Famous Gunfighters
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

Many names were infamous in the West. Billy the Kid was bred in the slums of New York City. Dave Mathers, gunfighter, claimed his descent from Cotton Mather, of the Salem witch trials. Johnny Ringo was born in Texas and rumoured to have been from a genteel Southern family. All these men lived and died by the gun.

Even Wild Bill Hickok was called a "bald-faced liar" amongst his peers. He claimed to have killed 50 Confederates with 50 bullets, and later claimed to have killed one hundred white men when interviewed by Henry M. Stanley of African fame ("Dr. Livingstone I presume"). Hickok was worshipped by many up and coming "wannabee" gunfighters, AND he was finally killed by one.

The James boys and the Youngers would all meet similar fates. In fact, Bob Ford shot Jesse James with the gun that Jesse gave him as a gift. (a pearl handled .44). Ford, in turn, was killed by a James partison.

Whether they were lawmen, bandits, or wanton killers, all of them shared a deadly purposefulness...

Men Who Kept the Peace:

John Marshal, lawman of El Reno...Joe Mason, deputy marshal of Dodge City...US deputy marshal T. Thompson...T.J. Carr, sheriff in Wyoming Territory...L.C. Hartman, deputy in Dodge City....Allan Pinkerton, detective...Sheriff John Behan of Tombstone...Virgil Earp, Sheriff of Tombstone...Wyatt Earp, assistant marshal Dodge City...C.H. Farnsworth deputy sheriff...ranger, W.K. Foster...U.S. Marshal W. C. Jones of Guthiue, Oklahoma...Marshal Henry Brown of Caldwell, Kansas...Marshal Ben Thompson of Austin, Texas...Bat Masterson, Lawman, Dodge City...Jim Masterson, Lawman, Dodge City...Ed Masterson. Lawman, Dodge City...Wild Bill Hickok, lawman in Hays City and Abilena, Kansas...Marshal Lew Bush, Bear City, Oklahoma...Judge Hansford of Shelby County, Texas...District Judge Robert M. Williamson (Three-legged Willie) of Shelbyville, Texas...Temple Houston(Sam Houston's son), lawyer in Arkansas...William Story, Federal Judge, Arkansas...Isaac Charles Parker (The Hanging Judge), Fort Smith, Arkansas...George Maledon, executioner (hanging) for Isaac Parker...Charles Maledon, Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was called the "Prince of Hangmen" ...Deputy US Marshal Heck Thomas, Fort Smith, Arkansas...Judge Roy Bean, Langtry, Texas...Deputy US Marshal Paden Tolbert, Tahlequah...Marshal Evett Nix,Oklahoma...Charles Siringo, Pinkerton Man...Sheriff Pat Garrett, of Lincoln County and Texas Ranger...Tom Horn,Deputy Sheriff in Colorado. Also worked for Pinkerton Detective Agency...Sheriff Frank M. Canton of Johnson County, Wyoming ... Major John B. Jones, Texas Ranger.

Some Old West Trivia:

Test your Wild West IQ:

01. What famous gunslinger was indicted for "horse stealing: in Van Buren. Arkansas, on May 8, 1871?
(A.) Billy the Kid (B.) Wyatt Earp (C.) Roy Bean (D.) Cole Younger

02. Where was Billy the Kid born?

03. Phoebe Ann Mozee (Moses) (1860-1926) became famous as _______?

04. What was the original price tag on a .45 caliber 1873 Colt Peacemaker?

05. Who were Jessie Woodson James' parents?

06. Which famous shootist was born in Troy Grove (Homer), Illinois?

07. Which lawman named "Bartholomew" was born in Quebec, Canada?

08. How did the "Sundance Kid" (Harry Alonzo Longabaugh) get his name?

09. What type of Wild West character was referred to as a "leather slapper," "bad medicine," a "curly wolf," or a "shootist?"

10. How did Judge Roy Bean (1827-1903) fine a dead man?

Bonus: What type of Old West character was called: "gut robber," "dough-boxer." "Sallie," "bean master," or "biscuit shooter?"

CLICK HERE for the Answers


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