Friday, August 26, 2011

Queho-The Renegrade Indian

Stories from the Hoover Dam
During his lifetime, Queho (pronounced KEY-ho) was credited with the deaths of 23 people, was declared Nevada’s "Public Enemy No. 1,” and the state’s first mass murderer.  He committed several brutal crimes, was the scapegoat for many others and was the resident “boogeyman” to the children living in Black Canyon during the building of the Hoover Dam.  He was a killer, no doubt, but also a misunderstood outcast of mixed blood living during a time dominated by white men.    

Although he has been credited with crimes dating as far back as the late 1800’s, newspaper accounts of his exploits began in 1910.  He was last reported seen on the streets in Las Vegas in 1930.  However, when his mummified body was found ten years later in a cave in Black Canyon, there were several items amongst his possession that had been stolen from the Six Companies worksite during the building of the dam.  It is unknown when he actually died, but his body showed evidence that he had succumbed to the venomous bite of one of the local residents, a rattlesnake.    

The story of his life, pieced together from fact and legend, is fascinating to say the least, and I encourage you to read more about Queho at the links below.  But the story does not end with the finding of his remains, and it is Queho’s story, after 1940, that I want to tell you.
The possee that recovered Queho's remains

Helldorado Days began in 1935 and was an annual cowboy themed celebration sponsored by the local Elks club in Las Vegas.  Complete with rodeo, parade and a carnival, it was, at one time, quite an affair, drawing visitors from all over the state.  When the remains of Queho found their way into the hands of the Las Vegas Elks Club, Queho found his way to Helldorado Days. 

The Elks built a model of Queho’s cave and enclosed it in glass.  Inside, Queho, surrounded by his last possessions, became a favorite attraction for the visitors to Helldorado Village.  This was not a one time event.  Queho was on display at the annual event for twenty years and at least once, rode in the back of a convertible during the Helldorado parade. 

Visitors began to lose interest by the early 1960’s and the Elks reported that his remains and possessions had been stolen.  In 1962, his mummified remains were found at the city dump. On an order from the county coroner, Queho's corpse was finally buried, twenty-two years after it was found, in an unmarked grave in the public portion of the local cemetery.

But that is not the last of Queho. 

In my upcoming novel, Ragtown, the Renegade Indian comes alive once again…

Read the story of Queho’s life at the following links:


Loree Huebner said...

Ooooh. Gosh! You got my interest here. Queho sounds like a creepy guy all around. His death and the way his body was just discarded in the dump - gives me the shivers. I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight...haha.

This sounds like it's going to be a winner, Kelly.

Anonymous said...

Something tells me I'd like Queho a lot more than the clowns who paraded his body around in a car. In fact I know I like him a lot more (pre-link search). This is getting more and more fascinating, Kellinator.

John Magnet Bell said...

Fascinating character. Well worth writing about.

Natalie R. Kenney said...

What an amazing find. Loving the characters you're writing about. Can't wait to read the book!