Wyoming Territorial Prison Historical Site
July 24, 2019
The last 30 years of the 19th century in Wyoming were lawless years. Butch Cassidy, oldest of 13 children and raised in a loving Mormon family, was taught to use a gun by a neighbor for whom he worked. Cowhand work was plentiful at that time on the range until one frigid winter killed off a good percentage of each rancher's herds. Cowhands were jobless and began rustling the large conglomerates which had swooped down to confiscate bankrupt small-time ranchers and force sales of their properties. Butch Cassidy was one of the rustlers, and he was imprisoned for that crime for nearly two years in the Wyoming Territorial Prison. After his release he became a Robin Hood of sorts—robbing from the banks and big bosses but leaving the little guy alone. He organized the Wild Bunch, a group of outlaws he selected to run the Outlaw Trail with him, a trail that reached from Montana south through Wyoming and Utah. Butch Cassidy was never caught for his many crimes of bank robbing and raids on large ranches. He escaped to live in South America until his death.
The prison was always in need of food stuffs, supplies and cash. Therefore, its inmates worked from morning til supper on various endeavors to bring in currency. The most successful industry was broom making.
Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively.