True West 2016-11 - PDF Free Download (2024)

cody, wyoming


Just east of Yellowstone. ■ Five museums – one price. ■ ■

image: Larry Pirnie (b. 1940). A Wild West Welcome, 2009.

Acrylic on board. Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming, USA. Gift of the Artist. 17.09

The Smoke Wagon™

Short-Stroke Option

.45 LC

.45 ACP


.44 Spl


.357 Mag




Barrel Lengths


7.5” 5.5” 4.75”






Blue / Case Hardened





* Not all features available on all models. Please visit for available configurations.

[emailprotected] 304 Lenoir Drive Winchester, VA 22603 P:540-722-2017

presents the

Winchester 1873 “Centennial Model” Rifles To celebrate our centennial in 2017, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is proud to partner with Navy Arms and Winchester Firearms to create the Winchester “Centennial Model” 1873 lever-action rifle. Using Winchester factory records and original firearms housed at the Center of the West, Navy Arms has created for sale two outstanding replicas—one handengraved, the other machine-engraved—to celebrate the Center’s 100th Anniversary. One hundred percent of the profits support the mission of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and our Cody Firearms Museum. Reserve yours today at, or call Navy Arms at 304-274-0004

celebrating 100 years of excellence 720 Sheridan Avenue, Cody, Wyoming | 307-587-4771 |

Extraordinary Firearms Auction October 4, 5, 6 & 7, 2016 in Fairfield Maine

Our spectacular Fall auction will include approximately $20 Million worth of rare and important firearms. Featuring prestigious Private Collections and Estates from: Large Collection from Baton Rouge, LA; The Remarkable William Larkin Moore Private Estate Coll. of Fine Sporting Arms; The Friedrich-Wilhelm Dauphin Coll. of Rare Mauser & Luger Pistols from Germany; Esteemed Curated Colt Percussion Coll. of Steve Ardia (Sess. Two); L.C. Smith Coll. of Gerald Basham; Charles Copeland, Jr. Coll.; The Dr. Robert G. Cox Estate Coll. of Colts (Sess. Two); Carmen Gianforte World’s Largest Single Coll. of Reid Knuckledusters (Sess. Two); Lifetime Lefever Arms Coll. of Scott Lefever; Wayne McNeese Coll.; Jon Roark Coll.; Coll. of Daniel C. Scott; William Smith Coll.; Estate of Tig Sogian; Estate of Renowned Texas Coll. Bill Stewart (Sess. Two); Final session of Dr. Sturgess from Zurich, Switzerland; the Allan Hallock Collection of Schuetzen Rifles, and much, more. Online Bidding Available Through and

We are the world’s leading auctioneers of rare, high-grade, quality firearms. We do not sell the greatest number of firearms in a year, we sell the greatest number of expensive firearms in a year.

A Sampling of Some of the Rare, Historical Western Items to be Offered in this Extraordinary Sale

Extremely Rare and Historic Cashmore Shotgun Made for One of The World’s Greatest Marksman, Annie Oakley. She was often photographed with this gun and Cashmore capitalized on this in their advertising. Great Provenance

Important Historical Custer Lot includes locks of his hair, his camp stool, his Pacific RR map, his shaving kit and more. All descended through the Custer family and consigned to us directly from the family.

Gallagher Carbine from Battle of the Little Bighorn, Ex Frost Coll. Ex. U.S. Cartridge Co. Coll. Extraordinary Gold Inlaid & Ulrich Engraved 1895 Winchester Attributed to Teddy Roosevelt

Rare and Important Parker Shotgun Made for Frank Butler, Famous Shootist and Husband of Annie Oakley. Stock Was Later Reconfigured for use by Annie.

Incredible Colt SAA Owned and Carried by the Famous American Novelist, Zane Grey

Extraordinary and Rare Massive Samuel Bell Bowie Knife. This is the Only "True Bowie" Currently Known to Exist (Other Known Bells Are Actually Dirks). Signed "S. Bell, Knoxville, Ten". This sale will incl. the Finest Offering of Bowies in Many Years

Rare Win. Adv Poster “Girl In Saddle”. To our knowledge the only one known.

Color Catalogs: $39 Each or $100 for all 3

Special Offer for Readers of True West Only: A Limited Number of Sets of Free Catalogs are Available – Please Mention True West Magazine When You Request Your Free Set. Francis Lombardi | [emailprotected] | Tel: +1 207 453-7125 | Fax: +1 207 453-2502 | Web: Fairfield, ME | Auctioneer: James D. Julia | Lic#: ME: AR83 | MA: AU1406 | NH: 2511

Ope n i ngShOt We Take You There

t r u e


w e st

Nomadic Fishermen These Columbia Plateau Indians were photographed by pioneer photographer Benjamin A. Gifford, who moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1888 and operated a photography studio there and in The Dalles. – By Benjamin a. Gifford –

t r u e


w e st

True West captures the spirit of the West with authenticity, personality and humor by providing a necessary link from our history to our present.

EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Bob Boze Bell EDITOR: Meghan Saar EDITORIAL TEAM Senior Editor: Stuart Rosebrook Features Editor: Mark Boardman Copy Editor: Beth Deveny Firearms Editor: Phil Spangenberger Westerns Film Editor: Henry C. Parke Military History Editor: Col. Alan C. Huffines, U.S. Army Preservation Editor: Jana Bommersbach Social Media Editor: Rhiannon Deremo Content Curator: Cameron Douglas PRODUCTION MANAGER: Robert Ray ART DIRECTOR: Daniel Harshberger GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Rebecca Edwards MAPINATOR EMERITUS: Gus Walker HISTORICAL CONSULTANT: Paul Hutton CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Tom Augherton, Allen Barra, Leo W. Banks, John Beckett, Terry A. Del Bene, John Boessenecker, Johnny D. Boggs, Richard H. Dillon, Drew Gomber, Kevin Kibsey, Dr. Jim Kornberg, Leon Metz, Sherry Monahan, Candy Moulton, Frederick Nolan, Gary Roberts, Andy Thomas, Marshall Trimble, Linda Wommack ARCHIVIST/PROOFREADER: Ron Frieling PUBLISHER EMERITUS: Robert G. McCubbin TRUE WEST FOUNDER: Joe Austell Small (1914-1994)


True West Online

November 2016 Online and Social Media Content

Join the Conversation True West fan John Mattson commented on our San Juan Hill photo: “When [Teddy] Roosevelt recruited for what would become the Rough Riders, he stipulated that any and all of the men who would go to Cuba with him had to be crack shots with pistol and rifle, and expert horsem*n. They also had to know how to both shoot and ride at the same time.”

Go behind the scenes of True West with Bob Boze Bell to see his painting, Wild Bill Takes Aim, and more of the executive editor’s Daily Whipouts (Search for “August 22, 2016”).

PRESIDENT & CEO: Bob Boze Bell PUBLISHER & CRO: Ken Amorosano GENERAL MANAGER: Carole Compton Glenn ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Dave Daiss SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR: Ken Amorosano REGIONAL SALES MANAGERS Greg Carroll ([emailprotected]) Arizona, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada & Washington Cynthia Burke ([emailprotected]) Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah & Wyoming Sheri Riley ([emailprotected]) Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee & Texas ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT: Susan Kulenkamp November 2016, Vol. 63, #11, Whole #562. True West (ISSN 0041-3615) is published twelve times a year (January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December) by True West Publishing, Inc., 6702 E. Cave Creek Rd, Suite #5 Cave Creek, AZ 85331. 480-575-1881. Periodical postage paid at Cave Creek, AZ 85327, and at additional mailing offices. Canadian GST Registration Number R132182866. Single copies: $5.99. U.S. subscription rate is $29.95 per year (12 issues); $49.95 for two years (24 issues). POSTMASTER: Please send address change to: True West, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327. Printed in the United States of America. Copyright 2016 by True West Publishing, Inc. Information provided is for educational or entertainment purposes only. True West Publishing, Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


888-687-1881 FAX: 480-575-1903 Follow us on:


Confederate Pvt. Simeon J. Crews, of Company F, 7th Texas Cavalry Regiment, poses with his cut down saber and a revolver. After the news of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender, his unit disbanded on May 27, 1865, at Wild Cat Bluff in Texas. Find this and more historical photography on our “Western History” board.

4 8 9 10 12 14 16 42 44


46 52 54 64 68 89 94 96






THE DOOMED PRINCE OF THE PISTOLEERS This special Classic Gunfights feature explores how James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok earned his fame and how his proficiency with firearms ended up being a curse. —By Bob Boze Bell


BUCKSKIN FRANK LESLIE Filling the gaps in the long and illustrious life of a Tombstone legend. —By Jack DeMattos



THE KILLING THAT PUT HARDIN ON THE RUN Just who was Charlie M. Webb, whose plan to murder the Texas gunfighter backfired? —By Norman Wayne Brown



BURNING THROUGH TEXAS The only tribe to burn and kill its way to a sea inflamed the ire of the Texian Army. —By Mike Coppock



THE UNBROKEN PEACE TREATY After Texas gained statehood, Penatekas stayed true to a treaty negotiated with German emigrants. —By Tim Dasso



Showcasing Old West-era firearms from the Cody Firearms Museum, on the cusp of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s centennial.


Cover design by Dan Harshberger/ Illustration by Bob Boze Bell

—By Phil Spangenberger

72 T R U E






I was surprised and disappointed that True West’s look at museums [September 2016] gave no mention of the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona. It may not qualify for the top 10 of shoot-’em-up venues, but it does provide a different kind of glimpse of the Old West and particularly a most remarkable pioneer.

SPECTRE OF THE GUN Loved Allen Barra’s “The Reel Walk Downs” feature on screen portrayals of the famous Tombstone stroll [September 2016], but the article left out one of the most unusual—Star Trek’s cool and creative 1968 episode on NBC, “Spectre of the Gun.” In a unique twist on the legendary gunfight, the show had mysterious aliens cast Capt. James T. Kirk and crew as the Clantons and McLaurys (and Billy Claiborne). Why the Western motif? Because the mindreading aliens knew of Kirk’s pioneer ancestry. While not exactly historically accurate, this low-budget episode made clever use of spare partial sets combined with moody music and lighting—and casting some intimidating actors as the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday—to capture the feel of classic Westerns. Bonus Fact: Star Trek’s DeForest Kelley (Leonard “Bones” McCoy) played Morgan Earp in the 1957 movie Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Howard Weinstein Elkridge, Maryland Mark Boardman responds: DeForest Kelley also played Ike Clanton in a You Are There episode, which aired on CBS on November 6, 1955, and he played Curley Burne in 1959’s Warlock—a revisionist take on the Tombstone tale.


I’m a true fan of True West; read it from cover to cover each and every month. Phil Spangenberger’s article on Virgil Earp’s revolver [October 2016] is excellent, as are all his articles. He knows his stuff! It is highly unlikely that Smith & Wesson produced that revolver in 32-40. My guess is that is a typo. Most likely the correct chambering would be 32-20. Keep up your great writing! Craig Berkoben Gunnison, Colorado Phil Spangenberger responds: Yep, you found a typo! It should read .32-44, not .32-40. You have good eyes! That .32-40 would kick quite hard in that six-gun…if you could even load the gun. Thanks for reading True West and for the kind comments on my work.




Another worthy contention is the Jack London State Historic Park on the outskirts of Santa Rosa, California. Jack London wasn’t necessarily a “Western” figure, however, he was a consummate adventurer and known as the “Sailor on Horseback.” The museum was his home, and it is rich with artifacts and curiosities from his myriad travels during his all-too-short life. Born in 1876, London entered the world as the Old West was starting its slow descent into the history books. His first story was published in 1894, when he was 18. By his death in 1916, at the age of 40, he had written and published hundreds of works, giving him the title of the world’s most prolific English language author, at least in terms of output per years of writing. Some literati debate that the honor should go to John Keats, who cranked out more words per year until his death at the age of 25, but Keats wrote romantic poetry, not fiction or essays such as those London crafted. In my book, there’s no comparison. —Michael C. Westlund Clarkdale, Arizona

HOLD THE EGGS Having seen Frederic Remington’s A Dash for the Timber when a teenager some 50-odd years ago, it was in black and white. Many years later, when I saw it in color, I realized the riders had packed the pack mule in quite a hurry as an egg is still stuck to the frying pan! Didn’t stand out in the old black and white. Thanks for featuring it in your art coverage [October 2016] and for such a great publication. It is one of a few I read cover to cover in one evening. I wish it came out every week! Medrick Northrop Fairhope, Alabama

To The poinT BY B o B B oz e B e l l

The Crazy Myths of Duck Bill

And the intrepid British scholar who rescued him from a mountain of B.S.


he outrageous myths and lies about James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok are legion, but the famous gunfighter himself sowed some of the seeds that grew into tall tales. His sister Lydia fondly remembered her brother’s humorous stories in 1915: “When we were children he was always telling just such yarns to amuse the rest of us.” She added, James swore that he would do things Kit Carson “never thought of doing.” In spite of the windies, Hickok certainly achieved that goal. Hickok also had a wicked sense of humor. After telling a particularly outrageous story, someone would invariably ask him, “But Bill, how did you escape?” With a poker face, he would reply, “I didn’t. I was killed.” His nickname, “Wild Bill,” was common on the American frontier. Historian Waldo E. Koop claimed to have found more than 30 individuals known as “Wild Bill.” To boot, in the beginning of his career, our Wild Bill was also known as “Dutch Bill,” “Shanghai Bill” and “Duck Bill,” the last nickname allegedly arose because of his prominent nose. Amazing, for a guy named James. The British scholar who rescued Hickok from all the B.S., Joseph G. Rosa, once said, “Even today, attempts are being made to turn Hickok into some kind of a psychological freak, adding facets to his character and behavior that were not evident during his lifetime.” Thanks to Rosa, we have a better understanding of the real Hickok, who you will find on p. 18.

For a behind-the-scenes look at running this magazine, check out BBB’s daily blog at

“Jack McCall, I’m thankful to you, even though you’ve killed me. Wild Bill does not die by the hand of a woman!”

In spite of the tall tales and outrageous lies, “Wild Bill” Hickok still looms large over the American frontier. – by bob boze bell –

—”Wild Bill” Hickok’s last words, as quoted by Ned Buntline, the dime novel manure spreader, in Diamond Dick Library, July 4, 1896

The late Joseph G. Rosa (right) brought James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok out of myth and into historical reality. The University of Oklahoma Press gets the credit for publishing Rosa’s excellent research, beginning with his definitive Hickok biography in 1964, They Called Him Wild Bill, followed by 1982’s The West of Wild Bill Hickok and the 2003 paperback edition of Wild Bill Hickok, Gunfighter: An Account of Hickok’s Gunfights. - True WesT Archives -

t r u e


w e st





“The frontier will nevertheless survive in the attitudes a few of us inherited from it. One of those attitudes—to me a beatitude— is the conviction that the past matters, that history weighs on us and refuses to be forgotten by us, and that the worst poverty women—or men—can suffer is to be bereft of their past.” – Shirley Abbott, in memoir Womenfolks

“Most people consider the things which government does for them to be social progress, but they consider the things government does for others as socialism.” – Earl Warren, 14th Supreme Court chief justice

“[Man] is free to evade reality...but not free to avoid the abyss he refuses to see.” “I knew I was alone in a way that no earthling has ever been before.” – Astronaut Michael Collins, on orbiting the Moon alone while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first manned moon landing

“This is the ‘Imus in the Morning’ program. We’re not happy ’til you’re not happy.” —Don Imus, American radio talk show host for “Imus in the Morning”

“There’s only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is, I’ll get married again.” – COURTESY WARNER BROS. –





– Ayn Rand, Russian-born American novelist

– Clint Eastwood, American actor shown in Gran Torino

Old Vaquero Saying

“History is something that never happened, written by someone who wasn’t there.”

America Remembers® Presents

The Buffalo Bill & Annie Oakley Tribute Revolver

Display Case


An optional custom-built, wooden display case is available for purchase.

The Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley Tribute is a working firearm in caliber .44-40. The revolver is polished and completely finished in gleaming 24-karat gold. The unfluted cylinder provides an ideal canvas for the detailed portraits of Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill Cody, featured in 24-karat gold and nickel. This Tribute revolver features classic walnut grips.

The Wild West Comes to Life With The Greatest Sharpshooting Partnership in History

A Western Classic: The Top-Break Revolver

On May 9, 1887, Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West show arrived in London to entertain Queen Victoria and millions of her loyal subjects. Cody’s massive traveling extravaganza was part circus sideshow, part rodeo roundup, and had already toured across America to packed audiences. It was a sprawling depiction of American frontier life that included live horses, elk, buffalo, Native Americans, and Texas cowboys, but it was a small, young lady from Ohio who stole the show.

The top-break revolver chosen for this Tribute is produced by the master craftsmen of A. Uberti and based on the original Schofield model designed by Major George Schofield for his Cavalry troops. Manufactured by Smith & Wesson, the original Schofield revolver could be loaded quicker than other sidearms of the day and could be operated one-handed. With practice, a shooter could refill all the chambers without looking, a significant advantage for riders on horseback, like Cavalrymen.

Blowing kisses as she bounded into the arena, Annie Oakley would select a weapon from her small arsenal of rifles, shotguns, and gold-finished revolvers – and from the second she pulled the trigger, the audience was amazed. She’d toss clay targets and glass balls into the sky and shatter every one before they could hit the ground. Her bullets blew out candles and split playing cards. Sitting Bull named her “Little Sure Shot.” Buffalo Bill was a living, breathing frontier hero and Annie Oakley was a reliable shooter. The two American legends toured the globe and helped shape the image of the Wild West for fans in America and around the world. Oakley performed for thousands in places like New York City, Rome, and Paris and entertained the Pope, the French President, and other major world leaders. It’s hard to imagine two people who loom larger in the history of Old West entertainment than Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. To honor these two legends, America Remembers is proud to introduce the Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley Tribute Revolver. Craftsmen commissioned specifically for this project by America Remembers decorate each working top-break revolver in sparkling 24-karat gold. The unfluted cylinder features classic images of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley with a nickel background. The scrollwork featured on the revolver was inspired by a firearm belonging to Annie Oakley. In magnificent detail, this Tribute captures the excitement and thrill of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West extravaganza.

An Exclusive Edition The Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley Tribute Revolver is a stunning celebration of two of America’s greatest Western icons. Each Tribute will be individually numbered and accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. We will arrange delivery of your working Tribute through a licensed firearms dealer of your choice. If you are not completely satisfied, you may return your Tribute to us in original, unfired condition for a complete refund. With only 500 Tributes available, please don’t hesitate to reserve your Tribute today. To prioritize your order and confirm availability, you can call us toll-free at 1-800-682-2291. The legacy of Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley lives in the rich mix of legend and history they helped create. Their exhibitions defined the American West for people around the world. They opened eyes and thrilled a generation. Together, they stand as shining symbols of America’s legendary Old West era. Whether you’re a fan of the Wild West, a lover of American history or simply a passionate collector of handsome presentation firearms, the Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley Tribute Revolver is sure to be a handsome addition to your collection. Order today to ensure your position in this edition honoring two of America’s favorite Old West legends – Buffalo Bill & Annie Oakley.

BA R R E L L E N G T H : 7 ”

CALIBER: .44-40

The classic image of Annie Oakley captures the sophisticated legend of the Old West. The image features Annie elegantly attired for a day of shooting holding a rifle in her arm. It’s said that Annie’s modest choice of dress was in response to the revealing style of costume that was common on the variety circuit. Annie was determined to set herself as a proper Victorian-era lady in manner and dress.

The portrait of Cody on the cylinder portrays “Buffalo Bill” in his prime. His big hat and buckskin outfit became the symbol of the rugged Western hero. His trademark long hair, impressive moustache, and Billy goat beard completed the iconic look. And it didn’t hurt that he had plenty of natural charisma. Cody’s character was largerthan-life and he was able to stand out even in the midst of his own Wild West extravaganza.

©AHL, Inc.

E D I T I O N L I M I T: 5 0 0

I wish to reserve ___ of the “Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley Tribute Revolver” Name ______________________________________________________________ a working Top-Break Model Revolver, at the current issue price of $2,395*. My deposit of $195 per Tribute is enclosed. I wish to pay the balance at the rate of Address ____________________________________________________________ $100 per month, no interest or carrying charges. Certificate of Authenticity included. *All orders are subject to acceptance and credit verification prior Thirty-day return privilege. _______________________________________________________ are subject acceptanceCity/State/Zip and credit verification prior to shipment. Shipping and handling*All willorders be added to eachtoorder. to shipment. Shipping andtax. handling will be added to each order. Virginia residents please add sales q Check enclosed for $___________ . Virginia residents please add sales tax. Daytime Telephone No. ( _______ ) ___________________________________ q Charge payment of $ ___________ to: q VISA q MasterCard q AMEX q Discover No. _____________________________________ Exp. _________ Display Case q I wish to reserve the optional, luxuriously lined, custom-made display case with locking glass lid. My payment of $149* is enclosed or add to credit card.

America Remembers


10226 Timber Ridge Drive • Ashland, Virginia 23005 To place your reservation toll-free call 1-800-682-2291

“A love of the gun was just born in me.” - Annie Oakley


The Coward of Little Big Horn

Or not? Depends on which witnesses you believe in the inquiry against Marcus Reno.


arcus Reno’s historical reputation is: coward. He was a man who ran at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, leaving Lt. Col. George Custer and the men of the 7th Cavalry to die. The commander who failed to press the attack on the Indian village. A drunk unsure of what he was doing on June 25-26, 1876. The accusations tore at Reno, angering and depressing him, and worsening his drinking problem. He hurt so bad that he called for a court of inquiry into the matter. It could clear him—or end his military career. The 26-day inquiry started on January 13, 1879, at the Palmer House hotel in Chicago, Illinois. Three officers presided over the 23 witnesses who fleshed out the battle. On that fateful day in Montana Territory, Reno led three companies of the 7th on a charge of the Indian village, coming down the valley while Custer and his five companies attacked from the north. Recognizing that his men faced overwhelming odds, Reno withdrew to a stand of trees near the Little Big Horn River. Indians broke into the ranks. When U.S. Army scout Bloody Knife was killed next to Reno—the Sioux’s blood and brains showered the officer’s face—the major lost his composure. He apparently gave contradictory orders before riding out of the trees—a charge that turned into a retreat and left many of his men dead. The rest reached the high bluffs across the river, joined Capt. Frederick Benteen’s forces and held out until help arrived on June 27. Reno made mistakes. Was he a coward? Most of the witnesses—21 of the 23 men (including Reno)—said he was not a

Marcus Reno is shown circa 1880, the year before an inquiry investigated his role at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, during which he fled the scene after U.S. scout Bloody Knife (below) was killed next to him. The majority testified on Reno’s behalf, including Capt. Myles Moylan, who said Reno gave orders “as coolly as a man under such circ*mstances usually can give them, and I saw nothing that indicated cowardice about him.” – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES; BLOODY KNIFE PHOTO COURTESY GLENN SWANSON COLLECTION –

yellow-belly. Captain Thomas McDougall said Reno was “perfectly cool [and]…was as brave as any man there, in my opinion.” The two men who questioned Reno’s bravery? Both were civilian workers with personal grudges against the major. The inquiry ended on February 11 and the report came out within days: “The conduct of the officers throughout was excellent and while subordinates in some instances did more for the safety of the command by brilliant displays of courage than did Major Reno there was nothing in his conduct which requires animadversion [criticism] from this Court.” Case closed—at least officially. Custer’s allies, especially his widow, Libbie, called the verdict a whitewash. To protect Custer’s name, they continued spreading stories about Reno’s drunkenness and cowardice.

The inquiry could clear him—or end his military career.




Reno helped their cause. At the time of the inquiry, he was already under suspension for alleged improper conduct toward another officer’s wife. Six weeks after the Custer verdict, that suspension ended. But in 1880, he was court-martialed again. Reno was accused of being drunk on duty, striking a junior officer and being a “peeping tom.” This time, Reno was found guilty and drummed out of the service. Reno spent the rest of his life trying to clear his name, but failed. Ironically, the one case in which he was exonerated was the one most folks think he was guilty of— the Battle of the Little Big Horn.


A Clear Path to a Clear Fork Post

A Texas man’s path of exceptional stewardship over a fort that traces back to the 1850s.

