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Deer Lodge in Powell County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Execution of George Rock

Old Montana Prison

 
 
Execution of George Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 10, 2013
1. Execution of George Rock Marker
Inscription.  On this site in 1908, George Rock was executed by hanging. A year later, William Hayes met a similar fate. Rock and Hayes killed Deputy Warden John Robinson and severely wounded Warden Frank Conley in an escape attempt.

Conley surprised the inmates after they had murdered Robinson and fired on them with his .41 caliber revolver. Both inmates were hit, but the ammunition was defective and Conley was obliged to subdue the murderous men by clubbing them with the revolver. As both Rock and Hayes were armed with knives, Conley suffered numerous knife wounds which required 103 stitches.

Rock and Hayes were executed by an unusual “jerk-up scaffold” utilizing the drop of a 300-pound weight which was supposed to break their necks. But the device failed to break their necks and death was by strangulation. Rock and Hayes were the only inmates executed at this prison.
 
Erected by Old Montana Prison Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Law Enforcement. A significant historical date for this entry is June 16, 1908.
 
Location. 46° 23.583′ N, 112° 
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44.156′ W. Marker is in Deer Lodge, Montana, in Powell County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Main Street (Business U.S. 90) and Texas Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located on the Old Montana Prison Museum grounds, beside the sidewalk near the southeast corner of the 1912 Cell House. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1106 Main Street, Deer Lodge MT 59722, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1912 Cell House (within shouting distance of this marker); Siberia East (within shouting distance of this marker); 1959 Riot (within shouting distance of this marker); 1931 Administration Building (within shouting distance of this marker); 1870-1931 Federal Building (within shouting distance of this marker); 1896 Cell House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Montana Prison (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1909 Last Spike Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Deer Lodge.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large, laser-printed metal plaque, mounted horizontally on a waist-high post.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Old Montana Prison
 
Also see . . .  Escape Attempts. A serious escape attempt happened in 1908 that left
Marker detail: Execution of George Rock image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Execution of George Rock
Deputy Warden Robinson dead and Warden Conley severely wounded. At 6'6" tall and weighing roughly 300 lbs, Warden Frank Conley was an imposing man and he considered himself more than a match for the men he maintained. He was shown just how vulnerable he was when, on the morning of 8 March, Deputy John A. Robinson admitted the men lined up to speak with the warden and was rushed by four men, W.A. Hayes, C.B. Young, Oram Stevens, and George Rock. The warden fended off the armed men off with the butt of his pistol, and the escape attempt was ended at the end of a billy-club wielded by Guard E.H. Carver. Rock and Hayes were both given the death sentence for the assault. Conley oversaw both of the executions (Rock on 16 June 1908 and Hayes on 2 April 1909). (Submitted on December 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Execution of George Rock Marker (<i>wide view; marker beside sidewalk, near 1912 Cell House</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 10, 2013
3. Execution of George Rock Marker (wide view; marker beside sidewalk, near 1912 Cell House)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on December 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 891 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 28, 2024