Wyatt Earp – Legndary Lawman

Wyatt Earp

1881 – October 26 – Tombstone Arizona

This was the date of the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – One of the most noted incidents in all of the Old West Stories and the one that set Wyatt Earp firmly into The Old West Lawman legend we know today.

He was born in 1848 on March 18 in Monmouth Illinois; spending most of his childhood on a farm near Pella, Iowa.  His father Nicholas, became a Municipal Constable for three years when Wyatt was 8 years old, his first experience of peace keeping.

Three of Wyatt Earp’s family joined the Union Army in 1861, November 11.  The Earp family left for California in 1864, May 12.  Wyatt and his brother Virgil started work as stage coach drivers in 1865.

Wyatt became a teamster transporting products to Arizona, Nevada and Utah.  He engaged in a range of business activities in including the leasing of saloons in the 1880s and having a race horse he is reputed to have won in his gambling activities.

In 1869 Wyatt Earp became a Constable in Lamar, Missouri and married Urilla Sutherland in 1870, January 10.  His wife died not long after, possibly in November of that year.  Death occurred during child birth and there appears to have been a link with Consumption (Tuberculosis).

Wyatt was arrested on charges of horse theft by United States Marshall J. Owens in 1871, April 1.  He was never convicted of this crime.  He joined the Marshall’s Office in 1875, April 21.  During this period, he received the first of his many plaudits for work as a lawman.

Wyatt was appointed Deputy Marshall to Dodge City in 1876.

Sometime on 1878 Wyatt, while surrounded by a group seemingly intending to do him harm, he was assisted by “Doc Holliday” and his interesting and unusual friendship with a known felon began.

Wyatt and his brothers James and Virgil moved to Tombstone in 1879, probably sometime in September.  In 1880, brothers Morgan and Warren also joined him.

The O.K. Corral – The most famous incident in his life occurred at the O.K. Carrol in 1881, October 26.  Full details can be found on the Wyatt Page.

Morgan Earp was killed in 1882, March 18.  Morgan was attended by a doctor but died from a bullet wound in less than an hour.

Wyatt and his associates conducted what has become known as the Vendetta Ride.  This was a direct challenge to William Brocius and the cowboys during which Brocius and several members of his gang were killed.

Wyatt played a part in the what is referred to as the Dodge City War in 1883.

In 1897 Earp took his common law wife Josephine Sarah Marcus (commonly known as Josie) to Alaska and ran saloons and gambling houses for several years.

In 1906 Wyatt and Josie were in various parts of California including a small town (never actually proclaimed as a town) that was named “Earp”.

Wyatt died at home in 1929, January 13 at the age of 80.

His mother is Virginia Ann Cooksey and she had married Nicholas Earp in 1840, July 30.  This marriage also produced:-

1841, June 28 – James Cooksey Earp.

1843, July 18 – Virgil Walter Earp.

1845, September 25 – Martha Elizabeth Earp.

1851, April 24 – Morgan Seth Earp.

1855, March 9 – Warren Baxter Earp.

1858, February 28 – Virginia Ann Earp.

1861, June 16 – Adelia Douglas Earp.

Read more about Wyatt and his family on the Wyatt, his family and his Old West Stories.

Movies and Television

There are no Old West Stories mentioned more often in movies or on television than Wyatt Earp.  These mentions include:-

  • Frontier Marshall (1934)
  • Frontier Marshall (1939)
  • Tombstone, the Town too Tough to Die (1942)
  • My Darling Clementine (1946)
  • Winchester ’73 (1950)
  • Wichita (1955)
  • The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955 – 1961)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
  • Sfida Rio Bravo (1965)
  • Spectre of the Gun (1968)
  • Doc (1971)
  • I Married Wyatt Earp (1983)
  • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)
  • The Gunfighters (1966)
  • Hour of the Gun (1967)
  • The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991)
  • Tombstone (1993)  My favourite Wyatt Earp movie.
  • Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone (1994)
  • Wyatt Earp (1994)
  • Deadwood (2006)

Go to my Wyatt Earp Page to learn more.

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Delaware – The First State

1787 – December 7 – Delaware became the 1st State of the Union.  Delaware was also the first of the original 13 colonies.

With the making of the following declaration, the United States was begun:-

We the Deputies of the People of the Delaware State… fully, freely, and entirely approve of… the… Constitution.

With this monumental statement Delaware lead the way into the future that we know today.  With this statement key elements of what became The Old West and created Old West Stories, were brought together.  Without the essential struggle for freedom that commenced with this declaration in 1787 it is likely the Old West stories we have come to love would have been entirely different.  The pioneering spirit, the burst of invention and the strides forward were based on the struggle for that freedom; of democracy, that created the USA.

Check out the History Page and the Statehood Dates page for more information.

One of the greatest contributions any person can make to a society is that of leadership.  Delaware lead the States into true Nationhood and that was a leadership that has impacted the entire world.

Old West StoriesFor Delaware, maybe their state slogan says it all -

First State – First Star

While you are on this site, don’t forget to check out some of the key characters from The Old West:-

Wyatt Earp

Billy the Kid

Play a Game – Railroad Rampage

Have a Laugh – Old West Ads

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Wyatt Earp – 132 years ago

Wyatt Earp

1881 – October 26 – Tombstone Arizona

This was the date of the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – One of the most noted incidents in all of the Old West Stories and the one that set Wyatt Earp firmly into The Old West Lawman legend we know today.

He was born in 1848 on March 18 in Monmouth Illinois; spending most of his childhood on a farm near Pella, Iowa.  His father Nicholas, became a Municipal Constable for three years when Wyatt was 8 years old, his first experience of peace keeping.

Three of Wyatt Earp’s family joined the Union Army in 1861, November 11.  The Earp family left for California in 1864, May 12.  Wyatt and his brother Virgil started work as stage coach drivers in 1865.

Wyatt became a teamster transporting products to Arizona, Nevada and Utah.  He engaged in a range of business activities in including the leasing of saloons in the 1880s and having a race horse he is reputed to have won in his gambling activities.

In 1869 Wyatt Earp became a Constable in Lamar, Missouri and married Urilla Sutherland in 1870, January 10.  His wife died not long after, possibly in November of that year.  Death occurred during child birth and there appears to have been a link with Consumption (Tuberculosis).

Wyatt was arrested on charges of horse theft by United States Marshall J. Owens in 1871, April 1.  He was never convicted of this crime.  He joined the Marshall’s Office in 1875, April 21.  During this period, he received the first of his many plaudits for work as a lawman.

Wyatt was appointed Deputy Marshall to Dodge City in 1876.

Sometime on 1878 Wyatt, while surrounded by a group seemingly intending to do him harm, he was assisted by “Doc Holliday” and his interesting and unusual friendship with a known felon began.

Wyatt and his brothers James and Virgil moved to Tombstone in 1879, probably sometime in September.  In 1880, brothers Morgan and Warren also joined him.

The O.K. Corral – The most famous incident in his life occurred at the O.K. Carrol in 1881, October 26.  Full details can be found on the Wyatt Page.

Morgan Earp was killed in 1882, March 18.  Morgan was attended by a doctor but died from a bullet wound in less than an hour.

Wyatt and his associates conducted what has become known as the Vendetta Ride.  This was a direct challenge to William Brocius and the cowboys during which Brocius and several members of his gang were killed.

Wyatt played a part in the what is referred to as the Dodge City War in 1883.

In 1897 Earp took his common law wife Josephine Sarah Marcus (commonly known as Josie) to Alaska and ran saloons and gambling houses for several years.

In 1906 Wyatt and Josie were in various parts of California including a small town (never actually proclaimed as a town) that was named “Earp”.

Wyatt died at home in 1929, January 13 at the age of 80.

His mother is Virginia Ann Cooksey and she had married Nicholas Earp in 1840, July 30.  This marriage also produced:-

1841, June 28 – James Cooksey Earp.

1843, July 18 – Virgil Walter Earp.

1845, September 25 – Martha Elizabeth Earp.

1851, April 24 – Morgan Seth Earp.

1855, March 9 – Warren Baxter Earp.

1858, February 28 – Virginia Ann Earp.

1861, June 16 – Adelia Douglas Earp.

Read more about Wyatt and his family on the Wyatt, his family and his Old West Stories.

