Wyoming’s Most Scandalous Affair: Harry and Maude Hynds
Decades before he became one of Wyoming's most well-respected businessmen and generous philanthropists, Harry Hynds was nearly hung for killing his wife's lover.
Hynds arrived in Cheyenne in 1882, driving a stagecoach to and from Fort Laramie. The following year, he opened a blacksmith shop. It would be the first of many successful businesses Hynds would own.
By 1890, he took over the Capitol Saloon on 17th Street and Ferguson Avenue (now known as Carey Avenue) in downtown Cheyenne. He expanded his empire, opening other saloons and gambling parlors across Wyoming and Utah.
An infamous brawler, Hynds lured patrons to the Capital Saloon with an interesting challenge. A boxing ring set up in the rear of the building promised $100 to any man who could last four rounds in the ring without getting knocked out.
Hynds also competed as a professional during two boxing matches in Rawlins. But the biggest fight of his life would come in Salt Lake City, when he stood trial for murder.
During a trip to Utah to oversee one of his thriving saloons, Hynds discovered his wife Maude with another man. Although history fails to record the exact nature of their relationship, it enraged Hynds enough to kill his wife's suitor.
After being arrested for the killing, a jury found Hynds not guilty of murder. He filed for divorce from Maude following the trial.
In addition to his saloons, Hynds invested heavily in oil production and amassed a sizable fortune. He was responsible, in part, for financing the construction of Cheyenne's Historic Plains Hotel in 1911.
After the Inter Ocean Hotel, a landmark on 16th Street and Capitol Avenue, was damaged by fire in 1916, Hynds purchased the property from then United States Senator Francis E. Warren. In 1917, he began construction on the five story Hynds Building, which still stands to this day.
Following his divorce from Maude, Hynds remarried. He and his second wife Nel lived at the Converse Home on "Millionaire's Row" near 18th Street and Carey for many years leading up to his death in 1933.
Hynds was also renowned for his charitable contributions later in life. Among his many donations was the Hynds Lodge, a cabin and ranch he commissioned for the Boy Scouts on Happy Jack Road, just over 20 miles west of Cheyenne.
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