Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Simpsons in:
 • New Miners UMW of A Cemetery
 • Roundup
 • Musselshell County
 • Montana
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial! Advertisement
Warren Lee Simpson
Learn about upgrading this memorial...
Birth: Oct. 23, 1885
Macon County
Missouri, USA
Death: Dec. 30, 1939
Golden Valley County
Montana, USA

Simpson has the distinction of being the only man to be hanged in Golden
Valley County and the last man to be hanged in Montana for killing a law
enforcement officer. On April 14, 1938 he shot and killed Undersh
eriff Arthur "Buzz" Burford
who also doubled as the deputy county
treasurer. Buzz had only been an officer for about a month and a half.
Simpson was fifty-one years-old and had risen from a common mine laborer to
become one of the most prosperous cattlemen in the county. He did have a
very bad temper and had a few scrapes with the law from being accused by
neighbors of rustling some livestock. In March of 1938 he fired both of his
ranch hands and hired Robert
and Gerald
McDonald who he had known all their lives. Their first task was to hide
a beautiful black mare and her colt that was stolen from a neighbor. Then in
a fit of rage he made a list of all people that he thought might know about
the stolen mare with the intent to kill each of them. The McDonald brothers
were his first victims and he hid their bodies in the rim rock behind the
Roundup Country Club. When Sheriff Elmer Dolve and Burford went to the ranch
to discuss another matter with Simpson he became afraid that the bodies had
been found and met them with gunfire. Dolve managed to make the cover of
some rocks and Burford ran to their vehicle. Burford was exposed when
Simpson went to an upstairs window and was mortally wounded. Simpson went
out to the body and continued to shoot him. He was shot a total of seven
times with a high powered rifle and several times with a .22 caliber rifle.
Some shots were close enough to leave powder burns. Returning to the house
he managed to hold off Sheriff Dolve and sometime during the night he made
his escape. He fled to Lewiston, Montana where his children were in school.
He spent the night in a local hotel under an assumed name and turned himself
into the Fergus County sheriff the next day after visiting with his
children. He confessed to the McDonald murders but was only tried for the
Burford murder. He was found guilty and at 2:14 in the morning he fell
through the trap door and declared dead sixteen minutes later.

New Miners UMW of A Cemetery
Musselshell County
Montana, USA
Plot: Block 719, Lot C
Created by: Julia Dodson
Record added: Apr 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50720602
Warren Lee Simpson
Added by: Julia Dodson
Warren Lee Simpson
Added by: Julia Dodson
Warren Lee Simpson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Julia Dodson
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Tom Todd
 Added: Feb. 4, 2011

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service UPDATED