Big Nose George: His Troublesome Trail

Big Nose George: His Troublesome Trail

Big Nose George: His Troublesome Trail

by Mark E. Miller

On August 17, 1878 near Como Bluff, Wyoming Territory, a gang of ruffians, scoundrels, thieves, and otherwise bad men went to work in an attempt to derail and rob a Union Pacific passenger train. A railroad section man discovered their plan and the gang fled the area and headed for Elk Mountain. .

In the aftermath, two popular local lawmen were murdered and two members of the outlaw gang wound up on the end of ropes, put there by vigilante mobs. While the manner of death of both outlaws was the similar, one of the men’s stories continues to be told to shocked listeners decades after his death.

Big Nose George Parott was one of the hapless outlaws who was hanged by friends of the slain lawmen. After his death Big Nose George’s story intertwines with the life of an ambitious young physician, Dr. John Osborne, who would later serve as Wyoming’s third governor, and with Lillian Heath who became the first female physician in Wyoming.

Learn the details that led to Big Nose George’s death and then follow the bizarre and grotesque series of events that transpired after his death—which pushed his story from one of a murdering outlaw to one that still astonishes readers today.

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Mark E. Miller

Mark E. Miller

Mark E. Miller was born in Rawlins and raised on his family’s ranch. Mark’s Great-Grandfather, Isaac (I.C.) Miller. was Carbon County Sheriff in 1880 when Big Nose George sat in jail awaiting his scheduled execution for the murder of Lawman, Henry H. “Tip” Vincent. This family connection inspired Mark to research the crimes of the notorious outlaw.

Miller received his B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Wyoming, and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is an Adjunct Professor in Anthropology at the University of Wyoming, and retired Wyoming State Archaeologist, having served in that position from 1984-2014. Throughout his career he was a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Miller was a Resident Fellow in the Ucross writing program in 2003.

Mark’s other research interests include the prehistory of Wyoming, and the early history of Carbon County, on which he has published extensively. He enjoys living along the banks of the Big Laramie River with his partner, Barbara, and the spectacular migratory birds that fly back and forth over the lush, green meadows and Quaking aspen.

Big Nose George: His Troublesome Trail

Big Nose George: His Troublesome Trail

By Mark E. Miller

"Big Nose George Parott, notorious Wyoming outlaw and cold-blooded murderer lynched in Rawlins in 1881, has long needed a meticulous examination. Here, noted Wyoming archaeologist Mark Miller dishes up a gripping look at Parott’s 1870s mayhem, mixes in a lively courtroom drama, a remarkable 1950 back alley discovery, and an exhaustive mid-1990s forensic investigation, while delivering a thoroughly researched and delightfully engaging tale. Parott and Rawlins get their due."
••Paul L. Hedren, Author of Rosebud, June 17, 1876 and Powder River

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