Stuart’s Stranglers had a brief but deadly life in 1884. Civic and political leader Granville Stuart formed the group after several of his cattle were stolen. Between 17 and 40 men joined up, chasing down alleged rustlers and other criminals. Opponents say they also killed squatters and nesters. Several offenders were lynched; others were shot to death in gunfights. Over that year, the Stranglers left about 20 men dead.
The Montana Stock Growers’ Association was impressed; they made Stuart their president that year.