The remarkable transformation of Harry Orchard – from mass murderer to a member of the Seventh-day Adventist faith – can be seen in these photographs.
Harry Orchard was arrested in January of 1906 for the murder of former governor Frank Steunenberg. At the time, he denied having anything to do with the murder. In fact, he told authorities he was a sheep buyer named Tom Hogan.
Several weeks later, after meeting with the famous Pinkerton detective James McParland, Orchard confessed to the murder of Steunenberg, and to the murder of at least seventeen other individuals. He also implicated the “inner circle” of the Western Federation of Miners in his heinous crimes.
Before the start of the 1907 trial of “Big Bill" Haywood, one of the “inner circle,” Orchard’s appearance began to change. He was the state’s key witness in the trial, and authorities made sure he looked presentable to the jury. During the trial, the world learned Orchard’s real name: Albert Horsley.
The widow of Governor Steunenberg apparently converted Orchard to her Seventh-day Adventist faith. The later pictures of Orchard, as a resident of the Idaho State Penitentiary, are from the book Harry Orchard: The Man God Made Again by L.E. Froom, and are reprinted with permission from Review & Herald Publishing Association.
Orchard was treated differently throughout his stay at the penitentiary. He lived in a cottage outside the prison walls. Both Governor Hawley and Gooding sought to have him paroled, but he died in 1954, at the age of 88, never having been set free.