Red Angus

Red Angus

William (Red) Angus was born at Janesville, Ohio on 9th November, 1849. He served in the army at Fort McKinney, Wyoming. After leaving in 1880 he found work as a bartender at Buffalo.

In 1889 Angus was elected sheriff of Johnson County. In the late 1880s a conflict arose between the owners of large and small ranches in the area. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association claimed that that some of these smaller operations were involved in stealing cattle from its members. It decided to employ a group of fifty gunmen called the Regulators to exterminate the men carrying out these activities. The small ranch owners responded by establishing the rival Northern Wyoming Farmers and Stock Growers Association.

This conflict became known as the Johnson County War. In 1892 the Wyoming Stock Growers Association drew up a death list of seventy suspected rustlers. They also recruited an extra twenty-two gunmen from Texas. In April 1892, Frank Wolcott led the Regulators into Johnson County. They went to the KC Ranch and shot dead Nick Ray and Nate Champion.

News of these events reached Red Angus and he quickly raised an army of 300 men and went after Wolcott's army. Angus men besieged Wolcott's forces at the TA Ranch until they were rescued by the 6th Cavalry three days later.

Frank Wolcott and his men were held at Fort McKinney but with the support of the powerful Wyoming Stock Growers Association the men were released without charge. Over the next couple of years Wolcott continued in his efforts to destroy members of the Northern Wyoming Farmers and Stock Growers Association.

Angus left office in 1893. He moved to Kaycee, Wyoming, where he ran a ranch.

William (Red) Angus died in Buffalo in 1921.