Henry Plummer – Sheriff Meets a Noose

Further, the vigilantes brooked no criticism of their methods. When a preacher’s son named Bill Hunter expressed his outrage by shouting on a mining camp street that pro-vigilantes were “stranglers,” his frozen corpse was found three weeks later dangling from the limb of a cottonwood tree.

There is really little evidence connecting Plummer with any crime committed in the Bannack area, other than the “confession” of a criminal attempting to save his own life. Plummer’s activities as an outlaw band leader in Lewiston have also been disputed; when evidence was found that he was actually living in California at the time.

Three years after Plummer was killed, the vigilantes virtually ruled the mining districts. Finally, leading citizens of Montana including Territorial Governor Thomas Meagher, began to speak out against the ruthless group.

In March, 1867, the miners issued their own warning that if the vigilantes hanged any more people, the “law abiding citizens” would retaliate “five for one.” Though a few more lynchings occurred, it was clear that the era of the vigilantes was past.

As to what happened to Electa — she ultimately moved to Vermillion, South Dakota, where she married James Maxwell, a widower with two daughters. Electa and James had two sons of their own, Vernon and Clarence. Electa lived until May 5, 1912 and was buried at Wakonda, South Dakota.

The historical town of Bannack, Montana was placed under the protection of Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks in 1954 and is now called the Bannack State Park.


© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated October, 2017.

Also See:

Bannack, Montana – Gold to Ghosts

Bannack Photo Gallery

Ghost Town Ghost in Bannack, Montana

Henry Plummer by Emerson Hough

Mines of Idaho & Montana

Montana Vigilantes

The Vigilantes of California, Idaho, & Montana

2 thoughts on “Henry Plummer – Sheriff Meets a Noose”

  1. This is a bunch of bullcrap! I’m sorry but i’ve looked in books, videos and tons of other websites, this man didn’t start evil, he was good until later years. The brawl over the “painted lady”, that isn’t why he shot him…
    he was doing a citizens arrest when william resisted Henry shot him in self defense, and then TURNED HIMSELF IN TO THE POLICE
    fearing that he wouldn’t get a fair trial in what they believed to have been self-defense, they LET HIM LEAVE!!!
    I am not trying to degrade this site, i am just saying don’t trust all you read. Sorry, but it’s true…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *