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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Casper in Natrona County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Ellen L. Watson (“Cattle Kate”)

 
 
Ellen L. Watson (“Cattle Kate”) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 17, 2015
1. Ellen L. Watson (“Cattle Kate”) Marker
Inscription. On Saturday, July 20, 1889, Ellen L. Watson, popularly known as “Cattle Kate”, was hanged with James Averell in Spring Canyon. The site is located 50 miles southwest of Casper near Independence Rock.
Ella and Jim had adjoining homesteads on Horse Creek which flows through the Pathfinder Ranch. This energetic couple had built up a sizeable (sic) herd of cattle, and Jim had established a road house on the Sweetwater River, located near the Oregon Trail and the Rawlins to Fort McKinney Stage Road.
One story of this hanging is that Jim Averell was a saloonkeeper who encouraged ranch hands to drink and carouse. Ella, in this story, raised a fine herd of cattle by exchanging her “favors” for young cattle “appropriated” by the ranch hands. The ranchers hung the two to rid the area of rustlers and troublemakers.
Another story claims Averell and Watson homesteaded on prime water rights and were honest law abiding citizens. Jim and Ella were hanged because the ranchers felt the land that was homesteaded was their own grazing land and wished to obtain the valuable water rights.
 
Erected by Natrona County Historical Society.
 
Location. 42° 50.171′ N, 106° 22.331′ 
Markers on the Wyoming History Walk in Centennial Park image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 17, 2015
2. Markers on the Wyoming History Walk in Centennial Park
W. Marker is in Casper, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker can be reached from Fort Caspar Road near Herold Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4000 Fort Caspar Road, Casper WY 82604, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Goose Egg Ranch (here, next to this marker); Railroads (here, next to this marker); Salt Creek Oil Field (here, next to this marker); Ranching in Wyoming (here, next to this marker); Bridger and Bozeman Trails (a few steps from this marker); Casper - Natrona County - State Founding (a few steps from this marker); Pony Express (a few steps from this marker); Richard Bridge and Military Complex (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Casper.
 
More about this marker. This marker is part of the Wyoming history walk in Centennial Park, which is adjacent to the Fort Caspar Museum and shares the parking lot.
 
Also see . . .  Ellen Watson -- Wikipedia. The day that Watson and Averell were lynched, George Henderson received a telegram. He immediately went to the Cheyenne Daily Sun and then other papers controlled by the WGSA. The next day those papers published lurid accounts of the crimes (of Watson and Averell)... These articles and those
Ellen L. Watson (“Cattle Kate”) image. Click for full size.
Wikipedia
3. Ellen L. Watson (“Cattle Kate”)
that followed marked the first time that the cattlemen had used the press as a tool to justify and glorify their violence. The tactic was so successful that it was resurrected during the violence of 1891-1892.
(Submitted on December 26, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Notable Events
 
The Lynching of Cattle Kate image. Click for full size.
By Contemporary engraving
4. The Lynching of Cattle Kate
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 25, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 348 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 25, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   3, 4. submitted on December 26, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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