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Keeping the Peace #336: Joe Le Fors Papers

Joe Le Fors is perhaps best known for the role he played in getting Tom Horn to confess to cold-blooded murder. But Le Fors had a long and adventure-filled career. He got his first job freighting cattle in 1879. He was only fourteen and pleased to be making thirty dollars a month.

The freighting job was short-lived. Soon Le Fors found himself dodging hostile Native Americans while riding the mail for the Pony Express.

Eventually, he relocated to Wyoming where he encountered an epidemic of cattle rustling and horse thievery. Le Fors, disgusted with the lawlessness, became a livestock inspector.

That gave him his first taste of law enforcement. Soon he was engaged in shootouts with wily cattle rustlers and chasing after train robbers. In the end, Le Fors spent more than twenty-five years as a peace officer.

Read Joe Le Fors’ autobiography at UW’s American Heritage Center to learn more about his days keeping the peace in the wild West.

For more information, visit the American Heritage Center site.