Movies and Television

There are no Old West Stories mentioned more often in movies or on television than Wyatt Earp.  These mentions include:-

  • Frontier Marshall (1934)
  • Frontier Marshall (1939)
  • Tombstone, the Town too Tough to Die (1942)
  • My Darling Clementine (1946)
  • Winchester ’73 (1950)
  • Wichita (1955)
  • The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955 – 1961)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
  • Sfida Rio Bravo (1965)
  • Spectre of the Gun (1968)
  • Doc (1971)
  • I Married Wyatt Earp (1983)
  • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)
  • The Gunfighters (1966)
  • Hour of the Gun (1967)
  • The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991)
  • Tombstone (1993)  My favourite Wyatt Earp movie.
  • Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone (1994)
  • Wyatt Earp (1994)
  • Deadwood (2006)

Go to my Wyatt Earp Page to learn more.

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American Indians

American Indians came from over 500 tribes across the Americas.  Many of these tribes had lived there for many thousands of years before white settlers arrived.  They had rich cultures that had adapted to the land from one end to another.

Read more detail on the new American Indians page or check a brief outline below.

At one time accounts of battles were called massacres if Indians won but portrayed as a gallant and heroic battles, fought hard against heavy odds and blood thirsty savages if white settlers or the army won.

During the days of The Old West Stories the Indians had no written language of their own and almost no opportunity to present their side of events.  When they did it was through interpreters and it now appears that more often than not, those interpreters had an agenda of their own or reported to others with an agenda that did not want the Indians portrayed favourably.

More than 800 treaties signed with American Indian groups during the era of Old West Stories but it is likely that not even one of them was kept according to the terms it contained.

Chief Red Cloud is recorded as saying:-

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land;

and they did.”

Some of the history of American Indians includes:-

1805 – The Lewis and Clarke expedition often relied on the generosity of Indian tribes (Shashone & Nez perce) for their survival.

1836 – May 19 – 300 Kiowa and Comanche Indians attacked a civilian fort on the Navasota River in East Texas.  Several women and children were taken captive including 9 year old Cynthia Anne Parker.

1840 – Four years later Cynthia Parker was seen by traders but she appeared to have no memory of her childhood and saw herself then as a Comanche woman.

1836 – November 29 – The Reverend Henry H Spalding (1803 – 1874) and his family established their mission to the Nez Perce Indians in Lapwai near present day Lewiston, Idaho.  Spalding was successful in his mission to the Nez Perce and baptised several tribal leaders.

In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the “Trail of Tears”.

1838 – 1839 – Winter – After Andrew Jackson was elected President the U.S. Government embarked on a policy of Indian Removal and began forcing Indians from their land and sending them far away from white settlements.  The Army forced 16, 000 Cherokee Indians from Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee to move to Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

1851 – Trouble increased dramatically and the Government decided it had to do something.  Several Chiefs who tried to represent over 5, 000 Indians across the Central and Northern Plains signed a treaty allowing settlers using the Platte River routes on the Oregon and Santa Fe trails to pass freely.  A truce held for several years

1858 – Ten years after the California Gold Rush, Gold nuggets were found at Pikes Peak in Colorado quite near modern-day Colorado Springs.  This provided one more thing that was considered more important than the Indians living in the area.  100,000 gold hungry miners moved in over a three year period.

1859 – 50, 000 Gold Prospectors had already moved into the area and conflict with the Cheyenne and Arapaho had escalated.  As these people saw the settlers and miners eating into their traditional hunting grounds they became increasingly hostile (who wouldn’t).

1860 – January 17 – The lands of the Apache were arid and inhospitable.  The Apache had little of value but still the settlers wanted it.  Apache warriors hit a small ranch owned by John Ward in Arizona on the Sonita River and captured a young boy named Mickey Free.

1860 – December – A detachment of Texas Rangers being led by Captain Sul Ross came upon a Comanche encampment  on the Pease River.  Captain Ross saw a yellow-haired, white skinned woman among the Indians he captured.  He realised it was Cynthia Parker (Prairie Flower to her Comanche family).  Her son Quanah remained with the Comanche.

1862 – July 14 – Cochise and Mangas Colorados had gathered 700 Apache warriors together and planned to ambush an Army column at Apache Pass.  He failed in his ambush when the volunteers responded with a Howitzer Cannon.

1862 – August 17 – Four young Santee Sioux men were returning from a Minnesota River hunting trip.  The four Santee youths came across a white family farmhouse and these men killed five white settlers.  Cheif Little Crow knew his tribe would suffer reprisals and the very next morning Santee Braves attacked the Indian Agency.  Within one week over 800 white settlers had been killed.

1862 – September 2 – General Henry Sibling was sent with over 1, 600 soldiers under his command.  This began the process that led to 307 Indians being hanged in the largest ass hanging in US history.

1862 – 1863 – Winter – After the hangings General Sibley apparently had learned a lesson about trials.  He rounded up 1, 700 Sioux men, women and children and they were imprisoned in Fort Snelling.

1863 – Gold was discovered near Virginia City, Montana.

1863 – January – Sometime during January Mangos Coloradas met military leaders at Fort McLane in Southwest New Mexico.  Mangas arrived under a flag of truce to meet with Brigadier General Joseph West.  West ordered armed soldiers to take Mangas into custody.  That night Mangas was tortured, shot and killed.

1863 – Trouble was caused for the Nez Perce because of the gold that had been discovered and the split in their tribe after Reverend Henry Spalding had introduced Christianity.

1864 – After the treaty of 1859 tensions with the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Sioux on the Northern and Central plains continued to grow.  Colonel John Chivington, a Methodist Preacher was the Military Commander for the District of Colorado needed to get the Cheyenne out of Colorado.  Chivington told the Governor of Colorado, John Evans, that the Cheyenne had stolen 175 cattle from a ranch on the Colorado Smoky Hill Trail.

1864 – November 24 – When the Cheyenne people were completely unarmed and totally defenseless Colonel Chivington gathered together 700 troops and travelled to Sand Creek. At dawn on this day Chivington surrounded the camp with soldiers equipped with cannon.  It is recorded that Black Kettle ran up his American Flag and a white flag of truce.  He was standing by his teepee when Chivington ordered the troops to open fire.

Captain Silace Soule refused to take part in the killing and was court marshalled.  He testified:-

“It looked too hard for me to see little children on their knees begging for their lives having their brains beaten out like dogs.”

1865 – January 1 – Indian Chiefs determined they should attack Julesburg, Colorado.  Julesbsurg is located on the South Platte River near the Northeast border with Nebraska.

1865 – January 7 – A combined force of Cheyenne, Arapaho and Sioux Indians attacked Camp Rankin.

1866 – In June of this year the Government arranged a peace council at Fort Laramie.  While the meeting was still in progress and treaty negotiations were not yet complete, Colonel Henry Carrington arrived a column of soldiers and supplies that was over 3 kilometres long.  Red Cloud was at that meeting.  He stormed out saying he would fight now.

1863 – June 22 – Colonel Carrington left Fort Laramie with a column of soldiers heading North on the Bozeman Trail.  By the time Carrington had begun building Fort Phil Carney Red Cloud had amassed over 2, 000 warriors.

1866 – December 21 – Red Cloud had a military tactic he favoured where he would use a few warriors to lure soldiers into an ambush.  His young sub Chief Crazy Horse lured Fetterman and his men over Lodge Trail Ridge were 2, 000 warriors waited in ambush.

 

The Government prepared a new treaty.  Red Cloud refused to sign until the forts had been burned and the soldiers had left.  Due to Red Cloud’s masterful leadership, the Government was left with no choice.  Red Cloud had won.  

1868 – April 29 – Red Cloud’s war was won and his treaty was signed on this day.

1868 – November 27 – Chief Black Kettle is acknowledged as a peacemaker who accepted treaties to protect his people.  He survived the massacre at Sand Creek in 1864 but he and his wife were among those killed in the Battle of Washita River when his group was attacked by the Army under the command of George Custer.

1872 – Fall – Following several skirmishes Cochise and his warriors were slowly forced in the Dragoon Mountains.

1875 – Quanah Parker, the great Comanche War Chief and son of Cynthia Anne Parker, came down from the Llano Estacado and surrendered.