Jim Alexander stands with his wife, Jerri, on the opening day of Fort Phantom Hill to the public, on June 9, 1972. The Texas fort got its name because, when approached from certain directions, the fort looks like it is on a rise, but once travelers reach the spot, it is on flat land. – COURTESY ABILENE REPORTER-NEWS –


im Alexander has always liked November. It’s his birth month—he turns 82 on November 7—and he shares the month with the focus of his life’s work, which has earned him the Chairman’s Award for Exceptional Stewardship of a Historic Property from the Texas Historical Commission. When Jim was growing up in Jones County in Texas, the ruins “right south of our ranch” were a jumble of stone chimneys and overgrown mesquite trees, he says. His grandfather owned the land, then his uncle. In 1969, Jim bought it.




When he inspected the ruins on the property at the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he says he found “a real mess. You could hardly see the chimneys.” But this “mess” began life on a November day too, setting him forward on a project he shared with his late wife, Jerri. To protect settlers from the Comanches, the U.S. Army founded Fort Phantom Hill on November 14, 1851. It only lasted four years before soldiers departed and it burned to the ground. In 1858, the fort was brought back to life and served several functions: as a stagecoach and mail stop for the Butterfield Overland route, as a resting point for the Goodnight-Loving cattle trail, as a camp for Confederate soldiers. Then everyone left, and the fort fell to ruin. Jim and Jerri began a lifetime commitment to restore this piece of Texas history. Now cleaned up, Fort Phantom Hill is open to the public, sunrise to sunset, for free. “Fort Phantom Hill is a pristine snapshot of a nearly forgotten time in Texas history,” said John L. Nau, III, while presenting Jim his award last December. “Certainly this fort would have vanished into time like so

many other sites if not for Jim Alexander’s commitment to its preservation.” Jim remembers clearing away trees and brush and decades of neglect with his wife. The couple got the site listed on the National Register of Historic Places and worked with experts to develop a long-term plan that included stabilizing the remaining chimneys and ruins. In 1997, the Alexanders deeded the property to the nonprofit Fort Phantom Foundation, and supported and encouraged an in-depth historical study of the site by historian Martha Doty Freeman. For several years, Jim sponsored a living history rendezvous that drew many, including thousands of schoolchildren. In 2012, he oversaw the construction of a stone pavilion that featured a kiosk offering history for self-guided tours. The fort is in West Texas, along the 650-mile Texas Forts Trail. “It’s kind of a lonely ol’ place,” Jim says. “It’s amazing how many people go out there.” Jim still lives on his family ranch, still visits the fort regularly and still celebrates his connection to Texas history every November.

“...this fort would have vanished into time like so many other sites....”

Jana Bommersbach has earned recognition as Arizona’s Journalist of the Year and won an Emmy and two Lifetime Achievement Awards. She cowrote the Emmy-winning Outrageous Arizona and has written two true crime books, a children’s book and the historical novel Cattle Kate.


Starvation Winter

A master storyteller’s bronze captures both his own and his subject’s mortality.

Any time I cash in now, I win,” Charles M. Russell wrote, a few months before his death on October 24, 1926, in the introduction for his short story collection, Trails Plowed Under. Although suffering from a bad back, decaying teeth, shortness of breath and a goiter problem for which he had an operation that July, Russell still worked on his art. Through all that pain, he sculpted Spirit of Winter, a bronze that Russell historian Brian C. Dippie has stated best illustrates the artist’s own indescribable spirit. The grisly figure, surrounded by snarling wolves, represented the torment and suffering of the Blackfoot and Crows during the Starvation Winter of 1883-84, twenty years before Russell was born. The artist’s personal torment in these last days of his life moved through his hands onto the clay that shaped this powerful bronze. During his cowboy years in the Judith Basin, Russell sought to help the destitute Indians who continued to suffer past that notoriously bad starvation winter, with no help from the federal government. “It

Spirit of Winter, sculpted by Charles M. Russell in March 1926, seven months before his death, hammered down at $300,000.

doesn’t look very good for the people of Montana if they will sit still and see a lot of women and children starve to death in this kind of weather,” Russell wrote in 1909 in the Great Falls Tribune. Russell’s attitude differed from the prevailing view in Montana, as expressed by Robert Sutherlin in an 1885 Mineral Argus editorial: “During the past summer small lodges of Bloods, Piegans and Crows have been prowling around the Musselshell, Judith and Missouri valleys, killing stock and stealing horses…. The ‘Noble (?) Red Man’…must remain on the grounds set aside for this exclusive occupation…yet the big-hearted, philanthropical, goggleeyed, heathen converter and Indian civilizer of Yankeedom cannot understand it and will probably protest.” Russell lived to sculpt this one last protest on behalf of the approximately 600 Piegans who died during that Starvation Winter because they did not receive the promised food rations from the federal government. It was not the first time he had tried to tell their story. His

A member of the Taos Society of Artists, Walter Ufer painted Sundown in 1916, which hammered down at $550,000.

winter scene of starving Crow who shot a range cow and are discovered by two cowboys while butchering the animal, Caught in the Act, appeared in the May 12, 1888, issue of Harper’s Weekly. The caption illustrates how close in depiction the bronze is to the illustration: “The starving Indians, with their savage faces, are even more grim from hunger. The gaunt, sore-backed horses are humped by the cold. There are the scurvy dogs that, wolf-like, are snarling as they scent the blood-drops in the snow.” Ninety years after the dying artist sculpted Spirit of Winter, the bronze, one of only 10 lifetime casts, was sold among notable American West artworks at the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction in Reno, Nevada, on July 23, which earned collectors nearly $16 million. Notable Western Art Lots Included (All images courtesy Coeur d’Alene Art Auction)




The top-selling lot, Howard Terpning’s The Long Shot (left), painted in 1982, sold for a $1.2 million bid. The Indian grips two arrows as a bipod to support the Sharps rifle, which excelled at long-range accuracy, but had a heavy barrel that made the rifle difficult to hold steady.

The top-selling Charles M. Russell artwork at the auction was his 1897 oil, The Tenderfoot (right), which sold for a $700,000 bid. Will this dude from the East, dancing to the tune of a .45, prove himself a good sport to this act of Old West bullying?

William R. Leigh’s 1944 oil, An Upset (left), which sold for a $550,000 bid, shows hunters hastening to save a pack horse who has fallen in snow. The horse is protected by the load, but cannot live longer than 20 minutes in position shown since the weight of intestines on his lungs will smother him.

Frank Tenney Johnson’s Renegade Apaches (right), painted in 1925, sold for a $350,000 bid.

Upcoming AUctions november 1-2, 2016

Historic Firearms and Early Militaria Cowan’s Auctions (Cincinnati, OH) • 513-871-1670

november 19-20, 2016

Vintage Movie Posters Heritage Auctions (Dallas, TX) • 877-437-4824

A collector successfully bid $275,000 for this 1915 oil, Turning the Lead (left), by E. William Gollings.

november 21, 2016

California and Western Paintings & Sculpture Bonhams (Los Angeles, CA) • 323-850-7500 t r u e


w e st




ames Butler Hickok, born on a farm in northern Illinois in 1837, leaves home at age 18, gravitating to Kansas Territory, with his brother Lorenzo, in 1856. James works at various frontier jobs, including teamster and stage driver. Within the next 20 years, he will become known as the “greatest of all Western scouts.” Or, so claims legendary U.S. military leader George Custer. In his day, James is described as a farmer, a vigilante, a teamster, a spy, a lawman, a gambler, a gunfighter and a bad actor. One account describes James as “...a drunken, swaggering fellow, who delighted when ‘on a spree’ to frighten nervous men and timid women.” James’s greatest strength—his speed and accuracy with pistols—will turn out to be his greatest weakness. His life as the Prince of the Pistoleers is about to begin, and that’s where we will start.







In journalist Col. George Ward Nichols’ fantasy account, James Butler Hickok fights 10 men at once during the Rock Creek shoot-out, as illustrated in Alfred R. Waud’s woodcut, The Struggle for Life.





Rock Creek Station



n seph

Statio d



St. Jo

Pl t a


earny R.

No r th

i R.





burg Jules




Fort K


Sweetwater R.

Fort L


ke Cit Salt L a UTAH

Fort B

y NEV.





















Robe rt’s C


The Route

Carso n City Willia m’s S tation

Pony Express


A regular camping spot on the Oregon Trail, Rock Creek is first known as Weyth Creek. The Pony Express station can be seen in the circa 1861 photo below. Rock Creek “cut and intersticed with deep, irregular gorges and canyons, through which flow crystal streams, fed by the springs that issue from the walls of rock under the hills. Giant oaks, elms and cottonwoods studded the banks of these streams, and the little flats in the bends of its winding course, rank in growth of primitive grasses, with the hillsides surrounding clothed with the shorter grasses suitable for pasturage,” wrote Charles Dawson, in 1912.


avid McCanles, his son, William, and two employees ride up to Rock Creek Station in Nebraska Territory. Leaving his hired hands at the barn, David and son go to the main house and tell the occupants to clear out. Horace Wellman, the Pony Express station keeper, refuses, saying David has no such authority (see “The Deadly Deal,” p. 20). An argument ensues, and a frightened Horace retreats into the house while Jane, Horace’s common-law wife, stands outside the doorway and berates David for an earlier incident, during which he had thrashed her father over an alleged theft. James Butler Hickok, an assistant station tender not yet known as Wild Bill, appears in the doorway. David advises him to keep away. A known bully, David is usually armed with a pistol and shotgun, but historians do not know if he carried those weapons that day. He makes a fatal mistake when he asks Hickok for a drink of water. Moments after he steps inside the house to get it, Hickok allegedly fires a shot that kills David. James Woods and James Gordon, David’s employees, rush up from the barn and are shot, though not fatally. Jane supposedly smashes Woods’s skull with a hoe, perhaps aided by her still-frightened husband. Gordon escapes into the brush, but his bloodhound follows him, and his pursuers follow his blood and the dog. He is killed by a shotgun blast, supposedly by James W. “Doc” Brink, a Pony Express rider. David’s son, William, runs to his father’s side, but Jane drives him away. The boy safely escapes into the brush. Three days later, lawmen arrest James, Horace and Brink, charging them with murder. They are released when the judge rules the trio was defending company property.

“I came close to having an affair with Hickok.”

Shown here around the time of the shoot-out that kills David McCanles, James Butler Hickok felt friction between him and David, undoubtedly because of James’s attraction to David’s mistress, Sarah Shull.

—Sarah Shull

The Deadly Deal Fleeing North Carolina in 1859 with his mistress, Sarah Shull (shown with her below), and misappropriated county funds, ex-Sheriff David McCanles settled in Rock Creek, Nebraska Territory. He bought a small overland station and corral, and improved them. He later built a ranch close by and sent for his family. His wife and kids showed up to find Shull (described as a domestic in census returns), which made Mrs. McCanles furious. But she put up with the presence of the mistress—barely. In April 1860, Russell, Majors & Waddell organized the Pony Express and rented Rock Creek as a relay station. The company negotiated to pay David onethird down, with the remainder to be paid in three monthly installments. By June, David was concerned about delinquent payments, and he persuaded the station keeper, Horace Wellman, to travel to company headquarters and investigate. David’s 12-year-old son, William, accompanied Wellman. When they returned on July 11, Wellman reported the Pony Express company was bankrupt. The next day, an upset David rides over to Rock Creek to evict the tenants. He is unsuccessful.

– Courtesy NatioNal arChives –

Wild Bill and the Ladies

David McCanles t r u e


w e st

Sarah Shull

More than a few ladies are enchanted by James Butler Hickok. “He was really a very modest man and very free from swagger and bravado,” Libby Custer, wife of George, notes. When Louisa Cody, wife of showman Buffalo Bill, met Hickok at a dance in 1870, she described him as a “mildappearing, somewhat sadfaced man” who “bent low in a courtly bow.” And then they danced—more than once. In 1871, Hickok meets his future wife, Agnes Lake Thatcher, the widow of a circus owner. After several years of correspondence, the lovebirds marry on March 5, 1876, in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory.

July 21, 1865 “ Wild Bill” Hickok vs

d av e T u T T When Wild Bill’s shot hits Tutt in the heart, the gambler stumbles backwards and falls near the steps of the courthouse. Tutt is dead. Barnitz arrests Wild Bill, who ends up charged with murder.

“...a bullet had entered [Tutt] on the right side between the 5th and 7th rib and passed out on the left between the 5th and 7th rib.” —Dr. Edwin Ebert

In post-Civil War Springfield, Missouri (above), James Butler Hickok kills Dave Tutt. Afterwards, the first known reference to Hickok as “Wild Bill” appears, in The Weekly Patriot, on July 27, 1865: James is “better known in Southwest Missouri as ‘Wild Bill.’” 50 miles



St. Louis Boonville St.

Jefferson City

MISSOURI Springfield ARK.

The state

Court House College

The city


Dave Tutt 80


rd s

James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok and Dave Tutt step onto the town square in Springfield, Missouri, and hurl vocal insults at each other. A moment later, they go for their guns.

St. Louis

“Wild Bill” Hickok


le Co

ave Tutt walks onto the town square in Springfield, Missouri, at 6 p.m. on a Friday. He is about to face off with a known adversary, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok. Wild Bill and Tutt step onto the street, dressed to the nines, each with “two revolvers strapped to their belts.” Both are “noted scouts, desperadoes and gamblers.” Although they were once friends, they got crossways with each other. Rumors have been circling that their tiff is over a woman. This feud begins over gambling. The former friends were playing cards when Wild Bill refused to play with Tutt again because he kept picking fights. To keep in the game by proxy, Tutt gave money to every man who played cards with Wild Bill. Unfortunately for Tutt, Wild Bill was winning all the hands. Another night, at the Lyon House, Tutt accused Wild Bill of owing $40 for a horse trade. After Wild Bill reportedly paid him, Tutt asked for another $35, claiming it was an outstanding debt from a previous game. Wild Bill replied that the debt was only $25, but Tutt took Wild Bill’s prized Waltham repeater watch, from the table, as collateral. Not amused, Wild Bill announced that Tutt should not show off this prized possession. Wild Bill’s threat spurred on Tutt, who vowed to “pack that watch across the square next day at noon.” Wild Bill replied to Tutt’s boast: “Tutt shouldn’t pack that watch across the square unless dead men can walk.” Now Tutt is on the square, and he is strutting. From across the square, Wild Bill yells at Tutt, advising him not to carry the watch. Tutt puts his hand behind him, but instead of reaching for the watch, he pulls out his pistol. Both men fire “ the distance of about 100 paces,” says Col. Albert Barnitz, the military commander of the Springfield post who witnesses the duel.

South St.


The street

t r u e


w e st

“There was a cause of a quarrel between us which people round here don’t know about. One of us had to die; and the secret died with him.” —James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok, as quoted by Col. George Ward Nichols, in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, February 1867

Davis Kasey “Little Dave” Tutt (at right), an ex-Confederate from Arkansas, was living in Springfield for about a year. Locals claimed he was “intimate for years” with Wild Bill Hickok (at left). But one summer night, that all changes. After shooting down Dave Tutt, four years pass before Wild Bill kills another man. t r u e


w e st

Deadly Sheriff

July 17, 1870 “ Wild Bill” Hickok vs

T H e 7 T H c ava l ry


eputy U.S. Marshal James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok converses with the bartender in Paddy Welch’s Place in Hays City, Kansas. Without warning, two 7th Cavalry troopers attack Wild Bill from the rear, pinning his arms and wrestling him to the floor. A newspaper later reports that “five soldiers attacked Bill.” One trooper, powerful pugilist Jeremiah Lonergan, pins down Wild Bill and does everything in his power to keep the deputy marshal’s arms away from his body...and his pistols. An eyewitness claims that a second soldier, John Kile, whips out a Remington pistol from underneath his blouse, “puts the muzzle into Wild Bill’s ear, and snaps it.” The pistol misfires. Amid the yelling and ensuing commotion, Wild Bill and the two soldiers grapple on the floor, each trying to get an advantage. At some point, Wild Bill receives a leg wound, either from a gunshot or the scuffling. Despite Lonergan’s best efforts, Wild Bill removes one pistol from his holster and fires a round, hitting Kile in the wrist. A second round hits Kile in the side, and he rolls away in agony. Lonergan desperately fights for his life as he tries to keep Wild Bill’s pistol barrel pointed away from him. Pushing against the much larger man, Wild Bill fights with all his might, finally turning his pistol far enough to fire. The resulting shot hits Lonergan in the kneecap. Stunned, Lonergan gives up his grip and joins Kile on the disabled list. Wild Bill wastes no time. He scrambles to his feet, “makes tracks for the back of the saloon,” jumps “through a window, taking the glass and sash with him,” and makes good his escape. When news of the gunfight reaches Fort Hays, a number of troopers seize their guns, head for Hays City and search all the “saloons and dives,” but they cannot find Wild Bill.

In August 1869, in his first month as sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas, “Wild Bill” Hickok kills a drunken man in Hays City, Bill Mulvey (or Melvin), “through the neck and lungs,” to stop him from rampaging through town, shooting out saloon mirrors and whiskey bottles. The next month, he aims his deadly pistol at Samuel O. Strawhun, for causing a ruckus in John Bitter’s Beer Saloon. The people must have felt they got a different kind of “law” than they wanted; on November 2, Hickok is defeated in the sheriff election by his deputy, Peter Lanahan.

“Wild Bill” in Buckskins Hickok biographer Joseph G. Rosa believed this photograph of “Wild Bill” may have been taken during 1873-74, when Wild Bill acted in Buffalo Bill’s Combination, a traveling theatrical group organized by William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Wild Bill wears what looks to be a stage costume. – Courtesy robert G. MCCubbin ColleCtion –

“He was a Plainsman in every sense of the word, yet unlike any other of his class...then and now the most famous scout on the Plains.” —George Custer, describing James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok

t r u e


w e st

While Jeremiah Lonergan slips up behind “Wild Bill” Hickok at the bar, John Kile pulls out a Remington pistol from under his coat and prepares to pounce.

Wild Bill fights 15 men in this illustration published in James Buel’s 1883 tome, Heroes of the Plains.


This haunting image of Wild Bill hung in the home of his sister Lydia for many years. Believed to have been taken in the early 1870s, the photo shows Wild Bill looking wistful. – Courtesy robert G. MCCubbin ColleCtion –

Wild Bill’s Luck Runs Out


After Kile’s pistol misfires, Wild Bill struggles to free his pistol from his holster (1). Wild Bill clears leather and fires, hitting Kile in the wrist (2). A second shot hits the reeling Kile in the side, and he spins away.

t r u e


w e st

Most people think Hollywood created the “fast draw,” but here is a contemporaneous comment on “Wild Bill” Hickok’s speed, published by the Chicago Tribune, on August 25, 1876: “The secret of Bill’s success was his ability to draw and discharge his pistols, with a rapidity that was truly wonderful and a peculiarity of his was that the two were presented and discharged simultaneously, being ‘out and off’ before the average man had to think about it. He never seemed to take any aim, yet he never missed.” Wild Bill’s fast draw is his greatest strength, but it soon proves to be a weakness.

The First Queen of the Cowtowns

Named after the Biblical city of the plains, Abilene is the first Kansas cowtown. First a stagecoach stop and then a stop on the tracks of the Union Pacific Railway (Eastern Division), Abilene becomes a cattle shipping point when Joseph McCoy sets up operations there. A cattle buyer from Illinois, McCoy wanted to find a shipping point clear of the restrictions against Texas Longhorn cattle. The Lone Star bovines carried a tick that transferred splenic fever, known as Texas fever. Abilene is far enough west that the incoming herds will not contaminate domestic stock. The first cattle season, which traditionally runs from May to October, begins on September 5, 1867, when the first train loaded with Texas cattle heads east.

Abilene, as it looks while “Wild Bill” Hickok resides in the Kansas town. When the 1871 cattle season ends, drovers face financial losses. Those who keep their cattle in Abilene, instead of following others who herd them to Waterville, hope for higher prices. But a shortage of freight cars keeps the prices low, leaving the drovers with little choice but to sell short or winter the cows. Either way, many local cowmen are in a sour mood.

Abilene does not have a local lawman until the appointment of Tom Smith in 1870. But he is murdered that November. After a few stopgap lawmen

come and go, the town appoints “Wild Bill” Hickok on April 15, 1871. He serves eight months until the town relieves him of his duties.

OctOber 5, 1871 “ Wild bill” HickOk vs

PHil cOe


he summer cattle season is all but over, and Marshal James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok has kept the peace in Abilene, Kansas—not an easy job. The last marshal, legendary Thomas J. Smith, was killed in the line of duty. Plus, Wild Bill is not popular with the Texans in the town, having cleaned out the brothels the month before, on the order of the city council. When heavy rain sullies the town’s Dickinson County Fair, about 50 cowboys wander from saloon to saloon on the main drag, bullying and intimidating patrons into buying them drinks. Some accounts suggest the cowboys pull this trick on Wild Bill, sweeping him off his feet and carrying him into a saloon. Wild Bill humors the boys and buys them a round. Rumors swirl that Texas gambler Phil Coe has sworn to get Wild Bill “before the frost.” Many citizens make themselves scarce as the evening wears on, fearful that things may get out of hand. At about 9 p.m., Wild Bill hears a shot fired outside the Alamo Saloon.

“Wild Bill” Hickok returns fire, mortally wounding gambler Phil Coe in front of the Alamo Saloon. News reports claim at least 50 cowboys were gathered on the street at the time of the shooting; the reports imply that several were injured by ricochet bullets.

He earlier warned the cowboys against carrying firearms, so he confronts the group standing in front of the Alamo and encounters Phil Coe, with a pistol in his hand. Coe claims he fired at a stray dog, but as he says this, he pulls another pistol and fires twice; one ball goes through Wild Bill’s coat, while the other thuds into the ground between his legs. Wild Bill reacts in a flash and, “as quick as thought,” according to the Chronicle, pulls his two Colt Navy revolvers and fires, shooting Coe twice in the stomach. Others in the crowd are hurt. When another man brandishing a pistol

emerges from the shadows, Wild Bill, not recognizing him in the glare of the kerosene lamps and his nerves on high alert, instinctively fires. When he sees the man, he realizes he has killed Michael Williams, a personal friend of his and a one-time city jailer. Wild Bill carries Williams into the Alamo and lays him down on a billiard table, then turns and disarms everyone he can find. The marshal warns them all to clear out of town. Within an hour, the place is deserted. Devastated, Wild Bill’s days as a mankiller are over.

t r u e


w e st

(Shown, from far left) “Wild Bill” Hickok joins “Texas Jack” Omohundro and “Buffalo Bill” Cody to act out frontier scenes for Cody’s traveling theatrical troupe. – COURTESY ROBERT G. MCCUBBIN COLLECTION –

A Bad Actor In 1873, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and John Baker “Texas Jack” Omohundro invite “Wild Bill” Hickok to join them in a new play, Scouts of the Plains. Wild Bill arrives in New York and promptly beats up a cab driver who tries to cheat him. He does not enjoy the fakery of the shows. To combat that, Wild Bill walks on stage one night to give an “exhibition of rapid pistolshooting and fancy shots,” reports the New York Clipper, on September 15, 1873. “...the sight of Wild Bill suddenly drawing a pair of Colt’s Navy revolvers and opening fire ‘Gatling gun fashion’ (despite the cloud of powder smoke engulfing the first three rows) must have thrilled an already captivated audience,” wrote Joseph G. Rosa in Wild Bill Hickok.

“Wild Bill was a bad actor most anywhere, but he was an especially bad actor on the stage.” —Inter-Ocean newspaper, Chicago, Illinois, October 15, 1911




A Man Out of His Element Wild Bill returns to the West in 1874, bouncing around quite a bit. On July 18, he rides a train through North Topeka, Kansas, on his way to meet “Buffalo Bill” Cody and “Texas Jack” Omohundro in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory. Later that day, in Kansas City, Missouri, 12 English lords hire Wild Bill as a scout for their hunts. Between trips to St. Louis and Kansas City, he makes Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, his base for the next two years. In 1875, Wild Bill goes missing, despite a couple glimpses of him in the press. On June 17, he is arrested in Cheyenne and charged with vagrancy. Some surmise that he has hit rock bottom.

Wild Bill suffers remorse after he accidentally kills his friend, Michael Williams. His career as a killer is catching up to him. Earlier, in 1867, he told journalist Henry M. Stanley, at Fort Zarah in Kansas: “I would be willing to take my oath on the Bible tomorrow that I have killed over a hundred, a long ways off.”

