Wyoming, MN

John Fino

The Hanging of George Kelly

In 1896 robbers broke into the Junction Hotel in Wyoming, MN. Moments later, two young men were dead, and a third man nearly so.

For three days, posses from all over the county pursued the robbers, and the final stand-off took place deep in the tamarack swamps outside North Branch, MN. When the smoke cleared, one fugitive was dead (lead poisoning, according to the coroner’s report), and the other two captured. Only one, George Kelley, was convicted of the murders, and became the only man ever executed in Chisago County, MN.

This is a ficitonal re-telling of that story, of America’s enduring love affair with guns and with violence, and how small towns cope with senseless tragedy.


Ne'er-Do-Wells (NDWs): George Kelly late 30s - criminal Bob Wilson late 40s - criminal Arthur Johnson late 40s – criminal Hotel Staff, Guest: Dr. Burnside Foster early 40s - doctor Nellie Paul mid 40s - hotel proprietor Wilson Lyle mid 40s - hotel employee Edward Paul early 30s - nephew of Nellie Jacob Hayes early 20s - cousin of Nellie William Paul late 40s- hotel proprietor, husband of Nellie Law Enforcement, Posse: Sheriff Anderson 33 yrs old - Chisago County Sheriff Postmaster Vaughn Postmaster, North Branch MN Marshal Rystrom Town Marshal, North Branch MN Jim Hunt North Branch resident, posse Franke Foote Posse Member 1 Posse Member 2 Wyoming, MN Citizens: Father Moreau Catholic priest Mrs. McDonald late 40s - neighbor to hotel Sutton Son 1 late teens - neighbor to hotel Sutton Son 2 late teens - neighbor to hotel Other Characters: Brakeman Caldwell early 40s Judge Nethaway county Judge, Kelly's defense attorney Foreman for murder trial Judge for murder trial Posse Member 1 Posse Member 2