1876 – January 31 – The Sioux had been given until this day to return to their reservations by virtue of an executive order signed by President Grant declaring the Black Hills and Powder River Country did not belong to the Sioux.

1876 – February – When the deadline given to the Sioux had come and gone the Army made preparations for war.  General Sheridan planned a campaign for the Summer to clear the entire area of Indians.

1876 – June 13 – General Crook was spotted by Cheyenne scouts approaching the camp.  The Indians prepared to make the first move.

1876 – June 17 – Crook was marching with a command of 1, 300 men.  Crazy Horse led and attack with an estimated 1, 500 Cheyenne and Sioux warriors.  The fighting lasted all day.

1876 – June 21 – After much celebration the Indians moved to the North to a river called the Greasy Grass.  Their leaders now had 7,  000 Indians camped there.

1876 – June 25 – The Battle of the Little Bighorn is often referred to as Custer’s Last Stand.

1877 – June – Nez Perce warriors came across General Howard’s soldiers in White Bird canyon in Idaho.  One officer and 33 troops were killed.

1877 – August 9 – Colonel John Gibbon caught up with Chief Joseph with 400 soldiers from Montana.  He made a surprise attack and 90 Nez Perce were killed.

1877 – September 30 – Colonel Nelson Miles had 400 soldiers under his command at fort Keogh.  They travelled North to cut the Nez Perce off before they could reach Canada.  Just forty miles from the border in the Bear Paw Mountains the second cavalry attacked.

1877 – October 5 – After 6 days of siege Chief Joseph, realising he could not win and make it to Canada, surrendered to Colonel Miles.

1889 – January 1 – As 1889 commenced people living in Indian Reservations everywhere were despondent.  The Government funded rations of beef and basic foods had been reduced.

1889 – December 15 – At dawn 43 agents surrounded Sitting Bull’s cabin and Police Lieutenant Henry Bullhead entered his residence, woke the old man and arrested him.  He was murdered that night.

1889 – December 28 – The Army found and captured the fleeing group in South Dakota.  The Indians were forced to camp on the banks of a creek over night because it was late in the day when they had been captured.  That creek was named Wounded Knee.

1889 – December 29 – General Forsyth had his men surrounded the camp and forced all adult men and boys to sit down in front of their tents.  Forsyth ordered rapid fire canons to be turned on the Indians.  Women and children ran in terror.  Soldiers ran them down and were using the women and children for nothing more than target practice, according to some reports after the event.

1890 – January 4 – The dead at Wounded Knee had been left where they fell and a blizzard preserved the bodies.  A burial detail was sent and the Indians were buried in a common grave.  Some estimates counted the dead at over 300.

1890 – January 15 – After Wounded Knee survivors fled into the South Dakota badlands.

1904 – September 21 -  Chief Joseph died, never having been allowed to go home after his surrender in 1877.

1905 – March 4 – Quanah Parker, the great Comanche War Chief and son of Cynthia Anne Parker had by now become politically influential.   He rode in Teddy Roosevelt’s inaugural parade (as did Geronimo).

Read more detail on the new

American Indians page.

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Hole in the Wall TV Series

Exciting New Development in Television Drama

There is a distinct shortage to television drama in the Old West Stories field.

There is now an amazing new product in the early stages of development and YOU have the opportunity to be involved.

Old West Stories is fully supportive of this project and very excited at the prospect of this show hitting the screens in a big way.  Click the picture here to go to a special site for the project or keep reading for more.

Hole-in-the-Wall is the origin story of the infamous outlaw duo Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

We will discover just how these two bandits met, how they formed their notorious “Hole-in-the-Wall” gang and watch as they get into – and out of – all sorts of hairy situations.

We’ll tag along as our two antiheroes take those first important – but wobbly – steps toward their everlasting legend and marvel at the sheer cajones it took to get there.

Hole-in-the-Wall is also a story of friendship, not just between the main characters, but those around them.

There is a “Merry Men” aspect to the Hole-in-the-Wall gang, with Butch leading as their Robin Hood.

They laugh in the face of establishment and authority…which can, and often will, piss the wrong people off.

But their adversaries anger aside, there is a fun, loose feel that permeates throughout their life and deeds that is infectious.

You will WANT to be with these guys.

You will WANT to see them slip the noose time and time again.

But more than that, the series is about how virtuous men can do dishonorable things and vice-verse.

How often times “White Hats” go gray in the pursuit of “Black Hats” and once you cross that Rubicon, it’s often impossible to come back.

Hole-in-the-Wall is also about average people coming up against massive machines – be they political, corporate or judicial – and overcoming them by any means necessary.

It’s about the fight to stay stand out and thrive in a world where those in control want you under their thumb.

In a very real way, our series about the American spirit itself – self made, self reliant survivors fighting against a tyranny they do not support…only our guys also rob banks.

Ultimately, Hole-in-the-Wall is about honest men doing crooked work in a world that wants to see them disappear.

Check out the Old West Stories page on the Hole in the Wall project for more information.

CLICK HERE

 

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Delaware – The First Star

1787 – December 7 – Delaware became the 1st State of the Union.  Delaware was also the first of the original 13 colonies.

With the making of the following declaration, the United States was begun:-

We the Deputies of the People of the Delaware State… fully, freely, and entirely approve of… the… Constitution.

With this monumental statement Delaware lead the way into the future that we know today.  With this statement key elements of what became The Old West and created Old West Stories, were brought together.  Without the essential struggle for freedom that commenced with this declaration in 1787 it is likely the Old West stories we have come to love would have been entirely different.  The pioneering spirit, the burst of invention and the strides forward were based on the struggle for that freedom; of democracy, that created the USA. 

Check out the History Page and the Statehood Dates page for more information. 

One of the greatest contributions any person can make to a society is that of leadership.  Delaware lead the States into true Nationhood and that was a leadership that has impacted the entire world. 

Old West StoriesFor Delaware, maybe their state slogan says it all -

First State – First Star

While you are on this site, don’t forget to check out some of the key characters from The Old West:-

Wyatt Earp

Billy the Kid

Play a Game – Railroad Rampage

Have a Laugh – Old West Ads

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Wyatt Earp – Old West Stories Legend

Wyatt Earp

1881 – October 26 – Tombstone Arizona

This was the date of the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – One of the most noted incidents in all of the Old West Stories and the one that set Wyatt Earp firmly into The Old West Lawman legend we know today.

He was born in 1848 on March 18 in Monmouth Illinois; spending most of his childhood on a farm near Pella, Iowa.  His father Nicholas, became a Municipal Constable for three years when Wyatt was 8 years old, his first experience of peace keeping.

Three of Wyatt Earp’s family joined the Union Army in 1861, November 11.  The Earp family left for California in 1864, May 12.  Wyatt and his brother Virgil started work as stage coach drivers in 1865.

Wyatt became a teamster transporting products to Arizona, Nevada and Utah.  He engaged in a range of business activities in including the leasing of saloons in the 1880s and having a race horse he is reputed to have won in his gambling activities.

In 1869 Wyatt Earp became a Constable in Lamar, Missouri and married Urilla Sutherland in 1870, January 10.  His wife died not long after, possibly in November of that year.  Death occurred during child birth and there appears to have been a link with Consumption (Tuberculosis).

Wyatt was arrested on charges of horse theft by United States Marshall J. Owens in 1871, April 1.  He was never convicted of this crime.  He joined the Marshall’s Office in 1875, April 21.  During this period, he received the first of his many plaudits for work as a lawman.

Wyatt was appointed Deputy Marshall to Dodge City in 1876.

Sometime on 1878 Wyatt, while surrounded by a group seemingly intending to do him harm, he was assisted by “Doc Holliday” and his interesting and unusual friendship with a known felon began.

Wyatt and his brothers James and Virgil moved to Tombstone in 1879, probably sometime in September.  In 1880, brothers Morgan and Warren also joined him.

The O.K. Corral – The most famous incident in his life occurred at the O.K. Carrol in 1881, October 26.  Full details can be found on the Wyatt Page.

Morgan Earp was killed in 1882, March 18.  Morgan was attended by a doctor but died from a bullet wound in less than an hour.

Wyatt and his associates conducted what has become known as the Vendetta Ride.  This was a direct challenge to William Brocius and the cowboys during which Brocius and several members of his gang were killed.

