As a young lad, Roy enjoyed cattle-roping and hog-tying calves on his pa’s ranch. On his 15th birthday, his pa gave him a beautiful horse as a gift. Roy called her Grace, because she galloped with poise and style. When Roy turned eighteen, he faced the biggest challenge in his young life. A rival named Kenneth Sweet accused him of rustlin’ his cattle and selling them on the black market. Sweet had falsified some evidence and made it look like young Roy had committed the crime. The punishment for cattle rustlin’ was hanging. Even worse, Roy’s father believed the story, and he was so disappointed in his son that he disowned him. To add insult to injury, Roy’s father shot Grace, the boy’s beloved horse, to rid his home of all that reminded him of his son.
On September 7th, 1862, Roy Nelson was sent to the gallows in Austin, Texas. The rope securely around his neck, and the crowd looking on, the trapdoor was opened and Roy fell through. But the rope around Roy’s neck broke, dropping him safely to the ground. After the initial shock of what had happened wore off, Roy bolted. He is now wanted by the sheriff of Travis County and his wanted poster reads, “Hangin’ Roy Nelson—WANTED Dead or Alive—$500 bounty.”