Big Nose George.American Ghost Towns.
George Parrott, also known as Big Nose George, Big beak Parrott, George Manuse and George Warden, was a cattle rustler and highwayman in the American Wild West in the late 19th century. His skin was made into a pair of shoes after his execution and part of his skull was used as an ashtray.
In 1880 following the robbery of Cahn, Big Nose George Parrott and his second, Charlie Burris or “Dutch Charley”, were arrested in Miles City by two local deputies, Lem Wilson and Fred Schmalsle, after Big Nose and Charlie got drunk and boasted of killing the two Wyoming lawmen, thus identifying themselves as men with a price on their head. Parrott was returned to Wyoming to face charges of murder.
Doctors Thomas Maghee and John Eugene Osborne took possession of Parrott’s body after his death, to study the outlaw’s brain for clues to his criminality. The top of Parrott’s skull was crudely sawn off, and the cap was presented to 15-year-old Lillian Heath, then a medical assistant to Maghee. Heath became the first female doctor in Wyoming and is said to have used the cap as an ash tray, a pen holder and a doorstop. A death mask was also created of Parrott’s face, and skin from his thighs and chest was removed. The skin, including the dead man’s nipples, was sent to a tannery in Denver, where it was made into a pair of shoes and a medical bag. They were kept by Osborne, who wore the shoes to his inaugural ball after being elected as the first Democratic Governor of the State of Wyoming. Parrott’s dismembered body was stored in a whiskey barrel filled with a salt solution for about a year, while the experiments continued, until he was buried in the yard behind Maghee’s office.
The death of Big Nose George faded into history over the years until May 11, 1950, when construction workers unearthed a whiskey barrel filled with bones while working on the Rawlins National Bank on Cedar Street in Rawlins. Inside the barrel was a skull with the top sawed off, a bottle of vegetable compound, and the shoes said to have been made from Parrott’s thigh flesh. Dr. Lillian Heath, then in her eighties, was contacted and her skull cap was sent to the scene. It was found to fit the skull in the barrel perfectly, and DNA testing later confirmed the remains were those of Big Nose George. Today the shoes made from the skin of Big Nose George are on permanent display at the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins, together with the bottom part of the outlaw’s skull and Big Nose George’s earless death mask. The shackles used during the hanging of the outlaw, as well as the skull cap, are on show at the Union Pacific Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. The medicine bag made from his skin has never been found.
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All music is credited to with kind permission to Kevin MacLeod and his website incompetech – Royalty free music – http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/
Text by wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Nose_George
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