The guest of honor here is, apparently one Tom "Black Jack" Ketchum, who is shown here being retired from his career as a train robber.
The accompanying text that goes with the picture describes him as a long-lost great uncle of some prominent politician:
"'Remus (insert name here), horse thief, sent to (Insert State) Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the (Name of Railroad) six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889."It's a great story, and the fellow pictured actually did rob trains. The rest of the gag goes that the sitting politician to whom this fellow is supposedly related to is aware of the black sheep, and will acknowledge him with a cleaned up biography that looks like this:
"Remus (insert pols name) was a famous cowboy in the (Insert state) Territory . His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the (insert railroad) railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed."The picture and text may be adapted to any sitting pol or person of importance, or even yourself if you find your own ancestry to be rather more humdrum than you'd wish. The version I got attributed this to an uncle of Harry Reid, but it's been done for the Bushes and the Gores.