Thursday, August 15, 2013

Horse Thieves and Deputies

Cyrus King Wyman lived on the Wyman ranch in Rock Creek and served frequently as a Special Deputy. He also served one term as Constable of Philipsburg after winning the election in November 1900. Various reports state Wyman was sheriff of Deer Lodge County when horse thieves and cattle rustlers flourished, but this cannot be substantiated. But we do know he lived and died chasing rustlers as a lawman in both Granite and Beaverhead counties.

According to the November 25, 1904 Philipsburg Mail, Cyrus was involved in the Frank Brady shooting. The news article stated that Brady "the noted" outlaw was killed on lower Rock Creek while resisting arrest.
News of the tragedy reached here (Philipsburg) yesterday afternoon when Sheriff Deputy C.K. Wyman, telephoning from Bonita, informed County Attorney D.M. Durfee that Frank Brady was dead and asked what disposition should be made of the body. The killing took place about twenty miles from Bonita, near the place known as the Butte cabin, about five miles above Quigley. Brady had been a fugitive from justice for some time. Last winter he was arrested in Anaconda for killing beaver, having twenty skins in his possession. He was brought to Philipsburg and given a hearing before Judge Connolly, who bound him over to District Court, fixing his bond at $500. While out on bond and awaiting trial he was again arrested on the charge of stealing a horse belonging to David Deejardin. He again secured his liberty by furnishing bail, which in this case was $100. When the case was called for preliminary hearing last August, Brady failed to show up and his bond was declared forfeited. It was thought that Brady had left the country and gone to Idaho. When last seen he was heading in that direction. It was not long, however, until it was learned that Brady was on lower Rock Creek. He visited at the various camps of different miners and prospectors, but always managed to elude the officers.
As time passed on, Brady became more bold and he was frequently seen and heard from. On some occasions he came as near as six miles from town. He seemingly wanted to show his contempt for the officers and continually challenged arrest. Special Deputy Cyrus K. Wyman and Henry Morgan, the well known hunter, have been after him for some time. They finally located his camp on lower Rock Creek some five or six miles above Quigley, and set out to capture their man. Brady, it is said was in Bonita yesterday morning and was told the officers were after him. His reply was that they would never take him. He apparently went right up to Rock Creek, as shortly after noon the officers came down to Bonita with the news. 
When commanded to throw up his hands Brady pulled his gun and commenced to shoot, but both officers were ready for him. He was known to be a good shot and the officers could not afford to take any chances.
Upon instruction from County Attorney D.M. Durfee the body was brought to Bonita yesterday and Undertaker Allison went down this morning with a casket to bring the remains to Philipsburg.
In a way, Brady was not a bad fellow. He was not without his good qualities and had a good many friends. He was setting a bad example for the younger men, some who looked up to him as a hero and a brave bad man. His death, while deplorable, may have some wholesome influence over others with leanings in the direction he was going. (Philipsburg Mail, November 25, 1904)
Brady was buried on November 27th with a well attended funeral. Thomas Brady, Frank's brother filed a complaint and a warrant was issued charging both officers with murder. They were released on their own recognizance and the case was shortly after dismissed against them, as an inquest was held on December 1, 1904 with the verdict: "Brady resisted arrest and Henry Morgan and C.K. Wyman were justified in firing upon and killing him." Post Mortem exam had shown that Brady was hit with a bullet from each of the officers guns and either shot would have been fatal.

The next news article on April 25, 1905 stated that C.K. Wyman and James Schoonover (detective for the Flint Creek Stock Association) had returned from a difficult trip through the mountains at the head of Harvey Creek. In the Gilbert Gulch area they had found a herd of eighty-five horses that they believed had been stashed there by Frank Brady. The story was that Brady would round up a large herd of stolen horses and then drive them down Rock Creek, up the Clarks Fork to the Black Foot and into the Swan Lake country, then on into Canada, where he sold them. Because the snow was so deep in the area Schoonover's horse had given out and Wyman loaned his horse to Schoonover and returned by train from Bonita. They planned to wait until June to go back and bring out the stolen horses. 

The next news information (on June 30th) stated that Thomas Brady and Clyde Lee had rode into Gilbert Gulch to retrieve the Brady horses and the law watched them closely. When they drove the horses out of the area one of the horses was known to have the Metcalf brand. They were unable to provide proof they had purchased the horse so Lee and Brady were arrested for horse stealing by C.K. Wyman and Deputy Sheriff Jeff Norris. Brady's case went to jury trial on March 13, 1906 and after deliberating for seven hours the jury found him not guilty. Lee's case was then dismissed. Thomas Brady filed a law suit against George Metcalf for $50,500 for alleged false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. On September 20, 1906 a jury was convened and at the conclusion of the trial a motion for non-suit was sustained and the jury excused.

Also in 1906 C.K. Wyman began full-time employment with the Deer Lodge National Forest Service. In 1907, he was transferred as a supervisor to the Dillon office in the Beaverhead area. Cyrus was elected Sheriff of Beaverhead County in 1916 and resigned from his Forest Service position.

While serving as Sheriff on April 21, 1920, C.K. was shot twice through the abdomen and the lungs and died within the hour. According to the news report, Sheriff Wyman had arrived in Monida to arrest a horse thief. After placing the man under arrest, the prisoner requested permission to go to his cabin to get his coat. Wyman accompanied the man to the building and as they rounded the corner of the cabin the prisoner whirled around with a gun in both hands. Wyman was shot at close range. Fifty-three years of age, Cyrus King Wyman was survived by his wife and daughter Thelma.

The horse thief was executed on August 26, 1921.

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