Never Was a “Cattle Kate”

cattle-kate-blogPerhaps the most shocking thing about the only woman ever lynched in the nation as a cattle rustler is that everything about this western legend is a lie.

Yes, a woman was lynched with her husband on July 20, 1889 in Wyoming Territory. And yes, for a century, everyone said it was “rangeland justice” that this horrible rustler and dirty whore got her due. But here’s what history got wrong: She wasn’t a rustler, she wasn’t a whore and nobody ever called her Cattle Kate until she was dead and they needed an excuse.

In reality, her name was Ella Watson. She was a 29 year­-old homesteader who was murdered to get her land and water rights. My historical novel, Cattle Kate lays out the real story.

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