Wyatt played a part in the what is referred to as the Dodge City War in 1883.

In 1897 Earp took his common law wife Josephine Sarah Marcus (commonly known as Josie) to Alaska and ran saloons and gambling houses for several years.

In 1906 Wyatt and Josie were in various parts of California including a small town (never actually proclaimed as a town) that was named “Earp”.

Wyatt died at home in 1929, January 13 at the age of 80.

His mother is Virginia Ann Cooksey and she had married Nicholas Earp in 1840, July 30.  This marriage also produced:-

1841, June 28 – James Cooksey Earp.

1843, July 18 – Virgil Walter Earp.

1845, September 25 – Martha Elizabeth Earp.

1851, April 24 – Morgan Seth Earp.

1855, March 9 – Warren Baxter Earp.

1858, February 28 – Virginia Ann Earp.

1861, June 16 – Adelia Douglas Earp.

Read more about Wyatt and his family on the Wyatt, his family and his Old West Stories.

Movies and Television

There are no Old West Stories mentioned more often in movies or on television than Wyatt Earp.  These mentions include:-

  • Frontier Marshall (1934)
  • Frontier Marshall (1939)
  • Tombstone, the Town too Tough to Die (1942)
  • My Darling Clementine (1946)
  • Winchester ’73 (1950)
  • Wichita (1955)
  • The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955 – 1961)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
  • Sfida Rio Bravo (1965)
  • Spectre of the Gun (1968)
  • Doc (1971)
  • I Married Wyatt Earp (1983)
  • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)
  • The Gunfighters (1966)
  • Hour of the Gun (1967)
  • The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991)
  • Tombstone (1993)  My favourite Wyatt Earp movie.
  • Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone (1994)
  • Wyatt Earp (1994)
  • Deadwood (2006)

Go to my Wyatt Earp Page to learn more.

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Duel in the Sun

Duel in the Sun – Western Epic

Duel in the Sun was released in 1946.  This movie is one of the classics and produced as an epic western by David O. Selznick.

I watched this film last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I think it is far from the best available, certainly not in as good as John Wayne’s True Grit, Randolph Scott westerns (I particularly like “Comanche Station”) or television shows like Bonanza or Gunsmoke.

It was good enough though to have two Academy Awards nominations, Best Actress (Jennifer Jones) and Best Supporting Actress (Lillian Gish).  It is also worth watching just to see how beautiful Jennifer Jones is as Pearl Chavez.

The film is set in Texas in the 1880s and you can’t get more of The Old West than that.

Jennifer Jones as Pearl Chavez

Jennifer Jones is the star of this show playing the part of Pearl Chavez, a half American Indian who people believe is simply a bad, bad girl who will never make anything of herself.

Pearl is put into the home a greedy rancher, wheel chair bound Senator McCanles and his wife Laura Belle.  She is subjected to ridicule and racism whilst being seen as the object of every man’s desire.  The movie has aspects that are more fitting with a romance movie than a western but it still has all the classic requirements.

It has the gunslinger, the Army, the Railroad, a family feud, a showdown in a saloon, a shoot out in the street and of course, a beautiful love interest.

So my recommendation to you is have a watch and enjoy

BUT don’t expect it to be the best you have ever seen.

Chief High Horse

A part of The Old West I have not yet touched on in Old West Stories is the American Indians.

I am working to rectify that at the moment and on September 1 my first page on American Indians will be completed and published.

The topic is immense on its own as there were than 500 American Indian Nations when Europeans first arrived in the united States.  I can’t possible cover all of that and the millions of stories.

This first page will have an overview of some personally chosen episodes in American Indian history.  Over time more pages will be added covering specific incidents and key characters in more details.

Stay tuned, check in regularly or click the RSS feed to be notified when these and other pages are added.

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History Page Update – Louisa Ann Swain

Louisa Ann Swain was the first woman to vote in a public election in the United States or, more correctly, the first woman to vote in an area that would become part of the USA.

1870 - September 6 – Louisa Ann Swain posted the first vote ever cast in a public election in the Territory of Wyoming.

The Territory had yet to become part of the United States and after the events of this day and other Wyoming events designed to enshrine women’s rights, there would be a lot of controversy before the state could join the union.

Louisa was aged 70 when she cast her historic vote and became one of those magic moments in Old West History.  This woman is as much a part of the fabric of the old West as Billy the Kid or Wyatt Earp.  She may not be a part of daily conversation as they are, but Louisa Ann Swain paved the path for women everywhere.  I cannot imagine a world today where women could not vote but is only 141 years since that was the situation for all women.

Click the photo of her commemorative statue to go the Statehood Dates page and learn more about her and her vote.

Go the 1890 – July 10 – this was the day Wyoming became a state and her story is recorded here.  The history page has been updated.  Click on the Wyoming flag to check out the Old West Stories history page.

Short Version

1869 December 10 – Old West History records that the Wyoming Territorial legislature passed a bill gave everyone woman living in the Territory of Wyoming the right to vote.

1870 – March – In Laramie in the Territory of Wyoming, a Grand Jury had been impaneled with 6 women and 6 men.

1870 – September 6 – Louisa Ann Swain post the first vote ever cast in a public election in the Territory of Wyoming.

1890 – July 10 – Wyoming became the 44th state.  During the application to join the Union there was significant opposition.  Wyoming stood firm on principle and the Territory stated:-

“We may stay out of the union for 100 years, but when we come in, we will come with our women.”

What does the Old West Stories website think about all this.  All we want to say is “congratulations Wyoming”.  Old West History would not be the same without this monumental event, indeed; world history would not be the same.  You led the way Wyoming and we thank you.

 

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Saloon Brawl

Old West Stories brings you a new game based on the legend of The Old West.

Saloon Brawl - A game based on the legend of The Old West

Old West History is full of wild west legends around the saloon brawl.

There is always a hero to step in a clean up the outlaw.  Often it will be the Marshal or the Sheriff that steps into this role.

In “Saloon Brawl” you will come across a collection of bad guys in Saloon who all want to fight.  You get to use your legendary skills with your fists to lay out all who oppose you.  Punch, kick, throw chairs, break tables, duck bottles and walk away a hero.

Old West Stories always need a hero.  At the Saloon Brawl, will you be the old west stories hero and go down in wild west history.  Just click on the image to give it a go.

This week there have been some updates to the Old West Stories History Page.  Check out 1803 in particular for an overview of events around Louisiana.

A new page is under development for the history of the War of 1812.  Keep an eye on the Old West Stories site to learn more about an even that secured the United States position as a world leader.  The threat from the British was significant and many at the time though America was facing overwhelming odds.  They were right but America still manager to win.  America could have become a British Colony again, stay tuned to learn how this impossible task was achieved.

We also have a new site being developed that will highlight Old West Fiction.  Contributions from fans of Old West Stories so, if you have written any short pieces of fiction about the Old West this could be your chance to be discovered.

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Frontier Gambling

Frontier Gambling

The cover of this book states  it covers the Games, The Gamblers and the Great Gambling Halls of the Old West.  It does exactly that in a vividly descriptive narrative that will help you feel the passion of the gamblers of those Old West Stories we all love.

BUT WAIT; THERE’S MORE.

This book covers Old West History from a unique perspective not often explored.  Most works about Old West Stories will mention gambling in passing, focusing on other historical aspects of the era.  This work puts into perspective how those gamblers in Old West Stories shaped the events more commonly referred to.  This is mostly because almost every man who went West was a gambler.

This book points out that the act of heading West into the frontier was an act of gambling in itself.  It included gambling your life itself to seek the potential that awaited.  Many died, most failed to achieve great wealth and only a few created the life they dreamed of and that we fondly look back on.

Many of the Gunslingers, Lawmen and Settlers of the time were gamblers.  Famous Lawman Wyatt Earp is a great example.  Famed mostly for his law keeping reputation, he was an expert gambler and even owned his own gambling operation on more than one ocassion.  This Part of Old West History is worthy of further reading and the reading this subject gets no better than this book.

If you aren’t particularly interested in the gambling aspect of Old West Stories don’t assume this book is not for you.  If you are interested in the lifestyle of the Old West at all (and lets face it, you would not be on this site if you weren’t) there will be information and stories here for you.  An aspect of this book that particularly appeals to me is the Glossary and Index pages.  They are some of the most comprehensive I have seen and Ron has kindly consented to allowing me to recreate his Glossary here on this web site.  So to get a feel for a his high quality work, take the link to GLOSSARY and check it out.

