The Vigilante Movement

The Vigilante Movement - The Deadliest Day

January 14th, 1864 went down in Vigilante history as the deadliest single day of hanging by the group. The captured five members of Sheriff Plumbers gang and hanged them from an unfinished building in the streets of Virginia City. Early on the morning of the 14th a pose of vigilantes met and split into groups and set off to capture the wanted men. Frank Parish was arrested first at a store in town. George "Clubfoot" Lane was next at his place of work Dance & Stuart store. Boone Helm was arrested outside the Virginia Hotel on Wallace Street. The next group (which included Reginald Stanley) had arrived at the Arbor Restaurant to pick up Hayes Lyons. When they searched the premises for Hayes they found he had made his escape, but to their amazement, they found Jack Gallagher hiding behind a mattress with a shotgun and revolver. "What the hell is this all about" he demanded but was arrested without incident which is a surprise because he was a feisty and bullish man. Hayes Lyons was eventually found in countryside cabin.

The five men arrested were marched through town to the corner of Wallace and Van Buren Streets (the unfinished building was later to become Clayton and Hale's Drug Store). Five ropes were placed over the open beams, five boxes were placed on the floor below the ropes and the men were made to stand on their boxes, they stood left to right Parish, Helm, Gallagher, Lyons and Lane.