MONA: Miles Maryott
Museum of Nebraska Art
2401 Central Avenue
Kearney, NE 68847
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 – 5 p.m., closed Mondays and major holidays
Born in 1871, Maryott, lived most of his youth in Cozad discovering a passion for the outdoors. At 22, Miles signed on to play semi-pro baseball for a variety of teams. Cyrus Black, a baseball
manager, wildlife artist, taxidermist, and hunting guide became his mentor. After 7 years of playing a broken ankle ended his career, and he returned home, to Cozad.
In 1907 Maryott became a traveling ambassador for the Peters' Cartridge Company, participating in shooting exhibitions, establishing him as a foremost marksman. However, the acclaim took a toll on him with parties taking precedence over his performance.
In 1909, Miles purchased land in the Sand Hills near Oshkosh, Nebraska supporting himself and his mother, guiding well-positioned hunters, and doing taxidermy as well as painting. Maryott became known not only for his skill with a gun, but his hospitality. The trips eventually effected Miles as his pleasant nature would unravel, unveiling a Jekyll and Hyde personality.
Stories of Maryott's drunken rages became legion. In 1926 after borrowing a friend's car, he began driving recklessly down the streets of Oshkosh. When marshal, George Albee found Maryott, he told him to go home and sleep it off. Rather than taking his friends advice, he bought a pistol and a box of cartridges. Albee followed Maryott, and eventually confronted him. Eyewitnesses said both fired several times, and when the shooting stopped Maryott lay bleeding. The marshal laid his rifle down, drew his revolver and approached Maryott, ordering him to throw his pistol away. Maryott replied he was hurt and couldn't, when Albee stooped over him, Maryott fired, killing Albee. The trial lasted four days, Maryott stated Albee had struck him several times on the head with his revolver, thinking Albee was going to beat him to death, he shot in self-defense. Maryott was found guilty of murder in the second degree. The judge imposed a life sentence ordering that each year on the anniversary of the shooting he be placed in solitary confinement to contemplate what he had done. He served over ten
years, and at 65 he was let out on parole, Maryott died in Oshkosh at age 68.