The index is easy to use and one of the most useful and comprehensive I have read.  I know I will be keeping this book on my shelf within easy reach for reference purposes.  This book has over 400 entries in the Index and several pages listed for many of the topics listed, eg: Bat Masterson alone is mentioned on 10 separate pages.

So the short review is:-

“A great work that makes a significant addition

to the historical record of the Old West.”

The Detailed Review

For more information, take the link to the Review Pages for a more detailed analysis.

Old West History Writer - G R Williamson

The Author is Mr G.R. (Ron) Williamson

Ron Williamson is a storyteller, western writer, a member of The Western Writers of America and The Wild West History Association.  His keen interest in real Old West Stories and authentic wild west history and broad knowledge of the topic are apparent in the book reviewed here.  Ron has given several presentations at the National Outlaw & Lawman History Association (NOLA) and at the Wild West History Association (WWHA) annual meetings on topics including John Coffee Hays, Ben Thompson, King Fisher and frontier gambling.

Ron truly knows his subject.  His knowledge began to accumulate during early childhood treks with his grandfather whilst growing up in the rough brasada of South Texas.  The Mexican legends and wild west lore he experienced through the stories passed down by those who lived the legend gives the magical era a reality that I often wish I had experienced.

Ron has published articles in newspapers and in national magazines, written screen plays and received several awards for his work.

The writing style employed by Ron Williamson in “Frontier Gambling” has the touch of the master about it.                             If you watch the movie “True Grit“, John Wayne or Jeff Bridges (depending on which version you have) draw you into the story and you can see yourself as the Texas Ranger tracking down the murderer and protecting Mattie Ross as you go.                                If you readRogue River” by Kerry Newcombe you will become Cole Anthem as he battles to bring in a murderer and protect everyone around him as they flee Indians on a wild river ride.                                If you Listen to the old “Gunsmoke” radio episodes and close your eyes you will become the brave and intrepid Sheriff Matt Dillon who would take on incredible odds to overcome evil and protect the citizens of HIS town.

The best fictional stories achieve this.  In a work of non-fiction it a true rarity.  Not since that wonder collection of Old West Stories in Dee Brown’s epic “Buy My Heart at Wounded Knee” have I found myself drawn into the narrative of a non-fiction work in this way.  I highly recommend “Frontier Gambling” to all enthusiasts of Old West Stories.  I have a small shelf above my desk where I keep a few treasured works that I want to keep at hand.  Frontier Gambling by G R Williamson is being added to that shelf.

—   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —

Buy the book now at Amazon.

Available in Print Version shiped to your door and Kindle download version.

Just click on the book at right.

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Tumbleweed

Tumbleweed – Texas Icon

1877 - Texas Tumbleweed. 

An interesting, intriguing plant eternally associated with Old West Stories and a native plant of Texas.  Well not quite, that may be the common belief but the Russian Thistle, commonly known in the States as the Tumbleweed was first officially reported in the States in 1877.  Until a recent trip with a work colleague I too thought this was a native Texas plant but she pointed out the error of my thinking.  It appears that the plant made its way from Russia to the USA around 1877.  Some unsubstantiated reports claim as early as 1873.

Several species are intrusive outside their native environment. They have encroached into parts of North America where they are officially listed as noxious weeds.  The salt tolerant species is first recorded in Bon Homme COunty in South Dakota in 1877 and probably came in as a stowaway in Flax imported from the Ukraine.  South Dakota proved too dry and far too harsh an environment for the flax but the “Tumbleweed” flourished.

So thank you Jody-Ann for educating me on this misunderstood icon of the old west.

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Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke“Gunsmoke; starring James Arness as Matt Dillon”.

These words heralded the beginning of one of Old West Stories favorite television shows, the Gunsmoke Television series from 1955, the first of 635 shows over 20 seasons.  The show holds the record for the longest running show with the most episodes in all of US television history.

Gunsmoke is one of those Old West Stories that appears in books, on radio, television and as a movie.  It portrays the life and adventure of an old west lawman in the likeness of Wyatt Earp.  The stories all take place in Dodge City, Kansas and the country nearby.  Many of the television shows start with Marshal Matt Dillon wandering through the Boot Hill grave yard talking about how men got themselves there including the fact that he was responsible for a good many of them achieving that final resting place.

A string of bad guys come through town including gun slingers of the caliber of Billy the Kid including, in the first episode of the radio show, Billy the Kid himself.  Unfortunately, Billy never made an appearance in the television series.

Marshall Matt Dillon

The television shows began on September 10, 1955 and run until March 31, 1975 and was aired on the CBS network to reach that record 635 episodes.  All of the lead characters were recast for television with non of the lead actors from the radio series making the transition.

I have listed many of the main actors appearing on the show on the review page for Gunsmoke.

From 1955 to 1961 Gunsmoke was a half an hour show and later went to one hour episodes.  Gunsmoke rated as television’s number one show from 1957 through to 1961.  The change to an hour format may have contributed to the decline until CBS made plans to end the series in 1967.  Viewer outrage followed and the subject even rated a mention in Congress.  Gunsmoke continued and it is rumoured that Gilligan’s Island was canned instead.  From start to finish, Gunsmoke outlasted some 30 other western shows.

James Arness, Amanda Black, Buck Taylor and Fran Ryan teamed up in 1987 for the Gunsmoke movie, Gunsmoke – Return to Dodge.  It was filmed in Canada.  Marshall Dillon is a retired fur trapper and is shot by thieves.  He is returned to Dodge and Kitty nurses him health before she is held captive before Dillon is forced into one more classic old west show down.  It was a massive success and four more movies followed.

The second movie was Gunsmoke – The Last Apache.

The third movie was Gunsmoke – To the Last man.

The fourth movie  was Gunsmoke – The Long Ride.

The fifth and final movie was Gunsmoke – One Man’s Justice filmed in 1994.

Old West Stories rates Gunsmoke as a classic.  If you haven’t seen it, check out the Gunsmoke Channel on Youtube.  Old West Stories thanks the operators of the channel for their work, a job well done.

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Cowboys and Aliens

Cowboys and Aliens

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Old West Stories has just come from viewing the new Ron Howard Movie, Cowboys and Aliens.

Old West Stories - Cowboys and Aliens

Cowboys and Aliens - Daniel Craig

This movie sits squarely into the Old West Stories style.

I have been a Harrison Ford fan for a very long time.  As an Australian, I have been keen to see Daniel Craig perform well.  Well, did he perform well? 

In our view, you bet he did.  In this role, Daniel Craig has stamped his style emphatically on the Character of Jake Lonergan.

Set the difficult task of portraying a man who was an outlaw but would become a hero of immense proportions, he carried the role with true old west style and placed his own personal acting style on top for great effect.

Daniel Craig makes a completely convincing cowboy in this movie.  Craig gave the role the convincing edge required for the old west, portraying a character who has suffered, had poor nutrition and probably no health care, walks with caution and hesitancy as well as having the look of a man who is worn by harshness of the time.

From the opening scene, the style of his character is set.  When he takes out three armed bounty hunters by hand, the toughness and unforgiving nature of his character is set.  If you really enjoy a hero in style of Wyatt Earp then this movie is a must see.

In the climactic scene, everyone comes together to take on the aliens.  The good guys, the bad guys, the naive, the ruthless, a boy, even the Apache Indians and a Border Collie get together to defend the Earth from an intergalactic enemy they don’t even understand.  Border Collies and other dogs form a crucial part of the making of The Old West and there will soon be a page to honour them under the Stories menu header at the top of this page.

Check out the trailer on YouTube.

The mysterious silence of our hero in early stages hints at the torment of alien abduction that is confirmed later in the film.  As with many of those who have claimed to have been abducted by aliens for real, Lonergan’s memory returns (with the help of a little Apache magic) and he sets about tracking down the alien villains.

Old West Stories highly recommends this a great movie for fans of The Old West.  Cowboys & Aliens” is rated PG-13 and parents are strongly cautioned regarding younger viewers.  The violence is generally stylized however, it is very present from start to finish and I lost track of how many died.

