Many people spend their lives doing something they hate.  On the other hand, when a person finds something he loves, and dTeton Jacksonoes it well, even if it is stealing horses, he’s lucky.

Harvey Gleason was over six feet tall. He had a shabby beard, ruddy face with flaming red hair and black eyes.  By his mid 40s, he had supposedly killed several soldiers and deputy marshals.

But, people didn’t know him as Harvey Gleason, everyone knew his as Teton Jackson.  He got his name from his favorite area in Wyoming, the Teton Mountains and Jackson Hole.  For a living Teton Jackson stole horses.  Not one or two at a time, but hundreds.  For about eight years, Teton and his men stole horsed during the summer and hid out among the Teton Mountains during the winter.

While in Eagle Rock, Idaho, Teton killed a man.  When the sheriff came to investigate the shooting, he found the victim frozen stiff on the ground.  Needing evidence of the killing, and unable to transport the whole body, the sheriff brought in just the head.  An investigation found the killing to be justified.

Finally, tired of loosing horses, livestock associations in Idaho and Wyoming started putting up rewards for Teton and his men.  And, money talked.  A local sheriff found Teton, and brought him in.  He was tried and on November 5, 1885, sentenced to 14 years in prison.  Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.   But, relief was short lived.  For nine months later, Teton escaped from jail.  Even though Teton was free for two years before he was recaptured, few horses were stolen because his gang’s numbers were drastically reduced by posse bullets and jail.

After four more years in jail, Teton received a pardon for good behavior.  And he continued that good behavior for the next 35 years, marring a Shoshone woman, and doing some guiding, always riding a horse with his brand on it.

Filed under: Old West History

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