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Archives On The Air 245: Johnson County War — Charles B. Penrose Papers

Dr. Charles Bingham Penrose was a promising young Philadelphia surgeon who moved to Wyoming after suffering from tuberculosis. His friend and fellow surgeon, Dr. Amos Barber had recommended the fresh air of Wyoming as a cure. Barber was serving as the second governor of Wyoming at the time.

While in Wyoming, Penrose was recruited to join a group from the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. In 1892, the Stock Growers were alarmed by the incessant problem of cattle rustling and horse stealing. They decided to take matters into their own hands and hunt down the rustlers. 

The ensuing conflict between the powerful members of the Stock Growers Association and the ordinary cowboys who were accused of rustling became known as the Johnson County War.

Dr. Penrose was arrested for accompanying the Stock Growers as their traveling surgeon and was nearly lynched.

Read the Charles B. Penrose papers and learn more about the Johnson County War at UW'

s American Heritage Center.