STARS:-

Daniel Craig as Jake Lonergan                         Harrison Ford as Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde Olivia Wilde as Ella                                            Sam Rockwell as Doc                                    Adam Beach as Nat Colorado                           Paul Dano as Percy Dolarhyde                              Clancy Brown as Meacham

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Old West Stories Games

Old West Stories Games

A new page has been added to the Old West Stories web site and there are several similar pages to come.  If you are at all like me, you enjoy most anything to do with the old west and this includes novels, movies, television stories, history and of course, old west games.

Check out the picture below for the first entry on the site, “Railroad Rampage”.

The train has been taken over by an outlaw gang in the style of that famous gang from The Old West, the Reno Brothers Gang (also referred to as the Jackson Gang).  The reno brothers Frank, John, Simeon and William formed the basis of the gang that rampaged through The Old West during the 1860s and formed one of the classic Old West Tales of the period.  The gang is credited with the first recorded peace time train robbery in history.

They led the way for such villians as Butch Cassidy and his gang.  Train robberies were big business for several decades and form a major part of the Old West Stories legends.

 

Old West Stories

Railroad Rampage

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Cat Herders

Old West Stories recently came across a special story of The Old West that was completely unexpected and hysterically funny.  We have all  heard about the Oregon Trail and others, forged to trail beef cattle from Texas to the Northern States hungry for quality beef after the Civil War.

Did you know that cattle were not the only live stock herded across these trails?  This job was not for the feint hearted, it needed the toughest cowboys to tackle the dangers of over 800 miles trailing huge herds of cattle through dangerous and inhospital country.  For many of the Texas cowboys who undertook this work, it may have seemed tame after their experieince in the Civil War but was tough beyond modern understanding.

Many of our friends find one or two nights camping in good weather, with a great tent, a car near by and portable gas cooking and heating, tough enough to brag about to all the other wokrer in their week day office environment.  If it rained, obviously those two days would be even harder.  Imagine if you can, 6 to 8 weeks on the trail often with no shelter and the constant threat of outlaws and Indians all the way.

Did you know there was harder work than trailing cattle for 800 miles; and more rewarding too.

To view a very informative (and hysterically funny) video, click on the link below now.

Cat Herders

Don’t forget to check out some of the other posts while you are on site, including:-

Wild Bill Hickok

Sheriff Pat Garrett

Billy the Kid

 

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Old West Stories Page for Mad Dog Tannen

Buford (Mad Dog) Tannen

Classic Old West Stories Outlaw - Mad Dog TannenDo you know who Mad Dog Tannen is?

Have you seen the movie “Back to the Future III”?

If you answered no to either of these questions Old West Stories would like to acquaint you with Buford Tannen, who  was born around 1862 but neither his exact date of birth or his place of birth can be determined with certainty.  Mad Dog has his own page at Mad Dog Tannen.

Old West Stories believes that the portrayal of Buford (Mad Dog) Tannen by Thomas F. Wilson is one of the best performances of an outlaw from The Old West we have ever seen.  Mad Dog is fictional but strikes me as just about as real as a movie outlaw can be.  With no previous acting experience in a Western and hampered by the comedic background of the character, Thomas Wilson’s performance is all the more remarkable.

Bufort Tannen was a notorious gunman whose short temper and a tendency to drool earned him the nickname “Mad Dog”.  He was quick on the trigger and bragged that he had killed 12 men, not including Indians or Chinamen.  Not as many as Billy the Kid is reputed to have killed but this character is every bit as convincing as that real life outlaw.

Old West Stories Meets Science Fiction

A Classic Lawman in the Old West Stories Style - Marshall Strickland

The movie is a time travelling comedy set in The Old West.  Old West Stories rates this as highly as any western we have ever seen.  It has all of the prerequisites for a classic tale from the legends of the Wild Wild West, including:-

  • A hero who is prepared to make a great sacrifice for what he knows is right – Doc Brown was willing to leave behind his one true love in order to protect the future;
  • A beautiful love interest – Clara Clayton is a very beautiful teacher with an interest in the sciences;
  • A frontier lawman – In the tradition created around the likes of Pat Garret and Wyatt Earp , Marshal Strickland is tough, courageous, takes every advantage to enforce the law and looks to pass on his dedication to the next generation;
  • A classic shootout – With a twist when Mad Dog Tannen is stared down and beaten by the under-dog, Marty McFly.  In case you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t reveal it here but there is a twist in this shoot out worthy of that other Old West Stories legend, Clint Eastwood;
  • A bartender that knows everything that moves in the town; and
  • A saloon full of old west stories type characters – Men that comment on everything and even place bets on who will live following a shootout.

Mad Dog Tannen and his gang of three operated around the remote hills and valleys surrounding the old west town of Hill Valley during 1885.  Hill Valley is situated close to Haysville where the infamous outlaw Stinky Lomax operated until he was hung on September 2, 1885.  In September of that year the town of Hell Valley was thriving on the back of the railway.

Mad Dog Tannen terrified the citizens of Hill Valley.  In the wonderful story of the old west told in the movie “Back to the Future III” it is clear even the armed men in the Saloon, probably very experienced with those firearms and knowing full well how to look after themselves, are not willing to stand up to Tannen and his gang.

In the Manure Again

Mad Dog Tannen was portrayed in the movie by Thomas F Wilson (Born 1959, April 15).  Wilson has appeared in several movies and television roles but as far as I know, this is his only Western.  For my money, his portrayal of mad Dog Tannen was superb.  Even within the restriction of playing a somewhat comedic and tragic character, the realism of his portrayal was simply fantastic.    Too bad he ends up in a pile of manure after Marty McFly punched out his lights.

Check out more about Mad Dog Tannen on his new page under the Stories heading on the title banner.

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Old West Stories Page for Wild Bill Hickok

James Butler Hickok

Old West Stories

Old West Stories Legend - Wild Bill Hickok

James Butler Hickok was born in 1837, May 27 and was destined to become one of the best remembered character from The Old West era.

James is much better known as Wild Bill Hickok, one of the most written about and enigmatic figures in Old West Stories.  He is quite probably the most famous person ever to be a resident of Deadwood, which is saying something.

He was born in Homer, Illinois and his birthplace has a place known as the Wild Bill Hickok Memorial.

It is difficult to separate historical truth from the fiction that has arisen from the life of this man.  His appearances as a hero in novels, newspapers, television, movies and even comic books has clouded the matter to a significant degree.

His story includes times when he was portrayed as a gun fighter for hire and a killer with the cold blooded attitude of the legend that surrounds Billy the Kid.

In other places the legend extends to describe him as the magnificent old west lawman in the style of Wyatt Earp.

In 1855 he first met another of Old West Stories most interesting characters, William Cody (later to become known as Buffalo Bill).  Cody was only 12 years old at the time.

1858 – March 22 -  Hickok was elected as a Constable in Monticello, Kansas and experienced his first time as a lawman.

1859 – Hickok joined the “Russell, Majors and Waddell Freight Company”.  This business later formed the basis of another eternally remembered story of the old west, the famous “Pony Express”.

Old West Stories

Old West Stories Legend - The Pony Express

1861 – Hickok got in to a fight and has been credited with the shot that killed a man.  If it is true that Wild Bill fired to fatal shot, this is the first time Hickok is reputed to have killed a man but would not be the last.

1865 – July 21 – Hickok was involved in an incident in Springfield, Missouri during which he killed Davis Tutt in a classic quick draw duel.  Whilst movie fiction portrays this as typical of Old West Stories from much earlier, this incident may well be among the first such actual incident that fits the movie description.  Go to the Wild Bill page for more detail on this incident.

Legendary Story of The Old West

1869 – September 24 – Hickok killed Bill Mulvey, who apparently got the drop on him.  Hickok reportedly used the ruse of telling a nonexistent man not to shoot him in the back.  Mulvey looked and this gave Hickok the advantage; the encounter ended with Mulvey’s death.

Did All Old West Lawman Heroes Do This?

1871 – April 15 – Hickok was appointed to the position of Marshal for Abilene, Kansas. During this time an incident occurred that mirrored Wyatt Earp’s famous befriending of Doc Holliday.  He became friends with John Wesley Hardin, a notorious outlaw of the time.

