Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cyrus Skinner For Western Wednesday...!

Another story about one of the really bad boys in our early history. The west was full of mthem, I reckon!

As far as the bad guys went, Skinner was probably one of the most blood-thirsty of them all. All around mean is a good way to describe him.

Cyrus Skinner released from San Quentin

Cyrus Skinner, who would later be hanged by the Montana vigilantes, ends his first stay in the California state prison at San Quentin.

Skinner was typical of the thieves and killers who terrorized the gold fields of Montana in the early 1860s. Born in Ohio in 1829, Skinner began robbing people as a teenager. He immigrated to California in 1850 and was promptly arrested for burglary. He served two years in San Quentin prison before being released on this day in 1853. Within six months, he was again arrested, this time for burglarizing a business in Yuba County, California. He was sentenced to three years in San Quentin, but he escaped and committed five more robberies before being recaptured and sentenced to 15 years.

. In early 1859, an old friend joined Skinner at San Quentin, a desperado named Henry Plummer. Plummer, serving time for a minor robbery, was released after a few months. In May 1860, Skinner escaped from San Quentin for the third and final time. He fled north to the isolated gold camps of Idaho, where Plummer had organized a dangerous band of road agents that preyed on gold miners and travelers.

When the people of Idaho began to grow suspicious of him, Skinner moved east over the mountains to the new Montana gold fields, establishing saloons at Bannack and Virginia City. Plummer and others from the gang soon joined him, and they began to rob and murder Montanans. Skinner was one of the most brutal of Plummer’s gang, occasionally killing his victims seemingly just for the fun of it. By early 1864, Plummer, Skinner, and the other outlaws had killed at least 100 people.

Determined to stop the murderous robberies, the citizens of Bannack and Virginia City formed a vigilante group and began tracking down and hanging the criminals. On January 10, 1864, the vigilantes arrested Plummer and hanged him along with two of his partners. Skinner wisely left town but the determined vigilantes tracked him down at Hellgate, Montana, in late January 1864. Faced with an agonizing death from hanging, Skinner broke away and ran, hoping the vigilantes would shoot him down instead. They denied the brutal killer even this small mercy. The vigilantes recaptured Skinner and hanged him, one of the last of the 24 bandits executed by the group.

Seems to me that Skinner was the type that put the "wild" into the "Wild West!" I'll bet not many were sad to see him gone!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Supposed to be a tad cooler...!


linda m said...

Never heard of him before, but he sure gives new meaning to the words "bad man". Glad they finally captured him and gave him his just reward. Storms went thru here last night so it is cooler but still humid. Humidity is supposed to droop a little later today. I'll bring some glazed donuts to go with our coffee.

JO said...

Wonder why I never read about him before. Good old Wild West story for sure.

Humidity down some feels nice headed out to patio

Dizzy-Dick said...

Sometimes in old west history, it is hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys but in this case everyone agreed that that was one bad dude. Guess that is why they celebrated with a necktie party.

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
He died like he lived...hard and nasty! Bad he was, no doubt!
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Jo...
Just one more of the really bad guys of their time, I reckon!
Thanks, sweetie, for coming over today!

Hey Dizzy...
Very few probably mourned his passing.
Thanks for the visit today!