Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bill Hynson

Bill Hynson was a bad apple and a rough character who, in a strange manner, scripted his own death at Fort Benton in 1868. When saloon patrons who had overindulged began to report money missing from their pockets, many suspected Hynson. Locals observed Hynson keeping company with inebriated saloon patrons whose funds came up short. The local vigilance committee—that Hynson, ironically, took some credit for organizing—planned a trap to catch the perpetrator. They planted a supposedly drunken patron with heavy pockets in the local saloon. The plant pretended to pass out, and Hynson helped himself to the man’s pockets. The next day, the committee informed Hynson that the criminal had been discovered. Deputy Marshall X. Beidler was in town and the vigilantes announced that they intended to have a hanging. Hynson, unaware that he had been observed, volunteered to supply the rope and directed old-time trapper Henry Mills to dig a grave. Hynson promised Mills that in due time he would supply the corpse. Marshall Beidler, a cruel man well versed in the art of hanging, took the rope Hynson offered and placed it over his neck. Without a word, Hynson’s life was quickly snuffed. The corpse that filled the waiting grave was Hynson himself. His was one of three known vigilante hangings in Fort Benton.

No comments:

Post a Comment