Nebraska Authors

Harold Hutton

Died 2001-04-21
Ranch in northern Rock County, NE

The author worked throughout his life to preserve his grandfather's ranch in northern Rock County, NE. Hutton and his wife Lucille left their 4,919 acre ranch to the Audubon Society of Kansas, together with a one million dollar endowment that will help maintain the ranch for both conservation and grazing. Paul Johnsgard wrote an appreciation of the Hutton Ranch sanctuary for the Prairie Fire newspaper (July 2014 issue) that explains how the sanctuary came to be cared for by the Kansas Audubon Society. Hutton was also an early opponent of the Norden Dam project which, if built, would have flooded a biologically diverse and especially scenic portion of the Niobrara.

Doc Middleton, the horse thief, outlaw, and gambler spent a night at the Hutton place in 1883 after being released from Prison. Hutton wrote about Middleton, and other outlaws and vigilantes in several widely admired books. Hutton's research for his book on Middleton included travel to Phoenix, AZ to meet Middleton's 98 year old brother-in-law, Tom Richardson. His biography of Middleton is especially well regarded, both for the quality of its research and for being locally informed.

The River That Runs takes its title from an Native American name for the Niobrara river, and is an anecdotal history of the region.

See also: Will Spindler


Places Lived

Bassett, NE
Washington State

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Nebraska History; History--Niobrara; Outlaws; Ranching Life; Local History




Nominated for Best Western Non-Fiction by the Round-up--Western Writers of America


Doc Middleton, the horse thief, outlaw, and gambler spent a night at the Hutton farm in 1883 after being released from Prison.
Harold Hutton's family has lived in Nebraska for three generations (approx. 114 years)


The Luckiest Outlaw. 1974.
Doc Middleton: Life and Legends of the Notorious Plains Outlaws. 1974.
Vigilante Days. 1978.
The River That Runs. 1999.

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Harold Hutton

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)