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Signed Deposition In The Case Of The State Of Wyoming Versus William Lewis, December 17, 1894 FRED U POWELL

Signed Deposition In The Case Of The State Of Wyoming Versus William Lewis, December 17, 1894


Other works by FRED U POWELL

Publication: The State of Wyoming, 1894, Laramie County, Wyoming

Powell, Fred U. (1858-1895). A signed deposition in the case THE STATE OF WYOMING VS. WILLIAM LEWIS, December 17, 1894. Powell's testimony is 7 typed pages with numerous holograph corrections and is signed at the conclusion by Powell. The 8th page is the Stipulation signed by Josiah A. Van Orsdel (1860-1937) as prosecuting attorney and Hugo Donzelmann (b. 1848) as attorney for the defendant. The last page is the court clerk's certification and is signed by James M. Fenwick, clerk. Tom Horn came to Wyoming in the 1880s, his services apparently solicited secretly by prominent ranchers. There he began his off and on employment with the Swan Land and Cattle Company. He was hired as a stock detective, tasked to gather evidence that could be used to obtain a legal conviction against cattle rustlers. Horn had little respect for local courts he thought rarely convicted rustlers. At the time, he is alleged to have told leaders of the Wyoming cattle industry at the Cheyenne Club "Gentlemen, I have a system that never fails. Yours has." That his 'system' was assassination was suspected but ranchers who hired him apparently didn't ask questions. This case involves William E. Lewis stealing live stock belonging to the Swan Land and Cattle Company. The testimony was offered by Fred U. Powell, Lewis' friend and neighbor. Both men were bona fide rustlers. Interestingly, Donzelmann who acts as Lewis' attorney, was the high powered attorney hired by the cattlemen to defend their hired guns in the Johnson County war. He was also the first attorney general for Wyoming. In this case, Donzelmann is defending the rustlers. Van Orsdel also served as attorney general of Wyoming as well as a member of the Wyoming Supreme Court. He was Buffalo Bill's attorney for the Cody Canal project and ended up his career as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Less than a year after the deposition, both Powell and his neighbor Lewis were killed by Tom Horn who was probably hired by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. Lewis was killed in August 1895 and Powell in September. Lewis had stolen cattle openly and defiantly boasted about it to neighbors. Lewis, who was a notorious rustler, had been given notice to get out of the country or he would be killed. Shortly thereafter he was found dead in his corral. In August, a similar letter was received by Fred Powell. It was haying season and it was necessary to finish putting up the hay. Additionally, Fred had butchered a beef the night before and it was necessary that the meat be taken into Cheyenne. Therefore, it was necessary to be out early. Fred had sent his hired hand, Ross, down to the creek to cut a willow in order to repair one of the hay racks. While Ross was at the creek, Fred was shot in the chest. Tom Horn was the main suspect but was never convicted. Three fold areas else a near fine bright copy in a presentation folder. An informative Johnson County document.

Inventory Number: 50293