A New Start A turning point for Wild Bill is his marriage to Agnes Lake Thatcher, on March 5, 1876. After a short honeymoon at her home in Cincinnati, Ohio, Wild Bill returns to Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, to organize an expedition to the Black Hills. Leaving for Deadwood, Dakota Territory, on or about June 27, Wild Bill’s party grows during the journey. By the time he reaches Deadwood, around July 12, the group includes several prostitutes, among them Calamity Jane. Wild Bill spends less than a month in Deadwood; it is his last stop.

“Wild Bill” Hickok wears a butt-forward double holster rig in this photograph of him. This holster style allows for his fast draws in his various gunfights. When he slams his hands on the back of his pistols, they throw forward out of the holster, allowing for Wild Bill to whip the pistols around into firing position.

August 2, 1876 “ Wild Bill” Hickok vs


JAck MccAll

ild Bill Hickok walks from his camp on the edge of Deadwood, Dakota Territory, to the Lewis, Nuttall and Mann’s No. 10 Saloon. Entering around noon, he encounters about a halfdozen men. Three men are playing draw poker. Wild Bill recognizes Missouri River steamboat captain William R. Massie and Charlie Henry Rich, a card dealer Wild Bill knows from his days in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory. Wild Bill joins their game. Wild Bill sits in the only available seat, near the rear entrance of the saloon, facing the front door. He usually sits along the west wall, but Rich is occupying that seat. Wild Bill prefers that seat’s view of the entire room, including good views of the front and back doors, and asks Rich for his “regular” seat, but the gambler refuses to move. Wild Bill, uncomfortable with the fact that his back is exposed to the open bar and rear door, once again asks Rich to trade places. This time, the other players chide Wild Bill, telling him he has nothing to worry about this early in the day. Wild Bill takes the empty seat. The four men have been playing draw poker for almost three hours when Jack McCall (also known as Bill Sutherland) walks through the front door, heads over to the bar, pauses, then moves down the length of the bar, stopping momentarily at the scales sitting on the end of the bar. Wild Bill throws down his hand in disgust and says, “The old duffer, he broke me on that hand.” McCall steps forward, pulls a pistol from his clothing and points it at the back of Wild Bill’s head, pulling the trigger at the same instant. The bullet exits out Wild Bill’s right cheek near the bottom of his nose. His head moves slightly forward, and he is still for a moment. Then he falls sideways off his stool onto the floor. He dies instantly.

t r u e


w e st

Jack McCall Alias: Bill Sutherland Age: About 25 years old when he kills Wild Bill Home: Uncertain; either Jefferson Town, Kentucky, or New Orleans, Louisiana Description: “His head which is covered by a thick crop of chestnut hair, is very narrow...a small sandy mustache covers a sensual mouth. The nose is what is commonly called ‘snub’. Cross-eyes and a florid complexion.” Also noted: “coarse double chin is partially hidden by a stiff goatee.” Clothing: At his trial, he is clad in a blue flannel shirt, brown overalls and heavy shoes. Wild Bill is fatally wounded and falls to the floor.

The bullet exits Wild Bill and strikes Capt. William R. Massie in his left arm, just above the wrist. At first, the stunned Massie thinks Wild Bill shot him.

Carl Mann

Charlie Rich

Gold scales

George Shingle Harry Young

Jack McCall enters the saloon from the front. He walks to the upper end of the bar, then moves down to the gold scales. After hesitating at the scales, he starts toward the rear door, then abruptly turns, aims a pistol at “Wild Bill” Hickok and fires. After shooting Hickok, McCall challenges the others in the saloon, then runs out the back door.

NO. 10 Saloon Deadwood, Dakota Territory August 2, 1876 Around 3 p.m. t r u e


w e st

Aftermath: Odds & Ends

Five Myths of the Shooting Myth: Wild Bill sits with his back to the front door. Fact:

Wild Bill easily sees the front door.

Myth: When he is shot, Wild Bill falls forward. Fact:

He falls sideways (some say backwards).

Myth: His card hand spills onto the table. Fact:

As he hits the floor, the cards fall from his hand.

Myth: The hand Hickok is holding is Aces & Eights. Fact:

No one knows what hand he holds (cards go flying everywhere).

Myth: When Wild Bill is shot, the gunfighter reacts so quickly, he draws both six-shooters. Fact:

His only movement is a slight jerk of the head.

The bullet that killed James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok passed through and hit William R. Massie in his left arm above the wrist. The riverboat pilot thought Wild Bill had become enraged over losing and shot him, but then Massie saw Jack McCall standing over the table with a gun, threatening all the players. Backing toward the rear door, McCall screamed at everyone, “Come on ye sons-a-bitches!” He co*cked his pistol and fired, but the pistol failed to shoot. He co*cked it again to fire at George Shingle, who had moved out from behind the bar to help Wild Bill, but the gun misfired again. McCall fled. Captured and tried the next day in the new Deadwood Theatre, McCall testified Wild Bill had shot his brother in Kansas two years earlier and that the killing was an act of vengeance. The jury of miners found him not guilty. McCall left town and headed to Laramie City, Wyoming Territory, where he bragged about killing the great Wild Bill. Colonel George May obtained a federal arrest warrant and took McCall into custody on August 29, 1876. Eventually tried in federal court, in December 1876, in Yankton, the Dakota Territorial capital, McCall admitted he had lied about Wild Bill killing his brother. The killer was found guilty and hanged on March 1, 1877. McCall was buried with the hangman’s noose still around his neck in an unmarked grave in the local Catholic cemetery.

Recommended: The West of Wild Bill Hickok and They Called Him Wild Bill by Joseph G. Rosa, published by University of Oklahoma Press Wild Bill’s fame was so great that three of his grave markers have been chipped away or stolen over the years.

“Wild Bill” Hickok, far left in white hat, is a deputy U.S. marshal when Alexander Gardner takes this photograph at Fort Harker, Kansas, around September 1867. – COURTESY ANTHONY GARNETT –




Buckskin Frank LesLie By Jack DeMattos

Friends No More

Filling the gaps in the long and illustrious life of a Tombstone legend.

“I, Nashville Franklyn Leslie, was born near San Antonio, Texas on the 18th day of March 1842 and am now a resident of Tombstone, Arizona and have been a resident of Arizona for nine years.” Written in a job application on March 10, 1886, these words are the earliest record of the birth date and place for the man history remembers as “Buckskin Frank” Leslie. His first 36 years prior to that record has proven elusive for researchers. Herein reveals new information that has come to light about the gunfighter who earned infamy in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.

Leslie Enters Frontier History Standing five feet seven and weighing about 135 pounds, Leslie cut a dashing figure when he complemented his city attire with a fringed buckskin vest. He arrived in Tombstone in 1880, after leaving San Francisco, California, where an 1878 city directory recorded him working as a “barkeeper” in Thomas Boland’s saloon. A new journal, Arizona Quarterly Illustrated, published a highly imaginative account of his early life in July 1880. Leslie told the journalist he was a Texas native who joined the Army in 1861 until he, a first lieutenant, surrendered on April 9, 1865, with the 10th Texas Cavalry. He then worked as an Indian scout, known as “Buckskin

t r u e


w e st

Frank.” From 1871-73, he served as a deputy sheriff in Kansas in Abilene and Ellsworth under James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok. He played cowboy as a rough rider in Australia, piloted a ship in the Fiji Islands and exhibited as a rifle shootist all over the world. In Tombstone, he and William H. Knapp opened the Cosmopolitan Saloon, located next to Carl and Albert Bilicke’s Cosmopolitan Hotel. A wedding Leslie witnessed, on April 13, 1880, between the hotel’s chambermaid, Mary Jane “May” Evans, and Michael D. Killeen, would bring him trouble. Something caused the newlyweds to separate. Mike, believing Leslie was paying too much attention to his estranged wife, came looking for him on June 22. Leslie and Mrs. Killeen were sitting on the front porch of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, following a night on the town, when George M. Perine yelled to Leslie that Mike was approaching. The warning came almost too late. Mike fired two quick shots—both of which grazed Leslie’s head. Mike sprang upon the dazed Leslie and began clubbing him with a revolver. Leslie’s ordeal came to an abrupt end when Mike was mortally wounded. The question was: Who fired the shot? Leslie testified that he killed Mike in selfdefense. In his deathbed statement to E.T. Packwood, however, Mike said Perine had fired the shot. Although Perine was charged with the murder, the jury believed Leslie’s self-defense claim and neither party was found guilty of the crime. On July 6, 1880, a respectful interval of eight days after her husband died, the widow Killeen married Leslie at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. For the second time, in less than 90 days, Louisa, Carl’s daughter and Albert’s sister, served as maid of honor for the bride.

When a fire swept Tombstone on May 26, 1882, Knapp & Leslie’s saloon was among the many buildings destroyed. The partners decided against rebuilding, and Leslie took a job bartending at the still-standing Oriental Saloon. He was working there when he became the last man standing in one of Tombstone’s celebrated gunfights. On November 14, his friendship with 22-year-old Billy Claiborne ended suddenly and violently. Leslie had kicked out Claiborne for talking abusively to saloon patrons. Hearing that Claiborne waited outside to kill him, Leslie stepped out to sway Claiborne, who responded by aiming his Winchester at the bartender. Leslie returned fire and killed him. On that day, Leslie was supposed to be heading to the Dragoon Mountains with George W. Parsons and others. The trip got canceled when a horse Parsons had bought from a rancher was not delivered on time. In his diary entry, Parsons noted: “Frank Leslie was to go with us and may yet, if he is not detained in the killing matter of this morning, and he ought not to be. He shot and killed the notorious Kid Claiborne this a.m. at 7:30, making as pretty a center shot on the Kid as one would wish to...the Kid has gone to Hell. I say so because, if such a place exists and has bad men, he is there, as he was a notoriously bad egg and has innocent blood on his head. I state facts. Frank has done the country a service, and for that reason it is well that we did not get away sooner.... Frank didn’t lose the light of his cigarette during the encounter. Wonderfully cool man.” A coroner’s jury concluded Leslie had acted in self-defense. Later that year, Milton E. Joyce sold out his share in the Oriental and partnered up with Leslie in a ranching venture near the Swisshelm Mountains. Called the Magnolia, the Leslie-Joyce ranch was located 19 miles from Tombstone in a desolate stretch where

Historians even have problems authenticating photographs of “Buckskin Frank” Leslie. Old West photograph collector Robert G. McCubbin believes the man shown above looks like Leslie (see authenticated headshot of him in inset), but McCubbin does not have solid provenance to verify the claim. – BELOW PHOTO COURTESY ROBERT G. MCCUBBIN COLLECTION; INSET COURTESY JAMES D HORAN COLLECTION –

Apaches still presented a threat to settlers, as Leslie found out on March 25, 1883, reported by the Los Angeles Daily Herald three days later: “Yesterday Capt. Charles Young arrived from the Swisshelm’s and reported that a fight between five Apaches and himself and Frank Leslie, alias Buckskin Frank, took place on Sunday last. Leslie was surprised half a mile from camp but, after a running fight, succeeded in reaching the house. The Indians laid siege to the house and kept up a steady fire from behind rocks all afternoon. The Indians set fire to the grass in order to burn them out. Young is positive that several were killed, but following the usual custom of Indians, they either buried the killed or carried them away.” The Magnolia Ranch venture was successful enough for Joyce to sell Leslie his share in 1885. Joyce moved to San Francisco, California, where he opened Café Royale with James W. Orndorff, a man who played a role in Leslie’s final years. Leslie’s peaceful interlude at the Magnolia Ranch ended when several Apaches, led by Geronimo, bolted from the reservation. On May 20, 1885, Leslie signed on as a scout for the 4th Cavalry. He served until June 21, and he returned to his ranch.

Scout’s Honor? In 1886, Leslie worked as a mounted inspector, patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border and, apparently, also moonlighting as a U.S. Army scout. “Mr. Leslie was for many years Chief of Scouts, and is in the confidence of General Crook, and is personally acquainted with Geronimo and other leading chiefs. He has just arrived from the camp of the hostile prisoners, at White’s ranch. He had a long conversation with the hostiles who have been on the warpath all summer; also with General Crook and staff,” the San Francisco Chronicle, on April 3, reported of his appearance in Tombstone. The news account infuriated Los Angeles Times reporter Charles Lummis, who wrote a blistering broadside, headlined “Scouts and Liars,” which reported: “It is the prime ambition of [Leslie’s] existence to figure as a scout—and a scout he will be, if wild-cat dispatches from Tombstone can make him one. He was for a few weeks connected with Capt. Crawford’s command, hunting Geronimo, but was directly discharged because of his inability to tell a trail from a

t r u e


w e st

A collector successfully bid $26,000 for a silver-buckled gun belt attributed to “Buckskin Frank” Leslie, making the artifact the top-selling lot at Heritage Auctions on June 11, 2016. In 1966, Western dealer Greg Martin discovered the gun belt, which is inscribed with “Buckskin Frank, Tombstone, Jan. 1, 1881.” An unidentified man wears the gun belt in this photo taken by C.S. Fly in his studio in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. – CourTeSy HeriTage auCTionS, June 11, 2016 –

box of flea powder. Therein lies his claim to distinction as a celebrated scout. “But though no scout, he is no dude. He has killed two men, under circ*mstances of Arizona propriety, is a fine shot, and can ride farther and harder in a day than any other white man you can rake up with a fine toothed comb. “As to his ‘enjoying Gen. Crook’s confidence,’ I guess it isn’t necessary to say anything—but you ought to have heard the quiet old General laugh when I showed him that dispatch. Well, so much for that sort of news fodder.”

Lady Killer On June 3, 1887, Leslie was divorced. May charged that her husband had beaten her and had an affair with “Miss Birdie Woods.” May received a settlement of $650, legal fees and a one-fourth interest in the Magnolia Ranch. Leslie did not lack for female company following his divorce. Mollie Edwards moved in at his ranch as his “wife.” Their relationship ended on July 10, 1889, when

Leslie brought new meaning to his reputation of being a “lady killer.” When Leslie found his lover talking with James Neil, he fired shots at the pair. Neil escaped and lived to tell the tale. On January 6, 1890, Leslie pleaded guilty to Edwards’ murder and Neil’s attempted murder. Sentenced to life, Leslie logged in as convict No. 632 at the prison in Yuma. In under three months, he joined five convicts in an escape attempt. “He had almost dug his way out but one of the convicts who was a party to the scheme weakened and notified a guard,” The Arizona Daily Citizen reported on March 31. Three years later, the prison superintendent called Leslie, who worked as the prison pharmacist, the “best-behaved prisoner.” The San Francisco Chronicle article sharing that news encouraged 36-year-old divorcée Belle Stowell to correspond with Leslie and campaign to have him pardoned. On November 17, 1896, Gov. Benjamin J. Franklin granted Leslie’s pardon. Leslie took a train to Stockton, California, where he and Stowell got married on December 1. The following day, the Stockton Daily Independent reported their nuptials and observed that the newlyweds planned to honeymoon in China. They never caught that steamer. Their next press notice, in the San Francisco Call, reported that Stowell was the “ex-wife of a prominent man in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.” The former husband had sent a detective to obtain evidence of the marriage, so he could have alimony revoked. Instead of the detective catching the two, Leslie and Stowell separated. They officially divorced seven years later.

Back on the Trail Free of his paramour, Leslie looked up John Ralph Dean, who had employed him at the Fashion Saloon in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Dean was the night manager of the Delaware Café inside the Delaware Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. A local newspaper noted their reunion on April 7, 1897. Leslie was still living in Fort Worth on January 17, 1898, when he made plans to prospect for gold in Alaska, but he never got there. An April 1898 news account recorded him in Hermosillo, Mexico, with

a friend from his Tombstone days, Dr. George Goodfellow. Leslie could not have stayed long in Mexico, if his claim is to be believed that he enlisted, fought and was wounded in the Spanish-American War. Following his alleged war service in Cuba, Leslie moved back to Tombstone, in August 1898, to guide surveyors to the La Barranca coal fields: “A party of engineers under Prof. E.T. Dumble engaged in making a geological survey of Sonora and this section of Arizona for the S.P. Railroad Company arrived in town today and among the party is Frank Leslie, who is acting as guide. Leslie, although now nearly 60, carries his age well and is claimed by acquaintances that he looks as natural as ever. Since leaving Arizona Leslie has been in Cuba and returned wounded. After recovery he joined this surveying party and it is expected they will be engaged hereabouts for several months,” Phoenix’s Arizona Republican reported.

The Two Geronimos Leslie returned to California for the Christmas holidays, The Oasis reported on December 16, 1899. Three days later, Maj. Gen. Henry Ware Lawton was killed in the Philippines. The San Francisco Call gave a full page to Leslie’s article about Lawton on January 7, 1900: “My work with General Lawton commenced with a chase after one Geronimo, and was ended by another Geronimo of another race, on the opposite side of the earth. I knew Lawton when he was a private fighting his way through more than thirty battles of the Civil War from the ranks to a commission. I was his chief of scouts when we walked and climbed 800 miles through the Sierra Madre. I was with him in Cuba, and had been asked to take a place on his staff in the Philippines

when he was killed in his engagement with General [Licerio] Geronimo.... His death leaves me thinking of things of which I would care not to speak. I can only think of the two Geronimos, one the last of his race to submit, the other the last leader of organized troops in the Philippines, and the life of Lawton between.”

The 1920 census recorded Leslie living at 959 Water Street in Sausalito, California, a home owned by Orndorff, who knew Leslie’s former business partner Joyce. In the next census, Elnora is listed as “widowed.” We do not have Leslie’s death record, but he does not appear on a 1930 census.

Leslie’s Last Shooting

One document suggests Leslie might have been alive as late as September 9, 1923. On that date, Dean wrote actor William S. Hart to recommend Leslie as a technical advisor for Hart’s film, Wild Bill Hickok. Dean mistakenly advised Hart that he could find Leslie at Orndorff’s billiard parlor in Berkeley when it was located in Sausalito. Plus, Orndorff had died seven months earlier, on February 16. Hart probably did reach out to Leslie, since the actor was known for forming friendships with Old West icons Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp, but no record proves they touched base. Resolving the mystery surrounding the bartender-turned-gunfighter’s death would hardly close the book on Leslie. From his birth in 1842 until he turned up in San Francisco in 1878, nothing is known of Leslie that has been verified. Was he a Confederate cavalryman? Did he travel to Australia and the Fiji Islands? Was he a college graduate? These claims, along with others, such as his service as a deputy under Hickok or as a scout under Gen. George Custer, appear to have been made from whole cloth. If any among you take on the challenge of closing the gaps in Leslie’s life, you will find your search rewarding. Few characters in Wild West history were as colorful or as constantly surprising as this man.

By the turn of the 20th century, Leslie participated in his last documented shooting. “After many years spent on the frontier as a Government scout Frank Leslie fell a victim to his own pistol early yesterday morning…while in a saloon at Market and Ellis streets, he stooped over, the weapon fell out of his pocket, fell to the floor and was discharged,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported on November 25, 1902. “The bullet struck him about four inches above the knee, passing through the fleshy part of the leg, tore his right ear and cut a gash in his scalp…. ‘I suppose,’ said Leslie, ‘that my friends will tell me I’m not fit to carry a pistol. After forty years on the frontier to be hurt by my own gun, looks like it.’” Leslie survived his fumbled shot. After San Francisco’s earthquake and fire of 1906, Leslie moved to Berkeley. He met 43-year-old Elnora Tolbert and married her, in Napa, on November 6, 1913. This marriage certificate included Leslie’s identification of his parents: his father, Bernard Leslie, born in Virginia, and his mother, Martha Leslie, born in Kentucky. The new Mrs. Leslie convinced her husband to move to Omak, Washington. She remained in Omak until her dying day. Leslie lived there about two years. Still as footloose as ever, at age 74, Leslie was interviewed in Seattle on May 20, 1916, concerning a mining trip in Mexico that he was planning.

A Hollywood Ending?

Jack DeMattos wrote his first history article, for True West Magazine, 40 years ago. After numerous publications, he received his first award in the field, in June 2016, from the Wild West History Association, for his article on Buckskin Frank Leslie.

What’s in a Name? Will we ever know the true spelling of “Buckskin Frank” Leslie’s name? In June 2016, Heritage Auctions introduced that question for debate when a December 5, 1881, voter registration Leslie signed as “Nasville Franklin Leslie” hammered down for $1,600. Jack DeMattos says Leslie usually signed his name “N.F. Leslie.” On an 1886 job application, Leslie included his full name, “Nashville Franklyn Leslie,” says Wayne Sanderson, who is working on a book about Leslie. In his 1896 marriage certificate, Leslie listed his name as “Nashville Franklyn Leslie,” while his 1913 marriage certificate is signed “Nashville F. Leslie.” “As far as I’m concerned, that Tombstone voter registration, signed ‘Nasville Franklin,’ is an aberration. It is vastly outnumbered by examples supporting ‘Nashville Franklyn’ as correct,” DeMattos says. – COURTESY HERITAGE AUCTIONS, JUNE 11, 2016 –


harlie M. Webb’s claim to fame came when his plan to kill notorious gunfighter John Wesley Hardin backfired. Webb first appeared on the Texas scene in Brown County, where he was selected as a lieutenant in the Texas Rangers, serving under Capt. Jim Connell. Activated in January 1874, the company disbanded at the end of March, due to lack of state funds. Webb was then hired as a deputy sheriff of Brown County. When Webb learned that Hardin had a price on his head, dead or alive, he must have decided to go bounty hunting. What other business could he have had to ride outside his county to the town of Comanche? On May 26, he found out Hardin and his cousins were in the saloon, celebrating Hardin’s 21st birthday and his win at the horse races that day. Once Webb determined which man was Hardin, he introduced himself. Immediately after, Hardin claimed, Webb drew his pistol and fired at Hardin; the bullet grazed him on his left side. The Dixon cousins and Jim Taylor fired their pistols at Webb, who fell to the ground dead. Years later, Hardin wrote a letter to his daughter claiming that he had killed Webb in self-defense. The killing of Deputy Webb put a millstone around Hardin’s neck and led to the lynching of his older brother, Joseph, and his cousins Tom and Bud Dixon. Hardin sent a cousin to Kansas to sell his cattle herd so the outlaw could use that money to escape capture. Hardin evaded the law until his arrest three years later, on August 23, 1877, in Pensacola, Florida. Hardin did not speak in his own defense at his trial, and testimony claimed he had insulted Webb, who just happened to be in Comanche. Hardin was sentenced to 25 years at Huntsville’s state prison in Texas. He was pardoned after 16 years and went on to work as an attorney. Hardin paid a high price for what may or may not have been self-defense. Up until now, Webb’s past has been a mystery. Texas alone has internment records of 111 Charles Webb’s and 10 Charles M. Webb’s. None have birthdays that are even close to that of our Webb. Some historians have suspected Webb of fighting with




The Killing Quantrill’s raiders during the Civil War. The name Charley Webb appears on a muster roll, but our Webb, born on May 2, 1848, would have been too young to officially serve in the war. Yet Kentucky may hold the key. In the northern part, in Cynthiana, is Indian Creek Cemetery, with graves for the Reverend Charles Webb and his wife, Elizabeth. Could these Webbs be related to our Charles M. Webb? The 1850 census for 78-year-old Charles and 68-year-old Elizabeth shows their household included daughter-in-law Huldah Webb, age 30, and her son, Charles M. Webb, listed as age one. Charles is without a father in this home, but his father was likely William Webb, buried in Indian Creek Cemetery in 1848, the same year of Charlie’s birth. By 1860, Huldah is deceased or remarried, as no record could be uncovered for her. Charles is listed on the census as age 12 and living with his Uncle Hamlet L. Webb and Aunt Nancy in Harrison County. He owned property valued at $2,200, land probably held in trust by his uncle. In 1870, Charles is 22 and working on a farm. That’s the last record for Charles in Kentucky or any other place until he shows up in Texas’s Brown County. This Kentucky traveler, the grandson of a preacher, just may have been killed by the son of a preacher. Hardin’s preacher father had named his son after John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination of the Christian church. Hardin lived by the gun, and he also died by the gun. A little over a year after the killer was released from prison, on August 19, 1895, Constable John Selman fired several fatal shots at Hardin in the Acme Saloon in El Paso, Texas. Selman also claimed self-defense for the killing, but he did not end up in prison. He was shot dead by U.S. Marshal George Scarborough in 1896 while awaiting a retrial. Norman Wayne Brown is the coauthor of A Lawless Breed: John Wesley Hardin, Texas Reconstruction, and Violence in the Wild West.

that Put Hardin on the Run Just who was Charlie M. Webb? BY NORMAN WAYNE BROWN

X Marks the Spot: Texas Brownwood: Charles M. Webb’s grave in the Greenleaf Cemetery displays the Masonic symbol of a square and compass, and is inscribed, “C.M. Webb, Born May 2, 1848, Died May 26, 1874.”


