This rifle was owned by Kit Carson, who in 1839 gave it to Oliver Perry "O. P." Wiggins at Taos, N.M. The thirty-six brass tacks in the stock denote the number of Indians known to have been killed with this rifle. Twenty-nine were placed there by Carson and seven by Wiggins.
As a young man, O. P. Wiggins had been a hunter and trapper working with Carson. He served as a member of Kit Carson's band of sharpshooters when he was wounded at the storming of Monterey during the Mexican war. After the war Wiggins made a trip over the Santa Fe Trail and up the Ohio River to the border town of Niagara Falls, where he married Martha Wardell in 1845. Together they made the trip back across the country to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Mr. Wiggins' headquarters were established for a number of years. The Morgan County town of Wiggins started out in 1882 as the Burlington railroad depot of Corona. Around 1900, Corona was renamed in honor of Oliver P. Wiggins, who had a trading post there in the early days. Wiggins eventually became a U.S. deputy marshal in the state of Colorado, and lived until 1913. He and his wife are buried at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver.