Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Aug. 26 – On this day in Montana history in 1862 the first official hanging in what became Montana took place on a tree at Gold Creek near present day Garrison Junction on the Interstate between Missoula and Butte. C.W. Spillman, 25, reportedly from Kentucky was found guilty of horse stealing by a miner’s court headed by Walter Booth Dance. Spillman admitted his crime and asked only to be given time to write a letter to his father asking his forgiveness. Noted Montana pioneer Granville Stuart said Spillman was not a hardened criminal but a firm and brave man who met his death with great nerve. Some still call Gold Creek “Hangtown.”

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