Tom Horn

Thomas "Tom" Horn, Jr. was an American Old West scout, who carried out varied roles as hired gunman, Pinkerton, range detective, and soldier.

Tom Horn the Tracker Hunts Humans

Tom Horns Rifle

5 Facts about the Life of Tom Horn

Tom Horn had made his way from his birthplace in Missouri to the wilds of the Southwest in 1876, when was sixteen.
He soon found employment as a scout with the U.S. Cavalry and took part in the search for the Apache Chief Geronimo.
He perfected his skills with firearms and tracking.
By 1887 Tom was out of the Army and a participant in in the Arizona Territory’s Pleasant Valley War: a feud between two families (the Grahams and the Tewksburys) that began in 1882 and lasted over ten years.
By 1890, Tom was in the employ of the Pinkerton Detective Agency and tasked with tracking and finding various suspected lawbreakers.

From 1895 to 1901, Horn worked as an "enforcer" for the large cattle interests in Colorado and Wyoming.
He was charged with the task of tracking down and "dealing justice" to those suspected of stealing cattle or encroaching on their range.
Horn’s “justice” was delivered by a bullet fired by his 30-30 Winchester carbine from a concealed position.
Horn was on such a mission on the morning of July 18, 1901 in the Iron Mountain region of south-eastern Colorado.
His intended target was Kels B, Nickell, a rancher who had brought sheep onto the range.
Horn had studied his victim and was familiar with his routine.
In the early morning hours, Horn nestled in a group of rocks overlooking the entrance of the Nickell’s ranch He saw his victim approach the gate and dismount. Horn rose from his concealed position and aimed his rifle.
Suddenly, he realized that the person in his rifle sights was not his intended victim.
It was his fourteen-year-old son, Wille, wearing his father’s hat and coat. Seeing Horn, the boy whirled and ran.
After an instant of indecision, Horn fired a series of shots and watched the boy collapse to the ground, dead.There were no witnesses to the murder.
Tom Horn could have escaped justice if it were not for the extraordinary detective work of the legendary, Old West lawman, Joe LeFores who tricked Horn into confessing his crime.
Horn was tired and convicted on October 24, 1902. with the execution of Tom Horn in Cheyenne, Wyoming on November 20, 1903.
Tom was sentenced to death for the murder of a fourteen-year-old boy. At the time, he was working as an assassin for the local cattlemen attempting to enforce their control of the open range of southeastern Wyoming against the growing number of rustlers and sheep headers in the area.