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Johnson County Cattle War

Johnson County Cattle War

In 2019, a large mural was painted on the north-facing wall of the building. The painting was commissioned by Mark Riddle, owner of what was then 4th on Main steakhouse, as part of his plan to renovate the former Clear Creek Cantina.

Dan Toro, the artist, recalls: “I was asked to depict events and images related to the Johnson County Cattle War. Most of the details came from the book, Banditti of The Plains, telling the history of the cattlemen’s invasion in 1892.”
The wagon wheel on fire represents the wagon ridden by Alonzo Taylor and his stepfather, Jack Flagg, two of the witnesses of the shootout. Taylor and Flagg abandoned the wagon to escape the Invaders, who set the wagon on fire to push into the KC cabin.

The skull represents what the conflict was about – the cattle and land. And the map depicts the route where all the events happened. The guns are the bookends.

“At the bottom, the owner, Mark, wanted a jail cell, where the captors were held, in Buffalo, and guns for people to stand next to for photos,” Toro said. “It was interesting trying to retell a dark story and trying to make it interesting and beautiful for Buffalo. It was a very dark part of Johnson County’s history and ended poorly with little justice in the end after the prisoners were sent to Cheyenne to be tried, and later, freed.”

Signage on the front and back of the building were done in the same style and colors so that they didn’t take away from the mural.

Artist: Dan Toro

Location: 4 S. Main St Buffalo WY, 82834