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Valentine Shade “V.S.” Hoy

Hoy's Gap, Centre County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 1 Mar 1898 (aged 49)
Moffat County, Colorado, USA
Burial Fremont, Dodge County, Nebraska, USA
Plot Unmarked in Lot 4 Block 143
Memorial ID 13593155 · View Source
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3rd of 6 children of HENRY HOY, Jr. & MARY ANN SMITH

Military: Civil War, Union Army
Co G, 11th Reg, Vol Inf, Wisconsin, Private

Occupation: Miner, rancher/cattleman, livestock dealer

Affiliation: Mason, Lodge #15, Fremont, Dodge Co., Nebraska

Died: at age 49; shot by infamous outlaw Harry Tracy (born Harry Severns)

Married: Dec 27, 1883, JULIA ELINOISE BLAIR, Fremont, Dodge Co., Nebraska

Four children:
1. Gertir?/Gertic? HOY
2. Baby Girl HOY
3. Neva Louise HOY
4. Valentine Shade HOY, II

V.S. was an early cattleman in remote Brown's Park in northwestern Colorado. He was a posse member in the pursuit of Harry Tracy, an infamous outlaw of the time. When the posse attempted to arrest Tracy at the mouth of the Lodore Canyon, Tracy shot and killed Hoy.
Mar 9, 1898, THE FREMONT TRIBUNE, Fremont, Dodge Co., Nebraska:
Funeral Sermon of Rev. Buss is a Finished Effort.
Details of the Final Wyoming Affair—Three Men who Were Connected
With the Murder of Hoy are Lynched Without Mercy—Four Outlaws Meet Their Death.

The funeral of Valentine S. Hoy, who was killed last week in Wyoming by outlaws, was held this afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Congregational church, a large number of friends of the deceased being present to pay their last tribute to the dead.

The ceremonies were under the direction of the Masonic lodge of this city, to which Mr. Hoy belonged. A large number of Fremont Lodge No. 15 A.F. and A.M. marched in a body to the undertaker's and escorted the body to the church. The casket rested in front of the altar and was surrounded by many beautiful floral designs, sent by the friends of the deceased.

The sermon preached by Wm. H. Buss in the text and its elucidation was remarkably appropriate and comforting to those who mourned. He spoke of the deceased as possessing rugged and manly virtues, and as having died a martyr to the cause of civilizing the lawless sections of the country. "We all," said Rev. Buss, "owe something to the heroism of this courageous man who stood between law and order, and outlawry and disorder."

After the sermon, the friends were given an opportunity to view the body. The remains were taken to Ridge cemetery and at the grave, the ritual of the Masonic order was carried out.

Later Particulars of the Killing
Fuller particulars of the death of V.S. Hoy have been obtained from those who came last evening from Rock Springs, Wyo., with the remains, and they go to show that it had all the elements of the most tragic ending.

Mr. Hoy late in January went from Rock Springs, where he was spending the winter, to his Brown Park ranch eight or ninety miles south on Green river in Colorado. He was feeding a small bunch of cattle there for delivery in the near future. "Rustlers" were stealing these from the ranch and February 26th or 27th he started out on the trail of the thieves. He traced them to the Two Bar ranch, twenty or thirty miles away. He was seen approaching in the dusk of the evening and two of the rustlers went out to meet him, "got the drop on him" and took his gun and cartridges from him. One of these was Pat Johnson, who two or three days later killed him. Hoy was compelled to stay with the outlaws at the Two Bar ranch over night. Next day he rode on to his summer ranch, on Red Creek, higher up the mountains, and about halfway back to Rock Springs. Mr. and Mrs. Blair, his wife's father and mother, occupy the ranch. He was horrified to find that a 16-year-old boy named Strang who made his home with the Hoys a good deal of the time, had three or four days before been wantonly murdered by Johnson. The boy was going from the cabin to the corral and Johnson calmly remarked to one of his pals standing near by that he guessed he would shoot the — —. He lifted his gun and sent a bullet through the boy, who lingered nineteen hours in great agony. Hoy was very much attached to the boy and his cruel and unprovoked murder, added to the humiliation he (Hoy) had suffered at the "rustlers" hands at the Two Bar ranch and the repeated loss of cattle through them, he termined to bring the men to account, which he did, but at the loss of this own life.

Hoy immediately aroused the law-abiding ranchmen of the mountains and these with officers set out to run down the outlaws. They were traced to a wild and rocky fastness in Ladore canyon, near the Green river, six miles east of Hoy's Brown Park ranch. This was the rendezvous of the gang of cut throats. Hoy was frenzied at the succession of outrages. He took the lead. The mountain fastness held by the gang could not be reached except on foot. As the pursuers climbed the precipitous heights Hoy was in front. Often he climbed up and his gun was passed to him by those behind. Soon they came to where the outlaws had evidently made their beds the night before. A little further and the smolding remnant of a cigarette was found. Despite this Hoy clambered on without fear or apparently thinking of his danger. Suddenly, not six feet away, concealed behind a rock, he came upon Johnson, who sent a bullet through his heart, killing him instantly, the body rolling down the mountain side, where it remained twenty four hours. Hoy's friends fled, and the gang left that rendezvous. When the posse rallied and went in search next day, officers were concealed in a ranchman's cabin into which one of their number, Bennett, had been enticed and captured. Bennett was not with the gang when Hoy was killed in Ladore canyon, but he was one of them and the posse was so wrought up over the outrages that while he prayed and begged for mercy he was politely but firmly lynched. On Sunday or Monday of this week the rest of the gang, three in number, were captured at a sheep ranch where they applied for something to eat, they having been four days without food. They made no resistance. The posse at once dug three graves. The outlaws were then successively and successfully hanged, the last one witnessing the fate of his two pals. They were wrapped in their blankets and buried.

From the beginning to the end the affair was filled with thrilling and exciting tragedy. There were six deaths, all told. Four outlaws paid the penalty for their crimes and Hoy and the Strang boy were their unfortunate victims.
Note: Valentine Hoy is buried next to his two deceased infant children at Ridge Cemetery, Fremont, Dodge Co., Nebraska, along with Winnie (Davis) Chamberlin, the first child of Valentine's sister, Emily S. Chamberlin

Family Members



No headstone, buried Mar 9, 1898

Gravesite Details Buried: Mar 9, 1898