1873 – William Cody invited Hickok to join him in a play called the “Scouts of the Plains”.  William Cody (Buffalo Bill) later formed his famous Show “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” in 1882.

Wild West Death in the Classic Style of Old West Stories – Dead Man’s Hand

Old West Storey

Old West Stories Classic - DEAD MAN'S HAND

1876 – August 2 – Wild Bill Hickok died on this day.  During a card game, John McCall walked in unannounced.  When within a few feet on Hickok, he is reported to have drawn his pistol and shot Hickok in the back of the head.

It is said that at the time of his death, Hickok was holding a poker hand consisting of a pair of eights and a pair of aces.  The fifth card had not yet been discarded and replaced by the dealer.  This hand has became famous, known as the “Dead Man’s Hand”.  Click on the picture to read more about this incident and detail on the life and times of Wild Bill Hickok.

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Rango checked out by Old West Stories

RANGO

Old West Stories - Rango

Rango Leading His Posse

This Nikolodean movie lives up to the movie maker’s reputation for story telling and visual expertise.

The main character in this plot (the Hero, of course) is a pet chameleon with an over developed flair for the dramatic, who finds himself a victim of circumstance and lands in the middle of the desert with no water or chance of rescue.

He has no idea what to do but stumbles into an Armadillo who exhibits the wisdom of age and experience.  His new friend is named “Road Kill”, a completely suitable name for a character who has somehow survived being flattended by a passing vehicle.  Road Kill tells our hero to seek out the “Spirit of the West” and sends the chameleon on a desert trek toward a town in the desert with the unlikely name of “Dirt”.

On his way he meets Beans, a female lizard who is trying to save her missing father’s ranch.  Beans becomes the love interest that is absolutely essential to any good story of The Old West.

The classic nature of all Old West Stories now becomes entirely apparent as he enters the Wild West town and finds a strange gathering of creatures who are battling a crisis in their old west town.  All of their water has mysteriously disappeared and the townsfolk are in a desperate condition.  As he tries to fit in and find his pplace in the town, his dramatic tendencies came to the fore and he builds a story of being a gun packing hero who goes by the name of “Rango.”

The town mayor is a tortoise and he makes Rango the sheriff.  The townsfolk applaud and hope that Rango is their salvation but the mayor has appointed him for his own means.  Rango promises the people that he will protect them and find the missing water but he has no idea how.  He has always wanted to be a hero but now he has to live up to his lies.

In the tradition of Old West Stories this stale proceed at quite a pace as Rango bumbles from one situation to another.  Finally he does find the water and for those with a knowledge of Old West History, there are similarities to water wars and outcomes that really occurred.  Water is being moved from one place to another without the consent of the original owners or any thought of the consequences to those people.

A movie well worth a watch but two short words of caution.  For those concerned about story lines and ideas in movies for children, there are some conepts I have expanded on in the Movie Reviews pages that you may want to consider when deciding what age groups this movie is suitable for.  Secondly, this is a cartoon not aimed solely at children.  I am not suggesting (and don’t on the review page) what you should do, only things to consider.

If you click on the image above, it will take you to a preview on Youtube.  Click on the link in the Movie Preview page for a more detailed review.

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Old West Stories Book Competition Winners

Thank you to all the entrants in the Old West Stories Book Competition

Kid Ramble on the Run

I trust the winners will enjoy the read.  They have each received their eBook copy by now and working their way through to a showdown in the Wyoming Wilderness that left not one participant unharmed.

The winners are:-

  • Dagan Moss;
  • Zhu Chanatsu;
  • Brendan Phaustini;
  • Phanindranath; and
  • David Panter.

If you haven’t checked out the free chapters yet, they are available on the Kid Ramble page under the Stories banner at the top of the page.  Read about how Kid Ramble robs the bank in heartless manner of Butch Cassidy.  Find out if Cavalry Sergeant Brad White, a veteran of Black Hills Indian campaign can get his man and retrieve the Army money.  Learn why John Quaid can’t quit until he has bagged the man who attaked his family or dies in the attempt.

Old West Stories Special Offer

Old West Stories was intending to offer the book to anyone who entered but did not win, for $3.00.

After thinking about it for a while, we decided to make it available as a special offer to everyone at that price.

That’s right, it is now available for just $3.

It has been changed on the shopping trolley and will show up there for just $3.

Old West Stories will make sure that $1.00 of that will still go to the Wild Horse Rescue Center so they won’t miss out.

The hunt for Kid Ramble

If you haven’t seen the video advert for this story in the classic style of The Old West, check it out now on Youtube.

Remember also to check out the Review pages for updates on Movie Reviews and Book Reviews, being added to regularly.

 

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Old West Stories reviews A Fistful of Dollars

A Fistful of Dollars

A Fistful of Dollars is one of those Clint Eastwood classics as he portrays his now legendary character, the “Man With No Name”.

Almost every cliché every associated with Old West Stories was thrown into the character of the cool and mysterious gunslinger who arrives from nowhere into a town with an evil story to tell.  He takes on the wicked, the evil, the greedy and the deceitful, showing nerves of steel like the famous Wyatt Earp up against the cowboys.

Although shot mostly in Spain, the backgrounds and scenery carry the mystery of the old west quite well.

The man with no name rides into town looking for work as a hired killer.  He sets himself up in the battle between the warring families, the Baxters and the Rejos.  The families are locked in a seemingly never ending feud that doesn’t progress for either side and gives no-one control over the smuggling trade.

The movie misses one of the classic ingredients of the best of the Old West Stories. Although the lone crusader almost eradicates the population of bad guys in the town and protects a beautiful woman, he doesn’t exude the moral virtue of the very best kind of the wild west hero, the lawman.  He shows his icy soul and cynicism and couples that to a gun hand swifter and more accurate than the legendary picture of Billy the Kid.

He quickly checks out the situation and comments “There’s money to be made in a place like this,” and then he sets about making it from both sides.

Man With No Name Stands Alone

The Man With No Name - An Old West Stories Classic

At first he guns down four of Baxter’s men and looks to be throwing in with the Rejo’s.  It soon becomes apparent though that he is playing both  sides and is standing alone at every moment, not just as he is in this picture.

His secret and personal activities include playing both sides against each other with the skill of an expert politician.  After he has started off a holocaust in the little town and destroyed the last of his employers, he casually rides out of town, carrying his fistful of dollars.

Old West Stories does not rate this as the best of western stories but Clint Eastwood is.  Without him this picture may have failed but with him, the cool and fearsome hero of the wild west is enhanced another notch.

Check out the Movie Reviews page for more on “A Fistful of Dollars” and other Old West Stories portrayed in movie form.

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Roque River Book Review by Old West Stories

Rogue River – Book Review by Old West Stories

Old West Stories Review of Rogue River

Rogue River was written by Kerry Newcombe and released in 1987.

Set in Montana near the Marias River, the location of the historical Fort Conrad, it traces the complicated story of Cole Anthem and his unlikely style of heroism.  If you have read other stories by this writer you may be aware that he has penned quite a few Old West Stories that includes a series under the banner of “The Texas Anthem”

An Old West Stories Style Logo belongs to Conrad High School - Montana

These books chronicle the life and times of the Anthem family in Texas and in this work of one the sons, Cole Anthem, has become a bounty hunter.

The district of Conrad is so strongly associated with many famous Old West Stories and The Old West and the Conrad High School carries this logo today.

After fellow bounty hunter Glory Doolin is gunned down by the subject of her bounty hunting efforts, she calls in Cole Anthem to help deal with Sam Dollard.  Sam sets off on his mission but hits a hurdle when he finds that Sam Dollard is working with the Army and has effectively enlisted their protection for as long as he keeps his job as a Scout.

The story weaves together the path of several disparate characters that come together in unexpected ways as they head for an encounter with a group of the Cheyenne Red Shield warriors.  The group, including sworn enemies, would need to work together to stay alive.  The group included:-

  • Ben Wheatley – An educated black man with a command of Shakespeare but no knowledge of how to stay alive in a wild country;
  • Cole Anthem – The Bounty Hunter with gun handling skills better than the legend of Billy the Kid or Wyatt Earp who knew how to survive under the most savage and dangerous of circumstances;
  • Danny McKane – An ageing Irish Army Sergeant;
  • Jay Lee Hammond – Over weight and slow but with a valuable intelligence and thoughtfulness under pressure but a mand who played his part in his father’s death and is not to be trusted;
  • Sam Dollard – The Criminal and woman killer; and
  • Zack Hammond – The brother of Jake Lee Dollard, a wiry and athletic figure that is less trustworthy the Butch Cassidy cannot be trusted and his killed his own father to claim his gold and his wife.