Comanche: Marks the stump of the oak tree where a mob lynched Joe Hardin, Tom and Bud Dixon, kinsmen of John Wesley Hardin’s, in reprisal for the killing of Deputy Sheriff Charles Webb.

Son of a Preacher: Born in 1853 near Bonham, Texas, to a preacher father, John Wesley Hardin (shown)began his life as a sinner as early as 15, when he killed his uncle’s former slave. Minus almost 16 years spent in prison, he lived a career as a notorious desperado that spanned three decades. – COURTESY ROBERT G. MCCUBBIN COLLECTION –




The only tribe to burn and kill its way to a sea inflamed the ire of the Texian Army.

To burn through Texas to the Gulf of Mexico was a vision that came to Chief Buffalo Hump that captured the imagination of his people. During the Republic of Texas’s decade-long reign as an independent sovereignty in North America, the Comanche became the only American Indian tribe to fight its way through the giant land mass to the sea.

Peace Treaty Goes Amok The summer of 1840 found the Comanche nation burning with an intense frenzy against anything Texian. The Penateka, the largest of the Comanche bands, had been attacking Texian ranches, which were closer to raid than Mexican haciendas. Their main goal was capturing horses, which allowed the bands to follow and hunt buffalo herds from horseback. A 56-man company of Texas Rangers, lawmen organized by the Republic of Texas in 1835, was doing its best to dissuade the band from raiding. In January 1840, Penateka chiefs under Mukwarrah sent word to San Antonio that they wanted to discuss peace terms. The Texas Ranger in charge, Henry Karnes, agreed to a meeting at the local council house. Karnes told the messengers the chiefs would have to bring in all their white captives. For this meeting, Texas Secretary of War Albert Sidney Johnston quickly sent emissaries to San Antonio, along with two companies of Republic troops under Lt. Col. William Fisher. A party of 12 chiefs rode into San Antonio on March 19, led by Mukwarrah, along with 53 warriors and women and children. They brought with them one white captive, 15-year-old Matilda Lockhart. The Penatekas had not only raped the girl, but also disfigured her by burning off her nose. Republic emissaries guided the 12 war chiefs into the council house. The Texians

immediately asked the whereabouts of the other white captives. Mukwarrah explained he did not have the authority to order other Comanche bands to give up their captives. He finished his statement with, “How do you like the answer?” An infuriated Fisher told the translator to inform the chiefs that they were now prisoners. When the Penatekas learned the news, they rushed for the door. The infantry fired pointblank into them. Mukwarrah fatally knifed a





soldier before he was killed. The surviving Penatekas broke out into the street, where they turned on their Texian hosts. One Penateka boy shot a Texas judge in the heart with a bow and arrow, killing him. In the end, 35 warriors, including three women and two children, were dead, one fled the battle and 29 were taken prisoner. When the tribe heard of the killings and captivities, they reacted in horror. Their women screamed in mourning, with many

slashing their arms and faces, and chopping off their fingers in grief. They gathered the approximately 15 captives, including Matilda’s five-year-old sister, and roasted them alive.

Fighting to the Sea Within this charged emotional atmosphere, Buffalo Hump had his vision. (The chief’s name was not actually Buffalo Hump, but white settlers could not bring themselves to call him by his real name,

The Penateka Comanches did more than set fire to the prairies in the Republic of Texas— they roasted alive captives, they speared an infant, they captured women as trophies. And they did so, all because peace talks with the Texas Rangers got out of control.

Pochanaquarhip—the erection that won’t go away.) His vision saw his tribal warriors driving all the Texians into the sea and then watching as their blood washed up onshore. The Penateka and Kiowa chiefs sent out warriors to fulfill this destiny. On August 6, Texas Ranger Ben McCulloch and his unit crossed the trail of as many as 1,000 Penateka riders heading for the Gulf Coast. The large force had penetrated Texas proper without being detected by homesteaders, who were killed before they could send an alarm to other settlers. One example of the horrendous nature of these killings was the death of Tucker Foley, who, after Comanches cut off the soles of his feet, was forced by close to 27 warriors to walk around burnt prairie for sport before they shot and scalped him. McCulloch decided to shadow the main Penateka force, which, by his count, numbered 400 warriors and 600 camp followers. Buffalo Hump led his force in a crescent moon formation, with the horns of the moon outward, so they could envelop anyone they encountered. Later that day, the Penatekas struck the town of Victoria. They killed 12 people in the first wave, racing down city streets as townspeople fled to rooftops. They then circled the town, stealing horses and cattle. Victoria residents put up barricades throughout the night. Come dawn, Buffalo Hump attacked again, but this time, he and his forces were beaten back by rifle fire. Having rounded up 2,000 horses, the Penateka warriors bolted into the outskirts of town, shooting and wounding residents, before they continued down the road for Matagorda Bay. Fast behind them, 125 Texas Rangers and militia under the command of Capt. John Tumlinson were on their way with McCulloch’s Rangers. On the road to the Gulf of Mexico, the Penatekas captured Daniel Boone’s





Ripe for Slaughter Texas Ranger Ben McCulloch is shown circa 1861, nearly 20 years after he led his unit on an ill-fated attempt to stop the Penateka warriors during their destructive raid to the Gulf of Mexico. – COURTESY HERITAGE AUCTIONS, SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 –

granddaughter, Nancy Crosby, and her baby. When she could not quiet her infant, warriors speared the child in front of her. A visiting Frenchman escaped capture by climbing up into the moss-covered branches of a giant oak as painted warriors rode beneath him. At 8 a.m., Saturday, August 8, the Penatekas struck the port of Linnville. “We were careless and supposed they were Mexican traders with a large caravan,” resident William Watts wrote of the attack. As the tribe raced through the streets of Linnville at full gallop, residents ran into the gulf, swimming for the sailboats that were only a few hundred yards off shore. Customs inspector H.O. Watts was cut down in the water and killed. His attractive wife, Juliet, was grabbed by warriors and dragged ashore. When they could not undo her whalebone corset, they tied her onto a horse so they could take her back as a trophy. Buffalo Hump’s vision was now fulfilled. From ship deck, Linnville residents watched as his tribe took hours slaughtering the town’s cattle in their holding pens. Then they set the town afire. T R U E



Instead of continuing their vengeance raid, the warriors became distracted by the thriving port’s warehouses, filled with goods to sell in the Republic of Texas and Mexico. Finding hats, fabric, colorful ribbons, reams of cloth and fine clothing, the men tied bright ribbons to their horses’ tails and covered themselves in dress coats and tall hats. Buffalo Hump had lost control of his men. Weighed down with loot and captives, the warriors chose to return home. Outside of Victoria, Tumlinson and his 125 men intercepted the Penatekas. He ordered his men to dismount into a classic Napoleonic hollow square. This was a suicidal move. During the time the Texians could fire and reload their percussion rifles, each Penateka horseman shot up to 12 arrows. The tribe whirled around Tumlinson with a fury. Fortunately for the Texians, the warriors were more interested in getting home with their stolen horses than slaughtering any more Texians. Tumlinson’s force slipped away. Four days later, scouts found the Penatekas near Plum Creek, heading northwest. A 200-strong force, with Texian civilian militia and allied Tonkawas, raced in that direction under the command of Maj. Gen. Felix Huston. Huston also ordered his men to dismount and form a hollow square, despite warnings against doing so from experienced Indian fighter McCulloch. Again, the warriors encircled the Texian force, firing arrows

This is one of the earliest known photographs of the Comanches with the U.S. Army. Interpreter Horace P. Jones stands with the Kotsoteka and Quahadi bands at a Comanche camp along Cache Creek in Indian Territory in 1873. – COURTESY HERITAGE AUCTIONS, NOVEMBER 10, 2007 –

and deflecting Texian fire off their thick buffalo hide shields. The Texians looked ripe for slaughter. But then rifle fire had struck down a war chief. Two warriors dragged him off, and the Penateka attack paused. “Now General!” shouted soldier Mathew Caldwell. “Charge ’em! They are whipped!” Huston ordered his force to charge on horseback. Screaming as they advanced toward their enemy, so as to engage in close combat, the Texians held their fire until they were upon the Penateka column. Volley fire thundered from the Texian riders, dropping 15 warriors. Their attack stampeded the captured horses. The Penatekas panicked and ran. The Texians and Tonkawas followed them and, for 15 miles, a running battle ensued. Along the way, the Penatekas tied Crosby to a tree and shot her dead with arrows. Juliet, who was also tied to a tree and shot with arrows, survived as the arrows had deflected off her whalebone corset. The Penatekas dropped most of their loot, but held on to what they prized most— the horse herd. They also successfully escaped with their wives and children. In the end, less than 20 dead Penatekas littered the battlefield.

George Catlin drew Comanche feats of horsemanship (top left) and an Osage breaking down a wild horse (bottom left) in 1834 while he was accompanying U.S. Dragoons out West. The Comanches sought to capture wild horses so they could ride them to hunt buffalo. The above 1871 photo shows the meat from one such Comanche hunt, hanging outside their tipis. – CATLIN ARTWORK COURTESY SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION; PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION –

One wounded Texian, Robert Hall, awoke on the battlefield to a strange sight. He recorded that some Tonkawas had dragged a dead Comanche into camp, cut small filets from his body and roasted them over an open fire before they ate the human flesh. The Battle of Plum Creek brought forward a new way for Texians and the U.S. Army to fight raiding Comanches. It put in motion tales of Tonkawa cannibalism, and it was the last time the Comanches took a major Texian town. Linnville never recovered, as most of its residents moved southwest to settle today’s Port Lavaca. Buffalo Hump continued to raid white settlements, although he did form a friendship with a fiery German that resulted in an unbroken peace treaty.



Comanche Retreat to Indian Territory 1859

Comanche Route to Gulf of Mexico


HONEY EATERS Battle of Plum Creek 1840

Austin La Grange

San Antonio

Mike Coppock is a published author of Alaskan history works. He currently resides in Enid, Oklahoma, and he teaches in Tuluksak, Alaska, part of the year.

Council House Fight 1840

Victoria Linnville

Texas history records five major bands of Comanches, although others existed. The southernmost band, the Penatekas (Honey Eaters), lived on a range extending from the Edwards Plateau to the headwaters of central Texas rivers. The Nokonis (Those Who Turn Back) roamed from the Cross Timbers region to the mountains of New Mexico. The Kotsotekas (Buffalo Eaters) covered territory along the Canadian River into what is now western Oklahoma. The Yamparikas (Yap Eaters) roamed north of the Arkansas River. The fifth band, the Quahadis (Antelopes), lived on the high plains of the Llano Estacado. – TRUE WEST MAP BY ROBERT RAY –





The Unbroken Peace Treaty T

After Texas gained statehood, Penatekas stayed true to a treaty negotiated with German emigrants.

he young warriors of the Penateka Comanche tribe, several hundreds of them, lined up on one side of their camping ground along the San Saba River in Texas, opposite the women and children on the other. In the center of this array, the three head chiefs, Buffalo Hump, Santa Anna and Old Owl, sat on buffalo robes. John O. Meusebach rode down both sides of those assembled who watched the six-foot-two redhead, with reddish-blond beard, a newcomer they had nicknamed Sol Colorado (“Red Sun”). Then he and his aides emptied their firearms into the air. Some historians believe this act exhibited foolhardiness; others state the gesture showed confidence in the Penatekas. Consistently exhibiting nerves of steel in dangerous situations, Meusebach took exception to rumors spread by his adversaries: “The childish idea that I fled or absconded in fear of the excited emigrants, is simply ridiculous,” adding, “I never fled before anything or any danger that I can recollect.”

Germans Colonize Texas Three years prior to the peace council, Meusebach was not even on this continent. His predecessor had led a German emigration company, the Adelsverein, on a mission to colonize Texas. Organized on April 20, 1842, the company guaranteed each adult male 160 acres of land and every family 320 acres. The largest ethnic group emigrating from Europe, Germans T R U E



would comprise five percent of Texas’s population by 1850. Six years earlier, on June 24, the company purchased the colonization contract for land between the Llano and Colorado Rivers, a parcel known as the FisherMiller grant. The region was home to the Penatekas who hunted on the Balcones Escarpment and camped in the winter along the San Saba River. Texas stipulated that the Germans had to settle and survey the land by the fall of 1847. This proved difficult, as the government could not assure military assistance, leading surveyors to refuse to enter the region in fear of being attacked by the Penatekas. The company leader, Prince Carl of SolmsBraunfels, resigned in light of these difficulties. Baron O. von Meusebach of Potsdam was appointed his successor. Arriving in the Republic of Texas that summer of 1845, the baron dropped his title of nobility and adopted the first name John. Under his administration as general commissioner of the emigration company, between May 1845—seven months before Texas gained admission into the United States—and July 20, 1847, a total of 5,257 German emigrants settled in Texas. But at first, Meusebach thought German settlement might not happen at all.

and Lavaca as the emigration company struggled to provide transportation to the promised land. The United States was at war with Mexico. During the winter of 1845 and spring of 1846, U.S. Army Gen. Zachary Taylor’s soldiers, equipment and provisions were shipped to Lavaca and moved by land from there to Mexico. The U.S. government easily outbid the emigration company’s offers to freight wagon owners. With the company unable to contract for transportation and lacking the funds to buy their own wagons and teams, emigrants could not depart from the unhealthy conditions of their coastal camps. An extraordinarily wet winter at the coast brought sickness to Lavaca and Indianola. Almost 850 people died. During the spring of 1846, Meusebach again tried to secure provisions and transportation for the stranded emigrants. He was followed everywhere he went— Galveston, Houston, New Braunfels—by creditors of the company and by emigrants. In one of the strangest incidents, a teamster, brandishing a pistol, confronted the administrator, demanding payment for services rendered. Meusebach suggested they settle the issue in a match of target shooting. Meusebach’s first shot hit the bull’s eye. At breakfast the next morning, the teamster extended the credit. Meusebach could talk down one man or a crowd of angry men, like the emigrants he subdued in New Braunfels on New Year’s Eve.

Stranded on the Gulf

A Fiery Start

Hundreds of German emigrants were stranded on the Gulf Coast in Indianola

Meusebach must have gotten his new year’s wish. In January 1847, twenty

John O. Meusebach’s daughter, Lucy, depicted the March 1847 peace treaty with the Penateka Comanches, and the oil (below) hangs in the Vereins-Kirche in Fredericksburg, Texas. John is shown (opposite page), at age 40, after having moved to Texas from Dillenburg, Germany, where he was born on May 26, 1812. The Meusebach-Comanche treaty document, also shown, was returned from Europe in 1970 by Mrs. Irene Marschall King and Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith, John’s granddaughters, and presented to the Texas State Library in 1972. – IMAGES COURTESY GILLESPIE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY; TREATY DOCUMENT COURTESY TEXAS STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES COMMISSION –

men and three wagons set out from Fredericksburg to the Fisher-Miller grant. Meusebach followed them three days later. Challenges began from the start. The party’s best hunter was severely wounded on the first day and sent back to Fredericksburg. While building a campfire, the emigrants ignited a prairie fire that burned for 36 hours, destroying all forage for the horses for many miles. In mid-February, Meusebach and his crew came across western bands of Comanches. Rather than war cries, Meusebach received an agreement to meet for a peace council, at the next full moon, at the lower San Saba River. Meusebach used the interim, seven days, to explore an old Spanish fort. To lighten the load of a pack mule, the crew drank from the wine supply. Sympathy for the poor mule increased until the travelers emptied the last bottle. On February 18, the men reached the ruins of Presidio de San Saba, established by Spanish authorities in 1750 near present-day Menard. Carved on the portals of the main entrance were names of previous visitors, including that of famed Alamo defender Jim Bowie. The next day, the crew searched for a lost silver mine the Spaniards had supposedly worked near the fort. To resolve the insufficient funding for colonization,

Meusebach hoped to find the silver, but alas, found none.

A Lasting Goodwill Having just emptied his firearms in a show of goodwill upon his arrival at the Penateka camp, Meusebach was ready for the peace council. Negotiations took place on March 1-2. Months later, on May 9, the Germans and the Penatekas signed a treaty in Fredericksburg. The Penatekas collected $3,000 worth of presents. The treaty allowed both Meusebach’s settlers and the Penatekas unfettered access to the territory. It also promised mutual reports of wrongdoing and provided for a survey of land in the area with a payment of at least $1,000 to the Penatekas. The treaty opened more than three million acres of land to settlement. Despite minor infringements, including Comanche raids into Mexico that violated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, overall, the Penatekas and the German settlers upheld the peace treaty. Years later, in 1858, former Texas Ranger Jack Hays told Meusebach how astonished he was that the Penatekas were honoring the treaty. Hays said that he “was never molested nor lost any animals during his travel within the limits of the colony, but as soon as he passed the line he had losses.”

The Penatekas even helped German settlers when a cholera epidemic in Fredericksburg took the lives of three of every five settlers. Santa Anna and his men rode into town with bear meat and herbs to nourish settlers who were trying to regain their health. Santa Anna, unfortunately, contracted the illness and died. By late December 1849, he was one of the roughly 300 Penatekas killed in the epidemic. In August 1859, the U.S. Army moved the band north of the Red River to Indian Territory. By 1875, the entire Comanche tribe had been reduced to 1,597 members. Some Penatekas may have been among the survivors. At Fredericksburg’s annual Founders Day, Comanches occasionally join in, demonstrating that some of them have not forgotten their German allies. Perhaps one of the reasons the peace treaty was upheld in 1847 was because of Meusebach’s attitude toward the Penatekas. During negotiations, he said to them, “My brother speaks of a barrier between the red men and the palefaces. I do not disdain my red brethren because their skin is darker, and I do not think more of the white people because their complexion is lighter.” Tim Dasso is a freelance writer in central Texas, where he observes Texas historical sites and researches historical events. He is writing a historical fiction based on events that occurred in Texas’s early years.






When Mrs. Satan Ran for President The “most immoral woman” paved a path in history as a political trailblazer.


hen Victoria Claflin Woodhull died, three months shy of her 89th birthday, news of her passing was announced on two continents. The press called the controversial writer, stockbroker and politician a “most immoral woman.” Not only was Victoria the first woman to be officially nominated for president of the United States, but she was also one of the first individuals to have been jailed on federal obscenity charges. Victoria first found fame in the paranormal field; in 1849, her father rented a theatre where patrons paid to watch her, age 11, and her four-year-old sister channel spirits of the crowd’s deceased family members. At 15, Victoria wed 28-year-old Dr. Canning Woodhull; their marriage was troubled, as the doctor was an alcoholic and had numerous extramarital affairs. Meanwhile, by 1859, the sister act was annually earning more than $100,000. In 1866, two years after she separated from her husband, Victoria took their two children, remarried and moved to New York. She found a financial supporter in Cornelius Vanderbilt, a 73-year-old multimillionaire who consulted spiritualists to communicate with his deceased parents and wife. He helped Victoria and her sister grow their own stock portfolio and establish a brokerage firm. On February 5, 1870, the sisters became the first female Wall Street brokers. Financial freedom allowed Victoria to pursue her goal to secure women’s suffrage. Due to her preoccupation with spiritualism, however, other influential leaders in the movement, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Harriet Beecher, kept their distance.




Suffragist Victoria Woodhull’s “free love” campaign earned her a Thomas Nast illustration (left) captioned, “Get thee behind me Mrs Satan,” two months before she announced her nomination for U.S. President in the April 22, 1871, edition of Woodhull & Clafin’s Weekly (below). – NAST ILLUSTRATION PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY 17, 1872, HARPER’S WEEKLY; ALL OTHER IMAGES TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

In April 1870, Victoria announced her candidacy for president of the United States. While mapping out her platform, she and her sister began Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly, a women’s rights periodical that transformed into a tabloid that printed scandalous articles promoting “free love”—freedom for women to marry, divorce and bear children without government interference. In February 1871, the sisters were sued for misappropriating money from their stockbroker clients, for which they were found guilty of embezzlement. In early 1872, they ceased publishing the newspaper. Victoria pressed forward with her run for the presidency. On May 10, she was officially nominated for president at the Equal Rights Party convention, with abolitionist Frederick Douglass listed as her running mate. Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly went back in print.

Six months after the convention, an agent of the Society for the Suppression of Obscene Literature requested the sisters be arrested. They were charged with mailing indecent publications, which carried a penalty of oneyear imprisonment and a $500 fine. Attorney fees led to bankruptcy and the collapse of their newspaper. Victoria’s political party collapsed as well and, in 1878, so did her second marriage. Five years later, she married British banker John Biddulph Martin and moved to England, where she died of old age on June 9, 1927. Nearly 50 years before women had earned the right to vote, Victoria carved a path in history as a political trailblazer. She walked her talk: “While others prayed for the good time coming, I worked for it.” Chris Enss is a New York Times bestselling author who has written more than 20 books about women in the Old West. Her latest book is Soldier, Sister, Spy, Scout.

Victoria Woodhull (shown) gave presidential campaign speeches just as contentious as the articles that appeared in the newspaper she started with her sister. Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly published reports on government corruption, how-to tips for divorce, performing an abortion and operating a brothel and women’s rights.

t r u e


w e st

S u Rv I va l O u t W e St BY T e r rY A . D e l B e n e

Raining Bricks and Shooting Citizens The survivors who navigated through an “end of the world” crisis during California’s deadly earthquake and fire.


n 1906, San Francisco, was one of the jewels of the American West. The California boomtown of the 1850s had grown into the ninth largest city in the United States. Both a port and a railroad town, serving as a major conduit for trade with the Orient, the city was an odd admixture of the Wild West and gentrified city life. On April 18, in the predawn hours, the city by the bay bristled as bakers busily prepared the day’s treats, men delivered milk, cheeses, butter and ice, and trolley cars carried laborers to work. The illusion that the day was like any other was shattered at 5:12 that morning; an estimated 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the mighty city for under a minute. The quake created far more devastation and loss of life than San Francisco’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake of 1989. The 1906 quake set off a series of disasters that eventually killed between 3,000 and 6,000 people, made roughly one quarter of a million people homeless, destroyed approximately 25,000 buildings and leveled almost 80 percent of the city. “The air was filled with falling stones. People around me were crushed to death on all sides,” earthquake survivor G.A. Raymond wrote. “All around the huge buildings were shaking and waving. Every moment there were reports like 100 cannon going off at one time. Then streams of fire would shoot out, and other reports followed. I asked a man next to me what happened. Before he could answer a thousand bricks fell on him and he was killed.... I thought the end of the world had come.”

The earthquake and fire on April 18, 1906, destroyed nearly 80 percent of San Francisco. The destruction hits home in this photo of Grant Avenue, toward Yerba Buena Island. – All imAges True WesT Archives unless oTherWise noTed –

Those at home tossed about like a ship at sea as beds bounced around bedrooms, taking the terrified occupants on a wild bucking bronco ride. Electrical lines broke, cracked water lines spewed precious water and miles of natural gas lines ruptured, igniting cataclysmic fires with their flammable vapors. In town to perform Carmen, the great operatic tenor Enrico Caruso found his hotel ceiling collapsing, raining down a “great shower” of falling plaster. His brave and loyal valet escorted him safely outside the St. Francis Hotel and then went back inside to retrieve Caruso’s luggage. The sounds of the crashing building and people screaming haunted Caruso’s nights for the rest of his days.

