1874: John Murphy

On this date in 1874, John Murphy was publicly hanged at the foot of Carson City’s Lone Mountain for murder.

The New York Times (.pdf) story, reprinted here in its entirety, suggests the tenor of the affair in the young western state:

John Murphy, who was executed at Carson, Nevada, yesterday, for the murder of J.R. McCallum, was a native of Scotland, and at one time traveled with John C. Heenan, giving sparring exhibitions. On the scaffold he made some remarks professing his belief in spiritualism, and at the same time uttering horrible blasphemy.

He had been temporarily reprieved December 18 to determine his sanity.

This appears to be the only historically identifiable execution in Carson City from the Nevada Territory’s creation in 1861 until the legislature in 1903 removed all Nevada executions to that city’s state prison — where they still take place to this day.