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  • Writer's pictureZachary Epps

Legendary wild west figureTom Horn is buried in the Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder, Colorado.


Tom Horn

Born on November 21, 1860, in Memphis, Missouri, he spent much of his early life working on ranches and developing his skills as a cowboy and frontiersman. As he grew older, he became involved in various conflicts and legal disputes, which eventually led him to take on roles as a lawman and a hired gun.


Horn's reputation as a skilled tracker and marksman brought him into contact with influential figures of the time, including cattle barons and law enforcement agencies. He gained notoriety for his involvement in high-profile cases, such as his role in the capture of Geronimo, the Apache leader, and his work as a Pinkerton detective. However, he also gained a darker reputation for his alleged involvement in a number of killings, often as a hitman for powerful ranchers who wanted to eliminate threats to their businesses.


One of the most controversial cases associated with Tom Horn was the murder of 14-year-old Willie Nickell in Wyoming in 1901. Horn was accused of killing Nickell as part of a dispute between cattle ranchers and sheepherders. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, Horn was found guilty and sentenced to death.


While in jail, he wrote his autobiography, Life of Tom Horn: Government Scout and Interpreter,[3] which was published posthumously in 1904. Numerous editions have been published in the late 20th century. Horn has since become a larger-than-life figure of western folklore, and debate continues as to whether he was actually guilty of Nickell's murder.


On November 20, 1903, Tom Horn was executed by hanging in Cheyenne, Wyoming. His trial and execution were the subjects of widespread controversy, with some believing that he was unfairly convicted due to his reputation as a hired killer. The case raised questions about the ethics of the justice system and the role of vigilantism in the Old West.


His grave is marked by a simple headstone that bears his name and the dates of his birth and execution. Over the years, his story has been the subject of numerous books, movies, and documentaries, contributing to his enduring legacy as a complex and enigmatic figure of the American West.


Want to check out more about other Boulder area legends? Consider a visit or better yet a move to Boulder!


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Zachary Epps

GRI®, ABR®, MCNE®, CLHMS®, SRES®, REALTOR®,

RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Platinum Club

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