Police, unable to rescue screaming people trapped in burning buildings, shot them.

t r u e


w e st

Caruso and his valet wound up in Union Square, among other survivors, all fearful that a building would collapse upon them. “...all the city seems to be on fire,” Caruso recalled. “All the day I wander about, and tell my valet we must try to get away, but the soldiers will not let us pass.” The coalescing of multiple fires into a holocaust obliterated most of the city after the devastating earthquake. The city’s head firefighter, Dennis T. Sullivan, was mortally injured in the quake, leaving his firefighters without a leader to coordinate emergency response. Many first responders, injured by collapsing walls of buildings, could not respond to the stockpiles of explosives at the California Powder Works that required immediate attention. In desperation, the authorities decided to dynamite buildings in the path of the fire. This experiment added to the city’s woes,

(From top) Helpless fire crews watched the Palace Hotel burn; Smoke from the fires hurdled down Sacramento Street as locals watched from a distance; The powerful earthquake left some homes leaning against others in the neighborhood; People made homeless by the earthquake stand outside their tents at the Presidio; Refugees fled the city ruptured by the San Andreas Fault for about 290 miles (the 1989 quake ruptured only about 25 miles); The USS Chicago was among the Navy ships that transported refugees away from a city devastated by the 1906 earthquake and fire. – Top Three phoTos courTesy Library of congress –

essentially splintering buildings into kindling and making “them better food for the flames than if the buildings were allowed to stand,” Deputy Fire Commissioner Hugh Bonner recalled. The choking black smoke turned day into night. Police, unable to rescue screaming people trapped in burning buildings, shot them before the flames could incinerate the hapless victims. A few property owners set fire to their own homes in the correct assumption that insurance companies would pay off on fire damage, but not on earthquake damage. The inferno burned itself out in roughly four days, leaving a smoldering blackened shell of one of America’s proud cities. After the flames abated, the test of humanity continued. More than half of the city’s 400,000 residents were homeless. These refugees

needed food, water, shelter and medical services. Adding to their woes, the destroyed Agnews insane asylum left terrorized mental patients roaming the countryside. The U.S. military entered the scene. Troops established a telegraph system between the city and Fort Mason. Navy ships, such as the USS Preble and USS Chicago, provided doctors for the refugees. To discourage looting in the area, soldiers were ordered to “shoot-to-kill.” The Army constructed more than 5,500 relief houses, which accommodated a fraction of the refugees. Thousands of tents sprung up. Relief efforts continued for several years while the city was rebuilt. In current monetary values, losses exceeded six billion dollars. The Golden Gate City rose from the ashes, but many of its residents moved to the relative safety of the Los Angeles area. The San Andreas Fault had impressed its deadly potential onto the American psyche.

Terry A. Del Bene is a former Bureau of Land Management archaeologist and the author of Donner Party Cookbook and the novel ’Dem Bon’z.

t r u e


w e st

R e n e ga d e Roa d s BY C a n dY M o u lto n

The Mormon Handcart Migration A pilgrimage 160 years later inspires travelers on the Latter-day Saints trail to Utah.

Each of the 10 companies of Mormon handcart pioneers was accompanied by a wagon train that carried supplies, and sometimes had room for an ill, injured or simply worn-out walker to ride along the trail for a short distance. Painting by William Henry Jackson.


– Courtesy, William HeNry JaCksoN ColleCtioN, sCotts Bluff NatioNal moNumeNt –

hen the Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, abandoned Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1846, they made a pledge to gather all members to their new Zion. The journey took them to the Missouri River that first year, and on to Great Salt Lake City, which they founded in 1847. Over the next few years church members traveled in overland wagon trains to new homes at the base of the Wasatch Mountain range.

t r u e


w e st

As had been the case almost from the inception of the church by Joseph Smith, missionaries also took the word of their church to other areas, notably to England and Scandinavia. By the early 1850s church converts in England began booking passage on ships that brought them to St. Louis, Missouri, for journeys up the Mississippi and Missouri River to jumping-off locations to travel westward by wagon. Many of these travelers used provisions of a Mormon program instituted in 1849

when the church allocated $5,000 to create the Perpetual Emigration Fund (PEF). The goal was to pay for the transportation costs for the converts to help them reach Utah. Once there, they would repay what had been expended in their behalf, so the fund would continue into perpetuity. By 1855, however, the church and its PEF were struggling financially, which might have led to church President Brigham Young to resurrect what he called an “old plan—to make hand-carts, and let the emigration foot

...historian Will Bagley says it “might be bettered rendered as ‘two-wheeled torture devices.’” it, and draw upon [the handcarts] the necessary supplies, having a cow or two for every ten. They can come just as quick, if not quicker, and much cheaper—can start earlier and escape the prevailing sickness which annually lays so many of our brethren in the dust. A great majority of them walk now, even with the teams which are provided.” Young decided that most immigrants from England and Scandinavia could travel under their own power, pushing and pulling small two-wheeled carts to carry their meager possessions—just 15 to 17 pounds of goods per person. With deep faith, unyielding determination, little money, and not much information that would indicate how hard a journey by handcart would be, the converts set out. In the late spring of 1856 they departed from Liverpool on a series of ships that brought them to Boston and New York (and later to Philadelphia), where they boarded trains for the first leg of their journey across America.

The Trail Begins in Iowa City Handcart travel would start at Iowa City, Iowa, where a base camp was established. Mormon leaders arranged for the construction of the carts, expecting to have plenty built and ready for use when the first companies arrived. These Mormons now faced several weeks of grueling travel pushing and pulling what later Danish handcart Capt. John A.

Ahmanson called “tohjulede Menneskepiner.” Although this has been translated as “two-wheeled man-tormen– THE MIRIAM AND IRA D. WALLACH DIVISION OF ART, PRINTS tors” by some, or “twoAND PHOTOGRAPHS: PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION, CA., 1860, THE NEW wheeled human sorrows” by YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY – others, historian Will Bagley BRIGHAM YOUNG says it “might be bettered rendered as ‘two-wheeled torture devices.’” camped and built small cabins here in the The migration began on June 9, 1856, winter of 1846-’47. They were not prepared, when Capt. Edmund Ellsworth and 274 however, and many became ill and died. people pushing and pulling 55 handcarts They are buried in a cemetery in the city, departed camp at Iowa City. Two days later and across the street today is a Mormon Capt. Daniel D. McArthur’s company of 220 Trail Center where you can learn about the early migration of this religious group and people rolled more than 40 handcarts away from Iowa City. find directions to other Mormon sites in the The third handcart company, led by Capt. community. Edward Bunker, would follow on June 28. Leaving Florence the route heads west Two additional companies led by James to Fremont, Nebraska, and then extends Willie and Edward Martin journeyed west along the Platte River the breadth of that year, starting out so late that they Nebraska. Follow U.S. 30 to stay closest to would face severe trials in Wyoming when the route. As you drive imagine making every winter weather caught them still on the mile step-by-step pushing and pulling a small trail. Another five companies would cart containing everything you own plus eventually follow the trail, the final one possibly one or more of your children, or making the trip in 1860. an elderly, ill or injured friend or relative. The first major stopping point for The handcart companies the companies was befollowed a well-established side the Missouri River trail. The travel in Florence, Nebraska. was difficult as HISTORICA L MARKER This location, Winter they lacked Handcart Ro ots in Iowa adequate food Quarters, had been the After crossin g the Atlantic by ship and United States a supplies, wore wintering place for the th ird of the by train, the first handca gathered in Io rt pioneers wa City, Iowa Mormon pioneers who out their shoes , to organize th the twowheeled hand eir goods into carts. Well ov camped here er 1,500 peop in early sum le mer 1856 be their carts an fore picking d starting th up e walk to Ut through Iowa ah. They we towns as Mar nt engo, Grinne Moines, Adel ll, Newton, De and Council s Bluffs before Missouri Rive reaching the r and crossin g to Florence , Nebraska.





Sweetwater Station Farson

Green River

Casper Devil’s Gate

Mormon Church President Brigham Young launched the handcart migration in 1856 when the church chose to stop spending the money to outfit wagons to move the converts along the trail.

Fort Laramie

Iowa City


Fort Bridger Salt Lake City

0 Area of Detail

50 Scale in Miles



Florence Omaha map by




Seven of the ten companies of the 3,000 Mormon emigrants staged their trail west from Iowa City, Iowa (below), because it was the new terminus of the Mississippi & Missouri Railroad from Davenport (left)in 1856. – COURTESY FREDERICK W. KEN COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS, 1866-2000, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, LIBRARIES, UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES, PHOTO BY ISAAC A. WETHERBY, 1854 –

and faced unpredictable weather. They had deaths in each company, from disease and accidents. When crossing Nebraska, they often encountered tremendous herds of buffalo. The big animals were difficult for the Mormons to hunt. The buffalo herds sometimes swept up cattle that were part of the handcart company, but they certainly left behind one important commodity: buffalo chips that could be gathered during the day and used for campfires at night.

On to Wyoming The second major provisioning point along the trail was at Fort Laramie, where the companies usually obtained at least a few supplies, and depending on the year and time of travel, they may have rested for a day or two. The Willie and Martin companies were very late starting out in 1856 and neither lingered very long at Fort Laramie, maybe only a few hours—which is what you will need at minimum today to fully explore this frontier fort. From Fort Laramie the route follows the North Platte River to Casper (take U.S. 26 and I-25). Points of interest along the way include “Rock in the Glen” in Glenrock, Ayers Natural Bridge and the Reshaw Bridge in Evansville. In Casper visit Fort Casper and the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, which has a theater The Mormon handcart trains encountered buffalo herds that sometimes swept away the cattle with the handcarts, but left behind an important resource: buffalo chips that fueled cookfires. – COURTESY J. NABB, NEBRASKA TOURISM –




show that focuses on one of the families that traveled with Martin’s company in 1856, and became stranded west of Casper by harsh storms. Our route follows them out of Casper on county roads, which in many places overlay or directly parallel the Mormon Pioneer Trail (get route information at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center). You can also take Wyoming State Highway 220 west to Independence Rock and Devils Gate. If you stick closer to the handcart trail by following county roads, you will see Avenue of Rocks, and pass the historic site at Horse Creek where the Martin Company finally encountered rescue wagons (this was also a later Pony Express station site). You will connect to Highway 220 just east of Independence Rock.

Follow the highway on west to the Handcart Ranch. Here you can visit an interpretive center in the old Sun Ranch home, and visit a replica of Seminoe’s Fort, which the Martin Company used for brief refuge before they moved to a small cove, now called Martin’s Cove, west of the Devils Gate. They would remain here for several days. Well over a hundred people in both the Willie and Martin companies died between the crossing of the North Platte at Casper and this area along the Sweetwater River. From the Handcart Ranch, where you can push and pull your own handcart along the trail for a few miles, travel to Muddy

There was no bridge to cross the North Platte River at the site that would become Platte Bridge Station (later Fort Caspar) when the first handcart companies traveled through the area in 1856. This bridge is a replica at the historic site in Casper, Wyoming. – GATES FRONTIERS FUND WYOMING COLLECTION WITHIN THE CAROL M. HIGHSMITH ARCHIVE, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

Gap and then turn north on U.S. 287. A new visitors’ center is now open at Sixth Crossing, beside the Sweetwater River. This center focuses on the difficulties of Willie’s company and follows the journey of my own children’s ancestors: Sarah and Thomas Moulton, who left England in May 1856 with their eight children. The youngest was Charles Moulton, born on the ship after they sailed from England. He is my children’s greatgreat grandfather. (I married into the Moulton clan a few decades ago.)

Trail use is heavy in this area from Mormon groups who come to experience the landscape and route for themselves, but it is accessible to all, mainly crossing Bureau of Land Management land.

South Pass beckons, and the route turns west along Wyoming State Highway 28, going over the pass and toward the Green River. Remain on Highway 28 when you drive through Farson, Wyoming (don’t blink or

1192 Sheridan Avenue, Cody, WY •• 307.587.4221 •• 800.745.4762

Stay in Historic Rooms, Enjoy the Famous Irma Prime Rib, Relax in the Silver Saddle Saloon, Watch the Cody Gunfighters!




AT Pro: Better Finds, and Special Savings

Garrett’s AT Pro is waterproof to 10 feet!


PN: 1140461


• AT Pro metal detector with 8.5˝ x11˝ DD searchcoil • Garrett Master Sound™ Headphones • Instructional DVD • Garrett Camo Backpack • Garrett Camo Digger’s Pouch • 8.5˝ x11˝ Coil Cover • Garrett Camo AT Pro Cap

* AT Pro MSRP $699.95. Savings based on total cost of detector and accessory items if purchased separately. Accessories items are subject to change. Available at participating U.S. dealers from September 1 to December 31, 2016.


Visit to find your nearest dealer




you’ll miss it). After crossing the Green River, take U.S. 189 and I-80 to Fort Bridger, another critical provisioning point for the handcart companies, which was established by Jim Bridger in 1842, but was under the control of the Mormon Church at the time of the handcart migration. From Fort Bridger continue following the trail route on I-80 west to Salt Lake City.

Over the Wasatch Mountains to Zion

Save $9680*


Devils Gate was a significant landmark on the overland trail, an area where the 1856 Martin handcart company became stranded by harsh weather.

The first and second handcart companies traveled very closely together all across the plains, and arrived in Great Salt Lake City together on September 26, 1856. President Brigham Young and H. C. Kimball “escorted by the minute men and a company of Lancers,” and followed by general citizens who walked or took horse-drawn vehicles, met them as they neared the city. The Nauvoo Brass Band and Capt. Ballo’s band heralded the handcart travelers’ arrival. Charles M. Treseder described the first carts rolling into the city: “folks came running from every quarter to get a glimpse of the longlooked-for hand-carts.” Treseder later wrote: “I shall never forget the feeling that ran through my whole system as I caught the first sight of them. The first hand-cart was drawn


This is the Place State Park monument, Salt Lake City, Utah

CELEBRATIONS AND EVENTS The Moulton family traveled with the Willie handcart company in 1856, settling in Heber Valley, Utah. Charles Moulton, who was born during the handcart migration, later relocated to Idaho and his sons settled in Jackson Hole in 1908 where the eldest built this iconic barn. – COURTESY AL POUNIAN FAMILY –

by a man and his wife, they had a little flag on it, on which were the words: ‘Our President—may the unity of the Saints ever show the wisdom of his counsels.’” Bunker’s third company arrived in Great Salt Lake City at 6 p.m. on October 2 to almost no fanfare. The fourth and fifth companies would not straggle in until

weeks later. The Willie Company reached Salt Lake on November 9, while Martin’s Company, of which 135 to 170 people died, did not arrive until November 30. Everyone in those last two companies of 1856 suffered terribly from the difficulties they had faced: lack of food and proper clothing, freezing weather, deep snows. Despite the disastrous crossings of Willie and Martin—the worst single disasters encountered by any overland travelers—the church continued supporting the handcart scheme. From 1857 until 1860 another five companies of people from the British Isles and the Scandinavian countries trudged the trail with their two-wheeled carts. More would die, but the majority safely reached Utah. Candy Moulton traveled with the Mormon Trail Sesquicentennial Wagon Train in 1997, pushing and pulling a handcart for part of the journey. She is working on a book about the handcart migration.

The Moulton family story is interpreted at the new 6th Crossing Visitor Center beside the Sweetwater River in central Wyoming. – PHOTOS COURTESY JOLENE MOULTON –

The Handcart Ranch, at Alcova, Devils Gate, WY, has opportunities year-round to pull a handcart along the trail between Devils Gate and Martin’s Cove, WY; Fort Bridger Rendezvous has traders, Indian dancers, and mountain man camps at Fort Bridger State Historic Site, Fort Bridger, WY, Labor Day weekend; Days of ’47, Salt Lake City, UT, involves a series of events from parades to rodeos celebrating Utah’s pioneers, annually in July.

PLACES TO VISIT Johnson County Historical Society, Iowa City, IA; Western Historic Trails Center, Council Bluffs, IA; Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters, Florence, NE; Scotts Bluff National Monument, Gering, NE; Fort Laramie, Fort Laramie, WY; Fort Caspar, Casper, WY; National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, Casper, WY; Mormon Handcart Historic Center at Handcart Ranch, Alcova, (Devils Gate), WY; Sixth Crossing Visitor Center, Lander (Sweetwater Station), WY; Fort Bridger State Historic Site, Fort Bridger, WY; This is the Place State Park, Salt Lake City, UT; Church History Museum and Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT

GOOD EATS & SLEEPS Good Grub: Enzo’s, Omaha, NE; Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grill, Scottsbluff, NE; Armor’s Silver Fox, Casper, WY; Gannett Grill, Lander, WY; Red Iguana, Salt Lake City, UT Good Lodging: Magnolia Hotel Omaha, Omaha, NE; Hampton Inn, Scottsbluff, NE; Hilton Garden Inn, Casper, WY; Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT

GOOD BOOKS, FILM, TV & MUSIC Good Reads: Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy by David Roberts; Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard by Jefferson Glass; Devil’s Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story by Tom Rea; The Willie Handcart Company by Paul D. Lyman; The Price We Paid: The Extraordinary Story of the Willie & Martin Handcart Pioneers by Andrew D. Olsen; Tell My Story, Too by Jolene S. Allphin Good Film: Music and TV: 17 Miracles; Ephraim’s Rescue (a T.C. Christensen Film), Sweetwater Rescue: the Willie and Martin Handcart Story (a Lee Groberg film with accompanying book by Groberg and Heidi Swinton); Handcart (Ampersand Films) T R U E




Bread Across the West The cultural breads that sustained pioneers on the frontier.

In New Mexico Territory, these Pueblo women bake flat breads in a beehive oven. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

“ EMMy AwARd AwARd Aw wINNINg w

Get your DVD today for only $19.95! Call us at 888.687.1881 or buy it online:




Vile stuff” that suggested the “properties of poison” turned the bread a “green-yellow tinge” at the Pony Express station near Wyoming Territory’s Fort Laramie. Then British explorer Richard Francis Burton came across a different type of bread: “A hundred-fold better,” he wrote, “the unpretending chapati, flapjack, scone, or, as the Mexicans prettily called it, ‘tortilla!’” Even though he found this bread more pleasing, he suffered from what he called the “travelers’ bane”—the tortilla tasted like the “rusty bacon and graveolent antelope” that it was placed near while cooking on “Uncle Sam’s stove,” better known as the dutch oven. Bread came in many forms, shapes, sizes and flavors on the American frontier. Vast immigrant influences introduced rye, pumpernickel and sourdough next to the more traditional golden sandwich loaf. Some of the earliest pioneers also ate American Indian-influenced tortillas and

flatbreads, but they reverted to traditional loaves and rolls made with graham, wheat, corn and white flours. By the turn of the 20th century, eating tortillas and flatbreads became fashionable again. Southwestern tribes made tortillas from blue, yellow, white and black corn, baking them over an open flame or in the ashes of a fire. Indians swapped the tortilla for flatbread, also deep fried into fry bread, when colonizers gave them flour rations over the preferred corn masa. To make a slightly thicker flatbread, Indians ground nuts, such as acorns and piñons, and combined the nut flour with corn. They baked this flatbread over hot rocks until the edges were golden brown. Different tribes made their own versions of flatbreads, such as ultra-thin Piki and dense Bannock. They also made the precursor to corn bread, called Indian bread, which was dense and made of cracked corn or cornmeal, water and salt. Even though tortillas were considered

lower-class fare, they were once touted as a remedy to cure indigestion. “The person who originated the scheme has been cured in four weeks by eating tortillas made from corn meal and the Rio Grande water, and any dyspeptic who can eat tortillas for four weeks and survive is certain of encouragement...,” reported the Arizona Weekly Star, on December 9, 1880. In settled areas, state and local fairs celebrated local bread. Every home baker wanted to prove her bread was the best in her frontier town. The categories included: white, rye, Boston brown, graham, ginger and Parker House rolls. A German baker created the Parker House Rolls, which was among the recipes pioneers brought West with them. Baked at the Parker House hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, after opening in 1855, these moist and fluffy rolls appeared on restaurant menus and sold in bakeries all over the frontier. Try your hand at the historic delicacy! Sherry Monahan has penned The Cowboy’s Cookbook, Mrs. Earp: Wives & Lovers of the Earp Brothers; California Vines, Wines & Pioneers; Taste of Tombstone and The Wicked West. She has appeared on Fox News, History Channel and AHC.

Parker House rolls Stop. Play. Stay.

½ cup scalded milk ½ cup boiling water 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. sugar 1 tbsp. butter ½ yeast cake dissolved in ¼ cup lukewarm water 3 cups bread flour, or enough to knead

KEARNEY visitors bureau NEBRASKA

Mix milk, water, salt, sugar and butter in a bowl. Add yeast, then flour, until the mixture is stiff enough to knead. Cover the bowl and let dough rise to double its bulk. Shape into two-dozen balls, put into a buttered pan and cover. Place in a warm place so can rise to double its bulk. With the floured handle of a wooden spoon, press the balls through the center, almost cutting in half. Brush one half with butter, fold over the other half and press together like a pocketbook. Let it rise again and bake in a 400˚F oven for 15 minutes. After baking, brush the tops with butter.


Recipe courtesy Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts


ARCHWAY t r u e


w e st

S K O BO n r e t s We


War and Peace in the West Peter Cozzens’s The Earth is Weeping sets a new standard for Western Indian Wars history, as do adventurous stories about Pat Garrett, law and order on the border, Utah’s Wild West and the Oregon Trail.


eter Cozzens’s The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West (Alfred A. Knopf, $35) is the most comprehensive, insightful synthesis of the conflict between the Western W estern tribes and the United States government and citizens published by a popular New York press in decades. Like William Manchester’s The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932-1972 1932-1972, the Maryland author’s brilliant thesis and detailed narrative will sustain the reader through three decades of the cataclysm and nearly 500 pages from the prologue to the conclusion. The historian’s insightful endnotes and inclusive bibliography prove helpful to the student or reader eager to pursue further reading in a narrower field of U.S.Indian tribal history between 1862 and 1891. One of the primary strengths of Cozzens’s research is In The Earth is Weeping, a sweeping synthesis of the American-Indian wars between 18621891, Peter Cozzens profiles the critical role of Indian leaders who sought peace over war, including Kiowa Chief Kicking Bird. – COURTESY NARA, CA. 1868-1872, NO. 518902 –




Crazy Horse Memorial, Crazy Horse, SD – STUART ROSEBROOK –

In The Earth is Weeping, Peter Cozzens details how the U.S. Army’s decision to send Lt. Col. George A. Custer and the 7th U.S. Cavalry with 110 wagons and a team of miners in search of gold on the Great Sioux Reservation in July 1874 violated the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie. The subsequent gold rush into the Lakotas’ sacred Black Hills led to the Great Sioux War of 1876. – COURTESY NARA, CA. 1868-1872, NO. 519427 –

his thesis that succinctly seeks a sharper understanding of the cause and effects of the American government’s policies, citizen relations with the tribes, intertribal history and warfare, and the United States’ massive immigration into the West during and after the Civil War. Cozzens writes: “A myth as enduring as that of an army inherently antagonistic toward the Indians is that of united Indian resistance to white encroachment. No tribe famous for fighting the government was ever united for war or peace. Intense factionalism ruled—each tribe having its war and peace factions that struggled for dominance and clashed, sometimes violently with each other.” The strength of Cozzens’s scholarship in The Earth is Weeping is twofold: his balanced used of Native and non-Native sources and his ability to tell such a broad, panoramic story, with so many regional players and actions, as a compelling tale that expertly compares and contrasts a diverse set of U.S.-Indian conflicts, beginning with Red Cloud’s War and concluding with the Battle of Wounded Knee. In a publishing year in which such magnanimous works as Paul Andrew Hutton’s Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest

War in American History (see True West review, June 2016), Benjamin Madley’s An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, Paul C. Hedren’s Powder River: Disastrous Opening of the Great Sioux War, and Jerry Keenen’s The Terrible Indian Wars of the West: A History from the Whitman Massacre to Wounded Knee, 1846-1890 were published, Cozzens provides the greatest overall context and focus to the inter-connectedness and influence of the apocalyptic forces that shaped the American West from 1862 to 1891. Cozzens’s interpretation expertly blends Old and New Western history theses of process, making it an extremely viable candidate for the Pulitzer and National Book award. As Cozzens so succinctly states in his introduction: “Intertribal conflict was in part the consequence of a fact that has never been appreciated. …that the wars between Indians and the government for the northern plains, the seat of the bloodiest and longest struggles, represented a displacement of one immigrant people by another, rather than the destruction of a deeply rooted way of life.” —Stuart Rosebrook

