The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate

The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate

The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate

George W. Hufsmith

The lynching of Ellen Watson and Jim Averell by six prominent and politically powerful Wyoming cattlemen rocked the nation in July 1889.

Newspapers immediately proclaimed that Ellen Watson (erroneously called Cattle Kate) and Jim Averell were rustlers, that Watson was a prostitute and Averell was a pimp.

After over twenty years of research, George Hufsmith has challenged those assumptions with documented historic accounts and with newly-unearthed evidence.

In this book, Hufsmith sets the scene: a region settled by cattle barons who ran vast herds of cattle on public domain land, the Cheyenne Club whose opulence rivaled anything found in European aristocratic clubs, and the devastating Blizzard of 1885-86.

He introduces the cast of characters: Averell, a hardworking, well-spoken homesteader who challenged the cattle barons in a letter to the editor; Watson, who filed a homestead claim on land already used as a hay meadow by a prominent rancher; and the lynchers, men who made a fortune on the land and resented the intruding settlers.

Then Hufsmith reveals the action—he tells us what really happened on that summer day in Sweetwater County.

Were Watson and Averell rustlers? Was there a real Cattle Kate and who was she? What happened to the witnesses who disappeared before the Grand Jury hearings? Who were the lynchers and what became of them? Were Watson and Averell married?

Hufsmith reveals all the known evidence and raises new questions.

  • • 0-931271-16-9 • trade paper • index • bibliography • 368 pp • many photos • $13.95 ORDER NOW
The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate

The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate

by George W. Hufsmith

“A startling masterpiece of historical detection.”
•• Rocky Mountain News

George W. Hufsmith

George W. Hufsmith

George Hufsmith’s roots go deep into Wyoming’s past. His great-grandparents settled in Cheyenne two years before Custer’s Last Stand. His keen interest in Wyoming history began upon hearing his grandfather, Will, spin fascinating stories about his early days around the forgotten ghost town of Parkerton on the lonely prairies of central Wyoming.

Hufsmith earned a master’s degree in musical composition and studied with Heitor Villa-Lobos in Rio de Janeiro and at Yale University with Paul Hindermith and Normand Lockwood. He lived in Brazil, traveled extensively, and was fluent in six European languages.

After his return to the area that he loved around the Tetons, in 1954 he was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives where he served for six years.  During this time he co-sponsored the bill that created the Wyoming Arts Council and was appointed by the Governor to the Council's first Board of Directors. 

On a commission from the Wyoming Bicentennial Commision, he composed a tragic opera based upon the lynching of Ella Watson and Jim Averell, which had nine touring performances to rave reviews. His research for the opera eventually led to his book The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate.

The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate

The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate

by George W. Hufsmith

Trinity Seely

$15.00
Trinity's Debut Album shares a personal and gratifying experience of the western ranch life through the eyes of a cowgirl. The lyrics and music will speak right to your heart as she sings about horses, cowboys, the cowboy way of life, and the story of Cattle Kate. ORDER NOW
Listen to Cattle Kate... sneak peek!

Trinity Seely