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Virtual Exhibits

Hell on Wheels: Union Pacific Towns in Wyoming

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Hanging of Laramie City gamblers, 1868Lawlessness prevailed in Laramie, and the first mayor, citing the town as ungovernable, resigned after only three weeks in office.

W.O. Owen would recall, “By the fall of 1868 … the consensus of opinion among these [residents] that something had to be done – either give up their homes and leave town in full and sole possession of the outlaws or make an attempt either to hang them or drive them from the place. Accordingly a vigilance committee was organized…On the 18th of October, 1868,…a raid was made at night and three of the ring leaders of the toughs, Asa Moore, Con Wagner, and Ed Wilson, alias ‘Big Ned’, were captured…and hung…they were strung up and left hanging there for several hours after daybreak so the rest of the cutthroats might get the benefit of the execution and take warning.”

Town government did eventually prevail, and the town persisted, unlike many other settlements along the track.

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