This past summer I drove my family on a True West round-trip tour from Iowa City, Iowa, to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Our route was spectacular and included a branch of the Lewis & Clark Trail along the Missouri River and through the spectacular Niobrara River Valley on State Highway 12 and U.S. Highway 20 via Valentine, through the Sand Hills to the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron, Fort Robinson State Historic Park near Crawford, and on to the Black Hills for a grand week touring Deadwood (76 Days), Lead, Hill City, Custer, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wind Cave National Park, Custer State Park, Badlands National Park, and even the Corn Palace in Mitchell. What to read on such a busy tour? Try John D. McDermott’s Red Cloud: Oglala Legend, Bill Markley’s Deadwood Dead Men and the classic Meriwether Lewis by Richard H. Dillon (memoriam on page 62). Speaking of books, don’t miss The Hole in the Wall Bookstore inside Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota—one of the finest Western bookstores I have visited anywhere in the United States. I guarantee you’ll find something to buy to read on your vacation after you enjoy a free glass of ice water in the world famous drugstore! — Stuart Rosebrook




John LeMay’s Tall Tales & Half Truths of Pat Garrett portrays the conflicted life of the New Mexico lawman, seen here second from right on the porch in Roswell, New Mexico, relaxing with friends soon after he allegedly killed Billy the Kid in Fort Sumner on July 14, 1881. – COURTESY HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOR SOUTHEAST NEW MEXICO, ROSWELL, NM –


TALES OF PAT GARRETT Reading John LeMay’s Tall Tales & Half Truths of Pat Garrett (The History Press, $21.99) you get the idea everyone living in New Mexico in the 1880s, as well as those descended from them, had or has a story about Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. And that most of those stories are different. For example, Pat Garrett killed his first man, a young buffalo hunter, in self-defense and regretted it. Or, Garrett killed the man in

cold blood and for no good reason. Just as he did in Tall Tales & Half Truths of Billy the Kid, LeMay sorts through this maze of lies, rumors and distortions, which makes for great fun and some valuable lessons in human nature. —Ollie Reed Jr., an editor and a contributor to Max Evans & a Few Friends

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

    

   

   T R U E



In Cowboys and Gangsters: Stories of an Untamed West (TwoDot Publishing, $16.95) Samuel K. Dolan refutes the idea that the frontier of the American Southwest ended sometime during the 1890s. In the early 1900s, the peace officers of the Southwest were, in many cases, the same men who had dealt with Apache raiders, outlaws and banditos of earlier times. Dolan is a first-class storyteller who, having grown up in Arizona, knows the country and the people. And he sets his exciting tales on

The Green River flows past the mouth of Nine Mile Canyon at the northern end of Utah’s West Tavaputs Plateau. Jerry D. Spangler and Donna Kemp Spangler chronicle the remarkable, conflicted and controversial human and natural history of the canyon in the highly illustrated Last Chance Byway: The History of Nine Mile Canyon. – COURTESY JERRY D. SPANGLER –

Three-term Cochise County Sheriff and former Arizona Ranger Harry Wheeler’s career on the border during the tumultuous era of the Mexican revolution, Prohibition and the Bisbee Deportation is one of the biographies chronicled by Samuel K. Dolan in Cowboys and Gangsters: Stories of an Untamed Southwest. – COURTESY BISBEE MINING AND HISTORICAL MUSEUM –

a solid foundation of fact, utilizing official records and newspaper accounts, as well as oral histories. This is one of those books that a fellow reads just to enjoy the well-told stories it contains. And then it goes on the shelf as valuable resource material that chronicles the little-known lawmen, outlaws and gunfights that shaped the history of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. —Jim Wilson, senior field editor NRA Publications

HIGHWAY OF HISTORY Lately engaged in a tug-of-war between archaeologists and energy developers, Nine Mile Canyon lies in the middle of hundreds of square miles of empty space on the map of eastern Utah. But for half a century, from 1886 to 1936, it was frequented by freighters, cowboys, outlaws, soldiers and a few rugged ranchers. Last Chance Byway: The History of Nine Mile Canyon by Jerry D. Spangler and Donna Kemp Spangler (University of Utah Press,

5 C


John wesley hardin ardin MeMorabilia

Guns, letters, playing cards, newspapers, wanted posters, saddles, rings and other personal effects! -Also wantedOriginal Oil Paintings, Watercolors and Sculptures by Charlie Russell, Julian & Robert Onderdonk, F. Remington, E.I.Couse, J.H. Sharp, Charlie Dye, Dean Cornwell, N.C. Wyeth, Joe Grandee, Melvin Warren, Philip R. Goodwin, Mary Bonner, Olaf Wieghorst, W.R. Leigh, Robt. Wood, Porfirio Salinas, Bill Gollings, W.H.D. Koerner, Frank Stick, Victor Higgins, Thomas Hill, Buck Dunton, T. Moran, E. Blumenschein and many others! Contact: Pete Rainone at

817-455-1480 or 817-461-5666 [emailprotected] Mailing address: 1212 West Park Row, Arlington, Texas 76013

The largest collection of new and out of print Civil War & Western Americana books. Lincoln and Custer Collections, American Indian History, Arts & Crafts. Helping collectors and history buffs learn more about specific events and people in American history.


Online sales Or visit us at Our new lOcatiOn

7830 E. Redfield Rd. Suite 1 Scottsdale, AZ 480-945-8811

Follow us on Facebook! T R U E



MONTANA AUTHOR SHARES PASSION FOR THE AMERICAN BISON Keith McCafferty is the survival and outdoors skills editor of Field & Stream, and the author of The Royal Wulff Murders, The Gray Ghost Murders (recommended by Oprah’s Book Club), Dead Man’s Fancy and Crazy Mountain Kiss, which won the Western Writers of America 2016 Spur Award for Best Western Contemporary Novel. Crazy Mountain Kiss also has been chosen as a finalist for the High Plains Award for the Novel, and for the Nero Award for Best Mystery. Buffalo Jump Blues, his fifth Sean Stranahan novel, has been awarded starred reviews from Booklist and Kirkus, as well as recommendation as one of 2016’s best summer books in O Magazine. Winner of the Traver Award for angling literature, McCafferty is a two-time National Magazine Awards finalist. He lives with his wife, cat and—as a wild bird rescue volunteer—various feathered friends, in Bozeman, Montana.

1 The Blackfeet: Raiders on the Northwestern Plains (John C. Ewers, University of Oklahoma Press): Ewers, former curator of the Museum of the Plains Indian, has done a masterful job pulling together the written and oral histories of the nomadic Blackfeet under one cover. Known as “The Lords of the Plains,” the Blackfeet comprised the hunting culture that inspired my novel, Buffalo Jump Blues, and many historical pishkuns, or buffalo jumps, are located on their sacred hunting grounds.

2 Champion Buffalo Hunter: The Frontier Memoirs of Yellowstone Vic Smith (Jeanette Prodgers, TwoDot Press): Of the biographies of commercial buffalo hunters, The Memoirs of Yellowstone Vic Smith—trapper, trick shot, scout, hunter extraordinaire (he bought bullet lead by the ton!)—is the most informative and entertaining. And who else can say he guided Theodore Roosevelt on a buffalo hunt in the Dakota Badlands? 3 The Lives and Legends of Buffalo Bill (Don Russell, University of Oklahoma Press): Strip away the myth, put the Wild West Show years in perspective, and what emerges is a




remarkably forward-thinking man—buffalo killer, yes, but also buffalo proponent, consummate showman, champion of civil rights for Indians and equal pay for women. The definitive biography of the West’s most colorful and iconic figure.

4 American Plains Bison: Rewilding An Icon (James A. Bailey, James A. Bailey): Bison biologist James Bailey poses an important question: Is there hope for the expansion of wild, genetically pure bison into unfenced historical ranges in the West? If so, what would be the value, not just for the wooly icon, not only for the Native tribes, but for mankind? If you are interested in the future of wild bison, this is where you start. 5 Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the Old West (Mike Venturino, Wolfe Publishing Company): I spent a hunting season toting a reproduction Sharps rifle for a Field & Stream assignment in Montana. The Sharps carried authority at both ends and brought home the venison, although I wish I’d had this book to reference during my trials at hand-loading. Venturino’s manual is a must for shooters of original and reproduction firearms from the late 1800s.

New! First Edition Blue Book of

$34.95) chronicles that era in minute detail. The authors make a valuable contribution to the boom-and-bust history typical of the Western frontier. Given its focus, the book breezes past the earlier occupation of Nine Mile Canyon by Indians who left behind unparalleled ruins and rock art—but you will come to know most every white person who left tracks there. —Rod Miller, author of The Lost Frontier: Momentous Moments in the Old West You May Have Missed

ON TO OREGON The adventurous and restless souls who risked all to go West were compelled by those qualities to redraw and improve “tried-and-true” trails. Such a man was Levi Scott, as readers will discover in Wagons to the Willamette, Captain Levi Scott and the Southern Route to Oregon, 1844-1847, by Levi Scott and James Layton Collins, edited by Stafford J. Hazelett (Washington State University Press, $29.95). Scott’s 1844 trek to Oregon reads as a typical emigration narrative. His later activities meet the definition of “adventure,” as he joined the 1846 Gilliam expedition seeking a southern route into Oregon. Scott became captain on a second expedition that blazed the Applegate Trail. Scott’s own recollections provide a detailed look at the steps necessary to create a wagon road. Copious footnotes and good editing make this a valuable historical account. —Terry A. Del Bene, author of Donner Party Cookbook: A Guide to Survival on the Hastings Cutoff

Antique American Firearms & Values by S.P. Fjestad and John B. Allen.



One hundred fifty copies of the Deluxe Hard Cover Limited Editions are also available at $75.00 each, plus S/H. (will ship approx. Oct. 17th)

Finally, a completely new publication on antique American firearms with up-to-date values. Features of this new 400 page First Edition include: • Almost 700 Manufacturers/Trademarks are identified, and most of them have short histories with dates of manufacture. • Over 2,100 models and sub-models are described in detail. • 1,500 high-resolution color images are provided (some show detailed macro features). • Over 7,500 values have been provided for Good, Fine, Extra/ Very Fine, and Excellent condition factors. Online subscriptions and sample pages also available visit Why Guess When You Can Be Sure!

800.877.4867 EXT. 3




T R I B U T E S : Paul Cool • 1950-2106 BY M A R K B O A R D M A N

The Coolest Guy in the Room Historian Paul Cool was a one-of-a-kind figure in the field.



aul Cool was just that: cool. The coolest. And that went beyond the Old West field.

Oh, he was the coolest there, for sure. Cool was an incredible researcher and writer, investigating law and order in the Southwest. His book Salt Warriors: Insurgency on the Southwest Border is the analysis of the El Paso Salt War, a lesser known but historically important episode from 1877. His many articles for the Wild West History Association (WWHA) prove his interest in and knowledge of so many topics—especially Tombstone, the Earps, the Cowboys. He even did a couple of recent pieces for True West, one of which—“Did Remington Capture Clanton’s Last Breath?” (May 2016)—I was privileged to




work on. He was a popular speaker at WWHA and other gatherings because he told stories, interesting stories. And Paul was so damn funny, never taking anything—certainly not himself—too seriously. “Paul and I were in Tombstone for the 125th Anniversary of the Gunfight Near the OK Corral,” remembers researcher/ writer Peter Brand, “and discussing Ike Clanton fleeing the gunfight. Paul decided to do an impression of Ike running away from Wyatt, but he did it as Grouch Marx, complete with stooped walk and cigar and wisecrack—‘too many Earps for my liking.’” Paul Cool was the most interesting man in the world before the guy in the beer commercials came along. I know that personally. We spoke about

religion, rock ‘n’ roll, literature, movies, food, wine, travel, world and American history, social issues, politics, and more—things that had nothing to do with the Old West. He knew his stuff in all of them. Paul loved to learn, and he loved to share that knowledge. And in a field where folks don’t always get along, Paul was beloved. I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him. He was too generous—with his time and his talents and his research materials. He was too self-deprecating. Paul Cool was a giver, not a taker. Paul fought cancer for the last three years of his life (with wife Karen Cool and stepson Mitchell Dillard walking the path with him). It was a tough battle, physically debilitating, mentally and spiritually exhausting, a real challenge. Yet Paul continued to work, researching and writing throughout. The disease finally got his body on July 28, 2016, but his spirit remained untouched. And he lived long enough to know that his final book will be published; yes, there’s a story there. Paul was researching Tombstone’s Cowboy faction when he found something else—the tale of a young Arizona girl who was kidnapped in 1934. Paul put the Cowboys on the back burner, hoping to get back to them (he was unable to do it). The Girl in the Iron Box (Arizona Historical Society) should come out in the next few months. It wasn’t the Old West, but Paul didn’t care. It was a great story that needed to be told. He’s just the guy to tell it. Because Paul Cool was cool. The coolest guy around. Vaya con Dios, my friend. Stay cool.

Richard H. Dillon • 1924-2016 BY S T U A RT S R O S E B R O O K W I T H B R I A N D. D I L L O N

The ‘Perfesser’ Educator Richard Dillon was a gentleman and a scholar.



rue West’s staff recently received news from Brian Dervin Dillon, Ph.D., that his father, Richard H. Dillon, renowned, award-winning Western historian, educator and author died at the age of 92 in Mill Valley, California, on July 7, 2016. A contributor to True West for decades, he was one of the first authors I contracted to review books for “Western Books” when I began managing the column in April 2013. Mr. Dillon was a gentleman-scholar, and I admired the fact that he posted his reviews the old-fashioned way: hand-typed and by U.S. mail. We exchanged letters, phone calls and even Christmas cards. As a native-Californian as well, I wish I had known him in person and been one of his students, many of whom remain dedicated to the highly respected professor.

Dillon was born in Sausalito, California, on January 16, 1924, graduated from Tamalpais High School and entered UC Berkeley in 1941, before enlisting in the army in 1943. According to his son, “Dillon was a WWII combat soldier who served with the famous 79th Division in France (where he was WIA), Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Czechoslovakia. His nickname in the Army was “The Perfesser.” He returned to UC Berkeley in 1946, only days after demobilization. He earned an MA in History, and also published his first scholarly work, in 1949. Dillon then took a second MA at Berkeley in Library Science in 1950.” Dillon was predeceased by his wife, Barbara Allester Sutherland, a fellow librarian and ceramic artist, who died in 2009, is survived by three sons, five grandchildren and one greatgrandchild. For 30 years Dillon served as the head librarian of San Francisco’s Sutro Library. While teaching history at the University of San Francisco for more than three decades, he wrote dozens of biographies, California and Western American history, many of which are still in print today, fifty years after publication. An informal memorial, for close friends and family, will be held for Richard H. Dillon on December 26, 2016, in Marin County, California.

Black Americans of the Old West Collectors Set


plus s/h

A 39.95 value!

Order yours online today! 888-687-1881




The OK Corral Gun

On Sale Now! This is a limited time offer! Available only while supplies last!

Hard Cover only!


plus S&H

A $99.85 Value

fight Complete Set “If you want to know how and why the O.K. Corral fight happened, these are the three books you have to have. Bob Bell gives you definitive text with illustrations and maps that bring history to life.” — Allen Barra, author of Inventing Wyatt Earp

Order your set today! No collection will be complete without these 3 books. Visit www.Store.True West Magazine or Call: 1-888-687-1881

n r e t s We



Less than Magnificent The long-anticipated remake of a Western classic falls flat.

Although Western genre fans have been excited to see how a remade The Magnificent Seven would measure up against the original, the seven from this year is a stellar group in a less-than-magnificent film. The seven are (from left) Vincent D’Onofrio, Martin Sensmeier, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Byung-hun Lee. – BY SCOTT GARFIELD / METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS & COLUMBIA PICTURES –


emaking a classic movie is daring, and Director Antoine Fuqua made the challenge a double dare by remaking two: 1960’s The Magnificent Seven and the Japanese classic that movie is based on, 1954’s Seven Samurai. For the remake, Fuqua reunited with actors from 2001’s Training Day, Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The remakers have attacked their challenge with gusto. Richard Wenk, one of two credited screenwriters for the 2016 film,




tells True West, “Antoine is almost savantish in the way he approaches action. He’s constantly trying to make sure it’s real, and the action just kept getting better.” The action is, truly, magnificent. Stunt coordinator Jeffrey Dashnaw, of 2015’s The Hateful Eight, with his crew of more than 40, does a breathtaking job, as does Oscarwinning cinematographer Mauro Fiore. But when remaking a classic, one must not lose sight of the elements that made a work a classic in the first place.

In Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, set in 16th-century Japan, a farming village hires unemployed samurai to defend against bandits who have been robbing the harvests, although the village can pay only in food. The brilliant story of character, action, humor and hope made it appealing as a Western. Producer Lou Morheim wangled the remake rights for $2,500. The only bona fide box office star going in, Yul Brynner, hoped to direct rather than star. But Walter Mirisch instead hired John Sturges, who had directed

To receive FREE information from our advertisers, simply make your selections from the category listing on the adjacent card. Either mail the post-paid card or fax it to 480-575-1903. We will forward your request. Valid until 11/30/2016.

ADVENTURE Garrett Metal Detectors APPAREL & ACCESSORIES Catalena Hatters Diamond 57 Cowboy Boot Purses Golden Gate Western Wear/ Knudsen Hat Co. Historic Eyewear Company John Bianchi’s Frontier Gunleather Western & Wildlife Wonders ART & COLLECTIBLES Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Special Edition Rifle The Hawken Shop Transcontinental Railroad 150th Anniversary Collectors Rifle Wanted: John Wesley Hardin Memorabilia EVENTS California Continued Exhibition Cochise Cowboy Poetry Gathering Horse & Burro Adoptions Texas Gun Collectors Annual Collectors Arms Show The 33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Tumbleweed Festival

p. 50

p. 90 p. 56 p. 88 p. 88 p. 84 p. 88

p. 87 p. 84 p. 87 p. 57

p. 67 p. 90 IBC p. 66 p. 71 p. 91

FIREARMS & KNIVES A. Uberti America Remembers Atomic Ammunition Black Hills Ammunition Buffalo Arms Co. Buffalo Bill Center of the West Cimarron Firearms Co. James D. Julia Auctioneers John Bianchi’s Frontier Gunleather Navy Arms Taylor’s & Company The Hawken Shop Wellington, Ltd.

p. 83 p. 11 p. 87 p. 85 p. 86 IFC p. 13 p. 3 p. 84 p. 2 p. 1 p. 84 p. 87

HOME True West Home

p. 56

LODGING Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel Elko Red Lion Hotel & Casino MEDIA Blue Book of Antique American Firearms & Values Guidon Books Jane Walker Books: “Widow of Sighing Pines” & “In the Lion’s Paw” Louis L’Amour Trading Post Warner Archive Collection MUSEUMS Autry Museum of the American West Boot Hill Museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West Northeastern Nevada Museum Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum TOURISM Chama, NM Dodge City, KS Eko, NV Kearney, NE Scotts Bluff/Gering, NE

p. 49 p. 71

p. 59 p. 57 p. 88 p. 88 BC

p. 67 p. 82 IFC p. 86 p. 87

p. 58 p. 53 p. 70 p. 53 p. 66

OTHER (NO INFORMATION) Bob Boze Bell’s Bad Men p. 88 Bob Boze Bells’ Big Book Sale: Classic Gunfights Vol. I, II, III, p. 15 Bob Boze Bell ‘s O.K. Corral Gunfight The Complete Book Set p. 62-63 Bob Boze Bell’s True West Moments p. 91 True West Back Issues p. 92-93 True West Best Photos of the Old West Collector’s Set p. 95 True West Black American Old West Collectors Set p. 61 True West Classic Firearms Collector’s Set p. 65 True West Outrageous Arizona DVD p. 52 True West Subscribe p. 71


A $46 value

Order yours today! More great sets available online. 888-687-1881 T R U E



This Magnificent Seven crew is still the one to beat: (from far left) Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn. – Courtesy united Artists –

1957’s Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Mirisch recalled watching the original film with Sturges: “The two of us sat alone in a projection room...and had the best time ever, translating all of the sequences of Mr. Kurosawa’s movie into the Western motif.” They switched the locale to Mexico where, again, farmers were victimized by bandits. These farmers went north to buy guns and instead hired unemployed gunmen who were willing to risk their lives for about $20 apiece.

The 1960 Western is crisply paced; the 2016 remake, ambling. The 1960 Western is full of humor; the 2016 remake rarely provokes a smile. Fuqua’s film shifts the locale from a Mexican village to a cliché frontier town under the thumb of the nowgeneric greedy land-cattle-oil-gold baron. After a wincingly melodramatic opening, bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (played by Washington) rides into a different town, Shane-like, costume and whiskers, in an

Texas Gun Collectors Association cordially invites you to join us at our

ANNUAL COLLECTORS ARMS SHOW October 14-18, 2016 at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in the Historic Stockyards District of Fort Worth 128 East Exchange Ave., Fort Worth, Texas 76164 This is a major event for collectors Western and Cowboy & Indian Memorabilia • Civil War • Indian Wars Colts • Winchesters • S&W • Remingtons • Edged Weapons from the earliest through WW2 • Top class displays 8 ft. Tables: Trade–$160.00 • Display–$80.00 Complimentary Friday lunch for exhibitors Saturday dinner & entertainment–$20.00 All the fun of the Stockyards District Open to the public $5.00/day Saturday Oct.17, 9am-4pm • Sunday Oct.18, 9am-2pm Tables still available—Reserve now to avoid disappointment!

Contact: Sean Walsh, Show Chairman at (Direct) 210-391-6860 (Email) [emailprotected] t r u e


w e st

homage to Fred Williamson’s Westerns. A saloon arrest triggers a shoot-out, and Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt) comes to his aid. A woman who has fled the baron’s town a widow (Haley Bennett) hires Chisolm to drive out the villain. He assembles his seven. In the 1960 classic, you learn all you need to about the seven in succinct glimpses: Charles Bronson’s character once made big money, but is now reduced to chopping firewood. Robert Vaughn’s character is on the lam from an honor double murder. In the remake, more time is spent introducing the characters, but you get less of a sense of them. While Chisolm’s seven are more diverse, you learn nothing about these characters beyond “he’s a Mexican; he’s an Asian; he’s an American Indian.” In all three versions, men who have been selfish in the past risk their lives to do good. The two classics are tales of redemption; the men face death without gain. In the remake,

Some Western remakes, 3:10 to Yuma comes to mind, have appealed to fans who loved the classic version. Lovers of Westerns should still check out the latest The Magnificent Seven; just make sure you have a copy of the 1960 film to help you remember why you loved the movie in the first place. – 2016 POSTER COURTESY METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS & COLUMBIA PICTURES; 1960 POSTER COURTESY UNITED ARTISTS –

redemption is blurred because we never learn if the leather pouch that’s being tossed around holds a little money or a lot. This lack of crucial detail plagues the picture. Until the seven free the enslaved gold miners, you never have any inkling that enslaved miners are out there to be freed. When Chisolm has his showdown with the baron, revealing their personal history, with absolutely no foreshadowing,the moment comes too late to matter; it feels like the filmmakers’ afterthought. A hero can only be as heroic as his villain is formidable, and the baron villain, the talented but horribly miscast Peter Sarsgaard, comes off as the sort of twerp any one of the seven could have taken on with both arms tied behind their backs. The comparison of that villain to the bandit leader Calvera is ludicrous. Eli Wallach played Calvera so richly that it has become the portrayal by

which many bandit characters are judged. The 1960 Western was a career-making film for the actors, who had to be signed quickly, before a looming Screen Actors Guild strike. Bronson became the highestpriced actor in Hollywood. Vaughn grew into his world famous role in the late 1960s’ The Man from U.N.C.L.E. James Coburn parlayed his near-silent role into stardom and ended up with an Oscar in 1999. Steve McQueen, then starring on Wanted: Dead or Alive, wanted the part so bad that he caused a car wreck to get out of his series commitment; the ultra-cool star earned an Oscar nomination seven years later. Washington, Hawke, Pratt and Vincent D’Onofrio are already famous. This lessthan-magnificent film in their otherwise stellar careers will, unfortunately for Westerns fans everywhere, disappoint more than reinforce their star power.

DVD REVIEW Cemetery Without Crosses (Arrow Video, $25.29) A war between families comes to a head when a man is lynched in front of his wife (played by Michéle Mercier). Only an old beau (Robert Hossein) will help in her bitter fight for frontier justice. A Spaghetti Western from a Frenchman, writer-director-star Hossein offers up a violent, but not gory, a poetic, but not pretentious, 1969 film that emerges as a landmark of the genre. Try and guess which scene was directed by Sergio Leone!

