Tom Horn

Tom Horn

Micah Grant, Reporter

Thomas Horn Jr. was born in 1860 in Scotland County, Missouri. 

Tom Horn had many jobs in his life. He was an American Scout, cowboy, soldier, Range Detective, Pinkerton Agent (detective), and supposedly a gunman for hire.

Horn went through many jobs but, his most notorious was being a cowboy and hired gun on ranches. Horn’s job was to protect the cattle and kill any suspected criminals preying on them. If he thought a person was guilty of stealing the cattle and had been warned, he said he’d shoot the thief and not feel “one shred of remorse.” 

Tom Horn was alleged to have been involved in the killing of Nate Champion and Nick Ray on April 9, 1892. Near Iron Mountain, Wyoming on July 18, 1901, Willie Nickell, the 14 year-old son of sheep ranchers Kels and Mary Nickell, was found murdered near their homestead gate. Deputy Marshal Joe Lefors questioned Horn in January 1902 about the murder. Lefors gained what he thought was a confession to the murder of Willie Nickell. 

Horn was later hung in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1903. Many thought that Horn was wrongly executed off of a “drunk confession.”