story of “Teton” Jackson is very sketchy. The following is all that
research has been able to find on him. The newspapers for the early
part of February, 1884, that carry the first reports of this murder are
unfortunately missing. Therefore, this account starts seemingly in the
readers will remember the account of two men named Thompson and Jackson
coming in and giving themselves up, claiming they had killed a man
named Cooper in self-defense. After a hearing before Justice Green,
they were remanded to jail to await the action of the grand jury and a
party sent out to secure the remains of Cooper, if possible. The party
consisted of W. F. Wither, Ed Winns, Ed. Smith and Bob Tarter, left on
the 2d, and after a terrible trip of eleven days through snow and
snowstorm they returned on Wednesday. They found the body, but owing to
the terrible deep snow were unable to bring it in. They severed the
head from the body, and after burying the body, brought it with them.
This was done in order that the brain might be examined to give some
idea of the sanity of Cooper. Many conflicting reports and opinions are
in circulation in reference to this case, but we refrain from making
any comments until the parties under arrest have had a fair trial.
Blackfoot Register, February 11, 1884, p. 3, c. 2.
This is the rest of the story of “Teton” Jackson that has been found so far:
Taken Back to the Pen
Marshal Tiner of Boise City passed through Eagle Rock on Sunday night
with Teton Jackson, who was captured in Montana a few weeks ago.
first that was known of Jackson was about the first of Feb. 1884, when
he and a man named Thompson came into Eagle Rock and gave themselves up
stating that they had killed a man named Cooper up in Teton Basin. They
were held here until a party consisting of Ed. Winn, Dick Wilbur, J. Ed
Smith and Bob Tarter went up to bring in the body. They were eleven
days on the trip and found it impossible to bring the body, but cut off
the head and brought it in. The examination of the head did not
correspond with their story and they were held to appear before the
grand jury. They were not convicted however but returned to that part
of the country and the place, a small basin under the Teton Mountains
became known as Jackson’s Hole and was the rendezvous of the toughest
gang that ever infested the Rocky Mountains. In 1886 he, with one of
his “pals” called “Red” were captured in the vicinity of Buffalo, Wyo.
He was brought to Blackfoot and convicted of horse stealing and
sentenced to 14 years in the penitentiary, but remained there only a
few months when he and “Red” dug a trench from their cell out under the
wall and escaped.
arrested in Montana he stoutly asserted that he was not Jackson and
continued to deny it until he was on the U. & N. Train, when he
gave up, saying there were too many in this country who knew him.
Idaho Register, Eagle Rock, May 5, 1888, p. 3, c. 3.
There are very few copies of the Idaho Register available today and
apparently the only other paper from around the state to pick up the
story was the following, which is just a shortened version of the above.
Marshal Tiner of Boise City has returned to the penitentiary Teton
Jackson, who was captured in Montana a few weeks ago. The first that
was known of Jackson was about the first of Feb. 1884, when he and a
man named Thompson came into Eagle Rock and gave themselves up stating
that they had killed a man named Cooper up in Teton Basin. A party was
organized to bring the body in. They were eleven days on the trip and
found it impossible to bring the body, but cut off the head and brought
it in. They were acquitted. Jackson was subsequently convicted of
horse-stealing and sentenced to 14 years in the penitentiary, but
remained there only a few months when he dug a trench from his cell out
under the wall and escaped.
Submitted and transcribed by Sandra Davis