Henry C. Parke is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, California, who blogs about Western movies, TV, radio and print news:

View n o w No

Experience the art, history, and cultures of the American West at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles! Now featuring California Continued—a dazzling, nearly 20,000-square-foot exhibition spanning two new galleries and an outdoor garden. 4700 Western Heritage Way Los Angeles, CA 90027 | #CAContinued




IMAGES: Mabel McKay (1907–1993), courtesy of Sharon Rogers and Marshall McKay





Buckaroos and Basques Elko, Nevada, is the Old West’s heart of northeast Nevada.

On December 29, 1868, the Central Pacific Railroad construction crews reached the end of the line for the year. By April, Elko residents posed around the No. 108 Stager locomotive, just weeks before the CPRR met the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, PHOTO BY ALFRED A. HART –


lko got started in 1868 as a railroad town along northeast Nevada’s Humboldt River. But calling it a town might’ve been stretching the matter. It consisted of tents along the Central Pacific Railroad, its inhabitants mainly men with no past, a hardscrabble future and a propensity for easy violence. In 1869, one resident wrote: “There were all sorts of games and vices in progress and only two men were killed the day I arrived.”




The modern version of that wild settlement keeps a healthy grip on the good parts of its past, evident in museums, stores, restaurants and annual festivals. The weeklong National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in January anchors Elko’s tourism year, drawing almost 5,000 people to the Western Folklife Center. Housed in the Pioneer Hotel, the center hosts he West’s best poets in a lively celebration of cowboy culture. When we say poets, we mean characters. Elko’s sidewalks become a blizzard

On July 26, 1867, Camp Halleck was established northeast of present-day Elko as a strategic Army outpost adjacent to the California Trail and the route of the Central Pacific Railroad. In 1869, the town of Halleck was founded, and remained a rowdy soldiers’ camp until the fort closed in 1886. – COURTESY NARA 524109 –

The internationally acclaimed J.M. Capriola & Co. Saddle Shop in downtown Elko has been a destination for working cowboys and collectors since 1929. Downstairs, visitors can meet the store’s talented artisans before going upstairs to tour the Old West and Cowboy Art Museum. – PHOTOS COURTESY TRAVEL NEVADA –

of buckskin and Wyatt Earp mustaches, affording the best people-watching west of the Pecos. Be sure to visit the Center’s Black Box Theater to see a documentary featuring cowboys talking about their way of life and the poetry it inspires. Many of Elko’s celebrations occur in summer, beginning with the Mining Exposition in June. The city closes two downtown streets to accommodate one thousand booths where mining companies show off their supplies, equipment and services. Mining helped frontier Nevada grow. The state still produces 79 percent of America’s gold and the majority of Elko’s population, about 20,000, works in the industry. After that, don’t miss the Motorcycle Jamboree and the Silver State Stampede rodeo. In August, there’s a county fair with six days of horseracing, and in September a classic car show and balloon festival. One unique event, held the weekend closest to July 4th, is the National Basque Festival in honor of the Basques from France and Spain who emigrated to the West in the 19th century to herd sheep. The bash features shows by the traditional Elko Arinak Dancers, a troop formed in 1968. Elko still has a sizable Basque population and three restaurants serve customary dishes, such as baked lamb with Pechon

Punch, the so-called Basque co*cktail. The powerful drink contains grenadine, club soda, brandy, a bitter French aperitif and a lemon peel. “The first one makes you pucker up, and after that you can’t taste it anymore,” jokes Don Newman of the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority. Downtown, visit J.M. Capriola & Co., famous for its saddles by the talented Mexican-born craftsman Armando Delgado. The store also has Garcia bits and spurs made in the vaquero tradition and a museum featuring old saddles, historic rodeo photos and cowboy duds worn by the Babe Ruth of rodeo, Jim Shoulders. “Cowboys from all the big ranches around Nevada shop here,” says clerk Wanda Krenka. Looking for a handmade canvas bedroll for those bone-cold nights on the range? Capriola’s sells them for $255. At the Northeastern Nevada Museum, visitors see works by Western artist Will James. The museum also holds etchings and watercolors by the often-overlooked Edward Borein, who worked for a time on Mexican ranches and specialized in authentic portrayals of cowboy life. Don’t miss the California Trail Interpretive Center on Interstate 80 west of town. Operated by the Bureau of Land Management, the center tells the story of emigrant life on the California Trail from 1841 to 1869. Exhibits include a reconstructed Shoshone village and a replica wagon encampment, with much of the experience

Western singer-songwriter Trinity Seely, a 2015 National Cowboy Poetry Festival participant, was awarded the 2016 Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Song with co-writer and festival co-founder Waddie Mitchell for “The Hand.” – PHOTOS COURTESY TRAVELNEVADA –

“There were all sorts of games and vices in progress and only two men were killed the day I arrived.”




The Bureau of Land Management’s California Trail Interpretive Center, just west of Elko, has an interactive museum and regularly scheduled living-history events that celebrate and honor the heritage of the trail’s history and significance to the region and state. – COURTESY TRAVELNEVADA –

One of Northeastern Nevada’s premiere Western exhibits is the Sheriff Joseph C. Harris Firerarms Collection. Harris was Elko County’s sheriff from 1910 to 1936. His gun collection includes his personal firearms as well as many he confiscated from criminals. – COURTESY NORTHEASTERN NEVADA MUSEUM –

interactive. Visitors can decide for themselves what to load into their wagon for the journey, even what route to take. Should I follow the Donner Party or find a southern route to California?




“Visitors come away saying the center is Smithsonian quality,” says Newman. Leo W. Banks is an award-winning writer based in Tucson. He has written several books of history for Arizona Highways.






The Nation’s Original Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival JANUARY 30 - FEBRUARY 4, 2017 • ELKO, NEVADA

The 33rd Gathering will honor the tradition of Western storytelling by celebrating first-hand stories, poetry, songs and films rooted in the values of the rural West.


Visitors should start their tour at Elko’s Sherman Station Visitor Center (above), which preserves five historic ranch buildings relocated from nearby Huntington Valley.

With Ian Tyson, Corb Lund, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dave Stamey, Doris Daley, Don Edwards, Kristyn Harris, Cowboy Celtic, Waddie Mitchell, Brenn Hill, Paul Zarzyski, Trinity Seely & many more!

California Trail Interpretive Center Visit the Bureau of Land Management’s California Trail Interpretive Center, one of the finest living history museums in the Silver State. Check the website for regularly scheduled events, and plan for at least half a day to tour the indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Artwork by Howard Post: Moving the Corrientes (2010)

For additional information about this and other Elko area events and attractions, contact the Elko Convention & Visitors Authority at (800) 248-3556 or visit TICKETS AND MEMBERSHIP: • 888-880-5885

Western Folklife Center Opened in 1980, the Western Folklife Center is dedicated to the culture of the ranching and rural West, and is best known for its National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The 33rd annual internationally famous event will be held January 30 to February 4, 2017.

Northeastern Nevada Museum Its extensive gun collection is one of the museum’s main attractions, says Executive Director Donald Westfall. It was donated by Bob Chow, the first Chinese-American to compete in pistol-shooting in an Olympic game (London, 1948). Also a master gunsmith, Chow worked as a movie extra and reportedly taught pistolshooting to Roy Rogers and John Wayne.

Lamoille Visit the picturesque town of Lamoille, 19 miles from Elko under the Ruby Mountains. The Little Church of the Crossroads might be the most photographed site in Elko County. Built in 1905, its beautiful stained-glass windows were shipped to Elko by train and to Lamoille by wagon. In nearby Lamoille Canyon, visitors might see bighorn sheep and white billy goats with long coats. {1.855.592.9943} T R U E



FANTASTIC FIRE By Phil Spangenberger

2017 marks the centennial of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and its Cody Firearms Museum. LOVED AND RESPECTED by royalty as well as the common man, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody embodied the spirit of the American frontier and was our country’s first superstar. Pony Express rider, bull whacker, teamster, buffalo hunter, army scout and Wild West showman—Buffalo Bill did it all. Just a few weeks after his passing in 1917, the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association was formed in Cody, Wyoming, to honor and perpetuate his legacy. By 1927 a small museum was set up in a log cabin that has continually grown to become the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which includes five museums in one modern building covering seven acres. One of the five, the Cody Firearms Museum, was officially dedicated in 1991 and occupies about 35,000 square feet, and has 4,000 of the museum’s 8,000-plus guns on display. Along with several of Colonel Cody’s personal guns, the museum’s comprehensive collection includes arms and related artifacts from all over the world, dating from the 16th century to modern times. Following are 10 fantastic Old West-related firearms from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West—some included here strictly for their historical significance and others for their intrinsic beauty and embellishment. Read on and enjoy a sampling of the firearms wonders of one of the world’s finest gun collections.

Pony Express rider, bull whacker, teamster, buffalo hunter, army scout and Wild West showman— Buffalo Bill did it all.

All firearm and historical photos are courtesy the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, unless otherwise noted.





William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody demonstrates buffalo hunting for the audience at his Wild West show, circa 1905. – BBCW, MS 6 WILLIAM F. CODY COLLECTION. P.6.373 – T R U E





1 Lucretia Borgia, 2nd Model Allin Springfield Although this .50-70 caliber, 2nd Model Allin Springfield rifle is in relic condition, it holds great Cody historical significance. Converted by the government from a .58 caliber Civil War rifle-musket to a metallic cartridge arm, this is all that survives of Buffalo Bill’s original companion during his time as a meat hunter for the Kansas Pacific Railroad. It was also the rifle he ran buffalo with while mounted on Brigham, his famed buffalo-running horse, and was the gun that helped him beat another buffalo hunter, Billy Comstock, during the 1869 contest for the title of World Champion Buffalo Hunter. Cody affectionately nicknamed this early trapdoor “Lucretia Borgia,” after the renaissance-era femme fatale duch*ess, because he saw this sure-shooting rifle as beautiful but deadly.




Buffalo Bill’s Engraved 1873 Winchester Buffalo Bill Cody undoubtedly owned many guns during his lifetime; several of them were presentation pieces, but those the showman actually used are the arms that stir the imagination. One such rifle is this 1873 Winchester lever-action in .44 WCF (Winchester Central Fire) caliber. Fitted with a standard 24-inch blued barrel, a deluxe pistol-grip and hand-checkered walnut stock and forearm, this rifle has an exquisitely engraved gold-plated receiver. The right side’s motif is a standing buffalo surrounded by elaborate scrollwork, while the receiver’s left side depicts Cody himself, on horseback and chasing a running buffalo. Showing wear, probably from use in his performances, this is a classic and ornate saddle rifle, used by one of the world’s most famous horsem*n.


Buffalo Bill’s Remington Rolling Block


This Remington No. 1 military-style rifle is believed to have been given to Cody by the Remington family. With its low serial number 3 and the gold-plated hammer and block with a fern-like design engraved into them, as well as the wrist of the stock, this .45-70 caliber, 35-inch long, three-band rifle bears more of a special presentation appearance than a martially issued arm. Another of the guns actually carried by Buffalo Bill, this .45-70 appears in an 1870s photo of him with it across his lap. Cody gave it to his good friend, Moses Kerngood, in 1875, and was in turn gifted to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West by friends of Kerngood, in memory of him.








Annie Oakley’s 1892 Winchester Perhaps no one is linked more closely to Buffalo Bill Cody than “Little Sure Shot,” Annie Oakley herself. Here’s one of this legendary sharpshooter’s personal firearms. This elaborately engraved .44-40 caliber, 1892 Winchester rifle, with a 22-inch half round/half octagon blued smoothbore barrel, comfortable shotgun butt plate and a hand-checkered walnut stock and forearm, was custom-made for Annie and actually used in her famed performances in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Handsomely adorned in engraved foliate designs with a ram on the receiver's left side, and a deer on its right side, the gun shows the telltale signs of usage, but also of loving care, as would be given by someone who makes their living with it.




5 John Johnston’s Hawken


Undoubtedly the most famous name in Plains Rifles, the St. Louis, Missouri, Hawken rifle, also known as the “Rocky Mountain Rifle,” was a primary muzzle-loader of the fur trapper and mountain man. Frontiersman John Johnston is shown here in a later photo with a Sharps rifle. He was known as “liver eating Johnston,” or “Crow Killer,” because Old West yarns tell of his supposed vendetta against the Crow Indian tribe, where he ate the liver of his enemies for killing his Flathead Indian wife. Whether or not this is true, he was a skilled outdoorsman who hunted, trapped, scouted, served as a soldier and worked as a Montana lawman. His Hawken is a .56 caliber rifle weighing 12-plus pounds, with a 31¼-inch-long octagonal barrel. It’s a prime example of one of the famed working guns of the American West.

Engraved Henry Rifle The gun that revolutionized repeating rifles, the Model 1860 Henry, is one of the most sought-after firearms by collectors, but due to its limited production (1862-1866), with only around 14,000 manufactured, it’s a coveted trophy. The Cody Firearms Museum has several, and among them are beautiful engraved examples like this silver-plated and ornately embellished Henry with its floral and scroll engraving. Dubbed as that “Damned Yankee rifle that you load on Sunday and shoot all week,” by Confederates during the Civil War, this “sixteen shooter” went on to see use on the frontier and was the parent gun of the later lever-action Winchesters. Virtually every lever gun— regardless of maker—since then owes a debt to this .44 rimfire rifle and its designer B. Tyler Henry.







Wild Bill Hickok’s 1851 Navy Colt


Although James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok was known to have used several different sixguns during his life, it was Colt’s .36 caliber, 1851 Navy revolver that was his favorite sidearm. The Cody Firearms Museum displays one of Hickok’s actual Navy Colts among the many documented arms of famous Old West gun owners. This “percussion peacemaker” was reportedly sold to pay for the gunfighter’s burial expenses after he was murdered in Deadwood, South Dakota Territory, in 1876. Despite the signs of use and wear on this 7 ½-inch octagon barreled, ivory-stocked and scroll-engraved cap and ball pistol, it never fails to conjure up stirring images of the “Prince of Pistoleers,” and has long been one of the Cody Firearms Museum’s most popular attractions.




1876 “One of One Thousand” Winchester The legendary “One of One Thousand” Winchesters are scarcities to begin with, and the 76' model is the rarest of this breed with only 54 ever produced. The Cody Firearms Museum’s example, from the famous James E. Serven collection, is a. 45-60 caliber rifle sporting a standard 28-inch octagon barrel, color case hardened receiver, tang sight and a handcheckered pistol-grip stock and forearm. It’s further decorated with the script “One of One Thousand” legend on top of the barrel at the breech, along with scroll engraving and a silver inlaid band at each end. Its front sight is the traditional blade, but with a small ivory inset. Produced in 1880, this is the very first Winchester of that very special model. T R U E



Zane Grey’s 1895 Winchester The writer whose classic novels, filled with vividly described characters and Western landscapes, inspired so many writers and movie and television producers, owned this rifle which is as captivating and exciting as his sagebrush sagas. This beautiful 1895 Winchester lever-action rifle—a scarce take-down model—is profusely engraved in scroll and floral motifs, even on its lever. Further enhancing this incredible firearm is Zane Grey’s “ZG” monogram in solid gold, along with a multi-shaded golden elk and wreath inlaid on the receiver’s left side, and a gilt bear in a hued woodland scene on the right side. Hand-checkering on the premium walnut stock and forearm, along with more engraving found on the 24-inch blued barrel, finish off this one-of-a-kind Winchester—a truly unique example of the gunmaker’s artistry.



Lt. Col. George Custer’s 1853 Sharps Sporter This 1853 model “slant breech” Sharps, percussion Sporting Rifle is well documented as being the personal property of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, given to Winchester by Custer’s widow, Elizabeth. Custer was an avid hunter and followed his passion for taking game while on campaign. This .44 caliber breech loading rifle, manufactured sometime between 1854 and 1859, would have most likely been used by “Yellow Hair” in the West of the late 1860s, when percussion firearms were still viable weapons. Its select wood stock with the color case hardened iron patchbox, and the forearm with the pewter fore end, sets off the color cased receiver and scarce (only 110 made) blued half round/half octagon 26-inch barrel. This is one of the Cody Firearms Museum’s rare and historically significant guns. Phil Spangenberger has written for Guns & Ammo,, appears on the History Channel and other documentary networks, produces Wild West shows, is a Hollywood gun coach and character actor, and is True West’s Firearms Editor.






The West's Best Firearms and Weapons Coast to Coast The editors of True West magazine hope you have enjoyed Phil Spangenberger's expert insights on the Buffalo Bill Center of the West's premiere firearms collection and the top ten Old West guns in the Cody Firearms and Buffalo Bill museums. While the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is internationally recognized as one of the nation's foremost institutions dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the history and heritage of firearms and weapons in the American West, there are other museums that might be closer to home. True West's editors have compiled the following guide to the nation's best museums with remarkable Old West firearms and weapons exhibits. We believe that as a True West reader you might enjoy attending a firearms auction or collector's event in your region, or be inspired to purchase an Old West firearm for your personal collection. The editors have created a select list of auctions, events and dealers we highly recommend you visit and solicit. We do hope that if you love Old West firearms and weapons, you will take an opportunity to visit these great museums, auctions, events and dealers throughout the year. If we left out your favorite, let us know about it. —Stuart Rosebrook


From the Gary & Betty Robertson Arms & Armor Auction, a recent best price was made on the 1862 iron-frame Henry rifle, serial 119, .44 rimfire caliber, 24 ¼-inch octagonal barrel; fewer than 200 are known to exist.


Rock Island, IL • Captain Henry W. Lawton’s Winchester Model 1886 Sporting Rifle, serial no. 1, sold on May 1, 2016 for $1.265 million, a world record for the highest-priced single firearm sold at auction.




Firearms & Weapons


The Aten Brothers exhibit at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, is dedicated to Rangers Ira, Calvin and Will Aten, includes the Colt Single Action Army 1885-made Revolver from the 1889 Alvin Odle gunfight.

Looking to buy an Old West-type firearm? These days, many of the best arms are sold through auction houses like the companies listed here. The following firms have a proven track record of selling quality firearms and related arms artifacts, from the most commonly encountered to the ultimate in the field of gun-collecting. A&S Antique Auctions Waco, TX • Amoskeag Auction Company Manchester, NH •

A. UBERTI, BENNELLI, U.S.A. Acco*keek, MD •

The Uberti Buffalo Bill Centennial commemorative is a fully functional replica of the Remington 1858 black powder revolver that William F. Cody carried during his years as an Indian fighter and buffalo hunter. The revolver is a limited-edition exclusive that will only be available in 2017.

Bonhams & Butterfield Multiple locations worldwide • Brian Lebel's High Noon Show & Auction Mesa, AZ • Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction Fort Worth, TX • Burley Auction Gallery New Braunfels, TX • Carol Watson's Orange Coast Auctions Irvine, CA • Cowan's Auction House Cincinnati and Cleveland, OH


Fredericksburg, TX • Cimarron Firearms' Rooster Shooter is an Uberti reproduction of John Wayne’s single action .45 Colt caliber, with a 4 ¾ -inch barrel, with a trail-worn plain finish and aged-looking yellowed grips with finger grooves.

Heritage Auctions Dallas, TX • High Noon Western Americana Venice, CA • Holabird’s Western Americana Collections, LLC Reno, NV • James D. Julia, Inc. Fairfield, ME • Little John's Auction Service Orange, CA • Morphy Auctions Adamstown, PA •


Ashland, VA •

Rock Island Auction Co. Rock Island, IL •

America Remembers honors two Western icons with the Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley Tribute Revolver. The Tribute is decorated in elegant 24-karat gold with portraits of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley on the cylinder.






Western Spirit’s current exhibition, “Courage and Crossroads: A Visual Journey through the Early American West” includes the circa 1800 American Presentation Style Pipe Tomahawk of Captain Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), with maple shaft, steel head and silver inlays. – COURTESY THE PETERSON FAMILY COLLECTION –


Sundance, WY • The .38-40 caliber Single Action Colt Army pistol and holster were on display in the Schloredt Pharmacy in Sundance from 1910 to 1950. The modified holster was shortened and the rolled trigger guard lip shows evidence of much usage.


Cincinnati and Cleveland, OH • Cowan’s Auction House will be auctioning the Savage Model 1907 semi-automatic pistol that was presented to William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody By The Savage Firearms Company, and engraved on the backstrap: “Col W. F. Cody” at Cowan’s two-day historic firearms and early militaria Live Salesroom Auction at 10 a.m. ET in Cincinnati on November 1-2, 2016. The catalog will be available online and in print early on October 20. Its estimated value is $40,000 to $60,000.


Fairfield, ME • The extremely rare and historic Cashmore shotgun was made for one of the world’s greatest sharpshooters, Annie Oakley. She was often photographed with this gun, and Cashmore has capitalized on this in its advertising—great provenance!




Firearms & Weapons

Manufacturers & Dealers Offering a variety of modern-made firearms—from authentic Old West replicas to guns that have been inspired by the great guns of yesteryear, but made with more modern detailing—these arms companies are our recommendations for Western firearms buffs to set their sights on.


A. Uberti, Bennelli USA Acco*keek, MD • American Legacy Firearms Fort Collins, CO Browning : Morgan, UT • Buffalo Arms Co. Ponderay, ID • C. Sharps Arms, Inc. Big Timber, MT • Cimarron Fire Arms Fredericksburg, TX • Colt's Manufacturing: Hartford, CN • CVA: Duluth, GA • Dixie Gun Works Union City, TN • E.M.F. Co.Inc. Santa Ana, CA • The Hawken Shop Oak Harbor, WA • Henry Repeating Arms Bayonne, NJ • I Pietta Gussago (BS), Italy • Lyman Products Corp. Middletown, CT • Navy Arms Martinsburg, WV • Peacemaker Specialists Paso Robles, CA • Ruger Firearms Southport, CT • Shiloh Sharps Big Timber, MT • Taylor’s & Co. Inc. Winchester, VA • Traditions Performance Firearms Old Saybrook, CT • Turnbull Restoration & Manufacturing Co. Bloomfield, NY • Winchester Repeating Arms, Morgan, UT •

They won the West 150 years ago. They win matches & turn heads at the range today. Own one or both in your favorite caliber & barrel length–keep the legend alive. Available in .45 LC, 44/40 WCF & .357 Magnum.





Firearms & Weapons Museums North, south, east or west—no matter where you live in the United States, chances are there's a museum that has a worthwhile display of firearms, edged weapons and related artifacts. While some institutions specialize in guns, there are plenty that have worthwhile arms exhibits—enough to ignite the interest of any gun enthusiast. Here are just a few that we feel are worth taking aim at. The Adams Museum Deadwood, SD • Ancient Ozark Museum of Natural History Ridgedale, MO • Arizona State Museum Tucson, AZ • Autry Museum of the American West Los Angeles, CA • Boot Hill Museum Dodge City, KS • Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave Golden, CO • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Houston, TX • Crook County Museum Sundance, WY • Frazier History Museum Louisville, KY •

J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum Claremore, OK • John M. Browning Firearms Museum at Union Station Ogden, UT • Museum of the Fur Trade Chadron, NE • National Firearms Museum Fairfax, VA • The National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. • Northeastern Nevada Museum Elko, NV • NRA National Sporting Arms Museum Springfield, MO • Panhandle Plains Museum Canyon, TX • Remington Arms Museum Ilion, NY •

Rock Island Arsenal Museum Rock Island, IL • Shelburne Museum Shelburne, VT • Texas Ranger Museum Waco, TX • U.S. Cavalry Museum Fort Riley, KS • Virginia Military Institute Museum Lexington, VA • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art Hartford, CT • West Point Museum West Point, NY • Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West Scottsdale, AZ •

It’s more than a rI rIfle,

It’s hI hIstory!

Genuine S. Hawken Classic Plains Rifle Made in the USA The Hawken Shop®•Oak Harbor, WA ***Free catalog!*** T R U E




Cody, WY • Although probably a factory exhibition piece, this exquisite circa 1854 Smith & Wesson Volcanic rifle, serial no. 8, represents the genesis of all future leveraction rifles, paving the way for the Henry, and all Winchester lever guns. – BBCW, GIFT OF OLIN CORPORATION, WINCHESTER ARMS COLLECTION, 1988.8.149 –


Loveland, CO • In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers, Wellington, Ltd. has crafted 150 special edition Henry Brass .44 mag rifles. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, Texas.





