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The Dutch Charley Controvesy

A minor local controversy has arisen over the question of Dutch Charley’s body after his 1879 lynching in Carbon by irate citizens. The record indicates that the mob left the outlaw’s body hanging overnight in Carbon before it was cut down, loaded on the train, and shipped to Rawlins where the coroner’s held his inquest.

The Carbon Cemetery today. Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office.

Some have argued that Dutch was buried on the hill just outside the fenced Carbon cemetery, but there is no record of interment. The question I raised in my book was, why would the citizens of Carbon County ship the body of a murderer back to Carbon from Rawlins for burial near the cemetery holding one of his victims? Citizens despised Dutch Charley, and we know from later evidence regarding other gang members that selecting the final resting place for a killer was not a high priority.

I suspect Dutch Charley was either buried in an unmarked grave in the vicinity of Rawlins, or otherwise disposed of by party/parties unknown after the inquest. History is silent on the actual circumstances. I will be discussing this topic in more details

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