#Lookback: Mrs. Lizzie Fletcher Broken Horn

A County 10 series in partnership with the Fremont County Museum System
where we take a #Lookback at the stories and history of our community and
presented by Mick Pryor, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.

In 1900, Ed Farlow, the “Wyoming Cowboy” was escorting a group of Native Americans on a promotional tour to Casper. One of the women was a fair-haired blue-eyed woman about 40 years of age. She spoke no English and dressed, painted her face, and behaved as an Arapaho woman. The people of Casper asked about her.  Farlow claimed to have known her since 1878 when the Arapahoe was first put on the Shoshone reservation. William McCabe, a military scout, had pointed her out to Farlow and told her story.

Farlow said this fair-haired woman had been captured at Rock Creek station, at what is today Southern Nebraska on the old emigrant trail in August of 1865 by Cheyenne when she was only 2 years old. She was later sold to the Arapaho and became the wife of a man named Broken Horn. Her story was published in several western newspapers and attracted the attention of Mrs. A.M. Cook of Davenport, Iowa.  

When Mrs. Cook was about 13, her family was at Rock Creek Station when they were attacked by Cheyenne. She and her 2-year-old sister were taken captive. Her mother was killed in the attack. She lived for 16 months among the Cheyenne before she was ransomed by a fur trader named Hanger and sent to Fort Laramie. She was sent back to Illinois. She had not seen her baby sister since the day of the attack and was wondering if this fair-haired Arapaho woman might be her long-lost sister.

In due time, Mrs. Cook came to Casper and then took a stagecoach to the reservation where she made a definite identification of her sister. Her sister’s name had been Lizzie Fletcher before the attack on Rock Creek station. Through an interpreter, Mrs. Cook told Lizzie about their mother and the attack that had separated the family.  Mrs. Cook Invited her Arapaho sister to return with her to Davenport, Iowa, but Mrs. Broken Horn refused. She knew nothing of that former life. She did not know English and was happy to live with her Arapaho husband. Mrs. Cook was broken-hearted but returned to Iowa without her sister. 

According to the 1921 Arapaho Tribal Census, Broken Horn’s wife was called Killing Horn and her Indian name was Kills to Time, before 1900 she was known as Second Woman. Records show she and Broken Horn were married in 1876. They seem to have had one son called Walks Ahead; later, he was known as Walker Horn. He died before his parents, and they left no living children.

When Ed Farlow asked Lizzie Broken Horn why she did not go to Iowa with her sister, Lizzie answered she was afraid she would be unable to return to the reservation.  

Mrs. Broken Horn was Arapaho in every sense of the word except blood. She was content with her life. She lived out her days in Arapaho, and she and her husband were buried in St. Stephen’s Cemetery. Broken Horn died in 1929, and Lizzie died in 1930.

The photo shows Lizzie and her husband Broken Horn.

Next up for the Fremont County Museum

January 22, 6 pm at the Dubois Museum, “Astronomy of the Winter Sky with Tom Herret”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

February 4, 9-5 pm “First Friday” at the Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum, and Riverton Museum.  State Farm Riverton/State Farm Lander

Thru October 2022, 9-5 pm Monday-Saturday, at the Pioneer Museum, “Hurrah for The Cowboy: Men of the Open Range” Art Exhibition

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander, and the Riverton Museum need your financial support. In the current economic environment, the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits, and services that have become their hallmark over the last four years. Please make your tax-deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

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