August 6, 2013

Tragic End to a Love Story that Never Was, 1890

I saved this article for the editor's euphemisms to hanging and the description of how the deceased was buried.

From page 5 of the Chicago Herald of Chicago, IL on October 4, 1890:



Failing to Secure the Girl of His Heart He Ornaments a Wyoming Tree.

Cheyenne, Wyo., Oct 3.--A Week ago to-day the body of a cowboy, James McKee, was found hanging to a tree near a ranch on the Laramie River.  The coroner was wired that it was a clear case of suicide and concluded an inquest was unnecessary.  The story was brought in this evening, and it is found the supposed self-destruction of a daft range hand develops into a romantic tale.  McKee was attached to an outfit on the Nebraska border.  He fell violently in love with a girl of thirteen, travelling overland to Oregon with her sister and brother-in-law.  The child did not care for him, but he pressed his suit and followed the movers.  Time, after time was he rejected by the thoughtless miss, but he was only the more enamored of her pretty face.  Thursday afternoon the girl's male protector told McKee the thing had gone far enough and ordered him to break away.  The rancher departed in sore distress.  Next morning the blackbirds eyed askance the tree's strange fruit and saucily chattered at the lifeless frame.  McKee left a typical note to the girl.  The interment was made in a brutal manner.  Not even the noose was taken from his neck.  His hat and boots went into the grave with him.  The sister of the juvenile heart-breaker told him that she herself was the cause of the man's suicide before her marriage.

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