February 21, 2023

Preservation Thursday: The Lynchings of Ella Watson and Elizabeth Taylor: connecting gender, violence, and land reform laws in the 19th Century West

DEADWOOD – Deadwood History, Inc. and the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission will host a presentation by Dr. Renee Laegreid, professor of the American West at the University of Wyoming, at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), 150 Sherman Street, Deadwood. The event is free to Deadwood History members and $5 for non-members. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Dr. Renee Laegreid will be discussing the lives and tragic deaths of Wyoming's Ellen "Cattle Kate" Watson and Nebraska's Elizabeth Taylor, two pioneer women who were hanged as cattle thieves in the late 1880s. Learn how these violent executions shed light on the darker history of the Western cattle industry and women in the West.

Dr. Renee M. Laegreid is Professor of history and the Andrew Allen Excellence Fellow in western history at the University of Wyoming. Her areas of specialty include women and gender in the 20th century U.S. West, where she has published extensively on the diversity of women and their experiences in this region. Laegreid’s research also includes the cultural and social analysis of western iconography, examining how symbols of the West have been created and shaped over time, and across international boundaries. Her essay, “The Legacy of the West in Twentieth Century Italy” won a prestigious Western Heritage Award. Laegreid is series editor for “Women and the American West,” published by University of Oklahoma Press, and “Sandoz Studies,” published by the University of Nebraska Press and has been featured in documentary films on women rodeo performers, and more recently on her work in women’s suffrage.

This program is co-sponsored by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, Deadwood History, Adams-Mastrovich Family Foundation, Deadwood Chamber & Visitors Bureau, Double Tree by Hilton at Cadillac Jacks, and the Black Hills Pioneer.


Photographs available upon request.

We inspire the global community by preserving and celebrating the cultural heritage of Deadwood and the Black Hills in the context of the American West through exceptional exhibits, innovative educational programs, and access to extensive collections in unique settings.

Adams Museum, Days of '76 Museum, Historic Adams House, Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), and The Brothel Deadwood.

Book Now