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    Frank M. Canton [Josiah Horner], Criminal Warrant Signed, "F. M. Canton". Frank M. Canton [Josiah Horner], Criminal Warrant Signed, "F. M. Canton". Two partially printed pages, front and verso, 8.5" x 7", August 13, 1884, Johnson County, Wyoming Territory. The warrant calls for the arrest of Charles Petty for "unlawfully & feloniously take, steal & carry away two cows of the value of $80.00 & the personal property of Low Bros. & Co.". On the back is a fifty word certification written and signed by Canton stating he complied with the warrant by "...arresting the within named Defendant & taking him to court."

    Josiah Horner drifted into Texas working as a cowboy. In 1871, he started robbing banks and rustling cattle, which at the time was a capital offense. On October 10, 1874, Horner got into a gunfight with some Buffalo Soldiers, killing one and wounding the other. In 1877, he was arrested for robbing a bank in Comanche, Texas. He escaped from Texas Ranger custody and moved to Ogallala, Nebraska and took up a herd of cattle. While in Nebraska, he officially changed his name to Frank M. Canton and vowed to give up his outlaw ways. Frank Canton was hired as a stock detective for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. He was also elected sheriff of Johnson County, Wyoming. In 1885, Canton resigned the sheriff's job and returned to working for the W.S.G.A.

    During the Johnson County War, Canton signed on as one of Frank Wolcott's Regulators. On April 9, 1892, Canton led the Regulators to the "KC Ranch", where Nate Champion and Nick Ray were staying. Two other men at the ranch that day were captured as they emerged shortly after the Regulators arrived. Ray was shot and killed in the opening minutes of the ensuing gunbattle. Champion, a one time friend of Canton's, held off the regulators in a gunbattle for most of the day, killing at least four of the Regulators and wounding others. At 5:00 p.m., Canton set the house on fire. Nate Champion soon burst out of the house firing his Winchester rifle. Champion was shot 28 times.

    Also while working for the cattlemen's association, Canton was involved with the clashes between the wealthy cattlemen's association and Cattle Kate, which eventually resulted in her lynching. He was not involved in her hanging and reportedly felt uncomfortable with that situation. It was following those incidents with both Champion and Cattle Kate that Canton left the cattlemen's association. Canton traveled to Oklahoma, and became a respected U.S. Marshal. He worked with other famous lawmen such as Heck Thomas, Chris Madsen, and Bill Tilghman during that time. In 1895, Canton joined a posse that tracked down Bill and John Shelley, who barricaded themselves in a cabin across the Arkansas River. After 5 hours and more than 800 shots fired, Canton sent a burning wagon into the cabin, and the outlaws surrendered.

    In 1897, Canton went to Alaska to follow the gold rush but instead became a Deputy U.S. Marshal. He returned to the states in 1907 and became Adjutant General for the Oklahoma National Guard. At some point during this time, Canton arranged a meeting with the Governor of Texas. He confessed that he was secretly Joe Horner, and the governor took his law enforcement service into consideration and granted him a pardon. He chose to be known as Frank Canton for the remainder of his lifetime.

    Near fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    23rd-25th Friday-Sunday
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