Frank Wolcott

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For the similarly named Barbadian labour leader, see Frank Leslie Walcott

Frank Wolcott (1840 – 1910) was an officer in the Union Army, a law man and a rancher.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Wolcott was born in 1840 in Canandaigua, New York. He served in the Union Army in the Civil War, and was promoted to the rank of major before being discharged in 1866. He then attempted to work for the U.S. Land Office in Kentucky, but left for Wyoming only a few years later for a position as a U.S. Marshal.[1]

Johnson County War[edit]

In Wyoming, Wolcott purchased a ranch near Deer Creek and joined the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. Working for the WSGA he became involved in the Johnson County War. Leading a small band of Regulators they terrorized and killed small ranchers that were obstructing the WSGA's goal of greater consolidation and an end to free ranging. These ranchers were accused of cattle rustling. The book History of Wyoming by T. A. Larson credits this plan directly to Wolcott, other sources disagree and trace the "lynching bee" to WSGA board members.[2]

After the murder of Nate Champion the Sheriff of Johnson County hunted down the regulators at a ranch near Crazy Woman Creek. The Governor of Wyoming requested the assistance of federal troops from President Harrison. So with the aid of the 6th Cavalry they were forced to surrender, and were brought in to Fort McKinney. But due to the influence of the WSGA both Wolcott and his Regulators were set free without charge.[3]

Later life[edit]

Wolcott became a Justice of the Peace in 1890, with a reputation for harsh sentencing. Four years later he became an agent for the Omaha Stockyards. He died in 1910 in Denver, Colorado.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DeArment, Robert K. (1 September 1997). Alias Frank Canton. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 122–132. ISBN 978-0-8061-2900-6. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Jon E. (1 March 2012). The Mammoth Book of the West: New edition. Little, Brown Book Group. pp. 239–243. ISBN 978-1-78033-700-5. 
  3. ^ Dee Alexander Brown; Dee Brown; Martin F. Schmitt (1952). Trail Driving Days. Scribner.