An Old West Stories Encounter

Medicine Bear - Cheyenne Chief from The Old West

Cole heads toward an dangerous encounter with the Cheyenne Chief Medicine Bear and his Red Shield Warriors.  At one moment in history, the real Medicine Bear was certainly heading toward a meeting with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and the Cheyenne prepared to join with the Sioux to expel General Custer and his troops from their land.  Click on the picture to learn why this Medicine Bear is not the one in this book.

Bringing a degree of historical accuracy into a tale of the old west is always a major plus for me and added to my enjoyment of the overall story.  The location and the weaving of Indian movement toward the Little Big Horn set the time frame nicely.  The portrayal of the Indians may not be very accurate in this story but is probably an accurate portrayal of how white society viewed the Indian “menace” in the 1880′s.

A good read, firmly set in the tradition of Old West Stories.

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Sheriff Pat Garrett New Page by Old West Stories

Sheriff Pat Garrett

Lawman Legend - Sheriff Patrick Floyd Garrett

Patrick Floyd Garrett was born in 1850 on June 5.  He died in 1908 on February 29.

The time in between was filled with adventure.  Garret was a man always finding himself in the middle of important and news worthy events.  In his role as a lawman, Garrett was involved in tumultuous events that catapulted him into a larger than life wild west persona that will never be forgotten.

Whether it is set in the old west, ancient times, modern cities, large multi-cultural civilisations or remote and isolated communities, one of the most popular kinds of story is that of a hero defending what is right and winning against overwhelming odds (or sometimes, giving their life for that principle).  Old West Stories are no different.  Such stories would include David fighting Goliath, Robin Hood taking on the establishment, the Three Musketeers saving the King, Ghandi opposing violence and America gaining its independence.  In terms of Old West Stories, for me, coming up against the most notorious outlaw of the day and winning is such a story.  There has been much said about whether Billy the Kid really was a cold blooded killer or simply a misunderstood victim of circumstance.  Much has also been said about whether Pat Garret acted properly in the killing of Billy.

I personally think he demonstrated in taking Billy alive on one occasion, that he was the man for the job, a true hero of Old West Stories and worthy of his legend.   Whatever the truth of Billy the Kid’s murderous ways, he wasw a killer and he was wanted for his crimes.  The clamour was immense for the Government to have him stopped.  Pat Garret did the job.

Birth of an Old West Stories Legend

Old West Stories - Birthplace of a Hero

The Old West Lawman Pat Garret  was born in Cusseta, Alabama.  Cusseta had only been gazetted in 1832 following the signing of the Creek Treaty with local Indians.  His father (John Lumpkin Garret) and his mother (Elizabeth Ann Jarvis) moved to the town and Pat Garrett was the eldest of their seven children.

The family moved away in 1853 and settled on Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.  They ran a plantation near Haynesville in the North of the State near the Arkansas border and Pat spent his there.  He left home in 1869.

During his life he worked in a number of roles that included:-

  • Author;
  • Bar Keeper;
  • Saloon Owner;
  • Buffalo Hunter;
  • Cowboy;
  • Customs Agent;
  • Lawman; and
  • Rancher.

Regardless of all this variety of occupations and roles, he is remembered for just one moment in his life.  That moment is shrouded in controversy and some have suggested that his claim for what happened during that event, is false. 

In 1881 on July 14,

Sheriff Pat Garret killed

Billy the Kid.

Want to know more.  Go to the Pat Garrett – Sheriff Page.

Pat Garrett's Badge

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Old West Stories – Billy the Kid Updated

Billy the Kid Updated

Billy the Kid

Old West Stories has updated the page forBilly the Kid“.  Click the picture at left to check out the new information.

Henry McCarty, alias “Billy the Kid“, is reported to have been born on 23rd November 1859.  We say ‘reported” because this appears to be the most likely birth date of the boy who would later gain notoriety as the outlaw known to lovers of Old West Tories as Billy the Kid.

Legend says Billy the Kid was the greatest of the cold blooded killers in all of the old west.

Whether or not he was cold blooded is a matter of speculation but he was a killer.  Click on image of Billy to read more about his life.

On this page you will read how this boy who was viewed as friendly, helpful and artistic, carved out a reputation second to none in the old west.  This man is truly a classic outlaw of the wild west legend but many aspects of his life are, more legend than history. In having his life immortalised in this way, he joins other icons of the old west era that have lives that are hard to distinguish from legend and myth.

Sheriff Patrick Floyd Garrett

 

The eternally infamous Sheriff Pat Garrett (Pat Garret page scheduled for release 23 April 2011) is also one of those characters.  Forever entwined with the Billy the Kid legend, it is difficult to determine whether Pat Garret was:-

One – The brave hearted and heroic old west lawman of legend that faced the heartless and remorseless cold blooded killer Billy the Kid and won in true hero style; or

Two – A callous outlaw who took advantage of poor Billy, a frightened child on the wrong side on uncontrollable events who was gunned down by a killer intent on personal advancement.

Either way, the combination of these two lives coming together on a fateful day on July 14, 1881, created a story that is still subject to debate by people with deeply entrenched positions.  These people include descendants of both men wishing to protect or enhance a reputation.  It also includes people with financial interests in the legend continuing and interest in one of the greatest ever of the Old West Stories of the American Midwest.

Wyatt Earp

 

Old West Stories is particularly please with the page on that other enigmatic lawman of the Old West, Wyatt Earp.

Check out his page through the link in his name and see how aspects of his life mirror that of Pat Garret.

You can also find him on the Menu List of Old West Stories under the heading of Stories.  Through this link you can also find other stories that include wild west legends Butch Cassidy and Wild Bill Hickok.

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Old West Stories Reminds You of Book Competition

Win the Old West Story – The Hunt for Kid Ramble

Old West Stories

OLD WEST STORIES - The Hunt for Kid Ramble

Old West Stories is giving you a chance to win a copy of a tale of the old west, “The Hunt for Kid Ramble”.  Only available online as an eBook and you can download it for just $5.00.  But would you like to win a FREE copy of this book.

How do you win?   Read the free chapters that you can access on the link to Old West Stories – Kid Ramble.

Then answer the following question and send your answer to Old West Stories at enquries@oldweststories.net or answer                    through a comment at the bottom of the                       Old West Stories – Kid Ramble page.

Question – During a classic old west shoot out between the Cavalry and the outlaws, one of Sergeant White’s soldiers lost a leg after being shot in the knee.  Who was that soldier?

Entries close on 30 April 2011, so jump in now for your chance to win and 5 winners will be announced on this site on 5 May 2011 and they will receive their FREE copy of the book courtesy of Old West Stories.

If you haven’t seen the video advertisement, click the picture above to check it out.

But what is this Old West Story really about?

Kid Ramble on the Run

The story starts with a bank robbery in Wyoming with a Billy the Kid style character leading a bad bunch of young men who want to be old west outlaws.  They steal a Cavalry payroll and kill the of the Sheriff’s deputies and four others that included a bound and helpless woman.

The town Sheriff takes on Marshal duties and leads a posse into the old west wilderness of Wyoming.  The Sheriff turns out not to be up to the job but a Cavalry Sergeant with the tenacity of Wyatt Earp is also on his trail.  A classic shoot out in a remote valley, in the style of your favourite old west stories leaves both soldiers and outlaws dead but Kid Ramble is still on the run.

While on the run the remnants of the gang kill a man’s daughter and cripple his wife.  Even though John Quaid knows he is not a tough western Sheriff and Ramble has already shot him once, he heads out to track him down.  Read how Kid Ramble turns himself into an old west legend and how John Quaid, the cavalry Sergeant and the gang end up in a deadly encounter near that famous old west town of Deadwood.

The crew at Old West Stories is certain you will enjoy reading this classic story of old west lawmen and outlaws.  So happy reading and good luck.

While your on site, take a moment to check out some of the other popular posts and page, including:-

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