Colt Holster Model Paterson Number 5

MUSEUM OF THE FUR TRADE Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver

Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver

Great Basin Home of Great Art & History ~Bob Chow Gun Collection~

Chadron, NE •

The Museum of the Fur Trade has a display of personal firearms of famous Americans that includes Sioux Chief Red Cloud's personally adorned .50-70 Remington rolling block rifle.


The Bob Chow Firearms Collection at Northeastern Nevada Museum, the largest gun exhibition in the state of Nevada, has a superior selection of classic long guns, such as the 1873 Winchester caliber .44-40 rifle with an octagonal barrel.

Elko, NV • 775.738.3418

Your source for cowboy shooting supplies, obsolete and cowboy ammunition!

Outfitters to the Old West!



8am - 4:30pm M - F PST 660 Vermeer Court, Ponderay, ID 83852

208 263-6953 T R U E




Gunman Ben Thompson’s George Gibbs shotgun is part of Boot Hill Museum’s firearms exhibition. Ben’s brother, Billy, fatally wounded Sheriff Chauncey B. Whitney with the shotgun during a gambling dispute in Ellsworth in August 1873.

THE CENTENNIAL MODEL 1873 WINCHESTER Buffalo Bill Center of the West •

To celebrate its first century of excellence, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is proud to partner with Navy Arms and Winchester Firearms to re-create the famed Winchester “Centennial Model” 1873 lever-action rifle. Now, using these records and original firearms housed at the Center of the West, Navy Arms has created two outstanding replicas to celebrate the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s 2017 Centennial. Working with Winchester, Navy Arms—the company that launched the replica-firearms industry—worked with original maker Winchester for the production of just 200 exhibition models and 1,000 presentation models. One hundred percent of the profits from the sale of these two models will go to the mission of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the Cody Firearms Museum.






For over 65 years, the TGCA has gained a reputation as one of the finest armscollecting organizations in the U.S. The TGCA has shows throughout Texas annually. In 2012, Annette Jones represented the organization in Fort Worth.

The Nation’s Original Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival JANUARY 30 - FEBRUARY 4, 2017 • ELKO, NEVADA

The 33rd Gathering will honor the tradition of Western storytelling by celebrating first-hand stories, poetry, songs and films rooted in the values of the rural West.

Firearms Events

Buy, sell, trade—that's the byword at these gun-collectors’ shows. While many types of firearms, new and used, can be found at almost any of the shows listed here, Old West guns and gear are a common thread running through the fabric of each of these top collectors’ exhibitions. Colorado Gun Collectors Association Centennial, CO • May 21-22, 2016 WW Texas Gun Collectors Association Houston, TX • October 14-16, 2016 Wanemacher's Tulsa Arms Show Tulsa, OK • November 12, 13, 2016 & April 1,2, 2017—3700 tables! Crossroads of the West Gun Shows These are big shows, modern and antique arms: Phoenix , AZ, December 2-4, 2016; Del Mar, CA, Dec. 10,11, 2016; Reno, NV, April and August 2017 (exact dates unknown); Orange County and Sacramento shows throughout the year. Las Vegas Antique Arms Show Las Vegas, NV • January 20-22, 2017. This show specializes in high-quality antique arms and attracts the top collectors and dealers. Winchester Arms Collector's Association's Cody Show Cody, WY • July 14-16, 2017. This is a public antique gun show held for the Winchester and Sharps collectors associations. The Big Reno Show Reno, NV • August 2017. As Ed Sullivan would say, this is a really big show!

With Ian Tyson, Corb Lund, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dave Stamey, Doris Daley, Don Edwards, Kristyn Harris, Cowboy Celtic, Waddie Mitchell, Brenn Hill, Paul Zarzyski, Trinity Seely & many more!

Artwork by Howard Post: Moving the Corrientes (2010)

For additional information about this and other Elko area events and attractions, contact the Elko Convention & Visitors Authority at (800) 248-3556 or visit TICKETS AND MEMBERSHIP: • 888-880-5885

If you shoot these...

You’ll love these. Sales from the Gift Shop benefit the preservation and education activities of the Museum. We ship worldwide. Open 9am to 4:30pm CST daily. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Like us on Facebook for a chance to win FREE ammo!

(877) 750-8631 [emailprotected] T R U E



¤ ¤

Spectacle Outfitters to the Old West

$20 plus shipping - please email for shipping rate

Protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the prairie sun in our Old West style reproduction antique spectacles.

Jane H. Walker’s novels are authentically detailed, captivating and engagingly written. The characters she creates seem real enough to touch.

Ophthalmic Quality Prescription Ready

Historically Accurate ¤ 862.812.4737

P.O. Box 327 McRae-Helena, GA 31055 [emailprotected]

Longleaf Pine Press, LLC


$116 $203 $30

$111 R.Crowe 3:10 To Yuma

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Get Yours Today! Hard Cover: $18.95 + S&H Illustrated bios, featuring many never-before published images.

888-687-1881 T R U E



For November 2016


chANdler chuckwAGoN cook-oFF Chandler, AZ, November 11-12: Authentic 1880s chuckwagons from around the Southwest compete to cook up the best meals fit for the trail. 480-782-2751 • ART


ArtwAlk AlpiNe Alpine, TX, November 18-19: View artwork by featured artist Rachael Waller and others, plus listen to live music from local musicians. 432-837-3067 • GlAmour iNspired by GeorGiA Canyon, TX, November 19: Learn about the artistry of makeup as the artwork of Georgia O’Keeffe is transformed into inspired looks. 806-651-2244 • wiNter spANish mArket Albuquerque, NM, November 25: Discover the culture and living traditions of local Spanish colonial villages through arts and crafts. 505-982-2226 • H E RITA G E


empire rANch rouNdup & opeN house Sonoita, AZ, November 5: Take a walk into the past with demonstrations on blacksmithing, quick draw, mule packing and mounted cavalry. 888-364-2829 •

deAth vAlley ‘49ers eNcAmpmeNt & iNvitAtioNAl westerN Art show Furnace Creek, CA, November 9-13: Honors the spirit of the 1849 Gold Rush through music, an arts and crafts show, cowboy poetry and parades. 866-683-2948 • veterANs dAy At crAzy horse memoriAl Crazy Horse, SD, November 11: View the spectacular work-in-progress of the Crazy Horse Memorial with free admission for veterans. 605-673-4681 • vAquero show & sAle Santa Ynez, CA, November 11-13: Celebrates vaquero-style horsemanship with roping demonstrations, a gala dinner and a horse show. 805-688-7889 • rANch hANd FestivAl Kingsville, TX, November 18-20: This festival honors Kingsville’s rich cultural heritage as one of the mainstays of the Texas ranching industry. 800-333-5032 -

south vAlley diA de los muertos mAriGold pArAde Albuquerque, NM, November 6: Celebrates the Day of the Dead holiday with a parade, live music, art show, craft demonstrations and traditional Mexican food. t r u e


w e st

For November 2016

1880 traiN holiday exPress Hill City, SD, Opens November 25: See and learn about the Black Hills of South Dakota in this narrated historical steam train ride. 605-574-2222 • H o l i day

fest iva ls

Colorado CouNtry Christmas Denver, CO, November 4-6: Shop the Colorado Country Christmas to find Old West offerings for the cowboy and cowgirl on your gift list. 800-521-7469 • hastiNgs CelebratioN oF lights Hastings, NE, November 17: The streets of downtown Hastings fill with carolers, entertainers, carriage rides and pony rides. 800-967-2189 •

the Polar exPress Durango, CO, Opens November 19: This 1879 railroad offers kids a train ride that shares the classic Christmas tale on the way to Santa. 970-247-2733 • saNta’s North Pole adveNture Georgetown, CO, Opens November 19: Enjoy hot cocoa, cookies and candy canes from Santa and his helpers aboard decorated train coaches. 888-456-6777 • Christmas at uNioN statioN Omaha, NE, Opens November 25: A tradition since Union Station’s earliest years, this tree lighting ceremony includes a visit from Santa. 402-444-5071 • starlight Parade The Dalles, OR, November 25: This former fur trade town brings Cowboy Christmas to life with lighted parade floats and merry jingles. 541-296-2231 •

Wild West days 2016 Cave Creek, AZ, November 3-6: This celebration of the West features mounted shooting contests, costume competitions and live music. 480-437-1196 • t r u e


w e st

North Pole Flyer Austin, TX, Opens November 26: Ride from Cedar Park to Bertram inside train cars decorated for the winter holiday season. 512-477-8468 •

WILD WEST MURDER MYSTERY DINNER Canyon, TX, November 4: Diners take a trip back to the Wild West in this dinner theater experience that offers up a mysterious plot. 806-651-2244 •

SISTERS HOLIDAY CELEBRATION & PARADE Sisters, OR, November 26: Kick off the holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony and parade that features Santa and Mrs. Claus. 866-549-0252 •


FAROLITOS LIGHTING Morrison, CO, November 27: Experience the Southwestern tradition of lighting farolitos (paper lanterns) at Tesoro Cultural Center. 303-839-1671 • MUS IC



WICKENBURG BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL Wickenburg, AZ, November 11-13: Cowboys and cowgirls from across the country gather for outside performances of Bluegrass music. 928-684-5479 •

Visit our store and order your copy today at

MONTEREY COWBOY POETRY AND MUSIC FESTIVAL Monterey, CA, November 18-20: Skip Gorman, Connie Dover and other Western musicians entertain with cowboy music and poetry. 831-649-6544 • R OD E O

WRCA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RANCH RODEO Amarillo, TX, November 10-13: Top ranch teams compete in the world championship hosted by Working Ranch Cowboys Association. 806-374-9722 •

View Western events on our website.

“I absolutely guarantee that with my signature in your book, someday it will be worth the cover price.” —Bob Boze Bell




GET ’EM Order yours before they are gone! True West is one of the most collectible history magazines in the world. (Back issues have sold for as high as $300!) Collect your favorites now, as the love for history will never go out of date!

Jan-2000 Wild Bill

Aug/Sep-2001 Wild Bill

Aug/Sep-2002 Defeat of Jesse James

Jul-2003 Doc & Wyatt

Dec-2006 Buffalo Gals & Guys

Oct-2006 Tombstone/125th OK Corral

Apr-2011 True Grit/Bridges & Wayne

Aug-2012 Butch and Sundance

Almost Gone!

Almost Gone!

Almost Gone!

Jan-2001 Topless Gunfighter

Almost Gone!

Feb/Mar-2001 Wyatt Earp

Feb-Mar-2003 Guns that won the West

Aug-2004 John Wesley Hardin

Jan-2003 Historical Photos

Jan-2007 Cowboys ae indians

Nov/Dec-2008 Mickey Free

Sep-2009 500 Yrs Before Cowboys

Nov/Dec-2010 Black Warriors of the West

Aug-2013 Tombstone-The Walk Down

Dec-2014 Women Who Left Their Mark

Dec-15 First Mountain Man

Apr-2016 Lonesome Dove

WHILE THEY LAST! Complete Your Collection 2000 o o o o o o o o o o


Jan: Buffalo Bill Mar: Richard Farnsworth May: Samuel Walker Jun: Frontier Half-Bloods Jul: Billy & the Kids Aug: John Wayne Sep: Border Breed Oct: Halloween Issue Nov: Apache Scout Dec: Mountain Men

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Rare Photos Mar: Deadwood/McShane Apr: 77 Sunset Trips May: Trains/Collector’s Edition Jun: Jesus Out West Jul: All Things Cowboy Aug: History of Western Wear Sep: Gambling Oct: Blaze Away/Wyattt Nov/Dec: Gay Western? Killer DVDs

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Mexican Insurgents Mar: Kit Carson Apr: I’ve Been Everywhere, Man May: The Racial Frontier Jun: Playing Sports in the OW Jul/Aug: Dude! Where’s My Ranch? Sep: Indian Yell Oct: Tombstone/125th Ok Corral Nov: Gambling Dec: Buffalo Gals & Guys

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Cowboys Are Indians Mar: Trains/Jim Clark Apr: Western Travel May: Dreamscape Desperado/Billy Jun: Collecting the West/Photos Jul: Man Who Saved The West Aug: Western Media/Best Reads Sep: Endurance Of The Horse Oct: 3:10 To Yuma Nov/Dec: Brad Pitt & Jesse James

o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Pat Garrett/No Country Mar: Who Killed the Train? Apr: Travel/Geronimo May: Who Stole Buffalo Bill’s Home? Jun: The Last Cowboy President? Jul: Secrets of Our Nat’l Parks/Teddy Aug: Kendricks Northern CBs/Photos Sep: Saloons & Stagecoaches



o Jan: Topless Gunfighter o May/Jun: Custer o Jul: Cowboys & Cowtowns

2002 o Aug/Sep: Jesse James o Oct: Billy On The Brain o Nov/Dec: Butch & Sundance

2003 o Jan: 50 Historical Photos o Feb/Mar: 50 Guns o Apr: John Wayne o Spring: Jackalope Creator Dies o May/Jun: Custer Killer o Jul: Doc & Wyatt o Aug/Sep: A General Named Dorothy o Oct: Vera McGinnis o Nov/Dec: Worst Westerns Ever

2004 o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Six Guns Mar: Fakes/Fake Doc April/Travel: Visit the Old West May:Iron Horse/Sacred Dogs Jun: HBO’s Deadwood Jul: 17 Legends Aug: JW Hardin Sep: Wild Bunch Oct: Bill Pickett Nov/Dec: Dale Evans



o Oct: Charlie Russell o Nov/Dec: Mickey Free

2009 o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Border Riders Mar: Poncho Villa Apr: Stagecoach May: Battle For The Alamo Jun: Custer’s Ride To Glory Jul: Am West, Then & Now Aug: Wild West Shows Sep: Vaquero/500 Yrs Before CBs Oct: Capturing Billy Nov/Dec: Chaco Canyon

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Top 10 Western Towns Mar: Trains/Pony Express Apr: OW Destinations/Clint Eastwood May: Legendary Sonny Jim Jun: Extreme Western Adventures Jul: Starvation Trail/AZ Rough Riders Aug: Digging Up Billy the Kid Sep: Classic Rodeo! Oct: Extraordinary Western Art Nov/Dec: Black Warriors of the West

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Sweethearts of the Rodeo Mar: 175th Anniv Battle of the Alamo Apr: Three True Grits May: Historic Ranches Jun: Tin Type Billy Jul: Viva, Outlaw Women! Aug: Was Geronimo A Terrorist? Sep: Western Museums/CBs & Aliens Oct: Hard Targets Nov/Dec: Butch Cassidy is Back

o o o o o o o

Feb: Az Crazy Road to Statehood Mar: Special Entertainment Issue Apr: Riding Shotgun with History May: The Outlaw Cowboys of NM Jun: Wyatt On The Set! July: Deadly Trackers Aug: How Did Butch & Sundance Die?




o o o o

Sep: The Heros of Northfield Oct: Bravest Lawman You Never Nov: Armed & Courageous Dec: Legend of Climax Jim

o o o o o o o o o o o

Jan: Best of the West/John Wayne Feb: Rocky Mountain Rangers Apr: US Marshals May: Texas Rangers Jun: Doc’s Last Gunfight Jul: Comanche Killers! Aug: Tombstone 20th Annv Sep: Ambushed on the Pecos Oct: Outlaws,Lawmen & Gunfighters Nov: Soiled Doves Dec: Cowboy Ground Zero

o o o o o o o o o o o o

Jan: Best 100 Historical Photos Feb: Assn. of Pat Garrett Mar: Stand-up Gunfights Apr: Wyatt Earp Alaska May: Tom Horn Jun: Custer Captured Jul: 50 Historical Gunfighter Photos Aug: Bigfoot Wallace/Train Robberies Sep: New Billy Photo/Top Museums Oct: Charlie Russell/Movie Hats Nov: Wild Bills's Last Gunfight Dec: Olive Oatman-Branded



2015 o Jan: 100 Historical Am. Indian Photos o Feb: Mountain Man-First Survivalists o Mar: Mickey Free/Severed Heads o Apr: Jack Stilwell-Forgotten Scout o May: Armed to Survive o Jun: Billy the Kid-Special Report o Jul: 50 Historical Photos-Panco Villa o Aug: Luke Short-Dodge City War o Sep: Crossing America-Lewis & Clark o Oct: Wyatt Earp in Hollywood o Nov: 22 Guns that Won the West o Dec: The First Mountain Man

See the complete collection of available back issues online at the True West Store! 1-888-687-1881

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at [emailprotected]

Saloon Robbery? Were Old West saloons ever robbed? James Lenart West, Texas


Did Old Westerners generally load only five out of the six chambers? Dan Clutter

Denison, Iowa No place was off limits for outlaws. They Yes, letting the hammer followed the money. rest on an empty chamber The reason you don’t was safer, as any accidental read much about blow might fire the charge. I robbing saloons is once dropped a .45 revolver writers prefer to use with all six bullets in the banks, stagecoaches cylinder, and it went off when Marion Hedgepeth and trains in their the hammer hit the deck. stories. If a town Fortunately, the barrel was didn’t have a bank—and many didn’t— pointing away from me. I knew better and townsfolk often put money in a safe at a nearly paid dearly for my mistake. mercantile store or saloon. When a firefight was imminent, Marion Hedgepeth, a fairly well-known however, most gunmen fully loaded their Western train robber, stole until the day he piece. That extra bullet might be needed. died, New Year’s Eve in 1909, while trying to hold up a saloon in Chicago, Illinois. During the Great Depression, did

Do Westerns accurately show how horses are saddle broken? Carl Justice Bluefield, West Virginia

I heard an old cowboy say, “The trick to breaking a horse is to climb on and keep getting bucked off until the horse gets bored.” What works and what doesn’t is hard to say because a lot depends on the personality of the horse and the cowboy doing the training. The old-time bronc busters often had several horses to break and didn’t have the luxury of patience and time to prep the animal to be ridden. That being said, some ranchers and foremen would fire a cowboy on the spot for being cruel to a horse. Some bronc busters had luck with the gentle touch, while others rode ’em until they were broke. I think, then and now, they would all say, “Whatever ya do, don’t break their spirit. T R U E



people eat tumbleweed soup? Brian LaMoure Helena, Montana

Yes. Tumbleweed, or Russian thistle, is edible raw or cooked like greens—

but you have to eat it when it’s young and soft. Navajos have been making tumbleweed soup for generations.

Why did stage drivers sit on the right side? Kevin Baldwin Frankenmuth, Michigan

Buggy drivers sat on the right because most were right handed and the whip could be wielded without possibly hurting the person seated next to you. Also, they could more easily pull a weapon on the right side.

Which cards was “Wild Bill” Hickok holding when he was murdered? Michael Weirens Sartell, Minnesota

Legend says James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok held the Dead Man’s Hand, or aces and eights, when Jack McCall shot him in the No. 10 Saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, in 1876. Here’s how Hickok biographer, the late Joseph Rosa, explained it: Tex Crockett stayed on his bucking horse, South Dakota, in this Ralph R. Doubleday taken at a rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming. – ALL IMAGES TRUE WEST ARCHIVES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED–

“Ellis T, Peirce, a self-styled barbersurgeon and blowhard...claimed in his correspondence with Frank J. Wilstach in the 1920s that the cards Hickok held were the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Clubs, two black eights, Clubs and Spades, and the Jack of Diamonds, which became celebrated out West as the Dead Man’s Hand. Some, however, have claimed that the ‘kicker’ was not the Jack, but the Queen of Diamonds, but no proof has been produced. “Some years ago, I was told by a poker expert that Hickok could have had a full house (that is three of a kind plus a pair) or, mathematically, he could have drawn a low hand. However, the only [contemporaneous] reference to cards Hickok may have held that I have found appeared in Harry (Sam) Young’s book Hard Knocks. Young was the bartender at the No. 10, and he claimed that Capt. [Bill] Massie, the former Missouri Riverboat pilot, had ‘...beat a king full for Bill with four sevens, breaking Bill on the hand.’ Young then said that he had brought Hickok $50 worth of checks. As Young returned to the bar, McCall shot Hickok. Young’s more matter-of-fact reference makes more sense than Peirce’s claim. Others will doubtless disagree, but it is arguments that make horses race!” I believe, with so much chaos— gunfire, blood, smoke, shock—that nobody bothered to check his hand.

Best Photos of the Old West Collector’s Set

Over 500 Old West historical photos from our True West collections.

$39.95 S&H A $56 Value

To find more great deals, visit our online store. True West offers many exciting sets to choose from. Add to your personal collection today!. “Wild Bill” Hickok – COURTESY ROBERT G. MCCUBBIN COLLECTION –

888-687-1881 T R U E



Banjo player Steve Martin (far left) joined the ensemble of musicians (David Bromberg, John Carter Cash, Jay Ungar, et al.) on the latest album, Made in Brooklyn, released by John McEuen (left). – COURTESY M. MCEUEN –

I bought my first guitar at 17 and was learning “Freight Train” and Folk standards, and in my off time reading all the Zane Grey books about the West. In this period of my life, I was working in Disneyland’s Main Street Magic Shop, in an 1890s setting, doing tricks all day. My dad was a fan of Western things and took us to a lot of films, including the Cinerama premiere of How the West Was Won, Gunsmoke, The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp and all those TV Westerns appealed to me, but when I encountered Folk music and researched some of the songs, I found the real story more fascinating than what Hollywood portrayed.


I first heard Bluegrass live at 17½ years old when

I went to see the Dillards in Orange, California, at a club called the Paradox. That night changed my life, as it gave me direction I had been lacking: I now wanted to be a “musical performer” of some type, play the banjo and get out of Orange County—travel the world.

I “introduced” my high school friend Steve Martin to the banjo. We fell in love with it at the same time, while working as teenagers at Disneyland’s magic shops. We would schedule our work breaks to meet in Frontierland and catch whatever Bluegrass group had been booked there. It was a great era.

Wanting to get on the radio, I needed a group. By July 1966, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was just forming in McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Long Beach, where we all had been hanging out. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band ended up in the 1969

movie Paint Your Wagon, the best part of which was living in clothes and sets that were as historically perfect as one could get to 1853 California. Four months in that era was incredible, as we felt, for 14 hours a day, we were back in time.

“Folk music” was often not exciting nor fun, but that was because I was hearing the “Hollywood” versions. Finding those real lyrics and then encountering Western music was great. One of the stuntmen on Paint Your Wagon—Walt La Rue—seemed to know all of the songs. But my favorite to play is “Night Rider’s Lament,” which I hope to record with John Fogerty some day.

The Carter Family’s music was a second love to Bluegrass, as it was like new Folk music, straight from the heart and the land. When Earl Scruggs said, “Yes,” to recording with our band, I was excited. Through him, I knew we could get to




JOHN MCEUEN, FOLK MUSICIAN Born in Oakland, California, John McEuen is a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which is currently on a 50th anniversary tour. McEuen’s epiphany about the Old West came when he discovered traditional Western songs at Folk concerts that “told the real story,” he says. McEuen has made more than 40 albums, including John McEuen Presents: The Music of the Wild West, the Western Heritage Award-winning soundtrack from 1993’s The Wild West miniseries. His latest solo album, Made in Brooklyn (Chesky Records), debuted in September. Maybelle Carter. His wife, Louise, got Jimmy Martin; Earl lined up Vassar Clements, Junior Huskey and Roy Acuff. I asked Doc Watson the same question, and he was eager to pick with Earl. Eight weeks later, we started recording, and six days later, we had finished 34 songs. Doc let us know, “Always tune up to a note, not down!”

I asked Scruggs his secret to “back up” for a singer. He said, “If he sings low, play high. If he sings high, play low.” For instrumentals: “If two men are talking at once, you can’t hear either one.” Depending on the lyric, my favorite instrument to record with is mandolin, banjo or guitar. Live, it is often the fiddle.

My favorite overseas trip with the band was to Germany, where, on a 12-act show, we opened for Johnny Cash. In Zurich, all the other performers came out to watch us. I asked, “Why?” and Johnny Russell said, “Well, we haven’t gone over that great and wanted to see how y’all did. Good luck.” When we got a standing ovation encore, they were all clapping and cheering.










THOUSANDS OF RARE FILMS, TV MOVIES & SERIES DIRECT FROM THE STUDIO’S VAULT ©2016 Turner Entertainment Co. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

True West 2016-11 - PDF Free Download (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated:

Views: 5972

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.