James Dillman

Hotel Redmond Barn. Redmond, Oregon. Photo courtesy of the City of Redmond.

Just eighteen, James Dillman rode into a rough and recently platted Oregon town. Unusually isolated and located in a remote part of Oregon, lawlessness grew. Unlike the more powerful cattlemen of the region, Dillman raised sheep. When the promised railroad never came, extreme economic disparities formed between local stock raisers, and in part led to the Range Wars there.

In a single night, sheepmen lost herds of sheep three hundred head or more to violent outlaw slaughter, and owners began to go missing. Some of their bodies have never been found. While trying to keep their family homestead, a crime was committed against the most powerful rancher in the area – a cattleman.

The Least of the Wicked (a working book title) is an historical non-fiction describing James Dillman’s life – the first ever.