Frank Canton (Frank Canton)

Frank Canton

Outlaw and Lawman. His real name was Joe Horner, born near Richmond, Virginia. As a child his family moved to Texas where he became a cowboy, and worked the trails from Northern Texas to Kansas in the late 1860’s. In 1871 he started robbing banks and rustling cattle. In 1877 he was jailed for robbing the bank at Comanche, Texas. He escaped jail and returned to herding cattle. He took a herd up to Nebraska where he officially changed his name to Frank Canton and vowed to give up his outlaw ways. Frank hired on as a stock detective for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, a group of powerful cattlemen determined to drive out any small rancher or farmer who settled in Johnson County. He was also elected sheriff of Johnson County, Wyoming. In 1885, Frank married and had two children. He resigned the sheriff’s job and returned to working for the W.S.G.A., and at the same time working as a U.S. Deputy Marshal. During the Johnson County War, Frank signed on as one of Frank Wolcott’s Regulators. In April, 1892, he led the Regulators to the “KC Ranch”, where Nate Champion and Nick Ray were staying. Two other men at the ranch that day were captured as they emerged shortly after the Regulators arrived. Ray was shot and killed in the opening minutes of the ensuing gunbattle. Champion, a one time friend of Frank’s, held off the regulators in a gunbattle for most of the day, killing at least four of the Regulators and wounding others. That evening Frank set the house on fire. Champion soon burst out of the house firing his rifle and was shot a total of 28 times. Frank ended relation with the W.S.G.A. shortly after. Frank then traveled to Oklahoma, and became a respected Deputy U.S. Marshal under Judge Isaac Parker, based out of Fort Smith, Arkansas. He worked with other famous lawmen such as Heck Thomas, Chris Madsen, and Bill Tilghman during that time. ¬†Frank left his family in 1897 and accepted an appointment as U.S. Deputy Marshal in Alaska. His adventures became quite well known and he reportedly tamed the entire lawless town of Dawson. The harsh Alaskan winter of 1898 took a great toll on his health and so he returned to Oklahoma and once more became a lawman. In 1907, Frank became the adjutant general of the Oklahoma National Guard and held that position until his death in 1927. (bio by: Shock)


  • September, 15, 1849
  • USA


  • September, 09, 1927
  • USA


  • Fairlawn Cemetery
  • Oklahoma
  • USA

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