Montana Justice January 14 1864
In Montana Territory, Road Agent robbers and murderers were the scourge of gold-rich Bannack and two other towns along Alder Creek named Virginia City and Nevada City. History records over 100 people intercepted going in or out of these towns, being relieved of their valuables, then killed.
A Vigilance Committee was formed and resolved to deal with the problem once and for all. They made a list with nearly three dozen names on it and set out to track them down.
Near Virginia City, seven men were captured. The Vigilantes met in a secret tribunal and decided they needed unanimity with only two verdicts possible: Life or Death. Two men were let go and five were sentenced to death.
They were, with their crimes:
Boone Helm: self-confessed murderer, public nuisance, and cannibal.
Frank Parish: Road Agent, stage robber, probably a murderer, and member of the Henry Plummer Gang.
Club Foot George Lane: Road Agent and Telegraph Agent who warned the Plummer Gang when gold or other valuables were carried on stagecoach.
Hayes Lyons: Road Agent, robber and murderer, and killer of John Dillingham.
Jack Gallagher: Robber and murderer. Attempted murder of George Temple. Covered up the murder of John Dillingham.
Nearly two dozen heavily armed Vigilantes marched the five men up Wallace Street in Virginia City to an unfinished building and hung them from a main support beam.
Shortly thereafter within a few weeks, the Vigilantes tracked north and east and hunted down 24 other named men on the infamous list and hung them all.
December 25th, 2012
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