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Photo of Boot Hill Cemetery
Cemetery gate and historical marker photographed August 27, 2006.

The marker reads:

Nebraska Historical Marker

BOOT HILL

Boot Hill was the final resting place for many early westerners who helped make Ogallala a booming cowtown in the 1870's and 1880's. These people, the cowboys, settlers, and drifters, came to Ogallala when the railroad and the Texas Trail opened a new market for the Texas Longhorn.

Although one of the first burials here was a mother and child, many came by running afoul of the law--some for stealing another man's horse. Others were killed by re-fighting the Civil War or for questioning a gambler's winning hand. In July of 1879 three cowhands were buried in a single day, victims of the sheriff's guns. Another man, "Rattlesnake Ed", was buried here after he was shot down over a nine dollar bet in a Monte game is the Cowboys Rest, a local saloon.

Most were buried here with their boots on, thus the name Boot Hill. Their bodies, placed in canvas sacks, were lowered into shallow graves and marked with a wooden headboard. Some of the bodies have been removed--only the unknown or the unclaimed remain in this western cemtery.

Keith County Historical Society/ Historical Land Mark Council

Added by: Cherie Atkinson Clark
8/27/2006

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