in Wyoming, conducted an autopsy for the purpose of determining whether there
were any visible criminal abnormalities in Big Nose's brain. In examining the brain it was necessary to cut
off the skull cap which Dr. Nelson later used as an ashtray and doorstop before it found repose in
the Union Pacific Museum in Omaha. Dr. Osborne had Big Nose's hide tanned and made into
a medical bag and a pair of shoes now in the Carbon County Museum, photo above left. The rest of Big Nose's remains were kept in a whiskey
barrel which after several years was buried near Dr. Osborne's medical office
COUNTY OF CARBON
At an inquisition holden at Rawlins, in Carbon County on the 23rd day of March,
A.D. 1881, before me. A.G. Edgerton, coroner for said county, upon the body of George
Parrott, alias Big Nose George, lying dead, by the jurors whose names hereunto subscribed,
the said jurors upon their oath to say that said Parrott, alias Big Nose George, was forcibly
taken from the jail by a party of masked men to us unknown, taken to a telegraph pole and there
hung by the neck with a rope until he was dead.
In testimony whereof the said jurors have hereunto set their hands the day and year
Mule trains, Rawlins, departing for Ft. Washakie and Lander, 1890
On the left, the one story building is Dr. Osborne's medical office and drug store. Next to the Capitol, a gambling
the Bon Ton Saloon and to the right is a photography studio. The advantage of mule trains over
ox drawn wagon trains was speed; that is while mule trains could not pull the loads of ox drawn trains they were much
faster in speed. A mule train could overtake and pass ox trains.
Big Nose George
In 1892, Osborne was elected as Wyoming's first Democratic state governor. In one sense, it may
be said that Osborne sneaked into the Governor's Office when the Republicans were
not looking. Returns from Converse and Fremont Counties were delayed and, thus, in a scene reminiscent
of a recent election in another state, the State Cavassing Board was unable to
certify the results. Taking matters into his own hands, Osborne on December 2, took the oath of
office before a notary public and allegedly crawled along a ledge of the State House and crawled
through a window into the Governor's Office and refused to leave, fearful that
Acting Governor Barber would again take possession of the office. One source, indicates, however, that
Osborne did not really sneak in; he hired a young boy to crawl along the ledge, climb
through the window, and let him in. The scene culminated with a wrestling match between
Acting Governor Barber's secretary, R. H. Repath, and Osborne for possession of the
key to the office.
John Eugene Osborne
Osborne's election was probably more prompted
by the panic of 1892 and public reaction to the Johnson County War,
rather than to Osborne's actions with regard to Big Nose. In the
panic of 1892 many mining interests went broke. Allegedly,
Gov. Osborne wore the shoes to the inaugural ceremony. In the 1950's a barrel was discovered in Rawlins containing
human remains. A brief reunion of the skull cap with the remainder of the skull
demonstrated that the remains were that of Big Nose. The skull cap was returned to the UP museum,
the shoes are in the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins, and the medical bag has been lost. In addition to
being governor, Dr. Osborne owned one of the first two automobiles in Rawlins and was also one of the largest sheepherders in the state.
Osborne's term as governor was mainly noted for the dissension in the Legislature which was divided
between three parties, 23 Republicans, 21 Democrats, and 5 Populists. United States
senators were elected by state leglislatures and not by popular vote. Thirty ballots
were had with no one receiving a majority. Accusations of bribery and poisoning were rife.
Nat Baker was accused of taking a bribe. Leopold Kabis was accused of attempting to do in James Kime with a poisoned cocktail.
After the Legislature adjourned, Osborne attempted to appoint A. C. Beckwith to the empty seat but the
United States Senate failed to recognize the appointment. See Evanston. At first,
Osborne planned on attending the ignauguration of fellow Democrat Grover Cleveland as President. Osborne, however,
did not go. Had he attended, during his absense Osborne's old nemesis Secretary of State Amos W. Barber would have
become acting governor and undoubedly would have filled all the vacancies, including the
United States Senate seat, with Republicans.
Rawlins photos continued on the next page.