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Archives on the Air 278: Outlaw George Parrott – Tom Bohnsack papers

George “Big Nose” Parrott was one of a group of petty outlaws who hatched a plan to rob a Union Pacific passenger train in 1878. Their scheme was to remove some rail spikes and a railroad tie, derail the train and steal the Union Pacific payroll.

The deputy sheriff of Carbon County and a railroad agent decided to track down “Big Nose” and his band, so they headed to Rattlesnake Canyon, near Elk Mountain. When the lawmen reached the outlaws’ camp, they were ambushed and killed. It took two years, but Parrott was finally arrested in Montana and then extradited back to Wyoming.

“Big Nose” eventually ended up in Carbon County jail. After months awaiting trial, he tried to escape, injuring the sheriff. The citizens of Carbon County had enough. That evening a mob formed. Masked men stormed the jail, forcibly removed Parrott from his cell and lynched him.

See the Tom Bohnsack papers at UW’s American Heritage Center to learn more about the life and death of George Parrott.