My parents Frank, and Betty Rose Miller, raised me on the I Lazy D ranch in Carbon County Wyoming, an outfit started by my great-grandfather, Ike, as one of his various businesses, in addition to his role as sheriff. Growing up in the wide-open country of south central Wyoming taught me the importance of understanding the rural landscape, its natural resources, and the influence they play on the development of human settlement.
These traits were just as important to lawmen and outlaws in late-nineteenth century Wyoming, who relied on a knowledge of cultural landscapes. I hope my description of the Wyoming terrain and communities adds context to the story about Parott and his exploits.
Carbon County provided the perfect choice for routing the Union Pacific Railroad through southern Wyoming. Much of it is a low-lying intermountain basin between the Central Rocky Mountains to the north and the Southern Rocky Mountains to the south. The route became a magnet for human settlement and commerce, with the trains often carrying well-to-do passengers, mineral shipments, and payrolls west to east, and back again.
Outlaws took advantage of this line, and frequently attempted to rob it. Big Nose George and his Powder River Gang were no exception. Their criminal exploits are forever etched into nineteenth century Carbon County history.