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Kaycee in Johnson County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Nate Champion and Nick Rae

 
 
Nate Champion and Nick Rae Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 16, 2015
1. Nate Champion and Nick Rae Marker
Inscription.  In the early 1890's, a series of localized conflicts characterized by competition for resources, accusations of cattle rustling, and issues of cattle management broke into a shooting conflict in Johnson County in 1892. Large cattle owners, associated with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, hired Tom Smith of Texas to employ gunmen to seek out and kill small ranchers accused of cattle rustling. On April 5, 1892 the men boarded a train for Cheyenne, Wyoming and made their way to Johnson County.
The fifty men, known in popular history as the "Johnson County Invaders," reached the K.C. Ranch on the morning of April 9, 1892, under the suspicion that several suspected cattle rustlers were staying there. Four men - two trappers and alleged rustlers Nate Champion and Nick Rae - were ambushed at sunrise. That morning the gunmen captured the two trappers when the ventured out for water. Shortly after, Rae emerged from the cabin and was wounded by a shot from the waiting men. Rae, assisted by Champion, crawled back to the cabin and the two men found themselves under siege throughout the day. By late afternoon, the gunmen, unable to approach
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the cabin because of Champion's defense, loaded a wagon with flammable material, set it aflame, and pushed it near the cabin. Champion attempted to escape from the cabin and was shot and killed. Rae died from his wounds earlier that afternoon.
Passerby Oscar Flagg saw the siege at the K.C. Ranch and rushed back to Buffalo, Wyoming to warn citizens of the attack. Two days later, 200 citizens surrounded the men at the nearby T.A. Ranch. The gunmen surrendered under the protection of the U.S. Army. The hired gunmen were never convicted for their role in Rae and Champion's death.
 
Erected by Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Events. A significant historical date for this entry is April 9, 1892.
 
Location. 43° 42.402′ N, 106° 38.334′ W. Marker is in Kaycee, Wyoming, in Johnson County. Marker is on Old Highway 87 (State Highway 196) near Old Barnum Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 25319 Old Highway 87, Kaycee WY 82639, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chris Lee LeDoux (approx. ¼ mile away); Powder River Country (approx. 0.8 miles away); Ranching on the Powder River (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Dull Knife Battle (approx. 0.8 miles away).
Nate Champion and Nick Rae Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 16, 2015
2. Nate Champion and Nick Rae Marker

 
More about this marker. This marker is located at the southern city limit of Kaycee, Wyoming.
 
Also see . . .
1. Nate Champion - Wikipedia. Falsely accused by a wealthy Wyoming cattlemen's association of being a rustler, Champion was the first person murdered by a band of hit men hired by the cattlemen. In reality, Champion was simply a small rancher who stood up against the big cattlemen's practice of claiming all unbranded young cattle on the range. (Submitted on December 14, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 

2. Johnson County War - Wyoming Tales and Trails. Champion busied himself fixing breakfast and Ray emerged to get firewood. A shot, allegedly fired by a young regulator, D. E. "the Texas Kid" Brooke. hit Ray. The Kid was so called because he was barely old enough to shave. Champion grabbed Ray, pulling him back into the cabin. During the day, Champion and the "regulators" exchanged shots. During lulls, Champion kept a log in an old notebook, later printed by Sam Clover: (Submitted on December 14, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
 
Additional keywords. Johnson County War
 
Nate Champion, on the left most horse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Wyoming Tales and Trails
3. Nate Champion, on the left most horse
"Johnson County Invaders" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer
4. "Johnson County Invaders"
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 14, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 883 times since then and 115 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 14, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Jun. 17, 2024