|Death: ||May 23, 1903|
SHEEP HERDER SHOT TO DEATH ON THE RANGE NEAR HILLSDALE
News of what is undoubtedly a murder was received here yesterday morning by Coroner Murray. John Keppler, a herder employed by the Warren Live Stock company, was found dead in the prairie about four and a half miles from Hillsdale, a point on the Union Pacific about twenty miles east of Cheyenne. Upon receipt of the news the Coroner with Deputy Sheriff Snow set out for the scene and returned with the body yesterday afternoon and placed it in the Warren undertaking parlors, where an inquest will be held this morning
Keppler and a Mexican were herding some 4,000 sheep together and occupied the same cabin. They were last seen together by the camp tender on Saturday and were apparently on good terms. There had never been trouble between them. On Tuesday a number of the Warren sheep were found astray near Pole creek, and R.G. Wager, another herder in the employ of the company, was sent to collect them.
No foul play was at first suspected, and the search was bent toward the recovery of the sheep, which had been widely scattered. When it became known that the men, particularly the Mexican had a considerable amount of money due him and as the bedding and other property of the men had been left in the cabin search was made and on Friday afternoon about 4 o'clock the body of Keppler was discovered by Wager.
The body lay about a mile and a half from the cabin and some hundred and fifty yards from the county road. The man had been shot but once. The bullet entered the left arm above the wrist, passing through it and entering the body on the left side just below the ribs.
Circumstances indicate that he was shot while drinking; his assassin probably lying on the ground beside him. It is supposed the murder was done with a .30-30 rifle, as the Mexican is known to have owned one.
The Mexican has entirely disappeared, and The Tribune has been unable to get a good description of him.
Keppler was a man of 25 or 30 years of age, was six feet in height and weighed some 200 pounds. J. K. was tattooed upon the back of the left hand.
His effects are in the hands of the Coroner, who will endeavor to locate his relatives.
A small .38 calibre sixshooter was found, butt down, in the hip pocket. The body when discovered was guarded by the victim's faithful sheep dog, who, half dead from hunger and thirst, could not be induced to leave his master until taken away by force.
© Wyoming Tribune no. 146 May 24, 1903 page 4
Submitted by Lostnwyomn May 2013.
Note: No stone
Plot: Lot 394 Sec D
Created by: Eric Crow
Record added: Aug 20, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29177155