Charles B. Penrose papers, 1890-1936 (bulk 1913-1916)

Overview of the Collection

Penrose, Charles B. (Charles Bingham), 1862-1925
Charles B. Penrose papers
1890-1936 (bulk 1913-1916) (inclusive)
cubic ft. (2 boxes)
Collection Number
Papers written and collected by Penrose reflecting the Wyoming Stock Growers' position during the Johnson County War of 1892.
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming
American Heritage Center
University of Wyoming
1000 E. University Ave.
Dept. 3924
Laramie, WY
Telephone: 3077663756
Access Restrictions
Access Restrictions

Photocopies are provided for research use. The collection is open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Charles B. Penrose (1862-1925), a doctor from Philadelphia, came to Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1891 to try to recover his health. He was invited to accompany a group of stockgrowers in a raid on suspected cattle rustlers in Johnson County, Wyoming, in April 1892, which later became known as the Johnson County War. Penrose fell behind the main group and did not participate in the actual raid on the KC Ranch but was arrested near Douglas, Wyoming, for being a member of the party. He corresponded with his brother Senator Boies Penrose, Wyoming Supreme Court Clerk Richard H. Repath, U.S. Attorney Bob Ralston and writer Owen Wister in the days following his release, explaining the circumstances of his arrest.

After his release from jail, Penrose returned to private practice in Philadelphia. Around 1913, he wrote an account of the Johnson County Invasion and corresponded with others regarding the Johnson County War, including Owen Wister, historian Grace Hebard, doctor Amos W. Barber, who was also governor of Wyoming from 1890-1893, and William C. Irvine, a stockgrower and one of the leaders of the raid into Johnson County.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains the manuscript for The Johnson County War: The Narrative of Dr. Charles Bingham Penrose (ca. 1914); miscellaneous telegrams and newspaper clippings regarding the Johnson County War; and Charles Penrose's correspondence with Boies Penrose, Bob Ralston, Amos Barber, Owen Wister, William C. Irvine, and Grace Raymond Hebard regarding the invasion (1913-1915).

Additional items includes two photographs of the invading party; a map of the KC Ranch (probably drawn by Irvine) and a list of places connected with the invasion; a list of names of those prosecuted by the State of Wyoming for participating in the raid; and 1 letter from Wister to Charles' son Boies Penrose (1936).

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright Information

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Preferred Citation

Preferred Citation

Item Description, Box Number, Folder Number, Collection Name, Collection Number, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Alternative Forms Available

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of this entire collection are available at

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Related Materials

Related Materials

There are no known other archival collections created by Charles B. Penrose at the date of processing.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition Information

The material was primarily received from Boies Penrose in 1936. One oversize photograph was received from Mrs. Francis Penrose Haythe in 2007.

Processing Note

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Elain Heim in June 1994 and updated by D. Claudia Thompson in May 2010.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I. Events of Johnson County WarReturn to Top

Most originals are restricted access. Photocopies are provided for research use.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 April 14-18, 1892
1 2 April 17, 1892
1 3 April 18-May 11, 1892
1 4 June 9, 1892
1 5 [1892]
1 6 April 15-June, 1892; undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Johnson County War, 1892

Personal Names

  • Ralston, Robert, 1863-1916

Geographical Names

  • Johnson County (Wyo.)
  • KC Ranch (Wyo.)
  • Wyoming -- History, 1890-1918
  • Wyoming -- History, 1919-1945

Form or Genre Terms

  • Maps
  • Narrative
  • Photographs
  • Reminiscences


  • Physicians

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Barber, Amos W. (Amos Walker), 1861-1915
    • Hebard, Grace Raymond, 1861-1936
    • Irvine, William C., 1852-1924
    • Penrose, Boies, 1860-1921
    • Penrose, Boies, 1902-1976
    • Wister, Owen, 1860-1938