Outlaws of Carbon County
County is rich in History of the Old West. Lots of stories of Outlaws surround the myth and legend of Carbon County. A lot of the "stories" are just that...tales told around a campfire, or old yarns passed on from generation to generation...embellished on and added to or subtracted from as fits the occassion. Some of the stories are true, however, some gruesome, some comical, some with a twist of fantasy.
Probably the most notorious Outlaw that graced the City of Rawlins, was none other than George Manuse.. a.k.a Big Nose George Parrot. George was a cattle rustler, and had a predominately large nose to grace his physical characteristics...hence, his name.
Big Nose George Parrot
It seems that old George had somehow got connected with the James Gang, and had decided to rob a train. They would have robbed a bank, but at that time, there there were more trains than banks in Rawlins and in Carbon County. They headed off on horseback for a secluded place where they could pull off the caper. Story has it that it was George's idea to somehow manipulate the tracks, so the train would derail, and make their job a whole lot easier than trying to board a moving train.
As they were working on moving the track, a railroad foreman came around. The gang (consisting of George, Jesse and Frank James, and a fellow by the name of Dutch Charley), hid. The railroad foreman noticed, however, that someone had been messing with the track, and rode ahead at full speed to notify the approaching train to get it stopped. He also informed the law, who immediately rode out to try to apprehended the would be train robbers. During the attempted arrest, Big Nose and his buddies shot and killed two lawmen. The James boys managed somehow to escape, and rode off without being caught..leaving George and Charley. They, too, tried to make a run for it, and managed to elude the long arm of the law for some time. Dutch was caught first, in Montana, and brought back to Wyoming. He confessed to his doings in the attempted train heist, thinking that he would be granted some leniency for spilling the beans on the others. Wrong!!..They immediatley strung him up from a telegraph pole!
Big Nose was caught next, and he too confessed to his part in the attempted robbery. He was sentenced to hang. While in jail in Rawlins, he attempted an escape, but failed, managing to beat up a guard in the process. When news of this beating spread through Rawlins, a lynch mob stormed the jail, took Big Nose out to a telegraph pole on what is now Front Street in Rawlins, and hung him.
That was the end of old Big Nose George, but not of his story. It seems that a young doctor, by the name of J.E. Osborne took possession of George's body. He proceeded to saw off the top of his skull, to "see if his brain was any different than normal folks". The top of his skull was used as a doorstop for Dr. Lillian Nelson, Wyoming's first woman doctor.
Next, Osborne had George skinned, and sent the skin to Denver to have a pair of shoes made out of his hide. He instructed the tanning place to "leave the nipples" on the shoes...he got the shoes, but no nipples. Dr. Osborne wore the shoes he had made from Big Nose's hide all the time..especially to special occassions. The shoes, his skull, and the top of his skull can be seen still today at the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins.
The Remains of Big Nose George
Osborne took the rest of the remains of George Parrot and stuffed them in a whiskey barrel, and buried them under his house. In 1950, a construction crew, tearing down the remains of Osborne's house, found the whiskey barrel and George's remains.
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The Most Feared Outlaws of Carbon County
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